Top History Ebook Best Sellers

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The Wide Wide Sea - Hampton Sides Cover Art

The Wide Wide Sea

The Wide Wide Sea Imperial Ambition, First Contact and the Fateful Final Voyage of Captain James Cook by Hampton Sides

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • An epic account of the most momentous voyage of the Age of Exploration, which culminated in Captain James Cook’s death in Hawaii, and left a complex and controversial legacy still debated to this day. “Sides has mastered the art of you-are-there historical narrative. A thrilling and necessary update to one of history’s most consequential cultural collisions." —John Vaillant, New York Times bestselling author of Fire Weather and The Tiger On July 12th, 1776, Captain James Cook, already lionized as the greatest explorer in British history, set off on his third voyage in his ship the HMS Resolution . Two-and-a-half years later, on a beach on the island of Hawaii, Cook was killed in a conflict with native Hawaiians. How did Cook, who was unique among captains for his respect for Indigenous peoples and cultures, come to that fatal moment? Hampton Sides’ bravura account of Cook’s last journey both wrestles with Cook’s legacy and provides a thrilling narrative of the titanic efforts and continual danger that characterized exploration in the 1700s. Cook was renowned for his peerless seamanship, his humane leadership, and his dedication to science-–the famed naturalist Joseph Banks accompanied him on his first voyage, and Cook has been called one of the most important figures of the Age of Enlightenment. He was also deeply interested in the native people he encountered. In fact, his stated mission was to return a Tahitian man, Mai, who had become the toast of London, to his home islands. On previous expeditions, Cook mapped huge swaths of the Pacific, including the east coast of Australia, and initiated first European contact with numerous peoples. He treated his crew well, and endeavored to learn about the societies he encountered with curiosity and without judgment. Yet something was different on this last voyage. Cook became mercurial, resorting to the lash to enforce discipline, and led his two vessels into danger time and again. Uncharacteristically, he ordered violent retaliation for perceived theft on the part of native peoples. This may have had something to do with his secret orders, which were to chart and claim lands before Britain’s imperial rivals could, and to discover the fabled Northwest Passage. Whatever Cook’s intentions, his scientific efforts were the sharp edge of the colonial sword, and the ultimate effects of first contact were catastrophic for Indigenous people around the world. The tensions between Cook’s overt and covert missions came to a head on the shores of Hawaii. His first landing there was harmonious, but when Cook returned after mapping the coast of the Pacific Northwest and Alaska, his exploitative treatment of the Hawaiians led to the fatal encounter. At once a ferociously-paced story of adventure on the high seas and a searching examination of the complexities and consequences of the Age of Exploration, THE WIDE WIDE SEA is a major work from one of our finest narrative nonfiction writers.

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Nuclear War - Annie Jacobsen Cover Art

Nuclear War

Nuclear War A Scenario by Annie Jacobsen

The INSTANT New York Times bestseller Instant Los Angeles Times bestseller “In Nuclear War: A Scenario , Annie Jacobsen gives us a vivid picture of what could happen if our nuclear guardians fail…Terrifying.”— Wall Street Journal There is only one scenario other than an asteroid strike that could end the world as we know it in a matter of hours: nuclear war. And one of the triggers for that war would be a nuclear missile inbound toward the United States.   Every generation, a journalist has looked deep into the heart of the nuclear military establishment: the technologies, the safeguards, the plans, and the risks. These investigations are vital to how we understand the world we really live in—where one nuclear missile will beget one in return, and where the choreography of the world’s end requires massive decisions made on seconds’ notice with information that is only as good as the intelligence we have.   Pulitzer Prize finalist Annie Jacobsen’s Nuclear War: A Scenario explores this ticking-clock scenario, based on dozens of exclusive new interviews with military and civilian experts who have built the weapons, have been privy to the response plans, and have been responsible for those decisions should they have needed to be made. Nuclear War: A Scenario examines the handful of minutes after a nuclear missile launch. It is essential reading, and unlike any other book in its depth and urgency.

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A Great Improvisation - Stacy Schiff Cover Art

A Great Improvisation

A Great Improvisation
Franklin, France, and the Birth of America
by Stacy Schiff

In this dazzling work of history, a Pulitzer Prize-winning author follows Benjamin Franklin to France for the crowning achievement of his career ● Michael Douglas stars in Franklin , premiering April 12 only on Apple TV+ In December of 1776 a small boat delivered an old man to France." So begins an enthralling narrative account of how Benjamin Franklin--seventy years old, without any diplomatic training, and possessed of the most rudimentary French--convinced France, an absolute monarchy, to underwrite America's experiment in democracy. When Franklin stepped onto French soil, he well understood he was embarking on the greatest gamble of his career. By virtue of fame, charisma, and ingenuity, Franklin outmaneuvered British spies, French informers, and hostile colleagues; engineered the Franco-American alliance of 1778; and helped to negotiate the peace of 1783. The eight-year French mission stands not only as Franklin's most vital service to his country but as the most revealing of the man. In A Great Improvisation , Stacy Schiff draws from new and little-known sources to illuminate the least-explored part of Franklin's life. Here is an unfamiliar, unforgettable chapter of the Revolution, a rousing tale of American infighting, and the treacherous backroom dealings at Versailles that would propel George Washington from near decimation at Valley Forge to victory at Yorktown. From these pages emerge a particularly human and yet fiercely determined Founding Father, as well as a profound sense of how fragile, improvisational, and international was our country's bid for independence.

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The Devil's Diary - Robert K. Wittman & David Kinney Cover Art

The Devil's Diary

The Devil's Diary Alfred Rosenberg and the Stolen Secrets of the Third Reich by Robert K. Wittman & David Kinney

The Devil’s Diary is the true account of the disappearance of Alfred Rosenberg’s journal of Nazi ideology that shaped the genesis of the Holocaust.   An influential figure in Adolf Hitler’s early inner circle, Alfred Rosenberg made his name spreading toxic ideas about the Jews throughout Germany, publishing a bestselling masterwork of Nazi thinking at the dawn of the Third Reich.   His diary was discovered hidden in a Bavarian castle at war’s end—five hundred pages providing a harrowing glimpse of the man whose ideas set the stage for the Holocaust. Prosecutors examined it during the Nuremberg war crimes trial, but after Rosenberg was convicted, sentenced, and executed, it mysteriously vanished.   New York Times bestselling author Robert K. Wittman, who as an FBI agent and private consultant specialized in recovering artifacts of historic significance, learned of the diary when the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum’s chief archivist informed him that someone was trying to sell it for upwards of a million dollars. A decade-long hunt led them to many people who handled and hid the book. From the crusading Nuremberg prosecutor who smuggled the diary out of Germany to the man who finally turned it over, everyone had reasons for hiding the truth.   Drawing on Rosenberg’s entries about his role in the seizure of priceless artwork and the brutal occupation of the Soviet Union, his conversations with Hitler and his rivalries with Göring, Goebbels, and Himmler, Wittman and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David Kinney’s The Devil’s Diary offers vital historical insight of unprecedented scope into the innermost workings of the Nazi regime—and into the psyche of the man whose radical vision mutated into the Final Solution.

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The Home Front: 1939–1945 in 100 Objects - Austin J Ruddy Cover Art

The Home Front: 1939–1945 in 100 Objects

The Home Front: 1939–1945 in 100 Objects by Austin J Ruddy

A colorful catalogue of objects that illustrate what everyday life was like in wartime Britain. A lifesaving gas mask. A ration book, essential for the supply of food. A shelter stove that kept a family warm while they huddled in their Anderson shelter. A leaflet dropped by the Luftwaffe that was designed to intimidate Britain’s populace during the threat of invasion. A civilian identity card over-stamped with the swastika eagle from the occupied Channel Islands. A rare, previously unpublished, snapshot of legendary bandleader Glenn Miller playing at a UK air base. A twisted remnant of German V2 rocket that went to space and back before exploding over London, the result of equally twisted military science. Colorful flag bunting that saw the VE celebrations in 1945. These disparate objects and many more together tell the moving and important story of Britain’s home front during the Second World War. The ordinary objects featured in this book, supplemented with facts, figures, dates, stories, and statistics, portray the highs and lows the British people experienced during six years of war—from the deprivations of rationing and the bombing of the Blitz, to the cheery songs, elegant fashions, and “Dig For Victory” spirit.

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Bound for Canaan - Fergus M. Bordewich Cover Art

Bound for Canaan

Bound for Canaan
The Epic Story of the Underground Railroad, America's First Civil Rights Movement,
by Fergus M. Bordewich

“Well written, moving . . . stimulating,” this account of racially unified abolitionism “could provide the occasion for a constructive national conversation” ( New York Times ).   The civil war brought to a climax the country's bitter division. But the beginnings of slavery's denouement can be traced to a courageous band of ordinary Americans, black and white, slave and free, who joined forces to create what would come to be known as the Underground Railroad, a movement that occupies a romantic a place in the nation's imagination. The true story of the Underground Railroad is much more morally complex and politically divisive than even the myths suggest. Against a backdrop of the country's westward expansion arose a fierce clash of values that was nothing less than a war for the country's soul. Not since the American Revolution had the country engaged in an act of such vast and profound civil disobedience that not only challenged prevailing mores but also subverted federal law.   Bound for Canaan  tells the stories of men and women who risked their lives to build the Underground Railroad. Interweaving thrilling personal stories with the politics of slavery and abolition,  Bound for Canaan  shows how the Underground Railroad gave birth to this country's first racially integrated, religiously inspired movement for social change.   “Utterly compelling.” — Publishers Weekly , starred review   “[An] engrossing account.” — The New Yorker   “Blending historical imagination with a novelist's sense of character, Bordewich...brings to life . . . Americans who defied popular opinion and the authority of the federal government to combat . . . a fundamental moral evil.” — Washington Post   “Excellent . . . as close to a definitive history as we’re likely to see.” — Wall Street Journal   “A profoundly American tale.” — USA Today

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Age of Revolutions: Progress and Backlash from 1600 to the Present - Fareed Zakaria Cover Art

Age of Revolutions: Progress and Backlash from 1600 to the Present

Age of Revolutions: Progress and Backlash from 1600 to the Present by Fareed Zakaria

A New York Times Bestseller The CNN host and best-selling author explores the revolutions—past and present—that define the polarized and unstable age in which we live. Populist rage, ideological fracture, economic and technological shocks, war, and an international system studded with catastrophic risk—the early decades of the twenty-first century may be the most revolutionary period in modern history. But it is not the first. Humans have lived, and thrived, through more than one great realignment. What are these revolutions, and how can they help us to understand our fraught world? In this major work, Fareed Zakaria masterfully investigates the eras and movements that have shaken norms while shaping the modern world. Three such periods hold profound lessons for today. First, in the seventeenth-century Netherlands, a fascinating series of transformations made that tiny land the richest in the world—and created politics as we know it today. Next, the French Revolution, an explosive era that devoured its ideological children and left a bloody legacy that haunts us today. Finally, the mother of all revolutions, the Industrial Revolution, which catapulted Great Britain and the US to global dominance and created the modern world. Alongside these paradigm-shifting historical events, Zakaria probes four present-day revolutions: globalization, technology, identity, and geopolitics. For all their benefits, the globalization and technology revolutions have produced profound disruptions and pervasive anxiety and our identity. And increasingly, identity is the battlefield on which the twenty-first century’s polarized politics are fought. All this is set against a geopolitical revolution as great as the one that catapulted the United States to world power in the late nineteenth century. Now we are entering a world in which the US is no longer the dominant power. As we find ourselves at the nexus of four seismic revolutions, we can easily imagine a dark future. But Zakaria proves that pessimism is premature. If we act wisely, the liberal international order can be revived and populism relegated to the ash heap of history. As few public intellectuals can, Zakaria combines intellectual range, deep historical insight, and uncanny prescience to once again reframe and illuminate our turbulent present. His bold, compelling arguments make this book essential reading in our age of revolutions.

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1177 B.C. - Eric H. Cline Cover Art

1177 B.C.

1177 B.C. The Year Civilization Collapsed: Revised and Updated by Eric H. Cline

A bold reassessment of what caused the Late Bronze Age collapse In 1177 B.C., marauding groups known only as the "Sea Peoples" invaded Egypt. The pharaoh's army and navy managed to defeat them, but the victory so weakened Egypt that it soon slid into decline, as did most of the surrounding civilizations. After centuries of brilliance, the civilized world of the Bronze Age came to an abrupt and cataclysmic end. Kingdoms fell like dominoes over the course of just a few decades. No more Minoans or Mycenaeans. No more Trojans, Hittites, or Babylonians. The thriving economy and cultures of the late second millennium B.C., which had stretched from Greece to Egypt and Mesopotamia, suddenly ceased to exist, along with writing systems, technology, and monumental architecture. But the Sea Peoples alone could not have caused such widespread breakdown. How did it happen? In this major new account of the causes of this "First Dark Ages," Eric Cline tells the gripping story of how the end was brought about by multiple interconnected failures, ranging from invasion and revolt to earthquakes, drought, and the cutting of international trade routes. Bringing to life the vibrant multicultural world of these great civilizations, he draws a sweeping panorama of the empires and globalized peoples of the Late Bronze Age and shows that it was their very interdependence that hastened their dramatic collapse and ushered in a dark age that lasted centuries. A compelling combination of narrative and the latest scholarship, 1177 B.C. sheds new light on the complex ties that gave rise to, and ultimately destroyed, the flourishing civilizations of the Late Bronze Age—and that set the stage for the emergence of classical Greece.

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The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare - Damien Lewis Cover Art

The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare

The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare Now a major Guy Ritchie film: THE MINISTRY OF UNGENTLEMANLY WARFARE by Damien Lewis

One of the most remarkable stories in the history of Special Forces' operations - Daily Express In the bleak moments after defeat on mainland Europe in winter 1939, Winston Churchill knew that Britain had to strike back hard. So Britain's wartime leader called for the lightning development of a completely new kind of warfare, recruiting a band of eccentric free-thinking warriors to become the first 'deniable' secret operatives to strike behind enemy lines, offering these volunteers nothing but the potential for glory and all-but-certain death. The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare tells the story of the daring victories for this small force of 'freelance pirates', undertaking devastatingly effective missions against the Nazis, often dressed in enemy uniforms and with enemy kit, breaking all previously held rules of warfare. Master storyteller Damien Lewis brings the adventures of the secret unit to life, weaving together the stories of the soldiers' brotherhood in this compelling narrative, from the unit's earliest missions to the death of their leader just weeks before the end of the war.

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The Demon of Unrest - Erik Larson Cover Art

The Demon of Unrest

The Demon of Unrest
A Saga of Hubris, Heartbreak, and Heroism at the Dawn of the Civil War
by Erik Larson

The #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Splendid and the Vile brings to life the pivotal five months between the election of Abraham Lincoln and the start of the Civil War—a simmering crisis that finally tore a deeply divided nation in two. A MOST ANTICIPATED BOOK OF THE YEAR: The New York Times, Time, Los Angeles Times, Men’s Health, New York Post, Lit Hub, Book Riot On November 6, 1860, Abraham Lincoln became the fluky victor in a tight race for president. The country was bitterly at odds; Southern extremists were moving ever closer to destroying the Union, with one state after another seceding and Lincoln powerless to stop them. Slavery fueled the conflict, but somehow the passions of North and South came to focus on a lonely federal fortress in Charleston Harbor: Fort Sumter. Master storyteller Erik Larson offers a gripping account of the chaotic months between Lincoln’s election and the Confederacy’s shelling of Sumter—a period marked by tragic errors and miscommunications, enflamed egos and craven ambitions, personal tragedies and betrayals. Lincoln himself wrote that the trials of these five months were “so great that, could I have anticipated them, I would not have believed it possible to survive them.” At the heart of this suspense-filled narrative are Major Robert Anderson, Sumter’s commander and a former slave owner sympathetic to the South but loyal to the Union; Edmund Ruffin, a vain and bloodthirsty radical who stirs secessionist ardor at every opportunity; and Mary Boykin Chesnut, wife of a prominent planter, conflicted over both marriage and slavery and seeing parallels between them. In the middle of it all is the overwhelmed Lincoln, battling with his duplicitous secretary of state, William Seward, as he tries desperately to avert a war that he fears is inevitable—one that will eventually kill 750,000 Americans. Drawing on diaries, secret communiques, slave ledgers, and plantation records, Larson gives us a political horror story that captures the forces that led America to the brink—a dark reminder that we often don’t see a cataclysm coming until it’s too late.

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A Measureless Peril - Richard Snow Cover Art

A Measureless Peril

A Measureless Peril America in the Fight for the Atlantic, the Longest Battle of World War II by Richard Snow

An exciting history told with a novelist's eye and filled with intimate details of the longest and largest battle of WWII—the fight for the Atlantic Ocean. Of all the threats that faced his country in World War II, Winston Churchill said, just one really scared him—what he called the "measureless peril" of the German U-boat campaign. In that global conflagration, only one battle—the struggle for the Atlantic—lasted from the very first hours of the conflict to its final day. Hitler knew that victory depended on controlling the sea-lanes where American food and fuel and weapons flowed to the Allies. At the start, U-boats patrolled a few miles off the eastern seaboard, savagely attacking scores of defenseless passenger ships and merchant vessels while hastily converted American cabin cruisers and fishing boats vainly tried to stop them. Before long, though, the United States was ramping up what would be the greatest production of naval vessels the world had ever known. Then the battle became a thrilling cat-and-mouse game between the quickly built U.S. warships and the ever-more cunning and lethal U-boats. The historian Richard Snow captures all the drama of the merciless contest at every level, from the doomed sailors on an American freighter defying a German cruiser, to the amazing Allied attempts to break the German naval codes, to Winston Churchill pressing Franklin Roosevelt to join the war months before Pearl Harbor (and FDR’s shrewd attempts to fight the battle alongside Britain while still appearing to keep out of it). Inspired by the collection of letters that his father sent his mother from the destroyer escort he served aboard, Snow brings to life the longest continuous battle in modern times. With its vibrant prose and fast-paced action, A Measureless Peril is an immensely satisfying account that belongs on the small shelf of the finest histories ever written about World War II.

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Conquistador - Buddy Levy Cover Art

Conquistador

Conquistador Hernan Cortes, King Montezuma, and the Last Stand of the Aztecs by Buddy Levy

In an astonishing work of scholarship that reads like an adventure thriller, historian Buddy Levy records the last days of the Aztec empire and the two men at the center of an epic clash of cultures. “I and my companions suffer from a disease of the heart which can be cured only with gold.” — Hernán Cortés It was a moment unique in human history, the face-to-face meeting between two men from civilizations a world apart. Only one would survive the encounter. In 1519, Hernán Cortés arrived on the shores of Mexico with a roughshod crew of adventurers and the intent to expand the Spanish empire. Along the way, this brash and roguish conquistador schemed to convert the native inhabitants to Catholicism and carry off a fortune in gold. That he saw nothing paradoxical in his intentions is one of the most remarkable—and tragic—aspects of this unforgettable story of conquest. In Tenochtitlán, the famed City of Dreams, Cortés met his Aztec counterpart, Montezuma: king, divinity, ruler of fifteen million people, and commander of the most powerful military machine in the Americas. Yet in less than two years, Cortés defeated the entire Aztec nation in one of the most astonishing military campaigns ever waged. Sometimes outnumbered in battle thousands-to-one, Cortés repeatedly beat seemingly impossible odds. Buddy Levy meticulously researches the mix of cunning, courage, brutality, superstition, and finally disease that enabled Cortés and his men to survive. Conquistador is the story of a lost kingdom—a complex and sophisticated civilization where floating gardens, immense wealth, and reverence for art stood side by side with bloodstained temples and gruesome rites of human sacrifice. It’s the story of Montezuma—proud, spiritual, enigmatic, and doomed to misunderstand the stranger he thought a god. Epic in scope, as entertaining as it is enlightening, Conquistador is history at its most riveting. Praise for Conquistador “Prodigiously researched and stirringly told,  Conquistador  is a rarity: an invaluable history lesson that also happens to be a page-turning read.” —Jeremy Schaap, bestselling author of  Cinderella Man: James J. Braddock, Max Baer and the Greatest Upset in Boxing History,  and  Triumph: The Untold Story of Jesse Owens and Hitler’s Olympics   “Sweeping and majestic . . . A pulse-quickening narrative.” —Neal Bascomb, author of  Red Mutiny: Eleven Fateful Days on the Battleship Potemkin

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Remembering America - Richard N. Goodwin Cover Art

Remembering America

Remembering America A Voice from the Sixties by Richard N. Goodwin

From the speechwriter and top adviser to presidents Kennedy and Johnson: A behind-the-scenes history of the most momentous decade in American politics. Richard N. Goodwin entered public service in 1958 as a law clerk for Supreme Court Associate Justice Felix Frankfurter. He left politics ten years later in the aftermath of Senator Robert F. Kennedy’s assassination. Over the course of one extraordinary decade, Goodwin orchestrated some of the noblest achievements in the history of the US government and bore witness to two of its greatest tragedies. His eloquent and inspirational memoir is one of the most captivating chronicles of those turbulent years ever published. From the  Twenty-One  quiz-show scandal to the heady days of John F. Kennedy’s presidential campaign to President Lyndon Johnson’s heroic vote wrangling on behalf of civil rights legislation,  Remembering America  brings to life the most fascinating figures and events of the era. As a member of the Kennedy administration, Goodwin charted a new course for US relations with Latin America and met in secret with Che Guevara in Uruguay. He wrote Johnson’s historic civil rights speech, “We Shall Overcome,” in support of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and formulated the concept of the Great Society and its programs, which sought to eradicate poverty and racial injustice. After breaking with Johnson over the president’s commitment to the Vietnam War, Goodwin played a pivotal role in bringing antiwar candidate Eugene McCarthy to within a few hundred votes of victory in the 1968 New Hampshire primary. Three months later, he was with his good friend Robert F. Kennedy in Los Angeles the night that the young senator’s life—and the progressive movement that had rapidly brought about such significant change—came to a devastating end. Throughout this critical decade, Goodwin held steadfast to the passions and principles that had first led him to public service.  Remembering America  is a thrilling account of the breathtaking victories and heartbreaking disappointments of the 1960s, and a rousing call to action for readers committed to justice today.

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American Uprising - Daniel Rasmussen Cover Art

American Uprising

American Uprising The Untold Story of America's Largest Slave Revolt by Daniel Rasmussen

“A chilling and suspenseful account [of] the culmination of a signal episode in the history of American race relations.” —Adam Goodheart,  The New York Times Book Review   In January 1811, five hundred slaves, dressed in military uniforms and armed with guns, cane knives, and axes, rose up from the plantations around New Orleans and set out to conquer the city. Ethnically diverse, politically astute, and highly organized, this self-made army challenged not only the economic system of plantation agriculture but also American expansion. Their march represented the largest act of armed resistance against slavery in the history of the United States.   American Uprising is the riveting, long-neglected story of the rebel army's dramatic march on the city, and its shocking conclusion. No North American slave uprising—not Gabriel Prosser's, not Denmark Vesey's, not Nat Turner's—has rivaled the scale of this rebellion either in terms of the number of the slaves involved or the number who were killed. More than one hundred slaves were slaughtered by federal troops and French planters, who then sought to write the event out of history and prevent the spread of the slaves' revolutionary philosophy.   Through groundbreaking research, Daniel Rasmussen offers a window into expansionist America, illuminating the early history of New Orleans and providing new insight into the path to the Civil War and the slave revolutionaries who fought and died for the hope of freedom.    “Crisp, confident . . . Rasmussen tells this story with verve.” —John Stauffer,  The Wall Street Journal   “Breathtaking. . . . [A] fascinating narrative of slavery and resistance [that] tells us something about history itself—about how fiction can become fact, and how ‘history’ is sometimes nothing more than erasure.” —Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

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Germany 1923: Hyperinflation, Hitler's Putsch, and Democracy in Crisis - Volker Ullrich & Jefferson Chase Cover Art

Germany 1923: Hyperinflation, Hitler's Putsch, and Democracy in Crisis

Germany 1923: Hyperinflation, Hitler's Putsch, and Democracy in Crisis by Volker Ullrich & Jefferson Chase

From the New York Times best-selling historian comes a gripping account of the crisis of the Weimar Republic, when hyperinflation and political upheaval threatened to unravel a new experiment in democracy. As the great Austrian writer Stefan Zweig confided in his autobiography, written in exile, “I have a pretty thorough knowledge of history, but never, to my recollection, has it produced such madness in such gigantic proportions.” He was referring to the situation in Germany in 1923. It was a “year of lunacy,” defined by hyperinflation, a political system on the verge of collapse, and separatist movements that threatened Germany’s territorial integrity. Most significantly, Adolf Hitler launched his infamous Beer Hall Putsch in Munich—a failed coup that nonetheless drew international attention and demonstrated the Nazis’ ruthless determination to seize power. In Germany 1923, award-winning historian Volker Ullrich draws on letters, memoirs, newspaper articles, and other sources from the time to present a captivating new history of those explosive twelve months. The crisis began when the French invaded the Ruhr Valley in January to force Germany to pay the reparations it owed under the Treaty of Versailles, which had ended the Great War. For years, German leaders had embraced inflationary policies to finance the costs of defeat, and, as Ullrich demonstrates, the invasion utterly destroyed the value of the German mark. Before the war, the exchange rate was 4.2 marks to the dollar. By November 20, 1923, a dollar was worth an incomprehensible 4.2 trillion marks, and a loaf of bread cost 200 billion. Facing the abyss, many ordinary Germans called for a national messiah. Among the figures to vie for that role was Hitler, a thirty-four-year-old veteran who possessed a uniquely malevolent personal magnetism. Although the Nazi coup in November was put down and Hitler arrested, the putsch showed just how tenuous the first German democracy, the Weimar Republic, was at its core. As Ullrich’s panoramic narrative reveals, other Germans responded to the successive crises by launching a cultural revolution: 1923 witnessed the emergence of a multitude of new movements, from Dada to Bauhaus, and of such iconoclasts as Bertolt Brecht, George Grosz, and Franz Kafka. Yet most observers were amazed that the Weimar Republic was able to survive, and the more astute realized that the feral undercurrents unleashed could lead to much worse. Publishing a century after that fateful year, Germany 1923 is a riveting chronicle of one of the most challenging times any modern democracy has faced, one with haunting parallels to our own political moment.

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Stephen and Matilda's Civil War - Matthew Lewis Cover Art

Stephen and Matilda's Civil War

Stephen and Matilda's Civil War Cousins of Anarchy by Matthew Lewis

The story of the twelfth-century rivalry for the throne between the daughter and the nephew of Henry I—a battle that tore England apart for over a decade. The Anarchy was the first civil war in post-Conquest England, enduring throughout the reign of King Stephen between 1135 and 1154. It ultimately brought about the end of the Norman dynasty and the birth of the mighty Plantagenet kings. When Henry I died having lost his only legitimate son in a shipwreck, his barons had sworn to recognize his daughter Matilda, widow of the Holy Roman Emperor, as his heir, and remarried her to Geoffrey, Count of Anjou. But when she was slow to move to England upon her father’s death, Henry’s favorite nephew, Stephen of Blois, rushed to have himself crowned, much as Henry himself had done on the death of his brother William Rufus. Supported by his brother Henry, Bishop of Winchester, Stephen made a promising start, but Matilda would not give up her birthright and tried to hold the English barons to their oaths. The result was more than a decade of civil war that saw England split apart. Empress Matilda is often remembered as aloof and high-handed, Stephen as ineffective and indecisive. By following both sides of the dispute and seeking to understand their actions and motivations, Matthew Lewis aims to reach a more rounded understanding of this crucial period of English history—and ask to what extent there really was anarchy.

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The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich - William L. Shirer Cover Art

The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich

The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich by William L. Shirer

National Book Award Winner: The definitive account of Nazi Germany and “one of the most important works of history of our time” ( The New York Times ).   When the Third Reich fell, it fell swiftly. The Nazis had little time to destroy their memos, their letters, or their diaries. William L. Shirer’s sweeping account of the Third Reich uses these unique sources, combined with his experience living in Germany as an international correspondent throughout the war.   The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich earned Shirer a National Book Award and continues to be recognized as one of the most important and authoritative books about the Third Reich and Nazi Germany ever written. The diaries of propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels, as well as evidence and other testimony gained at the Nuremberg Trials, could not have found more artful hands.   Shirer gives a clear, detailed, and well-documented account of how it was that Adolf Hitler almost succeeded in conquering the world. With millions of copies in print, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich is a chilling and illuminating portrait of mankind’s darkest hours.   “A monumental work.” —Theodore H. White

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Resistance: The Underground War Against Hitler, 1939-1945 - Halik Kochanski Cover Art

Resistance: The Underground War Against Hitler, 1939-1945

Resistance: The Underground War Against Hitler, 1939-1945 by Halik Kochanski

WINNER OF THE 2023 WOLFSON HISTORY PRIZE New Yorker • Best Books of 2022 “This is the most comprehensive and best account of resistance I have read. It addresses the story with scholarly objectivity and an absolute lack of sentimentality. So much romantic twaddle is still published . . . it is marvelous to read a study of such breadth and depth, which reaches balanced judgments.” —Max Hastings, The Sunday Times (UK) Resistance is the first book of its kind: a monumental history that finally integrates the many resistance movements against Nazi hegemony in Europe into a single, sweeping narrative of defiance. “To resist, therefore. But how, when and where? There were no laws, no guidelines, no precedents to show the way . . .” —Dutch resister Herman Friedhoff In every country that fell to the Third Reich during the Second World War, from France in the west to parts of the Soviet Union in the east, a resistance movement against Nazi domination emerged. And every country that endured occupation created its own fiercely nationalist account of the role of homegrown resistance in its eventual liberation. Halik Kochanski’s panoramic, prodigiously researched work is a monumental achievement: the first book to strip these disparate national histories of myth and nostalgia and to integrate them into a definitive chronicle of the underground war against the Nazis. Bringing to light many powerful and often little-known stories, Resistance shows how small bands of individuals took actions that could lead not merely to their own deaths, but to the liquidation of their families and their entire communities. As Kochanski demonstrates, most who joined up were not supermen and superwomen, but ordinary people drawn from all walks of life who would not have been expected—least of all by themselves—to become heroes of any kind. Kochanski also covers the sheer variety of resistance activities, from the clandestine press, assistance to Allied servicemen evading capture, and the provision of intelligence to the Allies to the more violent manifestations of resistance through sabotage and armed insurrection. For many people, resistance was not an occupation or an identity, but an activity: a person would deliver a cache of stolen documents to armed partisans and then seamlessly return to their normal life. For Jews under Nazi rule, meanwhile, the stakes at every point were life and death; resistance was less about national restoration than about mere survival. Why resist at all? Who is the real enemy? What kind of future are we risking our lives for? These and other questions animated those who resisted. With penetrating insight, Kochanski reveals that the single quality that defined resistance across borders was resilience: despite the constant arrests and executions, resistance movements rebuilt themselves time and time again. A landmark history that will endure for decades to come, Resistance forces every reader to ask themselves yet another question, this distinct to our own times: “What would I have done?”

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Leadership in Turbulent Times - Doris Kearns Goodwin Cover Art

Leadership in Turbulent Times

Leadership in Turbulent Times by Doris Kearns Goodwin

From a Pulitzer Prize–winning presidential historian, “ Leadership should help us raise our expectations of our national leaders, our country and ourselves” ( The Washington Post ). Doris Kearns Goodwin draws upon the four presidents she has studied most closely—Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Lyndon B. Johnson—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 ready to confront the dilemmas of their times. At their best, all four were guided by a sense of moral purpose. At moments of great challenge, they were able to summon their talents to enlarge the opportunities and lives of others. Does the leader make the times or do the times make the leader? “Doris Kearns Goodwin leads the league of presidential historians” — USA Today “Inspiring.” — Christian Science Monitor “Insightful, readable, compelling.” — The Boston Globe. “Written in the companionable prose that makes Goodwin’s books surefire best sellers.” — The New York Times Book Review “A bravura performance.” —Washington Independent Review of Books “If ever our nation needed a short course on presidential leadership, it is now.” — Seattle Times “Doris Kearns Goodwin has prepared a marvelous banquet with four leaders whose lives provide lessons for all of us. Pull up a chair.” —Warren Buffett

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The Judgment of Paris - Ross King Cover Art

The Judgment of Paris

The Judgment of Paris The Revolutionary Decade that Gave the World Impressionism by Ross King

With a novelist's skill and the insight of an historian, bestselling author Ross King recalls a seminal period when Paris was the artistic center of the world, and the rivalry between Meissonier and Manet. The Judgment of Paris chronicles the dramatic decade between two famous exhibitions-the scandalous Salon des Refuses in 1863 and the first Impressionist showing in 1874-set against the rise and dramatic fall of Napoleon III and the Second Empire after the Franco-Prussian War. A tale of many artists, it revolves around the lives of two, described as "the two poles of art"-Ernest Meissonier, the most famous and successful painter of the 19th century, hailed for his precision and devotion to history; and Edouard Manet, reviled in his time, who nonetheless heralded the most radical change in the history of art since the Renaissance. Out of the fascinating story of their parallel lives, illuminated by their legendary supporters and critics-Zola, Delacroix, Courbet, Baudelaire, Whistler, Monet, Hugo, Degas, and many more-Ross King shows that their contest was not just about Art, it was about competing visions of a rapidly changing world.

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

Empire of the Summer Moon

Empire of the Summer Moon Quanah Parker and the Rise and Fall of the Comanches, the Most Powerful Indian Tribe in American History by S. C. Gwynne

*Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award* *A New York Times Notable Book* *Winner of the Texas Book Award and the Oklahoma Book Award* This New York Times bestseller and stunning historical account of the forty-year battle between Comanche Indians and white settlers for control of the American West “is nothing short of a revelation…will leave dust and blood on your jeans” ( The New York Times Book Review ). Empire of the Summer Moon spans two astonishing stories. The first traces the rise and fall of the Comanches, the most powerful Indian tribe in American history. The second entails one of the most remarkable narratives ever to come out of the Old West: the epic saga of the pioneer woman Cynthia Ann Parker and her mixed-blood son Quanah, who became the last and greatest chief of the Comanches. Although readers may be more familiar with the tribal names Apache and Sioux, it was in fact the legendary fighting ability of the Comanches that determined when the American West opened up. Comanche boys became adept bareback riders by age six; full Comanche braves were considered the best horsemen who ever rode. They were so masterful at war and so skillful with their arrows and lances that they stopped the northern drive of colonial Spain from Mexico and halted the French expansion westward from Louisiana. White settlers arriving in Texas from the eastern United States were surprised to find the frontier being rolled backward by Comanches incensed by the invasion of their tribal lands. The war with the Comanches lasted four decades, in effect holding up the development of the new American nation. Gwynne’s exhilarating account delivers a sweeping narrative that encompasses Spanish colonialism, the Civil War, the destruction of the buffalo herds, and the arrival of the railroads, and the amazing story of Cynthia Ann Parker and her son Quanah—a historical feast for anyone interested in how the United States came into being. Hailed by critics, S. C. Gwynne’s account of these events is meticulously researched, intellectually provocative, and, above all, thrillingly told. Empire of the Summer Moon announces him as a major new writer of American history.

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Enemy at the Gates - William J. Craig Cover Art

Enemy at the Gates

Enemy at the Gates The Battle for Stalingrad by William J. Craig

A New York Times bestseller that brings to life one of the bloodiest battles of World War II—and the beginning of the end of the Third Reich. On August 5, 1942, giant pillars of dust rose over the Russian steppe, marking the advance of the 6th Army, an elite German combat unit dispatched by Hitler to capture the industrial city of Stalingrad and press on to the oil fields of Azerbaijan. The Germans were supremely confident; in three years, they had not suffered a single defeat.The Luftwaffe had already bombed the city into ruins. German soldiers hoped to complete their mission and be home in time for Christmas.   The siege of Stalingrad lasted five months, one week, and three days. Nearly two million men and women died, and the 6th Army was completely destroyed. Considered by many historians to be the turning point of World War II in Europe, the Soviet Army’s victory foreshadowed Hitler’s downfall and the rise of a communist superpower. Bestselling author William Craig spent five years researching this epic clash of military titans, traveling to three continents in order to review documents and interview hundreds of survivors. Enemy at the Gates is the enthralling result: the definitive account of one of the most important battles in world history. It became a New York Times bestseller and was also the inspiration for the 2001 film of the same name, starring Joseph Fiennes and Jude Law.

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Masters of the Air - Donald L. Miller Cover Art

Masters of the Air

Masters of the Air America's Bomber Boys Who Fought the Air War Against Nazi Germany by Donald L. Miller

The inspiration for the major Apple TV+ series, streaming now! The riveting history of the American Eighth Air Force in World War II and the young men who flew the bombers that helped beat the Nazis and liberate Europe, brilliantly told by historian and World War II expert Donald L. Miller. The Masters of the Air streaming series stars Austin Butler and Callum Turner, and is produced by Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg, the legendary duo behind Band of Brothers and The Pacific. Masters of the Air is the deeply personal story of the American bomber boys in World War II who brought the war to Hitler’s doorstep. With the narrative power of fiction, Donald Miller takes you on a harrowing ride through the fire-filled skies over Berlin, Hanover, and Dresden and describes the terrible cost of bombing for the German people. Masters of the Air is the deeply personal story of the American bomber boys in World War II who brought the war to Hitler’s doorstep. With the narrative power of fiction, Donald Miller takes you on a harrowing ride through the fire-filled skies over Berlin, Hanover, and Dresden and describes the terrible cost of bombing for the German people. Fighting at 25,000 feet in thin, freezing air that no warriors had ever encountered before, bomber crews battled new kinds of assaults on body and mind. Air combat was deadly but intermittent: periods of inactivity and anxiety were followed by short bursts of fire and fear. Unlike infantrymen, bomber boys slept on clean sheets, drank beer in local pubs, and danced to the swing music of Glenn Miller’s Air Force band, which toured US air bases in England. But they had a much greater chance of dying than ground soldiers. The bomber crews were an elite group of warriors who were a microcosm of America—white America, anyway. The actor Jimmy Stewart was a bomber boy, and so was the “King of Hollywood,” Clark Gable. And the air war was filmed by Oscar-winning director William Wyler and covered by reporters like Andy Rooney and Walter Cronkite, all of whom flew combat missions with the men. The Anglo-American bombing campaign against Nazi Germany was the longest military campaign of World War II, a war within a war. Until Allied soldiers crossed into Germany in the final months of the war, it was the only battle fought inside the German homeland. Masters of the Air is “a stunning achievement” (David McCullough), “a fresh new account” (Walter Boyne, former director of the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum) of life in wartime England and in the German prison camps, where tens of thousands of airmen spent part of the war. It ends with a vivid description of the grisly hunger marches captured airmen were forced to make near the end of the war through the country their bombs destroyed. Drawn from recent interviews, oral histories, and American, British, German, and other archives, Masters of the Air is an authoritative, deeply moving account that “accurately and comprehensively” (Lt. Gen. Bernard E. Trainor, USMC (Ret.) and coauthor of Cobra II ) tells of the world’s first and only bomber war.

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Musashi - Eiji Yoshikawa Cover Art

Musashi

Musashi by Eiji Yoshikawa

The classic samurai novel about the real exploits of the most famous swordsman. Musashi is a novel in the best tradition of Japanese story telling. It is a living story, subtle and imaginative, teeming with memorable characters, many of them historical. Interweaving themes of unrequited love, misguided revenge, filial piety and absolute dedication to the Way of the Samurai, it depicts vividly a world Westerners know only vaguely.

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We Have Not a Government - George William Van Cleve Cover Art

We Have Not a Government

We Have Not a Government The Articles of Confederation and the Road to the Constitution by George William Van Cleve

“Provides a focused explanation of the reasons the Articles of Confederation, the nation’s first federal constitution, went lurching toward collapse.” —Jack Rakove, Pulitzer Prize winner, The Washington Post In 1783, as the Revolutionary War came to a close, Alexander Hamilton resigned in disgust from the Continental Congress after it refused to consider a fundamental reform of the Articles of Confederation. Just four years later, that same government collapsed, and Congress grudgingly agreed to support the 1787 Philadelphia Constitutional Convention, which altered the Articles beyond recognition. What occurred during this remarkably brief interval to cause the Confederation to lose public confidence and inspire Americans to replace it with a dramatically more flexible and powerful government? We Have Not a Government is the story of this contentious moment in American history. At the time, America was a sharply divided country. Amid a deep, long-lasting recession, the Confederation faced massive war debts and experienced punishing trade restrictions and strong resistance to American territorial expansion. Exploding western settlement led to bitter sectional divisions that deadlocked the Continental Congress. Van Cleve shows how these remarkable stresses transformed the Confederation into a stalemate government and eventually led previously conflicting states, sections, and interest groups to advocate for a union powerful enough to govern a continental empire. Touching on the stories of a wide-ranging cast of characters—including John Adams, Patrick Henry, Daniel Shays, George Washington, and Thayendanegea—Van Cleve makes clear that it was the Confederation’s failures that created a political crisis and led to the 1787 Constitution. Clearly argued and superbly written, We Have Not a Government is a must-read history of this crucial period in our nation’s early life.

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Bandit Country - Toby Harnden Cover Art

Bandit Country

Bandit Country The IRA and South Armagh by Toby Harnden

A NEW EDITION OF ONE OF THE MOST CELEBRATED BOOKS ON THE TROUBLES Branded as 'Bandit Country' by the British government, South Armagh was the heartland of the Provisional IRA. It was the rebel Irish stronghold where Thomas 'Slab' Murphy reigned supreme, bomb attacks on England were planned and the SAS tracked the IRA snipers who hunted British soldiers. In this acclaimed and remarkable book – originally published in 1999 – Toby Harnden, winner of the Orwell Prize, brings to bear his skills as a fearless journalist, inspired investigator and gifted historian, threatened with imprisonment for protecting his sources in Northern Ireland but undeterred. He draws on secret documents and unsparing interviews with key protagonists on both sides to produce perhaps the most compelling and essential account of the IRA and the Troubles.

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Blitzed - Norman Ohler Cover Art

Blitzed

Blitzed Drugs in the Third Reich by Norman Ohler

A New York Times bestseller, Norman Ohler's Blitzed is a "fascinating, engrossing, often dark history of drug use in the Third Reich” (Washington Post). The Nazi regime preached an ideology of physical, mental, and moral purity. Yet as Norman Ohler reveals in this gripping history, the Third Reich was saturated with drugs: cocaine, opiates, and, most of all, methamphetamines, which were consumed by everyone from factory workers to housewives to German soldiers. In fact, troops were encouraged, and in some cases ordered, to take rations of a form of crystal meth—the elevated energy and feelings of invincibility associated with the high even help to account for the breakneck invasion that sealed the fall of France in 1940, as well as other German military victories. Hitler himself became increasingly dependent on injections of a cocktail of drugs—ultimately including Eukodal, a cousin of heroin—administered by his personal doctor. Thoroughly researched and rivetingly readable, Blitzed throws light on a history that, until now, has remained in the shadows. “Delightfully nuts.”—The New Yorker

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The Splendid and the Vile - Erik Larson Cover Art

The Splendid and the Vile

The Splendid and the Vile A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance During the Blitz by Erik Larson

#1  NEW YORK TIMES  BESTSELLER • The author of  The Devil in the White City  and  Dead Wake  delivers an intimate chronicle of Winston Churchill and London during the Blitz—an inspiring portrait of courage and leadership in a time of unprecedented crisis   “One of [Erik Larson’s] best books yet . . . perfectly timed for the moment.”— Time  •  “A bravura performance by one of America’s greatest storytellers.”—NPR     NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The New York Times Book Review • Time • Vogue • NPR •  The Washington Post • Chicago Tribune • The Globe & Mail • Fortune • Bloomberg • New York Post •  The New York Public Library • Kirkus Reviews  • LibraryReads • PopMatters On Winston Churchill’s first day as prime minister, Adolf Hitler invaded Holland and Belgium. Poland and Czechoslovakia had already fallen, and the Dunkirk evacuation was just two weeks away. For the next twelve months, Hitler would wage a relentless bombing campaign, killing 45,000 Britons. It was up to Churchill to hold his country together and persuade President Franklin Roosevelt that Britain was a worthy ally—and willing to fight to the end. In The Splendid and the Vile , Erik Larson shows, in cinematic detail, how Churchill taught the British people “the art of being fearless.” It is a story of political brinkmanship, but it’s also an intimate domestic drama, set against the backdrop of Churchill’s prime-ministerial country home, Chequers; his wartime retreat, Ditchley, where he and his entourage go when the moon is brightest and the bombing threat is highest; and of course 10 Downing Street in London. Drawing on diaries, original archival documents, and once-secret intelligence reports—some released only recently—Larson provides a new lens on London’s darkest year through the day-to-day experience of Churchill and his family: his wife, Clementine; their youngest daughter, Mary, who chafes against her parents’ wartime protectiveness; their son, Randolph, and his beautiful, unhappy wife, Pamela; Pamela’s illicit lover, a dashing American emissary; and the advisers in Churchill’s “Secret Circle,” to whom he turns in the hardest moments.   The Splendid and the Vile  takes readers out of today’s political dysfunction and back to a time of true leadership, when, in the face of unrelenting horror, Churchill’s eloquence, courage, and perseverance bound a country, and a family, together.

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Chamber Divers - Rachel Lance Cover Art

Chamber Divers

Chamber Divers The Untold Story of the D-Day Scientists Who Changed Special Operations Forever by Rachel Lance

The previously classified story of the eccentric researchers who invented cutting-edge underwater science to lead the Allies to D-Day victory In August 1942, more than 7,000 Allied troops rushed the beaches of Normandy, France, in an all but-forgotten landing. Only a small fraction survived unscathed. It was two summers before D-Day, and the Allies realized that they were in dire need of underwater intelligence if they wanted to stand a chance of launching another beach invasion and of winning the war. Led by the controversial biologists J. B. S. Haldane and Dr. Helen Spurway, an ingenious team of ragtag scientists worked out of homemade labs during the London Blitz. Beneath a rain of bombs, they pioneered thrilling advances in underwater reconnaissance through tests done on themselves in painful and potentially fatal experiments. Their discoveries led to the safe use of miniature submarines and breathing apparatuses, which ultimately let the Allies take the beaches of Normandy. Blast injury specialist Dr. Rachel Lance unpacks the harrowing narratives of these experiments while bringing to life the men and women whose brilliance and self-sacrifice shaped the outcome of the war, including their personal relationships with one another and the ways they faced skepticism and danger in their quest to enable Allied troops to breathe underwater. The riveting science leading up to D-Day has been classified for generations, but Chamber Divers finally brings these scientists’ stories—and their heroism—to light.

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The Keeper of HappyEndings An enchanting novel about fate, second chances, and hope, lost and found - THE KEEPER OF HAPPY ENDINGS Cover Art

The Keeper of HappyEndings An enchanting novel about fate, second chances, and hope, lost and found

The Keeper of HappyEndings An enchanting novel about fate, second chances, and hope, lost and found by THE KEEPER OF HAPPY ENDINGS

The author of The Last of the Moon Girls, an Amazon Charts top book, returns with an enthralling tale of destiny, second chances, and hope—lost and rediscovered. When it comes to the business of happy endings, Soline Roussel is well learned. Her family has operated a posh wedding salon in Paris for many generations, where needlework and sewing are used to create enchantment. It is stated that a bride wearing a Roussel gown would experience happiness for the rest of her life. However, Soline suffers terrible losses during World War II, shattering her trust in love and leaving her world and heart in ruins. In an effort to forget, she stows away her failed hopes and packs up her memories. Many years later, aspirant gallery owner Rory Grant, who is leasing Soline's former home while grieving her own terrible loss, finds a box of letters and an old, never-worn bridal dress. Unexpected camaraderie develops as Rory returns the keepsakes, and unsettling similarities between Rory and Soline's lives start to emerge. It's obvious that their paths were meant to cross, and Rory might be the key to mending a 40-year wrong, allowing for mutual healing and maybe even a little magic. #The Echo of Old Books #Birthday girl #Hunting Adeline #where the crawdads sing #Barbara Davis

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

The Lost City of the Monkey God

The Lost City of the Monkey God A True Story by Douglas Preston

The #1 New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller, named one of the best books of the year by The Boston Globe and National Geographic: acclaimed journalist Douglas Preston takes readers on a true adventure deep into the Honduran rainforest in this riveting narrative about the discovery of a lost civilization -- culminating in a stunning medical mystery. Since the days of conquistador Hernán Cortés, rumors have circulated about a lost city of immense wealth hidden somewhere in the Honduran interior, called the White City or the Lost City of the Monkey God. Indigenous tribes speak of ancestors who fled there to escape the Spanish invaders, and they warn that anyone who enters this sacred city will fall ill and die. In 1940, swashbuckling journalist Theodore Morde returned from the rainforest with hundreds of artifacts and an electrifying story of having found the Lost City of the Monkey God-but then committed suicide without revealing its location. Three quarters of a century later, bestselling author Doug Preston joined a team of scientists on a groundbreaking new quest. In 2012 he climbed aboard a rickety, single-engine plane carrying the machine that would change everything: lidar, a highly advanced, classified technology that could map the terrain under the densest rainforest canopy. In an unexplored valley ringed by steep mountains, that flight revealed the unmistakable image of a sprawling metropolis, tantalizing evidence of not just an undiscovered city but an enigmatic, lost civilization. Venturing into this raw, treacherous, but breathtakingly beautiful wilderness to confirm the discovery, Preston and the team battled torrential rains, quickmud, disease-carrying insects, jaguars, and deadly snakes. But it wasn't until they returned that tragedy struck: Preston and others found they had contracted in the ruins a horrifying, sometimes lethal-and incurable-disease. Suspenseful and shocking, filled with colorful history, hair-raising adventure, and dramatic twists of fortune, THE LOST CITY OF THE MONKEY GOD is the absolutely true, eyewitness account of one of the great discoveries of the twenty-first century.

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George Washington's First War - David A. Clary Cover Art

George Washington's First War

George Washington's First War His Early Military Adventures by David A. Clary

Renowned historian David A. Clary studies George Washington’s early military career as a young colonel during the French and Indian War, and how those campaigns influenced his leadership and strategy as a general during the Revolutionary War and as the first president of the newly formed United States of America. The searing, formative military adventures of the inexperienced boy colonel of the French and Indian War who grew up to become one of the great soldier-statesmen of his age. George Washington wasn’t born a military leader. He became one the hard way—through trial and error and perseverance at a very early age and in the most trying circumstances imaginable. From the massacre of a French diplomatic party by soldiers under his command (thereby starting a world war), to his surrendering of Fort Necessity to the French, to his leading a harrowing retreat of British troops under fire, we see Washington learn the lessons of command. George Washington’s First War is a story told in vivid language, combining dramatic depictions of battle with the anxieties and frustrations of an adolescent who’s not yet a great man. Readers learn of harrowing ordeals in the wilderness, the hitherto little explored role played by the Indian nations whose continent this was, and the epic clash of empires that all combined to turn the young Washington into the great commander and president of his age.

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Ghost Soldiers - Hampton Sides Cover Art

Ghost Soldiers

Ghost Soldiers The Epic Account of World War II's Greatest Rescue Mission by Hampton Sides

NATIONAL BESTSELLER • “The greatest World War II story never told” ( Esquire )—an enthralling account of the heroic mission to rescue the last survivors of the Bataan Death March—from the author of Blood and Thunder . On January 28, 1945, 121 hand-selected U.S. troops slipped behind enemy lines in the Philippines. Their mission: March thirty rugged miles to rescue 513 POWs languishing in a hellish camp, among them the last survivors of the infamous Bataan Death March. A recent prison massacre by Japanese soldiers elsewhere in the Philippines made the stakes impossibly high and left little time to plan the complex operation. In Ghost Soldiers Hampton Sides vividly re-creates this daring raid, offering a minute-by-minute narration that unfolds alongside intimate portraits of the prisoners and their lives in the camp. Sides shows how the POWs banded together to survive, defying the Japanese authorities even as they endured starvation, tropical diseases, and torture. Harrowing, poignant, and inspiring, Ghost Soldiers is the mesmerizing story of a remarkable mission. It is also a testament to the human spirit, an account of enormous bravery and self-sacrifice amid the most trying conditions.

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Alta California - Nick Neely Cover Art

Alta California

Alta California From San Diego to San Francisco, A Journey on Foot to Rediscover the Golden State by Nick Neely

National Bestseller: This fascinating account of one man’s 650-mile trek from San Diego to San Francisco captures the many layers of California’s fiendishly complex history. “[Makes] you fall, or refall, in love with California . . . wildfires and insane housing prices and all . . . What a journey, you think. What a state.” — San Francisco Chronicle In 1769, an expedition led by Gaspar de Portolá sketched a route that would become, in part, the famous El Camino Real. It laid the foundation for the Golden State we know today, a place that remains as mythical and captivating as any in the world. Despite having grown up in California, Nick Neely realized how little he knew about its history. So he set off to learn it bodily, with just a backpack and a tent, trekking through stretches of California both lonely and urban. For twelve weeks, following the journal of expedition missionary Father Juan Crespí, Neely kept pace with the ghosts of the Portolá expedition—nearly 250 years later. Weaving natural and human history, Alta California relives Neely’s adventure, while telling a story of Native cultures and the Spanish missions that soon devastated them, and exploring the evolution of California and its landscape. The result is a collage of historical and contemporary California, of lyricism and pedestrian serendipity, and of the biggest issues facing California today—water, agriculture, oil and gas, immigration, and development—all of it one step at a time.

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Blood and Thunder - Hampton Sides Cover Art

Blood and Thunder

Blood and Thunder by Hampton Sides

NATIONAL BESTSELLER • From the author of Ghost Soldiers comes an eye-opening 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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The Afghanistan Papers - Craig Whitlock & The Washington Post Cover Art

The Afghanistan Papers

The Afghanistan Papers A Secret History of the War by Craig Whitlock & The Washington Post

A Washington Post Best Book of 2021 The #1 New York Times bestselling investigative story of how three successive presidents and their military commanders deceived the public year after year about America’s longest war, foreshadowing the Taliban’s recapture of Afghanistan, by Washington Post reporter and three-time Pulitzer Prize finalist Craig Whitlock. Unlike the wars in Vietnam and Iraq, the US invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 had near-unanimous public support. At first, the goals were straightforward and clear: defeat al-Qaeda and prevent a repeat of 9/11. Yet soon after the United States and its allies removed the Taliban from power, the mission veered off course and US officials lost sight of their original objectives. Distracted by the war in Iraq, the US military become mired in an unwinnable guerrilla conflict in a country it did not understand. But no president wanted to admit failure, especially in a war that began as a just cause. Instead, the Bush, Obama, and Trump administrations sent more and more troops to Afghanistan and repeatedly said they were making progress, even though they knew there was no realistic prospect for an outright victory. Just as the Pentagon Papers changed the public’s understanding of Vietnam, The Afghanistan Papers contains “fast-paced and vivid” ( The New York Times Book Review ) revelation after revelation from people who played a direct role in the war from leaders in the White House and the Pentagon to soldiers and aid workers on the front lines. In unvarnished language, they admit that the US government’s strategies were a mess, that the nation-building project was a colossal failure, and that drugs and corruption gained a stranglehold over their allies in the Afghan government. All told, the account is based on interviews with more than 1,000 people who knew that the US government was presenting a distorted, and sometimes entirely fabricated, version of the facts on the ground. Documents unearthed by The Washington Post reveal that President Bush didn’t know the name of his Afghanistan war commander—and didn’t want to meet with him. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld admitted that he had “no visibility into who the bad guys are.” His successor, Robert Gates, said: “We didn’t know jack shit about al-Qaeda.” The Afghanistan Papers is a “searing indictment of the deceit, blunders, and hubris of senior military and civilian officials” (Tom Bowman, NRP Pentagon Correspondent) that will supercharge a long-overdue reckoning over what went wrong and forever change the way the conflict is remembered.

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Watergate - Garrett M. Graff Cover Art

Watergate

Watergate A New History by Garrett M. Graff

Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in History NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * “Do we need still another Watergate book? The answer turns out to be yes—this one.” — The Washington Post * “Dazzling.” — The New York Times Book Review From the New York Times bestselling author of The Only Plane in the Sky , comes the first definitive narrative history of Watergate—“the best and fullest account of the crisis, one unlikely to be surpassed anytime soon” ( Kirkus Reviews , starred review)—exploring the full scope of the scandal through the politicians, investigators, journalists, and informants who made it the most influential political event of the modern era. In the early hours of June 17, 1972, a security guard named Frank Wills enters six words into the log book of the Watergate office complex that will change the course of history: 1:47 AM Found tape on doors; call police . The subsequent arrests of five men seeking to bug and burgle the Democratic National Committee offices—three of them Cuban exiles, two of them former intelligence operatives—quickly unravels a web of scandal that ultimately ends a presidency and forever alters views of moral authority and leadership. Watergate, as the event is called, becomes a shorthand for corruption, deceit, and unanswered questions. Now, award-winning journalist and bestselling author Garrett M. Graff explores the full scope of this unprecedented moment from start to finish, in the first comprehensive, single-volume account in decades. The story begins in 1971, with the publication of thousands of military and government documents known as the Pentagon Papers, which reveal dishonesty about the decades-long American presence in Vietnam and spark public outrage. Furious that the leak might expose his administration’s own duplicity during a crucial reelection season, President Richard M. Nixon gathers his closest advisors and gives them implicit instructions: Win by any means necessary. Within a few months, an unsteady line of political dominoes are positioned, from the creation of a series of covert operations code-named GEMSTONE to campaign-trail dirty tricks, possible hostage situations, and questionable fundraising efforts—much of it caught on the White House’s own taping system. One by one they fall, until the thwarted June burglary attracts the attention of intrepid journalists, congressional investigators, and embattled intelligence officers, one of whom will spend decades concealing his identity behind the alias “Deep Throat.” As each faction slowly begins to uncover the truth, a conspiracy deeper and more corrupt than anyone thought possible emerges, and the nation is thrown into a state of crisis as its government—and its leader—unravels. Using newly public documents, transcripts, and revelations, Graff recounts every twist with remarkable detail and page-turning drama, bringing readers into the backrooms of Washington, chaotic daily newsrooms, crowded Senate hearings, and even the Oval Office itself during one of the darkest chapters in American history. Grippingly told and meticulously researched, Watergate is the defining account of the moment that has haunted our nation’s past—and still holds the power to shape its present and future.

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Area 51 - Annie Jacobsen Cover Art

Area 51

Area 51 An Uncensored History of America's Top Secret Military Base by Annie Jacobsen

This "compellingly hard-hitting" bestseller from a Pulitzer Prize finalist gives readers the complete untold story of the top-secret military base for the first time ( New York Times ).  It is the most famous military installation in the world. And it doesn't exist. Located a mere seventy-five miles outside of Las Vegas in Nevada's desert, the base has never been acknowledged by the U.S. government — but Area 51 has captivated imaginations for decades. Myths and hypotheses about Area 51 have long abounded, thanks to the intense secrecy enveloping it. Some claim it is home to aliens, underground tunnel systems, and nuclear facilities. Others believe that the lunar landing itself was filmed there. The prevalence of these rumors stems from the fact that no credible insider has ever divulged the truth about his time inside the base. Until now. Annie Jacobsen had exclusive access to nineteen men who served the base proudly and secretly for decades and are now aged 75-92, and unprecedented access to fifty-five additional military and intelligence personnel, scientists, pilots, and engineers linked to the secret base, thirty-two of whom lived and worked there for extended periods. In Area 51 , Jacobsen shows us what has really gone on in the Nevada desert, from testing nuclear weapons to building super-secret, supersonic jets to pursuing the War on Terror. This is the first book based on interviews with eye witnesses to Area 51 history, which makes it the seminal work on the subject. Filled with formerly classified information that has never been accurately decoded for the public, Area 51 weaves the mysterious activities of the top-secret base into a gripping narrative, showing that facts are often more fantastic than fiction, especially when the distinction is almost impossible to make.

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Countdown to Zero Day - Kim Zetter Cover Art

Countdown to Zero Day

Countdown to Zero Day Stuxnet and the Launch of the World's First Digital Weapon by Kim Zetter

Top cybersecurity journalist Kim Zetter tells the story behind the virus that sabotaged Iran’s nuclear efforts and shows how its existence has ushered in a new age of warfare—one in which a digital attack can have the same destructive capability as a megaton bomb.   In January 2010, inspectors with the International Atomic Energy Agency noticed that centrifuges at an Iranian uranium enrichment plant were failing at an unprecedented rate. The cause was a complete mystery—apparently as much to the technicians replacing the centrifuges as to the inspectors observing them.   Then, five months later, a seemingly unrelated event occurred: A computer security firm in Belarus was called in to troubleshoot some computers in Iran that were crashing and rebooting repeatedly.    At first, the firm’s programmers believed the malicious code on the machines was a simple, routine piece of malware. But as they and other experts around the world investigated, they discovered a mysterious virus of unparalleled complexity.   They had, they soon learned, stumbled upon the world’s first digital weapon. For Stuxnet, as it came to be known, was unlike any other virus or worm built before: Rather than simply hijacking targeted computers or stealing information from them, it escaped the digital realm to wreak actual, physical destruction on a nuclear facility.    In these pages, Wired journalist Kim Zetter draws on her extensive sources and expertise to tell the story behind Stuxnet’s planning, execution, and discovery, covering its genesis in the corridors of Bush’s White House and its unleashing on systems in Iran—and telling the spectacular, unlikely tale of the security geeks who managed to unravel a sabotage campaign years in the making.   But Countdown to Zero Day ranges far beyond Stuxnet itself. Here, Zetter shows us how digital warfare developed in the US. She takes us inside today’s flourishing zero-day “grey markets,” in which intelligence agencies and militaries pay huge sums for the malicious code they need to carry out infiltrations and attacks. She reveals just how vulnerable many of our own critical systems are to Stuxnet-like strikes, from nation-state adversaries and anonymous hackers alike—and shows us just what might happen should our infrastructure be targeted by such an attack.   Propelled by Zetter’s unique knowledge and access, and filled with eye-opening explanations of the technologies involved, Countdown to Zero Day is a comprehensive and prescient portrait of a world at the edge of a new kind of war.

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

Killing the Witches

Killing the Witches The Horror of Salem, Massachusetts by Bill O'Reilly & Martin Dugard

The Instant New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Publishers Weekly Bestseller! Killing the Witches revisits one of the most frightening and inexplicable episodes in American history: the events of 1692 and 1693 in Salem Village, Massachusetts. What began as a mysterious affliction of two young girls who suffered violent fits and exhibited strange behavior soon spread to other young women. Rumors of demonic possession and witchcraft consumed Salem. Soon three women were arrested under suspicion of being witches--but as the hysteria spread, more than 200 people were accused. Thirty were found guilty, twenty were executed, and others died in jail or their lives were ruined. Killing the Witches tells the dramatic history of how the Puritan tradition and the power of early American ministers shaped the origins of the United States, influencing the founding fathers, the American Revolution, and even the Constitutional Convention. The repercussions of Salem continue to the present day, notably in the real-life story behind The Exorcist and in contemporary “witch hunts” driven by social media. The result is a compulsively readable book about good, evil, community panic, and how fear can overwhelm fact and reason.

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Facing the Mountain - Daniel James Brown Cover Art

Facing the Mountain

Facing the Mountain An Inspiring Story of Japanese American Patriots in World War II by Daniel James Brown

A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER One of NPR's "Books We Love" of 2021 Longlisted for the PEN/Jacqueline Bograd Weld Award for Biography  Winner of the Christopher Award    “Masterly. An epic story of four Japanese-American families and their sons who volunteered for military service and displayed uncommon heroism… Propulsive and gripping, in part because of Mr. Brown’s ability to make us care deeply about the fates of these individual soldiers...a page-turner.” – Wall Street Journal From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Boys in the Boat , a gripping World War II saga of patriotism and resistance, focusing on four Japanese American men and their families, and the contributions and sacrifices that they made for the sake of the nation. In the days and months after Pearl Harbor, the lives of Japanese Americans across the continent and Hawaii were changed forever. In this unforgettable chronicle of war-time America and the battlefields of Europe, Daniel James Brown portrays the journey of Rudy Tokiwa, Fred Shiosaki, and Kats Miho, who volunteered for the 442nd Regimental Combat Team and were deployed to France, Germany, and Italy, where they were asked to do the near impossible. Brown also tells the story of these soldiers' parents, immigrants who were forced to submit to life in concentration camps on U.S. soil. Woven throughout is the chronicle of Gordon Hirabayashi, one of a cadre of patriotic resisters who stood up against their government in defense of their own rights. Whether fighting on battlefields or in courtrooms, these were Americans under unprecedented strain, doing what Americans do best—striving, resisting, pushing back, rising up, standing on principle, laying down their lives, and enduring.

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Tripped - Norman Ohler & Marshall Yarbrough Cover Art

Tripped

Tripped Nazi Germany, the CIA, and the Dawn of the Psychedelic Age by Norman Ohler & Marshall Yarbrough

“A fleet-footed and propulsive account . . . Brilliantly sifting a massive history for its ideological through lines, this is a must-read." ?— Publishers Weekly (starred review) The author of the New York Times bestseller Blitzed returns with a provocative new history of drugs and postwar America, examining the untold story of how Nazi experiments into psychedelics covertly influenced CIA research and secretly shaped the War on Drugs.  Berlin 1945. Following the fall of the Third Reich, drug use—long kept under control by the Nazis’ strict anti-drug laws—is rampant throughout the city. Split into four sectors, Berlin's drug policies are being enforced under the individual jurisdictions of each allied power—the Soviet Union, Britain, France, and the US. In the American zone, Arthur J. Giuliani of the nascent Federal Bureau of Narcotics is tasked with learning about the Nazis’ anti-drug laws and bringing home anything that might prove “useful” to the United States. Five years later, Harvard professor Dr. Henry Beecher began work with the US government to uncover the research behind the Nazis psychedelics program. Begun as an attempt to find a “truth serum” and experiment with mind control, the Nazi study initially involved mescaline, but quickly expanded to include LSD. Originally created for medical purposes by Swiss pharmaceutical Sandoz, the Nazis coopted the drug for their mind control military research—research that, following the war, the US was desperate to acquire. This research birthed MKUltra, the CIA's notorious brainwashing and psychological torture program during the 1950s and 1960s, and ultimately shaped US drug policy regarding psychedelics for over half a century. Based on extensive archival research on both sides of the Atlantic, Tripped is a wild, unconventional postwar history, a spiritual sequel to Norman Ohler’s New York Times bestseller Blitzed. Revealing the close relationship and hidden connections between the Nazis and the early days of drugs in America, Ohler shares how this secret history held back therapeutic research of psychedelic drugs for decades and eventually became part of the foundation of America’s War on Drugs.

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Master Slave Husband Wife - Ilyon Woo Cover Art

Master Slave Husband Wife

Master Slave Husband Wife An Epic Journey from Slavery to Freedom by Ilyon Woo

One of The New York Times ’s 10 Best Books of 2023 New York Times Bestseller Named a best book of 2023 by The New Yorker , Time , NPR, Smithsonian Magazine , Boston , Chicago Public Library, Oprah Daily , and People The remarkable true story of Ellen and William Craft, who escaped slavery through daring, determination, and disguise, with Ellen passing as a wealthy, disabled White man and William posing as “his” slave. In 1848, a year of international democratic revolt, a young, enslaved couple, Ellen and William Craft, achieved one of the boldest feats of self-emancipation in American history. Posing as master and slave, while sustained by their love as husband and wife, they made their escape together across more than 1,000 miles, riding out in the open on steamboats, carriages, and trains that took them from bondage in Georgia to the free states of the North. Along the way, they dodged slave traders, military officers, and even friends of their enslavers, who might have revealed their true identities. The tale of their adventure soon made them celebrities, and generated headlines around the country. Americans could not get enough of this charismatic young couple, who traveled another 1,000 miles criss-crossing New England, drawing thunderous applause as they spoke alongside some of the greatest abolitionist luminaries of the day—among them Frederick Douglass and William Wells Brown. But even then, they were not out of danger. With the passage of an infamous new Fugitive Slave Act in 1850, all Americans became accountable for returning refugees like the Crafts to slavery. Then yet another adventure began, as slave hunters came up from Georgia, forcing the Crafts to flee once again—this time from the United States, their lives and thousands more on the line and the stakes never higher. With three epic journeys compressed into one monumental bid for freedom, Master Slave Husband Wife is an American love story—one that would challenge the nation’s core precepts of life, liberty, and justice for all—one that challenges us even now.

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Halsey's Typhoon - Bob Drury & Tom Clavin Cover Art

Halsey's Typhoon

Halsey's Typhoon The True Story of a Fighting Admiral, an Epic Storm, and an Untold Rescue by Bob Drury & Tom Clavin

This account of a disaster at sea during World War II is “a powerful and engrossing story of tragedy, survival, and heroism” (Mark Bowden, author of Black Hawk Down ) .   In the final days of 1944, Admiral William “Bull” Halsey is the Pacific theater’s most popular and colorful naval hero. After a string of victories, the “Fighting Admiral” and his thirty-thousand-man Third Fleet are charged with protecting General MacArthur’s flank during the invasion of the Philippine island of Mindoro. But in the midst of the landings, Halsey attempts a complicated refueling maneuver—and unwittingly drives his 170 ships into the teeth of a massive typhoon.   Halsey’s men find themselves battling ninety-foot waves and 150 mph winds. Amid the chaos, three ships are sunk and nearly nine hundred sailors and officers are swept into the Philippine Sea. For three days, small bands of survivors battle dehydration, exhaustion, sharks, and the elements, awaiting rescue. It will be up to courageous lieutenant commander Henry Lee Plage to defy orders and sail his tiny destroyer escort, the USS Tabberer , back into the storm to rescue drifting sailors.   Revealing a little-known chapter of WWII history in absorbing detail, this is “a vivid tale of tragedy and gallantry at sea.” ( Publishers Weekly ).

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The Nazi Hunters - Damien Lewis Cover Art

The Nazi Hunters

The Nazi Hunters The Ultra-Secret SAS Unit and the Hunt for Hitler's War Criminals by Damien Lewis

The gripping “untold story” of the Secret Hunters, deep-cover British special forces who pursued Nazi fugitives from justice after World War II ( Daily Mail ). In the late summer of 1944, eighty British Special Air Service (SAS) soldiers undertook a covert commando raid, parachuting behind enemy lines into the Vosges Mountains in occupied France to sabotage Nazi-held roads, railways, and ammo dumps, and assassinate high-ranking German officers, undermining the final stand of Hitler’s Third Reich. Despite their successes, more than half the men were captured, tortured, and executed.   Although the SAS was officially dissolved when the war ended, a top-secret black ops unit was formed, under Churchill’s personal command, to hunt down the SS commanders who had murdered their special forces comrades, as well as war criminals from concentration camps who had eluded the Nuremberg trials. Under the cover of full deniability, “The Secret Hunters” waged a covert war of justice and retribution—uncovering the full horror of Hitler’s regime as well as dark secrets of Stalin’s Russia and the growing threat of what would become the Cold War.   Finally revealing the fascinating details of the secret postwar mission that became a central part of the SAS’s founding legend, Damien Lewis “delves into some of the darkest days of the regiment’s history to tell a story of tragedy, valor and revenge . . . [a] remarkable story” (War History Online).  

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Tanks of the Second World War - Thomas Anderson Cover Art

Tanks of the Second World War

Tanks of the Second World War by Thomas Anderson

This comprehensive reference book presents detailed information on both Allied and Axis tanks used during WWII—illustrated with photos throughout.   In Tanks of the Second World War , military historian Thomas Anderson lists all the tanks that saw significant combat, covering vehicles used by every country involved in the conflict. Presenting his subject chronologically, Anderson tracks the development of tank design and technology from World War I and the interwar period through the developments and variations that arose during World War II.   Detailing each vehicle’s technical specifications and uses in battle, this comprehensive survey also provides authentic eyewitness accounts of the tanks and their crews in battle. The text is supported throughout with wartime photographs, many of which have never been published before.

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Band of Brothers - Stephen E. Ambrose Cover Art

Band of Brothers

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

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

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A Fever in the Heartland - Timothy Egan Cover Art

A Fever in the Heartland

A Fever in the Heartland The Ku Klux Klan's Plot to Take Over America, and the Woman Who Stopped Them by Timothy Egan

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A Washington Post Notable Work of Nonfiction • An NPR Best Book of the Year • A Kirkus Reviews Best Book of the Year •  A Chicago Review of Books Best Book of the Year • A New York Public Library Best Book of the Year • A Goodreads Choice Awards Finalist "With narrative elan, Egan gives us a riveting saga of how a predatory con man became one of the most powerful people in 1920s America, Grand Dragon of the Ku Klux Klan, with a plan to rule the country—and how a grisly murder of a woman brought him down. Compelling and chillingly resonant with our own time." —Erik Larson, author of The Splendid and the Vile “Riveting…Egan is a brilliant researcher and lucid writer.” — Minneapolis Star Tribune A historical thriller by the Pulitzer and National Book Award-winning author that tells the riveting story of the Klan's rise to power in the 1920s, the cunning con man who drove that rise, and the woman who stopped them. The Roaring Twenties--the Jazz Age--has been characterized as a time of Gatsby frivolity. But it was also the height of the uniquely American hate group, the Ku Klux Klan. Their domain was not the old Confederacy, but the Heartland and the West. They hated Blacks, Jews, Catholics and immigrants in equal measure, and took radical steps to keep these people from the American promise. And the man who set in motion their takeover of great swaths of America was a charismatic charlatan named D.C. Stephenson. Stephenson was a magnetic presence whose life story changed with every telling. Within two years of his arrival in Indiana, he’d become the Grand Dragon of the state and the architect of the strategy that brought the group out of the shadows – their message endorsed from the pulpits of local churches, spread at family picnics and town celebrations. Judges, prosecutors, ministers, governors and senators across the country all proudly proclaimed their membership. But at the peak of his influence, it was a seemingly powerless woman – Madge Oberholtzer – who would reveal his secret cruelties, and whose deathbed testimony finally brought the Klan to their knees. A FEVER IN THE HEARTLAND marries a propulsive drama to a powerful and page-turning reckoning with one of the darkest threads in American history.

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With the Old Breed - Eugene B. Sledge Cover Art

With the Old Breed

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

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER In his own book, Wartime, Paul Fussell called With the Old Breed "one of the finest memoirs to emerge from any war." John Keegan referred to it in The Second World War as "one of the most arresting documents in war literature." And Studs Terkel was so fascinated with the story he interviewed its author for his book, "The Good War." What has made E.B. Sledge's memoir of his experience fighting in the South Pacific during World War II so devastatingly powerful is its sheer honest simplicity and compassion. Now including a new introduction by Paul Fussell, With the Old Breed presents a stirring, personal account of the vitality and bravery of the Marines in the battles at Peleliu and Okinawa. Born in Mobile, Alabama in 1923 and raised on riding, hunting, fishing, and a respect for history and legendary heroes such as George Washington and Daniel Boone, Eugene Bondurant Sledge (later called "Sledgehammer" by his Marine Corps buddies) joined the Marines the year after the bombing of Pearl Harbor and from 1943 to 1946 endured the events recorded in this book. In those years, he passed, often painfully, from innocence to experience. Sledge enlisted out of patriotism, idealism, and youthful courage, but once he landed on the beach at Peleliu, it was purely a struggle for survival. Based on the notes he kept on slips of paper tucked secretly away in his New Testament, he simply and directly recalls those long months, mincing no words and sparing no pain. The reality of battle meant unbearable heat, deafening gunfire, unimaginable brutality and cruelty, the stench of death, and, above all, constant fear. Sledge still has nightmares about "the bloody, muddy month of May on Okinawa." But, as he also tellingly reveals, the bonds of friendship formed then will never be severed. Sledge's honesty and compassion for the other marines, even complete strangers, sets him apart as a memoirist of war. Read as sobering history or as high adventure, With the Old Breed is a moving chronicle of action and courage.

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The Fall of Japan - William J. Craig Cover Art

The Fall of Japan

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

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

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A Night to Remember - Walter Lord Cover Art

A Night to Remember

A Night to Remember The Sinking of the Titanic by Walter Lord

#1 New York Times Bestseller: The definitive book on the sinking of the Titanic , based on interviews with survivors, by the author of The Miracle of Dunkirk .  At first, no one but the lookout recognized the sound. Passengers described it as the impact of a heavy wave, a scraping noise, or the tearing of a long calico strip. In fact, it was the sound of the world’s most famous ocean liner striking an iceberg, and it served as the death knell for 1,500 souls. In the next two hours and forty minutes, the maiden voyage of the Titanic became one of history’s worst maritime accidents. As the ship’s deck slipped closer to the icy waterline, women pleaded with their husbands to join them on lifeboats. Men changed into their evening clothes to meet death with dignity. And in steerage, hundreds fought bitterly against certain death. At 2:15 a.m. the ship’s band played “Autumn.” Five minutes later, the Titanic was gone. Based on interviews with sixty-three survivors, Lord’s moment-by-moment account is among the finest books written about one of the twentieth century’s bleakest nights.

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After 1177 B.C. - Eric H. Cline Cover Art

After 1177 B.C.

After 1177 B.C. The Survival of Civilizations by Eric H. Cline

In this gripping sequel to his bestselling 1177 B.C., Eric Cline tells the story of what happened after the Bronze Age collapsed—why some civilizations endured, why some gave way to new ones, and why some disappeared forever “A landmark book: lucid, deep, and insightful. . . . You cannot understand human civilization and self-organization without studying what happened on, before, and after 1177 B.C.”—Nassim Nicholas Taleb, bestselling author of The Black Swan At the end of the acclaimed history 1177 B.C. , many of the Late Bronze Age civilizations of the Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean lay in ruins, undone by invasion, revolt, natural disasters, famine, and the demise of international trade. An interconnected world that had boasted major empires and societies, relative peace, robust commerce, and monumental architecture was lost and the so-called First Dark Age had begun. Now, in After 1177 B.C. , Eric Cline tells the compelling story of what happened next, over four centuries, across the Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean world. It is a story of resilience, transformation, and success, as well as failures, in an age of chaos and reconfiguration. After 1177 B.C. tells how the collapse of powerful Late Bronze Age civilizations created new circumstances to which people and societies had to adapt. Those that failed to adjust disappeared from the world stage, while others transformed themselves, resulting in a new world order that included Phoenicians, Philistines, Israelites, Neo-Hittites, Neo-Assyrians, and Neo-Babylonians. Taking the story up to the resurgence of Greece marked by the first Olympic Games in 776 B.C., the book also describes how world-changing innovations such as the use of iron and the alphabet emerged amid the chaos. Filled with lessons for today's world about why some societies survive massive shocks while others do not, After 1177 B.C. reveals why this period, far from being the First Dark Age, was a new age with new inventions and new opportunities.

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Chasing Beauty - Natalie Dykstra Cover Art

Chasing Beauty

Chasing Beauty The Life of Isabella Stewart Gardner by Natalie Dykstra

The vivid and masterful story of Isabella Stewart Gardner—creator of one of America’s most stunning museums—an American original whose own life was remade by art. Includes archival photos of Isabella’s world, museum, and the art she collected. Isabella Stewart Gardner’s museum, with its plain exterior enfolding an astonishing four-story Italian palazzo, rose from Boston’s Fens at the turn of the twentieth century. Its treasures encompassed not only masterwork paintings but tapestries, rare books, prints, porcelains, and fine furniture. An extraordinary achievement of storytelling and scholarship, Chasing Beauty illuminates the fascinating ways the museum and its holdings can be seen as a kind of memoir, dazzling and haunting, created with objects instead of words and displayed per Isabella’s wishes in the exact placements she initially curated. Born in 1840 to a privileged New York family, Isabella Stewart married Boston Brahmin Jack Gardner as she turned twenty. She was misunderstood by Boston’s insular society and suffered the death of her only child, a beloved boy, not yet two years old. But in time came friendships, glittering and bohemian; awe-inspiring world travels; and collecting beautiful things with a keen eye and competitive pace—all these were balm for loss. Henry James and John Singer Sargent—whose portrait of Isabella was a masterpiece and a scandal—came to recognize her originality. Bernard Berenson, leading connoisseur of the Italian Renaissance, was her art dealer. From award-winning author Natalie Dykstra, Chasing Beauty is the story of the complex and singular woman behind one of the most fascinating museums in the nation and the world—a tale of beauty and loss, grit and American self-invention.

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In the Kingdom of Ice - Hampton Sides Cover Art

In the Kingdom of Ice

In the Kingdom of Ice The Grand and Terrible Polar Voyage of the USS Jeannette by Hampton Sides

NATIONAL BESTSELLER • A white-knuckle tale of polar exploration and heroism in the Gilded Age from the New York Times bestselling author of Blood and Thunder  and  Ghost Soldiers . • “A splendid book in every way…a marvelous nonfiction thriller.” — The Wall Street Journal On July 8, 1879, Captain George Washington De Long and his team of thirty-two men set sail from San Francisco on the USS Jeanette. Heading deep into uncharted Arctic waters, they carried the aspirations of a young country burning to be the first nation to reach the North Pole. Two years into the harrowing voyage, the Jeannette's hull was breached by an impassable stretch of pack ice, forcing the crew to abandon ship amid torrents of rushing of water. Hours later, the ship had sunk below the surface, marooning the men a thousand miles north of Siberia, where they faced a terrifying march with minimal supplies across the endless ice pack. Enduring everything from snow blindness and polar bears to ferocious storms and labyrinths of ice, the crew battled madness and starvation as they struggled desperately to survive. With thrilling twists and turns, In The Kingdom of Ice is a spellbinding tale of heroism and determination in the most brutal place on Earth.

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Dead Wake - Erik Larson Cover Art

Dead Wake

Dead Wake The Last Crossing of the Lusitania by Erik Larson

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • From the bestselling author and master of narrative nonfiction comes the enthralling story of the sinking of the Lusitania “Both terrifying and enthralling.”— Entertainment Weekly “ Thrilling, dramatic and powerful. ” —NPR “ Thoroughly engrossing. ” —George R.R. Martin On May 1, 1915, with WWI entering its tenth month, a luxury ocean liner as richly appointed as an English country house sailed out of New York, bound for Liverpool, carrying a record number of children and infants. The passengers were surprisingly at ease, even though Germany had declared the seas around Britain to be a war zone. For months, German U-boats had brought terror to the North Atlantic. But the Lusitania was one of the era’s great transatlantic “Greyhounds”—the fastest liner then in service—and her captain, William Thomas Turner, placed tremendous faith in the gentlemanly strictures of warfare that for a century had kept civilian ships safe from attack.  Germany, however, was determined to change the rules of the game, and Walther Schwieger, the captain of Unterseeboot -20, was happy to oblige. Meanwhile, an ultra-secret British intelligence unit tracked Schwieger’s U-boat, but told no one. As U-20 and the Lusitania made their way toward Liverpool, an array of forces both grand and achingly small—hubris, a chance fog, a closely guarded secret, and more—all converged to produce one of the great disasters of history. It is a story that many of us think we know but don’t, and Erik Larson tells it thrillingly, switching between hunter and hunted while painting a larger portrait of America at the height of the Progressive Era. Full of glamour and suspense, Dead Wake brings to life a cast of evocative characters, from famed Boston bookseller Charles Lauriat to pioneering female architect Theodate Pope to President Woodrow Wilson, a man lost to grief, dreading the widening war but also captivated by the prospect of new love.  Gripping and important, Dead Wake captures the sheer drama and emotional power of a disaster whose intimate details and true meaning have long been obscured by history. Finalist for the Washington State Book Award • One of the Best Books of the Year: The Washington Post, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Miami Herald, Library Journal, Kirkus Reviews, LibraryReads, Indigo

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Black Hearts - Jim Frederick Cover Art

Black Hearts

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

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

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Countdown 1945 - Chris Wallace Cover Art

Countdown 1945

Countdown 1945 The Extraordinary Story of the Atomic Bomb and the 116 Days That Changed the World by Chris Wallace

The #1 national bestselling “riveting” ( The New York Times ), “propulsive” ( Time ) behind-the-scenes account “that reads like a tense thriller” ( The Washington Post ) of the 116 days leading up to the American attack on Hiroshima, by Chris Wallace, veteran journalist and CNN anchor and Max host. April 12, 1945: After years of bloody conflict in Europe and the Pacific, America is stunned by news of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s death. In an instant, Vice President Harry Truman, who has been kept out of war planning and knows nothing of the top-secret Manhattan Project to develop the world’s first atomic bomb, must assume command of a nation at war on multiple continents—and confront one of the most consequential decisions in history. Countdown 1945 tells the gripping true story of the turbulent days, weeks, and months to follow, leading up to August 6, 1945, when Truman gives the order to drop the bomb on Hiroshima. In Countdown 1945 , Chris Wallace, the veteran journalist and CNN anchor and Max host, takes readers inside the minds of the iconic and elusive figures who join the quest for the bomb, each for different reasons: the legendary Albert Einstein, who eventually calls his vocal support for the atomic bomb “the one great mistake in my life”; lead researcher J. Robert “Oppie” Oppenheimer and the Soviet spies who secretly infiltrate his team; the fiercely competitive pilots of the plane selected to drop the bomb; and many more. Perhaps most of all, Countdown 1945 is the story of an untested new president confronting a decision that he knows will change the world forever. But more than a book about the atomic bomb, Countdown 1945 is also an unforgettable account of the lives of ordinary American and Japanese civilians in wartime—from “Calutron Girls” like Ruth Sisson in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, to ten-year-old Hiroshima resident Hideko Tamura, who survives the blast at ground zero but loses her mother and later immigrates to the United States, where she lives to this day—as well as American soldiers fighting in the Pacific, waiting in fear for the order to launch a possible invasion of Japan. Told with vigor, intelligence, and humanity, Countdown 1945 is the definitive account of one of the most significant moments in history.

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Muse of Fire: World War I as Seen Through the Lives of the Soldier Poets - Michael Korda Cover Art

Muse of Fire: World War I as Seen Through the Lives of the Soldier Poets

Muse of Fire: World War I as Seen Through the Lives of the Soldier Poets by Michael Korda

The First World War comes to harrowing life through the intertwined lives of the soldier poets in Michael Korda’s epic Muse of Fire. Michael Korda, the best-selling author of Hero and Alone, tells the story of the First World War not in any conventional way but through the intertwined lives of the soldier poets who came to describe it best, and indeed to symbolize the war’s tragic arc and lethal fury. His epic narrative begins with Rupert Brooke, “the handsomest young man in England” and perhaps its most famous young poet in the halcyon days of the Edwardian Age, and ends five years later with Wilfred Owen, killed in action at twenty-five, only one week before the armistice. With bitter irony, Owen’s mother received the telegram informing her of his death on November 11, just as church bells tolled to celebrate the war’s end. Korda’s dramatic account, which includes anecdotes from his own family history, not only brings to life the soldier poets but paints an unforgettable picture of life and death in the trenches, and the sacrifice of an entire generation. His cast of characters includes the young American poet Alan Seeger, who was killed in action as a private in the French Foreign Legion; Isaac Rosenberg, whose parents had fled czarist anti-Semitic persecution and who was killed in action at the age of twenty-eight before his fame as a poet and a painter was recognized; Robert Graves and Siegfried Sassoon, whose friendship and friendly rivalry endured through long, complicated private lives; and, finally, Owen, whose fame came only posthumously and whose poetry remains some of the most savage and heartbreaking to emerge from the cataclysmic war. As Korda demonstrates, the poets of the First World War were soldiers, heroes, martyrs, victims, their lives and loves endlessly fascinating—that of Rupert Brooke alone reads like a novel, with his journey to Polynesia in pursuit of a life like Gauguin’s and some of his finest poetry written only a year before his tragic death. Muse of Fire is at once a portrait of their lives and a narrative of a civilization destroying itself, among the rubble, shadows, and the unresolved problems of which we still live, from the revival of brutal trench warfare in Ukraine and in the Middle East.

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The Pentagon's Brain - Annie Jacobsen Cover Art

The Pentagon's Brain

The Pentagon's Brain An Uncensored History of DARPA, America's Top-Secret Military Research Agency by Annie Jacobsen

Discover the definitive history of DARPA, the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency, in this Pulitzer Prize finalist from the author of the New York Times bestseller Area 51 . No one has ever written the history of the Defense Department's most secret, most powerful, and most controversial military science R&D agency. In the first-ever history about the organization, New York Times bestselling author Annie Jacobsen draws on inside sources, exclusive interviews, private documents, and declassified memos to paint a picture of DARPA, or "the Pentagon's brain," from its Cold War inception in 1958 to the present. This is the book on DARPA -- a compelling narrative about this clandestine intersection of science and the American military and the often frightening results.

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

With the Old Breed

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

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

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Auschwitz - Miklos Nyiszli, Tibère Kremer, Richard Seaver & Bruno Bettelheim Cover Art

Auschwitz

Auschwitz A Doctor's Eyewitness Account by Miklos Nyiszli, Tibère Kremer, Richard Seaver & Bruno Bettelheim

When the Nazis invaded Hungary in 1944, they sent virtually the entire Jewish population to Auschwitz. A Jew and a medical doctor, Dr. Miklos Nyiszli was spared from death for a grimmer fate: to perform “scientific research” on his fellow inmates under the supervision of the infamous “Angel of Death”: Dr. Josef Mengele. Nyiszli was named Mengele’s personal research pathologist. Miraculously, he survived to give this terrifying and sobering account.

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Surprise, Kill, Vanish - Annie Jacobsen Cover Art

Surprise, Kill, Vanish

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

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

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The Mysterious Case of Rudolf Diesel - Douglas Brunt Cover Art

The Mysterious Case of Rudolf Diesel

The Mysterious Case of Rudolf Diesel Genius, Power, and Deception on the Eve of World War I by Douglas Brunt

This instant New York Times bestselling “dynamic detective story” ( The New York Times ) reveals the hidden history Rudolf Diesel, one of the world’s greatest inventors, and his mysterious disappearance on the eve of World War I. September 29, 1913: the steamship Dresden is halfway between Belgium and England. On board is one of the most famous men in the world, Rudolf Diesel, whose new internal combustion engine is on the verge of revolutionizing global industry forever. But Diesel never arrives at his destination. He vanishes during the night and headlines around the world wonder if it was an accident, suicide, or murder. After rising from an impoverished European childhood, Diesel had become a multi-millionaire with his powerful engine that does not require expensive petroleum-based fuel. In doing so, he became not only an international celebrity but also the enemy of two extremely powerful men: Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany and John D. Rockefeller, the founder of Standard Oil and the richest man in the world. The Kaiser wanted the engine to power a fleet of submarines that would finally allow him to challenge Great Britain’s Royal Navy. But Diesel had intended for his engine to be used for the betterment of the world. Now, New York Times bestselling author Douglas Brunt reopens the case and provides an “absolutely riveting” (Chris Bohjalian, #1 New York Times bestselling author) new conclusion about Diesel’s fate. Brunt’s book is “equal parts Walter Isaacson and Sherlock Holmes, [and] yanks back the curtain on the greatest caper of the 20th century in this riveting history” (Jay Winik, New York Times bestselling author).

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A History of the World in Twelve Shipwrecks - David Gibbins Cover Art

A History of the World in Twelve Shipwrecks

A History of the World in Twelve Shipwrecks by David Gibbins

From renowned underwater archaeologist David Gibbins comes an exciting and rich narrative of human history told through the archaeological discoveries of twelve shipwrecks across time. The Viking warship of King Cnut the Great. Henry VIII's the Mary Rose. Captain John Franklin's doomed HMS Terror. The SS Gairsoppa, destroyed by a Nazi U-boat in the Atlantic during World War II. Since we first set sail on the open sea, ships and their wrecks have been an inevitable part of human history. Archaeologists have made spectacular discoveries excavating these sunken ships, their protective underwater cocoon keeping evidence of past civilizations preserved. Now, for the first time, world renowned maritime archeologist David Gibbins ties together the stories of some of the most significant shipwrecks in time to form a single overarching narrative of world history. A History of the World in Twelve Shipwrecks is not just the story of those ships, the people who sailed on them, and the cargo and treasure they carried, but also the story of the spread of people, religion, and ideas around the world; it is a story of colonialism, migration, and the indominable human spirit that continues today. From the glittering Bronze Age, to the world of Caesar's Rome, through the era of the Vikings, to the exploration of the Arctic, Gibbins uses shipwrecks to tell all. Drawing on decades of experience excavating shipwrecks around the world, Gibbins reveals the riches beneath the waves and shows us how the treasures found there can be a porthole to the past that tell a new story about the world and its underwater secrets.

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The Cold War - John Lewis Gaddis Cover Art

The Cold War

The Cold War A New History by John Lewis Gaddis

“Outstanding . . . The most accessible distillation of that conflict yet written.” — The Boston Globe “Energetically written and lucid, it makes an ideal introduction to the subject.” — The New York Times The “dean of Cold War historians” ( The New York Times ) now presents the definitive account of the global confrontation that dominated the last half of the twentieth century. Drawing on newly opened archives and the reminiscences of the major players, John Lewis Gaddis explains not just what happened but why —from the months in 1945 when the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. went from alliance to antagonism to the barely averted holocaust of the Cuban Missile Crisis to the maneuvers of Nixon and Mao, Reagan and Gorbachev. Brilliant, accessible, almost Shakespearean in its drama, The Cold War stands as a triumphant summation of the era that, more than any other, shaped our own. Gaddis is also the author of On Grand Strategy.

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The Frontiersmen - Allan W. Eckert Cover Art

The Frontiersmen

The Frontiersmen by Allan W. Eckert

The frontiersmen were a remarkable breed of men. They were often rough and illiterate, sometimes brutal and vicious, often seeking an escape in the wilderness of mid-America from crimes committed back east. In the beautiful but deadly country which would one day come to be known as West Virginia, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois, more often than not they left their bones to bleach beside forest paths or on the banks of the Ohio River, victims of Indians who claimed the vast virgin territory and strove to turn back the growing tide of whites. These frontiersmen are the subjects of Allan Eckert's dramatic history. Against the background of such names as George Rogers Clark, Daniel Boone, Arthur St. Clair, Anthony Wayne, Simon Girty and William Henry Harrison, Eckert has recreated the life of one of America's most outstanding heroes, Simon Kenton. Kenton's role in opening the Northwest Territory to settlement more than rivaled that of his friend Daniel Boone. By his eighteenth birthday, Kenton had already won frontier renown as woodsman, fighter and scout. His incredible physical strength and endurance, his great dignity and innate kindness made him the ideal prototype of the frontier hero. Yet there is another story to The Frontiersmen. It is equally the story of one of history's greatest leaders, whose misfortune was to be born to a doomed cause and a dying race. Tecumseh, the brilliant Shawnee chief, welded together by the sheer force of his intellect and charisma an incredible Indian confederacy that came desperately close to breaking the thrust of the white man's westward expansion. Like Kenton, Tecumseh was the paragon of his people's virtues, and the story of his life, in Allan Eckert's hands, reveals most profoundly the grandeur and the tragedy of the American Indian. No less importantly, The Frontiersmen is the story of wilderness America itself, its penetration and settlement, and it is Eckert's particular grace to be able to evoke life and meaning from the raw facts of this story. In The Frontiersmen not only do we care about our long-forgotten fathers, we live again with them. Researched for seven years, The Frontiersmen is the first in Mr. Eckert's "The Winning of America" series.

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Bowling Alone: Revised and Updated - Robert D. Putnam Cover Art

Bowling Alone: Revised and Updated

Bowling Alone: Revised and Updated The Collapse and Revival of American Community by Robert D. Putnam

Once we bowled in leagues, usually after work -- but no longer. This seemingly small phenomenon symbolizes a significant social change that Robert Putnam has identified in this brilliant volume, Bowling Alone , which The Economist hailed as "a prodigious achievement." Drawing on vast new data that reveal Americans' changing behavior, Putnam shows how we have become increasingly disconnected from one another and how social structures -- whether they be PTA, church, or political parties -- have disintegrated. Until the publication of this groundbreaking work, no one had so deftly diagnosed the harm that these broken bonds have wreaked on our physical and civic health, nor had anyone exalted their fundamental power in creating a society that is happy, healthy, and safe. Like defining works from the past, such as The Lonely Crowd and The Affluent Society , and like the works of C. Wright Mills and Betty Friedan, Putnam's Bowling Alone has identified a central crisis at the heart of our society and suggests what we can do.  

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The Question of Palestine - Edward W. Said Cover Art

The Question of Palestine

The Question of Palestine by Edward W. Said

This original and deeply provocative book was the first to make Palestine the subject of a serious debate--one that remains as critical as ever. "A compelling call for identity and justice." —Anthony Lewis "Books such as Mr. Said's need to be written and read in the hope that understanding will provide a better chance of survival." — The New York Times Book Review With the rigorous scholarship he brought to his influential Orientalism and an exile's passion (he is Palestinian by birth), Edward W. Said traces the fatal collision between two peoples in the Middle East and its repercussions in the lives of both the occupier and the occupied--as well as in the conscience of the West. He has updated this landmark work to portray the changed status of Palestine and its people in light of such developments as the Israeli invasion of Lebanon, the intifada, the Gulf War, and the ongoing MIddle East peace initiative. For anyone interested in this region and its future, The Question of Palestine remains the most useful and authoritative account available.

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Native Nations - Kathleen DuVal Cover Art

Native Nations

Native Nations A Millennium in North America by Kathleen DuVal

A magisterial history of Indigenous North America that places the power of Native nations at its center, telling their story from the rise of ancient cities more than a thousand years ago to fights for sovereignty that continue today “A feat of both scholarship and storytelling.”—Claudio Saunt, author of Unworthy Republic Long before the colonization of North America, Indigenous Americans built diverse civilizations and adapted to a changing world in ways that reverberated globally. And, as award-winning historian Kathleen DuVal vividly recounts, when Europeans did arrive, no civilization came to a halt because of a few wandering explorers, even when the strangers came well armed. A millennium ago, North American cities rivaled urban centers around the world in size. Then, following a period of climate change and instability, numerous smaller nations emerged, moving away from rather than toward urbanization. From this urban past, egalitarian government structures, diplomacy, and complex economies spread across North America. So, when Europeans showed up in the sixteenth century, they encountered societies they did not understand—those having developed differently from their own—and whose power they often underestimated. For centuries afterward, Indigenous people maintained an upper hand and used Europeans in pursuit of their own interests. In Native Nations, we see how Mohawks closely controlled trade with the Dutch—and influenced global markets—and how Quapaws manipulated French colonists. Power dynamics shifted after the American Revolution, but Indigenous people continued to command much of the continent’s land and resources. Shawnee brothers Tecumseh and Tenskwatawa forged new alliances and encouraged a controversial new definition of Native identity to attempt to wall off U.S. ambitions. The Cherokees created institutions to assert their sovereignty on the global stage, and the Kiowas used their power in the west to regulate the passage of white settlers across their territory. In this important addition to the growing tradition of North American history centered on Indigenous nations, Kathleen DuVal shows how the definitions of power and means of exerting it shifted over time, but the sovereignty and influence of Native peoples remained a constant—and will continue far into the future.

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Ranger Handbook - U.S. Army Ranger Cover Art

Ranger Handbook

Ranger Handbook U.S. Army April 2017 by U.S. Army Ranger

United States Army Ranger Handbook: 2017, this edition is the most current, fully revised and is currently in use. In this handbook you will find Tactics and Techniques used by Army Rangers: TABLE OF CONTENTS RANGER CREED STANDING ORDERS ROGER’S RANGERS RANGER HISTORY PREFACE CH:1 LEADERSHIP PRINCIPLES DUTIES, RESPONSIBILITIES, & ACTIONS ASSUMPTION OF COMMAND CH:2 OPERATIONS TROOP-LEADING PROCEDURES COMBAT INTELLIGENCE WARNING ORDER OPERATION ORDER FRAGMENTARY ORDER ANNEXES COORDINATION CHECKLISTS TASK, PURPOSE, OPERATION TERRAIN MODEL CH:3 FIRE SUPPORT BASIC FIRE SUPPORT TASKS, TARGETING, & INTERDICTION CAPABILITIES RISK ESTIMATE DISTANCES TARGET OVERLAYS CALL FOR FIRE CLOSE AIR SUPPORT CLOSE COMBAT ATTACK AVIATION CH:4 COMMUNICATIONS EQUIPMENT MILITARY RADIOS MAN-PACK RADIO ASSEMBLY (AN/PRC-119F) AUTOMATED NET-CONTROL DEVICE BASIC TROUBLESHOOTING ANTENNAS REPAIRS CONSTRUCTION & ADJUSTMENT FIELD EXPEDIENT OMNI DIRECTIONAL ANTENNAS ANTENNA LENGTH PLANNING CONSIDERATIONS CH:5 DEMOLITIONS INITIATING (PRIMING) SYSTEMS DETONATION (FIRING) SYSTEMS SAFETY EXPEDIENT EXPLOSIVES-IMPROVISED SHAPED CHARGE, PLATTER CHARGE, GRAPESHOT CHARGE DEMOLITION KNOTS MINIMUM SAFE DISTANCES BREACHING CHARGES TIMBER CUTTING CHARGES CH:6 MOVEMENT FORMATIONS MOVEMENT TECHNIQUES STANDARDS FUNDAMENTALS TACTICAL MARCHES MOVEMENT DURING LIMITED VISIBILITY CONDITIONS DANGER AREAS CH:7 PATROLS PRINCIPLES PLANNING RECONNAISSANCE SECURITY CONTROL COMMON SENSE PLANNING TASK ORGANIZATION INITIAL PLANNING & COORDINATION COMPLETION OF PLAN RECONNAISSANCE PATROLS FUNDAMENTALS OF RECONNAISSANCE TASK STANDARDS ACTIONS ON THE OBJECTIVE, AREA RECONNAISSANCE, ZONE RECONNAISSANCE COMBAT PATROLS PLANNING CONSIDERATIONS AMBUSH HASTY AMBUSH DELIBERATE (POINT/AREA) AMBUSH PERFORM RAID SUPPORTING TASKS LINKUP DEBRIEF OBJECTIVE RALLY POINT PATROL BASE MOVEMENT TO CONTACT TECHNIQUES TASK STANDARDS CH:8 BATTLE DRILLS REACT TO CONTACT (VISUAL, IED, DIRECT FIRE [RPG]) (07-3-D9501) BREAK CONTACT (07-3-D9505) REACT TO AMBUSH (FAR) (07-3-D9503), (NEAR) (07-3-D9502) KNOCK OUT BUNKER (07-3-D9406) ENTER AND CLEAR A ROOM (07-4-D9509) ENTER A TRENCH TO SECURE A FOOTHOLD (07-3-D9410) BREACH A MINED WIRE OBSTACLE (07-3-D9412) REACT TO INDIRECT FIRE (07-3-D9504) CH:9 MILITARY MOUNTAINEERING TRAINING TASK ORGANIZATION RESCUE EQUIPMENT MOUNTAINEERING EQUIPMENT ANCHORS KNOTS BELAYS ROPE INSTALLATIONS RAPPELLING CH:10 MACHINE GUN EMPLOYMENT SPECIFICATIONS DEFINITIONS CLASSES OF AUTOMATIC WEAPONS FIRE OFFENSE DEFENSE CONTROL OF MACHINE GUNS AMMUNITION PLANNING CH:11 CONVOY OPERATIONS PLANNING FIVE PHASES OF TRUCK MOVEMENT CH:12 URBAN OPERATIONS AN URBAN PERSPECTIVE STRATEGIC IMPORTANCE OF URBAN AREAS MODERN ARMY URBAN OPERATIONS TASK ORGANIZATION FULL SPECTRUM OPERATIONS PREPARATIONS FOR FUTURE URBAN OPERATIONS CONDUCT OF LIVE, VIRTUAL, & CONSTRUCTIVE TRAINING RANGERS – URBAN WARRIORS PRINCIPLES METT-TC CLOSE QUARTERS COMBAT REHEARSALS TTPS FOR MARKING BUILDINGS AND ROOMS CH:13 WATERBORNE OPERATIONS ROPE BRIDGE PONCHO RAFT OTHER WATERCRAFT CH:14 EVASION/SURVIVAL EVASION INITIAL EVASION POINT EVASION MOVEMENT ROUTES COMMUNICATIONS HIDE SITE HOLE-UP AREA CAMOUFLAGE SURVIVAL MEMORY AID SURVIVAL KITS NAVIGATION TRAPS & SNARES PROCESSING OF FISH OR GAME SHELTERS FIRES METHODS CH:15 AVIATION REVERSE PLANNING SEQUENCE SELECTION & MARKING OF PICKUP AND LANDING ZONES AIR ASSAULT FORMATIONS SAFETY REQUIREMENTS DESERT MOUNTAINS OBSERVATION, ATTACK, UTILITY, CARGO HELICOPTERS CH:16 FIRST AID LIFESAVING STEPS CARE UNDER FIRE PRIMARY SURVEY AIRWAY MANAGEMENT BREATHING BLEEDING SHOCK EXTREMITY & ABDOMINAL INJURIES BURNS HOT WEATHER (HEAT) INJURIES POISONOUS PLANT IDENTIFICATION FOOT CARE LITTER HYDRATION & ACCLIMATIZATION WORK, REST, & WATER CONSUMPTION APPENDIX A RESOURCES REACT TO INDIRECT FIRE, CONTACT, A NEAR AMBUSH, A FAR AMBUSH BREAK CONTACT LINKUP LINEAR DANGER AREA LARGE OPEN DANGER AREA CROSSING A SMALL OPEN AREA GLOSSARY INDEX

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The Panzer Killers - Daniel P. Bolger Cover Art

The Panzer Killers

The Panzer Killers The Untold Story of a Fighting General and His Spearhead Tank Division's Charge into the Third Reich by Daniel P. Bolger

A general-turned-historian reveals the remarkable battlefield heroics of Major General Maurice Rose, the World War II tank commander whose 3rd Armored Division struck fear into the hearts of Hitler's panzer crews. “ The Panzer Killers is a great book, vividly written and shrewdly observed.” —The Wall Street Journal Two months after D-Day, the Allies found themselves in a stalemate in Normandy, having suffered enormous casualties attempting to push through hedgerow country. Troops were spent, and American tankers, lacking the tactics and leadership to deal with the terrain, were losing their spirit. General George Patton and the other top U.S. commanders needed an officer who knew how to break the impasse and roll over the Germans—they needed one man with the grit and the vision to take the war all the way to the Rhine. Patton and his peers selected Maurice Rose. The son of a rabbi, Rose never discussed his Jewish heritage. But his ferocity on the battlefield reflected an inner flame. He led his 3rd Armored Division not from a command post but from the first vehicle in formation, charging headfirst into a fight. He devised innovative tactics, made the most of American weapons, and personally chose the cadre of young officers who drove his division forward. From Normandy to the West Wall, from the Battle of the Bulge to the final charge across Germany, Maurice Rose's deadly division of tanks blasted through enemy lines and pursued the enemy with a remarkable intensity. In The Panzer Killers , Daniel P. Bolger, a retired lieutenant general and Iraq War veteran, offers up a lively, dramatic tale of Rose's heroism. Along the way, Bolger infuses the narrative with fascinating insights that could only come from an author who has commanded tank forces in combat. The result is a unique and masterful story of battlefield leadership, destined to become a classic.

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Plentiful Country - Tyler Anbinder Cover Art

Plentiful Country

Plentiful Country The Great Potato Famine and the Making of Irish New York by Tyler Anbinder

From the award-winning author of  Five Points  and  City of Dreams , “a superb revisionist history” of the Irish immigrants who arrived in the United States during the Great Potato Famine, using their “riveting and deeply personal stories” in and beyond New York exemplify the astonishing tenacity and improbable triumph of Irish America ( Wall Street Journal ). In 1845, a fungus began to destroy Ireland’s potato crop, triggering a famine that would kill one million Irish men, women, and children—and drive over one million more to flee for America. Ten years later, the United States had been transformed by this stupendous migration, nowhere more than New York: by 1855, roughly a third of all adults living in Manhattan were immigrants who had escaped the hunger in Ireland. These so-called “Famine Irish” were the forebears of four U.S. presidents (including Joe Biden) yet when they arrived in America they were consigned to the lowest-paying jobs and subjected to discrimination and ridicule by their new countrymen. Even today, the popular perception of these immigrants is one of destitution and despair. But when we let the Famine Irish narrate their own stories, they paint a far different picture. In this magisterial work of storytelling and scholarship, acclaimed historian Tyler Anbinder presents for the first time the Famine generation’s individual and collective tales of struggle, perseverance, and triumph. Drawing on newly available records and a ten-year research initiative, Anbinder reclaims the narratives of the refugees who settled in New York City and helped reshape the entire nation.  Plentiful Country is a tour de force—a book that rescues the Famine immigrants from the margins of history and restores them to their rightful place at the center of the American story.

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1939: The Last Season - Anne de Courcy Cover Art

1939: The Last Season

1939: The Last Season by Anne de Courcy

A wonderful portrait of British upper-class life in the Season of 1939 - the last before the Second World War. The Season of 1939 brought all those 'in Society' to London. The young debutante daughters of the upper classes were presented to the King and Queen to mark their acceptance into the new adult world of their parents. They sparkled their way through a succession of balls and parties and sporting events. The Season brought together influential people not only from Society but also from Government at the various events of the social calendar. Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain chaperoned his debutante niece to weekend house parties; Lord Halifax, the Foreign Secretary, lunched with the Headmaster of Eton; Cabinet Ministers encountered foreign Ambassadors at balls in the houses of the great hostesses. As the hot summer drew on, the newspapers filled with ever more ominous reports of the relentless progress towards war. There was nothing to do but wait - and dance. The last season of peace was nearly over.

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The Complete Works of Flavius Josephus - Flavius Josephus Cover Art

The Complete Works of Flavius Josephus

The Complete Works of Flavius Josephus History of the Jewish War against the Romans, The Antiquities of the Jews, Against Apion, Discourse to the Greeks concerning Hades & Autobiography by Flavius Josephus

This meticulously edited collection has been formatted for your eReader with a functional and detailed table of contents: The War of the Jews The Antiquities of the Jews Against Apion Discourse to the Greeks concerning Hades The Life of Flavius Josephus: Autobiography Titus Flavius Josephus was a first-century Romano-Jewish scholar, historian and hagiographer, who was born in Jerusalem—then part of Roman Judea—to a father of priestly descent and a mother who claimed royal ancestry. He initially fought against the Romans during the First Jewish–Roman War as head of Jewish forces in Galilee, until surrendering in 67 CE to Roman forces led by Vespasian after the six-week siege of Jotapata. After Vespasian became Emperor in 69 CE, he granted Josephus his freedom, at which time Josephus assumed the emperor's family name of Flavius. He fully defected to the Roman side and was granted Roman citizenship. Josephus recorded Jewish history, with special emphasis on the first century CE and the First Jewish–Roman War, including the Siege of Masada. His most important works were The Jewish War (c. 75) and Antiquities of the Jews (c. 94).

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Devil in the Grove - Gilbert King Cover Art

Devil in the Grove

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

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

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Against All Odds - Alex Kershaw Cover Art

Against All Odds

Against All Odds A True Story of Ultimate Courage and Survival in World War II by Alex Kershaw

*The instant New York Times bestseller* The untold story of four of the most decorated soldiers of World War II—all Medal of Honor recipients—from the beaches of French Morocco to Hitler’s own mountaintop fortress, by the national bestselling author of The First Wave “Pitch-perfect.”— The Wall Street Journal • “Riveting.”— World War II magazine • “Alex Kershaw is the master of putting the reader in the heat of the action.”—Martin Dugard As the Allies raced to defeat Hitler, four men, all in the same unit, earned medal after medal for battlefield heroism. Maurice “Footsie” Britt, a former professional football player, became the very first American to receive every award for valor in a single war. Michael Daly was a West Point dropout who risked his neck over and over to keep his men alive. Keith Ware would one day become the first and only draftee in history to attain the rank of general before serving in Vietnam. In WWII, Ware owed his life to the finest soldier he ever commanded, a baby-faced Texan named Audie Murphy. In the campaign to liberate Europe, each would gain the ultimate accolade, the Congressional Medal of Honor.   Tapping into personal interviews and a wealth of primary source material, Alex Kershaw has delivered his most gripping account yet of American courage, spanning more than six hundred days of increasingly merciless combat, from the deserts of North Africa to the dark heart of Nazi Germany. Once the guns fell silent, these four exceptional warriors would discover just how heavy the Medal of Honor could be—and how great the expectations associated with it. Having survived against all odds, who among them would finally find peace?

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The Conquering Tide: War in the Pacific Islands, 1942-1944 (Vol. 2)  (Pacific War Trilogy) - Ian W. Toll Cover Art

The Conquering Tide: War in the Pacific Islands, 1942-1944 (Vol. 2) (Pacific War Trilogy)

The Conquering Tide: War in the Pacific Islands, 1942-1944 (Vol. 2) (Pacific War Trilogy) by Ian W. Toll

A New York Times Bestseller "A beautiful blend of history and prose and proves again Mr. Toll’s mastery of the naval-war narrative." —Wall Street Journal This masterful history encompasses the heart of the Pacific War—the period between mid-1942 and mid-1944—when parallel Allied counteroffensives north and south of the equator washed over Japan's far-flung island empire like a "conquering tide," concluding with Japan's irreversible strategic defeat in the Marianas. It was the largest, bloodiest, most costly, most technically innovative and logistically complicated amphibious war in history, and it fostered bitter interservice rivalries, leaving wounds that even victory could not heal. Often overlooked, these are the years and fights that decided the Pacific War. Ian W. Toll's battle scenes—in the air, at sea, and in the jungles—are simply riveting. He also takes the reader into the wartime councils in Washington and Tokyo where politics and strategy often collided, and into the struggle to mobilize wartime production, which was the secret of Allied victory. Brilliantly researched, the narrative is propelled and colored by firsthand accounts—letters, diaries, debriefings, and memoirs—that are the raw material of the telling details, shrewd judgment, and penetrating insight of this magisterial history. This volume—continuing the "marvelously readable dramatic narrative" (San Francisco Chronicle) of Pacific Crucible—marks the second installment of the Pacific War Trilogy, which will stand as the first history of the entire Pacific War to be published in at least twenty-five years.

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Ravenna - Judith Herrin Cover Art

Ravenna

Ravenna Capital of Empire, Crucible of Europe by Judith Herrin

A riveting history of the city that led the West out of the ruins of the Roman Empire At the end of the fourth century, as the power of Rome faded and Constantinople became the seat of empire, a new capital city was rising in the West. Here, in Ravenna on the coast of Italy, Arian Goths and Catholic Romans competed to produce an unrivaled concentration of buildings and astonishing mosaics. For three centuries, the city attracted scholars, lawyers, craftsmen, and religious luminaries, becoming a true cultural and political capital. Bringing this extraordinary history marvelously to life, Judith Herrin rewrites the history of East and West in the Mediterranean world before the rise of Islam and shows how, thanks to Byzantine influence, Ravenna played a crucial role in the development of medieval Christendom. Drawing on deep, original research, Herrin tells the personal stories of Ravenna while setting them in a sweeping synthesis of Mediterranean and Christian history. She narrates the lives of the Empress Galla Placidia and the Gothic king Theoderic and describes the achievements of an amazing cosmographer and a doctor who revived Greek medical knowledge in Italy, demolishing the idea that the West just descended into the medieval "Dark Ages." Beautifully illustrated and drawing on the latest archaeological findings, this monumental book provides a bold new interpretation of Ravenna's lasting influence on the culture of Europe and the West.

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House to House - David Bellavia Cover Art

House to House

House to House An Epic Memoir of War by David Bellavia

THE CLASSIC SOLDIER’S MEMOIR FROM MEDAL OF HONOR RECIPIENT STAFF SERGEANT DAVID BELLAVIA “A rare and gripping account of frontline combat.”—LTG (Ret.) H.R. McMaster, author of Dereliction of Duty “They used to say that the real war will never get in the books. Here it does, stunningly.” —Thomas E. Ricks, author of Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq and Making the Corps “To read this book is to know intimately the daily grind and danger of men at war.”—Anthony Swofford, New York Times bestselling author of Jarhead One of the great heroes of the Iraq War, Staff Sergeant David Bellavia captures the brutal action and raw intensity of leading his Third Platoon, Alpha Company, into a lethally choreographed kill zone: the booby-trapped, explosive-laden houses of Fallujah's militant insurgents. Bringing to searing life the terrifying intimacy of hand-to-hand infantry combat, this stunning war memoir features an indelibly drawn cast of characters, not all of whom would make it out alive, as well as the chilling account of the singular courage that earned Bellavia the Medal of Honor: Entering one house alone, he used every weapon at his disposal in the fight of his life against America's most implacable enemy. Bellavia has written an unforgettable story of triumph, tragedy, and the resilience of the human spirit.

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Military History - DK Cover Art

Military History

Military History The Definitive Visual Guide to the Objects of Warfare by DK

The world's weaponry is showcased inside this spectacular visual guide. From the spears and swords of ancient times to the guns and grenades of modern warfare, 5,000 years of weaponry are explored and explained in unprecedented detail. Military History profiles key arms and armaments and conveys technologies and tactics across hundreds of pages of dramatic photography and accessible text. Find out how war is waged between battleships at sea, tanks on the battlefield, and fighter planes in the skies. Climb siege towers, drive chariots, enter medieval fortresses, fly unmanned drones, and detect stealth bombers. You will also experience virtual tours of iconic vehicles, including the T-34 Tank, the Lockheed F-117 Stealth Bomber, and the AH-64 Apache helicopter. And discover the leaders, battles, and weapons of war that have changed the course of history, and understand the lasting impact of global conflicts. This complete history of weaponry is essential reading for military enthusiasts of all ages.

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Illiberal America: A History - Steven Hahn Cover Art

Illiberal America: A History

Illiberal America: A History by Steven Hahn

If your reaction to the January 6, 2021, insurrection at the Capitol was to think, 'That’s not us,' think again: in Illiberal America, a Pulitzer Prize–winning historian uncovers a powerful illiberalism as deep-seated in the American past as the founding ideals. A storm of illiberalism, building in the United States for years, unleashed its destructive force in the Capitol insurrection of January 6, 2021. The attack on American democracy and images of mob violence led many to recoil, thinking “That’s not us.” But now we must think again, for Steven Hahn shows in his startling new history that illiberalism has deep roots in our past. To those who believe that the ideals announced in the Declaration of Independence set us apart as a nation, Hahn shows that Americans have long been animated by competing values, equally deep-seated, in which the illiberal will of the community overrides individual rights, and often protects itself by excluding perceived threats, whether on grounds of race, religion, gender, economic status, or ideology. Driven by popular movements and implemented through courts and legislation, illiberalism is part of the American bedrock. The United States was born a republic of loosely connected states and localities that demanded control of their domestic institutions, including slavery. As white settlement expanded west and immigration exploded in eastern cities, the democracy of the 1830s fueled expulsions of Blacks, Native Americans, Catholics, Mormons, and abolitionists. After the Civil War, southern states denied new constitutional guarantees of civil rights and enforced racial exclusions in everyday life. Illiberalism was modernized during the Progressive movement through advocates of eugenics who aimed to reduce the numbers of racial and ethnic minorities as well as the poor. The turmoil of the 1960s enabled George Wallace to tap local fears of unrest and build support outside the South, a politics adopted by Richard Nixon in 1968. Today, with illiberalism shaping elections and policy debates over guns, education, and abortion, it is urgent to understand its long history, and how that history bears on the present crisis.

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The Good Assassin - Stephan Talty Cover Art

The Good Assassin

The Good Assassin How a Mossad Agent and a Band of Survivors Hunted Down the Butcher of Latvia by Stephan Talty

Inspiration for the hit new podcast "Hunting the Butcher" The untold story of an Israeli spy’s epic journey to bring the notorious Butcher of Latvia to justice—a case that altered the fates of all ex-Nazis. Before World War II, Herbert Cukurs was a famous figure in his small Latvian city, the “Charles Lindbergh of his country”. But he was soon better known as the Butcher of Latvia, a man who murdered some thirty thousand Jews. By 1965, a statute of limitations on Nazi war crimes threatened to expire, potentially absolving ex-Nazis like Cukurs of their crimes. Jacob Medad, the misfit Mossad agent who had previously kidnapped Adolf Eichmann, knew if Cukurs was not captured soon, he may never be brought to justice. In a thrilling undercover operation, Medad traveled to Cukurs’ new home in Brazil in an elaborate disguise, befriended him, and earned his trust, while negotiations to extend Nazi innocence neared a boiling point.

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Red, White, and Black: Rescuing American History from Revisionists and Race Hustlers - Robert L. Woodson Sr. Cover Art

Red, White, and Black: Rescuing American History from Revisionists and Race Hustlers

Red, White, and Black: Rescuing American History from Revisionists and Race Hustlers by Robert L. Woodson Sr.

In the rush to redefine the place of black Americans in contemporary society, many radical activists and academics have mounted a campaign to destroy traditional American history and replace it with a politicized version that few would recognize. According to the new radical orthodoxy, the United States was founded as a racist nation—and everything that has happened throughout our history must be viewed through the lens of the systemic oppression of black people. Rejecting this false narrative, a collection of the most prominent and respected black scholars and thinkers has come together to correct the record and tell the true story of black Americans in all its complexity, diversity of experience, and poignancy. Collectively, they paint a vivid picture of black people living the grand American experience, however bumpy the road may be along the way. But rather than a people apart, blacks are woven into the united whole that makes this nation unique in history. Featuring Essays by: John Sibley Butler Jason D. Hill Coleman Cruz Hughes John McWhorter Clarence Page Wilfred Reilly Shelby Steele Carol M. Swain Dean Nelson Charles Love Rev. Corey Brook Stephen L. Harris Harold A. Black Stephanie Deutsch Yaya J. Fanusie Ian Rowe John Wood, Jr. Joshua Mitchell Robert Cherry Rev. DeForest Black Soaries, Jr.

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Helmet for My Pillow [Illustrated Edition] - Robert Leckie Cover Art

Helmet for My Pillow [Illustrated Edition]

Helmet for My Pillow [Illustrated Edition] by Robert Leckie

Includes over 220 photos, maps and plans following Robert “Lucky” Leckie’s Pacific War with the 1st Marine Division “Here is one of the most riveting first-person accounts ever to come out of World War II. Robert Leckie enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in January 1942, shortly after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. In Helmet for My Pillow we follow his odyssey, from basic training on Parris Island, South Carolina, all the way to the raging battles in the Pacific, where some of the war’s fiercest fighting took place. Recounting his service with the 1st Marine Division and the brutal action on Guadalcanal, New Britain, and Peleliu, Leckie spares no detail of the horrors and sacrifices of war, painting an unvarnished portrait of how real warriors are made, fight, and often die in the defense of their country. From the live-for-today rowdiness of marines on leave to the terrors of jungle warfare against an enemy determined to fight to the last man, Leckie describes what war is really like when victory can only be measured inch by bloody inch. Woven throughout are Leckie’s hard-won, eloquent, and thoroughly unsentimental meditations on the meaning of war and why we fight. Unparalleled in its immediacy and accuracy, Helmet for My Pillow will leave no reader untouched. This is a book that brings you as close to the mud, the blood, and the experience of war as it is safe to come.”-Print Ed.

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The Rise and Fall of the Second American Republic: Reconstruction, 1860-1920 - Manisha Sinha Cover Art

The Rise and Fall of the Second American Republic: Reconstruction, 1860-1920

The Rise and Fall of the Second American Republic: Reconstruction, 1860-1920 by Manisha Sinha

"Sinha not only has taken on this vast subject, but has greatly expanded its definition, both temporally and spatially. . . . She covers these difficult issues with remarkable skill and clarity." —S. C. Gwynne, New York Times Book Review We are told that the present moment bears a strong resemblance to Reconstruction, the era after the Civil War when the victorious North attempted to create an interracial democracy in the unrepentant South. That effort failed—and that failure serves as a warning today about violent backlash to the mere idea of black equality. In The Rise and Fall of the Second American Republic, acclaimed historian Manisha Sinha expands our view beyond the accepted temporal and spatial bounds of Reconstruction, which is customarily said to have begun in 1865 with the end of the war, and to have come to a close when the "corrupt bargain" of 1877 put Rutherford B. Hayes in the White House in exchange for the fall of the last southern Reconstruction state governments. Sinha’s startlingly original account opens in 1860 with the election of Abraham Lincoln that triggered the secession of the Deep South states, and take us all the way to 1920 and the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment, which granted women the right to vote—and which Sinha calls the "last Reconstruction amendment." Within this grand frame, Sinha narrates the rise and fall of what she calls the "Second American Republic." The Reconstruction of the South, a process driven by the alliance between the formerly enslaved at the grassroots and Radical Republicans in Congress, is central to her story, but only part of it. As she demonstrates, the US Army’s conquest of Indigenous nations in the West, labor conflict in the North, Chinese exclusion, women’s suffrage, and the establishment of an overseas American empire were all part of the same struggle between the forces of democracy and those of reaction. The main concern of Reconstruction was the plight of the formerly enslaved, but its fall affected other groups as well: women, workers, immigrants, and Native Americans. From the election of black legislators across the South in the late 1860s to the Great Railroad Strike of 1877 to the colonial war in the Philippines in the 1890s, Sinha narrates the major episodes of the era and introduces us to key individuals, famous and otherwise, who helped remake American democracy, or whose actions spelled its doom. A sweeping narrative that remakes our understanding of perhaps the most consequential period in American history, The Rise and Fall of the Second American Republic shows how the great contest of that age is also the great contest of our age—and serves as a necessary reminder of how young and fragile our democracy truly is.

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Raid on the Sun - Rodger Claire Cover Art

Raid on the Sun

Raid on the Sun Inside Israel's Secret Campaign that Denied Saddam the Bomb by Rodger Claire

The first authorized inside account of one of the most daring—and successful—military operations in recent history From the earliest days of his dictatorship, Saddam Hussein had vowed to destroy Israel. So when France sold Iraq a top-of-the-line nuclear reactor in 1975, the Israelis were justifiably concerned—especially when they discovered that Iraqi scientists had already formulated a secret program to extract weapons-grade plutonium from the reactor, a first critical step in creating an atomic bomb. The reactor formed the heart of a huge nuclear plant situated twelve miles from Baghdad, 1,100 kilometers from Tel Aviv. By 1981, the reactor was on the verge of becoming “hot,” and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin knew he would have to confront its deadly potential. He turned to Israeli Air Force commander General David Ivry to secretly plan a daring surgical strike on the reactor—a never-before-contemplated mission that would prove to be one of the most remarkable military operations of all time. Written with the full and exclusive cooperation of the Israeli Air Force high command, General Ivry (ret.), and all of the eight mission pilots (including Ilan Ramon, who become Israel’s first astronaut and perished tragically in the shuttle Columbia disaster), Raid on the Sun tells the extraordinary story of how Israel plotted the unthinkable: defying its U.S. and European allies to eliminate Iraq’s nuclear threat. In the tradition of Black Hawk Down , journalist Rodger Claire re-creates a gripping tale of personal sacrifice and survival, of young pilots who trained in the United States on the then-new, radically sophisticated F-16 fighter bombers, then faced a nearly insurmountable challenge: how to fly the 1,000-plus-kilometer mission to Baghdad and back on one tank of fuel. He recounts Israeli intelligence’s incredible “black ops” to sabotage construction on the French reactor and eliminate Iraqi nuclear scientists, and he gives the reader a pilot’s-eye view of the action on June 7, 1981, when the planes roared off a runway on the Sinai Peninsula for the first successful destruction of a nuclear reactor in history.

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Dearest Laura: The Civil War Letters Of Captain John Reed Beatty, 1861-1865 - Peter Steffens Cover Art

Dearest Laura: The Civil War Letters Of Captain John Reed Beatty, 1861-1865

Dearest Laura: The Civil War Letters Of Captain John Reed Beatty, 1861-1865 by Peter Steffens

The authors of the letters in this collection were my great-grandparents Captain John Reed Beatty (Union) and Laura Elizabeth Maxfield. He wrote nearly 150 wartime letters to his "Dearest Laura" while soldiering in the Western Theater during the Civil War. I am not yet aware of a larger collection of personal letters from the Civil War. By sheer numbers they naturally reflect more of daily life than battle. Unlike history books which jump timelines between battles, these letters provide a narrative which is exactly the opposite. Like broken mirror pieces, the letters once reassembled offer a true reflection of one soldier's complete wartime experience, and through that one, many others as well. How many of us wish we could learn something exact of our forebears, especially during an important historical period? I decided to take on the daunting multi-year project of digitally transcribing these stacks of letters because I wanted to learn something of an ancestor's life directly, as well as contribute to the Sesquicentennial. The original decaying letters and envelopes were donated by my mother Nancy to the Minnesota Historical Society and should not suffer any further deterioration. The copies she received in return were my source materials. Captain Beatty had conflicted feelings between his love for Laura and his military duty and obligations. As he described it, he was “exiled from home on the march and in the bloody battle.” We read of his temptation to resign his commission and return home at Laura’s urging, but also his grim determination to see the fight through to its conclusion. I'm sure his love for Laura was the reason he wrote so many letters, it was a way for him to try to cling to normalcy as the chaotic war swirled around him. Beatty’s military title was Captain of the Second Regiment, Minnesota Volunteer Infantry of the Union Army. Previous to the war he was a civilian, a school teacher in Mankato Minnesota. Laura and many of John’s regimental comrades were former pupils of his. In the letters we see his growth from a green civilian into an experienced veteran over time. There is biographical information on Captain Beatty (including a photo in uniform) in the book “The Story of a Regiment” by Judson W. Bishop, Newell L. Chester, editor. It explains in detail the activities of the Minnesota Second Regiment during the war. Captain Beatty was fortunate to survive the war. He suffered from two life-threatening fevers. At the Battle of Chickamauga his horse was shot dead from under him, and his next horse was shot and wounded as he conveyed battle information between the front lines and his commanders to the rear. Laura would have none of his assurances that he would survive the war; she could read the casualty lists in the newspapers as well as anyone. As I was transcribing the letters, nothing struck me more than how very long that four year period of time must have felt for the war’s participants. When we study war history we jump months at a time between major events, conveniently skipping over all the arduous living that must be done in between. After reading these letters you will certainly have a better sense of having lived through the war vicariously. It is my great pleasure to present these letters in a convenient digital format. Because of a shortage of paper during the war, there were two letters that were written first one way, and then written over in a checkerboard fashion, causing a nightmarish warp and woof to transcribe. You might say cursive caused curses. I hope you will enjoy these wonderful letters. This updated version (2.0) now includes extensive handwriting samples for historical flavor, and a lowered price of only $0.99. Prepared for the Sesquicentennial of the Civil War by Peter Steffens, digital transcriber, photographer, editor, and publisher.

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Explorers of the Nile - Tim Jeal Cover Art

Explorers of the Nile

Explorers of the Nile The Triumph and Tragedy of a Great Victorian Adventure by Tim Jeal

A “highly enjoyable” account of six men, and one woman, who journeyed into uncharted and treacherous African terrain to find the source of the White Nile ( The Washington Post ). Nothing obsessed explorers of the mid-nineteenth century more than the quest to discover the source of the White Nile. It was the planet’s most elusive secret, the prize coveted above all others. Between 1856 and 1876, six larger-than-life men and one extraordinary woman accepted the challenge. Showing extreme courage and resilience, Richard Burton, John Hanning Speke, James Augustus Grant, Samuel Baker, Florence von Sass, David Livingstone, and Henry Morton Stanley risked their lives and reputations in the fierce competition. National Book Critics Circle Award-winning author Tim Jeal deploys fascinating new research to provide a vivid tableau of the unmapped “Dark Continent,” its jungle deprivations, and the courage—as well as malicious tactics—of the explorers. On multiple forays launched into east and central Africa, the travelers passed through almost impenetrable terrain and suffered the ravages of flesh-eating ulcers, paralysis, malaria, deep spear wounds, and even death. They discovered Lakes Tanganyika and Victoria and became the first white people to encounter the kingdoms of Buganda and Bunyoro. Jeal weaves the story with authentic new detail—and examines the tragic unintended legacy of the Nile search that still casts a long shadow over the people of Uganda and Sudan. “A fabulous story…old-fashioned epic adventure.”— The Sunday Times "Superb narrative…a must-read for anyone hoping to understand the internal dynamics of modern state-building in central Africa.”— Booklist

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金山、南洋与离散中国 - 许知远 Cover Art

金山、南洋与离散中国

金山、南洋与离散中国 by 许知远

《东方历史评论02》以华人移民海外的历史为专题,展示从明末清初以来中国人向异域迁徙的苦乐心酸,这是一条充满荆棘、充满梦想的漫漫征途,从最初的单纯谋生、到追求财富、再到追求安全、追求荣耀,这不断变化的移民目的也折射出中国走向现代化的阵痛、曲折、辉煌与病症。同样,异域文明也在伴随着自身文化的自信与危机,交替贬低或抬高它们眼中的“中国形象”。 《东方历史评论02》“影像”主题为“流水线上的青春”,选了一组车间女孩的照片,看看那些姑娘,即使工装也掩不住青春和美丽,伴随着她们美好的梦想,正在流水线上慢慢消逝。这 1.5 亿年轻人中最绝望的, 已经从富士康工厂的楼顶一跃而下, 作为对这个残酷时代的无声抗议。 《东方历史评论02》“随笔”栏目,收入埃及作家福阿德·阿贾米谈论“埃及知识分子的悲剧”、 陈徒手考查“‘文革’期间北京清理政治环境琐记”、张冠生挖掘“罗隆基‘反右’时期的史料”、芮虎描述“东德‘斯塔西’档案解密过程”等一系列精彩文章。

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Voices from Iraq - Mark Kukis Cover Art

Voices from Iraq

Voices from Iraq A People's History, 2003–2009 by Mark Kukis

A  Time  magazine foreign correspondent shares “moving stories from the Iraqis who lived through the nightmare” in this oral history of the Iraq War ( Kikrus ).   Journalist Mark Kukis presents a history of the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq as told by Iraqis who live through it.Beginning in 2003, this intimate narrative includes the accounts of civilians, politicians, former dissidents, insurgents, and militiamen. The men and women sharing their firsthand experiences range from onetime Prime Minister Ayad Allawi to resistance fighters speaking on the condition of anonymity.    Divided into five parts, these interviews recount the 2003 invasion; the two years of chaos that followed; the start of a new order in 2006; the rise of sectarian violence; and the effort to reconstruct their society since 2008. In each section, interviews grouped into themes, with brief epilogues for the participants. As Studs Terkel's  The Good War  did for World War II,  Voices from Iraq  brings the meaning and legacy of America's campaign in Iraq to vivid life.

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The Guns of August - Barbara W. Tuchman Cover Art

The Guns of August

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

PULITZER PRIZE WINNER • “A brilliant piece of military history which proves up to the hilt the force of Winston Churchill’s statement that the first month of World War I was ‘a drama never surpassed.’”— Newsweek   Selected by the Modern Library as one of the 100 best nonfiction books of all time In this landmark account, renowned historian Barbara W. Tuchman re-creates the first month of World War I: thirty days in the summer of 1914 that determined the course of the conflict, the century, and ultimately our present world. Beginning with the funeral of Edward VII, Tuchman traces each step that led to the inevitable clash. And inevitable it was, with all sides plotting their war for a generation. Dizzyingly comprehensive and spectacularly portrayed with her famous talent for evoking the characters of the war’s key players, Tuchman’s magnum opus is a classic for the ages.   The Proud Tower, the Pulitzer Prize–winning The Guns of August, and The Zimmermann Telegram comprise Barbara W. Tuchman’s classic histories of the First World War era

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Ancient Rome - DK Cover Art

Ancient Rome

Ancient Rome The Definitive Visual History by DK

A definitive history of ancient Rome that tells the story of its dramatic rise and fall in rich visual detail Immerse yourself in the history of ancient Rome-from its origins as a small settlement on the Palatine Hill to its peak as an empire reigning over 90 million people, and its tumultuous decline. Covering more than 1,000 years of history, Ancient Rome reveals in vivid detail all the key political, cultural, and military events that shaped the Roman Empire and explores what it was like to live in a society that laid the foundations for our modern world. Sumptuous photography and authoritative, engaging text cover every facet of life in ancient Rome, from art, philosophy, and entertainment to engineering, medicine, and war, while detailed maps trace the rise of the mighty Roman Empire. Featuring in-depth biographies of Rome's greatest emperors, from Augustus to Constantine, as well as key figures such as generals, philosophers, and writers, Ancient Rome also delves into the fascinating stories of gladiators, bakers, and enslaved people. The streets and buildings of Rome are brought to life with specially commissioned CGI recreations, while momentous events such as the destruction of Pompeii are told with the help of illustrations, artifacts, and eyewitness accounts. Beautifully illustrated and unparalleled in scope, Ancient Rome is the perfect book for anyone who is interested in this defining period of world history.

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The Agony And The Ecstasy : A Novel - Irving Stone Cover Art

The Agony And The Ecstasy : A Novel

The Agony And The Ecstasy : A Novel by Irving Stone

Celebrating the 500th anniversary of Michelangelo’s David, New American Library releases a special edition of Irving Stone’s classic biographical novel—in which both the artist and the man are brought to life in full. A masterpiece in its own right, this novel offers a compelling portrait of Michelangelo’s dangerous, impassioned loves, and the God-driven fury from which he wrested the greatest art the world has ever known.

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The Nazi Conspiracy - Brad Meltzer & Josh Mensch Cover Art

The Nazi Conspiracy

The Nazi Conspiracy The Secret Plot to Kill Roosevelt, Stalin, and Churchill by Brad Meltzer & Josh Mensch

INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER "An absolute home run! You will never look at WWII the same way again." —Brad Thor, #1 bestselling author "Meltzer and Mensch are masters." —Jon Meacham, author The Soul of America "A true story that reads like a thriller." —Alexander S. Vindman, LT. Col., U.S. Army (Ret.) "An outstanding and memorable reading experience....a true page-turner from beginning to end." —Bookreporter.com From the New York Times bestselling authors of The First Conspiracy and The Lincoln Conspiracy comes the little-known true story of a Nazi plot to kill FDR, Joseph Stalin, and Winston Churchill at the height of World War II. In 1943, as the war against Nazi Germany raged abroad, President Franklin Roosevelt had a critical goal: a face-to-face sit-down with his allies Joseph Stalin and Winston Churchill. This first-ever meeting of the Big Three in Tehran, Iran, would decide some of the most crucial strategic details of the war. Yet when the Nazis found out about the meeting, their own secret plan took shape—an assassination plot that would’ve changed history. A true story filled with daring rescues, body doubles, and political intrigue, The Nazi Conspiracy details FDR’s pivotal meeting in Tehran and the deadly Nazi plot against the heads of state of the three major Allied powers who attended it. With all the hallmarks of a Brad Meltzer and Josh Mensch page-turner, The Nazi Conspiracy explores the great political minds of the twentieth century, investigating the pivotal years of the war in gripping detail. This meeting of the Big Three changed the course of World War II. Here’s the inside story of how it almost led to a world-shattering disaster.

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Endurance - Alfred Lansing Cover Art

Endurance

Endurance Shackleton's Incredible Voyage by Alfred Lansing

Experience “one of the best adventure books ever written” ( Wall Street Journal ) in this  New York Times  bestseller: the harrowing tale of British explorer Ernest Shackleton's 1914 attempt to reach the South Pole. In August 1914, polar explorer Ernest Shackleton boarded the Endurance and set sail for Antarctica, where he planned to cross the last uncharted continent on foot. In January 1915, after battling its way through a thousand miles of pack ice and only a day's sail short of its destination, the Endurance became locked in an island of ice. Thus began the legendary ordeal of Shackleton and his crew of twenty-seven men. When their ship was finally crushed between two ice floes, they attempted a near-impossible journey over 850 miles of the South Atlantic's heaviest seas to the closest outpost of civilization. In Endurance , the definitive account of Ernest Shackleton's fateful trip, Alfred Lansing brilliantly narrates the harrowing and miraculous voyage that has defined heroism for the modern age.

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In Search of Sisterhood - Paula J. Giddings Cover Art

In Search of Sisterhood

In Search of Sisterhood Delta Sigma Theta and the Challenge of the Black Sorority Movement by Paula J. Giddings

This history of the largest block women's organization in the United States is not only the story of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority (DST), but also tells of the increasing involvement of black women in the political, social, and economic affairs of America. Founded at a time when liberal arts education was widely seen as either futile, dangerous, or impractical for blacks, especially women, DST is, in Giddings's words, a "compelling reflection of block women's aspirations for themselves and for society." Giddings notes that unlike other organizations with racial goals, Delta Sigma Theta was created to change and benefit individuals rather than society. As a sorority, it was formed to bring women together as sisters, but at the some time to address the divisive, often class-related issues confronting black women in our society. There is, in Giddings's eyes, a tension between these goals that makes Delta Sigma Theta a fascinating microcosm of the struggles of black women and their organizations. DST members have included Mary McLeod Bethune, Mary Church Terrell, Margaret Murray Washington, Shirley Chisholm, Barbara Jordan, and, on the cultural side, Leontyne Price, Lena Horne, Ruby Dee, Judith Jamison, and Roberta Flack. In Search of Sisterhood is full of compelling, fascinating anecdotes told by the Deltas themselves, and illustrated with rare early photographs of the Delta women.

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A War Like No Other - Victor Davis Hanson Cover Art

A War Like No Other

A War Like No Other How the Athenians and Spartans Fought the Peloponnesian War by Victor Davis Hanson

One of our most provocative military historians, Victor Davis Hanson has given us painstakingly researched and pathbreaking accounts of wars ranging from classical antiquity to the twenty-first century. Now he juxtaposes an ancient conflict with our most urgent modern concerns to create his most engrossing work to date, A War Like No Other. Over the course of a generation, the Hellenic city-states of Athens and Sparta fought a bloody conflict that resulted in the collapse of Athens and the end of its golden age. Thucydides wrote the standard history of the Peloponnesian War, which has given readers throughout the ages a vivid and authoritative narrative. But Hanson offers readers something new: a complete chronological account that reflects the political background of the time, the strategic thinking of the combatants, the misery of battle in multifaceted theaters, and important insight into how these events echo in the present. Hanson compellingly portrays the ways Athens and Sparta fought on land and sea, in city and countryside, and details their employment of the full scope of conventional and nonconventional tactics, from sieges to targeted assassinations, torture, and terrorism. He also assesses the crucial roles played by warriors such as Pericles and Lysander, artists, among them Aristophanes, and thinkers including Sophocles and Plato. Hanson’s perceptive analysis of events and personalities raises many thought-provoking questions: Were Athens and Sparta like America and Russia, two superpowers battling to the death? Is the Peloponnesian War echoed in the endless, frustrating conflicts of Vietnam, Northern Ireland, and the current Middle East? Or was it more like America’s own Civil War, a brutal rift that rent the fabric of a glorious society, or even this century’s “red state—blue state” schism between liberals and conservatives, a cultural war that manifestly controls military policies? Hanson daringly brings the facts to life and unearths the often surprising ways in which the past informs the present. Brilliantly researched, dynamically written, A War Like No Other is like no other history of this important war.

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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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Fingerprints of the Gods - Graham Hancock Cover Art

Fingerprints of the Gods

Fingerprints of the Gods The Evidence of Earth's Lost Civilization by Graham Hancock

Could the story of mankind be far older than we have previously believed? Using tools as varied as archaeo-astronomy, geology, and computer analysis of ancient myths, Graham Hancock presents a compelling case to suggest that it is. Graham Hancock is featured in Ancient Apocalypse, a Netflix original docuseries. “A fancy piece of historical sleuthing . . . intriguing and entertaining and sturdy enough to give a long pause for thought.”— Kirkus Reviews In Fingerprints of the Gods, Hancock embarks on a worldwide quest to put together all the pieces of the vast and fascinating jigsaw of mankind’s hidden past. In ancient monuments as far apart as Egypt’s Great Sphinx, the strange Andean ruins of Tihuanaco, and Mexico’s awe-inspiring Temples of the Sun and Moon, he reveals not only the clear fingerprints of an as-yet-unidentified civilization of remote antiquity, but also startling evidence of its vast sophistication, technological advancement, and evolved scientific knowledge.   A record-breaking number one bestseller in Britain, Fingerprints of the Gods contains the makings of an intellectual revolution, a dramatic and irreversible change in the way that we understand our past—and so our future.   And Fingerprints of God tells us something more. As we recover the truth about prehistory, and discover the real meaning of ancient myths and monuments, it becomes apparent that a warning has been handed down to us, a warning of terrible cataclysm that afflicts the Earth in great cycles at irregular intervals of time—a cataclysm that may be about to recur.   “Readers will hugely enjoy their quest in these pages of inspired storytelling.”— The Times (UK)

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New York Burning - Jill Lepore Cover Art

New York Burning

New York Burning Liberty, Slavery, and Conspiracy in Eighteenth-Century Manhattan by Jill Lepore

Pulitzer Prize Finalist and Anisfield-Wolf Award Winner In New York Burning , Bancroft Prize-winning historian Jill Lepore recounts these dramatic events of 1741, when ten fires blazed across Manhattan and panicked whites suspecting it to be the work a slave uprising went on a rampage. In the end, thirteen black men were burned at the stake, seventeen were hanged and more than one hundred black men and women were thrown into a dungeon beneath City Hall.     Even back in the seventeenth century, the city was a rich mosaic of cultures, communities and colors, with slaves making up a full one-fifth of the population. Exploring the political and social climate of the times, Lepore dramatically shows how, in a city rife with state intrigue and terror, the threat of black rebellion united the white political pluralities in a frenzy of racial fear and violence.