Here are the 50 best history books of 2021 according to Google. Find your new favorite book from the local library with one click.
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“A ‘choral history’ of African Americans covering 400 years of history in the voices of 80 writers, edited by the bestselling, National Book Award-winning historian Ibram X. Kendi and Keisha N. Blain. Last year marked the four hundredth anniversary of the first African presence in the Americas–and also launched the Four Hundred Souls project, spearheaded by Ibram X. Kendi, director of the Antiracism Institute of American University, and Keisha Blain, editor of The North Star. They’ve gathered together eighty black writers from all disciplines — historians and artists, journalists and novelists–each of whom has contributed an entry about one five-year period to create a dynamic multivoiced single-volume history of black people in America”–
Vivid and magisterial, The Gun, the Ship, and the Pen reconfigures the rise of a modern world through the advent and spread of written constitutions. A work of extraordinary range and striking originality, The Gun, the Ship, and the Pen traces the global history of written constitutions from the 1750s to the twentieth century, modifying accepted narratives and uncovering the close connections between the making of constitutions and the making of war. In the process, Linda Colley both reappraises famous constitutions and recovers those that have been marginalized but were central to the rise of a modern world. She brings to the fore neglected sites, such as Corsica, with its pioneering constitution of 1755, and tiny Pitcairn Island in the Pacific, the first place on the globe permanently to enfranchise women. She highlights the role of unexpected players, such as Catherine the Great of Russia, who was experimenting with constitutional techniques with her enlightened Nakaz decades before the Founding Fathers framed the American constitution. Written constitutions are usually examined in relation to individual states, but Colley focuses on how they crossed boundaries, spreading into six continents by 1918 and aiding the rise of empires as well as nations. She also illumines their place not simply in law and politics but also in wider cultural histories, and their intimate connections with print, literary creativity, and the rise of the novel. Colley shows how—while advancing epic revolutions and enfranchising white males—constitutions frequently served over the long nineteenth century to marginalize indigenous people, exclude women and people of color, and expropriate land. Simultaneously, though, she investigates how these devices were adapted by peoples and activists outside the West seeking to resist European and American power. She describes how Tunisia generated the first modern Islamic constitution in 1861, quickly suppressed, but an influence still on the Arab Spring; how Africanus Horton of Sierra Leone—inspired by the American Civil War—devised plans for self-governing nations in West Africa; and how Japan’s Meiji constitution of 1889 came to compete with Western constitutionalism as a model for Indian, Chinese, and Ottoman nationalists and reformers. Vividly written and handsomely illustrated, The Gun, the Ship, and the Pen is an absorbing work that—with its pageant of formative wars, powerful leaders, visionary lawmakers and committed rebels—retells the story of constitutional government and the evolution of ideas of what it means to be modern.
A sweeping and original history of the Anglo-Saxons by national bestselling author Marc Morris. Sixteen hundred years ago Britain left the Roman Empire and swiftly fell into ruin. Grand cities and luxurious villas were deserted and left to crumble, and civil society collapsed into chaos. Into this violent and unstable world came foreign invaders from across the sea, and established themselves as its new masters. The Anglo-Saxons traces the turbulent history of these people across the next six centuries. It explains how their earliest rulers fought relentlessly against each other for glory and supremacy, and then were almost destroyed by the onslaught of the vikings. It explores how they abandoned their old gods for Christianity, established hundreds of churches and created dazzlingly intricate works of art. It charts the revival of towns and trade, and the origins of a familiar landscape of shires, boroughs and bishoprics. It is a tale of famous figures like King Offa, Alfred the Great and Edward the Confessor, but also features a host of lesser known characters – ambitious queens, revolutionary saints, intolerant monks and grasping nobles. Through their remarkable careers we see how a new society, a new culture and a single unified nation came into being. Drawing on a vast range of original evidence – chronicles, letters, archaeology and artefacts – renowned historian Marc Morris illuminates a period of history that is only dimly understood, separates the truth from the legend, and tells the extraordinary story of how the foundations of England were laid.
The highly anticipated portrait of three generations of the Sackler family, by the prize-winning, bestselling author of SAY NOTHING The Sackler name adorns the walls of many storied institutions: Harvard, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Oxford, the Louvre. They are one of the richest families in the world, known for their lavish donations to the arts and sciences. The source of the family fortune was vague, however, until it emerged that the Sacklers were responsible for making and marketing OxyContin, a blockbuster painkiller that was a catalyst for the opioid crisis. Empire of Pain is a masterpiece of narrative reporting and writing, exhaustively documented and ferociously compelling.
New York Times bestselling author Anne Sebba’s moving biography of Ethel Rosenberg, the wife and mother whose execution for espionage-related crimes defined the Cold War and horrified the world. In June 1953, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, a couple with two young sons, were led separately from their prison cells on Death Row and electrocuted moments apart. Both had been convicted of conspiracy to commit espionage for the Soviet Union, despite the fact that the US government was aware that the evidence against Ethel was shaky at best and based on the perjury of her own brother. This book is the first to focus on one half of that couple for more than thirty years, and much new evidence has surfaced since then. Ethel was a bright girl who might have fulfilled her personal dream of becoming an opera singer, but instead found herself struggling with the social mores of the 1950’s. She longed to be a good wife and perfect mother, while battling the political paranoia of the McCarthy era, anti-Semitism, misogyny, and a mother who never valued her. Because of her profound love for and loyalty to her husband, she refused to incriminate him, despite government pressure on her to do so. Instead, she courageously faced the death penalty for a crime she hadn’t committed, orphaning her children. Seventy years after her trial, this is the first time Ethel’s story has been told with the full use of the dramatic and tragic prison letters she exchanged with her husband, her lawyer and her psychotherapist over a three-year period, two of them in solitary confinement. Hers is the resonant story of what happens when a government motivated by fear tramples on the rights of its citizens.
‘Gripping, authoritative, accessible and always bracingly revisionist’ Simon Sebag Montefiore ‘A terrific read … McMeekin is a superb writer’ David Aaronovitch, The Times In this remarkable, ground-breaking new book Sean McMeekin marks a generational shift in our view of Stalin as an ally in the Second World War. Stalin’s only difference from Hitler, he argues, was that he was a successful murderous predator. With Hitler dead and the Third Reich in ruins, Stalin created an immense new Communist empire. Among his holdings were Czechoslovakia and Poland, the fates of which had first set the West against the Nazis and, of course, China and North Korea, the ramifications of which we still live with today. Until Barbarossa wrought a public relations miracle, turning him into a plucky ally of the West, Stalin had murdered millions, subverted every norm of international behaviour, invaded as many countries as Hitler had, and taken great swathes of territory he would continue to keep. In the larger sense the global conflict grew out of not only German and Japanese aggression but Stalin’s manoeuvrings, orchestrated to provoke wars of attrition between the capitalist powers in Europe and in Asia. Throughout the war Stalin chose to do only what would benefit his own regime, not even aiding in the effort against Japan until the conflict’s last weeks. Above all, Stalin’s War uncovers the shocking details of how the US government (to the detriment of itself and its other allies) fuelled Stalin’s war machine, blindly agreeing to every Soviet demand, right down to agents supplying details of the atomic bomb. ‘Impressive, well researched and very well written … A new look at the conflict, which poses new questions and provides new and often unexpected answers to the old ones’ Serhii Plokhy, The Guardian
The surprising story of how George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson came to despair for the future of the nation they had created Americans seldom deify their Founding Fathers any longer, but they do still tend to venerate the Constitution and the republican government that the founders created. Strikingly, the founders themselves were far less confident in what they had wrought, particularly by the end of their lives. In fact, most of them—including George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson—came to deem America’s constitutional experiment an utter failure that was unlikely to last beyond their own generation. Fears of a Setting Sun is the first book to tell the fascinating and too-little-known story of the founders’ disillusionment. As Dennis Rasmussen shows, the founders’ pessimism had a variety of sources: Washington lost his faith in America’s political system above all because of the rise of partisanship, Hamilton because he felt that the federal government was too weak, Adams because he believed that the people lacked civic virtue, and Jefferson because of sectional divisions laid bare by the spread of slavery. The one major founder who retained his faith in America’s constitutional order to the end was James Madison, and the book also explores why he remained relatively optimistic when so many of his compatriots did not. As much as Americans today may worry about their country’s future, Rasmussen reveals, the founders faced even graver problems and harbored even deeper misgivings. A vividly written account of a chapter of American history that has received too little attention, Fears of a Setting Sun will change the way that you look at the American founding, the Constitution, and indeed the United States itself.
The Mongols are universally known as conquerors, but they were more than that: influential thinkers, politicians, engineers, and merchants. Challenging the view that nomads are peripheral to history, The Horde reveals the complex empire the Mongols built and traces its enduring imprint on politics and society in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.
The impeccably researched, deeply moving, never-before-told tale about a World War II incarceration camp in Wyoming and its extraordinary high school football team—for fans of The Boys in the Boat and The Storm on Our Shores. In the spring of 1942, the United States government forced 120,000 Japanese Americans from their homes in California, Oregon, Washington, and Arizona and sent them to incarceration camps across the West. Nearly 14,000 of them landed on the outskirts of Cody, Wyoming, at the base of Heart Mountain. Behind barbed wire fences, they faced racism, cruelty, and frozen winters. Trying to recreate comforts from home, many established Buddhist temples and sumo wrestling pits. Kabuki performances drew hundreds of spectators—yet there was little hope. That is, until the fall of 1943, when the camp’s high school football team, the Eagles, started its first season and finished it undefeated, crushing the competition from nearby, predominantly white high schools. Amid all this excitement, American politics continued to disrupt their lives as the federal government drafted men from the camps for the front lines—including some of the Eagles. As the team’s second season kicked off, the young men faced a choice to either join the Army or resist the draft. Teammates were divided, and some were jailed for their decisions. The Eagles of Heart Mountain honors the resilience of extraordinary heroes and the power of sports in a sweeping and inspirational portrait of one of the darkest moments in American history.
The enthralling story of the German Empire, from its violent rise to its spectacular fall
This major new history of the Ottoman dynasty reveals a diverse empire that straddled East and West. The Ottoman Empire has long been depicted as the Islamic, Asian antithesis of the Christian, European West. But the reality was starkly different: the Ottomans’ multiethnic, multilingual, and multireligious domain reached deep into Europe’s heart. Indeed, the Ottoman rulers saw themselves as the new Romans. Recounting the Ottomans’ remarkable rise from a frontier principality to a world empire, historian Marc David Baer traces their debts to their Turkish, Mongolian, Islamic, and Byzantine heritage. The Ottomans pioneered religious toleration even as they used religious conversion to integrate conquered peoples. But in the nineteenth century, they embraced exclusivity, leading to ethnic cleansing, genocide, and the empire’s demise after the First World War. The Ottomans vividly reveals the dynasty’s full history and its enduring impact on Europe and the world.
In the bestselling tradition of Hampton Sides’s In the Kingdom of Ice, a riveting and cinematic tale of Dutch polar explorer William Barents and his three harrowing Arctic expeditions—the last of which resulted in a relentlessly challenging year-long fight for survival. The human story has always been one of perseverance—often against remarkable odds. The most astonishing survival tale of all might be that of 16th-century Dutch explorer William Barents and his crew of sixteen, who ventured farther north than any Europeans before and, on their third polar exploration, lost their ship off the frozen coast of Nova Zembla to unforgiving ice. The men would spend the next year fighting off ravenous polar bears, gnawing hunger, and endless winter. In Icebound, Andrea Pitzer masterfully combines a gripping tale of survival with a sweeping history of the great Age of Exploration—a time of hope, adventure, and seemingly unlimited geographic frontiers. At the story’s center is William Barents, one of the 16th century’s greatest navigators whose larger-than-life ambitions and obsessive quest to chart a path through the deepest, most remote regions of the Arctic ended in both tragedy and glory. Journalist Pitzer did extensive research, learning how to use four-hundred-year-old navigation equipment, setting out on three Arctic expeditions to retrace Barents’s steps, and visiting replicas of Barents’s ship and cabin. “A visceral, thrilling account full of tantalizing surprises” (Andrea Barrett, author of The Voyage of the Narwhal ), Pitzer’s reenactment of Barents’s ill-fated journey shows us how the human body can function at twenty degrees below, the history of mutiny, the art of celestial navigation, and the intricacies of building shelters. But above all, it gives us a first-hand glimpse into the true nature of human courage.
Instant #1 New York Times bestseller. “The Atlantic writer drafts a history of slavery in this country unlike anything you’ve read before” (Entertainment Weekly). Beginning in his hometown of New Orleans, Clint Smith leads the reader on an unforgettable tour of monuments and landmarks—those that are honest about the past and those that are not—that offer an intergenerational story of how slavery has been central in shaping our nation’s collective history, and ourselves. It is the story of the Monticello Plantation in Virginia, the estate where Thomas Jefferson wrote letters espousing the urgent need for liberty while enslaving more than four hundred people. It is the story of the Whitney Plantation, one of the only former plantations devoted to preserving the experience of the enslaved people whose lives and work sustained it. It is the story of Angola, a former plantation–turned–maximum-security prison in Louisiana that is filled with Black men who work across the 18,000-acre land for virtually no pay. And it is the story of Blandford Cemetery, the final resting place of tens of thousands of Confederate soldiers. A deeply researched and transporting exploration of the legacy of slavery and its imprint on centuries of American history, How the Word Is Passed illustrates how some of our country’s most essential stories are hidden in plain view—whether in places we might drive by on our way to work, holidays such as Juneteenth, or entire neighborhoods like downtown Manhattan, where the brutal history of the trade in enslaved men, women, and children has been deeply imprinted. Informed by scholarship and brought to life by the story of people living today, Smith’s debut work of nonfiction is a landmark of reflection and insight that offers a new understanding of the hopeful role that memory and history can play in making sense of our country and how it has come to be.
“The harrowing true survival story of an early polar expedition that went terribly awry-with the ship frozen in ice and the crew trapped inside for the entire sunless, Antarctic winter. As the Belgica’s men teetered on the brink, de Gerlache relied increasingly on two young officers whose friendship had blossomed in captivity: the expedition’s lone American, Dr. Frederick Cook–half genius, half con man–whose later infamy would overshadow his brilliance on the Belgica; and the ship’s first mate, soon-to-be legendary Roald Amundsen, even in his youth the storybook picture of a sailor. Together, they would plan a last-ditch, nearly certain-to-fail escape from the ice–one that would either etch their names in history or doom them to a terrible fate at the ocean’s bottom.”–
“[A] joyously peculiar book.” — The New York Times ‘Bjarnason’s intriguing book might be about a cold place, but it’s tailor-made to be read on the beach.’ –New Statesman The untold story of how one tiny island in the middle of the Atlantic has shaped the world for centuries. The history of Iceland began 1,200 years ago, when a frustrated Viking captain and his useless navigator ran aground in the middle of the North Atlantic. Suddenly, the island was no longer just a layover for the Arctic tern. Instead, it became a nation whose diplomats and musicians, sailors and soldiers, volcanoes and flowers, quietly altered the globe forever. How Iceland Changed the World takes readers on a tour of history, showing them how Iceland played a pivotal role in events as diverse as the French Revolution, the Moon Landing, and the foundation of Israel. Again and again, one humble nation has found itself at the frontline of historic events, shaping the world as we know it, How Iceland Changed the World paints a lively picture of just how it all happened.
“Elucidating, captivating…Murder at the Mission is narrative history at its very best.” —Hampton Sides, New York Times bestselling author of Blood and Thunder “A riveting investigation of both American myth-making and the real history that lies beneath.” –Claudio Saunt, author of the National Book Award finalist Unworthy Republic From New York Times bestselling author of Escape From Camp 14, a riveting and revealing account of one of the most persistent “alternative facts” in American history: the story of a missionary, a tribe, a massacre, and a myth that shaped the American West In 1836, two missionaries and their wives were among the first Americans to cross the Rockies by covered wagon on what would become the Oregon Trail. Dr. Marcus Whitman and Reverend Henry Spalding were headed to present-day Washington state and Idaho, where they aimed to convert members of the Cayuse and Nez Perce tribes. Both would fail spectacularly as missionaries. But Spalding would succeed as a propagandist, inventing a story that recast his friend as a hero, and helped to fuel the massive westward migration that would eventually lead to the devastation of those they had purportedly set out to save. As Spalding told it, after uncovering a British and Catholic plot to steal the Oregon Territory from the United States, Whitman undertook a heroic solo ride across the country to alert the President. In fact, he had traveled to Washington to save his own job. Soon after his return, Whitman, his wife, and eleven others were massacred by a group of Cayuse. Though they had ample reason – Whitman supported the explosion of white migration that was encroaching on their territory, and seemed to blame for a deadly measles outbreak – the Cayuse were portrayed as murderous savages. Five were executed. This fascinating, impeccably researched narrative traces the ripple effect of these events across the century that followed. While the Cayuse eventually lost the vast majority of their territory, thanks to the efforts of Spalding and others who turned the story to their own purposes, Whitman was celebrated well into the middle of the 20th century for having “saved Oregon.” Accounts of his heroic exploits appeared in congressional documents, The New York Times, and Life magazine, and became a central founding myth of the Pacific Northwest. Exposing the hucksterism and self-interest at the root of American myth-making, Murder at the Mission reminds us of the cost of American expansion, and of the problems that can arise when history is told only by the victors.
The first book to show that immigration laws in the US have always been motivated by racial exclusion and the desire to save the idea of a white America. Racist anti-immigration policies, from the border wall to the Muslim ban, have left many Americans wondering: How did we get here? In a sweeping account, Reece Jones reveals that although the US is often mythologized as a nation of immigrants, it has a long history of immigration restrictions that are rooted in the racist fear of the “great replacement” of whites with non-white immigrants. After the arrival of the first slave ship in 1619, the colonies that became the United States were based on the dual foundation of open immigration for whites from Northern Europe and racial exclusion of slaves from Africa, Native Americans, and, eventually, immigrants from other parts of the world. Connecting past to present, Jones uncovers the link between the Chinese Exclusion laws of the 1880s, the “Keep America American” nativism of the 1920s, and the “Build the Wall” chants initiated by former president Trump in 2016. Along the way, we meet a bizarre cast of characters, such as John Tanton, Cordelia Scaife May, and Stephen Miller, who moved fringe ideas about “white genocide” and “race suicide” into mainstream political discourse. Through gripping stories and in-depth analysis, Jones explores the connections between anti-immigration hate groups and the Republican Party, exposing the lasting impacts of white supremacist ideas on United States law.
“Tubbs’ connection to these women is palpable on the page — as both a mother and a scholar of the impact Black motherhood has had on America. Through Tubbs’ writing, Berdis, Alberta, and Louise’s stories sing. Theirs is a history forgotten that begs to be told, and Tubbs tells it brilliantly.” — Ibram X. Kendi, #1 New York Times bestselling author of How to Be an Antiracist and National Book Award winner Stamped from the Beginning Much has been written about Berdis Baldwin’s son James, about Alberta King’s son Martin Luther, and Louise Little’s son Malcolm. But virtually nothing has been said about the extraordinary women who raised them. In her groundbreaking and essential debut The Three Mothers, scholar Anna Malaika Tubbs celebrates Black motherhood by telling the story of the three women who raised and shaped some of America’s most pivotal heroes. A New York Times Bestsellers Editors’ Choice An Amazon Editor’s Pick for February One of theSkimm’s “16 Essential Books to Read This Black History Month” One of Fortune Magazine’s “21 Books to Look Forward to in 2021!” One of Badass Women’s Bookclub picks for “Badass Books We Can’t Wait to Read in 2021!” One of Working Mother Magazine’s “21 Best Books of 2021 for Working Moms” One of Ms. Magazine’s “Most Anticipated Reads for the Rest of Us 2021” One of Bustle’s “11 Nonfiction Books To Read For Black History Month — All Written By Women” One of SheReads.com’s “Most anticipated nonfiction books of 2021” Berdis Baldwin, Alberta King, and Louise Little were all born at the beginning of the 20th century and forced to contend with the prejudices of Jim Crow as Black women. These three extraordinary women passed their knowledge to their children with the hope of helping them to survive in a society that would deny their humanity from the very beginning—from Louise teaching her children about their activist roots, to Berdis encouraging James to express himself through writing, to Alberta basing all of her lessons in faith and social justice. These women used their strength and motherhood to push their children toward greatness, all with a conviction that every human being deserves dignity and respect despite the rampant discrimination they faced. These three mothers taught resistance and a fundamental belief in the worth of Black people to their sons, even when these beliefs flew in the face of America’s racist practices and led to ramifications for all three families’ safety. The fight for equal justice and dignity came above all else for the three mothers. These women, their similarities and differences, as individuals and as mothers, represent a piece of history left untold and a celebration of Black motherhood long overdue.
“A fascinating tour inside the mind—and the heart—of Abraham Lincoln . . . An important and timeless work.”—Jon Meacham, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of His Truth Is Marching On From the New York Times bestselling author of A. Lincoln and American Ulysses, a revelatory glimpse into the intellectual journey of our sixteenth president through his private notes to himself, explored together here for the first time A deeply private man, shut off even to those who worked closely with him, Abraham Lincoln often captured “his best thoughts,” as he called them, in short notes to himself. He would work out his personal stances on the biggest issues of the day, never expecting anyone to see these frank, unpolished pieces of writing, which he’d then keep close at hand, in desk drawers and even in his top hat. The profound importance of these notes has been overlooked, because the originals are scattered across several different archives and have never before been brought together and examined as a coherent whole. Now, renowned Lincoln historian Ronald C. White walks readers through twelve of Lincoln’s most important private notes, showcasing our greatest president’s brilliance and empathy, but also his very human anxieties and ambitions. We look over Lincoln’s shoulder as he grapples with the problem of slavery, attempting to find convincing rebuttals to those who supported the evil institution (“As I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master. This expresses my idea of democracy.”); prepares for his historic debates with Stephen Douglas; expresses his private feelings after a defeated bid for a Senate seat (“With me, the race of ambition has been a failure—a flat failure”); voices his concerns about the new Republican Party’s long-term prospects; develops an argument for national unity amidst a secession crisis that would ultimately rend the nation in two; and, for a president many have viewed as not religious, develops a sophisticated theological reflection in the midst of the Civil War (“it is quite possible that God’s purpose is something different from the purpose of either party”). Additionally, in a historic first, all 111 Lincoln notes are transcribed in the appendix, a gift to scholars and Lincoln buffs alike. These are notes Lincoln never expected anyone to read, put into context by a writer who has spent his career studying Lincoln’s life and words. The result is a rare glimpse into the mind and soul of one of our nation’s most important figures.
Marking the 200th anniversary of his death, Napoleon is an unprecedented portrait of the emperor told through his engagement with the natural world. “How should one envisage this subject? With a great pomp of words, or with simplicity?” —Charlotte Brontë, “The Death of Napoleon” The most celebrated general in history, Napoleon Bonaparte (1769–1821) has for centuries attracted eminent male writers. Since Thomas Carlyle first christened him “our last Great Man,” regiments of biographers have marched across the same territory, weighing campaigns and conflicts, military tactics and power politics. Yet in all this time, no definitive portrait of Napoleon has endured, and a mere handful of women have written his biography—a fact that surely would have pleased him. With Napoleon, Ruth Scurr, one of our most eloquent and original historians, emphatically rejects the shibboleth of the “Great Man” theory of history, instead following the dramatic trajectory of Napoleon’s life through gardens, parks, and forests. As Scurr reveals, gardening was the first and last love of Napoleon, offering him a retreat from the manifold frustrations of war and politics. Gardens were, at the same time, a mirror image to the battlefields on which he fought, discrete settings in which terrain and weather were as important as they were in combat, but for creative rather than destructive purposes. Drawing on a wealth of contemporary and historical scholarship, and taking us from his early days at the military school in Brienne-le-Château through his canny seizure of power and eventual exile, Napoleon frames the general’s story through the green spaces he cultivated. Amid Corsican olive groves, ornate menageries in Paris, and lone garden plots on the island of Saint Helena, Scurr introduces a diverse cast of scientists, architects, family members, and gardeners, all of whom stood in the shadows of Napoleon’s meteoric rise and fall. Building a cumulative panorama, she offers indelible portraits of Augustin Bon Joseph de Robespierre, the younger brother of Maximilien Robespierre, who used his position to advance Napoleon’s career; Marianne Peusol, the fourteen-year-old girl manipulated into a Christmas-Eve assassination attempt on Napoleon that resulted in her death; and Emmanuel, comte de Las Cases, the atlas maker to whom Napoleon dictated his memoirs. As Scurr contends, Napoleon’s dealings with these people offer unusual and unguarded opportunities to see how he grafted a new empire onto the remnants of the ancien régime and the French Revolution. Epic in scale and novelistic in its detail, Napoleon, with stunning illustrations, is a work of revelatory range and depth, revealing the contours of the general’s personality and power as no conventional biography can.
INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER Featured on Today What to Read in 2021 by The Washington Post A Wall Street Journal monthly pick The international bestselling author of the “exciting, suspenseful, inspirational” (Brad Thor, #1 New York Times bestselling author) Code Name: Lise weaves another exceptional and thrilling hidden history of an ordinary American girl who became one of the OSS’s most daring spies in World War II before marrying into European nobility. Perfect for fans of A Woman of No Importance and Code Girls. When Aline Griffith was born in a quiet suburban New York hamlet, no one had any idea that she would go on to live “a life of glamour and danger that Ingrid Bergman only played at in Notorious” (Time). As the US enters the Second World War, the young college graduate is desperate to aid in the war effort, but no one is interested in a bright-eyed young woman whose only career experience is modeling clothes. Aline’s life changes when, at a dinner party, she meets a man named Frank Ryan and reveals how desperately she wants to do her part for her country. Within a few weeks, he helps her join the Office of Strategic Services—forerunner of the CIA. With a code name and expert training under her belt, she is sent to Spain to be a coder, but is soon given the additional assignment of infiltrating the upper echelons of society, mingling with high-ranking officials, diplomats, and titled Europeans, any of whom could be an enemy agent. Against this glamorous backdrop of galas and dinner parties, she recruits sub-agents and engages in deep-cover espionage to counter Nazi tactics in Madrid. Even after marrying the Count of Romanones, one of the wealthiest men in Spain, Aline secretly continues her covert activities, being given special assignments when abroad that would benefit from her impeccable pedigree and social connections. Filled with twists, romance, and plenty of white-knuckled adventures fit for a James Bond film, The Princess Spy brings to vivid life the dazzling adventures of a remarkable American woman who risked everything to serve her country.
The instant New York Times bestseller “Expert storytelling . . . [Pollan] masterfully elevates a series of big questions about drugs, plants and humans that are likely to leave readers thinking in new ways.”—New York Times Book Review From #1 New York Times bestselling author Michael Pollan, a radical challenge to how we think about drugs, and an exploration into the powerful human attraction to psychoactive plants—and the equally powerful taboos. Of all the things humans rely on plants for—sustenance, beauty, medicine, fragrance, flavor, fiber—surely the most curious is our use of them to change consciousness: to stimulate or calm, fiddle with or completely alter, the qualities of our mental experience. Take coffee and tea: People around the world rely on caffeine to sharpen their minds. But we do not usually think of caffeine as a drug, or our daily use as an addiction, because it is legal and socially acceptable. So, then, what is a “drug”? And why, for example, is making tea from the leaves of a tea plant acceptable, but making tea from a seed head of an opium poppy a federal crime? In This Is Your Mind on Plants, Michael Pollan dives deep into three plant drugs—opium, caffeine, and mescaline—and throws the fundamental strangeness, and arbitrariness, of our thinking about them into sharp relief. Exploring and participating in the cultures that have grown up around these drugs while consuming (or, in the case of caffeine, trying not to consume) them, Pollan reckons with the powerful human attraction to psychoactive plants. Why do we go to such great lengths to seek these shifts in consciousness, and then why do we fence that universal desire with laws and customs and fraught feelings? In this unique blend of history, science, and memoir, as well as participatory journalism, Pollan examines and experiences these plants from several very different angles and contexts, and shines a fresh light on a subject that is all too often treated reductively—as a drug, whether licit or illicit. But that is one of the least interesting things you can say about these plants, Pollan shows, for when we take them into our bodies and let them change our minds, we are engaging with nature in one of the most profound ways we can. Based in part on an essay published almost twenty-five years ago, this groundbreaking and singular consideration of psychoactive plants, and our attraction to them through time, holds up a mirror to our fundamental human needs and aspirations, the operations of our minds, and our entanglement with the natural world.
One June day late in the eighth century, Norse seafarers arrived at the English island of Lindisfarne. They waged a savage attack on its unsuspecting abbey, and with this, the Age of the Vikings was born. These roving pillagers spent the next few hundred years raiding and trading a path across Northern and Western Europe. Except, that’s not quite true. It’s just a convenient place to start the story – a story that has seen radical new discoveries over the past few years. Dr Cat Jarman works on the cutting edge of bioarchaeology, using forensic techniques to research the paths of Vikings who came to rest in British soil. By examining teeth that are now over one thousand years old, she can determine childhood diet, and thereby where a specimen was likely born. With radiocarbon dating, she can ascertain a death date down to the range of a few years. In 2012, a carnelian bead came into her temporary possession. River Kings sees her trace its path back to eighth-century Baghdad, discovering along the way that the Vikings’ route was far more varied than we might think, that with them came people from the Middle East, not just Scandinavia, and that the reason for all this unexpected integration between the Eastern and Western worlds may well have been a slave trade running through the Silk Road, and all the way to Britain. River Kings is a major reassessment of the Vikings, and of the medieval world as we know it.
Roland Ennos’ The Wood Age is a love-letter to the world’s most vital and yet most threatened material. It is the story of how wood has shaped our human experience from the earliest foragers to the modern four poster bed. In a journey to appreciate how much wood matters – and has done since prehistory – Roland Ennos takes the reader chronologically through four key phases: the impact of wooded habits on the lives of primates; human emergence and the discoveries of fire and woodwork; wood’s role in an environment both pre- and post-industrialisation; and lastly, the possible future of wood in an increasingly technologized world. In an original and essential investigation, The Wood Age challenges the traditional model of historical development – stone, bronze, iron – and instead guide readers through a revealing and innovative wooded history of the world.
A harrowing account of the Cuban missile crisis and how the US and USSR came to the brink of nuclear apocalypse. Nearly thirty years after the end of the Cold War, today’s world leaders are abandoning disarmament treaties, building up their nuclear arsenals, and exchanging threats of nuclear strikes. To survive this new atomic age, we must relearn the lessons of the most dangerous moment of the Cold War: the Cuban missile crisis. Serhii Plokhy’s Nuclear Folly offers an international perspective on the crisis, tracing the tortuous decision-making that produced and then resolved it, which involved John Kennedy and his advisers, Nikita Khrushchev and Fidel Castro, and their commanders on the ground. In breathtaking detail, Plokhy vividly recounts the young JFK being played by the canny Khrushchev; the hotheaded Castro willing to defy the USSR and threatening to align himself with China; the Soviet troops on the ground clearing jungle foliage in the tropical heat, and desperately trying to conceal nuclear installations on Cuba, which were nonetheless easily spotted by U-2 spy planes; and the hair-raising near misses at sea that nearly caused a Soviet nuclear-armed submarine to fire its weapons. More often than not, the Americans and Soviets misread each other, operated under false information, and came perilously close to nuclear catastrophe. Despite these errors, nuclear war was ultimately avoided for one central reason: fear, and the realization that any escalation on either the Soviets’ or the Americans’ part would lead to mutual destruction. Drawing on a range of Soviet archival sources, including previously classified KGB documents, as well as White House tapes, Plokhy masterfully illustrates the drama and anxiety of those tense days, and provides a way for us to grapple with the problems posed in our present day.
The creator of the hit podcast series Tides of History and Fall of Rome explores the four explosive decades between 1490 and 1530, bringing to life the dramatic and deeply human story of how the West was reborn. In the bestselling tradition of The Swerve and A Distant Mirror, The Verge tells the story of a period that marked a decisive turning point for both European and world history. Here, author Patrick Wyman examines two complementary and contradictory sides of the same historical coin: the world-altering implications of the developments of printed mass media, extreme taxation, exploitative globalization, humanistic learning, gunpowder warfare, and mass religious conflict in the long term, and their intensely disruptive consequences in the short-term. As told through the lives of ten real people—from famous figures like Christopher Columbus and wealthy banker Jakob Fugger to a ruthless small-time merchant and a one-armed mercenary captain—The Verge illustrates how their lives, and the times in which they lived, set the stage for an unprecedented globalized future. Over an intense forty-year period, the seeds for the so-called “Great Divergence” between Western Europe and the rest of the globe would be planted. From Columbus’s voyage across the Atlantic to Martin Luther’s sparking the Protestant Reformation, the foundations of our own, recognizably modern world came into being. For the past 500 years, historians, economists, and the policy-oriented have argued which of these individual developments best explains the West’s rise from backwater periphery to global dominance. As The Verge presents it, however, the answer is far more nuanced.
“Imprisoned in a remote Turkish prison camp during World War I, having survived a two-month forced march and a terrifying shootout in the desert, two British officers, Harry Jones and Cedric Hill, join forces to bamboozle their iron-fisted captors”–
The civil rights movement was among the most important historical developments of the twentieth century and one of the most remarkable mass movements in American history. Not only did it decisively change the legal and political status of African Americans, but it prefigured as well the moral premises and methods of struggle for other historically oppressed groups seeking equal standing in American society. And, yet, despite a vague, sometimes begrudging recognition of its immense import, more often than not the movement has been misrepresented and misunderstood. For the general public, a singular moment, frozen in time at the Lincoln Memorial, sums up much of what Americans know about that remarkable decade of struggle. In The Movement, Thomas C. Holt provides an informed and nuanced understanding of the origins, character, and objectives of the mid-twentieth-century freedom struggle, privileging the aspirations and initiatives of the ordinary, grassroots people who made it. Holt conveys a sense of these developments as a social movement, one that shaped its participants even as they shaped it. He emphasizes the conditions of possibility that enabled the heroic initiatives of the common folk over those of their more celebrated leaders. This groundbreaking book reinserts the critical concept of “movement” back into our image and understanding of the civil rights movement.
In the aftermath of the horrors of the Irish Famine, the grim, distrustful relationship between Ireland and the rest of the United Kingdom deteriorated into a generations-long argument about ‘Home Rule’. The unprecedented nature of the Irish problem – with most Irish people wanting to break away from the world’s largest Empire – made it extraordinarily difficult for either side to come up with a compromise. For many years actual independence seemed inconceivable. And then, as these bitter disputes continued, it became clear that under no circumstances would the Protestants be party to any of it. The Partition is a remarkable, clear-sighted and thoughtful account of how two unthinkable events – full Irish independence and the creation of the state of Northern Ireland – came to pass. The Irish nationalist claim to leave ran into a loyalist demand to remain, increasingly centred on the north-eastern Protestant community, threatening large-scale violent resistance. Here Charles Townshend lays out what is ultimately a tragic story, as partition became the only answer to an otherwise insoluble problem. The settlement of the Irish question drew in every major politician, conjured up heroes and villains, led to civil war and finally to Ulster’s catastrophic Troubles. The hard border has always been seen as a failure of both British and Irish statecraft, but has endured now for a century. The Partition brilliantly brings to life the contingency and uncertainty that created it. —
“This book is a global history of the Interwar period, which posits a new history for the origins of the Second World War. Jonathan Haslam argues that it was not only the failures of the treaties that ended the First World War that led to the Second, as has traditionally been supposed. Rather, fear of international communism hampered the Great Powers and prevented the necessary diplomatic steps to contain the aggression of Germany and Japan to a much greater extent and much earlier in history than previous scholarship has recognized. Haslam looks at newly discovered and neglected archival materials around the world to show how communism as a social and political force shaped the politics in countries as diverse as Britain, Spain, France, as well as the U.S., China, and European colonies in the 1920s and 1930s. Both Communism and fear of communism were essential components of the period’s political and class divides within Europe, the Weimar crisis, the Great Depression, and colonial conflicts around the world. These social factors formed the essential background to the grand political dramas in each country, explaining for example why France seemed timid, Britain appeased, and the U.S. self-isolated. Haslam expertly brings together domestic and international politics as well as the European and Asian theaters to shed new light on this pivotal period of history in new ways. Ultimately, he shows that international communism was much a more significant factor in the diplomatic failures that permitted Japan’s increased aggression and Hitler’s rise to power than was previously thought”–
The world recoiled at the notion of a woman doctor, yet Elizabeth Blackwell persisted–in 1849, she became the first woman in America to receive an MD. Her achievement made her an icon–“I am convinced that a new & nobler era is dawning, for Medicine,” she wrote–but her sister Emily, eternally eclipsed, was the more brilliant physician. Together they founded the first hospital staffed entirely by women, in New York City. Both sisters were tenacious and visionary, but their convictions did not always align with the emergence of women’s rights–or with each other. “Doubt is disease,” Elizabeth insisted. They prevailed against fierce resistance from the male establishment, moving among Britain, France, and America during a tumultuous time of scientific discovery and civil war. This major new biography celebrates two complicated pioneers who exploded the limits of possibility. As Elizabeth predicted, “a hundred years hence, women will not be what they are now.”
In his first work of narrative nonfiction, Matthew Pearl, bestselling author of acclaimed novel The Dante Club, explores the little-known true story of the kidnapping of legendary pioneer Daniel Boone’s daughter and the dramatic aftermath that rippled across the nation. On a quiet midsummer day in 1776, weeks after the signing of the Declaration of Independence, thirteen-year-old Jemima Boone and her friends Betsy and Fanny Callaway disappear near the Kentucky settlement of Boonesboro, the echoes of their faraway screams lingering on the air. A Cherokee-Shawnee raiding party has taken the girls as the latest salvo in the blood feud between American Indians and the colonial settlers who have decimated native lands and resources. Hanging Maw, the raiders’ leader, recognizes one of the captives as Jemima Boone, daughter of Kentucky’s most influential pioneers, and realizes she could be a valuable pawn in the battle to drive the colonists out of the contested Kentucky territory for good. With Daniel Boone and his posse in pursuit, Hanging Maw devises a plan that could ultimately bring greater peace both to the tribes and the colonists. But after the girls find clever ways to create a trail of clues, the raiding party is ambushed by Boone and the rescuers in a battle with reverberations that nobody could predict. As Matthew Pearl reveals, the exciting story of Jemima Boone’s kidnapping vividly illuminates the early days of America’s westward expansion, and the violent and tragic clashes across cultural lines that ensue. In this enthralling narrative in the tradition of Candice Millard and David Grann, Matthew Pearl unearths a forgotten and dramatic series of events from early in the Revolutionary War that opens a window into America’s transition from colony to nation, with the heavy moral costs incurred amid shocking new alliances and betrayals.
A unique, illustrated book that will change the way you see medieval history The Middle Ages: A Graphic History busts the myth of the ‘Dark Ages’, shedding light on the medieval period’s present-day relevance in a unique illustrated style. This history takes us through the rise and fall of empires, papacies, caliphates and kingdoms; through the violence and death of the Crusades, Viking raids, the Hundred Years War and the Plague; to the curious practices of monks, martyrs and iconoclasts. We’ll see how the foundations of the modern West were established, influencing our art, cultures, religious practices and ways of thinking. And we’ll explore the lives of those seen as ‘Other’ – women, Jews, homosexuals, lepers, sex workers and heretics. Join historian Eleanor Janega and illustrator Neil Max Emmanuel on a romp across continents and kingdoms as we discover the Middle Ages to be a time of huge change, inquiry and development – not unlike our own.
From New York Times bestselling author Alex Tresniowski comes a page-turning, remarkable true-crime thriller recounting the 1910 murder of ten-year-old Marie Smith, the dawn of modern criminal detection, and the launch of the NAACP. In the tranquil seaside town of Asbury Park, New Jersey, ten-year-old schoolgirl Marie Smith is brutally murdered. Small town officials, unable to find the culprit, call upon the young manager of a New York detective agency for help. It is the detective’s first murder case, and now, the specifics of the investigation and daring sting operation that caught the killer is captured in all its rich detail for the first time. Occurring exactly halfway between the end of the Civil War in 1865 and the formal beginning of the Civil Rights Movement in 1954, the brutal murder and its highly-covered investigation sits at the historic intersection of sweeping national forces—religious extremism, class struggle, the infancy of criminal forensics, and America’s Jim Crow racial violence. History and true crime collide in this sensational murder mystery featuring characters as complex and colorful as those found in the best psychological thrillers—the unconventional truth-seeking detective Ray Schindler; the sinister pedophile Frank Heidemann; the ambitious Asbury Park Sheriff Clarence Hetrick; the mysterious “sting artist,” Carl Neumeister; the indomitable crusader Ida Wells; and the victim, Marie Smith, who represented all the innocent and vulnerable children living in turn-of-the-century America. Gripping and powerful, The Rope is an important piece of history that gives a voice to the voiceless and resurrects a long-forgotten true crime story that speaks to the very divisions tearing at the nation’s fabric today.
A Washington Post style editor’s fascinating and irresistible look back on the Miss America pageant as it approaches its 100th anniversary.
The groundbreaking investigative story of how three successive presidents and their military commanders deceived the public year after year about America’s longest war, foreshadowing the Taliban’s recapture of Afghanistan, by Washington Post reporter and three-time Pulitzer Prize finalist Craig Whitlock. Unlike the wars in Vietnam and Iraq, the US invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 had near-unanimous public support. At first, the goals were straightforward and clear: to defeat al-Qaeda and prevent a repeat of 9/11. Yet soon after the United States and its allies removed the Taliban from power, the mission veered off course and US officials lost sight of their original objectives. Distracted by the war in Iraq, the US military became mired in an unwinnable guerrilla conflict in a country it did not understand. But no president wanted to admit failure, especially in a war that began as a just cause. Instead, the Bush, Obama, and Trump administrations sent more and more troops to Afghanistan and repeatedly said they were making progress, even though they knew there was no realistic prospect for an outright victory. Just as the Pentagon Papers changed the public’s understanding of Vietnam, The Afghanistan Papers contains startling revelation after revelation from people who played a direct role in the war, from leaders in the White House and the Pentagon to soldiers and aid workers on the front lines. In unvarnished language, they admit that the US government’s strategies were a mess, that the nation-building project was a colossal failure, and that drugs and corruption gained a stranglehold over their allies in the Afghan government. All told, the account is based on interviews with more than 1,000 people who knew that the US government was presenting a distorted, and sometimes entirely fabricated, version of the facts on the ground. Documents unearthed by The Washington Post reveal that President Bush didn’t know the name of his Afghanistan war commander—and didn’t want to make time to meet with him. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld admitted he had “no visibility into who the bad guys are.” His successor, Robert Gates, said: “We didn’t know jack shit about al-Qaeda.” The Afghanistan Papers is a shocking account that will supercharge a long overdue reckoning over what went wrong and forever change the way the conflict is remembered.
An award-winning scholar uncovers the guiding principles of Lincoln’s antislavery strategies. The long and turning path to the abolition of American slavery has often been attributed to the equivocations and inconsistencies of antislavery leaders, including Lincoln himself. But James Oakes’s brilliant history of Lincoln’s antislavery strategies reveals a striking consistency and commitment extending over many years. The linchpin of antislavery for Lincoln was the Constitution of the United States. Lincoln adopted the antislavery view that the Constitution made freedom the rule in the United States, slavery the exception. Where federal power prevailed, so did freedom. Where state power prevailed, that state determined the status of slavery, and the federal government could not interfere. It would take state action to achieve the final abolition of American slavery. With this understanding, Lincoln and his antislavery allies used every tool available to undermine the institution. Wherever the Constitution empowered direct federal action—in the western territories, in the District of Columbia, over the slave trade—they intervened. As a congressman in 1849 Lincoln sponsored a bill to abolish slavery in Washington, DC. He reentered politics in 1854 to oppose what he considered the unconstitutional opening of the territories to slavery by the Kansas–Nebraska Act. He attempted to persuade states to abolish slavery by supporting gradual abolition with compensation for slaveholders and the colonization of free Blacks abroad. President Lincoln took full advantage of the antislavery options opened by the Civil War. Enslaved people who escaped to Union lines were declared free. The Emancipation Proclamation, a military order of the president, undermined slavery across the South. It led to abolition by six slave states, which then joined the coalition to affect what Lincoln called the “King’s cure”: state ratification of the constitutional amendment that in 1865 finally abolished slavery.
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This text argues that Nietzsche’s idea of invalid policy that is believed to be valid and Heidegger’s concept of doubt as the reason for a representation are essentially the same idea. Using this insight, the text investigates vignettes from colonial occupation in Southeast Asia and its protest occupations to contend that untruth, covered in camouflages of constancy and morality, has been a powerful force in Asian history. The Nietzschean inflections applied here include Superhumanity, the eternal return of trauma, the critiques of morality, and the moralisation of guilt. Many ideas from the Heideggerian canon are used, including the struggle for individual validity amidst the debasement and imbalance of Being. Concepts such as thrownness, finitude and the remnant cultural power of Christianity, are also deployed in an exposé of colonial practices. The book gives detailed treatment to post-colonial Malaya (1963), Japanese occupied Hong Kong (1941–1945), and the tussle with communism in Cold War Singapore and Malaya, as well as the question of Kuomintang KMT validity in Hong Kong (1945–1949) and British Malaya (1950– 1953). The book explains the struggles for identity in the Hong Kong protest movement (2014–2020) by showing how economic distortion caused by landlordism has been covered by aspirations for freedom.
NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST • “A masterpiece” (Minneapolis Star Tribune), a “devastating” (The New York Times) meditation on Black performance in America from the MacArthur “Genius Grant” Fellow and bestselling author of Go Ahead in the Rain “Gorgeous essays that reveal the resilience, heartbreak, and joy within Black performance.”—Brit Bennett, author of The Vanishing Half At the March on Washington in 1963, Josephine Baker was fifty-seven years old, well beyond her most prolific days. But in her speech she was in a mood to consider her life, her legacy, her departure from the country she was now triumphantly returning to. “I was a devil in other countries, and I was a little devil in America, too,” she told the crowd. Inspired by these few words, Hanif Abdurraqib has written a profound and lasting reflection on how Black performance is inextricably woven into the fabric of American culture. Each moment in every performance he examines—whether it’s the twenty-seven seconds in “Gimme Shelter” in which Merry Clayton wails the words “rape, murder,” a schoolyard fistfight, a dance marathon, or the instant in a game of spades right after the cards are dealt—has layers of resonance in Black and white cultures, the politics of American empire, and Abdurraqib’s own personal history of love, grief, and performance. Abdurraqib writes prose brimming with jubilation and pain, infused with the lyricism and rhythm of the musicians he loves. With care and generosity, he explains the poignancy of performances big and small, each one feeling intensely familiar and vital, both timeless and desperately urgent. Filled with sharp insight, humor, and heart, A Little Devil in America exalts the Black performance that unfolds in specific moments in time and space—from midcentury Paris to the moon, and back down again to a cramped living room in Columbus, Ohio.
A personal, spirited, and concise timeline spanning Biblical times to today that explores one of the most fascinating countries in the world–Israel.
Over 330,000 copies sold. This is the story of the church for today’s readers. Bruce Shelley’s classic history of the church brings the story of global Christianity into the twenty-first century. Like a skilled screenwriter, Shelley begins each chapter with three elements: characters, setting, plot. Taking readers from the early centuries of the church up through the modern era he tells his readers a story of actual people, in a particular situation, taking action or being acted upon, provides a window into the circumstances and historical context, and from there develops the story of a major period or theme of Christian history. Covering recent events, this book also: Details the rapid growth of evangelical and Pentecostal Christianity in the southern hemisphere Addresses the decline in traditional mainline denominations Examines the influence of technology on the spread of the gospel Discusses how Christianity intersects with other religions in countries all over the world For this fifth edition, Marshall Shelley brought together a team of historians, historical theologians, and editors to revise and update this father’s classic text. The new edition adds important stories of the development of Christianity in Asia, India, and Africa, both in the early church as well as in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. It also highlights the stories of women and non-Europeans who significantly influenced the development of Christianity but whose contributions are often overlooked in previous overviews of church history. This concise book provides an easy-to-read guide to church history with intellectual substance. The new edition of Church History in Plain Language promises to set a new standard for readable church history.
Part travelogue, part history, and part reflective meditation on conflict and reconciliation, Sherry Buchanan’s new book offers both a personal and historical exploration of the Ho Chi Minh Trail, highlighting the critical role the Trail and the young women soldiers who helped build and defend it played in the Vietnam War. Accompanied by two travelling companions, Buchanan winds her way from Hanoi in the north to Ho Chi Minh City, formerly Saigon, in the south. Driving through the spectacular scenery of Vietnam and Laos, she encounters locations from the Truong Son mountains, the Phong Nha Caves, ancient citadels and Confucian temples to the Khmer Temple of Wat Phu at the western-most point of the Trail in Laos. Buchanan records her interactions–both scheduled and spontaneous–with those who experienced the Vietnam War firsthand, and these conversations with combatants and civilians provide new perspectives on the War. She listens to the women who defended the Trail roads against the greatest bombing campaign in modern times, walks through minefields with the demolition teams hunting for unexploded ordnance, and meets American veterans who have returned to Vietnam with an urge to “do something.” Buchanan weaves informative, and often humorous, tales from her journey with excerpts from the accounts of others, situating the locations she visits in their historical and political context. On the Ho Chi Minh Trail brings together geography, history, and personal accounts to readdress the culture of indifference to the War, bringing to light the scale of the tragedy, its lasting legacies, and our memory of it.
“A panoramic history of the savage combat on the Western Front between 1914 and 1918 that came to define modern warfare. The Western Front evokes images of hardship and sacrifice, of young, mud-spattered men in water-logged trenches, shielded from artillery blasts by a few feet of dirt. Long considered the most futile arena of the First World War, the Western Front has persisted in our collective memory as a tragic waste of life. In this epic narrative history, Nick Lloyd brings together the latest research from America, France, Britain, and Germany, telling the full story of the war in France and Belgium from the German invasion in 1914 to the armistice four years later. His sweeping chronicle reveals that the trenches were, as often as not, sites of dramatic technological and tactical advances, and that superior generalship helped determine the outcome of the war. Brimming with gripping descriptions and insight, The Western Front is a historical account in the tradition of Barbara Tuchman, John Keegan, and Antony Beevor: an authoritative, magisterial portrait of men at war”–Publisher’s description.
“Martin Luther inspired strong emotions not only in his religious and political opponents, but also in those who knew him. People either loved or hated him, and even today he can elicit intense emotional reactions. Always a controversial figure, his influence is nonetheless pervasive, particularly in Germany where he has left an indelible imprint on the culture, musical, linguistic, material, and visual. This book reflects on the way Martin Luther carefully crafted an image of himself, how others portrayed him for their own purposes (both during his life and after), and the ongoing legacy of these images. Though Luther had a magnetic quality both in life and in death, Roper does not shy away from discussing and grappling with his less savory side. Luther was highly aggressive and could be foul-mouthed, especially when speaking of his enemies. He was virulently anti-Semitic and he tended toward misogyny, even for a man of his time. Moving nimbly from analysis of Luther’s portraits to his dreams, his anti-Pope propaganda, and even the Playmobil Luther figures of today, Roper presents new sides of this complicated man made more complicated by his followers and detractors”–
The Katyn Massacre of 22,000 Polish prisoners of war is a crime to which there are no witnesses. Committed in utmost secrecy in April–May 1940 by the NKVD on the direct orders of Joseph Stalin, for nearly fifty years the Soviet regime succeeded in maintaining the fiction that Katyn was a Nazi atrocity, their story unchallenged by Western governments fearful of upsetting a powerful wartime ally and Cold War adversary. Surviving Katyn explores the decades-long search for answers, focusing on the experience of those individuals with the most at stake – the few survivors of the massacre and the Polish wartime forensic investigators – whose quest for the truth in the face of an inscrutable, unknowable, and utterly ruthless enemy came at great personal cost.
One of Apple’s Most Anticipated Books of Winter 2021 A quest to explore some of the most spectacular ancient cities in human history—and figure out why people abandoned them. In Four Lost Cities, acclaimed science journalist Annalee Newitz takes readers on an entertaining and mind-bending adventure into the deep history of urban life. Investigating across the centuries and around the world, Newitz explores the rise and fall of four ancient cities, each the center of a sophisticated civilization: the Neolithic site of Çatalhöyük in Central Turkey, the Roman vacation town of Pompeii on Italy’s southern coast, the medieval megacity of Angkor in Cambodia, and the indigenous metropolis Cahokia, which stood beside the Mississippi River where East St. Louis is today. Newitz travels to all four sites and investigates the cutting-edge research in archaeology, revealing the mix of environmental changes and political turmoil that doomed these ancient settlements. Tracing the early development of urban planning, Newitz also introduces us to the often anonymous workers—slaves, women, immigrants, and manual laborers—who built these cities and created monuments that lasted millennia. Four Lost Cities is a journey into the forgotten past, but, foreseeing a future in which the majority of people on Earth will be living in cities, it may also reveal something of our own fate.
Before South Sudan got it independence, Sudan was at civil wars for two centuries. The first civil war started in 1955 and ended in 1972 in an Agreement signed in Addis Ababa. The Accords gave South Sudan Autonomy Government, but was terminated later after ten years, and also after the abolition laws apply all over the Sudan. The September Laws has discriminately particular group bases on races, religion and colour and ethnicity. Because Sharia laws were applied all over the country, the officers of the South Sudan army of 105 and 104 battalion rejected Jafaar order by threatening to quell Jafaar order military. As a result Numery send machines forces to Bor to quell Kerubino mutiny in May 1983. Because Jafar order was resist, the fighting erupted at Battalion 105 Barack in Bor, where Kerubino forces defeated and a large number of Jafaar forces killed including Jafaar second commander. Because William Nyon was accused by aliening with Kerubino and Anya-Anya two forces. Therefore, President Jafaar Numery issued order of arresting him and he is brought to Khartoum for trial. After Bor and Ayod wars was over, the SPLM/A was formed with the two different ideologies “separation” and “secular united Sudan”. The separatist and unionist ideology was the cause of the split and the death of many founding fathers of the nation SPLM/A. In 1997, the split groups signed the agreement known as Khartoum Agreement with regime in Khartoum. In 2002 the SPLM/A and some of the split groups re-joined once again and unify their forces with Garang’s forces, until Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) signed in Nairobi- Kenya in 2005 After CPA, the Transitional Government of National Unity was formed in Sudan and the rights of self-determination were exercised and the 99.9% vote for separation leading to the declaration of independence of the South Sudan on 9 July 2011. After 2 years from independence the war within SPLM (Kiir and Riek) broke out in Juba where thousands killed. Due to some reservations from the Kiir and Machar dogfight erupted in J1 in 2016 until 2018 Revitalise Agreement signed.
From the bestselling author of SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome, the fascinating story of how images of Roman autocrats have influenced art, culture, and the representation of power for more than 2,000 years What does the face of power look like? Who gets commemorated in art and why? And how do we react to statues of politicians we deplore? In this book—against a background of today’s “sculpture wars”—Mary Beard tells the story of how for more than two millennia portraits of the rich, powerful, and famous in the western world have been shaped by the image of Roman emperors, especially the “Twelve Caesars,” from the ruthless Julius Caesar to the fly-torturing Domitian. Twelve Caesars asks why these murderous autocrats have loomed so large in art from antiquity and the Renaissance to today, when hapless leaders are still caricatured as Neros fiddling while Rome burns. Beginning with the importance of imperial portraits in Roman politics, this richly illustrated book offers a tour through 2,000 years of art and cultural history, presenting a fresh look at works by artists from Memling and Mantegna to the nineteenth-century American sculptor Edmonia Lewis, as well as by generations of weavers, cabinetmakers, silversmiths, printers, and ceramicists. Rather than a story of a simple repetition of stable, blandly conservative images of imperial men and women, Twelve Caesars is an unexpected tale of changing identities, clueless or deliberate misidentifications, fakes, and often ambivalent representations of authority. From Beard’s reconstruction of Titian’s extraordinary lost Room of the Emperors to her reinterpretation of Henry VIII’s famous Caesarian tapestries, Twelve Caesars includes fascinating detective work and offers a gripping story of some of the most challenging and disturbing portraits of power ever created. Published in association with the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts, National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC
A gripping and wholly original account of the epic human tragedy that was the great Klondike Gold Rush of 1897-98. One hundred thousand men and women rushed heedlessly north to make their fortunes; very few did, but many thousands of them (and their pack animals) died in the attempt. The electrifying announcement in 1897 that gold was to be found in wildly enriching quantities in the Klondike River region in remote Alaska was demonically well-timed to attract an exodus of economically desperate Americans. Within weeks, tens of thousands of them were embarking from western ports to throw themselves at some of the harshest terrain on the planet–in winter, yet–woefully unprepared, with no experience at all in mining or mountaineering. It was a mass delusion that quickly proved deadly. Brian Castner tells the unvarnished yet always striking and often amazing truth of this greed-fuelled migration.
Last updated on October 17, 2021