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Growing up a privileged Manhattan kid, Jeff Nichols should have had it all. Instead, he got a plethora of impairments: learning disabilities, a speech impediment, dyslexia, ADD, and a mild case of Tourette's syndrome. In Trainwreck, his weird and witty memoir of utter dysfunction, Nichols gives an irreverent look at how one "idoit" made good. Bounced from elite private schools, he limps through college, earning the nickname "Iron Lung" for his uncanny ability to inhale from a four-foot bong without coughing. By the skin of his teeth, he graduates and lands a job on Wall Street...as a moving target for coked-up traders tossing order cards at his head. Bumming money from his parents to pay for drugs and prostitutes, Nichols hits bottom before he discovers Alcoholics Anonymous, the perfect place to develop material for his new career in stand-up. Several disastrous twists and turns later, he finally makes good when a crazy stroke of luck leads to his story being turned into a feature film by the same production company behind indie hits like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and The Savages. Hilarious and oddly inspiring, Trainwreck is proof that a life disastrously lived can still turn out beyond anybody's wildest imaginings.
A School Library Journal Best Book of the Year, An ALA Notable Book for Children, and A Horn Nonfiction Honor Book. All he wanted was to be a hero. And to have money and the best clothes. And to be promoted to a ranking major general. Simple, normal ambitions. Not for Benedict Arnold. The trouble with him was that he carried everything too far. Where did it lead? To treason. An Accelerated Reader® Title
A brilliant evocation of the qualities that made FDR one of the most beloved and greatest of American presidents. Drawing on archival material, public speeches, correspondence and accounts by those closest to Roosevelt early in his career and during his presidency, H. W. Brands shows how Roosevelt transformed American government during the Depression with his New Deal legislation, and carefully managed the country's prelude to war. Brands shows how Roosevelt's friendship and regard for Winston Churchill helped to forge one of the greatest alliances in history, as Roosevelt, Churchill, and Stalin maneuvered to defeat Germany and prepare for post-war Europe.
By the end of the 1980s, the "malaise" that had once pervaded American society was replaced by a renewed sense of confidence and national purpose. However, beneath this veneer of optimism was a nation confronting the effects of massive federal deficits, a reckless foreign policy, AIDS, homelessness, and a growing "cultural war." In Transforming America, renowned historian Robert Collins examines the decade's critical and controversial developments and the unmistakable influence of Ronald Reagan. Moving beyond conventional depictions that either demonize or sanctify Reagan, Collins offers fresh insights into his thought and influence. He portrays Reagan as a complex political figure who combined ideological conservatism with political pragmatism to achieve many of his policy aims. Collins demonstrates how Reagan's policies helped to limit the scope of government, control inflation, reduce the threat of nuclear war, and defeat communism. Collins also shows how the simultaneous ascendancy of the right in politics and the left in culture created a divisive legacy. The 1980s witnessed other changes, including the advent of the personal computer, a revolution in information technology, a more globalized national economy, and a restructuring of the American corporation. In the realm of culture, the creation of MTV, the popularity of self-help gurus, and the rise of postmodernism in American universities were the realization of the cultural shifts of the postwar era. These developments, Collins suggests, created a conflict in American society that continues today, pitting cultural conservatism against a secular and multicultural view of the world. Entertaining and erudite, Transforming America explores the events, movements, and ideas that defined a turbulent decade and profoundly changed the shape and direction of American culture and politics.
A groundbreaking and candid account of Chaz Bono's forty-year struggle to match his gender identity with his physical body and his transformation from male to female.
During a series of sojourns in a town outside San Luis Potosi, Mexico, anthropologist Ruth Behav gathered the extensive oral history of a 60-year-old street peddler whom she calls Esperanza. Her account of Esperanza's life story reads almost like a novel. Behar examines Esperanza's history for themes relating to gender, history, and mythology. After a life of extraordinary hardship Esperanza finds a kind of rebirth through her involvement with healing and witchcraft.
When Cris Beam first moved to Los Angeles, she thought she might put in just a few hours volunteering at a school for transgender kids while she got settled. Instead she found herself drawn deeply into the pained and powerful group of transgirls she discovered.
Memoirs of a flight nurse on a helicopter sent out to take trauma patients to hospitals in California.
An Orientation and mobility instructor describes her teaching life and activities with her students.
Anne Lamott claims the two best prayers she knows are: "Help me, help me, help me" and "Thank you, thank you, thank you." She has a friend whose morning prayer each day is "Whatever," and whose evening prayer is "Oh, well." Anne thinks of Jesus as "Casper the friendly savior" and describes God as "one crafty mother." Despite--or because of--her irreverence, faith is a natural subject for Anne Lamott. Since Operating Instructions and Bird by Bird, her fans have been waiting for her to write the book that explained how she came to the big-hearted, grateful, generous faith that she so often alluded to in her two earlier nonfiction books. The people in Anne Lamott's real life are like beloved characters in a favorite series for her readers--her friend Pammy, her son, Sam, and the many funny and wise folks who attend her church are all familiar. And Traveling Mercies is a welcome return to those lives, as well as an introduction to new companions Lamott treats with the same candor, insight, and tenderness. Lamott's faith isn't about easy answers, which is part of what endears her to believers as well as nonbelievers. Against all odds, she came to believe in God and then, even more miraculously, in herself. As she puts it, "My coming to faith did not start with a leap but rather a series of staggers." At once tough, personal, affectionate, wise, and very funny, Traveling Mercies tells in exuberant detail how Anne Lamott learned to shine the light of faith on the darkest part of ordinary life, exposing surprising pockets of meaning and hope.
Between extremes of climate farther north and south, the 38th North parallel line marks a temperate, middle latitude where human societies have thrived since the beginning of civilization. It divides North and South Korea, passes through Athens and San Francisco, and bisects Mono Lake in the eastern Sierra Nevada, where authors David and Janet Carle make their home. Former park rangers, the authors set out on an around-the-world journey in search of water-related environmental and cultural intersections along the 38th parallel. This book is a chronicle of their adventures as they meet people confronting challenges in water supply, pollution, wetlands loss, and habitat protection. At the heart of the narrative are the riveting stories of the passionate individuals--scientists, educators, and local activists--who are struggling to preserve some of the world's most amazing, yet threatened, landscapes. Traveling largely outside of cities, away from well-beaten tourist tracks, the authors cross Japan, Korea, China, Turkmenistan, Turkey, Greece, Sicily, Spain, Portugal, the Azores Islands, and the United States--from Chesapeake Bay to San Francisco Bay. The stories they gather provide stark contrasts as well as reaffirming similarities across diverse cultures. Generously illustrated with maps and photos, Traveling the 38th Parallel documents devastating environmental losses but also inspiring gains made through the efforts of dedicated individuals working against the odds to protect these fragile places.
Published for the first time in the U.S.--one of the two diaries on which the movie The Motorcycle Diaries is based--the moving and at times hilarious account of Che Guevara and Alberto Granado's eight-month tour of South America in 1952. In 1952 Alberto Granado, a young doctor, and his friend Ernesto Guevara, a 23-year-old medical student from a distinguished Buenos Aires family, decided to explore their continent. They set off from Cordoba in Argentina on a Norton 500cc motorbike and traveled through Chile, Peru, Colombia, and Venezuela. The duo's adventures vary from the suspenseful (stowing away on a cargo ship, exploring Incan ruins) to the comedic (falling in love, drinking, fighting...) to the serious (volunteering as firemen and at a leper colony). They worked as day laborers along the way--as soccer coaches, medical assistants, and furniture movers. The poverty and exploitation of the native population started the process that was to turn Ernesto--the debonair, fun-loving student--into Che, the revolutionary who had a profound impact on the history of several nations. Originally published in Spanish in Cuba in 1978, the first English translation was published by Random House UK in 2003. The movie, based on Granado's and Che's diaries, directed by Walter Salles (Central Station, Behind the Sun), was produced by Robert Redford and others. Shown at the Sundance Film Festival, it generated great reviews and a frenzied auction for distribution rights, which was won by Focus Features. Granado, now 82, was a consultant to Salles during the production
An introspective and beautiful dual memoir by the #1 New York Times bestselling novelist and her daughter. Sue Monk Kidd has touched millions of readers with her novels The Secret Life of Bees and The Mermaid Chair and with her acclaimed nonfiction. In this intimate dual memoir, she and her daughter, Ann, offer distinct perspectives as a fifty-something and a twenty-something, each on a quest to redefine herself and to rediscover each other. Between 1998 and 2000, Sue and Ann travel throughout Greece and France. Sue, coming to grips with aging, caught in a creative vacuum, longing to reconnect with her grown daughter, struggles to enlarge a vision of swarming bees into a novel. Ann, just graduated from college, heartbroken and benumbed by the classic question about what to do with her life, grapples with a painful depression. As this modern-day Demeter and Persephone chronicle the richly symbolic and personal meaning of an array of inspiring figures and sites, they also each give voice to that most protean of connections: the bond of mother and daughter. A wise and involving book about feminine thresholds, spiritual growth, and renewal, Traveling with Pomegranates is both a revealing self-portrait by a beloved author and her daughter, a writer in the making, and a momentous story that will resonate with women everywhere.
A valuable document for the study of the modern Japanese construction of "China" and "the Chinese," this important travelogue by Yosana Akiko -- one of Japan's greatest poets and a prominent spokeswoman during the early years of Japanese feminism -- charts her travels in Japanese-controlled Manchuria and Mongolia in 1928. Written during a tense period in Sino-Japanese relations, Yosana's travelogue clearly reveals the limits of her stated progressive leanings in the face of the imperialist project of which she could not help but be a part.
A Dazzling Russian travelogue from the bestselling author of Great Plains In Travels in Siberia, Ian Frazier trains his eye for unforgettable detail on Siberia, that vast expanse of Asiatic Russia. He explores many aspects of this storied, often grim region, which takes up one-seventh of the land on earth. He writes about the geography, the resources, the native peoples, the history, the forty-below midwinter afternoons, the bugs. The book brims with Mongols, half-crazed Orthodox archpriests, fur seekers, ambassadors of the czar bound for Peking, tea caravans, German scientists, American prospectors, intrepid English nurses, and prisoners and exiles of every kind--from Natalie Lopukhin, banished by the czarina for copying her dresses; to the noble Decembrist revolutionaries of the 1820s; to the young men and women of the People's Will movement whose fondest hope was to blow up the czar; to those who met still-ungraspable suffering and death in the Siberian camps during Soviet times. More than just a historical travelogue, Travels in Siberiai s also an account of Russia since the end of the Soviet Union and a personal reflection on the all-around awesomeness of Russia, a country that still somehow manages to be funny. Siberian travel books have been popular since the thirteenth century, when monks sent by the pope went east to find the Great Khan and wrote about their journeys. Travels in Siberia will take its place as the twenty-first century's indispensable contribution to the genre.
Interesting notes about the country in early times.
"Even now," wrote Christopher Isherwood in his Berlin Diary of 1933, "I can't altogether believe that any of this has really happened. " Three years later, W.E.B. DuBois described Germany as "silent, nervous, suppressed; it speaks in whispers." In contrast, a young John F. Kennedy, in the journal he kept on a German tour in 1937, wrote, "The Germans really are too good--it makes people gang against them for protection." Drawing on such published and unpublished accounts from writers and public figures visiting Germany,Travels in the Reich creates a chilling composite portrait of the reality of life under Hitler. Written in the moment by writers such as Virginia Woolf, Isak Dinesen, Samuel Beckett, Jean-Paul Sartre, William Shirer, Georges Simenon, and Albert Camus, the essays, letters, and articles gathered here offer fascinating insight into the range of responses to Nazi Germany. While some accounts betray a distressing naivete, overall what is striking is just how clearly many of the travelers understood the true situation-- and the terrors to come. Through the eyes of these visitors,Travels in the Reich offers a new perspective on the quotidian-- yet so often horrifying-- details of German life under Nazism, in accounts as gripping and well-written as a novel, but bearing all the weight of historical witness.
At an age when most men are content to simply remember the past, John Steinbeck set off on a remarkable journey across America. Ultimately it took him through almost forty states: from Long Island to Maine, through the Middle West to Chicago, onward by way of Minnesota, North Dakota, Montana and Idaho to Seattle, south to San Francisco and his birthplace, Salinas, eastward to new mexico, Arizona and Texas, on to New Orleans, Alabama, Virginia, Pennsylvania and finally to New Jersey and New York. His account of this extraordinary odyssey is one of the most profound and revealing documents of our time. [This text is listed as an example that meets Common Core Standards in English language arts in grades 6-8 at http://www.corestandards.org.]
To hear the speech of the real America, to smell the grass and the tress, to see the colors and the light--these were John Steinbeck's goals as he set out, at the age of fifty-eight, to rediscover the country he had been writing about for so many years. With Charley, his French poodle, Steinbeck drives the interstates and the country roads, dines with truckers, encounters bears at Yellowstone and old friends in San Francisco. And he reflects on the American character, racial hostility, on a particular form of American loneliness he finds almost everywhere, and on the unexpected kindness of strangers that is also a very real part of our national identity.
Kim Philby has been called "one of the most remarkable double-agents to have been exposed in our time." Harry St. John Bridger Philby, Kim Philby's father and mentor, was one of the most intriguing intellectuals and adventurers of our time.
The Burr treason trial, one of the greatest criminal trials in American history, was significant for several reasons. The legal proceedings lasted seven months and featured some of the nation's best lawyers. It also pitted President Thomas Jefferson (who declared Burr guilty without the benefit of a trial and who masterminded the prosecution), Chief Justice John Marshall (who sat as a trial judge in the federal circuit court in Richmond) and former Vice President Aaron Burr (who was accused of planning to separate the western states from the Union) against each other. At issue, in addition to the life of Aaron Burr, were the rights of criminal defendants, the constitutional definition of treason and the meaning of separation of powers in the Constitution. Capturing the sheer drama of the long trial, Kent Newmyer's book sheds new light on the chaotic process by which lawyers, judges and politicians fashioned law for the new nation.
Bestselling author Naomi Wolf was brought up to believe that happiness is something that can be taught -- and learned. In this magical book, Naomi shares the enduring wisdom of her father, Leonard Wolf, a poet and teacher who believes that every person is an artist in their own unique way, and that personal creativity is the secret of happiness. Leonard Wolf is a true eccentric. A tall, craggy, good-looking man in his early eighties, he's the kind of person who likes to use a medieval astrolabe, dress in Basque shepherd's clothing, and convince otherwise sensible people to quit their jobs and follow their passions. A gifted teacher, he's dedicated his life to honoring individualism, creativity, and the inspirational power of art. Leonard believes, and has made many others believe, that inside everyone is an artist, and success and happiness in life depend on whether or not one values and acts upon one's creative impulse. In The Treehouse, Naomi Wolf's most personal book yet, Naomi outlines her father's lessons in creating lasting happiness and offers inspiration for the artist in all of us. The book begins when Naomi asks Leonard to help build a treehouse for his granddaughter. Inspired by his dedication to her daughter's imaginative world, Naomi asks her father to walk her through the lessons of his popular poetry class and show her how he teaches people to liberate their creative selves. Drawn from Leonard's handwritten lecture notes, the chapters of The Treehouse remind us to "Be Still and Listen," "Use Your Imagination," "Do Nothing Without Passion," and that "Your Only Wage Will Be Joy," and "Mistakes Are Part of the Draft. " More than an education in poetry writing, this is a journey of self-discovery in which the creative endeavor is paramount. Naomi also offers glimpses into her father's past -- from his youth during the Depression to his bohemian years as a poet in 1950s San Francisco -- and the evolution of Leonard's highly individualistic vision of the artist's way. She reconsiders her own childhood and realizes the transformative effect Leonard's philosophy has had on her own life, as well as the lives of her students and friends. The Treehouse is ultimately a stirring personal history, a meditation on fathers and daughters, an argument for honoring the creative impulse, and unique instruction in the art of personal happiness.
In unraveling the long-hidden issues of the most famous free speech case of all time, noted author I.F. Stone ranges far and wide over Roman as well as Greek history to present an engaging and rewarding introduction to classical antiquity and its relevance to society today.
The Trials of Phillis Wheatley: America's First Black Poet and Her Encounters with the Founding Fathersby Henry Louis Gates Jr.
In this book based on his 2002 Jefferson Lecture in the Humanities at the Library of Congress, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., explores the pivotal roles that Wheatley and Jefferson have played in shaping the black literary tradition.
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