Skip to content
Introducing Our Next Round Of Books
Go to my account

Introducing Our Next Round Of Books

Our summer thrillers.

Dear Members,

We’re excited to announce our summer picks for The Dispatch Book Club—a members only podcast. For the hot season we’re dipping into some “historical adrenaline” –– true thrillers from American history: mutinies, espionage, manhunts… oh my!

We are publishing all three member discussion pages now, so please feel free to jump to any of the three books and leave questions and comments in the comments section. 

To make the most of this gripping series, we encourage you to read along with us. Here are the titles we have selected for the upcoming book club episodes:



The Wager: A Tale of Shipwreck, Mutiny and Murder

By David Grann

On January 28, 1742, a ramshackle vessel of patched-together wood and cloth washed up on the coast of Brazil. Inside were thirty emaciated men, barely alive, and they had an extraordinary tale to tell. They were survivors of His Majesty’s Ship the Wager, a British vessel that had left England in 1740 on a secret mission during an imperial war with Spain. While the Wager had been chasing a Spanish treasure-filled galleon known as “the prize of all the oceans,” it had wrecked on a desolate island off the coast of Patagonia. The men, after being marooned for months and facing starvation, built the flimsy craft and sailed for more than a hundred days, traversing nearly 3,000 miles of storm-wracked seas. They were greeted as heroes.

But then … six months later, another, even more decrepit craft landed on the coast of Chile. This boat contained just three castaways, and they told a very different story. The thirty sailors who landed in Brazil were not heroes – they were mutineers. The first group responded with countercharges of their own, of a tyrannical and murderous senior officer and his henchmen. It became clear that while stranded on the island the crew had fallen into anarchy, with warring factions fighting for dominion over the barren wilderness. As accusations of treachery and murder flew, the Admiralty convened a court martial to determine who was telling the truth. The stakes were life-and-death—for whomever the court found guilty could hang.


Rawhide Down: The Near Assassination of Ronald Reagan
By Del Wilbur
On March 30, 1981, President Reagan walked out of a hotel in Washington, D.C., and was shot by a would-be assassin. For years, few people knew the truth about how close the president came to dying, and no one has ever written a detailed narrative of that harrowing day.


Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln’s Killer (P.S.)
By James Swanson
Based on rare archival materials, obscure trial transcripts, and Lincoln’s own blood relics Manhunt is a fully documented, fascinating tale of murder, intrigue, and betrayal. A gripping hour-by-hour account told through the eyes of the hunted and the hunters, it is history as it’s never been read before.

Stay tuned for the podcast release date.


To easily follow The Dispatch Book Club on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or Overcast please follow these instructions:

  1. Make sure you’re logged into The Dispatch as a member.
  2. Click here:
  3. Select the private feed you’d like to subscribe to: The Dispatch Book Club
  4. Select your preferred podcast player. This should sign you up for all future updates!
Sarah Isgur's Headshot

Sarah Isgur

Sarah Isgur is a senior editor at The Dispatch and is based in northern Virginia. Prior to joining the company in 2019, she had worked in every branch of the federal government and on three presidential campaigns. When Sarah is not hosting podcasts or writing newsletters, she’s probably sending uplifting stories about spiders to Jonah, who only pretends to love all animals.