Best of
History

2010

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness


Michelle Alexander - 2010
    His great-grandfather was beaten to death by the Klu Klux Klan for attempting to vote. His grandfather was prevented from voting by Klan intimidation; his father was barred by poll taxes and literacy tests. Today, Cotton cannot vote because he, like many black men in the United States, has been labeled a felon and is currently on parole."As the United States celebrates the nation's "triumph over race" with the election of Barack Obama, the majority of young black men in major American cities are locked behind bars or have been labeled felons for life. Although Jim Crow laws have been wiped off the books, an astounding percentage of the African American community remains trapped in a subordinate status--much like their grandparents before them.In this incisive critique, former litigator-turned-legal-scholar Michelle Alexander provocatively argues that we have not ended racial caste in America: we have simply redesigned it. Alexander shows that, by targeting black men and decimating communities of color, the U.S. criminal justice system functions as a contemporary system of racial control, even as it formally adheres to the principle of color blindness. The New Jim Crow challenges the civil rights community--and all of us--to place mass incarceration at the forefront of a new movement for racial justice in America.

Twilight and History


Nancy R. Reagin - 2010
    Edward, for instance, may look like a seventeen-year-old teen heartthrob, but was actually born in 1901 and died during the Spanish Influenza of 1918. His adopted sister, Alice, was imprisoned in an insane asylum in 1920 and treated so badly there that even becoming a vampire was a welcome escape. This book is the first to explore the history behind the Twilight Saga's characters and their stories. You’ll learn about what life might have been like for Jasper Whitlock Hale, the Confederate vampire who fought during the Civil War, Carlisle Cullen, the Puritan witch hunter-turned-vampire who participated in the witchcraft persecutions in Early Modern England, and the history of the Quileute culture that shaped Jacob and his people —and much more.Gives you the historical backdrop for Twilight Saga characters and eventsAdds a whole new dimension to the Twilight novels and moviesOffers fresh insights on vampires, romance, and historyTwilight and History is an essential companion for every Twilight fan, whether you've just gotten into the series or have followed it since the beginning.

Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption


Laura Hillenbrand - 2010
    Telling an unforgettable story of a man's journey into extremity, Unbroken is a testament to the resilience of the human mind, body, and spirit. On a May afternoon in 1943, an Army Air Forces bomber crashed into the Pacific Ocean and disappeared, leaving only a spray of debris and a slick of oil, gasoline, and blood. Then, on the ocean surface, a face appeared. It was that of a young lieutenant, the plane's bombardier, who was struggling to a life raft and pulling himself aboard. So began one of the most extraordinary odysseys of the Second World War.The lieutenant’s name was Louis Zamperini. In boyhood, he'd been a cunning and incorrigible delinquent, breaking into houses, brawling, and fleeing his home to ride the rails. As a teenager, he had channeled his defiance into running, discovering a prodigious talent that had carried him to the Berlin Olympics and within sight of the four-minute mile. But when war had come, the athlete had become an airman, embarking on a journey that led to his doomed flight, a tiny raft, and a drift into the unknown.Ahead of Zamperini lay thousands of miles of open ocean, leaping sharks, a foundering raft, thirst and starvation, enemy aircraft, and, beyond, a trial even greater. Driven to the limits of endurance, Zamperini would answer desperation with ingenuity; suffering with hope, resolve, and humor; brutality with rebellion. His fate, whether triumph or tragedy, would be suspended on the fraying wire of his will.

The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration


Isabel Wilkerson - 2010
    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.

The Prime Ministers: An Intimate Narrative of Israeli Leadership


Yehuda Avner - 2010
    Employing time-honored literary devices of scene-setting, impressionistic description, and characterization, he restores to life episodes of war and peace as these amazing individuals, early leaders of Israel, grappled with one another and with the life-and-death decisions they were often called upon to make. In the author's eyes, Menachem Begin emerges as most exceptional, and much of the book is devoted to him. Based largely on personal notes, as well as on actual transcripts and correspondence, some of which are revealed here for the first time, the narrative reenacts how each of the leaders responded under conditions of acute stress - be it terror or war- and how their respective relationships unfolded with Presidents Johnson, Nixon, Ford and Carter.

Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin


Timothy Snyder - 2010
    Before Hitler was finally defeated, he had murdered six million Jews and nearly as many other Europeans. At war’s end, both the German and the Soviet killing sites fell behind the iron curtain, leaving the history of mass killing in darkness.Bloodlands is a new kind of European history, presenting the mass murders committed by the Nazi and Stalinist regimes as two aspects of a single history, in the time and place where they occurred: between Germany and Russia, when Hitler and Stalin both held power. Assiduously researched, deeply humane, and utterly definitive, Bloodlands will be required reading for anyone seeking to understand the central tragedy of modern history.From BooklistIf there is an explanation for the political killing perpetrated in eastern Europe in the 1930s and 1940s, historian Snyder roots it in agriculture. Stalin wanted to collectivize farmers; Hitler wanted to eliminate them so Germans could colonize the land. The dictators wielded frightening power to advance such fantasies toward reality, and the despots toted up about 14 million corpses between them, so stupefying a figure that Snyder sets himself three goals here: to break down the number into the various actions of murder that comprise it, from liquidation of the kulaks to the final solution; to restore humanity to the victims via surviving testimony to their fates; and to deny Hitler and Stalin any historical justification for their policies, which at the time had legions of supporters and have some even today. Such scope may render Snyder’s project too imposing to casual readers, but it would engage those exposed to the period’s chronology and major interpretive issues, such as the extent to which the Nazi and Soviet systems may be compared. Solid and judicious scholarship for large WWII collections.

The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer


Siddhartha Mukherjee - 2010
    Physician, researcher, and award-winning science writer, Siddhartha Mukherjee examines cancer with a cellular biologist’s precision, a historian’s perspective, and a biographer’s passion. The result is an astonishingly lucid and eloquent chronicle of a disease humans have lived with—and perished from—for more than five thousand years. The story of cancer is a story of human ingenuity, resilience, and perseverance, but also of hubris, paternalism, and misperception. Mukherjee recounts centuries of discoveries, setbacks, victories, and deaths, told through the eyes of his predecessors and peers, training their wits against an infinitely resourceful adversary that, just three decades ago, was thought to be easily vanquished in an all-out “war against cancer.” The book reads like a literary thriller with cancer as the protagonist. From the Persian Queen Atossa, whose Greek slave cut off her malignant breast, to the nineteenth-century recipients of primitive radiation and chemotherapy to Mukherjee’s own leukemia patient, Carla, The Emperor of All Maladies is about the people who have soldiered through fiercely demanding regimens in order to survive—and to increase our understanding of this iconic disease. Riveting, urgent, and surprising, The Emperor of All Maladies provides a fascinating glimpse into the future of cancer treatments. It is an illuminating book that provides hope and clarity to those seeking to demystify cancer.

The Forgotten Highlander: My Incredible Story of Survival During the War in the Far East


Alistair Urquhart - 2010
    He not only survived working on the notorious Bridge on the River Kwai , but he was subsequently taken on one of the Japanese ‘hellships’ which was torpedoed. Nearly everyone else on board died and Urquhart spent 5 days alone on a raft in the South China Sea before being rescued by a whaling ship. He was taken to Japan and then forced to work in a mine near Nagasaki. Two months later a nuclear bomb dropped just ten miles away . . .This is the extraordinary story of a young man, conscripted at nineteen and whose father was a Somme Veteran, who survived not just one, but three very close separate encounters with death - encounters which killed nearly all his comrades.

At the Dark End of the Street: Black Women, Rape, and Resistance--A New History of the Civil Rights Movement from Rosa Parks to the Rise of Black Power


Danielle L. McGuire - 2010
    Rosa Parks was often described as a sweet and reticent elderly woman whose tired feet caused her to defy segregation on Montgomery’s city buses, and whose supposedly solitary, spontaneous act sparked the 1955 bus boycott that gave birth to the civil rights movement. The truth of who Rosa Parks was and what really lay beneath the 1955 boycott is far different from anything previously written. In this important book, Danielle McGuire writes about the rape in 1944 of a twenty-four-year-old mother and sharecropper, Recy Taylor, who strolled toward home after an evening of singing and praying at the Rock Hill Holiness Church in Abbeville, Alabama. Seven white men, armed with knives and shotguns, ordered the young woman into their green Chevrolet, raped her, and left her for dead. The president of the local NAACP branch office sent his best investigator and organizer—Rosa Parks—to Abbeville. In taking on this case, Parks launched a movement that exposed a ritualized history of sexual assault against black women and added fire to the growing call for change.

Fighter Pilot: The Memoirs of Legendary Ace Robin Olds


Robin Olds - 2010
    A graduate of West Point and an inductee in the National College Football Hall of Fame for his All-American performance for Army, Olds was one of the toughest college football players at the time. In WWII, Olds quickly became a top fighter pilot and squadron commander by the age of 22—and an ace with 12 aerial victories.But it was in Vietnam where the man became a legend. He arrived in 1966 to find a dejected group of pilots and motivated them by placing himself on the flight schedule under officers junior to himself, then challenging them to train him properly because he would soon be leading them. Proving he wasn’t a WWII retread, he led the wing with aggressiveness, scoring another four confirmed kills, becoming a rare triple ace.Olds (who retired a brigadier general and died in 2007) was a unique individual whose personal story is one of the most eagerly anticipated military books of the year.

Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey/Maturin Series


Patrick O'Brian - 2010
    Stephen Maturin, ship's surgeon and intelligence agent, against a thrilling backdrop of the Napoleonic wars. The series consists of 20 complete and one unfinished novel, the first published in 1970 and the last finished novel in 1999. The 21st novel of the series, left unfinished by O'Brian's death in 2000, appeared in print in late 2004. The series received considerable international acclaim and most of the novels reached the The New York Times Best Seller list. These novels comprised the canon of an author often compared to Jane Austen, C. S. Forester and a myriad of other British authors central to the canon. Details of a life aboard a man-of-war are faultless rendered: the conversational idiom of the officers in the ward room and the men on the lower deck, the food, the floggings, the mysteries of the wind and the rigging, and the roar of broadsides as the great ships close in battle. The Oscar-nominated 2003 film Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World is based upon these books.The series consists of:1. Master and Commander (1990) ISBN 978-0-393-30705-4This, the first in the splendid series of Jack Aubrey novels, establishes the friendship between Captain Aubrey, R.N., and Stephen Maturin, ship's surgeon and intelligence agent, against a thrilling backdrop of the Napoleonic wars. Details of a life aboard a man-of-war are faultless rendered: the conversational idiom of the officers in the ward room and the men on the lower deck, the food, the floggings, the mysteries of the wind and the rigging, and the roar of broadsides as the great ships close in battle.2. Post Captain (1990) ISBN 978-0-393-30706-1 "We've beat them before and we'll beat them again." In 1803 Napoleon smashes the Peace of Amiens, and Captain Jack Aubrey, R. N., taking refuge in France from his creditors, is interned. He escapes from France, from debtor's Prison, from a possible mutiny, and pursues his quarry straight into the mouth of a French-held harbor.3. HMS Surprise (1991) ISBN 978-0-393-30761-0Third in the series of Aubrey/Maturin adventures, this book is set among the strange sights and smells of the Indian subcontinent, and in the distant waters ploughed by the ships of the East India Company. Aubrey is on the defensive, pitting wits and seamanship against an enemy enjoying overwhelming local superiority. But somewhere in the Indian Ocean lies the prize that could make him rich beyond his wildest dream: the ships sent by Napoleon to attack the China Fleet.4. The Mauritius Command (1991) ISBN 978-0-393-30762-7Captain Jack Aubrey is ashore on half pay without a command-until Stephen Maturin arrives with secret orders for Aubrey to take a frigate to the Cape of Good Hope under a commodore's pennant, there to mount an expedition against the French-held islands of Mauritius and La R?union. But the difficulties of carrying out his orders are compounded by two of his own captains-Lord Clonfert, a pleasure-seeking dilettante, and Captain Corbett, whose severity pushes his crew to the verge of mutiny.5. Desolation Island (1991) ISBN 978-0-393-30812-9Commissioned to rescue Governor Bligh of Bounty fame, Captain Jack Aubrey and his friend and surgeon Stephen Maturin sail the Leopard to Australia with a hold full of convicts. Among them is a beautiful and dangerous spy-and a treacherous disease that decimates the crew. With a Dutch man-of-war to windward, the undermanned, outgunned Leopard sails for her life into the freezing waters of the Antarctic, where, in mountain seas, the Dutchman closes...6. The Fortune of War (1991) ISBN 978-0-393-30813-6Captain Jack Aubrey, R. N., arrives in the Dutch East Indies to find himself appointed to the command of the fastest and best-armed frigate in the Navy. He and his friend Stephen Maturin take passage for England in a dispatch vessel. But the War of 1812 breaks out while they are en route. Bloody actions precipitate them both into new and unexpected scenes where Stephen's past activities as a secret agent return on him with a vengeance.7. The Surgeon's Mate (1992) ISBN 978-0-393-30820-4Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin are ordered home by dispatch vessel to bring the news of their latest victory to the government. But Maturin is a marked man for the havoc he has wrought in the French intelligence network in the New World, and the attention of two privateers soon becomes menacing. The chase that follows through the fogs and shallows of the Grand Banks is as tense, and as unexpected in its culmination, as anything Patrick O'Brian has written.8. The Ionian Mission (1992) ISBN 978-0-393-30821-1Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin, veterans now of many battles, return in this novel to the seas where they first sailed as shipmates. But Jack is now a senior captain commanding a line-of-battle ship in the Royal Navy's blockade of Toulon, and this is a longer, harder, colder war than the dashing frigate actions of his early days. A sudden turn of events takes him and Stephen off on a hazardous mission to the Greek Islands, where all his old skills of seamanship and his proverbial luck when fighting against odds come triumphantly into their own.9. Treason's Harbour (1992) ISBN 978-0-393-30863-1All Patrick O'Brian's strengths are on parade in this novel of action and intrigue, set partly in Malta, partly in the treacherous, pirate-infested waters of the Red Sea. While Captain Aubrey worries about repairs to his ship, Stephen Maturin assumes the center stage for the dockyards and salons of Malta are alive with Napoleon's agents, and the admiralty's intelligence network is compromised. Maturin's cunning is the sole bulwark against sabotage of Aubrey's daring mission.10. The Far Side of the World (1992) ISBN 978-0-393-30862-4The war of 1812 continues, and Jack Aubrey sets course for Cape Horn on a mission after his own heart: intercepting a powerful American frigate outward bound to play havoc with the British whaling trade. Stephen Maturin has fish of his own to fry in the world of secret intelligence. Disaster in various guises awaits them in the Great South Sea and in the far reaches of the Pacific: typhoons, castaways, shipwrecks, murder, and criminal insanity.11. The Reverse of the Medal (1992) ISBN 978-0-393-30960-7Captain Jack Aubrey, R. N., ashore after a successful cruise, is persuaded by a casual acquaintance to make certain investments in the City. This innocent decision ensnares him in the London criminal underground and in government espionage-the province of his friend Stephen Maturin. Is Aubrey's humiliation and the threatened ruin of his career a deliberate plot? This dark tale is a fitting backdrop to the brilliant characterization and sparkling dialogue which O'Brian's readers have come to expect.12. The Letter of Marque (1992) ISBN 978-0-393-30905-8Captain Jack Aubrey, a brilliant and experienced officer, has been struck off the list of post-captains for a crime he did not commit. His old friend Stephen Maturin, usually cast as a ship's surgeon to mask his discreet activities on behalf of British Intelligence, has bought for Aubrey his former ship the Surprise to command as a privateer, more politely termed a letter of marque. Together they sail on a desperate mission against the French, which, if successful, may redeem Aubrey from the private hell of his disgrace.13. The Thirteen Gun Salute (1992) ISBN 978-0-393-30907-2Captain Jack Aubrey sets sail for the South China Sea with a new lease on life. Following his dismissal from the Royal Navy (a false accusation), he has earned reinstatement through his daring exploits as a privateer, brilliantly chronicled in The Letter of Marque. Now he is to shepherd Stephen Maturin-his friend, ship's surgeon, and sometimes intelligence agent-on a diplomatic mission to prevent links between Bonaparte and the Malay princes which would put English merchant shipping at risk.The journey of the Diane encompasses a great and satisfying diversity of adventures. Maturin climbs the Thousand Steps of the sacred crater of the orangutans; a killer typhoon catches Aubrey and his crew trying to work the Diane off a reef; and in the barbaric court of Pulo Prabang a classic duel of intelligence agents unfolds: the French envoys, well entrenched in the Sultan's good graces, against the savage cunning of Stephen Maturin.14. The Nutmeg of Consolation (1993) ISBN 978-0-393-30906-5Shipwrecked on a remote island in the Dutch East Indies, Captain Aubrey, surgeon and secret intelligence agent Stephen Maturin, and the crew of the Diane fashion a schooner from the wreck. A vicious attack by Malay pirates is repulsed, but the makeshift vessel burns, and they are truly marooned. Their escape from this predicament is one that only the whimsy and ingenuity of Patrick O'Brian-or Stephen Maturin-could devise.In command now of a new ship, the Nutmeg, Aubrey pursues his interrupted mission. The dreadful penal colony in New South Wales, harrowingly described, is the backdrop to a diplomatic crisis provoked by Maturin's Irish temper, and to a near-fatal encounter with the wildlife of the Australian outback.15. The Truelove (1993) ISBN 978-0-393-31016-0A British whaler has been captured by an ambitious chief in the sandwich islands at French instigation, and Captain Aubrey, R. N., Is dispatched with the Surprise to restore order. But stowed away in the cable-tier is an escaped female convict. To the officers, Clarissa Harvill is an object of awkward courtliness and dangerous jealousies. Aubrey himself is won over and indeed strongly attracted to this woman who will not speak of her past. But only Aubrey's friend, Dr. Stephen Maturin, can fathom Clarissa's secrets: her crime, her personality, and a clue identifying a highly placed English spy in the pay of Napoleon's intelligence service.In a thrilling finale, Patrick O'Brian delivers all the excitement his many readers expect: Aubrey and the crew of the Surprise impose a brutal pax Britannica upon the islanders in a pitched battle against a band of headhunting cannibals.16. The Wine-Dark Sea (1994) ISBN 978-0-393-31244-7At the outset of this adventure filled with disaster and delight, Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin pursue an American privateer through the Great South Sea. The strange color of the ocean reminds Stephen of Homer's famous description, and portends an underwater volcanic eruption that will create a new island overnight and leave an indelible impression on the reader's imagination.Their ship, the Surprise, is now also a privateer, the better to escape diplomatic complications from Stephen's mission, which is to ignite the revolutionary tinder of South America. Jack will survive a desperate open boat journey and come face to face with his illegitimate black son; Stephen, caught up in the aftermath of his failed coup, will flee for his life into the high, frozen wastes of the Andes; and Patrick O'Brian's brilliantly detailed narrative will reunite them at last in a breathtaking chase through stormy seas and icebergs south of Cape Horn, where the hunters suddenly become the hunted.17. The Commodore (1995) ISBN 978-0-393-31459-5Having survived a long and desperate adventure in the Great South Sea, Captain Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin return to England to very different circumstances. For Jack it is a happy homecoming, at least initially, but for Stephen it is disastrous: his little daughter appears to be autistic, incapable of speech or contact, while his wife, Diana, unable to bear this situation, has disappeared, her house being looked after by the widowed Clarissa Oakes. Much of The Commodore takes place on land, in sitting rooms and in drafty castles, but the roar of the great guns is never far from our hearing. Aubrey and Maturin are sent on a bizarre decoy mission to the fever-ridden lagoons of the Gulf of Guinea to suppress the slave trade. But their ultimate destination is Ireland, where the French are mounting an invasion that will test Aubrey's seamanship and Maturin's resourcefulness as a secret intelligence agent.The subtle interweaving of these disparate themes is an achievement of pure storytelling by one of our greatest living novelists.18. The Yellow Admiral (1997) ISBN 978-0-393-31704-6Life ashore may once again be the undoing of Jack Aubrey in The Yellow Admiral, Patrick O'Brian's best-selling novel and eighteenth volume in the Aubrey/Maturin series. Aubrey, now a considerable though impoverished landowner, has dimmed his prospects at the Admiralty by his erratic voting as a Member of Parliament; he is feuding with his neighbor, a man with strong Navy connections who wants to enclose the common land between their estates; he is on even worse terms with his wife, Sophie, whose mother has ferreted out a most damaging trove of old personal letters. Even Jack's exploits at sea turn sour: in the storm waters off Brest he captures a French privateer laden with gold and ivory, but this at the expense of missing a signal and deserting his post. Worst of all, in the spring of 1814, peace breaks out, and this feeds into Jack's private fears for his career.Fortunately, Jack is not left to his own devices. Stephen Maturin returns from a mission in France with the news that the Chileans, to secure their independence, require a navy, and the service of English officers. Jack is savoring this apparent reprieve for his career, as well as Sophie's forgiveness, when he receives an urgent dispatch ordering him to Gibraltar: Napoleon has escaped from Elba.19. The Hundred Days (1999) ISBN 978-0-393-31979-8Napoleon, escaped from Elba, pursues his enemies across Europe like a vengeful phoenix. If he can corner the British and Prussians before their Russian and Austrian allies arrive, his genius will lead the French armies to triumph at Waterloo. In the Balkans, preparing a thrust northwards into Central Europe to block the Russians and Austrians, a horde of Muslim mercenaries is gathering. They are inclined toward Napoleon because of his conversion to Islam during the Egyptian campaign, but they will not move without a shipment of gold ingots from Sheik Ibn Hazm which, according to British intelligence, is on its way via camel caravan to the coast of North Africa. It is this gold that Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin must at all costs intercept. The fate of Europe hinges on their desperate mission.20. Blue at the Mizzen (2000) ISBN 978-0-393-32107-4Napoleon has been defeated at Waterloo, and the ensuing peace brings with it both the desertion of nearly half of Captain Aubrey's crew and the sudden dimming of Aubrey's career prospects in a peacetime navy. When the Surprise is nearly sunk on her way to South America-where Aubrey and Stephen Maturin are to help Chile assert her independence from Spain-the delay occasioned by repairs reaps a harvest of strange consequences. The South American expedition is a desperate affair; and in the end Jack's bold initiative to strike at the vastly superior Spanish fleet precipitates a spectacular naval action that will determine both Chile's fate and his own. 21. 21: The Final Unfinished Voyage of Jack Aubrey (2004) ISBN 978-0-393-06025-6In response to the interest of millions of Patrick O'Brian fans, here is the final, partial installment of the Aubrey/Maturin series. Blue at the Mizzen (novel #20) ended with Jack Aubrey getting the news, in Chile, of his elevation to flag rank: Rear Admiral of the Blue Squadron, with orders to sail to the South Africa station. The next novel, unfinished and untitled at the time of the author's death, would have been the chronicle of that mission, and much else besides. The three chapters left on O'Brian's desk at the time of his death are presented here both in printed version-including his corrections to the typescript-and a facsimile of his manuscript, which goes several pages beyond the end of the typescript to include a duel between Stephen Maturin and an impertinent officer who is courting his fiance. Of course we would rather have had the whole story; instead we have this proof that O'Brian's powers of observation, his humor, and his understanding of his characters were undiminished to the end.

Hellhound on His Trail: The Stalking of Martin Luther King, Jr. and the International Hunt for His Assassin


Hampton Sides - 2010
    Fashioning himself Eric Galt, this nondescript thief and con man—whose real name was James Earl Ray—drifted through the South, into Mexico, and then Los Angeles, where he was galvanized by George Wallace’s racist presidential campaign. On February 1, 1968, two Memphis garbage men were crushed to death in their hydraulic truck, provoking the exclusively African American workforce to go on strike. Hoping to resuscitate his faltering crusade, King joined the sanitation workers’ cause, but their march down Beale Street, the historic avenue of the blues, turned violent. Humiliated, King fatefully vowed to return to Memphis in April. With relentless storytelling drive, Sides follows Galt and King as they crisscross the country, one stalking the other, until the crushing moment at the Lorraine Motel when the drifter catches up with his prey. Against the backdrop of the resulting nationwide riots and the pathos of King’s funeral, Sides gives us a riveting cross-cut narrative of the assassin’s flight and the sixty-five-day search that led investigators to Canada, Portugal, and England—a massive manhunt ironically led by Hoover’s FBI.

And the Pursuit of Happiness


Maira Kalman - 2010
     And the Pursuit of Happiness is beloved artist and author Maira Kalman's yearlong investigation of democracy and how it works. Energized and inspired by the 2008 elections, on inauguration day Kalman traveled to Washington, D.C., launching a national tour that would take her from a town hall meeting in Newfane, Vermont, to the inner chambers of the Supreme Court. As we follow Kalman's wholly idiosyncratic journey, we fall in love with Lincoln alongside her as she imagines making a home for herself in the center of his magisterial memorial; ponder Alexis de Tocqueville's America; witness the inner workings of a Bronx middle-school student council; take a high-speed lesson in great American women in the National Portrait Gallery; and consider the cost of war to the brave American service families of Fort Campbell, Kentucky. The observations she makes as she travels charm and inform, and-as we have come to expect with Kalman-the route is always one of fascinating indirection. Kalman finds evidence of democracy at work all around us. And the cast of characters we meet along the way is rousing good company, featuring visits from Benjamin Franklin, Eleanor Roosevelt, and many others. And the Pursuit of Happiness is a remarkable tribute to our history and a powerful reminder of the potential our future holds, from a true national treasure. Watch a Video

War


Sebastian Junger - 2010
    Now, Junger turns his brilliant and empathetic eye to the reality of combat--the fear, the honor, and the trust among men in an extreme situation whose survival depends on their absolute commitment to one another. His on-the-ground account follows a single platoon through a 15-month tour of duty in the most dangerous outpost in Afghanistan's Korengal Valley. Through the experiences of these young men at war, he shows what it means to fight, to serve, and to face down mortal danger on a daily basis.

Seal of Honor: Operation Red Wings and the Life of LT Michael P. Murphy, USN


Gary Williams - 2010
    Michael Patrick Murphy, a Navy SEAL, earned the Medal of Honor on 28 June 2005 for his bravery during a fierce fight with the Taliban in the remote mountains of eastern Afghanistan. The first to receive the nation's highest military honor for service in Afghanistan, Lt. Murphy was also the first naval officer to earn the medal since the Vietnam War, and the first SEAL to be honored posthumously. A young man of great character, he is the subject of Naval Special Warfare courses on character and leadership, and an Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer, naval base, school, post office, ball park, and hospital emergency room have been named in his honor. A bestselling book by the sole survivor of Operation Red Wings, Marcus Luttrell, has helped make Lt. Murphy's SEAL team's fateful encounter with the Taliban one of the Afghan war's best known engagements. Published on the 5th anniversary of the engagement, SEAL of Honor also tells the story of that fateful battle, but it does so from a very different perspective being focused on the life of Lt. Murphy. This biography uses his heroic action during this deadly firefight in Afghanistan, as a window on his character and attempts to answer why Lt. Murphy readily sacrificed his life for his comrades. SEAL of Honor is the story of a young man, who was noted by his peers for his compassion and for his leadership being guided by an extraordinary sense of duty, responsibility, and moral clarity.In tracing Lt. Murphy's journey from a seemingly ordinary life on New York's Long Island, to that remote mountainside a half a world away, SEAL of Honor will help readers understand how he came to demonstrate the extraordinary heroism and selfless leadership that earned him the nation's highest military honor. Moreover, the book brings the Afghan war back to the home front, focusing on Lt. Murphy's tight knit family and the devastating effect of his death upon them as they watched the story of Operation Red Wings unfold in the news. The book attempts to answer why Lt. Murphy's service to his country and his comrades was a calling faithfully answered, a duty justly upheld, and a life, while all too short, well lived.

The Only Thing Worth Dying For: How Eleven Green Berets Forged a New Afghanistan


Eric Blehm - 2010
    Set in the immediate aftermath of 9/11, The Only Thing Worth Dying For chronicles the untold story of the team of Green Berets led by Captain Jason Amerine that conquered the Taliban and helped bring Hamid Karzai to power in Afghanistan. In the tradition of Black Hawk Down, The Only Thing Worth Dying For is, in the words of former Congressman Charlie Wilson (from Charlie Wilson's War), "the one book you must read if you have any hope of understanding what our fine American soldiers are up against in Afghanistan."

Sit-In: How Four Friends Stood Up by Sitting Down


Andrea Davis Pinkney - 2010
    Their order was simple.A doughnut and coffee, with cream on the side.This picture book is a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the momentous Woolworth's lunch counter sit-in, when four college students staged a peaceful protest that became a defining moment in the struggle for racial equality and the growing civil rights movement. Andrea Davis Pinkney uses poetic, powerful prose to tell the story of these four young men, who followed Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s words of peaceful protest and dared to sit at the "whites only" Woolworth's lunch counter. Brian Pinkney embraces a new artistic style, creating expressive paintings filled with emotion that mirror the hope, strength, and determination that fueled the dreams of not only these four young men, but also countless others.

Citizens of London: The Americans who Stood with Britain in its Darkest, Finest Hour


Lynne Olson - 2010
    Murrow, the handsome, chain-smoking head of CBS News in Europe; Averell Harriman, the hard-driving millionaire who ran FDR’s Lend-Lease program in London; and John Gilbert Winant, the shy, idealistic U.S. ambassador to Britain. Each man formed close ties with Winston Churchill—so much so that all became romantically involved with members of the prime minister’s family. Drawing from a variety of primary sources, Lynne Olson skillfully depicts the dramatic personal journeys of these men who, determined to save Britain from Hitler, helped convince a cautious Franklin Roosevelt and reluctant American public to back the British at a critical time. Deeply human, brilliantly researched, and beautifully written, Citizens of London is a new triumph from an author swiftly becoming one of the finest in her field.

The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined


Steven Pinker - 2010
    In his gripping and controversial new work, New York Times bestselling author Steven Pinker shows that despite the ceaseless news about war, crime, and terrorism, violence has actually been in decline over long stretches of history. Exploding myths about humankind's inherent violence and the curse of modernity, this ambitious book continues Pinker's exploration of the essence of human nature, mixing psychology and history to provide a remarkable picture of an increasingly enlightened world.

Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters


Barack Obama - 2010
    From the artistry of Georgia O'Keeffe, to the courage of Jackie Robinson, to the patriotism of George Washington, President Obama sees the traits of these heroes within his own children, and within all of America’s children. Breathtaking, evocative illustrations by award-winning artist Loren Long at once capture the personalities and achievements of these great Americans and the innocence and promise of childhood. This beautiful book celebrates the characteristics that unite all Americans, from our nation’s founders to generations to come. It is about the potential within each of us to pursue our dreams and forge our own paths. It is a treasure to cherish with your family forever.From the Hardcover edition.

Black Hearts: One Platoon's Descent Into Madness in Iraq's Triangle of Death


Jim Frederick - 2010
    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.

A History of the World in 100 Objects


Neil MacGregor - 2010
    Encompassing a grand sweep of human history, A History of the World in 100 Objects begins with one of the earliest surviving objects made by human hands, a chopping tool from the Olduvai gorge in Africa, and ends with objects which characterise the world we live in today. Seen through MacGregor's eyes, history is a kaleidoscope - shifting, interconnected, constantly surprising, and shaping our world today in ways that most of us have never imagined. A stone pillar tells us about a great Indian emperor preaching tolerance to his people; Spanish pieces of eight tell us about the beginning of a global currency; and an early Victorian tea-set speaks to us about the impact of empire. An intellectual and visual feast, this is one of the most engrossing and unusual history books published in years. 'Brilliant, engagingly written, deeply researched' Mary Beard, Guardian 'A triumph: hugely popular, and rightly lauded as one of the most effective and intellectually ambitious initiatives in the making of 'public history' for many decades' Sunday Telegraph 'Highly intelligent, delightfully written and utterly absorbing ' Timothy Clifford, Spectator 'This is a story book, vivid and witty, shining with insights, connections, shocks and delights' Gillian Reynolds Daily Telegraph

Helmet for My Pillow: From Parris Island to the Pacific


Robert Leckie - 2010
    Robert Leckie was 21 when he enlisted in the US Marine Corps in January 1942. In Helmet for My Pillow we follow his journey, from boot camp 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 sacrifice of war, painting an unsentimental portrait of how real warriors are made, fight, and all too often die in the defence 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 it's really like when victory can only be measured inch by bloody inch. Unparalleled in its immediacy and accuracy, Helmet for My Pillow is a gripping account from an ordinary soldier fighting in extraordinary conditions. 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.Helmet for My Pillow is a grand and epic prose poem. Robert Leckie's theme is the purely human experience of war in the Pacific, written in the graceful imagery of a human being who - somehow - survived - Tom Hanks

The Beast: Riding the Rails and Dodging Narcos on the Migrant Trail


Óscar Martínez - 2010
    A local priest got 120 released, many with broken ankles and other marks of abuse, but the rest vanished. Óscar Martínez, a young writer from El Salvador, was in Altar soon after the abduction, and his account of the migrant disappearances is only one of the harrowing stories he garnered from two years spent traveling up and down the migrant trail from Central America and across the US border. More than a quarter of a million Central Americans make this increasingly dangerous journey each year, and each year as many as 20,000 of them are kidnapped.Martínez writes in powerful, unforgettable prose about clinging to the tops of freight trains; finding respite, work and hardship in shelters and brothels; and riding shotgun with the border patrol. Illustrated with stunning full-color photographs, The Beast is the first book to shed light on the harsh new reality of the migrant trail in the age of the narcotraficantes.

Mossad: The Greatest Missions of the Israeli Secret Service


Michael Bar-Zohar - 2010
    It is also the most enigmatic, shrouded in secrecy. Mossad: The Greatest Missions of the Israeli Secret Service unveils the defi ning and most dangerous operations that have shaped Israel and the world at large from the agency's more than sixty-year history, among them: the capture of Adolf Eichmann, the eradication of Black September, the destruction of the Syrian nuclear facility, and the elimination of key Iranian nuclear scientists.Through intensive research and exclusive interviews with Israeli leaders and Mossad agents, authors Michael Bar-Zohar and Nissim Mishal re-create these missions in riveting detail, vividly bringing to life the heroic operatives who risked everything in the face of unimaginable danger. In the words of Shimon Peres, president of Israel, this gripping, white-knuckle read "tells what should have been known and isn't--that Israel's hidden force is as formidable as its recognized physical strength."

The Big Payback


Dan Charnas - 2010
    On this four-decade-long journey from the studios where the first rap records were made to the boardrooms where the big deals were inked, The Big Payback tallies the list of who lost and who won. Read the secret histories of the early long-shot successes of Sugar Hill Records and Grandmaster Flash, Run DMC's crossover breakthrough on MTV, the marketing of gangsta rap, and the rise of artist/ entrepreneurs like Jay-Z and Sean "Diddy" Combs. 300 industry veterans-well-known giants like Rick Rubin and Russell Simmons, the founders of Def Jam, and key insiders like Gerald Levin, the embattled former Time Warner chief-gave their stories to renowned hip-hop journalist Dan Charnas, who provides a compelling, never-before seen, myth-debunking view into the victories, defeats, corporate clashes, and street battles along the 40-year road to hip-hop's dominance.

Forever Yours


Rita Bradshaw - 2010
    She is brought up by her grandparents, but the two children become inseparable and, as she enters her teens, these strong feelings turn into love. But Matt sees her only as a sister and Constance can do nothing when he proposes to another girl. When Constance discovers that the fire that killed her parents wasn't an accident, but in fact the actions of a jealous man, she finds herself in terrible danger and is forced to leave the village and everyone she knows. Although Constance makes a good life for herself elsewhere, her heart remains with the only man she has ever loved. But what will it take for Matt to realise his true feelings for her?

Bookclub-in-a-Box Discusses Someone Knows My Name / The Book of Negroes, the novel by Lawrence Hill


Marilyn Herbert - 2010
    Lawrence Hill’s new book doesn’t lessen the awfulness of the times, but adds a unique human dimension. Hill has created an uplifting and highly educational story about a shameful part of history. The Book of Negroes is sold in the United States under the title, Someone Knows My Name. Aminata Diallo was born free in Africa in the eighteenth century. She had a rich and lovely childhood until the day she was captured by slave traders and marched off to the coast in chains. Along with thousands of others, Aminata was destined for North America as a slave to white owners. She was eleven years old. Hill tracks Aminata’s story through the circle of her life. Every Bookclub-in-a-Box discussion guide includes complete coverage of the themes and symbols, writing style, and interesting background information on the novel and the author.

Empire of the Summer Moon: Quanah Parker and the Rise and Fall of the Comanches, the Most Powerful Indian Tribe in American History


S.C. Gwynne - 2010
    C. Gwynne’s 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 just how and 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. So effective were the Comanches that they forced the creation of the Texas Rangers and account for the advent of the new weapon specifically designed to fight them: the six-gun. 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—a historical feast for anyone interested in how the United States came into being. Against this backdrop Gwynne presents the compelling drama of Cynthia Ann Parker, a lovely nine-year-old girl with cornflower-blue eyes who was kidnapped by Comanches from the far Texas frontier in 1836. She grew to love her captors and became infamous as the "White Squaw" who refused to return until her tragic capture by Texas Rangers in 1860. More famous still was her son Quanah, a warrior who was never defeated and whose guerrilla wars in the Texas Panhandle made him a legend. S. C. Gwynne’s account of these events is meticulously researched, intellectually provocative, and, above all, thrillingly told.

Son of Hamas


Mosab Hassan Yousef - 2010
    The oldest son of Sheikh Hassan Yousef, a founding member of Hamas and its most popular leader, young Mosab assisted his father for years in his political activities while being groomed to assume his legacy, politics, status . . . and power. But everything changed when Mosab turned away from terror and violence, and embraced instead the teachings of another famous Middle East leader. In Son of Hamas, Mosab Yousef—now called “Joseph”—reveals new information about the world’s most dangerous terrorist organization and unveils the truth about his own role, his agonizing separation from family and homeland, the dangerous decision to make his newfound faith public, and his belief that the Christian mandate to “love your enemies” is the only way to peace in the Middle East.

Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming


Naomi Oreskes - 2010
    scientific community has long led the world in research on such areas as public health, environmental science, and issues affecting quality of life. Our scientists have produced landmark studies on the dangers of DDT, tobacco smoke, acid rain, and global warming. But at the same time, a small yet potent subset of this community leads the world in vehement denial of these dangers.Merchants of Doubt tells the story of how a loose-knit group of high-level scientists and scientific advisers, with deep connections in politics and industry, ran effective campaigns to mislead the public and deny well-established scientific knowledge over four decades. Remarkably, the same individuals surface repeatedly—some of the same figures who have claimed that the science of global warming is "not settled" denied the truth of studies linking smoking to lung cancer, coal smoke to acid rain, and CFCs to the ozone hole. "Doubt is our product," wrote one tobacco executive. These "experts" supplied it.Naomi Oreskes and Erik M. Conway, historians of science, roll back the rug on this dark corner of the American scientific community, showing how ideology and corporate interests, aided by a too-compliant media, have skewed public understanding of some of the most pressing issues of our era.

The Kennedy Detail: JFK's Secret Service Agents Break Their Silence


Gerald Blaine - 2010
    Kennedy, as told by the Secret Service agents who were firsthand witnesses to one of America’s greatest tragedies.The Secret Service. An elite team of men who share a single mission: to protect the president of the United States. On November 22, 1963, these men failed—and a country would never be the same. Now, for the first time, a member of JFK’s Secret Service detail reveals the inside story of the assassination, the weeks and days that led to it and its heartrending aftermath. This extraordinary book is a moving, intimate portrait of dedication, courage, and loss. Drawing on the memories of his fellow agents, Jerry Blaine captures the energetic, crowd-loving young president, who banned agents from his car and often plunged into raucous crowds with little warning. He describes the careful planning that went into JFK’s Texas swing, the worries and concerns that agents, working long hours with little food or rest, had during the trip. And he describes the intensely private first lady making her first-ever political appearance with her husband, just months after losing a newborn baby. Here are vivid scenes that could come only from inside the Kennedy detail: JFK’s last words to his tearful son when he left Washington for the last time; how a sudden change of weather led to the choice of the open-air convertible limousine that day; Mrs. Kennedy standing blood-soaked outside a Dallas hospital room; the sudden interruption of six-year-old Caroline’s long-anticipated sleepover with a friend at home; the exhausted team of agents immediately reacting to the president’s death with a shift to LBJ and other key governmental figures; the agents’ dismay at Jackie’s decision to walk openly from the White House to St. Matthew’s Cathedral at the state funeral. Most of all, this is a look into the lives of men who devoted their entire beings to protecting the presidential family: the stress of the secrecy they kept, the emotional bonds that developed, the terrible impact on agents’ psyches and families, and their astonishment at the country’s obsession with far-fetched conspiracy theories and finger-pointing. A book fifty years in coming, The Kennedy Detail is a portrait of incredible camaraderie and incredible heartbreak—a true, must-read story of heroism in its most complex and human form.

Semper Cool: One Marine's Fond Memories of Vietnam


Barry Fixler - 2010
    Marine Corps seeking adventure and his father's approval and finds both, plus more danger than he ever could have imagined. Barry Fixler gets molded into a Marine at Parris Island and sent to Vietnam, where he is assigned to a company that would soon etch its place in Marine Corps lore at the legendary Siege of Khe Sanh. With its vivid imagery, Semper Cool thrusts readers into a grunts-eye view of the blood, guts, tears and laughter of war, as told by a Marine who returned home a proud, patriotic man. Be prepared to laugh and cry and ultimately thank God for the men and women willing to sacrifice their lives for the freedoms that so many Americans enjoy.

The Other Side of History : Daily Life in the Ancient World


Robert Garland - 2010
    Over the course of 48 richly detailed lectures, Professor Garland covers the breadth and depth of human history from the perspective of the so-called ordinary people, from its earliest beginnings through the Middle Ages.The past truly comes alive as you take a series of imaginative leaps into the world of history's anonymous citizens, people such as a Greek soldier marching into battle in the front row of a phalanx; an Egyptian woman putting on makeup before attending an evening party with her husband; a Greek citizen relaxing at a drinking party with the likes of Socrates; a Roman slave captured in war and sent to work in the mines; and a Celtic monk scurrying away with the Book of Kells during a Viking invasion.Put yourself in the sandals of ordinary people and discover what it was like to be among history's 99%. What did these everyday people do for a living? What was their home like? What did they eat? What did they wear? What did they do to relax? What were their beliefs about marriage? Religion? The afterlife?This extraordinary journey takes you across space and time in an effort to be another person - someone with whom you might not think you have anything at all in common - and come away with an incredible sense of interconnectedness. You'll see the range of possibilities of what it means to be human, making this a journey very much worth taking.

Hero Found: The Greatest POW Escape of the Vietnam War


Bruce Henderson - 2010
    This amazing story of triumph over seemingly insurmountable odds has been filmed by Werner Herzog as both a documentary (Little Dieter Needs to Fly) and a motion picture (Rescue Dawn, starring Christian Bale), and now receives its book treatment from Bruce Henderson, who served with Dengler in Vietnam.

Alexander the Great


Philip Freeman - 2010
    The celebrated Macedonian king has been one of the most enduring figures in history. He was a general of such skill and renown that for two thousand years other great leaders studied his strategy and tactics, from Hannibal to Napoleon, with countless more in between. He flashed across the sky of history like a comet, glowing brightly and burning out quickly: crowned at age nineteen, dead by thirty-two. He established the greatest empire of the ancient world; Greek coins and statues are found as far east as Afghanistan. Our interest in him has never faded. Alexander was born into the royal family of Macedonia, the kingdom that would soon rule over Greece. Tutored as a boy by Aristotle, Alexander had an inquisitive mind that would serve him well when he faced formidable obstacles during his military campaigns. Shortly after taking command of the army, he launched an invasion of the Persian empire, and continued his conquests as far south as the deserts of Egypt and as far east as the mountains of present-day Pakistan and the plains of India. Alexander spent nearly all his adult life away from his homeland, and he and his men helped spread the Greek language throughout western Asia, where it would become the lingua franca of the ancient world. Within a short time after Alexander’s death in Baghdad, his empire began to fracture. Best known among his successors are the Ptolemies of Egypt, whose empire lasted until Cleopatra. In his lively and authoritative biography of Alexander, classical scholar and historian Philip Freeman describes Alexander’s astonishing achievements and provides insight into the mercurial character of the great conqueror. Alexander could be petty and magnanimous, cruel and merciful, impulsive and farsighted. Above all, he was ferociously, intensely competitive and could not tolerate losing—which he rarely did. As Freeman explains, without Alexander, the influence of Greece on the ancient world would surely not have been as great as it was, even if his motivation was not to spread Greek culture for beneficial purposes but instead to unify his empire. Only a handful of people have influenced history as Alexander did, which is why he continues to fascinate us.

The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery


Eric Foner - 2010
    Foner begins with Lincoln's youth in Indiana and Illinois and follows the trajectory of his career across an increasingly tense and shifting political terrain from Illinois to Washington, D.C. Although “naturally anti-slavery” for as long as he can remember, Lincoln scrupulously holds to the position that the Constitution protects the institution in the original slave states. But the political landscape is transformed in 1854 when the Kansas-Nebraska Act makes the expansion of slavery a national issue.A man of considered words and deliberate actions, Lincoln navigates the dynamic politics deftly, taking measured steps, often along a path forged by abolitionists and radicals in his party. Lincoln rises to leadership in the new Republican Party by calibrating his politics to the broadest possible antislavery coalition. As president of a divided nation and commander in chief at war, displaying a similar compound of pragmatism and principle, Lincoln finally embraces what he calls the Civil War's “fundamental and astounding” result: the immediate, uncompensated abolition of slavery and recognition of blacks as American citizens.Foner's Lincoln emerges as a leader, one whose greatness lies in his capacity for moral and political growth through real engagement with allies and critics alike. This powerful work will transform our understanding of the nation's greatest president and the issue that mattered most.

Dancing in the Glory of Monsters: The Collapse of the Congo and the Great War of Africa


Jason Stearns - 2010
    And yet, despite its epic proportions, it has received little sustained media attention. In this deeply reported book, Jason Stearns vividly tells the story of this misunderstood conflict through the experiences of those who engineered and perpetrated it. He depicts village pastors who survived massacres, the child soldier assassin of President Kabila, a female Hutu activist who relives the hunting and methodical extermination of fellow refugees, and key architects of the war that became as great a disaster as--and was a direct consequence of--the genocide in neighboring Rwanda. Through their stories, he tries to understand why such mass violence made sense, and why stability has been so elusive.Through their voices, and an astonishing wealth of knowledge and research, Stearns chronicles the political, social, and moral decay of the Congolese State.

The End of the Party: The Rise and Fall of New Labour


Andrew Rawnsley - 2010
    As one reviewer put it, 'Rawnsley's ability to unearth revelation at the highest level of government may leave you suspecting that there are bugs in the vases at Number 10'. "The End of the Party" is packed with more astonishing revelations as Rawnsley takes up the New Labour story from the day of its second election victory in 2001. There are riveting inside accounts of all the key events from 9/11 and the Iraq War to the financial crisis and the parliamentary expenses scandal; and entertaining portraits of the main players as Rawnsley takes us through the triumphs and tribulations of New Labour as well as the astonishing feuds and reconciliations between Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and Peter Mandelson. Drawing on hundreds of interviews and confidential conversations with those at the heart of power, Andrew Rawnsley provides the definitive account of the rise and fall of New Labour.

Game Change: Obama and the Clintons, McCain and Palin, and the Race of a Lifetime


John Heilemann - 2010
    For entertainment value, I put it up there with Catch 22.” —The Financial Times “It transports you to a parallel universe in which everything in the National Enquirer is true….More interesting is what we learn about the candidates themselves: their frailties, egos and almost super-human stamina.” —The Financial Times “I can’t put down this book!” —Stephen Colbert Game Change is the New York Times bestselling story of the 2008 presidential election, by John Heilemann and Mark Halperin, two of the best political reporters in the country. In the spirit of Richard Ben Cramer’s What It Takes and Theodore H. White’s The Making of the President 1960, this classic campaign trail book tells the defining story of a new era in American politics, going deeper behind the scenes of the Obama/Biden and McCain/Palin campaigns than any other account of the historic 2008 election.

The Boy Who Changed the World


Andy Andrews - 2010
    One day, Norman would grow up and use his knowledge of agriculture to save the lives of two billion people. Two billion! Norman changed the world!  Or was it Henry Wallace who changed the world?  Or maybe it was George Washington Carver?This engaging story reveals the incredible truth that everything we do matters! Based on The Butterfly Effect, Andy’s timeless tale shows children that even the smallest of our actions can affect all of humanity. The book is beautifully illustrated and shares the stories of Nobel Laureate Norman Borlaug, Vice President Henry Wallace, Inventor George Washington Carver, and Farmer Moses Carver. Through the stories of each, a different butterfly will appear. The book will end with a flourish of butterflies and a charge to the child that they, too, can be the boy or girl who changes the world.

The Crusades: The Authoritative History of the War for the Holy Land


Thomas Asbridge - 2010
    Thomas Asbridge—a renowned historian who writes with “maximum vividness” (Joan Acocella, The New Yorker)—covers the years 1095 to 1291 in this  big, ambitious, readable account of one of the most fascinating periods in history. From Richard the Lionheart to the mighty Saladin, from the emperors of Byzantium to the Knights Templar, Asbridge’s book is a magnificent epic of Holy War between the Christian and Islamic worlds, full of adventure, intrigue, and sweeping grandeur.

My Thoughts Be Bloody: The Bitter Rivalry Between Edwin and John Wilkes Booth That Led to an American Tragedy


Nora Titone - 2010
    The literal story of what happened on April 14, 1865, is familiar: Lincoln was killed by John Wilkes Booth, a lunatic enraged by the Union victory and the prospect of black citizenship. Yet who Booth really was—besides a killer—is less well known. The magnitude of his crime has obscured for generations a startling personal story that was integral to his motivation. My Thoughts Be Bloody, a sweeping family saga, revives an extraordinary figure whose name has been missing, until now, from the story of President Lincoln’s death. Edwin Booth, John Wilkes’s older brother by four years, was in his day the biggest star of the American stage. He won his celebrity at the precocious age of nineteen, before the Civil War began, when John Wilkes was a schoolboy. Without an account of Edwin Booth, author Nora Titone argues, the real story of Lincoln’s assassin has never been told. Using an array of private letters, diaries, and reminiscences of the Booth family, Titone has uncovered a hidden history that reveals the reasons why John Wilkes Booth became this country’s most notorious assassin. These ambitious brothers, born to theatrical parents, enacted a tale of mutual jealousy and resentment worthy of a Shakespearean tragedy. From childhood, the stage-struck brothers were rivals for the approval of their father, legendary British actor Junius Brutus Booth. After his death, Edwin and John Wilkes were locked in a fierce contest to claim his legacy of fame. This strange family history and powerful sibling rivalry were the crucibles of John Wilkes’s character, exacerbating his political passions and driving him into a life of conspiracy. To re-create the lost world of Edwin and John Wilkes Booth, this book takes readers on a panoramic tour of nineteenth-century America, from the streets of 1840s Baltimore to the gold fields of California, from the jungles of the Isthmus of Panama to the glittering mansions of Gilded Age New York. Edwin, ruthlessly competitive and gifted, did everything he could to lock his younger brother out of the theatrical game. As he came of age, John Wilkes found his plans for stardom thwarted by his older sibling’s meteoric rise. Their divergent paths—Edwin’s an upward race to riches and social prominence, and John’s a downward spiral into failure and obscurity—kept pace with the hardening of their opposite political views and their mutual dislike. The details of the conspiracy to kill Lincoln have been well documented elsewhere. My Thoughts Be Bloody tells a new story, one that explains for the first time why Lincoln’s assassin decided to conspire against the president in the first place, and sets that decision in the context of a bitterly divided family—and nation. By the end of this riveting journey, readers will see Abraham Lincoln’s death less as the result of the war between the North and South and more as the climax of a dark struggle between two brothers who never wore the uniform of soldiers, except on stage.

Islands of the Damned: A Marine at War in the Pacific


R.V. Burgin - 2010
     See R.V. Burgin in the award winning documentary film Peleliu 1944: Horror in the Pacific. Click here for more information. This is an eyewitness-and eye-opening-account of some of the most savage and brutal fighting in the war against Japan, told from the perspective of a young Texan who volunteered for the Marine Corps to escape a life as a traveling salesman. R.V. Burgin enlisted at the age of twenty, and with his sharp intelligence and earnest work ethic, climbed the ranks from a green private to a seasoned sergeant. Along the way, he shouldered a rifle as a member of a mortar squad. He saw friends die-and enemies killed. He saw scenes he wanted to forget but never did-from enemy snipers who tied themselves to branches in the highest trees, to ambushes along narrow jungle trails, to the abandoned corpses of hara kiri victims, to the final howling banzai attacks as the Japanese embraced their inevitable defeat. An unforgettable narrative of a young Marine in combat, Islands of the Damned brings to life the hell that was the Pacific War.

The Lost River: On The Trail of the Sarasvati


Michel Danino - 2010
    He has been a voracious scholar and an extensive researcher ever since, with his theory of “Indigenous Aryans” being critically acclaimed world over. This theory scrapes the previously propagated “Aryan Invasion theory” and its proponents, claiming that Aryans were not foreigners but they were indigenous to India. This theory is further supported by his research on the river Saraswati which is the sole point of focus of the book – The Lost River: On the trail of the Sarasvati.

Big Girls Don't Cry: The Election that Changed Everything for American Women


Rebecca Traister - 2010
    A woman won a state presidential primary contest (quite a few of them, actually) for the first time in this country's history. Less than a year later, a vice-presidential candidate concluded her appearance in a national debate and immediately reached for her newborn baby. A few months after that, an African American woman moved into the White House not as an employee but as the First Lady. She is only the third First Lady in American history to have a postgraduate degree, and for most of her marriage, she has out-earned her husband. In Big Girls Don't Cry, Rebecca Traister, a Salon.com columnist whose election coverage garnered much attention, makes sense of this moment in American history, in which women broke barriers and changed the country's narrative in completely unexpected ways: How did the volatile, exhilarating events of the 2008 election fit together? What lessons can be learned from these great political upheavals about women, politics, and the media? In an utterly engaging, razor-sharp narrative interlaced with her first-person account of being a young woman navigating this turbulent and exciting time, Traister explores how—thanks to the campaigns of Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin, and the history-making work and visibility of Michelle Obama, Tina Fey, Rachel Maddow, Katie Couric, and others—women began to emerge stronger than ever on the national stage.

How to Live: A Life of Montaigne in One Question and Twenty Attempts at An Answer


Sarah Bakewell - 2010
    They are all versions of a bigger question: how do you live? How do you do the good or honourable thing, while flourishing and feeling happy?This question obsessed Renaissance writers, none more than Michel Eyquem de Montaigne (1533-92), perhaps the first truly modern individual. A nobleman, public official and wine-grower, he wrote free-roaming explorations of his thought and experience, unlike anything written before. He called them 'essays', meaning 'attempts' or 'tries'. Into them he put whatever was in his head: his tastes in wine and food, his childhood memories, the way his dog's ears twitched when it was dreaming, as well as the appalling events of the religious civil wars raging around him. The Essays was an instant bestseller, and over four hundred years later, Montaigne's honesty and charm still draw people to him. Readers come to him in search of companionship, wisdom and entertainment — and in search of themselves.This book, a spirited and singular biography (and the first full life of Montaigne in English for nearly fifty years), relates the story of his life by way of the questions he posed and the answers he explored. It traces his bizarre upbringing (made to speak only Latin), youthful career and sexual adventures, his travels, and his friendships with the scholar and poet Etienne de La Boétie and with his adopted 'daughter', Marie de Gournay. And as we read, we also meet his readers — who for centuries have found in Montaigne an inexhaustible source of answers to the haunting question, 'how to live?'

Who Was Rosa Parks?


Yona Zeldis McDonough - 2010
    This seemingly small act triggered civil rights protests across America and earned Rosa Parks the title "Mother of the Civil Rights Movement." This biography has black-and-white illustrations throughout.

The Heresy of Orthodoxy: How Contemporary Culture's Fascination with Diversity Has Reshaped Our Understanding of Early Christianity


Andreas J. Köstenberger - 2010
    Spreading from academia into mainstream media, the suggestion that diversity of doctrine in the early church led to many competing orthodoxies is indicative of today's postmodern relativism. Authors KOstenberger and Kruger engage Ehrman and others in this polemic against a dogged adherence to popular ideals of diversity.KOstenberger and Kruger's accessible and careful scholarship not only counters the "Bauer Thesis" using its own terms, but also engages overlooked evidence from the New Testament. Their conclusions are drawn from analysis of the evidence of unity in the New Testament, the formation and closing of the canon, and the methodology and integrity of the recording and distribution of religious texts within the early church.

The German Genius: Europe's Third Renaissance, the Second Scientific Revolution, and the Twentieth Century


Peter Watson - 2010
    From Bach, Goethe, and Schopenhauer to Nietzsche, Freud, and Einstein, from the arts and humanities to science and philosophy, The German Genius is a lively and accessible review of over 250 years of German intellectual history. In the process, it explains the devastating effects of World War II, which transformed a vibrant and brilliantly artistic culture into a vehicle of warfare and destruction, and it shows how the German culture advanced in the war’s aftermath.

The Battle of Britain: Five Months That Changed History, May-October 1940


James Holland - 2010
    Had Britain's defences collapsed, Hitler would have dominated all of Europe and been able to turn his full attention east to the Soviet Union.The German invasion of France and the Low Countries in May 1940 was unlike any the world had ever seen. It hit with a force and aggression that no-one could counter and in just a few short weeks, all in their way crumbled under the force of the Nazi hammer blow. With France facing defeat and with British forces pressed back to the Channel, there were few who believed Britain could possibly survive.Soon, it seemed, Hitler would have all of Europe at his feet.Yet Hitler's forces were not quite the Goliath they at first seemed, while her leadership lacked the single-minded purpose, vision and direction that had led to such success on land.Nor was Britain any David.Thanks to a sophisticated defensive system and the combined efforts of the RAF, Royal Navy as well as the mounting sense of collective defiance led by a new Prime Minister, Britain was not ready to roll over just yet.From clashes between coastal convoys and Schnellboote in the Channel to astonishing last stands in Flanders, and from the slaughter by the U-boats in the icy Atlantic to the dramatic aerial battles over England, The Battle of Britain tells this most epic of stories from all sides, drawing on extensive new research from around the world. In so doing, it paints a complete picture of that extraordinary summer - a time in which the fate of the world truly hung by a thread.

Escape From Davao: The Forgotten Story of the Most Daring Prison Break of the Pacific War


John D. Lukacs - 2010
    The prisoners were survivors of the infamous Bataan Death March and the Fall of Corregidor, and the prison from which they escaped was surrounded by an impenetrable swamp and reputedly escape-proof.

Infinite City: A San Francisco Atlas


Rebecca Solnit - 2010
    Aided by artists, writers, cartographers, and twenty-two gorgeous color maps, each of which illuminates the city and its surroundings as experienced by different inhabitants, Solnit takes us on a tour that will forever change the way we think about place. She explores the area thematically—connecting, for example, Eadweard Muybridge’s foundation of motion-picture technology with Alfred Hitchcock’s filming of Vertigo. Across an urban grid of just seven by seven miles, she finds seemingly unlimited landmarks and treasures—butterfly habitats, queer sites, murders, World War II shipyards, blues clubs, Zen Buddhist centers. She roams the political terrain, both progressive and conservative, and details the cultural geographies of the Mission District, the culture wars of the Fillmore, the South of Market world being devoured by redevelopment, and much, much more. Breathtakingly original, this atlas of the imagination invites us to search out the layers of San Francisco that carry meaning for us—or to discover our own infinite city, be it Cleveland, Toulouse, or Shanghai.CONTRIBUTORS:Cartographers: Ben Pease and Shizue SeigelDesigner: Lia TjandraArtists: Sandow Birk, Mona Caron, Jaime Cortez, Hugh D'Andrade, Robert Dawson, Paz de la Calzada, Jim Herrington, Ira Nowinski, Alison Pebworth, Michael Rauner, Gent Sturgeon, Sunaura TaylorWriters and researchers: Summer Brenner, Adriana Camarena, Chris Carlsson, Lisa Conrad, Guillermo Gómez-Peña, Joshua Jelly-Schapiro, Paul La Farge, Genine Lentine, Stella Lochman, Aaron Shurin, Heather Smith, Richard WalkerAdditional cartography: Darin Jensen; Robin Grossinger and Ruth Askevold, San Francisco Estuary Institute

The Fall and Rise of China


Richard Baum - 2010
    Offering multilevel insight into one of the most astounding real-life dramas of modern history, The Fall and Rise of China weaves together the richly diverse developments and sociopolitical currents that created the China we now see in the headlines.As we enter what some are already calling the "Chinese century," the role of China is deeply fundamental to our reading of the direction of world civilization and history. In 48 penetrating lectures, The Fall and Rise of China takes you to the heart of the events behind China's new global presence, leaving you with a clear view of both the story itself and its critical implications for our world.Course Lecture Titles48 Lectures, 30 minutes per lecture 1. The Splendor That Was China, 600–1700 2. Malthus and Manchu Hubris, 1730–1800 3. Barbarians at the Gate, 1800–1860 4. Rural Misery and Rebellion, 1842–1860 5. The Self-Strengthening Movement, 1860–1890 6. Hundred Days of Reform and the Boxer Uprising 7. The End of Empire, 1900–1911 8. The Failed Republic, 1912–1919 9. The Birth of Chinese Communism, 1917–1925 10. Chiang, Mao, and Civil War, 1926–1934 11. The Republican Experiment, 1927–1937 12. "Resist Japan!" 1937–1945 13. Chiang's Last Stand, 1945–1949 14. "The Chinese People Have Stood Up!" 15. Korea, Taiwan, and the Cold War, 1950–1954 16. Socialist Transformation, 1953–1957 17. Cracks in the Monolith, 1957–1958 18. The Great Leap Forward, 1958–1960 19. Demise of the Great Leap Forward, 1959–1962 20. "Never Forget Class Struggle!" 1962–1965 21. "Long Live Chairman Mao!" 1964–1965 22. Mao's Last Revolution Begins, 1965–1966 23. The Children's Crusade, 1966–1967 24. The Storm Subsides, 1968–1969 25. The Sino-Soviet War of Nerves, 1964–1969 26. Nixon, Kissinger, and China, 1969–1972 27. Mao's Deterioration and Death, 1971–1976 28. The Legacy of Mao Zedong—An Appraisal 29. The Post-Mao Interregnum, 1976–1977 30. Hua Guofeng and the Four Modernizations 31. Deng Takes Command, 1978–1979 32. The Historic Third Plenum, 1978 33. The "Normalization" of U.S.-China Relations 34. Deng Consolidates His Power, 1979–1980 35. Socialist Democracy and the Rule of Law 36. Burying Mao, 1981–1983 37. "To Get Rich Is Glorious," 1982–1986 38. The Fault Lines of Reform, 1984–1987 39. The Road to Tiananmen, 1987–1989 40. The Empire Strikes Back, 1989 41. After the Deluge, 1989–1992 42. The "Roaring Nineties," 1992–1999 43. The Rise of Chinese Nationalism, 1993–2001 44. China's Lost Territories—Taiwan, Hong Kong 45. China in the New Millennium, 2000–2008 46. China's Information Revolution 47. "One World, One Dream"—The 2008 Olympics 48. China's Rise—The Sleeping Giant Stirs

Freedom Shift: 3 Choices to Reclaim America's Destiny


Oliver DeMille - 2010
    They are: 1. The Dominance of the Employee Mentality 2. The Two-Party Political Monopoly 3. The Industrial-Materialistic-Nationalized Mindset And the three choices that can overcome these deep problems are:1. A Revolution of Entrepreneurship 2. The Rise of the Independents 3. Building and Leading the New Tribes Political parties, big business and the media misunderstand, underestimate or ignore The Three Choices, and regular citizens and future generations stand to suffer the consequences. It is time for regular Americans, and others who support freedom around the world, to understand The Three Choices. When we do, expect a tectonic FreedomShift to sweep the nation and beyond.

Who Was Jackie Robinson?


Gail Herman - 2010
    And why not? He was a natural at football, basketball, and, of course, baseball. But beyond athletic skill, it was his strength of character that secured his place in sports history. In 1947 Jackie joined the Brooklyn Dodgers, breaking the long-time color barrier in major league baseball. It was tough being first- not only did "fans" send hate mail but some of his own teammates refused to accept him. Here is an inspiring sports biography, with black-and-white illustrations throughout.

Catherine of Aragon: The Spanish Queen of Henry VIII


Giles Tremlett - 2010
    Endowed with English royal blood on her mother's side, she was betrothed in infancy to Arthur, Prince of Wales, eldest son of Henry VII of England, an alliance that greatly benefited both sides. Yet Arthur died weeks after their marriage in 1501, and Catherine found herself remarried to his younger brother, soon to become Henry VIII. The history of England-and indeed of Europe-was forever altered by their union.Drawing on his deep knowledge of both Spain and England, Giles Tremlett has produced the first full biography in more than four decades of the tenacious woman whose marriage to Henry VIII lasted twice as long (twenty-four years) as his five other marriages combined. Her refusal to divorce him put her at the center of one of history's greatest power struggles, one that has resonated down through the centuries- Henry's break away from the Catholic Church as, bereft of a son, he attempted to annul his marriage to Catherine and wed Anne Boleyn. Catherine's daughter, Mary, would controversially inherit Henry's throne; briefly and bloodily, she returned England to the Catholicism of her mother's native Spain, foreshadowing the Spanish Armada some three decades later.From Catherine's peripatetic childhood at the glittering court of Ferdinand and Isabella to the battlefield at Flodden, where she, in Henry's absence abroad, led the English forces to victory against Scotland to her determination to remain queen and her last years in almost monastic isolation, Giles Tremlett vividly re-creates the life of a giant figure in the sixteenth century. Catherine of Aragon will take its place among the best of Tudor biography.

Nullification: How to Resist Federal Tyranny in the 21st Century


Thomas E. Woods Jr. - 2010
    But what can we do? Actually, we can just say “no.” As New York Times bestselling author Thomas E. Woods, Jr., explains, “nullification” allows states to reject unconstitutional federal laws. For many tea partiers nationwide, nullification is rapidly becoming the only way to stop an over-reaching government drunk on power. From privacy to national healthcare, Woods shows how this growing and popular movement is sweeping across America and empowering states to take action against Obama’s socialist policies and big-government agenda.

Hero: The Life and Legend of Lawrence of Arabia


Michael Korda - 2010
    Lawrence (1888-1935) first won fame for his writings and his participation in the British-sponsored Arab Revolt of WWI, but the adventurer known even in his day as "Lawrence of Arabia" is remembered today mostly as the subject of the 1962 film masterpiece based on his life. This splendid page-turner revitalizes this protean, enigmatic adventurer. That this colorful British scholar/Middle East warrior deserves a better fate is demonstrated amply in Michael Kordas' authoritative 784-page biography. Exciting, well-written, and relevant.699 pages of text, 762 with notes

Why the West Rules—for Now: The Patterns of History, and What They Reveal About the Future


Ian Morris - 2010
    The emergence of factories, railroads, and gunboats propelled the West’s rise to power in the nineteenth century, and the development of computers and nuclear weapons in the twentieth century secured its global supremacy. Now, at the beginning of the twenty-first century, many worry that the emerging economic power of China and India spells the end of the West as a superpower. In order to understand this possibility, we need to look back in time. Why has the West dominated the globe for the past two hundred years, and will its power last?Describing the patterns of human history, the archaeologist and historian Ian Morris offers surprising new answers to both questions. It is not, he reveals, differences of race or culture, or even the strivings of great individuals, that explain Western dominance. It is the effects of geography on the everyday efforts of ordinary people as they deal with crises of resources, disease, migration, and climate. As geography and human ingenuity continue to interact, the world will change in astonishing ways, transforming Western rule in the process.Deeply researched and brilliantly argued, Why the West Rules—for Now spans fifty thousand years of history and offers fresh insights on nearly every page. The book brings together the latest findings across disciplines—from ancient history to neuroscience—not only to explain why the West came to rule the world but also to predict what the future will bring in the next hundred years.

Washington: A Life


Ron Chernow - 2010
    With a breadth and depth matched by no other one-volume life, he carries the reader through Washington's troubled boyhood, his precocious feats in the French and Indian Wars, his creation of Mount Vernon, his heroic exploits with the Continental Army, his presiding over the Constitutional Convention and his magnificent performance as America's first president.Despite the reverence his name inspires Washington remains a waxwork to many readers, worthy but dull, a laconic man of remarkable self-control. But in this groundbreaking work Chernow revises forever the uninspiring stereotype. He portrays Washington as a strapping, celebrated horseman, elegant dancer and tireless hunter, who guarded his emotional life with intriguing ferocity. Not only did Washington gather around himself the foremost figures of the age, including James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson, he orchestrated their actions to help realise his vision for the new federal government, define the separation of powers, and establish the office of the presidency.Ron Chernow takes us on a page-turning journey through all the formative events of America's founding. This is a magisterial work from one of America's foremost writers and historians.In Washington: A Life biographer Ron Chernow provides a richly nuanced portrait of the father of our nation. With a breadth & depth matched by no other one-volume life, this crisply paced narrative carries readers thru his troubled boyhood, his precocious feats in the French & Indian War, his creation of Mt Vernon, his heroic exploits with the Continental Army, his presiding over the Constitutional Convention & his performance as the 1st president. Despite the reverence his name inspires, Washington remains a lifeless waxwork for many, worthy but dull. A laconic man of granite self-control, he often arouses more respect than affection. This work, based on massive research, dashes the stereotype of a stolid, unemotional man. A strapping 6', Washington was a celebrated horseman, elegant dancer & tireless hunter, with a fiercely guarded emotional life. Chernow brings to vivid life a dashing, passionate man of fiery opinions & many moods. Probing his private life, he explores his fraught relationship with his crusty mother, his youthful infatuation with the married Sally Fairfax & his often conflicted feelings toward his adopted children & grandchildren. He also provides a portrait of his marriage to Martha & his complex behavior as a slave master. At the same time this is an astute portrait of a canny politician who knew how to inspire people. Not only did Washington gather around himself the foremost figures of the age, including Madison, Hamilton, Adams & Jefferson, but he also orchestrated their actions to shape the new federal government, define the separation of powers & establish the office of the presidency. This biography takes us on a page-turning journey thru the formative events of America's founding. With a dramatic sweep worthy of its subject, this is a magisterial work from an elegant storyteller.

Caravaggio: A Life Sacred and Profane


Andrew Graham-Dixon - 2010
    The worlds of Milan and Rome through which Caravaggio moved and which Andrew Graham-Dixon describes brilliantly in this book, are those of cardinals and prostitutes, prayer and violence. Graham-Dixon puts the murder of a pimp, Ranuccio Tomassoni, at the centre of his story. It occurred at the height of Caravaggio’s fame in Rome and probably brought about his flight through Malta and Sicily, which led to his death in suspicious circumstances off the coast of Naples. Graham-Dixon shows how Caravaggio’s paintings emerged from this extraordinarily wild and troubled life: his detailed readings of them explain their originality and Caravaggio’s mentality better than any of his predecessors.

Red Blood, Black Sand: with John Basilone on Iwo Jima


Chuck Tatum - 2010
    “Red Blood, Black Sand,” is Chuck’s true story, his first-hand account of Iwo Jima, the Marine Corps’ most savage battle. Best-selling author/historian Stephen E. Ambrose praised “Red Blood, Black Sand,” saying, “In my judgment no combat veterans’ memoir is better . . . and only a handful are equal.” Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg agreed, and bought the rights to use “Red Blood, Black Sand” as a credited source for their new, $200-million-dollar HBO mini-series, “The Pacific.” In addition, they made Chuck Tatum a central character of the series, portrayed by actor Ben Esler. “Red Blood, Black Sand,” transports the reader back to 1944, when the Marine Corps built a fresh division, the 5th, for an apocalyptic battle: Iwo Jima. This gripping narrative follows Chuck’s life-or-death training at Camp Pendleton where Chuck learned machine guns, the tools of his trade, from his new mentor: Medal of Honor recipient John Basilone. Chuck’s colorful storytelling takes the reader on his voyage overseas, from the raucous port of Pearl Harbor with its gambling, gals, and tattoos, to the island of death itself, where Chuck hit the black sand beach of Iwo Jima, an 18-year-old Marine machine gunner in the climactic battle of the war. This is the story of Chuck’s two weeks in hell, where he fought alongside Basilone and watched his hero fall, where enemy infiltrators stalked the night and snipers haunted the day, and where Chuck would see his friends whittled away in an ear-shattering, earth-shaking, meat grinder of a battle.Before the end, Chuck would find himself, like his hero Basilone, standing alone, blind with rage, firing a machine gun from the hip, while in a personal battle to keep his sanity. This is the island, the heroes, and the tragedy of Iwo Jima, through the eyes of the battle’s greatest storyteller, Chuck Tatum. Includes new bonus chapters: “Chuck’s thoughts on The Pacific series” and actor Ben Esler’s “On Set Memories of Portraying Chuck Tatum.”

Art: The Whole Story


Stephen Farthing - 2010
    It’s a bargain, too – Sunday TimesThis comprehensive, vibrant book leads you through the world’s iconic images – those that we encounter every time we open a newspaper, visit a gallery, or look at the front cover of a novel.Art: The Whole Story traces the development of art period by period, with the illustrated text covering every genre, from painting and sculpture to conceptual art and performance art. Cultural timelines are there too, to help to the reader with historical context.• The most accessible history of world art ever assembled• More than 1,100 colour illustrations of iconic pieces• Covers every genre of art, from painting and sculpture to conceptual art• Designed in an easily navigable and user-friendly fashionWritten by an international team of artists, art historians and curators, this absorbing and beautiful book will give you insight into the world’s most iconic images.Masterpieces that epitomize each period or movement are highlighted and analysed in detail. Everything from use of colour and visual metaphors to technical innovations is explained, enabling you to interpret the meanings of world-famous masterpieces – Mughal miniatures; Japanese prints in the nineteenth century; the colour theories behind Seurat’s remarkable La Grande Jatte; and why Picasso’s Les Demoiselles D’Avignon was so shocking in its day.

Appetite for America: How Visionary Businessman Fred Harvey Built a Railroad Hospitality Empire That Civilized the Wild West


Stephen Fried - 2010
    Now award-winning journalist Stephen Fried re-creates the life of this unlikely American hero, the founding father of the nation’s service industry, whose remarkable family business civilized the West and introduced America to Americans.Appetite for America is the incredible real-life story of Fred Harvey—told in depth for the first time ever—as well as the story of this country’s expansion into the Wild West of Bat Masterson and Billy the Kid, of the great days of the railroad, of a time when a deal could still be made with a handshake and the United States was still uniting. As a young immigrant, Fred Harvey worked his way up from dishwasher to household name: He was Ray Kroc before McDonald’s, J. Willard Marriott before Marriott Hotels, Howard Schultz before Starbucks. His eating houses and hotels along the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe railroad (including historic lodges still in use at the Grand Canyon) were patronized by princes, presidents, and countless ordinary travelers looking for the best cup of coffee in the country. Harvey’s staff of carefully screened single young women—the celebrated Harvey Girls—were the country’s first female workforce and became genuine Americana, even inspiring an MGM musical starring Judy Garland.With the verve and passion of Fred Harvey himself, Stephen Fried tells the story of how this visionary built his business from a single lunch counter into a family empire whose marketing and innovations we still encounter in myriad ways. Inspiring, instructive, and hugely entertaining, Appetite for America is historical biography that is as richly rewarding as a slice of fresh apple pie—and every bit as satisfying.

The Memory Chalet


Tony Judt - 2010
    Each essay charts some experience or remembrance of the past through the sieve of Tony Judt s prodigious mind. His youthful love of a particular London bus route evolves into a reflection on public civility and interwar urban planning. Memories of the 1968 student riots of Paris meander through the divergent sex politics of Europe, before concluding that his generation was a revolutionary generation, but missed the revolution. A series of road trips across America lead not just to an appreciation of American history, but to an eventual acquisition of citizenship. Foods and trains and long-lost smells all compete for Judt s attention; but for us, he has forged his reflections into an elegant arc of analysis. All as simply and beautifully arranged as a Swiss chalet—a reassuring refuge deep in the mountains of memory.

Lies the Government Told You: Myth, Power, and Deception in American History


Andrew P. Napolitano - 2010
    America is the land of the free, after all. Does it really matter whether our politicians bend the truth here and there?When the truth is traded for lies, our freedoms are diminished and don't return.In Lies the Government Told You, Judge Andrew P. Napolitano reveals how America's freedom, as guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution, has been forfeited by a government more protective of its own power than its obligations to preserve our individual liberties."Judge Napolitano's tremendous knowledge of American law, history, and politics, as well as his passion for freedom, shines through in Lies the Government Told You , as he details how throughout American history, politicians and government officials have betrayed the ideals of personal liberty and limited government."--Congressman Ron Paul, M.D. (R-TX), from the Foreword

40: A Doonesbury Retrospective


G.B. Trudeau - 2010
    met his inept and geeky roommate, Mike Doonesbury. Over the months that followed, they were joined by campus radical “Megaphone Mark,” Boopsie, Zonker, and on and on. Fourteen thousand strips later, the world of Doonesbury has become a unique and remarkable creation, sustained by a vast and intricately woven web of relationships among 40 major characters, spanning three generations. While chronicling his characters’ entanglements and intimacies, G. B. Trudeau developed a keen satirical commentary that has ambitiously and relentlessly carved out an indelible record of four decades of American social and political history. The comic strip, like jazz and rock and roll, is an American form, and Trudeau has expanded it boldly and fearlessly, taking it into new realms. An epic unfolding, the Doonesbury saga constantly entices readers to keep up with its ever-evolving cast and endlessly inventive story lines. Trudeau remains fully engaged in the creation of his far-from-complete magnum opus. This massive yet elegant anniversary volume marks the strip’s fourth decade by examining in depth the characters and relationships that have given Doonesbury such vitality and resilience, and allowed it to constantly reinvigorate itself. The book opens with an in-depth introductory essay by G. B. Trudeau in which he surveys his sprawling creation as only he could, followed by brief word-and-picture portraits of all the principle players. The collection’s core consists of more than 1,800 beautifully displayed strips—dailies and Sundays—that chart key adventures and cast connections over the last four decades. Dropped in throughout this rolling narrative are 20 detailed essays in which Trudeau contemplates individual characters or bonded groups of characters, including portraits of ur-folk such as Duke and Honey, Zonker, Joanie, and Rev. Sloan, as well as those who have joined the cast more recently, such as Zipper, Alex, and Toggle. The centerpiece of the volume is a four-page foldout diagram that maps in great and annotated colorful detail the mind-boggling matrix of character relationships. A feast of storytelling and a clarifying overview, this celebratory tome offers a unique way to experience one of the greatest comic strips ever.Created by the team that brought you The Complete Far Side and The Complete Calvin and Hobbes, this massive-yet-elegant celebratory anthology marks Doonesbury's 40th anniversary by examining in depth the characters that have given the strip such vitality. On October 26, 1970, college jock B.D. met his inept and geeky roommate, Mike. Fourteen thousand strips later, the world of Doonesbury has grown uniquely vast, sustained by an intricately woven web of relationships--over 40 major characters spanning three generations. This book opens with an in-depth essay in which G. B. Trudeau surveys his sprawling creation as only he could. The volume's 1,800 beautifully displayed strips chronicle the key adventures and path crossings of the ever-evolving cast, from ur-characters such as Zonker, Joanie, Duke, and Honey, to relative newcomers such as Zipper, Alex, and Toggle. Dropped in throughout are 18 detailed essays in which Trudeau contemplates individual characters and groups of characters.The book's literal centerpiece is a four-page foldout that maps in annotated detail the mind-boggling matrix of relationships. A feast of storytelling and a clarifying overview, 40: A Doonesbury Retrospective offers a unique way to experience one of the greatest comic strips ever.

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks


Rebecca Skloot - 2010
    She was a poor Southern tobacco farmer who worked the same land as her slave ancestors, yet her cells—taken without her knowledge—became one of the most important tools in medicine. The first “immortal” human cells grown in culture, they are still alive today, though she has been dead for more than sixty years. If you could pile all HeLa cells ever grown onto a scale, they’d weigh more than 50 million metric tons—as much as a hundred Empire State Buildings. HeLa cells were vital for developing the polio vaccine; uncovered secrets of cancer, viruses, and the atom bomb’s effects; helped lead to important advances like in vitro fertilization, cloning, and gene mapping; and have been bought and sold by the billions.Yet Henrietta Lacks remains virtually unknown, buried in an unmarked grave.Now Rebecca Skloot takes us on an extraordinary journey, from the “colored” ward of Johns Hopkins Hospital in the 1950s to stark white laboratories with freezers full of HeLa cells; from Henrietta’s small, dying hometown of Clover, Virginia — a land of wooden slave quarters, faith healings, and voodoo — to East Baltimore today, where her children and grandchildren live and struggle with the legacy of her cells.Henrietta’s family did not learn of her “immortality” until more than twenty years after her death, when scientists investigating HeLa began using her husband and children in research without informed consent. And though the cells had launched a multimillion-dollar industry that sells human biological materials, her family never saw any of the profits. As Rebecca Skloot so brilliantly shows, the story of the Lacks family — past and present — is inextricably connected to the dark history of experimentation on African Americans, the birth of bioethics, and the legal battles over whether we control the stuff we are made of.Over the decade it took to uncover this story, Rebecca became enmeshed in the lives of the Lacks family—especially Henrietta’s daughter Deborah, who was devastated to learn about her mother’s cells. She was consumed with questions: Had scientists cloned her mother? Did it hurt her when researchers infected her cells with viruses and shot them into space? What happened to her sister, Elsie, who died in a mental institution at the age of fifteen? And if her mother was so important to medicine, why couldn’t her children afford health insurance?Intimate in feeling, astonishing in scope, and impossible to put down, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks captures the beauty and drama of scientific discovery, as well as its human consequences.

A Time to Betray: The Astonishing Double Life of a CIA Agent Inside the Revolutionary Guards of Iran


Reza Kahlili - 2010
    It is a human story, a chronicle of family and friendships torn apart by a terror-mongering regime, and how the adult choices of three childhood mates during the Islamic Republic yielded divisive and tragic fates. And it is the stunningly courageous account of one man’s decades-long commitment to lead a shocking double life informing on the beloved country of his birth, a place that once offered the promise of freedom and enlightenment—but instead ruled by murderous violence and spirit-crushing oppression.Reza Kahlili grew up in Tehran surrounded by his close-knit family and two spirited boyhood friends. The Iran of his youth allowed Reza to think and act freely, and even indulge a penchant for rebellious pranks in the face of the local mullahs. His political and personal freedoms flourished while he studied computer science at the University of Southern California in the 1970s. But his carefree time in America was cut short with the sudden death of his father, and Reza returned home to find a country on the cusp of change. The revolution of 1979 plunged Iran into a dark age of religious fundamentalism under the Ayatollah Khomeini, and Reza, clinging to the hope of a Persian Renaissance, joined the Revolutionary Guards, an elite force at the beck and call of the Ayatollah. But as Khomeini’s tyrannies unfolded, as his fellow countrymen turned on each other, and after the horror he witnessed inside Evin Prison, a shattered and disillusioned Reza returned to America to dangerously become “Wally,” a spy for the CIA.In the wake of an Iranian election that sparked global outrage, at a time when Iran’s nuclear program holds the world’s anxious attention, the revelations inside A Time to Betray could not be more powerful or timely. Now resigned from his secretive life to reclaim precious time with his loved ones, Reza Kahlili documents scenes from history with heart-wrenching clarity, as he supplies vital information from the Iran-Iraq War, the Marine barracks bombings in Beirut, the catastrophes of Pan Am Flight 103, the scandal of the Iran-Contra affair, and more . . . a chain of incredible events that culminates in a nation’s fight for freedom that continues to this very day. A TIME TO BETRAY was the winner of The National Best Books 2010 Awards for Non-Fiction Narrative. It was also honored as the “Finalist” in the “Autobiography/Memoirs” category. It is now part of JCITA’s (Joint Counterintelligence Training Academy of DOD) Iranian Program’s readings.

Guruji: A Portrait of Sri K. Pattabhi Jois Through the Eyes of His Students


Guy Donahaye - 2010
    Sri K. Pattabhi Jois was such a soul, and through his teaching of yoga, he transformed the lives of countless people. The school in Mysore that he founded and ran for more than sixty years trained students who, through the knowledge they received and their devotion, have helped to spread the daily practice of traditional Ashtanga yoga to tens of thousands around the world.Guruji paints a unique portrait of a unique man, revealed through the accounts of his students. Among the thirty men and women interviewed here are Indian students from Jois's early teaching days; intrepid Americans and Europeans who traveled to Mysore to learn yoga in the 1970s; and important family members who studied as well as lived with Jois and continue to practice and teach abroad or run the Ashtanga Yoga Institute today. Many of the contributors (as well as the authors) are influential teachers who convey their experience of Jois every day to students in many different parts of the globe.Anyone interested in the living tradition of yoga will find Guruji richly rewarding.

75 Years Of DC Comics. The Art of Modern Mythmaking


Paul Levitz - 2010
    1, the first comic book with all-new, original material—at a time when comic books were mere repositories for the castoffs of the newspaper strips. What was initially considered to be disposable media for children was well on its way to becoming the mythology of our time—the 20th century’s answer to Atlas or Zorro. More than 40,000 comic books later, in honor of the publisher’s 75th anniversary, TASCHEN has produced the single most comprehensive book on DC Comics, in an XL edition even Superman might have trouble lifting. More than 2,000 images—covers and interiors, original illustrations, photographs, film stills, and collectibles—are reproduced using the latest technology to bring the story lines, the characters, and their creators to vibrant life as they’ve never been seen before. Telling the tales behind the tomes is 38-year DC veteran Paul Levitz, whose in-depth essays trace the company’s history, from its pulp origins through to the future of digital publishing.Year-by-year timelines that fold out to nearly four feet and biographies of the legends who built DC make this an invaluable reference for any comic book fan.

A Company of Heroes: Personal Memories about the Real Band of Brothers and the Legacy They Left Us


Marcus Brotherton - 2010
     Compiled from the veterans' notes, journals, letters, photographs, and the author's personally conducted interviews with the surviving contributors, this unique volume features the never-before-told stories of the Band of Brothers from more than twenty children and other family members.Watch a Video

Let Me Whisper You My Story


Moya Simons - 2010
    Life is good, and revolves around Sabbath meals shared with her happy family.With the outbreak of World War II, their lives are changed. the family are forced to move from their comfortable home into cramped housing, and when the Nazis arrive to finally take the family away they don't know what is to become of them. But Rachel's father gives her instructions that save her life. He also tells her not to speak. Rachel remains quiet for the rest of the war, but what happened to her family? Will Rachel regain her voice now that she really needs it? Ages: 9 - 13

Candy Bomber: The Story of the Berlin Airlift's "Chocolate Pilot"


Michael O. Tunnell - 2010
    US Air Force Lieutenant Gail S. Halvorsen knew the children of the city were suffering. To lift their spirits, he began dropping chocolate and gum by parachute.Michael O. Tunnell tells an inspiring tale of candy and courage, illustrated with Lt. Halvorsen's personal photographs, as well as letters and drawings from the children of Berlin to their beloved "Uncle Wiggly Wings."

Berlin at War: Life and Death in Hitler's Capital, 1939-45


Roger Moorhouse - 2010
    It was the launching pad for Hitler's empire, the embodiment of his vision of a world metropolis. Berlin was also the place where Hitler's Reich would ultimately fall. Berlin suffered more air raids than any other German city and endured the full force of a Soviet siege. In Berlin at War, historian Roger Moorhouse uses diaries, memoirs, and interviews to provide a searing first-hand account of life and death in the Nazi capital -- the privations, the hopes and fears, and the nonconformist tradition that saw some Berliners provide underground succor to the city's remaining Jews. Combining comprehensive research with gripping narrative, Berlin at War is the incredible story of the city -- and people -- that saw the whole of World War II.

The Fathers Know Best: Your Essential Guide to the Teachings of the Early Church


Jimmy Akin - 2010
    It is specially designed to make it easy for you to find the information you want and need. Amazing features in this fact-packed book include:More than 900 quotations from the writings of the early Church Fathers, as well as from rare and important documents dating back to the dawn of Christian history.Mini-biographies of nearly 100 Fathers, as well as descriptions of dozens of key early councils and writings.A concise history of the dramatic spread of Christianity after Jesus told his disciples to evangelize all nations.Special maps showing you where the Fathers lived, including many little-known and long-vanished locations.A guide to nearly 30 ancient heresies, many of which have returned to haunt the modern world.The Fathers' teaching on nearly 50 topics, including modern hot-button issues like abortion, homosexuality, and divorce.This groundbreaking work presents the teachings of the early Christians in a way unlike any other book. It flings open the doors of the crucial but little-known age covering the birth of Christianity and the triumphant march of the gospel throughout the ancient world.

Freedom Summer: The Savage Season of 1964 That Made Mississippi Burn and Made America a Democracy


Bruce Watson - 2010
    But by the time their first night in the state had ended, three volunteers were dead, black churches had burned, and America had a new definition of freedom. This remarkable chapter in American history, the basis for the controversial film Mississippi Burning, is now the subject of Bruce Watson's thoughtful and riveting historical narrative. Using in- depth interviews with participants and residents, Watson brilliantly captures the tottering legacy of Jim Crow in Mississippi and the chaos that brought such national figures as Martin Luther King Jr. and Pete Seeger to the state. Freedom Summer presents finely rendered portraits of the courageous black citizens-and Northern volunteers-who refused to be intimidated in their struggle for justice, and the white Mississippians who would kill to protect a dying way of life. Few books have provided such an intimate look at race relations during the deadliest days of the Civil Rights movement, and Freedom Summer will appeal to readers of Taylor Branch and Doug Blackmon.

100 Dresses: The Costume Institute / The Metropolitan Museum of Art


Harold Koda - 2010
    Ranging from the buttoned-up gowns of the late 17th century to the cutting-edge designs of the early 21st, the dresses reflect the sensibilities and excesses of each era while providing a vivid picture of how styles have changed—sometimes radically—over the years. A late 1600s wool dress with a surprising splash of silver thread; a large-bustled red satin dress from the 1800s; a short, shimmery 1920s dancing dress; a glamorous 1950s cocktail dress; and a 1960s minidress—each tells a story about its period and serves as a testament to the enduring ingenuity of the fashion designer’s art.Images of the dresses are accompanied by informative text and enhanced by close-up details as well as runway photos, fashion plates, works of art, and portraits of designers. A glossary of related terms is also included.

The Speech: A Historic Filibuster on Corporate Greed and the Decline of Our Middle Class


Bernie Sanders - 2010
    It turned out to be a very long speech, lasting over eight & a half hours. It hit a nerve. Millions followed the speech online until the traffic crashed the Senate server. A huge, positive grassroots response tied up the phones in the senator's offices in Vermont & Washington. Pres. Obama reportedly held an impromptu press conference with former Pres. Clinton to deflect media attention away from Sanders' speech. Editorials & news coverage appeared throughout the world. In his speech, Sanders blasted the agreement that President Obama struck with Republicans, which extended the Bush tax cuts for millionaires & billionaires, lowered estate tax rates for the very, very rich, & set a terrible precedent by establishing a "payroll tax holiday" diverting revenue away from the Social Security Trust Fund, threatening the fund's very future. But the speech was more than a critique of a particular piece of legislation. It was a dissection of the collapse of the American middle class & a well-researched attack on corporate greed & on public policy which, over the last several decades, has led to a huge growth in millionaires even as the US has the highest rate of childhood poverty in the industrialized world. It was a plea for a fundamental change in national priorities, for government policy that reflects the needs of working families, not just the wealthy & their lobbyists. Finally, Sanders' speech--published here in its entirety with a new introduction by the senator--is a call for action. It's a passionate statement informing us that the only people who will save the middle class of this country is the middle class itself, but only if it's informed, organized & prepared to take on the enormously powerful special interests dominating Washington. Sen. Sanders is the longest-serving Independent in the history of the US Congress. He's represented Vermont in the Senate for four years & in the House for sixteen years. He served four terms as Mayor of Burlington, VT, during which time the city was recognized as one of the most livable cities in America.

Deadliest Sea: The Untold Story Behind the Greatest Rescue in Coast Guard History


Kalee Thompson - 2010
    Coast Guard history. Recounting the tragic sinking of the fishing trawler, Alaska Ranger, in the Bering Sea and its remarkable aftermath in March 2008, Deadliest Sea is real life action and adventure at its finest. The full story of an amazing rescue—where extraordinary courage, ingenuity, will, and technology combined in one of the most remarkable maritime feats ever recorded—has never been told before now. It’s The Perfect Storm meets Deadliest Catch.

The Bridge: The Life and Rise of Barack Obama


David Remnick - 2010
    Those familiar with Obama’s own best-selling memoir or his campaign speeches know the touchstones and details that he chooses to emphasize, but now—from a writer whose gift for illuminating the historical significance of unfolding events is without peer—we have a portrait, at once masterly and fresh, nuanced and unexpected, of a young man in search of himself, and of a rising politician determined to become the first African-American president.The Bridge offers the most complete account yet of Obama’s tragic father, a brilliant economist who abandoned his family and ended his life as a beaten man; of his mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, who had a child as a teenager and then built her career as an anthropologist living and studying in Indonesia; and of the succession of elite institutions that first exposed Obama to the social tensions and intellectual currents that would force him to imagine and fashion an identity for himself. Through extensive on-the-record interviews with friends and teachers, mentors and disparagers, family members and Obama himself, David Remnick allows us to see how a rootless, unaccomplished, and confused young man created himself first as a community organizer in Chicago, an experience that would not only shape his urge to work in politics but give him a home and a community, and that would propel him to Harvard Law School, where his sense of a greater mission emerged.Deftly setting Obama’s political career against the galvanizing intersection of race and politics in Chicago’s history, Remnick shows us how that city’s complex racial legacy would make Obama’s forays into politics a source of controversy and bare-knuckle tactics: his clashes with older black politicians in the Illinois State Senate, his disastrous decision to challenge the former Black Panther Bobby Rush for Congress in 2000, the sex scandals that would decimate his more experienced opponents in the 2004 Senate race, and the story—from both sides—of his confrontation with his former pastor, Jeremiah Wright. By looking at Obama’s political rise through the prism of our racial history, Remnick gives us the conflicting agendas of black politicians: the dilemmas of men like Jesse Jackson, John Lewis, and Joseph Lowery, heroes of the civil rights movement, who are forced to reassess old loyalties and understand the priorities of a new generation of African-American leaders.The Bridge revisits the American drama of race, from slavery to civil rights, and makes clear how Obama’s quest is not just his own but is emblematic of a nation where destiny is defined by individuals keen to imagine a future that is different from the reality of their current lives.

In the Midst of Life


Jennifer Worth - 2010
    Interspersed with these stories from Jennifer's post-midwife career are the histories of her patients, from the family divided by a decision nobody could bear to make, to the mother who comes to her son's adopted country and joins his family without being able to speak a word of English.

Scorpions: The Battles and Triumphs of FDR's Great Supreme Court Justices


Noah Feldman - 2010
    A Klansman who became an absolutist advocate of free speech and civil rights. A backcountry lawyer who started off trying cases about cows and went on to conduct the most important international trial ever. A self-invented, tall-tale Westerner who narrowly missed the presidency but expanded individual freedom beyond what anyone before had dreamed. Four more different men could hardly be imagined. Yet they had certain things in common. Each was a self-made man who came from humble beginnings on the edge of poverty. Each had driving ambition and a will to succeed. Each was, in his own way, a genius. They began as close allies and friends of FDR, but the quest to shape a new Constitution led them to competition and sometimes outright warfare. SCORPIONS tells the story of these four great justices: their relationship with Roosevelt, with each other, and with the turbulent world of the Great Depression, World War II, and the Cold War. It also serves as a history of the modern Constitution itself.

Road Of Bones: The Siege Of Kohima 1944 The Epic Story Of The Last Great Stand Of Empire


Fergal Keane - 2010
    In this remote Indian village near the border with Burma, a tiny force of British and Indian troops faced the might of the Imperial Japanese Army. Outnumbered ten to one, the defenders fought the Japanese hand to hand in a battle that was amongst the most savage in modern warfare.A garrison of no more than 1,500 fighting men, desperately short of water and with the wounded compelled to lie in the open, faced a force of 15,000 Japanese. They held the pass and prevented a Japanese victory that would have proved disastrous for the British. Another six weeks of bitter fighting followed as British and Indian reinforcements strove to drive the enemy out of India. When the battle was over, a Japanese army that had invaded India on a mission of imperial conquest had suffered the worst defeat in its history. Thousands of men lay dead on a devastated landscape, while tens of thousands more Japanese starved in a catastrophic retreat eastwards. They called the journey back to Burma the ‘Road of Bones’, as friends and comrades committed suicide or dropped dead from hunger along the jungle paths.Fergal Keane has reported for the BBC from conflicts on every continent over the past 25 years, and he brings to this work of history not only rigorous scholarship but a raw understanding of the pitiless nature of war. It is a story filled with vivid characters: the millionaire's son who refused a commission and was awarded a VC for his sacrifice in battle, the Roedean debutante who led a guerrilla band in the jungle, and the General who defied the orders of a hated superior in order to save the lives of his men. Based on original research in Japan, Britain and India, ‘Road of Bones’ is a story about extraordinary courage and the folly of imperial dreams.

The Condemnation of Blackness: Race, Crime, and the Making of Modern Urban America


Khalil Gibran Muhammad - 2010
    We know less about the role of the urban North in shaping views of race and crime in American society.Following the 1890 census, the first to measure the generation of African Americans born after slavery, crime statistics, new migration and immigration trends, and symbolic references to America as the promised land of opportunity were woven into a cautionary tale about the exceptional threat black people posed to modern urban society. Excessive arrest rates and overrepresentation in northern prisons were seen by many whites--liberals and conservatives, northerners and southerners--as indisputable proof of blacks' inferiority. In the heyday of "separate but equal," what else but pathology could explain black failure in the "land of opportunity"?The idea of black criminality was crucial to the making of modern urban America, as were African Americans' own ideas about race and crime. Chronicling the emergence of deeply embedded notions of black people as a dangerous race of criminals by explicit contrast to working-class whites and European immigrants, this fascinating book reveals the influence such ideas have had on urban development and social policies.

The Last Train from Hiroshima: The Survivors Look Back


Charles Pellegrino - 2010
    Charles Pellegrino’s scientific authority and close relationship with the A-bomb’s survivors make his account the most gripping and authoritative ever written.** At the narrative’s core are eyewitness accounts of those who experienced the atomic explosions firsthand—the Japanese civilians on the ground and the American flyers in the air. Thirty people are known to have fled Hiroshima for Nagasaki—where they arrived just in time to survive the second bomb. One of them, Tsutomu Yamaguchi, is the only person who experienced the full effects of the cataclysm at ground zero both times. The second time, the blast effects were diverted around the stairwell in which Yamaguchi had been standing, placing him and a few others in a shock coccoon that offered protection, while the entire building disappeared around them.Pellegrino weaves spellbinding stories together within an illustrated narrative that challenges the “official report,” showing exactly what happened in Hiroshima and Nagasaki—and why. **As of Mar 2010, the publisher is discontinuing publication of the book due to issues with its veracity. "Publisher Henry Holt and Company, said that author Charles Pellegrino "was not able to answer" concerns about "The Last Train from Hiroshima," including whether two men mentioned in the book actually existed...Doubts were first raised about the book a week ago after Pellegrino acknowledged that one of his interview subjects had falsely claimed to be on one of the planes accompanying the Enola Gay, from which an atom bomb was dropped by the United States on Hiroshima in 1945. Holt had initially promised to send a corrected edition.But further doubts about the book emerged. The publisher was unable to determine the existence of a Father Mattias (the first name is not given) who supposedly lived in Hiroshima at the time of the bombing, and John MacQuitty, identified as a Jesuit scholar presiding over Mattias' funeral.Pellegrino's own background was also questioned. He sometimes refers to himself as Dr. Pellegrino, and his Web site lists him as receiving a Ph.D. in 1982 from Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. But in response to a query from the AP, the school said it had no proof that Pellegrino had such a degree."

Flashman, Flash for Freedom!, Flashman in the Great Game


George MacDonald Fraser - 2010
    And his greatest creation was, of course, Flashman. The novels collected here find our hero in the midst of his usual swashbuckling adventures of derring-do: fleeing adversaries in the First Anglo-Afghan War; meeting and nearly deceiving a young Abraham Lincoln in America; alternately impersonating a native Indian cavalry recruit and wooing women in India; and managing, whatever the circumstances, to keep his hero’s reputation unsullied.A must-have treat for the legions of dedicated Flashman fans, and a delightful introduction for those lucky enough to be encountering him for the first time.

Electric Eden: Unearthing Britain's Visionary Music


Rob Young - 2010
    While ostensibly purporting to be a history of that much derided (though currently fashionable) four-letter word, 'folk', Electric Eden will be a magnificent survey of the visionary, topographic and esoteric impulses that have driven the margins of British visionary folk music from Vaughan Williams and Holst to The Incredible String Band, Nick Drake, John Martyn and Aphex Twin. For the first time the full story of the extraordinary period of folk rock from the mid 1960s to the mid 1970s will be told in a book with the breadth of a social history touching on sonic worship, pagan architecture, land art, ley lines and ther outer fringes of the avant garde. Electric Eden identifies a particularly English wellspring of imagery and imagination, an undercurrent that has fed into the creative and organic strand of Britain's music over the past century.

Heroes for My Son


Brad Meltzer - 2010
    . . and so many more, each one an ordinary person who was able to achieve the extraordinary. The list grew to include the fifty-two amazing people now gathered in Heroes for My Son, a book that parents and their children—sons and daughters alike—can now enjoy together as they choose heroes of their own.From the Wright Brothers, who brought extra building materials to every test flight, planning ahead for failure, to Miep Gies, who risked her life to protect Anne Frank and her family from the Nazis during World War II, Heroes for My Son brings well-known figures together with less famous ones, telling the inspiring, behind-the-scenes stories of the moment that made them great. They are a miraculous group with one thing in common: each is an example of the spectacular potential that can be found in all of us.Heroes for My Son is an unforgettable book of timeless wisdom, one that families everywhere can share again and again.

In the Footsteps of the Band of Brothers: A Return to Easy Company's Battlefields with Sgt. Forrest Guth


Larry Alexander - 2010
     On the eve of the 65th anniversary of the end of the war in Europe, Larry Alexander returns to the very battlefields that made Easy Company a legend. Accompanied by Easy veteran Sgt. Forrest Guth on his final tour, Alexander crosses an ocean and a continent to follow the path to victory taken by the famed Band of Brothers, exploring the living history of the places where they went into action, and revealing what makes their story so meaningful for us to this day. Part travelogue, part historical perspective, In the Footsteps of the Band of Brothers is an unforgettable memorial to those who shined in our country's finest hour.

The Twilight Warriors: The Deadliest Naval Battle of World War II and the Men Who Fought It


Robert Gandt - 2010
    The end of World War II finally appears to be nearing. The Third Reich is collapsing in Europe, and the Americans are overpowering the once-mighty Japanese Empire in the Pacific. For a group of young pilots trained in the twilight of the war, the greatest worry is that it will end before they have a chance to face the enemy. They call themselves Tail End Charlies. They fly at the tail end of formations, stand at the tail end of chow lines, and now they are catching the tail end of the war. What they don’t know is that they will be key players in the bloodiest and most difficult of naval battles—not only of World War II but in all of American history.The Twilight Warriors relives the drama of the world’s last great naval campaign. From the cockpit of a Corsair fighter we gaze down at the Japanese task force racing to destroy the American amphibious force at Okinawa. Through the eyes of the men on the destroyers assigned to picket ship duty, we experience the terror as wave after wave of kamikazes crash into their ships. Standing on the deck of the legendary superbattleship Yamato, we watch Japan’s last hope for victory die in a tableau of gunfire and explosions.Among the Tail End Charlies are men such as a twenty-two-year-old former art student who grows to manhood on the day of his first mission over Japan and his best friend, a ladies’ man and intrepid fighter pilot whose life abruptly changes when his Corsair goes down off the enemy shore. Another is a young Texan lieutenant who volunteers for the most dangerous flying job in the fleet—intercepting kamikazes at night over the blackened Pacific. Their leader is a charismatic officer who rises to greatness in the crucible of Okinawa. Directing the vast armada of sea, air, and land forces is a cast of brilliant and flawed commanders—from the imperturbable admiral and master of carrier warfare to the controversial soldier assigned to command the land forces. The fate of the Americans at Okinawa is intertwined with the lives of the “young gods”— the honor-bound Japanese airmen who swarm like killer bees toward the U.S. ships. The kamikazes are dispatched on their deadly one-way missions by a classic samurai warrior who vows that he will follow them to a warrior’s grave.The ferocity of the Okinawa fighting stuns the world. Before it ends, the long battle will cost more American lives, ships, and aircraft than any naval engagement in U.S. history. More than simply the account of a historic battle, The Twilight Warriors brings to life the human side of an epic conflict. It is the story of young Americans at war in the air and on the sea—and of their enigmatic, fanatically courageous enemy.

Homage to Catalonia / Down and Out in Paris and London


George Orwell - 2010
    Down and Out in Paris and London chronicles the adventures of a penniless British writer who finds himself rapidly descending into the seedy heart of two great European cities. This edition brings together two powerful works from one of the finest writers of the twentieth century.

The Plutonium Files: America's Secret Medical Experiments in the Cold War


Eileen Welsome - 2010
    Fearful that plutonium  might cause a cancer epidemic among workers and desperate to learn more about what it could do to the human body, the Manhattan Project's medical doctors embarked upon an experiment in which eighteen unsuspecting patients in  hospital wards throughout the country were secretly injected with the cancer-causing substance. Most of these patients would go to their graves without ever knowing what had been done to them.Now, in The Plutonium Files, Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Eileen Welsome reveals for the first time the breadth of the extraordinary fifty-year cover-up surrounding the plutonium injections, as well as the deceitful nature of thousands of other experiments conducted on American citizens in the postwar years. Welsome's remarkable investigation spans the 1930s to the 1990s and draws upon hundreds of newly declassified documents and other primary sources to disclose this shadowy chapter in American history. She gives a voice to such innocents as Helen Hutchison, a young woman who entered a prenatal clinic in Nashville for a routine checkup and was instead given a radioactive "cocktail" to drink; Gordon Shattuck, one of several boys at a state school for the developmentally disabled in Massachusetts who was fed radioactive oatmeal for breakfast; and Maude Jacobs, a Cincinnati woman suffering from cancer and subjected to an experimental radiation treatment designed to help military planners learn how to win a nuclear war. Welsome also tells the stories of the scientists themselves, many of whom learned the ways of secrecy on the Manhattan Project. Among them are Stafford Warren, a grand figure whose bravado masked a cunning intelligence; Joseph Hamilton, who felt he was immune to the dangers of radiation only to suffer later from a fatal leukemia; and physician Louis Hempelmann, one of the most enthusiastic supporters of the plan to inject humans with potentially carcinogenic doses of plutonium. Hidden discussions of fifty years past are reconstructed here, wherein trusted government officials debated the ethical and legal implications of the experiments, demolishing forever the argument that these studies took place in a less enlightened era. Powered by her groundbreaking reportage and singular narrative gifts, Eileen Welsome has created a work of profound humanity as well as major historical significance.From the Hardcover edition.

The Resurrection of Jesus: A New Historiographical Approach


Michael R. Licona - 2010
    And the results have varied widely. Perhaps some now regard this issue as the burned-over district of New Testament scholarship. Could there be any new and promising approach to this problem? Yes, answers Michael Licona. And he convincingly points us to a significant deficiency in approaching this question: our historiographical orientation and practice. So he opens this study with an extensive consideration of historiography and the particular problem of investigating claims of miracles. This alone is a valuable contribution. But then Licona carefully applies his principles and methods to the question of Jesus' resurrection. In addition to determining and working from the most reliable sources and bedrock historical evidence, Licona critically weighs other prominent hypotheses. His own argument is a challenging and closely argued case for the historicity of the resurrection of Jesus, the Christ. Any future approaches to dealing with this "prize puzzle" of New Testament study will need to be routed through The Resurrection of Jesus.

The Shake 'n Bake Sergeant


Jerry Horton - 2010
    Horton's experiences being thrown into heavy combat after just a few months of training. Recommended reading for all. survival against all odds - in the trenches of Vietnam I still can't believe they get out of there alive - couldn't put it down. This first person narrative of hand-to-hand combat in the trenches of Vietnam left me scared, glad to be alive and eternally grateful to those who died for my freedom Could not put it down A friend had mentioned this book to me. Once i received it i could not put it down. Jerry Horton joined the army to simply be able to afford to go to college. 40 years later he has a PHD and multiple degrees but they were earned at a heavy price for this patriot. Jerry shares his experiences in Vietnam in an articulate, honest and direct assessment of his time in Vietnam, the men he served with and the horrors of war. Incredible story of leadership and survival. Shake N Bake Sergeant aka Instant NCO Jerry Horton absolutely nailed the life of a "Shake N Bake" Sergeant when he tells the story of dedicated soldiers trained at Fort Benning, GA and then follows them to Vietnam. This book is not only absolutely dead on accurate but gives the reader every aspect of what it was like to experience the war as a Shake N Bake Sergeant. Instant NCO's were trained for only one reason - to lead United States soldiers into combat and they did it with heroic efficiency and effectiveness with limited resources. This book is not just a home run - it is a Grand Slam. Interesting, accurate, full of suspense and you can't put it down. This book should be required reading for everyone so they can understand that Freedom is not Free. There is a cost and sometimes that cost is heavy. Horton brings it all across in a nonstop action format. It is a great read! If you really want to know what it was like..., This has to be the most realistic 'must read' book to come out of the VN war. If you ever read any book about this war - this is the one to read. You won't put it down and you won't ever forget it! From the book's review by the late COL(R) David Hackworth (most-decorated Vietnam veteran): "In 1968, the U.S. Army was running out of sergeants in Vietnam. Throughout military history, as least as far back as the Revolutionary War, sergeants were the backbone of the Army. This shortage of sergeants meant disaster in Vietnam. The NCO candidate school was created to solve this serious problem by doing one thing - train soldiers to lead men in combat. It was modeled after the Officer's candidate school but streamlined to meet this critical need for leaders in half the time. Graduates were known by most as "Shake 'N Bake sergeants" "Instant NCOs" since the got there rank fast from going to school. This book is the first time this important part of American history has ever been published. It is the first time anyone has given credit to Shake'N Bake sergeants - a credit that they so greatly deserved. At the time there were many who said they would fail. It seemed many did not respect them even though all destined for front line positions. The book documents how they proved their worth over and over again as front line infantry leaders even though for thirty some years their sacrifices have been unknown." An unforgettable mixture of vivid realism, poignant sadness and unexpected humor. Once you begin reading The Shake 'n Bake Sergeant, you will find it hard to put it down. See www.shakenbakesergeant.com.

Fashioning Fashion: European Dress in Detail, 1700–1915


Sharon Sadako Takeda - 2010
    Fashioning Fashion takes you through fashion and time with the sumptuous variety of an extraordinary collection. I promise, it cannot fail to inspire you." -From the preface by John GallianoThe creation of eighteenth and nineteenth century fashion moved at a much slower tempo than the lightning-speed pace of contemporary fashion, so great attention was paid to the smallest detail. Fashioning Fashion: European Dress in Detail, 1700-1915 celebrates these and brilliantly examines the transformation of the fashionable silhouette over this span of more than two centuries. Lavish photographs and illustrative text provide historical context, showing how technical inventions, political events, and global trade often profoundly affected style. It is little wonder that many of today's top haute couture designers often look to fashion of the past to find inspiration in the present. The intriguing and stunning examples of historic dress in this opulent volume are as captivating today as they were centuries ago. Fashioning Fashion showcases nearly two hundred highlights from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art's new European collection of rare pieces of historic fashion and accessories for men, women, and children. LACMA recently acquired this singular collection, which numbers more than 1,000 objects and represents a total of fifty years of acquisitions by prominent historic dress dealers and collectors Martin Kamer of England and Wolfgang Ruf of Switzerland. The pieces were chosen for their roles in the story of fashion's aesthetic and technical development from the Age of Enlightenment to World War I. This in-depth look at the details of these luxurious textiles, exacting tailoring techniques, and lush trimmings is the first presentation of this remarkable collection.

Guinness World Records 2011


Craig Glenday - 2010
    Over 110 million copies have sold since the first edition was published in 1955. Nearly 4 million copies are sold every year in more than 100 countries and in 25 languages. Market research has indicated that Guinness World Records is one of the strongest brands in the world, with prompted brand recognition of 98.2% in the English language territories.What's New in GWR 2011... More US specific content including spreads dedicated to "American Heroes," "North American wildlife," "Route 66" and extended US sports pages! New unique design - new decade, new look. A fun, poster-style design reminiscent of the circus, the old wild west and letter pressed WANTED ads! Records GPS - starting at Greenwich, London - the home of time - we go around the world city by city revealing fascinating records set along the way. Glossary - improve your vocabulary by learning the meaning of new and unusual words. As Well as -- New spreads on.... * Space Shuttle - being retired in 2010 * TV's 75 years Diamond Anniversary * Pop Culture chapter - all your favorite movies, DVDs, comics, graphic novels, manga and so on.... * Mr. World Record Breaker

Paradise General: Riding the Surge at a Combat Hospital in Iraq


Dave Hnida - 2010
    Dave Hnida, a family physician from Littleton, Colorado, volunteered to be deployed to Iraq and spent a tour of duty as a battalion surgeon with a combat unit. In 2007, he went back, this time as a trauma chief at one of the busiest Combat Support Hospitals (CSH) during the Surge. In an environment that was nothing less than a modern-day M*A*S*H, the doctors main objective was simple: Get'em in, get'em out. The only CSH staffed by reservists who tended to be older, more-experienced doctors disdainful of authority, the 399th soon became a medevac destination of choice because of its high survival rate, an astounding 98 percent.

The Bomb


Howard Zinn - 2010
    Two decades later, he was invited to visit Hiroshima and meet survivors of the atomic attack. In this short and powerful book, Zinn offers his deep personal reflections and political analysis of these events, their consequences, and the profound influence they had in transforming him from an order-taking combat soldier to one of our greatest anti-authoritarian, antiwar historians. This book was finalized just prior to Zinn's passing in January 2010, and is published on the sixty-fifth anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima.