Barons of the Sea: And Their Race to Build the World's Fastest Clipper Ship

Steven Ujifusa - 2018
    It was a secretive, glamorous, often brutal business—one where teas and silks and porcelain were purchased with profits from the opium trade. But the journey by sea to New York from Canton could take six agonizing months, and so the most pressing technological challenge of the day became ensuring one’s goods arrived first to market, so they might fetch the highest price. “With the verse of a natural dramatist” (The Christian Science Monitor), Steven Ujifusa tells the story of a handful of cutthroat competitors who raced to build the fastest, finest, most profitable clipper ships to carry their precious cargo to American shores. They were visionary, eccentric shipbuilders, debonair captains, and socially ambitious merchants with names like Forbes and Delano—men whose business interests took them from the cloistered confines of China’s expatriate communities to the sin city decadence of Gold Rush-era San Francisco, and from the teeming hubbub of East Boston’s shipyards and to the lavish sitting rooms of New York’s Hudson Valley estates. Elegantly written and meticulously researched, Barons of the Sea is a riveting tale of innovation and ingenuity that “takes the reader on a rare and intoxicating journey back in time” (Candice Millard, bestselling author of Hero of the Empire), drawing back the curtain on the making of some of the nation’s greatest fortunes, and the rise and fall of an all-American industry as sordid as it was genteel.

The Sea Shall Embrace Them: The Tragic Story of the Steamship Arctic

David W. Shaw - 2002
    David W. Shaw, who brings decades of experience as a seaman to his writing, has based this riveting tale on the firsthand testimony of the few who survived the wreck, including its heroic captain, James C. Luce. It is the story of the brave and dutiful Luce fighting his mutinous crew as they take the lifeboats, leaving hundreds of men, women, and children to suffer a cruel and painful death. It is also the story of those who survived the frigid waters and those who perished -- including Luce's own frail son, who died as the grief-stricken captain helplessly watched. Not only did 400 people die by daybreak, the wreck brought to an end the domination of the seas by the American maritime fleet.Utterly compelling, beautifully written, and a fascinating, heretofore little-known slice of American history, "The Sea Shall Embrace Them" is a stirring narrative that puts the reader on the deck as a shipful of men, women, and children do battle both with a mighty ocean and with their own baser instincts to survive.

After the Fact: The Surprising Fates of American History's Heroes, Villains, and Supporting Characters

Owen J. Hurd - 2012
    Where Are They Now? meets History 101. Lingering on the scene long after the smoke has cleared and the spotlights have moved on, it uncovers the telling details of history's most compelling subplots.

The National Road

Tom Zoellner - 2020
    “How was it possible, I wondered, that all of this American land―in every direction―could be fastened together into a whole?”From the embattled newsrooms of small town newspapers to the pornography film sets of the Los Angeles basin, from the check-out lanes of Dollar General to the holy sites of Mormonism, from the nation’s highest peaks to the razed remains of a cherished home, like a latter-day Woody Guthrie, Tom Zoellner takes to the highways and byways of a vast land in search of the soul of its people.But what does it mean when a nation accustomed to moving begins to settle down, when political discord threatens unity, and when technology disrupts traditional ways of building communities? Is a shared soil enough to reinvigorate a national spirit? In these divided times, Zoellner’s journey across America―and into our often-contradictory histories―serves to remind us that despite our differences we all belong to the same land.By turns nostalgic and probing, incisive and enraged, Zoellner’s reflections reveal a nation divided by faith, politics, and shifting economies, but―more importantly―one united by a shared sense of ownership in the common land.

Paradise of the Pacific: Approaching Hawaii

Susanna Moore - 2015
    This is true of many cultures, but in Hawaii, no one seems to have left. And in Hawaii, a set of myths accompanied each of these migrants--legends that shape our understanding of this mysterious place. In Paradise of the Pacific, Susanna Moore, the award-winning author of In the Cut and The Life of Objects, pieces together the elusive, dramatic story of late-eighteenth-century Hawaii--its kings and queens, gods and goddesses, missionaries, migrants, and explorers--a not-so-distant time of abrupt transition, in which an isolated pagan world of human sacrifice and strict taboo, without a currency or a written language, was confronted with the equally ritualized world of capitalism, Western education, and Christian values.

Titanic: Legacy of the World's Greatest Ocean Liner

Susan Wels - 1997
    For more than eighty-five years now, the terror and tragedy of that night has gripped the world's imagination, and the legacy of the Titanic has only continued to grow.Here, for the first time, is the most complete story of the Titanic - the construction of the largest and most luxurious ship the world had ever seen, her passengers and maiden voyage, the terrifying night of the sinking, the dramatic discovery, recovery, and conservation efforts, as well as astonishing new scientific information and artifacts gathered during recent expeditions to the site. Finally, answers to many of the enduring mysteries surrounding the Titanic.- Features photographs from recent RMS Titanic, Inc. expeditions.- Includes new research, insights, and images from the acclaimed Discovery Channel documentary Titanic: Anatomy of a Disaster.

Men's Lives

Peter Matthiessen - 1986
    An eloquent portrayal of a disappearing way of life of the Long Island fishermen whose voices--humorous, bitter and bewildered--are as clear as the threatened beauty of their once quiet shore.

After the Revolution: Profiles of Early American Culture

Joseph J. Ellis - 1979
    Each life is fascinating in its own right, and each is used to brightly illuminate the historical context.

The Titanic: End of a Dream

Wyn Craig Wade - 1979
    Why was the ship sailing through waters well known to be a "mass of floating ice"? Why were there too few lifeboats, so that 1,522 people were left to perish at sea? Why were a third of the survivors members of the crew? Based on the sensational evidence of the U.S. Senate hearings, eyewitness accounts of survivors, and the results of the 1985 Woods Hole expedition that located and photographed the ship, this electrifying account vividly recreates the doomed vessel's last desperate hours afloat and fully addresses the questions that have continued to haunt the tragedy of the Titanic.

Arctic Labyrinth: The Quest for the Northwest Passage

Glyn Williams - 2002
    While global warming has brought several such routes into existence, until recently these channels were hopelessly choked by impassible ice. Voyagers faced unimaginable horrors—entire ships crushed, mass starvation, disabling frostbite, even cannibalism—in pursuit of a futile goal. In Arctic Labyrinth, Glyn Williams charts the entire sweep of this extraordinary history, from the tiny, woefully equipped vessels of the first Tudor expeditions to the twentieth-century ventures that finally opened the Passage. Williams’s thrilling narrative delves into private letters and journals to expose the gritty reality behind the often self-serving accounts of those in charge. An important work of maritime history and exploration—and as exciting a tale of heroism and fortitude as readers will find—Arctic Labyrinth is also a remarkable study in human delusion.

Dear Los Angeles: The City in Diaries and Letters, 1542 to 2018

David Kipen - 2018
    David Kipen, a cultural historian and avid scholar of Los Angeles, has scoured libraries, archives, and private estates to assemble a kaleidoscopic view of a truly unique city.From the Spanish missionary expeditions in the early 1500s to the Golden Age of Hollywood to the strange new world of social media, this collection is a slice of life in L.A. through the years. The pieces are arranged by date--January 1st to December 31st--featuring selections from different decades and centuries. What emerges is a vivid tapestry of insights, personal discoveries, and wry observations that together distill the essence of the city.As sprawling and magical as the city itself, Dear Los Angeles is a fascinating, must-have collection for everyone in, from, or touched by Southern California.With excerpts from the writing of Ray Bradbury - Edgar Rice Burroughs - Octavia E. Butler - Italo Calvino - Winston Churchill - No�l Coward - Simone De Beauvoir - James Dean - T. S. Eliot - William Faulkner - Lawrence Ferlinghetti - Richard Feynman - F. Scott Fitzgerald - Allen Ginsberg - Dashiell Hammett - Charlton Heston - Zora Neale Hurston - Christopher Isherwood - John Lennon - H. L. Mencken - Ana�s Nin - Sylvia Plath - Ronald Reagan - Joan Rivers - James Thurber - Dalton Trumbo - Evelyn Waugh - Tennessee Williams - P. G. Wodehouse - and many moreAdvance praise for Dear Los Angeles"This book's a brilliant constellation, spread out over a few centuries and five thousand square miles. Each tiny entry pins the reality of the great unreal city of Angels to a moment in human time--moments enthralled, appalled, jubilant, suffering, gossiping or bragging--and it turns out, there's no better way to paint a picture of the place."--Jonathan Lethem"[A] scintillating collection of letters and diary entries . . . an engrossing trove of colorful, witty insights."--Publishers Weekly (starred review)

The American Revolution

John Fiske - 1891
    You may find it for free on the web. Purchase of the Kindle edition includes wireless delivery.

Mayflower: The Voyage From Hell

Kevin Jackson - 2013
    Most of the voyagers of that famed 1620 crossing of the Atlantic were not in fact religious pilgrims, but people intent on forging a better life for themselves in the virgin territory of America's east coast. 130 hardy souls were confined in a space no bigger than a tennis court, braving the 'Northern' crossing, without any firm idea of what awaited them in the New World. A riveting account of the sailing that changed the world.

Rascals in Paradise: Turbulent Adventures and Bold Courage on the South Seas

James A. Michener - 1957
    Michener returns to the most dazzling place on Earth: the islands that inspired Tales of the South Pacific. Co-written with A. Grove Day, Rascals in Paradise offers portraits of ten scandalous men and women, some infamous and some overlooked, including Sam Comstock, a mutinous sailor whose delusions of grandeur became a nightmare; Will Mariner, a golden-haired youth who used his charm to win over his captors; and William Bligh, the notorious HMS Bounty captain who may not have been the monster history remembers him as. From lifelong buccaneers to lapsed noblemen, in Michener and Day’s capable hands these rogues become the stuff of legend.  Praise for Rascals in Paradise   “The best book about those far-scattered islands that has appeared in a long time . . . a portfolio of rare and ruthless personalities that is calculated to make the curliest hair stand straight on end.”—The New York Times   “[Combines] research and scholarship (A. Grove Day was a professor at the University of Hawaii) with a gift for spinning a yarn and depicting character (Michener, journalist and novelist, needs no introduction).”—Kirkus Reviews

The Life and Adventures of James P. Beckwourth: Mountaineer, Scout, and Pioneer, and Chief of the Crow Nation of Indians

James P. Beckwourth - 1902
    Beckwourth would go on to become one of the most remarkable mountain men to have ever lived. In 1824 Beckwourth left Missouri to head to the Rocky Mountains to work for William Ashley’s Rocky Mountain Fur Company. He would never turn back. In his fascinating life, spent in the mountains and plains of the West, he lived as a trapper, hunter, guide, horse thief and Indian fighter. What is particularly fascinating about Beckwourth’s book is his insight into the culture of the Native Americans, as for many years, this son of a slave and a slave owner, lived with the Crow Nation, trapping, hunting, marrying two of their women and raiding alongside them. It is even stated that he rose to the position of Chief of the Crow Nation. First published in 1856, The Life and Adventures of James P. Beckwourth is a unique account of life in pioneer America in the early-nineteenth century. "This is a book of great importance to an understanding of the mountains, plains, and Great Basin West." California Historical Quarterly "It remains what it always has been since its first appearance in 1856—a rousing adventure story in which Jim Beckwourth plays the leading role." San Francisco Chronicle James Beckwourth was the only African American in the West to have his life story published. He was credited with the discovery of Beckwourth Pass which aided pioneers in reaching their destination in the West. He died in 1866.