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Named one of the ten best books of the year by the Chicago Tribune A Publishers Weekly best book of 2019 | A 2019 NPR Staff Pick A pathbreaking history of the United States’ overseas possessions and the true meaning of its empire We are familiar with maps that outline all fifty states. And we are also familiar with the idea that the United States is an “empire,” exercising power around the world. But what about the actual territories—the islands, atolls, and archipelagos—this country has governed and inhabited? In How to Hide an Empire, Daniel Immerwahr tells the fascinating story of the United States outside the United States. In crackling, fast-paced prose, he reveals forgotten episodes that cast American history in a new light. We travel to the Guano Islands, where prospectors collected one of the nineteenth century’s most valuable commodities, and the Philippines, site of the most destructive event on U.S. soil. In Puerto Rico, Immerwahr shows how U.S. doctors conducted grisly experiments they would never have conducted on the mainland and charts the emergence of independence fighters who would shoot up the U.S. Congress. In the years after World War II, Immerwahr notes, the United States moved away from colonialism. Instead, it put innovations in electronics, transportation, and culture to use, devising a new sort of influence that did not require the control of colonies. Rich with absorbing vignettes, full of surprises, and driven by an original conception of what empire and globalization mean today, How to Hide an Empire is a major and compulsively readable work of history.
“David Abulafia’s new book guides readers along the world’s greatest bodies of water to reveal their primary role in human history. The main protagonists are the three major oceans-the Atlantic, the Pacific, and the Indian-which together comprise the majority of the earth’s water and cover over half of its surface. Over time, as passage through them gradually extended and expanded, linking first islands and then continents, maritime networks developed, evolving from local exploration to lines of regional communication and commerce and eventually to major arteries. These waterways carried goods, plants, livestock, and of course people-free and enslaved-across vast expanses, transforming and ultimately linking irrevocably the economies and cultures of Africa, Europe, Asia, and the Americas”–
Winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize in History“Compelling.”—Renee Graham, Boston Globe“Stunning.”—Rebecca Onion, Slate“Makes a vital contribution to our understanding of our past and present.”—Parul Sehgal, New York Times Bridging women’s history, the history of the South, and African American history, this book makes a bold argument about the role of white women in American slavery. Historian Stephanie E. Jones-Rogers draws on a variety of sources to show that slave‑owning women were sophisticated economic actors who directly engaged in and benefited from the South’s slave market. Because women typically inherited more slaves than land, enslaved people were often their primary source of wealth. Not only did white women often refuse to cede ownership of their slaves to their husbands, they employed management techniques that were as effective and brutal as those used by slave‑owning men. White women actively participated in the slave market, profited from it, and used it for economic and social empowerment. By examining the economically entangled lives of enslaved people and slave‑owning women, Jones-Rogers presents a narrative that forces us to rethink the economics and social conventions of slaveholding America.
The first comprehensive history of the Lakota Indians and their profound role in shaping America’s history Named One of the New York Times Critics’ Top Books of 2019 – Named One of the 10 Best History Books of 2019 by Smithsonian Magazine – Winner of the MPIBA Reading the West Book Award for narrative nonfiction “Turned many of the stories I thought I knew about our nation inside out.”–Cornelia Channing, Paris Review, Favorite Books of 2019 “My favorite non-fiction book of this year.”–Tyler Cowen, Bloomberg Opinion “A briliant, bold, gripping history.”–Simon Sebag Montefiore, London Evening Standard, Best Books of 2019 “All nations deserve to have their stories told with this degree of attentiveness”–Parul Sehgal, New York Times This first complete account of the Lakota Indians traces their rich and often surprising history from the early sixteenth to the early twenty-first century. Pekka Hämäläinen explores the Lakotas’ roots as marginal hunter-gatherers and reveals how they reinvented themselves twice: first as a river people who dominated the Missouri Valley, America’s great commercial artery, and then–in what was America’s first sweeping westward expansion–as a horse people who ruled supreme on the vast high plains. The Lakotas are imprinted in American historical memory. Red Cloud, Crazy Horse, and Sitting Bull are iconic figures in the American imagination, but in this groundbreaking book they emerge as something different: the architects of Lakota America, an expansive and enduring Indigenous regime that commanded human fates in the North American interior for generations. Hämäläinen’s deeply researched and engagingly written history places the Lakotas at the center of American history, and the results are revelatory.
The story of tobacco’s fortunes seems simple: science triumphed over addiction and profit. Yet the reality is more complicated—and more political. Historically it was not just bad habits but also the state that lifted the tobacco industry. What brought about change was not medical advice but organized pressure: a movement for nonsmoker’s rights.
A Smithsonian Best History Book of 2019 “Sparkling.” —Genevieve Valentine, NPR Kristen Richardson traces the social seasons of debutantes on both sides of the Atlantic, sharing their stories in their own words, through diaries, letters, and interviews conducted at contemporary balls. Richardson takes the reader from Georgian England to colonial Philadelphia, from the Antebellum South and Wharton’s New York to the reimagined rituals of African American communities. Originally conceived as a way to wed daughters to suitable men, debutante rituals have adapted and evolved as marriage and women’s lives have changed. An inquiry into the ritual’s enduring cultural significance, The Season also reveals the complex emotional world of the girls at its center, whose every move was scrutinized and judged, and on whose backs family fortunes rested.
A New York Times Best Book of the Year A Time Best Book of the Year A Kirkus Reviews Best Nonfiction Book of the Year 2020 Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence Winner One of NPR’s Best Books of 2019 Journalist Adam Higginbotham’s definitive, years-in-the-making account of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant disaster—and a powerful investigation into how propaganda, secrecy, and myth have obscured the true story of one of the twentieth century’s greatest disasters. Early in the morning of April 26, 1986, Reactor Number Four of the Chernobyl Atomic Energy Station exploded, triggering history’s worst nuclear disaster. In the thirty years since then, Chernobyl has become lodged in the collective nightmares of the world: shorthand for the spectral horrors of radiation poisoning, for a dangerous technology slipping its leash, for ecological fragility, and for what can happen when a dishonest and careless state endangers its citizens and the entire world. But the real story of the accident, clouded from the beginning by secrecy, propaganda, and misinformation, has long remained in dispute. Drawing on hundreds of hours of interviews conducted over the course of more than ten years, as well as letters, unpublished memoirs, and documents from recently-declassified archives, Adam Higginbotham has written a harrowing and compelling narrative which brings the disaster to life through the eyes of the men and women who witnessed it firsthand. The result is a masterful nonfiction thriller, and the definitive account of an event that changed history: a story that is more complex, more human, and more terrifying than the Soviet myth. Midnight in Chernobyl is an indelible portrait of one of the great disasters of the twentieth century, of human resilience and ingenuity, and the lessons learned when mankind seeks to bend the natural world to his will—lessons which, in the face of climate change and other threats, remain not just vital but necessary.
This original and “meticulously researched retelling of history’s most infamous voyage” (Denise Kiernan, New York Times bestselling author) uses the sinking of the Titanic as a prism through which to examine the end of the Edwardian era and the seismic shift modernity brought to the Western world. “While there are many Titanic books, this is one readers will consider a favorite” (Voyage). In April 1912, six notable people were among those privileged to experience the height of luxury—first class passage on “the ship of dreams,” the RMS Titanic: Lucy Leslie, Countess of Rothes; son of the British Empire Tommy Andrews; American captain of industry John Thayer and his son Jack; Jewish-American immigrant Ida Straus; and American model and movie star Dorothy Gibson. Within a week of setting sail, they were all caught up in the horrifying disaster of the Titanic’s sinking, one of the biggest news stories of the century. Today, we can see their stories and the Titanic’s voyage as the beginning of the end of the established hierarchy of the Edwardian era. Writing in his signature elegant prose and using previously unpublished sources, deck plans, journal entries, and surviving artifacts, Gareth Russell peers through the portholes of these first-class travelers to immerse us in a time of unprecedented change in British and American history. Through their intertwining lives, he examines social, technological, political, and economic forces such as the nuances of the British class system, the explosion of competition in the shipping trade, the birth of the movie industry, the Irish Home Rule Crisis, and the Jewish-American immigrant experience while also recounting their intimate stories of bravery, tragedy, and selflessness. Lavishly illustrated with color and black and white photographs, this is “a beautiful requiem” (The Wall Street Journal) in which “readers get the story of this particular floating Tower of Babel in riveting detail, and with all the wider context they could want” (Christian Science Monitor).
Winner of the Barbara and David Zalaznick Book Prize in American History Winner of the Excellence in American History Book Award Winner of the Fraunces Tavern Museum Book Award From the bestselling author of the Liberation Trilogy comes the extraordinary first volume of his new trilogy about the American Revolution Rick Atkinson, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning An Army at Dawn and two other superb books about World War II, has long been admired for his deeply researched, stunningly vivid narrative histories. Now he turns his attention to a new war, and in the initial volume of the Revolution Trilogy he recounts the first twenty-one months of America’s violent war for independence. From the battles at Lexington and Concord in spring 1775 to those at Trenton and Princeton in winter 1777, American militiamen and then the ragged Continental Army take on the world’s most formidable fighting force. It is a gripping saga alive with astonishing characters: Henry Knox, the former bookseller with an uncanny understanding of artillery; Nathanael Greene, the blue-eyed bumpkin who becomes a brilliant battle captain; Benjamin Franklin, the self-made man who proves to be the wiliest of diplomats; George Washington, the commander in chief who learns the difficult art of leadership when the war seems all but lost. The story is also told from the British perspective, making the mortal conflict between the redcoats and the rebels all the more compelling. Full of riveting details and untold stories, The British Are Coming is a tale of heroes and knaves, of sacrifice and blunder, of redemption and profound suffering. Rick Atkinson has given stirring new life to the first act of our country’s creation drama.
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • The epic true crime story of the most successful bootlegger in American history and the murder that shocked the nation, from the New York Times bestselling author of Sin in the Second City and Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy “Gatsby-era noir at its best.”—Erik Larson An ID Book Club Selection • NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST HISTORY BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY SMITHSONIAN In the early days of Prohibition, long before Al Capone became a household name, a German immigrant named George Remus quits practicing law and starts trafficking whiskey. Within two years he’s a multi-millionaire. The press calls him “King of the Bootleggers,” writing breathless stories about the Gatsby-esque events he and his glamorous second wife, Imogene, host at their Cincinnati mansion, with party favors ranging from diamond jewelry for the men to brand-new cars for the women. By the summer of 1921, Remus owns 35 percent of all the liquor in the United States. Pioneering prosecutor Mabel Walker Willebrandt is determined to bring him down. Willebrandt’s bosses at the Justice Department hired her right out of law school, assuming she’d pose no real threat to the cozy relationship they maintain with Remus. Eager to prove them wrong, she dispatches her best investigator, Franklin Dodge, to look into his empire. It’s a decision with deadly consequences. With the fledgling FBI on the case, Remus is quickly imprisoned for violating the Volstead Act. Her husband behind bars, Imogene begins an affair with Dodge. Together, they plot to ruin Remus, sparking a bitter feud that soon reaches the highest levels of government–and that can only end in murder. Combining deep historical research with novelistic flair, The Ghosts of Eden Park is the unforgettable, stranger-than-fiction story of a rags-to-riches entrepreneur and a long-forgotten heroine, of the excesses and absurdities of the Jazz Age, and of the infinite human capacity to deceive. Praise for The Ghosts of Eden Park “An exhaustively researched, hugely entertaining work of popular history that . . . exhumes a colorful crew of once-celebrated characters and restores them to full-blooded life. . . . [Abbott’s] métier is narrative nonfiction and—as this vibrant, enormously readable book makes clear—she is one of the masters of the art.”—The Wall Street Journal “Satisfyingly sensational and thoroughly researched.”—The Columbus Dispatch “Absorbing . . . a Prohibition-era page-turner.”—Chicago Tribune
From the bestselling author of Return of a King, the story of how the East India Company took over large swaths of Asia, and the devastating results of the corporation running a country. In August 1765, the East India Company defeated the young Mughal emperor and set up, in his place, a government run by English traders who collected taxes through means of a private army. The creation of this new government marked the moment that the East India Company ceased to be a conventional company and became something much more unusual: an international corporation transformed into an aggressive colonial power. Over the course of the next 47 years, the company’s reach grew until almost all of India south of Delhi was effectively ruled from a boardroom in the city of London. The Anarchy tells one of history’s most remarkable stories: how the Mughal Empire-which dominated world trade and manufacturing and possessed almost unlimited resources-fell apart and was replaced by a multinational corporation based thousands of miles overseas, and answerable to shareholders, most of whom had never even seen India and no idea about the country whose wealth was providing their dividends. Using previously untapped sources, Dalrymple tells the story of the East India Company as it has never been told before and provides a portrait of the devastating results from the abuse of corporate power.
A dynamic, timely history of nineteenth-century activists—free-lovers and socialists, abolitionists and vigilantes—and the social revolution they sparked in the turbulent Civil War era “In the tradition of Howard Zinn’s people’s histories, American Radicals reveals a forgotten yet inspiring past.”—Megan Marshall, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Margaret Fuller: A New American Life and Elizabeth Bishop: A Miracle for Breakfast NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST HISTORY BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY SMITHSONIAN On July 4, 1826, as Americans lit firecrackers to celebrate the country’s fiftieth birthday, both John Adams and Thomas Jefferson were on their deathbeds. They would leave behind a groundbreaking political system and a growing economy—as well as the glaring inequalities that had undermined the American experiment from its beginning. The young nation had outlived the men who made it, but could it survive intensifying divisions over the very meaning of the land of the free? A new network of dissent—connecting firebrands and agitators on pastoral communes, in urban mobs, and in genteel parlors across the nation—vowed to finish the revolution they claimed the founding fathers had only begun. They were men and women, black and white, fiercely devoted to causes that pitted them against mainstream America even while they fought to preserve the nation’s founding ideals: the brilliant heiress Frances Wright, whose shocking critiques of religion and the institution of marriage led to calls for her arrest; the radical Bostonian William Lloyd Garrison, whose commitment to nonviolence would be tested as the conflict over slavery pushed the nation to its breaking point; the Philadelphia businessman James Forten, who presided over the first mass political protest of free African Americans; Marx Lazarus, a vegan from Alabama whose calls for sexual liberation masked a dark secret; black nationalist Martin Delany, the would-be founding father of a West African colony who secretly supported John Brown’s treasonous raid on Harpers Ferry—only to ally himself with Southern Confederates after the Civil War. Though largely forgotten today, these figures were enormously influential in the pivotal period flanking the war, their lives and work entwined with reformers like Frederick Douglass, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Henry David Thoreau, as well as iconic leaders like Abraham Lincoln. Jackson writes them back into the story of the nation’s most formative and perilous era in all their heroism, outlandishness, and tragic shortcomings. The result is a surprising, panoramic work of narrative history, one that offers important lessons for our own time.
The New York Times-bestselling final book by the beloved, Pulitzer-Prize winning historian Tony Horwitz. With Spying on the South, the best-selling author of Confederates in the Attic returns to the South and the Civil War era for an epic adventure on the trail of America’s greatest landscape architect. In the 1850s, the young Frederick Law Olmsted was adrift, a restless farmer and dreamer in search of a mission. He found it during an extraordinary journey, as an undercover correspondent in the South for the up-and-coming New York Times. For the Connecticut Yankee, pen name “Yeoman,” the South was alien, often hostile territory. Yet Olmsted traveled for 14 months, by horseback, steamboat, and stagecoach, seeking dialogue and common ground. His vivid dispatches about the lives and beliefs of Southerners were revelatory for readers of his day, and Yeoman’s remarkable trek also reshaped the American landscape, as Olmsted sought to reform his own society by creating democratic spaces for the uplift of all. The result: Central Park and Olmsted’s career as America’s first and foremost landscape architect. Tony Horwitz rediscovers Yeoman Olmsted amidst the discord and polarization of our own time. Is America still one country? In search of answers, and his own adventures, Horwitz follows Olmsted’s tracks and often his mode of transport (including muleback): through Appalachia, down the Mississippi River, into bayou Louisiana, and across Texas to the contested Mexican borderland. Venturing far off beaten paths, Horwitz uncovers bracing vestiges and strange new mutations of the Cotton Kingdom. Horwitz’s intrepid and often hilarious journey through an outsized American landscape is a masterpiece in the tradition of Great Plains, Bad Land, and the author’s own classic, Confederates in the Attic.
From New York Times bestselling author and Founding Fathers’ biographer Harlow Giles Unger comes the astonishing biography of the man whose pen set America ablaze, inspiring its revolution, and whose ideas about reason and religion continue to try men’s souls. Thomas Paine’s words were like no others in history: they leaped off the page, inspiring readers to change their lives, their governments, their kings, and even their gods. In an age when spoken and written words were the only forms of communication, Paine’s aroused men to action like no one else. The most widely read political writer of his generation, he proved to be more than a century ahead of his time, conceiving and demanding unheard-of social reforms that are now integral elements of modern republican societies. Among them were government subsidies for the poor, universal housing and education, pre- and post-natal care for women, and universal social security. An Englishman who emigrated to the American colonies, he formed close friendships with Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison, and his ideas helped shape the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights. However, the world turned against Paine in his later years. While his earlier works, Common Sense and Rights of Man, attacked the political and social status quo here on earth, The Age of Reason attacked the status quo of the hereafter. Former friends shunned him, and the man America had hailed as the muse of the American Revolution died alone and forgotten. Packed with action and intrigue, soldiers and spies, politics and perfidy, Unger’s Thomas Paine is a much-needed new look at a defining figure.
Winner of the Nayef Al-Rodhan Prize for Global Cultural Understanding 2019 Shortlisted for the Cundill History Prize and the Pius Adesanmi Memorial Award ‘Astonishing, staggering’ Ben Okri, Daily Telegraph A groundbreaking new history that will transform our view of West Africa By the time of the ‘Scramble for Africa’ in the late nineteenth century, Africa had already been globally connected for many centuries. Its gold had fuelled the economies of Europe and Islamic world since around 1000, and its sophisticated kingdoms had traded with Europeans along the coasts from Senegal down to Angola since the fifteenth century. Until at least 1650, this was a trade of equals, using a variety of currencies – most importantly shells: the cowrie shells imported from the Maldives, and the nzimbu shells imported from Brazil. Toby Green’s groundbreaking new book transforms our view of West and West-Central Africa. It reconstructs the world of kingdoms whose existence (like those of Europe) revolved around warfare, taxation, trade, diplomacy, complex religious beliefs, royal display and extravagance, and the production of art. Over time, the relationship between Africa and Europe revolved ever more around the trade in slaves, damaging Africa’s relative political and economic power as the terms of monetary exchange shifted drastically in Europe’s favour. In spite of these growing capital imbalances, longstanding contacts ensured remarkable connections between the Age of Revolution in Europe and America and the birth of a revolutionary nineteenth century in Africa. A Fistful of Shells draws not just on written histories, but on archival research in nine countries, on art, praise-singers, oral history, archaeology, letters, and the author’s personal experience to create a new perspective on the history of one of the world’s most important regions.
From the New York Times bestselling and award-winning author of Empire of the Summer Moon and Rebel Yell comes “a masterwork of history” (Lawrence Wright, author of God Save Texas), the spellbinding, epic account of the last year of the Civil War. The fourth and final year of the Civil War offers one of the most compelling narratives and one of history’s great turning points. Now, Pulitzer Prize finalist S.C. Gwynne breathes new life into the epic battle between Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant; the advent of 180,000 black soldiers in the Union army; William Tecumseh Sherman’s March to the Sea; the rise of Clara Barton; the election of 1864 (which Lincoln nearly lost); the wild and violent guerrilla war in Missouri; and the dramatic final events of the war, including Lee’s surrender at Appomattox and the murder of Abraham Lincoln. “A must-read for Civil War enthusiasts” (Publishers Weekly), Hymns of the Republic offers many surprising angles and insights. Robert E. Lee, known as a great general and Southern hero, is presented here as a man dealing with frustration, failure, and loss. Ulysses S. Grant is known for his prowess as a field commander, but in the final year of the war he largely fails at that. His most amazing accomplishments actually began the moment he stopped fighting. William Tecumseh Sherman, Gwynne argues, was a lousy general, but probably the single most brilliant man in the war. We also meet a different Clara Barton, one of the greatest and most compelling characters, who redefined the idea of medical care in wartime. And proper attention is paid to the role played by large numbers of black union soldiers—most of them former slaves. Popular history at its best, Hymns of the Republic reveals the creation that arose from destruction in this “engrossing…riveting” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review) read.
A powerful reassessment of a seminal moment in the history of India and the British Empire—the Amritsar Massacre—to mark its 100th anniversaryThe Amritsar Massacre of 1919 was a seminal moment in the history of the British Empire, yet it remains poorly understood. In this dramatic account, Kim A. Wagner details the perspectives of ordinary people and argues that General Dyer’s order to open fire at Jallianwalla Bagh was an act of fear. Situating the massacre within the “deep” context of British colonial mentality and the local dynamics of Indian nationalism, Wagner provides a genuinely nuanced approach to the bloody history of the British Empire.
From the bestselling author of The Templars. ‘Voyages, battles, sieges and slaughter: Dan Jones’s tumultuous and thrilling history of the crusades is one of the best’ SUNDAY TIMES. ‘A powerful story brilliantly told. Dan Jones writes with pace, wit and insight’ HELEN CASTOR. ‘A fresh and vibrant account of a conflict that raged across medieval centuries’ JONATHAN PHILLIPS. Dan Jones, best-selling chronicler of the Middle Ages, turns his attention to the history of the Crusades – the sequence of religious wars fought between the late eleventh century and late medieval periods, in which armies from European Christian states attempted to wrest the Holy Land from Islamic rule, and which have left an enduring imprint on relations between the Muslim world and the West. From the preaching of the First Crusade by Pope Urban II in 1095 to the loss of the last crusader outpost in the Levant in 1302-03, and from the taking of Jerusalem from the Fatimids in 1099 to the fall of Acre to the Mamluks in 1291, Crusaders tells a tale soaked in Islamic, Christian and Jewish blood, peopled by extraordinary characters, and characterised by both low ambition and high principle. Dan Jones is a master of popular narrative history, with the priceless ability to write page-turning narrative history underpinned by authoritative scholarship. Never before has the era of the Crusades been depicted in such bright and striking colours, or their story told with such gusto. PRAISE FOR THE TEMPLARS: ‘A fresh, muscular and compelling history of the ultimate military-religious crusading order, combining sensible scholarship with narrative swagger’ SIMON SEBAG MONTEFIORE. ‘Dan Jones has created a gripping page-turner out of the dramatic history of the Templars’ PHILIPPA GREGORY. ‘The story of the Templars, the ultimate holy warriors, is an extraordinary saga of fanaticism, bravery, treachery and betrayal, and in Dan Jones they have a worthy chronicler. The Templars is a wonderful book!’ BERNARD CORNWELL. ‘Told with all Jones’s usual verve and panache, this is a dramatic and gripping tale of courage and stupidity, faith and betrayal’ MAIL ON SUNDAY. ‘This is another triumphant tale from a historian who writes as addictively as any page-turning novelist’ OBSERVER. ‘The Templars is exhilarating, epic, sword-swinging history’ TLS. ‘Jones carries the Templars through the crusades with clarity and verve. This is unabashed narrative history, fast-paced and full of incident … Jones tells their story extremely well’ SUNDAY TIMES.
The Los Angeles Times Bestseller A Tor.com Most Anticipated Book of 2019 A PureWow “Book We Can’t Wait to Read in 2019” A Bustle Nonfiction Book Coming Out In 2019 To Start Getting Excited About The Lady from the Black Lagoon uncovers the life and work of Milicent Patrick—one of Disney’s first female animators and the only woman in history to create one of Hollywood’s classic movie monsters As a teenager, Mallory O’Meara was thrilled to discover that one of her favorite movies, Creature from the Black Lagoon, featured a monster designed by a woman, Milicent Patrick. But for someone who should have been hailed as a pioneer in the genre, there was little information available. For, as O’Meara soon discovered, Patrick’s contribution had been claimed by a jealous male colleague, her career had been cut short and she soon after had disappeared from film history. No one even knew if she was still alive. As a young woman working in the horror film industry, O’Meara set out to right the wrong, and in the process discovered the full, fascinating story of an ambitious, artistic woman ahead of her time. Patrick’s contribution to special effects proved to be just the latest chapter in a remarkable, unconventional life, from her youth growing up in the shadow of Hearst Castle, to her career as one of Disney’s first female animators. And at last, O’Meara discovered what really had happened to Patrick after The Creature’s success, and where she went. A true-life detective story and a celebration of a forgotten feminist trailblazer, Mallory O’Meara’s The Lady from the Black Lagoon establishes Patrick in her rightful place in film history while calling out a Hollywood culture where little has changed since.
The story of what happened to the orphaned and abandoned children of the London Foundling Hospital, and the consequences of Georgian philanthropy. From serving Britain’s growing global empire in the Royal Navy, to the suffering of child workers in the Industrial Revolution, the Foundling Hospital was no simple act of charity
FINALIST FOR THE 2019 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD LONGLISTED FOR THE 2020 ANDREW CARNEGIE MEDAL FOR EXCELLENCE A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER Named a best book of 2019 by The New York Times, TIME, The Washington Post, NPR, Hudson Booksellers, The New York Public Library, The Dallas Morning News, and Library Journal. “Chapter after chapter, it’s like one shattered myth after another.” – NPR “An informed, moving and kaleidoscopic portrait… Treuer’s powerful book suggests the need for soul-searching about the meanings of American history and the stories we tell ourselves about this nation’s past..” – New York Times Book Review, front page A sweeping history—and counter-narrative—of Native American life from the Wounded Knee massacre to the present. The received idea of Native American history—as promulgated by books like Dee Brown’s mega-bestselling 1970 Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee—has been that American Indian history essentially ended with the 1890 massacre at Wounded Knee. Not only did one hundred fifty Sioux die at the hands of the U. S. Cavalry, the sense was, but Native civilization did as well. Growing up Ojibwe on a reservation in Minnesota, training as an anthropologist, and researching Native life past and present for his nonfiction and novels, David Treuer has uncovered a different narrative. Because they did not disappear—and not despite but rather because of their intense struggles to preserve their language, their traditions, their families, and their very existence—the story of American Indians since the end of the nineteenth century to the present is one of unprecedented resourcefulness and reinvention. In The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee, Treuer melds history with reportage and memoir. Tracing the tribes’ distinctive cultures from first contact, he explores how the depredations of each era spawned new modes of survival. The devastating seizures of land gave rise to increasingly sophisticated legal and political maneuvering that put the lie to the myth that Indians don’t know or care about property. The forced assimilation of their children at government-run boarding schools incubated a unifying Native identity. Conscription in the US military and the pull of urban life brought Indians into the mainstream and modern times, even as it steered the emerging shape of self-rule and spawned a new generation of resistance. The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee is the essential, intimate story of a resilient people in a transformative era.
From the celebrated author of Never Again and Having It So Good, a wonderfully vivid new history of Britain in the early 1960s Harold Macmillan famously said in 1960 that the wind of change was blowing over Africa and the remaining British Empire. But it was blowing over Britain too – its society; its relationship with Europe; its nuclear and defence policy. And where it was not blowing hard enough – the United Kingdom’s economy – great efforts were made to sweep away the cobwebs of old industrial practices and poor labour relations. Life was lived in the knowledge that it could end in a single afternoon of thermonuclear exchange if the uneasy, armed peace of the Cold War tipped into a Third World War. In Winds of Change we see Macmillan gradually working out his ‘grand design’ – how to be part of both a tight transatlantic alliance and Europe, dealing with his fellow geostrategists Kennedy and de Gaulle. The centre of the book is 1963 – the year of the Profumo Crisis, the Great Train Robbery, the satire boom, de Gaulle’s veto of Britain’s first application to join the EEC, the fall of Macmillan and the unexpected succession to the premiership of Alec Douglas-Home. Then, in 1964, the battle of what Hennessy calls the tweedy aristocrat and the tweedy meritocrat – Harold Wilson, who would end 13 years of Conservative rule and usher in a new era. As in his acclaimed histories of British life in the two previous decades, Never Again and Having it so Good, Peter Hennessy explains the political, economic, cultural and social aspects of a nation with inimitable wit and empathy. No historian knows the by-ways as well the highways of the archives so well, and no one conveys the flavour of the period so engagingly. The early sixties live again in these pages.
From Pulitzer Prize-winning author Morris comes a revelatory new biography ofThomas Alva Edison, the most prolific genius in American history.
Learn why NASA astronaut Mike Collins calls this extraordinary space race story “the best book on Apollo”: this inspiring and intimate ode to ingenuity celebrates one of the most daring feats in human history. When the alarm went off forty thousand feet above the moon’s surface, both astronauts looked down at the computer to see 1202 flashing on the readout. Neither of them knew what it meant, and time was running out . . . On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first humans to walk on the moon. One of the world’s greatest technological achievements — and a triumph of the American spirit — the Apollo 11 mission was a mammoth undertaking involving more than 410,000 men and women dedicated to winning the space race against the Soviets. Set amid the tensions and upheaval of the sixties and the Cold War, Shoot for the Moon is a gripping account of the dangers, the challenges, and the sheer determination that defined not only Apollo 11, but also the Mercury and Gemini missions that came before it. From the shock of Sputnik and the heart-stopping final minutes of John Glenn’s Mercury flight to the deadly whirligig of Gemini 8, the doomed Apollo 1 mission, and that perilous landing on the Sea of Tranquility — when the entire world held its breath while Armstrong and Aldrin battled computer alarms, low fuel, and other problems — James Donovan tells the whole story. Both sweeping and intimate, Shoot for the Moon is “a powerfully written and irresistible celebration” of one of humankind’s most extraordinary accomplishments (Booklist, starred review).
The story of the group of extraordinary eighteenth-century writers, artists, and thinkers who gathered weekly at a London tavern Named one of the 10 Best Books of 2019 by the New York Times Book Review – A Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2019 – A Kirkus Best Book of 2019 “Damrosch brings the Club’s redoubtable personalities–the brilliant minds, the jousting wits, the tender camaraderie–to vivid life.”–New York Times Book Review “Magnificently entertaining.”–Washington Post In 1763, the painter Joshua Reynolds proposed to his friend Samuel Johnson that they invite a few friends to join them every Friday at the Turk’s Head Tavern in London to dine, drink, and talk until midnight. Eventually the group came to include among its members Edmund Burke, Adam Smith, Edward Gibbon, and James Boswell. It was known simply as “the Club.” In this captivating book, Leo Damrosch brings alive a brilliant, competitive, and eccentric cast of characters. With the friendship of the “odd couple” Samuel Johnson and James Boswell at the heart of his narrative, Damrosch conjures up the precarious, exciting, and often brutal world of late eighteenth-century Britain. This is the story of an extraordinary group of people whose ideas helped to shape their age, and our own.
Policing the Open Road examines how the rise of the car, that symbol of American personal freedom, inadvertently led to ever more intrusive policing–with disastrous consequences for racial equality in our criminal justice system. When Americans think of freedom, they often picture the open road. Yet nowhere are we more likely to encounter the long arm of the law than in our cars. Sarah Seo reveals how the rise of the automobile transformed American freedom in radical ways, leading us to accept–and expect–pervasive police power. As Policing the Open Road makes clear, this expectation has had far-reaching political and legal consequences.–
Miscast in the media for nearly 130 years, the victims of Jack the Ripper finally get their full stories told in this eye-opening and chilling reminder that life for middle-class women in Victorian London could be full of social pitfalls and peril.
‘A landmark work giving a global panorama of Mao’s ideology filled with historic events and enlivened by striking characters’ Jonathan Fenby, author of The Penguin History of China Since the 1980s, China seems to have abandoned the utopian turmoil of Mao’s revolution in favour of authoritarian capitalism. But Mao and his ideas remain central to the People’s Republic. With disagreements between China and the West on the rise, the need to understand the political legacy of Mao is urgent and growing. A crucial motor of the Cold War: Maoism shaped the course of the Vietnam War and brought to power the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia; it aided anti-colonial resistance movements in Africa; it inspired terrorism in Germany and Italy, and wars and insurgencies in Peru, India and Nepal, some of which are still with us today. Starting with the birth of Mao’s revolution in northwest China in the 1930s and concluding with its violent afterlives in South Asia and resurgence in the People’s Republic today, Julia Lovell re-evaluates Maoism as both a Chinese and an international force, linking its evolution in China with its global legacy. ‘Wonderful’ Andrew Marr, New Statesman
“A masterpiece” (The Guardian) from the Nobel Prize–winning writer, an oral history of children’s experiences in World War II across Russia NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE WASHINGTON POST For more than three decades, Svetlana Alexievich has been the memory and conscience of the twentieth century. When the Swedish Academy awarded her the Nobel Prize, it cited her for inventing “a new kind of literary genre,” describing her work as “a history of emotions . . . a history of the soul.” Bringing together dozens of voices in her distinctive style, Last Witnesses is Alexievich’s collection of the memories of those who were children during World War II. They had sometimes been soldiers as well as witnesses, and their generation grew up with the trauma of the war deeply embedded—a trauma that would change the course of the Russian nation. Collectively, this symphony of children’s stories, filled with the everyday details of life in combat, reveals an altogether unprecedented view of the war. Alexievich gives voice to those whose memories have been lost in the official narratives, uncovering a powerful, hidden history from the personal and private experiences of individuals. Translated by the renowned Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky, Last Witnesses is a powerful and poignant account of the central conflict of the twentieth century, a kaleidoscopic portrait of the human side of war. Praise for Last Witnesses “There is a special sort of clear-eyed humility to [Alexievich’s] reporting.”—The Guardian “A bracing reminder of the enduring power of the written word to testify to pain like no other medium. . . . Children survive, they grow up, and they do not forget. They are the first and last witnesses.”—The New Republic “A profound triumph.”—The Big Issue “[Alexievich] excavates and briefly gives prominence to demolished lives and eradicated communities. . . . It is impossible not to turn the page, impossible not to wonder whom we next might meet, impossible not to think differently about children caught in conflict.”—The Washington Post
A historian of antiquity shows how the Christian Revolution forged the Western imagination Crucifixion, the Romans believed, was the worst fate imaginable. It was this that rendered it so suitable a punishment for slaves. How astonishing it was, then, that people should have come to believe that one particular victim of crucifixion-an obscure provincial by the name of Jesus-had been a god. Dominion explores the implications of this shocking conviction as they have reverberated throughout history. Today, the West remains utterly saturated by Christian assumptions. Our morals and ethics are not universal. Instead, they are the fruits of a very distinctive civilization. Concepts such as secularism, liberalism, science, and homosexuality are deeply rooted in a Christian seedbed. From Babylon to the Beatles, Saint Michael to #MeToo, Dominion tells the story of how Christianity transformed the world.
SELECTED AS A BOOK OF THE YEAR 2019 BY THE TIMES, DAILY TELEGRAPH, LONDON EVENING STANDARD, DAILY MAIL AND BBC HISTORY MAGAZINE ‘Magisterial … If anyone wants to know what has been happening to Britain since the 1950s, it is difficult to imagine a more informative, or better-humoured guide … a Thucydidean coolness, balance and wisdom that is superb.’ – AN Wilson, The Times ‘Who Dares Wins captures the period with clairvoyant vividness. Compulsively readable, the book will be indispensable to anyone who wants to understand these pivotal years.’ – John Gray, New Statesman ‘Immaculately well-researched, breathtakingly broad and beautifully written … Sandbrook leaves the reader impatient for the next volume.’ – Simon Heffer, Daily Telegraph The acclaimed historian of modern Britain, Dominic Sandbrook, tells the story of the early 1980s: the most dramatic, colourful and controversial years in our recent history. Margaret Thatcher had come to power in 1979 with a daring plan to reverse Britain’s decline into shabbiness and chaos. But as factories closed their doors, dole queues lengthened and the inner cities exploded in flames, would her radical medicine rescue the Sick Man of Europe – or kill it off? Vivid, surprising and gloriously entertaining, Dominic Sandbrook’s new book recreates the decisive turning point in Britain’s recent story. For some people this was an age of unparalleled opportunity, the heyday of computers and credit cards, snooker, Sloane Rangers and Spandau Ballet. Yet for others it was an era of shocking bitterness, as industries collapsed, working-class communities buckled and the Labour Party tore itself apart. And when Argentine forces seized the Falkland Islands, it seemed the final humiliation for a wounded, unhappy country, its fortunes now standing on a knife-edge. Here are the early 1980s in all their gaudy glory. This is the story of Tony Benn, Ian Botham and Princess Diana; Joy Division, Chariots of Fire, the Austin Metro and Juliet Bravo; wine bars, Cruise missiles, the ZX Spectrum and the battle for the Falklands. And towering above them all, the most divisive Prime Minister of modern times – the Iron Lady.
Years in the making, this spellbinding, heartbreaking, and ultimately uplifting narrative is an unforgettable portrait of 9/11 This is a 9/11 book like no other. Masterfully weaving together multiple strands of the events in New York, at the Pentagon, and in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, Fall and Rise is a mesmerizing, minute-by-minute account of that terrible day. In the days and months after 9/11, Mitchell Zuckoff, then a reporter for the Boston Globe, wrote about the attacks, the victims, and their families. After further years of meticulous reporting, Zuckoff has filled Fall and Rise with voices of the lost and the saved. The result is an utterly gripping book, filled with intimate stories of people most affected by the events of that sunny Tuesday in September: an out-of-work actor stuck in an elevator in the North Tower of the World Trade Center; the heroes aboard Flight 93 deciding to take action; a veteran trapped in the inferno in the Pentagon; the fire chief among the first on the scene in sleepy Shanksville; a team of firefighters racing to save an injured woman and themselves; and the men, women, and children flying across country to see loved ones or for work who suddenly faced terrorists bent on murder. Fall and Rise will open new avenues of understanding for everyone who thinks they know the story of 9/11, bringing to life—and in some cases, bringing back to life—the extraordinary ordinary people who experienced the worst day in modern American history. Destined to be a classic, Fall and Rise will move, shock, inspire, and fill hearts with love and admiration for the human spirit as it triumphs in the face of horrifying events.
‘He is a master of the art of making history both funny and fun, with never any loss of seriousness. Once again he brings Germany bouncing back to life.’ Simon Jenkins, author of A Short History of Europe. At the heart of western Europe lies a huge swath of land, stretching from the mud and fogs of the North Sea coast, down through countless market towns, ports, fortresses and ancient cathedrals, through a mass of river systems and forests, all the way to the great barrier of the Alps. Divided by their languages, religions and frontiers, everyone living there shares one thing: that they are inhabitants of a lost part of Europe – Lotharingia. In his highly entertaining new book Simon Winder tells the story of this ghostly but persistent presence. In AD 843, the three surviving grandsons of the great Emperor Charlemagne met at Verdun. After years of bitter squabbles over who would inherit the family land, they finally decided to divide the territory and go their separate ways. In a moment of staggering significance, one grandson inherited what became France, another Germany and the third Lotharingia, the chunk that initially divided the other two chunks: ‘the lands of Lothar’. The dynamic between these three great zones has dictated much of our subsequent fate. Lotharingia is a history of this in-between land and joins the equally fascinating Germania and Danubia in Simon Winder’s personal exploration of Europe. In this beguiling, hilarious and compelling book we retrace how both from west and from east any number of ambitious characters have tried and failed to grapple with these people. Over many centuries, not only has Lotharingia brought forth many of Europe’s greatest artists, inventors and thinkers, but it has also reduced many a would-be conqueror to helpless tears of rage and frustration.
A famous poet, a mysterious death and a story stranger than fiction. – this is the lost life and mytserious death of the ‘Female Byron’ On 15 October 1838, the body of a thirty-six-year-old woman was found in Cape Coast Castle, West Africa, a bottle of prussic acid in her hand. She was one of the most famous English poets of her day: Letitia Elizabeth Landon, known by her initials ‘L.E.L.’ What was she doing in Africa? Was her death an accident? Had she committed suicide, or even been murdered? To her contemporaries, she was an icon, hailed as the ‘female Byron’. However, she was also a woman with secrets, the mother of three illegitimate children whose existence was subsequently wiped from the record. After her death, she became the subject of a cover-up which this book unravels, excavating with it a whole lost literary culture. FROM THE AUTHOR OF THE BRONTE MYTH
DNA. The double helix; the blueprint of life; and, during the early 1950s, a baffling enigma that could win a Nobel Prize. Everyone knows that James Watson and Francis Crick discovered the double helix. In fact, they clicked into place the last piece of a huge jigsaw puzzle that other researchers had assembled over decades. Researchers like Maurice Wilkins (the ‘Third Man of DNA’) and Rosalind Franklin, famously demonised by Watson. Not forgetting the ‘lost heroes’ who fought to prove that DNA is the stuff of genes, only to be airbrushed out of history. In Unravelling the Double Helix, Professor Gareth Williams sets the record straight. He tells the story of DNA in the round, from its discovery in pus-soaked bandages in 1868 to the aftermath of Watson’s best-seller The Double Helix a century later. You don’t need to be a scientist to enjoy this book. It’s a page-turner that unfolds like a detective story, with suspense, false leads and treachery, and a fabulous cast of noble heroes and back-stabbing villains. But beware: some of the science is dreadful, and the heroes and villains may not be the ones you expect.
A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER Chosen as a BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR by NPR, the New York Public Library, Amazon, the Seattle Times, the Washington Independent Review of Books, PopSugar, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, BookBrowse, the Spectator, and the Times of London Winner of the Plutarch Award for Best Biography “Excellent…This book is as riveting as any thriller, and as hard to put down.” — The New York Times Book Review “A compelling biography of a masterful spy, and a reminder of what can be done with a few brave people — and a little resistance.” – NPR “A meticiulous history that reads like a thriller.” – Ben Macintyre A never-before-told story of Virginia Hall, the American spy who changed the course of World War II, from the author of Clementine. In 1942, the Gestapo sent out an urgent transmission: “She is the most dangerous of all Allied spies. We must find and destroy her.” The target in their sights was Virginia Hall, a Baltimore socialite who talked her way into Special Operations Executive, the spy organization dubbed Winston Churchill’s “Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare.” She became the first Allied woman deployed behind enemy lines and–despite her prosthetic leg–helped to light the flame of the French Resistance, revolutionizing secret warfare as we know it. Virginia established vast spy networks throughout France, called weapons and explosives down from the skies, and became a linchpin for the Resistance. Even as her face covered wanted posters and a bounty was placed on her head, Virginia refused order after order to evacuate. She finally escaped through a death-defying hike over the Pyrenees into Spain, her cover blown. But she plunged back in, adamant that she had more lives to save, and led a victorious guerilla campaign, liberating swathes of France from the Nazis after D-Day. Based on new and extensive research, Sonia Purnell has for the first time uncovered the full secret life of Virginia Hall–an astounding and inspiring story of heroism, spycraft, resistance, and personal triumph over shocking adversity. A Woman of No Importance is the breathtaking story of how one woman’s fierce persistence helped win the war.
A life of Matilda–empress, skilled military leader, and one of the greatest figures of the English Middle Ages Matilda was a daughter, wife, and mother. But she was also empress, heir to the English crown–the first woman ever to hold the position–and an able military general. This new biography explores Matilda’s achievements as military and political leader, and sets her life and career in full context. Catherine Hanley provides fresh insight into Matilda’s campaign to claim the title of queen, her approach to allied kingdoms and rival rulers, and her role in the succession crisis. Hanley highlights how Matilda fought for the throne, and argues that although she never sat on it herself her reward was to see her son become king. Extraordinarily, her line has continued through every single monarch of England or Britain from that time to the present day.
George Takei has captured hearts and minds worldwide with his captivating stage presence and outspoken commitment to equal rights. But long before he braved new frontiers in Star Trek, he woke up as a four-year-old boy to find his own birth country at war with his father’s–and their entire family forced from their home into an uncertain future. In a stunning graphic memoir, Takei revisits his haunting childhood in American concentration camps, as one of over 100,000 Japanese Americans imprisoned by the U.S. government during World War II. Experience the forces that shaped an American icon–and America itself–in this gripping tale of courage, country, loyalty, and love.
The never-before-told story of Brooklyn’s vibrant and forgotten queer history, from the mid-1850s up to the present day. ***An ALA GLBT Round Table Over the Rainbow 2019 Top Ten Selection*** ***NAMED ONE OF THE BEST LGBTQ BOOKS OF 2019 by Harper’s Bazaar*** “A romantic, exquisite history of gay culture.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred “[A] boisterous, motley new history…entertaining and insightful.” —The New York Times Book Review Hugh Ryan’s When Brooklyn Was Queer is a groundbreaking exploration of the LGBT history of Brooklyn, from the early days of Walt Whitman in the 1850s up through the queer women who worked at the Brooklyn Navy Yard during World War II, and beyond. No other book, movie, or exhibition has ever told this sweeping story. Not only has Brooklyn always lived in the shadow of queer Manhattan neighborhoods like Greenwich Village and Harlem, but there has also been a systematic erasure of its queer history—a great forgetting. Ryan is here to unearth that history for the first time. In intimate, evocative, moving prose he discusses in new light the fundamental questions of what history is, who tells it, and how we can only make sense of ourselves through its retelling; and shows how the formation of the Brooklyn we know today is inextricably linked to the stories of the incredible people who created its diverse neighborhoods and cultures. Through them, When Brooklyn Was Queer brings Brooklyn’s queer past to life, and claims its place as a modern classic.
Satisfy your craving for extraordinary authors and exceptional fiction: Meet the women writers who defied convention to craft some of literature’s strangest tales, from Frankenstein to The Haunting of Hill House and beyond. Frankenstein was just the beginning: horror stories and other weird fiction wouldn’t exist without the women who created it. From Gothic ghost stories to psychological horror to science fiction, women have been primary architects of speculative literature of all sorts. And their own life stories are as intriguing as their fiction. Everyone knows about Mary Shelley, creator of Frankenstein, who was rumored to keep her late husband’s heart in her desk drawer. But have you heard of Margaret “Mad Madge” Cavendish, who wrote a science-fiction epic 150 years earlier (and liked to wear topless gowns to the theater)? If you know the astounding work of Shirley Jackson, whose novel The Haunting of Hill House was reinvented as a Netflix series, then try the psychological hauntings of Violet Paget, who was openly involved in long-term romantic relationships with women in the Victorian era. You’ll meet celebrated icons (Ann Radcliffe, V. C. Andrews), forgotten wordsmiths (Eli Coltor, Ruby Jean Jensen), and today’s vanguard (Helen Oyeyemi). Curated reading lists point you to their most spine-chilling tales. Part biography, part reader’s guide, the engaging write-ups and detailed reading lists will introduce you to more than a hundred authors and over two hundred of their mysterious and spooky novels, novellas, and stories.
The gripping human story of how American volunteers fought famine in Bolshevik Russia, saving Lenin’s revolutionary government from chaos and millions of people from starvation In 1921, after six years of unrelenting war and revolution, Russia was in ruins. The economy had collapsed, the country was ravaged by disease and starvation claimed the lives of millions. People were so desperate for food that there were reports of cannibalism, reports that were revealed to be horribly accurate. Remarkably, it was a young American aid worker who uncovered the truth and, even more remarkably, it was the US-backed charity that had sent him to Russia that would save Lenin’s fledgling government by feeding his people. In The Russian Job, acclaimed historian Douglas Smith tells the gripping story of how an American charity fought the Russian famine. Backed by $20 million from the US government, and founded by Herbert Hoover, US Secretary of Commerce, the American Relief Administration recruited more than three hundred young Americans, many of them war veterans. They would oversee the distribution of food, clothing and medical supplies to people throughout Russia’s vast landmass, saving millions of lives. Vividly written, with a rich cast of characters and a deep understanding of the period, The Russian Job shines a bright light on this strange and shadowy moment in history.
This “superbly written true-crime story” (Michael Lewis, The New York Times Book Review) masterfully brings together the tales of a serial killer in 1970s Alabama and of Harper Lee, the beloved author of To Kill a Mockingbird, who tried to write his story. Reverend Willie Maxwell was a rural preacher accused of murdering five of his family members, but with the help of a savvy lawyer, he escaped justice for years until a relative assassinated him at the funeral of his last victim. Despite hundreds of witnesses, Maxwell’s murderer was acquitted—thanks to the same attorney who had previously defended the reverend himself. Sitting in the audience during the vigilante’s trial was Harper Lee, who spent a year in town reporting on the Maxwell case and many more trying to finish the book she called The Reverend. Cep brings this remarkable story to life, from the horrifying murders to the courtroom drama to the racial politics of the Deep South, while offering a deeply moving portrait of one of our most revered writers.
From 1894 to 1924 three waves of violence swept across Anatolia, targeting the region’s Christian minorities. Benny Morris and Dror Ze’evi’s impeccably researched account is the first to show that the three were actually part of a single, continuing, and intentional effort to wipe out Anatolia’s Christian population and create a pure Muslim nation.
When so much in Russia has changed, the banya remains. For over one thousand years Russians of every economic class, political party, and social strata have treated bathing as a communal activity integrating personal hygiene and public health with rituals, relaxation, conversations, drinking, political intrigue, business, and sex. Communal steam baths have survived the Mongols, Peter the Great, and Soviet communism and remain a central and unifying national custom. Combining the ancient elements of earth, water, and fire, the banya paradoxically cleans bodies and spreads disease, purifies and defiles, creates community and underscores difference. Here, Ethan Pollock tells the history of this ubiquitous and enduring institution. He explores the bathhouse’s role in Russian identity, following public figures (from Catherine the Great to Rasputin to Putin), writers (such as Chekhov and Dostoevsky), foreigners (including Mark Twain and Casanova), and countless other men and women into the banya to discover the meanings they have found there. The story comes up to the present, exploring the continued importance of banyas in Russia and their newfound popularity in cities across the globe. Drawing on sources as diverse as ancient chronicles, government reports, medical books, and popular culture, Pollock shows how the banya has persisted, adapted, and flourished in the everyday lives of Russians throughout wars, political ruptures, modernization, and urbanization. Through the communal bathhouse, Without the Banya We Would Perish provides a unique perspective on the history of the Russian people.
The first exploration of the profound and often catastrophic impact the American Revolution had on the rest of the world. While the American Revolution led to domestic peace and liberty, it ultimately had a catastrophic global impact-it strengthened the British Empire and led to widespread persecution and duress. From the opium wars in China to anti-imperial rebellions in Peru to the colonization of Australia-the inspirational impact the American success had on fringe uprisings was outweighed by the influence it had on the tightening fists of oppressive world powers. Here Matthew Lockwood presents, in vivid detail, the neglected story of this unintended revolution. It sowed the seeds of collapse for the preeminent empires of the early modern era, setting the stage for the global domination of Britain, Russia, and the United States. Lockwood illuminates the forgotten stories and experiences of the communities and individuals who adapted to this new world in which the global balance of power had been drastically altered.–Adapted from jacket.
*Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Biography* *Winner of the Los Angeles Times Prize for Biography* *Winner of the 2019 Hitchens Prize* “Portrays Holbrooke in all of his endearing and exasperating self-willed glory…Both a sweeping diplomatic history and a Shakespearean tragicomedy… If you could read one book to comprehend American’s foreign policy and its quixotic forays into quicksands over the past 50 years, this would be it.”–Walter Isaacson, The New York Times Book Review “By the end of the second page, maybe the third, you will be hooked…There never was a diplomat-activist quite like [Holbrooke], and there seldom has been a book quite like this — sweeping and sentimental, beguiling and brutal, catty and critical, much like the man himself.”–David M. Shribman, The Boston Globe Richard Holbrooke was brilliant, utterly self-absorbed, and possessed of almost inhuman energy and appetites. Admired and detested, he was the force behind the Dayton Accords that ended the Balkan wars, America’s greatest diplomatic achievement in the post-Cold War era. His power lay in an utter belief in himself and his idea of a muscular, generous foreign policy. From his days as a young adviser in Vietnam to his last efforts to end the war in Afghanistan, Holbrooke embodied the postwar American impulse to take the lead on the global stage. But his sharp elbows and tireless self-promotion ensured that he never rose to the highest levels in government that he so desperately coveted. His story is thus the story of America during its era of supremacy: its strength, drive, and sense of possibility, as well as its penchant for overreach and heedless self-confidence. In Our Man, drawn from Holbrooke’s diaries and papers, we are given a nonfiction narrative that is both intimate and epic in its revelatory portrait of this extraordinary and deeply flawed man and the elite spheres of society and government he inhabited.
THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER A masterly history of the Dambusters raid from bestselling and critically acclaimed Max Hastings.
Last updated on October 17, 2021