VOICES IN OUR BLOOD
Edited by Jon Meacham, Random House, $29.95

In his introduction to this wide-ranging anthology of writing from the American civil rights movement, Meacham, the managing editor of Newsweek, maintains that while the battle for racial equality has been well covered in documentary films and oral histories, much of its writing has been forgotten. This collection corrects that with powerful fiction and nonfiction by Richard Wright, Ralph Ellison, Maya Angelou, Robert Penn Warren, John Steinbeck, David Halberstam, and others.

SECRET MESSAGES
By William S. Butler and L. Douglas Keeney
Simon & Schuster, $23

This history of cryptography focuses on the complexity of the codes themselves, the remarkable circumstances that necessitated them, and the cunning minds that developed them — from giant flames used to announce the outcome of war in ancient Greece to the surprisingly effective system of taps in Vietnam’s POW camps to codes sent into space for other beings to hear.

WATCHING THE TREE
By Adeline Yen Mah, Broadway Books, $22.95

Following up on her autobiography, Falling Leaves, Chinese- American Adeline Yen Mah reflects on a personal philosophy that melds the emotional and psychological contributions of two very different cultures, drawing on forces such as Buddhism, feng shui, food, and medicine to give strength to her writing.

THE FORGIVING SELF
By Robert Karen, PhD, Doubleday, $23.95

A clinical psychologist explores the nature of forgiveness through real-life anecdotes and recent psychological research and concludes that in all humans, the need to repair broken relationships is much greater than the need to punish those who have wronged us.