David Axelrod was five years old when he became fascinated by politics, after seeing John F. Kennedy at a 1960 presidential campaign rally in New York. Despite JFK's assassination, young Axelrod continued to believe in the power of politics to effect change. He became a youth volunteer for Robert Kennedy's 1964 Senate campaign and, later, his 1968 presidential campaign.
When Theodore Roosevelt became president in 1901, his beautiful and flamboyant daughter was transformed into "Princess Alice", arguably the century's first global celebrity. Thirty-two years later, her first cousin Eleanor moved into the White House as First Lady. Born eight months and 20 blocks apart from each other in New York City, Eleanor and Alice spent a large part of their childhoods together and were far more alike than most historians acknowledge.
Andrew Cuomo is the protagonist of an ongoing political saga that reads like a novel. In many ways his rise, fall, and rise again is an iconic story: a young American politician of vaunting ambition, aiming for nothing less than the presidency. Building on his father's political success, a first run for governor in 2002 led to a stinging defeat and a painful, public divorce from Kerry Kennedy, scion of another political dynasty. Cuomo had to come back from seeming political death and reinvent himself.
In addition to lending the name Dracula to Bram Stoker's famous vampire, Vlad is known around the world by the cognomen Vlad the Impaler, due to his reputation for impaling thousands of his enemies. Vlad was reputed to be such a tyrant that his reputation and stories of his deeds spread across Germany and the rest of Europe during his lifetime.
The world has never had its shortage of legends surrounding the lives of supposed mystics, visionaries, and prophets. But few have ever grabbed a hold on pop culture quite like Grigori Rasputin, one of the most shadowy and mysterious figures in Russian history.
For over 1,000 years England has had a monarchy, and though the line of succession did not always pass smoothly, it has almost always been continuous. England has more often been faced with the claims of competing kings and queens than with a period of no monarch at all.
Edward I is familiar to millions as "Longshanks", conqueror of Scotland and nemesis of Sir William Wallace (in Braveheart). Yet this story forms only the final chapter of the king's action-packed life. Earlier, Edward had defeated and killed the famous Simon de Montfort, traveled to the Holy Land, and conquered Wales. He raised the greatest armies of the Middle Ages and summoned the largest parliaments. Notoriously, he expelled all the Jews from his kingdom.
Booker T. Washington (1856-1915) was one of the most influential African-American leaders of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Born a slave in Hale's Ford, Virginia, Washington moved to West Virginia after the Civil War, where he learned to read while working in a coal mine. After several years of part-time schooling, he enrolled full-time at the Hampton Institute, a secondary school for African Americans, and graduated in 1875.
A candid, savvy, inspiring, and often hilarious memoir by one of America's most fearless political leaders. Beloved by the immigrants and working people whose rights he has championed, 11-term Congressman Luis Gutierrez is, among Latinos and along with Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the most recognized Hispanic public figure in America.
How did a disheveled, intellectually combative gay Jew with a thick New Jersey-Massachusetts accent become one of the most effective politicians of his time? In this candid and witty political memoir, Barney Frank relates his journey from the outskirts of New York City to Boston's City Hall and the Massachusetts legislature, and then to the US Congress, where he played a vital role in the struggle for personal freedom and economic fairness over four decades.
In her memoir, Mrs. Bush for the first time gives listeners a very private look at a life lived in the public eye for more than 25 years. She begins with a compelling portrait of her early years, including: growing up in Rye, New York, and meeting George Bush; life as a young bride and mother, moving far away from home to West Texas; and the almost unbearable pain of losing a child.
As the brother in law to JFK and a member of the Rat Pack, Peter Lawford was one of America's most acclaimed movie stars. Lawford led an extraordinary life. His story, as told by the woman who knew him best, is the always candid, sometimes shocking unveiling of the most intriguing show business personalities and significant political events of our time.
The life of Mexican revolutionary Emiliano Zapata was the stuff that legends are made of. Born and raised in a tiny village in the small south-central state of Morelos, he led an uprising in 1911 - one strand of the larger Mexican Revolution - against the regime of longtime president Porfirio Diaz. He fought not to fulfill personal ambitions but for the campesinos of Morelos, whose rights were being systematically ignored in Don Porfirio's courts.
Published in time to mark the seventieth anniversary of the death of John Maynard Keynes, this thematic biography revives our understanding of the twentieth century's most charismatic and revolutionary economist, a man whose ideas continue to influence global finance today. John Maynard Keynes saved Britain from financial crisis twice over the course of two world wars and instructed Western industrialised states on how to protect themselves from revolutionary unrest.
It was like a scene out of a thriller: one morning in April 2012, China's most famous political activist - a blind, self-taught lawyer - climbed over the wall of his heavily guarded home and escaped. Days later, he turned up at the American embassy in Beijing, and only a furious round of high-level negotiations made it possible for him to leave China and begin a new life in the United States. Chen Guangcheng is a unique figure on the world stage, but his story is even more remarkable than anyone knew.
The memo landed on Kim Philby's desk in Washington, DC, in July 1950. Three months later, Bruno Pontecorvo, a physicist at Harwell, Britain's atomic energy lab, disappeared without a trace. When he re-surfaced six years later, he was on the other side of the Iron Curtain.
A classic true story.
Price of Fame, the concluding volume of the life of an exceptionally brilliant polymath, chronicles Luce's progress from her arrival on Capitol Hill through her career as a diplomat, prolific journalist, and magnetic public speaker, as well as a playwright, screenwriter, pioneer scuba diver, early experimenter in psychedelic drugs, and grande dame of the GOP in the Reagan era.
From a political and military point of view, the Partisan Diary provides firsthand knowledge of how the partisans in Piedmont fought, what obstacles they encountered, and who joined the struggle against the Nazis and the Fascists. The mountainous terrain and long winters of the Alpine regions (the site of many of their battles) and the ever-present threat of reprisals by German occupiers and their fascist partners exacerbated problems of organization among the various partisan groups.
The general public has never heard of Jack O'Dell. But many of those who worked with him in the '50s and '60s consider him the unsung hero of the Black Freedom Movement. Victor Navasky, the longtime editor of The Nation and author of the acclaimed book Kennedy Justice, drawing on secret government files and interviews with O'Dell himself, seeks to correct that historical oversight.
"Victor Navasky's take on a secret FBI file"
The New York Times best-selling author of The Six Wives of Henry VIII and The War of the Roses, historian Alison Weir crafts fascinating portraits of England’s infamous House of Tudor line. Here Weir focuses on Elizabeth I, also known as the Virgin Queen, who ascended to the throne at age 25 and never married, yet ruled for 44 years and steered England into its Golden Age.
"Masterful Historical Narrative"
The Mongol army led by Genghis Khan subjugated more lands and people in 25 years than the Romans did in 400. In nearly every country the Mongols conquered, they brought an unprecedented rise in cultural communication, expanded trade, and a blossoming of civilization.
"Brilliant, insightful, intriguing."
Robert A. Caro's life of Lyndon Johnson continues - one of the richest, most intensive, and most revealing examinations ever undertaken of an American President. The Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer/historian carries Johnson through his service in World War II and the foundation of his long-concealed fortune and the facts behind the myths he created about it. But the explosive heart of the book is Caro's revelation of the true story of the fiercely contested 1948 senatorial election.
""If You Do Everything, You'll Win""
In this highly anticipated follow-up to his blockbuster New York Times bestseller The Amateur, former New York Times Magazine editor-in-chief Edward Klein delves into the rocky relationship between the Obamas and the Clintons. An old-school reporter with incredible insider contacts, Klein reveals just how deep the rivalry between the Obamas and the Clintons runs, with details on closed-door meetings buttressed by hundreds of interviews.
Andrew Roberts' Napoleon is the first one-volume biography to take advantage of the recent publication of Napoleon's thirty-three thousand letters, which radically transform our understanding of his character and motivation. At last we see him as he was: protean multitasker, decisive, surprisingly willing to forgive his enemies and his errant wife Josephine.
"What a dynamo!"
When the Taliban took control of the Swat Valley in Pakistan, one girl spoke out. Malala Yousafzai refused to be silenced and fought for her right to an education. On Tuesday, October 9, 2012, when she was fifteen, she almost paid the ultimate price. She was shot in the head at point-blank range while riding the bus home from school, and few expected her to survive. Instead, Malala's miraculous recovery has taken her on an extraordinary journey from a remote valley in northern Pakistan to the halls of the United Nations in New York.
"So much more than expected..."
McCullough's John Adams has the sweep and vitality of a great novel. This is history on a grand scale, an audiobook about politics, war, and social issues, but also about human nature, love, religious faith, virtue, ambition, friendship, and betrayal, and the far-reaching consequences of noble ideas. Above all, it is an enthralling, often surprising story of one of the most important and fascinating Americans who ever lived.
"An outstanding biography"
On May 18, 1860, William H. Seward, Salmon P. Chase, Edward Bates, and Abraham Lincoln waited in their hometowns for the results from the Republican National Convention in Chicago. When Lincoln emerged as the victor, his rivals were dismayed and angry. Throughout the turbulent 1850s, each had energetically sought the presidency as the conflict over slavery was leading inexorably to secession and civil war.
"Beautiful, Heartbreaking, and Informative"
Chronicling his embodiment of the American Dream, Total Recall covers Schwarzenegger's high-stakes journey to the United States, from creating the international bodybuilding industry out of the sands of Venice Beach, to breathing life into cinema's most iconic characters, and becoming one of the leading political figures of our time. Proud of his accomplishments and honest about his regrets, Schwarzenegger spares nothing in sharing his amazing story.
"Totally Worth It"
Benjamin Franklin is the founding father who winks at us - an ambitious urban entrepreneur who rose up the social ladder, from leather-aproned shopkeeper to dining with kings. In best-selling author Walter Isaacson's vivid and witty full-scale biography, we discover why Franklin turns to us from history's stage with eyes that twinkle from behind his new-fangled spectacles. In Benjamin Franklin, Isaacson shows how Franklin defines both his own time and ours. The most interesting thing that Franklin invented, and continually reinvented, was himself.
"Good book, not crazy about the narrator"
Goodwin describes the broken friendship between Teddy Roosevelt and his chosen successor, William Howard Taft. With the help of the "muckraking" press, Roosevelt had wielded the Bully Pulpit to challenge and triumph over abusive monopolies, political bosses, and corrupting money brokers. Roosevelt led a revolution that he bequeathed to Taft only to see it compromised as Taft surrendered to money men and big business. The rupture led Roosevelt to run against Taft for president, an ultimately futile race that gave power away to the Democrats.
"Wow! Patience Rewarded!"
In this magnificent biography, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of American Lion and Franklin and Winston brings vividly to life an extraordinary man and his remarkable times. Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power gives us Jefferson the politician and president, a great and complex human being forever engaged in the wars of his era. Philosophers think; politicians maneuver. Jefferson’s genius was that he was both and could do both, often simultaneously. Such is the art of power.
"A Man and Biography Relevant to Our Day"
George W. Bush, the 43rd president of the United States, has authored a personal biography of his father, George H. W. Bush, the 41st president. Forty-three men have served as president of the United States. Countless books have been written about them. But never before has a president told the story of his father, another president, through his own eyes and in his own words. A unique and intimate biography, the book covers the entire scope of the elder President Bush’s life and career.
"Heartwarming and Honoring"
Hailed by critics as an American masterpiece, David McCullough's sweeping biography of Harry S. Truman captured the heart of the nation. The life and times of the 33rd president of the United States, Truman provides a deeply moving look at an extraordinary, singular American.
Hillary Rodham Clinton's inside account of the crises, choices, and challenges she faced during her four years as America's 67th Secretary of State, and how those experiences drive her view of the future. In the aftermath of her 2008 presidential run, she expected to return to representing New York in the United States Senate. To her surprise, her former rival for the Democratic Party nomination, newly elected President Barack Obama, asked her to serve in his administration as Secretary of State. This memoir is the story of the four extraordinary and historic years that followed.
"An Excellent book on Modern History"
Nelson Mandela is one of the great moral and political leaders of our time: an international hero whose lifelong dedication to the fight against racial oppression in South Africa won him the Nobel Peace Prize and the presidency of his country. Since his triumphant release in 1990 from more than a quarter-century of imprisonment, Mandela has been at the center of the most compelling and inspiring political drama in the world.
"Surprisingly honest autobiography."
As a child in small-town Oklahoma, Elizabeth Warren yearned to go to college and then become an elementary school teacher - an ambitious goal, given her family’s modest means. Early marriage and motherhood seemed to put even that dream out of reach, but 15 years later she was a distinguished law professor with a deep understanding of why people go bankrupt. Then came the phone call that changed her life: could she come to Washington, DC, to help advise Congress on rewriting the bankruptcy laws?
"The fight for the middle class"
Journalist Michael J. Mooney reveals the life story of Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, the American Sniper, from his Texas childhood up through his death in February 2013. A brutal warrior but a gentle father and husband, Kyle led the life of an American hero and legend. His heroism and reputation in the military service earned him the nickname "the devil" among insurgents and the nickname The Legend among his SEAL brethren, but his impact extended beyond that after he came home, through his work with fellow veterans.
Ron Chernow, whom the New York Times called "as elegant an architect of monumental histories as we've seen in decades", now brings to startling life the man who was arguably the most important figure in American history, who never attained the presidency, but who had a far more lasting impact than many who did.
"Captivating & Fluid Bio Unique American immigrant"
This is the story of the rise to national power of a desperately poor young man from the Texas Hill Country. The Path to Power reveals in extraordinary detail the genesis of the almost superhuman drive, energy, and ambition that set LBJ apart. It follows him from the Hill Country to New Deal Washington, from his boyhood through the years of the Depression to his debut as Congressman, his heartbreaking defeat in his first race for the Senate, and his attainment, nonetheless, at age 31, of the national power for which he hungered.
"The Best of all Biographies"
One of the classic volumes of autobiography, My Early Life is a lively and colourful account of a young man's quest for action, adventure and danger. Churchill's schooldays are undistinguished, but he is admitted to Sandhurst and embarks on a career as a soldier and a war correspondent, seeing action in Cuba, in India, in the Sudan - where he took part in the battle of Omdurman, of which he gives us a stirring account - and finally in South Africa.
"What an amazing life!"
J. B. West, chief usher of the White House, directed the operations and maintenance of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue - and coordinated its daily life - at the request of the president and his family. He directed state functions; planned parties, weddings, funerals, gardens, playgrounds, and extensive renovations; and with a large staff, supervised every activity in the presidential home.
Princess describes the life of Princess Sultana Al Sa'ud, a princess in the royal house of Saudi Arabia. Hidden behind her black veil, she is a prisoner, jailed by her father, her husband, and her country. Sultana tells of appalling oppressions, everyday occurrences that in any other culture would be seen as shocking human rights violations: 13-year-old girls forced to marry men five times their age; young women killed by drowning, stoning, or isolation in the "women's room". Princess is a testimony to a woman of indomitable spirit and courage.
Hailed as the most compelling biography of the German dictator yet written, Ian Kershaw's Hitler brings us closer than ever before to the heart of its subject's immense darkness. From his illegitimate birth in a small Austrian village to his fiery death in a bunker under the Reich chancellery in Berlin, Adolf Hitler left a murky trail, strewn with contradictory tales and overgrown with self-created myths. One truth prevails: the sheer scale of the evils that he unleashed on the world has made him a demonic figure without equal in the 20th century.
"An Excellent Read"
Lt. Michael Patrick Murphy, commander of Navy SEAL Team 10, posthumously received the Congressional Medal of Honor for his heroic actions on 28 June 2005 during a fierce battle with Taliban fighters in the remote mountains of eastern Afghanistan. Michael was the first recipient of the nation’s highest military honor as a result of U.S. involvement in Afghanistan. He was also the first naval officer to earn the medal since the Vietnam War, and the first SEAL to be honored posthumously.
"Not What I Expected, But Worth the Listen"
French philosopher Jean Paul Sartre said that "words are loaded pistols". In the hands of Russ Baker, they are hydrogen bombs. On each and every page of his masterpiece, Family of Secrets, he explodes the myths and lies that powerful forces have perpetrated on the American consciousness. He digs beneath the surface in a form of journalistic archeology to reveal the hidden history of one of America's most powerful families, leaving no stone unturned.
"Still Relevant, Impossible to Put Down"
In his introduction to The Life of Abraham Lincoln, Henry Ketcham notes that there has been so much written about Lincoln that the legend has begun to obscure, if not to efface, the man. “In this biography the single purpose has been to present the living man with such distinctness of outline that the reader may have a sort of feeling of being acquainted with him.”
"Good overview of Lincoln's life"
The decade of the 1790s has been called the age of passion. Fervor ran high as rival factions battled over the course of the new republic - each side convinced that the others' goals would betray the legacy of the Revolution so recently fought and so dearly won. All understood as well that what was at stake was not a moment's political advantage, but the future course of the American experiment in democracy. In this epochal debate, no two figures loomed larger than Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton.
"Book is good, narrator isn't"
Hailed as the most compelling biography of the German dictator yet written, Ian Kershaw's Hitler brings us closer than ever before to the heart of its subject's immense darkness. Ian Kershaw's Hitler brings us closer than ever before to the character of the bizarre misfit in his thirty-year ascent from a Viennese shelter for the indigent to uncontested rule over the German nation that had tried and rejected democracy in the crippling aftermath of World War I.
"The heart of evil"
In this lively and compelling biography, Harlow Giles Unger reveals the dominant political figure of a generation. A fierce fighter in four critical Revolutionary War battles and a courageous survivor of Valley Forge and a near-fatal wound at the Battle of Trenton, James Monroe (1751 - 1831) went on to become America's first full-time politician, dedicating his life to securing America's national and international durability.
"Readable, but more hero worship than history"
No leader of modern times was more uniquely patriotic than Charles de Gaulle. As founder and first president of the Fifth Republic, General de Gaulle saw himself as "carrying France on [his] shoulders." In his 20s, he fought for France in the trenches and at the epic battle of Verdun. In the 1930s, he waged a lonely battle to enable France to better resist Hitler's Germany. Thereafter, he twice rescued the nation from defeat and decline by extraordinary displays of leadership, political acumen, daring, and bluff, heading off civil war and leaving a heritage adopted by his successors of right and left.
"Book Great Read. Narrator Horrible-slow dead voice"
In this fresh and lively biography rich in literary analysis and new historical detail, Fred Kaplan brings into focus the dramatic life of John Quincy Adams - the little known and much misunderstood sixth president of the United States and the first son of John and Abigail Adams - and persuasively demonstrates how Adams's inspiring, progressive vision guided his life and helped shape the course of America.
"Freshly retired 71 yr old lawyer"
At the stroke of midnight on August 15, 1947, the British Empire withdrew from India, igniting the exhilaration and turmoil of a newly free society. In this vivid, atmospheric popular history, Alex von Tunzelmann chronicles these times through the most prominent figures.
"Such an interesting piece of History made easy"
John F. Kennedy died half a century ago - yet because of his extraordinary promise and untimely death, his star still resonates strongly. On the anniversary of his assassination, celebrated political scientist and analyst Larry J. Sabato - himself a teenager in the early 1960s and inspired by JFK and his presidency - explores the fascinating and powerful influence he has had over five decades on the media, the general public, and especially on each of his nine presidential successors.
"Strong Account of Kennedy Presidency and Death"
This audiobook offers the first systematic analysis of Putin's two wars, placing the Second Chechen War and the War with Georgia of 2008 in their broader historical contexts. Drawing on extensive original Russian sources, Marcel H. Van Herpen analyzes in detail how Putin's wars were prepared and conducted and why they led to allegations of war crimes and genocide.
"Pretty good, waiting for next revision"
In 1876, Sophia Duleep Singh was born into Indian royalty. Her father Maharajah Duleep Singh was heir to the Kingdom of the Sikhs, one of the greatest empires of the Indian subcontinent, a realm that stretched from the lush Kashmir Valley to the craggy foothills of the Khyber Pass and included the mighty cities of Lahore and Peshawar. It was a territory irresistible to the British, who plundered everything, including the fabled Koh-I-Noor diamond.
"Filled in some gaps: Indian independence/British s"