Best of
History

2012

Across That Bridge: A Vision for Change and the Future of America


John Lewis - 2012
    With an engaged electorate once again confronting questions of social inequality, there's no better time to revisit the lessons of the '60s and no better leader to learn from than Congressman John Lewis. In Across That Bridge, Lewis draws from his experience as a leader of the Civil Rights Movement to offer timeless guidance to anyone seeking to live virtuously and transform the world. His wisdom, poignant recollections, and powerful ideas will inspire a new generation to usher in a freer, more peaceful society. The Civil Rights Movement gave rise to the protest culture we know today, and the experiences of leaders like Lewis have never been more relevant. Now, more than ever, this nation needs a strong and moral voice to guide an engaged population through visionary change. Lewis was a leader in the American Civil Rights Movement. He was chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and played a key role in the struggle to end segregation. Despite more than forty arrests, physical attacks, and serious injuries, Lewis remained a devoted advocate of the philosophy of nonviolence. He is the author of his autobiography, Walking with the Wind: A Memoir of a Movement, and is the recipient of numerous awards from national and international institutions, including the Lincoln Medal; the John F. Kennedy "Profile in Courage" Lifetime Achievement Award (the only one of its kind ever awarded); the NAACP Spingarn Medal; and the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor, among many others. He lives in Atlanta, Georgia. "The most important lesson I have learned in the fifty years I have spent working toward the building of a better world is that the true work of social transformation starts within. It begins inside your own heart and mind, because the battleground of human transformation is really, more than any other thing, the struggle within the human consciousness to believe and accept what is true. Thus to truly revolutionize our society, we must first revolutionize ourselves. We must be the change we seek if we are to effectively demand transformation from others." --from John Lewis's Across That Bridge

The Khan Series


Conn Iggulden - 2012
    Now this eBook bundle assembles the entire series—Birth of an Empire, Lords of the Bow, Bones of the Hills, Empire of Silver, and Conqueror—sparing no detail, from the Great Khan’s first conquest and the heights of his unprecedented empire, to his brutal ancestral legacy and the rise of Kublai Khan.GENGHIS: BIRTH OF AN EMPIREGenghis Khan was born Temujin, the son of a khan, raised in a clan of hunters and driven by a singular fury: to survive in the face of death, to kill before being killed. Through a series of courageous raids, Temujin’s legend grew until he was chasing a vision: to unite many tribes into one, to make the earth tremble under the hoofbeats of a thousand warhorses, to subject all nations and empires to his will.GENGHIS: LORDS OF THE BOWFor centuries, primitive tribes have warred with one another. Now, under Genghis Khan, they have united as one nation to face the ultimate test: the great, slumbering walled empire of the Chin. In Yenking—modern-day Beijing—the Chin will make their final stand. But Genghis will strike with breathtaking audacity, never ceasing until the emperor himself is forced to kneel.GENGHIS: BONES OF THE HILLSAs Genghis enters a strange new land of towering mountains and arid desert, he stirs an enemy greater than any he has met before. Shah Ala-ud-Din Mohammed has under his command thousands of fierce Arab warriors, teeming cavalry, and terrifying armored elephants. But another battle is taking shape—between two of Genghis’s feuding sons. Soon the most powerful man in the world must choose a successor, touching off the most bitter conflict of all.KHAN: EMPIRE OF SILVERThe Great Khan is dead—and his vast empire, forged through raw courage, tactical brilliance, and indomitable force, hangs in the balance. Even as the sons of Genghis Khan maneuver for supremacy, the Khan’s armies extend his reach farther than ever before, into southern China and across the rugged mountains of Russia to the vulnerable heart of Europe, where the most courageous warriors the West commands await the coming onslaught.CONQUERORA succession of ruthless leaders have seized power in the wake of the Great Khan’s death—all descendants of Genghis, but none with his indomitable character. It is Kublai—refined and scholarly, always considered too thoughtful to take power—who will devise new ways of warfare and conquest as he builds the dream city of Xanadu. His gifts will serve him well when an epic civil war breaks out among brothers, the outcome of which will literally change the world.

Outlaw Platoon: Heroes, Renegades, Infidels, and the Brotherhood of War in Afghanistan


Sean Parnell - 2012
    In 2006, Parnell and his 10th Mountain Division platoon, the self-styled Outlaws, arrived in Afghanistan’s Bermel Valley, which borders Pakistan. Their mission was “to stanch the flow of enemy troops and supplies into Afghanistan.” Besides their 32 Purple Hearts, the platoon—which “usually patrolled with about 30 men... loaded into six Humvees”—earned seven Bronze Stars and 12 Army Commendations for Valor, making it one of the most decorated units in the Afghan war. Parnell vividly captures the sounds, sights, and smells of combat, and proves most eloquent when describing the bond—“selflessness was our secret weapon”—that developed among his men. Studiously nonpartisan, Parnell still raises important questions about Afghan president Hamid Karzai’s integrity, the competence of the Afghan police, and the sincerity of our Pakistani “allies.” Parnell balances sentimentality with sincerity and crisp prose to produce one of the Afghan war’s most moving combat narratives.

Devil in the Grove: Thurgood Marshall, the Groveland Boys, and the Dawn of a New America


Gilbert King - 2012
    Board of Education before the U.S. Supreme Court when he became embroiled in an explosive and deadly case that threatened to change the course of the civil rights movement and cost him his life.In 1949, Florida’s orange industry was booming, and citrus barons got rich on the backs of cheap Jim Crow labor. To maintain order and profits, they turned to Willis V. McCall, a violent sheriff who ruled Lake County with murderous resolve. When a white seventeen-year-old Groveland girl cried rape, McCall was fast on the trail of four young blacks who dared to envision a future for themselves beyond the citrus groves. By day’s end, the Ku Klux Klan had rolled into town, burning the homes of blacks to the ground and chasing hundreds into the swamps, hell-bent on lynching the young men who came to be known as “the Groveland Boys.”And so began the chain of events that would bring Thurgood Marshall, the man known as “Mr. Civil Rights,” into the deadly fray. Associates thought it was suicidal for him to wade into the “Florida Terror” at a time when he was irreplaceable to the burgeoning civil rights movement, but the lawyer would not shrink from the fight—not after the Klan had murdered one of Marshall’s NAACP associates involved with the case and Marshall had endured continual threats that he would be next.Drawing on a wealth of never-before-published material, including the FBI’s unredacted Groveland case files, as well as unprecedented access to the NAACP’s Legal Defense Fund files, King shines new light on this remarkable civil rights crusader, setting his rich and driving narrative against the heroic backdrop of a case that U.S. Supreme Court justice Robert Jackson decried as “one of the best examples of one of the worst menaces to American justice.”

The Second World War


Antony Beevor - 2012
    Over the past two decades, Antony Beevor has established himself as one of the world's premier historians of WWII. His multi-award winning books have included Stalingrad and The Fall of Berlin 1945. Now, in his newest and most ambitious book, he turns his focus to one of the bloodiest and most tragic events of the twentieth century, the Second World War. In this searing narrative that takes us from Hitler's invasion of Poland on September 1st, 1939 to V-J day on August 14, 1945 and the war's aftermath, Beevor describes the conflict and its global reach -- one that included every major power. The result is a dramatic and breathtaking single-volume history that provides a remarkably intimate account of the war that, more than any other, still commands attention and an audience. Thrillingly written and brilliantly researched, Beevor's grand and provocative account is destined to become the definitive work on this complex, tragic, and endlessly fascinating period in world history, and confirms once more that he is a military historian of the first rank.

Embers of War: The Fall of an Empire and the Making of America's Vietnam


Fredrik Logevall - 2012
    Fought over a period of three decades, the conflict drew in all the world’s powers and saw two of them—first France, then the United States—attempt to subdue the revolutionary Vietnamese forces. For France, the defeat marked the effective end of her colonial empire, while for America the war left a gaping wound in the body politic that remains open to this day.   How did it happen? Tapping into newly accessible diplomatic archives in several nations and making full use of the published literature, distinguished scholar Fredrik Logevall traces the path that led two Western nations to lose their way in Vietnam. Embers of War opens in 1919 at the Versailles Peace Conference, where a young Ho Chi Minh delivers a petition for Vietnamese independence to President Woodrow Wilson. It concludes in 1959, with a Viet Cong ambush on a U.S. outpost outside Saigon and the deaths of two American officers whose names would be the first to be carved into the black granite of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. In between come years of political, military, and diplomatic maneuvering and miscalculation, as leaders on all sides embark on a series of stumbles that makes an eminently avoidable struggle a bloody and interminable reality.   Logevall takes us inside the councils of war—and gives us a seat at the conference tables where peace talks founder. He brings to life the bloodiest battles of France’s final years in Indochina—and shows how from an early point, a succession of American leaders made disastrous policy choices that put America on its own collision course with history: Harry Truman’s fateful decision to reverse Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s policy and acknowledge France’s right to return to Indochina after World War II; Dwight Eisenhower’s strenuous efforts to keep Paris in the fight and his escalation of U.S. involvement in the aftermath of the humiliating French defeat at Dien Bien Phu; and the curious turnaround in Senator John F. Kennedy’s thinking that would lead him as president to expand that commitment, despite his publicly stated misgivings about Western intervention in Southeast Asia.   An epic story of wasted opportunities and tragic miscalculations, featuring an extraordinary cast of larger-than-life characters, Embers of War delves deep into the historical record to provide hard answers to the unanswered questions surrounding the demise of one Western power in Vietnam and the arrival of another. This book will become the definitive chronicle of the struggle’s origins for years to come.Advance praise for Embers of War   “Fredrik Logevall has gleaned from American, French, and Vietnamese sources a splendid account of France’s nine-year war in Indochina and the story of how the American statesmen of the period allowed this country to be drawn into the quagmire.”—Neil Sheehan, author of A Bright Shining Lie, winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award   “Fredrik Logevall is a wonderful writer and historian. In his new book on the origins of the American war in Vietnam, he gives a fascinating and dramatic account of the French war and its aftermath, from the perspectives of the French, the Vietnamese, and the Americans. Using previously untapped sources and a deep knowledge of diplomatic history, Logevall shows to devastating effect how America found itself on the road to Vietnam.”—Frances FitzGerald, author of Fire in the Lake, winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award

A Higher Call: An Incredible True Story of Combat and Chivalry in the War-Torn Skies of World War II


Adam Makos - 2012
    At its controls was a 21-year-old pilot. Half his crew lay wounded or dead. It was their first mission. Suddenly, a sleek, dark shape pulled up on the bomber’s tail—a German Messerschmitt fighter. Worse, the German pilot was an ace, a man able to destroy the American bomber in the squeeze of a trigger. What happened next would defy imagination and later be called the most incredible encounter between enemies in World War II.This is the true story of the two pilots whose lives collided in the skies that day—the American—2nd Lieutenant Charlie Brown, a former farm boy from West Virginia who came to captain a B-17—and the German—2nd Lieutenant Franz Stigler, a former airline pilot from Bavaria who sought to avoid fighting in World War II.A Higher Call follows both Charlie and Franz’s harrowing missions. Charlie would face takeoffs in English fog over the flaming wreckage of his buddies’ planes, flak bursts so close they would light his cockpit, and packs of enemy fighters that would circle his plane like sharks. Franz would face sandstorms in the desert, a crash alone at sea, and the spectacle of 1,000 bombers each with eleven guns, waiting for his attack. Ultimately, Charlie and Franz would stare across the frozen skies at one another. What happened between them, the American 8th Air Force would later classify as “top secret.” It was an act that Franz could never mention or else face a firing squad. It was the encounter that would haunt both Charlie and Franz for forty years until, as old men, they would search for one another, a last mission that could change their lives forever.

Season of the Witch: Enchantment, Terror and Deliverance in the City of Love


David Talbot - 2012
    Season of the Witch is the first book to fully capture the dark magic of San Francisco in this breathtaking period, when the city radically changed itself & then revolutionized the world. The cool gray city of love was the epicenter of the 60s cultural revolution. But by the early 70s, San Francisco’s ecstatic experiment came crashing down from its starry heights. The city was rocked by savage murder sprees, mysterious terror campaigns, political assassinations, street riots & finally a terrifying sexual epidemic. No other city endured so many calamities in such a short time span. Talbot goes deep into the riveting story of his city’s ascent, decline & heroic recovery. He draws intimate portraits of San Francisco’s legendary demons & saviors: Charles Manson, Patty Hearst & the Symbionese Liberation Army, Jerry Garcia, Janis Joplin, Bill Graham, Herb Caen, the Cockettes, Harvey Milk, Jim Jones & the Peoples Temple, Joe Montana & the Super Bowl 49ers. He reveals how the city emerged from the trials of this period with a new brand of “San Francisco values,” including gay marriage, medical marijuana, immigration sanctuary, universal health care, recycling, renewable energy, consumer safety & a living wage mandate. Considered radical when they were first introduced, these ideas have become the bedrock of decent society in many parts of the country & exemplify the ways that the city now inspires a live-and-let-live tolerance, a shared sense of humanity & an openness to change. As a new generation of activists & dreamers seeks its own path to a more enlightened future, Season of the Witch—with its epic tale of the wild & bloody birth of San Francisco values—offers both inspiration & cautionary wisdom.

The Outpost: An Untold Story of American Valor


Jake Tapper - 2012
    on the morning of October 3, 2009, Combat Outpost Keating was viciously attacked by Taliban insurgents. The 53 U.S. troops, having been stationed at the bottom of three steep mountains, were severely outmanned by nearly 400 Taliban fighters. Though the Americans ultimately prevailed, their casualties made it one of the war's deadliest battles for U.S. forces. And after more than three years in that dangerous and vulnerable valley a mere 14 miles from the Pakistan border, the U.S. abandoned and bombed the camp. A Pentagon investigation later concluded that there was no reason for Outpost Keating to have been there in the first place.The Outpost is a tour de force of investigative journalism. Jake Tapper exposes the origins of this tragic and confounding story, exploring the history of the camp and detailing the stories of soldiers heroic and doomed, shadowed by the recklessness of their commanders in Washington, D.C. and a war built on constantly shifting sands.

What Are You Looking At?: 150 Years of Modern Art in a Nutshell


Will Gompertz - 2012
    Rich with extraordinary tales and anecdotes, What Are You Looking At? entertains as it arms readers with the knowledge to truly understand and enjoy what it is they’re looking at.

The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914


Christopher Clark - 2012
    An act of terrorism of staggering efficiency, it fulfilled its every aim: it would liberate Bosnia from Habsburg rule and it created a powerful new Serbia, but it also brought down four great empires, killed millions of men and destroyed a civilization. What made a seemingly prosperous and complacent Europe so vulnerable to the impact of this assassination? In The Sleepwalkers Christopher Clark retells the story of the outbreak of the First World War and its causes. Above all, it shows how the failure to understand the seriousness of the chaotic, near genocidal fighting in the Balkans would drag Europe into catastrophe.

The Liberator: One World War II Soldier's 500-Day Odyssey from the Beaches of Sicily to the Gates of Dachau


Alex Kershaw - 2012
    Army officer and his infantry unit as they fought from the invasion of Italy to the liberation of Dachau at war's end.From July 10, 1943, the date of the Allied landing in Sicily, to May 8, 1945, when victory in Europe was declared-roughly 500 days-no regiment saw more action, and no single platoon, company, or battalion endured worse, than the one commanded by Felix Sparks, a greenhorn second lieutenant when The Liberator begins. Historian Alex Kershaw vividly portrays the immense courage and stamina of Sparks and his men as they fought terrifying engagements against Hitler's finest troops in Sicily and Salerno and as they endured attack after attack on the beaches of Anzio (with Sparks miraculously emerging as his 200-man company's sole survivor). In the bloody battle for southern France, Sparks led his reconstituted unit into action against superbly equipped and trained die-hard SS troops and demonstrated how the difference between defeat and victory would be a matter of character, not tactics or hardware. Finally, he and his men were ordered to liberate Dachau, the Nazis' first concentration camp. It would be their greatest challenge, a soul-searing test of their humanity.

Ameritopia: The Unmaking of America


Mark R. Levin - 2012
    Levin’s Liberty and Tyranny made the most persuasive case for conservatism and against statism in a generation. In this most crucial time, this leading conservative thinker explores the psychology, motivations, and history of the utopian movement, its architects, and its modern day disciples—and how the individual and American society are being devoured by it.In Ameritopia: The Unmaking of America Levin asks, what is this utopian force that both allures a free people and destroys them? In the end, Levin’s message is clear: The American republic is in great peril. The people must now choose between utopianism or liberty.

The Plantagenets: The Warrior Kings and Queens Who Made England


Dan Jones - 2012
    In this epic history, Dan Jones vividly resurrects this fierce and seductive royal dynasty and its mythic world. We meet the captivating Eleanor of Aquitaine, twice queen and the most famous woman in Christendom; her son, Richard the Lionheart, who fought Saladin in the Third Crusade; and King John, a tyrant who was forced to sign Magna Carta, which formed the basis of our own Bill of Rights. This is the era of chivalry, of Robin Hood and the Knights Templar, the Black Death, the founding of Parliament, the Black Prince, and the Hundred Year’s War. It will appeal as much to readers of Tudor history as to fans of 'Game of Thrones.

Widow Maker: A Novel of World War II


E.R. Johnson - 2012
    The B-26--dubbed Widow Maker by the press and the aircrews who flew her--was one of the most controversial aircraft produced in the United States during the war. These young men find themselves confronted not only with doubts about the airplane they are given to fly, but also the sometimes fatal choices made by a military organization unprepared to employ them in combat. Against the setting of World War II Europe, the heart and minds of these young men are revealed as they are forces to make a swift and frequently terrifying journey into manhood. The differences between them, seemingly irreconcilable at first, fade away as they form the ancient bond between men whose lives must depend upon one another in combat. But even after these young Americans make the transition into seasoned warriors, they are still faced with the grim reality that some of them will survive--and some will not.

Freedom's Forge: How American Business Built the Arsenal of Democracy That Won World War II


Arthur Herman - 2012
    And the CEO would oblige, no questions asked, because it was his patriotic duty.   In Freedom’s Forge, bestselling author Arthur Herman takes us back to that time, revealing how two extraordinary American businessmen—automobile magnate William Knudsen and shipbuilder Henry J. Kaiser—helped corral, cajole, and inspire business leaders across the country to mobilize the “arsenal of democracy” that propelled the Allies to victory in World War II.   “Knudsen? I want to see you in Washington. I want you to work on some production matters.” With those words, President Franklin D. Roosevelt enlisted “Big Bill” Knudsen, a Danish immigrant who had risen through the ranks of the auto industry to become president of General Motors, to drop his plans for market domination and join the U.S. Army. Commissioned a lieutenant general, Knudsen assembled a crack team of industrial innovators, persuading them one by one to leave their lucrative private sector positions and join him in Washington, D.C. Dubbed the “dollar-a-year men,” these dedicated patriots quickly took charge of America’s moribund war production effort.   Henry J. Kaiser was a maverick California industrialist famed for his innovative business techniques and his can-do management style. He, too, joined the cause. His Liberty ships became World War II icons—and the Kaiser name became so admired that FDR briefly considered making him his vice president in 1944. Together, Knudsen and Kaiser created a wartime production behemoth. Drafting top talent from companies like Chrysler, Republic Steel, Boeing, Lockheed, GE, and Frigidaire, they turned auto plants into aircraft factories and civilian assembly lines into fountains of munitions, giving Americans fighting in Europe and Asia the tools they needed to defeat the Axis. In four short years they transformed America’s army from a hollow shell into a truly global force, laying the foundations for a new industrial America—and for the country’s rise as an economic as well as military superpower.   Featuring behind-the-scenes portraits of FDR, George Marshall, Henry Stimson, Harry Hopkins, Jimmy Doolittle, and Curtis LeMay, as well as scores of largely forgotten heroes and heroines of the wartime industrial effort, Freedom’s Forge is the American story writ large. It vividly re-creates American industry’s finest hour, when the nation’s business elites put aside their pursuit of profits and set about saving the world.

Thinking the Twentieth Century


Tony Judt - 2012
    Judt presents the triumphs and the failures of prominent intellectuals, adeptly explaining both their ideas and the risks of their political commitments. Spanning an era with unprecedented clarity and insight, Thinking the Twentieth Century is a tour de force, a classic study of modern thought by one of the century's most incisive thinkers.The exceptional nature of this work is evident in its very structure - a series of intimate conversations between Judt and his friend and fellow historian Timothy Snyder, grounded in the texts of the time and focused by the intensity of their vision. Judt's astounding eloquence and range are on display here as never before. Traversing the complexities of modern life with ease, he and Snyder revive both thoughts and thinkers, guiding us through the debates that made our world. As forgotten ideas are revisited and fashionable trends scrutinized, the shape of a century emerges. Judt and Snyder draw us deep into their analysis, making us feel that we too are part of the conversation. We become aware of the obligations of the present to the past, and the force of historical perspective and moral considerations in the critique and reform of society, then and now.In restoring and indeed exemplifying the best of intellectual life in the twentieth century, Thinking the Twentieth Century opens pathways to a moral life for the twenty-first. This is a book about the past, but it is also an argument for the kind of future we should strive for: Thinking the Twentieth Century is about the life of the mind - and the mindful life.

The Story of Earth: The First 4.5 Billion Years, from Stardust to Living Planet


Robert M. Hazen - 2012
    From first atom to molecule, mineral to magma, granite crust to single cell to verdant living landscape, ours is a planet constantly in flux. In this radical new approach to Earth’s biography, senior Carnegie Institution researcher and national bestselling author Robert M. Hazen reveals how the co-evolution of the geosphere and biosphere—of rocks and living matter—has shaped our planet into the only one of its kind in the Solar System, if not the entire cosmos.With an astrobiologist’s imagination, a historian’s perspective, and a naturalist’s passion for the ground beneath our feet, Hazen explains how changes on an atomic level translate into dramatic shifts in Earth’s makeup over its 4.567 billion year existence. He calls upon a flurry of recent discoveries to portray our planet’s many iterations in vivid detail—from its fast-rotating infancy when the Sun rose every five hours and the Moon filled 250 times more sky than it does now, to its sea-bathed youth before the first continents arose; from the Great Oxidation Event that turned the land red, to the globe-altering volcanism that may have been the true killer of the dinosaurs. Through Hazen’s theory of “co-evolution,” we learn how reactions between organic molecules and rock crystals may have generated Earth’s first organisms, which in turn are responsible for more than two-thirds of the mineral varieties on the planet—thousands of different kinds of crystals that could not exist in a nonliving world.The Story of Earth is also the story of the pioneering men and women behind the sciences. Readers will meet black-market meteorite hawkers of the Sahara Desert, the gun-toting Feds who guarded the Apollo missions’ lunar dust, and the World War II Navy officer whose super-pressurized “bomb”—recycled from military hardware—first simulated the molten rock of Earth’s mantle. As a mentor to a new generation of scientists, Hazen introduces the intrepid young explorers whose dispatches from Earth’s harshest landscapes will revolutionize geology.Celebrated by the New York Times for writing “with wonderful clarity about science . . . that effortlessly teaches as it zips along,” Hazen proves a brilliant and entertaining guide on this grand tour of our planet inside and out. Lucid, controversial, and intellectually bracing, The Story of Earth is popular science of the highest order.

Games Without Rules: The Often Interrupted History of Afghanistan


Tamim Ansary - 2012
    That war is real; but it sits atop an older struggle, between Kabul and the countryside, between order and chaos, between a modernist impulse to join the world and the pull of an older Afghanistan: a tribal universe of village republics permeated by Islam.Now, Tamim Ansary draws on his Afghan background, Muslim roots, and Western and Afghan sources to explain history from the inside out, and to illuminate the long, internal struggle that the outside world has never fully understood. It is the story of a nation struggling to take form, a nation undermined by its own demons while, every 40 to 60 years, a great power crashes in and disrupts whatever progress has been made. Told in conversational, storytelling style, and focusing on key events and personalities, "Games without Rules" provides revelatory insight into a country at the center of political debate.

Killer Show


John Barylick - 2012
    history took place at a roadhouse called The Station in West Warwick, Rhode Island. That night, in the few minutes it takes to play a hard-rock standard, the fate of many of the unsuspecting nightclub patrons was determined with awful certainty. The blaze was ignited when pyrotechnics set off by Great White, a 1980s heavy-metal band, lit flammable polyurethane "egg crate" foam sound insulation on the club's walls. In less than 10 minutes, 96 people were dead and 200 more were injured, many catastrophically. The final death toll topped out, three months later, at the eerily unlikely round number of 100.The story of the fire, its causes, and its legal and human aftermath is one of lives put at risk by petty economic decisions—by a band, club owners, promoters, building inspectors, and product manufacturers. Any one of those decisions, made differently, might have averted the tragedy. Together, however, they reached a fatal critical mass.Killer Show is the first comprehensive exploration of the chain of events leading up to the fire, the conflagration itself, and the painstaking search for evidence to hold the guilty to account and obtain justice for the victims. Anyone who has entered an entertainment venue and wondered, "Could I get out of here in a hurry?" will identify with concertgoers at The Station. Fans of disaster nonfiction and forensic thrillers will find ample elements of both genres in Killer Show.

One Dead Spy


Nathan Hale - 2012
    In the Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales series, author Nathan Hale channels his namesake to present history’s roughest, toughest, and craziest stories in the graphic novel format.One Dead Spy tackles the story of Hale himself, who was an officer and spy for the American rebels during the Revolutionary War. Author Hale highlights the unusual, gruesome, and just plain unbelievable truth of historical Nathan Hale—from his early unlucky days at Yale to his later unlucky days as an officer—and America during the Revolutionary War.

Still the Best Hope: Why the World Needs American Values to Triumph


Dennis Prager - 2012
    Humanity stands at a crossroads, and the only alternatives to the “American Trinity” of liberty, natural rights, and the melting-pot ideal of national unity are Islamic totalitarianism, European democratic socialism, capitalist dictatorship, or global chaos if we should fail.  America is Still the Best Hope, as this eminently sensible, profoundly inspiring volume so powerfully proves.

The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill (The Last Lion, #1-3)


William Manchester - 2012
    Born at the end of the 19th century when Imperial Britain still stood at the splendid pinnacle of her power, Churchill would witness the shift a few years later as the Empire hovered on the brink of a catastrophic new era. One of the greatest wartime leaders of our time, he would go on to stand alone, politically isolated in Parliament, as he took the lead in warning of the growing Nazi threat, and would lead Britain to victory against Nazi Germany and the Axis powers in World War II. Now, celebrated historian William Manchester's landmark biographies are collected together for the first time, along with the eagerly anticipated final installment Churchill's last years in power. More than thirty years in the making, The Last Lion is the definitive work on this remarkable man whose courageous vision guided the destiny of a nation during darkly troubled times-and who looms as one of the greatest figures of our century.

The Constitution of the United States of America and Selected Writings of the Founding Fathers


Various - 2012
    In the speeches and addresses they made, and in the editorials, essays, and pamphlets they published, we see them expressing the principles by which they wished to define their new nation, and reaching consensus about the best form of government that would endure and sustain the republic well beyond their own time. Much of what they spoke and wrote gave rise to the laws by which American is still governed today.This volume collects more than forty documents that played a crucial role in spurring the revolt of the thirteen original colonies against their mother country, England, and forging those colonies into the United States of America, a new country whose people shared common goals and interests manifested in the government they had created to uphold the laws of their republic. In these documents, we see the articulation, evolution, and refinement of the democratic ideals by which America is recognized.

The Presidents Club: Inside the World's Most Exclusive Fraternity


Nancy Gibbs - 2012
    Among their secrets: How Jack Kennedy tried to blame Ike for the Bay of Pigs. How Ike quietly helped Reagan win his first race in 1966. How Richard Nixon conspired with Lyndon Johnson to get elected and then betrayed him. How Jerry Ford and Jimmy Carter turned a deep enmity into an alliance. The unspoken pact between a father and son named Bush. And the roots of the rivalry between Clinton and Barack Obama. Time magazine editors and presidential historians Nancy Gibbs and Michael Duffy offer a new and revealing lens on the American presidency, exploring the club as a hidden instrument of power that has changed the course of history.

The Untold History of The United States


Oliver Stone - 2012
    Most are loathe to admit that the United States has any imperial pretensions. But history tells a different story as filmmaker Oliver Stone and historian Peter Kuznick reveal in this riveting account of the rise and decline of the American empire.Aided by the latest archival findings and recently declassified documents and building on the research of the world’s best scholars, Stone and Kuznick construct an often shocking but meticulously documented “People’s History of the American Empire” that offers startling context to the Bush-Cheney policies that put us at war in two Muslim countries and show us why the Obama administration has had such a difficult time cleaving a new path.Stone and Kuznick will introduce readers to a pantheon of heroes and villains as they show not only how far the United States has drifted from its democratic traditions, but the powerful forces that have struggled to get us back on track.The authors reveal that:· The atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were militarily unnecessary and morally indefensible.· The United States, not the Soviet Union, bore the lion’s share of responsibility for perpetuating the Cold War.· The U.S. love affair with right-wing dictators has gone as far as overthrowing elected leaders, arming and training murderous military officers, and forcing millions of people into poverty.· U.S.-funded Islamist fundamentalists, who fought against the Soviets in Afghanistan, have blown back to threaten the interests of the U.S. and its allies.· U.S. presidents, especially in wartime, have frequently trampled on the constitution and international law.· The United States has brandished nuclear threats repeatedly and come terrifyingly close to nuclear war.American leaders often believe they are unbound by history, yet Stone and Kuznick argue that we must face our troubling history honestly and forthrightly in order to set a new course for the twenty-first century. Their conclusions will challenge even experts, but there is one question only readers can answer: Is it too late for America to change?

Bomb: The Race to Build—and Steal—the World's Most Dangerous Weapon


Steve Sheinkin - 2012
    That simple discovery launched a scientific race that spanned 3 continents. In Great Britain and the United States, Soviet spies worked their way into the scientific community; in Norway, a commando force slipped behind enemy lines to attack German heavy-water manufacturing; and deep in the desert, one brilliant group of scientists was hidden away at a remote site at Los Alamos. This is the story of the plotting, the risk-taking, the deceit, and genius that created the world's most formidable weapon. This is the story of the atomic bomb.Bomb is a 2012 National Book Awards finalist for Young People's Literature. Bomb is a 2012 Washington Post Best Kids Books of the Year title.Bomb is a 2013 Newbery Honor book.

A History of the World


Andrew Marr - 2012
    A Short History of the World takes readers from the Mayans to Mongolia, from the kingdom of Benin to the court of the Jagiellonian kings of Poland. Traditional histories of this kind have tended to be Eurocentric, telling mankind's story through tales of Greece and Rome and the crowned heads of Europe's oldest monarchies. Here, Marr widens the lens, concentrating as much, if not more on the Americas, Africa, and Asia. Instead of focusing on one episode of history taking place in one place, he draws surprising parallels and makes fascinating connections, focusing on a key incident or episode to tell a larger story: for instance, the liberation of the serfs in Russia, which took place at the same time as the American Civil War, which resulted in the abolition of slavery in the U.S.  But he begins the account with an episode in the life of Tolstoy, who racked up huge gambling debts and had to sell land and slaves as a result. Fresh and exciting, this is popular history at its very best.

The Age of Insight: The Quest to Understand the Unconscious in Art, Mind, and Brain from Vienna 1900 to the Present


Eric R. Kandel - 2012
    Kandel, The Age of Insight takes us to Vienna 1900, where leaders in science, medicine, and art began a revolution that changed forever how we think about the human mind—our conscious and unconscious thoughts and emotions—and how mind and brain relate to art.   At the turn of the century, Vienna was the cultural capital of Europe. Artists and scientists met in glittering salons, where they freely exchanged ideas that led to revolutionary breakthroughs in psychology, brain science, literature, and art. Kandel takes us into the world of Vienna to trace, in rich and rewarding detail, the ideas and advances made then, and their enduring influence today.   The Vienna School of Medicine led the way with its realization that truth lies hidden beneath the surface. That principle infused Viennese culture and strongly influenced the other pioneers of Vienna 1900. Sigmund Freud shocked the world with his insights into how our everyday unconscious aggressive and erotic desires are repressed and disguised in symbols, dreams, and behavior. Arthur Schnitzler revealed women’s unconscious sexuality in his novels through his innovative use of the interior monologue. Gustav Klimt, Oscar Kokoschka, and Egon Schiele created startlingly evocative and honest portraits that expressed unconscious lust, desire, anxiety, and the fear of death.   Kandel tells the story of how these pioneers—Freud, Schnitzler, Klimt, Kokoschka, and Schiele—inspired by the Vienna School of Medicine, in turn influenced the founders of the Vienna School of Art History to ask pivotal questions such as What does the viewer bring to a work of art? How does the beholder respond to it? These questions prompted new and ongoing discoveries in psychology and brain biology, leading to revelations about how we see and perceive, how we think and feel, and how we respond to and create works of art. Kandel, one of the leading scientific thinkers of our time, places these five innovators in the context of today’s cutting-edge science and gives us a new understanding of the modernist art of Klimt, Kokoschka, and Schiele, as well as the school of thought of Freud and Schnitzler. Reinvigorating the intellectual enquiry that began in Vienna 1900, The Age of Insight is a wonderfully written, superbly researched, and beautifully illustrated book that also provides a foundation for future work in neuroscience and the humanities. It is an extraordinary book from an international leader in neuroscience and intellectual history.

Into the Fire: A Firsthand Account of the Most Extraordinary Battle in the Afghan War


Dakota Meyer - 2012
    . . will be told for generations.” — President Barack Obama, from remarks given at Meyer’s Medal of Honor ceremony.In the fall of 2009, Taliban insurgents ambushed a patrol of Afghan soldiers and Marine advisors in a mountain village called Ganjigal. Firing from entrenched positions, the enemy was positioned to wipe out one hundred men who were pinned down and were repeatedly refused artillery support. Ordered to remain behind with the vehicles, twenty-one year-old Marine corporal Dakota Meyer disobeyed orders and attacked to rescue his comrades. With a brave driver at the wheel, Meyer stood in the gun turret exposed to withering fire, rallying Afghan troops to follow. Over the course of the five hours, he charged into the valley time and again. Employing a variety of machine guns, rifles, grenade launchers, and even a rock, Meyer repeatedly repulsed enemy attackers, carried wounded Afghan soldiers to safety, and provided cover for dozens of others to escape—supreme acts of valor and determination. In the end, Meyer and four stalwart comrades—an Army captain, an Afghan sergeant major, and two Marines—cleared the battlefield and came to grips with a tragedy they knew could have been avoided. For his actions on that day, Meyer became the first living Marine in three decades to be awarded the Medal of Honor. Into the Fire tells the full story of the chaotic battle of Ganjigal for the first time, in a compelling, human way that reveals it as a microcosm of our recent wars. Meyer takes us from his upbringing on a farm in Kentucky, through his Marine and sniper training, onto the battlefield, and into the vexed aftermath of his harrowing exploits in a battle that has become the stuff of legend. Investigations ensued, even as he was pitched back into battle alongside U.S. Army soldiers who embraced him as a fellow grunt. When it was over, he returned to the States to confront living with the loss of his closest friends. This is a tale of American values and upbringing, of stunning heroism, and of adjusting to loss and to civilian life. We see it all through Meyer’s eyes, bullet by bullet, with raw honesty in telling of both the errors that resulted in tragedy and the resolve of American soldiers, U.S.Marines, and Afghan soldiers who’d been abandoned and faced certain death. Meticulously researched and thrillingly told, with nonstop pace and vivid detail, Into the Fire is the true story of a modern American hero. “Sergeant Meyer embodies all that is good about our nation’s Corps of Marines. . . . [His] heroic actions . . . will forever be etched in our Corps’ rich legacy of courage and valor.” —General James F. Amos, Commandant of the Marine Corps

Dirty Wars: The World is a Battlefield


Jeremy Scahill - 2012
    Now also an Oscar-nominated documentaryIn Dirty Wars, Jeremy Scahill, author of the New York Times bestseller Blackwater, takes us inside America’s new covert wars. The foot soldiers in these battles operate globally and inside the United States with orders from the White House to do whatever is necessary to hunt down, capture or kill individuals designated by the president as enemies.Drawn from the ranks of the Navy SEALs, Delta Force, former Blackwater and other private security contractors, the CIA’s Special Activities Division and the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), these elite soldiers operate worldwide, with thousands of secret commandos working in more than one hundred countries. Funded through black budgets, Special Operations Forces conduct missions in denied areas, engage in targeted killings, snatch and grab individuals and direct drone, AC-130 and cruise missile strikes. While the Bush administration deployed these ghost militias, President Barack Obama has expanded their operations and given them new scope and legitimacy.Dirty Wars follows the consequences of the declaration that “the world is a battlefield,” as Scahill uncovers the most important foreign policy story of our time. From Afghanistan to Yemen, Somalia and beyond, Scahill reports from the frontlines in this high-stakes investigation and explores the depths of America’s global killing machine. He goes beneath the surface of these covert wars, conducted in the shadows, outside the range of the press, without effective congressional oversight or public debate. And, based on unprecedented access, Scahill tells the chilling story of an American citizen marked for assassination by his own government.As US leaders draw the country deeper into conflicts across the globe, setting the world stage for enormous destabilization and blowback, Americans are not only at greater risk—we are changing as a nation. Scahill unmasks the shadow warriors who prosecute these secret wars and puts a human face on the casualties of unaccountable violence that is now official policy: victims of night raids, secret prisons, cruise missile attacks and drone strikes, and whole classes of people branded as suspected militants. Through his brave reporting, Scahill exposes the true nature of the dirty wars the United States government struggles to keep hidden.

The Beginning of Better Days: Divine Instruction to Women from the Prophet Joseph Smith


Sheri Dew - 2012
    

Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt


Chris Hedges - 2012
    They wanted to show in words and drawings what life looks like in places where the marketplace rules without constraints, where human beings and the natural world are used and then discarded to maximize profit. Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt is the searing account of their travels.The book starts in the western plains, where Native Americans were sacrificed in the giddy race for land and empire. It moves to the old manufacturing centers and coal fields that fueled the industrial revolution, but now lie depleted and in decay. It follows the steady downward spiral of American labor into the nation's produce fields and ends in Zuccotti Park where a new generation revolts against a corporate state that has handed to the young an economic, political, cultural and environmental catastrophe.

Sketches of a Black Cat - Full Color Collector's Edition: Story of a night flying WWII pilot and artist


Ron Miner - 2012
     Howard Miner never expected to contract the first documented case of the mumps in Guadalcanal history.    As a Navy Black Cat, he took his share of chances during the ten-hour, night long flights in darkened PBYs painted entirely black, searching the seas for enemy ships and downed fliers ~ the original stealth aircrafts.  But wartime was unpredictable, and whether landing on an exotic tropical isle where the women he saw from the air turned out to be topless, or dropping wing tanks containing a strange new substance called “Napalm,” this was clearly a very different world than he had known as a college student in Indiana. His is a tale of seven buddies, all pilots who flew at night, slept and got into mischief by day, then repeated. Their PBY Catalina odyssey stretched from the Solomon Islands to the northern tip of the Philippines and included a full range of missions, from search, attack, and bombing runs, to daring sea rescues. Howard’s journey through training and tours of duty is skillfully captured in his art and narratives, framing a wartime drama with a personal coming of age story. The descriptive verse from the artist’s viewpoint gives us a creatively told and intriguing portrayal of WWII’s Pacific Theater. * * * * Miner combines his father's writings and interviews with WWII veterans to craft a loving tribute to the young men who fought in WWII...He does his father and other WWII veterans proud. ~Publisher's Weekly/Booklife * * * * "Sketches of a Black Cat" is a unique and fascinating memoir of a World War II combat aviator ~ with original and previously unpublished sketches and photographs. This artfully crafted book is a must read for anyone in search of a new and completely different view into the world of war in the Pacific and on the home front during America's greatest conflict." ~ Larkin Spivey, military historian and author. * * * * “From boxes of notes and drawings comes a book illuminating a WWII pilot’s experiences as part of the Black Cat Squadron…accounts of support missions, rescues of airmen and interactions with indigenous island peoples told in vivid but unembellished detail…a handsome volume that reads breezily and is punctuated with photos and drawings from Howard’s war years. ~ Mike Francis the Oregonian * * * * "Wonderful and beautifully real stories such as this are dying every day as we lose our WWII veterans. Kudos to Ron Miner for preserving and sharing with the rest of us the gold of his father's journals, photos, and drawings to bring us such a compelling look at life during the war. This is not only a valuable and insightful historical document but a dramatic and warm personal story." ~ Don Keith, WWII author * * * * “... Howard Miner’s memoirs are a wonderful view into the world of a patrol squadron at war. Miner sees the war through the eyes of an artist, revealing details of day-to-day life that are often overlooked in war time narratives. A wholly enjoyable story!” ~ Stewart Bailey, Curator, Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum * * * * " “As a former flight engineer aboard a PBY in WWII… I can truly say I felt as though I was on Howard’s Catalina…so many similarities to my own experiences.

Rise to Greatness: Abraham Lincoln and America's Most Perilous Year


David von Drehle - 2012
    The federal government appeared overwhelmed, the U.S. Treasury was broke, and the Union's top general was gravely ill. The Confederacy--with its booming economy, expert military leadership, and commanding position on the battlefield--had a clear view to victory. To a remarkable extent, the survival of the country depended on the judgment, cunning, and resilience of the unschooled frontier lawyer who had recently been elected president.Twelve months later, the Civil War had become a cataclysm but the tide had turned. The Union generals who would win the war had at last emerged, and the Confederate Army had suffered the key losses that would lead to its doom. The blueprint of modern America--an expanding colossus of industrial and financial might--had been indelibly inked. And the man who brought the nation through its darkest hour, Abraham Lincoln, had been forged into a singular leader.In Rise to Greatness, acclaimed author David Von Drehle has created both a deeply human portrait of America's greatest president and a rich, dramatic narrative about our most fateful year.

Konark


Nimmy Chacko - 2012
    As he rises into the sky he spreads light and warmth all over the world. The great Ganga king, Narasimha Rao, commissioned 1200 artisans to recreate this scene in stone. The Konark Sun Temple is a place where the lines between fact, fiction and folklore have blurred over time. Amar Chitra Katha interweaves the history of the 13th century monument with some of the mythology associated with it.

Autumn in the Heavenly Kingdom: China, the West, and the Epic Story of the Taiping Civil War


Stephen R. Platt - 2012
    Autumn in the Heavenly Kingdom brims with unforgettable characters and vivid re-creations of massive and often gruesome battles—a sweeping yet intimate portrait of the conflict that shaped the fate of modern China.   The story begins in the early 1850s, the waning years of the Qing dynasty, when word spread of a major revolution brewing in the provinces, led by a failed civil servant who claimed to be the son of God and brother of Jesus. The Taiping rebels drew their power from the poor and the disenfranchised, unleashing the ethnic rage of millions of Chinese against their Manchu rulers. This homegrown movement seemed all but unstoppable until Britain and the United States stepped in and threw their support behind the Manchus: after years of massive carnage, all opposition to Qing rule was effectively snuffed out for generations. Stephen R. Platt recounts these events in spellbinding detail, building his story on two fascinating characters with opposing visions for China’s future: the conservative Confucian scholar Zeng Guofan, an accidental general who emerged as the most influential military strategist in China’s modern history; and Hong Rengan, a brilliant Taiping leader whose grand vision of building a modern, industrial, and pro-Western Chinese state ended in tragic failure.   This is an essential and enthralling history of the rise and fall of the movement that, a century and a half ago, might have launched China on an entirely different path into the modern world.

Saraswati


Sanjana Kapur - 2012
    Saraswati, the goddess of wisdom, emerges from Brahma's mind and enlightens the mighty creator.When the all-consuming fire, Vadavagni, is raging through the world the gods go to Saraswati for help. Saraswati agrees to carry the fire and save everyone from perishing. Shiva aids her in this quest, and she begins her epic course as a river.Later, Saraswati finds herself the victim of a terrible curse when she gets drawn into the rivalry between the sages Vishwamitra and Vasishtha.Amar Chitra Katha follows the story of Saraswati, from her birth to her journey into the ocean.

The Gentrification of the Mind: Witness to a Lost Imagination


Sarah Schulman - 2012
    Schulman takes us back to her Lower East Side and brings it to life, filling these pages with vivid memories of her avant-garde queer friends and dramatically recreating the early years of the AIDS crisis as experienced by a political insider. Interweaving personal reminiscence with cogent analysis, Schulman details her experience as a witness to the loss of a generation’s imagination and the consequences of that loss.

Hannibal and Me: What History's Greatest Military Strategist Can Teach Us About Success and Failu re


Andreas Kluth - 2012
     The life of Hannibal, the Carthaginian general who crossed the Alps with his army in 218 B.C.E., is the stuff of legend. And the epic choices he and his opponents made-on the battlefield and elsewhere in life-offer lessons about responding to our victories and our defeats that are as relevant today as they were more than 2,000 years ago. A big new idea book inspired by ancient history, Hannibal and Me explores the truths behind triumph and disaster in our lives by examining the decisions made by Hannibal and others, including Albert Einstein, Eleanor Roosevelt, Steve Jobs, Ernest Shackleton, and Paul Cézanne-men and women who learned from their mistakes. By showing why some people overcome failure and others succumb to it, and why some fall victim to success while others thrive on it, Hannibal and Me demonstrates how to recognize the seeds of success within our own failures and the threats of failure hidden in our successes. The result is a page-turning adventure tale, a compelling human drama, and an insightful guide to understanding behavior. This is essential reading for anyone who seeks to transform misfortune into success at work, at home, and in life.

Classified Woman


Sibel Edmonds - 2012
    history—takes us on a surreal journey that begins with the secretive FBI and down the dark halls of a feckless Congress to a stonewalling judiciary and finally, to the national security whistleblowers movement she spearheaded. Having lived under Middle East dictatorships, Edmonds knows firsthand what can happen when government is allowed to operate in secret. Hers is a sobering perspective that combines painful experience with a rallying cry for the public’s right to know and to hold the lawbreakers accountable. With U.S. citizens increasingly stripped of their rights in a calibrated media blackout, Edmonds’ story is a wake-up call for all Americans who, willingly or unwillingly, traded liberty for illusive security in the wake of 9/11.

Fashion: The Definitive History of Costume and Style


Susan Brown - 2012
    Tracing the evolution of fashion — from the early draped fabrics of ancient times to the catwalk couture of today — Fashion: The Definitive History of Costume and Style is a stunningly illustrated guide to more than three thousand years of shifting trends and innovative developments in the world of clothing.Containing everything you need to know about changing fashion and style — from ancient Egyptian dress to Space Age Fashion and Grunge — and information on icons like Marie Antoinette, Clara Bow, Jacqueline Kennedy, and Alexander McQueen, Fashion catalogs the history of what people wear, revealing how Western fashion has been influenced by design from around the world and celebrating costume and haute couture.Fashion will captivate anyone interested in style — whether it's the fashion-mad teen in Tokyo, the wannabe designer in college, or the fashionista intrigued by the violent origins of the stiletto and the birth of bling.

Service: A Navy SEAL at War


Marcus Luttrell - 2012
    So many had given their lives to save him-and he would have readily done the same for them. As he recuperated, he wondered why he and others, from America's founding to today, had been willing to sacrifice everything-including themselves-for the sake of family, nation, and freedom.In Service, we follow Marcus Luttrell to Iraq, where he returns to the battlefield as a member of SEAL Team 5 to help take on the most dangerous city in the world: Ramadi, the capital of war-torn Al Anbar Province. There, in six months of high-intensity urban combat, he would be part of what has been called the greatest victory in the history of U.S. Special Operations forces. We also return to Afghanistan and Operation Redwing, where Luttrell offers powerful new details about his miraculous rescue. Throughout, he reflects on what it really means to take on a higher calling, about the men he's seen lose their lives for their country, and the legacy of those who came and bled before.A thrilling war story, Service is also a profoundly moving tribute to the warrior brotherhood, to the belief that nobody goes it alone, and no one will be left behind.

1913


Oliver DeMille - 2012
    In fact, they triggered the greatest turning point away from freedom in modern times.What were these dangerous events? Why do so few American citizens know about them—especially since they dramatically and negatively impact every detail of their lives? Most importantly, how can their effects be reversed and freedom restored?1913 answers these questions and more. This is not a doomsday book for alarmists, but rather an optimistic action guide for thoughtful, dedicated freedom-lovers. DeMille provides three clear, detailed, and practical solutions you can implement to restore America’s freedom and revitalize her prosperity.A new turning point of freedom is desperately needed. And reading this book will propel you to the front lines of that shift.

The Dust Bowl: An Illustrated History


Ken Burns - 2012
    Terrifying photographs of mile-high dust storms, along with firsthand accounts by more than two dozen eyewitnesses, bring to life this heart-wrenching catastrophe, when a combination of drought, wind, and poor farming practices turned millions of acres of the Great Plains into a wasteland, killing crops and livestock, threatening the lives of small children, burying homesteaders' hopes under huge dunes of dirt. Burns and Duncan collected more than 300 mesmerizing photographs, some never before published, scoured private letters, government reports, and newspaper articles, and conducted in-depth interviews to produce a document that may likely be the last recorded testimony of the generation who lived through this defining decade.

Shakespeare's Restless World: A Portrait of an Era in Twenty Objects


Neil MacGregor - 2012
    Think of Hamlet, trapped in indecision, or Macbeth’s merciless and ultimately self-destructive ambition, or the Machiavellian rise and short reign of Richard III. They are so vital, so alive and real that we can see aspects of ourselves in them. But their world was at once familiar and nothing like our own. In this brilliant work of historical reconstruction Neil MacGregor and his team at the British Museum, working together in a landmark collaboration with the Royal Shakespeare Company and the BBC, bring us twenty objects that capture the essence of Shakespeare’s universe. A perfect complement to A History of the World in 100 Objects, MacGregor’s landmark New York Times bestseller, Shakespeare’s Restless World highlights a turning point in human history. This magnificent book, illustrated throughout with more than one hundred vibrant color photographs, invites you to travel back in history and to touch, smell, and feel what life was like at that pivotal moment, when humankind leaped into the modern age. This was an exhilarating time when discoveries in science and technology altered the parameters of the known world. Sir Francis Drake’s circumnavigation map allows us to imagine the age of exploration from the point of view of one of its most ambitious navigators. A bishop’s cup captures the most sacred and divisive act in Christendom. With A History of the World in 100 Objects, MacGregor pioneered a new way of telling history through artifacts. Now he trains his eye closer to home, on a subject that has mesmerized him since childhood, and lets us see Shakespeare and his world in a whole new light.

The Know Your Bill of Rights Book: Don't Lose Your Constitutional Rights--Learn Them!


Sean Patrick - 2012
    The eloquent style in which it’s written can be confusing. The language can cause misunderstandings. There’s a lot of legal terminology that’s beyond most of us. Without an understanding of the historical background of certain amendments, it’s impossible to fully understand their importance and scope. And to top it all off, there are countless politicians and pundits that try to interpret our rights for us and tell us what the Founders meant.But are you comfortable letting crooked politicians decide what your rights are? Or would you rather know and be able to insist on, with certainty, the freedoms our Founders intended for you, your family, your friends, and your fellow Americans? If you’re like millions of other Americans, you’ll choose the latter.Thomas Jefferson said, “Educate and inform the whole mass of the people…They are the only sure reliance for the preservation of our liberty.” He also said, “If a nation expects to be ignorant and free… it expects what never was and never will be.”That's why this book was created, and it would make the Founders proud if they were here today. This book helps you easily reach a deep understanding of the Bill of Rights by walking you through each amendment, clarifying the precise definitions of key words; providing the historical context you need to fully grasp and spirit and importance of the amendments; sharing powerfully insightful quotes on each amendment, straight from the Founders and their peers; supplying you with an extensive glossary of terms so you never get lost in a dictionary or encyclopedia trying to understand what you’re reading; and more.The Founders fought tirelessly to guarantee you specific rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Don’t let two-faced politicians and pundits tell you what your rights are. Scroll up and click the "Buy" button now to learn your rights, and together, we can keep the spirit of freedom alive in this great nation.

Thanjavur


Prabha Nair - 2012
    The mighty Cholas made it their capital in the 9th century CE, following which they increased, through conquests, the size and strength of their empire. Finally, after realizing all his military ambitions, the Chola monarch Raja Raja Chola I decided to build a great temple in Thanjavur dedicated to Lord Shiva. Thus Thanjavur became home to the majestic Brihadeeswara temple and many other shrines. Amar Chitra Katha tells the stories surrounding this ancient town and its monuments.

Roger Williams and the Creation of the American Soul: Church, State, and the Birth of Liberty


John M. Barry - 2012
    These debates began with the extraordinary thought and struggles of Roger Williams, who had an unparalleled understanding of the conflict between a government that justified itself by "reason of state"—i.e., national security—and its perceived "will of God" and the "ancient rights and liberties" of individuals.This is a story of power, set against Puritan America and the English Civil War. Williams's interactions with King James, Francis Bacon, Oliver Cromwell, and his mentor Edward Coke set his course, but his fundamental ideas came to fruition in America, as Williams, though a Puritan, collided with John Winthrop's vision of his "City upon a Hill."Acclaimed historian John M. Barry explores the development of these fundamental ideas through the story of the man who was the first to link religious freedom to individual liberty, and who created in America the first government and society on earth informed by those beliefs. The story is essential to the continuing debate over how we define the role of religion and political power in modern American life.

The Man Who Saved the Union: Ulysses Grant in War and Peace


H.W. Brands - 2012
    W. Brands, a masterful biography of the Civil War general and two-term president who saved the Union twice, on the battlefield and in the White House, holding the country together at two critical turning points in our history.Ulysses Grant rose from obscurity to discover he had a genius for battle, and he propelled the Union to victory in the Civil War. After Abraham Lincoln's assassination and the disastrous brief presidency of Andrew Johnson, America turned to Grant again to unite the country, this time as president. In Brands's sweeping, majestic full biography, Grant emerges as a heroic figure who was fearlessly on the side of right. He was a beloved commander in the field but willing to make the troop sacrifices necessary to win the war, even in the face of storms of criticism. He worked valiantly to protect the rights of freedmen in the South; Brands calls him the last presidential defender of black civil rights for nearly a century. He played it straight with the American Indians, allowing them to shape their own fate even as the realities of Manifest Destiny meant the end of their way of life.  He was an enormously popular president whose memoirs were a huge bestseller; yet within decades of his death his reputation was in tatters, the victim of Southerners who resented his policies on Reconstruction. In this page-turning biography, Brands now reconsiders Grant's legacy and provides a compelling and intimate portrait of a man who saved the Union on the battlefield and consolidated that victory as a resolute and principled political leader.

The Creedal Imperative


Carl R. Trueman - 2012
    Advocating for a balanced perspective, Carl Trueman offers an analysis of why creeds and confessions are necessary, how they have developed over time, and how they can function in the church of today and tomorrow.

The Boys of ’67: Charlie Company’s War in Vietnam


Andrew Wiest - 2012
    In the spring of 1966, the war was still popular and the draftees of Charlie Company saw their service as a rite of passage. But by December 1967, when the company rotated home, only 30 men were not casualties-and they were among the first vets of the war to be spit on and harassed by war protestors as they arrived back the U.S.In his new book, The Boys of '67, Andy Wiest, the award-winning author of Vietnam's Forgotten Army and The Vietnam War 1956-1975, examines the experiences of a company from the only division in the Vietnam era to train and deploy together in similar fashion to WWII's famous 101st Airborne Division.Wiest interviewed more than 50 officers and enlisted men who served with Charlie Company, including the surviving platoon leaders and both of the company's commanders. (One of the platoon leaders, Lt Jack Benedick, lost both of his legs, but went on to become a champion skier.) In addition, he interviewed 15 family members of Charlie Company veterans, including wives, children, parents, and siblings. Wiest also had access to personal papers, collections of letters, a diary, an abundance of newspaper clippings, training notebooks, field manuals, condolence letters, and photographs from before, during, and after the conflict.As Wiest shows, the fighting that Charlie Company saw in 1967 was nearly as bloody as many of the better publicized battles, including the infamous 'Ia Drang' and 'Hamburger Hill.' As a result, many of the surviving members of Charlie Company came home with what the military now recognizes as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder-a diagnosis that was not recognized until the late 1970s and was not widely treated until the 1980s. Only recently, after more than 40 years, have many members of Charlie Company achieved any real and sustained relief from their suffering.

Implosion: Can America Recover from Its Economic and Spiritual Challenges in Time?


Joel C. Rosenberg - 2012
    Rosenberg tackles the question: Is America an empire in decline or a nation poised for a historic Renaissance?America teeters on a precipice. In the midst of financial turmoil, political uncertainty, declining morality, the constant threat of natural disasters, and myriad other daunting challenges, many wonder what the future holds for this once-great nation. Will history's greatest democracy stage a miraculous comeback, returning to the forefront of the world's economic and spiritual stage? Can America's religious past be repeated today with a third Great Awakening? Or will the rise of China, Russia, and other nations, coupled with the US's internal struggles, send her into a decline from which there can be no return? "Implosion" helps readers understand the economic, social, and spiritual challenges facing the United States in the 21st century, through the lens of biblical prophecy.

Bad Indians: A Tribal Memoir


Deborah A. Miranda - 2012
    Personal and strong, these stories present an evocative new view of the shaping of California and the lives of Indians during the Mission period in California. The result is a work of literary art that is wise, angry and playful all at once.

Through the Eye of a Needle: Wealth, the Fall of Rome & the Making of Christianity in the West, 350-550 AD


Peter R.L. Brown - 2012
    Yet by the fall of Rome, the church was becoming rich beyond measure. Thru the Eye of a Needle is a sweeping intellectual & social history of the vexing problem of wealth in Christianity in the waning days of the Roman Empire, written by the world's foremost scholar of late antiquity. Brown examines the rise of the church thru the lens of money & the challenges it posed to an institution that espoused the virtue of poverty & called avarice the root of all evil. Drawing on the writings of major Christian thinkers such as Augustine, Ambrose & Jerome, Brown examines the controversies & changing attitudes toward money caused by the influx of new wealth into church coffers, & describes the spectacular acts of divestment by rich donors & their growing influence in an empire beset with crisis. He shows how the use of wealth for the care of the poor competed with older forms of philanthropy deeply rooted in the Roman world & sheds light on the ordinary people who gave away their money in hopes of treasure in heaven. Through the Eye of a Needle challenges the widely held notion that Christianity's growing wealth sapped Rome of its ability to resist the barbarian invasions & offers a fresh perspective on the social history of the church in late antiquity.

India's Biggest Cover-up


Anuj Dhar - 2012
    Relying heavily on official records bulk of them still security classified in violation of democratic norms the book uncovers a systematic obstruction of justice by the Government of India. First for any book in India, the narrative has been augmented with the excerpts and images of still secret records. Archival material and information obtained under the freedom of information acts of India, the US and the UK has also been made use of.

The Chronicles of Downton Abbey: A New Era


Jessica Fellowes - 2012
    As Season 3 of the award-winning TV series opens, it is 1920 and Downton Abbey is waking up to a world changed forever by World War I. New characters arrive and new intrigues thrive as the old social order is challenged by new expectations.In this new era, different family members abound (including Cora's American mother, played by Shirley MacLaine) and changed dynamics need to be resolved: Which branch of the family tree will Lord Grantham's first grandchild belong to? What will become of the servants, both old and new?The Chronicles of Downton Abbey, carefully pieced together at the heart and hearth of the ancestral home of the Crawleys, takes us deeper into the story of every important member of the Downton estate.This lavish, entirely new book from Jessica Fellowes focuses on each character individually, examining their motivations, their actions, and the inspirations behind them. An evocative combination of story, history, and behind-the-scenes drama, it will bring fans even closer to the secret, beating heart of the house.

Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel


Max Blumenthal - 2012
    As his journey deepens, he painstakingly reports on the occupied Palestinians challenging schemes of demographic separation through unarmed protest. He talks at length to the leaders and youth of Palestinian society inside Israel now targeted by security service dragnets and legislation suppressing their speech, and provides in-depth reporting on the small band of Jewish Israeli dissidents who have shaken off a conformist mindset that permeates the media, schools, and the military.Through his far-ranging travels, Blumenthal illuminates the present by uncovering the ghosts of the past—the histories of Palestinian neighborhoods and villages now gone and forgotten; how that history has set the stage for the current crisis of Israeli society; and how the Holocaust has been turned into justification for occupation.A brave and unflinching account of the real facts on the ground, Goliath is an unprecedented and compelling work of journalism.

Power Systems: Conversations on Global Democratic Uprisings and the New Challenges to U.S. Empire


Noam Chomsky - 2012
    As always, Chomsky presents his ideas vividly and accessibly, with uncompromising principle and clarifying insight.The latest volume from a long-established, trusted partnership, Power Systems shows once again that no interlocutor engages with Chomsky more effectively than David Barsamian. These interviews will inspire a new generation of readers, as well as longtime Chomsky fans eager for his latest thinking on the many crises we now confront, both at home and abroad. They confirm that Chomsky is an unparalleled resource for anyone seeking to understand our world today.

Subversives: The FBI's War on Student Radicals, and Reagan's Rise to Power


Seth Rosenfeld - 2012
    Through these converging narratives, the award-winning investigative reporter Seth Rosenfeld tells a dramatic and disturbing story of FBI surveillance, illegal break-ins, infiltration, planted news stories, poison-pen letters, and secret detention lists all centered on the nation's leading public university. Rosenfeld vividly evokes the campus counterculture, as he reveals how the FBI’s covert operations—led by Reagan’s friend J. Edgar Hoover—helped ignite an era of protest, undermine the Democrats, and benefit Reagan personally and politically.The FBI spent more than $1 million trying to block the release of the secret files on which Subversives is based, but Rosenfeld compelled the bureau to reveal more than 300,000 pages, providing an extraordinary view of what the government was up to during a turning point in our nation.Part history, part biography, and part police procedural, Subversives reads like a true-crime mystery as it provides a fresh look at the legacy of the 1960s, sheds new light on one of America’s most popular presidents, and tells a cautionary tale about the dangers of unchecked secrecy and power.

No Way Out: A Story of Valor in the Mountains of Afghanistan


Mitch Weiss - 2012
    A Special Forces team planned to land in an enemy-held valley, scale a steep mountain in Afghanistan to surprise and capture a terrorist leader. But before they found the target, the target found them... The team was caught in a deadly ambush that not only threatened their lives, but the entire mission. The elite soldiers fought for hours, huddled on a small rock ledge as rocket-propelled grenades and heavy machine gun fire rained down on them. With total disregard for their own safety, they tended to their wounded and kept fighting to stay alive. When the battle finally ended, ten soldiers had earned Silver Stars- the Army's third highest award for combat valor. It was the most Silver Stars awarded to any unit in one battle since Vietnam. Based on dozens of interviews with those who were there, No Way Out is a compelling narrative of an epic battle that not only tested the soldiers' mettle but serves as a cautionary tale: Be careful what you ask a soldier to do because they will die trying to accomplish their mission.

After Camelot: A Personal History of the Kennedy Family--1968 to the Present


J. Randy Taraborrelli - 2012
    In this ambitious and sweeping account, Taraborelli continues the family chronicle begun with his bestselling Jackie, Ethel, Joan and provides a behind-the-scenes look at the years "after Camelot." He describes the challenges Bobby's children faced as they grew into adulthood; Eunice and Sargent Shriver's remarkable philanthropic work; the emotional turmoil Jackie faced after JFK's murder and the complexities of her eventual marriage to Aristotle Onassis; the the sudden death of JFK JR; and the stoicism and grace of his sister Caroline. He also brings into clear focus the complex and intriguing story of Edward "Teddy" and shows how he influenced the sensibilities of the next generation and challenged them to uphold the Kennedy name. Based on extensive research, including hundreds of exclusive interviews, After Camelot captures the wealth, glamour, and fortitude for which the Kennedys are so well known. With this book, J. Randy Taraborrelli takes readers on an epic journey as he unfolds the ongoing saga of the nation's most famous-and controversial-family.

Lincoln's Last Days: The Shocking Assassination that Changed America Forever


Bill O'Reilly - 2012
    Adapted from Bill O'Reilly's bestselling historical thriller, Killing Lincoln, this book will have young readers—and grown-ups too—hooked on history.In the spring of 1865, President Abraham Lincoln travels through Washington, D.C., after finally winning America's bloody Civil War. In the midst of celebrations, Lincoln is assassinated at Ford's Theatre by a famous actor named John Wilkes Booth. What follows is a thrilling chase, ending with a fiery shoot-out and swift justice for the perpetrators.With an unforgettable cast of characters, page-turning action, vivid detail, and art on every spread, Lincoln's Last Days is history that reads like a thriller. This is a very special book, irresistible on its own or as a compelling companion to Killing Lincoln.

Beyond Courage: The Untold Story of Jewish Resistance During the Holocaust


Doreen Rappaport - 2012
    In Belgium, three resisters ambush a train, allowing scores of Jews to flee from the cattle cars. In Poland, four brothers lead more than 1,200 ghetto refugees into the forest to build a guerilla force and self-sufficient village. And twelve-year-old Motele Shlayan entertains German officers with his violin moments before setting off a bomb. Through twenty-one meticulously researched accounts — some chronicled in book form for the first time — Doreen Rappaport illuminates the defiance of tens of thousands of Jews across eleven Nazi-occupied countries during World War II. In answer to the genocidal madness that was Hitler’s Holocaust, the only response they could abide was resistance, and their greatest weapons were courage, ingenuity, the will to survive, and the resolve to save others or to die trying. Extensive end matter includes: - timeline of important events - index - pronunciation guide - source notes - maps integrated throughout text

Churchill: The Power of Words


Winston S. Churchill - 2012
    In public speeches and published books, in newspaper and magazine articles, he expressed his feelings and laid out his vision for the future. His wartime writings and speeches have fascinated generation after generation with their powerful narrative style and thoughtful reflection. This book contains one hundred extracts from his books, articles and speeches. They range from his memories of his schooldays, to his contributions to the debates on social policy and on war, his contributions in both world wars to the events and discourse, and his efforts after 1945 to see the world a better place. Martin Gilbert, Churchill's official biographer, has chosen passages that express to him the essence of Churchill's thoughts, and which describe—in his own inimitable words—the main adventures of his life, and the main crises of his career with Gilbert’s own introduction and interlinking text. They give, from first to last, an insight into his life and thought, how it evolved, and how he made his mark on the British and world stage.

Trinity: A Graphic History of the First Atomic Bomb


Jonathan Fetter-Vorm - 2012
    This sweeping historical narrative traces the spark of invention from the laboratories of nineteenth-century Europe to the massive industrial and scientific efforts of the Manhattan Project. Along the way, Fetter-Vorm takes special care to explain the fundamental science of nuclear reactions. With the clarity and accessibility that only a graphic book can provide, Trinity transports the reader into the core of a nuclear reaction—into the splitting atoms themselves.The power of the atom was harnessed in a top-secret government compound in Los Alamos, New Mexico, where some of the greatest scientific minds in the world gathered together to work on the bomb. Fetter-Vorm showcases J. Robert Oppenheimer, Enrico Fermi, and General Leslie Groves, the fathers of the atomic bomb, whose insights unleashed the most devastating explosion known to humankind. These brilliant scientists wrestled daily with both the difficulty of building an atomic weapon and the moral implications of actually succeeding.When the first bomb finally went off at a test site code-named Trinity, the world was irreversibly thrust into a new and terrifying age. With powerful renderings of the catastrophic events at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Fetter-Vorm unflinchingly chronicles the far-reaching political, environmental, and ethical effects of this new discovery. Richly illustrated and deeply researched, Trinity is a dramatic, informative, and thought-provoking book on one of the most significant and harrowing events in history.

The Secret Life of Words: English Words and Their Origins


Anne Curzan - 2012
    Discover the secrets behind the words in our everyday lexicon with this delightful, informative survey of English, from its Germanic origins to the rise of globalization and cyber-communications. Professor Curzan approaches words like an archaeologist, digging below the surface to uncover the story of words, from the humble "she" to such SAT words as "conflagration" and "pedimanous." In these 36 fascinating lectures, you'll discover the history of the dictionary and how words make it into a reference book like the Oxford English Dictionary; survey the borrowed words that make up the English lexicon; find out how words are born and how they die; expand your vocabulary by studying Greek and Latin "word webs"; and revel in new terms, such as "musquirt," "adorkable," and "struggle bus." English is an omnivorous language and has borrowed heavily from the many languages it has come into contact with, from Celtic and Old Norse in the Middle Ages to the dozens of world languages in the truly global 20th and 21st centuries. You'll be surprised to learn that the impulse to conserve "pure English" is nothing new. In fact, if English purists during the Renaissance had their way, we would now be using Old English compounds such as "flesh-strings" for "muscles" and "bone-lock" for "joint." You may not come away using terms like "whatevs" or "multislacking" in casual conversation, but you'll love studying the linguistic system that gives us such irreverent - and fun - slang, from "boy toy" to "cankles."

Who Stole the American Dream? Can We Get It Back?


Hedrick Smith - 2012
    Through stories of everyday people, Smith also shows how Americans are faring today--and explores what we can do, together, to re-create the American Dream. Fitting the pieces of a big puzzle together in the way only a veteran reporter can, Smith shows how events reported in many recent news stories--from the mortgage mess to 401(k) disasters, and including problems in housing, banks, pensions, legislation, jobs, and more--are the outcomes of the evolution of a political and economic dismantling that began in 1971 with Lewis Powell's provocative memo, and continued through the eras of Nixon, Carter, Reagan, Clinton, and Bush, up to today. With a deep and sophisticated understanding of recent American history, Smith interweaves into the decades-long story of our country's reconfiguration powerful, vivid portraits, both of some of the people who caused this change, and some of those affected by it. This book tells a story about modern America that has never been told this way before. It is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand America now, and why he or she can't get ahead. "Who Stole the American Dream?" explores how we can recapture lost hope--it is a masterful work about America today by one of our leading print and television journalists.

The Vanishing Woman


Doug Peterson - 2012
    They took trains and steamboats north, escaping in plain view. When other passengers looked at her, they saw only an ailing planter from Georgia. Ellen Craft had vanished. Ellen’s mother was a slave, but her father was her master, and she had skin as white as his. This enabled her to pose as a white man, in one of the boldest escapes in American history. The Vanishing Woman is based on a true story—an escape driven by the desire for freedom and family. William and Ellen decided they would not have children until they were free. Their incredible story riveted a nation, and the couple put the Fugitive Slave Law to its first major test, bringing attention to their plight all of the way to the White House. The ultimate irony: This vanishing woman became one of the most visible symbols of freedom in nineteenth-century America. They ran 1,000 miles to freedom and changed the country forever.

Manhunt: The Ten-Year Search for Bin Laden--from 9/11 to Abbottabad


Peter L. Bergen - 2012
    Other key elements of the book will include:A careful account of Obama’s decision-making process as the raid was plannedThe fascinating story of a group of CIA analysts—largely women—who never gave up assembling the tiniest clues about OBL’s whereaboutsThe untold and action-packed history of the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) and the SEALsAn analysis of what the death of OBL means for al Qaeda, and for Obama’s legacy. Just as Too Big to Fail captured, in riveting detail, the anatomy of this decade’s financial disaster, so too is Manhunt one of the key stories of this decade: the authoritative, immersive account of the operation that killed the man who organized the largest mass murder in American history.

Young Bass Reeves: The Life and Legend of Bass Reeves (Revised Edition)


Fred Staff - 2012
    A man who rose from slavery and escaped into Indian Territory, during the Civil War, to become the most feared lawman of his times. He served for over thirty years and brought more than three thousand violent men to justice before the famous Hanging Judge Issac Parker in Fort Smith Arkansas. His amazing story is full of adventure and courage. His place in history has been for to long neglected because he was black. Don't forget to pick up the next two books in this fantastic Western series!

Smoke Signals: A Social History of Marijuana - Medical, Recreational and Scientific


Martin A. Lee - 2012
    Martin A. Lee traces the dramatic social history of marijuana from its origins to its emergence in the 1960s as a defining force in a culture war that has never ceased. Lee describes how the illicit marijuana subculture overcame government opposition and morphed into a dynamic, multibillion-dollar industry. In 1996, California voters approved Proposition 215, legalizing marijuana for medicinal purposes. Similar laws have followed in more than a dozen other states, but not without antagonistic responses from federal, state, and local law enforcement. Lee, an award-winning investigative journalist, draws attention to underreported scientific breakthroughs that are reshaping the therapeutic landscape. By mining the plant’s rich pharmacopoeia, medical researchers have developed promising treatments for cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, chronic pain, and many other conditions that are beyond the reach of conventional cures.Colorful, illuminating, and at times irreverent, this is a fascinating read for recreational users and patients, students and doctors, musicians and accountants, Baby Boomers and their kids, and anyone who has ever wondered about the secret life of this ubiquitous herb. Smoke Signals is the winner of the American Botanical Council's James A. Duke Excellence in Botanical Literature Award for 2012

Abraham Lincoln: A Life, Volume One


Michael Burlingame - 2012
    Incorporating the field notes of earlier biographers, along with decades of research in multiple manuscript archives and long-neglected newspapers, this remarkable work will both alter and reinforce our current understanding of America's sixteenth president.Volume 1 covers Lincoln's early childhood, his experiences as a farm boy in Indiana and Illinois, his legal training, and the political ambition that led to a term in Congress in the 1840s. In volume 2, Burlingame examines Lincoln's life during his presidency and the Civil War, narrating in fascinating detail the crisis over Fort Sumter and Lincoln's own battles with relentless office seekers, hostile newspaper editors, and incompetent field commanders. Burlingame also offers new interpretations of Lincoln's private life, discussing his marriage to Mary Todd and the untimely deaths of two sons to disease.But through it all—his difficult childhood, his contentious political career, a fratricidal war, and tragic personal losses—Lincoln preserved a keen sense of humor and acquired a psychological maturity that proved to be the North's most valuable asset in winning the Civil War.Published to coincide with the 200th anniversary of Lincoln's birth, this landmark publication establishes Burlingame as the most assiduous Lincoln biographer of recent memory and brings Lincoln alive to modern readers as never before.

Killing Kennedy: The End of Camelot


Bill O'ReillyBill O'Reilly - 2012
    Kennedy struggles to contain the growth of Communism while he learns the hardships, solitude, and temptations of what it means to be president of the United States. Along the way he acquires a number of formidable enemies, among them Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev, Cuban dictator Fidel Castro, and Allen Dulles, director of the Central Intelligence Agency. In addition, powerful elements of organized crime have begun to talk about targeting the president and his brother, Attorney General Robert Kennedy.In the midst of a 1963 campaign trip to Texas, Kennedy is gunned down by an erratic young drifter named Lee Harvey Oswald. The former Marine Corps sharpshooter escapes the scene, only to be caught and shot dead while in police custody.The events leading up to the most notorious crime of the twentieth century are almost as shocking as the assassination itself.

Gone at 3:17: The Untold Story of the Worst School Disaster in American History


David M. Brown - 2012
    on March 18, 1937, a natural gas leak beneath the London Junior-Senior High School in the oil boomtown of New London, Texas, created a lethal mixture of gas and oxygen in the school s basement. The odorless, colorless gas went undetected until the flip of an electrical switch triggered a colossal blast. The two-story school, one of the nation s most modern, disintegrated, burying everyone under a vast pile of rubble and debris. More than 300 students and teachers were killed, and hundreds more were injured. As the seventy-fifth anniversary of the catastrophe approaches, it remains the deadliest school disaster in U.S. history. Few, however, know of this historic tragedy, and no book, until now, has chronicled the explosion, its cause, its victims, and the aftermath."Gone at 3:17" is a true story of what can happen when school officials make bad decisions. To save money on heating the school building, the trustees had authorized workers to tap into a pipeline carrying waste natural gas produced by a gasoline refinery. The explosion led to laws that now require gas companies to add the familiar pungent odor. The knowledge that the tragedy could have been prevented added immeasurably to the heartbreak experienced by the survivors and the victims families. The town would never be the same.Using interviews, testimony from survivors, and archival newspaper files, "Gone at 3:17" puts readers inside the shop class to witness the spark that ignited the gas. Many of those interviewed during twenty years of research are no longer living, but their acts of heroism and stories of survival live on in this meticulously documented and extensively illustrated book.

The DIM Hypothesis: Why the Lights of the West Are Going Out


Leonard Peikoff - 2012
    Leonard Peikoff casts a penetrating new light on the process of human thought, and thereby on Western culture and history. In this far-reaching study, Peikoff identifies the three methods people use to integrate concrete data into a whole, as when connecting diverse experiments by a scientific theory, or separate laws into a Constitution, or single events into a story. The first method, in which data is integrated through rational means, he calls Integration. The second, which employs non-rational means, he calls Misintegration. The third is Disintegration—which is nihilism, the desire to tear things apart. In The DIM Hypothesis Peikoff demonstrates the power of these three methods in shaping the West, by using the categories to examine the culturally representative fields of literature, physics, education, and politics. His analysis illustrates how the historical trends in each field have been dominated by one of these three categories, not only today but during the whole progression of Western culture from its beginning in Ancient Greece. Extrapolating from the historical pattern he identifies, Peikoff concludes by explaining why the lights of the West are going out—and predicts the most likely future for the United States.

Freedom National: The Destruction of Slavery in the United States, 1861-1865


James Oakes - 2012
    It shatters the widespread conviction that the Civil War was first and foremost a war to restore the Union and only gradually, when it became a military necessity, a war to end slavery. These two aims—"Liberty and Union, one and inseparable"—were intertwined in Republican policy from the very start of the war.By summer 1861 the federal government invoked military authority to begin freeing slaves, immediately and without slaveholder compensation, as they fled to Union lines in the disloyal South. In the loyal Border States the Republicans tried coaxing officials into gradual abolition with promises of compensation and the colonization abroad of freed blacks. James Oakes shows that Lincoln’s landmark 1863 proclamation marked neither the beginning nor the end of emancipation: it triggered a more aggressive phase of military emancipation, sending Union soldiers onto plantations to entice slaves away and enlist the men in the army. But slavery proved deeply entrenched, with slaveholders determined to re-enslave freedmen left behind the shifting Union lines. Lincoln feared that the war could end in Union victory with slavery still intact. The Thirteenth Amendment that so succinctly abolished slavery was no formality: it was the final act in a saga of immense war, social upheaval, and determined political leadership.Fresh and compelling, this magisterial history offers a new understanding of the death of slavery and the rebirth of a nation.8 pages illustrations

Bundles of Joy


Linda Fairley - 2012
    'No matter how many babies I deliver, each and every one is a miracle, connecting me to the world like nothing else, reminding me that we are all equal in the beginning, and in the end. It's a great leveller, childbirth.' It's January 1972 and times have changed since Linda first stepped onto a maternity ward four years earlier. Gone are the starched skirts and steaming milk kitchens of the 1960s; these are the exhilarating days of disposable equipment and new technology. The Pill will soon be free to all women, and more and more fathers are daring to brave the delivery room. At the newly-opened Ashton maternity unit the midwives' spirits are high, and, in spite of the dark cloud of laundry strikes on the horizon, there's the scent of a new era on the cold winter wind. But one thing has stayed the same - the babies keep coming. Year after year, Linda faithfully helps the women of Greater Manchester through their most vulnerable and emotional hours, whether it is by giving calm instructions over the phone to a panicking husband, delivering a baby unexpectedly in a hospital lift, or by dashing headlong to the rescue of a snowed-in mum-to-be. As 25-year-old Linda becomes a mother herself she understands, more than ever, what a precious gift it is to bring children into the world, and she holds each new baby just that little bit tighter. As the years roll by Linda finds herself delivering the babies of mothers and fathers she helped to bring into the world decades earlier - making her something of a local celebrity. Through the highs and lows, through the modernisations that transform the hospital and the world outside, Linda's passion for midwifery burns as bright as ever. With 42 years of experience Linda is one of Britain's longest-serving midwives, and reaching the retirement age in 2008 didn't stop her doing the job she loves. Although she has seen generations of women give birth and delivered more than 2,000 babies, she treats every new arrival like the new miracle it is.

The Generals: American Military Command from World War II to Today


Thomas E. Ricks - 2012
    In The Generals, Thomas E. Ricks sets out to explain why that is. In part it is the story of a widening gulf between performance and accountability. During the Second World War, scores of American generals were relieved of command simply for not being good enough. Today, as one American colonel said bitterly during the Iraq War, “As matters stand now, a private who loses a rifle suffers far greater consequences than a general who loses a war.”In The Generals we meet great leaders and suspect ones, generals who rose to the occasion and those who failed themselves and their soldiers. Marshall and Eisenhower cast long shadows over this story, as does the less familiar Marine General O. P. Smith, whose fighting retreat from the Chinese onslaught into Korea in the winter of 1950 snatched a kind of victory from the jaws of annihilation.But Korea also showed the first signs of an army leadership culture that neither punished mediocrity nor particularly rewarded daring. In the Vietnam War, the problem grew worse until, finally, American military leadership bottomed out. The My Lai massacre, Ricks shows us, is the emblematic event of this dark chapter of our history. In the wake of Vietnam a battle for the soul of the U.S. Army was waged with impressive success. It became a transformed institution, reinvigorated from the bottom up. But if the body was highly toned, its head still suffered from familiar problems, resulting in tactically savvy but strategically obtuse leadership that would win battles but end wars badly from the first Iraq War of 1990 through to the present.Ricks has made a close study of America’s military leaders for three decades, and in his hands this story resounds with larger meaning: about the transmission of values, about strategic thinking, and about the difference between an organization that learns and one that fails.

A Blaze of Glory


Jeff Shaara - 2012
    A Blaze of Glory takes us to the action-packed Western Theater for a vivid re-creation of one of the war’s bloodiest and most iconic engagements—the Battle of Shiloh. It’s the spring of 1862. The Confederate Army in the West teeters on the brink of collapse following the catastrophic loss of Fort Donelson. Commanding general Albert Sidney Johnston is forced to pull up stakes, abandon the critical city of Nashville, and rally his troops in defense of the Memphis and Charleston Railroad. Hot on Johnston’s trail are two of the Union’s best generals: the relentless Ulysses Grant, fresh off his career-making victory at Fort Donelson, and Don Carlos Buell. If their combined forces can crush Johnston’s army and capture the railroad, the war in the West likely will be over. There’s just one problem: Johnston knows of the Union plans, and is poised to launch an audacious surprise attack on Grant’s encampment—a small settlement in southwestern Tennessee anchored by a humble church named Shiloh. With stunning you-are-there immediacy, Shaara takes us inside the maelstrom of Shiloh as no novelist has before. Drawing on meticulous research, he dramatizes the key actions and decisions of the commanders on both sides: Johnston, Grant, Sherman, Beauregard, and the illustrious Colonel Nathan Bedford Forrest. Here too are the thoughts and voices of the junior officers, conscripts, and enlisted men who gave their all for the cause, among them Confederate cavalry lieutenant James Seeley and Private Fritz “Dutchie” Bauer of the 16th Wisconsin Regiment—brave participants in a pitched back-and-forth battle whose casualty count would far surpass anything the American public had yet seen in this war. By the end of the first day of fighting, as Grant’s bedraggled forces regroup for could be their last stand, two major events—both totally unexpected—will turn the tide of the battle and perhaps the war itself.

The Twilight War: The Secret History of America's Thirty-Year Conflict with Iran


David Crist - 2012
    It is a conflict that has never been acknowledged and a story that has never been told.This surreptitious war began with the Iranian revolution and simmers today inside Iraq and in the Persian Gulf. Fights rage in the shadows, between the CIA and its network of spies and Iran's intelligence agency. Battles are fought at sea with Iranians in small speedboats attacking Western oil tankers. This conflict has frustrated five American presidents, divided administrations, and repeatedly threatened to bring the two nations into open warfare. It is a story of shocking miscalculations, bitter debates, hidden casualties, boldness, and betrayal.A senior historian for the federal government with unparalleled access to senior officials and key documents of several U.S. administrations, Crist has spent more than ten years researching and writing The Twilight War, and he breaks new ground on virtually every page. Crist describes the series of secret negotiations between Iran and the United States after 9/11, culminating in Iran's proposal for a grand bargain for peace-which the Bush administration turned down. He documents the clandestine counterattack Iran launched after America's 2003 invasion of Iraq, in which thousands of soldiers disguised as reporters, tourists, pilgrims, and aid workers toiled to change the government in Baghdad and undercut American attempts to pacify the Iraqi insurgency. And he reveals in vivid detail for the first time a number of important stories of military and intelligence operations by both sides, both successes and failures, and their typically unexpected consequences.Much has changed in the world since 1979, but Iran and America remain each other's biggest national security nightmares. "The Iran problem" is a razor-sharp briar patch that has claimed its sixth presidential victim in Barack Obama and his administration. The Twilight War adds vital new depth to our understanding of this acute dilemma it is also a thrillingly engrossing read, animated by a healthy irony about human failings in the fog of not-quite war.

Lunch with Charlotte


Leon Berger - 2012
    To all appearances, she was a strong and dignified survivor, with old-world courtesies, a twinkling sense of humor, and a lilting Austrian syntax. Yet deep within, she'd been scarred by a profound personal trauma.Finally, just before she died at the age of 91, she chose to entrust me with this profound secret, and all at once I understood how it had affected her entire adult life. This is a story of friendship and strength, of courage and betrayal. It is an epic tale set against the backdrop of history.

Still Counting the Dead


Frances Harrison - 2012
    This dignified, just and unbearable account of the dark heart of Sri Lanka needs to be read by everyone." — Roma Tearne, author of MosquitoThe tropical island of Sri Lanka is a paradise for tourists, but in 2009 it became a hell for its Tamil minority, as decades of civil war between the Tamil Tiger guerrillas and the government reached its bloody climax. Caught in the crossfire were hundreds of thousands of schoolchildren, doctors, farmers, fishermen, nuns, and other civilians. And the government ensured through a strict media blackout that the world was unaware of their suffering.Now, a UN enquiry has called for war crimes investigation, and Frances Harrison, a BBC correspondent for Sri Lanka during the conflict, recounts those crimes for the first time in sobering, shattering detail.

Pathfinder


David Blakeley - 2012
    2,000 enemies. No back-up. No air support. No rescue. No chance...First in - the official motto of one of the British Army's smallest and most secretive units, 16 Air Assault Brigade's Pathfinder Platoon. Unofficially, they are the bastard son of the SAS. And like their counterparts in Hereford, the job of the Pathfinders is to operate unseen and undetected deep behind enemy lines. When British forces deployed to Iraq in 2003, Captain David Blakeley was given command of a reconnaissance mission of such critical importance that it could change the course of the war. It's the story of nine men, operating alone and unsupported, fifty miles ahead of a US Recon Marine advance and head straight into a hornets nest, teeming with thousands of heavily-armed enemy forces. This is the first account of that extraordinary mission - abandoned by coalition command, left with no option but to fight their way out of the enemy's backyard. And it provides a gripping insight into the Pathfinders themselves, a shadowy unit, just forty-five men strong, that plies its trade from the skies. Trained to parachute in to enemy territory far beyond the forward edge of battle - freefalling from high altitude breathing bottled oxygen and employing the latest skydiving technology - the PF are unique.Because of new rules introduced since the publication of Bravo Two Zero, there have been no first-hand accounts of British Special Forces waging modern-day warfare for nearly a decade. And no member of the Pathfinders has ever told their story before. Until now. Pathfinder is the only first-hand account of a UKSF mission to emerge for nearly a generation. And it could be the last.

Titanic


Melissa Stewart - 2012
    National Geographic Readers are high-interest, exciting, and easy to read. The latest in the series, Titanic is no exception. Just in time for the 100th anniversary of the Olympic-class passenger liner's ill-fated journey, this title is replete with brilliant photographs and exclusive in-depth coverage including Bob Ballard's 1985 discovery. Brought to you only as National Geographic can, the industrial feat of the powerful ship, the tragedy of the wreckage, and the fascinating stories of survival bring the historical significance of the Titanic to a new audience in this level 3 reader.

Letters From Berlin: A Story of War, Survival, and the Redeeming Power of Love and Friendship


Kerstin Lieff - 2012
    Like countless citizens under Hitler’s regime, Margarete struggled to understand what was happening to her country. Later, as a nurse for the German Red Cross, she treated countless young soldiers—recruited in the eleventh hour to fight a losing battle—they would die before her eyes as Allied bombs racked her beloved city. Yet, her deep humanity, intelligence, and passion for life—which sparkles in every sentence of her memoir—carried Margarete through to war’s end. But just when she thought the worst was over, and she and her mother were on a train headed to Sweden, they were suddenly rerouted deep into Russia…This powerful account draws back the curtain on a piece of history that has been largely overlooked—the nightmare that millions of German civilians suffered, simply because they were German. That Margarete survived to tell her tale so vividly and courageously is a gift to us all.

The Jefferson Lies: Exposing the Myths You've Always Believed about Thomas Jefferson


David Barton - 2012
    Its roots, its purpose, its identity―all have become shrouded behind a veil of political correctness bent on twisting the nation's founding, and its founders, to fit within a misshapen modern world.The time has come to remember again.In "The Jefferson Lies," prominent historian David Barton sets out to correct the distorted image of a once-beloved founding father, Thomas Jefferson. To do so, Barton tackles seven myths head-on, including:Did Thomas Jefferson really have a child by his young slave girl, Sally Hemings? Did he write his own Bible, excluding the parts of Christianity with which he disagreed? Was he a racist who opposed civil rights and equality for black Americans? Did he, in his pursuit of separation of church and state, advocate the secularizing public life?Through Jefferson's own words and the eyewitness testimony of contemporaries, Barton repaints a portrait of the man from Monticello as a visionary, an innovator, a man who revered Jesus, a classical Renaissance man―and a man whose pioneering stand for liberty and God-given inalienable rights fostered a better world for this nation and its posterity. For America, the time to remember these truths again is now.

On Politics: A History of Political Thought From Herodotus to the Present


Alan Ryan - 2012
    Whether examining Lord Acton’s dictum that “absolute power corrupts absolutely” or explicating John Stuart Mill’s contention that it is “better to be a human dissatisfied than a pig satisfied,” Alan Ryan evokes the lives and minds of our greatest thinkers in a way that makes reading about them a transcendent experience. Whether writing about Plato or Augustine, de Toqueville or Thomas Jefferson, Ryan brings a wisdom to his text that illuminates John Dewey’s belief that the role of philosophy is less to see truth than to enhance experience. With this unparalleled tour de force, Ryan emerges in his own right as one of the most influential political philosophers of our time.

The Cook's Tale


Nancy Jackman - 2012
    If you worked as a cook or as any kind of domestic servant when I was young you knew what "us and them" really meant.In some houses in the English countryside, the cook had a lot more to do than just the cooking—and Nancy Jackman experienced it all. She was expected to kill the chickens, oversee the pig-sticker, deal with the tradesmen, and shout at the kitchen maids. Born in 1907 in a remote Norfolk village, she left school at the age of 14 to work as a cook for a local farmer. He forced her to stand in the rain when she made a mistake, physically abused her, and eventually tried to rape her—and that was only her first such experience in the world below the stairs. In this at times heartbreaking, at times hilarious, tell-all about the life of a cook and a kitchen maid, Nancy goes into detail about what it was like working for people who had no idea how to care for themselves—and how deeply things in the world of upstairs/downstairs changed in the 1950s, following the end of the Second World War.

A Free People's Suicide: Sustainable Freedom and the American Future


Os Guinness - 2012
    As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide." Abraham Lincoln Nothing is more daring in the American experiment than the founders' belief that the American republic could remain free forever. But how was this to be done, and are Americans doing it today? It is not enough for freedom to be won. It must also be sustained. Cultural observer Os Guinness argues that the American experiment in freedom is at risk. Summoning historical evidence on how democracies evolve, Guinness shows that contemporary views of freedom--most typically, a negative freedom from constraint-- are unsustainable because they undermine the conditions necessary for freedom to thrive. He calls us to reconsider the audacity of sustainable freedom and what it would take to restore it. "In the end," Guinness writes, "the ultimate threat to the American republic will be Americans. The problem is not wolves at the door but termites in the floor." The future of the republic depends on whether Americans will rise to the challenge of living up to America's unfulfilled potential for freedom, both for itself and for the world.

Bill the Bastard: The Story Of Australia's Greatest War Horse


Roland Perry - 2012
    He had power, intelligence and unmatched courage. In performance and character, he stood above all the other 200,000 Australian horses sent to the Middle East in the Great War. But as war horses go, he had one serious problem. No one could ride him but one man, Major Michael Shanahan. Some even thought Bill took a sneering pleasure in watching would-be riders hit the dust. Bill the bastard is the remarkable tale of a bond between a determined trooper and his stoic but cantankerous mount. They fought together. They depended on each other for survival. And when the chips were down, Bill's heroic efforts and exceptional instincts in battle saved the lives of Shanahan and four of his men.By September 1918, 'Bill the Bastard' was known by the entire Light Horse regiment, who used his name not as an insult, but as a term of endearment. Bill had become a legend, a symbol of the courage and unbreakable will of the Anzac mounted force. There was no other horse like Bill the Bastard.

Service With the Sixth Wisconsin Volunteers: Four Years with the Iron Brigade


Rufus R. Dawes - 2012
    Gen. McClellan: “What troops are those fighting in the Pike?” Maj. Gen. Hooker: “General Gibbon’s brigade of Western men.” Maj. Gen. McClellan: “They must be made of iron.” And so, during the Battle of South Mountain, a prelude to the Battle of Antietam, this brigade earned its famous title as the “Iron Brigade”. Once McClellan had heard of their actions during the Second Battle of Bull Run, where they were facing off against a superior force under Stonewall Jackson, he is said to have stated that they were the “best troops in the world.” Rufus R. Dawes was a captain with the 6th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry, that along with 2nd and 7th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry Regiments, the 19th Indiana, Battery B of the 4th U.S. Light Artillery, and later in the war the 24th Michigan, formed the Iron Brigade. Although only in his early twenties at the beginning of the war he rapidly became an important leader in the famous brigade and by the end of the war was brevetted as a brigadier general for meritorious service. One of his most famous actions was on the first day of the Battle of Gettysburg when he led a counterattack on the confederate forces under Brigadier General Joseph R. Davis and forced the surrender of more than two hundred enemy soldiers. Service With the Sixth Wisconsin Volunteers records in brilliant detail all of the actions that he and his regiment were involved in, including Second Bull Run, Antietam, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, Wilderness, Spotsylvania Court House, Cold Harbor and Petersburg. Yet this book is not simply an account of the military activities that took place as he also recorded his feelings and moods, and included details about daily camp life and individual soldiers. Rufus Dawes derived all of the books material from his diaries and letters. He realized the value of a statement made at the moment as to his experiences, and he appreciated fully the treacherous nature of memory. He believed contemporaneous expression in letters and diaries provided material of historical value. He had the material and the ability to write a superb history of the grueling service of this famous regiment, but he felt that the story of his personal experiences and impressions written at the time would be of greater value, and so this book is not only account of the regiment, it is also a very personal account of one man’s view of the Civil War. This book deserves to be read and enjoyed by all who wish to hear more about this brutal but fascinating conflict and to get to the heart of what the soldiers saw and thought. Rufus R. Dawes was a military officer in the Union Army during the American Civil War. After the war he became a businessman, Congressman and author. His book Service With the Sixth Wisconsin Volunteers was first published in 1890. He passed away in 1899.

Viper Pilot: A Memoir of Air Combat


Dan Hampton - 2012
    Col. Dan Hampton was a leading member of the Wild Weasels, the elite Air Force fighter squadrons whose mission is recognized as the most dangerous job in modern air combat. Weasels are the first planes sent into a war zone, flying deep behind enemy lines purposely seeking to draw fire from surface-to-air missiles and artillery. They must skillfully evade being shot down—and then return to destroy the threats, thereby making the skies safe for everyone else to follow. Today these vital missions are more hazardous than direct air-to-air engagement with enemy aircraft. Hampton's record number of strikes on high-value targets make him the most lethal F-16 Wild Weasel pilot in American history. This is his remarkable story. Taught to fly at an early age by his father, Hampton logged twenty years and 608 combat hours in the world's most iconic fighter jet: the F-16 "Fighting Falcon," or "Viper" as its pilots call it. Hampton spearheaded the 2003 invasion of Iraq, leading the first flight of fighters over the border en route to strike Baghdad. In the war that followed, he engaged in a series of brilliantly executed missions that earned him three Distinguished Flying Crosses with Valor; he notably saved a U.S. Marine unit from certain death by taking out the surrounding enemy forces near Nasiriyah. Two years earlier, on 9/11, Hampton's father was inside the Pentagon when it was attacked; with his dad's fate unknown, Hampton was scrambled into American skies and given the unprecedented orders to shoot down any unidentified aircraft. Hampton also flew critical missions in the first Gulf War, served on the Air Combat Command staff during the Kosovo War, and was injured in the 1996 Khobar Towers terrorist attack. With manned missions rapidly giving way to remote-controlled UAV drones, Viper Pilot may be the last memoir by a true hero of the skies. Gripping and irreverently humorous, it is an unforgettable look into the closed world of fighter pilots and modern air combat.

The U.S. Constitution: A Reader


Hillsdale College Politics Faculty - 2012
    Constitution: A Reader was developed for teaching the core course on the U.S. Constitution at Hillsdale College. Divided into eleven sections with introductions by members of Hillsdale's Politics Department faculty, readings cover the principles of the American founding; the framing and structure of the Constitution; the secession crisis and the Civil War; the Progressive rejection of the Constitution; and the building of the administrative state based on Progressive principles.

The Gettysburg Address: A Graphic Adaptation


Jonathan Hennessey - 2012
    The Gettysburg Address: A Graphic Adaptation is a full-color illustrated look at Abraham Lincoln’s most famous speech, the bloody battle of the Civil War that prompted it, and how they led to a defining point in the history of America. Most of us can recall “Four score and seven years ago,” but much of what we know about Abraham Lincoln’s oration has been forgotten after high school. Using Lincoln’s words as a keystone, and drawing from first-person accounts, The Gettysburg Address shows us the events through the eyes of those who lived through the events of the War, from soldiers to slaves. Writer Jonathan Hennessey and illustrator Aaron McConnell illuminate history with vibrant, detailed graphics and captions that deliver a fresh understanding of this vital speech.

Prisoner of War: Judy


Isabel George - 2012
    Judy saved Frank’s life many times over and raised the morale of all the men in the camp.Extracted from the bestselling title The Dog That Saved My Life, this short story tells the tale of a dog like no other, a dog who was awarded an animals’ Victoria Cross for her bravery and devotion.

The Yompers: With 45 Commando in the Falklands War


Ian R. Gardiner - 2012
    It caught the public's imagination during this short but bitter campaign and epitomized the grim determination and professionalism of our troops...Called to action on April 2, 1982, the men of 45 Commando Royal Marines assembled from around the world to sail 8,000 miles to recover the Falkland Islands from Argentine invasion. Lacking helicopters and short of food, they "yomped" in appalling weather carrying overloaded rucksacks, across the roughest terrain. Yet for a month in mid-winter, they remained a cohesive fighting-fit body of men. They then fought and won the highly successful and fierce night battle for Two Sisters, a 1,000-foot-high mountain which was the key to the defensive positions around Stanley.More than just a first-hand story of that epic feat, this book is the first to be written by a company commander in the Falklands War. It offers a vivid description of the "yomp" and infantry fighting, and it also offers penetrating insights into the realities of war at higher levels. It is a unique combination of descriptive writing about frontline fighting and wider reflections on the Falklands War, and conflict in general."This is the real thing, from someone who gave the orders and led from the front, from beginning to bitter end. His account is articulate, poignant and precise, even though thirty years have elapsed . . . highly recommended." --Military History Monthly

Korea: The Impossible Country


Daniel Tudor - 2012
    Yet, in just fifty years it has transformed itself into an economic powerhouse and a democracy that can serve as a model for other countries. How was it able to do this, despite having been sapped by almost a half-century of colonial rule, ruined by war, partitioned and lacking a democratic tradition? Who are the Korean people, who achieved this second "Asian miracle"? And having accomplished it, what are their prospects now?Daniel Tudor is a journalist who has been living in and writing about Korea for almost a decade. He seeks the answers to these questions in Korean history, culture, and society and in interviews with experts, from business leaders to politicians, shamans, sports legends, poets, rock musicians, and academics. In five parts, he examines Korea's cultural foundations; the Korean character; the public sphere in politics, business, and the workplace as well as the family; life in the hours not spent working, including food, music, and cinema; and social issues that may be crucial to Korea's future, such as Koreans' interactions with outsiders. In doing so, he touches on topics as diverse as shamanism, clan-ism, the dilemma posed by North Korea (brother or enemy?), myths about doing business in Korea, and why the country's infatuation with learning English is causing huge social problems.South Korea has undergone two miracles at once: economic development and democratization. The question now is, will it become a rich yet aging society, devoid of momentum, as some see Japan? Or will the dynamism of Korean society and its willingness to change--as well as the opportunity it has now to welcome outsiders into its fold--enable it to experience a third miracle that will propel it into the ranks of the foremost countries in terms of human development, democracy, and wealth?

Robert Oppenheimer: A Life Inside the Center


Ray Monk - 2012
    As head of the Los Alamos Laboratory, he oversaw the successful effort to beat the Nazis in the race to develop the first atomic bomb—a breakthrough that was to have eternal ramifications for mankind and that made Oppenheimer the “Father of the Atomic Bomb.” But with his actions leading up to that great achievement, he also set himself on a dangerous collision course with Senator Joseph McCarthy and his witch-hunters. In Robert Oppenheimer: A Life Inside the Center, Ray Monk, author of peerless biographies of Ludwig Wittgenstein and Bertrand Russell, goes deeper than any previous biographer in the quest to solve the enigma of Oppenheimer’s motivations and his complex personality.      The son of German-Jewish immigrants, Oppenheimer was a man of phenomenal intellectual attributes, driven by an ambition to overcome his status as an outsider and penetrate the heart of political and social life. As a young scientist, his talent and drive allowed him to enter a community peopled by the great names of twentieth-century physics—men such as Niels Bohr, Max Born, Paul Dirac, and Albert Einstein—and to play a role in the laboratories and classrooms where the world was being changed forever, where the secrets of the universe, whether within atomic nuclei or collapsing stars, revealed themselves.     But Oppenheimer’s path went beyond one of assimilation, scientific success, and world fame. The implications of the discoveries at Los Alamos weighed heavily upon this fragile and complicated man. In the 1930s, in a climate already thick with paranoia and espionage, he made suspicious connections, and in the wake of the Allied victory, his attempts to resist the escalation of the Cold War arms race led many to question his loyalties.     Through compassionate investigation and with towering scholarship, Ray Monk’s Robert Oppenheimer tells an unforgettable story of discovery, secrecy, impossible choices, and unimaginable destruction.

The War is Dead, Long Live the War


Ed Vulliamy - 2012
    A hurricane of violence was unleashed by Serbian President Slobodan Miloševic and his allies, the Bosnian Serbs, in pursuit of a 'Greater Serbia'. An infamous campaign of 'ethnic cleansing' demanded the annihilation of all Bosniaks, Croats and other peoples through either death or enforced deportation, with any trace of their existence destroyed. Such brutality was presided over and tolerated by the so-called 'International Community' including, perhaps most vividly in the popular memory, concentration and death camps in our lifetime.It was Vulliamy's accursed honour to reveal these camps to the world in August 1992, when he penetrated both Omarska and Trnopolje. The War is Dead, Long Live the War charts this discovery, but it is much more than a memoir: Vulliamy passionately bears witness to the Bosnian war's aftermath, revealing the human consequences as well as the trials and traumas of exile or homecoming. It is only now, through the eyes and memories of the survivors and the bereaved - and, in different ways, the perpetrators - that we can really understand the bloody catastrophe in Bosnia. The world moves on over twenty years, but in Bosnia, there has been no thaw in the hatred; no reckoning. The war may be over, but the war lives on.