"This is your country, this is your world, this is your body, and you must find some way to live within the all of it." In a profound work that pivots from the biggest questions about American history and ideals to the most intimate concerns of a father for his son, Ta-Nehisi Coates offers a powerful new framework for understanding our nation's history and current crisis. Americans have built an empire on the idea of "race", a falsehood that damages us all but falls most heavily on the bodies of black women and men.
"A Heartfelt Self-aware Literary Masterpiece"
Although the courts have struggled to balance the interests of individuals, businesses, and law enforcement, the proliferation of intrusive new technologies puts many of our presumed freedoms in legal limbo. For instance, it's not hard to envision a day when websites such as Facebook or Google Maps introduce a feature that allows real-time tracking of anyone you want, based on face-recognition software and ubiquitous live video feeds.
"Useful overview of your rights. Good to know."
In a thrilling narrative showcasing his gifts as storyteller and researcher, Erik Larson recounts the spellbinding tale of the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition. Also available abridged.
"A Rich Read!"
Boston in 1775 is an island city occupied by British troops after a series of incendiary incidents by patriots who range from sober citizens to thuggish vigilantes. After the Boston Tea Party, British and American soldiers and Massachusetts residents have warily maneuvered around each other until April 19, when violence finally erupts at Lexington and Concord.
"Another Fantastic Story by Philbrick"
The must-have companion to Bill O'Reilly's historical docudrama Legends and Lies: The Patriots, an exciting and eye-opening look at the Revolutionary War through the lives of its leaders. The American Revolution was neither inevitable nor a unanimous cause. It pitted neighbors against each other as loyalists and colonial rebels faced off for their lives and futures. These were the times that tried men's souls: No one was on stable ground, and few could be trusted.
"Another winner for Bill O'Reilly Legends and Lies series"
In White Trash, Nancy Isenberg upends assumptions about America's supposedly class-free society. Poor whites were central to the rise of the Republican Party in the early 19th century, and the Civil War itself was fought over class issues nearly as much as it was fought over slavery. Reconstruction pitted poor white trash against newly freed slaves, which factored in the rise of eugenics. These poor were at the heart of New Deal reforms and LBJ's Great Society; they haunt us in reality TV shows like Here Comes Honey Boo Boo and Duck Dynasty.
"A book that makes sense of American history."
Why we think it’s a great listen: If you ever thought history was boring, David McCullough’s performance of his fascinating book will change your mind. In this stirring audiobook, McCullough tells the intensely human story of those who marched with General George Washington in the year of the Declaration of Independence, when the whole American cause was riding on their success.
"Amazing how little you know"
Redefining our traditional understanding of the New Deal, Fear Itself finally examines this pivotal American era through a sweeping international lens that juxtaposes a struggling democracy with enticing ideologies like Fascism and Communism. Ira Katznelson, "a towering figure in the study of American and European history" (Cornel West), boldly asserts that, during the 1930s and 1940s, American democracy was rescued yet distorted by a unified band of southern lawmakers who safeguarded racial segregation as they built a new national state to manage capitalism and assert global power.
"History in Context of Political Science Analysis"
A classic since its original landmark publication in 1980, Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States is the first scholarly work to tell America's story from the bottom up - from the point of view of, and in the words of, America's women, factory workers, African-Americans, Native Americans, the working poor, and immigrant laborers.
"Amateur hour in the production booth"
Two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize David McCullough tells the dramatic story behind the story about the courageous brothers who taught the world how to fly: Wilbur and Orville Wright.
On December 17, 1903, at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, Wilbur and Orville Wright's Wright Flyer became the first powered, heavier-than-air machine to achieve controlled, sustained flight with a pilot aboard. The Age of Flight had begun. How did they do it? And why?
On May 1, 1915, a luxury ocean liner as richly appointed as an English country house sailed out of New York, bound for Liverpool, carrying a record number of children and infants. The passengers were anxious. Germany had declared the seas around Britain to be a war zone, and for months, its U-boats had brought terror to the North Atlantic.
"What a Ride!"
Just two months into his presidency, Ronald Reagan lay near death after a gunman's bullet came within inches of his heart. His recovery was nothing short of remarkable - or so it seemed. But Reagan was grievously injured, forcing him to encounter a challenge that few men ever face. Could he silently overcome his traumatic experience while at the same time carrying out the duties of the most powerful man in the world?
In Washington: A Life celebrated biographer Ron Chernow provides a richly nuanced portrait of the father of our nation. This crisply paced narrative carries the reader through his troubled boyhood, his precocious feats in the French and Indian War, his creation of Mount Vernon, his heroic exploits with the Continental Army, his presiding over the Constitutional Convention, and his magnificent performance as America's first president.
Four US Navy SEALS departed one clear night in early July, 2005 for the mountainous Afghanistan-Pakistan border for a reconnaissance mission. Their task was to document the activity of an al Qaeda leader rumored to have a small army in a Taliban stronghold. Five days later, only one of those Navy SEALS made it out alive. This is the story of the only survivor of Operation Redwing, SEAL team leader Marcus Luttrell, and the extraordinary firefight that led to the largest loss of life in American Navy SEAL history.
"Enthralling and authentic story of valor in combat"
George Washington didn't really walk around with a mouthful of wooden teeth. Those are real teeth and pearl inlays in Washington's dentures. A recent study by Mary Thompson suggests Washington experimented with early dental transplants. He purchased replacement teeth from his slaves for 13 shillings (roughly $50 in 2015 money).
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"
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"
The anchor of The O'Reilly Factor recounts one of the most dramatic stories in American history—how one gunshot changed the country forever. In the spring of 1865, the bloody saga of America's Civil War finally comes to an end after a series of increasingly harrowing battles. President Abraham Lincoln's generous terms for Robert E. Lee's surrender are devised to fulfill Lincoln's dream of healing a divided nation. But one man and his band of murderous accomplices are not appeased....
"History Made Interesting"
To take a skeptical approach to American history is not to dabble in imaginative conspiracy theories; rather, it's to reframe your understanding of this great nation's past and actually strengthen your appreciation for what makes American history such a fascinating chapter in the larger story of Western civilization. And in this bold 24-lecture series, you can do just that.
"Wish my history classes had been like this"
American Maelstrom captures the full drama of the watershed election of 1968, establishing this year as the hinge between the decline of political liberalism, the ascendancy of conservative populism, and the rise of anti-government attitudes that continue to dominate the nation's political discourse. This sweeping and immersive book, equal parts compelling analysis and thrilling narrative, takes us to the very source of our modern politics of division.
The Missing JFK Assassination Film is not the typical JFK assassination book. This book does not attempt to answer the question of who killed John F. Kennedy; instead it addresses why we should question the actions of those involved and why the truth was withheld from the people. Though copies of Orville Nix's film exist, the original film is missing. Why? The FBI confiscated Orville's camera for several months, then returned it in pieces. Were these actions sinister, or were they just examples of governmental incompetence?
In this book, you will learn how the author of the Federalist Papers and the first Secretary of the Treasury nearly ruined his career by fighting duels, seducing women, and getting involved in America's first sex scandal. The duel that killed Alexander Hamilton is the most famous duel in American history, but you'll have to come up with your own answer to its greatest mystery: who shot first, Hamilton or Burr?
Between 1865 and 1890, in the aftermath of the Civil War, virtually every important American labor reform organization advocated "cooperation" over "competitive" capitalism and several thousand cooperatives opened for business during this era. The men and women who built cooperatives were practical reformers and they established businesses to stabilize their work lives, families, and communities. Yet they were also utopians - envisioning a world free from conflict where workers would receive the full value of their labor.
The early settlement of the region around Pittsburgh was characterized by a messy collision of personal, provincial, national, and imperial interests. Driven by the efforts of Europeans, Pennsylvanians, Virginians, and Indians, almost everyone attempted to manipulate the clouded political jurisdiction of the region. A Colony Sprung from Hell traces this complex struggle. The events and episodes that make up the story highlight the difficulties of creating and consolidating authority along the frontier.
Reconstruction had the potential to make good on the promise of America's founders, bringing freedom and equality to all. Yet this promise was undermined by defiant Southern whites determined to protect their own privilege. Earlier interpretations of this period often blamed the failures of Reconstruction on black people. But Foner's analysis concluded that Reconstruction was an overall failure because whites prevented African Americans from becoming equal citizens.
Often overshadowed by San Francisco, its twinkling sister city across the Bay, Oakland is itself an American wonder. The city is surrounded by and filled with natural beauty - mountains and hills and lakes and a bay - and architecture that mirrors its history as a Spanish mission, a gold rush outpost, and home of the West's most devious robber barons. It's also a city of artists and blue-collar workers, the birthplace of the Black Panthers, neighbor to Berkeley, and home to a vibrant and volatile stew of immigrants and refugees.
The former Confederate states have continually mythologized the South's defeat to the North, depicting the Civil War as unnecessary, or as a fight over states' Constitutional rights, or as a David v. Goliath struggle in which the North waged "total war" over an underdog South. In The Myth of the Lost Cause, historian Edward Bonekemper deconstructs this multi-faceted myth, revealing the truth about the war that nearly tore the nation apart 150 years ago.
Nothing had worked. Not threats or negotiations, not shutting down the betting parlors or opium dens, not throwing Chinese offenders into prison. Not even executing them. The New York DA was running out of ideas, and more people were dying every day as the weapons of choice evolved from hatchets to automatic weapons and even bombs. Welcome to New York City's Chinatown in 1925.
On September 11, 1814, an American naval squadron under Master Commandant Thomas Macdonough defeated a formidable British force on Lake Champlain under the command of Captain George Downie, effectively ending the British invasion of the Champlain Valley during the War of 1812. This decisive battle had far-reaching repercussions in Canada, the United States, England, and Ghent, Belgium, where peace talks were underway.
This engaging history pulls listeners back to a chaotic time along the lower Rio Grande in the mid-19th century. Texas Devils challenges the time-honored image of "good guys in white hats" to reveal the more complicated and sobering reality behind the Ranger Myth. Michael L. Collins demonstrates that, rather than bringing peace to the region, the Texas Rangers contributed to the violence and were often brutal in their injustices against Spanish-speaking inhabitants.
The ostensible goal of the controversial Kilpatrick-Dahlgren Raid on Richmond (February 28 - March 3, 1864) was to free some 13,000 Union prisoners of war held in the Confederate capital. But orders found on the dead body of the raid's subordinate commander, Colonel Ulric Dahlgren, point instead to a plot to capture or kill Confederate president Jefferson Davis and set Richmond ablaze. What really happened, and how and why, are debated to this day.
Beginning around World War I, due to so many problems at home and so much seeming to be offered in the North, scores of African-Americans left the South and headed to the big cities across the Mason-Dixon, among them, Chicago. Chicago provided, they thought, so much that they couldn't get elsewhere. Thanks to their mass migration, the city, and the state of Illinois, were vastly changed forever, and so were they.
Lyndon Orr published his story of Aaron Burr in 1912 within his Famous Affinities of History. Here he briefly and simply compares Burr's life with Alexander Hamilton's and attempts to dispel some of the negative opinions that surrounded him as the "villain" who shot and killed one of the Founding Fathers of the USA in a duel. Orr also describes Burr's strong relationships and the mysteries surrounding the women in his life, particularly his daughter.
In a ranch south of Texas, the man known as The Executioner dumps 500 body parts in metal barrels. In Brazil's biggest city, a mysterious prisoner orders hit men to gun down 41 police officers and prison guards in two days. In Southern Mexico a meth maker is venerated as a saint while enforcing Old Testament justice on his enemies. A new kind of criminal kingpin has arisen: part CEO, part terrorist, and part rock star, unleashing guerrilla attacks, strong-arming governments, and taking over much of the world's trade in narcotics, guns, and humans.
Near the end of her life, Mary Mann Hamilton (1866-c.1936) was encouraged to record her experiences as a female pioneer. The result is the only known firsthand account of a remarkable woman thrust into the center of taming the American South - surviving floods, tornadoes, and fires; facing bears, panthers, and snakes; managing a boardinghouse in Arkansas that was home to an eccentric group of settlers; and running a logging camp in Mississippi that blazed a trail for development in the Mississippi Delta.
Drawing from a wealth of historic documents and personal papers, William Warren Rogers, Jr., provides a fascinating and detailed political, economic, social, and commercial history of Montgomery from 1860 to 1865. His account begins with an examination of daily life in the city before the war began - how slaves outnumbered whites, how an unvarnished frontier atmosphere prevailed on the streets despite citizens' claims to refinement, how lush crops of corn and cotton grew in fields right up to the city limits, and how class divisions were distinct and immovable.
Giving voice to the voiceless, the Chicago Defender condemned Jim Crow, catalyzed the Great Migration, and focused the electoral power of black America. Robert S. Abbott founded the Defender in 1905, smuggled hundreds of thousands of copies into the most isolated communities in the segregated South, and was dubbed a "Modern Moses", becoming one of the first black millionaires in the process.
It was a war that saw many firsts. The long list of Civil War firsts include America's first income tax, the first battle between ironclad ships, the first extensive use of black soldiers and sailors in US service, the first use of quinine to treat typhoid fever, America's first military draft, and many others. There were advances in medical treatment, military tactics, the chaplain service, and other fields. Over the course of the Civil War, weapons ranged from obsolete flintlocks to state-of-the-art repeaters.
A Pulitzer Prize-winning historian's acclaimed Civil War history of the complex man and controversial Union commander whose battlefield brilliance ensured the downfall of the Confederacy. Preeminent Civil War historian Bruce Catton narrows his focus on commander Ulysses S. Grant, whose bold tactics and relentless dedication to the Union ultimately ensured a Northern victory in the nation's bloodiest conflict.
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.
"Well presented and insightful"
Based on remarkable new research, acclaimed historian Alexander Rose brings to life the true story of the spy ring that helped America win the Revolutionary War. For the first time, Rose takes us beyond the battlefront and deep into the shadowy underworld of double agents and triple crosses, covert operations and code breaking, and unmasks the courageous, flawed men who inhabited this wilderness of mirrors—including the spymaster at the heart of it all.
"The Story Behind the Story"
In the 1960s humans took their first steps away from Earth - and for a time our possibilities in space seemed endless. But in a time of austerity, and in the wake of high-profile disasters like Challenger, that dream has ended. In early 2011 Margaret Lazarus Dean traveled to Cape Canaveral for NASA's last three space shuttle launches in order to bear witness to the end of an era.
"The author has been paid by # of words"
Actor Mahershala Ali performs the gripping tale of an armed band of Confederate deserters and slaves living in a mixed-race community who rose up against the Confederate Cavalry in 1863 to form their own republic, free of slavery, in what is now the state of Mississippi. The community they formed - and the ambiguous racial identity of their descendants - confounded the rules of the segregated South well into the 20th century.
At the height of World War II, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, was home to 75,000 residents, consuming more electricity than New York City. But to most of the world, the town did not exist. Thousands of civilians - many of them young women from small towns across the South - were recruited to this secret city, enticed by solid wages and the promise of war-ending work. Kept very much in the dark, few would ever guess the true nature of the tasks they performed each day in the hulking factories in the middle of the Appalachian Mountains.
"Important story of this secret city"
The first book to appear in the illustrious Oxford History of the United States, this critically-acclaimed volume - a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize - offers an unsurpassed history of the Revolutionary War and the birth of the American republic.
"Strong History Rich With Behind The Scenes Details"
In this groundbreaking historical expose, Douglas A. Blackmon brings to light one of the most shameful chapters in American history - an Age of Neoslavery that thrived from the aftermath of the Civil War through the dawn of World War II.
The dramatic account of one of America's most celebrated - and controversial - military campaigns: the Doolittle Raid. In December 1941, as American forces tallied the dead at Pearl Harbor, President Franklin Roosevelt gathered with his senior military counselors to plan an ambitious counterstrike against the heart of the Japanese Empire: Tokyo.
"Courageous Men Perform Amazing Feats"
One of the first personal narratives written by an ex-slave, this is also one of the few written by a woman. Harriet Jacobs (1813-97) was enslaved, along with her family, in North Carolina under a ruthless master who sexually harassed her. After several failed escape attempts, and several years of hiding, she finally made her way North to freedom, where she was eventually reunited with her children. The book was published in 1861.
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"
In other nations, public schools are one thread in a quilt that includes free universal child care, health care, and job training. Here, schools are the whole cloth. Today we look around the world at countries like Finland and South Korea, whose students consistently outscore Americans on standardized tests, and wonder what we are doing wrong. Dana Goldstein first asks the often-forgotten question: "How did we get here?"
"Makes one think"
Pulitzer Prize-winning historian James M. McPherson considers why the Civil War remains so deeply embedded in our national psyche and identity. The drama and tragedy of the war help explain why the Civil War remains a topic of interest. But the legacy of the war extends far beyond historical interest or scholarly attention.
"Excellence in book form"
History tends to cast the early years of America in a glow of camaraderie when there were, in fact, many conflicts between the Founding Fathers - none more important than the one between George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. Their disagreement centered on the highest, most original public office created by the Constitutional Convention: the presidency. It also involved the nation's foreign policy, the role of merchants and farmers in a republic, and the durability of the union.
In Empire of Liberty, one of America's most esteemed historians, Gordon S. Wood, offers a brilliant account of the early American Republic, ranging from 1789 and the beginning of the national government to the end of the War of 1812. As Wood reveals, the period was marked by tumultuous change in all aspects of American life - in politics, society, economy, and culture.
"Excellent historical writing"
The National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, also known as the 9-11 Commission, was created by congressional legislation and the signature of President George W. Bush in late 2002. This independent, bipartisan commission had the task of producing a full and complete account of the circumstances surrounding the attack, including preparedness and immediate response, and providing recommendations designed to guard against future attacks.
"Absolutely Outstanding Historical Document"
Secret Lives of the U.S. Presidents features outrageous and uncensored profiles of the men in the White House - complete with hundreds of little-known, politically incorrect, and downright wacko facts.
"Sloppy, dull, partisan"
A fascinating and insightful examination of the life and times of the victorious Civil War general who became a controversial American president. In U. S. Grant and the American Military Tradition, Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Bruce Catton explores the life and legacy of one of the nation's greatest and most misunderstood heroes before, during, and after the terrible War Between the States that violently split the country in two.