U.S. History
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The Secret Way to War: The Downing Street Memo And the Iraq War's Buried History
The Secret Way to War
The Downing Street Memo And the Iraq War's Buried History
Paperback      ISBN: 1590172078

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.
The Bill of Rights: Original Meaning and Current Understanding
The Bill of Rights
Original Meaning and Current Understanding
Paperback      ISBN: 0813913365

While recent years have seen a flood of literature on the Bill of Rights, this collection of essays, all by highly regarded constitutional scholars, is the first to offer a comprehensive amendment-by-amendment, clause-by-clause account of the Bill's recent sweeping transmutation.

The book confirms the suspicions of critics of judicial activism, suggesting that the provisions of the Bill of Rights have been subjected to much greater interpretive revision by the Supreme Court than other parts of the Constitution.

Peculiar Institution: Slavery in the Ante-Bellum South
Peculiar Institution
Slavery in the Ante-Bellum South
Paperback      ISBN: 0679723072

Winner of the Lincoln Prize

Stampp's classic study of American slavery as a deliberately chosen, practical system of controlling and exploiting labor is one of the most important and influential works of American history written in our time.

"A thoughtful and deeply moving book. . . . Mr. Stampp wants to show specifically what slavery was like, why it existed, and what it did to the American people."--Bruce Catton
History of the Lewis and Clark Expedition
History of the Lewis and Clark Expedition
Paperback      ISBN: 0486212688

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.

Great Lakes Shipwrecks & Survivals
Great Lakes Shipwrecks & Survivals
Paperback      ISBN: 0802870104

In this breathtaking chronicle of the most spectacular shipwrecks and survivals on the Great Lakes, William Ratigan re-creates vivid scenes of high courage and screaming panic from which no reader can turn away.

Included in this striking catalog of catastrophes and Flying Dutchmen are the magnificent excursion liner Eastland, which capsized at her pier in the Chicago River, drowning 835 people within clutching distance of busy downtown streets; the shipwrecked steel freighter Mataafa, which dumped its crew into freezing waters while the snowbound town of Duluth looked on; the dark Sunday in November 1913 when Lake Huron swallowed eight long ships without a man surviving to tell the tale; and the bitter November of 1958 when the Bradley went down in Lake Michigan during one of the greatest killer storms on the freshwater seas. An entire section is dedicated to the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald -- the most famous maritime loss in modern times -- in Lake Superior in 1975.

Chilling watercolor illustrations, photographs, maps, and news clippings accentuate Ratigan's compelling and dramatic storytelling. Sailors, historians, and general readers alike will be swept away by these unforgettable tales of tragedy and heroism.
Roll, Jordan, Roll: The World the Slaves Made
Roll, Jordan, Roll
The World the Slaves Made
Paperback      ISBN: 0394716523

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.

Skid Road: An Informal Portrait of Seattle
Skid Road
An Informal Portrait of Seattle
Paperback      ISBN: 0295958464

Informal and picturesque, Skid Road is the story of Seattle during its first hundred years, seen through the lives of the vigorous personalities of its settlers and early citizens. This handsomely illustrated revised edition brings Seattle's history up-to-date and provides a vivid portrayal of its past: pioneering, Indian warfare, lumber, railroads, the great fire of 1889, the Alaska gold rush, the amusement business, newspapers, the general strike of 1919, and the tumultuous politics of city and state that have made history in the Northwest.

Where the Buck Stops: The Personal and Private Writings of Harry S. Truman
Where the Buck Stops
The Personal and Private Writings of Harry S. Truman
Paperback      ISBN: 0446391751

Shortly after he left office, President Harry S. Truman began to write down his typically blunt, honest commentaries about FDR and his other colleagues, the job of the presidency, the workings of the government and the Constitution -- and his picks for the nation's best and worst presidents. Since he minced no words, Truman asked that these writings -- sometimes funny, sometimes very serious, always to the point -- be released to the public only after he and Mrs. Truman were gone.

Now, this totally frank book by the thirty-third president, lovingly edited by his daughter, Margaret, has been published at last. In it, Truman speaks clearly in his own inimitable voice, and with the down-home, across-the-back-fence feeling of a born storyteller from Missouri, he tells you exactly what's on his mind about these and other subjects:

Lincoln: Speeches and Writings 1832-1858
Lincoln
Speeches and Writings 1832-1858
Hardcover      ISBN: 0940450437

Abraham Lincoln measured the promise--and cost--of American freedom in lucid and extraordinarily moving prose, famous for its native wit, simple dignity of expressions, and peculiarly American flavor. This volume, with its companion, Abraham Lincoln: Speeches and Writing 1859-1865, comprises the most comprehensive selection ever published. over 240 speeches, letters, and drafts take Lincoln from rural law practice to national prominence, and chart his emergence as an eloquent antislavery advocate and defender of the constitution. included are the complete Lincoln-Douglas debates, perhaps the most famous confrontation in American political history.

LIBRARY OF AMERICA is an independent nonprofit cultural organization founded in 1979 to preserve our nation's literary heritage by publishing, and keeping permanently in print, America's best and most significant writing. The Library of America series includes more than 300 volumes to date, authoritative editions that average 1,000 pages in length, feature cloth covers, sewn bindings, and ribbon markers, and are printed on premium acid-free paper that will last for centuries.
History of the Sierra Nevada
History of the Sierra Nevada
Paperback      ISBN: 0520015517
From the time it was sighted by Spanish explorers in the eighteenth century through the creation of the John Muir trail, the building of the Hetch Hetchy Dam, and the founding of the Sierra Club, the great snowy range of California has provided fulfillment to generations of trappers, immigrants, engineers, naturalists, and tourists. Now a mountaineering classic, this pioneering book was the first to synthesize into a single, riveting narrative all of the varied aspects of human endeavor related to the history of the Sierra Nevada. Thoroughly illustrated with photographs, drawings, and maps, the book continues to be indispensable for any lover of the high country.