Have been blown away by the raft of great history books being published lately, and this month is no different. There are some very important, fascinating, and entertaining history books coming out in June. Here’s a sample below, but be sure to check out our full list of the Best History Books of June.

Think of this book as a global version of Hillbilly Elegy. The Retreat of Western Liberalism examines the stalemating of the western middle class and the rise of populism. At the same time Luce notes the relative rise of developing nations, especially China and India, and asks how this could all play out globally.

Is another world war inevitable? Graham Allison’s Destined for War discusses the Thucydides Trap (coined by Allison, who teaches at Harvard). The ancient historian Thucydides ascribed the destructive Peloponnesian War to the fact that Athens was on the rise and the already-established Sparta got nervous. It’s a pattern that has led to war time after time. There’s a current case, too: China and the U.S.

For anyone who has been to Vietnam, you know Hue to be the beautiful, centuries-old royal city in the middle of the country. But in 1968 it was the central point of the Tet Offensive, and the turning point in the war.

What do we really know about Syria and the trials that Syrians are going through? In We Crossed a Bridge and it Trembled, Wendy Pearlman has compiled an oral history out of hundreds of interviews. It’s an important work — vivid, moving, and unforgettable.

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