Killing the KillersBill O'Reilly & Martin Dugard
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Killing the Killers The Secret War Against Terrorists by Bill O'Reilly & Martin Dugard
Instant #1 New York Times bestseller! In the eleventh book in the multimillion-selling Killing series, Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard reveal the startling, dramatic story of the global war against terrorists. In Killing The Killers , #1 bestselling authors Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard take readers deep inside the global war on terror, which began more than twenty years ago on September 11, 2001. As the World Trade Center buildings collapsed, the Pentagon burned, and a small group of passengers fought desperately to stop a third plane from completing its deadly flight plan, America went on war footing. Killing The Killers narrates America's intense global war against extremists who planned and executed not only the 9/11 attacks, but hundreds of others in America and around the world, and who eventually destroyed entire nations in their relentless quest for power. Killing The Killers moves from Afghanistan to Iraq, Iran to Yemen, Syria, and Libya, and elsewhere, as the United States fought Al Qaeda, ISIS, and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, as well as individually targeting the most notorious leaders of these groups. With fresh detail and deeply-sourced information, O'Reilly and Dugard create an unstoppable account of the most important war of our era. Killing The Killers is the most thrilling and suspenseful book in the #1 bestselling series of popular history books (over 18 million sold) in the world.
Exodus from the AlamoPhillip Thomas Tucker
Exodus from the Alamo The Anatomy of the Last Stand Myth by Phillip Thomas Tucker
The award-winning historian provides a provocative new analysis of the Battle of the Alamo—including new information on the fate of Davy Crockett. Contrary to legend, we now know that the defenders of the Alamo during the Texan Revolution died in a merciless predawn attack by Mexican soldiers. With extensive research into recently discovered Mexican accounts, as well as forensic evidence, historian Phillip Tucker sheds new light on the famous battle, contending that the traditional myth is even more off-base than we thought. In a startling revelation, Tucker uncovers that the primary fights took place on the plain outside the fort. While a number of the Alamo’s defenders hung on inside, most died while attempting to escape. Capt. Dickinson, with cannon atop the chapel, fired repeatedly into the throng of enemy cavalry until he was finally cut down. The controversy surrounding Davy Crockett still remains, though the recently authenticated diary of the Mexican Col. José Enrique de la Peña offers evidence that he surrendered. Notoriously, Mexican Pres. Gen. Antonio López de Santa Anna burned the bodies of the Texans who had dared stand against him. As this book proves in thorough detail, the funeral pyres were well outside the fort—that is, where the two separate groups of escapees fell on the plain, rather than in the Alamo itself.
River of the GodsCandice Millard
River of the Gods Genius, Courage, and Betrayal in the Search for the Source of the Nile by Candice Millard
The harrowing story of one of the great feats of exploration of all time and its complicated legacy—from the New York Times bestselling author of The River of Doubt and Destiny of the Republic For millennia the location of the Nile River’s headwaters was shrouded in mystery. In the 19th century, there was a frenzy of interest in ancient Egypt. At the same time, European powers sent off waves of explorations intended to map the unknown corners of the globe – and extend their colonial empires. Richard Burton and John Hanning Speke were sent by the Royal Geographical Society to claim the prize for England. Burton spoke twenty-nine languages, and was a decorated soldier. He was also mercurial, subtle, and an iconoclastic atheist. Speke was a young aristocrat and Army officer determined to make his mark, passionate about hunting, Burton’s opposite in temperament and beliefs. From the start the two men clashed. They would endure tremendous hardships, illness, and constant setbacks. Two years in, deep in the African interior, Burton became too sick to press on, but Speke did, and claimed he found the source in a great lake that he christened Lake Victoria. When they returned to England, Speke rushed to take credit, disparaging Burton. Burton disputed his claim, and Speke launched another expedition to Africa to prove it. The two became venomous enemies, with the public siding with the more charismatic Burton, to Speke’s great envy. The day before they were to publicly debate,Speke shot himself. Yet there was a third man on both expeditions, his name obscured by imperial annals, whose exploits were even more extraordinary. This was Sidi Mubarak Bombay, who was enslaved and shipped from his home village in East Africa to India. When the man who purchased him died, he made his way into the local Sultan’s army, and eventually traveled back to Africa, where he used his resourcefulness, linguistic prowess and raw courage to forge a living as a guide. Without Bombay and men like him, who led, carried, and protected the expedition, neither Englishman would have come close to the headwaters of the Nile, or perhaps even survived. In River of the Gods Candice Millard has written another peerless story of courage and adventure, set against the backdrop of the race to exploit Africa by the colonial powers.
Secret CityJames Kirchick
Secret City The Hidden History of Gay Washington by James Kirchick
"Not since Robert Caro’s Years of Lyndon Johnson have I been so riveted by a work of history. Secret City is not gay history. It is American history.” — George Stephanopoulos Washington, D.C., has always been a city of secrets. Few have been more dramatic than the ones revealed in James Kirchick’s Secret City . For decades, the specter of homosexuality haunted Washington. The mere suggestion that a person might be gay destroyed reputations, ended careers, and ruined lives. At the height of the Cold War, fear of homosexuality became intertwined with the growing threat of international communism, leading to a purge of gay men and lesbians from the federal government. In the fevered atmosphere of political Washington, the secret “too loathsome to mention” held enormous, terrifying power. Utilizing thousands of pages of declassified documents, interviews with over one hundred people, and material unearthed from presidential libraries and archives around the country, Secret City is a chronicle of American politics like no other. Beginning with the tragic story of Sumner Welles, Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s brilliant diplomatic advisor and the man at the center of “the greatest national scandal since the existence of the United States,” James Kirchick illuminates how homosexuality shaped each successive presidential administration through the end of the twentieth century. Cultural and political anxiety over gay people sparked a decades-long witch hunt, impacting everything from the rivalry between the CIA and the FBI to the ascent of Joseph McCarthy, the struggle for Black civil rights, and the rise of the conservative movement. Among other revelations, Kirchick tells of the World War II–era gay spymaster who pioneered seduction as a tool of American espionage, the devoted aide whom Lyndon Johnson treated as a son yet abandoned once his homosexuality was discovered, and how allegations of a “homosexual ring” controlling Ronald Reagan nearly derailed his 1980 election victory. Magisterial in scope and intimate in detail, Secret City will forever transform our understanding of American history.
Gun BaronsJohn Bainbridge, Jr.
Gun Barons The Weapons That Transformed America and the Men Who Invented Them by John Bainbridge, Jr.
John Bainbridge, Jr.'s Gun Barons is a narrative history of six charismatic and idiosyncratic men who changed the course of American history through the invention and refinement of repeating weapons. Love them or hate them, guns are woven deeply into the American soul. Names like Colt, Smith & Wesson, Winchester, and Remington are legendary. Yet few people are aware of the roles these men played at a crucial time in United States history, from westward expansion in the 1840s, through the Civil War, and into the dawn of the Gilded Age. Through personal drive and fueled by bloodshed, they helped propel the young country into the forefront of the world's industrial powers. Their creations helped save a nation divided, while planting seeds that would divide the country again a century later. Their inventions embodied an intoxicating thread of American individualism—part fiction, part reality—that remains the foundation of modern gun culture. They promoted guns not only for the soldier, but for the Everyman, and also made themselves wealthy beyond their most fevered dreams. Gun Barons captures how their bold inventiveness dwelled in the psyche of an entire people, not just in the minds of men who made firearm fortunes. Whether we revere these larger-than-life men or vilify them, they helped forge the American character.
Chicago's Great FireCarl Smith
Chicago's Great Fire The Destruction and Resurrection of an Iconic American City by Carl Smith
A definitive chronicle of the 1871 Chicago Fire as remembered by those who experienced it—from the author of Chicago and the American Literary Imagination . Over three days in October, 1871, much of Chicago, Illinois, was destroyed by one of the most legendary urban fires in history. Incorporated as a city in 1837, Chicago had grown at a breathtaking pace in the intervening decades—and much of the hastily-built city was made of wood. Starting in Catherine and Patrick O’Leary’s barn, the Fire quickly grew out of control, twice jumping branches of the Chicago River on its relentless path through the city’s three divisions. While the death toll was miraculously low, nearly a third of Chicago residents were left homeless and more were instantly unemployed. This popular history of the Great Chicago Fire approaches the subject through the memories of those who experienced it. Chicago historian Carl Smith builds the story around memorable characters, both known to history and unknown, including the likes of General Philip Sheridan and Robert Todd Lincoln. Smith chronicles the city’s rapid growth and its place in America’s post-Civil War expansion. The dramatic story of the fire—revealing human nature in all its guises—became one of equally remarkable renewal, as Chicago quickly rose back up from the ashes thanks to local determination and the world’s generosity. As we approach the fire’s 150th anniversary, Carl Smith’s compelling narrative at last gives this epic event its full and proper place in our national chronicle. “The best book ever written about the fire, a work of deep scholarship by Carl Smith that reads with the forceful narrative of a fine novel. It puts the fire and its aftermath in historical, political and social context. It’s a revelatory pleasure to read.” — Chicago Tribune
To Risk It AllAdmiral James Stavridis, USN
To Risk It All Nine Conflicts and the Crucible of Decision by Admiral James Stavridis, USN
From one of the great naval leaders of our time, a master class in decision-making under pressure through the stories of nine famous acts of leadership in battle, drawn from the history of the United States Navy, with outcomes both glorious and notorious At the heart of Admiral James Stavridis’s training as a naval officer was the preparation to lead sailors in combat, to face the decisive moment in battle whenever it might arise. In To Risk it All , he offers up nine of the most useful and enthralling stories from the US Navy’s nearly 250-year history, and draws from them a set of insights that we can all put to use when confronted with fateful choices. Conflict. Crisis. Risk. These words have a distinct meaning in a military context that we hope will never apply identically in our own lives. But at the same time, as Admiral Stavridis shows with great clarity, many lessons are universal. To Risk it All is filled with thrilling and heroic exploits, but it is anything but a shallow exercise in myth burnishing. Every leader in this book has real flaws, as all humans do, and the stories of failure, or at least the decisions that have been defined as such, are as crucial as the stories of success. In the end, when this master class is concluded, we will be better armed for hard decisions both expected and not.
Swords of LightningMark Nutsch, Bob Pennington & Jim DeFelice
Swords of Lightning Green Beret Horse Soldiers and America's Response to 9/11 by Mark Nutsch, Bob Pennington & Jim DeFelice
The first-person account of how a small band of Green Berets used horses and laser-guided missiles to overthrow the Taliban and al-Qaeda in Afghanistan after 9/11. They landed in a dust storm so thick the chopper pilot used dead reckoning and a guess to find the ground. They were met by a band of heavily armed militiamen who didn’t understand a word they said. They climbed a mountain on horseback to meet the most ferocious warlord in Asia. They plotted a war of nineteenth-century maneuvers against a twenty-first-century foe. They saved babies and treated fevers, trekked through minefields, and waded through booby-trapped streams—sometimes past the mangled bodies of local tribesmen who’d shared food with them hours before. They found their enemy hiding in thick concrete bunkers, dodged bullets from machine-gun-laden pickup trucks, and survived ambushes launched with Russian tanks. They fought back with everything they had, from smart bombs to AK-47s. They overthrew a government, mediated blood feuds between rival commanders, and argued with generals and politicians thousands of miles away. The men they helped called them gods. One of their commanders called them devils. Hollywood called them the Horse Soldiers. They called themselves Green Berets—Special Forces ODA 595.
The TemplarsDan Jones
The Templars The Rise and Spectacular Fall of God's Holy Warriors by Dan Jones
“Dan Jones is an entertainer, but also a bona fide historian. Seldom does one find serious scholarship so easy to read.” – The Times , Book of the Year A New York Times bestseller, this major new history of the knights Templar is “ a fresh, muscular and compelling history of the ultimate military-religious crusading order, combining sensible scholarship with narrative swagger" – Simon Sebag Montefiore, author of Jerusalem A faltering war in the middle east. A band of elite warriors determined to fight to the death to protect Christianity’s holiest sites. A global financial network unaccountable to any government. A sinister plot founded on a web of lies. Jerusalem 1119. A small group of knights seeking a purpose in the violent aftermath of the First Crusade decides to set up a new order. These are the first Knights Templar, a band of elite warriors prepared to give their lives to protect Christian pilgrims to the Holy Land. Over the next two hundred years, the Templars would become the most powerful religious order of the medieval world. Their legend has inspired fervent speculation ever since. In this groundbreaking narrative history, Dan Jones tells the true story of the Templars for the first time in a generation, drawing on extensive original sources to build a gripping account of these Christian holy warriors whose heroism and alleged depravity have been shrouded in myth. The Templars were protected by the pope and sworn to strict vows of celibacy. They fought the forces of Islam in hand-to-hand combat on the sun-baked hills where Jesus lived and died, finding their nemesis in Saladin, who vowed to drive all Christians from the lands of Islam. Experts at channeling money across borders, they established the medieval world’s largest and most innovative banking network and waged private wars against anyone who threatened their interests. Then, as they faced setbacks at the hands of the ruthless Mamluk sultan Baybars and were forced to retreat to their stronghold in Cyprus, a vindictive and cash-strapped King of France set his sights on their fortune. His administrators quietly mounted a damning case against the Templars, built on deliberate lies and false testimony. On Friday October 13, 1307, hundreds of brothers were arrested, imprisoned and tortured, and the order was disbanded amid lurid accusations of sexual misconduct and heresy. They were tried by the Pope in secret proceedings and their last master was brutally tortured and burned at the stake. But were they heretics or victims of a ruthlessly repressive state? Dan Jones goes back to the sources tobring their dramatic tale, so relevant to our own times, to life in a book that is at once authoritative and compulsively readable.
Who Killed Jane Stanford?: A Gilded Age Tale of Murder, Deceit, Spirits and the Birth of a University by Richard White
A premier historian penetrates the fog of corruption and cover-up still surrounding the murder of a Stanford University founder to establish who did it, how, and why. In 1885 Jane and Leland Stanford cofounded a university to honor their recently deceased young son. After her husband’s death in 1893, Jane Stanford, a devoted spiritualist who expected the university to inculcate her values, steered Stanford into eccentricity and public controversy for more than a decade. In 1905 she was murdered in Hawaii, a victim, according to the Honolulu coroner’s jury, of strychnine poisoning. With her vast fortune the university’s lifeline, the Stanford president and his allies quickly sought to foreclose challenges to her bequests by constructing a story of death by natural causes. The cover-up gained traction in the murky labyrinths of power, wealth, and corruption of Gilded Age San Francisco. The murderer walked. Deftly sifting the scattered evidence and conflicting stories of suspects and witnesses, Richard White gives us the first full account of Jane Stanford’s murder and its cover-up. Against a backdrop of the city’s machine politics, rogue policing, tong wars, and heated newspaper rivalries, White’s search for the murderer draws us into Jane Stanford’s imperious household and the academic enmities of the university. Although Stanford officials claimed that no one could have wanted to murder Jane, we meet several people who had the motives and the opportunity to do so. One of these, we discover, also had the means.
The Splendid and the VileErik Larson
The Splendid and the Vile A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance During the Blitz by Erik Larson
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • The author of The Devil in the White City and Dead Wake delivers an intimate chronicle of Winston Churchill and London during the Blitz—an inspiring portrait of courage and leadership in a time of unprecedented crisis “One of [Erik Larson’s] best books yet . . . perfectly timed for the moment.”— Time • “A bravura performance by one of America’s greatest storytellers.”—NPR NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The New York Times Book Review • Time • Vogue • NPR • The Washington Post • Chicago Tribune • The Globe & Mail • Fortune • Bloomberg • New York Post • The New York Public Library • Kirkus Reviews • LibraryReads • PopMatters On Winston Churchill’s first day as prime minister, Adolf Hitler invaded Holland and Belgium. Poland and Czechoslovakia had already fallen, and the Dunkirk evacuation was just two weeks away. For the next twelve months, Hitler would wage a relentless bombing campaign, killing 45,000 Britons. It was up to Churchill to hold his country together and persuade President Franklin Roosevelt that Britain was a worthy ally—and willing to fight to the end. In The Splendid and the Vile , Erik Larson shows, in cinematic detail, how Churchill taught the British people “the art of being fearless.” It is a story of political brinkmanship, but it’s also an intimate domestic drama, set against the backdrop of Churchill’s prime-ministerial country home, Chequers; his wartime retreat, Ditchley, where he and his entourage go when the moon is brightest and the bombing threat is highest; and of course 10 Downing Street in London. Drawing on diaries, original archival documents, and once-secret intelligence reports—some released only recently—Larson provides a new lens on London’s darkest year through the day-to-day experience of Churchill and his family: his wife, Clementine; their youngest daughter, Mary, who chafes against her parents’ wartime protectiveness; their son, Randolph, and his beautiful, unhappy wife, Pamela; Pamela’s illicit lover, a dashing American emissary; and the advisers in Churchill’s “Secret Circle,” to whom he turns in the hardest moments. The Splendid and the Vile takes readers out of today’s political dysfunction and back to a time of true leadership, when, in the face of unrelenting horror, Churchill’s eloquence, courage, and perseverance bound a country, and a family, together.
The Devil in the White CityErik Larson
The Devil in the White City A Saga of Magic and Murder at the Fair that Changed America by Erik Larson
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • The true tale of the 1893 World's Fair in Chicago and the cunning serial killer who used the magic and majesty of the fair to lure his victims to their death. “Relentlessly fuses history and entertainment to give this nonfiction book the dramatic effect of a novel .... It doesn’t hurt that this truth is stranger than fiction.” — The New York Times Combining meticulous research with nail-biting storytelling, Erik Larson has crafted a narrative with all the wonder of newly discovered history and the thrills of the best fiction. 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 the enchantment of the Guilded Age, 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.
Resistance: The Underground War Against Hitler, 1939-1945Halik Kochanski
Resistance: The Underground War Against Hitler, 1939-1945 by Halik Kochanski
“This is the most comprehensive and best account of resistance I have read. It addresses the story with scholarly objectivity and an absolute lack of sentimentality. So much romantic twaddle is still published . . . it is marvelous to read a study of such breadth and depth, which reaches balanced judgments.” —Max Hastings, The Sunday Times (UK) Resistance is the first book of its kind: a monumental history that finally integrates the many resistance movements against Nazi hegemony in Europe into a single, sweeping narrative of defiance. “To resist, therefore. But how, when and where? There were no laws, no guidelines, no precedents to show the way . . .” —Dutch resister Herman Friedhoff In every country that fell to the Third Reich during the Second World War, from France in the west to parts of the Soviet Union in the east, a resistance movement against Nazi domination emerged. And every country that endured occupation created its own fiercely nationalist account of the role of homegrown resistance in its eventual liberation. Halik Kochanski’s panoramic, prodigiously researched work is a monumental achievement: the first book to strip these disparate national histories of myth and nostalgia and to integrate them into a definitive chronicle of the underground war against the Nazis. Bringing to light many powerful and often little-known stories, Resistance shows how small bands of individuals took actions that could lead not merely to their own deaths, but to the liquidation of their families and their entire communities. As Kochanski demonstrates, most who joined up were not supermen and superwomen, but ordinary people drawn from all walks of life who would not have been expected—least of all by themselves—to become heroes of any kind. Kochanski also covers the sheer variety of resistance activities, from the clandestine press, assistance to Allied servicemen evading capture, and the provision of intelligence to the Allies to the more violent manifestations of resistance through sabotage and armed insurrection. For many people, resistance was not an occupation or an identity, but an activity: a person would deliver a cache of stolen documents to armed partisans and then seamlessly return to their normal life. For Jews under Nazi rule, meanwhile, the stakes at every point were life and death; resistance was less about national restoration than about mere survival. Why resist at all? Who is the real enemy? What kind of future are we risking our lives for? These and other questions animated those who resisted. With penetrating insight, Kochanski reveals that the single quality that defined resistance across borders was resilience: despite the constant arrests and executions, resistance movements rebuilt themselves time and time again. A landmark history that will endure for decades to come, Resistance forces every reader to ask themselves yet another question, this distinct to our own times: “What would I have done?”
Sicily '43James Holland
Sicily '43 The First Assault on Fortress Europe by James Holland
A history of World War II’s Operation Husky, the first Allied attack on European soil, by the acclaimed author of Normandy ’44 . On July 10, 1943, the largest amphibious invasion ever mounted took place, larger even than the Normandy invasion eleven months later: 160,000 American, British, and Canadian troops came ashore or were parachuted onto Sicily, signaling the start of the campaign to defeat Nazi Germany on European soil. Operation Husky, as it was known, was enormously complex, involving dramatic battles on land, in the air, and at sea. Yet, despite its paramount importance to ultimate Allied victory, and its drama, very little has been written about the thirty-eight-day Battle for Sicily. Based on his own battlefield studies in Sicily and on much new research, James Holland’s Sicily ’43 offers a vital new perspective on a major turning point in World War II and a chronicle of a multi-pronged campaign in a uniquely diverse and contained geographical location. The characters involved—Generals George Patton and Bernard Montgomery among many—were as colorful as the air and naval battles and the fighting on the ground across the scorching plains and mountaintop of Sicily were brutal. But among Holland’s great skills is incorporating the experience of on-the-ground participants on all sides—from American privates Tom and Dee Bowles and Tuskegee fighter pilot Charlie Dryden to British major Hedley Verity and Canadian lieutenant Farley Mowat (later a celebrated author), to German and Italian participants such as Wilhelm Schmalz, brigade commander in the Hermann Göring Division, or Luftwaffe fighter pilot major Johannes “Macky” Steinhoff and to Italian combatants, civilians and mafiosi alike—which gives readers an intimate sense of what occurred in July and August 1943. Emphasizing the significance of Allied air superiority, Holland overturns conventional narratives that have criticized the Sicily campaign for the vacillations over the plan, the slowness of the Allied advance and that so many German and Italian soldiers escaped to the mainland; rather, he shows that clearing the island in 38 days against geographical challenges and fierce resistance was an impressive achievement. A powerful and dramatic account by a master military historian, Sicily ’43 fills a major gap in the narrative history of World War II. Praise for Sicily ’43 A New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice Named a Best History Book of the Year by the Wall Street Journal “Academic histories are all very well, but at times it is a pleasure to sit back and wallow in an old-school military tale of flinty-eyed men doing battle. That is what James Holland, a seasoned craftsman, offers in Sicily ’43 .” — New York Times Book Review “Crisp, detailed, and entertaining. Holland refuses to let the legends overshadow the flesh-and-blood soldiers who fought, bled, and died. Sicily ‘43 is an outstanding look at a stepping-stone to victory.” — Wall Street Journal
The Last Slave ShipBen Raines
The Last Slave Ship The True Story of How Clotilda Was Found, Her Descendants, and an Extraordinary Reckoning by Ben Raines
The incredible true story of the last ship to carry enslaved people to America, the remarkable town its survivors founded after emancipation, and the complicated legacy their descendants carry with them to this day—by the journalist who discovered the ship’s remains. Fifty years after the Atlantic slave trade was outlawed, the Clotilda became the last ship in history to bring enslaved Africans to the United States. The ship was scuttled and burned on arrival to hide evidence of the crime, allowing the wealthy perpetrators to escape prosecution. Despite numerous efforts to find the sunken wreck, Clotilda remained hidden for the next 160 years. But in 2019, journalist Ben Raines made international news when he successfully concluded his obsessive quest through the swamps of Alabama to uncover one of our nation’s most important historical artifacts. Traveling from Alabama to the ancient African kingdom of Dahomey in modern-day Benin, Raines recounts the ship’s perilous journey, the story of its rediscovery, and its complex legacy. Against all odds, Africatown, the Alabama community founded by the captives of the Clotilda , prospered in the Jim Crow South. Zora Neale Hurston visited in 1927 to interview Cudjo Lewis, telling the story of his enslavement in the New York Times bestseller Barracoon . And yet the haunting memory of bondage has been passed on through generations. Clotilda is a ghost haunting three communities—the descendants of those transported into slavery, the descendants of their fellow Africans who sold them, and the descendants of their American enslavers. This connection binds these groups together to this day. At the turn of the century, descendants of the captain who financed the Clotilda’s journey lived nearby—where, as significant players in the local real estate market, they disenfranchised and impoverished residents of Africatown. From these parallel stories emerges a profound depiction of America as it struggles to grapple with the traumatic past of slavery and the ways in which racial oppression continue to this day. And yet, at its heart, The Last Slave Ship remains optimistic—an epic tale of one community’s triumphs over great adversity and a celebration of the power of human curiosity to uncover the truth about our past and heal its wounds.
American Heritage History of the PresidentsMichael R. Beschloss
American Heritage History of the Presidents by Michael R. Beschloss
Here, from American Heritage, is the story of our presidents. From George Washington's reluctant oath-taking through George W. Bush's leadership challenges after September 11, 2001, we view ambitious and fallible men through the new lens of the twenty-first century. Where did they succeed? Where did they fail? And what do we know now that we could not have known at the time?
The Western Front: A History of the Great War, 1914-1918 by Nick Lloyd
The Telegraph • Best Books of the Year The Times of London • Best Books of the Year A panoramic history of the savage combat on the Western Front between 1914 and 1918 that came to define modern warfare. The Western Front evokes images of mud-spattered men in waterlogged trenches, shielded from artillery blasts and machine-gun fire by a few feet of dirt. This iconic setting was the most critical arena of the Great War, a 400-mile combat zone stretching from Belgium to Switzerland where more than three million Allied and German soldiers struggled during four years of almost continuous combat. It has persisted in our collective memory as a tragic waste of human life and a symbol of the horrors of industrialized warfare. In this epic narrative history, the first volume in a groundbreaking trilogy on the Great War, acclaimed military historian Nick Lloyd captures the horrific fighting on the Western Front beginning with the surprise German invasion of Belgium in August 1914 and taking us to the Armistice of November 1918. Drawing on French, British, German, and American sources, Lloyd weaves a kaleidoscopic chronicle of the Marne, Passchendaele, the Meuse-Argonne, and other critical battles, which reverberated across Europe and the wider war. From the trenches where men as young as 17 suffered and died, to the headquarters behind the lines where Generals Haig, Joffre, Hindenburg, and Pershing developed their plans for battle, Lloyd gives us a view of the war both intimate and strategic, putting us amid the mud and smoke while at the same time depicting the larger stakes of every encounter. He shows us a dejected Kaiser Wilhelm II—soon to be eclipsed in power by his own generals—lamenting the botched Schlieffen Plan; French soldiers piling atop one another in the trenches of Verdun; British infantryman wandering through the frozen wilderness in the days after the Battle of the Somme; and General Erich Ludendorff pursuing a ruthless policy of total war, leading an eleventh-hour attack on Reims even as his men succumbed to the Spanish Flu. As Lloyd reveals, far from a site of attrition and stalemate, the Western Front was a simmering, dynamic “cauldron of war” defined by extraordinary scientific and tactical innovation. It was on the Western Front that the modern technologies—machine guns, mortars, grenades, and howitzers—were refined and developed into effective killing machines. It was on the Western Front that chemical warfare, in the form of poison gas, was first unleashed. And it was on the Western Front that tanks and aircraft were introduced, causing a dramatic shift away from nineteenth-century bayonet tactics toward modern combined arms, reinforced by heavy artillery, that forever changed the face of war. Brimming with vivid detail and insight, The Western Front is a work in the tradition of Barbara Tuchman and John Keegan, Rick Atkinson and Antony Beevor: an authoritative portrait of modern warfare and its far-reaching human and historical consequences.
Empire of the Summer MoonS. C. Gwynne
Empire of the Summer Moon Quanah Parker and the Rise and Fall of the Comanches, the Most Powerful Indian Tribe in American History by S. C. Gwynne
*Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award* *A New York Times Notable Book* *Winner of the Texas Book Award and the Oklahoma Book Award* This New York Times bestseller and stunning historical account of the forty-year battle between Comanche Indians and white settlers for control of the American West “is nothing short of a revelation…will leave dust and blood on your jeans” ( The New York Times Book Review ). Empire of the Summer Moon spans two astonishing stories. The first traces the rise and fall of the Comanches, the most powerful Indian tribe in American history. The second entails one of the most remarkable narratives ever to come out of the Old West: the epic saga of the pioneer woman Cynthia Ann Parker and her mixed-blood son Quanah, who became the last and greatest chief of the Comanches. Although readers may be more familiar with the tribal names Apache and Sioux, it was in fact the legendary fighting ability of the Comanches that determined when the American West opened up. Comanche boys became adept bareback riders by age six; full Comanche braves were considered the best horsemen who ever rode. They were so masterful at war and so skillful with their arrows and lances that they stopped the northern drive of colonial Spain from Mexico and halted the French expansion westward from Louisiana. White settlers arriving in Texas from the eastern United States were surprised to find the frontier being rolled backward by Comanches incensed by the invasion of their tribal lands. The war with the Comanches lasted four decades, in effect holding up the development of the new American nation. Gwynne’s exhilarating account delivers a sweeping narrative that encompasses Spanish colonialism, the Civil War, the destruction of the buffalo herds, and the arrival of the railroads, and the amazing story of Cynthia Ann Parker and her son Quanah—a historical feast for anyone interested in how the United States came into being. Hailed by critics, S. C. Gwynne’s account of these events is meticulously researched, intellectually provocative, and, above all, thrillingly told. Empire of the Summer Moon announces him as a major new writer of American history.
The Book of the SwordRichard Francis Burton
The Book of the Sword A History of Daggers, Sabers, and Scimitars from Ancient Times to the Modern Day by Richard Francis Burton
“The history of the sword,” the author writes in his introduction, “is the history of humanity.” For centuries, the sword has been a symbol of power, strength, liberty, and courage. In the Middle Ages, the image of a sword was used to signify the word of God. Nearly every culture in history has forged blades from stone or steel to fight in times of battle and protect in times of peace. In this groundbreaking work, Richard Francis Burton, explorer, translator, scholar, and swordsman, draws on a wealth of linguistic, archaeological, and literary sources to trace the millennia-old history of the sword. From its earliest days as a charred, sharpened stick to the height of craftsmanship in the modern era, the sword has been the weapon of choice for warriors of all stripes. In eloquent, captivating prose, Burton describes: • Dirks • Daggers • Knives • Sabers • Cutlasses • The origin of the weapon • The weapons of the age of wood • The Copper Age of weapons • The Iron Age of weapons • The sword in ancient Egypt • The sword in ancient Greece • And more Nearly three hundred line drawings enhance Burton’s richly detailed text. Any reader of history or student of weaponry will find this book a fascinating, highly enjoyable read.
Three Ordinary GirlsTim Brady
Three Ordinary Girls The Remarkable Story of Three Dutch Teenagers Who Became Spies, Saboteurs, Nazi Assassins–and WWII Heroes by Tim Brady
“The book's teenage protagonists and their bravery will enthrall young adults, who may find themselves inspired to take up their own causes.” — Washington Post An astonishing World War II story of a trio of fearless female resisters whose youth and innocence belied their extraordinary daring in the Nazi-occupied Netherlands. It also made them the underground’s most invaluable commodity. May 10, 1940 . The Netherlands was swarming with Third Reich troops. In seven days it’s entirely occupied by Nazi Germany. Joining a small resistance cell in the Dutch city of Haarlem were three teenage girls: Hannie Schaft, and sisters Truus and Freddie Oversteegen who would soon band together to form a singular female underground squad. Smart, fiercely political, devoted solely to the cause, and “with nothing to lose but their own lives,” Hannie, Truus, and Freddie took terrifying direct action against Nazi targets. That included sheltering fleeing Jews, political dissidents, and Dutch resisters. They sabotaged bridges and railways, and donned disguises to lead children from probable internment in concentration camps to safehouses. They covertly transported weapons and set military facilities ablaze. And they carried out the assassinations of German soldiers and traitors–on public streets and in private traps–with the courage of veteran guerilla fighters and the cunning of seasoned spies. In telling this true story through the lens of a fearlessly unique trio of freedom fighters, Tim Brady offers a fascinating perspective of the Dutch resistance during the war. Of lives under threat; of how these courageous young women became involved in the underground; and of how their dedication evolved into dangerous, life-threatening missions on behalf of Dutch patriots–regardless of the consequences. Harrowing, emotional, and unforgettable, Three Ordinary Girls finally moves these three icons of resistance into the deserved forefront of world history.
The Accidental PresidentA J Baime
The Accidental President Harry S. Truman and the Four Months That Changed the World by A J Baime
A hypnotically fast-paced, masterful reporting of Harry Truman’s first 120 days as president, when he took on Germany, Japan, Stalin, and a secret weapon of unimaginable power—marking the most dramatic rise to greatness in American history. Chosen as FDR’s fourth-term vice president for his well-praised work ethic, good judgment, and lack of enemies, Harry S. Truman was the prototypical ordinary man. That is, until he was shockingly thrust in over his head after FDR’s sudden death. The first four months of Truman’s administration saw the founding of the United Nations, the fall of Berlin, victory at Okinawa, firebombings in Tokyo, the first atomic explosion, the Nazi surrender, the liberation of concentration camps, the mass starvation in Europe, the Potsdam Conference, the controversial decision to bomb Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the surrender of imperial Japan, and finally, the end of World War II and the rise of the Cold War. No other president had ever faced so much in such a short period of time. The Accidental President escorts readers into the situation room with Truman during a tumultuous, history-making 120 days, when the stakes were high and the challenges even higher. “[A] well-judged and hugely readable book . . . few are as entertaining.” —Dominic Sandbrook, Sunday Times
999Heather Dune Macadam
999 The Extraordinary Young Women of the First Official Jewish Transport to Auschwitz by Heather Dune Macadam
A PEN America Literary Award Finalist A Goodreads Choice Awards Nominee An Amazon Best of the Year Selection The untold story of some of WW2’s most hidden figures and the heartbreaking tragedy that unites them all. Readers of Born Survivors and A Train Near Magdeburg will devour the tragic tale of the first 999 women in Auschwitz concentration camp. This is the hauntingly resonant true story that everyone should know. On March 25, 1942, nearly a thousand young, unmarried Jewish women, many of them teenagers, boarded a train in Poprad, Slovakia. Believing they were going to work in a factory for a few months, they were eager to report for government service and left their parents’ homes wearing their best clothes and confidently waving good-bye. Instead, the young women were sent to Auschwitz. Only a few would survive. Now acclaimed author Heather Dune Macadam reveals their stories, drawing on extensive interviews with survivors, and consulting with historians, witnesses, and relatives of those first deportees to create an important addition to Holocaust literature and women’s history. “Intimate and harrowing. . . . This careful, sympathetic history illuminates an incomprehensible human tragedy.” — Publishers Weekly “Against the backdrop of World War II, this respectful narrative presents a compassionate and meticulous remembrance of the young women profiled throughout. Recommended for all collections.” —Library Journal “Staggering . . . profound. [Macadam’s] book also offers insight into the passage of these women into adulthood, and their children, as ‘secondhand survivors.’” —Gail Sheehy, New York Times bestselling author of Passages and Daring: My Passages “Heather Dune Macadam’s 999 reinstates the girls to their rightful place in history.” —Foreword Reviews “An important addition to the annals of the Holocaust, as well as women’s history. Not everyone could handle such material, but Heather Dune Macadam is deeply qualified, insightful, and perceptive.” —Susan Lacy, creator of the American Masters series and filmmaker “The story of these teenage girls is truly extraordinary. Congratulations to Heather Dune Macadam for enabling the rest of us to sit down and just marvel at how on earth they did it.” —Anne Sebba, New York Times bestselling author of Les Parisiennes and That Woman “An important contribution to the literature on women's experiences.” —Dr. Rochelle G. Saidel, founder and executive director, Remember the Women Institute
Patton's PaybackStephen L. Moore
Patton's Payback The Battle of El Guettar and General Patton's Rise to Glory by Stephen L. Moore
A stirring World War II combat story of how the legendary George Patton reinvigorated a defeated and demoralized army corps, and how his men claimed victory over Germany’s most-feared general, Erwin Rommel “Moore brings you to the battlefield and into the mind of a fearless military genius.”—Brian Kilmeade, bestselling author of The President and the Freedom Fighter • “Essential reading.”—Kevin Maurer, #1 NYT bestselling coauthor of No Easy Day • “[Moore] has a smooth prose style and a firm grasp of detail.”— The Wall Street Journal In March 1943, in their first fight with the Germans, American soldiers in North Africa were pushed back fifty miles by Rommel’s Afrika Korps and nearly annihilated. Only the German decision not to pursue them allowed the Americans to maintain a foothold in the area. General Eisenhower, the supreme commander, knew he needed a new leader on the ground, one who could raise the severely damaged morale of his troops. He handed the job to a new man: Lieutenant General George Patton. Charismatic, irreverent, impulsive, and inspiring, Patton possessed a massive ego and the ambition to match. But he could motivate men to fight. He had just ten days to whip his dispirited troops into shape, then throw them into battle against the Wehrmacht’s terrifying Panzers, the speedy and powerful German tanks that U.S. forces had never defeated. Patton, who believed he had fought as a Roman legionnaire in a previous life, relished the challenge to turn the tide of America’s fledgling war against Hitler—and the chance to earn a fourth star.
The Story of ChinaMichael Wood
The Story of China The Epic History of a World Power from the Middle Kingdom to Mao and the China Dream by Michael Wood
A single volume history of China, offering a look into the past of the global superpower and its significance today. Michael Wood has travelled the length and breadth of China, the world’s oldest civilization and longest lasting state, to tell a thrilling story of intense drama, fabulous creativity, and deep humanity that stretches back thousands of years. After a century and a half of foreign invasion, civil war, and revolution, China has once again returned to center stage as a global superpower and the world’s second largest economy. But how did it become so dominant? Wood argues that in order to comprehend the great significance of China today, we must begin with its history. The Story of China takes a fresh look at the Middle Kingdom in the light of the recent massive changes inside the country. Taking into account exciting new archeological discoveries, the book begins with China’s prehistory—the early dynasties, the origins of the Chinese state, and the roots of Chinese culture in the age of Confucius. Wood looks at particular periods and themes that are now being reevaluated by historians, such as the renaissance of the Song with its brilliant scientific discoveries. He paints a vibrant picture of the Qing Empire in the 18th century, just before the European impact, a time when China’s rich and diverse culture was at its height. Then, Wood explores the encounter with the West, the Opium Wars, the clashes with the British, and the extraordinarily rich debates in the late 19th century that pushed China along the path to modernity. Finally, he provides a clear up-to-date account of post-1949 China, including revelations about the 1989 crisis based on newly leaked inside documents, and fresh insights into the new order of President Xi Jinping. All woven together with landscape history and the author’s own travel journals, The Story of China is the indispensable book about the most intriguing and powerful country on the world stage today.
"Most Blessed of the Patriarchs": Thomas Jefferson and the Empire of the ImaginationAnnette Gordon-Reed & Peter S. Onuf
"Most Blessed of the Patriarchs": Thomas Jefferson and the Empire of the Imagination by Annette Gordon-Reed & Peter S. Onuf
New York Times Bestseller Named one of the Best Books of the Year by the San Francisco Chronicle Finalist for the George Washington Prize Finalist for the Library of Virginia Literary Award A New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice Selection "An important book…[R]ichly rewarding. It is full of fascinating insights about Jefferson." —Gordon S. Wood, New York Review of Books Hailed by critics and embraced by readers, "Most Blessed of the Patriarchs" is one of the richest and most insightful accounts of Thomas Jefferson in a generation. Following her Pulitzer Prize–winning The Hemingses of Monticello¸ Annette Gordon-Reed has teamed with Peter S. Onuf to present a provocative and absorbing character study, "a fresh and layered analysis" (New York Times Book Review) that reveals our third president as "a dynamic, complex and oftentimes contradictory human being" (Chicago Tribune). Gordon-Reed and Onuf fundamentally challenge much of what we thought we knew, and through their painstaking research and vivid prose create a portrait of Jefferson, as he might have painted himself, one "comprised of equal parts sun and shadow" (Jane Kamensky).
Bloody HeroesDamien Lewis
Bloody Heroes The Explosive True Story of a Band of Secret Warriors in Afghanistan by Damien Lewis
British and American special forces battle terrorists in this “gripping” account spanning a thwarted attack on London to the Battle of Qala-i-Janghi (Duncan Falconer, author of First Into Action ). Two months after 9/11, the British military was braced to foil any terrorist attacks against the UK. When British intelligence uncovered such a plot—a cargo ship bound for the English Channel carrying a suspect deadly chemical weapon—they amassed an elite team of SBS (Special Boat Services) and SAS (Special Air Service) soldiers to assault the vessel before she could reach London. It was a mission that would eventually take a crack band of British and American warriors into the greatest battle of the Afghan Civil War—the massive bloody uprising by hundreds of Al Qaeda and Taliban prisoners within the walls of the ancient fortress of Qala-i-Janghi, and the ensuing eight-day siege. When the fighting ended, over five hundred of the enemy lay dead, more terrorists killed than in any other single battle in Afghanistan. As always, “Damien Lewis takes his readers into the heart of clandestine battles as no one else seems able” (Frederick Forsyth, #1 New York Times– bestselling author of The Day of the Jackal ).
Rock Me on the WaterRonald Brownstein
Rock Me on the Water 1974-The Year Los Angeles Transformed Movies, Music, Television, and Politics by Ronald Brownstein
In this exceptional cultural history, Atlantic Senior Editor Ronald Brownstein—“one of America's best political journalists (The Economist)—tells the kaleidoscopic story of one monumental year that marked the city of Los Angeles’ creative peak, a glittering moment when popular culture was ahead of politics in predicting what America would become. Los Angeles in 1974 exerted more influence over popular culture than any other city in America. Los Angeles that year, in fact, dominated popular culture more than it ever had before, or would again. Working in film, recording, and television studios around Sunset Boulevard, living in Brentwood and Beverly Hills or amid the flickering lights of the Hollywood Hills, a cluster of transformative talents produced an explosion in popular culture which reflected the demographic, social, and cultural realities of a changing America. At a time when Richard Nixon won two presidential elections with a message of backlash against the social changes unleashed by the sixties, popular culture was ahead of politics in predicting what America would become. The early 1970s in Los Angeles was the time and the place where conservatives definitively lost the battle to control popular culture. Rock Me on the Water traces the confluence of movies, music, television, and politics in Los Angeles month by month through that transformative, magical year. Ronald Brownstein reveals how 1974 represented a confrontation between a massive younger generation intent on change, and a political order rooted in the status quo. Today, we are again witnessing a generational cultural divide. Brownstein shows how the voices resistant to change may win the political battle for a time, but they cannot hold back the future.
Grierson's RaidDee Brown
Grierson's Raid by Dee Brown
The improbable Civil War raid that led to the Siege of Vicksburg, recounted by the #1 New York Times –bestselling author of Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee . For two weeks in the spring of 1862, Colonel Benjamin Grierson and 1,700 Union cavalry troopers conducted a raid from Tennessee to Louisiana. It was intended to divert Confederate attention from Ulysses S. Grant’s army crossing the Mississippi River, a maneuver that would set the stage for the Siege of Vicksburg. Led by a former music teacher whose role in the Union cavalry was belied by his hatred of horses, Grierson’s Raid was not only brilliant, but improbably successful. The cavalrymen ripped up railway track, destroyed storehouses, took prisoners, and freed slaves. Colonel Grierson lost only three men through the whole expedition. Rich and detailed, Grierson’s Raid is the definitive work on one of the most astonishing missions of the Civil War’s early days. This ebook features an illustrated biography of Dee Brown including rare photos from the author’s personal collection.
Two Wheels GoodJody Rosen
Two Wheels Good The History and Mystery of the Bicycle by Jody Rosen
A panoramic revisionist portrait of the nineteenth-century invention that is transforming the twenty-first-century world “The real feat of this book is that it takes us on a ride—across the centuries and around the globe, through startling history and vivid first-person reporting.”—Patrick Radden Keefe, New York Times bestselling author of Empire of Pain The bicycle is a vestige of the Victorian era, seemingly at odds with our age of smartphones and ride-sharing apps and driverless cars. Yet we live on a bicycle planet. Across the world, more people travel by bicycle than any other form of transportation. Almost anyone can learn to ride a bike—and nearly everyone does. In Two Wheels Good, journalist and critic Jody Rosen reshapes our understanding of this ubiquitous machine, an ever-present force in humanity’s life and dream life—and a flash point in culture wars—for more than two hundred years. Combining history, reportage, travelogue, and memoir, Rosen’s book sweeps across centuries and around the globe, unfolding the bicycle’s saga from its invention in 1817 to its present-day renaissance as a “green machine,” an emblem of sustainability in a world afflicted by pandemic and climate change. Readers meet unforgettable characters: feminist rebels who steered bikes to the barricades in the 1890s, a prospector who pedaled across the frozen Yukon to join the Klondike gold rush, a Bhutanese king who races mountain bikes in the Himalayas, a cycle-rickshaw driver who navigates the seething streets of the world’s fastest-growing megacity, astronauts who ride a floating bicycle in zero gravity aboard the International Space Station. Two Wheels Good examines the bicycle’s past and peers into its future, challenging myths and clichés while uncovering cycling’s connection to colonial conquest and the gentrification of cities. But the book is also a love letter: a reflection on the sensual and spiritual pleasures of bike riding and an ode to an engineering marvel—a wondrous vehicle whose passenger is also its engine.
Atoms and Ashes: A Global History of Nuclear Disasters by Serhii Plokhy
A chilling account of more than half a century of nuclear catastrophes, by the author of the “definitive” (Economist) Cold War history, Nuclear Folly. Almost 145,000 Americans fled their homes in and around Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, in late March 1979, hoping to save themselves from an invisible enemy: radiation. The reactor at the nearby Three Mile Island nuclear power plant had gone into partial meltdown, and scientists feared an explosion that could spread radiation throughout the eastern United States. Thankfully, the explosion never took place—but the accident left deep scars in the American psyche, all but ending the nation’s love affair with nuclear power. In Atoms and Ashes, Serhii Plokhy recounts the dramatic history of Three Mile Island and five more accidents that that have dogged the nuclear industry in its military and civil incarnations: the disastrous fallout caused by the testing of the hydrogen bomb in the Bikini Atoll in 1954; the Kyshtym nuclear disaster in the USSR, which polluted a good part of the Urals; the Windscale fire, the worst nuclear accident in the UK’s history; back to the USSR with Chernobyl, the result of a flawed reactor design leading to the exodus of 350,000 people; and, most recently, Fukushima in Japan, triggered by an earthquake and a tsunami, a disaster on a par with Chernobyl and whose clean-up will not take place in our lifetime. Through the stories of these six terrifying incidents, Plokhy explores the risks of nuclear power, both for military and peaceful purposes, while offering a vivid account of how individuals and governments make decisions under extraordinary circumstances. Today, there are 440 nuclear reactors operating throughout the world, with nuclear power providing 10 percent of global electricity. Yet as the world seeks to reduce carbon emissions to combat climate change, the question arises: Just how safe is nuclear energy?
Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern WorldJack Weatherford
Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World by Jack Weatherford
New York Times Bestseller • The startling true history of how one extraordinary man from a remote cornerof the world created an empire that led the world into the modern age. The Mongol army led by Genghis Khan subjugated more lands and people in twenty-five years than the Romans did in four hundred. In nearly every country the Mongols conquered, they brought an unprecedented rise in cultural communication, expanded trade, and a blossoming of civilization. Vastly more progressive than his European or Asian counterparts, Genghis Khan abolished torture, granted universal religious freedom, and smashed feudal systems of aristocratic privilege. From the story of his rise through the tribal culture to the explosion of civilization that the Mongol Empire unleashed, this brilliant work of revisionist history is nothing less than the epic story of how the modern world was made.
Cuba (Winner of the Pulitzer Prize)Ada Ferrer
Cuba (Winner of the Pulitzer Prize) An American History by Ada Ferrer
WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE IN HISTORY WINNER OF THE LOS ANGELES TIMES BOOK PRIZE IN HISTORY “Full of…lively insights and lucid prose” ( The Wall Street Journal ) an epic, sweeping history of Cuba and its complex ties to the United States—from before the arrival of Columbus to the present day—written by one of the world’s leading historians of Cuba. In 1961, at the height of the Cold War, the United States severed diplomatic relations with Cuba, where a momentous revolution had taken power three years earlier. For more than half a century, the stand-off continued—through the tenure of ten American presidents and the fifty-year rule of Fidel Castro. His death in 2016, and the retirement of his brother and successor Raúl Castro in 2021, have spurred questions about the country’s future. Meanwhile, politics in Washington—Barack Obama’s opening to the island, Donald Trump’s reversal of that policy, and the election of Joe Biden—have made the relationship between the two nations a subject of debate once more. Now, award-winning historian Ada Ferrer delivers an “important” ( The Guardian ) and moving chronicle that demands a new reckoning with both the island’s past and its relationship with the United States. Spanning more than five centuries, Cuba: An American History provides us with a front-row seat as we witness the evolution of the modern nation, with its dramatic record of conquest and colonization, of slavery and freedom, of independence and revolutions made and unmade. Along the way, Ferrer explores the sometimes surprising, often troubled intimacy between the two countries, documenting not only the influence of the United States on Cuba but also the many ways the island has been a recurring presence in US affairs. This is a story that will give Americans unexpected insights into the history of their own nation and, in so doing, help them imagine a new relationship with Cuba; “readers will close [this] fascinating book with a sense of hope” ( The Economist ). Filled with rousing stories and characters, and drawing on more than thirty years of research in Cuba, Spain, and the United States—as well as the author’s own extensive travel to the island over the same period—this is a stunning and monumental account like no other.
The 1619 ProjectNikole Hannah-Jones, The New York Times Magazine, Caitlin Roper, Ilena SIlverman & Jake Silverstein
The 1619 Project A New Origin Story by Nikole Hannah-Jones, The New York Times Magazine, Caitlin Roper, Ilena SIlverman & Jake Silverstein
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • NAACP IMAGE AWARD WINNER • A dramatic expansion of a groundbreaking work of journalism, The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story offers a profoundly revealing vision of the American past and present. ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR: The Washington Post, NPR, Esquire, Marie Claire, Electric Lit, Ms. magazine, Kirkus Reviews, Booklist In late August 1619, a ship arrived in the British colony of Virginia bearing a cargo of twenty to thirty enslaved people from Africa. Their arrival led to the barbaric and unprecedented system of American chattel slavery that would last for the next 250 years. This is sometimes referred to as the country’s original sin, but it is more than that: It is the source of so much that still defines the United States. The New York Times Magazine ’s award-winning “1619 Project” issue reframed our understanding of American history by placing slavery and its continuing legacy at the center of our national narrative. This new book substantially expands on that work, weaving together eighteen essays that explore the legacy of slavery in present-day America with thirty-six poems and works of fiction that illuminate key moments of oppression, struggle, and resistance. The essays show how the inheritance of 1619 reaches into every part of contemporary American society, from politics, music, diet, traffic, and citizenship to capitalism, religion, and our democracy itself. This is a book that speaks directly to our current moment, contextualizing the systems of race and caste within which we operate today. It reveals long-glossed-over truths around our nation’s founding and construction—and the way that the legacy of slavery did not end with emancipation, but continues to shape contemporary American life. Featuring contributions from: Leslie Alexander • Michelle Alexander • Carol Anderson • Joshua Bennett • Reginald Dwayne Betts • Jamelle Bouie • Anthea Butler • Matthew Desmond • Rita Dove • Camille T. Dungy • Cornelius Eady • Eve L. Ewing • Nikky Finney • Vievee Francis • Yaa Gyasi • Forrest Hamer • Terrance Hayes • Kimberly Annece Henderson • Jeneen Interlandi • Honorée Fanonne Jeffers • Barry Jenkins • Tyehimba Jess • Martha S. Jones • Robert Jones, Jr. • A. Van Jordan • Ibram X. Kendi • Eddie Kendricks • Yusef Komunyakaa • Kevin M. Kruse • Kiese Laymon • Trymaine Lee • Jasmine Mans • Terry McMillan • Tiya Miles • Wesley Morris • Khalil Gibran Muhammad • Lynn Nottage • ZZ Packer • Gregory Pardlo • Darryl Pinckney • Claudia Rankine • Jason Reynolds • Dorothy Roberts • Sonia Sanchez • Tim Seibles • Evie Shockley • Clint Smith • Danez Smith • Patricia Smith • Tracy K. Smith • Bryan Stevenson • Nafissa Thompson-Spires • Natasha Trethewey • Linda Villarosa • Jesmyn Ward
The Last DuelEric Jager
The Last Duel A True Story of Crime, Scandal, and Trial by Combat by Eric Jager
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • NOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE • “A taut page-turner with all the hallmarks of a good historical thriller.”— Orlando Sentinel The gripping true story of the duel to end all duels in medieval France as a resolute knight defends his wife’s honor against the man she accuses of a heinous crime In the midst of the devastating Hundred Years’ War between France and England, Jean de Carrouges, a Norman knight fresh from combat in Scotland, returns home to yet another deadly threat. His wife, Marguerite, has accused squire Jacques Le Gris of rape. A deadlocked court decrees a trial by combat between the two men that will also leave Marguerite’s fate in the balance. For if her husband loses the duel, she will be put to death as a false accuser. While enemy troops pillage the land, and rebellion and plague threaten the lives of all, Carrouges and Le Gris meet in full armor on a walled field in Paris. What follows is the final duel ever authorized by the Parlement of Paris, a fierce fight with lance, sword, and dagger before a massive crowd that includes the teenage King Charles VI, during which both combatants are wounded—but only one fatally. Based on extensive research in Normandy and Paris, The Last Duel brings to life a colorful, turbulent age and three unforgettable characters caught in a fatal triangle of crime, scandal, and revenge. The Last Duel is at once a moving human drama, a captivating true crime story, and an engrossing work of historical intrigue with themes that echo powerfully centuries later.
Damn LuckyKevin Maurer
Damn Lucky One Man's Courage During the Bloodiest Military Campaign in Aviation History by Kevin Maurer
From Kevin Maurer—the #1 New York Times bestselling, award-winning coauthor of No Easy Day —comes the true story of a World War II bomber pilot who survived twenty-five missions in Damn Lucky , “an epic, thrillingly written, utterly immersive account of a very lucky, incredible survivor of the war in the skies to defeat Hitler” ( New York Times bestselling author Alex Kershaw). “We were young citizen-soldiers, terribly naive and gullible about what we would be confronted with in the air war over Europe and the profound effect it would have upon every fiber of our being for the rest of our lives. We were all afraid, but it was beyond our power to quit. We volunteered for the service and, once trained and overseas, felt we had no choice but to fulfill the mission assigned. My hope is that this book honors the men with whom I served by telling the truth about what it took to climb into the cold blue and fight for our lives over and over again.” —John “Lucky” Luckadoo, Major, USAF (Ret.) 100th Bomb Group (H) Pearl Harbor, Hawaii was a world away from John Luckadoo’s hometown of Chattanooga, Tennessee. But when the Japanese attacked the American naval base on December 7, 1941, he didn’t hesitate to join the military. Trained as a pilot with the United States Air Force, Second Lieutenant Luckadoo was assigned to the 100th Bomb Group stationed in Thorpe Abbotts, England. Between June and October 1943, he flew B-17 Flying Fortresses over France and Germany on bombing runs devised to destroy the Nazi war machine. With a shrapnel torn Bible in his flight jacket pocket and his girlfriend’s silk stocking around his neck like a scarf as talismans, Luckadoo piloted through Luftwaffe machine-gun fire and antiaircraft flak while enduring subzero temperatures to complete twenty-five missions and his combat service. The average bomber crew rarely survived after eight to twelve missions. Knowing far too many airmen who wouldn’t be returning home, Luckadoo closed off his emotions and focused on his tasks to finish his tour of duty one moment at a time, realizing his success was more about being lucky than being skilled. Drawn from Luckadoo’s firsthand accounts, acclaimed war correspondent Kevin Maurer shares his extraordinary tale from war to peacetime, uncovering astonishing feats of bravery during the bloodiest military campaign in aviation history, and presenting an incredible portrait of a young man’s coming-of-age during the world’s most devastating war.
Natasha's DanceOrlando Figes
Natasha's Dance A Cultural History of Russia by Orlando Figes
History on a grand scale--an enchanting masterpiece that explores the making of one of the world's most vibrant civilizations A People's Tragedy , wrote Eric Hobsbawm, did "more to help us understand the Russian Revolution than any other book I know." Now, in Natasha's Dance , internationally renowned historian Orlando Figes does the same for Russian culture, summoning the myriad elements that formed a nation and held it together. Beginning in the eighteenth century with the building of St. Petersburg--a "window on the West"--and culminating with the challenges posed to Russian identity by the Soviet regime, Figes examines how writers, artists, and musicians grappled with the idea of Russia itself--its character, spiritual essence, and destiny. He skillfully interweaves the great works--by Dostoevsky, Stravinsky, and Chagall--with folk embroidery, peasant songs, religious icons, and all the customs of daily life, from food and drink to bathing habits to beliefs about the spirit world. Figes's characters range high and low: the revered Tolstoy, who left his deathbed to search for the Kingdom of God, as well as the serf girl Praskovya, who became Russian opera's first superstar and shocked society by becoming her owner's wife. Like the European-schooled countess Natasha performing an impromptu folk dance in Tolstoy's War and Peace , the spirit of "Russianness" is revealed by Figes as rich and uplifting, complex and contradictory--a powerful force that unified a vast country and proved more lasting than any Russian ruler or state.
Evil GeniusesKurt Andersen
Evil Geniuses The Unmaking of America: A Recent History by Kurt Andersen
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • When did America give up on fairness? The author of Fantasyland tells the epic history of how America decided that big business gets whatever it wants, only the rich get richer, and nothing should ever change—and charts a way back to the future. “Essential, absorbing . . . a graceful, authoritative guide . . . a radicalized moderate’s moderate case for radical change.”— The New York Times Book Review During the twentieth century, America managed to make its economic and social systems both more and more fair and more and more prosperous. A huge, secure, and contented middle class emerged. All boats rose together. But then the New Deal gave way to the Raw Deal. Beginning in the early 1970s, by means of a long war conceived of and executed by a confederacy of big business CEOs, the superrich, and right-wing zealots, the rules and norms that made the American middle class possible were undermined and dismantled. The clock was turned back on a century of economic progress, making greed good, workers powerless, and the market all-powerful while weaponizing nostalgia, lifting up an oligarchy that served only its own interests, and leaving the huge majority of Americans with dwindling economic prospects and hope. Why and how did America take such a wrong turn? In this deeply researched and brilliantly woven cultural, economic, and political chronicle, Kurt Andersen offers a fresh, provocative, and eye-opening history of America’s undoing, naming names, showing receipts, and unsparingly assigning blame—to the radical right in economics and the law, the high priests of high finance, a complacent and complicit Establishment, and liberal “useful idiots,” among whom he includes himself. Only a writer with Andersen’s crackling energy, deep insight, and ability to connect disparate dots and see complex systems with clarity could make such a book both intellectually formidable and vastly entertaining. And only a writer of Andersen’s vision could reckon with our current high-stakes inflection point, and show the way out of this man-made disaster.
Dearest Laura: The Civil War Letters Of Captain John Reed Beatty, 1861-1865 by Peter Steffens
The authors of the letters in this collection were my great-grandparents Captain John Reed Beatty (Union) and Laura Elizabeth Maxfield. He wrote nearly 150 wartime letters to his "Dearest Laura" while soldiering in the Western Theater during the Civil War. I am not yet aware of a larger collection of personal letters from the Civil War. By sheer numbers they naturally reflect more of daily life than battle. Unlike history books which jump timelines between battles, these letters provide a narrative which is exactly the opposite. Like broken mirror pieces, the letters once reassembled offer a true reflection of one soldier's complete wartime experience, and through that one, many others as well. How many of us wish we could learn something exact of our forebears, especially during an important historical period? I decided to take on the daunting multi-year project of digitally transcribing these stacks of letters because I wanted to learn something of an ancestor's life directly, as well as contribute to the Sesquicentennial. The original decaying letters and envelopes were donated by my mother Nancy to the Minnesota Historical Society and should not suffer any further deterioration. The copies she received in return were my source materials. Captain Beatty had conflicted feelings between his love for Laura and his military duty and obligations. As he described it, he was “exiled from home on the march and in the bloody battle.” We read of his temptation to resign his commission and return home at Laura’s urging, but also his grim determination to see the fight through to its conclusion. I'm sure his love for Laura was the reason he wrote so many letters, it was a way for him to try to cling to normalcy as the chaotic war swirled around him. Beatty’s military title was Captain of the Second Regiment, Minnesota Volunteer Infantry of the Union Army. Previous to the war he was a civilian, a school teacher in Mankato Minnesota. Laura and many of John’s regimental comrades were former pupils of his. In the letters we see his growth from a green civilian into an experienced veteran over time. There is biographical information on Captain Beatty (including a photo in uniform) in the book “The Story of a Regiment” by Judson W. Bishop, Newell L. Chester, editor. It explains in detail the activities of the Minnesota Second Regiment during the war. Captain Beatty was fortunate to survive the war. He suffered from two life-threatening fevers. At the Battle of Chickamauga his horse was shot dead from under him, and his next horse was shot and wounded as he conveyed battle information between the front lines and his commanders to the rear. Laura would have none of his assurances that he would survive the war; she could read the casualty lists in the newspapers as well as anyone. As I was transcribing the letters, nothing struck me more than how very long that four year period of time must have felt for the war’s participants. When we study war history we jump months at a time between major events, conveniently skipping over all the arduous living that must be done in between. After reading these letters you will certainly have a better sense of having lived through the war vicariously. It is my great pleasure to present these letters in a convenient digital format. Because of a shortage of paper during the war, there were two letters that were written first one way, and then written over in a checkerboard fashion, causing a nightmarish warp and woof to transcribe. You might say cursive caused curses. I hope you will enjoy these wonderful letters. This updated version (2.0) now includes extensive handwriting samples for historical flavor, and a lowered price of only $0.99. Prepared for the Sesquicentennial of the Civil War by Peter Steffens, digital transcriber, photographer, editor,
The 56: Liberty Lessons From Those Who Risked All to Sign The Declaration of Independence by Douglas Mackinnon
The urgent need to honor the 56 Signers of The Declaration of Independence came to Douglas MacKinnon, fittingly enough, on the 4th of July. While doing research for a column meant to remind the American people of that date’s critical importance, he came across example after example of those from the Left and the Far-Left––be they in the mainstream media, activists, or anarchists––calling for not only the “canceling” of the 4th of July, but the continued smearing, censorship, and canceling of our Founding Fathers. One overriding thought then filled his mind: “What if they are successful?” Those who believe such totalitarian censorship could never come to be in the United States of America, need only review how quickly and brutally many on the Left were able to create the “Woke Cancel Culture” to silence those they oppose today. Now they come for Thomas Jefferson, Richard Henry Lee, Benjamin Franklin and others who courageously signed The Declaration of Independence. That document and those men created our history. History which should never be bent, twisted, censored, or banned to fit any ideological narrative. If it is good, let us praise it. If it is bad, let us condemn it and learn from it. But let us never twist, censor, or cancel it. And yet, more and more followers of the Left want to do just that. As they control the media, academia, entertainment, science, and medicine…who is to stop them? Time is of the essence. We must find our voices. The 56 left the blueprint: Liberty.
The Great Christmas EscapeKellie Hailes
The Great Christmas Escape by Kellie Hailes
It's time to swap mistletoe and mince pies for the adventure of a lifetime! Sara's life has been in a bit of a rut. Lately, her job as a photographer has just meant taking photos of happy couples and families all day before returning to her empty flat. And while she normally loves Christmas with her family, this year a part of her just wants to run away. So when her ex-husband Fin gets in touch with a wild idea - a joint work trip to New Zealand - she knows it's crazy... but she says yes! A celebrated travel blogger, Fin has made a career out of following his bliss. As much as he loves Sara, the steady family life she's always wanted is not one he can give her. This trip together is his one chance to win her back. But can he convert her to his impulsive lifestyle? There's only one way to find out. As the two explore the stunning sights and thrills of New Zealand, they're about to discover there's so much more to each other than they ever realised... A Christmas romcom like no other, The Great Christmas Escape by Kellie Hailes is the perfect getaway read this year...
Killing EnglandBill O'Reilly & Martin Dugard
Killing England The Brutal Struggle for American Independence by Bill O'Reilly & Martin Dugard
The Revolutionary War as never told before. This breathtaking 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 guerrilla 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.
All the President's MenBob Woodward & Carl Bernstein
All the President's Men by Bob Woodward & Carl Bernstein
50th Anniversary Edition—Now with a new Foreword by Bob Woodward “The work that brought down a presidency...perhaps the most influential piece of journalism in history” ( Time )—from the #1 New York Times bestselling authors of The Final Days. The most devastating political detective story of the century: two Washington Post reporters, whose brilliant, Pulitzer Prize-winning investigation smashed the Watergate scandal wide open, tell the behind-the-scenes drama the way it really happened. One of Time magazine’s All-Time 100 Best Nonfiction Books, this is the book that changed America. Published just months before President Nixon’s resignation, All the President’s Men revealed the full scope of the scandal and introduced for the first time the mysterious “Deep Throat.” Beginning with the story of a simple burglary at Democratic headquarters and then continuing through headline after headline, Bernstein and Woodward deliver a riveting firsthand account of their reporting. Their explosive reports won a Pulitzer Prize for The Washington Post , toppled the president, and have since inspired generations of reporters. All the President’s Men is a riveting detective story, capturing the exhilarating rush of the biggest presidential scandal in US history as it unfolded in real time.
Killing Crazy HorseBill O'Reilly & Martin Dugard
Killing Crazy Horse The Merciless Indian Wars in America by Bill O'Reilly & Martin Dugard
The latest installment of the multimillion-selling Killing series is a gripping journey through the American West and the historic clashes between Native Americans and settlers. The bloody Battle of Tippecanoe was only the beginning. It’s 1811 and President James Madison has ordered the destruction of Shawnee warrior chief Tecumseh’s alliance of tribes in the Great Lakes region. But while General William Henry Harrison would win this fight, the armed conflict between Native Americans and the newly formed United States would rage on for decades. Bestselling authors Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard venture through the fraught history of our country’s founding on already occupied lands, from General Andrew Jackson’s brutal battles with the Creek Nation to President James Monroe’s epic “sea to shining sea” policy, to President Martin Van Buren’s cruel enforcement of a “treaty” that forced the Cherokee Nation out of their homelands along what would be called the Trail of Tears. O’Reilly and Dugard take readers behind the legends to reveal never-before-told historical moments in the fascinating creation story of America. This fast-paced, wild ride through the American frontier will shock readers and impart unexpected lessons that reverberate to this day.
Six Women of SalemMarilynne K. Roach
Six Women of Salem The Untold Story of the Accused and Their Accusers in the Salem Witch Trials by Marilynne K. Roach
The story of the Salem Witch Trials told through the lives of six women Six Women of Salem is the first work to use the lives of a select number of representative women as a microcosm to illuminate the larger crisis of the Salem witch trials. By the end of the trials, beyond the twenty who were executed and the five who perished in prison, 207 individuals had been accused, 74 had been "afflicted," 32 had officially accused their fellow neighbors, and 255 ordinary people had been inexorably drawn into that ruinous and murderous vortex, and this doesn't include the religious, judicial, and governmental leaders. All this adds up to what the Rev. Cotton Mather called "a desolation of names." The individuals involved are too often reduced to stock characters and stereotypes when accuracy is sacrificed to indignation. And although the flood of names and detail in the history of an extraordinary event like the Salem witch trials can swamp the individual lives involved, individuals still deserve to be remembered and, in remembering specific lives, modern readers can benefit from such historical intimacy. By examining the lives of six specific women, Marilynne Roach shows readers what it was like to be present throughout this horrific time and how it was impossible to live through it unchanged.
The Bomber MafiaMalcolm Gladwell
The Bomber Mafia A Dream, a Temptation, and the Longest Night of the Second World War by Malcolm Gladwell
A “truly compelling” ( Good Morning America ) New York Times bestseller that explores how technology and best intentions collide in the heat of war—from the creator and host of the podcast Revisionist History. In The Bomber Mafia , Malcolm Gladwell weaves together the stories of a Dutch genius and his homemade computer, a band of brothers in central Alabama, a British psychopath, and pyromaniacal chemists at Harvard to examine one of the greatest moral challenges in modern American history. Most military thinkers in the years leading up to World War II saw the airplane as an afterthought. But a small band of idealistic strategists, the “Bomber Mafia,” asked: What if precision bombing could cripple the enemy and make war far less lethal? In contrast, the bombing of Tokyo on the deadliest night of the war was the brainchild of General Curtis LeMay, whose brutal pragmatism and scorched-earth tactics in Japan cost thousands of civilian lives, but may have spared even more by averting a planned US invasion. In The Bomber Mafia, Gladwell asks, “Was it worth it?” Things might have gone differently had LeMay’s predecessor, General Haywood Hansell, remained in charge. Hansell believed in precision bombing, but when he and Curtis LeMay squared off for a leadership handover in the jungles of Guam, LeMay emerged victorious, leading to the darkest night of World War II. The Bomber Mafia is a riveting tale of persistence, innovation, and the incalculable wages of war.
A Short History of Nearly EverythingBill Bryson
A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson
One of the world’s most beloved writers and New York Times bestselling author of A Walk in the Woods and The Body 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.
The Daughters Of YaltaCatherine Grace Katz
The Daughters Of Yalta The Churchills, Roosevelts, and Harrimans: A Story of Love and War by Catherine Grace Katz
The untold story of the three intelligent and glamorous young women who accompanied their famous fathers to the Yalta Conference in February 1945, and of the conference’s fateful reverberations in the waning days of World War II. Tensions during the Yalta Conference in February 1945 threatened to tear apart the wartime alliance among Franklin Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, and Joseph Stalin just as victory was close at hand. Catherine Grace Katz uncovers the dramatic story of the three young women who were chosen by their fathers to travel with them to Yalta, each bound by fierce family loyalty, political savvy, and intertwined romances that powerfully colored these crucial days. Kathleen Harriman was a champion skier, war correspondent, and daughter of U.S. Ambassador to the Soviet Union Averell Harriman. Sarah Churchill, an actress-turned-RAF officer, was devoted to her brilliant father, who depended on her astute political mind. Roosevelt’s only daughter, Anna, chosen instead of her mother Eleanor to accompany the president to Yalta, arrived there as keeper of her father’s most damaging secrets. Situated in the political maelstrom that marked the transition to a post- war world, The Daughters of Yalta is a remarkable story of fathers and daughters whose relationships were tested and strengthened by the history they witnessed and the future they crafted together.
Reflections of a WarriorElwood J.C. Kureth
Reflections of a Warrior Six Years as a Green Beret in Vietnam by Elwood J.C. Kureth
Reflections of a Warrior is a Medal of Honor winner's true story—a Green Beret's six deadly years in the killing fields of Vietnam. PFC Franklin Miller arrived in Vietnam in March 1966, and saw his first combat in a Reconnaissance Platoon. So began an odyssey that would make him into one of the most feared and respected men in the Special Forces elite, who made their own rules in the chaos of war. In the exclusive world of the Military Assistance Command, Vietnam, Studies and Observation Group, Miller ran missions deep into enemy territory to gather intelligence, snatch prisoners, and to kill. Leading small bands of battle-hardened Montagnard and Meo tribesmen, he was fierce and fearless—fighting army policy to stay in combat for six tours. On a top-secret mission in 1970, Miller and a handful of men, all critically injured, held off the NVA in an incredible Alamo-like stand—for which he was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. When his time in Southeast Asia ended, he had also received the Silver Star, two Bronze Stars, an Air Medal, and six Purple Hearts. This is his incredible story.
Skunk WorksLeo Janos & Ben R. Rich
Skunk Works A Personal Memoir of My Years of Lockheed by Leo Janos & Ben R. Rich
This classic history of America's high-stakes quest to dominate the skies is "a gripping technothriller in which the technology is real" ( New York Times Book Review ). From the development of the U-2 to the Stealth fighter, Skunk Works is the true story of America's most secret and successful aerospace operation. As recounted by Ben Rich, the operation's brilliant boss for nearly two decades, the chronicle of Lockheed's legendary Skunk Works is a drama of Cold War confrontations and Gulf War air combat, of extraordinary feats of engineering and human achievement against fantastic odds. Here are up-close portraits of the maverick band of scientists and engineers who made the Skunk Works so renowned. Filled with telling personal anecdotes and high adventure, with narratives from the CIA and from Air Force pilots who flew the many classified, risky missions, this book is a riveting portrait of the most spectacular aviation triumphs of the twentieth century. "Thoroughly engrossing." -- Los Angeles Times Book Review
Henry Knox's Noble TrainWilliam Hazelgrove
Henry Knox's Noble Train The Story of a Boston Bookseller's Heroic Expedition That Saved the American Revolution by William Hazelgrove
The inspiring story of a little-known hero's pivotal role in the American Revolutionary WarDuring the brutal winter of 1775-1776, an untested Boston bookseller named Henry Knox commandeered an oxen train hauling sixty tons of cannons and other artillery from Fort Ticonderoga near the Canadian border. He and his men journeyed some three hundred miles south and east over frozen, often-treacherous terrain to supply George Washington for his attack of British troops occupying Boston. The result was the British surrender of Boston and the first major victory for the Colonial Army. This is one of the great stories of the American Revolution, still little known by comparison with the more famous battles of Concord, Lexington, and Bunker Hill. Told with a novelist's feel for narrative, character, and vivid description, The Noble Train brings to life the events and people at a time when the ragtag American rebels were in a desperate situation. Washington's army was withering away from desertion and expiring enlistments. Typhoid fever, typhus, and dysentery were taking a terrible toll. There was little hope of dislodging British General Howe and his 20,000 British troops in Boston—until Henry Knox arrived with his supply convoy of heavy armaments. Firing down on the city from the surrounding Dorchester Heights, these weapons created a decisive turning point. An act of near desperation fueled by courage, daring, and sheer tenacity led to a tremendous victory for the cause of independence.This exciting tale of daunting odds and undaunted determination highlights a pivotal episode that changed history.
In the Garden of BeastsErik Larson
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.
In Search of SisterhoodPaula J. Giddings
In Search of Sisterhood Delta Sigma Theta and the Challenge of the Black Sorority Movement by Paula J. Giddings
This history of the largest block women's organization in the United States is not only the story of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority (DST), but also tells of the increasing involvement of black women in the political, social, and economic affairs of America. Founded at a time when liberal arts education was widely seen as either futile, dangerous, or impractical for blacks, especially women, DST is, in Giddings's words, a "compelling reflection of block women's aspirations for themselves and for society." Giddings notes that unlike other organizations with racial goals, Delta Sigma Theta was created to change and benefit individuals rather than society. As a sorority, it was formed to bring women together as sisters, but at the some time to address the divisive, often class-related issues confronting black women in our society. There is, in Giddings's eyes, a tension between these goals that makes Delta Sigma Theta a fascinating microcosm of the struggles of black women and their organizations. DST members have included Mary McLeod Bethune, Mary Church Terrell, Margaret Murray Washington, Shirley Chisholm, Barbara Jordan, and, on the cultural side, Leontyne Price, Lena Horne, Ruby Dee, Judith Jamison, and Roberta Flack. In Search of Sisterhood is full of compelling, fascinating anecdotes told by the Deltas themselves, and illustrated with rare early photographs of the Delta women.
Disunited NationsPeter Zeihan
Disunited Nations The Scramble for Power in an Ungoverned World by Peter Zeihan
Should we stop caring about fading regional powers like China, Russia, Germany, and Iran? Will the collapse of international cooperation push France, Turkey, Japan, and Saudi Arabia to the top of international concerns? Most countries and companies are not prepared for the world Peter Zeihan says we’re already living in. For decades, America’s allies have depended on its might for their economic and physical security. But as a new age of American isolationism dawns, the results will surprise everyone. In Disunited Nations, geopolitical strategist Peter Zeihan presents a series of counterintuitive arguments about the future of a world where trade agreements are coming apart and international institutions are losing their power. Germany will decline as the most powerful country in Europe, with France taking its place. Every country should prepare for the collapse of China, not North Korea. We are already seeing, as Zeihan predicts, a shift in outlook on the Middle East: It is no longer Iran that is the region’s most dangerous threat, but Saudi Arabia. The world has gotten so accustomed to the “normal” of an American-dominated order that we have all forgotten the historical norm: several smaller, competing powers and economic systems throughout Europe and Asia. America isn’t the only nation stepping back from the international system. From Brazil to Great Britain to Russia, leaders are deciding that even if plenty of countries lose in the growing disunited chaos, their nations will benefit. The world isn’t falling apart—it’s being pushed apart. The countries and businesses prepared for this new every-country-for-itself ethic are those that will prevail; those shackled to the status quo will find themselves lost in the new world disorder. Smart, interesting, and essential reading, Disunited Nations is a sure-to-be-controversial guidebook that analyzes the emerging shifts and resulting problems that will arise in the next two decades. We are entering a period of chaos, and no political or corporate leader can ignore Zeihan’s insights or his message if they want to survive and thrive in this uncertain new time.
Helmet for My PillowRobert Leckie
Helmet for My Pillow From Parris Island to the Pacific by Robert Leckie
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.
Nazi BillionairesDavid de Jong
Nazi Billionaires The Dark History of Germany's Wealthiest Dynasties by David de Jong
“A provocative group portrait of five industrialists who expanded their fortunes by colluding with Hitler and then, after World War II, walked away with minimal punishment and barely a dent in their bottom lines... In this meticulously researched book, Mr. de Jong, an investigative journalist and former reporter at Bloomberg News, compels us to confront the current-day legacy of these Nazi ties."—The Wall Street Journal A groundbreaking investigation of how the Nazis helped German tycoons make billions off the horrors of the Third Reich and World War II—and how America allowed them to get away with it. In 1946, Günther Quandt—patriarch of Germany’s most iconic industrial empire, a dynasty that today controls BMW—was arrested for suspected Nazi collaboration. Quandt claimed that he had been forced to join the party by his archrival, propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels, and the courts acquitted him. But Quandt lied. And his heirs, and those of other Nazi billionaires, have only grown wealthier in the generations since, while their reckoning with this dark past remains incomplete at best. Many of them continue to control swaths of the world economy, owning iconic brands whose products blanket the globe. The brutal legacy of the dynasties that dominated Daimler-Benz, cofounded Allianz, and still control Porsche, Volkswagen, and BMW has remained hidden in plain sight—until now. In this landmark work of investigative journalism, David de Jong reveals the true story of how Germany’s wealthiest business dynasties amassed untold money and power by abetting the atrocities of the Third Reich. Using a wealth of untapped sources, de Jong shows how these tycoons seized Jewish businesses, procured slave laborers, and ramped up weapons production to equip Hitler’s army as Europe burned around them. Most shocking of all, de Jong exposes how America’s political expediency enabled these billionaires to get away with their crimes, covering up a bloodstain that defiles the German and global economy to this day.
Normandy '44James Holland
Normandy '44 D-Day and the Epic 77-Day Battle for France by James Holland
A history of World War II’s Operation Overlord, from the campaign’s planning to its execution, as Allied forces battled to take France back from Germany. D-Day, June 6, 1944, and the seventy-six days of bitter fighting in Normandy that followed the Allied landing, have become the defining episode of World War II in the west—the object of books, films, television series, and documentaries. Yet as familiar as it is, as James Holland makes clear in his definitive history, many parts of the Overlord campaign, as it was known, are still shrouded in myth and assumed knowledge. Drawing freshly on widespread archives and on the testimonies of eye-witnesses, Holland relates the extraordinary planning that made Allied victory in France possible; indeed, the story of how hundreds of thousands of men, and mountains of materiel, were transported across the English Channel, is as dramatic a human achievement as any battlefield exploit. The brutal landings on the five beaches and subsequent battles across the plains and through the lanes and hedgerows of Normandy—a campaign that, in terms of daily casualties, was worse than any in World War I—come vividly to life in conferences where the strategic decisions of Eisenhower, Rommel, Montgomery, and other commanders were made, and through the memories of paratrooper Lieutenant Dick Winters of Easy Company, British corporal and tanker Reg Spittles, Thunderbolt pilot Archie Maltbie, German ordnance officer Hans Heinze, French resistance leader Robert Leblanc, and many others. For both sides, the challenges were enormous. The Allies confronted a disciplined German army stretched to its limit, which nonetheless caused tactics to be adjusted on the fly. Ultimately ingenuity, determination, and immense materiel strength—delivered with operational brilliance—made the difference. A stirring narrative by a pre-eminent historian, Normandy ‘44 offers important new perspective on one of history’s most dramatic military engagements and is an invaluable addition to the literature of war. Praise for Normandy ‘44 An Amazon Best Book of the Month (History) An Amazon Best History Book of the Year “Detail and scope are the twin strengths of Normandy ’44 . . . . Mr. Holland effectively balances human drama with the science of war as the Allies knew it.” —Jonathan W. Jordan, Wall Street Journal “A superb account of the invasions that deserves immense praise. . . . To convey the human drama of Normandy requires great knowledge and sensitivity. Holland has both in spades.” — Times (UK)
The Longest DayCornelius Ryan
The Longest Day by Cornelius Ryan
The classic account of the Allied invasion of Normandy. The Longest Day is Cornelius Ryan's unsurpassed account of D-Day, a book that endures as a masterpiece of military history. In this compelling tale of courage and heroism, glory and tragedy, Ryan painstakingly recreates the fateful hours that preceded and followed the massive invasion of Normandy to retell the story of an epic battle that would turn the tide against world fascism and free Europe from the grip of Nazi Germany. This book, first published in 1959, is a must for anyone who loves history, as well as for anyone who wants to better understand how free nations prevailed at a time when darkness enshrouded the earth.
Killing LincolnBill O'Reilly & Martin Dugard
Killing Lincoln The Shocking Assassination that Changed America Forever by Bill O'Reilly & Martin Dugard
A riveting historical narrative of the heart-stopping events surrounding the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, and the first work of history from mega-bestselling author Bill O'Reilly The anchor of The O'Reilly Factor recounts one of the most dramatic stories in American history—how one gunshot changed the country forever. In the spring of 1865, the bloody saga of America's Civil War finally comes to an end after a series of increasingly harrowing battles. President Abraham Lincoln's generous terms for Robert E. Lee's surrender are devised to fulfill Lincoln's dream of healing a divided nation, with the former Confederates allowed to reintegrate into American society. But one man and his band of murderous accomplices, perhaps reaching into the highest ranks of the U.S. government, are not appeased. In the midst of the patriotic celebrations in Washington D.C., John Wilkes Booth—charismatic ladies' man and impenitent racist—murders Abraham Lincoln at Ford's Theatre. A furious manhunt ensues and Booth immediately becomes the country's most wanted fugitive. Lafayette C. Baker, a smart but shifty New York detective and former Union spy, unravels the string of clues leading to Booth, while federal forces track his accomplices. The thrilling chase ends in a fiery shootout and a series of court-ordered executions—including that of the first woman ever executed by the U.S. government, Mary Surratt. Featuring some of history's most remarkable figures, vivid detail, and page-turning action, Killing Lincoln is history that reads like a thriller.
A Lynching at Port JervisPhilip Dray
A Lynching at Port Jervis Race and Reckoning in the Gilded Age by Philip Dray
An account of a lynching that took place in New York in 1892, forcing the North to reckon with its own racism. On June 2, 1892, in the small, idyllic village of Port Jervis, New York, a young Black man named Robert Lewis was lynched by a violent mob. The twenty-eight-year-old victim had been accused of sexually assaulting Lena McMahon, the daughter of one of the town's well-liked Irish American families. The incident was infamous at once, for it was seen as a portent that lynching, a Southern scourge, surging uncontrollably below the Mason-Dixon Line, was about to extend its tendrils northward. What factors prompted such a spasm of racial violence in a relatively prosperous, industrious upstate New York town, attracting the scrutiny of the Black journalist Ida B. Wells, just then beginning her courageous anti-lynching crusade? What meaning did the country assign to it? And what did the incident portend? Today, it’s a terrible truth that the assault on the lives of Black Americans is neither a regional nor a temporary feature, but a national crisis. There are regular reports of a Black person killed by police, and Jim Crow has found new purpose in describing the harsh conditions of life for the formerly incarcerated, as well as in large-scale efforts to make voting inaccessible to Black people and other minority citizens. The “mobocratic spirit” that drove the 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol—a phrase Abraham Lincoln used as early as 1838 to describe vigilantism’s corrosive effect on America—frightfully insinuates that mob violence is a viable means of effecting political change. These issues remain as deserving of our concern now as they did a hundred and thirty years ago, when America turned its gaze to Port Jervis. An alleged crime, a lynching, a misbegotten attempt at an official inquiry, and a past unresolved. In A Lynching at Port Jervis , the acclaimed historian Philip Dray revisits this time and place to consider its significance in our communal history and to show how justice cannot be achieved without an honest reckoning.
The Spy and the TraitorBen Macintyre
The Spy and the Traitor The Greatest Espionage Story of the Cold War by Ben Macintyre
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • 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. “The best true spy story I have ever read.”—JOHN LE CARRÉ Named a Best Book of the Year by The Economist • Shortlisted for the Bailie Giffords Prize in Nonfiction 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.
MexiforniaVictor Davis Hanson
Mexifornia A State of Becoming by Victor Davis Hanson
Victor Davis Hanson locates the cause of our immigration quagmire in the opportunistic coalition that stymies immigration reform and, even worse, stifles any honest discussion of the present crisis. Conservative corporations, contractors and agribusiness demand cheap wage labor from Mexico, whatever the social consequences. Meanwhile, “progressive” academics, journalists, government bureaucrats and La Raza advocates see illegal aliens as a vast new political constituency for those peddling the notion that victimhood, not citizenship, is the key to advancement. The troubles Hanson identifies may have reached critical mass in California, but they also affect Americans who inhabit “Mexizona,” “Mexichusetts” and other states of becoming. Hanson follows the fortunes of Hispanic friends he has known all his life—how they have succeeded in America and how they regard the immigration quandary. But if Mexifornia is an emotionally generous look at the ambition and vigor of people who have made California strong, it is also an indictment of the policies that got California into its present mess. In the end, Hanson is hopeful that our traditions of assimilation, integration and intermarriage may yet remedy a predicament that the politicians and ideologues have allowed to get out of hand.
Killing the MobBill O'Reilly & Martin Dugard
Killing the Mob The Fight Against Organized Crime in America by Bill O'Reilly & Martin Dugard
Instant #1 New York Times , Wall Street Journal , and Publishers Weekly bestseller! In the tenth book in the multimillion-selling Killing series, Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard take on their most controversial subject yet: The Mob. Killing the Mob is the tenth book in Bill O'Reilly's #1 New York Times bestselling series of popular narrative histories, with sales of nearly 18 million copies worldwide, and over 320 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. O’Reilly and co-author Martin Dugard trace the brutal history of 20th Century organized crime in the United States, and expertly plumb the history of this nation’s most notorious serial robbers, conmen, murderers, and especially, mob family bosses. Covering the period from the 1930s to the 1980s, O’Reilly and Dugard trace the prohibition-busting bank robbers of the Depression Era, such as John Dillinger, Bonnie & Clyde, Pretty Boy Floyd and Baby-Face Nelson. In addition, the authors highlight the creation of the Mafia Commission, the power struggles within the “Five Families,” the growth of the FBI under J. Edgar Hoover, the mob battles to control Cuba, Las Vegas and Hollywood, as well as the personal war between the U.S. Attorney General Bobby Kennedy and legendary Teamsters boss Jimmy Hoffa. O’Reilly and Dugard turn these legendary criminals and their true-life escapades into a read that rivals the most riveting crime novel. With Killing the Mob , their hit series is primed for its greatest success yet.
Undaunted CourageStephen E. Ambrose
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.
The Lost City of the Monkey GodDouglas Preston
The Lost City of the Monkey God A True Story by Douglas Preston
The #1 New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller, named one of the best books of the year by The Boston Globe and National Geographic: acclaimed journalist Douglas Preston takes readers on a true adventure deep into the Honduran rainforest in this riveting narrative about the discovery of a lost civilization -- culminating in a stunning medical mystery. Since the days of conquistador Hernán Cortés, rumors have circulated about a lost city of immense wealth hidden somewhere in the Honduran interior, called the White City or the Lost City of the Monkey God. Indigenous tribes speak of ancestors who fled there to escape the Spanish invaders, and they warn that anyone who enters this sacred city will fall ill and die. In 1940, swashbuckling journalist Theodore Morde returned from the rainforest with hundreds of artifacts and an electrifying story of having found the Lost City of the Monkey God-but then committed suicide without revealing its location. Three quarters of a century later, bestselling author Doug Preston joined a team of scientists on a groundbreaking new quest. In 2012 he climbed aboard a rickety, single-engine plane carrying the machine that would change everything: lidar, a highly advanced, classified technology that could map the terrain under the densest rainforest canopy. In an unexplored valley ringed by steep mountains, that flight revealed the unmistakable image of a sprawling metropolis, tantalizing evidence of not just an undiscovered city but an enigmatic, lost civilization. Venturing into this raw, treacherous, but breathtakingly beautiful wilderness to confirm the discovery, Preston and the team battled torrential rains, quickmud, disease-carrying insects, jaguars, and deadly snakes. But it wasn't until they returned that tragedy struck: Preston and others found they had contracted in the ruins a horrifying, sometimes lethal-and incurable-disease. Suspenseful and shocking, filled with colorful history, hair-raising adventure, and dramatic twists of fortune, THE LOST CITY OF THE MONKEY GOD is the absolutely true, eyewitness account of one of the great discoveries of the twenty-first century.
Dead WakeErik Larson
Dead Wake The Last Crossing of the Lusitania by Erik Larson
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • From the bestselling author and master of narrative nonfiction comes the enthralling story of the sinking of the Lusitania “Both terrifying and enthralling.”— Entertainment Weekly “ Thrilling, dramatic and powerful. ” —NPR “ Thoroughly engrossing. ” —George R.R. Martin On May 1, 1915, with WWI entering its tenth month, a luxury ocean liner as richly appointed as an English country house sailed out of New York, bound for Liverpool, carrying a record number of children and infants. The passengers were surprisingly at ease, even though Germany had declared the seas around Britain to be a war zone. For months, German U-boats had brought terror to the North Atlantic. But the Lusitania was one of the era’s great transatlantic “Greyhounds”—the fastest liner then in service—and her captain, William Thomas Turner, placed tremendous faith in the gentlemanly strictures of warfare that for a century had kept civilian ships safe from attack. Germany, however, was determined to change the rules of the game, and Walther Schwieger, the captain of Unterseeboot -20, was happy to oblige. Meanwhile, an ultra-secret British intelligence unit tracked Schwieger’s U-boat, but told no one. As U-20 and the Lusitania made their way toward Liverpool, an array of forces both grand and achingly small—hubris, a chance fog, a closely guarded secret, and more—all converged to produce one of the great disasters of history. It is a story that many of us think we know but don’t, and Erik Larson tells it thrillingly, switching between hunter and hunted while painting a larger portrait of America at the height of the Progressive Era. Full of glamour and suspense, Dead Wake brings to life a cast of evocative characters, from famed Boston bookseller Charles Lauriat to pioneering female architect Theodate Pope to President Woodrow Wilson, a man lost to grief, dreading the widening war but also captivated by the prospect of new love. Gripping and important, Dead Wake captures the sheer drama and emotional power of a disaster whose intimate details and true meaning have long been obscured by history. Finalist for the Washington State Book Award • One of the Best Books of the Year: The Washington Post, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Miami Herald, Library Journal, Kirkus Reviews, LibraryReads, Indigo
Victory at SeaPaul Kennedy & Ian Marshall
Victory at Sea by Paul Kennedy & Ian Marshall
A sweeping, lavishly illustrated one-volume history of the rise of American naval power during World War II “A brilliant and gripping book by a master historian working at the top of his powers.”—Fredrik Logevall, Harvard University “Paul Kennedy has written a classic in this sweeping narrative account of the desperate struggle to command the seas and America’s rise as a superpower during the Second World War.”—John H. Maurer, U.S. Naval War College In this engaging narrative, brought to life by marine artist Ian Marshall’s beautiful full‑color paintings, historian Paul Kennedy grapples with the rise and fall of the Great Powers during World War II. Tracking the movements of the six major navies of the Second World War—the allied navies of Britain, France, and the United States and the Axis navies of Germany, Italy, and Japan—Kennedy tells a story of naval battles, maritime campaigns, convoys, amphibious landings, and strikes from the sea. From the elimination of the Italian, German, and Japanese fleets and almost all of the French fleet, to the end of the era of the big‑gunned surface vessel, the advent of the atomic bomb, and the rise of an American economic and military power larger than anything the world had ever seen, Kennedy shows how the strategic landscape for naval affairs was completely altered between 1936 and 1946.
Killing JesusBill O'Reilly & Martin Dugard
Killing Jesus A History by Bill O'Reilly & Martin Dugard
Millions of readers have thrilled to bestselling authors Bill O'Reilly and historian Martin Dugard's Killing Kennedy and Killing Lincoln , page-turning works of nonfiction that have changed the way we read history. Now the iconic anchor of The O'Reilly Factor details the events leading up to the murder of the most influential man in history: Jesus of Nazareth. Nearly two thousand years after this beloved and controversial young revolutionary was brutally killed by Roman soldiers, more than 2.2 billion human beings attempt to follow his teachings and believe he is God. Killing Jesus will take readers inside Jesus's life, recounting the seismic political and historical events that made his death inevitable - and changed the world forever.
Fierce ValorJared Frederick & Erik Dorr
Fierce Valor The True Story of Ronald Speirs and his Band of Brothers by Jared Frederick & Erik Dorr
Fans of Stephen E. Ambrose’s Band of Brothers will be drawn to this complex portrait of the controversial Ronald Speirs, an iconic commander of Easy Company during World War II, whose ferocious courage in three foreign conflicts was matched by his devotion to duty and the bittersweet passions of wartime romance. His comrades called him “Killer.” Of the elite paratroopers who served in the venerated “Band of Brothers” during World War II, none were more enigmatic than Ronald Speirs. Rumored to have gunned down enemy prisoners and even one of his own disobedient sergeants, Speirs’ became a foxhole legend amongst his troops. But who was the real Lieutenant Speirs? In Fierce Valor, historians Jared Frederick and Erik Dorr unveil the full story of Easy Company’s longest-serving commander for the first time. Tested by trials of extreme training, military rivalry, and lost love, Speirs’s international odyssey begins as an immigrant child in Prohibition-era Boston, continues through the bloody campaigns in France, Holland, and Germany, and sheds light on his lesser known exploits in Korea, the Cold War, and embattled Laos. Packed with groundbreaking research, Fierce Valor unveils a compelling portrait of an officer defined by boldness on the battlefield and a telling reminder that few soldiers escape the power of their own pasts.
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.
Making HistoryRichard Cohen
Making History The Storytellers Who Shaped the Past by Richard Cohen
A fascinating, epic exploration of who gets to record the world’s history—from Julius Caesar to William Shakespeare to Ken Burns—and how their biases influence our understanding about the past. There are many stories we can spin about previous ages, but which accounts get told? And by whom? Is there even such a thing as “objective” history? In this lively and thought-provoking book, Richard Cohen reveals how professional historians and other equally significant witnesses, such as the writers of the Bible, novelists, and political propagandists, influence what becomes the accepted record. Cohen argues, for example, that some historians are practitioners of “Bad History” and twist reality to glorify themselves or their country. Making History investigates the published works and private utterances of our greatest chroniclers to discover the agendas that informed their—and our—views of the world. From the origins of history writing, when such an activity itself seemed revolutionary, through to television and the digital age, Cohen brings captivating figures to vivid light, from Thucydides and Tacitus to Voltaire and Gibbon, Winston Churchill and Henry Louis Gates. Rich in complex truths and surprising anecdotes, the result is a revealing exploration of both the aims and art of history-making, one that will lead us to rethink how we learn about our past and about ourselves.
In the Heart of the SeaNathaniel Philbrick
In the Heart of the Sea The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex by Nathaniel Philbrick
From the author of Mayflower, Valiant Ambition , and In the Hurricane's Eye-- t he riveting bestseller tells the story of the true events that inspired Melville's Moby-Dick . Winner of the National Book Award, Nathaniel Philbrick's book is a fantastic saga of survival and adventure, steeped in the lore of whaling, with deep resonance in American literature and history. In 1820, the whaleship Essex was rammed and sunk by an angry sperm whale, leaving the desperate crew to drift for more than ninety days in three tiny boats. Nathaniel Philbrick uses little-known documents and vivid details about the Nantucket whaling tradition to reveal the chilling facts of this infamous maritime disaster. In the Heart of the Sea , recently adapted into a major feature film starring Chris Hemsworth, is a book for the ages.
Dunkirk The Epic Story of History's Most Extraordinary Evacuation by John Harris
How the miracle on the beaches saved a nation. A gripping account of one of the most famous episodes of the Second World War In May 1940 British and Allied troops on mainland Europe were in a perilous situation: cut off and surrounded, at the conclusion of the bloody Battle of France they faced complete annihilation. It would be a devastating blow, handing Europe to the Nazis. But over a few frantic days, the greatest evacuation in history managed to salvage hope, saving the total destruction of the army and hundreds of thousands of soldiers lives. It was a pivotal and defining moment in the war, one Churchill described as a ‘miracle’ in his ‘we shall fight them on the beaches’ speech. Bestselling author John Harris describes in vivid detail how the evacuation developed on a day-by-day basis, and destroys more than one myth associated with Dunkirk. Packed with authentic atmosphere and first-hand recollections, the retreat and the desperate lifting of the weary British expeditionary force is seen in its tragic but spirited entirety, an epic of courage and confusion without parallel. Perfect for readers of James Holland and Guy Walters.
Lone SurvivorMarcus Luttrell & Patrick Robinson
Lone Survivor The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of SEAL Team 10 by Marcus Luttrell & Patrick Robinson
Follow along a Navy SEAL's firsthand account of American heroism during a secret military operation in Afghanistan in this true story of survival and difficult choices. On a clear night in late June 2005, four U.S. Navy SEALs left their base in northern Afghanistan for the mountainous Pakistani border. Their mission was to capture or kill a notorious al Qaeda leader known to be ensconced in a Taliban stronghold surrounded by a small but heavily armed force. Less then twenty-four hours later, only one of those Navy SEALs remained alive. This is the story of fire team leader Marcus Luttrell, the sole survivor of Operation Redwing, and the desperate battle in the mountains that led, ultimately, to the largest loss of life in Navy SEAL history. But it is also, more than anything, the story of his teammates, who fought ferociously beside him until he was the last one left-blasted unconscious by a rocket grenade, blown over a cliff, but still armed and still breathing. Over the next four days, badly injured and presumed dead, Luttrell fought off six al Qaeda assassins who were sent to finish him, then crawled for seven miles through the mountains before he was taken in by a Pashtun tribe, who risked everything to protect him from the encircling Taliban killers. A six-foot-five-inch Texan, Leading Petty Officer Luttrell takes us, blow by blow, through the brutal training of America's warrior elite and the relentless rites of passage required by the Navy SEALs. He transports us to a monstrous battle fought in the desolate peaks of Afghanistan, where the beleaguered American team plummeted headlong a thousand feet down a mountain as they fought back through flying shale and rocks. In this rich, moving chronicle of courage, honor, and patriotism, Marcus Luttrell delivers one of the most powerful narratives ever written about modern warfare -- and a tribute to his teammates, who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.
Code GirlsLiza Mundy
Code Girls The Untold Story of the American Women Code Breakers of World War II by Liza Mundy
The award-winning New York Times bestseller about the American women who secretly served as codebreakers during World War II--a "prodigiously researched and engrossing" ( New York Times ) book that "shines a light on a hidden chapter of American history" ( Denver Post). Recruited by the U.S. Army and Navy from small towns and elite colleges, more than ten thousand women served as codebreakers during World War II. While their brothers and boyfriends took up arms, these women moved to Washington and learned the meticulous work of code-breaking. Their efforts shortened the war, saved countless lives, and gave them access to careers previously denied to them. A strict vow of secrecy nearly erased their efforts from history; now, through dazzling research and interviews with surviving code girls, bestselling author Liza Mundy brings to life this riveting and vital story of American courage, service, and scientific accomplishment.
On Grand StrategyJohn Lewis Gaddis
On Grand Strategy by John Lewis Gaddis
A master class in strategic thinking, distilled from the legendary program the author has co-taught at Yale for decades For almost two decades, Yale students have competed for admission each year to the "Studies in Grand Strategy" seminar taught by John Lewis Gaddis, Paul Kennedy, and Charles Hill. Its purpose has been to prepare future leaders for responsibilities they will face, through lessons drawn from history and the classics. Now Gaddis has distilled that teaching into a succinct, sharp and potentially transformational book, surveying statecraft from the ancient Greeks to Franklin D. Roosevelt and beyond. An unforgettable guide to the art of leadership, On Grand Strategy is, in every way, its own master class.
Bill O'Reilly's Legends and Lies: The Civil WarDavid Fisher
Bill O'Reilly's Legends and Lies: The Civil War by David Fisher
The next installment in the New York Times #1 bestselling companion series to the Fox historical docudrama, Bill O’Reilly’s Legends and Lies ; The Civil War is a pulse-quickening account of the deadliest war in American history. From the birth of the Republican Party to the Confederacy’s first convention, the Underground Railroad to the Emancipation Proclamation, the Battle of Gettysburg to the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, Bill O’Reilly’s Legends and Lies: The Civil War reveals the amazing and often little known stories behind the battle lines of America’s bloodiest war and debunks the myths that surround its greatest figures, including Harriet Tubman, Abraham Lincoln, General Robert E. Lee, Frederick Douglass, Stonewall Jackson, John Singleton Mosby, Ulysses S. Grant, Jefferson Davis, John Wilkes Booth, William Tecumseh Sherman, and more. An epic struggle between the past and future, the Civil War sought to fulfill the promise that “all men are created equal.” It freed an enslaved race, decimated a generation of young men, ushered in a new era of brutality in war, and created modern America. Featuring archival images, eyewitness accounts, and beautiful artwork that further brings the history to life, The Civil War is the action-packed and ultimate follow-up to the #1 bestsellers The Patriots and The Real West .
Band of BrothersStephen E. Ambrose
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 classic New York Times bestseller and inspiration for the acclaimed HBO series about Easy Company, the ordinary men who became the World War II’s most extraordinary soldiers at the frontlines of the war's most critical moments. Featuring a foreword from Tom Hanks. 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.
Washington's ImmortalsPatrick K. O'Donnell
Washington's Immortals The Untold Story of an Elite Regiment Who Changed the Course of the Revolution by Patrick K. O'Donnell
By the award-winning author of Dog Company : a historic account of a Revolutionary War unit’s “tactical acumen and human drama . . . combat writing at its best” ( The Wall Street Journal ). In August 1776, little over a month after the Continental Congress had formally declared independence from Britain, the revolution was on the verge of a disastrous end. General George Washington found his troops outmanned and outmaneuvered at the Battle of Brooklyn. But thanks to a series of desperate charges by a single heroic regiment, famously known as the “Immortal 400,” Washington was able to evacuate his men and the nascent Continental Army lived to fight another day. In Washington’s Immortals , award-winning military historian Patrick K. O’Donnell brings to life the forgotten story of these remarkable men. Comprised of rich merchants, tradesmen, and free blacks, they fought not just in Brooklyn, but in key battles including Trenton, Princeton, Camden, Cowpens, Guilford Courthouse, and Yorktown, where their heroism changed the course of the war. Drawing on extensive original sources, from letters to diaries to pension applications, O’Donnell pieces together the stories of these brave men—their friendships, loves, defeats, and triumphs. He explores their tactics, their struggles with hostile loyalists and shortages of clothing and food, their development into an elite unit, and their dogged opponents, including British General Lord Cornwallis. Through the prism of this one unit, O’Donnell tells the larger story of the Revolutionary War. “Well-written, and superbly researched . . . A must-read for Revolutionary War and Maryland history buffs alike.” —Bill Hughes, Baltimore Post-Examiner
George Washington's Secret SixBrian Kilmeade & Don Yaeger
George Washington's Secret Six The Spy Ring That Saved the American Revolution by Brian Kilmeade & Don Yaeger
“As a Long Islander endlessly fascinated by events that happened in a place I call home, I hope with this book to give the secret six the credit they didn’t get in life. The Culper spies represent all the patriotic Americans who give so much for their country but, because of the nature of their work, will not or cannot take a bow or even talk about their missions.” —Brian Kilmeade When General George Washington beat a hasty retreat from New York City in August 1776, many thought the American Revolution might soon be over. Instead, Washington rallied—thanks in large part to a little-known, top-secret group called the Culper Spy Ring. Washington realized that he couldn’t beat the British with military might, so he recruited a sophisticated and deeply secretive intelligence network to infiltrate New York. So carefully guarded were the members’ identities that one spy’s name was not uncovered until the twentieth century, and one remains unknown today. But by now, historians have discovered enough information about the ring’s activities to piece together evidence that these six individuals turned the tide of the war. Drawing on extensive research, Brian Kilmeade and Don Yaeger have painted compelling portraits of George Washington’s secret six: Robert Townsend, the reserved Quaker merchant and reporter who headed the Culper Ring, keeping his identity secret even from Washington; Austin Roe, the tavern keeper who risked his employment and his life in order to protect the mission; Caleb Brewster, the brash young longshoreman who loved baiting the British and agreed to ferry messages between Connecticut and New York; Abraham Woodhull, the curmudgeonly (and surprisingly nervous) Long Island bachelor with business and family excuses for traveling to Manhattan; James Rivington, the owner of a posh coffeehouse and print shop where high-ranking British officers gossiped about secret operations; Agent 355, a woman whose identity remains unknown but who seems to have used her wit and charm to coax officers to share vital secrets. In George Washington’s Secret Six , Townsend and his fellow spies finally receive their due, taking their place among the pantheon of heroes of the American Revolution.
Miami by Joan Didion
An astonishing account of Cuban exiles, CIA informants, and cocaine traffickers in Florida by the New York Times –bestselling author of South and West . In Miami , the National Book Award–winning author of The Year of Magical Thinking looks beyond postcard images of fluorescent waters, backlit islands, and pastel architecture to explore the murkier waters of a city on the edge. From Fidel Castro and the Bay of Pigs invasion to Lee Harvey Oswald and the Kennedy assassination to Oliver North and the Iran–Contra affair, Joan Didion uncovers political intrigues and shadowy underworld connections, and documents the US government’s “seduction and betrayal” of the Cuban exile community in Dade County. She writes of hotels that offer “guerrilla discounts,” gun shops that advertise Father’s Day deals, and a real-estate market where “Unusual Security and Ready Access to the Ocean” are perks for wealthy homeowners looking to make a quick escape. With a booming drug trade, staggering racial and class inequities, and skyrocketing murder rates, Miami in the 1980s felt more like a Third World capital than a modern American city. Didion describes the violence, passion, and paranoia of these troubled times in arresting detail and “beautifully evocative prose” ( The New York Times Book Review ). A vital report on an immigrant community traumatized by broken dreams and the cynicism of US foreign policy, Miami is a masterwork of literary journalism whose insights are timelier and more important than ever.
Endurance Shackleton's Incredible Voyage by Alfred Lansing
Experience one of the greatest adventure stories of the modern age in this New York Times bestseller: the harrowing tale of British explorer Ernest Shackleton's 1914 attempt to reach the South Pole. In August 1914, polar explorer Ernest Shackleton boarded the Endurance and set sail for Antarctica, where he planned to cross the last uncharted continent on foot. In January 1915, after battling its way through a thousand miles of pack ice and only a day's sail short of its destination, the Endurance became locked in an island of ice. Thus began the legendary ordeal of Shackleton and his crew of twenty-seven men. When their ship was finally crushed between two ice floes, they attempted a near-impossible journey over 850 miles of the South Atlantic's heaviest seas to the closest outpost of civilization. With an introduction by Nathaniel Philbrick, Endurance is the definitive account of Ernest Shackleton's fateful trip. Alfred Lansing brilliantly narrates the gripping and miraculous voyage that has defined heroism for the modern age.
Like a Drop of Ink in a DownpourYelena Lembersky
Like a Drop of Ink in a Downpour Memories of Soviet Russia by Yelena Lembersky
"Like a Drop of Ink in a Downpour is more ambitious than the average memoir. It’s informed by Galina’s and her parents’ lessons on the value of art and culture and enriched by Alëna’s beautifully constructed images and Galina’s poetry." – Herb Randall, LA Review of Books Like a Drop of Ink in a Downpour is a heartfelt mother-and-daughter memoir about three generations of women and their fight to leave Soviet Russia. A mother is a dissident, a refusenik, and a prisoner in Leningrad (Saint Petersburg) in the 1970s and '80s. Her daughter, eleven years old, is left without a family. A grandmother is in the USA, waiting for her daughter and granddaughter and not knowing if she'll ever see them again. "I am fine," the three of them write to each other in their letters. How can you be "fine" when you have to fight to survive? When you must be silent? When the place that you love turns against you? Told from the dual points of view, this memoir shows the reality of life in the Soviet Union, giving an insider’s perspective on the roots of Putin’s Russia. It is also a coming-of-age story, heartfelt and funny, a testament to the unbreakable bond between mothers and daughters, and the healing power of art.
Unknown ValorMartha MacCallum
Unknown Valor A Story of Family, Courage, and Sacrifice from Pearl Harbor to Iwo Jima by Martha MacCallum
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER. In honor of the 75th Anniversary of one of the most critical battles of World War II, the popular primetime Fox News anchor of The Story with Martha MacCallum pays tribute to the heroic men who sacrificed everything at Iwo Jima to defeat the Armed Forces of Emperor Hirohito—among them, a member of her own family, Harry Gray. Admiral Chester Nimitz spoke of the “uncommon valor” of the men who fought on Iwo Jima, one of the bloodiest and most brutal battles of World War II. In thirty-six grueling days, nearly 7,000 Marines were killed and 22,000 were wounded. Martha MacCallum takes us from Pearl Harbor to Iwo Jima through the lives of these men of valor, among them Harry Gray, a member of her own family. In Unknown Valor, she weaves their stories—from Boston, Massachusetts, to Gulfport, Mississippi, as told through letters and recollections—into the larger history of what American military leaders rightly saw as an eventual showdown in the Pacific with Japan. In a relentless push through the jungles of Guadalcanal, over the coral reefs of Tarawa, past the bloody ridge of Peleliu, against the banzai charges of Guam, and to the cliffs of Saipan, these men were on a path that ultimately led to the black sands of Iwo Jima, the doorstep of the Japanese Empire. Meticulously researched, heart-wrenching, and illuminating, Unknown Valor reveals the sacrifices of ordinary Marines who saved the world from tyranny and left indelible marks on those back home who loved them.
This Golden FleeceEsther Rutter
This Golden Fleece A Journey Through Britain's Knitted History by Esther Rutter
“A book about wool and sheep, the making of Scotland, England and farming, textile manufacture, folklore and, crucially, the essential craft of knitting.” —Janice Galloway, author of Jellyfish Over the course of a year, Esther Rutter—who grew up on a sheep farm in Suffolk, and learned to spin, weave and knit as a child—travels the length of the British Isles, to tell the story of wool’s long history here. She unearths fascinating histories of communities whose lives were shaped by wool, from the mill workers of the Border countries, to the English market towns built on profits of the wool trade, and the Highland communities cleared for sheep farming; and finds tradition and innovation intermingling in today’s knitwear industries. Along the way, she explores wool’s rich culture by knitting and crafting culturally significant garments from our history—among them gloves, a scarf, a baby blanket, socks and a fisherman’s jumper—reminding us of the value of craft and our intimate relationship with wool. This Golden Fleece is at once a meditation on the craft and history of knitting, and a fascinating exploration of wool’s influence on our landscape, history and culture. “Wondrous.” — BBC Countryfile “A yarn well told.” — The Irish Times “A compelling literary journey through the social history of wool in the British Isles.” —Karen Lloyd, author of The Gathering Tide “[Rutter’s] stops on her journey around Britain also knit together the past and the present, the social, historical and the personal, in an altogether engaging way.” — Books from Scotland
D-DayStephen E. Ambrose
D-Day June 6, 1944: The Climactic Battle of World War II by Stephen E. Ambrose
Stephen E. Ambrose’s D-Day is the definitive history of World War II’s most pivotal battle, a day that changed the course of history. D-Day is the epic story of men at the most demanding moment of their lives, when the horrors, complexities, and triumphs of life are laid bare. Distinguished historian Stephen E. Ambrose portrays the faces of courage and heroism, fear and determination—what Eisenhower called “the fury of an aroused democracy”—that shaped the victory of the citizen soldiers whom Hitler had disparaged. Drawing on more than 1,400 interviews with American, British, Canadian, French, and German veterans, Ambrose reveals how the original plans for the invasion had to be abandoned, and how enlisted men and junior officers acted on their own initiative when they realized that nothing was as they were told it would be. The action begins at midnight, June 5/6, when the first British and American airborne troops jumped into France. It ends at midnight June 6/7. Focusing on those pivotal twenty-four hours, it moves from the level of Supreme Commander to that of a French child, from General Omar Bradley to an American paratrooper, from Field Marshal Montgomery to a German sergeant. Ambrose’s D-Day is the finest account of one of our history’s most important days.
Killing PattonBill O'Reilly & Martin Dugard
Killing Patton The Strange Death of World War II's Most Audacious General by Bill O'Reilly & Martin Dugard
Readers around the world have thrilled to Killing Lincoln, Killing Kennedy , and Killing Jesus --riveting works of nonfiction that journey into the heart of the most famous murders in history. Now from Bill O'Reilly, iconic anchor of The O'Reilly Factor , comes the most epic book of all in this multimillion-selling series: Killing Patton . General George S. Patton, Jr. died under mysterious circumstances in the months following the end of World War II. For almost seventy years, there has been suspicion that his death was not an accident--and may very well have been an act of assassination. Killing Patton takes readers inside the final year of the war and recounts the events surrounding Patton's tragic demise, naming names of the many powerful individuals who wanted him silenced.
Blitzed Drugs in the Third Reich by Norman Ohler
A New York Times bestseller, Norman Ohler's Blitzed is a "fascinating, engrossing, often dark history of drug use in the Third Reich” (Washington Post). The Nazi regime preached an ideology of physical, mental, and moral purity. Yet as Norman Ohler reveals in this gripping history, the Third Reich was saturated with drugs: cocaine, opiates, and, most of all, methamphetamines, which were consumed by everyone from factory workers to housewives to German soldiers. In fact, troops were encouraged, and in some cases ordered, to take rations of a form of crystal meth—the elevated energy and feelings of invincibility associated with the high even help to account for the breakneck invasion that sealed the fall of France in 1940, as well as other German military victories. Hitler himself became increasingly dependent on injections of a cocktail of drugs—ultimately including Eukodal, a cousin of heroin—administered by his personal doctor. Thoroughly researched and rivetingly readable, Blitzed throws light on a history that, until now, has remained in the shadows. “Delightfully nuts.”—The New Yorker
Operation MincemeatBen Macintyre
Operation Mincemeat How a Dead Man and a Bizarre Plan Fooled the Nazis and Assured an Allied Victory by Ben Macintyre
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • NOW A NETFLIX FILM STARRING COLIN FIRTH • The “brilliant and almost absurdly entertaining” (Malcolm Gladwell, The New Yorker ) true story of the most successful—and certainly the strangest—deception carried out in World War II, from the acclaimed author of The Spy and the Traitor “Pure catnip to fans of World War II thrillers and a lot of fun for everyone else.”—Joseph Kanon, The Washington Post Book World Near the end of World War II, two British naval officers came up with a brilliant and slightly mad scheme to mislead the Nazi armies about where the Allies would attack southern Europe. To carry out the plan, they would have to rely on the most unlikely of secret agents: a dead man. Ben Macintyre’s dazzling, critically acclaimed bestseller chronicles the extraordinary story of what happened after British officials planted this dead body—outfitted in a British military uniform with a briefcase containing false intelligence documents—in Nazi territory, and how this secret mission fooled Hitler into changing military positioning, paving the way for the Allies’ drive to victory. NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE NEW YORK TIMES
Mythos by Stephen Fry
Here are the thrills, grandeur, and unabashed fun of the Greek myths, stylishly retold by Stephen Fry. The legendary writer, actor, and comedian breathes life into ancient tales, from Pandora's box to Prometheus's fire, and transforms the adventures of Zeus and the Olympians into emotionally resonant and deeply funny stories, without losing any of their original wonder. Classical artwork inspired by the myths and learned notes from the author offer rich cultural context.
The Bully PulpitDoris Kearns Goodwin
The Bully Pulpit Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism by Doris Kearns Goodwin
One of the Best Books of the Year as chosen by The New York Time s , The Washington Post, The Economist, Time, USA TODAY, Christian Science Monitor, and more. “A tale so gripping that one questions the need for fiction when real life is so plump with drama and intrigue” (Associated Press). Doris Kearns Goodwin’s The Bully Pulpit is a dynamic history of the first decade of the Progressive era, that tumultuous time when the nation was coming unseamed and reform was in the air. The story is told through the intense friendship of Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft—a close relationship that strengthens both men before it ruptures in 1912, when they engage in a brutal fight for the presidential nomination that divides their wives, their children, and their closest friends, while crippling the progressive wing of the Republican Party, causing Democrat Woodrow Wilson to be elected, and changing the country’s history. The Bully Pulpit is also the story of the muckraking press, which arouses the spirit of reform that helps Roosevelt push the government to shed its laissez-faire attitude toward robber barons, corrupt politicians, and corporate exploiters of our natural resources. The muckrakers are portrayed through the greatest group of journalists ever assembled at one magazine—Ida Tarbell, Ray Stannard Baker, Lincoln Steffens, and William Allen White—teamed under the mercurial genius of publisher S.S. McClure. Goodwin’s narrative is founded upon a wealth of primary materials. The correspondence of more than four hundred letters between Roosevelt and Taft begins in their early thirties and ends only months before Roosevelt’s death. Edith Roosevelt and Nellie Taft kept diaries. The muckrakers wrote hundreds of letters to one another, kept journals, and wrote their memoirs. The letters of Captain Archie Butt, who served as a personal aide to both Roosevelt and Taft, provide an intimate view of both men. The Bully Pulpit , like Goodwin’s brilliant chronicles of the Civil War and World War II, exquisitely demonstrates her distinctive ability to combine scholarly rigor with accessibility. It is a major work of history—an examination of leadership in a rare moment of activism and reform that brought the country closer to its founding ideals.
Topgun An American Story by Dan Pedersen
NATIONAL BESTSELLER "If you loved the movie, you will love the real story in the book." -- Fox & Friends On the 50th anniversary of the creation of the "Topgun" Navy Fighter School, its founder shares the remarkable inside story of how he and eight other risk-takers revolutionized the art of aerial combat. When American fighter jets were being downed at an unprecedented rate during the Vietnam War, the U.S. Navy turned to a young lieutenant commander, Dan Pedersen, to figure out a way to reverse their dark fortune. On a shoestring budget and with little support, Pedersen picked eight of the finest pilots to help train a new generation to bend jets like the F-4 Phantom to their will and learn how to dogfight all over again. What resulted was nothing short of a revolution -- one that took young American pilots from the crucible of combat training in the California desert to the blistering skies of Vietnam, in the process raising America's Navy combat kill ratio from two enemy planes downed for every American plane lost to more than 22 to 1. Topgun emerged not only as an icon of America's military dominance immortalized by Hollywood but as a vital institution that would shape the nation's military strategy for generations to come. Pedersen takes readers on a colorful and thrilling ride -- from Miramar to Area 51 to the decks of aircraft carriers in war and peace-through a historic moment in air warfare. He helped establish a legacy that was built by him and his "Original Eight" -- the best of the best -- and carried on for six decades by some of America's greatest leaders. Topgun is a heartfelt and personal testimony to patriotism, sacrifice, and American innovation and daring.
The Last Kings of ShanghaiJonathan Kaufman
The Last Kings of Shanghai The Rival Jewish Dynasties That Helped Create Modern China by Jonathan Kaufman
"In vivid detail... examines the little-known history of two extraordinary dynasties." --The Boston Globe "Not just a brilliant, well-researched, and highly readable book about China's past, it also reveals the contingencies and ironic twists of fate in China's modern history." --LA Review of Books An epic, multigenerational story of two rival dynasties who flourished in Shanghai and Hong Kong as twentieth-century China surged into the modern era, from the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Shanghai, 1936. The Cathay Hotel, located on the city's famous waterfront, is one of the most glamorous in the world. Built by Victor Sassoon--billionaire playboy and scion of the Sassoon dynasty--the hotel hosts a who's who of global celebrities: Noel Coward has written a draft of Private Lives in his suite and Charlie Chaplin has entertained his wife-to-be. And a few miles away, Mao and the nascent Communist Party have been plotting revolution. By the 1930s, the Sassoons had been doing business in China for a century, rivaled in wealth and influence by only one other dynasty--the Kadoories. These two Jewish families, both originally from Baghdad, stood astride Chinese business and politics for more than 175 years, profiting from the Opium Wars; surviving Japanese occupation; courting Chiang Kai-shek; and losing nearly everything as the Communists swept into power. In The Last Kings of Shanghai, Jonathan Kaufman tells the remarkable history of how these families participated in an economic boom that opened China to the world, but remained blind to the country's deep inequality and to the political turmoil at their doorsteps. In a story stretching from Baghdad to Hong Kong to Shanghai to London, Kaufman enters the lives and minds of these ambitious men and women to forge a tale of opium smuggling, family rivalry, political intrigue, and survival. The book lays bare the moral compromises of the Kadoories and the Sassoons--and their exceptional foresight, success, and generosity. At the height of World War II, they joined together to rescue and protect eighteen thousand Jewish refugees fleeing Nazism. Though their stay in China started out as a business opportunity, the country became a home they were reluctant to leave, even on the eve of revolution. The lavish buildings they built and the booming businesses they nurtured continue to define Shanghai and Hong Kong to this day. As the United States confronts China's rise, and China grapples with the pressures of breakneck modernization and global power, the long-hidden odysseys of the Sassoons and the Kadoories hold a key to understanding the present moment.
Lucky 666Bob Drury & Tom Clavin
Lucky 666 The Impossible Mission by Bob Drury & Tom Clavin
“A fast-paced, well-researched…irresistible” ( USA TODAY ) World War II aviation account of friendship, heroism, and sacrifice that reads like Unbroken meets The Dirty Dozen from the authors of the #1 New York Times bestselling The Heart of Everything That Is . It’s 1942, just after the blow to Pearl Harbor and the Japanese invasion of the Philippines, and the United States is reeling. A group of raw US Army Airmen travels to the embattled American Air Base of Port Moresby at Papua, New Guinea. Their mission: to protect Australia, to disrupt the Japanese supply lines, and to fly perilous reconnaissance runs over the enemy-held strongholds. Among the men are pilot Captain Jay Zeamer and bombardier Sergeant Raymond Joseph “Joe” Sarnoski, a pair of swashbuckling screw-ups whose antics prevent them from being assigned to a regular bombing crew. Instead, they rebuild a broken-down B-17 bomber from spare parts and christen the plane Old 666 . One day in June 1943, a request is circulated: volunteers are needed for a reconnaissance flight into the heart of the Japanese empire. Zeamer and Sarnoski see it as a shot at redemption and cobble together a crew and depart in Old 666 under cover of darkness. Five hours later, dozens of Japanese Zeros riddle the plane with bullets. Bloody and half-conscious, Zeamer and Sarnoski keep the plane in the air, winning what will go down as the longest dogfight in history and maneuvering an emergency landing in the jungle. Only one of them will make it home alive. With unprecedented access to the Old 666 crew’s family and letters, as well as newly released transcripts from the Imperial Air Force’s official accounts of the battle, Lucky 666 is perhaps the last untold “great war story” ( Kirkus Reviews ) from the war in the Pacific. It’s an unforgettable tale of friendship, bravery, and sacrifice—and “highly recommended for WWII and aviation history buffs alike” ( BookPage ).
Big WeekJames Holland
Big Week The Biggest Air Battle of World War II by James Holland
A history of World War II’s Operation Argument in which US and British air forces led a series of raids against Nazi Germany in 1944. During the third week of February 1944, the combined Allied air forces based in Britain and Italy launched their first round-the-clock bomber offensive against Germany. Their goal: to smash the main factories and production centers of the Luftwaffe while also drawing German planes into an aerial battle of attrition to neutralize the Luftwaffe as a fighting force prior to the cross-channel invasion, planned for a few months later. Officially called Operation Argument, this aerial offensive quickly became known as “Big Week,” and it was one of the turning-point engagements of World War II. In Big Week , acclaimed World War II historian James Holland chronicles the massive air battle through the experiences of those who lived and died during it. Prior to Big Week, the air forces on both sides were in crisis. Allied raids into Germany were being decimated, but German resources—fuel and pilots—were strained to the breaking point. Ultimately new Allied aircraft—especially the American long-range P-51 Mustang—and superior tactics won out during Big Week. Through interviews, oral histories, diaries, and official records, Holland follows the fortunes of pilots, crew, and civilians on both sides, taking readers from command headquarters to fighter cockpits to anti-aircraft positions and civilian chaos on the ground, vividly recreating the campaign as it was conceived and unfolded. In the end, the six days of intense air battles largely cleared the skies of enemy aircraft when the invasion took place on June 6, 1944—D-Day. Big Week is both an original contribution to WWII literature and a brilliant piece of narrative history, recapturing a largely forgotten campaign that was one of the most critically important periods of the entire war. Praise for Big Week An Amazon Best Book of the Year “With the aid of diaries, memoirs and his own interviews, Mr. Holland gives a detailed, crewman’s-eye view of combat from inside the British, American and German aircraft during the months leading up to Big Week and during the week itself. For those hoping for war-movie stuff, rest assured that the enemy fighters do come in at 6 o’clock, the guns do hammer, the sun does glint and the ‘chutes do blossom in the sky. Still it’s a serious and important story as well as a dramatic one, and Mr. Holland tells it with verve and authority.” —David A. Price, Wall Street Journal “Highly detailed. . . . The interplay of personal stories with the broader strategic picture makes this book especially illuminating. . . . A fascinating must-read for World War II aficionados.” — Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
Endurance: An Epic of Polar AdventureFrank Arthur Worsley
Endurance: An Epic of Polar Adventure by Frank Arthur Worsley
The legendary tale of Ernest Shackleton's grueling Antarctic expedition, recounted in riveting first-person detail by the captain of HMS Endurance. "You seriously mean to tell me that the ship is doomed?" asked Frank Worsley, commander of the Endurance, stuck impassably in Antarctic ice packs. "What the ice gets," replied Sir Ernest Shackleton, the expedition's unflappable leader, "the ice keeps." It did not, however, get the ship's twenty-five crew members, all of whom survived an eight-hundred-mile voyage across sea, land, and ice to South Georgia, the nearest inhabited island. First published in 1931, Endurance tells the full story of that doomed 1914-16 expedition and incredible rescue, as well as relating Worsley's further adventures fighting U-boats in the Great War, sailing the equally treacherous waters of the Arctic, and making one final (and successful) assault on the South Pole with Shackleton. It is a tale of unrelenting high adventure and a tribute to one of the most inspiring and courageous leaders of men in the history of exploration.
Wounded KneeHeather Cox Richardson
Wounded Knee Party Politics and the Road to an American Massacre by Heather Cox Richardson
On December 29, 1890, American troops opened fire with howitzers on hundreds of unarmed Lakota Sioux men, women, and children near Wounded Knee Creek in South Dakota, killing nearly 300 Sioux. As acclaimed historian Heather Cox Richardson shows in Wounded Knee , the massacre grew out of a set of political forces all too familiar to us today: fierce partisanship, heated political rhetoric, and an irresponsible, profit-driven media. Richardson tells a dramatically new story about the Wounded Knee massacre, revealing that its origins lay not in the West but in the corridors of political power back East. Politicians in Washington, Democrat and Republican alike, sought to set the stage for mass murder by exploiting an age-old political tool -- fear. Assiduously researched and beautifully written, Wounded Knee will be the definitive account of an epochal American tragedy.
Powers and ThronesDan Jones
Powers and Thrones A New History of the Middle Ages by Dan Jones
"Not only an engrossing read about the distant past, both informative and entertaining, but also a profoundly thought-provoking view of our not-really-so-‘new’ present . . . All medieval history is here, beautifully narrated . . . The vision takes in whole imperial landscapes but also makes room for intimate portraits of key individuals, and even some poems." —Wall Street Journal "A lively history . . . [Jones] has managed to touch every major topic. As each piece of the puzzle is placed into position, the modern world gradually comes into view . . . Powers and Thrones provides the reader with a framework for understanding a complicated subject, and it tells the story of an essential era of world history with skill and style." —The New York Times The New York Times bestselling author returns with an epic history of the medieval world—a rich and complicated reappraisal of an era whose legacy and lessons we are still living with today. When the once-mighty city of Rome was sacked by barbarians in 410 and lay in ruins, it signaled the end of an era--and the beginning of a thousand years of profound transformation. In a gripping narrative bursting with big names—from St Augustine and Attila the Hun to the Prophet Muhammad and Eleanor of Aquitaine—Dan Jones charges through the history of the Middle Ages. Powers and Throne s takes readers on a journey through an emerging Europe, the great capitals of late Antiquity, as well as the influential cities of the Islamic West, and culminates in the first European voyages to the Americas. The medieval world was forged by the big forces that still occupy us today: climate change, pandemic disease, mass migration, and technological revolutions. This was the time when the great European nationalities were formed; when the basic Western systems of law and governance were codified; when the Christian Churches matured as both powerful institutions and the regulators of Western public morality; and when art, architecture, philosophical inquiry and scientific invention went through periods of massive, revolutionary change. The West was rebuilt on the ruins of an empire and emerged from a state of crisis and collapse to dominate the world. Every sphere of human life and activity was transformed in the thousand years covered by Powers and Thrones . As we face a critical turning point in our own millennium, Dan Jones shows that how we got here matters more than ever.
Surprise, Kill, VanishAnnie Jacobsen
Surprise, Kill, Vanish The Secret History of CIA Paramilitary Armies, Operators, and Assassins by Annie Jacobsen
From Pulitzer Prize finalist Annie Jacobsen, the untold USA Today bestselling story of the CIA's secret paramilitary units. Surprise . . . your target. Kill . . . your enemy. Vanish . . . without a trace. 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.
A World UndoneG. J. Meyer
A World Undone by G. J. Meyer
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Drawing on exhaustive research, this intimate account details how World War I reduced Europe’s mightiest empires to rubble, killed twenty million people, and cracked the foundations of our modern world “Thundering, magnificent . . . [ A World Undone ] is a book of true greatness that prompts moments of sheer joy and pleasure. . . . It will earn generations of admirers.” —The Washington Times On a summer day in 1914, a nineteen-year-old Serbian nationalist gunned down Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo. While the world slumbered, monumental forces were shaken. In less than a month, a combination of ambition, deceit, fear, jealousy, missed opportunities, and miscalculation sent Austro-Hungarian troops marching into Serbia, German troops streaming toward Paris, and a vast Russian army into war, with England as its ally. As crowds cheered their armies on, no one could guess what lay ahead in the First World War: four long years of slaughter, physical and moral exhaustion, and the near collapse of a civilization that until 1914 had dominated the globe. Praise for A World Undone “Meyer’s sketches of the British Cabinet, the Russian Empire, the aging Austro-Hungarian Empire . . . are lifelike and plausible. His account of the tragic folly of Gallipoli is masterful. . . . [ A World Undone ] has an instructive value that can scarcely be measured” — Los Angeles Times “An original and very readable account of one of the most significant and often misunderstood events of the last century.” —Steve Gillon, resident historian, The History Channel
The Complete Prophecies of NostradamusNostradamus
The Complete Prophecies of Nostradamus by Nostradamus
Here are the complete prophecies of Nostradamus. Nostradamus is the best known and most accurate mystic and seer of all times. There are those who say that he predicted Napoleon and even the attack on the World Trade Center. Read the prophecies and judge for yourself.