THE BEECHERS, by Milton Rugoff. In the 19th century the Beechers were the American family -- social reformers, preachers, proud intellectuals, near saints. Harriet Beecher Stowe, author of Uncle Tom's Cabin, is perhaps the best known today, followed by her brother Henry Ward Beecher, a dynamic preacher, whose trial for seducing the wife of an associate rocked the country. Rugoff's book is long, but those interested in social history will savor every page and detail. (Book World, September 20)

RIGHTEOUS GENTILE: The Story of Raoul Wallenberg, Missing Hero of the Holocaust, by John Bierman. In the midst of the holocaust, when people are being dragged to the death camps, a young man steps out of the shadows of history to achieve nobility and greatness. He is Raoul Wallenberg, a Swedish emissary, sent to Budapest with the express purpose of saving the Jewish population there. This he does, through diplomacy, daring and quiet courage. It is estimated that between 30,000 and 100,000 people owe their lives to his efforts. And yet Wallenberg has been nearly forgotten, though he may still live -- somewhere in the labyrinthine bowels of the Gulag, wrongly imprisoned at the end of the war by the Soviets. (Book World, September 20)

BREAKTHROUGH: A Personal Account of the Egypt-Israel Peace Negotiations, by Moshe Dayan. Rarely does an insider's account of important diplomatic negotiations appear so soon after the events. Dayan's eye-witness record of the Camp David meetings of Jimmy Carter, Menachem Begin and Anwar Sadat suggests the excitement and tension of those days, while also being remarkably impartial. Surprisingly, these pages reveal Carter to have been a far more accomplished statesman than had hitherto been believed. (Book World, September 13)