The Heavens Might Crack
By Jason Sokol
Martin Luther King Jr today is an uncontroversial figure, and we tend to see him as a saint whose legacy is entirely uncomplicated. But in 1968, King was a polarizing figure, and his assassination was met with uncomfortably mixed reactions. At the time of his death, King was scorned by many white Americans, worshiped by a segment of African Americans and liberal whites, deemed irrelevant by the younger generation of African Americans, and beloved overseas. He was a hero to many. But to some, he was part of an old guard that was no longer relevant, and to others he was nothing more than a troublemaker and a threat to the Southern way of life. In The Heavens Might Crack, historian Jason Sokol traces the diverse range of reactions to King's death, exploring how Americans - as well as others across the globe--experienced King's assassination, in the days, weeks, and months afterward. He looks at everything from rioting in inner cities to turbulence in Germany, from celebrations in many parts of the South to the growing gun control movement. Across all these responses, we see one clear trend: with King gone and the cities exploding, it felt like a gear in the machinery of the universe had shifted. Just a few years prior, with the enactment of landmark civil rights laws, interracial harmony appeared conceivable; peaceful progress toward civil rights even seemed probable. In an instant, such optimism had vanished. For many, King's death extinguished that final flicker of hope for a multiracial America. With that hope gone, King's assassination would have an indelible impact on American sentiments about race, and the civil rights landscape.The Heavens Might Crack is a deeply empathetic portrait of country grappling with the death of a complicated man. By highlighting how this moment was perceived across the nation, Sokol reveals the enduring consequences King's assassination had for the shape of his own legacy, the course of the Civil Rights Movement, and race relations in America.
The Home That Was Our Country
By Alia Malek
At the Arab Spring's hopeful start, Alia Malek returned to Damascus to reclaim her grandmother's apartment, which had been lost to her family since Hafez al-Assad came to power in 1970. Its loss was central to her parent's decision to make their lives in America. In chronicling the people who lived in the Tahaan building, past and present, Alia portrays the Syrians-the Muslims, Christians, Jews, Armenians, and Kurds-who worked, loved, and suffered in close quarters, mirroring the political shifts in their country. Restoring her family's home as the country comes apart, she learns how to speak the coded language of oppression that exists in a dictatorship, while privately confronting her own fears about Syria's future.The Home That Was Our Country is a deeply researched, personal journey that shines a delicate but piercing light on Syrian history, society, and politics. Teeming with insights, the narrative weaves acute political analysis with a century of intimate family history, ultimately delivering an unforgettable portrait of the Syria that is being erased.
Hunter of Stories
By Eduardo Galeano
'Not since Guy de Maupasant has the short literary form been imbued with such grace, elegance and poignancy . . . these quintessential and often poetic pearls astonish, inspire reflection and entertain' Morning StarThe internationally acclaimed last work by the bestselling Latin American writerMaster storyteller Eduardo Galeano was unique among his contemporaries (Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Mario Vargas Llosa among them) for his commitment to retelling our many histories, including the stories of those who were disenfranchised. A philosopher poet, his nonfiction is infused with such passion and imagination that it matches the intensity and the appeal of Latin America's very best fiction.Published here for the first time in an elegant English translation by long-time collaborator Mark Fried, Hunter of Stories is a deeply considered collection of Galeano's final musings on history, memory, humour, tragedy and loss.Written in his signature style - vignettes that fluidly combine dialogue, fables, and anecdotes - every page displays the original thinking and compassion that made Galeano one of the most original and beloved voices in world literature.
The Hidden Lives of London Streets
By James Morton
London's streets have always worn a variety of influences, reflecting the diverse crowds who live and work on them. Take a walk down any number of historic streets and an abundance of tales exist in the bricks and mortar, waiting to be told. The Hidden Lives of London's Streets takes the reader on a journey through Soho, Piccadilly, Mayfair, Knightsbridge, Chelsea, Kensington, Fitzrovia and Clerkenwell. A street map is provided for each area, marking out the streets and buildings in which the various activities - some forgotten, others well-remembered - took place.Stories include those of courtesans such as the notorious Lola Montez and Theresa de Cornelys, who gave lavish balls at their home in Soho Square which were little more than orgies, during which a man playing the violin while on roller skates crashed through her plate glass window; Casanova and his quarrel with Marianne Charpillon after he taught a parrot to say she was a 'whore'; clubs - great (the Gargoyle), the artistic (Muriel Belcher's Colony), and the small (Royston Smith's club for dwarves); the police; robberies; murder and executions; the nightclubs; cinemas and theatres; the villains and prostitution. Beyond mere gangs and criminality, the book will trace the social changes that have gradually unfolded on any given street. For example the metamorphosis of Old Compton Street as home to race gangs in the 1920s, to becoming an essentially Italian street, to being part of the gay community.
Homeward Bound (Revised Edition)
By Elaine Tyler May
When Homeward Bound first appeared in 1988, it forever changed the way we understand Cold War America. Previously, scholars understood the post-World War II era as a time when Americans turned away from politics to enjoy the fruits of peace and prosperity after decades of depression and war, while their leaders remained preoccupied with the Soviet threat and the dangers of the Atomic Age. Homeward Bound challenged the idea of an apolitical private arena, demonstrating that the Atomic Age and the Cold War were not merely the concerns of experts and policy makers, but infused American life on every level, from the boardroom to the bedroom. As Elaine Tyler May argues, the official foreign policy of "containment" toward the Soviet Union had a domestic corollary, in which the perceived dangers of the age--nuclear war, communist subversion, consumer excess, sexual experimentation, and women's emancipation--were "contained" within the family, an institution now expected to fulfill its members hopes and dreams for security and the good life in the midst of a frightening world. "Domestic containment" is now the standard interpretation of the era, and Homeward Bound has become a classic. This new edition includes an updated introduction and a new epilogue examining the legacy of Cold War obsessions with personal and family security in the present day.
By 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
By Peter Parker
Why is it that for many people 'England' has always meant an unspoilt rural landscape rather than the ever-changing urban world in which most English people live? What was the 'England' for which people fought in two world wars? What is about the English that makes them constantly hanker for a vanished past, so that nostalgia has become a national characteristic?In March 1896 a small volume of sixty-three poems was published by the small British firm of Kegan Paul, Trench, Trübner & Co. Ltd in an edition of 500 copies, priced at half-a-crown each. The author was not a professional poet, but a thirty-seven-year-old professor of Latin at University College, London called Alfred Edward Housman who had been obliged to pay £30 towards the cost of publication. Although slow to sell at first, A Shropshire Lad went on to become one of the most popular books of poetry ever published and has never been out of print. As well as being a publishing phenomenon, the book has had an influence on English culture and notions of what 'England' means, both in England itself and abroad, out of all proportion to its apparent scope. Housman Country will not only look at how A Shropshire Lad came to be written and became a publishing and cultural phenomenon, but will use the poems as a prism through which to examine England and Englishness. The book contains a full transcript of A Shropshire lad itself, also making it a superb present.
By Ronald Fry, Tad Tuleja
Two years before the action in Lone Survivor, a Green Berets A Team conducted a very different, successful mission in Afghanistan's notorious Pech Valley. Led by Captain Ronald Fry, the Hammerhead Six mission applied the principles of unconventional warfare to "win hearts and minds" and fight against the terrorist insurgency. In 2003, the Special Forces soldiers entered an area later called "the most dangerous place in Afghanistan." Here, where the line between civilians and armed zealots was indistinct, they illustrated the Afghan proverb: "I destroy my enemy by making him my friend." Fry recounts how they were seen as welcome guests rather than invaders. Soon after their deployment ended, the Pech Valley reverted to turmoil. Their success was never replicated. Hammerhead Six finally reveals how cultural respect, hard work (and the occasional machine-gun burst) were more than a match for the Taliban and Al Qaeda.
A Hope More Powerful than the Sea
By Melissa Fleming
The Hamilton Collection
By Dan Tucker
The smash-hit musical Hamilton presents its central character as a truth-telling immigrant boot-strapper who used his extraordinary intelligence to make good--but what was he really like? Let the man himself, a prolific and extremely effective writer, tell his story in his own words. Organized chronologically, this collection of Alexander Hamilton's personal letters, business and governmental correspondence, and excerpts from his most important published writings (including the Federalist Papers) gives readers first-hand insight into this highly influential founding father who engineered the ratification of the US Constitution, created the United States' financial system, and established friendly trade relations with Britain. The book includes love letters to Elizabeth Schuyler, who became his wife, and correspondence with his friend-turned-nemesis, Aaron Burr, which led to the duel in Weehawken that ended Hamilton's life at the age of 47. Also included are responses from some of his correspondents that give a 360-degree view of the man so esteemed by his protector and friend, George Washington, but reviled by others, including Washington's successor as president, John Adams.Illustrated with 50 illustrations, drawings, document facsimiles and more, the text is accompanied throughout by explanatory annotations from editor Dan Tucker who also provides introductions to each chapter and a preface.
The Half Has Never Been Told
By Edward E. Baptist
Americans tend to cast slavery as a pre-modern institution,the nation's original sin, perhaps, but isolated in time and divorced from America's later success. But to do so robs the millions who suffered in bondage of their full legacy. As historian Edward E. Baptist reveals in The Half Has Never Been Told , the expansion of slavery in the first eight decades after American independence drove the evolution and modernization of the United States. In the span of a single lifetime, the South grew from a narrow coastal strip of worn-out tobacco plantations to a continental cotton empire, and the United States grew into a modern, industrial, and capitalist economy. Told through intimate slave narratives, plantation records, newspapers, and the words of politicians, entrepreneurs, and escaped slaves, The Half Has Never Been Told offers a radical new interpretation of American history. Winner of the 2015 Avery O. Craven Prize from the Organization of American HistoriansWinner of the 2015 Sidney Hillman Prize Bloomberg View Top Ten Nonfiction Books of 2014 Daily Beast Best Nonfiction Books of 2014
A History of American Sports in 100 Objects
By Cait Murphy
What artifact best captures the spirit of American sports? The bat Babe Ruth used to hit his allegedly called shot, or the ball on which Pete Rose wrote, I'm sorry I bet on baseball"? Could it be Lance Armstrong's red-white-and-blue bike, now tarnished by doping and hubris? Or perhaps its ancestor, the nineteenth-century safety bicycle that opened an avenue of previously unknown freedom to women? The jerseys of rivals Larry Bird and Magic Johnson? Or the handball that Abraham Lincoln threw against a wall as he waited for news of his presidential nomination?From nearly forgotten heroes like Tad Lucas (rodeo) and Tommy Kono (weightlifting) to celebrities like Amelia Earhart, Muhammad Ali, and Michael Phelps, Cait Murphy tells the stories of the people, events, and things that have forged the epic of American sports, in both its splendor and its squalor. Stories of heroism and triumph rub up against tales of discrimination and cheating. These objects tell much more than just stories about great games,they tell the story of the nation. Eye-opening and exuberant, A History of American Sports in 100 Objects shows how the games Americans play are woven into the gloriously infuriating fabric of America itself.
Honor Before Glory
By Scott McGaugh
On October 24, 1944, more than two hundred American soldiers realized they were surrounded by German infantry deep in the mountain forest of eastern France. As their dwindling food, ammunition, and medical supplies ran out, the American commanding officer turned to the 442nd Regimental Combat Team to achieve what other units had failed to do. Honor Before Glory is the story of the 442nd, a segregated unit of Japanese American citizens, commanded by white officers, that finally rescued the "lost battalion." Their unmatched courage and sacrifice under fire became legend- all the more remarkable because many of the soldiers had volunteered from prison-like "internment" camps where sentries watched their mothers and fathers from the barbed-wire perimeter.In seven campaigns, these young Japanese American men earned more than 9,000 Purple Hearts, 6,000 Bronze and Silver Stars, and nearly two dozen Medals of Honor. The 442nd became the most decorated unit of its size in World War II: its soldiers earned 18,100 awards and decorations, more than one for every man. Honor Before Glory is their story- a story of a young generation's fight against both the enemy and American prejudice- a story of heroism, sacrifice, and the best America has to offer.
Hamilton: The Revolution
By Lin-Manuel Miranda, Jeremy McCarter
Winner of the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for DramaGoodreads best non-fiction book of 2016From Tony Award-winning composer-lyricist-star Lin-Manuel Miranda comes a backstage pass to his groundbreaking, hit musical Hamilton.Lin-Manuel Miranda's groundbreaking musical Hamilton is as revolutionary as its subject, the poor kid from the Caribbean who fought the British, defended the Constitution, and helped to found the United States. Fusing hip-hop, pop, R&B, and the best traditions of theater, this once-in-a-generation show broadens the sound of Broadway, reveals the storytelling power of rap, and claims the origins of the United States for a diverse new generation.HAMILTON: THE REVOLUTION gives readers an unprecedented view of both revolutions, from the only two writers able to provide it. Miranda, along with Jeremy McCarter, a cultural critic and theater artist who was involved in the project from its earliest stages - "since before this was even a show," according to Miranda - traces its development from an improbable performance at the White House to its landmark opening night on Broadway six years later. In addition, Miranda has written more than 200 funny, revealing footnotes for his award-winning libretto, the full text of which is published here.Their account features photos by the renowned Frank Ockenfels and veteran Broadway photographer, Joan Marcus; exclusive looks at notebooks and emails; interviews with Questlove, Stephen Sondheim, leading political commentators, and more than 50 people involved with the production; and multiple appearances by President Obama himself. The book does more than tell the surprising story of how a Broadway musical became an international phenomenon: It demonstrates that America has always been renewed by the brash upstarts and brilliant outsiders, the men and women who don't throw away their shot.
Hell from the Heavens
By John Wukovits
On April 16, 1945, the crewmen of the USS Laffey heroically withstood twenty-two kamikaze attacks at Okinawa in what the US Navy called "one of the great sea epics of the war." Using scores of personal interviews with survivors, the memoirs of crew members, and the sailors' wartime correspondence, historian John Wukovits breathes life into this nearly forgotten event and makes the ordeal of the Laffey and her crew a story for the ages.
By Jesse Jarnow
Heads: A Biography of Psychedelic America uncovers a hidden history of the biggest psychedelic distribution and belief system the world has ever known. Through a collection of fast-paced interlocking narratives, it animates the tale of an alternate America and its wide-eyed citizens: the LSD-slinging graffiti writers of Central Park, the Dead-loving AI scientists of Stanford, utopian Whole Earth homesteaders, black market chemists, government-wanted Anonymous hackers, rogue explorers, East Village bluegrass pickers, spiritual seekers, Internet pioneers, entrepreneurs, pranksters, pioneering DJs, and a nation of Deadheads.WFMU DJ and veteran music writer Jesse Jarnow draws on extensive new firsthand accounts from many never-before-interviewed subjects and a wealth of deep archival research to create a comic-book-coloured and panoramic American landscape, taking readers for a guided tour of the hippie highway filled with lit-up explorers, peak trips, big busts, and scenic vistas, from Vermont to the Pacific Northwest, from the old world head capitals of San Francisco and New York to the geodesic dome- dotted valleys of Colorado and New Mexico. And with the psychedelic research moving into the mainstream for the first time in decades, Heads also recounts the story of the quiet entheogenic revolution that for years has been brewing resiliently in the Dead's Technicolour shadow.Featuring over four dozen images, many never before seen- including pop artist Keith Haring's first publicly sold work- Heads weaves on of the 20th and 21st centuries' most misunderstood subcultures into the fabric of the nation's history. Written for anyone who wondered what happened to the heads after the Acid Tests, through the'70s, during the Drug War, and on to the psychedelic present, Heads collects the essential history of how LSD, Deadheads, tie-dye, and the occasional bad trip have become familiar features of the American experience.
By J. Randy Taraborrelli
THE HILTONS is a sweeping saga of the success - and excess - of an iconic American family. Demanding and enigmatic, patriarch Conrad Hilton's visionary ideas and unyielding will established the model for the modern luxury hotel industry. But outside the boardroom, Conrad struggled with emotional detachment, failed marriages, and conflicted Catholicism. Then there were his children: Playboy Nicky Hilton's tragic alcoholism and marriage to Elizabeth Taylor was the stuff of tabloid legend. Barron Hilton, on the other hand, deftly handled his father's legacy, carrying the Hilton brand triumphantly into the new millennium. Eric, raised apart from his older brothers, accepted his supporting role in the Hilton dynasty with calm and quiet - a stark contrast to the boys' much younger half-sister Francesca, whose battle for recognition led her into courtrooms and conflict. The cast of supporting players includes the inimitable Zsa Zsa Gabor, who was married to Conrad briefly and remained a thorn in his side for decades, and a host of other Hollywood and business luminaries with whom the Hiltons crossed paths and swords over the years.
Honor and Betrayal
By Patrick Robinson
In this compelling and no-holds-barred account of three Navy SEALs' long road to justice, bestselling author Patrick Robinson reveals for the first time the entire story- from the night the SEALs stormed the al-Qaeda stronghold to the cut-and-thrust drama in the courtroom, where the fate of these American heroes hung in the balance.
How Could This Happen
By Dan McMillan
The Holocaust has long seemed incomprehensible, a monumental crime that beggars our powers of description and explanation. Historians have probed the many sources of this tragedy, but no account has united the various causes into an overarching synthesis that answers the vital question: How was such a nightmare possible in the heart of western civilization?In How Could This Happen , historian Dan McMillan distills the vast body of Holocaust research into a cogent explanation and comprehensive analysis of the genocide's many causes, revealing how a once-progressive society like Germany could have carried out this crime. The Holocaust, he explains, was caused not by one but by a combination of factors,from Germany's failure to become a democracy until 1918, to the widespread acceptance of anti-Semitism and scientific racism, to the effects of World War I, which intensified political divisions within the country and drastically lowered the value of human life in the minds of an entire generation. Masterfully synthesizing the myriad causes that led Germany to disaster, McMillan shows why thousands of Germans carried out the genocide while millions watched, with cold indifference, as it enveloped their homeland. Persuasive and compelling, How Could This Happen explains how a perfect storm of bleak circumstances, malevolent ideas, and damaged personalities unleashed history's most terrifying atrocity.
Human Game: Hunting the Great Escape Murderers
By Simon Read
In March 1944, 76 Allied officers tunnelled out of Stalag Luft III. Of the 73 captured, 50 were shot by direct order of Hitler. This is the story of how a British Bobby from Blackpool, Frank McKenna, was sent to post-war Germany on the express orders from Churchill to bring the Gestapo murderers to justice. In a quest that ranges from the devastated, bombed out cities of Europe to the horrors of the concentrations camps, McKenna is relentless in his pursuit. A gripping read set in the aftermath of World War II.