Island of the Blue Foxes
By 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."
Inside Camp David
By Michael Giorgione, Rear Admiral Michael Giorgione, CEC, USN (Ret.)
The first insider account, timed to the 75th anniversary of Camp DavidCamp David is American diplomacy's secret weapon. The home of the 2015 GCC and 2012 G8 summits, the 2000 Peace Summit, and the 1978 Peace Accords, the camp has played a vital role in American history over the past century, inviting Presidents and international leaders alike to converge, converse, and, perhaps most importantly, relax. A peaceful mountaintop setting, crucially removed from the constant scrutiny of the press, Camp David has served as both a site of critical diplomacy and unparalleled tranquility. It is where President and Mrs. Reagan rode horses through the mountains, where Gerald Ford could take a moment to jump on a trampoline with his daughter, where Nixon rode shotgun with Soviet President Leonid Brezhnev, and where Jimmy Carter could find the ultimate flight-sledding-only to break his clavicle two weeks before the end of his tenure. Under the pressure and stress, it is easy to forget that those occupying the highest seat in the land are, at the end of the day, human but at Camp David, we finally get to see these leaders at their most vulnerable, their most unguarded, and as their most true selves.
By John R. Bruning
When hostilities erupted in December 1941, Pappy Gunn was living in Manila with his family, working as a manager for Philippine Airlines. Unfortunately, when the Japanese finally marched on Manila the Air Force ordered him to fly key Army Air Force personnel out of the country. The order left him with the most important decision of his life, for he was already preparing to fly his family to safety. Whom would he take first? Unbeknownst to Pappy, MacArthur's staff deceived him by telling him he had time to do both. While he took off from Manila with his plane full of VIP's, the Japanese captured his wife and four children. Throwing them into the infamous Santo Tomas Internment camp, Pappy's family suffered through abuse, privation, disease and starvation. Betrayed by his own high command, and driven by guilt, fury and devotion to his family, Pappy Gunn spent the next three years trying to rescue his loved ones. His exploits became legend: He flew four times the number of combat missions of men half his age, extracting spies, sinking enemy ships, and building airfields under the nose of the Japanese. He revolutionized the art of air warfare in the process by devising his own weaponry, missions, and combat strategies. By the end of the war, Pappy's ingenuity and flair for innovation helped transform MacArthur's air force into the scourge of the Pacific.
It's up to the Women
By Eleanor Roosevelt
Written at the height of the Great Depression, It's Up to the Women is Eleanor Roosevelt's advice to women of all ages on every aspect of life. During a time of extreme hardship, she called on women particularly to do their part-cutting costs where needed, spending reasonably, and taking a personal responsibility to keep the economy going. She wrote, "Women, whether subtly or vociferously, have always been a tremendous power in the destiny of the world and with so many of them now holding important positions and receiving recognition and earning the respect of the men as well as the members of their own sex, it seems more than ever that in this crisis, 'It's Up to the Women!'"Roosevelt was among the earliest and most influential people of the time to compile such a wide-ranging treatment of the roles women should take in both private and public life. Her opinions about women's equality, civil rights, and a higher standard of education in the United States were ahead of her times. She argued for:* the need for equal pay for equal work* the sheer necessity of quality education* less indifference regarding the right to vote* the necessity of knowing one's neighbors for both urban and rural citizens.She also commented on the stark "condition" changes related to the Great Depression-homelessness, hunger, and alterations in the social order within communities and within families. Within this context, she calls upon the women to lead with this timely advice:Although Roosevelt was still within her first year as First Lady of the United States when she wrote this book, she had already rewritten the role with her active participation politics, speaking tours around the country, and her participation in press conferences. In this book, she showed a firm grasp of what was going on in the lives of the American women and of the role women could and should fulfill in the life of the nation.
If This Is A Woman
By Sarah Helm
Winner of the Longman-History Today Book Prize: A 'profoundly moving chronicle' (Observer) that tells the story of Ravensbrück, the only concentration camp designed specifically for women, using new testimony from survivorsOn a sunny morning in May 1939 a phalanx of 800 women - housewives, doctors, opera singers, politicians, prostitutes - were marched through the woods fifty miles north of Berlin, driven on past a shining lake, then herded through giant gates. Whipping and kicking them were scores of German women guards.Their destination was Ravensbrück, a concentration camp designed specifically for women by Heinrich Himmler, prime architect of the Nazi genocide.For decades the story of Ravensbrück was hidden behind the Iron Curtain and today is still little known. Using testimony unearthed since the end of the Cold War, and interviews with survivors who have never spoken before, Helm has ventured into the heart of the camp, demonstrating for the reader in riveting detail how easily and quickly the unthinkable horror evolved.'It not only fills a gap in Holocaust history but it is an utterly compelling read' Taylor Downing, History Today'A sense of urgency infuses this history, which comes just in time to gather the testimony of the camp's survivors . . . meticulous, unblinking . . . [Helm's] book comes not a moment too soon' The Economist
It's What I Do
By Lynsey Addario
Lynsey Addario was just finding her way as a photographer when September 11th changed the world. One of the few photojournalists with experience in Afghanistan, she gets the call to return and cover the American invasion. She makes a decision she would often find herself making - not to stay home, not to lead a quiet or predictable life, but to risk her life, to set out across the world, and to make a name for herself as one of a new generation of journalists created by the War on Terror. It's What I Do follows a course unavoidable for Addario - from her first camera and the pictures it inspired, to early years as a street photographer and the inspiration she found in the work of Sebastião Salgado. Photography becomes a way for her to travel with a purpose - a singular ambition that shapes and drives her. From Afghanistan to Iraq to Darfur to Libya, Addario finds in photography not only the artistic medium to convey people's stories, but the power to change political policy by showing its consequences. As a woman photojournalist determined to be taken seriously, Addario fights her way into a boy's club of a profession, eventually earning widespread recognition. Refusing to turn down career-defining assignments, she puts romance and family on hold. Yet the sadness and injustice she encounters as a conflict reporter give her a new vision for her own life, and the more she sees of the world, the greater her desires for love and family grow. It's What I Do is also the story of how Addario met her husband and father to their child, and how as a war correspondent and a mother, she learned to live her life in two different - though hardly separate - worlds. Watching uprisings unfold and people fight to the death for their freedom, Addario understands she is documenting not only news but also the fate of society. It's What I Do is more than just a snapshot of life on the front lines; it is witness to the human cost of war.
By Walter R. Borneman
After the completion of the transcontinental railroad in 1869, the rest of the United States was up for grabs, and the race was on. The prize: a better, shorter, less snowy route through the American Southwest, linking Los Angeles to Chicago. In IRON HORSES, Borneman recounts the rivalries, contested routes, political posturing and business dealings that unfolded as an increasing number of lines pushed their way across the country.Borneman brings to life the legendary robber barons behing it all and also captures the herculean efforts required to construct these roads - the laborers who did the back-breaking work, the brakemen who ran atop moving cars, the tracklayers crushed and killed by runaway trains. From backroom deals in Washington, DC, to armed robberies of trains in the wild deserts, from cattle cars to streamliners to Super Chiefs, all the great incidents and innovations of a mighty American era are made vivid in IRON HORSES.
The Island at the Center of the World
By Russell Shorto
When the British wrested New Amsterdam from the Dutch in 1664, the truth about its thriving, polyglot society began to disappear into myths about an island purchased for 24 dollars and a cartoonish peg-legged governor. But the story of the Dutch colony of New Netherland was merely lost, not destroyed. Drawing on the archives of the New Netherland Project, Russell Shorto has created a gripping narrative that transforms our understanding of early America.The Dutch colony pre-dated the 'original' thirteen colonies, yet it seems strikingly familiar. Its capital was cosmopolitan and multi-ethnic, and its citizens valued free trade, individual rights, and religious freedom. Their champion was a progressive, young lawyer named Adriaen van der Donck, who emerges in these pages as a forgotten American patriot and whose political vision brought him into conflict with Peter Stuyvesant, the autocratic director of the Dutch colony. The struggle between these two strong-willed men laid the foundation for New York City and helped shape American culture. The Island at the Center of the World uncovers a lost world and offers a surprising new perspective on our own.
By Peter Savodnik
Lee Harvey Oswald's assassination of President Kennedy in 1963 remains one of the most horrifying and hotly debated crimes in American history. Just as perplexing as the assassination is the assassin himself the 24-year-old Oswald's hazy background and motivations,and his subsequent murder at the hands of Jack Ruby,make him an intriguing yet frustratingly enigmatic figure. Because Oswald briefly defected to the Soviet Union, some historians allege he was a Soviet agent. But as Peter Savodnik shows in The Interloper , Oswald's time in the U.S.S.R. reveals a stranger, more chilling story. Oswald ventured to Russia at the age of 19, after a failed stint in the U.S. Marine Corps and a childhood spent shuffling from address to address with his unstable, needy mother. Like many of his generation, Oswald struggled for a sense of belonging in postwar American society, which could be materialistic, atomized, and alienating. The Soviet Union, with its promise of collectivism and camaraderie, seemed to offer an alternative. While traveling in Europe, Oswald slipped across the Soviet border, soon settling in Minsk where he worked at a radio and television factory. But Oswald quickly became just as disillusioned with his adopted country as he had been with the United States. He spoke very little Russian, had difficulty adapting to the culture of his new home, and found few trustworthy friends indeed most, it became clear, were informing on him to the KGB. After nearly three years, Oswald returned to America feeling utterly defeated and more alone than ever,and as Savodnik shows, he began to look for an outlet for his frustration and rage. Drawing on ground-breaking research, including interviews with Oswald's friends and acquaintances in Russia and the United States, The Interloper brilliantly evokes the shattered psyche not just of Oswald himself, but also of the era he so tragically defined.
By Pam Belluck
With a Foreword by Nathaniel Philbrick, author of the bestseller In the Heart of the Sea p style="" class="MsoNormal"If you need an appendectomy, he can do it with a stone scalpel he carved himself. If you have a condition nobody can diagnose- &ldquocreeping eruption&rdquo perhaps- he can identify what it is, and treat it. A baby with toe-tourniquet syndrome, a human leg that's washed ashore, a horse with Lyme disease, a narcoleptic falling face-first in the street, a hermit living underground- hardly anything is off-limits for Dr. Timothy J. Lepore. p style="text-indent: 0.5in" class="MsoNormal"This is the spirited, true story of a colourful, contrarian doctor on the world-famous island of Nantucket. Thirty miles out to sea, in a strikingly offbeat place known for wealthy summer people but also home to independent-minded, idiosyncratic year-rounders, Lepore holds the life of the island, often quite literally, in his hands. He's surgeon, medical examiner, football team doctor, tick expert, unofficial psychologist, accidental homicide detective, occasional veterinarian. When crisis strikes, he's deeply involved. p style="text-indent: 0.5in" class="MsoNormal"He's treated Jimmy Buffett, Chris Matthews, and various Kennedy relatives, but he makes house calls for anyone and lets people pay him nothing- or anything: oatmeal raisin cookies, a weather-beaten .44 Magnum, a picture of a Nepalese shaman. p style="text-indent: 0.5in" class="MsoNormal"Lepore can be controversial and contradictory, espousing conservative views while performing abortions and giving patients marijuana cookies. He has unusual hobbies: he's a gun fanatic, roadkill collector, and concocter of pastimes like knitting dog-hair sweaters. p style="text-indent: 0.5in" class="MsoNormal"Ultimately, Island Practice is about a doctor utterly essential to a community at a time when medicine is increasingly money-driven and impersonal. Can he remain a maverick even as a healthcare chain subsumes his hospital? Every community has- or, some would say, needs- a Doctor Lepore, and his island's drive to retain individuality in a cookie-cutter world is echoed across the country.
By Julie Holledge
The Edwardian actress, glamorous and privileged, was the sex symbol of her time. Yet her life was a paradox: off stage she could marry, divorce and take lovers with impugnity; on stage she had to play dutiful wives or daughters or 'scarlet women'. Thousands of these spirited women set out to change the conventional roles they played - and to change the world. Some of them were famous - Athene Seyler, Kitty Marion, Elizabeth Robins, Edy Craig, many others unknown. Managing their own companies, they put on hundreds of plays all over the country - many on taboo subjects such as divorce, sex, venereal disease, prostitution - by little known playwrights as well as established dramatists like Shaw, Ibsen, Barrie. They took the establishment theatre by storm; and they made their mark on the political stage too, forming the Actresses' Franchise League and joining the battle for the vote. Innocent Flowers tells the story of these astonishing women (and includes some of their plays). By tracing their lives and loves, Julie Holledge has rediscovered an inspiring period in the history of women and the theatre.
In The Shadow Of The Sword
By Tom Holland
A SUNDAY TIMES TOP TEN BESTSELLER'A stunning blockbuster' Robert Fisk'A compelling detective story of the highest order' Sunday TimesIn the 6th century AD, the Near East was divided between two great empires: the Persian and the Roman. A hundred years on, and one had vanished for ever, while the other was a dismembered, bleeding trunk. In their place, a new superpower had arisen: the empire of the Arabs. So profound was this upheaval that it spelled, in effect, the end of the ancient world.But the changes that marked the period were more than merely political or even cultural: there was also a transformation of human society with incalculable consequences for the future. Today, over half the world's population subscribes to one of the various religions that took on something like their final form during the last centuries of antiquity. Wherever men or women are inspired by belief in a single god to think or behave in a certain way, they bear witness to the abiding impact of this extraordinary, convulsive age - though as Tom Holland demonstrates, much of what Jews, Christians and Muslims believe about the origins of their religion is open to debate.In the Shadow of the Sword explores how a succession of great empires came to identify themselves with a new and revolutionary understanding of the divine. It is a story vivid with drama, horror and startling achievement, and stars many of the most remarkable rulers ever seen.
By Evan Thomas
Upon assuming the presidency in 1953, Dwight Eisenhower came to be seen by many as a doddering lightweight. Yet behind the bland smile and apparent simplemindedness was a brilliant, intellectual tactician. As Evan Thomas reveals in his provocative examination of Ike's White House years, Eisenhower was a master of calculated duplicity. As with his bridge and poker games he was eventually forced to stop playing after leaving too many fellow army officers insolvent, Ike could be patient and ruthless in the con, and generous and expedient in his partnerships. Facing the Soviet Union, China, and his own generals, some of whom believed a first strike was the only means of survival, Eisenhower would make his boldest and riskiest bet yet, one of such enormity that there could be but two outcomes: the survival of the world, or its end.This is the story of how he won.
If By Sea
By George C. Daughan
Most historians trace the origins of the Continental Navy to George Washington's official inauguration of the Federal Navy in 1793, but the story actually begins years earlier: in 1775, at the advent of the American Revolution. In If By Sea, historian George C. Daughan uses decades of primary research to brilliantly trace the navy's little-recognized origins, showing that the battles of Lexington and Concord,as well as many subsequent battles, including Bunker Hill, New York, and Philadelphia,cannot be fully understood without taking the role of naval power into account.
In Search of the Blues
By Marybeth Hamilton
In this extraordinary reconstruction of the origins of the blues, historian Marybeth Hamilton demonstrates that the story as we know it is largely a myth. Following the trail of characters like Howard Odum, who combed Mississippi's back roads with a cylinder phonograph to record vagrants, John and Alan Lomax, who prowled Southern penitentiaries and unearthed the rough, melancholy vocals of Leadbelly, and James McKune, a recluse whose record collection came to define the primal sounds of the Delta blues, Hamilton reveals this musical form to be the culmination of a longstanding white fascination with the exotic mysteries of black music. By excavating the history of the Delta blues, Hamilton reveals the extent to which American culture has been shaped by white fantasies of racial difference.
The Idea That Is America
By Anne-Marie Slaughter
What values does America truly stand for? In The Idea That Is America , a preeminent foreign policy scholar elegantly reminds us of the essential principles on which our nation was established: liberty, democracy, equality, tolerance, faith, justice, and humility. Our ongoing struggle to live up to America's great promise matters not only to us, but also to the billions of people everywhere who look to the United States to lead, protect, and inspire the world. In The Idea That Is America , Anne-Marie Slaughter shows us the way forward.
Inside the Jihad
By Omar Nasiri
Between 1994 and 2000, Omar Nasiri worked as a secret agent for Europe's top foreign intelligence services-including France's DGSE (Direction Générale de la Sécurité Extérieure), and Britain's MI5 and MI6. From the netherworld of Islamist cells in Belgium, to the training camps of Afghanistan, to the radical mosques of London, he risked his life to defeat the emerging global network that the West would come to know as Al Qaeda. Now, for the first time, Nasiri shares the story of his life-a life balanced precariously between the world of Islamic jihadists and the spies who pursue them. As an Arab and a Muslim, he was able to infiltrate the rigidly controlled Afghan training camps, where he encountered men who would later be known as the most-wanted terrorists on earth: Ibn al-Sheikh al-Libi, Abu Zubayda, and Abu Khabab al-Masri. Sent back to Europe with instructions to form a sleeper cell, Nasiri became a conduit for messages going back and forth between Al Qaeda's top recruiter in Pakistan and London's radical cleric Abu Qatada.
In Command of History
By David Reynolds
Winston Churchill fought the World War II twice over-first as Prime Minister during the war, and then later as the war's premier historian. From 1948-54, he published six volumes of memoirs. They secured his reputation and shaped our understanding of the conflict to this day. Drawing on the drafts of Churchill's manuscript as well as his correspondence from the period, David Reynolds masterfully reveals Churchill the author. Reynolds shows how the memoirs were censored by the British government to conceal state secrets, and how Churchill himself censored them to avoid offending current world leaders. This book illuminates an unjustly neglected period of Churchill's life-the Second Wilderness Years of 1945-51, when Churchill wrote himself into history, politicked himself back into the prime-ministership, and delivered some of the most important speeches of his career.
In a Far Country
By John Taliaferro
In the fall of 1897, eight whaling ships became trapped in the ice on Alaska's northern coast. Without relief, two hundred whalers would starve to death by winter's end. Mercifully, an extraordinary missionary, Tom Lopp, and seven Eskimo herders embarked on a harrowing journey to save the whalers, driving four hundred reindeer more than seven hundred untracked miles. At the heart of the rescue expedition lies another, in some ways more compelling, journey. In a Far Country is the personal odyssey of Tom and his wife Ellen Lopp, their commitment to the natives and the rugged but happy life they built for themselves amid a treeless tundra at the top of the world. The Lopps pulled through on grit and wits, on humility and humour, on trust and love, and by the grace of God. Their accomplishment would surely have received broader acclaim had it not been eclipsed by two simultaneous events: the Spanish- American War and the Alaska gold rush. The United States and its territories were transformed abruptly and irrevocably by these fits of expansionist fever, and despite the thoughtful, determined guidance of the Lopps, the natives of the North were soon overwhelmed by a force mightier than the fiercest Arctic winter: the twentieth century.
Ibsen and Hitler
By Steven F. Sage
The author reveals how a series of actions initiated by Hitler align with episodes in three Ibsen scripts, and that Hitler adopted characters as analogs to his own career path.