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About Time: A History of Civilization in Twelve Clocks

About Time: A History of Civilization in Twelve Clocks
$28.95

For thousands of years, people of all cultures have made and used clocks, from the city sundials of ancient Rome to the medieval water clocks of imperial China, hourglasses fomenting revolution in the Middle Ages, the Stock Exchange clock of Amsterdam in 1611, Enlightenment observatories in India, and the high-precision clocks circling the Earth on a fleet of GPS satellites that have been launched since 1978. Clocks have helped us navigate the world and build empires, and have even taken us to the brink of destruction. Elites have used them to wield power, make money, govern citizens, and control lives--and sometimes the people have used them to fight back.

Through the stories of twelve clocks, About Time brings pivotal moments from the past vividly to life. Historian and lifelong clock enthusiast David Rooney takes us from the unveiling of al-Jazari's castle clock in 1206, in present-day Turkey; to the Cape of Good Hope observatory at the southern tip of Africa, where nineteenth-century British government astronomers moved the gears of empire with a time ball and a gun; to the burial of a plutonium clock now sealed beneath a public park in Osaka, where it will keep time for 5,000 years.

Rooney shows, through these artifacts, how time has been imagined, politicized, and weaponized over the centuries--and how it might bring peace. Ultimately, he writes, the technical history of horology is only the start of the story. A history of clocks is a history of civilization.

ISBN/SKU: 
9780393867930
0
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Afghanistan Papers: A Secret History of the War

Afghanistan Papers: A Secret History of the War
$30.00
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.

ISBN/SKU: 
9781982159009
0
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African Lookbook: A Visual History of 100 Years of African Women

African Lookbook: A Visual History of 100 Years of African Women
$30.00

A Choice Outstanding Title of the Year
A USA Today Must-Read for Black History Month
An NPR Goats and Soda Editors' Pick
A BookRiot Favorite Nonfiction Book of the Year

An unprecedented visual history of African women told in striking and subversive historical photographs--featuring an Introduction by Edwidge Danticat and a Foreword by Jacqueline Woodson.

Most of us grew up with images of African women that were purely anthropological--bright displays of exotica where the deeper personhood seemed tucked away. Or they were chronicles of war and poverty--"poverty porn." But now, curator Catherine E. McKinley draws on her extensive collection of historical and contemporary photos to present a visual history spanning a hundred-year arc (1870-1970) of what is among the earliest photography on the continent. These images tell a different story of African women: how deeply cosmopolitan and modern they are in their style; how they were able to reclaim the tools of the colonial oppression that threatened their selfhood and livelihoods.

Featuring works by celebrated African masters, African studios of local legend, and anonymous artists, The African Lookbook captures the dignity, playfulness, austerity, grandeur, and fantasy-making of African women across centuries. McKinley also features photos by Europeans--most starkly, striking nudes--revealing the relationships between white men and the Black female sitters where, at best, a grave power imbalance lies. It's a bittersweet truth that when there is exploitation there can also be profound resistance expressed in unexpected ways--even if it's only in gazing back. These photos tell the story of how the sewing machine and the camera became powerful tools for women's self-expression, revealing a truly glorious display of everyday beauty.

ISBN/SKU: 
9781620403532
0

After the Romanovs

After the Romanovs
$29.99

From Helen Rappaport, the New York Times bestselling author of The Romanov Sisters comes After the Romanovs, the story of the Russian aristocrats, artists, and intellectuals who sought freedom and refuge in the City of Light.

Paris has always been a city of cultural excellence, fine wine and food, and the latest fashions. But it has also been a place of refuge for those fleeing persecution, never more so than before and after the Russian Revolution and the fall of the Romanov dynasty. For years, Russian aristocrats had enjoyed all that Belle Époque Paris had to offer, spending lavishly when they visited. It was a place of artistic experimentation, such as Diaghilev's Ballets Russes. But the brutality of the Bolshevik takeover forced Russians of all types to flee their homeland, sometimes leaving with only the clothes on their backs.

Arriving in Paris, former princes could be seen driving taxicabs, while their wives who could sew worked for the fashion houses, their unique Russian style serving as inspiration for designers like Coco Chanel. Talented intellectuals, artists, poets, philosophers, and writers struggled in exile, eking out a living at menial jobs. Some, like Bunin, Chagall and Stravinsky, encountered great success in the same Paris that welcomed Americans like Fitzgerald and Hemingway. Political activists sought to overthrow the Bolshevik regime from afar, while double agents from both sides plotted espionage and assassination. Others became trapped in a cycle of poverty and their all-consuming homesickness for Russia, the homeland they had been forced to abandon.

This is their story.

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9781250273109
0
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Aftermath: Life in the Fallout of the Third Reich, 1945-1955

Aftermath: Life in the Fallout of the Third Reich, 1945-1955
$30.00
How does a nation recover from fascism and turn toward a free society once more? This internationally acclaimed revelatory history--filled with first-person accounts from articles and diaries (The New York Times)--of the transformational decade that followed World War II illustrates how Germany raised itself out of the ashes of defeat and reckoned with the corruption of its soul and the horrors of the Holocaust.

Featuring over 40 eye-opening black-and-white photographs and posters from the period.

The years 1945 to 1955 were a raw, wild decade that found many Germans politically, economically, and morally bankrupt. Victorious Allied forces occupied the four zones that make up present-day Germany. More than half the population was displaced; 10 million newly released forced laborers and several million prisoners of war returned to an uncertain existence. Cities lay in ruins--no mail, no trains, no traffic--with bodies yet to be found beneath the towering rubble.

Aftermath received wide acclaim and spent forty-eight weeks on the best-seller list in Germany when it was published there in 2019. It is the first history of Germany's national mentality in the immediate postwar years. Using major global political developments as a backdrop, Harald Jähner weaves a series of life stories into a nuanced panorama of a nation undergoing monumental change. Poised between two eras, this decade is portrayed by Jähner as a period that proved decisive for Germany's future--and one starkly different from how most of us imagine it today.

ISBN/SKU: 
9780593319734
0
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Age of Wood

Age of Wood
$17.00
A "smart and surprising" (Booklist) "expansive history" (Publishers Weekly) detailing the role that wood and trees have played in our global ecosystem--including human evolution and the rise and fall of empires--in the bestselling tradition of Yuval Harari's Sapiens and Mark Kurlansky's Salt.

As the dominant species on Earth, humans have made astonishing progress since our ancestors came down from the trees. But how did the descendants of small primates manage to walk upright, become top predators, and populate the world? How were humans able to develop civilizations and produce a globalized economy? Now, in The Age of Wood, Roland Ennos shows for the first time that the key to our success has been our relationship with wood.

"A lively history of biology, mechanics, and culture that stretches back 60 million years" (Nature) The Age of Wood reinterprets human history and shows how our ability to exploit wood's unique properties has profoundly shaped our bodies and minds, societies, and lives. Ennos takes us on a sweeping journey from Southeast Asia and West Africa where great apes swing among the trees, build nests, and fashion tools; to East Africa where hunter gatherers collected their food; to the structural design of wooden temples in China and Japan; and to Northern England, where archaeologists trace how coal enabled humans to build an industrial world. Addressing the effects of industrialization--including the use of fossil fuels and other energy-intensive materials to replace timber--The Age of Wood not only shows the essential role that trees play in the history and evolution of human existence, but also argues that for the benefit of our planet we must return to more traditional ways of growing, using, and understanding trees.

A brilliant blend of recent research and existing scientific knowledge, this is an "excellent, thorough history in an age of our increasingly fraught relationships with natural resources" (Kirkus Reviews, starred review).

ISBN/SKU: 
9781982114749
0
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Agent Sonya

Agent Sonya
$18.00
The "master storyteller" (San Francisco Chronicle) behind the New York Times bestseller The Spy and the Traitor uncovers the true story behind the Cold War's most intrepid female spy.

"[An] immensely exciting, fast-moving account."--The Washington Post

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY Foreign Affairs - Kirkus Reviews - Library Journal

In 1942, in a quiet village in the leafy English Cotswolds, a thin, elegant woman lived in a small cottage with her three children and her husband, who worked as a machinist nearby. Ursula Burton was friendly but reserved, and spoke English with a slight foreign accent. By all accounts, she seemed to be living a simple, unassuming life. Her neighbors in the village knew little about her.

They didn't know that she was a high-ranking Soviet intelligence officer. They didn't know that her husband was also a spy, or that she was running powerful agents across Europe. Behind the facade of her picturesque life, Burton was a dedicated Communist, a Soviet colonel, and a veteran agent, gathering the scientific secrets that would enable the Soviet Union to build the bomb.

This true-life spy story is a masterpiece about the woman code-named "Sonya." Over the course of her career, she was hunted by the Chinese, the Japanese, the Nazis, MI5, MI6, and the FBI--and she evaded them all. Her story reflects the great ideological clash of the twentieth century--between Communism, Fascism, and Western democracy--and casts new light on the spy battles and shifting allegiances of our own times.

With unparalleled access to Sonya's diaries and correspondence and never-before-seen information on her clandestine activities, Ben Macintyre has conjured a page-turning history of a legendary secret agent, a woman who influenced the course of the Cold War and helped plunge the world into a decades-long standoff between nuclear superpowers.

ISBN/SKU: 
9780593136324
0

Agrippina

Agrippina
$16.95
Sister of Caligula. Wife of Claudius. Mother of Nero. The story of Agrippina, at the center of imperial power for three generations, is the story of the Julio-Claudia dynasty--and of Rome itself, at its bloody, extravagant, chaotic, ruthless, and political zenith.

In her own time, she was recognized as a woman of unparalleled power. Beautiful and intelligent, she was portrayed as alternately a ruthless murderer and helpless victim, the most loving mother and the most powerful woman of the Roman empire, using sex, motherhood, manipulation, and violence to get her way, and single-minded in her pursuit of power for herself and her son, Nero.

This book follows Agrippina as a daughter, born in Cologne, to the expected heir to Augustus's throne; as a sister to Caligula who raped his sisters and showered them with honors until they attempted rebellion against him and were exiled; as a seductive niece and then wife to Claudius who gave her access to near unlimited power; and then as a mother to Nero--who adored her until he had her assassinated.

Through senatorial political intrigue, assassination attempts, and exile to a small island, to the heights of imperial power, thrones, and golden cloaks and games and adoration, Agrippina scaled the absolute limits of female power in Rome. Her biography is also the story of the first Roman imperial family--the Julio-Claudians--and of the glory and corruption of the empire itself.

ISBN/SKU: 
9781643136103
0
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America and Iran: A History, 1720 to the Present

America and Iran: A History, 1720 to the Present
$37.50
An important, urgently needed book--a hugely ambitious, illuminating portrait of the two-centuries-long entwined histories of Iran and America, and the first book to examine, in all its aspects, the rich and fraught relations between these two powers--once allies, now adversaries. By an admired historian and the author of Untapped: The Scramble for Africa's Oil (he would do Graham Greene proud--Kirkus Reviews).

In this rich, fascinating history, John Ghazvinian traces the complex story of the relations of these two powers back to the Persian Empire of the eighteenth century--the subject of great admiration of Thomas Jefferson and John Quincy Adams--and an America seen by Iranians as an ideal to emulate for their own government.

Drawing on years of archival research both in the United States and Iran--including access to Iranian government archives rarely available to Western scholars--the Iranian-born, Oxford-educated historian leads us through the four seasons of U.S.-Iran relations: the spring of mutual fascination; the summer of early interactions; the autumn of close strategic ties; and the long, dark winter of mutual hatred.

Ghazvinian, with grasp and a storyteller's ability, makes clear where, how, and when it all went wrong. And shows why two countries that once had such heartfelt admiration for each other became such committed enemies; showing us, as well, how it didn't have to turn out this way.

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9780307271815
0
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American War in Afghanistan: A History

American War in Afghanistan: A History
$34.95
The first authoritative history of American's longest war by one of the world's leading scholar-practitioners.

The American war in Afghanistan, which began in 2001, is now the longest armed conflict in the nation's history. It is currently winding down, and American troops are likely to leave soon -- but only after a stay of nearly two decades.

In The American War in Afghanistan, Carter Malkasian provides the first comprehensive history of the entire conflict. Malkasian is both a leading academic authority on the subject and an experienced practitioner, having spent nearly two years working in the Afghan countryside and going on to serve
as the senior advisor to General Joseph Dunford, the US military commander in Afghanistan and later the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff. Drawing from a deep well of local knowledge, understanding of Pashto, and review of primary source documents, Malkasian moves through the war's multiple
phases: the 2001 invasion and after; the light American footprint during the 2003 Iraq invasion; the resurgence of the Taliban in 2006, the Obama-era surge, and the various resets in strategy and force allocations that occurred from 2011 onward, culminating in the 2018-2020 peace talks. Malkasian
lived through much of it, and draws from his own experiences to provide a unique vantage point on the war. Today, the Taliban is the most powerful faction, and sees victory as probable. The ultimate outcome after America leaves is inherently unpredictable given the multitude of actors there, but one
thing is sure: the war did not go as America had hoped. Although the al-Qa'eda leader Osama bin Laden was killed and no major attack on the American homeland was carried out after 2001, the United States was unable to end the violence or hand off the war to the Afghan authorities, which could not
survive without US military backing. The American War in Afghanistan explains why the war had such a disappointing outcome.

Wise and all-encompassing, The American War in Afghanistan provides a truly vivid portrait of the conflict in all of its phases that will remain the authoritative account for years to come.

ISBN/SKU: 
9780197550779
0

Arsonist: A Mind on Fire

Arsonist: A Mind on Fire
$18.95
The true story of one of the most devastating wildfires in Australian history and the search for the man who started it.

On the scorching February day in 2009, a man lit two fires in the Australian state of Victoria, then sat on the roof of his house to watch the inferno. What came to be known as the Black Saturday bushfires killed 173 people and injured hundreds more, making them among the deadliest and most destructive wildfires in Australian history. As communities reeling from unspeakable loss demanded answers, detectives scrambled to piece together what really happened. They soon began to suspect the fires had been deliverately set by an arsonist.

The Arsonist takes readers on the hunt for this man, and inside the puzzle of his mind. But this book is also the story of fire in the Anthropocene. The command of fire has defined and sustained us as a species, and now, as climate change normalizes devastating wildfires worldwide, we must contend with the forces of inequality, and desperate yearning for power, that can lead to such destruction.

Written with Chloe Hooper's trademark lyric detail and nuance, The Arsonist is a reminder that in the age of fire, all of us are gatekeepers.

ISBN/SKU: 
9781644210000
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Athens: City of Wisdom

Athens: City of Wisdom
$35.00
A sweeping narrative history of Athens, telling the three-thousand-year story of the birthplace of Western civilization.

Even on the most smog-bound of days, the rocky outcrop on which the Acropolis stands is visible above the sprawling roof-scape of the Greek capital. Athens presents one of the most recognizable and symbolically potent panoramas of any of the world's cities: the pillars and pediments of the Parthenon - the temple dedicated to Athena, goddess of wisdom, that crowns the Acropolis - dominate a city whose name is synonymous for many with civilization itself.

It is hard not to feel the hand of history in such a place. The birthplace of democracy, Western philosophy and theatre, Athens' importance cannot be understated. Few cities have enjoyed a history so rich in artistic creativity and the making of ideas; or one so curiously patterned by alternating cycles of turbulence and quietness.

From the legal reforms of the lawmaker Solon in the sixth century BCE to the travails of early twenty-first century Athens, as it struggles with the legacy of the economic crises of the 2000s, Clark brings the city's history to life, evoking its cultural richness and political resonance in this epic, kaleidoscopic history.

ISBN/SKU: 
9781643138756
0
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Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu

Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu
$18.00
To save ancient Arabic texts from Al Qaeda, a band of librarians pulls off a brazen heist worthy of Ocean's Eleven in this "fast-paced narrative that is...part intellectual history, part geopolitical tract, and part out-and-out thriller" (The Washington Post) from the author of The Falcon Thief.

In the 1980s, a young adventurer and collector for a government library, Abdel Kader Haidara, journeyed across the Sahara Desert and along the Niger River, tracking down and salvaging tens of thousands of ancient Islamic and secular manuscripts that were crumbling in the trunks of desert shepherds. His goal: preserve this crucial part of the world's patrimony in a gorgeous library. But then Al Qaeda showed up at the door.

"Part history, part scholarly adventure story, and part journalist survey...Joshua Hammer writes with verve and expertise" (The New York Times Book Review) about how Haidara, a mild-mannered archivist from the legendary city of Timbuktu, became one of the world's greatest smugglers by saving the texts from sure destruction. With bravery and patience, Haidara organized a dangerous operation to sneak all 350,000 volumes out of the city to the safety of southern Mali. His heroic heist "has all the elements of a classic adventure novel" (The Seattle Times), and is a reminder that ordinary citizens often do the most to protect the beauty of their culture. His the story is one of a man who, through extreme circumstances, discovered his higher calling and was changed forever by it.

ISBN/SKU: 
9781476777412
0
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Betrayal of Anne Frank: A Cold Case Investigation

Betrayal of Anne Frank: A Cold Case Investigation
$29.99

Less a mystery unsolved than a secret well kept...

Using new technology, recently discovered documents and sophisticated investigative techniques, an international team--led by an obsessed retired FBI agent--has finally solved the mystery that has haunted generations since World War II: Who betrayed Anne Frank and her family? And why?

Over thirty million people have read The Diary of a Young Girl, the journal teen-aged Anne Frank kept while living in an attic with her family and four other people in Amsterdam during World War II, until the Nazis arrested them and sent them to a concentration camp. But despite the many works--journalism, books, plays and novels--devoted to Anne's story, none has ever conclusively explained how these eight people managed to live in hiding undetected for over two years--and who or what finally brought the Nazis to their door.

With painstaking care, retired FBI agent Vincent Pankoke and a team of indefatigable investigators pored over tens of thousands of pages of documents--some never before seen--and interviewed scores of descendants of people familiar with the Franks. Utilizing methods developed by the FBI, the Cold Case Team painstakingly pieced together the months leading to the infamous arrest--and came to a shocking conclusion.

The Betrayal of Anne Frank: A Cold Case Investigation is the riveting story of their mission. Rosemary Sullivan introduces us to the investigators, explains the behavior of both the captives and their captors and profiles a group of suspects. All the while, she vividly brings to life wartime Amsterdam: a place where no matter how wealthy, educated, or careful you were, you never knew whom you could trust.

ISBN/SKU: 
9780062892355
0
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Between Two Fires

Between Two Fires
$17.00
NEW YORK TIMES EDITORS' CHOICE - "Unforgettable . . . a book about Putin's Russia that is unlike any other."--Patrick Radden Keefe, author of Say Nothing

From a Moscow correspondent for The New Yorker, a groundbreaking portrait of modern Russia and the inner struggles of the people who sustain Vladimir Putin's rule

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY NPR AND KIRKUS REVIEWS

In this rich and novelistic tour of contemporary Russia, Joshua Yaffa introduces readers to some of the country's most remarkable figures--from politicians and entrepreneurs to artists and historians--who have built their careers and constructed their identities in the shadow of the Putin system. Torn between their own ambitions and the omnipresent demands of the state, each walks an individual path of compromise. Some muster cunning and cynicism to extract all manner of benefits and privileges from those in power. Others, finding themselves to be less adept, are left broken and demoralized. What binds them together is the tangled web of dilemmas and contradictions they face.

Between Two Fires chronicles the lives of a number of strivers who understand that their dreams are best--or only--realized through varying degrees of cooperation with the Russian government. With sensitivity and depth, Yaffa profiles the director of the country's main television channel, an Orthodox priest at war with the church hierarchy, a Chechen humanitarian who turns a blind eye to persecutions, and many others. The result is an intimate and probing portrait of a nation that is much discussed yet little understood. By showing how citizens shape their lives around the demands of a capricious and frequently repressive state--as often by choice as under threat of force--Yaffa offers urgent lessons about the true nature of modern authoritarianism.

Praise for Between Two Fires

"A deep and revealing portrait of life inside Vladimir Putin's Russia. . . . Yaffa mines a rich vein, describing his subjects' moral compromises and often ingenious ways of engaging a crooked bureaucracy to show how the Kremlin sustains its authoritarianism."--The New York Times Book Review

"Few journalists have penetrated so deep and with so much nuance into the moral ambiguities of Russia. If you want insight into the deeper distortions the Kremlin causes in people's psyches this book is invaluable."--Peter Pomerantsev, author of Nothing Is True and Everything Is Possible

"A stunning chronicle of Putin's new Russia . . . It celebrates the vitality of the Russian people even as it explores the compromises and accommodations that they must make. . . . This embrace of contradictions is what makes Between Two Fires such a poignant and poetic book."--Alex Gibney, Air Mail

ISBN/SKU: 
9781524760601
0
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Black Prince

Black Prince
$19.95
As a child he was given his own suit of armor; at the age of sixteen, he helped defeat the French at Crécy. At Poitiers, in 1356, his victory over King John II of France forced the French into a humiliating surrender that marked the zenith of England's dominance in the Hundred Years War. As lord of Aquitaine, he ruled a vast swathe of territory across the west and southwest of France, holding a magnificent court at Bordeaux that mesmerized the brave but unruly Gascon nobility and drew them like moths to the flame of his cause. He was Edward of Woodstock, eldest son of Edward III, and better known to posterity as "the Black Prince." His military achievements captured the imagination of Europe: heralds and chroniclers called him "the flower of all chivalry" and "the embodiment of all valor." But what was the true nature of the man behind the chivalric myth, and of the violent but pious world in which he lived?
ISBN/SKU: 
9781643132297
0
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Bohemians

Bohemians
$16.99
"A story of love, incredible bravery and self-sacrifice . . . brilliantly told."--Antony Beevor, New York Times best-selling author of The Fall of Berlin 1945, The Second World War, and D-Day

"A taut, absorbing tale of anti-Nazi resistance."--Kirkus Reviews

Harro Schulze-Boysen already had shed blood in the fight against Nazism by the time he and Libertas Haas-Heye began their whirlwind romance. She joined the cause, and soon the two lovers were leading a network of anti-fascist fighters that stretched across Berlin's bohemian underworld. But nothing could prepare Harro and Libertas for the betrayals they would suffer in this war of secrets--a struggle in which friend could be indistinguishable from foe. Drawing on unpublished diaries, letters, and Gestapo files, Norman Ohler spins an unforgettable tale of love, heroism, and sacrifice in The Bohemians.

ISBN/SKU: 
9780358508625
0
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Bomber Mafia: A Dream, a Temptation, and the Longest Night of the Second World War

Bomber Mafia: A Dream, a Temptation, and the Longest Night of the Second World War
$27.00

An exploration of how technology and best intentions collide in the heat of war

A New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice

In The Bomber Mafia, Malcolm Gladwell weaves together the stories of a Dutch genius and his homemade computer, a band of brothers in central Alabama, a British psychopath, and pyromaniacal chemists at Harvard to examine one of the greatest moral challenges in modern American history.

Most military thinkers in the years leading up to World War II saw the airplane as an afterthought. But a small band of idealistic strategists, the "Bomber Mafia," asked: What if precision bombing could cripple the enemy and make war far less lethal?

In contrast, the bombing of Tokyo on the deadliest night of the war was the brainchild of General Curtis LeMay, whose brutal pragmatism and scorched-earth tactics in Japan cost thousands of civilian lives, but may have spared even more by averting a planned US invasion. In The Bomber Mafia, Gladwell asks, "Was it worth it?"

Things might have gone differently had LeMay's predecessor, General Haywood Hansell, remained in charge. Hansell believed in precision bombing, but when he and Curtis LeMay squared off for a leadership handover in the jungles of Guam, LeMay emerged victorious, leading to the darkest night of World War II. The Bomber Mafia is a riveting tale of persistence, innovation, and the incalculable wages of war.

ISBN/SKU: 
9780316296618
0

Book

Book
$29.95

We may love books, but do we know what lies behind them? In The Book, Keith Houston reveals that the paper, ink, thread, glue, and board from which a book is made tell as rich a story as the words on its pages--of civilizations, empires, human ingenuity, and madness. In an invitingly tactile history of this 2,000-year-old medium, Houston follows the development of writing, printing, the art of illustrations, and binding to show how we have moved from cuneiform tablets and papyrus scrolls to the hardcovers and paperbacks of today. Sure to delight book lovers of all stripes with its lush, full-color illustrations, The Book gives us the momentous and surprising history behind humanity's most important--and universal--information technology.

ISBN/SKU: 
9780393244793
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Book Collectors: A Band of Syrian Rebels and the Stories That Carried Them Through a War

Book Collectors: A Band of Syrian Rebels and the Stories That Carried Them Through a War
$25.00

A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR: NPR

An urgent and compelling account of great bravery and passion. --Susan Orlean

Award-winning journalist Delphine Minoui recounts the true story of a band of young rebels, a besieged Syrian town, and an underground library built from the rubble of war

Reading is an act of resistance.

Daraya is a town outside Damascus, the very spot where the Syrian Civil War began. Long a site of peaceful
resistance to the Assad regimes, Daraya fell under siege in 2012. For four years, no one entered or left, and aid was blocked. Every single day, bombs fell on this place--a place of homes and families, schools and children, now emptied and broken into bits.

And then a group searching for survivors stumbled upon a cache of books in the rubble. In a week, they had six thousand volumes; in a month, fifteen thousand. A sanctuary was born: a library where people could escape the blockade, a paper fortress to protect their humanity.

The library offered a marvelous range of books--from Arabic poetry to American self-help, Shakespearean plays to stories of war in other times and places. The visitors shared photos and tales of their lives before the war, planned how to build a democracy, and tended the roots of their community despite shell-shocked soil.

In the midst of the siege, the journalist Delphine Minoui tracked down one of the library's founders, twenty-three-year-old Ahmad. Over text messages, WhatsApp, and Facebook, Minoui came to know the young men who gathered in the library, exchanged ideas, learned English, and imagined how to shape the future, even as bombs kept falling from above. By telling their stories, Minoui makes a far-off, complicated war immediate and reveals these young men to be everyday heroes as inspiring as the books they read. The Book Collectors is a testament to their bravery and a celebration of the power of words.

ISBN/SKU: 
9780374115166
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BOOKSELLER OF FLORENCE

BOOKSELLER OF FLORENCE
$30.00
The Renaissance in Florence conjures images of beautiful frescoes and elegant buildings--the dazzling handiwork of the city's skilled artists and architects. But equally important for the centuries to follow were geniuses of a different sort: Florence's manuscript hunters, scribes, scholars, and booksellers, who blew the dust off a thousand years of history and, through the discovery and diffusion of ancient knowledge, imagined a new and enlightened world.

At the heart of this activity, which bestselling author Ross King relates in his exhilarating new book, was a remarkable man: Vespasiano da Bisticci. Born in 1422, he became what a friend called "the king of the world's booksellers." At a time when all books were made by hand, over four decades Vespasiano produced and sold many hundreds of volumes from his bookshop, which also became a gathering spot for debate and discussion. Besides repositories of ancient wisdom by the likes of Plato, Aristotle, and Quintilian, his books were works of art in their own right, copied by talented scribes and illuminated by the finest miniaturists. His clients included a roll-call of popes, kings, and princes across Europe who wished to burnish their reputations by founding magnificent libraries.

Vespasiano reached the summit of his powers as Europe's most prolific merchant of knowledge when a new invention appeared: the printed book. By 1480, the king of the world's booksellers was swept away by this epic technological disruption, whereby cheaply produced books reached readers who never could have afforded one of Vespasiano's elegant manuscripts.

A thrilling chronicle of intellectual ferment set against the dramatic political and religious turmoil of the era, Ross King's brilliant The Bookseller of Florence is also an ode to books and bookmaking that charts the world-changing shift from script to print through the life of an extraordinary man long lost to history--one of the true titans of the Renaissance.

ISBN/SKU: 
9780802158529
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Bookshop of the World: Making and Trading Books in the Dutch Golden Age

Bookshop of the World: Making and Trading Books in the Dutch Golden Age
$35.00
The untold story of how the Dutch conquered the European book market and became the world's greatest bibliophiles--"an instant classic on Dutch book history" (BMGN - Low Countries Historical Review)
"[An] excellent contribution to book history."--Robert Darnton, New York Review of Books
The Dutch Golden Age has long been seen as the age of Rembrandt and Vermeer, whose paintings captured the public imagination and came to represent the marvel that was the Dutch Republic. Yet there is another, largely overlooked marvel in the Dutch world of the seventeenth century: books.

In this fascinating account, Andrew Pettegree and Arthur der Weduwen show how the Dutch produced many more books than pictures and bought and owned more books per capita than any other part of Europe. Key innovations in marketing, book auctions, and newspaper advertising brought stability to a market where elsewhere publishers faced bankruptcy, and created a population uniquely well-informed and politically engaged. This book tells for the first time the remarkable story of the Dutch conquest of the European book world and shows the true extent to which these pious, prosperous, quarrelsome, and generous people were shaped by what they read.

ISBN/SKU: 
9780300230079
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Boy Who Drew Auschwitz

Boy Who Drew Auschwitz
$28.99

An inspiring true story of hope and survival, this is the testimony of a boy who was imprisoned in Auschwitz, Gross-Rosen and Buchenwald and recorded his experiences through words and color drawings.

In June 1943, after long years of hardship and persecution, thirteen-year-old Thomas Geve and his mother were deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau. Separated upon arrival, he was left to fend for himself in the men's camp of Auschwitz I.

During 22 harsh months in three camps, Thomas experienced and witnessed the cruel and inhumane world of Nazi concentration and death camps. Nonetheless, he never gave up the will to live. Miraculously, he survived and was liberated from Buchenwald at the age of fifteen.

While still in the camp and too weak to leave, Thomas felt a compelling need to document it all, and drew over eighty drawings, all portrayed in simple yet poignant detail with extraordinary accuracy. He not only shared the infamous scenes, but also the day-to-day events of life in the camps, alongside inmates' manifestations of humanity, support and friendship.

To honor his lost friends and the millions of silenced victims of the Holocaust, in the years following the war, Thomas put his story into words. Despite the evil of the camps, his account provides a striking affirmation of life.

The Boy Who Drew Auschwitz, accompanied with 56 of his color illustrations, is the unique testimony of young Thomas and his quest for a brighter tomorrow.

ISBN/SKU: 
9780063061996
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Brief History of Motion: From the Wheel, to the Car, to What Comes Next

Brief History of Motion: From the Wheel, to the Car, to What Comes Next
$28.00

From the bestselling author of A History of the World in 6 Glasses, an eye-opening road trip through 5,500 years of humans on the go, revealing how transportation inevitably shapes civilization.

Tom Standage's fleet-footed and surprising global histories have delighted readers and cemented his reputation as one of our leading interpreters of technologies past and present. Now, he returns with a provocative account of a sometimes-overlooked form of technology-personal transportation-and explores how it has shaped societies and cultures over millennia.

Beginning around 3,500 BCE with the wheel--a device that didn't catch on until a couple thousand years after its invention--Standage zips through the eras of horsepower, trains, and bicycles, revealing how each successive mode of transit embedded itself in the world we live in, from the geography of our cities to our experience of time to our notions of gender. Then, delving into the history of the automobile's development, Standage explores the social resistance to cars and the upheaval that their widespread adoption required. Cars changed how the world was administered, laid out, and policed, how it looked, sounded, and smelled--and not always in the ways we might have preferred.

Today--after the explosive growth of ride-sharing and years of breathless predictions about autonomous vehicles--the social transformations spurred by coronavirus and overshadowed by climate change create a unique opportunity to critically reexamine our relationship to the car. With A Brief History of Motion, Standage overturns myths, considers roads not taken, and invites us to look at our past with fresh eyes so we can create the future we want to see.

ISBN/SKU: 
9781635573619
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Britain at Bay: The Epic Story of the Second World War, 1938-1941

Britain at Bay: The Epic Story of the Second World War, 1938-1941
$35.00
A sweeping, groundbreaking epic that combines military with social history, to illuminate the ways in which Great Britain and its people were permanently transformed by the Second World War.

Here is the many-faceted, world-historically significant story of Britain at war. In looking closely at the military and political dimensions of the conflict's first crucial years, Alan Allport tackles questions such as: Could the war have been avoided? Could it have been lost? Were the strategic decisions the rights ones? How well did the British organize and fight? How well did the British live up to their own values? What difference did the war make in the end to the fate of the nation?

In answering these and other essential questions he focuses on the human contingencies of the war, weighing directly at the roles of individuals and the outcomes determined by luck or chance. Moreover, he looks intimately at the changes in wartime British society and culture. Britain at Bay draws on a large cast of characters--from the leading statesmen and military commanders who made the decisions, to the ordinary men, women, and children who carried them out and lived through their consequences--in a comprehensible and compelling single history of forty-six million people. For better or worse, much of Britain today is ultimately the product of the experiences of 1938-1941.

ISBN/SKU: 
9780451494740
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Bronze Lie: Shattering the Myth of Spartan Warrior Supremacy

Bronze Lie: Shattering the Myth of Spartan Warrior Supremacy
$30.00

The story of the Spartans is one of the best known in history, from their rigorous training to their dramatic feats of arms--but is that portrait of Spartan supremacy true? Renowned novelist and popular historian Myke Cole goes back to the original sources to set the record straight.

The Spartan hoplite enjoys unquestioned currency as history's greatest fighting man. Raised from the age of seven in the agoge, a military academy legendary for its harshness, Spartan men were brought up to value loyalty to the polis (the city-state) above all else, and to prize obedience to orders higher than their own lives. The last stand at Thermopylae made the Spartans legends in their own time, famous for their brevity and their ability to endure hardship, to control their emotions, and to never surrender--even in the face of impossible odds, even when it meant their certain deaths.

But was this reputation earned? Or was it simply the success of a propaganda machine that began turning at Thermopylae in 480 BC? Examining the historical record, both literary and material, paints a very different picture of Spartan arms--a society dedicated to militarism not in service to Greek unity or to the Spartan state itself, but as a desperate measure intended to keep its massive population of helots (a near-slave underclass) in line, forcing them to perform the mundane work of farming, cleaning, building and crafting to permit the dandified Spartan citizens (spartiatai) the time they needed to focus on their military training.

Covering Sparta's full classical history, The Bronze Lie examines the myth of Spartan warrior supremacy against the historical record, delving into the minutiae of Spartan warfare from arms and armor to tactics and strategy. With a special focus on previously under-publicized Spartan reverses that have been left largely unexamined, it looks at the major battles as well as re-examining major Spartan victories. Most importantly, it re-examines Thermopylae itself, a propaganda victory utterly out of proportion to its actual impact--a defeat that wasn't even accomplished by 300 Spartans, but rather by thousands of allied Greeks, all for the net effect of barely slowing a Persian advance that went on to roam Greece unchecked and destroy Athens itself.

ISBN/SKU: 
9781472843753
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Can We Talk about Israel?: A Guide for the Curious, Confused, and Conflicted

Can We Talk about Israel?: A Guide for the Curious, Confused, and Conflicted
$27.00

From the expert who understands both sides of one of the world's most complex, controversial topics, a modern-day Guide for the Perplexed-a primer on Israel and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Can't you just explain the Israel situation to me? In, like, 10 minutes or less? This is the question Daniel Sokatch is used to answering on an almost daily basis as the head of the New Israel Fund, an organization dedicated to equality and democracy for all Israelis, not just Jews, Sokatch is supremely well-versed on the Israeli conflict.

Can We Talk About Israel? is the story of that conflict, and of why so many people feel so strongly about it without actually understanding it very well at all. It is an attempt to grapple with a century-long struggle between two peoples that both perceive themselves as (and indeed are) victims. And it's an attempt to explain why Israel (and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict) inspires such extreme feelings-why it seems like Israel is the answer to "what is wrong with the world" for half the people in it, and "what is right with the world" for the other half. As Sokatch asks, is there any other topic about which so many intelligent, educated and sophisticated people express such strongly and passionately held convictions, and about which they actually know so little?

Complete with engaging illustrations by Christopher Noxon, Can We Talk About Israel? is an easy-to-read yet penetrating and original look at the history and basic contours of one of the most complicated conflicts in the world.

ISBN/SKU: 
9781635573879
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