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.
In the 1930s and the 1940s Rondo Avenue was at the heart of St. Paul's largest black neighborhood. African Americans whose families had lived in Minnesota for decades and others who were just arriving from the South made up a vibrant, vital community that was in many ways independent of the white society around it.
The Days of Rondo is Evelyn Fairbanks's affectionate memoir of this lively neighborhood. Its pages are filled with fascinating people: Mama and Daddy--Willie Mae and George Edwards--who taught her about love and pride an dignity; Aunt Good, a tall and stately woman with a "queenly secretive attitude"; brother Morris, who "took the time to teach me about the street and the people I would find there"; Mrs. Neal, the genteel activist who showed her the difference between a salad fork and a dessert fork; Mr. and Mrs. Taylor, who started a girls' string band; and a whole assortment of street vendors and playmates who made up the world of her childhood
As she grew up, Fairbanks saw many different sides of her community. Her words bring to life the all-day Sunday services at the Sanctified church, the "perfect days" of her girlhood, and the ghost stories told on the porch of a soft midwestern summer evening. But she also remembers a visit to relatives in Georgia, the deaths of her Mama and Daddy, and the difficult lessons her free-wheeling brother taught her about friends and money. By the time Evelyn was a teenager, World War II was changing St. Paul and the whole world in ways that touched upon her own life. And through the years she was also discovering what it meant to grow up as a black person in Minnesota.
A gifted storyteller, Fairbanks has recreated the patterns of her neighborhood life in a northern city. Her story ends in the mid-1950s, a few years before the Rondo neighborhood was destroyed by freeway construction. In preserving her memories of this distinctive community, Evelyn Fairbanks has added an important dimension to our understanding of Minnesota during those years.
"Fairbanks spins yarns about St. Paul's black society with the flair of a campfire storyteller." --St. Paul Pioneer Press
"Must reading for anyone wanting a clearer understanding of the history of race relations." --Library Journal
"Narrative history at its best." --Choice
"Her prose is simple and concise and is leavened by a rich sense of humor." --Minnesota Monthly
"The Days of Rondo is an interpretive account of events in the life of a black family from the South struggling for survival and meaning in a northern city. Rich in humor and detail, it provides a well-illustrated mosaic of socioeconomic, ethnic, and class realities as seen through the eyes of a young black woman." --David V. Taylor, author of African-Americans in Minnesota
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.
From a rediscovered collection of autobiographical accounts written by hundreds of Kansas pioneer women in the early twentieth century, Joanna Stratton has created a collection hailed by Newsweek as "uncommonly interesting" and "a remarkable distillation of primary sources."Never before has there been such a detailed record of women's courage, such a living portrait of the women who civilized the American frontier. Here are their stories: wilderness mothers, schoolmarms, Indian squaws, immigrants, homesteaders, and circuit riders. Their personal recollections of prairie fires, locust plagues, cowboy shootouts, Indian raids, and blizzards on the plains vividly reveal the drama, danger and excitement of the pioneer experience. These were women of relentless determination, whose tenacity helped them to conquer loneliness and privation. Their work was the work of survival, it demanded as much from them as from their men--and at last that partnership has been recognized. "These voices are haunting" (The New York Times Book Review), and they reveal the special heroism and industriousness of pioneer women as never before.
WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZEDrawing on the diaries of one woman in eighteenth-century Maine, this intimate history illuminates the medical practices, household economies, religious rivalries, and sexual mores of the New England frontier. Between 1785 and 1812 a midwife and healer named Martha Ballard kept a diary that recorded her arduous work (in 27 years she attended 816 births) as well as her domestic life in Hallowell, Maine. On the basis of that diary, Laurel Thatcher Ulrich gives us an intimate and densely imagined portrait, not only of the industrious and reticent Martha Ballard but of her society. At once lively and impeccably scholarly, A Midwife's Tale is a triumph of history on a human scale.
A Hopi Indian will tell you that a kachina is a supernatural being who is impersonated by a man wearing a mask. Small wooden dolls carved in the likenesses of the various kachinas are used to help teach Hopi children the tribal religion and traditions. Each child receives a doll made especially for him by his male relatives. He treasures the doll and studies it so that he can learn to recognize and respect the host of spirit kachinas that people the Hopi world.
Kachinas are difficult to classify because different Hopi pueblos have different ideas about their appearance and their functions. The late Dr. Harold S. Colton identified 266 different kinds of kachina dolls, and in this book he describes the meaning, the making, and the principal features of all of them. Each type of doll is pictured in a simplified line drawing. There is also an illustrated key to help the collector identify the various types.
The spell that the West has always exercised on the American people had its most intense impact on American literature and thought during the nineteenth century. Henry Nash Smith shows, with vast comprehension, the influence of the nineteenth-century West in all its variety and strength, in special relation to social, economic, cultural, and political forces. He traces the myths and symbols of the Westward movement such as the general notion of a Westward-moving Course of Empire, the Wild Western hero, the virtuous yeoman-farmer--in such varied nineteenth-century writings as Leaves of Grass, the great corpus of Dime Novels, and most notably, Frederick Jackson Turner's The Frontier in American History. Moreover, he synthesizes the imaginative expression of Western myths and symbols in literature with their role in contemporary politics, economics, and society, embodied in such forms as the idea of Manifest Destiny, the conflict in the American mind between idealizations of primitivism on the one hand and of progress and civilization on the other, the Homestead Act of 1862, and public-land policy after the Civil War.
The myths of the American West that found their expression in nineteenth-century words and deeds remain a part of every American's heritage, and Smith, with his insight into their power and significance, makes possible a critical appreciation of that heritage.
In 1823 Texas was opened to American settlement; over the next 12 years thousands took advantage of the opportunity. During this time the corrupt Santa Anna rose to power. A dishonest and ruthless politician, thief, compulsive gambler, opium addict and liar, he nevetheless gained a measure of popular support and set about destroying federalism. Conflict with the American settlers ('Texians') became inevitable, a conflict which included the legendary Battle of the Alamo. Philip Haythornwaite covers the story of the War of Texan Independence (1835-1936) in a volume backed by a wealth of illustrations and photographs, including eight full page colour plates by Paul Hannon