U.s. History - 20th Century General
The Library Book
Hardcover ISBN: 1476740186
Susan Orlean, hailed as a “national treasure” by The Washington Post and the acclaimed bestselling author of Rin Tin Tin and The Orchid Thief, reopens the unsolved mystery of the most catastrophic library fire in American history, and delivers a dazzling love letter to a beloved institution—our libraries. On the morning of April 29, 1986, a fire alarm sounded in the Los Angeles Public Library. As the moments passed, the patrons and staff who had been cleared out of the building realized this was not the usual false alarm. As one fireman recounted later, “Once that first stack got going, it was Goodbye, Charlie.” The fire was disastrous: It reached 2,000 degrees and burned for more than seven hours. By the time it was extinguished, it had consumed 400,000 books and damaged 700,000 more. Investigators descended on the scene, but over thirty years later, the mystery remains: Did someone purposefully set fire to the library—and if so, who? Weaving her life-long love of books and reading with the fascinating history of libraries and the sometimes-eccentric characters who run them, award-winning journalist and New York Times bestselling author Susan Orlean presents a mesmerizing and uniquely compelling story as only she can. With her signature wit, insight, compassion, and talent for deep research, she investigates the legendary Los Angeles Public Library fire to showcase the larger, crucial role that libraries play in our lives. To truly understand what happens behind the stacks, Orlean visits the different departments of the LAPL, encountering an engaging cast of employees and patrons and experiencing alongside them the victories and struggles they face in today’s climate. She also delves into the evolution of libraries across the country and around the world, from a metropolitan charitable initiative to a cornerstone of national identity. She reflects on her childhood experiences in libraries; studies arson and the long history of library fires; attempts to burn a copy of a book herself; and she re-examines the case of Harry Peak, the blond-haired actor long suspected of setting fire to the library over thirty years ago. Along the way, she reveals how these buildings provide much more than just books—and that they are needed now more than ever. Filled with heart, passion, and unforgettable characters, The Library Book is classic Susan Orlean, and an homage to a beloved institution that remains a vital part of the heart, mind, and soul of our country and culture.
The Ghosts of Eden Park
The Bootleg King, the Women Who Pursued Him, and the Murder That Shocked Jazz-Age America
Hardcover ISBN: 0451498623
"The epic true crime story of bootlegger George Remus and the murder that shocked the nation, from the New York Times bestselling author of Sin in the Second City and Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy In the early days of Prohibition, long before Al Capone became a household name, a German immigrant named George Remus quits practicing law and starts trafficking whiskey. Within two years he's a multi-millionaire. The press calls him "King of the Bootleggers," writing breathless stories about the Gatsby-esqueevents he and his glamorous second wife, Imogene, host at their Cincinnati mansion, with party favors ranging from diamond jewelry for the men to brand-new Pontiacs for the women. By the summer of 1921, Remus owns 35 percent of all the liquor in the United States. Pioneering prosecutor Mabel Walker Willebrandt is determined to bring him down. Willebrandt's bosses at the U.S. Attorney's office hired her right out of law school, assuming she'd pose no real threat to the cozy relationship they maintain with Remus. Eager to prove them wrong, she dispatches her best investigator, Franklin Dodge, to look into his empire. It's a decision with deadly consequences: with Remus behind bars, Franklin and Imogene begin an affair and plot to ruin him, sparking a bitter feud that soon reaches the highest levels of government--and that can only end in murder. Combining deep historical research with novelistic flair, THE GHOSTS OF EDEN PARK is the unforgettable, stranger-than-fiction story of a rags-to-riches entrepreneur and a long-forgotten heroine, of the excesses and absurdities of the Jazz Age, and of the infinite human capacity to deceive"--
How a Radical Plan to Outlaw War Remade the World
Paperback ISBN: 1501109871
“An original book…about individuals who used ideas to change the world” (The New Yorker)—the fascinating exploration into the creation and history of the Paris Peace Pact, an often overlooked but transformative treaty that laid the foundation for the international system we live under today. In 1928, the leaders of the world assembled in Paris to outlaw war. Within the year, the treaty signed that day, known as the Peace Pact, had been ratified by nearly every state in the world. War, for the first time in history, had become illegal. But within a decade of its signing, each state that had gathered in Paris to renounce war was at war. And in the century that followed, the Peace Pact was dismissed as an act of folly and an unmistakable failure. This book argues that the Peace Pact ushered in a sustained march toward peace that lasts to this day. A “thought-provoking and comprehensively researched book” (The Wall Street Journal), The Internationalists tells the story of the Peace Pact through a fascinating and diverse array of lawyers, politicians, and intellectuals. It reveals the centuries-long struggle of ideas over the role of war in a just world order. It details the brutal world of conflict the Peace Pact helped extinguish, and the subsequent era where tariffs and sanctions take the place of tanks and gunships. The Internationalists is “indispensable” (The Washington Post). Accessible and gripping, this book will change the way we view the history of the twentieth century—and how we must work together to protect the global order the internationalists fought to make possible. “A fascinating and challenging book, which raises gravely important issues for the present…Given the state of the world, The Internationalists has come along at the right moment” (The Financial Times).
A Man Divided
Paperback ISBN: 0812985419
“What was it really like to be Richard Nixon? Evan Thomas tackles this fascinating question by peeling back the layers of a man driven by a poignant mix of optimism and fear. The result is both insightful history and an astonishingly compelling psychological portrait.
Once in a Great City
A Detroit Story
Hardcover ISBN: 1476748381
"As David Maraniss captures it with power and affection, Detroit summed up America's path to music and prosperity that was already past history. It's 1963 and Detroit is on top of the world. The city's leaders are among the most visionary in America: Grandson of the first Ford; Henry Ford II; influential labor leader Walter Reuther; Motown's founder Berry Gordy; the Reverend C.L. Franklin and his daughter, the amazing Aretha; Governor George Romney, Mormon and Civil Rights advocate; super car salesman Lee Iacocca; Mayor Jerome Cavanagh, a Kennedy acolyte; Police Commissioner George Edwards; Martin Luther King. It was the American auto makers' best year; the revolution in music and politics was underway. Reuther's UAW had helped lift the middle class. The time was full of promise. The auto industry was selling more cars than ever before and inventing the Mustang. Motown was capturing the world with its amazing artists. The progressive labor movement was rooted in Detroit with the UAW. Martin Luther Kingdelivered his "I Have a Dream" speech there two months before he made it famous in the Washington march. Once in a Great City shows that the shadows of collapse were evident even then. Before the devastating riot. Before the decades of civic corruption and neglect, and white flight. Before people trotted out the grab bag of rust belt infirmities--from harsh weather to high labor costs--and competition from abroad to explain Detroit's collapse, one could see the signs of a city's ruin. Detroit at its peak was threatened by its own design. It was being abandoned by the new world. Yet so much of what Detroit gave America lasts"--
When Lions Roar
The Churchills and the Kennedys
Hardcover ISBN: 0307956792
A far-reaching history of the intertwined personal and public lives of the Churchills and the Kennedys discusses their respective family views, how they overcame bitter differences to unite against Hitler and the enduring influence of their collaborations. 30,000 first printing.
Stony the Road
Reconstruction, White Supremacy, and the Rise of Jim Crow
Hardcover ISBN: 0525559531
Chronicles America's post-Civil War struggle for racial equality and the violent counterrevolution that resubjugated black Americans throughout the twentieth century, as seen through the visual culture of the era.
The Hidden Kennedy Daughter
Paperback ISBN: 0544811909
Based on information contained in Rose Kennedy's diaries and correspondence, as well as exclusive family interviews, the author describes the plight of a woman forgotten to history, who was intellectually disabled and kept hidden by the family after she received a lobotomy at the age of 23. 75,000 first printing. Illustrations.
Hardcover ISBN: 0385537352
"Brilliantly researched, authoritatively crafted by a prize-winning biographer, and lively on the page, this is the Nixon we've been waiting for. Richard Nixon opens with young Navy lieutenant "Nick" Nixon returning from the Pacific and setting his cap at Congress, an idealistic dreamer seeking to build a better world. Yet amid the turns of that now legendary 1946 campaign, Nixon's finer attributes quickly gave way to unapologetic ruthlessness. It is a stunning overture to John A. Farrell's magisterial portrait of a man who embodied postwar American cynicism. Within four years of that first win, Nixon would be a U.S. senator; in six the vice president of the United States of America. "Few came so far, so fast, and so alone," Farrell writes. Finally president, Nixon's staff was full of bright young men who devised forward-thinking reforms addressing health care, poverty, civil rights, and protection of the environment. It was a fine legacy, but Nixon cared little for it. He aspired to make his mark on the world stage instead, and his 1972 opening to China was the first great crack in the Cold War. Nixon had another legacy, too: an America divided and polarized. It was Nixon who launched the McCarthy era, who set South against North, and who spurred the Silent Majority to despise and distrust the country's elites. He persuaded Americans to gnaw, as he did, on grievances--and to look at one another as enemies. Finally, in August 1974, after two years of the mesmerizing intrigue and scandal known as Watergate, Nixon became the only president to resign in disgrace. Richard Nixon is an enthralling tour de force biography of our darkest president, one that reviewers will hail as a defining portrait, and the full life of Nixon readers have awaited"--