Summer reading: History
Absolute Monarchs

A History of the Papacy

John Julius Norwich

Random House: $30

The respected historian of the Byzantine Empire and Venice now turns to one of the oldest institutions on Earth and those who have worn the mitred hat during its 2,000-year-old history. (July)

American Dreamers

How the Left Changed a Nation

Michael Kazin

Alfred A. Knopf: $27.95

From the early anti-slavery movement to Noam Chomsky and filmmaker Michael Moore, the author examines the radical thinkers and reformers who have transformed American politics and culture. (August)

Elixir

A History of Water and Humankind

Brian Fagan

Bloomsbury: $28

Archaeologist Fagan documents the human historical relationship with water, from sacred gift to exploited resource, and our move back to having reverence for it. (June)

Exorcising Hitler

The Occupation and Denazification of Germany

Frederick Taylor

Bloomsbury: $30