Hamilton 2018 Day-to-Day Calendar cover
Book Review

Based on Lin-Manuel Miranda's Broadway musical, Hamilton 2018 Day-to-Day Calendar is a celebration of the most popular theatrical experience on Broadway, and the history of America. The calendar features 365 days of historical dates, excerpts from Hamilton's own writings, and lyrics from the score.

With book, music, and lyrics by Tony Award®-winner Lin-Manuel Miranda, direction by Thomas Kail, choreography by Andy Blankenbuehler, and musical direction and orchestrations by Alex Lacamoire, Hamilton is the story of America's Founding Father Alexander Hamilton, an immigrant from the West Indies who became George Washington's right-hand man during the Revolutionary War and was the new nation's first Treasury Secretary. Featuring a score that blends hip-hop, jazz, blues, rap, R&B, and Broadway, Hamilton is the story of America then, told by America now....
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Book Review

National Book Award Finalist: The Vietnam War as seen through the eyes of an army doctor—“a book of great emotional impact” (The New York Times).
 
In 1968, as a serviceman in the Vietnam War, Dr. Ronald Glasser was sent to Japan to work at the US Army hospital at Camp Zama. It was the only general army hospital in Japan, and though Glasser was initially charged with tending to the children of officers and government officials, he was soon caught up in the waves of casualties that poured in from every Vietnam front. Thousands of soldiers arrived each month, demanding the help of every physician within reach.
 
In 365 Days, Glasser reveals a candid and shocking account of that harrowing experience. He gives voice to seventeen of his patients, wounded men counting down the days until they return home. Their stories bring to life a world of incredible bravery and suffering, one where “the young are suddenly left alone to take care of the young.” An instant classic of war literature, 365 Days is a remarkable, ground-level account of Vietnam’s human toll.

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National Book Award Finalist: ...
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The Other Slavery: The Uncovered Story of Indian Enslavement in America cover
Book Review

“Long-awaited and important . . . No other book before has so thoroughly related the broad history of Indian slavery in the Americas.”—San Francisco Chronicle

“A necessary work . . . [Reséndez’s] reportage will likely surprise you.”—NPR

“One of the most profound contributions to North American history.”—Los Angeles Times


Since the time of Columbus, Indian slavery was illegal in much of the American continent. Yet, as Andrés Reséndez illuminates in his myth-shattering The Other Slavery, it was practiced for centuries as an open secret. There was no abolitionist movement to protect the tens of thousands of Natives who were kidnapped and enslaved by the conquistadors. Reséndez builds the incisive case that it was mass slavery—more than epidemics—that decimated Indian populations across North America. Through riveting new evidence, including testimonies of courageous priests, rapacious merchants, and Indian captives, The Other Slavery reveals nothing less than a key missing piece of American history. For over two centuries we have fought over, abolished, and tried to come to grips with African American...
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New England's General Stores: Exploring an American Classic cover
Book Review

Explore the fabric of America over hot coffee and penny candy.

Step through the wooden doors of a New England general store and step back in time, into a Norman Rockwell painting and into the heart of America. New England’s General Stores offers a nostalgic picture of this colonial staple and, fortunately, steadfast institution of small towns from Connecticut to Maine. This is where children of each generation take their first allowance to buy their very own penny candy. Locals have swapped stories at these counters from gossip to whispers of revolution. In tough times, the general store treated customers like family, extending credit when no one else would. Stubborn as New Englanders themselves, the general store has refused to become a mere sentimental relic of an earlier age. ...
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Unmentionable: The Victorian Lady's Guide to Sex, Marriage, and Manners cover
Book Review

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

Have you ever wished you could live in an earlier, more romantic era?

Ladies, welcome to the 19th century, where there's arsenic in your face cream, a pot of cold pee sits under your bed, and all of your underwear is crotchless. (Why? Shush, dear. A lady doesn't question.)

UNMENTIONABLE is your hilarious, illustrated, scandalously honest (yet never crass) guide to the secrets of Victorian womanhood, giving you detailed advice on:

~ What to wear
~ Where to relieve yourself
~ How to conceal your loathsome addiction to menstruating
~ What to expect on your wedding night
~ How to be the perfect Victorian wife
~ Why masturbating will kill you
~ And more

Irresistibly charming, laugh-out-loud funny, and featuring nearly 200 images from Victorian publications, UNMENTIONABLE will inspire a whole new level of respect for Elizabeth Bennett, Scarlet O'Hara, Jane Eyre, and all of our great, great grandmothers.

(And it just might leave you feeling ecstatically grateful to live in an age of pants, ...
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The Sistine Secrets: Michelangelo's Forbidden Messages in the Heart of the Vatican cover
Book Review

The Shocking Secrets of Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel Artwork

The recent cleaning of the Sistine Chapel frescoes removed layer after layer of centuries of accumulated tarnish and darkness. The Sistine Secrets endeavors to remove the centuries of prejudice, censorship, and ignorance that blind us to the truth about one of the world's most famous and beloved art treasures.

Some images that appeared in the print edition of this book are unavailable in the electronic edition due to rights reasons.

...
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Martin Gilbert's Holocaust Histories: Final Journey, Holocaust Journey, Never Again cover
Book Review




Few have written about the atrocities of the Holocaust with the
combined skill, thoughtfulness, and rigorous devotion to political,
social, and military context as Sir Martin Gilbert.




Final Journey:
Featuring firsthand narratives, documentary evidence, and rigorous
contextual scholarship, Martin Gilbert’s Final Journey: The Fate of the Jews in Nazi Europe presents a
masterful cross-section of the experiences of the millions of European Jews
who lost their homes, careers, families, and lives at the hands of Hitler’s
"Final Solution."




Holocaust Journey:
Holocaust Journey
tells the story of preeminent historian and prolific biographer and author
Sir Martin Gilbert’s fourteen-day journey made by himself and a group of
his students from University College, London to key locations where the
atrocities of the Holocaust left thei...
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The Outpost: An Untold Story of American Valor cover
Book Review

The heartbreaking and inspiring story of one of America's deadliest battles during the war in Afghanistan, acclaimed by critics everywhere as a classic.

*Soon to be a major motion picture from Millennium Films*

At 5:58 AM on October 3rd, 2009, Combat Outpost Keating, located in frighteningly vulnerable terrain in Afghanistan just 14 miles from the Pakistani border, was viciously attacked. Though the 53 Americans there prevailed against nearly 400 Taliban fighters, their casualties made it the deadliest fight of the war for the U.S. that year. Four months after the battle, a Pentagon review revealed that there was no reason for the troops at Keating to have been there in the first place.

In THE OUTPOST, Jake Tapper gives us the powerful saga of COP Keating, from its establishment to eventual destruction, introducing us to an unforgettable cast of soldiers and their families, and to a place and war that has remained profoundly distant to most Americans. A runaway bestseller, it makes a savage war real, and American courage manifest.

Product Description

The heartbreaking and ...
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8 Seconds of Courage: A Soldier’s Story from Immigrant to the Medal of Honor cover
Book Review

A story of valor and the making of a hero—Florent Groberg, who grew up in France, emigrated to the US, and was the first immigrant in forty years to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor after he saved many lives by tackling a suicide bomber in Afghanistan.

Florent “Flo” Groberg was born in 1983, in the suburbs of Paris. When he was in middle school, his family moved to the US, and Flo became a naturalized citizen in 2001. After attending the University of Maryland, he joined the Army in 2008 and deployed to Afghanistan in 2009. He deployed a second time in 2012. In August of that year, Flo was guarding a high-level US-Afghan delegation and noticed someone suspicious: a local man stumbling toward his patrol. Flo reacted quickly and ran to tackle the man—who was wearing a suicide vest—before he could reach the patrol. Four people died in the subsequent explosion, but many others were spared. Flo himself was badly wounded and spent the next three years undergoing surgeries at Walter Reed Medical Center. On November 12, 2015, Captain Groberg was given the nation’s highest military award, the Congressional Medal of Honor—the first immigrant to be so recognized since ...
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Chemical Cowboys: The DEA's Secret Mission to Hunt Down a Notorious Ecstasy Kingpin cover
Book Review

In 1995, after receiving a tip from an informant that a new drug called Ecstasy was being pushed in Manhattan’s nightclubs, DEA agent Robert Gagne embarked on a mission to unravel one of the world’s most lucrative drug-trafficking networks. Chemical Cowboys tracks Gagne as he infiltrates New York’s club scene, uncovering a multimillion-dollar criminal empire that spans continents. At its helm is Oded “Fat Man” Tuito, an Israeli fugitive and elusive drug kingpin who combines Wall Street business savvy with old-fashioned street smarts and a taste for violence. 

A taut behind-the-scenes glimpse into an international criminal enterprise, Chemical Cowboys is a riveting tale of one man’s obsessive pursuit of justice—and the personal cost of that obsession.

Amazon.com Review

Book Description
For nearly a decade, Ecstasy kingpin Oded Tuito was the mastermind behind a drug ring that used strippers and Hassidic teenagers to mule millions of pills from Holland to the party triangle--Los Angeles, New York, and Miami.

Chemical Cowboys is a thrilling journey through the groundbreaking undercover investigations that led to the toppling ...
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The Orientalist: Solving the Mystery of a Strange and Dangerous Life cover
Book Review

Part history, part cultural biography, and part literary mystery, The Orientalist traces the life of Lev Nussimbaum, a Jew who transformed himself into a Muslim prince and became a best-selling author in Nazi Germany. 

Born in 1905 to a wealthy family in the oil-boom city of Baku, at the edge of the czarist empire, Lev escaped the Russian Revolution in a camel caravan.  He found refuge in Germany, where, writing under the names Essad Bey and Kurban Said, his remarkable books about Islam, desert adventures, and global revolution, became celebrated across fascist Europe.  His enduring masterpiece, Ali and Nino–a story of love across ethnic and religious boundaries, published on the eve of the Holocaust–is still in print today.

But Lev’s life grew wilder than his wildest stories.  He married an international heiress who had no idea of his true identity–until she divorced him in a tabloid scandal.  His closest friend in New York, George Sylvester Viereck–also a friend of both Freud’s and Einstein’s–was arrested as the leading Nazi agent in the United States.  Lev was invited to be Mussolini’s official biographer–until the Fascists discovere...
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One Soldier's Story: A Memoir cover
Book Review

Before he became one of America's most respected statesmen, Bob Dole was an average citizen serving heroically for his country. The bravery he showed after suffering near-fatal injuries in the final days of World War II is the stuff of legend. Now, for the first time in his own words, Dole tells the moving story of his harrowing experience on and off the battlefield, and how it changed his life.

Speaking here not as a politician but as a wounded G.I., Dole recounts his own odyssey of courage and sacrifice, and also honors the fighting spirit of the countless heroes with whom he served. Heartfelt and inspiring, One Soldier's Story is the World War II chronicle that America has been waiting for.

...
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Washington's Farewell: The Founding Father's Warning to Future Generations cover
Book Review

“A vivid portrait…A thoughtful consideration of Washington’s wisdom that couldn’t be timelier.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

George Washington’s Farewell Address was a prophetic letter from a “parting friend” to his fellow citizens about the forces he feared could destroy our democracy: hyper-partisanship, excessive debt, and foreign wars.

Once celebrated as civic scripture, more widely reprinted than the Declaration of Independence, the Farewell Address is now almost forgotten. Its message remains starkly relevant. In Washington’s Farewell, John Avlon offers a stunning portrait of our first president and his battle to save America from self-destruction.

At the end of his second term, Washington surprised Americans by publishing his Farewell message in a newspaper. The President called for unity among “citizens by birth or choice,” advocated moderation, defended religious pluralism, proposed a foreign policy of independence (not isolation), and proposed that education is essential to democracy. He established the precedent for the peaceful transfer of power.

Washington’s urgent message was adopted by Jefferson after ...
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A Journey Through Tudor England: Hampton Court Palace and the Tower of London to Stratford-upon-Avon and Thornbury Castle cover
Book Review

From King Henry VII to Queen Elizabeth I, this detailed English history brings the past to life through the sights and personalities of the Tudor dynasty.

This lively and engaging book will transport the armchair traveler with a taste for the colorful time of Henry VIII and Thomas Moore to palaces, castles, theaters, and abbeys to uncover the stories behind the politically dynamic Tudor era.
 
Author Suzannah Lipscomb visits more than fifty historic sites, from the luxurious palace at Hampton Court, where dangerous intrigue was rife, to lesser known estates such as Hever Castle, Anne Boleyn’s childhood home, and Tutbury Castle, where Mary, Queen of Scots, was imprisoned.
 
In the corridors of power and the courtyards of country houses, we meet the passionate but tragic Kateryn Parr, Henry VIII’s last wife, and Lady Jane Grey, the Nine–Days’ Queen, and we come to understand how Sir Walter Raleigh planned his trip to the New World.
 
A Journey Through Tudor England reveals the rich history of the Tudors and paints a vivid, captivating picture of what it would have been like to see England through their eyes. I...
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Growing Up at Grossinger's cover
Book Review

The story of Grossinger’s Catskill Resort Hotel, an American landmark where generations of New Yorkers beat the summer heat—and the fun never ended.
 
From 1919 to 1986, if you were Jewish and lived in New York City, there was one word that could make you sigh with longing: Grossinger’s. Founded as a simple backwoods retreat, the resort grew to cover twelve hundred acres and become the premier summer destination for the great and the not-so-great to mingle, drink, dance, and romance the summers away. A true melting pot of the Borscht Belt, sports, and show-biz worlds, its loyal visitors included Rocky Marciano, Mel Brooks, and Jackie Robinson. And it’s where Tania Grossinger grew up.
 
In this fascinating insider’s account, Grossinger sheds light on what it was like to live in the place where everyone else wanted to be—from thousands of strangers coming into your home expecting to be treated like royalty, finding clever ways to have fun and just be a kid while staying out of everyone else’s way, coming to grips with the daunting world outside of Grossinger’s, and stumbling onto startling discoveries like adult...
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In Pursuit of Memory: The Fight Against Alzheimer's cover
Book Review

For readers of Atul Gawande, Siddhartha Mukherjee, and Henry Marsh, a riveting, gorgeously written biography of one of history's most fascinating and confounding diseases--Alzheimer's--from its discovery more than 100 years ago to today's race towards a cure.

SHORTLISTED FOR THE ROYAL SOCIETY SCIENCE BOOK PRIZE 2017

Named "Science Book of the Month" by Bookseller

Alzheimer's is the great global epidemic of our time, affecting millions worldwide -- there are more than 5 million people diagnosed in the US alone. And as our population ages, scientists are working against the clock to find a cure.

Neuroscientist Joseph Jebelli is among them. His beloved grandfather had Alzheimer's and now he's written the book he needed then -- a very human history of this frightening disease. But In Pursuit of Memory is also a thrilling scientific detective story that takes you behind the headlines. Jebelli's quest takes us from nineteenth-century Germany and post-war England, to the jungles of Papua New Guinea and the technological proving grounds of Japan; through America, India, China, Iceland, Sweden, and Colombia. Its heroes are scientists...
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Collusion: Secret Meetings, Dirty Money, and How Russia Helped Donald Trump Win cover
Book Review

An explosive exposé that lays out the Trump administration’s ties to Moscow, and Russia’s decades-in-the-making political game to upend American democracy.
 
December 2016. Luke Harding, the Guardian reporter and former Moscow bureau chief, quietly meets former MI6 officer Christopher Steele in a London pub to discuss President-elect Donald Trump’s Russia connections. A month later, Steele’s now-famous dossier sparks what may be the biggest scandal of the modern era. The names of the Americans involved are well-known—Paul Manafort, Michael Flynn, Jared Kushner, George Papadopoulos, Carter Page—but here Harding also shines a light on powerful Russian figures like Aras Agalarov, Natalia Veselnitskaya, and Sergey Kislyak, whose motivations and instructions may have been coming from the highest echelons of the Kremlin.
 
Drawing on new material and his expert understanding of Moscow and its players, Harding takes the reader through every bizarre and disquieting detail of the “Trump-Russia” story—an event so huge it involves international espionage, off-shore banks, sketchy real estate deals, the Miss Universe pageant, mobsters, money laund...
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The Uneasy Conscience of Modern Fundamentalism cover
Book Review

Originally published in 1947, The Uneasy Conscience of Modern Fundamentalism has since served as the manifesto of evangelical Christians serious about bringing the fundamentals of the Christian faith to bear in contemporary culture. In this classic book Carl F. H. Henry, the father of modern fundamentalism, pioneered a path for active Christian engagement with the world -- a path as relevant today as when it was first staked out.

Now available again and featuring a new foreword by Richard J. Mouw, The Uneasy Conscience of Modern Fundamentalism offers a bracing world-and-life view that calls for boldness on the part of the evangelical community. Henry argues that a reformation is imperative within the ranks of conservative Christianity, one that will result in an ecumenical passion for souls and in the power to meaningfully address the social and intellectual needs of the world.

Product Description

Originally published in 1947, The Uneasy Conscience of Modern Fundamentalism has since served as the manifesto of evangelical Christians serious about bringing the fundamentals of the Christian faith to bear in contemporary c...
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The Mistresses of Cliveden: Three Centuries of Scandal, Power, and Intrigue in an English Stately Home cover
Book Review

For fans of Downton Abbey comes an immersive historical epic about a lavish English manor and a dynasty of rich and powerful women who ruled the estate over three centuries of misbehavior, scandal, intrigue, and passion.

Five miles from Windsor Castle, home of the royal family, sits the Cliveden estate. Overlooking the Thames, the mansion is flanked by two wings and surrounded by lavish gardens. Throughout its storied history, Cliveden has been a setting for misbehavior, intrigue, and passion—from its salacious, deadly beginnings in the seventeenth century to the 1960s Profumo Affair, the sex scandal that toppled the British government. Now, in this immersive chronicle, the manor’s current mistress, Natalie Livingstone, opens the doors to this prominent house and lets the walls do the talking.

Built during the reign of Charles II by the Duke of Buckingham, Cliveden attracted notoriety as a luxurious retreat in which the duke could conduct his scandalous affair with the ambitious courtesan Anna Maria, Countess of Shrewsbury. In 1668, Anna Maria’s cuckolded husband, the Earl of Shrewsbury, challenged Buckingham to a duel. Buckingham kill...
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The Quants: How a New Breed of Math Whizzes Conquered Wall Street and Nearly Destroyed It cover
Book Review

With the immediacy of today’s NASDAQ close and the timeless power of a Greek tragedy, The Quants is at once a masterpiece of explanatory journalism, a gripping tale of ambition and hubris, and an ominous warning about Wall Street’s future. 

In March of 2006, four of the world’s richest men sipped champagne in an opulent New York hotel. They were preparing to compete in a poker tournament with million-dollar stakes, but those numbers meant nothing to them. They were accustomed to risking billions.  
 
On that night, these four men and their cohorts were the new kings of Wall Street.  Muller, Griffin, Asness, and Weinstein were among the best and brightest of a new breed, the quants. Over the prior twenty years, this species of math whiz--technocrats who make billions not with gut calls or fundamental analysis but with formulas and high-speed computers--had usurped the testosterone-fueled, kill-or-be-killed risk-takers who’d long been the alpha males the world’s largest casino. The quants helped create a digitized money-trading machine that could shift billions around the globe with the click of a mouse. Few realized, though...
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Tulipomania: The Story of the World's Most Coveted Flower & the Extraordinary Passions It Aroused cover
Book Review

A vivid narration of the history of the tulip, from its origins on the barren, windswept steppes of central Asia to its place of honor in the lush imperial gardens of Constantinople, to its starring moment as the most coveted--and beautiful--commodity in Europe.

In the 1630s, visitors to the prosperous trading cities of the Netherlands couldn't help but notice that thousands of normally sober, hardworking Dutch citizens were caught up in an extraordinary frenzy of buying and selling. The object of this unprecedented speculation was the tulip, a delicate and exotic Eastern import that had bewitched horticulturists, noblemen, and tavern owners alike. For almost a year rare bulbs changed hands for incredible and ever-increasing sums, until single flowers were being sold for more than the cost of a house. Historians would come to call it tulipomania. It was the first futures market in history, and like so many of the ones that would follow, it crashed spectacularly, plunging speculators and investors into economic ruin and despair. This colorful cast of characters includes Turkish sultans, Yugoslav soldiers, French botanists, and Dutch tavern keepers...
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Hamilton's Curse: How Jefferson's Arch Enemy Betrayed the American Revolution--and What It Means for Americans Today cover
Book Review

Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton--two of the most influential Founding Fathers--were also fierce rivals with two opposing political philosophies and two radically different visions for America.

While Jefferson is better remembered today, it is actually Hamilton’s political legacy that has triumphed--a legacy that has subverted the Constitution and transformed the federal government into the very leviathan state that our forefathers fought against in the American Revolution. How did we go from the Jeffersonian ideal of limited government to the bloated imperialist system of Hamilton’s design? Acclaimed economic historian, Thomas J. DiLorenzo reveals how Hamilton, first as a delegate to the Constitutional Convention and later as the nation’s first and most influential treasury secretary, masterfully promoted an agenda of nationalist glory and interventionist economics. These core beliefs did not die with Hamilton in his fatal duel with Aaron Burr, but were carried on through his political heirs.

The Hamiltonian legacy wrested control into the hands of the federal government by inventing the myth of the Constitution’s “implied p...
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Killing a King: The Assassination of Yitzhak Rabin and the Remaking of Israel cover
Book Review

Winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize in History and one of the New York Times’s 100 Notable Books of the Year.


The assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin remains the single most consequential event in Israel’s recent history, and one that fundamentally altered the trajectory for both Israel and the Palestinians. In Killing a King, Dan Ephron relates the parallel stories of Rabin and his stalker, Yigal Amir, over the two years leading up to the assassination, as one of them planned political deals he hoped would lead to peace, and the other plotted murder. "Carefully reported, clearly presented, concise and gripping," It stands as "a reminder that what happened on a Tel Aviv sidewalk 20 years ago is as important to understanding Israel as any of its wars" (Matti Friedman, The Washington Post).

...
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Nathan Hale: The Life and Death of America's First Spy cover
Book Review

Now in paperback, the New York Times best-selling biography—the first in nearly a century—of the legendary Revolutionary War patriot and our country’s first spy

Product Description

Now in paperback, the New York Times best-selling biography—the first in nearly a century—of the legendary Revolutionary War patriot and our country’s first spy...
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The Coldest Winter: America and the Korean War cover
Book Review

"In a grand gesture of reclamation and remembrance, Mr. Halberstam has brought the war back home."---The New York Times

David Halberstam's magisterial and thrilling The Best and the Brightest was the defining book about the Vietnam conflict. More than three decades later, Halberstam used his unrivaled research and formidable journalistic skills to shed light on another pivotal moment in our history: the Korean War. Halberstam considered The Coldest Winter his most accomplished work, the culmination of forty-five years of writing about America's postwar foreign policy.

Halberstam gives us a masterful narrative of the political decisions and miscalculations on both sides. He charts the disastrous path that led to the massive entry of Chinese forces near the Yalu River and that caught Douglas MacArthur and his soldiers by surprise. He provides astonishingly vivid and nuanced portraits of all the major figures--Eisenhower, Truman, Acheson, Kim, and Mao, and Generals MacArthur, Almond, and Ridgway. At the same time, Halberstam provides us with his trademark highly evocative narrative journalism, chronicling the crucial b...
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A Year by the Sea: Thoughts of an Unfinished Woman cover
Book Review

The basis for the major motion picture of the same name. An entrancing memoir of how one woman's journey of self-discovery gave her the courage to persevere in re-creating her life.

Life is a work in progress, as ever-changing as a sandy shoreline along the beach. During the years Joan Anderson was a loving wife and supportive mother, she had slowly and unconsciously replaced her own dreams with the needs of her family. With her sons grown, however, she realized that the family no longer centered on the home she provided, and her relationship with her husband had become stagnant. Like many women in her situation, Joan realized that she had neglected to nurture herself and, worse, to envision fulfilling goals for her future. As her husband received a wonderful job opportunity out-of-state, it seemed that the best part of her own life was finished. Shocking both of them, she refused to follow him to his new job and decided to retreat to a family cottage on Cape Cod. At first casting about for direction, Joan soon began to take pleasure in her surroundings and call on resources she didn't realize she had. Over the course of a year, she gradually discovered ...
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The Best of American Heritage: World War I cover
Book Review

Here, from some of America's greatest historians and generals - among them, John Lukacs, John Steele Gordon, and General George C. Kinney - is the story of U.S. involvement in World War I. War is both intimate and sprawling, and this collection includes panoramic perspectives as well as personal reflections that show the heart, soul, and courage of American soldiers.
Essays cover such topics as:
  • John Lukacs on why World War I was a turning point in American history and how it created our modern world.
  • Edward Lengel on Meuse-Argonne, the deadliest battle in American history.
  • Stories of dramatic encounters such as the tragedy of the "Lost Battalion", Sgt. Alvin York's capture of 132 German soldiers almost single-handedly, and the Navy's "mine barrage" that stopped the German U-Boats
  • Gen. George Kenney's recollections of the very beginnings of aerial combat.
  • John Steele Gordon on the terrible human costs of the war. 
...
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Mr. Wilson's War: From the Assassination of McKinley to the Defeat of the League of Nations cover
Book Review

Beginning with the assassination of McKinley and ending with the defeat of the League of Nations by the United States Senate, the twenty-year period covered by John Dos Passos in this lucid and fascinating narrative changed the whole destiny of America. This is the story of the war we won and the peace we lost, told with a clear historical perspective and a warm interest in the remarkable people who guided the United States through one of the most crucial periods.

Foremost in the cast of characters is Woodrow Wilson, the shy, brilliant, revered, and misunderstood “schoolmaster,” whose administration was a complex of apparent contradictions. Wilson had almost no interest in foreign affairs when he was first elected, yet later, in proposing the League of Nations, he was to play a major role in international politics. During his first summer in office, without any previous experience in banking, he pushed through the Federal Reserve Bank Act, perhaps his most lasting contribution. Reelected in 1916 on the rallying cry, “He kept us out of war,” he shortly found himself and his country inextricably involved in the European conflict.

John Dos Passos ...
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Last Train to Paradise: Henry Flagler and the Spectacular Rise and Fall of the Railroad that Crossed an Ocean cover
Book Review

The fast-paced and gripping true account of the extraordinary construction and spectacular demise of the Key West Railroad—one of the greatest engineering feats ever undertaken, destroyed in one fell swoop by the strongest storm ever to hit U.S. shores.

In 1904, the brilliant and driven entrepreneur Henry Flagler, partner to John D. Rockefeller, dreamed of a railway connecting the island of Key West to the Florida mainland, crossing a staggering 153 miles of open ocean—an engineering challenge beyond even that of the Panama Canal. Many considered the project impossible, but build it they did. The railroad stood as a magnificent achievement for more than twenty-two years, heralded as “the Eighth Wonder of the World,” until its total destruction in 1935's deadly storm of the century. 

In Last Train to Paradise, Standiford celebrates this crowning achievement of Gilded Age ambition, bringing to life a sweeping tale of the powerful forces of human ingenuity colliding with the even greater forces of nature’s wrath.

Amazon.com Review

In Last Train to Paradise novelist Les Standiford has written a lively, felic...
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Call Sign Dracula: My Tour with the Black Scarves April 1969 to March 1970 cover
Book Review

"Call Sign Dracula" provides an outstanding, valuable and worthy in-depth look into the life of a US Army Infantry soldier serving with the famed 1st Infantry Division (The Big Red One) in Vietnam. It is a genuine, firsthand account of a one-year tour that shows how a soldier grew and matured from an awkward, bewildered, inexperienced, eighteen year-old country “bumpkin” from Kentucky, to a tough, battle hardened, fighting soldier.

You will laugh, cry and stand in awe at the true life experiences shared in this memoir. The awfulness of battle, fear beyond description, the sorrow and anguish of losing friends, extreme weariness, the dealing with the scalding sun, torrential rain, cold, heat, humidity, insects and the daily effort just to maintain sanity were struggles faced virtually every day. And yet, there were the good times. There was the coming together to laugh, joke, and share stories from home. There was the warmth and compassion shown by men to each other in such an unreal environment. You will see where color, race or where you were from had no bearing on the tight-knit group of young men that was formed from the necessity to survive. What a “bunch” th...
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The Things Our Fathers Saw—The Untold Stories of the World War II Generation-Volume II: War in the Air—From the Great Depression to Combat cover
Book Review

Dying for freedom isn’t the worst that could happen. Being forgotten is.



— “You flew with what I would call ‘controlled fear’. You were scared stiff, but it was controlled. My ball turret gunner—he couldn’t take it anymore… I guess he was right. He’s dead now. But he had lost control of the fear. He never got out of that ball turret; he died in that ball turret.” —B-24 bombardier

~THE LONG-AWAITED SEQUEL IN THE BEST SELLING ‘The Things Our Fathers Saw’ SERIES~


How soon we forget. Or perhaps, we were never told. That is understandable, given what they saw.

— “I spent a lot of time in hospitals. I had a lot of trouble reconciling how my mother died [of a cerebral hemorrhage] from the telegram she opened, saying I was [shot down and] “missing in action”. I didn’t explain to her the fact that ‘missing in action’ is not necessarily ‘killed in action’. You know? I didn’t even think about that. How do you think you feel when you find out you killed your mother?” —B-24 bombardier

At the height of World War II, LOOK Magazine profiled a small upstate New York community for a serie...
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The Fear and the Freedom: How the Second World War Changed Us cover
Book Review

Bestselling historian Keith Lowe's The Fear and the Freedom looks at the astonishing innovations that sprang from WWII and how they changed the world.

The Fear and the Freedom is Keith Lowe’s follow-up to Savage Continent. While that book painted a picture of Europe in all its horror as WWII was ending, The Fear and the Freedom looks at all that has happened since, focusing on the changes that were brought about because of WWII―simultaneously one of the most catastrophic and most innovative events in history. It killed millions and eradicated empires, creating the idea of human rights, and giving birth to the UN. It was because of the war that penicillin was first mass-produced, computers were developed, and rockets first sent to the edge of space. The war created new philosophies, new ways of living, new architecture: this was the era of Le Corbusier, Simone de Beauvoir and Chairman Mao.

But amidst the waves of revolution and idealism there were also fears of globalization, a dread of the atom bomb, and an unexpressed longing for a past forever gone. All of these things and more came about as direct consequences of the wa...
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Islam in the Modern World: Challenged by the West, Threatened by Fundamentalism, Keeping Faith with Tradition cover
Book Review

The foremost U.S. authority on Islam and, Seyyed Hossein Nasr discusses today’s hot button issues—including holy wars, women’s rights, the rise of Islamic fundamentalism, and the future of Moslems in the Middle East—in this groundbreaking discussion of the fastest-growing religion in the world. One of the great scholars in the modern Islamic intellectual tradition, and the acclaimed author of books such as The Garden of Truth and The Heart of Islam, Nasr brings incomparable insight to this exploration of Muslim issues and realities, delivering a landmark publication promoting cross-cultural awareness and world peace....
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William L. Shirer Twentieth Century Journey: The Start (1904-1930), The Nightmare Years (1930-1940), A Native's Return (1945-1988) cover
Book Review




World-renowned journalist and best-selling author of The Rise and
Fall of the Third Reich, William Shirer was an important witness to
the rise of Nazi Germany.




The Start (1904-1930):
In the first of a three-volume series, he tells the story of his early
life.




The Nightmare Years (1930-1940):
In the second of a three-volume series, Shirer chronicles his time in
Europe as Hitler dominated Germany and began one of the most dangerous
conflicts in world history.




A Native’s Return (1945-1988):
The most personal of the three volumes, this edition offers an honest look
at the many personal and professional setbacks Shirer experienced after
World War II ended-and a fascinating take on the aftermath of the war.

...
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Mossad: The Greatest Missions of the Israeli Secret Service cover
Book Review

"This book tells what should have been known and isn't—that Israel's hidden force is as formidable as its recognized physical strength."
— Israeli President Shimon Peres

For decades, Israel's renowned security arm, the Mossad, has been widely recognized as the best intelligence service in the world. In Mossad, authors Michael Bar-Zohar and Nissim Mishal take us behind the closed curtain with riveting, eye-opening, boots-on-the-ground accounts of the most dangerous, most crucial missions in the agency's 60-year history. These are real Mission: Impossible true stories brimming with high-octane action—from the breathtaking capture of Nazi executioner Adolph Eichmann to the recent elimination of key Iranian nuclear scientists. Anyone who is fascinated by the world of international espionage, intelligence, and covert "Black-Ops" warfare will find Mossad electrifying reading.

Product Description

"This book tells what should have been known and isn't—that Israel's hidden force is as formidable as its recognized physical strength."
— Israeli President Shimon Peres

For decades, Israel's renowned security arm, the M...
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The Long Road Home (TV Tie-In): A Story of War and Family cover
Book Review

NOW A NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MINISERIES EVENT

ABC News’ Chief Global Affairs Correspondent Martha Raddatz shares remarkable tales of heroism, hope, and heartbreak in her account of “Black Sunday”—a battle during one of the deadliest periods of the Iraq war. 

The First Cavalry Division came under surprise attack in Sadr City on Sunday, April 4, 2004. More than seven thousand miles away, their families awaited the news for forty-eight hellish hours—expecting the worst. In this powerful, unflinching account, Martha Raddatz takes readers from the streets of Baghdad to the home front and tells the story of that horrific day through the eyes of the courageous American men and women who lived it.

“A masterpiece of literary nonfiction that rivals any war-related classic that has preceded it.”—The Washington Post...
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History of Japan: Revised Edition cover

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Book Review

A classic of Japanese history, this book is the preeminent work on the history of Japan.

Newly revised and updated, A History of Japan is a single-volume, complete history of the nation of Japan. Starting in ancient Japan during its early pre-history period A History of Japan covers every important aspect of history and culture through feudal Japan to the post-cold War period and collapse of the Bubble Economy in the early 1990's. Recent findings shed additional light on the origins of Japanese civilization and the birth of Japanese culture.

Also included is an in-depth analysis of the Japanese religion, Japanese arts, Japanese culture and the Japanese People from the 6th century B.C.E. to the present. This contemporary classic, now updated and revised, continues to be an essential text in Japanese studies. Classic illustrations and unique pictures are dispersed throughout the book.

A History of Japan, Revised Edition includes:
  • Archaic Japan—including Yamato, the creation of a unified state, the Nana Period, and the Heian period.
  • Medieval Japan— including rule by the military houses, the ...
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The Plot to Seize the White House: The Shocking TRUE Story of the Conspiracy to Overthrow F.D.R. cover
Book Review

Many people might not know that in 1933, a group of wealthy industrialists—working closely with groups like the K.K.K. and the American Liberty League—planned to overthrow the U.S. government and run FDR out of office in a fascist coup. Readers will learn of their plan to turn unhappy war veterans into American “brown shirts,” depose F.D.R., and stop the New Deal. They asked Medal of Honor recipient and Marine Major General Smedley Darlington Butler to work with them and become the “first American Caesar.” Fortunately, Butler was a true patriot. Instead of working for the fascist coup, he revealed the plot to journalists and to Congress.
Archer writes a compelling account of a ploy that would have turned FDR into fascist puppet, threatened American democracy and changed the course of history. This book not only reveals the truth behind this shocking episode in history, but also tells the story of the man whose courage and bravery prevented it from happening.

Skyhorse Publishing, as well as our Arcade imprint, are proud to publish a broad range of books for readers interested in history--books about World War II, the Third Reich, Hitler and his henchmen, ...
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With Wings Like Eagles: A History of the Battle of Britain cover
Book Review

“[With Wings Like Eagles is] bold and refreshing… Korda writes with great elegance and flair.”—Wall Street Journal

From the New York Times bestselling author of Ike and Horse People, Michael Korda, comes With Wings Like Eagles, the harrowing story of The Battle of Britain, one of the most important battles of World War II. In the words of the Washington Post Book World, “With Wings Like Eagles is a skillful, absorbing, often moving contribution to the popular understanding of one of the few episodes in history … to deserve the description ‘heroic.’”

...
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The Little Girl Who Fought the Great Depression: Shirley Temple and 1930s America cover
Book Review

"[An] elucidating cultural history of Hollywood’s most popular child star…a must-read." —Bill Desowitz, USA Today


For four consecutive years she was the world’s box-office champion. With her image appearing in periodicals and advertisements roughly twenty times daily, she rivaled FDR and Edward VIII as the most photographed person in the world. Her portrait brightened the homes of countless admirers, among them J. Edgar Hoover, Andy Warhol, and Anne Frank.


Distinguished cultural historian John F. Kasson shows how, amid the deprivation and despair of the Great Depression, Shirley Temple radiated optimism and plucky good cheer that lifted the spirits of millions and shaped their collective character for generations to come.

...
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Saxons vs. Vikings: Alfred the Great and England in the Dark Ages cover
Book Review

A witty and concise look at the beginnings of English history, when the nation consolidated after clashes between the Saxons and invading Vikings.

In 871, three of England's four kingdoms were overrun by Vikings, the ruthless, all-conquering Scandinavian raiders who terrorized early medieval Europe. With the Norsemen murdering one king with arrows and torturing another to death by ripping out his lungs, the prospects that faced the kingdom of Wessex were bleak. Worse still, the Saxons were now led by a young man barely out of his teens who was more interested in God than fighting. Yet within a decade Alfred—the only English king known as the Great—had driven the Vikings out of half of England, and his children and grandchildren would unite the country a few years later. This period, popular with fans of television shows such as Vikings and The Last Kingdom, saw the creation of England as a nation-state, with Alfred laying down the first national law code, establishing an education system and building cities.

Saxons vs. Vikings also covers the period before Alfred, including ancient Britain, the Roman occupation...
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The Chosen Few: A Company of Paratroopers and Its Heroic Struggle to Survive in the Mountains of Afghanistan cover
Book Review

The never-before-told story of one of the most decorated units in the war in Afghanistan and its fifteen-month ordeal that culminated in the 2008 Battle of Wanat, the war's deadliest

A single company of US paratroopers--calling themselves the "Chosen Few"--arrived in eastern Afghanistan in late 2007 hoping to win the hearts and minds of the remote mountain people and extend the Afghan government's reach into this wilderness. Instead, they spent the next fifteen months in a desperate struggle, living under almost continuous attack, forced into a slow and grinding withdrawal, and always outnumbered by Taliban fighters descending on them from all sides.

Month after month, rocket-propelled grenades, rockets, and machine-gun fire poured down on the isolated and exposed paratroopers as America's focus and military resources shifted to Iraq. Just weeks before the paratroopers were to go home, they faced their last--and toughest--fight. Near the village of Wanat in Nuristan province, an estimated three hundred enemy fighters surrounded about fifty of the Chosen Few and others defending a partially finished combat base. Nine died and more than two ...
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Nothing Is True and Everything Is Possible: The Surreal Heart of the New Russia cover
Book Review

In the new Russia, even dictatorship is a reality show.

Professional killers with the souls of artists, would-be theater directors turned Kremlin puppet-masters, suicidal supermodels, Hell's Angels who hallucinate themselves as holy warriors, and oligarch revolutionaries: welcome to the glittering, surreal heart of twenty-first-century Russia. It is a world erupting with new money and new power, changing so fast it breaks all sense of reality, home to a form of dictatorship—far subtler than twentieth-century strains—that is rapidly rising to challenge the West.

When British producer Peter Pomerantsev plunges into the booming Russian TV industry, he gains access to every nook and corrupt cranny of the country. He is brought to smoky rooms for meetings with propaganda gurus running the nerve-center of the Russian media machine, and visits Siberian mafia-towns and the salons of the international super-rich in London and the US. As the Putin regime becomes more aggressive, Pomerantsev finds himself drawn further into the system.

Dazzling yet piercingly insightful, Nothing Is True and Everything Is Possible is an unforgettable voyage into a coun...
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First Mothers: The Women Who Shaped the Presidents cover
Book Review

Bonnie Angelo, a veteran reporter and writer for Time, has captured the daily lives, thoughts, and feelings of the remarkable women who played such a large role in developing the characters of the modern American presidents. From formidably aristocratic Sara Delano Roosevelt to diehard Democrat Martha Truman, champion athlete Dorothy Bush, and hard-living Virginia Clinton Kelley, Angelo blends these women's stories with the texture of their lives and with colorful details of their times. First Mothers is an in-depth look at the special mother-son relationships that nurtured and helped propel the last twelve American presidents to the pinnacle of power.

Amazon.com Review

Succinct and highly readable, this group portrait of the 11 women who gave birth to America's 20th-century presidents might just put a more favorable spin on the phrase "mama's boy." From Franklin Roosevelt to Bill Clinton, all these chief executives were devoted to their mothers (relations with Dad were often more problematic), and that devotion had a direct effect on their presidencies--for the most part, a positive one. Sara Delano Roosevelt's adoration gave her son the se...
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The Case of the Slave Ship Amistad cover
Book Review

In August 1839, what appeared to be a listless pirate ship, unidentified by any flag, was spotted off the North Atlantic coast of the United States. On board were thirty barely clad black men, armed with cutlasses, and two white men - Spanish slave owners with an incredible story to tell.

A month earlier, the Amistad had set sail from Havana with a valuable cargo of slaves and $40,000 worth of gold doubloons. She was headed for the Cuban coastal town of Puerto Principe - but in a matter of days, the captain and the cook were dead, and the ship was in the control of the slaves.

Thus began "the Amistad affair," which, writes Mary Cable, "was to bedevil the diplomatic relations of the United States, Spain, and England for a generation; intensify bitterness over the question of slavery; and lead an ex-president (John Quincy Adams) to go before the Supreme Court and castigate the administration in an eloquent plea for the slaves' freedom. In her fascinating and carefully researched account, Cable takes us right to the heart of these complex matters, dramatically replaying an incredible series of events that converged to form a uniquely exciting and challen...
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The Heretic's Handbook (Kindle Single) cover
Book Review

In a universe where mind has power over matter—in a world where conventional, common-sense wisdom cannot help us achieve our highest desires or escape our deepest fears—we need to look to the wisdom of the ancients.

In The Heretic’s Handbook, the internationally bestselling author of The Secret History of the World has collected and codified ancient, secret wisdom from around the world, formulating a complete philosophy on how to live a happy and successful life. An acclaimed author and public speaker, Black shows how this body of knowledge has been declared ‘heretical’ both by the established church and by today’s atheistic intellectual elite.

Finally, he outlines in the clearest terms possible the supernatural laws that govern our universe, and describes rules for living that take us beyond consensual thought, rules that may at first seem crazy, even dangerous, but which contain the secrets for achieving success, happiness and a higher state of being.

...
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The Prince Who Would Be King: The Life and Death of Henry Stuart cover
Book Review

Henry Stuart’s life is the last great forgotten Jacobean tale. Shadowed by the gravity of the Thirty Years’ War and the huge changes taking place across Europe in seventeenth-century society, economy, politics and empire, his life was visually and verbally gorgeous.

Henry Stuart, Prince of Wales was once the hope of Britain. Eldest son to James VI of Scotland, James I of England, Henry was the epitome of heroic Renaissance princely virtue, his life set against a period about as rich and momentous as any.

Educated to rule, Henry was interested in everything. His court was awash with leading artists, musicians, writers and composers such as Ben Jonson and Inigo Jones. He founded a royal art collection of European breadth, amassed a vast collection of priceless books, led grand renovations of royal palaces and mounted operatic, highly politicised masques.

But his ambitions were even greater. He embraced cutting-edge science, funded telescopes and automata, was patron of the North West Passage Company and wanted to sail through the barriers of the known world to explore new continents. He reviewed and modernised Britain’s naval and militar...
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SOG Chronicles: Volume One cover
Book Review

From 1964 to 1972, far beyond the battlefields of Vietnam and the glare of media distortions, American Green Berets and their indigenous troops fought a deadly secret war in Laos, Cambodia and North Vietnam under the aegis of the top secret Military Assistance Command Vietnam — Studies and Observations Group, or simply SOG.

The inaugural edition of 'SOG Chronicles Volume One' will be the first in a series of books focusing on the many untold stories from that eight-year secret war where Green Berets went deep behind enemy lines without conventional support from artillery, tanks, or ground support troops where communist forces massed 50,000-100,000 troops to combat them while keeping the Ho Chi Minh Trail supply lines open.

The centerpiece of 'SOG Chronicles Volume One' is the 1970 story of Operation Tailwind, features a SOG element of 16 Green Berets and 120 indigenous soldiers that went deeper into Laos than any operation during the secret war. Every Green Beret received at least one Purple Heart, including the sole medic, Gary Mike Rose. He is slated to receive the Medal of Honor from President Donald J. Trump in October 2017 for his valor and medic...
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Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win (New Edition) cover
Book Review

An updated edition of the blockbuster bestselling leadership book that took America and the world by storm, two U.S. Navy SEAL officers who led the most highly decorated special operations unit of the Iraq War demonstrate how to apply powerful leadership principles from the battlefield to business and life.

Combat, the most intense and dynamic environment imaginable, teaches the toughest leadership lessons, with absolutely everything at stake. Jocko Willink and Leif Babin learned this reality first-hand on the most violent and dangerous battlefield in Iraq. As leaders of SEAL Team Three’s Task Unit Bruiser, their mission was one many thought impossible: help U.S. forces secure Ramadi, a violent, insurgent-held city deemed “all but lost.” In gripping, firsthand accounts of heroism, tragic loss, and hard-won victories, they learned that leadership―at every level―is the most important factor in whether a team succeeds or fails.

Willink and Babin returned home from deployment and instituted SEAL leadership training to pass on their harsh lessons learned in combat to help forge the next generation of SEAL leaders. After leaving the SEAL Teams, they launch...
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Harpoon: Inside the Covert War Against Terrorism's Money Masters cover
Book Review

A revelatory account of the cloak-and-dagger Israeli campaign to target the finances fueling terror organizations--an effort that became the blueprint for U.S. efforts to combat threats like ISIS and drug cartels.

ISIS boasted $2.4 billion of revenue in 2015, yet for too long the global war on terror overlooked financial warfare as an offensive strategy. "Harpoon," the creation of Mossad legend Meir Dagan, directed spies, soldiers, and attorneys to disrupt and destroy money pipelines and financial institutions that paid for the bloodshed perpetrated by Hamas, Hezbollah, and other groups. Written by an attorney who worked with Harpoon and a bestselling journalist, Harpoon offers a gripping story of the Israeli-led effort, now joined by the Americans, to choke off the terrorists' oxygen supply, money, via unconventional warfare....
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Where the Bodies Were Buried: Whitey Bulger and the World That Made Him cover
Book Review

The New York Times bestselling author of The Westies and Paddy Whacked offers a front-row seat at the trial of Whitey Bulger, and an intimate view of the world of organized crime—and law enforcement—that made him the defining Irish American gangster.

For sixteen years, Whitey Bulger eluded the long reach of the law. For decades one of the most dangerous men in America, Bulger—the brother of influential Massachusetts senator Billy Bulger—was often romanticized as a Robin Hood-like thief and protector. While he was functioning as the de facto mob boss of New England, Bulger was also serving as a Top Echelon informant for the FBI, covertly feeding local prosecutors information about other mob figures—while using their cover to cleverly eliminate his rivals, reinforce his own power, and protect himself from prosecution. Then, in 2011, he was arrested in southern California and returned to Boston, where he was tried and convicted of racketeering and murder.

Our greatest chronicler of the Irish mob in America, T. J. English covered the trial at close range—by day in the courtroom, but also, on nights and weekends, interviewing Bulger’s a...
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Mary Todd Lincoln: A Biography cover
Book Review

"A striking success…the account of the White House years is absorbing, the account of Mary Lincoln's life as a widow utterly compelling." —New York Times


This definitive biography of Mary Todd Lincoln beautifully conveys her tumultuous life and times. A privileged daughter of the proud clan that founded Lexington, Kentucky, Mary fell into a stormy romance with the raw Illinois attorney Abraham Lincoln. For twenty-five years the Lincolns forged opposing temperaments into a tolerant, loving marriage. Even as the nation suffered secession and civil war, Mary experienced the tragedies of losing three of her four children and then her husband. An insanity trial orchestrated by her surviving son led to her confinement in an asylum. Mary Todd Lincoln is still often portrayed in one dimension, as the stereotype of the best-hated faults of all women. Here her life is restored for us whole.

Product Description

"A striking success…the account of the White House years is absorbing, the account of Mary Lincoln's life as a widow utterly compelling." —New York Times


This definitive biography of Mary Todd Lincoln beautifully conveys...
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Slouching Towards Bethlehem: Essays (FSG Classics) cover
Book Review

The first nonfiction work by one of the most distinctive prose stylists of our era, Joan Didion's Slouching Towards Bethlehem remains, decades after its first publication, the essential portrait of America―particularly California―in the sixties. It focuses on such subjects as John Wayne and Howard Hughes, growing up a girl in California, ruminating on the nature of good and evil in a Death Valley motel room, and, especially, the essence of San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury, the heart of the counterculture....
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Indestructible: One Man's Rescue Mission That Changed the Course of WWII cover
Book Review

In this remarkable WWII story by New York Times bestselling author John R. Bruning, a renegade American pilot fights against all odds to rescue his family--imprisoned by the Japanese--and revolutionizes modern warfare along the way.

From the knife fights and smuggling runs of his youth to his fiery days as a pioneering naval aviator, Paul Irving "Pappy" Gunn played by his own set of rules and always survived on his wits and fists. But when he fell for a conservative Southern belle, her love transformed him from a wild and reckless airman to a cunning entrepreneur whose homespun engineering brilliance helped launch one of the first airlines in Asia.

Pappy was drafted into MacArthur's air force when war came to the Philippines; and while he carried out a top-secret mission to Australia, the Japanese seized his family. Separated from his beloved wife, Polly, and their four children, Pappy reverted to his lawless ways. He carried out rescue missions with an almost suicidal desperation. Even after he was shot down twice and forced to withdraw to Australia, he waged a one-man war against his many enemies--including the American high command an...
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Shipwreck: The Strange Fate of the Morro Castle cover

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Book Review

Edgar Award Finalist: A gripping account of one of the most spectacular disasters off the coast of New York—but was it a terrible accident, or arson?
 
In the early morning hours of September 8, 1934, the luxury cruise liner Morro Castle, carrying 316 passengers and 230 officers and crew, caught fire a few hours out of the New York harbor on a return voyage from Havana. The fire spread with terrifying swiftness, transforming the ship into a blazing inferno. One hundred thirty-four people died that night—was it an accident?
 
Writers Gordon Thomas and Max Morgan Witts prove that the disaster was no accident, but was planned, meticulously and deliberately, by an officer of the Morro Castle. His name: George White Rogers, chief radio officer. They also prove that Rogers was responsible for the death of the captain, who was poisoned several hours before the fire broke out.
 
Shipwreck is a spellbinding moment-by-moment account of the Morro Castle’s last voyage, and one of the most spectacular disasters to stir the Atlantic Ocean. Through interviews with survivors, rescuers, and investigators, the author...
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Book Review

The astonishing story of Bess Truman and her love for her husband, Harry, as only their daughter could tell it.

Bess Truman is more than a rare, intimate, and surprising portrait of a famous First Lady who kept her deepest feelings - and considerable influence on President Truman - hidden from public view. It also is the heartwarming story of an enduring love and a remarkable political partnership.

Bess Wallace was born in 1885 in Independence, Missouri, into a secure world full of strong ideas. Young Bess was beautiful, popular, and strong-willed and could play third base and swim and ride as well as any boy. Harry Truman was a farmer's son to whom Bess always seemed out of reach. Their courtship was long and arduous, but Harry - as revealed through his endearing letters - was full of humor, gentleness, determination, and undying love that would win Bess over to him. And for sixty-nine years, Harry would be the center of her life.

Margaret Truman has been able to draw on her own personal reminiscences and a treasure trove of letters never before published - more than 1,000 from Bess found after her death and several hundred from Harry - to...
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God of the Rodeo: The Quest for Redemption in Louisiana's Angola Prison cover
Book Review

Never before had Daniel Bergner seen a spectacle as bizarre as the one he had come to watch that Sunday in October. Murderers, rapists, and armed robbers were competing in the annual rodeo at Angola, the grim maximum-security penitentiary in Louisiana. The convicts, sentenced to life without parole, were thrown, trampled, and gored by bucking bulls and broncos before thousands of cheering spectators. But amid the brutality of this gladiatorial spectacle Bergner caught surprising glimpses of exaltation, hints of triumphant skill.

The incongruity of seeing hope where one would expect only hopelessness, self-control in men who were there because they'd had none, sparked an urgent quest in him. Having gained unlimited and unmonitored access, Bergner spent an unflinching year inside the harsh world of Angola. He forged relationships with seven prisoners who left an indelible impression on him. There's Johnny Brooks, seemingly a latter-day Stepin Fetchit, who, while washing the warden's car, longs to be a cowboy and to marry a woman he meets on the rodeo grounds. Then there's Danny Fabre, locked up for viciously beating a woman to death, now struggling to bring his re...
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Pickett's Charge: A New Look at Gettysburg’s Final Attack cover
Book Review

Main Selection of the History Book Club

The Battle of Gettysburg, the Civil War’s turning point, produced over 57,000 casualties, the largest number from the entire war that was itself America’s bloodiest conflict. On the third day of fierce fighting, Robert E. Lee’s attempt to invade the North came to a head in Pickett’s Charge. The infantry assault, consisting of nine brigades of soldiers in a line that stretched for over a mile, resulted in casualties of over 50 percent for the Confederates and a huge psychological blow to Southern morale.

Pickett’s Charge is a detailed analysis of one of the most iconic and defining events in American history. This book presents a much-needed fresh look, including the unvarnished truths and ugly realities, about the unforgettable story. With the luxury of hindsight, historians have long denounced the folly of Lee’s attack, but this work reveals the tactical brilliance of a master plan that went awry. Special emphasis is placed on the common soldiers on both sides, especially the non-Virginia attackers outside of Pickett’s Virginia Division. These fighters’ moments of cowardice, failure, and triumph are explo...
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The Last Republicans: Inside the Extraordinary Relationship Between George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush cover
Book Review

A groundbreaking look at the lives of George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush, the most consequential father-son pair in American history, often in their own words.

In this endearing, illuminating work, presidential historian Mark K. Updegrove tracks the two Bush presidents from their formative years through their post-presidencies and the failed presidential candidacy of Jeb Bush, derailing the Bush presidential dynasty.

Drawing extensively on exclusive access and interviews with both Bush presidents, Updegrove reveals for the first time their influences and perspectives on each other’s presidencies; their views on family, public service, and America’s role in the world; and their unvarnished thoughts on Donald Trump, and the radical transformation of the Republican Party he now leads.

In 2016 George W. Bush lamented privately that he might be “the last Republican president.” Donald Trump’s election marked the end not only to the Bushes’ hold on the White House, but of a rejection of the Republican principles of civility and international engagement and leadership that the Bushes have long championed.

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God: A Human History cover
Book Review

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • The bestselling author of Zealot and host of Believer explores humanity’s quest to make sense of the divine in this concise and fascinating history of our understanding of God.
 
In Zealot, Reza Aslan replaced the staid, well-worn portrayal of Jesus of Nazareth with a startling new image of the man in all his contradictions. In his new book, Aslan takes on a subject even more immense: God, writ large.
 
In layered prose and with thoughtful, accessible scholarship, Aslan narrates the history of religion as a remarkably cohesive attempt to understand the divine by giving it human traits and emotions. According to Aslan, this innate desire to humanize God is hardwired in our brains, making it a central feature of nearly every religious tradition. As Aslan writes, “Whether we are aware of it or not, and regardless of whether we’re believers or not, what the vast majority of us think about when we think about God is a divine version of ourselves.”
 
But this projection is not without consequences. We bestow upon God not just all that is good in human nature—our compassion, our thirst for...
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The Battle for Tinian: Vital Stepping Stone in America’s War Against Japan cover
Book Review

In July 1944, the 9,000-man Japanese garrison on the island of Tinian listened warily as the thunder of the United States Navy and Marine Corps, Army and Air Corps, descended on their neighboring island, Saipan, just three miles away. There were 20,000 Japanese troops on Saipan, but the US obliterated the opposition after a horrific all-arms campaign. The sudden silence only indicated it was now Tinian’s turn.

By the time the US 2nd and 4th Marine Divisions switched their sights to Tinian, the island had already been bombarded for a month; meantime both sides had learned their lessons from the previous island-hopping invasions. The Americans had learned the arts of recon, deception, plus preliminary firepower so as not to suffer the huge casualties they’d suffered at Saipan, Guadalcanal, and Tarawa; the Japanese, for their part, had learned not to contest US strength on beaches but to draw it further inland where terrain and bomb-proof fortifications could assist.

When the battle for Tinian finally took place the US acted with great skill. Historian Samuel Elliot Morrison called it “the most perfectly executed amphibious operation of the enti...
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Playing with Fire: The 1968 Election and the Transformation of American Politics cover
Book Review

From the host of MSNBC’s The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell, an important and enthralling new account of the presidential election that changed everything, the race that created American politics as we know it today

The 1968 U.S. Presidential election was the young Lawrence O’Donnell’s political awakening, and in the decades since it has remained one of his abiding fascinations.  For years he has deployed one of America’s shrewdest political minds to understanding its dynamics, not just because it is fascinating in itself, but because in it is contained the essence of what makes America different, and how we got to where we are now. Playing With Fire represents O’Donnell’s master class in American electioneering, embedded in the epic human drama of a system, and a country, coming apart at the seams in real time.

Nothing went according to the script. LBJ was confident he'd dispatch with Nixon, the GOP frontrunner; Johnson's greatest fear and real nemesis was RFK. But Kennedy and his team, despite their loathing of the president, weren't prepared to challenge their own party’s incumbent. Then, out of nowhere, Eugene McCarthy shoc...
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Grant Takes Command cover
Book Review

A thrilling account of the final years of the War Between the States and the great general who led the Union to victory
 
This conclusion of Pulitzer Prize–winning author Bruce Catton’s acclaimed Civil War history of General Ulysses S. Grant begins in the summer of 1863. After Grant’s bold and decisive triumph over the Confederate Army at Vicksburg—a victory that wrested control of the Mississippi River from Southern hands—President Abraham Lincoln promoted Grant to the head of the Army of the Potomac. The newly named general was virtually unknown to the nation and to the Union’s military high command, but he proved himself in the brutal closing year and a half of the War Between the States. Grant’s strategic brilliance and unshakeable tenacity crushed the Confederacy in the battles of the Overland Campaign in Virginia and the Siege of Petersburg.
 
In the spring of 1865, Grant finally forced Robert E. Lee’s surrender at Appomattox Court House, thus ending the bloodiest conflict on American soil. Although tragedy struck only days later when Lincoln—whom Grant called “incontestably the greatest man I have ever known”—was assassinated, Gra...
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The Heart of Everything That Is: The Untold Story of Red Cloud, An American Legend cover
Book Review

An acclaimed New York Times bestseller, selected by Salon as a best book of the year, the astonishing untold story of the life and times of Sioux warrior Red Cloud: “a page-turner with remarkable immediacy…and the narrative sweep of a great Western” (The Boston Globe).

Red Cloud was the only American Indian in history to defeat the United States Army in a war, forcing the government to sue for peace on his terms. At the peak of Red Cloud’s powers the Sioux could claim control of one-fifth of the contiguous United States and the loyalty of thousands of fierce fighters. But the fog of history has left Red Cloud strangely obscured. Now, thanks to the rediscovery of a lost autobiography, and painstaking research by two award-winning authors, the story of the nineteenth century’s most powerful and successful Indian warrior can finally be told.

In The Heart of Everything That Is, Bob Drury and Tom Clavin restore Red Cloud to his rightful place in American history in a sweeping and dramatic narrative based on years of primary research. As they trace the events leading to Red Cloud’s War, they provide intimate portraits of the many lives ...
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The Finest Hours: The True Story of the U.S. Coast Guard’s Most Daring Sea Rescue cover
Book Review

In the winter of 1952, New England was battered by the most brutal nor'easter in years. As the weather wreaked havoc on land, the freezing Atlantic became a wind-whipped zone of peril, setting the stage for one of the most heroic rescue stories ever lived.

On February 18, while the storm raged, two oil tankers, the Pendleton and the Fort Mercer, were in the same horrifying predicament. Built with "dirty steel," and not prepared to withstand such ferocious seas, both tankers split in two, leaving the dozens of men on board utterly at the Atlantic's mercy. The Finest Hours is the gripping, true story of the valiant attempt to rescue the souls huddling inside the broken halves of the two ships.

The spellbinding tale is overflowing with breathtaking scenes, as boats capsize, bows and sterns crash into one another, and men hurl themselves into the raging sea in a terrifying battle for survival.

Not all of the 84 men caught at sea in the midst of that brutal storm survived, but considering the odds, it's a miracle - and a testament to their bravery - that any at all came home to tell their tales.

...
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Hacks: The Inside Story of the Break-ins and Breakdowns That Put Donald Trump in the White House cover
Book Review

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

"Explosive... A blistering tell-all."---Washington Post

"People should sit up, take notes and change things."---Ace Smith, Los Angeles Times

"Brazile most certainly has a story to tell.... Vivid."---The Guardian

From Donna Brazile, former DNC chair and legendary political operative, an explosive and revealing new look at the 2016 election: the first insider account of the Russian hacking of the DNC and the missteps by the Clinton campaign and Obama administration that enabled a Trump victory.

In the fallout of the Russian hacking of the Democratic National Committee--and as chaos threatened to consume the party's convention--Democrats turned to a familiar figure to right the ship: Donna Brazile. Known to millions from her frequent TV appearances, she was no stranger to high stakes and dirty opponents, and the longtime Democratic strategist had a reputation in Washington as a one-stop shop for fixing sticky problems.

What Brazile found at the DNC was unlike anything she had experienced before--and ...
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The Lost Painting: The Quest for a Caravaggio Masterpiece cover
Book Review

An Italian village on a hilltop near the Adriatic coast, a decaying palazzo facing the sea, and in the basement, cobwebbed and dusty, lit by a single bulb, an archive unknown to scholars. Here, a young graduate student from Rome, Francesca Cappelletti, makes a discovery that inspires a search for a work of art of incalculable value, a painting lost for almost two centuries.

The artist was Caravaggio, a master of the Italian Baroque. He was a genius, a revolutionary painter, and a man beset by personal demons. Four hundred years ago, he drank and brawled in the taverns and streets of Rome, moving from one rooming house to another, constantly in and out of jail, all the while painting works of transcendent emotional and visual power. He rose from obscurity to fame and wealth, but success didn’t alter his violent temperament. His rage finally led him to commit murder, forcing him to flee Rome a hunted man. He died young, alone, and under strange circumstances.

Caravaggio scholars estimate that between sixty and eighty of his works are in existence today. Many others–no one knows the precise number–have been lost to time. Somewhere, surely, a masterpiece...
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A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership cover
Book Review

In his forthcoming book, former FBI director James Comey shares his never-before-told experiences from some of the highest-stakes situations of his career in the past two decades of American government, exploring what good, ethical leadership looks like, and how it drives sound decisions. His journey provides an unprecedented entry into the corridors of power, and a remarkable lesson in what makes an effective leader.

Mr. Comey served as director of the FBI from 2013 to 2017, appointed to the post by President Barack Obama. He previously served as U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, and the U.S. deputy attorney general in the administration of President George W. Bush. From prosecuting the Mafia and Martha Stewart to helping change the Bush administration's policies on torture and electronic surveillance, overseeing the Hillary Clinton e-mail investigation as well as ties between the Trump campaign and Russia, Comey has been involved in some of the most consequential cases and policies of recent history.

...
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Undaunted Courage: Meriwether Lewis, Thomas Jefferson and the Opening of the American West: Meriwether Lewis Thomas Jefferson and the Opening cover
Book Review

From the New York Times bestselling author of Band of Brothers and D-Day, the definitive book on Lewis and Clark’s exploration of the Louisiana Purchase, the most momentous expedition in American history and one of the great adventure stories of all time.

In 1803 President Thomas Jefferson selected his personal secretary, Captain Meriwether Lewis, to lead a voyage up the Missouri River to the Rockies, over the mountains, down the Columbia River to the Pacific Ocean, and back. Lewis and his partner, Captain William Clark, made the first map of the trans-Mississippi West, provided invaluable scientific data on the flora and fauna of the Louisiana Purchase territory, and established the American claim to Oregon, Washington, and Idaho.

Ambrose has pieced together previously unknown information about weather, terrain, and medical knowledge at the time to provide a vivid backdrop for the expedition. Lewis is supported by a rich variety of colorful characters, first of all Jefferson himself, whose interest in exploring and acquiring the American West went back thirty years. Next comes Clark, a rugged frontiersman whose love for Lewis mat...
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The Illustrated Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era (Oxford History of the United States Book 6) cover
Book Review

Filled with fresh interpretations and information, puncturing old myths and challenging new ones, Battle Cry of Freedom will unquestionably become the standard one-volume history of the Civil War.

James McPherson's fast-paced narrative fully integrates the political, social, and military events that crowded the two decades from the outbreak of one war in Mexico to the ending of another at Appomattox. Packed with drama and analytical insight, the book vividly recounts the momentous episodes that preceded the Civil War--the Dred Scott decision, the Lincoln-Douglas debates, John Brown's raid on Harper's Ferry--and then moves into a masterful chronicle of the war itself--the battles, the strategic maneuvering on both sides, the politics, and the personalities. Particularly notable are McPherson's new views on such matters as the slavery expansion issue in the 1850s, the origins of the Republican Party, the causes of secession, internal dissent and anti-war opposition in the North and the South, and the reasons for the Union's victory.

The book's title refers to the sentiments that informed both the Northern and Southern views of the conflict: t...
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Holy Madness: Romantics, Patriots and Revolutionaries, 1776-1871 cover
Book Review

The Enlightenment had dislodged Christianity from its central position in the life of European societies.

Man’s quest for ecstasy and transcendence flooded into areas such as the arts, spawning the Romantic movement.

By the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century this secular quest for salvation gave rise to a widespread desire for ideal communities.

In ‘Holy Madness’, Adam Zamoyski traces how worship and dedication originally channelled through the church was refocused on the cause of the people and the nation.

This dramatic journey begins in America in 1776 and goes right up to the last agony of the Paris Commune in 1871, taking in the French revolution, the Irish rebellion, the Polish uprisings, the war of Greek liberation, the Russian insurrection, the Hungarian struggles for freedom, the liberation of South America and the Italian Risorgimento.

On a vast canvas, Adam Zamoyski combines an exhilarating voyage through these spectacular events with illuminating portraits of the key players – Lafayette, Garibaldi, Lamartine, Kossuth, Mazzini, Napoleon, Paine, Benjamin Franklin, Coleridge, Byron, Bakunin, Rousse...
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Sicily: An Island at the Crossroads of History cover
Book Review

Critically acclaimed author John Julius Norwich weaves the turbulent story of Sicily into a spellbinding narrative that places the island at the crossroads of world history.

“Sicily,” said Goethe, “is the key to everything.” It is the largest island in the Mediterranean, the stepping-stone between Europe and Africa, the link between the Latin West and the Greek East. Sicily’s strategic location has tempted Roman emperors, French princes, and Spanish kings. The subsequent struggles to conquer and keep it have played crucial roles in the rise and fall of the world’s most powerful dynasties.

Yet Sicily has often been little more than a footnote in books about other empires. John Julius Norwich’s engrossing narrative is the first to knit together all of the colorful strands of Sicilian history into a single comprehensive study. Here is a vivid, erudite, page-turning chronicle of an island and the remarkable kings, queens, and tyrants who fought to rule it. From its beginnings as a Greek city-state to its emergence as a multicultural trading hub during the Crusades, from the rebellion against Italian unification to the rise of the Mafia, the stor...
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How Jesus Became God: The Exaltation of a Jewish Preacher from Galilee cover
Book Review

New York Times bestselling author and Bible expert Bart Ehrman reveals how Jesus’s divinity became dogma in the first few centuries of the early church.

The claim at the heart of the Christian faith is that Jesus of Nazareth was, and is, God. But this is not what the original disciples believed during Jesus’s lifetime—and it is not what Jesus claimed about himself. How Jesus Became God tells the story of an idea that shaped Christianity, and of the evolution of a belief that looked very different in the fourth century than it did in the first.

A master explainer of Christian history, texts, and traditions, Ehrman reveals how an apocalyptic prophet from the backwaters of rural Galilee crucified for crimes against the state came to be thought of as equal with the one God Almighty, Creator of all things. But how did he move from being a Jewish prophet to being God? In a book that took eight years to research and write, Ehrman sketches Jesus’s transformation from a human prophet to the Son of God exalted to divine status at his resurrection. Only when some of Jesus’s followers had visions of him after his death—alive again—did anyone come to th...
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Strength in What Remains cover
Book Review

BONUS: This edition contains a Strength in What Remains discussion guide.

In Strength in What Remains, Tracy Kidder gives us the story of one man’s inspiring American journey and of the ordinary people who helped him, providing brilliant testament to the power of second chances. Deo arrives in the United States from Burundi in search of a new life. Having survived a civil war and genocide, he lands at JFK airport with two hundred dollars, no English, and no contacts. He ekes out a precarious existence delivering groceries, living in Central Park, and learning English by reading dictionaries in bookstores. Then Deo begins to meet the strangers who will change his life, pointing him eventually in the direction of Columbia University, medical school, and a life devoted to healing. Kidder breaks new ground in telling this unforgettable story as he travels with Deo back over a turbulent life and shows us what it means to be fully human.

Amazon.com Review

Amazon Best of the Month, September 2009: Strength in What Remains is an unlikely story about an unreasonable man. Deo was a young medical student who fled the genocidal civil war i...
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Stalin: Waiting for Hitler, 1929-1941 cover
Book Review

Pulitzer Prize-finalist Stephen Kotkin has written the definitive biography of Joseph Stalin, from collectivization and the Great Terror to the conflict with Hitler's Germany that is the signal event of modern world history
 
In 1929, Joseph Stalin, having already achieved dictatorial power over the vast Soviet Empire, formally ordered the systematic conversion of the world’s largest peasant economy into “socialist modernity,” otherwise known as collectivization, regardless of the cost.
 
What it cost, and what Stalin ruthlessly enacted, transformed the country and its ruler in profound and enduring ways. Building and running a dictatorship, with life and death power over hundreds of millions, made Stalin into the uncanny figure he became. Stephen Kotkin’s Stalin: Waiting for Hitler, 1929–1941 is the story of how a political system forged an unparalleled personality and vice versa.
 
The wholesale collectivization of some 120 million peasants necessitated levels of coercion that were extreme even for Russia, and the resulting mass starvation elicited criticism inside the party even from those Communists committed to the eradicat...
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Napoleon's Invasion of Russia cover
Book Review

“An impressive source book on the conflict, high on information and data.”—Journal of the Society for Army Historical Research

September 7, 1812, is by itself one of the most cataclysmic days in the history of war: 74,000 casualties at the Battle of Borodino. And this was well before the invention of weaspons of mass destruction like machine guns or breech-loading rifles.

In this detailed study of one of the most fascinating military campaigns in history, George Nazfiger includes a clear exposition on the power structure in Europe at the time leading up to Napoleon’s fateful decision to attempt what turned out to be impossible: the conquest of Russia. Also featured are complete orders of battle and detailed descriptions of the opposing forces.

Product Description

“An impressive source book on the conflict, high on information and data.”—Journal of the Society for Army Historical Research

September 7, 1812, is by itself one of the most cataclysmic days in the history of war: 74,000 casualties at the Battle of Borodino. And this was well before the invention of weaspons of mass destruction like machine guns or...
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An Honourable Defeat: A History of German Resistance to Hitler, 1933-1945 cover
Book Review

The numbers were small, and their cause hopeless.

Scattered across the landscape that was Nazi Germany, the Resistance looked puny: too little, too late. And yet it was made of many heroic men and women who were not afraid to risk their lives to stand up to a regime they knew was wrong.

For those who have never known life under such a regime, it is hard to grasp the daily terror that makes an act of political graffiti a capital offence, that labels resistance “treason.”

Now, drawing on archival materials and on interviews with those few resisters who survived, Anton Gill brings their story to light.

Here are union leaders and businessmen, priests and communists, students and factory workers; above all, here are the only people who had any real chance at more than symbolic resistance: those in the Army, the Foreign Office, the Abwehr.

For these, obeying the dictates of conscience meant betraying the demands of government, and every day brought the risk of denunciation and death.

Praise for Anton Gill:



‘A sober and useful analysis of the resistance to Hitler [that] reminds us ...
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The Last Witch of Langenburg: Murder in a German Village cover
Book Review

A young mother dies in agony. Was it a natural death, murder—or witchcraft?


On the night of the festive holiday of Shrove Tuesday in 1672 Anna Fessler died after eating one of her neighbor's buttery cakes. Could it have been poisoned? Drawing on vivid court documents, eyewitness accounts, and an early autopsy report, historian Thomas Robisheaux brings the story to life. Exploring one of Europe's last witch panics, he unravels why neighbors and the court magistrates became convinced that Fessler's neighbor Anna Schmieg was a witch—one of several in the area—ensnared by the devil. Once arrested, Schmieg, the wife of the local miller, and her daughter were caught up in a high-stakes drama that led to charges of sorcery and witchcraft against the entire family. Robisheaux shows how ordinary events became diabolical ones, leading magistrates to torture and turn a daughter against her mother. In so doing he portrays an entire world caught between superstition and modernity....
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Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil: A Savannah Story cover
Book Review

Shots rang out in Savannah's grandest mansion in the misty,early morning hours of May 2, 1981.  Was it murder or self-defense?  For nearly a decade, the shooting and its aftermath reverberated throughout this hauntingly beautiful city of moss-hung oaks and shaded squares.  John Berendt's sharply observed, suspenseful, and witty narrative reads like a thoroughly engrossing novel, and yet it is a work of nonfiction.  Berendt skillfully interweaves a hugely entertaining first-person account of life in this isolated remnant of the Old South with the unpredictable twists and turns of a landmark murder case.

It is a spellbinding story peopled by a gallery of remarkable characters: the well-bred society ladies of the Married Woman's Card Club; the turbulent young redneck gigolo; the hapless recluse who owns a bottle of poison so powerful it could kill every man, woman, and child in Savannah; the aging and profane Southern belle who is the "soul of pampered self-absorption"; the uproariously funny black drag queen; the acerbic and arrogant antiques dealer; the sweet-talking, piano-playing con artist; young blacks dancing the minuet at the black debutante ball; and Minerva, ...
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The Great War at Sea: 1914 - 1918 cover
Book Review

The history of the First World War is dominated by the monumental battles of Northern France.

But the Great War was fought at sea as well as on land.

And it witnessed the greatest naval battle of all time.

In 'The Great War At Sea: 1914-1918', the historian Richard Hough tells the story of those naval battles and how they shaped the eventual outcome of the war.

It is a history as much of men as of ships; men like Sir John Jellicoe, 'Jacky' Fisher, and Winston Churchill, who together succeeded in jolting the Royal Navy out of its nineteenth-century complacency.

The narrative follows the race to war, including the construction of the Dreadnought, the biggest, fastest, most heavily gunned battleship in the world; and against the backdrop of feuds, scheming, and personality clashes at the Admiralty, examines the triumphs and tragedies of the great battles and campaigns.

Could the appalling losses have been avoided during the Dardanelles?

Was there 'something wrong with our bloody ships' as David Beatty said at Jutland?

Why was the Battle of Jutland inconclusive?

'A truly ex...
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Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil cover
Book Review

Read John Berendt's Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil in Large Print.

* All Random House Large Print editions are published in a 16-point typeface



Shots rang out in Savannah's grandest mansion in the misty,early morning hours of May 2, 1981.  Was it murder or self-defense?  For nearly a decade, the shooting and its aftermath reverberated throughout this hauntingly beautiful city of moss-hung oaks and shaded squares.  John Berendt's sharply observed, suspenseful, and witty narrative reads like a thoroughly engrossing novel, and yet it is a work of nonfiction.  Berendt skillfully interweaves a hugely entertaining first-person account of life in this isolated remnant of the Old South with the unpredictable twists and turns of a landmark murder case.



It is a spellbinding story peopled by a gallery of remarkable characters: the well-bred society ladies of the Married Woman's Card Club; the turbulent young redneck gigolo; the hapless recluse who owns a bottle of poison so powerful it could kill every man, woman, and child in Savannah; the aging and profane Southern belle who is the "soul of pampered self-absor...
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Adolfo Kaminsky: A Forger's Life cover
Book Review

Reader's Choice Award – Elle Magazine, France
Wall Street Journal's Top 10 Most Anticipated Non-Fiction: Fall Books 2016
Subject of The New York Times video "The Forger," winner of a World Press Photo Award for long-form documentary.



Best-selling author Sarah Kaminsky takes readers through her father Adolfo Kaminsky's perilous and clandestine career as a real-life forger for the French Resistance, the FLN, and numerous other freedom movements of the twentieth century. Recruited as a young Jewish teenager for his knowledge of dyes, Kaminsky became the primary forger for the French Resistance during the Nazi occupation of Paris. Then, as a professional photographer, Kaminsky spent the next twenty-five years clandestinely producing thousands of counterfeit documents for immigrants, exiles, underground political operatives, and pacifists across the globe. Kaminsky kept his past cloaked in secrecy well into his eighties, until his daughter convinced him to share the details of the life-threatening work he did on behalf of people fighting for justice and peace throughout the world.
...
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American Heritage History of Mexico cover
Book Review

"Remarkably well balanced and sound . . . "
- The New Republic

Here, from award-winning historian Henry Bamford Parkes and the editors of American Heritage, is the dramatic story of Mexico - from the Aztecs, Maya, and other ancient peoples who gave birth to a vast civilization to the Spanish Conquest, the Mexican-American War, the Mexican Revolution, and Mexico's role in World War II. Historian Parkes brings vividly to life the legendary figures Montezuma, Cortés, Santa Anna, Juárez, Maximilian, Díaz, Pancho Villa, and Zapata....
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The Galvanized Yankees cover
Book Review

The little-known true Civil War story of the Confederate soldiers who served in the Union Army by a #1 New York Times–bestselling author.
 
Historian Dee Brown uncovers an exciting episode in American history: During the Civil War, a group of Confederate soldiers opted to assist the Union Army rather than endure the grim conditions of POW camps. Regiments containing former Confederates were not trusted to go into battle against their former comrades, and instead were sent to the West as “outpost guardians,” where they performed frontier duties, including escorting supply trains, rebuilding telegraph lines, and quelling uprisings from regional American Indian tribes, which were sweeping across the Plains. This is an account of an extraordinary, though often overlooked, group of men who served in unexpected ways at a pivotal moment in the nation’s history.

From the bestselling author of Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, The Galvanized Yankees is “an accurate, interesting, and sometimes thrilling account of an unusual group of men [and] a fresh and informative study of the Old West in transition from frontier to stable society” (...
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Some of It Was Fun: Working with RFK and LBJ cover
Book Review

A lively, intimate memoir that vividly recalls the idealism of the Kennedy administration.


As deputy attorney general under Bobby Kennedy and then attorney general and under secretary of state for Lyndon Johnson, Nicholas deB. Katzenbach offers a unique perspective on the civil rights movement, Vietnam, and other issues of the day. In this engaging memoir, by turns intensely dramatic and charmingly matter-of-fact, we are treated to a ringside seat for Katzenbach's confrontation with segregationist governor George C. Wallace over the integration of the University of Alabama, his efforts to steer the Civil Rights Act of 1964 through Congress, and then his transition to the State Department, where he served at the center of the storm over Vietnam.


Some of It Was Fun provides a refreshing reminder of the hopes and struggles of an earlier era, speaking both to readers who came of age in the 1960s and to a generation of young people looking to that period for political inspiration.

Product Description

A lively, intimate memoir that vividly recalls the idealism of the Kennedy administration.


As deputy attorney general un...
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We Are Not Such Things: The Murder of a Young American, a South African Township, and the Search for Truth and Reconciliation cover
Book Review

A gripping investigation in the vein of the podcast Serial—a summer nonfiction pick by Entertainment Weekly and The Wall Street Journal

Justine van der Leun reopens the murder of a young American woman in South Africa, an iconic case that calls into question our understanding of truth and reconciliation, loyalty, justice, race, and class.

“Timely . . . gripping, explosive . . . the kind of obsessive forensic investigation—of the clues, and into the soul of society—that is the legacy of highbrow sleuths from Truman Capote to Janet Malcolm.”The New York Times Book Review

“A masterpiece of reported nonfiction . . . Justine van der Leun’s account of a South African murder is destined to be a classic.”—Newsday


The story of Amy Biehl is well known in South Africa: The twenty-six-year-old white American Fulbright scholar was brutally murdered on August 25, 1993, during the final, fiery days of apartheid by a mob of young black men in a township outside Cape Town. Her parents’ forgiveness of two of her killers became a symbol of the Truth and Reconciliation process in South Afric...
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The Best of American Heritage: Vietnam War cover
Book Review

Here, acclaimed American historians - among them, Douglas Brinkley, Stanley Karnow, Harry Summers, Victor Davis Hanson, and Max Boot - tell the dramatic story of America's war in Vietnam. It's all here - from the first American deaths in Vietnam and the controversial Gulf of Tonkin attack to the Tet offensive, and, finally, the building of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.
  • Was the Gulf of Tonkin attack real or a hoax?  In an investigation supported by American Heritage,  numerous former crew of the USS Maddox were interviewed and the ship's records examined to piece together the fateful events of that engagement. 
  • Col. Harry Summers, Jr., former editor of Vietnam Magazine, contributed a dramatic essay about the first major engagement in Vietnam, the bitter 1965 fight at Ia Drang, which was was the focus of Mel Gibson's movie "We Were Soldiers."          
  • Aviation historian Walter Boyne discusses the effectiveness of air power in Vietnam. Boyne is the former director of the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum, a retired Air Force officer, combat veteran, and author of more than fifty b...
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1968: The Year That Rocked the World cover
Book Review

In this monumental new book, award-winning author Mark Kurlansky has written his most ambitious work to date: a singular and ultimately definitive look at a pivotal moment in history.

With 1968, Mark Kurlansky brings to teeming life the cultural and political history of that world-changing year of social upheaval. People think of it as the year of sex, drugs, and rock and roll. Yet it was also the year of the Martin Luther King Jr. and Bobby Kennedy assassinations; the riots at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago; Prague Spring; the antiwar movement and the Tet Offensive; Black Power; the generation gap, avant-garde theater, the birth of the women’s movement, and the beginning of the end for the Soviet Union. From New York, Miami, Berkeley, and Chicago to Paris, Prague, Rome, Berlin, Warsaw, Tokyo, and Mexico City, spontaneous uprisings occurred simultaneously around the globe.

Everything was disrupted. In the Middle East, Yasir Arafat’s guerilla organization rose to prominence . . . both the Cannes Film Festival and the Venice Biennale were forced to shut down by protesters . . . the Kentucky Derby winner was stripped of the...
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The Greatest Knight: The Remarkable Life of William Marshal, the Power Behind Five English Thrones cover
Book Review

A renowned scholar brings to life medieval England’s most celebrated knight, William Marshal—providing an unprecedented and intimate view of this age and the legendary warrior class that shaped it.

Caught on the wrong side of an English civil war and condemned by his father to the gallows at age five, William Marshal defied all odds to become one of England’s most celebrated knights. Thomas Asbridge’s rousing narrative chronicles William’s rise, using his life as a prism to view the origins, experiences, and influence of the knight in British history.

In William’s day, the brutish realities of war and politics collided with romanticized myths about an Arthurian “golden age,” giving rise to a new chivalric ideal. Asbridge details the training rituals, weaponry, and battle tactics of knighthood, and explores the codes of chivalry and courtliness that shaped their daily lives. These skills were essential to survive one of the most turbulent periods in English history—an era of striking transformation, as the West emerged from the Dark Ages.

A leading retainer of five English kings, Marshal served the great figures of this age, from Queen Eleanor of Aquita...
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Case Closed: Lee Harvey Oswald and the Assassination of JFK cover
Book Review

Pulitzer Prize Finalist: “By far the most lucid and compelling account . . . of what probably did happen in Dallas—and what almost certainly did not.” —The New York Times Book Review

The Kennedy assassination has reverberated for five decades, with tales of secret plots, multiple killers, and government cabals often overshadowing the event itself. As Gerald Posner writes, “Fifty years after the assassination, the biggest casualty has been the truth.” In this first-ever digital edition of his classic work, updated with a special comment for the fiftieth anniversary, Posner lays to rest all of the convoluted conspiracy theories—concerning the mafia, a second shooter, and the CIA—that have obscured over the decades what really happened in Dealey Plaza on November 22, 1963.

Drawing from official sources and dozens of interviews, and filled with powerful historical detail, Case Closed is a vivid and straightforward account that stands as one of the most authoritative books on the assassination of John F. Kennedy.
 
...
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Mrs. Lincoln and Mrs. Keckly: The Remarkable Story of the Friendship Between a First Lady and a Former Slave cover
Book Review

A vibrant social history set against the backdrop of the Antebellum south and the Civil War that recreates the lives and friendship of two exceptional women: First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln and her mulatto dressmaker, Elizabeth Keckly.

“I consider you my best living friend,” Mary Lincoln wrote to Elizabeth Keckly in 1867, and indeed theirs was a close, if tumultuous, relationship. Born into slavery, mulatto Elizabeth Keckly was Mary Lincoln’s dressmaker, confidante, and mainstay during the difficult years that the Lincolns occupied the White House and the early years of Mary’s widowhood. But she was a fascinating woman in her own right, Lizzy had bought her freedom in 1855 and come to Washington determined to make a life for herself. She was independent and already well-established as the dressmaker to the Washington elite when she was first hired by Mary Lincoln upon her arrival in the nation’s capital. Mary Lincoln hired Lizzy in part because she was considered a “high society” seamstress and Mary, as an outsider in Washington’s social circles, was desperate for social cachet. With her husband struggling to keep the nation together, Mary turned increasingly ...
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Iran Awakening: A Memoir of Revolution and Hope cover
Book Review

A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK

The moving, inspiring memoir of one of the great women of our times, Shirin Ebadi, winner of the 2003 Nobel Peace Prize and advocate for the oppressed, whose spirit has remained strong in the face of political persecution and despite the challenges she has faced raising a family while pursuing her work.

Best known in this country as the lawyer working tirelessly on behalf of Canadian photojournalist, Zara Kazemi—raped, tortured and murdered in Iran—Dr. Ebadi offers us a vivid picture of the struggles of one woman against the system. The book movingly chronicles her childhood in a loving, untraditional family, her upbringing before the Revolution in 1979 that toppled the Shah, her marriage and her religious faith, as well as her life as a mother and lawyer battling an oppressive regime in the courts while bringing up her girls at home.

Outspoken, controversial, Shirin Ebadi is one of the most fascinating women today. She rose quickly to become the first female judge in the country; but when the religious authorities declared women unfit to serve as judges she was demoted to clerk in...
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The Year I Was Peter the Great: 1956―Khrushchev, Stalin’s Ghost, and a Young American in Russia cover
Book Review

A chronicle of the year that changed Soviet Russia―and molded the future path of one of America's pre-eminent diplomatic correspondents


1956 was an extraordinary year in modern Russian history. It was called “the year of the thaw”―a time when Stalin’s dark legacy of dictatorship died in February only to be reborn later that December. This historic arc from rising hope to crushing despair opened with a speech by Nikita Khrushchev, then the unpredictable leader of the Soviet Union. He astounded everyone by denouncing the one figure who, up to that time, had been hailed as a “genius,” a wizard of communism―Josef Stalin himself. Now, suddenly, this once unassailable god was being portrayed as a “madman” whose idiosyncratic rule had seriously undermined communism and endangered the Soviet state.


This amazing switch from hero to villain lifted a heavy overcoat of fear from the backs of ordinary Russians. It also quickly led to anti-communist uprisings in Eastern Europe, none more bloody and challenging than the one in Hungary, which Soviet troops crushed at year’s end.


Marvin Kalb, then a young diplomatic attaché at the U.S. Emb...
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The Good Fight: America's Ongoing Struggle for Justice cover
Book Review

From the creator of the bestselling Day in the Life series comes an extraordinary illustrated book showing how much progress has been made in America over the last 100 years against hatred, bigotry, racism, and injustice—and how much more work remains to be done. 

The Good Fight vividly depicts the human face of America's sporadically violent, often triumphant, always risky struggle to fulfill the promise of freedom and equality for all. Fought in the streets, the courthouse, and the corridors of Congress, it is a story that has become America's own morality play, illustrated here through more than 180 memorable photographs, nearly 60 embedded videos, over a dozen compelling essays plus examples of music and lyrics that rallied America's resistance to injustice. For those who wish to eradicate bigotry and intolerance in America, The Good Fight is a call to action. It shows us how much we as a nation have accomplished; it also reminds us of the fragility of our success and how quickly this hard-fought progress can slip away if we do not remain vigilant.
 
In addition, The Good Fight features a smartphone app (THE GOOD ...
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The Day of Battle: The War in Sicily and Italy, 1943-1944 cover
Book Review

In An Army at Dawn - winner of the Pulitzer Prize - Rick Atkinson provided a dramatic and authoritative history of the Allied triumph in North Africa. Now, in The Day of Battle, he follows the American and British armies as they invade Sicily in July 1943, attack Italy two months later, and then fight their way, mile by bloody mile, north toward Rome.

The Italian campaign's outcome was never certain; in fact, President Roosevelt, Prime Minister Churchill, and their military advisors bitterly debated whether an invasion of the so-called soft underbelly of Europe was even wise. But once underway, the commitment to liberate Italy from the Nazis never wavered, despite the agonizing price. The battles at Salerno, Anzio, the Rapido River, and Cassino were particularly ferocious and lethal, yet as the months passed, the Allied forces continued to drive the Germans up the Italian peninsula. Led by Lieutenant General Mark W. Clark, among the war's most complex and controversial commanders, American troops became increasingly determined and proficient. With the liberation of Rome in June 1944, ultimate victory in Europe at last began to seem inevitable.

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An Army at Dawn: The War in North Africa (1942-1943): The Liberation Trilogy, Volume 1 cover
Book Review

Pulitzer Prize, History, 2003

The liberation of Europe and the destruction of the Third Reich is a story of courage and enduring triumph, of calamity and miscalculation. In this first volume of the Liberation Trilogy, Rick Atkinson shows why no modern learner can understand the ultimate victory of the Allied powers without a grasp of the great drama that unfolded in North Africa in 1942 and 1943. That first year of the Allied war was a pivotal point in American history, the moment when the United States began to act like a great power.

Beginning with the daring amphibious invasion in November 1942, An Army at Dawn follows the American and British armies as they fight the French in Morocco and Algeria, and then take on the Germans and Italians in Tunisia. Battle by battle, an inexperienced and sometimes poorly led army gradually becomes a superb fighting force. Central to the tale are the extraordinary but fallible commanders who come to dominate the battlefield: Eisenhower, Patton, Bradley, Montgomery, and Rommel.

Brilliantly researched, rich with new material and vivid insights, Atkinson's narrative provides the definitive history of ...
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The Life of Greece: The Story of Civilization, Volume 2 cover
Book Review

The second volume of Will Durant's Pulitzer Prize - winning series The Story of Civilization. Volume 2 chronicles the history of ancient Greek civilization. Here Durant tells the whole story of Greece from the days of Crete's vast Aegean empire to the final extirpation of the last remnants of Greek liberty, crushed under the heel of an implacably forward-marching Rome. The dry minutiae of battles and sieges, of tortuous statecraft of tyrant and king, get minor emphasis in what is preeminently a vivid recreation of Greek culture, brought to the listener through the medium of supple, vigorous prose.

In this masterful work, listeners will learn about:

  • The siege of Troy
  • The great city-states of Athens and Sparta
  • The heroes of Homer's epics
  • The gods and lesser deities of Mount Olympus
  • The teachings of Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle
  • The empire of Alexander the Great

...
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Our Oriental Heritage: The Story of Civilization, Volume 1 cover
Book Review

The first volume of Will Durant's Pulitzer Prize-winning series, Our Oriental Heritage: The Story of Civilization, Volume I chronicles the early history of Egypt, the Middle East, and Asia. In this masterful work, readers will encounter:

  • Sumeria, birthplace of the first cities and written laws
  • the Egyptians, who perfected monumental architecture, medicine, and mummification more than 3,500 years ago
  • the Babylonians, who developed astronomy and physics, and planted the seeds of Western mythology
  • the Judeans, who preserved their culture forever in the immortal books of the Old Testament
  • the Persians, who ruled the largest empire in recorded history before Rome
  • Indian philosophy, Chinese philosophers, and Japanese Samurais
...
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Black Dahlia, Red Rose: The Crime, Corruption, and Cover-Up of America's Greatest Unsolved Murder cover
Book Review

With startling new evidence, this gripping reexamination of the Black Dahlia murder offers a definitive theory of a quintessential American crime.

Los Angeles, 1947. A housewife out for a walk with her baby notices a cloud of black flies buzzing ominously in Leimert Park. An "unsightly object" is identified as the mutilated body of Elizabeth Short, an aspiring starlet from Massachusetts who had been lured west by the siren call of Hollywood. Her killer would never be found, but Short’s death would bring her the fame she had always sought. Her murder investigation transformed into a real-life film noir, featuring corrupt cops, femmes fatales, gun-slinging gangsters, and hungry reporters, replete with an irresistible, legendary moniker adapted from a recent film―The Black Dahlia.

For over half a century this crime has maintained an almost mythic place in American lore as one of our most inscrutable cold cases. With the recently unredacted FBI file, newly released sections of the LAPD file, and exclusive interviews with the suspect’s family, relentless legal sleuth Piu Eatwell has gained unprecedented access to evidence and persuasivel...
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Means of Ascent: The Years of Lyndon Johnson cover
Book Review

Robert A. Caro's life of Lyndon Johnson, which began with the greatly acclaimed The Path to Power, also winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award, continues - one of the richest, most intensive, and most revealing examinations ever undertaken of an American President. In Means of Ascent, the Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer/historian, chronicler also of Robert Moses in The Power Broker, carries Johnson through his service in World War II and the foundation of his long-concealed fortune and the facts behind the myths he created about it. But the explosive heart of the book is Caro's revelation of the true story of the fiercely contested 1948 senatorial election, for 40 years shrouded in rumor, which Johnson had to win or face certain political death, and which he did win -- by "the 87 votes that changed history."

Caro makes us witness to a momentous turning point in American politics: the tragic last stand of the old politics versus the new - the politics of issue versus the politics of image, mass manipulation, money and electronic dazzle.

...
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Lenin's Brother: The Origins of the October Revolution cover
Book Review

The gripping untold story of a terrorist leader whose death would catapult his brother—Lenin—to revolution.


In 1886, Alexander Ulyanov, a brilliant biology student, joined a small group of students at St. Petersburg University to plot the assassination of Russia’s tsar. Known as “Second First March” for the date of their action, this group failed disastrously in their mission, and its leaders, Alexander included, were executed. History has largely forgotten Alexander, but for the most important consequence of his execution: his younger brother, Vladimir, went on to lead the October Revolution of 1917 and head the new Soviet government under his revolutionary pseudonym “Lenin.”



Probing the Ulyanov family archives, historian Philip Pomper uncovers Alexander’s transformation from ascetic student to terrorist, and the impact his fate had on Lenin. Vividly portraying the psychological dynamics of a family that would change history, Lenin’s Brother is a perspective-changing glimpse into Lenin’s formative years—and his subsequent behavior as a revolutionary.

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The gripping untold story of a terrorist leader w...
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The Path to Power: The Years of Lyndon Johnson cover
Book Review

This is the story of the rise to national power of a desperately poor young man from the Texas Hill Country. The Path to Power reveals in extraordinary detail the genesis of the almost superhuman drive, energy, and ambition that set LBJ apart. It follows him from the Hill Country to New Deal Washington, from his boyhood through the years of the Depression to his debut as Congressman, his heartbreaking defeat in his first race for the Senate, and his attainment, nonetheless, at age 31, of the national power for which he hungered.

In this book, we are brought as close as we have ever been to a true perception of political genius and the American political process. Means of Ascent, Book Two of The Years of Lyndon Johnson, was a number-one national best seller and, like The Path to Power, received the National Book Critics Circle Award.

...
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The Civil War: A Narrative, Vol. 2: Fredericksburg to Meridian cover
Book Review

The Civil War: A Narrative, Vol. 2 continues one of the most remarkable works of history ever fashioned. Focusing on the pivotal year of 1863, the second volume in Shelby Foote's masterful narrative history brings to life some of the most dramatic and important moments in the Civil War, including the Battle of Gettysburg and Grant's Vicksburg Campaign.

The word narrative is the key to this book's extraordinary incandescence and truth: The story is told entirely from the point of view of the people involved. One learns not only what was happening on all fronts but also how the author discovered it during his years of exhaustive research.

This is a must-listen for anyone interested in one of the bloodiest wars in America's history.

...
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A Long Way from Home: Growing Up in the American Heartland cover
Book Review

Reflections on America and the American experience as he has lived and observed it by the bestselling author of The Greatest Generation, whose iconic career in journalism has spanned more than fifty years

From his parents’ life in the Thirties, on to his boyhood along the Missouri River and on the prairies of South Dakota in the Forties, into his early journalism career in the Fifties and the tumultuous Sixties, up to the present, this personal story is a reflection on America in our time. Tom Brokaw writes about growing up and coming of age in the heartland, and of the family, the people, the culture and the values that shaped him then and still do today.

His father, Red Brokaw, a genius with machines, followed the instincts of Tom’s mother Jean, and took the risk of moving his small family from an Army base to Pickstown, South Dakota, where Red got a job as a heavy equipment operator in the Army Corps of Engineers’ project building the Ft. Randall dam along the Missouri River. Tom Brokaw describes how this move became the pivotal decision in their lives, as the Brokaw family, along with others after World War II, ...
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Courage Is Contagious: And Other Reasons to Be Grateful for Michelle Obama cover
Book Review

A collection of essays celebrating the influential former first lady, by an array of acclaimed contributors and with a foreword by Lena Dunham

Michelle Obama’s legacy transcends categorization. Mrs. Obama was not only our first black first lady; she was President Obama’s equal partner in marriage and parenthood and a tireless advocate for women’s rights, education, healthy eating, and exercise. Her genre-busting personal style encouraged others to speak, to engage, even to dress as they wished. In an extension of his popular T, The New York Times Style Magazine feature, Nick Haramis has assembled nineteen essays from prizewinning writers, Hollywood stars, and political leaders—all of whom have been moved and influenced by Mrs. Obama’s extraordinary example of grace in power.

Here are original testimonials from Gloria Steinem, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Alice Waters, and Charlamagne tha God, among others. Presidential biographer Jon Meacham supplies historical perspective. Actress Tracee Ellis Ross suggests that Mrs. Obama “provided an antidote to all the false representations of black women that have inundated us for centuri...
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A Death in White Bear Lake: The True Chronicle of an All-American Town cover
Book Review

A mother’s search for the son she gave up uncovers terrifying secrets in a Minnesota town in this “masterfully depicted true-crime tale” (Publishers Weekly).

In 1962, Jerry Sherwood gave up her newborn son, Dennis, for adoption. Twenty years later, she set out to find him—only to discover he had died before his fourth birthday. The immediate cause was peritonitis, but the coroner had never decided the mode of death, writing “deferred” rather than indicate accident, natural causes, or homicide. This he did even though the autopsy photos showed Dennis covered from head to toe in ugly bruises, his clenched fists and twisted facial expression suggesting he had died writhing in pain.
 
Harold and Lois Jurgens, a middle-class, churchgoing couple in picturesque White Bear Lake, Minnesota, had adopted Dennis and five other foster children. To all appearances, they were a normal midwestern family, but Jerry suspected that something sinister had happened in the Jurgens household. She demanded to know the truth about her son’s death.
 
Why did authorities dismiss evidence that marked Dennis as an endangered child? Could Lois Jurg...
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Eyewitness to World War II: Guadalcanal Diary, Invasion Diary, and John F. Kennedy and PT-109 cover
Book Review

Three classic accounts of WWII from a reporter who “shaped America’s understanding of the war, and influenced every account that came after” (Mark Bowden).

Volunteer combat correspondent Richard Tregaskis risked life and limb to give American readers a soldier’s–eye view of the Second World War. These three tales of bravery and sacrifice shed light on the Greatest Generation’s darkest hours.
 
Guadalcanal Diary: In August 1942, Tregaskis landed with the US Marines on Tulagi and Guadalcanal Islands in the South Pacific for the first major Allied offensive against Japanese forces. He details the first two months of the campaign and describes the courage and camaraderie of young marines who prepared for battle knowing that one in four of them wouldn’t make it home. An instant #1 New York Times bestseller and the basis for a popular film of the same name, Guadalcanal Diary is a masterpiece of war journalism that “captures the spirit of men in battle” (John Toland).
 
Invasion Diary: In July 1943, Tregaskis joined the Allied forces in Sicily and Italy and documented some of the fiercest fighting of the wa...
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Book Review

Marco Polo's thirteenth-century journey from Italy to Asia marked a turning point for Western civilization. He returned with stories of exotic people, tremendous riches, and the most powerful ruler in the world – Kublai Khan. The explorer told of inventions ranging from gunpowder to paper money. The intellectual ferment and cultural diversity he described helped move Europe out of the Dark Ages and into the Renaissance. In his lifetime, people scoffed at his stories. But as this book explains, he changed the world....
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The First Major: The Inside Story of the 2016 Ryder Cup cover
Book Review

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of A Good Walk Spoiled, a dramatic chronicle of the bitterly-fought 2016 Ryder Cup pitting a U.S. team out for revenge against the Europeans determined to keep the Cup out of American hands.

Coming into 2016, the Americans had lost an astounding six out of the last seven Ryder Cup matches, and tensions were running high for the showdown that took place in October, 2016 in Hazeltine, Minnesota, just days after American legend Arnold Palmer had died. What resulted was one of the most raucous and heated three days in the Cup's long history. Award-winning author John Feinstein takes readers behind the scenes, providing an inside view of the dramatic stories as they unfolded: veteran Phil Mickelson's two-year roller-coaster as he upended the American preparation process and helped assemble a superb team; superstar Rory McIlroy becoming the clear-cut emotional leader of the European team, and his reasons for wanting to beat the US team so badly this time around; the raucous matches between McIlroy and American Patrick Reed - resulting in both incredible golf, and several moments that threatened to come to ...
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Prague Winter: A Personal Story of Remembrance and War, 1937-1948 cover
Book Review

Drawing on her own memory, her parents’ written reflections, interviews with contemporaries, and newly-available documents, former US Secretary of State and New York Times bestselling author Madeleine Albright recounts a tale that is by turns harrowing and inspiring.

Before she turned twelve, Madeleine Albright’s life was shaken by some of the most cataclysmic events of the 20th century: the Nazi invasion of her native Prague, the Battle of Britain, the attempted genocide of European Jewry, the allied victory in World War II, the rise of communism, and the onset of the Cold War. 

In Prague Winter, Albright reflects on her discovery of her family’s Jewish heritage many decades after the war, on her Czech homeland’s tangled history, and on the stark moral choices faced by her parents and their generation. Often relying on eyewitness descriptions, she tells the story of how millions of ordinary citizens were ripped from familiar surroundings and forced into new roles as exile leaders and freedom fighters, resistance organizers and collaborators, victims and killers. These events of enormous complexity are shaped by...
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Full Body Burden: Growing Up in the Nuclear Shadow of Rocky Flats cover
Book Review

Both a memoir and a brilliant work of investigative journalism, Full Body Burden is a detailed, shocking account of the government's sustained attempt to conceal the effects of the toxic and radioactive waste released by Rocky Flats, and of local residents' vain search for justice. 

Kristen Iversen grew up in a small Colorado town close to Rocky Flats, a secret nuclear weapons plant once designated "the most contaminated site in America." Full Body Burden is the story of a childhood and adolescence in the shadow of the Cold War, in a landscape at once startlingly beautiful and--unknown to those who lived there--tainted with invisible yet deadly particles of plutonium. It's also a book about the destructive power of secrets--both family and government. Her father's hidden liquor bottles, the strange cancers in children in the neighborhood, the truth about what was made at Rocky Flats--best not to inquire too deeply into any of it. But as Iversen grew older, she began to ask questions and discovered some disturbing realities.

Based on extensive interviews, FBI and EPA documents, and class-action testimony, this taut, beautifully w...
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Barking to the Choir: The Power of Radical Kinship cover
Book Review

In a moving example of unconditional love in dif­ficult times, the Jesuit priest and bestselling author of Tattoos on the Heart, Gregory Boyle, shares what three decades of working with gang members in Los Angeles has taught him about faith, compassion, and the enduring power of kinship.

In his first book, Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion, Gregory Boyle introduced us to Homeboy Industries, the largest gang-intervention program in the world. Critics hailed that book as an “astounding literary and spiritual feat” (Publishers Weekly) that is “destined to become a classic of both urban reportage and contemporary spirituality” (Los Angeles Times). Now, after the suc­cessful expansion of Homeboy Industries, Boyle returns with Barking to the Choir to reveal how com­passion is transforming the lives of gang members.

In a nation deeply divided and plagued by poverty and violence, Barking to the Choir offers a snapshot into the challenges and joys of life on the margins. Sergio, arrested at nine, in a gang by twelve, and serving time shortly thereafter, now works with the substance-abuse t...
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The Georgian Star: How William and Caroline Herschel Revolutionized Our Understanding of the Cosmos (Great Discoveries) cover
Book Review

"The compelling story of the eighteenth-century English siblings William and Caroline Herschel, who, wielding the largest telescopes of their day, transformed astronomy into a modern science." —Neil deGrasse Tyson


In 1781, William Herschel won international fame for discovering Uranus, the seventh planet from the sun. In documenting a new planet—something no one had done since the dawn of civilization—he expanded our perception that we are part of something much greater than the immediately visible solar system. But Herschel was just getting started. Guiding readers through the depths of the solar system and into his subjects’ private lives, Michael D. Lemonick uncovers the groundbreaking astronomical accomplishments of Herschel’s fruitful partnership with his sister, Caroline, including the first comprehensive map of the night sky.

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"The compelling story of the eighteenth-century English siblings William and Caroline Herschel, who, wielding the largest telescopes of their day, transformed astronomy into a modern science." —Neil deGrasse Tyson


In 1781, William Herschel won international fame for discovering Uranus, ...
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Forty Ways to Look at Winston Churchill: A Brief Account of a Long Life cover
Book Review

Warrior and writer, genius and crank, rider in the British cavalry’s last great charge and inventor of the tank—Winston Churchill led Britain to fight alone against Nazi Germany in the fateful year of 1940 and set the standard for leading a democracy at war.

Like no other portrait of its famous subject, Forty Ways to Look at Winston Churchill is a dazzling display of facts more improbable than fiction, and an investigation of the contradictions and complexities that haunt biography. Gretchen Craft Rubin gives readers, in a single volume, the kind of rounded view usually gained only by reading dozens of conventional biographies.

With penetrating insight and vivid anecdotes, Rubin makes Churchill accessible and meaningful to twenty-first-century readers with forty contrasting views of the man: he was an alcoholic, he was not; he was an anachronism, he was a visionary; he was a racist, he was a humanitarian; he was the most quotable man in the history of the English language, he was a bore.

In crisp, energetic language, Rubin creates a new form for presenting a great figure of history—and brings to full realization the depiction of a ma...
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The Long Road Home: A Story of War and Family cover
Book Review

NOW A NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MINISERIES EVENT

ABC News’ Chief Global Affairs Correspondent Martha Raddatz shares remarkable tales of heroism, hope, and heartbreak in her account of “Black Sunday”—a battle during one of the deadliest periods of the Iraq War.


The First Cavalry Division came under surprise attack in Sadr City on Sunday April 4, 2004. Over 7,000 miles away, their families awaited the news for forty-eight hellish hours—expecting the worst. In this powerful, unflinching account, Martha Raddatz takes readers from the streets of Baghdad to the home front and tells the story of that horrific day through the eyes of the courageous American men and women who lived it.

“A masterpiece of literary nonfiction that rivals any war-related classic that has preceded it.”—The Washington Post...
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The Reagan Diaries cover
Book Review

During his two terms as the 40th President of the United States, Ronald Reagan kept a daily diary in which he recorded, by hand, his innermost thoughts and observations on the extraordinary, the historic, and the routine day-to-day occurrences of his presidency. Now, nearly two decades after he left office, this remarkable record—the only daily Presidential diary in American history—is available for the first time.

Edited by historian Douglas Brinkley, The Reagan Diaries provides a striking insight into one of this nation’s most important presidencies and sheds new light on the character of a true American leader. Whether he was in his White House residence study or aboard Air Force One, each night Reagan wrote about the events of his day, which often included his relationships with other world leaders and the unforgettable moments that defined the era. 

Seldom before has the American public been given access to the unfiltered experiences and opinions of a President in his own words. To read these diaries—filled with Reagan’s trademark wit, sharp intelligence, and humor—is to gain a unique understanding of one of the most beloved occupants of the Ova...
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The Art of War: The Strategy of Sun Tzu cover
Book Review

The timeless original text; required listening for anyone interested in strategy. This is a work of subtlety and paradox that shows the way to a clean and aesthetic triumph. Sun Tzu insisted that a skilled warrior observes, calculates, outwits, and outmaneuvers an adversary, and in doing so averts the destruction of battle.

...
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Fifty Years of 60 Minutes: The Inside Story of Television’s Most Influential News Broadcast cover
Book Review

The ultimate inside story of 60 Minutes, the program that has tracked and shaped the biggest moments in post-war American history.

From its almost accidental birth in 1968, 60 Minutes has set the standard for broadcast journalism, joining us in our living rooms each Sunday night to surprise us about the world. The show has profiled every major leader, artist, and movement of the past five decades, perfecting the news-making interview and inventing the groundbreaking TV expose. From legendary sit-downs with Richard Nixon in 1968 (in which he promised “to restore respect to the presidency”) and Bill Clinton in 1992 (after the first revelations of infidelity) to landmark investigations into the tobacco industry, Lance Armstrong’s doping, and the torture of prisoners in Abu-Ghraib, the broadcast has not just reported on our world but changed it too.

Now, Executive Producer Jeff Fager pulls back the curtain on how this remarkable journalism is done, taking the reader into the editing room with the show’s brilliant producers and beloved correspondents, including hard-charging Mike Wallace, writer’s-writer Morley Safer, soft-but-tough Ed Bradley, rele...
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Russia: A History cover
Book Review

The history of Russia is an epic of unending struggle.

Here, from award-winning historian Ian Grey, is its dramatic story - from the establishment of the first ruling dynasty by a Viking prince to the invasions of Attila the Hun and Genghis Khan to the rise of the tsars, whose domination of their country stretched nearly four centuries until the violent overthrow of Nicholas II in 1918....
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Rather Die Fighting: A Memoir of World War II cover
Book Review

Frank Blaichman was sixteen years old when the war broke out. In 1942, the killings began in Poland. With his family and friends decimated by the roundups, Blaichman decided that he would rather die fighting; he set off for the forest to find the underground bunkers of Jews who had already escaped. Together they formed a partisan force dedicated to fighting the Germans. This is a harrowing, utterly moving memoir of a young Polish Jew who chose not to go quietly and defied the mighty German war machine during World War II.
...
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Little Heathens: Hard Times and High Spirits on an Iowa Farm During the Great Depression cover
Book Review

I tell of a time, a place, and a way of life long gone. For many years I have had the urge to describe that treasure trove, lest it vanish forever. So, partly in response to the basic human instinct to share feelings and experiences, and partly for the sheer joy and excitement of it all, I report on my early life. It was quite a romp.

So begins Mildred Kalish’s story of growing up on her grandparents’ Iowa farm during the depths of the Great Depression. With her father banished from the household for mysterious transgressions, five-year-old Mildred and her family could easily have been overwhelmed by the challenge of simply trying to survive. This, however, is not a tale of suffering.

Kalish counts herself among the lucky of that era. She had caring grandparents who possessed—and valiantly tried to impose—all the pioneer virtues of their forebears, teachers who inspired and befriended her, and a barnyard full of animals ready to be tamed and loved. She and her siblings and their cousins from the farm across the way played as hard as they worked, running barefoot through the fields, as free and wild as they dared.

Filled with recipes ...
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The Hidden History of the Korean War: 1950–1951 (Forbidden Bookshelf) cover
Book Review

“A great journalist” raises troubling questions about the forgotten war in this courageous, controversial book—with a new introduction by Bruce Cumings (The Baltimore Sun).

“Much about the Korean War is still hidden, and much will long remain hidden. I believe I have succeeded in throwing new light on its origins.” —From the author’s preface

In 1945 US troops arrived in Korea for what would become America’s longest-lasting conflict. While history books claim without equivocation that the war lasted from 1950 to 1953, those who have actually served there know better. By closely analyzing US intelligence before June 25, 1950 (the war’s official start), and the actions of key players like John Foster Dulles, General Douglas MacArthur, and Chiang Kai-shek, the great investigative reporter I. F. Stone demolishes the official story of America’s “forgotten war” by shedding new light on the tangled sequence of events that led to it. 

The Hidden History of the Korean War was first published in 1952—during the Korean War—and then republished during the Vietnam War. In the 1990s, documents from the former Soviet archives be...
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A Train in Winter: An Extraordinary Story of Women, Friendship, and Resistance in Occupied France (The Resistance Trilogy Book 1) cover
Book Review

In January 1943, 230 women of the French Resistance were sent to the death camps by the Nazis who had invaded and occupied their country. This is their story, told in full for the first time—a searing and unforgettable chronicle of terror, courage, defiance, survival, and the power of friendship. Caroline Moorehead, a distinguished biographer, human rights journalist, and the author of Dancing to the Precipice and Human Cargo, brings to life an extraordinary story that readers of Mitchell Zuckoff’s Lost in Shangri-La, Erik Larson’s In the Garden of Beasts, and Laura Hillenbrand’s Unbroken will find an essential addition to our retelling of the history of World War II—a riveting, rediscovered story of courageous women who sacrificed everything to combat the march of evil across the world.

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In January 1943, 230 women of the French Resistance were sent to the death camps by the Nazis who had invaded and occupied their country. This is their story, told in full for the first time—a searing and unforgettable chronicle of terror, courage, defiance, survival, and the power of friendship. Caroline Moo...
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Verdict on Vichy: Power and Prejudice in the Vichy France Regime cover
Book Review

This masterful book is the first comprehensive reappraisal of the Vichy France regime for over 20 years. France was occupied by Nazi Germany between 1940 and 1944, and the exact nature of France's role in the Vichy years is only now beginning to come to light. One of the main reasons that the Vichy history is difficult to tell is that some of France's most prominent politicians, including President Mitterand, have been implicated in the regime. This has meant that public access to key documents has been denied and it is only now that an objective analysis is possible. The fate of France as an occupied country could easily have been shared by Britain, and it is this background element, which enhances our fascination with Vichy France. How would we have acted under similar circumstances? The divisions and repercussions of the Vichy years still resonate in France today, and whether you view the regime as a fascist dictatorship, an authoritarian offshoot of the Third Reich or an embodiment of heightened French nationalism, Curtis's rounded, incisive book will be seen as the standard work on its subject for many years.

Skyhorse Publishing, as well as our Arcade impr...
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Book Review

After the devastating attack on Pearl Harbour, the Americans suffered setback after setback in the Pacific.

In May 1942, the Japanese were poised to take Port Moresby in New Guinea.

At all costs the Americans had to stop them.

Admiral Frank Fletcher was dispatched with two aircraft carriers - Yorktown and Lexington - with orders to destroy the Japanese invasion force.

The fate of the Pacific was in the balance.

'Coral Sea 1942' tells the dramatic story of that conflict.

The battle spread over five days as each side desperately searched for the other. At first, all Fletcher could find were side shows. He smashed a secondary invasion at Tulagi. He sank the light carrier Shōhō protecting the invasion fleet. But only on the fifth day did he find his real prey: the carriers Shōkaku and Zuikaku. The Zuikaku fled to hide under thick cloud, while the Shōkaku was pounded by American bombers and torpedo planes. Crippled, she too fled.

Meanwhile the Japanese carrier planes mounted attack after attack on the Yorktown and Lexington. The latter was mortally damaged by volcanic-sized explosions in her fuel t...
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Dish: The Inside Story On The World Of Gossip Became the News and How the News Became Just Another Show cover
Book Review

From Jeannette Walls, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Glass Castle, now a major motion picture, comes an incisive study of our obsession with gossip.

"A fascinating, dishy story." -Booklist

Gossip. It's more than just hearsay, society columns, and supermarket tabloids. It has, like it or not, become a mainstay of American pop culture. In Dish, industry insider Jeannette Walls gives this provocative subject its due, offering a comprehensive, serious exploration of gossip and its social, historical, and political significance. Examining the topic from the inside out, Walls looks at the players; the origins of gossip, from birth of People magazine to the death of Lady Di; and how technology including the Internet will continue to change the face gossip. As compelling and seductive as its subject matter, Dish brilliantly reveals the fascinating inner workings of a phenomenon that is definitely here to stay.

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Friends Divided: John Adams and Thomas Jefferson cover
Book Review

From the great historian of the American Revolution, New York Times-bestselling and Pulitzer-winning Gordon Wood, comes a majestic dual biography of two of America's most enduringly fascinating figures, whose partnership helped birth a nation, and whose subsequent falling out did much to fix its course.

Thomas Jefferson and John Adams could scarcely have come from more different worlds, or been more different in temperament. Jefferson, the optimist with enough faith in the innate goodness of his fellow man to be democracy's champion, was an aristocratic Southern slaveowner, while Adams, the overachiever from New England's rising middling classes, painfully aware he was no aristocrat, was a skeptic about popular rule and a defender of a more elitist view of government. They worked closely in the crucible of revolution, crafting the Declaration of Independence and leading, with Franklin, the diplomatic effort that brought France into the fight. But ultimately, their profound differences would lead to a fundamental crisis, in their friendship and in the nation writ large, as they became the figureheads of two entirely new forces, the first American politi...
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Murder in Little Egypt: The True Story of a Father's Ultimate Betrayal cover
Book Review

The true story of a real life Jekyll and Hyde: John Dale Cavaness was a much-admired Illinois doctor—and the cold-blooded killer of his own son.

The unimaginable crime of filicide takes on the cast of tragic inevitability in this haunting true tale of violence, greed, revenge, and death. Fusing the narrative power of an award-winning novelist and the detailed research of an experienced investigator, author Darcy O’Brien unfolds the story of Dr. John Dale Cavaness, the southern Illinois physician and surgeon charged with the murder of his son Sean in December 1984. Outraged by the arrest of the skilled medical practitioner who selflessly attended to their needs, the people of Little Egypt, as the natives call their region, rose to his defense.

In the subsequent trial, however, a radically different, disquieting portrait of Dr. Cavaness would emerge. Throughout the three decades that he enjoyed the admiration and respect of his community, Cavaness was privately terrorizing his family, abusing his employees, and making disastrous financial investments as well as carousing, brawling, and womanizing. What was not revealed in the trial, howeve...
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The Pilgrims cover

The Pilgrims html

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Book Review

Cast from their home country by religious intolerance, the Pilgrims' harrowing voyage to the New World was filled with hardships. But through it all they persisted, motivated by the promise of a better life in which they could gather and worship God in their own ways. A collection of ragtag ships carried them across the ocean, among them The Mayflower. Crammed into the ship's hull, 102 people made this most famous pilgrimage. Besieged by illness and Indians and, many of them believed, witches, the Pilgrims eventually flourished, building up colonies and establishing their own rules for the practice of religion. Here is their dramatic story....
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The Intimate Life of Alexander Hamilton cover
Book Review

The life of Alexander Hamilton is certainly one of great complexity and controversy and, as a result, has been of great interest to the general public for centuries. In the past two hundred years, there have been many accounts of Hamilton’s life—mostly commenting on his political personality rather than his character, but none have touched upon the private life of the man quite like The Intimate Life of Alexander Hamilton.

Drawn chiefly from collected original family letters and documents, some never published before this book’s initial publication in 1910, Hamilton’s grandson Allan McLane Hamilton presents a portrait of one of America’s chief founding fathers unlike any other, recounting the life of his grandfather with an unmatchable insider’s eye. The author intimately discusses his grandfather’s private affairs in great detail, dispelling many rumors about Hamilton’s personal life. The book presents an astounding portrait of the man and his character, revealing a softness and charisma unknown to the public at the time of its publication. From primary sources so close to Hamilton they could very well be called heirlooms, Hamilton’s private life and pe...
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Behind Japanese Lines: With the OSS in Burma cover
Book Review


In early 1942, with World War II going badly, President Roosevelt turned to General William “Wild Bill” Donovan, now known historically as the “Father of Central Intelligence,” with orders to form a special unit whose primary mission was to prepare for the eventual reopening of the Burma Road linking Burma and China by performing guerilla operations behind the Japanese lines. Thus was born OSS Detachment 101, the first clandestine special force formed by Donovan and one that would play a highly dangerous but vital role in the reconquest of Burma by the Allies.
Behind Japanese Lines, originally published in 1979, is the exciting story of the men of Detachment 101, who, with their loyal native allies—the Kachin headhunters—fought a guerilla war for almost three years. It was a war not only against a tough and unyielding enemy, but against the jungle itself, one of the most difficult and dangerous patches of terrain in the world. Exposed to blistering heat and threatened by loathsome tropical diseases, the Western-raised OSS men also found themselves beset by unfriendly tribesmen and surrounded by the jungle’s unique perils—giant leeches, cobras, and rogue ...
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Sticky Fingers: The Life and Times of Jann Wenner and Rolling Stone Magazine cover
Book Review

A delicious romp through the heyday of rock and roll and a revealing portrait of the man at the helm of the iconic magazine that made it all possible, with candid look backs at the era from Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Elton John, Bono, Bruce Springsteen, Paul McCartney, and others.
 
The story of Jann Wenner, Rolling Stone's founder, editor, and publisher, and the pioneering era he helped curate, is told here for the first time in glittering, glorious detail. Joe Hagan provides readers with a backstage pass to storied concert venues and rock-star hotel rooms; he tells never before heard stories about the lives of rock stars and their handlers; he details the daring journalism (Tom Wolfe, Hunter S. Thompson, P.J. O’Rourke) and internecine office politics that accompanied the start-up; he animates the drug and sexual appetites of the era; and he reports on the politics of the last fifty years that were often chronicled in the pages of Rolling Stone magazine.
 
Supplemented by a cache of extraordinary documents and letters from Wenner's personal archives, Sticky Fingers depicts an ambitious, mercurial, wide-eyed rock and roll fan ...
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Horse Soldiers: The Extraordinary Story of a Band of US Soldiers Who Rode to Victory in Afghanistan cover
Book Review

The inspiration for the major motion picture 12 Strong from Jerry Bruckheimer, starring Chris Hemsworth and Michael Shannon.

From the New York Times bestselling author of In Harm’s Way comes a true-life story of American soldiers overcoming great odds to achieve a stunning military victory.

Horse Soldiers is the dramatic account of a small band of Special Forces soldiers who secretly entered Afghanistan following 9/11 and rode to war on horses against the Taliban. Outnumbered forty to one, they pursued the enemy army across the mountainous Afghanistan terrain and, after a series of intense battles, captured the city of Mazar-i-Sharif, which was strategically essential to defeat their opponent throughout the country.

The bone-weary American soldiers were welcomed as liberators as they rode into the city, and the streets thronged with Afghans overjoyed that the Taliban regime had been overthrown.

Then the action took a wholly unexpected turn. During a surrender of six hundred Taliban troops, the Horse Soldiers were ambushed by the would-be POWs. Dangerously overpowered, they fought for their lives in the city’...
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The Death of the Banker: The Decline and Fall of the Great Financial Dynasties and the Triumph of the Small Investor cover
Book Review

With the same breadth of vision and narrative élan he brought to his monumental biographies of the great financiers, Ron Chernow examines the forces that made dynasties like the Morgans, the Warburgs, and the Rothschilds the financial arbiters of the early 20th century and then rendered them virtually obsolete by the century's end. As he traces the shifting balance of power among investors, borrowers, and bankers, Chernow evokes both the grand theater of capital and the personal dramas of its most fascinating protagonists. Here is Siegmund Warburg, who dropped a client in the heat of a takeover deal because the man wore monogrammed shirt cuffs, as well as the imperious J. P. Morgan, who, when faced with a federal antitrust suit, admonished Theodore Roosevelt to "send your man to my man and they can fix it up". And here are the men who usurped their power, from the go-getters of the 1920s to the masters of the universe of the 1980s. Glittering with perception and anecdote, The Death of the Banker is at once a panorama of 20th-century finance and a guide to the new era of giant mutual funds on Wall Street.

...
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Unholy Trinity: The Vatican’s Nazis, Soviet Intelligence and the Swiss Banks cover
Book Review

REVISED AND UPDATED EBOOK EDITION (AUG 2017)

"Meticulously researched, carefully documented, soberly reasoned"
-- Morris West

A classic international spy story from true life, this riveting, completely revised and updated edition of Unholy Trinity recounts one of the darkest tales of World War II. Written by the co-authors of The Secret War Against the Jews, it details the Vatican’s espionage alliance with British, French, and American intelligence. Abandoning justice to Cold War amorality, thousands of Nazi war criminals were sent down the Pope’s Ratlines to new homes in America, Canada, Britain, Australia, Argentina and other South America nations, so they could be used in the supposedly greater cause of fighting Communism.

Soviet intelligence, however, was one step ahead. The Vatican’s Nazi-smuggling network had been penetrated by Prince Anton Turkul, one of Moscow’s most effective double agents, who turned the operations into a sting for his masters in the Kremlin. Many communist double agents were also smuggled down the Ratlines, spreading the Kremlin’s poison throughout Western intelligence during the Cold War.

Unholy ...
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Alexander the Great cover
Book Review

Alexander the Great has fascinated people for centuries - and still does. Here, from award-winning historian and journalist Charles Mercer, is the story of the military genius who became a king at twenty told with all the color and drama characteristic of Alexander's time....
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Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy: Four Women Undercover in the Civil War cover
Book Review

Karen Abbott, the New York Times bestselling author of Sin in the Second City and “pioneer of sizzle history” (USA Today), tells the spellbinding true story of four women who risked everything to become spies during the Civil War.

Karen Abbott illuminates one of the most fascinating yet little known aspects of the Civil War: the stories of four courageous women—a socialite, a farmgirl, an abolitionist, and a widow—who were spies.

After shooting a Union soldier in her front hall with a pocket pistol, Belle Boyd became a courier and spy for the Confederate army, using her charms to seduce men on both sides. Emma Edmonds cut off her hair and assumed the identity of a man to enlist as a Union private, witnessing the bloodiest battles of the Civil War. The beautiful widow, Rose O’Neale Greenhow, engaged in affairs with powerful Northern politicians to gather intelligence for the Confederacy, and used her young daughter to send information to Southern generals. Elizabeth Van Lew, a wealthy Richmond abolitionist, hid behind her proper Southern manners as she orchestrated a far-reaching espionage ring, right under the noses of suspicious r...
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Sink 'Em All: Submarine Warfare in the Pacific cover
Book Review

‘This is a book of substantial importance. Here is an account of U.S. Navy submarine operations in the Pacific by the flag officer responsible for their direction throughout the war. It is that sort of book-written by a prime authority who holds strong opinions and is not afraid to air them; whose treatment is always suggestive and strikes sparks in every chapter.’ – The Naval Review

Sink ’Em All, was originally published in 1951 by Vice Admiral Charles A. Lockwood, the U.S. Navy commander of the Pacific submarine fleet during World War II.

Lockwood, in his leadership role, knew the skippers and crews of the submarines, and retells their wartime successes and tragedies with an intimacy and realism often missing in second-hand accounts.

Lockwood also recounts his efforts to improve the provisions and after-patrol accomodations of the submariners, and of his on-going struggle to improve the effectiveness of torpedoes and other tools vital to the war effort.

'It is a balanced and surprisingly objective account adequately supported by statistics and containing some interesting conclusions.' The Naval Re...
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Tenements, Towers & Trash: An Unconventional Illustrated History of New York City cover
Book Review

Here is New York, as you've never seen it before. A perfectly charming, sidesplittingly funny, intellectually entertaining illustrated history of the blocks, the buildings, and the guts of New York City, based on Julia Wertz's popular illustrated columns in The New Yorker and Harper's.

In Tenements, Towers & Trash, Julia Wertz takes us behind the New York that you think you know. Not the tourist's New York-the Statue of Liberty makes a brief appearance and the Empire State Building not at all-but the guts, the underbelly, of this city that never sleeps. With drawings and comics in her signature style, Wertz regales us with streetscapes "Then and Now" and little-known tales, such as the lost history of Kim's Video, the complicated and unresolved business of Ray's Pizza, the vintage trash and horse bones that litter the shore of Brooklyn's Bottle Beach, the ludicrous pinball prohibition, Staten Island's secret abandoned boatyard, and the hair-raising legend of the infamous abortionist of Fifth Avenue, Madame Restell. From bars, bakeries, and bookstores to food carts, street cleaners, and apartments both cramped and grand,...
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Angels of the Appalachians cover
Book Review

Angels of the Appalachians is a fresh and endearing tale, filled with folksy phrases and amusing adages of the South. It's the story of two women who meet in 1980, gray-haired Erma telling her life story to Annie, a young college student living in Charleston, West Virginia. The tale she tells is also of two women, and their adventures beginning in the coalfields of Red Ash, growing up near Thurmond, and eventually finding their way to Charleston in 1915.

Strong mountain women, historical places, faith, and grief are themes explored in this account of a friendship that spans across decades.

You will find yourself wishing to call on the fine folks of the Appalachian Mountains, relax for a spell, and stumble upon the angels who made West Virginia so gloriously wild and wonderful.

...
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Outlaw Platoon: Heroes, Renegades, Infidels, and the Brotherhood of War in Afghanistan cover
Book Review

A riveting story of American fighting men, Outlaw Platoon is Lieutenant Sean Parnell’s stunning personal account of the legendary U.S. Army’s 10th Mountain Division’s heroic stand in the mountains of Afghanistan.

Acclaimed for its vivid, poignant, and honest recreation of sixteen brutal months of nearly continuous battle in the deadly Hindu Kesh, Outlaw Platoon is a Band of Brothers or We Were Soldiers Once and Young for the early 21st century—an action-packed, highly emotional true story of enormous sacrifice and bravery.

A magnificent account of heroes, renegades, infidels, and brothers, it stands with Sebastian Junger’s War as one of the most important books to yet emerge from the heat, smoke, and fire of America’s War in Afghanistan.

Amazon.com Review

Best-Selling Author Brad Thor Reviews Outlaw Platoon

How close can we get to really knowing what it's like to succeed in combat? To fight, to survive—even thrive—while facing enemy fire every other day? To get on-the-job training in what it takes to ...
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Lindbergh: The Crime cover
Book Review

Edgar Award Finalist: This “sensational” and “absolutely compelling” true crime tale finally answers the question: Who really killed the Lindbergh baby? (San Francisco Chronicle).

On the night of March 1, 1932, celebrated aviator Charles Lindbergh’s infant son was kidnapped from his New Jersey home. The family paid $50,000 to get “Little Lindy” back, but his remains were discovered in a grove of trees four miles from the Lindbergh house. More than two years after the abduction, Bruno Hauptmann, an unemployed carpenter and illegal German immigrant, was caught with $20,000 of the ransom money. He was arrested, tried, and executed for the crime. But did he really do it?
 
New York Times–bestselling author Noel Behn spent eight years investigating the case, revisiting old evidence, discovering new information, and shining a bright light on the controversial actions of public figures such as New Jersey Governor Harold Hoffman, FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, New Jersey State Police Superintendent H. Norman Schwarzkopf, and Charles Lindbergh himself. The result is a fascinating and convincing new theory of the crime that exonerates ...
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The Zulus at War: The History, Rise, and Fall of the Tribe That Washed Its Spears cover
Book Review

By tracing the long and turbulent history of the Zulus from their arrival in South Africa and the establishment of Zululand, The Zulus at War is an important and readable addition to this popular subject area. It describes the violent rise of King Shaka and his colorful successors under whose leadership the warrior nation built a fearsome fighting reputation without equal among the native tribes of South Africa. It also examines the tactics and weapons employed during the numerous intertribal battles over this period. They then became victims of their own success in that their defeat of the Boers in 1877 and 1878 in the Sekhukhuni War prompted the well-documented British intervention.

Initially the might of the British Empire was humbled as never before by the surprising Zulu victory at Isandlwana but the 1879 war ended with the brutal crushing of the Zulu nation. But, as Adrian Greaves reveals, this was by no means the end of the story. The little known consequences of the division of Zululand, the Boer War, and the 1906 Zulu Rebellion are analyzed in fascinating detail. An added attraction for readers is that this long-awaited history is written not ...
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Fire Road: The Napalm Girl’s Journey through the Horrors of War to Faith, Forgiveness, and Peace cover
Book Review

Get out! Run! We must leave this place! They are going to destroy this whole place! Go, children, run first! Go now!

These were the final shouts nine year-old Kim Phuc heard before her world dissolved into flames―before napalm bombs fell from the sky, burning away her clothing and searing deep into her skin. It’s a moment forever captured, an iconic image that has come to define the horror and violence of the Vietnam War. Kim was left for dead in a morgue; no one expected her to survive the attack. Napalm meant fire, and fire meant death.

Against all odds, Kim lived―but her journey toward healing was only beginning. When the napalm bombs dropped, everything Kim knew and relied on exploded along with them: her home, her country’s freedom, her childhood innocence and happiness. The coming years would be marked by excruciating treatments for her burns and unrelenting physical pain throughout her body, which were constant reminders of that terrible day. Kim survived the pain of her body ablaze, but how could she possibly survive the pain of her devastated soul?

Fire Road is the true story of how she found the answer in a God who suffere...
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Talking to the Dead: Kate and Maggie Fox and the Rise of Spiritualism cover
Book Review

A fascinating story of spirits and conjurors, skeptics and converts in the second half of nineteenth century America viewed through the lives of Kate and Maggie Fox, the sisters whose purported communication with the dead gave rise to the Spiritualism movement – and whose recanting forty years later is still shrouded in mystery.

In March of 1848, Kate and Maggie Fox – sisters aged 11 and 14 – anxiously reported to a neighbor that they had been hearing strange, unidentified sounds in their house. From a sequence of knocks and rattles translated by the young girls as a "voice from beyond," the Modern Spiritualism movement was born.

Talking to the Dead follows the fascinating story of the two girls who were catapulted into an odd limelight after communicating with spirits that March night. Within a few years, tens of thousands of Americans were flocking to seances. An international movement followed. Yet thirty years after those first knocks, the sisters shocked the country by denying they had ever contacted spirits. Shortly after, the sisters once again changed their story and reaffirmed their belief in the spirit world. Weisberg traces not only th...
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Benjamin Franklin: An American Life cover
Book Review

Benjamin Franklin is the founding father who winks at us - an ambitious urban entrepreneur who rose up the social ladder, from leather-aproned shopkeeper to dining with kings.

In best-selling author Walter Isaacson's vivid and witty full-scale biography, we discover why Franklin turns to us from history's stage with eyes that twinkle from behind his new-fangled spectacles. In Benjamin Franklin, Isaacson shows how Franklin defines both his own time and ours.

The most interesting thing that Franklin invented, and continually reinvented, was himself. America's first great publicist, he was consciously trying to create a new American archetype. In the process, he carefully crafted his own persona, portrayed it in public, and polished it for posterity. His guiding principle was a "dislike of everything that tended to debase the spirit of the common people". Few of his fellow founders felt this comfort with democracy so fully, and none so intuitively.

In this colorful and intimate narrative, Isaacson provides the full sweep of Franklin's amazing life, from his days as a runaway printer to his triumphs as a statesman, scientist, and Founding Father....
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This Kind of War: The Classic Korean War History cover
Book Review

This Kind of War is a monumental study of the conflict that began in June 1950. Successive generations of U.S. military officers have considered this book an indispensable part of their education. T. R. Fehrenbach's narrative brings to life the harrowing and bloody battles that were fought up and down the Korean Peninsula.

Partly drawn from official records, operations journals, and histories, it is based largely on the compelling personal narratives of the small-unit commanders and their troops. Unlike any other work on the Korean War, it provides a clear, panoramic view; sharp insight into the successes and failures of U.S. forces; and a riveting account of fierce clashes between U.N. troops and the North Korean and Chinese communist invaders.

The lessons that Colonel Fehrenbach identifies still resonate. Severe peacetime budget cuts after World War II left the U.S. military a shadow of its former self. The terrible lesson of Korea was that to send into action troops trained for nothing but "serving a hitch" in some quiet billet was an almost criminal act. Throwing these ill-trained and poorly equipped troops into the heat of battle resulted in the ...
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The Second World Wars: How the First Global Conflict Was Fought and Won cover
Book Review


A definitive account of World War II by America's preeminent military historian


World War II was the most lethal conflict in human history. Never before had a war been fought on so many diverse landscapes and in so many different ways, from rocket attacks in London to jungle fighting in Burma to armor strikes in Libya.

The Second World Wars examines how combat unfolded in the air, at sea, and on land to show how distinct conflicts among disparate combatants coalesced into one interconnected global war. Drawing on 3,000 years of military history, Victor Davis Hanson argues that despite its novel industrial barbarity, neither the war's origins nor its geography were unusual. Nor was its ultimate outcome surprising. The Axis powers were well prepared to win limited border conflicts, but once they blundered into global war, they had no hope of victory.

An authoritative new history of astonishing breadth, The Second World Wars offers a stunning reinterpretation of history's deadliest conflict.


...
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Something Beautiful Happened: A Story of Survival and Courage in the Face of Evil cover
Book Review

Seventy years after her grandmother helped hide a Jewish family on a Greek island during World War II, a woman sets out to track down their descendants—and discovers a new way to understand tragedy, forgiveness, and the power of kindness.

Yvette Manessis Corporon grew up listening to her grandmother’s stories about how the people of the small Greek island Erikousa hid a Jewish family—a tailor named Savvas and his daughters—from the Nazis during World War II. Nearly 2,000 Jews from that area died in the concentration camps, but even though everyone on Erikousa knew Savvas and his family were hiding on the island, no one ever gave them up, and the family survived the war.

Years later, Yvette couldn’t get the story of the Jewish tailor out of her head. She decided to track down the man’s descendants—and eventually found them in Israel. Their tearful reunion was proof to her that evil doesn’t always win. But just days after she made the connection, her cousin’s child was gunned down in a parking lot in Kansas, a victim of a Neo-Nazi out to inflict as much harm as he could. Despite her best hopes, she was forced to confront the fact that seventy years after the N...
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Black Earth: A Journey Through Russia After the Fall cover
Book Review

"That Black Earth is an extraordinary work is, for anyone who has known Russia, beyond question."—George Kennan


"A compassionate glimpse into the extremes where the new Russia meets the old," writes Robert Legvold (Foreign Affairs) about Andrew Meier's enthralling new work. Journeying across a resurgent and reputedly free land, Meier has produced a virtuosic mix of nuanced history, lyric travelogue, and unflinching reportage. Throughout, Meier captures the country's present limbo—a land rich in potential but on the brink of staggering back into tyranny—in an account that is by turns heartrending and celebratory, comic and terrifying. A 2003 New York Public Library Book to Remember. "Black Earth is the best investigation of post-Soviet Russia since David Remnick's Resurrection. Andrew Meier is a truly penetrating eyewitness."—Robert Conquest, author of The Great Terror; "If President Bush were to read only the chapters regarding Chechnya in Meier's Black Earth, he would gain a priceless education about Putin's Russia."—Zbigniew Brzezinski "Even after the fall of Communism, most American reporting on Russia of...
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Dallas '63: The First Deep State Revolt Against the White House (Forbidden Bookshelf) cover
Book Review

With a foreword by Rex Bradford and a preface by Bill Simpich: From deep within American society emerged the plot that killed a president

Beneath the orderly façade of the American government lies a complex network, only partly structural, linking Wall Street influence, corrupt bureaucracy, and the military-industrial complex. Here lies the true power of the American empire: This behind-the-scenes web is unelected, unaccountable, and immune to popular resistance. Peter Dale Scott calls this entity the deep state, and he has made it his life’s work to write the history of those who manipulate our government from the shadows. Since the aftermath of World War II, the deep state’s power has grown unchecked, and nowhere has it been more apparent than at sun-dappled Dealey Plaza on November 22, 1963.
 
The central mystery of the JFK assassination is not who fired the guns that fateful day, but the untouchable forces behind the shooters. In this landmark volume, Scott traces how culpable elements in the CIA and FBI helped prepare for the assassination, and how such elements continue to influence our politics today.
 
In his 1993 pub...
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One Small Candle: The Pilgrims' First Year in America (The Thomas Fleming Library Book 1) cover
Book Review

This vivid, deeply moving book begins in London in 1620 as Pilgrim representatives sign a contract to purchase the freighter Mayflower. We accompany them on their harrowing voyage across the Atlantic, through the rigors of the first New England winter and the threat of Indian attack as they desperately search for the home they eventually find at Plymouth. Once there, they must continue the struggle against brutal weather and disease.

With masterly skill, New York Times bestselling historian Thomas Fleming gives us life-size portraits of the Pilgrim leaders. The Pilgrims' unique achievements - the Mayflower Compact, their tolerance of other faiths, the strict separation of church and state - are discussed in the context of the first year's anxieties and crises. Fleming writes admiringly of the younger men who emerged in that year as the real leaders of the colony - William Bradford and Miles Standish. And he provides new insights into the humanity and tolerance of the Pilgrims' spiritual shepherd, Elder William Brewster.

On the first Thanksgiving, the Pilgrims are already aware that they are the forerunners of a great nation. It is implicit in William ...
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Quackery: A Brief History of the Worst Ways to Cure Everything cover
Book Review

What won’t we try in our quest for perfect health, beauty, and the fountain of youth?

Well, just imagine a time when doctors prescribed morphine for crying infants. When liquefied gold was touted as immortality in a glass. And when strychnine—yes, that strychnine, the one used in rat poison—was dosed like Viagra.

Looking back with fascination, horror, and not a little dash of dark, knowing humor, Quackery recounts the lively, at times unbelievable, history of medical misfires and malpractices. Ranging from the merely weird to the outright dangerous, here are dozens of outlandish, morbidly hilarious “treatments”—conceived by doctors and scientists, by spiritualists and snake oil salesmen (yes, they literally tried to sell snake oil)—that were predicated on a range of cluelessness, trial and error, and straight-up scams. With vintage illustrations, photographs, and advertisements throughout, Quackery seamlessly combines macabre humor with science and storytelling to reveal an important and disturbing side of the ever-evolving field of medicine.


 
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Real Irish Food: 150 Classic Recipes from the Old Country cover
Book Review

People in Ireland are sometimes mortified by what Americans think of as “Irish food.” That’s because the real thing is much subtler and more delicious than any platter of overcooked corned beef and mushy cabbage could ever be. Real Irish food is brown soda bread so moist it barely needs the yolk-yellow butter; fragrant apple tarts with tender, golden crusts; rich stews redolent of meaty gravy and sweet carrots; crisp-edged potato cakes flipped hot from a skillet directly onto the plate. Forget meatloaf or mac and cheese—this stuff is the original comfort food.  

Real Irish Food is the first comprehensive cookbook to bring classic Irish dishes to America with an eye for American kitchens and cooks, and with tips and tricks to help reproduce Irish results with American ingredients. Transform plain white fish by baking it with grated sharp cheese, mustard, and crumbs. Discover that celery takes on new life when sliced, simmered in chicken stock, and served in a lightly thickened sauce.  

  • Homemade Irish Sausages
  • Potted Shrimp and Potted Salmon
  • Finglas Irish Stew with Dumplings
Destination Casablanca: Exile, Espionage, and the Battle for North Africa in World War II cover
Book Review

In November 1942, as a part of Operation Torch, 33,000 American soldiers sailed undetected across the Atlantic and stormed the beaches of French Morocco. Seventy-four hours later, the Americans controlled the country and one of the most valuable wartime ports: Casablanca.

In the years preceding, Casablanca had evolved from an exotic travel destination to a key military target after France's surrender to Germany. Jewish refugees from Europe poured in, hoping to obtain visas and passage to the United States and beyond. Nazi agents and collaborators infiltrated the city in search of power and loyalty. The resistance was not far behind, as shopkeepers, celebrities, former French Foreign Legionnaires, and disgruntled bureaucrats formed a network of Allied spies. But once in American hands, Casablanca became a crucial logistical hub in the fight against Germany--and the site of Roosevelt and Churchill's demand for "unconditional surrender."

Rife with rogue soldiers, power grabs, and diplomatic intrigue, Destination Casablanca is the riveting and untold story of this glamorous city--memorialized in the classic film that was rush-released in 1...
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Becoming Leonardo: An Exploded View of the Life of Leonardo da Vinci cover
Book Review

Why did Leonardo Da Vinci leave so many of his major works uncompleted? Why did this resolute pacifist build war machines for the notorious Borgias? Why did he carry the Mona Lisa with him everywhere he went for decades, yet never quite finish it? Why did he write backwards, and was he really at war with Michelangelo? And was he gay?
 
In a book unlike anything ever written about the Renaissance genius, Mike Lankford explodes every cliché about Da Vinci and then reconstructs him based on a rich trove of available evidence—bringing to life for the modern reader the man who has been studied by scholars for centuries, yet has remained as mysterious as ever.   
 
Seeking to envision Da Vinci without the obscuring residue of historical varnish, the sights, sounds, smells, and feel of Renaissance Italy—usually missing in other biographies—are all here, transporting readers back to a world of war and plague and court intrigue, of viciously competitive famous artists, of murderous tyrants with exquisite tastes in art ….
 
Lankford brilliantly captures Da Vinci's life as the compelling and dangerous adventure it seems to have actually been—fleeing from one ...
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Defeating ISIS: Who They Are, How They Fight, What They Believe cover
Book Review

A New York Times bestseller!

This reference shows how to understand the history and tactics of the global terror group ISIS—and how to use that knowledge to defeat it.

ISIS—the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria—has taken on the mantle of being the single most dangerous terrorist threat to global security since al-Qaeda. In Defeating ISIS, internationally renowned intelligence veteran, author, and counterterrorism expert Malcolm Nance gives an insider’s view to explain the origins of this occult group, its violent propaganda, and how it spreads its ideology throughout the Middle East and to disaffected youth deep in the heart of the Western world.

Most importantly, Defeating ISIS gives an amply illustrated, step-by-step analysis of the street-level tactics the group has employed in assaults against fortified targets, in urban combat, and during terrorist operations such as those in Paris during the November 13 attacks. As much as ISIS is a threat to Western targets and regional stability in the Middle East, Nance describes not only its true danger as a heretical death cult that seeks to wrest control of Islam throug...
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Mary McCarthy's Italy: The Stones of Florence and Venice Observed cover
Book Review

Captivating portraits of two of the world’s most beguiling cities from the New York Times–bestselling author of The Group.

Mary McCarthy blends art, politics, religion, music, and history to create unique living portraits of two of Italy’s most enchanting cities in these enthralling books now available in one volume.
 
The Stones of Florence: The book Library Journal called “Mary McCarthy’s classic” takes readers on a timeless journey to the place where the Renaissance began. From Michelangelo to the Medicis, The Stones of Florence is McCarthy’s hymn to this immortal hub of art and commerce.
 
Venice Observed: McCarthy trains her gaze on the immortal City of Canals. At once a comprehensive travelogue and a powerful piece of reportage, Venice Observed contains “searching observations and astonishing comprehension of the Venetian taste and character” (New York Herald Tribune).
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The Red Atlas: How the Soviet Union Secretly Mapped the World cover
Book Review

Nearly thirty years after the end of the Cold War, its legacy and the accompanying Russian-American tension continues to loom large.  Russia’s access to detailed information on the United States and its allies may not seem so shocking in this day of data clouds and leaks, but long before we had satellite imagery of any neighborhood at a finger’s reach, the amount the Soviet government knew about your family’s city, street, and even your home would astonish you. Revealing how this was possible, The Red Atlas is the never-before-told story of the most comprehensive mapping endeavor in history and the surprising maps that resulted.

From 1950 to 1990, the Soviet Army conducted a global topographic mapping program, creating large-scale maps for much of the world that included a diversity of detail that would have supported a full range of military planning. For big cities like New York, DC, and London to towns like Pontiac, MI and Galveston, TX, the Soviets gathered enough information to create street-level maps. What they chose to include on these maps can seem obvious like locations of factories and ports, or more surprising, such as building heights, road...
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Red Platoon: A True Story of American Valor cover
Book Review

THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

The only comprehensive, firsthand account of the fourteen-hour firefight at the Battle of Keating by Medal of Honor recipient Clinton Romesha, for readers of Black Hawk Down by Mark Bowden and Lone Survivor by Marcus Luttrell.

 
“‘It doesn't get better.’ To us, that phrase nailed one of the essential truths, maybe even the essential truth, about being stuck at an outpost whose strategic and tactical vulnerabilities were so glaringly obvious to every soldier who had ever set foot in that place that the name itself—Keating—had become a kind of backhanded joke.”
 
In 2009, Clinton Romesha of Red Platoon and the rest of the Black Knight Troop were preparing to shut down Command Outpost (COP) Keating, the most remote and inaccessible in a string of bases built by the US military in Nuristan and Kunar in the hope of preventing Taliban insurgents from moving freely back and forth between Afghanistan and Pakistan. Three years after its construction, the army was finally ready to concede what the men on the ground had known immediately: it was simply too isolated and too danger...
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The Great Betrayal: The Great Siege of Constantinople cover
Book Review

An engrossing chronicle of the Fourth Crusade and the fall of the Holy Roman Empire, from the bestselling author of Thermopylae.
At the dawn of the thirteenth century, Constantinople stood as the bastion of Christianity in Eastern Europe. The capital city of the Byzantine Empire, it was a center of art, culture, and commerce that had commanded trading routes between Asia, Russia, and Europe for hundreds of years. But in 1204, the city suffered a devastating attack that would spell the end of the Holy Roman Empire.
 
The army of the Fourth Crusade had set out to reclaim Jerusalem, but under the sway of their Venetian patrons, the crusaders diverted from their path in order to lay siege to Constantinople. With longstanding tensions between the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches, the crusaders set arms against their Christian neighbors, destroying a vital alliance between Eastern and Western Rome.
 
In The Great Betrayal, historian Ernle Bradford brings to life this powerful tale of envy and greed, demonstrating the far-reaching consequences this siege would have across Europe for centuries to come. Continue Reading
Bobby Kennedy: A Raging Spirit cover
Book Review

New York Times Bestseller

A revealing new portrait of Robert F. Kennedy that gets closer to the man than any book before, by bestselling author Chris Matthews, an esteemed Kennedy expert and anchor of MSNBC’s Hardball.

With his bestselling biography Jack Kennedy, Chris Matthews shared a new look of one of America’s most beloved Presidents and the patriotic spirit that defined him. Now, with Bobby Kennedy, Matthews returns with a gripping, in-depth, behind-the-scenes portrait of one of the great figures of the American twentieth century.

Overlooked by his father, and overshadowed by his war-hero brother, Bobby Kennedy was the perpetual underdog. When he had the chance to become a naval officer like Jack, Bobby turned it down, choosing instead to join the Navy as a common sailor. It was a life changing experience that led him to connect with voters from all walks of life: young or old, black or white, rich or poor. They were the people who turned out for him in his 1968 campaign. RFK would prove himself to be the rarest of politicians—both a pragmatist who knew how to get the job done and an unwavering idealist who c...
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The Falcon and the Snowman: A True Story of Friendship and Espionage cover
Book Review

This fascinating account of how two young Americans turned traitor during the Cold War is an “absolutely smashing real-life spy story” (The New York Times Book Review).

At the height of the Cold War, some of the nation’s most precious secrets passed through a CIA contractor in Southern California. Only a handful of employees were cleared to handle the intelligence that came through the Black Vault. One of them was Christopher John Boyce, a hard-partying genius with a sky-high IQ, a passion for falconry, and little love for his country. Security at the Vault was so lax, Boyce couldn’t help but be tempted. And when he gave in, the fate of the free world would hang in the balance.
 
With the help of his best friend, Andrew Daulton Lee, a drug dealer with connections south of the border, Boyce began stealing classified documents and selling them to the Soviet embassy in Mexico City. It was an audacious act of treason, committed by two spoiled young men who were nearly always drunk, stoned, or both—and were about to find themselves caught in the middle of a fight between the CIA and the KGB.
 
This Edgar Award–winning book...
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The Muslim Discovery of Europe cover
Book Review

"Full of rare and exact information.... A distinguished work."—New York Review of Books


The eleventh-century Muslim world was a great civilization while Europe lay slumbering in the Dark Ages. Slowly, inevitably, Europe and Islam came together, through trade and war, crusade and diplomacy. The ebb and flow between these two worlds for seven hundred years, illuminated here by a brilliant historian, is one of the great sagas of world history....
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The Printer and the Preacher: Ben Franklin, George Whitefield, and the Surprising Friendship that Invented America cover
Book Review

They were the most famous men in America.  They came from separate countries, followed different philosophies, and led dissimilar lives. But they were fast friends. No two people did more to shape America in the mid-1700s.

Benjamin Franklin was the American prototype: hard-working, inventive, practical, funny, with humble manners and lofty dreams. George Whitefield was the most popular preacher in an era of great piety, whose outdoor preaching across the colonies was heard by thousands, all of whom were told, “You must be born again.” People became excited about God. They began reading the Bible and supporting charities. When Whitefield died in 1770, on a preaching tour in New Hampshire, he had built a spiritual foundation for a new nation—just as his surviving friend, Ben Franklin, had built its social foundation. Together these two men helped establish a new nation founded on liberty. This is the story of their amazing friendship.

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Paris at the End of the World: The City of Light During the Great War, 1914-1918 (P.S.) cover
Book Review

A preeminent writer on Paris, John Baxter brilliantly brings to life one of the most dramatic and fascinating periods in the city’s history.

From 1914 through 1918 the terrifying sounds of World War I could be heard from inside the French capital. For four years, Paris lived under constant threat of destruction. And yet in its darkest hour, the City of Light blazed more brightly than ever. It’s taxis shuttled troops to the front; its great railway stations received reinforcements from across the world; the grandest museums and cathedrals housed the wounded, and the Eiffel Tower hummed at all hours relaying messages to and from the front.

At night, Parisians lived with urgency and without inhibition. Artists like Pablo Picasso achieved new creative heights. And the war brought a wave of foreigners to the city for the first time, including Ernest Hemingway and Baxter’s own grandfather, Archie, whose diaries he used to reconstruct a soldier’s-eye view of the war years. A revelatory achievement, Paris at the End of the World shows how this extraordinary period was essential in forging the spirit of the city beloved today. 

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Challenger: An American Tragedy: The Inside Story from Launch Control cover
Book Review

On January 28, 1986, the space shuttle Challenger launched from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Seventy-three seconds after launch, the fiery breach of a solid motor joint caused a rupture of the propellant tanks, and a stunned nation watched as flames engulfed the craft, killing all seven crew members on board. It was Hugh Harris, “the voice of launch control,” whom audiences across the country heard counting down to lift-off on that fateful day.

With over fifty years of experience with NASA’s missions, Harris presents the story of the Challenger tragedy as only an insider can. With by-the-second accounts of the spacecraft’s launch and a comprehensive overview of the ensuing investigation, Harris gives readers a behind-the-scenes look at the devastating accident that grounded the shuttle fleet for over two years. This book tells the whole story of the Challenger’s tragic legacy.
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The Sea Wolves: A History of the Vikings cover
Book Review

In AD 793 Norse warriors struck the English isle of Lindisfarne and laid waste to it. Wave after wave of Norse ‘sea-wolves’ followed in search of plunder, land, or a glorious death in battle. Much of the British Isles fell before their swords, and the continental capitals of Paris and Aachen were sacked in turn. Turning east, they swept down the uncharted rivers of central Europe, captured Kiev and clashed with mighty Constantinople, the capital of the Byzantine Empire.

But there is more to the Viking story than brute force. They were makers of law - the term itself comes from an Old Norse word - and they introduced a novel form of trial by jury to England. They were also sophisticated merchants and explorers who settled Iceland, founded Dublin, and established a trading network that stretched from Baghdad to the coast of North America.

In The Sea Wolves, Lars Brownworth brings to life this extraordinary Norse world of epic poets, heroes, and travellers through the stories of the great Viking figures. Among others, Leif the Lucky who discovered a new world, Ragnar Lothbrok the scourge of France, Eric Bloodaxe who ruled in York, and the craf...
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Long Way Back to the River Kwai: Memories of World War II cover
Book Review

Loet Velmans was seventeen when the Germans invaded Holland. He and his family fled to London on the Dutch Coast Guard cutter Seaman’s Hope and then sailed to the Dutch East Indies—now Indonesia—where he joined the Dutch army. In March 1942, the Japanese invaded the archipelago and made prisoners of the Dutch soldiers. For the next three and a half years Velmans and his fellow POWs toiled in slave labor camps, building a railroad through the dense jungle on the Burmese-Thailand border so the Japanese could invade India. Some 200,000 POWs and slave laborers died building this Death Railway. Velmans, though suffering from malaria, dysentery, malnutrition, and unspeakable mistreatment, never gave up hope. Fifty-seven years later he returned to revisit the place where he should have died and where he had buried his closest friend. From that emotional visit sprung this stunning memoir.

Long Way Back to the River Kwai is a simply told but searing memoir of World War II—a testimonial to one man’s indomitable will to live that will take its place beside the Diary of Ann Frank, Bridge over the River Kwai, and Edith’s Story.

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Book Review

Mike Perry’s extraordinary and thoughtful account of meeting the people of his small hometown by joining the fire and rescue team was a breakout hit that “swells with unadorned heroism” (USA Today)

Welcome to New Auburn, Wisconsin (population: 485) where the local vigilante is a farmer’s wife armed with a pistol and a Bible, the most senior member of the volunteer fire department is a cross-eyed butcher with one kidney and two ex-wives (both of whom work at the only gas station in town), and the back roads are haunted by the ghosts of children and farmers. Michael Perry loves this place. He grew up here, and now-after a decade away-he has returned.

Unable to polka or repair his own pickup, his farm-boy hands gone soft after years of writing, Mike figures the best way to regain his credibility is to join the volunteer fire department. Against a backdrop of fires and tangled wrecks, bar fights and smelt feeds, he tells a frequently comic tale leavened with moments of heartbreaking delicacy and searing tragedy.

Tracing his calls on a map in the little firehouse, he sees “a dense, benevolent web, spun one frantic...
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The Gondola Maker cover
Book Review

From the author of Made in Italy comes a tale of artisanal tradition and family bonds set in one of the world's most magnificent settings: Renaissance Venice.

Venetian gondola-maker Luca Vianello considers his whole life arranged. His father charted a course for his eldest son from the day he was born, and Luca is positioned to inherit one of the city's most esteemed boatyards. But when Luca experiences an unexpected tragedy in the boatyard, he believes that his destiny lies elsewhere. Soon, he finds himself drawn to restore an antique gondola with the dream of taking a girl for a ride.

The Gondola Maker brings the centuries-old art of gondola making to life in the tale of a young man's complicated relationship with his master-craftsman father. Lovers of historical fiction will appreciate the authentic details of gondola craftsmanship, along with an intimate first-person narrative set against the richly textured backdrop of 16th-century Venice.

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Zigzag: The Incredible Wartime Exploits of Double Agent Eddie Chapman cover
Book Review

The most remarkable double agent of World War II, Eddie Chapman was witty, handsome, and charming. Too bad he was also a con man, womanizer, and safe-cracker. To the British, though, he was known as ZigZag, one of MI5’s most valuable agents. To the Abwehr—German military intelligence—he was known as Fritzchen (Little Fritz), and was believed to be one of their most valued and trusted spies. For three long years, Eddie played this dangerous double game, daily risking life and limb to help the Allies win the war. He was so charming that his German handler, Baron Stefan von Gröning, thought of Fritzchen as the son he never had. The Germans even awarded him the Iron Cross for spying for the Reich! They sent him to Britain, with the mission to blow up the De Havilland aircraft factory. How he and MI5 convinced the Germans that he had accomplished his mission stands as one of history’s greatest acts of counterintelligence.

Until now, Eddie Chapman’s extraordinary double life has never been told, thwarted by the Official Secrets Act. Now all the evidence—including Eddie’s MI5 file—has finally been released, paving the way for Nicholas Booth’s enthralling account of ...
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For Liberty and Glory: Washington, Lafayette, and Their Revolutions cover
Book Review

"Gaines has a deft understanding of the Washington-Lafayette relationship ... [and] a knack for wielding substantial research with aplomb."—San Francisco Chronicle


This book tells the story of the French and American Revolutions in a single, thrilling narrative that shows just how deeply intertwined they actually were. Their leaders were often seen as father and son, but the relationship of George Washington and the Marquis de Lafayette, while close, was every bit as complex as the long, fraught history of the French-American alliance, of which they were also the founding fathers.

Product Description

"Gaines has a deft understanding of the Washington-Lafayette relationship ... [and] a knack for wielding substantial research with aplomb."—San Francisco Chronicle


This book tells the story of the French and American Revolutions in a single, thrilling narrative that shows just how deeply intertwined they actually were. Their leaders were often seen as father and son, but the relationship of George Washington and the Marquis de Lafayette, while close, was every bit as complex as the long, fraught history of the French-American alli...
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1812: The War of 1812 cover

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Book Review

In June 1812 the still-infant United States had the audacity to declare war on the British Empire. Fought between creaking sailing ships and armies often led by bumbling generals, the ensuing conflict featured a tit-for-tat "You burned our capital, so we'll burn yours" and a legendary battle unknowingly fought after the signing of a peace treaty.

During the course of the war, the young American navy proved its mettle as the USS Constitution, "Old Ironsides," sent two first-rate British frigates to the bottom, and a twenty-seven-year-old lieutenant named Oliver Hazard Perry hoisted a flag exhorting, "Don't Give Up the Ship," and chased the British from Lake Erie. By 1814, however, the United States was no longer fighting for free trade, sailors' rights, and as much of Canada as it could grab, but for its very existence as a nation. With Washington in flames, only a valiant defense at Fort McHenry saved Baltimore from a similar fate.

Here are the stories of commanding generals such as America's Henry "Granny" Dearborn, double-dealing James Wilkinson, and feisty Andrew Jackson, as well as Great Britain's gallant Sir Isaac Brock, overly cautious Sir George Prevo...
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Don't Know Much About Anything: Everything You Need to Know but Never Learned About People, Places, Events, and More! (Don't Know Much About Series) cover
Book Review

In his wildly entertaining, winningly irreverent, New York Times bestselling Don't Know Much About® series, author Kenneth C. Davis has amused and edified us with fascinating facts about history, mythology, the Bible, the universe, geography, and the Civil War.

Now, the sky's the limit in his latest irresistible installment—a grand tour of knowledge that carries us from the Great Smoky Mountains to the Berlin Wall, from the Salem Witch Trials to Watergate, from Michelangelo to Houdini. Brimming with busted myths, gripping true stories, and peculiar particulars about a plethora of people, places, and events, this captivating compendium is guaranteed to delight information lovers everywhere as it feeds our insatiable appetite to know everything!

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The Grouchy Historian: An Old-Time Lefty Defends Our Constitution Against Right-Wing Hypocrites and Nutjobs cover
Book Review

In the tradition of Al Franken and Michael Moore, Ed Asner—a.k.a. Lou Grant from The Mary Tyler Moore Show—reclaims the Constitution from the right-wingers who think that they and only they know how to interpret it.

Ed Asner, a self-proclaimed dauntless Democrat from the old days, figured that if the right-wing wackos are wrong about voter fraud, Obama’s death panels, and climate change, they are probably just as wrong about what the Constitution says. There’s no way that two hundred-plus years later, the right-wing ideologues know how to interpret the Constitution. On their way home from Philadelphia the people who wrote it couldn’t agree on what it meant. What was the president’s job? Who knew? All they knew was that the president was going to be George Washington and as long as he was in charge, that was good enough. When Hamilton wanted to start a national bank, Madison told him that it was unconstitutional. Both men had been in the room when the Constitution was written. And now today there are politicians and judges who claim that they know the original meaning of the Constitution. Are you kidding?

In The Grouchy Historian, Ed Asne...
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Seeing Further: The Story of Science and the Royal Society cover
Book Review

“Bryson is as amusing as ever….As a celebration of 350 years of modern science, [Seeing Further] it is a worthy tribute.”
The Economist


In Seeing Further, New York Times bestseller Bill Bryson takes readers on a guided tour through the great discoveries, feuds, and personalities of modern science. Already a major bestseller in the UK, Seeing Further tells the fascinating story of science and the Royal Society with Bill Bryson’s trademark wit and intelligence, and contributions from a host of well known scientists and science fiction writers, including Richard Dawkins, Neal Stephenson, James Gleick, and Margret Atwood. It is a delightful literary treat from the acclaimed author who previous explored the current state of scientific knowledge in his phen...
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Book Review

Here, from American Heritage, is the dramatic story of the violent conflicts between Native Americans and white settlers that lasted more than 300 years, the effects of which still resonate today. Acclaimed historians Robert M. Utley and Wilcomb E. Washburn examine both small battles and major wars - from the Native rebellion of 1492 to Crazy Horse and the Sioux War to the massacre at Wounded Knee....
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This Kind of War: The Classic Korean War History, Fiftieth Anniversary Edition cover
Book Review

Updated with maps, photographs, and battlefield diagrams, this special fiftieth anniversary edition of the classic history of the Korean War is a dramatic and hard-hitting account of the conflict written from the perspective of those who fought it. Partly drawn from official records, operations journals, and histories, it is based largely on the compelling personal narratives of the small-unit commanders and their troops. Unlike any other work on the Korean War, it provides both a clear panoramic overview and a sharply drawn "you were there" account of American troops in fierce combat against the North Korean and Chinese communist invaders. As Americans and North Koreans continue to face each other across the 38th Parallel, This Kind of War commemorates the past and offers vital lessons for the future.
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Behind the Palace Doors: Five Centuries of Sex, Adventure, Vice, Treachery, and Folly from Royal Britain cover
Book Review

Spanning 500 years of British history, a revealing look at the secret lives of some great (and not-so-great) Britons, courtesy of one of the world’s most engaging royal historians
 
Beleaguered by scandal, betrayed by faithless spouses, bedeviled by ambitious children, the kings and queens of Great Britain have been many things, but they have never been dull. Some sacrificed everything for love, while others met a cruel fate at the edge of an axman’s blade. From the truth behind the supposed madness of King George to Queen Victoria’s surprisingly daring taste in sculpture, Behind the Palace Doors ventures beyond the rumors to tell the unvarnished history of Britain’s monarchs, highlighting the unique mix of tragedy, comedy, romance, heroism, and incompetence that has made the British throne a seat of such unparalleled fascination.
 
Featuring:
• stories covering every monarch, from randy Henry VIII to reserved Elizabeth II
• historical myths debunked and surprising “Did you know . . . ?” anecdotes
• four family trees spanning every royal house, from the Tudors to the Windsors


From the Trade Paperba...
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The Thirteen Colonies cover
Book Review

If the origin of the colonial period was accidental, the ending was not. The representatives of the thirteen colonies who approved the Declaration of Independence in 1776 charted a collision course, aware of the obstacles in their path and the risks they were taking.

The events that led to their decision took place over a period of nearly 300 years. Looking back, the wonder is that it culminated so quickly. For a century after its discovery, the New World was little more than a lode to be mined by adventurers seeking profits. It wasn't until the end of the sixteenth century that serious efforts were made to establish permanent colonies. Even then, the perils of the journey and threats of starvation inhibited settlement.

But settlers gradually came, spurred, in part, by the fear of religious persecution, but above all, drawn by the hope of owning land. They were a mixed lot: English Separatists from Leiden, French Huguenots, Dutch burghers, Mennonite peasants from the Rhine Valley, and a few gentleman Anglicans. But they shared a quality of toughness.

Here is their story from award-winning historian Louis B. Wright....
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A Mighty Long Way: My Journey to Justice at Little Rock Central High School cover
Book Review

BONUS: This edition contains an A Mighty Long Way discussion guide.

When fourteen-year-old Carlotta Walls walked up the stairs of Little Rock Central High School on September 25, 1957, she and eight other black students only wanted to make it to class. But the journey of the “Little Rock Nine,” as they came to be known, would lead the nation on an even longer and much more turbulent path, one that would challenge prevailing attitudes, break down barriers, and forever change the landscape of America.

For Carlotta and the eight other children, simply getting through the door of this admired academic institution involved angry mobs, racist elected officials, and intervention by President Dwight D. Eisenhower, who was forced to send in the 101st Airborne to escort the Nine into the building. But entry was simply the first of many trials. Breaking her silence at last and sharing her story for the first time, Carlotta Walls has written an engrossing memoir that is a testament not only to the power of a single person to make a difference but also to the sacrifices made by families and communities that found themselves a part of history.

Amazon.com ...
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In the Shadows of Victory: America's Forgotten Military Leaders, 1776-1876 cover
Book Review

History plays tricks sometimes. During the course of America’s experience it has enshrined an exceptional few military leaders in our collective consciousness as “great,” while ignoring others often equally as deserving. In the Shadows of Victory takes a look at an array of American battlefield commanders who were as responsible for triumph as their more famous peers, yet have often gone unsung.

For example, few of the thousands who pass by the traffic square between Fifth Avenue and Broadway in Manhattan each day realize that it houses a tomb. Fewer still understand that beneath the obelisk rests one of America’s best military commanders—William Worth—a hero in not one but two of the nation’s wars. Similarly, the Civil War general who never lost a battle and who many military historians believe fought one of the two most perfect battles in history was not Grant, Sherman, Lee, or Jackson; it was Thomas—who never extolled his own cause but in all likelihood saved his nation’s.

From the War of Independence, through the Mexican War and Civil War, and during the numerous Indian wars throughout, great combat leaders have emerged across America’s b...
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Heralds of the Reformation: Thirty Biographies of Sheer Grace cover
Book Review

The ideal starting place for anybody wanting to understand the key issues and important Christians of the Reformation by the author of Trial and Triumph.


The sixteenth century in Europe was a tumultuous time. Monumental inventions like the printing press rocked society as huge philosophical shifts caused by Copernicus split the scientific world. But just as important was the seismic upheaval within Christendom herself, as the Church of Rome responded to internal rebuke with oppression. In thirty short biographies, Heralds of the Reformation tells the important story of the struggle between the theological authorities and the men and women who refused to keep quiet about the sheer grace of the Gospel.


Designed for students young and old, this book also includes:
+ a Reformation Overview of key events and authorities,
+ a detailed Timeline of the pivotal years from 1516 to 1598,
+ seven short summaries of Reformation Basics, the key doctrines of the time,
+ and Comprehension Questions and Answers covering all thirty biographies.

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The Queen's Pirate: Sir Francis Drake cover
Book Review

For more than four centuries, Sir Francis Drake has been world-famous for his feats as a master mariner – the captain who “singed the King of Spain’s beard” with his daredevil attack on the fleet at Cadiz, and who led the British Navy to victory against the Spanish Armada in 1588.

But Drake’s exploits in his earlier years, though less well known, are even more remarkable. Born into a poor, obscure family, he worked his way rapidly up in the maritime world to his first captaincy. Before long, he was the most successful of all English pirates, admired by his countrymen, hated and feared by the Spanish.

Queen Elizabeth and her ministers saw the potential in this rough-mannered but enterprising young man, and gave him their blessing for the first British venture into the Pacific Ocean. This success of this voyage, which lasted for three years, exceeded their wildest hopes. Not only did Drake come home with a vast treasure of captured gold, silver and jewels; he became the first man ever to circumnavigate the globe in a single mission, and bring most of his crew home alive and well. Soon after his triumphant return, Elizabeth knighted this newly rich adven...
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The Enlightenment: And Why It Still Matters cover
Book Review

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY KIRKUS REVIEWS

One of our most renowned and brilliant historians takes a fresh look at the revolutionary intellectual movement that laid the foundation for the modern world.
 
Liberty and equality. Human rights. Freedom of thought and expression. Belief in reason and progress. The value of scientific inquiry. These are just some of the ideas that were conceived and developed during the Enlightenment, and which changed forever the intellectual landscape of the Western world. Spanning hundreds of years of history, Anthony Pagden traces the origins of this seminal movement, showing how Enlightenment concepts directly influenced modern culture, making possible a secular, tolerant, and, above all, cosmopolitan world.
 
Everyone can agree on its impact. But in the end, just what was Enlightenment? A cohesive philosophical project? A discrete time period in the life of the mind when the superstitions of the past were overthrown and reason and equality came to the fore? Or an open-ended intellectual process, a way of looking at the world and the human condition, that continued long after th...
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The Price of Civilization: Reawakening American Virtue and Prosperity cover
Book Review

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE GUARDIAN AND PUBLISHERS WEEKLY
 
“Succinct, humane, and politically astute . . . Sachs lays out a detailed path to reform, regulation, and recovery.”—The American Prospect
 
In this forceful and impassioned book, Jeffrey D. Sachs offers a searing and incisive diagnosis of our country’s economic ills, and an urgent call for Americans to restore the core virtues of fairness, honesty, and foresight as the foundations of national prosperity. Sachs finds that both political parties—and many leading economists—have missed the big picture, profoundly underestimating globalization’s long-term effects and offering shortsighted solutions. He describes a political system that is beholden to big donors and influential lobbyists and a consumption-driven culture that suffers shortfalls of social trust and compassion. He bids readers to reclaim the virtues of good citizenship and mindfulness toward the economy and each one another. Most important, he urges each of us to accept the price of civilization, so that together we restore...
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Mary Queen of Scots cover
Book Review

Mary, Queen of Scots was the only daughter of James V, King of Scotland. She was a few days old when she acceeded to the throne upon his death.

A devout Catholic, Mary grew up in France and was both married and widowed there. She returned to Scotland, a country split between Catholics and Protestants, and in political turmoil.

However, she soon sought to remarry and here begins her tumultuous life that sealed her time as Queen of Scots.

Majorie Bowen’s account of Mary Stuart’s romantic and tempestuous life, is undoubtedly one of the most distinguished and readable historical biographies ever written.

Mary’s own complex and emotional character, the jealousy and violence that surrounded her life with her husbands and her lovers, and the plots and counterplots that marred her relationship with Elizabeth I and brought about her tragic death, are brilliantly described.

‘Mary Queen of Scots’ is a richly detailed account of the eminent monarch’s life.

“A book remarkable alike for its vividness and for its historical perspective”
DAILY EXPRESS

“… one of the most novel features of Miss Bowen’s book ...
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Marcel's Letters: A Font and the Search for One Man's Fate cover
Book Review

A graphic designer’s search for inspiration leads to a cache of letters and the mystery of one man’s fate during World War II.

Seeking inspiration for a new font design in an antique store in small-town Stillwater, Minnesota, graphic designer Carolyn Porter stumbled across a bundle of letters and was immediately drawn to their beautifully expressive pen-and-ink handwriting. She could not read the letters—they were in French—but she noticed all of them had been signed by a man named Marcel and mailed from Berlin to his family in France during the middle of World War II.

As Carolyn grappled with designing the font, she decided to have one of Marcel’s letters translated. Reading it opened a portal to a different time, and what began as mere curiosity quickly became an obsession with finding out why the letter writer, Marcel Heuzé, had been in Berlin, how his letters came to be on sale in a store halfway around the world, and, most importantly, whether he ever returned to his beloved wife and daughters after the war.

Marcel’s Letters is the incredible story of Carolyn’s increasingly desperate search to uncover the mystery of one man’s ...
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Victoria & Abdul (Movie Tie-in): The True Story of the Queen's Closest Confidant cover
Book Review

Now a Major Motion Picture starring Dame Judi Dench from director Stephen Frears.

History’s most unlikely friendship—this is the astonishing story of Queen Victoria and her dearest companion, the young Indian Munshi Abdul Karim.

In the twilight years of her reign, after the devastating deaths of hertwo great loves—Prince Albert and John Brown—Queen Victoria meets tall and handsome Abdul Karim, a humble servant from Agra waiting tables at her Golden Jubilee. The two form an unlikely bond and within a year Abdul becomes a powerful figure at court, the Queen’s teacher, her counsel on Urdu and Indian affairs, and a friend close to her heart. This marked the beginning of the most scandalous decade in Queen Victoria’s long reign. As the royal household roiled with resentment, Victoria and Abdul’s devotion grew in defiance. Drawn from secrets closely guarded for more than a century, Victoria & Abdul is an extraordinary and intimate history of the last years of the nineteenth-century English court and an unforgettable view onto the passions of an aging Queen....
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The Truro Murders: The Sex Killing Spree Through the Eyes of an Accomplice (True Crime) cover
Book Review

The Truro Murders presents the shocking true story of Christopher Worrell, and his accomplice, James Miller. The events in this book unveil one of the worst serial killing sprees in Australian history. Over the course of two months in 1976-1977, seven young women were brutally raped and murdered.

Worrell and Miller met in prison, and upon release, developed a dominant and submissive relationship that centred around feeding Worrell's sadistic urges towards women. Miller would deny any involvement in the murders, claiming his love for Worrell was the basis for his cooperation and silence.

In the space of twelve months between 1978-1979, remains of two of the victims were found within 1km of one another. Police linked the two bodies with another five young females reported missing in the area. The police uncovered two more skeletons within the Truro region and now faced the difficult task of piecing together the evidence and finding the countries biggest serial killers.

The Truro Murders portrays the sex-fuelled killing spree from the perspective of James Miller, the accomplice. Contained within this shocking true crime story a...
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Andrew Jackson and the Miracle of New Orleans: The Battle That Shaped America's Destiny cover
Book Review

Another history pageturner from the authors of the #1 bestsellers George Washington's Secret Six and Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates.

The War of 1812 saw America threatened on every side. Encouraged by the British, Indian tribes attacked settlers in the West, while the Royal Navy terrorized the coasts. By mid-1814, President James Madison’s generals had lost control of the war in the North, losing battles in Canada. Then British troops set the White House ablaze, and a feeling of hopelessness spread across the country.

Into this dire situation stepped Major General Andrew Jackson. A native of Tennessee who had witnessed the horrors of the Revolutionary War and Indian attacks, he was glad America had finally decided to confront repeated British aggression. But he feared that President Madison’s men were overlooking the most important target of all: New Orleans.

If the British conquered New Orleans, they would control the mouth of the Mississippi River, cutting Americans off from that essential trade route and threatening the previous decade’s Louisiana Purchase. The new nation’s dreams of western expansion would be crushed ...
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Victoria & Abdul (Movie Tie-In): The True Story of the Queen's Closest Confidant cover
Book Review

Soon to be a Major Motion Picture starring Dame Judi Dench from director Stephen Frears, releasing September 22, 2017.


History’s most unlikely friendship—this is the astonishing story of Queen Victoria and her dearestcompanion, the young Indian Munshi Abdul Karim.

In the twilight years of her reign, after the devastating deaths of hertwo great loves—Prince Albert and John Brown—Queen Victoria meets tall and handsome Abdul Karim, a humble servant from Agra waiting tables at her Golden Jubilee. The two form an unlikely bond and within a year Abdul becomes a powerful figure at court, the Queen’s teacher, her counsel on Urdu and Indian affairs, and a friend close to her heart. This marked the beginning of the most scandalous decade in Queen Victoria’s long reign. As the royal household roiled with resentment, Victoria and Abdul’s devotion grew in defiance. Drawn from secrets closely guarded for more than a century, Victoria & Abdul is an extraordinary and intimate history of the last years of the nineteenth-century English court and an unforgettable view onto the passions of an aging Queen....
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Inventing George Washington: America's Founder, in Myth and Memory cover
Book Review

“Lengel’s Washington is the archetypal American soldier—an amateur citizen in arms who struggles to learn an unfamiliar and demanding craft on the job....Outstanding.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review) on The Glorious Struggle

Editor-in-Chief of the Washington Papers Project  Edward G. Lengel delivers an entertaining and erudite history of America's Founding Father. In Inventing George Washington, a captivating counterpart to Lengel’s General George Washington: A Military Life, the historian looks at Washington’s life and writings, at the creation of his mythos, and at what his legacy means for our nation and ourselves.
...
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Clouds of Glory: The Life and Legend of Robert E. Lee cover
Book Review

In Clouds of Glory: The Life and Legend of Robert E. Lee, Michael Korda, the New York Times bestselling biographer of Dwight D. Eisenhower, Ulysses S. Grant, and T. E. Lawrence, has written the first major biography of Lee in nearly twenty years, bringing to life one of America's greatest, most iconic heroes.

Korda paints a vivid and admiring portrait of Lee as a general and a devoted family man who, though he disliked slavery and was not in favor of secession, turned down command of the Union army in 1861 because he could not "draw his sword" against his own children, his neighbors, and his beloved Virginia. He was surely America's preeminent military leader, as calm, dignified, and commanding a presence in defeat as he was in victory. Lee's reputation has only grown in the 150 years since the Civil War, and Korda covers in groundbreaking detail all of Lee's battles and traces the making of a great man's undeniable reputation on both sides of the Mason-Dixon Line, positioning him finally as the symbolic martyr-hero of the Southern Cause.

Clouds of Glory features dozens of stunning illustrations, some never before seen, including e...
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The Wolves at the Door: The True Story of America's Greatest Female Spy cover
Book Review

"Judith Pearson does a remarkable job of bringing one of America's greatest spies back to life. I highly recommend this story of derring-do and white knuckles suspense." —Patrick O'Donnell, Combat Historian and Author of Operatives, Spies, and Saboteurs

The remarkable story of one of WWII’s greatest spies.

Virginia Hall left her comfortable Baltimore roots in 1931 to follow a dream of becoming a Foreign Service Officer.

After watching Hitler roll over Poland and France, she enlisted to work for the British Special Operations Executive (SOE), a secret espionage and sabotage organization. She was soon deployed to occupied France where, if captured, imprisonment and torture at the hands of the Gestapo was all but assured. Against such an ominous backdrop, Hall managed to locate drop zones for money and weapons, helped escaped POWs and downed Allied airmen flee to England, and secured safe houses for agents. And she did it all on one leg: Virginia Hall had lost her left leg before the war in a hunting accident.

Soon, wanted posters appeared throughout France, offering a reward for her capture. By winter of 1942, Hall had to flee Fran...
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A Stillness at Appomattox: The Army of the Potomac Trilogy cover
Book Review

Recounting the final year of the Civil War, this classic volume by Bruce Catton won both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award for excellence in non-fiction.

In this final volume of the Army of the Potomac Trilogy, Catton, America's foremost Civil War historian, takes the reader through the battles of the Wilderness, the Bloody Angle, Cold Harbot, the Crater, and on through the horrible months to one moment at Appomattox. Grant, Meade, Sheridan, and Lee vividly come to life in all their failings and triumphs.

Amazon.com Review

If every historian wrote like Bruce Catton, no one would read fiction. This marvelously well-told account of the final year of the Civil War marches readers from Wilderness, through Petersburg, and finally to the climax at Appomattox. The surrender scene, when Grant and Lee meet at last, is spine tingling. This is the third book of Catton's Army of the Potomac trilogy. It's also the best of the bunch, even though the first two, Mr. Lincoln's Army and Glory Road, are both exceptional. Not to be missed. --John Miller

Product Description

Recounting the final year of the Civil War, this classic volu...
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The Day the World Ended: The Mount Pelée Disaster: May 7, 1902 cover
Book Review

The true story of a horrifying natural disaster—and the corruption that made it worse—by the New York Times–bestselling authors of Voyage of the Damned.

In late April 1902, Mount Pelée, a volcano on the Caribbean island Martinique, began to wake up. It emitted clouds of ash and smoke for two weeks until violently erupting on May 8. Over 30,000 residents of St. Pierre were killed; they burned to death under rivers of hot lava and suffocated under pounds of hot ash. Only three people managed to survive: a prisoner trapped in a dungeon-like jail cell, a man on the outskirts of town, and a young girl found floating unconscious in a boat days later.
 
So how did a town of thousands not heed the warnings of nature and local scientists, instead staying behind to perish in the onslaught of volcanic ash? Why did the newspapers publish articles assuring readers that the volcano was harmless? And why did the authorities refuse to allow the American Consul to contact Washington about the conditions? The answer lies in politics: With an election on the horizon, the political leaders of Martinique ignored the welfare of their people in o...
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The Definitive FDR: Roosevelt: The Lion and the Fox (1882–1940) and Roosevelt: The Soldier of Freedom (1940–1945) cover
Book Review

A Pulitzer Prize–winning historian’s dramatic biography of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, US president during the Depression and WWII.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt was the longest serving president in US history, reshaping the country during the crises of the Great Depression and World War II. James MacGregor Burns’s magisterial two-volume biography tells the complete life story of the fascinating political figure who instituted the New Deal.
 
Roosevelt: The Lion and the Fox (18821940): Before his ascension to the presidency, FDR laid the groundwork for his unprecedented run with decades of canny political maneuvering and steady consolidation of power. Hailed by the New York Times as “a sensitive, shrewd, and challenging book” and by Newsweek as “a case study unmatched in American political writings,” The Lion and the Fox details Roosevelt’s youth and education, his rise to national prominence, all the way through his first two terms as president.
 
Roosevelt: The Soldier of Freedom (19401945): The Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award–winning history of FDR’s final ye...
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An Autobiography or The Story of My Experiments with Truth cover
Book Review

Gandhiji's autobiography, "The Story of My Experiments with Truth" is one of the most read titles of the world. The autobiography has been translated in more than 15 languages in India and is available in more than 50 different languages world wide. Navajivan Trust had published the title under Gandhiji's supervision first in 1927 and has sold more than 19,00,000 copies so far. The book has inspired more and more people to study Gandhiji's thoughts and deeds.

Amazon.com Review

Gandhi's nonviolent struggles in South Africa and India had already brought him to such a level of notoriety, adulation, and controversy that when asked to write an autobiography midway through his career, he took it as an opportunity to explain himself. Although accepting of his status as a great innovator in the struggle against racism, violence, and, just then, colonialism, Gandhi feared that enthusiasm for his ideas tended to exceed a deeper understanding. He says that he was after truth rooted in devotion to God and attributed the turning points, successes, and challenges in his life to the will of God. His attempts to get closer to this divine power led him to seek purity through simple ...
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Armor and Blood: The Battle of Kursk: The Turning Point of World War II cover
Book Review

One of America’s most distinguished military historians offers the definitive account of the greatest tank battle of World War II—an epic clash of machines and men that matched the indomitable will of the Soviet Red Army against the awesome might of the Nazi Wehrmacht.
 
While the Battle of Kursk has long captivated World War II aficionados, it has been unjustly overlooked by historians. Drawing on the masses of new information made available by the opening of the Russian military archives, Dennis Showalter at last corrects that error. This battle was the critical turning point on World War II’s Eastern Front. In the aftermath of the Red Army’s brutal repulse of the Germans at Stalingrad, the stakes could not have been higher. More than three million men and eight thousand tanks met in the heart of the Soviet Union, some four hundred miles south of Moscow, in an encounter that both sides knew would reshape the war. The adversaries were at the peak of their respective powers. On both sides, the generals and the dictators they served were in agreement on where, why, and how to fight. The result was a furious death grapple between two of history’s most formidable ...
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Nothing Like It In the World: The Men Who Built the Transcontinental Railroad 1863-1869 cover
Book Review

In this account of an unprecedented feat of engineering, vision, and courage, Stephen E. Ambrose offers a historical successor to his universally acclaimed Undaunted Courage, which recounted the explorations of the West by Lewis and Clark.
Nothing Like It in the World is the story of the men who built the transcontinental railroad -- the investors who risked their businesses and money; the enlightened politicians who understood its importance; the engineers and surveyors who risked, and lost, their lives; and the Irish and Chinese immigrants, the defeated Confederate soldiers, and the other laborers who did the backbreaking and dangerous work on the tracks.
The Union had won the Civil War and slavery had been abolished, but Abraham Lincoln, who was an early and constant champion of railroads, would not live to see the great achievement. In Ambrose's hands, this enterprise, with its huge expenditure of brainpower, muscle, and sweat, comes to life.
The U.S. government pitted two companies -- the Union Pacific and the Central Pacific Railroads -- against each other in a race for funding, encouraging speed over caution. Locomo-tives, rails, and spi...
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Kremlin Wives: The Secret Lives of the Women Behind the Kremlin Walls—From Lenin to Gorbachev cover
Book Review

For over seventy years the Kremlin was the bastion of the all-powerful Soviet rulers. A great deal is known about the men who held millions of fates in their iron grip, yet little is known about the women—the wives and mistresses—who shared their lives. They took part in the Revolution and its aftermath, bore children, and suffered abuse; some were arrested and sent to Siberia, driven to suicide, or even murdered. In 1991 the KGB granted the author access to its secret files, which, together with the author’s own research and interviews, provided the material for this book. Here for the first time the stark and sometimes scandalous truth about these women is revealed.

Lenin’s wife worked passionately for the Revolution alongside her husband, from the time of Lenin’s exile until her death. His mistress was also a close friend of his wife. Stalin married Nadezhda Alliluyeva when she was only sixteen. Earlier, he had had a relationship with Nadezhda’s mother, and there is strong evidence that his wife may also have been his daughter. When she was found dead in a pool of blood, the official verdict was suicide, but many believe she was murdered. Secret Police Chi...
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The Future Is History: How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia cover
Book Review

SHORTLISTED FOR THE 2017 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD IN NONFICTION

The visionary journalist and bestselling biographer of Vladimir Putin reveals how, in the space of a generation, Russia surrendered to a more virulent and invincible new strain of autocracy. 

Hailed for her “fearless indictment of the most powerful man in Russia” (The Wall Street Journal), award-winning journalist Masha Gessen is unparalleled in her understanding of the events and forces that have wracked her native country in recent times. In The Future Is History, she follows the lives of four people born at what promised to be the dawn of democracy. Each of them came of age with unprecedented expectations, some as the children and grandchildren of the very architects of the new Russia, each with newfound aspirations of their own—as entrepreneurs, activists, thinkers, and writers, sexual and social beings.

Gessen charts their paths against the machinations of the regime that would crush them all, and against the war it waged on understanding itself, which ensured the unobstructed reemergence of the old Soviet order in the form of today’s terrifying and see...
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Histories and Fallacies: Problems Faced in the Writing of History cover
Book Review

Recent years have brought about a crisis of confidence in the historical profession, leading increasing numbers of readers to ask the question: “How can I know that the stories told by a historian are reliable?”

Histories and Fallacies is a primer for those seeking guidance through conceptual and methodological problems in the discipline of history. Historian Carl Trueman presents a series of classic historical problems as a way to examine what history is, what it means, and how it can be told and understood. Each chapter in Histories and Fallacies gives an account of a particular problem, examines a classic example of that problem, and then suggests a solution or approach that will bear fruit.

Readers who come to understand the question of objectivity through an examination of Holocaust denial or interpretive frameworks through Marxism will not just be learning theory but will already be practicing fruitful approaches to history. Histories and Fallacies guides both readers and writers of history away from dead ends and methodological mistakes, and into a fresh confidence in the product...
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Famous Trials: Cases that made history cover
Book Review

To amend Clausewitz on war, one might say that the trial in a courtroom is the pursuit of battle by other means. And, short of the horror on the battlefield, to be on trial is perhaps the most traumatic of all life experiences. Yet in the great trials of history much more than individual destinies are at stake. Fundamental issues of morality, political expediency, justice and social change are being engaged. How does one balance freedom of conscience against the public good? How does one contest unarguable social evils when the sheer weight of political institutions is against one? Why have so many great men and women been sacrificed by a remorseless ‘system’? To what extent do legal systems deliver true justice?

An investigation of famous trials in history takes in such great historical figures as Socrates, Jesus, Galileo, Sir Thomas More and Mandela as well as the famous Dreyfus case, the Nazi war crimes tribunal at Nuremberg, the Stalinist purges and the revolutionary chaos that engulfed England and France in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The great American criminal lawyer Clarence Darrow duly makes an appearance, as do such varied and heterog...
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Midnight in the Pacific: Guadalcanal--The World War II Battle That Turned the Tide of War cover
Book Review

A sweeping narrative history--the first in over twenty years--of America's first major offensive of World War II, the brutal, no-quarter-given campaign to take Japanese-occupied Guadalcanal

From early August until mid-November of 1942, US Marines, sailors, and pilots struggled for dominance against an implacable enemy: Japanese soldiers, inculcated with the bushido tradition of death before dishonor, avatars of bayonet combat--close-up, personal, and gruesome. The glittering prize was Henderson Airfield. Japanese planners knew that if they neutralized the airfield, the battle was won. So did the Marines who stubbornly defended it.

The outcome of the long slugfest remained in doubt under the pressure of repeated Japanese air, land, and sea operations. And losses were heavy. At sea, in a half-dozen fiery combats, the US Navy fought the Imperial Japanese Navy to a draw, but at a cost of more than 4,500 sailors. More American sailors died in these battles off Guadalcanal than in all previous US wars, and each side lost 24 warships. On land, more than 1,500 soldiers and Marines died, and the air war claimed more than 500 US planes. Japan's ...
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Catholicism: A Journey to the Heart of the Faith cover
Book Review

“What I propose to do in this book is to take you on a guided exploration of the Catholic world, but not in the manner of a docent, for I am not interested in showing you the artifacts of Catholicism as though they were dusty objets d’art in a museum of culture.  I want to function rather as a mystagogue, conducting you ever deeper into the mystery of the incarnation in the hopes that you might be transformed by its power.”Father Robert Barron
 
What is Catholicism? A 2,000-year-old living tradition? A worldview? A way of life? A relationship? A mystery? In Catholicism Father Robert Barron examines all these questions and more, seeking to capture the body, heart and mind of the Catholic faith.

Starting from the essential foundation of Jesus Christ’s incarnation, life, and teaching, Father Barron moves through the defining elements of Catholicism--from sacraments, worship, and prayer, to Mary, the Apostles, and Saints, to grace, salvation, heaven, and hell--using his distinct and dynamic grasp of art, literature, architecture, personal stories, Scripture, theology, philosophy, and history to present the Church to the...
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1945: Year of Decision cover
Book Review

Harry S. Truman was thrust into a job he neither sought nor wanted by a call summoning him to the White House. There First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt told him that President Franklin Delano Roosevelt was dead. Two hours later, with little formality, he was sworn into office. "I had come to see the president," Truman recalls in this autobiography. "Now, having repeated that simply worded oath, I myself was president."

With World War II raging in the Pacific, the looming decision of whether to drop the atomic bomb, and seemingly intractable labor issues at home, no chief executive ever fell heir to such a burden on such short notice.

This book is an invaluable record of Truman's tumultuous first year in office, his youth in Missouri, and his rise in politics. He shares glimpses of his family life; clear-eyed appraisals of world leaders, including Winston Churchill, Charles De Gaulle, and Joseph Stalin; and candid disclosures about history-making national and international events....
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Kingfish: The Reign of Huey P. Long cover
Book Review

From the moment he took office as governor in 1928 to the day an assassin’s bullet cut him down in 1935, Huey Long wielded all but dictatorial control over the state of Louisiana. A man of shameless ambition and ruthless vindictiveness, Long orchestrated elections, hired and fired thousands at will, and deployed the state militia as his personal police force. And yet, paradoxically, as governor and later as senator, Long did more good for the state’s poor and uneducated than any politician before or since. Outrageous demagogue or charismatic visionary? In this powerful new biography, Richard D. White, Jr., brings Huey Long to life in all his blazing, controversial glory.
White taps invaluable new source material to present a fresh, vivid portrait of both the man and the Depression era that catapulted him to fame. From his boyhood in dirt-poor Winn Parish, Long knew he was destined for power–the problem was how to get it fast enough to satisfy his insatiable appetite. With cunning and crudity unheard of in Louisiana politics, Long crushed his opponents in the 1928 gubernatorial race, then immediately set about tightening his iron grip. The press attacked him viciously, ...
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Prophet's Prey: My Seven-Year Investigation into Warren Jeffs and the Fundamentalist Church of Latter-Day Saints cover
Book Review

From the private investigator who cracked open the case that led to the conviction of Warren Jeffs, the maniacal prophet of the polygamous Fundamentalist Church of Latter Day Saints (FLDS), comes the page-turning, horrifying story of how a rogue sect used sex, money, and power disguised under a façade of religion to further criminal activities and a madman's vision.

In Prophet's Prey, Brower implicates Jeffs in his own words, bringing to light the contents of Jeffs's personal priesthood journal, discovered in a hidden underground vault, and revealing to readers the shocking inside world of FLDS members whose trust he earned and who showed him the staggering truth of their lives....
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Nine Years Among the Indians, 1870-1879: The Story of the Captivity and Life of a Texan Among the Indians cover
Book Review

"Lehmann's memoir is quite fantastic-sounding at times, but is regarded as one of the best of that rare breed of book, the first-person 'captivity story' . . . One of the values of Lehmann's book is its no-holds-barred, unapologetic tone." Rocky Mountain News



As a young child, Herman Lehmann was captured by a band of plundering Apache Indians and remained with them for nine years. This is his dramatic and unique story.

His memoir, fast-paced and compelling, tells of his arduous initial years with the Apache as he underwent a sometimes torturous initiation into Indian life. Peppered with various escape attempts, Lehmann’s recollections are fresh and exciting in spite of the years past.

Lehmann provides us with a fascinating look at Apache, and later, Comanche culture. He tells of their rituals, medicinal practices and gives an insight into Native American manufacture of arrow-heads, saddles and shields.

After a few years, Lehmann became completely integrated into the warrior life, joining in on raids throughout the South-West and Mexico. Nine Years with the Indians tells of violent clashes with...
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American Wolf: A True Story of Survival and Obsession in the West cover
Book Review

The enthralling story of the rise and reign of O-Six, the celebrated Yellowstone wolf, and the people who loved or feared her.

Before men ruled the earth, there were wolves. Once abundant in North America, these majestic creatures were hunted to near extinction in the lower 48 states by the 1920s. But in recent decades, conservationists have brought wolves back to the Rockies, igniting a battle over the very soul of the West.

With novelistic detail, Nate Blakeslee tells the gripping story of one of these wolves, O-Six, a charismatic alpha female named for the year of her birth. Uncommonly powerful, with gray fur and faint black ovals around each eye, O-Six is a kind and merciful leader, a fiercely intelligent fighter, and a doting mother. She is beloved by wolf watchers, particularly renowned naturalist Rick McIntyre, and becomes something of a social media star, with followers around the world.

But as she raises her pups and protects her pack, O-Six is challenged on all fronts: by hunters who compete with wolves for the elk they both prize; by cattle ranchers who are losing livestock and have the ears of politicians; and by other Yellowstone...
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The Day Lincoln Was Shot cover
Book Review

The Day Lincoln Was Shot is a gripping, minute-by-minute account of April 14, 1865: the day President Abraham Lincoln was tragically assassinated.

It chronicles the movements of Lincoln and his assassin John Wilkes Booth during every movement of that fateful day. Author and journalist Jim Bishop has fashioned an unforgettable tale of tragedy, more gripping than fiction, more alive than any newspaper account.
 
First published in 1955, The Day Lincoln Was Shot was a huge bestseller, and in 1998 it was made into a TNT movie, with Rob Morrow as Booth.
 

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Desperate Sons: Samuel Adams, Patrick Henry, John Hancock, and the Secret Bands of Radicals Who Led the Colonies to War cover
Book Review

“Popular history in its most vital and accessible form. Standiford has recovered the mentality of America’s first group of young radicals, the Sons of Liberty, and tells their story with flair and grace.”
—Joseph J. Ellis, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Founding Brothers

Les Standiford’s Last Train to Paradise, the fascinating true account of the building of a railroad “across the ocean” from Miami to Key West, is already a classic of popular history. With Desperate Sons, the New York Times bestselling author of Bringing Adam Home tells the remarkable story of America’s first patriots, the Sons of Liberty, whose revolutionary acts have become legend. With all the suspense and power of a historical action thriller, Standiford’s Desperate Sons recounts the courage and tenacity of a hardy group that included Samuel Adams, Patrick Henry, and John Hancock—radical activists who were responsible for some of the most notorious events leading up to the American Revolution, from the Boston Tea Party to Paul Revere’s fabled midnight ride. Fans of David McCullough’s John Adams and 1776 will be rive...
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The Birth of Christianity: Discovering What Happened In the Years Immediately After the Execution of Jesus cover
Book Review

In this national bestseller, John Dominic Crossan, the world's leading expert on the historical Jesus, reveals how Christianity emerged in the period following Jesus' death. Taking an interdisciplinary approach, Crossan shines new light on the theological and cultural contexts from which the Christian church arose. He argues powerfully that Christianity would have happened with or without Paul and contends that Jesus' "resurrection" meant something vastly different for his early followers than it does for many traditional Christians today--what mattered was Christina origins finally illuminates the mysterious period that set Western religious history in its decisive course.

Amazon.com Review

John Dominic Crossan is the leading contemporary scholar on the historical Jesus, which means that his vocation is to look behind, around, and through Christ's resurrection, toward the goal of establishing what can be known about the life of Jesus of Nazareth.

His search for the historical Jesus, however, takes place in the larger context of the life of the church. Among the goals of The Birth of Christianity is to teach readers how our habits of worship have created ...
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The Butchering Art: Joseph Lister's Quest to Transform the Grisly World of Victorian Medicine cover
Book Review

The gripping story of how Joseph Lister's antiseptic method changed medicine forever

In The Butchering Art, the historian Lindsey Fitzharris reveals the shocking world of 19th-century surgery on the eve of profound transformation. She conjures up early operating theaters - no place for the squeamish - and surgeons, working before anesthesia, who were lauded for their speed and brute strength. These medical pioneers knew that the aftermath of surgery was often more dangerous than their patients' afflictions, and they were baffled by the persistent infections that kept mortality rates stubbornly high. At a time when surgery couldn't have been more hazardous, an unlikely figure stepped forward: a young, melancholy Quaker surgeon named Joseph Lister, who would solve the deadly riddle and change the course of history.

Fitzharris dramatically recounts Lister's discoveries in gripping detail, culminating in his audacious claim that germs were the source of all infection - and could be countered by antiseptics. Focusing on the tumultuous period from 1850 to 1875, she introduces us to Lister and his contemporaries - some of them brilliant, some outright crim...
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Clara's War: One Girl's Story of Survival cover

Clara's War: One Girl's Story of Survival html

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Book Review

“A superlative memoir of survival….Few wartime memoirs convey with such harrowing immediacy the evil of the Nazi genocide.”
Daily Telegraph (London)

 

“One Girl’s Story of Survival,” Clara’s War is based on Clara Kramer’s diary of her years spent hiding in an underground bunker with seventeen other people during the Nazi occupation of Poland. In the classic vein of The Diary of Anne Frank—a heart-wrenching and inspiring story of a life lived in fear and cramped quarters—Clara’s War is a true story of the Holocaust as told by a remarkable young girl who lived to bear witness.

...
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The Woman Who Smashed Codes: A True Story of Love, Spies, and the Unlikely Heroine who Outwitted America's Enemies cover
Book Review

Joining the ranks of Hidden Figures and In the Garden of Beasts, the incredible true story of the greatest codebreaking duo that ever lived, an American woman and her husband who invented the modern science of cryptology together and used it to confront the evils of their time, solving puzzles that unmasked Nazi spies and helped win World War II.

In 1912, at the height of World War I, brilliant Shakespeare expert Elizebeth Smith went to work for an eccentric tycoon on his estate outside Chicago. The tycoon had close ties to the US government, and he soon asked Elizebeth to apply her language skills to an exciting new venture: code breaking. There she met the man who would become her husband, groundbreaking cryptologist William Friedman. Though she and Friedman are in many ways the Adam and Eve of the NSA, Elizebeth's story, incredibly, has never been told.

In The Woman Who Smashed Codes, Jason Fagone chronicles the life of this extraordinary woman, who played an integral role in our nation's history for 40 years. After World War I, Smith used her talents to catch gangsters and smugglers during Prohibition, then accepted a covert missio...
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The Culper Ring: The History and Legacy of the Revolutionary War’s Most Famous Spy Ring cover
Book Review

*Includes pictures
*Includes correspondence between the spy ring and explains the results of their activities
*Includes online resources and a bibliography for further reading
*Includes a table of contents

After the siege of Boston forced the British to evacuate that city in March 1776, Continental Army commander George Washington suspected that the British would move by sea to New York City, the next logical target in an attempt to end a colonial insurrection. He thus rushed his army south to defend the city.

Washington guessed correctly, but it would be to no avail. Unlike Boston, New York City's terrain featured few defensible positions. The city lacked a high point from which to launch a siege, as the peninsula of Boston was fortunate to have. Moreover, Washington wasn't sure defending the city was necessary, hoping that an expedition launched toward Quebec like the one Benedict Arnold had led in late 1775 would keep the British away from New York anyway. However, Congress thought otherwise, and demanded that Washington defend New York.

Washington thus did what he was told, and it nearly resulted in the army’s demise. ...
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The Night Lives On: The Untold Stories and Secrets Behind the Sinking of the "Unsinkable" Ship—Titanic cover
Book Review

In this New York Times bestseller, the author of A Night to Remember and The Miracle of Dunkirk revisits the Titanic disaster.
 
Walter Lord’s A Night to Remember was a landmark work that recounted the harrowing events of April 14, 1912, when the British ocean liner RMS Titanic went down in the North Atlantic Ocean, a book that inspired a classic movie of the same name. In The Night Lives On, Lord takes the exploration further, revealing information about the ship’s last hours that emerged in the decades that followed, and separating myths from facts.
 
Was the ship really christened before setting sail on its maiden voyage? What song did the band play as water spilled over the bow? How did the ship’s wireless operators fail so badly, and why did the nearby Californian, just ten miles away when the Titanic struck the iceberg, not come to the rescue? Lord answers these questions and more, in a gripping investigation of the night when approximately 1,500 victims were lost to the sea.
 

Amazon.com Review

You might say that Walter Lord provoked the whole Tit...
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Greater Gotham: A History of New York City from 1898 to 1919 (The History of NYC Series) cover
Book Review

In this utterly immersive volume, Mike Wallace captures the swings of prosperity and downturn, from the 1898 skyscraper-driven boom to the Bankers' Panic of 1907, the labor upheaval, and violent repression during and after the First World War. Here is New York on a whole new scale, moving from national to global prominence -- an urban dynamo driven by restless ambition, boundless energy, immigrant dreams, and Wall Street greed.

Within the first two decades of the twentieth century, a newly consolidated New York grew exponentially. The city exploded into the air, with skyscrapers jostling for prominence, and dove deep into the bedrock where massive underground networks of subways, water pipes, and electrical conduits sprawled beneath the city to serve a surging population of New Yorkers from all walks of life. New York was transformed in these two decades as the world's second-largest city and now its financial capital, thriving and sustained by the city's seemingly unlimited potential.

Wallace's new book matches its predecessor in pure page-turning appeal and takes America's greatest city to new heights.
...
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Electric October: Seven World Series Games, Six Lives, Five Minutes of Fame That Lasted Forever cover
Book Review

The story of six ordinary ballplayers whose paths crossed in the 1947 World Series--and the ways that epic October changed their lives

The 1947 World Series was “the most exciting ever” in the words of Joe DiMaggio, with a decade’s worth of drama packed into seven games between the mighty New York Yankees and underdog Brooklyn Dodgers. It was Jackie Robinson’s first Series, a postwar spectacle featuring Frank Sinatra, Ernest Hemingway and President Harry Truman in supporting roles. It was also the first televised World Series – sportswriters called it “Electric October.”

But for all the star power on display, the outcome hinged on role players: Bill Bevens, a journeyman who knocked on the door of pitching immortality; Al Gionfriddo and Cookie Lavagetto, bench players at the center of the Series’ iconic moments; Snuffy Stirnweiss, a wartime batting champion who never got any respect; and managers Bucky Harris and Burt Shotton, each an unlikely choice to run his team. Six men found themselves plucked from obscurity to shine on the sport’s greatest stage. But their fame was fleeting; three would never play another big-league game, and all six would be fo...
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The Workshop of Democracy: 1863–1932 (The American Experiment) cover
Book Review

The second volume of Burns’s acclaimed history of America, from the end of the Civil War to the beginning of the Great Depression
 
Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address pointed to a new way to preserve an old hope—that democracy might prove a vibrant and lasting form of government for people of different races, religions, and aspirations. The scars of the Civil War would not soon heal, but with that one short speech, the president held out the possibility that such a nation might not simply survive, but flourish. The Workshop of Democracy explores more than a half-century of dramatic growth and transformation of the American landscape, through the addition of dozens of new states, the shattering tragedy of the First World War, the explosion of industry, and, in the end, the emergence of the United States as an new global power.  
 
 
...
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What Unites Us: Reflections on Patriotism cover

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Book Review

“I find myself thinking deeply about what it means to love America, as I surely do.” —Dan Rather

At a moment of crisis over our national identity, venerated journalist Dan Rather has emerged as a voice of reason and integrity, reflecting on—and writing passionately about—what it means to be an American. Now, with this collection of original essays, he reminds us of the principles upon which the United States was founded. Looking at the freedoms that define us, from the vote to the press; the values that have transformed us, from empathy to inclusion to service; the institutions that sustain us, such as public education; and the traits that helped form our young country, such as the audacity to take on daunting challenges in science and medicine, Rather brings to bear his decades of experience on the frontlines of the world’s biggest stories. As a living witness to historical change, he offers up an intimate view of history, tracing where we have been in order to help us chart a way forward and heal our bitter divisions.

With a fundamental sense of hope, What Unites Us is the book to inspire conversation and listening, and to remin...
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Haven: The Dramatic Story of 1,000 World War II Refugees and How They Came to America cover
Book Review

Award-winning journalist Ruth Gruber’s powerful account of a top-secret mission to rescue one thousand European refugees in the midst of World War II

In 1943, nearly one thousand European Jewish refugees from eighteen different countries were chosen by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s administration to receive asylum in the United States. All they had to do was get there.
 
Ruth Gruber, with the support of Secretary of the Interior Harold Ickes, volunteered to escort them on their secret route across the Atlantic from a port in Italy to a “safe haven” camp in Oswego, New York. The dangerous endeavor carried the threat of Nazi capture with each passing day.
 
While on the ship, Gruber recorded the refugees’ emotional stories and recounts them here in vivid detail, along with the aftermath of their arrival in the US, which involved a fight for their right to stay after the war ended.
 
The result is a poignant and engrossing true story of suffering under Nazi persecution and incredible courage in the face of overwhelming circumstances.
 

Product Description

Award-winning journalist Ru...
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The Story of Christianity: Volume 1: The Early Church to the Dawn of the Reformation cover
Book Review

In this fully revised and updated edition, the lauded church historian Justo González tells the story of Christianity from its fragile infancy to its pervasive dominance at the dawn of the Protestant Reformation. The Story of Christianity, volume 1, relates the dramatic events, the colorful characters, and the revolutionary ideas that shaped the first fifteen centuries of the church's life and thought.

From Jesus's faithful apostles to the early reformist John Wycliffe, González skillfully weaves details from the lives of prominent figures tracing core theological issues and developments within the various traditions of the church. The Story of Christianity demonstrates at each point what new challenges and opportunities faced the church and how Christians struggled with the various options open to them, thereby shaping the future direction of the church.

This new edition of The Story of Christianity incorporates recent archaeological discoveries to give us a better view of the early Christian communities. Among these are advances in the recovery of Gnostic texts that have revealed a richer diversity of "Christianities" in the firs...
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Our Crime Was Being Jewish: Hundreds of Holocaust Survivors Tell Their Stories cover
Book Review

In the shouted words of a woman bound for Auschwitz to a man about to escape from a cattle car, “If you get out, maybe you can tell the story! Who else will tell it?”

Our Crime Was Being Jewish contains 576 vivid memories of 358 Holocaust survivors. These are the true, insider stories of victims, told in their own words. They include the experiences of teenagers who saw their parents and siblings sent to the gas chambers; of starving children beaten for trying to steal a morsel of food; of people who saw their friends commit suicide to save themselves from the daily agony they endured. The recollections are from the start of the war—the home invasions, the Gestapo busts, and the ghettos—as well as the daily hell of the concentration camps and what actually happened inside.

Six million Jews were killed in the Holocaust, and this hefty collection of stories told by its survivors is one of the most important books of our time. It was compiled by award-winning author Anthony S. Pitch, who worked with sources such as the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum to get survivors’ stories compiled together and to supplement them with images from the war. ...
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Wicked Women: Notorious, Mischievous, and Wayward Ladies from the Old West cover
Book Review

 This collection of short, action-filled stories of the Old West’s most egregiously badly behaved female outlaws, gamblers, soiled-doves, and other wicked women by  offers a glimpse into Western Women’s experience that's less sunbonnets and more six-shooters. Pulling together stories of ladies caught in the acts of mayhem, distraction, murder, and highway robbery, it will include famous names like Belle Starr and Big Nose Kate, as well as lesser known characters.
...
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Where the Birds Never Sing: The True Story of the 92nd Signal Battalion and the Liberation of Dachau cover
Book Review

In this riveting book, Jack Sacco tells the realistic, harrowing, at times horrifying, and ultimately triumphant tale of an American GI in World War II as seen through the eyes of his father, Joe Sacco -- a farm boy from Alabama who was flung into the chaos of Normandy and survived the terrors of the Bulge.

As part of the 92nd Signal Battalion and Patton's famed Third Army, Joe and his buddies found themselves at the forefront of the Allied push through France and Germany. After more than a year of fighting, but still only twenty years old, Joe had become a hardened veteran. Yet nothing could have prepared him and his unit for the horrors behind the walls of Germany's infamous Dachau concentration camp. They were among the first 250 American troops into the camp, and it was there that they finally grasped the significance of the Allied mission. Surrounded by death and destruction, the men not only found the courage and will to fight, but they also discovered the meaning of friendship and came to understand the value and fragility of life.

...
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Daughters of the Samurai: A Journey from East to West and Back cover
Book Review

"Nimura paints history in cinematic strokes and brings a forgotten story to vivid, unforgettable life." —Arthur Golden, author of Memoirs of a Geisha


In 1871, five young girls were sent by the Japanese government to the United States. Their mission: learn Western ways and return to help nurture a new generation of enlightened men to lead Japan.


Raised in traditional samurai households during the turmoil of civil war, three of these unusual ambassadors—Sutematsu Yamakawa, Shige Nagai, and Ume Tsuda—grew up as typical American schoolgirls. Upon their arrival in San Francisco they became celebrities, their travels and traditional clothing exclaimed over by newspapers across the nation. As they learned English and Western customs, their American friends grew to love them for their high spirits and intellectual brilliance.


The passionate relationships they formed reveal an intimate world of cross-cultural fascination and connection. Ten years later, they returned to Japan—a land grown foreign to them—determined to revolutionize women’s education.


Based on in-depth archival research in Japan and in the United States, in...
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The Doughboys: America and the First World War cover
Book Review

More than three million American men, many of them volunteers, joined the A.E.F. in the first 20 months of US involvement in the First World War.

Of these, over 50,000 were killed on European soil.

These were the Doughboys, the young men recruited from the cities and farms of the United States, who travelled across the Atlantic to aid the allies in the trenches and on the battlefields.

Without their courage and determination, the outcome of the war would have been very different.

Why did America become involved in the First World War?

What was the fighting experience of the A.E.F. in France and Russia?

Most importantly, why has the vital contribution made by the Americans been largely neglected by historians of the Great War?

Drawing upon the often harrowing personal accounts of the soldiers of the A.E.F., this book establishes the pivotal role played by the Americans in the defeat of the central powers in November 1918.

In this fascinating study, based on original research, Gary Mead adjusts the balance of history in favour of these unsung heroes.

Drawing on ...
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Unbound: How Eight Technologies Made Us Human and Brought Our World to the Brink cover
Book Review

Like Guns, Germs, and Steel, a work of breathtaking sweep and originality that reinterprets the human story.

Although we usually think of technology as something unique to modern times, our ancestors began to create the first technologies millions of years ago in the form of prehistoric tools and weapons. Over time, eight key technologies gradually freed us from the limitations of our animal origins.

The fabrication of weapons, the mastery of fire, and the technologies of clothing and shelter radically restructured the human body, enabling us to walk upright, shed our body hair, and migrate out of tropical Africa. Symbolic communication transformed human evolution from a slow biological process into a fast cultural process. The invention of agriculture revolutionized the relationship between humanity and the environment, and the technologies of interaction led to the birth of civilization. Precision machinery spawned the industrial revolution and the rise of nation-states; and in the next metamorphosis, digital technologies may well unite all of humanity for the benefit of future generations.

Synthesizing the findings of primatology,...
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The Unexpected President: The Life and Times of Chester A. Arthur cover
Book Review

Nobody expected the vice president, a New York political hack, to be president. And after President James A. Garfield was shot in 1881, nobody expected Chester A. Arthur to become a strong and effective president, a courageous anti-corruption reformer, and an early civil rights advocate. And yet...

Despite his promising start as a young man, by his early fifties Chester A. Arthur was known as the crooked crony of New York machine boss Roscoe Conkling. For years Arthur had been perceived as unfit to govern, not only by critics and the vast majority of his fellow citizens but by his own conscience. As President James A. Garfield struggled for his life, Arthur knew better than his detractors that he failed to meet the high standard a president must uphold.

And yet, from the moment President Arthur took office, he proved to be not just honest but brave, going up against the very forces that had controlled him for decades. He surprised everyone--and gained many enemies--when he swept house and took on corruption, civil rights for blacks, and issues of land for Native Americans.

A mysterious young woman deserves much of the credit for Arthur's remarka...
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Walking the Bible: A Journey by Land Through the Five Books of Moses cover
Book Review

Both a heart-racing adventure and an uplifting quest, Walking the Bible describes one man's epic odyssey—by foot, jeep, rowboat, and camel—through the greatest stories ever told. From crossing the Red Sea to climbing Mount Sinai to touching the burning bush, Bruce Feiler's inspiring journey will forever change your view of some of history's most storied events.

...
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Black Sheep One: The Life of Gregory Pappy Boyington cover
Book Review

Black Sheep One is the first biography of legendary warrior and World War II hero Gregory Boyington. In 1936, Boyington became an aviation cadet and earned the “wings of gold” of a naval aviator. After only a short period on active duty, however, he was “encouraged” to resign from the Marine Corps due to his unconventional behavior. Remarkably, this inauspicious beginning was just the prologue to a heroic career as an American fighter pilot and innovative combat leader. With the onset of World War II, when skilled pilots were in demand, he became the commander of an ad hoc squadron of flying leathernecks. Led by Medal of Honor winner Boyington, the legendary Black Sheep set a blistering pace of aerial victories against the enemy.

Though many have observed that when the shooting stops, combat heroes typically just fade away, nothing could be further from the truth for Boyington. Blessed with inveterate luck, the stubbornly independent Boyington lived a life that went beyond what even the most imaginative might expect. Exhaustively researched and richly detailed, here is the complete story of this American original.


From the Paper...
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Elizabeth's Women: Friends, Rivals, and Foes Who Shaped the Virgin Queen cover
Book Review

A source of endless fascination and speculation, the subject of countless biographies, novels, and films, Elizabeth I is now considered from a thrilling new angle by the brilliant young historian Tracy Borman. So often viewed in her relationships with men, the Virgin Queen is portrayed here as the product of women—the mother she lost so tragically, the female subjects who worshipped her, and the peers and intimates who loved, raised, challenged, and sometimes opposed her.

In vivid detail, Borman presents Elizabeth’s bewitching mother, Anne Boleyn, eager to nurture her new child, only to see her taken away and her own life destroyed by damning allegations—which taught Elizabeth never to mix politics and love. Kat Astley, the governess who attended and taught Elizabeth for almost thirty years, invited disaster by encouraging her charge into a dangerous liaison after Henry VIII’s death. Mary Tudor—“Bloody Mary”—envied her younger sister’s popularity and threatened to destroy her altogether. And animosity drove Elizabeth and her cousin Mary Queen of Scots into an intense thirty-year rivalry that could end only in death.

Elizabeth’s Women contains m...
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The Best of American Heritage: New York cover
Book Review

There is only one New York. It didn't make America, but it made possible the America we've come to know. Here - from American Heritage magazine and such historians as David McCullough, Kevin Baker, Walter Karp, and William V. Shannon - is its remarkable story: from Henry Hudson's historic voyage and the sale of Manhattan Island to New York's occupation by British forces during the Revolution and the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge, Central Park, and the Whitney Museum....
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Tinderbox: The Past and Future of Pakistan cover
Book Review

“Among many recent books on Pakistan, Mr. Akbar’s stands out….A fine and detailed history of Indian Muslim anger and insecurity.”
The Economist

In Tinderbox, India’s leading journalist delivers a fascinating narrative history of Pakistan, chronicling the conflict between Muslim and Hindu cultures in South Asia and describing the role that their relationship has played in defining both the country and the region. Editorial director of India Today and editor of the Sunday Guardian, M. J. Akbar gives readers an unprecedented look at Pakistan past and present. Panoramic in scope but specific in detail, with rich portraits of the central figures and events that have defined the nation’s history, Ackbar’s Tinderbox tells the Pakistanian story from the Middle Ages to the present, puts the Taliban and its place within modern Islam into a meaningful context, and diagnoses where the country is headed in the 21st century.

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“Among many recent books on Pakistan, Mr. Akbar’s stands out….A fine and detailed history of Indian Muslim anger and insecurity.”
The Economist

I...
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Does This Mean You'll See Me Naked?: Field Notes from a Funeral Director cover
Book Review

Why would someone want to hang out with dead bodies?

With curious anecdotes and unbelievable truth, funeral director Robert Webster reveals that answer and more, offering readers entertaining and quirky stories gleaned from a life lived around death. Webster tackles those embarrassing questions we all have about what really goes on bhind the scenes when you've left this world:

  • Strange things people put in caskets
  • The biggest rip-offs in the business
  • The crazy things that happen to a body after death
  • Lime, waz, and other ways to hide the truth
  • The most important thing an undertaker does
  • How to avoid the high-pressure funeral parlor
  • What that's not a coffin the body is resting in

    Product Description

    Why would someone want to hang out with dead bodies?

    With curious anecdotes and unbelievable truth, funeral director Robert Webster reveals that answer and more, offering readers entertaining and quirky stories gleaned from a life lived around death. Webster tackles those embarrassing questions we all have about what really goes on bhind the scenes when you've left this world:

Rig Ship for Ultra Quiet cover
Book Review

There are a lot of books about submarines - not many have been written by submariners. Join veteran submariner Andrew Karam and the crew of the USS Plunger (SSN 595) as it goes up against the best of the Soviet Navy on an extended "special operation" in the waning days of the Cold War and find out what life at sea is really like.

What makes Karam's book unique is the authenticity that comes from an author who is a decorated veteran of the submarine service, coupled with the viewpoint of a fairly senior enlisted man who, with no particular ax to grind, simply calls it like he saw it. This is a book about living and working on a submarine - if you want to hear about submarine operations, tactics, and the sort of routine intelligence-gathering that every attack boat conducted every year then this is the book for you. And if you want to know what happens before and after the intelligence is gathered - what the meals are like, how submariners personalize their own minute corner of the boat, how a reactor is started up, and how to flush a submarine toilet - this is still the book for you!

Rig Ship for Ultra Quiet is set on the USS Plunger, an aging attack ...
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Benjamin Franklin: The American Dream (The True Story of Benjamin Franklin) (Historical Biographies of Famous People) cover
Book Review

No American has ever been such a success in so many fields as Benjamin Franklin. He produced the country’s first literary masterpiece with his Autobiography, and the witty epigrams of his Poor Richard’s Almanac continue to pepper our everyday speech. He was one of the American colonies’ great civic leaders, founding libraries, hospitals, and other civic organizations. He was the first to name batteries, and “positive” and “negative” electrical charges, and he invented the lightning rod, the bifocals, and the Franklin stove. He was on the committee that wrote the Declaration of Independence, and he won the greatest diplomatic triumph in American history when he secured French military support for the American Revolution, guaranteeing its success.

In this compact, highly readable biography, Alexander Kennedy examines every facet of this many-sided figure. He separates fact from fiction in such famous incidents as the kite-and-key experiment, and reveals lesser known aspects of the great man’s life, such as his role in the popularization of American chess or the nascent abolition movement. In seeing the countless ways that this great polymath shaped the nation, the...
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12, 20 & 5: A Doctor's Year in Vietnam cover
Book Review

The wry and heart-wrenching memoir of a young doctor’s year behind the frontlines in Vietnam.

Assigned to the marine camp at Phu Bai, Dr. John A. Parrish confronted all manner of medical trauma, quickly shedding the naïveté of a new medical intern. With this memoir, he crafts a haunting, humane portrait of one man’s agonizing confrontation with war. With a wife and two children awaiting his return home, the young physician lives through the most turbulent and formative year of his life—and finds himself molded into a true doctor by the raw tragedy of the battlefield. His endless work is punctuated only by the arrival of the next helicopter bearing more casualties, and the stark announcements: “12 litter-borne wounded, 20 ambulatory wounded, and 5 dead.”

12, 20 & 5 is an intimate and unique look at the effects of war that Library Journal calls “an autobiographical M*A*S*H* . . . phenomenal.”
 
 
...
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The End of Empire: Attila the Hun & the Fall of Rome cover
Book Review

"A thoughtful and sophisticated account of a notoriously complicated and controversial period." —R. I. Moore, Times Literary Supplement


History remembers Attila, the leader of the Huns, as the Romans perceived him: a savage barbarian brutally inflicting terror on whoever crossed his path. Following Attila and the Huns from the steppes of Kazakhstan to the court of Constantinople, Christopher Kelly portrays Attila in a compelling new light, uncovering an unlikely marriage proposal, a long-standing relationship with a treacherous Roman general, and a thwarted assassination plot. We see Attila as both a master warrior and an astute strategist whose rule was threatening but whose sudden loss of power was even more so. The End of Empire is an original exploration of the clash between empire and barbarity in the ancient world, full of contemporary resonance.

...
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A New York Times bestselling author’s revealing account of General Robert E. Lee’s life after Appomattox: “An American classic" (Atlanta Journal-Constitution).
 
After his surrender at Appomattox in 1865, Robert E. Lee, commanding general for the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia during the Civil War, lived only five more years. It was the great forgotten chapter of his remarkable life, during which Lee did more to bridge the divide between the North and the South than any other American. The South may have lost, but Lee taught them how to triumph in peace, and showed the entire country how to heal the wounds of war.
 
Based on previously unseen documents, letters, family papers and exhaustive research into Lee’s complex private life and public crusades, this is a portrait of a true icon of Reconstruction and quiet rebellion. From Lee’s urging of Rebel soldiers to restore their citizenship, to his taking communion with a freedman, to his bold dance with a Yankee belle at a Southern ball, to his outspoken regret of his soldierly past, to withstanding charges of treason, Lee embodied his adage: “True patriotism sometimes...
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The Woman Who Smashed Codes: A True Story of Love, Spies, and the Unlikely Heroine Who Outwitted America's Enemies cover
Book Review

“Not all superheroes wear capes, and Elizebeth Smith Friedman should be the subject of a future Wonder Woman movie." —The New York Times

Joining the ranks of Hidden Figures and In the Garden of Beasts, the incredible true story of the greatest codebreaking duo that ever lived, an American woman and her husband who invented the modern science of cryptology together and used it to confront the evils of their time, solving puzzles that unmasked Nazi spies and helped win World War II.

In 1916, at the height of World War I, brilliant Shakespeare expert Elizebeth Smith went to work for an eccentric tycoon on his estate outside Chicago. The tycoon had close ties to the U.S. government, and he soon asked Elizebeth to apply her language skills to an exciting new venture: code-breaking. There she met the man who would become her husband, groundbreaking cryptologist William Friedman. Though she and Friedman are in many ways the "Adam and Eve" of the NSA, Elizebeth’s story, incredibly, has never been told.

In The Woman Who Smashed Codes, Jason Fagone chronicles the life of this extraordinary woman, who played an...
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An astonishing account of Cuban exiles, CIA informants, and cocaine traffickers in Florida by the New York Times–bestselling author of South and West.

In Miami, the National Book Award–winning author of The Year of Magical Thinking looks beyond postcard images of fluorescent waters, backlit islands, and pastel architecture to explore the murkier waters of a city on the edge.
 
From Fidel Castro and the Bay of Pigs invasion to Lee Harvey Oswald and the Kennedy assassination to Oliver North and the Iran–Contra affair, Joan Didion uncovers political intrigues and shadowy underworld connections, and documents the US government’s “seduction and betrayal” of the Cuban exile community in Dade County. She writes of hotels that offer “guerrilla discounts,” gun shops that advertise Father’s Day deals, and a real-estate market where “Unusual Security and Ready Access to the Ocean” are perks for wealthy homeowners looking to make a quick escape. With a booming drug trade, staggering racial and class inequities, and skyrocketing murder rates, Miami in the 1980s felt more like a Third World capital than a modern American ci...
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Liberalism or How to Turn Good Men into Whiners, Weenies and Wimps cover
Book Review

As heard on Mark Levin and Glenn Beck radio!

The Black middle class—saviors of the American way.

Liberalism or How to Turn Good Men into Whiners, Weenies and Wimps documents the role of the 21 white, self-avowed socialist, atheist and  Marxist founders of the NAACP and their impact on the Black community’s present status at the top of our nations misery index.  It highlights the decades of anti-Black legislation supported by liberal black leaders who prioritized class over race in their zeal for the promises of socialism. Their anti-Black legislation, dating back with the 1932 Davis-Bacon Act, continues today to suppress inter-community Black capitalism, federal construction related Black employment, work and job experience for Black teenagers, quality education access for urban black children, and the role of black men as leaders within the family unit.

Liberalism or How to Turn Good Men into Whiners, Weenies and Wimps highlights the strategy, used in 1910, to inject the atheist ideology of socialism into a once enterprising, self-sufficient, competitive and proud Christian black community. A portion of that community, the cons...
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Americana: A 400-Year History of American Capitalism cover
Book Review

From the days of the Mayflower and the Virginia Company, America has been a place for people to dream, invent, build, tinker, and bet the farm in pursuit of a better life. Americana takes us on a four-hundred-year journey of this spirit of innovation and ambition through a series of Next Big Things -- the inventions, techniques, and industries that drove American history forward: from the telegraph, the railroad, guns, radio, and banking to flight, suburbia, and sneakers, culminating with the Internet and mobile technology at the turn of the twenty-first century. The result is a thrilling alternative history of modern America that reframes events, trends, and people we thought we knew through the prism of the value that, for better or for worse, this nation holds dearest: capitalism. 

In a winning, accessible style, Bhu Srinivasan boldly takes on four centuries of American enterprise, revealing the unexpected connections that link them. We learn how Andrew Carnegie's early job as a telegraph messenger boy paved the way for his leadership of the steel empire that would make him one of the nation's richest men; how the gunmaker Remington reinvented itself in th...
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27 Articles is Lawrence of Arabia’s classic set of guidelines on military leadership in the Middle East. The 100th anniversary edition features a new introduction by foreign policy expert John Hulsman and a new afterword from CBS News President David Rhodes, addressing the articles’ lasting lessons.

In 1916, T.E. Lawrence was deployed to the Arabian Peninsula to aid with the Arab Revolt against the Ottoman Empire. It was the middle of World War I and the British command was throwing its weight behind the long-rebellious southern territories of the Ottoman Empire. Lawrence had extraordinary success fighting alongside the coalition of Arab revolutionaries, and his story has since become legend. Worried that Lawrence would die on the battlefield and that his knowledge would vanish with him, British command asked Lawrence to write out a series of guidelines on his own tactics and teachings.

27 Articles, the text of Lawrence’s guidelines, has become required reading for military leaders. Lawrence’s deployment was the West’s first modern involvement in war in the Middle East, and his campaign held myriad lessons for future generations. Despite being...
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The Freedom Line: The Brave Men and Women Who Rescued Allied Airmen from the Nazis During World War II cover
Book Review

The romance of Casablanca ... the gripping narrative of Eye of the Needle ... both come together in this enthralling true story of World War II resistance fighters and the airmen they saved.

As war raged against Hitler's Germany, an increasing number of Allied fliers were shot down onmissions against Nazi targets in occupied Europe. Many fliers parachuted safely behind enemy lines only to find themselves stranded and hunted down by the Gestapo.

The Freedom Line traces the thrilling and true story of Robert Grimes, a twenty-year-old American B-17 pilot whose plane was shot down over Belgium on October 20, 1943. Wounded, disoriented and scared, he was rescued by operatives of the Comet Line, a group of tenacious young women and men from Belgium, France and Spain who joined forces to recover Allied aircrews and take them to safety. Brought back to health with their help, Grimes was pursued by bloodhounds, the Luftwaffe security police and the Gestapo. And on Christmas Eve 1943, he and a group of fellow Americans faced unexpected danger and tragedy on the border between France and Spain.

The road to safety was a treacherous journey by train, by bi...
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This book is perhaps the jewel in Prospect’s crown. Within a few months of its first appearance in 1986 it was hailed as a modern classic. Fiona MacCarthy wrote in The Times that, ‘the book is a large and grandiose life history, a passionate narrative of extremes of experience.’ Jeremy Round called Patience Gray ‘the high priestess of cooking’, whose book ‘pushes the form of the cookery book as far as it can go.’ Angela Carter remarked that ‘it was less a cookery book that a summing-up of the genre of the late-modern British cookery book.’ The work has attracted a cult following in the United States, where passages have been read out at great length on the radio; and it has been anthologized by Paul Levy in The Penguin Book of Food and Drink. It was given a special award by the André Simon Book Prize committee in 1987.

Amazon.com Review

Simply put, Honey from a Weed is a jewel of a book. Reading it, one realizes the true artistry of the author, a person whose relationship with the world around her is both intimate and immediate--someone who can transform the fruits of the earth--beans, potatoes, garlic, herbs--into a gustatory masterpiece. The subt...
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Alone: Britain, Churchill, and Dunkirk: Defeat Into Victory cover
Book Review

Combining epic history with rich family stories, Michael Korda chronicles the outbreak of World War Two and the great events that led to Dunkirk.

An epic of remarkable originality, Alone captures the heroism of World War II as movingly as any book in recent memory. Bringing to vivid life the world leaders, generals, and ordinary citizens who fought on both sides of the war, Michael Korda, the best-selling author of Clouds of Glory, chronicles the outbreak of hostilities, recalling as a prescient young boy the enveloping tension that defined pre-Blitz London, and then as a military historian the great events that would alter the course of the twentieth century.

For indeed, May 1940 was a month like no other. The superior German war machine blazed into France, as the Maginot Line, supposedly "as firmly fixed in place as the Pyramids," crumbled in days. With the fall of Holland and Belgium, the imminent fall of Paris, the British Army stranded at Dunkirk, and Neville Chamberlain’s government in political freefall, Winston Churchill became prime minister on this historical nadir of May 10, 1941. Britain, diplomatically isolated...
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Cortés and the Aztec Conquest cover
Book Review

In three years, the Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés, leading a few hundred Spanish soldiers, overcame a centuries-old empire that could put tens of thousands of warriors on the field. Even after his god-like reputation had been shattered, and his horses and cannons were no longer regarded as supernatural, his ruthless daring took him on to victory. Yet in the end, his prize was not the gold that he had sought, but the destruction of the entire Aztec civilization....
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The Magnificent Medills: America's Royal Family of Journalism During a Century of Turbulent Splendor cover
Book Review

The riveting story of the country’s first media dynasty, the Medills of Chicago, whose power and influence shaped the story of America and American journalism for four generations

When thirty-two-year-old former lawyer Joseph Medill bought a controlling stake in the bankrupt Chicago Daily Tribune in 1855, he had no way of foreseeing the unparalleled influence he and his progeny would have on the world of journalism and on American society at large.

Medill personally influenced the political tide that transformed America during the midnineteenth century by fostering the Republican Party, engineering the election of Abraham Lincoln and serving as a catalyst for the outbreak of the Civil War. The dynasty he established, filled with colorful characters, went on to take American journalism by storm. His grandson, Colonel Robert R. McCormick, personified Chicago, as well as its great newspaper, the Chicago Tribune, throughout much of the twentieth century. Robert’s cousin, Joseph Medill Patterson, started the New York Daily News, and Joe’s sister, Cissy Patterson, was the innovative editor of the Washington Times-Herald. In the...
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WARS CHANGE, WARRIORS DON'T

We are all warriors. Each of us struggles every day to define and defend our sense of purpose and integrity, to justify our existence on the planet and to understand, if only within our own hearts, who we are and what we believe in. Do we fight by a code? If so, what is it? What is the Warrior Ethos? Where did it come from? What form does it take today? How do we (and how can we) use it and be true to it in our internal and external lives?

The Warrior Ethos is intended not only for men and women in uniform, but artists, entrepreneurs and other warriors in other walks of life. The book examines the evolution of the warrior code of honor and "mental toughness." It goes back to the ancient Spartans and Athenians, to Caesar's Romans, Alexander's Macedonians and the Persians of Cyrus the Great (not excluding the Garden of Eden and the primitive hunting band). Sources include Herodotus, Thucydides, Plutarch, Xenophon, Vegetius, Arrian and Curtius--and on down to Gen. George Patton, Field Marshal Erwin Rommel, and Israeli Minister of Defense, Moshe Dayan....
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Left of Bang: How the Marine Corps' Combat Hunter Program Can Save Your Life cover
Book Review

"At a time when we must adapt to the changing character of conflict, this is a serious book on a serious issue that can give us the edge we need.”

—General James Mattis, USMC, Ret.

"Left of Bang offers a crisp lesson in survival in which Van Horne and Riley affirm a compelling truth: It's better to detect sinister intentions early than respond to violent actions late. Left of Bang helps readers avoid the bang."

—Gavin de Becker, bestselling author if The Gift of Fear

"Rare is the book that is immediately practical and interesting. Left of Bang accomplishes this from start to finish. There is something here for everyone in the people business and we are all in the people business."

—Joe Navarro, bestselling author of What Every BODY is Saying.

"Left of Bang is a highly important and innovative book that offers a substantial contribution to answering the challenge of Fourth Generation war (4GW)."

—William S. Lind, author of Maneuver Warfare Handbook

"Like Sun Tzu's The Art of War, Left of Bang isn't just for the military. It's a must read for anyone who has ever had a gut feeling that so...
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World War One: History in an Hour cover
Book Review

Love history? Know your stuff with History in an Hour.

The ‘Great War’, from July 1914 to November 1918, was without parallel. It brought to an end four dynasties, ignited revolution, and forged new nations. It introduced killing on an unprecedented scale, costing an estimated nine million lives. It was the war that destroyed any notion of romance or chivalry in battle; it pulled in combatants from nations across the globe and shattered them, body and mind.

The War involved all of the world’s great powers – the Central Powers, dominated by Germany and Austria-Hungary; the Triple Entente, lead by Britain, France and Russia; and America. World War One: History in an Hour explains the unprecedented battles on land, sea and in the air and describes the Home Front, espionage, and the politics behind them. This, for the first time in history, was ‘total war’.

Love history? Know your stuff with History in an Hour…

...
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Wedding of the Waters: The Erie Canal and the Making of a Great Nation cover
Book Review

"One corner of the great American panorama enlarged to highlight starry-eyed visionaries, political machinations, indefatigable ingenuity, and cockeyed optimism." —Kirkus Reviews


The building of the Erie Canal, like the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge and the Panama Canal, is one of the greatest and most riveting stories of American ingenuity. Best-selling author Peter Bernstein presents the story of the canal's construction against the larger tableau of America in the first quarter-century of the 1800s. Examining the social, political, and economic ramifications of this mammoth project, Bernstein demonstrates how the canal's creation helped prevent the dismemberment of the American empire and knit the sinews of the American industrial revolution. Featuring a rich cast of characters, including not only political visionaries like Washington, Jefferson, van Buren, and the architect's most powerful champion, Governor DeWitt Clinton, but also a huge platoon of Irish diggers as well as the canal's first travelers, Wedding of the Waters reveals that the twenty-first-century themes of urbanization, economic growth, and globalization can all be t...
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Heaven: Our Enduring Fascination with the Afterlife cover
Book Review

“Wonderful…. A smart and accessible take on the ultimate question: What is Heaven? Lisa’s book is a good place to begin to find an answer.”
— Jon Meacham, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of American Lion

“A rare combination of journalism, memoir, and historical research … this smart yet heartfelt book leads us into the center of one of the greatest conversations of all time. And Lisa Miller is the perfect conversation partner.”
— Stephen Prothero, New York Times bestselling author of American Jesus and Religious Literacy

A groundbreaking history of the hereafter, Heaven by Newsweek reporter and religion editor Lisa Miller draws from both history and popular culture to reveal how past and presage visions of heaven have evolved and how they inspire us to both good and evil.

...
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Bunny Mellon: The Life of an American Style Legend cover
Book Review

AN INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * AN AMAZON BEST BOOK OF THE MONTH IN BIOGRAPHIES & MEMOIRS

A new biography of Bunny Mellon, the style icon and American aristocrat who designed the White House Rose Garden for her friend JFK and served as a living witness to 20th Century American history, operating in the high-level arenas of politics, diplomacy, art and fashion.

Bunny Mellon, who died in 2014 at age 103, was press-shy during her lifetime. With the co-operation of Bunny Mellon's family, author Meryl Gordon received access to thousands of pages of her letters, diaries and appointment calendars and has interviewed more than 175 people to capture the spirit of this talented American original.
...
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War Paint: The 1st Infantry Division's LRP/Ranger Company in Fierce Combat in Vietnam cover
Book Review

The men who served with in the 1st Infantry Division with F company, 52nd Infantry, (LRP) later redesignated as Company I, 75th Infantry (Ranger) --engaged in some of the fiercest, bloodiest fighting during the Vietnam War, suffering a greater relative aggregate of casualties that any other LRRP/LRP/ Ranger company. Their base was Lai Khe, within hailing distance of the Vietcong central headquarters, a mile inside Cambodia, with its vast stockpiles of weapons and thousands of transient VC and NVA soldiers.

Recondo-qualified Bill Goshen was there, and has written the first account of these battle-hardened soldiers. As the eyes and ears of the Big Red One, the 1st Infantry, these hunter/killer teams of only six men instered deep inside enemy territory had to survive by their wits, or suffer the deadly consequences. Goshen himself barely escaped with his life in a virtual suicide mission that destroyed half his team.

His gripping narrative recaptures the raw courage and sacrifice of American soldiers fighting a savage war of survival: men of all colors, from all walks of life, warriors bonded by triumph and tragedy, by life and death. They served pro...
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The Honest Truth About Dishonesty: How We Lie to Everyone--Especially Ourselves cover
Book Review

The New York Times bestselling author of Predictably Irrational and The Upside of Irrationality returns with thought-provoking work to challenge our preconceptions about dishonesty and urge us to take an honest look at ourselves.

  • Does the chance of getting caught affect how likely we are to cheat?
  • How do companies pave the way for dishonesty?
  • Does collaboration make us more honest or less so?
  • Does religion improve our honesty?

Most of us think of ourselves as honest, but, in fact, we all cheat. From Washington to Wall Street, the classroom to the workplace, unethical behavior is everywhere. None of us is immune, whether it's the white lie to head off trouble or padding our expense reports. In The (Honest) Truth About Dishonesty, award-winning, bestselling author Dan Ariely turns his unique insight and innovative research to the question of dishonesty.

Generally, we assume that cheating, like most other decisions, is based on a rational cost-benefit analysis. But Ariely argues, and then demonstrates, that it's actually the irrational forces that we don't take int...
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The Real Lincoln: A New Look at Abraham Lincoln, His Agenda, and an Unnecessary War cover
Book Review

A New Look at Abraham Lincoln, His Agenda, and an Unnecessary War

Most Americans consider Abraham Lincoln to be the greatest president in history. His legend as the Great Emancipator has grown to mythic proportions as hundreds of books, a national holiday, and a monument in Washington, D.C., extol his heroism and martyrdom. But what if most everything you knew about Lincoln were false? What if, instead of an American hero who sought to free the slaves, Lincoln were in fact a calculating politician who waged the bloodiest war in american history in order to build an empire that rivaled Great Britain's?

In The Real Lincoln, author Thomas J. DiLorenzo uncovers a side of Lincoln not told in many history books--and overshadowed by the immense Lincoln legend. Through extensive research and meticulous documentation, DiLorenzo portrays the sixteenth president as a man who devoted his political career to revolutionizing the American form of government from one that was very limited in scope and highly decentralized—as the Founding Fathers intended—to a highly centralized, activist state. Standing in his way, however, wa...
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The Man from the Train: The Solving of a Century-Old Serial Killer Mystery cover
Book Review

Using unprecedented, dramatically compelling sleuthing techniques, legendary statistician and baseball writer Bill James applies his analytical acumen to crack an unsolved century-old mystery surrounding one of the deadliest serial killers in American history.

Between 1898 and 1912, families across the country were bludgeoned in their sleep with the blunt side of an axe. Jewelry and valuables were left in plain sight, bodies were piled together, faces covered with cloth. Some of these cases, like the infamous Villasca, Iowa, murders, received national attention. But few people believed the crimes were related. And fewer still would realize that all of these families lived within walking distance to a train station.

When celebrated baseball statistician and true-crime expert Bill James first learned about these horrors, he began to investigate others that might fit the same pattern. Applying the same know-how he brings to his legendary baseball analysis, he empirically determined which crimes were committed by the same person. Then, after sifting through thousands of local newspapers, court transcripts, and public records, he and his daughter, Rachel, made ...
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The Sabres of Paradise: Conquest and Vengeance in the Caucasus cover
Book Review

PHILIP MARSDEN: Like Tolstoy’s, Lesley Blanch’s sense of history is ultimately convincing not because of any sweeping theses, but because of its particularities, the quirks of individuals and their personal narratives, their deluded ambitions, their vanities and passions.

THE GUARDIAN: Crammed with truly fabulous stories of fighting and love and violent death . . . this profound and exhilarating book turns the struggle of the people of the Caucasus to remain independent of Russia into a universal saga . . . it is no wonder Shamyl had such a powerful influence on Tolstoy and Pushkin.

Biography of supreme Muslim chieftain and military leader, Imam Shamyl, the ‘Lion of Daghestan’ fighting in the eastern Caucasus from 1834-59, by the late author and distinguished traveller, Lesley Blanch, MBE. It took six years to complete, with research done in Russia and the Caucasus, including tracing his descendants in Turkey and Egypt. Also a historical narrative, there are beautiful descriptions of the Caucasus — a region of supreme natural beauty and mighty mountain ranges — and the campaigns in which Lermontov and Tolstoy participated.

During the Caucas...
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The Great and Holy War: How World War I Became a Religious Crusade cover
Book Review

The Great and Holy War offers the first look at how religion created and prolonged the First World War. At the one-hundredth anniversary of the outbreak of the war, historian Philip Jenkins reveals the powerful religious dimensions of this modern-day crusade, a period that marked a traumatic crisis for Western civilization, with effects that echoed throughout the rest of the twentieth century.

The war was fought by the world's leading Christian nations, who presented the conflict as a holy war. Thanks to the emergence of modern media, a steady stream of patriotic and militaristic rhetoric was given to an unprecedented audience, using language that spoke of holy war and crusade, of apocalypse and Armageddon. But this rhetoric was not mere state propaganda. Jenkins reveals how the widespread belief in angels and apparitions, visions and the supernatural was a driving force throughout the war and shaped all three of the major religions—Christianity, Judaism and Islam—paving the way for modern views of religion and violence. The disappointed hopes and moral compromises that followed the war also shaped the political climate of the rest of the century, giving ...
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The Colosseum: A History cover
Book Review

More than 1,500 years have passed since the last blood - human or animal - was spilled in the Colosseum, but the massive building erected by the Flavian emperors has continued to play a role in history. This book tells the dramatic story of the Colosseum - from its bloody gladiatorial games and the sacrifice of early Christians to the dismantling of the arena and its final restoration. The book also recounts the story of Rome as viewed from the vantage point of the empire's most impressive ruins....
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The Pirate Queen: Queen Elizabeth I, Her Pirate Adventurers, and the Dawn of Empire cover
Book Review

Dubbed the "pirate queen" by the Vatican and Spain's Philip II, Elizabeth I was feared and admired by her enemies. Extravagant, whimsical, and hot-tempered, Elizabeth was the epitome of power. Her visionary accomplishments were made possible by her daring merchants, gifted rapscallion adventurers, astronomer philosophers, and her stalwart Privy Council, including Sir William Cecil, Sir Francis Walsingham, and Sir Nicholas Bacon. All these men contributed their vast genius, power, greed, and expertise to the advancement of England.

In The Pirate Queen, historian Susan Ronald offers a fresh look at Elizabeth I, focusing on her uncanny instinct for financial survival and the superior intellect that propelled and sustained her rise. The foundation of Elizabeth's empire was built on a carefully choreographed strategy whereby piracy transformed England from an impoverished state on the fringes of Europe into the first building block of an empire that covered two-fifths of the world.

Based on a wealth of historical sources and thousands of personal letters between Elizabeth and her merchant adventurers, advisers, and royal "cousins," The Pirate Queen Continue Reading

Marine Sniper: 93 Confirmed Kills cover
Book Review

The explosive true story of Sergeant Carlos Hathcock, a legendary Marine sniper in the Vietnam War.

There have been many Marines. There have been many marksmen. But there has only been one Sergeant Carlos Hathcock.

He stalked the Viet Cong behind enemy lines—on their own ground. And each time, he emerged from the jungle having done his duty. His record is one of the finest in military history, with ninety-three confirmed kills.

This is the story of a simple man who endured incredible dangers and hardships for his country and his Corps. These are the missions that have made Carlos Hathcock a legend in the brotherhood of Marines. They are exciting, powerful, chilling—and all true.

INCLUDES PHOTOGRAPHS...
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FOREVERMORE: Three True stories of the Holocaust and other periods cover
Book Review

Three masterful tales of loyalty, subjugation, and resilience,

Shlomo Kalo’s Forevermore peels back the façade of the Jewish plight and allows the Jew to be seen “as he is, and not how he is perceived.”

From the rise of Muhammad, the Cossack Rebellion, and perhaps Jewish history’s darkest hour yet, The Holocaust, Kalo’s vivid imagery and dedication to historical storytelling paints a vibrant picture of suffering, struggle, and the indomitable will of the human spirit.

Three pivotal moments in Jewish history create a stark and historical backdrop to Kalo’s fascinating tale, weaving these historically significant moments in Jewish history together to create a bold and complex tapestry of truth, at times a naked truth.

Vibrant, bold, and masterfully written, Nobel nominee Shlomo Kalo shares his incomparable storytelling ability with the world as he shines a powerful light on the history of injustice and struggle that has befallen the Jewish community for centuries in a three-part masterpiece that is hard to put down.

"An original style of writing and a look at events from an interesting perspective."
Shimon Peres


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A Small Town Love Story: Colonial Beach, Virginia cover
Book Review

Part memoir, part oral history, #1 New York Times bestselling author Sherryl Woods gives us a rare and intimate look at Colonial Beach, Virginia.

Rich in narrative history and local color, A Small Town Love Story: Colonial Beach, Virginia is an homage to the town of Sherryl Woods’s summers, a place that stole her heart long ago and provided the basis for the many fictional small towns in her bestselling novels.

True to Woods’s signature style of focusing on characters who are at the center of their communities, here she has woven together the stories of the very real people who helped shape this seaside Virginia town. She takes us back to the days of her own family gatherings, artfully capturing the unique essence of Colonial Beach and making us yearn for small-town life.

Woods’s own memories frame the true stories she features—from the unique history of Colonial Beach itself to some firsthand accounts of the Oyster Wars that once consumed the community, to the stories of neighborhood merchants who made it a point to know just about every customer by name. From farmers to restauranteu...
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Taking Hawaii: How Thirteen Honolulu Businessmen Overthrew the Queen of Hawaii in 1893, With a Bluff cover
Book Review

On a January afternoon in 1893, men hunkered down behind sandbagged emplacements in the streets of Honolulu, with rifles, machine guns, and cannon ready to open fire. Troops and police loyal to the queen of the sovereign nation of Hawaii faced off against a small number of rebel Honolulu businessmen—American, British, German, and Australian. In between them stood hundreds of heavily armed United States sailors and marines. Just after 2:00 p.m., the first shot was fired, and a military coup began.

This is the true, tragic, and at times amazing story of the 1893 overthrow of Queen Liliuokalani of Hawaii and her government. It’s also the story of a five-year police state regime in Hawaii following the overthrow, an attempted counter-coup by Hawaiians in 1895, and of how Hawaii became a United States possession.

In Taking Hawaii, award-winning author Stephen Dando-Collins (Standing Bear Is a PersonLegions of RomeTycoon’s War) reveals previously little-known facts uncovered during years of research on several continents, in the most dramatic and comprehensive chronicle of the end of Hawaii’s monarchy ever published. U...
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Gettysburg: A Testing of Courage cover
Book Review

America's Civil War raged for more than four years, but it is the three days of fighting in the Pennsylvania countryside in July 1863 that continues to fascinate, appall, and inspire new generations with its unparalleled saga of sacrifice and courage. From Chancellorsville, where General Robert E. Lee launched his high-risk campaign into the North, to the Confederates' last daring and ultimately-doomed act, forever known as Pickett's Charge, the battle of Gettysburg gave the Union army a victory that turned back the boldest and perhaps greatest chance for a Southern nation.

Now acclaimed historian Noah Andre Trudeau brings the most up-to-date research available to a brilliant, sweeping, and comprehensive history of the battle of Gettysburg that sheds fresh light on virtually every aspect of it. Deftly balancing his own narrative style with revealing firsthand accounts, Trudeau brings this engrossing human tale to life as never before.

...
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SKYJACK: The Hunt for D. B. Cooper cover
Book Review

The true story of the unsolved 1971 Northwest Orient airplane hijacking, Skyjack reopens one of the greatest cold cases of the 20th century.

“I have a bomb here and I would like you to sit by me.”

 
That was the note handed to a stewardess by a mild-mannered passenger on a Northwest Orient flight in 1971. It was also the start of one of the most astonishing whodunits in the history of American true crime: how one man extorted $200,000 from an airline before parachuting into the wilds of the Pacific Northwest, never to be seen again.

Starting with a crack tip from a private investigator, author Geoffrey Gray plunges into the murky depths of the decades-old mystery to chase down new clues and explore the secret lives of the cases's cast of characters and most promising suspects, including Ralph Himmelsbach, the most dogged of FBI agents, who watched with horror as a criminal became a counter-culture folk hero; Karl Fleming, a respected reporter whose career was destroyed by a D.B. Cooper scoop that was a scam; and Barbara (nee Bobby) Dayton, a transgendered pilot who insisted she was Cooper herself.

The ca...
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Ronald Reagan: 100 Years: Official Centennial Edition from the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation cover
Book Review

Ronald Reagan: 100 Years is the official centennial publication from the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation. Featuring archival photographs of the Reagan family along with insightful text, this book is the ultimate commemorative edition to mark the one hundredth anniversary of President Reagan’s birth. It offers an intimate, insider’s glimpse of the life and legacy of America’s most beloved leader....
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In the Hot Zone: One Man, One Year, Twenty Wars cover
Book Review

Kevin Sites is a man on a mission. Venturing alone into the dark heart of war, armed with just a video camera, a digital camera, a laptop, and a satellite modem, the award-winning journalist covered virtually every major global hot spot as the first Internet correspondent for Yahoo! News. Beginning his journey with the anarchic chaos of Somalia in September 2005 and ending with the Israeli-Hezbollah war in the summer of 2006, Sites talks with rebels and government troops, child soldiers and child brides, and features the people on every side, including those caught in the cross fire. His honest reporting helps destroy the myths of war by putting a human face on war's inhumanity. Personally, Sites will come to discover that the greatest danger he faces may not be from bombs and bullets, but from the unsettling power of the truth.

...
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Storms Over the Presidency (The Thomas Fleming Library) cover
Book Review

Choosing the most important moments in the long history of the American presidency is difficult. But here, New York Times bestselling historian Thomas Fleming vividly recreates many of those hours of crisis - from George Washington's fight for peace and the night Abraham Lincoln was almost shot to Ronald Reagan's plea to "tear down this wall" and George W. Bush on September 11, 2001, "the day that changed everything."...
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Behind Enemy Lines: The True Story of a French Jewish Spy in Nazi Germany cover
Book Review

"[T]he amazing story of a woman who lived through one of the worst times in human history, losing family members to the Nazis but surviving with her spirit and integrity intact.” —Publishers Weekly

Marthe Cohn was a young Jewish woman living just across the German border in France when Hitler rose to power. Her family sheltered Jews fleeing the Nazis, including Jewish children sent away by their terrified parents. But soon her homeland was also under Nazi rule. As the Nazi occupation escalated, Marthe’s sister was arrested and sent to Auschwitz and the rest of her family was forced to flee to the south of France.

Always a fighter, Marthe joined the French Army and became a member of the intelligence service of the French First Army. Marthe, using her perfect German accent and blond hair to pose as a young German nurse who was desperately trying to obtain word of a fictional fiancé, would slip behind enemy lines to retrieve inside information about Nazi troop movements. By traveling throughout the countryside and approaching troops sympathetic to her plight--risking death every time she did so--she learned where they were going next and was able...
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Killing England: The Brutal Struggle for American Independence cover
Book Review

This audiobook features an introduction read by Bill O'Reilly.

The Revolutionary War as never told before.

The breathtaking latest installment in Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard's mega-best-selling Killing series transports listeners to the most important era in our nation's history: the Revolutionary War. Told through the eyes of George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and Great Britain's King George III, Killing England chronicles the path to independence in gripping detail, taking the listener from the battlefields of America to the royal courts of Europe. What started as protest and unrest in the colonies soon escalated to a world war with devastating casualties.

O'Reilly and Dugard recreate the war's landmark battles, including Bunker Hill, Long Island, Saratoga, and Yorktown, revealing the savagery of hand-to-hand combat and the often brutal conditions under which these brave American soldiers lived and fought. Also here is the reckless treachery of Benedict Arnold and the daring guerilla tactics of the "Swamp Fox" Francis Marion. A must-listen, Killing England reminds one and all how the course of history ...
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Survivor Café: The Legacy of Trauma and the Labyrinth of Memory cover
Book Review

"Rosner demonstrates a rare blend of scholarly assessment and personal revelation, tempering her singular passion with an encompassing mercy. In this important and vital contribution to the conversation about legacy and responsibility, Rosner distills the magnitude of such burdens and defines the scope of memorialization with an elegance and eloquence that reverberates with both depth and nuance." ―Booklist (starred review)

As firsthand survivors of many of the twentieth century's most monumental events―the Holocaust, Pearl Harbor, the Killing Fields―begin to pass away, Survivor Café addresses urgent questions: How do we carry those stories forward? How do we collectively ensure that the horrors of the past are not forgotten?

Elizabeth Rosner organizes her book around three trips with her father to Buchenwald concentration camp―in 1983, in 1995, and in 2015―each journey an experience in which personal history confronts both commemoration and memorialization. She explores the echoes of similar legacies among descendants of African American slaves, descendants of Cambodian survivors of the Killing Fields, descendants of survivors of the...
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Jesus Wars: How Four Patriarchs, Three Queens, and Two Emperors Decided What Christians Would Believe for the Next 1,500 Years cover
Book Review

The Fifth-Century Political Battles That Forever Changed the Church

In this fascinating account of the surprisingly violent fifth-century church, PhilipJenkins describes how political maneuvers by a handful of powerful charactersshaped Christian doctrine. Were it not for these battles, today’s church could beteaching something very different about the nature of Jesus, and the papacy as weknow it would never have come into existence. Jesus Wars reveals the profoundimplications of what amounts to an accident of history: that one faction ofRoman emperors and militia-wielding bishops defeated another.

...
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Martin Luther: The Man Who Rediscovered God and Changed the World cover
Book Review

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

“Metaxas is a scrupulous chronicler and has an eye for a good story. . . . full, instructive, and pacey.” —The Washington Post

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Eric Metaxas comes a brilliant and inspiring biography of the most influential man in modern history, Martin Luther, in time for the 500th anniversary of the Reformation

 
On All Hallow’s Eve in 1517, a young monk named Martin Luther posted a document he hoped would spark an academic debate, but that instead ignited a conflagration that would forever destroy the world he knew. Five hundred years after Luther’s now famous Ninety-five Theses appeared, Eric Metaxas, acclaimed biographer of the bestselling Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy and Amazing Grace: William Wilberforce and the Heroic Campaign to End Slavery, paints a startling portrait of the wild figure whose adamantine faith cracked the edifice of Western Christendom and dragged medieval Europe into the future. Written in riveting prose and impeccably researched, Martin Luther tells the searing tale of a humble man who, by bringing ugly truths to t...
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This Kind of War: The Classic Military History of the Korean War cover
Book Review

The book that Defense Secretary James Mattis recommends as America faces the threat of conflict with North Korea.
 
In a recent story, Newsweek reported: “Amid increasingly deteriorating relations between the U.S. and North Korea, as President Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un exchange barbs and the threat of a nuclear conflict looms, Mattis responded to a question on how best to avoid such a war.
 
“An audience member asked: ‘What can the U.S. military do to lessen the likelihood of conflict on the Korean Peninsula?’
 
“Mattis responded with a direction to read This Kind of War, stating: ‘There’s a reason I recommend T.R. Fehrenbach’s book, that we all pull it out and read it one more time.’”
 
This Kind of War is “perhaps the best book ever written on the Korean War” (John McCain, The Wall Street Journal), the most comprehensive single-volume history of the conflict that began in 1950 and is still affecting US foreign policy. Fifty years later, not only does this enlightening account give details of the tactics, infantrymen, and equipment, it also chronicles the story of military and politi...
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The Origins of Totalitarianism (Harvest Book, Hb244) cover
Book Review

“How could such a book speak so powerfully to our present moment? The short answer is that we, too, live in dark times, even if they are different and perhaps less dark, and “Origins” raises a set of fundamental questions about how tyranny can arise and the dangerous forms of inhumanity to which it can lead.”   Jeffrey C. Isaac, The Washington Post

Hannah Arendt's definitive work on totalitarianism and an essential component of any study of twentieth-century political history

The Origins of Totalitarianism begins with the rise of anti-Semitism in central and western Europe in the 1800s and continues with an examination of European colonial imperialism from 1884 to the outbreak of World War I. Arendt explores the institutions and operations of totalitarian movements, focusing on the two genuine forms of totalitarian government in our time—Nazi Germany and Stalinist Russia—which she adroitly recognizes were two sides of the same coin, rather than opposing philosophies of Right and Left. From this vantage point, she discusses the evolution of classes into masses, the role of propaganda in dealing with the nontotalitarian wo...
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A Short History of Reconstruction cover
Book Review

An abridged version of Reconstruction: America's Unfinished Revolution, the definitive study of the aftermath of the Civil War, winner of the Bancroft Prize, Avery O. Craven Prize, Los Angeles Times Book Award, Francis Parkman Prize, and Lionel Trilling Prize.

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An abridged version of Reconstruction: America's Unfinished Revolution, the definitive study of the aftermath of the Civil War, winner of the Bancroft Prize, Avery O. Craven Prize, Los Angeles Times Book Award, Francis Parkman Prize, and Lionel Trilling Prize.

...
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Doubt: A History: The Great Doubters and Their Legacy of Innovation from Socrates and Jesus to Thomas Jefferson and Emily Dickinson cover
Book Review

In the tradition of grand sweeping histories such as From Dawn To Decadence, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, and A History of God, Hecht champions doubt and questioning as one of the great and noble, if unheralded, intellectual traditions that distinguish the Western mind especially-from Socrates to Galileo and Darwin to Wittgenstein and Hawking. This is an account of the world's greatest ‘intellectual virtuosos,' who are also humanity's greatest doubters and disbelievers, from the ancient Greek philosophers, Jesus, and the Eastern religions, to modern secular equivalents Marx, Freud and Darwin—and their attempts to reconcile the seeming meaninglessness of the universe with the human need for meaning,

This remarkable book ranges from the early Greeks, Hebrew figures such as Job and Ecclesiastes, Eastern critical wisdom, Roman stoicism, Jesus as a man of doubt, Gnosticism and Christian mystics, medieval Islamic, Jewish and Christian skeptics, secularism, the rise of science, modern and contemporary critical thinkers such as Schopenhauer, Darwin, Marx, Freud, Nietzsche, the existentialists.

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In the...
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Red Famine: Stalin's War on Ukraine cover
Book Review

From the author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Gulag and the National Book Award finalist Iron Curtain, a revelatory history of one of Stalin's greatest crimes—the consequences of which still resonate today

In 1929 Stalin launched his policy of agricultural collectivization—in effect a second Russian revolution—which forced millions of peasants off their land and onto collective farms. The result was a catastrophic famine, the most lethal in European history. At least five million people died between 1931 and 1933 in the USSR. But instead of sending relief the Soviet state made use of the catastrophe to rid itself of a political problem. In Red Famine, Anne Applebaum argues that more than three million of those dead were Ukrainians who perished not because they were accidental victims of a bad policy but because the state deliberately set out to kill them.

Applebaum proves what has long been suspected: after a series of rebellions unsettled the province, Stalin set out to destroy the Ukrainian peasantry. The state sealed the republic’s borders and seized all available food. Starvation set in rapidly, and people ate anything: grass, ...
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The Templars: The Rise and Spectacular Fall of God's Holy Warriors cover
Book Review

An instant New York Times bestseller, this major new history of the knights Templar is “a fresh, muscular and compelling history of the ultimate military-religious crusading order, combining sensible scholarship with narrative swagger" – Simon Sebag Montefiore, author of Jerusalem
 
A faltering war in the middle east. A band of elite warriors determined to fight to the death to protect Christianity’s holiest sites. A global financial network unaccountable to any government. A sinister plot founded on a web of lies.

Jerusalem 1119. A small group of knights seeking a purpose in the violent aftermath of the First Crusade decides to set up a new order. These are the first Knights Templar, a band of elite warriors prepared to give their lives to protect Christian pilgrims to the Holy Land. Over the next two hundred years, the Templars would become the most powerful religious order of the medieval world. Their legend has inspired fervent speculation ever since. 

In this groundbreaking narrative history, Dan Jones tells the true story of the Templars for the first time in a generation...
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Catherine the Great cover
Book Review

Catherine II of Russia was the most remarkable monarch of the eighteenth century. New York Times bestselling historian Ian Grey paints an illuminating portrait of an enigmatic woman of compelling charm and elegance. She had a prodigious appetite for work, great curiosity, and boundless ambition and vanity, and she was notorious for the number of her lovers. Her prodigal expenditures and patronage of the arts made her reign an era of splendor while her foreign policy and conquests carried Russian power and prestige to new heights. She cast a spell over most of her contemporaries in Russia and in Western Europe, and the spell has lingered. Here, in this book, is the dramatic story of an obscure German princess, without beauty or special advantage, but with courage, charisma, and determination, who became one of the arbiters of the affairs of Europe and renowned in history....
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The Swerve: How the World Became Modern cover
Book Review

Pulitzer Prize, General Nonfiction, 2012

National Book Award, Nonfiction, 2012

Renowned historian Stephen Greenblatt's works shoot to the top of the New York Times best-seller list. With The Swerve, Greenblatt transports listeners to the dawn of the Renaissance and chronicles the life of an intrepid book lover who rescued the Roman philosophical text On the Nature of Things from certain oblivion.

Nearly six hundred years ago, a short, genial, cannily alert man in his late 30s took a very old manuscript off a library shelf, saw with excitement what he had discovered, and ordered that it be copied. That book was the last surviving manuscript of an ancient Roman philosophical epic by Lucretius-a beautiful poem containing the most dangerous ideas: that the universe functioned without the aid of gods, that religious fear was damaging to human life, and that matter was made up of very small particles in eternal motion, colliding and swerving in new directions.

The copying and translation of this ancient book-the greatest discovery of the greatest book-hunter of his age-fueled the Renaissance, inspiring artists such ...
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unSpun: Finding Facts in a World of Disinformation cover

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Book Review

Americans are bombarded daily with mixed messages, half-truths, misleading statements, and out-and-out fabrications masquerading as facts. The news media–once the vaunted watchdogs of our republic–are often too timid or distracted to identify these deceptions.

unSpun is the secret decoder ring for the twenty-first-century world of disinformation. Written by Brooks Jackson and Kathleen Hall Jamieson, the founders of the acclaimed website FactCheck.org, unSpun reveals the secrets of separating facts from disinformation, such as:

• the warning signs of spin, hype, and bogus news
• common tricks used to deceive us
• how to find trustworthy and objective sources of information

Telling fact from fiction shouldn’t be a difficult task. With this book and a healthy dose of skepticism, anyone can cut through the haze of biased media reportage to be a savvier consumer and a better-informed citizen.

“Read this book and you will not go unarmed into the political wars ahead of us. Jackson and Jamieson equip us to be our own truth squad, and that just might be the salvation of democracy.”
–Bill Moyers

“THE DEF...
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S Is for Southern: A Guide to the South, from Absinthe to Zydeco cover

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Book Review

From the New York Times bestselling authors at Garden & Gun comes a lively compendium of Southern tradition and contemporary culture.

The American South is a diverse region with its own vocabulary, peculiarities, and complexities. Tennessee whiskey may technically be bourbon, but don’t let anyone in Kentucky hear you call it that. And while boiling blue crabs may be the norm across the Lowcountry in South Carolina and Georgia, try that in front of Marylanders and they’re likely to put you in the pot.

Now, from the editors of Garden & Gun comes this illustrated encyclopedia covering age-old traditions and current culture. S Is for Southern contains nearly five hundred entries spanning every letter of the alphabet, with essays from notable Southern writers including:

  • Roy Blount, Jr., on humidity
  • Frances Mayes on the magnolia
  • Jessica B. Harris on field peas
  • Rick Bragg on Harper Lee
  • Jon Meacham on the Civil War
  • Allison Glock on Dolly Parton
  • Randall Kenan on Edna Lewis
  • The Lee Brothers on boiled peanuts Continue Reading
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Book Review

The #1 New York Times bestseller.

Pulitzer Prize winner Ron Chernow returns with a sweeping and dramatic portrait of one of our most compelling generals and presidents, Ulysses S. Grant.

 
Ulysses S. Grant's life has typically been misunderstood. All too often he is caricatured as a chronic loser and an inept businessman, or as the triumphant but brutal Union general of the Civil War. But these stereotypes don't come close to capturing him, as Chernow shows in his masterful biography, the first to provide a complete understanding of the general and president whose fortunes rose and fell with dizzying speed and frequency.
 
Before the Civil War, Grant was flailing. His business ventures had ended dismally, and despite distinguished service in the Mexican War he ended up resigning from the army in disgrace amid recurring accusations of drunkenness. But in war, Grant began to realize his remarkable potential, soaring through the ranks of the Union army, prevailing at the battle of Shiloh and in the Vicksburg campaign, and ultimately defeating the legendary Confederate general Robert E. Lee. Along the way, Grant endeared himself to Presiden...
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Calvin: Institutes of the Christian Religion (The Library of Christian Classics) cover
Book Review

This is the definitive English-language edition of one of the monumental works of the Christian church. All previous editions--in Latin, French, German, and English--have been collated; references and notes have been verified, corrected, and expanded; and new bibliographies have been added.The translation preserves the rugged strength and vividness of Calvin's writing, but also conforms to modern English and renders heavy theological terms in simple language. The result is a translation that achieves a high degree of accuracy and at the same time is eminently readable.

Long recognized for the quality of its translations, introductions, explanatory notes, and indexes, the Library of Christian Classics provides scholars and students with modern English translations of some of the most significant Christian theological texts in history. Through these works--each written prior to the end of the sixteenth century--contemporary readers are able to engage the ideas that have shaped Christian theology and the church through the centuries.

...
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Beneath the Sands of Egypt: Adventures of an Unconventional Archaeologist cover
Book Review

“Donald Ryan is a rare bird—a field archaeologist who can write with verve and immediacy. I heartily recommend his book to all Egyptology buffs.”
—Barbara Mertz ( a.k.a. Elizabeth Peters), author of Temples, Tombs, and Hieroglyphs

 

A real-life “Indiana Jones,” Donald P. Ryan, Ph.D., offers a breathtaking personal account of his adventures in archaeology in Beneath the Sands of Egypt. Fans of The Lost City of Z will thrill to the exploits of this “unconventional archaeologist” as he retrieves the remains of Egypt’s past—including his breakthrough discovery in the ...
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Hadrian and the Triumph of Rome cover
Book Review

Born in A.D. 76, Hadrian lived through and ruled during a tempestuous era, a time when the Colosseum was opened to the public and Pompeii was buried under a mountain of lava and ash. Acclaimed author Anthony Everitt vividly recounts Hadrian’s thrilling life, in which the emperor brings a century of disorder and costly warfare to a peaceful conclusion while demonstrating how a monarchy can be compatible with good governance. 

What distinguished Hadrian’s rule, according to Everitt, were two insights that inevitably ensured the empire’s long and prosperous future: He ended Rome’s territorial expansion, which had become strategically and economically untenable, by fortifying her boundaries (the many famed Walls of Hadrian), and he effectively “Hellenized” Rome by anointing Athens the empire’s cultural center, thereby making Greek learning and art vastly more prominent in Roman life.

By making splendid use of recently discovered archaeological materials and his own exhaustive research, Everitt sheds new light on one of the most important figures of the ancient world.

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Born in A.D. 76, Hadrian lived through and ruled during a temp...
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American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House cover
Book Review

The definitive biography of a larger-than-life president who defied norms, divided a nation, and changed Washington forever

Andrew Jackson, his intimate circle of friends, and his tumultuous times are at the heart of this remarkable book about the man who rose from nothing to create the modern presidency. Beloved and hated, venerated and reviled, Andrew Jackson was an orphan who fought his way to the pinnacle of power, bending the nation to his will in the cause of democracy. Jackson’s election in 1828 ushered in a new and lasting era in which the people, not distant elites, were the guiding force in American politics. Democracy made its stand in the Jackson years, and he gave voice to the hopes and the fears of a restless, changing nation facing challenging times at home and threats abroad. To tell the saga of Jackson’s presidency, acclaimed author Jon Meacham goes inside the Jackson White House. Drawing on newly discovered family letters and papers, he details the human drama–the family, the women, and the inner circle of advisers– that shaped Jackson’s private world through years of storm and victory.

One of our most significant yet dimly recalled ...
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Cradles of Power: The Mothers and Fathers of the American Presidents cover
Book Review

Why have there been so many books about first ladies and so few about the mothers and fathers of our presidents? Many of us, for better or worse, are shaped by our early life. Heads of state are no exception. In this compact and compelling narrative of truly popular history, Gullan offers insights into the early influences that helped shape our presidents, shedding light into a much neglected corner of history.

How many presidential parents were also their son’s best friends? How many were an inspiration, a source of support, a model to emulate? How many were just the opposite?

In Cradles of Power, readers will learn the stories of “first parents” from Augustine and Mary Washington to Barack Obama, Sr. and Ann Dunham, including:

The heroic Elizabeth Jackson, who literally saved her son’s life
The beloved senior Theodore Roosevelt, who seemingly founded and funded every worthwhile charity in New York
The handsome and unpredictable Jack Reagan, whose drunken blackout one winter night became a pivotal moment for the young Ronald
The pious “Mother” McKinley, who wanted her William to become a Methodist bishop
The vibra...
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Come as You Are: The Surprising New Science that Will Transform Your Sex Life cover
Book Review

***A NEW YORK TIMES BESTELLER***

An essential exploration of why and how women’s sexuality works—based on groundbreaking research and brain science—that will radically transform your sex life into one filled with confidence and joy.

Researchers have spent the last decade trying to develop a “pink pill” for women to function like Viagra does for men. So where is it? Well, for reasons this book makes crystal clear, that pill will never be the answer—but as a result of the research that’s gone into it, scientists in the last few years have learned more about how women’s sexuality works than we ever thought possible, and Come as You Are explains it all.

The first lesson in this essential, transformative book by Dr. Emily Nagoski is that every woman has her own unique sexuality, like a fingerprint, and that women vary more than men in our anatomy, our sexual response mechanisms, and the way our bodies respond to the sexual world. So we never need to judge ourselves based on others’ experiences. Because women vary, and that’s normal.

Second lesson: sex happens in a context. And all the complications of everyday life influence the cont...
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Miss U: Angel of the Underground cover
Book Review

Miss U, first published in 1948, is the autobiographical account of Margaret Utinsky's experiences in the Philippines during the Second World War.

In addition to her work as a nurse caring for wounded soldiers, Utinsky was instrumental in setting up an underground network to smuggle food, medicine, and money to Allied prisoners-of-war held at Camps O'Donnell and Cabanatuan (many of whom were survivors of the infamous Bataan Death March).

Her code-name in the network was "Miss U."

However, she was eventually captured by the Japanese and subjected to 32 days of imprisonment and torture at Fort Santiago in Manila.

Following her release, and after six weeks in a hospital for treatment of her injuries, she left Manila and returned to the Bataan Peninsula, again serving as a nurse to guerrilla fighters.

After American forces regained the Philippines, Utinsky was attached to the U.S. Army's Counter Intelligence Corps to help identify collaborators and those involved in the torture of prisoners.

With the end of the war, she returned to the United States, and was awarded the Medal of Freedom in 1946. <...
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Finding Magic: A Spiritual Memoir cover
Book Review

The author, journalist, television commentator, and longtime Washington insider reflects on the spiritual quest that has brought deeper meaning to her life—and kept her grounded within the high-powered political world of Washington, D.C.’s elite—her renowned writing career, her celebrity marriage, and her legendary role as doyenne of the capital’s social scene.

In this emotionally involving, illuminating memoir, the legendary Washington Post journalist, and author talks candidly about her life at the white-hot center of power and the surprising spiritual quest that has driven her for more than half a century.

While working as a reporter, caring for a learning-disabled son with her husband, longtime Washington Post executive editor Benjamin Bradlee, reigning over the capital’s social scene, and remaining intimately connected with national politics, Sally Quinn yearned to understand what truly made the world—and her life—tick. After years of searching, most of which occurring in the secular capital of the world, she came to realize that the time she spent with friends and family—the evenings of shared hospitality and intimate fellowship—provi...
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Against the Grain: A Deep History of the Earliest States cover
Book Review

An account of all the new and surprising evidence now available for the beginnings of the earliest civilizations that contradict the standard narrative

Why did humans abandon hunting and gathering for sedentary communities dependent on livestock and cereal grains, and governed by precursors of today’s states? Most people believe that plant and animal domestication allowed humans, finally, to settle down and form agricultural villages, towns, and states, which made possible civilization, law, public order, and a presumably secure way of living. But archaeological and historical evidence challenges this narrative. The first agrarian states, says James C. Scott, were born of accumulations of domestications: first fire, then plants, livestock, subjects of the state, captives, and finally women in the patriarchal family—all of which can be viewed as a way of gaining control over reproduction.

Scott explores why we avoided sedentism and plow agriculture, the advantages of mobile subsistence, the unforeseeable disease epidemics arising from crowding plants, animals, and grain, and why all early states are based on millets and cereal grains and ...
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Victims of Yalta: The Secret Betrayal of the Allies, 1944–1947 cover
Book Review

One of the most tragic episodes of World War II—the forced repatriation of two million Russian POWs to certain doom.

At the end of the Second World War, a secret Moscow agreement that was confirmed at the 1945 Yalta Conference ordered the forcible repatriation of millions of Soviet citizens that had fallen into German hands, including prisoners of war, refugees, and forced laborers. For many, the order was a death sentence, as citizens returned to find themselves executed or placed back in forced-labor camps. Tolstoy condemns the complicity of the British, who “ardently followed” the repatriation orders.

 
 
 
 
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Last Stand at Khe Sanh: The U.S. Marines' Finest Hour in Vietnam cover
Book Review

For seventy-seven days in 1968, amid fears that America faced its own disastrous Dien Bien Phu, 6,000 US Marines held off 30,000 North Vietnamese Army regulars at the remote mountain stronghold called Khe Sanh. It was the biggest battle of the Vietnam War, with sharp ground engagements, devastating artillery duels, and massive US air strikes. After several weeks of heroic defense, the besieged Americans struck back in a series of bold assaults, and the North Vietnamese withdrew with heavy losses.

Last Stand at Khe Sanh is the vivid, fast-paced account of the dramatic confrontation as experienced by the men who were there: Marine riflemen and grenadiers, artillery and air observers, platoon leaders and company commanders, Navy corpsmen and helicopter pilots, and a plucky band of US Army Special Forces. Based on extensive archival research and more than 100 interviews with participants, Last Stand at Khe Sanh captures the courage and camaraderie of the defenders and delivers the fullest account yet of this epic battle.

...
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Collision Course: Ronald Reagan, the Air Traffic Controllers, and the Strike that Changed America cover
Book Review

In August 1981, the Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization (PATCO) called an illegal strike. The new president, Ronald Reagan, fired the strikers, establishing a reputation for both decisiveness and hostility to organized labor. As Joseph A. McCartin writes, the strike was the culmination of two decades of escalating conflict between controllers and the government that stemmed from the high-pressure nature of the job and the controllers' inability to negotiate with their employer over vital issues. PATCO's fall not only ushered in a long period of labor decline; it also served as a harbinger of the campaign against public sector unions that now roils American politics.

Now available in paperback, Collision Course sets the strike within a vivid panorama of the rise of the world's busiest air-traffic control system. It begins with an arresting account of the 1960 midair collision over New York that cost 134 lives and exposed the weaknesses of an overburdened system. Through the stories of controllers like Mike Rock and Jack Maher, who were galvanized into action by that disaster and went on to found PATCO, it describes the efforts of those who...
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Book Review

During the course of most of Russia's turbulent history, czars ruled. The story of these men and women - as diverse as the lands they governed - is, in many ways, the story of Russia itself. From the birth of the Kievan state in the second half of the ninth century to the murder of Czar Nicholas II and his family in 1918, historians James P. Duffy and Vincent L. Ricci trace the long and twisted line of imperial rule in Russia, offering many insights into the uses and abuses of absolute power, as well as a glimpse at world history through the eyes of those who made it. The Czars is a vital page in the literature of Russian history....
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'This is a story of one man's effort for survival - an incredible, fascinating account' - Kirkus Reviews



Escape from Corregidor, first published in 1958, is the harrowing account of Edgar Whitcomb, a B-17 navigator who arrives in World War II Philippines just before its capture by the invading Japanese.

Whitcomb manages to evade the enemy on Bataan by travelling to Corregidor Island in a small boat.

However, his efforts to escape eventually fail and he is captured but later manages to escape at night in an hours-long swim to safety.

After weeks of struggle in a snake-infested jungle, he sailed by moonlight down the heavily patrolled coast, only to fall, once again, into the clutches of the enemy.

Facing captors, Ed Whitcomb took a desperate chance for freedom. Clenching his fists, he said: “My name is Robert Fred Johnson, mining employee.”

This is the story of a man who vowed never to give up. He assumed the identity of a civilian and lived another man’s life for almost two years. Neither hunger, nor beatings, nor the long gray hopelessness of prison life could shake Ed ...
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The Gold Train: The Destruction of the Jews and the Second World War's Most Terrible Robbery cover
Book Review

In 1944, as the Soviet army closed in on Budapest, a train rolled out of the station.

On that train were carriage after carriage of loot – gold, diamonds, furs, wedding rings – plundered in one of the most shameful crimes of the century.

Commanded by Árpád Toldi, a key organizer of the Hungarian Holocaust, and harbouring a desperate group of fascist ideologues, soldiers and thieves, the gold train was destined for a Nazi stronghold in the Alps.

It would never arrive.

Along its crazed journey the train’s contents were pilfered, fought over, hidden and scattered, until they became the stuff of legend, with legal claims unresolved even today.

What is the truth of this mythical cargo?

In ‘The Gold Train’ Ronald Zweig reveals the full story of one of the most terrible mysteries of the Second World War.

‘An amazing saga...this page-turner will leave you sorrier and wiser’ David Cesarani, Independent

‘An excellent account: calm, dispassionate and well written...strips away the myth and exposes the real story in all its brutality and confused, naïve cupidity’ Alan Judd, Daily Telegraph Continue Reading
World Without Mind: The Existential Threat of Big Tech cover
Book Review

Franklin Foer reveals the existential threat posed by big tech, and in his brilliant polemic gives us the toolkit to fight their pervasive influence.

Over the past few decades there has been a revolution in terms of who controls knowledge and information. This rapid change has imperiled the way we think. Without pausing to consider the cost, the world has rushed to embrace the products and services of four titanic corporations. We shop with Amazon; socialize on Facebook; turn to Apple for entertainment; and rely on Google for information. These firms sell their efficiency and purport to make the world a better place, but what they have done instead is to enable an intoxicating level of daily convenience. As these companies have expanded, marketing themselves as champions of individuality and pluralism, their algorithms have pressed us into conformity and laid waste to privacy. They have produced an unstable and narrow culture of misinformation, and put us on a path to a world without private contemplation, autonomous thought, or solitary introspection—a world without mind. In order to restore our inner lives, we must avoid being coopted by these gigantic co...
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The Secret of the Great Pyramid: How One Man's Obsession Led to the Solution of Ancient Egypt's Greatest Mystery cover
Book Review

A decade ago, French architect Jean-Pierre Houdin became obsessed by the centuriesold question: How was the Great Pyramid built? How, in a nation of farmers only recently emerged from the Stone Age, could such a massive, complex, and enduring structure have been envisioned and constructed?

Laboring at his computer ten hours a day for five years—creating exquisitely detailed 3-D models of the Pyramid's interior—Houdin finally had his answer. It was a startling revelation that cast a fresh light on the minds that conceived one of the wonders of the ancient world.

Written by world-renowned Egyptologist Bob Brier in collaboration with Houdin, The Secret of the Great Pyramid moves deftly between the ancient and the modern, chronicling two equally fascinating interrelated histories. It is a remarkable account of the step-by-step planning and assembling of the magnificent edifice—the brainchild of an innovative genius, the Egyptian architect Hemienu, who imagined, organized, and oversaw a monumental construction project that took more than two decades to complete and that employed the services of hundreds of architects, mathematicians, boatbuilders, ston...
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A Little History of the World (Little Histories) cover
Book Review

E. H. Gombrich’s bestselling history of the world for young readers tells the story of mankind from the Stone Age to the atomic bomb, focusing not on small detail but on the sweep of human experience, the extent of human achievement, and the depth of its frailty. The product of a generous and humane sensibility, this timeless account makes intelligible the full span of human history. In forty concise chapters, Gombrich tells the story of man from the stone age to the atomic bomb. In between emerges a colorful picture of wars and conquests, grand works of art, and the spread and limitations of science. This is a text dominated not by dates and facts, but by the sweep of mankind’s experience across the centuries, a guide to humanity’s achievements and an acute witness to its frailties.



...
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How to Fight Presidents: Defending Yourself Against the Badasses Who Ran This Country cover
Book Review

Make no mistake: Our founding fathers were more bandanas-and-muscles than powdered-wigs-and-tea.
 
As a prisoner of war, Andrew Jackson walked several miles barefoot across state lines while suffering from smallpox and a serious head wound received when he refused to polish the boots of the soldiers who had taken him captive. He was thirteen years old. A few decades later, he became the first popularly elected president and served the nation, pausing briefly only to beat a would-be assassin with a cane to within an inch of his life. Theodore Roosevelt had asthma, was blind in one eye, survived multiple gunshot wounds, had only one regret (that there were no wars to fight under his presidency), and was the first U.S. president to win the Medal of Honor, which he did after he died. Faced with the choice, George Washington actually preferred the sound of bullets whizzing by his head in battle over the sound of silence.
 
And now these men—these hallowed leaders of the free world—want to kick your ass.
 
Plenty of historians can tell you which president had the most effective economic strategies, and which president h...
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Hallowed Ground: A Walk at Gettysburg (Crown Journeys) cover
Book Review

James M. McPherson, the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Battle Cry of Freedom, and arguably the finest Civil War historian in the world, walks us through the site of the bloodiest and perhaps most consequential battle ever fought by Americans: the Battle of Gettysburg.

The events that occurred at Gettysburg are etched into our collective memory, as they served to change the course of the Civil War and with it the course of history. More than any other place in the United States, Gettysburg is indeed hallowed ground. It’s no surprise that it is one of the nation’s most visited sites (nearly two million annual visitors), attracting tourists, military buffs, and students of American history.

McPherson, who has led countless tours of Gettysburg over the years, makes stops at Seminary Ridge, the Peach Orchard, Cemetery Hill, and Little Round Top, among other key locations. He reflects on the meaning of the battle, describes the events of those terrible three days in July 1863, and places the struggle in the greater context of American and world history. Along the way, he intersperses stories of his own encounters with the place over several decad...
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The Ghost Army of World War II: How One Top-Secret Unit Deceived the Enemy with Inflatable Tanks, Sound Effects, and Other Audacious Fakery cover
Book Review

In the summer of 1944, a handpicked group of young GIs - including such future luminaries as Bill Blass, Ellsworth Kelly, Arthur Singer, Victor Dowd, Art Kane, and Jack Masey - landed in France to conduct a secret mission. Armed with truckloads of inflatable tanks, a massive collection of sound-effects records, and more than a few tricks up their sleeves, their job was to create a traveling road show of deception on the battlefields of Europe, with the German army as their audience.

From Normandy to the Rhine, the 1,100 men of the 23rd Headquarters Special Troops, known as the Ghost Army, conjured up phony convoys, phantom divisions, and make-believe headquarters to fool the enemy about the strength and location of American units. Between missions, the artists filled their duffel bags with drawings and paintings and dragged them across Europe. Every move they made was top secret, and their story was hushed up for decades after the war's end. The Ghost Army of World War II is the first publication to tell the full story of how a traveling road show of artists wielding imagination, paint, and bravado saved thousands of American lives.

...
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The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History (The Politically Incorrect Guides) cover
Book Review

The bestselling Politically Incorrect Guide to American History reveals facts that you won't be--or never were--taught in school, tells you about the "Books You're Not Supposed to Read," and gives you all the information you need to battle and confound left-wing professors, neighbors, and friends.

Amazon.com Review

Claiming that most textbooks and popular history books were written by biased left-wing writers and scholars, historian Thomas Woods offers this guide as an alternative to "the stale and predictable platitudes of mainstream texts." Covering the colonial era through the Clinton administration, Woods seeks to debunk some persistent myths about American history. For instance, he writes, the Puritans were not racists intent on stealing the Indians' lands, the Founding Fathers were not revolutionaries but conservatives in the true sense of the word, the American War Between the States (to even call it a civil war is inaccurate, Woods says) was not principally about slavery, Abraham Lincoln was no friend to the slaves, and FDR's New Deal policies actually made the Depression worse. He also covers a wide range of constitutional interpretations over the ye...
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Nine Princes in Amber: The Chronicles of Amber, Book 1 cover
Book Review

Nine Princes in Amber is the first of the 10 books that are The Chronicles of Amber; an epic fantasy series written by six-time Hugo Award winning and three-time Nebula Award winning author, Roger Zelazny.

The ten books that make up the series are told in two story arcs: The Corwin Cycle and the Merlin Cycle.

The Audible audio rendition of this classic sci-fi/fantasy series is kicked off by 2012 Audie Award nominee, Alessandro Juliani, who reads the first five books that make up the Corwin Cycle and whose narration vividly brings the world of Amber to life.

Amber is the one real world, of which all others including our own Earth are but Shadows. Amber burns in Corwin's blood. Exiled on Shadow Earth for centuries, the prince is about to return to Amber to make a mad and desperate rush upon the throne.

From Arden to the Pattern deep in Castle Amber which defines the very structure of Reality, Corwin must contend with the powers of his eight immortal brothers, all Princes of Amber. His savage path is blocked and guarded by eerie structures beyond imagining impossible realities forged by demonic assassins and staggering Forces that challenge ...
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Book Review

The Erie Canal was a preposterous idea. Even President Thomas Jefferson, usually ahead of his time, believed that it could not be built for at least a century, and yet, the Erie Canal came to be just as its planners had thought it would. For the first time in the history of the United States, a cheap, fast route ran through the Appalachians, the mountains that had so effectively divided the West from the East of early America. With the canal, the country's fertile interior became accessible and its great inland lakes were linked to all the seas of the world. Here, from award-winning historian Ralph K. Andrist, is the canal's dramatic and little-told story....
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Code Girls: The Untold Story of the American Women Code Breakers of World War II cover
Book Review

NATIONAL BESTSELLER

"Prodigiously researched and engrossing."---New York Times Book Review

"Fascinating.... Addictively readable."---Boston Globe


"Code Girls reveals a hidden army of female cryptographers, whose work played a crucial role in ending World War II.... Mundy has rescued a piece of forgotten history, and given these American heroes the recognition they deserve."---Nathalia Holt, bestselling author of Rise of the Rocket Girls


Recruited by the U.S. Army and Navy from small towns and elite colleges, more than ten thousand women served as codebreakers during World War II. While their brothers and boyfriends took up arms, these women moved to Washington and learned the meticulous work of code-breaking. Their efforts shortened the war, saved countless lives, and gave them access to careers previously denied to them. A strict vow of secrecy nearly erased their efforts from history; now, through dazzling research and interviews with surviving code girls, bestselling author Liza Mundy brings to life this rivet...
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Gorbachev: His Life and Times cover
Book Review

The definitive biography of the transformational world leader by the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Khrushchev.

When Mikhail Gorbachev became the leader of the Soviet Union in 1985, the USSR was one of the world’s two superpowers. By 1989, his liberal policies of perestroika and glasnost had permanently transformed Soviet Communism, and had made enemies of radicals on the right and left. By 1990 he, more than anyone else, had ended the Cold War, and in 1991, after barely escaping from a coup attempt, he unintentionally presided over the collapse of the Soviet Union he had tried to save. In the first comprehensive biography of the final Soviet leader, William Taubman shows how a peasant boy became the Soviet system’s gravedigger, how he clambered to the top of a system designed to keep people like him down, how he found common ground with America’s arch-conservative president Ronald Reagan, and how he permitted the USSR and its East European empire to break apart without using force to preserve them. Throughout, Taubman portrays the many sides of Gorbachev’s unique character that, by Gorbachev’s own admission, make him “difficult to unde...
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The Great Escape cover
Book Review

The famous story of mass escape from a WWII German PoW camp that inspired the classic film One of the most famous true stories from the last war, The Great Escape tells how more than six hundred men in a German prisoner-of-war camp worked together to achieve an extraordinary break-out. Every night for a year they dug tunnels. Those who weren't digging forged passports, drew maps, faked weapons or tailored German uniforms and civilian clothes to wear once they had escaped. All of this was conducted under the very noses of their prison guards. When the right night came, the actual escape itself was timed to the split second - but of course, not everything went according to plan…...
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The Clockwork Universe: Isaac Newton, The Royal Society, and the Birth of the Modern World cover
Book Review

The Clockwork Universe is the story of a band of men who lived in a world of dirt and disease but pictured a universe that ran like a perfect machine. A meld of history and science, this book is a group portrait of some of the greatest minds who ever lived as they wrestled with natures most sweeping mysteries. The answers they uncovered still hold the key to how we understand the world.

At the end of the 17th century, an age of religious wars, plague, and the Great Fire of London when most people saw the world as falling apart, these earliest scientists saw a world of perfect order. They declared that, chaotic as it looked, the universe was in fact as intricate and perfectly regulated as a clock. This was the tail end of Shakespeare's century, when the natural and the supernatural still twined around each other. Disease was a punishment ordained by God, astronomy had not yet broken free from astrology, and the sky was filled with omens. It was a time when little was known and everything was new. These brilliant, ambitious, curious men believed in angels, alchemy, and the devil, and they also believed that the universe followed precise, mathematical laws, a ...
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The Big Rich: The Rise and Fall of the Greatest Texas Oil Fortunes cover
Book Review

"What's not to enjoy about a book full of monstrous egos, unimaginable sums of money, and the punishment of greed and shortsightedness?" --The Economist

Phenomenal reviews and sales greeted the hardcover publication of The Big Rich, New York Times bestselling author Bryan Burrough's spellbinding chronicle of Texas oil. Weaving together the multigenerational sagas of the industry's four wealthiest families, Burrough brings to life the men known in their day as the Big Four: Roy Cullen, H. L. Hunt, Clint Murchison, and Sid Richardson, all swaggering Texas oil tycoons who owned sprawling ranches and mingled with presidents and Hollywood stars. Seamlessly charting their collective rise and fall, The Big Rich is a hugely entertaining account that only a writer with Burrough's abilities-and Texas upbringing-could have written....
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Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of SEAL Team 10 cover
Book Review

Four US Navy SEALS departed one clear night in early July, 2005 for the mountainous Afghanistan-Pakistan border for a reconnaissance mission. Their task was to document the activity of an al Qaeda leader rumored to have a small army in a Taliban stronghold. Five days later, only one of those Navy SEALS made it out alive.

This is the story of the only survivor of Operation Redwing, SEAL team leader Marcus Luttrell, and the extraordinary firefight that led to the largest loss of life in American Navy SEAL history. His squadmates fought valiantly beside him until he was the only one left alive, blasted by an RPG into a place where his pursuers could not find him. Over the next four days, terribly injured and presumed dead, Luttrell crawled for miles through the mountains and was taken in by sympathetic villagers who risked their lives to keep him safe from surrounding Taliban warriors.

A born and raised Texan, Marcus Luttrell takes us from the rigors of SEAL training, where he and his fellow SEALs discovered what it took to join the most elite of the American special forces, to a fight in the desolate hills of Afghanistan for which they never could have been ...
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The War Against the Jews: 1933–1945 cover
Book Review

A history of how anti-Semitism evolved into the Holocaust in Germany: “If any book can tell what Hitlerism was like, this is it” (Alfred Kazin).

Lucy Dawidowicz’s groundbreaking The War Against the Jews inspired waves of both acclaim and controversy upon its release in 1975. Dawidowicz argues that genocide was, to the Nazis, as central a war goal as conquering Europe, and was made possible by a combination of political, social, and technological factors. She explores the full history of Hitler’s “Final Solution,” from the rise of anti-Semitism to the creation of Jewish ghettos to the brutal tactics of mass murder employed by the Nazis.
 
Written with devastating detail, The War Against the Jews is the definitive and comprehensive book on one of history’s darkest chapters.

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A history of how anti-Semitism evolved into the Holocaust in Germany: “If any book can tell what Hitlerism was like, this is it” (Alfred Kazin).

Lucy Dawidowicz’s groundbreaking The War Against the Jews inspired waves of both acclaim and controversy upon its release in 1975. Dawido...
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No Room for Small Dreams: Courage, Imagination, and the Making of Modern Israel cover
Book Review

In 1934, eleven-year-old Shimon Peres emigrated to the land of Israel from his native Poland, leaving behind an extended family who would later be murdered in the Holocaust. Few back then would have predicted that this young man would eventually become one of the towering figures of the twentieth century. Peres would indeed go on to serve the new state as prime minister, president, foreign minister, and the head of several other ministries. He was central to the establishment of the Israeli Defense Forces and the defense industry that would provide the young state with a robust deterrent power. He was crucial to launching Israel’s nuclear energy program and to the creation of its high-tech “Start-up Nation” revolution. His refusal to surrender to conventional wisdom and political norms helped save the Israeli economy and prompted some of the most daring military operations in history, among them the legendary Operation Entebbe. And yet, as important as his role in creating and deploying Israel’s armed forces was, his stunning transition from hawk to dove—with its accompanying unwavering commitment to peace—made him one of the globe’s most recognized, honored, and admire...
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The Rise and Fall of Adam and Eve cover

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Book Review

Stephen Greenblatt―Pulitzer Prize– and National Book Award–winning author of The Swerve and Will in the World―investigates the life of one of humankind’s greatest stories.

Bolder, even, than the ambitious books for which Stephen Greenblatt is already renowned, The Rise and Fall of Adam and Eve explores the enduring story of humanity’s first parents. Comprising only a few ancient verses, the story of Adam and Eve has served as a mirror in which we seem to glimpse the whole, long history of our fears and desires, as both a hymn to human responsibility and a dark fable about human wretchedness.

Tracking the tale into the deep past, Greenblatt uncovers the tremendous theological, artistic, and cultural investment over centuries that made these fictional figures so profoundly resonant in the Jewish, Christian, and Muslim worlds and, finally, so very “real” to millions of people even in the present. With the uncanny brilliance he previously brought to his depictions of William Shakespeare and Poggio Bracciolini (the humanist monk who is the protagonist of The Swerve), Greenblatt explores the intensely personal e...
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A Kidnapping in Milan: The CIA on Trial cover
Book Review

A book so compelling it deserves to become one of the nonfiction classics of our time.


As propulsively readable as the best “true crime,” A Kidnapping in Milan is a potent reckoning with the realities of counterterrorism. In a mesmerizing page-turner, Steve Hendricks gives us a ground-level view of the birth and growth of international Islamist terrorist networks and of counterterrorism in action in Europe. He also provides an eloquent, eagle’s-eye perspective on the big questions of justice and the rule of law.



“In Milan a known fact is always explained by competing stories,” Hendricks writes, but the stories that swirled around the February 2003 disappearance of the radical imam Abu Omar would soon point in one direction—to a covert action by the CIA. The police of Milan had been exploiting their wiretaps of Abu Omar for useful information before the taps went silent. The Americans were their allies in counterterrorism—would they have disrupted a fruitful investigation?



In an extraordinary tale of detective versus spy, Italian investigators under the leadership of prosecutor Armando Spataro unraveled in e...
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American Heritage History of the Presidents cover
Book Review

Here, from American Heritage, is the story of our presidents. From George Washington's reluctant oath-taking through George W. Bush's leadership challenges after September 11, 2001, we view ambitious and fallible men through the new lens of the twenty-first century. Where did they succeed? Where did they fail? And what do we know now that we could not have known at the time?...
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A Venetian Affair: A True Tale of Forbidden Love in the 18th Century cover
Book Review

In the waning days of Venice’s glory in the mid-1700s, Andrea Memmo was scion to one the city’s oldest patrician families. At the age of twenty-four he fell passionately in love with sixteen-year-old Giustiniana Wynne, the beautiful, illegitimate daughter of a Venetian mother and British father. Because of their dramatically different positions in society, they could not marry. And Giustiniana’s mother, afraid that an affair would ruin her daughter’s chances to form a more suitable union, forbade them to see each other. Her prohibition only fueled their desire and so began their torrid, secret seven-year-affair, enlisting the aid of a few intimates and servants (willing to risk their own positions) to shuttle love letters back and forth and to help facilitate their clandestine meetings. Eventually, Giustiniana found herself pregnant and she turned for help to the infamous Casanova–himself infatuated with her.

Two and half centuries later, the unbelievable story of this star-crossed couple is told in a breathtaking narrative, re-created in part from the passionate, clandestine letters Andrea and Giustiniana wrote to each other.


From the Trade...
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Isaac's Storm: A Man, a Time, and the Deadliest Hurricane in History cover
Book Review

At the dawn of the twentieth century, a great confidence suffused America. Isaac Cline was one of the era's new men, a scientist who believed he knew all there was to know about the motion of clouds and the behavior of storms. The idea that a hurricane could damage the city of Galveston, Texas, where he was based, was to him preposterous, "an absurd delusion." It was 1900, a year when America felt bigger and stronger than ever before. Nothing in nature could hobble the gleaming city of Galveston, then a magical place that seemed destined to become the New York of the Gulf.

That August, a strange, prolonged heat wave gripped the nation and killed scores of people in New York and Chicago. Odd things seemed to happen everywhere: A plague of crickets engulfed Waco. The Bering Glacier began to shrink. Rain fell on Galveston with greater intensity than anyone could remember. Far away, in Africa, immense thunderstorms blossomed over the city of Dakar, and great currents of wind converged. A wave of atmospheric turbulence slipped from the coast of western Africa. Most such waves faded quickly. This one did not.

In Cuba, America's overconfidence was made all t...
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Andrea Vernon and the Corporation for UltraHuman Protection cover
Book Review

Andrea Vernon always thought she would spend her life living in Paris writing thought-provoking historical novels all day and sipping wine on the Seine all night. But the reality is she's drowning in debt, has no prospects, and is forced to move back to Queens, where her parents remind her daily that they are very interested in grandchildren.

Then, one morning, she is kidnapped, interviewed, and hired as an administrative assistant by the Corporation for UltraHuman Protection. Superheroes for hire, using their powers for good. What could possibly go wrong?

Lots.

Her coworkers may be able to shoot lightning out of their hands or have skin made of diamonds, but they refuse to learn how to use the company's database. She has a swell hook-up buddy relationship with The Big Axe, but he's pushing to go exclusive. Then there's the small matter of a giant alien space egg hovering over Yankee Stadium, threatening civilization as we know it.

Will Andrea find contentment in office drudgery? Can she make a life together with a guy who's eight feet tall and never puts down his axe? And will she ever figure out how her boss likes her coffee?

Andr...
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Secret Lives of the Tsars: Three Centuries of Autocracy, Debauchery, Betrayal, Murder, and Madness from Romanov Russia cover
Book Review

“Michael Farquhar doesn’t write about history the way, say, Doris Kearns Goodwin does. He writes about history the way Doris Kearns Goodwin’s smart-ass, reprobate kid brother might. I, for one, prefer it.”—Gene Weingarten, two-time Pulitzer Prize winner and Washington Post columnist
 
Scandal! Intrigue! Cossacks! Here the world’s most engaging royal historian chronicles the world’s most fascinating imperial dynasty: the Romanovs, whose three-hundred-year reign was remarkable for its shocking violence, spectacular excess, and unimaginable venality. In this incredibly entertaining history, Michael Farquhar collects the best, most captivating true tales of Romanov iniquity. We meet Catherine the Great, with her endless parade of virile young lovers (none of them of the equine variety); her unhinged son, Paul I, who ordered the bones of one of his mother’s paramours dug out of its grave and tossed into a gorge; and Grigori Rasputin, the “Mad Monk,” whose mesmeric domination of the last of the Romanov tsars helped lead to the monarchy’s undoing. From Peter the Great’s penchant for personally beheading his recalcitrant subjects (he kept the severed hea...
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First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers cover
Book Review

Repackaged in a new tie-in edition to coincide with the Netflix film produced and directed by Angelina Jolie, a moving story of war crimes and desperate actions, the unnerving strength of a small girl and her triumphant spirit as she survived the Cambodian genocide under Pol Pot’s brutal regime.

Until the age of five, Loung Ung lived in Phnom Penh, one of seven children of a high-ranking government official. She was a precocious child who loved the open city markets, fried crickets, chicken fights, and sassing her parents. While her beautiful mother worried that Loung was a troublemaker—that she stomped around like a thirsty cow—her beloved father knew Loung was a clever girl.

When Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge army stormed into Phnom Penh in April 1975, Ung’s family fled their home and moved from village to village to hide their identity, their education, their former life of privilege. Eventually, the family dispersed in order to survive. Loung trained as a child soldier in a work camp for orphans, while other siblings were sent to labor camps. As the Vietnamese penetrated Cambodia, destroying the Khmer Rouge, Loung and her surviving siblings were slowly reunited...
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The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery cover
Book Review

“A masterwork [by] the preeminent historian of the Civil War era.”―Boston Globe

Selected as a Notable Book of the Year by the New York Times Book Review, this landmark work gives us a definitive account of Lincoln's lifelong engagement with the nation's critical issue: American slavery. A master historian, Eric Foner draws Lincoln and the broader history of the period into perfect balance. We see Lincoln, a pragmatic politician grounded in principle, deftly navigating the dynamic politics of antislavery, secession, and civil war. Lincoln's greatness emerges from his capacity for moral and political growth. 16 pages of black-and-white illustrations; 3 maps...
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The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (Edited and Abridged): Abridged Edition cover
Book Review

Edited, abridged, and with a critical Foreword by Hans-Friedrich Mueller
Introduction by Daniel J. Boorstin
Illustrations by Giovanni Battista Piranesi

Edward Gibbon’s masterpiece, which narrates the history of the Roman Empire from the second century A.D. to its collapse in the west in the fifth century and in the east in the fifteenth century, is widely considered the greatest work of history ever written. This abridgment retains the full scope of the original, but in a breadth comparable to a novel. Casual readers now have access to the full sweep of Gibbon’s narrative, while instructors and students have a volume that can be read in a single term. This unique edition emphasizes elements ignored in all other abridgments—in particular the role of religion in the empire and the rise of Islam.

Amazon.com Review

British parliamentarian and soldier Edward Gibbon (1737-1794) conceived of his plan for Decline and Fall while "musing amid the ruins of the Capitol" on a visit to Rome. For the next 10 years he worked away at his great history, which traces the decadence of the late empire from the time of the Antonines a...
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A minute-by-minute account of the morning that brought America into World War II, by the New York Times–bestselling authors of At Dawn We Slept.

When dawn broke over Hawaii on December 7, 1941, no one suspected that America was only minutes from war. By nightfall, the naval base at Pearl Harbor was a smoldering ruin, and over 2,000 Americans lay dead. December 7, 1941 gives a detailed and immersive real-time account of that fateful morning.

In or out of uniform, every witness responded differently when the first Japanese bombs began to fall. A chaplain fled his post and spent a week in hiding, while mess hall workers seized a machine gun and began returning fire. Some officers were taken unawares, while others responded valiantly, rallying their men to fight back and in some cases sacrificing their lives. Built around eyewitness accounts, this book provides an unprecedented glimpse of how it felt to be at Pearl Harbor on the day that would live in infamy.
...
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1688: A Global History cover
Book Review

A Los Angeles Times bestseller: "A totally absorbing book...imaginative and erudite, full of startling juxtapositions and flashes of real perception." —Jonathan D. Spence


John E. Wills, Jr's masterful history ushers us into the worlds of 1688, from the suicidal exaltation of Russian Old Believers to the ravishing voice of the haiku poet Basho. Witness the splendor of the Chinese imperial court as the Kangxi emperor publicly mourns the death of his grandmother and shrewdly consolidates his power. Join the great caravans of Muslims on their annual pilgrimage from Damascus and Cairo to Mecca. Walk the pungent streets of Amsterdam and enter the Rasp House, where vagrants, beggars, and petty criminals labor to produce powdered brazilwood for the dyeworks.


Through these stories and many others, Wills paints a detailed picture of how the global connections of power, money, and belief were beginning to lend the world its modern form.

...
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The Twilight Warriors cover
Book Review

Winner of the 2011 Samuel Eliot Morison Award for Naval Literature, The Twilight Warriors is the engrossing, page-turning saga of a tightly knit band of naval aviators who are thrust into the final—and most brutal—battle of the Pacific war during World War II: Okinawa.

April 1945. The end of World War II finally appears to be nearing. The Third Reich is collapsing in Europe, and the Americans are overpowering the once-mighty Japanese Empire in the Pacific. For a group of young pilots trained in the twilight of the war, their greatest worry is that it will end before they have a chance to face the enemy.

They call themselves Tail End Charlies: They fly at the tail end of formations, stand at the tail end of chow lines, and now they are catching the tail end of the war. What they don’t know is that they will be key players in the bloodiest and most difficult of naval battles—not only of World War II but in all of American history.

The Twilight Warriors relives the drama of the world’s last great naval campaign. From the cockpit of a Corsair fighter we gaze down at the Japanese task force racing to destroy the American am...
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The Last Castle: The Epic Story of Love, Loss, and American Royalty in the Nation’s Largest Home cover
Book Review

New York Times Bestseller

“A soaring and gorgeous American story” (Karen Abbott) from the author of the New York Times bestselling The Girls of Atomic City.

The fascinating true story behind the magnificent Gilded Age mansion Biltmore—the largest, grandest residence ever built in the United States.

The story of Biltmore spans World Wars, the Jazz Age, the Depression, and generations of the famous Vanderbilt family, and features a captivating cast of real-life characters including F. Scott Fitzgerald, Thomas Wolfe, Teddy Roosevelt, John Singer Sargent, James Whistler, Henry James, and Edith Wharton.

Orphaned at a young age, Edith Stuyvesant Dresser claimed lineage from one of New York’s best known families. She grew up in Newport and Paris, and her engagement and marriage to George Vanderbilt was one of the most watched events of Gilded Age society. But none of this prepared her to be mistress of Biltmore House.

Before their marriage, the wealthy and bookish Vanderbilt had dedicated his life to creating a spectacular European-style estate on 125,000 acres of North Carolina wilderness. He summoned the...
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Long Road to Hard Truth: The 100 Year Mission to Create the National Museum of African American History and Culture cover
Book Review

In Long Road to Hard Truth: The 100 Year Mission to Create the National Museum of African American History and Culture, Robert L. Wilkins tells the story of how his curiosity about why there wasn’t a national museum dedicated to African American history and culture became an obsession—eventually leading him to quit his job as an attorney when his wife was seven months pregnant with their second child, and make it his mission to help the museum become a reality.

Long Road to Hard Truth chronicles the early history, when staunch advocates sought to create a monument for Black soldiers fifty years after the end of the Civil War and in response to the pervasive indignities of the time, including lynching, Jim Crow segregation, and the slander of the racist film Birth of a Nation. The movement soon evolved to envision creating a national museum, and Wilkins follows the endless obstacles through the decades, culminating in his honor of becoming a member of the Presidential Commission that wrote the plan for creating the museum and how, with support of both Black and White Democrats and Republicans, Congress finally authorized the museum. In September 2016, exactly 100 y...
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When Broken Glass Floats: Growing Up Under the Khmer Rouge cover
Book Review

Chanrithy Him felt compelled to tell of surviving life under the Khmer Rouge in a way "worthy of the suffering which I endured as a child."


In a mesmerizing story, Chanrithy Him vividly recounts her trek through the hell of the "killing fields." She gives us a child's-eye view of a Cambodia where rudimentary labor camps for both adults and children are the norm and modern technology no longer exists. Death becomes a companion in the camps, along with illness. Yet through the terror, the members of Chanrithy's family remain loyal to one another, and she and her siblings who survive will find redeemed lives in America.


A Finalist for the Kiriyama Pacific Rim Book Prize.

Amazon.com Review

"Chea, how come good doesn't win over evil?" young Chanrithy Him asks her sister, after the brutal Khmer Rouge have seized power in Cambodia, but before hunger makes them too weak for philosophy. Chea answers only with a proverb: When good and evil are thrown together into the river of life, first the klok or squash (representing good) will sink, and the armbaeg or broken glass (representing evil) will float. But the broken glass, Chea assu...
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The World of Lore: Monstrous Creatures cover
Book Review

A beautifully illustrated collection of stories from the hit podcast Lore—now a streaming television series—that combines fan favorites like “Unboxed” and “They Made a Tonic” with new tales to deepen the legends.

They live in shadows—deep in the forest, late in the night, in the dark recesses of our minds. They’re spoken of in stories and superstitions, relics of an unenlightened age, old wives’ tales, passed down through generations. Yet no matter how wary and jaded we have become, as individuals or as a society, a part of us remains vulnerable to them: werewolves and wendigos, poltergeists and vampires, angry elves and vengeful spirits. 

In this beautifully illustrated volume, the host of the hit podcast Lore serves as a guide on a fascinating  journey through the history of these terrifying creatures, exploring not only the legends but what they tell us about ourselves. Aaron Mahnke invites us to the desolate Pine Barrens of New Jersey, where the notorious winged, red-eyed Jersey Devil dwells. He delves into harrowing accounts of cannibalism—some officially documented, others the stuff of speculation . . . perhaps. He visits the dimly lit rooms wher...
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The Vietnam War: An Intimate History cover
Book Review

From the award-winning historian and filmmakers of The Civil War, Baseball, The War, The Roosevelts, and others: a vivid, uniquely powerful history of the conflict that tore America apart - the companion volume to the major multipart PBS film to be aired in September 2017.

More than 40 years after it ended, the Vietnam War continues to haunt our country. We still argue over why we were there, whether we could have won, and who was right and wrong in their response to the conflict. When the war divided the country, it created deep political fault lines that continue to divide us today. Now, continuing in the tradition of their critically acclaimed collaborations, the authors draw on dozens and dozens of interviews in America and Vietnam to give us the perspectives of people involved at all levels of the war: US and Vietnamese soldiers and their families, high-level officials in America and Vietnam, antiwar protestors, POWs, and many more. The book plunges us into the chaos and intensity of combat, even as it explains the rationale that got us into Vietnam and kept us there for so many years. Rather than taking sides, the book see...
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Book Review

The American Heritage History of World War II was first published in 1966. At the time, author and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist C.L. Sulzberger received widespread praise for his authoritative account of the six-year war that involved more than fifty-six nations, resulted in the death of some 22 million people, and shaped the course of history. His work became a standard reference on the war.

Stephen E. Ambrose, one of the most highly regarded historians of our time, oversaw a major revision of this classic work. Seamlessly incorporating new material and insights, Ambrose produced a comprehensive and riveting account of the war’s key characters and events.

In planes and foxholes, in deserts and jungles, on ships and beaches, Ambrose shines a light on the people involved - the leaders, the fighters, the victims. He also added new chapters on the atrocities of the Holocaust and revelations about the secret war of espionage. Ambrose’s analysis also offers insight into the events that precipitated the Cold War.

This book captures the courage, commitment, military genius, and horror of the war that gave birth to a new era in world politics....
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The Taking of K-129: How the CIA Used Howard Hughes to Steal a Russian Sub in the Most Daring Covert Operation in History cover
Book Review

An incredible true tale of espionage and engineering set at the height of the Cold War—a mix between The Hunt for Red October and Argo—about how the CIA, the U.S. Navy, and America’s most eccentric mogul spent six years and nearly a billion dollars to steal the nuclear-armed Soviet submarine K-129 after it had sunk to the bottom of the Pacific Ocean; all while the Russians were watching.

In the early hours of February 25, 1968, a Russian submarine armed with three nuclear ballistic missiles set sail from its base in Siberia on a routine combat patrol to Hawaii. Then it vanished.

As the Soviet Navy searched in vain for the lost vessel, a small, highly classified American operation using sophisticated deep-sea spy equipment found it—wrecked on the sea floor at a depth of 16,800 feet, far beyond the capabilities of any salvage that existed. But the potential intelligence assets onboard the ship—the nuclear warheads, battle orders, and cryptological machines—justified going to extreme lengths to find a way to raise the submarine.

So began Project Azorian, a top-secret mission that took six years, cost an estim...
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Fantasyland: How America Went Haywire: A 500-Year History cover
Book Review

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • “The single most important explanation, and the fullest explanation, of how Donald Trump became president of the United States . . . nothing less than the most important book that I have read this year.”—Lawrence O’Donnell

How did we get here?

In this sweeping, eloquent history of America, Kurt Andersen shows that what’s happening in our country today—this post-factual, “fake news” moment we’re all living through—is not something new, but rather the ultimate expression of our national character. America was founded by wishful dreamers, magical thinkers, and true believers, by hucksters and their suckers. Fantasy is deeply embedded in our DNA.

Over the course of five centuries—from the Salem witch trials to Scientology to the Satanic Panic of the 1980s, from P. T. Barnum to Hollywood and the anything-goes, wild-and-crazy sixties, from conspiracy theories to our fetish for guns and obsession with extraterrestrials—our love of the fantastic has made America exceptional in a way that we've never fully acknowledged. From the start, our ultra-individualism was attached to epic dreams and epic fantasies—ever...
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Burke Davis on the Civil War: The Long Surrender, Sherman's March, To Appomattox, and They Called Him Stonewall cover
Book Review

Four captivating and richly detailed Civil War histories from a New York Times–bestselling author.

Award-winning author Burke Davis writes with “an eye for narrative detail that turns history into storytelling” in these four classic Civil War narratives (The New York Times Book Review).
 
The Long Surrender: Though Jefferson Davis had planned to escape to Cuba after General Lee’s surrender at Appomattox Court House, a $100,000 bounty was placed on his head. This “marvelous” and “wonderfully written” account chronicles the Confederate president’s flight, capture, and imprisonment—while offering a panoramic history of the last days of the Confederacy (Denver Post).
 
Sherman’s March: Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman’s infamous “March to the Sea” was a crucial turning point in the Civil War. Weaving together hundreds of eyewitness accounts, this riveting history is “bound to startle and inform even students of Civil War literature” (The New York Times).
 
To Appomattox: Drawing on a wide array of firsthand accounts—from soldiers and commanders as well as ordinary citizens—D...
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One Man Air Force cover

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Book Review

After shooting down thirty German airplanes, the equivalent of nearly two whole Luftwaffe squadrons, Gentile is rightly respected as one of America’s greatest ever air aces.



Gentile’s personal account of life fighting through the skies of World War Two provides fascinating insight into the mind of this young pilot.

The feelings of engaging an enemy in a dogfight, of having a Messerschmidt close on your tail, and of soaring into the air in Spitfires, Thunderbolts and Mustangs are all encompassed within this memoir.

The admiration that Gentile commanded was demonstrated when General Dwight D. Eisenhower presented the pilot with the Distinguished Flying Cross and stated, “You are a One-Man Air Force.”

Gentile, in the course of this short book, takes the reader from his earliest memories of wanting to learn to fly through to his entry into the Second World War, through the course of three hundred and fifty combat hours in one hundred and eighty-two sorties, up to the moment when he was removed from front line combat in 1944.

“This is not only the story of ‘a one-man air force’ against the Huns; nor is it only a s...
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Prisoner of the OGPU: Four Years in a Soviet Labor Camp cover
Book Review

“Why should we hope? Our lives are wholly blasted, And all of us are damned by destiny?”



George Kitchin provides a first-hand account of his four year imprisonment in a Soviet gulag, from 1928-32.

At the time of his incarceration, Kitchin, a Finnish citizen, was working in Russia as a representative for an American firm.

He was arrested by the Soviet secret police (known as the OGPU at the time), charged with violating an obscure regulation, held in prison, and then sent to a labor camp located in northern Russia where he describes the brutalities he endured and witnessed.

He had the good fortune after a time to be assigned clerical work in the office of the penal camp administration. This undoubtedly saved his life and it also gave him a unique opportunity to observe the inner workings of the OGPU organization.

As a citizen of Finland, his case was a matter of concern to the Finnish government, whose efforts finally obtained for him permission to leave Soviet Russia.

His physical condition after four horrible years was dire. A year and a half were spent in convalescing, an...
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The Last Castle: The Epic Story of Love, Loss, and American Royalty in the Nation's Largest Home cover
Book Review

From the author of the New York Times bestseller The Girls of Atomic City comes the fascinating true story behind the magnificent Gilded Age mansion Biltmore—the largest, grandest residence ever built in the United States.

Orphaned at a young age, Edith Stuyvesant Dresser claimed lineage from one of New York’s best known families. She grew up in Newport and Paris, and her engagement and marriage to George Vanderbilt was one of the most watched events of Gilded Age society. But none of this prepared her to be mistress of Biltmore House.

Before their marriage, the wealthy and bookish Vanderbilt had dedicated his life to creating a spectacular European-style estate on 125,000 acres of North Carolina wilderness. He summoned the famous landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted to tame the grounds, collaborated with celebrated architect Richard Morris Hunt to build a 175,000-square-foot chateau, filled it with priceless art and antiques, and erected a charming village beyond the gates. Newlywed Edith was now mistress of an estate nearly three times the size of Washington, DC and benefactress of the village and surrounding rural area. When fortunes sh...
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Truevine: Two Brothers, a Kidnapping, and a Mother's Quest: A True Story of the Jim Crow South cover
Book Review

NATIONAL BESTSELLER
The true story of two African-American brothers who were kidnapped and displayed as circus freaks, and whose mother endured a 28-year struggle to get them back.

The year was 1899 and the place a sweltering tobacco farm in the Jim Crow South town of Truevine, Virginia. George and Willie Muse were two little boys born to a sharecropper family. One day a white man offered them a piece of candy, setting off events that would take them around the world and change their lives forever.
Captured into the circus, the Muse brothers performed for royalty at Buckingham Palace and headlined over a dozen sold-out shows at New York's Madison Square Garden. They were global superstars in a pre-broadcast era. But the very root of their success was in the color of their skin and in the outrageous caricatures they were forced to assume: supposed cannibals, sheep-headed freaks, even "Ambassadors from Mars." Back home, their mother never accepted that they were "gone" and spent 28 years trying to get them back.

How the Hippies Saved Physics: Science, Counterculture, and the Quantum Revival cover
Book Review

"Meticulously researched and unapologetically romantic, How the Hippies Saved Physics makes the history of science fun again." —Science


In the 1970s, an eccentric group of physicists in Berkeley, California, banded together to explore the wilder side of science. Dubbing themselves the "Fundamental Fysiks Group," they pursued an audacious, speculative approach to physics, studying quantum entanglement in terms of Eastern mysticism and psychic mind reading. As David Kaiser reveals, these unlikely heroes spun modern physics in a new direction, forcing mainstream physicists to pay attention to the strange but exciting underpinnings of quantum theory.

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"Meticulously researched and unapologetically romantic, How the Hippies Saved Physics makes the history of science fun again." —Science


In the 1970s, an eccentric group of physicists in Berkeley, California, banded together to explore the wilder side of science. Dubbing themselves the "Fundamental Fysiks Group," they pursued an audacious, speculative approach to physics, studying quantum entanglement in terms of Eastern mysticism and psy...
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Morgan: American Financier cover
Book Review

NATIONAL BESTSELLER

A century ago, J. Pierpont Morgan bestrode the financial world like a colossus. The organizing force behind General Electric, U.S. Steel, and vast railroad empires, he served for decades as America's unofficial central banker: a few months after he died in 1913, the Federal Reserve replaced the private system he had devised. An early supporter of Thomas Edison and Andrew Carnegie, the confidant (and rival) of Theodore Roosevelt, England's Edward VII, and Germany's Kaiser Wilhelm, and the companion of several fascinating women, Morgan shaped his world and ours in countless ways. Yet since his death he has remained a mysterious figure, celebrated as a hero of industrial progress and vilified as a rapacious robber baron.

Here for the first time is the biography Morgan has long deserved--a magisterial, full-scale portrait of the man without whose dominating will American finance and culture would be very different from what they are today. In this beautifully crafted account, drawn from more than a decade's work in newly available archives, the award-winning biographer Jean Strouse animates Morgan's life and times to reveal the...
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Plutarch's Lives Volume 1 (Modern Library Classics) cover
Book Review

Plutarch's Lives, written at the beginning of the second century A.D., is a brilliant social history of the ancient world by one of the greatest biographers and moralists of all time. In what is by far his most famous and influential work, Plutarch reveals the character and personality of his subjects and how they led ultimately to tragedy or victory. Richly anecdotal and full of detail, Volume I contains profiles and comparisons of Romulus and Theseus, Numa and Lycurgus, Fabius and Pericles, and many more powerful figures of ancient Greece and Rome.

The present translation, originally published in 1683 in conjunction with a life of Plutarch by John Dryden, was revised in 1864 by the poet and scholar Arthur Hugh Clough, whose notes and preface are also included in this edition....
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Organized chronologically, starting with the earliest losses and ending with the latest, this book features much-loved Cleveland institutions that have been consigned to history. Losses include: City Hall, Diebolt Brewing Co., Luna Park, Sheriff Street Market, Hotel Winton, League Park, Union Depot, Hotel Allerton, Leo’s Casino, Cleveland Arena, Bond Store, The Hippodrome, Cuyahoga and Williamson buildings, Record Rendezvous, Standard Theatre, Hough Bakery, Cleveland Municipal Stadium, Memphis Drive-In, and Parmatown Mall.
...
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Lincoln in the World: The Making of a Statesman and the Dawn of American Power cover
Book Review

A captivating look at how Abraham Lincoln evolved into one of our seminal foreign-policy presidents—and helped point the way to America’s rise to world power.
 
Abraham Lincoln is not often remembered as a great foreign-policy president. He had never traveled overseas and spoke no foreign languages. And yet, during the Civil War, Lincoln and his team skillfully managed to stare down the Continent’s great powers—deftly avoiding European intervention on the side of the Confederacy. In the process, the United States emerged as a world power in its own right.  
 
Engaging, insightful, and highly original, Lincoln in the World is a tale set at the intersection of personal character and national power. Focusing on five distinct, intensely human conflicts that helped define Lincoln’s approach to foreign affairs—from his debate, as a young congressman, with his law partner over the conduct of the Mexican War, to his deadlock with Napoleon III over the French occupation of Mexico—and bursting with colorful characters like Lincoln’s bowie-knife-wielding minister to Russia, Cassius Marcellus Clay; the cunning French empress, Eugénie; and the hapless ...
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The Artist, the Philosopher, and the Warrior: The Intersecting Lives of Da Vinci, Machiavelli, and Borgia and the World They Shaped cover
Book Review

Leonardo da Vinci, Niccolò Machiavelli, and Cesare Borgia—three iconic figures whose intersecting lives provide the basis for this astonishing work of narrative history. They could not have been more different, and they would meet only for a short time in 1502, but the events that transpired when they did would significantly alter each man’s perceptions—and the course of Western history.

In 1502, Italy was riven by conflict, with the city of Florence as the ultimate prize. Machiavelli, the consummate political manipulator, attempted to placate the savage Borgia by volunteering Leonardo to be Borgia’s chief military engineer. That autumn, the three men embarked together on a brief, perilous, and fateful journey through the mountains, remote villages, and hill towns of the Italian Romagna—the details of which were revealed in Machiavelli’s frequent dispatches and Leonardo’s meticulous notebooks. 

Superbly written and thoroughly researched, The Artist, the Philosopher, and the Warrior is a work of narrative genius—whose subject is the nature of genius itself.

Amazon.com Review

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The R...
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Notes on a Foreign Country: An American Abroad in a Post-American World cover
Book Review

"A deeply honest and brave portrait of of an individual sensibility reckoning with her country's violent role in the world." Hisham Matar, The New York Times Book Review

In the wake of the September 11 attacks and the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, Suzy Hansen, who grew up in an insular conservative town in New Jersey, was enjoying early success as a journalist for a high-profile New York newspaper. Increasingly, though, the disconnect between the chaos of world events and the response at home took on pressing urgency for her. Seeking to understand the Muslim world that had been reduced to scaremongering headlines, she moved to Istanbul.

Hansen arrived in Istanbul with romantic ideas about a mythical city perched between East and West, and with a naïve sense of the Islamic world beyond. Over the course of her many years of living in Turkey and traveling in Greece, Egypt, Afghanistan, and Iran, she learned a great deal about these countries and their cultures and histories and politics. But the greatest, most unsettling surprise would be what she learned about her own country―and herself, an American abroad in the era of American decline. It would ...
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Rebellion: The History of England from James I to the Glorious Revolution cover
Book Review

Peter Ackroyd has been praised as one of the greatest living chroniclers of Britain and its people. In Rebellion, he continues his dazzling account of the history of England, beginning with the progress south of the Scottish king, James VI, who on the death of Elizabeth I became the first Stuart king of England, and ending with the deposition and flight into exile of his grandson, James II.

The Stuart monarchy brought together the two nations of England and Scotland into one realm, albeit a realm still marked by political divisions that echo to this day. More importantly, perhaps, the Stuart era was marked by the cruel depredations of civil war, and the killing of a king. Shrewd and opinionated, James I was eloquent on matters as diverse as theology, witchcraft, and the abuses of tobacco, but his attitude to the English parliament sowed the seeds of the division that would split the country during the reign of his hapless heir, Charles I. Ackroyd offers a brilliant, warts-and-all portrayal of Charles's nemesis, Oliver Cromwell, Parliament's great military leader and England's only dictator, who began his career as a political liberator but ended it as much ...
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The Cold War: A World History cover
Book Review


From a Bancroft Prize-winning scholar, a new global history of the Cold War and its ongoing impact around the world


We tend to think of the Cold War as a bounded conflict: a clash of two superpowers, the United States and the Soviet Union, born out of the ashes of World War II and coming to a dramatic end with the collapse of the Soviet Union. But in this major new work, Bancroft Prize-winning scholar Odd Arne Westad argues that the Cold War must be understood as a global ideological confrontation, with early roots in the Industrial Revolution and ongoing repercussions around the world.

In The Cold War, Westad offers a new perspective on a century when great power rivalry and ideological battle transformed every corner of our globe. From Soweto to Hollywood, Hanoi, and Hamburg, young men and women felt they were fighting for the future of the world. The Cold War may have begun on the perimeters of Europe, but it had its deepest reverberations in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East, where nearly every community had to choose sides. And these choices continue to define economies and regimes across the world.

Today, many regions are plag...
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No Banners, No Bugles cover
Book Review

The little-known WWII story of the salvage engineers whose daring and heroism helped the Allies win back North Africa, by the author of The Far Shore.

By the time America joined World War II, Edward Ellsberg had already earned his place as one of the world’s great marine salvage engineers, and his bestselling accounts of raising doomed submarines and histories of classic diving operations had made him a literary star. With America’s entry into the war, Ellsberg returned to active duty with no easy assignment: clearing the vital port at Massawa, Eritrea, with no men, no equipment, and no budget.
 
No Banners, No Bugles picks up with Ellsberg stationed at Oran, Algeria, an important Mediterranean harbor as the Allies prepare for Operation Torch, the fight to reclaim North Africa from the Axis powers. Following his success at Massawa, Ellsberg must sort out the disorganized mess left by the Vichy French and find a way to open the port, though his flagging health proves to be a dangerous obstacle. As General Eisenhower’s chief of salvage in the Mediterranean, Ellsberg needs to clear harbors all across North Africa. No Banners...
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Plain and Simple: A Journey to the Amish cover
Book Review

"I had an obsession with the Amish. Plan and simple. Objectively it made no sense. I, who worked hard at being special, fell in love with a people who valued being ordinary."

So begins Sue Bender's story, the captivating and inspiring true story of a harried urban Californian moved by the beauty of a display of quilts to seek out and live with the Amish. Discovering lives shaped by unfamiliar yet comforting ideas about time, work, and community, Bender is gently coaxed to consider, "Is there another way to lead a good life?"

Her journey begins in a New York men's clothing store. There she is spellbound by the vibrant colors and stunning geometric simplicity of the Amish quilts "spoke directly to me," writes Bender. Somehow, "they went straight to my heart."

Heeding a persistent inner voice, Bender searches for Amish families willing to allow her to visit and share in there daily lives. Plain and Simple vividly recounts sojourns with two Amish families, visits during which Bender enters a world without television, telephone, electric light, or refrigerators; a world where clutter and hurry are replaced with inner quiet and calm ritual; a worl...
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Roosevelt's Centurions: FDR and the Commanders He Led to Victory in World War II cover
Book Review

All American presidents are commanders in chief by law. Few perform as such in practice. In Roosevelt’s Centurions, distinguished historian Joseph E. Persico reveals how, during World War II, Franklin D. Roosevelt seized the levers of wartime power like no president since Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War. Declaring himself “Dr. Win-the-War,” FDR assumed the role of strategist in chief, and, though surrounded by star-studded generals and admirals, he made clear who was running the war. FDR was a hands-on war leader, involving himself in everything from choosing bomber targets to planning naval convoys to the design of landing craft. Persico explores whether his strategic decisions, including his insistence on the Axis powers’ unconditional surrender, helped end or may have prolonged the war.
 
Taking us inside the Allied war councils, the author reveals how the president brokered strategy with contentious allies, particularly the iron-willed Winston Churchill; rallied morale on the home front; and handpicked a team of proud, sometimes prickly warriors who, he believed, could fight a global war. Persico’s history offers indelible portraits of the outsi...
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The Search for the Green River Killer: The True Story of America's Most Prolific Serial Killer cover
Book Review

New York Times Bestseller: From the journalists who covered the story, the shocking crimes of Gary Ridgway, America’s most prolific serial murderer.

In the 1980s and 1990s, forty-nine women in the Seattle area were brutally murdered, their bodies dumped along the Green River and Pacific Highway South in Washington State. Despite an exhaustive investigation—even serial killer Ted Bundy was consulted to assist with psychological profiling—the sadistic killer continued to elude authorities for nearly twenty years.

Then, in 2001, after mounting suspicion and with DNA evidence finally in hand, King County police charged a fifty-two-year-old truck painter, Gary Ridgway, with the murders. His confession and the horrific details of his crimes only added fuel to the notoriety of the Green River Killer.
 
Journalists Carlton Smith and Tomas Guillen covered the murders for the Seattle Times from day one, receiving a Pulitzer Prize nomination for their work. They wrote the first edition of this book before the police had their man. Revised after Ridgway’s conviction and featuring chilling photographs from the case, ...
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Butter: A Rich History cover
Book Review

“Edifying from every point of view--historical, cultural, and culinary.” —David Tanis, author of A Platter of Figs and Other Recipes
 
It’s a culinary catalyst, an agent of change, a gastronomic rock star. Ubiquitous in the world’s most fabulous cuisines, butter is boss. Here, it finally gets its due.

After traveling across three continents to stalk the modern story of butter, award-winning food writer and former pastry chef Elaine Khosrova serves up a story as rich, textured, and culturally relevant as butter itself.

From its humble agrarian origins to its present-day artisanal glory, butter has a fascinating story to tell, and Khosrova is the perfect person to tell it. With tales about the ancient butter bogs of Ireland, the pleasure dairies of France, and the sacred butter sculptures of Tibet, Khosrova details butter’s role in history, politics, economics, nutrition, and even spirituality and art. Readers will also find the essential collection of core butter recipes, including beurre manié, croissants, pâte brisée, and the only buttercream frosting anyone will ever need, as well as practical how-to...
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Becoming Charlemagne: Europe, Baghdad, and the Empires of A.D. 800 cover
Book Review

On Christmas morning in the year 800, Pope Leo III placed the crown of imperial Rome on the brow of a Germanic king named Karl. With one gesture, the man later hailed as Charlemagne claimed his empire and forever shaped the destiny of Europe. Becoming Charlemagne tells the story of the international power struggle that led to this world-changing event.

Illuminating an era that has long been overshadowed by legend, this far-ranging book shows how the Frankish king and his wise counselors built an empire not only through warfare but also by careful diplomacy. With consummate political skill, Charlemagne partnered with a scandal-ridden pope, fended off a ruthless Byzantine empress, nurtured Jewish communities in his empire, and fostered ties with a famous Islamic caliph. For 1,200 years, the deeds of Charlemagne captured the imagination of his descendants, inspiring kings and crusaders, the conquests of Napoléon and Hitler, and the optimistic architects of the European Union.

In this engaging narrative, Jeff Sypeck crafts a vivid portrait of Karl, the ruler who became a legend, while transporting readers far beyond Europe to the glittering palaces of C...
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Mad City: The True Story of the Campus Murders That America Forgot cover
Book Review

An Amazon Charts most-read book.

Mad City: The True Story of the Campus Murders That America Forgot is a chilling, unflinching exploration of American crimes of the twentieth century and how one serial killer managed to slip through the cracks—until now.

In fall 1967, friends Linda Tomaszewski and Christine Rothschild are freshmen at the University of Wisconsin. The students in the hippie college town of Madison are letting down their hair—and their guards. But amid the peace rallies lurks a killer.

When Christine’s body is found, her murder sends shockwaves across college campuses, and the Age of Aquarius gives way to a decade of terror.

Linda knows the killer, but when police ignore her pleas, he slips away. For the next forty years, Linda embarks on a cross-country quest to find him. When she discovers a book written by the murderer’s mother, she learns Christine was not his first victim—or his last. The slayings continue, and a single perpetrator emerges: the Capital City Killer. As police focus on this new lead, Linda receives a disturbing note from the madman himself. Can she stop him before he kills again?

...
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What Would Martin Say? cover

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On April 4, 1968, the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee, depriving the world of one of the greatest moral authorities of the twentieth century. He was thirty-nine. King had achieved so much at such a young age that it is hard to believe that he has been gone longer than the brief time he spent on this earth. He spoke out not only on segregation and racism against African Americans, but about many other issues of the day, from police brutality and labor strikes to the Vietnam War. Given the current state of the world, we would all benefit from hearing Martin's voice, if only he were alive today. . . .

If anyone would have insight into what Martin would say, it would be Clarence B. Jones, King's personal lawyer and one of his closest principal advisers and confidants. Jones—now seventy-seven, has chosen the occasion of this somber anniversary to break his silence—removing the mythic distance of forty years' time to reveal the flesh-and-blood man he knew as his friend, Martin. Jones ponders what the outspoken rights leader would say about the serious issues tha...
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Give Us the Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America cover
Book Review

The adoption of the landmark Voting Rights Act in 1965 enfranchised millions of Americans and is widely regarded as the crowning achievement of the civil rights movement. Yet fifty years later, we are still fighting heated battles over race, representation, and political power - over the right to vote, the central pillar of our democracy.

A groundbreaking narrative history of voting rights since 1965, Give Us the Ballot tells the story of what happened after the act was passed. Through meticulous archival research, fresh interviews with the leading participants in the ongoing struggle, and incisive on-the-ground reporting, Ari Berman chronicles the transformative impact the act had on American democracy and investigates how the fight over the right to vote has continued in the decades since. From new strategies to keep minorities out of the voting booth to cynical efforts to limit political representation by gerrymandering electoral districts to the Supreme Court's recent stunning decision that declared a key part of the Voting Rights Act itself unconstitutional, Berman tells the dramatic story of the pitched contest over the very heart of our democracy. A...
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The Last Train from Hiroshima: The Survivors Look Back cover
Book Review

Drawing on the voices of atomic-bomb survivors and the new science of forensic archaeology, Charles Pellegrino describes the events and aftermath of two days in August when nuclear devices detonated over Japan changed life on Earth forever

Last Train from Hiroshima offers readers a stunning “you are there” time capsule, gracefully wrapped in elegant prose. Charles Pellegrino’s scientific authority and close relationship with the A-bomb’s survivors make his account the most gripping and authoritative ever written.

At the narrative’s core are eyewitness accounts of those who experienced the atomic explosions firsthand—the Japanese civilians on the ground and the American flyers in the air. Thirty people are known to have fled Hiroshima for Nagasaki—where they arrived just in time to survive the second bomb. One of them, Tsutomu Yamaguchi, is the only person who experienced the full effects of the cataclysm at ground zero both times. The second time, the blast effects were diverted around the stairwell in which Yamaguchi had been standing, placing him and a few others in a shock coccoon that offered protection, while the entire building disappear...
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Age of Anger: A History of the Present cover
Book Review

How can we explain the origins of the great wave of paranoid hatreds that seem inescapable in our close-knit world - from American shooters and ISIS to Donald Trump, from a rise in vengeful nationalism to racism and misogyny on social media? In Age of Anger, Pankaj Mishra answers our bewilderment by casting his gaze back to the 18th century before leading us to the present. As the world became modern, those who were unable to enjoy its promises of freedom, stability, and prosperity were increasingly susceptible to demagogues. It was from among the ranks of the disaffected that the militants of the 19th century arose - angry young men who became cultural nationalists in Germany, messianic revolutionaries in Russia, bellicose chauvinists in Italy, and anarchist terrorists internationally. Today, just as then, the embrace of mass politics and technology and the pursuit of wealth and individualism have cast many more billions adrift, uprooted from tradition but still far from modernity - with the same terrible results. Making startling connections and comparisons, Age of Anger is a book of immense urgency and profound argument. It is a history of our present p...
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Pictures at a Revolution: Five Movies and the Birth of the New Hollywood cover
Book Review

The epic human drama behind the making of the five movies nominated for Best Picture in 1967-Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, The Graduate, In the Heat of the Night, Doctor Dolittle, and Bonnie and Clyde-and through them, the larger story of the cultural revolution that transformed Hollywood, and America, forever. It's the mid-1960s, and westerns, war movies, and blockbuster musicals such as Mary Poppins and The Sound of Music dominate the box office. The Hollywood studio system, with its cartels of talent and its production code, is hanging strong, or so it would seem. Meanwhile, Warren Beatty wonders why his career isn't blooming after the success of his debut in Splendor in the Grass; Mike Nichols wonders if he still has a career after breaking up with Elaine May; and even though Sidney Poitier has just made history by becoming the first black Best Actor winner, he's still feeling completely cut off from opportunities other than the same "noble black man" role. And a you