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Our Year of War

By Daniel P. Bolger
Authors:
Daniel P. Bolger
The gritty and engaging story of two brothers, Chuck and Tom Hagel, who went to war in Vietnam, fought in the same unit, and saved each other's life. One supported the war, the other detested it, but they fought it together.1968. It was the worst year of America's most divisive war. Flag-draped caskets came home by the thousands. Riots ravaged our cities. Assassins shot our political leaders. Black fought white, young fought old, fathers fought sons. And it was the year that two brothers from Nebraska went to war.In Vietnam, Chuck and Tom Hagel served side by side in the same rifle platoon. Together they fought in the Tet Offensive, battled snipers in Saigon, chased the enemy through the jungle, and each saved the other's life under fire. Yet, like so many American families, one brother supported the war while the other detested it.Tom and former Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel never set out to be heroes, but they epitomized the best, and lived through the worst, of the most tumultuous, amazing, and consequential year in the last half century. Following the brothers' paths from the prairie heartland through a war on the far side of the world and back to a divided America, Our Year of War tells the story of two brothers at war, serving their divided country. It is a story that resonates to this day, an American story.
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All the Kremlin's Men

By Mikhail Zygar
Authors:
Mikhail Zygar
All the Kremlin's Men is a gripping narrative of an accidental king and a court out of control. Based on an unprecedented series of interviews with Vladimir Putin's inner circle, this book presents a radically different view of power and politics in Russia. The image of Putin as a strongman is dissolved. In its place is a weary figurehead buffeted--if not controlled--by the men who at once advise and deceive him.The regional governors and bureaucratic leaders are immovable objects, far more powerful in their fiefdoms than the president himself. So are the gatekeepers-those officials who guard the pathways to power-on whom Putin depends as much as they rely on him. The tenuous edifice is filled with all of the intrigue and plotting of a Medici court, as enemies of the state are invented and wars begun to justify personal gains, internal rivalries, or one faction's biased advantage.A bestseller in Russia, All the Kremlin's Men is a shocking revisionist portrait of the Putin era and a dazzling reconstruction of the machinations of courtiers running riot.
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Bethlehem

By Nicholas Blincoe
Authors:
Nicholas Blincoe
The town of Bethlehem carries so many layers of meaning--some ancient, some mythical, some religious--that it feels like an unreal city, even to the people who call it home. Today, the city is hemmed in by a wall and surrounded by forty-one Israeli settlements and hostile settlers and soldiers. The population is undergoing such enormous strains it is close to falling apart. Any town with an eleven-thousand-year history has to be robust, but Bethlehem may soon go the way of Salonica or Constantinople: the physical site might survive, but the long thread winding back to the ancient past will have snapped, and the city risks losing everything that makes it unique.Still, for many, Bethlehem remains the "little town" of the Christmas song. Nicholas Blincoe will tell the history of the famous little town, through the visceral experience of living there, taking readers through its stone streets and desert wadis, its monasteries, aqueducts and orchards, showing the city from every angle and era. Inevitably, a portrait of Bethlehem will shed light on one of the world's most intractable political problems. Bethlehem is a much-loved Palestinian city, a source of pride and wealth but also a beacon of co-existence in a region where hopelessness, poverty and violence has become the norm. Bethlehem could light the way to a better future, but if the city is lost then the chances of an end to the Israel-Palestine conflict will be lost with it.
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  • Island of the Blue Foxes

    By Stephen R. Bown
    Authors:
    Stephen R. Bown
    The immense 18th-century scientific journey, variously known as the Second Kamchatka Expedition or the Great Northern Expedition, from St. Petersburg across Siberia to the coast of North America, involved over 3,000 people and cost Peter the Great over one-sixth of his empire's annual revenue. Until now recorded only in academic works, this 10-year venture, led by the legendary Danish captain Vitus Bering and including scientists, artists, mariners, soldiers, and laborers, discovered Alaska, opened the Pacific fur trade, and led to fame, shipwreck, and "one of the most tragic and ghastly trials of suffering in the annals of maritime and arctic history."
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    44 Days

    By Michael Veitch
    Authors:
    Michael Veitch
    'Brilliantly researched and sympathetically told, 44 DAYS is more than just a fitting tribute to brave but overlooked heroes. It's also a top read.' DAILY TELEGRAPHThe epic World War II story of the heroes of Australia's 75 Squadron - and the 44 days when these brave and barely trained pilots fought alone against the Japanese.In March and April 1942, RAAF 75 Squadron bravely defended Port Moresby for 44 days when Australia truly stood alone against the Japanese. This group of raw young recruits scrambled ceaselessly in their Kittyhawk fighters to an extraordinary and heroic battle, the story of which has been left largely untold.The recruits had almost nothing going for them against the Japanese war machine, except for one extraordinary leader named John Jackson, a balding, tubby Queenslander - at 35 possibly the oldest fighter pilot in the world - who said little, led from the front, and who had absolutely no sense of physical fear.Time and time again this brave group were hurled into battle, against all odds and logic, and succeeded in mauling a far superior enemy - whilst also fighting against the air force hierarchy. After relentless attack, the squadron was almost wiped out by the time relief came, having succeeded in their mission - but also paying a terrible price.Michael Veitch, actor, presenter and critically acclaimed author, brings to life the incredible exploits and tragic sacrifices of this courageous squadron of Australian heroes.
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    Traitors

    By Frank Walker
    Authors:
    Frank Walker
    In October 1943 Winston Churchill, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Josef Stalin signed a solemn pact that once their enemies were defeated the Allied powers would 'pursue them to the uttermost ends of the earth and will deliver them to their accusers in order that justice may be done'. Nowhere did they say that justice would be selective. But it would prove to be.TRAITORS outlines the treachery of the British, American and Australian governments, who turned a blind eye to those who experimented on Australian prisoners of war. Journalist and bestselling author Frank Walker details how Nazis hired by ASIO were encouraged to settle in Australia and how the Catholic Church, CIA and MI6 helped the worst Nazi war criminals escape justice. While our soldiers were asked to risk their lives for King and country, Allied corporations traded with the enemy; Nazi and Japanese scientists were enticed to work for Australia, the US and UK; and Australia's own Hollywood hero Errol Flynn was associating with Nazi spies. The extraordinary revelations in TRAITORS detail the ugly side of war and power and the many betrayals of our ANZACs. After reading this book you can't help but wonder, what else did they hide?
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    Bethlehem

    By Nicholas Blincoe
    Authors:
    Nicholas Blincoe
    The town of Bethlehem carries so many layers of meaning--some ancient, some mythical, some religious--that it feels like an unreal city, even to the people who call it home. Today, the city is hemmed in by a wall and surrounded by forty-one Israeli settlements and hostile settlers and soldiers. The population is undergoing such enormous strains it is close to falling apart. Any town with an eleven-thousand-year history has to be robust, but Bethlehem may soon go the way of Salonica or Constantinople: the physical site might survive, but the long thread winding back to the ancient past will have snapped, and the city risks losing everything that makes it unique.Still, for many, Bethlehem remains the "little town" of the Christmas song. Nicholas Blincoe will tell the history of the famous little town, through the visceral experience of living there, taking readers through its stone streets and desert wadis, its monasteries, aqueducts and orchards, showing the city from every angle and era. Inevitably, a portrait of Bethlehem will shed light on one of the world's most intractable political problems. Bethlehem is a much-loved Palestinian city, a source of pride and wealth but also a beacon of co-existence in a region where hopelessness, poverty and violence has become the norm. Bethlehem could light the way to a better future, but if the city is lost then the chances of an end to the Israel-Palestine conflict will be lost with it.
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    Tenements, Towers & Trash

    By Julia Wertz
    Authors:
    Julia Wertz
    Here is New York as you've never seen it before; the New York behind the New York that you think you know so well. With drawings and comics in her signature style, Julia Wertz regales us with dozens of street scenes that show exactly what the city looked like "then" versus "now"; cartoons that detail the quirky, quintessentially New York histories that took place there, and several series of detail drawings including the clocks, mailboxes, lampposts and other ephemera that have evolved over the years. Tenements, Towers & Trash takes on a wild ride in a time-machine taxi, from the streets of the present-day Big Apple lined with big Apple stores and CVS's to the Days of Yore, when Mayor La Guardia declared pinball machines illegal and Greenpoint was the city's premier destination for vaudeville and film. Not just for die-hard New Yorkers, this hilarious, charming book will appeal to any history lover or comics fan, as well as Julia's fans who are eager for more of her work.
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    The Rag Tag Fleet

    By Ian W. Shaw
    Authors:
    Ian W. Shaw
    The unknown story of how a fleet of Australian fishing boats, trawlers and schooners supplied US and Australian forces in the Pacific - and helped turn the course of World War II.Mid-1942: from China to New Guinea, the Pacific belonged to the Japanese. In this desperate situation, a fleet of hundreds of Australian small ships is assembled, sailing under the American flag, and crewed by over 3000 Australians either too young or too old to join the regular armed forces. Their task: to bring supplies and equipment to the Allied troops waging bloody battles against Japanese forces across the South Pacific. THE RAG TAG FLEET is the unknown story of the final months of 1942 - when these men ran the gauntlet of Japanese air attacks, malaria and dysentery, reefs, and shallow, shark-infested waters to support the US and Australian troops that defeated the entrenched Japanese forces at Buna on the New Guinea coast, and so helped turn the war in the Allies' favour. Their bravery, ingenuity and mettle helped turn the tide of the war. For the first time, their story is told.'told with detailed research and a flair for dramatic narrative . . . This is a splendid contribution to our military history.' SYDNEY MORNING HERALD on Ian W. Shaw's THE GHOSTS OF ROEBUCK BAY
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    Hamilton Hume

    By Robert Macklin
    Authors:
    Robert Macklin
    'You almost feel you are taking that trek with the party as Robert Macklin cites the obstacles - torrential river crossings, dense bush, the Snowy Mountains and more. Macklin covers Hume's public and private life, emphasising his affinity with the country and rapport with the Indigenous people, as well as providing a portrait of the evolving colony.' SYDNEY MORNING HERALDThe stirring untold story of a true Australian hero who opened up the nation.While English-born soldiers, sailors and surveyors have claimed pride of place among the explorers of the young New South Wales colony, the real pathfinder was a genuine native-born Australian. Hamilton Hume, a man with a profound understanding of the Aboriginal people and an almost mystical relationship with the Australian bush, led settlers from the cramped surrounds of Sydney Town to the vast fertile country that would provide the wealth to found and sustain a new nation.Robert Macklin, author of the critically acclaimed DARK PARADISE, tells the heroic tale of this young Australian man who outdid his English 'betters' by crossing the Blue Mountains, finding a land route from Sydney to Port Phillip and opening up western New South Wales. His contribution to the development of the colony was immense but downplayed in deference to explorers of British origin. HAMILTON HUME uncovers this brave man's achievements and paints an intriguing and at times shocking portrait of colonial life, by the author of the bestselling SAS SNIPER.'Robert Macklin calls Hamilton Hume 'our greatest explorer', and now that I've read this enthralling but at times shocking story, I totally agree.' ***** GOOD READING
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  • My Brother's Keeper

    By Rod Gragg
    Authors:
    Rod Gragg
    Thirty captivating profiles of Christians who risked everything to rescue their Jewish neighbors from Nazi terror during the Holocaust.MY BROTHER'S KEEPER unfolds powerful stories of Christians from across denominations who gave everything they had to save the Jewish people from the evils of the Holocaust. This unlikely group of believers, later honored by the nation of Israel as "The Righteous Among the Nations," includes ordinary teenage girls, pastors, priests, a German army officer, a former Italian fascist, an international spy, and even a princess.In one gripping profile after another, these extraordinary historical accounts offer stories of steadfast believers who together helped thousands of Jewish individuals and families to safety. Many of these everyday heroes perished alongside the very people they were trying to protect. There is no doubt that all of their stories showcase the best of humanity - even in the face of unthinkable evil.
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    Viceroys

    By Christopher Lee
    Authors:
    Christopher Lee
    Viceroys is the story of the British aristocracy sent to govern India during the reigns of five British monarchs. It is also the story of how the modern British identity was established. British history from the Hundred Years War onwards gives an impression of how the British were seen. It is a misconception or more kindly, a British view. Until the nineteenth century the British did not have an identity readily recognized throughout the world. Even the Elizabethans were never established other than as great individuals. From 1815, an image of Britain as the first superpower was built that would make do until even the twenty first century. Direct rule in the name of a long-lived queen and the consequential superlatives of style and theatre of conquest had the whole world believing that it knew the secret of that British identity. To be white and British even at the lowest social level was enough to command and to be white, British and aristocratic was enough to rule. By the end of Victoria's reign a quarter of the world saluted the authority of the British identity. It took until the second half of the twentieth century for even the Americans to question that authority. The token in that identity, the plumed viceroy whose quarterings linked everyone who held that office to the aristocracy that was the guardian of that image, is not just an illusion. Viceroys is not a chronological biography of each viceroy from Canning to Mountbatten. It is instead, the story of the viceregal caste. It is the supreme view of the British in India, describing the sort of people who went out and the sort of people they were on their return. It is the story of utter power and what men did with it.Viceroys will come to a conclusion as to what created the international identity of the British that was cherished well into the twentieth century. It was and is an identity that has coloured in the worst pictures of the British character and ambition as seen by modern radicalized people and loyalties around the globe. Ironically, it is in part the answer to how was it that such a small offshore European island people believed themselves to have the right to sit at the highest institutional tables and judge what is right and what is unacceptable in other nations and institutions.
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    Shooting Lincoln

    By Nicholas J.C. Pistor
    Authors:
    Nicholas J.C. Pistor
    Their long rivalry climaxed with the spilled blood of an American president. Mathew Brady, nearly blind and hoping to rekindle his artistic photographic magic, competed against his former understudy, Alexander Gardner, to record the epic moments of President Abraham Lincoln's death; the hunt for his murderer, John Wilkes Booth; and the execution of the men and women who conspired with Booth to cripple the United States government. The two photographers rushed to the theater where Lincoln was slain, to the gallows where the conspirators were hanged, and to the autopsy table where Booth was identified, hoping to capture the iconic images of their times . . . and to emerge as the nation's unrivaled master of the new media.Shooting Lincoln tells the heart-pounding story of their race for lasting camera-lens glory-and shows how, at the end of the Civil War, photography had become the photojournalism that would our change culture forever. Brady and Gardner took some of the most memorable images ever recorded in history, invented a new media industry, and became the fathers of modern media, unlocking the passion of Americans for close-up views of history as it happened.
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