U.s. History - 20th Century General
The Librarian Spies: Philip and Mary Jane Keeney and Cold War Espionage
The Librarian Spies
Philip and Mary Jane Keeney and Cold War Espionage
Hardcover      ISBN: 0275994481

In 1950, Senator Joseph McCarthy declared that the State Department was a haven for communists and traitors. Among famous targets, like Alger Hiss, the senator also named librarian Mary Jane Keeney and her husband Philip, who had been called before the House UnAmerican Activities Committee to account for friendships with suspected communists, memberships in communist fronts, and authorship of articles that had been published in leftist periodicals. Conservative journalists and politicians had seized the occasion to denounce the pair as communist sympathizers and spies for the Soviet Union. If the accusations were true, the Keeneys had provided the Soviets with classified information about American defense and economic policies that could alter the balance of power between those rival nations. If false, the Keeneys had been shamefully wronged by their own government, for the accusations tumbled them into grief and poverty.

In 1950, Senator Joseph McCarthy declared that the State Department was a haven for communists and traitors. Among famous targets, like Alger Hiss, the senator also named librarian Mary Jane Keeney and her husband Philip, who had been called before The House UnAmerican Activities Committee to account for friendships with suspected communists, memberships in communist fronts, and authorship of articles that had been published in leftist periodicals. Conservative journalists and politicians had seized the occasion to denounce the pair as communist sympathizers and spies for the Soviet Union. If the accusations were true, the Keeneys had provided the Soviets with classified information about American defense and economic policies that could alter the balance of power between those rival nations. If false, the Keeneys had been shamefully wronged by their own government, for the accusations tumbled them into grief and poverty.

This book draws on a wide range of archival materials, especialy FBI files, interviews, and extensive reading from secondary sources to tell the story of Philip Olin Keeney and his wife Mary Jane, who became part of the famed Silvermaster Spy Ring in the 1940s. It paints a picture of two ordinary people who took an extraordinary path in life and, while they were never charged and tried as spies, were punished through blacklisting. It also reaveals the means by which the FBI investigated suspected spies through black bag jobs, phone tapping, and mail interceptions. Spies compromise national security by stealing secrets, but secrets can be defined to suit individual political designs and ambitions. Philip and Mary Jane Keeney constantly tested the boundaries of free access to information - to the point of risking disloyalty to their country - but the American government responded in a manner that risked its democratic foundations.

The Library Book
The Library Book
Hardcover      ISBN: 1476740186
A REESE WITHERSPOON x HELLO SUNSHINE BOOK CLUB PICK

A WASHINGTON POST TOP 10 BOOK OF THE YEAR * A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER and NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK OF 2018

"A constant pleasure to read...Everybody who loves books should check out The Library Book." --The Washington Post

"CAPTIVATING...DELIGHTFUL." --Christian Science Monitor * "EXQUISITELY WRITTEN, CONSISTENTLY ENTERTAINING." --The New York Times * "MESMERIZING...RIVETING." --Booklist (starred review)

A dazzling love letter to a beloved institution--and an investigation into one of its greatest mysteries--from the bestselling author hailed as a "national treasure" by The Washington Post.

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 fire alarm. As one fireman recounted, "Once that first stack got going, it was 'Goodbye, Charlie.'" The fire was disastrous: it reached 2000 degrees and burned for more than seven hours. By the time it was extinguished, it had consumed four hundred thousand books and damaged seven hundred thousand more. Investigators descended on the scene, but more than thirty years later, the mystery remains: Did someone purposefully set fire to the library--and if so, who?

Weaving her lifelong love of books and reading into an investigation of the fire, award-winning New Yorker reporter and New York Times bestselling author Susan Orlean delivers a mesmerizing and uniquely compelling book that manages to tell the broader story of libraries and librarians in a way that has never been done before.

In The Library Book, Orlean chronicles the LAPL fire and its aftermath to showcase the larger, crucial role that libraries play in our lives; delves into the evolution of libraries across the country and around the world, from their humble beginnings as a metropolitan charitable initiative to their current status as a cornerstone of national identity; brings each department of the library to vivid life through on-the-ground reporting; studies arson and attempts to burn a copy of a book herself; reflects on her own experiences in libraries; and reexamines the case of Harry Peak, the blond-haired actor long suspected of setting fire to the LAPL more than thirty years ago.

Along the way, Orlean introduces us to an unforgettable cast of characters from libraries past and present--from Mary Foy, who in 1880 at eighteen years old was named the head of the Los Angeles Public Library at a time when men still dominated the role, to Dr. C.J.K. Jones, a pastor, citrus farmer, and polymath known as "The Human Encyclopedia" who roamed the library dispensing information; from Charles Lummis, a wildly eccentric journalist and adventurer who was determined to make the L.A. library one of the best in the world, to the current staff, who do heroic work every day to ensure that their institution remains a vital part of the city it serves.

Brimming with her signature wit, insight, compassion, and talent for deep research, The Library Book is Susan Orlean's thrilling journey through the stacks that reveals how these beloved institutions provide much more than just books--and why they remain an essential part of the heart, mind, and soul of our country. It is also a master journalist's reminder that, perhaps especially in the digital era, they are more necessary than ever.
Life and Times of the Atomic Bomb: Nuclear Weapons and the Transformation of Warfare
Life and Times of the Atomic Bomb
Nuclear Weapons and the Transformation of Warfare
Hardcover      ISBN: 0765619857

Life and Times of the Atomic Bomb takes up the question of how the world found itself in the age of nuclear weapons - and how it has since tried to find a way out of it. Albert I. Berger charts the story of nuclear weapons from their origins through the Atomic Age and the Cold War up through the present day, arguing that an understanding of the history of nuclear weapons is crucial to modern efforts to manage them. This book examines topics including nuclear strategy debates, weapon system procurement decisions, and arms control conferences through the people and leaders who experienced them.

Providing a chronological survey, Life and Times of the Atomic Bomb starts with the major scientific discoveries of the late 19th century that laid the groundwork for nuclear development. It then traces the history of nuclear weapons from their inception to the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 and the reaction to them by key players on both sides. It continues its narrative into the second half of the twentieth century, and the role of nuclear weapons throughout the Cold War, engaging in the debate over whether nuclear weapons are an effective deterrent. Finally, the closing chapters consider the atomic bomb's place in the modern world and the transformation of warfare in an age of advanced technology.

This clear and engaging survey will be invaluable reading for students of the Cold War and twentieth-century history.

Life and Times of the Atomic Bomb: Nuclear Weapons and the Transformation of Warfare
Life and Times of the Atomic Bomb
Nuclear Weapons and the Transformation of Warfare
Paperback      ISBN: 0765619865

Life and Times of the Atomic Bomb takes up the question of how the world found itself in the age of nuclear weapons - and how it has since tried to find a way out of it. Albert I. Berger charts the story of nuclear weapons from their origins through the Atomic Age and the Cold War up through the present day, arguing that an understanding of the history of nuclear weapons is crucial to modern efforts to manage them. This book examines topics including nuclear strategy debates, weapon system procurement decisions, and arms control conferences through the people and leaders who experienced them.

Providing a chronological survey, Life and Times of the Atomic Bomb starts with the major scientific discoveries of the late 19th century that laid the groundwork for nuclear development. It then traces the history of nuclear weapons from their inception to the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 and the reaction to them by key players on both sides. It continues its narrative into the second half of the twentieth century, and the role of nuclear weapons throughout the Cold War, engaging in the debate over whether nuclear weapons are an effective deterrent. Finally, the closing chapters consider the atomic bomb's place in the modern world and the transformation of warfare in an age of advanced technology.

This clear and engaging survey will be invaluable reading for students of the Cold War and twentieth-century history.

The Life of Herbert Hoover: Keeper of the Torch, 1933-1964
The Life of Herbert Hoover
Keeper of the Torch, 1933-1964
Hardcover      ISBN: 0230103103

It has often been said of Herbert Hoover that his accomplishments even before he became president were adequate to ensure him an important place in American history, even without his service in the White House. It is equally true that his achievements during his post-presidential years are sufficient, in themselves, to make him an important historical figure without reference to all that happened before l933. Hoover's post-presidential years were kaleidoscopic-filled with the activities of a man constantly on the move, both physically and mentally. He remained an active presence in politics, exerting his considerable influence in the Republican Party to maintain the GOP as the bulwark of conservative principles in American politics; he was a leader in the debate over American involvement in World War II as well as over-committing U.S. ground forces to the defense of Europe under NATO in the l950s; and post-World War II he formulated a program that was largely embraced both by the Republican Party and by the Roosevelt administration, paving the way for a bipartisan foreign policy after the war. Throughout these activities, he maintained his concern for public welfare, particularly children, through his efforts to feed children in war-torn Europe before and after U.S. involvement in the war and as head of the Famine Emergency Committee after World War II. In later years, he served as chairman of two commissions on reorganization of the executive branch of the federal government, bringing about major reforms and restructuring in the federal government. Among his other accomplishments, Hoover was also a productive historian and prolific author of articles and books. In this monumental contribution to Hoover scholarship, eminent historian Gary Dean Best chronicles the post-presidential decades of this important historical figure, and the achievements of a distinguished career that extended far beyond Herbert Hoover's presidency.

The Long Shadow: The Legacies of the Great War in the Twentieth Century
The Long Shadow
The Legacies of the Great War in the Twentieth Century
Hardcover      ISBN: 0393088634

"If you only read one book about the First World War in this anniversary year, read The Long Shadow. David Reynolds writes superbly and his analysis is compelling and original." -Anne Chisolm, Chair of the PEN Hessell-Tiltman Prize Committee, and Chair of the Royal Society of Literature.

The Lords of Creation: The History of America's 1 Percent
The Lords of Creation
The History of America's 1 Percent
Paperback      ISBN: 1504047877
A "stimulating" account of the capitalists who changed America in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, setting the stage for the 1929 crash and Great Depression (Kirkus Reviews).

In the decades following the Civil War, America entered an era of unprecedented corporate expansion, with ultimate financial power in the hands of a few wealthy industrialists who exploited the system for everything it was worth. The Rockefellers, Fords, Morgans, and Vanderbilts were the "lords of creation" who, along with like-minded magnates, controlled the economic destiny of the country, unrestrained by regulations or moral imperatives. Through a combination of foresight, ingenuity, ruthlessness, and greed, America's giants of industry remolded the US economy in their own image. They established their power and authority, ensuring that they--and they alone--would control the means of production, transportation, energy, and commerce--creating the conditions for the stock market collapse of 1929 and the Great Depression that followed.

As modern society continues to be affected by wealth inequality and cycles of boom and bust, it's as important as ever to understand the origins of financial disaster, and the policies, practices, and people who bring them on. The Lords of Creation, first published when the catastrophe of the 1930s was still painfully fresh, is a fascinating story of bankers, railroad tycoons, steel magnates, speculators, scoundrels, and robber barons. It is a tale of innovation and shocking exploitation--and a sobering reminder that history can indeed repeat itself.
Lords of the Desert: The Battle Between the United States and Great Britain for Supremacy in the Modern Middle East
Lords of the Desert
The Battle Between the United States and Great Britain for Supremacy in the Modern Middle East
Hardcover      ISBN: 0465050638
A path-breaking history of how the United States superseded Great Britain as the preeminent power in the Middle East, with urgent lessons for the present day
We usually assume that Arab nationalism brought about the end of the British Empire in the Middle East--that Gamal Abdel Nasser and other Arab leaders led popular uprisings against colonial rule that forced the overstretched British from the region.
In Lords of the Desert, historian James Barr draws on newly declassified archives to argue instead that the US was the driving force behind the British exit. Though the two nations were allies, they found themselves at odds over just about every question, from who owned Saudi Arabia's oil to who should control the Suez Canal. Encouraging and exploiting widespread opposition to the British, the US intrigued its way to power--ultimately becoming as resented as the British had been. As Barr shows, it is impossible to understand the region today without first grappling with this little-known prehistory.
The Mafia's President: Nixon and the Mob
The Mafia's President
Nixon and the Mob
Hardcover      ISBN: 1250119405

The first-ever full account of Nixon's extensive ties to the American Mafia, from a veteran White House reporter.

Unbeknownst to most people even now, the election of 1968 placed the patron saint of the Mafia in the White House. In other words, Richard Nixon would go on to not only lead a criminal presidency; he would be totally indebted to our nation's top mobsters.

By 1969, thanks in large part to his long-time campaign manager and political advisor Murray Chotiner, a lawyer who specialized in representing mobsters, Nixon had participated in secret criminal dealings for more than 20 years with sketchy figures such as Mickey Cohen, Mob financial guru Meyer Lansky, Teamsters union chief Jimmy Hoffa, and New Orleans Mafia boss Carlos Marcello. And with Chotiner as one of his key behind-the-scenes advisors in the White House, Nixon's ties to the Mafia didn't end there. The Mafia's President reveals a mind-blowing litany of favors Nixon exchanged with these sinister characters over decades, ranging from springing Jimmy Hoffa from prison to banning the federal government from using the terms "Mafia" and "La Cosa Nostra."

Drawing on newly released government tapes, documents, and other fresh information, The Mafia's President by Don Fulsom offers a carefully reported, deeply researched account of Richard Nixon's secret connections to America's top crime lords.

The Making of Modern America: The Nation from 1945 to the Present, Third Edition
The Making of Modern America
The Nation from 1945 to the Present, Third Edition
3rd Edition    Hardcover      ISBN: 1538104458

The third edition of Dr. Gary A. Donaldson's highly successful textbook The Making of Modern America, introduces students to the cultural, social and political paths the United States has traveled from the end of WWII to the present day. While deftly cataloging the sweeping changes and major events in America from "Dewey Defeats Truman" through the election of Donald Trump, this newly updated edition never loses touch with that American history taking place at the level of the people. This edition details not just the United States' rich cultural history, but elegantly repositions it as integral to our understanding of any portion of this country's past. Donaldson provides a factual foundation for students and then pushes them to interpret those facts, framing the discussions essential to any complete study of American history.