The United States went to war in Iraq to eliminate the threat from Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction--which turned out not to exist. As the war drags on, the strange case of the weapons that were not there remains a matter of bitter debate, for it underscores the fact that the goals and the motivations of the Bush administration officials who argued for war are still largely obscure. Yet in fact there exists crucial and little-publicized evidence that lets us understand the secretive, even deceptive, way that the the US launched a war of choice in the Middle East in March 2003.At the beginning of May 2005, just before the British elections, the London Times published the "Downing Street Memo," the leaked secret minutes of a July 2002 meeting of senior British intelligence, foreign policy, and security officials. The memo made clear that eight months before the invasion of Iraq, President Bush had already decided on war. The British officials who attended the meeting were told that the "intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy," that the US wanted to avoid consulting the UN, and that few plans were being made for the aftermath of war. Largely ignored in the US press for weeks afterward, The New York Review of Books published the memo in its entirety with an extensive commentary by award-winning journalist Mark Danner. Danner explains how the memo clarifies the broader--and largely concealed--history of the events leading up to the Iraq war. He shows that the Bush and Blair administrations advocated the resumption of UN weapons inspections as a means not to avoid war but to ensure it. Most importantly, Danner argues that in the face of the memo's clear evidence of deception, the press, public, and Congress still have not held the administration responsible. The Secret Way to War, with a preface by by Frank Rich, includes Mark Danner's strongly argued analysis of the Downing Street Memo as well as the complete text of the memo and seven other leaked British documents. Collectively, the documents show the members of Tony Blair's government and their counterparts in Washington struggling to find legal and political rationales and strategies for regime change in Iraq.
According to newspaper headlines and television pundits, the cold war ended many months ago; the age of Big Two confrontation is over. But forty years ago, Americans were experiencing the beginnings of another era--of the fevered anti-communism that came to be known as McCarthyism. During this period, the Cincinnati Reds felt compelled to rename themselves briefly the "Redlegs" to avoid confusion with the other reds, and one citizen in Indiana campaigned to have The Adventures of Robin Hood removed from library shelves because the story's subversive message encouraged robbing from the rich and giving to the poor. These developments grew out of a far-reaching anxiety over communism that characterized the McCarthy Era.Richard Fried's Nightmare in Red offers a riveting and comprehensive account of this crucial time. He traces the second Red Scare's antecedents back to the 1930s, and presents an engaging narrative about the many different people who became involved in the drama of the anti-communist fervor, from the New Deal era and World War II, through the early years of the cold war, to the peak of McCarthyism, and beyond McCarthy's censure to the decline of the House Committee on Un-American Activities in the 1960s. Along the way, we meet the familiar figures of the period--Presidents Roosevelt, Truman, and Eisenhower, the young Richard Nixon, and, of course, the Wisconsin Senator Joseph R. McCarthy. But more importantly, Fried reveals the wholesale effect of McCarthyism on the lives of thousands of ordinary people, from teachers and lawyers to college students, factory workers, and janitors. Together with coverage of such famous incidents as the ordeal of the Hollywood Ten (which led to the entertainment world's notorious blacklist) and the Alger Hiss case, Fried also portrays a wealth of little-known but telling episodes involving victims and victimizers of anti-communist politics at the state and local levels. Providing the most complete history of the rise and fall of the phenomenon known as McCarthyism, Nightmare in Red shows that it involved far more than just Joe McCarthy.
A testament to the power of the human spirit under conditions of extreme oppression, this landmark history of slavery in the South challenged conventional views by illuminating the many forms of resistance to dehumanization that developed in slave society.Displaying keen insight into the minds of both enslaved persons and slaveholders, historian Eugene Genovese investigates the ways that enslaved persons forced their owners to acknowledge their humanity through culture, music, and religion. He covers a vast range of subjects, from slave weddings and funerals, to language, food, clothing, and labor, and places particular emphasis on religion as both a major battleground for psychological control and a paradoxical source of spiritual strength. A winner of the Bancroft Prize.
In Means of Ascent, Book Two of The Years of Lyndon Johnson, Robert A. Caro brings alive Lyndon Johnson in his wilderness years.Here, Johnson's almost mythic personality--part genius, part behemoth, at once hotly emotional and icily calculating--is seen at its most nakedly ambitious. This multifaceted book carries the President-to-be from the aftermath of his devastating defeat in his 1941 campaign for the Senate-the despair it engendered in him, and the grueling test of his spirit that followed as political doors slammed shut-through his service in World War II (and his artful embellishment of his record) to the foundation of his fortune (and the actual facts behind the myth he created about it). The culminating drama--the explosive heart of the book--is Caro's illumination, based on extraordinarily detailed investigation, of one of the great political mysteries of the century. Having immersed himself in Johnson's life and world, Caro is able to reveal the true story of the fiercely contested 1948 senatorial election, for years shrouded in rumor, which Johnson was not believed capable of winning, which he "had to" win or face certain political death, and which he did win-by 87 votes, the "87 votes that changed history." Telling that epic story "in riveting and eye-opening detail," Caro returns to the American consciousness a magnificent lost hero. He focuses closely not only on Johnson, whom we see harnessing every last particle of his strategic brilliance and energy, but on Johnson's "unbeatable" opponent, the beloved former Texas Governor Coke Stevenson, who embodied in his own life the myth of the cowboy knight and was himself a legend for his unfaltering integrity. And ultimately, as the political duel between the two men quickens--carrying with it all the confrontational and moral drama of the perfect Western--Caro makes us witness to a momentous turning point in American politics: the tragic last stand of the old politics versus the new--the politics of issue versus the politics of image, mass manipulation, money and electronic dazzle.
From May 1804 to September 1806, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark undertook one of the great adventures of modern man. Their government-sponsored exploration of the wilderness between the Mississippi River and the Pacific covered, in total miles, a distance equal to one-third the circumference of the earth and took its participants through what is now mapped as Missouri, Kansas, Iowa, Nebraska, Washington State, South Dakota, Montana, Idaho, and Oregon. It was an epoch-making expedition through one of the most magnificent geographical areas of the world.
The story of the Lewis and Clark Expedition is America's national epic. Both men proved themselves not only intrepid pioneers but also acute observers and top-flight journalists. Their day-to-day journal filled thousands of pages with the most complete and authentic record of any exploring venture in history. But the world had to wait years for the story. In 1814, the only authorized history of the expedition, a personal narrative pieced together by Nicholas Biddle from the journal manuscript, finally appeared. While undeniably exciting, that publication left a lot to be desired. Only with the appearance, in 1893, of the four-volume Elliott Coues edition was the story told in such a way as to be both a thrilling narrative and a valuable document for students of Americana, historians, and all others interested in this vital chapter in the opening up of the American West.
Now that four-volume set is reprinted in its entirety in a three-volume edition. Here is the whole story as summarized by Biddle: encounters with dozens of Indian tribes; descriptions of their political and social organization, dress, living habits, and ways; personal anecdotes of courage and stamina; vivid descriptions of staggering natural wonders that no white man had ever seen. Here, too, is all the material that Coues added: chapter synopses; critical footnotes that clarify hundreds of obscure references, add important biological data, provide modern locations of camp and exploration sites, bring into account additional material from the manuscript journal, and correct countless errors; a bibliographical introduction; brief Memoirs of Clark and the expedition's sergeant, Patrick Gass; a modern map to supplement Lewis and Clark's originals; and a much-needed index.
Intended not only to further knowledge of North American geography but also to see the extension of American commerce, the Lewis and Clark Expedition marked the beginning of major growth in the United States. Partly because of this and partly because of its inherent excitement, this firsthand account should be read by every student of American history as well as by all who enjoy the adventure of exploration.
Government officials and missionaries wanted all Sioux men to become self-sufficient farmers, wear pants, and cut their hair. The Indians, confronted by a land-hungry white population and a loss of hunting grounds, sought to exchange title to their homeland for annuities of cash and food, schools and teachers, and farms and agricultural knowledge. By 1862 the Sioux realized that their extensive kinship network and religion were in jeopardy and that the government would not fulfill its promises.
With their way of life endangered, the Sioux turned to Little Crow to lead them in a war for self-preservation, a war that Little Crow had tried to avoid during most of his adult life. Within a year, the Sioux had been evicted from Minnesota, Little Crow was dead, and a way of life had vanished. Through his life-his biography-the complex interrelationship of Indian and white can be studied and, in some measure, understood.
Abraham Lincoln was the greatest writer of the Civil War as well as its greatest political leader. His clear, beautiful, and at times uncompromisingly severe language forever shaped the nation's
understanding of its most terrible conflict. This volume, along with its companion, Abraham Lincoln: Speeches and Writings 1832-1858, comprises the most comprehensive selection ever published. Over 550 speeches, messages, proclamations, letters, and other writings--including the Inaugural and Gettysburg addresses and the moving condolence letter to Mrs. Bixby--record the words and deeds with which Lincoln defended, preserved, and redefined the Union.
In 1895, a cultured, well-educated young German named Arnold Genthe arrived in San Francisco as a tutor to the son of an aristocratic family. Almost immediately, Genthe was attracted by Chinatown, or "Tangrenbu" -- a teeming ten-block area of crowded buildings, narrow streets, and exotic sights and sounds in the shadow of Nob Hill.
Fascinated by a living culture totally foreign to his experience, Genthe began to photograph Tangrenbu and its inhabitants. Today, these photographs (over 200 are known to exist) are the best visual documentary record of Chinatown at the turn of the century, offering priceless glimpses of the rich street life of the district before it was leveled by the great earthquake and fire of 1906.
Rediscover the lost world of old Chinatown in serene and enduring images of cobbled streets and bustling shops, street vendors and merchants, fish and vegetable markets, Devil's Kitchen, the Street of the Gamblers, Portsmouth Square and more. But most of all, enjoy distinctive candid portraits of the people of old Chinatown: a pipe-bowl member, a paper gatherer, itinerant peddlers, toy merchants, boys playing shuttlecock, a fortune-teller, a sword dancer, women and children in ornate holiday finery, an aged opium smoker and many other unaffected and revealing images.
Rich in detail and atmosphere, the photographs are complemented by historian John Tchen's informative and well-researched text, which outlines the turbulent history of Chinese-Americans in California, dispels numerous myths about Chinatown and its residents, and illuminates the role of Genthe's photographs in capturing the subtle flavor and texture of everyday life in the district before 1906.