Whether they envision their role as protector, partner, advisor, or scold, First Ladies find themselves in a job that is impossible to define, and just as difficult to perform. Now Margaret Truman, daughter of President Harry Truman and an acclaimed novelist and biographer in her own right, explores the fascinating position of First Lady throughout history and up to the present day. With her unique perspective as the daughter of a First Lady, Ms. Truman reveals the truth behind some of the most misunderstood and forgotten First Ladies of our history, as well as the most famous and beloved. In recounting the charm and courage of Dolley Madison, the brazen ambition of Florence Harding, the calm, good sense of Grace Coolidge, the genius of Eleanor Roosevelt, the mysterious femininity of Jackie Kennedy, and the fierce protectiveness of Nancy Reagan, among others, Margaret Truman has assembled an honest yet affectionate portrait of our nation's First Ladies--one that freely acknowledges their virtues and their flaws.
Winner of the Pulitzer PrizeIn this intellectual biography, Sebastian de Grazia presents a new vision of Machiavelli that evokes, with uncanny precision, the great Florentine thinker's presence. After providing an engrossing account of Machiavelli's childhood and the period following his imprisonment and torture, the book turns to an examination of The Prince. The details of Machiavelli's life never cease to weave in and out of the narrative, as we read how his ideas gather power and coalesce into a unified vision of humankind and the world. "De Grazia's achievement is to present a totally comprehensive view of Machiavelli mediated entirely through Machiavelli's own language."--Journal of Modern History
The first biography to combine the lives of Theodore, Franklin, and Eleanor Roosevelt furnishes a fascinating portrait of the controversial lives of three courageous American leaders who changed the course of twentieth-century history. Reprint. 30,000 first printing.
A captivating blend of personal biography and public drama, The Wise Men introduces the original best and brightest: Averell Harriman, Secretary of State Dean Acheson, George Kenan, Secretary of Defense Robert Lovett, John McCloy, and Ambassador to the Soviet Union Charles Bohlen.
Born into one of the wealthiest families in America--he was the youngest son of Standard Oil scion John D. Rockefeller, Jr., and the celebrated patron of modern art Abby Aldrich Rockefeller--David Rockefeller has carried his birthright into a distinguished life of his own. His dealings with world leaders from Zhou Enlai and Mikhail Gorbachev to Anwar Sadat and Ariel Sharon, his service to every American president since Eisenhower, his remarkable world travels and personal dedication to his home city of New York--here, the ﬁrst time a Rockefeller has told his own story, is an account of a truly rich life.
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize
In this groundbreaking biography of the Japanese emperor Hirohito, Herbert P. Bix offers the first complete, unvarnished look at the enigmatic leader whose sixty-three-year reign ushered Japan into the modern world. Never before has the full life of this controversial figure been revealed with such clarity and vividness. Bix shows what it was like to be trained from birth for a lone position at the apex of the nation's political hierarchy and as a revered symbol of divine status. Influenced by an unusual combination of the Japanese imperial tradition and a modern scientific worldview, the young emperor gradually evolves into his preeminent role, aligning himself with the growing ultranationalist movement, perpetuating a cult of religious emperor worship, resisting attempts to curb his power, and all the while burnishing his image as a reluctant, passive monarch. Here we see Hirohito as he truly was: a man of strong will and real authority.
Supported by a vast array of previously untapped primary documents, Hirohito and the Making of Modern Japan is perhaps most illuminating in lifting the veil on the mythology surrounding the emperor's impact on the world stage. Focusing closely on Hirohito's interactions with his advisers and successive Japanese governments, Bix sheds new light on the causes of the China War in 1937 and the start of the Asia-Pacific War in 1941. And while conventional wisdom has had it that the nation's increasing foreign aggression was driven and maintained not by the emperor but by an elite group of Japanese militarists, the reality, as witnessed here, is quite different. Bix documents in detail the strong, decisive role Hirohito played in wartime operations, from the takeover of Manchuria in 1931 through the attack on Pearl Harbor and ultimately the fateful decision in 1945 to accede to an unconditional surrender. In fact, the emperor stubbornly prolonged the war effort and then used the horrifying bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, together with the Soviet entrance into the war, as his exit strategy from a no-win situation. From the moment of capitulation, we see how American and Japanese leaders moved to justify the retention of Hirohito as emperor by whitewashing his wartime role and reshaping the historical consciousness of the Japanese people. The key to this strategy was Hirohito's alliance with General MacArthur, who helped him maintain his stature and shed his militaristic image, while MacArthur used the emperor as a figurehead to assist him in converting Japan into a peaceful nation. Their partnership ensured that the emperor's image would loom large over the postwar years and later decades, as Japan began to make its way in the modern age and struggled -- as it still does -- to come to terms with its past.
Until the very end of a career that embodied the conflicting aims of Japan's development as a nation, Hirohito remained preoccupied with politics and with his place in history. Hirohito and the Making of Modern Japan provides the definitive account of his rich life and legacy. Meticulously researched and utterly engaging, this book is proof that the history of twentieth-century Japan cannot be understood apart from the life of its most remarkable and enduring leader.
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, this work describes the life of one of the most extraordinary figures in American political history. Huey Long was a great natural politician who looked, and often seemed to behave, like a caricature of the red-neck Southern politico, and yet had become at the time of his assassination a serious rival to Franklin D. Roosevelt for the Presidency. In this "masterpiece of American biography" New York Times Book Review], Huey Long stands wholly revealed, analyzed, and understood.
In the course of his flamboyant career as an all-purpose activist, Saul Alinsky went from organizing working-class ethnics in one of Chicago's most blighted neighborhoods to mapping out strategies for the civil rights and antiwar movements of the 1960s. He enlisted allies--from Catholic clergymen to labor unionists and black activists, in battles waged against opponents from slumlords to the Eastman Kodak corporation. The range of Alinsky's activities, the intensity of his beliefs, and his exhilarating mixture of crudeness and calculation almost vibrate off the pages of this passionate and inspiring biography.This is an important account of a complex and idiosyncratic urban populist who insisted that power was the keystone of social change. Horwitt . . . produce s] a comprehensive appraisal of Alinksy's colorful confrontational tactics; as a community organizer and his influence on a succeeding generation of social activists . . . An insightful and well-written study."--Library Journal
The story of the love that ended an empireIn this commanding book, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Robert K. Massie sweeps readers back to the extraordinary world of Imperial Russia to tell the story of the Romanovs' lives: Nicholas's political na vet , Alexandra's obsession with the corrupt mystic Rasputin, and little Alexis's brave struggle with hemophilia. Against a lavish backdrop of luxury and intrigue, Massie unfolds a powerful drama of passion and history--the story of a doomed empire and the death-marked royals who watched it crumble. Praise for Nicholas and Alexandra "A larger-than-life drama."--Saturday Review "A moving, rich book . . . This] revealing, densely documented account of the last Romanovs focuses not on the great events . . . but on the royal family and their evil nemesis. . . . The tale is so bizarre, no melodrama is equal to it."--Newsweek "A wonderfully rich tapestry, the colors fresh and clear, every strand sewn in with a sure hand. Mr. Massie describes those strange and terrible years with sympathy and understanding. . . . They come vividly before our eyes."--The New York Times "An all-too-human picture . . . Both Nicholas and Alexandra with all their failings come truly alive, as does their almost storybook romance."--Newsday "A magnificent and intimate picture . . . Not only the main characters but a whole era become alive and comprehensible."--Harper's
When John McPhee met Bill Bradley, both were at the beginning of their careers. A Sense of Where You Are, McPhee's first book, is about Bradley when he was the best basketball player Princeton had ever seen. McPhee delineates for the reader the training and techniques that made Bradley the extraordinary athlete he was, and this part of the book is a blueprint of superlative basketball. But athletic prowess alone would not explain Bradley's magnetism, which is in the quality of the man himself--his self-discipline, his rationality, and his sense of responsibility. Here is a portrait of Bradley as he was in college, before his time with the New York Knicks and his election to the U.S. Senate--a story that suggests the abundant beginnings of his professional careers in sport and politics.