8 New Books We Recommend This Week

8 New Books We Recommend This Week

GANDHI: The Years That Changed the World, 1914-1948, by Ramachandra Guha. (Knopf, $40.) This second volume of a monumental biography looks at both the public and private life of a major figure of the 20th century. Guha admires Gandhi’s achievements, but does not gloss over the man’s flaws. The book is “a portrait of a complex man whose remarkable tenacity remained constant, even when his beliefs changed,” our reviewer, Alex von Tunzelmann, writes. “It is also extraordinarily intimate.”

GOOD AND MAD: The Revolutionary Power of Women’s Anger, by Rebecca Traister. (Simon & Schuster, $27.) Traister, a columnist for New York magazine, argues that women’s anger, long a catalyst for social change, has rarely been recognized as righteous or patriotic. Her timely new book is both a corrective and a call to action. Elaine Blair’s review calls it a “rousing look at the political uses of this supposedly unfeminine emotion. … The unprecedented, if cautious, sense of solidarity among women (long an elusive ideal in a population sharply divided by class and race) is almost as important a theme in the book as anger itself.”

IN PIECES, by Sally Field. (Grand Central, $29.) This somber, intimate and at times wrenching self-portrait — written by the actress herself and not a ghostwriter — feels like an act of personal investigation, not a Hollywood memoir. If you come to the book “expecting to meet a plucky Sally Field desperate to be liked, you will not find her,” Sean Smith writes, reviewing it. “Field seems to be aiming higher than that. Throughout ‘In Pieces,’ she assesses herself with a clear and critical eye, often revealing unappealing parts of herself … with minimal rationalization, sentiment or self-pity.”

LOOKING FOR LORRAINE: The Radiant and Radical Life of Lorraine Hansberry, by Imani Perry. (Beacon, $26.95.) This impassioned study by Perry, a scholar at Princeton, yields a fascinating portrait of the influential black playwright and activist, who died young in 1956, cutting short a life of unusual promise. “‘Looking for Lorraine’ is something between a fan’s notes and an academic monograph,” the playwright Branden Jacobs-Jenkins writes in his review, “less an unpacking of the archive to reveal the life than an exercise in putting the archive in historical context. Its strongest chapters — on ‘A Raisin in the Sun’ and Lorraine’s coming into her own as a public intellectual — are masterly syntheses of research and analysis. It’s a joy for devotees to encounter some record of Hansberry’s influences.”

BROTHERS OF THE GUN: A Memoir of the Syrian War, by Marwan Hisham and Molly Crabapple. (One World, $28.) Hisham, a journalist from Raqqa, details his country’s descent into endless bloodshed. Crabapple’s abundant illustrations capture the chaos. “His viewpoint as a civilian struggling within the city, and especially his perspective on ISIS, is gripping,” Hillary Chute writes in her latest column about graphic novels and memoirs. The book “tracks the Syrian civil war in both words and images from the ground and from the inside, offering one of the clearest explanations (even when it’s confessing befuddlement) of the war’s growth and the unrest that is its motor.”

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