List books in category Biographies & Memoirs / Presidents & Heads of State

  • When the Cheering Stopped: The Last Years of Woodrow Wilson

    When the Cheering Stopped: The Last Years of Woodrow Wilson
    Gene Smith

    The poignant true story of an American president struck by tragedy at the height of his glory. This New York Times bestseller vividly chronicles the stunning decline in Woodrow Wilson’s fortunes after World War I and draws back the curtain on one of the strangest episodes in the history of the American presidency. Author Gene Smith brilliantly captures the drama and excitement of Wilson’s efforts at the Paris Peace Conference to forge a lasting concord between enemies, and his remarkable coast-to-coast tour to sway national opinion in favor of the League of Nations. During this grueling jaunt across 8,000 miles in less than a month, Wilson suffered a debilitating stroke that left him an invalid and a recluse, shrouding his final years in office in shadow and mystery. In graceful and dramatic prose, Smith portrays a White House mired in secrets, with a commander in chief kept behind closed doors, unseen by anyone except his doctor and his devoted second wife, Edith Galt Wilson, a woman of strong will with less than an elementary school education who, for all intents and purposes, led the government of the most powerful nation in the world for two years. When the Cheering Stopped is a gripping true story of duty, courage, and deceit, and an unforgettable portrait of a visionary leader whose valiant struggle and tragic fall changed the course of world history.

  • The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream

    The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream
    Barack Obama

    In July 2004, Barack Obama electrified the Democratic National Convention with an address that spoke to Americans across the political spectrum. One phrase in particular anchored itself in listeners’ minds, a reminder that for all the discord and struggle to be found in our history as a nation, we have always been guided by a dogged optimism in the future, or what Obama called “the audacity of hope.” The Audacity of Hope is Barack Obama’s call for a different brand of politics—a politics for those weary of bitter partisanship and alienated by the “endless clash of armies” we see in congress and on the campaign trail; a politics rooted in the faith, inclusiveness, and nobility of spirit at the heart of “our improbable experiment in democracy.” He explores those forces—from the fear of losing to the perpetual need to raise money to the power of the media—that can stifle even the best-intentioned politician. He also writes, with surprising intimacy and self-deprecating humor, about settling in as a senator, seeking to balance the demands of public service and family life, and his own deepening religious commitment.At the heart of this book is Barack Obama’s vision of how we can move beyond our divisions to tackle concrete problems. He examines the growing economic insecurity of American families, the racial and religious tensions within the body politic, and the transnational threats—from terrorism to pandemic—that gather beyond our shores. And he grapples with the role that faith plays in a democracy—where it is vital and where it must never intrude. Underlying his stories about family, friends, and members of the Senate is a vigorous search for connection: the foundation for a radically hopeful political consensus. A public servant and a lawyer, a professor and a father, a Christian and a skeptic, and above all a student of history and human nature, Barack Obama has written a book of transforming power. Only by returning to the principles that gave birth to our Constitution, he says, can Americans repair a political process that is broken, and restore to working order a government that has fallen dangerously out of touch with millions of ordinary Americans. Those Americans are out there, he writes—“waiting for Republicans and Democrats to catch up with them.”

  • Young Castro: The Making of a Revolutionary

    Young Castro: The Making of a Revolutionary
    Jonathan M. Hansen

    An intimate, revisionist portrait of the early years of Fidel Castro, showing how an unlikely young Cuban led his country in revolution and transfixed the world.This book will change how you think about Fidel Castro. Until now, biographers have treated Castro’s life like prosecutors, scouring his past for evidence to convict a person they don’t like or don’t understand. This can make for bad history and unsatisfying biography. Young Castro challenges readers to put aside the caricature of a bearded, cigar-munching, anti-American hot head to discover how Castro became the dictator who acted as a thorn in the side of US presidents for nearly half a century. These pages show Fidel Castro getting his toughness from a father who survived Spain’s nasty class system and colonial wars to become one of the most successful independent plantation owners in Cuba. They show a boy running around that plantation more comfortable playing with the children of his father’s laborers than his tony classmates at elite boarding schools in Santiago de Cuba and Havana. They show a young man who writes flowery love letters from prison and contemplates the meaning of life, a gregarious soul attentive to the needs of strangers but often indifferent to the needs of his own family. These pages show a liberal democrat who admires FDR’s New Deal policies and is skeptical of communism, but is also hostile to American imperialism. They show an audacious militant who stages a reckless attack on a military barracks but is canny about building an army of resisters. In short, Young Castro reveals a complex man. The first American historian in a generation to gain access to the Castro archives in Havana, Jonathan Hansen was able to secure cooperation from Castro’s family and closest confidants, gaining access to hundreds of never-before-seen letters and to interviews with people he was the first to ask for their impressions of the man. The result is a nuanced and penetrating portrait of a figure who was determined to be a leader—a man at once brilliant, arrogant, bold, vulnerable and all too human. A man who, having grown up on an island that felt like a colonial cage, was compelled to lead his country to independence.

  • Jackie s Girl: My Life with the Kennedy Family

    Jackie’s Girl: My Life with the Kennedy Family
    Kathy McKeon

    New York Times Bestseller “McKeon's delightful memories have been tucked away for fifty years, and thankfully, she has brought them out to share the enchanting magic of Camelot with us all.” —Kirkus Reviews “Celebrity watchers who covet an insider’s role will find McKeon’s frank yet benevolent memoir to be both a sobering reality check and an engaging foray into the ever-fascinating world of the Kennedy dynasty.” —Booklist An endearing coming-of-age memoir by a young woman who spent thirteen years as Jackie Kennedy’s personal assistant and occasional nanny—and the lessons about life and love she learned from the glamorous first lady.In 1964, Kathy McKeon was just nineteen and newly arrived from Ireland when she was hired as the personal assistant to former first lady Jackie Kennedy. The next thirteen years of her life were spent in Jackie’s service, during which Kathy not only played a crucial role in raising young Caroline and John Jr., but also had a front-row seat to some of the twentieth century’s most significant events. Because Kathy was always at Jackie’s side, Rose Kennedy deemed her “Jackie’s girl.” And although Kathy called Jackie “Madam,” she considered her employer more like a big sister who, in many ways, mentored her on how to be a lady. Kathy was there during Jackie and Aristotle Onassis’s courtship and marriage and Robert Kennedy’s assassination, dutifully supporting Jackie and the children during these tumultuous times in history. A rare and engrossing look at the private life of one of the most famous women of the twentieth century, Jackie’s Girl is also a moving personal story of a young woman finding her identity and footing in a new country, along with the help of the most elegant woman in America.

  • Sisters First: Stories from Our Wild and Wonderful Life

    Sisters First: Stories from Our Wild and Wonderful Life
    Jenna Bush Hager

    #1 New York Times BestsellerThe former first daughters share intimate stories and reflections from the Texas countryside to the storied halls of the White House and beyond.Born into a political dynasty, Jenna and Barbara Bush grew up in the public eye. As small children, they watched their grandfather become president; just twelve years later they stood by their father's side when he took the same oath. They spent their college years watched over by Secret Service agents and became fodder for the tabloids, with teenage mistakes making national headlines. But the tabloids didn't tell the whole story. In SISTERS FIRST, Jenna and Barbara take readers on a revealing, thoughtful, and deeply personal tour behind the scenes of their lives, as they share stories about their family, their unexpected adventures, their loves and losses, and the sisterly bond that means everything to them.

  • Abraham Lincoln

    Abraham Lincoln
    James M. McPherson

    Marking the two-hundredth anniversary of Lincoln's birth, this marvelous short biography by a leading historian offers an illuminating portrait of one of the giants in the American story. It is the best concise introduction to Lincoln in print, a must-have volume for anyone interested in American history or in our greatest president. Best-selling author James M. McPherson follows the son of Thomas Lincoln and Nancy Hanks from his early years in Kentucky, Indiana, and Illinois, to his highly successful law career, his marriage to Mary Todd, and his one term in Congress. We witness his leadership of the Republican anti-slavery movement, his famous debates with Stephen A. Douglas (a long acquaintance and former rival for the hand of Mary Todd), and his emergence as a candidate for president in 1860. Following Lincoln's election to the presidency, McPherson describes his masterful role as Commander in Chief during the Civil War, the writing of the Emancipation Proclamation, and his assassination by John Wilkes Booth. The book also discusses his lasting legacy and why he remains a quintessential American hero two hundred years after his birth, while an annotated bibliography permits easy access to further scholarship. With his ideal short account of Lincoln, McPherson provides a compelling biography of a man of humble origins who preserved our nation during its greatest catastrophe and ended the scourge of slavery.

  • The First Conspiracy: The Secret Plot to Kill George Washington

    The First Conspiracy: The Secret Plot to Kill George Washington
    Brad Meltzer

    Taking place during the most critical period of our nation’s birth, The First Conspiracy tells a remarkable and previously untold piece of American history that not only reveals George Washington’s character, but also illuminates the origins of America’s counterintelligence movement that led to the modern day CIA.In 1776, an elite group of soldiers were handpicked to serve as George Washington’s bodyguards. Washington trusted them; relied on them. But unbeknownst to Washington, some of them were part of a treasonous plan. In the months leading up to the Revolutionary War, these traitorous soldiers, along with the Governor of New York, William Tryon, and Mayor David Mathews, launched a deadly plot against the most important member of the military: George Washington himself.This is the story of the secret plot and how it was revealed. It is a story of leaders, liars, counterfeiters, and jailhouse confessors. It also shows just how hard the battle was for George Washington and how close America was to losing the Revolutionary War.In this historical page-turner, New York Times bestselling author Brad Meltzer teams up with American history writer and documentary television producer, Josh Mensch to unravel the shocking true story behind what has previously been a footnote in the pages of history. Drawing on extensive research, Meltzer and Mensch capture in riveting detail how George Washington not only defeated the most powerful military force in the world, but also uncovered the secret plot against him in the tumultuous days leading up to July 4, 1776. Praise for The First Conspiracy:"This is American history at its finest, a gripping story of spies, killers, counterfeiters, traitors?and a mysterious prostitute who may or may not have even existed. Anyone with an interest in American history will love this book." —Douglas Preston, #1 bestselling author of The Lost City of the Monkey God“A wonderful book about leadership?and it shows why George Washington and his moral lessons are just as vital today. What a book. You’ll love it.” —President George H.W. Bush“This is an important book: a fascinating largely unknown chapter of our hazardous beginning, a reminder of why counterintelligence matters, and a great read.” —President Bill Clinton

  • George Washington s Rules of Civility and Decent Behavior: ...And Other Important Writings

    George Washington’s Rules of Civility and Decent Behavior: …And Other Important Writings
    George Washington

    "Labour to keep alive in your breast that little celestial fire called conscience.""Run not in the streets. . .nor with mouth open; go not upon the toes nor in a dancing fashion."George Washington was known as a remarkably modest and courteous man. Humility and flawless manners were so ingrained in his character that he rarely if ever acted without them.The "Rules of Civility and Decent Behavior" that governed Washington's etiquette were by turns practical, inspirational and curious. These rules are as instructive and invaluable today as they were hundreds of years ago. George Washington's Rules of Civility and Decent Behavior includes the complete text of the rules, as well as famous Washington writings such as:-Farewell to the Armies speech-Inaugural Address-Retirement Address-Address at the End of His Presidency

  • Under This Roof: The White House and the Presidency--21 Presidents, 21 Rooms, 21 Inside Stories

    Under This Roof: The White House and the Presidency–21 Presidents, 21 Rooms, 21 Inside Stories
    Paul Brandus

    “Like taking a tour of the White House with a gifted storyteller at your side!” Why, in the minutes before John F. Kennedy was murdered, was a blood-red carpet installed in the Oval Office? If Abraham Lincoln never slept in the Lincoln Bedroom, where did he sleep?Why was one president nearly killed in the White House on inauguration day—and another secretly sworn in? What really happened in the Situation Room on September 11, 2001? History leaps off the page in this “riveting,” “fast-moving” and “highly entertaining” book on the presidency and White House in Under This Roof, from award-winning White House-based journalist Paul Brandus. Reporting from the West Wing briefing room since 2008, Brandus—the most followed White House journalist on Twitter (@WestWingReport)—weaves together stories of the presidents, their families, the events of their time—and an oft-ignored major character, the White House itself.Walk with John Adams through the still-unfinished mansion, and watch Thomas Jefferson plot to buy the Louisiana Territory Feel the fear and panic as British invaders approach the mansion in 1814—and Dolley Madison frantically saves a painting of Washington Gaze out the window with Abraham Lincoln as Confederate flags flutter in the breeze on the other side of the Potomac Be in the room as one president is secretly sworn in, and another gambles away the White House china in a card gameStand by the presidential bed as one First Lady—covering up her husband’s illness from the nation—secretly makes decisions on his behalf Learn how telephones, movies, radio, TV changed the presidency—and the nation itself Through triumph and tragedy, boom and bust, secrets and scandals, Brandus takes you to the presidential bedroom, movie theater, Situation Room, Oval Office and more. Under This Roof is a “sensuous account of the history of both the home of the President, and the men and women who designed, inhabited, and decorated it. Paul Brandus captivates with surprising, gloriously raw observations.”

  • Hold On with a Bulldog Grip: A Short Study of Ulysses S. Grant

    Hold On with a Bulldog Grip: A Short Study of Ulysses S. Grant
    John F. Marszalek

    In this new short biography of Ulysses S. Grant, leading scholars provide an accessible introduction to Grant and his legacy. Grant led Federal forces to victory in the Civil War, was the first modern American president, and authored his memoirs, which would eventually become one of the greatest books of nonfiction by an American author. The authors present a thematic exploration of Grant, providing the necessary insight to appreciate Grant and correct the myths that for too long clouded his true importance. They highlight specific moments or relationships in Grant’s life—including his connection to such key figures as Abraham Lincoln and Mark Twain—and elaborate on the more controversial elements of Grant’s legacy, such as accusations about his drinking and corruption during the Grant presidency. Not to overlook his military accomplishments, they devote time to the study of Grant’s war strategy and military career, beginning as early as his reluctant enrollment into West Point. From humble birth to tragic death, this new take on Ulysses S. Grant instills readers with a deeper understanding of the military legend’s nuanced personal history and an appreciation for the late president’s tragic and triumphant story.

  • Fear: Trump in the White House

    Fear: Trump in the White House
    Bob Woodward

    OVER 2 MILLION COPIES SOLD RUNAWAY #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER SENSATIONAL #1 INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER “Explosive.”—The Washington Post “Devastating.”—The New Yorker “Unprecedented.”—CNN “Great reporting…astute.”—Hugh Hewitt THE INSIDE STORY ON PRESIDENT TRUMP, AS ONLY BOB WOODWARD CAN TELL ITWith authoritative reporting honed through nine presidencies, author Bob Woodward reveals in unprecedented detail the harrowing life inside President Donald Trump’s White House and precisely how he makes decisions on major foreign and domestic policies. Fear is the most intimate portrait of a sitting president ever published during the president’s first years in office. The focus is on the explosive debates and the decision-making in the Oval Office, the Situation Room, Air Force One and the White House residence. Woodward draws from hundreds of hours of interviews with firsthand sources, meeting notes, personal diaries, files and documents. Often with day-by-day details, dialogue and documentation, Fear tracks key foreign issues from North Korea, Afghanistan, Iran, the Middle East, NATO, China and Russia. It reports in-depth on Trump’s key domestic issues particularly trade and tariff disputes, immigration, tax legislation, the Paris Climate Accord and the racial violence in Charlottesville in 2017. Fear presents vivid details of the negotiations between Trump’s attorneys and Robert Mueller, the special counsel in the Russia investigation, laying out for the first time the meeting-by-meeting discussions and strategies. It discloses how senior Trump White House officials joined together to steal draft orders from the president’s Oval Office desk so he would not issue directives that would jeopardize top secret intelligence operations. “It was no less than an administrative coup d’état,” Woodward writes, “a nervous breakdown of the executive power of the most powerful county in the world.”

  • Andrew Jackson: The American Presidents Series: The 7th President, 1829-1837

    Andrew Jackson: The American Presidents Series: The 7th President, 1829-1837
    Sean Wilentz

    The towering figure who remade American politics—the champion of the ordinary citizen and the scourge of entrenched privilege"It is rare that historians manage both Wilentz's deep interpretation and lively narrative." – Publishers WeeklyThe Founding Fathers espoused a republican government, but they were distrustful of the common people, having designed a constitutional system that would temper popular passions. But as the revolutionary generation passed from the scene in the 1820s, a new movement, based on the principle of broader democracy, gathered force and united behind Andrew Jackson, the charismatic general who had defeated the British at New Orleans and who embodied the hopes of ordinary Americans. Raising his voice against the artificial inequalities fostered by birth, station, monied power, and political privilege, Jackson brought American politics into a new age.Sean Wilentz, one of America's leading historians of the nineteenth century, recounts the fiery career of this larger-than-life figure, a man whose high ideals were matched in equal measure by his failures and moral blind spots, a man who is remembered for the accomplishments of his eight years in office and for the bitter enemies he made. It was in Jackson's time that the great conflicts of American politics—urban versus rural, federal versus state, free versus slave—crystallized, and Jackson was not shy about taking a vigorous stand. It was under Jackson that modern American politics began, and his legacy continues to inform our debates to the present day.

  • On Stalin s Team: The Years of Living Dangerously in Soviet Politics

    On Stalin’s Team: The Years of Living Dangerously in Soviet Politics
    Sheila Fitzpatrick

    Stalin was the unchallenged dictator of the Soviet Union for so long that most historians have dismissed the officials surrounding him as mere yes-men and political window dressing. On Stalin's Team overturns this view, revealing that behind Stalin was a group of loyal men who formed a remarkably effective team with him from the late 1920s until his death in 1953. Drawing on extensive original research, Sheila Fitzpatrick provides the first in-depth account of this inner circle and their families. She vividly describes how these dedicated comrades-in-arms not only worked closely with Stalin, but also constituted his social circle. Stalin's team included the wily security chief Beria; Andreev, who traveled to provincial purges while listening to Beethoven on a portable gramophone; and Khrushchev, who finally disbanded the team four years after Stalin's death. Taking readers from the cataclysms of the Great Purges and World War II to the paranoia of Stalin's final years, On Stalin's Team paints an entirely new picture of Stalin within his milieu—one that transforms our understanding of how the Soviet Union was ruled during much of its existence.

  • Ulysses S. Grant: The American Presidents Series: The 18th President, 1869-1877

    Ulysses S. Grant: The American Presidents Series: The 18th President, 1869-1877
    Josiah Bunting, III

    The underappreciated presidency of the military man who won the Civil War and then had to win the peace as wellAs a general, Ulysses S. Grant is routinely described in glowing terms-the man who turned the tide of the Civil War, who accepted Lee's surrender at Appomattox, and who had the stomach to see the war through to final victory. But his presidency is another matter-the most common word used to characterize it is "scandal." Grant is routinely portrayed as a man out of his depth, whose trusting nature and hands-off management style opened the federal coffers to unprecedented plunder. But that caricature does not do justice to the realities of Grant's term in office, as Josiah Bunting III shows in this provocative assessment of our eighteenth president.Grant came to Washington in 1869 to lead a capital and a country still bitterly divided by four years of civil war. His predecessor, Andrew Johnson, had been impeached and nearly driven from office, and the radical Republicans in Congress were intent on imposing harsh conditions on the Southern states before allowing them back into the Union. Grant made it his priority to forge the states into a single nation, and Bunting shows that despite the troubles that characterized Grant's terms in office, he was able to accomplish this most important task-very often through the skillful use of his own popularity with the American people. Grant was indeed a military man of the highest order, and he was a better president than he is often given credit for.

  • Cigars, Whiskey and Winning: Leadership Lessons from General Ulysses S. Grant

    Cigars, Whiskey and Winning: Leadership Lessons from General Ulysses S. Grant
    Al Kaltman

    Long before leadership became identified as the catalyst for corporate success, the Civil War's winning general was showing the world how dynamic leadership is the crucial determinant of victory or defeat.Ulysses S. Grant never sought fame of glory, nor did he try to tie his performance to personal reward. Instead, he concentrated on contribution and service. He looked upon being given increased responsibility not as increasing his power, but as increasing his ability to get the job done. "The great thing about Grant…is his perfect correctness and persistency of purpose." (Abraham Lincoln)In this masterful retelling of Grant's story, Al Kaltman draws on Grant's writings and life experiences to present a series of practical lessons on how to get superior performance from the troops.Going beyond mere "how-to's", Cigars, Whiskey & Winning deals with character traits, core beliefs, and fundamental values to reveal the secrets to becoming a winning leader that are as much about "who to be" as "what to do". And there isn't a chart, table, or checklist in sight-just a handy index of lessons for ready inspiration on demand.

  • Clinton Cash: by Peter Schweizer | Summary & Analysis

    Clinton Cash: by Peter Schweizer | Summary & Analysis
    Instaread

    Clinton Cash by Peter Schweizer | Summary & Analysis Preview: Peter Schweizer’s Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich is an exposé of the business dealings of Bill and Hillary Clinton between 2001 and 2015. The Clintons and their foundation have both been enriched by money from dubious sources. The payments the Clintons received as speaking fees and the funds they accepted as donations to the Clinton Foundation may have led Hillary to alter US policy when she served as senator and secretary of state. This pattern of possible corruption should be investigated by law enforcement. Bill was governor of Arkansas from 1978 to 1981 and from 1983 to 1992. While Arkansas governor, he and his wife were involved in suspicious financial and real estate dealings involving the Whitewater corporation in a foreshadowing of later ethical questions. Others connected to the deal were prosecuted and convicted, but no charges were ever brought against the Clintons… PLEASE NOTE: This is key takeaways and analysis of the book and NOT the original book. Inside this Instaread Summary of Clinton Cash: · Overview of the Book · Important People · Key Takeaways · Analysis of Key Takeaways About the Author With Instaread, you can get the key takeaways, summary and analysis of a book in 15 minutes. We read every chapter, identify the key takeaways and analyze them for your convenience.

  • Colonel Roosevelt

    Colonel Roosevelt
    Edmund Morris

    This biography by Edmund Morris, the Pulitzer Prize– and National Book Award–winning author of The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt and Theodore Rex, marks the completion of a trilogy sure to stand as definitive. Of all our great presidents, Theodore Roosevelt is the only one whose greatness increased out of office. What other president has written forty books, hunted lions, founded a third political party, survived an assassin’s bullet, and explored an unknown river longer than the Rhine? Packed with more adventure, variety, drama, humor, and tragedy than a big novel, yet documented down to the smallest fact, this masterwork recounts the last decade of perhaps the most amazing life in American history.

  • Conversations with Myself

    Conversations with Myself
    Nelson Mandela

    Nelson Mandela is widely considered to be one of the most inspiring and iconic figures of our age. Now, after a lifetime of taking pen to paper to record thoughts and events, hardships and victories, he has bestowed his entire extant personal papers, which offer an unprecedented insight into his remarkable life.A singular international publishing event, Conversations with Myself draws on Mandela's personal archive of never-before-seen materials to offer unique access to the private world of an incomparable world leader. Journals kept on the run during the anti-apartheid struggle of the early 1960s; diaries and draft letters written in Robben Island and other South African prisons during his twenty-seven years of incarceration; notebooks from the postapartheid transition; private recorded conversations; speeches and correspondence written during his presidency—a historic collection of documents archived at the Nelson Mandela Foundation is brought together into a sweeping narrative of great immediacy and stunning power. An intimate journey from Mandela's first stirrings of political consciousness to his galvanizing role on the world stage, Conversations with Myself illuminates a heroic life forged on the front lines of the struggle for freedom and justice.While other books have recounted Mandela's life from the vantage of the present, Conversations with Myself allows, for the first time, unhindered insight into the human side of the icon.

  • Washington: A Life

    Washington: A Life
    Ron Chernow

    A gripping portrait of the first president of the United States from the author of Alexander Hamilton, the New York Times bestselling biography that inspired the musical.Celebrated biographer Ron Chernow provides a richly nuanced portrait of the father of our nation and the first president of the United States. With a breadth and depth matched by no other one volume biography of George Washington, this crisply paced narrative carries the reader through his adventurous early years, his heroic exploits with the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War, his presiding over the Constitutional Convention, and his magnificent performance as America's first president. In this groundbreaking work, based on massive research, Chernow shatters forever the stereotype of George Washington as a stolid, unemotional figure and brings to vivid life a dashing, passionate man of fiery opinions and many moods.Winner of the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for Biography“Truly magnificent… [a] well-researched, well-written and absolutely definitive biography”—Andrew Roberts, The Wall Street Journal“Superb… the best, most comprehensive, and most balanced single-volume biography of Washington ever written.”—Gordon S. Wood, The New York Review of Books“A truly gripping biography of George Washington… I can’t recommend it highly enough—as history, as epic, and, not least, as entertainment. It’s as luxuriantly pleasurable as one of those great big sprawling, sweeping Victorian novels.”—Hendrik Hertzberg, The New YorkerLin-Manuel Miranda’s smash Broadway musical Hamilton has sparked new interest in the Revolutionary War and the Founding Fathers. In addition to Alexander Hamilton, the production also features George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Aaron Burr, Lafayette, and many more.Ron Chernow's latest biography, Grant, is now available in paperback.

  • Grant: A Biography

    Grant: A Biography
    John Mosier

    A modest and unassuming man, Grant never lost a battle, leading the Union to victory over the Confederacy during the Civil War, ultimately becoming President of the reunited states. Grant revolutionized military warfare by creating new leadership tactics by integrating new technologies in classical military strategy. In this compelling biography, Mosier reveals the man behind the military legend, showing how Grant's creativity and genius off the battlefield shaped him into one of our nation's greatest military leaders.

  • U. S. Grant: American Hero, American Myth

    U. S. Grant: American Hero, American Myth
    Joan Waugh

    At the time of his death, Ulysses S. Grant was the most famous person in America, considered by most citizens to be equal in stature to George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. Yet today his monuments are rarely visited, his military reputation is overshadowed by that of Robert E. Lee, and his presidency is permanently mired at the bottom of historical rankings.In an insightful blend of biography and cultural history, Joan Waugh traces Grant's shifting national and international reputation, illuminating the role of memory in our understanding of American history. Using a wide range of written and visual sources–newspaper articles, private and public reminiscences, photographs, paintings, cartoons, poetry, and much more–Waugh reveals how Grant became the embodiment of the American nation in the decades after the Civil War. She does not paper over Grant's image as a scandal-ridden contributor to the worst excesses of the Gilded Age. Instead, she captures a sense of what led nineteenth-century Americans to overlook Grant's obvious faults and hold him up as a critically important symbol of national reconciliation and unity. Waugh further shows that Grant's reputation and place in public memory closely parallel the rise and fall of the northern version of the Civil War story–in which the United States was the clear, morally superior victor and Grant was the symbol of that victory. By the 1880s, Waugh shows, after the failure of Reconstruction, the dominant Union myths about the war gave way to a southern version that emphasized a more sentimental remembrance of the honor and courage of both sides and ennobled the "Lost Cause." During this social transformation, Grant's public image changed as well. By the 1920s, his reputation had plummeted.Most Americans today are unaware of how revered Grant was in his lifetime. Joan Waugh uncovers the reasons behind the rise and fall of his renown, underscoring as well the fluctuating memory of the Civil War itself.

  • The Impeachers: The Trial of Andrew Johnson and the Dream of a Just Nation

    The Impeachers: The Trial of Andrew Johnson and the Dream of a Just Nation
    Brenda Wineapple

    “This absorbing and important book recounts the titanic struggle over the implications of the Civil War amid the impeachment of a defiant and temperamentally erratic American president.”—Jon Meacham, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of The Soul of America When Abraham Lincoln was assassinated and Vice-President Andrew Johnson became “the Accidental President,” it was a dangerous time in America. Congress was divided over how the Union should be reunited: when and how the secessionist South should regain full status, whether former Confederates should be punished, and when and whether black men should be given the vote. Devastated by war and resorting to violence, many white Southerners hoped to restore a pre–Civil War society, if without slavery, and the pugnacious Andrew Johnson seemed to share their goals. With the unchecked power of executive orders, Johnson ignored Congress, pardoned rebel leaders, promoted white supremacy, opposed civil rights, and called Reconstruction unnecessary. It fell to Congress to stop the American president who acted like a king. With profound insights and making use of extensive research, Brenda Wineapple dramatically evokes this pivotal period in American history, when the country was rocked by the first-ever impeachment of a sitting American president. And she brings to vivid life the extraordinary characters who brought that impeachment forward: the willful Johnson and his retinue of advocates—including complicated men like Secretary of State William Seward—as well as the equally complicated visionaries committed to justice and equality for all, like Thaddeus Stevens, Charles Sumner, Frederick Douglass, and Ulysses S. Grant. Theirs was a last-ditch, patriotic, and Constitutional effort to render the goals of the Civil War into reality and to make the Union free, fair, and whole.Praise for The Impeachers “In this superbly lyrical work, Brenda Wineapple has plugged a glaring hole in our historical memory through her vivid and sweeping portrayal of President Andrew Johnson’s 1868 impeachment. She serves up not simply food for thought but a veritable feast of observations on that most trying decision for a democracy: whether to oust a sitting president. Teeming with fiery passions and unforgettable characters, The Impeachers will be devoured by contemporary readers seeking enlightenment on this issue. . . . A landmark study.”—Ron Chernow, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Grant

  • Stalin: Paradoxes of Power, 1878-1928

    Stalin: Paradoxes of Power, 1878-1928
    Stephen Kotkin

    A magnificent new biography that revolutionizes our understanding of Stalin and his worldIt has the quality of myth: a poor cobbler’s son, a seminarian from an oppressed outer province of the Russian empire, reinvents himself as a top leader in a band of revolutionary zealots. When the band seizes control of the country in the aftermath of total world war, the former seminarian ruthlessly dominates the new regime until he stands as absolute ruler of a vast and terrible state apparatus, with dominion over Eurasia. While still building his power base within the Bolshevik dictatorship, he embarks upon the greatest gamble of his political life and the largest program of social reengineering ever attempted: the collectivization of all agriculture and industry across one sixth of the earth. Millions will die, and many more millions will suffer, but the man will push through to the end against all resistance and doubts.Where did such power come from? In Stalin, Stephen Kotkin offers a biography that, at long last, is equal to this shrewd, sociopathic, charismatic dictator in all his dimensions. The character of Stalin emerges as both astute and blinkered, cynical and true believing, people oriented and vicious, canny enough to see through people but prone to nonsensical beliefs. We see a man inclined to despotism who could be utterly charming, a pragmatic ideologue, a leader who obsessed over slights yet was a precocious geostrategic thinker—unique among Bolsheviks—and yet who made egregious strategic blunders. Through it all, we see Stalin’s unflinching persistence, his sheer force of will—perhaps the ultimate key to understanding his indelible mark on history.Stalin gives an intimate view of the Bolshevik regime’s inner geography of power, bringing to the fore fresh materials from Soviet military intelligence and the secret police. Kotkin rejects the inherited wisdom about Stalin’s psychological makeup, showing us instead how Stalin’s near paranoia was fundamentally political, and closely tracks the Bolshevik revolution’s structural paranoia, the predicament of a Communist regime in an overwhelmingly capitalist world, surrounded and penetrated by enemies. At the same time, Kotkin demonstrates the impossibility of understanding Stalin’s momentous decisions outside of the context of the tragic history of imperial Russia.The product of a decade of intrepid research, Stalin is a landmark achievement, a work that recasts the way we think about the Soviet Union, revolution, dictatorship, the twentieth century, and indeed the art of history itself.Stalin: Waiting for Hitler, 1929-1941 will be published by Penguin Press in October 2017

  • American Ulysses: A Life of Ulysses S. Grant

    American Ulysses: A Life of Ulysses S. Grant
    Ronald C. White

    NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • From the author of A. Lincoln, a major new biography of one of America’s greatest generals—and most misunderstood presidentsWinner of the William Henry Seward Award for Excellence in Civil War Biography • Finalist for the Gilder-Lehrman Military History Book Prize In his time, Ulysses S. Grant was routinely grouped with George Washington and Abraham Lincoln in the “Trinity of Great American Leaders.” But the battlefield commander–turned–commander-in-chief fell out of favor in the twentieth century. In American Ulysses, Ronald C. White argues that we need to once more revise our estimates of him in the twenty-first. Based on seven years of research with primary documents—some of them never examined by previous Grant scholars—this is destined to become the Grant biography of our time. White, a biographer exceptionally skilled at writing momentous history from the inside out, shows Grant to be a generous, curious, introspective man and leader—a willing delegator with a natural gift for managing the rampaging egos of his fellow officers. His wife, Julia Dent Grant, long marginalized in the historic record, emerges in her own right as a spirited and influential partner. Grant was not only a brilliant general but also a passionate defender of equal rights in post-Civil War America. After winning election to the White House in 1868, he used the power of the federal government to battle the Ku Klux Klan. He was the first president to state that the government’s policy toward American Indians was immoral, and the first ex-president to embark on a world tour, and he cemented his reputation for courage by racing against death to complete his Personal Memoirs. Published by Mark Twain, it is widely considered to be the greatest autobiography by an American leader, but its place in Grant’s life story has never been fully explored—until now. One of those rare books that successfully recast our impression of an iconic historical figure, American Ulysses gives us a finely honed, three-dimensional portrait of Grant the man—husband, father, leader, writer—that should set the standard by which all future biographies of him will be measured.Praise for American Ulysses“[Ronald C. White] portrays a deeply introspective man of ideals, a man of measured thought and careful action who found himself in the crosshairs of American history at its most crucial moment.”—USA Today“White delineates Grant’s virtues better than any author before. . . . By the end, readers will see how fortunate the nation was that Grant went into the world—to save the Union, to lead it and, on his deathbed, to write one of the finest memoirs in all of American letters.”—The New York Times Book Review“Ronald White has restored Ulysses S. Grant to his proper place in history with a biography whose breadth and tone suit the man perfectly. Like Grant himself, this book will have staying power.”—The Wall Street Journal“Magisterial . . . Grant’s esteem in the eyes of historians has increased significantly in the last generation. . . . [American Ulysses] is the newest heavyweight champion in this movement.”—The Boston Globe “Superb . . . illuminating, inspiring and deeply moving.”—Chicago Tribune “In this sympathetic, rigorously sourced biography, White . . . conveys the essence of Grant the man and Grant the warrior.”—Newsday

  • Andrew Johnson: The American Presidents Series: The 17th President, 1865-1869

    Andrew Johnson: The American Presidents Series: The 17th President, 1865-1869
    Annette Gordon-Reed

    A Pulitzer Prize-winning historian recounts the tale of the unwanted president who ran afoul of Congress over Reconstruction and was nearly removed from office Andrew Johnson never expected to be president. But just six weeks after becoming Abraham Lincoln's vice president, the events at Ford's Theatre thrust him into the nation's highest office. Johnson faced a nearly impossible task—to succeed America's greatest chief executive, to bind the nation's wounds after the Civil War, and to work with a Congress controlled by the so-called Radical Republicans. Annette Gordon-Reed, one of America's leading historians of slavery, shows how ill-suited Johnson was for this daunting task. His vision of reconciliation abandoned the millions of former slaves (for whom he felt undisguised contempt) and antagonized congressional leaders, who tried to limit his powers and eventually impeached him. The climax of Johnson's presidency was his trial in the Senate and his acquittal by a single vote, which Gordon-Reed recounts with drama and palpable tension. Despite his victory, Johnson's term in office was a crucial missed opportunity; he failed the country at a pivotal moment, leaving America with problems that we are still trying to solve.

  • The Natural: The Misunderstood Presidency of Bill Clinton

    The Natural: The Misunderstood Presidency of Bill Clinton
    Joe Klein

    Joe Klein, best-selling author of Primary Colors and one of our most brilliant political analysts, now tackles the subject he knows best: Bill Clinton. Astute, even-handed, and keenly intelligent, The Natural is the only book to read if you want to understand exactly what happened–to the military, to the economy, to the American people, to the country–during Bill Clinton’s presidency, and how the decisions made during his tenure affect all of us today.Much has been written about Clinton, but The Natural is the first work to cut through the gossip, scandals, media hype, and emotional turbulence that Clinton always engendered, to step back and rationally analyze the eight years of his tenure, a period during which America rose to unprecedented levels of prosperity. Joe Klein puts that record into perspective, showing us what worked and what didn’t, exactly what was accomplished and why, and who was responsible for the successes and the failures.We see how the Clinton White House functioned on the inside, how it dealt with the maneuvers of Congress and the Gingrich revolution, and who held power and made the decisions during the endless crises that beset the administration. Klein’s access to the White House over the years as a journalist gave him a prime spot from which to view every crucial event–both political and personal–and he sets them forth in an insightful, readable, and completely engrossing manner. The Natural is stern in its criticism and convincing with its praise. It will cause endless debate amongst friends and foes of the Clinton administration. It is a book that anyone interested in contemporary politics, in American history, or in the functioning of our democracy, should read.

  • The Hidden History of the JFK Assassination: The Definitive Account of the Most Controversial Crime of the Twentieth Century

    The Hidden History of the JFK Assassination: The Definitive Account of the Most Controversial Crime of the Twentieth Century
    Lamar Waldron

    The definitive account of the crime and the secrecy which has surrounded it. For the first time, this concise and compelling book pierces the veil of secrecy to fully document the small, tightly-held conspiracy that killed President John F. Kennedy. It explains why he was murdered, and how it was done in a way that forced many records to remain secret for almost fifty years. The Hidden History of JFK’s Assassination draws on exclusive interviews with more than two dozen associates of John and Robert Kennedy, in addition to former FBI, Secret Service, military intelligence, and Congressional personnel, who provided critical first-hand information. The book also uses government files—including the detailed FBI confession of notorious Mafia godfather Carlos Marcello—to simply and clearly reveal exactly who killed JFK. Using information never published before, the book uses Marcello’s own words to his closest associates to describe the plot. His confession is also backed up by a wealth of independent documentation. This book builds on the work of the last Congressional committee to investigate JFK’s murder, which concluded that JFK “was probably assassinated as a result of a conspiracy, and that godfathers [Santo] Trafficante [and Carlos] Marcello had the motive, means, and opportunity to assassinate President Kennedy.” However, it also draws on exclusive files and information not available to Congress, that have only emerged in recent years, to fully explain for the first time how Marcello and Trafficante committed—and got away with—the crime of the 20th century.

  • The Case for Trump

    The Case for Trump
    Victor Davis Hanson

    An instant New York Times bestseller: From an award-winning historian and regular Fox contributor, the true story of how Donald Trump has become one of the most successful presidents in history — and why America needs him now more than ever In The Case for Trump, award-winning historian and political commentator Victor Davis Hanson explains how a celebrity businessman with no political or military experience triumphed over sixteen well-qualified Republican rivals, a Democrat with a quarter-billion-dollar war chest, and a hostile media and Washington establishment to become president of the United States — and an extremely successful president.Trump alone saw a political opportunity in defending the working people of America's interior whom the coastal elite of both parties had come to scorn, Hanson argues. And Trump alone had the instincts and energy to pursue this opening to victory, dismantle a corrupt old order, and bring long-overdue policy changes at home and abroad. We could not survive a series of presidencies as volatile as Trump's. But after decades of drift, America needs the outsider Trump to do what normal politicians would not and could not do.

  • Troublesome Young Men: The Rebels Who Brought Churchill to Power and Helped Save England

    Troublesome Young Men: The Rebels Who Brought Churchill to Power and Helped Save England
    Lynne Olson

    A riveting history of the daring politicians who challenged the disastrous policies of the British government on the eve of World War IIOn May 7, 1940, the House of Commons began perhaps the most crucial debate in British parliamentary history. On its outcome hung the future of Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain's government and also of Britain—indeed, perhaps, the world. Troublesome Young Men is Lynne Olson's fascinating account of how a small group of rebellious Tory MPs defied the Chamberlain government's defeatist policies that aimed to appease Europe's tyrants and eventually forced the prime minister's resignation.Some historians dismiss the "phony war" that preceded this turning point—from September 1939, when Britain and France declared war on Germany, to May 1940, when Winston Churchill became prime minister—as a time of waiting and inaction, but Olson makes no such mistake, and describes in dramatic detail the public unrest that spread through Britain then, as people realized how poorly prepared the nation was to confront Hitler, how their basic civil liberties were being jeopardized, and also that there were intrepid politicians willing to risk political suicide to spearhead the opposition to Chamberlain—Harold Macmillan, Robert Boothby, Leo Amery, Ronald Cartland, and Lord Robert Cranborne among them. The political and personal dramas that played out in Parliament and in the nation as Britain faced the threat of fascism virtually on its own are extraordinary—and, in Olson's hands, downright inspiring.

  • Paris 1919: Six Months That Changed the World

    Paris 1919: Six Months That Changed the World
    Margaret MacMillan

    A landmark work of narrative history, Paris 1919 is the first full-scale treatment of the Peace Conference in more than twenty-five years. It offers a scintillating view of those dramatic and fateful days when much of the modern world was sketched out, when countries were created—Iraq, Yugoslavia, Israel—whose troubles haunt us still.Winner of the Samuel Johnson Prize • Winner of the PEN Hessell Tiltman Prize • Winner of the Duff Cooper Prize Between January and July 1919, after “the war to end all wars,” men and women from around the world converged on Paris to shape the peace. Center stage, for the first time in history, was an American president, Woodrow Wilson, who with his Fourteen Points seemed to promise to so many people the fulfillment of their dreams. Stern, intransigent, impatient when it came to security concerns and wildly idealistic in his dream of a League of Nations that would resolve all future conflict peacefully, Wilson is only one of the larger-than-life characters who fill the pages of this extraordinary book. David Lloyd George, the gregarious and wily British prime minister, brought Winston Churchill and John Maynard Keynes. Lawrence of Arabia joined the Arab delegation. Ho Chi Minh, a kitchen assistant at the Ritz, submitted a petition for an independent Vietnam. For six months, Paris was effectively the center of the world as the peacemakers carved up bankrupt empires and created new countries. This book brings to life the personalities, ideals, and prejudices of the men who shaped the settlement. They pushed Russia to the sidelines, alienated China, and dismissed the Arabs. They struggled with the problems of Kosovo, of the Kurds, and of a homeland for the Jews. The peacemakers, so it has been said, failed dismally; above all they failed to prevent another war. Margaret MacMillan argues that they have unfairly been made the scapegoats for the mistakes of those who came later. She refutes received ideas about the path from Versailles to World War II and debunks the widely accepted notion that reparations imposed on the Germans were in large part responsible for the Second World War.Praise for Paris 1919“It’s easy to get into a war, but ending it is a more arduous matter. It was never more so than in 1919, at the Paris Conference. . . . This is an enthralling book: detailed, fair, unfailingly lively. Professor MacMillan has that essential quality of the historian, a narrative gift.” —Allan Massie, The Daily Telegraph (London)

  • George Washington, Spymaster

    George Washington, Spymaster
    Thomas Fleming

    Without George Washington's brilliance at espionage, writes New York Times bestselling author Thomas Fleming in this short-form book, the American Revolution could not have been won. Here's the little-told story of America's spymaster-in-chief.

  • Rutherford B. Hayes: The American Presidents Series: The 19th President, 1877-1881

    Rutherford B. Hayes: The American Presidents Series: The 19th President, 1877-1881
    Hans Trefousse

    A leader of the Reconstruction era, whose contested election eerily parallels the election debacle of 2000 The disputed election of 1876 between Rutherford B. Hayes and Samuel Tilden, in which Congress set up a special electoral commission, handing the disputed electoral votes to Hayes, brings recent events into sharp focus. Historian Hans L. Trefousse explores Hayes's new relevance and reconsiders what many have seen as the pitfalls of his presidency. While Hayes did officially terminate the Reconstruction, Trefousse points out that this process was already well under way by the start of his term and there was little he could do to stop it. A great intellectual and one of our best-educated presidents, Hayes did much more in the way of healing the nation and elevating the presidency.

  • Lincoln’s Darkest Year: The War in 1862

    Lincoln’s Darkest Year: The War in 1862
    William Marvel

    A portrait of a pivotal chapter in the Civil War, “featuring scheming politicians, bumbling generals, and an increasingly disheartened Northern public” (Brooks Simpson, author of Ulysses S. Grant: Triumph Over Adversity, 1822–1865). In Mr. Lincoln Goes to War, award-winning historian William Marvel focused on President Abraham Lincoln’s first year in office. In Lincoln’s Darkest Year, he paints a picture of 1862—again relying on recently unearthed primary sources and little-known accounts to offer newfound detail of this tumultuous period. Marvel highlights not just the actions but also the deeper motivations of major figures, including Gen. Ulysses S. Grant, Jefferson Davis, George B. McClellan, Stonewall Jackson, and, most notably, Lincoln himself. As the action darts from the White House to the battlefields and back, the author sheds new light on the hardships endured by everyday citizens and the substantial and sustained public opposition to the war. Combining fluid prose and scholarship with the skills of an investigative historical detective, Marvel unearths the true story of our nation’s greatest crisis.

  • Ulysses S. Grant: The Unlikely Hero

    Ulysses S. Grant: The Unlikely Hero
    Michael Korda

    A lavishly illustrated edition of Michael Korda's acclaimed biography of the man who ended the Civil War, served two terms as president, and wrote one of the most successful military memoirs in American literatureUlysses S. Grant was the first officer since George Washington to become a four-star general in the United States Army, and the only president between Andrew Jackson and Woodrow Wilson to serve eight consecutive years in the White House. In this succinct and vivid biography, newly conceived with twenty-four pages of full-color art and many black-and-white illustrations throughout, Michael Korda offers a dramatic reconsideration of the man, his life, and his presidency. Ulysses S. Grant is an evenhanded and stirring portrait of a flawed leader who nevertheless ably guided the United States through a pivotal juncture in its history.

  • Upstairs at the White House: My Life with the First Ladies

    Upstairs at the White House: My Life with the First Ladies
    J. B. West

    In this New York Times bestseller, the White House chief usher for nearly three decades offers a behind-the-scenes look at America’s first families. J. B. West, chief usher of the White House, directed the operations and maintenance of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue—and coordinated its daily life—at the request of the president and his family. He directed state functions; planned parties, weddings and funerals, gardens and playgrounds, and extensive renovations; and, with a large staff, supervised every activity in the presidential home. For twenty-eight years, first as assistant to the chief usher, then as chief usher, he witnessed national crises and triumphs, and interacted daily with six consecutive presidents and first ladies, as well as their parents, children and grandchildren, and houseguests—including friends, relatives, and heads of state. J. B. West, whom Jackie Kennedy called “one of the most extraordinary men I have ever met,” provides an absorbing, one-of-a-kind history of life among the first ladies. Alive with anecdotes ranging from Eleanor Roosevelt’s fascinating political strategies to Jackie Kennedy’s tragic loss and the personal struggles of Pat Nixon, Upstairs at the White House is a rich account of a slice of American history that usually remains behind closed doors.

  • Truman

    Truman
    David McCullough

    The Pulitzer Prize–winning biography of Harry S. Truman, whose presidency included momentous events from the atomic bombing of Japan to the outbreak of the Cold War and the Korean War, told by America’s beloved and distinguished historian.The life of Harry S. Truman is one of the greatest of American stories, filled with vivid characters—Roosevelt, Churchill, Stalin, Eleanor Roosevelt, Bess Wallace Truman, George Marshall, Joe McCarthy, and Dean Acheson—and dramatic events. In this riveting biography, acclaimed historian David McCullough not only captures the man—a more complex, informed, and determined man than ever before imagined—but also the turbulent times in which he rose, boldly, to meet unprecedented challenges. The last president to serve as a living link between the nineteenth and the twentieth centuries, Truman’s story spans the raw world of the Missouri frontier, World War I, the powerful Pendergast machine of Kansas City, the legendary Whistle-Stop Campaign of 1948, and the decisions to drop the atomic bomb, confront Stalin at Potsdam, send troops to Korea, and fire General MacArthur. Drawing on newly discovered archival material and extensive interviews with Truman’s own family, friends, and Washington colleagues, McCullough tells the deeply moving story of the seemingly ordinary “man from Missouri” who was perhaps the most courageous president in our history.

  • Grant

    Grant
    Ron Chernow

    The #1 New York Times bestseller.New York Times Book Review 10 Best Books of 2017Pulitzer Prize winner Ron Chernow returns with a sweeping and dramatic portrait of one of our most compelling generals and presidents, Ulysses S. Grant. Ulysses S. Grant's life has typically been misunderstood. All too often he is caricatured as a chronic loser and an inept businessman, or as the triumphant but brutal Union general of the Civil War. But these stereotypes don't come close to capturing him, as Chernow shows in his masterful biography, the first to provide a complete understanding of the general and president whose fortunes rose and fell with dizzying speed and frequency. Before the Civil War, Grant was flailing. His business ventures had ended dismally, and despite distinguished service in the Mexican War he ended up resigning from the army in disgrace amid recurring accusations of drunkenness. But in war, Grant began to realize his remarkable potential, soaring through the ranks of the Union army, prevailing at the battle of Shiloh and in the Vicksburg campaign, and ultimately defeating the legendary Confederate general Robert E. Lee. Along the way, Grant endeared himself to President Lincoln and became his most trusted general and the strategic genius of the war effort. Grant’s military fame translated into a two-term presidency, but one plagued by corruption scandals involving his closest staff members. More important, he sought freedom and justice for black Americans, working to crush the Ku Klux Klan and earning the admiration of Frederick Douglass, who called him “the vigilant, firm, impartial, and wise protector of my race.” After his presidency, he was again brought low by a dashing young swindler on Wall Street, only to resuscitate his image by working with Mark Twain to publish his memoirs, which are recognized as a masterpiece of the genre. With lucidity, breadth, and meticulousness, Chernow finds the threads that bind these disparate stories together, shedding new light on the man whom Walt Whitman described as “nothing heroic… and yet the greatest hero.” Chernow’s probing portrait of Grant's lifelong struggle with alcoholism transforms our understanding of the man at the deepest level. This is America's greatest biographer, bringing movingly to life one of our finest but most underappreciated presidents. The definitive biography, Grant is a grand synthesis of painstaking research and literary brilliance that makes sense of all sides of Grant's life, explaining how this simple Midwesterner could at once be so ordinary and so extraordinary.Named one of the best books of the year by Goodreads • Amazon • The New York Times • Newsday • BookPage • Barnes and Noble • Wall Street Journal

  • The Death of a President: November 20-November 25, 1963

    The Death of a President: November 20-November 25, 1963
    William Manchester

    William Manchester's epic and definitive account of President John F. Kennedy's assassination–now restored to print in a new paperback edition.As the world still reeled from the tragic and historic events of November 22, 1963, William Manchester set out, at the request of the Kennedy family, to create a detailed, authoritative record of the days immediately preceding and following President John F. Kennedy's death. Through hundreds of interviews, abundant travel and firsthand observation, and with unique access to the proceedings of the Warren Commission, Manchester conducted an exhaustive historical investigation, accumulating forty-five volumes of documents, exhibits, and transcribed tapes. His ultimate objective — to set down as a whole the national and personal tragedy that was JFK's assassination — is brilliantly achieved in this galvanizing narrative, a book universally acclaimed as a landmark work of modern history.

  • Lincoln: A Very Short Introduction

    Lincoln: A Very Short Introduction
    Allen C. Guelzo

    Beneath the surface of the apparently untutored and deceptively frank Abraham Lincoln ran private tunnels of self-taught study, a restless philosophical curiosity, and a profound grasp of the fundamentals of democracy. Now, in Lincoln: A Very Short Introduction, the award-winning Lincoln authority Allen C. Guelzo offers a penetrating look into the mind of one of our greatest presidents. If Lincoln was famous for reading aloud from joke books, Guelzo shows that he also plunged deeply into the mainstream of nineteenth-century liberal democratic thought. Guelzo takes us on a wide-ranging exploration of problems that confronted Lincoln and liberal democracy–equality, opportunity, the rule of law, slavery, freedom, peace, and his legacy. The book sets these problems and Lincoln's responses against the larger world of American and trans-Atlantic liberal democracy in the 19th century, comparing Lincoln not just to Andrew Jackson or John Calhoun, but to British thinkers such as Richard Cobden, Jeremy Bentham, and John Bright, and to French observers Alexis de Tocqueville and François Guizot. The Lincoln we meet here is an Enlightenment figure who struggled to create a common ground between a people focused on individual rights and a society eager to establish a certain moral, philosophical, and intellectual bedrock. Lincoln insisted that liberal democracy had a higher purpose, which was the realization of a morally right political order. But how to interject that sense of moral order into a system that values personal self-satisfaction–"the pursuit of happiness"–remains a fundamental dilemma even today. Abraham Lincoln was a man who, according to his friend and biographer William Henry Herndon, "lived in the mind." Guelzo paints a marvelous portrait of this Lincoln–Lincoln the man of ideas–providing new insights into one of the giants of American history. About the Series: Combining authority with wit, accessibility, and style, Very Short Introductions offer an introduction to some of life's most interesting topics. Written by experts for the newcomer, they demonstrate the finest contemporary thinking about the central problems and issues in hundreds of key topics, from philosophy to Freud, quantum theory to Islam.

  • Kennedy: The Classic Biography

    Kennedy: The Classic Biography
    Ted Sorensen

    The classic, intimate, and magisterial biography of JFKIn January 1953, freshman senator John F. Kennedy of Massachusetts hired a twenty-four-year-old from Nebraska as his Number Two legislative assistant—on a trial basis. Despite the differences in their backgrounds, in the eleven years that followed Sorensen became known as Kennedy's intellectual blood bank, top policy aide, and alter ego. Sorensen knew Kennedy the man, the senator, the candidate, and the president as no other associate did throughout these eleven years. He was with him during the key crises and turning points—including the spectacular race for the vice presidency at the 1956 convention, the launching of Kennedy's presi-dential candidacy, the speech to the Protestant clergy of Houston, the TV debates with Nixon, and election night at Hyannis Port. The first appointment that Kennedy made as a new president was Ted Sorensen as his Special Counsel. Kennedy is an account of this president's failures as well as successes, told with surprising candor and objectivity. Sorensen relates the role of the White House staff and evaluates Kennedy's relations with his Cabinet and other appointees, reveals Kennedy's errors on the Bay of Pigs and his attitudes toward the press, Congress, and the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and details his actions in the Cuban missile crises and the evolution of his beliefs on civil rights and arms control. Three months to the day after Dallas, Sorensen left the White House to write the account of those eleven years that only he could write. First published in 1965, Kennedy is an intimate biography of an extraordinary man, and one of the most important sources of history in this century.

  • Diplomacy

    Diplomacy
    Henry Kissinger

    A brilliant, sweeping history of diplomacy that includes personal stories from the noted former Secretary of State, including his stunning reopening of relations with China.The seminal work on foreign policy and the art of diplomacy. Moving from a sweeping overview of history to blow-by-blow accounts of his negotiations with world leaders, Henry Kissinger describes how the art of diplomacy has created the world in which we live, and how America’s approach to foreign affairs has always differed vastly from that of other nations. Brilliant, controversial, and profoundly incisive, Diplomacy stands as the culmination of a lifetime of diplomatic service and scholarship. It is vital reading for anyone concerned with the forces that have shaped our world today and will impact upon it tomorrow.

  • Let the People Rule: Theodore Roosevelt and the Birth of the Presidential Primary

    Let the People Rule: Theodore Roosevelt and the Birth of the Presidential Primary
    Geoffrey Cowan

    "The best new discussion of the primary system." —Jill Lepore, author of These Truths In 1912, Theodore Roosevelt came out of retirement to challenge William Howard Taft for the Republican nomination. TR seized on the campaign theme “Let the People Rule”—a cry echoed in today’s elections—and through the course of his run helped create thirteen new primaries. Though he won most of the primaries, party bosses proved too powerful, and Roosevelt walked out of the convention to create his own Bull Moose Party—only to make the shocking political calculation to ban black delegates from his new coalition. In Let the People Rule, Geoffrey Cowan takes readers inside the dramatic campaign that changed American politics forever.

  • Young Washington: How Wilderness and War Forged America s Founding Father

    Young Washington: How Wilderness and War Forged America’s Founding Father
    Peter Stark

    A new, brash, and unexpected view of the president we thought we knew, from the bestselling author of AstoriaTwo decades before he led America to independence, George Washington was a flailing young soldier serving the British Empire in the vast wilderness of the Ohio Valley. Naïve and self-absorbed, the twenty-two-year-old officer accidentally ignited the French and Indian War—a conflict that opened colonists to the possibility of an American Revolution.With powerful narrative drive and vivid writing, Young Washington recounts the wilderness trials, controversial battles, and emotional entanglements that transformed Washington from a temperamental striver into a mature leader. Enduring terrifying summer storms and subzero winters imparted resilience and self-reliance, helping prepare him for what he would one day face at Valley Forge. Leading the Virginia troops into battle taught him to set aside his own relentless ambitions and stand in solidarity with those who looked to him for leadership. Negotiating military strategy with British and colonial allies honed his diplomatic skills. And thwarted in his obsessive, youthful love for one woman, he grew to cultivate deeper, enduring relationships. By weaving together Washington’s harrowing wilderness adventures and a broader historical context, Young Washington offers new insights into the dramatic years that shaped the man who shaped a nation.

  • Science and the Founding Fathers: Science in the Political Thought of Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, and James Madison

    Science and the Founding Fathers: Science in the Political Thought of Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, and James Madison
    I. Bernard Cohen

    General readers, students of American history, and professional historians alike will profit from reading this engaging presentation of an aspect of American history conspicuously absent from the usual textbooks and popular presentations of the political thought of early America. Thomas Jefferson was the only president who could read and understand Newton's Principia. Benjamin Franklin is credited with establishing the science of electricity. John Adams had the finest education in science that the new country could provide, including "Pnewmaticks, Hydrostaticks, Mechanicks, Staticks, Opticks." James Madison, chief architect of the Constitution, peppered his Federalist Papers with references to physics, chemistry, and the life sciences. For these men science was an integral part of life—including political life. This is the story of their scientific education and of how they employed that knowledge in shaping the political issues of the day, incorporating scientific reasoning into the Constitution.

  • 41: A Portrait of My Father

    41: A Portrait of My Father
    George W. Bush

    #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • George W. Bush, the 43rd President of the United States, has authored a personal biography of his father, George H. W. Bush, the 41st President. Forty-three men have served as President of the United States. Countless books have been written about them. But never before has a President told the story of his father, another President, through his own eyes and in his own words. A unique and intimate biography, the book covers the entire scope of the elder President Bush’s life and career, including his service in the Pacific during World War II, his pioneering work in the Texas oil business, and his political rise as a Congressman, U.S. Representative to China and the United Nations, CIA Director, Vice President, and President. The book shines new light on both the accomplished statesman and the warm, decent man known best by his family. In addition, George W. Bush discusses his father’s influence on him throughout his own life, from his childhood in West Texas to his early campaign trips with his father, and from his decision to go into politics to his own two-term Presidency.

  • LBJ: The Mastermind of the JFK Assassination

    LBJ: The Mastermind of the JFK Assassination
    Phillip F. Nelson

    The explosive true story of how a deranged Lyndon Johnson conspired to murder the President of the United States. LBJ: The Mastermind of the JFK Assassination aims to prove that Vice President Johnson played an active role in the assassination of President Kennedy and that he began planning his takeover of the US presidency even before being named the vice-presidential nominee in 1960. Lyndon B. Johnson’s flawed personality and character traits, formed as a child, grew unchecked for the rest of his life as he suffered severe bouts of manic-depressive illness. He successfully hid this disorder from the public as he bartered, stole, and finessed his way through the corridors of power on Capitol Hill, though it’s recorded that some of his aides knew of his struggle with bipolar disorder. After years of researching Johnson and the JFK assassination, Phillip F. Nelson conclusively shows that LBJ had an active role in JFK’s assassination, and he includes newly-uncovered photographic evidence proving that Johnson knew when and where Kennedy’s assassination would take place. Nelson’s careful and meticulous research has led him to uncover secrets from one of the greatest unsolved mysteries in our country’s history.

  • The Last Lion:: Winston Spencer Churchill: Alone, 1932-1940, Volume 2

    The Last Lion:: Winston Spencer Churchill: Alone, 1932-1940, Volume 2
    William Manchester

    The second volume of William Manchester's masterful account of Winston Churchill's life. Alone is the second volume of William Manchester's brilliant three-volume biography of Winston Churchill. In this volume, we witness the war within, before the colossal war to come. During this period, Churchill was tested as few men are: relentlessly pursued by creditors, disowned by his own party, vociferously dismissed by the press as a warmonger, and twice nearly lost his seat in Parliament. Yet despite his personal and political troubles, Churchill managed to assemble a vast, underground intelligence network-both within the British government and on the continent-which provided him with more complete and accurate information on Germany than the British government. Recognizing the horrifying truth, Churchill stood almost alone against Nazi aggression and the sordid British and French policy of appeasement.Manchester's luminous portrait never loses sight of Churchill the man-a man with limitations, especially his callousness toward others (including his supporters) and his recklessness, which could border on the foolhardy; but also a man whose vision was global and whose courage was boundless. Here is Churchill as a light in the approaching darkness, readying himself for the terrible stand to come.

  • The Best of American Heritage Roosevelt

    The Best of American Heritage Roosevelt
    Edwin S. Grosvenor

    Franklin Delano Roosevelt led the United States through two of the most critical periods in our history – the Great Depression and World War II. And in those twelve years, he did more than any president except Abraham Lincoln to change America.Here, some of the country's greatest historians – James MacGregor Burns, Thomas Fleming, John Kenneth Galbraith, Richard Ketchum, John Lukacs, Allan Nevins, Joe Persico, William vanden Heuvel, and Geoffrey Ward – bring FDR vividly to life, assessing his place in history and exploring his marriage to Eleanor, his struggle with polio, his love of Hyde Park, his relationships with Winston Churchill and Joseph Stalin, and his complicated final days.

  • Where the Buck Stops: The Personal and Private Writings of Harry S. Truman

    Where the Buck Stops: The Personal and Private Writings of Harry S. Truman
    Harry S. Truman

    Harry Truman was a man of common sense and uncommon insights. In this frank book, the thirty-third president of the United States speaks directly about the office of the presidency, about the best and worst presidents, and his own experience holding office.Nearly every page contains a "Trumanism" – an unexpected insight, a little-known anecdote, or a pithy piece of wisdom. His topics range from "do-nothing presidents" to the way he felt military service undermined a leader's ability to command a country to his admiration for Abraham Lincoln. Truman writes about moments in presidential history with a warmth and sincerity that brings figures from George Washington to Franklin Roosevelt to life.Willing to write frankly about his decision to drop the atomic bomb, but humble about his own impact on history, Truman offers a unique perspective on American history.

  • Trump Must Go: The Top 100 Reasons to Dump Trump (and One to Keep Him)

    Trump Must Go: The Top 100 Reasons to Dump Trump (and One to Keep Him)
    Bill Press

    "I would give myself an A+" —Donald Trump, on his first 100 days in office. Americans increasingly agree on one thing: Every day that Trump stays in office, he diminishes the United States and its people. In Trump Must Go, TV and radio host Bill Press offers 100 reasons why Trump needs to be removed from office, whether by impeachment, the 25th Amendment, or the ballot box. Beginning with the man himself and moving through Trump’s executive action damage, Press covers Trump's debasement of the United States political system and degrading of the American presidency. Ranging from banning federal employees’ use of the phrase “climate change,” to putting down Haiti, El Salvador, and African nations as “shithole” countries, we have to wonder what he’ll do next. He has a bromance with Putin that enables several meetings between Trump staffers and Russian officials, and he has a wrecking crew administration: Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, and Housing Secretary Ben Carson, to name a few. Extensive “executive time” marks Trump’s calendar so he can golf, watch TV, and eat fast food. Trump has done it all…badly. But, in a political climate where the world has learned to expect the unexpected, Press offers readers a twist: one reason not to ditch Donald Trump.

  • They Killed Our President: 63 Reasons to Believe There Was a Conspiracy to Assassinate JFK

    They Killed Our President: 63 Reasons to Believe There Was a Conspiracy to Assassinate JFK
    David Wayne

    New York Times bestseller: A definitive, no-holds-barred account of all the evidence pointing to a secret government plot to murder President Kennedy. It’s been more than fifty years since John F. Kennedy was assassinated, and it’s time we all fully understood the facts, theories, and myths surrounding the plot to murder the president. New York Times–bestselling authors Jesse Ventura, Dick Russell, and David Wayne have created a compendium that covers every possible scenario—from plot to cover-up. They Killed Our President discusses the most famous of theories, such as the second shooter on the grassy knoll, and also brings to light new and recently discovered testimony and reports, which show that elements of the US government were behind the plot and took every step to make sure that the truth would never be revealed. No stone is left unturned, no document left unread in the research behind They Killed Our President. After reviewing the sixty-three reasons in this book, you will find it undeniable that President Kennedy’s death was a product of conspiracy.

  • Kushner, Inc.: Greed. Ambition. Corruption. The Extraordinary Story of Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump

    Kushner, Inc.: Greed. Ambition. Corruption. The Extraordinary Story of Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump
    Vicky Ward

    INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER The first explosive book about Javanka and their infamous rise to powerJared Kushner and Ivanka Trump are the self-styled Prince and Princess of America. Their swift, gilded rise to extraordinary power in Donald Trump’s White House is unprecedented and dangerous. In Kushner, Inc., investigative journalist Vicky Ward digs beneath the myth the couple has created, depicting themselves as the voices of reason in an otherwise crazy presidency, and reveals that Jared and Ivanka are not just the President’s chief enablers: they, like him, appear disdainful of rules, of laws, and of ethics. They are entitled inheritors of the worst kind; their combination of ignorance, arrogance, and an insatiable lust for power has caused havoc all over the world, and may threaten the democracy of the United States.Ward follows their trajectory from New Jersey and New York City to the White House, where the couple’s many forays into policy-making and national security have mocked long-standing U.S. policy and protocol. They have pursued an agenda that could increase their wealth while their actions have mostly gone unchecked. In Kushner, Inc., Ward holds Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump accountable: she unveils the couple’s self-serving transactional motivations and how those have propelled them into the highest levels of the US government where no one, the President included, has been able to stop them.

  • Rosemary: The Hidden Kennedy Daughter

    Rosemary: The Hidden Kennedy Daughter
    Kate Clifford Larson

    One of People’s Top Ten Books of 2015 "[Larson] succeeds in providing a well-rounded portrait of a woman who, until now, has never been viewed in full."—Boston Globe ​“A biography that chronicles her life with fresh details . . . By making Rosemary the central character, [Larson] has produced a valuable account of a mental health tragedy and an influential family’s belated efforts to make amends.” — New York Times Book Review Joe and Rose Kennedy’s strikingly beautiful daughter Rosemary attended exclusive schools, was presented as a debutante to the queen of England, and traveled the world with her high-spirited sisters. Yet Rosemary was intellectually disabled, a secret fiercely guarded by her powerful and glamorous family. In Rosemary, Kate Clifford Larson uses newly uncovered sources to bring Rosemary Kennedy’s story to light. Young Rosemary comes alive as a sweet, lively girl adored by her siblings. But Larson also reveals the often desperate and duplicitous arrangements the Kennedys made to keep her away from home as she became increasingly difficult in her early twenties, culminating in Joe’s decision to have Rosemary lobotomized at age twenty-three and the family’s complicity in keeping the secret. Only years later did the Kennedy siblings begin to understand what had happened to Rosemary, which inspired them to direct government attention and resources to the plight of the developmentally and mentally disabled, transforming the lives of millions. “The forgotten Kennedy is forgotten no longer. Rosemary is a rare thing, a book about the Kennedys that has something new to say.” — Laurence Leamer, author of The Kennedy Women “Heartbreaking.” — Wall Street Journal

  • Ancestors of Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter

    Ancestors of Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter
    Jeff Carter

    During his presidency, Jimmy Carter received a comprehensive analysis of his family’s genealogy, dating back 12 generations, from leaders of the Mormon Church. More recently Carter’s son Jeff took over the family history, determined to discover all that he could about his ancestors. This resulting volume traces every ancestral line of both Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter back to the original immigrants to America and chronicles their origins, occupations, and life dates. Among his forebears Carter found cabinet makers, farmers, preachers, illegitimate children, slave owners, indentured servants, a former Hessian soldier who fought against Napoleon, and even a spy for General George Washington at Valley Forge. With never-before-published historic photographs and a foreword by President Jimmy Carter, this is the definitive saga of a remarkable American family.

  • The Dictator s Handbook: Why Bad Behavior is Almost Always Good Politics

    The Dictator’s Handbook: Why Bad Behavior is Almost Always Good Politics
    Bruce Bueno de Mesquita

    A groundbreaking new theory of the real rules of politics: leaders do whatever keeps them in power, regardless of the national interest.As featured on the viral video Rules for Rulers, which has been viewed over 3 million times.Bruce Bueno de Mesquita and Alastair Smith's canonical book on political science turned conventional wisdom on its head. They started from a single assertion: Leaders do whatever keeps them in power. They don't care about the "national interest"-or even their subjects-unless they have to. This clever and accessible book shows that democracy is essentially just a convenient fiction. Governments do not differ in kind but only in the number of essential supporters, or backs that need scratching. The size of this group determines almost everything about politics: what leaders can get away with, and the quality of life or misery under them. The picture the authors paint is not pretty. But it just may be the truth, which is a good starting point for anyone seeking to improve human governance.

  • American Creation

    American Creation
    Joseph J. Ellis

    From the first shots fired at Lexington to the signing of the Declaration of Independence to the negotiations for the Louisiana Purchase, Joseph J. Ellis guides us through the decisive issues of the nation’s founding, and illuminates the emerging philosophies, shifting alliances, and personal and political foibles of our now iconic leaders–Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Hamilton, and Adams. He casts an incisive eye on the founders’ achievements, arguing that the American Revolution was, paradoxically, an evolution–and that part of what made it so extraordinary was the gradual pace at which it occurred. He explains how the idea of a strong federal government was eventually embraced by the American people, and details the emergence of the two-party system, which stands as the founders’ most enduring legacy.Ellis is equally incisive about their failures, and he makes clear how their inability to abolish slavery and to reach a just settlement with the Native Americans has played an equally important role in shaping our national character. With eloquence and insight, Ellis strips the mythic veneer of the revolutionary generation to reveal men both human and inspired, possessed of both brilliance and blindness. American Creation is an audiobook that delineates an era of flawed greatness, at a time when understanding our origins is more important than ever.

  • Killing Kennedy: The End of Camelot

    Killing Kennedy: The End of Camelot
    Bill O’Reilly

    A riveting historical narrative of the shocking events surrounding the assassination of John F. Kennedy, and the follow-up to mega-bestselling author Bill O'Reilly's Killing LincolnMore than a million readers have thrilled to Bill O'Reilly's Killing Lincoln, the page-turning work of nonfiction about the shocking assassination that changed the course of American history. Now the iconic anchor of The O'Reilly Factor recounts in gripping detail the brutal murder of John Fitzgerald Kennedy—and how a sequence of gunshots on a Dallas afternoon not only killed a beloved president but also sent the nation into the cataclysmic division of the Vietnam War and its culture-changing aftermath.In January 1961, as the Cold War escalates, John F. Kennedy struggles to contain the growth of Communism while he learns the hardships, solitude, and temptations of what it means to be president of the United States. Along the way he acquires a number of formidable enemies, among them Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev, Cuban dictator Fidel Castro, and Allen Dulles, director of the Central Intelligence Agency. In addition, powerful elements of organized crime have begun to talk about targeting the president and his brother, Attorney General Robert Kennedy.In the midst of a 1963 campaign trip to Texas, Kennedy is gunned down by an erratic young drifter named Lee Harvey Oswald. The former Marine Corps sharpshooter escapes the scene, only to be caught and shot dead while in police custody.The events leading up to the most notorious crime of the twentieth century are almost as shocking as the assassination itself. Killing Kennedy chronicles both the heroism and deceit of Camelot, bringing history to life in ways that will profoundly move the reader. This may well be the most talked about book of the year.

  • What Truth Sounds Like: Robert F. Kennedy, James Baldwin, and Our Unfinished Conversation About Race in America

    What Truth Sounds Like: Robert F. Kennedy, James Baldwin, and Our Unfinished Conversation About Race in America
    Michael Eric Dyson

    Named a 2018 Notable Work of Nonfiction by The Washington PostNOW A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Winner, The 2018 Southern Book PrizeNAMED A BEST/MOST ANTICIPATED BOOK OF 2018 BY: Chicago Tribune • Time • Publisher's WeeklyA stunning follow up to New York Times bestseller Tears We Cannot StopThe Washington Post: "Passionately written."Chris Matthews, MSNBC: "A beautifully written book."Shaun King: “I kid you not–I think it’s the most important book I’ve read all year…” Harry Belafonte: “Dyson has finally written the book I always wanted to read…a tour de force.”Joy-Ann Reid: A work of searing prose and seminal brilliance… Dyson takes that once in a lifetime conversation between black excellence and pain and the white heroic narrative, and drives it right into the heart of our current politics and culture, leaving the reader reeling and reckoning."Robin D. G. Kelley: “Dyson masterfully refracts our present racial conflagration… he reminds us that Black artists and intellectuals bear an awesome responsibility to speak truth to power." President Barack Obama: "Everybody who speaks after Michael Eric Dyson pales in comparison.”In 2015 BLM activist Julius Jones confronted Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton with an urgent query: “What in your heart has changed that’s going to change the direction of this country?” “I don’t believe you just change hearts,” she protested. “I believe you change laws.”The fraught conflict between conscience and politics – between morality and power – in addressing race hardly began with Clinton. An electrifying and traumatic encounter in the sixties crystallized these furious disputes.In 1963 Attorney General Robert Kennedy sought out James Baldwin to explain the rage that threatened to engulf black America. Baldwin brought along some friends, including playwright Lorraine Hansberry, psychologist Kenneth Clark, and a valiant activist, Jerome Smith. It was Smith’s relentless, unfiltered fury that set Kennedy on his heels, reducing him to sullen silence.Kennedy walked away from the nearly three-hour meeting angry – that the black folk assembled didn’t understand politics, and that they weren’t as easy to talk to as Martin Luther King. But especially that they were more interested in witness than policy. But Kennedy’s anger quickly gave way to empathy, especially for Smith. “I guess if I were in his shoes…I might feel differently about this country.” Kennedy set about changing policy – the meeting having transformed his thinking in fundamental ways.There was more: every big argument about race that persists to this day got a hearing in that room. Smith declaring that he’d never fight for his country given its racist tendencies, and Kennedy being appalled at such lack of patriotism, tracks the disdain for black dissent in our own time. His belief that black folk were ungrateful for the Kennedys’ efforts to make things better shows up in our day as the charge that black folk wallow in the politics of ingratitude and victimhood. The contributions of black queer folk to racial progress still cause a stir. BLM has been accused of harboring a covert queer agenda. The immigrant experience, like that of Kennedy – versus the racial experience of Baldwin – is a cudgel to excoriate black folk for lacking hustle and ingenuity. The questioning of whether folk who are interracially partnered can authentically communicate black interests persists. And we grapple still with the responsibility of black intellectuals and artists to bring about social change.What Truth Sounds Like exists at the tense intersection of the conflict between politics and prophecy – of whether we embrace political resolution or moral redemption to fix our fractured racial landscape. The future of race and democracy hang in the balance.

  • Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates: The Forgotten War That Changed American History

    Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates: The Forgotten War That Changed American History
    Brian Kilmeade

    “Another blockbuster! Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates reads like an edge-of-your-seat, page-turning thriller. You will love this book and also wonder why so few people know this story. No one captures the danger, intrigue, and drama of the American Revolution and its aftermath like Brian Kilmeade and Don Yaeger.” —Brad ThorThis is the little-known story of how a newly indepen­dent nation was challenged by four Muslim powers and what happened when America’s third president decided to stand up to intimidation. When Thomas Jefferson became president in 1801, America faced a crisis. The new nation was deeply in debt and needed its economy to grow quickly, but its merchant ships were under attack. Pirates from North Africa’s Barbary coast routinely captured American sailors and held them as slaves, demanding ransom and tribute payments far beyond what the new coun­try could afford. Over the previous fifteen years, as a diplomat and then as secretary of state, Jefferson had tried to work with the Barbary states (Tripoli, Tunis, Algiers, and Morocco). Unfortunately, he found it impossible to negotiate with people who believed their religion jus­tified the plunder and enslavement of non-Muslims. These rogue states would show no mercy—at least not while easy money could be made by extorting the Western powers. So President Jefferson decided to move beyond diplomacy. He sent the U.S. Navy’s new warships and a detachment of Marines to blockade Tripoli—launching the Barbary Wars and beginning America’s journey toward future superpower status. As they did in their previous bestseller, George Washington’s Secret Six, Kilmeade and Yaeger have transformed a nearly forgotten slice of history into a dramatic story that will keep you turning the pages to find out what happens next. Among the many sus­penseful episodes: ·Lieutenant Andrew Sterett’s ferocious cannon battle on the high seas against the treacherous pirate ship Tripoli. ·Lieutenant Stephen Decatur’s daring night raid of an enemy harbor, with the aim of destroying an American ship that had fallen into the pirates’ hands.·General William Eaton’s unprecedented five-hundred-mile land march from Egypt to the port of Derne, where the Marines launched a surprise attack and an American flag was raised in victory on foreign soil for the first time. Few today remember these men and other heroes who inspired the Marine Corps hymn: “From the Halls of Montezuma to the Shores of Tripoli, we fight our country’s battles in the air, on land and sea.” Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates recaptures this forgot­ten war that changed American history with a real-life drama of intrigue, bravery, and battle on the high seas.

  • Mrs. Kennedy and Me: An Intimate Memoir

    Mrs. Kennedy and Me: An Intimate Memoir
    Clint Hill

    The #1 New York Times bestselling memoir by Clint Hill that Kirkus Reviews called “clear and honest prose free from salaciousness and gossip,” Jackie Kennedy’s personal Secret Service agent details his very close relationship with the First Lady during the four years leading up to and following President John F. Kennedy’s tragic assassination.In those four years, Hill was by Mrs. Kennedy’s side for some of the happiest moments as well as the darkest. He was there for the birth of John, Jr. on November 25, 1960, as well as for the birth and sudden death of Patrick Bouvier Kennedy on August 8, 1963. Three and a half months later, the unthinkable happened.Forty-seven years after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, the one vivid image that never leaves Clint Hill’s mind is that of President Kennedy’s head lying on Mrs. Kennedy’s lap in the back seat of the limousine, his eyes fixed, blood splattered all over the back of the car, Mrs. Kennedy, and Hill as well. Sprawled on the trunk of the car as it sped away from Dealey Plaza, Hill clung to the sides of the car, his feet wedged in so his body was as high as possible. Clint Hill jumped on the car too late to save the president, but all he knew after that first shot was that if more shots were coming, the bullets had to hit him instead of the First Lady. Mrs. Kennedy’s strength, class, and dignity over those tragic four days in November 1963 held the country together.This is the story, told for the first time, of the man who perhaps held her together.