"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"
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!"
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"
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?
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.
"Front Seat on History"
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.
"Wowed by Truth"
From master storyteller and historian H. W. Brands, twice a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, comes the riveting story of how President Harry Truman and General Douglas MacArthur squared off to decide America's future in the aftermath of World War II.
A major new biography of the Civil War general and American president, by the author of the New York Times bestseller A. Lincoln. The dramatic story of one of America's greatest and most misunderstood military leaders and presidents, this is a major new interpretation of Ulysses S. Grant. Based on seven years of research with primary documents, some of them never tapped before, this is destined to become the Grant biography of our times.
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.
"Just Okay "
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"
More than a million listeners have thrilled to Bill O'Reilly's Killing Lincoln, the can't-stop-listening work of nonfiction about the shocking assassination that changed the course of American history. Now the anchor of The O'Reilly Factor recounts in gripping detail the brutal murder of John Fitzgerald Kennedy—and how a sequence of gunshots on a Dallas afternoon not only killed a beloved president but also sent the nation into the cataclysmic division of the Vietnam War and its culture-changing aftermath.
"Nothing of Substance New"
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!"
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.
General George S. Patton, Jr., died under mysterious circumstances in the months following the end of World War II. For almost 70 years, there has been suspicion that his death was not an accident - and may very well have been an act of assassination. Killing Patton will take listeners inside the final year of the war and recount the events surrounding Patton's tragic demise, naming names of the many powerful individuals who wanted him silenced.
"Really Disappointing and not about what you think."
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"
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?
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.
"My kinda founding father...mostly..."
When Thomas Jefferson became president in 1801, America faced a crisis. The new nation was deeply in debt and needed its economy to grow quickly, but its merchant ships were under attack. Pirates from North Africa's Barbary coast routinely captured American sailors and held them as slaves, demanding ransom and tribute payments far beyond what the new country could afford.
"Interesting history - terrible narrator"
On July 30, 1945, the USS Indianapolis was torpedoed in the South Pacific by a Japanese submarine. An estimated 300 men were killed upon impact; close to 900 sailors were cast into the Pacific Ocean, where they remained undetected by the navy for nearly four days and nights. Battered by a savage sea, they struggled to stay alive, fighting off sharks, hypothermia, and dementia. By the time rescue arrived, all but 317 men had died. The captain's subsequent court-martial left many questions unanswered
"Facts not Fiction"
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"
In this deeply researched and well-written study, Donald P. McNeilly examines how moderately wealthy planters and sons of planters immigrated into the virtually empty lands of Arkansas, seeking their fortune and to establish themselves as the leaders of a new planter aristocracy west of the Mississippi River. These men, sometimes alone, sometimes with family, and usually with slaves, sought the best land possible, cleared it, planted their crops, and erected crude houses and other buildings.
The Great Courses has partnered with Smithsonian to bring you a course that will greatly expand your understanding of American history. This course, Native Peoples of North America, pairs the unmatched resources and expertise of the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian with the unparalleled knowledge of Professor Daniel M. Cobb of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to provide a multidisciplinary view of American history.
For many, the moon landing was the defining event of the twentieth century. So it seems only fitting that Norman Mailer - the literary provocateur who altered the landscape of American nonfiction - wrote the most wide-ranging, far-seeing chronicle of the Apollo 11 mission. A classic chronicle of America's reach for greatness in the midst of the Cold War, Of a Fire on the Moon compiles the reportage Mailer published between 1969 and 1970 in Life magazine
In 1942, the Solomon Islands formed the stepping stones toward Rabaul, the main base of Japanese operations in the South Pacific, and the Allies primary objective. The stunning defeat of Japanese forces at the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal in November marked the turning point in the war against Japan and the start of an offensive in the Central Solomons aimed at New Georgia. New Georgia: The Second Battle for the Solomons tells the story of the land, sea, and air battles fought there from March through October 1943.
Published just seven weeks after the killing of Jesse James, this volume gives the full particulars of each and every dark and desperate deed in the career of this most noted outlaw of any time or nation! The facts and incidents contained herein were dictated to the author by the bandit's wife and his mother, to ensure that every secret act, every hitherto unknown incident, every crime, and every motive was truthfully disclosed!
In this thought-provoking and highly listenable book, Robert Mann provides a concise, engaging study of the "Daisy Girl" ad, widely acknowledged as the most important and memorable political ad in American history. Commissioned by Johnson's campaign and aired only once during Johnson's 1964 presidential contest against Barry Goldwater, it remains an iconic piece of electoral propaganda, intertwining cold war fears of nuclear annihilation with the increasingly savvy world of media and advertising.
Some writers have so confounded society with government, as to leave little or no distinction between them; whereas they are not only different, but have different origins. Society is produced by our wants, and government by our wickedness; the former promotes our happiness positively by uniting our affections, the latter negatively by restraining our vices. The one encourages intercourse, the other creates distinctions. The first is a patron, the last a punisher.
The year was 1899, and the place a sweltering tobacco farm in the Jim Crow South town of Truevine, Virginia. George and Willie Muse were two little boys born to a sharecropper family. One day a white man offered them a piece of candy, setting off events that would take them around the world and change their lives forever. Captured into the circus, the Muse brothers performed for royalty at Buckingham Palace and headlined over a dozen sold-out shows at New York's Madison Square Garden. They were global superstars in a pre-broadcast era.
On the sparkling morning of June 25, 1876, 611 men of the US 7th Cavalry rode toward the banks of the Little Bighorn in the Montana Territory, where 3,000 Indians stood waiting for battle. The lives of two great warriors would soon be forever linked throughout history: Crazy Horse, leader of the Oglala Sioux, and General George Armstrong Custer.
In 1901, Buffalo, New York, the eighth biggest city in America, wanted to launch the new century with the Pan American Exposition. It would showcase the Western hemisphere and bring millions of people to Western New York. With Niagara Falls as a drawing card, and with stunning colors and electric lights, promoters believed it would be bigger, better, and - literally - more brilliant than Chicago's White City of 1893.
The 1852 overland migration was the largest on record, with numbers swelled by Oregon-bound settlers as well as hordes of gold-seekers destined for California. It also was a year in which cholera took a terrible toll in lives. Presented here are firsthand accounts of this fateful year, including the words and thoughts of a young married couple, Mary Ann and Willis Boatman.
Benjamin Franklin is renowned for his landmark inventions, including bifocals, the Franklin stove, and the lightning rod. Yet his own favorite invention is unknown to the general public. The glass armonica, the first musical instrument invented by an American, was constructed of stacked glass bowls and played by rubbing one's fingers on the rims. It was so popular in the late 18th and early 19th centuries that Mozart, Beethoven, Handel, and Strauss composed for it. In Angelic Music, Corey Mead describes how Franklin's instrument fell out of popular favor.
With thousands of men off fighting in the Civil War, the government hired women and girls - some as young as 10 - to make millions of rounds of ammunition. Poor immigrant girls and widows paid the price for carelessness at three major arsenals. Many of these workers were killed, blown up and burned beyond recognition.
The Adair robbery was the beginning of the end for the Dalton gang. By all accounts, it was one of their more successful raids. The take was estimated at somewhere over $17,000 - not bad for a single night's work. But the pressure put on the gang afterwards led them down the path to carelessness - and ruin.
From Vienna's barricades to bleeding Kansas to the Civil War, August Bondi was continuously engaged in the struggle for freedom for half of his young adult life. As an old man, he wrote down what he remembered, and author Aaron Barnhart closely followed Bondi's autobiography in writing Firebrand. Barnhart also drew upon the 1958 novel Border Hawk: August Bondi, by children's author Lloyd Alexander (winner of the Newbery Medal and National Book Award), to bring Bondi's story back to life.
In Long Road to Hard Truth: The 100 Year Mission to Create the National Museum of African American History and Culture, Robert L. Wilkins tells the story of how his curiosity about why there wasn't a national museum dedicated to African American history and culture became an obsession - eventually leading him to quit his job as an attorney when his wife was seven months pregnant with their second child, and make it his mission to help the museum become a reality.
December 1941: Manila is invaded, and US citizen and Philippines Airlines manager Pappy Gunn is ordered to fly key military command out of the country, leaving his family at home. So Gunn was miles away when the Japanese captured his wife and children, placing them in an internment camp where they faced disease, abuse, and starvation. Gunn spent three years trying to rescue them. His exploits became legend as he revolutionized the art of air warfare, devising his own weaponry, missions, and more.
On October 24, 1944, more than 200 American soldiers were surrounded by German infantry deep in the Vosges Mountains of Eastern France. When their food, ammunition, and medical supplies ran out, the area's army headquarters turned to the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, a segregated unit of Japanese American soldiers, to achieve what other units had failed to do: rescue the "lost battalion".
When car-making giant General Motors decided to close its plant in Lansing, Michigan, in 1996, one person - the city's newly elected mayor - stood up and said no. Initially it was the cry of a man in the wilderness. Not once in its century-long history had GM reversed a decision to close a plant. But Mayor David Hollister quietly went to work building the Lansing Works! Keep GM! movement and succeeded in defying all the odds. Lansing remains GM's Oldsmobile headquarters.
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"
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.
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"
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.
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"
Beginning with a look at Christopher Columbus’s arrival through the eyes of the Arawak Indians, then leading the reader through the struggles for workers’ rights, women’s rights, and civil rights during the 19th and 20th centuries, and ending with the current protests against continued American imperialism, Zinn in the volumes of A Young People’s History of the United States presents a radical new way of understanding America’s history. In so doing, he reminds listeners that America’s true greatness is shaped by our dissident voices, not our military generals.
"An Inclusive History for Young People"
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"
A magnificent history of the opening years of the Civil War by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Bruce Catton. The first book in Bruce Catton's Pulitzer Prize-winning Army of the Potomac Trilogy, Mr. Lincoln's Army is a riveting history of the early years of the Civil War, when a fledgling Union Army took its stumbling first steps under the command of the controversial general George McClellan.
"Very poor reader with great material"
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.
"Good until the end"
Beginning in January 1692, Salem Village in colonial Massachusetts witnessed the largest and most lethal outbreak of witchcraft in early America. Villagers - mainly young women - suffered from unseen torments that caused them to writhe, shriek, and contort their bodies, complaining of pins stuck into their flesh and of being haunted by specters. Believing that they suffered from assaults by an invisible spirit, the community began a hunt to track down those responsible for the demonic work.
"Wow....riveting and tragic"
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.
This fascinating audiobook is the first volume in a projected cultural history of the United States, from the earliest English settlements to our own time. It is a history of American folkways as they have changed through time, and it argues a thesis about the importance for the United States of having been British in its cultural origins. While most people in the United States today have no British ancestors, they have assimilated regional cultures which were created by British colonists, even while preserving ethnic identities at the same time.
"This is great, much more than title suggests"
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"
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"
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"
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"
There are few moments in American history in which the course of events tipped so suddenly and so dramatically as at the Battle of Midway. At dawn of June 4, 1942, a rampaging Japanese navy ruled the Pacific. By sunset, their vaunted carrier force (the Kido Butai) had been sunk and their grip on the Pacific had been loosened forever. In this absolutely riveting account of a key moment in the history of World War II, one of America's leading naval historians, Craig L. Symonds, paints an unforgettable portrait of ingenuity, courage, and sacrifice.
"A unique tale of tactical wars"
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"
This conclusion of Pulitzer Prize-winning author Bruce Catton's acclaimed Civil War history of General Ulysses S. Grant begins in the summer of 1863. After Grant's bold and decisive triumph over the Confederate Army at Vicksburg - a victory that wrested control of the Mississippi River from Southern hands - President Abraham Lincoln promoted Grant to the head of the Army of the Potomac.
"Get the book - the paper version"