Book picks similar to
The Great Chicago Fire of 1871: The Story of the Blaze That Destroyed the Midwest's Largest City by Charles River Editors
American Heritage History of Early America: 1492-1776
Robert G. Ahearn - 2016
Here, from American Heritage, is the human, vital, dramatic story of America's beginnings - from the journeys of early explorers and the founding of Plymouth and Jamestown to the French and Indian Wars and victory in the War of Independence.
The Thirteen Colonies
Louis B. Wright - 2014
The representatives of the thirteen colonies who approved the Declaration of Independence in 1776 charted a collision course, aware of the obstacles in their path and the risks they were taking. The events that led to their decision took place over a period of nearly 300 years. Looking back, the wonder is that it culminated so quickly. For a century after its discovery, the New World was little more than a lode to be mined by adventurers seeking profits. It wasn't until the end of the sixteenth century that serious efforts were made to establish permanent colonies. Even then, the perils of the journey and threats of starvation inhibited settlement. But settlers gradually came, spurred, in part, by the fear of religious persecution, but above all, drawn by the hope of owning land. They were a mixed lot: English Separatists from Leiden, French Huguenots, Dutch burghers, Mennonite peasants from the Rhine Valley, and a few gentleman Anglicans. But they shared a quality of toughness. Here is their story from award-winning historian Louis B. Wright.
Letters of a Nation
Andrew Carroll - 1997
Many of the more than 200 letters are published here for the first time, and the correspondents are the celebrated and obscure, the powerful and powerless, including presidents, slaves, soldiers, prisoners, explorers, writers, revolutionaries, Native Americans, artists, religious and civil rights leaders, and people from all walks of life. From the serious (Harry Truman defending his use of the atomic bomb) to the surreal (Elvis Presley to Richard Nixon on fighting drugs in America), this collection of letters covers the full spectrum of human emotion, illuminates the American experience, and celebrates the simple yet lasting art of letter writing.
Escape on the Pearl: The Heroic Bid for Freedom on the Underground Railroad
Mary Kay Ricks - 2007
Setting sail from Washington, D.C., on a schooner named the Pearl, the fugitives began a daring 225-mile journey to freedom in the North. Mary Kay Ricks's unforgettable chronicle brings to life the Underground Railroad's largest escape attempt, the seemingly immutable politics of slavery, and the individuals who struggled to end it. All the while, Ricks focuses her narrative on the intimate story of two young sisters who were onboard the Pearl, and sets their struggle for liberation against the powerful historical forces that would nearly tear the country apart.After a terrifyingly calm night, the wind came up as the sun rose the next morning, and the small schooner shot off down the Potomac River. Hours later, stunned owners—including a former first lady, a shipping magnate, a former congressman, a federal marshal, and a Baptist minister—raised the alarm. Authorities quickly formed a posse that chased the fugitives down the river. But with a head start and a robust wind that filled their sails, the Pearl raced ahead—unaware that a violent squall was moving into their path and would halt their bid for freedom.Escape on the Pearl reveals the incredible odyssey of those who were onboard, including the remarkable lives of fugitives Mary and Emily Edmonson, the two sisters at the heart of the story, who would trade servitude in elite Washington homes for slave pens in three states. Through the efforts of the sisters' father and the northern "conductor" who had helped organize the escape, an abolitionist outcry arose in the North, calling for the two girls to be rescued. Ultimately, Mary and Emily would go on to stand shoulder to shoulder with such abolitionist luminaries as Frederick Douglass and attend Oberlin College under the sponsorship of Harriet Beecher Stowe.A story of courage and determination, Escape on the Pearl revives one of the most poignant chapters of U.S. history. The Edmonsons, the other fugitives of the Pearl, and those who helped them can now take their rightful place as American heroes.
Trapped: The 1909 Cherry Mine Disaster
Karen Tintori - 2002
"Drawing on diaries, letters, written accounts of survivors and testimony from the coroner's inquest...Tintori's engaging prose keeps readers on the edge" (Publishers Weekly).Inspired by a refrain of her girlhood—"Your grandfather survived the Cherry Mine disaster"—Karen Tintori began a search for her family's role in the harrowing tragedy of 1909. She uncovered the stories of victims, survivors, widows, orphans, townspeople, firefighters, reporters, and mine owners, and wove them together to pen Trapped, a riveting account of the tragic day that would inspire America's first worker's compensation laws and hasten much-needed child labor reform. On a Saturday morning in November of 1909, four hundred and eighty men went down into the mines as they had countless times before. But a fire erupted in the mineshaft that day and soon burned out of control. By nightfall, more than half the men would either be dead or trapped as officials sealed the mine in an attempt to contain the blaze. Miraculously, twenty men would emerge one week later, but not before the Cherry Mine disaster went down in history as the worst ever coal mine fire in the US—and not before all the treachery and heroism of mankind were revealed.
Michael Baker - 2013
A must-read screenplay for fans of cinema, World War II, and art-lovers, “Monument Men” provides an insightful look into the value and importance we place on art in our society using historical fiction. A labor of love, we spent years knocking on Hollywood doors trying to spark interest in our story. After years of being told the material “had no audience”, it is gratifying to see the story of the Monuments Men finally being released as a feature film this coming December. Although the version on the big screen is based upon the book “The Monuments Men – Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves, And The Greatest Treasure Hunt in History” by Robert M. Edsel, and is unrelated to our version, we encourage you to read our script and judge for yourself which you prefer. We think you’ll love “Monument Men”!
Unsinkable: The Full Story Of The RMS Titanic
Daniel Allen Butler - 1998
The familiar story of the RMS Titanic—from her encounter with an iceberg to her demise some three hours later, taking with her more than fifteen hundred people—still looms large in the popular imagination, and in Daniel Butler's as well. He studied the Titanic's history for thirty years, intensively compiling facts about the disaster and the players involved (from Captain Smith and his crew to the ill-fated third-class passengers). He even made the startling discovery of a nearby ship that ignored the Titanic's distress call because the shipmates were afraid to awaken their captain. Drawn from primary sources and period accounts, this new narrative puts the disaster into historical context and serves as an essential resource for scholars of Titanic lore.
The Founding Fathers Reconsidered
R.B. Bernstein - 2009
B. Bernstein reveals Washington, Franklin, Jefferson, Adams, Hamilton, and the other founders not as shining demigods but as imperfect human beings--people much like us--who nevertheless achieved political greatness. They emerge here as men who sought to transcend their intellectual world even as they were bound by its limits, men who strove to lead the new nation even as they had to defer to the great body of the people and learn with them the possibilities and limitations of politics. Bernstein deftly traces the dynamic forces that molded these men and their contemporaries as British colonists in North America and as intellectual citizens of the Atlantic civilization's Age of Enlightenment. He analyzes the American Revolution, the framing and adoption of state and federal constitutions, and the key concepts and problems--among them independence, federalism, equality, slavery, and the separation of church and state--that both shaped and circumscribed the founders' achievements as the United States sought its place in the world.
The True History of the American Revolution
Sydney George Fisher - 1902
They appear to have thought it advisable to omit from their narratives a great deal which, to me, seems essential to a true picture. I cannot feel satisfied with any description of the Revolution which treats the desire for independence as a sudden thought, and not a long growth and development, or which assumes that every detail of the conduct of the British government was absurdly stupid, even from its own point of view, and that the loyalists were few in numbers and their arguments not worth considering. I cannot see any advantage in not describing in their full meaning and force the smuggling, the buying of laws from the governors, and other irregular conduct in the colonies which led England to try to remodel them as soon as the fear of the French in Canada was removed..." - S.G. FisherContents: Early Conditions And Causes. Smuggling, Rioting, and Revolt against Control. Parliament Passes a Stamp Tax and Repeals It. Parliament Taxes Paint, Paper, and Glass and then Abandons Taxation. The Tea Episode. The Final Argument. The Rights of Man. A Reign of Terror for the Loyalists. The Real Intention as to Independence. The Continental Congress. The Situation in England. Triumphant Toryism. Lexington and the Number of the Loyalists. The Second Continental Congress and the Protests of the Loyalists. Bunker Hill. The Character and Condition of the Patriot Army. The Attack upon Canada. The Evacuation of Boston and the Declaration of Independence. The Battle of Long Island. The Battles of Trenton and Princeton. The Battle of Brandywine. The Battle of Saratoga and Its Results. Clinton Begins the Wearing-out Process. Arnold, the Loyalist, Tries to Save the British Empire. Cornwallis Brings the War to an End at Yorktown.
Verdicts of History (The Thomas Fleming Library)
Thomas Fleming - 2016
From unexpected verdicts, like the acquittal won by John Adams when he defended British soldiers charged with the Boston Massacre in 1770 to stirred passions when abolitionist John Brown was convicted of murder - a precedent to the Civil War - to the breakthrough in racial relations when Clarence Darrow won a stunning "not guilty" verdict for black physician Ossian Sweet - at a time when black Americans could hardly expect a fair trial. Fleming also includes the trials of Aaron Burr for treason and a well-known congressman for murder. In courtrooms throughout the nation's history, vivid emotion and heated rhetoric have established consequential precedents and enlarged average men and women to historical dimensions.
The Story of Wake Island
James P.S. Devereux - 1947
Two more raid shortly followed, further reducing the defensive possibilities for the men who were left to defend this small area of American soil in the center of the Pacific Ocean. Major James P. S. Devereux was the Commanding Officer of the 1st Marine Defense Battalion who faced Japanese onslaught. The first Japanese landing attempt on the morning of 11th December was repelled by a ferocious defense put forward by Devereux and his men. Yet although the Japanese had withdrawn without landing, they continued to bombard the island by air and sea, and there was little hope of resupply for the Americans. For fifteen days the American troops suffered endless bombardments until the second major Japanese offensive was launched on 23rd December. Against overwhelming forces the Marines and other troops that were stationed on the island fought valiantly, but after forty-nine men had lost their lives in the fight, the remaining American men and civilians were captured by the Japanese. James P. S. Deveraux’s remarkable book The Story of Wake Island takes the reader to the heart of the action from the point of view of the commanding officer. It is a brilliant account of this tragic event that demonstrated the fighting spirit of the American soldier even in the face of unbeatable odds. “His special vantage point enriches his commentary not only on the ill-fated military operation but also on the state (and spirit) of the prewar preparations to defend the island.” John J. Sbrega, The War Against Japan, 1941-1945 James P. S. Devereaux was a United States Marine Corps general, Navy Cross recipient, and Republican congressman. After the ferocious fifteen-day battle of Wake Island Devereux was interned for nearly four years in Japanese prison camps. His book The Story of Wake Island was first published in 1947 and he passed away in 1988.
The San Francisco Earthquake: A Minute-by-Minute Account of the 1906 Disaster
Gordon Thomas - 1971
It happened at 5:13 a.m. on April 18, 1906, in San Francisco. To this day, it remains one of the worst natural disasters in American history—and this definitive book brings the full story to vivid life. Using previously unpublished documents from insurance companies, the military, and the Red Cross, as well as the stories of those who were there, The San Francisco Earthquake exposes villains and heroes; shows how the political powers tried to conceal the amount of damage caused by the earthquake; reveals how efforts to contain the fire actually spread it instead; and tells how the military executed people without trial. It also features personal stories of people who experienced it firsthand, including the great Italian tenor Enrico Caruso, the banker Amadeo Giannini, the writer-adventurer Jack London, the temperamental star John Barrymore, and the thousands of less famous in their struggle for survival. From the authors of The Day the Bubble Burst, The San Francisco Earthquake is not only “gripping, can’t-put-it-down reading,” but an important look at how the city has handled catastrophe in the past—and how it may handle it in the future (Los Angeles Herald Examiner).