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History

Fifth Act

Fifth Act

Ackerman, Elliot
$27.00
"The American betrayal of Afghanistan took twenty years. Elliot Ackerman, a participant and witness, tells the story with unsparing honesty in this intensely personal chronicle." --George Packer

A powerful and revelatory eyewitness account of the American collapse in Afghanistan, its desperate endgame, and the war's echoing legacy

Elliot Ackerman left the American military ten years ago, but his time in Afghanistan and Iraq with the Marines and later as a CIA paramilitary officer marked him indelibly. When the Taliban began to close in on Kabul in August 2021 and the Afghan regime began its death spiral, he found himself pulled back into the conflict. Afghan nationals who had worked closely with the American military and intelligence communities for years now faced brutal reprisal and sought frantically to flee the country with their families. The official US government evacuation effort was a bureaucratic failure that led to a humanitarian catastrophe. With former colleagues and friends protecting the airport in Kabul, Ackerman joined an impromptu effort by a group of journalists and other veterans to arrange flights and negotiate with both Taliban and American forces to secure the safe evacuation of hundreds. These were desperate measures taken during a desperate end to America's longest war. For Ackerman, it also became a chance to reconcile his past with his present.

The Fifth Act is an astonishing human document that brings the weight of twenty years of war to bear on a single week, the week the war ended. Using the dramatic rescue efforts in Kabul as his lattice, Ackerman weaves a personal history of the war's long progression, beginning with the initial invasion in the months after 9/11. It is a play in five acts, the fifth act being the story's tragic denouement, a prelude to Afghanistan's dark future. Any reader who wants to understand what went wrong with the war's trajectory will find a trenchant account here. But The Fifth Act also brings readers into close contact with a remarkable group of characters, American and Afghan, who fought the war with courage and dedication, and at great personal cost. Ackerman's story is a first draft of history that feels like a timeless classic.

War By Other Means

War By Other Means

Akst, Daniel
$28.99
Pacifists who fought against the Second World War faced insurmountable odds--but their resistance, philosophy, and strategies fostered a tradition of activism that shaped America right up to the present day.

In this provocative and deeply researched work of history, Akst takes readers into the wild, heady, and uncertain times of America on the brink of a world war, following four fascinating resisters -- four figures who would subsequently become famous political thinkers and activists -- and their daring exploits: David Dellinger, Dorothy Day, Dwight MacDonald, and Bayard Rustin. The lives of these diverse anti-war advocates--a principled and passionate seminary student, a Catholic anarchist, a high-brow intellectual leftist, and an African-American pacifist and agitator--create the perfect prism through which to see World War II from a new angle, that of the opposition, as well as to show how great and lasting their achievements were.

The resisters did not stop the war, of course, but their impact would be felt for decades. Many of them went on to lead the civil-rights and anti-Vietnam War movements, the two most important social stands of the second half of the twentieth century. The various World War II resisters pioneered non-violent protest in America, popularized Gandhian principles, and desegregated the first prison mess halls. Theirs is a story that has never been told.

In the Houses of Their Dead

In the Houses of Their Dead

Alford, Terry
$27.95

In the 1820s, two families, unknown to each other, worked on farms in the American wilderness. It seemed unlikely that the families would ever meet--and yet, they did. The son of one family, the famed actor John Wilkes Booth, killed the son of the other, President Abraham Lincoln, in the most significant assassination in American history. The murder, however, did not come without warning--in fact, it had been foretold.

In the Houses of Their Dead is the first book of the many thousands written about Lincoln to focus on the president's fascination with Spiritualism, and to demonstrate how it linked him, uncannily, to the man who would kill him. Abraham Lincoln is usually seen as a rational, empirically-minded man, yet as acclaimed scholar and biographer Terry Alford reveals, he was also deeply superstitious and drawn to the irrational. Like millions of other Americans, including the Booths, Lincoln and his wife, Mary, suffered repeated personal tragedies, and turned for solace to Spiritualism, a new practice sweeping the nation that held that the dead were nearby and could be contacted by the living. Remarkably, the Lincolns and the Booths even used the same mediums, including Charles Colchester, a specialist in "blood writing" whom Mary first brought to her husband, and who warned the president after listening to the ravings of another of his clients, John Wilkes Booth.

Alford's expansive, richly-textured chronicle follows the two families across the nineteenth century, uncovering new facts and stories about Abraham and Mary while drawing indelible portraits of the Booths--from patriarch Julius, a famous actor in his own right, to brother Edwin, the most talented member of the family and a man who feared peacock feathers, to their confidant Adam Badeau, who would become, strangely, the ghostwriter for President Ulysses S. Grant. At every turn, Alford shows that despite the progress of the age--the glass hypodermic syringe, electromagnetic induction, and much more--death remained ever-present, and thus it was only rational for millions of Americans, from the president on down, to cling to beliefs that seem anything but. A novelistic narrative of two exceptional American families set against the convulsions their times, In the Houses of Their Dead ultimately leads us to consider how ghost stories helped shape the nation.

Sweet Land of Liberty

Sweet Land of Liberty

Anastopoulo, Rossi
$27.00
A delicious and delightful narrative history of pie in America, from the colonial era through the civil rights movement and beyond

From the pumpkin pie gracing the Thanksgiving table to the apple pie at the Fourth of July picnic, nearly every American shares a certain nostalgia for a simple circle of crust and filling. But America's history with pie has not always been so sweet. After all, it was a slice of cherry pie at the Woolworth's lunch counter on a cool February afternoon that helped to spark the Greensboro sit-ins and ignited a wave of anti-segregation protests across the South during the civil rights movement. Molasses pie, meanwhile, captures the legacies of racial trauma and oppression passed down from America's history of slavery, and Jell-O pie exemplifies the pressures and contradictions of gender roles in an evolving modern society. We all know the warm comfort of the so-called "All-American" apple pie . . . but just how did pie become the symbol of a nation?

In Sweet Land of Liberty: A History of America in 11 Pies, food writer Rossi Anastopoulo cracks open our relationship to pie with wit and good humor. For centuries, pie has been a malleable icon, co-opted for new social and political purposes. Here, Anastopoulo traces the pies woven into our history, following the evolution of our country across centuries of innovation and change. With corresponding recipes for each chapter and sidebars of quirky facts throughout, Sweet Land of Liberty is an entertaining, informative, and utterly charming food history for bakers, dessert lovers, and history aficionados alike. Ultimately, the story of pie is the story of America itself, and it's time to dig in.

Evil Geniuses

Evil Geniuses

Andersen, Kurt
$18.00
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER - When did America give up on fairness? The author of Fantasyland tells the epic history of how America decided that big business gets whatever it wants, only the rich get richer, and nothing should ever change--and charts a way back to the future.

"Essential, absorbing . . . a graceful, authoritative guide . . . a radicalized moderate's moderate case for radical change."--The New York Times Book Review

During the twentieth century, America managed to make its economic and social systems both more and more fair and more and more prosperous. A huge, secure, and contented middle class emerged. All boats rose together. But then the New Deal gave way to the Raw Deal. Beginning in the early 1970s, by means of a long war conceived of and executed by a confederacy of big business CEOs, the superrich, and right-wing zealots, the rules and norms that made the American middle class possible were undermined and dismantled. The clock was turned back on a century of economic progress, making greed good, workers powerless, and the market all-powerful while weaponizing nostalgia, lifting up an oligarchy that served only its own interests, and leaving the huge majority of Americans with dwindling economic prospects and hope.

Why and how did America take such a wrong turn? In this deeply researched and brilliantly woven cultural, economic, and political chronicle, Kurt Andersen offers a fresh, provocative, and eye-opening history of America's undoing, naming names, showing receipts, and unsparingly assigning blame--to the radical right in economics and the law, the high priests of high finance, a complacent and complicit Establishment, and liberal "useful idiots," among whom he includes himself.

Only a writer with Andersen's crackling energy, deep insight, and ability to connect disparate dots and see complex systems with clarity could make such a book both intellectually formidable and vastly entertaining. And only a writer of Andersen's vision could reckon with our current high-stakes inflection point, and show the way out of this man-made disaster.

To Rescue the Republic

To Rescue the Republic

Baier, Bret
$18.99

#1 New York Times Bestseller

Fox News Channel's Chief Political Anchor illuminates the heroic life of Ulysses S. Grant

"To Rescue the Republic is narrative history at its absolute finest. A fast-paced, thrilling and enormously important book." --Douglas Brinkley

An epic history spanning the battlegrounds of the Civil War and the violent turmoil of Reconstruction to the forgotten electoral crisis that nearly fractured a reunited nation, Bret Baier's To Rescue the Republic dramatically reveals Ulysses S. Grant's essential yet underappreciated role in preserving the United States during an unprecedented period of division.

Born a tanner's son in rugged Ohio in 1822 and battle-tested by the Mexican American War, Grant met his destiny on the bloody fields of the Civil War. His daring and resolve as a general gained the attention of President Lincoln, then desperate for bold leadership. Lincoln appointed Grant as Lieutenant General of the Union Army in March 1864. Within a year, Grant's forces had seized Richmond and forced Robert E. Lee to surrender.

Four years later, the reunified nation faced another leadership void after Lincoln's assassination and an unworthy successor completed his term. Again, Grant answered the call. At stake once more was the future of the Union, for though the Southern states had been defeated, it remained to be seen if the former Confederacy could be reintegrated into the country--and if the Union could ensure the rights and welfare of African Americans in the South. Grant met the challenge by boldly advancing an agenda of Reconstruction and aggressively countering the Ku Klux Klan.

In his final weeks in the White House, however, Grant faced a crisis that threatened to undo his life's work. The contested presidential election of 1876 produced no clear victory for either Republican Rutherford B. Hayes or Democrat Samuel Tilden, who carried most of the former Confederacy. Soon Southern states vowed to revolt if Tilden was not declared the victor. Grant was determined to use his influence to preserve the Union, establishing an electoral commission to peaceably settle the issue. Grant brokered a grand bargain: the installation of Republican Hayes to the presidency, with concessions to the Democrats that effectively ended Reconstruction. This painful compromise saved the nation, but tragically condemned the South to another century of civil-rights oppression.

Deep with contemporary resonance and brimming with fresh detail that takes readers from the battlefields of the Civil War to the corridors of power where men decided the fate of the nation in back rooms, To Rescue the Republic reveals Grant, for all his complexity, to be among the first rank of American heroes.

Accidental President

Baime, A. J.
$17.99
Divider

Divider

Baker, Peter
$32.00
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER - "The most comprehensive and detailed account of the Trump presidency yet published."--The Washington Post - A Best Book of the Year: The New Yorker and Financial Times

"A sumptuous feast of astonishing tales...The more one reads, the more one wishes to read."--NPR.com

The inside story of the four years when Donald Trump went to war with Washington, from the chaotic beginning to the violent finale, told by revered journalists Peter Baker of The New York Times and Susan Glasser of The New Yorker--an ambitious and lasting history of the full Trump presidency that also contains dozens of exclusive scoops and stories from behind the scenes in the White House, from the absurd to the deadly serious.

The bestselling authors of The Man Who Ran Washington argue that Trump was not just lurching from one controversy to another; he was learning to be more like the foreign autocrats he admired.

The Divider brings us into the Oval Office for countless scenes both tense and comical, revealing how close we got to nuclear war with North Korea, which cabinet members had a resignation pact, whether Trump asked Japan's prime minister to nominate him for a Nobel Prize and much more. The book also explores the moral choices confronting those around Trump--how they justified working for a man they considered unfit for office, and where they drew their lines.

The Divider is based on unprecedented access to key players, from President Trump himself to cabinet officers, military generals, close advisers, Trump family members, congressional leaders, foreign officials and others, some of whom have never told their story until now.

Angel Flying on the Ground: Letters of a Gentleman's Pursuit

Angel Flying on the Ground: Letters of a Gentleman's Pursuit

Barr, Courtney Jo
$30.00

"On that hot July afternoon in 1939, I was playing a pinball machine in Hennicks when I looked up and saw a tall, blue-eyed, ash-blonde come up the steps. I did not know who she was, but I had to find out. I know that there is not supposed to be such a thing as love at first sight, but I was the exception to the rule...Fortunately or unfortunately, the same thing did not happen to her."

Discover how one young gentleman pursues the only woman for him - a sophisticated, beautiful college educated teacher - who against all odds, in 140 chivalrous letters, wins her heart with endearing and hopeful words. Two Ohio small town lovers come together, as the world explodes into war.

January 6, 1941- "I don't know why it is, but when things are right between us, there's a strange something that seems to hold us together. When it's there it shuts us off completely from everything else for awhile. Maybe it's just me though, I don't know. I'm looking forward to summer again, when we can be together, and when we can forget that we're schoolteachers and are just Evelyn and Dick, happy swimming, playing tennis, golfing - or sitting on your front porch in the moonlight looking for a couple of stars that belong to us. I hope the one star never fades. Well, sweetness, how can I ever get you to love me by mail?"

Faster

Faster

Bascomb, Neal
$16.99

Winner of the Motor Press Guild Best Book of the Year Award & Dean Batchelor Award for Excellence in Automotive Journalism

For fans of The Boys in the Boat and In the Garden of Beasts, a pulse-pounding tale of triumph by an improbable team of upstarts over Hitler's fearsome Silver Arrows during the golden age of auto racing

As Nazi Germany launched its campaign of racial terror and pushed the world toward war, three unlikely heroes--a driver banned from the best European teams because of his Jewish heritage, the owner of a faltering automaker company, and the adventurous daughter of an American multimillionaire--banded together to challenge Hitler's dominance at the Grand Prix, the apex of motorsport. Bringing to life this glamorous era and the sport that defined it, Faster chronicles one of the most inspiring, death-defying upsets of all time: a symbolic blow against the Nazis during history's darkest hour.