American History

Age of Entitlement: America Since the Sixties

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$28.00
A major American intellectual makes the historical case that the reforms of the 1960s, reforms intended to make the nation more just and humane, instead left many Americans feeling alienated, despised, misled--and ready to put an adventurer in the White House.

Christopher Caldwell has spent years studying the liberal uprising of the 1960s and its unforeseen consequences. Even the reforms that Americans love best have come with costs that are staggeringly high--in wealth, freedom, and social stability--and that have been spread unevenly among classes and generations.

Caldwell reveals the real political turning points of the past half century, taking readers on a roller-coaster ride through Playboy magazine, affirmative action, CB radio, leveraged buyouts, iPhones, Oxycontin, Black Lives Matter, and internet cookies. In doing so, he shows that attempts to redress the injustices of the past have left Americans living under two different ideas of what it means to play by the rules.

Essential, timely, hard to put down, The Age of Entitlement is a brilliant and ambitious argument about how the reforms of the past fifty years gave the country two incompatible political systems--and drove it toward conflict.

ISBN/SKU: 
9781501106897
Publication Date: 
2020-01-21
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ALEXANDER HAMILTON

$22.00

A New York Times Bestseller, and the inspiration for the hit Broadway musical Hamilton!

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Ron Chernow presents a landmark biography of Alexander Hamilton, the Founding Father who galvanized, inspired, scandalized, and shaped the newborn nation.

In the first full-length biography of Alexander Hamilton in decades, Ron Chernow tells the riveting story of a man who overcame all odds to shape, inspire, and scandalize the newborn America. According to historian Joseph Ellis, Alexander Hamilton is "a robust full-length portrait, in my view the best ever written, of the most brilliant, charismatic and dangerous founder of them all."

Few figures in American history have been more hotly debated or more grossly misunderstood than Alexander Hamilton. Chernow's biography gives Hamilton his due and sets the record straight, deftly illustrating that the political and economic greatness of today's America is the result of Hamilton's countless sacrifices to champion ideas that were often wildly disputed during his time. "To repudiate his legacy," Chernow writes, "is, in many ways, to repudiate the modern world." Chernow here recounts Hamilton's turbulent life: an illegitimate, largely self-taught orphan from the Caribbean, he came out of nowhere to take America by storm, rising to become George Washington's aide-de-camp in the Continental Army, coauthoring The Federalist Papers, founding the Bank of New York, leading the Federalist Party, and becoming the first Treasury Secretary of the United States.Historians have long told the story of America's birth as the triumph of Jefferson's democratic ideals over the aristocratic intentions of Hamilton. Chernow presents an entirely different man, whose legendary ambitions were motivated not merely by self-interest but by passionate patriotism and a stubborn will to build the foundations of American prosperity and power. His is a Hamilton far more human than we've encountered before--from his shame about his birth to his fiery aspirations, from his intimate relationships with childhood friends to his titanic feuds with Jefferson, Madison, Adams, Monroe, and Burr, and from his highly public affair with Maria Reynolds to his loving marriage to his loyal wife Eliza. And never before has there been a more vivid account of Hamilton's famous and mysterious death in a duel with Aaron Burr in July of 1804.

Chernow's biography is not just a portrait of Hamilton, but the story of America's birth seen through its most central figure. At a critical time to look back to our roots, Alexander Hamilton will remind readers of the purpose of our institutions and our heritage as Americans.

"Nobody has captured Hamilton better than Chernow" --The New York Times Book Review

Ron Chernow's other biographies include: Grant, Washington, and Titan.

ISBN/SKU: 
9780143034759
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America and the Great War

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$45.00

Choice Magazine Outstanding Academic Titles of the Year for 2017

"A uniquely colorful chronicle of this dramatic and convulsive chapter in American--and world--history. It's an epic tale, and here it is wondrously well told." --David M. Kennedy, Pulitzer Prize-winning historian and author of FREEDOM FROM FEAR

From August 1914 through March 1917, Americans were increasingly horrified at the unprecedented destruction of the First World War. While sending massive assistance to the conflict's victims, most Americans opposed direct involvement. Their country was immersed in its own internal struggles, including attempts to curb the power of business monopolies, reform labor practices, secure proper treatment for millions of recent immigrants, and expand American democracy.

Yet from the first, the war deeply affected American emotions and the nation's commercial, financial, and political interests. The menace from German U-boats and failure of U.S. attempts at mediation finally led to a declaration of war, signed by President Wilson on April 6, 1917.

America and the Great War commemorates the centennial of that turning point in American history. Chronicling the United States in neutrality and in conflict, it presents events and arguments, political and military battles, bitter tragedies and epic achievements that marked U.S. involvement in the first modern war. Drawing on the matchless resources of the Library of Congress, the book includes many eyewitness accounts and more than 250 color and black-and-white images, many never before published.

With an introduction by Pulitzer Prize-winning historian David M. Kennedy, America and the Great War brings to life the tempestuous era from which the United States emerged as a major world power.

ISBN/SKU: 
9781620409824
Publication Date: 
2017-05-30
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American Quilt: Unfolding a Story of Family and Slavery

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$27.95

When we think of slavery, most of us think of the American South. We think of back-breaking fieldwork on plantations. We don't think of slavery in the North, nor do we think of the grueling labor of urban and domestic slaves. Rachel May's rich new book explores the far reach of slavery, from New England to the Caribbean, the role it played in the growth of mercantile America, and the bonds between the agrarian south and the industrial north in the antebellum era--all through the discovery of a remarkable quilt.

While studying objects in a textile collection, May opened a veritable treasure-trove: a carefully folded, unfinished quilt made of 1830s-era fabrics, its backing containing fragile, aged papers with the dates 1798, 1808, and 1813, the words "shuger," "rum," "casks," and "West Indies," repeated over and over, along with "friendship," "kindness," "government," and "incident." The quilt top sent her on a journey to piece together the story of Minerva, Eliza, Jane, and Juba--the enslaved women behind the quilt--and their owner, Susan Crouch.

May brilliantly stitches together the often-silenced legacy of slavery by revealing the lives of these urban enslaved women and their world. Beautifully written and richly imagined, An American Quilt is a luminous historical examination and an appreciation of a craft that provides such a tactile connection to the past.

ISBN/SKU: 
9781681774176
Publication Date: 
2018-05-01
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Ardennes 1944: The Battle of the Bulge

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$18.00
The prizewinning historian and bestselling author of D-Day, Stalingrad, and The Battle of Arnhem reconstructs the Battle of the Bulge in this riveting new account

On December 16, 1944, Hitler launched his 'last gamble' in the snow-covered forests and gorges of the Ardennes in Belgium, believing he could split the Allies by driving all the way to Antwerp and forcing the Canadians and the British out of the war. Although his generals were doubtful of success, younger officers and NCOs were desperate to believe that their homes and families could be saved from the vengeful Red Army approaching from the east. Many were exultant at the prospect of striking back.

The allies, taken by surprise, found themselves fighting two panzer armies. Belgian civilians abandoned their homes, justifiably afraid of German revenge. Panic spread even to Paris. While some American soldiers, overwhelmed by the German onslaught, fled or surrendered, others held on heroically, creating breakwaters which slowed the German advance.

The harsh winter conditions and the savagery of the battle became comparable to the Eastern Front. In fact the Ardennes became the Western Front's counterpart to Stalingrad. There was terrible ferocity on both sides, driven by desperation and revenge, in which the normal rules of combat were breached. The Ardennes--involving more than a million men--would prove to be the battle which finally broke the back of the Wehrmacht.

In this deeply researched work, with striking insights into the major players on both sides, Antony Beevor gives us the definitive account of the Ardennes offensive which was to become the greatest battle of World War II.

ISBN/SKU: 
9780143109860
Publication Date: 
2016-11-01
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Barracoon: The Story of the Last "black Cargo"

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$16.99

New York Times Bestseller - TIME Magazine's Best Nonfiction Book of 2018 - New York Public Library's Best Book of 2018 - NPR's Book Concierge Best Book of 2018 - Economist Book of the Year - SELF.com's Best Books of 2018 - Audible's Best of the Year - BookRiot's Best Audio Books of 2018 - The Atlantic's Books Briefing: History, Reconsidered - Atlanta Journal Constitution, Best Southern Books 2018 - The Christian Science Monitor's Best Books 2018 -

"A profound impact on Hurston's literary legacy."--New York Times

"One of the greatest writers of our time."--Toni Morrison

"Zora Neale Hurston's genius has once again produced a Maestrapiece."--Alice Walker

A major literary event: a newly published work from the author of the American classic Their Eyes Were Watching God, with a foreword from Pulitzer Prize-winning author Alice Walker, brilliantly illuminates the horror and injustices of slavery as it tells the true story of one of the last-known survivors of the Atlantic slave trade--abducted from Africa on the last "Black Cargo" ship to arrive in the United States.

In 1927, Zora Neale Hurston went to Plateau, Alabama, just outside Mobile, to interview eighty-six-year-old Cudjo Lewis. Of the millions of men, women, and children transported from Africa to America as slaves, Cudjo was then the only person alive to tell the story of this integral part of the nation's history. Hurston was there to record Cudjo's firsthand account of the raid that led to his capture and bondage fifty years after the Atlantic slave trade was outlawed in the United States.

In 1931, Hurston returned to Plateau, the African-centric community three miles from Mobile founded by Cudjo and other former slaves from his ship. Spending more than three months there, she talked in depth with Cudjo about the details of his life. During those weeks, the young writer and the elderly formerly enslaved man ate peaches and watermelon that grew in the backyard and talked about Cudjo's past--memories from his childhood in Africa, the horrors of being captured and held in a barracoon for selection by American slavers, the harrowing experience of the Middle Passage packed with more than 100 other souls aboard the Clotilda, and the years he spent in slavery until the end of the Civil War.

Based on those interviews, featuring Cudjo's unique vernacular, and written from Hurston's perspective with the compassion and singular style that have made her one of the preeminent American authors of the twentieth-century, Barracoon masterfully illustrates the tragedy of slavery and of one life forever defined by it. Offering insight into the pernicious legacy that continues to haunt us all, black and white, this poignant and powerful work is an invaluable contribution to our shared history and culture.

ISBN/SKU: 
9780062748218
Publication Date: 
2020-01-07
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Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era

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$19.95
New/Used: New
Filled with fresh interpretations and information, puncturing old myths and challenging new ones, Battle Cry of Freedom will unquestionably become the standard one-volume history of the Civil War.

James McPherson's fast-paced narrative fully integrates the political, social, and military events that crowded the two decades from the outbreak of one war in Mexico to the ending of another at Appomattox. Packed with drama and analytical insight, the book vividly recounts the momentous episodes that preceded the Civil War--the Dred Scott decision, the Lincoln-Douglas debates, John Brown's raid on Harper's Ferry--and then moves into a masterful chronicle of the war itself--the battles, the strategic maneuvering on both sides, the politics, and the personalities. Particularly notable are McPherson's new views on such matters as the slavery expansion issue in the 1850s, the origins of the Republican Party, the causes of secession, internal dissent and anti-war opposition in the North and the South, and the reasons for the Union's victory.

The book's title refers to the sentiments that informed both the Northern and Southern views of the conflict: the South seceded in the name of that freedom of self-determination and self-government for which their fathers had fought in 1776, while the North stood fast in defense of the Union founded by those fathers as the bulwark of American liberty. Eventually, the North had to grapple with the underlying cause of the war--slavery--and adopt a policy of emancipation as a second war aim. This "new birth of freedom," as Lincoln called it, constitutes the proudest legacy of America's bloodiest conflict.

This authoritative volume makes sense of that vast and confusing "second American Revolution" we call the Civil War, a war that transformed a nation and expanded our heritage of liberty.

ISBN/SKU: 
9780195168952
Publication Date: 
2003-12-11
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Best Land Under Heaven

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$16.95

"WESTWARD HO! FOR OREGON AND CALIFORNIA!"

In the eerily warm spring of 1846, George Donner placed this advertisement in a local newspaper as he and a restless caravan prepared for what they hoped would be the most rewarding journey of a lifetime. But in eagerly pursuing what would a century later become known as the "American dream," this optimistic-yet-motley crew of emigrants was met with a chilling nightmare; in the following months, their jingoistic excitement would be replaced by desperate cries for help that would fall silent in the deadly snow-covered mountains of the Sierra Nevada.

We know these early pioneers as the Donner Party, a name that has elicited horror since the late 1840s. With The Best Land Under Heaven, Wallis has penned what critics agree is "destined to become the standard account" (Washington Post) of the notorious saga. Cutting through 160 years of myth-making, the "expert storyteller" (True West) compellingly recounts how the unlikely band of early pioneers met their fate. Interweaving information from hundreds of newly uncovered documents, Wallis illuminates how a combination of greed and recklessness led to one of America's most calamitous and sensationalized catastrophes. The result is a "fascinating, horrifying, and inspiring" (Oklahoman) examination of the darkest side of Manifest Destiny.

ISBN/SKU: 
9781631494000
Publication Date: 
2018-05-29
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Common Sense ( Penguin Civic Classics )

$12.00
The radical pamphlet that helped incite the American Revolution

Penguin presents a series of six portable, accessible, and--above all--essential reads from American political history, selected by leading scholars. Series editor Richard Beeman, author of The Penguin Guide to the U.S. Constitution, draws together the great texts of American civic life to create a timely and informative mini-library of perennially vital issues. Whether readers are encountering these classic writings for the first time, or brushing up in anticipation of the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act, these slim volumes will serve as a powerful and illuminating resource for scholars, students, and civic-minded citizens.

Common Sense is the book that created the modern United States, as Paine's incendiary call for Americans to revolt against British rule converted millions to the cause of independence and set out a vision of a just society. Published anonymously in 1776, six months before the Declaration of Independence, Common Sense was a radical and impassioned call for America to free itself and set up an independent republican government. Savagely attacking hereditary kingship and aristocratic institutions, Paine urged a new beginning for his adopted country in which personal freedom and social equality would be upheld and economic and cultural progress encouraged. His pamphlet was the first to speak directly to a mass audience--it went through fifty-six editions within a year of publication--and its assertive and often caustic style embodied the democratic spirit he advocated.

ISBN/SKU: 
9780143122005
Publication Date: 
2012-08-28
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Countdown 1945: The Extraordinary Story of the Atomic Bomb and the 116 Days That Changed the World

$30.00
"Propulsive." --Time * "Reads like a tense thriller." --The Washington Post * "The most exciting book I've read all year." --Admiral William H. McRaven

From Chris Wallace, the veteran journalist and anchor of Fox News Sunday, comes an electrifying behind-the-scenes account of the 116 days leading up to the American attack on Hiroshima.

April 12, 1945: After years of bloody conflict in Europe and the Pacific, America is stunned by news of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's death. In an instant, Vice President Harry Truman, who has been kept out of war planning and knows nothing of the top-secret Manhattan Project to develop the world's first atomic bomb, must assume command of a nation at war on multiple continents--and confront one of the most consequential decisions in history. Countdown 1945 tells the gripping true story of the turbulent days, weeks, and months to follow, leading up to August 6, 1945, when Truman gives the order to drop the bomb on Hiroshima.

In Countdown 1945, Chris Wallace, the veteran journalist and anchor of Fox News Sunday, takes readers inside the minds of the iconic and elusive figures who join the quest for the bomb, each for different reasons: the legendary Albert Einstein, who eventually calls his vocal support for the atomic bomb "the one great mistake in my life"; lead researcher J. Robert "Oppie" Oppenheimer and the Soviet spies who secretly infiltrate his team; the fiercely competitive pilots of the plane selected to drop the bomb; and many more.

Perhaps most of all, Countdown 1945 is the story of an untested new president confronting a decision that he knows will change the world forever. Truman's journey during these 116 days is a story of high drama: from the shock of learning of the bomb's existence, to the conflicting advice he receives from generals like Dwight D. Eisenhower and George Marshall, to wrestling with the devastating carnage that will result if he gives the order to use America's first weapon of mass destruction.

But Countdown 1945 is more than a book about the atomic bomb. It's also an unforgettable account of the lives of ordinary American and Japanese civilians in wartime--from "Calutron Girls" like Ruth Sisson in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, to ten-year-old Hiroshima resident Hideko Tamura, who survives the blast at ground zero but loses her mother and later immigrates to the United States, where she lives to this day--as well as American soldiers fighting in the Pacific, waiting in fear for the order to launch a possible invasion of Japan.

Told with vigor, intelligence, and humanity, Countdown 1945 is the definitive account of one of the most significant moments in history.

ISBN/SKU: 
9781982143343
Publication Date: 
2020-06-09
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