As professional 21st-century historians cede the literary field to the popular amateur, history and its meanings become muddled - especially in the punditocracy championed by modern media. Copious amounts of cherry-picked facts and manufactured heroes are used to create a narrative rather than give any insight into past events. MacMillan offers an antidote to this by providing the necessary tools to help interpret history in constructive ways.
"What Bad Narration!"
As Margaret Truman knows from firsthand experience, living in the White House can be exhilarating and maddening, alarming and exhausting, but it is certainly never dull. Part private residence, part goldfish bowl, and part national shrine, the White House is both the most important address in America and the most intensely scrutinized.
It is well known that Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher were close allies and kindred political spirits. During their eight overlapping years in office, the U.S. president and the U.K. prime minister worked together to promote lower taxes, deregulation, free trade, and an aggressive stance against the Soviet Union. But according to Nicholas Wapshott, the Reagan/Thatcher relationship was much deeper than an alliance of mutual interests.
"A Better Half"
Much Depends on Dinner is a delightful and intelligent history of the food we eat. Presented as a meal, each chapter represents a different course or garnish. Margaret Visser looks to the most ordinary American dinner for her subject - corn on the cob with butter and salt, roast chicken with rice, salad dressed in lemon juice and olive oil, and ice cream - submerging herself in the story behind each food.
The Library of Congress Timeline of the Civil War is an authoritative and engaging narrative of the domestic conflict that determined the course of American history. A detailed chronological timeline of the war captures the harrowing intensity of nineteenth-century warfare in firsthand accounts from soldiers, nurses, and front-line journalists.
With The Blind Assassin, Atwood proves once again that she is one of the most talented, daring, and exciting writers of the time. Like The Handmaid's Tale, this Book Prize-winner is destined to become a classic.
"Terrible audio quality"
From the best-selling and award-winning author of Paris 1919 comes a masterpiece of narrative nonfiction, a fascinating portrait of Europe from 1900 up to the outbreak of World War I.
"Detailed review of 1882 to 1914"
Winner of the Samuel Johnson Prize, renowned historian Margaret MacMillan's best-selling Paris 1919 is the story of six remarkable months that changed the world. At the close of WWI, between January and July of 1919, delegates from around the world converged on Paris under the auspices of peace. New countries were created, old empires were dissolved, and for six months, Paris was the center of the world.
From New York Times best-selling author and acclaimed historian Alison Weir comes the first biography of Mary Douglas, the beautiful, cunning niece of Henry VIII of England who used her sharp intelligence and covert power to influence the succession after the death of Elizabeth I.
"Interesting piece of history; but, Dull & Tedious."
Margaret MacMillan brings her extraordinary gifts to two of the most important countries today, the United States and China, and one of the most significant moments in modern history: Richard Nixon's week in China in February 1972, which opened relations between America and China (closed since the communists came to power in 1949).
Myths persist and abound about the freemasons, Margaret C. Jacob notes. But what are their origins? How has an early modern organization of bricklayers and stonemasons aroused so much public interest? In The Origins of Freemasonry, Jacob throws back the veil from a secret society that turns out not to have been very secret at all.
Born in the midst of the Wars of the Roses, Margaret Beaufort became the greatest heiress of her time. She survived a turbulent life, marrying four times and enduring imprisonment before passing her claim to the crown of England to her son, Henry VII, the first of the Tudor monarchs.
"Good story about a questionable woman"
Margaret Leech’s Pulitzer Prize-winning history paints a wonderfully vivid and lively picture of Washington, DC, during the Civil War. In addition to the major events and figures such as Lincoln, Leech uses telling anecdotes and draws upon cameo players such as Louisa May Alcott, Walt Whitman, Andrew Carnegie, and a Confederate lady spy to create a living portrait of a sleepy, unfinished city as it struggles to become the strong capital of a united nation.
Eyewitness provides a rare and fascinating opportunity to hear the events of the century described by those who saw them happen. A wealth of BBC archive recordings, some never previously broadcast, is interwoven with an illuminating commentary by the historian Joanna Bourke. Published in 10 volumes, Eyewitness examines the role and the life of the British people in each decade of the century.
"British History of the 1980s"
"A Look Back."
The world will never see another peace conference like the one which took place in Paris in 1919. For six months, the world's major leaders - including Woodrow Wilson, president of the United States, David Lloyd George, prime minister of Great Britain, and Georges Clemenceau, prime minister of France - met to discuss the peace settlements which were to end World War One.
"Best Audible Title Yet"
In Brethren by Nature, Margaret Ellen Newell reveals a little-known aspect of American history: English colonists in New England enslaved thousands of Indians. Massachusetts became the first English colony to legalize slavery in 1641, and the colonists' desire for slaves shaped the major New England Indian wars, including the Pequot War of 1637, King Philip's War of 1675-76, and the northeastern Wabanaki conflicts of 1676-1749.
One day in 1882, Thomas Edison flipped a switch that lit up lower Manhattan with incandescent light and changed the way people live ever after. The electric light bulb was only one of thousands of Edison's inventions, which include the phonograph and the kinetoscope, an early precursor to the movie camera. As a boy, observing a robin catch a worm and then take flight, he fed a playmate a mixture of worms and water to see if she could fly!
The First World War followed a period of sustained peace in Europe during which people talked with confidence of prosperity, progress and hope. But in 1914, Europe walked into a catastrophic conflict which killed millions of its men, bled its economies dry, shook empires and societies to pieces, and fatally undermined Europe's dominance of the world. It was a war which could have been avoided up to the last moment - so why did it happen?
In The Pattern in the Carpet, Margaret Drabble tells the history of the jigsaw, a uniquely British form of meditation, from its earliest incarnation as a teaching tool to the extraordinary variety of cut-outs that have continued to amuse children and adults until the present.