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 Fires of Jubilee: Nat Turner's Fierce Rebellion
The Fires of Jubilee
Nat Turner's Fierce Rebellion
Paperback      ISBN: 0060916702

The bloody slave rebellion led by Nat Turner in Virginia in 1831 and the savage reprisals that followed shattered beyond repair the myth of the contented slave and the benign master, and intensified the forces of change that would plunge America into the bloodbath of the Civil War.

Stephen B. Oates, the acclaimed biographer of Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King, Jr., presents a gripping and insightful account of the rebellion the complex, gifted, and driven man who led it, the social conditions that produced it, and the legacy it left. A classic now newly reissued for the first time in more than twenty years, here is the dramatic re-creation of the turbulent period that marked a crucial turning point in America's history.

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The Civil War: An Illustrated History
The Civil War
An Illustrated History
1st Edition    Hardcover      ISBN: 0394562852

The companion volume to the celebrated PBS television series, with a new preface to mark its twenty-fifth anniversary

With more than 500 illustrations: rare Civil War photographs--many never before published--as well as paintings, lithographs, and maps reproduced in full color

It was the greatest war in American history. It was waged in 10,000 places--from Valverde, New Mexico, and Tullahoma, Tennessee, to St. Albans, Vermont, and Fernandina on the Florida coast. More than 3 million Americans fought in it and more than 600,000 men died in it. Not only the immensity of the cataclysm but the new weapons, the new standards of generalship, and the new strategies of destruction--together with the birth of photography--were to make the Civil War an event present ever since in the American consciousness. Thousands of books have been written about it. Yet there has never been a history of the Civil War quite like this one.

A wealth of documentary illustrations and a narrative alive with original and energetic scholarship combine to present both the grand sweep of events and the minutest of human details. Here are the crucial events of the war: the firing of the first shots at Fort Sumter; the battles of Shiloh, Chancellorsville, and Gettysburg; the siege of Vicksburg; Sherman's dramatic march to the sea; the surrender at Appomattox. Here are the superb portraits of the key figures: Abraham Lincoln, claiming for the presidency almost autocratic power in order to preserve the Union; the austere Jefferson Davis, whose government disappeared almost before it could be formed; Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant, seasoned generals of fierce brilliance and reckless determination. Here is the America in which the war was fought: The Civil War is not simply the story of great battles and great generals; it is also an elaborate portrait of the American people--individuals and families, northerners and southerners, soldiers and civilians, slaves and slaveowners, rich and poor, urban and rural--caught up in the turbulence of the times.

An additional resonance is provided by four essays, the work of prominent Civil War historians. Don E. Fehrenbacher discusses the causes of the war; Barbara J. Fields writes about emancipation; James M. McPherson looks at the politics of the 1864 election; C. Vann Woodward speculates on how the war has affected the American identity. And Shelby Foote talks to filmmaker Ken Burns about wartime life on the battlefield and at home.

A magnificent book. In its visual power, its meticulous research, its textual brilliance, and the humanity of its narrative, The Civil War will stand among the most illuminating and memorable portrayals of the American past.
Falls of St. Anthony
Falls of St. Anthony
Paperback      ISBN: 0873512057

The Mississippi's major waterfall played an important role in the development of lumbering, flour milling, and hydroelectric power in Minneapolis. The revised edition contains more than 50 photographs and a new epilogue by the author describing the commercial development along the waterfront since the 1960s.

A Shopkeeper's Millennium: Society and Revivals in Rochester, New York, 1815-1837
A Shopkeeper's Millennium
Society and Revivals in Rochester, New York, 1815-1837
Paperback      ISBN: 0809001365

The religious revival that flourished in the early nineteenth century and changed American life found its most spectacular expression in Rochester, New York. The revival, in Rochester and elsewhere, made the United States the most militantly Protestant nation on earth and had an enormous influence on many Northern antebellum reform movements, including abolition and temperance. But although many historians have discussed its profound and wide-ranging effects, we know very little about its causes. "A Shopkeeper's Millennium" not only explores the interconnections between these vitally important economic, social, political, and religious changes but presents an evocative picture of a rapidly growing frontier city.

Parting the Waters: America in the King Years 1954-63
Parting the Waters
America in the King Years 1954-63
Paperback      ISBN: 0671687425

In volume one of his America in the King Years, Pulitzer Prize winner Taylor Branch gives a masterly account of the American civil rights movement.

Hailed as the most masterful story ever told of the American civil rights movement, Parting the Waters is destined to endure for generations.

Moving from the fiery political baptism of Martin Luther King, Jr., to the corridors of Camelot where the Kennedy brothers weighed demands for justice against the deceptions of J. Edgar Hoover, here is a vivid tapestry of America, torn and finally transformed by a revolutionary struggle unequaled since the Civil War.

Taylor Branch provides an unsurpassed portrait of King's rise to greatness and illuminates the stunning courage and private conflict, the deals, maneuvers, betrayals, and rivalries that determined history behind closed doors, at boycotts and sit-ins, on bloody freedom rides, and through siege and murder.

Epic in scope and impact, Branch's chronicle definitively captures one of the nation's most crucial passages.
Cannery Women, Cannery Lives: Mexican Women, Unionization, and the California Food Processing Industry, 1930-1950
Cannery Women, Cannery Lives
Mexican Women, Unionization, and the California Food Processing Industry, 1930-1950
Paperback      ISBN: 0826309887

Women have been the mainstay of the grueling, seasonal canning industry for over a century. This book is their collective biography--a history of their family and work lives, and of their union. Out of the labor militancy of the 1930s emerged the United Cannery, Agricultural, Packing, and Allied Workers of America (UCAPAWA). Quickly it became the seventh largest CIO affiliate and a rare success story of women in unions.

Thousands of Mexican and Mexican-American women working in canneries in southern California established effective, democratic trade union locals run by local members. These rank-and-file activists skillfully managed union affairs, including negotiating such benefits as maternity leave, company-provided day care, and paid vacations--in some cases better benefits than they enjoy today. But by 1951, UCAPAWA lay in ruins--a victim of red baiting in the McCarthy era and of brutal takeover tactics by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters.

The Johnstown Flood
The Johnstown Flood
Paperback      ISBN: 0671207148

The stunning story of one of America's great disasters, a preventable tragedy of Gilded Age America, brilliantly told by master historian David McCullough.

At the end of the nineteenth century, Johnstown, Pennsylvania, was a booming coal-and-steel town filled with hardworking families striving for a piece of the nation's burgeoning industrial prosperity. In the mountains above Johnstown, an old earth dam had been hastily rebuilt to create a lake for an exclusive summer resort patronized by the tycoons of that same industrial prosperity, among them Andrew Carnegie, Henry Clay Frick, and Andrew Mellon. Despite repeated warnings of possible danger, nothing was done about the dam. Then came May 31, 1889, when the dam burst, sending a wall of water thundering down the mountain, smashing through Johnstown, and killing more than 2,000 people. It was a tragedy that became a national scandal.

Graced by David McCullough's remarkable gift for writing richly textured, sympathetic social history, The Johnstown Flood is an absorbing, classic portrait of life in nineteenth-century America, of overweening confidence, of energy, and of tragedy. It also offers a powerful historical lesson for our century and all times: the danger of assuming that because people are in positions of responsibility they are necessarily behaving responsibly.
Language and Politics
Language and Politics
Paperback      ISBN: 0921689349

A series of previously unpublished interviews, spanning the twenty year period from 1968 to 1988, that looks at the connection between Chomsky's linguistic studies and his political analysis. Prepared for Chomsky in celebration of his sixtieth birthday. "This wide-ranging book offers glimpses of his studies on language, anarchist theory and critiques of radical politics."--"NACLA Report on the Americas"

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.