History

Our Man: Richard Holbrooke and the End of the American Century by George Packer - Book Review

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$30.00
ISBN: 9780307958020
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Knopf - May 7th, 2019

From the time he was shipped off to work in Vietnam with the Foreign Service in 1962, Richard Holbrooke dreamed of becoming Secretary of State. While Holbrooke never reached that lofty office, a case can be made that he was one of America's most brilliant diplomats. The summit of his achievements were the Dayton Peace Accords of 1995, which brought peace to the warring factions of the former Yugoslavia. But Holbrooke was also a shamelessly ambitious egomaniac who treated both friends and enemies in an appalling fashion. He's found the perfect biographer in New Yorker journalist George Packer, author of The Unwinding. Packer treats Holbrooke's meteoric rise and fall as a combination of a Joseph Conrad and Game of Thrones, with a tableau that stretches from the Mekong Desert to Kabul to the darkest corners of the Harry S. Truman building. His book is both a political masterclass—turns out the men's room is where the real power negotiations go down—and an unforgettable portrait of a man who would have been as comfortable chatting with the Borgias as he was advising presidents from Johnson to Obama. ~ Reviewed by Charles Bottomley


Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland by Patrick Radden Keefe - Book Review

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$23.16
ISBN: 9780385521314
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Published: Doubleday - February 26th, 2019

The disappearance of a mother-of-ten in 1972 from her Belfast tower block is the unexpected starting point for Keefe's marvelous history of the Troubles, the sectarian violence that raged between the IRA and the Loyalists in the last third of the 20th century. During that time, disappearances, bombings and assassinations rocked Belfast as walls went up between communities that identified as Catholic and Protestant. Keefe grabs the reader by the throat as he sketches in the personalities of IRA leader Gerry Adams, foot soldiers like the glamorous Dolours Price, the British intelligence officer known as "the Butcher of Belfast," and hunger striker Bobby Sands. He also recreates a time when safety depended on how much one was willing to deny their own identity and to “say nothing.” It's the finale of the book which is truly jaw-dropping, though. Scores are settled, peace is brokered, and an ambitious oral history conducted by Boston College brings secrets (and bodies) to light. Keefe has one hell of a story to tell and he navigates each twist and turn with the smarts of a Belfast cab-driver. Easily a book of the year. ~ Reviewed by Charles Bottomley


Humans: A Brief History of How We F*cked It All Up by Tom Phillips - Book Review

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$19.99
ISBN: 9781335936639
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Hanover Square Press - May 7th, 2019

This is one of those irreverent and scary books that leaves me laughing and crying. Laughing at the total absurdness of humanity's own stew of misdeeds and just plain stupidity and crying for the same reason. It does make you think that, for all of our hubris and control issues or lack thereof, why are we still here? Phillips, as he proudly states, finally uses his degrees from Cambridge with his acute razor sharp wit in talking about everything from Lucy (the Australopithecus not the song) to the introduction of invasive species like starlings and rabbits. Riotous, ridiculous, and sobering all at once. ~ Reviewed by Maeve Noonan


Accidental Presidents: Eight Men Who Changed America by Jared Cohen - Book Review

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Accidental Presidents: Eight Men Who Changed America Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9781501109829
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Published: Simon & Schuster - April 9th, 2019

Eight American presidents died in office. When their vice presidents took over, the country's course swerved and veered. Some accidental presidents brought relatively modest changes, while others, including Theodore Roosevelt. Andrew Johnson, and Lyndon Baines Johnson, indelibly altered American history, for better, or worse. ~ Reviewed by Mike Hare


Follow This Thread: A Maze Book to Get Lost In by Henry Eliot - Book Review

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Follow This Thread: A Maze Book to Get Lost In Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9781984824448
Availability: Click Title for IN STOCK Location
Published: Three Rivers Press - March 5th, 2019

This marvelous book is about Labyrinths; one of the most ancient designs of humans & in Nature; found everywhere and in every culture, in Human design itself. Eliot follows History through myth, legend, lore & philosophy exploring in a creative and prosaic way. This book came into my hands by way of a customer and I could not put it down. Thank you Ariadne! ~ Reviewed by Maeve Noonan


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