Book picks similar to
Paul Robeson by Lindsey R. Swindall


Sinatra and the Jack Pack: The Extraordinary Friendship between Frank Sinatra and John F. Kennedy—Why They Bonded and What Went Wrong

Michael Sheridan - 2016
    Kennedy, Jr.’s gang. He had his own famed “Rat Pack,” made up of hard drinking, womanizing individuals like himself—guys like Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Jr., and Peter Lawford—but the guy “Ol’ Blue Eyes” really wanted to hang with was Lawford’s brother-in-law, the real chairman of the board, John F. Kennedy.In Sinatra and the Jack Pack, Michael Sheridan delves deep into the acclaimed singer’s relationship with the former president. He shares how Sinatra emerged from a working class Italian family and carved out a unique place for himself in American culture, and how Kennedy, also of immigrant stock, came from a privileged background of which the young Frank could only have dreamed.By the time the men met in the 1950s, both were thriving—and both liked the good life. They bonded over their mutual ability to attract beautiful women, male admirers, and adoring acolytes. They also shared a scandalous secret: each had dubious relationships with the mafia. It had promoted Frank’s career and helped Kennedy buy votes. FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover had, over two decades, compiled detailed and damning dossiers on their activities.From all accounts the friendship thrived. Then, suddenly, in March 1962, Frank was abruptly ejected from JFK’s gang. This unique volume tells why. It will release shortly after a television documentary inspired by the book airs, is filled with a beloved cast of characters, and is the compelling, untold story of a tumultuous relationship between two American icons.Skyhorse Publishing, as well as our Arcade imprint, are proud to publish a broad range of books for readers interested in history--books about World War II, the Third Reich, Hitler and his henchmen, the JFK assassination, conspiracies, the American Civil War, the American Revolution, gladiators, Vikings, ancient Rome, medieval times, the old West, and much more. While not every title we publish becomes a New York Times bestseller or a national bestseller, we are committed to books on subjects that are sometimes overlooked and to authors whose work might not otherwise find a home.

Michelle Obama: An American Story

David Colbert - 2008
    This look at Michelle Obama's life and the turning points that shaped her shows how a girl from a working class background could rise to become one of the most influential women of her day.    But this is more than a straight chronological retelling. This book looks at Michelle Obama's life story within the context of the larger movements in African American history: slavery, freedom, the Reconstruction era, the Civil Rights movement, and finally, her own era.     History is what has shaped Michelle and challenged her. And ultimately, not only has she overcome any obstacles put before her, she has carved out her own place in history as well.    Includes 16 pages of color photos.

The Day the Country Died: A History of Anarcho-Punk, 1980-1984

Ian Glasper - 2007
    With Crass and Poison Girls opening the floodgates, the arrival of bands like Zoundz, Flux of Pink Indians, Conflict, Subhumans, Dirt, The Mob, Omega Tribe, and Icons of Filth heralded a new age of honesty and integrity in the 1980s underground music scene. It was a time when punk stopped being merely a radical fashion statement, and became a force for real social change. Anarchy in punk rock no longer meant "cash from chaos"—it meant "freedom, peace, and unity." Comprehensively covering all the groups and names, big and small,  The Day the Country Died also features exclusive interviews and hundreds of never-before-published photos.

Sebastian and Sons: A Brief History of Mrdangam Makers

T.M. Krishna - 2020
    Yet—startling as this is— the instrument as we know it is only a century old. T.M. Krishna investigates the history of the mrdangam and meets the invisible keepers of a tradition: the mrdangam makers.The making process is an intellectually, aesthetically and physically taxing one. From acquiring the skins for the circular membranes and straps to the wood for the drum, from curing the material to the final construction, and at the end of it all, making sure that it has the tone that the mrdangam player wants, mrdangam-making is also a highly nuanced operation at every stage.While several artists have been credited with the evolution of the instrument, including the stalwart Palghat Mani Iyer, none of them had knowledge of a fundamental aspect of the making: hide. The quality of the hide and how it is cured, cut, stretched, bound and braided impacts the tone, timbre and sound of the instrument. This requires a highly tuned ear and an ability to translate abstract ideas expressed by musicians into the corporeal reality of a mrdangam. Yet, their contribution to the art of the mrdangam is dismissed as labour and repair—when it is spoken of at all.There are legendary mrdangam players, yes; there are also distinguished mrdangam makers, many of them from Dalit Christian communities, who remain on the fringes of the Karnatik community. Sebastian and Sons explores the world of these artists, their history, lore and lived experience to arrive at a more organic and holistic understanding of the music that the mrdangam makes.

The Best Intentions: Kofi Annan and the UN in the Era of American World Power

James Traub - 2006
    Indeed, both Annan and the institution he incarnates were so deeply shaken after the Bush Administration went to war in Iraq in the face of opposition from the Security Council that critics, and even some friends, began asking whether this sixty-year-old experiment in global policing has outlived its usefulness. Do its failures arise from its own structure and culture, or from a clash with an American administration determined to go its own way in defiance of world opinion? James Traub, a "New York Times Magazine" contributor who has spent years writing about the UN and about foreign affairs, delves into these questions as no one else has done before. Traub enjoyed unprecedented access to Annan and his top aides throughout much of this traumatic period. He describes the despair over the Oil-for-Food scandal, the deep divide between those who wished to accommodate American critics and those who wished to confront them, the failed attempt to goad the Security Council to act decisively against state-sponsored ethnic cleansing in Sudan. And he recounts Annan's effort to respond to criticism with sweeping reform--an effort which ultimately shattered on the resistance of U.S. Ambassador John Bolton. In "The Best Intentions," Traub recounts the dramatically entwined history of Kofi Annan and the UN from 1992 to the present. In Annan he sees a conscientious idealist given too little credit for advancing causes like humanitarian intervention and an honest broker crushed between American conservatives and Third World opponents--but also a UN careerist who has absorbed that culture and can not, in the end, escape its limitations.

Corbyn: The Strange Rebirth of Radical Politics

Richard Seymour - 2016
    With a landslide in the first round, this unassuming antiwar socialist crushed the opposition, particularly the Blairite opposition.For the first time in decades, socialism is back on the agenda--and for the first time in Labour's history, it controls the leadership. The party machine couldn't stop him. An almost unanimous media campaign couldn't stop him. It is as if their power, like that of the Wizard of Oz, was always mostly illusion. Now Corbyn has one chance to convince the public to support his reforming ambitions.Where did he come from, and what chance does he have? This book tells the story of how Corbyn's rise was made possible by the long decline of Labour and a deep crisis of British democracy. It surveys the makeshift coalition of trade unionists, young and precarious workers, and students, who rallied to Corbyn. It shows how a novel social media campaign turned the media's "Project Fear" on its head, making a virtue of every accusation they threw at him. And finally it asks, with all the artillery that is still ranged against Corbyn, and given the crisis-ridden Labour Party that he has inherited, what it would mean for him to succeed.

Beale Street Dynasty: Sex, Song, and the Struggle for the Soul of Memphis

Preston Lauterbach - 2015
    Preston Lauterbach recounts the rise and fall of Beale Street through the life of the South’s first black millionaire, an ex-slave who built an underworld dynasty in the booming river town and created a space for black culture to flourish. A thrilling narrative history, Beale Street Dynasty tells an intriguing, previously unknown story about race in an American city.


Otis Williams - 1989
    Through the years, the group's trademark razor-sharp choreography, finely tuned harmonies, and compelling vocals made them the exemplars of the Motown style. This is the frank, revealing story of the legendary supergroup, told by its founder.

Hobbes: A Very Short Introduction

Richard Tuck - 1989
    Richard Tuck shows that while Hobbes may indeed have been an atheist, he was far from pessimistic about human nature, nor did he advocate totalitarianism. By locating him against the context of his age, we learn that Hobbes developed a theory of knowledge which rivaled that of Descartes in its importance for the formation of modern philosophy.

Half Past Autumn

Gordon Parks - 1997
    Photographer, filmmaker, novelist, poet, and composer, Gordon Parks is one of the most inspiring success stories of our time. Now in a trade paperback edition, Half Past Autumn gives us the first complete retrospective of his photographic career, along with his own account of his amazing life. Half Past Autumn chronicles Parks's remarkable documentary images for the Farm Security Administration, his hard-hitting work for Life magazine, elegant fashion photos for Vogue, insightful portraits of notables, and his more recent abstract color images. With engaging anecdotal text that gives us the stories behind the images, this is an inspiring memoir of Parks's life and his struggle against racism.

Becoming Jimi Hendrix: From Southern Crossroads to Psychedelic London

Steven Roby - 2010
    As a sideman, Hendrix played with the likes of Little Richard, Ike and Tina Turner, the Isley Brothers, and Sam & Dave—but none knew what to make of his spotlight-stealing rock guitar experimentation, the likes of which had never been heard before. From 1962 to 1966, on the rough and tumble club circuit, Hendrix learned to please a crowd, deal with racism, and navigate shady music industry characters, all while evolving his own astonishing style. Finally, in New York’s Greenwich Village, two key women helped him survive, and his discovery in a tiny basement club in 1966 led to Hendrix instantly being heralded as a major act in Europe before he returned to America, appeared at the Monterey Pop Festival, and entered the pantheon of rock’s greatest musicians. Becoming Jimi Hendrix is based on over one hundred interviews with those who knew Hendrix best during his lean years, more than half of whom have never spoken about him on the record. Utilizing court transcripts, FBI files, private letters, unpublished photos, and U.S. Army documents, this is the story of a young musician who overcame enormous odds, a past that drove him to outbursts of violence, and terrible professional and personal decisions that complicated his life before his untimely demise.

Rogue Regime: Kim Jong Il and the Looming Threat of North Korea

Jasper Becker - 2005
    As over two million of his subjects starved to death, Kim Jong Il roamed between palaces staffed by beautiful girls and stocked with expensive international delicacies. Outside, the steel mills shut down, the trains stopped running, the power went out, and the hospitals ran out of medicine. When the population threatened to revolt, Kim imposed a reign of terror, deceived the United Nations, and plundered the country's dwindling resources to become a nuclear power. Now this tiny bankrupt nation is using her nuclear capability to blackmail the United States. Veteran correspondent Jasper Becker takes us inside one of the most secretive countries in the world, exposing the internal chaos, blind faith, rampant corruption, and terrifying cruelty of its rulers. Becker details the vain efforts to change North Korea by actors inside and outside the country and the dangers this highly volatile country continues to pose. This unique land, ruled by one family's megalomania and paranoia, seems destined to survive and linger on, a menace to its own people and to the rest of the world. But should the nations of the world allow this regime to survive? That's the question with which this book concludes.

The Naysayer's Book Club: 26 Singaporeans You Need to Know

Simon Paul Vincent - 2018
    Each activist, artist, architect, etc. is interviewed against the backdrop of his or her bookcase, putting front and centre a life of ideas and imagination.This is a book club for curious minds."We need more naysayers... We need to create new formulas, which you can't until you attack and challenge every sacred cow."–Kishore Mahbubani, former dean of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public PolicyFeatured: Tan Tarn How, Constance Singam, Tay Kheng Soon, Yeoh Lam Keong, Cherian George, Claire Leow, Remy Choo Zheng Xi, Teo Soh Lung, Thirunalan Sasitharan, Jennifer Teo, Dan Wong, Chua Beng Huat, Kirsten Han, Filzah Sumartono, Alex Au, Martyn See, June Chua, William SW Lim, M. Ravi, Loo Zihan, Vanessa Ho, Mohamed Imran Mohamed Taib, Seelan Palay, Sonny Liew, Margaret Thomas and Thum Ping Tjin.More at the book at: praise: "Right book, right time; read and be inspired by the naysayers in our midst as they battle against the odds."—Ismail Kassim, political journalist and author of No Hard Feelings“The 26 essays are inspiring accounts of the subjects: who they are, what they are, what they do, their exemplary efforts to speak up and their brushes with the law and the authorities in a society constrained by a matrix of repressive laws. Edifying and a must-read, especially for civil society activists.”—Peter Low, human rights lawyer and founder of Peter Low & Choo LLC"In Singapore there is a fine line between co-option by the establishment and ostracism by society. These delightful vignettes are about the brave men and women who tread it—often at great personal cost—expanding our collective imagination in ways the elite never can. Instead of calling for more naysayers, Singapore would do well to listen to those it already has."—Sudhir Thomas Vadaketh, author of Floating on a Malayan Breeze“An inspiring collection of interviews with respected Singapore civil society activists. Not only do we hear how they came to be, why they do what they do, we take a peak into their bookshelves to understand the ideas that galvanised them. A book lover’s book!”—Tan Pin Pin, director of In Time to Come and To Singapore, with Love“Simon captures the other ways of thinking in Singapore with these rich and colourful profiles, revealing to us a Singapore that could have been, or perhaps a Singapore that might someday be. Naysayer's is a book about those who swim against the flow, but it isn’t about tiredness; it’s about hope.”—Daniel Yap, publisher of The Middle Ground"I was not disappointed in the depth and authenticity of the interviews… The chapters on Sonny Liew, the award-winning comic book maestro, and Thum Ping Tjin, the controversial historian who startles with his honest interpretation of history, will be among those I will turn to first."—Clement Mesenas, journalist and author of Dissident Voices and The Last Great Strike

Leonard Cohen: A Remarkable Life

Anthony Reynolds - 2010
    Includes many previously unpublished photographs.

Queens of the Resistance: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Brenda Jones - 2020
    But since Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez graced the scene in all her bartending, tweet-talking, mold-breaking glory, the face of politics in the twenty-first century has changed. Today, Ocasio-Cortez is a foremost advocate for progress, whipping up support among her colleagues and gaining the secret admiration of her foes. She's jousting with an outrageous president and a conservative media sphere that place her under relentless attack. Why? Because they fear her gift for speaking truth to power.With illustrations, deep research, and writing as endlessly quotable as she is, Queens of the Resistance pays tribute to this phenomenal woman.About the series: Each book of the Queens of the Resistance series is a celebration of the rebellion against the oppression of women and an embracement of the new in the United States government. The series is adorned with sass, discernment, and the badassery of the present and future leadership. The Doomsday Clock is at a minute to midnight, and the patriarchal power grid that lights "the shining city on a Hill" is about to black out. It's time to yield to the alternative--the power of women.