Galveston: A History of the Island


Gary Cartwright - 1991
    First settled by the Karankawa Indians, long suspected of cannibalism, it was where the stranded Cabeza de Vaca came ashore in the 16th century. Pirate Jean Lafitte used it as a hideout in the early 1800s and both General Sam Houston and General James Long (with his wife, Jane, the “Mother of Texas”) stayed on its shores. More modern notable names on the island include Robert Kleberg and the Moody, Sealy and Kempner families who dominated commerce and society well into the twentieth century. Captured by both sides during the Civil War and the scene of a devastating sea battle, the city flourished during Reconstruction and became a leading port, an exporter of grain and cotton, a terminal for two major railroads, and site of fabulous Victorian buildings—homes, hotels, the Grand Opera House, the Galveston Pavilion (first building in Texas to have electric lights). It was, writes Cartwright, “the largest, bawdiest, and most important city between New Orleans and San Francisco.”This country's worst natural disaster—the Galveston hurricane of 1900—left the city in shambles, with one sixth of its population dead. But Galveston recovered. During Prohibition rum-running and bootlegging flourished; after the repeal, a variety of shady activities earned the city the nickname “The Free State of Galveston.”In recent years Galveston has focused on civic reform and restoration of its valuable architectural and cultural heritage. Over 500 buildings are listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and an annual "Dickens on the Strand" festival brings thousands of tourists to the island city each December. Yet Galveston still witnesses colorful incidents and tells stories of descendants of the ruling families, as Cartwright demonstrates with wry humor in a new epilogue written specially for this edition of Galveston. First published in 1991 by Atheneum.

Stella's Secret: A True Story of Holocaust Survival


Jerry L. Jennings - 2005
    But it is Stella’s voice, the amazing way that she tells her story, that makes this Holocaust story so unique, powerful and endearing. The reader listens to Stella’s stunning simplicity of expression, her use of Polish and Yiddish phrases, her humor, her all-so-frequent grammatical errors – and is charmed. It is a story that only Stella Yollin can tell, and it can only be told in Stella’s sweet and incomparable way.

How Bernie Won: Inside the Revolution That's Taking Back Our Country--and Where We Go from Here


Jeff Weaver - 2018
    He vowed not to run a negative campaign. He would focus on policies, not personalities. He would not be beholden to big money. He would actually make America great. Weaver also shows how they overcame significant challenges: A media that thrived on negative campaigns. A party that thrived on personalities. And a political system that thrived on big money. Weaver explains how Bernie beat them all and, in doing so, went from having little national name recognition when he entered to the race to being one of the most respected and well-known people in the world by its end--because, Weaver argues, Bernie won the race.He moved the discussion from the concerns of the 1% to those of the 99%. He forced the Democrats to remember their populist roots. And he showed that an outsider with real ideas and ways to get them done was more popular than someone propped up by backroom political sugar daddies.From holding bags of "Bernie buttons" and picket-stick signs, to managing thousands of campaign workers, to looking ahead to 2020, Weaver chronicles the birth of a revolution that didn't end in November 2016. It's only just begun.

The Sphinx: The Life of Gladys Deacon – Duchess of Marlborough


Hugo Vickers - 1980
     Born in Paris to American parents in 1881, she suffered a traumatic childhood after her father shot her mother's lover dead. Educated in America, she returned to Europe, where she captivated and inspired some of the greatest literary and artistic names of the Belle Époque. Marcel Proust wrote of her 'I never saw a girl with such beauty, such magnificent intelligence, such goodness and charm.' Berenson considered marrying her, Rodin and Monet befriended her, Boldini painted her and Epstein sculpted her. She inspired love from diverse Dukes and Princes, and the interest of women such as Comtesse Greffulhe and Gertrude Stein.It wasn't until she was 40 that she achieved the wish she had held since the age of 14 to marry the 9th Duke of Marlborough. Divorced from fellow American Consuelo Vanderbilt in 1921 she became his second wife. Now her circle included Lady Ottoline Morrell, Lytton Strachey and Winston Churchill, who described her as 'a strange, glittering being'. But life at Blenheim was not a success. When the Duke evicted her in 1933, the only remaining signs of Gladys were two sphinxes bearing her features on the west terraces and mysterious blue eyes in the grand portico.Gladys became a recluse. The wax injections she'd had to straighten her nose when she was 22 had by now ravaged her beauty. She was to spend her last 15 years in the psycho-geriatric ward of a mental hospital. There she was discovered by a young Hugo Vickers, who visited her for two years - intrigued and compelled to unmask the truth of her mysterious life.In his fascinating and revealing biography, drawing on Gladys's personal archive and his own research all over Europe and America, Hugo Vickers uncovers a beguiling, clever, independent woman who was the brightest star of her age. He once asked her, 'Where is Gladys Deacon?' She answered him slowly: 'Gladys Deacon? ... She never existed.'

The Big Heist: The Real Story of the Lufthansa Heist, the Mafia, and Murder


Anthony M. DeStefano - 2017
    Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Anthony DeStefano sheds new light on this legendary unsolved case using recent evidence from the 2015 trial of eighty-year-old Mafia don Vincent Asaro, who for the first time speaks out on his role in the fateful Lufthansa heist. This blistering you-are-there account takes you behind the headlines and inside the ranks of America's infamous crime families--with never-before-told stories, late-breaking news, and bombshell revelations:* New details on the heist's planning: who was involved, how they pulled it off, and what really happened to the almost $6 million in cash and jewels they stole from JFK Airport* Why suspected heist participant Vincent Asaro was found NOT GUILTY of all charges--racketeering, theft, and murder--even after being observed by the FBI for more than three decades* The shocking discovery of human bones in a Queens home belonging to a relative of Jimmy Burke, the homicidal Lucchese crime family associate who assembled the Lufthansa heist team--and masterminded the caper, then the biggest cash robbery in American history.* The eye-opening testimony of gangsters-turned-informants Salvatore Vitale and Gaspar Valenti--and what it reveals about the Mafia code of silence known as Omerta* The greed, betrayal, murder, and other frightening insights into the Bonanno and Lucchese crime families* Disturbing claims about how some members of the NYPD leaked information to mobster Jimmy Burke and may have helped hide evidence of a mob murder victim's demiseAn invaluable addition to any crime library, this is the most complete, thorough, and up-to-date account of the Lufthansa heist currently available. Pulitzer-Prize winner Anthony DeStefano draws from his years of experience reporting on the mob for New York Newsday--as well as his firsthand coverage of the Asaro indictment and attendance at the trial--to expose the all-too-human heart of organized crime in America. The Big Heist is thrilling, shocking, and impossible to put down.

The Phoenix Lights


Lynne D. Kitei - 2004
    Amber orbs in formation. It was a massive triangular array of lights moving silently but in unison as though they were connected. Many people throughout Phoenix and across the state of Arizona saw them.Optical illusion? Unlikely. Military aircraft? That's what the U.S. government wanted her to think. UFOs? That's what her evidence and subsequent years of careful research, interviews, and documentation, including photographic proof, strongly suggest. The result is The Phoenix Lights, a sober, well-researched account, both personal and scientific, of the story behind the lights, of the theories and cover-ups, the facts and denials that surrounded this event.Kitei, a well-respected Phoenix physician, had always thought of herself as grounded and practical, not one to be taken up with new age interests. But her firsthand experience and the undeniable reality of the photographs she took changed all that. She found herself a key insider in a complex mystery that has baffled humanity for centuries. What are UFOs? Who are the beings presumed to fly them? What do they want? How does it change your life to see one?The answers to these questions and more are found in The Phoenix Lights. Over the years since the sightings, she's become an ardent, tireless researcher into the truth of the Phoenix Lights and an advocate for public disclosure by the government about the subject of unexplained phenomena.

INCONVENIENCE GONE: The Short Tragic Life Of Brandon Sims


Diane Marger Moore - 2018
    Jones was employed, confident, talented, smart, assertive and involved in many community activities in Indianapolis, Indiana. In contrast, when he was last seen, Brandon Sims, an only child, was a serious, quiet, thin boy who rarely maintained eye contact with his mother. After that night, he was never seen again. His body has never been found. For years Jones lied to her friends about Brandon, telling some that he was living with his father and others that he was staying with his grandmother in another state. When Brandon's father, who had been in jail, came looking for Brandon, Michelle's shocked friends confronted her. She confessed that Brandon was dead. She repeated her story of how Brandon died to a detective, after she admitted herself to the local psych unit. Days later she checked out of the unit and refused to reveal where he had hidden Brandon's body. She was sure she had gotten away with murder. And she would have except the detective didn't believe her story. He enlisted the help of a novice prosecutor because no experienced prosecutor would take the case. In Indiana, no one had ever been convicted of murder without a body. That prosecutor has written a book that reads like a mystery novel instead of the real murder prosecution. Truth is stranger than fiction where Santeria curses, the law and politics are only a few of obstacles to justice.

Cooperstown Confidential: Heroes, Rogues, and the Inside Story of the Baseball Hall of Fame


Ze'ev Chafets - 2009
    The National Baseball H all of Fame is the holiest institution in American sports. It's not just a place to honor great athletes. It's where America's pastime announces to the world what it is and what it wants to be. It's not just a sports museum; it's a mirror of American culture. As Zev Chafets points out, it's no coincidence that the first black Hall of Famer, Jackie Robinson, was inducted in 1962, at the height of the civil rights movement. Or that the Hall is now planning a wing to honor Latino players. For a hundred years, the story of the Hall of Fame has been deeply tied up with the story of America.For the first time, this book shows the inner workings of the Hall: the politics, the players, and the people who own and preserve it. From the history of the founding Clark family to a day on the town with the newly inducted Goose Gossage, from the battle over steroids to the economics of induction and secret campaigns by aspiring players, this is a highly irreverent and highly entertaining tour through the life of an American institution. For anyone who cares about baseball, this is essential reading.

Remember The Alamo?: American History In Bite Sized Chunks


Alison Rattle - 2009
    . . from Plymouth Rock to Pearl Harbor-the history of America in bite-size chunks How did the conquistadors first stumble across America-and what were the Spanish looking for anyway? What was the Dred Scott Supreme Court case and how did it affect the Civil War? And while some of us may indeed remember the Alamo, why were we once urged to "Remember the Maine"? Here, in chronological order, is a rollicking tour of American history from Columbus's arrival through Nixon's resignation, including details about the early colonists, Manifest Destiny, the Civil War-from Southern secession to the surrender at Appomattox-and the nation's plunge into World War I and the end of U.S. isolationism. It's the perfect refresher for all the things we learned in school but may have forgotten since. In concise, highly readable chapters, Remember the Alamo!""tells the most exciting story in the world: the story of America-home of Ben Franklin and Al Capone, Abe Lincoln and Rosa Parks, a nation with a passion and a gift for making history to this day.

The Smile of the Lamb


David Grossman - 1983
    Gradually as the violent reality of the occupation that infects both the occupier and the occupied alike merges with the old man's stories, Uri, captivated by Khilmi's wisdom, tries to solve the riddles and deceits that make up his life.Originally published in Hebrew in 1983, The Smile of the Lamb is a novel of disillusionment and a piercing examination of injustice and dishonesty.

The Inheritance: Poisoned Fruit of JFK's Assassination


Christopher Fulton - 2018
    Kennedy. Through Lincoln, crucial evidence ended up in Christopher's hands—evidence that was going to be used to facilitate a new future for America. But the U.S. government's position was clear: that evidence had to be confiscated and classified, and the truth hidden away from the public. Christopher was sent to federal prison for years under a sealed warrant and indictment. The Inheritance, Christopher's personal narrative, shares insider information from his encounters with the Russian Government, President Ronald Reagan, Donald Trump, the Clinton White House, the U.S. Justice Department, the Secret Service, and the Kennedy family themselves. It reveals the true intentions of Evelyn Lincoln and her secret promise to Robert Kennedy—and Christopher's secret promise to John F. Kennedy Jr. The Inheritance explodes with history-changing information and answers the questions Americans are still asking, while pulling them through a gauntlet of some of the worst prisons this country has to offer. This book thrillingly exposes the reality of American power, and sheds light on the dark corners of current corruption within the executive branch and the justice and prison systems.

The Americanization of Edward Bok


Edward William Bok - 1920
    Bok wrote of his eventful life, "Every life has some interest and significance; mine, perhaps, a special one. Here was a little Dutch boy unceremoniously set down in America unable to make himself understood or even to know what persons were saying; his education was extremely limited, practically negligible; and yet, by curious decree of fate, he was destined to write, for a period of years, to the largest body of readers ever addressed by an American editor. . . ." Perhaps Bok's success was due to his willingness to champion progressive causes to the wide readership of The Ladies Home Journal. Bok advocated women's suffrage, saving the environment, public sex education, education on prenatal care and children's health, and pacifism. EDWARD BOK (1863-1930), American Pulitzer Prize-winning author, was born in Den Helder, The Netherlands, and came to the United States in 1869. He edited The Ladies Home Journal for 30 years. During that time, it became the first magazine to reach one million subscribers. Bok also wrote books such as Successward and America Give Me a Chance. He established a number of civic programs and awards, including the American Peace Award, the Harvard Advertising Awards, and the Philadelphia Commission.

The One Best System: A History of American Urban Education


David Tyack - 1974
    At the same time it is a narrative in which the participants themselves speak out: farm children and factory workers, frontier teachers and city superintendents, black parents and elite reformers. And it encompasses both the achievements and the failures of the system: the successful assimilation of immigrants, racism and class bias; the opportunities offered to some, the injustices perpetuated for others.David Tyack has placed his colorful, wide-ranging view of history within a broad new framework drawn from the most recent work in history, sociology, and political science. He looks at the politics and inertia, the ideologies and power struggles that formed the basis of our present educational system. Using a variety of social perspectives and methods of analysis, Tyack illuminates for all readers the change from village to urban ways of thinking and acting over the course of more than one hundred years.

Legacy of Honor: The Values and Influence of America's Eagle Scouts


Alvin Townley - 2006
    But few people realize the full extent to which Eagle Scouts have made a mark on American history. They have served as astronauts, soldiers, politicians, and businessmen, but they have also been the fathers, brothers, Scoutmasters, coaches, and other role models who have played an integral part in American life. Alvin Townley set out across the country to hear the stories of these Eagle Scouts. He spoke with individuals from every region, of every age and every background, some of whom have risen to fame as public figures while others have left a lasting impact outside of the spotlight. The Eagle Scouts who share their experiences include Bill Gates, Sr., Bill Bradley, J. W. Marriott, Jr., Ross Perot, Michael Bloomberg, Richard Lugar, Michael Dukakis, Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson, coach Chan Gailey, and Capt. Jim Lovell of Apollo 13. The book also explores the virtues of a Tuskegee Airman, a Vietnam War POW, a September 11 NYPD hero, a crew of Hurricane Katrina relief workers, and a host of others from every walk of life. During his journey, Alvin discovered stories of character, courage, and inspiration that belong not only to Eagle Scouts but to all Americans. These stories form the heart of Legacy of Honor and offer us a chance to appreciate the profound impact that Eagle Scouts have had on American history and the lasting role they will play in our country's future.

American Judaism: A History


Jonathan D. Sarna - 2004
    Tracing American Judaism from its origins in the colonial era through the present day, Jonathan Sarna explores the ways in which Judaism adapted in this new context. How did American culture—predominantly Protestant and overwhelmingly capitalist—affect Jewish religion and culture? And how did American Jews shape their own communities and faith in the new world? Jonathan Sarna, a preeminent scholar of American Judaism, tells the story of individuals struggling to remain Jewish while also becoming American. He offers a dynamic and timely history of assimilation and revitalization, of faith lost and faith regained.The first comprehensive history of American Judaism in over fifty years, this book is both a celebration of 350 years of Jewish life in America and essential reading for anyone interested in American religion and life.