Best of
History

2016

Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America


Ibram X. Kendi - 2016
    Stamped from the Beginning uses the lives of five major American intellectuals to offer a window into the contentious debates between assimilationists and segregationists and between racists and anti-racists. From Puritan minister Cotton Mather to Thomas Jefferson, from fiery abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison to brilliant scholar W. E. B. Du Bois to legendary anti–prison activist Angela Davis, Kendi shows how and why some of our leading pro-slavery and pro–civil rights thinkers have challenged or helped cement racist ideas in America.As Kendi illustrates, racist thinking did not arise from ignorance or hatred. Racist ideas were created and popularized in an effort to defend deeply entrenched discriminatory policies and to rationalize the nation’s racial inequities in everything from wealth to health. While racist ideas are easily produced and easily consumed, they can also be discredited. In shedding much–needed light on the murky history of racist ideas, Stamped from the Beginning offers tools to expose them—and in the process, reason to hope.

Red Platoon: A True Story of American Valor


Clinton Romesha - 2016
    military in Nuristan and Kunar in the hope of preventing Taliban insurgents from moving freely back and forth between Afghanistan and Pakistan. Three years after its construction, the army was finally ready to concede what the men on the ground had known immediately: it was simply too isolated and too dangerous to defend.    On October 3, 2009, after years of constant smaller attacks, the Taliban finally decided to throw everything they had at Keating. The ensuing 14-hour battle-- and eventual victory-- cost 8 men their lives.   Red Platoon is the riveting first-hand account of the Battle of Keating, told by Romesha, who spearheaded both the defense of the outpost and the counter-attack that drove the Taliban back beyond the wire, and received the Medal of Honor for his actions.

Black and British: A Forgotten History


David Olusoga - 2016
    Drawing on new genetic and genealogical research, original records, expert testimony and contemporary interviews, Black and British reaches back to Roman Britain, the medieval imagination and Shakespeare's Othello.It reveals that behind the South Sea Bubble was Britain's global slave-trading empire and that much of the great industrial boom of the nineteenth century was built on American slavery. It shows that Black Britons fought at Trafalgar and in the trenches of the First World War. Black British history can be read in stately homes, street names, statues and memorials across Britain and is woven into the cultural and economic histories of the nation.

Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World


Rachel Ignotofsky - 2016
    Full of striking, singular art, this collection also contains infographics about relevant topics such as lab equipment, rates of women currently working in STEM fields, and an illustrated scientific glossary. The women profiled include well-known figures like primatologist Jane Goodall, as well as lesser-known pioneers such as Katherine Johnson, the African-American physicist and mathematician who calculated the trajectory of the 1969 Apollo 11 mission to the moon.

March


John Lewis - 2016
    He marched side-by-side with Martin Luther King as the youngest leader of the Civil Rights Movement that would change a nation forever.Now, experience John Lewis' incredible story first-hand, brought to life in a stunning graphic novel trilogy. With co-writer Andrew Aydin and Eisner Award-winning artist Nate Powell, John Lewis' MARCH tells the story of how a poor sharecropper's son helped transform America, from a segregated schoolhouse to the 1963 March on Washington and beyond.

All the Gallant Men: An American Sailor's Firsthand Account of Pearl Harbor


Donald Stratton - 2016
    The first memoir ever published by a USS Arizona survivor.At 8:10 a.m. on December 7, 1941, Seaman First Class Donald Stratton was consumed by an inferno. A million pounds of explosives had detonated beneath his battle station aboard the USS Arizona, barely fifteen minutes into Japan’s surprise attack on American forces at Pearl Harbor. Near death and burned across two thirds of his body, Don, a nineteen-year-old Nebraskan who had been steeled by the Great Depression and Dust Bowl, summoned the will to haul himself hand over hand across a rope tethered to a neighboring vessel. Forty-five feet below, the harbor’s flaming, oil-slick water boiled with enemy bullets; all around him the world tore itself apart.In this extraordinary, never-before-told eyewitness account of the Pearl Harbor attack—the only memoir ever written by a survivor of the USS Arizona—ninety-four-year-old veteran Donald Stratton finally shares his unforgettable personal tale of bravery and survival on December 7, 1941, his harrowing recovery, and his inspiring determination to return to the fight.Don and four other sailors made it safely across the same line that morning, a small miracle on a day that claimed the lives of 1,177 of their Arizona shipmates—approximately half the American fatalaties at Pearl Harbor. Sent to military hospitals for a year, Don refused doctors’ advice to amputate his limbs and battled to relearn how to walk. The U.S. Navy gave him a medical discharge, believing he would never again be fit for service, but Don had unfinished business. In June 1944, he sailed back into the teeth of the Pacific War on a destroyer, destined for combat in the crucial battles of Leyte Gulf, Luzon, and Okinawa, thus earning the distinction of having been present for the opening shots and the final major battle of America’s Second World War.As the seventy-fifth anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack approaches, Don, a great-grandfather of five and one of six living survivors of the Arizona, offers an unprecedentedly intimate reflection on the tragedy that drew America into the greatest armed conflict in history. All the Gallant Men is a book for the ages, one of the most remarkable—and remarkably inspiring—memoirs of any kind to appear in recent years.

Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and Its Legacy


Heather Ann Thompson - 2016
    Holding guards and civilian employees hostage, during the four long days and nights that followed, the inmates negotiated with state officials for improved living conditions. On September 13, the state abruptly ended talks and sent hundreds of heavily armed state troopers and corrections officers to retake the prison by force. In the ensuing gunfire, thirty-nine men were killed, hostages as well as prisoners, and close to one hundred were severely injured. After the prison was secured, troopers and officers brutally retaliated against the prisoners during the weeks that followed. For decades afterward, instead of charging any state employee who had committed murder or carried out egregious human rights abuses, New York officials prosecuted only the prisoners and failed to provide necessary support to the hostage survivors or the families of any of the men who'd been killed. Heather Ann Thompson sheds new light on one of the most important civil rights stories of the last century, exploring every aspect of the uprising and its legacy from the perspectives of all of those involved in this forty-five-year fight for justice: the prisoners, the state officials, the lawyers on both sides, the state troopers and corrections officers, and the families of the slain men.

Killing the Rising Sun: How America Vanquished World War II Japan


Bill O'Reilly - 2016
    World War II is nearly over in Europe but is escalating in the Pacific, where American soldiers face an opponent who will go to any length to avoid defeat. The Japanese army follows the samurai code of Bushido, stipulating that surrender is a form of dishonor. Killing the Rising Sun takes readers to the bloody tropical-island battlefields of Peleliu and Iwo Jima and to the embattled Philippines, where General Douglas MacArthur has made a triumphant return and is plotting a full-scale invasion of Japan.Across the globe in Los Alamos, New Mexico, Dr. J. Robert Oppenheimer and his team of scientists are preparing to test the deadliest weapon known to mankind. In Washington, DC, FDR dies in office and Harry Truman ascends to the presidency, only to face the most important political decision in history: whether to use that weapon. And in Tokyo, Emperor Hirohito, who is considered a deity by his subjects, refuses to surrender, despite a massive and mounting death toll. Told in the same page-turning style of Killing Lincoln, Killing Kennedy, Killing Jesus, Killing Patton, and Killing Reagan, this epic saga details the final moments of World War II like never before.

Rejected Princesses: Tales of History's Boldest Heroines, Hellions, and Heretics


Jason Porath - 2016
    Well-behaved women seldom make history. Good thing these women are far from well behaved . . .Illustrated in a contemporary animation style, Rejected Princesses turns the ubiquitous "pretty pink princess" stereotype portrayed in movies, and on endless toys, books, and tutus on its head, paying homage instead to an awesome collection of strong, fierce, and yes, sometimes weird, women: warrior queens, soldiers, villains, spies, revolutionaries, and more who refused to behave and meekly accept their place.An entertaining mix of biography, imagery, and humor written in a fresh, young, and riotous voice, this thoroughly researched exploration salutes these awesome women drawn from both historical and fantastical realms, including real life, literature, mythology, and folklore. Each profile features an eye-catching image of both heroic and villainous women in command from across history and around the world, from a princess-cum-pirate in fifth century Denmark, to a rebel preacher in 1630s Boston, to a bloodthirsty Hungarian countess, and a former prostitute who commanded a fleet of more than 70,000 men on China’s seas.

Forty Autumns: A Family's Story of Courage and Survival on Both Sides of the Berlin Wall


Nina Willner - 2016
    At twenty, Hanna escaped from East to West Germany. But the price of freedom—leaving behind her parents, eight siblings, and family home—was heartbreaking. Uprooted, Hanna eventually moved to America, where she settled down with her husband and had children of her own.Growing up near Washington, D.C., Hanna’s daughter, Nina Willner became the first female Army Intelligence Officer to lead sensitive intelligence operations in East Berlin at the height of the Cold War. Though only a few miles separated American Nina and her German relatives—grandmother Oma, Aunt Heidi, and cousin, Cordula, a member of the East German Olympic training team—a bitter political war kept them apart.In Forty Autumns, Nina recounts her family’s story—five ordinary lives buffeted by circumstances beyond their control. She takes us deep into the tumultuous and terrifying world of East Germany under Communist rule, revealing both the cruel reality her relatives endured and her own experiences as an intelligence officer, running secret operations behind the Berlin Wall that put her life at risk.A personal look at a tenuous era that divided a city and a nation, and continues to haunt us, Forty Autumns is an intimate and beautifully written story of courage, resilience, and love—of five women whose spirits could not be broken, and who fought to preserve what matters most: family.Forty Autumns is illustrated with dozens of black-and-white and color photographs.

Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right


Jane Mayer - 2016
    But as Jane Mayer shows in this powerful, meticulously reported history, a network of exceedingly wealthy people with extreme libertarian views bankrolled a systematic, step-by-step plan to fundamentally alter the American political system.The network has brought together some of the richest people on the planet. Their core beliefs—that taxes are a form of tyranny; that government oversight of business is an assault on freedom—are sincerely held. But these beliefs also advance their personal and corporate interests: Many of their companies have run afoul of federal pollution, worker safety, securities, and tax laws.The chief figures in the network are Charles and David Koch, whose father made his fortune in part by building oil refineries in Stalin’s Russia and Hitler’s Germany. The patriarch later was a founding member of the John Birch Society, whose politics were so radical it believed Dwight Eisenhower was a communist. The brothers were schooled in a political philosophy that asserted the only role of government is to provide security and to enforce property rights.When libertarian ideas proved decidedly unpopular with voters, the Koch brothers and their allies chose another path. If they pooled their vast resources, they could fund an interlocking array of organizations that could work in tandem to influence and ultimately control academic institutions, think tanks, the courts, statehouses, Congress, and, they hoped, the presidency. Richard Mellon Scaife, the mercurial heir to banking and oil fortunes, had the brilliant insight that most of their political activities could be written off as tax-deductible “philanthropy.”These organizations were given innocuous names such as Americans for Prosperity. Funding sources were hidden whenever possible. This process reached its apotheosis with the allegedly populist Tea Party movement, abetted mightily by the Citizens United decision—a case conceived of by legal advocates funded by the network.The political operatives the network employs are disciplined, smart, and at times ruthless. Mayer documents instances in which people affiliated with these groups hired private detectives to impugn whistle-blowers, journalists, and even government investigators. And their efforts have been remarkably successful. Libertarian views on taxes and regulation, once far outside the mainstream and still rejected by most Americans, are ascendant in the majority of state governments, the Supreme Court, and Congress. Meaningful environmental, labor, finance, and tax reforms have been stymied.Jane Mayer spent five years conducting hundreds of interviews-including with several sources within the network-and scoured public records, private papers, and court proceedings in reporting this book. In a taut and utterly convincing narrative, she traces the byzantine trail of the billions of dollars spent by the network and provides vivid portraits of the colorful figures behind the new American oligarchy.Dark Money is a book that must be read by anyone who cares about the future of American democracy.

The Fleet at Flood Tide: America at Total War in the Pacific, 1944-1945


James D. Hornfischer - 2016
    

Indigenous Writes: A Guide to First Nations, Métis, and Inuit Issues in Canada


Chelsea Vowel - 2016
    Sixties Scoop. Bill C-31. Blood quantum. Appropriation. Two-Spirit. Tsilhqot’in. Status. TRC. RCAP. FNPOA. Pass and permit. Numbered Treaties. Terra nullius. The Great Peace…Are you familiar with the terms listed above? In Indigenous Writes, Chelsea Vowel, legal scholar, teacher, and intellectual, opens an important dialogue about these (and more) concepts and the wider social beliefs associated with the relationship between Indigenous peoples and Canada. In 31 essays, Chelsea explores the Indigenous experience from the time of contact to the present, through five categories – Terminology of Relationships; Culture and Identity; Myth-Busting; State Violence; and Land, Learning, Law, and Treaties. She answers the questions that many people have on these topics to spark further conversations at home, in the classroom, and in the larger community.Indigenous Writes is one title in The Debwe Series.

Rogue Heroes: The History of the SAS, Britain's Secret Special Forces Unit That Sabotaged the Nazis and Changed the Nature of War


Ben Macintyre - 2016
    So began the most celebrated and mysterious military organisation in the world: the SAS.Now, 75 years later, the SAS has finally decided to tell its astonishing story. It has opened its secret archives for the first time, granting historian Ben Macintyre full access to a treasure trove of unseen reports, memos, diaries, letters, maps and photographs, as well as free rein to interview surviving Originals and those who knew them.The result is an exhilarating tale of fearlessness and heroism, recklessness and tragedy; of extraordinary men who were willing to take monumental risks. It is a story about the meaning of courage.

The Last Punisher: A SEAL Team Three Sniper's True Account of the Battle of Ramadi


Kevin Lacz - 2016
    Col. Dave Grossman, bestselling author of On Killing), The Last Punisher is a gripping and intimate on-the-ground memoir from a Navy SEAL who was part of SEAL Team THREE with American Sniper Chris Kyle. Experience his deployment, from his first mission to his first kill to his eventual successful return to the United States to play himself in the Oscar-nominated film directed by Clint Eastwood and starring Bradley Cooper.The Last Punisher is a “thoughtful, funny, and raw…always compelling” (Bing West, New York Times bestselling author of No True Glory) first-person account of the Iraq War. With wry humor and moving testimony, Kevin Lacz tells the bold story of his tour in Iraq with SEAL Team THREE, the warrior elite of the Navy. This legendary unit, known as “The Punishers,” included Chris Kyle (American Sniper), Mike Monsoor, Ryan Job, and Marc Lee. These brave men were instrumental in securing the key locations in the pivotal 2006 Battle of Ramadi. Minute by minute, Lacz relays the edge-of-your-seat details of his team’s missions in Ramadi, offering a firsthand glimpse into the heated combat, extreme conditions, and harrowing experiences they faced every day. Through it all, Lacz and his teammates formed unbreakable bonds and never lost sight of the cause: protecting America with their fight. “A rare glimpse into the mind of a Navy SEAL,” (Clint Emerson, New York Times bestselling author of 100 Deadly Skills) Kevin Lacz brings you onto the battlefield and relays the tough realities of war. At the same time, Lacz shares how these experiences made him a better man and how proud he is of his contributions to one of this country’s most difficult military campaigns. The Last Punisher is the story of a SEAL and an “honest-to-God American hero” (Mike Huckabee, #1 bestselling author) who was never afraid to answer the call.

Bobby Kennedy: The Making of a Liberal Icon


Larry Tye - 2016
    Kennedy as a racial healer, a tribune for the poor, and the last progressive knight. But Kennedy—nurtured on the rightist orthodoxies of his dynasty-building father—started his public life as counsel to the left-baiting, table-thumping Senator Joseph McCarthy.A bare-knuckled political operative who masterminded his brother’s whatever-it-takes bids for senator and president, Kennedy okayed FBI wiretaps of Martin Luther King Jr. and cloak-and-dagger operations against communist Cuba that included blowing up railroad bridges, sabotaging crops, and plotting the elimination of President Fidel Castro.Remembered now as a rare optimist in an age of political cynicism, RFK’s profoundly moving journey from cold warrior to hot-blooded liberal also offers a lens into two of the most chaotic and confounding decades of twentieth century America.

The Case for Jesus: The Biblical and Historical Evidence for Christ


Brant Pitre - 2016
    In The Case for Jesus, Brant Pitre taps into the wells of Christian scripture, history, and tradition to ask and answer a number of different questions, including: If we don't know who wrote the Gospels, how can we trust them? How are the four Gospels different from other gospels, such as the lost gospel of "Q" and the Gospel of Thomas? How can the four Gospels be historically true when there are differences between them? How much faith should be put into these writings? As The Case for Jesus will show, recent discoveries in New Testament scholarship, as well as neglected evidence from ancient manuscripts and the early church fathers, together have the potential to pull the rug out from under a century of skepticism toward the apostolic authorship and historical truth of the traditional Gospels.

Half Lion: How P.V. Narasimha Rao Transformed India


Vinay Sitapati - 2016
    Narasimha Rao became the unlikely prime minister of India in 1991, he inherited a nation adrift, violent insurgencies, and economic crisis. Despite being unloved by his people, mistrusted by his party, and ruling under the shadow of 10 Janpath, Rao transformed the economy and ushered India into the global arena.With exclusive access to Rao’s never-before-seen personal papers and diaries, this definitive biography provides new revelations on the Indian economy, nuclear programme, foreign policy and the Babri Masjid. Tracing his early life from a small town in Telangana through his years in power, and finally, his humiliation in retirement, it never loses sight of the inner man, his difficult childhood, his corruption and love affairs, and his lingering loneliness. Meticulously researched and brutally honest, this landmark political biography is a must-read for anyone interested in knowing about the man responsible for transforming India.

Rad Women Worldwide: Artists and Athletes, Pirates and Punks, and Other Revolutionaries Who Shaped History


Kate Schatz - 2016
    Featuring an array of diverse figures from Hatshepsut (the great female king who ruled Egypt peacefully for two decades) and Malala Yousafzi (the youngest person to win the Nobel Peace Prize) to Poly Styrene (legendary teenage punk and lead singer of X-Ray Spex) and Liv Arnesen and Ann Bancroft (polar explorers and the first women to cross Antarctica), this progressive and visually arresting book is a compelling addition to women's history.

Irena's Children: The Extraordinary Story of the Woman Who Saved 2,500 Children from the Warsaw Ghetto


Tilar J. Mazzeo - 2016
    While there, she reached out to the trapped Jewish families, going from door to door and asking the parents to trust her with their young children. She started smuggling them out of the walled district, convincing her friends and neighbors to hide them. Driven to extreme measures and with the help of a network of local tradesmen, ghetto residents, and her star-crossed lover in the Jewish resistance, Irena ultimately smuggled thousands of children past the Nazis. She made dangerous trips through the city’s sewers, hid children in coffins, snuck them under overcoats at checkpoints, and slipped them through secret passages in abandoned buildings.But Irena did something even more astonishing at immense personal risk: she kept secret lists buried in bottles under an old apple tree in a friend’s back garden. On them were the names and true identities of those Jewish children, recorded with the hope that their relatives could find them after the war. She could not have known that more than ninety percent of their families would perish.

All Out War: The Full Story of How Brexit Sank Britain's Political Class


Tim Shipman - 2016
    This book by Sunday Times political editor Tim Shipman is the first to tell the full story of how and why Britain voted to leave the European Union and how the vote shattered the political status quo.Based on unrivalled access to all the key politicians and their advisors – including Boris Johnson, Michael Gove, George Osborne, Nigel Farage and Dominic Cummings, the mastermind of Vote Leave – Shipman has written a political history that reads like a thriller, and offers a gripping, day-by-day account of what really happened behind-the-scenes in Downing Street, both Leave campaigns, the Labour Party, Ukip and Britain Stronger in Europe.Shipman gives his readers a ringside seat on how decisions were made, mistakes justified and betrayals perpetrated. Filled with stories, anecdotes and juicy leaks the book does not seek to address the rights and wrongs of Brexit but to explore how and why David Cameron chose to take the biggest political gamble of his life and explain why he lost.This is a story of calculation, attempted coups, individuals torn between principles and loyalty. All the events are here – from David Cameron’s pledge to hold a referendum, through to the campaign itself, his resignation as prime minister, the betrayals and rivalries that occurred during the race to find his successor to the arrival of Theresa May in Downing Street as Britain’s second female prime minister.All Out War is a book about leaders and their closest aides, the decisions they make and how and why they make them, as well as how they feel when they turn out to be wrong. It is about men who make decisions that are intellectually consistent and – by their own measure – morally sound that are simultaneously disastrous for themselves and those closest to them. It is about how doing what you know has worked before doesn’t always work again. Most of all it is about asking the question: how far are you prepared to go to win?

I am Martin Luther King, Jr.


Brad Meltzer - 2016
    That’s the inspiring message of this New York Times Bestselling picture book biography series from historian and author Brad Meltzer. Even as a child, Martin Luther King, Jr. was shocked by the terrible and unfair way African-American people were treated. When he grew up, he decided to do something about it—peacefully, with powerful words. He helped gather people together for nonviolent protests and marches, and he always spoke up about loving other human beings and doing what’s right. He spoke about the dream of a kinder future, and bravely led the way toward racial equality in America. This lively, New York Times Bestselling biography series inspires kids to dream big, one great role model at a time. You’ll want to collect each book.

Meetings with Remarkable Manuscripts


Christopher de Hamel - 2016
    Coming face to face with an important illuminated manuscript in the original is like meeting a very famous person. We may all pretend that a well-known celebrity is no different from anyone else, and yet there is an undeniable thrill in actually meeting and talking to a person of world stature.The idea for the book, which is entirely new, is to invite the reader into intimate conversations with twelve of the most famous manuscripts in existence and to explore with the author what they tell us about nearly a thousand years of medieval history - and sometimes about the modern world too. Christopher de Hamel introduces us to kings, queens, saints, scribes, artists, librarians, thieves, dealers, collectors and the international community of manuscript scholars, showing us how he and his fellows piece together evidence to reach unexpected conclusions. He traces the elaborate journeys which these exceptionally precious artefacts have made through time and space, shows us how they have been copied, who has owned them or lusted after them (and how we can tell), how they have been embroiled in politics and scholarly disputes, how they have been regarded as objects of supreme beauty and luxury and as symbols of national identity. The book touches on religion, art, literature, music, science and the history of taste.Part travel book, part detective story, part conversation with the reader, Meetings with Remarkable Manuscripts conveys the fascination and excitement of encountering some of the greatest works of art in our culture which, in the originals, are to most people completely inaccessible. At the end, we have a slightly different perspective on history and how we come by knowledge. It is a most unusual book.

Five Presidents: My Extraordinary Journey with Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, and Ford


Clint Hill - 2016
    Kennedy and Me and Five Days in November.Secret Service agent Clint Hill brings history intimately and vividly to life as he reflects on his seventeen years protecting the most powerful office in the nation. Hill walked alongside Presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard M. Nixon, and Gerald R. Ford, seeing them through a long, tumultuous era—the Cold War; the Cuban Missile Crisis; the assassinations of John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Robert F. Kennedy; the Vietnam War; Watergate; and the resignations of Spiro Agnew and Richard M. Nixon. Some of his stunning, never-before-revealed anecdotes include: -Eisenhower’s reaction at Russian Prime Minister Khrushchev’s refusal to talk following the U-2 incident -The torture of watching himself in the Zapruder film in a Secret Service training -Johnson’s virtual imprisonment in the White House during violent anti-Vietnam protests -His decision to place White House files under protection after a midnight phone call about Watergate -The challenges of protecting Ford after he pardoned Nixon With a unique insider’s perspective, Hill sheds new light on the character and personality of these five presidents, revealing their humanity in the face of grave decisions.

The Song Poet: A Memoir of My Father


Kao Kalia Yang - 2016
    Bee lost his father as a young boy and keenly felt his orphanhood. He would wander from one neighbor to the next, collecting the things they said to each other, whispering the words to himself at night until, one day, a song was born. Bee sings the life of his people through the war-torn jungle and a Thai refugee camp. But the songs fall away in the cold, bitter world of a Minneapolis housing project and on the factory floor until, with the death of Bee's mother, the songs leave him for good. But before they do, Bee, with his poetry, has polished a life of poverty for his children, burnished their grim reality so that they might shine.Written with the exquisite beauty for which Kao Kalia Yang is renowned, The Song Poet is a love story -- of a daughter for her father, a father for his children, a people for their land, their traditions, and all that they have lost.

Blood at the Root: A Racial Cleansing in America


Patrick Phillips - 2016
    Many black residents were poor sharecroppers, but others owned their own farms and the land on which they’d founded the county’s thriving black churches.But then in September of 1912, three young black laborers were accused of raping and murdering a white girl. One man was dragged from a jail cell and lynched on the town square, two teenagers were hung after a one-day trial, and soon bands of white “night riders” launched a coordinated campaign of arson and terror, driving all 1,098 black citizens out of the county. In the wake of the expulsions, whites harvested the crops and took over the livestock of their former neighbors, and quietly laid claim to “abandoned” land. The charred ruins of homes and churches disappeared into the weeds, until the people and places of black Forsyth were forgotten.National Book Award finalist Patrick Phillips tells Forsyth’s tragic story in vivid detail and traces its long history of racial violence all the way back to antebellum Georgia. Recalling his own childhood in the 1970s and ’80s, Phillips sheds light on the communal crimes of his hometown and the violent means by which locals kept Forsyth “all white” well into the 1990s.Blood at the Root is a sweeping American tale that spans the Cherokee removals of the 1830s, the hope and promise of Reconstruction, and the crushing injustice of Forsyth’s racial cleansing. With bold storytelling and lyrical prose, Phillips breaks a century-long silence and uncovers a history of racial terrorism that continues to shape America in the twenty-first century.

Atlas Obscura: An Explorer's Guide to the World's Hidden Wonders


Joshua Foer - 2016
    Architectural marvels, including the M.C. Escher-like stepwells in India. Mind-boggling events, like the Baby Jumping Festival in Spain, where men dressed as devils literally vault over rows of squirming infants. Not to mention the Great Stalacpipe Organ in Virginia, Turkmenistan’s 45-year hole of fire called the Door of Hell, coffins hanging off a side of a cliff in the Philippines, eccentric bone museums in Italy, or a weather-forecasting invention that was powered by leeches, still on display in Devon, England.Atlas Obscura revels in the weird, the unexpected, the overlooked, the hidden, and the mysterious. Every page expands our sense of how strange and marvelous the world really is. And with its compelling descriptions, hundreds of photographs, surprising charts, maps for every region of the world, it is a book you can open anywhere.

Midnight in Broad Daylight: A Japanese American Family Caught Between Two Worlds


Pamela Rotner Sakamoto - 2016
    An epic tale of family, separation, divided loyalties, love, reconciliation, loss, and redemption, Pamela Rotner Sakamoto’s history is a riveting chronicle of U.S.-Japan relations and of the Japanese experience in America.After their father’s death, the Fukuhara children—all born and raised in the Pacific Northwest—moved with their mother to Hiroshima, their parents’ ancestral home. Eager to go back to America, Harry and his sister, Mary, returned there in the late 1930s. Then came Pearl Harbor. Harry and Mary were sent to an internment camp until a call came for Japanese translators, and Harry dutifully volunteered to serve his country. Back in Hiroshima, their brothers, Frank and Pierce, became soldiers in the Imperial Japanese Army.As the war raged on, Harry, one of the finest bilingual interpreters in the United States Army, island-hopped across the Pacific, moving ever closer to the enemy—and to his younger brothers. But before the Fukuharas would have to face one another in battle, the U.S. detonated the atomic bomb over Hiroshima, gravely injuring tens of thousands of civilians, including members of the Fukuhara family.Alternating between American and Japanese perspectives, Midnight in Broad Daylight captures the uncertainty and intensity of those charged with the fighting, as well as the deteriorating home front of Hiroshima—never depicted before in English—and provides a fresh look at the events surrounding the dropping of the first atomic bomb. Intimate and evocative, here is an indelible portrait of a resilient family, a scathing examination of racism and xenophobia, an homage to the tremendous Japanese American contribution to the American war effort, and an invaluable addition to the historical record of this extraordinary time.

Pit Bull: The Battle over an American Icon


Bronwen Dickey - 2016
     When Bronwen Dickey brought her new dog home, she saw no traces of the infamous viciousness in her affectionate, timid pit bull. Which made her wonder: How had the breed—beloved by Teddy Roosevelt, Helen Keller, and Hollywood’s “Little Rascals”—come to be known as a brutal fighter? Her search for answers takes her from nineteenth-century New York City dogfighting pits—the cruelty of which drew the attention of the recently formed ASPCA—to early twentieth‑century movie sets, where pit bulls cavorted with Fatty Arbuckle and Buster Keaton; from the battlefields of Gettysburg and the Marne, where pit bulls earned presidential recognition, to desolate urban neighborhoods where the dogs were loved, prized—and sometimes brutalized. Whether through love or fear, hatred or devotion, humans are bound to the history of the pit bull. With unfailing thoughtfulness, compassion, and a firm grasp of scientific fact, Dickey offers us a clear-eyed portrait of this extraordinary breed, and an insightful view of Americans’ relationship with their dogs.

Israel: A Concise History of a Nation Reborn


Daniel Gordis - 2016
    Why does such a small country speak to so many global concerns? More pressingly: Why does Israel make the decisions it does? And what lies in its future?We cannot answer these questions until we understand Israel’s people and the questions and conflicts, the hopes and desires, that have animated their conversations and actions. Though Israel’s history is rife with conflict, these conflicts do not fully communicate the spirit of Israel and its people: they give short shrift to the dream that gave birth to the state, and to the vision for the Jewish people that was at its core. Guiding us through the milestones of Israeli history, Gordis relays the drama of the Jewish people’s story and the creation of the state. Clear-eyed and erudite, he illustrates how Israel became a cultural, economic and military powerhouse—but also explains where Israel made grave mistakes and traces the long history of Israel’s deepening isolation.With Israel, public intellectual Daniel Gordis offers us a brief but thorough account of the cultural, economic, and political history of this complex nation, from its beginnings to the present. Accessible, levelheaded, and rigorous, Israel sheds light on the Israel’s past so we can understand its future. The result is a vivid portrait of a people, and a nation, reborn.

A Train Near Magdeburg: A Teacher's Journey into the Holocaust, and the Reuniting of the Survivors and Liberators, 70 years on


Matthew A. Rozell - 2016
    -From the author of 'The Things Our Fathers Saw' World War II narrative history trilogy- ~THE HOLOCAUST was a watershed event in history. In this book, Matthew Rozell reconstructs a lost chapter--the liberation of a 'death train' deep in the heart of Nazi Germany in the closing days of the World War II. Drawing on never-before published eye-witness accounts, survivor testimony and memoirs, and wartime reports and letters, Rozell brings to life the incredible true stories behind the iconic 1945 liberation photographs taken by the soldiers who were there. He weaves together a chronology of the Holocaust as it unfolds across Europe, and goes back to literally retrace the steps of the survivors and the American soldiers who freed them. Rozell's work results in joyful reunions on three continents, seven decades later. He offers his unique perspective on the lessons of the Holocaust for future generations, and the impact that one person, a teacher, can make. -Featuring testimony from 15 American liberators and over 30 Holocaust survivors -10 custom maps -73 photographs and illustrations, many never before published. 502 pages-extensive notes and bibliographical references Included: BOOK ONE-THE HOLOCAUST BOOK TWO-THE AMERICANS BOOK THREE-LIBERATION BOOK FOUR-REUNION From the book: - 'I survived because of many miracles. But for me to actually meet, shake hands, hug, and cry together with my liberators--the 'angels of life' who literally gave me back my life--was just beyond imagination.'-Leslie Meisels, Holocaust Survivor - 'Battle-hardened veterans learn to contain their emotions, but it was difficult then, and I cry now to think about it. What stamina and regenerative spirit those brave people showed!'-George C. Gross, Liberator - 'Never in our training were we taught to be humanitarians. We were taught to be soldiers.'-Frank Towers, Liberator - 'I cannot believe, today, that the world almost ignored those people and what was happening. How could we have all stood by and have let that happen? They do not owe us anything. We owe them, for what we allowed to happen to them.'-Carrol Walsh, Liberator - '[People say it] cannot happen here in this country; yes, it can happen here. I was 21 years old. I was there to see it happen.'-Luca Furnari, US Army - '[After I got home] I cried a lot. My parents couldn't understand why I couldn't sleep at times.'-Walter 'Babe' Gantz, US Army medic - 'I grew up and spent all my years being angry. This means I don't have to be angry anymore.'-Paul Arato, Holocaust Survivor - 'For the first time after going through sheer hell, I felt that there was such a thing as simple love coming from good people--young men who had left their families far behind, who wrapped us in warmth and love and cared for our well-being.'-Sara Atzmon, Holocaust Survivor - 'It's not for my sake, it's for the sake of humanity, that they will remember.'-Steve Barry, Holocaust Survivor

Beautiful Hero: How We Survived the Khmer Rouge


Jennifer H. Lau - 2016
     Surrounded by unimaginable adverse forces, one strong woman would ultimately lead her entire family to survive. Beautiful Hero is an autobiographical narrative told from a daughter’s perspective. The story centers around Meiyeng, the eponymous Beautiful Hero, and her innate ability to sustain everyone in her family. She shepherded her entire family through starvation, diseases, slavery and massacres in war-torn Cambodia to forge a new life in America. Over two million people—a third of the country’s population—fell victim to a devastating genocide in Cambodia. The rise of the Khmer Rouge posed not merely a single challenge to survival, but rather a series of nightmarish obstacles that required constant circumvention, outmaneuvering, and exceptional fortitude from those few who would survive the regime intact. The story eerily unravels the layers of atrocity and evil unleashed upon the people, providing a clear view of this horrific and violent time of the Cambodian revolution.br>

Bellevue: Three Centuries of Medicine and Mayhem at America's Most Storied Hospital


David M. Oshinsky - 2016
    From its origins in 1738 as an almshouse and pesthouse, Bellevue today is a revered public hospital bringing first-class care to anyone in need. With its diverse, ailing, and unprotesting patient population, the hospital was a natural laboratory for the nation's first clinical research. It treated tens of thousands of Civil War soldiers, launched the first civilian ambulance corps and the first nursing school for women, pioneered medical photography and psychiatric treatment, and spurred New York City to establish the country's first official Board of Health. As medical technology advanced, "voluntary" hospitals began to seek out patients willing to pay for their care. For charity cases, it was left to Bellevue to fill the void. The latter decades of the twentieth century brought rampant crime, drug addiction, and homelessness to the nation's struggling cities problems that called a public hospital's very survival into question. It took the AIDS crisis to cement Bellevue's enduring place as New York's ultimate safety net, the iconic hospital of last resort.

Original Gangstas: The Untold Story of Dr. Dre, Eazy-E, Ice Cube, Tupac Shakur, and the Birth of West Coast Rap


Ben Westhoff - 2016
    An elaborately detailed, darkly surprising, definitive history of the LA gangsta rap era." -- Kirkus, starred reviewA monumental, revealing narrative history about the legendary group of artists at the forefront of West Coast hip-hop: Eazy-E, Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, Snoop Dogg, and Tupac Shakur. Amid rising gang violence, the crack epidemic, and police brutality, a group of unlikely voices cut through the chaos of late 1980s Los Angeles: N.W.A. Led by a drug dealer, a glammed-up producer, and a high school kid, N.W.A gave voice to disenfranchised African Americans across the country. And they quickly redefined pop culture across the world. Their names remain as popular as ever -- Eazy-E, Dr. Dre, and Ice Cube. Dre soon joined forces with Suge Knight to create the combustible Death Row Records, which in turn transformed Snoop Dogg and Tupac Shakur into superstars. Ben Westhoff explores how this group of artists shifted the balance of hip-hop from New York to Los Angeles. He shows how N.W.A.'s shocking success lead to rivalries between members, record labels, and eventually a war between East Coast and West Coast factions. In the process, hip-hop burst into mainstream America at a time of immense social change, and became the most dominant musical movement of the last thirty years. At gangsta rap's peak, two of its biggest names -- Tupac and Biggie Smalls -- were murdered, leaving the surviving artists to forge peace before the genre annihilated itself. Featuring extensive investigative reporting, interviews with the principal players, and dozens of never-before-told stories, Original Gangstas is a groundbreaking addition to the history of popular music.

But You Did Not Come Back


Marceline Loridan-Ivens - 2016
    It is the profoundly moving and poetic memoir by Marceline Loridan-Ivens, who at the age of fifteen was arrested in occupied France, along with her father. Later, in the camps, he managed to smuggle a note to her, a sign of life that made all the difference to Marceline—but he died in the Holocaust, while Marceline survived. In But You Did Not Come Back, Marceline writes back to her father, the man whose death overshadowed her whole life. Although her grief never diminished in its intensity, Marceline ultimately found her calling, working as both an activist and a documentary filmmaker. But now, as France and Europe in general faces growing anti-Semitism, Marceline feels pessimistic about the future. Her testimony is a memorial, a confrontation, and a deeply affecting personal story of a woman whose life was shattered and never totally rebuilt.

Love Wins: The Lovers and Lawyers Who Fought the Landmark Case for Marriage Equality


Debbie Cenziper - 2016
    Through insider accounts and access to key players, this definitive account reveals the dramatic and previously unreported events behind Obergefell v Hodges and the lives at its center. This is a story of law and love—and a promise made to a dying man who wanted to know how he would be remembered. Twenty years ago, Jim Obergefell and John Arthur fell in love in Cincinnati, Ohio, a place where gays were routinely picked up by police and fired from their jobs. In 2013, the Supreme Court ruled that the federal government had to provide married gay couples all the benefits offered to straight couples. Jim and John—who was dying from ALS—flew to Maryland, where same-sex marriage was legal. But back home, Ohio refused to recognize their union, or even list Jim’s name on John’s death certificate. Then they met Al Gerhardstein, a courageous attorney who had spent nearly three decades advocating for civil rights and who now saw an opening for the cause that few others had before him. This forceful and deeply affecting narrative—Part Erin Brockovich, part Milk, part Still Alice—chronicles how this grieving man and his lawyer, against overwhelming odds, introduced the most important gay rights case in U.S. history. It is an urgent and unforgettable account that will inspire readers for many years to come.www.Facebook.com/LoveWins#LoveWins

Freedom in Congo Square


Carole Boston Weatherford - 2016
    Here they were free to set up an open market, sing, dance, and play music. They were free to forget their cares, their struggles, and their oppression. This story chronicles slaves' duties each day, from chopping logs on Mondays to baking bread on Wednesdays to plucking hens on Saturday, and builds to the freedom of Sundays and the special experience of an afternoon spent in Congo Square. This book will have a forward from Freddi Williams Evans (freddievans.com), a historian and Congo Square expert, as well as a glossary of terms with pronunciations and definitions.AWARDS:A Kirkus Reviews Best Book of 2016A School Library Journal Best Book of 2016: NonfictionStarred reviews from School Library Journal, Booklist, Kirkus Reviews, and The Horn Book Magazine

I Am Not a Number


Jenny Kay Dupuis - 2016
    She tries to remember who she is and where she came from, despite the efforts of the nuns who are in charge at the school and who tell her that she is not to use her own name but instead use the number they have assigned to her. When she goes home for summer holidays, Irene's parents decide never to send her and her brothers away again. But where will they hide? And what will happen when her parents disobey the law? Based on the life of co-author Jenny Kay Dupuis’ grandmother, I Am Not a Number is a hugely necessary book that brings a terrible part of Canada’s history to light in a way that children can learn from and relate to.

Indestructible: One Man's Rescue Mission That Changed the Course of WWII


John R. Bruning - 2016
    Bruning, a renegade American pilot fights against all odds to rescue his family -- imprisoned by the Japanese--and revolutionizes modern warfare along the way. From the knife fights and smuggling runs of his youth to his fiery days as a pioneering naval aviator, Paul Irving "Pappy" Gunn played by his own set of rules and always survived on his wits and fists. But when he fell for a conservative Southern belle, her love transformed him from a wild and reckless airman to a cunning entrepreneur whose homespun engineering brilliance helped launch one of the first airlines in Asia. Pappy was drafted into MacArthur's air force when war came to the Philippines; and while he carried out a top-secret mission to Australia, the Japanese seized his family. Separated from his beloved wife, Polly, and their four children, Pappy reverted to his lawless ways. He carried out rescue missions with an almost suicidal desperation. Even after he was shot down twice and forced to withdraw to Australia, he waged a one-man war against his many enemies -- including the American high command and the Japanese--and fought to return to the Philippines to find his family. Without adequate planes, supplies, or tactics, the U.S. Army Air Force suffered crushing defeats by the Japanese in the Pacific. Over the course of his three-year quest to find his family, Pappy became the renegade who changed all that. With a brace of pistols and small band of loyal fol,lowers, he robbed supply dumps, stole aircraft, invented new weapons, and modified bombers to hit harder, fly farther, and deliver more destruction than anything yet seen in the air. When Pappy's modified planes were finally unleashed during the Battle of the Bismarck Sea, the United States scored one of the most decisive victories of World War II. Taking readers from the blistering skies of the Pacific to the jungles of New Guinea and the Philippines to one of the the war's most notorious prison camps, Indestructible traces one man's bare-knuckle journey to free the people he loved and the aerial revolution he sparked that continues to resonate across America's modern battlefields.

America's War for the Greater Middle East


Andrew J. Bacevich - 2016
    Bacevich provides a searing reassessment of U.S. military policy in the Middle East over the past four decades. From the end of World War II until 1980, virtually no American soldiers were killed in action while serving in the Greater Middle East. Since 1990, virtually no American soldiers have been killed in action anywhere else. What caused this shift? Andrew J. Bacevich, one of the country’s most respected voices on foreign affairs, offers an incisive critical history of this ongoing military enterprise—now more than thirty years old and with no end in sight. During the 1980s, Bacevich argues, a great transition occurred. As the Cold War wound down, the United States initiated a new conflict—a War for the Greater Middle East—that continues to the present day. The long twilight struggle with the Soviet Union had involved only occasional and sporadic fighting. But as this new war unfolded, hostilities became persistent. From the Balkans and East Africa to the Persian Gulf and Central Asia, U.S. forces embarked upon a seemingly endless series of campaigns across the Islamic world. Few achieved anything remotely like conclusive success. Instead, actions undertaken with expectations of promoting peace and stability produced just the opposite. As a consequence, phrases like “permanent war” and “open-ended war” have become part of everyday discourse. Connecting the dots in a way no other historian has done before, Bacevich weaves a compelling narrative out of episodes as varied as the Beirut bombing of 1983, the Mogadishu firefight of 1993, the invasion of Iraq in 2003, and the rise of ISIS in the present decade. Understanding what America’s costly military exertions have wrought requires seeing these seemingly discrete events as parts of a single war. It also requires identifying the errors of judgment made by political leaders in both parties and by senior military officers who share responsibility for what has become a monumental march to folly. This Bacevich unflinchingly does. A twenty-year army veteran who served in Vietnam, Andrew J. Bacevich brings the full weight of his expertise to this vitally important subject. America’s War for the Greater Middle East is a bracing after-action report from the front lines of history. It will fundamentally change the way we view America’s engagement in the world’s most volatile region.Advance praise for America’s War for the Greater Middle East“In one arresting book after another, Bacevich has relentlessly laid bare the failings of American foreign policy since the Cold War. This one is his sad crowning achievement: the story of our long and growing military entanglement in the region of the most tragic, bitter, and intractable of conflicts.”—Richard K. Betts, director, Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies, Columbia University “An unparalleled historical tour de force certain to affect the formation of future U.S. foreign policy . . . Every citizen aspiring to high office needs not only to read but to study and learn from this important book. This is one of the most serious and essential books I have read in more than half a century of public service.”—Lieutenant General Paul K. Van Riper, U.S. Marine Corps (Ret.) “Bacevich asks and answers a provocative, inconvenient question: In a multigenerational war in the Middle East, ‘Why has the world’s mightiest military achieved so little?’ ”—Graham Allison, director, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, and Douglas Dillon Professor of Government at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of GovernmentFrom the Hardcover edition.

The Winter Fortress: The Epic Mission to Sabotage Hitler’s Atomic Bomb


Neal Bascomb - 2016
    They have the physicists. They have the will. What they don’t have is enough “heavy water," an essential ingredient for their nuclear designs. For two years, the Nazis have occupied Norway, and with it the Vemork hydroelectric plant, a massive industrial complex nestled on a precipice of a gorge. Vemork is the world’s sole supplier of heavy water, and under the threat of death, its engineers pushed production into overtime. For the Allies, Vemork must be destroyed. But how would they reach the castle fortress high in a mountainous valley? The answer became the most dramatic commando raid of the war. The British Special Operations Executive together a brilliant scientist and eleven refugee Norwegian commandos, who, with little more than parachutes, skis, and Tommy Guns, would destroy Hitler’s nuclear ambitions and help end the reign of the Third Reich. Based on exhaustive research and never-before-seen diaries and letters of the saboteurs, The Winter Fortress is a compulsively readable narrative about a group of young men who endured soul-crushing setbacks and Gestapo hunts and survived in one of the coldest, most inhospitable places on earth to save the world from destruction.

Shakespeare and Company, Paris: A History of the Rag and Bone Shop of the Heart


Krista Halverson - 2016
    It interweaves essays and poetry from dozens of writers associated with the shop--Allen Ginsberg, Anaïs Nin, Ethan Hawke, Robert Stone and Jeanette Winterson, among others--with hundreds of never-before-seen archival pieces. It includes photographs of James Baldwin, William Burroughs and Langston Hughes, plus a foreword by the celebrated British novelist Jeanette Winterson and an epilogue by Sylvia Whitman, the daughter of the store’s founder, George Whitman. The book has been edited by Krista Halverson, director of the newly founded Shakespeare and Company publishing house.

Sachiko: A Nagasaki Bomb Survivor's Story


Caren Stelson - 2016
    Having conducted extensive interviews with Sachiko Yasui, Caren Stelson chronicles Sachiko’s trauma and loss as well as her long journey to find peace. This book offers readers a remarkable new perspective on the final moments of World War II and their aftermath.

Spain in Our Hearts: Americans in the Spanish Civil War, 1936-1939


Adam Hochschild - 2016
    Today we're accustomed to remembering the war through Hemingway’s For Whom the Bell Tolls and Robert Capa’s photographs. But Adam Hochschild has discovered some less familiar yet far more compelling characters who reveal the full tragedy and importance of the war: a fiery nineteen-year-old Kentucky woman who went to wartime Spain on her honeymoon, a Swarthmore College senior who was the first American casualty in the battle for Madrid, a pair of fiercely partisan, rivalrous New York Times reporters who covered the war from opposites sides, and a swashbuckling Texas oilman with Nazi sympathies who sold Franco almost all his oil — at reduced prices, and on credit.   It was in many ways the opening battle of World War II, and we still have much to learn from it. Spain in Our Hearts is Adam Hochschild at his very best.

Ocean of Churn: How the Indian Ocean Shaped Human History


Sanjeev Sanyal - 2016
    In a first-of-its-kind attempt, bestselling author Sanjeev Sanyal tells the history of this significant region, which stretches across East Africa, the Middle East and the Indian subcontinent to South East Asia and Australia. He narrates a fascinating tale about the earliest human migrations out of Africa and the great cities of Angkor and Vijayanagar; medieval Arab empires and Chinese ‘treasure fleets’; the rivalries of European colonial powers and a new dawn.Sanjeev explores remote archaeological sites, ancient inscriptions, maritime trading networks and half-forgotten oral histories, to make exciting revelations. In his inimitable style, he draws upon existing and new evidence to challenge well-established claims about famous historical characters and the flow of history. Adventurers, merchants, explorers, monks, swashbuckling pirates, revolutionaries and warrior princesses populate this colourful and multifaceted narrative.The Ocean of Churn takes the reader on an amazing journey through medieval geopolitics and eyewitness accounts of long-lost cities to the latest genetic discoveries about human origins, bringing alive a region that has defined civilization from the very beginning.

My Lost Brothers: The Untold Story by the Yarnell Hill Fire's Lone Survivor


Brendan McDonough - 2016
    A "unique and bracing" (Booklist) first-person account by the sole survivor of Arizona's disastrous 2013 Yarnell Hill Fire, which took the lives of 19 "hotshots" -- firefighters trained specifically to battle wildfires. Brendan McDonough was on the verge of becoming a hopeless, inveterate heroin addict when he, for the sake of his young daughter, decided to turn his life around. He enlisted in the Granite Mountain Hotshots, a team of elite firefighters based in Prescott, Arizona. Their leader, Eric Marsh, was in a desperate crunch after four hotshots left the unit, and perhaps seeing a glimmer of promise in the skinny would-be recruit, he took a chance on the unlikely McDonough, and the chance paid off. Despite the crew's skepticism, and thanks in large part to Marsh's firm but loving encouragement, McDonough unlocked a latent drive and dedication, going on to successfully battle a number of blazes and eventually win the confidence of the men he came to call his brothers. Then, on June 30, 2013, while McDonough -- "Donut" as he'd been dubbed by his team--served as lookout, they confronted a freak, 3,000-degree inferno in nearby Yarnell, Arizona. The relentless firestorm ultimately trapped his hotshot brothers, tragically killing all 19 of them within minutes. Nationwide, it was the greatest loss of firefighter lives since the 9/11 attacks. Granite Mountain is a gripping memoir that traces McDonough's story of finding his way out of the dead end of drugs, finding his purpose among the Granite Mountain Hotshots, and the minute-by-minute account of the fateful day he lost the very men who had saved him. A harrowing and redemptive tale of resilience in the face of tragedy, Granite Mountain is also a powerful reminder of the heroism of the people who put themselves in harm's way to protect us every day.

For the Glory: Eric Liddell's Journey from Olympic Champion to Modern Martyr


Duncan Hamilton - 2016
    Famously, Liddell would not run on Sunday because of his strict observance of the Christian sabbath, and so he did not compete in his signature event, the 100 meters, at the 1924 Paris Olympics. He was the greatest sprinter in the world at the time, and his choice not to run was ridiculed by the British Olympic committee, his fellow athletes, and most of the world press. Yet Liddell triumphed in a new event, winning the 400 meters in Paris.Liddell ran--and lived--for the glory of his God. After winning gold, he dedicated himself to missionary work. He travelled to China to work in a local school and as a missionary. He married and had children there. By the time he could see war on the horizon, Liddell put Florence, his pregnant wife, and children on a boat to Canada, while he stayed behind, his conscience compelling him to stay among the Chinese. He and thousands of other westerners were eventually interned at a Japanese work camp.Once imprisoned, Liddell did what he was born to do, practice his faith and his sport. He became the moral center of an unbearable world. He was the hardest worker in the camp, he counseled many of the other prisoners, he gave up his own meager portion of meals many days, and he organized games for the children there. He even raced again. For his ailing, malnourished body, it was all too much. Liddell died of a brain tumor just before the end of the war. His passing was mourned around the world, and his story still inspires.In the spirit of The Boys in the Boat and Unbroken, For the Glory is both a compelling narrative of athletic heroism and a gripping story of faith in the darkest circumstances.

And Then All Hell Broke Loose: Two Decades in the Middle East


Richard Engel - 2016
    Shortly thereafter he was working freelance for Arab news sources and got a call that a busload of Italian tourists were massacred at a Cairo museum. This is his first view of the carnage these years would pile on. Over two decades Engel has been under fire, blown out of hotel beds, taken hostage. He has watched Mubarak and Morsi in Egypt arrested and condemned, reported from Jerusalem, been through the Lebanese war, covered the whole shooting match in Iraq, interviewed Libyan rebels who toppled Gaddafi, reported from Syria as Al-Qaeda stepped in, was kidnapped in the Syrian crosscurrents of fighting. He goes into Afghanistan with the Taliban and to Iraq with ISIS. In the page-turning And Then All Hell Broke Loose, he shares his adventure tale.Engel takes chances, though not reckless ones, keeps a level head and a sense of humor, as well as a grasp of history in the making. Reporting as NBC’s Chief-Foreign Correspondent, he reveals his unparalleled access to the major figures, the gritty soldiers, and the helpless victims in the Middle East during this watershed time. We can experience the unforgettable suffering and despair of the local populations. Engel’s vivid description is intimate and personal. Importantly, it is a succinct and authoritative account of the ever-changing currents in that dangerous land.

An Era of Darkness: The British Empire in India


Shashi Tharoor - 2016
    He was not the only one to denounce the rapacity and cruelty of British rule, and his assessment was not exaggerated. Almost thirty-five million Indians died because of acts of commission and omission by the British—in famines, epidemics, communal riots and wholesale slaughter like the reprisal killings after the 1857 War of Independence and the Amritsar massacre of 1919. Besides the deaths of Indians, British rule impoverished India in a manner that beggars belief. When the East India Company took control of the country, in the chaos that ensued after the collapse of the Mughal empire, India’s share of world GDP was 23 per cent. When the British left it was just above 3 per cent. The British empire in India began with the East India Company, incorporated in 1600, by royal charter of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth I, to trade in silk, spices and other profitable Indian commodities. Within a century and a half, the Company had become a power to reckon with in India. In 1757, under the command of Robert Clive, Company forces defeated the ruling Nawab Siraj-ud-Daula of Bengal at Plassey, through a combination of superior artillery and even more superior chicanery. A few years later, the young and weakened Mughal emperor, Shah Alam II, was browbeaten into issuing an edict that replaced his own revenue officials with the Company’s representatives. Over the next several decades, the East India Company, backed by the British government, extended its control over most of India, ruling with a combination of extortion, double-dealing, and outright corruption backed by violence and superior force. This state of affairs continued until 1857, when large numbers of the Company’s Indian soldiers spearheaded the first major rebellion against colonial rule. After the rebels were defeated, the British Crown took over power and ruled the country ostensibly more benignly until 1947, when India won independence. In this explosive book, bestselling author Shashi Tharoor reveals with acuity, impeccable research, and trademark wit, just how disastrous British rule was for India. Besides examining the many ways in which the colonizers exploited India, ranging from the drain of national resources to Britain, the destruction of the Indian textile, steel-making and shipping industries, and the negative transformation of agriculture, he demolishes the arguments of Western and Indian apologists for Empire on the supposed benefits of British rule, including democracy and political freedom, the rule of law, and the railways. The few unarguable benefits—the English language, tea, and cricket—were never actually intended for the benefit of the colonized but introduced to serve the interests of the colonizers. Brilliantly narrated and passionately argued, An Era of Darkness will serve to correct many misconceptions about one of the most contested periods of Indian history.

Carrier Pilot: One of the greatest pilot's memoirs of WWII - a true aviation classic.


Norman Hanson - 2016
    THE CORSAIR LOOKED TRULY VICIOUS …’ In 1942 Norman Hanson learnt to fly the Royal Navy’s newest fighter: the US-built Chance Vought Corsair. Fast, rugged and demanding to fly, it was an intimidating machine. But in the hands of its young Fleet Air Arm pilots it also proved to be a lethal weapon. Posted to the South Pacific aboard HMS Illustrious, Hanson and his squadron took the fight to the Japanese. Facing a desparate and determined enemy, Kamikaze attacks and the ever-present dangers of flying off a pitching carrier deck, death was never far away. Brought to life in vivid, visceral detail, Carrier Pilot is one of the finest aviator’s memoirs of the war; an awe-inspiring, thrilling, sometimes terrifying account of war in the air. PRAISE FOR CARRIER PILOT 'Just outstanding. Carrier Pilot is up there with First Light and The Big Show as one of the best pilot’s memoirs of WWII.’ ROWLAND WHITE, AUTHOR OF VULCAN 607 'Hanson's thrilling memoir takes you right into the cockpit in a way few writers have ever managed. The lethal world of the wartime Royal Navy carrier pilot, with its casual and shocking violence, horrific attrition, yet extraordinary camaraderie is so vividly brought to life that one can almost smell the smoke, oil and sweat. Real, adrenalin-charged, and ridiculously dangerous flying, Hanson's account is an aviation classic that has to be read.’ JAMES HOLLAND, AUTHOR OF DAM BUSTERS and THE WAR IN THE WEST

John Quincy Adams: Militant Spirit


James Traub - 2016
    The son of John Adams, he was a brilliant ambassador and secretary of state, a frustrated president at a historic turning point in American politics, and a dedicated congressman for eighteen years who collapsed on the floor of the House of Representatives in the midst of an impassioned political debate. He died two days later at the age of 80. In John Quincy Adams, scholar and journalist James Traub draws on Adams’ diary, letters, and writings to evoke a diplomat and president whose ideas remain with us today. Adams was a fierce nationalist who, as secretary of state, championed the idea of American expansion. Yet, at the same time he warned against moralistic and militaristic policies abroad—a chastening wisdom that makes him the father of what we now call “realism” in foreign policy. As president, he was a bold proponent of the idea of activist government later brought to fruition by Abraham Lincoln and others.Adams’ numerous achievements—and equally numerous failures—stand as testaments to his unwavering moral convictions. A man who refused to take refuge in the politically prudent course of action, Adams was repudiated by his own Federalist party and, as president, by the nation that voted him out of office. And yet, in the final decade of his life, Adams regained the country’s regard, and even reverence, for as a congressman he often stood alone against the forces of slavery, twice beating back motions of censure. John Quincy Adams tells the story of this brilliant, flinty, and unyielding man whose life exemplified political courage—a life against which each of us might measure our own.

A Little History of Religion


Richard Holloway - 2016
    Richard Holloway retells the entire history of religion—from the dawn of religious belief to the twenty-first century—with deepest respect and a keen commitment to accuracy. Writing for those with faith and those without, and especially for young readers, he encourages curiosity and tolerance, accentuates nuance and mystery, and calmly restores a sense of the value of faith. Ranging far beyond the major world religions of Judaism, Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, and Hinduism, Holloway also examines where religious belief comes from, the search for meaning throughout history, today’s fascinations with Scientology and creationism, religiously motivated violence, hostilities between religious people and secularists, and more. Holloway proves an empathic yet discerning guide to the enduring significance of faith and its power from ancient times to our own.

The Secret Lives of Color


Kassia St. Clair - 2016
    From blonde to ginger, the brown that changed the way battles were fought to the white that protected against the plague, Picasso's blue period to the charcoal on the cave walls at Lascaux, acid yellow to kelly green, and from scarlet women to imperial purple, these surprising stories run like a bright thread throughout history.In this book, Kassia St. Clair has turned her lifelong obsession with colors and where they come from (whether Van Gogh's chrome yellow sunflowers or punk's fluorescent pink) into a unique study of human civilization. Across fashion and politics, art and war, the secret lives of color tell the vivid story of our culture.

Listen, Liberal: Or, What Ever Happened to the Party of the People


Thomas Frank - 2016
    Drawing on years of research and first-hand reporting, Frank points out that the Democrats have done little to advance traditional liberal goals: expanding opportunity, fighting for social justice, and ensuring that workers get a fair deal. Indeed, they have scarcely dented the free-market consensus at all. This is not for lack of opportunity: Democrats have occupied the White House for sixteen of the last twenty-four years, and yet the decline of the middle class has only accelerated. Wall Street gets its bailouts, wages keep falling, and the free-trade deals keep coming.With his trademark sardonic wit and lacerating logic, Frank's Listen, Liberal lays bare the essence of the Democratic Party's philosophy and how it has changed over the years. A form of corporate and cultural elitism has largely eclipsed the party's old working-class commitment, he finds. For certain favored groups, this has meant prosperity. But for the nation as a whole, it is a one-way ticket into the abyss of inequality. In this critical election year, Frank recalls the Democrats to their historic goals-the only way to reverse the ever-deepening rift between the rich and the poor in America.

We Will Not Be Silent: The White Rose Student Resistance Movement That Defied Adolf Hitler


Russell Freedman - 2016
    They belonged to Hitler Youth as young children, but began to doubt the Nazi regime. As older students, the Scholls and a few friends formed the White Rose, a campaign of active resistance to Hitler and the Nazis. Risking imprisonment or even execution, the White Rose members distributed leaflets urging Germans to defy the Nazi government. Their belief that freedom was worth dying for will inspire young readers to stand up for what they believe in. Archival photographs and prints, source notes, bibliography, index.

Ghost Empire


Richard Fidler - 2016
    In 2014, Richard Fidler and his son Joe made a journey to Istanbul. Fired by Richard's passion for the rich history of the dazzling Byzantine Empire - centred around the legendary Constantinople - we are swept into some of the most extraordinary tales in history. The clash of civilizations, the fall of empires, the rise of Christianity, revenge, lust, murder. Turbulent stories from the past are brought vividly to life at the same time as a father navigates the unfolding changes in his relationship with his son.GHOST EMPIRE is a revelation: a beautifully written ode to a lost civilization, and a warmly observed father-son adventure far from home.

Ivory Throne: Chronicles of the House of Travancore


Manu S. Pillai - 2016
    The cosmopolitan fabric of a vibrant trading society - with its Jewish and Arab merchants, Chinese pirate heroes and masterful Hindu Zamorins - was ripped apart, heralding an age of violence and bloodshed. One prince, however, emerged triumphant from this descent into chaos. Shrewdly marrying Western arms to Eastern strategy, Martanda Varma consecrated the dominion of Travancore, destined to become one of the most dutiful pillars of the British Raj. What followed was two centuries of internecine conflict in one of India's premier princely states, culminating in a dynastic feud between two sisters battling to steer the fortunes of their house on the eve of Independence. Manu S. Pillai's retelling of this sprawling saga focuses on the remarkable life and work of Sethu Lakshmi Bayi, the last - and forgotten - queen of the House of Travancore. The supporting cast includes the flamboyant painter Raja Ravi Varma and his wrathful wife, scheming matriarchs of 'violent, profligate and sordid' character, wife-swapping court favourites, vigilant English agents, quarrelling consorts and lustful kings. Extensively researched and vividly rendered, The Ivory Throne conjures up a dramatic world of political intrigues and factions, black magic and conspiracies, crafty ceremonies and splendorous temple treasures, all harnessed in a tragic contest for power and authority in the age of empire.

The Black Death: The World's Most Devastating Plague


Dorsey Armstrong - 2016
    But the Black Death was arguably the most significant event in Western history, profoundly affecting every aspect of human life, from the economic and social to the political, religious, and cultural. In its wake the plague left a world that was utterly changed, forever altering the traditional structure of European societies and forcing a rethinking of every single system of Western civilization: food production and trade, the church, political institutions, law, art, and more. In large measure, by the profundity of the changes it brought, the Black Death produced the modern world we live in today.While the story of the Black Death is one of destruction and loss, its breathtaking scope and effects make it one of the most compelling and deeply intriguing episodes in human history. Understanding the remarkable unfolding of the plague and its aftermath provides a highly revealing window not only on the medieval world but also on the forces that brought about the Renaissance, the Protestant Reformation, and modernity itself.Speaking to the full magnitude of this world-changing historical moment, The Black Death: The World's Most Devastating Plague, taught by celebrated medievalist Dorsey Armstrong of Purdue University, takes you on an unforgettable excursion into the time period of the plague, its full human repercussions, and its transformative effects on European civilization. In 24 richly absorbing lectures, you'll follow the path of the epidemic in its complete trajectory across medieval Europe. Majestic in scope and remarkable in detail, this course goes to the heart of one of Western history's most catalytic and galvanizing moments, the effects of which gave us the modern world.

William Tecumseh Sherman: In the Service of My Country: A Life


James Lee McDonough - 2016
    Yet Sherman proved far more complex than his legendary military tactics reveal. James Lee McDonough offers fresh insight into a man tormented by the fear that history would pass him by, who was plagued by personal debts, and who lived much of his life separated from his family. As a soldier, Sherman evolved from a spirited student at West Point into a general who steered the Civil War’s most decisive campaigns, rendered here in graphic detail. Lamenting casualties, Sherman sought the war’s swift end by devastating Southern resources in the Carolinas and on his famous March to the Sea. This meticulously researched biography explores Sherman’s warm friendship with Ulysses S. Grant, his strained relationship with his wife, Ellen, and his unassuageable grief over the death of his young son, Willy. The result is a remarkable, comprehensive life of an American icon whose legacy resonates to this day.

The History of Rome: The Republic


Mike Duncan - 2016
    From its humble beginnings as a tiny kingdom in central Italy, Rome grew to envelope the entire Mediterranean until it ruled an empire that stretched from the Atlantic to Syria and from the Sahara to Scotland. Its enduring legacy continues to define the modern world. Mike Duncan chronicled the rise, triumph, and fall of the Roman Empire in his popular podcast series "The History of Rome". Transcripts of the show have been edited and collected here for the first time. Covering episodes 1-46, The History of Rome Volume I opens with the founding of the Roman Kingdom and ends with the breakdown of the Roman Republic. Along the way Rome will steadily grow from local power to regional power to global power. The Romans will triumph over their greatest foreign rivals and then nearly destroy themselves in a series of destructive civil wars. This is the story of the rise of Rome. Mike Duncan is one of the foremost history podcasters in the world. His award winning series "The History of Rome" chronologically narrated the entire history of the Roman Empire over 189 weekly episodes. Running from 2007-2012, "The History of Rome" has generated more than 65 million downloads and remains one of the most popular history podcasts on the internet. The enduring popularity of "The History of Rome" earned it aniTunes Best of 2015 award and forms the basis for his forthcoming book “The Storm Before The Storm: The Beginning of the End of the Roman Republic” (Public Affairs Press). Duncan has continued this success with his ongoing series "Revolutions" — which so far has explored the English, American, French, and Haitian Revolutions. Since debuting in September 2013, "Revolutions" has generated more than 18 million downloads. Thanks to the worldwide popularity of his podcasts, Duncan has led fans on a number of sold-out guided tours of Italy, England and France to visit historic sites from Ancient Rome to the French Revolution. Duncan also collaborates with illustrator Jason Novak on informative cartoons that humorously explain the historical context for current events. Their work has been featured in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, The Awl, and The Morning News. He lives in Madison, Wisconsin.

Alexander Hamilton's Guide to Life


Jeff Wilser - 2016
     Hamilton was a self-starter. Scrappy. Orphaned as a child, he came to America with nothing but a code of honor and a hunger to work. He then went on to help win the Revolutionary War and ratify the Constitution, create the country's financial system, charm New York's most eligible ladies, and land his face on our $10 bill. The ultimate underdog, he combined a fearless, independent spirit with a much-needed dose of American optimism. Hamilton died before he could teach us the lessons he learned, but Alexander Hamilton's Guide to Life unlocks his core principles intended for anyone interested in success, romance, money, or dueling. They include: .Speak with Authority Even If You Have None (Career) .Seduce with Your Strengths (Romance) .Find Time for the Quills and the Bills (Money) .Put the Father in Founding Father (Friends & Family) .Being Right Trumps Being Popular (Leadership) For history buffs and pop-culture addicts alike, this mix of biography, humor, and advice offers a fresh take on a nearly forgotten Founding Father, and will spark a revolution in your own life.

City of Dreams: The 400-Year Epic History of Immigrant New York


Tyler Anbinder - 2016
    Growing from Peter Minuit's tiny settlement of 1626 to one with more than three million immigrants today, the city has always been a magnet for transplants from all over the globe. It is only fitting that the United States, a "nation of immigrants," is home to the only world city built primarily by immigration. More immigrants have entered the United States through New York than through all other entry points combined, making New York's immigrant saga a quintessentially American story.City of Dreams is the long-overdue, inspiring, and defining account of New York's both famous and forgotten immigrants: the young man from the Caribbean who relocated to New York and became a Founding Father; an Italian immigrant who toiled for years at railroad track maintenance before achieving his dream of becoming a nationally renowned poet; Russian-born Emma Goldman, who condoned the murder of American industrialists as a means of aiding downtrodden workers; Dominican immigrant Oscar de la Renta, who dressed first ladies from Jackie Kennedy to Michelle Obama. Over ten years in the making, Tyler Anbinder's story is one of innovators and artists, revolutionaries and rioters, staggering deprivation and soaring triumphs. Today's immigrants are really no different from those who have come to America in centuries past—and their story has never before been told with such breadth of scope, lavish research, and resounding spirit.

Guilty as Sin: Uncovering New Evidence of Corruption and How Hillary Clinton and the Democrats Derailed the FBI Investigation


Edward Klein - 2016
    Had the scandal-happy Clintons escaped justice once again? Not so fast, says investigative reporter and gossip columnist Ed Klein. There is far more behind Comey's shocking press conference than meets the eye -- and a minefield of email evidence between Hillary and the White House.In his latest book about Hillary Clinton, Klein uncovers the real story behind Hillary's email scandals and the dirty political games that have kept her one step ahead of the law - for now. Klein allegedly reveals what the FBI's team of 150+ investigators really found on Clinton's server. How Comey originally threatened to resign over White House attempts to intervene in the investigation, and his secret plan to go around the Justice Department if needed. How an unprecedented Congressional investigation during an election year is uncovering new shocking evidence of corruption on a level some would call treason. And what Bill and Hillary still have left in their bag of tricks in their desperate quest to get back into the Oval Office.

Indica: A Deep Natural History of the Indian Subcontinent


Pranay Lal - 2016
    This story, which includes a rare collection of images, illustrations and maps, starts at the very beginning—from the time when a galactic swirl of dust coalesced to become our life-giving planet—and ends with the arrival of our ancestors on the banks of the Indus. Pranay Lal tells this story with verve, lucidity and an infectious enthusiasm that comes from his deep, abiding love of nature

Bearing False Witness: Debunking Centuries of Anti-Catholic History


Rodney Stark - 2016
    But what if these long held beliefs were all wrong? In this stunning, powerful, and ultimately persuasive book, Rodney Stark, one of the most highly regarded sociologists of religion and bestselling author of The Rise of Christianity (HarperSanFrancisco 1997) argues that some of our most firmly held ideas about history, ideas that paint the Catholic Church in the least positive light are, in fact, fiction. Why have we held these wrongheaded ideas so strongly and for so long? And if our beliefs are wrong, what, in fact, is the truth? In each chapter, Stark takes on a well-established anti-Catholic myth, gives a fascinating history of how each myth became the conventional wisdom, and presents a startling picture of the real truth. For example,Instead of the Spanish Inquisition being an anomaly of torture and murder of innocent people persecuted for “imaginary” crimes such as witchcraft and blasphemy, Stark argues that not only did the Spanish Inquisition spill very little blood, but it was a major force in support of moderation and justice.Instead of Pope Pius XII being apathetic or even helpful to the Nazi movement, such as to merit the title, “Hitler’s Pope,” Stark shows that the campaign to link Pope Pius XII to Hitler was initiated by the Soviet Union, presumably in hopes of neutralizing the Vatican in post-World War II affairs. Pope Pius XII was widely praised for his vigorous and devoted efforts to saving Jewish lives during the war.Instead of the Dark Ages being understood as a millennium of ignorance and backwardness inspired by the Catholic Church’s power, Stark argues that the whole notion of the “Dark Ages” was an act of pride perpetuated by anti-religious intellectuals who were determined to claim that theirs was the era of “Enlightenment.”In the end, readers will not only have a more accurate history of the Catholic Church, they will come to understand why it became unfairly maligned for so long. Bearing False Witness is a compelling and sobering account of how egotism and ideology often work together to give us a false truth.

American Serengeti: The Last Big Animals of the Great Plains


Dan Flores - 2016
    Pronghorn antelope, gray wolves, bison, coyotes, wild horses, and grizzly bears: less than two hundred years ago these creatures existed in such abundance that John James Audubon was moved to write, "it is impossible to describe or even conceive the vast multitudes of these animals."In a work that is at once a lyrical evocation of that lost splendor and a detailed natural history of these charismatic species of the historic Great Plains, veteran naturalist and outdoorsman Dan Flores draws a vivid portrait of each of these animals in their glory--and tells the harrowing story of what happened to them at the hands of market hunters and ranchers and ultimately a federal killing program in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The Great Plains with its wildlife intact dazzled Americans and Europeans alike, prompting numerous literary tributes. American Serengeti takes its place alongside these celebratory works, showing us the grazers and predators of the plains against the vast opalescent distances, the blue mountains shimmering on the horizon, the great rippling tracts of yellowed grasslands. Far from the empty "flyover country" of recent times, this landscape is alive with a complex ecology at least 20,000 years old--a continental patrimony whose wonders may not be entirely lost, as recent efforts hold out hope of partial restoration of these historic species.Written by an author who has done breakthrough work on the histories of several of these animals--including bison, wild horses, and coyotes--American Serengeti is as rigorous in its research as it is intimate in its sense of wonder--the most deeply informed, closely observed view we have of the Great Plains' wild heritage.

The General vs. the President: MacArthur and Truman at the Brink of Nuclear War


H.W. Brands - 2016
    W. Brands, twice a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, comes the riveting story of how President Harry Truman and General Douglas MacArthur squared off to decide America's future in the aftermath of World War II. At the height of the Korean War, President Harry S. Truman committed a gaffe that sent shock waves around the world. When asked by a reporter about the possible use of atomic weapons in response to China's entry into the war, Truman replied testily, "The military commander in the field will have charge of the use of the weapons, as he always has." This suggested that General Douglas MacArthur, the willful, fearless, and highly decorated commander of the American and U.N. forces, had his finger on the nuclear trigger. A correction quickly followed, but the damage was done; two visions for America's path forward were clearly in opposition, and one man would have to make way.Truman was one of the most unpopular presidents in American history. Heir to a struggling economy, a ruined Europe, and increasing tension with the Soviet Union, on no issue was the path ahead clear and easy. General MacArthur, by contrast, was incredibly popular, as untouchable as any officer has ever been in America. The lessons he drew from World War II were absolute: appeasement leads to disaster and a showdown with the communists was inevitable--the sooner the better. In the nuclear era, when the Soviets, too, had the bomb, the specter of a catastrophic third World War lurked menacingly close on the horizon.The contest of wills between these two titanic characters unfolds against the turbulent backdrop of a faraway war and terrors conjured at home by Joseph McCarthy. From the drama of Stalin's blockade of West Berlin to the daring landing of MacArthur's forces at Inchon to the shocking entrance of China into the war, " The General and the President vividly evokes the making of a new American era."

American Cake: From Colonial Gingerbread to Classic Layer, the Stories and Recipes Behind More Than 125 of Our Best-Loved Cakes


Anne Byrn - 2016
    Be they vanilla, lemon, ginger, chocolate, cinnamon, boozy, Bundt, layered, marbled, even checkerboard--they are etched in our psyche. Cakes relate to our lives, heritage, and hometowns. And as we look at the evolution of cakes in America, we see the evolution of our history: cakes changed with waves of immigrants landing on ourshores, with the availability (and scarcity) of ingredients, with cultural trends and with political developments. In her new book American Cake, Anne Byrn (creator of the New York Times bestselling series The Cake Mix Doctor) will explore this delicious evolution and teach us cake-making techniques from across the centuries, all modernized for today’s home cooks.Anne wonders (and answers for us) why devil’s food cake is not red in color, how the Southern delicacy known as Japanese Fruit Cake could be so-named when there appears to be nothing Japanese about the recipe, and how Depression-era cooks managed to bake cakes without eggs, milk, and butter. Who invented the flourless chocolate cake, the St. Louis gooey butter cake, the Tunnel of Fudge cake? Were these now-legendary recipes mishaps thanks to a lapse of memory, frugality, or being too lazy to run to the store for more flour?Join Anne for this delicious coast-to-coast journey and savor our nation's history of cake baking. From the dark, moist gingerbread and blueberry cakes of New England and the elegant English-style pound cake of Virginia to the hard-scrabble apple stack cake home to Appalachia and the slow-drawl, Deep South Lady Baltimore Cake, you will learn the stories behind your favorite cakes and how to bake them.

Champions of the Rosary


Donald H. Calloway - 2016
    Donald H. Calloway, comes a powerful and comprehensive history of a spiritual weapon: the rosary.

Angels With Dirty Faces: The Footballing History of Argentina


Jonathan Wilson - 2016
    Argentina is responsible for some of the greatest footballers on the planet. Their rich, volatile history is made up of both the sublime and the ruthlessly pragmatic.Argentina is a nation obsessed with football, and Jonathan Wilson, having lived there on and off during the last decade, is ideally placed to chart the five phases of Argentinian football: the appropriation of the British game; the golden age of la nuestra, the exuberant style of playing that developed as Juan Perón led the country into isolation; a hardening into the brutal methods of anti-fútbol; the fusing of beauty and efficacy under César Luis Menotti; and the ludicrous (albeit underachieving) creative talent of recent times.More than any other nation Argentina lives and breathes football, its theories and myths. The subject is fiercely debated on street corners and in cafes. It has even preoccupied the country's greatest writers and philosophers.ANGELS WITH DIRTY FACES is the definitive history of a great footballing nation and its paradoxes.

This Is an Uprising: How Nonviolent Revolt Is Shaping the Twenty-First Century


Mark Engler - 2016
    When mass movements erupt onto our television screens, the media consistently portrays them as being spontaneous and unpredictable. Yet, in this book, Mark and Paul Engler look at the hidden art behind such outbursts of protest, examining core principles that have been used to spark and guide moments of transformative unrest. With incisive insights from contemporary activists, as well as fresh revelations about the work of groundbreaking figures such as Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., Gene Sharp, and Frances Fox Piven, the Englers show how people with few resources and little conventional influence are engineering the upheavals that are reshaping contemporary politics. Nonviolence is usually seen simply as a philosophy or moral code. This Is an Uprising shows how it can instead be deployed as a method of political conflict, disruption, and escalation. It argues that if we are always taken by surprise by dramatic outbreaks of revolt, we pass up the chance to truly understand how social transformation happens.

Art of Atari


Tim Lapetino - 2016
    Since its formation in 1972, the company pioneered hundreds of iconic titles including Asteroids, Centipede, and Missile Command. In addition to hundreds of games created for arcades, home video systems, and computers, original artwork was specially commissioned to enhance the Atari experience, further enticing children and adults to embrace and enjoy the new era of electronic entertainment. The Art of Atari is the first official collection of such artwork. Sourced from private collections worldwide, this book spans over 40 years of the company's unique illustrations used in packaging, advertisements, catalogs, and more. Co-written by Robert V. Conte and Tim Lapetino, The Art of Atari includes behind-the-scenes details on how dozens of games featured within were conceived of, illustrated, approved (or rejected), and brought to life! Includes a special Foreword by New York Times bestseller Ernest Cline author of Armada and Ready Player One, soon to be a motion picture directed by Steven Spielberg. Whether you're a fan, collector, enthusiast, or new to the world of Atari, this book offers the most complete collection of Atari artwork ever produced! "For me, revisiting the beautiful artwork presented in this book is almost as good as taking a trip in Doc Brown's time machine back to that halcyon era at the dawn of the digital age. But be warned, viewing these images may leave you with an overwhelming desire to revisit the ancient pixelated battlefields they each depict as well." -- from the Foreword by Ernest Cline, author of READY PLAYER ONE

I Am George Washington


Brad Meltzer - 2016
    That's the inspiring message of this New York Times Bestselling picture book biography series from historian and author Brad Meltzer. Learn all about George Washington, America's first president.George Washington was one of the greatest leaders the world has ever known. He was never afraid to be the first to try something, from exploring the woods around his childhood home to founding a brand new nation, the United States of America. With his faith in the American people and tremendous bravery, he helped win the Revolutionary War and became the country's first president.Each picture book in this series is a biography of a significant historical figure, told in a simple, conversational, vivacious way, and always focusing on a character trait that makes the person a role model for kids. The heroes are depicted as children throughout, telling their life stories in first-person present tense, which keeps the books playful and accessible to young children. And each book ends with a line of encouragement, a direct quote, photos, a timeline, and a source list.

The Rise and Fall of American Growth: The U.S. Standard of Living Since the Civil War


Robert J. Gordon - 2016
    Electric lighting, indoor plumbing, motor vehicles, air travel, and television transformed households and workplaces. But has that era of unprecedented growth come to an end? Weaving together a vivid narrative, historical anecdotes, and economic analysis, The Rise and Fall of American Growth challenges the view that economic growth will continue unabated, and demonstrates that the life-altering scale of innovations between 1870 and 1970 cannot be repeated. Gordon contends that the nation's productivity growth will be further held back by the headwinds of rising inequality, stagnating education, an aging population, and the rising debt of college students and the federal government, and that we must find new solutions. A critical voice in the most pressing debates of our time, The Rise and Fall of American Growth is at once a tribute to a century of radical change and a harbinger of tougher times to come.

Undaunted: The Tiger of Auschwitz


Garmaine Pitchon - 2016
    That is where Garmaine Pitchon was when Hitler ascended to power and unleashed a diabolical scheme to annihilate the Jewish race. Follow along as Eli Gonzalez tells Garmaine story in a vibrant, chilling, and compelling narrative. Always a rambunctious, curious girl, Garmaine found a way to not wear the yellow Star of David and got to experience more than most before Garmaine experienced loss at an epic proportion. Her entire family was murdered, beginning with her grandmother, killed in her own grocery store by a Nazi officer who forced her to make him a sandwich as she walked over her just-murdered beloved grandmother’s warm, flowing blood. Experience the horror of the 9-Day train ride to Auschwitz and become a first hand witness to when it was only Nazi’s and Jews and the veil was pulled off and absolute evil abounded. Yet, there is something about Garmaine’s story, something divine that happened. What was meant to destroy her strengthened her. What was meant to stop her lineage became a force to help desperate mothers years after. When there is a divine purpose for your life and that of your family, no one and nothing can stop it.

Van Gogh's Ear: The True Story


Bernadette Murphy - 2016
    It is the most famous story about any artist in history. But what really happened on that dark winter night?In Van Gogh's Ear, Bernadette Murphy reveals the truth. She takes us on an extraordinary journey from major museums to forgotten archives, vividly reconstructing Van Gogh's world. We meet police inspectors and café patrons, prostitutes and madams, his beloved brother Theo and fellow painter Paul Gauguin.Why did Van Gogh commit such a brutal act? Who was the mysterious 'Rachel' to whom he presented his macabre gift? Did he really remove his entire ear? Murphy answers these important questions with her groundbreaking discoveries, offering a stunning portrait of an artist edging towards madness in his pursuit of excellence.BBC RADIO 4 BOOK OF THE WEEKPRIMETIME BBC2 DOCUMENTARY WITH JEREMY PAXMAN

Burning Country: Syrians in Revolution and War


Robin Yassin-Kassab - 2016
    Today, much of Syria has become a warzone and many worry that the country is on the brink of collapse.  Burning Country explores the complicated reality of life in present-day Syria with unprecedented detail and sophistication, drawing on new first-hand testimonies from opposition fighters, exiles lost in an archipelago of refugee camps, and courageous human rights activists. Yassin-Kassab and Al-Shami expertly interweave these stories with an incisive analysis of the militarization of the uprising, the rise of the Islamists and sectarian warfare, and the role of Syria’s government in exacerbating the brutalization of the conflict. Through these accounts and a broad range of secondary source material, the authors persuasively argue that the international community has failed in its stated commitments to support the Syrian opposition movements.   Covering ISIS and Islamism, regional geopolitics, new grassroots revolutionary organizations, and the worst refugee crisis since World War Two, Burning Country is a vivid and groundbreaking look at a modern-day political and humanitarian nightmare.

The American Miracle: Divine Providence in the Rise of the Republic


Michael Medved - 2016
    OR BLESSED?The history of the United States displays an uncanny pattern: At moments of crisis, when the odds against success seem overwhelming and disaster looks imminent, fate intervenes to provide deliverance and progress. Historians may categorize these incidents as happy accidents, callous crimes, or the product of brilliant leadership, but the most notable leaders of the past four hundred years have identified this good fortune as something else—a reflection of divine providence. In The American Miracle, bestselling author and radio host Michael Medved recounts some of the most significant events in America’s rise to prosperity and power, from the writing of the Constitution to the Civil War. He reveals a record of improbabilities and amazements that demonstrate what the Founders always believed: that events unfolded according to a master plan, with destiny playing an unmistakable role in lifting the nation to greatness. Among the stirring, illogical episodes described here:• A band of desperate religious refugees find themselves blown hopelessly off course, only to be deposited at the one spot on a wild continent best suited for their survival• George Washington’s beaten army, surrounded by a ruthless foe and on the verge of annihilation, manages an impossible escape due to a freakish change in the weather• A famous conqueror known for seizing territory, frustrated by a slave rebellion and a frozen harbor, impulsively hands Thomas Jefferson a tract of land that doubles the size of the United States• A weary soldier picks up three cigars left behind in an open field and notices the stogies have been wrapped in a handwritten description of the enemy’s secret battle plans—a revelation that gives Lincoln the supernatural sign he’s awaited in order to free the slavesWhen millions worry over the nation losing its way, Medved’s sweeping narrative, bursting with dramatic events and lively portraits of unforgettable, occasionally little-known characters, affirms America as “fortune’s favorite,” shaped by a distinctive destiny from our beginnings to the present day.

The Long Night: A True Story


Ernst Israel Bornstein - 2016
    But in the autumn of 1939, decades of anti-Semitic propaganda turned into full-fledged violence. Bornstein’s family was subsequently sent to Auschwitz where his parents and siblings were gassed to death.The Long Night is Bornstein’s firsthand account of what he witnessed in seven concentration camps. Written with remarkable insight and raw emotion, The Long Night paints a portrait of human psychology in the darkest of times. Bornstein tells the stories of those who did all they could do to withstand physical and psychological torture, starvation, and sickness, and openly describes those who were forced to inflict suffering on others. The narrative is simple, yet profound; unbridled, honest, and dignified.The Long Night was written shortly after the war when the author’s memories were fresh and emotions ran strong. Originally published in German in 1967 as Die Lange Nacht, this is the first English translation of this work.

Beatles '66: The Revolutionary Year


Steve Turner - 2016
    This was the year the Beatles risked their popularity by retiring from live performances, recording songs that explored alternative states of consciousness, experimenting with avant-garde ideas, and speaking their minds on issues of politics, war, and religion. It was the year their records were burned in America after John’s explosive claim that the group was "more popular than Jesus," the year they were hounded out of the Philippines for "snubbing" its First Lady, the year John met Yoko Ono, and the year Paul conceived the idea for Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.On the fiftieth anniversary of this seminal year, music journalist and Beatles expert Steve Turner slows down the action to investigate in detail the enormous changes that took place in the Beatles’ lives and work during 1966. He looks at the historical events that had an impact on the group, the music they made that in turn profoundly affected the culture around them, and the vision that allowed four young men from Liverpool to transform popular music and serve as pioneers for artists from Coldplay to David Bowie, Jay-Z to U2.By talking to those close to the group and by drawing on his past interviews with key figures such as George Martin, Timothy Leary, and Ravi Shankar—and the Beatles themselves—Turner gives us the compelling, definitive account of the twelve months that contained everything the Beatles had been and anticipated everything they would still become.

Hillary's America


Dinesh D'Souza - 2016
    After eight years of Obama, four years—or possibly eight years—of Hillary Clinton as president of the United States would so utterly transform America as to make it unrecognizable.No more will America be a land of opportunity. Instead, it will be a land of rapacious crony capitalism, run solely for the benefit of friends of the Obamas and the Clintons and the Democratic Party. It will, in fact, be the fulfillment of a dream the Democratic Party has had from the beginning…a dream of stealing America for the politically favored few.In Hillary's America, D’Souza reveals the sordid truth about Hillary and the secret history of the Democratic Party, including: how Democrats transitioned from pro-slavery to pro-enslavement; the long-standing Democratic political war against women; how Hillary Clinton’s political mentor was, literally, a cold-blooded gangster; how the Clintons and other Democrats see foreign policy not in terms of national interest, but in terms of personal profit; how Democratically controlled cities have turned into hotbeds of crime and corruption; and much, much more.Not only is Hillary Clinton a liar and a criminal—who would have been indicted for mishandling classified information on her secret email sever had the Democratic Party not closed ranks around her—she is also the culmination of her party's deliberate and stunning plot to redistribute wealth and political power to the liberal elite.Find out how Hillary and Bill used the Clinton Foundation to ruthlessly sell State Department influence to the highest foreign bidder. Find out what shady backroom Democrat dealers taught Hillary Clinton her particular brand of corrupt party politics. And most importantly, find out whether America can stop her from destroying the country once and for all.

Everything You Need to Ace American History in One Big Fat Notebook: The Complete Middle School Study Guide


Lily Rothman - 2016
        Everything You Need to Ace American History . . . covers Native Americans to the war in Iraq. There are units on Colonial America; the Revolutionary War and the founding of a new nation; Jefferson and the expansion west; the Civil War and Reconstruction; and all of the notable events of the 20th century—World Wars, the Depression, the Civil Rights movement, and much more. The BIG FAT NOTEBOOK™ series is built on a simple and irresistible conceit—borrowing the notes from the smartest kid in class. There are five books in all, and each is the only book you need for each main subject taught in middle school: Math, Science, American History, English Language Arts, and World History. Inside the reader will find every subject’s key concepts, easily digested and summarized: Critical ideas highlighted in neon colors. Definitions explained. Doodles that illuminate tricky concepts in marker. Mnemonics for memorable shortcuts. And quizzes to recap it all. The BIG FAT NOTEBOOKS meet Common Core State Standards, Next Generation Science Standards, and state history standards, and are vetted by National and State Teacher of the Year Award–winning teachers. They make learning fun, and are the perfect next step for every kid who grew up on Brain Quest.

Young Dark Emu


Bruce Pascoe - 2016
    Using the accounts of early European explorers, colonists and farmers, Bruce Pascoe compellingly argues for a reconsideration of the hunter-gatherer label for pre-colonial Aboriginal Australians. He allows the reader to see Australia as it was before Europeans arrived – a land of cultivated farming areas, productive fisheries, permanent homes, and an understanding of the environment and its natural resources that supported thriving villages across the continent. Young Dark Emu - A Truer History asks young readers to consider a different version of Australia’s history pre-European colonisation.

D DAY Through German Eyes: Book One and Book Two


Holger Eckhertz - 2016
    Almost all accounts of D Day are told from the Allied perspective. But what was it like to be a German soldier in the bunkers of the Normandy coast, facing the onslaught of the mightiest invasion in history? What motivated the German defenders, what were their thought processes - and how did they fight from one strong point to another, among the dunes and fields, on that first cataclysmic day? This book sheds fascinating light on these questions, bringing together statements made by German survivors after the war, when time had allowed them to reflect on their state of mind, their actions and their choices of June 6th. We see a perspective of D Day which deserves to be added to the historical record, in which ordinary German troops struggled to make sense of what was facing them, and emerged stunned at the weaponry and sheer determination of the Allied troops. Above all, we now have the unheard human voices of the individual German soldiers - the men who are so often portrayed as a faceless mass.

Hammerhead Six: How Green Berets Waged an Unconventional War Against the Taliban to Win in Afghanistan's Deadly Pech Valley


Ronald Fry - 2016
    Led by Captain Ronald Fry, Hammerhead Six applied the principles of unconventional warfare to "win hearts and minds" and fight against the terrorist insurgency.In 2003, the Special Forces soldiers entered an area later called "the most dangerous place in Afghanistan." Here, where the line between civilians and armed zealots was indistinct, they illustrated the Afghan proverb: "I destroy my enemy by making him my friend." Fry recounts how they were seen as welcome guests rather than invaders. Soon after their deployment ended, the Pech Valley reverted to turmoil. Their success was never replicated. Hammerhead Six finally reveals how cultural respect, hard work (and the occasional machine-gun burst) were more than a match for the Taliban and Al Qaeda.

Hank Brodt Holocaust Memoirs: A Candle and a Promise


Deborah Donnelly - 2016
    It offers a detailed historical account of being a Jewish teenager under the Nazi regime, shedding light on sickening truths in an honest, matter-of-fact way.Hank Brodt lived through one of the darkest periods of human history and survived the devastation of World War II. Born in 1925 into a poor family in Boryslaw (Poland), he was placed in a Jewish orphanage. Losing his family when the Germans invaded Poland, he waged a daily battle to survive. Moving from forced labor camps to concentration camps, one of which features in Schindler’s List, his world behind the barbed wire consisted of quiet resistance, invisible tears and silent cries for years on end.This story of survival includes rare photographs from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum that powerfully illustrate these intimate and shocking memoirs. One recently discovered picture shows Hank Brodt in prison uniform removing the dead on carts at the liberated Ebensee concentration camp on May 7, 1945. It is hard to believe that someone who endured such horrific events could go on to live a life of gratitude. Through his unwavering compassion towards others, Hank Brodt managed to keep his humanity and find a way to move forward. After the Second World War, Hank Brodt testified at the trial of Nazi war criminal Amon Goeth in Dachau, Germany. He has joined the March of the Living since 2006, walking from Auschwitz to Birkenau on Yom Hashoah to pay tribute to the millions that died. Lighting the candle, he made a promise to himself to always answer the call to talk.“As the train rattled down the tracks, the noise it made seemed to say, death - death - death. But in my mind and heart it sang, life - life - life.” ˃˃˃ Hank Brodt’s Holocaust memoirs are a necessary reminder of one of the ugliest times in the history of human civilization. Scroll up and grab a copy today "Deborah Donnely narrates her father’s memoirs. It is one of the very few books about the Holocaust experience narrated by descendents of Holocaust survivors. This is remarkable and commendable, because regrettably nowadays not many children and grandchildren have a keen interest in the life stories of their parents and grand parents. Hank Brodt’s Holocaust Memoirs offers a poignant account of what it was like for a young man to experience so many travails under the Russian and German occupation of Poland in WWII." Alter Wiener, Holocaust survivor, author of 'From a Name to a Number'

I Carried Them with Me: A Young Girl's Journey to Survive


Sara Lumer - 2016
    When she was 16 years old her parents sent her to Budapest, Hungary, where her two older brothers were already living. They felt she would be safer there. But in March of 1944 Germany invaded Hungary and began to round up all the Jews. Sara was sent to two different labor camps and endured two long death marches. She is a Holocaust Survivor.

Redemption at Hacksaw Ridge


Booton Herndon - 2016
    I’m gonna shoot you myself!” The men of the 77th Infantry Division couldn’t fathom why Private Desmond T. Doss would venture into the horrors of World War II without a single weapon to defend himself. “You’re nothing but a coward!” they said. But the soft-spoken medic insisted that his mission was to heal, not kill. When Desmond knelt by his bunk to pray, his fellow soldiers hurled boots and insults at him. Even his commander wanted to throw him out of the army. But when his unit arrived on the battlefield, the intrepid medic quickly proved he was no coward. One terrifying day in the vicious battle for Okinawa, dozens of Desmond’s former tormenters lay wounded and bleeding atop Hacksaw Ridge. As Japanese bullets rained down, their fate seemed hopeless. Could one unarmed man save their lives? This page-turner will keep you riveted to your seat as you discover how Desmond Doss became the first conscientious objector to receive the Medal of Honor. Desmond’s dramatic true story of integrity, redemption, and heroism will inspire you to live by the courage of your convictions.

Douglas MacArthur: American Warrior


Arthur Herman - 2016
    Lee. But he was also one of America’s most divisive figures, a man whose entire career was steeped in controversy. Was he an avatar or an anachronism, a brilliant strategist or a vainglorious mountebank? Drawing on a wealth of new sources, Arthur Herman delivers a powerhouse biography that peels back the layers of myth—both good and bad—and exposes the marrow of the man beneath.MacArthur’s life spans the emergence of the United States Army as a global fighting force. Its history is to a great degree his story. The son of a Civil War hero, he led American troops in three monumental conflicts—World War I, World War II, and the Korean War. Born four years after Little Big Horn, he died just as American forces began deploying in Vietnam. Herman’s magisterial book spans the full arc of MacArthur’s journey, from his elevation to major general at thirty-eight through his tenure as superintendent of West Point, field marshall of the Philippines, supreme ruler of postwar Japan, and beyond. More than any previous biographer, Herman shows how MacArthur’s strategic vision helped shape several decades of U.S. foreign policy. Alone among his peers, he foresaw the shift away from Europe, becoming the prophet of America’s destiny in the Pacific Rim.Here, too, is a vivid portrait of a man whose grandiose vision of his own destiny won him enemies as well as acolytes. MacArthur was one of the first military heroes to cultivate his own public persona—the swashbuckling commander outfitted with Ray-Ban sunglasses, riding crop, and corncob pipe. Repeatedly spared from being killed in battle—his soldiers nicknamed him “Bullet Proof”—he had a strong sense of divine mission. “Mac” was a man possessed, in the words of one of his contemporaries, of a “supreme and almost mystical faith that he could not fail.” Yet when he did, it was on an epic scale. His willingness to defy both civilian and military authority was, Herman shows, a lifelong trait—and it would become his undoing. Tellingly, MacArthur once observed, “Sometimes it’s the order you don’t obey that makes you famous.”To capture the life of such an outsize figure in one volume is no small achievement. With MacArthur Arthur Herman has set a new standard for grappling with the legacy of this American legend.

Lucky 666: The Impossible Mission


Bob Drury - 2016
    While US Marines claw their way across Guadalcanal, small contingents of US Army Airmen make their way to the lonely, embattled Allied airbase on Papua New Guinea. Their mission: to defend Australia from invasion, harass Japanese supply lines, fly perilous bombing missions over enemy-held strongholds, and make reconnaissance runs to provide intelligence for America’s nascent island-hopping campaign. Among these men are the pilot Captain Jay Zeamer and the bombardier Sergeant Joseph Raymond Sarnoski, whose swashbuckling reputations precede them. Zeamer, who cannot convince his superiors to give him his own plane, teams up with Sarnoski to recruit a crew of fellow misfits to rebuild a dilapidated B-17 bomber from spare parts in the base’s junkyard. They christen the plane Old 666, naming it from its tail identification numbers. In June 1943, Zeamer and Sarnoski and their crew volunteer for a 1200-mile suicide mission into the heart of the Japanese Empire that may well change the course of the war—but which only one of the two friends will survive. In Lucky 666, Drury and Clavin bring to vivid life one of the last great untold stories of World War II. Featuring personal letters, diaries, US Army Air Force after-action reports, even the translated Japanese Imperial Air Force’s official account of the longest dogfight in history, Lucky 666 is a tale of friendship, heroism, and sacrifice set against the horrific backdrop of vicious aerial warfare, wounded crewmates, and a white-knuckle emergency landing in the jungles of New Guinea—a must-read for anyone who loves pulse-pounding narrative nonfiction.

The Tree in the Courtyard: Looking Through Anne Frank's Window


Jeff Gottesfeld - 2016
     The tree in the courtyard was a horse chestnut. Her leaves were green stars; her flowers foaming cones of white and pink. Seagulls flocked to her shade. She spread roots and reached skyward in peace. The tree watched a little girl, who played and laughed and wrote in a diary. When strangers invaded the city and warplanes roared overhead, the tree watched the girl peek out of the curtained window of the annex. It watched as she and her family were taken away—and when her father returned after the war, alone. The tree died the summer Anne Frank would have turned eighty-one, but its seeds and saplings have been planted around the world as a symbol of peace.

Steamboat School


Deborah Hopkinson - 2016
    The classroom was dark and dreary, and James knew everything outside was more exciting than anything he'd find inside.But his teacher taught him otherwise. "We make our own light here," Reverend Meachum told James. And through hard work and learning, they did, until their school was shut down by a new law forbidding African American education in Missouri. Determined to continue teaching his students, Reverend John Berry Meachum decided to build a new school-a floating school in the Mississippi River, just outside the boundary of the unjust law.Based on true events, Ron Husband's uplifting illustrations bring to life Deborah Hopkinson's tale of a resourceful, determined teacher; his bright, inquisitive students; and their refusal to accept discrimination based on the color of their skin.

Altamont: The Rolling Stones, the Hells Angels, and the Inside Story of Rock's Darkest Day


Joel Selvin - 2016
    While most people know of the events from the film Gimme Shelter, the whole story has remained buried in varied accounts, rumor, and myth—until now.Altamont explores rock’s darkest day, a fiasco that began well before the climactic death of Meredith Hunter and continued beyond that infamous December night. Joel Selvin probes every aspect of the show—from the Stones’ hastily planned tour preceding the concert to the bad acid that swept through the audience to other deaths that also occurred that evening—to capture the full scope of the tragedy and its aftermath. He also provides an in-depth look at the Grateful Dead’s role in the events leading to Altamont, examining the band’s behind-the-scenes presence in both arranging the show and hiring the Hells Angels as security.The product of twenty years of exhaustive research and dozens of interviews with many key players, including medical staff, Hells Angels members, the stage crew, and the musicians who were there, and featuring sixteen pages of color photos, Altamont is the ultimate account of the final event in rock’s formative and most turbulent decade.

The Private Lives of the Tudors


Tracy Borman - 2016
    A thousand eyes see all I do.' Elizabeth IThe Tudor monarchs were constantly surrounded by an army of attendants, courtiers and ministers. Even in their most private moments, they were accompanied by a servant specifically appointed for the task. A groom of the stool would stand patiently by as Henry VIII performed his daily purges, and when Elizabeth I retired for the evening, one of her female servants would sleep at the end of her bed. These attendants knew the truth behind the glamorous exterior. They saw the tears shed by Henry VII upon the death of his son Arthur. They knew the tragic secret behind 'Bloody' Mary's phantom pregnancies. And they saw the 'crooked carcass' beneath Elizabeth I's carefully applied makeup, gowns and accessories. It is the accounts of these eyewitnesses, as well as a rich array of other contemporary sources that historian Tracy Borman has examined more closely than ever before. With new insights and discoveries, and in the same way that she brilliantly illuminated the real Thomas Cromwell - The Private Life of the Tudors will reveal previously unexamined details about the characters we think we know so well.

Walking with Nanak


Haroon Khalid - 2016
    This, and the discovery that Guru Nanak spent a large part of his life in Pakistan, inspired Khalid to undertake a journey that he hoped would help him learn more about the revered founder of Sikhism. In this wonderful paean to Guru Nanak, Khalid describes his travels across the length and breadth of Pakistan as he visits the many gurdwaras and other locales associated with the saint, delving into their history and musing about their place and significance in a Muslim country. But this book is not merely a story about gurdwaras, it is also a re-telling of the story of Nanak the son, the poet, the wanderer, the father, the friend. Sifting through the stories of his miracles and poetry, we emerge with a picture of Nanak, the man. Also exploring the histories of all the subsequent Gurus after Nanak, the book traces the story of how an unorganized spiritual movement evolved into the institutionalized Khalsa of Guru Gobind Singh. Through the journeys of all the Gurus, the book describes how Nanak the poet became Guru Nanak the saint.

Roses in a Forbidden Garden; A Holocaust Love Story


Elise Garibaldi - 2016
      This story is the true account of Inge Katz; the striking daughter of a successful businessman who meets and falls in love with a handsome fellow inmate. But when he gets shipped “Out East” to a Death Camp, she goes years not knowing if he is alive or dead. Her love for this man endures against all odds – from Nazi rifles, to starvation, to disease, to assaults of allied fire.   But as time passes without word or confirmation of his survival, should she remain loyal, or, as everyone suggests, move on with another?

The First Step: How One Girl Put Segregation on Trial


Susan E. Goodman - 2016
    Then one day she was told she could never come back. She didn't belong. The Otis School was for white children only.Sarah deserved an equal education, and the Roberts family fought for change. They made history. Roberts v. City of Boston was the first case challenging our legal system to outlaw segregated schools. It was the first time an African American lawyer argued in a supreme court.These first steps set in motion changes that ultimately led to equality under the law in the United States. Sarah's cause was won when people--black and white--stood together and said, No more. Now, right now, it is time for change!With gorgeous art from award-winning illustrator E. B. Lewis, The First Step is an inspiring look at the first lawsuit to demand desegregation--long before the American Civil Rights movement, even before the Civil War.Backmatter includes: integration timeline, bios on key people in the book, list of resources, and author's note.

The Lost Airman: A True Story of Escape from Nazi Occupied France


Seth Meyerowitz - 2016
    He was one of only two men on the B-24 Liberator known as “Harmful Lil Armful” who escaped death or immediate capture on the ground.   After fleeing the wreck, Arthur knocked on the door of an isolated farmhouse, whose owners hastily took him in. Fortunately, his hosts not only despised the Nazis but had a tight connection to the French resistance group Morhange and its founder, Marcel Taillandier. Arthur and Taillandier formed an improbable bond as the resistance leader arranged for Arthur’s transfers among safe houses in southern France, shielding him from the Gestapo.   Based on recently declassified material, exclusive personal interviews, and extensive research into the French Resistance, The Lost Airman tells the tense and riveting story of Arthur’s trying months in Toulouse—masquerading as a deaf mute and working with a downed British pilot to evade the Nazis—and of his hair-raising journey to freedom involving a perilous trek over the Pyrenees and a voyage aboard a fishing boat with U-boats lurking below and Luftwaffe fighters looming above. With photographs and maps included, this is a never-before-told true story of endurance, perseverance, and escape during World War II.

Star.Ships: A Prehistory of the Spirits


Gordon White - 2016
    The goal is, as Gordon writes, the restoration of context.To this end, White applies his globally-recognised data and demographics skills to realise a groundbreaking work of truly interdisciplinary research. Utilising mythological, linguistic and astronomical data to reconstruct palaeolithic magical beliefs, he maps them to the human journey out of Africa; explores which aspects of these beliefs and practices have survived into the Western tradition; and what the implications (and applications) of those survivals may be for us. Written for a magically literate and operative audience, Star.Ships displays the flair, wit and engagement with evidence that adherents of his runesoup blog have come to expect from Gordon. He deftly handles vast time scales and cosmologies to build his case; avoids the pitfalls of alternative historians with a refreshing absence of dogma or wishful thinking; and, in a masterful deployment of the latest research, simultaneously questions outworn dominant narratives and is not afraid to champion the work of independent researchers and entertain forbidden discourses. It is exactly what chaos magic should be.Göbekli Tepe, the Pyramids and Sphinx, Nabta Playa, Gunung Padang, Easter Island and Sundaland are some of the points spangled across a work of truly cosmic scope. Star.Ships beckons those who are willing to engage in the adventure to follow the great river of history that flows into and out of an ocean of stars. Minds will be blown.

By Honor Bound: Two Navy SEALs, the Medal of Honor, and a Story of Extraordinary Courage


Tom Norris - 2016
    On that mission, they engaged a vastly superior force. In the running gun battle that ensued, Lieutenant Norris was severely wounded; a bullet entered his left eye and exited the left side of his head. SEAL Petty Officer Mike Thornton, under heavy fire, fought his way back onto a North Vietnamese beach to rescue his officer. This was the first time Tom and Mike had been on a combat mission together. Mike's act of courage and loyalty marks the only time in modern history that the Medal of Honor has been awarded in a combat action where one recipient received the Medal for saving the life of another.By Honor Bound is the story of Tom Norris and Mike Thornton, two living American heroes who grew up very differently, entered military service and the Navy SEAL teams for vastly different reasons, and were thrown together for a single combat mission--a mission that would define their lives from that day forward.