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What’s new: A biography of Lenin, a celebration of ‘The Graduate,’ a new novel by Ivy Pochoda

"Lenin" by Victor Sebestyen Credit: Pantheon

LENIN: The Man, the Dictator, and the Master of Terror, by Victor Sebestyen. As the author notes at the beginning of this clear-eyed biography, Russians still line up by the thousands to see the embalmed body of the father of the Russian Revolution, more than 25 years after the collapse of communism. Sebestyen paints a multidimensional portrait of the private man and the public revolutionary. (Pantheon, $35)

SEDUCED BY MRS. ROBINSON: How the Graduate Became the Touchstone of a Generation, by Beverly Gray. Fifty years ago this December, Mike Nichols’ film with Dustin Hoffman, Anne Bancroft and Katharine Ross hit theaters. Conceived as a small art-house comedy, it became a cultural landmark that epitomized the 1960s generation gap. Here an entertainment journalist looks at the making of the movie and its influence on Hollywood and beyond. (Algonquin, $24.95)

WONDER VALLEY, by Ivy Pochoda. The third novel by the author of “Visitation Street” opens with an arresting image: a naked jogger dodging in and out of a Los Angeles traffic jam. Pochoda scrolls back to show readers how he got there, and the result is a noir tale that reveals the seamier side of sunny Southern California, including a ranch-commune in the desert and a series of criminal drifters. (Ecco, $26.99)

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