The weather is getting colder, and it's the perfect time to hole up with a good book. Lucky for you, there is a wealth of incredible books with staggering insights coming out this October, November, and December. Whether you're after a deep-dive on the intricacies of political control during World War II or a look behind the curtain at the founding principles of America, there are some exciting reads in store for you.
For the hottest takes on the old days, check out these eight new history books hitting shelves this fall and winter!
Release date: October 10
The Final Witness: A Kennedy Secret Service Agent Breaks His Silence After Sixty Years
In Dallas, Texas on November 22, 1963, President John F. Kennedy was shot dead at Dealey Plaza. Everyone knows about this tragedy which haunts the nation, but Special Agent Paul Landis was there. In this book Landis finally speaks out about what he saw, from his follow-up car behind JFK's, to the hospital, and all the way through to the report he filed that never saw a testimony for the Warren Commission.
Release date: October 17
Women were essential to the founding of the Central Intelligence Agency. Though the cultural landscape saw women of the time holding roles as clerks, secretaries, and wives, many in the CIA became top operatives. Because women were so underestimated, they were the perfect spies. Deemed unthreatening, women could move without suspicion through Bonn, Geneva, and even Moscow, stealing and protecting secrets in equal turn.
From the beginning of the agency after World War II through the aftermath of 9/11, this captivating book details the remarkable history of women in the CIA.
Release date: October 24
Emperor of Rome: Ruling the Ancient Roman World
The Roman Empire was shaped by its rulers. This book details three centuries' worth of emperors, from Julius Caesar to Alexander Severus. However, this keen research goes beyond just the surface level, examining just how much power an emperor wielded, how much violence really marred the palace, the inner workings of royal relationships, and beyond. Prepare to have commonly held beliefs about Roman life overturned as the truth unfolds across the page.
Release date: November 2
Enemies of the People: Hitler's Critics and the Gestapo
Drawing on hundreds of confidential police documents, this book examines the reality of Hitler's political policing. Beginning with the concept of the Gestapo's “selective enforcement,” author J. Ryan Stackhouse asserts that power was not maintained merely through means of terror, as is widely believed. Rather, Stackhouse reveals that the truth exists within a muddled area of popularity and oppression—a merging of conflicting ideas which highlights the complicity of Germans in Hitler's reign. This groundbreaking text offers insight into how many Germans felt selective enforcement was entirely reasonable, a historical mindset which draws chilling parallels with the contemporary threat of rising authoritarianism.
Release date: November 7
To those who drafted the Constitution, there was no greater threat to republican virtues than the formation of political parties. They saw how partisan politics wrought havoc in Britain, and they wanted better for their burgeoning nation. Unfortunately, parties began to form even before the Constitution was ratified, and took a firm hold within a decade. This book follows those fateful early years, in which the Founding Fathers argued over which shape our nation should take.
Release date: November 14
Ghosts of Honolulu: A Japanese Spy, a Japanese American Spy Hunter, and the Untold Story of Pearl Harbor
In 1941, as war with Japan loomed overhead, Hawaii became a hotbed of spies, intelligence agents, and military officials. Among them were Douglas Wada, the sole Japanese American agent in naval intelligence, and Takeo Yoshikawa, a Japanese spy gathering information on the U.S. fleet at Pearl Harbor. This riveting book weaves dueling narratives of their wartime experiences, exemplifying how these cat-and-mouse intelligence games changed the world—and how innocents were caught in the middle.
Release date: December 5
The Palace: From the Tudors to the Windsors, 500 Years of British History at Hampton Court
Historian Gareth Russell provides five centuries' worth of British history as seen from the halls of the Hampton Court Palace. From King Henry VIII to Queen Elizabeth II, some of Britain's most defining moments happened in this palace, including the commissioning of King James’s version of the Bible and the staging of various Shakespeare plays. Touring every exquisite room in the castle, this book spares no detail in revealing the highs and lows of royal history.
Release date: December 12
The Savage Storm: The Battle for Italy 1943
A fresh new look at the controversial first months of World War II's Italian Campaign. In the aftermath of their victory in Sicily, Allied Troops crossed into southern Italy in September of 1943, hoping to chase the Axis powers out of Rome by Christmas. But while Italy quickly folded, the German divisions mounted a fierce resistance, which soon became one of the most harrowing battles of the war.
Utilizing documents such as letters, diaries, and other records, author James Holland weaves a narrative of this tumultuous time through the eyes of the contemporaries on both sides of the conflict.
Featured image: Wesley Tingey/Unsplash