Political Biographies
Featured Items
Rachel Carson: Witness for Nature
Rachel Carson
Witness for Nature
Hardcover      ISBN: 0805034277

Rachel Carson's Silent Spring, published in 1962, did more than any other single publication or event to alert the world to the hazards of environmental poisoning and to shape a powerful social movement that would alter the course of American history. This definitive biography, based on personal documents and reminiscences unavailable to others, shows how Carson, already a famous nature writer, became a reluctant reformer, confronting a government and industry that were widely misusing extremely dangerous chemicals, unquestioned by the public. This book illuminates and evaluates for the first time her personal courage in setting forth an ecological vision of humankind's place in the natural world and her contribution to the contemporary environmental movement. It is also the first to describe her personal life, showing the spirited, lonely, and determined woman behind the publicly shy but brilliant scientist and writer. Illustrated with photographs, many never before published, this is a compelling and masterful portrait of a heroic woman who was not afraid to question the political direction of her time.

For the Vast Future Also: Essays from the Journal of the Lincoln Association
For the Vast Future Also
Essays from the Journal of the Lincoln Association
Hardcover      ISBN: 0823219593

"For a Vast Future Also": Essays from The Journal of the Abraham Lincoln Association, brings together the most informative and thoughtful articles by fourteen accomplished scholars in the Lincoln field. The essays provide compact, detailed treatments concerning different facets of three general themes: Lincoln and the problems of emancipation; Lincoln and presidential politics; and the Lincoln legacy. Readers of the collection will understand why the Civil War profoundly changed the nation. These essays give insight into how Lincoln and his administration dealt with the profound issues of war and slavery and the continuing legacy of Lincoln and the war.

No book or essay collection brings together the writings of such luminaries in the field as John Hope Franklin, James M. McPherson, Don E. Fehrenbacher, T. Harry Williams, Phillip S. Paludan, Harold Hyman, John Niven, William A. Gienapp, Norman B. Ferris, John T. Hubbell, Arthur Zilversmit, Eugene H. Berwanger, Christopher N. Breiseth, and Michael Vorenberg. Researchers now have these valuable essays available in one volume. It offers the general public the distillation of scholarship supported by the Abraham Lincoln Association over the past twenty-five years. And college and university introductory courses will find this book a valuable summary of, and introduction to, the major issues of the Civil War period.

The Best Intentions: Kofi Annan and the Un in the Era of American World Power
The Best Intentions
Kofi Annan and the Un in the Era of American World Power
Hardcover      ISBN: 0374182205

A man who had won the Nobel Peace Prize, who was widely counted one of the greatest UN Secretary Generals, was nearly hounded from office by scandal. Indeed, both Annan and the institution he incarnates were so deeply shaken after the Bush Administration went to war in Iraq in the face of opposition from the Security Council that critics, and even some friends, began asking whether this sixty-year-old experiment in global policing has outlived its usefulness. Do its failures arise from its own structure and culture, or from a clash with an American administration determined to go its own way in defiance of world opinion? James Traub, a "New York Times Magazine" contributor who has spent years writing about the UN and about foreign affairs, delves into these questions as no one else has done before. Traub enjoyed unprecedented access to Annan and his top aides throughout much of this traumatic period. He describes the despair over the Oil-for-Food scandal, the deep divide between those who wished to accommodate American critics and those who wished to confront them, the failed attempt to goad the Security Council to act decisively against state-sponsored ethnic cleansing in Sudan. And he recounts Annan's effort to respond to criticism with sweeping reform--an effort which ultimately shattered on the resistance of U.S. Ambassador John Bolton. In "The Best Intentions," Traub recounts the dramatically entwined history of Kofi Annan and the UN from 1992 to the present. In Annan he sees a conscientious idealist given too little credit for advancing causes like humanitarian intervention and an honest broker crushed between American conservatives and Third World opponents--but also a UN careerist who has absorbed that culture and can not, in the end, escape its limitations.

Hubert Humphrey: A Biography
Hubert Humphrey
A Biography
Paperback      ISBN: 0873514734

Hubert Humphrey was the consummate liberal politician of the second half of the twentieth century, evolving from charismatic mayor of Minneapolis to crusading U.S. senator to compliant vice president under the overpowering Lyndon B. Johnson--to defeated presidential hopeful.

Here is the most complete and authoritative biography of Humphrey ever written. Based on over two hundred interviews and access to his papers at the Minnesota Historical Society, it presents a portrait of a vivacious, complex man, the leading orator and most productive legislator of his age.

The book opens with an account of what may have been Humphrey's finest hour, the 1948 Democratic National Convention, when the brash, young mayor of Minneapolis challenged Southern conservatives and committed his party to the civil rights laws that reshaped twentieth-century America.

Here too is the story of Humphrey's failure to weather the contending passions and ambitions of the sixties, and of the humiliating bargain he made with Lyndon Johnson in accepting the vice-presidency in 1964. The author's dramatic account of this relationship highlights Johnson's ruthlessness and Humphrey's inability to see the catastrophic political consequences of his blind loyalty to the president.

In Carl Solberg's vivid retelling, Humphrey's compassion and ambition, successes and ultimate failures, are placed in historical context and provide a vital source for the understanding of our times.

Madam Secretary: A Memoir
Madam Secretary
A Memoir
Hardcover      ISBN: 0786868430

One of the most admired women of our era and the first in American history to serve as Secretary of State shares her life story for the very first time.

The Three Roosevelts: Patrician Leaders Who Transformed America
The Three Roosevelts
Patrician Leaders Who Transformed America
Paperback      ISBN: 0802138721

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.

First Ladies: An Intimate Group Portrait of White House Wives
First Ladies
An Intimate Group Portrait of White House Wives
Paperback      ISBN: 044922323x
"Fascinating . . . First Ladies is a wonderfully generous look at the women who, often against their wishes, took on what Truman calls 'the world's second toughest job.'"--The Christian Science Monitor

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.
Jefferson the President: Second Term, 1805-1809
Jefferson the President
Second Term, 1805-1809
Paperback      ISBN: 0813923654

Dumas Malone's classic six-volume biography Jefferson and His Time was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in history and became the standard work on Jefferson's life.

Volume 5. Jefferson the President; Second Term, 1805-1809
Covering the climax of Jefferson's forty-year career, this fifth and penultimate volume follows Jefferson through his demanding second term as president, when he famously sponsors the Lewis and Clark expedition, confronts the trial of Aaron Burr, and concludes the naval "war" with the Barbary pirates.

Profiles in Courage
Profiles in Courage
Paperback      ISBN: 0060854936

The Pulitzer Prize winning classic by President John F. Kennedy, with an introduction by Caroline Kennedy and a foreword by Robert F. Kennedy.

Written in 1955 by the then junior senator from the state of Massachusetts, John F. Kennedy's Profiles in Courage serves as a clarion call to every American.

In this book Kennedy chose eight of his historical colleagues to profile for their acts of astounding integrity in the face of overwhelming opposition. These heroes, coming from different junctures in our nation's history, include John Quincy Adams, Daniel Webster, Thomas Hart Benton, and Robert A. Taft.

Now, a half-century later, the book remains a moving, powerful, and relevant testament to the indomitable national spirit and an unparalleled celebration of that most noble of human virtues. It resounds with timeless lessons on the most cherished of virtues and is a powerful reminder of the strength of the human spirit. Profiles in Courage is as Robert Kennedy states in the foreword: "not just stories of the past but a book of hope and confidence for the future. What happens to the country, to the world, depends on what we do with what others have left us."

Along with vintage photographs and an extensive author biography, this book features Kennedy's correspondence about the writing project, contemporary reviews, a letter from Ernest Hemingway, and two rousing speeches from recipients of the Profile in Courage Award. Introduction by John F. Kennedy's daughter Caroline Kennedy, forward by John F. Kennedy's brother Robert F. Kennedy.

Robert E. Lee: A Penguin Life
Robert E. Lee
A Penguin Life
Hardcover      ISBN: 0670032204

Iconic Virginian, brilliant general, and complex human being--it is this last facet of Robert E. Lee that is rarely seen. But now Roy Blount, Jr. combines acute character insight with lively storytelling and a full-hearted Southern directness to craft this unique, personal portrait.

Fascinated by what made Lee into such a great, though reluctant, leader, Blount delves into his family history and his personality. He illustrates how, descended from two illustrious families, Lee embodied the best of all their traits and became Lincoln's first choice to lead the Union troops in 1861. But Lee's Virginia roots drew him, instead, to the Confederate command. Blount vividly conveys not only his ambition and courage but also his humility and humor, and his sorrowful sense of responsibility for his outnumbered, outgunned, half-starved army. Robert E. Lee, the first succinct biography of this American legend, will appeal to history and military buffs, proud Southerners, and every reader curious to discover the man behind the military leader.