The northeastern quarter of the continent of Africa is drained and watered by the Nile. Among and about the headstreams and tributaries of this mighty river lie the wide and fertile provinces of the Egyptian Soudan. Situated in the very centre of the land, these remote regions are on every side divided from the seas by 500 miles of mountain, swamp, or desert. The great river is their only means of growth, their only channel of progress.
Jacquetta always has had the gift of second sight. As a child visiting her uncle, she met his prisoner, Joan of Arc, and saw her own power reflected in the young woman accused of witchcraft. They share the mystery of the tarot card of the wheel of fortune before Joan is taken to a horrific death. Jacquetta understands the danger for a woman who dares to dream. Jacquetta is married to the Duke of Bedford, English regent of France, and he introduces her to a mysterious world of learning and alchemy.
"Philippa back on track"
The Civil War was the deadliest conflict in American history, and had the two sides realized it would last four years and inflict over a million casualties, it might not have been fought. Since it was, however, historians and history buffs alike have been studying and analyzing the biggest battles ever since. Americans have long been fascinated by the Civil War, marveling at the size of the battles, the leadership of the generals, and the courage of the soldiers.
"Lots of info, lots of redundancy"
Richard Peck is a master of stories about people in transition, but perhaps never before has he told a tale of such dramatic change as this one, set during the first year of the Civil War. The whole country is changing in 1861, even the folks from a muddy little Illinois settlement on the banks of the Mississippi. Here, 15-year-old Tilly Pruitt frets over the fact that her brother is dreaming of being a soldier and that her sister is prone to supernatural visions.
"Love Peck's way of writing about history!"
The Gallic Wars, the series of campaigns waged by Julius Caesar on behalf of the Roman Senate between 58-50 BC, were among the defining conflicts of the Roman era. Not only was the expansion of the Republic's domains unprecedented (especially when considering it was undertaken under the auspices of a single general), it had a profound cultural impact on Rome itself as well.
In the third and last volume of this vivid history, Shelby Foote brings to a close the story of four years of turmoil and strife which altered American life forever. Here, told in rich narrative and as seen from both sides, are those climactic struggles, great and small, on and off the field of battle, which finally decided the fate of this nation.
Although it ended over 550 years ago, the Hundred Years' War still looms large in the historical consciousness of England and France, even if the name of the famous war is a misnomer. Actually a series of separate conflicts between the English and French monarchies, interspersed with periods of peace, its historical image is an odd one, in part because its origins were based on royal claims that dated back centuries.
Two days after Germany's invasion of Poland on September 1, 1939, France and Great Britain declared war on Germany, and World War II began in earnest. As most people now know, the invasion of Poland was merely the preface to the Nazi blitzkrieg of most of Western Europe, which would include Denmark, Belgium, and France by the summer of 1940.
In Old Man River, Paul Schneider tells the story of the river at the center of America's rich history - the Mississippi. Some fifteen thousand years ago, the majestic river provided Paleolithic humans with the routes by which early man began to explore the continent's interior. Since then, the river has been the site of historical significance, from the arrival of Spanish and French explorers in the 16th century to the Civil War. George Washington fought his first battle near the river, and Ulysses S. Grant and William T. Sherman both came to President Lincoln's attention after their spectacular victories on the lower Mississippi.
"History, eloquence, and wit..."
After the last major pitched battle of the Overland Campaign was fought at Cold Harbor in early June, Ulysses S. Grant's Army of the Potomac had suffered more casualties during the campaign than Robert E. Lee had in his entire Army of Northern Virginia at the start of May. Understandably, the American public was shocked by the carnage, and to this day Grant has been accused of being a butcher, but attrition had become a vital war aim for the North, and Grant remained undeterred.
After the siege of Boston forced the British to evacuate that city in March 1776, Continental Army commander George Washington suspected that the British would move by sea to New York City, the next logical target in an attempt to end a colonial insurrection. He thus rushed his army south to defend the city. Washington guessed correctly, but it would be to no avail. Unlike Boston, New York City's terrain featured few defensible positions. The city lacked a high point from which to launch a siege, as the peninsula of Boston was fortunate to have.
The second biggest battle of the entire war mostly gets overlooked among casual listeners, despite the fact it represented the last great chance for the Confederates to salvage the Western theater.
The Vietnam War could have been called a comedy of errors if the consequences weren't so deadly and tragic. In 1951, while war was raging in Korea, the United States began signing defense pacts with nations in the Pacific, intending to create alliances that would contain the spread of Communism.
Cloak and dagger adventure, with daring commandos parachuted deep behind enemy lines to kill a sinister mastermind, belongs chiefly to the realm of thriller novels or films.
The United States lost hundreds of ships during the course of World War II, from the deadly explosion of the USS Arizona during the attack on Pearl Harbor to the sinking of John F. Kennedy's PT-109, a patrol boat with a crew of less than 15. However, few of the ships lost in the Pacific suffered a fate as gripping or tragic as the sinking of the heavy cruiser USS Indianapolis on July 30, 1945.
Two military setbacks, on a scale unprecedented in history, were required before the high tide of Napoleon's success began to ebb towards the final denouement of the Hundred Days and the famous Battle of Waterloo. The failed Russian invasion set the stage for the second defeat at Leipzig, which essentially sealed the fate of Napoleon's empire. The four-day Battle of Leipzig in October 1813, dubbed the "Battle of the Nations", essentially determined the course the Napoleonic Wars took from that moment forward.
"Interesting book about this French hero."
Naval combat underwent a significant metamorphosis during World War II. Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan launched some of the most powerful battleships ever to sail the world's oceans, yet the conflict witnessed the emergence and triumph of the aircraft carrier as the 20th century's true monarch of the seas. Submarine warfare expanded and developed while aircraft technology and doctrine experienced several revolutionary changes due to the unforgiving demands of the new combat environment.
World War II was fought on a scale unlike anything before or since in human history, and the unfathomable casualty counts are attributable in large measure to the carnage inflicted between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union during Hitler's invasion of Russia and Stalin's desperate defense. The invasion came in 1941 following a nonaggression pact signed between the two in 1939, which allowed Hitler to focus his attention on the west without having to worry about an attack from the eastern front.
The most famous attack of the Civil War was also one of its most fateful and fatal. Pickett's Charge, the climactic assault on the final day of the Battle of Gettysburg, has become the American version of the Charge of the Light Brigade. It is one of the most famous events of the entire Civil War.
"Bad pronunciation but good content"
Set in Venice at the close of World War II, Across the River and into the Trees is the bittersweet story of a middle-aged American colonel, scarred by war and in failing health, who finds love with a young Italian countess at the very moment when his life is becoming a physical hardship to him.