One of my personal reading goals is to read more about World War I as the war began 100 years ago in 1914. This book introduces the state of the world just before the outbreak of the war.
Just before one of its darkest moments came the twentieth century’s most exciting year . . .
It was the year Henry Ford first put a conveyer belt in his car factory, and the year Louis Armstrong first picked up a trumpet. It was the year Charlie Chaplin signed his first movie contract, and Coco Chanel and Prada opened their first dress shops. It was the year Proust began his opus, Stravinsky wrote The Rite of Spring, and the first Armory Show in New York introduced the world to Picasso and the world of abstract art. It was the year the recreational drug now known as ecstasy was invented.
It was 1913, the year before the world plunged into the catastrophic darkness of World War I.
In a witty yet moving narrative that progresses month by month through the year, and is interspersed with numerous photos and documentary artifacts (such as Kafka’s love letters), Florian Illies ignores the conventions of the stodgy tome so common in “one year” histories. Forefronting cultural matters as much as politics, he delivers a charming and riveting tale of a world full of hope and unlimited possibility, peopled with amazing characters and radical politics, bristling with new art and new technology . . . even as ominous storm clouds began to gather.
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Is the crisis in the Middle East hurtling toward the point of no return?
• Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, tells the U.N. that Iran could have nukes by spring.
• Iran’s president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has called for the end of the United States and Israel.
• Chaos is erupting throughout the region.
• Rumors abound of an impending Israeli first strike against Iran’s nuclear program.
Is war imminent?
New York Times best-selling author Joel C. Rosenberg looks at the events developing in the Middle East and asks the tough questions: Could Israel launch a preemptive strike at any moment? How might an Israel-Iran war set the Middle East on fire? What should we be watching for? Israel at War will help you understand what is happening right now behind the scenes in this volatile region—and how this high-stakes showdown could affect the future of the Middle East and the world. Buy this short book today for $2.51.
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A big, ambitious, and enthralling new biography of Dwight D. Eisenhower, full of fascinating details and anecdotes, which places particular emphasis on his brilliant generalship and leadership in World War Two, and provides, with the advantage of hindsight, a far more acute analysis of his character and personality than any that has previously been available, reaching the conclusion that he was perhaps America’s greatest general and one of America’s best presidents, a man who won the war and thereafter kept the peace.
It is also the story of a remarkable family. Ike grew up in Abilene, Kansas, and the Eisenhowers were Mennonites, who, like the Amish, were deeply committed pacifists, so it is ironic that he went to West Point and became a general, to his mother’s horror. It is as well the portrait of a tumultuous and often difficult marriage, for Mamie was every bit as stubborn and forceful as her husband.
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It’s been fifty years since JFK’s assassination and nearly twenty since Ronald Reagan disappeared from public life. While they never ran head-to-head, they developed their legacies in competing ways and those legacies battle each other even today. The story of one illuminates the other, and explains our expectations for the presidency and whom we elect. Even though one is the model Democrat and the other the model Republican, their appeal is now bipartisan. Republicans quote Kennedy to justify tax cuts or aggressive national defense; Democrats use Reagan’s pragmatism to shame Republicans into supporting tax increases and compromise.
Bookended by an examination of their standing in public opinion and how that has influenced subsequent politicians, plus an exploration of how the assassination of Kennedy and attempted assassination of Reagan colored our memories, this book also shows how aides, friends and families of each man have burnished their reputations long after their presidencies ended. Buy this book today for $1.99.
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Julian Read, a Texas political insider who delivered the first eyewitness account of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination to the media, has authored a behind-the-scenes history of the tragedy and its fifty-year legacy. In JFK’s Final Hours in Texas, Read documents not only the immediate agony endured by the people in the epicenter of the tragedy but also the continuing experience of a wounded community recovering from its aftermath.
Beyond capturing the drama following the assassination, Read illuminates the previously overlooked consequences of the aborted portion of the trip. He also traces the long aftermath of the assassination, including the intense bitterness towards Dallas and Texas. And in what he calls “the long journey from anguish to reconciliation,” Read details the struggle to create the Sixth Floor Museum in downtown Dallas, located in the space from which Lee Harvey Oswald fired the assassination shots.
Read’s very personal account surrounding the assassination and previously obscured facts of the president’s Texas trip constitute a worthy addition to the record of a turbulent time. Buy the book today for only $1.99.
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It began with a tantalizing, anonymous email: “I am a senior member of the intelligence community.”
What followed was the most spectacular intelligence breach ever, brought about by one extraordinary man. Edward Snowden was a 29-year-old computer genius working for the National Security Agency when he shocked the world by exposing the near-universal mass surveillance programs of the United States government. His whistleblowing has shaken the leaders of nations worldwide, and generated a passionate public debate on the dangers of global monitoring and the threat to individual privacy.
In a tour de force of investigative journalism that reads like a spy novel, award-winning Guardian reporter Luke Harding tells Snowden’s astonishing story—from the day he left his glamorous girlfriend in Honolulu carrying a hard drive full of secrets, to the weeks of his secret-spilling in Hong Kong, to his battle for asylum and his exile in Moscow.
The result is a gripping insider narrative—and a necessary and timely account of what is at stake for all of us in the new digital age. Buy it today for only $1.99.
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The scandalous story of the corruption of the Bo Xilai family—the murder of British businessman Neil Heywood; Bo’s secret lovers; the secret maneuverings of Bo’s supporters; the hasty trial and sentencing of Gu Kailai, Bo’s wife—was just the first rumble of a seismic power struggle that continues to rock the very foundation of China’s all-powerful Communist Party. By the time it is over, the machinations in Beijing and throughout the country that began with Bo’s fall could affect China’s economic development and disrupt the world’s political and economic order.
Pin Ho and Wenguang Huang have pieced together the details of this fascinating political drama from firsthand reporting and an unrivaled array of sources, some very high in the Chinese government. A Death in the Lucky Holiday Hotel returns to the scene of the crime and shows not only what happened in Room 1605 but how the threat of the story was every bit as important in the life and death struggle for power that followed. It touched celebrities and billionaires and redrew the cast of the new leadership of the Communist Party. The ghost of Neil Heywood haunts China to this day. Buy this book today for $2.99.
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It’s easy to be overwhelmed by the hundreds of books about Ronald Reagan, but this short monograph stands out from the rest by providing a clear, accessible, and engaging “Basic Introduction” to the accomplishments of the President who defined an age.Lee Edwards, Distinguished Fellow in Conservative Thought at The Heritage Foundation, explains how Reagan restored the confidence of the American people in themselves and in the future, how he set in motion the forces that produced the longest peacetime economic expansion in the 20th century, and how he won the Cold War “without firing a shot,” as Margaret Thatcher remarked.
Buy this book today for $2.99 as it is the B&N price match.
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For decades, while America obsessed over Soviet spies, China quietly penetrated the highest levels of government. Now, for the first time, based on numerous interviews with key insiders at the FBI and CIA as well as with Chinese agents and people close to them, David Wise tells the full story of China’s many victories and defeats in its American spy wars.
Two key cases interweave throughout: Katrina Leung, code-named Parlor Maid, worked for the FBI for years and Tiger Trap, of a key Chinese-American scientist suspected of stealing nuclear weapons secrets.
These two cases led to many others, involving famous names from Wen Ho Lee to Richard Nixon, stunning national security leaks, and sophisticated cyberspying. The story takes us up to the present, with a West Coast spy ring whose members were sentenced in 2010—but it surely will continue for years to come, as China faces off against America. David Wise’s history of China’s spy wars in America is packed with eye-popping revelations.
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From the capture of Sidney Reilly, the ‘Ace of Spies’, by Lenin’s Bolsheviks in 1925, to the deportation from the USA of Anna Chapman, the ‘Redhead under the Bed’, in 2010, Kremlin and Western spymasters have battled for supremacy for nearly a century.
In Deception Edward Lucas uncovers the real story of Chapman and her colleagues in Britain and America, unveiling their clandestine missions and the spy-hunt that led to their downfall.
It reveals unknown triumphs and disasters of Western intelligence in the Cold War, providing the background to the new world of industrial and political espionage. To tell the story of post-Soviet espionage, Lucas draws on exclusive interviews with Russia’s top NATO spy, Herman Simm, and unveils the horrific treatment of a Moscow lawyer who dared to challenge the ruling criminal syndicate there.
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