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Historian: FDR Was The Last Great President. Let's Never Have Another.

In his new book, The End of Greatness, historian Aaron David Miller argues the nation might be better off without any more truly great presidents — or the national crises that produce them.
NPR

The Forgotten Female Programmers Who Created Modern Tech

The Innovators, Walter Isaacson's new book, tells the stories of the people who created modern computers. Women, who are now a minority in computer science, played an outsize role in that history.
NPR

A 'Post-Post-Colonial' Take On The Violent Birth Of Modern Jamaica

Marlon James' latest novel, A Brief History of Seven Killings, is not brief, and it contains many more than seven deaths. It's a portrait of Jamaica in the '70s, when gang warfare and reggae reigned.
NPR

Deciphering The 'Priestly Mumbo-Jumbo' Of The Financial World

If you're mystified by terms like "Libor," "stagflation" and "Grexit," you should pick up John Lanchester's new book, How To Speak Money, which aims to untangle the tortured language of finance.
NPR

For Her First Trilogy, Jane Smiley Returns To Iowa, 'Where The Roots Are'

Smiley used to live in Iowa and says something about the place still pulls on her imagination. Her new book, Some Luck, begins on a family farm in 1920.
NPR

'Outpost': Stories Of Diplomacy In The World's Most Harrowing Places

Former Ambassador Christopher Hill has written his memoir, Outpost: Life on the Frontlines of American Diplomacy. NPR's Ari Shapiro speaks to Hill about his tenure as a diplomat in Iraq.
NPR

One Military Family, Two Lost Sons: One To Combat, One To Suicide

In The Invisible Front, journalist Yochi Dreazen tells the story of the Grahams, a close-knit family that lost two sons in the span of a year and then took up the fight against military suicide.
NPR

Horror Of Horrors: Is H.P. Lovecraft's Legacy Tainted?

Lovecraft, the author who famously invented Cthulhu, was also known for his highly racist opinions. This has created some controversy around the World Fantasy Award statue that bears his likeness.
NPR

Q&A: Plumbing The Mysteries Of The Teenage Brain

In Age of Opportunity, psychologist Larry Steinberg applies neuroscience to risk-taking, peer influence, the boredom of high school and other adolescent conundrums.
NPR

Behind The Sunglasses: The Lives Of Secret Service Agents

This week, following a series of security lapses, the Secret Service director resigned. For a look at the agency beyond the scandal, author Ben Dolnick recommends the novel Big If by Mark Costello.

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