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By Thomas Rid. 2020
This revelatory and dramatic history of disinformation traces the rise of secret organized deception operations from the interwar period to…contemporary internet troll farmsWe live in the age of disinformation—of organized deception. Spy agencies pour vast resources into hacking, leaking, and forging data, often with the goal of weakening the very foundation of liberal democracy: trust in facts. Thomas Rid, a renowned expert on technology and national security, was one of the first to sound the alarm. More than four months before the 2016 election, he warned that Russian military intelligence was “carefully planning and timing a high-stakes political campaign" to disrupt the democratic process. But as crafty as such so-called active measures have become, they are not new. The story of modern disinformation begins with the post-Russian Revolution clash between communism and capitalism, which would come to define the Cold War. In Active Measures, Rid reveals startling intelligence and security secrets from materials written in more than ten languages across several nations, and from interviews with current and former operatives. He exposes the disturbing yet colorful history of professional, organized lying, revealing for the first time some of the century’s most significant operations—many of them nearly beyond belief. A White Russian ploy backfires and brings down a New York police commissioner; a KGB-engineered, anti-Semitic hate campaign creeps back across the Iron Curtain; the CIA backs a fake publishing empire, run by a former Wehrmacht U-boat commander, that produces Germany’s best jazz magazine. Rid tracks the rise of leaking, and shows how spies began to exploit emerging internet culture many years before WikiLeaks. Finally, he sheds new light on the 2016 election, especially the role of the infamous “troll farm” in St. Petersburg as well as a much more harmful attack that unfolded in the shadows.Active Measures takes the reader on a guided tour deep into a vast hall of mirrors old and new, pointing to a future of engineered polarization, more active and less measured—but also offering the tools to cut through the deception.
By Kristin T. Stowe. 2021
Best known as the capital of the Confederacy, Richmond's history encompasses much more than the Civil War. Visit the state…capitol, designed by Thomas Jefferson, and tour Shockoe Bottom, one of the city's oldest neighborhoods. Follow the route that enslaved people took from the ships to the auction block on the Richmond Slave Trail. Go back to Gilded Age Richmond at the Jefferson Hotel and learn the history of the statues that once lined the famed Monument Avenue. See lesser-known sites like the Maggie Walker Home and the Black History Museum in the historically African American Jackson Ward neighborhood. Local author Kristin Thrower Stowe guides a series of expeditions through the River City's past.
By Jason Weems. 2021
Witness the rise of a metropolis from the tiny frontier outpost of Waterloo into a world leader in culture and…technology. Discover the lost treasure of Shoal Creek in Pease Park or just a sense of inner peace amid the koi ponds and waterfalls of the Zilker Botanical Garden. Like the bats of Congress Avenue, navigate Austin neighborhoods by sound, taking cues from Stevie Ray Vaughan's beloved guitar and Angelina Eberly's city-saving cannon. Award-winning tour guide Jason Weems charts a course through Austin's heritage, treading the back streets stalked by a serial killer and the stately halls of the Texas State History Museum.
By Pat Jollota. 2018
Before midnight on March 19, 1950, several startled bystanders watched two men force a screaming young woman into a car…and drive away from Saint Joseph's Hospital in Vancouver. One of them yelled out that she was his wife and was drunk. That was the last time anyone saw JoAnn Dewey alive. Her battered, naked body washed up on the banks of the Wind River seven days later. Suspicion quickly fell on two brothers, Turman and Utah Wilson, who fled town before police caught them in Sacramento. Their arrest and sensational trial captivated and divided the peaceful community. Author Pat Jollota uncovers the chilling details of this tragic story.
By James Agee, Walker Evans. 1940
In the summer of 1936, James Agee and Walker Evans set out on assignment for Fortune magazine to explore the…daily lives of sharecroppers in the South. <P><P>Their journey would prove an extraordinary collaboration and a watershed literary event when in 1941 LET US NOW PRAISE FAMOUS MEN was first published to enormous critical acclaim. <P>This unsparing record of place, of the people who shaped the land, and of the rhythm of their lives was called intensely moving and unrelentingly honest, and is "renowned for its fusion of social conscience and artistic radicality" (New York Times). <P>Today it stands as a poetic tract of its time, recognized by the New York Public Library as one of the most influential books of the twentieth century. <P>With an elegant new design as well as a sixty-four-page photographic prologue of Evans's classic images, reproduced from archival negatives, this sixtieth anniversary edition reintroduces the legendary author and photographer to a new generation.
By James Dieugenio. 2013
Reclaiming Parkland details the failed attempt of Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman--cofounder of the production company Playtone--to make Vincent Bugliosi's…mammoth book about the Kennedy assassination, Reclaiming History, into a miniseries. It exposes the questionable origins of Reclaiming History in a dubious mock trial for cable television, in which Bugliosi played the role of an attorney prosecuting Lee Harvey Oswald for murder, and how this formed the basis for the epic tome. Author James DiEugenio details the myriad problems with Bugliosi's book, and explores the cooperation of the mainstream press in concealing these many faults during the publicity campaign for the book and how this lack of scrutiny led Hanks and Goetzman to purchase the film rights. DiEugenio then shows how the film eventually adapted from that book, entitled Parkland, does not even resemble Reclaiming History, though the script for that film displays the same imbalance that Reclaiming History does.Reclaiming Parkland also includes extended looks at the little-known aspects of the lives and careers of Bugliosi, Hanks, and Goetzman--including Bugliosi's three attempts at political office and a review of the Tate-LaBianca murders in the light of today's knowledge of that case. DiEugenio also looks at the connections between Washington and Hollywood, as well as the CIA influence in the film colony today. Reclaiming Parkland is a truly unique book that delves into the Kennedy assassination, the New Hollywood, and the political influence on how films are made today.
Nathan Raab, America&’s preeminent rare documents dealer, describes his years as the Sherlock Holmes of historical artifacts—questing after precious finds…and determining their authenticity—and he shows us what the past can tell us about the present.A box uncovered in a Maine attic with twenty letters written by Alexander Hamilton; a handheld address to Congress by President George Washington; a long-lost Gold Medal that belonged to an American President; a note that Winston Churchill wrote to his captor when he was a young POW in South Africa; paperwork signed and filled out by Amelia Earhart when she became the first woman to fly the Atlantic; an American flag carried to the moon and back by Neil Armstrong; an unpublished letter written by Albert Einstein, discussing his theory of relativity. Each day, people from all over the world contact Nathan Raab for help understanding what they have, what it might be worth, and how to sell it. The Raab Collection&’s president, Nathan is a modern-day treasure hunter and one of the world&’s most prominent dealers of historical artifacts. Most weeks, he travels the country, scours auctions, or fields phone calls and emails from people who think they may have found something of note in a grandparent&’s attic. In The Hunt for History, Raab shares some fascinating stories about his professional exploits: spotting a letter from British officials that secured the Rosetta Stone; discovering a piece of the first electric cable laid by Edison; restoring a fragmented letter from Andrew Jackson that led to the infamous Trail of Tears; and locating copies of missing audio that had been recorded on Air Force One as the plane brought JFK&’s body back to Washington. Whether it&’s the first report of Napoleon&’s death or an unpublished letter penned by Albert Einstein to a curious soldier, every document and artifact Raab uncovers comes with a spellbinding story—and often offers new insights into a life we thought we knew.
By Kathleen J. Turner. 1998
This collection argues that rhetorical history, both as a methodology and as a perspective, offers insights that are central to…the study of communication and unavailable through other approaches. The conceptualizations and methodologies of rhetorical history will increase in significance during the burgeoning "Communication Age" as we seek to cope with the present and prepare for the future by better understanding the past. This volume serves as an overview of a recently neglected methodological approach and acts as the first step in ending that neglect.
By Thomas D'Agostino, Arlene Nicholson. 2018
The Blackstone Valley is alive with the echoes of souls that roam the old mills, homes, social clubs and land…they once inhabited. Visit a haunted monument in Cumberland, where nine colonists slain in King Philip's War may linger. Shop at an antique store in Chepachet that harbors more than just treasures from the past. Enjoy drinks with the other kind of spirits in historic establishments like the Granville Pub and the Tavern on Main. Take a hike through Precious Blood Cemetery, where ghosts may wander endlessly searching for their loved ones. Join authors Thomas D'Agostino and Arlene Nicholson on a tour of the most haunted places in the Blackstone Valley.
By Rosaura Sánchez, Beatrice Pita. 2020
In Spatial and Discursive Violence in the US Southwest Rosaura Sánchez and Beatrice Pita examine literary representations of settler colonial…land enclosure and dispossession in the history of New Mexico, Texas, and Oklahoma. Sánchez and Pita analyze a range of Chicano/a and Native American novels, films, short stories, and other cultural artifacts from the eighteenth century to the present, showing how Chicano/a works often celebrate an idealized colonial Spanish past as a way to counter stereotypes of Mexican and Indigenous racial and ethnic inferiority. As they demonstrate, these texts often erase the participation of Spanish and Mexican settlers in the dispossession of Indigenous lands. Foregrounding the relationship between literature and settler colonialism, they consider how literary representations of land are manipulated and redefined in ways that point to the changing practices of dispossession. In so doing, Sánchez and Pita prompt critics to reconsider the role of settler colonialism in the deep history of the United States and how spatial and discursive violence are always correlated.
By Patti Unvericht. 2018
New York's Finger Lakes region is filled with compelling characters, tragic disasters and fascinating mysteries.Famed daredevil Sam Patch, known as…the "Yankee Leaper," thrilled audiences at Niagara Falls but took his last jump into the Genesee River with his pet black bear, plummeting to his death. The first ever Memorial Day was celebrated in Waterloo in 1866 and inspired a nation to adopt the holiday. Seneca Lake claims its fair share of ships, including the Onondaga, which was blown up with dynamite as part of a spectacle to commemorate the sinking of the USS Maine. Author Patti Unvericht reveals the forgotten history of the Finger Lakes region.
By Bettye Kearse. 2020
"A Roots for a new generation, rich in storytelling and steeped in history." —Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review "A compelling saga that…gives a voice to those that history tried to erase...Poignant and eye-opening, this is a must-read."—Booklist In The Other Madisons, Bettye Kearse—a descendant of an enslaved cook and, according to oral tradition, President James Madison—shares her family story and explores the issues of legacy, race, and the powerful consequences of telling the whole truth. For thousands of years, West African griots (men) and griottes (women) have recited the stories of their people. Without this tradition Bettye Kearse would not have known that she is a descendant of President James Madison and his slave, and half-sister, Coreen. In 1990, Bettye became the eighth-generation griotte for her family. Their credo—&“Always remember—you&’re a Madison. You come from African slaves and a president&”—was intended to be a source of pride, but for her, it echoed with abuses of slavery, including rape and incest. Confronting those abuses, Bettye embarked on a journey of discovery—of her ancestors, the nation, and herself. She learned that wherever African slaves walked, recorded history silenced their voices and buried their footsteps: beside a slave-holding fortress in Ghana; below a federal building in New York City; and under a brick walkway at James Madison&’s Virginia plantation. When Bettye tried to confirm the information her ancestors had passed down, she encountered obstacles at every turn. Part personal quest, part testimony, part historical correction, The Other Madisons is the saga of an extraordinary American family told by a griotte in search of the whole story.
By David Michaelis. 2020
Prizewinning bestselling author David Michaelis presents a breakthrough portrait of Eleanor Roosevelt, America’s longest-serving First Lady, an avatar of democracy…whose ever-expanding agency as diplomat, activist, and humanitarian made her one of the world’s most widely admired and influential women. In the first single-volume cradle-to-grave portrait in six decades, acclaimed biographer David Michaelis delivers a stunning account of Eleanor Roosevelt’s remarkable life of transformation. An orphaned niece of President Theodore Roosevelt, she converted her Gilded Age childhood of denial and secrecy into an irreconcilable marriage with her ambitious fifth cousin Franklin. <P><P>Despite their inability to make each other happy, Franklin Roosevelt transformed Eleanor from a settlement house volunteer on New York’s Lower East Side into a matching partner in New York’s most important power couple in a generation. When Eleanor discovered Franklin’s betrayal with her younger, prettier social secretary, Lucy Mercer, she offered a divorce and vowed to face herself honestly. Here is an Eleanor both more vulnerable and more aggressive, more psychologically aware and sexually adaptable than we knew. She came to accept FDR’s bond with his executive assistant, Missy LeHand; she allowed her children to live their own lives, as she never could; and she explored her sexual attraction to women, among them a star female reporter on FDR’s first presidential campaign, and younger men. Eleanor needed emotional connection. She pursued deeper relationships wherever she could find them. Throughout her life and travels, there was always another person or place she wanted to heal. <P><P>As FDR struggled to recover from polio, Eleanor became a voice for the voiceless, her husband’s proxy in presidential ambition, and then the people’s proxy in the White House. Later, she would be the architect of international human rights and world citizen of the Atomic Age, urging Americans to cope with the anxiety of global annihilation by cultivating a “world mind.” She insisted that we cannot live for ourselves alone but must learn to live together or we will die together. Drawing on new research, Michaelis’s riveting portrait is not just a comprehensive biography of a major American figure, but the story of an American ideal: how our freedom is always a choice. Eleanor rediscovers a model of what is noble and evergreen in the American character, a model we need today more than ever. <P><P><b>A New York Times Bestseller</b>
By Jonathan Allen, Amie Parnes. 2021
The inside story of the historic 2020 presidential election and Joe Biden&’s harrowing ride to victory, from the #1 New…York Times bestselling authors of Shattered, the definitive account of Hillary Clinton&’s 2016 campaign. Almost no one thought Joe Biden could make it back to the White House—not Donald Trump, not the two dozen Democratic rivals who sought to take down a weak front-runner, not the mega-donors and key endorsers who feared he could not beat Bernie Sanders, not even Barack Obama. The story of Biden&’s cathartic victory in the 2020 election is the story of a Democratic Party at odds with itself, torn between the single-minded goal of removing Donald Trump and the push for a bold progressive agenda that threatened to alienate as many voters as it drew. In Lucky, #1 New York Times bestselling authors Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes use their unparalleled access to key players inside the Democratic and Republican campaigns to unfold how Biden&’s nail-biting run for the presidency vexed his own party as much as it did Trump. Having premised his path on unlocking the Black vote in South Carolina, Biden nearly imploded before he got there after a relentless string of misfires left him freefalling in polls and nearly broke. Allen and Parnes brilliantly detail the remarkable string of chance events that saved him, from the botched Iowa caucus tally that concealed his terrible result, to the pandemic lockdown that kept him off the stump, where he was often at his worst. More powerfully, Lucky unfolds the pitched struggle within Biden&’s general election campaign to downplay the very issues that many Democrats believed would drive voters to the polls, especially in the wake of Trump&’s response to nationwide protests following the murder of George Floyd. Even Biden&’s victory did not salve his party&’s wounds; instead, it revealed a surprising, complicated portrait of American voters and crushed Democrats&’ belief in the inevitability of a blue wave. A thrilling masterpiece of political reporting, Lucky is essential reading for understanding the most important election in American history and the future that will come of it.
By Jonathan Alter. 2020
From one of America&’s most-respected journalists and modern historians comes the first full-length biography of Jimmy Carter, the thirty-ninth president…of the United States and Nobel Prize–winning humanitarian. Jonathan Alter tells the epic story of an enigmatic man of faith and his improbable journey from barefoot boy to global icon. Alter paints an intimate and surprising portrait of the only president since Thomas Jefferson who can fairly be called a Renaissance Man, a complex figure—ridiculed and later revered—with a piercing intelligence, prickly intensity, and biting wit beneath the patented smile. Here is a moral exemplar for our times, a flawed but underrated president of decency and vision who was committed to telling the truth to the American people. Growing up in one of the meanest counties in the Jim Crow South, Carter is the only American president who essentially lived in three centuries: his early life on the farm in the 1920s without electricity or running water might as well have been in the nineteenth; his presidency put him at the center of major events in the twentieth; and his efforts on conflict resolution and global health set him on the cutting edge of the challenges of the twenty-first. Drawing on fresh archival material and five years of extensive access to Carter and his entire family, Alter traces how he evolved from a timid, bookish child—raised mostly by a black woman farmhand—into an ambitious naval nuclear engineer writing passionate, never-before-published love letters from sea to his wife and full partner, Rosalynn; a peanut farmer and civic leader whose guilt over staying silent during the civil rights movement and not confronting the white terrorism around him helped power his quest for racial justice at home and abroad; an obscure, born-again governor whose brilliant 1976 campaign demolished the racist wing of the Democratic Party and took him from zero percent to the presidency; a stubborn outsider who failed politically amid the bad economy of the 1970s and the seizure of American hostages in Iran but succeeded in engineering peace between Israel and Egypt, amassing a historic environmental record, moving the government from tokenism to diversity, setting a new global standard for human rights, and normalizing relations with China among other unheralded and far-sighted achievements. After leaving office, Carter eradicated diseases, built houses for the poor, and taught Sunday school into his mid-nineties. This engrossing, monumental biography will change our understanding of perhaps the most misunderstood president in American history.
By James Shapiro. 2020
From leading scholar James Shapiro, a timely exploration of what Shakespeare&’s plays reveal about our divided land, from Revolutionary times…to the present dayThe plays of William Shakespeare are rare common ground in the United States. They are read at school by almost every student, staged in theaters across the land, and long valued by conservatives and liberals alike. For well over two centuries, Americans of all stripes—presidents and activists, writers and soldiers—have turned to Shakespeare&’s works to explore the nation&’s fault lines, including such issues as manifest destiny, race, gender, immigration, and free speech. In a narrative arching across the centuries, from Revolutionary times to the present day, leading scholar James Shapiro traces the unparalleled role of Shakespeare's four-hundred-year-old tragedies and comedies in illuminating the many concerns on which American identity has turned. Reflecting on how Shakespeare has been invoked—and at times weaponized—at pivotal moments in our past, Shapiro takes us from President John Quincy Adams&’s disgust with Desdemona&’s interracial marriage to Othello, to Abraham Lincoln&’s and his assassin John Wilkes Booth&’s competing obsessions with the plays, up through the fraught debates over marriage and same-sex love at the heart of the celebrated adaptations Kiss Me, Kate and Shakespeare in Love. His narrative culminates in the 2017 controversy over the staging of Julius Caesar in Central Park, in which a Trump-like leader is assassinated. Deeply researched, and timely, Shakespeare in a Divided America reveals how no writer has been more closely embraced by Americans, or has shed more light on the hot-button issues in our history. Indeed, it is by better understanding Shakespeare's role in American life, Shapiro argues, that we might begin to mend our bitterly divided land.
Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail” is arguably the most important written document of the civil rights protest…era and a widely read modern literary classic. Personally addressed to eight white Birmingham clergy who sought to avoid violence by publicly discouraging King’s civil rights demonstrations in Birmingham, the nationally published “Letter” captured the essence of the struggle for racial equality and provided a blistering critique of the gradualist approach to racial justice. It soon became part of American folklore, and the image of King penning his epistle from a prison cell remains among the most moving of the era. Yet, as S. Jonathan Bass explains in the first comprehensive history of King’s “Letter,” this image and the piece’s literary appeal conceal a much more complex tale.This updated edition of Blessed Are the Peacemakers includes a new foreword by Paul Harvey, a new afterword by James C. Cobb, and a new epilogue by the author.
The mesmerizing biography of a brilliant and eccentric surgeon and his quest to transplant the human soul.In the early days…of the Cold War, a spirit of desperate scientific rivalry birthed a different kind of space race: not the race to outer space that we all know, but a race to master the inner space of the human body. While surgeons on either side of the Iron Curtain competed to become the first to transplant organs like the kidney and heart, a young American neurosurgeon had an even more ambitious thought: Why not transplant the brain? Dr. Robert White was a friend to two popes and a founder of the Vatican&’s Commission on Bioethics. He developed lifesaving neurosurgical techniques still used in hospitals today and was nominated for the Nobel Prize. But like Dr. Jekyll before him, Dr. White had another identity. In his lab, he was waging a battle against the limits of science, and against mortality itself—working to perfect a surgery that would allow the soul to live on after the human body had died. Mr. Humble and Dr. Butcher follows his decades-long quest into tangled matters of science, global politics, and faith, revealing the complex (and often murky) ethics of experimentation and remarkable innovations that today save patients from certain death. It&’s an enthralling tale that offers a window into our greatest fears and our greatest hopes—and the long, strange journey from science fiction to science fact.
By Bruce Levine. 2019
The definitive biography of one of the 19th century&’s greatest statesmen, encompassing his decades-long fight against slavery, his key role…in the Union war effort, and his postwar struggle to bring racial justice to America. Thaddeus Stevens was among the first to see the Civil War as an opportunity for a second American revolution—a chance to remake the country as a true multiracial democracy. One of the foremost abolitionists in Congress in the years leading up to the war, he was a leader of the young Republican Party&’s radical wing, fighting for anti-slavery and anti-racist policies long before party colleagues like Abraham Lincoln endorsed them. It was he, for instance, who urged Lincoln early on to free those enslaved throughout the US and to welcome black men into the Union&’s armies. During the Reconstruction era following the Civil War, Stevens demanded equal civil and political rights for black Americans, rights eventually embodied in the 14th and 15th amendments. But while Stevens in many ways pushed his party—and America—towards equality, he also championed ideas too radical for his fellow Congressmen ever to support, such as confiscating large slaveholders&’ estates and dividing the land among those who had been enslaved. In Thaddeus Stevens: Civil War Revolutionary, acclaimed historian Bruce Levine has written the definitive biography of one of the most visionary statesmen of the 19th century and a forgotten champion for racial justice in America.
By Paulina Bren. 2021
From award-winning author Paulina Bren comes the first history of New York&’s most famous residential hotel—The Barbizon—and the remarkable women…who lived there.WELCOME TO NEW YORK&’S LEGENDARY HOTEL FOR WOMEN Liberated from home and hearth by World War I, politically enfranchised and ready to work, women arrived to take their place in the dazzling new skyscrapers of Manhattan. But they did not want to stay in uncomfortable boarding houses. They wanted what men already had—exclusive residential hotels with daily maid service, cultural programs, workout rooms, and private dining. Built in 1927 at the height of the Roaring Twenties, the Barbizon Hotel was intended as a safe haven for the &“Modern Woman&” seeking a career in the arts. It became the place to stay for any ambitious young woman hoping for fame and fortune. Sylvia Plath fictionalized her time there in The Bell Jar, and, over the years, its almost 700 tiny rooms with matching floral curtains and bedspreads housed Titanic survivor Molly Brown; actresses Grace Kelly, Liza Minnelli, Ali MacGraw, Jaclyn Smith, Phylicia Rashad, and Cybill Shepherd; writers Joan Didion, Diane Johnson, Gael Greene, and Meg Wolitzer; and many more. Mademoiselle magazine boarded its summer interns there, as did Katharine Gibbs Secretarial School its students and the Ford Modeling Agency its young models. Before the hotel&’s residents were household names, they were young women arriving at the Barbizon with a suitcase and a dream. Not everyone who passed through the Barbizon&’s doors was destined for success—for some it was a story of dashed hopes—but until 1981, when men were finally let in, the Barbizon offered its residents a room of their own and a life without family obligations or expectations. It gave women a chance to remake themselves however they pleased; it was the hotel that set them free. No place had existed like it before or has since. Beautifully written and impeccably researched, The Barbizon weaves together a tale that has, until now, never been told. It is both a vivid portrait of the lives of these young women who came to New York looking for something more, and an epic history of women&’s ambition.