His new book is Pox: An American History.
A few weeks ago I asked him what he was reading. His reply:
I recently read Michael Klarman's marvelous book, Brown v. Board of Education and the Civil Rights Movement. This is an abridged and very accessibly written version of Klarman's Bancroft Prize-winning "door stopper" of a book on the same subject (From Jim Crow to Civil Rights). Klarman is a Harvard Law professor, but he writes this book with a journalistic flair. In the Brown book, Klarman examines one of the best known chapters in modern U.S. history and manages to tell a story that is not only new but immensely revealing about our society, our political system, and our Constitution. I was most struck by the vivid stories of the powerful political backlash that the Supreme Court's decision to desegregate the public schools caused across the American south. That backlash -- and the images of violence broadcast to the nation from places like Little Rock, Birmingham, and Selma -- helped to create broad public support across the nation for the cause of civil rights, something no Supreme Court decision, by itself, could have ever done. It's a great story, very well told.Learn more about Pox: An American History at the publisher's website.