United States History 1900-1950
Featured Items
Parting the Waters: America in the King Years 1954-63
Parting the Waters
America in the King Years 1954-63
Paperback      ISBN: 0671687425

In volume one of his America in the King Years, Pulitzer Prize winner Taylor Branch gives a masterly account of the American civil rights movement.

Hailed as the most masterful story ever told of the American civil rights movement, Parting the Waters is destined to endure for generations.

Moving from the fiery political baptism of Martin Luther King, Jr., to the corridors of Camelot where the Kennedy brothers weighed demands for justice against the deceptions of J. Edgar Hoover, here is a vivid tapestry of America, torn and finally transformed by a revolutionary struggle unequaled since the Civil War.

Taylor Branch provides an unsurpassed portrait of King's rise to greatness and illuminates the stunning courage and private conflict, the deals, maneuvers, betrayals, and rivalries that determined history behind closed doors, at boycotts and sit-ins, on bloody freedom rides, and through siege and murder.

Epic in scope and impact, Branch's chronicle definitively captures one of the nation's most crucial passages.
The Zimmermann Telegram: America Enters the War, 1917-1918; Barbara W. Tuchman's Great War Series
The Zimmermann Telegram
America Enters the War, 1917-1918; Barbara W. Tuchman's Great War Series
Paperback      ISBN: 0345324250
The Proud Tower, the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Guns of August, and The Zimmermann Telegram comprise Barbara W. Tuchman's classic histories of the First World War era

In January 1917, the war in Europe was, at best, a tragic standoff. Britain knew that all was lost unless the United States joined the war, but President Wilson was unshakable in his neutrality. At just this moment, a crack team of British decoders in a quiet office known as Room 40 intercepted a document that would change history. The Zimmermann telegram was a top-secret message to the president of Mexico, inviting him to join Germany and Japan in an invasion of the United States. How Britain managed to inform the American government without revealing that the German codes had been broken makes for an incredible story of espionage and intrigue as only Barbara W. Tuchman could tell it.

Praise for The Zimmermann Telegram

"A true, lucid thriller . . . a tremendous tale of hushed and unhushed uproars in the linked fields of war and diplomacy . . . Tuchman makes the most of it with a creative writer's sense of drama and a scholar's obeisance to the evidence."--The New York Times

"The tale has most of the ingredients of an Eric Ambler spy thriller."--Saturday Review
The Boy Genius and the Mogul: The Untold Story of Television
The Boy Genius and the Mogul
The Untold Story of Television
Hardcover      ISBN: 0767907590

The world remembers Edison, Ford, and the Wright Brothers. But what about Philo T. Farnsworth, the inventor of television, an innovation that did as much as any other to shape the twentieth century? That question lies at the heart of "The Boy Genius and the Mogul," Daniel Stashower's captivating chronicle of television's true inventor, the battle he faced to capitalize on his breakthrough, and the powerful forces that resulted in the collapse of his dreams.
The son of a Mormon farmer, Farnsworth was born in 1906 in a single-room log cabin on an isolated homestead in Utah. The Farnsworth family farm had no radio, no telephone, and no electricity. Yet, motivated by the stories of scientists and inventors he read about in the science magazines of the day, young Philo set his sights on becoming an inventor. By his early teens, Farnsworth had become an inveterate tinkerer, able to repair broken farm equipment when no one else could. It was inevitable that when he read an article about a new idea -- for the transmission of pictures by radio waves--that he would want to attempt it himself. One day while he was walking through a hay field, Farnsworth took note of the straight, parallel lines of the furrows and envisioned a system of scanning a visual image line by line and transmitting it to a remote screen. He soon sketched a diagram for an early television camera tube. It was 1921 and Farnsworth was only fourteen years old.
Farnsworth went on to college to pursue his studies of electrical engineering but was forced to quit after two years due to the death of his father. Even so, he soon managed to persuade a group of California investors to set him up in his own research lab where, in 1927, he produced the first all-electronic television image and later patented his invention. While Farnsworth's invention was a landmark, it was also the beginning of a struggle against an immense corporate power that would consume much of his life. That corporate power was embodied by a legendary media mogul, RCA President and NBC founder David Sarnoff, who claimed that his chief scientist had invented a mechanism for television prior to Farnsworth's. Thus the boy genius and the mogul were locked in a confrontation over who would control the future of television technology and the vast fortune it represented. Farnsworth was enormously outmatched by the media baron and his army of lawyers and public relations people, and, by the 1940s, Farnsworth would be virtually forgotten as television's actual inventor, while Sarnoff and his chief scientist would receive the credit.
Restoring Farnsworth to his rightful place in history, "The Boy Genius and the Mogul" presents a vivid portrait of a self-taught scientist whose brilliance allowed him to "capture light in a bottle." A rich and dramatic story of one man's perseverance and the remarkable events leading up to the launch of television as we know it, "The Boy Genius and the Mogul "shines new light on a major turning point in American history.

Crossing the Line: Mobsters and Rumrunners
Crossing the Line
Mobsters and Rumrunners
Paperback      ISBN: 1894864166

The prohibition laws of the U.S. in the 1920s led to lucrative dealings between business-savvy Canadians and their mobster connections below the 49th parallel. The stories in this collection are the stuff of legends, with brutal slayings and Keystone Cop adventures in every chapter. Witness a historic meeting between Al Capone and Diamond Jim Grady, his Canadian connection, in the tunnels beneath Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. Read about the rumrunners of the Prairies, B.C., Central Canada and the Maritimes, who used elaborate ruses to sneak booze past the long arm of the law on both sides of the border. You'll meet a rogue's gallery of such colourful characters as Rocco Perri, the Purple Gang and Dutch Schulz in Mobsters and Rumrunners of Canada.

The Twentieth Century: A People's History
The Twentieth Century
A People's History
1st Edition    Paperback      ISBN: 0060530340

Containing just the twentieth-century chapters from Howard Zinn's bestselling A People's History of the United States, this revised and updated edition includes two new chapters -- covering Clinton's presidency, the 2000 Election, and the "war on terrorism."

Highlighting not just the usual terms of presidential administrations and congressional activities, this book provides you with a "bottom-to-top" perspective, giving voice to our nation's minorities and letting the stories of such groups as African Americans, women, Native Americans, and the laborers of all nationalities be told in their own words.

Sudden Sea: The Great Hurricane of 1938
Sudden Sea
The Great Hurricane of 1938
Paperback      ISBN: 0316832111

The massive destruction wreaked by the Hurricane of 1938 dwarfed that of the Chicago Fire, the San Francisco Earthquake, and the Mississippi floods of 1927, making the storm the worst natural disaster in U.S. history. Now, R.A. Scotti tells the story.

The Long Gray Line
The Long Gray Line
Paperback      ISBN: 0805062912

The first trade paperback edition of the "New York Times" best-seller about West Point's Class of 1966, by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Rick Atkinson.
This is the story of the twenty-five-year adventure of the generation of officers who fought in Vietnam. With novelistic detail, Atkinson tells the story of West Point's Class of 1966 primarily through the experiences of three classmates and the women they loved--from the boisterous cadet years and youthful romances to the fires of Vietnam, where dozens of their classmates died and hundreds more grew disillusioned, to the hard peace and family adjustments that followed. The rich cast of characters includes Douglas MacArthur, William Westmoreland, and a score of other memorable figures. The West Point Class of 1966 straddled a fault line in American history, and Rick Atkinson's masterly book speaks for a generation of American men and women about innocence, patriotism, and the price we pay for our dreams.

PowerDown: Options And Actions For A Post-Carbon World
PowerDown
Options And Actions For A Post-Carbon World
Paperback      ISBN: 0865715106

If the US continues with its current policies, the next decades will be marked by war, economic collapse, and environmental catastrophe. Resource depletion and population pressures are about to catch up with us, and no one is prepared. The political elites, especially in the US, are incapable of dealing with the situation and have in mind a punishing game of "Last One Standing."

The alternative is "Powerdown," a strategy that will require tremendous effort and economic sacrifice in order to reduce per-capita resource usage in wealthy countries, develop alternative energy sources, distribute resources more equitably, and reduce the human population humanely but systematically over time. While civil society organizations push for a mild version of this, the vast majority of the world's people are in the dark, not understanding the challenges ahead, nor the options realistically available.

Powerdown speaks frankly to these dilemmas. Avoiding cynicism and despair, it begins with an overview of the likely impacts of oil and natural gas depletion and then outlines four options for industrial societies during the next decades:

Last One Standing: the path of competition for remaining resources;
Powerdown: the path of cooperation, conservation and sharing;
Waiting for a Magic Elixir: wishful thinking, false hopes, and denial;
Building Lifeboats: the path of community solidarity and preservation.

Finally, the book explores how three important groups within global society--the power elites, the opposition to the elites (the antiwar and antiglobalization movements, et al: the "Other Superpower"), and ordinary people--are likely to respond to these four options. Timely, accessible and eloquent, Powerdown is crucial reading for our times.

Richard Heinberg is an award-winning author of five previous books, including The Party's Over: Oil, War and the Fate of Industrial Societies. A member of the Core Faculty of New College of California, he lives in Santa Rosa, California.

They Marched into Sunlight: War and Peace, Vietnam and America, October, 1967
They Marched into Sunlight
War and Peace, Vietnam and America, October, 1967
Hardcover      ISBN: 0743217802

Here is the epic story of Vietnam and thesixties told through the events of a few tumultuous days in October 1967. David Maraniss takes the reader on an unforgettable journey to the battlefields of war and peace. With meticulous and captivating detail, "They Marched Into Sunlight" brings that catastrophic time back to life while examining questions about the meaning of dissent and the official manipulation of truth, issues that are as relevant today as they were decades ago.

In a seamless narrative, Maraniss weaves together three very different worlds of that time: the death and heroism of soldiers in Vietnam, the anger and anxiety of antiwar students back home, and the confusion and obfuscating behavior of officials in Washington. In the literature of the Vietnam era, there are powerful books about soldiering, excellent analyses of American foreign policy in Southeast Asia, and many dealing with the sixties' culture of protest, but this is the first book to connect the three worlds and present them in a dramatic unity. To understand what happens to the people of this story is to understand America's anguish.

In the Long Nguyen Secret Zone of Vietnam, a renowned battalion of the First Infantry Division is marching into a devastating ambush that will leave sixty-one soldiers dead and an equal number wounded. On the University of Wisconsin campus in Madison, students are staging an obstructive protest at the Commerce Building against recruiters for Dow Chemical Company, makers of napalm and Agent Orange, that ends in a bloody confrontation with club-wielding Madison police. And in Washington, President Lyndon Johnson is dealing with pressures closing in on him from all sides andlamenting to his war council, "How are we ever going to win?"

Based on thousands of primary documents and 180 on-the-record interviews, the story unfolds day by day, hour by hour, and at times minute by minute, with a rich cast of characters -- military officers, American and Viet Cong soldiers, chancellors, professors, students, police officers, businessmen, mime troupers, a president and his men, a future mayor and future vice president -- moving toward battles that forever shaped their lives and evoked cultural and political conflicts that reverberate still.

The Ku Klux Klan in the City, 1915-1930
The Ku Klux Klan in the City, 1915-1930
Paperback      ISBN: 0929587820

For decades the most frightening example of bigotry and hatred in America, the Ku Klux Klan has usually been seen as a rural and small-town product-an expression of the decline of the countryside in the face of rising urban society. Kenneth Jackson's important book revises conventional wisdom about the Klan. He shows that its roots in the 1920s can also be found in burgeoning cities among people who were frightened, dislocated, and uprooted by rapid changes in urban life. Many joined the Klan for sincere patriotic motives, unaware of the ugly prejudice that lay beneath the civic rhetoric. Mr. Jackson not only dissects the Klan's activities and membership, he also traces its impact on the public life of the twenties. In many places--from Atlanta to Dallas, from Buffalo to Portland, Oregon--the Klan agitated politics, held immense power, and won elective office. The Ku Klux Klan in the City is a continuing and timely reminder of the tensions and antagonisms beneath the surface of our national life. "Comprehensively researched, methodically organized, lucidly written...a book to be respected."--Journal of American History.