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By Kai Bird, Martin J. Sherwin. 2006
THE INSPIRATION FOR THE MAJOR MOTION PICTURE OPPENHEIMER • "A riveting account of one of history&’s most essential and paradoxical…figures.&”—Christopher Nolan#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • PULITZER PRIZE WINNER • The definitive biography of J. Robert Oppenheimer, one of the iconic figures of the twentieth century, a brilliant physicist who led the effort to build the atomic bomb for his country in a time of war, and who later found himself confronting the moral consequences of scientific progress.In this magisterial, acclaimed biography twenty-five years in the making, Kai Bird and Martin Sherwin capture Oppenheimer&’s life and times, from his early career to his central role in the Cold War. This is biography and history at its finest, riveting and deeply informative.&“A masterful account of Oppenheimer&’s rise and fall, set in the context of the turbulent decades of America&’s own transformation. It is a tour de force.&” —Los Angeles Times Book Review&“A work of voluminous scholarship and lucid insight, unifying its multifaceted portrait with a keen grasp of Oppenheimer&’s essential nature.... It succeeds in deeply fathoming his most damaging, self-contradictory behavior.&” —The New York Times
By John Ragosta. 2017
Often referred to as "the voice of the Revolution," Patrick Henry played a vital role in helping to launch the…revolt of the American colonies against British rule. An early and compelling Revolutionary orator, Henry played an active part in the debates over the founding of the United States. As a leading anti-federalist, he argued against the ratification of the Constitution, and at the state level, he opposed Thomas Jefferson’s Statute of Religious Freedom in Virginia. In both his political triumphs and defeats, Henry was influential in establishing the nature of public discourse for a generation of new Americans. In this concise biography, John A. Ragosta explores Henry’s life and his contributions to shaping the character of the new nation, placing his ideas in the context of his times. Supported by primary documents and a supplementary companion website, Patrick Henry: Proclaiming a Revolution gives students of the American Revolution and early Republic an insightful and balanced understanding of this often misunderstood American founder.
By Otto Scott. 2011
It is a perverse but almost inescapable phenomenon in the history of violent revolutions that after the first heroic days…a colorless bureaucrat will inherit the mantle of leadership. In the Russian Revolution, Lenin was followed by a plodding Stalin rather than a dazzling Trotsky. Even after the American Revolution the celebrated Jefferson barely made it into office as president between two party regulars.The French Revolution was no exception. After the genius and idealism of Mirabeau, Danton, and others who had created the Revolution, it fell into the hands of an unscrupulous and sententious bourgeois lawyer who had been lost among the back benches of the first Estates-General. Like Stalin, Robespierre rose through tireless party service and meticulous attention to detail and finally through the execution of men who had been the real heroes of the Revolution. Unlike Stalin, however, Robespierre was a brilliant orator who ultimately was destroyed on the guillotine by the very terror he had created to eliminate his rivals.In Robespierre: The Voice of Virtue, Otto J. Scott has created an ironic portrait of hypocrisy in power. This biography is a study in moral arrogance, self-proclaimed virtue, and the effectiveness of brutality in the position of political leadership; it is a reenactment of the events that Robespierre came to personify—the Reign of Terror. This political condition has since been re-enacted all too often.
By Arthur Krystal. 2023
Surely enough has been written about F. Scott Fitzgerald, the man who coined "the Jazz Age" and symbolized the Roaring…Twenties, whose very name conjures up a meteoric rise and an equally spectacular fall? But the better question might be, Why has so much ink been spent on a writer who completed only four novels, who fell from grace in the 1930s only to be resurrected twenty years later? The answer, according to the cultural critic Arthur Krystal, "is the problem that is Fitzgerald."Drawn to the glitter of fame but aspiring to the empyrean heights of Joseph Conrad and James Joyce, Fitzgerald careened from the perfection of The Great Gatsby to the hack world of Hollywood screenwriting, penning stories that were either brilliant distillations of the age or superficial works of fiction. Like America itself, Fitzgerald was a work in progress, a self-created and conflicted human being striving for ideals that neither he nor the nation could ever live up to. Beset by contradictions, buoyed by hope, fueled by alcohol, unable to settle permanently in any one place, Fitzgerald possessed what John Updike aptly described as "an aptitude for chaos and a dream of order."In this unusual and concise biography—more a layering of impressions than a chronological guide—Krystal gives us not only the peripatetic and turbulent life of a cultural icon but also the intellectual sweep of a period in history that created our modern America. Some Unfinished Chaos delivers a nuanced portrait of a man whose various sides embodied the trends, passions, and pursuits of the imperfect society that both glorified and dismissed him.
By The Hanover Tavern Foundation. 2013
An account of life on the home front written by a Southern woman trying to survive the daily struggles of…the Civil War. The Hanover Tavern outside Richmond was a place of refuge during the Civil War. Life at the Tavern was not always safe as residents weathered frequent Union cavalry raids on nearby railroads, bridges, and farms. Margaret Copland Brown Wight and some of her family braved the war at the Tavern from 1862 until 1865 in the company of a small community of refugees. She kept a diary to document each hardship and every blessing—a day of rain after weeks of drought, news of her sons fighting in the Confederate armies, or word from her daughter caught behind enemy lines. Wight&’s diary, discovered more than a century after the war, is a vital voice from a time of tumult. Join the Hanover Tavern Foundation as the diary is presented here for the first time. Includes photos
By Martin Gilbert. 1975
The fourth volume in the official biography—&“The most scholarly study of Churchill in war and peace ever written&” (Herbert Mitgang,…The New York Times). Covering the years 1916 to 1922, Martin Gilbert&’s fascinating account carefully traces Churchill&’s wide-ranging activities and shows how, by his persuasive oratory, administrative skill, and masterful contributions to Cabinet discussions, Churchill regained, only a few years after the disaster of the Dardanelles, a leading position in British political life. Included are many dramatic and controversial episodes: the German breakthrough on the Western Front in March 1918, the anti-Bolshevik intervention in 1919, negotiating the Irish Treaty, consolidating the Jewish National Home in Palestine, and the Chanak crisis with Turkey. In all these, and many other events, Churchill&’s leading role is explained and illuminated in Martin Gilbert&’s precise, masterful style. In a moving final chapter, covering a period when Churchill was without a seat in Parliament for the first time since 1900, Martin Gilbert brilliantly draws together the many strands of a time in Churchill&’s life when his political triumphs were overshadowed by personal sorrows, by his increasingly somber reflections on the backward march of nations and society, and by his stark forecasts of dangers to come. &“A milestone, a monument, a magisterial achievement . . . Rightly regarded as the most comprehensive life ever written of any age.&” —Andrew Roberts, historian and author of The Storm of War
By Carmen Goldthwaite. 2014
The author of Texas Dames shares a new collection of profiles featuring the incredible women who helped build the Lone…Star State. Texas would not be Texas without the formidable women of its past. Beneath the sunbonnets and Stetsons, the women of the Lone Star State carved out ranches and breathed new life into arid spreads of land. When husbands, sons and fathers fell, bold Texas women were there to take the reins. Throughout the centuries, the women of Texas's ranches defended home and hearth with cannon and shot. They rescued hostages. They nurtured livestock through hard winters and long droughts and drove them up the cattle trails. They built communities and saw to it that faith and education prevailed for their children and their communities. Join author Carmen Goldthwaite in an inspiring survey of fierce Lone Star ladies.
By Melanie Zimmer. 2012
Learn the Empire State&’s little known history—from bone-stealing dogs to the world&’s largest puzzle—by the author of Curiosities of the…Finger Lakes. Few New Yorkers remember the night when firemen, in tuxedos and top hats, were dragged from a ball to extinguish a Waterloo blaze, or the typographical error that reported Theodore Roosevelt taking a &“bath&” instead of his presidential &“oath.&” Still fewer remember Cephas Bennett, a missionary from Utica and printer of the first Burmese Bible, or H. L. Mencken&’s humorous article on the history of the bathtub, still quoted today as factual although entirely invented. Seasoned storyteller Melanie Zimmer seamlessly weaves together these hard-to-believe, yet entirely true, tales. From the monster of Seneca Lake to the man who inspired the American icon Uncle Sam, discover the lost secrets of the Empire State. Includes photos!
In 1888, young Helen Keller traveled to Boston with her teacher, Annie Sullivan, where they met a man who would…change her life: Boston Transcript columnist and editor Joseph Edgar Chamberlin. Throughout her childhood and young adult years, Keller spent weekends and holidays at Red Farm, the Chamberlins' home in Wrentham, Massachusetts, a bustling environment where avant-garde writers, intellectuals, and social reformers of the day congregated. Keller eventually called Red Farm home for a year when she was sixteen. Informed by previously unpublished letters and extensive research, Letters from Red Farm explores for the first time Keller's deep and enduring friendship with the man who became her literary mentor and friend for over forty years. Written by Chamberlin's great-great granddaughter, this engaging story imparts new insights into Keller's life and personality, introduces the irresistible Chamberlin to a modern public, and follows Keller's burgeoning interest in social activism, as she took up the causes of disability rights, women's issues, and pacifism.
By Grace Norwich. 2012
Meet the extraordinary young woman who learned to read, write, and speak—even though she was deaf and blind.I am two…years old when I become deaf and blind. I live in a world of darkness. I am finally able to read and write with the help of my teacher Annie Sullivan. I am Helen Keller.Learn all about this remarkable young woman whose accomplishments are truly inspiring, with this biography including:illustrations throughouta timelinean introduction to the other people you’ll meet in the book, including Helen’s amazing teacher and the men who fell in love with hermapssidebarsa top ten list of important things to know, and more
By John Guy. 2009
The Whitbread Award–winning author of Queen of Scots presents a “brilliantly observed” dual biography of Sir Thomas More and his…daughter (The New York Times).Sir Thomas More’s life is well known: his opposition to Henry VIII’s marriage to Anne Boleyn, his arrest for treason, his execution and martyrdom. Yet a major figure in his life—his beloved daughter Margaret—has been largely airbrushed out of the story. Margaret was her father’s closest confidant and played a critical role in safeguarding his intellectual legacy. In A Daughter’s Love, John Guy restores her to her rightful place in Tudor history.Always her father’s favorite child, Margaret was such an accomplished scholar by age eighteen that her work earned praise from Erasmus of Rotterdam. She remained devoted to her father after her marriage—and paid the price in estrangement from her husband. When More was thrown into the Tower of London, Margaret collaborated with him on his most famous letters from prison, smuggled them out at great personal risk, and even rescued his head after his execution. Drawing on original sources that have been ignored by generations of historians, Guy creates a dramatic new portrait of both Thomas More and the daughter whose devotion secured his place in history.
By Anthony J. Connors. 2019
Edward Davoll was a respected New Bedford whaling captain in an industry at its peak in the 1850s. But mid-career,…disillusioned with whaling, desperately lonely at sea, and experiencing financial problems, he turned to the slave trade, with disastrous results. Why would a man of good reputation, in a city known for its racial tolerance and Quaker-inspired abolitionism, risk engagement with this morally repugnant industry? In this riveting biography, Anthony J. Connors explores this question by detailing not only the troubled, adventurous life of this man but also the turbulent times in which he lived. Set in an era of social and political fragmentation and impending civil war, when changes in maritime law and the economics of whaling emboldened slaving agents to target captains and their vessels for the illicit trade, Davoll's story reveals the deadly combination of greed and racial antipathy that encouraged otherwise principled Americans to participate in the African slave trade.
&“The story of a remarkable Scottish family set against the great sweep of Scotland&’s history . . . [a] remarkable piece of research&”…(Magnus Linklater, former Scottish editor of The Times). The Haldanes have been in Scotland for over eight hundred years, and their story illustrates many of the defining themes of Scotland&’s history. Haldanes played significant roles in the Bruce war of independence, the political upheavals which accompanied the establishment of the Stewart dynasty, the religious struggles of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the Darien Scheme and the Act of Union, the Jacobite rebellions, the development of the East India Company, and in the theological controversies of the nineteenth century. In the twentieth century, Haldanes are still to be found in the public eye with some influence on matters of national significance. In this book, Neil Stacy follows the fortunes of the family, highlighting the extraordinary contributions they have made in so many areas, as well as uncovering some of the more colorful episodes in the family&’s history, such as long-buried secrets of romance in the teeth of parental opposition, a military career threatened by a youthful liaison with a blackmailing barmaid, and an attempt to run a temperance hotel in the western Highlands which ended in high farce. &“For producing so many individuals of unusual distinction there can be few families to rival the Haldanes of Gleneagles. Neil Stacy does them proud, he relates their 900-year saga with clarity and wit.&” —John Keay, author of India: A History &“I had expected to be intrigued and entertained by this comprehensive history of the Haldanes of Gleneagles; and I was, abundantly.&” —Richard Holloway, former Bishop of Edinburgh
By Christian Duverger. 2019
«Sustentado por una apreciable información documental, el asombroso libro de Christian Duvergerrinde a Cortés escritor un merecido homenaje.» Bartolomé Bennassar…Se cumplen cinco siglos de la Conquista de México, y a lo largo de este tiempo Hernán Cortés ha desempeñado un claro papel en el imaginario colectivo de la nación: el de villano. Sin embargo, para Christian Duverger esta apreciación no podría ser más injusta. Lejos del ambicioso y sanguinario invasor que los libros de texto han urdido, el historiador francés presenta en esta biografía en dos tomos a un humanista, un hombre de armas y de letras que vio en las tierras americanas la posibilidad, no de trasplantar una copia de la sociedad castellana, sino de inventar un mundo nuevo. Para Cortés, el mestizaje era la clave de este proyecto cultural. Publicada por primera vez en 2013, bajo el título de Crónica de la eternidad, esta segunda parte de la biografía cortesiana causó un gran revuelo al desmontar la autoría de Bernal Díaz del Castillo sobre la Historia verdadera de la conquista de la Nueva España y devolvérsela a su verdadero dueño: Hernán Cortés. La pluma nos presenta a un Cortés cronista de sí mismo, un escritor que supo fundar su legado a través de un magistral artificio literario: un auténtico conquistador de la memoria.
By Catherine Curzon. 2020
Follow the sensational lives of four Georgian Era royals through scandal, corruption, and coronation in this revealing family biography.For nearly…sixty years, King George III reigned over a tumultuous kingdom. His health and realm were in turmoil, while family life held challenges of its own. From the corpulent Prinny and the Grand Old Duke of York, to a king who battled the Lords and the disciplinarian Duke of Kent, this is the story of George III’s elder sons.Born during half a decafde of upheaval, George, Frederick, William, and Edward defined an era. Their scandals intrigued the nation and their efforts to build lives outside their parents’ shadow led them down diverse paths. Whether devoting themselves to the military or to pleasure, every moment was captured in the full glare of the spotlight.The sons of George III were prepared from infancy to take their place on the world’s stage, but as the king’s health failed and the country lurched from one drama to the next, they found that duty was easier said than done. With scandalous romances, illegal marriages, rumors of corruption and even the odd kidnapping plot, their lives were luridly dramatic, and never, ever dull.
By Lindsay O’Brien. 2017
A former officer of British South Africa&’s anti-terrorist unit recounts his experiences on the frontlines of the Rhodesian Bush war…from 1976–1980. A native of New Zealand, Lindsay &‘Kiwi&’ O&’Brien served in the British South Africa Police Support Unit&’s anti-terrorist battalion. He traveled across the country as a section leader and a troop commander before joining the UANC political armies as trainer and advisor. The BSA Support Unit started poorly supplied and equipped, but the caliber of the men, mostly African, was second-to-none. Support Unit specialized in the &“grunt&” work inside Rhodesia with none of the flamboyant helicopter or cross-border raids carried out by the army. O&’Brien&’s war was primarily within selected tribal lands, seeking out and destroying Communist guerilla units in brisk close-range battles with little to no support. O&’Brien moved from the police to working with the initial UANC deployment in the Zambezi Valley where the poorly trained recruits had to learn fast or die. O&’Brien&’s account is a foreign-born perspective from a junior commander uninterested in promotion and the wrangling of upper command. He was decorated and wounded three times.
One of the most eccentric and accomplished politicians in all of American history, John Randolph (1773--1833) led a life marked…by controversy. The long-serving Virginia congressman and architect of southern conservatism grabbed headlines with his prescient comments, public brawls, and clashes with every president from John Adams to Andrew Jackson. The first biography of Randolph in nearly a century, John Randolph of Roanoke provides a full account of the powerful Virginia planter's hard-charging life and his impact on the formation of conservative politics.The Randolph lineage loomed large in early America, and Randolph of Roanoke emerged as one of the most visible -- and certainly the most bombastic -- among his clan. A colorful orator with aristocratic manners, he entertained the House of Representatives (and newspaper readers across the country) with three-hour-long speeches on subjects of political import, drawing from classical references for his analogies, and famously pausing to gain "courage" from a tumbler at his side. Adept at satire and uncensored in his verbal attacks against colleagues, he invited challenges to duel from those he offended; in 1826, he and the then--secretary of state Henry Clay exchanged gunfire on the banks of the Potomac.A small-government Jeffersonian in political tastes, Randolph first entered Congress in 1799. As chairman of the powerful Ways and Means Committee he memorably turned on President Jefferson, once and for all, in 1805, believing his fellow Virginian to have compromised his republican values. As a result, Randolph led the "Old Republicans," a faction that sought to restrict the role of the federal government.In this rich biography, David Johnson draws upon an impressive array of primary sources -- Randolph's letters, speeches, and writings -- previously unavailable to scholars. John Randolph of Roanoke tells the story of a young nation and the unique philosophy of a southern lawmaker who defended America's agrarian tradition and reveled in his own controversy.
By Allen C. Guelzo. 2021
A WALL STREET JOURNAL BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR • From the award-winning historian and best-selling author of Gettysburg comes the definitive…biography of Robert E. Lee. An intimate look at the Confederate general in all his complexity—his hypocrisy and courage, his inner turmoil and outward calm, his disloyalty and his honor."An important contribution to reconciling the myths with the facts." —New York Times Book Review Robert E. Lee is one of the most confounding figures in American history. Lee betrayed his nation in order to defend his home state and uphold the slave system he claimed to oppose. He was a traitor to the country he swore to serve as an Army officer, and yet he was admired even by his enemies for his composure and leadership. He considered slavery immoral, but benefited from inherited slaves and fought to defend the institution. And behind his genteel demeanor and perfectionism lurked the insecurities of a man haunted by the legacy of a father who stained the family name by declaring bankruptcy and who disappeared when Robert was just six years old. In Robert E. Lee, the award-winning historian Allen Guelzo has written the definitive biography of the general, following him from his refined upbringing in Virginia high society, to his long career in the U.S. Army, his agonized decision to side with Virginia when it seceded from the Union, and his leadership during the Civil War. Above all, Guelzo captures Robert E. Lee in all his complexity--his hypocrisy and courage, his outward calm and inner turmoil, his honor and his disloyalty.
Mary Ann Shadd Cary was a courageous and outspoken nineteenth-century African American who used the press and public speaking to…fight slavery and oppression in the United States and Canada. Part of the small free black elite who used their education and limited freedoms to fight for the end of slavery and racial oppression, Shadd Cary is best known as the first African American woman to publish and edit a newspaper in North America. But her importance does not stop there. She was an active participant in many of the social and political movements that influenced nineteenth century abolition, black emigration and nationalism, women's rights, and temperance. Mary Ann Shadd Cary: The Black Press and Protest in the Nineteenth Century explores her remarkable life and offers a window on the free black experience, emergent black nationalisms, African American gender ideologies, and the formation of a black public sphere. This new edition contains a new epilogue and new photographs.
&“A thoroughly enjoyable story of heroism and true friendship&” (Publishers Weekly, starred review), this is the true account of a…German shepherd who was adopted by the Royal Air Force during World War II, flying countless combat missions and ultimately saving the life of his owner and dearest friend.In the winter of 1939, in the cold snow of no-man&’s-land, two loners met and began an extraordinary journey that would turn them into lifelong friends. One was an orphaned puppy, abandoned by his owners as they fled Nazi forces. The other was a different kind of lost soul—a Czech airman bound for the Royal Air Force and the country that he would come to call home. Airman Robert Bozdech stumbled across the tiny German shepherd—whom he named Ant—after being shot down on a daring mission over enemy lines. Unable to desert the puppy, Robert hid Ant inside his jacket as he escaped. In the months that followed, the pair would save each other&’s lives countless times as they flew together with RAF Bomber Command. Finally grounded after being injured on a flight mission, Ant refused to abandon his duty, and refusing food and sleep until they were reunited. By the end of the war, Robert and Ant had become true war heroes, and Ant was justly awarded the Dickin Medal, the &“Animal VC.&” With beautiful vintage black-and-white photos of Robert and Ant, The Dog Who Could Fly is a deeply moving story of loyalty in the face of adversity and the unshakable bond between a man and his best friend.