United States History 1900-1950
Featured Items
The Prosperous Few and the Restless Many
The Prosperous Few and the Restless Many
Paperback      ISBN: 1878825038

These wide-ranging interviews, from 1992 and 1993, cover everything from Bosnia and Somalia to biotechnology and nonviolence, with particular attention to the "Third Worldization" of the United States.

Isaac's Storm: A Man, a Time, and the Deadliest Hurricane in History
Isaac's Storm
A Man, a Time, and the Deadliest Hurricane in History
Paperback      ISBN: 0375708278
From the bestselling author of The Devil in the White City, here is the true story of the deadliest hurricane in history.

National Bestseller

September 8, 1900, began innocently in the seaside town of Galveston, Texas. Even Isaac Cline, resident meteorologist for the U.S. Weather Bureau failed to grasp the true meaning of the strange deep-sea swells and peculiar winds that greeted the city that morning. Mere hours later, Galveston found itself submerged in a monster hurricane that completely destroyed the town and killed over six thousand people in what remains the greatest natural disaster in American history--and Isaac Cline found himself the victim of a devastating personal tragedy.

Using Cline's own telegrams, letters, and reports, the testimony of scores of survivors, and our latest understanding of the science of hurricanes, Erik Larson builds a chronicle of one man's heroic struggle and fatal miscalculation in the face of a storm of unimaginable magnitude. Riveting, powerful, and unbearably suspenseful, Isaac's Storm is the story of what can happen when human arrogance meets the great uncontrollable force of nature.
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.
Undaunted Courage: Meriwether Lewis, Thomas Jefferson, and the Opening of the American West
Undaunted Courage
Meriwether Lewis, Thomas Jefferson, and the Opening of the American West
Hardcover      ISBN: 0684811073

From the bestselling author of Band of Brothers and D-Day, the definitive book on Lewis and Clark's exploration of the Louisiana Purchase, the most momentous expedition in American history and one of the great adventure stories of all time.

In 1803 President Thomas Jefferson selected his personal secretary, Captain Meriwether Lewis, to lead a voyage up the Missouri River to the Rockies, over the mountains, down the Columbia River to the Pacific Ocean, and back. Lewis and his partner, Captain William Clark, made the first map of the trans-Mississippi West, provided invaluable scientific data on the flora and fauna of the Louisiana Purchase territory, and established the American claim to Oregon, Washington, and Idaho.

Ambrose has pieced together previously unknown information about weather, terrain, and medical knowledge at the time to provide a vivid backdrop for the expedition. Lewis is supported by a rich variety of colorful characters, first of all Jefferson himself, whose interest in exploring and acquiring the American West went back thirty years. Next comes Clark, a rugged frontiersman whose love for Lewis matched Jefferson's. There are numerous Indian chiefs, and Sacagawea, the Indian girl who accompanied the expedition, along with the French-Indian hunter Drouillard, the great naturalists of Philadelphia, the French and Spanish fur traders of St. Louis, John Quincy Adams, and many more leading political, scientific, and military figures of the turn of the century.

High adventure, high politics, suspense, drama, and diplomacy combine with high romance and personal tragedy to make this outstanding work of scholarship as readable as a novel.
Case Closed: Lee Harvey Oswald and the Assassination of JFK
Case Closed
Lee Harvey Oswald and the Assassination of JFK
Paperback      ISBN: 1400034620

The assassination of John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963, continues to inspire interest ranging from well-meaning speculation to bizarre conspiracy theories and controversial filmmaking. But in this landmark book, reissued with a new afterword for the 40th anniversary of the assassination, Gerald Posner examines all of the available evidence and reaches the only possible conclusion: Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone. There was no second gunman on the grassy knoll. The CIA was not involved. And although more than four million pages of documents have been released since Posner first made his case, they have served only to corroborate his findings. Case Closed remains the classic account against which all books about JFK's death must be measured.

The Zimmermann Telegram: America Enters the War, 1917-1918; Barbara W. Tuchman's Great War Series
The Zimmermann Telegram
America Enters the War, 1917-1918; Barbara W. Tuchman's Great War Series
Paperback      ISBN: 0345324250
The Proud Tower, the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Guns of August, and The Zimmermann Telegram comprise Barbara W. Tuchman's classic histories of the First World War era

In January 1917, the war in Europe was, at best, a tragic standoff. Britain knew that all was lost unless the United States joined the war, but President Wilson was unshakable in his neutrality. At just this moment, a crack team of British decoders in a quiet office known as Room 40 intercepted a document that would change history. The Zimmermann telegram was a top-secret message to the president of Mexico, inviting him to join Germany and Japan in an invasion of the United States. How Britain managed to inform the American government without revealing that the German codes had been broken makes for an incredible story of espionage and intrigue as only Barbara W. Tuchman could tell it.

Praise for The Zimmermann Telegram

"A true, lucid thriller . . . a tremendous tale of hushed and unhushed uproars in the linked fields of war and diplomacy . . . Tuchman makes the most of it with a creative writer's sense of drama and a scholar's obeisance to the evidence."--The New York Times

"The tale has most of the ingredients of an Eric Ambler spy thriller."--Saturday Review
The Boy Genius and the Mogul: The Untold Story of Television
The Boy Genius and the Mogul
The Untold Story of Television
Hardcover      ISBN: 0767907590

The world remembers Edison, Ford, and the Wright Brothers. But what about Philo T. Farnsworth, the inventor of television, an innovation that did as much as any other to shape the twentieth century? That question lies at the heart of "The Boy Genius and the Mogul," Daniel Stashower's captivating chronicle of television's true inventor, the battle he faced to capitalize on his breakthrough, and the powerful forces that resulted in the collapse of his dreams.
The son of a Mormon farmer, Farnsworth was born in 1906 in a single-room log cabin on an isolated homestead in Utah. The Farnsworth family farm had no radio, no telephone, and no electricity. Yet, motivated by the stories of scientists and inventors he read about in the science magazines of the day, young Philo set his sights on becoming an inventor. By his early teens, Farnsworth had become an inveterate tinkerer, able to repair broken farm equipment when no one else could. It was inevitable that when he read an article about a new idea -- for the transmission of pictures by radio waves--that he would want to attempt it himself. One day while he was walking through a hay field, Farnsworth took note of the straight, parallel lines of the furrows and envisioned a system of scanning a visual image line by line and transmitting it to a remote screen. He soon sketched a diagram for an early television camera tube. It was 1921 and Farnsworth was only fourteen years old.
Farnsworth went on to college to pursue his studies of electrical engineering but was forced to quit after two years due to the death of his father. Even so, he soon managed to persuade a group of California investors to set him up in his own research lab where, in 1927, he produced the first all-electronic television image and later patented his invention. While Farnsworth's invention was a landmark, it was also the beginning of a struggle against an immense corporate power that would consume much of his life. That corporate power was embodied by a legendary media mogul, RCA President and NBC founder David Sarnoff, who claimed that his chief scientist had invented a mechanism for television prior to Farnsworth's. Thus the boy genius and the mogul were locked in a confrontation over who would control the future of television technology and the vast fortune it represented. Farnsworth was enormously outmatched by the media baron and his army of lawyers and public relations people, and, by the 1940s, Farnsworth would be virtually forgotten as television's actual inventor, while Sarnoff and his chief scientist would receive the credit.
Restoring Farnsworth to his rightful place in history, "The Boy Genius and the Mogul" presents a vivid portrait of a self-taught scientist whose brilliance allowed him to "capture light in a bottle." A rich and dramatic story of one man's perseverance and the remarkable events leading up to the launch of television as we know it, "The Boy Genius and the Mogul "shines new light on a major turning point in American history.

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
A World Made New: Eleanor Roosevelt and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
A World Made New
Eleanor Roosevelt and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Paperback      ISBN: 0375760466

Unafraid to speak her mind and famously tenacious in her convictions, Eleanor Roosevelt was still mourning the death of FDR when she was asked by President Truman to lead a controversial commission, under the auspices of the newly formed United Nations, to forge the world's first international bill of rights.

A World Made New is the dramatic and inspiring story of the remarkable group of men and women from around the world who participated in this historic achievement and gave us the founding document of the modern human rights movement. Spurred on by the horrors of the Second World War and working against the clock in the brief window of hope between the armistice and the Cold War, they grappled together to articulate a new vision of the rights that every man and woman in every country around the world should share, regardless of their culture or religion.

A landmark work of narrative history based in part on diaries and letters to which Mary Ann Glendon, an award-winning professor of law at Harvard University, was given exclusive access, A World Made New is the first book devoted to this crucial turning point in Eleanor Roosevelt's life, and in world history.

Finalist for the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award
Sudden Sea: The Great Hurricane of 1938
Sudden Sea
The Great Hurricane of 1938
Paperback      ISBN: 0316832111

The massive destruction wreaked by the Hurricane of 1938 dwarfed that of the Chicago Fire, the San Francisco Earthquake, and the Mississippi floods of 1927, making the storm the worst natural disaster in U.S. history. Now, R.A. Scotti tells the story.