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This surreal and darkly comic tale is based on the author's journey from Berlin to Moscow, through Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland and Romania, only weeks after the fall of the Berlin Wall.
This breakthrough book provides a detailed reconstruction of Stalin's leadership from the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939 to his death in 1953. Making use of a wealth of new material from Russian archives, Geoffrey Roberts challenges a long list of standard perceptions of Stalin: his qualities as a leader; his relationships with his own generals and with other great world leaders; his foreign policy; and his role in instigating the Cold War. While frankly exploring the full extent of Stalin's brutalities and their impact on the Soviet people, Roberts also uncovers evidence leading to the stunning conclusion that Stalin was both the greatest military leader of the twentieth century and a remarkable politician who sought to avoid the Cold War and establish a long-term detente with the capitalist world. By means of an integrated military, political, and diplomatic narrative, the author draws a sustained and compelling personal portrait of the Soviet leader. The resulting picture is fascinating and contradictory, and it will inevitably change the way we understand Stalin and his place in history. Roberts depicts a despot who helped save the world for democracy, a personal charmer who disciplined mercilessly, a utopian ideologue who could be a practical realist, and a warlord who undertook the role of architect of post-war peace.
In this powerful, sometimes harrowing, deeply felt story, Patrick Tracey journeys to Ireland to track the origin and solve the mystery of his Irish-American family's multigenerational struggle with schizophrenia. For most Irish Americans, a trip to Ireland is often an occasion to revisit their family's roots. But for Patrick Tracey, the lure of his ancestral home is a much more powerful need: part pilgrimage, part investigation to confront the genealogical mystery of schizophrenia-a disease that had claimed a great-great-great-grandmother, a grandmother, an uncle, and, most recently, two sisters. As long as Tracey could remember, schizophrenia ran on his mother's side, seldom spoken of outright but impossible to ignore. Devastated by the emotional toll the disease had already taken on his family, terrified of passing it on to any children he might have, and inspired by the recent discovery of the first genetic link to schizophrenia, Tracey followed his genealogical trail from Boston to Ireland's county Roscommon, home of his oldest-known schizophrenic ancestor. In a renovated camper, Tracey crossed the Emerald Isle to investigate the country that, until the 1960s, had the world's highest rate of institutionalization for mental illness, following clues and separating fact from fiction in the legendary relationship the Irish have had with madness. Tracey's path leads from fairy mounds and ancient caverns still shrouded in superstition to old pubs whose colorful inhabitants are a treasure trove of local lore. He visits the massive and grim asylum where his famine starved ancestors may have lived. And he interviews the Irish research team that first cracked the schizophrenic code to learn how much-and how little-we know about this often misunderstood disease. Filled with history, science, and lore,Stalking Irish Madnessis an unforgettable chronicle of one man's attempt to make sense of his family's past and to find hope for the future of schizophrenic patients. From the Hardcover edition.
An enraged man abducts his estranged wife and child, holes up in a secluded mountain cabin, threatening to kill them both. A right wing survivalist amasses a cache of weapons and resists calls to surrender. A drug trafficker barricades himself and his family in a railroad car, and begins shooting. A cult leader in Waco, Texas faces the FBI in an armed stand-off that leaves many dead in a fiery blaze. A sniper, claiming to be God, terrorizes the DC metropolitan area. For most of us, these are events we hear about on the news. For Gary Noesner, head of the FBI's groundbreaking Crisis Negotiation Unit, it was just another day on the job. In Stalling for Time, Noesner takes readers on a heart-pounding tour through many of the most famous hostage crises of the past thirty years. Specially trained in non-violent confrontation and communication techniques, Noesner's unit successfully defused many potentially volatile standoffs, but perhaps their most hard-won victory was earning the recognition and respect of their law enforcement peers. Noesner pursued his dream of joining the FBI all the way to Quantico, where he not only became a Special Agent, but also--in the course of a distinguished thirty-year career--the FBI's Chief Negotiator. Gaining respect for the fledgling art of crisis negotiation in the hard-boiled culture of The Bureau, where the shadow of J. Edgar Hoover still loomed large, was an uphill battle, educating FBI and law enforcement leaders on the job at an incident, and advocating the use of psychology rather than force whenever possible. Noesner's many bloodless victories rarely garnered as much media attention as the notorious incident management blunders like the Branch Davidian disaster in Waco and the Ruby Ridge tragedy. Noesner offers a candid as well as fascinating look back at his years as a rebel in the ranks and a pioneer on the front lines. Whether vividly recounting showdowns with the radical Republic of Texas militia, the terrorist hijackers of the cruise ship Achille Lauro, and self-styled messiah David Koresh, or clashes with colleagues and superiors that expose the internal politics and power-plays of America's premier law enforcement agency, Stalling for Time crackles with breathtaking suspense and insight in equal measure. Case by case, minute by minute, it's a behind the scenes view of a visionary crime-fighter in action.
Wynette, the queen of country western music, tells the inspiring life story of her ascent from rags to riches.
In 1931, Irma S. Rombauer, a recent widow, took her life savings and self-published a cookbook that she hoped might support her family. Little did she know that her book would go on to become America's most beloved cooking companion. Thus was born the bestselling Joy of Cooking, and with it, a culinary revolution that continues to this day. In Stand Facing the Stove, Anne Mendelson presents a richly detailed biographical portrait of the two remarkable forces behind Joy -- Irma S. Rombauer and her daughter, Marion Rombauer Becker -- shedding new light on the classic kitchen mainstay and on the history of American cooking. Mendelson weaves together three fascinating stories: the affectionate though often difficult relationship between Joy's original creator, Irma, and her eventual coauthor, Marion; the bitter dealings between the Rombauers and their publisher, Bobbs-Merrill (at whose hands the Rombauers likely lost millions of dollars); and the enormous cultural impact of the beloved book that Irma and Marion devoted their lives to refining, edition after edition. Featuring an accessible new recipe format and an engaging voice that inspired home cooks, Joy changed the face of American cookbooks. Stand Facing the Stove offers an intimate look at the women behind this culinary bible and provides a marvelous portrait of twentieth-century America as seen through the kitchen window.
Everything is connected, and the web is holy. So wrote Marcus Aurelius, the starting point of Sharman Russell's wise and haunting new memoir about her life as a pantheist. Perhaps no other religious philosophy is as simple and inclusive as pantheism.
"Lots of people have dreams, but C. Vivian Stringer . . . lives that dream, teaching others to rise up to meet challenges, turning underdogs into champions again and again--on and off the court. This is the quintessential American story, of a woman and of a family pulling together against the odds"--John Chaney, Hall of Fame college basketball coach.
"A magnificent new life. . . [and] a superb adventure story. . . . There have been many biographies of Stanley, but Jeal's is the most felicitous, the best informed, the most complete and readable and exhaustive, profiting from his access to an immense new trove of Stanley material." --Paul Theroux, front page, New York Times Book Review. Henry Morton Stanley, so the tale goes, was a cruel imperialist who connived with King Leopold II of Belgium in horrific crimes against the people of the Congo. He also conducted the most legendary celebrity interview in history, opening with, "Dr. Livingstone, I presume?" But these perceptions are not quite true, Tim Jeal shows in this grand and colorful biography. With unprecedented access to previously closed Stanley family archives, Jeal reveals the amazing extent to which Stanley's public career and intimate life have been misunderstood and undervalued. Jeal recovers the reality of Stanley's life--a life of almost impossible extremes--in this moving story of tragedy, adventure, disappointment, and success. Few have started life as disadvantaged as Stanley. Rejected by both parents and consigned to a Welsh workhouse, he emigrated to America as a penniless eighteen-year-old. Jeal vividly re-creates Stanley's rise to success, his friendships and romantic relationships, and his life-changing decision to assume an American identity. Stanley's epic but unfairly forgotten African journeys are thrillingly described, establishing the explorer as the greatest to set foot on the continent. Few biographies can claim so thoroughly to reappraise a reputation; few portray a more extraordinary historical figure.
Stephen Digges is the kind of angry adolescent a lot of parents would have given up on. He is out of control by the time he is 13 -- running with gangs, stealing cars, fooling around with drugs and guns, and in general making his family's life hell. Confronted with his growing recklessness and defiance, his mother, the poet Deborah Digges, decides to try to accept Stephen on his own terms--a course that stuns her family and leads to the breakup of her second marriage. Digges "shadows" him on his late-night forays so that she can understand his world, welcomes his gang into their apartment, and tries to see life through his eyes. When she discovers that children who are devoted to animals have an easier time forming attachments to other people, she fills their home with a menagerie of ailing or abandoned pets. She also turns to an unconventional therapist who offers unusual -- but helpful -- treatment. The Stardust Lounge isn't your usual story of rebellious adolescence. The power of Digges's memoir comes from her stubborn unwillingness to give up on Stephen. Even when things are roughest, Digges manages to see the intelligent, sensitive child behind the hostile behavior. However difficult the path she chooses, her story is ultimately a heartening one, and it's impossible not to root for this family as it rebuilds itself.
An attempt at a balanced view of Ken Starr's contributions.
Starry Messenger: A Book Depicting the Life of a Famous Scientist, Mathematician, Astronomer, Philosopher, Physicist, Galileo Galileiby Peter Sis
Peter Sís gives a view of the life of Galileo Galilei.
In this sequel to "Little by Little," (also available on Bookshare) Ms. Little shares her struggles, her hard-won successes, her sorrows and her joys. She becomes a published writer, earns awards for her books, grapples with becoming blind, acquires a talking computer, obtains a Seeing Eye dog, travels a bit, and introduces us to authors who delight her. A story beautifully written and warmly told. A fine book for a book report. An embossed braille copy should read well.
Sixty-two of the most accomplished Jews in America speak intimately--most for the first time--about how they feel about being Jewish. In unusually candid interviews conducted by former 60 Minutes producer Abigail Pogrebin, celebrities ranging from Sarah Jessica Parker to Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, from Larry King to Mike Nichols, reveal how resonant, crucial or incidental being Jewish is in their lives. The connections they have to their Jewish heritage range from hours in synagogue to bagels and lox; but every person speaks to the weight and pride of their Jewish history, the burdens and pleasures of observance, the moments they've felt most Jewish (or not). This book of vivid, personal conversations uncovers how being Jewish fits into a public life, and also how the author's evolving religious identity was changed by what she heard. Dustin Hoffman, Steven Spielberg, Gene Wilder, Joan Rivers, and Leonard Nimoy talk about their startling encounters with anti-Semitism. Kenneth Cole, Eliot Spitzer, and Ronald Perelman explore the challenges of intermarriage. Mike Wallace, Richard Dreyfuss, and Ruth Reichl express attitudes toward Israel that vary from unquestioning loyalty to complicated ambivalence. William Kristol scoffs at the notion that Jewish values are incompatible with Conservative politics. Alan Dershowitz, raised Orthodox, talks about why he gave up morning prayer. Shawn Green describes the pressure that comes with being baseball's Jewish star. Natalie Portman questions the ostentatious bat mitzvahs of her hometown. Tony Kushner explains how being Jewish prepared him for being gay. Leon Wieseltier throws down the gauntlet to Jews who haven't taken the trouble to study Judaism. These are just a few key moments from many poignant, often surprising, conversations with public figures whom most of us thought we already knew. "When my mother got her nose job, she wanted me to get one, too. She said I would be happier." --Dustin Hoffman. "It's a heritage to be proud of. And then, too, it's something that you can't escape because the world won't let you; so it's a good thing you can be proud of it." --Ruth Bader Ginsburg. "My wife [Kate Capshaw] chose to do a full conversion before we were married in 1991, and she married me as a Jew. I think that, more than anything else, brought me back to Judaism."--Steven Spielberg. "As someone who was born in Israel, you're put in a position of defending Israel because you know how much is at stake."--Natalie Portman. "Jewish introspection and Jewish humor is a way of surviving ... if you're not handsome and you're not athletic and you're not rich, there's still one last hope with girls, which is being funny." --Mike Nichols. "I felt not only this enormous pride at being a Jew; I felt this enormous void at not being a better Jew."--Ronald O. Perelman. "American Jews, like Americans, have a very consumerist attitude toward their identity: they pick and choose the bits of this and that they like."--Leon Wieseltier. "I thought if I had straight hair and a perfect nose, my whole career would be different." --Sarah Jessica Parker. "I've always rebelled a little when people say, 'My Jewish values lead me to really care about the poor.' I know some Christians who care about the poor, too." --William Kristol.
I wasn't afraid to fail. It's really as simple as that. As a seven-year-old kid pitching a ball against a brick wall, John Smoltz decided to be a professional baseball player when he grew up. And from that simple decision until his last season on the mound in the major leagues, it was his faith, work ethic, and love for the game--even more than God-given talent--that propelled him through challenges that would have ruined other athletes. Starting and Closing chronicles John Smoltz's final season in a major league uniform, capping a legendary career that included fourteen years as part of one of the most dominant starting rotations in baseball, a Cy Young Award, and a World Series title-all while battling and overcoming "career-ending" injuries. At age forty-one, Smoltz was making yet another unlikely comeback from his fifth surgery. Recounting the story of a season that tested his perseverance and deepened his faith, Smoltz flashes back to watershed moments in the skeptic-defying journey from being one of the best starting pitchers of all time, to closer, to starter again. One of the most intelligent, talented, and passionate players in the game, Smoltz delivers insights into modern major league baseball, its place in popular culture, and the value of competition. He writes with unflinching honesty about becoming a true Christian and finding in his beliefs the peace and strength to stay focused-through postseason triumphs and defeats, upheavals in his personal life, and the sting of being sent to the bullpen. What emerges is an inspirational story of spiritual growth and family values, from a man who believed not just in himself but in God's plan for him--and one more year.
La Toya Jackson was always closer to Michael than anyone knew. In this heartfelt memoir, she pays tribute to his tortured soul--revealing the intimate moments she shared with the deeply troubled pop legend. The first sibling to arrive at the hospital after Michael was rushed there, and the informant on his death certificate, La Toya noticed suspicious details and demanded a second autopsy. For the first time, she unveils shocking behind-the-scenes dealings that she believes led to her brother's death, and she provides unprecedented insight into the destruction of one of the most dynamic artist/performers in history. In an account sure to send shock waves around the globe, La Toya sheds new light on the dynamics of the Jackson family and the curtain of secrecy and intrigue that has surrounded her brother Michael, and the rest of the Jackson children, since they became stars in the '60s and '70s. She explains her estrangement from-- and gradual reconciliation with--one of America's most famous and close-knit families. Like Michael, La Toya experienced an upbringing that made her vulnerable to exploitation, and her own journey led to hell and back at the hands of her former manager and husband, Jack Gordon. Sharing with honesty and an open heart some of the most painful episodes of her life story, La Toya reveals how anyone--regardless of fame, fortune, or status--can be trapped in a cycle of abuse, and how she was able to find the courage to rebuild her shattered sense of self, her career, and her relationship with her family, and to finally break free. This tale will touch the hearts of the millions who are fans of the Jackson family's music as well as those who have ever shared a special relationship with a sibling. Not just the story of the world's most renowned family, this memoir will inspire anyone who feels as if their life has fallen apart and there's nowhere to go, unless they too can learn to truly start over. . .
35 essays written by teenagers, plus writing and revision techniques.
In his unmissable new book Bob Woodward takes the reader on an inside journey from the start of the Iraq War in 2003 right up to the present day, providing a detailed, authoritative account of President Bush's leadership and the struggles among the men and women in the White House, the Pentagon, the CIA and the State Department. With Bush well into his second term, Woodward breaks new ground, as he has in his thirteen previous international bestsellers, including BUSH AT WAR and PLAN OF ATTACK. Woodward puts the Bush legacy in historical context as he shows this presidency in action in a way that is normally seen only years after a chief executive leaves office. He describes how Bush and his team have attempted to change the way that wars are fought, and put together a re-election campaign while re-inventing their strategy for the invasion and occupation of Iraq over and over again. Here is the behind-the-scenes story of this administration -- meetings, conversations, and memos; conflicts, manoeuvring, and anguish -- as key administration figures provide a full view of the first presidency of the twenty-first century.
In his unflinching and riveting The Nightingale's Song, Timberg chronicled a nation haunted by the war and its corrosive aftermath. Now, in State of Grace, the author rediscovers an earlier time and an America now largely lost. Using the New York City sandlot football team he played for after high school as a rich metaphor for what was best about that bygone era, Timberg evokes the period in fine detail and vivid color. It was a world of girls, beer and the proverbial Big Game, but it also was defined by faith in tradition and institutions, including a still unsullied Catholic Church. State of Grace captures life on the threshold of Kennedy's Camelot, before the Beatles, before the Pill, but in the ever-expanding shadow of Vietnam, "a time when the path to an honorable future seemed as straightforward as playing hard, hitting clean, and not fumbling the ball." The tale is told through Timberg's own eyes as he moves from troubled youth to man, from running back on a team called the Lynvets to Naval Academy plebe to Marine officer. The story is also told through a collection of other characters, including a genius of a coach overmatched when off the field, a driven quarterback sidetracked by booze and an angry loner fresh from the army stockade who reclaims his life on the gridiron. As Timberg writes, the team was where he and his fellow Lynvets "found a toe-hold on our better selves during a troubled time in our lives. Those snatches of pride and courage and strength we shared...eventually grew within us, becoming the core of a decent manhood that might have easily eluded any one of us in other circumstances. There were times, for each of us, when it was all we had."
Biography of E. M. Statler, one of America's great hotelmen who devised management techniques that were applicable far beyond the hotel business and contributed greatly to the nation's general efficiency in the early 1900s.
"Dray captures the genius and ingenuity of Franklin's scientific thinking and then does something even more fascinating: He shows how science shaped his diplomacy, politics, and Enlightenment philosophy." -Walter Isaacson, author of Benjamin Franklin: An American Life. Today we think of Benjamin Franklin as a founder of American independence who also dabbled in science.
Jackie Robinson was a great athlete, but his destiny went far beyond the baseball diamond. As the first black man to play in the all-white baseball leagues, he was a symbol of courage, hope, and unity for all black and white Americans.
Even as a young boy, Dick Hillis wanted to go to China. He dreamed of the riches, fame, and adventure of that distant land. And he dreamed of escape from the farm on which he lived. No more chores--he would return from China a wealthy conqueror. Stealing money for his fare, he set out for California, hoping to land a job as crew member on a ship bound for China. But things didn't work out as planned. Instead, he wound up as a student at the Bible Institute of Los Angeles. Dick Hillis-- rebel and thief--now a Bible student! But still he longed to go to China. Was it just his boyhood dream, or was God calling him to the mission field? God called, and Dick Hillis responded. In fact, he responded with such boldness and faith that he did, indeed, see adventure in China. One day he would stand firmly, face to face with a communist rifle, and proclaim the name of his God.
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