The 19th century saw huge expansion in cities accompanied by a changing intellectual landscape. Most countries experienced unrest, but Britain remained stable and ascended to global leadership. In Victorious Century (Penguin), history professor David Cannadine explores how 19th-century Britain was at the same time self-confident, fearful, and introspective.

Social media, mobile phones, and other new technology have enabled us to collect and process data about human behavior on a scale never before imagined. Bit by Bit (Princeton University Press) is sociology professor Matthew Salganik’s blueprint for data scientists and social scientists to use this big data to inform and enhance the field of sociology.