Death of an Empire: The Rise and Murderous Fall of Salem, America's Richest Cityby Macmillan $ 39.99
Most readers know Salem only for the city's notorious witch trials. But years later it became a very different city, one that produced America's first millionaire (still one of history's 75 wealthiest men) and boasted a maritime trade that made it the country's richest city. Westward expansion and the industrial revolution would eventually erode Salem's political importance, but it was a shocking murder and the scandal that followed which led at last to its fall from national prominence.
Death of an Empire is a finely-written tale of a little-known but remarkably rich era of American history, drawing in characters such as Nathaniel Hawthorne, John Quincy Adams, and Daniel Webster.