Best of
History

2017

Seven Fallen Feathers: Racism, Death, and Hard Truths in a Northern City


Tanya Talaga - 2017
    An inquest was called and four recommendations were made to prevent another tragedy. None of those recommendations were applied.More than a quarter of a century later, from 2000 to 2011, seven Indigenous high school students died in Thunder Bay, Ontario. The seven were hundreds of miles away from their families, forced to leave home and live in a foreign and unwelcoming city. Five were found dead in the rivers surrounding Lake Superior, below a sacred Indigenous site. Jordan Wabasse, a gentle boy and star hockey player, disappeared into the minus twenty degrees Celsius night. The body of celebrated artist Norval Morrisseau’s grandson, Kyle, was pulled from a river, as was Curran Strang’s. Robyn Harper died in her boarding-house hallway and Paul Panacheese inexplicably collapsed on his kitchen floor. Reggie Bushie’s death finally prompted an inquest, seven years after the discovery of Jethro Anderson, the first boy whose body was found in the water.Using a sweeping narrative focusing on the lives of the students, award-winning investigative journalist Tanya Talaga delves into the history of this small northern city that has come to manifest Canada’s long struggle with human rights violations against Indigenous communities.

We Crossed a Bridge and It Trembled: Voices from Syria


Wendy Pearlman - 2017
    The government’s ferocious response, and the refusal of the demonstrators to back down, sparked a brutal civil war that over the past five years has escalated into the worst humanitarian catastrophe of our times.Yet despite all the reporting, the video, and the wrenching photography, the stories of ordinary Syrians remain unheard, while the stories told about them have been distorted by broad brush dread and political expediency. This fierce and poignant collection changes that. Based on interviews with hundreds of displaced Syrians conducted over four years across the Middle East and Europe, We Crossed a Bridge and It Trembled is a breathtaking mosaic of first-hand testimonials from the frontlines. Some of the testimonies are several pages long, eloquent narratives that could stand alone as short stories; others are only a few sentences, poetic and aphoristic. Together, they cohere into an unforgettable chronicle that is not only a testament to the power of storytelling but to the strength of those who face darkness with hope, courage, and moral conviction.

Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History


Vashti Harrison - 2017
    Illuminating text paired with irresistible illustrations bring to life both iconic and lesser-known female figures of Black history such as abolitionist Sojourner Truth, pilot Bessie Coleman, chemist Alice Ball, politician Shirley Chisholm, mathematician Katherine Johnson, poet Maya Angelou, and filmmaker Julie Dash. Among these biographies, readers will find heroes, role models, and everyday women who did extraordinary things - bold women whose actions and beliefs contributed to making the world better for generations of girls and women to come. Whether they were putting pen to paper, soaring through the air or speaking up for the rights of others, the women profiled in these pages were all taking a stand against a world that didn't always accept them. The leaders in this book may be little, but they all did something big and amazing, inspiring generations to come.

The Accidental President: Harry S. Truman and the Four Months That Changed the World


A.J. Baime - 2017
    Heroes are often defined as ordinary characters who get thrust into extraordinary circumstances, and through courage and a dash of luck, cement their place in history. Chosen as FDR’s fourth-term vice president for his well-praised work ethic, good judgment, and lack of enemies, Harry S. Truman was the prototypical ordinary man, still considered an obscure Missouri politician. That is, until he was shockingly thrust in over his head after FDR's sudden death. At the climactic moments of the Second World War, Truman had to play judge and jury during the founding of the United Nations, the Potsdam Conference, the Manhattan Project, the Nazi surrender, the liberation of concentration camps, and the decision to drop the bomb and end World War II. Tightly focused, meticulously researched, and using documents not available to previous biographers, The Accidental President escorts readers into the situation room with Truman during this tumultuous, history-making 120 days, when the stakes were high and the challenges even higher.

The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America


Richard Rothstein - 2017
    Rather, The Color of Law incontrovertibly makes clear that it was de jure segregation—the laws and policy decisions passed by local, state, and federal governments—that actually promoted the discriminatory patterns that continue to this day.Through extraordinary revelations and extensive research that Ta-Nehisi Coates has lauded as "brilliant" (The Atlantic), Rothstein comes to chronicle nothing less than an untold story that begins in the 1920s, showing how this process of de jure segregation began with explicit racial zoning, as millions of African Americans moved in a great historical migration from the south to the north.As Jane Jacobs established in her classic The Death and Life of Great American Cities, it was the deeply flawed urban planning of the 1950s that created many of the impoverished neighborhoods we know. Now, Rothstein expands our understanding of this history, showing how government policies led to the creation of officially segregated public housing and the demolition of previously integrated neighborhoods. While urban areas rapidly deteriorated, the great American suburbanization of the post–World War II years was spurred on by federal subsidies for builders on the condition that no homes be sold to African Americans. Finally, Rothstein shows how police and prosecutors brutally upheld these standards by supporting violent resistance to black families in white neighborhoods.The Fair Housing Act of 1968 prohibited future discrimination but did nothing to reverse residential patterns that had become deeply embedded. Yet recent outbursts of violence in cities like Baltimore, Ferguson, and Minneapolis show us precisely how the legacy of these earlier eras contributes to persistent racial unrest. “The American landscape will never look the same to readers of this important book” (Sherrilyn Ifill, president of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund), as Rothstein’s invaluable examination shows that only by relearning this history can we finally pave the way for the nation to remedy its unconstitutional past.

Grant


Ron Chernow - 2017
    Grant's life has typically been misunderstood. All too often he is caricatured as a chronic loser and inept businessman, fond of drinking to excess; or as the triumphant but brutal Union general of the Civil War; or as a credulous and hapless president whose tenure came to symbolize the worst excesses of the Gilded Age. These stereotypes don't come close to capturing adequately his spirit and the sheer magnitude of his monumental accomplishments. A biographer at the height of his powers, Chernow has produced a portrait of Grant that is a masterpiece, the first to provide a complete understanding of the general and president whose fortunes rose and fell with dizzying speed and frequency. Before the Civil War, Grant was flailing. His business ventures had been dismal, and despite distinguished service in the Mexican War, he ended up resigning from the army in disgrace amid recurring accusations of drunkenness. But in the Civil War, Grant began to realize his remarkable potential, soaring through the ranks of the Union army, prevailing at the Battle of Shiloh and in the Vicksburg campaign and ultimately defeating the legendary Confederate general Robert E. Lee after a series of unbelievably bloody battles in Virginia. Along the way Grant endeared himself to President Lincoln and became his most trusted general and the strategic genius of the war effort. His military fame translated into a two-term presidency, but one plagued by corruption scandals involving his closest staff. All the while Grant himself remained more or less above reproach. But, more importantly, he never failed to seek freedom and justice for black Americans, working to crush the Ku Klux Klan and earning the admiration of Frederick Douglass, who called him 'the vigilant, firm, impartial, and wise protector of my race." After his presidency, he was again brought low by a trusted colleague, this time a dashing young swindler on Wall Street, but he resuscitated his image by working with Mark Twain to publish his memoirs, which are recognized as a masterpiece of the genre. With his famous lucidity, breadth, and meticulousness, Chernow finds the threads that bind these disparate stories together, shedding new light on the man whom Walt Whitman described as "nothing heroic... and yet the greatest hero." His probing portrait of Grant's lifelong struggle with alcoholism transforms our understanding of the man at the deepest level. This is America's greatest biographer, bringing movingly to life one of America's finest but most underappreciated presidents. The definitive biography, Grant is a grand synthesis of painstaking research and literary brilliance that makes sense of all sides of Grant's life, explaining how this simple Midwesterner could at once be so ordinary and so extraordinary.

I Am Not Your Negro


James Baldwin - 2017
    Weaving these texts together, Peck brilliantly imagines the book that Baldwin never wrote. In his final years, Baldwin had envisioned a book about his three assassinated friends, Medgar Evers, Malcolm X, and Martin Luther King. His deeply personal notes for the project have never been published before. Peck s film uses them to jump through time, juxtaposing Baldwin s private words with his public statements, in a blazing examination of the tragic history of race in America.

We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy


Ta-Nehisi Coates - 2017
    Now Ta-Nehisi Coates explores the tragic echoes of that history in our own time: the unprecedented election of a black president followed by a vicious backlash that fueled the election of the man Coates argues is America's "first white president."But the story of these present-day eight years is not just about presidential politics. This book also examines the new voices, ideas, and movements for justice that emerged over this period--and the effects of the persistent, haunting shadow of our nation's old and unreconciled history. Coates powerfully examines the events of the Obama era from his intimate and revealing perspective--the point of view of a young writer who begins the journey in an unemployment office in Harlem and ends it in the Oval Office, interviewing a president.We Were Eight Years in Power features Coates's iconic essays first published in The Atlantic, including Fear of a Black President, The Case for Reparations and The Black Family in the Age of Mass Incarceration, along with eight fresh essays that revisit each year of the Obama administration through Coates's own experiences, observations, and intellectual development, capped by a bracingly original assessment of the election that fully illuminated the tragedy of the Obama era. We Were Eight Years in Power is a vital account of modern America, from one of the definitive voices of this historic moment.

The Operator: Firing the Shots that Killed Osama bin Laden and My Years as a SEAL Team Warrior


Robert O'Neill - 2017
    After officially becoming a SEAL, O’Neill would spend more than a decade in the most intense counterterror effort in US history. For extended periods, not a night passed without him and his small team recording multiple enemy kills—and though he was lucky enough to survive, several of the SEALs he’d trained with and fought beside never made it home.The Operator describes the nonstop action of O’Neill’s deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan, evokes the black humor of years-long combat, brings to vivid life the lethal efficiency of the military’s Tier One units, and reveals firsthand details of the most celebrated terrorist takedown in history.

The Holocaust: A New History


Laurence Rees - 2017
    How, and why, did it happen?Laurence Rees' masterpiece is revealing in three ways. First, it is based not only on the latest academic research, but also on 25 years of interviewing survivors and perpetrators, often at the sites of the events, many of whom have never had their words published before. Second, the book is not just about the Jews - the Nazis would have murdered many more non-Jews had they won the war - and not just about Germans. Third, as Rees shows, there was no single 'decision' to start the Holocaust - there was a series of escalations, most often when the Nazi leadership interacted with their grassroots supporters.Through a chronological narrative, featuring the latest historical research and compelling eyewitness testimony, this is the story of the worst crime in history.

Survivors Club: The True Story of a Very Young Prisoner of Auschwitz


Michael Bornstein - 2017
    Survivors Club tells the unforgettable story of how a father’s courageous wit, a mother’s fierce love, and one perfectly timed illness saved Michael’s life, and how others in his family from Zarki, Poland, dodged death at the hands of the Nazis time and again with incredible deftness. Working from his own recollections as well as extensive interviews with relatives and survivors who knew the family, Michael relates his inspirational story with the help of his daughter, Debbie Bornstein Holinstat. Shocking, heartbreaking, and ultimately uplifting, this narrative nonfiction offers an indelible depiction of what happened to one Polish village in the wake of the German invasion in 1939.

The Divide: A Brief Guide to Global Inequality and its Solutions


Jason Hickel - 2017
    In The Divide, Jason Hickel brilliantly lays it out, layer upon layer, until you are left reeling with the outrage of it all.’ - Kate Raworth, author of Doughnut EconomicsFor decades we have been told a story about the divide between rich countries and poor countries. We have been told that development is working: that the global South is catching up to the North, that poverty has been cut in half over the past thirty years, and will be eradicated by 2030. It’s a comforting tale, and one that is endorsed by the world’s most powerful governments and corporations. But is it true?Since 1960, the income gap between the North and South has roughly tripled in size. Today 4.3 billion people, 60 per cent of the world's population, live on less than $5 per day. Some 1 billion live on less than $1 a day. The richest eight people now control the same amount of wealth as the poorest half of the world combined.What is causing this growing divide? We are told that poverty is a natural phenomenon that can be fixed with aid. But in reality it is a political problem: poverty doesn’t just exist, it has been created.Poor countries are poor because they are integrated into the global economic system on unequal terms. Aid only works to hide the deep patterns of wealth extraction that cause poverty and inequality in the first place: rigged trade deals, tax evasion, land grabs and the costs associated with climate change. The Divide tracks the evolution of this system, from the expeditions of Christopher Columbus in the 1490s to the international debt regime, which has allowed a handful of rich countries to effectively control economic policies in the rest of the world.Because poverty is a political problem, it requires political solutions. The Divide offers a range of revelatory answers, but also explains that something much more radical is needed – a revolution in our way of thinking. Drawing on pioneering research, detailed analysis and years of first-hand experience, The Divide is a provocative, urgent and ultimately uplifting account of how the world works, and how it can change.

Apollo 8: The Thrilling Story of the First Mission to the Moon


Jeffrey Kluger - 2017
    Sixteen weeks later, Frank Borman, Jim Lovell, and Bill Anders were aboard the first manned spacecraft to depart Earth’s orbit, reach the moon, and return safely to Earth, delivering a tear-inducing Christmas Eve message along the way.

Huế 1968: A Turning Point of the American War in Vietnam


Mark Bowden - 2017
    In mid-1967, the leadership in Hanoi had started planning an offensive intended to win the war in a single stroke. Part military action and part popular uprising, the Tet Offensive included attacks across South Vietnam, but the most dramatic and successful would be the capture of Hue, the country's cultural capital. At 2:30 a.m. on January 31, 10,000 National Liberation Front troops descended from hidden camps and surged across the city of 140,000. By morning, all of Hue was in Front hands save for two small military outposts.The commanders in country and politicians in Washington refused to believe the size and scope of the Front's presence. Captain Chuck Meadows was ordered to lead his 160-marine Golf Company against thousands of enemy troops in the first attempt to re-enter Hue later that day. After several futile and deadly days, Lieutenant Colonel Ernie Cheatham would finally come up with a strategy to retake the city, block by block and building by building, in some of the most intense urban combat since World War II.With unprecedented access to war archives in the U.S. and Vietnam and interviews with participants from both sides, Bowden narrates each stage of this crucial battle through multiple points of view. Played out over twenty-four days of terrible fighting and ultimately costing 10,000 combatant and civilian lives, the Battle of Hue was by far the bloodiest of the entire war. When it ended, the American debate was never again about winning, only about how to leave. In Hue 1968, Bowden masterfully reconstructs this pivotal moment in the American war in Vietnam.

Policing Black Lives: State Violence in Canada from Slavery to the Present


Robyn Maynard - 2017
    Robyn Maynard provides readers with the first comprehensive account of nearly four hundred years of state-sanctioned surveillance, criminalization and punishment of Black lives in Canada.While highlighting the ubiquity of Black resistance, Policing Black Lives traces the still-living legacy of slavery across multiple institutions, shedding light on the state's role in perpetuating contemporary Black poverty and unemployment, racial profiling, law enforcement violence, incarceration, immigration detention, deportation, exploitative migrant labour practices, disproportionate child removal and low graduation rates.Emerging from a critical race feminist framework that insists that all Black lives matter, Maynard's intersectional approach to anti-Black racism addresses the unique and understudied impacts of state violence as it is experienced by Black women, Black people with disabilities, as well as queer, trans, and undocumented Black communities.A call-to-action, Policing Black Lives urges readers to work toward dismantling structures of racial domination and re-imagining a more just society.

What Unites Us: Reflections on Patriotism


Dan Rather - 2017
    Now, with this collection of original essays, he reminds us of the principles upon which the United States was founded. Looking at the freedoms that define us, from the vote to the press; the values that have transformed us, from empathy to inclusion to service; the institutions that sustain us, such as public education; and the traits that helped form our young country, such as the audacity to take on daunting challenges in science and medicine, Rather brings to bear his decades of experience on the frontlines of the world’s biggest stories. As a living witness to historical change, he offers up an intimate view of history, tracing where we have been in order to help us chart a way forward and heal our bitter divisions. With a fundamental sense of hope, What Unites Us is the book to inspire conversation and listening, and to remind us all how we are, finally, one.

Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America


James Forman Jr. - 2017
    Critics have assailed the rise of mass incarceration, emphasizing its disproportionate impact on people of color. As James Forman, Jr., points out, however, the war on crime that began in the 1970s was supported by many African American leaders in the nation’s urban centers. In Locking Up Our Own, he seeks to understand why.Forman shows us that the first substantial cohort of black mayors, judges, and police chiefs took office amid a surge in crime and drug addiction. Many prominent black officials, including Washington, D.C. mayor Marion Barry and federal prosecutor Eric Holder, feared that the gains of the civil rights movement were being undermined by lawlessness—and thus embraced tough-on-crime measures, including longer sentences and aggressive police tactics. In the face of skyrocketing murder rates and the proliferation of open-air drug markets, they believed they had no choice. But the policies they adopted would have devastating consequences for residents of poor black neighborhoods.A former D.C. public defender, Forman tells riveting stories of politicians, community activists, police officers, defendants, and crime victims. He writes with compassion about individuals trapped in terrible dilemmas—from the men and women he represented in court to officials struggling to respond to a public safety emergency. Locking Up Our Own enriches our understanding of why our society became so punitive and offers important lessons to anyone concerned about the future of race and the criminal justice system in this country.

The Death and Life of the Great Lakes


Dan Egan - 2017
    But they are under threat as never before, and their problems are spreading across the continent. The Death and Life of the Great Lakes is prize-winning reporter Dan Egan’s compulsively readable portrait of an ecological catastrophe happening right before our eyes, blending the epic story of the lakes with an examination of the perils they face and the ways we can restore and preserve them for generations to come.

The Frozen Hours


Jeff Shaara - 2017
    The North Korean army invades South Korea, intent on uniting the country under Communist rule. In response, the United States mobilizes a force to defend the overmatched South Korean troops, and together they drive the North Koreans back to their border with China.But several hundred thousand Chinese troops have entered Korea, laying massive traps for the Allies. In November 1950, the Chinese spring those traps. Allied forces, already battling stunningly cold weather, find themselves caught completely off guard as the Chinese advance around the Chosin Reservoir in North Korea. A force that once stood on the precipice of victory now finds itself on the brink of annihilation. Assured by General Douglas MacArthur that they would be home by Christmas, the soldiers and Marines fight for their lives against the most brutal weather conditions imaginable--and an enemy that outnumbers them more than six to one.The Frozen Hours tells the story of Frozen Chosin from multiple points of view: Oliver P. Smith, the commanding general of the American 1st Marine Division, who famously redefined defeat as "advancing in a different direction"; Marine Private Pete Riley, a World War II veteran who now faces the greatest fight of his life; and the Chinese commander Sung Shi-Lun, charged with destroying the Americans he has so completely surrounded, ever aware that above him, Chairman Mao Tse-Tung watches his every move.Written with the propulsive force Shaara brings to all his novels of combat and courage, The Frozen Hours transports us to the critical moment in the history of America's "Forgotten War," when the fate of the Korean peninsula lay in the hands of a brave band of brothers battling both the elements and a determined, implacable foe. PRAISE FOR JEFF SHAARA'S RECENT CIVIL WAR SERIES A Blaze of Glory--Library Journal"Dynamic portrayals [of] Johnston, Grant and William Tecumseh Sherman."--The Wall Street JournalA Chain of Thunder"Shaara continues to draw powerful novels from the bloody history of the Civil War."--Kirkus Reviews"The voices of these people come across to the reader as poignantly clear as they did 150 years ago."--Historical Novels ReviewThe Smoke at Dawn"Beautifully written . . . Shaara once again elevates history from mere rote fact to explosive and engaging drama."--Bookreporter"Shaara's mastery of military tactics, his intimate grasp of history, and his ability to interweave several supporting narratives into a cohesive and digestible whole . . . will appeal to a broad range of historical and military fiction fans."--BooklistThe Fateful Lightning"Powerful and emotional . . . highly recommended."--Historical Novels Review"Readers . . . looking for an absorbing novel will be well rewarded."--The Clarion-Ledger

Sons and Soldiers: The Untold Story of the Jews Who Escaped the Nazis and Returned with the U.S. Army to Fight Hitler


Bruce Henderson - 2017
    Army to play a key role in the Allied victory.In 1942, the U.S. Army unleashed one of its greatest secret weapons in the battle to defeat Adolf Hitler: training nearly 2,000 German-born Jews in special interrogation techniques and making use of their mastery of the German language, history, and customs. Known as the Ritchie Boys, they were sent in small, elite teams to join every major combat unit in Europe, where they interrogated German POWs and gathered crucial intelligence that saved American lives and helped win the war.Though they knew what the Nazis would do to them if they were captured, the Ritchie Boys eagerly joined the fight to defeat Hitler. As they did, many of them did not know the fates of their own families left behind in occupied Europe. Taking part in every major campaign in Europe, they collected key tactical intelligence on enemy strength, troop and armored movements, and defensive positions. A postwar Army report found that more than sixty percent of the credible intelligence gathered in Europe came from the Ritchie Boys.Bruce Henderson draws on personal interviews with many surviving veterans and extensive archival research to bring this never-before-told chapter of the Second World War to light. Sons and Soldiers traces their stories from childhood and their escapes from Nazi Germany, through their feats and sacrifices during the war, to their desperate attempts to find their missing loved ones in war-torn Europe. Sons and Soldiers is an epic story of heroism, courage, and patriotism that will not soon be forgotten.

Churchill's Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare: The Mavericks Who Plotted Hitler's Defeat


Giles Milton - 2017
    The guerrilla campaign that followed was every bit as extraordinary as the six men who directed it. One of them, Cecil Clarke, was a maverick engineer who had spent the 1930s inventing futuristic caravans. Now, his talents were put to more devious use: he built the dirty bomb used to assassinate Hitler's favorite, Reinhard Heydrich. Another, William Fairbairn, was a portly pensioner with an unusual passion: he was the world's leading expert in silent killing, hired to train the guerrillas being parachuted behind enemy lines. Led by dapper Scotsman Colin Gubbins, these men—along with three others—formed a secret inner circle that, aided by a group of formidable ladies, single-handedly changed the course Second World War: a cohort hand-picked by Winston Churchill, whom he called his Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare.Giles Milton's Churchill's Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare is a gripping and vivid narrative of adventure and derring-do that is also, perhaps, the last great untold story of the Second World War.

The Butchering Art: Joseph Lister's Quest to Transform the Grisly World of Victorian Medicine


Lindsey Fitzharris - 2017
    She conjures up early operating theaters--no place for the squeamish--and surgeons, working before anesthesia, who were lauded for their speed and brute strength. These medical pioneers knew that the aftermath of surgery was often more dangerous than their patients' afflictions, and they were baffled by the persistent infections that kept mortality rates stubbornly high. At a time when surgery couldn't have been more hazardous, an unlikely figure stepped forward: a young, melancholy Quaker surgeon named Joseph Lister, who would solve the deadly riddle and change the course of history.Fitzharris dramatically recounts Lister's discoveries in gripping detail, culminating in his audacious claim that germs were the source of all infection--and could be countered by antiseptics. Focusing on the tumultuous period from 1850 to 1875, she introduces us to Lister and his contemporaries--some of them brilliant, some outright criminal--and takes us through the grimy medical schools and dreary hospitals where they learned their art, the deadhouses where they studied anatomy, and the graveyards they occasionally ransacked for cadavers.Eerie and illuminating, The Butchering Art celebrates the triumph of a visionary surgeon whose quest to unite science and medicine delivered us into the modern world.

Surviving the Fatherland


Annette Oppenlander - 2017
    SURVIVING THE FATHERLAND tells the true and heart-wrenching stories of Lilly and Günter struggling with the terror-filled reality of life in the Third Reich, each embarking on their own dangerous path toward survival, freedom, and ultimately each other. Based on the author’s own family and anchored in historical facts, this story celebrates the resilience of the human spirit and the strength of war children.

Mythos: The Greek Myths Retold


Stephen Fry - 2017
    This legendary writer, actor, and comedian breathes new life into beloved tales. From Persephone's pomegranate seeds to Prometheus's fire, from devious divine schemes to immortal love affairs, Fry draws out the humor and pathos in each story and reveals its relevance for our own time. Illustrated throughout with classical art inspired by the myths, this gorgeous volume invites you to explore a captivating world, with a brilliant storyteller as your guide.

Red Famine: Stalin's War on Ukraine, 1921-1933


Anne Applebaum - 2017
    In 1932-33, nearly four million Ukrainians died of starvation, having been deliberately deprived of food. It is one of the most devastating episodes in the history of the twentieth century. With unprecedented authority and detail, Red Famine investigates how this happened, who was responsible, and what the consequences were. It is the fullest account yet published of these terrible events.The book draws on a mass of archival material and first-hand testimony only available since the end of the Soviet Union, as well as the work of Ukrainian scholars all over the world. It includes accounts of the famine by those who survived it, describing what human beings can do when driven mad by hunger. It shows how the Soviet state ruthlessly used propaganda to turn neighbours against each other in order to expunge supposedly 'anti-revolutionary' elements. It also records the actions of extraordinary individuals who did all they could to relieve the suffering.The famine was rapidly followed by an attack on Ukraine's cultural and political leadership - and then by a denial that it had ever happened at all. Census reports were falsified and memory suppressed. Some western journalists shamelessly swallowed the Soviet line; others bravely rejected it, and were undermined and harassed. The Soviet authorities were determined not only that Ukraine should abandon its national aspirations, but that the country's true history should be buried along with its millions of victims. Red Famine, a triumph of scholarship and human sympathy, is a milestone in the recovery of those memories and that history. At a moment of crisis between Russia and Ukraine, it also shows how far the present is shaped by the past.

The Youngest Marcher: The Story of Audrey Faye Hendricks, a Young Civil Rights Activist


Cynthia Levinson - 2017
    As she listened to the preacher’s words, smooth as glass, she sat up tall. And when she heard the plan—picket those white stores! March to protest those unfair laws! Fill the jails!—she stepped right up and said, I’ll do it! She was going to j-a-a-il!Audrey Faye Hendricks was confident and bold and brave as can be, and hers is the remarkable and inspiring story of one child’s role in the Civil Rights Movement.

Richard Nixon: The Life


John A. Farrell - 2017
    Richard Nixon opens with young Navy lieutenant "Nick" Nixon returning from the Pacific and setting his cap at Congress, an idealistic dreamer seeking to build a better world. Yet amid the turns of that now legendary 1946 campaign, Nixon's finer attributes quickly gave way to unapologetic ruthlessness. It is a stunning overture to John A. Farrell's magisterial portrait of a man who embodied postwar American cynicism. Within four years of that first win, Nixon would be a U.S. senator; in six the vice president of the United States of America. "Few came so far, so fast, and so alone," Farrell writes. Finally president, Nixon's staff was full of bright young men who devised forward-thinking reforms addressing health care, poverty, civil rights, and protection of the environment. It was a fine legacy, but Nixon cared little for it. He aspired to make his mark on the world stage instead, and his 1972 opening to China was the first great crack in the Cold War. Nixon had another legacy, too: an America divided and polarized. It was Nixon who launched the McCarthy era, who set South against North, and who spurred the Silent Majority to despise and distrust the country's elites. He persuaded Americans to gnaw, as he did, on grievances—and to look at one another as enemies. Finally, in August 1974, after two years of the mesmerizing intrigue and scandal known as Watergate, Nixon became the only president to resign in disgrace. Richard Nixon is an enthralling tour de force biography of our darkest president, one that reviewers will hail as a defining portrait, and the full life of Nixon readers have awaited

Playing with Fire: The 1968 Election and the Transformation of American Politics


Lawrence O'Donnell - 2017
    Long before Lawrence O'Donnell was the anchor of his own political talk show, he was the Harvard Law-trained political aide to Senator Patrick Moynihan, one of postwar America's wisest political minds. The 1968 election was O'Donnell's own political coming of age, and Playing With Fire represents his master class in American electioneering, as well as an extraordinary human drama that captures a system, and a country, coming apart at the seams in real time. Nothing went to script. LBJ was confident he'd dispatch with Nixon, the GOP frontrunner; Johnson's greatest fear and real nemesis was RFK. But Kennedy and his team, despite their loathing of the president, weren't prepared to challenge their own party's incumbent. Then, out of nowhere, Eugene McCarthy shocked everyone with his disloyalty and threw his hat in the ring. A revolution seemed to be taking place, and LBJ, humiliated and bitter, began to look mortal. Then RFK leapt in, and all hell broke loose. Two assassinations and a week of bloody riots in Chicago around the Democratic Convention later, and the old Democratic Party was a smoldering ruin, and, in the last triumph of old machine politics, Hubert Humphrey stood alone in the wreckage. Suddenly Nixon was the frontrunner, having masterfully maintained a smooth facade behind which he feverishly held his party's right and left wings in the fold through a succession of ruthless maneuvers to see off George Romney, Nelson Rockefeller, Ronald Reagan, and the great outside threat to his new Southern Strategy, the arch-segregationist George Wallace. But then, amazingly, Humphrey began to close, and so, in late October, Nixon pulled off one of the greatest dirty tricks in American political history, an act that may well meet the statutory definition of treason. The tone was set for Watergate and all else that was to follow, all the way through to today.

Get Well Soon: History's Worst Plagues and the Heroes Who Fought Them


Jennifer Wright - 2017
    Some of their responses to those outbreaks are almost too strange to believe in hindsight. Get Well Soon delivers the gruesome, morbid details of some of the worst plagues we’ve suffered as a species, as well as stories of the heroic figures who selflessly fought to ease the suffering of their fellow man. With her signature mix of in-depth research and storytelling, and not a little dark humor, Jennifer Wright explores history’s most gripping and deadly outbreaks, and ultimately looks at the surprising ways they’ve shaped history and humanity for almost as long as anyone can remember.

The Vietnam War: An Intimate History


Geoffrey C. Ward - 2017
    We still argue over why we were there, whether we could have won, and who was right and wrong in their response to the conflict. When the war divided the country, it created deep political fault lines that continue to divide us today. Now, continuing in the tradition of their critically acclaimed collaborations, the authors draw on dozens and dozens of interviews in America and Vietnam to give us the perspectives of people involved at all levels of the war: U.S. and Vietnamese soldiers and their families, high-level officials in America and Vietnam, antiwar protestors, POWs, and many more. The book plunges us into the chaos and intensity of combat, even as it explains the rationale that got us into Vietnam and kept us there for so many years. Rather than taking sides, the book seeks to understand why the war happened the way it did, and to clarify its complicated legacy. Beautifully written and richly illustrated, this is a tour de force that is certain to launch a new national conversation.Read by Brian Corrigan with Fred Sanders, and with an introduction read by Ken Burns

The Gatekeepers: How the White House Chiefs of Staff Define Every Presidency


Chris Whipple - 2017
    The chiefs of staff, often referred to as "the gatekeepers," wield tremendous power in Washington and beyond; they decide who is allowed to see the president, negotiate with Congress to push POTUS's agenda, and--most crucially--enjoy unparalleled access to the leader of the free world. Each chief can make or break an administration, and each president reveals himself by the chief he picks.Through extensive, intimate interviews with all seventeen living chiefs and two former presidents, award-winning journalist and producer Chris Whipple pulls back the curtain on this unique fraternity. In doing so, he revises our understanding of presidential history, showing us how James Baker's expert managing of the White House, the press, and Capitol Hill paved the way for the Reagan Revolution--and, conversely, how Watergate, the Iraq War, and even the bungled Obamacare rollout might have been prevented by a more effective chief.Filled with shrewd analysis and never-before-reported details, The Gatekeepers offers an essential portrait of the toughest job in Washington.

The Blood of Emmett Till


Timothy B. Tyson - 2017
    His murder was part of a wave of white terrorism in the wake of the 1954 Supreme Court decision that declared public school segregation unconstitutional. Only weeks later, Rosa Parks thought about young Emmett as she refused to move to the back of a city bus in Montgomery, Alabama. Five years later, Black students who called themselves “the Emmett Till generation” launched sit-in campaigns that turned the struggle for civil rights into a mass movement. Till’s lynching became the most notorious hate crime in American history.But what actually happened to Emmett Till—not the icon of injustice, but the flesh-and-blood boy? Part detective story, part political history, drawing on a wealth of new evidence, including a shocking admission of Till’s innocence from the woman in whose name he was killed. this book provides fresh insight into the way race has informed and deformed our democratic institutions.

19 Minutes to Live: Helicopter Combat in Vietnam


Lew Jennings - 2017
    Over 12,000 helicopters were used in the Vietnam War, which is why it became known as "The Helicopter War". Almost half of the helicopters, 5,086, were lost. Helicopter pilots and crews accounted for nearly 10 percent of all the US casualties suffered in Vietnam, with nearly 5,000 killed and an untold number of wounded. Lew Jennings flew over 700 Air Cavalry Cobra Gunship Helicopter missions and received Three Distinguished Flying Crosses for Valor. This memoir describes first-hand the harrowing experiences of helicopter pilots and crews in combat operations, from the far South to the DMZ, including the infamous Ashau Valley, Hamburger Hill, LZ Airborne and others.

Last Hope Island: Britain, Occupied Europe, and the Brotherhood That Helped Turn the Tide of War


Lynne Olson - 2017
    So, too, did General Charles de Gaulle, the self- appointed representative of free France. As the only European democracy still holding out against Hitler, Britain became known to occupied countries as ‘Last Hope Island’. In this epic, character-driven narrative, acclaimed historian and New York Times–bestselling author Lynne Olson takes us back to those perilous days when the British and their European guests joined forces to combat the mightiest military force in history and restore order to a broken continent.

Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right's Stealth Plan for America


Nancy MacLean - 2017
    The capitalist radical right has been working not simply to change who rules, but to fundamentally alter the rules of democratic governance. But billionaires did not launch this movement; a white intellectual in the embattled Jim Crow South did. Democracy in Chains names its true architect—the Nobel Prize-winning political economist James McGill Buchanan—and dissects the operation he and his colleagues designed over six decades to alter every branch of government to disempower the majority.In a brilliant and engrossing narrative, Nancy MacLean shows how Buchanan forged his ideas about government in a last gasp attempt to preserve the white elite’s power in the wake of Brown v. Board of Education. In response to the widening of American democracy, he developed a brilliant, if diabolical, plan to undermine the ability of the majority to use its numbers to level the playing field between the rich and powerful and the rest of us. Corporate donors and their right-wing foundations were only too eager to support Buchanan’s work in teaching others how to divide America into “makers” and “takers.” And when a multibillionaire on a messianic mission to rewrite the social contract of the modern world, Charles Koch, discovered Buchanan, he created a vast, relentless, and multi-armed machine to carry out Buchanan’s strategy. Without Buchanan's ideas and Koch's money, the libertarian right would not have succeeded in its stealth takeover of the Republican Party as a delivery mechanism. Now, with Mike Pence as Vice President, the cause has a longtime loyalist in the White House, not to mention a phalanx of Republicans in the House, the Senate, a majority of state governments, and the courts, all carrying out the plan. That plan includes harsher laws to undermine unions, privatizing everything from schools to health care and Social Security, and keeping as many of us as possible from voting. Based on ten years of unique research, Democracy in Chains tells a chilling story of right-wing academics and big money run amok. This revelatory work of scholarship is also a call to arms to protect the achievements of twentieth-century American self-government.

Homo Deus: A History of Tomorrow


Yuval Noah Harari - 2017
    This may seem hard to accept, but, as Harari explains in his trademark style—thorough, yet riveting—famine, plague and war have been transformed from incomprehensible and uncontrollable forces of nature into manageable challenges. For the first time ever, more people die from eating too much than from eating too little; more people die from old age than from infectious diseases; and more people commit suicide than are killed by soldiers, terrorists and criminals put together. The average American is a thousand times more likely to die from binging at McDonalds than from being blown up by Al Qaeda.What then will replace famine, plague, and war at the top of the human agenda? As the self-made gods of planet earth, what destinies will we set ourselves, and which quests will we undertake? Homo Deus explores the projects, dreams and nightmares that will shape the twenty-first century—from overcoming death to creating artificial life. It asks the fundamental questions: Where do we go from here? And how will we protect this fragile world from our own destructive powers? This is the next stage of evolution. This is Homo Deus.With the same insight and clarity that made Sapiens an international hit and a New York Times bestseller, Harari maps out our future.

The Second World Wars: How the First Global Conflict Was Fought and Won


Victor Davis Hanson - 2017
    Never before had a war been fought on so many diverse landscapes and in so many different ways, from rocket attacks in London to jungle fighting in Burma to armor strikes in Libya.The Second World Wars examines how combat unfolded in the air, at sea, and on land to show how distinct conflicts among disparate combatants coalesced into one interconnected global war. Drawing on 3,000 years of military history, Victor Davis Hanson argues that despite its novel industrial barbarity, neither the war's origins nor its geography were unusual. Nor was its ultimate outcome surprising. The Axis powers were well prepared to win limited border conflicts, but once they blundered into global war, they had no hope of victory.An authoritative new history of astonishing breadth, The Second World Wars offers a stunning reinterpretation of history's deadliest conflict.

Remnants of a Separation: A History of the Partition through Material Memory


Aanchal Malhotra - 2017
    These belongings absorbed the memory of a time and place, remaining latent and undisturbed for generations. They now speak of their owner's pasts as they emerge as testaments to the struggle, sacrifice, pain and belonging at an unparalleled moment in history. A string of pearls gifted by a maharaja, carried from Dalhousie to Lahore, reveals the grandeur of a life that once was. A notebook of poems, brought from Lahore to Kalyan, shows one woman's determination to pursue the written word despite the turmoil around her. A refugee certificate created in Calcutta evokes in a daughter the feelings of displacement her father had experienced upon leaving Mymensingh zila, now in Bangladesh. Written as a crossover between history and anthropology, Remnants of a Separation is the product of years of passionate research. It is an alternative history of the Partition - the first and only one told through material memory that makes the event tangible even seven decades later.

The Storm Before the Storm: The Beginning of the End of the Roman Republic


Mike Duncan - 2017
    After its founding in 509 BCE, Rome grew from an unremarkable Italian city-state to the dominant superpower of the Mediterranean world. Through it all, the Romans never allowed a single man to seize control of the state. Every year for four hundred years the annually elected consuls voluntarily handed power to their successors. Not once did a consul give in to the temptation to grab absolute power and refuse to let it go. It was a run of political self-denial unmatched in the history of the world. The disciplined Roman republicans then proceeded to explode out of Italy and conquer a world filled with petty tyrants, barbarian chieftains, and despotic kings.But the very success of the Republic proved to be its undoing. The republican system was unable to cope with the vast empire Rome ruled. Bankrolled by mountains of imperial wealth and without a foreign enemy to keep them united, ambitious Roman leaders began to stray from the republican austerity of their ancestors. Almost as soon as they had conquered the Mediterranean, Rome would become engulfed in violent political conflicts and civil wars that would destroy the Republic less than a century later.The Storm Before the Storm tells the story of the beginning of the end of the Roman Republic--the story of the first generation that had to cope with the dangerous new political environment made possible by Rome's unrivaled domination over the known world. The tumultuous years from 133-80 BCE set the stage for the fall of the Republic.The Republic faced issues like rising economic inequality, increasing political polarization, the privatization of the military, endemic social and ethnic prejudice, rampant corruption, ongoing military quagmires, and the ruthless ambition and unwillingness of elites to do anything to reform the system in time to save it--a situation that draws many parallels to present-day America. These issues are among the reasons why the Roman Republic would fall. And as we all know, those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century


Timothy Snyder - 2017
    Against all predictions, one of the most-disliked presidential candidates in history had swept the electoral college, elevating a man with open contempt for democratic norms and institutions to the height of power.Timothy Snyder is one of the most celebrated historians of the Holocaust. In his books Bloodlands and Black Earth, he has carefully dissected the events and values that enabled the rise of Hitler and Stalin and the execution of their catastrophic policies. With Twenty Lessons, Snyder draws from the darkest hours of the twentieth century to provide hope for the twenty-first. As he writes, “Americans are no wiser than the Europeans who saw democracy yield to fascism, Nazism and communism. Our one advantage is that we might learn from their experience.”Twenty Lessons is a call to arms and a guide to resistance, with invaluable ideas for how we can preserve our freedoms in the uncertain years to come.

The American Spirit: Who We Are and What We Stand For


David McCullough - 2017
    Now, at a time of self-reflection in America following a bitter election campaign that has left the country divided, McCullough has collected some of his most important speeches in a brief volume designed to identify important principles and characteristics that are particularly American. The American Spirit reminds us of core American values to which we all subscribe, regardless of which region we live in, which political party we identify with, or our ethnic background. This is a book about America for all Americans that reminds us who we are and helps to guide us as we find our way forward.

Sergeant Reckless: The True Story of the Little Horse Who Became a Hero


Patricia McCormick - 2017
    They had no idea that the skinny, underfed horse had one of the biggest and bravest hearts they’d ever known. And one of the biggest appetites!Soon Reckless showed herself more than willing to carry ammunition too heavy for the soldiers to haul. As cannons thundered and shells flew through the air, she marched into battle—again and again—becoming the only animal ever to officially hold military rank—becoming Sgt. Reckless—and receive two Purple Hearts.This is the first picture book from award-winning novelist Patricia McCormick, sumptuously illustrated by acclaimed artist Iacopo Bruno.

Ghosts of the Tsunami: Death and Life in Japan’s Disaster Zone


Richard Lloyd Parry - 2017
    By the time the sea retreated, more than 18,500 people had been crushed, burned to death, or drowned.It was Japan’s greatest single loss of life since the atomic bombing of Nagasaki. It set off a national crisis, and the meltdown of a nuclear power plant. And even after the immediate emergency had abated, the trauma of the disaster continued to express itself in bizarre and mysterious ways.Richard Lloyd Parry, an award-winning foreign correspondent, lived through the earthquake in Tokyo, and spent six years reporting from the disaster zone. There he encountered stories of ghosts and hauntings. He met a priest who performed exorcisms on people possessed by the spirits of the dead. And he found himself drawn back again and again to a village which had suffered the greatest loss of all, a community tormented by unbearable mysteries of its own.What really happened to the local children as they waited in the school playground in the moments before the tsunami? Why did their teachers not evacuate them to safety? And why was the unbearable truth being so stubbornly covered up?Ghosts of the Tsunami is a classic of literary non-fiction, a heart-breaking and intimate account of an epic tragedy, told through the personal accounts of those who lived through it. It tells the story of how a nation faced a catastrophe, and the bleak struggle to find consolation in the ruins.

Fire Road: The Napalm Girl's Journey Through the Horrors of War to Faith, Forgiveness, and Peace


Kim Phuc Phan Thi - 2017
    It's a moment forever captured, an iconic image that has come to define the horror and violence of the Vietnam War. Kim was left for dead in a morgue; no one expected her to survive the attack. Napalm meant fire, and fire meant death.Against all odds, Kim lived--but her journey toward healing was only beginning. When the napalm bombs dropped, everything Kim knew and relied on exploded along with them: her home, her country's freedom, her childhood innocence and happiness. The coming years would be marked by excruciating treatments for her burns and unrelenting physical pain throughout her body, which were constant reminders of that terrible day. Kim survived the pain of her body ablaze, but how could she possibly survive the pain of her devastated soul?Fire Road is the true story of how she found the answer in a God who suffered Himself; a Savior who truly understood and cared about the depths of her pain. Fire Road is a story of horror and hope, a harrowing tale of a life changed in an instant--and the power and resilience that can only be found in the power of God's mercy and love.

As We Have Always Done: Indigenous Freedom through Radical Resistance


Leanne Betasamosake Simpson - 2017
    In As We Have Always Done, Leanne Betasamosake Simpson locates Indigenous political resurgence as a practice rooted in uniquely Indigenous theorizing, writing, organizing, and thinking.Indigenous resistance is a radical rejection of contemporary colonialism focused around the refusal of the dispossession of both Indigenous bodies and land. Simpson makes clear that its goal can no longer be cultural resurgence as a mechanism for inclusion in a multicultural mosaic. Instead, she calls for unapologetic, place-based Indigenous alternatives to the destructive logics of the settler colonial state, including heteropatriarchy, white supremacy, and capitalist exploitation.

Never Call Me a Hero: A Legendary American Dive-Bomber Pilot Remembers the Battle of Midway


N. Jack "Dusty" Kleiss - 2017
    (j.g.) "Dusty" Kleiss burst out of the clouds and piloted his SBD Dauntless into a near-vertical dive aimed at the heart of Japan’s Imperial Navy, which six months earlier had ruthlessly struck Pearl Harbor. The greatest naval battle in history raged around him, its outcome hanging in the balance as the U.S. desperately searched for its first major victory of the Second World War. Then, in a matter of seconds, Dusty Kleiss’s daring 20,000-foot dive helped forever alter the war’s trajectory.Plummeting through the air at 240 knots amid blistering anti-aircraft fire, the twenty-six-year-old pilot from USS Enterprise’s elite Scouting Squadron Six fixed on an invaluable target—the aircraft carrier Kaga, one of Japan’s most important capital ships. He released three bombs at the last possible instant, then desperately pulled out of his gut-wrenching 9-g dive. As his plane leveled out just above the roiling Pacific Ocean, Dusty’s perfectly placed bombs struck the carrier’s deck, and Kaga erupted into an inferno from which it would never recover.Arriving safely back at Enterprise, Dusty was met with heartbreaking news: his best friend was missing and presumed dead along with two dozen of their fellow naval aviators. Unbowed, Dusty returned to the air that same afternoon and, remarkably, would fatally strike another enemy carrier, Hiryu. Two days later, his deadeye aim contributed to the destruction of a third Japanese warship, the cruiser Mikuma, thereby making Dusty the only pilot from either side to land hits on three different ships, all of which sank—losses that crippled the once-fearsome Japanese fleet.By battle’s end, the humble young sailor from Kansas had earned his place in history—and yet he stayed silent for decades, living quietly with his children and his wife, Jean, whom he married less than a month after Midway. Now his extraordinary and long-awaited memoir, Never Call Me a Hero, tells the Navy Cross recipient’s full story for the first time, offering an unprecedentedly intimate look at the "the decisive contest for control of the Pacific in World War II" (New York Times)—and one man’s essential role in helping secure its outcome.Dusty worked on this book for years with naval historians Timothy and Laura Orr, aiming to publish Never Call Me a Hero for Midway’s seventy-fifth anniversary in June 2017. Sadly, as the book neared completion in 2016, Dusty Kleiss passed away at age 100, one of the last surviving dive-bomber pilots to have fought at Midway. And yet the publication of Never Call Me a Hero is a cause for celebration: these pages are Dusty’s remarkable legacy, providing a riveting eyewitness account of the Battle of Midway, and an inspiring testimony to the brave men who fought, died, and shaped history during those four extraordinary days in June, seventy-five years ago.

Americana: A 400-Year History of American Capitalism


Bhu Srinivasan - 2017
    Americana takes us on a four-hundred-year journey of this spirit of innovation and ambition through a series of Next Big Things -- the inventions, techniques, and industries that drove American history forward: from the telegraph, the railroad, guns, radio, and banking to flight, suburbia, and sneakers, culminating with the Internet and mobile technology at the turn of the twenty-first century. The result is a thrilling alternative history of modern America that reframes events, trends, and people we thought we knew through the prism of the value that, for better or for worse, this nation holds dearest: capitalism.In a winning, accessible style, Bhu Srinivasan boldly takes on four centuries of American enterprise, revealing the unexpected connections that link them. We learn how Andrew Carnegie's early job as a telegraph messenger boy paved the way for his leadership of the steel empire that would make him one of the nation's richest men; how the gunmaker Remington reinvented itself in the postwar years to sell typewriters; how the inner workings of the Mafia mirrored the trend of consolidation and regulation in more traditional business; and how a 1950s infrastructure bill triggered a series of events that produced one of America's most enduring brands: KFC. Reliving the heady early days of Silicon Valley, we are reminded that the start-up is an idea as old as America itself.Entertaining, eye-opening, and sweeping in its reach, Americana is an exhilarating new work of narrative history.

The Doctor and the Saint: Caste, Race, and Annihilation of Caste


Arundhati Roy - 2017
    “It has entrenched and modernized it.”To best understand caste today in India, Roy insists we must examine the influence of Gandhi in shaping what India ultimately became: independent of British rule, globally powerful, and marked to this day by the caste system.““For more than half a century—throughout his adult life—[Gandhi’s] pronouncements on the inherent qualities of black Africans, untouchables and the laboring classes remained consistently insulting,”“ writes Roy. ““His refusal to allow working-class people and untouchables to create their own political organizations and elect their own representatives remained consistent too.”“In The Doctor and the Saint, Roy reveals some uncomfortable, even controversial, truths about the political thought and career of India’s most famous, and most revered figure. At the same time, Roy makes clear that what millions of Indians need is not merely formal democracy, but liberation from the oppression, shame, and poverty imposed on them by India’s archaic caste system.Praise for Arundhati Roy““Arundhati Roy is incandescent in her brilliance and her fearlessness.”“—Junot Díaz““The fierceness with which Arundhati Roy loves humanity moves my heart.”“—Alice WalkerArundhati Roy studied architecture in New Delhi, where she now lives. She is the author of the novel The God of Small Things, for which she received the 1997 Booker Prize. The novel has been translated into forty languages worldwide. She has written several non-fiction books, including Field Notes on Democracy: Listening to Grasshoppers and Capitalism: A Ghost Story.

Destined for War: Can America and China Escape Thucydides’s Trap?


Graham Allison - 2017
    The reason is Thucydides’s Trap, a deadly pattern of structural stress that results when a rising power challenges a ruling one. This phenomenon is as old as history itself. About the Peloponnesian War that devastated ancient Greece, the historian Thucydides explained: “It was the rise of Athens and the fear that this instilled in Sparta that made war inevitable.” Over the past 500 years, these conditions have occurred sixteen times. War broke out in twelve of them. Today, as an unstoppable China approaches an immovable America and both Xi Jinping and Donald Trump promise to make their countries “great again,” the seventeenth case looks grim. Unless China is willing to scale back its ambitions or Washington can accept becoming number two in the Pacific, a trade conflict, cyberattack, or accident at sea could soon escalate into all-out war. In Destined for War, the eminent Harvard scholar Graham Allison explains why Thucydides’s Trap is the best lens for understanding U.S.-China relations in the twenty-first century. Through uncanny historical parallels and war scenarios, he shows how close we are to the unthinkable. Yet, stressing that war is not inevitable, Allison also reveals how clashing powers have kept the peace in the past — and what painful steps the United States and China must take to avoid disaster today.

Steal Away Home: Charles Spurgeon and Thomas Johnson, Unlikely Friends on the Passage to Freedom


Matt Carter - 2017
     Johnson, an American slave, born into captivity and longing for freedom--- Spurgeon, an Englishman born into relative ease and comfort, but, longing too for a freedom of his own. Their respective journeys led to an unlikely meeting and an even more unlikely friendship, forged by fate and mutual love for the mission of Christ. Steal Away Home is a new kind of book based on historical research, which tells a previously untold story set in the 1800s of the relationship between an African-American missionary and one of the greatest preachers to ever live.

Fall Out: A Year of Political Mayhem


Tim Shipman - 2017
    Of how she then took the biggest gamble of her career to strengthen her position – and promptly blew it. It is also a tale of treachery where – in the hour of her greatest weakness – one by one, May’s colleagues began to plot against her.Inside this book you will find all the strategy, comedy, tragedy and farce of modern politics – where principle, passion and vaulting ambition collide in the corridors of power. It chronicles a civil war at the heart of the Conservative Party and a Labour Party back from the dead, led by Jeremy Corbyn, who defied the experts and the critics on his own side to mount an unlikely tilt at the top job.With access to all the key players, Tim Shipman has written a political history that reads like a thriller, exploring how and why the EU referendum result pitched Britain into a year of political mayhem.

A Colony in a Nation


Christopher L. Hayes - 2017
    With the clarity and originality that distinguished his prescient bestseller, Twilight of the Elites, Chris Hayes upends our national conversation on policing and democracy in a book of wide-ranging historical, social, and political analysis.Hayes contends our country has fractured in two: the Colony and the Nation. In the Nation, we venerate the law. In the Colony, we obsess over order, fear trumps civil rights, and aggressive policing resembles occupation. A Colony in a Nation explains how a country founded on justice now looks like something uncomfortably close to a police state. How and why did Americans build a system where conditions in Ferguson and West Baltimore mirror those that sparked the American Revolution?A Colony in a Nation examines the surge in crime that began in the 1960s and peaked in the 1990s, and the unprecedented decline that followed. Drawing on close-hand reporting at flashpoints of racial conflict, as well as deeply personal experiences with policing, Hayes explores cultural touchstones, from the influential “broken windows” theory to the “squeegee men” of late-1980s Manhattan, to show how fear causes us to make dangerous and unfortunate choices, both in our society and at the personal level. With great empathy, he seeks to understand the challenges of policing communities haunted by the omnipresent threat of guns. Most important, he shows that a more democratic and sympathetic justice system already exists―in a place we least suspect.A Colony in a Nation is an essential book―searing and insightful―that will reframe our thinking about law and order in the years to come.

Broad Strokes: 15 Women Who Made Art and Made History (in That Order)


Bridget Quinn - 2017
    Aligned with the resurgence of feminism in pop culture, Broad Strokes offers an entertaining corrective to that omission. Art historian Bridget Quinn delves into the lives and careers of 15 brilliant female artists in text that's smart, feisty, educational, and an enjoyable read. Replete with beautiful reproductions of the artists' works and contemporary portraits of each artist by renowned illustrator Lisa Congdon, this is art history from 1600 to the present day for the modern art lover, reader, and feminist.

Caesar's Last Breath: Decoding the Secrets of the Air Around Us


Sam Kean - 2017
    It's ever-present. Without it, you would die in minutes. And it has an epic story to tell.In Caesar's Last Breath, New York Times bestselling author Sam Kean takes us on a journey through the periodic table, around the globe, and across time to tell the story of the air we breathe, which, it turns out, is also the story of earth and our existence on it.With every breath, you literally inhale the history of the world. On the ides of March, 44 BC, Julius Caesar died of stab wounds on the Senate floor, but the story of his last breath is still unfolding; in fact, you're probably inhaling some of it now. Of the sextillions of molecules entering or leaving your lungs at this moment, some might well bear traces of Cleopatra's perfumes, German mustard gas, particles exhaled by dinosaurs or emitted by atomic bombs, even remnants of stardust from the universe's creation.Tracing the origins and ingredients of our atmosphere, Kean reveals how the alchemy of air reshaped our continents, steered human progress, powered revolutions, and continues to influence everything we do. Along the way, we'll swim with radioactive pigs, witness the most important chemical reactions humans have discovered, and join the crowd at the Moulin Rouge for some of the crudest performance art of all time. Lively, witty, and filled with the astounding science of ordinary life, Caesar's Last Breath illuminates the science stories swirling around us every second.

Gateway To The Universe: In Bad Company


Craig Martelle - 2017
    I can’t wait for Terry and Char’s new adventure to begin.” “I can’t wait for new books. I am totally hooked.” “I am waiting with bated breath for these beloved characters next fantastic journey!! I know that you can’t rush a good thing but I really really cannot wait!!” What happens when Terry and Char meet Bethany Anne? They get to do the Empress’ bidding, but not on Earth. To space they go, to join Nathan Lowell’s Bad Company. Joined by new friends, including the infamous Valerie of New York, the team is coming together nicely. They get to do the Empress’ bidding, but not on Earth. With the infamous Valerie of New York, to space they go, to become the Direct Action Branch of Nathan Lowell’s Bad Company. Before they reach Nathan across the galaxy, they find that space is a dangerous place, even for the wary, especially for the unprepared. Are you ready to join them on their epic journey?

Portraits of Courage: A Commander in Chief's Tribute to America's Warriors


George W. Bush - 2017
    A vibrant collection of oil paintings and stories by President George W. Bush honoring the sacrifice and courage of America's military veterans. With forewords written and read by former First Lady Laura Bush and General Peter Pace, 16th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.Growing out of President Bush's own outreach and the ongoing work of the George W. Bush Institute's Military Service Initiative, Portraits of Courage brings together sixty-six full-color portraits and a four-panel mural painted by President Bush of members of the United States military who have served our nation with honor since 9/11--and whom he has come to know personally.Our men and women in uniform have faced down enemies, liberated millions, and in doing so showed the true compassion of our nation. Often, they return home with injuries--both visible and invisible--that intensify the challenges of transitioning into civilian life. In addition to these burdens, research shows a civilian-military divide. Seventy-one percent of Americans say they have little understanding of the issues facing veterans, and veterans agree: eighty-four percent say that the public has "little awareness" of the issues facing them and their families.Each painting in this meticulously produced hardcover volume is accompanied by the inspiring story of the veteran depicted, written by the President. Readers can see the faces of those who answered the nation's call and learn from their bravery on the battlefield, their journeys to recovery, and the continued leadership and contributions they are making as civilians. It is President Bush's desire that these stories of courage and resilience will honor our men and women in uniform, highlight their family and caregivers who bear the burden of their sacrifice, and help Americans understand how we can support our veterans and empower them to succeed. President Bush will donate his net author proceeds from PORTRAITS OF COURAGE to the George W. Bush Presidential Center, a non-profit organization whose Military Service Initiative works to ensure that post-9/11 veterans and their families make successful transitions to civilian life with a focus on gaining meaningful employment and overcoming the invisible wounds of war.

Collusion: Secret Meetings, Dirty Money, and How Russia Helped Donald Trump Win


Luke Harding - 2017
    Beginning with a meeting with Christopher Steele, the man behind the shattering dossier that first brought the allegations to light, Harding probes the histories of key Russian and American players with striking clarity and insight. In a thrilling, fast-paced narrative, Harding exposes the disquieting details of the “Trump-Russia” story—a saga so huge it involves international espionage, off-shore banks, sketchy real estate deals, mobsters, money laundering, disappeared dissidents, computer hacking, and the most shocking election in American history.

Questions I Am Asked About the Holocaust


Hédi Fried - 2017
    Questions like, ‘How was it to live in the camps?’, ‘Did you dream at night?’, ‘Why did Hitler hate the Jews?’, and ‘Can you forgive?’.With sensitivity and complete candour, Fried answers these questions and more in this deeply human book that urges us never to forget and never to repeat.

A History of Canada in Ten Maps: Epic Stories of Charting a Mysterious Land


Adam Shoalts - 2017
    Every map tells a story. And every map has a purpose--it invites us to go somewhere we've never been. It's an account of what we know, but also a trace of what we long for.Ten Maps conjures the world as it appeared to those who were called upon to map it. What would the new world look like to wandering Vikings, who thought they had drifted into a land of mythical creatures, or Samuel de Champlain, who had no idea of the vastness of the landmass just beyond the treeline?Adam Shoalts, one of Canada's foremost explorers, tells the stories behind these centuries old maps, and how they came to shape what became "Canada."It's a story that will surprise readers, and reveal the Canada we never knew was hidden. It brings to life the characters and the bloody disputes that forged our history, by showing us what the world looked like before it entered the history books. Combining storytelling, cartography, geography, archaeology and of course history, this book shows us Canada in a way we've never seen it before.

Tenements, Towers Trash: An Unconventional Illustrated History of New York City


Julia Wertz - 2017
    A perfectly charming, sidesplittingly funny, intellectually entertaining illustrated history of the blocks, the buildings, and the guts of New York City, based on Julia Wertz's popular illustrated columns in The New Yorker and Harper's. In Tenements, Towers & Trash, Julia Wertz takes us behind the New York that you think you know. Not the tourist's New York-the Statue of Liberty makes a brief appearance and the Empire State Building not at all-but the guts, the underbelly, of this city that never sleeps. With drawings and comics in her signature style, Wertz regales us with streetscapes "Then and Now" and little-known tales, such as the lost history of Kim's Video, the complicated and unresolved business of Ray's Pizza, the vintage trash and horse bones that litter the shore of Brooklyn's Bottle Beach, the ludicrous pinball prohibition, Staten Island's secret abandoned boatyard, and the hair-raising legend of the infamous abortionist of Fifth Avenue, Madame Restell. From bars, bakeries, and bookstores to food carts, street cleaners, and apartments both cramped and grand, Tenements, Towers & Trash is a wild ride in a time machine taxi from the present day city to bygone days of yore.

Among the Reeds: The true Story of how a Family survived the Holocaust


Tammy Bottner - 2017
    The strange thing is, these experiences didn’t happen to her. They happened to her grandmother decades earlier and thousands of miles away.Back in Belgium, Grandma Melly made unthinkable choices in order to save her family during WWII, including sending her two-year-old son, Bottner’s father, into hiding in a lonely Belgian convent. Did the trauma that Tammy Bottner’s predecessors experience affect their DNA? Did she inherit the “memories” of the war-time trauma in her very genes?In this moving family memoir, told partly from Melly’s perspective, the author, a physician, recounts the saga of her family’s experiences during the Holocaust. This tale, part history, part scientific reflection on epigenetics, takes the reader on a journey that may read like a novel but is all the more fascinating for being true.

The Doomsday Machine: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner


Daniel Ellsberg - 2017
    Here for the first time he reveals the contents of those documents, and makes clear their shocking relevance for today.The Doomsday Machine is Ellsberg’s hair-raising insider’s account of the most dangerous arms buildup in the history of civilization, whose legacy—and proposed renewal under the Trump administration—threatens the very survival of humanity. It is scarcely possible to estimate the true dangers of our present nuclear policies without penetrating the secret realities of the nuclear strategy of the late Eisenhower and early Kennedy years, when Ellsberg had high-level access to them. No other insider has written so candidly of that long-classified history, though the policies remain fundamentally, and frighteningly, unchanged Ellsberg, in the end, offers steps we can take under the current administration to avoid nuclear catastrophe. Framed as a memoir, this gripping exposé reads like a thriller with cloak-and-dagger intrigue, placing Ellsberg back in his natural role as whistle-blower. It is a real-life Dr. Strangelove story, but an ultimately hopeful—and powerfully important—book.

Fool's Errand: Time to End the War in Afghanistan


Scott Horton - 2017
    I highly recommend this excellent book on America’s futile and self-defeating occupation of Afghanistan.” — Daniel Ellsberg, Pentagon Papers whistleblower and author of The Doomsday Machine: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner“The real story of the disastrous U.S. war in Afghanistan must be written so that future generations may understand the folly of Washington’s warmongers. Scott Horton’s Afghan war history is an important contribution to this vital effort.” — Ron Paul, M.D., former U.S. congressman and author of Swords into Plowshares: A Life in Wartime and a Future of Peace and Prosperity“Scott Horton’s, Fool’s Errand: Time to End the War in Afghanistan, is a definitive, authoritative and exceptionally well-resourced accounting of America’s disastrous war in Afghanistan since 2001. Scott’s book deserves not just to be read, but to be kept on your shelf, because as with David Halberstam’s The Best and Brightest or Neil Sheehan’s A Bright Shining Lie, I expect Horton’s book to not just explain and interpret a current American war, but to explain and interpret the all too predictable future American wars, and the unavoidable waste and suffering that will accompany them.” — Capt. Matthew Hoh, USMC (ret.), former senior State Department official, Zabul Province, Afghanistan, Senior Fellow at the Center for International Policy“Fool’s Errand is a hidden history of America’s forgotten war, laid bare in damning detail. Scott Horton masterfully retells the story of America’s failed intervention, exposes how Obama’s troop surge did not bring Afghanistan any closer to peace, and warns that the conflict could go on in perpetuity — unless America ends the war. As Trump threatens to send more troops to Afghanistan, Horton shows why the answer to a brutal civil war is not more war, which makes Fool’s Errand a scintillating and sorely needed chronicle of the longest war in American history.” — Anand Gopal, journalist and author of No Good Men Among the Living: America, the Taliban, and the War Through Afghan Eyes“Scott Horton’s new book Fool’s Errand: Time to End the War in Afghanistan has a title that tells you where it is going, but to think that is all it is about would be to sell short a comprehensive work that takes the reader on a long journey starting in the 1980s. Indeed, if there were a university course on what went wrong with Afghanistan, starting with Ronald Reagan’s Holy Warriors and continuing with George W. Bush’s ouster of the Taliban leading to 15 years of feckless nation building, this book could well serve as the textbook. Horton provides insights into key decision-making along the way as he meticulously documents the dreadful series of misadventures that have brought us to the latest surge, which will fail just like all the others. The book is highly recommended both for readers who already know a lot about Afghanistan as well as for those who want to learn the basics about America’s longest war.” — Philip Giraldi, former CIA and DIA officer, executive director of the Council for the National Interest

The Road to Jonestown: Jim Jones and Peoples Temple


Jeff Guinn - 2017
    His congregation was racially integrated, and he was a much-lauded leader in the contemporary civil rights movement. Eventually, Jones moved his church, Peoples Temple, to northern California. He became involved in electoral politics, and soon was a prominent Bay Area leader.In this riveting narrative, Jeff Guinn examines Jones’s life, from his extramarital affairs, drug use, and fraudulent faith healing to the fraught decision to move almost a thousand of his followers to a settlement in the jungles of Guyana in South America. Guinn provides stunning new details of the events leading to the fatal day in November, 1978 when more than nine hundred people died—including almost three hundred infants and children—after being ordered to swallow a cyanide-laced drink.Guinn examined thousands of pages of FBI files on the case, including material released during the course of his research. He traveled to Jones’s Indiana hometown, where he spoke to people never previously interviewed, and uncovered fresh information from Jonestown survivors. He even visited the Jonestown site with the same pilot who flew there the day that Congressman Leo Ryan was murdered on Jones’s orders. The Road to Jonestown is the definitive book about Jim Jones and the events that led to the tragedy at Jonestown.

The Cold War: A World History


Odd Arne Westad - 2017
    But in this major new work, Bancroft Prize-winning scholar Odd Arne Westad argues that the Cold War must be understood as a global ideological confrontation, with early roots in the Industrial Revolution and ongoing repercussions around the world.In The Cold War, Westad offers a new perspective on a century when great power rivalry and ideological battle transformed every corner of our globe. From Soweto to Hollywood, Hanoi, and Hamburg, young men and women felt they were fighting for the future of the world. The Cold War may have begun on the perimeters of Europe, but it had its deepest reverberations in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East, where nearly every community had to choose sides. And these choices continue to define economies and regimes across the world.Today, many regions are plagued with environmental threats, social divides, and ethnic conflicts that stem from this era. Its ideologies influence China, Russia, and the United States; Iraq and Afghanistan have been destroyed by the faith in purely military solutions that emerged from the Cold War.Stunning in its breadth and revelatory in its perspective, this book expands our understanding of the Cold War both geographically and chronologically, and offers an engaging new history of how today’s world was created.

Pandora's Lab: Seven Stories of Science Gone Wrong


Paul A. Offit - 2017
    These are today's sins of science—as deplorable as mistaken past ideas about advocating racial purity or using lobotomies as a cure for mental illness. These unwitting errors add up to seven lessons both cautionary and profound, narrated by renowned author and speaker Paul A. Offit. Offit uses these lessons to investigate how we can separate good science from bad, using some of today's most controversial creations—e-cigarettes, GMOs, drug treatments for ADHD—as case studies. For every "Aha!" moment that should have been an "Oh no," this book is an engrossing account of how science has been misused disastrously—and how we can learn to use its power for good.

Painting the Sand


Kim Hughes - 2017
    He was awarded the George Cross in 2009 following a grueling six-month tour of duty in Afghanistan during which he defused 119 improvised explosive devices, survived numerous Taliban ambushes and endured a close encounter with the Secretary of State for Defence. The back drop to Painting the Sand will be the Afghan War, the conflict where the cold courage of the bomb disposal operator rose to national prominence. No other field of warfare offers the chance of a single individual to come so close to his enemy and fight out a battle of wits where losing can means death. This is one of the best memoirs that will come out of a ten-year struggle to defeat a hidden, and enduring, enemy.

The Future Is History: How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia


Masha Gessen - 2017
    Award-winning journalist Masha Gessen’s understanding of the events and forces that have wracked Russia in recent times is unparalleled. In The Future Is History, Gessen follows the lives of four people born at what promised to be the dawn of democracy. Each of them came of age with unprecedented expectations, some as the children and grandchildren of the very architects of the new Russia, each with newfound aspirations of their own–as entrepreneurs, activists, thinkers, and writers, sexual and social beings. Gessen charts their paths against the machinations of the regime that would crush them all, and against the war it waged on understanding itself, which ensured the unobstructed reemergence of the old Soviet order in the form of today’s terrifying and seemingly unstoppable mafia state. Powerful and urgent, The Future Is History is a cautionary tale for our time and for all time.

Leonardo da Vinci


Walter Isaacson - 2017
    He shows how Leonardo's genius was based on skills we can improve in ourselves, such as passionate curiosity, careful observation, and an imagination so playful that it flirted with fantasy. He produced the two most famous paintings in history, The Last Supper and the Mona Lisa. But in his own mind, he was just as much a man of science and technology. With a passion that sometimes became obsessive, he pursued innovative studies of anatomy, fossils, birds, the heart, flying machines, botany, geology, and weaponry. His ability to stand at the crossroads of the humanities and the sciences, made iconic by his drawing of Vitruvian Man, made him history's most creative genius

Requiem for the American Dream: The 10 Principles of Concentration of Wealth & Power


Noam Chomsky - 2017
    What are the ten principles of concentration of wealth and power at work in America today? They're simple enough: reduce democracy, shape ideology, redesign the economy, shift the burden onto the poor and middle classes, attack the solidarity of the people, let special interests run the regulators, engineer election results, use fear and the power of the state to keep the rabble in line, manufacture consent, marginalize the population. In Requiem for the American Dream, Chomsky devotes a chapter to each of these ten principles, and adds readings from some of the core texts that have influenced his thinking to bolster his argument.To create Requiem for the American Dream, Chomsky and his editors, the filmmakers Peter Hutchison, Kelly Nyks, and Jared P. Scott, spent countless hours together over the course of five years, from 2011 to 2016. After the release of the film version, Chomsky and the editors returned to the many hours of tape and transcript and created a document that included three times as much text as was used in the film. The book that has resulted is nonetheless arguably the most succinct and tightly woven of Chomsky's long career, a beautiful vessel--including old-fashioned ligatures in the typeface--in which to carry Chomsky's bold and uncompromising vision, his perspective on the economic reality and its impact on our political and moral well-being as a nation."During the Great Depression, which I'm old enough to remember, it was bad–much worse subjectively than today. But there was a sense that we'll get out of this somehow, an expectation that things were going to get better . . ." —from Requiem for the American Dream

Chocolate City: A History of Race and Democracy in the Nation's Capital


Chris Myers Asch - 2017
    Emblematic of the ongoing tensions between America's expansive democratic promises and its enduring racial realities, Washington often has served as a national battleground for contentious issues, including slavery, segregation, civil rights, the drug war, and gentrification. But D.C. is more than just a seat of government, and authors Chris Myers Asch and George Derek Musgrove also highlight the city's rich history of local activism as Washingtonians of all races have struggled to make their voices heard in an undemocratic city where residents lack full political rights.Tracing D.C.'s massive transformations--from a sparsely inhabited plantation society into a diverse metropolis, from a center of the slave trade to the nation's first black-majority city, from Chocolate City to Latte City--Asch and Musgrove offer an engaging narrative peppered with unforgettable characters, a history of deep racial division but also one of hope, resilience, and interracial cooperation.

Run Rachel Run: The Thrilling, True Story of a Teen’s Daring Escape and Heroic Survival During the Holocaust


Rachel Blum - 2017
    (Not just based on a true story.) Rachel Blum was 12 when the Nazis invaded her town. Over the next three years, she witnessed war, risked her life to smuggle food for her family, escaped liquidation, hid with a kind Polish couple whose son worked for the SS, was questioned if she was a Jew by an SS General and engineered an incredibly dangerous scheme to overturn a moving trainload of 1,000 Nazi soldiers.Hers is not just an incredible, action-packed story, but represents a character arc that young women, as well as young men, as well as adults of all types can draw inspiration from. She did not begin as a selfless, courageous young girl she came to be. Her strength and determination evolved through her experiences.Once you start “Run Rachel Run,” you won’t be able to put it down. Once you finish, you’ll be shivering in awe how invigoratingly heroic the story of Rachel Blum is. Reviews “This is incredible!” Jessica Classen “What a testimony of courage and love” Rick Dearmore “Wonderful and inspiring and brave person” Helen Schwab An Excerpt July, 1944. Ivan Roluk couldn’t believe he was listening to a 15-year-old girl – and putting his life and the life of his family in her hands!But she was right. Driving trains for the Nazis for three years now, he knew exactly who the Germans were. He knew that there were once more than 20,000 Jews in the girl’s home town of Ludmir, and now there was only one. The courageous young girl, Rachel.Rachel -- who had just convinced him to risk his life, as well as the life of his wife and son.There was a risk either way, of course. The war was coming to an end and who knew what the Germans would do to them once they didn’t need his services any longer. It was a risk to do it, but a risk not to do it.He looked behind him. The 20 train cars filled with over 1,000 wounded Nazi soldiers snaked behind his engine-car like a meandering river. In the caboose at the tail of the train was his wife, his son and the little Jewish girl.Suddenly, he heard a slam. What was that? It sounded like the door connecting the engine-car to the first car, which was occupied by high-ranking Nazi officers. Was one of them coming up front?The moment of truth had arrived.He thrust the throttle full ahead….The train jerked forward…. He looked out the window. There, up ahead, was the bend! Had he waited too long?There was no more time to think. There was no more time for fear. It truly was now or never. He leaned out the open side door….

A People's History of Chicago


Kevin Coval - 2017
    It is the city of Fred Hampton, House Music, and the Haymarket Martyrs. Writing in the tradition of Howard Zinn, Kevin Coval’s A People’s History of Chicago celebrates the history of this great American city from the perspective of those on the margins, whose stories often go untold. These seventy-seven poems (for the city’s seventy-seven neighborhoods) honor the everyday lives and enduring resistance of the city’s workers, poor people, and people of color, whose cultural and political revolutions continue to shape the social landscape.Kevin Coval is the poet/author/editor of seven books including The BreakBeat Poets: New American Poetry in the Age of Hip-Hop and the play, This Iis Modern Art, co-written with Idris Goodwin. Founder of Louder Than A Bomb: The Chicago Youth Poetry Festival and the Artistic Director of Young Chicago Authors, Coval teaches hip-hop aesthetics at the University of Illinois–-Chicago. The Chicago Tribune has named him “the voice of the new Chicago“ and the Boston Globe calls him “the city’s unofficial poet laureate.”

Lenin the Dictator


Victor Sebestyen - 2017
    In Russia to this day Lenin inspires adulation. Everywhere, he continues to fascinate as a man who made history, and who created a new kind of state that would later be imitated by nearly half the countries in the world.Lenin believed that the 'the political is the personal', and while in no way ignoring his political life, Sebestyen focuses on Lenin the man - a man who loved nature almost as much as he loved making revolution, and whose closest ties and friendships were with women. The long-suppressed story of his ménage a trois with his wife, Nadezhda Krupskaya, and his mistress and comrade, Inessa Armand, reveals a different character to the coldly one-dimensional figure of legend.Told through the prism of Lenin's key relationships, Sebestyen's lively biography casts a new light on the Russian Revolution, one of the great turning points of modern history.

Kennedy and King: The President, the Pastor, and the Battle over Civil Rights


Steven Levingston - 2017
    These two men from starkly different worlds profoundly influenced each other's personal development. Kennedy's hesitation on civil rights spurred King to greater acts of courage, and King inspired Kennedy to finally make a moral commitment to equality. As America still grapples with the legacy of slavery and the persistence of discrimination, Kennedy and King is a vital, vivid contribution to the literature of the Civil Rights Movement.

Why?: Explaining the Holocaust


Peter Hayes - 2017
    Numerous theories have sprouted in an attempt to console ourselves and to point the blame in emotionally satisfying directions—yet none of them are fully convincing. As witnesses to the Holocaust near the ends of their lives, it becomes that much more important to unravel what happened and to educate a new generation about the horrors inflicted by the Nazi regime on Jews and non-Jews alike.Why? dispels many misconceptions and answers some of the most basic—yet vexing—questions that remain: why the Jews and not another ethnic group? Why the Germans? Why such a swift and sweeping extermination? Why didn’t more Jews fight back more often? Why didn’t they receive more help? While responding to the questions he has been most frequently asked by students over the decades, world-renowned Holocaust historian and professor Peter Hayes brings a wealth of scholarly research and experience to bear on conventional, popular views of the history, challenging some of the most prominent recent interpretations. He argues that there is no single theory that “explains” the Holocaust; the convergence of multiple forces at a particular moment in time led to catastrophe.In clear prose informed by an encyclopedic knowledge of Holocaust literature in English and German, Hayes weaves together stories and statistics to heart-stopping effect. Why? is an authoritative, groundbreaking exploration of the origins of one of the most tragic events in human history.

The Smear: How the Secret Art of Character Assassination Controls What You Think, What You Read, and How You Vote


Sharyl Attkisson - 2017
    The tactic they use is the Smear. Every day, Americans are influenced by the Smear without knowing it. Paid forces cleverly shape virtually every image you cross. Maybe you read that Donald Trump is a racist misogynist, or saw someone on the news mocking the Bernie Sanders campaign. The trick of the Smear is that it is often based on some shred of truth, but these media-driven "hit pieces" are designed to obscure the truth. Success hinges on the Smear artist’s ability to remain invisible; to make it seem as if their work is neither calculated nor scripted. It must appear to be precisely what it is not.Veteran journalist Sharyl Attkisson has witnessed this practice firsthand. After years of being pitched hit jobs and puff pieces, she’s an expert at detecting Smear campaigns. Now, the hard-hitting investigative reporter shares her inside knowledge, revealing how the Smear takes shape and who its perpetrators are—including Clinton confidant Sidney Blumenthal and, most influential of all, "right-wing assassin turned left-wing assassin" (National Review) political operative David Brock and his Media Matters for America empire.Attkisson exposes the diabolical tactics of Smear artists, and their outrageous access to the biggest names in political media—operatives who are corrupting the political process, and discouraging widespread citizen involvement in our democracy.

SAS Ghost Patrol: The Ultra-Secret Unit That Posed As Nazi Stormtroopers


Damien Lewis - 2017
    Beyond top secret, deniable in the extreme (and of course enjoying Churchill's enthusiastic blessing), this is one of the most remarkable stories of wartime lawlessness, eccentricity and raw courage in the face of impossible odds - a thoroughly British undertaking.What unfolded - the longest mission ever undertaken by Allied special forces - was an epic of daring, courage, tragedy and survival that remains unrivalled to this day, and which rightly became a foundation stone of Special Forces legend. Written with Lewis's signature authenticity and dramatic verve, SAS Ghost Patrol is peopled by a cast of the utterly maverick and the extraordinary. In its quirky eccentricities and outrageous rule-breaking, this is a story that only the British could have authored, and with such panache and aplomb. It may read like the stuff of impossible myth or folklore, but every single word is true.

Invisible Jews: Surviving the Holocaust in Poland


Eddie Bielawski - 2017
    Not a propitious time and place for a Jewish child to be born.One memory that has been etched indelibly in my mind is the sight of the Nazi army marching toward Russia. Our house was located on the main road leading to the Russian frontier. Day and night they marched - soldiers, trucks, tanks, and more soldiers, in a never ending line - an invincible force. I remember my father, holding me in his arms, saying to my mother, "Who is going to stop them? Certainly not the Russians." One night, my father had a dream. In this dream he saw what he had to do: where to build the bunker, how to build it, and even its dimensions.He would build a bunker under a wooden storage shed behind the house. It would be covered with boards, on top of which would be placed soil and bits of straw which would render it invisible. In order to camouflage the entrance, he would construct a shallow box and fill it with earth and cover it with straw so that it would be indistinguishable from the rest of the earthen floor. Air would be supplied through a drain pipe buried in the earth. This was to be our Noah's Ark that would save us from the initial deluge. It took my father about three weeks to finish the job. When he was done, he took my mother and sister into the shed and asked them if they could find the trap door. When they could not, he was satisfied.My mother prepared dry biscuits, jars of jam made out of beets, some tinned goods such as sardines, some sugar and salt. We placed two buckets in the bunker. One bucket was filled with water, the other bucket was empty and would serve as the latrine. We also took down some blankets, a couple of pillows and some warm clothing. We were ready.For three long years, starting in 1941 when the Nazis started the deportations and mass killings, we hid in secret bunkers, dug in fields, under sheds, or constructed in barn lofts. It seems that the only way that a Jew could survive in wartime Poland was to become invisible. So we became invisible Jews.

The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America's Shining Women


Kate Moore - 2017
    From body lotion to tonic water, the popular new element shines bright in the otherwise dark years of the First World War.Meanwhile, hundreds of girls toil amidst the glowing dust of the radium-dial factories. The glittering chemical covers their bodies from head to toe; they light up the night like industrious fireflies. With such a coveted job, these "shining girls" are the luckiest alive — until they begin to fall mysteriously ill.But the factories that once offered golden opportunities are now ignoring all claims of the gruesome side effects, and the women's cries of corruption. And as the fatal poison of the radium takes hold, the brave shining girls find themselves embroiled in one of the biggest scandals of America's early 20th century, and in a groundbreaking battle for workers' rights that will echo for centuries to come. Written with a sparkling voice and breakneck pace, The Radium Girls fully illuminates the inspiring young women exposed to the "wonder" substance of radium, and their awe-inspiring strength in the face of almost impossible circumstances. Their courage and tenacity led to life-changing regulations, research into nuclear bombing, and ultimately saved hundreds of thousands of lives...

Hoover: An Extraordinary Life in Extraordinary Times


Kenneth Whyte - 2017
    A great humanitarian. A president elected in a landslide and then resoundingly defeated four years later. Arguably the father of both New Deal liberalism and modern conservatism, Herbert Hoover lived one of the most extraordinary American lives of the twentieth century. Yet however astonishing, his accomplishments are often eclipsed by the perception that Hoover was inept and heartless in the face of the Great Depression.Now, Kenneth Whyte vividly recreates Hoover’s rich and dramatic life in all its complex glory. He follows Hoover through his Iowa boyhood, his cutthroat business career, his brilliant rescue of millions of lives during World War I and the 1927 Mississippi floods, his misconstrued presidency, his defeat at the hands of a ruthless Franklin Roosevelt, his devastating years in the political wilderness, his return to grace as Truman’s emissary to help European refugees after World War II, and his final vindication in the days of Kennedy’s “New Frontier.” Ultimately, Whyte brings to light Hoover’s complexities and contradictions—his modesty and ambition, his ruthlessness and extreme generosity—as well as his profound political legacy.Hoover: An Extraordinary Life in Extraordinary Times is the epic, poignant story of the deprived boy who, through force of will, made himself the most accomplished figure in the land, and who experienced a range of achievements and failures unmatched by any American of his, or perhaps any, era. Here, for the first time, is the definitive biography that fully captures the colossal scale of Hoover’s momentous life and volatile times.

Women In Sports: 50 Fearless Athletes Who Played to Win


Rachel Ignotofsky - 2017
    Keeping girls interested in sports has never been more important: research suggests that girls who play sports get better grades and have higher self-esteem--but girls are six times more likely to quit playing sports than boys and are unlikely to see female athlete role models in the media. A fascinating collection full of striking, singular art, Women in Sports features 50 profiles and illustrated portraits of women athletes from the 1800s to today including trailblazers, Olympians, and record-breakers in more than 40 different sports. The book also contains infographics about relevant topics such as muscle anatomy, a timeline of women's participation in sports, statistics about women in athletics, and influential female teams.

Dog Company: A True Story of Battlefield Courage, Taliban Spies, and Soldiers on Trial


Lynn Vincent - 2017
    Dog Company. The deaths of two of his men is agony for Captain Roger Hill and the agony is intensified when he realizes those responsible - 12 Taliban spies- have been working right under his nose on the American base. When unreasonable military regulations demand that he free the spies within 96 hours, and Hill can't get his superior officer to respond to the deadline, he takes action to intimidate the prisoners to confess - and to protect his company from another attack. Instead of being thanked, Hill's superior brings him up on charges making this decorated officer's next battle a personal one - for his honor and for that of 1st Sergeant Tommy Scott, his second in command. Combining the camaraderie and battle action of Band of Brothers with the military courtroom drama of A Few Good Men, Roger Hill's story will leave you impassioned, inspired and forever changed.

Brides of the Marches: Five Medieval England Scotland Wales Romances


Kathryn Le Veque - 2017
    Over TWO thousand pages of Medieval Pagentry - purchase this limited edition set or read for free in KINDLE UNLIMITED! Where England and Wales meet among the dark and rolling hills of the Welsh Marches, romance is born. Powerful English and Scottish men and their Welsh brides come together in a limited edition bundle that is a must-have for your Le Veque library. Delight in the drama and passion of these highly rated, full-length border romances, including: Rise of the Defender: The greatest knight in Richard the Lionheart's realm assumes his post, and his bride, on the Welsh Marches. The Red Lion: A Highlander serving in Wales finds more than he bargained for in a Welsh warrior woman. Spectre of the Sword: A half-Welsh knight is charged with protecting the heir to the throne against those who wish to see her dead. Island of Glass: A big English knight and a fiery lass on her search for the Holy Grail. Netherworld: A seasoned English knight makes a bargain with the devil to assume his post at a bleak Welsh castle called Netherworld. The Welsh Marches never looked so dark and sexy. Get this collection before it's gone!

Ghost of the Innocent Man: A True Story of Trial and Redemption


Benjamin Rachlin - 2017
    Ghost of the Innocent Man brings us one of the most dramatic of those cases and provides the clearest picture yet of the national scourge of wrongful conviction and of the opportunity for meaningful reform.When the final gavel clapped in a rural southern courtroom in the summer of 1988, Willie J. Grimes, a gentle spirit with no record of violence, was shocked and devastated to be convicted of first-degree rape and sentenced to life imprisonment. Here is the story of this everyman and his extraordinary quarter-century-long journey to freedom, told in breathtaking and sympathetic detail, from the botched evidence and suspect testimony that led to his incarceration to the tireless efforts to prove his innocence and the identity of the true perpetrator. These were spearheaded by his relentless champion, Christine Mumma, a cofounder of North Carolina's Innocence Inquiry Commission. That commission-unprecedented at its inception in 2006-remains a model organization unlike any other in the country, and one now responsible for a growing number of exonerations.With meticulous, prismatic research and pulse-quickening prose, Benjamin Rachlin presents one man's tragedy and triumph. The jarring and unsettling truth is that the story of Willie J. Grimes, for all its outrage, dignity, and grace, is not a unique travesty. But through the harrowing and suspenseful account of one life, told from the inside, we experience the full horror of wrongful conviction on a national scale. Ghost of the Innocent Man is both rare and essential, a masterwork of empathy. The book offers a profound reckoning not only with the shortcomings of our criminal justice system but also with its possibilities for redemption.

The Strange Death of Europe: Immigration, Identity, Islam


Douglas Murray - 2017
    Douglas Murray takes a step back and explores the deeper issues behind the continent's possible demise, from an atmosphere of mass terror attacks and a global refugee crisis to the steady erosion of our freedoms. He addresses the disappointing failure of multiculturalism, Angela Merkel’s U-turn on migration, and the Western fixation on guilt. Murray travels to Berlin, Paris, Scandinavia, and Greece to uncover the malaise at the very heart of the European culture, and to hear the stories of those who have arrived in Europe from far away.Declining birth rates, mass immigration, and cultivated self-distrust and self-hatred have come together to make Europeans unable to argue for themselves and incapable of resisting their own comprehensive alteration as a society and an eventual end. This sharp and incisive book ends up with two visions for a new Europe--one hopeful, one pessimistic--which paint a picture of Europe in crisis and offer a choice as to what, if anything, we can do next. But perhaps Spengler was right: "civilizations like humans are born, briefly flourish, decay, and die."

Undefeated: Jim Thorpe and the Carlisle Indian School Football Team


Steve Sheinkin - 2017
    Called “the team that invented football,” Carlisle’s innovative squad challenged the greatest, most elite teams—Harvard, Yale, Army—audaciously vowing to take their place among the nation’s football powers.This is an astonishing underdog sports story—and more. It’s an unflinching look at the U.S. government’s violent persecution of Native Americans and the school that was designed to erase Indian cultures. It’s the story of a group of young men who came together at that school, the overwhelming obstacles they faced both on and off the field, and their absolute refusal to accept defeat.

Nathuram Godse: The Hidden Untold Truth


Anup SarDesai - 2017
    This person is Nathuram Vinayakrao Godse, India’s most hated criminal. Yes …. Nathuram Godse is the very man who assassinated ‘Mahatma’ Gandhi, the ‘Father of the Nation’ on 30th January 1948 as he was walking towards his prayer ground at the Birla House, New Delhi. He was arrested at the scene of the crime and sentenced to death by hanging after a trial that lasted for over a year. Almost seven decades have passed since the ‘Apostle of Peace’ was assassinated but, even today the story of his murder continues to remain one of the most closely guarded secrets in Indian history. Since independence, various political organizations in India have resorted to a total misuse of state machinery to suppress information on the life of Nathuram Godse and have made the people of India believe in fictional cooked up stories based on unfound theories that the murder of the ‘Mahatma’ was an act of religious fanaticism. Through extensive research the author of this book has succeeded in unearthing facts that lay suppressed for almost seven decades and has managed to uncover the truth that the murder of ‘Mahatma Gandhi’ was not an act of religious fanaticism but an act of devout patriotism. This book covers the entire lifespan of Nathuram Godse, from his birth till his death. The motive behind writing this book is neither to denigrate the Mahatma nor to glorify his assassin but to unmask the people of India from the delusion that the ‘Mahatma’ was a victim of religious fanaticism.

Tiger Bravo's War: An epic year with an elite airborne rifle company of the 101st Airborne Division's Wandering Warriors, during the height of the Vietnam War


Rick St. John - 2017
    A band of paratroopers that defied the odds. A bond that couldn’t be broken. In the bloodiest year (1968) of a decade long war, a company called “Tiger Bravo” fought across the battlefields of Vietnam, as part of an elite Strike Force nicknamed the “Wandering Warriors.” By the time the last chopper departed, Tiger Bravo had amassed a staggering 150 Purple Hearts and mourned the loss of 30 brothers in arms. In Tiger Bravo’s War, you’ll discover the trials and tribulations of life in the combat zone from soldiers’ letters and the personal stories of survivors. You’ll learn what it was like to trudge through the dark heart of the jungle, take to the streets in the Tet Offensive, launch a daring rescue mission, and dodge booby-traps deep within enemy territory. Through unbearable hardships, gut wrenching losses and rare moments of joy and laughter, you’ll watch as a company of America’s youth transforms itself from a collection of total strangers in civilian life to an elite unit of highly trained paratroopers and, as their Vietnam odyssey unfolds, to battle-hardened, war-weary veterans willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for their brothers. In St John's compelling memoir, you’ll discover: - An episodic narrative taking the reader on a journey with Tiger Bravo, from stateside training through its first year of combat. - Light-hearted antics between missions, featuring rock n’ roll in the mess hall and drunken hijinks. - Personal stories from surviving veterans, including a west Texas oilfields high school dropout, a medic abandoned by his mother, and the son of a World War II Japanese fighter pilot turned Silver Star recipient.- A glimpse of the lasting impact of the war, including failed marriages, alcoholism, and PTSD.- In-depth research, including interviews from more than 20 veterans, battlefield journals and letters, seven hundred plus primary source footnotes and much, much more!

The Gulf: The Making of An American Sea


Jack Emerson Davis - 2017
    And so, in this rich and original work that explores the Gulf through our human connection with the sea, environmental historian Jack E. Davis finally places this exceptional region into the American mythos in a sweeping history that extends from the Pleistocene age to the twenty-first century.Significant beyond tragic oil spills and hurricanes, the Gulf has historically been one of the world's most bounteous marine environments, supporting human life for millennia. Davis starts from the premise that nature lies at the center of human existence, and takes readers on a compelling and, at times, wrenching journey from the Florida Keys to the Texas Rio Grande, along marshy shorelines and majestic estuarine bays, profoundly beautiful and life-giving, though fated to exploitation by esurient oil men and real-estate developers.Rich in vivid, previously untold stories, The Gulf tells the larger narrative of the American Sea—from the sportfish that brought the earliest tourists to Gulf shores to Hollywood’s engagement with the first offshore oil wells—as it inspired and empowered, sometimes to its own detriment, the ethnically diverse groups of a growing nation. Davis' pageant of historical characters is vast, including: the presidents who directed western expansion toward its shores, the New England fishers who introduced their own distinct skills to the region, and the industries and big agriculture that sent their contamination downstream into the estuarine wonderland. Nor does Davis neglect the colorfully idiosyncratic individuals: the Tabasco king who devoted his life to wildlife conservation, the Texas shrimper who gave hers to clean water and public health, as well as the New York architect who hooked the “big one” that set the sportfishing world on fire.Ultimately, Davis reminds us that amidst the ruin, beauty awaits its return, as the Gulf is, and has always been, an ongoing story. Sensitive to the imminent effects of climate change, and to the difficult task of rectifying grievous assaults of recent centuries, The Gulf suggests how a penetrating examination of a single region's history can inform the country's path ahead.

Madame President: The Extraordinary Journey of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf


Helene Cooper - 2017
    Madame President is the inspiring, often heartbreaking story of Sirleaf’s evolution from an ordinary Liberian mother of four boys to international banking executive, from a victim of domestic violence to a political icon, from a post-war president to a Nobel Peace Prize winner. Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist and bestselling author Helene Cooper deftly weaves Sirleaf’s personal story into the larger narrative of the coming of age of Liberian women. The highs and lows of Sirleaf’s life are filled with indelible images; from imprisonment in a jail cell for standing up to Liberia’s military government to addressing the United States Congress, from reeling under the onslaught of the Ebola pandemic to signing a deal with Hillary Clinton when she was still Secretary of State that enshrined American support for Liberia’s future. Sirleaf’s personality shines throughout this riveting biography. Ultimately, Madame President is the story of Liberia’s greatest daughter, and the universal lessons we can all learn from this “Oracle” of African women.

The Odyssey of Echo Company: The 1968 Tet Offensive and the Epic Battle to Survive the Vietnam War


Doug Stanton - 2017
    Alongside other young American soldiers in an Army reconnaissance platoon (Echo Company, 1/501) of the 101st Airborne Division, Stanley Parker, the nineteen-year-old son of a Texan ironworker, was suddenly thrust into savage combat, having been in-country only a few weeks. As Stan and his platoon-mates, many of whom had enlisted in the Army, eager to become paratroopers, moved from hot zone to hot zone, the extreme physical and mental stresses of Echo Company’s day-to-day existence, involving ambushes and attacks, grueling machine-gun battles, and impossibly dangerous rescues of wounded comrades, pushed them all to their limits and forged them into a lifelong brotherhood. The war became their fight for survival. When they came home, some encountered a bitterly divided country that didn’t understand what they had survived. Returning to the small farms, beach towns, and big cities where they grew up, many of the men in the platoon fell silent, knowing that few of their countrymen wanted to hear the stories they lived to tell—until now. Based on interviews, personal letters, and Army after-action reports, The Odyssey of Echo Company recounts the searing tale of wartime service and homecoming of ordinary young American men in an extraordinary time and confirms Doug Stanton’s prominence as an unparalleled storyteller of our age.

Vanishing New York: How a Great City Lost Its Soul


Jeremiah Moss - 2017
    But today, modern gentrification is transforming the city from an exceptional, iconoclastic metropolis into a suburbanized luxury zone with a price tag only the one percent can afford.A Jane Jacobs for the digital age, blogger and cultural commentator Jeremiah Moss has emerged as one of the most outspoken and celebrated critics of this dramatic shift. In Vanishing New York, he reports on the city’s development in the twenty-first century, a period of "hyper-gentrification" that has resulted in the shocking transformation of beloved neighborhoods and the loss of treasured unofficial landmarks. In prose that the Village Voice has called a "mixture of snark, sorrow, poeticism, and lyric wit," Moss leads us on a colorful guided tour of the most changed parts of town—from the Lower East Side and Chelsea to Harlem and Williamsburg—lovingly eulogizing iconic institutions as they’re replaced with soulless upscale boutiques, luxury condo towers, and suburban chains.Propelled by Moss’ hard-hitting, cantankerous style, Vanishing New York is a staggering examination of contemporary "urban renewal" and its repercussions—not only for New Yorkers, but for all of America and the world.

We Are the Change We Seek: The Speeches of Barack Obama


E.J. Dionne Jr. - 2017
    Dionne and MSNBC host Joy-Ann Reid.We Are the Change We Seek is a collection of Barack Obama's 26 greatest addresses: beginning with his 2002 speech opposing the Iraq War and closing with his final speech before the United Nations in September 2016. As president, Obama's words had the power to move the country, and often the world, as few presidents before him. Whether acting as Commander in Chief or Consoler in Chief, Obama adopted a unique rhetorical style that could simultaneously speak to the national mood and change the course of public events. Obama's eloquence, both written and spoken, propelled him to national prominence and ultimately made it possible for the son of a Kenyan man and a white woman from Kansas to become the first black president of the United States.These speeches span Obama's career--from his time in state government through to the end of his tenure as president--and the issues most important to our time: war, inequality, race relations, gun violence and human rights. The book opens with an essay placing Obama's oratorical contributions within the flow of American history by E.J. Dionne Jr., columnist and author of Why The Right Went Wrong, and Joy Reid, the host of AM Joy on MSNBC and author of Fracture. - See more at: http://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/we-are-t...

Twelve Days in May: Freedom Ride 1961


Larry Dane Brimner - 2017
    The Ride would last twelve days. Despite the fact that segregation on buses crossing state lines was ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in 1946, and segregation in interstate transportation facilities was ruled unconstitutional in 1960, these rulings were routinely ignored in the South. The thirteen Freedom Riders intended to test the laws and draw attention to the lack of enforcement with their peaceful protest. As the Riders traveled deeper into the South, they encountered increasing violence and opposition. Noted civil rights author Larry Dane Brimner relies on archival documents and rarely seen images to tell the riveting story of the little-known first days of the Freedom Ride. With author's note, source notes, bibliography, and index.

Queer, There and Everywhere: 23 People Who Changed the World


Sarah Prager - 2017
    From high-profile figures like Abraham Lincoln and Eleanor Roosevelt to the trailblazing gender-ambiguous Queen of Sweden and a bisexual blues singer who didn’t make it into your history books, these astonishing true stories uncover a rich queer heritage that encompasses every culture, in every era.

My Life, My Love, My Legacy


Coretta Scott King - 2017
    One of the first black scholarship students recruited to Antioch College, a committed pacifist, and a civil rights activist, she was an avowed feminist—a graduate student determined to pursue her own career—when she met Martin Luther King Jr., a Baptist minister insistent that his wife stay home with the children. But in love and devoted to shared Christian beliefs and racial justice goals, she married King, and events promptly thrust her into a maelstrom of history throughout which she was a strategic partner, a standard bearer, a marcher, a negotiator, and a crucial fundraiser in support of world-changing achievements.As a widow and single mother of four, while butting heads with the all-male African American leadership of the times, she championed gay rights and AIDS awareness, founded the King Center for Nonviolent Social Change, lobbied for fifteen years to help pass a bill establishing the US national holiday in honor of her slain husband, and was a powerful international presence, serving as a UN ambassador and playing a key role in Nelson Mandela's election.Coretta’s is a love story, a family saga, and the memoir of an independent-minded black woman in twentieth-century America, a brave leader who stood committed, proud, forgiving, nonviolent, and hopeful in the face of terrorism and violent hatred every single day of her life.

The Taking of K-129: How the CIA Used Howard Hughes to Steal a Russian Sub in the Most Daring Covert Operation in History


Josh Dean - 2017
    Navy, and a crazy billionaire spent six years and nearly a billion dollars to steal the nuclear-armed Soviet submarine K-129 after it had sunk to the bottom of the Pacific Ocean; all while the Russians were watching.In the early hours of February 25, 1968, a Russian submarine armed with three nuclear ballistic missiles set sail from its base in Siberia on a routine combat patrol to Hawaii. It never arrived. As the Soviet Navy searched in vain for the lost vessel, a top-secret American operation using sophisticated deep-sea spy equipment found it—wrecked on the sea floor at a depth of 16,800 feet, far beyond the capabilities of any salvage that existed. But the potential intelligence assets onboard the ship—the nuclear warheads, battle orders, and cryptological machines—justified going to extreme lengths to find a way to raise the submarine.So began Project Azorian, a top-secret mission that took six years, cost an estimated $800 million, and would become the largest and most daring covert operation in CIA history. After the U.S. Navy declared retrieving the sub “impossible,” the mission fell to the CIA's burgeoning Directorate of Science and Technology, the little-known division responsible for the legendary U-2 and SR-71 Blackbird spy planes. Working with Global Marine Systems, the country's foremost maker of exotic, deep-sea drill ships, the CIA commissioned the most expensive ship ever built and told the world that it belonged to the reclusive billionaire Howard Hughes, who would use the mammoth vessel to mine rare minerals from the ocean floor. In reality, a complex network of spies, scientists, and politicians attempted a project even crazier than Hughes’s reputation: raising the sub directly under the watchful eyes of the Russians. The Taking of K-129 is a riveting, almost unbelievable true-life tale of military history, engineering genius, and high-stakes spy-craft set during the height of the Cold War, when nuclear annihilation was a constant fear, and the opportunity to gain even the slightest advantage over your enemy was worth massive risk.

Pride: The Unlikely Story of the True Heroes of the Miner's Strike


Tim Tate - 2017
    They did so in the midst of the 1984 miners’ strike—the most bitter and divisive dispute for more than half a century. In the 1980s, Margaret Thatcher’s social and fiscal policies devastated Britain’s traditional industries, as AIDS began to claim lives across the nation. As the government and police battled "the enemy within" in communities across the land and newspapers whipped up fear of the gay "perverts" who were supposedly responsible for inflicting this disease, miners and homosexuals unexpectedly made a stand together and forged a lasting friendship. It was an alliance which helped keep an entire valley clothed and fed during the darkest months of the strike. And it led directly to unions and the Labour Party accepting gay equality as a cause to be championed. Pride tells the inspiring true story of how two very different communities—each struggling to overcome its own bitter internal arguments, as well as facing the power of a hostile government and press—found common cause against overwhelming odds. And how this one simple but unlikely act of friendship would, in time, help change life in Britain—forever. This is the true story that inspired the Golden Globe Award-nominated, GLAAD-nominated, BAFTA-winning film Pride.

Who Was Alexander Hamilton?


Pam Pollack - 2017
    He joined a local militia during the American Revolution, rose to the rank of Major General, and became the chief aide to General George Washington. After the war, he became the first U.S. Secretary of the Treasury. He founded the Bank of New York and The New York Post newspaper. He served as a delegate to the Constitutional Convention and is also celebrated as a co-author of The Federalist Papers, a series of essays that are still used today to interpret the U.S. Constitution.The end of his life became a national scandal when he was shot and killed in a duel with then-Vice President Aaron Burr.