High Noon in the Cold War

High Noon in the Cold War

High Noon in the Cold War: Kennedy, Krushchev, and the Cuban Missile Crisis by Max Frankel
Presidio Press | 2005 | ISBN: 0345466713 | EPUB | 729.79KB


One of the giants of American journalism now re-creates an unforgettable time–in which the whole world feared extinction. High Noon in the Cold War captures the Cuban Missile Crisis in a new light, from inside the hearts and minds of the famous men who provoked and, in the nick of time, resolved the confrontation.


Using his personal memories of covering the conflict, and gathering evidence from recent records and new scholarship and testimony, Max Frankel corrects widely held misconceptions about the game of “nuclear chicken” played by John Kennedy and Nikita Khrushchev in October 1962, when Soviet missiles were secretly planted in Cuba and aimed at the United States.


High Noon in the Cold War portrays an embattled young American presidentnot jaunty and callow as widely believed, but increasingly calm and statesmanlikeand a Russian ruler who was not only a “wily old peasant” but an insecure belligerent desperate to achieve credibility. Here, too, are forgotten heroes like John McCone, the conservative Republican CIA head whose intuition made him a crucial figure in White House debates.


In detailing the disastrous miscalculations of the two superpowers (the U.S. thought the Soviets would never deploy missiles to Cuba; the Soviets thought the U.S. would have to acquiesce) and how Kennedy and Khrushchev beat back hotheads in their own councils, this fascinating book re-creates the whole story of the scariest encounter of the Cold War, as told by a master reporter.


Eden to Armageddon: World War I in the Middle East

Eden to Armageddon: World War I in the Middle East

Eden to Armageddon: World War I in the Middle East by Roger Ford
Pegasus | 2011 | ISBN: 1605981966 | EPUB | 8.37MB


The definitive and epic account of World War I in the Middle East.


The Great War in the Middle East began with an invasion of the Garden of Eden, and ended with a momentous victory on the site of the biblical Armageddon. For the first time, the complete story of this epic, bloody war is now presented in a single, definitive volume.


In this inspired new work of history, Roger Ford describes the conflict in its entirety: the war in Mesopotamia, which would end with the creation of the countries of Iran and Iraq; the desperate struggle in the Caucasus, where the Turks had long-standing territorial ambitions; the doomed attacks on the Gallipoli Peninsula that would lead to ignominious defeat; and the final act in Palestine, where the Ottoman Empire finally crumbled.


Ford ends with a detailed description of the messy aftermath of the war, and the new conflicts that arose in a reshaped Middle East that would play such a huge part in shaping world affairs for generations to come. 24 pages of black-and-white illustrations.


101st Airborne: The Screaming Eagles at Normandy

101st Airborne: The Screaming Eagles at Normandy

101st Airborne: The Screaming Eagles at Normandy by Mark Bando
Zenith Press | 2011 | ISBN: 0760339805 | EPUB | 27.57MB


A minute-by-minute and day-by-day account of the elite 101st Airborne’s daring parachute landing behind enemy lines at Normandy is accompanied by firsthand accounts from Airborne veterans and forty incredible, previously unknown (let alone published) color photos of the “Screaming Eagles” at Normandy and in Great Britain prior to the invasion. Accompanying these remarkable D-Day color Kodachromes—which were unearthed in the attic of an Army doctor’s daughter—are more than two hundred black-and-white photographs from 101st survivors and the author’s own private collection. This is an unprecedented look at an elite fighting force during one of the last century’s most crucial moments.


A Life In Secrets: Vera Atkins and the Lost Agents of SOE

A Life In Secrets: Vera Atkins and the Lost Agents of SOE

A Life In Secrets: Vera Atkins and the Lost Agents of SOE by Sarah Helm
Abacus | 2006 | ISBN: 0349119368 | MOBI | 4.12MB


During World War Two the Special Operation Executive's French Section sent more than 400 agents into Occupied France -- at least 100 never returned and were reported 'Missing Believed Dead' after the war. Twelve of these were women who died in German concentration camps -- some were tortured, some were shot, and some died in the gas chambers. Vera Atkins had helped prepare these women for their missions, and when the war was over she went out to Germany to find out what happened to them and the other agents lost behind enemy lines.


But while the woman who carried out this extraordinary mission appeared quintessentially English, she was nothing of the sort. Vera Atkins, who never married, covered her life in mystery so that even her closest family knew almost nothing of her past. In A LIFE IN SECRETS Sarah Helm has stripped away Vera's many veils and -- with unprecedented access to official and private papers, and the cooperation of Vera's relatives -- vividly reconstructed an extraordinary life.


Empires at War

Empires at War

Empires at War: The French and Indian War and the Struggle for North America, 1754-1763 by William M Fowler
Walker & Company | 2005 | ISBN: 0802714110 | EPUB | 6.16MB


On May 28, 1754, a group of militia and Indians led by twenty-two-year-old major George Washington surprised a camp of sleeping French soldiers near present-day Pittsburgh. Washington could not have known it, but the brief and deadly exchange of fire that ensued lit the match that, in Horace Walpole's memorable phrase, would "set the world on fire." The resultung French and Indian War in North America became part of the global conflict known as the Seven Years War, fought across Europe, India, and the East and West Indies. Before it ended, nearly one million men had died.


Empires at War captures the sweeping panorama of this first world war, especially in its descriptions of the strategy and intensity of the engagements in North America, many of them epic struggles between armies in the wilderness. William M. Fowler Jr. views the conflict both from British prime minister William Pitt's perspective-- as a vast chessboard, on which William Shirley's campaign in North America and the fortunes of Frederick the Great of Prussia were connected-- and from that of field commanders on the ground in America and Canada, who contended with disease, brutal weather, and scant supplies, frequently having to build the very roads they marched on. As in any conflict, individuals and events stand out: Sir William Johnson, a baronet and a major general of the British forces, who sometimes painted his face and dressed like a warrior when he fought beside his Indian allies; Edward Braddock's doomed march across Pennsylvania; the valiant French defense of Fort Ticonderoga; and the legendary battle for Quebec between armies led by the arisocratic French tactical genius, the marquis de Montcalm, and the gallant, if erratic, young Englishman James Wolfe-- both of whom died on the Plains of Abraham on September 13, 1759.


For many, the French and Indian War has been merely the backdrop for James Fenimore Cooper's famous novel, The Last of the Mohicans. William M. Fowler Jr.'s engrossing narrative reveals it to have been a turning point of modern history, without which the American Revolution as we know it might well not have occurred.


Memoirs Of The Court Of Marie Antoinette, Queen Of France

Memoirs Of The Court Of Marie Antoinette, Queen Of France

Memoirs Of The Court Of Marie Antoinette, Queen Of France, Complete by Jeanne Louise Henriette Campan
Echo Library | 2007 | ISBN: 1406841722 | EPUB | 537.46KB


Being the Historic Memoirs of Madam Campan, First Lady in Waiting to the Queen.


In one of the earliest memoirs of the young Queen of France, Jeanne Louise Henriette Campan—Marie Antoinette’s First Lady-in-Waiting and one of her closest and most faithful attendants—paints a dramatic portrait of the queen’s personal and political relationship with King Louis XVI of France. First published in two volumes in 1823, this memoir is presented against the backdrop of the French court as it weakens in the madness of an impending revolution. In intricate detail, Campan passionately defends Marie Antoinette’s pride and honor in the face of hateful propaganda against her—propaganda that has continued to haunt her even to this day.


The Campaigns of Napoleon

The Campaigns of Napoleon

The Campaigns of Napoleon by David G Chandler
Charles Scribner's Sons | 1973 | ISBN: 0025236601 | EPUB | 5.73MB


Napoleonic war was nothing if not complex -- an ever-shifting kaleidoscope of moves and intentions, which by themselves went a long way towards baffling and dazing his conventionally-minded opponents into that state of disconcerting moral disequilibrium which so often resulted in their catastrophic defeat."


The Campaigns of Napoleon is an exhaustive analysis and critique of Napoleon's art of war as he himself developed and perfected it in the major military campaigns of his career. Napoleon disavowed any suggestion that he worked from formula ("Je n'ai jamais eu un plan d'opérations", but military historian David Chandler demonstrates this was at best only a half-truth. To be sure, every operation Napoleon conducted contained unique improvisatory features. But there were from the first to the last certain basic principles of strategic maneuver and battlefield planning that he almost invariably put into practice. To clarify these underlying methods, as well as the style of Napoleon's fabulous intellect, Mr. Chandler examines in detail each campaign mounted and personally conducted by Napoleon, analyzing the strategies employed, revealing wherever possible the probable sources of his subject's military ideas.


The book opens with a brief account of Bonaparte's early years, his military education and formative experiences, and his meteoric rise to the rank of general in the army of the Directory. Introducing the elements of Napoleonic "grand tactics" as they developed in his Italian, Egyptian, and Syrian campaigns, Mr. Chandler shows how these principles were clearly conceived as early as the Battle of Castiglione, when Napoleon was only twenty -six. Several campaigns later, he was Emperor of France, busily constructing the Grande Armée. This great war machine is described in considerable detail: the composition of the armies and the élite Guard; the staff system and the methods of command; the kind of artillery and firearms used; and the daily life of the Grande Armée and the all-seeing and all-commanding virtuoso who presided over every aspect of its operation in the field.


As the great machine sweeps into action in the campaigns along the Rhine and the Danube, in East Prussia and Poland, and in Portugal and Spain, David Chandler follows closely every move that vindicates -- or challenges -- the legend of Napoleon's military genius. As the major battles take their gory courses -- Austerlitz, Jena, Fried-land -- we see Napoleon's star reaching its zenith. Then, in the Wagram Campaign of 1809 against the Austrians -- his last real success -- the great man commits more errors of judgment than in all his previous wars and battles put together. As the campaigns rage on, his declining powers seem to justify his own statement: "One has but a short time for war." Then the horrors of the Russian campaign forever shatter the image of Napoleonic invincibility. It is thereafter a short, though heroic and sanguinary, road to Waterloo and St. Helena.


Napoleon appears most strikingly in these pages as the brilliant applier of the ideas of others rather than as an original military thinker, his genius proving itself more practical than theoretical. Paradoxically, this was both his chief strength and his main weakness as a general. After bringing the French army a decade of victory, his methods became increasingly stereotyped and, even worse, were widely copied by his foes, who operated against him with increasing effectiveness toward the end of his career. Yet even though his enemies attempted to imitate his techniques, as have others in the last century and a half, no one ever equaled his success. As these meticulous campaign analyses testify, his multifaceted genius was unique. Even as the end approached, as David Chandler points out, his eclipse was "the failure of a giant surrounded by pygmies."


"The flight of the eagle was over; the 'ogre' was safely caged at last, and an exhausted Europe settled down once more to attempt a return to former ways of life and government. But the shade of Napoleon lingered on irresistibly for many years after his death in 1821. It lingers yet."


The Greatest Brigade

The Greatest Brigade

The Greatest Brigade: How the Irish Brigade Cleared the Way to Victory in the American Civil War by Thomas J Craughwell
Fair Winds Press | 2011 | ISBN: 1592334784 | EPUB | 69.28MB


This is the story of a band of heroes that covered the Yankee retreat at Bull Run, drove the Confederates from the Sunken Road at Antietam, and made charge after charge up Marye's Heights at Fredericksburg. The gallantry of the Irish Brigade won them the admiration of the high command of both North and South, earned them seven Medals of Honor, and after the war, went a long way to helping the Irish assimilate into the American mainstream.


Shouting their Gaelic battle cry, the men of the Irish Brigade charged across the bloodiest battlefields of the Civil War and into the realm of legend. The Greatest Brigade is a grand narrative history of these Irishmen who fought in every major battle in the Eastern Theater of the Civil War, including Bull Run, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Gettysburg, the Wilderness, and Appomattox.


Thomas J. Craughwell, author Stealing Lincoln’s Body and The Buck Stops Here: The 28 Toughest Presidential Decisions and How They Changed History, reveals the reasons why thousands of Irish Catholics—the most despised immigrant group in America at the time—rallied to the Union cause and proved themselves to be among the most ferocious fighters of the war. He examines the character of the Irish Brigade’s two most popular commanders, Michael Corcoran, a man of unshakable principles, and Thomas Francis Meagher, a complex man with many fine qualities—and almost as many flaws.


Lincoln's Melancholy

Lincoln's Melancholy

Lincoln's Melancholy: How Depression Challenged a President and Fueled His Greatness by Joshua Wolf Shenk
Mariner Books | 2006 | ISBN: 0618773444 | EPUB | 523.38KB


A thoughtful, nuanced portrait of Abraham Lincoln that finds his legendary political strengths rooted in his most personal struggles.


Giving shape to the deep depression that pervaded Lincoln's adult life, Joshua Wolf Shenk's Lincoln's Melancholy reveals how this illness influenced both the president's character and his leadership. Lincoln forged a hard path toward mental health from the time he was a young man. Shenk draws from historical record, interviews with Lincoln scholars, and contemporary research on depression to understand the nature of his unhappiness. In the process, he discovers that the President's coping strategies—among them, a rich sense of humor and a tendency toward quiet reflection—ultimately helped him to lead the nation through its greatest turmoil.


Abraham Lincoln: His Speeches and Writings

Abraham Lincoln: His Speeches and Writings

Abraham Lincoln: His Speeches and Writings Edited by Roy P Basler
Da Capo Press | 2001 | ISBN: 0306810751 | EPUB | 3.36MB


This volume presents nearly 250 of Lincoln's most important speeches, state papers, and letters in their entirety. Here are not only the masterpieces the Gettysburg Address, the Inaugural Addresses, the 1858 Republican Convention Speech, the Emancipation Proclamation but hundreds of lesser-known gems. Alfred Kazin has written that Lincoln was "not just the greatest writer among our Presidents . . . but the most telling and unforgettable of all American 'public' writer-speakers," and it’s never been cleaner than in this comprehensive edition.


1898: The Birth of the American Century

1898: The Birth of the American Century

1898: The Birth of the American Century by David Traxel
Vintage Books | 1999 | ISBN: 0679776710 | EPUB | 3.18MB


In 1898: The Birth of the American Century, David Traxel tells the story of a watershed year, a year of foreign conflict, extravagant adventure, and breakneck social change that forged a new America—a sudden empire with many far-flung possessions, a dynamic new player upon the global stage.


At the heart of this vivid, anecdotal history is a masterly account of the Spanish-American War, the "splendid little war" that garnered the nation Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines. From the sinking of the Maine in waters off Havana to Teddy Roosevelt's rough riders and the triumph of Admiral Dewey, here is the lightning-swift military episode that transformed America into a world power. Here too are many stories not so often told—the bloody first successes of the new United Mine Workers, the tentative beginnings of the Ford Motor Company, the million-dollar launch of the Uneeda Biscuit—each in its way as important as the harbinger of the American century. Compulsively readable, frequently humorous, utterly fascinating in its every detail, 1898 is popular history at its finest.


Hidden in Plain View

Hidden in Plain View

Hidden in Plain View: A Secret Story of Quilts and the Underground Railroad by Jacqueline L Tobin, Raymond G Dobard
Anchor | 2000 | ISBN: 0385497679 | EPUB | 8.79MB


In Hidden in Plain View, historian Jacqueline Tobin and scholar Raymond Dobard offer the first proof that certain quilt patterns, including a prominent one called the Charleston Code, were, in fact, essential tools for escape along the Underground Railroad. In 1993, historian Jacqueline Tobin met African American quilter Ozella Williams amid piles of beautiful handmade quilts in the Old Market Building of Charleston, South Carolina. With the admonition to "write this down," Williams began to describe how slaves made coded quilts and used them to navigate their escape on the Underground Railroad. But just as quickly as she started, Williams stopped, informing Tobin that she would learn the rest when she was "ready." During the three years it took for Williams's narrative to unfold--and as the friendship and trust between the two women grew--Tobin enlisted Raymond Dobard, Ph.D., an art history professor and well-known African American quilter, to help unravel the mystery.


Part adventure and part history, Hidden in Plain View traces the origin of the Charleston Code from Africa to the Carolinas, from the low-country island Gullah peoples to free blacks living in the cities of the North, and shows how three people from completely different backgrounds pieced together one amazing American story.


Exploding the Phone

Exploding the Phone

Exploding the Phone: The Untold Story of the Teenagers and Outlaws who Hacked Ma Bell by Phil Lapsley
Grove Press | 2013 | ISBN: 080212061X | EPUB | 2.32MB


Before smartphones, back even before the Internet and personal computer, a misfit group of technophiles, blind teenagers, hippies, and outlaws figured out how to hack the world’s largest machine: the telephone system. Starting with Alexander Graham Bell’s revolutionary "harmonic telegraph", by the middle of the twentieth century the phone system had grown into something extraordinary, a web of cutting-edge switching machines and human operators that linked together millions of people like never before. But the network had a billion-dollar flaw, and once people discovered it, things would never be the same.


Exploding the Phone tells this story in full for the first time. It traces the birth of long-distance communication and the telephone, the rise of AT&T’s monopoly, the creation of the sophisticated machines that made it all work, and the discovery of Ma Bell’s Achilles’ heel. Phil Lapsley expertly weaves together the clandestine underground of "phone phreaks" who turned the network into their electronic playground, the mobsters who exploited its flaws to avoid the feds, the explosion of telephone hacking in the counterculture, and the war between the phreaks, the phone company, and the FBI.


The product of extensive original research, Exploding the Phone is a ground-breaking, captivating book.


The Animated Man: A Life of Walt Disney

The Animated Man: A Life of Walt Disney

The Animated Man: A Life of Walt Disney by Michael Barrier
University of California Press | 2008 | ISBN: 0520256190 | EPUB | 2.83MB


Walt Disney (1901-1966) was one of the most significant creative forces of the twentieth century, a man who made a lasting impact on the art of the animated film, the history of American business, and the evolution of twentieth-century American culture. He was both a creative visionary and a dynamic entrepreneur, roles whose demands he often could not reconcile.


In his compelling new biography, noted animation historian Michael Barrier avoids the well-traveled paths of previous biographers, who have tended to portray a blemish-free Disney or to indulge in lurid speculation. Instead, he takes the full measure of the man in his many aspects. A consummate storyteller, Barrier describes how Disney transformed himself from Midwestern farm boy to scrambling young businessman to pioneering artist and, finally, to entrepreneur on a grand scale. Barrier describes in absorbing detail how Disney synchronized sound with animation in Steamboat Willie; created in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs sympathetic cartoon characters whose appeal rivaled that of the best live-action performers; grasped television's true potential as an unparalleled promotional device; and--not least--parlayed a backyard railroad into the Disneyland juggernaut.


Based on decades of painstaking research in the Disney studio's archives and dozens of public and private archives in the United States and Europe, The Animated Man offers freshly documented and illuminating accounts of Disney's childhood and young adulthood in rural Missouri and Kansas City. It sheds new light on such crucial episodes in Disney's life as the devastating 1941 strike at his studio, when his ambitions as artist and entrepreneur first came into serious conflict.


Beginning in 1969, two and a half years after Disney's death, Barrier recorded long interviews with more than 150 people who worked alongside Disney, some as early as 1922. Now almost all deceased, only a few were ever interviewed for other books. Barrier juxtaposes Disney's own recollections against the memories of those other players to great effect. What emerges is a portrait of Walt Disney as a flawed but fascinating artist, one whose imaginative leaps allowed him to vault ahead of the competition and produce work that even today commands the attention of audiences worldwide.