World History, General
Featured Items
The Creators: A History of Heroes of the Imagination
The Creators
A History of Heroes of the Imagination
Paperback      ISBN: 0679743758

By piecing the lives of selected individuals into a grand mosaic, Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Daniel J. Boorstin explores the development of artistic innovation over 3,000 years. A hugely ambitious chronicle of the arts that Boorstin delivers with the scope that made his Discoverers a national bestseller.
Even as he tells the stories of such individual creators as Homer, Joyce, Giotto, Picasso, Handel, Wagner, and Virginia Woolf, Boorstin assembles them into a grand mosaic of aesthetic and intellectual invention. In the process he tells us not only how great art (and great architecture and philosophy) is created, but where it comes from and how it has shaped and mirrored societies from Vedic India to the twentieth-century United States.

The Revolt of the Cockroach People
The Revolt of the Cockroach People
Paperback      ISBN: 0679722122

The further adventures of "Dr. Gonzo" as he defends the "cucarachas" -- the Chicanos of East Los Angeles.

Before his mysterious disappearance and probable death in 1971, Oscar Zeta Acosta was famous as a Robin Hood Chicano lawyer and notorious as the real-life model for Hunter S. Thompson's "Dr. Gonzo" a fat, pugnacious attorney with a gargantuan appetite for food, drugs, and life on the edge.

In this exhilarating sequel to The Autobiography of a Brown Buffalo, Acosta takes us behind the front lines of the militant Chicano movement of the late sixties and early seventies, a movement he served both in the courtroom and on the barricades. Here are the brazen games of "chicken" Acosta played against the Anglo legal establishment; battles fought with bombs as well as writs; and a reluctant hero who faces danger not only from the police but from the vatos locos he champions. What emerges is at once an important political document of a genuine popular uprising and a revealing, hilarious, and moving personal saga.
The Chalice and the Blade
The Chalice and the Blade
Paperback      ISBN: 0062502891

Now with an updated epilogue celebrating the 30th anniversary of this groundbreaking and increasingly relevant book.

"May be the most significant work published in all our lifetimes." - LA Weekly

The Chalice and the Blade tells a new story of our cultural origins. It shows that warfare and the war of the sexes are neither divinely nor biologically ordained. It provides verification that a better future is possible--and is in fact firmly rooted in the haunting dramas of what happened in our past.

Seven Pillars of Wisdom: A Triumph
Seven Pillars of Wisdom
A Triumph
Paperback      ISBN: 0385418957

In his classic book, T.E. Lawrence--forever known as Lawrence of Arabia--recounts his role in the origin of the modern Arab world. At first a shy Oxford scholar and archaeologist with a facility for languages, he joined and went on to lead the Arab revolt against the Ottoman Turks while the rest of the world was enmeshed in World War I. With its richly detailed evocation of the land and the people Lawrence passionately believed in, its incisive portraits of key players, from Faisal ibn Hussein, the future Hashemite king of Syria and Iraq, to General Sir Edmund Allenby and other members of the British imperial forces, The Seven Pillars of Wisdom is an indispensible primary historical source. It helps us to understand today's Middle East, while giving us thrilling accounts of military exploits (including the liberation of Aqaba and Damascus), clandestine activities, and human foibles.

Parallel Lives: Five Victorian Marriages
Parallel Lives
Five Victorian Marriages
Paperback      ISBN: 0394725808

In her study of the married couple as the smallest political unit, Phyllis Rose uses the marriages of five Victorian writers who wrote about their own lives with unusual candor: Charles Dickens, John Ruskin, Thomas Carlyle, John Stuart Mill, and George Eliot--n e Marian Evans.

Plagues and Peoples
Plagues and Peoples
Paperback      ISBN: 0385121229

Upon its original publication, Plagues and Peoples was an immediate critical and popular success, offering a radically new interpretation of world history as seen through the extraordinary impact--political, demographic, ecological, and psychological--of disease on cultures. From the conquest of Mexico by smallpox as much as by the Spanish, to the bubonic plague in China, to the typhoid epidemic in Europe, the history of disease is the history of humankind. With the identification of AIDS in the early 1980s, another chapter has been added to this chronicle of events, which William McNeill explores in his new introduction to this updated editon.

Thought-provoking, well-researched, and compulsively readable, Plagues and Peoples is that rare book that is as fascinating as it is scholarly, as intriguing as it is enlightening. "A brilliantly conceptualized and challenging achievement" (Kirkus Reviews), it is essential reading, offering a new perspective on human history.
A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century
A Distant Mirror
The Calamitous 14th Century
Paperback      ISBN: 0345349571
Barbara W. Tuchman--the acclaimed author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning classic The Guns of August--once again marshals her gift for character, history, and sparkling prose to compose an astonishing portrait of medieval Europe.

The fourteenth century reflects two contradictory images: on the one hand, a glittering age of crusades, cathedrals, and chivalry; on the other, a world plunged into chaos and spiritual agony. In this revelatory work, Barbara W. Tuchman examines not only the great rhythms of history but the grain and texture of domestic life: what childhood was like; what marriage meant; how money, taxes, and war dominated the lives of serf, noble, and clergy alike. Granting her subjects their loyalties, treacheries, and guilty passions, Tuchman re-creates the lives of proud cardinals, university scholars, grocers and clerks, saints and mystics, lawyers and mercenaries, and, dominating all, the knight--in all his valor and "furious follies," a "terrible worm in an iron cocoon."

Praise for A Distant Mirror

"Beautifully written, careful and thorough in its scholarship . . . What Ms. Tuchman does superbly is to tell how it was. . . . No one has ever done this better."--The New York Review of Books

"A beautiful, extraordinary book . . . Tuchman at the top of her powers . . . She has done nothing finer."--The Wall Street Journal

"Wise, witty, and wonderful . . . a great book, in a great historical tradition."--Commentary
The Influence of Sea Power Upon History, 1660-1783
The Influence of Sea Power Upon History, 1660-1783
Paperback      ISBN: 0486255093

First published almost a century ago, this classic text on the history and tactics of naval warfare had a profound effect on the imperial policies of all the major powers. Kaiser Wilhelm is said to have "devoured" this book, and it was avidly read by presidents (including both Roosevelts), kings, prime ministers, admirals, and chancellors.
This book was the work of noted U.S. naval officer and historian Alfred Mahan (1840-1914), who argued that despite great changes and scientific advances in naval weaponry, certain principle of naval strategy remain constant, and nations ignore them at their peril. Credited with stimulating the growth of modern navies in leading countries of the world, the text remains a basic authority on the strategy of naval warfare and is still used in the war colleges.
Demonstrating through historical examples that the rise and fall of seapower (and of nations) has always been linked with commercial and military command of the seas, Mahan describes successful naval strategies employed in the past -- from Greek and Roman times through the Napoleonic wars. Focusing primarily on England's rise as a sea power in the 18th century, the book provides not only an overview of naval tactics, but a lucid exposition of geographical, economic, and social factors governing the maintenance of sea power.
The work is carefully written and exceptionally well-documented; moreover, the author's clear, well-thought-out text avoids technical language, making it accessible to a nonprofessional audience. In addition, four maps and a profusion of plans of naval battles help the reader grasp the strategy and tactics involved in some of the history's greatest maritime conflicts. In this inexpensive edition, the book represents an indispensable sourcebook for statesmen, diplomats, strategists, and naval commanders as well as students of history and international affairs. Although ships, weapons, and the global balance of power have altered greatly since 1890, the lessons taught here so vividly and compellingly are still applicable today. Includes 4 maps, 24 battle plans.

Intellectuals
Intellectuals
Paperback      ISBN: 0060916575

A fascinating portrait of the minds that have shaped the modern world. In an intriguing series of case studies, Rousseau, Shelley, Marx, Ibsen, Tolstoy, Hemingway, Bertrand Russell, Brecht, Sarte, Edmund Wilson, Victor Gollancz, Lillan Hellman, Cyril Connolly, Norman Mailer, James Baldwin, Kenneth Tyan, Noam Chomsky, and others are revealed as intellectuals both brilliant and contradictory, magnetic and dangerous.

Italians
Italians
Paperback      ISBN: 0684825007

In this consummate portrait of the Italian people, bestselling author, publisher, journalist, and politician Luigi Barzini delves deeply into the Italian national character, discovering both its great qualities and its imperfections.

Barzini is startlingly frank as he examines "the two Italies" the one that created and nurtured such luminaries as Dante Alighieri, St. Thomas of Aquino, and Leonardo da Vinci; the other, feeble and prone to catastrophe, backward in political action if not in thought, "invaded, ravaged, sacked, and humiliated in every century." Deeply ambivalent, Barzini approaches his task with a combination of love, hate, disillusion, and affectionate paternalism, resulting in a completely original, thoughtful, and probing picture of his countrymen.