A Man and His Ship: America's Greatest Naval Architect and His Quest to Build the S. S. United States (Simon and Schuster) by historian Steven Ujifusa recalls the great days of passenger liners crossing the Atlantic.
Molly Caldwell Crosby tells in The Great Pearl Heist: London's Greatest Thief and Scotland Yard's Hunt for the World's Most Valuable Necklace (Berkley Books) gives crime reporting on a forgotten case.
For Liberty and Equality: The Life and Times of the Declaration of Independence (Oxford University Press) by Alexander Tsesis shows that declaring liberty was just the start of bigger things.
The Zimmermann Telegram: Intelligence, Diplomacy, and America's Entry into World War I (Naval Institute Press) by historian Thomas Boghardt brings new truth about a famous historic blunder.
The Lost Battles: Leonardo, Michelangelo, and the Artistic Duel That Defined the Renaissance (Knopf) by Jonathan Jones gives insight into a couple of lost monumental paintings.
Thornton Wilder: A Life (Harper) by Penelope Niven gives a life in superb detail.
In The Book of Barely Imagined Beings: A 21st Century Bestiary (Granta; to be published in America by the University of Chicago Press in April), Caspar Henderson tells us of fantastic beasts that are not fantasies.
Mighty Lewd Books: The Development of Pornography in Eighteenth Century England (Palgrave Macmillan) by Julie Peakman is a study of historic English pornography.
Carola Hicks gives art history and more in The King's Glass: A Story of Tudor Power and Secret Art (Pimlico).
The Universe Within: From Quantum to Cosmos (House of Anansi Press) by Neil Turok gives a history of physics and cosmology, and a hopeful look at what science can do for us.
4. A Microhistory of Religious Conflict BOOK REVIEWS