Top United States History Ebooks

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The American Miracle - Michael Medved Cover Art

The American Miracle

The American Miracle Divine Providence in the Rise of the Republic by Michael Medved

LUCKY... OR BLESSED? The history of the United States displays an uncanny pattern: At moments of crisis, when the odds against success seem overwhelming and disaster looks imminent, fate intervenes to provide deliverance and progress. Historians may categorize these incidents as happy accidents, callous crimes, or the product of brilliant leadership, but the most notable leaders of the past four hundred years have identified this good fortune as something else—a reflection of divine providence. In The American Miracle , bestselling author and radio host Michael Medved recounts some of the most significant events in America’s rise to prosperity and power, from the writing of the Constitution to the Civil War. He reveals a record of improbabilities and amazements that demonstrate what the Founders always believed: that events unfolded according to a master plan, with destiny playing an unmistakable role in lifting the nation to greatness. Among the stirring, illogical episodes described here: • A band of desperate religious refugees find themselves blown hopelessly off course, only to be deposited at the one spot on a wild continent best suited for their survival • George Washington’s beaten army, surrounded by a ruthless foe and on the verge of annihilation, manages an impossible escape due to a freakish change in the weather • A famous conqueror known for seizing territory, frustrated by a slave rebellion and a frozen harbor, impulsively hands Thomas Jefferson a tract of land that doubles the size of the United States • A weary soldier picks up three cigars left behind in an open field and notices the stogies have been wrapped in a handwritten description of the enemy’s secret battle plans—a revelation that gives Lincoln the supernatural sign he’s awaited in order to free the slaves When millions worry over the nation losing its way, Medved’s sweeping narrative, bursting with dramatic events and lively portraits of unforgettable, occasionally little-known characters, affirms America as “fortune’s favorite,” shaped by a distinctive destiny from our beginnings to the present day.

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Water to the Angels - Les Standiford Cover Art

Water to the Angels

Water to the Angels William Mulholland, His Monumental Aqueduct, and the Rise of Los Angeles by Les Standiford

The author of Last Train to Paradise tells the story of the largest public water project ever created—William Mulholland’s Los Angeles aqueduct—a story of Gilded Age ambition, hubris, greed, and one determined man who's vision shaped the future and continues to impact us today. In 1907, Irish immigrant William Mulholland conceived and built one of the greatest civil engineering feats in history: the aqueduct that carried water 223 miles from the Sierra Nevada mountains to Los Angeles—allowing this small, resource-challenged desert city to grow into a modern global metropolis. Drawing on new research, Les Standiford vividly captures the larger-then-life engineer and the breathtaking scope of his six-year, $23 million project that would transform a region, a state, and a nation at the dawn of its greatest century. With energy and colorful detail, Water to the Angels brings to life the personalities, politics, and power—including bribery, deception, force, and bicoastal financial warfare—behind this dramatic event. At a time when the importance of water is being recognized as never before—considered by many experts to be the essential resource of the twenty-first century—Water to the Angels brings into focus the vigor of a fabled era, the might of a larger than life individual, and the scale of a priceless construction project, and sheds critical light on a past that offers insights for our future. Water to the Angels includes 8 pages of photographs.

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The Blizzard of 88 - Mary Cable Cover Art

The Blizzard of 88

The Blizzard of 88 by Mary Cable

"Well-researched, well-written, and highly engaging" - National Review Here is the dramatic story of the Blizzard of 1888, which caused havoc up and down the East coast of the United States. Award-winning author Mary Cable recreates - in all its human and natural drama - the three-day debacle that began on the night of Sunday, March 11, 1888. We meet the heroes and villains alike as they struggle through the mounting snow and icy winds to keep the wheels of civilization from grinding to a halt. The Blizzard of 88 is a moving and dramatic history in the tradition of David McCullough's classic The Johnstown Flood.

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Manhunt - James L. Swanson Cover Art

Manhunt

Manhunt The 12-Day Chase to Catch Lincoln's Killer by James L. Swanson

The murder of Abraham Lincoln set off the greatest manhunt in American history. From April 14 to April 26, 1865, the assassin, John Wilkes Booth, led Union cavalry and detectives on a wild twelve-day chase through the streets of Washington, D.C., across the swamps of Maryland, and into the forests of Virginia, while the nation, still reeling from the just-ended Civil War, watched in horror and sadness. James L. Swanson's Manhunt is a fascinating tale of murder, intrigue, and betrayal. A gripping hour-by-hour account told through the eyes of the hunted and the hunters, this is history as you've never read it before.

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Leadership - Doris Kearns Goodwin Cover Art

Leadership

Leadership In Turbulent Times by Doris Kearns Goodwin

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER “After five decades of magisterial output, Doris Kearns Goodwin leads the league of presidential historians. Insight is her imprint.”— USA TODAY “A book like Leadership should help us raise our expectations of our national leaders, our country and ourselves.”— The Washington Post “We can only hope that a few of Goodwin’s many readers will find in her subjects’ examples a margin of inspiration and a resolve to steer the country to a better place.”— The New York Times Book Review In this culmination of five decades of acclaimed studies in presidential history, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Doris Kearns Goodwin offers an illuminating exploration of the early development, growth, and exercise of leadership. Are leaders born or made? Where does ambition come from? How does adversity affect the growth of leadership? Does the leader make the times or do the times make the leader? In Leadership , 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. No common pattern describes the trajectory of leadership. Although set apart in background, abilities, and temperament, these men shared a fierce ambition and a deep-seated resilience that enabled them to surmount uncommon hardships. 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. 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.

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The Devil in the White City - Erik Larson Cover Art

The Devil in the White City

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

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

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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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Jamestown - Marshall W. Fishwick Cover Art

Jamestown

Jamestown by Marshall W. Fishwick

In December 1606, when they set sail from London for the Virginia coast, the people aboard the three ships anticipated the best. They would establish a British colony, find gold, and discover a water route to Asia. But what awaited them was far different - fire, hunger, sickness, death, even cannibalism. Here, from the noted historian Marshall W. Fishwick, is the dramatic story of Jamestown and the struggle of its leader, Captain John Smith, who, with the help of Pocahontas, daughter of the Algonquian chief Powhatan, succeeded against all odds.

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And the Band Played On - Randy Shilts Cover Art

And the Band Played On

And the Band Played On Politics, People, and the AIDS Epidemic, 20th-Anniversary Edition by Randy Shilts

Upon it's first publication twenty years ago, And The Band Played on was quickly recognized as a masterpiece of investigative reporting. An international bestseller, a nominee for the National Book Critics Circle Award, and made into a critically acclaimed movie, Shilts' expose revealed why AIDS was allowed to spread unchecked during the early 80's while the most trusted institutions ignored or denied the threat. One of the few true modern classics, it changed and framed how AIDS was discussed in the following years. Now republished in a special 20th Anniversary edition, And the Band Played On remains one of the essential books of our time.

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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

New York Times Bestseller In the most ambitious one-volume American history in decades, award-winning historian and New Yorker writer Jill Lepore offers a magisterial account of the origins and rise of a divided nation, an urgently needed reckoning with the beauty and tragedy of American history. Written in elegiac prose, Lepore’s groundbreaking investigation 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. And it rests, too, on a fearless dedication to inquiry, Lepore argues, because self-government depends on it. 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 traces the intertwined histories of American politics, law, journalism, and technology, from the colonial town meeting to the nineteenth-century party machine, from talk radio to twenty-first-century Internet polls, from Magna Carta to the Patriot Act, from the printing press to Facebook News. Along the way, Lepore’s sovereign chronicle is filled with arresting sketches of both well-known and lesser-known Americans, from a parade of presidents and a rogues’ gallery of political mischief makers to the intrepid leaders of protest movements, including Frederick Douglass, the famed abolitionist orator; William Jennings Bryan, the three-time presidential candidate and ultimately tragic populist; Pauli Murray, the visionary civil rights strategist; and Phyllis Schlafly, the uncredited architect of modern conservatism. Americans are descended from slaves and slave owners, from conquerors and the conquered, from immigrants and from people who have fought to end immigration. "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. "The past is an inheritance, a gift and a burden," These Truths observes. "It can’t be shirked. There’s nothing for it but to get to know it."

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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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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. NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY NPR 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 “Appalled by the ascendancy of Donald J. Trump, and shaken by the deadly white nationalist rallies in Charlottesville in 2017, Meacham returns to other moments in our history when fear and division seemed rampant. He wants to remind us that the current political turmoil is not unprecedented, that as a nation we have survived times worse than this. . . . Meacham tries to summon the better angels by looking back at when America truly has been great. He is effective as ever at writing history for a broad readership.” — The New York Times Book Review “This is a brilliant, fascinating, timely, and above all profoundly important book.” —Walter Isaacson

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Andrew Jackson and the Miracle of New Orleans - Brian Kilmeade & Don Yaeger Cover Art

Andrew Jackson and the Miracle of New Orleans

Andrew Jackson and the Miracle of New Orleans The Battle That Shaped America's Destiny by Brian Kilmeade & Don Yaeger

Another history pageturner from the authors of the #1 bestsellers  George Washington's Secret Six and Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates. The War of 1812 saw America threatened on every side. Encouraged by the British, Indian tribes attacked settlers in the West, while the Royal Navy terrorized the coasts. By mid-1814, President James Madison’s generals had lost control of the war in the North, losing battles in Canada. Then British troops set the White House ablaze, and a feeling of hopelessness spread across the country. Into this dire situation stepped Major General Andrew Jackson. A native of Tennessee who had witnessed the horrors of the Revolutionary War and Indian attacks, he was glad America had finally decided to confront repeated British aggression. But he feared that President Madison’s men were overlooking the most important target of all: New Orleans. If the British conquered New Orleans, they would control the mouth of the Mississippi River, cutting Americans off from that essential trade route and threatening the previous decade’s Louisiana Purchase. The new nation’s dreams of western expansion would be crushed before they really got off the ground. So Jackson had to convince President Madison and his War Department to take him seriously, even though he wasn’t one of the Virginians and New Englanders who dominated the government. He had to assemble a coalition of frontier militiamen, French-speaking Louisianans,Cherokee and Choctaw Indians, freed slaves, and even some pirates. And he had to defeat the most powerful military force in the world—in the confusing terrain of the Louisiana bayous. In short, Jackson needed a miracle. The local Ursuline nuns set to work praying for his outnumbered troops. And so the Americans, driven by patriotism and protected by prayer, began the battle that would shape our young nation’s destiny. As they did in their two previous bestsellers, Kilmeade and Yaeger make history come alive with a riveting true story that will keep you turning the pages. You’ll finish with a new understanding of one of our greatest generals and a renewed appreciation for the brave men who fought so that America could one day stretch “from sea to shining sea.”

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Twelve Years a Slave - Solomon Northup Cover Art

Twelve Years a Slave

Twelve Years a Slave by Solomon Northup

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER The story that inspired the major motion picture produced by Brad Pitt, directed by Steve McQueen, and starring Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, and Benedict Cumberbatch, Twelve Years a Slave is a harrowing, vividly detailed, and utterly unforgettable account of slavery. This beautifully designed ebook edition of Twelve Years a Slave features an introduction by Dolen Perkins-Valdez, the bestselling author of Wench. Solomon Northup was an entrepreneur and dedicated family man, father to three young children, Elizabeth, Margaret, and Alonzo. What little free time he had after long days of manual and farm labor, he spent reading books and playing the violin. Though his father was born into slavery, Solomon was born and lived free. In March 1841, two strangers approached Northup, offering him employment as a violinist in a town hundreds of miles away from his home in Saratoga Springs, New York. Solomon bid his wife farewell until his return. Only after he was drugged and bound, did he realize the strangers were kidnappers—that nefarious brand of criminals in the business of capturing runaway and free blacks for profit. Thus began Northup's life as a slave. Dehumanized, beaten, and worked mercilessly, Northup suffered all the more wondering what had become of his family. One owner was savagely cruel and Northup recalls he was "indebted to him for nothing, save undeserved abuse." Just as he felt the summer of his life fade and all hope nearly lost, he met a kind-hearted stranger who changed the course of his life. With its first-hand account of this country's Peculiar Institution, this is a book no one interested in American history can afford to miss.

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Bringing Down the Colonel - Patricia Miller Cover Art

Bringing Down the Colonel

Bringing Down the Colonel A Sex Scandal of the Gilded Age, and the "Powerless" Woman Who Took On Washington by Patricia Miller

“I’ll take my share of the blame. I only ask that he take his.” In Bringing Down the Colonel , the journalist Patricia Miller tells the story of Madeline Pollard, an unlikely nineteenth-century women’s rights crusader. After an affair with a prominent politician left her “ruined,” Pollard brought the man—and the hypocrisy of America’s control of women’s sexuality—to trial. And, surprisingly, she won. Pollard and the married Colonel Breckinridge began their decade-long affair when she was just a teenager. After the death of his wife, Breckinridge asked for Pollard’s hand—and then broke off the engagement to marry another woman. But Pollard struck back, suing Breckinridge for breach of promise in a shockingly public trial. With premarital sex considered irredeemably ruinous for a woman, Pollard was asserting the unthinkable: that the sexual morality of men and women should be judged equally. Nearly 125 years after the Breckinridge-Pollard scandal, America is still obsessed with women’s sexual morality. And in the age of Donald Trump and Harvey Weinstein, we’ve witnessed fraught public reckonings with a type of sexual exploitation unnervingly similar to that experienced by Pollard. Using newspaper articles, personal journals, previously unpublished autobiographies, and letters, Bringing Down the Colonel tells the story of one of the earliest women to publicly fight back.

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Heirs of the Founders - H. W. Brands Cover Art

Heirs of the Founders

Heirs of the Founders The Epic Rivalry of Henry Clay, John Calhoun and Daniel Webster, the Second Generation of American Giants by H. W. Brands

From New York Times bestselling historian H. W. Brands comes the riveting story of how, in nineteenth-century America, a new set of political giants battled to complete the unfinished work of the Founding Fathers and decide the future of our democracy In the early 1800s, three young men strode onto the national stage, elected to Congress at a moment when the Founding Fathers were beginning to retire to their farms. Daniel Webster of Massachusetts, a champion orator known for his eloquence, spoke for the North and its business class. Henry Clay of Kentucky, as dashing as he was ambitious, embodied the hopes of the rising West. South Carolina's John Calhoun, with piercing eyes and an even more piercing intellect, defended the South and slavery.      Together these heirs of Washington, Jefferson and Adams took the country to war, battled one another for the presidency and set themselves the task of finishing the work the Founders had left undone. Their rise was marked by dramatic duels, fierce debates, scandal and political betrayal. Yet each in his own way sought to remedy the two glaring flaws in the Constitution: its refusal to specify where authority ultimately rested, with the states or the nation, and its unwillingness to address the essential incompatibility of republicanism and slavery. They wrestled with these issues for four decades, arguing bitterly and hammering out political compromises that held the Union together, but only just. Then, in 1850, when California moved to join the Union as a free state, "the immortal trio" had one last chance to save the country from the real risk of civil war. But, by that point, they had never been further apart.      Thrillingly and authoritatively, H. W. Brands narrates an epic American rivalry and the little-known drama of the dangerous early years of our democracy.

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The Swamp Fox - John Oller Cover Art

The Swamp Fox

The Swamp Fox How Francis Marion Saved the American Revolution by John Oller

In the darkest days of the American Revolution, Francis Marion and his band of militia freedom fighters kept hope alive for the patriot cause during the critical British "southern campaign." Employing insurgent guerrilla tactics that became commonplace in later centuries, Marion and his brigade inflicted enemy losses that were individually small but cumulatively a large drain on British resources and morale. Although many will remember the stirring adventures of the "Swamp Fox" from the Walt Disney television series of the late 1950s and the fictionalized Marion character played by Mel Gibson in the 2000 film The Patriot , the real Francis Marion bore little resemblance to either of those caricatures. But his exploits were no less heroic as he succeeded, against all odds, in repeatedly foiling the highly trained, better-equipped forces arrayed against him. In this action-packed biography we meet many colorful characters from the Revolution: Banastre Tarleton, the British cavalry officer who relentlessly pursued Marion over twenty-six miles of swamp, only to call off the chase and declare (per legend) that "the Devil himself could not catch this damned old fox," giving Marion his famous nickname; Thomas Sumter, the bold but rash patriot militia leader whom Marion detested; Lord Cornwallis, the imperious British commander who ordered the hanging of rebels and the destruction of their plantations; "Light-Horse Harry" Lee, the urbane young Continental cavalryman who helped Marion topple critical British outposts in South Carolina; but most of all Francis Marion himself, "the Washington of the South," a man of ruthless determination yet humane character, motivated by what his peers called "the purest patriotism." In The Swamp Fox , the first major biography of Marion in more than forty years, John Oller compiles striking evidence and brings together much recent learning to provide a fresh look both at Marion, the man, and how he helped save the American Revolution.

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Obama's Wars - Bob Woodward Cover Art

Obama's Wars

Obama's Wars by Bob Woodward

In Obama’s Wars , Bob Woodward provides the most intimate and sweeping portrait yet of the young president as commander in chief. Drawing on internal memos, classified documents, meeting notes and hundreds of hours of interviews with most of the key players, including the president, Woodward tells the inside story of Obama making the critical decisions on the Afghanistan War, the secret campaign in Pakistan and the worldwide fight against terrorism.     At the core of Obama’s Wars is the unsettled division between the civilian leadership in the White House and the United States military as the president is thwarted in his efforts to craft an exit plan for the Afghanistan War.     “So what’s my option?” the president asked his war cabinet, seeking alternatives to the Afghanistan commander’s request for 40,000 more troops in late 2009.  “You have essentially given me one option. ...It’s unacceptable.”    “Well,” Secretary of Defense Robert Gates finally said, “Mr. President, I think we owe you that option.”    It never came. An untamed Vice President Joe Biden pushes relentlessly to limit the military mission and avoid another Vietnam. The vice president frantically sent half a dozen handwritten memos by secure fax to Obama on the eve of the final troop decision.    President Obama’s ordering a surge of 30,000 troops and pledging to start withdrawing U.S. forces by July 2011 did not end the skirmishing.    General David Petraeus, the new Afghanistan commander, thinks time can be added to the clock if he shows progress.  “I don’t think you win this war,” Petraeus said privately.  “This is the kind of fight we’re in for the rest of our lives and probably our kids’ lives.”    Hovering over this debate is the possibility of another terrorist attack in the United States. The White House led a secret exercise showing how unprepared the government is if terrorists set off a nuclear bomb in an American city—which Obama told Woodward is at the top of the list of what he worries about all the time.    Verbatim quotes from secret debates and White House strategy sessions—and firsthand accounts of the thoughts and concerns of the president, his war council and his generals—reveal a government in conflict, often consumed with nasty infighting and fundamental disputes.    Woodward has discovered how the Obama White House really works, showing that even more tough decisions lie ahead for the cerebral and engaged president.    Obama’s Wars offers the reader a stunning, you-are-there account of the president, his White House aides, military leaders, diplomats and intelligence chiefs in this time of turmoil and danger.

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Eugenic Nation - Alexandra Minna Stern Cover Art

Eugenic Nation

Eugenic Nation Faults and Frontiers of Better Breeding in Modern America by Alexandra Minna Stern

First edition, Winner of the Arthur J. Viseltear Prize, American Public Health Association With an emphasis on the American West, Eugenic Nation explores the long and unsettled history of eugenics in the United States. This expanded second edition includes shocking details demonstrating that eugenics continues to inform institutional and reproductive injustice. Alexandra Minna Stern draws on recently uncovered historical records to reveal patterns of racial bias in California’s sterilization program and documents compelling individual experiences. With the addition of radically new and relevant research, this edition connects the eugenic past to the genomic present with attention to the ethical and social implications of emerging genetic technologies.

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American Heritage History of the American Revolution - Bruce Lancaster Cover Art

American Heritage History of the American Revolution

American Heritage History of the American Revolution by Bruce Lancaster

"A magnificent book. . . . Bruce Lancaster's text is terse, rapid, lucid, and dramatic . . . filled with the color and excitement of a grim and bloody war." - The New York Times The American Heritage History of the American Revolution is the complete chronicle of the Revolutionary War told in full detail. Lancaster starts his story with an examination of colonial society and the origins of the quarrel with England. He details the ensuing battles and military campaigns from Lexington and Concord to the surrender of Lord Cornwallis at Yorktown, as well as the tense political and social situation of the new nation. The American Heritage History of the American Revolution details the birth of America with insight and depth.

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The Devil's Playground - James Traub Cover Art

The Devil's Playground

The Devil's Playground A Century of Pleasure and Profit in Times Square by James Traub

As Times Square turns 100, New York Times Magazine contributing writer James Traub tells the story of how this mercurial district became one of the most famous and exciting places in the world. The Devil’s Playground is classic and colorful American history, from the first years of the twentieth century through the Runyonesque heyday of nightclubs and theaters in the 1920s and ’30s, to the district’s decline in the 1960s and its glittering corporate revival in the 1990s. First, Traub gives us the great impresarios, wits, tunesmiths, newspaper columnists, and nocturnal creatures who shaped Times Square over the century since the place first got its name: Oscar Hammerstein, Florenz Ziegfeld, George S. Kaufman, Damon Runyon, Walter Winchell, and “the Queen of the Nightclubs,” Texas Guinan; bards like A. J. Liebling, Joe Mitchell, and the Beats, who celebrated the drug dealers and pimps of 42nd Street. He describes Times Square’s notorious collapse into pathology and the fierce debates over how best to restore it to life. Traub then goes on to scrutinize today’s Times Square as no author has yet done. He writes about the new 42nd Street, the giant Toys “R” Us store with its flashing Ferris wheel, the new world of corporate theater, and the sex shops trying to leave their history behind. More than sixty years ago, Liebling called Times Square “the heart of the world”—not just the center of the world, though this crossroads in Midtown Manhattan was indeed that, but its heart. From the dawn of the twentieth century through the 1950s, Times Square was the whirling dynamo of American popular culture and, increasingly, an urban sanctuary for the eccentric and the untamed. The name itself became emblematic of the tremendous life force of cities everywhere. Today, Times Square is once again an awe-inspiring place, but the dark and strange corners have been filled with blazing light. The most famous street character on Broadway, “the Naked Cowboy,” has his own website, and Toys “R” Us calls its flagship store in Times Square “the toy center of the universe.” For the giant entertainment corporations that have moved to this safe, clean, and self-consciously gaudy spot, Times Square is still very much the center of the world. But is it still the heart? From the Hardcover edition.

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Letters of John Quincy Adams to His Son on the Bible and Its Teachings - John Quincy Adams Cover Art

Letters of John Quincy Adams to His Son on the Bible and Its Teachings

Letters of John Quincy Adams to His Son on the Bible and Its Teachings by John Quincy Adams

John Quincy Adams served America for nearly seven decades of public service. During America’s early years, as we were struggling to become an established nation, he spent years overseas as a leading American diplomat to key nations, securing their support and cooperation for our fledgling nation. He dearly loved his family, and regretted being separated from them for such long periods. So to make sure that his children were fully equipped for life, John Quincy took an active hand in their education, including regarding their religious faith.  In 1811 while residing in St. Petersburg as President James Madison’s diplomat to Russia, he wrote nine lengthy letters to his son George Washington Adams (named for John Quincy’s close friend and mentor), instructing him not only in how to read through the Bible from cover to cover once each year but also how to get the most out of that reading.  This was not an unusual topic for Adams, for throughout his life he maintained a strong love of the Bible. He not only read and studied it in numerous languages (including Greek, French, Russian, German, and others), but was also an officer and leader of the infant American Bible Society, which continues today as the largest distributor of Bibles in the world. When John Quincy Adams died in 1848 after seven decades of public service to his country, there was a high demand for his nine letters to his son on the Bible to be printed and distributed nationally so that all of America’s youth would benefit from his wise counsel. When that work was released, in speaking of Adams, the Editors noted that: It is no slight testimonial to the verity and worth of Christianity that in all ages since its promulgation, the great mass of those who have risen to eminence by their profound wisdom, integrity, and philanthropy, have recognized and reverenced in Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of the Living God.  That 1848 book, titled The Letters of John Quincy Adams to His Son on the Bible and its Teachings, became an instant best-seller. It went through several reprints over subsequent years and its public popularity remained very high. This modern reprint makes the wisdom of John Quincy Adams available to this generation, and its wisdom is perfect for both youth and adults.

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The Marketplace of Revolution - T. H. Breen Cover Art

The Marketplace of Revolution

The Marketplace of Revolution How Consumer Politics Shaped American Independence by T. H. Breen

The Marketplace of Revolution offers a boldly innovative interpretation of the mobilization of ordinary Americans on the eve of independence. Breen explores how colonists who came from very different ethnic and religious backgrounds managed to overcome difference and create a common cause capable of galvanizing resistance. In a richly interdisciplinary narrative that weaves insights into a changing material culture with analysis of popular political protests, Breen shows how virtual strangers managed to communicate a sense of trust that effectively united men and women long before they had established a nation of their own. The Marketplace of Revolution argues that the colonists' shared experience as consumers in a new imperial economy afforded them the cultural resources that they needed to develop a radical strategy of political protest--the consumer boycott. Never before had a mass political movement organized itself around disruption of the marketplace. As Breen demonstrates, often through anecdotes about obscure Americans, communal rituals of shared sacrifice provided an effective means to educate and energize a dispersed populace. The boycott movement--the signature of American resistance--invited colonists traditionally excluded from formal political processes to voice their opinions about liberty and rights within a revolutionary marketplace, an open, raucous public forum that defined itself around subscription lists passed door-to-door, voluntary associations, street protests, destruction of imported British goods, and incendiary newspaper exchanges. Within these exchanges was born a new form of politics in which ordinary man and women--precisely the people most often overlooked in traditional accounts of revolution--experienced an exhilarating surge of empowerment. Breen recreates an "empire of goods" that transformed everyday life during the mid-eighteenth century. Imported manufactured items flooded into the homes of colonists from New Hampshire to Georgia. The Marketplace of Revolution explains how at a moment of political crisis Americans gave political meaning to the pursuit of happiness and learned how to make goods speak to power.

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The Georgia Guidestones - KT Prime & Raymond Wiley Cover Art

The Georgia Guidestones

The Georgia Guidestones America's Most Mysterious Movement by KT Prime & Raymond Wiley

The Georgia Guidestones </i> are a collection of standing stones near Elberton, Georgia. Built in 1980, they are primarily composed of six slabs of granite: one central pillar, four "major" stones that fan out from the center, and a capstone. The capstone has engravings on all four of its sides in four different ancient languages, all of which read, "Let these be guidestones to an Age of Reason," when translated. The major stones are each engraved on both sides, and each side contains text in one of eight modern languages asserting the same ten guidelines. Those guidelines have proven extremely controversial, causing speculation and rumors of conspiracy that go far beyond northeast Georgia. Conspiracy theorists surmise a global plot on the part of a group of shadowy men to subjugate and oppress the world's population and create a "new world order." Others believe that the man behind the monument was a Rosicrucian, and that the stones are representative of that group's magical manifesto. Some people even believe that it is a landing site for an alien spacecraft of some kind. At the heart of this confusion is the missing piece of the puzzle: who was the mystery man who started the entire chain of events? Georgia native Raymond Wiley was interviewed for The History Channel's  Brad Meltzer's Decoded  program about the Guidestones and is a principal expert for a feature length documentary currently in production. With local writer KT Prime he has written the definitive account of America's most famous megalithic monument.

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Gettysburg - Bruce Catton Cover Art

Gettysburg

Gettysburg by Bruce Catton

Here, from Pulitzer Prize winner Bruce Catton, is the dramatic story of the most important battle of the American Civil War: Gettysburg. For three days, from the first shots by Union soldiers to Confederate George Pickett's doomed charge up Cemetery Ridge, Catton brings vividly to life the clash that left some 51,000 Union and Confederate soldiers dead or wounded and altered the course of the war.

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The True Story of the Hatfield and McCoy Feud - L. D. Hatfield Cover Art

The True Story of the Hatfield and McCoy Feud

The True Story of the Hatfield and McCoy Feud by L. D. Hatfield

There have been several versions written of this widely known altercation between the two prominent mountain families. but no two of them have coincided as to the facts concerning a feud which has become nationally and even internationally known throughout the years, since these two clans stalked each other in the wilderness recesses of Tug River, along the borders of West Virginia and Kentucky which were at that time very sparsely settled.  It has been commonly rumored that the feud actually started because of a dispute between the two clans over the ownership of a hog. This, however, is not true. It is true that there had been some trouble in this respect prior to the actual beginning of the feud, but a more or less satisfactory settlement had been made concerning the hog.  In those days there were vast uninhabited tracts of land in this section of West Virginia and Kentucky covered by dense forest which afforded an unsurmountable amount of mast upon which the hogs of various settlers would feast during that particular season of the year.  Each settler would have a certain mark by which his hogs could be recognized from those of his neighbors. These marks would be cut in the ears of the hogs by their owners with the keen-bladed knife of the frontiersman by cutting what was known as the swallow-fork in the left ear; an upper-cut in the right ear, or perhaps an underbit in one ear and some other mark in the other ear and each settler would have a different mark.  When the acorns and other nuts from the native trees in the forest began to drop in the fall of the year, the settlers would drive their hogs into these woodland areas and leave them for weeks and months so that they might grow and fatten on the nuts, and when the time came to round up the hogs each settler would know his hogs by these markings.

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In the Hurricane's Eye - Nathaniel Philbrick Cover Art

In the Hurricane's Eye

In the Hurricane's Eye The Genius of George Washington and the Victory at Yorktown by Nathaniel Philbrick

NEW YORK TIMES  BESTSELLER "Nathaniel Philbrick is a masterly storyteller. Here he seeks to elevate the naval battles between the French and British to a central place in the history of the American Revolution. He succeeds, marvelously."-- The New York Times Book Review The thrilling story of the year that won the Revolutionary War from the New York Times bestselling author of In the Heart of the Sea and Valiant Ambition. A perfect holiday gift. In the fall of 1780, after five frustrating years of war, George Washington had come to realize that the only way to defeat the British Empire was with the help of the French navy. But as he had learned after two years of trying, coordinating his army's movements with those of a fleet of warships based thousands of miles away was next to impossible. And then, on September 5, 1781, the impossible happened. Recognized today as one of the most important naval engagements in the history of the world, the Battle of the Chesapeake--fought without a single American ship--made the subsequent victory of the Americans at Yorktown a virtual inevitability. In a narrative that moves from Washington's headquarters on the Hudson River, to the wooded hillside in North Carolina where Nathanael Greene fought Lord Cornwallis to a vicious draw, to Lafayette's brilliant series of maneuvers across Tidewater Virginia, Philbrick details the epic and suspenseful year through to its triumphant conclusion. A riveting and wide-ranging story, full of dramatic, unexpected turns, In the Hurricane's Eye reveals that the fate of the American Revolution depended, in the end, on Washington and the sea.

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

Killing England

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

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

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Killing Lincoln - Bill O'Reilly &amp; Martin Dugard Cover Art

Killing Lincoln

Killing Lincoln The Shocking Assassination that Changed America Forever by Bill O'Reilly & Martin Dugard

A riveting historical narrative of the heart-stopping events surrounding the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, and the first work of history from mega-bestselling author Bill O'Reilly The anchor of The O'Reilly Factor recounts one of the most dramatic stories in American history—how one gunshot changed the country forever. In the spring of 1865, the bloody saga of America's Civil War finally comes to an end after a series of increasingly harrowing battles. President Abraham Lincoln's generous terms for Robert E. Lee's surrender are devised to fulfill Lincoln's dream of healing a divided nation, with the former Confederates allowed to reintegrate into American society. But one man and his band of murderous accomplices, perhaps reaching into the highest ranks of the U.S. government, are not appeased. In the midst of the patriotic celebrations in Washington D.C., John Wilkes Booth—charismatic ladies' man and impenitent racist—murders Abraham Lincoln at Ford's Theatre. A furious manhunt ensues and Booth immediately becomes the country's most wanted fugitive. Lafayette C. Baker, a smart but shifty New York detective and former Union spy, unravels the string of clues leading to Booth, while federal forces track his accomplices. The thrilling chase ends in a fiery shootout and a series of court-ordered executions—including that of the first woman ever executed by the U.S. government, Mary Surratt. Featuring some of history's most remarkable figures, vivid detail, and page-turning action, Killing Lincoln is history that reads like a thriller.

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Landing on the Edge of Eternity: Twenty-Four Hours at Omaha Beach - Robert Kershaw Cover Art

Landing on the Edge of Eternity: Twenty-Four Hours at Omaha Beach

Landing on the Edge of Eternity: Twenty-Four Hours at Omaha Beach by Robert Kershaw

A visceral and momentous narrative of the first twenty-four hours of D-Day on Omaha Beach: the most dramatic Allied landing of World War II. Before World War II, Normandy’s Plage d’Or coast was best known for its sleepy villages and holiday destinations. Early in 1944, German commander Field Marshal Erwin Rommel took one look at the gentle, sloping sands and announced "They will come here!” He was referring to "Omaha Beach”—the prime American D-Day landing site. The beach was subsequently transformed into three miles of lethal, bunker-protected arcs of fire, with seaside chalets converted into concrete strongpoints, fringed by layers of barbed wire and mines. The Germans called it “the Devil's Garden." When Company A of the US 116th Regiment landed on Omaha Beach in D-Day’s first wave on 6th June 1944, it lost 96% of its effective strength. Sixteen teams of US engineers arriving in the second wave were unable to blow the beach obstacles, as first wave survivors were still sheltering behind them. This was the beginning of the historic day that Landing on the Edge of Eternity narrates hour by hour—rom midnight to midnight—tracking German and American soldiers fighting across the beachhead.  Mustered on their troop transport decks at 2am, the American infantry departed in landing craft at 5am. Skimming across high waves, deafened by immense broadsides from supporting battleships and weak from seasickness, they caught sight of land at 6.15. Eleven minutes later, the assault was floundering under intense German fire. Two and a half hours in, General Bradley, commanding the landings aboard USS Augusta, had to decide if to proceed or evacuate. On June 6th there were well over 2,400 casualties on Omaha Beach – easily D-Day’s highest death toll. The Wehrmacht thought they had bludgeoned the Americans into bloody submission, yet by mid-afternoon, the American troops were ashore. Why were the casualties so grim, and how could the Germans have failed? Juxtaposing the American experience—pinned down, swamped by a rising tide, facing young Wehrmacht soldiers fighting desperately for their lives, Kershaw draws on eyewitness accounts, memories, letters, and post-combat reports to expose the true horrors of Omaha Beach. These are stories of humanity, resilience, and dark humor; of comradeship and a gritty patriotism holding beleaguered men together. Landing on the Edge of Eternity is a dramatic historical ride through an amphibious landing that looked as though it might never succeed.   

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American Dialogue - Joseph J. Ellis Cover Art

American Dialogue

American Dialogue The Founders and Us by Joseph J. Ellis

The award-winning author of Founding Brothers and The Quartet now gives us a deeply insightful examination of the relevance of the views of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and John Adams to some of the most divisive issues in America today. The story of history is a ceaseless conversation between past and present, and in American Dialogue Joseph J. Ellis focuses the conversation on the often-asked question "What would the Founding Fathers think?" He examines four of our most seminal historical figures through the prism of particular topics, using the perspective of the present to shed light on their views and, in turn, to make clear how their now centuries-old ideas illuminate the disturbing impasse of today's political conflicts. He discusses Jefferson and the issue of racism, Adams and the specter of economic inequality, Washington and American imperialism, Madison and the doctrine of original intent. Through these juxtapositions--and in his hallmark dramatic and compelling narrative voice--Ellis illuminates the obstacles and pitfalls paralyzing contemporary discussions of these fundamentally important issues.

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The Worst Hard Time - Timothy Egan Cover Art

The Worst Hard Time

The Worst Hard Time The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl by Timothy Egan

In a tour de force of historical reportage, Timothy Egan’s National Book Award–winning story rescues an iconic chapter of American history from the shadows. The dust storms that terrorized the High Plains in the darkest years of the Depression were like nothing ever seen before or since. Following a dozen families and their communities through the rise and fall of the region, Timothy Egan tells of their desperate attempts to carry on through blinding black dust blizzards, crop failure, and the death of loved ones. Brilliantly capturing the terrifying drama of catastrophe, he does equal justice to the human characters who become his heroes, “the stoic, long-suffering men and women whose lives he opens up with urgency and respect” ( New York Times ). In an era that promises ever-greater natural disasters, The Worst Hard Time is “arguably the best nonfiction book yet” ( Austin Statesman Journal ) on the greatest environmental disaster ever to be visited upon our land and a powerful reminder about the dangers of trifling with nature.

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Nothing Like It In the World - Stephen E. Ambrose Cover Art

Nothing Like It In the World

Nothing Like It In the World The Men Who Built the Transcontinental Railroad 1863-1869 by Stephen E. Ambrose

In this account of an unprecedented feat of engineering, vision, and courage, Stephen E. Ambrose offers a historical successor to his universally acclaimed Undaunted Courage, which recounted the explorations of the West by Lewis and Clark. Nothing Like It in the World is the story of the men who built the transcontinental railroad -- the investors who risked their businesses and money; the enlightened politicians who understood its importance; the engineers and surveyors who risked, and lost, their lives; and the Irish and Chinese immigrants, the defeated Confederate soldiers, and the other laborers who did the backbreaking and dangerous work on the tracks. The Union had won the Civil War and slavery had been abolished, but Abraham Lincoln, who was an early and constant champion of railroads, would not live to see the great achievement. In Ambrose's hands, this enterprise, with its huge expenditure of brainpower, muscle, and sweat, comes to life. The U.S. government pitted two companies -- the Union Pacific and the Central Pacific Railroads -- against each other in a race for funding, encouraging speed over caution. Locomo-tives, rails, and spikes were shipped from the East through Panama or around South America to the West or lugged across the country to the Plains. This was the last great building project to be done mostly by hand: excavating dirt, cutting through ridges, filling gorges, blasting tunnels through mountains. At its peak, the workforce -- primarily Chinese on the Central Pacific, Irish on the Union Pacific -- approached the size of Civil War armies, with as many as fifteen thousand workers on each line. The Union Pacific was led by Thomas "Doc" Durant, Oakes Ames, and Oliver Ames, with Grenville Dodge -- America's greatest railroad builder -- as chief engineer. The Central Pacific was led by California's "Big Four": Leland Stanford, Collis Huntington, Charles Crocker, and Mark Hopkins. The surveyors, the men who picked the route, were latter-day Lewis and Clark types who led the way through the wilderness, living off buffalo, deer, elk, and antelope. In building a railroad, there is only one decisive spot -- the end of the track. Nothing like this great work had been seen in the world when the last spike, a golden one, was driven in at Promontory Summit, Utah, in 1869, as the Central Pacific and the Union Pacific tracks were joined. Ambrose writes with power and eloquence about the brave men -- the famous and the unheralded, ordinary men doing the extraordinary -- who accomplished the spectacular feat that made the continent into a nation.

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The Wright Brothers - David McCullough Cover Art

The Wright Brothers

The Wright Brothers by David McCullough

Two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize David McCullough tells the dramatic story-behind-the-story about the courageous brothers who taught the world how to fly: Wilbur and Orville Wright. On a winter day in 1903, in the Outer Banks of North Carolina, two unknown brothers from Ohio changed history. But it would take the world some time to believe what had happened: the age of flight had begun, with the first heavier-than-air, powered machine carrying a pilot. Who were these men and how was it that they achieved what they did? David McCullough, two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize, tells the surprising, profoundly American story of Wilbur and Orville Wright. Far more than a couple of unschooled Dayton bicycle mechanics who happened to hit on success, they were men of exceptional courage and determination, and of far-ranging intellectual interests and ceaseless curiosity, much of which they attributed to their upbringing. The house they lived in had no electricity or indoor plumbing, but there were books aplenty, supplied mainly by their preacher father, and they never stopped reading. When they worked together, no problem seemed to be insurmountable. Wilbur was unquestionably a genius. Orville had such mechanical ingenuity as few had ever seen. That they had no more than a public high school education, little money and no contacts in high places, never stopped them in their “mission” to take to the air. Nothing did, not even the self-evident reality that every time they took off in one of their contrivances, they risked being killed. In this thrilling book, master historian David McCullough draws on the immense riches of the Wright Papers, including private diaries, notebooks, scrapbooks, and more than a thousand letters from private family correspondence to tell the human side of the Wright Brothers’ story, including the little-known contributions of their sister, Katharine, without whom things might well have gone differently for them.

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The Apprentice - Greg Miller Cover Art

The Apprentice

The Apprentice Trump, Russia and the Subversion of American Democracy by Greg Miller

A WASHINGTON POST NOTABLE WORK OF 2018 From two-time Pulitzer Prize–winning Washington Post national security reporter Greg Miller, the truth about Vladimir Putin’s covert attempt to destroy Hillary Clinton and help Donald Trump win the presidency, its possible connections to the Trump campaign, Robert Mueller’s ensuing investigation of the president and those close to him, and the mystery of Trump’s steadfast allegiance to Putin. It has been called the political crime of the century: a foreign government, led by a brutal authoritarian leader, secretly interfering with the American presidential election to help elect the candidate of its choice. Now two-time Pulitzer Prize–winning Washington Post national security reporter Greg Miller investigates the truth about the Kremlin’s covert attempt to destroy Hillary Clinton and help Donald Trump win the presidency, Trump’s steadfast allegiance to Vladimir Putin, and Robert Mueller’s ensuing investigation of the president and those close to him. Based on interviews with hundreds of people in Trump’s inner circle, current and former government officials, individuals with close ties to the White House, members of the law enforcement and intelligence communities, foreign officials, and confidential documents, The Apprentice offers striking new information about: the hacking of the Democrats by Russian intelligence;Russian hijacking of Facebook and Twitter;National Security Adviser Michael Flynn’s hidden communications with the Russians;the attempt by Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law, to create a secret back channel to Moscow using Russian diplomatic facilities;Trump’s disclosure to Russian officials of highly classified information about Israeli intelligence operations;Trump’s battles with the CIA and the FBI and fierce clashes within the West Wing;Trump’s efforts to enlist the director of national intelligence and the director of the National Security Agency to push back against the FBI’s investigation of his campaign;the mysterious Trump Tower meeting;the firing of FBI Director James Comey;the appointment of Mueller and the investigation that has followed;the tumultuous skirmishing within Trump’s legal camp;and Trump’s jaw-dropping behavior in Helsinki. Deeply reported and masterfully told, The Apprentice is essential reading for anyone trying to understand Vladimir Putin’s secret operation, its catastrophic impact, and the nature of betrayal.

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The Fifties - David Halberstam Cover Art

The Fifties

The Fifties by David Halberstam

This vivid New York Times bestseller about 1950s America from a Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist is “an engrossing sail across a pivotal decade” ( Time ). Joe McCarthy. Marilyn Monroe. The H-bomb. Ozzie and Harriet . Elvis. Civil rights. It’s undeniable: The fifties were a defining decade for America, complete with sweeping cultural change and political upheaval. This decade is also the focus of David Halberstam’s triumphant The Fifties , which stands as an enduring classic and was an instant New York Times bestseller upon its publication. More than a survey of the decade, it is a masterfully woven examination of far-reaching change, from the unexpected popularity of Holiday Inn to the marketing savvy behind McDonald’s expansion. A meditation on the staggering influence of image and rhetoric, The Fifties is vintage Halberstam, who was hailed by the Denver Post as “a lively, graceful writer who makes you . . . understand how much of our time was born in those years.”  This ebook features an extended biography of David Halberstam.

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Fly Girls - Keith O’Brien Cover Art

Fly Girls

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

A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER “Exhilarating.” — New York Times Book Review “ Riveting. ” — People “Keith O’Brien has brought these women—mostly long-hidden and forgotten—back into the light where they belong. And he’s done it with grace, sensitivity and a cinematic eye for detail that makes Fly Girls both exhilarating and heartbreaking.” — USA Today The untold story of five women who fought to compete against men in the high-stakes national air races of the 1920s and 1930s — and won   Between the world wars, no sport was more popular, or more dangerous, than airplane racing. Thousands of fans flocked to multi‑day events, and cities vied with one another to host them. The pilots themselves were hailed as dashing heroes who cheerfully stared death in the face. Well, the men were hailed. Female pilots were more often ridiculed than praised for what the press portrayed as silly efforts to horn in on a manly, and deadly, pursuit. Fly Girls recounts how a cadre of women banded together to break the original glass ceiling: the entrenched prejudice that conspired to keep them out of the sky. O’Brien weaves together the stories of five remarkable women: Florence Klingensmith, a high‑school dropout who worked for a dry cleaner in Fargo, North Dakota; Ruth Elder, an Alabama divorcee; Amelia Earhart, the most famous, but not necessarily the most skilled; Ruth Nichols, who chafed at the constraints of her blue‑blood family’s expectations; and Louise Thaden, the mother of two young kids who got her start selling coal in Wichita. Together, they fought for the chance to race against the men — and in 1936 one of them would triumph in the toughest race of all.   Like Hidden Figures and Girls of Atomic City , Fly Girls celebrates a little-known slice of history in which tenacious, trail-blazing women braved all obstacles to achieve greatness.

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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 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   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.

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A History of South Carolina Barbeque - Lake E. High, Jr. Cover Art

A History of South Carolina Barbeque

A History of South Carolina Barbeque by Lake E. High, Jr.

“The guru of ’que . . . [is] well equipped for his mission: securing South Carolina’s rightful claim as home to the nation’s first and best barbeque” ( South Carolina Living ).   South Carolina has been home to good, old-fashioned barbeque for quite a long time. Hundreds of restaurants, stands and food trucks sell tons of the southern staple every day. But the history of Palmetto State barbeque goes deeper than many might believe—it predates the rest of America. Native Americans barbequed pork on makeshift grills as far back as the 1500s after the Spanish introduced the pig into the Americas. Since the early 1920s, South Carolinians have been perfecting the craft and producing some of the best-tastin’ ’que in the country. Join author and president of the South Carolina Barbeque Association Lake E. High Jr. as he traces the delectable history from its pre-colonial roots to a thriving modern-day tradition that fuels an endless debate over where to find the best plate.   Includes photos!   “Of course, if one wants to taste the best, one needs to eat barbecue in South Carolina. As High repeatedly thumps into readers, the South, and South Carolina in particular, is home to real barbecue. Nevermind that hippie California TV-producer gobbledegook or those misguided cooking attempts by confused Northerners. Bless their hearts.” — The Island Packet

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Dodge City - Tom Clavin Cover Art

Dodge City

Dodge City Wyatt Earp, Bat Masterson, and the Wickedest Town in the American West by Tom Clavin

The instant New York Times bestseller! Dodge City, Kansas, is a place of legend. The town that started as a small military site exploded with the coming of the railroad, cattle drives, eager miners, settlers, and various entrepreneurs passing through to populate the expanding West. Before long, Dodge City’s streets were lined with saloons and brothels and its populace was thick with gunmen, horse thieves, and desperadoes of every sort. By the 1870s, Dodge City was known as the most violent and turbulent town in the West. Enter Wyatt Earp and Bat Masterson. Young and largely self-trained men, the lawmen led the effort that established frontier justice and the rule of law in the American West, and did it in the wickedest place in the United States. When they moved on, Wyatt to Tombstone and Bat to Colorado, a tamed Dodge was left in the hands of Jim Masterson. But before long Wyatt and Bat, each having had a lawman brother killed, returned to that threatened western Kansas town to team up to restore order again in what became known as the Dodge City War before riding off into the sunset. #1 New York Times bestselling author Tom Clavin's Dodge City tells the true story of their friendship, romances, gunfights, and adventures, along with the remarkable cast of characters they encountered along the way (including Wild Bill Hickock, Jesse James, Doc Holliday, Buffalo Bill Cody, John Wesley Hardin, Billy the Kid, and Theodore Roosevelt) that has gone largely untold—lost in the haze of Hollywood films and western fiction, until now.

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God Save Texas - Lawrence Wright Cover Art

God Save Texas

God Save Texas A Journey into the Soul of the Lone Star State by Lawrence Wright

A New York Times Notable Book An NPR Best Book of the Year God Save Texas is a journey through the most controversial state in America. It is a red state, but the cities are blue and among the most diverse in the nation. Oil is still king, but Texas now leads California in technology exports. Low taxes and minimal regulation have produced extraordinary growth, but also striking income disparities. Texas looks a lot like the America that Donald Trump wants to create. Bringing together the historical and the contemporary, the political and the personal, Texas native Lawrence Wright gives us a colorful, wide-ranging portrait of a state that not only reflects our country as it is, but as it may become—and shows how the battle for Texas’s soul encompasses us all.

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The Complete Works of Alexander Hamilton - Alexander Hamilton, Allan Mclane Hamilton &amp; Henry Cabot Lodge Cover Art

The Complete Works of Alexander Hamilton

The Complete Works of Alexander Hamilton Biography, The Federalist Papers, The Continentalist, A Full Vindication, Publius, Letters Of H.G, Military Papers, Private Correspondence, The Pacificus by Alexander Hamilton, Allan Mclane Hamilton & Henry Cabot Lodge

This exceptional collection shades light on the incredible life of Alexander Hamilton. It includes his complete political and military works (the Federalist, the Continentalist, Publius, Letters Of H.G, Military Papers, etc.) as well as his private correspondence. In order to create full picture of Hamilton's life, this collection in enriched with a biography written by his grandson Allan McLane Hamilton. Contents: The Intimate Life of Alexander Hamilton by Allan McLane Hamilton Alexander Hamilton Life Chronology Early Papers and Speeches The Continentalist Writings and Speeches in Federal Convention Writings and Speeches in Convention of New York Addresses Letters of H. G. Writings and Speeches on Taxation and Finance Papers on National Bank Papers on Coinage and the Mint Papers on Industry and Commerce Writings and Speeches on Commercial Relations Writings and Speeches on Foreign Relations Foreign Policy Papers The Whiskey Rebellion Papers Military Papers Miscellaneous Papers Private Correspondence The Federalist Papers

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On Wings of Eagles - Ken Follett Cover Art

On Wings of Eagles

On Wings of Eagles The Inspiring True Story of One Man's Patriotic Spirit--and His Heroic Mission to Save His Countrymen by Ken Follett

#1 bestselling author Ken Follett tells the inspiring true story of the Middle East hostage crisis that began in 1978, and of the unconventional means one American used to save his countrymen. . . .  When two of his employees were held hostage in a heavily guarded prison fortress in Iran, one man took matters into his own hands: businessman H. Ross Perot. His team consisted of a group of volunteers from the executive ranks of his corporation, handpicked and trained by a retired Green Beret officer. To free the imprisoned Americans, they would face incalculable odds on a mission that only true heroes would have dared. . . . Look out for Ken's newest book,  A Column of Fire , available now.

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The French and Indian War - Walter R. Borneman Cover Art

The French and Indian War

The French and Indian War Deciding the Fate of North America by Walter R. Borneman

In the summer of 1754, deep in the wilderness of western Pennsylvania, a very young George Washington suffered his first military defeat, and a centuries-old feud between Great Britain and France was rekindled. The war that followed would be fought across virgin territories, from Nova Scotia to the forks of the Ohio River, and it would ultimately decide the fate of the entire North American continent—not just for Great Britain and France but also for the Spanish and Native American populations. Noted historian Walter R. Borneman brings to life an epic struggle for a continent—what Samuel Eliot Morison called "truly the first world war"—and emphasizes how the seeds of discord sown in its aftermath would take root and blossom into the American Revolution.

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White Trash - Nancy Isenberg Cover Art

White Trash

White Trash The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America by Nancy Isenberg

The New York Times bestseller A New York Times Notable and Critics’ Top Book of 2016 Longlisted for the PEN/John Kenneth Galbraith Award for Nonfiction One of NPR's 10 Best Books Of 2016 Faced Tough Topics Head On NPR's Book Concierge Guide To 2016’s Great Reads San Francisco Chronicle's Best of 2016: 100 recommended books A Washington Post Notable Nonfiction Book of 2016 Globe & Mail 100 Best of 2016 “ Formidable and truth-dealing . . . necessary. ”   — The New York Times “This eye-opening investigation into our country’s entrenched social hierarchy is acutely relevant.” — O Magazine In her groundbreaking  bestselling history of the class system in America, Nancy Isenberg  upends history as we know it by taking on our comforting myths about equality and uncovering the crucial legacy of the ever-present, always embarrassing—if occasionally entertaining—poor white trash.   “When you turn an election into a three-ring circus, there’s always a chance that the dancing bear will win,” says Isenberg of the political climate surrounding Sarah Palin. And we recognize how right she is today. Yet the voters who boosted Trump all the way to the White House have been a permanent part of our American fabric, argues Isenberg. The wretched and landless poor have existed from the time of the earliest British colonial settlement to today's hillbillies. They were alternately known as “waste people,” “offals,” “rubbish,” “lazy lubbers,” and “crackers.” By the 1850s, the downtrodden included so-called “clay eaters” and “sandhillers,” known for prematurely aged children distinguished by their yellowish skin, ragged clothing, and listless minds.   Surveying political rhetoric and policy, popular literature and scientific theories over four hundred years, Isenberg upends assumptions about America’s supposedly class-free society––where liberty and hard work were meant to ensure real social mobility. Poor whites were central to the rise of the Republican Party in the early nineteenth century, and the Civil War itself was fought over class issues nearly as much as it was fought over slavery. Reconstruction pitted poor white trash against newly freed slaves, which factored in the rise of eugenics–-a widely popular movement embraced by Theodore Roosevelt that targeted poor whites for sterilization. These poor were at the heart of New Deal reforms and LBJ’s Great Society; they haunt us in reality TV shows like Here Comes Honey Boo Boo and Duck Dynasty. Marginalized as a class, white trash have always been at or near the center of major political debates over the character of the American identity.   We acknowledge racial injustice as an ugly stain on our nation’s history. With Isenberg’s landmark book, we will have to face the truth about the enduring, malevolent nature of class as well.

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Blood and Thunder - Hampton Sides Cover Art

Blood and Thunder

Blood and Thunder by Hampton Sides

A magnificent history of the American conquest of the West; "a story full of authority and color, truth and prophecy" ( The New York Times Book Review ) . In the summer of 1846, the Army of the West marched through Santa Fe, en route to invade and occupy the Western territories claimed by Mexico. Fueled by the new ideology of “Manifest Destiny,” this land grab would lead to a decades-long battle between the United States and the Navajos, the fiercely resistant rulers of a huge swath of mountainous desert wilderness. At the center of this sweeping tale is Kit Carson, the trapper, scout, and soldier whose adventures made him a legend. Sides shows us how this illiterate mountain man understood and respected the Western tribes better than any other American, yet willingly followed orders that would ultimately devastate the Navajo nation. Rich in detail and spanning more than three decades, this is an essential addition to our understanding of how the West was really won.

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1944 - Jay Winik Cover Art

1944

1944 FDR and the Year That Changed History by Jay Winik

New York Times bestselling author Jay Winik brings to life in gripping detail the year 1944, which determined the outcome of World War II and put more pressure than any other on an ailing yet determined President Roosevelt. It was not inevitable that World War II would end as it did, or that it would even end well. 1944 was a year that could have stymied the Allies and cemented Hitler’s waning power. Instead, it saved those democracies—but with a fateful cost. Now, in a superbly told story, Jay Winik, the acclaimed author of April 1865 and The Great Upheaval , captures the epic images and extraordinary history as never before. 1944 witnessed FDR at the pinnacle of his wartime leadership as well as his re-election, the planning of Operation Overlord with Churchill and Stalin, the unprecedented D-Day invasion, the liberation of Paris and the horrific Battle of the Bulge, and the tumultuous conferences that finally shaped the coming peace. But on the way, millions of more lives were still at stake as President Roosevelt was exposed to mounting evidence of the Final Solution. Just as the Allies were landing in Normandy, the Nazis were accelerating the killing of millions of European Jews. Winik shows how escalating pressures fell on an all but dying Roosevelt, whose rapidly deteriorating health was a closely guarded secret. Was winning the war the best way to rescue the Jews? Was a rescue even possible? Or would it get in the way of defeating Hitler? In a year when even the most audacious undertakings were within the world’s reach, including the liberation of Europe, one challenge—saving Europe’s Jews—seemed to remain beyond Roosevelt’s grasp. As he did to such singular effect in April 1865 , Winik provides a stunningly fresh look at the twentieth century’s most pivotal year. Provocative, bold, and exquisitely rendered, 1944: FDR and the Year that Changed History is the first book to tell these events with such moral clarity and unprecedented sweep, and a moving appreciation of the extraordinary struggles of the era’s outsized figures.

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Rocket Men - Robert Kurson Cover Art

Rocket Men

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

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • T he riveting inside story of three heroic astronauts who took on the challenge of mankind’s historic first mission to the Moon, from the bestselling author of Shadow Divers . “Robert Kurson tells the tale of Apollo 8 with novelistic detail and immediacy.”—Andy Weir, #1 New York Times  bestselling author of The Martian  and Artemis NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE ECONOMIST By August 1968, the American space program was in danger of failing in its two most important objectives: to land a man on the Moon by President Kennedy’s end-of-decade deadline, and to triumph over the Soviets in space. With its back against the wall, NASA made an almost unimaginable leap: It would scrap its usual methodical approach and risk everything on a sudden launch, sending the first men in history to the Moon—in just four months. And it would all happen at Christmas. In a year of historic violence and discord—the Tet Offensive, the assassinations of Martin Luther King, Jr., and Robert Kennedy, the riots at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago—the Apollo 8 mission would be the boldest, riskiest test of America’s greatness under pressure. In this gripping insider account, Robert Kurson puts the focus on the three astronauts and their families: the commander, Frank Borman, a conflicted man on his final mission; idealistic Jim Lovell, who’d dreamed since boyhood of riding a rocket to the Moon; and Bill Anders, a young nuclear engineer and hotshot fighter pilot making his first space flight. Drawn from hundreds of hours of one-on-one interviews with the astronauts, their loved ones, NASA personnel, and myriad experts, and filled with vivid and unforgettable detail, Rocket Men is the definitive account of one of America’s finest hours. In this real-life thriller, Kurson reveals the epic dangers involved, and the singular bravery it took, for mankind to leave Earth for the first time—and arrive at a new world. Praise for Rocket Men “In 1968 we sent men to the Moon. They didn’t leave boot prints, but it was the first time humans ever left Earth for another destination. That mission was Apollo 8. And  Rocket Men,  under Robert Kurson’s compelling narrative, is that under-told story.” —Neil deGrasse Tyson “ Rocket Men  is a riveting introduction to the [Apollo 8] flight. . . . Kurson details the mission in crisp, suspenseful scenes. . . . [A] gripping book.” — The New York Times Book Review

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Blood in the Water - Heather Ann Thompson Cover Art

Blood in the Water

Blood in the Water The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and Its Legacy by Heather Ann Thompson

WINNER OF THE 2017 PULITZER PRIZE IN HISTORY  WINNER OF THE 2017 BANCROFT PRIZE NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST *  LOS ANGELES TIMES  BOOK PRIZE FINALIST *  NEW YORK TIMES  NOTABLE BOOK FOR 2016 * NAMED A  BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR BY  THE BOSTON GLOBE ,  NEWSWEEK ,  KIRKUS , AND  PUBLISHERS WEEKLY THE FIRST DEFINITIVE HISTORY OF THE INFAMOUS 1971 ATTICA PRISON UPRISING, THE STATE’S VIOLENT RESPONSE, AND THE VICTIMS’ DECADES-LONG QUEST FOR JUSTICE   On September 9, 1971, nearly 1,300 prisoners took over the Attica Correctional Facility in upstate New York to protest years of mistreatment. Holding guards and civilian employees hostage, the prisoners negotiated with officials for improved conditions during the four long days and nights that followed. On September 13, the state abruptly sent hundreds of heavily armed troopers and correction officers to retake the prison by force. Their gunfire killed thirty-nine men—hostages as well as prisoners—and severely wounded more than one hundred others. In the ensuing hours, weeks, and months, troopers and officers brutally retaliated against the prisoners. And, ultimately, New York State authorities prosecuted only the prisoners, never once bringing charges against the officials involved in the retaking and its aftermath and neglecting to provide support to the survivors and the families of the men who had been killed.   Drawing from more than a decade of extensive research, historian Heather Ann Thompson sheds new light on every aspect of the uprising and its legacy, giving voice to all those who took part in this forty-five-year fight for justice: prisoners, former hostages, families of the victims, lawyers and judges, and state officials and members of law enforcement. Blood in the Water is the searing and indelible account of one of the most important civil rights stories of the last century. (With black-and-white photos throughout)

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The Main Enemy - Milton Bearden &amp; James Risen Cover Art

The Main Enemy

The Main Enemy The Inside Story of the CIA's Final Showdown with the KGB by Milton Bearden & James Risen

A landmark collaboration between a thirty-year veteran of the CIA and a Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist, The Main Enemy is the dramatic inside story of the CIA-KGB spy wars, told through the actions of the men who fought them. Based on hundreds of interviews with operatives from both sides, The Main Enemy puts us inside the heads of CIA officers as they dodge surveillance and walk into violent ambushes in Moscow. This is the story of the generation of spies who came of age in the shadow of the Cuban missile crisis and rose through the ranks to run the CIA and KGB in the last days of the Cold War. The clandestine operations they masterminded took them from the sewers of Moscow to the back streets of Baghdad, from Cairo and Havana to Prague and Berlin, but the action centers on Washington, starting in the infamous "Year of the Spy"--when, one by one, the CIA’s agents in Moscow began to be killed, up through to the very last man. Behind the scenes with the CIA's covert operations in Afghanistan, Milt Bearden led America to victory in the secret war against the Soviets, and for the first time he reveals here what he did and whom America backed, and why. Bearden was called back to Washington after the Soviets withdrew from Afghanistan and was made chief of the Soviet/East Euro-pean Division—just in time to witness the fall of the Berlin Wall, the revolutions that swept across Eastern Europe, and the implosion of the Soviet Union. Laced with startling revelations--about fail-safe top-secret back channels between the CIA and KGB, double and triple agents, covert operations in Berlin and Prague, and the fateful autumn of 1989-- The Main Enemy is history at its action-packed best. From the Hardcover edition.

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