Non-Fiction November Week 2: Be The Expert (Modern American History)

best non-fiction books modern american history

Week Two of Non-Fiction November is all about becoming the expert and picking titles around a specific topic. A big majority of my non-fiction reading is dedicated to American history and culture. Though I love almost all bits of that history equally, it’s a pretty broad span of time to make a list from, so I’m focusing on post-WWII America for the sake of simplicity. In chronological order, of course…

The Savage City: Race, Murder and a Generation on the Edge by T. J. English
The Savage City examines 1960’s New York City through the case of George Whitmore, Jr., a 19 year-old who was coerced into confessing to the 1963 “Career Girls Murders”. 

The Skies Belong to Us: Love and Terror in the Golden Age of Hijacking by Brendan I. Koerner
Starting in 1968, hijackers took hold of commercial jets nearly once a week for dozens of reasons, making Roger Holder and Cathy Kerkow think they could do the same.

Columbine by Dave Cullen
An incredibly well-researched and fascinating look into what motivated the shooters involved in the Columbine massacre. 

Zeitoun by Dave Eggers
A nearly unbelievable story of a Syrian-American separated from his family in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina

Drift: The Unmooring of American Political Power by Rachel Maddow
From the Vietnam War to the war in Afghanistan, Maddow explores America’s settling into a constant state of war, including the financial and human costs involved. 

The Unwinding: The Inner History of the New America by George Packer
An examination of the history of the United States over the past three decades, exposing the gradual weakening systems of what was once a great superpower.

What are your favorite non-fiction books about post-WWII America?