Book picks similar to
American Legends: The Life of Martin Luther King Jr. by Charles River Editors
The Royal W.E. Unique Glimpses of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor
Victoria Martinez - 2011
The truth is: politics and innuendo clouded that story from the very beginning, with the result that few people really understand who The Duke and Duchess of Windsor were and what forces propelled them to their infamous fate. The Royal W.E. examines the individual and intertwined lives of Wallis and Edward – or “W.E.” as they referred to themselves – and provides readers with unique glimpses of the real people, as opposed to the sensationalized characters, that were The Duke and Duchess of Windsor. Through careful study of more than 75 years of rhetoric and scholarship, Victoria Martínez takes on the most controversial charges lodged against the couple (Was Wallis a hermaphrodite? Were the Duke and Duchess Nazi sympathizers?) with candor and evenhandedness. In analyzing the early lives of Wallis and the ex-king and their later relationships with other members of the Royal Family, her approach is to deal with all parties as human beings, whose true faults – though significant – were far less sinister than history has led us to believe. Ms. Martínez also addresses the ever-popular subject of the Duchess’s jewels, including new research on the famous 1946 Ednam Lodge jewel heist to dispel the long-held rumors that the Duke and Duchess committed jewel theft and insurance fraud. The subjects in this book are not always mainstream, well-known, or even consistent with “popular” opinion, and the objective is not to make anyone “like” the couple. Instead, readers will find refreshingly honest and accurate portrayals of W.E. that will help them understand the real people behind the myth and hype. “Prejudice and preconception are difficult things to set aside, particularly after so many years of negative stories and sordid rumor, but I think readers here will discover an alternative and convincing look at the Duke and Duchess of Windsor. I am sure they would approve and perhaps, just perhaps, the future may be a little bit kinder to Edward and Wallis because of the efforts of people like Ms. Martínez.” -Greg King, author of The Duchess of Windsor: The Uncommon Life of Wallis Simpson
The Last Gangster: My Final Confession
Charlie Richardson - 2013
Boss of the Richardson Gang and rival of the Krays, to cross him would result in brutal repercussions. Famously arrested on the day England won the World Cup in 1966, his trial heard he allegedly used iron bars, bolt cutters and electric shocks on his enemies.The Last Gangster is Richardson’s frank account of his largely untold life story, finished just before his death in September 2012. He shares the truth behind the rumours and tells of his feuds with the Krays for supremacy, undercover missions involving politicians, many lost years banged up in prison and reveals shocking secrets about royalty, phone hacking, bent coppers and the infamous black box.Straight up, shocking and downright gripping, this is the ultimate exposé on this legendary gangster and his extraordinary life.
Clara Brown: The Rags to Riches Story of a Freed Slave
Julie McDonald - 2016
After being freed at the age of 57, she begins a tireless search for her only remaining family member, her daughter Eliza Jane. What Clara accomplishes in her 28 years of freedom will simply astound you! I first wrote about Clara Brown in my book Unbreakable Dolls, Too. This single story eBook is the expanded version, with much more information and 9 photos.
One of the Family
John George Pearson - 2003
Moreover, he was as legendary a figure on the streets of New York as on the streets of London.Pearson persuaded the mysterious criminal leader to talk to him - and the result was a story even more extraordinary than that of the Kray twins. Here Pearson reveals the true story of the Englishman who became the adopted son of Joey Pagano, the head of one of the major New York crime families. Here the Englishman tells the story that no-one else dared to tell.
A Simple Life: Living off grid in a wooden cabin in France
Mary-Jane Houlton - 2021
They were already used to a simple life, having spent the last three years living on their boat in France for the summer seasons, and returning to the UK and their caravan for the winters. This tiny cabin would now be their new home for the winter months, taking them a step further along the road to self-sufficiency. They had no electricity, no kitchen, no bathroom or bedroom and the loo was a bucket in a shed, but the property came with five acres of field and woodland.From now on their lives would be simple, pared back to the basics, but they found that an off-grid lifestyle was by no means an uncomfortable experience. Responsibilities didn’t disappear but they changed, becoming less onerous. There was more time to think, and to appreciate the natural world around them. Living in such rural isolation, each day brought something new to marvel at: deer browsing in the field at dusk, salamanders on the doorstep, owls calling by night.If their own world felt increasingly magical, the outside world was far from it. They had moved to a foreign country at an historic time, living through a pandemic and adapting to the day-to-day implications of Brexit.A Simple Life doesn’t just follow Mary-Jane and Michael as they settle into their new lives, it also raises questions about what really matters to people. What makes us happy? How does it feel to have few possessions? Will life become unbearable without a flushing toilet?Thought-provoking and amusing, this book opens a window onto a different way of living. Mary-Jane shares a wealth of information and, if you have ever found yourself longing for a simpler life, this might tempt you to take those first tentative steps on the journey.
Olive Oatman: Explore The Mysterious Story of Captivity and Tragedy from Beginning to End
Brent Schulte - 2019
She is the girl with the blue tattoo.The story behind the distinctive tattoo is the stuff of legends. Some believed it was placed on her face during her captivity, following the brutal murders of her family members and the kidnapping of her and her sister. Others believe it was placed on her after her return.Rumors swelled. Her tattoo became a symbol of Native barbarianism and the triumph of American goodness, but like many stories of that era, the truth is far more complicated.This short book details the murders, her captivity, the aftermath, and her baffling return to her captors. Unravel the mystery of the woman who would become famous for all the wrong reasons and discover what her life story says about cultural identity, the power of resiliency, and what happens when fact and fiction bend and twist to muddy the waters.Read on to find out the truth!
The Radio Operator: Robert Ford's Last Stand in the Fight to Save Tibet (Kindle Single)
James McGrath Morris - 2015
Ford put together a radio communications network for a nation that had up to this time relied on messages carried by foot over the highest mountains on the globe. More important, his radio connected the secluded nation to the outside world. When in October 1950 the Communist Chinese army began its march to subjugate Tibet, Ford risked his life by staying behind to send out reports over his radio to let the world know of the attack. The Radio Operator is an overdue and gripping recounting of Ford’s valiant effort to save Tibet from Chinese domination and his subsequent capture and imprisonment.James McGrath Morris is the author of the New York Times bestselling Eye on the Struggle as well as two other acclaimed biographies. His previous Kindle Single, Revolution by Murder, was selected as one of the Best Kindle Singles of 2014. His next book, The Ambulance Drivers, will be published in 2017.Cover design by Kerry Ellis.
Surf City: The Jan and Dean Story
Dean Torrence - 2016
As a memoir The Jan and Dean Story has elements of humor, tragedy and redemption. It tells their story from the early high school friendship struck up between Jan Berry and Dean Torrence and their ascent to the dizzying heights of stardom riding the crest of the “surf” craze. The Jan and Dean Story is as much about the culture of the 1960s as it is about music. Dean has lived an incredible life and continues to promote a lifestyle and surf culture that is now universally admired and followed throughout the world.The story also recounts Jan’s tragic car accident and his ability to recover enough to continue to perform will be inspiring to many readers even those not familiar with surf music. For pop culture addicts and music buffs alike this book is indispensable. As early teen icons, Jan and Dean left an indelible mark on the music of the 60’s and the American psyche.Dean Torrence is still touring and creating music and often appears with the Beach Boys and other groups from the heyday of surf music.
Zelda Fitzgerald: The Biography
University Press Biographies - 2017
The chafing restrictions of a typical upbringing in upper-class, small town Alabama simply did not apply to Zelda, who was described as an unusual child and permitted to roam the streets with little supervision. Zelda refused to blossom into a typical 'Southern belle' on anyone's terms but her own and while still in high school enjoyed the status of a local celebrity for her shocking behavior. Everybody in town knew the name Zelda Sayre. Queen of the Montgomery social scene, Zelda had a different beau ready and willing to show her a good time for every day of the week. Before meeting F. Scott Fitzgerald, Zelda's life was a constant pursuit of pleasure. With little thought for the future and no responsibilities to speak of, Zelda committed herself fully to the mantra that accompanied her photo in her high school graduation book: "Why should all life be work, when we all can borrow. Let's think only of today, and not worry about tomorrow." But for now Zelda was still in rehearsal for her real life to begin, a life she was sure would be absolutely extraordinary. Zelda Sayre married F. Scott Fitzgerald on the 3rd of April 1920 and left sleepy Montgomery behind in order to dive headfirst into the shimmering, glamourous life of a New York socialite. With the publication of Scott's first novel, This Side of Paradise, Zelda found herself thrust into the limelight as the very epitome of the Flapper lifestyle. Concerned chiefly with fashion, wild parties and flouting social expectations, Zelda and Scott became icons of the Jazz Age, the personification of beauty and success. What Zelda and Scott shared was a romantic sense of self-importance that assured them that their life of carefree leisure and excess was the only life really worth living. Deeply in love, the Fitzgeralds were like to sides of the same coin, each reflecting the very best and worst of each other. While the world fell in love with the image of the Fitzgeralds they saw on the cover of magazines, behind the scenes the Fitzgerald's marriage could not withstand the tension of their creative arrangement. Zelda was Scott's muse and he mercilessly mined the events of their life for material for his books. Scott claimed Zelda's memories, things she said, experiences she had and even passages from her diary as his possessions and used them to form the basis of his fictional works. Zelda had a child but the domestic sphere offered no comfort or purpose for her. The Flapper lifestyle was not simply a phase she lived through, it formed the very basis of her character and once the parties grew dull, the Fitzgeralds' drinking became destructive and Zelda's beauty began to fade, the world held little allure for her. Zelda sought reprieve in work and tried to build a career as a ballet dancer. When that didn't work out she turned to writing but was forbidden by Scott from using her own life as material. Convinced that she would never leave her mark on the world as deeply or expressively as Scott had, Zelda retreated into herself and withdrew from the people she knew in happier times. The later years of Zelda's life were marred by her detachment from reality as, diagnosed with schizophrenia, Zelda spent the last eighteen years of her life living in and out of psychiatric hospitals. As Scott's life unraveled due to alcohol abuse, Zelda looked back on the years they had spent together, young and wild and beautiful, as the best of her life. She may have been right but she was wrong about one thing, Zelda did leave her mark on the world and it was a deep and expressive mark that no one could have left but her. Zelda Fitzgerald: The Biography
WHITE HOUSE USHER: Stories from the Inside
Christopher Beauregard Emery - 2017
government—an usher in the White House. For more than 200 years, a small office has operated on the State Floor of the White House Executive Residence. Known as the Usher's Office, whose mission is to accommodate the personal needs of the first family, and to make the White House feel like a home. The Usher's Office is the managing office of the Executive Residence and its staff of 90-plus. The staff consists of butlers, carpenters, grounds personnel, electricians, painters, plumbers, florists, maids, housemen, cooks, chefs, storekeepers, curators, calligraphers, doormen, and administrative support. Ushers work closely with the first family, senior staff, Social Office, Press Office, Secret Service Agency, and military leaders to carry out White House functions: luncheons, dinners, teas, receptions, meetings, conferences, and more. Chris Emery was only the 18th White House Usher since 1891, and had the honor and privilege to serve presidential families for three years during the Reagan administration, four years for President H. W. Bush, and 14 months under President Clinton. His vignettes recreate intimate White House happenings from an insider’s viewpoint. Chris Emery was the only White House Usher to be terminated in the 20th century. Turn the pages to find out which first lady fired him... “With his book, White House Usher: Stories from the Inside, former usher Chris Emery gives his readers a peek inside what happens upstairs at the White House. Chris’ anecdotes tell a rich story of how America’s house really is the First Families’ home. I loved my trip down memory lane.” - Former First Lady Barbara Bush (October 2017)
Rock Bottom: A Music Writer's Journey into Madness
Michael Odell - 2017
He has a public meltdown while chaperoning Oasis at an awards ceremony; he’s lost joy in his bathroom full of rock’n’roll memorabilia; and his young son is in trouble at school for emulating rock star behaviour.Reluctantly Michael consults Mrs Henckel, a no-nonsense therapist with zero experience of pop culture. As Michael addresses his feelings about the past, in particular his failed teenage band, Mental Elf, he’s forced to confront the question: is it finally time to grow up and forget rock’n’roll?Michael Odell is a former contributing editor to Q magazine and has written about music for NME, the Guardian, the Independent and Spin, among others. Currently he does interviews and writes on family matters for The Times. He lives in Bristol."Please don't put your life in the hands of a rock 'n' roll band, who'll throw it all away." So advised Noel Gallagher in 1995 and Michael Odell ignored him anyway.One of Britain's most fearless rock interrogators, Odell turns his merciless searchlight on himself in this wry, compelling odyssey into the heart of his own - and rock n roll's - madness. Larks with the legends are all here (Bowie, McCartney, Mick `n' Keef ... Michael Buble) but it's his inner life which illuminates, his psyche traumatically crumbling as he confronts his chaotic past. Hilarious, tragic and timely, this is high farce in high (and low) places, uncovering why rock's lost highway is littered with the bodies of the righteous dreamers. Could it be because "the music people are all mad?" (Clue: yes.)' -- Sylvia Patterson, author of I'm Not with the Band `Hilarious and disarmingly honest; a journey into the neurosis of rock fame, but through doors you don't expect.' -- Rachel Joyce, author of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry `Rock Bottom is one of the best music books ever written, because Michael Odell knows music isn't about the musicians - it's about what it does to the listener, even if what it does ends up being wholly disastrous. It's sad, funny, fascinating and wise. And everyone who ever claimed a record changed their life should read it, and then think again.' -- Michael Hann, former Guardian music editor
Elizabeth I: Legendary Queen Of England
Michael W. Simmons - 2016
Born the heir to the throne, she was declared a bastard when she was three years old, after her mother was executed for treason, witchcraft, and incest. During the reign of her sister, Mary I, she was a prisoner in the Tower of London, where she was expected to die. But when she became Queen, at the age of 25, she swiftly stunned the royal court by stepping into the seat of power with grace, intelligence, and an air of majesty that maddened and enchanted the men around her. For 44 years, Elizabeth I guided England through religious upheavals and plots to overthrow the government. Courted by all the most powerful princes in Europe, she baffled her advisors by refusing to marry any of them. And when England stood under threat of invasion by the most powerful nation in Europe, Elizabeth’s navy destroyed the Spanish Armada so decisively that it was seen as an act of God. In this book, you will discover why no English monarch has ever been more famous, more successful—or more deeply loved by her people.
Long Promised Road: Carl Wilson, Soul of the Beach Boys: The Biography
Kent Crowley - 2015
While he is often unjustly overlooked as a mere adjunct to his more famous brothers Brian and Dennis, Carl was a major international rock star from his early teens.The proud owner of one of the greatest voices in popular music--one that graced some of the most important records of the pop era, including 'God Only Knows' and 'Good Vibrations'--Wilson was also one of the first musicians to bring the electric guitar to the forefront of rock'n'roll. His musical skills provided The Beach Boys' entree into the music business, from which he then stewarded their onstage journey through the ups and downs of the 60s to their comeback in the 70s and into the role of 'America's band' in the 80s. Along the way, Carl quietly endured his own battles with obesity, divorce, substance abuse, and ultimately terminal cancer, all the while working to protect his family's business and legacy. This major new biography reveals the true story of modern rock'n'roll, lived from the center of the most important decades of popular music.
Silver Dolphins: The Emblem of the Enlisted Submariner
Richard Hansher - 2015
The author doesn't pull any punches describing the good, the bad, the funny and the just plain ridiculous of the Submarine Service. Besides a wealth of information about what it's like to serve on a submarine, you'll meet real life characters like Tongue, Snake and Button Butt John. Did submarines make them rude, crude, and crazy. Or does the Submarine Service act as a magnet for every nut in the Navy? One thing is sure, after two months underwater, and with their back pay in their back pocket, Sub Sailors are as wild as cowboys after a cattle drive. Bar the doors and hide your daughters. Every reader owes it to themselves to use Amazons "Look In" feature to take a peek inside this unique and entertaining book.