Geniuses of Self-Promotion, Factory Production, and Bad Poetry

Declaring His Genius: Oscar Wilde in North America by Roy Morris, Jr.

The nutshell: Historian and literary scholar Morris chronicles Oscar Wilde’s 1882 lecture tour of America—a cross-country odyssey that was both pilloried and celebrated by the press, inspiring thousands to imitate the poet-playwright’s bold style.

More In: The Six-Point Inspection

Histories of Sex, Bach, and Tacos

Writer and women’s historian León guides readers through sex and romance in antiquity, illuminating sordid stories of famous figures (Caesar’s affair with the original cougar, Brutus’ mother) and sexually charged …