Spring 2018 Preview

We’re highlighting here  some of the books due out this spring and summer that are likely to garner critical and popular acclaim, because of their subject, their author, or both. The titles already getting buzz are drawn from Publishers WeeklyKirkus ReviewsBooklistLibrary Journal, and Amazon, among others. BIO members with upcoming releases are noted in bold type.

Please note: We do our best to learn about new books, and the ongoing monthly “In Stores” feature in The Biographer’s Craft will include even more fall and winter releases. But, if we’ve missed any members’ upcoming releases, please let us know so we can add them to this list.


A Season in the Sun: The Rise of Mickey Mantle by Randy Roberts and Johnny Smith (Basic Books)

Neruda: The Poet’s Calling by Mark Eisner (Ecco)

Redemption: Martin Luther King Jr.’s Last 31 Hours by Joseph Rosenbloom (Beacon Press)

Picasso and the Painting That Shocked the World by Miles J. Unger (Simon & Schuster)

The Age of Eisenhower: America and the World in the 1950s by William I. Hitchcock (Simon & Schuster)

The Life of Mark Twain: The Early Years, 1835–1871 by Gary Scharnhorst (University of Missouri Press)

Dangerous Mystic: Meister Eckhart’s Path to the God Within by Joel F. Harrington (Penguin)

The Space Barons: Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, and the Quest to Colonize the Cosmos by Christian Davenport (PublicAffairs)

Agatha Christie: A Mysterious Life by Laura Thompson (Pegasus Books)

The Pleasure Shock: The Rise of Deep Brain Stimulation and Its Forgotten Inventor by Lone Frank (Dutton)

In Byron’s Wake by Miranda Seymour (Simon & Schuster)



Something Wonderful: Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Broadway Revolution by Todd S. Purdum (Henry Holt)

Berenice Abbott: A Life in Photography by Julia Van Haaften (W. W. Norton)

Sharp: The Women Who Made an Art of Having an Opinion by Michelle Dean (Grove)

The Pope Who Would Be King by David I. Kertzer (Random House)

Born Trump: Inside America’s First Family by Emily Jane Fox (Harper)

The Moralist: Woodrow Wilson and the World He Made by Patricia O’Toole (Simon & Schuster)

The Promise and the Dream: The Interrupted Lives of Robert F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr. by David Margolick (Rosetta Books)

Sugar: Micheal Ray Richardson, Eighties Excess, and the NBA by Charley Rosen (University of Nebraska Press)

To the Promised Land: Martin Luther King and the Fight for Economic Justice by Michael K. Honey (W. W. Norton)

Proust’s Duchess: How Three Celebrated Women Captured the Imagination of Fin de Siècle Paris by Caroline Weber (Knopf)

The Final Race: The Incredible World War II Story of the Olympian Who Inspired Chariots of Fire by Eric T. Eichinger and Eva Marie Everson (Tyndale Momentum)

Space Odyssey: Stanley Kubrick, Arthur C. Clarke, and the Making of a Masterpiece by Michael Benson (Simon & Schuster)

Speaker Jim Wright by J. Brooks Flippen (University of Texas Press)

President Carter: The White House Years by Stuart E. Eizenstat (Thomas Dunne Books)

Eunice: The Kennedy Who Changed the World by Eileen McNamara (Simon & Schuster)

Visionary Women: How Rachel Carson, Jane Jacobs, Jane Goodall, and Alice Waters Changed Our World by Andrea Barnet (Ecco)

Daughters of the Winter Queen: Four Remarkable Sisters, the Crown of Bohemia, and the Enduring Legacy of Mary, Queen of Scots by Nancy Goldstone (Little, Brown)

Dinner in Camelot: The Night America’s Greatest Scientists, Writers, and Scholars Partied at the Kennedy White House by Joseph Esposito (ForeEdge)

Inseparable: The Original Siamese Twins and Their Rendezvous with American History by Yunte Huang (Liveright)

Rocket Men: The Daring Odyssey of Apollo 8 and the Astronauts Who Made Man’s First Journey to the Moon by Robert Kurson (Random House)

The China Mission: George C. Marshall’s Unfinished War, 1945–1947 by Daniel Kurtz-Phelan (W. W. Norton)

Eisenhower vs. Warren: The Battle for Civil Rights and Liberties by James F. Simon (Liveright)

Something Wonderful: Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Broadway Revolution by Todd S. Purdum (Henry Holt)

Napoleon: The Spirit of the Age: 1805–1810 by Michael Broer (Pegasus Books)

Mr. Lear: A Life of Art and Nonsense by Jenny Uglow (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

Loulou & Yves: The Untold Story of Loulou de La Falaise and the House of Saint Laurent by Christopher Petkanas (St. Martin’s Press)

The Lives of the Constitution: Ten Exceptional Minds that Shaped America’s Supreme Law by Joseph Tartakovsky (Encounter Books)

Gehrig and the Babe: The Friendship and the Feud by Tony Castro (Triumph Books)

Hirschfeld: The Biography by Ellen Stern (Sarah Crichton Books)

Richard III: England’s Most Controversial King by Chris Skidmore (St. Martin’s Press)

Above and Beyond: John F. Kennedy and America’s Most Dangerous Cold War Spy Mission by Casey Sherman (PublicAffairs)



Paul Simon: The Life by Robert Hilburn (Simon & Schuster)

The Lives of the Surrealists by Desmond Morris (Thames & Hudson)

Madame Claude and Her Secret World of Pleasure, Privilege, and Power by William Stadiem (St. Martin’s Press)

Enemies in Love: A German POW, a Black Nurse, and an Unlikely Romance by Alexis Clark (The New Press)

Those Turbulent Sons of Freedom: Ethan Allen’s Green Mountain Boys and the American Revolution by Christopher S. Wren ((Simon & Schuster)

A Spy Named Orphan: The Enigma of Donald Maclean by Roland Philipps (W. W. Norton)

Barracoon: The Story of the Last Slave by Zora Neale Hurston (Amistad)

Robin by Dave Itzkoff (Henry Holt)

The Lost Pilots: The Spectacular Rise and Scandalous Fall of Aviation’s Golden Couple by Corey Mead (Flatiron)

Lincoln’s Last Trial: The Murder Case That Propelled Him to the Presidency by Dan Abrams and David Fisher (Hanover Square)

The Improbable Wendell Willkie: The Businessman Who Saved the Republican Party and His Country, and Conceived a New World Order by David Levering Lewis (Liveright)

Young Washington: How Wilderness and War Forged America’s Founding Father by Peter Stark (Ecco)

Harvey Milk: His Lives and Death by Lillian Faderman (Yale University Press)

Free Woman: Life, Liberation, and Doris Lessing by Lara Feigel (Bloomsbury Publishing)

Bibi: The Turbulent Life and Times of Benjamin Netanyahu by Anshel Pfeffer (Basic Books)



No Better Friend, No Worse Enemy: The Life of General James Mattis by Jim Proser (Broadside Books)

Autumn in Venice: Ernest Hemingway and His Last Muse by Andrea Di Robilant (Knopf)

Modernists and Mavericks: Bacon, Freud, Hockney and the London Painters by Martin Gayford (Thames & Hudson)

The Bonanza King: John Mackay and the Battle over the Greatest Fortune in the American West by Gregory Crouch (Scribner)

Conan Doyle for the Defense: A Sensational British Murder, the Quest for Justice, and the World’s Greatest Detective Writer by Margalit Fox (Random House)

Those Wild Wyndhams: Three Sisters at the Heart of Power by Claudia Renton (Knopf)

God, War, and Providence: The Epic Struggle of Roger Williams and the Narragansett Indians Against the Puritans of New England by James A. Warren (Scribner)

In Search of Mary Shelley: The Girl Who Wrote Frankenstein by Fiona Sampson (Pegasus Books)

Unbeaten: Rocky Marciano’s Fight for Perfection in a Crooked World by Mike Stanton (Henry Holt)

Bruce Lee: A Life by Matthew Polly (Simon & Schuster)

Crusader for Democracy: The Political Life of William Allen White by Charles Delgadillo (University Press of Kansas)



The Brink: President Reagan and the Nuclear War Scare of 1983 by Marc Ambinder (Simon & Schuster)

Chasing the Demon: Chuck Yeager and the Band of American Aces Who Conquered the Sound Barrier by Dan Hampton (William Morrow)

City of Devils: The Two Men Who Ruled the Underworld of Old Shanghai by Paul French (Picador)

The Strange Case of Dr. Couney: How a Mysterious European Showman Saved Thousands of American Babies by Dawn Raffel (Blue Rider)

The Promise of the Grand Canyon: John Wesley Powell’s Perilous Journey and His Vision for the American West by John F. Ross (Viking)

The King’s Assassin: The Secret Plot to Murder King James I by Benjamin Woolley (St. Martin’s Press)

Verdi: The Man Revealed by John Suchet (Pegasus Books)

Just a Shot Away: Peace, Love, and Tragedy with the Rolling Stones at Altamont by Saul Austerlitz (Thomas Dunne Books)



The Astronaut Maker: How One Mysterious Engineer Ran Human Spaceflight for a Generation by Michael Cassutt (Chicago Review Press)

Founding Martyr: The Life and Death of Dr. Joseph Warren, the American Revolution’s Lost Hero by Christian Di Spigna (Crown)

Architects of Death: The Family Who Engineered the Death Camps by Karen Bartlett (St. Martin’s Press)

The Washington War: FDR’s Inner Circle and the Politics of Power That Won World War II by James Lacey (Bantam)

Arthur Ashe: A Life by Raymond Arsenault (Simon & Schuster)

Henry Clay: The Man Who Would Be President by James C. Klotter (Oxford University Press)

Astounding: John W. Campbell, Isaac Asimov, Robert A. Heinlein, L. Ron Hubbard, and the Golden Age of Science Fiction by Alec Nevala-Lee (Dey Street Books)

Meg, Jo, Beth, Amy: The Story of Little Women and Why It Still Matters by Anne Boyd Rioux (W. W. Norton)

The Last Englishmen: Love, War, and the End of Empire by Deborah Baker (Graywolf Press)

Playing to the Gods: Sarah Bernhardt, Eleonora Duse, and the Rivalry that Changed Acting Forever by Peter Rader (Simon & Schuster)

The Gatsby Affair: Scott, Zelda, and the Betrayal that Shaped an American Classic by Kendall Taylor (Rowman & Littlefield)

The Impostor: A True Story by Javier Cercas (Knopf)

Anthony Powell: Dancing to the Music of Time by Hilary Spurling (Knopf)

Scarface and the Untouchable: Al Capone, Eliot Ness, and the Battle for Chicago by Max Allan Collins and Brad Schwartz (William Morrow)

Fly Girls: How Five Daring Women Defied All Odds and Made Aviation History by Eamon Dolan (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

A Life of My Own: A Biographer’s Life by Claire Tomalin (Penguin)