Top United States History Ebooks

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Stark Mad Abolitionists - Robert Sutton Cover Art

Stark Mad Abolitionists

Stark Mad Abolitionists Lawrence, Kansas, and the Battle Over Slavery in the Civil War Era by Robert Sutton

In May, 1854, Massachusetts was in an uproar. A judge, bound by the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850, had just ordered a young African American man who had escaped from slavery in Virginia and settled in Boston to be returned to bondage in the South. An estimated 50,000 citizen rioted in protest. Observing the scene was Amos Adams Lawrence, a wealthy Bostonian, who “waked up a stark mad Abolitionist.” As quickly as Lawrence waked up, he combined his fortune and his energy with others to create the New England Emigrant Aid Company to encourage abolitionists to emigrate to Kansas to ensure that it would be a free state. The town that came to bear Lawrence’s name became the battleground for the soul of America, with abolitionists battling pro-slavery Missourians who were determined to make Kansas a slave state. The onset of the Civil War only escalated the violence, leading to the infamous raid of William Clarke Quantrill when he led a band of vicious Confederates (including a young Jesse James and his brother) into town and killed two hundred men and boys. Stark Mad Abolitionists shows how John Brown, Rev. Henry Ward Beecher, Sam Houston, and Abraham Lincoln all figure into the story of Lawrence and “Bleeding Kansas.” The story of Amos Lawrence’s eponymous town is part of a bigger story of people who were willing to risk their lives and their fortunes in the ongoing struggle for freedom and equality.


The Immortal Irishman - Timothy Egan Cover Art

The Immortal Irishman

The Immortal Irishman The Irish Revolutionary Who Became an American Hero by Timothy Egan

"An old-fashioned tale of tall talk, high ideals,and irresistible appeal . . . You will not read a historical thriller like this all year . . . [Egan] is a master storyteller."  —Boston Globe “Egan has a gift for sweeping narrative . . . and he has a journalist’s eye for the telltale detail . . . This is masterly work.” — New York Times Book Review   In this exciting and illuminating work, National Book Award winner Timothy Egan delivers a story, both rollicking and haunting, of one of the most famous Irish Americans of all time. A dashing young orator during the Great Hunger of the 1840s, Thomas Francis Meagher led a failed uprising against British rule, for which he was banished to a Tasmanian prison colony for life. But two years later he was “back from the dead” and in New York, instantly the most famous Irishman in America. Meagher’s rebirth included his leading the newly formed Irish Brigade in many of the fiercest battles of the Civil War. Afterward, he tried to build a new Ireland in the wild west of Montana—a quixotic adventure that ended in the  great mystery of his disappearance, which Egan resolves convincingly at last.   “This is marvelous stuff. Thomas F. Meagher strides onto Egan's beautifully wrought pages just as he lived—powerfully larger than life. A fascinating account of an extraordinary life.” — Daniel James Brown, author of The Boys in the Boat   “Thomas Meagher’s is an irresistible story, irresistibly retold by the virtuosic Timothy Egan . . . A gripping, novelistic page-turner.” — Wall Street Journal  


Becoming Abraham Lincoln - Richard Kigel Cover Art

Becoming Abraham Lincoln

Becoming Abraham Lincoln The Coming of Age of Our Greatest President by Richard Kigel

Becoming Abraham Lincoln: The Coming of Age of Our Greatest President tells the true story of how this great American hero grew up and became a man. The story begins with Lincoln’s cousin describing the murder of Abe’s grandfather in 1782 by the Wabash Indians in the Kentucky wilderness. It ends as Lincoln turns twenty-five, downcast and debt-ridden after the failure of his first business venture, as he earns his first election victory to take his seat in the Illinois State Legislature. This vivid, authentic account of Abraham Lincoln in his formative years is told by those who were there—his friends and family. Supported by rigorous research, Becoming Abraham Lincoln is an authentic account of Lincoln’s childhood and adolescence in the actual words of those who knew him best. We see Lincoln as he was, according to law partner Billy Herndon, “just as he lived, breathed, ate and laughed in this world.” The historic eyewitness testimony in these pages forms a rich, detailed narrative unmatched in all Lincoln literature.


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.


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


The Workshop of Democracy - James MacGregor Burns Cover Art

The Workshop of Democracy

The Workshop of Democracy 1863–1932 by James MacGregor Burns

The second volume of Burns’s acclaimed history of America, from the end of the Civil War to the beginning of the Great Depression  Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address pointed to a new way to preserve an old hope—that democracy might prove a vibrant and lasting form of government for people of different races, religions, and aspirations. The scars of the Civil War would not soon heal, but with that one short speech, the president held out the possibility that such a nation might not simply survive, but flourish. The Workshop of Democracy explores more than a half-century of dramatic growth and transformation of the American landscape, through the addition of dozens of new states, the shattering tragedy of the First World War, the explosion of industry, and, in the end, the emergence of the United States as an new global power.   “[T]he energetic pace of narrative presents events and personalities with almost cinematic vividness . . .” — Kirkus Reviews  “Encyclopedic, fast-paced, wise.” — Newsday   James MacGregor Burns (1918–2014) was a bestselling American historian and political scientist whose work earned both the National Book Award and a Pulitzer Prize. Born in Boston, Burns fell in love with politics and history at an early age. He earned his BA at Williams College, where he returned to teach history and political science after obtaining his PhD at Harvard and serving in World War II. Burns’s two-volume biography of Franklin D. Roosevelt is considered the definitive examination of the politician’s rise to power, and his groundbreaking writing on the subject of political leadership has influenced scholars for decades. Most recently, he served as the Woodrow Wilson Professor of Government Emeritus at Williams College and as Distinguished Leadership Scholar at the University of Maryland. 


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

Killing England

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

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


Eisenhower - Louis Galambos Cover Art


Eisenhower Becoming the Leader of the Free World by Louis Galambos

In this engaging, fast-paced biography, Louis Galambos follows the career of Dwight D. "Ike" Eisenhower, offering new insight into this singular man who guided America toward consensus at home and a peaceful victory in the Cold War. The long-time editor of the Eisenhower papers, Galambos may know more about this president than anyone alive. In this compelling book, he explores the shifts in Eisenhower’s identity and reputation over his lifetime and explains how he developed his distinctive leadership skills. As a career military officer, Eisenhower’s progress was uneven. Galambos shows how Ike, with the help of Brigadier General Fox Conner, his mentor and patron, learned how to profit from his mistakes, pivot quickly, and grow as a military and civilian leader. On D-Day, Eisenhower guided the largest amphibian force in history to a successful invasion of France and a decisive victory. After the defeat of Nazi Germany, he turned to politics and was elected president in 1952. While today’s fiercely partisan political climate makes it difficult to imagine a president forging consensus in Washington, that’s exactly what Eisenhower did. As America’s leader in an era of profound postwar changes at home and abroad, President Eisenhower sought a middle way with compromise and coalition building. He provided his country with firm-handed leadership, bringing prosperity and peace to the American people in the dangerous years of the Cold War—an accomplishment that made him one of the most influential men of the twentieth century. Destined to be the best short biography of the 34th president of the United States, Eisenhower conclusively demonstrates how and why this master of the middle way became the successful leader of the free world.


The Storm of the Century - Al Roker Cover Art

The Storm of the Century

The Storm of the Century Tragedy, Heroism, Survival, and the Epic True Story of America's Deadliest Natural Disaster: The Great Gulf Hurricane of 1900 by Al Roker

In this gripping narrative history, the beloved NBC weather personality vividly brings to life the Great Gulf Hurricane of 1900, the deadliest natural disaster in American history. On the afternoon of September 8, 1900, 200-mile-per-hour winds and fifteen-foot waves slammed into Galveston, the prosperous and growing port city on Texas’s Gulf Coast. By dawn the next day, when the storm had passed, the city that existed just hours before was gone. Shattered, grief-stricken survivors emerged to witness a level of destruction never before seen: 8,000 corpses littered the streets and were buried under the massive wreckage. Rushing water had lifted buildings from their foundations, smashing them into pieces, while intensive winds had upended girders and trestles, driving them through house walls and into sidewalks. In less than twenty-four hours, one storm destroyed a major American metropolis—and awakened a nation to the terrifying power of nature. The Storm of the Century brings this legendary disaster and its aftermath into brilliant focus. No other natural disaster has ever matched the havoc caused by the awesome mix of winds, rains, and flooding that devastated this bustling metropolis and shocked a young, optimistic nation on the cusp of modernity. Exploring the impact of the disaster on a rising nation’s confidence—the pain and trauma of the loss and the determination of the response—Al Roker illuminates both the energy and the limitations of the American Century, and of nature itself.


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.


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.”


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.


Hidden Figures - Margot Lee Shetterly Cover Art

Hidden Figures

Hidden Figures The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly

The #1 New York Times bestseller The phenomenal true story of the black female mathematicians at NASA whose calculations helped fuel some of America’s greatest achievements in space. Soon to be a major motion picture starring Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monae, Kirsten Dunst, and Kevin Costner. Before John Glenn orbited the earth, or Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, a group of dedicated female mathematicians known as “human computers” used pencils, slide rules and adding machines to calculate the numbers that would launch rockets, and astronauts, into space. Among these problem-solvers were a group of exceptionally talented African American women, some of the brightest minds of their generation. Originally relegated to teaching math in the South’s segregated public schools, they were called into service during the labor shortages of World War II, when America’s aeronautics industry was in dire need of anyone who had the right stuff. Suddenly, these overlooked math whizzes had a shot at jobs worthy of their skills, and they answered Uncle Sam’s call, moving to Hampton, Virginia and the fascinating, high-energy world of the Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory. Even as Virginia’s Jim Crow laws required them to be segregated from their white counterparts, the women of Langley’s all-black “West Computing” group helped America achieve one of the things it desired most: a decisive victory over the Soviet Union in the Cold War, and complete domination of the heavens. Starting in World War II and moving through to the Cold War, the Civil Rights Movement and the Space Race, Hidden Figures follows the interwoven accounts of Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson and Christine Darden, four African American women who participated in some of NASA’s greatest successes. It chronicles their careers over nearly three decades they faced challenges, forged alliances and used their intellect to change their own lives, and their country’s future.


Sisters in Law - Linda Hirshman Cover Art

Sisters in Law

Sisters in Law How Sandra Day O'Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg Went to the Supreme Court and Changed the World by Linda Hirshman

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER WASHINGTON POST BESTSELLER The author of the celebrated Victory tells the fascinating story of the intertwined lives of Sandra Day O’Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the first and second women to serve as Supreme Court justices. The relationship between Sandra Day O’Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg—Republican and Democrat, Christian and Jew, western rancher’s daughter and Brooklyn girl—transcends party, religion, region, and culture. Strengthened by each other’s presence, these groundbreaking judges, the first and second to serve on the highest court in the land, have transformed the Constitution and America itself, making it a more equal place for all women. Linda Hirshman’s dual biography includes revealing stories of how these trailblazers fought for their own recognition in a male-dominated profession—battles that would ultimately benefit every American woman. She also makes clear how these two justices have shaped the legal framework of modern feminism, including employment discrimination, abortion, affirmative action, sexual harassment, and many other issues crucial to women’s lives. Sisters-in-Law combines legal detail with warm personal anecdotes that bring these very different women into focus as never before. Meticulously researched and compellingly told, it is an authoritative account of our changing law and culture, and a moving story of a remarkable friendship.


Lincoln and the Abolitionists - Fred Kaplan Cover Art

Lincoln and the Abolitionists

Lincoln and the Abolitionists John Quincy Adams, Slavery, and the Civil War by Fred Kaplan

“[Kaplan] tells this story with precision and eloquence.” —Seattle Times “An eye-opening biography from a trusted source on the topic.” —Kirkus Review “Elegantly written and thoroughly researched.” —Publishers Weekly The acclaimed biographer, with a thought-provoking exploration of how Abraham Lincoln’s and John Quincy Adams’ experiences with slavery and race shaped their differing viewpoints, provides both perceptive insights into these two great presidents and a revealing perspective on race relations in modern America. Lincoln, who in afterlife became mythologized as the Great Emancipator, was shaped by the values of the white America into which he was born. While he viewed slavery as a moral crime abhorrent to American principles, he disapproved of anti-slavery activists. Until the last year of his life, he advocated "voluntary deportation," concerned that free blacks in a white society would result in centuries of conflict. In 1861, he had reluctantly taken the nation to war to save it. While this devastating struggle would preserve the Union, it would also abolish slavery—creating the biracial democracy Lincoln feared. John Quincy Adams, forty years earlier, was convinced that only a civil war would end slavery and preserve the Union. An antislavery activist, he had concluded that a multiracial America was inevitable. Lincoln and the Abolitionists, a frank look at Lincoln, "warts and all," provides an in-depth look at how these two presidents came to see the issues of slavery and race, and how that understanding shaped their perspectives. In a far-reaching historical narrative, Fred Kaplan offers a nuanced appreciation of both these great men and the events that have characterized race relations in America for more than a century—a legacy that continues to haunt us all. The book has a colorful supporting cast from the relatively obscure Dorcas Allen, Moses Parsons, Violet Parsons, Theophilus Parsons, Phoebe Adams, John King, Charles Fenton Mercer, Phillip Doddridge, David Walker, Usher F. Linder, and H. Ford Douglas to Elijah Lovejoy, Francis Scott Key, William Channing, Wendell Phillips, and Rufus King. The cast includes Hannibal Hamlin, Lincoln’s first vice president, and James Buchanan and Andrew Johnson, the two presidents on either side of Lincoln. And it includes Abigail Adams, John Adams, Henry Clay, Stephen A. Douglas, and Frederick Douglass, who hold honored places in the American historical memory. The subject of this book is slavery and racism, the paradox of Lincoln, our greatest president, as an antislavery moralist who believed in an exclusively white America; and Adams, our most brilliant statesman, as an antislavery activist who had no doubt that the United States would become a multiracial nation. It is as much about the present as the past.


All the Single Ladies - Rebecca Traister Cover Art

All the Single Ladies

All the Single Ladies Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation by Rebecca Traister

* NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOKS OF 2016 SELECTION * BEST BOOKS OF 2016 SELECTION BY THE BOSTON GLOBE * ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY * NPR * CHICAGO PUBLIC LIBRARY * The New York Times bestselling investigation into the sexual, economic, and emotional lives of women is “an informative and thought-provoking book for anyone—not just the single ladies—who want to gain a greater understanding of this pivotal moment in the history of the United States” ( The New York Times Book Review ). In 2009, award-winning journalist Rebecca Traister started All the Single Ladies about the twenty-first century phenomenon of the American single woman. It was the year the proportion of American women who were married dropped below fifty percent; and the median age of first marriages, which had remained between twenty and twenty-two years old for nearly a century (1890–1980), had risen dramatically to twenty-seven. But over the course of her vast research and more than a hundred interviews with academics and social scientists and prominent single women, Traister discovered a startling truth: the phenomenon of the single woman in America is not a new one. And historically, when women were given options beyond early heterosexual marriage, the results were massive social change—temperance, abolition, secondary education, and more. Today, only twenty percent of Americans are married by age twenty-nine, compared to nearly sixty percent in 1960. “An informative and thought-provoking book for anyone—not just single ladies” ( The New York Times Book Review ), All the Single Ladies is a remarkable portrait of contemporary American life and how we got here, through the lens of the unmarried American woman. Covering class, race, sexual orientation, and filled with vivid anecdotes from fascinating contemporary and historical figures, “we’re better off reading Rebecca Traister on women, politics, and America than pretty much anyone else” ( The Boston Globe ).


The Billion Dollar Spy - David E. Hoffman Cover Art

The Billion Dollar Spy

The Billion Dollar Spy A True Story of Cold War Espionage and Betrayal by David E. Hoffman

From the author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning history The Dead Hand comes the riveting story of a spy who cracked open the Soviet military research establishment and a penetrating portrait of the CIA’s Moscow station, an outpost of daring espionage in the last years of the Cold War      While driving out of the American embassy in Moscow on the evening of February 16, 1978, the chief of the CIA’s Moscow station heard a knock on his car window. A man on the curb handed him an envelope whose contents stunned U.S. intelligence: details of top-secret Soviet research and developments in military technology that were totally unknown to the United States. In the years that followed, the man, Adolf Tolkachev, an engineer in a Soviet military design bureau, used his high-level access to hand over tens of thousands of pages of technical secrets. His revelations allowed America to reshape its weapons systems to defeat Soviet radar on the ground and in the air, giving the United States near total superiority in the skies over Europe.    One of the most valuable spies to work for the United States in the four decades of global confrontation with the Soviet Union, Tolkachev took enormous personal risks—but so did the Americans. The CIA had long struggled to recruit and run agents in Moscow, and Tolkachev was a singular breakthrough. Using spy cameras and secret codes as well as face-to-face meetings in parks and on street corners, Tolkachev and his handlers succeeded for years in eluding the feared KGB in its own backyard, until the day came when a shocking betrayal put them all at risk.     Drawing on previously secret documents obtained from the CIA and on interviews with participants, David Hoffman has created an unprecedented and poignant portrait of Tolkachev, a man motivated by the depredations of the Soviet state to master the craft of spying against his own country. Stirring, unpredictable, and at times unbearably tense, The Billion Dollar Spy is a brilliant feat of reporting that unfolds like an espionage thriller.


Killing Lincoln - Bill O'Reilly & 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.


George Washington's Secret Six - Brian Kilmeade & Don Yaeger Cover Art

George Washington's Secret Six

George Washington's Secret Six The Spy Ring That Saved the American Revolution by Brian Kilmeade & Don Yaeger

“As a Long Islander endlessly fascinated by events that happened in a place I call home, I hope with this book to give the secret six the credit they didn’t get in life. The Culper spies represent all the patriotic Americans who give so much for their country but, because of the nature of their work, will not or cannot take a bow or even talk about their missions.” —Brian Kilmeade When General George Washington beat a hasty retreat from New York City in August 1776, many thought the American Revolution might soon be over. Instead, Washington rallied—thanks in large part to a little-known, top-secret group called the Culper Spy Ring. Washington realized that he couldn’t beat the British with military might, so he recruited a sophisticated and deeply secretive intelligence network to infiltrate New York. So carefully guarded were the members’ identities that one spy’s name was not uncovered until the twentieth century, and one remains unknown today. But by now, historians have discovered enough information about the ring’s activities to piece together evidence that these six individuals turned the tide of the war. Drawing on extensive research, Brian Kilmeade and Don Yaeger have painted compelling portraits of George Washington’s secret six: Robert Townsend, the reserved Quaker merchant and reporter who headed the Culper Ring, keeping his identity secret even from Washington; Austin Roe, the tavern keeper who risked his employment and his life in order to protect the mission; Caleb Brewster, the brash young longshoreman who loved baiting the British and agreed to ferry messages between Connecticut and New York; Abraham Woodhull, the curmudgeonly (and surprisingly nervous) Long Island bachelor with business and family excuses for traveling to Manhattan; James Rivington, the owner of a posh coffeehouse and print shop where high-ranking British officers gossiped about secret operations; Agent 355, a woman whose identity remains unknown but who seems to have used her wit and charm to coax officers to share vital secrets. In George Washington’s Secret Six , Townsend and his fellow spies finally receive their due, taking their place among the pantheon of heroes of the American Revolution.


Undaunted Courage - Stephen E. Ambrose Cover Art

Undaunted Courage

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

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


Valiant Ambition - Nathaniel Philbrick Cover Art

Valiant Ambition

Valiant Ambition George Washington, Benedict Arnold, and the Fate of the American Revolution by Nathaniel Philbrick

From the New York Times bestselling author of In The Heart of the Sea and Mayflower comes a surprising account of the middle years of the American Revolution, and the tragic relationship between George Washington and Benedict Arnold. "May be one of the greatest what-if books of the age—a volume that turns one of America’s best-known narratives on its head.” —Boston Globe "Clear and insightful, it consolidates his reputation as one of America's foremost practitioners of narrative nonfiction." — Wall Street Journal In September 1776, the vulnerable Continental Army under an unsure George Washington (who had never commanded a large force in battle) evacuates New York after a devastating defeat by the British Army. Three weeks later, near the Canadian border, one of his favorite generals, Benedict Arnold, miraculously succeeds in postponing the British naval advance down Lake Champlain that might have ended the war. Four years later, as the book ends, Washington has vanquished his demons and Arnold has fled to the enemy after a foiled attempt to surrender the American fortress at West Point to the British. After four years of war, America is forced to realize that the real threat to its liberties might not come from without but from within.             Valiant Ambition is a complex, controversial, and dramatic portrait of a people in crisis and the war that gave birth to a nation. The focus is on loyalty and personal integrity, evoking a Shakespearean tragedy that unfolds in the key relationship of Washington and Arnold, who is an impulsive but sympathetic hero whose misfortunes at the hands of self-serving politicians fatally destroy his faith in the legitimacy of the rebellion. As a country wary of tyrants suddenly must figure out how it should be led, Washington’s unmatched ability to rise above the petty politics of his time enables him to win the war that really matters.


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. 


The Accidental President - A J Baime Cover Art

The Accidental President

The Accidental President Harry S. Truman and the Four Months That Changed the World by A J Baime

The dramatic, pulse-pounding story of Harry Truman’s first four months in office, when this unlikely president had to take on Germany, Japan, Stalin, and the atomic bomb, with the fate of the world hanging in the balance. Heroes are often defined as ordinary characters who get thrust into extraordinary circumstances, and through courage and a dash of luck, cement their place in history. Chosen as FDR’s fourth term Vice President for his well-praised work ethic, good judgment, and lack of enemies, Harry S. Truman--a Midwesterner who had no college degree and had never had the money to buy his own home--was the prototypical ordinary man. That is, until he was shockingly thrust in over his head after FDR’s sudden death. During the climactic months of the Second World War, Truman had to play judge and jury, pulling America to the forefront of the global stage. The first four months of Truman’s administration saw the founding of the United Nations, the fall of Berlin, victory at Okinawa, firebombings of Tokyo, the first atomic explosion, the Nazi surrender, the liberation of concentration camps, the mass starvation of Europe, the Potsdam Conference, the controversial decision to bomb Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the surrender of Imperial Japan, and finally, the end of World War II and the rise of the Cold War. No other president had ever faced so much in such a short period of time. Tightly focused, meticulously researched, rendered with vivid detail and narrative verve, THE ACCIDENTAL PRESIDENT escorts readers into the situation room with Truman during this tumultuous, history-making 120 days, when the stakes were high and the challenge even higher. The result is narrative history of the highest order and a compelling look at a presidency with great relevance to our times.


Mary Chesnut’s Diary: A Diary From Dixie (Illustrated Edition) - Mary Chesnut Cover Art

Mary Chesnut’s Diary: A Diary From Dixie (Illustrated Edition)

Mary Chesnut’s Diary: A Diary From Dixie (Illustrated Edition) by Mary Chesnut

Mary Boykin Chesnut , born Mary Boykin Miller (March 31, 1823 – November 22, 1886), was a South Carolina author best known for a book published as her Civil War diary, a "vivid picture of a society in the throes of its life-and-death struggle." She described the war from within her upper-class circles of Southern planter society, but encompassed all classes in her book. She was married to a lawyer who served as a United States senator and Confederate officer. Chesnut worked toward a final form of her book in 1881-1884, based on her extensive diary written during the war years. It was published after her death in 1905. New versions were published after her papers were discovered, in 1949 by the novelist Ben Ames Williams, and in 1981 by the historian C. Vann Woodward. His annotated edition of the diary, Mary Chesnut's Civil War (1981), won the Pulitzer Prize for history in 1982. Literary critics have called Chesnut's diary "a work of art" and the most important work by a Confederate author.  Chesnut was aware of the historical importance of what she witnessed. The diary was filled with the cycle of changing fortunes of the South during the Civil War. Chesnut edited it and wrote new drafts in 1881-1884 for publication, and retained the sense of events unfolding without foreknowledge. She had the sense of the South's living through its time on a world stage. Politically aware, Chesnut analyzed and portrayed the various classes of the South through the years of the war. She portrayed southern society in detail and studied the mixed roles of men and women. She was forthright about the complex and fraught situations related to slavery, particularly the abuses of sexuality and power. For instance, Chesnut discussed the problem of white planters' fathering mixed-race children with enslaved women within their extended households. Chesnut used her diary and notes to work toward a final version in 1881-1884. Based on her drafts, historians do not believe she was finished with her work. This edition of Chesnut’s famous diary is specially formatted with a Table of Contents and the original illustrations. 


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.


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.


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

Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates

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

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


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.


One Summer - Bill Bryson Cover Art

One Summer

One Summer America, 1927 by Bill Bryson

A Chicago Tribune Noteworthy Book A GoodReads Reader's Choice In One Summer Bill Bryson, one of our greatest and most beloved nonfiction writers, transports readers on a journey back to one amazing season in American life. The summer of 1927 began with one of the signature events of the twentieth century: on May 21, 1927, Charles Lindbergh became the first man to cross the Atlantic by plane nonstop, and when he landed in Le Bourget airfield near Paris, he ignited an explosion of worldwide rapture and instantly became the most famous person on the planet. Meanwhile, the titanically talented Babe Ruth was beginning his assault on the home run record, which would culminate on September 30 with his sixtieth blast, one of the most resonant and durable records in sports history. In between those dates a Queens housewife named Ruth Snyder and her corset-salesman lover garroted her husband, leading to a murder trial that became a huge tabloid sensation. Alvin “Shipwreck” Kelly sat atop a flagpole in Newark, New Jersey, for twelve days—a new record. The American South was clobbered by unprecedented rain and by flooding of the Mississippi basin, a great human disaster, the relief efforts for which were guided by the uncannily able and insufferably pompous Herbert Hoover. Calvin Coolidge interrupted an already leisurely presidency for an even more relaxing three-month vacation in the Black Hills of South Dakota. The gangster Al Capone tightened his grip on the illegal booze business through a gaudy and murderous reign of terror and municipal corruption. The first true “talking picture,” Al Jolson’s The Jazz Singer , was filmed and forever changed the motion picture industry. The four most powerful central bankers on earth met in secret session on a Long Island estate and made a fateful decision that virtually guaranteed a future crash and depression.      All this and much, much more transpired in that epochal summer of 1927, and Bill Bryson captures its outsized personalities, exciting events, and occasional just plain weirdness with his trademark vividness, eye for telling detail, and delicious humor. In that year America stepped out onto the world stage as the main event, and One Summer transforms it all into narrative nonfiction of the highest order. From the Hardcover edition.


Isaac's Storm - Erik Larson Cover Art

Isaac's Storm

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

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


Founding Brothers - Joseph J. Ellis Cover Art

Founding Brothers

Founding Brothers The Revolutionary Generation by Joseph J. Ellis

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


The Right Stuff - Tom Wolfe Cover Art

The Right Stuff

The Right Stuff by Tom Wolfe

Millions of words have poured forth about man's trip to the moon, but until now few people have had a sense of the most engrossing side of the adventure; namely, what went on in the minds of the astronauts themselves - in space, on the moon, and even during certain odysseys on earth. It is this, the inner life of the astronauts, that Tom Wolfe describes with his almost uncanny emapthetic powers, that made this book a classic.


The Civil War: A Narrative - Shelby Foote Cover Art

The Civil War: A Narrative

The Civil War: A Narrative Volume 1: Fort Sumter to Perryville by Shelby Foote

This first volume of Shelby Foote's classic narrative of the Civil War opens with Jefferson Davis’s farewell to the United Senate and ends on the bloody battlefields of Antietam and Perryville, as the full, horrible scope of America’s great war becomes clear. Exhaustively researched and masterfully written, Foote’s epic account of the Civil War unfolds like a classic novel.    Includes maps throughout.   "Here, for a certainty, is one of the great historical narratives…a unique and brilliant achievement, one that must be firmly placed in the ranks of the masters."—Van Allen Bradley, Chicago Daily News "A stunning book full of color, life, character and a new atmosphere of the Civil War, and at the same time a narrative of unflagging power. Eloquent proof that an historian should be a writer above all else." —Burke Davis "To read this great narrative is to love the nation—to love it through the living knowledge of its mortal division. Whitman, who ultimately knew and loved the bravery and frailty of the soldiers, observed that the real Civil War would never be written and perhaps should not be. For me, Shelby Foote has written it.... This work was done to last forever." —James M. Cox, Southern Review


All the President's Men - Bob Woodward & Carl Bernstein Cover Art

All the President's Men

All the President's Men by Bob Woodward & Carl Bernstein

“The work that brought down a presidency...perhaps the most influential piece of journalism in history.” — Time magazine The most devastating political detective story of the century: the inside account of the two Washington Post reporters who broke the Watergate scandal, now with a 40th anniversary Afterword on the legacies of Watergate and Richard Nixon. One of Time magazine's All-Time 100 Best Nonfiction Books, this is the book that changed America. Published just months before President Nixon’s resignation, All the President’s Men revealed the full scope of the scandal and introduced for the first time the mysterious “Deep Throat.” Beginning with the story of a simple burglary at Democratic headquarters and then continuing through headline after headline, Bernstein and Woodward deliver a riveting firsthand account of their reporting. Their explosive reports won a Pulitzer Prize for The Washington Post , toppled the president, and have since inspired generations of reporters. All the President’s Men is a riveting detective story, capturing the exhilarating rush of the biggest presidential scandal in US history as it unfolded in real time.


Five Came Back - Mark Harris Cover Art

Five Came Back

Five Came Back A Story of Hollywood and the Second World War by Mark Harris

Now a Netflix original documentary series, also written by Mark Harris, premiering on March 31,2017: t he extraordinary wartime experience of five of Hollywood's most important directors, all of whom put their stamp on World War II and were changed by it forever  Here is the remarkable, untold story of how five major Hollywood directors—John Ford, George Stevens, John Huston, William Wyler, and Frank Capra—changed World War II, and how, in turn, the war changed them. In a move unheard of at the time, the U.S. government farmed out its war propaganda effort to Hollywood, allowing these directors the freedom to film in combat zones as never before. They were on the scene at almost every major moment of America’s war, shaping the public’s collective consciousness of what we’ve now come to call the good fight. The product of five years of scrupulous archival research, Five Came Back provides a revelatory new understanding of Hollywood’s role in the war through the life and work of these five men who chose to go, and who came back. “Five Came Back  . . . is one of the great works of film history of the decade.” -- Slate “A tough-minded, information-packed and irresistibly readable work of movie-minded cultural criticism. Like the best World War II films, it highlights marquee names in a familiar plot to explore some serious issues: the human cost of military service, the hypnotic power of cinema and the tension between artistic integrity and the exigencies of war.” -- The New York Times


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.


Franklin and Winston - Jon Meacham Cover Art

Franklin and Winston

Franklin and Winston An Intimate Portrait of an Epic Friendship by Jon Meacham

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER The most complete portrait ever drawn of the complex emotional connection between two of history’s towering leaders Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill were the greatest leaders of “the Greatest Generation.” In Franklin and Winston, Jon Meacham explores the fascinating relationship between the two men who piloted the free world to victory in World War II. It was a crucial friendship, and a unique one—a president and a prime minister spending enormous amounts of time together (113 days during the war) and exchanging nearly two thousand messages. Amid cocktails, cigarettes, and cigars, they met, often secretly, in places as far-flung as Washington, Hyde Park, Casablanca, and Teheran, talking to each other of war, politics, the burden of command, their health, their wives, and their children. Born in the nineteenth century and molders of the twentieth and twenty-first, Roosevelt and Churchill had much in common. Sons of the elite, students of history, politicians of the first rank, they savored power. In their own time both men were underestimated, dismissed as arrogant, and faced skeptics and haters in their own nations—yet both magnificently rose to the central challenges of the twentieth century. Theirs was a kind of love story, with an emotional Churchill courting an elusive Roosevelt. The British prime minister, who rallied his nation in its darkest hour, standing alone against Adolf Hitler, was always somewhat insecure about his place in FDR’s affections—which was the way Roosevelt wanted it. A man of secrets, FDR liked to keep people off balance, including his wife, Eleanor, his White House aides—and Winston Churchill. Confronting tyranny and terror, Roosevelt and Churchill built a victorious alliance amid cataclysmic events and occasionally conflicting interests. Franklin and Winston is also the story of their marriages and their families, two clans caught up in the most sweeping global conflict in history. Meacham’s new sources—including unpublished letters of FDR’ s great secret love, Lucy Mercer Rutherfurd, the papers of Pamela Churchill Harriman, and interviews with the few surviving people who were in FDR and Churchill’s joint company—shed fresh light on the characters of both men as he engagingly chronicles the hours in which they decided the course of the struggle. Hitler brought them together; later in the war, they drifted apart, but even in the autumn of their alliance, the pull of affection was always there. Charting the personal drama behind the discussions of strategy and statecraft, Meacham has written the definitive account of the most remarkable friendship of the modern age.


The Civil War: A Narrative - Shelby Foote Cover Art

The Civil War: A Narrative

The Civil War: A Narrative Volume 3: Red River to Appomattox by Shelby Foote

This final volume of Shelby Foote’s masterful narrative history of the Civil War brings to life the military endgame, the surrender at Appomattox, and the tragic dénouement of the war—the assassination of President Lincoln.   Features maps throughout.   "An unparalleled achievement, an American Iliad , a unique work uniting the scholarship of the historian and the high readability of the first-class novelist." —Walker Percy   “To read this chronicle is an awesome and moving experience. History and literature are rarely so thoroughly combined as here; one finishes this volume convinced that no one need undertake this particular enterprise again.” —Newsweek   “In objectivity, in range, in mastery of detail, in beauty of language and feeling for the people involved, this work surpasses anything else on the subject. . . . Written in the tradition of the great historian-artists—Gibbon, Prescott, Napier, Freeman—it stands alongside the work of the best of them.” —The New Republic   “The most written-about war in history has, with this completion of Shelby Foote’s trilogy, been given the epic treatment it deserves.” —Providence Journal


Slavery by Another Name - Douglas A. Blackmon Cover Art

Slavery by Another Name

Slavery by Another Name The Re-Enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II by Douglas A. Blackmon

A Pulitzer Prize-winning account of the “Age of Neoslavery,” the American period following the Emancipation Proclamation in which convicts, mostly black men, were “leased” through forced labor camps operated by state and federal governments. In this groundbreaking historical expose, Douglas A. Blackmon brings to light one of the most shameful chapters in American history—an “Age of Neoslavery” that thrived from the aftermath of the Civil War through the dawn of World War II. Using a vast record of original documents and personal narratives, Douglas A. Blackmon unearths the lost stories of slaves and their descendants who journeyed into freedom after the Emancipation Proclamation and then back into the shadow of involuntary servitude shortly thereafter. By turns moving, sobering, and shocking, this unprecedented account reveals the stories of those who fought unsuccessfully against the re-emergence of human labor trafficking, the companies that profited most from neoslavery, and the insidious legacy of racism that reverberates today.


The Cadaver King and the Country Dentist - Radley Balko, Tucker Carrington & John Grisham Cover Art

The Cadaver King and the Country Dentist

The Cadaver King and the Country Dentist A True Story of Injustice in the American South by Radley Balko, Tucker Carrington & John Grisham

A shocking and deeply reported account of the persistent plague of institutional racism and junk forensic science in our criminal justice system and its devastating effect on innocent lives After two three-year-old girls were raped and murdered in rural Mississippi, law enforcement pursued and convicted two innocent men: Kennedy Brewer and Levon Brooks. Together they spent a combined thirty years in prison before finally being exonerated in 2008. Meanwhile, the real killer remained free. The Cadaver King and the Country Dentist recounts the story of how the criminal justice system allowed this to happen, and of how two men, Dr. Steven Hayne and Dr. Michael West, built successful careers on the back of that structure. For nearly two decades Hayne, a medical examiner, performed the vast majority of Mississippi's autopsies, while his friend Dr. West, a local dentist, pitched himself as a forensic jack-of-all-trades. Together they became the go-to experts for prosecutors and helped put countless Mississippians in prison. But then some of those convictions began to fall apart. Here, Radley Balko and Tucker Carrington tell the haunting story of how the courts and Mississippi's death investigation system-a relic of the Jim Crow era-failed to deliver justice for its citizens. The authors argue that bad forensics, structural racism, and institutional failures are at fault, and raise sobering questions about our ability and willingness to address them.


Company Man - John Rizzo Cover Art

Company Man

Company Man Thirty Years of Controversy and Crisis in the CIA by John Rizzo

The “revealing” ( The New Yorker ) insider history of the CIA from a lawyer with a “front-row seat on the hidden world of intelligence” ( The Washington Post ). Former CIA director George J. Tenet called Company Man a “must read.” Over the course of a thirty-four-year (1976-2009) career, John Rizzo served under eleven CIA directors and seven presidents, ultimately becoming a controversial public figure and a symbol and victim of the toxic winds swirling in post-9/11 Washington. In Company Man , Rizzo charts the CIA’s evolution from shadowy entity to an organization exposed to new laws, rules, and a seemingly never-ending string of public controversies. As the agency’s top lawyer in the years after the 9/11 attacks, Rizzo oversaw actions that remain the subject of intense debate, including the rules governing waterboarding and other “enhanced interrogation techniques.” Rizzo writes about virtually every significant CIA activity and controversy over a tumultuous, thirty-year period. His experiences illuminate our nation’s spy bureaucracy, offering a unique primer on how to survive, and flourish, in a high-powered job amid decades of shifting political winds. He also provides the most comprehensive account of critical events, like the “torture tape” fiasco surrounding the interrogation of Al Qaeda suspect Abu Zubayadah, and the birth, growth, and death of the enhanced interrogation program. Company Man is the most authoritative insider account of the CIA ever written—a groundbreaking, timely, and remarkably candid history of American intelligence. This is “emphatically a book for anyone who cares about the security of this country” ( The Wall Street Journal ).


American Gospel - Jon Meacham Cover Art

American Gospel

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

The American Gospel–literally, the good news about America–is that religion shapes our public life without controlling it. In this vivid book, New York Times bestselling author Jon Meacham tells the human story of how the Founding Fathers viewed faith, and how they ultimately created a nation in which belief in God is a matter of choice. At a time when our country seems divided by extremism, American Gospel draws on the past to offer a new perspective. Meacham re-creates the fascinating history of a nation grappling with religion and politics–from John Winthrop’s “city on a hill” sermon to Thomas Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence; from the Revolution to the Civil War; from a proposed nineteenth-century Christian Amendment to the Constitution to Martin Luther King, Jr.’s call for civil rights; from George Washington to Ronald Reagan. Debates about religion and politics are often more divisive than illuminating. Secularists point to a “wall of separation between church and state,” while many conservatives act as though the Founding Fathers were apostles in knee britches. As Meacham shows in this brisk narrative, neither extreme has it right. At the heart of the American experiment lies the God of what Benjamin Franklin called “public religion,” a God who invests all human beings with inalienable rights while protecting private religion from government interference. It is a great American balancing act, and it has served us well. Meacham has written and spoken extensively about religion and politics, and he brings historical authority and a sense of hope to the issue. American Gospel makes it compellingly clear that the nation’s best chance of summoning what Lincoln called “the better angels of our nature” lies in recovering the spirit and sense of the Founding. In looking back, we may find the light to lead us forward.


Disappointment River - Brian Castner Cover Art

Disappointment River

Disappointment River Finding and Losing the Northwest Passage by Brian Castner

In 1789, Alexander Mackenzie traveled 1200 miles on the immense river in Canada that now bears his name, in search of the fabled Northwest Passage that had eluded mariners for hundreds of years. In 2016, the acclaimed memoirist Brian Castner retraced Mackenzie's route by canoe in a grueling journey -- and discovered the Passage he could not find.      Disappointment River is a dual historical narrative and travel memoir that at once transports readers back to the heroic age of North American exploration and places them in a still rugged but increasingly fragile Arctic wilderness in the process of profound alteration by the dual forces of globalization and climate change. Fourteen years before Lewis and Clark, Mackenzie set off to cross the continent of North America with a team of voyageurs and Chipewyan guides, to find a trade route to the riches of the East. What he found was a river that he named "Disappointment." Mackenzie died thinking he had failed. He was wrong.     In this book, Brian Castner not only retells the story of Mackenzie's epic voyages in vivid prose, he personally retraces his travels, battling exhaustion, exposure, mosquitoes, white water rapids and the threat of bears. He transports readers to a world rarely glimpsed in the media, of tar sands, thawing permafrost, remote indigenous villages and, at the end, a wide open Arctic Ocean that could become a far-northern Mississippi of barges and pipelines and oil money.


Friends Divided - Gordon S. Wood Cover Art

Friends Divided

Friends Divided John Adams and Thomas Jefferson by Gordon S. Wood

A  New York Times Book Review  Notable Book of 2017 From the great historian of the American Revolution, New York Times -bestselling and Pulitzer-winning Gordon Wood, comes a majestic dual biography of two of America's most enduringly fascinating figures, whose partnership helped birth a nation, and whose subsequent falling out did much to fix its course. Thomas Jefferson and John Adams could scarcely have come from more different worlds, or been more different in temperament. Jefferson, the optimist with enough faith in the innate goodness of his fellow man to be democracy's champion, was an aristocratic Southern slaveowner, while Adams, the overachiever from New England's rising middling classes, painfully aware he was no aristocrat, was a skeptic about popular rule and a defender of a more elitist view of government. They worked closely in the crucible of revolution, crafting the Declaration of Independence and leading, with Franklin, the diplomatic effort that brought France into the fight. But ultimately, their profound differences would lead to a fundamental crisis, in their friendship and in the nation writ large, as they became the figureheads of two entirely new forces, the first American political parties. It was a bitter breach, lasting through the presidential administrations of both men, and beyond.  But late in life, something remarkable happened: these two men were nudged into reconciliation. What started as a grudging trickle of correspondence became a great flood, and a friendship was rekindled, over the course of hundreds of letters. In their final years they were the last surviving founding fathers and cherished their role in this mighty young republic as it approached the half century mark in 1826. At last, on the afternoon of July 4th, 50 years to the day after the signing of the Declaration, Adams let out a sigh and said, "At least Jefferson still lives." He died soon thereafter. In fact, a few hours earlier on that same day, far to the south in his home in Monticello, Jefferson died as well.  Arguably no relationship in this country's history carries as much freight as that of John Adams of Massachusetts and Thomas Jefferson of Virginia. Gordon Wood has more than done justice to these entwined lives and their meaning; he has written a magnificent new addition to America's collective story.


Landscape Turned Red - Stephen W. Sears Cover Art

Landscape Turned Red

Landscape Turned Red The Battle of Antietam by Stephen W. Sears

The Civil War battle waged on September 17, 1862, at Antietam Creek, Maryland, was one of the bloodiest in the nation's history: in this single day, the war claimed nearly 23,000 casualties. In Landscape Turned Red, the renowned historian Stephen Sears draws on a remarkable cache of diaries, dispatches, and letters to recreate the vivid drama of Antietam as experienced not only by its leaders but also by its soldiers, both Union and Confederate. Combining brilliant military analysis with narrative history of enormous power, Landscape Turned Red is the definitive work on this climactic and bitter struggle.


The Great Taos Bank Robbery and Other True Stories - Tony Hillerman Cover Art

The Great Taos Bank Robbery and Other True Stories

The Great Taos Bank Robbery and Other True Stories by Tony Hillerman

This classic collection of nonfiction essays about life in New Mexico by the great Tony Hillerman remains a must read for anyone looking to understand the state’s unique charm. The engaging pieces in The Great Taos Bank Robbery unveil the life and magic one experiences in the Land of Enchantment. This edition includes a new introduction and foreword by Anne Hillerman and new photographs with each story. “It’s as serious a ‘glance’ over our state as it is often hilarious, from the opening relación about law enforcement in Taos, through succeeding commentaries on Indian encounters with Paleface, a Nigerian guest’s assessment of Santa Fe, a search for Folsom Man and so forth . . . it furnishes myriad moments of pleasurable insight.”— New Mexico Magazine


Hidden History of Sonoma County - John C. Schubert Cover Art

Hidden History of Sonoma County

Hidden History of Sonoma County by John C. Schubert

The enterprising spirit that led to Sonoma County's storied agricultural heritage defined its earliest denizens. Sail the seas with Captain Bodega y Quadra, whose name graces the coast and beyond, and wave farewell to the last train out of the redwoods. Discover the fate of Charles Henley, spirited from the county jail in 1876 by masked vigilantes. Learn about the rise and fall of Sonoma's tobacco growers and the historic opening of the Jenner Bridge as the automobile rose in popularity. John Schubert and Valerie Munthe reveal Sonoma County's enthralling history.


The LawBreakers - Tom Rizzo Cover Art

The LawBreakers

The LawBreakers by Tom Rizzo

Most of the people who settled in the West didn’t wake up in the morning and strap on a gun. Nor did they get involved in shootouts. As in any society, the Old West had its share of bad men and women. The rate of homicides on the frontier remains a source of contention. Some historians say most towns averaged about 1.5 murders a year, not all of them shooting. Others, however, say the risk of being murdered was high. In Tall Tales from the High Plains & Beyond, Book Three: The LawBreakers, novelist Tom Rizzo takes you behind the scenes to meet some of the gunmen and back shooters who roamed the frontier trying to take what wasn’t theirs. Bob Rogers who slashed the throat of a deputy constable, left him to die, and then returned to the crime scene to attack the dead man’s corpse.James McIntire, a lawman turned killer who once claimed he talked with Christ.Cyrus Skinner whose reign of terror ended in a town appropriately named, Hell Gate.Deputy Sheriff Charley Allison who organized a gang to of outlaws to rob stagecoaches.Lame Johnny, a one-time college student who graduated to a criminal career of cattle and horse rustling and robbing stagecoaches.Belle Starr, wife, mistress, mother, and horse thief, who died from an assassin’s bullet.Johnny-Behind-the-Deuce, a card cheat turned killer 


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

Killing Reagan

Killing Reagan The Violent Assault That Changed a Presidency by Bill O'Reilly & Martin Dugard

From the bestselling team of Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard comes Killing Reagan , a page-turning epic account of the career of President Ronald Reagan that tells the vivid story of his rise to power -- and the forces of evil that conspired to bring him down. Just two months into his presidency, Ronald Reagan lay near death after a gunman's bullet came within inches of his heart. His recovery was nothing short of remarkable -- or so it seemed. But Reagan was grievously injured, forcing him to encounter a challenge that few men ever face. Could he silently overcome his traumatic experience while at the same time carrying out the duties of the most powerful man in the world? Told in the same riveting fashion as Killing Lincoln , Killing Kennedy , Killing Jesus , and Killing Patton , Killing Reagan reaches back to the golden days of Hollywood, where Reagan found both fame and heartbreak, up through the years in the California governor's mansion, and finally to the White House, where he presided over boom years and the fall of the Iron Curtain. But it was John Hinckley Jr.'s attack on him that precipitated President Reagan's most heroic actions. In Killing Reagan , O'Reilly and Dugard take readers behind the scenes, creating an unforgettable portrait of a great man operating in violent times.


The Great Bridge - David McCullough Cover Art

The Great Bridge

The Great Bridge The Epic Story of the Building of the Brooklyn Bridge by David McCullough

The dramatic and enthralling story of the building of the Brooklyn Bridge, the world’s longest suspension bridge at the time, a tale of greed, corruption, and obstruction but also of optimism, heroism, and determination, told by master historian David McCullough. This monumental book is the enthralling story of one of the greatest events in our nation’s history, during the Age of Optimism—a period when Americans were convinced in their hearts that all things were possible. In the years around 1870, when the project was first undertaken, the concept of building an unprecedented bridge to span the East River between the great cities of Manhattan and Brooklyn required a vision and determination comparable to that which went into the building of the great cathedrals. Throughout the fourteen years of its construction, the odds against the successful completion of the bridge seemed staggering. Bodies were crushed and broken, lives lost, political empires fell, and surges of public emotion constantly threatened the project. But this is not merely the saga of an engineering miracle; it is a sweeping narrative of the social climate of the time and of the heroes and rascals who had a hand in either constructing or exploiting the surpassing enterprise.

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