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SparkNotes 101 History: 1865 Through the 20th Century
SparkNotes Editors
1411403363
July 2005
Paperback
·
 


The Greatest Generation
Tom Brokaw
1400063140
May 2004
Hardcover
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Book Review
Veteran reporter and NBC Nightly News anchor Tom Brokaw went to France to make a documentary marking the 40th anniversary of D-day in 1984. Although he was thoroughly briefed on the historical background of the invasion, he was totally unprepared for how it would affect him emotionally. Flooded with childhood memories of World War II, Brokaw began asking veterans at the ceremony to revisit their past and talk about what happened, triggering a chain reaction of war-torn confessions and Brokaw's compulsion to capture their experiences in what he terms "the permanence a book would represent."

After almost 15 years and hundreds of letters and interviews, Brokaw wrote The Greatest Generation, a representative cross-section of the stories he came across. However, this collection is more than a mere chronicle of a tumultuous...



The Search for Modern China

0393307808


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From Publishers Weekly
Spence advocates democracy in China and presents contemporary views of its oppressive history, including Chiang Kai-Shek's fascist supporters and the bloodbath known as the Cultural Revolution. "A splendid achievement, this sweeping . . . epic chronicle compresses four centuries of political and social change into a sharply observant narrative," said PW . Photos. Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal
YA --The difficulty of finding a complete, one-volume history of China is no longer a problem with publication of this work, which covers Chinese history from the 16th-century Ming Dynasty to the 1989 "China Spring" demonstrations. The 200+ photographs and illustrations, many in color and previously unpublished, include historical notes...


From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler
E. L. Konigsburg
0689853548
October 2002
Mass Market Paperback
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Book Review
After reading this book, I guarantee that you will never visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art (or any wonderful, old cavern of a museum) without sneaking into the bathrooms to look for Claudia and her brother Jamie. They're standing on the toilets, still, hiding until the museum closes and their adventure begins. Such is the impact of timeless novels . . . they never leave us. E. L. Konigsburg won the 1967 Newbery Medal for this tale of how Claudia and her brother run away to the museum in order to teach their parents a lesson. Little do they know that mystery awaits! --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Book Description
When suburban Claudia Kincaid decides to run away, she knows she doesn't just want to run from somewhere, she wants to run to somewhere -- to...


Rising Tide
John M. Barry
0684840022
Apr 1998
Paperback
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Book Review
When Mother Nature rages, the physical results are never subtle. Because we cannot contain the weather, we can only react by tabulating the damage in dollar amounts, estimating the number of people left homeless, and laying the plans for rebuilding. But as John M. Barry expertly details in Rising Tide: The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 and How It Changed America, some calamities transform much more than the landscape. While tracing the history of the nation's most destructive natural disaster, Barry explains how ineptitude and greed helped cause the flood, and how the policies created to deal with the disaster changed the culture of the Mississippi Delta. Existing racial rifts expanded, helping to launch Herbert Hoover into the White House and shifting the political alliances of many blacks in the process. An...


Spirit of Abstract Expressionism: Selected Writings

0807613371


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From Publishers Weekly
Artist, critic and wife of painter Willem de Kooning, Elaine de Kooning (1918-1989) was both the interpreter and the voice of the Abstract Expressionist movement. Published primarily in Art News between 1949 and 1967, these 28 articles display her acumen and impassioned commitment. Included are a wonderfully personal biographical-critical profile of Arshile Gorky, an analysis of the alchemy of Franz Kline's paintings and perceptive appraisals of artists as diverse as Andrew Wyeth, Stuart Davis, Jackson Pollock and Esteban Vicente. An eloquent 1955 essay on how an artist chooses, or is chosen by, his or her subject seems just as relevant today as when it was written. Slivka, who teaches art criticism at New York University, examines de Kooning's underrated career as a painter, and Luyckx, the artist's sister,...


Farewell to Manzanar
Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston
0553272586
Jan 1973
Paperback
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Review
"[Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston] describes vividly the life in the camp and the humiliations suffered by the detainees... A sober and moving personal account." --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Book Description
Jeanne Wakatsuki was seven years old in 1942 when her family was uprooted from their home and sent to live at Manzanar internment camp--with 10,000 other Japanese Americans. Along with searchlight towers and armed guards, Manzanar ludicrously featured cheerleaders, Boy Scouts, sock hops, baton twirling lessons and a dance band called the Jive Bombers who would play any popular song except the  nation's #1 hit: "Don't Fence Me In."



Farewell to Manzanar is the true story of one spirited Japanese-American family's attempt...


The Cold War: 1945-1963 (History SparkNotes)
SparkNotes Editors
141140422X
July 2005
Paperback
·
 


The Complete New Yorker with DVD
New Yorker Magazine
1400064740
Sept 2005
Hardcover
·
 
Book Description
EVERY PAGE OF EVERY ISSUE
ON 8 DVD-ROMS, WITH A COMPANION BOOK OF HIGHLIGHTS.

A cultural monument, a journalistic gold mine, an essential research tool, an amazing time machine.


What has the New Yorker said about Prohibition, Duke Ellington, the Second World War, Bette Davis, boxing, Winston Churchill, Citizen Kane, the invention of television, the Cold War, baseball, the lunar landing, Willem de Kooning, Madonna, the internet, and 9/11?

Eighty years of The New Yorker offers a detailed, entertaining history of the life of the city, the nation, and the world since 1925.

Every article, every cartoon, every illustration, every advertisement, exactly as it appeared on the printed page, in full color. Flip through full spreads of the magazine to browse...


Memoirs of a Geisha
Arthur Golden
1400096898
November 2005
Mass Market Paperback
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Book Review
According to Arthur Golden's absorbing first novel, the word "geisha" does not mean "prostitute," as Westerners ignorantly assume--it means "artisan" or "artist." To capture the geisha experience in the art of fiction, Golden trained as long and hard as any geisha who must master the arts of music, dance, clever conversation, crafty battle with rival beauties, and cunning seduction of wealthy patrons. After earning degrees in Japanese art and history from Harvard and Columbia--and an M.A. in English--he met a man in Tokyo who was the illegitimate offspring of a renowned businessman and a geisha. This meeting inspired Golden to spend 10 years researching every detail of geisha culture, chiefly relying on the geisha Mineko Iwasaki, who spent years charming the very rich and famous.

...



The River of Doubt : Theodore Roosevelt's Darkest Journey
Candice Millard
0385507968
October 18, 2005
Hardcover
·
 

From Publishers Weekly
In a gripping account, Millard focuses on an episode in Teddy Roosevelt's search for adventure that nearly came to a disastrous end. A year after Roosevelt lost a third-party bid for the White House in 1912, he decided to chase away his blues by accepting an invitation for a South American trip that quickly evolved into an ill-prepared journey down an unexplored tributary of the Amazon known as the River of Doubt. The small group, including T.R.'s son Kermit, was hampered by the failure to pack enough supplies and the absence of canoes sturdy enough for the river's rapids. An injury Roosevelt sustained became infected with flesh-eating bacteria and left the ex-president so weak that, at his lowest moment, he told Kermit to leave him to die in the rainforest. Millard, a former staff writer for National Geographic, nails the...



American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer
Kai Bird
0375726268
April 2006
Paperback
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Book Review
In American Prometheus, Kai Bird and Martin J. Sherwin delve deep into J. Robert Oppenheimer's life and deliver a thorough and devastatingly sad biography of the man whose very name has come to represent the culmination of 20th century physics and the irrevocable soiling of science by governments eager to exploit its products. Rich in historical detail and personal narratives, the book paints a picture of Oppenheimer as both a controlling force and victim of the mechanisms of power.

By the time the story reaches Oppenheimer's fateful Manhattan Project work, readers have been swept along much as the project's young physicists were by fate and enormous pressure. The authors allow the scientists to speak for themselves about their reactions to the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings, avoiding any sort of preacherly tone...



Warriors Don't Cry
Melba Pattillo Beals
0671899007
Feb 1995
Paperback
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From Publishers Weekly
The author forcefully recalls how, at age 15, she and several other black teenagers were chosen to integrate Little Rock's Central High following the passage of Brown v. Board of Education. Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

From School Library Journal
Grade 7 Up-Beals, one of the nine black students who integrated Central High School in Little Rock, AR, in 1957, tells an incredible story of faith, family love, friendships, and strong personal commitment. Drawing from the diaries she kept, the author easily puts readers in her saddle oxfords as she struggles against those people in both the white and black communities who would have segregation continue. Her prose does not play on the sympathy of...


The Civil Rights Era: 1865-1970 (History SparkNotes)
SparkNotes Editors
1411404211
July 2005
Paperback
·
 


Under the Banner of Heaven
Jon Krakauer
1400032806
June 2004
Paperback
·
 
Book Review
In 1984, Ron and Dan Lafferty murdered the wife and infant daughter of their younger brother Allen. The crimes were noteworthy not merely for their brutality but for the brothers' claim that they were acting on direct orders from God. In Under the Banner of Heaven, Jon Krakauer tells the story of the killers and their crime but also explores the shadowy world of Mormon fundamentalism from which the two emerged. The Mormon Church was founded, in part, on the idea that true believers could speak directly with God. But while the mainstream church attempted to be more palatable to the general public by rejecting the controversial tenet of polygamy, fundamentalist splinter groups saw this as apostasy and took to the hills to live what they believed to be a righteous life. When their beliefs are challenged or their patriarchal,...


Politics Lost: How American Democracy Was Trivialized by People Who Think You're Stupid
Joe Klein
0385510276
April 2006
Hardcover
·
 
From Publishers Weekly
The people castigated in this lively but self-contradictory jeremiad make up the "pollster-consultant industrial complex" of political handlers responsible for today's bland, prefabricated candidates, carefully stage-managed campaigns and vacuous, focus-grouped policy proposals. Political reporter and Time pundit Klein (Primary Colors) traces the political consultants' influence through pungent insider accounts of presidential campaigns from 1968 to the present, throwing in plenty of his own armchair quarterbacking of triumphs and fiascoes. Throughout, he deplores the deadening of American political culture and celebrates the few politicians, like Ronald Reagan and John McCain, who occasionally slip the consultant's leash, blurt out an unfashionable opinion, take a principled stand or otherwise demonstrate their...


A Crack in the Edge of the World
Simon Winchester
0060571993
Oct 2005
Hardcover
·
 
Book Review
Geologically speaking, 1906 was a violent year: powerful, destructive earthquakes shook the ground from Taiwan to South America, while in Italy, Mount Vesuvius erupted. And in San Francisco, a large earthquake occurred just after five in the morning on April 18--and that was just the beginning. The quake caused a conflagration that raged for the next three days, destroying much of the American West's greatest city. The fire, along with water damage and other indirect acts, proved more destructive than the earthquake itself, but insurance companies tried hard to dispute this fact since few people carried earthquake insurance. It was also the world's first major natural disaster to have been extensively photographed and covered by the media, and as a result, it left "an indelible imprint on the mind of the entire nation."

Though the...



Memoirs of a Geisha: A Novel (Vintage Contemporaries)
Arthur Golden
0679781587
January 10, 1999
Paperback
·
 
Book Review
According to Arthur Golden's absorbing first novel, the word "geisha" does not mean "prostitute," as Westerners ignorantly assume--it means "artisan" or "artist." To capture the geisha experience in the art of fiction, Golden trained as long and hard as any geisha who must master the arts of music, dance, clever conversation, crafty battle with rival beauties, and cunning seduction of wealthy patrons. After earning degrees in Japanese art and history from Harvard and Columbia--and an M.A. in English--he met a man in Tokyo who was the illegitimate offspring of a renowned businessman and a geisha. This meeting inspired Golden to spend 10 years researching every detail of geisha culture, chiefly relying on the geisha Mineko Iwasaki, who spent years charming the very rich and famous.

The result is a...



Blood Done Sign My Name
Timothy B. Tyson
1400083117
May 2005
Paperback
·
 
Book Review
When he was but 10 years old, Tim Tyson heard one of his boyhood friends in Oxford, N.C. excitedly blurt the words that were to forever change his life: "Daddy and Roger and 'em shot 'em a nigger!" The cold-blooded street murder of young Henry Marrow by an ambitious, hot-tempered local businessman and his kin in the Spring of 1970 would quickly fan the long-flickering flames of racial discord in the proud, insular tobacco town into explosions of rage and street violence. It would also turn the white Tyson down a long, troubled reconciliation with his Southern roots that eventually led to a professorship in African-American studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison--and this profoundly moving, if deeply troubling personal meditation on the true costs of America's historical racial divide. Taking its title from a...


The Great War for Civilisation : The Conquest of the Middle East
Robert Fisk
1400041511
November 8, 2005
Hardcover
·
 
From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Combining a novelist's talent for atmosphere with a scholar's grasp of historical sweep, foreign correspondent Fisk (Pity the Nation: The Abduction of Lebanon) has written one of the most dense and compelling accounts of recent Middle Eastern history yet. The book opens with a deftly juxtaposed account of Fisk's two interviews with Osama bin Laden. In the first, held in Sudan in 1993, bin Laden declared himself "a construction engineer and an agriculturist." He had no time to train mujahideen, he said; he was busy constructing a highway. In the second, held four years later in Afghanistan, he declared war on the Saudi royal family and America.Fisk, who has lived in and reported on the Middle East since 1976, first for the (London) Times and now for the Independent, possesses deep knowledge of...


Overthrow: America's Century of Regime Change from Hawaii to Iraq
Stephen Kinzer
0805078614
April 2006
Hardcover
·
 
From Publishers Weekly
The recent ouster of Saddam Hussein may have turned "regime change" into a contemporary buzzword, but it's been a tactic of American foreign policy for more than 110 years. Beginning with the ouster of Hawaii's monarchy in 1893, Kinzer runs through the foreign governments the U.S. has had a hand in toppling, some of which he has written about at length before (in All the Shah's Men, etc.). Recent invasions of countries such as Grenada and Panama may be more familiar to readers than earlier interventions in Iran and Nicaragua, but Kinzer, a foreign correspondent for the New York Times, brings a rich narrative immediacy to all of his stories. Although some of his assertions overreach themselves—as when he proposes that better conduct by the American government in the Spanish-American War might have prevented...


British Century: A Photographic History of the Last Hundred Years
Brian Moynahan
0760718741
August 1999
Hardcover
·
 
Book Review
The British Century, a witness to the art and historical importance of the 20th-century photograph, should find its way to classrooms, coffee tables, and studios. Through the dramatic contrasts of 300 pages of black-and-white images are portrayed, chronologically, the dark and light of Great Britain's last hundred years. The images reflect in their scope--from the grimace of death to celebrity smiles--editor Brian Moynahan's combined experience as a historian and newspaper editor. He supplies a substantial, balanced, and sensitive text, which, like the photographs, portrays mood in addition to fact and includes poignant quotations from ordinary people as well as from the famous. The photographs communicate where words would struggle: a grainy image of the Beatles in the Cavern Club, Liverpool, and the eerie view seen by a...


The Jasons : The Secret History of Science's Postwar Elite
Ann Finkbeiner
0670034894
April 6, 2006
Hardcover
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From Publishers Weekly
If necessity is the mother of invention, then the U.S. government's midwife for much of the Cold War was a small, brilliant and fiercely independent cadre of physicists who assembled each summer to make scientific reality out of pie-in-the-sky ideas. Ingenious problem-solvers to a man (they were, for decades, an all-boys club), "the Jasons" (a nickname of uncertain origin; it's either taken from the Greek myth, Jason and the Argonauts, or an acronym for the months of July through November) agreed to help the government-and cash its checks-on the condition that their work be free from political influence; if the Pentagon or White House proposed a project the group found absurd or ethically reprehensive, they would say so in their typically blunt, intellectually arrogant manner. However, the smartest people in the...


The Path Between the Seas
David McCullough
0671244094
Jan 1978
Paperback
·
 
Book Review
On December 31, 1999, after nearly a century of rule, the United States officially ceded ownership of the Panama Canal to the nation of Panama. That nation did not exist when, in the mid-19th century, Europeans first began to explore the possibilities of creating a link between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans through the narrow but mountainous isthmus; Panama was then a remote and overlooked part of Colombia.

All that changed, writes David McCullough in his magisterial history of the Canal, in 1848, when prospectors struck gold in California. A wave of fortune seekers descended on Panama from Europe and the eastern United States, seeking quick passage on California-bound ships in the Pacific, and the Panama Railroad, built to serve that traffic, was soon the highest-priced stock listed on the New York Exchange. To build...



All the Shah's Men : An American Coup and the Roots of Middle East Terror
Stephen Kinzer
0471678783
August 12, 2004
Paperback
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From Publishers Weekly
With breezy storytelling and diligent research, Kinzer has reconstructed the CIA's 1953 overthrow of the elected leader of Iran, Mohammad Mossadegh, who was wildly popular at home for having nationalized his country's oil industry. The coup ushered in the long and brutal dictatorship of Mohammad Reza Shah, widely seen as a U.S. puppet and himself overthrown by the Islamic revolution of 1979. At its best this work reads like a spy novel, with code names and informants, midnight meetings with the monarch and a last-minute plot twist when the CIA's plan, called Operation Ajax, nearly goes awry. A veteran New York Times foreign correspondent and the author of books on Nicaragua (Blood of Brothers) and Turkey (Crescent and Star), Kinzer has combed memoirs, academic works, government documents and news stories to...


Isaac's Storm: A Man, a Time, and the Deadliest Hurricane in History
Erik Larson
0375708278
July 2000
Paperback
·
 
Book Review
On September 8, 1900, a massive hurricane slammed into Galveston, Texas. A tidal surge of some four feet in as many seconds inundated the city, while the wind destroyed thousands of buildings. By the time the water and winds subsided, entire streets had disappeared and as many as 10,000 were dead--making this the worst natural disaster in America's history.

In Isaac's Storm, Erik Larson blends science and history to tell the story of Galveston, its people, and the hurricane that devastated them. Drawing on hundreds of personal reminiscences of the storm, Larson follows individuals through the fateful day and the storm's aftermath. There's Louisa Rollfing, who begged her husband, August, not to go into town the morning of the storm; the Ursuline Sisters at St. Mary's orphanage who tied their charges to lengths of...



Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
Hunter S. Thompson
0679785892
May 1998
Paperback
·
 
Book Review Reviews
Heralded as the "best book on the dope decade" by the New York Times Book Review, Hunter S. Thompson's documented drug orgy through Las Vegas would no doubt leave Nancy Reagan blushing and D.A.R.E. founders rethinking their motto. Under the pseudonym of Raoul Duke, Thompson travels with his Samoan attorney, Dr. Gonzo, in a souped-up convertible dubbed the "Great Red Shark." In its trunk, they stow "two bags of grass, seventy-five pellets of mescaline, five sheets of high-powered blotter acid, a salt shaker half-full of cocaine and a whole galaxy of multicolored uppers, downers, screamers, laughers.... A quart of tequila, a quart of rum, a case of Budweiser, a pint of raw ether and two dozen amyls," which they manage to consume during their short tour.

On assignment from a sports...



The Windsor Style
Suzy Menkes
0881623210


·
 
From Publishers Weekly
British fashion editor and historian Menkes, author of The Royal Jewels, has created an album of great appeal with considerable new information about the Duke and Duchess of Windsor. With nearly 200 photographs (over half in color), this showcase evokes the magnificence of the exiled couple's homes in France and the United States and the opulence of the duchess's wardrobe and jewels. Quotes from friends and critics of the former king and his wife add poignancy to this portrait of famous lovers who led empty lives. In the otherwise elegant bedroom of the duke, Menkes found toys from his nursery days, including one made by his mother, Queen Mary. Her account of the often mean-spirited if always exquisite Wallis makes a sad commentary on living like Midas as the best revenge. First serial to European Travel & Life....


At Canaan's Edge : America in the King Years, 1965-68
Taylor Branch
068485712X
January 10, 2006
Hardcover
·
 
Book Review
One of the greatest of American stories has found its great chronicler in Taylor Branch. Beginning with Parting the Waters in 1988, followed 10 years later by Pillar of Fire, and closing now with At Canaan's Edge, Branch has given the short life of Martin Luther King Jr. and the nonviolent revolution he led the epic treatment they deserve. The three books of Branch's America in the King Years trilogy are lyrical and dramatic, social history as much as biography, woven from the ever more complex strands of King's movement, with portraits of figures like Lyndon Johnson, Bob Moses, J. Edgar Hoover, and Diane Nash as compelling as that of his central character.

King's movement may have been nonviolent, but his times were not, and each of Branch's volumes ends with an assassination: JFK, then Malcolm X,...


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