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The Army of the Potomac in the Overland and Petersburg Campaigns: Union Soldiers and Trench Warfare, 1864-1865
By Steven E. Sodergren. 2017
The final year of the Civil War witnessed a profound transformation in the practice of modern warfare, a shift that…produced unprecedented consequences for the soldiers fighting on the front lines. In The Army of the Potomac in the Overland and Petersburg Campaigns, Steven E. Sodergren examines the transition to trench warfare, the lengthy campaigns of attrition that resulted, and how these seemingly grim new realities affected the mindset and morale of Union soldiers.The 1864 Overland Campaign created tremendous physical and emotional suffering for the men of the Army of the Potomac as they faced a remarkable increase in the level and frequency of combat. By the end of this critical series of battles, surviving Union soldiers began to express considerable doubt in their cause and their leaders, as evidenced by widespread demoralization and the rising number of men deserting and disobeying orders. Yet, while the Petersburg campaign that followed further exposed the Army of the Potomac to the horrors of trench warfare, it proved both physically and psychologically regenerative. Comprehending that the extensive fortification network surrounding them benefitted their survival, soldiers quickly adjusted to life in the trenches despite the harsh conditions. The army’s static position allowed the Union logistical structure to supply the front lines with much-needed resources like food and mail—even a few luxuries. The elevated morale that resulted, combined with the reelection of Abraham Lincoln in November 1864 and the increasing number of deserters from the Confederate lines, only confirmed the growing belief among the soldiers in the trenches that Union victory was inevitable. Taken together, these aspects of the Petersburg experience mitigated the negative effects of trench warfare and allowed men to adapt more easily to their new world of combat.Sodergren explores the many factors that enabled the Army of the Potomac to endure the brutal physical conditions of trench warfare and emerge with a renewed sense of purpose as fighting resumed on the open battlefield in 1865. Drawing from soldiers’ letters and diaries, official military correspondence, and court-martial records, he paints a vivid picture of the daily lives of Union soldiers as they witnessed the beginnings of a profound shift in the way the world imagined and waged large-scale warfare.
By Steve E. Asher. 2016
The darkest stories from the nefarious “Castle on the Cumberland” from a former prison guard and paranormal expert. “The place…sits on blood as surely as it does on stone and earth.”The Kentucky State penitentiary opened its heavy iron gates to the condemned over 100 years ago—yet many of them, long deceased, still walk its corridors.Noted paranormal researcher Steve E. Asher provides true, first-hand accounts of the paranormal as well as his own personal experiences at the state’s most violent, controversial—and haunted—prison. He uncovers the shocking testimonies of the men and women who have actually worked behind the prison walls and their encounters with the spirits of dead inmates.The compelling facts found inside this book will leave you questioning everything you ever thought possible about life after death.
By Steve E. Asher. 2018
Macabre accounts of the lingering spirits who were once subjected to primitive and barbaric medical practices in Kentucky’s iconic mental…hospital. The Western Lunatic Asylum has held the interest of people worldwide for decades. Anyone who passes beneath the grand silver dome can feel something menacing from within. For over one hundred and twenty years, this hellish building has stirred with secrets. The mad, the violent, and the disenfranchised of Western Kentucky have languished here inside its dark medical wards, the victims of garish experiments and arcane medical practices.In Hauntings of the Western Lunatic Asylum, author Steve E. Asher brings you chilling real-life encounters of haunting paranormal activity from those who have worked inside the aged madhouse. Discarded orphans, the feeble minded and the criminally insane living together and now locked inside a man-made purgatory. They remain hopeless and filled with inhuman rage. Steve E. Asher brings you gripping stories that only a small handful of people even knew existed.Do you dare look further? Do you dare to enter the Western Lunatic Asylum?
By Traci Bliss. 2021
The epic saga of Big Basin began in the late 1800s, when the surrounding communities saw their once "inexhaustible" redwood…forests vanishing. Expanding railways demanded timber as they crisscrossed the nation, but the more redwoods that fell to the woodman's axe, the greater the effects on the local climate. California's groundbreaking environmental movement attracted individuals from every walk of life. From the adopted son of a robber baron to a bohemian woman winemaker to a Jesuit priest, resilient campaigners produced an unparalleled model of citizen action. Join author Traci Bliss as she reveals the untold story of a herculean effort to preserve the ancient redwoods for future generations.
By Lynne A. Weikart. 2021
In Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Lynne A. Weikart dives into the mayoralty of Michael Bloomberg, offering an incisive analysis of Bloomberg's…policies during his 2002–2014 tenure as mayor of New York and highlighting his impact on New York City politics. Michael Bloomberg became mayor of New York just four months after the 9/11 terrorist destruction of the World Trade Center and he lead the rebuilding of a physically and emotionally devastated city so well that within two years, the city had budget surpluses. Weikart reveals how state and federal governments constrained Bloomberg's efforts to set municipal policy and implement his strategic goals in the areas of homelessness, low-income housing, poverty, education, and crime. External powers of state and federal governments are strong currents and Bloomberg's navigation of these currents often determined the outcome of his efforts.Weikart evaluates Michael Bloomberg's mayoral successes and failures in the face of various challenges: externally, the constraints of state government, and mandates imposed by federal and state courts; and, internally, the impasse between labor unions and Bloomberg. Weikart identifies and explores both the self-created restrictions of Mayor Bloomberg's own management style and the courage of Mike Bloomberg's leadership.
By James Green. 2013
1805. Thomas Jefferson is about to begin a second term, but with a new Vice President. Aaron Burr, dropped from…Jefferson ’s ticket, is a bitter and resentful man bent on revenge. In Boston Jean Marie Macleod, a middle-aged lawyer, is a worried man. His young and beautiful wife, Marie, seems restless and dissatisfied. Macleod decides to seek advice from a friend in New York and, while there, meets an old acquaintance, Sebastian Francisco de Miranda, South American freedom fighter, Russian secret agent and adventurer. This chance meeting sweeps Macleod into a dark and dangerous world of espionage and violence. His young wife, Marie, sets out to discover what has happened to her husband, also falls in with old friends and is sucked into the terrifying vortex. A Union Not Blessed is a story of treason and betrayal by those who founded America and were appointed its guardians, the men who had become the enemy within.
By Bill Minutaglio, Steven L. Davis. 2013
In November 1963 President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas. His death remains a defining moment for millions…of people but few understand the unstoppable forces that were building in the city long before this dramatic event played out before the world. Dallas 1963 is a riveting account of the convergence of a group of unyielding and highly focused protagonists in a city sometimes seemingly filled with hate for JFK. Wicked stabs of fate and circumstance steered these fascinating characters together: the richest man in the world, a combative military general, a Mafia don, a strident Congressman, thundering preachers and even the elegant owner of one of America's most famous stores. This book expertly narrates how the spiralling events surrounding these characters on the ground in Dallas ultimately brewed a toxic environment before the President's assassination. Using a wealth of new information, as well as the first ever examination of key primary documents, Bill Minutaglio and Steven L. Davis, both experts in their field, provide a comprehensive and detailed portrait of the place, the time and the people of these extraordinary events in American history. They also provide cautionary and controversial lessons rendering this time increasingly relevant for the modern age.
By Lynne Cheney. 2020
A vivid account of leadership focusing on the first four Virginia presidents--George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and James Monroe--from…the bestselling historian and author of James Madison.From a small expanse of land on the North American continent came four of the nation's first five presidents--a geographic dynasty whose members led a revolution, created a nation, and ultimately changed the world. George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and James Monroe were born, grew to manhood, and made their homes within a sixty-mile circle east of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Friends and rivals, they led in securing independence, hammering out the United States Constitution, and building a working republic. Acting together, they doubled the territory of the United States. From their disputes came American political parties and the weaponizing of newspapers, the media of the day. In this elegantly conceived and insightful new book from bestselling author Lynne Cheney, the four Virginians are not marble icons but vital figures deeply intent on building a nation where citizens could be free.Focusing on the intersecting roles these men played as warriors, intellectuals, and statesmen, Cheney takes us back to an exhilarating time when the Enlightenment opened new vistas for humankind. But even as the Virginians advanced liberty, equality, and human possibility, they held people in slavery and were slaveholders when they died. Lives built on slavery were incompatible with a free and just society; their actions contradicted the very ideals they espoused. They managed nonetheless to pass down those ideals, and they became powerful weapons for ending slavery. They inspired Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass and today undergird the freest nation on earth. Taking full measure of strengths and failures in the personal as well as the political lives of the men at the center of this book, Cheney offers a concise and original exploration of how the United States came to be.
By Peniel E. Joseph. 2020
This dual biography of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King upends longstanding preconceptions to transform our understanding of the twentieth…century's most iconic African American leaders.To most Americans, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr. represent contrasting ideals: self-defense vs. nonviolence, black power vs. civil rights, the sword vs. the shield. The struggle for black freedom is wrought with the same contrasts. While nonviolent direct action is remembered as an unassailable part of American democracy, the movement's militancy is either vilified or erased outright. In The Sword and the Shield, Peniel E. Joseph upends these misconceptions and reveals a nuanced portrait of two men who, despite markedly different backgrounds, inspired and pushed each other throughout their adult lives. This is a strikingly revisionist biography, not only of Malcolm and Martin, but also of the movement and era they came to define.
By Anthony Summers. 1985
The classic, definitive biography of Marilyn Monroe, now updated in the year of the 50th anniversary of the iconic star's…deathShe was born Norma Jeane but the world knew and loved her as Marilyn. Her life was one of unprecedented fame and private misery, her death a tragedy surrounded by mysteries. Drawing on first-hand interviews Anthony Summers offers both a classic biography and a shockingly revealing account of the screen goddess's relations with John and Robert Kennedy.'The definitive story of the legend ... more convincing at every page - told with all the coldness of truth and the authority of the historian, but at the end of it we still love Marilyn' Maeve Binchy, Irish Times
By Stacy Schiff. 2015
'An oppressive, forensic, psychological thriller: J.K. Rowling meets Antony Beevor, Stephen King and Marina Warner ... Schiff's writing is to…die for' THE TIMESIt began in 1692, over an exceptionally raw Massachusetts winter, when a minister's niece started to scream and convulse. It ended less than a year later, but not before panic had infected the entire colony, nineteen men and women had been hanged, and a band of adolescent girls had brought Massachusetts to its knees.Vividly capturing the dark, unsettled atmosphere of seventeenth-century America, Stacy Schiff's magisterial history draws us into this anxious time. She shows us how quickly the epidemic of accusations, trials, and executions span out of control. Above all, Schiff's astonishing research reveals details and complexity that few other historians have seen.
The Politics of Whiteness presents the first sustained analysis of white racial identity among workers in what was the South's…largest industry--the textile industry--for much of the twentieth century. Grounding her work in a study of Rome, Georgia, and surrounding Floyd County from the Great Depression to the 1970s, Michelle Brattain paints a richly textured local portrait of how the varied social benefits of whiteness shaped the experience of textile millhands and, as a result, Southern politics. In doing so, she challenges traditional views of Southern politics as dominated by elites and marked by passivity among Southern workers. Brattain uncovers considerable white working-class political influence and activism for decades starting in the 1930s--which, by re-creating and defending Southern institutions grounded in the idea of racial difference, helped pave the way for resistance to the civil rights movement.Structured chronologically, this book revises the current understanding, in the Southern working-class context, of paternalism, the New Deal, the 1934 General Textile Strike, the Second World War, and the Fair Employment Practices Commission. It addresses the vast influence of Eugene Talmadge and his son in twentieth-century Georgia politics, and the emergence of Republican influence in the South. Finally there came the moment when formerly explicit defenses of white supremacy were transformed into an intangible, but still powerful, politics of whiteness. The Politics of Whiteness will interest anyone concerned with the history of American politics, the labor movement, or race in America.
By Kinshasha Holman Conwill, Paul Gardullo. 2017
The companion volume to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture exhibit, opening in September 2021With a…Foreword by Pulitzer Prize-winning author and historian Eric Foner and a preface by veteran museum director and historian Spencer CrewAn incisive and illuminating analysis of the enduring legacy of the post-Civil War period known as Reconstruction—a comprehensive story of Black Americans’ struggle for human rights and dignity and the failure of the nation to fulfill its promises of freedom, citizenship, and justice.In the aftermath of the Civil War, millions of free and newly freed African Americans were determined to define themselves as equal citizens in a country without slavery—to own land, build secure families, and educate themselves and their children. Seeking to secure safety and justice, they successfully campaigned for civil and political rights, including the right to vote. Across an expanding America, Black politicians were elected to all levels of government, from city halls to state capitals to Washington, DC.But those gains were short-lived. By the mid-1870s, the federal government stopped enforcing civil rights laws, allowing white supremacists to use suppression and violence to regain power in the Southern states. Black men, women, and children suffered racial terror, segregation, and discrimination that confined them to second-class citizenship, a system known as Jim Crow that endured for decades. More than a century has passed since the revolutionary political, social, and economic movement known as Reconstruction, yet its profound consequences reverberate in our lives today. Make Good the Promises explores five distinct yet intertwined legacies of Reconstruction—Liberation, Violence, Repair, Place, and Belief—to reveal their lasting impact on modern society. It is the story of Frederick Douglass, Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, Hiram Revels, Ida B. Wells, and scores of other Black men and women who reshaped a nation—and of the persistence of white supremacy and the perpetuation of the injustices of slavery continued by other means and codified in state and federal laws.With contributions by leading scholars, and illustrated with 80 images from the exhibition, Make Good the Promises shows how Black Lives Matter, #SayHerName, antiracism, and other current movements for repair find inspiration from the lessons of Reconstruction. It touches on questions critical then and now: What is the meaning of freedom and equality? What does it mean to be an American? Powerful and eye-opening, it is a reminder that history is far from past; it lives within each of us and shapes our world and who we are.
By Nathaniel Philbrick. 2021
"Both a lighthearted travelogue and a timely exploration of Washington&’s historical legacy."—The Wall Street Journal Does George Washington still matter? Bestselling author…Nathaniel Philbrick argues for Washington's unique contribution to the forging of America by retracing his journey as a new president through all thirteen former colonies, which were now an unsure nation. Travels with George marks a new first-person voice for Philbrick, weaving history and personal reflection into a single narrative.When George Washington became president in 1789, the United States of America was still a loose and quarrelsome confederation and a tentative political experiment. Washington undertook a tour of the ex-colonies to talk to ordinary citizens about his new government, and to imbue in them the idea of being one thing--Americans.In the fall of 2018, Nathaniel Philbrick embarked on his own journey into what Washington called "the infant woody country" to see for himself what America had become in the 229 years since. Writing in a thoughtful first person about his own adventures with his wife Melissa and their dog Dora, Philbrick follows Washington's presidential excursions: from Mount Vernon to the new capital in New York; a month-long tour of Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island; a venture onto Long Island and eventually across Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina. The narrative moves smoothly between the eighteenth and twenty-first centuries as we see the country through both Washington's and Philbrick's eyes.Written at a moment when America's founding figures are under increasing scrutiny, Travels with George grapples bluntly and honestly with Washington's legacy as a man of the people, a reluctant president, and a plantation owner who held people in slavery. At historic houses and landmarks, Philbrick reports on the reinterpretations at work as he meets reenactors, tour guides, and other keepers of history's flame. He paints a picture of eighteenth century America as divided and fraught as it is today, and he comes to understand how Washington compelled, enticed, stood up to, and listened to the many different people he met along the way--and how his all-consuming belief in the Union helped to forge a nation.
By Joshua Prager. 2021
A masterpiece of reporting on the Supreme Court’s most divisive case, Roe v. Wade, and the unknown lives at its…heart. Despite her famous pseudonym, “Jane Roe,” no one knows the truth about Norma McCorvey (1947–2017), whose unwanted pregnancy in 1969 opened a great fracture in American life. Journalist Joshua Prager spent hundreds of hours with Norma, discovered her personal papers—a previously unseen trove—and witnessed her final moments. The Family Roe presents her life in full. Propelled by the crosscurrents of sex and religion, gender and class, it is a life that tells the story of abortion in America. Prager begins that story on the banks of Louisiana’s Atchafalaya River where Norma was born, and where unplanned pregnancies upended generations of her forebears. A pregnancy then upended Norma’s life too, and the Dallas waitress became Jane Roe. Drawing on a decade of research, Prager reveals the woman behind the pseudonym, writing in novelistic detail of her unknown life from her time as a sex worker in Dallas, to her private thoughts on family and abortion, to her dealings with feminist and Christian leaders, to the three daughters she placed for adoption. Prager found those women, including the youngest—Baby Roe—now fifty years old. She shares her story in The Family Roe for the first time, from her tortured interactions with her birth mother, to her emotional first meeting with her sisters, to the burden that was uniquely hers from conception. The Family Roe abounds in such revelations—not only about Norma and her children but about the broader “family” connected to the case. Prager tells the stories of activists and bystanders alike whose lives intertwined with Roe. In particular, he introduces three figures as important as they are unknown: feminist lawyer Linda Coffee, who filed the original Texas lawsuit yet now lives in obscurity; Curtis Boyd, a former fundamentalist Christian, today a leading provider of third-trimester abortions; and Mildred Jefferson, the first black female Harvard Medical School graduate, who became a pro-life leader with great secrets. An epic work spanning fifty years of American history, The Family Roe will change the way you think about our enduring American divide: the right to choose or the right to life.
By Jean Alicia Elster. 2021
How It Happens follows the story of author Jean Alicia Elster’s maternal grandmother, Dorothy May Jackson. Born in Tennessee in…1890, Dorothy May was the middle daughter of Addie Jackson, a married African-American housekeeper at one of the white boardinghouses in town, and Tom Mitchell, a commanding white attorney from a prominent family. Through three successive generations of African-American women, Elster intertwines the fictionalized adaptations of the defining periods and challenges—race relations, miscegenation, sexual assault, and class divisions—in her family’s history. A continuation of the plots begun in Elster’s two novels Who’s Jim Hines? and The Colored Car, How It Happens continues the story for an older audience and begins with Addie’s life before the turn of the century in the South as a married Black woman with three biracial daughters navigating the relationship between her husband and Tom Mitchell. Later the story shifts to Addie’s daughter Dorothy May’s experiences both as a child and later, as a teacher who, choosing between her career and marriage to a man she barely knows, moves to Detroit. The story moves along with Dorothy May’s daughter Jean, who, with the support of her mother and the memory of her grandmother, confronts and comes to terms with her role in society and the options available to her as a college-educated Black woman in the post–World War II industrial North. While there is struggle and hardship for each of these women, they each build off one other and continue to demand space in the world in which they live. Written for young adult readers, How It Happens carries the heart through the obstacles that still face women of color today and persists in holding open the door of communication between generations.
By Darla Worden. 2021
The story of Ernest Hemingway and Pauline Pfeiffer during six summers from 1928 through 1939—each showing Hemingway at a different…place in his writing as well as a different stage of their marriage.In March 1928, after the phenomenal success of The Sun Also Rises, Ernest Hemingway returned to the United States with his second wife, Pauline Pfeiffer—the stylish Vogue editor and scorned "other woman" who would give up everything to be with him and, in the end, lose it all. The couple fled Paris in the wake of the huge gossip storm about the American author's affair and abandonment of his wife and son. Escaping to Wyoming's Big Horn Mountains to write while Pauline recovered from the birth of their first child, he finished A Farewell to Arms and fell in love with the land around him. Pauline soon joined him in Yellowstone and Jackson Hole.In Cockeyed Happy Darla Worden tells the little-known story of Hemingway and Pauline during six summers from 1928 to 1939—from smitten newlywed to bored, restless husband and ultimately to philanderer as he falls in love with another woman once again.
By Barack Obama. 2021
Find inspiration in these messages of hope from the forty-fourth president of the United States.This curated collection of landmark speeches…chronicles Barack Obama&’s presence on the national stage, from his time as a senator from Illinois to his eight-year term as the 44th president of the United States—and also includes notable speeches he made after he left the White House. Obama&’s eloquent speaking style and ability to connect to a wide range of audiences made him one of the most admired presidents in recent memory, even as he dealt with staunch party-line opposition in Congress. Barack Obama Selected Speeches is a volume that will appeal to those with a keen interest in history, politics, and the role that the United States has played in shaping today&’s world.
By Stephen Breyer. 2021
A sitting justice reflects upon the authority of the Supreme Court—how that authority was gained and how measures to restructure…the Court could undermine both the Court and the constitutional system of checks and balances that depends on it. A growing chorus of officials and commentators argues that the Supreme Court has become too political. On this view the confirmation process is just an exercise in partisan agenda-setting, and the jurists are no more than “politicians in robes”—their ostensibly neutral judicial philosophies mere camouflage for conservative or liberal convictions. Stephen Breyer, drawing upon his experience as a Supreme Court justice, sounds a cautionary note. Mindful of the Court’s history, he suggests that the judiciary’s hard-won authority could be marred by reforms premised on the assumption of ideological bias. Having, as Hamilton observed, “no influence over either the sword or the purse,” the Court earned its authority by making decisions that have, over time, increased the public’s trust. If public trust is now in decline, one part of the solution is to promote better understandings of how the judiciary actually works: how judges adhere to their oaths and how they try to avoid considerations of politics and popularity. Breyer warns that political intervention could itself further erode public trust. Without the public’s trust, the Court would no longer be able to act as a check on the other branches of government or as a guarantor of the rule of law, risking serious harm to our constitutional system.
By Chris Pearson. 2021
Dogopolis presents a surprising source for urban innovation in the history of three major cities: human-canine relationships. Stroll through…any American or European city today and you probably won’t get far before seeing a dog being taken for a walk. It’s expected that these domesticated animals can easily navigate sidewalks, streets, and other foundational elements of our built environment. But what if our cities were actually shaped in response to dogs more than we ever realized? Chris Pearson’s Dogopolis boldly and convincingly asserts that human-canine relations were a crucial factor in the formation of modern urban living. Focusing on New York, London, and Paris from the early nineteenth century into the 1930s, Pearson shows that human reactions to dogs significantly remolded them and other contemporary western cities. It’s an unalterable fact that dogs—often filthy, bellicose, and sometimes off-putting—run away, spread rabies, defecate, and breed wherever they like, so as dogs became a more and more common in nineteenth-century middle-class life, cities had to respond to people’s fear of them and revulsion at their least desirable traits. The gradual integration of dogs into city life centered on disgust at dirt, fear of crime and vagrancy, and the promotion of humanitarian sentiments. On the other hand, dogs are some people’s most beloved animal companions, and human compassion and affection for pets and strays were equally powerful forces in shaping urban modernity. Dogopolis details the complex interrelations among emotions, sentiment, and the ways we manifest our feelings toward what we love—showing that together they can actually reshape society.