The creator of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Maus explores the comics form—and how it formed him. In Breakdowns (Pantheon, $27.50) Art Spiegelman traces his life, from a MAD-obsessed boy in Queens to an adult examining his parents’ memories of Auschwitz. An illustrated essay looks back at the ‘60s as the artist himself reaches 60.
David Maraniss writes with his usual grace and deep understanding about Rome 1960: The Olympics that Changed the World (Simon & Schuster, $26.95). He sees those games as a precursor to the enormous social changes that were about to engulf the United States. The 1960 American team included such luminaries as Cassius Clay, Wilma Rudolph, and Rafer Johnson. The Cold War was in full sway then and political competition was very much in the forefront of the games.