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1939

1939
$30.00

In the autumn of 1938, Europe believed in the promise of peace. But only a year later, the fateful decisions of just a few men had again led Europe to a massive world war. Drawing on contemporary diaries, memoirs, and newspapers, as well as recorded interviews, 1939 is a narrative account of what the coming of the Second World War felt like to those who lived through it.

Frederick Taylor, author of renowned histories of the Berlin Wall and the bombing of Dresden, highlights the day-to-day experiences of ordinary citizens as well as those who were at the height of power in Germany and Britain. Their voices lend an intimate flavor to this often-surprising account of the period and reveal a marked disconnect between government and people, for few people in either country wanted war.

1939 is a vivid and richly peopled narrative of Europe's slide into the horrors of war and a powerful warning for our own time.

ISBN/SKU: 
9781324006794
0
Author: 
Publisher: 

Age of Wood: Our Most Useful Material and the Construction of Civilization

Age of Wood: Our Most Useful Material and the Construction of Civilization
$28.00
A groundbreaking examination of 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.

Brilliantly synthesizing recent research with existing knowledge in fields as wide-ranging as primatology, anthropology, archaeology, history, architecture, engineering, and carpentry, Ennos reinterprets human history and shows how our ability to exploit wood's unique properties has profoundly shaped our bodies and minds, societies, and lives. He takes us on a sweeping ten-million-year 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 winning blend of history and science, this is a fascinating and authoritative work for anyone interested in nature, the environment, and the making of the world as we know it.

ISBN/SKU: 
9781982114732
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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Agrippina

Agrippina
$27.95
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: 
9781643130781
0
Author: 
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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.

ISBN/SKU: 
9780307271815
0
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Apocalypse Factory

Apocalypse Factory
$27.95

It began with plutonium, the first element ever manufactured in quantity by humans. Fearing that the Germans would be the first to weaponize the atom, the United States marshaled brilliant minds and seemingly inexhaustible bodies to find a way to create a nuclear chain reaction of inconceivable explosive power. In a matter of months, the Hanford nuclear facility was built to produce and weaponize the enigmatic and deadly new material that would fuel atomic bombs. In the desert of eastern Washington State, far from prying eyes, scientists Glenn Seaborg, Enrico Fermi, and many thousands of others--the physicists, engineers, laborers, and support staff at the facility--manufactured plutonium for the bomb dropped on Nagasaki, and for the bombs in the current American nuclear arsenal, enabling the construction of weapons with the potential to end human civilization.

With his characteristic blend of scientific clarity and storytelling, Steve Olson asks why Hanford has been largely overlooked in histories of the Manhattan Project and the Cold War. Olson, who grew up just twenty miles from Hanford's B Reactor, recounts how a small Washington town played host to some of the most influential scientists and engineers in American history as they sought to create the substance at the core of the most destructive weapons ever created. The Apocalypse Factory offers a new generation this dramatic story of human achievement and, ultimately, of lethal hubris.

ISBN/SKU: 
9780393634976
0
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Arab Winter: A Tragedy

Arab Winter: A Tragedy
$22.95

A New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice
Why the conventional wisdom about the Arab Spring is wrong

The Arab Spring promised to end dictatorship and bring self-government to people across the Middle East. Yet everywhere except Tunisia it led to either renewed dictatorship, civil war, extremist terror, or all three. In The Arab Winter, Noah Feldman argues that the Arab Spring was nevertheless not an unmitigated failure, much less an inevitable one. Rather, it was a noble, tragic series of events in which, for the first time in recent Middle Eastern history, Arabic-speaking peoples took free, collective political action as they sought to achieve self-determination.

Focusing on the Egyptian revolution and counterrevolution, the Syrian civil war, the rise and fall of ISIS in Syria and Iraq, and the Tunisian struggle toward Islamic constitutionalism, Feldman provides an original account of the political consequences of the Arab Spring, including the reaffirmation of pan-Arab identity, the devastation of Arab nationalisms, and the death of political Islam with the collapse of ISIS. He also challenges commentators who say that the Arab Spring was never truly transformative, that Arab popular self-determination was a mirage, and even that Arabs or Muslims are less capable of democracy than other peoples.

Above all, The Arab Winter shows that we must not let the tragic outcome of the Arab Spring disguise its inherent human worth. People whose political lives had been determined from the outside tried, and for a time succeeded, in making politics for themselves. That this did not result in constitutional democracy or a better life for most of those affected doesn't mean the effort didn't matter. To the contrary, it matters for history--and it matters for the future.

ISBN/SKU: 
9780691194929
0
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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
0
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Away from Chaos: The Middle East and the Challenge to the West

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$35.00
The Middle East is one of the world's most volatile regions. In recent years, from the optimism and then crushing disappointment of the Arab uprisings through the rise and fall of the Islamic State, it has presented key international security challenges. With the resilient jihadi terror threat, large-scale migration due to warfare and climate change, and fierce competition for control over oil, it promises to continue to be a powder keg. What ignited this instability?

Away from Chaos is a sweeping political history of four decades of Middle East conflict and its worldwide ramifications. Gilles Kepel, called "France's most famous scholar of Islam" by the New York Times, offers a clear and persuasive narrative of the long-term causes of tension while seamlessly incorporating on-the-ground observations and personal experiences from the people who lived through them.

From the Yom Kippur/Ramadan war of 1973 to the aftermath of the Arab Spring, Away from Chaos weaves together the various threads that run through Middle East politics and ties them to their implications on the global stage. With keen insight stemming from decades of experience in the region, Kepel puts these chaotic decades in perspective and illuminates their underlying dynamics. He also considers the prospects of emerging from this long-lasting turmoil and for the people of the Middle East and the world to achieve a more stable future.

ISBN/SKU: 
9780231197021
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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Bastard Brigade

Bastard Brigade
$18.99

From New York Times bestselling author Sam Kean comes the gripping, untold story of a renegade group of scientists and spies determined to keep Adolf Hitler from obtaining the ultimate prize: a nuclear bomb.

Scientists have always kept secrets. But rarely have the secrets been as vital as they were during World War II. In the middle of building an atomic bomb, the leaders of the Manhattan Project were alarmed to learn that Nazi Germany was far outpacing the Allies in nuclear weapons research. Hitler, with just a few pounds of uranium, would have the capability to reverse the entire D-Day operation and conquer Europe. So they assembled a rough and motley crew of geniuses -- dubbed the Alsos Mission -- and sent them careening into Axis territory to spy on, sabotage, and even assassinate members of Nazi Germany's feared Uranium Club.
The details of the mission rival the finest spy thriller, but what makes this story sing is the incredible cast of characters -- both heroes and rogues alike -- including:

  • Moe Bergm, the major league catcher who abandoned the game for a career as a multilingual international spy; the strangest fellow to ever play professional baseball.
  • Werner Heisenberg, the Nobel Prize-winning physicist credited as the discoverer of quantum mechanics; a key contributor to the Nazi's atomic bomb project and the primary target of the Alsos mission.
  • Colonel Boris Pash, a high school science teacher and veteran of the Russian Revolution who fled the Soviet Union with a deep disdain for Communists and who later led the Alsos mission.
  • Joe Kennedy Jr., the charismatic, thrill-seeking older brother of JFK whose need for adventure led him to volunteer for the most dangerous missions the Navy had to offer.
  • Samuel Goudsmit, a washed-up physics prodigy who spent his life hunting Nazi scientists -- and his parents, who had been swept into a concentration camp -- across the globe.
  • Irène and Frederic Joliot-Curie, a physics Nobel-Prize winning power couple who used their unassuming status as scientists to become active members of the resistance.

  • Thrust into the dark world of international espionage, these scientists and soldiers played a vital and largely untold role in turning back one of the darkest tides in human history.

    ISBN/SKU: 
    9780316381673
    0
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    Betrayal of Mary, Queen of Scots

    $17.95
    From the New York Times bestselling author of Becoming Queen Victoria, a new history of Mary, Queen of Scots and Elizabeth I that reveals how the most important relationship of their life--their friendship--changed them forever.

    Elizabeth and Mary were cousins and queens, but eventually it became impossible for them to live together in the same world.

    This is the story of two women struggling for supremacy in a man's world, when no one thought a woman could govern. They both had to negotiate with men--those who wanted their power and those who wanted their bodies--who were determined to best them. In their worlds, female friendship and alliances were unheard of, but for many years theirs was the only friendship that endured. They were as fascinated by each other as lovers; until they became enemies. Enemies so angry and broken that one of them had to die, and so Elizabeth ordered the execution of Mary.

    But first they were each other's lone female friends in a violent man's world. Their relationship was one of love, affection, jealousy, antipathy--and finally death. This book tells the story of Mary and Elizabeth as never before, focusing on their emotions and probing deeply into their intimate lives as women and queens. They loved each other, they hated each other--and in the end they could never escape each other.

    ISBN/SKU: 
    9781643134833
    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
    Author: 

    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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    Black Wave: Saudi Arabia, Iran, and the Forty-Year Rivalry That Unraveled Culture, Religion, and Collective Memory in the Middle E

    Black Wave: Saudi Arabia, Iran, and the Forty-Year Rivalry That Unraveled Culture, Religion, and Collective Memory in the Middle E
    $30.00

    A New York Times Notable Book of 2020

    "[A] sweeping and authoritative history (The New York Times Book Review), Black Wave is an unprecedented and ambitious examination of how the modern Middle East unraveled and why it started with the pivotal year of 1979.

    Kim Ghattas seamlessly weaves together history, geopolitics, and culture to deliver a gripping read of the largely unexplored story of the rivalry between between Saudi Arabia and Iran, born from the sparks of the 1979 Iranian revolution and fueled by American policy.

    With vivid story-telling, extensive historical research and on-the-ground reporting, Ghattas dispels accepted truths about a region she calls home. She explores how Sunni Saudi Arabia and Shia Iran, once allies and twin pillars of US strategy in the region, became mortal enemies after 1979. She shows how they used and distorted religion in a competition that went well beyond geopolitics. Feeding intolerance, suppressing cultural expression, and encouraging sectarian violence from Egypt to Pakistan, the war for cultural supremacy led to Iran's fatwa against author Salman Rushdie, the assassination of countless intellectuals, the birth of groups like Hezbollah in Lebanon, the September 11th terrorist attacks, and the rise of ISIS.

    Ghattas introduces us to a riveting cast of characters whose lives were upended by the geopolitical drama over four decades: from the Pakistani television anchor who defied her country's dictator, to the Egyptian novelist thrown in jail for indecent writings all the way to the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in 2018. Black Wave is both an intimate and sweeping history of the region and will significantly alter perceptions of the Middle East.

    ISBN/SKU: 
    9781250131201
    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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    Bomb

    Bomb
    $18.00
    From the author of the classic The Wizards of Armageddon and Pulitzer Prize finalist comes the definitive history of American policy on nuclear war--and Presidents' actions in nuclear crises--from Truman to Trump.

    Fred Kaplan, hailed by The New York Times as "a rare combination of defense intellectual and pugnacious reporter," takes us into the White House Situation Room, the Joint Chiefs of Staff's "Tank" in the Pentagon, and the vast chambers of Strategic Command to bring us the untold stories--based on exclusive interviews and previously classified documents--of how America's presidents and generals have thought about, threatened, broached, and just barely avoided nuclear war from the dawn of the atomic age until today.

    Kaplan's historical research and deep reporting will stand as the permanent record of politics. Discussing theories that have dominated nightmare scenarios from Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Kaplan presents the unthinkable in terms of mass destruction and demonstrates how the nuclear war reality will not go away, regardless of the dire consequences.

    ISBN/SKU: 
    9781982107307
    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

    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
    0
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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
    0
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    Book of Gutsy Women: Favorite Stories of Courage and Resilience

    Book of Gutsy Women: Favorite Stories of Courage and Resilience
    $35.00
    Hillary Rodham Clinton and her daughter, Chelsea, share the stories of the gutsy women who have inspired them--women with the courage to stand up to the status quo, ask hard questions, and get the job done.

    She couldn't have been more than seven or eight years old. "Go ahead, ask your question," her father urged, nudging her forward. She smiled shyly and said, "You're my hero. Who's yours?"

    Many people--especially girls--have asked us that same question over the years. It's one of our favorite topics.

    HILLARY: Growing up, I knew hardly any women who worked outside the home. So I looked to my mother, my teachers, and the pages of Life magazine for inspiration. After learning that Amelia Earhart kept a scrapbook with newspaper articles about successful women in male-dominated jobs, I started a scrapbook of my own. Long after I stopped clipping articles, I continued to seek out stories of women who seemed to be redefining what was possible.

    CHELSEA: This book is the continuation of a conversation the two of us have been having since I was little. For me, too, my mom was a hero; so were my grandmothers. My early teachers were also women. But I grew up in a world very different from theirs. My pediatrician was a woman, and so was the first mayor of Little Rock who I remember from my childhood. Most of my close friends' moms worked outside the home as nurses, doctors, teachers, professors, and in business. And women were going into space and breaking records here on Earth.

    Ensuring the rights and opportunities of women and girls remains a big piece of the unfinished business of the twenty-first century. While there's a lot of work to do, we know that throughout history and around the globe women have overcome the toughest resistance imaginable to win victories that have made progress possible for all of us. That is the achievement of each of the women in this book.

    So how did they do it? The answers are as unique as the women themselves. Civil rights activist Dorothy Height, LGBTQ trailblazer Edie Windsor, and swimmer Diana Nyad kept pushing forward, no matter what. Writers like Rachel Carson and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie named something no one had dared talk about before. Historian Mary Beard used wit to open doors that were once closed, and Wangari Maathai, who sparked a movement to plant trees, understood the power of role modeling. Harriet Tubman and Malala Yousafzai looked fear in the face and persevered. Nearly every single one of these women was fiercely optimistic--they had faith that their actions could make a difference. And they were right.

    To us, they are all gutsy women--leaders with the courage to stand up to the status quo, ask hard questions, and get the job done. So in the moments when the long haul seems awfully long, we hope you will draw strength from these stories. We do. Because if history shows one thing, it's that the world needs gutsy women.

    ISBN/SKU: 
    9781501178412
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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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    Borgias

    Borgias
    $14.48
    $28.95
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    The glorious and infamous history of the Borgia family--a world of saints, corrupt popes, and depraved princes and poisoners--set against the golden age of the Italian Renaissance.

    The Borgia family have become a byword for evil. Corruption, incest, ruthless megalomania, avarice and vicious cruelty--all have been associated with their name. And yet, paradoxically, this family lived when the Renaissance was coming into its full flowering in Italy. Examples of infamy flourished alongside some of the finest art produced in western history.

    This is but one of several paradoxes associated with the Borgia family. For the family which produced corrupt popes, depraved princes and poisoners, would also produce a saint. Previously history has tended to condemn, or attempt in part to exonerate, this remarkable family. Yet in order to understand the Borgias, the Borgias must be related to their time, together with the world which enabled them to flourish. Within this context the Renaissance itself takes on a very different aspect. Was the corruption part of the creation, or vice versa? Would one have been possible without the other?

    The powerful forces which first played out in the amphitheaters of ancient Greece: hubris, incest, murder, rivalries and doomed families, treacheries of political power, twists of fate--they are all here. Along with the final, tragic downfall. All these elements are played out in full in the glorious and infamous history of the Borgia family.

    ISBN/SKU: 
    9781643130835
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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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    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
    0
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