United States History 1900-1950
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The Great Depression: America 1929-1941
The Great Depression
America 1929-1941
Paperback      ISBN: 0812923278
One of the classic studies of the Great Depression, featuring a new introduction by the author with insights into the economic crises of 1929 and today.

In the twenty-five years since its publication, critics and scholars have praised historian Robert McElvaine's sweeping and authoritative history of the Great Depression as one of the best and most readable studies of the era. Combining clear-eyed insight into the machinations of politicians and economists who struggled to revive the battered economy, personal stories from the average people who were hardest hit by an economic crisis beyond their control, and an evocative depiction of the popular culture of the decade, McElvaine paints an epic picture of an America brought to its knees--but also brought together by people's widely shared plight.

In a new introduction, McElvaine draws striking parallels between the roots of the Great Depression and the economic meltdown that followed in the wake of the credit crisis of 2008. He also examines the resurgence of anti-regulation free market ideology, beginning in the Reagan era, and argues that some economists and politicians revised history and ignored the lessons of the Depression era.
Grand Expectations: The United States, 1945-1974
Grand Expectations
The United States, 1945-1974
Paperback      ISBN: 0195117972

Beginning in 1945, America rocketed through a quarter-century of extraordinary economic growth, experiencing an amazing boom that soared to unimaginable heights in the 1960s. At one point, in the late 1940s, American workers produced 57 percent of the planet's steel, 62 percent of the oil, 80 percent of the automobiles. The U.S. then had three-fourths of the world's gold supplies. English Prime Minister Edward Heath later said that the United States in the post-War era enjoyed "the greatest prosperity the world has ever known." It was a boom that produced a national euphoria, a buoyant time of grand expectations and an unprecedented faith in our government, in our leaders, and in the American dream--an optimistic spirit which would be shaken by events in the '60s and '70s, and particularly by the Vietnam War.

Now, in Grand Expectations, James T. Patterson has written a highly readable and balanced work that weaves the major political, cultural, and economic events of the period into a superb portrait of America from 1945 through Watergate. Here is an era teeming with memorable events--from the bloody campaigns in Korea and the bitterness surrounding McCarthyism to the assassinations of the Kennedys and Martin Luther King, to the Vietnam War, Watergate, and Nixon's resignation. Patterson excels at portraying the amazing growth after World War II--the great building boom epitomized by Levittown (the largest such development in history) and the baby boom (which exploded literally nine months after V-J Day)--as well as the resultant buoyancy of spirit reflected in everything from streamlined toasters, to big, flashy cars, to the soaring, butterfly roof of TWA's airline terminal in New York. And he shows how this upbeat, can-do mood spurred grander and grander expectations as the era progressed.

Of course, not all Americans shared in this economic growth, and an important thread running through the book is an informed and gripping depiction of the civil rights movement--from the electrifying Brown v. Board of Education decision, to the violent confrontations in Little Rock, Birmingham, and Selma, to the landmark civil rights acts of 1964 and 1965. Patterson also shows how the Vietnam War--which provoked LBJ's growing credibility gap, vast defense spending that dangerously unsettled the economy, and increasingly angry protests--and a growing rights revolution (including demands by women, Hispanics, the poor, Native Americans, and gays) triggered a backlash that widened hidden rifts in our society, rifts that divided along racial, class, and generational lines. And by Nixon's resignation, we find a national mood in stark contrast to the grand expectations of ten years earlier, one in which faith in our leaders and in the attainability of the American dream was greatly shaken.

The Oxford History of the United States
The Oxford History of the United States is the most respected multi-volume history of our nation. The series includes three Pulitzer Prize winners, a New York Times bestseller, and winners of the Bancroft and Parkman Prizes. The Atlantic Monthly has praised it as "the most distinguished series in American historical scholarship," a series that "synthesizes a generation's worth of historical inquiry and knowledge into one literally state-of-the-art book." Conceived under the general editorship of C. Vann Woodward and Richard Hofstadter, and now under the editorship of David M. Kennedy, this renowned series blends social, political, economic, cultural, diplomatic, and military history into coherent and vividly written narrative.
Last Train to Paradise: Henry Flagler and the Spectacular Rise and Fall of the Railroad That Crossed an Ocean
Last Train to Paradise
Henry Flagler and the Spectacular Rise and Fall of the Railroad That Crossed an Ocean
Paperback      ISBN: 1400049474
The fast-paced and gripping true account of the extraordinary construction and spectacular demise of the Key West Railroad--one of the greatest engineering feats ever undertaken, destroyed in one fell swoop by the strongest storm ever to hit U.S. shores.

In 1904, the brilliant and driven entrepreneur Henry Flagler, partner to John D. Rockefeller, dreamed of a railway connecting the island of Key West to the Florida mainland, crossing a staggering 153 miles of open ocean--an engineering challenge beyond even that of the Panama Canal. Many considered the project impossible, but build it they did. The railroad stood as a magnificent achievement for more than twenty-two years, heralded as "the Eighth Wonder of the World," until its total destruction in 1935's deadly storm of the century.

In Last Train to Paradise, Standiford celebrates this crowning achievement of Gilded Age ambition, bringing to life a sweeping tale of the powerful forces of human ingenuity colliding with the even greater forces of nature's wrath.
The Dark Side of Camelot
The Dark Side of Camelot
Paperback      ISBN: 0316360678
A monumental work of investigative journalism from one of the greatest reporters in American history, revealing the Kennedy White House as never before.
In this widely acclaimed and bestselling book, the award-winning investigative reporter Seymour M. Hersh reveals a John F. Kennedy we have never seen before, a man insulated from the normal consequences of behavior long before he entered the White House. His father, Joe, set the pattern: Kennedys could do exactly what they wanted. There was no secret that money and charm could not hide. Kennedys wrote their own moral code.
By the end of Jack Kennedy's life, his private recklessness had begun to edge into his public life, putting him -- and his nation -- at risk. Now, for the first time, Seymour Hersh tells the real story of those risks, as he brilliantly re-creates the life and world of a crisis-driven president who maintained a facade of cool toughness while negotiating private compromises unknown to even his closest advisers.
"Not merely a great read, Much of what's in The Dark Side of Camelot is also 1) new; 2) shocking; 3) well supported; and 4) worth knowing." --Jacob Weisberg, Slate
Seabiscuit: An American Legend
Seabiscuit
An American Legend
Hardcover      ISBN: 1400060982

A deluxe illustrated edition of one of the most beloved books of our time, with nearly 150 historic photographs personally selected by the author
The spellbinding true story of how three men and a great racehorse captivated a nation, Laura Hillenbrand's "Seabiscuit: An American Legend" became an immediate number one bestseller and cultural phenomenon upon its publication in 2001. Named one of the best books of the year by more than twenty publications--including "The New York Times, The Washington Post, Time, People, USA Today, " and "The Economist"--Seabiscuit was also honored as the BookSense Nonfiction Book of the Year and the William Hill Sports Book of the Year, and was a finalist for several other major prizes, including the National Book Critics Circle Award and the" Los Angeles Times" Book Prize.
For this lavishly illustrated special edition, author Laura Hillenbrand has written a new Introduction and selected nearly 150 rare photographs from historic archives and private collections. Seabiscuit tells the story of three remarkable men: Charles Howard, a bicycle repairman who made a fortune by introducing the automobile to the American West; Red Pollard, a failed prizefighter and failing jockey who was abandoned as a boy at a makeshift racetrack; and Tom Smith, an enigmatic mustang breaker who came from the vanishing frontier, bearing generations of lost wisdom about the secrets of horses.
In the sultry summer of 1936, the lives of these men converged around a bad-legged, floundering racehorse named Seabiscuit. Forming an improbable partnership, they transformed the horse into one of the most extraordinary competitors in sports history. In four tumultuous years, the rags-to-riches horse overcame a phenomenal run of misfortune to emerge as an American cultural icon, drawing an immense following, prompting an avalanche of merchandising, and establishing himself as the single biggest newsmaker of 1938--receiving more coverage than FDR, Hitler, or any other public figure.
Seabiscuit is an inspiring tale of unlikely heroes, a classic story of three embattled individuals and a remarkable racehorse overcoming the odds in the Great Depression.

Thirteen Months to Go: The Creation of the Empire State Building
Thirteen Months to Go
The Creation of the Empire State Building
Hardcover      ISBN: 1592231055

The Empire State Building, a construction fear that to this day invokes awe and wonder, began as a contest between two industrial moguls who croved the status of constructing the tallest building in the world. The building was the center of a "race to the skies" competition between Walter Chrysler, of the Chrysler Corporation, and John Jakob Raskob, creator of General Motors, and coincided with the onset of one of the worst economic downturns in American history -- the Great Depression. Thirteen Months to Go encompasses the optimism and potential of 1920s New York. It is a wonderful tribute to the perseverance of New Yorkers and on amazing story of fortitude and ambition.

Only Yesterday: An Informal History of the 1920s
Only Yesterday
An Informal History of the 1920s
Paperback      ISBN: 0060956658

"A style that is verve itself." -- New York Times

"A perfectly grand piece of historical record and synthetic journalism."
-- Chicago Daily Tribune

From Frederick Lewis Allen, former editor-in-chief of Harper's magazine, comes a classic history of 1920s America, from the end of World War I to the stock market crash and the beginning of The Great Depression. Originally published in 1931, Only Yesterday has an exuberance and proximity to its subject--the Roaring Twenties in all its scandal and glory--that uniquely captures the feel of the era.

Let Us Now Praise Famous Men: Three Tenant Families
Let Us Now Praise Famous Men
Three Tenant Families
Paperback      ISBN: 0618127496

A landmark work of American photojournalism "renowned for its fusion of social conscience and artistic radicality" (New York Times)

In the summer of 1936, James Agee and Walker Evans set out on assignment for Fortune magazine to explore the daily lives of sharecroppers in the South. Their journey would prove an extraordinary collaboration and a watershed literary event when, in 1941, Let Us Now Praise Famous Men was first published to enormous critical acclaim. This unsparing record of place, of the people who shaped the land and the rhythm of their lives, is intensely moving and unrelentingly honest, and today--recognized by the New York Public Library as one of the most influential books of the twentieth century--it stands as a poetic tract of its time. With an elegant new design as well as a sixty-four-page photographic prologue featuring archival reproductions of Evans's classic images, this historic edition offers readers a window into a remarkable slice of American history.

Land of Desire: Merchants, Power, and the Rise of a New American Culture
Land of Desire
Merchants, Power, and the Rise of a New American Culture
Hardcover      ISBN: 0394543505

Traces the rise of America's mass-market culture, from its beginnings in the 1890s to its present-day domination of American life

Contesting Castro: The United States and the Triumph of the Cuban Revolution
Contesting Castro
The United States and the Triumph of the Cuban Revolution
Paperback      ISBN: 0195101200

Today they stand as enemies, but in the 1950s, few countries were as closely intertwined as Cuba and the United States. Thousands of Americans (including Ernest Hemingway and Errol Flynn) lived on the island, and, in the United States, dancehalls swayed to the mambo beat. The strong-arm Batista regime depended on Washington's support, and it invited American gangsters like Meyer Lansky to build fancy casinos for U.S. tourists. Major league scouts searched for Cuban talent: The New York Giants even offered a contract to a young pitcher named Fidel Castro. In 1955, Castro did come to the United States, but not for baseball: He toured the country to raise money for a revolution.
Thomas Paterson tells the fascinating story of Castro's insurrection, from that early fund-raising trip to Batista's fall and the flowering of the Cuban Revolution that has bedeviled the United States for more than three decades. With evocative prose and a swift-moving narrative, Paterson recreates the love-hate relationship between the two nations, then traces the intrigue of the insurgency, the unfolding revolution, and the sources of the Bay of Pigs invasion, CIA assassination plots, and the missile crisis. The drama ranges from the casino blackjack tables to Miami streets; from the Eisenhower and Kennedy White Houses to the crowded deck of the Granma, the frail boat that carried the Fidelistas to Cuba from Mexico; from Batista's fortified palace to mountain hideouts where Rau'l Castro held American hostages. Drawing upon impressive international research, including declassified CIA documents and interviews, Paterson reveals how Washington, fixed on the issue of Communism, failed to grasp the widespread disaffection from Batista. The Eisenhower administration alienated Cubans by supplying arms to a hated regime, by sustaining Cuba's economic dependence, and by conspicuously backing Batista. As Batista self-destructed, U.S. officials launched third-force conspiracies in a vain attempt to block Castro's victory. By the time the defiant revolutionary leader entered Havana in early 1959, the foundation of the long, bitter hostility between Cuba and the United States had been firmly laid.
Since the end of the Cold War, the futures of Communist Cuba and Fidel Castro have become clouded. Paterson's gripping and timely account explores the origins of America's troubled relationship with its island neighbor, explains what went wrong and how the United States "let this one get away," and suggests paths to the future as the Clinton administration inches toward less hostile relations with a changing Cuba.