Samantha Henig

Rough Justice: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer

Author Peter Elkind, entranced by "the chasm between public image and private reality" (page vii), follows Eliot Spitzer's rapid rise and faster fall. He's the two-faced politician at its finest. Public Eliot was a beacon of justice, the scrappy David taking down the Goliaths of Wall Street, the insurance industry, and yes, even prostitution—all while Private Eliot deceived his wife, advisers, and the people he served by sneaking off to rendezvous with $1,000-an-hour escorts.

The Bridge: The Life and Rise of Barack Obama

David Remnick weaves together the story of Barack Obama's rootless youth, increasingly rigorous studies, eventual grounding in Chicago, and rapid-fire series of four long-shot elections (five, if you count Harvard Law Review). Remnick's deep digressions into the history of the civil-rights movement and of political corruption in Chicago elevate Obama's story to one of fate.

Best of Poetry and Politics

In many ways, it is an unenviable task: write a poem grand enough for a presidential inauguration but accessible enough for the wide swath of Americans tuning in—and artful enough to keep critics at bay.

A Magical Meshuga Tour Guide

From the opening images of an eerily serene Barry Manilow and a pelvis-thrusting Neil Diamond, the album covers in "And You Shall Know Us by the Trail of Our Vinyl" are so perfectly dated—and hilariously kitschy—that it's impossible to look away.

Closure: Sister Souljah of Clinton's 1992 Campaign

Starting PointWhile campaigning in 1992, Bill Clinton criticizes rapper and activist Sister Souljah for her "racist" remarks following the L.A. riots. "If black people kill black people every day," she'd said, "why not have a week and kill white people?" Fever PitchJesse Jackson and allies accuse Clinton of political opportunism, and Souljah calls him a draft-dodging, pot-smoking racist.

Book on World of Human Waste

It may not be fodder for dinner discussion. Or book clubs. Or, come to think of it, polite conversation of any kind. But journalist Rose George, author of "The Big Necessity: The Unmentionable World of Human Waste and Why It Matters," was undaunted, delving deep into the history and implications of a daily act that dare not speak its name.

Q&A: A Campus Shooter Talks About Va. Tech

Before Virginia Tech, before Columbine, there was Simon's Rock.Late on the evening of Dec. 14, 1992, Wayne Lo, an 18-year-old student at Simon's Rock College of Bard in Great Barrington, Mass., approached a security-guard shack on the campus and began shooting, as he says now, "at anything that moved." Lo fired at least nine rounds during the following 20 minutes, killing another student and a Spanish professor and wounding four others.A gifted violinist who had moved with his family from...

Comics: Captain America, 1941-2007

CAPTAIN AMERICA IS DEAD. It's a powerful headline, even for those who have never picked up a Marvel comic book and don't know "The Sentinel of Liberty" from "The Scarlet Swashbuckler." Fans and novices alike have been struck by the poignancy of the image on the pages of the comic book, released Wednesday: a patriotic do-gooder with a bullet piercing his burly, red-white-and-blue torso.Sure, he's just a made-up character.

An Unlikely Alliance

A group of 28 scientists and evangelical Christians today announced their commitment to working together to address global and environmental climate change--an issue that they say is pressing enough to trump any theological differences between the groups.