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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.
The Trials of Phillis Wheatley: America's First Black Poet and Her Encounters with the Founding Fathersby Henry Louis Gates Jr.
Gates (African-American studies, humanities, Harvard U.) discusses the achievements of Wheatley (1753-84), America's first black poet; Jefferson's harsh critique of her ability in the context of slavery; and her less than stellar reputation among African- Americans. Based on a 2002 Library of Congress lecture. Annotation (c)2003 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Are we responsible for, and to, those forces that have formed us--our families, friends, and communities? Where do we leave off and others begin? In The Tribal Knot, Rebecca McClanahan looks for answers in the history of her family. Poring over letters, artifacts, and documents that span more than a century, she discovers a tribe of hardscrabble Midwest farmers, hunters, trappers, and laborers struggling to hold tight to the ties that bind them, through poverty, war, political upheavals, illness and accident, filicide and suicide, economic depressions, personal crises, and global disasters. Like the practitioners of Victorian "hair art" who wove strands of family members' hair into a single design, McClanahan braids her ancestors' stories into a single intimate narrative of her search to understand herself and her place in the family's complex past.
Raised in a loving Catholic family in Denver, Martin Moran was a star student who imagined that he'd one day become a U.S. senator. When he was twelve years old, a camp counselor seduced him, initiating a sexual relationship that would last three years--and haunt Moran's life for decades. He discovered a passion for acting and built a career that would take him to Broadway, but only when Moran finally tracked down and confronted his abuser thirty years later could he finally forgive himself for someone's else trespass. Funny and tender about growing up Catholic and gay, The Tricky Part never oversimplifies either the abuse or the vexing work of recovering from it. This powerful story carries us to the heart of a paradox: that what we think of as damage may be the very thing that gives rise to transformation, even grace.
James McPherson, a bestselling historian of the Civil War, illuminates how Lincoln worked with - and often against - his senior commanders to defeat the Confederacy and create the role of commander in chief as we know it. Though Abraham Lincoln arrived at the White House with no previous military experience (apart from a couple of months spent soldiering in 1832), he quickly established himself as the greatest commander in chief in American history. James McPherson illuminates this often misunderstood and profoundly influential aspect of Lincoln's legacy. In essence, Lincoln invented the idea of commander in chief, as neither the Constitution nor existing legislation specified how the president ought to declare war or dictate strategy. In fact, by assuming the powers we associate with the role of commander in chief, Lincoln often overstepped the narrow band of rights granted the president. Good thing too, because his strategic insight and will to fight changed the course of the war and saved the Union. For most of the conflict, he constantly had to goad his reluctant generals toward battle, and he oversaw strategy and planning for major engagements with the enemy. Lincoln was a self-taught military strategist (as he was a self-taught lawyer), which makes his adroit conduct of the war seem almost miraculous. To be sure, the Union's campaigns often went awry, sometimes horribly so, but McPherson makes clear how the missteps arose from the all-too-common moments when Lincoln could neither threaten nor cajole his commanders to follow his orders. Because Lincoln's war took place within our borders, the relationship between the front lines and the home front was especially close - and volatile. Here again, Lincoln faced enormous challenges in exemplary fashion. He was a masterly molder of public opinion, for instance, defining the war aims initially as preserving the Union and only later as ending slavery - when he sensed the public was at last ready to bear such a lofty burden. As we approach the bicentennial of Lincoln's birth in 2009, this book will be that rarest gift-a genuinely novel, even timely, view of the most-written-about figure in our history. Tried by War offers a revelatory portrait of leadership during the greatest crisis our nation has ever endured. How Lincoln overcame feckless generals, fickle public opinion, and his own paralyzing fears is a story at once suspenseful and inspiring.
What lunacy would cause a 55-year-old white male, neither lean nor hungry, to embroil himself in the world of New Orleans rap, not merely as an observer, but as an active participant - ideas man, talent-spotter, lyricist, and would-be producer? And why did his experience, after many tribulations, end up so profoundly joyous and fulfilling? Nik Cohn has loved (and hated) hip-hop since its birth, thirty years ago, and loved (and hated) New Orleans for even longer. The city has haunted him from childhood, an addiction he's never wanted to kick. But nothing prepared him for the experience of being pitched, more or less by accident, into the role of Triksta, rap impressario. A white alien in a black world, with no funding or qualifications, and not a clue what he was doing, he had to rethink himself from scratch. Surrounded by a cast-list that included such names as Choppa and Soulja Slim, Big Ramp and Lil T, Bass Heavy, Fifth Ward Weebie, and Shorty Brown Hustle, he entered a world of tiny backstreet studios, broken-down slums and gun turfs, almost unimaginable to those who know New Orleans only as the touristic Big Easy. Triksta is the story of a three-year odyssey that became all-consuming - a journey to the heart of rap, and New Orleans, and self-knowledge. Hilarious, tragic, startling, and exhilarating, sometimes all at once, it is Nik Cohn's greatest book.
A stunning narrative account of the mysterious Jordanian who penetrated both the inner circle of al-Qaeda and the highest reaches of the CIA, with a devastating impact on the war on terror. In December 2009, a group of the CIA's top terrorist hunters gathered at a secret base in Khost, Afghanistan, to greet a rising superspy: Humam Khalil al-Balawi, a Jordanian double-agent who infiltrated the upper ranks of al-Qaeda. For months, he had sent shocking revelations from inside the terrorist network and now promised to help the CIA assassinate Osama bin Laden's top deputy. Instead, as he stepped from his car, he detonated a thirty-pound bomb strapped to his chest, instantly killing seven CIA operatives, the agency's worst loss of life in decades. In The Triple Agent, Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Joby Warrick takes us deep inside the CIA's secret war against al-Qaeda, a war that pits robotic planes and laser-guided missiles against a cunning enemy intent on unleashing carnage in American cities. Flitting precariously between the two sides was Balawi, a young man with extraordinary gifts who managed to win the confidence of hardened terrorists as well as veteran spymasters. With his breathtaking accounts from inside al-Qaeda's lair, Balawi appeared poised to become America's greatest double-agent in half a century--but he was not at all what he seemed. Combining the powerful momentum of Black Hawk Down with the institutional insight of Jane Mayer's The Dark Side, Warrick takes the readers on a harrowing journey from the slums of Amman to the inner chambers of the White House in an untold true story of miscalculation, deception, and revenge.(From the Hardcover edition.)
An anthology of testimonies of people who, through God's help, survived various trials. Topics discussed include abandonment, the death of loved ones, and serious illness. Some found miraculous healing, others were brought through difficult circumstances through God's grace and reliance on the Scriptures.
Joe Califano--Lyndon Johnson's closest domestic adviser during the White House years--has created a remarkable presidential portrait, a frank, tough-minded memoir that reveals not only the singular personality of LBJ, but the rough grain of American politics. More than previous biographers, scholars, or reporters, Califano--who worked day and night in the trenches with LBJ--shows us who Johnson really was and recreates life in the White House at the height of the turbulent sixties. Lyndon Johnson was bigger than life--and no one who worked for him ever forgot it. Writing with perception and energy, Califano captures his mentor's lively, irascible spirit as he puts us in the White House alongside LBJ during such momentous events as the assassination of Martin Luther King and the wrenching violence that followed, the assassination of Robert Kennedy, the 1968 Democratic Convention, and the national trauma surrounding the Vietnam War. We see Johnson manipulate the economy and the Supreme Court; confront race riots in Watts, Newark, and Detroit; and deal with the Arab-Israeli Six Day War. We witness his achievements in the areas of education, health care, consumer safety, civil rights, environmental protection, and the arts. And we watch him squander his credibility, as he doggedly wages both his wars--the one against poverty and the one in Vietnam--determined to prevent the blood-shed in Southeast Asia from spoiling his dream of a Great Society at home. The Triumph & Tragedy of Lyndon Johnson is an intimate portrait of a president who towering ambition for his country and himself ultimately led to his decision to surrender the arena in which he fought so hard. Joe Califano has added uniquely to our understanding of LBJ, whose achievements and mistakes mirror his own complex and contradictory nature.
Triumvirate is the dramatic story of the uniting of the American nation and the unlikely alliance at the heart of it all.
From Toronto to China, Dubai to Transylvania and back, a hilarious, moving account of one man's quest for "pure hockey."
"Mark Twain was born fully grown, with a cheap cigar clamped between his teeth." So begins Sid Fleischman's ramble-scramble biography of the great American author and wit, who started life in a Missouri village as a barefoot boy named Samuel Clemens. Abandoning a career as a young steamboat pilot on the Mississippi River, Sam took a bumpy stagecoach to the Far West. In the gold and silver fields, he expected to get rich quick. Instead, he got poor fast, digging in the wrong places. His stint as a sagebrush newspaperman led to a duel with pistols. Had he not survived, the world would never have heard of Tom Sawyer or Huckleberry Finn-or red-headed Mark Twain. Samuel Clemens adopted his pen name in a hotel room in San Francisco and promptly made a jumping frog (and himself) famous. His celebrated novels followed at a leisurely pace; his quips at jet speed. "Don't let schooling interfere with your education," he wrote. Here, in high style, is the story of a wisecracking adventurer who came of age in the untamed West; an ink-stained rebel who surprised himself by becoming the most famous American of his time.
The author of "Sixpence House" travels the globe piecing together the missing body and soul of one of America's most enigmatic founding fathers: Thomas Paine.
The author's life as a missionary to China.
The political memoir as rousing adventure story--a sizzling account of a life lived in the thick of every important struggle of the era. April 1973: snow falls thick and fast on the Badlands of South Dakota. It has been more than five weeks since protesting Sioux Indians seized their historic village of Wounded Knee, and the FBI shows no signs of abandoning its siege. When Bill Zimmerman is asked to coordinate an airlift of desperately needed food and medical supplies, he cannot refuse; flying through gunfire and a mechanical malfunction, he carries out a daring dawn raid and successfully parachutes 1,500 pounds of food into the village. The drop breaks the FBI siege, and assures an Indian victory. This was not the first--or last--time Bill Zimmerman put his life at risk for the greater social good. In this extraordinary memoir, Zimmerman takes us into the hearts and minds of those making the social revolution of the sixties. He writes about registering black voters in deepest, most racist Mississippi; marching with Martin Luther King Jr. in Chicago; helping to organize the 1967 march on the Pentagon; fighting the police at the 1968 Democratic convention; mobilizing scientists against the Vietnam War and the military's misuse of their discoveries; smuggling medicines to the front lines in North Vietnam; spending time in Hanoi under U.S. bombardment; and founding an international charity, Medical Aid for Indochina, to deliver humanitarian assistance. Zimmerman--who crossed paths with political organizers and activists like Abbie Hoffman, Daniel Ellsberg, César Chávez, Jane Fonda, and Tom Hayden--captures a groundbreaking zeitgeist that irrevocably changed the world as we knew it.
A riveting history of the daring politicians who challenged the disastrous policies of the British government on the eve of World War II. On May 7, 1940, the House of Commons began perhaps the most crucial debate in British parliamentary history. On its outcome hung the future of Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain's government and also of Britain indeed, perhaps, the world. Troublesome Young Men is Lynne Olson's fascinating account of how a small group of rebellious Tory MPs defied the Chamberlain government's defeatist policies that aimed to appease Europe's tyrants and eventually forced the prime minister's resignation. Some historians dismiss the "phony war" that preceded this turning point --from September 1939, when Britain and France declared war on Germany, to May 1940, when Winston Churchill became prime minister--as a time of waiting and inaction, but Olson makes no such mistake, and describes in dramatic detail the public unrest that spread through Britain then, as people realized how poorly prepared the nation was to confront Hitler, how their basic civil liberties were being jeopardized, and also that there were intrepid politicians willing to risk political suicide to spearhead the opposition to Chamberlain --Harold Macmillan, Robert Boothby, Leo Amery, Ronald Cartland, and Lord Robert Cranborne among them. The political and personal dramas that played out in Parliament and in the nation as Britain faced the threat of fascism virtually on its own are extraordinary --and, in Olson's hands, downright inspiring.
The fascinating journey of a famous naturalist Young Charley Darwin hated school--he much preferred to be outside studying birds' eggs, feathers, and insects. And so, at the age of twenty-one, he boarded a ship called HMS Beagle and spent five thrilling but dangerous years sailing around the world, studying plant and animal life that was beyond anything he could have imagined. Here, just in time for Darwin's 200th birthday and the 150th anniversary of the publication of his groundbreaking On the Origin of Species, historical novelist Carolyn Meyer tells the story of his unconventional adventures. It's the story of a restless childhood, unrequited teenage love, and a passion for studying nature that was so great, Darwin would sacrifice everything to pursue it.
The True Adventures of the World's Greatest Stuntman: My Life as Indiana Jones, James Bond, Superman and Other Movie Heroesby Vic Armstrong
Think you don't know Vic Armstrong? Wrong! You've seen his work in countless films... He's been a stunt double for James Bond, Indiana Jones and Superman, and he's directed action scenes for three Bond movies, Mission Impossible 3, Thor, and the upcoming The Amazing Spider-Man to name but a few. Counting Harrison Ford, Steven Spielberg and Arnold Schwarzenegger among his friends, and officially credited in the Guinness Book of World Records as the World's Most Prolific Stuntman, Vic's got a lot of amazing stories to tell, and they're all here in this - the movie memoir of the year!
Piazza found himself pitched headlong into a world he couldn't have anticipated. Martins mercurial personality drew the writer into a series of escalating encounters (with mean dogs, broken-down cars, and near electrocution), culminating in a harrowing and unforgettable expedition, with Martin, to the Grand Ole Opry. Piazza captured his visit with Martin in supple, electric prose, and the result, when it appeared in The Oxford American, quickly became a word-of-mouth sensation among musicians and fans alike. Some explicit language.
Edward M. Kennedy is widely regarded as one of the great Senators in the nation's history. He is also the patriarch of America's most heralded family. In this landmark autobiography, five years in the making, Senator Kennedy speaks with unprecedented candor about his extraordinary life. The youngest of nine children born to Joseph P. Kennedy and Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy, he came of age among siblings from whom much was expected. As a young man, he played a key role in the presidential campaign of his brother, John F. Kennedy. In 1962, he was elected to the U.S. Senate, where he learned how to become an effective legislator. His life has been marked by tragedy and perseverance, a love for family and an abiding faith. He writes movingly of his brothers and their influence on him; his years of struggle in the wake of their deaths; his marriage to the woman who changed his life, Victoria Reggie Kennedy; his role in the major events of our time (from the civil rights movement to the election of Barack Obama); and how his diagnosis of a malignant brain tumor has given even greater urgency to his long crusade for improved health care for all Americans. Written with warmth, wit, and grace,True Compass is Edward M. Kennedy's inspiring legacy to readers and to history.
This work collects autobiographical essays by 27 pioneering feminist professors who transformed American academia in the 1970s-80s, when larger numbers of women were becoming tenured professors and administrators in higher education. Contributors come from humanities areas such as English, psychology, African-American studies, theater, and of course the interdisciplinary women's and gender studies programs that many of the contributors helped launch. They reflect on the personal roots of their professional lives and on professional conflicts surrounding the integration of women in higher education. Some of the topics they explore include coming out in academia, dealing with charges of sexual harassment, entering elite universities, and the tension between academic success and family life.
Bill Meiniecke writes about his five guide dogs over many years from The Seeing Eye in Morristown, NJ. He recounts his many moves and activities with each dog, their different personalities, and the strengths and weaknesses of each.
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