Best of
History

2018

The Standard of Truth: 1815–1846


The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints - 2018
    Three years later, an angel guides him to an ancient record buried in a hill near his home. With God’s help, he translates the record and organizes the Savior’s church in the latter days. Soon others join him, accepting the invitation to become Saints through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. But opposition and violence follow those who defy old traditions to embrace restored truths. The women and men who join the church must choose whether or not they will stay true to their covenants, establish Zion, and proclaim the gospel to a troubled world. The Standard of Truth is the first book in Saints, a new, four-volume narrative history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Fast-paced, meticulously researched, Saints recounts true stories of Latter-day Saints across the globe and answers the Lord’s call to write history “for the good of the church, and for the rising generations” (Doctrine and Covenants 69:8).

The Spy and the Traitor: The Greatest Espionage Story of the Cold War


Ben Macintyre - 2018
    The son of two KGB agents and the product of the best Soviet institutions, the savvy, sophisticated Gordievsky grew to see his nation's communism as both criminal and philistine. He took his first posting for Russian intelligence in 1968 and eventually became the Soviet Union's top man in London, but from 1973 on he was secretly working for MI6. For nearly a decade, as the Cold War reached its twilight, Gordievsky helped the West turn the tables on the KGB, exposing Russian spies and helping to foil countless intelligence plots, as the Soviet leadership grew increasingly paranoid at the United States's nuclear first-strike capabilities and brought the world closer to the brink of war. Desperate to keep the circle of trust close, MI6 never revealed Gordievsky's name to its counterparts in the CIA, which in turn grew obsessed with figuring out the identity of Britain's obviously top-level source. Their obsession ultimately doomed Gordievsky: the CIA officer assigned to identify him was none other than Aldrich Ames, the man who would become infamous for secretly spying for the Soviets. Unfolding the delicious three-way gamesmanship between America, Britain, and the Soviet Union, and culminating in the gripping cinematic beat-by-beat of Gordievsky's nail-biting escape from Moscow in 1985, Ben Macintyre's latest may be his best yet. Like the greatest novels of John le Carré, it brings readers deep into a world of treachery and betrayal, where the lines bleed between the personal and the professional, and one man's hatred of communism had the power to change the future of nations.

The Boy Who Followed His Father into Auschwitz: A True Story of Family and Survival


Jeremy Dronfield - 2018
    Imprisoned in the Buchenwald concentration camp, they miraculously survive the Nazis’ murderous brutality.Then Gustav learns he is being sent to Auschwitz—and certain death.For Fritz, letting his father go is unthinkable. Desperate to remain together, Fritz makes an incredible choice: he insists he must go too. To the Nazis, one death camp is the same as another, and so the boy is allowed to follow. Throughout the six years of horror they witness and immeasurable suffering they endure as victims of the camps, one constant keeps them alive: their love and hope for the future. Based on the secret diary that Gustav kept as well as meticulous archival research and interviews with members of the Kleinmann family, including Fritz’s younger brother Kurt, sent to the United States at age eleven to escape the war, The Boy Who Followed His Father into Auschwitz is Gustav and Fritz’s story—an extraordinary account of courage, loyalty, survival, and love that is unforgettable.

On Desperate Ground: The Marines at The Reservoir, the Korean War's Greatest Battle


Hampton Sides - 2018
    troops in Korea, convinced President Harry Truman that the communist forces would be utterly defeated by Thanksgiving. The Chinese, he said with near certainty, would not intervene in the war. As he was speaking, 300,000 Chinese soldiers began crossing the border. Led by the 13,000 men of the 1st Marine Division, the Americans moved far north into the trap Mao had set for the arrogant MacArthur at the Chosin Reservoir. What followed was one of the most heroic - and harrowing - operations in American military history. Faced with annihilation, and temperatures plunging to 20 degrees below zero, the surrounded Marines fought through the enemy forces with ferocity, ingenuity and nearly unimaginable courage. Hampton Sides's superb account of the battle relies on years of archival research and interviews with scores of Marines and Koreans who survived the siege. While expertly chronicling the follies of the American leaders, this is an immediate, grunt's-eye view of history, enthralling in its narrative pace and powerful in its portrayal of what ordinary men are capable of in the most extreme circumstances.

Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland


Patrick Radden Keefe - 2018
    They never saw her again. Her abduction was one of the most notorious episodes of the vicious conflict known as The Troubles. Everyone in the neighborhood knew the I.R.A. was responsible. But in a climate of fear and paranoia, no one would speak of it. In 2003, five years after an accord brought an uneasy peace to Northern Ireland, a set of human bones was discovered on a beach. McConville's children knew it was their mother when they were told a blue safety pin was attached to the dress--with so many kids, she had always kept it handy for diapers or ripped clothes.Patrick Radden Keefe's mesmerizing book on the bitter conflict in Northern Ireland and its aftermath uses the McConville case as a starting point for the tale of a society wracked by a violent guerrilla war, a war whose consequences have never been reckoned with. The brutal violence seared not only people like the McConville children, but also I.R.A. members embittered by a peace that fell far short of the goal of a united Ireland, and left them wondering whether the killings they committed were not justified acts of war, but simple murders.Patrick Radden Keefe writes an intricate narrative about a notorious killing in Northern Ireland and its devastating repercussions.

21 Things You May Not Know About the Indian Act: Helping Canadians Make Reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples a Reality


Bob Joseph - 2018
    Bob Joseph’s book comes at a key time in the reconciliation process, when awareness from both Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities is at a crescendo. Joseph explains how Indigenous Peoples can step out from under the Indian Act and return to self-government, self-determination, and self-reliance—and why doing so would result in a better country for every Canadian. He dissects the complex issues around truth and reconciliation, and clearly demonstrates why learning about the Indian Act’s cruel, enduring legacy is essential for the country to move toward true reconciliation.

Leadership: In Turbulent Times


Doris Kearns Goodwin - 2018
    Roosevelt, and Lyndon B. Johnson (in civil rights)—to show how they recognized leadership qualities within themselves and were recognized as leaders by others. By looking back to their first entries into public life, we encounter them at a time when their paths were filled with confusion, fear, and hope.Leadership tells the story of how they all collided with dramatic reversals that disrupted their lives and threatened to shatter forever their ambitions. Nonetheless, they all emerged fitted to confront the contours and dilemmas of their times. No common pattern describes the trajectory of leadership. Although set apart in background, abilities, and temperament, these men shared a fierce ambition and a deep-seated resilience that enabled them to surmount uncommon hardships. At their best, all four were guided by a sense of moral purpose. At moments of great challenge, they were able to summon their talents to enlarge the opportunities and lives of others.

Rise and Kill First: The Secret History of Israel's Targeted Assassinations


Ronen Bergman - 2018
    From the very beginning of its statehood in 1948, protecting the nation from harm has been the responsibility of its intelligence community and armed services, and there is one weapon in their vast arsenal that they have relied upon to thwart the most serious threats: Targeted assassinations have been used countless times, on enemies large and small, sometimes in response to attacks against the Israeli people and sometimes preemptively. In this page-turning, eye-opening book, journalist and military analyst Ronen Bergman offers a riveting inside account of the targeted killing programs—their successes, their failures, and the moral and political price exacted on the men and women who approved and carried out the missions.Bergman has gained the exceedingly rare cooperation of many current and former members of the Israeli government, including Prime Ministers Shimon Peres, Ehud Barak, Ariel Sharon, and Benjamin Netanyahu, as well as high-level figures in the country’s military and intelligence services: the IDF (Israel Defense Forces), the Mossad (the world’s most feared intelligence agency), Caesarea (a “Mossad within the Mossad” that carries out attacks on the highest-value targets), and the Shin Bet (an internal security service that implemented the largest targeted assassination campaign ever, in order to stop what had once appeared to be unstoppable: suicide terrorism).Including never-before-reported, behind-the-curtain accounts of key operations, and based on hundreds of on-the-record interviews and thousands of files to which Bergman has gotten exclusive access over his decades of reporting, Rise and Kill First brings us deep into the heart of Israel’s most secret activities. Bergman traces, from statehood to the present, the gripping events and thorny ethical questions underlying Israel’s targeted killing campaign, which has shaped the Israeli nation, the Middle East, and the entire world.

Boom Town: The Fantastical Saga of Oklahoma City, Its Chaotic Founding, Its Apocalyptic Weather, Its Purloined Basketball Team, and the Dream of Becoming a World-class Metropolis


Sam Anderson - 2018
    It was founded in a bizarre but momentous "Land Run" in 1889, when thousands of people lined up along the borders of Oklahoma Territory and rushed in at noon to stake their claims. Since then, it has been a city torn between the wild energy that drives its outsized ambitions, and the forces of order that seek sustainable progress. Nowhere was this dynamic better realized than in the drama of the Oklahoma City Thunder basketball team's 2012-13 season, when the Thunder's brilliant general manager, Sam Presti, ignited a firestorm by trading future superstar James Harden just days before the first game. Presti's all-in gamble on "the Process"—the patient, methodical management style that dictated the trade as the team’s best hope for long-term greatness—kicked off a pivotal year in the city's history, one that would include pitched battles over urban planning, a series of cataclysmic tornadoes, and the frenzied hope that an NBA championship might finally deliver the glory of which the city had always dreamed.Boom Town announces the arrival of an exciting literary voice. Sam Anderson, former book critic for New York magazine and now a staff writer at the New York Times magazine, unfolds an idiosyncratic mix of American history, sports reporting, urban studies, gonzo memoir, and much more to tell the strange but compelling story of an American city whose unique mix of geography and history make it a fascinating microcosm of the democratic experiment. Filled with characters ranging from NBA superstars Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook; to Flaming Lips oddball frontman Wayne Coyne; to legendary Great Plains meteorologist Gary England; to Stanley Draper, Oklahoma City's would-be Robert Moses; to civil rights activist Clara Luper; to the citizens and public servants who survived the notorious 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah federal building, Boom Town offers a remarkable look at the urban tapestry woven from control and chaos, sports and civics.

To Obama: With Love, Joy, Anger, and Hope


Jeanne Marie Laskas - 2018
    Every night, he read ten of them before going to bed. This is the story of the profound ways in which they shaped his presidency.Every evening for 8 years, at his request, President Obama received a binder containing ten handpicked letters from ordinary American citizens -- the unfiltered voice of a nation -- from his Office of Presidential Correspondence. He was the first to President to save constituent mail, and this is the story of how those letters affected not only the President and his policies, but also the deeply committed people who were tasked with opening the millions of pleas, rants, thank yous, and apologies that landed in the White House mailroom.Based on the popular New York Times article, "To Obama," Laskas now interviews the letter writers themselves and the White House staff who sifted through the powerful, moving, and incredibly intimate narrative of America during the Obama years emerges: There is Kelli, who saw her grandfathers finally marry - legally -- after 35 years together; Bill, a lifelong Republican whose attitude toward immigration reform was transformed when he met a boy escaping M-16 gang leaders in El Salvador; Heba, a Syrian refugee who wants to forget the day the tanks rolled into her village; Marjorie, who grappled with disturbing feelings of racial bias lurking within her during the George Zimmerman trial; and Vicki, whose family was torn apart by those who voted for Trump and those who did not.They wrote to Obama out of gratitude and desperation, in their darkest times of need, in search of connection. They wrote with anger and respect. And together, this chorus of voices achieves a kind of beautiful harmony: here is a diary of a nation. To Obama is an intimate look at one man's relationship to the American people, and the the intersection of politics and empathy in the White House.

The Faithful Spy: Dietrich Bonhoeffer and the Plot to Kill Hitler


John Hendrix - 2018
    Bonhoeffer was a German Lutheran pastor and theologian who was shocked to watch the German church embrace Hitler's agenda of hatred. He spoke out against the Nazi party and led a breakaway church that rebelled against racist and nationalist beliefs of the Third Reich. Struggling with how his faith interacted with his ethics, Bonhoeffer eventually became convinced that Hitler and the Nazi Party needed to be stopped--and he was willing to sacrifice anything and everything to do so.

Belonging: A German Reckons with History and Home


Nora Krug - 2018
    For Nora, the simple fact of her German citizenship bound her to the Holocaust and its unspeakable atrocities and left her without a sense of cultural belonging. Yet Nora knew little about her own family’s involvement in the war: though all four grandparents lived through the war, they never spoke of it.In her late thirties, after twelve years in the US, Krug realizes that living abroad has only intensified her need to ask the questions she didn’t dare to as a child and young adult. Returning to Germany, she visits archives, conducts research, and interviews family members, uncovering in the process the stories of her maternal grandfather, a driving teacher in Karlsruhe during the war, and her father’s brother Franz-Karl, who died as a teenage SS soldier in Italy. Her quest, spanning continents and generations, pieces together her family’s troubling story and reflects on what it means to be a German of her generation.

Berlin


Jason Lutes - 2018
    Berlin is one of the high-water marks of the medium: rich in its well-researched historical detail, compassionate in its character studies, and as timely as ever in its depiction of a society slowly awakening to the stranglehold of fascism.Berlin is an intricate look at the fall of the Weimar Republic through the eyes of its citizens—Marthe Müller, a young woman escaping the memory of a brother killed in World War I, Kurt Severing, an idealistic journalist losing faith in the printed word as fascism and extremism take hold; the Brauns, a family torn apart by poverty and politics. Lutes weaves these characters’ lives into the larger fabric of a city slowly ripping apart.The city itself is the central protagonist in this historical fiction. Lavish salons, crumbling sidewalks, dusty attics, and train stations: all these places come alive in Lutes’ masterful hand. Weimar Berlin was the world’s metropolis, where intellectualism, creativity, and sensuous liberal values thrived, and Lutes maps its tragic, inevitable decline. Devastatingly relevant and beautifully told, Berlin is one of the great epics of the comics medium.

Slave Stealers: True Accounts of Slave Rescues: Then and Now


Timothy Ballard - 2018
    Told in alternating chapters from perspectives spanning more than a century apart, read the riveting 19th century first-hand account of Harriet Jacobs and the modern-day eyewitness account of Timothy Ballard. Harriet Jacobs was an African-American, born into slavery in North Carolina in 1813. She thwarted the sexual advances of her master for years until she escaped and hid in the attic crawl space of her grandmother’s house for seven years before escaping north to freedom. She published an autobiography of her life, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, which was one of the first open discussions about sexual abuse endured by slave women. She was an active abolitionist, associated with Frederick Douglass, and, during the Civil War, used her celebrity to raise money for black refugees. After the war, she worked to improve the conditions of newly-freed slaves. As a former Special Agent for the Department of Homeland Security who has seen the horrors and carnage of war, Timothy Ballard founded a modern-day “underground railroad” which has rescued hundreds of children from being fully enslaved, abused, or trafficked in third-world countries. His story includes the rescue and his eventual adoption of two young siblings—Mia and Marky, who were born in Haiti. Section 2 features the lives of five abolitionists, a mix of heroes from past to present, who call us to action and teach us life lessons based on their own experiences: Harriet Tubman—The “Conductor”; Abraham Lincoln—the “Great Emancipator”; Little Mia—the sister who saved her little brother; Guesno Mardy—the Haitian father who lost his son to slave traders; and Harriet Jacobs—a teacher for us all.

From Broken Glass: My Story of Finding Hope in Hitler's Death Camps to Inspire a New Generation


Steve Ross - 2018
    On August 14, 2017, two days after a white-supremacist activist rammed his car into a group of anti-Fascist protestors, killing one and injuring nineteen, the New England Holocaust Memorial was vandalized for the second time in as many months. At the base of one of its fifty-four-foot glass towers lay a pile of shards. For Steve Ross, the image called to mind Kristallnacht, the Night of Broken Glass in which German authorities ransacked Jewish-owned buildings with sledgehammers. Ross was eight years old when the Nazis invaded his Polish village, forcing his family to flee. He spent his next six years in a day-to-day struggle to survive the notorious camps in which he was imprisoned, Auschwitz-Birkenau and Dachau among them. When he was finally liberated, he no longer knew how old he was, he was literally starving to death, and everyone in his family except for his brother had been killed. Ross learned in his darkest experiences--by observing and enduring inconceivable cruelty as well as by receiving compassion from caring fellow prisoners--the human capacity to rise above even the bleakest circumstances. He decided to devote himself to underprivileged youth, aiming to ensure that despite the obstacles in their lives they would never experience suffering like he had. Over the course of a nearly forty-year career as a psychologist working in the Boston city schools, that was exactly what he did. At the end of his career, he spearheaded the creation of the New England Holocaust Memorial, a site millions of people including young students visit every year. Equal parts heartrending, brutal, and inspiring, From Broken Glass is the story of how one man survived the unimaginable and helped lead a new generation to forge a more compassionate world.

One Person, No Vote: How Voter Suppression Is Destroying Our Democracy


Carol Anderson - 2018
    With One Person, No Vote, she chronicles a related history: the rollbacks to African American participation in the vote since the 2013 Supreme Court decision that eviscerated the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Known as the Shelby ruling, this decision effectively allowed districts with a demonstrated history of racial discrimination to change voting requirements without approval from the Department of Justice.Focusing on the aftermath of Shelby, Anderson follows the astonishing story of government-dictated racial discrimination unfolding before our very eyes as more and more states adopt voter suppression laws. In gripping, enlightening detail she explains how voter suppression works, from photo ID requirements to gerrymandering to poll closures. And with vivid characters, she explores the resistance: the organizing, activism, and court battles to restore the basic right to vote to all Americans as the nation gears up for the 2018 midterm elections.

Erebus: The Story of a Ship


Michael Palin - 2018
    He explores the intertwined careers of the men who shared its journeys: the organisational genius James Clark Ross, who mapped much of the Antarctic coastline and oversaw some of the earliest scientific experiments to be conducted there; and the troubled Sir John Franklin, who, at the age of 60 and after a chequered career, commanded the ship on its final journey. And he describes what life on board was like for the dozens of men who stepped ashore in Antarctica’s Victoria Land, and for the officers and crew who, one by one, froze and starved to death in the Arctic wastes as rescue missions desperately tried to track them down. To help tell the story, he has travelled to various locations across the world – Tasmania, the Falklands, the Canadian Arctic – to search for local information, and to experience at first hand the terrain and the conditions that would have confronted the Erebus and her crew. Illustrated with maps, paintings and engravings, this is a wonderfully evocative and epic account, written by a master explorer and storyteller.

The Road to Unfreedom: Russia, Europe, America


Timothy Snyder - 2018
    Observers declared the end of history, confident in a peaceful, globalized future. But we now know this to be premature. Authoritarianism first returned in Russia, as Putin developed a political system dedicated solely to the consolidation and exercise of power. In the last six years, it has creeped from east to west as nationalism inflames Europe, abetted by Russian propaganda and cyberwarfare. While countries like Poland and Hungary have made hard turns towards authoritarianism, the electoral upsets of 2016 revealed the citizens of the US and UK in revolt against their countries' longstanding policies and values.But this threat to the West also presents an opportunity to better understand the pillars of our own political order. In this forceful and unsparing work of contemporary history, Snyder goes beyond the headlines to expose the true nature of the threat to democracy. By showcasing the stark choices before us--between equality or oligarchy, individuality or totality, truth and falsehood--Snyder restores our understanding of the basis of our way of life, offering a way forward in a time of terrible uncertainty.

All Our Relations: Finding the Path Forward


Tanya Talaga - 2018
    From Northern Ontario to Nunavut, Norway, Brazil, Australia, and the United States, the Indigenous experience in colonized nations is startlingly similar and deeply disturbing. It is an experience marked by the violent separation of Peoples from the land, the separation of families, and the separation of individuals from traditional ways of life — all of which has culminated in a spiritual separation that has had an enduring impact on generations of Indigenous children. As a result of this colonial legacy, too many communities today lack access to the basic determinants of health — income, employment, education, a safe environment, health services — leading to a mental health and youth suicide crisis on a global scale. But, Talaga reminds us, First Peoples also share a history of resistance, resilience, and civil rights activism, from the Occupation of Alcatraz led by the Indians of All Tribes, to the Northern Ontario Stirland Lake Quiet Riot, to the Standing Rock protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline, which united Indigenous Nations from across Turtle Island in solidarity.Based on her Atkinson Fellowship in Public Policy series, All Our Relations is a powerful call for action, justice, and a better, more equitable world for all Indigenous Peoples.

The World Only Spins Forward: The Ascent of Angels in America


Isaac Butler - 2018
    Mike Nichols' 2003 HBO adaptation starring Meryl Streep, Mary-Louise Parker, and Al Pacino was itself a tour de force, winning 11 Emmys and introducing the play to an even wider public. This generation-defining classic continues to shock, move, and inspire viewers worldwide.Now, on the 25th anniversary of that Broadway premiere, Isaac Butler and Dan Kois offer the definitive account of Angels in America in the most fitting way possible: through oral history, nearly 200 voices in vibrant conversation and debate. The intimate storytelling of actors (including Streep, Parker, Jeffrey Wright, and Nathan Lane), directors, producers, and Kushner himself reveals the turmoil of the play's birth-a hard-won miracle in the face of artistic roadblocks, technical disasters, and disputes both legal and creative. And historians and critics help to situate the play in the arc of American culture, from the staunch activism of the AIDS crisis through civil-rights triumphs to our current era, whose politics are a dark echo of the Reagan '80s. The World Only Spins Forward is both a rollicking theater saga and an uplifting testament to one of the great works of American art of the past century, from its gritty San Francisco premiere to the starry revival that electrified London in 2017.

Paul: A Biography


N.T. Wright - 2018
    T. Wright offers a radical look at the apostle Paul, illuminating the humanity and remarkable achievements of this intellectual who invented Christian theology—transforming a faith and changing the world.For centuries, Paul, the apostle who "saw the light on the Road to Damascus" and made a miraculous conversion from zealous Pharisee persecutor to devoted follower of Christ, has been one of the church’s most widely cited saints. While his influence on Christianity has been profound, N. T. Wright argues that Bible scholars and pastors have focused so much attention on Paul’s letters and theology that they have too often overlooked the essence of the man’s life and the extreme unlikelihood of what he achieved.To Wright, "The problem is that Paul is central to any understanding of earliest Christianity, yet Paul was a Jew; for many generations Christians of all kinds have struggled to put this together." Wright contends that our knowledge of Paul and appreciation for his legacy cannot be complete without an understanding of his Jewish heritage. Giving us a thoughtful, in-depth exploration of the human and intellectual drama that shaped Paul, Wright provides greater clarity of the apostle’s writings, thoughts, and ideas and helps us see them in a fresh, innovative way.Paul is a compelling modern biography that reveals the apostle’s greater role in Christian history—as an inventor of new paradigms for how we understand Jesus and what he accomplished—and celebrates his stature as one of the most effective and influential intellectuals in human history.

World War II at Sea: A Global History


Craig L. Symonds - 2018
    Symonds ranks among the country's finest naval historians. World War II at Sea is his crowning achievement, a narrative of the entire war and all of its belligerents, on all of the world's oceans and seas between 1939 and 1945. Here are the major engagements and their interconnections: the U-boat attack on Scapa Flow and the Battle of the Atlantic; the "miracle" evacuation from Dunkirk and the scuttling of the French Navy; the pitched battles for control of Norway fjords and Mussolini's Regia Marina; the rise of the Kidö Butai and Pearl Harbor; the landings in North Africa and New Guinea, then on Normandy and Iwo Jima. Symonds offers indelible portraits of the great naval leaders-FDR and Churchill (self-proclaimed "Navy men"), Karl Dönitz, François Darlan, Ernest King, Isoroku Yamamoto, Louis Mountbatten, and William Halsey, while acknowledging the countless seamen and officers of all nationalities whose lives were lost during the greatest naval conflicts ever fought. World War II at Sea is history on a truly epic scale.

Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress


Steven Pinker - 2018
    Instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise, not just in the West, but worldwide. This progress is not the result of some cosmic force. It is a gift of the Enlightenment: the conviction that reason and science can enhance human flourishing.Far from being a naïve hope, the Enlightenment, we now know, has worked. But more than ever, it needs a vigorous defense. The Enlightenment project swims against currents of human nature–tribalism, authoritarianism, demonization, magical thinking–which demagogues are all too willing to exploit. Many commentators, committed to political, religious, or romantic ideologies, fight a rearguard action against it. The result is a corrosive fatalism and a willingness to wreck the precious institutions of liberal democracy and global cooperation.With intellectual depth and literary flair, Enlightenment Now makes the case for reason, science, and humanism: the ideals we need to confront our problems and continue our progress.

Crashed: How a Decade of Financial Crises Changed the World


Adam Tooze - 2018
    In fact it was a dramatic caesura of global significance that spiraled around the world, from the financial markets of the UK and Europe to the factories and dockyards of Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America, forcing a rearrangement of global governance. In the United States and Europe, it caused a fundamental reconsideration of capitalist democracy, eventually leading to the war in the Ukraine, the chaos of Greece, Brexit, and Trump.It was the greatest crisis to have struck Western societies since the end of the Cold War, but was it inevitable? And is it over? Crashed is a dramatic new narrative resting on original themes: the haphazard nature of economic development and the erratic path of debt around the world; the unseen way individual countries and regions are linked together in deeply unequal relationships through financial interdependence, investment, politics, and force; the ways the financial crisis interacted with the spectacular rise of social media, the crisis of middle-class America, the rise of China, and global struggles over fossil fuels.Finally, Tooze asks, given this history, what now are the prospects for a liberal, stable, and coherent world order?

The Colour of Time: A New History of the World, 1850-1960


Dan Jones - 2018
    Marina Amaral uses digital techniques, underpinned by painstaking research, to colourise 200 such images embracing an entire century of world history. The results are revelatory, transforming the monochrome of early photography into the vibrant hues of real life. Statesmen and soldiers, as well as the faces of hundreds of ordinary people, thus appear in dramatically vivid guise. The images are organized in ten chronological chapters. Each image is accompanied by a 200-word caption by best-selling historian Dan Jones, telling the stories behind them. A fusion of amazing pictures and well-chosen words, The Colour of Time offers a unique – and often beautiful – perspective on the past.

Dictatorland: The Men Who Stole Africa


Paul Kenyon - 2018
    The austere, incorruptible leader who has shut Eritrea off from the world in a permanent state of war and conscripted every adult into the armed forces. In Equatorial Guinea, the paranoid despot who thought Hitler was the saviour of Africa and waged a relentless campaign of terror against his own people. The Libyan army officer who authored a new work of political philosophy, The Green Book, and lived in a tent with a harem of female soldiers, running his country like a mafia family business.And behind these almost incredible stories of fantastic violence and excess lie the dark secrets of Western greed and complicity, the insatiable taste for chocolate, oil, diamonds and gold that has encouraged dictators to rule with an iron hand, siphoning off their share of the action into mansions in Paris and banks in Zurich and keeping their people in dire poverty.

Early Indians: The Story of Our Ancestors and Where We Came From


Tony Joseph - 2018
    But, as it turns out, 'time immemorial' may not have been all that long ago. To tell us the story of our ancestry, journalist Tony Joseph goes 65,000 years into the past—when a band of modern humans, or Homo sapiens, first made their way from Africa into the Indian subcontinent. Citing recent DNA evidence, he traces the subsequent large migrations of modern humans into India—of agriculturalists from Iran between 7000 and 3000 BCE and pastoralists from the Central Asian Steppe between 2000 and 1000 BCE, among others. As Joseph unravels our history using the results of genetic and other research, he takes head-on some of the most controversial and uncomfortable questions of Indian history: Who were the Harappans? Did the 'Aryans' really migrate to India? Are North Indians genetically different from South Indians? And are the various castes genetically distinct groups? This book relies heavily on path-breaking DNA research of recent years. But it also presents earlier archaeological and linguistic evidence—all in an entertaining and highly readable manner. A hugely significant book, Early Indians authoritatively and bravely puts to rest several ugly debates on the ancestry of modern Indians. It not only shows us how the modern Indian population came to be composed as it is, but also reveals an undeniable and important truth about who we are: we are all migrants. And we are all mixed.

American Prison: A Reporter's Undercover Journey into the Business of Punishment


Shane Bauer - 2018
    An award-winning investigative journalist, he used his real name; In American Prison, Bauer weaves a much deeper reckoning with his experiences together with a thoroughly researched history of for-profit prisons in America from their origins in the decades before the Civil War. For, as he soon realized, we can't understand the cruelty of our current system and its place in the larger story of mass incarceration without understanding where it came from. Private prisons became entrenched in the South as part of a systemic effort to keep the African-American labor force in place in the aftermath of slavery, and the echoes of these shameful origins are with us still.

Russian Roulette: The Inside Story of Putin's War on America and the Election of Donald Trump


Michael Isikoff - 2018
    election and help Donald Trump gain the presidency.Russian Roulette is a story of political skullduggery unprecedented in American history. It weaves together tales of international intrigue, cyber espionage, and superpower rivalry. After U.S.-Russia relations soured, as Vladimir Putin moved to reassert Russian strength on the global stage, Moscow trained its best hackers and trolls on U.S. political targets and exploited WikiLeaks to disseminate information that could affect the 2016 election.The Russians were wildly successful and the great break-in of 2016 was no "third-rate burglary." It was far more sophisticated and sinister — a brazen act of political espionage designed to interfere with American democracy. At the end of the day, Trump, the candidate who pursued business deals in Russia, won. And millions of Americans were left wondering, what the hell happened? This story of high-tech spying and multiple political feuds is told against the backdrop of Trump's strange relationship with Putin and the curious ties between members of his inner circle — including Paul Manafort and Michael Flynn — and Russia.Russian Roulette chronicles and explores this bizarre scandal, explains the stakes, and answers one of the biggest questions in American politics: How and why did a foreign government infiltrate the country's political process and gain influence in Washington?

Three Days in Moscow: Ronald Reagan and the Fall of the Soviet Empire


Bret Baier - 2018
    Now in his highly anticipated new history, Three Days in Moscow, Baier explores the dramatic endgame of America’s long struggle with the Soviet Union and President Ronald Reagan’s central role in shaping the world we live in today.On May 31, 1988, Reagan stood on Russian soil and addressed a packed audience at Moscow State University, delivering a remarkable—yet now largely forgotten—speech that capped his first visit to the Soviet capital. This fourth in a series of summits between Reagan and Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev, was a dramatic coda to their tireless efforts to reduce the nuclear threat. More than that, Reagan viewed it as “a grand historical moment”: an opportunity to light a path for the Soviet people—toward freedom, human rights, and a future he told them they could embrace if they chose. It was the first time an American president had given an address about human rights on Russian soil. Reagan had once called the Soviet Union an “evil empire.” Now, saying that depiction was from “another time,” he beckoned the Soviets to join him in a new vision of the future. The importance of Reagan’s Moscow speech was largely overlooked at the time, but the new world he spoke of was fast approaching; the following year, in November 1989, the Berlin Wall fell and the Soviet Union began to disintegrate, leaving the United States the sole superpower on the world stage.Today, the end of the Cold War is perhaps the defining historical moment of the past half century, and must be understood if we are to make sense of America’s current place in the world, amid the re-emergence of US-Russian tensions during Vladimir Putin’s tenure. Using Reagan’s three days in Moscow to tell the larger story of the president’s critical and often misunderstood role in orchestrating a successful, peaceful ending to the Cold War, Baier illuminates the character of one of our nation’s most venerated leaders—and reveals the unique qualities that allowed him to succeed in forming an alliance for peace with the Soviet Union, when his predecessors had fallen short.

Chernobyl: The History of a Nuclear Catastrophe


Serhii Plokhy - 2018
    Dozens died of radiation poisoning, fallout contaminated half the continent, and thousands fell ill.In Chernobyl, Serhii Plokhy draws on new sources to tell the dramatic stories of the firefighters, scientists, and soldiers who heroically extinguished the nuclear inferno. He lays bare the flaws of the Soviet nuclear industry, tracing the disaster to the authoritarian character of the Communist party rule, the regime's control over scientific information, and its emphasis on economic development over all else.Today, the risk of another Chernobyl looms in the mismanagement of nuclear power in the developing world. A moving and definitive account, Chernobyl is also an urgent call to action.

Spitfire: A Very British Love Story


John Nichol - 2018
    ‘A rich and heartfelt tribute to this most iconic British machine.  By focussing on the men (and women) who flew the Spitfire, John Nichol has brought a fresh and powerful perspective to the story.  And by recording their bravery, humility, camaraderie, tragedy and sheer joy in flying their beloved Spits he has done them - and us - a valuable service’ Rowland White, bestselling author of Vulcan 606 'A superb and compelling book. Brilliantly written with some incredible and astonishing stories; it is gripping, moving, emotional and sometimes humorous – just perfect' Squadron Leader (Ret) Clive Rowley, former Officer Commanding RAF Battle Of Britain Memorial Flight   'A superb journey through the remarkable tale of that British icon, the Spitfire. Brilliantly and engagingly written, this is the most readable story of the aircraft and her pilots that I have ever had the pleasure to read in a period spanning some forty-odd years of personal study and research. Truly stunning.' Andy Saunders, Editor, Britain at War Magazine. 'This is not just a tale of heroism in the skies . . . This is a tale of victory . . . Magnificently told in lip-biting detail’ – Daily Mail (The Red Line)   The perfect complementary narrative to the bestselling memoir by Geoffrey Wellum – First Light.   Achtung , Spitfire! The iconic Spitfire found fame during the darkest early days of World War II. But what happened to the redoubtable fighter and its crews beyond the Battle of Britain, and why is it still so loved today? In late spring 1940, Nazi Germany’s domination of Europe had looked unstoppable. With the British Isles in easy reach since the fall of France, Adolf Hitler was convinced that Great Britain would be defeated in the skies over her southern coast, confident his Messerschmitts and Heinkels would outclass anything the Royal Air Force threw at them. What Hitler hadn’t planned for was the agility and resilience of a marvel of British engineering that would quickly pass into legend – the Spitfire. Bestselling author John Nichol’s passionate portrait of this magnificent fighter aircraft, its many innovations and updates, and the people who flew and loved them, carries the reader beyond the dogfights over Kent and Sussex. Spanning the full global reach of the Spitfire’s deployment during WWII, from Malta to North Africa and the Far East, then over the D-Day beaches, it is always accessible, effortlessly entertaining and full of extraordinary spirit.                                 Here are edge-of-the-seat stories and heart-stopping first-hand accounts of battling pilots forced to bail out over occupied territory; of sacrifice and wartime love; of aristocratic female flyers, and of the mechanics who braved the Nazi onslaught to keep the aircraft in battle-ready condition.

The Perfect Weapon: How the Cyber Arms Race Set the World Afire


David E. Sanger - 2018
    The Perfect Weapon is the riveting story of how, in less than a decade, cyberwarfare displaced terrorism and nuclear attacks as the greatest threat to American national security. Cheap to acquire, difficult to defend against, and designed to shield their user's identities so as to complicate retaliation, these weapons are capable of an unprecedented range of offensive tactics; they can take us just short of war, allowing for everything from disruption to theft to the cause of widespread damage of essential infrastructure systems. And the vulnerability of those systems has created a related but equally urgent conflict: American companies like Apple and Cisco must claim allegiance to no government in the name of selling secure products around the globe yet the US intelligence agencies want the help of such companies in defending against future cyberattacks. Reported and written with unprecedented access by New York Times chief Washington correspondent and bestselling author David Sanger, The Perfect Weapon takes readers inside war rooms and boardrooms, into the secret cyberdens of American and Chinese military, to give the deep-background story of the increasingly pitched battle between nations, their governments, their cyberwarriors, and their corporations.

In the Face of Fear: The Authentic Holocaust Survival Story of the Weisz Family


Thomas Weisz - 2018
    Tomorrow they will be taken to the ghetto, the last step before deportation to Auschwitz and certain death. But one man defies the Nazis and seeks to deny them these victims. Alone, unarmed and crippled, Joseph Cseh, a smooth talking (black marketer), struggles to rescue the woman he loves and her entire family. Surrounded on all sides he stands up to the fascists, playing a life and death con game. But can he bluff the Gestapo and defeat an army? This is the amazing true story of the Weisz family and the man who took it upon himself to try and do some good in a world turned evil.

How Democracies Die: What History Reveals About Our Future


Steven Levitsky - 2018
    Democracy no longer ends with a bang--in a revolution or military coup--but with a whimper: the slow, steady weakening of critical institutions, such as the judiciary and the press, and the gradual erosion of long-standing political norms. The good news is that there are several exit ramps on the road to authoritarianism. The bad news is that, by electing Trump, we have already passed the first one.Drawing on decades of research and a wide range of historical and global examples, from 1930s Europe to contemporary Hungary, Turkey, and Venezuela, to the American South during Jim Crow, Levitsky and Ziblatt show how democracies die--and how ours can be saved.

Buttons in my soup: Holocaust survivor story (True WW2 Surviving Memoir)


Moshe Ziv - 2018
    This is without a doubt one of the most fascinating testimonies of that dark period, thanks to the author's ability not only to recount what he endured, but also to reflect on his feelings back then, in the camps. Existential difficulties preceded the deportation of Hungarian Jewry, yet nothing could have been worse than the extermination camps.Moshe was 15 years old when he arrived at Auschwitz-Birkenau, yet he passed the selection and survived. The Nazis sent the occupants of his barrack to their death, while he managed to slip out of their hands, and survived. He was sent to Buchenwald, worked in hard labor in the quarry, and survived. By joining a new work group, on the spur of the moment, he arrived at a labor camp in Magdeburg Germany, where he also managed to survive. There were 2,800 prisoners with him at Magdeburg, 400 remained when the Nazis dismantled the camp and returned its inhabitants to Buchenwald. Only 200 completed the journey, and when liberation day came only 40 survived, including the 17-year-old author.

Witness: Lessons from Elie Wiesel’s Classroom


Ariel Burger - 2018
    But when asked, Wiesel always said, “I am a teacher first.” In fact, he taught at Boston University for nearly four decades, and with this book, Ariel Burger—devoted protégé, apprentice, and friend—takes us into the sacred space of Wiesel’s classroom. There, Wiesel challenged his students to explore moral complexity and to resist the dangerous lure of absolutes. In bringing together never-before-recounted moments between Wiesel and his students, Witness serves as a moral education in and of itself—a primer on educating against indifference, on the urgency of memory and individual responsibility, and on the role of literature, music, and art in making the world a more compassionate place. Burger first met Wiesel at age fifteen; he became his student in his twenties, and his teaching assistant in his thirties. In this profoundly thought-provoking and inspiring book, Burger gives us a front-row seat to Wiesel’s remarkable exchanges in and out of the classroom, and chronicles the intimate conversations between these two men over the decades as Burger sought counsel on matters of intellect, spirituality, and faith, while navigating his own personal journey from boyhood to manhood, from student and assistant, to rabbi and, in time, teacher. “Listening to a witness makes you a witness,” said Wiesel. Ariel Burger’s book is an invitation to every reader to become Wiesel’s student, and witness.

Supernova in the East I-


Dan Carlin - 2018
    It also involves a Japanese society that’s been called one of the most distinctive on Earth. If there were a Japanese version of Captain America, this would be his origin story.

The Fighters: Americans in Combat in Afghanistan and Iraq


C.J. Chivers - 2018
    Chivers’s unvarnished account of modern combat, told through the eyes of the fighters who have waged America’s longest wars.More than 2.7 million Americans have served in Afghanistan or Iraq since September 11, 2001. C.J. Chivers reported from both wars from their beginnings. The Fighters vividly conveys the physical and emotional experience of war as lived by six combatants: a fighter pilot, a corpsman, a scout helicopter pilot, a grunt, an infantry officer, and a Special Forces sergeant. Chivers captures their courage, commitment, sense of purpose, and ultimately their suffering, frustration, and moral confusion as new enemies arise and invasions give way to counterinsurgency duties for which American forces were often not prepared. The Fighters is a tour de force, a portrait of modern warfare that parts from slogans to do for American troops what Stephen Ambrose did for the G.I.s of World War II and Michael Herr for the grunts in Vietnam. Told with the empathy and understanding of an author who is himself an infantry veteran, The Fighters presents the long arc of two wars.

Bygone Badass Broads: 52 Forgotten Women Who Changed the World


Mackenzi Lee - 2018
    With tales of heroism and cunning, in-depth bios and witty storytelling, Bygone Badass Broads gives new life to these historic female pioneers. Starting in the fifth century BC and continuing to the present, the book takes a closer look at bold and inspiring women who dared to step outside the traditional gender roles of their time. Coupled with riveting illustrations and Lee’s humorous and conversational storytelling style, this book is an outright celebration of the badass women who paved the way for the rest of us.

21 Lessons for the 21st Century


Yuval Noah Harari - 2018
    In Homo Deus, he looked to our future. Now, one of the most innovative thinkers on the planet turns to the present to make sense of today's most pressing issues.How do computers and robots change the meaning of being human? How do we deal with the epidemic of fake news? Are nations and religions still relevant? What should we teach our children?Yuval Noah Harari's 21 Lessons for the 21st Century is a probing and visionary investigation into today's most urgent issues as we move into the uncharted territory of the future. As technology advances faster than our understanding of it, hacking becomes a tactic of war, and the world feels more polarized than ever, Harari addresses the challenge of navigating life in the face of constant and disorienting change and raises the important questions we need to ask ourselves in order to survive.In twenty-one accessible chapters that are both provocative and profound, Harari builds on the ideas explored in his previous books, untangling political, technological, social, and existential issues and offering advice on how to prepare for a very different future from the world we now live in: How can we retain freedom of choice when Big Data is watching us? What will the future workforce look like, and how should we ready ourselves for it? How should we deal with the threat of terrorism? Why is liberal democracy in crisis?Harari's unique ability to make sense of where we have come from and where we are going has captured the imaginations of millions of readers. Here he invites us to consider values, meaning, and personal engagement in a world full of noise and uncertainty. When we are deluged with irrelevant information, clarity is power. Presenting complex contemporary challenges clearly and accessibly, 21 Lessons for the 21st Century is essential reading.

Political Tribes: Group Instinct and the Fate of Nations


Amy Chua - 2018
    We need to belong to groups. In many parts of the world, the group identities that matter most - the ones that people will kill and die for - are ethnic, religious, sectarian, or clan-based. But because America tends to see the world in terms of nation-states engaged in great ideological battles - Capitalism vs. Communism, Democracy vs. Authoritarianism, the "Free World" vs. the "Axis of Evil" - we are often spectacularly blind to the power of tribal politics. Time and again this blindness has undermined American foreign policy.In the Vietnam War, viewing the conflict through Cold War blinders, we never saw that most of Vietnam's "capitalists" were members of the hated Chinese minority. Every pro-free-market move we made helped turn the Vietnamese people against us. In Iraq, we were stunningly dismissive of the hatred between that country's Sunnis and Shias. If we want to get our foreign policy right - so as to not be perpetually caught off guard and fighting unwinnable wars - the United States has to come to grips with political tribalism abroad.Just as Washington's foreign policy establishment has been blind to the power of tribal politics outside the country, so too have American political elites been oblivious to the group identities that matter most to ordinary Americans - and that are tearing the United States apart. As the stunning rise of Donald Trump laid bare, identity politics have seized both the American left and right in an especially dangerous, racially inflected way. In America today, every group feels threatened: whites and blacks, Latinos and Asians, men and women, liberals and conservatives, and so on. There is a pervasive sense of collective persecution and discrimination. On the left, this has given rise to increasingly radical and exclusionary rhetoric of privilege and cultural appropriation. On the right, it has fueled a disturbing rise in xenophobia and white nationalism.In characteristically persuasive style, Amy Chua argues that America must rediscover a national identity that transcends our political tribes. Enough false slogans of unity, which are just another form of divisiveness. It is time for a more difficult unity that acknowledges the reality of group differences and fights the deep inequities that divide us.

Betty Ford: First Lady, Women's Advocate, Survivor, Trailblazer


Lisa McCubbin - 2018
    Kennedy and Me.Betty Ford: First Lady, Women’s Advocate, Survivor, Trailblazer is the inspiring story of an ordinary Midwestern girl thrust onto the world stage and into the White House under extraordinary circumstances. Setting a precedent as First Lady, Betty Ford refused to be silenced by her critics as she publicly championed equal rights for women, and spoke out about issues that had previously been taboo—breast cancer, depression, abortion, and sexuality. Privately, there were signs something was wrong. After a painful intervention by her family, she admitted to an addiction to alcohol and prescription drugs. Her courageous decision to speak out publicly sparked a national dialogue, and in 1982, she co-founded the Betty Ford Center, which revolutionized treatment for alcoholism and inspired the modern concept of recovery.Lisa McCubbin also brings to light Gerald and Betty Ford’s sweeping love story: from Michigan to the White House, until their dying days, their relationship was that of a man and woman utterly devoted to one another other—a relationship built on trust, respect, and an unquantifiable chemistry.Based on intimate in-depth interviews with all four of her children, Susan Ford Bales, Michael Ford, Jack Ford, and Steven Ford, as well as family friends, and colleagues, Betty Ford: First Lady, Women’s Advocate, Survivor, Trailblazer is a deeply personal, empathic portrait of an outspoken First Lady, who was first and foremost a devoted wife and mother. With poignant details and rare insight, McCubbin reveals a fiercely independent woman who had a lively sense of humor, unwavering faith, and an indomitable spirit—the true story behind one of the most admired and influential women of our time.

High-Risers: Cabrini-Green and the Fate of American Public Housing


Ben Austen - 2018
    Anthony Lukas, High-Risers braids personal narratives, city politics, and national history to tell the timely and epic story of Chicago’s Cabrini-Green, America’s most iconic public housing project.Built in the 1940s atop an infamous Italian slum, Cabrini-Green grew to twenty-three towers and a population of 20,000—all of it packed onto just seventy acres a few blocks from Chicago’s ritzy Gold Coast. Cabrini-Green became synonymous with crime, squalor, and the failure of government. For the many who lived there, it was also a much-needed resource—it was home. By 2011, every high-rise had been razed, the island of black poverty engulfed by the white affluence around it, the families dispersed.In this novelistic and eye-opening narrative, Ben Austen tells the story of America’s public housing experiment and the changing fortunes of American cities. It is an account told movingly though the lives of residents who struggled to make a home for their families as powerful forces converged to accelerate the housing complex’s demise. Beautifully written, rich in detail, and full of moving portraits, High-Risers is a sweeping exploration of race, class, popular culture, and politics in modern America that brilliantly considers what went wrong in our nation’s effort to provide affordable housing to the poor—and what we can learn from those mistakes.

Imperial Twilight: The Opium War and the End of China's Last Golden Age


Stephen R. Platt - 2018
    But internal problems of corruption, popular unrest, and dwindling finances had weakened China far more than was commonly understood, and the war would help set in motion the eventual fall of the Qing dynasty--which, in turn, would lead to the rise of nationalism and communism in the twentieth century. As one of the most potent turning points in the country's modern history, the Opium War has since come to stand for everything that today's China seeks to put behind it.In this dramatic, epic story, award-winning historian Stephen Platt sheds new light on the early attempts by Western traders and missionaries to "open" China--traveling mostly in secret beyond Canton, the single port where they were allowed--even as China's imperial rulers were struggling to manage their country's decline and Confucian scholars grappled with how to use foreign trade to China's advantage. The book paints an enduring portrait of an immensely profitable--and mostly peaceful--meeting of civilizations at Canton over the long term that was destined to be shattered by one of the most shockingly unjust wars in the annals of imperial history. Brimming with a fascinating cast of British, Chinese, and American individuals, this riveting narrative of relations between China and the West has important implications for today's uncertain and ever-changing political climate.

The Death of Democracy: Hitler's Rise to Power and the Downfall of the Weimar Republic


Benjamin Carter Hett - 2018
    He would never have come to power if Germany’s leading politicians had not responded to a spate of populist insurgencies by trying to co-opt him, a strategy that backed them into a corner from which the only way out was to bring the Nazis in. Hett lays bare the misguided confidence of conservative politicians who believed that Hitler and his followers would willingly support them, not recognizing that their efforts to use the Nazis actually played into Hitler’s hands. They had willingly given him the tools to turn Germany into a vicious dictatorship.Benjamin Carter Hett is a leading scholar of twentieth-century Germany and a gifted storyteller whose portraits of these feckless politicians show how fragile democracy can be when those in power do not respect it. He offers a powerful lesson for today, when democracy once again finds itself embattled and the siren song of strongmen sounds ever louder.

South From Corregidor


John H. Morrill - 2018
    Quail was in the Philippines sweeping mines to provide access for American shipping to South Harbor, Corregidor. Damaged by enemy bombs and guns during the Japanese invasion of the island John Morrill and his fellow men decided to make the decision to scuttle their ship rather than allow it to be captured. This led them to begin one of the most daring escapes of the Second World War. Lieutenant Commander John Morrill and sixteen fellow sailors took a thirty-six-foot diesel boat nearly two thousand miles through Japanese controlled waters. They moved mostly at night, with a homemade sextant, some salvaged charts, with little fresh water and food, but even despite these difficulties they eventually made their way to Darwin, Australia. “nonfiction account of his breathtaking escape in 1942 from the Japanese at Corregidor, the beleaguered U.S. fortress commanding Manila Bay in the Philippines.” The Washington Post “The enthralling story of how a handful of Navy men escaped from falling Corregidor southward to Australia in a leaky 36-foot landing boat.” Foreign Affairs “A matter of fact, modest and inherently dramatic account of an isolated incident in the pacific war” Kirkus Reviews John Morrill was a Lieutenant Commander in the U.S. Navy. In June 1939 he became commanding officer of the minesweeper U.S.S. Quail. Pete Martin was a journalist and author. Their book South from Corregidor was first published in 1943. Pete Martin passed away in 1980 and John Morrill passed away in 1997.

Presidents of War: The Epic Story, from 1807 to Modern Times


Michael R. Beschloss - 2018
    Ten years in the research and writing, Presidents of War is a fresh, magisterial, intimate look at a procession of American leaders as they took the nation into conflict and mobilized their country for victory. It brings us into the room as they make the most difficult decisions that face any President, at times sending hundreds of thousands of American men and women to their deaths. From James Madison and the War of 1812 to recent times, we see them struggling with Congress, the courts, the press, their own advisors and antiwar protesters; seeking comfort from their spouses, families and friends; and dropping to their knees in prayer. We come to understand how these Presidents were able to withstand the pressures of war—both physically and emotionally—or were broken by them. Beschloss’s interviews with surviving participants in the drama and his discoveries in original letters, diaries, once-classified national security documents, and other sources help him to tell this story in a way it has not been told before. Presidents of War combines the sense of being there with the overarching context of two centuries of American history. This important book shows how far we have traveled from the time of our Founders, who tried to constrain presidential power, to our modern day, when a single leader has the potential to launch nuclear weapons that can destroy much of the human race.

Directorate S: The C.I.A. and America's Secret Wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan


Steve Coll - 2018
    While the US was trying to quell extremists, a highly secretive and compartmentalized wing of I.S.I., known as "Directorate S," was covertly training, arming, and seeking to legitimize the Taliban, in order to enlarge Pakistan's sphere of influence. After 9/11, when fifty-nine countries, led by the U. S., deployed troops or provided aid to Afghanistan in an effort to flush out the Taliban and Al Qaeda, the U.S. was set on an invisible slow-motion collision course with Pakistan.Today we know that the war in Afghanistan would falter badly because of military hubris at the highest levels of the Pentagon, the drain on resources and provocation in the Muslim world caused by the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, and corruption. But more than anything, as Coll makes painfully clear, the war in Afghanistan was doomed because of the failure of the United States to apprehend the motivations and intentions of I.S.I.'s "Directorate S". This was a swirling and shadowy struggle of historic proportions, which endured over a decade and across both the Bush and Obama administrations, involving multiple secret intelligence agencies, a litany of incongruous strategies and tactics, and dozens of players, including some of the most prominent military and political figures. A sprawling American tragedy, the war was an open clash of arms but also a covert melee of ideas, secrets, and subterranean violence. Coll excavates this grand battle, which took place away from the gaze of the American public. With unsurpassed expertise, original research, and attention to detail, he brings to life a narrative at once vast and intricate, local and global, propulsive and painstaking. This is the definitive explanation of how America came to be so badly ensnared in an elaborate, factional, and seemingly interminable conflict in South Asia. Nothing less than a forensic examination of the personal and political forces that shape world history, Directorate S is a complete masterpiece of both investigative and narrative journalism.

The Battle For Paradise


Naomi Klein - 2018
    . . Klein exposes the 'battle of utopias' that is currently unfolding in storm-ravaged Puerto Rico - a battle that pits a pitilessly neoliberal plutocratic 'paradise' against a community movement with Puerto Rican sovereignty at its center." - Junot Diaz"We are in a fight for our lives. Hurricanes Irma and Maria unmasked the colonialism we face in Puerto Rico, and the inequality it fosters, creating a fierce humanitarian crisis. Now we must find a path forward to equality and sustainability, a path driven by communities, not investors. And this book explains, with careful and unbiased reporting, only the efforts of our community activists can answer the paramount question: What type of society do we want to become and who is Puerto Rico for?" - Yulin Cruz, Mayor of San Juan, Puerto RicoIn the rubble of Hurricane Maria, Puerto Ricans and ultrarich "Puertopians" are locked in a pitched struggle over how to remake the island. In this vital and startling investigation, bestselling author and activist Naomi Klein uncovers how the forces of shock politics and disaster capitalism seek to undermine the nation's radical, resilient vision for a "just recovery."All royalties from the sale of this book in English and Spanish go directly to JunteGente, a gathering of Puerto Rican organizations resisting disaster capitalism and advancing a fair and healthy recovery for their island. For more information, visit http://juntegente.org/.Naomi Klein is an award-winning journalist, syndicated columnist, documentary filmmaker and author of the international bestsellers No Logo: Taking Aim at the Brand Bullies, The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism, This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate, and No Is Not Enough."Fearless necessary reporting . . . Klein exposes the 'battle of utopias' that is currently unfolding in storm-ravaged Puerto Rico-a battle that pits a pitilessly neoliberal plutocratic 'paradise' against a community movement with Puerto Rican sovereignty at its center."-Junot Diaz"We are in a fight for our lives. Hurricanes Irma and Maria unmasked the colonialism we face in Puerto Rico, and the inequality it fosters, creating a fierce humanitarian crisis. Now we must find a path forward to equality and sustainability, a path driven by communities, not investors. And this book explains, with careful and unbiased reporting, only the efforts of our community activists can answer the paramount question: What type of society do we want to become and who is Puerto Rico for?"-Carmen Yulin Cruz, Mayor of San Juan, Puerto Rico"A gripping and timely account of classic 'shock doctrine' being perpetrated in Puerto Rico. Naomi Klein chronicles the extraordinary grassroots resistance by the Puerto Rican people against neoliberal privatization and Wall Street greed in the aftermath of the island's financial meltdown, of hurricane devastation, and of Washington's imposition of an outside control board over the most important U.S. colony." -Juan Gonzalez, co-host of Democracy Now! and author of Harvest of Empire: A History of Latinos in America. "Like so many of my generation, I've been a reader of Naomi Klein's since the late 1990s, always finding something to learn from her rigorous reporting and thoughtful analysis. There's no one better to tell the story of Hurricane Maria and its global significance than Naomi. In the face of speculation, exploitation, and climate crisis, this book calls on us to recognize Puerto Rico's struggle for democracy, justice, and human life itself, as our own." -Ada Colau, Mayor of Barcelona, Spain"

War on Peace: The End of Diplomacy and the Decline of American Influence


Ronan Farrow - 2018
    Offices across the State Department sit empty, while abroad the military-industrial complex has assumed the work once undertaken by peacemakers. We’re becoming a nation that shoots first and asks questions later.In an astonishing account ranging from Washington, D.C., to Afghanistan, Pakistan, and North Korea in the years since 9/11, acclaimed journalist and former diplomat Ronan Farrow illuminates one of the most consequential and poorly understood changes in American history. His firsthand experience in the State Department affords a personal look at some of the last standard-bearers of traditional statecraft, including Richard Holbrooke, who made peace in Bosnia and died while trying to do so in Afghanistan. Farrow’s narrative is richly informed by interviews with whistleblowers, policymakers, and a warlord, from Henry Kissinger to Hillary Clinton. Diplomacy, Farrow argues, has declined after decades of political cowardice, short-sightedness, and outright malice—but it may just offer America a way out of a world at war.

Holocaust Memoirs of a Bergen-Belsen Survivor & Classmate of Anne Frank


Nanette Blitz Konig - 2018
     In these compelling Holocaust memoirs, Nanette Blitz Konig relates her amazing story of survival during the Second World War when she, together with her family and millions of other Jews were imprisoned by the Nazi's with a minimum chance of survival. Nanette (b. 1929) was a class mate of Anne Frank in the Jewish Lyceum of Amsterdam. They met again in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp shortly before Anne died. During these emotional encounters, Anne Frank revealed how the Frank family hid in the annex, their subsequent deportation, her experience in Auschwitz and her plans for her diary after the war. ˃˃˃ This honest WW2 story describes the hourly battle for survival under the brutal conditions in the camp imposed by the Nazi regime. It continues with her struggle to recover from the effects of starvation and tuberculosis after the war, and how she was gradually able to restart her life, marry and build a family. Nanette Blitz Konig, mother of three, grandmother of six and great grand mother of four, lives in São Paulo, Brazil. Her Holocaust memoirs were written to speak in the name of those millions who were silenced forever. Scroll up and grab a copy today.

Of Monkey Bridges and Bánh Mì Sandwiches: from Sài Gòn to Texas


Oanh Ngo Usadi - 2018
    Part travelogue, part family drama, this quietly affecting immigrant memoir will make you laugh, cry, and hungry all at the same time. Through each traumatic transition, Oanh Ngo Usadi retains her optimism as she and her family adapt to new environments and cultures in their journey to become Americans.

I Am Harriet Tubman


Brad Meltzer - 2018
    Each book tells the story of one of America's icons in a lively, conversational way that works well for the youngest nonfiction readers and that always includes the hero's childhood influences. At the back are an excellent timeline and photos. This volume focuses on Harriet Tubman's brave heroism as part of the movement to abolish slavery. As one of the key players in the Underground Railroad, she helped enslaved African Americans escape and find freedom.

No Turning Back: Life, Loss, and Hope in Wartime Syria


Rania Abouzeid - 2018
    Hailed by critics, No Turning Back masterfully “[weaves] together the lives of protestors, victims, and remorseless killers at the center of this century’s most appalling human tragedy” (Robert F. Worth). Based on more than five years of fearless, clandestine reporting, No Turning Back brings readers deep inside Bashar al-Assad’s prisons, to covert meetings where foreign states and organizations manipulated the rebels, and to the highest levels of Islamic militancy and the formation of the Islamic State. An utterly engrossing human drama full of vivid, indelible characters, No Turning Back shows how hope can flourish even amid one of the twenty-first century’s greatest humanitarian disasters.Winner of the Overseas Press Club of America's Cornelius Ryan Award for the best non-fiction book on international affairs and a finalist for the Lionel Gelber Prize.

How Fascism Works: The Politics of Us and Them


Jason Stanley - 2018
    A Yale philosopher identifies the ten pillars of fascist politics, and charts their horrifying rise and deep history.As the child of refugees of World War II Europe and a renowned philosopher and scholar of propaganda, Jason Stanley has a deep understanding of how democratic societies can be vulnerable to fascism: Nations don't have to be fascist to suffer from fascist politics. In fact, fascism's roots have been present in the United States for more than a century. Alarmed by the pervasive rise of fascist tactics both at home and around the globe, Stanley focuses here on the structures that unite them, laying out and analyzing the ten pillars of fascist politics--the language and beliefs that separate people into an "us" and a "them." He knits together reflections on history, philosophy, sociology, and critical race theory with stories from contemporary Hungary, Poland, India, Myanmar, and the United States, among other nations. He makes clear the immense danger of underestimating the cumulative power of these tactics, which include exploiting a mythic version of a nation's past; propaganda that twists the language of democratic ideals against themselves; anti-intellectualism directed against universities and experts; law and order politics predicated on the assumption that members of minority groups are criminals; and fierce attacks on labor groups and welfare. These mechanisms all build on one another, creating and reinforcing divisions and shaping a society vulnerable to the appeals of authoritarian leadership.By uncovering disturbing patterns that are as prevalent today as ever, Stanley reveals that the stuff of politics—charged by rhetoric and myth—can quickly become policy and reality. Only by recognizing fascists politics, he argues, may we resist its most harmful effects and return to democratic ideals.

How the Internet Happened: From Netscape to the iPhone


Brian McCullough - 2018
    In How the Internet Happened, he chronicles the whole fascinating story for the first time, beginning in a dusty Illinois basement in 1993, when a group of college kids set off a once-in-an-epoch revolution with what would become the first “dotcom.”Depicting the lives of now-famous innovators like Netscape’s Marc Andreessen and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, McCullough also reveals surprising quirks and unknown tales as he tracks both the technology and the culture around the internet’s rise. Cinematic in detail and unprecedented in scope, the result both enlightens and informs as it draws back the curtain on the new rhythm of disruption and innovation the internet fostered, and helps to redefine an era that changed every part of our lives.

Churchill: Walking with Destiny


Andrew Roberts - 2018
    But how did young Winston become Churchill? What gave him the strength to take on the superior force of Nazi Germany when bombs rained on London and so many others had caved? In The Storm of War, Andrew Roberts gave us a tantalizing glimpse of Churchill the war leader. Now, at last, we have the full and definitive biography, as personally revealing as it is compulsively readable, about one of the great leaders of all time.Roberts was granted exclusive access to extensive new material: the transcripts of war cabinet meetings - the equivalent of the Nixon and JFK tapes - diaries, letters, unpublished memoirs, and detailed notes taken by the king after their bi-weekly meetings. Having read every one of Churchill's letters, including deeply personal ones that Churchill's son Randolph had previously chosen to withhold, and spoken to more than one hundred people who knew or worked with him, Roberts identifies the hidden forces fueling Churchill's drive. Churchill put his faith in the British Empire and fought as hard to preserve it as he did to defend London. Having started his career in India and South Africa, he understood better than most idealists how hard it can be to pacify reluctant people far from home.We think of Churchill as a hero of the age of mechanized warfare, but Roberts's masterwork reveals that he has as much to teach us about the challenges we face today and the fundamental values of courage, tenacity, leadership, and moral conviction.

The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs: A New History of a Lost World


Stephen Brusatte - 2018
    Sixty-six million years ago, the Earth’s most fearsome creatures vanished. Today they remain one of our planet’s great mysteries. Now The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs reveals their extraordinary, 200-million-year-long story as never before.In this captivating narrative (enlivened with more than seventy original illustrations and photographs), Steve Brusatte, a young American paleontologist who has emerged as one of the foremost stars of the field—naming fifteen new species and leading groundbreaking scientific studies and fieldwork—masterfully tells the complete, surprising, and new history of the dinosaurs, drawing on cutting-edge science to dramatically bring to life their lost world and illuminate their enigmatic origins, spectacular flourishing, astonishing diversity, cataclysmic extinction, and startling living legacy. Captivating and revelatory, The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs is a book for the ages.Brusatte traces the evolution of dinosaurs from their inauspicious start as small shadow dwellers—themselves the beneficiaries of a mass extinction caused by volcanic eruptions at the beginning of the Triassic period—into the dominant array of species every wide-eyed child memorizes today, T. rex, Triceratops, Brontosaurus, and more. This gifted scientist and writer re-creates the dinosaurs’ peak during the Jurassic and Cretaceous, when thousands of species thrived, and winged and feathered dinosaurs, the prehistoric ancestors of modern birds, emerged. The story continues to the end of the Cretaceous period, when a giant asteroid or comet struck the planet and nearly every dinosaur species (but not all) died out, in the most extraordinary extinction event in earth’s history, one full of lessons for today as we confront a “sixth extinction.”Brusatte also recalls compelling stories from his globe-trotting expeditions during one of the most exciting eras in dinosaur research—which he calls “a new golden age of discovery”—and offers thrilling accounts of some of the remarkable findings he and his colleagues have made, including primitive human-sized tyrannosaurs; monstrous carnivores even larger than T. rex; and paradigm-shifting feathered raptors from China.An electrifying scientific history that unearths the dinosaurs’ epic saga, The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs will be a definitive and treasured account for decades to come.

America: The Farewell Tour


Chris Hedges - 2018
    The opioid crisis; the retreat into gambling to cope with economic distress; the pornification of culture; the rise of magical thinking; the celebration of sadism, hate, and plagues of suicides are the physical manifestations of a society that is being ravaged by corporate pillage and a failed democracy. As our society unravels, we also face global upheaval caused by catastrophic climate change. All these ills presage a frightening reconfiguration of the nation and the planet. Donald Trump rode this disenchantment to power. In his “forceful and direct” (Publishers Weekly) America: The Farewell Tour, Hedges argues that neither political party, now captured by corporate power, addresses the systemic problem. Until our corporate coup d’état is reversed these diseases will grow and ravage the country. “With a trademark blend of…sharply observed detail, Hedges writes a requiem for the American dream” (Kirkus Reviews) and seeks to jolt us out of our complacency while there is still time.

The "Down Goes Brown" History of the NHL: The World's Most Beautiful Sport, the World's Most Ridiculous League


Sean McIndoe - 2018
    One moment, you're in awe of the speed, skill and intensity that define the sport, shaking your head as a player makes an impossible play, or shatters a longstanding record, or sobs into his first Stanley Cup. The next, everyone's wearing earmuffs, Mr. Rogers has shown up, and guys in yellow raincoats are officiating playoff games while everyone tries to figure out where the league president went. That's just life in the NHL, a league that often can't seem to get out of its own way. No matter how long you've been a hockey fan, you know that sinking feeling that maybe, just maybe, some of the people in charge here don't actually know what they're doing. And at some point, you've probably wondered: Has it always been this way?     The short answer is yes. As for the longer answer, well, that's this book.    In this fun, irreverent and fact-filled history, Sean McIndoe relates the flip side to the National Hockey League's storied past. His obsessively detailed memory combines with his keen sense for the absurdities that make you shake your head at the league and yet fanatically love the game, allowing you to laugh even when your team is the butt of the joke (and as a life-long Leafs fan, McIndoe takes the brunt of some of his own best zingers). The "Down Goes Brown" History of the NHL is the weird and wonderful league's story told as only Sean McIndoe can.

Something Wonderful: Rodgers and Hammerstein's Broadway Revolution


Todd S. Purdum - 2018
    Even before they joined forces, Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II had written dozens of Broadway shows, but together they pioneered a new art form: the serious musical play. Their songs and dance numbers served to advance the drama and reveal character, a sharp break from the past and the template on which all future musicals would be built.Though different in personality and often emotionally distant from each other, Rodgers and Hammerstein presented an unbroken front to the world and forged much more than a songwriting team; their partnership was also one of the most profitable and powerful entertainment businesses of their era. They were cultural powerhouses whose work came to define postwar America on stage, screen, television, and radio. But they also had their failures and flops, and more than once they feared they had lost their touch.Todd S. Purdum’s portrait of these two men, their creative process, and their groundbreaking innovations will captivate lovers of musical theater, lovers of the classic American songbook, and young lovers wherever they are. He shows that what Rodgers and Hammerstein wrought was truly something wonderful.

Pride: The Story of Harvey Milk and the Rainbow Flag


Rob Sanders - 2018
    Award-winning author Rob Sanders’s stirring text, and acclaimed illustrator Steven Salerno’s evocative images, combine to tell this remarkable—and undertold—story. A story of love, hope, equality, and pride.

The Heritage: Black Athletes, a Divided America, and the Politics of Patriotism


Howard Bryant - 2018
    The ballfield was an escape from the world's worst problems, top athletes were treated like heroes, and cheering for the home team was as easy and innocent as hot dogs and beer. "No news on the sports page" was a governing principle in newsrooms.That was then.Today, sports arenas have been transformed into staging grounds for American patriotism and the hero worship of law enforcement. Teams wear camouflage jerseys to honor those who serve; police officers throw out first pitches; soldiers surprise their families with homecomings at halftime. Sports and politics are decidedly entwined.But as journalist Howard Bryant reveals, this has always been more complicated for black athletes, who from the start, were committing a political act simply by being on the field. In fact, among all black employees in twentieth-century America, perhaps no other group had more outsized influence and power than ballplayers. The immense social responsibilities that came with the role is part of the black athletic heritage. It is a heritage built by the influence of the superstardom and radical politics of Paul Robeson, Jackie Robinson, Muhammad Ali, Tommie Smith, and John Carlos through the 1960s; undermined by apolitical, corporate-friendly "transcenders of race," O. J. Simpson, Michael Jordan, and Tiger Woods in the following decades; and reclaimed today by the likes of LeBron James, Colin Kaepernick, and Carmelo Anthony.The Heritage is the story of the rise, fall, and fervent return of the athlete-activist. Through deep research and interviews with some of sports' best-known stars--including Kaepernick, David Ortiz, Charles Barkley, and Chris Webber--as well as members of law enforcement and the military, Bryant details the collision of post-9/11 sports in America and the politically engaged post-Ferguson black athlete.

Spygate: The Attempted Sabotage of Donald J. Trump


Dan Bongino - 2018
     Everyone has an opinion about whether or not Donald Trump colluded with the Russians to defeat Hillary Clinton in 2016. The number of actors involved is staggering, the events are complicated, and it’s hard to know who or what to believe. Spygate bypasses opinion and brings facts together to expose the greatest political scandal in American history. Former Secret Service agent and NYPD police officer Dan Bongino joins forces with journalist D.C. McAllister to clear away fake news and show you how Trump’s political opponents, both foreign and domestic, tried to sabotage his campaign and delegitimize his presidency. By following the names and connections of significant actors, the authors reveal: • Why the Obama administration sent a spy connected to the Deep State into the Trump campaign • How Russians were connected to the opposition research firm hired by the Clinton campaign to find dirt on Trump • How the FBI failed to examine DNC computers after they were hacked, relying instead on the findings of a private company connected to the DNC and the Obama administraton • Why British intelligence played a role in building the collusion narrative • What role Ukrainians played in legitimizing the perception that Trump was conspiring with the Russians • How foreign players in the two events that kickstarted the Trump-Russia collusion investigation were connected to the Clinton Foundation, and • What motivated the major actors who sought to frame the Trump campaign and secure a win for Hillary Clinton

Bring the War Home: The White Power Movement and Paramilitary America


Kathleen Belew - 2018
    Its soldiers are not lone wolves but highly organized cadres motivated by a coherent and deeply troubling worldview made up of white supremacy, virulent anticommunism, and apocalyptic faith. In Bring the War Home, Kathleen Belew gives us the history of a movement that consolidated in the 1970s and 1980s around a potent sense of betrayal in the Vietnam War and made tragic headlines in Waco and Ruby Ridge and with the Oklahoma City bombing and is resurgent under President Trump.Returning to an America ripped apart by a war they felt they were not allowed to win, a small group of veterans and active-duty military personnel and civilian supporters concluded that waging war on their own country was justified. They unified people from a variety of militant groups, including Klansmen, neo-Nazis, skinheads, radical tax protestors, and white separatists to form a new movement of loosely affiliated independent cells to avoid detection. The white power movement operated with discipline and clarity, undertaking assassinations, armed robbery, counterfeiting, and weapons trafficking. Its command structure gave women a prominent place and put them in charge of brokering alliances and birthing future recruits.Belew's disturbing and timely history reminds us that war cannot be contained in time and space: grievances intensify and violence becomes a logical course of action. Based on years of deep immersion in previously classified FBI files and on extensive interviews, Bring the War Home tells the story of American paramilitarism and the birth of the alt-right.

Arnhem: The Battle for the Bridges, 1944


Antony Beevor - 2018
    He went out on to his balcony above the flat landscape of southern Holland to watch the air armada of Dakotas and gliders carrying the British 1st Airborne and the American 101st and 82nd Airborne divisions. He gazed up in envy at this massive demonstration of paratroop power.Operation Market Garden, the plan to end the war by capturing the bridges leading to the Lower Rhine and beyond, was a bold concept: the Americans thought it unusually bold for Field Marshal Montgomery. But could it ever have worked? The cost of failure was horrendous, above all for the Dutch, who risked everything to help. German reprisals were pitiless and cruel, and lasted until the end of the war.The British fascination with heroic failure has clouded the story of Arnhem in myths. Antony Beevor, using often overlooked sources from Dutch, British, American, Polish and German archives, has reconstructed the terrible reality of the fighting, which General Student himself called 'The Last German Victory'. Yet this book, written in Beevor's inimitable and gripping narrative style, is about much more than a single, dramatic battle. It looks into the very heart of war.

American Dialogue: The Founders and Us


Joseph J. Ellis - 2018
    Ellis focuses the conversation on the often-asked question "What would the Founding Fathers think?" He examines four of our most seminal historical figures through the prism of particular topics, using the perspective of the present to shed light on their views and, in turn, to make clear how their now centuries-old ideas illuminate the disturbing impasse of today's political conflicts. He discusses Jefferson and the issue of racism, Adams and the specter of economic inequality, Washington and American imperialism, Madison and the doctrine of original intent. Through these juxtapositions--and in his hallmark dramatic and compelling narrative voice--Ellis illuminates the obstacles and pitfalls paralyzing contemporary discussions of these fundamentally important issues.8 Hours and 30 Minutes

Boots on the Ground: America's War in Vietnam


Elizabeth Partridge - 2018
    Johnson sent troops into Vietnam. 57,939 American soldiers would be killed and seventeen years would pass before this controversial chapter of American history concluded with the dedication of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in 1982.The history of this era is complex; the cultural impact extraordinary. But it's the personal stories of eight people--six American soldiers, one American nurse, and one Vietnamese refugee--that form the heartbeat of Boots on the Ground. From dense jungles and terrifying firefights to chaotic medic rescues and evacuations, each individual's story reveals a different facet of the war and moves readers forward in time. Alternating with these chapters are profiles of key American leaders and events, reminding readers what was happening at home, including Kent State, Woodstock, and Watergate.

What Was the Holocaust?


Gail Herman - 2018
    The Holocaust was a genocide on a scale never before seen, with as many as twelve million people killed in Nazi death camps--six million of them Jews. Gail Herman traces the rise of Hitler and the Nazis, whose rabid anti-Semitism led first to humiliating anti-Jewish laws, then to ghettos all over Eastern Europe, and ultimately to the Final Solution. She presents just enough information for an elementary-school audience in a readable, well-researched book that covers one of the most horrible times in history.This entry in the New York Times best-selling series contains eighty carefully chosen illustrations and sixteen pages of black and white photographs suitable for young readers.

Alpha One Sixteen: A Combat Infantryman's Year in Vietnam


Peter Clark - 2018
    Clark was assigned to the Alpha Company. Clark gives a visceral, vivid and immediate account of life in the platoon, as he progresses from green recruit to seasoned soldier over the course of a year in the complexities of the Vietnamese conflict.Clark gradually learns the techniques developed by US troops to cope with the daily horrors they encountered, the technical skills needed to fight and survive, and how to deal with the awful reality of civilian casualties. Fighting aside, it rained almost every day and insect bites constantly plagued the soldiers as they moved through dense jungle, muddy rice paddy and sandy roads. From the food they ate (largely canned meatballs, beans and potatoes) to the inventive ways they managed to shower, every aspect of the platoon's lives is explored in this revealing book. The troops even managed to fit in some R&R whilst off-duty in the bars of Tokyo.Alpha One Sixteen follows Clark as he discovers how to cope with the vagaries of the enemy and the daily confusion the troops faced in distinguishing combatants from civilians. The Viet Cong were a largely unseen enemy who fought a guerrilla war, setting traps and landmines everywhere. Clark's vigilance develops as he gets used to 'living in mortal terror, ' which a brush with death in a particularly terrifying fire fight does nothing to dispel. As he continues his journey, he chronicles those less fortunate; the heavy toll being taken all round him is powerfully described at the end of each chapter.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg: A Life


Jane Sherron De Hart - 2018
    At the heart of her story and abiding beliefs--her Jewish background. Tikkun olam, the Hebrew injunction to "repair the world," with its profound meaning for a young girl who grew up during the Holocaust and World War II. We see the influence of her mother, Celia Amster Bader, whose intellect inspired her daughter's feminism, insisting that Ruth become independent, as she witnessed her mother coping with terminal cervical cancer (Celia died the day before Ruth, at seventeen, graduated from high school). From Ruth's days as a baton twirler at Brooklyn's James Madison High School, to Cornell University, Harvard and Columbia Law Schools (first in her class), to being a law professor at Rutgers University (one of the few women in the field and fighting pay discrimination), hiding her second pregnancy so as not to risk losing her job; founding the Women's Rights Law Reporter, writing the brief for the first case that persuaded the Supreme Court to strike down a sex-discriminatory state law, then at Columbia (the law school's first tenured female professor); becoming the director of the women's rights project of the ACLU, persuading the Supreme Court in a series of decisions to ban laws that denied women full citizenship status with men. Her years on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, deciding cases the way she played golf, as she, left-handed, played with right-handed clubs--aiming left, swinging right, hitting down the middle. Her years on the Supreme Court . . . A pioneering life and legal career whose profound mark on American jurisprudence, on American society, on our American character and spirit, will reverberate deep into the twenty-first century and beyond.

Queen Victoria: Daughter, Wife, Mother, Widow


Lucy Worsley - 2018
    She found a way of being a respected sovereign in an age when people were deeply uncomfortable with having a woman on the throne.As well as a queen, Victoria was a daughter, a wife, a mother and a widow, and at each of these steps along life's journey she was expected to conform to what society demanded of a woman. On the face of it, she was deeply conservative. But if you look at her actions rather than her words, she was in fact tearing up the rule book for how to be female. By looking at the detail of twenty-four days of her life, through diaries, letters and more, we can see Victoria up close and personal. Examining her face-to-face, as she lived hour to hour, allows us to see, and to celebrate, the contradictions at the heart of British history's most recognisable woman.

Bringing Columbia Home: The Untold Story of a Lost Space Shuttle and Her Crew


Michael D. Leinbach - 2018
    And it would be Mike Leinbach who would be a key leader in the search and recovery effort as NASA, FEMA, the FBI, the US Forest Service, and dozens more federal, state, and local agencies combed an area of rural east Texas the size of Rhode Island for every piece of the shuttle and her crew they could find. Assisted by hundreds of volunteers, it would become the largest ground search operation in US history. For the first time, here is the definitive inside story of the Columbia disaster and recovery and the inspiring message it ultimately holds. In the aftermath of tragedy, people and communities came together to help bring home the remains of the crew and nearly 40 percent of shuttle, an effort that was instrumental in piecing together what happened so the shuttle program could return to flight and complete the International Space Station. Bringing Columbia Home shares the deeply personal stories that emerged as NASA employees looked for lost colleagues and searchers overcame immense physical, logistical, and emotional challenges and worked together to accomplish the impossible. Featuring a foreword and epilogue by astronauts Robert Crippen and Eileen Collins, this is an incredible narrative about best of humanity in the darkest of times and about how a failure at the pinnacle of human achievement became a story of cooperation and hope.

The Plot to Destroy Democracy: How Putin and His Spies Are Undermining America and Dismantling the West


Malcolm W. Nance - 2018
    In the greatest intelligence operation in the history of the world, Donald Trump was made President of the United States with the assistance of a foreign power. The Plot to Destroy Democracy reveals the dramatic story of how blackmail, espionage, assassination, and psychological warfare were used by Vladimir Putin and his spy agencies to steal the 2016 U.S. election—and attempted to bring about the fall of NATO, the European Union, and western democracy. The book shows how Russia and its fifth column allies tried to flip the cornerstones of democracy in order to re-engineer the world political order that has kept most of the world free since 1945. Career U.S. Intelligence officer Malcolm Nance examines how Russia has used cyber warfare, political propaganda, and manipulation of our perception of reality—and will do so again—to weaponize American news, traditional media, social media, and the workings of the internet to attack and break apart democratic institutions from within, and what we can expect to come should we fail to stop their next attack.Nance uses top secret Russian-sourced political and hybrid warfare strategy documents to demonstrate the master plan to undermine American institutions that has been in effect from the Cold War to the present day. Based on original research and countless interviews with espionage experts, Nance examines how Putin's recent hacking accomplished a crucial first step for destabilizing the West for Russia, and why Putin is just the man to do it. Nance exposes how Russia has supported the campaigns of right-wing extremists throughout both the U.S. and Europe to leverage an axis of autocracy, and how Putin's agencies have worked since 2010 to bring fringe candidate Donald Trump into elections.The Plot To Destroy Democracy puts a professional spy lens on Putin's plot and unravels it play-by-play. In the end, he provides a better understanding of why Putin's efforts are a serious threat to our national security and global alliances—in much more than one election—and a blistering indictment of Putin's puppet, President Donald J. Trump.

Nine Lives: My time as the West's top spy inside al-Qaeda


Aimen Dean - 2018
    Through a life undercover spanning some of the most lethal conflicts of the past fifty years, from Bosnia to Syria, we discover what it’s like to be at the heart of the global jihad, and what it will take to stop it once and for all.

Jumping from Helicopters: A Vietnam Memoir


John Stillman - 2018
    Quickly falling in love with the rush of being a paratrooper with the 101st Airborne, he believed his service would honorably help the South Vietnamese protect their country from the ruthless communist North and their Southern allies. But once in the volatile jungles of Vietnam, the merciless hunting and killing of the enemy, constant threat of landmines and booby traps, ambushes that could easily backfire, and deaths of his comrades made Stillman question how any man--if he survived--could ever return to his life as he'd known it.Written with John's daughter, Lori Stillman, Jumping from Helicopters is a vivid and moving memoir that unearths fifty years of repressed memories with stunning accuracy and raw details. Interwoven with the author's own journal entries and including thirty-five photographs, it is a story that will open your eyes to what these brave young men witnessed and endured, and why they returned facing a lifetime of often unspoken unrest, persistent nightmares, and forced normalcy, haunting even the strongest of soldiers.

A Raid Over Berlin


John Martin - 2018
    It must have been at this moment that I thought I was going to die because I became remarkably calm.’ Trapped inside a burning Lancaster bomber, 20,000 feet above Berlin, airman John Martin consigned himself to his fate and turned his thoughts to his fiancée back home. In a miraculous turn of events, however, the twenty-one year old was thrown clear of his disintegrating aeroplane and found himself parachuting into the heart of Nazi Germany. He was soon to be captured and began his period as a prisoner of war.This engaging and compulsively readable true-life account of a Second World War airman, who cheated death in the sky, only to face interrogation and the prospect of being shot by the Gestapo, before having to endure months of hardship as a prisoner of war.

Library on Wheels: Mary Lemist Titcomb and America's First Bookmobile


Sharlee Glenn - 2018
    As librarian at the Washington County Free Library in Maryland, Titcomb was concerned that the library was not reaching all the people it could. She was determined that everyone should have access to the library—not just adults and those who lived in town. Realizing its limitations and inability to reach the county’s 25,000 rural residents, including farmers and their families, Titcomb set about to change the library system forever with the introduction of book-deposit stations throughout the country, a children’s room in the library, and her most revolutionary idea of all—a horse-drawn Book Wagon. Soon book wagons were appearing in other parts of the country, and by 1922, the book wagon idea had received widespread support. The bookmobile was born!

Judgment Of The Nephilim


Ryan Pitterson - 2018
    A war to rule Heaven and Earth that dates all the way back to the Garden of Eden. In the Garden, God told Satan that one day a woman would give birth to a male child – the Messiah, who would redeem humanity and destroy him. In order to prevent this child’s birth, Satan instigated a fallen angelic rebellion. A group of angels broke off their allegiance to the Lord and entered the earthly realm to corrupt the human gene pool and prevent the Savior’s birth. These fallen angels (“sons of God”) took human wives (“daughters of men”) and had children with them. Their offspring – hybrid half-human, half-angelic beings, were superhuman giants known as the Nephilim. With human DNA corrupted and humanity hanging in the balance, The Lord unleashed a punishment against the Nephilim so severe, only Noah and his family would survive. New Discoveries From Scripture Regarding The Nephilim And Their Fallen Angelic Ancestors This is a comprehensive Biblical study of the Nephilim. Using a literal reading of Scripture, we are given a complete picture of the war between two bloodlines – the lineage of the Messiah and the seed of Satan. Exploring passages rarely connected to the giants, you will discover new revelations regarding the Nephilim including: Why did Pharaoh order all male children to be thrown in the river and Herod execute all male children in Bethlehem? The Biblical location of the heavenly portal used by angels to enter the earthly realm. How were angels able to reproduce with human women? Who was the first human woman to marry the fallen Sons of God and conceive a child? Who was the fallen angel who ruled the preflood world? The specific timing and description of God’s punishment of the rebel Sons of God and the Nephilim. How did the Nephilim return after the Flood and are there still Nephilim among us? All these questions will be answered and many, many more. Citing dozens of ancient Christian and Jewish writings from the first century AD through the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, Judgment Of The Nephilim provides a thorough side-by-side comparison of the Bible and the extra-Biblical texts on this topic. It also details the connection between Genesis 6, Plato's account of Atlantis and ancient mythology. This book is a must-read for those who want to learn more on the topic of the Nephilim giants. This is the story of God’s enduring love for all people and His promise to bring redemption through the prophesied Savior. This is the Judgment of the Nephilim.

Rush: Revolution, Madness, and the Visionary Doctor Who Became a Founding Father


Stephen Fried - 2018
    Among them was a thirty-year-old doctor named Benjamin Rush. One of the youngest signatories, he was also, among stiff competition, one of the most visionary.A brilliant physician and writer, Rush was known as the "American Hippocrates" for pioneering national healthcare and revolutionizing treatment of mental illness and addiction. Yet medicine is only part of his legacy. Dr. Rush was both a progressive thorn in the side of the American political establishment--a vocal opponent of slavery, capital punishment, and prejudice by race, religion or gender--and close friends with its most prominent leaders. He was the prot�g� of Franklin, the editor of Common Sense, Washington's surgeon general, and the broker of peace between Adams and Jefferson, yet his stubborn convictions more than once threatened his career and his place in the narrative of America's founding.Drawing on a trove of previously unpublished letters and images, the voluminous correspondence between Rush and his better-known counterparts, and his candid and incisive personal writings, New York Times bestselling author and award-winning journalist Stephen Fried resurrects the most significant Founding Father we've never heard of and finally installs Dr. Rush in the pantheon of great American leaders.

Revolution Song: The Story of America's Founding in Six Remarkable Lives


Russell Shorto - 2018
    Drawing on new sources, he weaves the lives of six people into a seamless narrative that casts fresh light on the range of experience in colonial America on the cusp of revolution. While some of the protagonists—a Native American warrior, a British aristocrat, George Washington—play major roles on the field of battle, others—a woman, a slave, and a laborer—struggle no less valiantly to realize freedom for themselves.Through these lives we understand that the Revolution was, indeed, fought over the meaning of individual freedom, a philosophical idea that became a force for violent change. A powerful narrative and a brilliant defense of American values, Revolution Song makes the compelling case that the American Revolution is still being fought today and that its ideals are worth defending.

Death of a Nation: Plantation Politics and the Making of the Democratic Party


Dinesh D'Souza - 2018
    The slaveholding elite devised the plantation as a means of organizing labor and political support. It was a mini welfare state, a cradle to grave system that bred dependency and punished any urge to independence. This model impressed northern Democrats, inspiring the political machines that traded government handouts for votes from ethnic immigrant blocs.Today's Democrats have expanded to a multiracial plantation of ghettos for blacks, barrios for Latinos, and reservations for Native Americans. Whites are the only holdouts resisting full dependency, and so they are blamed for the bigotry and racial exploitation that is actually perpetrated by the left.Death of a Nation's bracing alternative vision of American history explains the Democratic Party's dark past, reinterprets the roles of figures like Van Buren, FDR and LBJ, and exposes the hidden truth that racism comes not from Trump or the conservative right but rather from Democrats and progressives on the left.

Who We Are and How We Got Here: Ancient DNA and the New Science of the Human Past


David Reich - 2018
    Now, in The New Science of the Human Past, Reich describes just how the human genome provides not only all the information that a fertilized human egg needs to develop but also contains within it the history of our species. He delineates how the Genomic Revolution and ancient DNA are transforming our understanding of our own lineage as modern humans; how genomics deconstructs the idea that there are no biologically meaningful differences among human populations (though without adherence to pernicious racist hierarchies); and how DNA studies reveal the deep history of human inequality--among different populations, between the sexes, and among individuals within a population.

Proof of Collusion: How Trump Betrayed America


Seth Abramson - 2018
    The answer might be: it was hard to see the whole picture. The stories coming in from across the globe have often seemed fantastical: clandestine meetings in foreign capitals, secret recordings in a Moscow hotel, Kremlin agents infiltrating the Trump inner circle… Seth Abramson has tracked every one of these far-flung reports, and now in, Proof of Collusion, he finally gives us a record of the unthinkable—a president compromising American foreign policy in exchange for financial gain and covert election assistance. The attorney, professor, and former criminal investigator has used his exacting legal mind and forensic acumen to compile, organize, and analyze every piece of the Trump-Russia story. His conclusion is clear: the case for collusion is staring us in the face. Drawing from American and European news outlets, he takes readers through the Trump-Russia scandal chronologically, putting the developments in context and showing how they connect. His extraordinary march through all the public evidence includes: -How Trump worked for thirty years to expand his real estate empire into Russia even as he was rescued from bankruptcy by Putin’s oligarchs, Kremlin agents, and the Russian mafia. -How Russian intelligence gathered compromising material on him over multiple trips. -How Trump recruited Russian allies and business partners while running for president. -How he surrounded himself with advisers who engaged in clandestine negotiations with Russia. -How Trump aides and family members held secret meetings with foreign agents and lied about them. By pulling every last thread of this complicated story together, Abramson argues that—even in the absence of a report from Special Counsel Mueller or a thorough Congressional investigation—the public record already confirms a quid pro quo between Trump and the Kremlin. The most extraordinary part of the case for collusion is that so much of it unfolded in plain sight.

The Soldier Who Came Back


Steve Foster - 2018
    Antony Coulthard was the privately educated son of wealthy parents with a degree in modern languages from Oxford. Fred Foster, the son of a bricklayer, had left school at 14. This mismatched young pair hatched a plan to disguise themselves and simply walk out of the camp, board a train, and head straight into the heart of Nazi Germany. This audacious plan involved 18 months of undercover work, including Antony spending 3 hours each evening teaching Fred German. They set off for the Swiss border via Germany, but when they reached the border town of Lake Constance, with Switzerland within their reach, Antony crossed over into freedom, while Fred's luck ran out. What happened to them both next is both heartbreaking and inspiring.

The Red and the Blue: The 1990s and the Birth of Political Tribalism


Steve Kornacki - 2018
    For Clinton, that meant contorting himself around the various factions of the Democratic party to win the presidency. Gingrich employed a scorched-earth strategy to upend the permanent Republican minority in the House, making him Speaker. The Clinton/Gingrich battles were bare-knuckled brawls that brought about massive policy shifts and high-stakes showdowns—their collisions had far-reaching political consequences. But the ’90s were not just about them.  Kornacki writes about Mario Cuomo’s stubborn presence around Clinton’s 1992 campaign; Hillary Clinton’s star turn during the 1998 midterms, seeding the idea for her own candidacy; Ross Perot’s wild run in 1992 that inspired him to launch the Reform Party, giving Donald Trump his first taste of electoral politics in 1999; and many others. With novelistic prose and a clear sense of history, Steve Kornacki masterfully weaves together the various elements of this rambunctious and hugely impactful era in American history, whose effects set the stage for our current political landscape.

Thirty Minutes Over Oregon: A Japanese Pilot's World War II Story


Marc Tyler Nobleman - 2018
    during WWII—the only enemy ever to do so—and comes back 20 years later to apologize. The devastating attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, drew the United States into World War II in 1941. But few are aware that several months later, the Japanese pilot Nobuo Fujita dropped bombs in the woods outside a small town in coastal Oregon. This is the story of those bombings, and what came after, when Fujita returned to Oregon twenty years later, this time to apologize.      This remarkable true story, beautifully illustrated in watercolor, is an important and moving account of reconciliation after war.

The Russian Five: A Story of Espionage, Defection, Bribery and Courage


Keith Gave - 2018
    That's when the Wings turned to Keith Gave, the newsman whose clandestine mission to Helsinki, Finland, was the first phase of a of a years-long series of secret meetings from posh hotel rooms to remote forests around Europe to orchestrate their unlawful departures from the Soviet Union.One defection created an international incident and made global headlines. Another player faked cancer, thanks to the Wings' extravagant bribes to Russian doctors, including a big American car. Another player who wasn't quite ready to leave yet felt like he was being kidnapped by an unscrupulous agent. Two others were outcast when they stood up publicly against the Soviet regime, winning their freedom to play in the NHL only after years of struggle.They are the Russian Five: Sergei Fedorov, Viacheslav Fetisov, Vladimir Konstantinov, Vyacheslav Kozlov and Igor Larionov. Their individual stories read like pulse-pounding spy novels. The story that unfolded after they were brought together in Detroit by the masterful coach Scotty Bowman is unforgettable.This story includes details never before revealed, and by the man who was there every step of the way—from the day Detroit drafted its first two Soviets in 1989 until they raised the Stanley Cup in 1997, then took it to Moscow for a victory lap around Red Square and the Kremlin.The Russian Five did more to bridge Russian and American relations than decades of diplomacy and detente between the White House and the Kremlin. This is their story.

W. E. B. Du Bois's Data Portraits: Visualizing Black America


Whitney Battle-Baptiste - 2018
    E. B. Du Bois offered a view into the lives of black Americans, conveying a literal and figurative representation of "the color line." From advances in education to the lingering effects of slavery, these prophetic infographics--beautiful in design and powerful in content--make visible a wide spectrum of black experience.W. E. B. Du Bois's Data Portraits collects the complete set of graphics in full color for the first time, making their insights and innovations available to a contemporary imagination. As Maria Popova wrote, these data portraits shaped how "Du Bois himself thought about sociology, informing the ideas with which he set the world ablaze three years later in The Souls of Black Folk."

The War Before the War: Fugitive Slaves and the Struggle for America's Soul from the Revolution to the Civil War


Andrew Delbanco - 2018
    The struggle over slavery divided not only the American nation but also the hearts and minds of individual citizens faced with the timeless problem of when to submit to unjust laws and when to resist. The War Before the War illuminates what brought us to war with ourselves and the terrible legacies of slavery that are with us still.

Stories for Boys Who Dare to be Different


Ben Brooks - 2018
    This book can change lives. This book can help to bring forth another generation of boys who dare to be different.' Benjamin ZephaniahPrince charming, dragon slayer, mischievous prankster... More often than not, these are the role-models boys encounter in the books they read at home and at school. As a boy, there is an assumption that you will conform to a stereotypical idea of masculinity.But what if you're the introvert kind? What if you prefer to pick up a book rather than a sword? What if you want to cry when you're feeling sad or angry? What if you like the idea of wearing a dress?There is an ongoing crisis with regards to young men and mental health, with unhelpful gender stereotypes contributing to this malaise. Stories for Boys Who Dare to Be Different offers a welcome alternative narrative. It is an extraordinary compilation of 100 stories of famous and not-so-famous men from the past to the present day, every single one of them a rule-breaker and innovator in his own way, and all going on to achieve amazing things. Entries include Frank Ocean, Salvador Dalí, Rimbaud, Beethoven, Barack Obama, Stormzy, Ai Weiwei and Jesse Owens - different sorts of heroes from all walks of life and from all over the world.A beautiful and transporting book packed with stories of adventure and wonderment, it will appeal to those who need the courage to reject peer pressure and go against the grain. It is the must-have book for all those boys who worry about stuff and all those parents who worry about their boys who worry about stuff. It will educate and entertain, while also encourage and inspire.

Geddy Lee's Big Beautiful Book of Bass


Geddy Lee - 2018
    For the past seven years, he's dedicated himself to studying the history of the instrument that's been so essential to his career, collecting hundreds of basses from around the globe, 250 of which are presented here in breathtaking detail with specially commissioned photography by Richard Sibbald.Representing every tone in the bass palette, every nuance of the rock and roll genre as well as blues, jazz, pop, and country, this one-of-a-kind collection features so-called "beauty queens"—pristine instruments never lifted from their cases—as well as "road warriors"—well-worn, sweat-soaked basses that proudly show their age and use. Complete with personal commentary from Geddy that showcases his knowledge both as a musician and an aficionado, this luxuriously produced volume is a revelatory look at the heavy hitters in the world of bass—Fender, Gibson/Epiphone, Rickenbacker, Höfner, Ampeg—and lesser known but influential global luthiers such as Antonio Wandr Pioli, Dan Armstrong, and Tony Zemaitis.The book also features interviews with John Paul Jones (Led Zeppelin); Adam Clayton (U2); Robert Trujillo (Metallica); Jeff Tweedy (Wilco); Bill Wyman (The Rolling Stones); Les Claypool (Primus); Bob Daisley (Rainbow); Fender expert and owner of the legendary Gibson Explorer, Bass Ken Collins; veteran guitar tech for The Who, Alan Rogan; plus comments from many other great players across three decades of rock and roll.Written in Geddy's singular voice, this book reveals the stories, songs, and history behind the instruments of his inimitable collection. Complete with an index and a graphically designed timeline of the history of the bass, as well as an up-close look at Geddy's basses on Rush's final R40 Tour, his stage and recording gear from 1968 to 2017, and forewords by author and respected vintage expert, Terry Foster, and Rush band member, Alex Lifeson, Geddy Lee's Big Beautiful Book of Bass is the ultimate compendium for the consummate collector, musician, Rush fan, and anyone who loves the bass guitar.

NITRO: The Incredible Rise and Inevitable Collapse of Ted Turner's WCW


Guy Evans - 2018
    But in a departure from the family-friendly programming produced by the last industry boom - the 1980s wave, which made household names of Hulk Hogan, 'Rowdy' Roddy Piper and Andre the Giant - the new era of wrestling combined stunning athleticism with a raunchy sex appeal, engrossing story lines and novel production techniques that reflected a changing society and its shifting values. Once again, wrestling was a ubiquitous phenomenon - only this time, it seemed as though the fad would never end. With both WCW and WWF expanding into other forms of entertainment - movies, video games, music and the like - the potential for growth appeared to be limitless.But with uncertainty surrounding its corporate future, and increasingly uninspired programming eroding its audience, WCW stood on the verge of collapse. Three years into a five-year plan devised by its charismatic leader - a former Blue Ribbon Foods salesman named Eric Bischoff - the company whose unexpected ascension initiated the entire boom was operating on borrowed time.For by the end of the five-year plan, WCW ceased to exist.But NITRO is a story about much more than WCW and the Monday Night Wars. It is a story of an era, a time in which the media and cultural landscape precipitated - and later supported - pro wrestling's mainstream popularity. It is a story of how a company made in the image of an intuitively brilliant risk-taker betrayed its original promise. It is a story of how a handful of men, each struggling with their own limitations, facilitated a public obsession that changed television forever.And so, with the inside knowledge of a journalist, the perspective of a historian, and the passion of a fan, author Guy Evans provides a fresh look at an unfortunate inevitability - the downfall of World Championship Wrestling. Bolstered by exclusive interviews with over 120 former TBS and WCW employees, NITRO is the definitive picture of the last wrestling boom.Featuring exclusive interviews and comments from:Eric Bischoff, fmr. President of World Championship Wrestling;Harvey Schiller, fmr. President of Turner Sports;Jamie Kellner, fmr. CEO of Turner Broadcasting System;Bill Burke, fmr. President of TBS network;Joe Uva, fmr. President of Turner Entertainment Sales and Marketing; Scot Safon, fmr. SVP of Marketing for TNT network;Kevin Nash, WWE Hall of Famer and 5-time WCW world champion; Diamond Dallas Page, WWE Hall of Famer and 3-time WCW world champion;Vince Russo, fmr. WCW writer;Marcus 'Buff' Bagwell, fmr. WCW superstar and 5-time world tag team champion;Kevin Sullivan, fmr. WCW superstar and head booker;Hugh Morrus, fmr. WCW superstar;Neal Pruitt, fmr. WCW Feature Producer and voice of the nWo;David Crockett, fmr. WCW Vice President of Production;Dick Cheatham, fmr. Group Controller for TBS;Alan Sharp, fmr. WCW Director of Public Relations;Mike Weber, fmr. WCW Director of Marketing;Rob Garner, fmr.

How to Invent Everything: A Survival Guide for the Stranded Time Traveler


Ryan North - 2018
    . . and then broke? How would you survive? Could you improve on humanity's original timeline? And how hard would it be to domesticate a giant wombat? With this book as your guide, you'll survive--and thrive--in any period in Earth's history. Bestselling author and time-travel enthusiast Ryan North shows you how to invent all the modern conveniences we take for granted--from first principles. This illustrated manual contains all the science, engineering, art, philosophy, facts, and figures required for even the most clueless time traveler to build a civilization from the ground up. Deeply researched, irreverent, and significantly more fun than being eaten by a saber-toothed tiger, How to Invent Everything will make you smarter, more competent, and completely prepared to become the most important and influential person ever.

The Gambler: How Penniless Dropout Kirk Kerkorian Became the Greatest Deal Maker in Capitalist History


William C. Rempel - 2018
    He never put his name on a building, but when he died he owned almost every major hotel and casino in Las Vegas. He envisioned and fostered a new industry —the leisure business. Three times he built the biggest resort hotel in the world. Three times he bought and sold the fabled MGM Studios, forever changing the way Hollywood does business.His early life began as far as possible from a place on the Forbes List of Billionaires when he and his Armenian immigrant family lost their farm to foreclosure. He was four. They arrived in Los Angeles penniless and moved often, staying one step ahead of more evictions. Young Kirk learned English on the streets of L.A., made pennies hawking newspapers and dropped out after eighth grade. How he went on to become one of the richest and most generous men in America—his net worth as much as $20 billion—is a story largely unknown to the world. That’s because what Kerkorian valued most was his privacy. His very private life turned to tabloid fodder late in life when a former professional tennis player falsely claimed that the eighty-five-year-old billionaire fathered her child.In this engrossing biography, investigative reporter William C. Rempel digs deep into Kerkorian’s long-guarded history to introduce a man of contradictions—a poorly educated genius for deal-making, an extraordinarily shy man who made the boldest of business ventures, a careful and calculating investor who was willing to bet everything on a single roll of the dice.Unlike others of his status and importance, Kerkorian made few public appearances and strenuously avoided personal publicity. His friends and associates, however, were some of the biggest names in business, entertainment, and sports—among them Howard Hughes, Ted Turner, Steve Wynn, Michael Milken, Cary Grant, Frank Sinatra, Barbra Streisand, Elvis Presley, Mike Tyson, and Andre Agassi.When he died in 2015 two years shy of the century mark, Kerkorian had outlived many of his closest friends and associates. Now, Rempel meticulously pieces together revealing fragments of Kerkorian’s life, collected from diverse sources—war records, business archives, court documents, news clippings and the recollections and recorded memories of longtime pals and relatives. In The Gambler, Rempel illuminates this unknown, self-made man and his inspiring legacy as never before.

Tyrant: Shakespeare on Politics


Stephen Greenblatt - 2018
    Tyrant shows that Shakespeare’s work remains vitally relevant today, not least in its probing of the unquenchable, narcissistic appetites of demagogues and the self-destructive willingness of collaborators who indulge their appetites.

Write to Me: Letters from Japanese American Children to the Librarian They Left Behind


Cynthia Grady - 2018
    Before they are moved, Breed asks the children to write her letters and gives them books to take with them. Through the three years of their internment, the children correspond with Miss Breed, sharing their stories, providing feedback on books, and creating a record of their experiences. Using excerpts from children's letters held at the Japanese American National Museum, author Cynthia Grady presents a difficult subject with honesty and hope." A beautiful picture book for sharing and discussing with older children as well as the primary audience" -- Booklist STARRED REVIEW "A touching tribute to a woman who deserves recognition" -- Kirkus Reviews"[An] affecting introduction to a distressing chapter in U.S. history and a brave librarian who inspired hope" -- Publisher's Weekly

Courage in a White Coat


Mary Schwaner - 2018
    A true wartime drama based on the experience of Dorothy Joy Kinney Chambers M.D. and her family. This sweeping biographical novel brings to life the dramatic experience of a valiant woman who, armed only with the white coat of her profession, found the courage to live her life on the razor’s edge and survived it. It’s a captivating story of service and sacrifice, of love and the searing emotions that gripped this missionary doctor throughout her imperiled course.“A lovely story of an extraordinary woman! The use of contemporary sources adds authenticity to an ordeal that could be overwhelming in its grimness were it not described so vividly and poetically.” —Dorey Schmidt, Ph.D.Dorothy Kinney had found herself in remote India in 1928, a medical missionary charged with building up a hospital for the women and children of Assam. The fledgling doctor began her practice in Gauhati, where her surgeries were performed by the light of a kerosene lamp in an open-air clinic with no electricity, no running water, and no sewer system. She left it ten years later a fully functioning modern hospital, with running water, electricity, and the complete devotion of the people of Assam. It was there she fell in love. Pregnant with their second child, Dorothy, her missionary husband Fred Chambers, and their daughter Carol Joy, set out on a voyage that would take them to their new missionary post in Iloilo, on the Philippine island of Panay. One day later War was declared in Europe. She could not know that by the time her unborn baby turned eighteen months old her little family would be swept into a Japanese internment camp. With four thousand other prisoners of war she struggled to feed her little family in the prison at Santo Tomas, a place where hundreds died and most starved. Had General MacArthur’s bold rescue not liberated them, the entire camp would have been lost. Many remember Dorothy Chambers in her white coat of courage, doctoring the children of the camp, never knowing that her little family would come within just twenty-four hours of execution. This is her story.

The Poisoned City: Flint's Water and the American Urban Tragedy


Anna Clark - 2018
    Through a series of disastrous decisions, the state government had switched the city’s water to a source that corroded Flint’s aging lead pipes. Complaints about the foul-smelling water were dismissed: the residents of Flint—a largely poor African American city of about 100,000 people—were not seen as credible, even in matters of their own lives.It took 18 months of activism and a band of dogged outsiders to force the state to admit that the water was poisonous. But this was only after 12 people died and Flint's children suffered irreparable harm. The long battle for accountability and a humane response to this man-made disaster have only just begun.In the first full-length account of this epic failure, The Poisoned City recounts the gripping story of Flint’s poisoned water through the people who caused it, suffered from it, and exposed it. It is a chronicle of one town, but could also be about any American city, all made precarious by the neglect of infrastructure and the erosion of democratic decision-making. Cities like Flint are set up to fail—and for the people who live and work in them, the consequences may be mortal.A 2019 Library of Michigan Notable Books