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Get Well Soon - Jennifer Wright Cover Art

Get Well Soon

Get Well Soon History's Worst Plagues and the Heroes Who Fought Them by Jennifer Wright

A witty, irreverent tour of history's worst plagues—from the Antonine Plague, to leprosy, to polio—and a celebration of the heroes who fought them In 1518, in a small town in Alsace, Frau Troffea began dancing and didn’t stop. She danced until she was carried away six days later, and soon thirty-four more villagers joined her. Then more. In a month more than 400 people had been stricken by the mysterious dancing plague. In late-seventeenth-century England an eccentric gentleman founded the No Nose Club in his gracious townhome—a social club for those who had lost their noses, and other body parts, to the plague of syphilis for which there was then no cure. And in turn-of-the-century New York, an Irish cook caused two lethal outbreaks of typhoid fever, a case that transformed her into the notorious Typhoid Mary. Throughout time, humans have been terrified and fascinated by the diseases history and circumstance have dropped on them. Some of their responses to those outbreaks are almost too strange to believe in hindsight. Get Well Soon delivers the gruesome, morbid details of some of the worst plagues we’ve suffered as a species, as well as stories of the heroic figures who selflessly fought to ease the suffering of their fellow man. With her signature mix of in-depth research and storytelling, and not a little dark humor, Jennifer Wright explores history’s most gripping and deadly outbreaks, and ultimately looks at the surprising ways they’ve shaped history and humanity for almost as long as anyone can remember.

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A Bright Shining Lie - Neil Sheehan Cover Art

A Bright Shining Lie

A Bright Shining Lie John Paul Vann and America in Vietnam by Neil Sheehan

Selected by the Modern Library as one of the 100 best nonfiction books of all time In this magisterial book, a monument of history and biography that was awarded the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize for nonfiction, renowned journalist Neil Sheehan tells the story of Lieutenant Colonel John Paul Vann–"the one irreplaceable American in Vietnam"–and of the tragedy that destroyed that country and the lives of so many Americans. Outspoken and fearless, John Paul Vann arrived in Vietnam in 1962, full of confidence in America's might and right to prevail. A Bright Shining Lie reveals the truth about the war in Vietnam as it unfolded before Vann's eyes: the arrogance and professional corruption of the U.S. military system of the 1960s, the incompetence and venality of the South Vietnamese army, the nightmare of death and destruction that began with the arrival of the American forces. Witnessing the arrogance and self-deception firsthand, Vann put his life and career on the line in an attempt to convince his superiors that the war should be fought another way. But by the time he died in 1972, Vann had embraced the follies he once decried. He went to his grave believing that the war had been won. A haunting and critically acclaimed masterpiece, A Bright Shining Lie is a timeless account of the American experience in Vietnam–a work that is epic in scope, piercing in detail, and told with the keen understanding of a journalist who was actually there. Neil Sheehan' s classic serves as a stunning revelation for all who thought they understood the war.

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The Pioneers - David McCullough Cover Art

The Pioneers

The Pioneers The Heroic Story of the Settlers Who Brought the American Ideal West by David McCullough

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER Pulitzer Prize–winning historian David McCullough rediscovers an important and dramatic chapter in the American story—the settling of the Northwest Territory by dauntless pioneers who overcame incredible hardships to build a community based on ideals that would come to define our country. As part of the Treaty of Paris, in which Great Britain recognized the new United States of America, Britain ceded the land that comprised the immense Northwest Territory, a wilderness empire northwest of the Ohio River containing the future states of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, and Wisconsin. A Massachusetts minister named Manasseh Cutler was instrumental in opening this vast territory to veterans of the Revolutionary War and their families for settlement. Included in the Northwest Ordinance were three remarkable conditions: freedom of religion, free universal education, and most importantly, the prohibition of slavery. In 1788 the first band of pioneers set out from New England for the Northwest Territory under the leadership of Revolutionary War veteran General Rufus Putnam. They settled in what is now Marietta on the banks of the Ohio River. McCullough tells the story through five major characters: Cutler and Putnam; Cutler’s son Ephraim; and two other men, one a carpenter turned architect, and the other a physician who became a prominent pioneer in American science. They and their families created a town in a primeval wilderness, while coping with such frontier realities as floods, fires, wolves and bears, no roads or bridges, no guarantees of any sort, all the while negotiating a contentious and sometimes hostile relationship with the native people. Like so many of McCullough’s subjects, they let no obstacle deter or defeat them. Drawn in great part from a rare and all-but-unknown collection of diaries and letters by the key figures, The Pioneers is a uniquely American story of people whose ambition and courage led them to remarkable accomplishments. This is a revelatory and quintessentially American story, written with David McCullough’s signature narrative energy.

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The Plantagenets - Dan Jones Cover Art

The Plantagenets

The Plantagenets The Warrior Kings and Queens Who Made England by Dan Jones

The New York Times bestseller, from the author of Crusaders , that tells the story of Britain’s greatest and worst dynasty—“a real-life Game of Thrones ” ( The Wall Street Journal ) The first Plantagenet kings inherited a blood-soaked realm from the Normans and transformed it into an empire that stretched at its peak from Scotland to Jerusalem. In this epic narrative history of courage, treachery, ambition, and deception, Dan Jones resurrects the unruly royal dynasty that preceded the Tudors. They produced England’s best and worst kings: Henry II and his wife Eleanor of Aquitaine, twice a queen and the most famous woman in Christendom; their son Richard the Lionheart, who fought Saladin in the Third Crusade; and his conniving brother King John, who was forced to grant his people new rights under the Magna Carta, the basis for our own bill of rights. Combining the latest academic research with a gift for storytelling, Jones vividly recreates the great battles of Bannockburn, Crécy, and Sluys and reveals how the maligned kings Edward II and Richard II met their downfalls. This is the era of chivalry and the Black Death, the Knights Templar, the founding of parliament, and the Hundred Years’ War, when England’s national identity was forged by the sword.

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A Peace to End All Peace - David Fromkin Cover Art

A Peace to End All Peace

A Peace to End All Peace The Fall of the Ottoman Empire and the Creation of the Modern Middle East by David Fromkin

Published with a new afterword from the author—the classic, bestselling account of how the modern Middle East was created The Middle East has long been a region of rival religions, ideologies, nationalisms, and ambitions. All of these conflicts—including the hostilities between Arabs and Israelis, and the violent challenges posed by Iraq's competing sects—are rooted in the region's political inheritance: the arrangements, unities, and divisions imposed by the Allies after the First World War. In A Peace to End All Peace , David Fromkin reveals how and why the Allies drew lines on an empty map that remade the geography and politics of the Middle East. Focusing on the formative years of 1914 to 1922, when all seemed possible, he delivers in this sweeping and magisterial book the definitive account of this defining time, showing how the choices narrowed and the Middle East began along a road that led to the conflicts and confusion that continue to this day. A new afterword from Fromkin, written for this edition of the book, includes his invaluable, updated assessment of this region of the world today, and on what this history has to teach us.

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The Story of Ain't - David Skinner Cover Art

The Story of Ain't

The Story of Ain't America, Its Language, and the Most Controversial Dictionary Ever Published by David Skinner

Created by the most respected American publisher of dictionaries and supervised by the editor Philip Gove, Webster's Third broke with tradition, adding thousands of new words and eliminating "artificial notions of correctness," basing proper usage on how language was actually spoken. The dictionary's revolutionary style sparked what David Foster Wallace called "the Fort Sumter of the Usage Wars." Editors and scholars howled for Gove's blood, calling him an enemy of clear thinking, a great relativist who was trying to sweep the English language into chaos. Critics bayed at the dictionary's permissive handling of ain't. Literary intellectuals such as Dwight Macdonald believed the dictionary's scientific approach to language and its abandonment of the old standard of usage represented the unraveling of civilization. Entertaining and erudite, The Story of Ain't describes a great societal metamorphosis, tracing the fallout of the world wars, the rise of an educated middle class, and the emergence of America as the undisputed leader of the free world, and illuminating how those forces shaped our language. Never before or since has a dictionary so embodied the cultural transformation of the United States.

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Sea Stories - William H. Mcraven Cover Art

Sea Stories

Sea Stories My Life in Special Operations by William H. Mcraven

Following the success of his #1 New York Times bestseller Make Your Bed , which has sold over one million copies, Admiral William H. McRaven is back with amazing stories of adventure during his career as a Navy SEAL and commander of America's Special Operations Forces. Admiral William H. McRaven is a part of American military history, having been involved in some of the most famous missions in recent memory, including the capture of Saddam Hussein, the rescue of Captain Richard Phillips, and the raid to kill Osama bin Laden. Sea Stories begins in 1960 at the American Officers' Club in France, where Allied officers and their wives gathered to have drinks and tell stories about their adventures during World War II -- the place where a young Bill McRaven learned the value of a good story. Sea Stories is an unforgettable look back on one man's incredible life, from childhood days sneaking into high-security military sites to a day job of hunting terrorists and rescuing hostages. Action-packed, inspiring, and full of thrilling stories from life in the special operations world, Sea Stories is a remarkable memoir from one of America's most accomplished leaders.

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Apollo 8 - Jeffrey Kluger Cover Art

Apollo 8

Apollo 8 The Thrilling Story of the First Mission to the Moon by Jeffrey Kluger

The untold story of the historic voyage to the moon that closed out one of our darkest years with a nearly unimaginable triumph In August 1968, NASA made a bold decision: in just sixteen weeks, the United States would launch humankind’s first flight to the moon. Only the year before, three astronauts had burned to death in their spacecraft, and since then the Apollo program had suffered one setback after another. Meanwhile, the Russians were winning the space race, the Cold War was getting hotter by the month, and President Kennedy’s promise to put a man on the moon by the end of the decade seemed sure to be broken. But when Frank Borman, Jim Lovell and Bill Anders were summoned to a secret meeting and told of the dangerous mission, they instantly signed on. Written with all the color and verve of the best narrative non-fiction, Apollo 8 takes us from Mission Control to the astronaut’s homes, from the test labs to the launch pad. The race to prepare an untested rocket for an unprecedented journey paves the way for the hair-raising trip to the moon. Then, on Christmas Eve, a nation that has suffered a horrendous year of assassinations and war is heartened by an inspiring message from the trio of astronauts in lunar orbit. And when the mission is over—after the first view of the far side of the moon, the first earth-rise, and the first re-entry through the earth’s atmosphere following a flight to deep space—the impossible dream of walking on the moon suddenly seems within reach. The full story of Apollo 8 has never been told, and only Jeffrey Kluger—Jim Lovell’s co-author on their bestselling book about Apollo 13—can do it justice. Here is the tale of a mission that was both a calculated risk and a wild crapshoot, a stirring account of how three American heroes forever changed our view of the home planet.

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The British Are Coming - Rick Atkinson Cover Art

The British Are Coming

The British Are Coming The War for America, Lexington to Princeton, 1775-1777 by Rick Atkinson

From the bestselling author of the Liberation Trilogy comes the extraordinary first volume of his new trilogy about the American Revolution Rick Atkinson, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning An Army at Dawn and two other superb books about World War II, has long been admired for his deeply researched, stunningly vivid narrative histories. Now he turns his attention to a new war, and in the initial volume of the Revolution Trilogy he recounts the first twenty-one months of America’s violent war for independence. From the battles at Lexington and Concord in spring 1775 to those at Trenton and Princeton in winter 1777, American militiamen and then the ragged Continental Army take on the world’s most formidable fighting force. It is a gripping saga alive with astonishing characters: Henry Knox, the former bookseller with an uncanny understanding of artillery; Nathanael Greene, the blue-eyed bumpkin who becomes a brilliant battle captain; Benjamin Franklin, the self-made man who proves to be the wiliest of diplomats; George Washington, the commander in chief who learns the difficult art of leadership when the war seems all but lost. The story is also told from the British perspective, making the mortal conflict between the redcoats and the rebels all the more compelling. Full of riveting details and untold stories, The British Are Coming is a tale of heroes and knaves, of sacrifice and blunder, of redemption and profound suffering. Rick Atkinson has given stirring new life to the first act of our country’s creation drama.

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Confirmation Bias - Carl Hulse Cover Art

Confirmation Bias

Confirmation Bias Inside Washington’s War Over the Supreme Court, from Scalia’s Death to Justice Kavanaugh by Carl Hulse

The Chief Washington Correspondent for the New York Times presents a richly detailed, news-breaking, and conversation-changing look at the unprecedented political fight to fill the Supreme Court seat made vacant by Antonin Scalia’s death—using it to explain the paralyzing and all but irreversible dysfunction across all three branches in the nation’s capital. The embodiment of American conservative thought and jurisprudence, Antonin Scalia cast an expansive shadow over the Supreme Court for three decades. His unexpected death in February 2016 created a vacancy that precipitated a pitched political fight. That battle would not only change the tilt of the court, but the course of American history. It would help decide a presidential election, fundamentally alter longstanding protocols of the United States Senate, and transform the Supreme Court—which has long held itself as a neutral arbiter above politics—into another branch of the federal government riven by partisanship. In an unprecedented move, the Republican-controlled Senate, led by majority leader, Mitch McConnell, refused to give Democratic President Barak Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland, a confirmation hearing. Not one Republican in the Senate would meet with him. Scalia’s seat would be held open until Donald Trump’s nominee, Neil M. Gorsuch, was confirmed in April 2017. Carl Hulse has spent more than thirty years covering the machinations of the beltway. In Out of Order he tells the story of this history-making battle to control the Supreme Court through exclusive interviews with McConnell, Harry Reid, Chuck Schumer, and other top officials, Trump campaign operatives, court activists, and legal scholars, as well as never-before-reported details and developments. Richly textured and deeply informative, Out of Order provides much-needed context, revisiting the judicial wars of the past two decades to show how those conflicts have led to our current polarization. He examines the politicization of the federal bench and the implications for public confidence in the courts, and takes us behind the scenes to explore how many long-held democratic norms and entrenched, bipartisan procedures have been erased across all three branches of government.

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Band of Brothers - Stephen E. Ambrose Cover Art

Band of Brothers

Band of Brothers E Company, 506th Regiment, 101st Airborne from Normandy to Hitler's Eagle's Nest by Stephen E. Ambrose

Stephen E. Ambrose’s iconic New York Times bestseller about the ordinary men who became the World War II’s most extraordinary soldiers: Easy Company, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division, US Army. They came together, citizen soldiers, in the summer of 1942, drawn to Airborne by the $50 monthly bonus and a desire to be better than the other guy. And at its peak—in Holland and the Ardennes—Easy Company was as good a rifle company as any in the world. From the rigorous training in Georgia in 1942 to the disbanding in 1945, Stephen E. Ambrose tells the story of this remarkable company. In combat, the reward for a job well done is the next tough assignment, and as they advanced through Europe, the men of Easy kept getting the tough assignments. They parachuted into France early D-Day morning and knocked out a battery of four 105 mm cannon looking down Utah Beach; they parachuted into Holland during the Arnhem campaign; they were the Battered Bastards of the Bastion of Bastogne, brought in to hold the line, although surrounded, in the Battle of the Bulge; and then they spearheaded the counteroffensive. Finally, they captured Hitler's Bavarian outpost, his Eagle's Nest at Berchtesgaden. They were rough-and-ready guys, battered by the Depression, mistrustful and suspicious. They drank too much French wine, looted too many German cameras and watches, and fought too often with other GIs. But in training and combat they learned selflessness and found the closest brotherhood they ever knew. They discovered that in war, men who loved life would give their lives for them. This is the story of the men who fought, of the martinet they hated who trained them well, and of the captain they loved who led them. E Company was a company of men who went hungry, froze, and died for each other, a company that took 150 percent casualties, a company where the Purple Heart was not a medal—it was a badge of office.

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Voices from Chernobyl - Svetlana Alexievich & Keith Gessen Cover Art

Voices from Chernobyl

Voices from Chernobyl by Svetlana Alexievich & Keith Gessen

Winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature and Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award A journalist by trade, who now suffers from an immune deficiency developed while researching this book, presents personal accounts of what happened to the people of Belarus after the nuclear reactor accident in 1986, and the fear, anger, and uncertainty that they still live with. The Nobel Prize in Literature 2015 was awarded to Svetlana Alexievich "for her polyphonic writings, a monument to suffering and courage in our time."

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Midnight in Chernobyl - Adam Higginbotham Cover Art

Midnight in Chernobyl

Midnight in Chernobyl The Untold Story of the World's Greatest Nuclear Disaster by Adam Higginbotham

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER Journalist Adam Higginbotham’s definitive, years-in-the-making account of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant disaster—and a powerful investigation into how propaganda, secrecy, and myth have obscured the true story of one of the twentieth century’s greatest disasters. Early in the morning of April 26, 1986, Reactor Number Four of the Chernobyl Atomic Energy Station exploded, triggering history’s worst nuclear disaster. In the thirty years since then, Chernobyl has become lodged in the collective nightmares of the world: shorthand for the spectral horrors of radiation poisoning, for a dangerous technology slipping its leash, for ecological fragility, and for what can happen when a dishonest and careless state endangers its citizens and the entire world. But the real story of the accident, clouded from the beginning by secrecy, propaganda, and misinformation, has long remained in dispute. Drawing on hundreds of hours of interviews conducted over the course of more than ten years, as well as letters, unpublished memoirs, and documents from recently-declassified archives, Adam Higginbotham has written a harrowing and compelling narrative which brings the disaster to life through the eyes of the men and women who witnessed it firsthand. The result is a masterful nonfiction thriller, and the definitive account of an event that changed history: a story that is more complex, more human, and more terrifying than the Soviet myth. Midnight in Chernobyl is an indelible portrait of one of the great disasters of the twentieth century, of human resilience and ingenuity, and the lessons learned when mankind seeks to bend the natural world to his will—lessons which, in the face of climate change and other threats, remain not just vital but necessary.

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The Chosen Few - Gregg Zoroya & William H. Mcraven Cover Art

The Chosen Few

The Chosen Few A Company of Paratroopers and Its Heroic Struggle to Survive in the Mountains of Afghanistan by Gregg Zoroya & William H. Mcraven

The never-before-told story of one of the most decorated units in the war in Afghanistan and its fifteen-month ordeal that culminated in the 2008 Battle of Wanat, the war's deadliest A single company of US paratroopers--calling themselves the "Chosen Few"--arrived in eastern Afghanistan in late 2007 hoping to win the hearts and minds of the remote mountain people and extend the Afghan government's reach into this wilderness. Instead, they spent the next fifteen months in a desperate struggle, living under almost continuous attack, forced into a slow and grinding withdrawal, and always outnumbered by Taliban fighters descending on them from all sides. Month after month, rocket-propelled grenades, rockets, and machine-gun fire poured down on the isolated and exposed paratroopers as America's focus and military resources shifted to Iraq. Just weeks before the paratroopers were to go home, they faced their last--and toughest--fight. Near the village of Wanat in Nuristan province, an estimated three hundred enemy fighters surrounded about fifty of the Chosen Few and others defending a partially finished combat base. Nine died and more than two dozen were wounded that day in July 2008, making it arguably the bloodiest battle of the war in Afghanistan. The Chosen Few would return home tempered by war. Two among them would receive the Medal of Honor. All of them would be forever changed.

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One Giant Leap - Charles Fishman Cover Art

One Giant Leap

One Giant Leap The Impossible Mission That Flew Us to the Moon by Charles Fishman

The remarkable story of the trailblazers and the ordinary Americans on the front lines of the epic mission to reach the moon. President John F. Kennedy astonished the world on May 25, 1961, when he announced to Congress that the United States should land a man on the Moon by 1970. No group was more surprised than the scientists and engineers at NASA, who suddenly had less than a decade to invent space travel. When Kennedy announced that goal, no one knew how to navigate to the Moon. No one knew how to build a rocket big enough to reach the Moon, or how to build a computer small enough (and powerful enough) to fly a spaceship there. No one knew what the surface of the Moon was like, or what astronauts could eat as they flew there. On the day of Kennedy’s historic speech, America had a total of fifteen minutes of spaceflight experience—with just five of those minutes outside the atmosphere. Russian dogs had more time in space than U.S. astronauts. Over the next decade, more than 400,000 scientists, engineers, and factory workers would send 24 astronauts to the Moon. Each hour of space flight would require one million hours of work back on Earth to get America to the Moon on July 20, 1969. Fifty years later, One Giant Leap is the sweeping, definitive behind-the-scenes account of the furious race to complete one of mankind’s greatest achievements. It’s a story filled with surprises—from the item the astronauts almost forgot to take with them (the American flag), to the extraordinary impact Apollo would have back on Earth, and on the way we live today. Charles Fishman introduces readers to the men and women who had to solve 10,000 problems before astronauts could reach the Moon. From the research labs of MIT, where the eccentric and legendary pioneer Charles Draper created the tools to fly the Apollo spaceships, to the factories where dozens of women sewed spacesuits, parachutes, and even computer hardware by hand, Fishman captures the exceptional feats of these ordinary Americans. One Giant Leap is the captivating story of men and women charged with changing the world as we knew it—their leaders, their triumphs, their near disasters, all of which led to arguably the greatest success story, and the greatest adventure story, of the twentieth century.

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The Plaza - Julie Satow Cover Art

The Plaza

The Plaza The Secret Life of America's Most Famous Hotel by Julie Satow

Journalist Julie Satow's thrilling, unforgettable history of how one illustrious hotel has defined our understanding of money and glamour, from the Gilded Age to the Go-Go Eighties to today's Billionaire Row. From the moment in 1907 when New York millionaire Alfred Gwynne Vanderbilt strode through the Plaza Hotel's revolving doors to become its first guest, to the afternoon in 2007 when a mysterious Russian oligarch paid a record price for the hotel's largest penthouse, the eighteen-story white marble edifice at the corner of Fifth Avenue and 59th Street has radiated wealth and luxury. For some, the hotel evokes images of F. Scott Fitzgerald frolicking in the Pulitzer Fountain, or Eloise, the impish young guest who pours water down the mail chute. But the true stories captured in THE PLAZA also include dark, hidden secrets: the cold-blooded murder perpetrated by the construction workers in charge of building the hotel, how Donald J. Trump came to be the only owner to ever bankrupt the Plaza, and the tale of the disgraced Indian tycoon who ran the hotel from a maximum-security prison cell, 7,000 miles away in Delhi. In this definitive history, award-winning journalist Julie Satow not only pulls back the curtain on Truman Capote's Black and White Ball and The Beatles' first stateside visit-she also follows the money trail. THE PLAZA reveals how a handful of rich, dowager widows were the financial lifeline that saved the hotel during the Great Depression, and how, today, foreign money and anonymous shell companies have transformed iconic guest rooms into condominiums that shield ill-gotten gains-hollowing out parts of the hotel as well as the city around it. THE PLAZA is the account of one vaunted New York City address that has become synonymous with wealth and scandal, opportunity and tragedy. With glamour on the surface and strife behind the scenes, it is the story of how one hotel became a mirror reflecting New York's place at the center of the country's cultural narrative for over a century.

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The Library Book - Susan Orlean Cover Art

The Library Book

The Library Book by Susan Orlean

A REESE WITHERSPOON x HELLO SUNSHINE BOOK CLUB PICK A WASHINGTON POST TOP 10 BOOK OF THE YEAR * A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER and NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK OF 2018 “A constant pleasure to read…Everybody who loves books should check out The Library Book .” — The Washington Post “CAPTIVATING…DELIGHTFUL.” — Christian Science Monitor * “EXQUISITELY WRITTEN, CONSISTENTLY ENTERTAINING.” — The New York Times * “MESMERIZING…RIVETING.” — Booklist (starred review) A dazzling love letter to a beloved institution—and an investigation into one of its greatest mysteries—from the bestselling author hailed as a “national treasure” by The Washington Post . On the morning of April 29, 1986, a fire alarm sounded in the Los Angeles Public Library. As the moments passed, the patrons and staff who had been cleared out of the building realized this was not the usual fire alarm. As one fireman recounted, “Once that first stack got going, it was ‘Goodbye, Charlie.’” The fire was disastrous: it reached 2000 degrees and burned for more than seven hours. By the time it was extinguished, it had consumed four hundred thousand books and damaged seven hundred thousand more. Investigators descended on the scene, but more than thirty years later, the mystery remains: Did someone purposefully set fire to the library—and if so, who? Weaving her lifelong love of books and reading into an investigation of the fire, award-winning New Yorker reporter and New York Times bestselling author Susan Orlean delivers a mesmerizing and uniquely compelling book that manages to tell the broader story of libraries and librarians in a way that has never been done before. In The Library Book , Orlean chronicles the LAPL fire and its aftermath to showcase the larger, crucial role that libraries play in our lives; delves into the evolution of libraries across the country and around the world, from their humble beginnings as a metropolitan charitable initiative to their current status as a cornerstone of national identity; brings each department of the library to vivid life through on-the-ground reporting; studies arson and attempts to burn a copy of a book herself; reflects on her own experiences in libraries; and reexamines the case of Harry Peak, the blond-haired actor long suspected of setting fire to the LAPL more than thirty years ago. Along the way, Orlean introduces us to an unforgettable cast of characters from libraries past and present—from Mary Foy, who in 1880 at eighteen years old was named the head of the Los Angeles Public Library at a time when men still dominated the role, to Dr. C.J.K. Jones, a pastor, citrus farmer, and polymath known as “The Human Encyclopedia” who roamed the library dispensing information; from Charles Lummis, a wildly eccentric journalist and adventurer who was determined to make the L.A. library one of the best in the world, to the current staff, who do heroic work every day to ensure that their institution remains a vital part of the city it serves. Brimming with her signature wit, insight, compassion, and talent for deep research, The Library Book is Susan Orlean’s thrilling journey through the stacks that reveals how these beloved institutions provide much more than just books—and why they remain an essential part of the heart, mind, and soul of our country. It is also a master journalist’s reminder that, perhaps especially in the digital era, they are more necessary than ever.

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The Spies Who Never Were - Hervie Haufler Cover Art

The Spies Who Never Were

The Spies Who Never Were The True Story of the Nazi Spies Who Were Actually Allied Double Agents by Hervie Haufler

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 report put it: “By means of the double agent system, we actually ran and controlled the German espionage system in this country.”   In The Spies Who Never Were , World War II veteran cryptographer Hervie Haufler reveals the real stories of these double agents and their deceptions. This “fascinating account” lays out both the worldwide machinations and the personal clashes that went into the greatest deception in the history of warfare ( Booklist ).

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The Mueller Report - Robert S. Mueller Cover Art

The Mueller Report

The Mueller Report by Robert S. Mueller

In the future, "The Mueller Report" may be judged as the most important document of our time. And no matter where you reside on the American political spectrum, you will probably agree that it will have far-reaching implications for the balance of power among the three coequal branches of government that create, administer, and apply the laws of our republic. "From the moment [the report] was published, two separate news universes took shape. In one, the special counsel’s report was presented as a smoking-gun chronicle of high crimes and misdemeanours. In the other, it was heralded as a credibility-shredding blow to the president’s opponents."—The Atlantic

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Surprise, Kill, Vanish - Annie Jacobsen Cover Art

Surprise, Kill, Vanish

Surprise, Kill, Vanish The Secret History of CIA Paramilitary Armies, Operators, and Assassins by Annie Jacobsen

*The USA Today bestseller* Surprise... your target. Kill... your enemy. Vanish... without a trace. From Pulitzer Prize finalist Annie Jacobsen, the untold story of the CIA's secret paramilitary units. When diplomacy fails, and war is unwise, the president calls on the CIA's Special Activities Division, a highly-classified branch of the CIA and the most effective, black operations force in the world. Originally known as the president's guerrilla warfare corps, SAD conducts risky and ruthless operations that have evolved over time to defend America from its enemies. Almost every American president since World War II has asked the CIA to conduct sabotage, subversion and, yes, assassination. With unprecedented access to forty-two men and women who proudly and secretly worked on CIA covert operations from the dawn of the Cold War to the present day, along with declassified documents and deep historical research, Pulitzer Prize finalist Annie Jacobsen unveils-like never before-a complex world of individuals working in treacherous environments populated with killers, connivers and saboteurs. Despite Hollywood notions of off-book operations and external secret hires, covert action is actually one piece in a colossal foreign policy machine. Written with the pacing of a thriller, SURPRISE, KILL, VANISH brings to vivid life the sheer pandemonium and chaos, as well as the unforgettable human will to survive and the intellectual challenge of not giving up hope that define paramilitary and intelligence work. Jacobsen's exclusive interviews-with members of the CIA's Senior Intelligence Service (equivalent to the Pentagon's generals), its counterterrorism chiefs, targeting officers, and Special Activities Division's Ground Branch operators who conduct today's close-quarters killing operations around the world-reveal,for the first time, the enormity of this shocking, controversial and morally complex terrain. Is the CIA's paramilitary army America's weaponized strength, or a liability to its principled standing in the world? Every operation reported in this book, however unsettling, is legal.

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21 Lessons for the 21st Century - Yuval Noah Harari Cover Art

21 Lessons for the 21st Century

21 Lessons for the 21st Century by Yuval Noah Harari

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER •  In Sapiens, he explored our past. In Homo Deus, he looked to our future . Now, one of the most innovative thinkers on the planet turns to the present to make sense of today’s most pressing issues. “Fascinating . . . a crucial global conversation about how to take on the problems of the twenty-first century.”—Bill Gates,  The New York Times Book Review NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY FINANCIAL TIMES AND  PAMELA PAUL, KQED  How do computers and robots change the meaning of being human? How do we deal with the epidemic of fake news? Are nations and religions still relevant? What should we teach our children? Yuval Noah Harari’s 21 Lessons for the 21st Century is a probing and visionary investigation into today’s most urgent issues as we move into the uncharted territory of the future. As technology advances faster than our understanding of it, hacking becomes a tactic of war, and the world feels more polarized than ever, Harari addresses the challenge of navigating life in the face of constant and disorienting change and raises the important questions we need to ask ourselves in order to survive. In twenty-one accessible chapters that are both provocative and profound, Harari builds on the ideas explored in his previous books, untangling political, technological, social, and existential issues and offering advice on how to prepare for a very different future from the world we now live in: How can we retain freedom of choice when Big Data is watching us? What will the future workforce look like, and how should we ready ourselves for it? How should we deal with the threat of terrorism? Why is liberal democracy in crisis? Harari’s unique ability to make sense of where we have come from and where we are going has captured the imaginations of millions of readers. Here he invites us to consider values, meaning, and personal engagement in a world full of noise and uncertainty. When we are deluged with irrelevant information, clarity is power. Presenting complex contemporary challenges clearly and accessibly, 21 Lessons for the 21st Century is essential reading. “If there were such a thing as a required instruction manual for politicians and thought leaders, Israeli historian Yuval Noah Harari’s  21 Lessons for the 21st Century  would deserve serious consideration. In this collection of provocative essays, Harari . . . tackles a daunting array of issues, endeavoring to answer a persistent question: ‘What is happening in the world today, and what is the deep meaning of these events?’”— BookPage  (top pick)

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Isaac's Storm - Erik Larson Cover Art

Isaac's Storm

Isaac's Storm A Man, a Time, and the Deadliest Hurricane in History by Erik Larson

At the dawn of the twentieth century, a great confidence suffused America. Isaac Cline was one of the era's new men, a scientist who believed he knew all there was to know about the motion of clouds and the behavior of storms. The idea that a hurricane could damage the city of Galveston, Texas, where he was based, was to him preposterous, "an absurd delusion." It was 1900, a year when America felt bigger and stronger than ever before. Nothing in nature could hobble the gleaming city of Galveston, then a magical place that seemed destined to become the New York of the Gulf. That August, a strange, prolonged heat wave gripped the nation and killed scores of people in New York and Chicago. Odd things seemed to happen everywhere: A plague of crickets engulfed Waco. The Bering Glacier began to shrink. Rain fell on Galveston with greater intensity than anyone could remember. Far away, in Africa, immense thunderstorms blossomed over the city of Dakar, and great currents of wind converged. A wave of atmospheric turbulence slipped from the coast of western Africa. Most such waves faded quickly. This one did not. In Cuba, America's overconfidence was made all too obvious by the Weather Bureau's obsession with controlling hurricane forecasts, even though Cuba's indigenous weathermen had pioneered hurricane science. As the bureau's forecasters assured the nation that all was calm in the Caribbean, Cuba's own weathermen fretted about ominous signs in the sky. A curious stillness gripped Antigua. Only a few unlucky sea captains discovered that the storm had achieved an intensity no man alive had ever experienced. In Galveston, reassured by Cline's belief that no hurricane could seriously damage the city, there was celebration. Children played in the rising water. Hundreds of people gathered at the beach to marvel at the fantastically tall waves and gorgeous pink sky, until the surf began ripping the city's beloved beachfront apart. Within the next few hours Galveston would endure a hurricane that to this day remains the nation's deadliest natural disaster. In Galveston alone at least 6,000 people, possibly as many as 10,000, would lose their lives, a number far greater than the combined death toll of the Johnstown Flood and 1906 San Francisco Earthquake. And Isaac Cline would experience his own unbearable loss. Meticulously researched and vividly written, Isaac's Storm is based on Cline's own letters, telegrams, and reports, the testimony of scores of survivors, and our latest understanding of the hows and whys of great storms. Ultimately, however, it is the story of what can happen when human arrogance meets nature's last great uncontrollable force. As such, Isaac's Storm carries a warning for our time.

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The Winter Fortress - Neal Bascomb Cover Art

The Winter Fortress

The Winter Fortress The Epic Mission to Sabotage Hitler's Atomic Bomb by Neal Bascomb

“Riveting and poignant . . . The Winter Fortress metamorphoses from engrossing history into a smashing thriller . . . Mr. Bascomb’s research and, especially, his storytelling skills are first-rate.”— The Wall Street Journal “Weaving together his typically intense research and a riveting narrative, Neal Bascomb’s The Winter Fortress is a spellbinding piece of historical writing.” — Martin Dugard, author of Into Africa and co-author of the Killing series   In 1942, the Nazis were racing to complete the first atomic bomb. All they needed was a single, incredibly rare ingredient: heavy water, which was produced solely at Norway’s Vemork plant. Under threat of death, Vemork’s engineers pushed production into overdrive. If the Allies could not destroy the plant, they feared the Nazis would soon be in possession of the most dangerous weapon the world had ever seen. But how would the Allied forces reach the castle fortress, set on a precipitous gorge in one of the coldest, most inhospitable places on earth? Based on a trove of top-secret documents and never-before-seen diaries and letters of the saboteurs, The Winter Fortress is an arresting chronicle of a brilliant scientist, a band of spies on skis, perilous survival in the wild, Gestapo manhunts, and a last-minute operation that would alter the course of the war.   “A taut and peerlessly told adventure story full of thrills, derring-do and heart-stopping tension.” — Seattle Times   “Told with both historical and scientific accuracy . . . this book has rocketed into my pantheon of the top suspense-filled stories about [World War II], along with The 900 Days and The Colditz Story .” — Ethan Siegel, Forbes  

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Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies - Jared Diamond Ph.D. Cover Art

Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies

Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies by Jared Diamond Ph.D.

"Fascinating.... Lays a foundation for understanding human history."—Bill Gates In this "artful, informative, and delightful" (William H. McNeill, New York Review of Books) book, Jared Diamond convincingly argues that geographical and environmental factors shaped the modern world. Societies that had had a head start in food production advanced beyond the hunter-gatherer stage, and then developed religion --as well as nasty germs and potent weapons of war --and adventured on sea and land to conquer and decimate preliterate cultures. A major advance in our understanding of human societies, Guns, Germs, and Steel chronicles the way that the modern world came to be and stunningly dismantles racially based theories of human history. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, the Phi Beta Kappa Award in Science, the Rhone-Poulenc Prize, and the Commonwealth club of California's Gold Medal.

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Operation Paperclip - Annie Jacobsen Cover Art

Operation Paperclip

Operation Paperclip The Secret Intelligence Program that Brought Nazi Scientists to America by Annie Jacobsen

The explosive story of America's secret post-WWII science programs, from the author of the New York Times bestseller Area 51 In the chaos following World War II, the U.S. government faced many difficult decisions, including what to do with the Third Reich's scientific minds. These were the brains behind the Nazis' once-indomitable war machine. So began Operation Paperclip, a decades-long, covert project to bring Hitler's scientists and their families to the United States. Many of these men were accused of war crimes, and others had stood trial at Nuremberg; one was convicted of mass murder and slavery. They were also directly responsible for major advances in rocketry, medical treatments, and the U.S. space program. Was Operation Paperclip a moral outrage, or did it help America win the Cold War? Drawing on exclusive interviews with dozens of Paperclip family members, colleagues, and interrogators, and with access to German archival documents (including previously unseen papers made available by direct descendants of the Third Reich's ranking members), files obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, and dossiers discovered in government archives and at Harvard University, Annie Jacobsen follows more than a dozen German scientists through their postwar lives and into a startling, complex, nefarious, and jealously guarded government secret of the twentieth century. In this definitive, controversial look at one of America's most strategic, and disturbing, government programs, Jacobsen shows just how dark government can get in the name of national security.

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Upheaval - Jared Diamond Cover Art

Upheaval

Upheaval Turning Points for Nations in Crisis by Jared Diamond

A Bill Gates Summer Reading Pick A "riveting and illuminating" (Yuval Noah Harari) new theory of how and why some nations recover from trauma and others don't, by the Pulitzer-Prize-winning author of the landmark bestsellers Guns, Germs, and Steel and Collapse . In his international bestsellers Guns, Germs and Steel and Collapse , Jared Diamond transformed our understanding of what makes civilizations rise and fall. Now, in his third book in this monumental trilogy, he reveals how successful nations recover from crises while adopting selective changes -- a coping mechanism more commonly associated with individuals recovering from personal crises. Diamond compares how six countries have survived recent upheavals -- ranging from the forced opening of Japan by U.S. Commodore Perry's fleet, to the Soviet Union's attack on Finland, to a murderous coup or countercoup in Chile and Indonesia, to the transformations of Germany and Austria after World War Two. Because Diamond has lived and spoken the language in five of these six countries, he can present gut-wrenching histories experienced firsthand. These nations coped, to varying degrees, through mechanisms such as acknowledgment of responsibility, painfully honest self-appraisal, and learning from models of other nations. Looking to the future, Diamond examines whether the United States, Japan, and the whole world are successfully coping with the grave crises they currently face. Can we learn from lessons of the past? Adding a psychological dimension to the in-depth history, geography, biology, and anthropology that mark all of Diamond's books, Upheaval reveals factors influencing how both whole nations and individual people can respond to big challenges. The result is a book epic in scope, but also his most personal book yet.

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Killing the Rising Sun - Bill O'Reilly & Martin Dugard Cover Art

Killing the Rising Sun

Killing the Rising Sun How America Vanquished World War II Japan by Bill O'Reilly & Martin Dugard

The powerful and riveting new book in the multimillion-selling Killing series by Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard Autumn 1944. World War II is nearly over in Europe but is escalating in the Pacific, where American soldiers face an opponent who will go to any length to avoid defeat. The Japanese army follows the samurai code of Bushido, stipulating that surrender is a form of dishonor. Killing the Rising Sun takes readers to the bloody tropical-island battlefields of Peleliu and Iwo Jima and to the embattled Philippines, where General Douglas MacArthur has made a triumphant return and is plotting a full-scale invasion of Japan. Across the globe in Los Alamos, New Mexico, Dr. J. Robert Oppenheimer and his team of scientists are preparing to test the deadliest weapon known to mankind. In Washington, DC, FDR dies in office and Harry Truman ascends to the presidency, only to face the most important political decision in history: whether to use that weapon. And in Tokyo, Emperor Hirohito, who is considered a deity by his subjects, refuses to surrender, despite a massive and mounting death toll. Told in the same page-turning style of Killing Lincoln , Killing Kennedy , Killing Jesus , Killing Patton , and Killing Reagan , this epic saga details the final moments of World War II like never before.

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The First Conspiracy - Brad Meltzer & Josh Mensch Cover Art

The First Conspiracy

The First Conspiracy The Secret Plot to Kill George Washington by Brad Meltzer & Josh Mensch

Taking place during the most critical period of our nation’s birth, The First Conspiracy tells a remarkable and previously untold piece of American history that not only reveals George Washington’s character, but also illuminates the origins of America’s counterintelligence movement that led to the modern day CIA. In 1776, an elite group of soldiers were handpicked to serve as George Washington’s bodyguards. Washington trusted them; relied on them. But unbeknownst to Washington, some of them were part of a treasonous plan. In the months leading up to the Revolutionary War, these traitorous soldiers, along with the Governor of New York, William Tryon, and Mayor David Mathews, launched a deadly plot against the most important member of the military: George Washington himself. This is the story of the secret plot and how it was revealed. It is a story of leaders, liars, counterfeiters, and jailhouse confessors. It also shows just how hard the battle was for George Washington and how close America was to losing the Revolutionary War. In this historical page-turner, New York Times bestselling author Brad Meltzer teams up with American history writer and documentary television producer, Josh Mensch to unravel the shocking true story behind what has previously been a footnote in the pages of history. Drawing on extensive research, Meltzer and Mensch capture in riveting detail how George Washington not only defeated the most powerful military force in the world, but also uncovered the secret plot against him in the tumultuous days leading up to July 4, 1776. Praise for The First Conspiracy : "This is American history at its finest, a gripping story of spies, killers, counterfeiters, traitors?and a mysterious prostitute who may or may not have even existed. Anyone with an interest in American history will love this book." —Douglas Preston, #1 bestselling author of The Lost City of the Monkey God “A wonderful book about leadership?and it shows why George Washington and his moral lessons are just as vital today. What a book. You’ll love it.” —President George H.W. Bush “This is an important book: a fascinating largely unknown chapter of our hazardous beginning, a reminder of why counterintelligence matters, and a great read.” —President Bill Clinton

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Spearhead - Adam Makos Cover Art

Spearhead

Spearhead An American Tank Gunner, His Enemy, and a Collision of Lives in World War II by Adam Makos

NEW YORK TIMES,   WALL STREET JOURNAL, LOS ANGELES TIMES,  AND USA TODAY BESTSELLER  • “A band of brothers in an American tank . . . Makos drops the reader back into the Pershing’s turret and dials up a battle scene to rival the peak moments of Fury .”— The Wall Street Journal From the author of the international bestseller A Higher Call  comes the riveting World War II story of an American tank gunner’s journey into the heart of the Third Reich, where he will meet destiny in an iconic armor duel—and forge an enduring bond with his enemy. When Clarence Smoyer is assigned to the gunner’s seat of his Sherman tank, his crewmates discover that the gentle giant from Pennsylvania has a hidden talent: He’s a natural-born shooter. At first, Clarence and his fellow crews in the legendary 3rd Armored Division—“Spearhead”—thought their tanks were invincible. Then they met the German Panther, with a gun so murderous it could shoot through one Sherman and into the next. Soon a pattern emerged: The lead tank always gets hit. After Clarence sees his friends cut down breaching the West Wall and holding the line in the Battle of the Bulge, he and his crew are given a weapon with the power to avenge their fallen brothers: the Pershing, a state-of-the-art “super tank,” one of twenty in the European theater. But with it comes a harrowing new responsibility: Now they will spearhead every attack. That’s how Clarence, the corporal from coal country, finds himself leading the U.S. Army into its largest urban battle of the European war, the fight for Cologne, the “Fortress City” of Germany. Battling through the ruins, Clarence will engage the fearsome Panther in a duel immortalized by an army cameraman. And he will square off with Gustav Schaefer, a teenager behind the trigger in a Panzer IV tank, whose crew has been sent on a suicide mission to stop the Americans. As Clarence and Gustav trade fire down a long boulevard, they are taken by surprise by a tragic mistake of war. What happens next will haunt Clarence to the modern day, drawing him back to Cologne to do the unthinkable: to face his enemy, one last time. Praise for Spearhead “A detailed, gripping account . . . the remarkable story of two tank crewmen, from opposite sides of the conflict, who endure the grisly nature of tank warfare.” — USA Today (four out of four stars) “Strong and dramatic . . . Makos established himself as a meticulous researcher who’s equally adept at spinning a good old-fashioned yarn. . . . For a World War II aficionado, it will read like a dream.” —Associated Press  

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In the Garden of Beasts - Erik Larson Cover Art

In the Garden of Beasts

In the Garden of Beasts Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin by Erik Larson

Erik Larson, New York Times bestselling author of Devil in the White City, delivers a remarkable story set during Hitler’s rise to power. The time is 1933, the place, Berlin, when William E. Dodd becomes America’s first ambassador to Hitler’s Nazi Germany in a year that proved to be a turning point in history.     A mild-mannered professor from Chicago, Dodd brings along his wife, son, and flamboyant daughter, Martha. At first Martha is entranced by the parties and pomp, and the handsome young men of the Third Reich with their infectious enthusiasm for restoring Germany to a position of world prominence. Enamored of the “New Germany,” she has one affair after another, including with the suprisingly honorable first chief of the Gestapo, Rudolf Diels. But as evidence of Jewish persecution mounts, confirmed by chilling first-person testimony, her father telegraphs his concerns to a largely indifferent State Department back home. Dodd watches with alarm as Jews are attacked, the press is censored, and drafts of frightening new laws begin to circulate. As that first year unfolds and the shadows deepen, the Dodds experience days full of excitement, intrigue, romance—and ultimately, horror, when a climactic spasm of violence and murder reveals Hitler’s true character and ruthless ambition.     Suffused with the tense atmosphere of the period, and with unforgettable portraits of the bizarre Göring and the expectedly charming--yet wholly sinister--Goebbels, In the Garden of Beasts lends a stunning, eyewitness perspective on events as they unfold in real time, revealing an era of surprising nuance and complexity. The result is a dazzling, addictively readable work that speaks volumes about why the world did not recognize the grave threat posed by Hitler until Berlin, and Europe, were awash in blood and terror.

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The Great Successor - Anna Fifield Cover Art

The Great Successor

The Great Successor The Divinely Perfect Destiny of Brilliant Comrade Kim Jong Un by Anna Fifield

The behind-the-scenes story of the rise and reign of the world's strangest and most elusive tyrant, Kim Jong Un, by the journalist with the best connections and insights into the bizarrely dangerous world of North Korea. Since his birth in 1984, Kim Jong Un has been swaddled in myth and propaganda, from the plainly silly--he could supposedly drive a car at the age of three--to the grimly bloody stories of family members who perished at his command. Anna Fifield reconstructs Kim's past and present with exclusive access to sources near him and brings her unique understanding to explain the dynastic mission of the Kim family in North Korea. The archaic notion of despotic family rule matches the almost medieval hardship the country has suffered under the Kims. Few people thought that a young, untested, unhealthy, Swiss-educated basketball fanatic could hold together a country that should have fallen apart years ago. But Kim Jong Un has not just survived, he has thrived, abetted by the approval of Donald Trump and diplomacy's weirdest bromance. Skeptical yet insightful, Fifield creates a captivating portrait of the oddest and most secretive political regime in the world--one that is isolated yet internationally relevant, bankrupt yet in possession of nuclear weapons--and its ruler, the self-proclaimed Beloved and Respected Leader, Kim Jong Un.

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War and Peace - Nigel Hamilton Cover Art

War and Peace

War and Peace FDR's Final Odyssey: D-Day to Yalta, 1943–1945 by Nigel Hamilton

To mark the 75th Anniversary of D-Day, the stirring climax to Nigel Hamilton’s three-part saga of FDR at war—proof that he was WWII’s key strategist, even on his deathbed. “A first-class, lens-changing work.” —James N. Mattis, former United States Secretary of Defense Nigel Hamilton's celebrated trilogy culminates with a story of triumph and tragedy. Just as FDR was proven right by the D-day landings he had championed, so was he found to be mortally ill in the spring of 1944. He was the architect of a victorious peace that he would not live to witness. Using hitherto unpublished documents and interviews, Hamilton rewrites the famous account of World War II strategy given by Winston Churchill in his memoirs. Seventy-five years after the D-day landings we finally get to see, close-up and in dramatic detail, who was responsible for rescuing, and insisting upon, the great American-led invasion of France in June 1944, and why the invasion was led by Eisenhower. As FDR's D-day triumph turns to personal tragedy, we watch with heartbreaking compassion the course of the disease, and how, in the months left him as US commander in chief, the dying president attempted at Hawaii, Quebec, and Yalta to prepare the United Nations for an American-backed postwar world order. Now we know: even on his deathbed, FDR was the war's great visionary.

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Madame Fourcade's Secret War - Lynne Olson Cover Art

Madame Fourcade's Secret War

Madame Fourcade's Secret War The Daring Young Woman Who Led France's Largest Spy Network Against Hitler by Lynne Olson

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • The little-known true story of Marie-Madeleine Fourcade, the woman who headed the largest spy network in occupied France during World War II, from the bestselling author of Citizens of London and Last Hope Island “Brava to Lynne Olson for a biography that should challenge any outdated assumptions about who deserves to be called a hero.”— The Washington Post In 1941 a thirty-one-year-old Frenchwoman, a young mother born to privilege and known for her beauty and glamour, became the leader of a vast intelligence organization—the only woman to serve as a chef de résistance during the war. Strong-willed, independent, and a lifelong rebel against her country’s conservative, patriarchal society, Marie-Madeleine Fourcade was temperamentally made for the job. Her group’s name was Alliance, but the Gestapo dubbed it Noah’s Ark because its agents used the names of animals as their aliases. The name Marie-Madeleine chose for herself was Hedgehog: a tough little animal, unthreatening in appearance, that, as a colleague of hers put it, “even a lion would hesitate to bite.” No other French spy network lasted as long or supplied as much crucial intelligence—including providing American and British military commanders with a 55-foot-long map of the beaches and roads on which the Allies would land on D-Day—as Alliance. The Gestapo pursued them relentlessly, capturing, torturing, and executing hundreds of its three thousand agents, including Fourcade’s own lover and many of her key spies. Although Fourcade, the mother of two young children, moved her headquarters every few weeks, constantly changing her hair color, clothing, and identity, she was captured twice by the Nazis. Both times she managed to escape—once by slipping naked through the bars of her jail cell—and continued to hold her network together even as it repeatedly threatened to crumble around her. Now, in this dramatic account of the war that split France in two and forced its people to live side by side with their hated German occupiers, Lynne Olson tells the fascinating story of a woman who stood up for her nation, her fellow citizens, and herself. “Fast-paced and impressively researched . . . Olson writes with verve and a historian’s authority. . . . With this gripping tale, Lynne Olson pays [Marie-Madeleine Fourcade] what history has so far denied her. France, slow to confront the stain of Vichy, would do well to finally honor a fighter most of us would want in our foxhole.”— The New York Times Book Review

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The Warrior Ethos - Steven Pressfield & Shawn Coyne Cover Art

The Warrior Ethos

The Warrior Ethos by Steven Pressfield & Shawn Coyne

Wars Change, Warriors Don't We are all warriors. Each of us struggles every day to define and defend our sense of purpose and integrity. Do we fight by a code?  What is the Warrior Ethos? How do we (and how can we) use it and be true to it in our internal and external lives?

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The Devil in the White City - Erik Larson Cover Art

The Devil in the White City

The Devil in the White City A Saga of Magic and Murder at the Fair that Changed America by Erik Larson

In The Devil in the White City,  the smoke, romance, and mystery of the Gilded Age come alive as never before. Two men, each handsome and unusually adept at his chosen work, embodied an element of the great dynamic that characterized America’s rush toward the twentieth century. The architect was Daniel Hudson Burnham, the fair’s brilliant director of works and the builder of many of the country’s most important structures, including the Flatiron Building in New York and Union Station in Washington, D.C. The murderer was Henry H. Holmes, a young doctor who, in a malign parody of the White City, built his “World’s Fair Hotel” just west of the fairgrounds—a torture palace complete with dissection table, gas chamber, and 3,000-degree crematorium. Burnham overcame tremendous obstacles and tragedies as he organized the talents of Frederick Law Olmsted, Charles McKim, Louis Sullivan, and others to transform swampy Jackson Park into the White City, while Holmes used the attraction of the great fair and his own satanic charms to lure scores of young women to their deaths. What makes the story all the more chilling is that Holmes really lived, walking the grounds of that dream city by the lake. The Devil in the White City draws the reader into a time of magic and majesty, made all the more appealing by a supporting cast of real-life characters, including Buffalo Bill, Theodore Dreiser, Susan B. Anthony, Thomas Edison, Archduke Francis Ferdinand, and others. Erik Larson’s gifts as a storyteller are magnificently displayed in this rich narrative of the master builder, the killer, and the great fair that obsessed them both. To find out more about this book, go to http://www.DevilInTheWhiteCity.com.

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The Day of Battle - Rick Atkinson Cover Art

The Day of Battle

The Day of Battle The War in Sicily and Italy, 1943-1944 by Rick Atkinson

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER In the second volume of his epic trilogy about the liberation of Europe in World War II, Pulitzer Prize winner Rick Atkinson tells the harrowing story of the campaigns in Sicily and Italy In An Army at Dawn —winner of the Pulitzer Prize—Rick Atkinson provided a dramatic and authoritative history of the Allied triumph in North Africa. Now, in The Day of Battle , he follows the strengthening American and British armies as they invade Sicily in July 1943 and then, mile by bloody mile, fight their way north toward Rome. The Italian campaign's outcome was never certain; in fact, Roosevelt, Churchill, and their military advisers engaged in heated debate about whether an invasion of the so-called soft underbelly of Europe was even a good idea. But once under way, the commitment to liberate Italy from the Nazis never wavered, despite the agonizingly high price. The battles at Salerno, Anzio, and Monte Cassino were particularly difficult and lethal, yet as the months passed, the Allied forces continued to drive the Germans up the Italian peninsula. Led by Lieutenant General Mark Clark, one of the war's most complex and controversial commanders, American officers and soldiers became increasingly determined and proficient. And with the liberation of Rome in June 1944, ultimate victory at last began to seem inevitable. Drawing on a wide array of primary source material, written with great drama and flair, this is narrative history of the first rank. With The Day of Battle , Atkinson has once again given us the definitive account of one of history's most compelling military campaigns.

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Savage Continent - Keith Lowe Cover Art

Savage Continent

Savage Continent Europe in the Aftermath of World War II by Keith Lowe

The Second World War might have officially ended in May 1945, but in reality it rumbled on for another ten years... The end of the Second World War in Europe is one of the twentieth century's most iconic moments. It is fondly remembered as a time when cheering crowds filled the streets, danced, drank and made love until the small hours. These images of victory and celebration are so strong in our minds that the period of anarchy and civil war that followed has been forgotten. Across Europe, landscapes had been ravaged, entire cities razed and more than thirty million people had been killed in the war. The institutions that we now take for granted - such as the police, the media, transport, local and national government - were either entirely absent or hopelessly compromised. Crime rates were soaring, economies collapsing, and the European population was hovering on the brink of starvation. In Savage Continent , Keith Lowe describes a continent still racked by violence, where large sections of the population had yet to accept that the war was over. Individuals, communities and sometimes whole nations sought vengeance for the wrongs that had been done to them during the war. Germans and collaborators everywhere were rounded up, tormented and summarily executed. Concentration camps were reopened and filled with new victims who were tortured and starved. Violent anti-Semitism was reborn, sparking murders and new pogroms across Europe. Massacres were an integral part of the chaos and in some places – particularly Greece, Yugoslavia and Poland, as well as parts of Italy and France – they led to brutal civil wars. In some of the greatest acts of ethnic cleansing the world has ever seen, tens of millions were expelled from their ancestral homelands, often with the implicit blessing of the Allied authorities. Savage Continent is the story of post WWII Europe, in all its ugly detail, from the end of the war right up until the establishment of an uneasy stability across Europe towards the end of the 1940s. Based principally on primary sources from a dozen countries, Savage Continent is a frightening and thrilling chronicle of a world gone mad, the standard history of post WWII Europe for years to come.

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The Operator - Robert O'Neill Cover Art

The Operator

The Operator Firing the Shots that Killed Osama bin Laden and My Years as a SEAL Team Warrior by Robert O'Neill

This instant New York Times bestseller—“a jaw-dropping, fast-paced account” ( New York Post ) recounts SEAL Team Operator Robert O’Neill’s incredible four-hundred-mission career, including the attempts to rescue “Lone Survivor” Marcus Luttrell and abducted-by-Somali-pirates Captain Richard Phillips, and which culminated in the death of the world’s most wanted terrorist—Osama bin Laden. In The Operator , Robert O’Neill describes his idyllic childhood in Butte, Montana; his impulsive decision to join the SEALs; the arduous evaluation and training process; and the even tougher gauntlet he had to run to join the SEALs’ most elite unit. After officially becoming a SEAL, O’Neill would spend more than a decade in the most intense counterterror effort in US history. For extended periods , not a night passed without him and his small team recording multiple enemy kills—and though he was lucky enough to survive, several of the SEALs he’d trained with and fought beside never made it home. “Impossible to put down… The Operator is unique, surprising, a kind of counternarrative, and certainly the other half of the story of one of the world’s most famous military operations…In the larger sense, this book is about…how to be human while in the very same moment dealing with death, destruction, combat” (Doug Stanton, New York Times bestselling author). O’Neill describes the nonstop action of his deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan, evokes the black humor of years-long combat, brings to vivid life the lethal efficiency of the military’s most selective units, and reveals details of the most celebrated terrorist takedown in history. This is “a riveting, unvarnished, and wholly unforgettable portrait of America’s most storied commandos at war” (Joby Warrick).

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Delizia! - John Dickie Cover Art

Delizia!

Delizia! The Epic History of the Italians and Their Food by John Dickie

Buon appetito! Everyone loves Italian food. But how did the Italians come to eat so well? The answer lies amid the vibrant beauty of Italy's historic cities. For a thousand years, they have been magnets for everything that makes for great eating: ingredients, talent, money, and power. Italian food is city food. From the bustle of medieval Milan's marketplace to the banqueting halls of Renaissance Ferrara; from street stalls in the putrid alleyways of nineteenth-century Naples to the noisy trattorie of postwar Rome: in rich slices of urban life, historian and master storyteller John Dickie shows how taste, creativity, and civic pride blended with princely arrogance, political violence, and dark intrigue to create the world's favorite cuisine. Delizia! is much more than a history of Italian food. It is a history of Italy told through the flavors and character of its cities. A dynamic chronicle that is full of surprises, Delizia! draws back the curtain on much that was unknown about Italian food and exposes the long-held canards. It interprets the ancient Arabic map that tells of pasta's true origins, and shows that Marco Polo did not introduce spaghetti to the Italians, as is often thought, but did have a big influence on making pasta a part of the American diet. It seeks out the medieval recipes that reveal Italy's long love affair with exotic spices, and introduces the great Renaissance cookery writer who plotted to murder the Pope even as he detailed the aphrodisiac qualities of his ingredients. It moves from the opulent theater of a Renaissance wedding banquet, with its gargantuan ten-course menu comprising hundreds of separate dishes, to the thin soups and bland polentas that would eventually force millions to emigrate to the New World. It shows how early pizzas were disgusting and why Mussolini championed risotto. Most important, it explains the origins and growth of the world's greatest urban food culture. With its delectable mix of vivid storytelling, groundbreaking research, and shrewd analysis, Delizia! is as appetizing as the dishes it describes. This passionate account of Italy's civilization of the table will satisfy foodies, history buffs, Italophiles, travelers, students -- and anyone who loves a well-told tale.

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With the Old Breed - E.B. Sledge Cover Art

With the Old Breed

With the Old Breed At Peleliu and Okinawa by E.B. Sledge

“Eugene Sledge became more than a legend with his memoir, With The Old Breed . He became a chronicler, a historian, a storyteller who turns the extremes of the war in the Pacific—the terror, the camaraderie, the banal and the extraordinary—into terms we mortals can grasp.”—Tom Hanks NEW YORK TIMES  BESTSELLER In The Wall Street Journal , Victor Davis Hanson named With the Old Breed one of the top five books on epic twentieth-century battles. Studs Terkel interviewed the author for his definitive oral history, The Good War . Now E. B. Sledge’s acclaimed first-person account of fighting at Peleliu and Okinawa returns to thrill, edify, and inspire a new generation. An Alabama boy steeped in American history and enamored of such heroes as George Washington and Daniel Boone, Eugene B. Sledge became part of the war’s famous 1st Marine Division—3rd Battalion, 5th Marines. Even after intense training, he was shocked to be thrown into the battle of Peleliu, where “the world was a nightmare of flashes, explosions, and snapping bullets.” By the time Sledge hit the hell of Okinawa, he was a combat vet, still filled with fear but no longer with panic. Based on notes Sledge secretly kept in a copy of the New Testament, With the Old Breed captures with utter simplicity and searing honesty the experience of a soldier in the fierce Pacific Theater. Here is what saved, threatened, and changed his life. Here, too, is the story of how he learned to hate and kill—and came to love—his fellow man. “In all the literature on the Second World War, there is not a more honest, realistic or moving memoir than Eugene Sledge’s. This is the real deal, the real war: unvarnished, brutal, without a shred of sentimentality or false patriotism, a profound primer on what it actually was like to be in that war. It is a classic that will outlive all the armchair generals’ safe accounts of—not the ‘good war’—but the worst war ever.”—Ken Burns

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The First Wave - Alex Kershaw Cover Art

The First Wave

The First Wave The D-Day Warriors Who Led the Way to Victory in World War II by Alex Kershaw

The  New York Times  bestselling author of  The Liberator  and  Avenue of Spies  returns with an utterly immersive, adrenaline-driven account of D-Day combat.   “Meet the assaulters: Pathfinders plunging from the black, coxswains plowing the whitecaps, bareknuckle Rangers scaling sheer rock... Fast-paced and up-close, this is history’s greatest story reinvigorated as only Alex Kershaw can.” —Adam Makos,  New York Times  bestselling author of  Spearhead  and  A Higher Call Beginning in the predawn darkness of June 6, 1944, The First Wave follows the remarkable men who carried out D-Day’s most perilous missions. The charismatic, unforgettable cast includes the first American paratrooper to touch down on Normandy soil; the  glider pilot who braved antiaircraft fire to crash-land mere yards from the vital Pegasus Bridge; the brothers who led their troops onto Juno Beach under withering fire; as well as a French commando, returning to his native land, who fought to destroy German strongholds on Sword Beach and beyond. Readers will experience the sheer grit of the Rangers who scaled Pointe du Hoc and the astonishing courage of the airborne soldiers who captured the Merville Gun Battery in the face of devastating enemy counterattacks. The first to fight when the stakes were highest and the odds longest, these men would determine the fate of the invasion of Hitler’s Fortress Europe—and the very history of the twentieth century.   The result is an epic of close combat and extraordinary heroism. It is the capstone Alex Kershaw’s remarkable career, built on his close friendships with D-Day survivors and his intimate understanding of the Normandy battlefield. For the seventy-fifth anniversary, here is a fresh take on World War II's longest day.

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Presidents of War - Michael Beschloss Cover Art

Presidents of War

Presidents of War by Michael Beschloss

NEW YORK TIMES  BESTSELLER • From a preeminent presidential historian comes a “monumental and profoundly important” (Ron Chernow) saga of America’s wartime chief executives BILL GATES’S SUMMER READING LIST Ten years in the research and writing,  Presidents of War  is a fresh, magisterial, intimate look at a procession of American leaders as they took the nation into conflict and mobilized their country for victory. It brings us into the room as they make the most difficult decisions that face any President, at times sending hundreds of thousands of American men and women to their deaths.  From James Madison and the War of 1812 to recent times, we see them struggling with Congress, the courts, the press, their own advisors and antiwar protesters; seeking comfort from their spouses, families and friends; and dropping to their knees in prayer. We come to understand how these Presidents were able to withstand the pressures of war—both physically and emotionally—or were broken by them. Beschloss’s interviews with surviving participants in the drama and his findings in original letters, diaries, once-classified national security documents, and other sources help him to tell this story in a way it has not been told before.  Presidents of War  combines the sense of being there with the overarching context of two centuries of American history. This important book shows how far we have traveled from the time of our Founders, who tried to constrain presidential power, to our modern day, when a single leader has the potential to launch nuclear weapons that can destroy much of the human race. Praise for  Presidents of War "A marvelous narrative. . . . As Beschloss explains, the greatest wartime presidents successfully leaven military action with moral concerns. . . . Beschloss’s writing is clean and concise, and he admirably draws upon new documents. Some of the more titillating tidbits in the book are in the footnotes. . . . There are fascinating nuggets on virtually every page of  Presidents of War . It is a superb and important book, superbly rendered.” —Jay Winik,  The New York Times Book Review "Sparkle and bite. . . . Valuable and engrossing study of how our chief executives have discharged the most significant of all their duties. . . . Excellent. . . . A fluent narrative that covers two centuries of national conflict.”   —Richard Snow,  The Wall Street Journal

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Our Man - George Packer Cover Art

Our Man

Our Man Richard Holbrooke and the End of the American Century by George Packer

"Portrays Holbrooke in all of his endearing and exasperating self-willed glory...Both a sweeping diplomatic history and a Shakespearean tragicomedy... If you could read one book to comprehend American's foreign policy and its quixotic forays into quicksands over the past 50 years, this would be it."--Walter Isaacson, The New York Times Book Review "By the end of the second page, maybe the third, you will be hooked...There never was a diplomat-activist quite like [Holbrooke], and there seldom has been a book quite like this -- sweeping and sentimental, beguiling and brutal, catty and critical, much like the man himself."--David M. Shribman, The Boston Globe Richard Holbrooke was brilliant, utterly self-absorbed, and possessed of almost inhuman energy and appetites. Admired and detested, he was the force behind the Dayton Accords that ended the Balkan wars, America's greatest diplomatic achievement in the post-Cold War era. His power lay in an utter belief in himself and his idea of a muscular, generous foreign policy. From his days as a young adviser in Vietnam to his last efforts to end the war in Afghanistan, Holbrooke embodied the postwar American impulse to take the lead on the global stage. But his sharp elbows and tireless self-promotion ensured that he never rose to the highest levels in government that he so desperately coveted. His story is thus the story of America during its era of supremacy: its strength, drive, and sense of possibility, as well as its penchant for overreach and heedless self-confidence. In Our Man, drawn from Holbrooke's diaries and papers, we are given a nonfiction narrative that is both intimate and epic in its revelatory portrait of this extraordinary and deeply flawed man and the elite spheres of society and government he inhabited.

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Prisoner of the Vatican - David I. Kertzer Cover Art

Prisoner of the Vatican

Prisoner of the Vatican The Popes, the Kings, and Garibaldi's Rebels in the Struggle to Rule Modern Italy by David I. Kertzer

A Pulitzer Prize winner’s “fascinating” account of the political battles that led to the end of the Papal States ( Entertainment Weekly ). From a National Book Award–nominated author, this absorbing history chronicles the birth of modern Italy and the clandestine politics behind the Vatican’s last stand in the battle between the church and the newly created Italian state.   When Italy’s armies seized the Holy City and claimed it for the Italian capital, Pope Pius IX, outraged, retreated to the Vatican and declared himself a prisoner, calling on foreign powers to force the Italians out of Rome. The action set in motion decades of political intrigue that hinged on such fascinating characters as Garibaldi, King Viktor Emmanuel, Napoleon III, and Chancellor Bismarck.   Drawing on a wealth of secret documents long buried in the Vatican archives, David I. Kertzer reveals a fascinating story of outrageous accusations, mutual denunciations, and secret dealings that will leave readers hard-pressed to ever think of Italy, or the Vatican, in the same way again.   “A rousing tale of clerical skullduggery and topsy-turvy politics, laced with plenty of cross-border intrigue.” — Kirkus Reviews , starred review

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Blood and Thunder - Hampton Sides Cover Art

Blood and Thunder

Blood and Thunder by Hampton Sides

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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North Korea - Michael J. Seth Cover Art

North Korea

North Korea A History by Michael J. Seth

In this key textbook, Michael J. Seth offers an excellent synthesis of existing scholarship, including a thorough examination of contemporary sources. Seth masterfully traces how North Korea gradually transformed itself from a Soviet-style socialist state to an ultra-nationalist, dynastic one, illuminating this journey with an engaging understanding of the political, ideological, economic and social forces at play. Throughout, Seth adds a rich dimension by placing North Korean history into broader global perspective and considering the implications for the future of the country. With a helpful glossary and an exhaustive bibliography, this clear and accessible overview is an ideal text for students of North Korean history, and for anyone with an interest in the evolution of this uncommon nation.

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Aces High - Bill Yenne Cover Art

Aces High

Aces High The Heroic Saga of the Two Top-Scoring American Aces of World War II by Bill Yenne

Capturing the hearts of a beleaguered nation, the fighter pilots of World War II engaged in a kind of battle that became the stuff of legend. They cut through the sky in their P-38s to go one-on-one against the enemy—and those who survived the deadly showdowns with enough courage and skill earned the right to be called aces. But two men in particular rose to become something more. They became icons of aerial combat, in a heroic rivalry that inspired a weary nation to fight on.   Richard “Dick” Bong was the bashful, pink-faced farm boy from the Midwest. Thomas “Tommy” McGuire was the wise-cracking, fast-talking kid from New Jersey. What they shared was an unparalleled gallantry under fire which won them both the Medal of Honor—and remains the subject of hushed and reverent conversation wherever aerial warfare is admired.   What they had between them was a closely watched rivalry to see who would emerge as the top-scoring American ace of the war. What they left behind is a legacy of pride we will never forget, and a record of aerial victories that has yet to be surpassed anywhere in the world.

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The Scratch of a Pen - Colin G. Calloway Cover Art

The Scratch of a Pen

The Scratch of a Pen 1763 and the Transformation of North America by Colin G. Calloway

In this superb volume in Oxford's acclaimed Pivotal Moments series, Colin Calloway reveals how the Treaty of Paris of 1763 had a profound effect on American history, setting in motion a cascade of unexpected consequences, as Indians and Europeans, settlers and frontiersmen, all struggled to adapt to new boundaries, new alignments, and new relationships. Britain now possessed a vast American empire stretching from Canada to the Florida Keys, yet the crushing costs of maintaining it would push its colonies toward rebellion. White settlers, free to pour into the West, clashed as never before with Indian tribes struggling to defend their way of life. In the Northwest, Pontiac's War brought racial conflict to its bitterest level so far. Whole ethnic groups migrated, sometimes across the continent: it was 1763 that saw many exiled settlers from Acadia in French Canada move again to Louisiana, where they would become Cajuns. Calloway unfurls this panoramic canvas with vibrant narrative skill, peopling his tale with memorable characters such as William Johnson, the Irish baronet who moved between Indian campfires and British barracks; Pontiac, the charismatic Ottawa chieftain; and James Murray, Britains first governor in Quebec, who fought to protect the religious rights of his French Catholic subjects. Most Americans know the significance of the Declaration of Independence or the Emancipation Proclamation, but not the Treaty of Paris. Yet 1763 was a year that shaped our history just as decisively as 1776 or 1862. This captivating book shows why. Winner of the Society of Colonial Wars Book Award for 2006

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A Concise History of Russia - Paul Bushkovitch Cover Art

A Concise History of Russia

A Concise History of Russia by Paul Bushkovitch

Accessible to students, tourists and general readers alike, this book provides a broad overview of Russian history since the ninth century. Paul Bushkovitch emphasizes the enormous changes in the understanding of Russian history resulting from the end of the Soviet Union in 1991. Since then, new material has come to light on the history of the Soviet era, providing new conceptions of Russia's pre-revolutionary past. The book traces not only the political history of Russia, but also developments in its literature, art and science. Bushkovitch describes well-known cultural figures, such as Chekhov, Tolstoy and Mendeleev, in their institutional and historical contexts. Though the 1917 revolution, the resulting Soviet system and the Cold War were a crucial part of Russian and world history, Bushkovitch presents earlier developments as more than just a prelude to Bolshevik power.

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A War of Frontier and Empire - David J. Silbey Cover Art

A War of Frontier and Empire

A War of Frontier and Empire The Philippine-American War, 1899-1902 by David J. Silbey

It has been termed an insurgency, a revolution, a guerrilla war, and a conventional war. As David J. Silbey demonstrates in this taut, compelling history, the 1899 Philippine-American War was in fact all of these. Played out over three distinct conflicts—one fought between the Spanish and the allied United States and Filipino forces; one fought between the United States and the Philippine Army of Liberation; and one fought between occupying American troops and an insurgent alliance of often divided Filipinos—the war marked America's first steps as a global power and produced a wealth of lessons learned and forgotten. In A War of Frontier and Empire , Silbey traces the rise and fall of President Emilio Aguinaldo, as Aguinaldo tries to liberate the Philippines from colonial rule only to fail, devastatingly, before a relentless American army. He tracks President McKinley's decision to commit troops and fulfill a divinely inspired injunction to "uplift and civilize" despite the protests of many Americans. Most important, Silbey provides a clear lens to view the Philippines as, in the crucible of war, it transforms itself from a territory divided by race, ethnicity, and warring clans into a cohesive nation on the path to independence.

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Flawed Giant - Robert Dallek Cover Art

Flawed Giant

Flawed Giant Lyndon Johnson and His Times, 1961-1973 by Robert Dallek

Flawed Giant--the monumental concluding volume to Robert Dallek's biography of Lyndon Baines Johnson--provides the most through, engrossing account ever published of Johnson's years in the national spotlight. Drawing on hours of newly released White House tapes and dozens of interviews with people close to the President, Dallek reveals LBJ as a visionary leader who worked his will on Congress like no chief executive before or since, and also displays the depth of his private anguish as he became increasingly ensnared in Vietnam. Writing in a clear, thoughtful, and evenhanded style, Dallek reveals both the greatness and the tangled complexities of one of the most extravagant characters ever to ascend to the White House.

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The Way of the World - David Fromkin Cover Art

The Way of the World

The Way of the World From the Dawn of Civilizations to the Eve of the Twenty-first Century by David Fromkin

How did we get here? David Fromkin provides arresting and dramatic answers to the questions we ask ourselves as we approach the new millennium. He maps and illuminates the paths by which humanity came to its current state, giving coherence and meaning to the main turning points along the way by relating them to a vision of things to come. His unconventional approach to narrating universal history is to focus on the relevant past and to single out the eight critical evolutions that brought the world from the Big Bang to the eve of the twenty-first century. He describes how human beings survived by adapting to a world they had not yet begun to make their own, and how they created and developed organized society, religion, and warfare. He emphasizes the transformative forces of art and the written word, and the explosive effects of scientific discoveries. He traces the course of commerce, exploration, the growth of law, and the quest for freedom, and details how their convergence led to the world of today. History's great movements and moments are here: the rise of the first empires in Mesopotamia; the exodus from Pharaoh's Egypt; the coming of Moses, Confucius, the Buddha, Jesus, and Muhammad; the fall of the Roman Empire; the rise of China; Vasco da Gama finding the sea road to India that led to unification of the globe under European leadership. Connections are made: the invention of writing, of the alphabet, of the printing press, and of the computer lead to an information revolution that is shaping the world of tomorrow. The industrial, scientific, and technological revolutions are related to the credit revolution that lies behind today's world economy. The eighty-year world war of the twentieth century, which ended only on August 31, 1994, when the last Russian troops left German soil, points the way to a long but perhaps troubled peace in the twenty-first. Where are we now? The Way of the World asserts that the human race has been borne on the waters of a great river--a river of scientific and technological innovation that has been flowing in the Western world for a thousand years, and that now surges forward more strongly than ever. This river highway, it says, has become the way of the world; and because the constitutional and open society that the United States champions is uniquely suited to it, America will be the lucky country of the centuries to come. Fromkin concludes by examining some of the choices that lie ahead for a world still constrained by its past and by human nature but endowed by science with new powers and possibilities. He pictures exciting prospects ahead--if the United States takes the lead, and can develop wisdom on a scale to match its good fortune.

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At the Edge of the Abyss: A Declassified Documentary History of the Cuban Missile Crisis - Lenny Flank Cover Art

At the Edge of the Abyss: A Declassified Documentary History of the Cuban Missile Crisis A Declassified Documentary History of the Cuban Missile Crisis by Lenny Flank

In the last two weeks of October 1962, the world came closer to nuclear warfare than it ever has. This volume is a collection of declassified documents from American and Soviet archives, detailing the history of those two weeks. Preface gives an overview and timeline of the crisis.

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Services of colored Americans in the Wars of 1776 and 1812. - William Cooper Nell Cover Art

Services of colored Americans in the Wars of 1776 and 1812.

Services of colored Americans in the Wars of 1776 and 1812. by William Cooper Nell

The MILITARY HISTORY & WARFARE collection includes books from the British Library digitised by Microsoft. This series offers titles on warfare from ancient to modern times. It includes detailed accounts of campaigns, battles, weapons, as well as the soldiers and commanders who devised, initiated, and supported war efforts throughout history. Specific analyses discuss the impact of war on societies, cultures, economies, and changing international relationships.

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Il Diario di Anna Frank - Anna Frank Cover Art

Il Diario di Anna Frank

Il Diario di Anna Frank by Anna Frank

Il diario di Anna Frank fu ritrovato nell'alloggio dove Il 4 agosto 1944 la polizia tedesca fece un'irruzione. Tutti i rifugiati clandestini furono arrestati e condotti in campi di concentramento tedeschi ed olandesi. Nell'alloggio segreto dove fu arrestata Anna Frank fu perquisito e saccheggiato dalla Gestapo. In un mucchio di vecchi libri, riviste e giornali rimasti per terra, Elli e Miep trovarono il diario di Anna. Il testo è originale pubblicato integralmente. Anna morì nel marzo 1945 nel campo di concentramento di Bergen Belsen, due mesi prima della liberazione dell'Olanda. Un libro davvero speciale consigliato a tutti...

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Routledge Handbook of Modern Korean History - Michael J. Seth Cover Art

Routledge Handbook of Modern Korean History

Routledge Handbook of Modern Korean History by Michael J. Seth

Beginning in the mid-nineteenth century when Korea became entangled in the world of modern imperialism and the old social, economic and political order began to change; this handbook brings together cutting edge scholarship on major themes in Korean History. Contributions by experts in the field cover the Late Choson and Colonial periods, Korea’s partition and the diverging paths of North and South Korea. Topics covered include: The division of Korea Religion Competing imperialisms Economic change War and rebellions Nationalism Gender North Korea Under Kim Jong Il Global Korea The Handbook provides a stimulating introduction to the most important themes within the subject area, and is an invaluable reference work for any student and researcher of Korean History.

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12 Strong - Doug Stanton Cover Art

12 Strong

12 Strong The Declassified True Story of the Horse Soldiers by Doug Stanton

“A thrilling action ride of a book” ( The New York Times Book Review )—from Jerry Bruckheimer in theaters everywhere January 19, 2018—the New York Times bestselling, true-life account of a US Special Forces team deployed to dangerous, war-ridden Afghanistan in the weeks following 9/11. Previously published as Horse Soldiers , 12 Strong is the dramatic account of a small band of Special Forces soldiers who secretly entered Afghanistan following 9/11 and rode to war on horses against the Taliban. Outnumbered forty to one, they pursued the enemy army across the mountainous Afghanistan terrain and, after a series of intense battles, captured the city of Mazar-i-Sharif. The bone-weary American soldiers were welcomed as liberators as they rode into the city. Then the action took a wholly unexpected turn. During a surrender of six hundred Taliban troops, the Horse Soldiers were ambushed by the would-be POWs. Dangerously overpowered, they fought for their lives in the city’s immense fortress, Qala-i-Janghi, or the House of War. At risk were the military gains of the entire campaign: if the soldiers perished or were captured, the entire effort to outmaneuver the Taliban was likely doomed. “A riveting story of the brave and resourceful American warriors who rode into Afghanistan after 9/11 and waged war against Al Qaeda” (Tom Brokaw), Doug Stanton’s account touches the mythic. The soldiers on horses combined ancient strategies of cavalry warfare with twenty-first-century aerial bombardment technology to perform a seemingly impossible feat. Moreover, their careful effort to win the hearts of local townspeople proved a valuable lesson for America’s ongoing efforts in Afghanistan. With “spellbinding...action packed prose...The book reads more like a novel than a military history...the Horse Soldier’s secret mission remains the US military’s finest moment in what has since arguably been a muddled war” ( USA TODAY ).

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The Right Stuff - Tom Wolfe Cover Art

The Right Stuff

The Right Stuff by Tom Wolfe

From "America's nerviest journalist" ( Newsweek )--a breath-taking epic, a magnificent adventure story, and an investigation into the true heroism and courage of the first Americans to conquer space. "Tom Wolfe at his very best" ( The New York Times Book Review ) Millions of words have poured forth about man's trip to the moon, but until now few people have had a sense of the most engrossing side of the adventure; namely, what went on in the minds of the astronauts themselves - in space, on the moon, and even during certain odysseys on earth. It is this, the inner life of the astronauts, that Tom Wolfe describes with his almost uncanny empathetic powers, that made The Right Stuff a classic.

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The World's Fastest Man - Michael Kranish Cover Art

The World's Fastest Man

The World's Fastest Man The Extraordinary Life of Cyclist Major Taylor, America's First Black Sports Hero by Michael Kranish

In the tradition of The Boys in the Boat and Seabiscuit , a fascinating portrait of a groundbreaking but forgotten figure—the remarkable Major Taylor, the black man who broke racial barriers by becoming the world’s fastest and most famous bicyclist at the height of the Jim Crow era. In the 1890s, the nation’s promise of equality had failed spectacularly. While slavery had ended with the Civil War, the Jim Crow laws still separated blacks from whites, and the excesses of the Gilded Age created an elite upper class. Amidst this world arrived Major Taylor, a young black man who wanted to compete in the nation’s most popular and mostly white man’s sport, cycling. Birdie Munger, a white cyclist who once was the world’s fastest man, declared that he could help turn the young black athlete into a champion. Twelve years before boxer Jack Johnson and fifty years before baseball player Jackie Robinson, Taylor faced racism at nearly every turn—especially by whites who feared he would disprove their stereotypes of blacks. In The World’s Fastest Man , years in the writing, investigative journalist Michael Kranish reveals new information about Major Taylor based on a rare interview with his daughter and other never-before-uncovered details from Taylor’s life. Kranish shows how Taylor indeed became a world champion, traveled the world, was the toast of Paris, and was one of the most chronicled black men of his day. From a moment in time just before the arrival of the automobile when bicycles were king, the populace was booming with immigrants, and enormous societal changes were about to take place, The World’s Fastest Man shines a light on a dramatic moment in American history—the gateway to the twentieth century.

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Songs of America - Jon Meacham & Tim McGraw Cover Art

Songs of America

Songs of America Patriotism, Protest, and the Music That Made a Nation by Jon Meacham & Tim McGraw

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A celebration of American history through the music that helped to shape a nation, by Pulitzer Prize winner Jon Meacham and music superstar Tim McGraw “Jon Meacham and Tim McGraw form an irresistible duo—connecting us to music as an unsung force in our nation's history.”—Doris Kearns Goodwin Through all the years of strife and triumph, America has been shaped not just by our elected leaders and our formal politics but also by our music—by the lyrics, performers, and instrumentals that have helped to carry us through the dark days and to celebrate the bright ones. From “The Star-Spangled Banner” to “Born in the U.S.A.,” Jon Meacham and Tim McGraw take readers on a moving and insightful journey through eras in American history and the songs and performers that inspired us. Meacham chronicles our history, exploring the stories behind the songs, and Tim McGraw reflects on them as an artist and performer. Their perspectives combine to create a unique view of the role music has played in uniting and shaping a nation. Beginning with the battle hymns of the revolution, and taking us through songs from the defining events of the Civil War, the fight for women’s suffrage, the two world wars, the Great Depression, the civil rights movement, the Vietnam War, and into the twenty-first century, Meacham and McGraw explore the songs that defined generations, and the cultural and political climates that produced them. Readers will discover the power of music in the lives of figures such as Harriet Tubman, Franklin Roosevelt, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Martin Luther King, Jr., and will learn more about some of our most beloved musicians and performers, including Marian Anderson, Elvis Presley, Sam Cooke, Aretha Franklin, Bob Dylan, Duke Ellington, Carole King, Bruce Springsteen, and more. Songs of America explores both famous songs and lesser-known ones, expanding our understanding of the scope of American music and lending deeper meaning to the historical context of such songs as “My Country, ’Tis of Thee,” “God Bless America,” “Over There,” “We Shall Overcome,” and “Blowin’ in the Wind.” As Quincy Jones says, Meacham and McGraw have “convened a concert in Songs of America ,” one that reminds us of who we are, where we’ve been, and what we, at our best, can be.

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With Wings Like Eagles - Michael Korda Cover Art

With Wings Like Eagles

With Wings Like Eagles A History of the Battle of Britain by Michael Korda

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

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We Few - Nick Brokhausen Cover Art

We Few

We Few U.S. Special Forces in Vietnam by Nick Brokhausen

A Green Beret’s gripping memoir of American Special Forces in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War.   In 1970, on his second tour to Vietnam, Nick Brokhausen served in Recon Team Habu, CCN. Officially, it was known as the Studies and Observations group. In fact, this Special Forces squad, which Brokhausen calls “an unwashed, profane, ribald, joyously alive fraternity,” undertook some of the most dangerous and suicidal reconnaissance missions ever in the enemy-controlled territory of Cambodia and Laos. But they didn’t infiltrate the jungles alone. They fought alongside the Montagnards—oppressed minorities from the mountain highlands, trained by the US military in guerilla tactics, armed, accustomed to the wild, and fully engaged in a war against the North Vietnamese. Together this small unit formed the backbone of ground reconnaissance in the Republic of Vietnam, racking up medals for valor—but at a terrible cost.   “In colorful, military-jargon-laced prose leavened by gallows humor, Brokhausen pulls few punches describing what it was like to navigate remote jungle terrain under the constant threat of enemy fire. A smartly written, insider’s view of one rarely seen Vietnam War battleground.” — Booklist “[An] exceptionally raw look at the Vietnam War just at the apex of its unpopularity. . . . This battle-scarred memoir is an excellent tribute to the generation that fought, laughed, and died in Southeast Asia.” — New York Journal of Books

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The Spy and the Traitor - Ben Macintyre Cover Art

The Spy and the Traitor

The Spy and the Traitor The Greatest Espionage Story of the Cold War by Ben Macintyre

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER “The best true spy story I have ever read.” — JOHN LE CARRÉ The celebrated author of  Double Cross  and  Rogue Heroes  returns with his greatest spy story yet, a thrilling  Americans -era tale of Oleg Gordievsky, the Russian whose secret work helped hasten the end of the Cold War. If anyone could be considered a Russian counterpart to the infamous British double-agent Kim Philby, it was Oleg Gordievsky. The son of two KGB agents and the product of the best Soviet institutions, the savvy, sophisticated Gordievsky grew to see his nation's communism as both criminal and philistine. He took his first posting for Russian intelligence in 1968 and eventually became the Soviet Union's top man in London, but from 1973 on he was secretly working for MI6. For nearly a decade, as the Cold War reached its twilight, Gordievsky helped the West turn the tables on the KGB, exposing Russian spies and helping to foil countless intelligence plots, as the Soviet leadership grew increasingly paranoid at the United States's nuclear first-strike capabilities and brought the world closer to the brink of war. Desperate to keep the circle of trust close, MI6 never revealed Gordievsky's name to its counterparts in the CIA, which in turn grew obsessed with figuring out the identity of Britain's obviously top-level source. Their obsession ultimately doomed Gordievsky: the CIA officer assigned to identify him was none other than Aldrich Ames, the man who would become infamous for secretly spying for the Soviets.  Unfolding the delicious three-way gamesmanship between America, Britain, and the Soviet Union, and culminating in the gripping cinematic beat-by-beat of Gordievsky's nail-biting escape from Moscow in 1985, Ben Macintyre's latest may be his best yet. Like the greatest novels of John le Carré, it brings readers deep into a world of treachery and betrayal, where the lines bleed between the personal and the professional, and one man's hatred of communism had the power to change the future of nations.

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The Emerald Mile - Kevin Fedarko Cover Art

The Emerald Mile

The Emerald Mile The Epic Story of the Fastest Ride in History Through the Heart of the Grand Canyon by Kevin Fedarko

From one of Outside magazine’s “Literary All-Stars” comes the thrilling true tale of the fastest boat ride ever, down the entire length of the Colorado River and through the Grand Canyon, during the legendary flood of 1983. In the spring of 1983, massive flooding along the length of the Colorado River confronted a team of engineers at the Glen Canyon Dam with an unprecedented emergency that may have resulted in the most catastrophic dam failure in history. In the midst of this crisis, the decision to launch a small wooden dory named “The Emerald Mile” at the head of the Grand Canyon, just fifteen miles downstream from the Glen Canyon Dam, seemed not just odd, but downright suicidal. The Emerald Mile, at one time slated to be destroyed, was rescued and brought back to life by Kenton Grua, the man at the oars, who intended to use this flood as a kind of hydraulic sling-shot. The goal was to nail the all-time record for the fastest boat ever propelled—by oar, by motor, or by the grace of God himself—down the entire length of the Colorado River from Lee’s Ferry to Lake Mead. Did he survive? Just barely. Now, this remarkable, epic feat unfolds here, in The Emerald Mile .

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Spying on the South - Tony Horwitz Cover Art

Spying on the South

Spying on the South An Odyssey Across the American Divide by Tony Horwitz

A New York Times  bestseller  The best-selling author of Confederates in the Attic returns to the South and the Civil War era for an epic adventure on the trail of America's greatest landscape architect. In the 1850s, the young Frederick Law Olmsted was adrift, a restless farmer and dreamer in search of a mission. He found it during an extraordinary journey, as an undercover correspondent in the South for the up-and-coming New York Times. For the Connecticut Yankee, pen name "Yeoman," the South was alien, often hostile territory. Yet Olmsted traveled for 14 months, by horseback, steamboat, and stagecoach, seeking dialogue and common ground. His vivid dispatches about the lives and beliefs of Southerners were revelatory for readers of his day, and Yeoman's remarkable trek also reshaped the American landscape, as Olmsted sought to reform his own society by creating democratic spaces for the uplift of all. The result: Central Park and Olmsted's career as America's first and foremost landscape architect. Tony Horwitz rediscovers Yeoman Olmsted amidst the discord and polarization of our own time. Is America still one country? In search of answers, and his own adventures, Horwitz follows Olmsted's tracks and often his mode of transport (including muleback): through Appalachia, down the Mississippi River, into bayou Louisiana, and across Texas to the contested Mexican borderland. Venturing far off beaten paths, Horwitz uncovers bracing vestiges and strange new mutations of the Cotton Kingdom. Horwitz's intrepid and often hilarious journey through an outsized American landscape is a masterpiece in the tradition of Great Plains , Bad Land , and the author's own classic, Confederates in the Attic.

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Rocket Men - Robert Kurson Cover Art

Rocket Men

Rocket Men The Daring Odyssey of Apollo 8 and the Astronauts Who Made Man's First Journey to the Moon by Robert Kurson

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • T he riveting inside story of three heroic astronauts who took on the challenge of mankind’s historic first mission to the Moon, from the 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 insider account, Robert Kurson puts the focus on the three astronauts and their families: the commander, Frank Borman, a conflicted man on his final mission; idealistic Jim Lovell, who’d dreamed since boyhood of riding a rocket to the Moon; and Bill Anders, a young nuclear engineer and hotshot fighter pilot making his first space flight. Drawn from hundreds of hours of one-on-one interviews with the astronauts, their loved ones, NASA personnel, and myriad experts, and filled with vivid and unforgettable detail, Rocket Men is the definitive account of one of America’s finest hours. In this real-life thriller, Kurson reveals the epic dangers involved, and the singular bravery it took, for mankind to leave Earth for the first time—and arrive at a new world. “ Rocket Men  is a riveting introduction to the [Apollo 8] flight. . . . Kurson details the mission in crisp, suspenseful scenes. . . . [A] gripping book.”— The New York Times Book Review

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Killing the SS - Bill O'Reilly & Martin Dugard Cover Art

Killing the SS

Killing the SS The Hunt for the Worst War Criminals in History by Bill O'Reilly & Martin Dugard

The Instant #1 New York Times Bestseller (October 2018) Confronting Nazi evil is the subject of the latest installment in the mega-bestselling Killing series As the true horrors of the Third Reich began to be exposed immediately after World War II, the Nazi war criminals who committed genocide went on the run. A few were swiftly caught, including the notorious SS leader, Heinrich Himmler. Others, however, evaded capture through a sophisticated Nazi organization designed to hide them. Among those war criminals were Josef Mengele, the “Angel of Death” who performed hideous medical experiments at Auschwitz; Martin Bormann, Hitler’s brutal personal secretary; Klaus Barbie, the cruel "Butcher of Lyon"; and perhaps the most awful Nazi of all: Adolf Eichmann. Killing the SS is the epic saga of the espionage and daring waged by self-styled "Nazi hunters." This determined and disparate group included a French husband and wife team, an American lawyer who served in the army on D-Day, a German prosecutor who had signed an oath to the Nazi Party, Israeli Mossad agents, and a death camp survivor. Over decades, these men and women scoured the world, tracking down the SS fugitives and bringing them to justice, which often meant death. Written in the fast-paced style of the Killing series, Killing the SS will educate and stun the reader. The final chapter is truly shocking.

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The Last Days of the Romanovs - Helen Rappaport Cover Art

The Last Days of the Romanovs

The Last Days of the Romanovs Tragedy at Ekaterinburg by Helen Rappaport

Rappaport, an expert in the field of Russian history, brings you the riveting day-by-day account of the last fourteen days of the Russian Imperial family, in this first of two books about the Romanovs. Her second book The Romanov Sisters , offering a never-before-seen glimpse at the lives of the Tsar's beautiful daughters and a celebration of their unique stories, will be published in 2014. The brutal murder of the Russian Imperial family on the night of July 16–17, 1918 has long been a defining moment in world history. The Last Days of the Romanovs reveals in exceptional detail how the conspiracy to kill them unfolded. In the vivid style of a TV documentary, Helen Rappaport reveals both the atmosphere inside the family's claustrophobic prison and the political maneuverings of those who wished to save—or destroy—them. With the watching world and European monarchies proving incapable of saving the Romanovs, the narrative brings this tragic story to life in a compellingly new and dramatic way, culminating in a bloody night of horror in a cramped basement room.

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Hiroshima - John Hersey Cover Art

Hiroshima

Hiroshima by John Hersey

Hiroshima is a book by Pulitzer Prize-winning author John Hersey. It tells the stories of six survivors of the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, covering a period of time immediately prior to and one year after the atomic bomb was dropped on August 6, 1945. It was originally published in The New Yorker . Although the story was originally scheduled to be published over four issues, the entire edition of August 31, 1946 was dedicated to the article. The article and subsequent book are regarded as one of the earliest examples of the New Journalism, in which the story-telling techniques of fiction are adapted to non-fiction reporting.

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A Higher Call - Adam Makos & Larry Alexander Cover Art

A Higher Call

A Higher Call An Incredible True Story of Combat and Chivalry in the War-Torn Skies of World War II by Adam Makos & Larry Alexander

A “beautiful story of a brotherhood between enemies”* emerges from the horrors of World War II in this New York Times and international bestseller by the author of Spearhead .  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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The Square and the Tower - Niall Ferguson Cover Art

The Square and the Tower

The Square and the Tower Networks and Power, from the Freemasons to Facebook by Niall Ferguson

The instant New York Times bestseller. A brilliant recasting of the turning points in world history, including the one we're living through, as a collision between old power hierarchies and new social networks. “Captivating and compelling.” — The  New York Times "Niall Ferguson has again written a brilliant book...In 400 pages you will have restocked your mind. Do it."  —The  Wall Street Journal “ The Square and the Tower, in addition to being provocative history, may prove to be a bellwether work of the Internet Age.” — Christian Science Monitor Most history is hierarchical: it's about emperors, presidents, prime ministers and field marshals. It's about states, armies and corporations. It's about orders from on high. Even history "from below" is often about trade unions and workers' parties. But what if that's simply because hierarchical institutions create the archives that historians rely on? What if we are missing the informal, less well documented social networks that are the true sources of power and drivers of change? The 21st century has been hailed as the Age of Networks. However, in The Square and the Tower , Niall Ferguson argues that networks have always been with us, from the structure of the brain to the food chain, from the family tree to freemasonry. Throughout history, hierarchies housed in high towers have claimed to rule, but often real power has resided in the networks in the town square below. For it is networks that tend to innovate. And it is through networks that revolutionary ideas can contagiously spread. Just because conspiracy theorists like to fantasize about such networks doesn't mean they are not real. From the cults of ancient Rome to the dynasties of the Renaissance, from the founding fathers to Facebook, The Square and the Tower tells the story of the rise, fall and rise of networks, and shows how network theory--concepts such as clustering, degrees of separation, weak ties, contagions and phase transitions--can transform our understanding of both the past and the present. Just as The Ascent of Money put Wall Street into historical perspective, so The Square and the Tower does the same for Silicon Valley. And it offers a bold prediction about which hierarchies will withstand this latest wave of network disruption--and which will be toppled.

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Balkan Ghosts - Robert D. Kaplan Cover Art

Balkan Ghosts

Balkan Ghosts A Journey Through History by Robert D. Kaplan

From the assassination that triggered World War I to the ethnic warfare in Serbia, Bosnia, and Croatia, the Balkans have been the crucible of the twentieth century, the place where terrorism and genocide first became tools of policy. Chosen as one of the Best Books of the Year by The New York Times , and greeted with critical acclaim as "the most insightful and timely work on the Balkans to date" ( The Boston Globe ), Kaplan's prescient, enthralling, and often chilling political travelogue is already a modern classic. This new edition of Balkan Ghosts includes six opinion pieces written by Robert Kaplan about the Balkans between 1996 and 2000 beginning just after the implementation of the Dayton Peace Accords and ending after the conclusion of the Kosovo war, with the removal of Slobodan Milosevic from power.

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Stamped from the Beginning - Ibram X. Kendi Cover Art

Stamped from the Beginning

Stamped from the Beginning The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America by Ibram X. Kendi

The National Book Award winning history of how racist ideas were created, spread, and deeply rooted in American society. Some Americans insist that we're living in a post-racial society. But racist thought is not just alive and well in America--it is more sophisticated and more insidious than ever. And as award-winning historian Ibram X. Kendi argues, racist ideas have a long and lingering history, one in which nearly every great American thinker is complicit. In this deeply researched and fast-moving narrative, Kendi chronicles the entire story of anti-black racist ideas and their staggering power over the course of American history. He uses the life stories of five major American intellectuals to drive this history: Puritan minister Cotton Mather, Thomas Jefferson, abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison, W.E.B. Du Bois, and legendary activist Angela Davis. As Kendi shows, racist ideas did not arise from ignorance or hatred. They were created to justify and rationalize deeply entrenched discriminatory policies and the nation's racial inequities. In shedding light on this history, Stamped from the Beginning offers us the tools we need to expose racist thinking. In the process, he gives us reason to hope. Praise for Stamped from the Beginning: "We often describe a wonderful book as 'mind-blowing' or 'life-changing' but I've found this rarely to actually be the case. I found both descriptions accurate for Ibram X. Kendi's Stamped from the Beginning... I will never look at racial discrimination again after reading this marvellous , ambitious , and clear-sighted book." - George Saunders, Financial Times , Best Books of 2017 " Ambitious, well-researched and worth the time of anyone who wants to understand racism." - Seattle Times "A deep (and often disturbing) chronicling of how anti-black thinking has entrenched itself in the fabric of American society." - The Atlantic Winner of the 2016 National Book Award for Nonfiction A New York Times Bestseller A Washington Post Bestseller On President Obama's Black History Month Recommended Reading List Finalist for the 2016 National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction Named one of the Best Books of the Year by the Boston Globe , Washington Post , Chicago Review of Books , The Root , Buzzfeed , Bustle , and Entropy

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1776 - David McCullough Cover Art

1776

1776 by David McCullough

America’s beloved and distinguished historian presents, in a book of breathtaking excitement, drama, and narrative force, the stirring story of the year of our nation’s birth, 1776, interweaving, on both sides of the Atlantic, the actions and decisions that led Great Britain to undertake a war against her rebellious colonial subjects and that placed America’s survival in the hands of George Washington. In this masterful book, David McCullough tells the intensely human story of those who marched with General George Washington in the year of the Declaration of Independence—when the whole American cause was riding on their success, without which all hope for independence would have been dashed and the noble ideals of the Declaration would have amounted to little more than words on paper. Based on extensive research in both American and British archives, 1776 is a powerful drama written with extraordinary narrative vitality. It is the story of Americans in the ranks, men of every shape, size, and color, farmers, schoolteachers, shoemakers, no-accounts, and mere boys turned soldiers. And it is the story of the King’s men, the British commander, William Howe, and his highly disciplined redcoats who looked on their rebel foes with contempt and fought with a valor too little known. Written as a companion work to his celebrated biography of John Adams, David McCullough’s 1776 is another landmark in the literature of American history.

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The Rival Queens - Nancy Goldstone Cover Art

The Rival Queens

The Rival Queens Catherine de' Medici, Her Daughter Marguerite de Valois, and the Betrayal that Ignited a Kingdom by Nancy Goldstone

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. Treacherous court politics, poisonings, inter-national espionage, and adultery form the background to a story that includes such celebrated figures as Elizabeth I, Mary, Queen of Scots, and Nostradamus. The Rival Queens is a dangerous tale of love, betrayal, ambition, and the true nature of courage, the echoes of which still resonate.

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Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates - Brian Kilmeade & Don Yaeger Cover Art

Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates

Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates The Forgotten War That Changed American History by Brian Kilmeade & Don Yaeger

“Another blockbuster! Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates reads like an edge-of-your-seat, page-turning thriller. You will love this book and also wonder why so few people know this story. No one captures the danger, intrigue, and drama of the American Revolution and its aftermath like Brian Kilmeade and Don Yaeger.” —Brad Thor This is the little-known story of how a newly indepen­dent nation was challenged by four Muslim powers and what happened when America’s third president decided to stand up to intimidation.   When Thomas Jefferson became president in 1801, America faced a crisis. The new nation was deeply in debt and needed its economy to grow quickly, but its merchant ships were under attack. Pirates from North Africa’s Barbary coast routinely captured American sailors and held them as slaves, demanding ransom and tribute payments far beyond what the new coun­try could afford.   Over the previous fifteen years, as a diplomat and then as secretary of state, Jefferson had tried to work with the Barbary states (Tripoli, Tunis, Algiers, and Morocco). Unfortunately, he found it impossible to negotiate with people who believed their religion jus­tified the plunder and enslavement of non-Muslims. These rogue states would show no mercy—at least not while easy money could be made by extorting the Western powers. So President Jefferson decided to move beyond diplomacy. He sent the U.S. Navy’s new warships and a detachment of Marines to blockade Tripoli—launching the Barbary Wars and beginning America’s journey toward future superpower status.   As they did in their previous bestseller, George Washington’s Secret Six , Kilmeade and Yaeger have transformed a nearly forgotten slice of history into a dramatic story that will keep you turning the pages to find out what happens next. Among the many sus­penseful episodes:   ·Lieutenant Andrew Sterett’s ferocious cannon battle on the high seas against the treacherous pirate ship Tripoli .   ·Lieutenant Stephen Decatur’s daring night raid of an enemy harbor, with the aim of destroying an American ship that had fallen into the pirates’ hands. ·General William Eaton’s unprecedented five-hundred-mile land march from Egypt to the port of Derne, where the Marines launched a surprise attack and an American flag was raised in victory on foreign soil for the first time.   Few today remember these men and other heroes who inspired the Marine Corps hymn: “From the Halls of Montezuma to the Shores of Tripoli, we fight our country’s battles in the air, on land and sea.” Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates recaptures this forgot­ten war that changed American history with a real-life drama of intrigue, bravery, and battle on the high seas.

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Sacred Duty - Tom Cotton Cover Art

Sacred Duty

Sacred Duty A Soldier's Tour at Arlington National Cemetery by Tom Cotton

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER "An ode to excellence. An inspiring read for every American." —Robert M. Gates An extraordinary journey behind the scenes of Arlington National Cemetery, Senator Tom Cotton’s Sacred Duty offers an intimate and inspiring portrait of “The Old Guard,” the revered U.S. Army unit whose mission is to honor our country’s fallen heroes on the most hallowed ground in America. Cotton was a platoon leader with the storied 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment—The Old Guard—between combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. At the height of the Iraq Surge, he carried the flag-draped remains of his fallen comrades off of airplanes at Dover Air Force Base, and he laid them to rest in Arlington’s famed Section 60, “the saddest acre in America.”  He also performed hundreds of funerals for veterans of the Greatest Generation, as well as the Korean and Vietnam Wars. The Old Guard has embodied the ideals of honor and sacrifice across our nation’s history. America’s oldest active-duty regiment, dating back to 1784, The Old Guard conducts daily military-honor funerals on the 624 rolling acres of Arlington, where generations of American heroes rest. Its soldiers hold themselves to the standard of perfection in sweltering heat, frigid cold, and driving rain. Every funeral is a no-fail, zero-defect mission, whether honoring a legendary general or a humble private. In researching and writing the book, Cotton returned to Arlington and shadowed the regiment’s soldiers, from daily funerals to the state funeral of President George H. W. Bush to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, reliving the honor—and the challenges—of duty at the nation’s “most sacred shrine.” Part history of The Old Guard, part memoir of Cotton’s time at Arlington, part intimate profile of the today’s soldiers, Sacred Duty is an unforgettable testament to the timeless power of service and sacrifice to our nation.

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Hue 1968 - Mark Bowden Cover Art

Hue 1968

Hue 1968 A Turning Point of the American War in Vietnam by Mark Bowden

New York Times Bestseller A Los Angeles Times Book Prize Finalist in History Winner of the 2018 Marine Corps Heritage Foundation Greene Award for a distinguished work of nonfiction "An extraordinary feat of journalism . . . full of emotion and color."—Karl Marlantes, Wall Street Journal The first battle book from Mark Bowden since his #1 New York Times bestseller Black Hawk Down , Hue 1968 is the story of the centerpiece of the Tet Offensive and a turning point in the American War in Vietnam. In the early hours of January 31, 1968, the North Vietnamese launched over one hundred attacks across South Vietnam in what would become known as the Tet Offensive. The lynchpin of Tet was the capture of Hue, Vietnam?s intellectual and cultural capital, by 10,000 National Liberation Front troops who descended from hidden camps and surged across the city of 140,000. Within hours the entire city was in their hands save for two small military outposts. American commanders refused to believe the size and scope of the Front?s presence, ordering small companies of marines against thousands of entrenched enemy troops. After several futile and deadly days, Lieutenant Colonel Ernie Cheatham would finally come up with a strategy to retake the city, block by block and building by building, in some of the most intense urban combat since World War II. With unprecedented access to war archives in the U.S. and Vietnam and interviews with participants from both sides, Bowden narrates each stage of this crucial battle through multiple viewpoints. Played out over 24 days and ultimately costing 10,000 lives, the Battle of Hue was by far the bloodiest of the entire war. When it ended, the American debate was never again about winning, only about how to leave. Hue 1968 is a gripping and moving account of this pivotal moment.

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Mayflower - Nathaniel Philbrick Cover Art

Mayflower

Mayflower A Story of Courage, Community, and War by Nathaniel Philbrick

"Vivid and remarkably fresh...Philbrick has recast the Pilgrims for the ages."-- The New York Times Book Review Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in History New York Times Book Review Top Ten books of the Year How did America begin? That simple question launches the acclaimed author of In the Hurricane's Eye and Valiant Ambition on an extraordinary journey to understand the truth behind our most sacred national myth: the voyage of the Mayflower and the settlement of Plymouth Colony. As Philbrick reveals in this electrifying history of the Pilgrims, the story of Plymouth Colony was a fifty-five year epic that began in peril and ended in war. New England erupted into a bloody conflict that nearly wiped out the English colonists and natives alike. These events shaped the existing communites and the country that would grow from them.

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A Short History of Nearly Everything - Bill Bryson Cover Art

A Short History of Nearly Everything

A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson

One of the world’s most beloved writers and bestselling author of One Summer 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 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 always supremely clear and entertaining adventure in the realms of human knowledge, as only Bill Bryson can render it. Science has never been more involving or entertaining.

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Undaunted Courage - Stephen E. Ambrose Cover Art

Undaunted Courage

Undaunted Courage Meriwether Lewis Thomas Jefferson and the Opening by Stephen E. Ambrose

From the New York Times bestselling author of Band of Brothers and D-Day , the definitive book on Lewis and Clark’s exploration of the Louisiana Purchase, the most momentous expedition in American history and one of the great adventure stories of all time. In 1803 President Thomas Jefferson selected his personal secretary, Captain Meriwether Lewis, to lead a voyage up the Missouri River to the Rockies, over the mountains, down the Columbia River to the Pacific Ocean, and back. Lewis and his partner, Captain William Clark, made the first map of the trans-Mississippi West, provided invaluable scientific data on the flora and fauna of the Louisiana Purchase territory, and established the American claim to Oregon, Washington, and Idaho. Ambrose has pieced together previously unknown information about weather, terrain, and medical knowledge at the time to provide a vivid backdrop for the expedition. Lewis is supported by a rich variety of colorful characters, first of all Jefferson himself, whose interest in exploring and acquiring the American West went back thirty years. Next comes Clark, a rugged frontiersman whose love for Lewis matched Jefferson’s. There are numerous Indian chiefs, and Sacagawea, the Indian girl who accompanied the expedition, along with the French-Indian hunter Drouillard, the great naturalists of Philadelphia, the French and Spanish fur traders of St. Louis, John Quincy Adams, and many more leading political, scientific, and military figures of the turn of the century. High adventure, high politics, suspense, drama, and diplomacy combine with high romance and personal tragedy to make this outstanding work of scholarship as readable as a novel.

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Chernobyl - Serhii Plokhy Cover Art

Chernobyl

Chernobyl The History of a Nuclear Catastrophe by Serhii Plokhy

From a preeminent historian of Eastern Europe, the definitive history of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster On the morning of April 26, 1986, Europe witnessed the worst nuclear disaster in history: the explosion of a reactor at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Soviet Ukraine. Dozens died of radiation poisoning, fallout contaminated half the continent, and thousands fell ill. In Chernobyl , Serhii Plokhy draws on new sources to tell the dramatic stories of the firefighters, scientists, and soldiers who heroically extinguished the nuclear inferno. He lays bare the flaws of the Soviet nuclear industry, tracing the disaster to the authoritarian character of Communist party rule, the regime's control of scientific information, and its emphasis on economic development over all else. Today, the risk of another Chernobyl looms in the mismanagement of nuclear power in the developing world. A moving and definitive account, Chernobyl is also an urgent call to action.

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Collapse - Jared Diamond Cover Art

Collapse

Collapse How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed: Revised Edition by Jared Diamond

In Jared Diamond’s follow-up to the Pulitzer-Prize winning Guns, Germs and Steel , the author explores how climate change, the population explosion and political discord create the conditions for the collapse of civilization Environmental damage, climate change, globalization, rapid population growth, and unwise political choices were all factors in the demise of societies around the world, but some found solutions and persisted. As in Guns, Germs, and Steel , Diamond traces the fundamental pattern of catastrophe, and weaves an all-encompassing global thesis through a series of fascinating historical-cultural narratives. Collapse moves from the Polynesian cultures on Easter Island to the flourishing American civilizations of the Anasazi and the Maya and finally to the doomed Viking colony on Greenland. Similar problems face us today and have already brought disaster to Rwanda and Haiti, even as China and Australia are trying to cope in innovative ways. Despite our own society’s apparently inexhaustible wealth and unrivaled political power, ominous warning signs have begun to emerge even in ecologically robust areas like Montana. Brilliant, illuminating, and immensely absorbing, Collapse is destined to take its place as one of the essential books of our time, raising the urgent question: How can our world best avoid committing ecological suicide?

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Six Frigates: The Epic History of the Founding of the U.S. Navy - Ian W. Toll Cover Art

Six Frigates: The Epic History of the Founding of the U.S. Navy by Ian W. Toll

"A fluent, intelligent history...give[s] the reader a feel for the human quirks and harsh demands of life at sea."—New York Times Book Review Before the ink was dry on the U.S. Constitution, the establishment of a permanent military became the most divisive issue facing the new government. The founders—particularly Jefferson, Madison, and Adams—debated fiercely. Would a standing army be the thin end of dictatorship? Would a navy protect from pirates or drain the treasury and provoke hostility? Britain alone had hundreds of powerful warships. From the decision to build six heavy frigates, through the cliff-hanger campaign against Tripoli, to the war that shook the world in 1812, Ian W. Toll tells this grand tale with the political insight of Founding Brothers and the narrative flair of Patrick O'Brian.

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The Egyptian Book of the Dead - Anonymous Cover Art

The Egyptian Book of the Dead

The Egyptian Book of the Dead by Anonymous

E.A. Wallis Budge was an English philologist and writer who worked for the British museum.Budge wrote and translated a lot of works on the ancient East after taking multiple trips to Egypt and the Sudan.This edition of The Egyptian Book of the Dead was translated by Budge and includes a table of contents and illustrations from the text.

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Killing England - Bill O'Reilly & Martin Dugard Cover Art

Killing England

Killing England The Brutal Struggle for American Independence by Bill O'Reilly & Martin Dugard

The Revolutionary War as never told before. The breathtaking latest installment in Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard’s mega-bestselling Killing series transports readers to the most important era in our nation’s history, the Revolutionary War. Told through the eyes of George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and Great Britain’s King George III, Killing England chronicles the path to independence in gripping detail, taking the reader from the battlefields of America to the royal courts of Europe. What started as protest and unrest in the colonies soon escalated to a world war with devastating casualties. O’Reilly and Dugard recreate the war’s landmark battles, including Bunker Hill, Long Island, Saratoga, and Yorktown, revealing the savagery of hand-to-hand combat and the often brutal conditions under which these brave American soldiers lived and fought. Also here is the reckless treachery of Benedict Arnold and the daring guerilla tactics of the “Swamp Fox” Frances Marion. A must read, Killing England reminds one and all how the course of history can be changed through the courage and determination of those intent on doing the impossible.

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Left of Bang - Patrick Van Horne, Jason A. Riley & Shawn Coyne Cover Art

Left of Bang

Left of Bang How the Marine Corps' Combat Hunter Program Can Save Your Life by Patrick Van Horne, Jason A. Riley & Shawn Coyne

"At a time when we must adapt to the changing character of conflict, this is a serious book on a serious issue that can give us the edge we need.”  —General James Mattis, USMC, Ret.  " Left of Bang offers a crisp lesson in survival in which Van Horne and Riley affirm a compelling truth: It's better to detect sinister intentions early than respond to violent actions late. Left of Bang helps readers avoid the bang."   —Gavin de Becker, bestselling author of The Gift of Fear  "Rare is the book that is immediately practical and interesting. Left of Bang accomplishes this from start to finish. There is something here for everyone in the people business and we are all in the people business."   —Joe Navarro, bestselling author of What Every BODY is Saying.  " Left of Bang is a highly important and innovative book that offers a substantial contribution to answering the challenge of Fourth Generation war (4GW)."   —William S. Lind, author of Maneuver Warfare Handbook  "Like Sun Tzu's The Art of War , Left of Bang isn't just for the military. It's a must read for anyone who has ever had a gut feeling that something's not quite right...be it walking down the street, sitting in a corporate boardroom, or even entering an empty home."   --Steven Pressfield, bestselling author of The Lion's Gate, The Warrior Ethos and Gates of Fire “An amazing book! Applying the lessons learned during the longest war in American history, and building on seminal works like The Gift of Fear and On Combat , this book provides a framework of knowledge that will bring military, law enforcement, and individual citizens to new levels of survival mindset and performance in life-and-death situations. Left of Bang is an instant classic.”   --Lt. Colonel Dave Grossman, U.S. Army Ret., author of On Combat and On Killing  -- You walk into a restaurant and get an immediate sense that you should leave.  -- You are about to step onto an elevator with a stranger and something stops you.   -- You interview a potential new employee who has the resume to do the job, but something tells you not to offer a position.  These scenarios all represent LEFT OF BANG, the moments before something bad happens. But how many times have you talked yourself out of leaving the restaurant, getting off the elevator, or getting over your silly “gut” feeling about someone? Is there a way to not just listen to your inner protector more, but to actually increase your sensitivity to threats before they happen?   Legendary Marine General James Mattis asked the same question and issued a directive to operationalize the Marine Corps’ Combat Hunter program. A comprehensive and no-nonsense approach to heightening each and every one of our gifts of fear, LEFT OF BANG is the result.

88

Away Off Shore - Nathaniel Philbrick Cover Art

Away Off Shore

Away Off Shore Nantucket Island and Its People, 1602-1890 by Nathaniel Philbrick

A book about a tiny island with a huge history, from the  New York Times bestselling author of  Valiant Ambition  and In the Hurricane's Eye . “For everyone who loves Nantucket Island this is the indispensable book.” —Russell Baker In his first book of history, Nathaniel Philbrick reveals the people and the stories behind what was once the whaling capital of the world. Beyond its charm, quaint local traditions, and whaling yarns, Philbrick explores the origins of Nantucket in this comprehensive history. From the English settlers who thought they were purchasing a “Native American ghost town” but actually found a fully realized society, through the rise and fall of the then thriving whaling industry, the story of Nantucket is a truly unique chapter of American history.

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Founding Brothers - Joseph J. Ellis Cover Art

Founding Brothers

Founding Brothers The Revolutionary Generation by Joseph J. Ellis

In this landmark work of history and winner of the Pulitzer Prize, Joseph J. Ellis explores how a group of greatly gifted but deeply flawed individuals—Hamilton, Burr, Jefferson, Franklin, Washington, Adams, and Madison—confronted the overwhelming challenges before them to set the course for our nation. The United States was more a fragile hope than a reality in 1790. During the decade that followed, the Founding Fathers—re-examined here as Founding Brothers—combined the ideals of the Declaration of Independence with the content of the Constitution to create the practical workings of our government. Through an analysis of six fascinating episodes—Hamilton and Burr’s deadly duel, Washington’s precedent-setting Farewell Address, Adams’ administration and political partnership with his wife, the debate about where to place the capital, Franklin’s attempt to force Congress to confront the issue of slavery and Madison’s attempts to block him, and Jefferson and Adams’ famous correspondence— Founding Brothers brings to life the vital issues and personalities from the most important decade in our nation’s history.

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Fall and Rise - Mitchell Zuckoff Cover Art

Fall and Rise

Fall and Rise The Story of 9/11 by Mitchell Zuckoff

Years in the making, this spellbinding, heartbreaking, and ultimately uplifting narrative is an unforgettable portrait of 9/11. This is a 9/11 book like no other. Masterfully weaving together multiple strands of the events in New York, at the Pentagon, and in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, Fall and Rise is a mesmerizing, minute-by-minute account of that terrible day. In the days and months after 9/11, Mitchell Zuckoff, then a reporter for the Boston Globe, wrote about the attacks, the victims, and their families. After further years of meticulous reporting, Zuckoff has filled Fall and Rise with voices of the lost and the saved. The result is an utterly gripping book, filled with intimate stories of people most affected by the events of that sunny Tuesday in September: an out-of-work actor stuck in an elevator in the North Tower of the World Trade Center; the heroes aboard Flight 93 deciding to take action; a veteran trapped in the inferno in the Pentagon; the fire chief among the first on the scene in sleepy Shanksville; a team of firefighters racing to save an injured woman and themselves; and the men, women, and children flying across country to see loved ones or for work who suddenly faced terrorists bent on murder. Fall and Rise will open new avenues of understanding for everyone who thinks they know the story of 9/11, bringing to life—and in some cases, bringing back to life—the extraordinary ordinary people who experienced the worst day in modern American history. Destined to be a classic, Fall and Rise will move, shock, inspire, and fill hearts with love and admiration for the human spirit as it triumphs in the face of horrifying events.

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Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee - Dee Brown Cover Art

Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee

Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee An Indian History of the American West by Dee Brown

Immediately recognized as a revelatory and enormously controversial book since its first publication in 1971, Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee is universally recognized as one of those rare books that forever changes the way its subject is perceived. Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee is Dee Brown's classic, eloquent, meticulously documented account of the systematic destruction of the American Indian during the second half of the nineteenth century. A national bestseller for more than a year after its initial publication, it has sold over four million copies in multiple editions and has been translated into seventeen languages. Using council records, autobiographies, and firsthand descriptions, Brown allows great chiefs and warriors of the Dakota, Ute, Sioux, Cheyenne, and other tribes to tell us in their own words of the series of battles, massacres, and broken treaties that finally left them and their people demoralized and decimated. A unique and disturbing narrative told with force and clarity, Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee changed forever our vision of how the West was won, and lost. It tells a story that should not be forgotten, and so must be retold from time to time.

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Helmet for My Pillow - Robert Leckie Cover Art

Helmet for My Pillow

Helmet for My Pillow From Parris Island to the Pacific by Robert Leckie

“A grand and epic prose poem . . . The purely human experience of war in the Pacific, written in the graceful imagery of a human being who—somehow—survived.”—Tom Hanks See Robert Leckie's story in the HBO miniseries The Pacific Here is one of the most riveting first-person accounts ever to come out of World War II. Robert Leckie enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in January 1942, shortly after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. In Helmet for My Pillow we follow his odyssey, from basic training on Parris Island, South Carolina, all the way to the raging battles in the Pacific, where some of the war’s fiercest fighting took place. Recounting his service with the 1st Marine Division and the brutal action on Guadalcanal, New Britain, and Peleliu, Leckie spares no detail of the horrors and sacrifices of war, painting an unvarnished portrait of how real warriors are made, fight, and often die in the defense of their country.  From the live-for-today rowdiness of marines on leave to the terrors of jungle warfare against an enemy determined to fight to the last man, Leckie describes what war is really like when victory can only be measured inch by bloody inch. Woven throughout are Leckie’s hard-won, eloquent, and thoroughly unsentimental meditations on the meaning of war and why we fight. Unparalleled in its immediacy and accuracy, Helmet for My Pillow will leave no reader untouched. This is a book that brings you as close to the mud, the blood, and the experience of war as it is safe to come.

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The Last Stand of Fox Company - Bob Drury & Tom Clavin Cover Art

The Last Stand of Fox Company

The Last Stand of Fox Company A True Story of U.S. Marines in Combat by Bob Drury & Tom Clavin

“The authors of the bestselling  Halsey’s Typhoon  do a fine job recounting one brutal, small-unit action during the Korean War’s darkest moment.” — Publishers Weekly   November 1950, the Korean Peninsula. After General MacArthur ignores Mao’s warnings and pushes his UN forces deeper into North Korea, his 10,000 First Division Marines find themselves surrounded and hopelessly outnumbered by 100,000 Chinese soldiers near the Chosin Reservoir. Their only chance for survival is to fight their way south through the Toktong Pass, a narrow gorge that will need to be held open at all costs. The mission is handed to Captain William Barber and the 234 Marines of Fox Company, a courageous but undermanned unit of the First Marines. Barber and his men climb seven miles of frozen terrain to a rocky promontory overlooking the pass, where they will endure four days and five nights of nearly continuous Chinese attempts to take Fox Hill. Amid the relentless violence, three-quarters of Fox’s Marines are killed, wounded, or captured. Just when it looks like they will be overrun, Lt. Colonel Raymond Davis, a fearless Marine officer who is fighting south from Chosin, volunteers to lead a daring mission that will seek to cut a hole in the Chinese lines and relieve the men of Fox. This is a fast-paced and gripping account of heroism in the face of impossible odds.

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Shoot for the Moon - James Donovan Cover Art

Shoot for the Moon

Shoot for the Moon The Space Race and the Extraordinary Voyage of Apollo 11 by James Donovan

"This is the best book on Apollo that I have read. Extensively researched and meticulously accurate, it successfully traces not only the technical highlights of the program but also the contributions of the extraordinary people who made it possible." -Mike Collins, command module pilot, Apollo 11 When the alarm went off forty thousand feet above the moon's surface, both astronauts looked down at the computer to see 1202 flashing on the readout. Neither of them knew what it meant, and time was running out... ON JULY 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first humans to walk on the moon. One of the world's greatest technological achievements-and a triumph of American spirit and ingenuity-the Apollo 11 mission was a mammoth undertaking involving more than 410,000 men and women dedicated to winning the space race against the Soviets. Set amid the tensions of the Cold War and the upheavals of the sixties, and filled with first-person, behind-the-scenes details, Shoot for the Moon is a gripping account of the dangers, the challenges, and the sheer determination that defined not only Apollo 11, but also the Mercury and Gemini missions that came before it. From the shock of Sputnik and the heart-stopping final minutes of John Glenn's Mercury flight to the deadly whirligig of Gemini 8, the doomed Apollo 1 mission, and that perilous landing on the Sea of Tranquility-when the entire world held its breath while Armstrong and Aldrin battled computer alarms, low fuel, and other problems- James Donovan tells the whole story. Both sweeping and intimate, Shoot for the Moon is "a powerfully written and irresistible celebration" ( Booklist , starred review) of one of humankind's most extraordinary feats of exploration.

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Theodore Roosevelt for the Defense - Dan Abrams & David Fisher Cover Art

Theodore Roosevelt for the Defense

Theodore Roosevelt for the Defense The Courtroom Battle to Save His Legacy by Dan Abrams & David Fisher

THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER A Mental Floss Book to Read in Summer 2019 “Gripping.… Theodore Roosevelt for the Defense is a must-read.” —NPR A President on Trial. A Reputation at Stake. ABC News legal correspondent and host of LIVE PD Dan Abrams reveals the story of Teddy Roosevelt’s last stand—an epic courtroom battle against corruption—in this thrilling follow-up to the New York Times bestseller Lincoln’s Last Trial. “No more dramatic courtroom scene has ever been enacted,” reported the Syracuse Herald on May 22, 1915 as it covered “the greatest libel suit in history,” a battle fought between former President Theodore Roosevelt and the leader of the Republican party. Roosevelt , the boisterous and mostly beloved legendary American hero, had accused his former friend and ally, now turned rival, William Barnes of political corruption. The furious Barnes responded by suing Roosevelt for an enormous sum that could have financially devastated him. The spectacle of Roosevelt defending himself in a lawsuit captured the imagination of the nation, and more than fifty newspapers sent reporters to cover the trial. Accounts from inside and outside the courtroom combined with excerpts from the trial transcript give us Roosevelt in his own words and serve as the heart of Theodore Roosevelt for the Defense. This was Roosevelt’s final fight to defend his political legacy, and perhaps regain his fading stature. He spent more than a week on the witness stand, revealing hidden secrets of the American political system, and then endured a merciless cross-examination. Witnesses including a young Franklin D. Roosevelt and a host of well-known political leaders were questioned by two of the most brilliant attorneys in the country. Following the case through court transcripts, news reports, and other primary sources, Dan Abrams and David Fisher present a high-definition picture of the American legal system in a nation standing on the precipice of the Great War, with its former president fighting for the ideals he held dear.

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Fly Girls - Keith O’Brien Cover Art

Fly Girls

Fly Girls How Five Daring Women Defied All Odds and Made Aviation History by Keith O’Brien

A New York Times Bestseller * An Amazon Best Book of the Year * A New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice * A Time Best Book for Summer   Between the world wars, no sport was more popular, or more dangerous, than airplane racing. While male pilots were lauded as heroes, the few women who dared to fly were more often ridiculed—until a cadre of women pilots banded together to break through the entrenched prejudice. Fly Girls weaves together the stories of five remarkable women: Florence Klingensmith, a high school dropout from Fargo, North Dakota; Ruth Elder, an Alabama divorcée; Amelia Earhart, the most famous, but not necessarily the most skilled; Ruth Nichols, who chafed at her blue blood family’s expectations; and Louise Thaden, the young mother of two who got her start selling coal in Wichita. Together, they fought for the chance to fly and race airplanes—and in 1936, one of them would triumph, beating the men in the toughest air race of them all.

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The Dead Hand - David Hoffman Cover Art

The Dead Hand

The Dead Hand The Untold Story of the Cold War Arms Race and its Dangerous Legacy by David Hoffman

WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE The first full account of how the Cold War arms race finally came to a close, this riveting narrative history sheds new light on the people who struggled to end this era of massive overkill, and examines the legacy of the nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons that remain a threat today.   Drawing on memoirs, interviews in both Russia and the US, and classified documents from deep inside the Kremlin, David E. Hoffman examines the inner motives and secret decisions of each side and details the deadly stockpiles that remained unsecured as the Soviet Union collapsed. This is the fascinating story of how Reagan, Gorbachev, and a previously unheralded collection of scientists, soldiers, diplomats, and spies changed the course of history.

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Army of None: Autonomous Weapons and the Future of War - Paul Scharre Cover Art

Army of None: Autonomous Weapons and the Future of War

Army of None: Autonomous Weapons and the Future of War by Paul Scharre

Winner of the 2019 William E. Colby Award "The book I had been waiting for. I can't recommend it highly enough." —Bill Gates The era of autonomous weapons has arrived. Today around the globe, at least thirty nations have weapons that can search for and destroy enemy targets all on their own. Paul Scharre, a leading expert in next-generation warfare, describes these and other high tech weapons systems—from Israel’s Harpy drone to the American submarine-hunting robot ship Sea Hunter—and examines the legal and ethical issues surrounding their use. “A smart primer to what’s to come in warfare” (Bruce Schneier), Army of None engages military history, global policy, and cutting-edge science to explore the implications of giving weapons the freedom to make life and death decisions. A former soldier himself, Scharre argues that we must embrace technology where it can make war more precise and humane, but when the choice is life or death, there is no replacement for the human heart.

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Autumn in the Heavenly Kingdom - Stephen R. Platt Cover Art

Autumn in the Heavenly Kingdom

Autumn in the Heavenly Kingdom China, the West, and the Epic Story of the Taiping Civil War by Stephen R. Platt

A gripping account of China’s nineteenth-century Taiping Rebellion, one of the largest civil wars in history. Autumn in the Heavenly Kingdom brims with unforgettable characters and vivid re-creations of massive and often gruesome battles—a sweeping yet intimate portrait of the conflict that shaped the fate of modern China.   The story begins in the early 1850s, the waning years of the Qing dynasty, when word spread of a major revolution brewing in the provinces, led by a failed civil servant who claimed to be the son of God and brother of Jesus. The Taiping rebels drew their power from the poor and the disenfranchised, unleashing the ethnic rage of millions of Chinese against their Manchu rulers. This homegrown movement seemed all but unstoppable until Britain and the United States stepped in and threw their support behind the Manchus: after years of massive carnage, all opposition to Qing rule was effectively snuffed out for generations. Stephen R. Platt recounts these events in spellbinding detail, building his story on two fascinating characters with opposing visions for China’s future: the conservative Confucian scholar Zeng Guofan, an accidental general who emerged as the most influential military strategist in China’s modern history; and Hong Rengan, a brilliant Taiping leader whose grand vision of building a modern, industrial, and pro-Western Chinese state ended in tragic failure.   This is an essential and enthralling history of the rise and fall of the movement that, a century and a half ago, might have launched China on an entirely different path into the modern world.

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The Boxer Rebellion and the Great Game in China - David J. Silbey Cover Art

The Boxer Rebellion and the Great Game in China

The Boxer Rebellion and the Great Game in China A History by David J. Silbey

The year is 1900, and Western empires—both old and new—are locked in regional entanglements across the globe. The British are losing a bitter war against the Boers while the German kaiser is busy building a vast new navy. The United States is struggling to put down an insurgency in the South Pacific while the upstart imperialist Japan begins to make clear to neighboring Russia its territorial ambition. In China, a perennial pawn in the Great Game, a mysterious group of superstitious peasants is launching attacks on the Western powers they fear are corrupting their country. These ordinary Chinese—called Boxers by the West because of their martial arts showmanship—rise up, seemingly out of nowhere. Foreshadowing the insurgencies of the more recent past, they lack a centralized leadership and instead tap into latent nationalism and deep economic frustration to build their army. Their battle cry: "Support the Qing, exterminate the foreigners." Many scholars brush off the Boxers as an ill-conceived and easily defeated revolt, but the military historian David J. Silbey shows just how close they came to beating back the combined might of all the imperial powers. Drawing on the diaries and letters of allied soldiers and diplomats, Silbey paints a vivid portrait of the short-lived war. Even though their cause ended just as quickly as it began, the bravery and patriotism of the Boxers would inspire Chinese nationalists—including a young Mao Zedong—for decades to come.

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