Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue: The Untold History of English cover
Book Review

A survey of the quirks and quandaries of the English language, focusing on our strange and wonderful grammar

Why do we say “I am reading a catalog” instead of “I read a catalog”? Why do we say “do” at all? Is the way we speak a reflection of our cultural values? Delving into these provocative topics and more, Our Magnificent Bastard Language distills hundreds of years of fascinating lore into one lively history.

Covering such turning points as the little-known Celtic and Welsh influences on English, the impact of the Viking raids and the Norman Conquest, and the Germanic invasions that started it all during the fifth century ad, John McWhorter narrates this colorful evolution with vigor. Drawing on revolutionary genetic and linguistic research as well as a cache of remarkable trivia about the origins of English words and syntax patterns, Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue ultimately demonstrates the arbitrary, maddening nature of English— and its ironic simplicity due to its role as a streamlined lingua franca during the early formation of Britain. This is the book that language aficionados worldwide have been waiting for (and no, it’s not a...
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The Big Ones: How Natural Disasters Have Shaped Us (and What We Can Do About Them) cover
Book Review

By the world-renowned seismologist, a riveting history of natural disasters, their impact on our culture, and new ways of thinking about the ones to come

Earthquakes, floods, tsunamis, hurricanes, volcanoes--they stem from the same forces that give our planet life. Earthquakes give us natural springs; volcanoes produce fertile soil. It is only when these forces exceed our ability to withstand them that they become disasters. Together they have shaped our cities and their architecture; elevated leaders and toppled governments; influenced the way we think, feel, fight, unite, and pray. The history of natural disasters is a history of ourselves.

In The Big Ones, leading seismologist Dr. Lucy Jones offers a bracing look at some of the world's greatest natural disasters, whose reverberations we continue to feel today. At Pompeii, Jones explores how a volcanic eruption in the first century AD challenged prevailing views of religion. She examines the California floods of 1862 and the limits of human memory. And she probes more recent events--such as the Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004 and the American hurricanes of 2017--to illustrate the potential for gl...
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A World in Disarray: American Foreign Policy and the Crisis of the Old Order cover
Book Review

"A valuable primer on foreign policy: a primer that concerned citizens of all political persuasions—not to mention the president and his advisers—could benefit from reading." —The New York Times

An examination of a world increasingly defined by disorder and a United States unable to shape the world in its image, from the president of the Council on Foreign Relations


Things fall apart; the center cannot hold. The rules, policies, and institutions that have guided the world since World War II have largely run their course. Respect for sovereignty alone cannot uphold order in an age defined by global challenges from terrorism and the spread of nuclear weapons to climate change and cyberspace. Meanwhile, great power rivalry is returning. Weak states pose problems just as confounding as strong ones. The United States remains the world’s strongest country, but American foreign policy has at times made matters worse, both by what the U.S. has done and by what it has failed to do. The Middle East is in chaos, Asia is threatened by China’s rise and a reckless North Korea, and Europe, for decades the world’s most stable region, is now anything but...
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Wedlock: The True Story of the Disastrous Marriage and Remarkable Divorce of Mary Eleanor Bowes, Countess of Strathmore cover
Book Review

With the death of her fabulously wealthy coal magnate father when she was just eleven, Mary Eleanor Bowes became the richest heiress in Britain. An ancestor of Queen Elizabeth II, Mary grew to be a highly educated young woman, winning acclaim as a playwright and botanist. Courted by a bevy of eager suitors, at eighteen she married the handsome but aloof ninth Earl of Strathmore in a celebrated, if ultimately troubled, match that forged the Bowes Lyon name. Yet she stumbled headlong into scandal when, following her husband’s early death, a charming young army hero flattered his way into the merry widow’s bed.

Captain Andrew Robinson Stoney insisted on defending her honor in a duel, and Mary was convinced she had found true love. Judged by doctors to have been mortally wounded in the melee, Stoney persuaded Mary to grant his dying wish; four days later they were married.

Sadly, the “captain” was not what he seemed. Staging a sudden and remarkable recovery, Stoney was revealed as a debt-ridden lieutenant, a fraudster, and a bully. Immediately taking control of Mary’s vast fortune, he squandered her wealth and embarked on a campaign of appalling violence...
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Bhagavad Gita: The Beloved Lord's Secret Love Song cover
Book Review

The Bhagavad Gita is often regarded as the Bible of India. With a gripping story and deeply compelling message, it is unquestionably one of the most popular sacred texts of Asia and, along with the Bible and the Qur'an, one of the most important holy scriptures in the world.

Part of an ancient Hindu epic poem, the dialogue of the Bhagavad Gita takes place on a battlefield, where a war for the possession of a North Indian kingdom is about to ensue between two noble families related by blood. The epic's hero, young Prince Arjuna, is torn between his duty as a warrior and his revulsion at the thought of his brothers and cousins killing each other over control of the realm. Frozen by this ethical dilemma, he debates the big questions of life and death with the supreme Hindu deity Krishna, cleverly disguised as his charioteer. By the end of the story, Eastern beliefs about mortality and reincarnation, the vision and practice of yoga, the Indian social order and its responsibilities, family loyalty, spiritual knowledge, and the loftiest pursuits of the human heart are explored in depth. Explaining the very purpose of life and existence, this classic has stood ...
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Suicide of the West: How the Rebirth of Tribalism, Populism, Nationalism, and Identity Politics is Destroying American Democracy cover
Book Review

With his trademark blend of political history, social science, economics, and pop culture, two-time NYT bestselling author, syndicated columnist, National Review senior editor, and American Enterprise Institute fellow Jonah Goldberg makes the timely case that America and other democracies are in peril as they lose the will to defend the values and institutions that sustain freedom and prosperity. Instead we are surrendering to populism, nationalism and other forms of tribalism.
 
Only once in the last 250,000 years have humans stumbled upon a way to lift ourselves out of the endless cycle of poverty, hunger, and war that defines most of history—in 18th century England when we accidentally discovered the miracle of liberal democratic capitalism.
 
As Americans we are doubly blessed that those radical ideas were written into the Constitution, laying the groundwork for our uniquely prosperous society:
·         Our rights come from God not from the government.
·         The government belongs to us; we do not belong to the government.
·         The individual is sovereign. We are all captains of our own souls.
·         The fr...
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The Other Side of the Night: The Carpathia, the Californian and the Night the Titanic was Lost cover
Book Review

After every disaster, someone has something to hide . . .

A few minutes before midnight on April 14, 1912, the “unsinkable” RMS Titanic, on her maiden voyage to New York, struck an iceberg. Less than three hours later she lay at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean. While the world has remained fascinated by the tragedy, the most amazing drama of those fateful hours was not played out aboard the doomed liner. It took place on the decks of two other ships, one fifty-eight miles distant from the sinking Titanic, the other barely ten miles away. The masters of the steamships Carpathia and Californian, Captain Arthur Rostron and Captain Stanley Lord, were informed within minutes of each other that their vessels had picked up the distress signals of a sinking ship. Their actions in the hours and days that followed would become the stuff of legend, as one would choose to take his ship into dangerous waters to answer the call for help, while the other would decide that the hazard to himself and his command was too great to risk responding.

After years of research, Daniel Allen Butler now tells this incredible story, moving from ship to ship on the ic...
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A History of God: The 4,000-Year Quest of Judaism, Christianity and Islam cover
Book Review

Why does God exist? How have the three dominant monotheistic religions—Judaism, Christianity, and Islam—shaped and altered the conception of God? How have these religions influenced each other? In this stunningly intelligent book, Karen Armstrong, one of Britain's foremost commentators on religious affairs, traces the history of how men and women have perceived and experienced God, from the time of Abraham to the present. 

The epic story begins with the Jews' gradual transformation of pagan idol worship in Babylon into true monotheism—a concept previously unknown in the world. Christianity and Islam both rose on the foundation of this revolutionary idea, but these religions refashioned 'the One God' to suit the social and political needs of their followers. From classical philosophy and medieval mysticism to the Reformation, Karen Armstrong performs the near miracle of distilling the intellectual history of monotheism into one superbly readable volume, destined to take its place as a classic.

Praise for History of God

“An admirable and impressive work of synthesis that will give insight and satisfaction to thousands of lay rea...
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What Works: Success in Stressful Times cover
Book Review

A lively, engaging and counterintuitive exploration of success stories from across the globe, and what Michelle Obama referred to as ‘the flimsy difference between success and failure’.

In this lively and counterintuitive exploration of success stories from across the globe, award-winning journalist Hamish McRae takes the reader on a fascinating journey in pursuit of the flimsy difference between triumph and failure. Why do some initiatives take off while others flounder? How have some communities managed to achieve so much while others struggle? What distinguishes the good companies from the bad?

This thoughtful, engaging look at some of the world’s greatest success stories provides an optimistic and eminently practical guide to what works and why. What lessons can we learn from the surprisingly well-ordered Mumbai community made famous by ‘Slumdog Millionaire’? Why have Canadian manners helped Whistler become the most popular ski resort in North America? How has Zurich developed the world’s most admired anti-drug policies? And how has Hong Kong used gambling profits to help its residents enjoy the greatest level of economic freedom on the planet?

Dra...
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The Bridge: How the Roeblings Connected Brooklyn to New York cover
Book Review

More than 130 years after its completion, the Brooklyn Bridge remains one of the most extraordinary landmarks and symbols of Brooklyn and New York City—and the story behind this architectural marvel is just as extraordinary.

The Brooklyn Bridge was originally designed by John Augustus Roebling, but it was his son, Washington, and his daughter-in-law, Emily, who oversaw the bridge’s construction. As work on the bridge went on, Washington developed caisson disease, leaving him bedridden for the majority of the bridge’s 14-year construction. Washington’s wife, Emily Roebling, took his place running the work site, deftly assuming the role of chief engineer, supervising the project and overseeing the workers, contractors, a hostile press, and greedy city politicians—an unusual position for a woman to take on at the time.

In this inspiring graphic novel, author Peter J. Tomasi and illustrator Sara Duvall show the building of the Brooklyn Bridge as it has never been seen before, and the marriage of the Roeblings—based on intellectual equality and mutual support—that made the construction of this iconic structure possible.

...
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God Save Texas: A Journey into the Soul of the Lone Star State cover
Book Review

With humor and the biting insight of a native, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Looming Tower explores the history, culture, and politics of Texas, while holding the stereotypes up for rigorous scrutiny.

God Save Texas is a journey through the most controversial state in America. It is a red state in the heart of Trumpland that hasn't elected a Democrat to a statewide office in more than twenty years; but it is also a state in which minorities already form a majority (including the largest number of Muslims). The cities are blue and among the most diverse in the nation. Oil is still king but Texas now leads California in technology exports. The Texas economic model of low taxes and minimal regulation has produced extraordinary growth but also striking income disparities. Texas looks a lot like the America that Donald Trump wants to create. And Wright's profound portrait of the state not only reflects our country back as it is, but as it was and as it might be....
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Meet You in Hell: Andrew Carnegie, Henry Clay Frick, and the Bitter Partnership That Transformed America cover
Book Review

Here is history that reads like fiction: the riveting story of two founding fathers of American industry—Andrew Carnegie and Henry Clay Frick—and the bloody steelworkers’ strike that transformed their fabled partnership into a furious rivalry. Author Les Standiford begins at the bitter end, when the dying Carnegie proposes a final meeting after two decades of separation, probably to ease his conscience. Frick’s reply: “Tell him that I’ll meet him in hell.”

It is a fitting epitaph. Set against the backdrop of the Gilded Age, a time when Horatio Alger preached the gospel of upward mobility and expansionism went hand in hand with optimism, Meet You in Hell is a classic tale of two men who embodied the best and worst of American capitalism. Standiford conjures up the majesty and danger of steel manufacturing, the rough-and-tumble of late-nineteenth-century big business, and the fraught relationship of “the world’s richest man” and the ruthless coke magnate to whom he entrusted his companies. Enamored of Social Darwinism, the emerging school of thought that applied the notion of survival of the fittest to human society, both Carnegie and Frick would introduce ...
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Socrates: A Man for Our Times cover
Book Review

A brilliant portrait of the Greek philosopher who personified philosophy.

Socrates was undeniably one of the greatest thinkers of all time, yet he wrote nothing. Throughout his life, and indeed until his very last moment alive, Socrates fully embodied his philosophy in thought and deed. It is through the story of his life that we can fully grasp his powerful actions and ideas.

In his highly acclaimed style, historian Paul Johnson masterfully disentangles centuries of scarce sources to offer a riveting account of a homely but charismatic middle-class man living in Athens in the fifth century b.c., and how what this man thought still shapes the way we decide how to act, and how we fathom the notion of body and soul. Johnson provides a compelling picture of the city and people Socrates reciprocally delighted in, as well as many enlightening and intimate analyses of specific aspects of his personality. Enchantingly portraying "the sheer power of Socrates's mind, and its unique combination of steel, subtlety, and frivolity," Paul Johnson captures the vast and intriguing life of a man who did nothing less than supply the basic apparatus of the h...
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American Buffalo: In Search of a Lost Icon cover
Book Review

From the host of the Travel Channel’s “The Wild Within.”

A hunt for the American buffalo—an adventurous, fascinating examination of an animal that has haunted the American imagination.
 
In 2005, Steven Rinella won a lottery permit to hunt for a wild buffalo, or American bison, in the Alaskan wilderness. Despite the odds—there’s only a 2 percent chance of drawing the permit, and fewer than 20 percent of those hunters are successful—Rinella managed to kill a buffalo on a snow-covered mountainside and then raft the meat back to civilization while being trailed by grizzly bears and suffering from hypothermia. Throughout these adventures, Rinella found himself contemplating his own place among the 14,000 years’ worth of buffalo hunters in North America, as well as the buffalo’s place in the American experience. At the time of the Revolutionary War, North America was home to approximately 40 million buffalo, the largest herd of big mammals on the planet, but by the mid-1890s only a few hundred remained. Now that the buffalo is on the verge of a dramatic ecological recovery across the West, Americans are faced with the challenge of how, and if, we can...
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The Proud Tower: A Portrait of the World Before the War, 1890-1914; Barbara W. Tuchman's Great War Series cover
Book Review

The Proud Tower, the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Guns of August, and The Zimmerman Telegram comprise Barbara W. Tuchman’s classic histories of the First World War era

During the fateful quarter century leading up to World War I, the climax of a century of rapid, unprecedented change, a privileged few enjoyed Olympian luxury as the underclass was “heaving in its pain, its power, and its hate.” In The Proud Tower, Barbara W. Tuchman brings the era to vivid life: the decline of the Edwardian aristocracy; the Anarchists of Europe and America; Germany and its self-depicted hero, Richard Strauss; Diaghilev’s Russian ballet and Stravinsky’s music; the Dreyfus Affair; the Peace Conferences in The Hague; and the enthusiasm and tragedy of Socialism, epitomized by the assassination of Jean Jaurès on the night the Great War began and an epoch came to a close.
 
Praise for The Proud Tower
 
“[Barbara W. Tuchman’s] Pulitzer Prize–winning The Guns of August was an expert evocation of the first spasm of the 1914–1918 war. She brings the same narrative gifts and panoramic camera eye to her po...
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Paper: Paging Through History cover
Book Review

From the New York Times best-selling author of Cod and Salt, a definitive history of paper and the astonishing ways it has shaped today’s world.


Paper is one of the simplest and most essential pieces of human technology. For the past two millennia, the ability to produce it in ever more efficient ways has supported the proliferation of literacy, media, religion, education, commerce, and art; it has formed the foundation of civilizations, promoting revolutions and restoring stability. By tracing paper’s evolution from antiquity to the present, with an emphasis on the contributions made in Asia and the Middle East, Mark Kurlansky challenges common assumptions about technology’s influence, affirming that paper is here to stay. Paper will be the commodity history that guides us forward in the twenty-first century and illuminates our times.

...
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The Crusades cover

The Crusades html

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Book Review

Looking into the past, the Crusades seem incomprehensible. What combination of religious fervor, hatred of people of different faiths, and gall led Europeans of 1100 A.D. to make their way thousands of miles to conquer the Holy Land? Why did they continue for 200 years? How did the Crusades change the world?

The intriguing story is peppered with colorful characters. Over the centuries, this well-researched and written book argues, crusaders saw - and participated in - the evolution of warfare and the transformation of society from feudal fiefdoms to nations and empires. The story of the Crusades is a reminder, too, of the horrors wrought in the name of religion. The Crusades are seen by many Christians today as an exercise in fanaticism, an episode in which the teachings of Christ were used to justify the horrors perpetrated on innocents. That judgment is accurate, but not the whole story. The whole story is in these pages....
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Charlie Wilson's War cover
Book Review

The bestselling true story of a Texas congressman’s secret role in the Afghan defeat of Russian invaders is “a tour de force of reporting and writing” (Dan Rather).
 
A New York Times, Washington Post, and Los Angeles Times bestseller.
 
Charlie Wilson’s penchant for cocktails and beauty-contest winners was well known, but in the early 1980s, the dilettante congressman quietly conducted one of the most successful covert operations in US history. Using his seat on the House Appropriations Committee, Wilson channeled hundreds of millions of dollars to support a ragged band of Afghan “freedom fighters” in their resistance against Soviet invaders.
 
Weapons were secretly procured and distributed with the help of an outcast CIA operative named Gust Avrakotos, who stretched the agency’s rules to the breaking point. Moving from the back rooms of Washington to secret chambers at Langley, and from arms-dealers’ conventions to the Khyber Pass, Wilson and Avrakotos helped the mujahideen win an unlikely victory against the Russians.
 
Adapted into a film starring Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts, and Philip Seymo...
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Equal: Women Reshape American Law cover
Book Review

The dramatic, untold story of how women battled blatant inequities in America's legal system.

As late as 1967, men outnumbered women twenty to one in American law schools. With the loss of deferments from Vietnam, law schools admitted women to avoid plummeting enrollments. As women entered, the law resisted. Judges would not hire women. Law firms asserted a right to discriminate against women. Judges permitted discrimination against pregnant women. Courts viewed sexual harassment as, one judge said, "a game played by the male superiors." Against the odds, women fought to reshape the law. Fred Strebeigh has interviewed litigators, plaintiffs, and judges, including Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Catharine MacKinnon, and has done research in their private archives as well as those of other attorneys who took cases to the Supreme Court to make the law equal and just for all....
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Before the Pyramids: Cracking Archaeology's Greatest Mystery cover
Book Review

The suggestion that the Giza pyramids were laid out to represent the stars of Orion’s belt, with the position of the River Nile reflecting the Milky Way, was first put forward by the renowned author Robert Bauval in his bestselling book The Orion Mystery. In Before the Pyramids, Knight and Butler reveal that the British henges were arranged in the same formation—but much earlier. They also present irrefutable evidence that the astronomical calculations determining the layout of the pyramids could only have been made from the site of the henges in North Yorkshire. From this they can conclude that the pyramids of the pharaohs were conceived and planned in Britain! Their next stunning discovery takes us to modern times. They have found evidence that the whole Megalithic measuring system has survived into the 20th century. There are examples in Washington, DC—even in the positioning and construction of the Pentagon, which was only commenced in 1942 and is an exact copy of the dimensions of Stonehenge, dating to 3,000 BC.


From the Trade Paperback edition.

Product Description

The suggestion that the Giza pyramids were laid out to represent the star...
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Wanderlust: A History of Walking cover
Book Review

A passionate, thought provoking exploration of walking as a political and cultural activity, from the author of Men Explain Things to Me

Drawing together many histories--of anatomical evolution and city design, of treadmills and labyrinths, of walking clubs and sexual mores--Rebecca Solnit creates a fascinating portrait of the range of possibilities presented by walking. Arguing that the history of walking includes walking for pleasure as well as for political, aesthetic, and social meaning, Solnit focuses on the walkers whose everyday and extreme acts have shaped our culture, from philosophers to poets to mountaineers. She profiles some of the most significant walkers in history and fiction--from Wordsworth to Gary Snyder, from Jane Austen's Elizabeth Bennet to Andre Breton's Nadja--finding a profound relationship between walking and thinking and walking and culture. Solnit argues for the necessity of preserving the time and space in which to walk in our ever more car-dependent and accelerated world.

Amazon.com Review

The ability to walk on two legs over long distances distinguishes Homo sapiens from other primates, and indeed from ...
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Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight: An African Childhood cover
Book Review

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY’S #1 NONFICTION BOOK OF THE YEAR • A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK • FINALIST, GUARDIAN FIRST BOOK PRIZE
 
“This is not a book you read just once, but a tale of terrible beauty to get lost in over and over.”—Newsweek
 
“By turns mischievous and openhearted, earthy and soaring . . . hair-raising, horrific, and thrilling.”—The New Yorker

In Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight, Alexandra Fuller remembers her African childhood with visceral authenticity. Though it is a diary of an unruly life in an often inhospitable place, it is suffused with Fuller’s endearing ability to find laughter, even when there is little to celebrate. Fuller’s debut is unsentimental and unflinching but always captivating. In wry and sometimes hilarious prose, she stares down disaster and looks back with rage and love at the life of an extraordinary family in an extraordinary time.

From 1972 to 1990, Alexandra Fuller—known to friends and family as Bobo—grew up on several farms in southern and central Africa. Her father joined up...
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The Bletchley Girls: War, secrecy, love and loss: the women of Bletchley Park tell their story cover
Book Review

'Lively...in giving us the daily details of their lives in the women's own voices Dunlop does them and us a fine service' New Statesman

'Dunlop is engaging in her personal approach. Her obvious feminine empathy with the venerable ladies she spoke to gives her book an immediacy and intimacy.' Daily Mail

'An in-depth picture of life in Britain's wartime intelligence centre...The result is fascinating, and is made all the more touching by the developing friendships between Dunlop and her interviewees.' Financial Times

The Bletchley Girls weaves together the lives of fifteen women who were all selected to work in Britain's most secret organisation - Bletchley Park. It is their story, told in their voices; Tessa met and talked to 15 veterans, often visiting them several times. Firm friendships were made as their epic journey unfolded on paper.

The scale of female involvement in Britain during the Second World War wasn't matched in any other country. From 8 million working women just over 7000 were hand-picked to work at Bletchley Park and its outstations. There had always been girls at the Park but s...
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The Death of Democracy: Hitler's Rise to Power and the Downfall of the Weimar Republic cover
Book Review

A riveting account of how the Nazi Party came to power and how the failures of the Weimar Republic and the shortsightedness of German politicians allowed it to happen.

Why did democracy fall apart so quickly and completely in Germany in the 1930s? How did a democratic government allow Adolf Hitler to seize power? In The Death of Democracy, Benjamin Carter Hett answers these questions, and the story he tells has disturbing resonances for our own time.

To say that Hitler was elected is too simple. He would never have come to power if Germany’s leading politicians had not responded to a spate of populist insurgencies by trying to co-opt him, a strategy that backed them into a corner from which the only way out was to bring the Nazis in. Hett lays bare the misguided confidence of conservative politicians who believed that Hitler and his followers would willingly support them, not recognizing that their efforts to use the Nazis actually played into Hitler’s hands. They had willingly given him the tools to turn Germany into a vicious dictatorship.

Benjamin Carter Hett is a leading scholar of twentieth-century Germany and a gifted storyteller wh...
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The Great Influenza: The Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History cover
Book Review

The definitive account of the 1918 Flu Epidemic. "Monumental"-Chicago Tribune.

At the height of WWI, history’s most lethal influenza virus erupted in an army camp in Kansas, moved east with American troops, then exploded, killing as many as 100 million people worldwide. It killed more people in twenty-four months than AIDS killed in twenty-four years, more in a year than the Black Death killed in a century. But this was not the Middle Ages, and 1918 marked the first collision of science and epidemic disease. Magisterial in its breadth of perspective and depth of research and now revised to reflect the growing danger of the avian flu, The Great Influenza is ultimately a tale of triumph amid tragedy, which provides us with a precise and sobering model as we confront the epidemics looming on our own horizon. John M. Barry has written a new afterword for this edition that brings us up to speed on the terrible threat of the avian flu and suggest ways in which we might head off another flu pandemic....
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Trees in Paradise: A California History cover
Book Review

From roots to canopy, a lush, verdant history of the making of California.


California now has more trees than at any time since the late Pleistocene. This green landscape, however, is not the work of nature. It’s the work of history. In the years after the Gold Rush, American settlers remade the California landscape, harnessing nature to their vision of the good life. Horticulturists, boosters, and civic reformers began to "improve" the bare, brown countryside, planting millions of trees to create groves, wooded suburbs, and landscaped cities. They imported the blue-green eucalypts whose tangy fragrance was thought to cure malaria. They built the lucrative "Orange Empire" on the sweet juice and thick skin of the Washington navel, an industrial fruit. They lined their streets with graceful palms to announce that they were not in the Midwest anymore.


To the north the majestic coastal redwoods inspired awe and invited exploitation. A resource in the state, the durable heartwood of these timeless giants became infrastructure, transformed by the saw teeth of American enterprise. By 1900 timber firms owned the entire redwood forest; by 1950 they had cl...
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Bugles, Boots, and Saddles: Exploits of the U.S. Cavalry cover
Book Review

A history of America’s military on horseback.

For three thousand years, the horse soldier has played a key role in both war fighting and in peace keeping all over the world, not only as a highly mobile strike force in battle but also as an instrument of reconnaissance and occupation, exploration, and irregular warfare.

The American tradition of the mounted warrior is a proud one. But in the first days of our revolution, it looked as if George Washington was prepared to dispense with the use of mounted troops altogether. Eventually he saw their value, and over the next hundred years the cavalry adapted itself to the needs and imperatives of the growing nation. This is the story of the US Cavalry.

In Bugles, Boots, and Saddles you’ll be able to ride along with heroes from years past, including:

“Light-Horse Harry” Lee and his legion in the Revolutionary War
Custer at Gettysburg, at the Battle of the Wabash, and at Little Big Horn
Crook in pursuit of the Apache chieftain Geronimo in 1880s Arizona
Teddy Roosevelt and the Rough Riders at San Juan (Kettle) Hill
And many more

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Zlata's Diary: A Child's Life in Wartime Sarajevo: Revised Edition cover
Book Review

The child's diary that awakened the conscience of the world

When Zlata’s Diary was first published at the height of the Bosnian conflict, it became an international bestseller and was compared to The Diary of Anne Frank, both for the freshness of its voice and the grimness of the world it describes. It begins as the day-today record of the life of a typical eleven-year-old girl, preoccupied by piano lessons and birthday parties. But as war engulfs Sarajevo, Zlata Filipovic becomes a witness to food shortages and the deaths of friends and learns to wait out bombardments in a neighbor’s cellar. Yet throughout she remains courageous and observant. The result is a book that has the power to move and instruct readers a world away.

"The only bright thing to come from [Sarajevo's] recent history." -USA Today

"Conveys the bewilderment and horror of modern-day conflict...One of Zlata's gifts lies in throwing a human light on intolerable events." -San Francisco Chronicle...
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Revolutionary Characters: What Made the Founders Different cover
Book Review

In this brilliantly illuminating group portrait of the men who came to be known as the Founding Fathers, the incomparable Gordon Wood has written a book that seriously asks, "What made these men great?" and shows us, among many other things, just how much character did in fact matter. The life of each—Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Franklin, Hamilton, Madison, Paine—is presented individually as well as collectively, but the thread that binds these portraits together is the idea of character as a lived reality. They were members of the first generation in history that was self-consciously self-made men who understood that the arc of lives, as of nations, is one of moral progress.


From the Trade Paperback edition....
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Days of Valor: An Inside Account of the Bloodiest Six Months of the Vietnam War cover
Book Review

A nonstop maelstrom of combat action, leaving readers nearly breathless by the end. Days of Valor covers the height of the Vietnam War, from the nervous period just before Tet, through the defeat of that offensive, to the highly underwritten, yet equally bloody NVA offensive of May 1968. On January 30, 1968, the storm breaks loose, as Saigon and nearly every provincial capital in South Vietnam is under assault by the communists. The narrative is jarring, because even though the author was a company commander during these battles, he has based this work upon objective research including countless interviews with other soldiers of the 199th LIB. The result is that everything we once heard about Vietnam is laid bare in this book through actual experience, as U.S. troops go toe-to-toe at close-range against their foes. The book ends with a brief note about the 199th LIB being deactivated in spring 1970, furling its colors after suffering 753 dead and some 5,000 wounded. This fascinating book will help to remind us of the sacrifices made by all Vietnam veterans.
REVIEWS
"...will resonate with veterans, especially grunts who served anywhere in Vietnam....
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1968 in America: Music, Politics, Chaos, Counterculture, and the Shaping of a Generation cover
Book Review

From assassinations to student riots, this is “a splendidly evocative account of a historic year—a year of tumult, of trauma, and of tragedy” (Arthur Schlesinger Jr.).
 
In the United States, the 1960s were a period of unprecedented change and upheaval—but the year 1968 in particular stands out as a dramatic turning point. Americans witnessed the Tet offensive in Vietnam; the shocking assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert Kennedy; and the chaos at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago. At the same time, a young generation was questioning authority like never before—and popular culture, especially music, was being revolutionized.
 
Largely based on unpublished interviews and documents—including in-depth conversations with Eugene McCarthy and Bob Dylan, among many others, and the late Theodore White’s archives, to which the author had sole access—1968 in America is a fascinating social history, and the definitive study of a year when nothing could be taken for granted.
 
“Kaiser aims to convey not only what happened during the period but what it felt like at the time. Affecting touches bring ...
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Our Vietnam Wars: as told by 100 veterans who served cover
Book Review

This could be the most important book you’ll read this year. It isn’t another war book. It is a book about people, and it contains the personal stories of 100 Vietnam Veterans who served there.

Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines, from the late 1950s to 1975 we served from the Delta to the DMZ, and from Thailand to Yankee Station in the South China Sea. Infantry grunts, truck drivers, medics, helicopter pilots, nurses, clerk typists, jet pilots, mechanics, staff officers, repairmen, artillerymen, B-52 bombardiers, MPs, and doctors, we were black, white, and Hispanic, male and female. We were only in our teens and early twenties, but our stories continue to resonate through the years.

January 30 marks the 50th anniversary of the Tet Offensive, the seminal event of a war that dominated my generation and changed lives. Some of the men and women in this book are true war heroes. Most were just trying to survive. If you were there, you understand. If you weren’t, my hope is that through these stories you will.

Breaking down the stereotypes, they tell who we were, the jobs we did, our memories of that time and place and how it changed us, and ...
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Churchill Defiant: Fighting On: 1945-1955 cover
Book Review

New York Times bestselling biographer Barbara Leaming has written a riveting political dramaof the last ten years of Winston Churchill's public life.

In Churchill Defiant, Leaming tells the tumultuous behind-the-scenes story of Churchill's refusal to retire after his 1945 electoral defeat, and the bare-knuckled political and personal battles that ensued. Her ground-breaking biography Jack Kennedy: The Education of a Statesman, was the first to detail Churchill's extraordinary influence on Kennedy's thinking. Now in Churchill Defiant, Leaming gives us a vivid and compelling narrative that sheds fresh light on both the human dimension of Winston Churchill and on the struggles and achievements of his final years. At last, in Leaming's eloquent account, we understand the tangled web of personal relationships and rivalries, the intricate interplay of past and present, the looming sense of history that makes the story of these years as fascinating as anything in the extraordinary century-long saga of Winston Churchill's life.

...
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Billy the Kid: The Endless Ride cover
Book Review

"This might be the best Billy the Kid book to date." —Fritz Thompson, Albuquerque Journal


In this revisionist biography, award-winning historian Michael Wallis re-creates the rich anecdotal saga of Billy the Kid (1859–1881), a young man who became a legend in his time and remains an enigma to this day. In an extraordinary evocation of the legendary Old West, Wallis demonstrates why the Kid has remained one of our most popular folk heroes. Filled with dozens of rare images and period photographs, Billy the Kid separates myth from reality and presents an unforgettable portrait of this brief and violent life.

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"This might be the best Billy the Kid book to date." —Fritz Thompson, Albuquerque Journal


In this revisionist biography, award-winning historian Michael Wallis re-creates the rich anecdotal saga of Billy the Kid (1859–1881), a young man who became a legend in his time and remains an enigma to this day. In an extraordinary evocation of the legendary Old West, Wallis demonstrates why the Kid has remained one of our most popular folk heroes. Filled with dozens of rare images and period pho...
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Red Notice: A True Story of High Finance, Murder, and One Man’s Fight for Justice cover
Book Review

New York Times bestseller

THE BOOK THAT EXPLAINS WHY RUSSIANS WANTED TO MEET WITH THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN

“Part John Grisham-like thriller, part business and political memoir.” —The New York Times

“[Red Notice] does for investing in Russia and the former Soviet Union what Liar’s Poker did for our understanding of Salomon Brothers, Wall Street, and the mortgage-backed securities business in the 1980s. Browder’s business saga meshes well with the story of corruption and murder in Vladimir Putin’s Russia, making Red Notice an early candidate for any list of the year’s best books” (Fortune).

This is a story about an accidental activist. Bill Browder started out his adult life as the Wall Street maverick whose instincts led him to Russia just after the breakup of the Soviet Union, where he made his fortune.

Along the way he exposed corruption, and when he did, he barely escaped with his life. His Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky wasn’t so lucky: he ended up in jail, where he was tortured to death. That changed Browder forever. He saw the murderous heart of the Putin regime and has s...
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Gibraltar: The Greatest Siege in British History cover
Book Review

A rip-roaring account of the dramatic four-year siege of Britain’s Mediterranean garrison by Spain and France—an overlooked key to the British loss in the American Revolution

For more than three and a half years, from 1779 to 1783, the tiny territory of Gibraltar was besieged and blockaded, on land and at sea, by the overwhelming forces of Spain and France. It became the longest siege in British history, and the obsession with saving Gibraltar was blamed for the loss of the American colonies in the War of Independence.

Located between the Mediterranean and Atlantic, on the very edge of Europe, Gibraltar was a place of varied nationalities, languages, religions, and social classes. During the siege, thousands of soldiers, civilians, and their families withstood terrifying bombardments, starvation, and disease. Very ordinary people lived through extraordinary events, from shipwrecks and naval battles to an attempted invasion of England and a daring sortie out of Gibraltar into Spain. Deadly innovations included red-hot shot, shrapnel shells, and a barrage from immense floating batteries.

This is military and social history at its best, a story of ...
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Willing to Believe: The Controversy over Free Will cover
Book Review

What is the role of the will in believing the good news of the gospel? Why is there so much controversy over free will throughout church history? R. C. Sproul finds that Christians have often been influenced by pagan views of the human will that deny the effects of Adam's fall.
In Willing to Believe, Sproul traces the free-will controversy from its formal beginning in the fifth century, with the writings of Augustine and Pelagius, to the present. Readers will gain understanding into the nuances separating the views of Protestants and Catholics, Calvinists and Arminians, and Reformed and Dispensationalists. This book, like Sproul's Faith Alone, is a major work on an essential evangelical tenet....
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History of the Black Dollar cover
Book Review

Angel Rich, Founder of The Wealth Factory, reveals significant economic moments in history that have helped shape America – slavery, sharecropping, convict leasing, Little Rock Nine, Black Wall Street, Civil Rights, The Great Recession, Black Lives Matter and other important milestones – along with highlighting important figures, some lesser known, that have made these Black, financially historical moments possible through their personal diligent efforts. This book aims to help older generations remember, while enlightening younger generations on the progression of America and its direct correlation to the support of Black Americans that will inspire both groups to continuing uplifting economic social justice....
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The History of Money cover

The History of Money html

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Book Review

In his most widely appealing book yet, one of today's leading authors of popular anthropology looks at the intriguing history and peculiar nature of money, tracing our relationship with it from the time when primitive men exchanged cowrie shells to the imminent arrival of the all-purpose electronic cash card. 320 pp. Author tour. National radio publicity. 25,000 print.


From the Hardcover edition.

Product Description

In his most widely appealing book yet, one of today's leading authors of popular anthropology looks at the intriguing history and peculiar nature of money, tracing our relationship with it from the time when primitive men exchanged cowrie shells to the imminent arrival of the all-purpose electronic cash card. 320 pp. Author tour. National radio publicity. 25,000 print.


From the Hardcover edition....
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Parting the Waters : America in the King Years 1954-63 cover
Book Review

In volume one of his America in the King Years, Pulitzer Prize winner Taylor Branch gives a masterly account of the American civil rights movement.

Hailed as the most masterful story ever told of the American civil rights movement, Parting the Waters is destined to endure for generations.

Moving from the fiery political baptism of Martin Luther King, Jr., to the corridors of Camelot where the Kennedy brothers weighed demands for justice against the deceptions of J. Edgar Hoover, here is a vivid tapestry of America, torn and finally transformed by a revolutionary struggle unequaled since the Civil War.

Taylor Branch provides an unsurpassed portrait of King's rise to greatness and illuminates the stunning courage and private conflict, the deals, maneuvers, betrayals, and rivalries that determined history behind closed doors, at boycotts and sit-ins, on bloody freedom rides, and through siege and murder.

Epic in scope and impact, Branch's chronicle definitively captures one of the nation's most crucial passages.

Amazon.com Review

The first book of a formidable three-volume social history, Parting the Waters is more th...
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9 Rules of Engagement: A Military Brat’s Guide to Life and Success cover
Book Review

The Emmy award-winning news anchor of Outnumbered Overtime with Harris Faulkner and co-host of the talk show Outnumbered shares the lessons she learned growing up in a military family paying homage to the military ideals that shaped her and showing how everyone can benefit from bringing the wisdom of military service into their lives.

Born into a military family, Harris Faulkner revered her father, a decorated career officer who served three tours of duty in Vietnam and raised his children with the values and ideals of the U.S. military. Accompanying him from posting to posting, young Harris experienced firsthand how success in life was rooted in the knowledge, integrity, and leadership that came from her military surroundings. Indeed, these formative lessons in leadership and work ethic became the guiding principles for her career as a journalist, lessons she credits with her rise to become one of the top hosts on Fox News.

Now, she shares the advice, wisdom, and tools that she absorbed through her military upbringing, examining how these ideals have shaped her professional and personal outlook and how everyone can incorporate them into th...
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Ship of Ghosts: The Story of the USS Houston, FDR's Legendary Lost Cruiser, and the Epic Saga of Her Survivors cover
Book Review

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

BONUS: This edition contains an excerpt from James D. Hornfischer's Neptune's Inferno.

"Son, we’re going to Hell."

The navigator of the USS Houston confided these prophetic words to a young officer as he and his captain charted a course into U.S. naval legend. Renowned as FDR’s favorite warship, the cruiser USS Houston was a prize target trapped in the far Pacific after Pearl Harbor. Without hope of reinforcement, her crew faced a superior Japanese force ruthlessly committed to total conquest. It wasn’t a fair fight, but the men of the Houston would wage it to the death.

Hornfischer brings to life the awesome terror of nighttime naval battles that turned decks into strobe-lit slaughterhouses, the deadly rain of fire from Japanese bombers, and the almost superhuman effort of the crew as they miraculously escaped disaster again and again–until their luck ran out during a daring action in Sunda Strait. There, hopelessly outnumbered, the Houston was finally sunk and its survivors taken prisoner. For more than three years their fate would be a mystery ...
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The List: A Week-by-Week Reckoning of Trump’s First Year cover
Book Review

The shocking first-draft history of the Trump regime, and its clear authoritarian impulses, based on the viral Internet phenom "The Weekly List".

In the immediate aftermath of Donald Trump's election as president, Amy Siskind, a former Wall Street executive and the founder of The New Agenda, began compiling a list of actions taken by the Trump regime that pose a threat to our democratic norms. Under the headline: "Experts in authoritarianism advise to keep a list of things subtly changing around you, so you'll remember", Siskind's "Weekly List" began as a project she shared with friends, but it soon went viral and now has more than half a million viewers every week.

Compiled in one volume for the first time, The List is a first draft history and a comprehensive accounting of Donald Trump's first year. Beginning with Trump's acceptance of white supremacists the week after the election and concluding a year to the day later, we watch as Trump and his regime chips away at the rights and protections of marginalized communities, of women, of us all, via Twitter storms, unchecked executive action, and shifting rules and standards. The List chronicles...
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Fascism: A Warning cover

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Book Review

A personal and urgent examination of Fascism in the twentieth century and how its legacy shapes today’s world, written by one of America’s most admired public servants, the first woman to serve as U.S. secretary of state

A Fascist, observes Madeleine Albright, “is someone who claims to speak for a whole nation or group, is utterly unconcerned with the rights of others, and is willing to use violence and whatever other means are necessary to achieve the goals he or she might have.” 

The twentieth century was defined by the clash between democracy and Fascism, a struggle that created uncertainty about the survival of human freedom and left millions dead. Given the horrors of that experience, one might expect the world to reject the spiritual successors to Hitler and Mussolini should they arise in our era. In Fascism: A Warning, Madeleine Albright draws on her experiences as a child in war-torn Europe and her distinguished career as a diplomat to question that assumption.

Fascism, as she shows, not only endured through the twentieth century but now presents a more virulent threat to peace and justice than at any time since the en...
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The Great Departure: Mass Migration from Eastern Europe and the Making of the Free World cover
Book Review

"Zahra handles this immensely complicated and multidimensional history with remarkable clarity and feeling." —Robert Levgold, Foreign Affairs


Between 1846 and 1940, more than 50 million Europeans moved to the Americas in one of the largest migrations of human history, emptying out villages and irrevocably changing both their new homes and the ones they left behind. With a keen historical perspective on the most consequential social phenomenon of the twentieth century, Tara Zahra shows how the policies that gave shape to this migration provided the precedent for future events such as the Holocaust, the closing of the Iron Curtain, and the tragedies of ethnic cleansing. In the epilogue, she places the current refugee crisis within the longer history of migration.

...
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Beat the Last Drum: The Siege of Yorktown (The Thomas Fleming Library) cover
Book Review

New York Times bestselling historian Thomas Fleming creates a dramatic, moving depiction of the Siege of Yorktown - the days in October 1781 that ended the American Revolution and changed the world.

Along with French General Jean-Baptiste Rochambeau, George Washington made an astonishing march through New Jersey and trapped British General Charles Cornwallis and his forces in Yorktown, Virginia, where they unleashed a tremendous artillery assault, with the support of the French navy. But victory was never certain, and both sides made a series of bold attacks and counterattacks, with Washington the unlikely winner....
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Eve of a Hundred Midnights: The Star-Crossed Love Story of Two WWII Correspondents and Their Epic Escape Across the Pacific cover
Book Review

The unforgettable true story of two married journalists on an island-hopping run for their lives across the Pacific after the Fall of Manila during World War II—a saga of love, adventure, and danger.

On New Year’s Eve, 1941, just three weeks after the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Japanese were bombing the Philippine capital of Manila, where journalists Mel and Annalee Jacoby had married just a month earlier. The couple had worked in China as members of a tight community of foreign correspondents with close ties to Chinese leaders; if captured by invading Japanese troops, they were certain to be executed. Racing to the docks just before midnight, they barely escaped on a freighter—the beginning of a tumultuous journey that would take them from one island outpost to another. While keeping ahead of the approaching Japanese, Mel and Annalee covered the harrowing war in the Pacific Theater—two of only a handful of valiant and dedicated journalists reporting from the region.

Supported by deep historical research, extensive interviews, and the Jacobys’ personal letters, Bill Lascher recreates the Jacobys’ thrilling odyssey and their love affair with the Far East and...
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The Soul of America: The Battle for Our Better Angels cover
Book Review

Pulitzer Prize–winning author Jon Meacham helps us understand the present moment in American politics and life by looking back at critical times in our history when hope overcame division and fear.

Our current climate of partisan fury is not new, and in The Soul of America Meacham shows us how what Abraham Lincoln called the “better angels of our nature” have repeatedly won the day. Painting surprising portraits of Lincoln and other presidents, including Ulysses S. Grant, Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, and Lyndon B. Johnson, and illuminating the courage of such influential citizen activists as Martin Luther King, Jr., early suffragettes Alice Paul and Carrie Chapman Catt, civil rights pioneers Rosa Parks and John Lewis, First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, and Army-McCarthy hearings lawyer Joseph N. Welch, Meacham brings vividly to life turning points in American history. He writes about the Civil War, Reconstruction, and the birth of the Lost Cause; the backlash against immigrants in the First World War and the resurgence of the Klu Klux Klan in the 1920s; the fight for women’s rights; the dema...
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The Courage to Be Protestant: Truth-lovers, Marketers, and Emergents in the Postmodern World cover
Book Review

“It takes no courage to sign up as a Protestant.” These words begin this bold new work -- the culmination of David Wells's long-standing critique of the evangelical landscape. But to live as a true Protestant -- well, that's another matter.

This book is a jeremiad against “new” versions of evangelicalism -- marketers and emergents -- and a summons to return to the historic faith, defined by the Reformation solas (grace, faith, and Scripture alone) and by a high regard for doctrine.

Wells argues that historic, classical evangelicalism is marked by doctrinal seriousness, as opposed to the new movements of the marketing church and the emergent church. He energetically confronts the marketing communities and their tendency to try to win parishioners as consumers rather than worshipers, advertising the most palatable environment rather than trusting the truth to be attractive. He takes particular issue with the most popular evangelical movement in recent years -- the emergent church. Emergents, he says, are postmodern and postconservative and postfoundational, embracing a less absolute understanding of the authority of Scripture...
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God in the Wasteland: The Reality of Truth in a World of Fading Dreams cover
Book Review

David F. Wells's award-winning book No Place for Truth - called "a stinging indictment of evangelicalism's theological corruption" by TIME magazine - woke many evangelicals to the fact that their tradition has slowly but surely capitulated to the values and structures of modernity. In God in the Wasteland Wells continues his trenchant analysis of the cultural corruption now weakening the church's thought and witness with the intent of getting evangelicals to rethink their relationship to the "world."
Wells argues that the church is enfeebled in part because it has lost its sense of God's sovereignty and holiness. "The fundamental problem in the evangelical world today," says Wells, "is that God rests too inconsequentially upon the church. His truth is too distant, his grace is too ordinary, his judgment is too benign, his gospel is too easy, and his Christ is too common." God has become weightless to the extent that the church no longer allows him to shape its character, outlook, and practice.
Evangelicals have become heavily invested in the mind-set of modernity - a mind-set that Wells correlates with the biblical concept of the "world." They have become enamored of...
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The Teacher Wars: A History of America's Most Embattled Profession cover
Book Review

A New York Times Bestseller

In her groundbreaking history of 175 years of American education, Dana Goldstein finds answers in the past to the controversies that plague our public schools today.


In The Teacher Wars, a rich, lively, and unprecedented history of public school teaching, Dana Goldstein reveals that teachers have been embattled for nearly two centuries. She uncovers the surprising roots of hot button issues, from teacher tenure to charter schools, and finds that recent popular ideas to improve schools—instituting merit pay, evaluating teachers by student test scores, ranking and firing veteran teachers, and recruiting “elite” graduates to teach—are all approaches that have been tried in the past without producing widespread change. The Teacher Wars upends the conversation about American education by bringing the lessons of history to bear on the dilemmas we confront today. By asking “How did we get here?” Dana Goldstein brilliantly illuminates the path forward....
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Abraham: A Journey to the Heart of Three Faiths cover
Book Review

In this timely, provocative, and uplifting journey, the bestselling author of Walking the Bible searches for the man at the heart of the world's three monotheistic religions -- and today's deadliest conflicts.

At a moment when the world is asking, “Can the religions get along?” one figure stands out as the shared ancestor of Jews, Christians, and Muslims. One man holds the key to our deepest fears -- and our possible reconciliation. Abraham.

Bruce Feiler set out on a personal quest to better understand our common patriarch. Traveling in war zones, climbing through caves and ancient shrines, and sitting down with the world's leading religious minds, Feiler uncovers fascinating, little-known details of the man who defines faith for half the world.

Both immediate and timeless, Abraham is a powerful, universal story, the first-ever interfaith portrait of the man God chose to be his partner. Thoughtful and inspiring, it offers a rare vision of hope that will redefine what we think about our neighbors, our future, and ourselves.

Amazon.com Review

At a time when conflicts among three of the world's major religions--Islam, Judai...
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Victorious Century: The United Kingdom, 1800-1906 (The Penguin History of Britain) cover
Book Review

A sweeping history of nineteenth-century Britain by one of the world's most respected historians.

"An evocative account . . .[Cannadine] tells his own story persuasively and exceedingly well.” —The Wall Street Journal

To live in nineteenth-century Britain was to experience an astonishing and unprecedented series of changes. Cities grew vast; there were revolutions in transportation, communication, science, and work--all while a growing religious skepticism rendered the intellectual landscape increasingly unrecognizable. It was an exhilarating time, and as a result, most of the countries in the world that experienced these changes were racked by political and social unrest. Britain, however, maintained a stable polity at home, and as a result it quickly found itself in a position of global leadership.

In this major new work, leading historian David Cannadine has created a bold, fascinating new interpretation of nineteenth-century Britain. Britain was a country that saw itself at the summit of the world and, by some measures, this was indeed true. It had become the largest empire in history: its political stability positioned it as ...
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The Best of American Heritage: Lincoln cover
Book Review

Some of America's foremost historians - including James M. McPherson, Allan Nevins, and Stephen B. Oates - recount the extraordinary life of Abraham Lincoln in this collection of the best essays from sixty years of American Heritage. Lincoln, the book argues, "evolved into nothing less than an apostle for the sanctity of the Union, the ethic of majority rule, and the dreams of freedom and equality of opportunity. Who could have so predicted when Lincoln had seemed the least qualified candidate for the presidency?” Lincoln comes to life in this selection from America's leading history magazine, chosen by its current editor-in-chief, Edwin S. Grosvenor....
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Monsoon Mansion: A Memoir cover
Book Review

Told with a lyrical, almost-dreamlike voice as intoxicating as the moonflowers and orchids that inhabit this world, Monsoon Mansion is a harrowing yet triumphant coming-of-age memoir exploring the dark, troubled waters of a family’s rise and fall from grace in the Philippines. It would take a young warrior to survive it.

Cinelle Barnes was barely three years old when her family moved into Mansion Royale, a stately ten-bedroom home in the Philippines. Filled with her mother’s opulent social aspirations and the gloriously excessive evidence of her father’s self-made success, it was a girl’s storybook playland. But when a monsoon hits, her father leaves, and her mother’s terrible lover takes the reins, Cinelle’s fantastical childhood turns toward tyranny she could never have imagined. Formerly a home worthy of magazines and lavish parties, Mansion Royale becomes a dangerous shell of the splendid palace it had once been.

In this remarkable ode to survival, Cinelle creates something magical out of her truth—underscored by her complicated relationship with her mother. Through a tangle of tragedy and betrayal emerges a revelatory journey of perseveran...
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Chasing Heisenberg: The Race for the Atom Bomb (Kindle Single) cover
Book Review

After a devastating run of German victories, Allied troops are beginning to halt Hitler's advance. But far from the battlefields, Allied scientists are struggling.
Intelligence reports put them a distant second behind the Germans in a competition that could determine the outcome of the war: the race to build the world's first nuclear weapon.
For the Allies' top scientists, the race is deeply personal. J. Robert Oppenheimer, Enrico Fermi, and Samuel Goudsmit have known Hitler's chief atomic scientist, Werner Heisenberg, for years. A brilliant, world-renowned physicist and once a good friend, he's anti-Nazi but also a loyal German.
Fear that he's put country first and is building a bomb haunts Oppenheimer and Fermi all through their months and years developing the Allied bomb. That same anxiety drives Goudsmit, now a top Allied intelligence officer, to risk his life as he attempts to track down Heisenberg and the site of Hitler's suspected atom bomb program....
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Whirlwind: The American Revolution and the War That Won It cover
Book Review

Amid a great collection of scholarship and narrative history on the Revolutionary War and the American struggle for independence, there is a gaping hole; one that John Ferling's latest book, Whirlwind, will fill. Books chronicling the Revolution have largely ranged from multivolume tomes that appeal to scholars and the most serious general readers to microhistories that necessarily gloss over swaths of Independence-era history with only cursory treatment.

Written in Ferling's engaging and narrative-driven style that made books like Independence and The Ascent of George Washington critical and commercial successes, Whirlwind is a fast-paced and scrupulously told one-volume history of this epochal time. Balancing social and political concerns of the period and perspectives of the average American revolutionary with a careful examination of the war itself, Ferling has crafted the ideal book for armchair military history buffs, a book about the causes of the American Revolution, the war that won it, and the meaning of the Revolution overall. Combining careful scholarship, arresting detail, and illustrative storytelling, Whirlwind...
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The Titanic: The History and Legacy of the World’s Most Famous Ship from 1907 to Today cover
Book Review

*Includes dozens of pictures
*Describes the construction of the Titanic, life aboard the ship during its maiden voyage, the sinking of the ship, rescue efforts, and the discovery and exploration of the wreck
*Includes accounts written by passengers, crew members, White Star Line officials, and explorers of the wreck
*Includes a bibliography for further reading
*Includes a table of contents

"I cannot imagine any condition which would cause a ship to founder. I cannot conceive of any vital disaster happening to this vessel.” – Captain Edward J. Smith

Just before midnight on April 14, 1912, the RMS Titanic, the largest ship in the world, hit an iceberg, starting a chain of events that would ultimately make it history’s most famous, and notorious, ship. In the over 100 years since it sank on its maiden voyage, the Titanic has been the subject of endless fascination, as evidenced by the efforts to find its final resting spot, the museums full of its objects, and the countless books, documentaries, and movies made about the doomed ocean liner. Thanks to the dramatization of the Titanic’s sinking and the undying interest in the story, mil...
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A History of Judaism cover
Book Review

A sweeping history of Judaism over more than three millennia

Judaism is one of the oldest religions in the world, and it has preserved its distinctive identity despite the extraordinarily diverse forms and beliefs it has embodied over the course of more than three millennia. A History of Judaism provides the first truly comprehensive look in one volume at how this great religion came to be, how it has evolved from one age to the next, and how its various strains, sects, and traditions have related to each other.

In this magisterial and elegantly written book, Martin Goodman takes readers from Judaism's origins in the polytheistic world of the second and first millennia BCE to the temple cult at the time of Jesus. He tells the stories of the rabbis, mystics, and messiahs of the medieval and early modern periods and guides us through the many varieties of Judaism today. Goodman's compelling narrative spans the globe, from the Middle East, Europe, and America to North Africa, China, and India. He explains the institutions and ideas on which all forms of Judaism are based, and masterfully weaves together the different threads of doctrinal and philo...
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Something Wonderful: Rodgers and Hammerstein's Broadway Revolution cover
Book Review

A revelatory portrait of the creative partnership that transformed musical theater and provided the soundtrack to the American Century

They stand at the apex of the great age of songwriting, the creators of the classic Broadway musicals Oklahoma!, Carousel, South Pacific, The King and I, and The Sound of Music, whose songs have never lost their popularity or emotional power. Even before they joined forces, Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II had written dozens of Broadway shows, but together they pioneered a new art form: the serious musical play. Their songs and dance numbers served to advance the drama and reveal character, a sharp break from the past and the template on which all future musicals would be built.


Though different in personality and often emotionally distant from each other, Rodgers and Hammerstein presented an unbroken front to the world and forged much more than a songwriting team; their partnership was also one of the most profitable and powerful entertainment businesses of their era. They were cultural powerhouses whose work came to define postwar America on stage, screen, television, an...
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The Richest Man in Babylon: (The Success Secrets of the Ancients - the Most Inspiring Book on Wealth Ever Written) cover
Book Review

The Richest Man in Babylon is considered as the greatest of all inspirational works on the subject of thrift, financial planning, and personal wealth. Revealed inside are the secrets to acquiring money, keeping money, and making money earn more money.

Providing financial wisdom through parables, 'The Richest Man in Babylon' was originally a set of pamphlets, written by the author and distributed by banks and insurance companies. These pamphlets were later bundled together, giving birth to a book. In this new rendering by Charles Conrad, the classic tale is retold in clear, simple language for today's readers. These fascinating and informative stories set you on a sure path to prosperity and its accompanying joys.

About the Author:

George Samuel Clason was born in Louisiana, Missouri, on November 7, 1874. He attended the University of Nebraska and served in the United States Army during the Spanish-American War. Beginning a long career in publishing, he founded the Clason Map Company of Denver, Colorado, and published the first road atlas of the United States and Canada. In 1926, he i...
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The Doha Experiment: Arab Kingdom, Catholic College, Jewish Teacher cover
Book Review

Gary Wasserman’s decision to head to Qatar to teach at Georgetown sounds questionable, at best. “In the beginning,” he writes, “this sounds like a politically incorrect joke. A Jewish guy walks into a fundamentalist Arab country to teach American politics at a Catholic college.” But he quickly discovers that he has entered a world that gives him a unique perspective on the Middle East and on Muslim youth; that teaches him about the treatment of Arab women and what an education will do for them, both good and bad; shows him the occasionally amusing and often deadly serious consequences his students face simply by living in the Middle East; and finds surprising similarities between his culture and the culture of his students.

Most importantly, after eight years of teaching in Qatar he realizes he has become part of a significant, little understood movement to introduce liberal, Western values into traditional societies. Written with a sharp sense of humor, The Doha Experiment offers a unique perspective on where the region is going and clearly illustrates why Americans need to understand this clash of civilizations.

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Stars Between the Sun and Moon: One Woman's Life in North Korea and Escape to Freedom cover
Book Review

An extraordinary memoir by a North Korean woman who defied the government to keep her family alive.


Born in the 1970s, Lucia Jang grew up in a common, rural North Korean household—her parents worked hard, she bowed to a photo of Kim Il-Sung every night, and the family scraped by on rationed rice and a small garden. However, there is nothing common about Jang. She is a woman of great emotional depth, courage, and resilience.


Happy to serve her country, Jang worked in a factory as a young woman. There, a man she thought was courting her raped her. Forced to marry him when she found herself pregnant, she continued to be abused by him. She managed to convince her family to let her return home, only to have her in-laws and parents sell her son without her knowledge for 300 won and two bars of soap. They had not wanted another mouth to feed.


By now it was the beginning of the famine of the 1990s that resulted in more than one million deaths. Driven by starvation—her family’s as well as her own—Jang illegally crossed the river to better-off China to trade goods. She was caught and imprisoned twice, pregnant the second time. She knew that, to...
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The Cat of Bubastes cover
Book Review

The Cat of Bubastes: A Tale of Ancient Egypt by G. A. Henty is full of adventure and is written in a style that kids will read comfortably. The 15 year old hero, the prince of a small nation invaded by the Egyptians,is of strong moral character and boys, especially, will love the story of his captivity! Packed full of details, "The Cat of Bubastes: A Tale of Ancient Egypt" covers everything from Egyptian architecture, family life, methods of warfare, government, and geography to religion. It even includes a cameo appearance by Moses, himself. Each chapter in "The Cat of Bubastes: A Tale of Ancient Egypt" is full of details and interesting facts about Egypt, all woven into an exciting and suspenseful story. The vocabulary offers a great learning experience as well. "The Cat of Bubastes: A Tale of Ancient Egypt" is highly recommended!...
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To Move the World: JFK's Quest for Peace cover
Book Review

An inspiring look at the historic foreign policy triumph of John F. Kennedy’s presidency—the crusade for world peace that consumed his final year in office—by the New York Times bestselling author of The Price of Civilization, Common Wealth, and The End of Poverty
 
The last great campaign of John F. Kennedy’s life was not the battle for reelection he did not live to wage, but the struggle for a sustainable peace with the Soviet Union. To Move the World recalls the extraordinary days from October 1962 to September 1963, when JFK marshaled the power of oratory and his remarkable political skills to establish more peaceful relations with the Soviet Union and a dramatic slowdown in the proliferation of nuclear arms.
 
Kennedy and his Soviet counterpart, Nikita Khrushchev, led their nations during the Cuban Missile Crisis, when the two superpowers came eyeball to eyeball at the nuclear abyss. This near-death experience shook both leaders deeply. Jeffrey D. Sachs shows how Kennedy emerged from the Missile crisis with the determination and prodigious skills to forge a new and less threatening direction for the world. Tog...
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If You Survive: From Normandy to the Battle of the Bulge to the End of World War II, One American Officer's Riveting True Story cover
Book Review

"If you survive your first day, I'll promote you."

So promised George Wilson's World War II commanding officer in the hedgerows of Normandy -- and it was to be a promise dramatically fulfilled. From July, 1944, to the closing days of the war, from the first penetration of the Siegfried Line to the Nazis' last desperate charge in the Battle of the Bulge, Wilson fought in the thickest of the action, helping take the small towns of northern France and Belgium building by building.

Of all the men and officers who started out in Company F of the 4th Infantry Division with him, Wilson was the only one who finished. In the end, he felt not like a conqueror or a victor, but an exhausted survivor, left with nothing but his life -- and his emotions.

If You Survive

One of the great first-person accounts of the making of a combat veteran, in the last, most violent months of World War II.


From the Paperback edition.

Product Description

"If you survive your first day, I'll promote you."

So promised George Wilson's World War II commanding officer in the hedgerows of Normandy -- and it was to be a promise dr...
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Blood and Thunder: The Epic Story of Kit Carson and the Conquest of the American West cover
Book Review

A magnificent history of the American conquest of the West; "a story full of authority and color, truth and prophecy" (The New York Times Book Review).

In the summer of 1846, the Army of the West marched through Santa Fe, en route to invade and occupy the Western territories claimed by Mexico. Fueled by the new ideology of “Manifest Destiny,” this land grab would lead to a decades-long battle between the United States and the Navajos, the fiercely resistant rulers of a huge swath of mountainous desert wilderness.

At the center of this sweeping tale is Kit Carson, the trapper, scout, and soldier whose adventures made him a legend. Sides shows us how this illiterate mountain man understood and respected the Western tribes better than any other American, yet willingly followed orders that would ultimately devastate the Navajo nation. Rich in detail and spanning more than three decades, this is an essential addition to our understanding of how the West was really won.

...
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To Change the Church: Pope Francis and the Future of Catholicism cover
Book Review

A New York Times columnist and one of America’s leading conservative thinkers considers Pope Francis’s efforts to change the church he governs.

Born Jorge Mario Bergoglio in 1936, today Pope Francis is the 266th pope of the Roman Catholic Church. Pope Francis’s stewardship of the Church, while perceived as a revelation by many, has provoked division throughout the world. “If a conclave were to be held today,” one Roman source told The New Yorker, “Francis would be lucky to get ten votes.”

In To Change the Church, Douthat explains why the particular debate Francis has opened—over communion for the divorced and the remarried—is so dangerous: How it cuts to the heart of the larger argument over how Christianity should respond to the sexual revolution and modernity itself, how it promises or threatens to separate the church from its own deep past, and how it divides Catholicism along geographical and cultural lines. Douthat argues that the Francis era is a crucial experiment for all of Western civilization, which is facing resurgent external enemies (from ISIS to Putin) even as it struggles with its own internal divisions, its decadence, and...
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After Henry: Essays cover
Book Review

Incisive essays on Patty Hearst and Reagan, the Central Park jogger and the Santa Ana winds, from the New York Times–bestselling author of South and West.

In these eleven essays covering the national scene from Washington, DC; California; and New York, the acclaimed author of Slouching Towards Bethlehem and The White Album “capture[s] the mood of America” and confirms her reputation as one of our sharpest and most trustworthy cultural observers (The New York Times).
 
Whether dissecting the 1988 presidential campaign, exploring the commercialization of a Hollywood murder, or reporting on the “sideshows” of foreign wars, Joan Didion proves that she is one of the premier essayists of the twentieth century, “an articulate witness to the most stubborn and intractable truths of our time” (Joyce Carol Oates, The New York Times Book Review). Highlights include “In the Realm of the Fisher King,” a portrait of the White House under the stewardship of Ronald and Nancy Reagan, two “actors on location;” and “Girl of the Golden West,” a meditation on the Patty Hearst case that draws an unexpected and i...
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Culloden Tales: Stories from Scotland's Most Famous Battlefield cover
Book Review

Culloden was the last battle on British soil. It marked the end of clan culture and was the harbinger of the Highland Clearances. It ensured the inevitability of the American Revolution and increased the outpouring of Scots across the globe. It is the only battle that British Army regiments are not permitted to include in their battle honours; the only battle that Bonnie Prince Charlie ever lost; and the only battle that the Duke of Cumberland ever won.

Culloden is a battlefield, a graveyard and an iconic site that draws people from all parts of the world. And as they come, they bring with them their stories and their father's father's stories.

These stories tell of civil war, of love, of the unexpected and even of the supernatural. They are peopled by the second-sighted, by clan chiefs and by others who have kept family secrets for centuries.

The battlefield is a poignant location, resonant with past deeds and emotive memories. These Culloden tales are offered as a unique record to the power of the place.

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Culloden was the last battle on British soil. It marked the end of clan culture and was the harbinger of the High...
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Book Review

How and when did the books of the Bible originate? In what sense are these books different from other books? How have these books been preserved and transmitted to us? Why do we have so many different translations of the Bible?
How We Got the Bible provides factual, accessible answers to questions like these. A classic guide for Bible students, it has sold more than 300,000 copies during its forty years in print. Now, in this new edition, each chapter has been revised and chapters have been added, including two on the Septuagint and the Latin Vulgate. This thorough revision will tempt fans of the previous edition and pave the way for a new generation of readers as well.

Product Description

How and when did the books of the Bible originate? In what sense are these books different from other books? How have these books been preserved and transmitted to us? Why do we have so many different translations of the Bible?
How We Got the Bible provides factual, accessible answers to questions like these. A classic guide for Bible students, it has sold more than 300,000 copies during its forty years in print. Now, in this new edition, each chapter has been revised ...
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No Ordinary Joes: The Extraordinary True Story of Four Submariners in War and Love and Life cover
Book Review

On April 23, 1943, the seventy-man crew of the USS Grenadier scrambled to save their submarine—and themselves—after a Japanese aerial torpedo sent it crashing to the ocean floor. Miraculously, the men were able to bring the sub back to the surface, only to be captured by the Japanese.

No Ordinary Joes tells the harrowing story of four of the Grenadier’s crew: Bob Palmer of Medford, Oregon; Chuck Vervalin of Dundee, New York; Tim McCoy of Dallas, Texas; and Gordy Cox of Yakima, Washington. All were enlistees from families that struggled through the Great Depression. The lure of service and duty to country were not their primary motivations—they were more compelled by the promise of a job that provided “three hots and a cot” and a steady paycheck. On the day they were captured, all four were still teenagers.

Together, the men faced unimaginable brutality at the hands of their captors in a prisoner of war camp. With no training in how to respond in the face of relentless interrogations and with less than a cup of rice per day for sustenance, each man created his own strategy for survival. When the liberation finally cam...
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The Westies: Inside New York's Irish Mob cover
Book Review

Revised and updated, THE WESTIES is the classic, bestselling account from T.J. English of New York's notorious Westies gang, which ruled Hell's Kitchen in the 1960s, '70s and '80s--and which then-prosecutor Rudolph Giuliani called: "The most savage organization in the long history of New York street gangs."

Even among the Mob, the Westies were feared. Starting with a partnership between two sadistic thugs, Jimmy Coonan and Mickey Featherstone, the gang rose out of the inferno of Hell's Kitchen, a decaying tenderloin slice of New York City's West Side. They became the most notorious gang in the history of organized crime, excelling in extortion, numbers running, loan sharking, and drug peddling. Upping the ante on depravity, their specialty was execution by dismemberment. Though never numbering more than a dozen members, their reign lasted for almost twenty years―until their own violent natures got the best of them, precipitating a downfall that would become as infamous as their notorious ascension into the annals of crime.

...
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Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning cover
Book Review

A brilliant, haunting, and profoundly original portrait of the defining tragedy of our time.

In this epic history of extermination and survival, Timothy Snyder presents a new explanation of the great atrocity of the twentieth century, and reveals the risks that we face in the twenty-first.  Based on new sources from eastern Europe and forgotten testimonies from Jewish survivors, Black Earth recounts the mass murder of the Jews as an event that is still close to us, more comprehensible than we would like to think, and thus all the more terrifying. 

The Holocaust began in a dark but accessible place, in Hitler's mind, with the thought that the elimination of Jews would restore balance to the planet and allow Germans to win the resources they desperately needed.  Such a worldview could be realized only if Germany destroyed other states, so Hitler's aim was a colonial war in Europe itself.  In the zones of statelessness, almost all Jews died.  A few people, the righteous few, aided them, without support from institutions.  Much of the new research in this book is devoted to understanding these extraordinary individuals.  The almost insurmou...
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A Higher Form of Killing: The Secret History of Chemical and Biological Warfare cover
Book Review

A Higher Form of Killing opens with the first devastating battlefield use of lethal gas in World War I, and then investigates the stockpiling of biological weapons during World War II and in the decades afterward as well as the inhuman experiments con-ducted to test their effectiveness. This updated edition includes a new Introduction and a new final chapter exposing frightening developments in recent years, including the black market that emerged in chemical and biological weapons following the breakup of the Soviet Union, the acquisition of these weapons by various Third World states, the attempts of countries such as Iraq to build up arsenals, and--particularly and most recently--the use of these weapons in terrorist attacks.


From the Trade Paperback edition.

Product Description

A Higher Form of Killing opens with the first devastating battlefield use of lethal gas in World War I, and then investigates the stockpiling of biological weapons during World War II and in the decades afterward as well as the inhuman experiments con-ducted to test their effectiveness. This updated edition includes a new Introduction and a new final ...
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Battleship Yamato: Of War, Beauty and Irony cover
Book Review

An extraordinary―and strikingly illustrated―reflection on the meaning of war from one of our greatest living writers.

The battleship Yamato, of the Imperial Japanese Navy, was the most powerful warship of World War II and represented the climax, as it were, of the Japanese warrior traditions of the samurai―the ideals of honor, discipline, and self-sacrifice that had immemorially ennobled the Japanese national consciousness. Stoically poised for battle in the spring of 1945―when even Japan’s last desperate technique of arms, the kamikaze, was running short―Yamato arose as the last magnificent arrow in the imperial quiver of Emperor Hirohito. Here, Jan Morris not only tells the dramatic story of the magnificent ship itself―from secret wartime launch to futile sacrifice at Okinawa―but, more fundamentally, interprets the ship as an allegorical figure of war itself, in its splendor and its squalor, its heroism and its waste. Drawing on rich naval history and rhapsodic metaphors from international music and art, Battleship Yamato is a work of grand ironic elegy....
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The Corporation: An Epic Story of the Cuban American Underworld cover
Book Review

“A mob saga that has it all—brotherhood and betrayal, swaggering power and glittering success, and a Godfather whose reach seems utterly unrivaled. What a relentless, irresistible read.”

— Don Winslow, New York Times bestselling author of The Force

A fascinating, cinematic, multigenerational history of the Cuban mob in the US from "America’s top chronicler of organized crime"* and New York Times bestselling author of Havana Nocturne.

By the mid 1980s, the criminal underworld in the United States had become an ethnic polyglot; one of the most powerful illicit organizations was none other than the Cuban mob. Known on both sides of the law as "the Corporation," the Cuban mob’s power stemmed from a criminal culture embedded in south Florida’s exile community—those who had been chased from the island by Castro’s revolution and planned to overthrow the Marxist dictator and reclaim their nation.

An epic story of gangsters, drugs, violence, sex, and murder rooted in the streets, The Corporation reveals how an entire generation of political exiles, refugees, racketeers, cor...
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The List: A Week-by-Week Reckoning of Trump’s First Year cover
Book Review

The shocking first-draft history of the Trump regime, and its clear authoritarian impulses, based on the viral Internet phenom “The Weekly List.”

In the immediate aftermath of Donald Trump's election as president, Amy Siskind, a former Wall Street executive and the founder of The New Agenda, began compiling a list of actions taken by the Trump regime that pose a threat to our democratic norms. Under the headline: “Experts in authoritarianism advise to keep a list of things subtly changing around you, so you'll remember” Siskind's “Weekly List” began as a project she shared with friends, but it soon went viral and now has more than half a million viewers every week.

Compiled in one volume for the first time, The List is a first draft history and a comprehensive accounting of Donald Trump's first year. Beginning with Trump's acceptance of white supremacists the week after the election and concluding a year to the day later, we watch as Trump and his regime chips away at the rights and protections of marginalized communities, of women, of us all, via Twitter storms, unchecked executive action, and shifting rules and standards. The List...
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Wondrous Times on the Frontier: America During the 1800s cover
Book Review

A lively, anecdotal history of life in the American West during the nineteenth century

Frontier life, Dee Brown writes, “was hard, unpleasant most of the time,” and “ lacking in almost all amenities or creature comforts.” And yet, tall tales were the genre of the day, and humor, both light and dark, was abundant. In this historical account, Brown examines the aspects of the frontier spirit that would come to assume so central a position in American mythology. Split into sections—“Gambling, Violence, and Merriment,” “Lawyers, Newsmen, and Other Professionals,” and “Misunderstood Minorities—it is mindful in its correction of certain stereotypes of Western life, and is a mesmerizing account of an untamed nation and its wild, resilient settlers.   
 
This ebook features an illustrated biography of Dee Brown including rare photos from the author’s personal collection.
...
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The Rival Queens: Catherine de' Medici, Her Daughter Marguerite de Valois, and the Betrayal that Ignited a Kingdom cover
Book Review

The riveting true story of mother-and-daughter queens Catherine de' Medici and Marguerite de Valois, whose wildly divergent personalities and turbulent relationship changed the shape of their tempestuous and dangerous century.



Set in magnificent Renaissance France, this is the story of two remarkable women, a mother and daughter driven into opposition by a terrible betrayal that threatened to destroy the realm.

Catherine de' Medici was a ruthless pragmatist and powerbroker who dominated the throne for thirty years. Her youngest daughter Marguerite, the glamorous "Queen Margot," was a passionate free spirit, the only adversary whom her mother could neither intimidate nor control.



When Catherine forces the Catholic Marguerite to marry her Protestant cousin Henry of Navarre against her will, and then uses her opulent Parisian wedding as a means of luring his followers to their deaths, she creates not only savage conflict within France but also a potent rival within her own family.



Rich in detail and vivid prose, Goldstone's narrative unfolds as a thrilling historical epic. Treache...
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Book Review

This book is for heroes. Dustoff 7-3 tells the true story of four unlikely heroes in the rugged mountains of Afghanistan, where medics are forced to descend on wires to reach the wounded and helicopter pilots must fight wind, weather, and enemy fire to pluck casualties from some of the world’s most difficult combat arenas. Complete opposites thrown together, cut off, and outnumbered, Chief Warrant Officer Erik Sabiston and his flight crew answered the call in a race against time, not to take lives—but to save them. The concept of evacuating wounded soldiers by helicopter developed in the Korean War and became a staple during the war in Vietnam where heroic, unarmed chopper crews flew vital missions known to the grateful grunts on the ground as Dustoffs. The crew of Dustoff 7-3 carried on that heroic tradition, flying over a region that had seen scores of American casualties, known among veterans as the Valley of Death. At the end of Operation Hammer Down, they had rescued 14 soldiers, made three critical supply runs, recovered two soldiers killed in action, and nearly died. It took all of three days....
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Ancient Rome: A History From Beginning to End (Ancient Civilizations Book 1) cover
Book Review

Ancient Rome


* * *Download for FREE on Kindle Unlimited + Free BONUS Inside!* * *

Read On Your Computer, MAC, Smartphone, Kindle Reader, iPad, or Tablet.


Rome is a city of myth and legend. The Eternal City, the city of the seven hills, the sacred city, the caput mundi, the center of the world, Roma, Rome, by any of her many names is a city built of history and blood, marble and water, war and conquest.

Inside you will read about...


✓ Legendary Beginnings
✓ The Senate and the People
✓ Ave Caesar
✓ Empire
✓ Rulers of the World
✓ The Fall
✓ Legacy

From legendary beginnings, a city rose from the swamp surrounded by the seven hills and split by the Tiber River. Built and rebuilt, a sacred republic and a divine empire, blessed by a thousand gods and by One, the story of her rise and fall has been told and retold for a thousand years and is still relevant in today’s world, as echoes of her ancient glory have shaped our culture, laws, lifestyle and beliefs in subtle and pervasive ways....
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The Last Week: What the Gospels Really Teach About Jesus's Final Days in Jerusalem cover
Book Review

Top Jesus scholars Marcus J. Borg and John Dominic Crossan join together to reveal a radical and little-known Jesus. As both authors reacted to and responded to questions about Mel Gibson's blockbuster The Passion of the Christ, they discovered that many Christians are unclear on the details of events during the week leading up to Jesus's crucifixion.

Using the gospel of Mark as their guide, Borg and Crossan present a day-by-day account of Jesus's final week of life. They begin their story on Palm Sunday with two triumphal entries into Jerusalem. The first entry, that of Roman governor Pontius Pilate leading Roman soldiers into the city, symbolized military strength. The second heralded a new kind of moral hero who was praised by the people as he rode in on a humble donkey. The Jesus introduced by Borg and Crossan is this new moral hero, a more dangerous Jesus than the one enshrined in the church's traditional teachings.

The Last Week depicts Jesus giving up his life to protest power without justice and to condemn the rich who lack concern for the poor. In this vein, at the end of the week Jesus marches up Calvary, offering himself as a mo...
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The Bowery: The Strange History of New York's Oldest Street cover
Book Review

From peglegged Peter Stuyvesant to CBGB’s, the story of the Bowery reflects the history of the city that grew up around it.

It was the street your mother warned you about—even if you lived in San Francisco. Long associated with skid row, saloons, freak shows, violence, and vice, the Bowery often showed the worst New York City had to offer. Yet there were times when it showed its best as well.



The Bowery is New York’s oldest street and Manhattan’s broadest boulevard. Like the city itself, it has continually reinvented itself over the centuries. Named for the Dutch farms, or bouweries, of the area, the path’s lurid character was established early when it became the site of New Amsterdam’s first murder. A natural spring near the Five Points neighborhood led to breweries and taverns that became home to the gangs of New York—the “Bowery B’hoys,” “Plug Uglies,” and “Dead Rabbits.” In the Gaslight Era, teenaged streetwalkers swallowed poison in McGurk’s Suicide Hall.



A brighter side to the street was reflected in places of amusement and culture over the years. A young P.T. Barnum got his start there, and Harry Houdini learned showmans...
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Bruce Catton's America cover
Book Review

No one has ever told America's story with more grace, clarity, and emotional power than Pulitzer Prize winner Bruce Catton. In his books, ranging from the celebrated Civil War trilogies to the account of his boyhood in back-country Michigan, Catton brought the people of the past to such vivid life that he became the nation's best-loved and most widely read historian.

Bruce Catton's friend and associate for many years, Oliver Jensen, has assembled this volume of selections of Catton's works - as a memorial to the man and a tribute to the historian. The excerpts chosen for Bruce Catton's America include portions of A Stillness at Appomattox, which won both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award; The American Heritage History of the Civil War, awarded a special Pulitzer Prize Citation; and representative selections from many other books and articles. The book also includes several previously unpublished pieces.

Bruce Catton helped to create American Heritage magazine in 1954 and continued to influence it for the next twenty-four years - first as editor, then as senior editor and a frequent contributor. He spent much of his adult life as a newspap...
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Argo: How the CIA and Hollywood Pulled Off the Most Audacious Rescue in History cover
Book Review

The true, declassified account of CIA operative Tony Mendez's daring rescue of American hostages from Iran that inspired the critically-acclaimed film directed by and starring Ben Affleck, and co-starring John Goodman, Alan Arkin, and Bryan Cranston.

On November 4, 1979, Iranian militants stormed the American embassy in Tehran and captured dozens of American hostages, sparking a 444-day ordeal and a quake in global politics still reverberating today. But there is a little-known drama connected to the crisis: six Americans escaped. And a top-level CIA officer named Antonio Mendez devised an ingenious yet incredibly risky plan to rescue them before they were detected.

Disguising himself as a Hollywood producer, and supported by a cast of expert forgers, deep cover CIA operatives, foreign agents, and Hollywood special effects artists, Mendez traveled to Tehran under the guise of scouting locations for a fake science fiction film called Argo. While pretending to find the perfect film backdrops, Mendez and a colleague succeeded in contacting the escapees, and smuggling them out of Iran.
Antonio Mendez finally details the extraordinarily ...
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The Grand Inquisitor's Manual: A History of Terror in the Name of God cover
Book Review

The Surprising History and Legacy of the Inquisition

The renowned historian and critic Jonathan Kirsch presents a sweeping history of the Inquisition and the ways in which it has served as the chief model for torture in the West to this day. Ranging from the Knights Templar to the first Protestants; from Joan of Arc to Galileo; from the Inquisition's immense power in Spain after 1492, when the secret tribunals and torture chambers were directed for the first time against Jews and Muslims, to the torture and murder of hundreds of thousands of innocent women during the Witch Craze; and to the modern war on terror—Kirsch shows us how the Inquisition stands as a universal and ineradicable reminder of how absolute power wreaks inevitable corruption.

...
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In this unforgettable chronicle of perhaps the most famous moment in American military history, James Bradley has captured the glory, the triumph, the heartbreak, and the legacy of the six men who raised the flag at Iwo Jima. Here is the true story behind the immortal photograph that has come to symbolize the courage and indomitable will of America.

In February 1945, American Marines plunged into the surf at Iwo Jima—and into history. Through a hail of machine-gun and mortar fire that left the beaches strewn with comrades, they battled to the island's highest peak. And after climbing through a landscape of hell itself, they raised a flag.

Now the son of one of the flagraisers has written a powerful account of six very different young men who came together in a moment that will live forever.

To his family, John Bradley never spoke of the photograph or the war. But after his death at age seventy, his family discovered closed boxes of letters and photos. In Flags of Our Fathers, James Bradley draws on those documents to retrace the lives of his father and the men of Easy Company. Following these men's paths to Iwo Jima, James Bradley ha...
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The Life of Abraham Lincoln cover
Book Review

In his introduction to The Life of Abraham Lincoln, Henry Ketcham notes that there has been so much written about Lincoln that the legend has begun to obscure, if not to efface, the man. "In this biography the single purpose has been to present the living man with such distinctness of outline that the reader may have a sort of feeling of being acquainted with him."

Ketcham's clearly-written, unadorned account of Lincoln's life achieves its stated purpose, never removing its focus from the man who became the 16th President of the United States and led the nation through some of its most turbulent and difficult times.

...
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The Religions Book (Big Ideas Simply Explained) cover
Book Review

The Religions Book clearly and simply explains all of the important information about the world's major, and many minor, religions, in an easy-to-access format.

Using easy-to-follow graphics and artworks, succinct quotations, and thoroughly accessible text, The Religions Book explores the beliefs that underpin religious traditions around the globe and how they developed.

From primal beliefs to the world's great faiths and the continuing quest for spiritual meaning in our complex world, The Religions Book gets to the heart of what it means to believe in God and religion's place in society.

The Religions Book includes:

- A dedicated section for each of the world's five major faiths - Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, and Hinduism

- Primal beliefs, ancient and classical mythology, and new religions

- Brief biographies and context boxes to give the full historical context of selected religions

The clear and concise summaries, graphics, and quotations in The Religions Book will help even the complete novice understand the ideas behind faiths and the place of ...
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Chief Joseph & the Flight of the Nez Perce: The Untold Story of an American Tragedy cover
Book Review

Hidden in the shadow cast by the great western expeditions of Lewis and Clark lies another journey every bit as poignant, every bit as dramatic, and every bit as essential to an understanding of who we are as a nation -- the 1,800-mile journey made by Chief Joseph and eight hundred Nez Perce men, women, and children from their homelands in what is now eastern Oregon through the most difficult, mountainous country in western America to the high, wintry plains of Montana. There, only forty miles from the Canadian border and freedom, Chief Joseph, convinced that the wounded and elders could go no farther, walked across the snowy battlefield, handed his rifle to the U.S. military commander who had been pursuing them, and spoke his now-famous words, "From where the sun now stands, I will fight no more forever."

The story has been told many times, but never before in its entirety or with such narrative richness. Drawing on four years of research, interviews, and 20,000 miles of travel, Nerburn takes us beyond the surrender to the captives' unlikely welcome in Bismarck, North Dakota, their tragic eight-year exile in Indian Territory, and their ultimate return to the Nort...
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Bloomberg: A Billionaire's Ambition cover
Book Review

Examine the Bipartisan Legacy of a Remarkable Billionaire Politician



Bloomberg: A Billionaire’s Ambition tells the story of how one of America’s most successful entrepreneurs was elected mayor of New York City and what he did with the power he won.


Bloomberg’s stunning victory against all odds just weeks after the 9/11 terrorist attack left him facing challenges unlike any mayor in history. For the next twelve years, he kept the city safe, managed budgets through fiscal crises, promoted private sector growth, generated jobs, built infrastructure, protected the environment, supported society’s cultural sensibilities, and achieved dramatic improvements in public health. Bloomberg was an activist executive who used government assets boldly and wisely for the greatest good, for the greatest number of people.


His time as mayor was not without controversy. Bloomberg supported stop and frisk police tactics that a judge ruled unconstitutional, and jailhouse violence rose to levels so severe the federal government intervened. The administration’s homeless policies were ineffective. And he forced a change in the city ch...
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The Ancient History of the Near East cover
Book Review

The Egyptian empire, the Babylonians and the Assyrians, the Hittite kingdom, the Minoans and Mycenaens, the later Greek city states, the ancient Israelite civilization of the Old Testament, as well as many more.

All of these emerged in the ancient near east; this was truly the crucible of civilization.


Henry R. Hall’s brilliant study of the ancient near east uncovers how these civilizations developed, what they believed in, how they survived, adapted and changed to differing pressures, and how some of them eventually crumbled.

Hall begins with a study of the area as the early Bronze age civilizations such as the Minoans who built brilliant palace complexes at Knossos around 2000 BC.

He then explores the development of humanity in ancient Egypt. A eygptologist by trade Hall is able to describe in brilliant detail how the ancient Egyptians were able to build monumental structures and beautiful sculpture. He explores the lives of many of the pharaohs in detail, for example the mightily powerful Ramasses II to the revolutionary Akhenaten.

Chapters V, X and XII uncover the historic civilizations of Babylonia and Assy...
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Collected Essays: Slouching Towards Bethlehem, The White Album, and After Henry cover
Book Review

Three essential works that redefined the art of journalism by “one of our sharpest and most trustworthy cultural observers” (The New York Times).
 
In these masterpieces of razor-sharp reportage, the National Book Award–winning and New York Times–bestselling author proves herself one of the premier essayists of the twentieth century, “an articulate witness to the most stubborn and intractable truths of our time” (Joyce Carol Oates,  The New York Times Book Review).
 
Slouching Towards Bethlehem: America in the 1960s—a pivotal era of social change and generational divide. Here is Joan Didion on the “misplaced children” of Haight-Ashbury as well as John Wayne in Hollywood; folk singer Joan Baez and reclusive billionaire Howard Hughes; the extremes of both Death Valley and Las Vegas. Named to Time magazine’s list of the one hundred best and most influential nonfiction books, this is “a rare display of some of the best prose written today in this country” (The New York Times Book Review).
 
The White Album: A New York Times bestseller, this landmark essay collection con...
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The Dictator Pope: The Inside Story of the Francis Papacy cover
Book Review

The Inside Story of the Francis Papacy

Could Pope Francis be the most tyrannical and unprincipled pontiff in modern times? Yes, says Church historian Marcantonio Colonna, in his controversial yet judicious new book, The Dictator Pope.

Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio of Argentina was elected pope in 2013 as a liberal and a reformer. In fact, he was neither—except by coincidence. Though he was not well-known within the College of Cardinals that elected him, close observers in his native land already recognized him to be a manipulative politician, skilled at self-promotion, and a disciple of the populist dictator Juan Perón.

Behind the mask of a genial man of the people is a pope who cares shockingly little about theology or the liturgy but is obsessed with his own power. Allying himself with the most corrupt elements in the Vatican, Francis rules by fear. He has obstructed or reversed the very reforms that were expected of him and attempted to alter Catholic teaching by subterfuge. In The Dictator Pope you will learn:

  • Why the head of Francis’s own religious order thought he should not be made a bishop
  • ...
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The Halifax Explosion: Canada's Worst Disaster cover
Book Review

On December 6, 1917, the French munitions ship Mont Blanc and the Norwegian war-relief vessel Imo collided in the harbour at Halifax, Nova Scotia. That accident sparked a fire and an apocalyptic explosion that was the largest man-made blast prior to the 1945 dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima. Together with the killer tsunami that followed, the explosion devastated the entire city in the wink of an eye and instantly killed more than two thousand people.

While much has been written about the disaster, there is still more to the story, including the investigation of the key figures involved, the histories of the ships that collided and the confluence of circumstances that brought these two vessels together to touch off one of the most tragic man-made disasters of the twentieth century.

The Halifax Explosion is a fresh, revealing account that finally answers questions that have lingered for a century: Was the explosion a disaster triggered by simple human error? Was it caused by the negligence of the ships’ pilots or captains? Was it the result of shortcomings in harbour practices and protocols? Or was the blast—as many people a...
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The 12th Man: A WWII Epic of Escape and Endurance cover
Book Review

The book that inspired the international film of the same name.


"I remember reading We Die Alone in 1970 and I could never forget it. Then when we went to Norway to do a docudrama, people told us again and again that certain parts were pure fiction. Since I was a Norwegian that was not good enough; I had to find the truth. I sincerely believe we did,” writes author Astrid Karlsen Scott.

The 12th Man is the true story of Jan Baalsrud, whose struggle to escape the Gestapo and survive in Nazi-occupied Norway has inspired the international film of the same name. In late March 1943, in the midst of WWII, four Norwegian saboteurs arrived in northern Norway on a fishing cutter and set anchor in Toftefjord to establish a base for their operations. However, they were betrayed, and a German boat attacked the cutter, creating a battlefield and spiraling Jan Baalsrud into the adventure of his life. The only survivor and wounded, Baalsrud begins a perilous journey to freedom, swimming icy fjords, climbing snow-covered peaks, enduring snowstorms, and getting caught in a monstrous avalanche. Suffering from snowblindness and frostbite, more than ...
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On Grand Strategy cover

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Book Review

A master class in strategic thinking, distilled from the legendary program the author has co-taught at Yale for decades

John Lewis Gaddis, the distinguished historian of the Cold War, has for almost two decades co-taught grand strategy at Yale University with his colleagues Charles Hill and Paul Kennedy.  Now, in On Grand Strategy, Gaddis reflects on what he has learned.  In chapters extending from the ancient world through World War II, Gaddis assesses grand strategic theory and practice in Herodotus, Thucydides, Sun Tzu, Octavian/Augustus, St. Augustine, Machiavelli, Elizabeth I, Philip II, the American Founding Fathers, Clausewitz, Tolstoy, Lincoln, Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Isaiah Berlin.  On Grand Strategy applies the sharp insights and wit readers have come to expect from Gaddis to times, places, and people he’s never written about before.  For anyone interested in the art of leadership, On Grand Strategy is, in every way, a master class....
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Diving for Starfish: The Jeweler, the Actress, the Heiress, and One of the World's Most Alluring Pieces of Jewelry cover
Book Review

Both a history of fine jewelry coming out of Paris in the Golden Age and a tour through the secretive world of high-end, privately-sold jewelry, Diving for Starfish is a stylish detective story with a glittering piece of jewelry at its heart.

In the mid 1930s, in the workroom of the famous Parisian jeweler Boivin, a young jewelry designer named Juliette Moutard created one of the most coveted pieces of jewelry in the world―the famous starfish pin―still sought after today by aficionados of fine jewelry.

The starfish, created out of gold and encrusted with 71 cabochon rubies and 241 small amethysts, was distinctive because its five rays were articulated, meaning that they could curl and conform to the bustline or shoulder of the women who wore it. The House of Boivin made three of them. Two of the women who bought and wore the starfish were Claudette Colbert and Millicent Rogers.

Obsessed with the pin after she saw it in the private showroom of a Manhattan jewelry merchant, Cherie Burns set off on a journey to find out all she could about the elusive pins and the women who owned them. Her search took her around the world to Paris, London...
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Book Review

Frederick Burnham Russell was one of the greatest military scouts to have ever lived.



Born on a Dakota Sioux reservation he was taught the ways of the Native Americans from as soon as he could walk.

At the tender age of fourteen, having had little formal education, he was supporting himself and learning from some of the last cowboys and frontiersmen of the Old West.

These lessons would pay dividend in his later life, first as a tracker for the United States Army in the Apache Wars and later as a scout for the British Army in the Matebele Wars in Southern Africa.

Frederick Burnham Russell was a remarkable figure who revolutionized the art of scouting in both the British and United States armies.

Indeed his influence would lead his friend, Robert Baden-Powell, to begin the international Scouting Movement.

In Scouting on Two Continents Burnham records the details of his brilliant life in fascinating detail and provides insight into the life of an unique adventurer in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

“Burnham in real life is more interesting than any of my h...
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Top Drawer: American High Society from the Gilded Age to the Roaring Twenties cover
Book Review

The age of high society in the United States was remarkably brief but also glorious. The names of the families of "people-we-know" - from Astor to Vanderbilt, McCormick to Palmer, Cabot to Whitney - and the places they called home - Fifth Avenue, Newport, Euclid Avenue in Cleveland, Prairie Avenue in Chicago, Delmonico's ballroom - still evoke glittering images of style, wealth, and often-outrageous show. The era of "The 400," with all its glamour gentility, and pretension, is marvelously evoked in this book. Top Drawer is affectionate and ironic by turns, pointing out, for example, that the American elite were the greatest art patrons since the Renaissance, yet recounting scandals and foibles with a knowing eye that never loses sight of the ruthless quest for power that underlay the gilded surface.

"The hoi polloi get their own back at the hoity-toity in Top Drawer, Mary Cable's witty social history of the Gilded age of Astors, Vanderbilts, Van Rensselaers, Havemeyers, Chatfield-Taylors, et al. A stylish performance . . . . Cable's polished prose, cool wit, and extensive research make illuminating history and grand entertainment."
- Publishers Weekly...
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A Splendid Savage: The Restless Life of Frederick Russell Burnham cover
Book Review

"Rich, detailed, and pitch-perfect, with the witty and wonderful skipping off every page." —Maxwell Carter, Wall Street Journal


Frederick Russell Burnham’s (1861–1947) amazing story resembles a newsreel fused with a Saturday matinee thriller. One of the few people who could turn his garrulous friend Theodore Roosevelt into a listener, Burnham was once world-famous as “the American scout.” His expertise in woodcraft, learned from frontiersmen and Indians, helped inspire another friend, Robert Baden-Powell, to found the Boy Scouts. His adventures encompassed Apache wars and range feuds, booms and busts in mining camps around the globe, explorations in remote regions of Africa, and death-defying military feats that brought him renown and high honors. His skills led to his unusual appointment, as an American, to be Chief of Scouts for the British during the Boer War, where his daring exploits earned him the Distinguished Service Order from King Edward VII.


After a lifetime pursuing golden prospects from the deserts of Mexico and Africa to the tundra of the Klondike, Burnham found wealth, in his sixties, near his childhood home in southern Ca...
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Hunting the Truth: Memoirs of Beate and Serge Klarsfeld cover
Book Review

In this dual autobiography, the Klarsfelds tell the dramatic story of fifty years devoted to bringing Nazis to justice

They were born on opposite sides of the Second World War: Beate grew up in the ruins of a defeated Weimar Germany, while Serge, a Jewish boy in France, was hiding in a cupboard when his father was arrested and sent to Auschwitz. They met on the Paris Métro and fell in love, and became famous when Beate slapped the face of the West German chancellor―a former Nazi―Kurt Georg Kiesinger.

For the past half century, Beate and Serge Klarsfeld have hunted, confronted, prosecuted, and exposed Nazi war criminals all over the world, tracking down the notorious torturer Klaus Barbie in Bolivia and attempting to kidnap the former Gestapo chief Kurt Lischka on the streets of Cologne. They have been sent to prison for their beliefs and have risked their lives protesting anti-Semitism behind the Iron Curtain in South America and in the Middle East. They have been insulted and exalted, assaulted and heralded; they’ve received honors from presidents and letter bombs from neo-Nazis. They have fought relentlessly not only for the memory of all those who...
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Supernormal: Science, Yoga, and the Evidence for Extraordinary Psychic Abilities cover
Book Review

Can yoga and meditation unleash our inherent supernormal mental powers, such as telepathy, clairvoyance, and precognition? Is it really possible to perceive another person's thoughts and intentions? Influence objects with our minds? Envision future events? And is it possible that some of the superpowers described in ancient legends, science fiction, and comic books are actually real, and patiently waiting for us behind the scenes? Are we now poised for an evolutionary trigger to pull the switch and release our full potentials?

Dean Radin, Director of Research at the Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS) and bestselling author of The Conscious Universe, presents persuasive new experimental evidence for the existence of such phenomena. He takes us on a thrilling scientific journey and challenges outdated assumptions that these abilities are mere superstition. Focusing on Patanjali's mysterious Yoga Sutras -- 2,000 year-old meditation practices believed to release our extraordinary powers -- Radin offers powerful evidence confirming that sometimes fact is much stranger, spookier, and more wonderful than the wildest fiction....
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Rocket Men: The Daring Odyssey of Apollo 8 and the Astronauts Who Made Man's First Journey to the Moon cover
Book Review

The riveting inside story of three heroic astronauts who took on the challenge of mankind’s historic first mission to the Moon, from the New York Times bestselling author of Shadow Divers.

“Robert Kurson tells the tale of Apollo 8 with novelistic detail and immediacy.”—Andy Weir, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Martian and Artemis


By August 1968, the American space program was in danger of failing in its two most important objectives: to land a man on the Moon by President Kennedy’s end-of-decade deadline, and to triumph over the Soviets in space. With its back against the wall, NASA made an almost unimaginable leap: It would scrap its usual methodical approach and risk everything on a sudden launch, sending the first men in history to the Moon—in just four months. And it would all happen at Christmas.

In a year of historic violence and discord—the Tet Offensive, the assassinations of Martin Luther King, Jr., and Robert Kennedy, the riots at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago—the Apollo 8 mission would be the boldest, riskiest test of America’s greatness under pressure. In this gripping ...
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Harry: Life, Loss, and Love cover
Book Review

On the eve of his wedding comes the most intimate and informative portrait yet of Prince Harry, from royal expert Katie Nicholl, author of the bestselling William and Harry and Kate.

From his earliest public appearances as a mischievous redheaded toddler, Prince Harry has captured the hearts of royal enthusiasts around the world. In Harry, Britain's leading expert on the young royals offers an in-depth look at the wayward prince turned national treasure. Nicholl sheds new light on growing up royal, Harry's relationship with his mother, his troubled youth and early adulthood, and how his military service in Afghanistan inspired him to create his legacy, the Invictus Games.

Harry: Life, Loss, and Love features interviews with friends, those who have worked with the prince, and former Palace aides. Nicholl explores Harry's relationship with his family, in particular, the Queen, his father, stepmother, and brother, and reveals his secret "second family" in Botswana. She uncovers new information about his former girlfriends and chronicles his romance and engagement to American actress Meghan Markle.

Harry is a compe...
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The Bloody Battle of Suribachi: The Amazing Story of Iwo Jima That Inspired Flags of Our Fathers cover
Book Review

The classic first-hand WWII narrative that chronicles the Marines' savage five-day struggle to wrest Mount Suribachi from its tenacious Japanese defenders during their 35 day battle for Iwo Jima in 1945. Revised with a new introduction by the author and recently discovered photos, this book served as invaluable source material both for James Bradley's bestseller Flags of Our Fathers as well as Clint Eastwood's acclaimed film of the same name.

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, the JFK assassination, conspiracies, the American Civil War, the American Revolution, gladiators, Vikings, ancient Rome, medieval times, the old West, and much more. While not every title we publish becomes a New York Times bestseller or a national bestseller, we are committed to books on subjects that are sometimes overlooked and to authors whose work might not otherwise find a home.

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The classic first-hand WWII narrative that chronicles the Marines' savage five-day struggle to wrest...
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The Gilded Age cover

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Book Review

"Rugoff's spirited and immensely beguiling book takes a joyful bite out of the nineteenth century."
- The New York Times

"King of the Lobbyists" Sam Ward was best known for his talent for throwing parties - courtesy of the U.S. Treasury. And Alva Vanderbilt squandered tens of thousands on one evening to crack the closed social circle of the Mrs. Astor. And when Jay Gould, of Black Friday fame, sent his card to one of the Rothschilds, it was returned with the comment, "Europe is not for sale." It was this climate of mid- and late-nineteenth-century excess that fostered the most rapid period of growth in the history of the United States, replacing the unyielding Puritanism of Cotton Mather with the flexible creed of Henry Ward Beecher. National Book Award nominee Milton Rugoff gives his uniquely revealing view of the Gilded Age in this collective biography of Americans from 1850 to 1890.

Writing on the political spoilsmen, money kings, parvenus, forty-niners, lords of the press, sexual transgressors, and women's rights leaders, Rugoff focuses on thirty-six men and women from almost every walk of life. His exponents include U.S. Grant, John Charles ...
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Cities of God: The Real Story of How Christianity Became an Urban Movement and Conquered Rome cover
Book Review

How did the preaching of a peasant carpenter from Galilee spark a movement that would grow to include over two billion followers? Who listened to this "good news," and who ignored it? Where did Christianity spread, and how? Based on quantitative data and the latest scholarship, preeminent scholar and journalist Rodney Stark presents new and startling information about the rise of the early church, overturning many prevailing views of how Christianity grew through time to become the largest religion in the world.

Drawing on both archaeological and historical evidence, Stark is able to provide hard statistical evidence on the religious life of the Roman Empire to discover the following facts that set conventional history on its head:

  • Contrary to fictions such as The Da Vinci Code and the claims of some prominent scholars, Gnosticism was not a more sophisticated, more authentic form of Christianity, but really an unsuccessful effort to paganize Christianity.
  • Paul was called the apostle to the Gentiles, but mostly he converted Jews.
  • Paganism was not rapidly stamped out by state repression following the visi...
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Last Stand: George Bird Grinnell, the Battle to Save the Buffalo, and the Birth of the New West cover
Book Review

THE EPIC TRUE STORY OF THE AMERICAN BUFFALO—BY MICHAEL PUNKE, THE AUTHOR OF THE REVENANT, NOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE STARRING LEONARDO DICAPRIO

In the last three decades of the nineteenth century, an American buffalo herd once numbering 30 million animals was reduced to twelve. It was the era of Manifest Destiny, a Gilded Age that treated the West as nothing more than a treasure chest of resources to be dug up or shot down. The buffalo in this world was a commodity, hounded by legions of swashbucklers and unemployed veterans seeking to make their fortunes. Supporting these hide hunters, even buying their ammunition, was the U.S. Army, which considered the eradication of the buffalo essential to victory in its ongoing war on Native Americans.

Into that maelstrom rode young George Bird Grinnell. A scientist and a journalist, a hunter and a conservationist, Grinnell would lead the battle to save the buffalo from extinction. Fighting in the pages of magazines, in Washington's halls of power, and in the frozen valleys of Yellowstone, Grinnell and his allies sought to preserve an icon from the grinding appetite of Robber Baron America. Continue Reading

November 22, 1963: Reflections on the Life, Assassination, and Legacy of John F. Kennedy cover
Book Review

Gripping, personal stories about the life and death of President Kennedy.

In November 22, 1963, Dean Owen curates a fascinating collection of interviews and thought-provoking commentaries from notable men and women connected to that notorious Friday afternoon. Those who worked closely with the president, civil rights leaders, celebrities, prominent journalists, and political allies are among the many voices asked to share their reflections on the significance of that day and the legacy of JFK. A few of the names include:

• Tom Brokaw, a young reporter in Omaha in 1963
• Andy Rooney, veteran television and radio newscaster
• Letitia Baldrige, former Chief of Staff to First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy
• Congressman John Lewis, sole survivor of the “Big Six” black leaders who met the president after the March on Washington in August of 1963
• Cliff Robertson, Academy Award–winning actor who portrayed JFK in PT 109

With a compelling foreword from renowned author and journalist Helen Thomas, November 22, 1963 investigates not only where we were that day nearly fifty years ago, but where we have been since. A com...
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The Killing of Uncle Sam: The Demise of the United States of America cover

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Pride, greed, and power have driven men to do the unthinkable - including selling out their nations and unsuspected citizens to the most corrupt and destructive "invisible" global leaders on Earth. But how did this happen on American soil? How did the downfall begin and who were the predators that the "land of the free and home of the brave" fell victim to? And is all hope lost?

This book captures details of the last 200 years of American history that mainstream media does not want you to know. It dissects the "legalized" system of the private central banks that has gone unchecked, and delivers gut-wrenching truths about the real domestic and foreign enemies of the United States. With over 2,000 footnotes and quotes from former presidents, prime ministers, and state officials; it will equip you with the facts the government has covered for centuries, and empower you to stand up for the truth.

(Dr. Rodney Howard-Browne)...
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The Wisdom of Wolves: Lessons From the Sawtooth Pack cover
Book Review

From the world-famous couple who lived alongside a three-generation wolf pack, this book of inspiration, drawn from the wild, will fascinate animal and nature lovers alike.

For six years Jim and Jamie Dutcher lived intimately with a pack of wolves, gaining their trust as no one has before. In this book the Dutchers reflect on the virtues they observed in wolf society and behavior. Each chapter exemplifies a principle, such as kindness, teamwork, playfulness, respect, curiosity, and compassion. Their heartfelt stories combine into a thought-provoking meditation on the values shared between the human and the animal world. Occasional photographs bring the wolves and their behaviors into absorbing focus....
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The Great Siege, Malta 1565: Clash of Cultures: Christian Knights Defend Western Civilization Against the Moslem Tide cover
Book Review

The indispensable account of the Ottoman Empire’s Siege of Malta from the author of Hannibal and Gibraltar.

In the first half of the sixteenth century, the Ottoman Empire was thought to be invincible. Suleiman the Magnificent, the Ottoman sultan, had expanded his empire from western Asia to southeastern Europe and North Africa. To secure control of the Mediterranean between these territories and launch an offensive into western Europe, Suleiman needed the small but strategically crucial island of Malta. But Suleiman’s attempt to take the island from the Holy Roman Empire’s Knights of St. John would emerge as one of the most famous and brutal military defeats in history.

Forty-two years earlier, Suleiman had been victorious against the Knights of St. John when he drove them out of their island fortress at Rhodes. Believing he would repeat this victory, the sultan sent an armada to Malta. When they captured Fort St. Elmo, the Ottoman forces ruthlessly took no prisoners. The Roman grand master La Vallette responded by having his Ottoman captives beheaded. Then the battle for Malta began in earnest: no quarter asked, none given...
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The Time Traveler's Guide to Medieval England: A Handbook for Visitors to the Fourteenth Century cover
Book Review

The past is a foreign country. This is your guidebook. A time machine has just transported you back into the fourteenth century. What do you see? How do you dress? How do you earn a living and how much are you paid? What sort of food will you be offered by a peasant or a monk or a lord? And more important, where will you stay?

The Time Traveler’s Guide to Medieval England is not your typical look at a historical period. This radical new approach shows us that the past is not just something to be studied; it is also something to be lived.

Through the use of daily chronicles, letters, household accounts, and poems of the day, Mortimer transports you back in time, providing answers to questions typically ignored by traditional historians. You will learn how to greet people on the street, what to use as toilet paper, why a physician might want to taste your blood, and how to know whether you are coming down with leprosy.

The result is the most astonishing social history book you’re ever likely to read: revolutionary in its concept, informative and entertaining in its detail, and startling for its portrayal of humanity in an age of violence, exuberance, and ...
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(((Semitism))): Being Jewish in America in the Age of Trump cover
Book Review

The Washington Post: "Timely...[A] passionate call to arms."

Jewish Book Council: "Could not be more important or timely."

Bernard-Henri Lévy: "It would be wonderful if anti-Semitism was a European specialty and stopped at the border with the United States. Alas, this is not the case. Jonathan Weisman’s new book (((Semitism))) shows why..."

Michael Eric Dyson: "With eloquence and poignancy Weisman shows how hatred can slowly and quietly chew away at the moral fabric of society. We now live in an age where more than ever bigotry and oppression no longer need to hide in fear of reproach. The floodgates have opened. This is much more than a personal response to the bigotry he experienced because of his Jewishness; Weisman has written a manifesto that outlines the dangers of marginalizing and demonizing all minority groups. This powerful book is for all of us."

A short, literary, powerful contemplation on how Jews are viewed in America since the election of Donald J. Trump, and how we can move forward to fight anti-Semitism

Anti-Semitism has always been present in American...
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In the Shadow of Statues: A White Southerner Confronts History cover
Book Review

"An extraordinarily powerful journey that is both political and personal...An important book for everyone in America to read." --Walter Isaacson,#1 New York Times bestselling author of Leonardo Da Vinci and Steve Jobs

The New Orleans mayor who removed the Confederate statues confronts the racism that shapes us and argues for white America to reckon with its past. A passionate, personal, urgent book from the man who sparked a national debate.


"There is a difference between remembrance of history and reverence for it." When Mitch Landrieu addressed the people of New Orleans in May 2017 about his decision to take down four Confederate monuments, including the statue of Robert E. Lee, he struck a nerve nationally, and his speech has now been heard or seen by millions across the country. In his first book, Mayor Landrieu discusses his personal journey on race as well as the path he took to making the decision to remove the monuments, tackles the broader history of slavery, race and institutional inequities that still bedevil America, and traces his personal relationship to this history. His father, as state legislator and mayor, was a h...
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Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth cover
Book Review

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • “A lucid, intelligent page-turner” (Los Angeles Times) that challenges long-held assumptions about Jesus, from the host of Believer
 
Two thousand years ago, an itinerant Jewish preacher walked across the Galilee, gathering followers to establish what he called the “Kingdom of God.” The revolutionary movement he launched was so threatening to the established order that he was executed as a state criminal. Within decades after his death, his followers would call him God.
 
Sifting through centuries of mythmaking, Reza Aslan sheds new light on one of history’s most enigmatic figures by examining Jesus through the lens of the tumultuous era in which he lived. Balancing the Jesus of the Gospels against the historical sources, Aslan describes a man full of conviction and passion, yet rife with contradiction. He explores the reasons the early Christian church preferred to promulgate an image of Jesus as a peaceful spiritual teacher rather than a politically conscious revolutionary. And he grapples with the riddle of how Jesus understood himself, the mystery that is at the heart of all subsequent c...
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The Crusades: The Authoritative History of the War for the Holy Land cover
Book Review

The Crusades is an authoritative, accessible single-volume history of the brutal struggle for the Holy Land in the Middle Ages. Thomas Asbridge—a renowned historian who writes with “maximum vividness” (Joan Acocella, The New Yorker)—covers the years 1095 to 1291 in this  big, ambitious, readable account of one of the most fascinating periods in history. From Richard the Lionheart to the mighty Saladin, from the emperors of Byzantium to the Knights Templar, Asbridge’s book is a magnificent epic of Holy War between the Christian and Islamic worlds, full of adventure, intrigue, and sweeping grandeur.

...
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Thomas Jefferson: The Blood of Patriots (The True Story of Thomas Jefferson) (Historical Biographies of Famous People) cover
Book Review

Thomas Jefferson is justly remembered as one of the great presidents of American history. Yet his greatest accomplishments--the Louisiana Purchase, the First Barbary War, the Lewis and Clark expedition--almost all came in his first term in office. His second term saw a sharp reversal of fortunes, as catastrophe engulfed the nation and Jefferson slunk out of office, never to play a role in public affairs again.

While always giving a great man his due, this new biography explores the darker side of Jefferson's political legacy, examining how the flaws in both his personality and ideology led the nation to the brink of war and dissolution. It tells how Jefferson tossed aside legal norms in his pursuit of rival judges and his own vice president, and how his 1807 Embargo Act devastated the national economy, heightened section divisions, and made a subsequent war with Great Britain all but inevitable. Only when we understand the damage that Jefferson did to America, as well as his many achievements, can we begin to grapple with the complex legacy of our nation's most complex president.

"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the b...
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Fractured Emerald: Ireland cover
Book Review

The author of The Soong Sisters and China to Me turns her observant and discerning eye to the oft‑troubled land of Ireland. In a magisterial combination of historical research and keen personal observation on the scene, Emily Hahn gives us a view of the whole of Ireland and its history, from the legends of the great kings and the heroes of myth to the Saint who converted Ireland to Christianity many centuries ago to modern times. She details the trials and tribulations of a conquered people as they rebel against their exploiters and fight and die for independence, eventually achieving their goal but only at the price of a bitter partition that haunts the country to this day. Hahn’s breadth of vision and acute sense of the telling detail paints the big picture while also pinpointing the small but important moments. Perhaps the subtitle manages to encapsulate it all: Ireland, Its Legends, Its History, Its People from St. Patrick to Bernadette Devlin.


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The author of The Soong Sisters and China to Me turns her observant and discerning eye to the oft‑troubled land of Ireland. In a magis...
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Stark Mad Abolitionists: Lawrence, Kansas, and the Battle over Slavery in the Civil War Era cover
Book Review

A town at the center of the United States becomes the site of an ongoing struggle for freedom and equality.

In May, 1854, Massachusetts was in an uproar. A judge, bound by the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850, had just ordered a young African American man who had escaped from slavery in Virginia and settled in Boston to be returned to bondage in the South. An estimated fifty thousand citizens rioted in protest. Observing the scene was Amos Adams Lawrence, a wealthy Bostonian, who “waked up a stark mad Abolitionist.” As quickly as Lawrence waked up, he combined his fortune and his energy with others to create the New England Emigrant Aid Company to encourage abolitionists to emigrate to Kansas to ensure that it would be a free state.

The town that came to bear Lawrence’s name became the battleground for the soul of America, with abolitionists battling pro-slavery Missourians who were determined to make Kansas a slave state. The onset of the Civil War only escalated the violence, leading to the infamous raid of William Clarke Quantrill when he led a band of vicious Confederates (including Frank James, whose brother Jesse would soon join them) into town and ki...
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Dunkirk: The History Behind the Major Motion Picture cover
Book Review

New York Times Bestseller

The epic true story of Dunkirk—now a major motion picture, written and directed by Christopher Nolan, and starring Kenneth Branagh, Tom Hardy, and Mark Rylance

In 1940, the Allies had been beaten back by the Nazis across France to the northern port of Dunkirk. In the ultimate race against time, more than 300,000 Allied soldiers were daringly evacuated across the Channel. This moment of German aggression was used by Winston Churchill as a call to Franklin Roosevelt to enter the war. Now, Joshua Levine, the film's official historian, explores the real lives of those soldiers, bombed and strafed on the beaches for days on end, without food or ammunition; the civilians whose boats were overloaded; the airmen who risked their lives to buy their companions on the ground precious time; and those who did not escape.

...
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The Age of Eisenhower: America and the World in the 1950s cover
Book Review

“A page-turner masterpiece.” – Jim Lehrer

In a 2017 survey, presidential historians ranked Dwight D. Eisenhower fifth on the list of great presidents, behind the perennial top four: Lincoln, Washington, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Teddy Roosevelt. Historian William Hitchcock shows that this high ranking is justified. Eisenhower’s accomplishments were enormous, and loom ever larger from the vantage point of our own tumultuous times.

A former general, Ike kept the peace: he ended the Korean War, avoided a war in Vietnam, adroitly managed a potential confrontation with China, and soothed relations with the Soviet Union after Stalin’s death. He guided the Republican Party to embrace central aspects of the New Deal like Social Security. He thwarted the demagoguery of McCarthy and he advanced the agenda of civil rights for African Americans. As part of his strategy to wage, and win, the Cold War, Eisenhower expanded American military power, built a fearsome nuclear arsenal and launched the space race. In his famous Farewell Address, he acknowledged that Americans needed such weapons in order to keep global peace—but he also admonished his citizens to remain ...
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The Surgeons: Life and Death in a Top Heart Center cover
Book Review

"Insightful and filled with verve…electrifying." —Wall Street Journal


Hailed as "an astute book of enormous importance" (Sherwin Nuland), The Surgeons follows the team at one of the world's premier cardiac surgery and transplant centers. Given unprecedented access, Charles R. Morris recounts in thrilling detail a late-night against-the-clock "harvest run" to secure a precious transplantable organ, the heartbreaking story of a child's failed transplant, and more. Along the way, Morris reflects on how doctors really think, rising health care costs, and the future of health care in America.

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"Insightful and filled with verve…electrifying." —Wall Street Journal


Hailed as "an astute book of enormous importance" (Sherwin Nuland), The Surgeons follows the team at one of the world's premier cardiac surgery and transplant centers. Given unprecedented access, Charles R. Morris recounts in thrilling detail a late-night against-the-clock "harvest run" to secure a precious transplantable organ, the heartbreaking story of a child's failed transplant, and more. Along the way, Morris reflects on ...
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Ancient Knowledge cover

Ancient Knowledge html

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Book Review

Revealing things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world.
Proven with mathematics this book describes genuine ancient knowledge that conflicts with modern science but upholds the Biblical story of Genesis.

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Revealing things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world.
Proven with mathematics this book describes genuine ancient knowledge that conflicts with modern science but upholds the Biblical story of Genesis....
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To the Edges of the Earth: 1909, the Race for the Three Poles, and the Climax of the Age of Exploration cover
Book Review

From the Pulitzer Prize-winning historian, an entwined narrative of the most adventurous year of all time, when three expeditions simultaneously raced to the top, bottom, and heights of the world

"Suspenseful. ... Larson does full justice to his three protagonists’ remarkable bravery." —Wall Street Journal

As 1909 dawned, the greatest jewels of exploration—set at the world’s frozen extremes—lay unclaimed: the North and South Poles and the so-called “Third Pole,” the pole of altitude, located in unexplored heights of the Himalaya. Before the calendar turned, three expeditions had faced death, mutiny, and the harshest conditions on the planet to plant flags at the furthest edges of the Earth.

In the course of one extraordinary year, Americans Robert Peary and Matthew Henson were hailed worldwide at the discovers of the North Pole; Britain’s Ernest Shackleton had set a new geographic “Furthest South” record, while his expedition mate, Australian Douglas Mawson, had reached the Magnetic South Pole; and at the roof of the world, Italy’s Duke of the Abruzzi had attained an altitude record that would stand for a gene...
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Presence-Based Leadership: Complexity Practices for Clarity, Resilience, and Results That Matter cover
Book Review

Presence-Based Leadership is founded on this liberating premise: leaders' most crucial and complex challenges, rather than being obstacles, are actually doorways for becoming precisely the leader that current conditions require.
Here is a rich field guide to the territory of complexity, and how leaders can navigate it with leading-edge approaches that generate clarity, resilience, and results that actually matter.
Silsbee's new book is his most expansive. A master of integration, he seamlessly weaves fields as disparate as complexity, leadership and adult development theory, mindfulness, and interpersonal neurobiology into a deeply human exploration of how leaders can bring the fullness of their humanity to the most intractable challenges they face. His immensely pragmatic approach grounds new perspectives with intimate real-world examples. He offers specific, field-tested experiments and practices that invite the reader into discovery and application.
This is a radically new and integrated approach to leadership, through which leaders can tap the creativity and resourcefulness of their internal complexity in order to meet a complex world. Through cul...
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1215 and All That: Magna Carta and King John cover
Book Review

1215 is one of the most famous dates in English history, and with good reason, since it marks the signing of the Magna Carta by King John and the English barons, which altered the entire course of English and world history.

John Lackland was born to King Henry II and Eleanor, Duchess of Aquitane in December, 1166; he was the youngest of five sons. However, he unexpectedly became the favored heir to his father after a failed rebellion by his older brothers in 1173. He became king in 1199, though his reign was tumultuous and short. After a brief peace with Phillip II of France, war broke out again in 1202 and King John lost most of his holdings on the continent. This, coupled with unpopular fiscal policies and treatment of nobles back home, led to conflict upon his return from battle. Buffeted from all sides, King John was pushed in 1215 to sign along with his barons the Magna Carta, a precursor to constitutional governance. But both sides failed to uphold the agreements terms and conflict quickly resumed, leading to John’s untimely death a year later to dysentery.

Pitched at newcomers to the subject, 1215 and All That will explain how King John’s...
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Becoming Abraham Lincoln: The Coming of Age of Our Greatest President cover
Book Review

Becoming Abraham Lincoln: The Coming of Age of Our Greatest President tells the true story of how this great American hero grew up and became a man. The story begins with Lincoln’s cousin describing the murder of Abe’s grandfather in 1782 by the Wabash Indians in the Kentucky wilderness. It ends as Lincoln turns twenty-five, downcast and debt-ridden after the failure of his first business venture, as he earns his first election victory to take his seat in the Illinois State Legislature.

This vivid, authentic account of Abraham Lincoln in his formative years is told by those who were there—his friends and family. Supported by rigorous research, Becoming Abraham Lincoln is an authentic account of Lincoln’s childhood and adolescence in the actual words of those who knew him best. We see Lincoln as he was, according to law partner Billy Herndon, “just as he lived, breathed, ate and laughed in this world.” The historic eyewitness testimony in these pages forms a rich, detailed narrative unmatched in all Lincoln literature.
...
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Reluctant Warrior: A Marine's True Story of Duty and Heroism in Vietnam cover
Book Review

"ONE OF THE BEST VIETNAM WAR STORIES I'VE EVER READ, one damn good, compelling read. It's almost something out of a Clancy novel, yet it's true. The best thing I can say about it is I didn't want it to end."
--Col. David Hackworth, New York Times bestselling author of About Face

By the spring of 1970, American troops were ordered to pull out of Vietnam. The Marines of 1st Reconnaissance Battalion, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel "Wild Bill" Drumright, were assigned to cover the withdrawal of 1st Marine Division. The Marines of 1st RECON Bn operated in teams of six or seven men. Heavily armed, the teams fought a multitude of  bitter engagements with a numerically superior and increasingly aggressive enemy.

Michael C. Hodgins served in Company C, 1st RECON Bn (Rein), as a platoon leader. In powerful, graphic prose, he chronicles his experience as a patrol leader in myriad combat situations--from hasty ambush to emergency extraction to prisoner snatch to combined-arms ambush. . . .

"THIS MEMOIR IS GRIPPING."
--American Way


From the Paperback edition.

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"ONE OF THE BEST VIETNAM WAR STOR...
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Vulgar Favors: The Assassination of Gianni Versace cover
Book Review

Read the true story of the manhunt that inspired The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story, the latest chapter of the acclaimed FX series.
 
On July 15, 1997, Gianni Versace was shot and killed on the steps of his Miami Beach mansion by serial killer Andrew Cunanan. But months before Versace’s murder, award-winning journalist Maureen Orth was already investigating a major story on Cunanan for Vanity Fair. Culled from interviews with more than four hundred people and insights gleaned from thousands of pages of police reports, Vulgar Favors tells the complete story of Andrew Cunanan, his unwitting victims, and the moneyed world in which they lived . . . and died. Orth reveals how Cunanan met Versace, and why police and the FBI repeatedly failed to catch him. Here is a gripping odyssey that races across America—from California’s wealthy gay underworld to modest Midwestern homes of families mourning the loss of their sons to South Beach and its unapologetic decadence. Vulgar Favors is at once a masterwork of investigative journalism and a riveting account of a sociopath, his crimes, and the mysteries he left alo...
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Conservatives Without Conscience cover
Book Review

On the heels of his national bestseller Worse Than Watergate, John Dean takes a critical look at the current conservative movement

In Conservatives Without Conscience, John Dean places the conservative movement's inner circle of leaders in the Republican Party under scrutiny. Dean finds their policies and mind- set to be fundamentally authoritarian, and as such, a danger to democracy. By examining the legacies of such old-line conservatives as J. Edgar Hoover, Spiro Agnew, and Phyllis Schlafly and of such current figures as Dick Cheney, Newt Gingrich, and leaders of the Religious Right, Dean presents an alarming record of abuses of power. His trenchant analysis of how conservatism has lost its bearings serves as a chilling warning and a stirring inspiration to safeguard constitutional principles.

Amazon.com Review

In Conservatives Without Conscience, John Dean, who served as White House counsel under Richard Nixon and then helped to break the Watergate scandal with his testimony before the Senate, takes a vivid and analytical look at a Republican Party that has changed drastically from the conservative movement that he joined...
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Codebreakers' Victory: How the Allied Cryptographers Won World War II cover
Book Review

With exclusive interviews, a Signal Corps veteran tells the full story of how cryptography helped defeat the Axis powers, at Bletchley Park and beyond. 

For years, the story of the World War II codebreakers was kept a crucial state secret. Even Winston Churchill, himself a great advocate of Britain’s cryptologic program, purposefully minimized their achievements in his history books. Now, though, after decades have passed, the true scope of the British and American cryptographers’ role in the war has come to light. It was a role key to the Allied victory. From the Battle of Britain to the Pacific front to the panzer divisions in Africa, superior cryptography gave the Allies a decisive advantage over the Axis generals. Military intelligence made a significant difference in battle after battle.

In Codebreakers’ Victory, veteran cryptographer Hervie Haufler takes readers behind the scenes in this fascinating underground world of ciphers and decoders. This broad view represents the first comprehensive account of codebreaking during World War II. Haufler pulls together years of research, exclusive access to top secret files, and perso...
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Viper Pilot: A Memoir of Air Combat cover
Book Review

THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING MEMOIR OF 21ST-CENTURY AIR COMBAT, BY "ONE OF THE DECORATED PILOTS IN AIR FORCE HISTORY" (NEW YORK POST)

151 combat missions
21 hard kills on surface -to -air missile sites
4 Distinguished Flying Crosses with Valor
1 Purple Heart

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Mademoiselle: Coco Chanel and the Pulse of History cover
Book Review

NATIONAL BESTSELLER

Certain lives are at once so exceptional, and yet so in step with their historical moments, that they illuminate cultural forces far beyond the scope of a single person. Such is the case with Coco Chanel, whose life offers one of the most fascinating tales of the twentieth century—throwing into dramatic relief an era of war, fashion, ardent nationalism, and earth-shaking change—here brilliantly treated, for the first time, with wide-ranging and incisive historical scrutiny.
 
Coco Chanel transformed forever the way women dressed. Her influence remains so pervasive that to this day we can see her afterimage a dozen times while just walking down a single street: in all the little black dresses, flat shoes, costume jewelry, cardigan sweaters, and tortoiseshell eyeglasses on women of every age and background. A bottle of Chanel No. 5 perfume is sold every three seconds. Arguably, no other individual has had a deeper impact on the visual aesthetic of the world. But how did a poor orphan become a global icon of both luxury and everyday style? How did she develop such vast, undying influence? And what does our ongoing love of all ...
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The Bridge at Andau: The Compelling True Story of a Brave, Embattled People cover
Book Review

The Bridge at Andau is James A. Michener at his most gripping. His classic nonfiction account of a doomed uprising is as searing and unforgettable as any of his bestselling novels. For five brief, glorious days in the autumn of 1956, the Hungarian revolution gave its people a glimpse at a different kind of future—until, at four o’clock in the morning on a Sunday in November, the citizens of Budapest awoke to the shattering sound of Russian tanks ravaging their streets. The revolution was over. But freedom beckoned in the form of a small footbridge at Andau, on the Austrian border. By an accident of history it became, for a few harrowing weeks, one of the most important crossings in the world, as the soul of a nation fled across its unsteady planks.


BONUS: This edition includes an excerpt from James A. Michener's Hawaii.
 
Praise for The Bridge at Andau
 
“Precise, vivid . . . immeasurably stirring.”The Atlantic Monthly
 
“Dramatic, chilling, enraging.”San Francisco Chronicle
 
“Superb.”Kirkus Reviews<...
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The Whisky King: The remarkable true story of Canada's most infamous bootlegger and the undercover Mountie on his trail cover
Book Review

“True-crime writing at its finest.” —Dean Jobb, author of Empire of Deception

A rich and fascinating history of Canada’s first celebrity mobster, Rocco Perri—King of the Bootleggers—and the man who pursued him, Canada’s first undercover Mountie, for readers of Erik Larson, Dean Jobb and Charlotte Gray

At the dawn of the 20th century, two Italian men arrived in Canada amid waves of immigration. One, Rocco Perri, from southern Italy, rose from the life of a petty criminal on the streets of Toronto to running the most prominent bootlegging operation of the Prohibition era, taking over Hamilton and leading one of the country’s most influential crime syndicates. Perri was feared by his enemies and loved by the press, who featured him regularly in splashy front-page headlines. So great was his celebrity that, following the murder of his wife and business partner, Bessie Starkman, a crowd of 30,000 thronged the streets of Hamilton for her funeral.

Perri’s businesses—which included alcohol, drugs, gambling and prostitution—kept him under constant police surveillance. He caught the interest of one man in particular, th...
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Lincoln and the Abolitionists: John Quincy Adams, Slavery, and the Civil War cover
Book Review

“[Kaplan] tells this story with precision and eloquence.” Seattle Times

“An eye-opening biography from a trusted source on the topic.” Kirkus Review

“Elegantly written and thoroughly researched.” Publishers Weekly

The acclaimed biographer, with a thought-provoking exploration of how Abraham Lincoln’s and John Quincy Adams’ experiences with slavery and race shaped their differing viewpoints, provides both perceptive insights into these two great presidents and a revealing perspective on race relations in modern America.

Lincoln, who in afterlife became mythologized as the Great Emancipator, was shaped by the values of the white America into which he was born. While he viewed slavery as a moral crime abhorrent to American principles, he disapproved of anti-slavery activists. Until the last year of his life, he advocated "voluntary deportation," concerned that free blacks in a white society would result in centuries of conflict. In ...
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Lavoisier in the Year One: The Birth of a New Science in an Age of Revolution (Great Discoveries) cover
Book Review

"Fresh…solid…full of suspense and intrigue." —Publishers Weekly


Antoine Lavoisier reinvented chemistry, overthrowing the long-established principles of alchemy and inventing an entirely new terminology, one still in use by chemists. Madison Smartt Bell’s enthralling narrative reads like a race to the finish line, as the very circumstances that enabled Lavoisier to secure his reputation as the father of modern chemistry—a considerable fortune and social connections with the likes of Benjamin Franklin—also caused his glory to be cut short by the French Revolution.

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"Fresh…solid…full of suspense and intrigue." —Publishers Weekly


Antoine Lavoisier reinvented chemistry, overthrowing the long-established principles of alchemy and inventing an entirely new terminology, one still in use by chemists. Madison Smartt Bell’s enthralling narrative reads like a race to the finish line, as the very circumstances that enabled Lavoisier to secure his reputation as the father of modern chemistry—a considerable fortune and social connections with the likes of Benjamin Franklin—also caused his glory to be cut short by...
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The Road to Unfreedom: Russia, Europe, America cover
Book Review

From the author of On Tyranny comes a stunning new chronicle of the rise of authoritarianism from Russia to Europe and America.

With the end of the Cold War, the victory of liberal democracy seemed final. Observers declared the end of history, confident in a peaceful, globalized future. This faith was misplaced. Authoritarianism returned to Russia, as Putin found fascist ideas that could be used to justify rule by the wealthy. In the 2010s, it has spread from east to west, aided by Russian warfare in Ukraine and cyberwar in Europe and the United States. 

Russia found allies among nationalists, oligarchs, and radicals everywhere, and its drive to dissolve Western institutions, states, and values found resonance within the West itself.  The rise of populism, the British vote against the EU, and the election of Donald Trump were all Russian goals, but their achievement reveals the vulnerability of Western societies.

In this forceful and unsparing work of contemporary history, based on vast research as well as personal reporting, Snyder goes beyond the headlines to expose the true nature of the threat to democracy and law. To understand the ...
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In Great Spirits: Archie Barwick's WWI Diary - from Gallipoli to the Western Front and Home Again cover
Book Review

An Aussie soldier's diary of the first World War - by turns compelling, illuminating, funny, touching and sad - and absolutely unputdownable.

Archie Albert Barwick was an enthusiastic young 24 year old when he joined the First AIF in late August 1914 - his service number was 914. When he learnt that he'd been accepted into the army, he was so happy he turned two somersaults for pure joy. this is his diary, that he kept throughout the war - from Cairo to Gallipoli, from Marseilles through to the terrible winter of 1916 in the Somme, from Ypres to Pozieres. He was wounded three times and sent back to the fighting, before finally travelling back home in December 1918. this diary is simply a treasure - vivid, alive, compelling. His description of the war is by turns down-to-earth, horrifying, illuminating, funny, touching and terribly sad. Yet his voice and personality shine through. In his diary, Archie describes someone as being 'merry & bright & never downhearted' and this could be a description of Archie himself. Readable, spirited and humming with life, In Great Spirits is a unique and incredibly moving tribute to the Australian character and the ANZAC spiri...
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American Heritage History of the American Revolution cover
Book Review

"A magnificent book. . . . Bruce Lancaster's text is terse, rapid, lucid, and dramatic . . . filled with the color and excitement of a grim and bloody war." – The New York Times

The American Heritage History of the American Revolution is the complete chronicle of the Revolutionary War told in full detail.

Lancaster starts his story with an examination of colonial society and the origins of the quarrel with England. He details the ensuing battles and military campaigns from Lexington and Concord to the surrender of Lord Cornwallis at Yorktown, as well as the tense political and social situation of the new nation.

The American Heritage History of the American Revolution details the birth of America with insight and depth....
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Countdown to Zero Day: Stuxnet and the Launch of the World's First Digital Weapon cover
Book Review

Top cybersecurity journalist Kim Zetter tells the story behind the virus that sabotaged Iran’s nuclear efforts and shows how its existence has ushered in a new age of warfare—one in which a digital attack can have the same destructive capability as a megaton bomb.
 
In January 2010, inspectors with the International Atomic Energy Agency noticed that centrifuges at an Iranian uranium enrichment plant were failing at an unprecedented rate. The cause was a complete mystery—apparently as much to the technicians replacing the centrifuges as to the inspectors observing them.
 
Then, five months later, a seemingly unrelated event occurred: A computer security firm in Belarus was called in to troubleshoot some computers in Iran that were crashing and rebooting repeatedly.
 
 At first, the firm’s programmers believed the malicious code on the machines was a simple, routine piece of malware. But as they and other experts around the world investigated, they discovered a mysterious virus of unparalleled complexity.
 
They had, they soon learned, stumbled upon the world’s first digital weapon. For Stuxnet, as it came to be known...
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Absolute Madness: A True Story of a Serial Killer, Race, and a City Divided cover
Book Review

Absolute Madness tells the disturbing true story of Joseph Christopher, a white serial killer who targeted black males and struck fear into the residents of New York in the 1980s. Dubbed both the 22-Caliber Killer and the Midtown Slasher, Christopher allegedly claimed eighteen victims during a savage four-month spree across the state.

The investigation, aided by famed FBI profiler John Douglas, drew national attention and biting criticism from Jesse Jackson and other civil rights leaders. The killer, when at last he was unmasked, seemed an unlikely candidate to have held New York in a grip of terror.

His capture was neither the end of the story nor the end of the racial strife, which flared anew during circuitous prosecutions and judicial rulings that prompted cries of a double standard in the justice system. Both a wrenching true crime story and an incisive portrait of dangerously discordant race relations in America, Absolute Madness also chronicles a lonely, vulnerable man’s tragic descent into madness and the failure of the American mental health system that refused his pleas for help.
...
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Trials of the Earth: The True Story of a Pioneer Woman cover
Book Review

The astonishing first-person account of Mississippi pioneer woman struggling to survive, protect her family and make a home in the early American South

Near the end of her life, Mary Mann Hamilton (1866 - c.1936) began recording her experiences in the backwoods of the Mississippi Delta. The result is this astonishing first-person account of a pioneer woman who braved grueling work, profound tragedy, and a pitiless wilderness (she and her family faced floods, tornadoes, fires, bears, panthers, and snakes) to protect her home in the early American South.

An early draft of Trials of the Earth was submitted to a writers' competition sponsored by Little, Brown in 1933. It didn't win, and we almost lost the chance to bring this raw, vivid narrative to readers. Eighty-three years later, in partnership with Mary Mann Hamilton's descendants, we're proud to share this irreplaceable piece of American history. Written in spare, rich prose, Trials of the Earth is a precious record of one woman's extraordinary endurance and courage that will resonate with readers of history and fiction alike....
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5 Steps to a 5: AP U.S. History 2018, Edition (McGraw-Hill 5 Steps to A 5) cover
Book Review

Get ready to ace your AP U.S. History Exam with this easy-to-follow, multi-platform study guide

5 Steps to a 5: AP U.S. History introduces an easy to follow, effective 5-step study plan to help you build the skills, knowledge, and test-taking confidence you need to achieve a high score on the exam. This wildly popular test prep guide matches the latest course syllabus and the latest exam. You'll get online help, six full-length practice tests (three in the book and three online), detailed answers to each question, study tips, information on how the exam is scores, and much more.

Because this guide is accessible in print and digital formats, you can study online, via your mobile device, straight from the book, or any combination of the three.

5 Steps to a 5: AP U.S. History 2018 features:

• New: Access to the entire Cross-Platform Prep Course in U.S. History
• 6 Practice Exams (3 in the book + 3 online)
• An interactive, customizable AP Planner app to help you organize your time
• Powerful analytics you can use to assess your test readiness
• Flashcards, games, and more
 

...
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K2: Life and Death on the World's Most Dangerous Mountain cover
Book Review

A thrilling chronicle of the tragedy-ridden history of climbing the world's most difficult and unpredictable mountain, by the bestselling authors of The Mountain and No Shortcuts to the Top

Ed Viesturs, one of the world's premier high-altitude mountaineers, explores the remarkable history of K2 and of those who have attempted to conquer it. At the same time, he probes the mountain's most memorable sagas in order to illustrate lessons about the fundamental questions mountaineering raisesquestions of risk, ambition, loyalty to one's teammates, self-sacrifice, and the price of glory. Viesturs knows the mountain firsthand. He and renowned alpinist Scott Fischer climbed it in 1992 and got caught in an avalanche that sent them sliding to almost certain death before Ed managed to get into a self-arrest position with his ice ax and stop both his fall and Scott's.

Focusing on seven of the mountain's most dramatic campaigns, from his own troubled ascent to the 2008 tragedy, Viesturs crafts an edge-of-your-seat narrative that climbers and armchair travelers alike will find unforgettably compelling. With photographs from Vie...
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Philomena: A Mother, Her Son, and a Fifty-Year Search (Movie Tie-In) cover
Book Review

New York Times Bestseller

The heartbreaking true story of an Irishwoman and the secret she kept for 50 years

When she became pregnant as a teenager in Ireland in 1952, Philomena Lee was sent to a convent to be looked after as a “fallen woman.” Then the nuns took her baby from her and sold him, like thousands of others, to America for adoption. Fifty years later, Philomena decided to find him.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the Atlantic, Philomena’s son was trying to find her. Renamed Michael Hess, he had become a leading lawyer in the first Bush administration, and he struggled to hide secrets that would jeopardize his career in the Republican Party and endanger his quest to find his mother.

A gripping exposé told with novelistic intrigue, Philomena pulls back the curtain on the role of the Catholic Church in forced adoptions and on the love between a mother and son who endured a lifelong separation.

Product Description

New York Times Bestseller

The heartbreaking true story of an Irishwoman and the secret she kept for 50 years

When she became pre...
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Five Days in London, May 1940 cover
Book Review

The days from May 24 to May 28, 1940 altered the course of the history of this century, as the members of the British War Cabinet debated whether to negotiate with Hitler or to continue the war. The decisive importance of these five days is the focus of John Lukacs's magisterial new book.Lukacs takes us hour by hour into the critical unfolding of events at 10 Downing Street, where Churchill and the members of his cabinet were painfully considering their war responsibilities. We see how the military disasters taking place on the Continent -- particularly the plight of the nearly 400,000 British soldiers bottled up in Dunkirk -- affected Churchill's fragile political situation, for he had been prime minister only a fortnight and was regarded as impetuous and hotheaded even by many of his own party. Lukacs also investigates the mood of the British people, drawing on newspaper and Mass-Observation reports that show how the citizenry, though only partly informed about the dangers that faced them, nevertheless began to support Churchill's determination to stand fast.

Amazon.com Review

In his six-volume history of World War II, Winston Churchill deemed the year 1942 as "th...
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The Last Wild Men of Borneo: A True Story of Death and Treasure cover
Book Review

“Adventure travel at its best.” —Kirkus, starred review • “Haunting.” —Booklist, starred review • "Quite a story–exciting, funny, and tragic–and Hoffman tells it extraordinarily well.” —Washington Post

Two modern adventurers sought a treasure possessed by the legendary “Wild Men of Borneo.” One found riches. The other vanished forever into an endless jungle. Had he shed civilization—or lost his mind? Global headlines suspected murder. Lured by these mysteries, New York Times bestselling author Carl Hoffman journeyed to find the truth, discovering that nothing is as it seems in the world’s last Eden, where the lines between sinner and saint blur into one.

In 1984, Swiss traveler Bruno Manser joined an expedition to the Mulu caves on Borneo, the planet’s third largest island. There he slipped into the forest interior to make contact with the Penan, an indigenous tribe of peace-loving nomads living among the Dayak people, the fabled “Headhunters of Borneo.” Bruno lived for years with the Penan, gaining acceptance as a member of the tribe. However, when commercial logging began devouring the P...
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The Pursuit of Power: Europe 1815-1914 (The Penguin History of Europe) cover
Book Review

An Economist Best Book of the Year

“Sweeping . . . an ambitious synthesis . . . [Evans] writes with admirable narrative power and possesses a wonderful eye for local color . . . Fascinating.”—Stephen Schuker, The Wall Street Journal

From the bestselling author of The Third Reich at War, a masterly account of Europe in the age of its global hegemony; the latest volume in the Penguin History of Europe series

Richard J. Evans, bestselling historian of Nazi Germany, returns with a monumental new addition to the acclaimed Penguin History of Europe series, covering the period from the fall of Napoleon to the outbreak of World War I. Evans’s gripping narrative ranges across a century of social and national conflicts, from the revolutions of 1830 and 1848 to the unification of both Germany and Italy, from the Russo-Turkish wars to the Balkan upheavals that brought this era of relative peace and growing prosperity to an end. Among the great themes it discusses are the decline of religious belief and the rise of secular science and medicine, the journey of art, music, and literature from Romanticism to Modernism, the rep...
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The Consequences of Ideas: Understanding the Concepts that Shaped Our World cover
Book Review

Sproul's survey of the ongoing impact of history's most influential philosophies urges readers to take prevailing cultural mind-sets seriously… because ideas do have consequences.

The greatest thinkers of all time are impacting us still. From public-policy decisions and current laws to world events, theology, the arts, education, and even conversations between friends, history's most influential philosophies have wrought massive consequences on nearly everything we see, think, and do.

Thus it is critical for Christians to understand the ideas that are shaping them. The greater their familiarity with the streams of thought that have saturated Western culture through the ages, the greater their ability to influence this culture for Christ.

With The Consequences of Ideas, now in paperback, R. C. Sproul expertly leads the way for thoughtful readers. Tracing the contours of Western philosophy from the ancients to the molders of modern and postmodern thought-including Plato, Aquinas, Descartes, Kant, and Freud-Sproul proves that ideas are not just passing fads; they endure for generations to come and demand our serious attention...
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The Ruin of the Roman Empire: A New History cover
Book Review

The dream Alexander the Great and Julius Caesar shared of uniting Europe, the Medi-terranean, and the Middle East in a single community shuddered and then collapsed in the wars and disasters of the sixth century. Historian and classicist James J. O'Donnell—who last brought readers his masterful, disturbing, and revelatory biography of Saint Augustine—revisits this old story in a fresh way, bringing home its sometimes painful relevance to today's issues.

With unexpected detail and in his hauntingly vivid style, O'Donnell begins at a time of apparent Roman revival and brings readers to the moment of imminent collapse that just preceded the rise of Islam. Illegal migrations of peoples, religious wars, global pandemics, and the temptations of empire: Rome's end foreshadows today's crises and offers hints how to navigate them—if present leaders will heed this story.

...
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The Cabaret of Plants: Forty Thousand Years of Plant Life and the Human Imagination cover
Book Review

"Highly entertaining…Mabey gets us to look at life from the plants’ point of view." —Constance Casey, New York Times


The Cabaret of Plants is a masterful, globe-trotting exploration of the relationship between humans and the kingdom of plants by the renowned naturalist Richard Mabey.


A rich, sweeping, and wonderfully readable work of botanical history, The Cabaret of Plants explores dozens of plant species that for millennia have challenged our imaginations, awoken our wonder, and upturned our ideas about history, science, beauty, and belief. Going back to the beginnings of human history, Mabey shows how flowers, trees, and plants have been central to human experience not just as sources of food and medicine but as objects of worship, actors in creation myths, and symbols of war and peace, life and death.


Writing in a celebrated style that the Economist calls “delightful and casually learned,” Mabey takes readers from the Himalayas to Madagascar to the Amazon to our own backyards. He ranges through the work of writers, artists, and scientists such as da Vinci, Keats, Darwin, and van Gogh and across ...
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No Turning Back: Life, Loss, and Hope in Wartime Syria cover
Book Review

This astonishing book by the prize-winning journalist Rania Abouzeid tells the tragedy of the Syrian War through the dramatic stories of four young people seeking safety and freedom in a shattered country.

Extending back to the first demonstrations of 2011, No Turning Back dissects the tangle of ideologies and allegiances that make up the Syrian conflict. As protests ignited in Daraa, some citizens were brimming with a sense of possibility. A privileged young man named Suleiman posted videos of the protests online, full of hope for justice and democracy. A father of two named Mohammad, secretly radicalized and newly released from prison, saw a darker opportunity in the unrest. When violence broke out in Homs, a poet named Abu Azzam became an unlikely commander in a Free Syrian Army militia. The regime’s brutal response disrupted a family in Idlib province, where a nine-year-old girl opened the door to a military raid that caused her father to flee. As the bombings increased and roads grew more dangerous, these people’s lives intertwined in unexpected ways.

Rania Abouzeid brings readers deep inside Assad’s prisons, to covert meetings...
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Our America: A Hispanic History of the United States cover
Book Review

“A rich and moving chronicle for our very present.” —Julio Ortega, New York Times Book Review


The United States is still typically conceived of as an offshoot of England, with our history unfolding east to west beginning with the first English settlers in Jamestown. This view overlooks the significance of America’s Hispanic past. With the profile of the United States increasingly Hispanic, the importance of recovering the Hispanic dimension to our national story has never been greater.


This absorbing narrative begins with the explorers and conquistadores who planted Spain’s first colonies in Puerto Rico, Florida, and the Southwest. Missionaries and rancheros carry Spain’s expansive impulse into the late eighteenth century, settling California, mapping the American interior to the Rockies, and charting the Pacific coast. During the nineteenth century Anglo-America expands west under the banner of “Manifest Destiny” and consolidates control through war with Mexico. In the Hispanic resurgence that follows, it is the peoples of Latin America who overspread the continent, from the Hispanic heartland in the West to major cities such as Chicago...
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The Last Ridge: The Epic Story of America's First Mountain Soldiers and the Assault on Hitler's Europe cover
Book Review

When World War II broke out in Europe, the American army had no specialized division of mountain soldiers. But in the winter of 1939–40, after a tiny band of Finnish mountain troops brought the invading Soviet army to its knees, an amateur skier named Charles Minot “Minnie” Dole convinced the United States Army to let him recruit an extraordinary assortment of European expatriates, wealthy ski bums, mountaineers, and thrill-seekers and form them into a unique band of Alpine soldiers. These men endured nearly three years of grueling training in the Colorado Rockies and in the process set new standards for both soldiering and mountaineering. The newly forged 10th Mountain Division finally faced combat in the winter of 1945, in Italy’s Apennine Mountains, against the seemingly unbreakable German fortifications north of the Gothic Line. There, they planned and executed what is still regarded as the most daring series of nighttime mountain attacks in U.S. military history, taking Mount Belvedere and the sheer, treacherous face of Riva Ridge to smash the linchpin of the German army’s lines.

Drawing on unique cooperation from veterans of the 10th Mountain Division and ...
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Five Came Back: A Story of Hollywood and the Second World War cover
Book Review

Now a Netflix original documentary series, also written by Mark Harris, premiering on March 31,2017: the extraordinary wartime experience of five of Hollywood's most important directors, all of whom put their stamp on World War II and were changed by it forever 

Here is the remarkable, untold story of how five major Hollywood directors—John Ford, George Stevens, John Huston, William Wyler, and Frank Capra—changed World War II, and how, in turn, the war changed them. In a move unheard of at the time, the U.S. government farmed out its war propaganda effort to Hollywood, allowing these directors the freedom to film in combat zones as never before. They were on the scene at almost every major moment of America’s war, shaping the public’s collective consciousness of what we’ve now come to call the good fight. The product of five years of scrupulous archival research, Five Came Back provides a revelatory new understanding of Hollywood’s role in the war through the life and work of these five men who chose to go, and who came back.


“Five Came Back 
. . . is one of the great works of film history of the decade.” --Slate...
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Israel Journal: June, 1967 cover
Book Review

An honest and stark account of life on the battlefield during the Six-Day War 

When the historic Six-Day War breaks out in June 1967, Yaël Dayan finds herself on the front lines in the Sinai desert, fighting for her country. Dayan, a journalist, an author, and the daughter of the renowned Israeli general Moshe Dayan, a key military leader in Israel’s War of Independence two decades earlier, offers a female soldier’s unique perspective and observations on life during active combat.
 
Dayan’s wartime journal entries chronicle her time spent in the desert campaign under the command of the legendary Arik Sharon, the battle against Egyptian forces, and the indelible effect these experiences had on her as both a soldier and a woman. As the author so aptly remarks in her diary, “Nothing will be the same now. I have looked at cessation of life, destruction of matter, sorrow of destroyers, agony of the victorious, and it had to leave a mark.”
 
With raw truth and intensity, these snapshots capture the hardships of battle, the mournfulness of loss, and the harshness of war.
...
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The Russian Five: A Story of Espionage, Defection, Bribery and Courage cover
Book Review

When the Detroit Red Wings were rebooting their franchise after more than two decades of relative futility, they knew the best place to find world-class players who could help turn things around more quickly were conscripted servants behind the Iron Curtain.

All they had to do then was make history by drafting them, then figure out how to get them out. That’s when the Wings turned to Keith Gave, the newsman whose clandestine mission to Helsinki, Finland, was the first phase of a of a years-long series of secret meetings from posh hotel rooms to remote forests around Europe to orchestrate their unlawful departures from the Soviet Union.

One defection created an international incident and made global headlines. Another player faked cancer, thanks to the Wings’ extravagant bribes to Russian doctors, including a big American car. Another player who wasn’t quite ready to leave yet felt like he was being kidnapped by an unscrupulous agent. Two others were outcast when they stood up publicly against the Soviet regime, winning their freedom to play in the NHL only after years of struggle.

They are the Russian Five: Sergei Fedorov, Viacheslav Fet...
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Facing Unpleasant Facts: Narrative Essays cover
Book Review

Essays by the author of 1984 on topics from “remembrances of working in a bookshop [to] recollections of fighting in the Spanish Civil War” (Publishers Weekly).
 
George Orwell was first and foremost an essayist, producing throughout his life an extraordinary array of short nonfiction that reflected—and illuminated—the fraught times in which he lived. “As soon as he began to write something,” comments George Packer in his foreword, “it was as natural for Orwell to propose, generalize, qualify, argue, judge—in short, to think—as it was for Yeats to versify or Dickens to invent.”
 
Facing Unpleasant Facts charts Orwell’s development as a master of the narrative-essay form and unites such classics as “Shooting an Elephant” with lesser-known journalism and passages from his wartime diary. Whether detailing the horrors of Orwell’s boyhood in an English boarding school or bringing to life the sights, sounds, and smells of the Spanish Civil War, these essays weave together the personal and the political in an unmistakable style that is at once plainspoken and brilliantly complex.
 
“Best known for his late-career...
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The Peabody Sisters: Three Women Who Ignited American Romanticism cover
Book Review

Pulitzer Prize Finalist: “A stunning work of biography” about three little-known New England women who made intellectual history (The New York Times).

Elizabeth, Mary, and Sophia Peabody were in many ways the American Brontës. The story of these remarkable sisters—and their central role in shaping the thinking of their day—has never before been fully told. Twenty years in the making, Megan Marshall’s monumental biography brings the era of creative ferment known as American Romanticism to new life.
 
Elizabeth Peabody, the oldest sister, was a mind-on-fire influence on the great writers of the era—Emerson, Hawthorne, and Thoreau among them—who also published some of their earliest works; it was she who prodded these newly minted Transcendentalists away from Emerson’s individualism and toward a greater connection to others. Middle sister Mary Peabody was a passionate reformer who finally found her soul mate in the great educator Horace Mann. And the frail Sophia, an admired painter among the preeminent society artists of the day, married Nathaniel Hawthorne—but not before Hawthorne threw the delicate dynamics among the sisters into ...
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Churchill Warrior: How a Military Life Guided Winston's Finest Hours cover
Book Review

On a typical day during the Second World War, Winston Churchill, as Prime Minister and Minister of Defense, issued numerous memos to the ministers and service commanders on different subjects, on both the grand strategy and the detail of the war effort. It was not just his work rate and his self-confidence which allowed him to do this. He had a unique and intimate inside knowledge of all three services which allowed him to assess their real needs – a crucial task when money, material resources, and especially manpower, were reaching their limits. No defense minister in modern times has faced such severe problems. No-one else has ever been able to balance the needs of the services in such a way – most of them came from outside with little service experience, while for those trained inside one service, it is almost impossible to gain inside knowledge at a lower level without a bias in favor of one service or another. But Churchill’s knowledge of the three services was almost perfectly balanced by his experiences since he first joined the army in 1896. He made his share of mistakes as a war leader, but this unique balance served him, his cause and his country...
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All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation cover
Book Review

* NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOKS OF 2016 SELECTION * BEST BOOKS OF 2016 SELECTION BY THE BOSTON GLOBE * ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY * NPR * CHICAGO PUBLIC LIBRARY *

The New York Times bestselling investigation into the sexual, economic, and emotional lives of women is “an informative and thought-provoking book for anyone—not just the single ladies—who want to gain a greater understanding of this pivotal moment in the history of the United States” (The New York Times Book Review).

In 2009, award-winning journalist Rebecca Traister started All the Single Ladies about the twenty-first century phenomenon of the American single woman. It was the year the proportion of American women who were married dropped below fifty percent; and the median age of first marriages, which had remained between twenty and twenty-two years old for nearly a century (1890–1980), had risen dramatically to twenty-seven.

But over the course of her vast research and more than a hundred interviews with academics and social scientists and prominent single women, Traister discovered a startling truth: the phenomenon of the single woman in Ameri...
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The Little Book of Feminist Saints cover
Book Review

This inspiring, beautifully illustrated collection honors one hundred exceptional women throughout history and around the world.
 
A Stylist Must-read Book of 2018

In this luminous volume, New York Times bestselling writer Julia Pierpont and artist Manjit Thapp match short, vibrant, and surprising biographies with stunning full-color portraits of secular female “saints”: champions of strength and progress. These women broke ground, broke ceilings, and broke molds—including
 
Maya Angelou • Jane Austen • Ruby Bridges • Rachel Carson • Shirley Chisholm • Marie Curie & Irène Joliot Curie • Isadora Duncan • Amelia Earhart • Artemisia Gentileschi • Grace Hopper • Dolores Huerta • Frida Kahlo • Billie Jean King • Audre Lorde • Wilma Mankiller • Toni Morrison • Michelle Obama • Sandra Day O’Connor • Sally Ride • Eleanor Roosevelt • Margaret Sanger • Sappho • Nina Simone • Gloria Steinem • Kanno Sugako • Harriet Tubman • Mae West • Virginia Woolf • Malala Yousafzai
 
Open to any page and find daily inspiration and lasting delight.
 
Praise for The Little Book of Feminist Saints

“An enticing coll...
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Swansong 1945: A Collective Diary of the Last Days of the Third Reich cover
Book Review

A monumental work of history that captures the last days of the Third Reich as never before.


Swansong 1945 chronicles the end of Nazi Germany through more than 1,000 extracts from letters, diaries, and autobiographical accounts, written by civilians and soldiers alike. Together, they present a panoramic view of four tumultuous days that fateful spring: Hitler’s birthday on April 20, American and Soviet troops meeting at the Elbe on April 25, Hitler’s suicide on April 30, and the German surrender on May 8. An extraordinary account of suffering and survival, Swansong 1945 brings to vivid life the end of World War II in Europe.

...
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Cutthroats: The Adventures of a Sherman Tank Driver in the Pacific cover
Book Review

Soon after we landed it became apparent that there was more than enough artillery here, that the enemy were excellent shots, and that their ammo supply seemed to be endless.

With the Japanese deeply entrenched and determined to die rather than surrender, Robert Dick and his fellow soldiers quickly realized that theirs would be a war fought inch by bloody inch–and that their Sherman tanks would serve front and center. As driver, Dick had to maneuver his five-man crew in and out of dangerous and often deadly situations.

Whether crawling up beaches, bogged down in the mud-soaked Leyte jungle, or exposed in the treacherous valleys of Okinawa, the Sherman was a favorite target. A land mine could blow off the tracks, leaving its crew marooned and helpless, and the nightmare of swarms of Japanese armed with satchel charges was all too real. But there was a war to be won, and Americans like Robert Dick did their jobs without fanfare, and without glory. This gripping account of tanker combat is a ringing testament to the awe-inspiring bravery of ordinary Americans.


From the Paperback edition.

Product Description

Soon after we la...
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Belle: The Slave Daughter and the Lord Chief Justice cover
Book Review

From acclaimed biographer Paula Byrne, the sensational true tale that inspired the major motion picture Belle (May 2014) starring Tom Wilkinson, Miranda Richardson, Emily Watson, Penelope Wilton, and Matthew Goode—a stunning story of the first mixed-race girl introduced to high society England and raised as a lady.  

The illegitimate daughter of a captain in the Royal Navy and an enslaved African woman, Dido Belle was sent to live with her great-uncle, the Earl of Mansfield, one of the most powerful men of the time and a leading opponent of slavery. Growing up in his lavish estate, Dido was raised as a sister and companion to her white cousin, Elizabeth. When a joint portrait of the girls, commissioned by Mansfield, was unveiled, eighteenth-century England was shocked to see a black woman and white woman depicted as equals. Inspired by the painting, Belle vividly brings to life this extraordinary woman caught between two worlds, and illuminates the great civil rights question of her age: the fight to end slavery.

Belle includes 20 pages of black-and-white photos.

...
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My Life on the Road cover
Book Review

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Gloria Steinem—writer, activist, organizer, and inspiring leader—tells a story she has never told before, a candid account of her life as a traveler, a listener, and a catalyst for change.

ONE OF O: THE OPRAH MAGAZINE’S TEN FAVORITE BOOKS OF THE YEAR | NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY Harper’s Bazaar • St. Louis Post-Dispatch • Publishers Weekly

When people ask me why I still have hope and energy after all these years, I always say: Because I travel. Taking to the road—by which I mean letting the road take you—changed who I thought I was. The road is messy in the way that real life is messy. It leads us out of denial and into reality, out of theory and into practice, out of caution and into action, out of statistics and into stories—in short, out of our heads and into our hearts.

Gloria Steinem had an itinerant childhood. When she was a young girl, her father would pack the family in the car every fall and drive across country searching for adventure and trying to make a living. The seeds were planted: Gloria realized that growing up didn’...
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Astral Weeks: A Secret History of 1968 cover
Book Review

A mind-expanding dive into a lost chapter of 1968, featuring the famous and forgotten: Van Morrison, folkie-turned-cult-leader Mel Lyman, Timothy Leary, James Brown, and many more

Van Morrison's Astral Weeks is an iconic rock album shrouded in legend, a masterpiece that has touched generations of listeners and influenced everyone from Bruce Springsteen to Martin Scorsese. In his first book, acclaimed musician and journalist Ryan H. Walsh unearths the album's fascinating backstory--along with the untold secrets of the time and place that birthed it: Boston 1968.

On the 50th anniversary of that tumultuous year, Walsh's book follows a criss-crossing cast of musicians and visionaries, artists and hippie entrepreneurs, from a young Tufts English professor who walks into a job as a host for TV's wildest show (one episode required two sets, each tuned to a different channel) to the mystically inclined owner of radio station WBCN, who believed he was the reincarnation of a scientist from Atlantis. Most penetratingly powerful of all is Mel Lyman, the folk-music star who decided he was God, then controlled the lives of his many followers via acid,...
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The Return of Marco Polo's World: War, Strategy, and American Interests in the Twenty-First Century cover
Book Review

A bracing assessment of US foreign policy over the past two decades, anchored by a major new essay commissioned by the Pentagon about changing power dynamics among China, Eurasia, and America - from the best-selling author of The Revenge of Geography.

Drawing on decades of firsthand experience as a foreign correspondent and military embed for The Atlantic and deep reading that ranges from the lessons of Thucydides and Sun Tzu to contemporary outcomes in the Middle East, Robert D. Kaplan makes a powerful case for what timeless principles and factors should shape America's role in the world: a respect for the limits of Western-style democracy, a delineation between American interests versus American values, an awareness of the psychological toll of warfare, a projection of military power via a strong navy, and much more.

In a series of vivid and clear-eyed assessments, renowned foreign policy analyst Kaplan describes an increasingly unstable world - and how American strategy should adapt accordingly.

...
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Being Wrong: Adventures in the Margin of Error cover
Book Review

“Both wise and clever, full of fun and surprise about a topic so central to our lives that we almost never even think about it.”
—Bill McKibben, author of Earth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet

In the tradition of The Wisdom of Crowds and Predictably Irrational comes Being Wrong, an illuminating exploration of what it means to be in error, and why homo sapiens tend to tacitly assume (or loudly insist) that they are right about most everything. Kathryn Schulz, editor of Grist magazine, argues that ...
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The People vs. Democracy: Why Our Freedom Is in Danger and How to Save It cover
Book Review

The world is in turmoil. From India to Turkey and from Poland to the United States, authoritarian populists have seized power. As a result, Yascha Mounk shows, democracy itself may now be at risk.

Two core components of liberal democracy―individual rights and the popular will―are increasingly at war with each other. As the role of money in politics soared and important issues were taken out of public contestation, a system of “rights without democracy” took hold. Populists who rail against this say they want to return power to the people. But in practice they create something just as bad: a system of “democracy without rights.”

The consequence, Mounk shows in The People vs. Democracy, is that trust in politics is dwindling. Citizens are falling out of love with their political system. Democracy is wilting away. Drawing on vivid stories and original research, Mounk identifies three key drivers of voters’ discontent: stagnating living standards, fears of multiethnic democracy, and the rise of social media. To reverse the trend, politicians need to enact radical reforms that benefit the many, not the few.

The People vs. Democracy is the firs...
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Ashley's War: The Untold Story of a Team of Women Soldiers on the Special Ops Battlefield cover
Book Review

In 2010, the Army created Cultural Support Teams, a secret pilot program to insert women alongside Special Operations soldiers battling in Afghanistan. The Army reasoned that women could play a unique role on Special Ops teams: accompanying their male colleagues on raids and, while those soldiers were searching for insurgents, questioning the mothers, sisters, daughters and wives living at the compound. Their presence had a calming effect on enemy households, but more importantly, the CSTs were able to search adult women for weapons and gather crucial intelligence. They could build relationships—woman to woman—in ways that male soldiers in an Islamic country never could.

In Ashley's War, Gayle Tzemach Lemmon uses on-the-ground reporting and a finely tuned understanding of the complexities of war to tell the story of CST-2, a unit of women hand-picked from the Army to serve in this highly specialized and challenging role. The pioneers of CST-2 proved for the first time, at least to some grizzled Special Operations soldiers, that women might be physically and mentally tough enough to become one of them.

The price of this professional acceptan...
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I'm Not From Around Here: A Jewish Boy Telling the Historical Story of his Family's Holocaust Survival in WW2 (Biographical Fiction Based on a Memoir) cover
Book Review

What could have led to an encounter between such an unsuitable couple as my parents?

This book is a fascinating life diary, in which reality surpasses all imagination. It takes place against the backdrop of the Holocaust, the fate of the refugees at the end of the war, and the rebirth of the new Israel.

The heroes of the plot are unusual, an antithesis of the weak and submissive Jew, sweeping the reader into a whirlwind of events and countless breathtaking adventures.

How does a weak and very naive girl survive for three years in a deadly forced labor camp where others could not survive for more than a few months?

Lola, the mother, whom we encounter as an innocent girl, sweeps the reader close to the hell of the monstrous and notorious labor camp, Ludwigsdorf.

How does an “antithesis Jew” look to the submissive Jew?

Staszek, the father, a street fighter and a tough and hard-working man from Warsaw, is hot-tempered, cunning, and daring. His gypsy appearance and colorful figure lead many women to fall easily into his arms.

What does a spoiled "mother's son" and "father's daughter" feel when they see their f...
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Dancing Bears: True Stories of People Nostalgic for Life Under Tyranny cover
Book Review

“Mixing bold journalism with bolder allegories, Mr. Szabłowski teaches us with witty persistence that we must desire freedom rather than simply expect it.” —Timothy Snyder, New York Times bestselling author of On Tyranny

An award-winning journalist’s incisive, humorous, and heartbreaking account of people in formerly Communist countries holding fast to their former lives

 
For hundreds of years, Bulgarian Gypsies trained bears to dance, welcoming them into their families and taking them on the road to perform. In the early 2000s, with the fall of Communism, they were forced to release the bears into a wildlife refuge. But even today, whenever the bears see a human, they still get up on their hind legs to dance.
 
In the tradition of Ryszard Kapuściński, award-winning Polish journalist Witold Szabłowski uncovers remarkable stories of people throughout Eastern Europe and in Cuba who, like Bulgaria’s dancing bears, are now free but who seem nostalgic for the time when they were not. His on-the-ground reporting—of smuggling a car into Ukraine, hitchhiking through Kosovo as it declares independence, arguing with Stalin-...
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Spying on the Bomb: American Nuclear Intelligence from Nazi Germany to Iran and North Korea cover
Book Review

Spying on the Bomb is an "engrossing" (Wall Street Journal) global history of the American-led effort to spy on every nation with nuclear ambitions.


A global history of U.S. nuclear espionage from its World War II origins to twenty-first century threats from rogue states. For more than sixty years, the United States has monitored friends and foes who seek to develop the ultimate weapon. Since 1952 the nuclear club has grown to at least nine nations, while others are making serious attempts to join.


Each chapter of Spying on the Bomb chronologically focuses on the nuclear activities of one or more countries, intermingling what the United States believed was happening with accounts of what actually occurred in each country's laboratories, test sites, and decision-making councils. Jeffrey T. Richelson weaves recently declassified documents into his interviews with the scientists and spies involved in the nuclear espionage.


Spying on the Bomb reveals new information about U.S. intelligence work on the Soviet/Russian, French, Chinese, Indian, Israeli, and South African nuclear programs; on the attempts t...
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The Return of Marco Polo's World: War, Strategy, and American Interests in the Twenty-first Century cover
Book Review

A bracing assessment of U.S. foreign policy and world disorder over the past two decades, anchored by a major new Pentagon-commissioned essay about changing power dynamics among China, Eurasia, and America—from the renowned geopolitical analyst and bestselling author of The Revenge of Geography and The Coming Anarchy.

In the late thirteenth century, Marco Polo began a decades-long trek from Venice to China. The strength of that Silk Road—the trade route between Europe and Asia—was a foundation of Kublai Khan’s sprawling empire. Now, in the early twenty-first century, the Chinese regime has proposed a land-and-maritime Silk Road that duplicates exactly the route Marco Polo traveled.

In the major lead essay, recently released by the Pentagon’s Office of Net Assessment, Robert D. Kaplan lays out a blueprint of the world’s changing power politics that recalls the late thirteenth century. As Europe fractures from changes in culture and migration, Eurasia coheres into a single conflict system. China is constructing a land bridge to Europe. Iran and India are trying to link the oil fields of Central Asia to the Indian Ocean. America’s ability ...
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The Only Thing Worth Dying For: How Eleven Green Berets Fought for a New Afghanistan (P.S.) cover
Book Review

Eric Blehm, author of the award-winning The Last Season, is back with another true adventure story, The Only Thing Worth Dying For. Set in the immediate aftermath of 9/11, The Only Thing Worth Dying For chronicles the untold story of the team of Green Berets led by Captain Jason Amerine that conquered the Taliban and helped bring Hamid Karzai to power in Afghanistan. In the tradition of Black Hawk Down, The Only Thing Worth Dying For is, in the words of former Congressman Charlie Wilson (from Charlie Wilson's War), "the one book you must read if you have any hope of understanding what our fine American soldiers are up against in Afghanistan."

...
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Killing Hitler: The Plots, the Assassins, and the Dictator Who Cheated Death cover
Book Review

For the first time in one enthralling book, here is the incredible true story of the numerous attempts to assassinate Adolf Hitler and change the course of history.

Disraeli once declared that “assassination never changed anything,” and yet the idea that World War II and the horrors of the Holocaust might have been averted with a single bullet or bomb has remained a tantalizing one for half a century. What historian Roger Moorhouse reveals in Killing Hitler is just how close–and how often–history came to taking a radically different path between Adolf Hitler’s rise to power and his ignominious suicide.

Few leaders, in any century, can have been the target of so many assassination attempts, with such momentous consequences in the balance. Hitler’s almost fifty would-be assassins ranged from simple craftsmen to high-ranking soldiers, from the apolitical to the ideologically obsessed, from Polish Resistance fighters to patriotic Wehrmacht officers, and from enemy agents to his closest associates. And yet, up to now, their exploits have remained virtually unknown, buried in dusty official archives and obscure memoirs. This, then, for the first time...
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Twenty Million Tons Under the Sea: The Daring Capture of the U-505 cover
Book Review

“Terrific... the first-hand story of Uncle Sam’s U-Boat killers.” — Chicago Daily News



“The only thing that really frightened me during the war was the U-boat peril. . . .” — Winston Churchill

German U-Boats were causing havoc for the Allied fleets across the oceans of the world.

The Battle of the Atlantic had been ongoing since the beginning of the war and the Royal Navy, United States Navy and Allied merchant shipping were taking heavy casualties against these underwater terrors.

The U-505 had been launched on 25 May 1941.

Over the next three years she went on to sink a total of eight ships.

But the upper hand that once had been held by U-Boats was beginning to weaken and tide began to turn in favor of the Allied navies.

Daniel Gallery, in his brilliant memoir, explains how he led Task Group 21.12 in the battle against the U-Boat threat.

Commanding the USS Guadalcanal he led his crew to sink three of these menacing submarines, but his greatest achievement was to capture the U-505 off the coast of Africa.

He was the first American officer to...
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The Master of Disguise: My Secret Life in the CIA cover
Book Review

From the author of Argo comes an unforgettable behind-the-scenes story of espionage in action. In the first ever memoir by a top-level operative to be authorized by the CIA, Antonio J. Mendez reveals the cunning tricks and insights that helped save hundreds from deadly situations.

Adept at creating new identities for anyone, anywhere, Mendez was involved in operations all over the world, from "Wild West" adventures in East Asia to Cold War intrigue in Moscow. In 1980, he orchestrated the escape of six Americans from a hostage situation in revolutionary Tehran, Iran. This extraordinary operation inspired the movie Argo, directed by and starring Ben Affleck.

The Master of Disguise gives us a privileged look at what really happens at the highest levels of international espionage: in the field, undercover, and behind closed doors.

Amazon.com Review

The problem with memoirs by ex-secret agents is that they usually make their careers sound about as exciting as that of $6-an-hour bowling alley security guard, unless you're of the opinion that filing papers and making phone calls is the epitome of thrills. Antonio Mendez, howeve...
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Dee Brown on the Civil War: Grierson's Raid, The Bold Cavaliers, and The Galvanized Yankees cover
Book Review

Three true tales of Civil War combat, as recounted by a #1 New York Times–bestselling author of Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee.
 
The acclaimed historian of the American West turns his attention to the country’s bloody civil conflict, chronicling the exploits of extraordinary soldiers who served in unexpected ways at a pivotal moment in the nation’s history.
 
Grierson’s Raid: The definitive work on one of the most astonishing missions of the Civil War’s early days. For two weeks in the spring of 1862, Col. Benjamin Grierson, a former music teacher, led 1,700 Union cavalry troops on a raid from Tennessee to Louisiana. The improbably successful mission diverted Confederate attention from Grant’s crossing of the Mississippi and set the stage for the Siege of Vicksburg. General Sherman called it “the most brilliant expedition of the war.”
 
The Bold Cavaliers: In 1861, Brig. Gen. John Hunt Morgan and his brother-in-law Basil Duke put together a group of formidable horsemen, and set to violent work. Morgan’s Raiders began in their home state, staging attacks, recruiting new soldiers, and intercepting Union telegraphs. Most were im...
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South: Scott and Amundsen's Race to the Pole cover
Book Review

The race to reach the South Pole for the first time was an unparalleled adventure in the early twentieth century. South, by historian Hunter Stewart, chronicles the competition between two fierce rivals - Robert F. Scott and Roald Amundsen - to secure their place in history as the first man to lead an expedition to the most uninhabitable place on earth. South dramatically tells the story of the quest that is marked by heartbreak, greed, ego, and bravery - not only by Scott and Amundsen but by the courageous crews and financial backers who supported them. The journey to reach the South Pole was truly, as it was later called, "The Heroic Age of Arctic Exploration."...
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Engineering Eden: The True Story of a Violent Death, a Trial, and the Fight over Controlling Nature cover
Book Review

The fascinating story of a trial that opened a window onto the century-long battle to control nature in the national parks. 

When twenty-five-year-old Harry Walker was killed by a bear in Yellowstone Park in 1972, the civil trial prompted by his death became a proxy for bigger questions about American wilderness management that had been boiling for a century. At immediate issue was whether the Park Service should have done more to keep bears away from humans, but what was revealed as the trial unfolded was just how fruitless our efforts to regulate nature in the parks had always been. The proceedings drew to the witness stand some of the most important figures in twentieth century wilderness management, including the eminent zoologist A. Starker Leopold, who had produced a landmark conservationist document in the 1950s, and all-American twin researchers John and Frank Craighead, who ran groundbreaking bear studies at Yellowstone. Their testimony would help decide whether the government owed the Walker family restitution for Harry's death, but it would also illuminate decades of patchwork efforts to preserve an idea of nature that had never existed in the ...
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Shores of Knowledge: New World Discoveries and the Scientific Imagination cover
Book Review

"Uncommonly good…makes a compelling case that…intellectual curiosity not only changed Europe, but launched modernity." —Cleveland Plain Dealer


When Columbus first returned to Spain from the Caribbean, he dazzled King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella with exotic parrots, tropical flowers, and bits of gold. Inspired by the promise of riches, countless seafarers poured out of the Iberian Peninsula and wider Europe in search of spices, treasure, and land. Many returned with strange tales of the New World.


Curiosity began to percolate through Europe as the New World’s people, animals, and plants ruptured prior assumptions about the biblical description of creation. The Church, long fearful of challenges to its authority, could no longer suppress the mantra “Dare to know!”


Noblemen began collecting cabinets of curiosities; soon others went from collecting to examining natural objects with fresh eyes. Observation led to experiments; competing conclusions triggered debates. The foundations for the natural sciences were laid as questions became more multifaceted and answers became more complex. Carl Linneaus developed a classification sys...
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Wonder Women: 25 Innovators, Inventors, and Trailblazers Who Changed History cover
Book Review

A fun and feminist look at forgotten women in science, technology, and beyond, from the bestselling author of THE FANGIRL'S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY
 
You may think you know women’s history pretty well. But have you ever heard of. . .
 
·  Alice Ball, the chemist who developed an effective treatment for leprosy—only to have the credit taken by a man?
·  Mary Sherman Morgan, the rocket scientist whose liquid fuel compounds blasted the first U.S. satellite into orbit?
·  Huang Daopo, the inventor whose weaving technology revolutionized textile production in China—centuries before the cotton gin?
 
Smart women have always been able to achieve amazing things, even when the odds were stacked against them. In Wonder Women, author Sam Maggs tells the stories of the brilliant, brainy, and totally rad women in history who broke barriers as scientists, engineers, mathematicians, adventurers, and inventors. Plus, interviews with real-life women in STEM careers, an extensive bibliography, and a guide to women-centric science and technology organizations—all to show the many ways the geeky girls of today can help to build the fut...
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First Families: The Impact of the White House on Their Lives cover
Book Review

What is it like to be America's First Family? In this wonderfully engaging book, Bonnie Angelo, Time correspondent and acclaimed author of First Mothers, probes two hundred years of American history to tell the story of real life within the White House walls—how presidents, their wives, children, and extended families worked to create a home in an imposing national monument while attempting to keep their private lives from the public domain.

First Families chronicles exhilarating moments as well as dark days at the nation's most famous address, with fascinating, behind-the-headline accounts of picture-book weddings, gossipy love affairs, rollicking children, domestic squabbles, and tragic deaths. From activist wives Eleanor Roosevelt and Hillary Clinton to reluctant occupants Bess Truman and Jacqueline Kennedy, to those such as Mary Todd Lincoln, Dolley Madison, and madcap debutante Alice Roosevelt, who embraced their new address and status, here is an unforgettable human portrait of our First Families and how they coped, stumbled, or thrived in the national spotlight.

...
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A Secret Sisterhood: The Literary Friendships of Jane Austen, Charlotte Brontë, George Eliot, and Virginia Woolf cover
Book Review

Male literary friendships are the stuff of legend; think Byron and Shelley, Fitzgerald and Hemingway. But the world’s best-loved female authors are usually mythologized as solitary eccentrics or isolated geniuses. Coauthors and real-life friends Emily Midorikawa and Emma Claire Sweeney prove this wrong, thanks to their discovery of a wealth of surprising collaborations: the friendship between Jane Austen and one of the family servants, playwright Anne Sharp; the daring feminist author Mary Taylor, who shaped the work of Charlotte Brontë; the transatlantic friendship of the seemingly aloof George Eliot and Harriet Beecher Stowe; and Virginia Woolf and Katherine Mansfield, most often portrayed as bitter foes, but who, in fact, enjoyed a complex friendship fired by an underlying erotic charge.

Through letters and diaries that have never been published before, A Secret Sisterhood resurrects these forgotten stories of female friendships. They were sometimes scandalous and volatile, sometimes supportive and inspiring, but always—until now—tantalizingly consigned to the shadows.
...
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Midnight in Broad Daylight: A Japanese American Family Caught Between Two Worlds cover
Book Review

Meticulously researched and beautifully written, the true story of a Japanese American family that found itself on opposite sides during World War II—an epic tale of family, separation, divided loyalties, love, reconciliation, loss, and redemption—this is a riveting chronicle of U.S.–Japan relations and the Japanese experience in America.

After their father’s death, Harry, Frank, and Pierce Fukuhara—all born and raised in the Pacific Northwest—moved to Hiroshima, their mother’s ancestral home. Eager to go back to America, Harry returned in the late 1930s. Then came Pearl Harbor. Harry was sent to an internment camp until a call came for Japanese translators and he dutifully volunteered to serve his country. Back in Hiroshima, his brothers Frank and Pierce became soldiers in the Japanese Imperial Army.

As the war raged on, Harry, one of the finest bilingual interpreters in the United States Army, island-hopped across the Pacific, moving ever closer to the enemy—and to his younger brothers. But before the Fukuharas would have to face each other in battle, the U.S. detonated the atomic bomb over Hiroshima, gravely injuring tens of thousands of civilians, includ...
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Black Thursday: The Story of the Schweinfurt Raid cover
Book Review

“The ‘longest day’ for the B-17’s in World War II ... Superb!” NY Times



On Thursday, October 14, 1943, two hundred and ninety one B-17 Flying Fortresses set out for a strategic bombing raid on the factories in Schweinfurt.

Sixty of those planes never returned and six hundred and fifty men were lost during the course of that mission.

It was the greatest failure that the United States Air Force had ever suffered and became known as “Black Thursday”.

Martin Caidin’s Black Thursday: The Story of the Schweinfurt Raid is a brilliant account of that day that should never be forgotten.

This book uncovers in thrilling detail the build-up to that fateful raid as the ground crew prepare the aircraft and the aviators are briefed on their mission ahead.

By consulting with first-hand accounts and interviewing survivors Caidin’s book takes the reader to the heart of the action as the planes burst into battle in the skies above Western Europe.

“It is documented in the same careful kind of research which makes the whole book so successful. Excellent!” Kirkus Reviews
...
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Smyrna, September 1922: One American's Mission to Rescue Victims of the 20th Century's First Genocide cover
Book Review

The harrowing story of a Methodist Minister and a principled American naval officer who helped rescue more than 250,000 refugees during the genocide of Armenian and Greek Christians—a tale of bravery, morality, and politics, published to coincide with the genocide’s centennial.

The year was 1922: World War I had just come to a close, the Ottoman Empire was in decline, and Asa Jennings, a YMCA worker from upstate New York, had just arrived in the quiet coastal city of Smyrna to teach sports to boys. Several hundred miles to the east in Turkey’s interior, tensions between Greeks and Turks had boiled over into deadly violence. Mustapha Kemal, now known as Ataturk, and his Muslim army soon advanced into Smyrna, a Christian city, where a half a million terrified Greek and Armenian refugees had fled in a desperate attempt to escape his troops. Turkish soldiers proceeded to burn the city and rape and kill countless Christian refugees. Unwilling to leave with the other American civilians and determined to get Armenians and Greeks out of the doomed city, Jennings worked tirelessly to feed and transport the thousands of people gathered at the city’s Quay.

With the hel...
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Thomas Jefferson: Author of America (Eminent Lives) cover
Book Review

In this unique biography of Thomas Jefferson, leading journalist and social critic Christopher Hitchens offers a startlingly new and provocative interpretation of our Founding Father. Situating Jefferson within the context of America's evolution and tracing his legacy over the past two hundred years, Hitchens brings the character of Jefferson to life as a man of his time and also as a symbolic figure beyond it.

Conflicted by power, Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence and acted as Minister to France yet yearned for a quieter career in the Virginia legislature. Predicting that slavery would shape the future of America's development, this professed proponent of emancipation elided the issue in the Declaration and continued to own human property. An eloquent writer, he was an awkward public speaker; a reluctant candidate, he left an indelible presidential legacy.

Jefferson's statesmanship enabled him to negotiate the Louisiana Purchase with France, doubling the size of the nation, and he authorized the Lewis and Clark expedition, opening up the American frontier for exploration and settlement. Hitchens also analyzes Jefferson's handling of the Barbar...
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Pacific Crucible: War at Sea in the Pacific, 1941-1942: War at Sea in the Pacific, 1941–1942 cover
Book Review

Winner of the Northern California Book Award for Nonfiction



"Both a serious work of history…and a marvelously readable dramatic narrative." —San Francisco Chronicle


On the first Sunday in December 1941, an armada of Japanese warplanes appeared suddenly over Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, and devastated the U.S. Pacific Fleet. Six months later, in a sea fight north of the tiny atoll of Midway, four Japanese aircraft carriers were sent into the abyss, a blow that destroyed the offensive power of their fleet. Pacific Crucible—through a dramatic narrative relying predominantly on primary sources and eyewitness accounts of heroism and sacrifice from both navies—tells the epic tale of these first searing months of the Pacific war, when the U.S. Navy shook off the worst defeat in American military history to seize the strategic initiative.

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Winner of the Northern California Book Award for Nonfiction



"Both a serious work of history…and a marvelously readable dramatic narrative." —San Francisco Chronicle


On the first Sunday in December 1941, an armada of Japanese warp...
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Mosby's Rangers: A Record Of The Operations Of The Forty-Third Battalion Virginia Cavalry, From Its Organization To The Surrender cover
Book Review

Mosby’s Rangers were some of the most feared Confederate troops of the American Civil War.



Under the command of Col. John S. Mosby they executed small raids behind Union lines, raiding at will and then vanishing quickly into the countryside to remain undetected.

Formally known as the 43rd Battalion, Virginia Cavalry, they were formed after the Partisan Ranger Act of 1862. By the summer of 1864 Mosby had around four hundred men at his disposal in six cavalry companies and one artillery company.

Their success led to the area around Fauquier and Loudoun counties becoming known as “Mosby’s Confederacy”, due to the grip that he and his men held on the area.

James Joseph Williamson was private who fought under Mosby from April, 1863, through until the end of the war. He records in fascinating detail the activity of Mosby and his men from their companies organization until the moment that they were disbanded.

Williamson provides brilliant insight into the campaigns that Mosby’s men fought, how they were organized, who led them, the difficulties they faced, as well as their greatest victories.

The ef...
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1917: Lenin, Wilson, and the Birth of the New World Disorder cover
Book Review

This is the story of two men, and the two decisions, that transformed world history in a single tumultuous year, 1917: Wilson’s entry into World War One and Lenin’s Bolshevik Revolution. 

In April 1917 Woodrow Wilson, champion of American democracy but also segregation; advocate for free trade and a new world order based on freedom and justice; thrust the United States into World War One in order to make the “world safe for democracy”—only to see his dreams for a liberal international system dissolve into chaos, bloodshed, and betrayal. 

That October Vladimir Lenin, communist revolutionary and advocate for class war and “dictatorship of the proletariat,” would overthrow Russia’s earlier democratic revolution that had toppled the all-power Czar, all in the name of liberating humanity—and instead would set up the most repressive totalitarian regime in history, the Soviet Union.

In this incisive, fast-paced history, New York Times bestselling author Arthur Herman brilliantly reveals how Lenin and Wilson rewrote the rules of modern geopolitics. Through the end of World War I, countries only marched into war to increase or protect their ...
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Mind Your Manors: Tried-and-True British Household Cleaning Tips cover
Book Review

The author of Servants tells us what made British households, of all sizes, shine.


British estates were known to be the epitome of cleanliness with their white-glove perfection. Through her meticulous research on servants, Lucy Lethbridge gleaned much knowledge about how these homes were made to gleam over almost two centuries, from the Victorian through the Edwardian years and beyond. The majority of household tasks were done with basic ingredients like lemon juice, white vinegar, and bicarbonate of soda, which feel very modern in their display of frugality and ecological soundness. Tea leaves were used to freshen up rugs and stewed rhubarb to remove rust stains. Here, Lethbridge reveals these old-fashioned and almost-forgotten techniques that made British households sparkle before the use of complicated contraptions and a spray for every surface. A treasury of advice from servants’ memoirs and housekeeping guides, and illustrated with charming art from period advertising and domestic classics, Mind Your Manors is the perfect book for all those who want to put time-tested cleaning methods to work.

...
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With Malice Toward None: The Life of Abraham Lincoln cover
Book Review

“Full, fair, and accurate. . . . Certainly the most objective biography of Lincoln ever written.” —Pulitzer Prize-winner David Herbert Donald, New York Times Book Review

From preeminent Civil War historian Stephen B. Oates comes the book the Washington Post hails as “the standard one-volume biography of Lincoln.” Oates’ With Malice Toward None is recognized as the seminal biography of the Sixteenth President, by one of America’s most prominent historians.

Amazon.com Review

Someone once said that more books have been written about Abraham Lincoln than any other person in history save Jesus and Shakespeare. Indeed, it is impossible to understand the Civil War without getting to know the complex figure of the 16th president. More than any other biographer, Stephen B. Oates brings the plain-talking man from Illinois to life as a canny politician, a doting husband, and a determined wartime leader. Oates has an appealing appreciation for Lincoln's majestic control of the English language, his raw humor, and his undeniable heroism. The final pages, covering Lincoln's death and his legacy, are graceful and moving.

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It's Better Than It Looks: Reasons for Optimism in an Age of Fear cover
Book Review

Is civilization teetering on the edge of a cliff? Or are we just climbing higher than ever?

Most people who read the news would tell you that 2017 is one of the worst years in recent memory. We're facing a series of deeply troubling, even existential problems: fascism, terrorism, environmental collapse, racial and economic inequality, and more.

Yet this narrative misses something important: by almost every meaningful measure, the modern world is better than it ever has been. In the United States, disease, crime, discrimination, and most forms of pollution are in long-term decline, while longevity and education keep rising and economic indicators are better than in any past generation. Worldwide, malnutrition and extreme poverty are at historic lows, and the risk of dying by war or violence is the lowest in human history.

It's not a coincidence that we're confused--our perspectives on the world are blurred by the rise of social media, the machinations of politicians, and our own biases. Meanwhile, political reforms like the Clean Air Act and technological innovations like the hybridization of wheat ...
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Book Review

Two husbands, four trials and one bloody execution: Winner of the 2015 Davitt Award for Best Crime Book (Non-fiction) - the terrible true story of Louisa Collins.

In January 1889, Louisa Collins, a 41-year-old mother of ten children, became the first woman hanged at Darlinghurst Gaol and the last woman hanged in New South Wales. Both of Louisa's husbands had died suddenly and the Crown, convinced that Louisa poisoned them with arsenic, put her on trial an extraordinary four times in order to get a conviction, to the horror of many in the legal community. Louisa protested her innocence until the end.

Much of the evidence against Louisa was circumstantial. Some of the most important testimony was given by her only daughter, May, who was just 10-years-old when asked to take the stand. Louisa Collins was hanged at a time when women were in no sense equal under the law - except when it came to the gallows. They could not vote or stand for parliament - or sit on juries. Against this background, a small group of women rose up to try to save Louisa's life, arguing that a legal system comprised only of men - male judges, all-male jury, male prosecutor,...
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The Lincoln Assassination cover
Book Review

Every schoolchild knows about the assassination of Abraham Lincoln - how the actor John Wilkes Booth shot the president while he was watching a play, leaped to the stage from the presidential box, and made his escape. But there is far more to the story, including the bizarre scheme that Booth first concocted to kidnap Lincoln and trade him for Confederate soldiers held in Northern prisons. Here is the full story of the plot, the bumbling plotters that Booth recruited, Lincoln's lingering death, the manhunt for the assassin, and the trial of the conspirators. It is essential knowledge of a tragedy that shaped America for a century to come....
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Spellbound: The Surprising Origins and Astonishing Secrets of English Spelling cover
Book Review

Welcome to the illogical, idiosyncratic, outrageous linguistic phenomenon known as the English language. The story of how this ragtag collection of words evolved is a winding tale replete with intriguing accidents and bizarre twists of fate. In this eye-opening, fabulously entertaining book, James Essinger unlocks the mysteries that have confounded linguists and scholars for millennia.

From the sophisticated writing systems of the ancient Sumerians through the tongue twisters of Middle English, the popular National Spelling Bee, and the mobile phone text-messaging of today, Spellbound chronicles the fascinating history of English spelling, including insights about the vast number of words English has borrowed from other languages (“orange,” “vanilla,” and “ketchup,” to name a few), and how their meanings differ from country to country. Featuring a lively cast of characters ranging from the fictional to the historically noteworthy (Chaucer, Samuel Johnson, Noah Webster, Shakespeare, Bill Gates), this affectionate tribute to English spelling shows why our whimsical, capricious common language continues to hold us spellbound.


From the Tra...
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Carthage Must Be Destroyed: The Rise and Fall of an Ancient Civilization cover
Book Review

The first full-scale history of Hannibal's Carthage in decades and "a convincing and enthralling narrative." (The Economist )

Drawing on a wealth of new research, archaeologist, historian, and master storyteller Richard Miles resurrects the civilization that ancient Rome struggled so mightily to expunge. This monumental work charts the entirety of Carthage's history, from its origins among the Phoenician settlements of Lebanon to its apotheosis as a Mediterranean empire whose epic land-and-sea clash with Rome made a legend of Hannibal and shaped the course of Western history. Carthage Must Be Destroyed reintroduces readers to the ancient glory of a lost people and their generations-long struggle against an implacable enemy....
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Movie Nights with the Reagans: A Memoir cover
Book Review

Former special advisor and press secretary to President Ronald Reagan shares an intimate, behind-the-scenes look inside the Reagan presidency—told through the movies they watched together every week at Camp David.

What did President Ronald Reagan think of Rocky IV? How did the Matthew Broderick film WarGames inform America’s missile defense system? What Michael J. Fox movie made such an impression on President Reagan that he felt compelled to mention it in a speech to the Joint Session of Congress?

Over the course of eight years, Mark Weinberg travelled to Camp David each weekend with Ronald and Nancy Reagan. He was one of a few select members invited into the Aspen Lodge, where the First Family screened both contemporary and classic movies on Friday and Saturday nights. They watched movies in times of triumph, such as the aftermath of Reagan’s 1984 landslide, and after moments of tragedy, such as the explosion of the Challenger and the shooting of the President and Press Secretary Jim Brady.

Weinberg’s unparalleled access offers a rare glimpse of the Reagans—unscripted, relaxed, unburdened by the world, with no cameras in sight....
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One Goal: A Coach, a Team, and the Game That Brought a Divided Town Together cover
Book Review

In the tradition of Friday Night Lights and Outcasts United, ONE GOAL tells the inspiring story of the soccer team in a town bristling with racial tension that united Somali refugees and multi-generation Mainers in their quest for state--and ultimately national--glory.

When thousands of Somali refugees resettled in Lewiston, Maine, a struggling, overwhelmingly white town, longtime residents grew uneasy. Then the mayor wrote a letter asking Somalis to stop coming, which became a national story. While scandal threatened to subsume the town, its high school's soccer coach integrated Somali kids onto his team, and their passion began to heal old wounds. Taking readers behind the tumult of this controversial team--and onto the pitch where the teammates vied to become state champions and achieved a vital sense of understanding--ONE GOAL is a timely story about overcoming the prejudices that divide us....
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Paul: A Biography cover
Book Review

In this definitive biography, renowned Bible scholar, Anglican bishop, and best-selling author N. T. Wright offers a radical look at the apostle Paul, illuminating the humanity and remarkable achievements of this intellectual who invented Christian theology - transforming a faith and changing the world. 

For centuries, Paul, the apostle who "saw the light on the Road to Damascus" and made a miraculous conversion from zealous Pharisee persecutor to devoted follower of Christ, has been one of the church's most widely cited saints. While his influence on Christianity has been profound, N. T. Wright argues that Bible scholars and pastors have focused so much attention on Paul's letters and theology that they have too often overlooked the essence of the man's life and the extreme unlikelihood of what he achieved. 

To Wright, "The problem is that Paul is central to any understanding of earliest Christianity, yet Paul was a Jew; for many generations Christians of all kinds have struggled to put this together." Wright contends that our knowledge of Paul and appreciation for his legacy cannot be complete without an understanding of his Jewish heritage. Giving us ...
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This is the book that cracks the code of the Bush presidency. Unstintingly yet compassionately, and with no political ax to grind, Slate editor in chief Jacob Weisberg methodically and objectively examines the family and circle of advisers who played crucial parts in George W. Bush’s historic downfall.

In this revealing and defining portrait, Weisberg uncovers the “black box” from the crash of the Bush presidency. Using in-depth research, revealing analysis, and keen psychological acuity, Weisberg explores the whole Bush story. Distilling all that has been previously written about Bush into a defining portrait, he illuminates the fateful choices and key decisions that led George W., and thereby the country, into its current predicament. Weisberg gives the tragedy a historical and literary frame, comparing Bush not just to previous American leaders, but also to Shakespeare’s Prince Hal, who rises from ne’er-do-well youth to become the warrior king Henry V.

Here is the bitter and fascinating truth of the early years of the Bush dynasty, with never-before-revealed information about the conflict between the two patriarchs on George W.’s father’s side of t...
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The American Civil War was one of the most harrowing conflicts in history. What many of us don't know is the key role that spies played on both sides of the Mason-Dixon Line during the four-year struggle. This secret war was waged by an intriguing lineup of participants: detective agency chief Allan Pinkerton, who was said to have thwarted a conspiracy to assassinate President-elect Abraham Lincoln; Elizabeth Van Lew, known as "Crazy Bet," the operator of a Union spy ring right in the heart of the Confederacy in Richmond, Virginia; and John Singleton Mosby, or the "Gray Ghost" as he was known, who created havoc by attacking Union troops behind their own lines - and disappearing into the countryside, seemingly without a trace. The Secret Civil War tells their stories and more in a compelling tale of espionage, daring, and in many cases, conflicting loyalties....
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The Cadaver King and the Country Dentist: A True Story of Injustice in the American South cover
Book Review

A shocking and deeply reported account of the persistent plague of institutional racism and junk forensic science in our criminal justice system, and its devastating effect on innocent lives

After two three-year-old girls were raped and murdered in rural Mississippi, law enforcement pursued and convicted two innocent men: Kennedy Brewer and Levon Brooks. Together they spent a combined thirty years in prison before finally being exonerated in 2008. Meanwhile, the real killer remained free.

The Cadaver King and the Country Dentist recounts the story of how the criminal justice system allowed this to happen, and of how two men, Dr. Steven Hayne and Dr. Michael West, built successful careers on the back of that structure. For nearly two decades, Hayne, a medical examiner, performed the vast majority of Mississippi's autopsies, while his friend Dr. West, a local dentist, pitched himself as a forensic jack-of-all-trades. Together they became the go-to experts for prosecutors and helped put countless Mississippians in prison. But then some of those convictions began to fall apart.

Here, Radley Balk...
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And Still I Rise: Black America Since MLK cover

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The companion book to Henry Louis Gates, Jr.’s PBS series, And Still I Rise—a timeline and chronicle of the past fifty years of black history in the U.S. in more than 350 photos.

Beginning with the assassination of Malcolm X in February 1965, And Still I Rise: From Black Power to the White House explores the last half-century of the African American experience. More than fifty years after the passage of the Civil Rights Act and the birth of Black Power, the United States has both a black president and black CEOs running Fortune 500 companies—and a large black underclass beset by persistent poverty, inadequate education, and an epidemic of incarceration. Harvard professor and scholar Henry Louis Gates, Jr. raises disturbing and vital questions about this dichotomy. How did the African American community end up encompassing such profound contradictions? And what will “the black community” mean tomorrow?

Gates takes readers through the major historical events and untold stories of the sixty years that have irrevocably shaped both the African American experience and the nation as a whole, from the explosive social and political changes of the 1...
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Eat the Apple cover
Book Review

"The Iliad of the Iraq war" (Tim Weiner)--a gut-wrenching, beautiful memoir of the consequences of war on the psyche of a young man.

Eat the Apple is a daring, twisted, and darkly hilarious story of American youth and masculinity in an age of continuous war. Matt Young joined the Marine Corps at age eighteen after a drunken night culminating in wrapping his car around a fire hydrant. The teenage wasteland he fled followed him to the training bases charged with making him a Marine. Matt survived the training and then not one, not two, but three deployments to Iraq, where the testosterone, danger, and stakes for him and his fellow grunts were dialed up a dozen decibels.

With its kaleidoscopic array of literary forms, from interior dialogues to infographics to prose passages that read like poetry, Young's narrative powerfully mirrors the multifaceted nature of his experience. Visceral, ironic, self-lacerating, and ultimately redemptive, Young's story drops us unarmed into Marine Corps culture and lays bare the absurdism of 21st-century war, the manned-up vulnerability of those on the front lines, and the true, if often misguided, motivati...
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August 15, 2017, will mark the seventieth anniversary of the day one great nation, Great Britain, granted independence to another, India. The transfer of power, while civil, was not entirely peaceful. Hindus and Muslims turned against each other in spasms of sectarian violence. Refugees trekked across the subcontinent - Hindus toward India, and Muslims toward the new nation of Pakistan. Amid the tumult, one voice crying out for peace commanded attention. It belonged to a spindly, seventy-eight-year-old man who dressed in a loin cloth and carried a handmade spinning wheel. Mohandas Gandhi, known as the Mahatma, or Great Soul, had the ability to sway the masses through the force of prayer, fasting, and Satyagraha, or non-violent resistance. But just four months later, this apostle of peaceful protest and religious amity was gunned down by a Hindu nationalist. He left behind a stirring and complex legacy.

While the word "original" can be too glibly applied to the great leaders of history, it only begins to describe Mohandas Gandhi. And this book, nearly seven decades after his death, takes a nuanced and textured look at his singular life, including his important, a...
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The Spies Who Never Were: The True Story of the Nazi Spies Who Were Actually Allied Double Agents cover
Book Review

The thrilling true story of the daring double agents who thwarted Hitler’s spy machine in Britain and turned the tide of World War II.

After the fall of France in the mid-1940s, Adolf Hitler faced a British Empire that refused to negotiate for peace. With total war looming, he ordered the Abwehr, Germany’s defense and intelligence organization, to carry out Operation Lena—a program to place information-gathering spies within Britain.
 
Quickly, a network of secret agents spread within the United Kingdom and across the British Empire. A master of disguises, a professional safecracker, a scrubwoman, a diplomat’s daughter—they all reported news of the Allied defenses and strategies back to their German spymasters. One Yugoslav playboy codenamed “Tricycle” infiltrated the highest echelon of British society and is said to have been one of Ian Fleming’s models for James Bond.
 
The stunning truth, though, was that every last one of these German spies had been captured and turned by the British. As double agents, they sent a canny mix of truth and misinformation back to Hitler, all carefully controlled by the Allies. As one British ...
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A Dream Deferred: The Second Betrayal of Black Freedom in America cover
Book Review

From the author of the award-winning bestseller The Content of Our Character comes a new essay collection that tells the untold story behind the polarized racial politics in America today. In A Dream Deferred Shelby Steele argues that a second betrayal of black freedom in the United States--the first one being segregation--emerged from the civil rights era when the country was overtaken by a powerful impulse to redeem itself from racial shame. According to Steele,1960s liberalism had as its first and all-consuming goal the expiation of America guilt rather than the careful development of true equality between the races. This "culture of preference" betrayed America's best principles in order to give whites and America institutions an iconography of racial virtue they could use against the stigma of racial shame. In four densely argued essays, Steele takes on the familiar questions of affirmative action, multiculturalism, diversity, Afro-centrism, group preferences, victimization--and what he deems to be the atavistic powers of race, ethnicity, and gender, the original causes of oppression. A Dream Deferred is an honest, courageous look at the...
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Book Review

Germany's Adolf Hitler was, without argument, a monster. He unleashed the horrors of World War II and ordered the murder of millions in his quest to create his twisted version of a pure German empire.

In this, the first of a two-volume biography of "der Führer," New York Times bestselling author Donna Faulkner explores Hitler's rise to power - as well as the twisted roots of his genocidal brutality. His story is one of dysfunction and megalomania: from Hitler's early days as a frustrated schoolboy and artist to a power-hungry, and masterful, politician who manipulated the German people wracked by economic deprivation.

Nearly three-quarters of a century later, the world is still grappling with the horrific legacy of Adolf Hitler. Here's how it all began....
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Another River, Another Town: A Teenage Tank Gunner Comes of Age in Combat--1945 cover
Book Review

Many narrative accounts of men in combat during World War II have conveyed the horrors and emotions of warfare. However, not many reveal in such an intimate way the struggle of innocent youth to adapt to the primitive code of “kill or be killed,” to transform from lads into combat soldiers.

Another River, Another Town is the story of John P. Irwin, a teenage tank gunner whose idealistic desire to achieve heroism is shattered by the incredibly different view of life the world of combat demands. He comes to the realization that the realm of warfare has almost nothing in common with the civilian life from which he has come.

The interminable fighting, dirt, fatigue, and hunger make the war seem endless. In addition to the killing and destruction on the battlefield, Irwin and his crew are caught up in the unbelievable depravity they encounter at Nordhausen Camp, where slave laborers are compelled to work themselves to death manufacturing the infamous V-rockets that have been causing so much destruction in London, and that are expected one day to devastate Washington, D.C.

At the end of the war, the sense of victory ...
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Political Tribes: Group Instinct and the Fate of Nations cover
Book Review

The bestselling author of Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, Yale Law School Professor Amy Chua offers a bold new prescription for reversing our foreign policy failures and overcoming our destructive political tribalism at home
 
Humans are tribal.  We need to belong to groups.  In many parts of the world, the group identities that matter most – the ones that people will kill and die for – are ethnic, religious, sectarian, or clan-based.  But because America tends to see the world in terms of nation-states engaged in great ideological battles – Capitalism vs. Communism, Democracy vs. Authoritarianism, the “Free World” vs. the “Axis of Evil” – we are often spectacularly blind to the power of tribal politics.  Time and again this blindness has undermined American foreign policy. 
 
In the Vietnam War, viewing the conflict through Cold War blinders, we never saw that most of Vietnam’s “capitalists” were members of the hated Chinese minority. Every pro-free-market move we made helped turn the Vietnamese people against us. In Iraq, we were stunningly dismissive of the hatred between that country’s Sunnis and Shias.  If we want to get our foreign pol...
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We the Corporations: How American Businesses Won Their Civil Rights cover
Book Review

We the Corporations chronicles the revelatory story of one of the most successful, yet least known, “civil rights movements” in American history.

We the Corporations chronicles the astonishing story of one of the most successful yet least well-known “civil rights movements” in American history. Hardly oppressed like women and minorities, business corporations, too, have fought since the nation’s earliest days to gain equal rights under the Constitution―and today have nearly all the same rights as ordinary people.

Exposing the historical origins of Citizens United and Hobby Lobby, Adam Winkler explains how those controversial Supreme Court decisions extending free speech and religious liberty to corporations were the capstone of a centuries-long struggle over corporate personhood and constitutional protections for business. Beginning his account in the colonial era, Winkler reveals the profound influence corporations had on the birth of democracy and on the shape of the Constitution itself. Once the Constitution was ratified, corporations quickly sought to gain the rights it guaranteed. The first Supreme Co...
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Determined: The Story of Holocaust Survivor Avraham Perlmutter cover
Book Review

Avraham Perlmutter is just ten years old when his life changes forever.

In 1938, the Nazis arrive in Avraham’s hometown of Vienna, Austria. Desperate to help their son survive, his parents send him to the Netherlands. But the invading German army soon follows. During the ensuing war-torn years, young Avraham braves harrowing captures, daring escapes, torturous hiding, and heartbreaking losses. Yet he also experiences the goodness of humanity through the strangers who help him.

Surviving the Holocaust takes ingenuity, guts, and sheer determination—all of which he calls on again, when he fights to establish the State of Israel during its War of Independence.

And when mere existence isn’t enough, Avraham moves to the United States to continue his education and pursue his dreams.

Determined takes the reader on an unforgettable journey filled with suspense and danger. But it is more than just a remarkable story of survival—it is a testament to human kindness, even in the darkest of hours, and to the achievements made possible through relentless perseverance.

This unique autobiography will inspire readers of all ages—spannin...
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A Dangerous Woman: American Beauty, Noted Philanthropist, Nazi Collaborator – The Life of Florence Gould cover
Book Review

A revealing biography of Florence Gould, fabulously wealthy socialite and patron of the arts, who hid a dark past as a Nazi collaborator in 1940’s Paris.

Born in turn-of-the-century San Francisco to French parents, Florence moved to Paris, aged eleven. Believing that only money brought respectability and happiness, she became the third wife of Frank Jay Gould, son of the railway millionaire Jay Gould. She guided Frank’s millions into hotels and casinos, creating a luxury hotel and casino empire. She entertained Zelda and Scott Fitzgerald, Pablo Picasso, Joseph Kennedy, and many Hollywood stars, like Charlie Chaplin, who became her lover. While the party ended for most Americans after the Crash of 1929, Frank and Florence refused to go home. During the Occupation, Florence took several German lovers and hosted a controversial salon. As the Allies closed in, the unscrupulous Florence became embroiled in a notorious money laundering operation for fleeing high-ranking Nazis.

Yet after the war, not only did she avoid prosecution, but her vast fortune bought her respectability as a significant contributor to the Metropolitan Museum and New York University,...
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Jawbreaker: The Attack on Bin Laden and Al Qaeda: A Personal Account by the CIA's Key Field Commander cover
Book Review

In Jawbreaker Gary Berntsen, until recently one of the CIA’s most decorated officers, comes out from under cover for the first time to describe his no-holds-barred pursuit of Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda.

With his unique mix of clandestine knowledge and paramilitary training, Berntsen represents the new face of counterterrorism. Recognized within the agency for his aggressiveness, Berntsen, when dispatched to Afghanistan, made annihilating the enemy his job description.

As the CIA’s key commander coordinating the fight against the Taliban forces around Kabul, and the drive toward Tora Bora, Berntsen not only led dozens of CIA and Special Operations Forces, he also raised 2,000 Afghan fighters to aid in the hunt for bin Laden.

In this first-person account of that incredible pursuit, which actually began years earlier in an East Africa bombing investigation, Berntsen describes being ferried by rickety helicopter over the towering peaks of Afghanistan, sitting by General Tommy Franks’s side as heated negotiations were conducted with Northern Alliance generals, bargaining relentlessly with treacherous Afghan warlords and Taliban traitor...
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The Rise and Fall of Communism cover
Book Review

“A work of considerable delicacy and nuance….Brown has crafted a readable and judicious account of Communist history…that is both controversial and commonsensical.”
—Salon.com

“Ranging wisely and lucidly across the decades and around the world, this is a splendid book.”
—William Taubman, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Khrushchev: The Man and His Era

The Rise and Fall of Communism is the definitive history from the internationally renowned Oxford authority on the subject. Emeritus Professor of Politics at Oxford University, Archie Brown examines the origins of the most important political ideology of the 20th century, its development in different nations, its collapse in the Soviet Union following perestroika, and its current incarnations around the globe. Fans of John Lewis Gaddis, Samuel Huntington, and avid students of history will appreciate the sweep and insight of this epic and astonishing work.

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“A work of considerable delicacy and nuance….Brown has crafted a readable and judicious account of Communist history…that is both controversial and commonsensical.”
—Salon.com

“Rang...
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A History of the American People cover
Book Review

The prize winning classic work on the post Civil War period which wrenched American society, now with a new introduction by the author.

"The creation of the United States of America is the greatest of all human adventures," begins Paul Johnson’s remarkable new American history. "No other national story holds such tremendous lessons, for the American people themselves and for the rest of mankind." Johnson’s history is a reinterpretation of American history from the first settlements to the Clinton administration. It covers every aspect of U.S. historypolitics; business and economics; art, literature and science; society and customs; complex traditions and religious beliefs. The story is told in terms of the men and women who shaped and led the nation and the ordinary people who collectively created its unique character. Wherever possible, letters, diaries, and recorded conversations are used to ensure a sense of actuality. "The book has new and often trenchant things to say about every aspect and period of America’s past," says Johnson, "and I do not seek, as some historians do, to conceal my opinions."

This is an in-depth portrait ...
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Fifty Things You Need to Know About World History cover
Book Review

What are the key 50 events you really need to understand to grasp the developments of our world?

In this highly entertaining read Hugh Williams distils world history into an insightful overview. By selecting fifty key people, places, battles, objects and events, he casts a clear eye over the way the world has developed and how we live today.
Injecting life into familiar historical landmarks as well as bringing lesser-known events to the forefront, Hugh shapes the fifty things into themes as all-encompassing today as they were over two thousand years ago: wealth, religion, conquest, discovery and freedom.

The Fifty Things include…
Origin of Species
Model T Ford
The Russian Revolution
Plato
Conquest of Mexico
Mao Tse Tung
Crucifixion of Jesus
Via Egnatia
Worldwide web
Ozymandias
9/11
Nelson Mandela
Coronation of Charlemagne
American Declaration of Independence
Franco-Prussian War
Mahabharata
The Black Death
And many more…

...
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Behemoth: A History of the Factory and the Making of the Modern World cover
Book Review

A sweeping, global history of the rise of the factory and its effects on society.

We live in a factory-made world: modern life is built on three centuries of advances in factory production, efficiency, and technology. But giant factories have also fueled our fears about the future since their beginnings, when William Blake called them "dark Satanic mills." Many factories that operated over the last two centuries―such as Homestead, River Rouge, and Foxconn―were known for the labor exploitation and class warfare they engendered, not to mention the environmental devastation caused by factory production from the beginning of the Industrial Revolution up to today.

In a major work of scholarship that is also wonderfully accessible, celebrated historian Joshua B. Freeman tells the story of the factory and examines how it has reflected both our dreams and our nightmares of industrialization and social change. He whisks readers from the textile mills in England that powered the Industrial Revolution and the factory towns of New England to the colossal steel and car plants of twentieth-century America, Eastern Europe, and the Soviet Union and on to to...
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Chefs, Drugs and Rock & Roll: How Food Lovers, Free Spirits, Misfits and Wanderers Created a New American Profession cover
Book Review

An all-access history of the evolution of the American restaurant chef

Chefs, Drugs and Rock & Roll transports readers back in time to witness the remarkable evolution of the American restaurant chef in the 1970s and '80s. Taking a rare, coast-to-coast perspective, Andrew Friedman goes inside Chez Panisse and other Bay Area restaurants to show how the politically charged backdrop of Berkeley helped draw new talent to the profession; into the historically underrated community of Los Angeles chefs, inclduing a young Wolfgang Puck and future stars such as Susan Feniger, Mary Sue Milliken, and Nancy Silverton; and into the clash of cultures between established French chefs in New York City and the American game changers behind The Quilted Giraffe, The River Cafe, and other East Coast establishments. We also meet young cooks of the time such as Tom Colicchio and Emeril Lagasse who went on to become household names in their own right. Along the way, the chefs, their struggles, their cliques, and, of course, their restaurants are brought to life in vivid detail. As the '80's unspool, we see the profession evolve as American masters like Thomas K...
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Fatal Discord: Erasmus, Luther, and the Fight for the Western Mind cover
Book Review

An engrossing dual biography and fascinating intellectual history that examines two of the greatest minds of European history—Erasmus of Rotterdam and Martin Luther—whose heated rivalry gave rise to two enduring, fundamental, and often colliding traditions of philosophical and religious thought.

Erasmus was the leading figure of the Northern Renaissance. At a time when Leonardo, Michelangelo, and Raphael were revolutionizing Western art and culture, Erasmus was helping to transform Europe’s intellectual and religious life, developing a new design for living for a continent rebelling against the hierarchical constraints of the Roman Church. When in 1516 he came out with a revised edition of the New Testament based on the original Greek, he was hailed as the prophet of a new enlightened age. Today, however, Erasmus is largely forgotten, and the reason can be summed up in two words: Martin Luther. As a young friar in remote Wittenberg, Luther was initially a great admirer of Erasmus and his critique of the Catholic Church, but while Erasmus sought to reform that institution from within, Luther wanted a more radical transformation. Eventually, the dif...
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Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey: The Lost Legacy of Highclere Castle cover
Book Review

The real-life inspiration and setting for the Emmy Award-winning Downton Abbey, Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey tells the story behind Highclere Castle and the life of one of its most famous inhabitants, Lady Almina, the 5th Countess of Carnarvon.

Drawing on a rich store of materials from the archives of Highclere Castle, including diaries, letters, and photographs, the current Lady Carnarvon has written a transporting story of this fabled home on the brink of war. Much like her Masterpiece Classic counterpart, Lady Cora Crawley, Lady Almina was the daughter of a wealthy industrialist, Alfred de Rothschild, who married his daughter off at a young age, her dowry serving as the crucial link in the effort to preserve the Earl of Carnarvon's ancestral home. Throwing open the doors of Highclere Castle to tend to the wounded of World War I, Lady Almina distinguished herself as a brave and remarkable woman.

This rich tale contrasts the splendor of Edwardian life in a great house against the backdrop of the First World War and offers an inspiring and revealing picture of the woman at the center of the history of Highclere Castle. Continue Reading

Stars of David: Prominent Jews Talk About Being Jewish cover
Book Review

Sixty-two of the most accomplished Jews in America speak intimately—most for the first time—about how they feel about being Jewish. In unusually candid interviews conducted by former 60 Minutes producer Abigail Pogrebin, celebrities ranging from Sarah Jessica Parker to Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, from Larry King to Mike Nichols, reveal how resonant, crucial or incidental being Jewish is in their lives. The connections they have to their Jewish heritage range from hours in synagogue to bagels and lox; but every person speaks to the weight and pride of their Jewish history, the burdens and pleasures of observance, the moments they’ve felt most Jewish (or not). This book of vivid, personal conversations uncovers how being Jewish fits into a public life, and also how the author’s evolving religious identity was changed by what she heard.

· Dustin Hoffman, Steven Spielberg, Gene Wilder, Joan Rivers, and Leonard Nimoy talk about their startling encounters with anti-Semitism.
· Kenneth Cole, Eliot Spitzer, and Ronald Perelman explore the challenges of intermarriage.
· Mike Wallace, Richard Dreyfuss, and Ruth Reichl express attitudes ...
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Profiles in Courage: Deluxe Modern Classic (Harper Perennial Modern Classics) cover
Book Review

The Pulitzer Prize winning classic by President John F. Kennedy, with an introduction by Caroline Kennedy and a foreword by Robert F. Kennedy.

Written in 1955 by the then junior senator from the state of Massachusetts, John F. Kennedy's Profiles in Courage serves as a clarion call to every American.

In this book Kennedy chose eight of his historical colleagues to profile for their acts of astounding integrity in the face of overwhelming opposition. These heroes, coming from different junctures in our nation’s history, include John Quincy Adams, Daniel Webster, Thomas Hart Benton, and Robert A. Taft.

Now, a half-century later, the book remains a moving, powerful, and relevant testament to the indomitable national spirit and an unparalleled celebration of that most noble of human virtues. It resounds with timeless lessons on the most cherished of virtues and is a powerful reminder of the strength of the human spirit. Profiles in Courage is as Robert Kennedy states in the foreword: “not just stories of the past but a book of hope and confidence for the future. What happens to the country, to the world, depends on what w...
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Georgiana: Duchess of Devonshire cover
Book Review

The winner of Britain's prestigious Whitbread Prize and a bestseller there for months, this wonderfully readable biography offers a rich, rollicking picture of late-eighteenth-century British aristocracy and the intimate story of a woman who for a time was its undisputed leader.

Lady Georgiana Spencer was the great-great-great-great-aunt of Diana, Princess of Wales, and was nearly as famous in her day. In 1774, at the age of seventeen, Georgiana achieved immediate celebrity by marrying one of England's richest and most influential aristocrats, the Duke of Devonshire. Launched into a world of wealth and power, she quickly became the queen of fashionable society, adored by the Prince of Wales, a dear friend of Marie-Antoinette, and leader of the most important salon of her time. Not content with the role of society hostess, she used her connections to enter politics, eventually becoming more influential than most of the men who held office.

Her good works and social exploits made her loved by the multitudes, but Georgiana's public success, like Diana's, concealed a personal life that was fraught with suffering. The Duke of Devonshire was unimpressed by...
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Time Pieces: A Dublin Memoir cover
Book Review

From the internationally acclaimed and Man Booker Prize-winning author of The Sea and the Benjamin Black mysteries--a vividly evocative memoir that unfolds around the author's recollections, experience, and imaginings of Dublin.

As much about the life of the city as it is about a life lived, sometimes, in the city, John Banville's "quasi-memoir" is as layered, emotionally rich, witty, and unexpected as any of his novels. Born and bred in a small town a train ride away from Dublin, Banville saw the city as a place of enchantment when he was a child, a birthday treat, the place where his beloved, eccentric aunt lived. And though, when he came of age and took up residence there, and the city became a frequent backdrop for his dissatisfactions (not playing an identifiable role in his work until the Quirke mystery series, penned as Benjamin Black), it remained in some part of his memory as fascinating as it had been to his seven-year-old self. And as he guides us around the city, delighting in its cultural, architectural, political, and social history, he interweaves the memories that are attached to particular places and moments. The result is both a wonde...
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The Looming Tower cover

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Book Review

This Pulitzer Prize winner is the basis for the upcoming Hulu series starring Peter Sarsgaard, Jeff Daniels, and Tahar Rahim.

A gripping narrative that spans five decades, The Looming Tower explains in unprecedented detail the growth of Islamic fundamentalism, the rise of al-Qaeda, and the intelligence failures that culminated in the attacks on the World Trade Center. Lawrence Wright re-creates firsthand the transformation of Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri from incompetent and idealistic soldiers in Afghanistan to leaders of the most successful terrorist group in history. He follows FBI counterterrorism chief John O’Neill as he uncovers the emerging danger from al-Qaeda in the 1990s and struggles to track this new threat. Packed with new information and a deep historical perspective, The Looming Tower is the definitive history of the long road to September 11.

National Book Award Finalist
Updated and with a New Afterword

Product Description

This Pulitzer Prize winner is the basis for the upcoming Hulu series starring Peter Sarsgaard, Jeff Daniels, and Tahar Rahim.

A gripping narrat...
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The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11 cover
Book Review

This Pulitzer Prize winner is the basis for the upcoming Hulu series starring Peter Sarsgaard, Jeff Daniels, and Tahar Rahim.

A gripping narrative that spans five decades, The Looming Tower explains in unprecedented detail the growth of Islamic fundamentalism, the rise of al-Qaeda, and the intelligence failures that culminated in the attacks on the World Trade Center. Lawrence Wright re-creates firsthand the transformation of Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri from incompetent and idealistic soldiers in Afghanistan to leaders of the most successful terrorist group in history. He follows FBI counterterrorism chief John O’Neill as he uncovers the emerging danger from al-Qaeda in the 1990s and struggles to track this new threat. Packed with new information and a deep historical perspective, The Looming Tower is the definitive history of the long road to September 11.

National Book Award Finalist
Updated and with a New Afterword

...
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Bound for Canaan: The Epic Story of the Underground Railro cover
Book Review

An important book of epic scope on America's first racially integrated, religiously inspired movement for change

The civil war brought to a climax the country's bitter division. But the beginnings of slavery's denouement can be traced to a courageous band of ordinary Americans, black and white, slave and free, who joined forces to create what would come to be known as the Underground Railroad, a movement that occupies as romantic a place in the nation's imagination as the Lewis and Clark expedition. The true story of the Underground Railroad is much more morally complex and politically divisive than even the myths suggest. Against a backdrop of the country's westward expansion arose a fierce clash of values that was nothing less than a war for the country's soul. Not since the American Revolution had the country engaged in an act of such vast and profound civil disobedience that not only challenged prevailing mores but also subverted federal law.

Bound for Canaan tells the stories of men and women like David Ruggles, who invented the black underground in New York City; bold Quakers like Isaac Hopper and Levi Coffin, who risked their lives t...
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Shakespeare's Ear: Dark, Strange, and Fascinating Tales from the World of Theater cover
Book Review

Shakespeare’s Ear presents dark and sometimes funny pieces of fact and folklore that bedevil the mostly unknown history of theater. All manner of skullduggery, from revenge to murder, from affairs to persecution, proves that the drama off-stage was just as intense as any portrayed on it. The stories include those of:

  • An ancient Greek writer of tragedies who dies when an eagle drops a tortoise on his head.
  • A sixteenth-century English playwright who lives a double life as a spy and perishes horribly, stabbed above the eye.
  • A small Parisian theater where grisly horrors unfold on stage.
  • The gold earring that Shakespeare wears in the Chandos portrait, and its connections to bohemians and pirates of the time.

    Journey back to see theatrical shenanigans from the ancient Near East, explore the violent plays of ancient Greece and Rome, revel in the Elizabethan and Jacobean golden age of blood-thirsty drama, delight in the zany and subversive antics of the Commedia dell’arte, and tremble at ghostly incursions into playhouses. Here you will find many fine examples of playwrights, actors, and audiences alike being horrible t...
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  • The Mad Sculptor: The Maniac, the Model, and the Murder that Shook the Nation cover
    Book Review

    2015 Edgar Award Nominee

    Beekman Place, once one of the most exclusive addresses in Manhattan, had a curious way of making it into the tabloids in the 1930s: “SKYSCRAPER SLAYER,” “BEAUTY SLAIN IN BATHTUB” read the headlines. On Easter Sunday in 1937, the discovery of a grisly triple homicide at Beekman Place would rock the neighborhood yet again—and enthrall the nation. The young man who committed the murders would come to be known in the annals of American crime as the Mad Sculptor.

    Caught up in the Easter Sunday slayings was a bizarre and sensationalistic cast of characters, seemingly cooked up in a tabloid editor’s overheated imagination. The charismatic perpetrator, Robert Irwin, was a brilliant young sculptor who had studied with some of the masters of the era. But with his genius also came a deeply disturbed psyche; Irwin was obsessed with sexual self-mutilation and was frequently overcome by outbursts of violent rage.

    Irwin’s primary victim, Veronica Gedeon, was a figure from the world of pulp fantasy—a stunning photographer’s model whose scandalous seminude pinups would titillate the public for weeks after her death. Irwin’s defense att...
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    Waco: A Survivor's Story cover

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    Book Review

    As a tie-in to the upcoming Paramount Network miniseries starring Michael Shannon, Taylor Kitsch, and Melissa Benoist (starting in January 2018) and commemorating the 25th anniversary of the siege at Waco, TX, comes the critically acclaimed WACO by Branch Davidian survivor, David Thibodeau. The book and miniseries have recently been featured in a 20/20 two-hour documentary special, Variety Magazine, interviews on NPR, and stories in Entertainment Weekly, TIME, Deadline, and the Boston Globe.

    For the first time ever, a survivor of the Waco massacre tells the inside story of Branch Davidians, David Koresh, and what really happened at the religious compound in Texas.

    When he first met the man who called himself David Koresh, David Thibodeau was drumming for a rock band that was going nowhere fast. Intrigued and frustrated with a stalled music career, Thibodeau gradually became a follower and moved to the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas. He remained there until April 19, 1993, when the compound was stormed and burnt to the ground after a 51-day standoff.

    In this book, Thibodeau explores why so many people came t...
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    The Black Presidency: Barack Obama and the Politics of Race in America cover
    Book Review

    A provocative and lively deep dive into the meaning of America's first black presidency, from “one of the most graceful and lucid intellectuals writing on race and politics today” (Vanity Fair).

    Michael Eric Dyson explores the powerful, surprising way the politics of race have shaped Barack Obama’s identity and groundbreaking presidency. How has President Obama dealt publicly with race—as the national traumas of Tamir Rice, Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Freddie Gray, and Walter Scott have played out during his tenure? What can we learn from Obama's major race speeches about his approach to racial conflict and the black criticism it provokes? 

    Dyson explores whether Obama’s use of his own biracialism as a radiant symbol has been driven by the president’s desire to avoid a painful moral reckoning on race. And he sheds light on identity issues within the black power structure, telling the fascinating story of how Obama has spurned traditional black power brokers, significantly reducing their leverage. 

    President Obama’s own voice—from an Oval Office interview granted to Dyson for this book—along with those of Eric ...
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    Secret Lives of the First Ladies: What Your Teachers Never Told You About the Women of the White House cover
    Book Review

    This newly updated collection of biographies showcases all the secrets, scandals, and trivia from America’s first ladies.
     
    Whether she’s a leading lady, loyal spouse, or lightning rod for scandal, the First Lady of the United States has always been in the spotlight—and in 2017 that was truer than ever. This revised and expanded edition from Quirk’s best-selling Secret Lives series features outrageous and uncensored profiles of the women of the White House, from Martha Washington to Melania Trump, it comes complete with hundreds of little-known, politically incorrect, and downright wacko facts. Did you know that . . .
     
    Dolley Madison loved to chew tobacco
    Mary Todd Lincoln conducted séances on a regular basis
    Eleanor Roosevelt and Ellen Wilson both carried guns
    Jacqueline Kennedy spent $121,000 on her wardrobe in a single year
    Betty Ford liked to chat on CB radios—her handle was “First Mama”
    And much, much more.

    Product Description

    This newly updated collection of biographies showcases all the secrets, scandals, and trivia from America’s...
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    The World as It Is: A Memoir of the Obama White House cover
    Book Review

    From one of Obama’s closest aides comes a revelatory, behind-the-scenes account of his presidency—and how idealism can confront harsh reality and still survive—in the tradition of Arthur Schlesinger, Jr.’s A Thousand Days: John F. Kennedy in the White House.
     
    For nearly ten years, Ben Rhodes saw almost everything that happened at the center of the Obama administration—first as a speechwriter, then as deputy national security advisor, and finally as a multipurpose aide and close collaborator. He started every morning in the Oval Office with the President’s Daily Brief, traveled the world with Obama, and was at the center of some of the most consequential and controversial moments of the presidency—and kept much of it to himself. Now he tells the full story of his partnership—and, ultimately, friendship—with a man who also happened to be a historic president of the United States.
     
    Rhodes was not your normal presidential confidant and this is not your normal White House memoir. Rendered in vivid, novelistic detail from someone who was a writer before he was a staffer, this is a rare look inside the most consequential, tense, and poignant...
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    Life in a Medieval City (Medieval Life) cover

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    Book Review

    From acclaimed historians Frances and Joseph Gies comes the reissue of their classic book on day-to-day life in medieval cities, which was a source for George R.R. Martin’s Game of Thrones series.

    Evoking every aspect of city life in the Middle Ages, Life in a Medieval City depicts in detail what it was like to live in a prosperous city of Northwest Europe in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. The year is 1250 CE and the city is Troyes, capital of the county of Champagne and site of two of the cycle Champagne Fairs—the “Hot Fair” in August and the “Cold Fair” in December. European civilization has emerged from the Dark Ages and is in the midst of a commercial revolution. Merchants and money men from all over Europe gather at Troyes to buy, sell, borrow, and lend, creating a bustling market center typical of the feudal era. As the Gieses take us through the day-to-day life of burghers, we learn the customs and habits of lords and serfs, how financial transactions were conducted, how medieval cities were governed, and what life was really like for a wide range of people.

    For serious students of the medieval era and anyone wishing to learn ...
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    The Long Way Home: An American Journey from Ellis Island to the Great War cover
    Book Review

    The Long Way Home is a riveting remembrance of the Great War by a master writer…. Deeply compelling.” — Douglas Brinkley

    “Moving, revealing, and lovingly researched, this book is a must read, and a great read, for any of us whose forebears came from overseas-meaning just about all of us.” — Erik Larson

    The author of the award-winning The Children’s Blizzard, David Laskin, returns with a remarkable true story of the immigrants who risked their lives fighting for America during the Great War.

    ...
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    The definitive history of the supernatural in Nazi Germany, exploring the occult ideas, esoteric sciences, and pagan religions touted by the Third Reich in the service of power

    The Nazi fascination with the occult is legendary, yet today it is often dismissed as Himmler’s personal obsession or wildly overstated for its novelty. Preposterous though it was, however, supernatural thinking was inextricable from the Nazi project. The regime enlisted astrology and the paranormal, paganism, Indo-Aryan mythology, witchcraft, miracle weapons, and the lost kingdom of Atlantis in reimagining German politics and society and recasting German science and religion. In this eye-opening history, Eric Kurlander reveals how the Third Reich’s relationship to the supernatural was far from straightforward. Even as popular occultism and superstition were intermittently rooted out, suppressed, and outlawed, the Nazis drew upon a wide variety of occult practices and esoteric sciences to gain power, shape propaganda and policy, and pursue their dreams of racial utopia and empire.
    ...
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    Hitler's Monsters: A Supernatural History of the Third Reich cover
    Book Review

    The definitive history of the supernatural in Nazi Germany, exploring the occult ideas, esoteric sciences, and pagan religions touted by the Third Reich in the service of power

    The Nazi fascination with the occult is legendary, yet today it is often dismissed as Himmler’s personal obsession or wildly overstated for its novelty. Preposterous though it was, however, supernatural thinking was inextricable from the Nazi project. The regime enlisted astrology and the paranormal, paganism, Indo-Aryan mythology, witchcraft, miracle weapons, and the lost kingdom of Atlantis in reimagining German politics and society and recasting German science and religion. In this eye-opening history, Eric Kurlander reveals how the Third Reich’s relationship to the supernatural was far from straightforward. Even as popular occultism and superstition were intermittently rooted out, suppressed, and outlawed, the Nazis drew upon a wide variety of occult practices and esoteric sciences to gain power, shape propaganda and policy, and pursue their dreams of racial utopia and empire.
    ...
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    Echo in Ramadi: The Firsthand Story of US Marines in Iraq's Deadliest City cover
    Book Review

    "In war, destruction is everywhere. It eats everything around you. Sometimes it eats at you." —Major Scott Huesing, Echo Company Commander

    From the winter of 2006 through the spring of 2007, two-hundred-fifty Marines from Echo Company, Second Battalion, Fourth Marine Regiment fought daily in the dangerous, dense city streets of Ramadi, Iraq during the Multi-National Forces Surge ordered by President George W. Bush. The Marines' mission: to kill or capture anti-Iraqi forces. Their experience: like being in Hell.

    Now Major Scott A. Huesing, the commander who led Echo Company through Ramadi, takes readers back to the streets of Ramadi in a visceral, gripping portrayal of modern urban combat. Bound together by brotherhood, honor, and the horror they faced, Echo's Marines battled day-to-day on the frontline of a totally different kind of war, without rules, built on chaos. In Echo in Ramadi, Huesing brings these resilient, resolute young men to life and shows how the savagery of urban combat left indelible scars on their bodies, psyches, and souls. Like war classics We Were Soldiers, The Yellow Birds, and Generation Kill, <...
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    The Savage City: Race, Murder, and a Generation on the Edge cover
    Book Review

    “T.J. English has the mastered the hybrid narrative art form of social history and underworld thriller. The Savage City is a truly gripping read filled with unexpected twists and turns.”
    —Douglas Brinkley, author of The Great Deluge

    In The Savage City, T.J. English, author of the New York Times bestselling blockbuster Havana Nocturne, takes readers back to a frightening place in a dark time of violence and urban chaos: New York City in the 1960s and early ’70s. As he did in his acclaimed true crime masterwork, The Westies, English focuses on the rot on the Big Apple in this stunning tale of race, murder, and a generation on the edge—as he interweaves the real-life sagas of a corrupt cop, a militant Black Panther, and an innocent young African American man framed by the NYPD for a series of crimes, including a brutal and sensational double murder.

    Amazon.com Review

    Amazon Best Books of the Month, March 2011: One part police procedural, one part historical narrative, T.J. English's The Savage City: Race, Murder, and a Generation on the Edge follows three different m...
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    In Cold Blood  cover
    Book Review

    National Bestseller 

    On November 15, 1959, in the small town of Holcomb, Kansas, four members of the Clutter family were savagely murdered by blasts from a shotgun held a few inches from their faces. There was no apparent motive for the crime, and there were almost no clues. 

    As Truman Capote reconstructs the murder and the investigation that led to the capture, trial, and execution of the killers, he generates both mesmerizing suspense and astonishing empathy. In Cold Blood is a work that transcends its moment, yielding poignant insights into the nature of American violence.

    Amazon.com Review

    In Cold Blood was a groundbreaking work when released in 1966. With it, author Truman Capote contributed to a style of writing in which the reporter gets so far inside the subject, becomes so familiar, that he projects events and conversations as if he were really there. The style has probably never been accomplished better than in this book. Capote combined painstaking research with a narrative feel to produce one of the most spellbinding stories ever put on the page. Two two-time losers living in a lonely house in western Kansas are o...
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    Village of Secrets: Defying the Nazis in Vichy France (The Resistance Trilogy Book 2) cover
    Book Review

    From the author of the New York Times bestseller A Train in Winter comes the absorbing story of a French village that helped save thousands hunted by the Gestapo during World War II—told in full for the first time.

    Le Chambon-sur-Lignon is a small village of scattered houses high in the mountains of the Ardèche, one of the most remote and inaccessible parts of Eastern France. During the Second World War, the inhabitants of this tiny mountain village and its parishes saved thousands wanted by the Gestapo: resisters, freemasons, communists, OSS and SOE agents, and Jews. Many of those they protected were orphaned children and babies whose parents had been deported to concentration camps.

    With unprecedented access to newly opened archives in France, Britain, and Germany, and interviews with some of the villagers from the period who are still alive, Caroline Moorehead paints an inspiring portrait of courage and determination: of what was accomplished when a small group of people banded together to oppose their Nazi occupiers. A thrilling and atmospheric tale of silence and complicity, Village of Secrets reveals how every one of the inha...
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    The Aviators: Eddie Rickenbacker, Jimmy Doolittle, Charles Lindbergh, and the Epic Age of Flight cover
    Book Review

    Written by gifted storyteller Winston Groom (author of Forrest Gump), The Aviators tells the saga of three extraordinary aviators--Charles Lindbergh, Eddie Rickenbacker, and Jimmy Doolittle--and how they redefine heroism through their genius, daring, and uncommon courage.
     
    This is the fascinating story of three extraordinary heroes who defined aviation during the great age of flight. These cleverly interwoven tales of their heart-stopping adventures take us from the feats of World War I through the heroism of World War II and beyond, including daring military raids and survival-at-sea, and will appeal to fans of UnbrokenThe Greatest Generation, andFlyboys. With the world in peril in World War II, each man set aside great success and comfort to return to the skies for his most daring mission yet. Doolittle, a brilliant aviation innovator, would lead the daring Tokyo Raid to retaliate for Pearl Harbor; Lindbergh, hero of the first solo flight across the Atlantic, would fly combat missions in the South Pacific; and Rickenbacker, World War I flying ace, would bravely hold his crew together while facing near-starvation and circlin...
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    Sunny's Nights: Lost and Found at a Bar on the Edge of the World cover
    Book Review

    Imagine that Alice had walked into a bar instead of falling down the rabbit hole. In the tradition of J. R. Moehringer’s The Tender Bar and the classic reportage of Joseph Mitchell, here is an indelible portrait of what is quite possibly the greatest bar in the world—and the mercurial, magnificent man behind it.

    The first time he saw Sunny’s Bar, in 1995, Tim Sultan was lost, thirsty for a drink, and intrigued by the single bar sign among the forlorn warehouses lining the Brooklyn waterfront. Inside, he found a dimly lit room crammed with maritime artifacts, a dozen well-seasoned drinkers, and, strangely, a projector playing a classic Martha Graham dance performance. Sultan knew he had stumbled upon someplace special. What he didn’t know was that he had just found his new home.

    Soon enough, Sultan has quit his office job to bartend full-time for Sunny Balzano, the bar’s owner. A wild-haired Tony Bennett lookalike with a fondness for quoting Shakespeare and Samuel Beckett, Sunny is truly one of a kind. Born next to the saloon that has been in his family for one hundred years, Sunny has over the years partied with Andy Warhol, spent time...
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    Iwo Jima: World War II Veterans Remember the Greatest Battle of the Pacific cover
    Book Review

    The men who fought and survived the deadliest battle of the Pacific—in their own words.


    On February 19, 1945, nearly 70,000 American marines invaded a tiny volcanic island in the Pacific. Over the next thirty-five days, approximately 28,000 combatants died, including nearly 22,000 Japanese and 6,821 Americans, making Iwo Jima one of the costliest battles of World War II. Bestselling author Larry Smith lets twenty-two veterans tell the story of this epic clash in their own words; the result is a “superb and fascinating work by one of our nation’s leading oral historians” (Jay Winik, author of April 1865). Iwo Jima includes accounts from the last surviving flag raiser on Mount Suribachi, a Navajo code talker, a retired general, two Medal of Honor recipients, and B-29 flyers. With numerous photographs and maps, Iwo Jima is a stunning history of an emblematic battle and a powerful, personal history of this greatest generation of marines.

    ...
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    Kane and Abel  cover
    Book Review

    William Lowell Kane, a millionaire financier, and Abel Rosnovski, a Polish immigrant and head of a hotel empire, play out their intense personal hatred for each other until its inevitable, and ironic, conclusion. Book available....
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    The Men of the Revolution cover
    Book Review

    Here, from some of America's greatest historians - Richard Ketchum, David McCullough, and Thomas Fleming, among them - are the dramatic stories of men who made the American Revolution: from Samuel Adams to Thomas Paine, Henry Knox to Friedrich von Steuben, John Paul Jones to Benedict Arnold, Lord Cornwallis to Benjamin Franklin....
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    Great Boer War cover

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    Book Review

    The Great Boer War (1899 - 1902) – more properly the Great Anglo-Boer War – was one of the last romantic wars, pitting a sturdy, stubborn pioneer people fighting to establish the independence of their tiny nation against the British Empire at its peak of power and self-confidence. It was fought in the barren vastness of the South African veldt, and it produced in almost equal measure extraordinary feats of personal heroism, unbelievable examples of folly and stupidity, and many incidents of humor and tragedy. Byron Farwell traces the war’s origins, the slow mounting of the British efforts to overthrow the Afrikaners, the bungling and bickering of the British command, the remarkable series of bloody battles that almost consistently ended in victory for the Boers over the much more numerous British forces, political developments in London and Pretoria, the sieges of Ladysmith, Mafeking and Kimberley, the concentration camps into which Boer families were herded and the exhausting guerrilla warfare of the last few years when the Boer armies were finally driven from the field.

    The Great Boer War is a definitive history of a dramatic conflict by a master ...
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    Rough Riders: Theodore Roosevelt, His Cowboy Regiment, and the Immortal Charge Up San Juan Hill cover
    Book Review

    The first definitive account of this legendary fighting force and its extraordinary leader, Theodore Roosevelt, Mark Lee Gardner’s Rough Riders is narrative nonfiction at its most invigorating and compulsively readable. Its dramatic unfolding of a familiar, yet not-fully-known story will remind readers of James Swanson’s Manhunt.

    Two months after the sinking of the USS Maine in Havana Harbor in February 1898, Congress authorized President McKinley to recruit a volunteer army to drive the Spaniards from Cuba. From this army emerged the legendary “Rough Riders,” a mounted regiment drawn from America’s western territories and led by the indomitable Theodore Roosevelt. Its ranks included not only cowboys and other westerners, but several Ivy Leaguers and clubmen, many of them friends of “TR.” Roosevelt and his men quickly came to symbolize American ruggedness, daring, and individualism. He led them to victory in the famed Battle at San Juan Hill, which made TR a national hero and cemented the Rough Riders’ place in history.

    Now, Mark Lee Gardner synthesizes previously unknown primary accounts as well as period newspaper articles, lette...
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    Without Precedent: Chief Justice John Marshall and His Times cover
    Book Review

    The remarkable story of John Marshall who, as chief justice, statesman, and diplomat, played a pivotal role in the founding of the United States.

    No member of America's Founding Generation had a greater impact on the Constitution and the Supreme Court than John Marshall, and no one did more to preserve the delicate unity of the fledgling United States. From the nation's founding in 1776 and for the next forty years, Marshall was at the center of every political battle. As Chief Justice of the United States - the longest-serving in history - he established the independence of the judiciary and the supremacy of the federal Constitution and courts. As the leading Federalist in Virginia, he rivaled his cousin Thomas Jefferson in influence. As a diplomat and secretary of state, he defended American sovereignty against France and Britain, counseled President John Adams, and supervised the construction of the city of Washington. D.C.
    This is the astonishing true story of how a rough-cut frontiersman - born in Virginia in 1755 and with little formal education - invented himself as one of the nation's preeminent lawyers and politicians who then reinvented the Const...
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    Chosen Soldier: The Making of a Special Forces Warrior cover
    Book Review

    IN combating terror, America can no longer depend on its conventional military superiority and the use of sophisticated technology. We are fighting guerrilla wars, against insurgents hidden in remote regions, often deep among the local population. In battles such as these, squadrons of billion-dollar bombers and naval fleets mean much less than on-the-ground intelligence and the ability to organize local forces. That’s why, more than ever before, we need men like those of the Army Special Forces—the legendary Green Berets.
    In Chosen Soldier, Dick Couch—a former Navy SEAL widely admired for his books about SEAL training and operations—offers an unprecedented view of the training of the Army Special Forces warrior. Each year, several thousand enlisted men and several hundred officers volunteer for Special Forces training; less than a quarter of those who apply will complete the course. Chosen Soldier spells out in fascinating detail the arduous regimen these men undergo—the demanding selection process and grueling field exercises, the high-level technical training and intensive language courses, and the simulated battle problems that test everything from how well they ...
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    Islands of the Damned: A Marine at War in the Pacific cover
    Book Review

    The true story of R.V. Burgin, the real-life World War II Marine Corps hero featured in HBO®'s The Pacific.

    “Read his story and marvel at the man...and those like him.”—Tom Hanks

    When R.V. Burgin joined the U.S. Marines on November 13th, 1942, he never imagined what was waiting for him and his fellow riflemen in the Pacific Islands during World War II. From New Britain through Peleliu to Okinawa, Burgin’s platoon, Company K, Third Battalion, Fifth Marine Regiment, First Marine Division, encountered a ferocious, committed, and desperate enemy in the Japanese—engaging them in some of the most harrowing and horrifying conflicts of the war.
     
    In this harrowing memoir, R.V. Burgin reveals his experiences as a marine at war in the Pacific Theater. Schooled in Melbourne, Australia, by the veterans who had just returned from combat in Guadalcanal, Company K confronted snipers, ambushes along narrow jungle trails, abandoned corpses of hara-kiri victims, and howling banzai attacks as they island-hopped from one bloody battle to the next. During his two years of service, Burgin rose from a green private to a seasoned sergeant, and earn...
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    Bad Boy: A Memoir cover

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    Book Review

    New York Times bestselling author Walter Dean Myers traveled back to his roots in this memoir that is gripping, funny, and ultimately unforgettable. Don’t miss this memoir by a former National Ambassador of Books for Young People!

    As a boy, Myers was quick-tempered and physically strong, always ready for a fight. He also read voraciously—he would check out books from the library and carry them home, hidden in brown paper bags in order to avoid other boys' teasing. He aspired to be a writer (and he eventually succeeded).

    But as his hope for a successful future diminished, the values he had been taught at home, in school, and in his community seemed worthless, and he turned to the streets and to his books for comfort.

    Here, in his own words, is the story of one of the most important voices of our time.

    ...
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    Brothers in Arms: THE EPIC STORY OF THE 761ST TANK BATTALION, WWII'S FORGOTTEN HEROES cover
    Book Review

    A powerful wartime saga in the bestselling tradition of Flags of Our Fathers, BROTHERS IN ARMS recounts the extraordinary story of the 761st “Black Panthers,” the first all-black armored unit to see combat in World War II.

    Kareem Abdul-Jabbar first learned about the battalion from family friend Leonard “Smitty” Smith, a veteran of the battalion. Working with acclaimed writer Anthony Walton, Abdul-Jabbar interviewed the surviving members of the battalion and their descendants to weave together a page-turning narrative based on their memories and stories, from basic training through the horrors on the battlefield to their postwar experiences in a racially divided America.

    Trained essentially as a public relations gesture to maintain the support of the black community for the war, the battalion was never intended to see battle. In fact, General Patton originally opposed their deployment, claiming African Americans couldn’t think quickly enough to operate tanks in combat conditions. But the Allies were so desperate for trained tank personnel in the summer of 1944, following heavy casualties in the fields of France, that the battalion was called up...
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    A Short History of Nearly Everything  cover
    Book Review

    One of the world’s most beloved and bestselling writers takes his ultimate journey -- into the most intriguing and intractable questions that science seeks to answer.

    In A Walk in the Woods, Bill Bryson trekked the Appalachian Trail -- well, most of it. In In A Sunburned Country, he confronted some of the most lethal wildlife Australia has to offer. Now, in his biggest book, he confronts his greatest challenge: to understand -- and, if possible, answer -- the oldest, biggest questions we have posed about the universe and ourselves. Taking as territory everything from the Big Bang to the rise of civilization, Bryson seeks to understand how we got from there being nothing at all to there being us. To that end, he has attached himself to a host of the world’s most advanced (and often obsessed) archaeologists, anthropologists, and mathematicians, travelling to their offices, laboratories, and field camps. He has read (or tried to read) their books, pestered them with questions, apprenticed himself to their powerful minds. A Short History of Nearly Everything is the record of this quest, and it is a sometimes profound, sometimes funny, and alw...
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    Master Builders of the Middle Ages cover
    Book Review

    Today, the great cathedrals of Europe stand as beautiful, imposing monuments - the pride of parishioners and the wonder of tourists. It is difficult for us now, even with all our engineering and architectural skills, to imagine the extraordinary ways these medieval houses of worship were constructed.

    Midway through the twelfth century, the building of cathedrals became a crusade to erect awe-inspiring churches across Europe. In their zeal, bishops, monks, masons, and workmen created the architectural style known as Gothic, arguably Christianity’s greatest contribution to the world’s art and architecture. The style evolved slowly and almost accidentally as medieval artisans combined ingenuity, inspiration, and brute strength to create a fitting monument to their God.

    Here are the dramatic stories of the building of Saint-Denis, Notre Dame, Chartres, Reims, and other Gothic cathedrals....
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    Gentlemen Bastards: On the Ground in Afghanistan with America's Elite Special Forces cover
    Book Review

    The Green Berets—a legendary corps of soldiers whose exploits made military history. But now, its very identity and role as a fighting force may be forever changed . . .

    Until the war in Iraq, Special Forces were the military’s counterinsurgency experts. Their specialty was going behind enemy lines and training insurgent forces. In Afghanistan, they toppled the Taliban by transforming Northern Alliance fighters into cohesive units. But since that time, Special Forces units have focused on offensive raids.

    With time running short, the Green Berets have now gone back to their roots.

    Award-winning journalist Kevin Maurer traveled with a Special Forces team in Afghanistan, finding out firsthand the inside story of the lives of this elite group of highly trained soldiers. He witnessed the intense brotherhood, the rigorous selection process, and the arduous training that makes them the best on the battlefield. Here, Maurer delivers a compelling account of modern warfare and of a fighting force that is doing everything in its power to achieve victory....
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    American History Revised: 200 Startling Facts That Never Made It into the Textbooks cover
    Book Review

    “American History Revised is as informative as it is entertaining and humorous. Filled with irony, surprises, and long-hidden secrets, the book does more than revise American history, it reinvents it.” —James Bamford,
    bestselling author of The Puzzle Palace, Body of Secrets, and The Shadow Factory
     
     
    This spirited reexamination of American history delves into our past to expose hundreds ofstartling facts that never made it into the textbooks, and highlights how little-known peopleand events played surprisingly influential roles in the great American story. 
     
    We tend to think of history as settled, set in stone, but American History Revised reveals a past that is filled with ironies, surprises, and misconceptions. Living abroad for twelve years gave author Seymour Morris Jr. the opportunity to view his country as an outsider and compelled him to examine American history from a fresh perspective. As Morris colorfully illustrates through the 200
    historical vignettes that make up this book, much of our nation’s past is quite different—and far more remarkable—than we thought.
          We discover that:
     
    • In the 1950s Ford was...
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    Forged: Writing in the Name of God--Why the Bible's Authors Are Not Who We Think They Are cover
    Book Review

    Bart D. Ehrman, the New York Times bestselling author of Jesus, Interrupted and God’s Problem reveals which books in the Bible’s New Testament were not passed down by Jesus’s disciples, but were instead forged by other hands—and why this centuries-hidden scandal is far more significant than many scholars are willing to admit. A controversial work of historical reporting in the tradition of Elaine Pagels, Marcus Borg, and John Dominic Crossan, Ehrman’s Forged delivers a stunning explication of one of the most substantial—yet least discussed—problems confronting the world of biblical scholarship.

    Product Description

    Bart D. Ehrman, the New York Times bestselling author of Jesus, Interrupted and God’s Problem reveals which books in the Bible’s New Testament were not passed down by Jesus’s disciples, but were instead forged by other hands—and why this centuries-hidden scandal is far more significant than many scholars are willing to admit. A controversial work of historical reporting in the tradition of Elaine Pagels, Marcus Borg, and John Dominic Crossan, Ehrman’s Forged delivers a stu...
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    Behind the Scenes: Or, Thirty Years a Slave and Four Years in the White House cover
    Book Review

    The remarkable story of the former slave who became Mary Todd Lincoln’s dressmaker and closest confidante

    Born into slavery in Virginia, Elizabeth Keckley was whipped, sexually abused, and separated from her mother for long stretches of time. When her master eventually settled in St. Louis, Missouri, Keckley resolved to buy her freedom. She put to use her talents as a seamstress and found patrons among the wives of the city’s elite, eventually earning enough money to move with her young son to Washington, DC.
     
    In the nation’s capital, Keckley started her own business and soon had commissions from the wives of Robert E. Lee, Jefferson Davis, Stephen A. Douglas, and Edwin Stanton. Hired by Mary Todd Lincoln to be her personal modiste, Keckley formed a close friendship with the first lady, a relationship strengthened by the tragedies they endured together, including the deaths of their sons and the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln.
     
    Published to great controversy in 1868, Behind the Scenes offers an intimate and revealing portrait of life inside the White House as well as the stirring story of one woman’s figh...
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    A Time to Stand: The Epic of the Alamo cover
    Book Review

    The #1 New York Times–bestselling author of The Miracle of Dunkirk tells the story of the Texans who fought Santa Anna’s troops at the Battle of the Alamo.
     
    Looking out over the walls of the whitewashed Alamo, sweltering in the intense sun of a February heat wave, Colonel William Travis knew his small garrison had little chance of holding back the Mexican army. Even after a call for reinforcements brought dozens of Texans determined to fight for their fledgling republic, the cause remained hopeless. Gunpowder was scarce, food was running out, and the compound was too large to easily defend with less than two hundred soldiers. Still, given the choice, only one man opted to surrender. The rest resolved to fight and die. After thirteen days, the Mexicans charged, and the Texans were slaughtered.
     
    In exquisite detail, Walter Lord recreates the fight to uphold the Texan flag. He sheds light not just on frontier celebrities like Jim Bowie and Davy Crockett, but on the ordinary soldiers who died alongside them. Though the fight ended two centuries ago, the men of the Alamo will never be forgotten.
    ...
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    Midnight in Siberia: A Train Journey into the Heart of Russia cover
    Book Review

    Travels with NPR host David Greene along the Trans-Siberian Railroad capture an overlooked, idiosyncratic Russia in the age of Putin.


    Far away from the trendy cafés, designer boutiques, and political protests and crackdowns in Moscow, the real Russia exists.


    Midnight in Siberia chronicles David Greene’s journey on the Trans-Siberian Railway, a 6,000-mile cross-country trip from Moscow to the Pacific port of Vladivostok. In quadruple-bunked cabins and stopover towns sprinkled across the country’s snowy landscape, Greene speaks with ordinary Russians about how their lives have changed in the post-Soviet years.


    These travels offer a glimpse of the new Russia—a nation that boasts open elections and newfound prosperity but continues to endure oppression, corruption, a dwindling population, and stark inequality.


    We follow Greene as he finds opportunity and hardship embodied in his fellow train travelers and in conversations with residents of towns throughout Siberia.


    We meet Nadezhda, an entrepreneur who runs a small hotel in Ishim, fighting through corrupt layers of bureaucracy every day. Greene spends a jo...
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    Devil's Bargain: Steve Bannon, Donald Trump, and the Nationalist Uprising cover
    Book Review

    The instant #1 New York Times bestseller.

    From the reporter who was there at the very beginning comes the revealing inside story of the partnership between Steve Bannon and Donald Trump—the key to understanding the rise of the alt-right, the fall of Hillary Clinton, and the hidden forces that drove the greatest upset in American political history.

    Based on dozens of interviews conducted over six years, Green spins the master narrative of the 2016 campaign from its origins in the far fringes of right-wing politics and reality television to its culmination inside Trump’s penthouse on election night.

    The shocking elevation of Bannon to head Trump’s flagging presidential campaign on August 17, 2016, hit political Washington like a thunderclap and seemed to signal the meltdown of the Republican Party. Bannon was a bomb-throwing pugilist who’d never run a campaign and was despised by Democrats and Republicans alike. 

    Yet Bannon’s hard-edged ethno-nationalism and his elaborate, years-long plot to destroy Hillary Clinton paved the way for Trump’s unlikely victory. Trump became the avatar of a dark but powerful worldview that dominated ...
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    Okinawa: The Last Battle cover

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    On 1 April, 1945, the largest amphibious assault of the Pacific Theater began.

    The battle for the island of Okinawa would last for the next eighty-two days.


    Through the course of this dramatic battle over 20,000 Americans would lose their lives and over 75,000 Japanese were killed in one of the bloodiest clashes of World War Two.

    Okinawa: The Last Battle is a remarkably detailed account of this monumental event by four soldiers who witnessed the action first-hand.

    They take the reader to heart of the fight explaining the preparations for the invasion, under its codename Operation Iceberg, through to the major conflicts at the beachhead, Ie Shima, breaking through the defenses surrounding Shuri and overcoming the last-ditch counter-offenses of the Japanese.

    This book is essential reading for anyone interested the Pacific Theater and how the United States Marines and Army were able to overcome the Japanese in the last few months of the war.

    Corporal Eugene B. Sledge said of the battle: "The Japanese fought to win - it was a savage, brutal, inhumane, exhausting and dirty business."

    ...
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    Elephant Company: The Inspiring Story of an Unlikely Hero and the Animals Who Helped Him Save  Lives in World War II cover
    Book Review

    NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK

    The remarkable story of James Howard “Billy” Williams, whose uncanny rapport with the world’s largest land animals transformed him from a carefree young man into the charismatic war hero known as Elephant Bill

     
    Billy Williams came to colonial Burma in 1920, fresh from service in World War I, to a job as a “forest man” for a British teak company. Mesmerized by the intelligence, character, and even humor of the great animals who hauled logs through the remote jungles, he became a gifted “elephant wallah.” Increasingly skilled at treating their illnesses and injuries, he also championed more humane treatment for them, even establishing an elephant “school” and “hospital.” In return, he said, the elephants made him a better man. The friendship of one magnificent tusker in particular, Bandoola, would be revelatory. In Elephant Company, Vicki Constantine Croke chronicles Williams’s growing love for elephants as the animals provide him lessons in courage, trust, and gratitude.
     
    But Elephant Company is also a tale of war and daring. When Imperial Japane...
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    You Don't Lose 'Til You Quit Trying: Lessons on Adversity and Victory from a Vietnam Veteran and Medal of HonorRecipient cover
    Book Review

    The inspiring true life story of Vietnam veteran, Medal of Honor recipient and veteran’s advocate Sammy Lee Davis.
     
    On November 18th, 1967, Private First Class Davis’s artillery unit was hit by a massive enemy offensive. At twenty-one years old, he resolved to face the onslaught and prepared to die. Soon he would have a perforated kidney, crushed ribs, a broken vertebra, his flesh ripped by beehive darts, a bullet in his thigh, and burns all over his body.
     
    Ignoring his injuries, he manned a two-ton Howitzer by himself, crossed a canal under heavy fire to rescue three wounded American soldiers, and kept fighting until the enemy retreated. His heroism that day earned him a Congressional Medal of Honor—the ceremony footage of which ended up being used in the movie Forrest Gump.
     
    You Don’t Lose ’Til You Quit Trying chronicles how his childhood in the American Heartland prepared him for the worst night of his life—and how that night set off a lifetime battling against debilitating injuries, the effects of Agent Orange and an America that was turning on its veterans.
     
    But he also battled for his fellow veterans, ...
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    A Secret Gift: How One Man's Kindness--and a Trove of Letters--Revealed the Hidden History of the Great Depression cover
    Book Review

    An inspiring account of America at its worst-and Americans at their best-woven from the stories of Depression-era families who were helped by gifts from the author's generous and secretive grandfather.

    Shortly before Christmas 1933 in Depression-scarred Canton, Ohio, a small newspaper ad offered $10, no strings attached, to 75 families in distress. Interested readers were asked to submit letters describing their hardships to a benefactor calling himself Mr. B. Virdot. The author's grandfather Sam Stone was inspired to place this ad and assist his fellow Cantonians as they prepared for the cruelest Christmas most of them would ever witness.

    Moved by the tales of suffering and expressions of hope contained in the letters, which he discovered in a suitcase 75 years later, Ted Gup initially set out to unveil the lives behind them, searching for records and relatives all over the country who could help him flesh out the family sagas hinted at in those letters. From these sources, Gup has re-created the impact that Mr B. Virdot's gift had on each family. Many people yearned for bread, coal, or other necessities, but many others received money f...
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    High-Risers: Cabrini-Green and the Fate of American Public Housing cover
    Book Review

    Joining the ranks of Evicted, The Warmth of Other Suns, and classic works of literary non-fiction by Alex Kotlowitz and J. Anthony Lukas, High-Risers braids personal narratives, city politics, and national history to tell the timely and epic story of Chicago’s Cabrini-Green, America’s most iconic public housing project.

    Built in the 1940s atop an infamous Italian slum, Cabrini-Green grew to twenty-three towers and a population of 20,000—all of it packed onto just seventy acres a few blocks from Chicago’s ritzy Gold Coast. Cabrini-Green became synonymous with crime, squalor, and the failure of government. For the many who lived there, it was also a much-needed resource—it was home. By 2011, every high-rise had been razed, the island of black poverty engulfed by the white affluence around it, the families dispersed.

    In this novelistic and eye-opening narrative, Ben Austen tells the story of America’s public housing experiment and the changing fortunes of American cities. It is an account told movingly through the lives of residents who struggled to make a home for their families as powerful forces converged to accelerate the ...
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    American Murder Houses: A Coast-to-Coast Tour of the Most Notorious Houses of Homicide cover
    Book Review

    There are places in the United States of America where violent acts of bloodshed have occurred. Years may pass - even centuries - but the mark of death remains. They are known as Murder Houses.

    From a colonial manse in New England to a small-town home in Iowa to a Beverly Hills mansion, these residences have taken on a life of their own, gaining everything from local lore and gossip to national - and even global - infamy. Here, writer Steve Lehto recounts the stories behind the houses where Lizzie Borden supposedly gave her stepmother "40 whacks", where the real Amityville Horror was first unleashed by gunfire, and where the demented acts of the Manson Family horrified a nation - as well some lesser-known sites of murder that were no less ghastly.

    Exploring the past and present of more than 25 renowned homicide scenes, American Murder Houses is a tour through the real estate of some of the most grisly and fascinating crimes in American history.

    ...
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    The Founders at Home: The Building of America, 1735-1817 cover
    Book Review

    Why the American Revolution, of all the great revolutions, was the only enduring success.


    Through the Founders’ own voices—and in the homes they designed and built to embody the ideal of domestic happiness they fought to achieve—we come to understand why the American Revolution, of all great revolutions, was the only enduring success.


    The Founders were vivid, energetic men, with sophisticated worldviews, and this magnificent reckoning of their successes draws liberally from their own eloquent writings on their actions and well-considered intentions. Richly illustrated with America’s historical and architectural treasures, this volume also considers the houses the Founders built with such care and money to reflect their vision for the fledgling nation. That so many great thinkers—Washington, Madison, Hamilton, Jefferson, John Jay, the Lees of Stratford Hall, and polemicist William Livingston—came together to accomplish what rightly seemed to them almost a miracle is a standing historical mystery, best understood by pondering the men themselves and their profound and world-changing ideas.


    Through impressive research and an intimate unde...
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    The Marshall Plan: Dawn of the Cold War cover
    Book Review

    The award-winning author of The Battle of Bretton Woods reveals the gripping history behind the Marshall Plan—told with verve, insight, and resonance for today.

    In the wake of World War II, with Britain’s empire collapsing and Stalin's on the rise, US officials under new secretary of state George C. Marshall set out to reconstruct western Europe as a bulwark against communist authoritarianism. Their massive, costly, and ambitious undertaking would confront Europeans and Americans alike with a vision at odds with their history and self-conceptions. In the process, they would drive the creation of NATO, the European Union, and a Western identity that continues to shape world events.

    Focusing on the critical years 1947 to 1949, Benn Steil’s thrilling account brings to life the seminal episodes marking the collapse of postwar US-Soviet relations—the Prague coup, the Berlin blockade, and the division of Germany. In each case, we see and understand like never before Stalin’s determination to crush the Marshall Plan and undermine American power in Europe.

    Given current echoes of the Cold War, as Putin’s Russia rattles the world order, the tenuous b...
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    The Gamble: General Petraeus and the American Military Adventure in Iraq cover
    Book Review

    Fiasco, Thomas E. Ricks’s #1 New York Times bestseller, transformed the political dialogue on the war in Iraq—The Gamble is the next news breaking installment

    Thomas E. Ricks uses hundreds of hours of exclusive interviews with top officers in Iraq and extraordinary on-the-ground reportage to document the inside story of the Iraq War since late 2005 as only he can, examining the events that took place as the military was forced to reckon with itself, the surge was launched, and a very different war began.

    Since early 2007 a new military order has directed American strategy. Some top U.S. officials now in Iraq actually opposed the 2003 invasion, and almost all are severely critical of how the war was fought from then through 2006. At the core of the story is General David Petraeus, a military intellectual who has gathered around him an unprecedented number of officers with both combat experience and Ph.D.s. Underscoring his new and unorthodox approach, three of his key advisers are quirky foreigners—an Australian infantryman-turned- anthropologist, an antimilitary British woman who is an expert in the Middle East, and a Men...
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    Freedom National: The Destruction of Slavery in the United States, 1861-1865: The Destruction of Slavery in the United States, 1861–1865 cover
    Book Review

    Winner of the Lincoln Prize



    "Oakes brilliantly succeeds in [clarifying] the aims of the war with a wholly new perspective." —David Brion Davis, New York Review of Books


    Freedom National is a groundbreaking history of emancipation that joins the political initiatives of Lincoln and the Republicans in Congress with the courageous actions of Union soldiers and runaway slaves in the South. It shatters the widespread conviction that the Civil War was first and foremost a war to restore the Union and only gradually, when it became a military necessity, a war to end slavery. These two aims—"Liberty and Union, one and inseparable"—were intertwined in Republican policy from the very start of the war.


    By summer 1861 the federal government invoked military authority to begin freeing slaves, immediately and without slaveholder compensation, as they fled to Union lines in the disloyal South. In the loyal Border States the Republicans tried coaxing officials into gradual abolition with promises of compensation and the colonization abroad of freed blacks. James Oakes shows that Lincoln’s landmark 1863 proclamation marked...
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    What You Did Not Tell: A Russian Past and the Journey Home cover
    Book Review

    **NAMED FINANCIAL TIMES "TOP 10 BOOKS OF THE YEAR"**
    **NAMED EVENING STANDARD "BOOK OF THE YEAR"**
    **NAMED NEW STATESMAN "BEST BOOK OF 2017"**



    A warm and intimate memoir by an acclaimed historian that explores the European struggles of the twentieth century through the lives, hopes, and dreams of a single family—his own.


    Uncovering their remarkable and moving stories, Mark Mazower recounts the sacrifices and silences that marked a generation and their descendants. It was a family which fate drove into the siege of Stalingrad, the Vilna ghetto, occupied Paris, and even into the ranks of the Wehrmacht. His British father was the lucky one, the son of Russian-Jewish emigrants who settled in London after escaping the Bolsheviks, civil war, and revolution. Max, the grandfather, had started out as a socialist and manned the barricades against Tsarist troops, never speaking a word about it afterwards. His wife Frouma came from a family ravaged by the Terror yet making their way in Soviet society despite it all. 

    In the centenary of the Russian Revolution, What...
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    Goebbels: A Biography cover
    Book Review

    NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE TELEGRAPH • From renowned German Holocaust historian Peter Longerich comes the definitive one-volume biography of Adolf Hitler’s malevolent minister of propaganda.

    In life, and in the grisly manner of his death, Joseph Goebbels was one of Adolf Hitler’s most loyal acolytes. By the end, no one in the Berlin bunker was closer to the Führer than his devoted Reich minister for public enlightenment and propaganda. But how did this clubfooted son of a factory worker rise from obscurity to become Hitler’s most trusted lieutenant and personally anointed successor?

    In this ground-breaking biography, Peter Longerich sifts through the historical record—and thirty thousand pages of Goebbels’s own diary entries—to provide the answer to that question. Longerich, the first historian to make use of the Goebbels diaries in a biographical work, engages and challenges the self-serving portrait the propaganda chief left behind. Spanning thirty years, the diaries paint a chilling picture of a man driven by a narcissistic desire for recognition who found the personal affirmation he craved within the viru...
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    Never Quit: From Alaskan Wilderness Rescues to Afghanistan Firefights as an Elite Special Ops PJ cover
    Book Review

    The epic memoir of an Alaskan pararescue jumper, Special Forces Operator, and decorated war hero.

    "That Others May Live" is a mantra that defines the fearless men of Alaska's 212th Pararescue Unit, the PJs, one of the most elite military forces on the planet. Whether they are rescuing citizens injured and freezing in the Alaskan wilderness or saving wounded Rangers and SEALs in blazing firefights at war, the PJs are the least known and most highly trained of America's warriors. Never Quit is the true story of how Jimmy Settle, an Alaskan shoe-store clerk, became a Special Forces Operator and war hero. After being shot in the head during a dangerous high mountain operation in the rugged Watapur Valley in Afghanistan, Jimmy returns to battle with his teammates for a heroic rescue, the bullet fragments stitched over and still in his skull. In a cross between a suicide rescue mission and an against-all-odds mountain battle, his team of PJs risk their lives again in an epic firefight. When his helicopter is hit and begins leaking fuel, Jimmy finds himself in the worst possible position as a rescue specialist - forced to leave members from his own team behind. ...
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    Wallis in Love: The Untold Life of the Duchess of Windsor, the Woman Who Changed the Monarchy cover
    Book Review

    For fans of the Netflix series The Crown and from the author of the New York Times bestseller 17 Carnations comes a captivating biography of Wallis Simpson, the notorious woman for whom Edward VIII gave up the throne.

    "You have no idea how hard it is to live out a great romance." -Wallis Simpson

    Before she became known as the woman who enticed a king from his throne and birthright, Bessie Wallis Warfield was a prudish and particular girl from Baltimore. At turns imaginative, ambitious, and spoiled, Wallis's first words as recalled by her family were "me, me." From that young age, she was in want of nothing but stability, status, and social acceptance as she fought to climb the social ladder and take her place in London society. As irony would have it, she would gain the love and devotion of a king, but only at the cost of his throne and her reputation.

    In WALLIS IN LOVE, acclaimed biographer Andrew Morton offers a fresh portrait of Wallis Simpson in all her vibrancy and brazenness as she transformed from a hard-nosed gold-digger to c...
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    Bolivar: The Liberator of Latin America cover
    Book Review

    Simon Bolivar freed no fewer than what were to become six countries—a vast domain some 800,000 square miles in extent—from Spanish colonial rule in savage wars against the then-mightiest military machine on earth. The ferocity of his leadership and fighting earned him the grudging nickname “the devil” from his enemies. His astonishing resilience in the face of military defeat and seemingly hopeless odds, as well his equestrian feat of riding tens of thousands of miles across what remains one of the most inhospitable territories on earth, earned him the name Culo de Hierro—Iron Ass—among his soldiers. It was one of the most spectacular military campaigns in history, fought against the backdrop of the Andean mountains, through immense flooded savannahs, jungles, and shimmering deserts. Indeed the war itself was medieval—fought under warlords across huge spaces by horsemen with lances, and infantry with knives and machetes (as well as muskets). It was the last warriors’ war.

    Although the creator of the northern half of Latin America, Bolivar inspired the whole continent and still does today. This is Robert Harvey’s astonishing, gripping, and beautifully ...
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    Woodrow Wilson: World Statesman cover
    Book Review

    Woodrow Wilson's visionary temperament and quick-paced leadership made him a uniquely articulate champion of the most essential American values.

    His policies, perhaps more so than any other president in the twentieth century, have shaped the world today.

    In this comprehensive biography, Kendrick Clements examines the brilliant successes as well as the failures of Wilson's public career as professor, president of Princeton University, governor of New Jersey, and president.

    Tempering the impression of Wilson as a stiff moralist, Clements reveals fascinating details of his periodic bouts of depression. But the recurrent themes of this balanced and engrossing portrait are Wilson's deep idealism and his drive for leadership.

    “Deserves to be widely read...Clements displays a keen eye for anecdote and for telling quotations. He shows excellent judgment in evaluating varying interpretations of events and is not afraid to offer opinions of his own...The book is clearly written and well-paced.” — John A Garraty, Journal of American History

    “An engaging and useful book...a balanced treatment of Wilson's strengths and weaknesse...
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    A Very Private Woman: The Life and Unsolved Murder of Presidential Mistress Mary Meyer cover
    Book Review

    In 1964, Mary Pinchot Meyer, the beautiful, rebellious, and intelligent ex-wife of a top CIA official, was killed on a quiet Georgetown towpath near her home. Mary Meyer was a secret mistress of President John F. Kennedy, whom she had known since private school days, and after her death, reports that she had kept a diary set off a tense search by her brother-in-law, newsman Ben Bradlee, and CIA spymaster James Jesus Angleton. But the only suspect in her murder was acquitted, and today her life and death are still a source of intense speculation, as Nina Burleigh reveals in her widely praised book, the first to examine this haunting story.


    From the Trade Paperback edition.

    Amazon.com Review

    On October 12, 1964, socialite Mary Meyer was shot to death along a wooded path where she was taking her afternoon walk. Ordinarily such a crime wouldn't attract the attention of the CIA's head of counterintelligence, but Meyer was no ordinary Washington socialite. Born into a wealthy, bohemian family in Northeastern Pennsylvania, Meyer studied at Vassar, worked as a journalist during World War II, married--and later divorced--a war hero, became a proto-fem...
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    Hitler cover

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    “The best single volume available on the torturous life and savage reign of Adolf Hitler.” —Time

    A bestseller in its original German edition and subsequently translated into more than a dozen languages, Joachim Fest’s Hitler has become a classic portrait of a man, a nation, and an era.

    Fest tells and interprets the extraordinary story of a man’s and nation’s rise from impotence to absolute power, as Germany and Hitler, from shared premises, entered into their covenant. He shows Hitler exploiting the resentments of the shaken, post–World War I social order and seeing through all that was hollow behind the appearance of power, at home and abroad. Fest reveals the singularly penetrating politician, hypnotizing Germans and outsiders alike with the scope of his projects and the theatricality of their presentation. Perhaps most importantly, he also brilliantly uncovers the destructive personality that aimed for and achieved devastation on an unprecedented scale.

    As history and biography, this is a towering achievement, a compelling story told in a way only a German could tell it: “dispassionately, but from the inside”...
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    Etched in Stone: Archeological Discoveries That Prove the Bible cover
    Book Review

    Etched in Stone is a quick, easy guide to archeological proofs that bolster one's faith and encourages believers of all ages.

    Christians are under attack like never before. Have you ever heard anyone say, "The Bible is just a fairytale. There is no physical evidence to support for any of it!" This is the kind of fire today's Christians come under all the time.

    Christianity is certainly based on faith, but haven't you ever thought how wonderful it would be to have something tangible to point to that corroborates the Sacred Scriptures? That is what Etched in Stone: Archeological Discoveries that Prove the Bible is all about.

    Etched in Stone showcases more than 60 archeological discoveries that will make it clear that the stories of the Bible are historical and factual events that occurred at a real time and in real places. Now you can have something tangible to show that

    • The Israelites really did have to make bricks without straw,
    • There really was a city called Nazareth,
    • The walls of Jericho really did fall down,
    • King David really did exist,
    • Nebuchadnezzar wasn't just a made-...
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    The Blood of Emmett Till cover
    Book Review

    * Longlisted for the National Book Award
    * A New York Times and Washington Post Notable Book
    * NPR and Los Angeles Times Best Books of 2017

    This extraordinary New York Times bestseller reexamines a pivotal event of the civil rights movement—the 1955 lynching of Emmett Till—“and demands that we do the one vital thing we aren’t often enough asked to do with history: learn from it” (The Atlantic).

    In 1955, white men in the Mississippi Delta lynched a fourteen-year-old from Chicago named Emmett Till. His murder was part of a wave of white terrorism in the wake of the 1954 Supreme Court decision that declared public school segregation unconstitutional. Only weeks later, Rosa Parks thought about young Emmett as she refused to move to the back of a city bus in Montgomery, Alabama. Five years later, Black students who called themselves “the Emmett Till generation” launched sit-in campaigns that turned the struggle for civil rights into a mass movement. Till’s lynching became the most notorious hate crime in American history.

    But what actually happened to Emmett Till—not the icon of injustice, bu...
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    Miracle at Midway cover

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    “Something special among war histories . . . No other gives both sides of the battle in as detailed and telling a manner.” —Chicago Sun-Times
     
    Six months after Pearl Harbor, the seemingly invincible Imperial Japanese Navy prepared a decisive blow against the United States. After sweeping through Asia and the South Pacific, Japan’s military targeted the tiny atoll of Midway, an ideal launching pad for the invasion of Hawaii and beyond.
     
    The US Navy would be waiting for them. Thanks to cutting-edge code-breaking technology, tactical daring, and a significant stroke of luck, the Americans under Admiral Chester W. Nimitz dealt the Japanese navy its first major defeat of the war. Three years of hard fighting remained, but it was at Midway that the tide turned.
     
    This “stirring, even suspenseful narrative” is the first book to tell the story of the epic battle from both the American and Japanese sides (Newsday). Miracle at Midway reveals how America won its first and greatest victory of the Pacific war—and how easily it could have been a defeat.
     
    ...
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    The Heart Is a Shifting Sea: Love and Marriage in Mumbai cover
    Book Review

    "Elizabeth Flock takes us on an intimate cruise on the shifting sea of the heart, in the best book set in Bombay that I've read in years. Flock's total access to her characters, and her highly sympathetic and nonjudgmental gaze, prove that love and literature know no borders. Easily the most intimate account of India that I've read, and of value to anybody that believes in love and marriage."—Suketu Mehta, author of Maximum City

    "This remarkable debut is so deeply reported, elegantly written, and profoundly transporting that it reads like a novel you can’t put down. It’s both a nuanced and intimate evocation of Indian culture, and a provocative and exciting meditation on marriage itself."—Katie Roiphe, author of The Violet Hour

    In the vein of Behind the Beautiful Forevers, an intimate, deeply reported and revelatory examination of love, marriage, and the state of modern India—as witnessed through the lives of three very different couples in today’s Mumbai.

    In twenty-first-century India, tradition is colliding with Western culture, a clash that touches the lives of everyday Indians from the wealthiest to the poorest. While eth...
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    Operation Mincemeat cover
    Book Review

    NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF A SPY AMONG FRIENDS

    In 1943, from a windowless basement office in London, two brilliant intelligence officers conceived a plan that was both simple and complicated— Operation Mincemeat. The purpose? To deceive the Nazis into thinking that Allied forces were planning to attack southern Europe by way of Greece or Sardinia, rather than Sicily, as the Nazis had assumed, and the Allies ultimately chose.
     
    Charles Cholmondeley of MI5 and the British naval intelligence officer Ewen Montagu could not have been more different. Cholmondeley was a dreamer seeking adventure. Montagu was an aristocratic, detail-oriented barrister. But together they were the perfect team. They created an ingenious plan: Get a corpse, equip it with secret (but false and misleading) papers concerning the invasion, then drop it off the coast of Spain where German spies would, they hoped, take the bait. The idea was approved by British intelligence officials, including Ian Fleming (creator of James Bond). Winston Churchill believed it might ring true to the Axis and help bring victory to the Allies.

    Filled with ...
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    A More Beautiful and Terrible History: The Uses and Misuses of Civil Rights History cover
    Book Review

    "A bracing corrective to a national mythology" (New York Times) that has been created about the civil rights movement

    The civil rights movement has become national legend, lauded by presidents from Reagan to Obama to Trump, as proof of the power of American democracy. This fable, featuring dreamy heroes and accidental heroines, has shuttered the movement firmly in the past, whitewashed the forces that stood in its way, and diminished its scope. And it is used perniciously in our own times to chastise present-day movements and obscure contemporary injustice.

    In A More Beautiful and Terrible History award-winning historian Jeanne Theoharis dissects this national myth-making, teasing apart the accepted stories to show them in a strikingly different light. We see Rosa Parks not simply as a bus lady but a lifelong criminal justice activist and radical; Martin Luther King, Jr. as not only challenging Southern sheriffs but Northern liberals, too; and Coretta Scott King not only as a "helpmate" but a lifelong economic justice and peace activist who pushed her husband's activism in these directions.

    Moving from "the histories we get" to "t...
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    The Unmaking of the President 2016: How FBI Director James Comey Cost Hillary Clinton the Presidency cover
    Book Review

    A longtime Washington insider argues that former FBI Director James Comey’s letter to Congress, sent just before the presidential election in 2016 was a key determining factor in Trump’s win: “Compelling criticism…lapsed Trump supporters might well open their minds to this attorney’s scholarly, entirely convincing proof of the damage done” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review).

    During the week of October 24, 2016, Hillary Clinton was decisively ahead of Donald Trump in many polls and, more importantly, in the battleground states of Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. Then FBI Director James Comey sent his infamous letter to Congress on October 28, saying the bureau was investigating additional emails that may have been relevant to the Hillary Clinton email case. In The Unmaking of the President 2016, attorney Lanny J. Davis shows how Comey’s misguided announcement—just eleven days before the election—swung a significant number of voters away from Clinton, winning Trump an Electoral College victory—and the presidency.

    Davis traces Clinton’s email controversy and Comey’s July 2016 appearance before Congress, in which he said the Clinton ema...
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    Black Lamb and Grey Falcon cover
    Book Review

    “Rebecca West’s magnum opus . . . one of the great books of our time.” —The New Yorker
     
    Written on the brink of World War II, Rebecca West’s classic examination of the history, people, and politics of Yugoslavia illuminates a region that is still a focus of international concern. A magnificent blend of travel journal, cultural commentary, and historical insight, Black Lamb and Grey Falcon probes the troubled history of the Balkans and the uneasy relationships among its ethnic groups. The landscape and the people of Yugoslavia are brilliantly observed as West untangles the tensions that rule the country’s history as well as its daily life.
     
    For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
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    In Search of Paul: How Jesus' Apostle Opposed Rome's Empire with God's Kingdom cover
    Book Review

    John Dominic Crossan, the eminent historical Jesus scholar, and Jonathan L. Reed, an expert in biblical archaeology, reveal through archaeology and textual scholarship that Paul, like Jesus, focused on championing the Kingdom of God––a realm of justice and equality––against the dominant, worldly powers of the Roman empire.

    Many theories exist about who Paul was, what he believed, and what role he played in the origins of Christianity. Using archaeological and textual evidence, and taking advantage of recent major discoveries in Italy, Greece, Turkey, and Syria, Crossan and Reed show that Paul was a fallible but dedicated successor to Jesus, carrying on Jesus's mission of inaugurating the Kingdom of God on earth in opposition to the reign of Rome. Against the concrete backdrop of first–century Grego–Roman and Jewish life, In Search of Paul reveals the work of Paul as never before, showing how and why the liberating messages and practices of equality, caring for the poor, and a just society under God's rules, not Rome's, were so appealing.

    Readers interested in Paul as a historical figure and his place in the development of Christianity


    •Read...
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    Bobby Kennedy: The Making of a Liberal Icon cover
    Book Review

    NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • From the author of Satchel comes an in-depth, vibrant, and measured biography about the most complex and controversial member of the Kennedy family.

    NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE WASHINGTON POST

    History remembers Robert F. Kennedy as a racial healer, a tribune for the poor, and the last progressive knight of a bygone era of American politics. But Kennedy’s enshrinement in the liberal pantheon was actually the final stage of a journey that had its beginnings in the conservative 1950s. In Bobby Kennedy, Larry Tye peels away layers of myth and misconception to paint a complete portrait of this singularly fascinating figure.

    To capture the full arc of his subject’s life, Tye draws on unpublished memoirs, unreleased government files, and fifty-eight boxes of papers that had been under lock and key for the past forty years. He conducted hundreds of interviews with RFK intimates—including Bobby’s widow, Ethel, his sister Jean, and his aide John Siegenthaler—many of whom have never spoken to another biographer. Tye’s determination to sift through the tangle of ...
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    A Higher Call: An Incredible True Story of Combat and Chivalry in the War-Torn Skies of WorldWar II cover
    Book Review

    THE NEW YORK TIMES AND INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER

    December, 1943: A badly damaged American bomber struggles to fly over wartime Germany. At the controls is twenty-one-year-old Second Lieutenant Charlie Brown. Half his crew lay wounded or dead on this, their first mission. Suddenly, a Messerschmitt fighter pulls up on the bomber’s tail. The pilot is German ace Franz Stigler—and he can destroy the young American crew with the squeeze of a trigger...

    What happened next would defy imagination and later be called “the most incredible encounter between enemies in World War II.”

    The U.S. 8th Air Force would later classify what happened between them as “top secret.” It was an act that Franz could never mention for fear of facing a firing squad. It was the encounter that would haunt both Charlie and Franz for forty years until, as old men, they would search the world for each other, a last mission that could change their lives forever.

    INCLUDES PHOTOS...
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    Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001 cover
    Book Review

    Winner of the 2005 Pulitzer Prize

    The explosive first-hand account of America's secret history in Afghanistan


    To what extent did America’s best intelligence analysts grasp the rising thread of Islamist radicalism? Who tried to stop bin Laden and why did they fail? Comprehensively and for the first time, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Steve Coll recounts the history of the covert wars in Afghanistan that fueled Islamic militancy and sowed the seeds of the September 11 attacks. Based on scrupulous research and firsthand accounts by key government, intelligence, and military personnel both foreign and American, Ghost Wars details the secret history of the CIA’s role in Afghanistan (including its covert operations against Soviet troops from 1979 to 1989), the rise of the Taliban, the emergence of bin Laden, and the failed efforts by U.S. forces to find and assassinate bin Laden in Afghanistan. 

    Steve Coll's new book Directorate S: The C.I.A. and America's Secret Wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan, 2001-2016 will be published in February 2018....
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    Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and Bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001 cover
    Book Review

    Winner of the 2005 Pulitzer Prize

    The explosive first-hand account of America's secret history in Afghanistan


    To what extent did America’s best intelligence analysts grasp the rising thread of Islamist radicalism? Who tried to stop bin Laden and why did they fail? Comprehensively and for the first time, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Steve Coll recounts the history of the covert wars in Afghanistan that fueled Islamic militancy and sowed the seeds of the September 11 attacks. Based on scrupulous research and firsthand accounts by key government, intelligence, and military personnel both foreign and American, Ghost Wars details the secret history of the CIA’s role in Afghanistan (including its covert operations against Soviet troops from 1979 to 1989), the rise of the Taliban, the emergence of bin Laden, and the failed efforts by U.S. forces to find and assassinate bin Laden in Afghanistan. 

    Steve Coll's new book Directorate S: The C.I.A. and America's Secret Wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan, 2001-2016 will be published in February 2018....
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    Naming Names cover

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    Winner of the National Book Award: The definitive history of Joe McCarthy, the Hollywood blacklist, and HUAC explores the events behind the hit film Trumbo.

    Drawing on interviews with over one hundred and fifty people who were called to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee—including Elia Kazan, Ring Lardner Jr., and Arthur Miller—award-winning author Victor S. Navasky reveals how and why the blacklists were so effective and delves into the tragic and far-reaching consequences of Joseph McCarthy’s witch hunts.

    A compassionate, insightful, and even-handed examination of one of our country’s darkest hours, Naming Names is at once a morality play and a fascinating window onto a searing moment in American cultural and political history.
     
    ...
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    The Grand Central Market Cookbook: Cuisine and Culture from Downtown Los Angeles cover
    Book Review

    Founded in 1917, Grand Central Market is a legendary food hall in Downtown Los Angeles that brings together the many traditions and flavors of the city. Now, GCM’s first cookbook puts the spotlight on unique recipes from its diverse vendors, bringing their authentic tastes to your home kitchen. From Horse Thief BBQ’s Nashville-Style Hot Fried Chicken Sando to Madcapra’s Sumac Beet Soda to Golden Road’s Crunchy Avocado Tacos, here are over 85 distinctive recipes, plus spectacular photography that shows off the food, the people, and the daily bustle and buzz. Stories about the Market’s vibrant history and interviews with its prominent customers and vendors dot the pages as well. Whether you’ve visited and want to make your favorite dishes at home, or are simply looking for a cookbook that provides a plethora of multi-national cuisine, The Grand Central Market Cookbook is sure to make your kitchen just a little bit cooler....
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    Book Review

    The Tower of London was not simply a fortress: It was at various times a royal palace, a state prison, the home of the Mint, the treasury for the Crown Jewels, a repository for state papers, and an observatory. Since lions were considered a suitable gift for royalty, one tower - the Lion Tower - was a menagerie.

    Many historic events, stately and ceremonial, pathetic or dreadful - from the murder of King Edward IV's young sons to the beheadings of Henry VIII's queens to the imprisonment of Elizabeth I - took place in the Tower. It was customary for kings and queens to spend the night, or a few days, in these apartments before their coronation; from there they proceeded to Westminster. Charles II's was the last; after that, the royal lodgings fell into disuse and were ultimately abandoned.

    Here is the vivid story of the Tower of London, the monarchs who slept there, and the men and women who lost their lives there....
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    The Serial Killer Files: The Who, What, Where, How, and Why of the World’s Most Terrifying Murderers cover
    Book Review

    Hollywood's make-believe maniacs like Jason, Freddy, and Hannibal Lecter can't hold a candle to real-life monsters like John Wayne Gacy, Ted Bundy, Jeffrey Dahmer, and scores of others who have terrorized, tortured, and terminated their way across civilization throughout the ages. Now, from the much-acclaimed author of Deviant, Deranged, and Depraved, comes the ultimate resource on the serial killer phenomenon.

    Rigorously researched, this innovative and highly compelling compendium covers every aspect of multiple murderers, including psychology, cinema, fetishism, fan clubs, "trophies", and trading cards.

    ...
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    The Saboteur: The Aristocrat Who Became France's Most Daring Anti-Nazi Commando cover
    Book Review

    In the tradition of Agent Zigzag comes this breathtaking biography, as fast-paced and emotionally intuitive as the very best spy thrillers, which illuminates an unsung hero of the French Resistance during World War II—Robert de La Rochefoucauld, an aristocrat turned anti-Nazi saboteur—and his daring exploits as a résistant trained by Britain’s Special Operations Executive.

    A scion of one of the most storied families in France, Robert de La Rochefoucauld was raised in magnificent chateaux and educated in Europe's finest schools. When the Nazis invaded and imprisoned his father, La Rochefoucauld escaped to England and learned the dark arts of anarchy and combat—cracking safes and planting bombs and killing with his bare hands—from the officers of Special Operations Executive, the collection of British spies, beloved by Winston Churchill, who altered the war in Europe with tactics that earned it notoriety as the “Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare.” With his newfound skills, La Rochefoucauld returned to France and organized Resistance cells, blew up fortified compounds and munitions factories, interfered with Germans’ war-time missio...
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    Gosnell: The Untold Story of America's Most Prolific Serial Killer cover
    Book Review

    Gosnell is the untold story of America's most prolific serial killer. In 2013, Dr. Kermit Gosnell was convicted of killing four people, including three babies, but is thought to have killed hundreds, perhaps thousands more in a 30-year killing spree. ABC News correspondent Terry Moran described Gosnell as "America's most prolific serial killer". Gosnell is currently serving three life sentences (without the possibility of parole) for murdering babies and patients at his "House of Horrors" abortion clinic.

    This book - and now a major movie starring Dean Cain (Lois & Clarke) - reveals how the investigation that brought Gosnell to justice started as a routine drugs investigation and turned into a shocking unmasking of America's biggest serial killer. It details how compliant politicians and bureaucrats allowed Dr. Gosnell to carry out his grisly trade because they didn't want to be accused of "attacking abortion". Gosnell also exposes the media cover-up that saw reporters refusing to cover a story that shone an unwelcome spotlight on abortion in America in the 21st century. Gosnell is an astounding piece of investigative journalism...
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    The Ordeal of Elizabeth Marsh: A Woman in World History cover
    Book Review

    In this remarkable reconstruction of an eighteenth-century woman's extraordinary and turbulent life, historian Linda Colley not only tells the story of Elizabeth Marsh, one of the most distinctive travelers of her time, but also opens a window onto a radically transforming world.Marsh was conceived in Jamaica, lived in London, Gibraltar, and Menorca, visited the Cape of Africa and Rio de Janeiro, explored eastern and southern India, and was held captive at the court of the sultan of Morocco. She was involved in land speculation in Florida and in international smuggling, and was caught up in three different slave systems. She was also a part of far larger histories. Marsh's lifetime saw new connections being forged across nations, continents, and oceans by war, empire, trade, navies, slavery, and print, and these developments shaped and distorted her own progress and the lives of those close to her. Colley brilliantly weaves together the personal and the epic in this compelling story of a woman in world history.


    From the Trade Paperback edition.

    Product Description

    In this remarkable reconstruction of an eighteenth-century woman's extraordinar...
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    To Hell and Back  cover
    Book Review

    The classic bestselling war memoir by the most decorated American soldier in World War II, back in print in a trade paperback

    Originally published in 1949, To Hell and Back was a smash bestseller for fourteen weeks and later became a major motion picture starring Audie Murphy as himself. More than fifty years later, this classic wartime memoir is just as gripping as it was then.

    Desperate to see action but rejected by both the marines and paratroopers because he was too short, Murphy eventually found a home with the infantry. He fought through campaigns in Sicily, Italy, France, and Germany. Although still under twenty-one years old on V-E Day, he was credited with having killed, captured, or wounded 240 Germans. He emerged from the war as America's most decorated soldier, having received twenty-one medals, including our highest military decoration, the Congressional Medal of Honor. To Hell and Back is a powerfully real portrayal of American GI's at war.

    ...
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    Three Minutes to Doomsday: An Agent, a Traitor, and the Worst Espionage Breach in U.S. History cover
    Book Review

    An intense cat-and-mouse game played between two brilliant men in the last days of the Cold War, this shocking insider's story shows how a massive giveaway of secret war plans and nuclear secrets threatened America with annihilation.

    In 1988 Joe Navarro, one of the youngest agents ever hired by the FBI, was dividing his time between SWAT assignments, flying air reconnaissance, and working counterintelligence. But his real expertise was "reading" body language. He possessed an uncanny ability to glean the thoughts of those he interrogated.

    So it was that, on a routine assignment to interview a "person of interest" - a former American soldier named Rod Ramsay - Navarro noticed his interviewee's hand trembling slightly when he was asked about another soldier who had recently been arrested in Germany on suspicion of espionage. That thin lead was enough for the FBI agent to insist to his bosses that an investigation be opened.

    What followed is unique in the annals of espionage detection - a two-year-long battle of wits. The dueling antagonists: an FBI agent who couldn't overtly tip to his target that he suspected him of wrongdoing lest he clam ...
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    A Lucky Child: A Memoir of Surviving Auschwitz as a Young Boy cover
    Book Review

    Thomas Buergenthal, now a Judge in the International Court of Justice in The Hague, tells his astonishing experiences as a young boy in his memoir A LUCKY CHILD. He arrived at Auschwitz at age 10 after surviving two ghettos and a labor camp. Separated first from his mother and then his father, Buergenthal managed by his wits and some remarkable strokes of luck to survive on his own. Almost two years after his liberation, Buergenthal was miraculously reunited with his mother and in 1951 arrived in the U.S. to start a new life.

    Now dedicated to helping those subjected to tyranny throughout the world, Buergenthal writes his story with a simple clarity that highlights the stark details of unimaginable hardship. A LUCKY CHILD is a book that demands to be read by all.

    Product Description

    Thomas Buergenthal, now a Judge in the International Court of Justice in The Hague, tells his astonishing experiences as a young boy in...
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    Israel: A Concise History of a Nation Reborn cover
    Book Review

    Winner of the Jewish Book of the Year Award

    The first comprehensive yet accessible history of the state of Israel from its inception to present day, from Daniel Gordis, "one of the most respected Israel analysts" (The Forward) living and writing in Jerusalem.

    Israel is a tiny state, and yet it has captured the world’s attention, aroused its imagination, and lately, been the object of its opprobrium. Why does such a small country speak to so many global concerns? More pressingly: Why does Israel make the decisions it does? And what lies in its future?

    We cannot answer these questions until we understand Israel’s people and the questions and conflicts, the hopes and desires, that have animated their conversations and actions. Though Israel’s history is rife with conflict, these conflicts do not fully communicate the spirit of Israel and its people: they give short shrift to the dream that gave birth to the state, and to the vision for the Jewish people that was at its core. Guiding us through the milestones of Israeli history, Gordis relays the drama of the Jewish people’s story and the creation of the state. Clear-eyed and erud...
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    The Star Spangled Buddhist: Zen, Tibetan, and Soka Gakkai Buddhism and the Quest for Enlightenment in America cover
    Book Review

    “Ourvan offers a succinct but illuminating overview of Zen, Tibetan, and Soka Gakkai Buddhism."—Publishers Weekly

    Approximately four million Americans claim to be Buddhist. Moreover, hundreds of thousands of Americans of various faiths read about Buddhism, are interested in its philosophical tenets, or fashionably view themselves as Buddhists. They’re part of what’s been described as the fastest-growing religious movement in America: a large group of people dissatisfied with traditional religious offerings and thirsty for an approach to spirituality grounded in logic and consistent with scientific knowledge. The Star-Spangled Buddhist is a provocative look at these American Buddhists through their three largest movements in the United States: the Soka Gakkai International, Tibetan/Vajrayana Buddhism, and Zen Buddhism.

    The practice of each of these American schools, unlike most traditional Asian Buddhist sects, is grounded in the notion that all people are capable of attaining enlightenment in “this lifetime.” But the differences are also profound: the spectrum of philosophical expression among these American Buddhist schools ...
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    The Illustrious Dead: The Terrifying Story of How Typhus Killed Napoleon's Greatest Army cover
    Book Review

    “Gripping . . . a compelling story of personal hubris and humbling defeat.”
    —Jack Weatherford,author of the New York Times bestseller Genghis Khan and the Making of the
    Modern World


    In a masterful dual narrative that pits the heights of human ambition and achievement against the supremacy of nature, New York Times bestselling author Stephan Talty tells the story of a mighty ruler and a tiny microbe, antagonists whose struggle would shape the modern world.

    In the spring of 1812, Napoleon Bonaparte was at the height of his powers. Forty-five million called him emperor, and he commanded a nation that was the richest, most cultured, and advanced on earth. No army could stand against his impeccably trained, brilliantly led forces, and his continued sweep across Europe seemed inevitable.

    Early that year, bolstered by his successes, Napoleon turned his attentions toward Moscow, helming the largest invasion in human history. Surely, Tsar Alexander’s outnumbered troops would crumble against this mighty force.

    But another powerful and ancient enemy awaited Napoleon’s men in the Russian steppes. Virulent...
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    Russian Roulette: The Inside Story of Putin's War on America and the Election of Donald Trump cover
    Book Review

    #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

    The incredible, harrowing account of how American democracy was hacked by Moscow as part of a covert operation to influence the U.S. election and help Donald Trump gain the presidency.

    RUSSIAN ROULETTE is a story of political skullduggery unprecedented in American history. It weaves together tales of international intrigue, cyber espionage, and superpower rivalry. After U.S.-Russia relations soured, as Vladimir Putin moved to reassert Russian strength on the global stage, Moscow trained its best hackers and trolls on U.S. political targets and exploited WikiLeaks to disseminate information that could affect the 2016 election.

    The Russians were wildly successful and the great break-in of 2016 was no "third-rate burglary." It was far more sophisticated and sinister -- a brazen act of political espionage designed to interfere with American democracy. At the end of the day, Trump, the candidate who purs...
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    The First Americans cover

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    Book Review

    It was about 13,000 years ago that the First Americans, people who came from Asia, worked their way past the melting glaciers of the last Ice Age and began spreading across North, Central, and South America - lands previously unscarred by humans and teeming with mammoths, giant bison, saber-toothed tigers, and beavers the size of a cow. But it's only recently that scientists have pieced together the elusive, compelling saga of that epic migration. And the more we learn about them, the more we must marvel at the courage, adaptability, enterprise, and enduring resilience of the First Americans.

    Most of us know little about the early Americans and the wonders they achieved. Some of them learned to hunt forty-ton whales from dugout canoes; others built a vast system of canals that irrigated crops on tens of thousands of acres. Fully a thousand years before the pyramids at Giza went up, people on the Mississippi River were constructing even larger pyramidal earthworks, and later, a thousand miles to the north, others built a city that would remain the largest in North America until after the Revolutionary War. In the cradle of civilization that evolved in Central Ame...
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    Nazi Games: The Olympics of 1936 cover
    Book Review

    Athletics and politics collide in a critical event for Nazi Germany and the contemporary world.


    The torch relay—that staple of Olympic pageantry—first opened the summer games in 1936 in Berlin. Proposed by the Nazi Propaganda Ministry, the relay was to carry the symbolism of a new Germany across its route through southeastern and central Europe. Soon after the Wehrmacht would march in jackboots over the same terrain.


    The Olympic festival was a crucial part of the Nazi regime's mobilization of power. Nazi Games offers a superb blend of history and sport. The narrative includes a stirring account of the international effort to boycott the games, derailed finally by the American Olympic Committee and the determination of its head, Avery Brundage, to participate. Nazi Games also recounts the dazzling athletic feats of these Olympics, including Jesse Owens's four gold-medal performances and the marathon victory of Korean runner Kitei Son, the Rising Sun of imperial Japan on his bib.

    ...
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    The SS Dirlewanger Brigade: The History of the Black Hunters cover
    Book Review

    The Dirlewanger Brigade was an anti-partisan unit of the Nazi army, reporting directly to Heinrich Himmler. The first members of the brigade were mostly poachers who were released from prisons and concentration camps and who were believed to have the skills necessary for hunting down and capturing partisan fighters in their camps in the forests of the Eastern Front. Their numbers were soon increased by others who were eager for a way out of imprisonment—including men who had been convicted of burglary, assault, murder, and rape.

    Under the leadership of Oskar Dirlewanger, a convicted rapist and alcoholic, they could do as they pleased: there were no repercussions for even their worst behavior. This was the group used for its special “talents” to help put down the Jewish uprising of the Warsaw Ghetto, killing an estimated 35,000 men, women, and children in a single day. Even by Nazi standards, the brigade was considered unduly violent and an investigation of its activities was opened. The Nazi hierarchy was eager to distance itself from the behavior of the brigade and eventually exiled many of the members to Belarus. Based on the archives from Germany, Poland, an...
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    The Island of Lost Maps: A True Story of Cartographic Crime cover
    Book Review

    The Island of Lost Maps tells the story of a curious crime spree: the theft of scores of valuable centuries-old maps from some of the most prominent research libraries in the United States and Canada. The perpetrator was Gilbert Joseph Bland, Jr., an enigmatic antiques dealer from South Florida, whose cross-country slash-and-dash operation had gone virtually undetected until he was caught in 1995–and was unmasked as the most prolific American map thief in history. As Miles Harvey unravels the mystery of Bland’s life, he maps out the world of cartography and cartographic crime, weaving together a fascinating story of exploration, craftsmanship, villainy, and the lure of the unknown.


    From the Trade Paperback edition.

    Amazon.com Review

    In 1995, a watchful patron alerted a librarian at Johns Hopkins University that another patron, a middle-aged and well-dressed man, was behaving suspiciously. The librarian called the police, who discovered that the man, a Floridian named Gilbert Bland, had cut four maps from a set of rare books. On investigation, the police were able to attribute dozens of similar thefts to Bland, thefts that had taken pla...
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    Ordinary Men: Reserve Police Battalion 101 and the Final Solution in Poland cover
    Book Review

    Christopher R. Browning’s shocking account of how a unit of average middle-aged Germans became the cold-blooded murderers of tens of thousands of Jews—now with a new afterword and additional photographs.

    Ordinary Men is the true story of Reserve Police Battalion 101 of the German Order Police, which was responsible for mass shootings as well as round-ups of Jewish people for deportation to Nazi death camps in Poland in 1942. Browning argues that most of the men of  RPB 101 were not fanatical Nazis but, rather, ordinary middle-aged, working-class men who committed these atrocities out of a mixture of motives, including the group dynamics of conformity, deference to authority, role adaptation, and the altering of moral norms to justify their actions. Very quickly three groups emerged within the battalion: a core of eager killers, a plurality who carried out their duties reliably but without initiative, and a small minority who evaded participation in the acts of killing without diminishing the murderous efficiency of the battalion whatsoever.

    While this book discusses a specific Reserve Unit during WWII, the general argument Brown...
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    Directorate S: The C.I.A. and America's Secret Wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan cover
    Book Review

    Resuming the narrative of his Pulitzer Prize-winning Ghost Wars, bestselling author Steve Coll tells for the first time the epic and enthralling story of America's intelligence, military, and diplomatic efforts to defeat Al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan since 9/11

    Prior to 9/11, the United States had been carrying out small-scale covert operations in Afghanistan, ostensibly in cooperation, although often in direct opposition, with I.S.I., the Pakistani intelligence agency. While the US was trying to quell extremists, a highly secretive and compartmentalized wing of I.S.I., known as "Directorate S," was covertly training, arming, and seeking to legitimize the Taliban, in order to enlarge Pakistan's sphere of influence. After 9/11, when fifty-nine countries, led by the U. S., deployed troops or provided aid to Afghanistan in an effort to flush out the Taliban and Al Qaeda, the U.S. was set on an invisible slow-motion collision course with Pakistan.

    Today we know that the war in Afghanistan would falter badly because of military hubris at the highest levels of the Pentagon, the drain on resources and provocation in the Mu...
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    Life in Victorian England cover

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    Book Review

    Here, the eminent historian Christopher Hibbert explores life in Victorian England, a time when the British Empire was at its height, when the prosperous English basked in the Pax Britannica and thought their progress and stability would go on forever....
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    Napoleon's Hemorrhoids: And Other Small Events That Changed History cover
    Book Review

    Hilarious, fascinating, and a roller coaster of dizzying, historical what-ifs, Napoleon’s Hemorrhoids is a potpourri for serious historians and casual history buffs. In one of Phil Mason’s many revelations, you’ll learn that Communist jets were two minutes away from opening fire on American planes during the Cuban missile crisis, when they had to turn back as they were running out of fuel. You’ll discover that before the Battle of Waterloo, Napoleon’s painful hemorrhoids prevented him from mounting his horse to survey the battlefield. You’ll learn that an irate blacksmith threw his hammer at a fox and missed, hitting a rock and revealing the largest vein of silver ever discovered, thus changing the finances of Canada forever. Interestingly, Charlton Heston was cast as Moses in The Ten Commandments because his broken nose made him look like Michelangelo’s famous sculpture of Moses. Finally, no one knows Einstein’s last words. They were in German, a language his nurse did not speak.

    A treasure trove filled with fascinating anecdotes about the tiny ripples that created big waves in history, Napoleon’s Hemorrhoids is much more than just a tr...
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    Sex with Kings: 500 Years of Adultery, Power, Rivalry, and Revenge cover
    Book Review

    Throughout the centuries, royal mistresses have been worshiped, feared, envied, and reviled. They set the fashions, encouraged the arts, and, in some cases, ruled nations. Eleanor Herman's Sex with Kings takes us into the throne rooms and bedrooms of Europe's most powerful monarchs. Alive with flamboyant characters, outrageous humor, and stirring poignancy, this glittering tale of passion and politics chronicles five hundred years of scintillating women and the kings who loved them.

    Curiously, the main function of a royal mistress was not to provide the king with sex but with companionship. Forced to marry repulsive foreign princesses, kings sought solace with women of their own choice. And what women they were! From Madame de Pompadour, the famous mistress of Louis XV, who kept her position for nineteen years despite her frigidity, to modern-day Camilla Parker-Bowles, who usurped none other than the glamorous Diana, Princess of Wales.

    The successful royal mistress made herself irreplaceable. She was ready to converse gaily with him when she was tired, make love until all hours when she was ill, and cater to his every whim. Wearing a mask of beaming...
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    The Prodigal Church: A Gentle Manifesto against the Status Quo cover
    Book Review

    This book is not a tired rant.
    This book is not a reactionary diatribe.
    This book is a gentle manifesto against the status quo.

    In The Prodigal Church, Jared Wilson challenges church leaders to reconsider their priorities when it comes to how they “do church” and reach people in their communities, arguing that we too often rely on loud music, flashy lights, and skinny jeans to get people in the door.

    Writing with the grace and kindness of a trusted friend, Wilson encourages readers to reexamine the Bible’s teaching, not simply return to a traditional model for tradition’s sake. He then sets forth an alternative to both the attractional and the traditional models: an explicitly biblical approach that is gospel focused, grace based, and fruit oriented.

    ...
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    The Widow's Network (Kindle Single) cover
    Book Review

    The New York Times bestselling author of Twelve and The End of Major Combat Operations takes you deep inside an important battle against ISIS and reveals the allied fighters’ most unexpected intelligence assets—which the US government will neither confirm nor deny.

    When journalist Nick McDonell returned to Iraq in 2016, he sought to better understand the collateral damage of America’s ongoing wars by meeting face-to-face with its besieged survivors. What he found in the ruins of Tikrit, one of the last barriers between ISIS and Baghdad, was a covert alliance of women, embedded against ISIS and fronted by an Iraqi named Wahida, acting as unofficial spies for the US and coalition forces. With her entire family wiped out by ISIS, Wahida has been waging a war of her own—she recruits from the divorce courts of Iraq to find women willing to pose as wives under ISIS rule. The result: air strikes that have liquidated top ISIS figures—and civilians.

    The Widow’s Network reveals a world where battle lines don’t exist, where risks are incalculable, and where everyday women are playing a major role in defeating one of the most depraved ...
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    Miami and the Siege of Chicago: An Informal History of the Republican and Democratic Conventions of 1968 cover
    Book Review

    In this landmark work of journalism, Norman Mailer reports on the presidential conventions of 1968, the turbulent year from which today’s bitterly divided country arose. The Vietnam War was raging; Martin Luther King, Jr., and Robert F. Kennedy had just been assassinated. In August, the Republican Party met in Miami and picked Richard Nixon as its candidate, to little fanfare. But when the Democrats backed Lyndon Johnson’s ineffectual vice president, Hubert Humphrey, the city of Chicago erupted. Antiwar protesters filled the streets and the police ran amok, beating and arresting demonstrators and delegates alike, all broadcast on live television—and captured in these pages by one of America’s fiercest intellects.
     
    Praise for Miami and the Siege of Chicago
     
    “For historians who wish for the presence of a world-class literary witness at crucial moments in history, Mailer in Miami and Chicago was heaven-sent.”—Michael Beschloss, The Washington Post
     
    “Extraordinary . . . Mailer [predicted that] ‘we will be fighting for forty years.’ He got that right, among many other things.”—Christopher Hitche...
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    Voyagers of the Titanic: Passengers, Sailors, Shipbuilders, Aristocrats, and the Worlds They Came From cover
    Book Review

    “An astonishing work.”
    —Julian Fellowes, Creator and Executive Producer of “Downton Abbey”

    “A book well worthy of marking the centenary of the crystal-clear night when the immense ship slid to her terrible doom.”
    —Simon Winchester, New York Times bestselling author of The Professor and the Madman

    It has been one hundred years since the sinking of the passenger liner Titanic in the North Atlantic, yet worldwide fascination with the epic tragedy remains as strong as ever. With Voyagers of the Titanic, Richard Davenport-Hines gives us a magnificent history of the people intimately connected with the infamous ship—from deal-makers and industry giants, like J.P. Morgan, who built and operated it; to Molly Brown, John Jacob Astor IV, and other glittering aristocrats who occupied its first class cabins; to the men and women traveling below decks hoping to find a better life in America. Commemorating the centennial anniversary of the great disaster, Voyagers of the Titanic offers a fascinating, uniquely original view of one of the most momentous catastrophes of the 20th century.

    ...
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    Where I End: A Story of Tragedy, Truth, and Rebellious Hope cover
    Book Review

    “Those who are hidden in Jesus, though they suffer, will discover a more beautiful ending—or should I say beginning—than they ever could imagine.”

    Katherine Clark was just an average wife and mother with two young children when she was in a tragic playground accident in late May 2009. A little boy playing on the jungle gym jumped and landed on Kate’s head, knocking her over and snapping her neck. Kate was paralyzed from the neck down. The doctors diagnosed her with quadriplegia and said she would never walk again.

    This terrifying prognosis could have been the end of the story. But instead, God chose to work a profound miracle in Kate’s life and in the life of her family.

    Where I End tells the incredible story. Kate describes how God’s presence carried her through the trying journey of re-learning to walk, both physically and spiritually. Throughout, she shares the deep theological truths that sustained her as she and her family traveled this difficult road.

    For fans of Ann Voskamp, Sheldon Vanauken, and Joni Eareckson Tada, Where I End offers hope, encouragement, and a timely reminder of who Jesu...
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    Japan: A History cover

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    Here is the story of Japan - from the mythological explanations of its birth to the rise of feudal overlords, from its isolationist policies to its emergence as a major world power, from Pearl Harbor to the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in World War II. Award-winning journalist Noel Fairchild Busch brings the country and its people vividly to life, revealing the beautiful and unusual customs, rituals, and arts of this mysterious culture....
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    World of Our Fathers: The Journey of the East European Jews to America and the Life They Found and Made cover
    Book Review

    The National Book Award–winning, New York Times–bestselling history of Yiddish-speaking immigrants on the Lower East Side and beyond.
     
    In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, two million Jewish immigrants poured into America, leaving places like Warsaw or the Russian shtetls to pass through Ellis Island and start over in the New World. This is a “brilliant” account of their stories (The New York Times).
     
    Though some moved on to Philadelphia, Chicago, and other points west, many of these new citizens settled in New York City, especially in Manhattan’s teeming tenements. Like others before and after, they struggled to hold on to the culture and community they brought from their homelands, all the while striving to escape oppression and find opportunity. They faced poverty and crime, but also experienced the excitement of freedom and previously unimaginable possibilities. Over the course of decades, from the 1880s to the 1920s, they were assimilated into the great melting pot as the Yiddish language slowly gave way to English; work was found in sweatshops; children were sent to both religious and secular school...
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    The Swamp Fox: How Francis Marion Saved the American Revolution cover
    Book Review

    In the darkest days of the American Revolution, Francis Marion and his band of militia freedom fighters kept hope alive for the patriot cause during the critical British "southern campaign." Employing insurgent guerrilla tactics that became commonplace in later centuries, Marion and his brigade inflicted enemy losses that were individually small but cumulatively a large drain on British resources and morale.

    Although many will remember the stirring adventures of the "Swamp Fox" from the Walt Disney television series of the late 1950s and the fictionalized Marion character played by Mel Gibson in the 2000 film The Patriot, the real Francis Marion bore little resemblance to either of those caricatures. But his exploits were no less heroic as he succeeded, against all odds, in repeatedly foiling the highly trained, better-equipped forces arrayed against him.

    In this action-packed biography we meet many colorful characters from the Revolution: Banastre Tarleton, the British cavalry officer who relentlessly pursued Marion over twenty-six miles of swamp, only to call off the chase and declare (per legend) that "the Devil himself could not catch ...