Top History Ebook Best Sellers

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D-Day Girls - Sarah Rose Cover Art

D-Day Girls

D-Day Girls The Spies Who Armed the Resistance, Sabotaged the Nazis, and Helped Win World War II by Sarah Rose

NATIONAL BESTSELLER • The dramatic, untold  history of the  heroic women recruited by Britain’s elite spy agency to help pave the way for Allied victory in World War II “Gripping. Spies, romance, Gestapo thugs, blown-up trains, courage, and treachery (lots of treachery)—and all of it true.”—Erik Larson, author of  The Devil in the White City  and  Dead Wake In 1942,   the Allies were losing, Germany seemed unstoppable, and every able man in England was on the front lines. To “set Europe ablaze,” in the words of Winston Churchill, the Special Operations Executive  (SOE), whose spies were trained in everything from demolition to sharpshooting, was forced to do something unprecedented: recruit women. Thirty-nine answered the call, leaving their lives and families to become saboteurs in France. In  D-Day Girls , Sarah Rose draws on recently de­classified files, diaries, and oral histories to tell the thrilling story of three of these remarkable women. There’s Andrée Borrel, a scrappy and streetwise Parisian who blew up power lines with the Gestapo hot on her heels; Odette Sansom, an unhappily married suburban mother who saw the SOE as her ticket out of domestic life and into a meaningful adventure; and Lise de Baissac, a fiercely independent member of French colonial high society and the SOE’s unflap­pable “queen.” Together, they destroyed train lines, ambushed Nazis, plotted prison breaks, and gathered crucial intelligence—laying the groundwork for the D-Day invasion that proved to be the turning point in the war. Rigorously researched and written with razor-sharp wit,  D-Day Girls  is an inspiring story for our own moment of resistance: a reminder of what courage—and the energy of politically animated women—can accomplish when the stakes seem incalculably high. Praise for  D-Day Girls “Rigorously researched . . . [a] thriller in the form of a non-fiction book.” — Refinery29 “Equal parts espionage-romance thriller and historical narrative,  D-Day Girls  traces the lives and secret activities of the 39 women who answered the call to infiltrate France. . . . While chronicling the James Bond-worthy missions and love affairs of these women, Rose vividly captures the broken landscape of war.” — The Washington Post “Gripping history . . . thoroughly researched and written as smoothly as a good thriller, this is a mesmerizing story of creativity, perseverance, and astonishing heroism.” — Publishers Weekly  (starred review)

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The Holocaust - Laurence Rees Cover Art

The Holocaust

The Holocaust A New History by Laurence Rees

n June 1944, Freda Wineman and her family arrived at Auschwitz-Birkenau, the infamous Nazi concentration and death camp. After a cursory look from an SS doctor, Freda's life was spared and her mother was sent to the gas chambers. Freda only survived because the Allies won the war -- the Nazis ultimately wanted every Jew to die. Her mother was one of millions who lost their lives because of a racist regime that believed that some human beings simply did not deserve to live -- not because of what they had done, but because of who they were. Laurence Rees has spent twenty-five years meeting the survivors and perpetrators of the Third Reich and the Holocaust. In this sweeping history, he combines this testimony with the latest academic research to investigate how history's greatest crime was possible. Rees argues that while hatred of the Jews was at the epicenter of Nazi thinking, we cannot fully understand the Holocaust without considering Nazi plans to kill millions of non-Jews as well. He also reveals that there was no single overarching blueprint for the Holocaust. Instead, a series of escalations compounded into the horror. Though Hitler was most responsible for what happened, the blame is widespread, Rees reminds us, and the effects are enduring. The Holocaust: A New History is an accessible yet authoritative account of this terrible crime. A chronological, intensely readable narrative, this is a compelling exposition of humanity's darkest moment.

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Prohibition - Edward Behr Cover Art

Prohibition

Prohibition Thirteen Years That Changed America by Edward Behr

From the bestselling author of The Last Emperor comes this rip-roaring history of the government’s attempt to end America’s love affair with liquor—which failed miserably. On January 16, 1920, America went dry. For the next thirteen years, the Eighteenth Amendment prohibited the making, selling, or transportation of “intoxicating liquors,” heralding a new era of crime and corruption on all levels of society. Instead of eliminating alcohol, Prohibition spurred more drinking than ever before. Formerly law-abiding citizens brewed moonshine, became rum- runners, and frequented speakeasies. Druggists, who could dispense “medicinal quantities” of alcohol, found their customer base exploding overnight. So many people from all walks of life defied the ban that Will Rogers famously quipped, “Prohibition is better than no liquor at all.” Here is the full, rollicking story of those tumultuous days, from the flappers of the Jazz Age and the “beautiful and the damned” who drank their lives away in smoky speakeasies to bootlegging gangsters—Pretty Boy Floyd, Bonnie and Clyde, Al Capone—and the notorious St. Valentine’s Day Massacre. Edward Behr paints a portrait of an era that changed the country forever.

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Secret Societies - John Lawrence Reynolds Cover Art

Secret Societies

Secret Societies Inside the Freemasons, the Yakuza, Skull and Bones, and the World's Most Notorious Secret Organizations by John Lawrence Reynolds

They generate fear, suspicion, and—above all—fascination. Secret societies thrive among us, yet they remain shrouded in mystery. Their secrecy suggests, to many, sacrilege or crime, and their loyalties are often accused of undermining governments and tipping the scales of justice. The Freemasons, for example, hold more seats of power in the U.S. government than any other organization. No fewer than sixteen presidents have declared their Masonic affiliation, and there may have been more. Secret societies have infiltrated pop culture as well. Celebrity members of Kabbalah include Madonna, Demi Moore, and Elizabeth Taylor, among others. From the Mafia and the Yakuza to the Priory of Sion, Skull and Bones and the Templars, Reynolds offers an illuminating and entertaining exploration of the stories—confirmed and fabricated—that surround these societies, as well as provides detailed information on their origins, initiations, rituals, and secret signs. Dispelling myths and providing gripping revelations—such as a direct historical link between the Assassins of the Middle Ages and today’s Al Qaeda— Secret Societies gives us a smart, surprising look at the best known and often least understood covert organizations.

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The Splendid and the Vile - Erik Larson Cover Art

The Splendid and the Vile

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 TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE EAST HAMPTON STAR  AND ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The New York Times Book Review • Time • Vogue • NPR •  The Washington Post • 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.

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In the Name of Humanity - Max Wallace Cover Art

In the Name of Humanity

In the Name of Humanity The Secret Deal to End the Holocaust by Max Wallace

Shortlisted for the 2018 RBC Taylor prize for literary nonfiction “A riveting tale of the previously unknown and fascinating story of the unsung angels who strove to foil the Final Solution.”— Kirkus starred review On November 25, 1944, prisoners at Auschwitz heard a deafening explosion. Emerging from their barracks, they witnessed the crematoria and gas chambers--part of the largest killing machine in human history--come crashing down. Most assumed they had fallen victim to inmate sabotage and thousands silently cheered. However, the Final Solution's most efficient murder apparatus had not been felled by Jews, but rather by the ruthless architect of mass genocide, Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler. It was an edict that has puzzled historians for more than six decades. Holocaust historian and New York Times bestselling author Max Wallace--a veteran interviewer for Steven Spielberg's Shoah Foundation--draws on an explosive cache of recently declassified documents and an account from the only living eyewitness to unravel the mystery. He uncovers an astounding story involving the secret negotiations of an unlikely trio--a former fascist President of Switzerland, a courageous Orthodox Jewish woman, and Himmler's Finnish osteopath--to end the Holocaust, aided by clandestine Swedish and American intelligence efforts. He documents their efforts to deceive Himmler, who, as Germany's defeat loomed, sought to enter an alliance with the West against the Soviet Union. By exploiting that fantasy and persuading Himmler to betray Hitler's orders, the group helped to prevent the liquidation of tens of thousands of Jews during the last months of the Second World War, and thwarted Hitler's plan to take "every last Jew" down with the Reich. Deeply researched and dramatically recounted, In the Name of Humanity is a remarkable tale of bravery and audacious tactics that will help rewrite the history of the Holocaust.

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First Principles - Thomas E. Ricks Cover Art

First Principles

First Principles What America's Founders Learned from the Greeks and Romans and How That Shaped Our Country by Thomas E. Ricks

New York Times Bestseller Editors' Choice —New York Times Book Review "Ricks knocks it out of the park with this jewel of a book. On every page I learned something new. Read it every night if you want to restore your faith in our country." —James Mattis, General, U.S. Marines (ret.) & 26th Secretary of Defense  The Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and #1 New York Times bestselling author offers a revelatory new book about the founding fathers, examining their educations and, in particular, their devotion to the ancient Greek and Roman classics—and how that influence would shape their ideals and the new American nation. On the morning after the 2016 presidential election, Thomas Ricks awoke with a few questions on his mind: What kind of nation did we now have? Is it what was designed or intended by the nation’s founders? Trying to get as close to the source as he could, Ricks decided to go back and read the philosophy and literature that shaped the founders’ thinking, and the letters they wrote to each other debating these crucial works—among them the Iliad, Plutarch’s Lives, and the works of Xenophon, Epicurus, Aristotle, Cato, and Cicero. For though much attention has been paid the influence of English political philosophers, like John Locke, closer to their own era, the founders were far more immersed in the literature of the ancient world. The first four American presidents came to their classical knowledge differently. Washington absorbed it mainly from the elite culture of his day; Adams from the laws and rhetoric of Rome; Jefferson immersed himself in classical philosophy, especially Epicureanism; and Madison, both a groundbreaking researcher and a deft politician, spent years studying the ancient world like a political scientist. Each of their experiences, and distinctive learning, played an essential role in the formation of the United States. In examining how and what they studied, looking at them in the unusual light of the classical world, Ricks is able to draw arresting and fresh portraits of men we thought we knew. First Principles follows these four members of the Revolutionary generation from their youths to their adult lives, as they grappled with questions of independence, and forming and keeping a new nation. In doing so, Ricks interprets not only the effect of the ancient world on each man, and how that shaped our constitution and government, but offers startling new insights into these legendary leaders.

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Killing Crazy Horse - Bill O'Reilly & Martin Dugard Cover Art

Killing Crazy Horse

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.

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Robert E. Lee and Me - Ty Seidule Cover Art

Robert E. Lee and Me

Robert E. Lee and Me A Southerner's Reckoning with the Myth of the Lost Cause by Ty Seidule

In a forceful but humane narrative, former soldier and head of the West Point history department Ty Seidule's Robert E. Lee and Me challenges the myths and lies of the Confederate legacy—and explores why some of this country’s oldest wounds have never healed. Ty Seidule grew up revering Robert E. Lee. From his southern childhood to his service in the U.S. Army, every part of his life reinforced the Lost Cause myth: that Lee was the greatest man who ever lived, and that the Confederates were underdogs who lost the Civil War with honor. Now, as a retired brigadier general and Professor Emeritus of History at West Point, his view has radically changed. From a soldier, a scholar, and a southerner, Ty Seidule believes that American history demands a reckoning. In a unique blend of history and reflection, Seidule deconstructs the truth about the Confederacy—that its undisputed primary goal was the subjugation and enslavement of Black Americans—and directly challenges the idea of honoring those who labored to preserve that system and committed treason in their failed attempt to achieve it. Through the arc of Seidule’s own life, as well as the culture that formed him, he seeks a path to understanding why the facts of the Civil War have remained buried beneath layers of myth and even outright lies—and how they embody a cultural gulf that separates millions of Americans to this day. Part history lecture, part meditation on the Civil War and its fallout, and part memoir, Robert E. Lee and Me challenges the deeply-held legends and myths of the Confederacy—and provides a surprising interpretation of essential truths that our country still has a difficult time articulating and accepting.

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Hitler - Ernst Hanfstaengl & John Willard Toland Cover Art

Hitler

Hitler The Memoir of the Nazi Insider Who Turned Against the Fuhrer by Ernst Hanfstaengl & John Willard Toland

Of American and German parentage, Ernst Hanfstaengl graduated from Harvard and ran the family business in New York for a dozen years before returning to Germany in 1921. By chance he heard a then little-known Adolf Hitler speaking in a Munich beer hall and, mesmerized by his extraordinary oratorical power, was convinced the man would some day come to power. As Hitler’s fanatical theories and ideas hardened, however, he surrounded himself with rabid extremists such as Goering, Hess, and Goebbels, and Hanfstaengl became estranged from him. But with the Nazi’s major unexpected political triumph in 1930, Hitler became a national figure, and he invited Hanfstaengl to be his foreign press secretary. It is from this unique insider’s position that the author provides a vivid, intimate view of Hitler—with his neuroses, repressions, and growing megalomania—over the next several years. In 1937, four years after Hitler came to power, relations between Hanfstaengl and the Nazis had deteriorated to such a degree that he was forced to flee for his life, escaping to Switzerland. Here is a portrait of Hitler as you’ve rarely seen him.

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The Big Change - Frederick Lewis Allen Cover Art

The Big Change

The Big Change America Transforms Itself, 1900–1950 by Frederick Lewis Allen

The New York Times –bestselling history of the first half of the twentieth century—five decades that transformed America—from the author of Only Yesterday .   During the first fifty years of the twentieth century, the United States saw two world wars, a devastating economic depression, and more social, political, and economic changes than in any other five-decade period before. Frederick Lewis Allen, former editor of Harper’s magazine, recounts these years—spanning World War I, the Progressive Era, the Great Depression, World War II, and the early Cold War—in vivid detail, from the fashions and customs of the times to major events that changed the course of history.   Politically, the United States grew into its own as a global superpower during these years, even as domestic developments altered the everyday lives of its citizens. The introduction of the automobile, mass production, and organized labor changed the way Americans lived and worked, while innovations like penicillin and government regulation of food safety contributed to an increase in average life expectancy from forty-nine years in 1900 to sixty-eight years in 1950. With the development of a strong, centralized government, a thriving middle class, and widespread economic prosperity, the nation emerged from the Second World War transformed in virtually every way.   Richly informative and delightfully readable, The Big Change is an indispensable volume charting the many changes that ushered in our contemporary age.  

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Empire of the Summer Moon - S. C. Gwynne Cover Art

Empire of the Summer Moon

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.

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Eagle Down - Jessica Donati Cover Art

Eagle Down

Eagle Down The Last Special Forces Fighting the Forever War by Jessica Donati

“POWERFUL, IMPORTANT, AND SEARING.” —GENERAL DAVID PETRAEUS, U.S. Army (ret.), former commander, U.S. Central Command, former CIA director The Wall Street Journal’s national security reporter takes readers into the lives of the US Special Forces on the front lines against the Taliban and Islamic State, where a new and covert war is keeping Afghanistan from collapse. In 2015, the White House claimed triumphantly that “the longest war in American history” was over. But for some, it was just the beginning of a new war, fought by Special Operations Forces, with limited resources, little governmental oversight, and contradictory orders.   With big picture insight and on-the-ground grit, Jessica Donati shares the stories of the impossible choices these soldiers must make. After the fall of a major city to the Taliban that year, Hutch, a battle-worn Green Beret on his fifth combat tour was ordered on a secret mission to recapture it and inadvertently called in an airstrike on a Doctors Without Borders hospital, killing dozens. Caleb stepped on a bomb during a mission in notorious Sangin. Andy was trapped with his team during a raid with a crashed Black Hawk and no air support.   Through successive policy directives under the Obama and Trump administrations, America has come to rely almost entirely on US Special Forces, and without a long-term plan, is failing to stabilize Afghanistan, undermining US interests both at home and abroad.   Eagle Down is a riveting account of the heroism, sacrifice, and tragedy experienced by those that continue to fight America’s longest war.

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Land - Simon Winchester Cover Art

Land

Land How the Hunger for Ownership Shaped the Modern World by Simon Winchester

The author of The Professor and the Madman and The Perfectionists explores the notion of property—our proprietary relationship with the land—through human history, how it has shaped us and what it will mean for our future. Land—whether meadow or mountainside, desert or peat bog, parkland or pasture, suburb or city—is central to our existence. It quite literally underlies and underpins everything. Employing the keen intellect, insatiable curiosity, and narrative verve that are the foundations of his previous bestselling works, Simon Winchester examines what we human beings are doing—and have done—with the billions of acres that together make up the solid surface of our planet. Land: How the Hunger for Ownership Shaped the Modern World examines in depth how we acquire land, how we steward it, how and why we fight over it, and finally, how we can, and on occasion do, come to share it. Ultimately, Winchester confronts the essential question: who actually owns the world’s land—and why does it matter? 

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The Spy and the Traitor - Ben Macintyre Cover Art

The Spy and the Traitor

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

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER •  The 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.

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

With the Old Breed

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

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

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Jesus and John Wayne: How White Evangelicals Corrupted a Faith and Fractured a Nation - Kristin Kobes Du Mez Cover Art

Jesus and John Wayne: How White Evangelicals Corrupted a Faith and Fractured a Nation by Kristin Kobes Du Mez

A scholar of American Christianity presents a seventy-five-year history of evangelicalism that identifies the forces that have turned Donald Trump into a hero of the Religious Right. How did a libertine who lacks even the most basic knowledge of the Christian faith win 81 percent of the white evangelical vote in 2016? And why have white evangelicals become a presidential reprobate’s staunchest supporters? These are among the questions acclaimed historian Kristin Kobes Du Mez asks in Jesus and John Wayne, which delves beyond facile headlines to explain how white evangelicals have brought us to our fractured political moment. Challenging the commonly held assumption that the “moral majority” backed Donald Trump for purely pragmatic reasons, Du Mez reveals that Donald Trump in fact represents the fulfillment, rather than the betrayal, of white evangelicals’ most deeply held values. Jesus and John Wayne is a sweeping account of the last seventy-five years of white evangelicalism, showing how American evangelicals have worked for decades to replace the Jesus of the Gospels with an idol of rugged masculinity and Christian nationalism, or in the words of one modern chaplain, with “a spiritual badass.” As Du Mez explains, the key to understanding this transformation is to recognize the role of culture in modern American evangelicalism. Many of today’s evangelicals may not be theologically astute, but they know their VeggieTales, they’ve read John Eldredge’s Wild at Heart, and they learned about purity before they learned about sex—and they have a silver ring to prove it. Evangelical books, films, music, clothing, and merchandise shape the beliefs of millions. And evangelical popular culture is teeming with muscular heroes—mythical warriors and rugged soldiers, men like Oliver North, Ronald Reagan, Mel Gibson, and the Duck Dynasty clan, who assert white masculine power in defense of “Christian America.” Chief among these evangelical legends is John Wayne, an icon of a lost time when men were uncowed by political correctness, unafraid to tell it like it was, and did what needed to be done. Trump, in other words, is hardly the first flashy celebrity to capture evangelicals’ hearts and minds, nor is he the first strongman to promise evangelicals protection and power. Indeed, the values and viewpoints at the heart of white evangelicalism today—patriarchy, authoritarian rule, aggressive foreign policy, fear of Islam, ambivalence toward #MeToo, and opposition to Black Lives Matter and the LGBTQ community—are likely to persist long after Trump leaves office. A much-needed reexamination, Jesus and John Wayne explains why evangelicals have rallied behind the least-Christian president in American history and how they have transformed their faith in the process, with enduring consequences for all of us.

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Islands of the Damned - R.V. Burgin & Bill Marvel Cover Art

Islands of the Damned

Islands of the Damned A Marine at War in the Pacific by R.V. Burgin & Bill Marvel

A remarkable eyewitness account of the most brutal combat of the Pacific War, from Peleliu to Okinawa, this is the true story of R.V. Burgin, the real-life World War II Marine Corps hero featured in HBO®'s The Pacific . “Read his story and marvel at the man...and those like him.”—Tom Hanks When a young Texan named R.V. Burgin joined the Marines 1942, he never imagined what was waiting for him a world away in the Pacific. There, amid steamy jungles, he encountered a ferocious and desperate enemy in the Japanese, engaging them in some of the most grueling and deadly fights of the war.   In this remarkable memoir, Burgin reveals his life as a special breed of Marine. Schooled by veterans who had endured the cauldron of Guadalcanal, Burgin’s company soon confronted snipers, repulsed jungle ambushes, encountered abandoned corpses of hara-kiri victims, and warded off howling banzai attacks as they island-hopped from one bloody battle to the next. In his two years at war, Burgin rose from a green private to a seasoned sergeant, fighting from New Britain through Peleliu and on to Okinawa, where he earned a Bronze Star for valor.   With unforgettable drama and an understated elegance, Burgin’s gripping narrative stands alongside those of classic Pacific chroniclers like Robert Leckie and Eugene Sledge—indeed, Burgin was even Sledge’s platoon sergeant. Here is a deeply moving account of World War II, bringing to life the hell that was the Pacific War.

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America and Iran - John Ghazvinian Cover Art

America and Iran

America and Iran A History, 1720 to the Present by John Ghazvinian

An important, urgently needed book--a hugely ambitious, illuminating portrait of the two-centuries-long entwined histories of Iran and America, and the first book to examine, in all its aspects, the rich and fraught relations between these two powers--once allies, now adversaries. By an admired historian and the author of Untapped: The Scramble for Africa's Oil ("he would do Graham Greene proud"-- Kirkus Reviews ). In this rich, fascinating history, John Ghazvinian traces the complex story of the relations of these two powers back to the Persian Empire of the eighteenth century--the subject of great admiration of Thomas Jefferson and John Quincy Adams--and an America seen by Iranians as an ideal to emulate for their own government. Drawing on years of archival research both in the United States and Iran--including access to Iranian government archives rarely available to Western scholars--the Iranian-born, Oxford-educated historian leads us through the four seasons of U.S.-Iran relations: the "spring" of mutual fascination; the "summer" of early interactions; the "autumn" of close strategic ties; and the long, dark "winter" of mutual hatred. Ghazvinian, with grasp and a storyteller's ability, makes clear where, how, and when it all went wrong. And shows why two countries that once had such heartfelt admiration for each other became such committed enemies; showing us, as well, how it didn't have to turn out this way.

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The Devil in the White City - Erik Larson Cover Art

The Devil in the White City

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

This New York Times bestseller intertwines the true tale of the 1893 World's Fair and the cunning serial killer who used the fair to lure his victims to their death. 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 a time of magic and majesty, made all the more appealing by a supporting cast of real-life characters, including Buffalo Bill, Theodore Dreiser, Susan B. Anthony, Thomas Edison, Archduke Francis Ferdinand, and others. Erik Larson’s gifts as a storyteller are magnificently displayed in this rich narrative of the master builder, the killer, and the great fair that obsessed them both.

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Band of Brothers - Stephen E. Ambrose Cover Art

Band of Brothers

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

Stephen E. Ambrose’s 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.

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A Shot in the Moonlight - Ben Montgomery Cover Art

A Shot in the Moonlight

A Shot in the Moonlight How a Freed Slave and a Confederate Soldier Fought for Justice in the Jim Crow South by Ben Montgomery

The sensational true story of George Dinning, a freed slave, who in 1899 joined forces with a Confederate war hero in search of justice in the Jim Crow south. “Taut and tense. Inspiring and terrifying in its timelessness.”(Colson Whitehead, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of  The Underground Railroad  ) Named a most anticipated book of 2021 by O, The Oprah Magazine Named a "must-read" by the  Chicago Review of Books One of CNN's most anticipated books of 2021  After moonrise on the cold night of January 21, 1897, a mob of twenty-five white men gathered in a patch of woods near Big Road in southwestern Simpson County, Kentucky. Half carried rifles and shotguns, and a few tucked pistols in their pants. Their target was George Dinning, a freed slave who'd farmed peacefully in the area for 14 years, and who had been wrongfully accused of stealing livestock from a neighboring farm. When the mob began firing through the doors and windows of Dinning's home, he fired back in self-defense, shooting and killing the son of a wealthy Kentucky family. So began one of the strangest legal episodes in American history — one that ended with Dinning becoming the first Black man in America to win damages after a wrongful murder conviction. Drawing on a wealth of never-before-published material, bestselling author and Pulitzer Prize finalist Ben Montgomery resurrects this dramatic but largely forgotten story, and the unusual convergence of characters — among them a Confederate war hero-turned-lawyer named Bennett H. Young, Kentucky governor William O'Connell Bradley, and George Dinning himself — that allowed this unlikely story of justice to unfold in a time and place where justice was all too rare.

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Leadership - Doris Kearns Goodwin Cover Art

Leadership

Leadership In Turbulent Times by Doris Kearns Goodwin

The New York Times bestselling book about the early development, growth, and exercise of leadership from Pulitzer Prize-winning author Doris Kearns Goodwin “should help us raise our expectations of our national leaders, our country, and ourselves” ( The Washington Post ). “After five decades of magisterial output, Doris Kearns Goodwin leads the league of presidential historians” ( USA TODAY ). In her “inspiring” ( The Christian Science Monitor ) Leadership , Doris Kearns Goodwin draws upon the four presidents she has studied most closely—Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Lyndon B. Johnson (in civil rights)—to show how they recognized leadership qualities within themselves and were recognized as leaders by others. By looking back to their first entries into public life, we encounter them at a time when their paths were filled with confusion, fear, and hope. Leadership tells the story of how they all collided with dramatic reversals that disrupted their lives and threatened to shatter forever their ambitions. Nonetheless, they all emerged fitted to confront the contours and dilemmas of their times. At their best, all four were guided by a sense of moral purpose. At moments of great challenge, they were able to summon their talents to enlarge the opportunities and lives of others. Does the leader make the times or do the times make the leader? “If ever our nation needed a short course on presidential leadership, it is now” ( The Seattle Times ). This seminal work provides an accessible and essential road map for aspiring and established leaders in every field. In today’s polarized world, these stories of authentic leadership in times of apprehension and fracture take on a singular urgency. “Goodwin’s volume deserves much praise—it is insightful, readable, compelling: Her book arrives just in time” ( The Boston Globe ).

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The Gentle Tamers - Dee Brown Cover Art

The Gentle Tamers

The Gentle Tamers Women of the Old Wild West by Dee Brown

A fascinating history of women on America’s western frontier by the #1 New York Times –bestselling author of Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee . Popular culture has taught us to picture the Old West as a land of men, whether it’s the lone hero on horseback or crowds of card players in a rough-and-tumble saloon. But the taming of the frontier involved plenty of women, too—and this book tells their stories.   At first, female pioneers were indeed rare—when the town of Denver was founded in 1859, there were only five women among a population of almost a thousand. But the adventurers arrived, slowly but surely. There was Frances Grummond, a sheltered Southern girl who married a Yankee and traveled with him out west, only to lose him in a massacre. Esther Morris, a dignified middle-aged lady, held a tea party in South Pass City, Wyoming, that would play a role in the long, slow battle for women’s suffrage. Josephine Meeker, an Oberlin College graduate, was determined to educate the Colorado Indians—but was captured by the Ute. And young Virginia Reed, only thirteen, set out for California as part of a group that would become known as the Donner Party.   With tales of notables such as Elizabeth Custer, Carry Nation, and Lola Montez, this social history touches upon many familiar topics—from the early Mormons to the gold rush to the dawn of the railroads—with a new perspective. This enlightening and entertaining book goes beyond characters like Calamity Jane to reveal the true diversity of the great western migration of the nineteenth century.   This ebook features an illustrated biography of Dee Brown including rare photos from the author’s personal collection.

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Evil Geniuses - Kurt Andersen Cover Art

Evil Geniuses

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.   “The one book everyone must read as we figure out how to rebuild our country.”—Walter Isaacson, author of  Steve Jobs  and  Leonardo da Vinci 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.

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The Fall of Japan - William Craig Cover Art

The Fall of Japan

The Fall of Japan The Final Weeks of World War II in the Pacific by William Craig

New York Times Bestseller: A “virtually faultless” account of the last weeks of WWII in the Pacific from both Japanese and American perspectives ( The New York Times Book Review ). By midsummer 1945, Japan had long since lost the war in the Pacific. The people were not told the truth, and neither was the emperor. Japanese generals, admirals, and statesmen knew, but only a handful of leaders were willing to accept defeat. Most were bent on fighting the Allies until the last Japanese soldier died and the last city burned to the ground.   Exhaustively researched and vividly told, The Fall of Japan masterfully chronicles the dramatic events that brought an end to the Pacific War and forced a once-mighty military nation to surrender unconditionally.   From the ferocious fighting on Okinawa to the all-but-impossible mission to drop the 2nd atom bomb, and from Franklin D. Roosevelt’s White House to the Tokyo bunker where tearful Japanese leaders first told the emperor the truth, William Craig captures the pivotal events of the war with spellbinding authority. The Fall of Japan brings to life both celebrated and lesser-known historical figures, including Admiral Takijiro Onishi, the brash commander who drew up the Yamamoto plan for the attack on Pearl Harbor and inspired the death cult of kamikaze pilots., This astonishing account ranks alongside Cornelius Ryan’s The Longest Day and John Toland’s The Rising Sun as a masterpiece of World War II history.

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Ordinary Men - Christopher R. Browning Cover Art

Ordinary Men

Ordinary Men Reserve Police Battalion 101 and the Final Solution in Poland by Christopher R. Browning

“A remarkable—and singularly chilling—glimpse of human behavior. . .This meticulously researched book...represents a major contribution to the literature of the Holocaust."—Newsweek  Christopher R. Browning’s shocking account of how a unit of average middle-aged Germans became the cold-blooded murderers of tens of thousands of Jews—now with a new afterword and additional photographs. Ordinary Men is the true story of Reserve Police Battalion 101 of the German Order Police, which was responsible for mass shootings as well as round-ups of Jewish people for deportation to Nazi death camps in Poland in 1942. Browning argues that most of the men of RPB 101 were not fanatical Nazis but, rather, ordinary middle-aged, working-class men who committed these atrocities out of a mixture of motives, including the group dynamics of conformity, deference to authority, role adaptation, and the altering of moral norms to justify their actions. Very quickly three groups emerged within the battalion: a core of eager killers, a plurality who carried out their duties reliably but without initiative, and a small minority who evaded participation in the acts of killing without diminishing the murderous efficiency of the battalion whatsoever. While this book discusses a specific Reserve Unit during WWII, the general argument Browning makes is that most people succumb to the pressures of a group setting and commit actions they would never do of their own volition.   Ordinary Men is a powerful, chilling, and important work with themes and arguments that continue to resonate today.  

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The Residence - Kate Andersen Brower Cover Art

The Residence

The Residence Inside the Private World of the White House by Kate Andersen Brower

“Absolutely delicious.”—Washington Post From the mystique of the glamorous Kennedys to the tumult that surrounded Bill and Hillary Clinton during the president’s impeachment to the historic tenure of Barack and Michelle Obama, each new administration brings a unique set of personalities to the White House—and a new set of challenges to the fiercely loyal and hardworking people who serve them: the White House residence staff. In her runaway bestseller The Residence, former White House correspondent Kate Andersen Brower pulls back the curtain on the world’s most famous address. Drawing on hundreds of hours of interviews with butlers, maids, chefs, florists, doormen, and other staffers—as well as conversations with three former first ladies and the children of four presidents—Brower offers a group portrait of the dedicated professionals who orchestrate lavish state dinners; stand ready during meetings with foreign dignitaries; care for the president and first lady’s young children; and cater to every need the first couple may have, however sublime or, on occasion, ridiculous. “Superbly reported. . . . A fascinating backstage account of the world’s most famous residence.”—Judy Woodruff, anchor, PBS NewsHour and former White House Correspondent for NBC News

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Devil in the Grove - Gilbert King Cover Art

Devil in the Grove

Devil in the Grove Thurgood Marshall, the Groveland Boys, and the Dawn of a New America by Gilbert King

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize “A must-read, cannot-put-down history.” — Thomas Friedman, New York Times Arguably the most important American lawyer of the twentieth century, Thurgood Marshall was on the verge of bringing the landmark suit Brown v. Board of Education before the U.S. Supreme Court when he became embroiled in a case that threatened to change the course of the civil rights movement and cost him his life. In 1949, Florida's orange industry was booming, and citrus barons got rich on the backs of cheap Jim Crow labor with the help of Sheriff Willis V. McCall, who ruled Lake County with murderous resolve. When a white seventeen-year-old girl cried rape, McCall pursued four young black men who dared envision a future for themselves beyond the groves. The Ku Klux Klan joined the hunt, hell-bent on lynching the men who came to be known as "the Groveland Boys." Associates thought it was suicidal for Marshall to wade into the "Florida Terror," but the young lawyer would not shrink from the fight despite continuous death threats against him. Drawing on a wealth of never-before-published material, including the FBI's unredacted Groveland case files, as well as unprecedented access to the NAACP's Legal Defense Fund files, Gilbert King shines new light on this remarkable civil rights crusader.

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The Warmth of Other Suns - Isabel Wilkerson Cover Art

The Warmth of Other Suns

The Warmth of Other Suns The Epic Story of America's Great Migration by Isabel Wilkerson

In this epic, beautifully written masterwork, Pulitzer Prize–winning author Isabel Wilkerson chronicles one of the great untold stories of American history: the decades-long migration of black citizens who fled the South for northern and western cities, in search of a better life. NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD WINNER         From 1915 to 1970, this exodus of almost six million people changed the face of America. Wilkerson compares this epic migration to the migrations of other peoples in history. She interviewed more than a thousand people, and gained access to new data and official records, to write this definitive and vividly dramatic account of how these American journeys unfolded, altering our cities, our country, and ourselves.   With stunning historical detail, Wilkerson tells this story through the lives of three unique individuals: Ida Mae Gladney, who in 1937 left sharecropping and prejudice in Mississippi for Chicago, where she achieved quiet blue-collar success and, in old age, voted for Barack Obama when he ran for an Illinois Senate seat; sharp and quick-tempered George Starling, who in 1945 fled Florida for Harlem, where he endangered his job fighting for civil rights, saw his family fall, and finally found peace in God; and Robert Foster, who left Louisiana in 1953 to pursue a medical career, the personal physician to Ray Charles as part of a glitteringly successful medical career, which allowed him to purchase a grand home where he often threw exuberant parties. Wilkerson brilliantly captures their first treacherous and exhausting cross-country trips by car and train and their new lives in colonies that grew into ghettos, as well as how they changed these cities with southern food, faith, and culture and improved them with discipline, drive, and hard work. Both a riveting microcosm and a major assessment, The Warmth of Other Suns is a bold, remarkable, and riveting work, a superb account of an “unrecognized immigration” within our own land. Through the breadth of its narrative, the beauty of the writing, the depth of its research, and the fullness of the people and lives portrayed herein, this book is destined to become a classic. MARK LYNTON HISTORY PRIZE WINNER HEARTLAND AWARD WINNER  DAYTON LITERARY PEACE PRIZE FINALIST NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The New York Times  • USA Today • O: The Oprah Magazine • Amazon • Publishers Weekly •  Salon • Newsday  • The Daily Beast   NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The New Yorker •  The Washington Post • The Economist • Boston Globe • San Francisco Chronicle •  Chicago Tribune • Entertainment Weekly • Philadelphia Inquirer • The Guardian • The Seattle Times • St. Louis Post-Dispatch  • The Christian Science Monitor 

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Fantasyland - Kurt Andersen Cover Art

Fantasyland

Fantasyland How America Went Haywire: A 500-Year History by Kurt Andersen

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • “The single most important explanation, and the fullest explanation, of how Donald Trump became president of the United States . . . nothing less than the most important book that I have read this year.”—Lawrence O’Donnell How did we get here? In this sweeping, eloquent history of America, Kurt Andersen shows that what’s happening in our country today—this post-factual, “fake news” moment we’re all living through—is not something new, but rather the ultimate expression of our national character. America was founded by wishful dreamers, magical thinkers, and true believers, by hucksters and their suckers. Fantasy is deeply embedded in our DNA. Over the course of five centuries—from the Salem witch trials to Scientology to the Satanic Panic of the 1980s, from P. T. Barnum to Hollywood and the anything-goes, wild-and-crazy sixties, from conspiracy theories to our fetish for guns and obsession with extraterrestrials—our love of the fantastic   has made America exceptional in a way that we've never fully acknowledged. From the start, our ultra-individualism was attached to epic dreams and epic fantasies—every citizen was free to believe absolutely anything, or to pretend to be absolutely anybody. With the gleeful erudition and tell-it-like-it-is ferocity of a Christopher Hitchens, Andersen explores whether the great American experiment in liberty has gone off the rails. Fantasyland  could not appear at a more perfect moment. If you want to understand Donald Trump and the culture of twenty-first-century America, if you want to know how the lines between reality and illusion have become dangerously blurred, you must read this book. NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE “This is a blockbuster of a book. Take a deep breath and dive in.” —Tom Brokaw “[An] absorbing, must-read polemic . . . a provocative new study of America’s cultural history.” — Newsday “Compelling and totally unnerving.” — The Village Voice “A frighteningly convincing and sometimes uproarious picture of a country in steep, perhaps terminal decline that would have the founding fathers weeping into their beards.” — The Guardian “This is an important book—the indispensable book—for understanding America in the age of Trump.” —Walter Isaacson, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Leonardo da Vinci

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Clanlands - Sam Heughan, Graham McTavish & Diana Gabaldon Cover Art

Clanlands

Clanlands Whisky, Warfare, and a Scottish Adventure Like No Other by Sam Heughan, Graham McTavish & Diana Gabaldon

THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER With a foreword by Diana Gabaldon. Two men. One country. And a lot of whisky. As stars of Outlander , Sam and Graham eat, sleep and breathe the Highlands on this epic road trip around their homeland. They discover that the real thing is even greater than fiction. Clanlands is the story of their journey. Armed with their trusty campervan and a sturdy friendship, these two Scotsmen are on the adventure of a lifetime to explore the majesty of Scotland. A wild ride by boat, kayak, bicycle and motorbike, they travel from coast to loch and peak to valley and delve into Scotland''s history and culture, from timeless poetry to bloody warfare. With near-death experiences, many weeks in a confined space together, and a cast of unforgettable characters, Graham and Sam''s friendship matures like a fine Scotch. They reflect on their acting careers in film and theatre, find a new awestruck respect for their native country and, as with any good road trip, they even find themselves. Hold onto your kilts... this is Scotland as you''ve never seen it before.

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Dead Wake - Erik Larson Cover Art

Dead Wake

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 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.

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Warfare in the Ancient World - Brian Todd Carey, Joshua B. Allfree & John Cairns Cover Art

Warfare in the Ancient World

Warfare in the Ancient World by Brian Todd Carey, Joshua B. Allfree & John Cairns

Warfare in the Ancient World explores how civilizations and cultures made war on the battlefields of the Near East and Europe between the rise of civilization in Mesopotamia in the late fourth millenium BC and the fall of Rome.Through a exploration of twenty-six selected battles, military historian Brian Todd Carey surveys the changing tactical relationships between the four weapon systems - heavy and light infantry and hevay and light cavalry - focusing on how shock and missile combat evolved from tentative beginnings in the Bronze Age to the highly developed military organization created by the Romans.The art of warfare reached a very sophisticated level of development during this three millenia span. Commanders fully realized the tactical capabilities of shock and missile combat in large battlefield situations. Modern principles of war, like the primacy of the offensive, mass, and economy of force, were understood by pre-modern generals and applied on battlefields throughout the period.Through the use of dozens of multiphase tactical maps, this fascinating introduction to the art of war during western civilizations ancient and classical periods pulls together the primary and secondary sources and creates a powerful historical narrative. The result is a synthetic work that will be essential reading for students and armchair historians alike.

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Stamped from the Beginning - Ibram X. Kendi Cover Art

Stamped from the Beginning

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

The National Book Award winning history of how racist ideas were created, spread, and deeply rooted in American society. Some Americans insist that we're living in a post-racial society. But racist thought is not just alive and well in America -- it is more sophisticated and more insidious than ever. And as award-winning historian Ibram X. Kendi argues, racist ideas have a long and lingering history, one in which nearly every great American thinker is complicit. In this deeply researched and fast-moving narrative, Kendi chronicles the entire story of anti-black racist ideas and their staggering power over the course of American history. He uses the life stories of five major American intellectuals to drive this history: Puritan minister Cotton Mather, Thomas Jefferson, abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison, W.E.B. Du Bois, and legendary activist Angela Davis. As Kendi shows, racist ideas did not arise from ignorance or hatred. They were created to justify and rationalize deeply entrenched discriminatory policies and the nation's racial inequities. In shedding light on this history, Stamped from the Beginning offers us the tools we need to expose racist thinking. In the process, he gives us reason to hope.

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Lone Survivor - Marcus Luttrell & Patrick Robinson Cover Art

Lone Survivor

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.

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A People's History of the United States - Howard Zinn Cover Art

A People's History of the United States

A People's History of the United States by Howard Zinn

With a new introduction by Anthony Arnove, this updated edition of the classic national bestseller reviews the book’s thirty-five year history and demonstrates once again why it is a significant contribution to a complete and balanced understanding of American history. Since its original landmark publication in 1980, A People's History of the United States has been chronicling American history from the bottom up, throwing out the official version of history taught in schools—with its emphasis on great men in high places—to focus on the street, the home, and the, workplace. Known for its lively, clear prose as well as its scholarly research, A People's History of the United States is the only volume to tell America's story from the point of view of—and in the words of—America's women, factory workers, African-Americans, Native Americans, the working poor, and immigrant laborers. As historian Howard Zinn shows, many of our country's greatest battles—the fights for a fair wage, an eight-hour workday, child-labor laws, health and safety standards, universal suffrage, women's rights, racial equality—were carried out at the grassroots level, against bloody resistance. Covering Christopher Columbus's arrival through President Clinton's first term, A People's History of the United States, which was nominated for the American Book Award in 1981, features insightful analysis of the most important events in our history. 

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

Killing the SS

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

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

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The Lost City of the Monkey God - Douglas Preston Cover Art

The Lost City of the Monkey God

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.

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

Killing Kennedy

Killing Kennedy The End of Camelot by Bill O'Reilly & Martin Dugard

A riveting historical narrative of the shocking events surrounding the assassination of John F. Kennedy, and the follow-up to mega-bestselling author Bill O'Reilly's Killing Lincoln More than a million readers have thrilled to Bill O'Reilly's Killing Lincoln , the page-turning work of nonfiction about the shocking assassination that changed the course of American history. Now the anchor of The O'Reilly Factor recounts in gripping detail the brutal murder of John Fitzgerald Kennedy—and how a sequence of gunshots on a Dallas afternoon not only killed a beloved president but also sent the nation into the cataclysmic division of the Vietnam War and its culture-changing aftermath. In January 1961, as the Cold War escalates, John F. Kennedy struggles to contain the growth of Communism while he learns the hardships, solitude, and temptations of what it means to be president of the United States. Along the way he acquires a number of formidable enemies, among them Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev, Cuban dictator Fidel Castro, and Alan Dulles, director of the Central Intelligence Agency.  In addition, powerful elements of organized crime have begun to talk about targeting the president and his brother, Attorney General Robert Kennedy. In the midst of a 1963 campaign trip to Texas, Kennedy is gunned down by an erratic young drifter named Lee Harvey Oswald. The former Marine Corps sharpshooter escapes the scene, only to be caught and shot dead while in police custody. The events leading up to the most notorious crime of the twentieth century are almost as shocking as the assassination itself. Killing Kennedy chronicles both the heroism and deceit of Camelot, bringing history to life in ways that will profoundly move the reader.  This may well be the most talked about book of the year.

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Strongmen: Mussolini to the Present - Ruth Ben-Ghiat Cover Art

Strongmen: Mussolini to the Present

Strongmen: Mussolini to the Present by Ruth Ben-Ghiat

What modern authoritarian leaders have in common (and how they can be stopped). Ruth Ben-Ghiat is the expert on the "strongman" playbook employed by authoritarian demagogues from Mussolini to Putin—enabling her to predict with uncanny accuracy the recent experience in America. In Strongmen, she lays bare the blueprint these leaders have followed over the past 100 years, and empowers us to recognize, resist, and prevent their disastrous rule in the future. For ours is the age of authoritarian rulers: self-proclaimed saviors of the nation who evade accountability while robbing their people of truth, treasure, and the protections of democracy. They promise law and order, then legitimize lawbreaking by financial, sexual, and other predators. They use masculinity as a symbol of strength and a political weapon. Taking what you want, and getting away with it, becomes proof of male authority. They use propaganda, corruption, and violence to stay in power. Vladimir Putin and Mobutu Sese Seko’s kleptocracies, Augusto Pinochet’s torture sites, Benito Mussolini and Muammar Gaddafi’s systems of sexual exploitation, and Silvio Berlusconi and Donald Trump’s relentless misinformation: all show how authoritarian rule, far from ensuring stability, is marked by destructive chaos. No other type of leader is so transparent about prioritizing self-interest over the public good. As one country after another has discovered, the strongman is at his worst when true guidance is most needed by his country. Recounting the acts of solidarity and dignity that have undone strongmen over the past 100 years, Ben-Ghiat makes vividly clear that only by seeing the strongman for what he is—and by valuing one another as he is unable to do—can we stop him, now and in the future.

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New Orleans Vampires - Marita Crandle Cover Art

New Orleans Vampires

New Orleans Vampires History and Legend by Marita Crandle

A New Orleans historian and vampire expert uncovers the historic origins of the Southern city’s vampire legends from colonial days to the Great Depression.   New Orleans has a reputation as a home for creatures of the night. Popular books, movies and television shows have cemented the city's connection to vampires in the public imagination. But the stories of the Crescent City’s undead residents go much deeper than the tales of Sookie Stackhouse and  The Vampire Lestat . In  New Orleans Vampires , author Marita Woywod Crandle investigates the most haunting tales of vampirism in New Orleans history.   In the early days of Louisiana's colonization, rumors swirled about the fate of the Casket Girls, a group of mysterious maidens traveling to the New World from France with peculiar casket-shaped boxes. The charismatic Comte St. Germain moved to the French Quarter in the early 1900s, eerily resembling a European aristocrat of one hundred years prior bearing the same name. In the 1930s, the Carter brothers terrorized the town with their desire to feed on living human blood. Strange but true tales mix with immortal legends in this fascinating volume.

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1776 - David McCullough Cover Art

1776

1776 by David McCullough

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

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In the Garden of Beasts - Erik Larson Cover Art

In the Garden of Beasts

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

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

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The Soul of America - Jon Meacham Cover Art

The Soul of America

The Soul of America The Battle for Our Better Angels by Jon Meacham

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Pulitzer Prize–winning author Jon Meacham helps us understand the present moment in American politics and life by looking back at critical times in our history when hope overcame division and fear. ONE OF OPRAH’S “BOOKS THAT HELP ME THROUGH” • NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY NPR • The Christian Science Monitor • Southern Living Our current climate of partisan fury is not new, and in The Soul of America Meacham shows us how what Abraham Lincoln called the “better angels of our nature” have repeatedly won the day. Painting surprising portraits of Lincoln and other presidents, including Ulysses S. Grant, Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, and Lyndon B. Johnson, and illuminating the courage of such influential citizen activists as Martin Luther King, Jr., early suffragettes Alice Paul and Carrie Chapman Catt, civil rights pioneers Rosa Parks and John Lewis, First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, and Army-McCarthy hearings lawyer Joseph N. Welch, Meacham brings vividly to life turning points in American history. He writes about the Civil War, Reconstruction, and the birth of the Lost Cause; the backlash against immigrants in the First World War and the resurgence of the Ku Klux Klan in the 1920s; the fight for women’s rights; the demagoguery of Huey Long and Father Coughlin and the isolationist work of America First in the years before World War II; the anti-Communist witch-hunts led by Senator Joseph McCarthy; and Lyndon Johnson’s crusade against Jim Crow. Each of these dramatic hours in our national life have been shaped by the contest to lead the country to look forward rather than back, to assert hope over fear—a struggle that continues even now. While the American story has not always—or even often—been heroic, we have been sustained by a belief in progress even in the gloomiest of times. In this inspiring book, Meacham reassures us, “The good news is that we have come through such darkness before”—as, time and again, Lincoln’s better angels have found a way to prevail. Praise for The Soul of America “Brilliant, fascinating, timely . . . With compelling narratives of past eras of strife and disenchantment, Meacham offers wisdom for our own time.” —Walter Isaacson “Gripping and inspiring, The Soul of America is Jon Meacham’s declaration of his faith in America.” — Newsday “Meacham gives readers a long-term perspective on American history and a reason to believe the soul of America is ultimately one of kindness and caring, not rancor and paranoia.” — USA Today

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West Wingers - Gautam Raghavan Cover Art

West Wingers

West Wingers Stories from the Dream Chasers, Change Makers, and Hope Creators Inside the Obama White House by Gautam Raghavan

The Obama White House staff invites us behind-the-scenes of history for a deeply personal and moving look at the presidency and how the president’s staff can change the nation “ West Wingers is exceptional. . . . We have so much to learn from these stories. ”  —Joe Biden When we elect a president, we elect with them an entire team that will join them in the West Wing to help run the country. Each of these staffers has a story to tell, and in West Wingers , Barack Obama’s White House staff reveals how these extraordinary citizens shape the presidency and the nation. In these moving and revealing personal stories, eighteen Obama staffers bring us deep inside the presidency, offering intimate accounts of how they made it to the White House, what they witnessed, and what they accomplished there.  We hear from a married gay staffer pushing the president towards marriage equality; a senior aide working to implement the Affordable Care Act while battling Stage IV cancer; a hijab-wearing Muslim adviser accompanying the President to a mosque. In each one we see the human face of government, staffers devoting themselves to the issues that have defined their lives. From the triumphs of Obamacare and marriage equality to the tragedy of the Charleston shooting, this book tells the history of the Obama presidency through the men and women who worked tirelessly to support his vision for America. More than just a history though, West Wingers is an inspiring call to arms for public service, a testament to the possibility of real social change, and a powerful demonstration of what true diversity, inclusivity, and progress can look like in America. “These deeply moving stories offer more than a fascinating view into the window of history: they show us how hope becomes real, sustainable change.” —Valerie Jarrett, former senior advisor to President Obama

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The Goldsboro Broken Arrow – Second Edition - Joel Dobson Cover Art

The Goldsboro Broken Arrow – Second Edition

The Goldsboro Broken Arrow – Second Edition The B-52 Crash of January 24, 1961, and Its Potential as a Tipping Point for Nuclear War by Joel Dobson

The true story of the B-52 that disintegrated near Goldsboro, North Carolina in 1961, spilling two H-Bombs that could have led to war. “Joel Dobson has illuminated the story of the 1961 Goldsboro Broken Arrow, one of the most serious nuclear accidents in history. With meticulous detail, his book describes the inner workings of the B-52, the terrible plane crash, and the costs and consequences of this deadly accident. Dobson, a SAC veteran, compiles this rich history with an insider’s knowledge, offering a fine read to air force buffs, nuclear experts, and casual readers alike. This is the book to turn to if you want the details of what happened that fateful night in 1961.” –Barbara Moran, author of The Day We Lost the H-Bomb: Cold War, Hot Nukes and the Worst Nuclear Weapons Disaster in History ______________________________

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Isaac's Storm - Erik Larson Cover Art

Isaac's Storm

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

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

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Last Stands - Michael Walsh Cover Art

Last Stands

Last Stands Why Men Fight When All Is Lost by Michael Walsh

"A philosophical and spiritual defense of the premodern world, of the tragic view, of physical courage, and of masculinity and self-sacrifice in an age when those ancient virtues are too often caricatured and dismissed." — Victor Davis Hanson Award-winning author Michael Walsh celebrates the masculine attributes of heroism that forged American civilization and Western culture by exploring historical battles in which soldiers chose death over dishonor in Last Stands: Why Men Fight When All Is Lost . In our contemporary era, men are increasingly denied their heritage as warriors. A survival instinct that’s part of the human condition, the drive to wage war is natural. Without war, the United States would not exist. The technology that has eased manual labor, extended lifespans, and become an integral part of our lives and culture has often evolved from wartime scientific advancements. War is necessary to defend the social and political principles that define the virtues and freedoms of America and other Western nations. We should not be ashamed of the heroes who sacrificed their lives to build a better world. We should be honoring them. The son of a Korean War veteran of the Inchon landing and the battle of the Chosin Reservoir with the U.S. Marine Corps, Michael Walsh knows all about heroism, valor, and the call of duty that requires men to fight for something greater than themselves to protect their families, fellow countrymen, and most of all their fellow soldiers. In Last Stands , Walsh reveals the causes and outcomes of more than a dozen battles in which a small fighting force refused to surrender to a far larger force, often dying to the last man. From the Spartans’ defiance at Thermopylae and Roland’s epic defense of Charlemagne’s rear guard at Ronceveaux Pass, through Santa Anna’s siege of the Alamo defended by Davy Crockett and Jim Bowie to the skirmish at Little Big Horn between Crazy Horse’s Sioux nation and George Armstrong Custer’s Seventh Calvary, to the Soviets’ titanic struggle against the German Wehrmacht at Stalingrad, and more, Walsh reminds us all of the debt we owe to heroes willing to risk their lives against overwhelming odds—and how these sacrifices and battles are not only a part of military history but our common civilizational heritage.

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Ivory Vikings: The Mystery of the Most Famous Chessmen in the World and the Woman Who Made Them - Nancy Marie Brown Cover Art

Ivory Vikings: The Mystery of the Most Famous Chessmen in the World and the Woman Who Made Them by Nancy Marie Brown

In the early 1800's, on a Hebridean beach in Scotland, the sea exposed an ancient treasure cache: 93 chessmen carved from walrus ivory. Norse netsuke, each face individual, each full of quirks, the Lewis Chessmen are probably the most famous chess pieces in the world. Harry played Wizard's Chess with them in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone . Housed at the British Museum, they are among its most visited and beloved objects. Questions abounded: Who carved them? Where? Nancy Marie Brown's Ivory Vikings explores these mysteries by connecting medieval Icelandic sagas with modern archaeology, art history, forensics, and the history of board games. In the process, Ivory Vikings presents a vivid history of the 400 years when the Vikings ruled the North Atlantic, and the sea-road connected countries and islands we think of as far apart and culturally distinct: Norway and Scotland, Ireland and Iceland, and Greenland and North America. The story of the Lewis chessmen explains the economic lure behind the Viking voyages to the west in the 800s and 900s. And finally, it brings from the shadows an extraordinarily talented woman artist of the twelfth century: Margret the Adroit of Iceland.

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Long Time Coming - Michael Eric Dyson Cover Art

Long Time Coming

Long Time Coming Reckoning with Race in America by Michael Eric Dyson

AN INSTANT NATIONAL BESTSELLER This edition includes illustrations by Everett Dyson From the New York Times bestselling author of Tears We Cannot Stop , a passionate call to America to finally reckon with race and start the journey to redemption. “Powerfully illuminating, heart-wrenching, and enlightening.” -Ibram X. Kendi, bestselling author of How to Be an Antiracist “Crushingly powerful, Long Time Coming is an unfiltered Marlboro of black pain.” - Isabel Wilkerson, bestselling author of Caste "Formidable, compelling...has much to offer on our nation’s crucial need for racial reckoning and the way forward." -Bryan Stevenson, author of Just Mercy The night of May 25, 2020 changed America. George Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man, was killed during an arrest in Minneapolis when a white cop suffocated him. The video of that night’s events went viral, sparking the largest protests in the nation’s history and the sort of social unrest we have not seen since the sixties. While Floyd’s death was certainly the catalyst, (heightened by the fact that it occurred during a pandemic whose victims were disproportionately of color) it was in truth the fuse that lit an ever-filling powder keg. Long Time Coming grapples with the cultural and social forces that have shaped our nation in the brutal crucible of race. In five beautifully argued chapters—each addressed to a black martyr from Breonna Taylor to Rev. Clementa Pinckney—Dyson traces the genealogy of anti-blackness from the slave ship to the street corner where Floyd lost his life—and where America gained its will to confront the ugly truth of systemic racism. Ending with a poignant plea for hope, Dyson’s exciting new book points the way to social redemption. Long Time Coming is a necessary guide to help America finally reckon with race.

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The Guns of August - Barbara W. Tuchman Cover Art

The Guns of August

The Guns of August The Outbreak of World War I; Barbara W. Tuchman's Great War Series by Barbara W. Tuchman

Selected by the Modern Library as one of the 100 best nonfiction books of all time The Proud Tower, the Pulitzer Prize–winning The Guns of August, and The Zimmerman Telegram comprise Barbara W. Tuchman’s classic histories of the First World War era In this landmark, Pulitzer Prize–winning account, renowned historian Barbara W. Tuchman re-creates the first month of World War I: thirty days in the summer of 1914 that determined the course of the conflict, the century, and ultimately our present world. Beginning with the funeral of Edward VII, Tuchman traces each step that led to the inevitable clash. And inevitable it was, with all sides plotting their war for a generation. Dizzyingly comprehensive and spectacularly portrayed with her famous talent for evoking the characters of the war’s key players, Tuchman’s magnum opus is a classic for the ages.   Praise for The Guns of August   “A brilliant piece of military history which proves up to the hilt the force of Winston Churchill’s statement that the first month of World War I was ‘a drama never surpassed.’” — Newsweek   “More dramatic than fiction . . . a magnificent narrative—beautifully organized, elegantly phrased, skillfully paced and sustained.” — Chicago Tribune   “A fine demonstration that with sufficient art rather specialized history can be raised to the level of literature.” — The New York Times   “[ The Guns of August ] has a vitality that transcends its narrative virtues, which are considerable, and its feel for characterizations, which is excellent.” — The Wall Street Journal

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Icebound - Andrea Pitzer Cover Art

Icebound

Icebound Shipwrecked at the Edge of the World by Andrea Pitzer

In the bestselling tradition of Hampton Sides’s In the Kingdom of Ice , a riveting and cinematic tale of Dutch polar explorer William Barents and his three harrowing Arctic expeditions—the last of which resulted in a relentlessly challenging year-long fight for survival. The human story has always been one of perseverance—often against remarkable odds. The most astonishing survival tale of all might be that of 16th-century Dutch explorer William Barents and his crew of sixteen, who ventured farther north than any Europeans before and, on their third polar exploration, lost their ship off the frozen coast of Nova Zembla to unforgiving ice. The men would spend the next year fighting off ravenous polar bears, gnawing hunger, and endless winter. In Icebound , Andrea Pitzer masterfully combines a gripping tale of survival with a sweeping history of the great Age of Exploration—a time of hope, adventure, and seemingly unlimited geographic frontiers. At the story’s center is William Barents, one of the 16th century’s greatest navigators whose larger-than-life ambitions and obsessive quest to chart a path through the deepest, most remote regions of the Arctic ended in both tragedy and glory. Journalist Pitzer did extensive research, learning how to use four-hundred-year-old navigation equipment, setting out on three Arctic expeditions to retrace Barents’s steps, and visiting replicas of Barents’s ship and cabin. “A visceral, thrilling account full of tantalizing surprises” (Andrea Barrett, author of The Voyage of the Narwhal ), Pitzer’s reenactment of Barents’s ill-fated journey shows us how the human body can function at twenty degrees below, the history of mutiny, the art of celestial navigation, and the intricacies of building shelters. But above all, it gives us a first-hand glimpse into the true nature of human courage.

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The Crooked Path to Abolition: Abraham Lincoln and the Antislavery Constitution - James Oakes Cover Art

The Crooked Path to Abolition: Abraham Lincoln and the Antislavery Constitution by James Oakes

An award-winning scholar uncovers the guiding principles of Lincoln’s antislavery strategies. The long and turning path to the abolition of American slavery has often been attributed to the equivocations and inconsistencies of antislavery leaders, including Lincoln himself. But James Oakes’s brilliant history of Lincoln’s antislavery strategies reveals a striking consistency and commitment extending over many years. The linchpin of antislavery for Lincoln was the Constitution of the United States. Lincoln adopted the antislavery view that the Constitution made freedom the rule in the United States, slavery the exception. Where federal power prevailed, so did freedom. Where state power prevailed, that state determined the status of slavery, and the federal government could not interfere. It would take state action to achieve the final abolition of American slavery. With this understanding, Lincoln and his antislavery allies used every tool available to undermine the institution. Wherever the Constitution empowered direct federal action—in the western territories, in the District of Columbia, over the slave trade—they intervened. As a congressman in 1849 Lincoln sponsored a bill to abolish slavery in Washington, DC. He reentered politics in 1854 to oppose what he considered the unconstitutional opening of the territories to slavery by the Kansas–Nebraska Act. He attempted to persuade states to abolish slavery by supporting gradual abolition with compensation for slaveholders and the colonization of free Blacks abroad. President Lincoln took full advantage of the antislavery options opened by the Civil War. Enslaved people who escaped to Union lines were declared free. The Emancipation Proclamation, a military order of the president, undermined slavery across the South. It led to abolition by six slave states, which then joined the coalition to affect what Lincoln called the "King’s cure": state ratification of the constitutional amendment that in 1865 finally abolished slavery.

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Endurance - Alfred Lansing Cover Art

Endurance

Endurance Shackleton's Incredible Voyage by Alfred Lansing

The harrowing tale of British explorer Ernest Shackleton's 1914 attempt to reach the South Pole, one of the greatest adventure stories of the modern age. 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. In Endurance , the definitive account of Ernest Shackleton's fateful trip, Alfred Lansing brilliantly narrates the harrowing and miraculous voyage that has defined heroism for the modern age.

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

Killing England

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

The Revolutionary War as never told before. 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.

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The Reagan Diaries - Ronald Reagan Cover Art

The Reagan Diaries

The Reagan Diaries by Ronald Reagan

During his two terms as the 40th President of the United States, Ronald Reagan kept a daily diary in which he recorded, by hand, his innermost thoughts and observations on the extraordinary, the historic, and the routine day-to-day occurrences of his presidency. Now, nearly two decades after he left office, this remarkable record—the only daily Presidential diary in American history—is available for the first time. Edited by historian Douglas Brinkley, The Reagan Diaries provides a striking insight into one of this nation’s most important presidencies and sheds new light on the character of a true American leader. Whether he was in his White House residence study or aboard Air Force One, each night Reagan wrote about the events of his day, which often included his relationships with other world leaders and the unforgettable moments that defined the era.  Seldom before has the American public been given access to the unfiltered experiences and opinions of a President in his own words. To read these diaries—filled with Reagan’s trademark wit, sharp intelligence, and humor—is to gain a unique understanding of one of the most beloved occupants of the Oval Office in our nation’s history.

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The Five - Hallie Rubenhold Cover Art

The Five

The Five The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper by Hallie Rubenhold

Five devastating human stories and a dark and moving portrait of Victorian London—the untold lives of the women killed by Jack the Ripper Polly, Annie, Elisabeth, Catherine, and Mary Jane are famous for the same thing, though they never met. They came from Fleet Street, Knightsbridge, Wolverhampton, Sweden, and Wales. They wrote ballads, ran coffeehouses, lived on country estates; they breathed ink dust from printing presses and escaped human traffickers. What they had in common was the year of their murders: 1888. The person responsible was never identified, but the character created by the press to fill that gap has become far more famous than any of these five women. For more than a century, newspapers have been keen to tell us that “the Ripper” preyed on prostitutes. Not only is this untrue, as historian Hallie Rubenhold has discovered, but it has prevented the real stories of these fascinating women from being told. Now, in this devastating narrative of five lives, Rubenhold finally sets the record straight, revealing a world not just of Dickens and Queen Victoria, but of poverty, homelessness, and rampant misogyny. They died because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time—but their greatest misfortune was to be born women.  

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The Good American - Robert D. Kaplan Cover Art

The Good American

The Good American The Epic Life of Bob Gersony, the U.S. Government's Greatest Humanitarian by Robert D. Kaplan

From the  New York Time s bestselling author of  The Revenge of Geography comes a sweeping yet intimate story of the most influential humanitarian you’ve never heard of—Bob Gersony, who spent four decades in crisis zones around the world. “This graceful study of a courageous and humble man reminds us that history can be made, and lives can be saved,  by diplomats  who  know how to reconcile the good with the possible.”—Timothy Snyder, author of  The Road to Unfreedom  and  On Tyranny  In his long career as an acclaimed journalist covering the “hot” moments of the Cold War and its aftermath, bestselling author Robert D. Kaplan often found himself crossing paths with Bob Gersony, a consultant for the U.S. State Department whose quiet dedication and consequential work made a deep impression on Kaplan. Gersony, a high school dropout later awarded a Bronze Star for his service in Vietnam, conducted on-the-ground research for the U.S. government in virtually every war and natural-disaster zone in the world. In Thailand, Central and South America, Sudan, Chad, Mozambique, Rwanda, Gaza, Bosnia, North Korea, Iraq, and beyond, Gersony never flinched from entering dangerous areas that diplomats could not reach, sometimes risking his own life. Gersony’s behind-the scenes fact-finding, which included interviews with hundreds of refugees and displaced persons from each war zone and natural-disaster area, often challenged the assumptions and received wisdom of the powers that be, on both the left and the right. In nearly every case, his advice and recommendations made American policy at once smarter and more humane—often dramatically so. In Gersony, Kaplan saw a powerful example of how American diplomacy should be conducted. In a work that exhibits Kaplan’s signature talent for combining travel and geography with sharp political analysis, The Good American tells Gersony’s powerful life story. Set during the State Department’s golden age, this is a story about the loneliness, sweat, and tears and the genuine courage that characterized Gersony’s work in far-flung places. It is also a celebration of ground-level reporting: a page-turning demonstration, by one of our finest geopolitical thinkers, of how getting an up-close, worm’s-eye view of crises and applying sound reason can elicit world-changing results.

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Skye - Otta Swire Cover Art

Skye

Skye The Island and Its Legends by Otta Swire

An oral history by “Scotland’s forgotten folklorist” whose tale inspired the Neil Gaiman novella The Truth Is a Cave in the Black Mountains ( The Spooky Isles ).   This is a fabulous treasury of legend and wonder—tales of monsters who dwell in lakes; of small people who trap humans in earthen mounds where time stands still; of dark, shapeshifting spirits whose cloak of human form is betrayed by the sand and shells which fall from their hair. In the absence of a written tradition, for generations of skianachs , these tales, handed down orally, contained the very warp and weft of Hebridean history. They take us far beyond Christian times, to the edge of the Iron Age, and interweave with threads from the wider Atlantic tradition of Gaelic heroic myth and legend.   Absolute Escapes —which lists Skye as one of the “8 Books You Should Read Before Visiting Scotland”—raves, “This fascinating book written in the 1950s still has relevance today as it maps a route around the island, mixing mythology and local history to capture the spirit of the land and its legends. This is a great guide to the Isle of Skye, and a jolt to the imagination.”   “Swire’s prose makes for a very entertaining read . . . as a source of folklore, it’s unbeatable.” — The Spooky Isles

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The Library Book - Susan Orlean Cover Art

The Library Book

The Library Book by Susan Orlean

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

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Outlaw Platoon - Sean Parnell & John Bruning Cover Art

Outlaw Platoon

Outlaw Platoon Heroes, Renegades, Infidels, and the Brotherhood of War in Afghanistan by Sean Parnell & John Bruning

A riveting story of American fighting men, Outlaw Platoon is Lieutenant Sean Parnell’s stunning personal account of the legendary U.S. Army’s 10th Mountain Division’s heroic stand in the mountains of Afghanistan. Acclaimed for its vivid, poignant, and honest recreation of sixteen brutal months of nearly continuous battle in the deadly Hindu Kesh, Outlaw Platoon is a Band of Brothers or We Were Soldiers Once and Young for the early 21st century—an action-packed, highly emotional true story of enormous sacrifice and bravery. A magnificent account of heroes, renegades, infidels, and brothers, it stands with Sebastian Junger’s War as one of the most important books to yet emerge from the heat, smoke, and fire of America’s War in Afghanistan.

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The Federalist Papers - Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, John Jay, Clinton Rossiter & Charles R. Kessler Cover Art

The Federalist Papers

The Federalist Papers by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, John Jay, Clinton Rossiter & Charles R. Kessler

A DOCUMENT THAT SHAPED A NATION An authoritative analysis of the Constitution of the United States and an enduring classic of political philosophy.  Written by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay, The Federalist Papers explain the complexities of a constitutional government—its political structure and principles based on the inherent rights of man. Scholars have long regarded this work as a milestone in political science and a classic of American political theory.   Based on the original McLean edition of 1788 and edited by noted historian Clinton Rossiter, this special edition includes:   ● Textual notes and a select bibliography by Charles R. Kesler ● Table of contents with a brief précis of each essay ● Appendix with a copy of the Constitution cross-referenced to The Federalist Papers ● Index of Ideas that lists the major political concepts discussed ● Copies of The Declaration of Independence and Articles of Confederation

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These Truths: A History of the United States - Jill Lepore Cover Art

These Truths: A History of the United States

These Truths: A History of the United States by Jill Lepore

“Nothing short of a masterpiece.”—NPR Books A New York Times and Washington Post Notable Book of the Year In the most ambitious one-volume American history in decades, award-winning historian Jill Lepore offers a magisterial account of the origins and rise of a divided nation. Widely hailed for its “sweeping, sobering account of the American past” (New York Times Book Review), Jill Lepore’s one-volume history of America places truth itself—a devotion to facts, proof, and evidence—at the center of the nation’s history. The American experiment rests on three ideas—“these truths,” Jefferson called them—political equality, natural rights, and the sovereignty of the people. But has the nation, and democracy itself, delivered on that promise? These Truths tells this uniquely American story, beginning in 1492, asking whether the course of events over more than five centuries has proven the nation’s truths, or belied them. To answer that question, Lepore wrestles with the state of American politics, the legacy of slavery, the persistence of inequality, and the nature of technological change. “A nation born in contradiction… will fight, forever, over the meaning of its history,” Lepore writes, but engaging in that struggle by studying the past is part of the work of citizenship. With These Truths, Lepore has produced a book that will shape our view of American history for decades to come.

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Agent Sonya - Ben Macintyre Cover Art

Agent Sonya

Agent Sonya Moscow's Most Daring Wartime Spy by Ben Macintyre

The “master storyteller” ( San Francisco Chronicle ) behind the New York Times bestseller The Spy and the Traitor  uncovers the true story behind the Cold War’s most intrepid female spy. NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY Foreign Affairs •  Kirkus Reviews • Library Journal In 1942, in a quiet village in the leafy English Cotswolds, a thin, elegant woman lived in a small cottage with her three children and her husband, who worked as a machinist nearby. Ursula Burton was friendly but reserved, and spoke English with a slight foreign accent. By all accounts, she seemed to be living a simple, unassuming life. Her neighbors in the village knew little about her. They didn’t know that she was a high-ranking Soviet intelligence officer. They didn’t know that her husband was also a spy, or that she was running powerful agents across Europe. Behind the facade of her picturesque life, Burton was a dedicated Communist, a Soviet colonel, and a veteran agent, gathering the scientific secrets that would enable the Soviet Union to build the bomb. This true-life spy story is a masterpiece about the woman code-named “Sonya.” Over the course of her career, she was hunted by the Chinese, the Japanese, the Nazis, MI5, MI6, and the FBI—and she evaded them all. Her story reflects the great ideological clash of the twentieth century—between Communism, Fascism, and Western democracy—and casts new light on the spy battles and shifting allegiances of our own times. With unparalleled access to Sonya’s diaries and correspondence and never-before-seen information on her clandestine activities, Ben Macintyre has conjured a page-turning history of a legendary secret agent, a woman who influenced the course of the Cold War and helped plunge the world into a decades-long standoff between nuclear superpowers.

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Black Hearts - Jim Frederick Cover Art

Black Hearts

Black Hearts One Platoon's Descent into Madness in Iraq's Triangle of Death by Jim Frederick

“Riveting. . . a testament to a misconceived war, and to the ease with which ordinary men, under certain conditions, can transform into monsters.”— New York Times Book Review This is the story of a small group of soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division’s fabled 502nd Infantry Regiment—a unit known as “the Black Heart Brigade.” Deployed in late 2005 to Iraq’s so-called Triangle of Death, a veritable meat grinder just south of Baghdad, the Black Hearts found themselves in arguably the country’s most dangerous location at its most dangerous time. Hit by near-daily mortars, gunfire, and roadside bomb attacks, suffering from a particularly heavy death toll, and enduring a chronic breakdown in leadership, members of one Black Heart platoon—1st Platoon, Bravo Company, 1st Battalion—descended, over their year-long tour of duty, into a tailspin of poor discipline, substance abuse, and brutality. Four 1st Platoon soldiers would perpetrate one of the most heinous war crimes U.S. forces have committed during the Iraq War—the rape of a fourteen-year-old Iraqi girl and the cold-blooded execution of her and her family. Three other 1st Platoon soldiers would be overrun at a remote outpost—one killed immediately and two taken from the scene, their mutilated corpses found days later booby-trapped with explosives. Black Hearts is an unflinching account of the epic, tragic deployment of 1st Platoon. Drawing on hundreds of hours of in-depth interviews with Black Heart soldiers and first-hand reporting from the Triangle of Death, Black Hearts is a timeless story about men in combat and the fragility of character in the savage crucible of warfare. But it is also a timely warning of new dangers emerging in the way American soldiers are led on the battlefields of the twenty-first century.

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The Filthy Thirteen - Richard Killblane & Jake McNiece Cover Art

The Filthy Thirteen

The Filthy Thirteen From the Dustbowl to Hitler's Eagle's Nest—The True Story of the 101st Airborne's Most Legendary Squad of Combat Paratroopers by Richard Killblane & Jake McNiece

The true story of the 101st Airborne Division’s most notorious squad of combat paratroopers—the inspiration for the classic WWII film, The Dirty Dozen .   Since World War II, the American public has learned of the exploits of the 101st Airborne Division, the paratroopers who led the Allied invasions into Nazi-held Europe. But within the ranks of the 101st, one unit attained truly legendary status. Known as the Filthy Thirteen, they were the real-life inspiration for The Dirty Dozen .   Primarily products of the Dustbowl and the Depression, the Filthy Thirteen became notorious within the elite Screaming Eagles for their hard drinking and savage fighting skills. From D-Day until the end of the war, the squad’s heart and soul—and its toughest member—was a half Native American soldier named Jake McNiece. McNiece made four combat jumps, was in the forefront of every fight in northern Europe, yet somehow never made the rank of PFC.   The Filthy Thirteen offers a vivid group portrait of hardscrabble guys whom any respectable person would be loath to meet in a dark alley: a brawling bunch whose saving grace was that they inflicted more damage on the Germans than on MPs, the English countryside, and their own officers.

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A Higher Call - Adam Makos & Larry Alexander Cover Art

A Higher Call

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

THE INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER: “Beautifully told.” —CNN  •  “A remarkable story...worth retelling and celebrating.”— USA Today  •  “Oh, it’s a good one!” —Fox News   A “beautiful story of a brotherhood between enemies” emerges from the horrors of World War II in this New York Times  bestseller by the author of Spearhead .  December, 1943 : A badly damaged American bomber struggles to fly over wartime Germany. At the controls is twenty-one-year-old Second Lieutenant Charlie Brown. Half his crew lay wounded or dead on this, their first mission. Suddenly, a Messerschmitt fighter pulls up on the bomber’s tail. The pilot is German ace Franz Stigler—and he can destroy the young American crew with the squeeze of a trigger... What happened next would defy imagination and later be called “the most incredible encounter between enemies in World War II.” The U.S. 8th Air Force would later classify what happened between them as “top secret.” It was an act that Franz could never mention for fear of facing a firing squad. It was the encounter that would haunt both Charlie and Franz for forty years until, as old men, they would search the world for each other, a last mission that could change their lives forever.

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The Great Influenza - John M. Barry Cover Art

The Great Influenza

The Great Influenza The Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History by John M. Barry

#1 New York Times bestseller “Barry will teach you almost everything you need to know about one of the deadliest outbreaks in human history.” —Bill Gates, GatesNotes.com "Monumental... an authoritative and disturbing morality tale."— Chicago Tribune  The strongest weapon against pandemic is the truth. Read why in the definitive account of the 1918 Flu Epidemic.  Magisterial in its breadth of perspective and depth of research,  The Great Influenza  provides us with a precise and sobering model as we confront the epidemics looming on our own horizon. As Barry concludes, "The final lesson of 1918, a simple one yet one most difficult to execute, is that...those in authority must retain the public's trust. The way to do that is to distort nothing, to put the best face on nothing, to try to manipulate no one. Lincoln said that first, and best. A leader must make whatever horror exists concrete. Only then will people be able to break it apart."    At the height of World War I, history’s most lethal influenza virus erupted in an army camp in Kansas, moved east with American troops, then exploded, killing as many as 100 million people worldwide. It killed more people in twenty-four months than AIDS killed in twenty-four years, more in a year than the Black Death killed in a century. But this was not the Middle Ages, and 1918 marked the first collision of science and epidemic disease.

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

Killing Jesus

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.

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The Ultimate Basic Training Guidebook - Sgt. Michael Volkin Cover Art

The Ultimate Basic Training Guidebook

The Ultimate Basic Training Guidebook Tips, Tricks, and Tactics for Surviving Boot Camp by Sgt. Michael Volkin

How to prepare—mentally and physically—for life in the armed forces.   Making the transition from civilian to soldier can be tough. Knowing what to expect can help. In this guide, Michael Volkin, who enlisted in the US Army after 9/11—and found himself unprepared for the new world of the military with its unknown acronyms, demanding exercises, and other challenges—provides valuable information about the process. During his own basic training, he began taking extensive notes, and while serving in Iraq he interviewed hundreds of other soldiers—in order to put together this book in the hopes of making things easier for future recruits in any branch of the armed forces.   The Ultimate Basic Training Guidebook offers:   Step-by-step instructions and solutionsHelpful charts and graphicsA special eight-week fitness program specifically designed to improve your fitness test scoresStudy guidesA list of what to bring (and what not to bring) to basic training And much more

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The Battle for the Maginot Line, 1940 - Clayton Donnell Cover Art

The Battle for the Maginot Line, 1940

The Battle for the Maginot Line, 1940 by Clayton Donnell

What was it like as a French soldier to defend the Maginot Line when the Germans invaded in 1940, and was the line really a strategic and tactical disaster a massive waste of resources? Clayton Donnell's expert, finely detailed and graphic account of the role of the Maginot Line in the defense of France gives the reader an inside view of life in the bunkers, casemates and forts the sights, the sounds and the terror of the German attacks. And it questions common assumptions about the effectiveness of the resistance offered by the defenders and the impact the line had on the German assault. The layout of the line from Dunkirk to Switzerland, along the Alpine passes to the Riviera, and on the island of Corsica is described in expert detail, as is its history, construction and development. But the narrative concentrates on its performance in combat and the experience of the soldiers who manned it as the German offensive broke over them.

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The Imperial Japanese Navy of the Russo-Japanese War - Mark Stille Cover Art

The Imperial Japanese Navy of the Russo-Japanese War

The Imperial Japanese Navy of the Russo-Japanese War by Mark Stille

When the Imperial Japanese Navy destroyed Russia's battle fleet during the Russo-Japanese War, it marked the emergence of Japan as one of the world's major naval powers. Japan's navy had been built up over just two decades, with the IJN acquiring a fleet of modern foreign-built warships. Coupled with the IJN's leadership and high levels of training, this proved enough to destroy the fleet of one of the world's historic naval powers. This book explains in concise detail the IJN's fleet of 1904?1905, from its battleships and armored cruisers to the torpedo boats that launched 'the first great torpedo attack in history,' and outlines the history of the naval campaign against the Russian fleet.

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American Gospel - Jon Meacham Cover Art

American Gospel

American Gospel God, the Founding Fathers, and the Making of a Nation by Jon Meacham

NEW YORK TIMES  BESTSELLER • Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jon Meacham reveals how the Founding Fathers viewed faith—and how they ultimately created a nation in which belief in God is a matter of choice. At a time when our country seems divided by extremism, American Gospel draws on the past to offer a new perspective. Meacham re-creates the fascinating history of a nation grappling with religion and politics–from John Winthrop’s “city on a hill” sermon to Thomas Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence; from the Revolution to the Civil War; from a proposed nineteenth-century Christian Amendment to the Constitution to Martin Luther King, Jr.’s call for civil rights; from George Washington to Ronald Reagan. Debates about religion and politics are often more divisive than illuminating. Secularists point to a “wall of separation between church and state,” while many conservatives act as though the Founding Fathers were apostles in knee britches. As Meacham shows in this brisk narrative, neither extreme has it right. At the heart of the American experiment lies the God of what Benjamin Franklin called “public religion,” a God who invests all human beings with inalienable rights while protecting private religion from government interference. It is a great American balancing act, and it has served us well. Meacham has written and spoken extensively about religion and politics, and he brings historical authority and a sense of hope to the issue. American Gospel makes it compellingly clear that the nation’s best chance of summoning what Lincoln called “the better angels of our nature” lies in recovering the spirit and sense of the Founding. In looking back, we may find the light to lead us forward. Praise for American Gospel “In his American Gospel , Jon Meacham provides a refreshingly clear, balanced, and wise historical portrait of religion and American politics at exactly the moment when such fairness and understanding are much needed. Anyone who doubts the relevance of history to our own time has only to read this exceptional book.” —David McCullough, author of 1776 “Jon Meacham has given us an insightful and eloquent account of the spiritual foundation of the early days of the American republic. It is especially instructive reading at a time when the nation is at once engaged in and deeply divided on the question of religion and its place in public life.” —Tom Brokaw, author of The Greatest Generation

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World War Two: History in an Hour - Rupert Colley Cover Art

World War Two: History in an Hour

World War Two: History in an Hour by Rupert Colley

Love history? Know your stuff with History in an Hour. Lasting six years and a day, the Second World War saw the lives of millions – soldiers and civilians, young and old – changed forever. During the conflict, a thousand people died for each and every hour it lasted. With eighty-one of the world’s nations involved and affected in some way, this was war on a truly global scale. Offering a wide overview of the major figures, politics and action on all sides, World War Two: History in an Hour provides a concise picture of the world upturned. How the conflicts began, the violence involved and how they affected a century: this is the story of the events that ended over sixty million lives and challenged our understanding of humanity. Love history? Know your stuff with History in an Hour… Reviews ‘If the past is a foreign country, History in an Hour is like a high-class tour operator, offering delightfully enjoyable short breaks in the rich and diverse continent of our shared past.’ Dominic Sandbrook ‘The practice of History is ever-evolving, and the History In an Hour idea brings it back up to date for the digital age. Colley writes in an attractively readable style, and manages to convey the huge story that is WWII in a logical and accessible manner’ Andrew Roberts, Bookseller ‘This is genius’ MacWorld.com About the author Rupert Colley was a librarian in Enfield for 22 years until September 2011. A history graduate, he launched the original History In An Hour in 2009 with a website, blog and ‘World War Two In An Hour’ as an iPhone app. He then expanded it to Kindle, iBooks and into the USA with a series of titles, and enlisted new writers by encouraging guest bloggers on the website. History In An Hour was acquired by HarperCollins in 2011.

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Nazi Germany: History in an Hour - Rupert Colley Cover Art

Nazi Germany: History in an Hour

Nazi Germany: History in an Hour by Rupert Colley

Love history? Know your stuff with History in an Hour. Having suffered during World War One – not only the indignities of political betrayal and battlefield defeat but also starvation, fuel shortages and a domestic flu epidemic – the German people were left in widespread discontent. Soon inflation and economic stagnation had further sunk the nation into exhaustion, humiliation and disillusionment. Capitalizing on the nation’s instability, the Nazi Party, led by the embittered former soldier Adolf Hitler, achieved an improbable political dominance. Nazi Germany: History in an Hour explains how the elimination of political rivals and the Weimar constitution created a Nazi controlled Germany. Under violent state control and propaganda, life was altered across society, for women, for the family and, most significantly, for the Jews. As Hitler manipulated foreign policy to impose his ideology, Nazi Germany brought the world into war. Love history? Know your stuff with History in an Hour… Reviews ‘If the past is a foreign country, History in an Hour is like a high-class tour operator, offering delightfully enjoyable short breaks in the rich and diverse continent of our shared past’ Dominic Sandbrook ‘The practice of History is ever-evolving, and the History In An Hour idea brings it back up to date for the digital age’ Andrew Roberts, Bookseller ‘This is genius’ MacWorld.com About the author Rupert Colley was a librarian in Enfield for 22 years until September 2011. A history graduate, he launched the original History In An Hour in 2009 with a website, blog and ‘World War Two In An Hour’ as an iPhone app. He then expanded it to Kindle, iBooks and into the USA with a series of titles, and enlisted new writers by encouraging guest bloggers on the website. History In An Hour was acquired by Scott Pack for HarperCollins in 2011.

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The Greatest Battle - Andrew Nagorski Cover Art

The Greatest Battle

The Greatest Battle Stalin, Hitler, and the Desperate Struggle for Moscow That Changed the Course of World War II by Andrew Nagorski

The battle for Moscow was the biggest battle of World War II -- the biggest battle of all time. And yet it is far less known than Stalingrad, which involved about half the number of troops. From the time Hitler launched his assault on Moscow on September 30, 1941, to April 20, 1942, seven million troops were engaged in this titanic struggle. The combined losses of both sides -- those killed, taken prisoner or severely wounded -- were 2.5 million, of which nearly 2 million were on the Soviet side. But the Soviet capital narrowly survived, and for the first time the German Blitzkrieg ended in failure. This shattered Hitler's dream of a swift victory over the Soviet Union and radically changed the course of the war. The full story of this epic battle has never been told because it undermines the sanitized Soviet accounts of the war, which portray Stalin as a military genius and his people as heroically united against the German invader. Stalin's blunders, incompetence and brutality made it possible for German troops to approach the outskirts of Moscow. This triggered panic in the city -- with looting, strikes and outbreaks of previously unimaginable violence. About half the city's population fled. But Hitler's blunders would soon loom even larger: sending his troops to attack the Soviet Union without winter uniforms, insisting on an immediate German reign of terror and refusing to heed his generals' pleas that he allow them to attack Moscow as quickly as possible. In the end, Hitler's mistakes trumped Stalin's mistakes. Drawing on recently declassified documents from Soviet archives, including files of the dreaded NKVD; on accounts of survivors and of children of top Soviet military and government officials; and on reports of Western diplomats and correspondents, The Greatest Battle finally illuminates the full story of a clash between two systems based on sheer terror and relentless slaughter. Even as Moscow's fate hung in the balance, the United States and Britain were discovering how wily a partner Stalin would turn out to be in the fight against Hitler -- and how eager he was to push his demands for a postwar empire in Eastern Europe. In addition to chronicling the bloodshed, Andrew Nagorski takes the reader behind the scenes of the early negotiations between Hitler and Stalin, and then between Stalin, Roosevelt and Churchill. This is a remarkable addition to the history of World War II.

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Looking Like the Enemy - Mary Matsuda Gruenewald Cover Art

Looking Like the Enemy

Looking Like the Enemy My Story of Imprisonment in Japanese American Internment Camps by Mary Matsuda Gruenewald

The author at 16 years old was evacuated with her family to an internment camp for Japanese Americans, along with 110,000 other people of Japanese ancestry living on the West Coast. She faced an indefinite sentence behind barbed wire in crowded, primitive camps. She struggled for survival and dignity, and endured psychological scarring that has lasted a lifetime. This memoir is told from the heart and mind of a woman now nearly 80 years old who experienced the challenges and wounds of her internment at a crucial point in her development as a young adult. She brings passion and spirit to her story. Like "The Diary of Anne Frank," this memoir superbly captures the emotional and psychological essence of what it was like to grow up in the midst of this profound dislocation and injustice in the U.S. Few other books on this subject come close to the emotional power and moral significance of this memoir. In the end,the reader is buoyed by what Mary learns from her experiences and what she is able to do with her life. In 2005 she becomes one more Nissei who breaks her silence.

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The Holocaust: History in an Hour - Jemma J. Saunders Cover Art

The Holocaust: History in an Hour

The Holocaust: History in an Hour by Jemma J. Saunders

Love history? Know your stuff with History in an Hour. The Holocaust, in which 11 million people died, was the largest atrocity of the 20th century and perhaps the hardest to understand. Approximately 6 million Jews and 5 million others including Roma people, Poles, Russian prisoners of war, political prisoners, homosexuals, people of colour, Jehovah's Witnesses, and various other minorities were first persecuted and then murdered. How, both morally and logistically, had this came to happen? From received sentiments of anti-Semitism at the beginning of the 20th century, through the rise of Hitler and the Nazi party, to the Nuremberg Laws of 1935 and finally Second World War, the victimisation of these minorities intensified beyond precedent. With the complicity of a nation hatred became policy. Under the control of sadists, bureaucrats and even ordinary soldiers, irrational acts were then enacted on an industrial scale, and with the use of concentration camps, Western Europe witnessed its most shocking treatment of humanity in modern history. Love history? Know your stuff with History in an Hour… Reviews ‘If the past is a foreign country, History in an Hour is like a high-class tour operator, offering delightfully enjoyable short breaks in the rich and diverse continent of our shared past.’ Dominic Sandbrook ‘The practice of History is ever-evolving, and the History In an Hour idea brings it back up to date for the digital age. Colley writes in an attractively readable style, and manages to convey the huge story that is WWII in a logical and accessible manner’ Andrew Roberts, Bookseller ‘This is genius’ MacWorld.com About the author Jemma studied Medieval and Modern History at the University of Birmingham, graduating in 2010. She continued her education with an MA in History, Film and Television and is currently an administrator and placement coordinator for postgraduate students. She also works as a theatre assistant and as a freelance researcher for video production companies, pursuing writing in her spare time.

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Deadly Sky - John C. McManus Cover Art

Deadly Sky

Deadly Sky The American Combat Airman in World War II by John C. McManus

“From the training camps to the combat missions, this is war from the perspective of the young Americans who lived through it: the pilots, the bombardiers, the navigators, and the gunners of all the combat services in both Europe and in the Pacific. It is an engaging and vivid portrayal of war in the skies from 1941 to 1945.” —Craig L. Symonds, Author of World War II at Sea   John C. McManus, author of The Dead and Those About to Die and September Hope , reveals the terror and triumph that shared the fiery skies of World War II—from the first dogfights over Europe to the last Kamikaze attacks over the Pacific.   This insightful chronicle takes readers inside the experiences of America’s fighter pilots and bomber crews, an incredible assortment of men who, in nearly four years of warfare all over the globe, suffered over 120,000 casualties with over 40,000 killed.   Their stories span the earth into every corner of the combat theaters in both Europe and the Pacific. And the aircraft explored are as varied, tough, and legendary as the men who flew them­—from the indomitable heavy-duty warhorse that was the B-17 Flying Fortress to the sleek, lethal P-51 Mustang fighter.   In Deadly Sky , master historian John C. McManus goes beyond the familiar tales of aerial heroism, capturing the sights and sounds, the toil and fear, the adrenaline and the pain of the American airmen who faced death with every mission. In this important, thoroughly-researched work, McManus uncovers the true nature of fighting—and dying—in the skies over World War II.

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The History of Rome, Livy's Rome books 1 to 36 in a single file, in English translation - Livy Cover Art

The History of Rome, Livy's Rome books 1 to 36 in a single file, in English translation by Livy

Literally translated, first published in 1853. According to Wikipedia: "Livy's work met with instant acclaim. His books were published in sets of ten, although when entirely completed, his whole work was available for sale in its entirety. His highly literary approach to his historical writing renders his works very entertaining, and they remained constantly popular from his own day, through the Middle Ages, and into the modern world. Dante speaks highly of him in his poetry, and Francis I of France commissioned extensive artwork treating Livian themes. That he was chosen by Rome's first emperor to be the private tutor to his successor indicates Livy's renown as a great writer and sage. As topics from his history appear to have been used for writing topics in Roman schools, it is more than likely that his works, or sections, were used as textbooks... He can be looked upon as the prose counterpart of Vergil in Golden Age Latin literature."

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Never Fight Fair! - Orr Kelly Cover Art

Never Fight Fair!

Never Fight Fair! Inside the Legendary U.S. Navy SEALs—Their Own True Stories by Orr Kelly

A riveting oral history of the US Navy SEALs—from World War II to Vietnam to Iraq—in the words of the warriors themselves “It is better to die than to look bad or lose.” —Capt. Ronald Yeaw There is no more elite fighting force in the world than the esteemed US Navy SEALs.  Famous for their rigorous training, fearlessness, and incomparable skills on sea, air, and land, these are the warriors who are routinely charged with carrying out the most dangerous combat assignments, always in secret and under cover of darkness. Much has been written about their remarkable achievements, from the earliest days of the World War II Underwater Demolition Teams through action in the Persian Gulf. But now these courageous men get to speak for themselves, telling their riveting war stories in their own words. Veteran military author Orr Kelly ( Brave Men, Dark Water ) has gathered together the stunning recollections of current and former SEALs to present a vivid and breathtaking picture of life and death among the best of the best in US Military Special Operations. These brave men speak openly about their training and their missions, offering the uncensored, inspiring, sometimes shocking truth about their combat triumphs and the rare but devastating failures. They carry the reader along with them on the path to glory and into the blistering heat of the fires of war.

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Medieval Christianity - Kevin Madigan Cover Art

Medieval Christianity

Medieval Christianity A New History by Kevin Madigan

For many, the medieval world seems dark and foreign—a miraculous, brutal, and irrational time of superstition and strange relics. The pursuit of heretics, the Inquisition, the Crusades and the domination of the “Holy Land” come to mind. Yet the medieval world produced much that is part of our world today, including universities, the passion for Roman architecture and the emergence of the gothic style, pilgrimage, the emergence of capitalism, and female saints.   This new narrative history of medieval Christianity, spanning from A.D. 500 to 1500, attempts to combine both what is unfamiliar and what is familiar to readers. Elements of novelty in the book include a steady focus on the role of women in Christianity; the relationships among Christians, Jews, and Muslims; the experience of ordinary parishioners; the adventure of asceticism, devotion and worship, and instruction through drama, architecture, and art. Madigan expertly integrates these areas of focus with more traditional themes, such as the evolution and decline of papal power, the nature and repression of heresy, sanctity and pilgrimage, the conciliar movement, and the break between the old Western church and its reformers.   Illustrated with more than forty photographs of physical remains, this book promises to become an essential guide to a historical era of profound influence.

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The History of Rome (Vol. 1-4) - Livy Cover Art

The History of Rome (Vol. 1-4) by Livy

The History of Rome (Books from the Foundation of the City) is a monumental history of ancient Rome, written between 27 and 9 BC by the historian Titus Livius The work covers the period from the legends concerning the arrival of Aeneas and the refugees from the fall of Troy, to the city's founding in 753, the expulsion of the Kings in 509, and down to Livy's own time, during the reign of the emperor Augustus. Volume one comprises the first eight books, covering the legendary founding of Rome (including the landing of Aeneas in Italy and the founding of the city by Romulus), the period of the kings, the early republic down to its conquest by the Gauls in 390 BC, and the roman wars with the Aequi, Volsci, Etruscans, and Samnites.

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With Lawrence in Arabia - Lowell Thomas Cover Art

With Lawrence in Arabia

With Lawrence in Arabia by Lowell Thomas

Paphos Publishers offers a wide catalog of rare classic titles, published for a new generation. With Lawrence in Arabia is an account of T.E. Lawrence's exploits during World War I.

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Born in the GDR - Hester Vaizey Cover Art

Born in the GDR

Born in the GDR Living in the Shadow of the Wall by Hester Vaizey

The real life stories of eight East Germans caught up in the dramatic transition from Communism to Capitalism by the fall of the Berlin Wall - and what they feel about life after the Wall.

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Portland on the Take - JD Chandler & J.B. Fisher Cover Art

Portland on the Take

Portland on the Take Mid-Century Crime Bosses, Civic Corruption & Forgotten Murders by JD Chandler & J.B. Fisher

In an era when Portland's shipyards thrived, so, too, did corruption. The Red Scare that followed the 1934 Waterfront Strike allowed gangsters to gain control of some of the city's unions. Working in cahoots with high-ranking city officials, criminals like Al Winter and James Elkins gained power and influence, often using "goon squads" of union men and hired criminals to enforce their will. Now authors JD Chandler and JB Fisher bring Portland's days of civic corruption and hidden murders out of the shadows. With unprecedented access to the police investigative files of the Frank Tatum murder of 1947 and the detective notebooks and tape recorder transcripts of Multnomah County sheriff's detective Walter Graven, the authors shed new light on Portland's turbulent mid-twentieth-century past.

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Curiosities of the Confederate Capital - Brian Burns Cover Art

Curiosities of the Confederate Capital

Curiosities of the Confederate Capital Untold Richmond Stories of the Spectacular, Tragic and Bizarre by Brian Burns

In the early days of the Civil War, Richmond was declared the capital of the Confederacy, and until now, countless stories from its tenure as the Southern headquarters have remained buried. Mary E. Walker, a Union doctor and feminist, was once held captive in the city for refusing to wear proper women's clothing. A coffee substitute factory exploded under intriguing circumstances. Many Confederate soldiers, when in the trenches of battle, thumbed through the pages of Hugo's "Les Miserables." Author Brian Burns reveals these and many more curious tales of Civil War Richmond.

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War: How Conflict Shaped Us - Margaret MacMillan Cover Art

War: How Conflict Shaped Us

War: How Conflict Shaped Us How Conflict Shaped Us by Margaret MacMillan

Is peace an aberration? The bestselling author of  Paris 1919  offers a provocative view of war as an essential component of humanity.  NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY  THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW AND THE EAST HAMPTON STAR “Margaret MacMillan has produced another seminal work. . . . She is right that we must, more than ever, think about war. And she has shown us how in this brilliant, elegantly written book.”—H.R. McMaster, author of  Dereliction of Duty  and  Battlegrounds: The Fight to Defend the Free World The instinct to fight may be innate in human nature, but war—organized violence—comes with organized society. War has shaped humanity’s history, its social and political institutions, its values and ideas. Our very language, our public spaces, our private memories, and some of our greatest cultural treasures reflect the glory and the misery of war. War is an uncomfortable and challenging subject not least because it brings out both the vilest and the noblest aspects of humanity.  Margaret MacMillan looks at the ways in which war has influenced human society and how, in turn, changes in political organization, technology, or ideologies have affected how and why we fight. War: How Conflict Shaped Us explores such much-debated and controversial questions as: When did war first start? Does human nature doom us to fight one another? Why has war been described as the most organized of all human activities? Why are warriors almost always men? Is war ever within our control?  Drawing on lessons from wars throughout the past, from classical history to the present day, MacMillan reveals the many faces of war—the way it has determined our past, our future, our views of the world, and our very conception of ourselves.

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

Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates

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

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

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Neptune's Inferno - James D. Hornfischer Cover Art

Neptune's Inferno

Neptune's Inferno The U.S. Navy at Guadalcanal by James D. Hornfischer

“A literary tour de force that is destined to become one of the . . . definitive works about the battle for Guadalcanal . . . [James D.] Hornfischer deftly captures the essence of the most pivotal naval campaign of the Pacific war.”— San Antonio Express-News The Battle of Guadalcanal has long been heralded as a Marine victory. Now, with his powerful portrait of the Navy’s sacrifice, James D. Hornfischer tells for the first time the full story of the men who fought in destroyers, cruisers, and battleships in the narrow, deadly waters of “Ironbottom Sound.” Here, in stunning cinematic detail, are the seven major naval actions that began in August 1942, a time when the war seemed unwinnable and America fought on a shoestring, with the outcome always in doubt. Working from new interviews with survivors, unpublished eyewitness accounts, and newly available documents, Hornfischer paints a vivid picture of the officers and enlisted men who opposed the Japanese in America’s hour of need. The first major work on this subject in almost two decades, Neptune’s Inferno does what all great battle narratives do: It tells the gripping human stories behind the momentous events and critical decisions that altered the course of history and shaped so many lives. Praise for Neptune’s Inferno “Vivid and engaging . . . extremely readable, comprehensive and thoroughly researched.” —Ronald Spector, The Wall Street Journal “Superlative storytelling . . . the masterwork on the long-neglected topic of World War II’s surface ship combat.” —Richard B. Frank, World War II “The author’s two previous World War II books . . . thrust him into the major leagues of American military history writers. Neptune’s Inferno is solid proof he deserves to be there.” — The Dallas Morning News “Outstanding . . . The author’s narrative gifts and excellent choice of detail give an almost Homeric quality to the men who met on the sea in steel titans.” — Booklist (starred review) “Brilliant . . . a compelling narrative of naval combat . . . simply superb.” — The Washington Times

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13 Hours - Mitchell Zuckoff & The Annex Security Team Cover Art

13 Hours

13 Hours The Inside Account of What Really Happened in Benghazi by Mitchell Zuckoff & The Annex Security Team

The harrowing, true account from the brave men on the ground who fought back during the Battle of Benghazi. 13 HOURS presents, for the first time ever, the true account of the events of September 11, 2012, when terrorists attacked the US State Department Special Mission Compound and a nearby CIA station called the Annex in Benghazi, Libya. A team of six American security operators fought to repel the attackers and protect the Americans stationed there. Those men went beyond the call of duty, performing extraordinary acts of courage and heroism, to avert tragedy on a much larger scale. This is their personal account, never before told, of what happened during the thirteen hours of that now-infamous attack. 13 HOURS sets the record straight on what happened during a night that has been shrouded in mystery and controversy. Written by New York Times bestselling author Mitchell Zuckoff, this riveting book takes readers into the action-packed story of heroes who laid their lives on the line for one another, for their countrymen, and for their country. 13 HOURS is a stunning, eye-opening, and intense book--but most importantly, it is the truth. The story of what happened to these men--and what they accomplished--is unforgettable.

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The Fourth Turning - William Strauss & Neil Howe Cover Art

The Fourth Turning

The Fourth Turning What the Cycles of History Tell Us About America's Next Rendezvous with Destiny by William Strauss & Neil Howe

NATIONAL BESTSELLER • “A startling vision of what the cycles of history predict for the future.”— USA Weekend   William Strauss and Neil Howe will change the way you see the world—and your place in it. With blazing originality,  The Fourth Turning  illuminates the past, explains the present, and reimagines the future. Most remarkably, it offers an utterly persuasive prophecy about how America’s past will predict its future. Strauss and Howe base this vision on a provocative theory of American history. The authors look back five hundred years and uncover a distinct pattern: Modern history moves in cycles, each one lasting about the length of a long human life, each composed of four eras—or "turnings"—that last about twenty years and that always arrive in the same order. In T he Fourth Turning , the authors illustrate these cycles using a brilliant analysis of the post-World War II period. First comes a High, a period of confident expansion as a new order takes root after the old has been swept away. Next comes an Awakening, a time of spiritual exploration and rebellion against the now-established order. Then comes an Unraveling, an increasingly troubled era in which individualism triumphs over crumbling institutions. Last comes a Crisis—the Fourth Turning—when society passes through a great and perilous gate in history. Together, the four turnings comprise history's seasonal rhythm of growth, maturation, entropy, and rebirth. The Fourth Turning  offers bold predictions about how all of us can prepare, individually and collectively, for America’s next rendezvous with destiny.

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Saving Freedom - Joe Scarborough Cover Art

Saving Freedom

Saving Freedom Truman, the Cold War, and the Fight for Western Civilization by Joe Scarborough

New York Times Bestseller! History called on Harry Truman to unite the Western world against Soviet communism, but first he had to rally Republicans and Democrats behind America’s most dramatic foreign policy shift since George Washington delivered his farewell address. How did one of the least prepared presidents to walk into the Oval Office become one of its most successful? The year was 1947. The Soviet Union had moved from being America’s uneasy ally in the Second World War to its most feared enemy. With Joseph Stalin’s ambitions pushing westward, Turkey was pressured from the east while communist revolutionaries overran Greece. The British Empire was battered from its war with Hitler and suddenly teetering on the brink of financial ruin. Only America could afford to defend freedom in the West, and the effort was spearheaded by a president who hadn’t even been elected to that office. But Truman would wage a domestic political battle that carried with it the highest of stakes, inspiring friends and foes alike to join in his crusade to defend democracy across the globe. In Saving Freedom, Joe Scarborough recounts the historic forces that moved Truman toward his country’s long twilight struggle against Soviet communism, and how this untested president acted decisively to build a lasting coalition that would influence America’s foreign policy for generations to come. On March 12, 1947, Truman delivered an address before a joint session of Congress announcing a policy of containment that would soon become known as the Truman Doctrine. That doctrine pledged that the United States would “support free peoples who are resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressures.” The untested president’s policy was a radical shift from 150 years of isolationism, but it would prove to be the pivotal moment that guaranteed Western Europe’s freedom, the American Century’s rise, and the eventual collapse of the Soviet Union.  Truman’s triumph over the personal and political struggles that confronted him following his ascension to the presidency is an inspiring tale of American leadership, fierce determination, bipartisan unity, and courage in the face of the rising Soviet threat. Saving Freedom explores one of the most pivotal moments of the twentieth century, a turning point when patriotic Americans of both political parties worked together to defeat tyranny.

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The Immortality Key - Brian C. Muraresku Cover Art

The Immortality Key

The Immortality Key The Secret History of the Religion with No Name by Brian C. Muraresku

THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER As seen on The Joe Rogan Experience! A groundbreaking dive into the role psychedelics have played in the origins of Western civilization, and the real-life quest for the Holy Grail that could shake the Church to its foundations. The most influential religious historian of the 20th century, Huston Smith, once referred to it as the "best-kept secret" in history. Did the Ancient Greeks use drugs to find God? And did the earliest Christians inherit the same, secret tradition? A profound knowledge of visionary plants, herbs and fungi passed from one generation to the next, ever since the Stone Age? There is zero archaeological evidence for the original Eucharist – the sacred wine said to guarantee life after death for those who drink the blood of Jesus. The Holy Grail and its miraculous contents have never been found. In the absence of any hard data, whatever happened at the Last Supper remains an article of faith for today’s 2.5 billion Christians. In an unprecedented search for answers, The Immortality Key examines the archaic roots of the ritual that is performed every Sunday for nearly one third of the planet. Religion and science converge to paint a radical picture of Christianity’s founding event. And after centuries of debate, to solve history’s greatest puzzle. Before the birth of Jesus, the Ancient Greeks found salvation in their own sacraments. Sacred beverages were routinely consumed as part of the so-called Ancient Mysteries – elaborate rites that led initiates to the brink of death. The best and brightest from Athens and Rome flocked to the spiritual capital of Eleusis, where a holy beer unleashed heavenly visions for two thousand years. Others drank the holy wine of Dionysus to become one with the god. In the 1970s, renegade scholars claimed this beer and wine – the original sacraments of Western civilization – were spiked with mind-altering drugs. In recent years, vindication for the disgraced theory has been quietly mounting in the laboratory. The constantly advancing fields of archaeobotany and archaeochemistry have hinted at the enduring use of hallucinogenic drinks in antiquity. And with a single dose of psilocybin, the psychopharmacologists at Johns Hopkins and NYU are now turning self-proclaimed atheists into instant believers. But the smoking gun remains elusive. If these sacraments survived for thousands of years in our remote prehistory, from the Stone Age to the Ancient Greeks, did they also survive into the age of Jesus? Was the Eucharist of the earliest Christians, in fact, a psychedelic Eucharist? With an unquenchable thirst for evidence, Muraresku takes the reader on his twelve-year global hunt for proof. He tours the ruins of Greece with its government archaeologists. He gains access to the hidden collections of the Louvre to show the continuity from pagan to Christian wine. He unravels the Ancient Greek of the New Testament with the world’s most controversial priest. He spelunks into the catacombs under the streets of Rome to decipher the lost symbols of Christianity’s oldest monuments. He breaches the secret archives of the Vatican to unearth manuscripts never before translated into English. And with leads from the archaeological chemists at UPenn and MIT, he unveils the first scientific data for the ritual use of psychedelic drugs in classical antiquity. The Immortality Key reconstructs the suppressed history of women consecrating a forbidden, drugged Eucharist that was later banned by the Church Fathers. Women who were then targeted as witches during the Inquisition, when Europe’s sacred pharmacology largely disappeared. If the scientists of today have resurrected this technology, then Christianity is in crisis. Unless it returns to its roots. Featuring a Foreword by Graham Hancock, the NYT bestselling author of America Before.

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The Templars and the Shroud of Christ - Barbara Frale Cover Art

The Templars and the Shroud of Christ

The Templars and the Shroud of Christ A Priceless Relic in the Dawn of the Christian Era and the Men Who Swore to Protect It by Barbara Frale

The most powerful military religious order of the Middle Ages and their sacred treasure. For a certain period in history, the Knights Templar—the most powerful military religious order of the Middle Ages—secretly guarded the Shroud of Turin. Worshipped in a relentlessly secret manner, and known in its intimate nature by only a handful of the order’s officials, the swathe of fabric was kept in the central treasury of the Knights Templar, who were known for their expertise in the field of relics. The precious cloth’s history and whereabouts were known only to the highest dignitaries of the secretive order. In an era of widespread doctrinal confusion in much of the Church, the Templars considered the Shroud to be a powerful antidote against the proliferation of heresies. Easy to read and thoroughly researched, this book tracks the Templars from their inception as warrior-monks protecting religious pilgrims to the later fascination with their secret rituals and incredible wealth, which ultimately led to their dissolution and the seizing of their assets. Following the Shroud’s pathway through the Middle Ages, Vatican historian Barbara Frale has gone back in time, to the dawn of the Christian era, to provide a new perspective on the controversial relic. The author also includes several photos of the Shroud itself that reveal in startling detail a human face, mysterious writing, and marks of a crucifixion that many have claimed identify it as the true burial shroud of Jesus of Nazareth.

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Surprise, Kill, Vanish - Annie Jacobsen Cover Art

Surprise, Kill, Vanish

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

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.

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

Killing the Rising Sun

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

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

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First Women - Kate Andersen Brower Cover Art

First Women

First Women The Grace and Power of America's Modern First Ladies by Kate Andersen Brower

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the groundbreaking backstairs look at the White House, The Residence, comes an intimate, news-making look at the true modern power brokers at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue: the First Ladies, from Jackie Kennedy to Michelle Obama and Melania Trump. One of the most underestimated—and challenging—positions in the world, the First Lady of the United States must be many things: an inspiring leader with a forward-thinking agenda of her own; a savvy politician, skilled at navigating the treacherous rapids of Washington; a wife and mother operating under constant scrutiny; and an able CEO responsible for the smooth operation of countless services and special events at the White House. Now, as she did in her smash #1 bestseller The Residence, former White House correspondent Kate Andersen Brower draws on a wide array of untapped, candid sources—from residence staff and social secretaries to friends and political advisers—to tell the stories of the ten remarkable women who have defined that role since 1960. Brower offers new insights into this privileged group of remarkable women, including Jacqueline Kennedy, Lady Bird Johnson, Patricia Nixon, Betty Ford, Rosalynn Carter, Nancy Reagan, Barbara Bush, Hillary Clinton, Laura Bush, and Michelle Obama. The stories she shares range from the heartwarming to the shocking and tragic, exploring everything from the first ladies’ political crusades to their rivalries with Washington figures; from their friendships with other first ladies to their public and private relationships with their husbands. She also offers insight as to what Melania Trump might hope to accomplish as First Lady. Candid and illuminating, this first group biography of the modern first ladies provides a revealing look at life upstairs and downstairs at the world’s most powerful address.

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Call Sign Extortion 17 - Don Brown Cover Art

Call Sign Extortion 17

Call Sign Extortion 17 The Shoot-Down of SEAL Team Six by Don Brown

A devastating "Black Hawk Down" of the war in Afghanistan, the deadliest day for the U.S. in 12 years of that conflict—and a military investigation that covered up evidence of an inside job by the Taliban to avenge Bin Laden's death by taking out a unit of Navy SEAL Team Six