"I wish I had a little girl like you, Julie," Mary Todd Lincoln often told Julie Taft, and for the first year of the Lincoln presidency, 16-year-old Julie had the run of the White House, befriending the First Lady, playing with the Lincoln boys, and sharing priceless moments with Lincoln himself, which she noted down in her diary. An intimate portrait of the Lincoln family, as only a child could see them, through the first, fateful, tragic year of the Civil War.
There is no surer way to make history come alive than to contemplate those moments when the world's future - the government and wealth of nations, the faith and culture of generations - hung in the balance. In this volume, many of our brightest historians speculate about some of history's intriguing crossroads and the ways in which our lives may have been changed for the better - or the worse.
"An interesting book tainted by a poor narrator"
The summer of 1940 found 60-year-old firebrand Leon Trotsky living in exile in Coyoacan, Mexico, still agitating with his pen and raging against the death he felt certain Stalin was bound to deliver - any day now. In The Death of Trotsky, Cecelia Holland brings this fated and fatal day to life, from its quotidian beginnings to its dramatic close. Between Trotsky's waking and his final rest, she probes the outer-workings and inner thoughts of those who were with him till the end, illuminating a man who exited life as he lived it: defiantly.
Against the background of the Protestant Reformation and conflicts between England and Spain, this novel relates the rise of the House of Orange and the beginnings of Dutch nationalism. The factual history of the conflict is long and complex, but Holland tells an insightful, if small, slice of a much bigger picture, through the stories of one Dutch family. Holland brings the listener into the action, fighting alongside Jan and Hanneke against Alva and the Spaniards who seek to crush their revolution.
The explosive conflict between workers and capital in 19th century America first erupted nation-wide in 1877 when rapid industrialization led to spontaneous grassroots strikes and riot in many cities around the country. The violence and passion of 1877 would change America fundamentally. This account is drawn from eye-witness accounts and newspaper reporting of the day.
"Great 3 hours spent learning"
The 1849 Gold Rush in California brought to a boiling point the new state's wild and unruly politics. Before long, there was mob rule in the muddy streets of San Francisco. This decline of constitutional authority on the West Coast mirrored the fumbling actions of Congress and the federal government in Washington as a nation deeply divided over the slavery issue struggled to find a way to preserve the Union.