Gag Rule: On the Suppression of Dissent and the Stifling of Democracy
By Lewis H. Lapham
An eloquent jeremiad against the Bush administration for allegedly marginalizing and muting voices of protest (Penguin, $19.95).
Country of Origin
By Don Lee
In his first novel, Lee addresses identity and exile through the story of a mysterious disappearance in 1980 Tokyo (Norton, $24.95).
Barcelona the Great Enchantress
By Robert Hughes
The most passionate and articulate of observers, Hughes offers a vibrant picture of the Catalan capital (National Geographic, $20).
Rivers of Gold: The Rise of the Spanish Empire, From Columbus to Magellan
By Hugh Thomas
An immensely readable account of the 30 years -- 1492 to 1522 -- that redefined Western civilization (Random House, $35).
By Jerry Stahl
Stahl's novel is narrated sympathetically by silent-film star Fatty Arbuckle, wrongly accused of a crime in 1920s Hollywood (Bloomsbury, $23.95). Selected from books recently reviewed in the Globe.