The Strothman Agency, LLC

The Strothman Agency, LLC Advocates for books that matter. The Strothman Agency, LLC is a highly selective literary agency dedicated to advocating for authors of significant books through the entire publishing cycle.

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Submission information can be found at: http://www.strothmanagency.com/submission-guidelines

Operating as usual

'The Vikings may have been the first Europeans in America but Alan Mikhail’s God’s Shadow: Sultan Selim, His Ottoman Emp...
12/15/2020
Books of the Year 2020 | History Today

'The Vikings may have been the first Europeans in America but Alan Mikhail’s God’s Shadow: Sultan Selim, His Ottoman Empire, and the Making of the Modern World makes a persuasive case for the importance of the Ottoman empire for the colonial expansion to the Americas in the 16th century. Sultan Selim was moulded by a formidable mother whose ambitions propelled her son to immense power and her political savvy makes her quite as interesting as her son. "

Feature Books of the Year 2020 Six historians share the books they’ve enjoyed this year. History Today | Published in 10 Dec 2020 ‘A bold story of a society dramatically different from our own’ Jóhanna Katrín Friðriksdóttir, Author of Valkyrie: Women of the Viking World (Bloomsbury, 2020)....

God’s Shadow by Alan Mikhail Recommended by: Sandi Tan, author of Lurkers“If you want a ticket out of 2020, may I recomm...
12/02/2020
16 Great Book Recommendations You’ll Thank Us For

God’s Shadow by Alan Mikhail

Recommended by: Sandi Tan, author of Lurkers

“If you want a ticket out of 2020, may I recommend this biography of bloodthirsty Ottoman Sultan Selim I (1470–1520)? It not only argues that Columbus’s voyage to America happened because Europeans were busy avoiding the Turks, it’ll also tell you that the Turks had a thing for moles (in 1470, a Sufi mystic predicted that the next sultan would have seven moles, and indeed Selim was born with seven). There’s also fratricide (a rite of passage for sultans-to-be), insane concubine politics, and circumcision festivals, and it sent me down a rabbit hole reading up on sultans. How’s this for a jetpack out of the present: Look up Ibrahim the Mad (1615–1648), who was raised in a gilded cage, loved plus-size ladies, and drowned 280 women from his harem when he was paranoid that another man had ‘tampered with’ them.”

Your next read starts here.

By Alice Baumgartner from her book “South to Freedom: Runaway Slaves to Mexico and the Road to the Civil War."
11/19/2020
When the Enslaved Went South

By Alice Baumgartner from her book “South to Freedom: Runaway Slaves to Mexico and the Road to the Civil War."

In the four decades before the Civil War, thousands of fugitive slaves escaped from the U.S. to Mexico. Runaways found both unfamiliar risks and high rewards south of the border.

“[A] valuable and provocative book… . [William G. Thomas III]  brings a clear and sensitive eye to the tangled relations...
11/16/2020
‘A Question of Freedom’ Review: Slavery on Trial

“[A] valuable and provocative book… . [William G. Thomas III] brings a clear and sensitive eye to the tangled relationship of black and white Americans in the early 19th century.” — The @WSJ on A QUESTION OF FREEDOM

Early 19th-century lawsuits held out the hope that enslaved people could have their day in court.

"I “read” David Blight’s Frederick Douglass biography last summer on lengthy bike rides on quiet roads in Santa Barbara ...
10/30/2020
Steve Martin Likes Books in the ‘I Can’t Put This Down’ Genre

"I “read” David Blight’s Frederick Douglass biography last summer on lengthy bike rides on quiet roads in Santa Barbara under summer skies and overhanging trees. I’m always fascinated by the accomplishments of research, and the Douglass book was profound. It was as though Douglass was vivid, tangible and just around the corner." -- Steven Martin via the The New York Times

“Bookstores could easily have only two sections, ‘Riveting’ and ‘Kinda Boring.’”

Alan Mikhail’s GOD’S SHADOW makes the Longlist for the Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction!
10/29/2020
ALA Announces Longlist for 2021 Andrew Carnegie Medals

Alan Mikhail’s GOD’S SHADOW makes the Longlist for the Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction!

In all, a total of 46 books (26 fiction, 20 nonfiction) were selected, with a six-title shortlist—three each for the fiction and nonfiction medals—to be announced on November 17. The two medal winners will be announced during an online event set for February 4, 2021.

"A book that both clarifies and complicates the laws surrounding treason, which explains why it is so rarely invoked." -...
10/28/2020
ON TREASON | Kirkus Reviews

"A book that both clarifies and complicates the laws surrounding treason, which explains why it is so rarely invoked." -- Kirkus Reviews on ON TREASON by Carlton F.W. Larson

A law professor delivers a fluent, case-rich examination of the laws governing treason and its punishment.

"GOD’S SHADOW: Sultan Selim, His Ottoman Empire, and the Making of the Modern World, by Alan Mikhail. (Liveright, $39.95...
10/23/2020
11 New Books We Recommend This Week

"GOD’S SHADOW: Sultan Selim, His Ottoman Empire, and the Making of the Modern World, by Alan Mikhail. (Liveright, $39.95.) In this revisionist account, Mikhail says that the Ottoman Empire was fundamental in shaping the history of Europe and America, and that the world we inhabit is “very much an Ottoman one.” Reviewing it, Ian Morris writes that “16th-century Christians saw everything, including the Americas, through the lens of their struggle against Islam. When Columbus crossed the Atlantic in 1492, the very year that Spain’s rulers destroyed Iberia’s last Muslim kingdom, he assured his royal patrons that his voyages were merely continuations of their anti-Islamic crusade.”"

Suggested reading from critics and editors at The New York Times.

"In his new book, “God’s Shadow: Sultan Selim, His Ottoman Empire, and the Making of the Modern World,” the historian Al...
10/19/2020
The Ottoman Empire’s Influence on the Present Day

"In his new book, “God’s Shadow: Sultan Selim, His Ottoman Empire, and the Making of the Modern World,” the historian Alan Mikhail writes: “Whether politicians, pundits and traditional historians like it or not, the world we inhabit is very much an Ottoman one.” On this week’s podcast, Mikhail explains what he means by that."

Alan Mikhail talks about “God’s Shadow,” and Benjamin Lorr discusses “The Secret Life of Groceries.”

19). This Is All Your Fault, by Aminah Mae Safi"On their first day of summer, three young women find out the indie books...
10/16/2020
Because 2020 Sucks, Try One of These Young Adult Books Instead of Staring at Twitter

19). This Is All Your Fault, by Aminah Mae Safi

"On their first day of summer, three young women find out the indie bookstore they work at is closing. They’ll all have to join forces to save it. Oh, and they really only have one day to come up with something. If you’re looking for a story with a noble mission, this is it." -- Cosmopolitan

Each one is better than the last.

By Ruth Ben-Ghiat author of the forthcoming STRONGMEN: Mussolini to the Present (Norton, November 10, 2020)
10/16/2020
Trump, the Coronavirus, and What Happens When Strongmen Fall Ill

By Ruth Ben-Ghiat author of the forthcoming STRONGMEN: Mussolini to the Present (Norton, November 10, 2020)

The President’s claims of a miraculous recovery from COVID-19 are the latest in a tradition of authoritarian leaders who have used their virility and medical crises to manipulate public sympathies.

"I wanted to tell a story about what happens when there are sad and impossible things happening beyond our control. How ...
10/08/2020
Q&A: Aminah Mae Safi, Author of 'This Is All Your Fault' | The Nerd Daily

"I wanted to tell a story about what happens when there are sad and impossible things happening beyond our control. How do we decide to be okay? How do we get through, even when they are not?” — Aminah Mae Safi , Q&A with The Nerd Daily on THIS IS ALL YOUR FAULT

We chat to author Aminah Mae Safi about her latest young adult novel 'This Is All Your Fault'.

Alice L. Baumgartner, South to Freedom: Runaway Slaves to Mexico and the Road to Civil War (Basic Books, November 10)"Ma...
09/22/2020
The Lit Hub 2020 Fall Preview

Alice L. Baumgartner, South to Freedom: Runaway Slaves to Mexico and the Road to Civil War (Basic Books, November 10)

"Many popular narratives about the Underground Railroad, like pre-Isabel Wilkerson stories of the internal Black migrations of the 20th century, follow the south-to-north movements of fugitive slaves seeking refuge. Southbound pilgrimages have occupied a less potent space in American imaginations. One of these threads concerns those thousands of slaves who made their escape into Mexico, sometimes encountering tejanos and other abolitionist conductors along their routes. Mexico had abolished slavery nearly 40 years before the US (though indentured servitude did exist) and the country did not consent to send back Black refugees. There arrived by foot, by horse, by infiltrated ferry slaves not only from Texas, but other central and southern states as well. After integrating in their new communities, some multi-ethnic groups successfully petitioned the Mexican government for land and started families whose descendants still live on their property.

In South to Freedom, historian Alice Baumgartner narrates the histories of these events, writing of the way in which Mexico’s abolition of slavery aggravated existing regional tensions in the US. There is evidence suggesting that some indigenous Mexican sympathizers may have been spurred to act by their own dispossession during the Mexican-American War. Even here, though, African-American fugitives had to be wary of slave catchers. Latinx scholars have identified parallels between the liberating and precarious US-Mexico borderland of the 19th century and its more militarized descendant today. Baumgartner’s book explores an underrecognized period when the US couldn’t so easily claim a position of moral leadership. The example set by a neighboring country may at any moment have become a source of national embarrassment. It’s tempting to think of overlaps with the present, at a point when national reputations are reinforced or undermined and internal strife unusually visible." –Aaron Robertson, Assistant Editor, Literary Hub

Well, it’s going to be a strange fall. That’s a given, at this point, considering it was a strange spring and a strange summer—but fall! Fall is supposed to be the time when we return t…

"Two years ago I decided we need a blueprint, a sense of how democratic socialism could work today, with our current tec...
09/04/2020
Yanis Varoufakis: capitalism isn't working. Here's an alternative

"Two years ago I decided we need a blueprint, a sense of how democratic socialism could work today, with our current technologies and despite our human failings. My reluctance to attempt such an undertaking was immense. Two people helped me overcome it. One is Danae Stratou, my partner. From the week we first met, she has been telling me that my critique of capitalism meant nothing unless I could answer her pressing question: “What’s the alternative? And precisely how would things – like money, companies and housing – work?”"

In his new book, the economist imagines a future transformed by Covid-19 and sketches a daring vision of democratic socialism

"A fresh, disquieting look into America’s traumatic past." -- Kirkus Reviews on A QUESTION OF FREEDOM: The Families Who ...
09/03/2020
A QUESTION OF FREEDOM | Kirkus Reviews

"A fresh, disquieting look into America’s traumatic past." -- Kirkus Reviews on A QUESTION OF FREEDOM: The Families Who Challenged Slavery from the Nation's Founding to the Civil War by William G. Thomas III

A history of slaves who sought legal redress to obtain emancipation.

"When the Vatican opened its sealed archives from the World War II-era pontificate of Pius XII in March, the Brown Unive...
08/28/2020
Unsealed Archives Give Fresh Clues to Pope Pius XII’s Response to the Holocaust

"When the Vatican opened its sealed archives from the World War II-era pontificate of Pius XII in March, the Brown University historian David I. Kertzer was among the first in line.

Like many other scholars, Dr. Kertzer had been eager to mine the papers of a pope — long under consideration for sainthood — whose response to Nazism and the Holocaust has become the target of fierce debate. ..." via The New York Times

Several documents that have emerged from the newly opened Vatican Archives on the papacy of Pius XII bolster accusations of indifference to Jewish suffering, but some scholars say the full picture has yet to emerge.

By David I. Kertzer, author of The Pope and Mussolini, winner of the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Biography.
08/27/2020
The Pope, the Jews, and the Secrets in the Archives

By David I. Kertzer, author of The Pope and Mussolini, winner of the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Biography.

Documents reveal the private discussions behind both Pope Pius XII’s silence about the Nazi deportation of Rome’s Jews in 1943 and the Vatican’s postwar support for the kidnapping of two Jewish boys whose parents had perished in the Holocaust.

God’s Shadow, by Alan Mikhail (Liveright). Seeing the Ottoman Empire as pivotal in shaping the Western world, this histo...
08/24/2020
Briefly Noted Book Reviews

God’s Shadow, by Alan Mikhail (Liveright).

Seeing the Ottoman Empire as pivotal in shaping the Western world, this history casts developments such as the Reconquista, the Inquisition, the Reformation, and exploration of the New World as responses to rising Islamic power. Mikhail focusses on Selim, who, in 1517, became the first Ottoman ruler to be both sultan and caliph, and whose military and administrative skill tripled Ottoman territory, making it the largest and most powerful empire in the world. Though the Ottomans generally granted religious freedom, European rulers obsessively feared Muslim expansion; Mikhail traces the influence of this paranoia on the Islamophobia that continues to inform American politics.

-- The New Yorker

“Summer,” “Antkind,” “God’s Shadow,” and “Memorial Drive.”

By David W. Blight, author of “Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom.”
08/24/2020
Opinion | Barack Obama Delivers a Jeremiad

By David W. Blight, author of “Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom.”

In his convention speech, the former president sought to renew faith in the democratic project.

"The highest praise for a history book is that it makes you think about things in a new way." -- The New York Times on G...
08/18/2020
When the Ottoman Empire Threatened Europe — and the World

"The highest praise for a history book is that it makes you think about things in a new way." -- The New York Times on GOD’S SHADOW: Sultan Selim, His Ottoman Empire, and the Making of the Modern World by Alan Mikhail

“God’s Shadow,” by Alan Mikhail, argues that world history was shaped by the West’s fears of Turkish domination.

"America’s long-standing faith in its exceptionalism is blinding people to the fact that our constitutional order is fra...
08/18/2020
I’m a Historian. I See Reason to Fear—And to Hope.

"America’s long-standing faith in its exceptionalism is blinding people to the fact that our constitutional order is fragile, that democracy requires hard work, and that success isn’t a given." -- Joanne B. Freeman for The Atlantic

We can’t assume that all will be fine in the end, but history shows us that times of unrest are opportunities, too.

"Using a rotating third-person perspective, Aminah Mae Safi writes an energizing, character-driven celebration of belong...
08/10/2020
Children's Book Review: This Is All Your Fault by Aminah Mae Safi. Feiwel and Friends, $17.99 (304p) ISBN 978-1-250-24234-1

"Using a rotating third-person perspective, Aminah Mae Safi writes an energizing, character-driven celebration of belonging, acceptance, and sisterhood with a clear nod to the importance of community spaces.” — Publishers Weekly

A trio of unlikely friends rally their Chicago community to save a beloved independent bookstore in Safi’s (Tell Me How You Really Feel) quirky offering. When the staff of Wild Nights Booksto

" Aminah Mae Safi ’s writing style draws readers into the story and makes them feel as if they truly know the characters...
08/03/2020
This Is All Your Fault

" Aminah Mae Safi ’s writing style draws readers into the story and makes them feel as if they truly know the characters. VERDICT [THIS IS ALL YOUR FAULT] is a love letter to one of the most popular movies of the ‘90s and will be enjoyed by everyone who wants to fit in and fight for what they believe." -- School Library Journal

" The Nerd Daily recently had the pleasure of chatting with Helene Dunbar Writes, author of outstanding novels such as W...
08/03/2020
Q&A: Helene Dunbar, Author of 'Prelude For Lost Souls' | The Nerd Daily

" The Nerd Daily recently had the pleasure of chatting with Helene Dunbar Writes, author of outstanding novels such as What Remains, We Are Lost and Found, and the upcoming Prelude For Lost Souls releasing on August 4th! We got to ask Helene all our burning questions about the spookiness of her new novel, her current obsessions, and future writing plans!"

We chat to author Helene Dunbar about her latest young adult novel 'Prelude for Lost Souls' and its sequel, writing, and much more!

"As they’ve done with previous books in the Lady Janies  series, the [ Lady Janies ]  have created a fantastic world wit...
07/29/2020
Best Fiction for Young Adults (#BFYA2021) Nominees Round Up, July 24 Edition - The Hub

"As they’ve done with previous books in the Lady Janies series, the [ Lady Janies ] have created a fantastic world with a surprising amount of actual historical content. ... This Jane is a loyal friend, talented performer, challenger of gender norms, and a character readers will enjoy getting to know. Combine that with the real-life romance of Frank Butler and Annie Oakley and, of course, werewolves, for a rip-roaring western with modern sensibilities."

Click here to see all of the current Best Fiction for Young Adults nominees along with more information about the list and past years’ selections.…

Essay by "THE WOLF AT THE DOOR: The Menace of Economic Insecurity and How to Fight It" authors Michael J. Graetz and Ian...
07/27/2020
Medicare Expansion Needs to Start Young

Essay by "THE WOLF AT THE DOOR: The Menace of Economic Insecurity and How to Fight It" authors Michael J. Graetz and Ian Shapiro

By Michael J. Graetz and Ian Shapiro

"The “Aeneid,” Virgil’s epic about the founding of Rome by the Trojan refugee Aeneas, is so influential that T.S. Eliot ...
07/23/2020
Looking at Epic Poetry Through 21st-Century Eyes

"The “Aeneid,” Virgil’s epic about the founding of Rome by the Trojan refugee Aeneas, is so influential that T.S. Eliot once described it as “the classic of all Europe.”

Shadi Bartsch, a classics scholar at the University of Chicago, thinks that for the past 2,000 years, we’ve been reading it wrong." -- The New York Times

New translations of the “Aeneid,” “Beowulf” and other ancient stories challenge some of our modern-day ideas.

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The Strothman Agency, LLC is a highly selective literary agency operating out of New York and Nashville, TN dedicated to advocating for authors of significant books through the entire publishing cycle.

Recent Strothman Agency authors have won the Pulitzer Prize for History, the Pulitzer Prize for Biography, the National Book Critics Circle Award for Non-Fiction, the Lincoln Prize, and many other awards. Clients have appeared on New York Times bestsellers lists, on National Book Award Long Lists, and two were Finalists for the Pulitzer Prize in History.

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