The DividerPeter Baker & Susan Glasser
Chart of the most popular and best selling United States history ebooks at the Apple iBookstore.
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The DividerPeter Baker & Susan Glasser
The inside story of the four years when Donald Trump went to war with Washington, from the chaotic beginning to the violent finale, told by revered journalists Peter Baker of The New York Times and Susan Glasser of The New Yorker —an ambitious and lasting history of the full Trump presidency that also contains dozens of exclusive scoops and stories from behind the scenes in the White House, from the absurd to the deadly serious. The bestselling authors of The Man Who Ran Washington argue that Trump was not just lurching from one controversy to another; he was learning to be more like the foreign autocrats he admired. The Divider brings us into the Oval Office for countless scenes both tense and comical, revealing how close we got to nuclear war with North Korea, which cabinet members had a resignation pact, whether Trump asked Japan’s prime minister to nominate him for a Nobel Prize and much more. The book also explores the moral choices confronting those around Trump—how they justified working for a man they considered unfit for office, and where they drew their lines. The Divider is based on unprecedented access to key players, from President Trump himself to cabinet officers, military generals, close advisers, Trump family members, congressional leaders, foreign officials and others, some of whom have never told their story until now.
Gangsters vs. NazisMichael Benson
The stunning true story of the rise of Nazism in America in the years leading to WWII—and the fearless Jewish gangsters and crime families who joined forces to fight back. With an intense cinematic style, acclaimed nonfiction crime author Michael Benson reveals the thrilling role of Jewish mobsters like Bugsy Siegel in stomping out the terrifying tide of Nazi sympathizers during the 1930s and 1940s. Goodreads Top Nonfiction of 2022 As Adolph Hitler rose to power in 1930s Germany, a growing wave of fascism began to take root on American soil. Nazi activists started to gather in major American cities, and by 1933, there were more than one-hundred anti-Semitic groups operating openly in the United States. Few Americans dared to speak out or fight back—until an organized resistance of notorious mobsters waged their own personal war against the Nazis in their midst. Gangland-style. . . . In this thrilling blow-by-blow account, acclaimed crime writer Michael Benson uncovers the shocking truth about the insidious rise of Nazism in America—and the Jewish mobsters who stomped it out. Learn about: * Nazi Town, USA: How one Long Island community named a street after Hitler, decorated buildings with swastikas, and set up a camp to teach US citizens how to goosestep. * Meyer Lansky and Murder Inc.: How a Jewish mob accountant led fifteen goons on a joint family mission to bust heads at a Brown Shirt rally in Manhattan. * Fritz Kuhn, “The Vest-Pocket Hitler”: How a German immigrant spread Nazi propaganda through the American Bund in New York City—with 70 branches across the US. * Newark Nazis vs The Minutemen: How a Jewish resistance group, led by a prize fighter and bootlegger for the mob, waged war on the Bund in the streets of Newark. * Hitler in Hollywoodland: How Sunset Strip kingpin Mickey Cohen knocked two Brown Shirters’ heads together—and became the West Coast champion in the mob’s war on Nazis. Packed with surprising, little-known facts, graphic details, and unforgettable personalities, Gangsters vs. Nazis chronicles the mob’s most ruthless tactics in taking down fascism—inspiring ordinary Americans to join them in their fight. The book culminates in one of the most infamous events of the pre-war era—the 1939 Nazi rally in Madison Square Garden—in which law-abiding citizens stood alongside hardened criminals to fight for the soul of a nation. This is the story of the mob that’s rarely told—one of the most fascinating chapters in American history and American organized crime.
Life on the MississippiRinker Buck
The eagerly awaited return of master American storyteller Rinker Buck, Life on the Mississippi is an epic, enchanting blend of history and adventure in which Buck builds a wooden flatboat from the grand “flatboat era” of the 1800s and sails it down the Mississippi River, illuminating the forgotten past of America’s first western frontier. Seven years ago, readers around the country fell in love with a singular American voice: Rinker Buck, whose infectious curiosity about history launched him across the West in a covered wagon pulled by mules and propelled his book about the trip, The Oregon Trail , to ten weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. Now, Buck returns to chronicle his latest incredible adventure: building a wooden flatboat from the bygone era of the early 1800s and journeying down the Mississippi River to New Orleans. A modern-day Huck Finn, Buck casts off down the river on the flatboat Patience accompanied by an eccentric crew of daring shipmates. Over the course of his voyage, Buck steers his fragile wooden craft through narrow channels dominated by massive cargo barges, rescues his first mate gone overboard, sails blindly through fog, breaks his ribs not once but twice, and camps every night on sandbars, remote islands, and steep levees. As he charts his own journey, he also delivers a richly satisfying work of history that brings to life a lost era. The role of the flatboat in our country’s evolution is far more significant than most Americans realize. Between 1800 and 1840, millions of farmers, merchants, and teenage adventurers embarked from states like Pennsylvania and Virginia on flatboats headed beyond the Appalachians to Kentucky, Mississippi, and Louisiana. Like the Nile, the Thames, or the Seine before them, the western rivers in America became a floating supply chain that fueled national growth. Settler families repurposed the wood from their boats to build their first cabins in the wilderness; cargo boats were broken apart and sold to build the boomtowns along the water route. Joining the river traffic were floating brothels, called “gun boats”; “smithy boats” for blacksmiths; even “whiskey boats” with taverns mounted on jaunty rafts. In the present day, America’s inland rivers are a superhighway dominated by leviathan barges—carrying $80 billion of cargo annually—all descended from flatboats like the ramshackle Patience , which must avoid being crushed alongside their metal hulls. As a historian, Buck resurrects the era’s adventurous spirit, but he also challenges familiar myths about American expansion, confronting the bloody truth behind settlers’ push for land and wealth. The Indian Removal Act of 1830 forced more than 125,000 members of the Cherokee, Choctaw, and several other tribes to travel the Mississippi on a brutal journey en route to the barrens of Oklahoma. Simultaneously, almost a million enslaved African Americans were carried in flatboats and marched by foot 1,000 miles over the Appalachians to the cotton and cane fields of Arkansas, Mississippi, and Louisiana, birthing the term “sold down the river.” Weaving together a tapestry of first-person histories, Buck portrays this watershed era of American expansion as it was really lived. With a rare narrative power that blends stirring adventure with absorbing untold history, Life on the Mississippi is a muscular and majestic feat of storytelling from a writer who may be the closest that we have today to Mark Twain.
The Devil in the White CityErik Larson
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • The true tale of the 1893 World's Fair in Chicago and the cunning serial killer who used the magic and majesty of the fair to lure his victims to their death. “Relentlessly fuses history and entertainment to give this nonfiction book the dramatic effect of a novel .... It doesn’t hurt that this truth is stranger than fiction.” — The New York Times Combining meticulous research with nail-biting storytelling, Erik Larson has crafted a narrative with all the wonder of newly discovered history and the thrills of the best fiction. Two men, each handsome and unusually adept at his chosen work, embodied an element of the great dynamic that characterized America’s rush toward the twentieth century. The architect was Daniel Hudson Burnham, the fair’s brilliant director of works and the builder of many of the country’s most important structures, including the Flatiron Building in New York and Union Station in Washington, D.C. The murderer was Henry H. Holmes, a young doctor who, in a malign parody of the White City, built his “World’s Fair Hotel” just west of the fairgrounds—a torture palace complete with dissection table, gas chamber, and 3,000-degree crematorium. Burnham overcame tremendous obstacles and tragedies as he organized the talents of Frederick Law Olmsted, Charles McKim, Louis Sullivan, and others to transform swampy Jackson Park into the White City, while Holmes used the attraction of the great fair and his own satanic charms to lure scores of young women to their deaths. What makes the story all the more chilling is that Holmes really lived, walking the grounds of that dream city by the lake. The Devil in the White City draws the reader into the enchantment of the Guilded Age, made all the more appealing by a supporting cast of real-life characters, including Buffalo Bill, Theodore Dreiser, Susan B. Anthony, Thomas Edison, Archduke Francis Ferdinand, and others. Erik Larson’s gifts as a storyteller are magnificently displayed in this rich narrative of the master builder, the killer, and the great fair that obsessed them both.
Code GirlsLiza Mundy
The award-winning New York Times bestseller about the American women who secretly served as codebreakers during World War II--a "prodigiously researched and engrossing" ( New York Times ) book that "shines a light on a hidden chapter of American history" ( Denver Post). Recruited by the U.S. Army and Navy from small towns and elite colleges, more than ten thousand women served as codebreakers during World War II. While their brothers and boyfriends took up arms, these women moved to Washington and learned the meticulous work of code-breaking. Their efforts shortened the war, saved countless lives, and gave them access to careers previously denied to them. A strict vow of secrecy nearly erased their efforts from history; now, through dazzling research and interviews with surviving code girls, bestselling author Liza Mundy brings to life this riveting and vital story of American courage, service, and scientific accomplishment.
A People's History of the American RevolutionRay Raphael
“The best single-volume history of the Revolution I have read.” —Howard Zinn Upon its initial publication, Ray Raphael’s magisterial A People’s History of the American Revolution was hailed by NPR’s Fresh Air as “relentlessly aggressive and unsentimental.” With impeccable skill, Raphael presented a wide array of fascinating scholarship within a single volume, employing a bottom-up approach that has served as a revelation. A People’s History of the American Revolution draws upon diaries, personal letters, and other Revolutionary-era treasures, weaving a thrilling “you are there” narrative—“a tapestry that uses individual experiences to illustrate the larger stories”. Raphael shifts the focus away from George Washington and Thomas Jefferson to the slaves they owned, the Indians they displaced, and the men and boys who did the fighting ( Los Angeles Times Book Review ). This “remarkable perspective on a familiar part of American history” helps us appreciate more fully the incredible diversity of the American Revolution ( Kirkus Reviews ). “Through letters, diaries, and other accounts, Raphael shows these individuals—white women and men of the farming and laboring classes, free and enslaved African Americans, Native Americans, loyalists, and religious pacifists—acting for or against the Revolution and enduring a war that compounded the difficulties of everyday life.” — Library Journal “A tour de force . . . Ray Raphael has probably altered the way in which future historians will see events.” — The Sunday Times
America’s beloved and distinguished historian presents, in a book of breathtaking excitement, drama, and narrative force, the stirring story of the year of our nation’s birth, 1776, interweaving, on both sides of the Atlantic, the actions and decisions that led Great Britain to undertake a war against her rebellious colonial subjects and that placed America’s survival in the hands of George Washington. In this masterful book, David McCullough tells the intensely human story of those who marched with General George Washington in the year of the Declaration of Independence—when the whole American cause was riding on their success, without which all hope for independence would have been dashed and the noble ideals of the Declaration would have amounted to little more than words on paper. Based on extensive research in both American and British archives, 1776 is a powerful drama written with extraordinary narrative vitality. It is the story of Americans in the ranks, men of every shape, size, and color, farmers, schoolteachers, shoemakers, no-accounts, and mere boys turned soldiers. And it is the story of the King’s men, the British commander, William Howe, and his highly disciplined redcoats who looked on their rebel foes with contempt and fought with a valor too little known. Written as a companion work to his celebrated biography of John Adams, David McCullough’s 1776 is another landmark in the literature of American history.
Johnstown FloodDavid McCullough
The stunning story of one of America’s great disasters, a preventable tragedy of Gilded Age America, brilliantly told by master historian David McCullough. At the end of the nineteenth century, Johnstown, Pennsylvania, was a booming coal-and-steel town filled with hardworking families striving for a piece of the nation’s burgeoning industrial prosperity. In the mountains above Johnstown, an old earth dam had been hastily rebuilt to create a lake for an exclusive summer resort patronized by the tycoons of that same industrial prosperity, among them Andrew Carnegie, Henry Clay Frick, and Andrew Mellon. Despite repeated warnings of possible danger, nothing was done about the dam. Then came May 31, 1889, when the dam burst, sending a wall of water thundering down the mountain, smashing through Johnstown, and killing more than 2,000 people. It was a tragedy that became a national scandal. Graced by David McCullough’s remarkable gift for writing richly textured, sympathetic social history, The Johnstown Flood is an absorbing, classic portrait of life in nineteenth-century America, of overweening confidence, of energy, and of tragedy. It also offers a powerful historical lesson for our century and all times: the danger of assuming that because people are in positions of responsibility they are necessarily behaving responsibly.
The Great BridgeDavid McCullough
The dramatic and enthralling story of the building of the Brooklyn Bridge, the world’s longest suspension bridge at the time, a tale of greed, corruption, and obstruction but also of optimism, heroism, and determination, told by master historian David McCullough. This monumental book is the enthralling story of one of the greatest events in our nation’s history, during the Age of Optimism—a period when Americans were convinced in their hearts that all things were possible. In the years around 1870, when the project was first undertaken, the concept of building an unprecedented bridge to span the East River between the great cities of Manhattan and Brooklyn required a vision and determination comparable to that which went into the building of the great cathedrals. Throughout the fourteen years of its construction, the odds against the successful completion of the bridge seemed staggering. Bodies were crushed and broken, lives lost, political empires fell, and surges of public emotion constantly threatened the project. But this is not merely the saga of an engineering miracle; it is a sweeping narrative of the social climate of the time and of the heroes and rascals who had a hand in either constructing or exploiting the surpassing enterprise.
The Best Land Under Heaven: The Donner Party in the Age of Manifest DestinyMichael Wallis
Longlisted for the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence Finalist for the Oklahoma Book Award A Publishers Weekly Holiday Guide History Pick “A book so gripping it can scarcely be put down.... Superb.” —New York Times Book Review "WESTWARD HO! FOR OREGON AND CALIFORNIA!" In the eerily warm spring of 1846, George Donner placed this advertisement in a local newspaper as he and a restless caravan prepared for what they hoped would be the most rewarding journey of a lifetime. But in eagerly pursuing what would a century later become known as the "American dream," this optimistic-yet-motley crew of emigrants was met with a chilling nightmare; in the following months, their jingoistic excitement would be replaced by desperate cries for help that would fall silent in the deadly snow-covered mountains of the Sierra Nevada. We know these early pioneers as the Donner Party, a name that has elicited horror since the late 1840s. With The Best Land Under Heaven, Wallis has penned what critics agree is “destined to become the standard account” (Washington Post) of the notorious saga. Cutting through 160 years of myth-making, the “expert storyteller” (True West) compellingly recounts how the unlikely band of early pioneers met their fate. Interweaving information from hundreds of newly uncovered documents, Wallis illuminates how a combination of greed and recklessness led to one of America’s most calamitous and sensationalized catastrophes. The result is a “fascinating, horrifying, and inspiring” (Oklahoman) examination of the darkest side of Manifest Destiny.
The 1619 ProjectNikole Hannah-Jones, The New York Times Magazine, Caitlin Roper, Ilena SIlverman & Jake Silverstein
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • NAACP IMAGE AWARD WINNER • A dramatic expansion of a groundbreaking work of journalism, The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story offers a profoundly revealing vision of the American past and present. ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR: The Washington Post, NPR, Esquire, Marie Claire, Electric Lit, Ms. magazine, Kirkus Reviews, Booklist In late August 1619, a ship arrived in the British colony of Virginia bearing a cargo of twenty to thirty enslaved people from Africa. Their arrival led to the barbaric and unprecedented system of American chattel slavery that would last for the next 250 years. This is sometimes referred to as the country’s original sin, but it is more than that: It is the source of so much that still defines the United States. The New York Times Magazine ’s award-winning “1619 Project” issue reframed our understanding of American history by placing slavery and its continuing legacy at the center of our national narrative. This new book substantially expands on that work, weaving together eighteen essays that explore the legacy of slavery in present-day America with thirty-six poems and works of fiction that illuminate key moments of oppression, struggle, and resistance. The essays show how the inheritance of 1619 reaches into every part of contemporary American society, from politics, music, diet, traffic, and citizenship to capitalism, religion, and our democracy itself. This is a book that speaks directly to our current moment, contextualizing the systems of race and caste within which we operate today. It reveals long-glossed-over truths around our nation’s founding and construction—and the way that the legacy of slavery did not end with emancipation, but continues to shape contemporary American life. Featuring contributions from: Leslie Alexander • Michelle Alexander • Carol Anderson • Joshua Bennett • Reginald Dwayne Betts • Jamelle Bouie • Anthea Butler • Matthew Desmond • Rita Dove • Camille T. Dungy • Cornelius Eady • Eve L. Ewing • Nikky Finney • Vievee Francis • Yaa Gyasi • Forrest Hamer • Terrance Hayes • Kimberly Annece Henderson • Jeneen Interlandi • Honorée Fanonne Jeffers • Barry Jenkins • Tyehimba Jess • Martha S. Jones • Robert Jones, Jr. • A. Van Jordan • Ibram X. Kendi • Eddie Kendricks • Yusef Komunyakaa • Kevin M. Kruse • Kiese Laymon • Trymaine Lee • Jasmine Mans • Terry McMillan • Tiya Miles • Wesley Morris • Khalil Gibran Muhammad • Lynn Nottage • ZZ Packer • Gregory Pardlo • Darryl Pinckney • Claudia Rankine • Jason Reynolds • Dorothy Roberts • Sonia Sanchez • Tim Seibles • Evie Shockley • Clint Smith • Danez Smith • Patricia Smith • Tracy K. Smith • Bryan Stevenson • Nafissa Thompson-Spires • Natasha Trethewey • Linda Villarosa • Jesmyn Ward
The Wright BrothersDavid 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.
The River of DoubtCandice Millard
NATIONAL BESTSELLER • At once an incredible adventure narrative and a penetrating biographical portrait—the bestselling author of Destiny of the Republic brings us the true story of Theodore Roosevelt’s harrowing exploration of one of the most dangerous rivers on earth. The River of Doubt—it is a black, uncharted tributary of the Amazon that snakes through one of the most treacherous jungles in the world. Indians armed with poison-tipped arrows haunt its shadows; piranhas glide through its waters; boulder-strewn rapids turn the river into a roiling cauldron. After his humiliating election defeat in 1912, Roosevelt set his sights on the most punishing physical challenge he could find, the first descent of an unmapped, rapids-choked tributary of the Amazon. Together with his son Kermit and Brazil’s most famous explorer, Cândido Mariano da Silva Rondon, Roosevelt accomplished a feat so great that many at the time refused to believe it. In the process, he changed the map of the western hemisphere forever. Along the way, Roosevelt and his men faced an unbelievable series of hardships, losing their canoes and supplies to punishing whitewater rapids, and enduring starvation, Indian attack, disease, drowning, and a murder within their own ranks. Three men died, and Roosevelt was brought to the brink of suicide. The River of Doubt brings alive these extraordinary events in a powerful nonfiction narrative thriller that happens to feature one of the most famous Americans who ever lived. From the soaring beauty of the Amazon rain forest to the darkest night of Theodore Roosevelt’s life, here is Candice Millard’s dazzling debut.
Against All OddsAlex 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?
Lost KingdomJulia Flynn Siler
The New York Times –bestselling author delivers “a riveting saga about Big Sugar flexing its imperialist muscle in Hawaii . . . A real gem of a book” (Douglas Brinkley, author of American Moonshot ). Deftly weaving together a memorable cast of characters, Lost Kingdom brings to life the clash between a vulnerable Polynesian people and relentlessly expanding capitalist powers. Portraits of royalty and rogues, sugar barons, and missionaries combine into a sweeping tale of the Hawaiian Kingdom’s rise and fall. At the center of the story is Lili‘uokalani, the last queen of Hawai‘i. Born in 1838, she lived through the nearly complete economic transformation of the islands. Lucrative sugar plantations gradually subsumed the majority of the land, owned almost exclusively by white planters, dubbed the “Sugar Kings.” Hawai‘i became a prize in the contest between America, Britain, and France, each seeking to expand their military and commercial influence in the Pacific. The monarchy had become a figurehead, victim to manipulation from the wealthy sugar plantation owners. Lili‘u was determined to enact a constitution to reinstate the monarchy’s power but was outmaneuvered by the United States. The annexation of Hawai‘i had begun, ushering in a new century of American imperialism. “An important chapter in our national history, one that most Americans don’t know but should.” — The New York Times Book Review “Siler gives us a riveting and intimate look at the rise and tragic fall of Hawaii’s royal family . . . A reminder that Hawaii remains one of the most breathtaking places in the world. Even if the kingdom is lost.” — Fortune “[A] well-researched, nicely contextualized history . . . [Indeed] ‘one of the most audacious land grabs of the Gilded Age.’” — Los Angeles Times
The PioneersDavid McCullough
The #1 New York Times bestseller by Pulitzer Prize–winning historian David McCullough rediscovers an important chapter in the American story that’s “ as resonant today as ever” ( The Wall Street Journal )—the settling of the Northwest Territory by courageous pioneers who overcame incredible hardships to build a community based on ideals that would define our country. As part of the Treaty of Paris, in which Great Britain recognized the new United States of America, Britain ceded the land that comprised the immense Northwest Territory, a wilderness empire northwest of the Ohio River containing the future states of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, and Wisconsin. A Massachusetts minister named Manasseh Cutler was instrumental in opening this vast territory to veterans of the Revolutionary War and their families for settlement. Included in the Northwest Ordinance were three remarkable conditions: freedom of religion, free universal education, and most importantly, the prohibition of slavery. In 1788 the first band of pioneers set out from New England for the Northwest Territory under the leadership of Revolutionary War veteran General Rufus Putnam. They settled in what is now Marietta on the banks of the Ohio River. McCullough tells the story through five major characters: Cutler and Putnam; Cutler’s son Ephraim; and two other men, one a carpenter turned architect, and the other a physician who became a prominent pioneer in American science. “With clarity and incisiveness, [McCullough] details the experience of a brave and broad-minded band of people who crossed raging rivers, chopped down forests, plowed miles of land, suffered incalculable hardships, and braved a lonely frontier to forge a new American ideal” ( The Providence Journal ). Drawn in great part from a rare and all-but-unknown collection of diaries and letters by the key figures, The Pioneers is a uniquely American story of people whose ambition and courage led them to remarkable accomplishments. “A tale of uplift” ( The New York Times Book Review ), this is a quintessentially American story, written with David McCullough’s signature narrative energy.
Killing the MobBill O'Reilly & Martin Dugard
Instant #1 New York Times , Wall Street Journal , and Publishers Weekly bestseller! In the tenth book in the multimillion-selling Killing series, Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard take on their most controversial subject yet: The Mob. Killing the Mob is the tenth book in Bill O'Reilly's #1 New York Times bestselling series of popular narrative histories, with sales of nearly 18 million copies worldwide, and over 320 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. O’Reilly and co-author Martin Dugard trace the brutal history of 20th Century organized crime in the United States, and expertly plumb the history of this nation’s most notorious serial robbers, conmen, murderers, and especially, mob family bosses. Covering the period from the 1930s to the 1980s, O’Reilly and Dugard trace the prohibition-busting bank robbers of the Depression Era, such as John Dillinger, Bonnie & Clyde, Pretty Boy Floyd and Baby-Face Nelson. In addition, the authors highlight the creation of the Mafia Commission, the power struggles within the “Five Families,” the growth of the FBI under J. Edgar Hoover, the mob battles to control Cuba, Las Vegas and Hollywood, as well as the personal war between the U.S. Attorney General Bobby Kennedy and legendary Teamsters boss Jimmy Hoffa. O’Reilly and Dugard turn these legendary criminals and their true-life escapades into a read that rivals the most riveting crime novel. With Killing the Mob , their hit series is primed for its greatest success yet.
Brave CompanionsDavid McCullough
From Alexander von Humboldt to Charles and Anne Lindbergh, these are stories of people of great vision and daring whose achievements continue to inspire us today, brilliantly told by master historian David McCullough. The bestselling author of Truman and John Adams, David McCullough has written profiles of exceptional men and women past and present who have not only shaped the course of history or changed how we see the world but whose stories express much that is timeless about the human condition. Here are Alexander von Humboldt, whose epic explorations of South America surpassed the Lewis and Clark expedition; Harriet Beecher Stowe, “the little woman who made the big war”; Frederic Remington; the extraordinary Louis Agassiz of Harvard; Charles and Anne Lindbergh, and their fellow long-distance pilots Antoine de Saint-Exupéry and Beryl Markham; Harry Caudill, the Kentucky lawyer who awakened the nation to the tragedy of Appalachia; and David Plowden, a present-day photographer of vanishing America. Different as they are from each other, McCullough’s subjects have in common a rare vitality and sense of purpose. These are brave companions: to each other, to David McCullough, and to the reader, for with rare storytelling ability McCullough brings us into the times they knew and their very uncommon lives.
A People's History of the United StatesHoward Zinn
With a new introduction by Anthony Arnove, this updated edition of the classic national bestseller reviews the book’s thirty-five year history and demonstrates once again why it is a significant contribution to a complete and balanced understanding of American history. Since its original landmark publication in 1980, A People's History of the United States has been chronicling American history from the bottom up, throwing out the official version of history taught in schools—with its emphasis on great men in high places—to focus on the street, the home, and the, workplace. Known for its lively, clear prose as well as its scholarly research, A People's History of the United States is the only volume to tell America's story from the point of view of—and in the words of—America's women, factory workers, African-Americans, Native Americans, the working poor, and immigrant laborers. As historian Howard Zinn shows, many of our country's greatest battles—the fights for a fair wage, an eight-hour workday, child-labor laws, health and safety standards, universal suffrage, women's rights, racial equality—were carried out at the grassroots level, against bloody resistance. Covering Christopher Columbus's arrival through President Clinton's first term, A People's History of the United States, which was nominated for the American Book Award in 1981, features insightful analysis of the most important events in our history.
The Fall of the House of DixieBruce Levine
In this major new history of the Civil War, Bruce Levine tells the riveting story of how that conflict upended the economic, political, and social life of the old South, utterly destroying the Confederacy and the society it represented and defended. Told through the words of the people who lived it, The Fall of the House of Dixie illuminates the way a war undertaken to preserve the status quo became a second American Revolution whose impact on the country was as strong and lasting as that of our first. In 1860 the American South was a vast, wealthy, imposing region where a small minority had amassed great political power and enormous fortunes through a system of forced labor. The South’s large population of slaveless whites almost universally supported the basic interests of plantation owners, despite the huge wealth gap that separated them. By the end of 1865 these structures of wealth and power had been shattered. Millions of black people had gained their freedom, many poorer whites had ceased following their wealthy neighbors, and plantation owners were brought to their knees, losing not only their slaves but their political power, their worldview, their very way of life. This sea change was felt nationwide, as the balance of power in Congress, the judiciary, and the presidency shifted dramatically and lastingly toward the North, and the country embarked on a course toward equal rights. Levine captures the many-sided human drama of this story using a huge trove of diaries, letters, newspaper articles, government documents, and more. In The Fall of the House of Dixie, the true stakes of the Civil War become clearer than ever before, as slaves battle for their freedom in the face of brutal reprisals; Abraham Lincoln and his party turn what began as a limited war for the Union into a crusade against slavery by issuing the Emancipation Proclamation; poor southern whites grow increasingly disillusioned with fighting what they have come to see as the plantation owners’ war; and the slave owners grow ever more desperate as their beloved social order is destroyed, not just by the Union Army, but also from within. When the smoke clears, not only Dixie but all of American society is changed forever. Brilliantly argued and engrossing, The Fall of the House of Dixie is a sweeping account of the destruction of the old South during the Civil War, offering a fresh perspective on the most colossal struggle in our history and the new world it brought into being. Praise for The Fall of the House of Dixie “This is the Civil War as it is seldom seen. . . . A portrait of a country in transition . . . as vivid as any that has been written.” — The Boston Globe “An absorbing social history . . . For readers whose Civil War bibliography runs to standard works by Bruce Catton and James McPherson, [Bruce] Levine’s book offers fresh insights.” — The Wall Street Journal “More poignantly than any book before, The Fall of the House of Dixie shows how deeply intertwined the Confederacy was with slavery, and how the destruction of both made possible a ‘second American revolution’ as far-reaching as the first.” —David W. Blight, author of American Oracle “Splendidly colorful . . . Levine recounts this tale of Southern institutional rot with the ease and authority born of decades of study.” — Kirkus Reviews (starred review) “A deep, rich, and complex analysis of the period surrounding and including the American Civil War.” — Publishers Weekly (starred review)
The Sewing Girl's TaleJohn Wood Sweet
Renowned historian John Wood Sweet's The Sewing Girl’s Tale presents a riveting Revolutionary Era drama of the first published rape trial in American history and its long, shattering aftermath, revealing how much has changed over two centuries—and how much has not. On a moonless night in the summer of 1793 a crime was committed in the back room of a New York brothel—the kind of crime that even victims usually kept secret. Instead, seventeen-year-old seamstress Lanah Sawyer did what virtually no one in US history had done before: she charged a gentleman with rape. Her accusation sparked a raw courtroom drama and a relentless struggle for vindication that threatened both Lanah’s and her assailant’s lives. The trial exposed a predatory sexual underworld, sparked riots in the streets, and ignited a vigorous debate about class privilege and sexual double standards. The ongoing conflict attracted the nation’s top lawyers, including Alexander Hamilton, and shaped the development of American law. The crime and its consequences became a kind of parable about the power of seduction and the limits of justice. Eventually, Lanah Sawyer did succeed in holding her assailant accountable—but at a terrible cost to herself. Based on rigorous historical detective work, this book takes us from a chance encounter in the street into the sanctuaries of the city’s elite, the shadows of its brothels, and the despair of its debtors’ prison. The Sewing Girl's Tale shows that if our laws and our culture were changed by a persistent young woman and the power of words two hundred years ago, they can be changed again. Includes photographs
Last Train to ParadiseLes Standiford
The fast-paced and gripping true account of the extraordinary construction and spectacular demise of the Key West Railroad—one of the greatest engineering feats ever undertaken, destroyed in one fell swoop by the strongest storm ever to hit U.S. shores. In 1904, the brilliant and driven entrepreneur Henry Flagler, partner to John D. Rockefeller, dreamed of a railway connecting the island of Key West to the Florida mainland, crossing a staggering 153 miles of open ocean—an engineering challenge beyond even that of the Panama Canal. Many considered the project impossible, but build it they did. The railroad stood as a magnificent achievement for more than twenty-two years, heralded as “the Eighth Wonder of the World,” until its total destruction in 1935's deadly storm of the century. In Last Train to Paradise, Standiford celebrates this crowning achievement of Gilded Age ambition, bringing to life a sweeping tale of the powerful forces of human ingenuity colliding with the even greater forces of nature’s wrath.
We Were OnePatrick K. O'Donnell
A riveting first-hand account of the fierce battle for Fallujah during the Iraq War and the Marines who fought there--a story of brotherhood and sacrifice in a platoon of heroes Five months after being deployed to Iraq, Lima Company's 1st Platoon, 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, found itself in Fallujah, embroiled in some of the most intense house-to-house, hand-to-hand urban combat since World War II. In the city's bloody streets, they came face-to-face with the enemy-radical insurgents high on adrenaline, fighting to a martyr's death, and suicide bombers approaching from every corner. Award-winning author and historian Patrick O'Donnell stood shoulder to shoulder with this modern band of brothers as they marched and fought through the streets of Fallujah, and he stayed with them as the casualties mounted.
Lincoln and the AbolitionistsFred Kaplan
"Anyone who wants to understand the United States' racial divisions will learn a lot from reading Kaplan's richly researched account of one of the worst periods in American history and its chilling effects today in our cities, legislative bodies, schools, and houses of worship." — St. Louis Post-Dispatch The acclaimed biographer Fred Kaplan returns with a controversial exploration of how Abraham Lincoln’s and John Quincy Adams’ experiences with slavery and race shaped their differing viewpoints, providing perceptive insights into these two great presidents and a revealing perspective on race relations in modern America Though the Emancipation Proclamation, limited as it was, ultimately defined his presidency, Lincoln was a man shaped by the values of the white America into which he was born. While he viewed slavery as a moral crime abhorrent to American principles, he disapproved of antislavery activists. Until the last year of his life, he advocated “voluntary deportation,” concerned that free blacks in a white society would result in centuries of conflict. In 1861, he reluctantly took the nation to war to save it. While this devastating struggle would preserve the Union, it would also abolish slavery—creating the biracial democracy Lincoln feared. Years earlier, John Quincy Adams had become convinced that slavery would eventually destroy the Union. Only through civil war, sparked by a slave insurrection or secession, would slavery end and the Union be preserved. Deeply sympathetic to abolitionists and abolitionism, Adams believed that a multiracial America was inevitable. Lincoln and the Abolitionists, a frank look at Lincoln, “warts and all,” including his limitations as a wartime leader, provides an in-depth look at how these two presidents came to see the issues of slavery and race, and how that understanding shaped their perspectives. Its supporting cast of characters is colorful, from the obscure to the famous: Dorcas Allen, Moses Parsons, Usher F. Linder, Elijah Lovejoy, William Channing, Wendell Phillips, Rufus King, Hannibal Hamlin, Andrew Johnson, Abigail Adams, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Henry Clay, Stephen A. Douglas, and Frederick Douglass, among scores of significant others. In a far-reaching historical narrative, Kaplan offers a nuanced appreciation of the great men—Lincoln as an antislavery moralist who believed in an exclusively white America, and Adams as an antislavery activist who had no doubt that the United States would become a multiracial nation—and the events that have characterized race relations in America for more than a century, a legacy that continues to haunt us all.
The True History of the American RevolutionSydney George Fisher
The Pergamum Collection publishes books history has long forgotten. We transcribe books by hand that are now hard to find and out of print.
Undaunted CourageStephen E. Ambrose
From the New York Times bestselling author of Band of Brothers and D-Day , the definitive book on Lewis and Clark’s exploration of the Louisiana Purchase, the most momentous expedition in American history and one of the great adventure stories of all time. In 1803 President Thomas Jefferson selected his personal secretary, Captain Meriwether Lewis, to lead a voyage up the Missouri River to the Rockies, over the mountains, down the Columbia River to the Pacific Ocean, and back. Lewis and his partner, Captain William Clark, made the first map of the trans-Mississippi West, provided invaluable scientific data on the flora and fauna of the Louisiana Purchase territory, and established the American claim to Oregon, Washington, and Idaho. Ambrose has pieced together previously unknown information about weather, terrain, and medical knowledge at the time to provide a vivid backdrop for the expedition. Lewis is supported by a rich variety of colorful characters, first of all Jefferson himself, whose interest in exploring and acquiring the American West went back thirty years. Next comes Clark, a rugged frontiersman whose love for Lewis matched Jefferson’s. There are numerous Indian chiefs, and Sacagawea, the Indian girl who accompanied the expedition, along with the French-Indian hunter Drouillard, the great naturalists of Philadelphia, the French and Spanish fur traders of St. Louis, John Quincy Adams, and many more leading political, scientific, and military figures of the turn of the century. High adventure, high politics, suspense, drama, and diplomacy combine with high romance and personal tragedy to make this outstanding work of scholarship as readable as a novel.
That Dark and Bloody RiverAllan W. Eckert
An award-winning author chronicles the settling of the Ohio River Valley, home to the defiant Shawnee Indians, who vow to defend their land against the seemingly unstoppable. They came on foot and by horseback, in wagons and on rafts, singly and by the score, restless, adventurous, enterprising, relentless, seeking a foothold on the future. European immigrants and American colonists, settlers and speculators, soldiers and missionaries, fugitives from justice and from despair—pioneers all, in the great and inexorable westward expansion defined at its heart by the majestic flow of the Ohio River. This is their story, a chronicle of monumental dimension, of resounding drama and impact set during a pivotal era in our history: the birth and growth of a nation. Drawing on a wealth of research, both scholarly and anecdotal—including letters, diaries, and journals of the era—Allan W. Eckert has delivered a landmark of historical authenticity, unprecedented in scope and detail.
The Warmth of Other SunsIsabel Wilkerson
NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD WINNER • NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • In this beautifully written masterwork, the Pulitzer Prize–winnner and bestselling author of Caste chronicles one of the great untold stories of American history: the decades-long migration of black citizens who fled the South for northern and western cities, in search of a better life. From 1915 to 1970, this exodus of almost six million people changed the face of America. Wilkerson compares this epic migration to the migrations of other peoples in history. She interviewed more than a thousand people, and gained access to new data and official records, to write this definitive and vividly dramatic account of how these American journeys unfolded, altering our cities, our country, and ourselves. With stunning historical detail, Wilkerson tells this story through the lives of three unique individuals: Ida Mae Gladney, who in 1937 left sharecropping and prejudice in Mississippi for Chicago, where she achieved quiet blue-collar success and, in old age, voted for Barack Obama when he ran for an Illinois Senate seat; sharp and quick-tempered George Starling, who in 1945 fled Florida for Harlem, where he endangered his job fighting for civil rights, saw his family fall, and finally found peace in God; and Robert Foster, who left Louisiana in 1953 to pursue a medical career, the personal physician to Ray Charles as part of a glitteringly successful medical career, which allowed him to purchase a grand home where he often threw exuberant parties. Wilkerson brilliantly captures their first treacherous and exhausting cross-country trips by car and train and their new lives in colonies that grew into ghettos, as well as how they changed these cities with southern food, faith, and culture and improved them with discipline, drive, and hard work. Both a riveting microcosm and a major assessment, The Warmth of Other Suns is a bold, remarkable, and riveting work, a superb account of an “unrecognized immigration” within our own land. Through the breadth of its narrative, the beauty of the writing, the depth of its research, and the fullness of the people and lives portrayed herein, this book is destined to become a classic.
Who Killed Jane Stanford?: A Gilded Age Tale of Murder, Deceit, Spirits and the Birth of a UniversityRichard White
A premier historian penetrates the fog of corruption and cover-up still surrounding the murder of a Stanford University founder to establish who did it, how, and why. In 1885 Jane and Leland Stanford cofounded a university to honor their recently deceased young son. After her husband’s death in 1893, Jane Stanford, a devoted spiritualist who expected the university to inculcate her values, steered Stanford into eccentricity and public controversy for more than a decade. In 1905 she was murdered in Hawaii, a victim, according to the Honolulu coroner’s jury, of strychnine poisoning. With her vast fortune the university’s lifeline, the Stanford president and his allies quickly sought to foreclose challenges to her bequests by constructing a story of death by natural causes. The cover-up gained traction in the murky labyrinths of power, wealth, and corruption of Gilded Age San Francisco. The murderer walked. Deftly sifting the scattered evidence and conflicting stories of suspects and witnesses, Richard White gives us the first full account of Jane Stanford’s murder and its cover-up. Against a backdrop of the city’s machine politics, rogue policing, tong wars, and heated newspaper rivalries, White’s search for the murderer draws us into Jane Stanford’s imperious household and the academic enmities of the university. Although Stanford officials claimed that no one could have wanted to murder Jane, we meet several people who had the motives and the opportunity to do so. One of these, we discover, also had the means.
Rebel YellS. C. Gwynne
Finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, the epic New York Times bestselling account of how Civil War general Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson became a great and tragic national hero. Stonewall Jackson has long been a figure of legend and romance. As much as any person in the Confederate pantheon—even Robert E. Lee—he embodies the romantic Southern notion of the virtuous lost cause. Jackson is also considered, without argument, one of our country’s greatest military figures. In April 1862, however, he was merely another Confederate general in an army fighting what seemed to be a losing cause. But by June he had engineered perhaps the greatest military campaign in American history and was one of the most famous men in the Western world. Jackson’s strategic innovations shattered the conventional wisdom of how war was waged; he was so far ahead of his time that his techniques would be studied generations into the future. In his “magnificent Rebel Yell …S.C. Gwynne brings Jackson ferociously to life” (New York Newsday ) in a swiftly vivid narrative that is rich with battle lore, biographical detail, and intense conflict among historical figures. Gwynne delves deep into Jackson’s private life and traces Jackson’s brilliant twenty-four-month career in the Civil War, the period that encompasses his rise from obscurity to fame and legend; his stunning effect on the course of the war itself; and his tragic death, which caused both North and South to grieve the loss of a remarkable American hero.
George Washington's Secret SixBrian Kilmeade & Don Yaeger
“As a Long Islander endlessly fascinated by events that happened in a place I call home, I hope with this book to give the secret six the credit they didn’t get in life. The Culper spies represent all the patriotic Americans who give so much for their country but, because of the nature of their work, will not or cannot take a bow or even talk about their missions.” —Brian Kilmeade When General George Washington beat a hasty retreat from New York City in August 1776, many thought the American Revolution might soon be over. Instead, Washington rallied—thanks in large part to a little-known, top-secret group called the Culper Spy Ring. Washington realized that he couldn’t beat the British with military might, so he recruited a sophisticated and deeply secretive intelligence network to infiltrate New York. So carefully guarded were the members’ identities that one spy’s name was not uncovered until the twentieth century, and one remains unknown today. But by now, historians have discovered enough information about the ring’s activities to piece together evidence that these six individuals turned the tide of the war. Drawing on extensive research, Brian Kilmeade and Don Yaeger have painted compelling portraits of George Washington’s secret six: Robert Townsend, the reserved Quaker merchant and reporter who headed the Culper Ring, keeping his identity secret even from Washington; Austin Roe, the tavern keeper who risked his employment and his life in order to protect the mission; Caleb Brewster, the brash young longshoreman who loved baiting the British and agreed to ferry messages between Connecticut and New York; Abraham Woodhull, the curmudgeonly (and surprisingly nervous) Long Island bachelor with business and family excuses for traveling to Manhattan; James Rivington, the owner of a posh coffeehouse and print shop where high-ranking British officers gossiped about secret operations; Agent 355, a woman whose identity remains unknown but who seems to have used her wit and charm to coax officers to share vital secrets. In George Washington’s Secret Six , Townsend and his fellow spies finally receive their due, taking their place among the pantheon of heroes of the American Revolution.
Masters of the AirDonald L. Miller
Soon to be a major television event from Apple TV, Masters of the Air is the riveting history of the American Eighth Air Force in World War II, the story of the young men who flew the bombers that helped bring Nazi Germany to its knees, brilliantly told by historian and World War II expert Donald Miller. The Masters of the Air miniseries will be the companion to Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg’s 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. 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 story 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 of the world’s first and only bomber war.
Blood and ThunderHampton Sides
NATIONAL BESTSELLER • From the author of Ghost Soldiers comes a magnificent history of the American conquest of the West—"a story full of authority and color, truth and prophecy" ( The New York Times Book Review ) . In the summer of 1846, the Army of the West marched through Santa Fe, en route to invade and occupy the Western territories claimed by Mexico. Fueled by the new ideology of “Manifest Destiny,” this land grab would lead to a decades-long battle between the United States and the Navajos, the fiercely resistant rulers of a huge swath of mountainous desert wilderness. At the center of this sweeping tale is Kit Carson, the trapper, scout, and soldier whose adventures made him a legend. Sides shows us how this illiterate mountain man understood and respected the Western tribes better than any other American, yet willingly followed orders that would ultimately devastate the Navajo nation. Rich in detail and spanning more than three decades, this is an essential addition to our understanding of how the West was really won.
Season of the WitchDavid Talbot
The critically acclaimed, San Francisco Chronicle bestseller—a gripping story of the strife and tragedy that led to San Francisco’s ultimate rebirth and triumph. Salon founder David Talbot chronicles the cultural history of San Francisco and from the late 1960s to the early 1980s when figures such as Harvey Milk, Janis Joplin, Jim Jones, and Bill Walsh helped usher from backwater city to thriving metropolis.
A History Lover's Guide to Washington, DCAlison Fortier
Experience the history of America’s capitol with this uniquely engaging and informative guidebook. Alternating between site visits and brief historical narratives, this guide tells the story of Washington, DC, from its origins to current times. From George Washington’s Mount Vernon to the Kennedy Center, trek through each era of the federal district, on a tour of America’s most beloved sites. Go inside the White House, the only executive home in the world regularly open to the public. Travel to President Lincoln’s Cottage and see where he wrote the Emancipation Proclamation. And visit lesser-known sites, such as the grave of Pierre L’Enfant, the city’s Botanical Gardens, the Old Post Office, and a host of historical homes throughout the capital. This is the only guide you’ll need to curate an unforgettable expedition to our shining city on a hill.
The Greater JourneyDavid McCullough
The #1 bestseller that tells the remarkable story of the generations of American artists, writers, and doctors who traveled to Paris, fell in love with the city and its people, and changed America through what they learned, told by America’s master historian, David McCullough. Not all pioneers went west. In The Greater Journey , David McCullough tells the enthralling, inspiring—and until now, untold—story of the adventurous American artists, writers, doctors, politicians, and others who set off for Paris in the years between 1830 and 1900, hungry to learn and to excel in their work. What they achieved would profoundly alter American history. Elizabeth Blackwell, the first female doctor in America, was one of this intrepid band. Another was Charles Sumner, whose encounters with black students at the Sorbonne inspired him to become the most powerful voice for abolition in the US Senate. Friends James Fenimore Cooper and Samuel F. B. Morse worked unrelentingly every day in Paris, Morse not only painting what would be his masterpiece, but also bringing home his momentous idea for the telegraph. Harriet Beecher Stowe traveled to Paris to escape the controversy generated by her book, Uncle Tom’s Cabin . Three of the greatest American artists ever—sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens, painters Mary Cassatt and John Singer Sargent—flourished in Paris, inspired by French masters. Almost forgotten today, the heroic American ambassador Elihu Washburne bravely remained at his post through the Franco-Prussian War, the long Siege of Paris, and the nightmare of the Commune. His vivid diary account of the starvation and suffering endured by the people of Paris is published here for the first time. Telling their stories with power and intimacy, McCullough brings us into the lives of remarkable men and women who, in Saint-Gaudens’ phrase, longed “to soar into the blue.”
The American SpiritDavid McCullough
A New York Times Bestseller A timely collection of speeches by David McCullough, the most honored historian in the United States—winner of two Pulitzer Prizes, two National Book Awards, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom, among many others—that reminds us of fundamental American principles. “Insightful and inspirational, The American Spirit summons a vexed and divided nation to remember—and cherish—our unifying ideas and ideals” ( Richmond Times-Dispatch ). Over the course of his distinguished career, McCullough has spoken before Congress, the White House, colleges and universities, historical societies, and other esteemed institutions. Now, at a time of self-reflection in America following the bitter 2016 election campaign that has left the country divided, McCullough has collected some of his most important speeches in a brief volume that celebrates the important principles and characteristics that are particularly American. “ The American Spirit is as inspirational as it is brilliant, as simple as it is sophisticated” ( Buffalo News ). McCullough reminds us of the core American values that define us, regardless of which region we live in, which political party we identify with, or our ethnic background. This is a book about America for all Americans that reminds us who we are and helps to guide us as we find our way forward.
Disunited NationsPeter Zeihan
Should we stop caring about fading regional powers like China, Russia, Germany, and Iran? Will the collapse of international cooperation push France, Turkey, Japan, and Saudi Arabia to the top of international concerns? Most countries and companies are not prepared for the world Peter Zeihan says we’re already living in. For decades, America’s allies have depended on its might for their economic and physical security. But as a new age of American isolationism dawns, the results will surprise everyone. In Disunited Nations, geopolitical strategist Peter Zeihan presents a series of counterintuitive arguments about the future of a world where trade agreements are coming apart and international institutions are losing their power. Germany will decline as the most powerful country in Europe, with France taking its place. Every country should prepare for the collapse of China, not North Korea. We are already seeing, as Zeihan predicts, a shift in outlook on the Middle East: It is no longer Iran that is the region’s most dangerous threat, but Saudi Arabia. The world has gotten so accustomed to the “normal” of an American-dominated order that we have all forgotten the historical norm: several smaller, competing powers and economic systems throughout Europe and Asia. America isn’t the only nation stepping back from the international system. From Brazil to Great Britain to Russia, leaders are deciding that even if plenty of countries lose in the growing disunited chaos, their nations will benefit. The world isn’t falling apart—it’s being pushed apart. The countries and businesses prepared for this new every-country-for-itself ethic are those that will prevail; those shackled to the status quo will find themselves lost in the new world disorder. Smart, interesting, and essential reading, Disunited Nations is a sure-to-be-controversial guidebook that analyzes the emerging shifts and resulting problems that will arise in the next two decades. We are entering a period of chaos, and no political or corporate leader can ignore Zeihan’s insights or his message if they want to survive and thrive in this uncertain new time.
America’s first year in World War II, chronicled in this “page-turner” by the Pulitzer Prize–nominated author of Forrest Gump and The Generals ( Publishers Weekly ). On December 7, 1941, an unexpected attack on American territory pulled an unprepared country into a terrifying new brand of warfare. To the generation of Americans who lived through it, the Second World War was the defining event of the twentieth century, and the defining moments of that war were played out in the year 1942. This account covers the Allies’ relentless defeats as the Axis overran most of Europe, North Africa, and the Far East. But by midyear the tide began to turn. The United States finally went on the offensive in the Pacific. In the West, the British defeated Rommel’s panzer divisions at El Alamein while the US Army began to push the Germans out of North Africa. By the year’s end, the smell of victory was in the air. 1942 , told with Winston Groom’s accomplished storyteller’s eye, allows us into the admirals’ strategy rooms, onto the battlefronts, and into the heart of a nation at war. “When not drawing in readers with the narrative, Groom is impressing them with his masterful analyses.” — The Atlanta Journal-Constitution “Groom has done an artful job of blending the many stories of 1942.” — The Anniston Star
Profiles in CourageJohn F. Kennedy
THE PULITZER PRIZE-WINNING CLASSIC OF POLITICAL INTEGRITY With a foreword by Robert F. Kennedy and introduction by Caroline Kennedy John F. Kennedy’s enduring classic resounds with timeless lessons on the most cherished of virtues—courage and patriotism—and remains a moving, powerful, and relevant testament to the indomitable American spirit During 1954-55, Kennedy, then a junior senator from the state of Massachusetts, profiled eight American patriots, mainly United States Senators, who at crucial moments in our nation’s history, revealed a special sort of greatness: men who disregarded dreadful consequences to their public and private lives to do that one thing which seemed right in itself. They were men of various political and regional allegiances—their one overriding loyalty was to the United States. Courage such as these men shared, Kennedy makes clear, is central to all morality—a man does what he must in spite of personal consequences—and these exciting stories suggest that, without in the least disparaging the courage with which men die, we should not overlook the true greatness adorning those acts of courage with which men must live. As Robert F. Kennedy writes in the foreword, Profiles in Courage “is not just stories of the past but a book of hope and confidence for the future. What happens to the country, to the world, depends on what we do with what others have left us." This special "P.S." edition of the book commemorates the fiftieth anniversary of the book's publication. It includes vintage photographs and an extensive author biography, and features Kennedy's correspondence about the writing project, contemporary reviews of the book, a letter from Ernest Hemingway, and two rousing speeches from recipients of the Profile in Courage Award.
Nothing Like It In the WorldStephen E. Ambrose
In this New York Times bestseller, Stephen Ambrose brings to life the story of the building of the transcontinental railroad, from the men who financed it to the engineers and surveyors who risked their lives to the workers who signed on for the dangerous job. Nothing Like It in the World gives the account of an unprecedented feat of engineering, vision, and courage. It is the story of the men who built the transcontinental railroad—the investors who risked their businesses and money; the enlightened politicians who understood its importance; the engineers and surveyors who risked, and sometimes lost, their lives; and the Irish and Chinese immigrants, the defeated Confederate soldiers, and the other laborers who did the backbreaking and dangerous work on the tracks. The U.S. government pitted two companies—the Union Pacific and the Central Pacific Railroads—against each other in a race for funding, encouraging speed over caution. Locomotives, rails, and spikes were shipped from the East through Panama or around South America to the West or lugged across the country to the Plains. In Ambrose's hands, this enterprise, with its huge expenditure of brainpower, muscle, and sweat, comes vibrantly to life.
Hymns of the RepublicS. C. Gwynne
From the New York Times bestselling and award-winning author of Empire of the Summer Moon and Rebel Yell comes “a masterwork of history” (Lawrence Wright, author of God Save Texas ), the spellbinding, epic account of the last year of the Civil War. The fourth and final year of the Civil War offers one of the most compelling narratives and one of history’s great turning points. Now, Pulitzer Prize finalist S.C. Gwynne breathes new life into the epic battle between Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant; the advent of 180,000 black soldiers in the Union army; William Tecumseh Sherman’s March to the Sea; the rise of Clara Barton; the election of 1864 (which Lincoln nearly lost); the wild and violent guerrilla war in Missouri; and the dramatic final events of the war, including Lee’s surrender at Appomattox and the murder of Abraham Lincoln. “A must-read for Civil War enthusiasts” ( Publishers Weekly ), Hymns of the Republic offers many surprising angles and insights. Robert E. Lee, known as a great general and Southern hero, is presented here as a man dealing with frustration, failure, and loss. Ulysses S. Grant is known for his prowess as a field commander, but in the final year of the war he largely fails at that. His most amazing accomplishments actually began the moment he stopped fighting. William Tecumseh Sherman, Gwynne argues, was a lousy general, but probably the single most brilliant man in the war. We also meet a different Clara Barton, one of the greatest and most compelling characters, who redefined the idea of medical care in wartime. And proper attention is paid to the role played by large numbers of black union soldiers—most of them former slaves. Popular history at its best, Hymns of the Republic reveals the creation that arose from destruction in this “engrossing…riveting” ( Kirkus Reviews , starred review) read.
WatergateGarrett M. Graff
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.
Friends DividedGordon S. Wood
A New York Times Book Review Notable Book of 2017 From the great historian of the American Revolution, New York Times -bestselling and Pulitzer-winning Gordon Wood, comes a majestic dual biography of two of America's most enduringly fascinating figures, whose partnership helped birth a nation, and whose subsequent falling out did much to fix its course. Thomas Jefferson and John Adams could scarcely have come from more different worlds, or been more different in temperament. Jefferson, the optimist with enough faith in the innate goodness of his fellow man to be democracy's champion, was an aristocratic Southern slaveowner, while Adams, the overachiever from New England's rising middling classes, painfully aware he was no aristocrat, was a skeptic about popular rule and a defender of a more elitist view of government. They worked closely in the crucible of revolution, crafting the Declaration of Independence and leading, with Franklin, the diplomatic effort that brought France into the fight. But ultimately, their profound differences would lead to a fundamental crisis, in their friendship and in the nation writ large, as they became the figureheads of two entirely new forces, the first American political parties. It was a bitter breach, lasting through the presidential administrations of both men, and beyond. But late in life, something remarkable happened: these two men were nudged into reconciliation. What started as a grudging trickle of correspondence became a great flood, and a friendship was rekindled, over the course of hundreds of letters. In their final years they were the last surviving founding fathers and cherished their role in this mighty young republic as it approached the half century mark in 1826. At last, on the afternoon of July 4th, 50 years to the day after the signing of the Declaration, Adams let out a sigh and said, "At least Jefferson still lives." He died soon thereafter. In fact, a few hours earlier on that same day, far to the south in his home in Monticello, Jefferson died as well. Arguably no relationship in this country's history carries as much freight as that of John Adams of Massachusetts and Thomas Jefferson of Virginia. Gordon Wood has more than done justice to these entwined lives and their meaning; he has written a magnificent new addition to America's collective story.
GettysburgStephen W. Sears
The greatest of all Civil War campaigns, Gettysburg was the turning point of the turning point in our nation’s history. Volumes have been written about this momentous three-day battle, but recent histories have tended to focus on the particulars rather than the big picture: on the generals or on single days of battle—even on single charges—or on the daily lives of the soldiers. In Gettysburg Sears tells the whole story in a single volume. From the first gleam in Lee’s eye to the last Rebel hightailing it back across the Potomac, every moment of the battle is brought to life with the vivid narrative skill and impeccable scholarship that has made Stephen Sears’s other histories so successful. Based on years of research, this is the first book in a generation that brings everything together, sorts it all out, makes informed judgments, and takes stands. Even the most knowledgeable of Civil War buffs will find fascinating new material and new interpretations, and Sears’s famously accessible style will make the book just as appealing to the general reader. In short, this is the one book on Gettysburg that anyone interested in the Civil War should own.
A Crack in the Edge of the WorldSimon Winchester
The international bestselling author of The Professor and the Madman and Krakatoa vividly brings to life the 1906San Francisco Earthquake that leveled a city symbolic of America's relentless western expansion. Simon Winchester has also fashioned an enthralling and informative informative look at the tumultuous subterranean world that produces earthquakes, the planet's most sudden and destructive force. In the early morning hours of April 18, 1906, San Francisco and a string of towns to its north-northwest and the south-southeast were overcome by an enormous shaking that was compounded by the violent shocks of an earthquake, registering 8.25 on the Richter scale. The quake resulted from a rupture in a part of the San Andreas fault, which lies underneath the earth's surface along the northern coast of California. Lasting little more than a minute, the earthquake wrecked 490 blocks, toppled a total of 25,000 buildings, broke open gas mains, cut off electric power lines throughout the Bay area, and effectively destroyed the gold rush capital that had stood there for a half century. Perhaps more significant than the tremors and rumbling, which affected a swatch of California more than 200 miles long, were the fires that took over the city for three days, leaving chaos and horror in its wake. The human tragedy included the deaths of upwards of 700 people, with more than 250,000 left homeless. It was perhaps the worst natural disaster in the history of the United States. Simon Winchester brings his inimitable storytelling abilities -- as well as his unique understanding of geology -- to this extraordinary event, exploring not only what happened in northern California in 1906 but what we have learned since about the geological underpinnings that caused the earthquake in the first place. But his achievement is even greater: he positions the quake's significance along the earth's geological timeline and shows the effect it had on the rest of twentieth-century California and American history. A Crack in the Edge of the World is the definitive account of the San Francisco earthquake. It is also a fascinating exploration of a legendary event that changed the way we look at the planet on which we live.
The Disney RevoltJake S. Friedman
An essential piece of Disney history has been unreported for eighty years. Soon after the birth of Mickey Mouse, one animator raised the Disney Studio far beyond Walt's expectations. That animator also led a union war that almost destroyed it. Art Babbitt animated for the Disney studio throughout the 1930s and through 1941, years in which he and Walt were jointly driven to elevate animation as an art form, up through Snow White , Pinocchio , and Fantasia . But as America prepared for World War II, labor unions spread across Hollywood. Disney fought the unions while Babbitt embraced them. Soon, angry Disney cartoon characters graced picket signs as hundreds of animation artists went out on strike. Adding fuel to the fire was Willie Bioff, one of Al Capone's wiseguys who was seizing control of Hollywood workers and vied for the animators' union. Using never-before-seen research from previously lost records, including conversation transcriptions from within the studio walls, author and historian Jake S. Friedman reveals the details behind the labor dispute that changed animation and Hollywood forever. The Disney Revolt is an American story of industry and of the underdog, the golden age of animated cartoons at the world's most famous studio.
The Seven DaysClifford Dowdey
In the second year of the American Civil War, near Richmond, Virginia, seven days and six battles changed the course of history. In the early spring of 1862, the Army of the Potomac invaded Virginia in the hopes of capturing the Confederate capital of Richmond and ending the war. Led by the lauded Gen. George McClellan, the Union forces landed in March—and the Confederates led by Joseph E. Johnston slowly but surely retreated toward Richmond. Defeat seemed inevitable. But when Johnston was wounded and taken out of action, an intelligent but little-considered officer named Robert E. Lee replaced him—and nothing would ever be the same. Taking advantage of McClellan’s slow reactions and overconfidence, Lee went on the attack, turning the tide with a combination of feints, harassing attacks, and tactical genius that soon had the Union army falling back. Over the course of one week, during which six battles were engaged, Lee outfought and out-thought his opponent at every turn, turning the great Peninsular Campaign into a humiliating defeat for the Union, proving his brilliance as a military leader—and dooming the nation to three more years of bloody warfare. Here, those fateful days and Lee’s astounding generalship are explored as are the actions in military and political circles that ended the Union’s hope for quick victory, and unleashed one of the most brilliant military minds of all time onto the Civil War battlefields—and into history.
Sea of GloryNathaniel Philbrick
"A treasure of a book."—David McCullough The harrowing story of a pathbreaking naval expedition that set out to map the entire Pacific Ocean, dwarfing Lewis and Clark with its discoveries, from the New York Times bestselling author of Valiant Ambition and In the Hurricane's Eye . A New York Times Notable Book America's first frontier was not the West; it was the sea, and no one writes more eloquently about that watery wilderness than Nathaniel Philbrick. In his bestselling In the Heart of the Sea Philbrick probed the nightmarish dangers of the vast Pacific. Now, in an epic sea adventure, he writes about one of the most ambitious voyages of discovery the Western world has ever seen—the U.S. Exploring Expedition of 1838–1842. On a scale that dwarfed the journey of Lewis and Clark, six magnificent sailing vessels and a crew of hundreds set out to map the entire Pacific Ocean and ended up naming the newly discovered continent of Antarctica, collecting what would become the basis of the Smithsonian Institution. Combining spellbinding human drama and meticulous research, Philbrick reconstructs the dark saga of the voyage to show why, instead of being celebrated and revered as that of Lewis and Clark, it has—until now—been relegated to a footnote in the national memory. Winner of the Theodore and Franklin D. Roosevelt Naval History Prize
The Swamp FoxJohn Oller
This comprehensive biography of Francis Marion, the Swamp Fox, covers his famous wartime stories as well as a private side of him that has rarely been explored In the darkest days of the American Revolution, Francis Marion and his band of militia freedom fighters kept hope alive for the patriot cause during the critical British "southern campaign." Employing insurgent guerrilla tactics that became commonplace in later centuries, Marion and his brigade inflicted enemy losses that were individually small but cumulatively a large drain on British resources and morale. Although many will remember the stirring adventures of the "Swamp Fox" from the Walt Disney television series of the late 1950s and the fictionalized Marion character played by Mel Gibson in the 2000 film The Patriot , the real Francis Marion bore little resemblance to either of those caricatures. But his exploits were no less heroic as he succeeded, against all odds, in repeatedly foiling the highly trained, better-equipped forces arrayed against him. In this action-packed biography we meet many colorful characters from the Revolution: Banastre Tarleton, the British cavalry officer who relentlessly pursued Marion over twenty-six miles of swamp, only to call off the chase and declare (per legend) that "the Devil himself could not catch this damned old fox," giving Marion his famous nickname; Thomas Sumter, the bold but rash patriot militia leader whom Marion detested; Lord Cornwallis, the imperious British commander who ordered the hanging of rebels and the destruction of their plantations; "Light-Horse Harry" Lee, the urbane young Continental cavalryman who helped Marion topple critical British outposts in South Carolina; but most of all Francis Marion himself, "the Washington of the South," a man of ruthless determination yet humane character, motivated by what his peers called "the purest patriotism." In The Swamp Fox , the first major biography of Marion in more than forty years, John Oller compiles striking evidence and brings together much recent learning to provide a fresh look both at Marion, the man, and how he helped save the American Revolution.