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Viktor Suvorov is a Soviet army officer who has defected to the West. Here is the full story of the Spetsnaz forces, the Soviet army's secret killer elite. This is the first comprehensive insight for the West into a Soviet "army within an army" whose existence has been known until recently only to a few highly placed people--most of whom would deny it. The spetsnaz Soviet special forces are one of the more shadowy and ruthless secret special forces in the world. Controlled by military intelligence (the GRU), spetsnaz units are recruited from the ranks of the toughest officers and men in the Soviet Army, the cutting edge of Soviety military might. In modern warfare their primary task is the destruction of enemy tactical nuclear weapons, but the training of anyone selected for spetsnaz prepares him or her for an unlimited range of tasks--from undercover activity as a member of a Soviet Olympic sports team to piloting a midget submarine. As an officer in the GRU, the author was directly involved in the control and planning of spetsnaz. In this revealing and sometimes shocking book, he talks about his own experience; about the military code of an armed force that kills its own wounded; about the weapons, strategy, and training. For anyone interested in the true military capability of the Soviet Union, this book is essential reading.
A favorite novel by "a generous and lyric storyteller" (San Francisco Chronicle) known for his tragicomic voice and unforgettable characters. Welcome to Shiver-de-Freeze, a boot-shaped precinct deep in the Louisiana swamp, famous for its healing waters and curious fauna. Grisham Loudermilk is marrying Ariane Thevenot at Paradise, the family's ancestral home, and we're here for the wedding. But reason and love, it would seem, keep little company in Paradise these days: Grisham's cousin Adlai Birdsong has fallen desperately in love with the bride-to-be. Adlai's ill-advised courtship proceeds even as his daddy, Royce, struggles to recall his past in the face of Alzheimer's; as Father Pat McDermott realizes his passion for the mother of the bride; as the conjoined twins, Tous-les-Deux, train their eyes on Boudou Fontana, the last of the star-crossed Fontana clan. And just when it seems that Adlai must resign himself to a prolonged season of bachelorhood, Miranda Ferry, Grisham's recent lover, wanders into town unawares. With his signature tragic-comic voice and cast of unforgettable and lively characters, Dufresne explores love, death, imagination, and memory. Reading group guide available.
Reissue of a favorite novel by "a generous and lyric storyteller" (San Francisco Chronicle) known for his tragicomic voice and unforgettable characters. Ever since Lafayette Proulx quit his day job, left his wife, hauled his dog and his Royal portable across town to Judi Dubey's house, and set out at last to be a fiction writer, his life has been a sordid mess. Judi's exotically dysfunctional family isn't all to blame. Sure, the murders are disconcerting. And, yes, Judi's father's gone off the deep end. Worse are the vicious rejection letters Laf gets from editors. To top it off, Laf's falling for Judi at the same time he's nettled with guilt, is in marriage counseling with his wife, and is writing his long-hoped-for novel. When Judi is diagnosed with stage IV cancer, they both struggle to find the memory that will comfort, the truth that will redeem in a world where everyone suffers some kind of love disorder. John Dufresne, called "a highly readable Faulkner," will once again take the literary world by storm with this new tragicomic tale.
A vivid portrait of Mozart and Haydn's greatest achievements and young Beethoven's works under their influence. Completing the trilogy begun with Haydn, Mozart and the Viennese School, 1740-1780 and continued in Music in European Capitals: The Galant Style, 1720-1780, Daniel Heartz concludes his extensive chronicle of the Classical Era with this much-anticipated third volume. By the early years of the nineteenth century, "Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven" had become a catchphrase--a commonplace expression signifying musical excellence. Indeed, even in his early career, Beethoven was hailed as the only musician worthy to stand beside Haydn and Mozart. In this volume, Heartz winds up the careers of Haydn and Mozart (who during the 1780s produced their most famous and greatest works) and describes Beethoven's first decade in Vienna, during which he began composing by patterning his works on the two masters. The tumult and instability of the French Revolution serves as a vivid historical backdrop for the tale.
"The power that Kumin draws from and brings to literature is potent and seemingly inexhaustible."--Booklist Collected here for the first time, these early poems inhabit Kumin's own "sneakstorm time," a space one step to the side, where quiet introspection examines the pain of loss, the idealism of youth, and the endurance of the natural world. Her characteristic earthy wisdom snaps with intensity, offering a refreshing perspective on everyday experiences. "New England farm life, modern American history, Jewish identity and a quietly vibrant feminist consciousness provide themes for this gathering from a long and distinguished career."--Publishers Weekly.
"The best book on sisters, very important and beautifully written."--Carol Gilligan, author of In a Different Voice This "substantial contribution to the literature on sibling relationships" (Library Journal) explores the intricacy, friction, and love in bonds between sisters. Relationships between women are often freighted with a rocky mix of emotions--devotion and disregard, affection and loathing, admiration and envy--leading to anguish and confusion on the playground, in the home, and in the boardroom. Negotiating her layered feelings toward a sister shapes a woman's psychology as forcefully as do her relationships with her parents. Drawing on compelling interviews and new research, Terri Apter considers the many aspects of the sister relationship from birth through adulthood. The need to fight to differentiate oneself from a sister, as well the protectiveness one feels for that same person, is explained by reference to extensive psychological and biological evidence.
"Parents and young adults alike should benefit from the advice in Apter's insightful book."--Washington Post What do young people at the threshold of adulthood really need and want? Why do so many responsible and motivated teenagers become young adults who are still dependent, financially and emotionally, on their parents? Why are many young people today so quick to leave childhood behind, but so slow to become adults? In this wise and compassionate book, Terri Apter debunks outdated and misguided ideas about maturity: Acting in the name of love, many parents withdraw emotional or practical support, thinking it best for a son or daughter to solve his or her own problems--even to suffer alone the consequences of mistakes. Apter shows us that young adults actually need a parent's guidance and support, while also requiring respect and independence. Based on carefully observed case studies and current research, this book describes how we can support young people through a crucial stage in their development.
Understand what your teenage daughter really means--and learn to use your arguments to strengthen your bond with her. Mothers and teenage daughters argue more than any other child-parent pair--on average every two-and-a-half days. These quarrels, Terri Apter shows, are attempts to negotiate changes in a relationship that is valued by both mothers and daughters. A daughter often feels her mother doesn't know or understand her, and by fighting hopes to force her mother into a new awareness of who she really is, how she has changed, and what she is now capable of doing and understanding. But mothers often misinterpret their daughter's outbursts as signs of rejection, and they may pull back feeling hurt and confused. Through case studies and conversations between mothers and daughters, Apter shows mothers how to interpret the meanings behind a daughter's angry words and how to emerge from arguments with a new closeness.
"Readers of this work will recognize and relish the way this collection charts a life's course."--Publishers Weekly Here, from one of our major poets, is the collected early work that has been long unavailable in this country. Included in this volume is the work from Eavan Boland's five early volumes of poetry: New Territory, The War Horse, In Her Own Image, Night Feed, and The Journey. The poems from Boland's first book, New Territory, show her to be, at twenty-two, a master of formal verse reflecting Irish history and myth. This collection charts the ways in which Boland's work breaks from poetic tradition, honors it, and reinvents it. Poems like "Anorexic," "Mastectomy," and "Witching" have an intensity reminiscent of Sylvia Plath and Anne Sexton. In later poems, her subjects become more personal, sequencing Boland's life as a woman, poet, and mother. Boland writes, "I grew to understand the Irish poetic tradition only when I went into exile with it," becoming, in effect, "a displaced person / in a pastoral chaos." This collection demonstrates how Boland's mature voice developed from the poetics of inner exile into a subtle, flexible idiom uniquely her own.
Set in the near future, The Wanting Seed is a Malthusian comedy about the strange world overpopulation will produce. Tristram Foxe and his wife, Beatrice-Joanna, live in their skyscraper world where official family limitation glorifies homosexuality. Eventually, their world is transformed into a chaos of cannibalistic dining-clubs, fantastic fertility rituals, and wars without anger. It is a novel both extravagantly funny and grimly serious.
"In the diaries [Rilke] kept from 1898 to 1900, now translated for the first time . . . the overall impression is that of a genius just coming into his own powers."--Boston Phoenix In April 1898 Rainer Maria Rilke, not yet twenty-three, began a diary of his Florence visit. It was to record, in the form of an imaginary dialogue with his mentor and then-lover, Lou Andreas-Salome, his firsthand experiences of early Renaissance art. The project quickly expanded to include not only thoughts on life, history, and artistic genius, but also unguarded moments of revulsion, self-doubt, and manic expectation. The result is an intimate glimpse into the young Rilke, already experimenting brilliantly with language and metaphor. "For the lover of Rilke, this superb translation of the poet's early diaries will be a watershed. Through Edward Snow's and Michael Winkler's brilliantly supple and faithful translation . . . a new and more balanced picture of Rilke will emerge."--Ralph Freedman
"With not one wrong move, not one word off-key or trivial, this collection of poems makes us experience intimate, yet not necessarily personal, contact with the poet who lets us at times see the struggle behind the refined sensibility. . . .Spires asks the big questions with such competence and polish that we admire her sweating, our metaphysical gladiator, guarantor of our considerable pleasure." --Nancy Nahra, Philadelphia Inquirer Winner of a 1996 Whiting Award. In her fourth collection of poems Elizabeth Spires addresses the elemental subjects of life and of literature: birth, death, creation, and intimations of immortality. The first section focuses on the experiences of conception, pregnancy, and childbirth from the points of view of both mother and child. The second section offers a reversal and reply in which the poems move out into a divided and divisive world. These poems are distinguished by an immaculate lyricism, a pristine sense for the natural world and the rhythms of language.
A richly entertaining and informative collection of Hans Christian Andersen's stories, annotated by one of America's leading folklore scholars. In her most ambitious annotated work to date, Maria Tatar celebrates the stories told by Denmark's "perfect wizard" and re-envisions Hans Christian Andersen as a writer who casts his spell on both children and adults. Andersen's most beloved tales, such as "The Emperor's New Clothes," "The Ugly Duckling," and "The Little Mermaid," are now joined by "The Shadow" and "Story of a Mother," mature stories that reveal his literary range and depth. Tatar captures the tales' unrivaled dramatic and visual power, showing exactly how Andersen became one of the world's ten most translated authors, along with Shakespeare, Dickens, and Marx. Lushly illustrated with more than one hundred fifty rare images, many in full color, by artists such as Arthur Rackham and Edmund Dulac, The Annotated Hans Christian Andersen will captivate readers with annotations that explore the rich social and cultural dimensions of the nineteenth century and construct a compelling portrait of a writer whose stories still fascinate us today.
"Spires is a jewel of a poet, never self-conscious or self-indulgent."--Los Angeles Times Opening with a powerful sequence of poems about her mother's death, Elizabeth Spires writes about the life-and-death matters of midlife: the separation of parent from child, the loss of family and friends, the evolving nature of our closest friendships. These poems find hope in the seasonal and spiritual moment when "the green blade rises."
"A vivid and compelling account by a true master of oral history." --General James L. Jones, USMC (Ret.), Supreme Allied Commander, Europe On February 19, 1945, nearly 70,000 American marines invaded a tiny volcanic island in the Pacific. Over the next thirty-five days, approximately 28,000 combatants died, including nearly 22,000 Japanese and 6,821 Americans, making Iwo Jima one of the costliest battles of World War II. Bestselling author Larry Smith lets twenty-two veterans tell the story of this epic clash in their own words; the result is a "superb and fascinating work by one of our nation's leading oral historians" (Jay Winik, author of April 1865). Iwo Jima includes accounts from the last surviving flag raiser on Mount Suribachi, a Navajo code talker, a retired general, two Medal of Honor recipients, and B-29 flyers. With numerous photographs and maps, Iwo Jima is a stunning history of an emblematic battle and a powerful, personal history of this greatest generation of marines.
Stanley Plumly's masterful eighth collection--wherein he confronts and celebrates mortality--was a finalist for the National Book Award in Poetry. In this collection, Stanley Plumly confronts and celebrates mortality--in the detailed natural world, in the immediacy of the loss of friends, and in personal encounters. Archetypal, sometimes even allegorical, the poems in Old Heart amount to a sustained meditation. The American Academy of Arts and Letters declared of Plumly that "he has in the last thirty years quietly, steadily, expanded the range of lyric poetry in English...[and] reinvigorated our poetry." His ethical rigor and literary modesty combine in Old Heart--his finest book of poetry.
"Measured but warm, this work draws you in; it is another success among her many titles."--Library Journal In her fifteenth collection, Maxine Kumin meditates on the social consequences of such events as the bicentennial of the Civil War, and looks to poets writing from circumstances vastly different from her own. With death the central theme, poems of the body and praise songs for beloved animals explore how memory consoles and haunts.
"Riveting. . . . A thoughtful biography." --New York Times Book Review General Joseph E. Johnston was in command of Confederate forces at the South's first victory--Manassas in July 1861--and at its last--Bentonville in April 1965. Many of his contemporaries considered him the greatest southern field commander of the war; others ranked him second only to Robert E. Lee. But Johnston was an enigmatic man. His battlefield victories were never decisive. He failed to save Confederate forces under siege by Grant at Vicksburg, and he retreated into Georgia in the face of Sherman's march. His intense feud with Jefferson Davis ensured the collapse of the Confederacy's western campaign in 1864 and made Johnston the focus of a political schism within the government. Now in this rousing narrative of Johnston's dramatic career, Craig L. Symonds gives us the first rounded portrait of the general as a public and private man.
"A fascinating history of . . . [a craft] that preceded and made possible civilization itself." --New York Times Book Review New discoveries about the textile arts reveal women's unexpectedly influential role in ancient societies. Twenty thousand years ago, women were making and wearing the first clothing created from spun fibers. In fact, right up to the Industrial Revolution the fiber arts were an enormous economic force, belonging primarily to women. Despite the great toil required in making cloth and clothing, most books on ancient history and economics have no information on them. Much of this gap results from the extreme perishability of what women produced, but it seems clear that until now descriptions of prehistoric and early historic cultures have omitted virtually half the picture. Elizabeth Wayland Barber has drawn from data gathered by the most sophisticated new archaeological methods--methods she herself helped to fashion. In a "brilliantly original book" (Katha Pollitt, Washington Post Book World), she argues that women were a powerful economic force in the ancient world, with their own industry: fabric.
A master practitioner gives us an entertaining tour of the historian's workshop and a spirited defense of the search for historical truth. E. H. Carr's What Is History?, a classic introduction to the field, may now give way to a worthy successor. In his compact, intriguing survey, Richard J. Evans shows us how historians manage to extract meaning from the recalcitrant past. To materials that are frustratingly meager, or overwhelmingly profuse, they bring an array of tools that range from agreed-upon rules of documentation and powerful computer models to the skilled investigator's sudden insight, all employed with the aim of reconstructing a verifiable, usable past. Evans defends this commitment to historical knowledge from the attacks of postmodernist critics who see all judgments as subjective. Evans brings "a remarkable range, a nose for the archives, a taste for controversy, and a fluent pen" (The New Republic) to this splendid work. "Essential reading for coming generations."-Keith Thomas
"I can't remember when I've learned as much from something I've read--or laughed as much while doing it."--Jacob Weisberg, Slate Finally in paperback after six hardcover printings, this international bestseller is an encyclopedic A-Z masterpiece--the perfect introduction to the very core of Western humanism. Clive James rescues, or occasionally destroys, the careers of many of the greatest thinkers, humanists, musicians, artists, and philosophers of the twentieth century. Soaring to Montaigne-like heights, Cultural Amnesia is precisely the book to burnish these memories of a Western civilization that James fears is nearly lost.
"A collection of short stories that makes it possible to be proud to be human."--Carolyn See, Washington Post Looking at her characters as if through a pair of binoculars, Ann Hood captures the extraordinary in the ordinary. A pregnant woman left by her husband cooks obsessively to cope with her loss, but never tastes a morsel. In an attempt to stay sober, a young alcoholic seduces her priest and embarks on a tour of caverns with him. An adolescent girl picks up bird-watching as a hobby and, in her newfound habit of observing others, discovers a budding romance between her mother and her neighbor. These stories, many published in The Paris Review, Glimmer Train, Story, and The Colorado Review, are full of characters seeking an escape from their lives while uncovering small moments of understanding that often have huge implications and consequences. They discover that they can only find peace once they stop searching for a way out. Through diverse voices and lively storytelling, Hood creates authentic, personal, secret worlds full of eccentric detail.
Erik H. Erikson's remarkable insights into the relationship of life history and history began with observations on a central stage of life: identity development in adolescence. This book collects three early papers that--along with Childhood and Society--many consider the best introduction to Erikson's theories. "Ego Development and Historical Change" is a selection of extensive notes in which Erikson first undertook to relate to each other observations on groups studied on field trips and on children studied longitudinally and clinically. These notes are representative of the source material used for Childhood and Society. "Growth and Crises of the Health Personality" takes Erikson beyond adolescence, into the critical stages of the whole life cycle. In the third and last essay, Erikson deals with "The Problem of Ego Identity" successively from biographical, clinical, and social points of view--all dimensions later pursued separately in his work.
"For anyone who gets high on language, this book is a fantastic trip...a real tour de force."--Madison Smartt Bell, Spin The acclaimed author of the cult classics Trainspotting and The Acid House, Irvine Welsh has been hailed as "the best thing that has happened to British writing in a decade" (London Sunday Times). This audacious novel is a brilliant (and literal) head trip of a book that brings us into the wildly active, albeit coma-beset, mind of Roy Strang, whose hallucinatory quest to eradicate the evil predator/scavenger marabou stork keeps being interrupted by grisly memories of the social and family dysfunction that brought him to this state. It is the sort of lethally funny cocktail of pathos, violence, and outrageous hilarity that only Irvine Welsh can pull off.
It is time for a new conversation. Amid the biggest economic transformation in a century, the challenge of our time is to make sure that all Americans benefit from the wave of digital revolutions around the world that have permeated and upended modern life. Yet today's economic arguments seem stuck. We need a new vision of a hopeful future and a new action agenda. So many Americans are uncertain about the future. How can there be so many paths to opportunity with so few people traveling them? As a nation, we have to understand what is required to help Americans succeed now, and how to prepare our country for what comes next. We have been here before. A hundred years ago, America experienced the greatest economic transformation and technological revolution in its history. The transformation of the past twenty years--as the world has moved through the information era into the digital age--has turned our life and work upside down once again. It is a time of tremendous change but also of tremendous possibility. Rework America is a group of American leaders who know from experience the challenges we face--and the potential solutions. In America's Moment they suggest a practical agenda for an exciting future. It is illustrated by people who are already showing the way and includes actions Americans can take today in their own communities: preparing people to succeed, using the reach of the Internet and data to innovate jobs and to reach new markets all over the world, using technology to match employers and workers, and transitioning to a "no-collar" working world-- neither blue collar nor white collar. Set against the history of how Americans succeeded once before in remaking their country, America's Moment is about the future. It describes how the same forces of change--technology and a networked world--can become tools that can open opportunity to everyone.