When on July 20, 1944, a bomb--boldly placed inside Hitler's headquarters by Colonel Count Claus von Stauffenberg-- exploded without killing the F hrer, the subsequent coup d' tat against the Third Reich collapsed. The conspirators were summarily shot or condemned in show trials and sadistically hanged. One of the few survivors of the conspiracy was Hans Bernd Gisevius, who had used his positions in the Gestapo and the Abwehr (military intelligence) to further the anti-Nazi plot. Valkyrie, an abridgment of Gisevius's classic insider's account To the Bitter End, is an intimate memoir as riveting as it is exceptional.
Among the military leaders of World War II, Grand Admiral Karl Doenitz remains a deeply controversial figure. As chief of the German submarine fleet he earned Allied respect as a formidable enemy. But after he succeeded Adolf Hitler--to whom he was unquestioningly loyal--as head of the Third Reich, his name became associated with all that was most hated in the Nazi regime.Yet Doenitz deserves credit for ending the war quickly while trying to save his compatriots in the east. His Dunkirk-style operation across the Baltic rescued up to two million troops and civilian refugees. He was sentenced to ten years at Nuremberg--a penalty acknowledged as a blatant example of victor's justice--and after his release from Spandau kept well away from politics. Barry Turner's closely examined and even-handed portrait gives a fascinating new perspective on this complex figure, to whom history has not been kind.
The Battle of the Meuse-Argonne stands as the deadliest clash in American history: More than a million untested American soldiers went up against a better-trained and -experienced German army, costing more twenty-six thousand deaths and leaving nearly a hundred thousand wounded. Yet in forty-seven days of intense combat, those Americans pushed back the enemy and forced the Germans to surrender, bringing the First World War to an end--a feat the British and the French had not achieved after more than three years of fighting. In Forty-Seven Days, historian Mitchell Yockelson tells how General John J. "Black Jack" Pershing's exemplary leadership led to the unlikeliest of victories. Also explored is a cast of remarkable individuals, including America's original fighter ace, Eddie Rickenbacker; Corporal Alvin York, a pacifist who nevertheless single-handedly killed more than twenty Germans and captured 132; artillery officer and future president Harry S. Truman; innovative tank commander George S. Patton; and Douglas MacArthur, the Great War's most decorated soldier, who would command the American army in the Pacific War and in Korea. Offering an abundance of new details and insight, Forty-Seven Days is the definitive account of the First Army's hard-fought victory in World War I--and the revealing tale of how our military came of age in its most devastating battle.
"Mitchell Yockelson expands our understanding not only of how World War I ended, but also of how militaries can change and adapt under conditions of great adversity."--Max Boot, New York Times bestselling author of The Road Not Taken
Much has been written about the Cuban Missile Crisis a year later, but the Berlin Crisis of 1961 was more decisive in shaping the Cold War-and more perilous. It was in that hot summer that the Berlin Wall was constructed, which would divide the world for another twenty-eight years. Then two months later, and for the first time in history, American and Soviet fighting men and tanks stood arrayed against each other, only yards apart. One mistake, one nervous soldier, one overzealous commander-and the tripwire would be sprung for a war that could go nuclear in a heartbeat.
On one side was a young, untested U.S. president still reeling from the Bay of Pigs disaster and a humiliating summit meeting that left him grasping for ways to respond. It would add up to be one of the worst first-year foreign policy performances of any modern president. On the other side, a Soviet premier hemmed in by the Chinese, East Germans, and hardliners in his own government. With an all-important Party Congress approaching, he knew Berlin meant the difference not only for the Kremlin's hold on its empire-but for his own hold on the Kremlin.
Neither man really understood the other, both tried cynically to manipulate events. And so, week by week, they crept closer to the brink.
Based on a wealth of new documents and interviews, filled with fresh-sometimes startling-insights, written with immediacy and drama, Berlin 1961 is an extraordinary look at key events of the twentieth century, with powerful applications to these early years of the twenty-first.
Two Depression-battered nations confronted destiny in 1932, going to the polls in their own way to anoint new leaders, to rescue their people from starvation and hopelessness. America would elect a Congress and a president ebullient aristocrat Franklin Roosevelt or tarnished Wonder Boy Herbert Hoover. Decadent, divided Weimar Germany faced two rounds of bloody Reichstag elections and two presidential contests doddering reactionary Paul von Hindenburg against rising radical hate-monger Adolf Hitler. The outcome seemed foreordained unstoppable forces advancing upon crumbled, disoriented societies. A merciless Great Depression brought greater perhaps hopeful, perhaps deadly transformation: FDR s New Deal and Hitler s Third Reich. But neither outcome was inevitable. Readers enter the fray through David Pietrusza s page-turning account: Roosevelt s fellow Democrats may yet halt him at a deadlocked convention. 1928 s Democratic nominee, Al Smith, harbors a grudge against his one-time protege. Press baron William Randolph Hearst lays his own plans to block Roosevelt s ascent to the White House. FDR s politically-inspired juggling of a New York City scandal threatens his juggernaut. In Germany, the Nazis surge at the polls but twice fall short of Reichstag majorities. Hitler, tasting power after a lifetime of failure and obscurity, falls to Hindenburg for the presidency also twice within the year. Cabals and counter-cabals plot. Secrets of love and suicide haunt Hitler. Yet guile and ambition may yet still prevail. 1932 s breathtaking narrative covers two epic stories that possess haunting parallels to today s crisis-filled vortex. It is an all-too-human tale of scapegoats and panaceas, class warfare and racial politics, of a seemingly bottomless depression, of massive unemployment and hardship, of unprecedented public works/infrastructure programs, of business stimulus programs and damaging allegations of political cronyism, of waves of bank failures and of mortgages foreclosed, of Washington bonus marches and Berlin street fights, of once-solid financial empires collapsing seemingly overnight, of rapidly shifting social mores, and of mountains of irresponsible international debt threatening to crash not just mere nations but the entire global economy. It is the tale of spell-binding leaders versus bland businessmen and out-of-touch upper-class elites and of two nations inching to safety but lurching toward disaster. It is 1932 s nightmare with lessons for today."
In the framework of the Here I Stand project, exhibitions will be shown in Minneapolis, New York, and Atlanta in Fall 2016. Focusing on unique exhibits from authentic places of Luther's life and the history of the Reformation, these exhibitions present a comprehensive picture of the life and work of Martin Luther, his Reformation, its cultural-historical context and lasting impact. This catalogue brings together a thematically structured description of the various exhibits, most of which are being shown abroad for the first time. Original Luther objects and autographs as well as archaeological finds from the Luther sites in Eisleben, Mansfeld, and Wittenberg illuminate the personality of the Reformer and his environment. They are supplemented by a spectacular collection of artistic and graphic masterpieces, sculptures, objets d'art and important printed works. Seen as a whole they offer a unique overview of the important cultural treasures of the birthplace of the Reformation.
Swansong 1945 chronicles the end of Nazi Germany and World War II in Europe through hundreds of letters, diaries, and autobiographical accounts covering four days that fateful spring: Hitler's birthday on April 20, American and Soviet troops meeting at the Elbe on April 25, Hitler's suicide on April 30, and finally the German surrender on May 8. Side by side, we encounter vivid, first-person accounts of civilians fleeing Berlin, ordinary German soldiers determined to fight to the bitter end, American POWs dreaming of home, concentration-camp survivors' first descriptions of their horrific experiences, as well as the intimate thoughts of figures such as Eisenhower, Churchill, Stalin, Joseph Goebbels, and Hitler himself.
These firsthand accounts, painstakingly collected and organized by renowned German author Walter Kempowski, provide the raw material of history and present a panoramic view of those tumultuous days. The more than 1,000 extracts include a British soldier writing to his parents to tell them there are no baths but plenty of eggs and chocolate, an American soldier describing "the tremendous burst of lilacs" as he approaches the Elbe, Mussolini wishing Hitler a happy birthday, Eva Braun bragging to a girlfriend about what a "crack shot" she's become, and much more.
An extraordinary account of suffering and survival, Swansong 1945 brings to life the end of Nazi Germany and the war in Europe.
This is a day-by-day account of the eighty-day struggle in 1940 between Hitler--poised on the edge of absolute victory--and Churchill--threatened by imminent invasion and defeat--on the eve of the second World War.
"A masterful book--masterful in its portrayal of its protagonists, masterful in its overall understanding of the death-struggle in which they engaged, masterful, above all, in its vivid, suspenseful chronicling of the most momentous eighty days in the history of this century." --Geoffrey Ward
"This is a marvelous book. John Lukacs has lucid, unsentimental insight into the mind and character of both Churchill and Hitler." --Conor Cruise O'Brien
"A wonderful story wonderfully told." --George F. Will
"It is salutary to be reminded in this powerful study how close Hitler came to winning in 1940. . . . An impressive study . . . written] with elegance and panache." --Peter Stansky, New York Times
"A master of narrative history on a par with Barbara Tuchman and Garrett Mattingly." --Kirkus Reviews