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Best nonfiction books of 2008

The Monitor’s annual gift guide to the best nonfiction books of 2008.

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McMafia
By Misha Glenny (Knopf, 400 pp., $27.95)
BBC correspondent Misha Glenny looks deep into the global criminal underworld. (4/23/08)

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Girls Like Us
By Sheila Weller (Atria, 592 pp., $27.95)
This collective biography looks at top singer/songwriter stars Carole King, Joni Mitchell, and Carly Simon. (5/13/08)

Nixonland
By Rick Perlstein (Scribner, 881 pp., $37.50)
Historian and journalist Rick Perlstein chronicles Richard Nixon’s rise to the presidency and the “us” against “them” mind-set he brought to it. (5/19/08)

The Last Campaign
By Thurston Clarke (Holt, 321 pp., $25)
Historian Thurston Clarke delivers an emotionally powerful examination of Robert F. Kennedy’s  1968 presidential campaign. (5/26/08)

A Summer of Hummingbirds
By Christopher Benfey (Penguin Press, 287 pp., $25.95)
Christopher Benfey offers a lively account of love, art, and scandal among America’s 19th-century artistic elite. (5/31/08)

The Post-American World
By Fareed Zakaria (W.W. Norton, 292 pp., $25.95)
Journalist Fareed Zakaria writes of the rise of new global powers and of a world in which the United States is no longer No. 1. (6/13/08)

The Forger’s Spell
By Edward Dolnick (Harper, 368 pp., $26.95)
Edward Dolnick tells the riveting story of a second-rate painter who fooled some very powerful Nazis with his Vermeer forgeries. (7/31/08)

White Heat
By Brenda Wineapple (Knopf, 416 pp., $27.95)
Skilled biographer Brenda Wineapple embraces the contradictions inherent in the remarkable friendship of “two unusual, seemingly incompatible friends,” Emily Dickinson and Thomas Wentworth Higginson. (8/16/08)

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