Category Archives: Non-fiction

ANDREW JACKSON AND THE MIRACLE OF NEW ORLEANS

Title: Andrew Jackson and the Battle of New Orleans

Author: Brian Kilmeade and Don Yeger

The War of 1812 saw America threatened on every side. Encouraged by the British, Indian tribes attacked settlers in the West, while the Royal Navy terrorized the coasts. By mid-1814, President James Madison’s generals had lost control of he war in the North,, losing battles in Canada. Then British troops set the White House ablaze, and a feeling of hopelessness spread across the country.

Into this dire situation stepped Major General Andrew Jackson. A native of Tennessee who had witnessed the horrors of the Revolutionary War and Indian attacks, he was glad America had finally decided to confront repeated British aggression. But he feared that President Madison’s men were overlooking the most important target of all: New Orleans.

If the British conquered New Orleans, they would control the mouth of the Mississippi River, cutting Americans off from that essential trade route and threatening the previous decade’s Louisiana Purchase. The new Nation’s dreams of western expansion would be crushed before they really got off the ground.

So Jackson faced three enormous challenges. He had to convince President Madison and his War Department to take him seriously, even though he wasn’t one of the well-educated Virginians and New Englanders who dominated the government. He had to assemble a coalition of frontier militiamen, French-speaking Louisianans, Cherokee and Choctaw Indians, freed slaves, and even some pirates. And he had to defeat the most powerful military force in the world–in the confusing terrain of the Louisiana bayous.

in short, then Jackson needed a miracle. The local Ursuline nuns set to work praying for his outnumbered troops. And so the Americans, driven by patriotism and protected by prayer, began he battle that would shape our young nation’s destiny.

As they did in their two previous bestsellers, kilmeade and Yaeger make history come alive with a riveting true story that will keep you turning the pages. You’ll finish with a new understanding of one of America’s greatest generals–who later became one of you most controversial presidents. And you’ll have a renewed appreciation for the brave men who fought so that America could one day stretch “from sea to shining sea.”

SCALIA SPEAKS – REFLECTIONS ON LAW, FAITH, AND LIRE WELL LIVED

Title: Scalia Speaks – Reflections on Law, Faith, and Life Well Lived

Author: Antonin Scalia

By any measure, Antonia Scalia lived an extraordinary life. A Supreme Court Justice for three decades, he transformed the way that judges and lawyers think about the law. Married to his beloved wife, Maureen, for more than fifty-years, a father to nine children, and a grandfather to dozens, he was devoted to his family and his faith. He was gregarious, energetic, and a friend to people of all political stripes.

Over his career, Justice Scalia delivered hundreds of speeches across the country and throughout the world. Scalia Speaks collects for the first time his best speeches, covering topics as varied as the law, faith, virtue, pastimes, and his heroes and friends. Featuring a foreword by longtime friend Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and an intimate introduction by his youngest son, this volume includes dozens of speeches, some deeply personal, and nearly all of which have never been published before.

Americans have long been inspired by Justice Scalia’s ideas, delighted by his wit, and instructed by his intelligence. Scalia Speaks enables readers to encounter the man in full–to understand the legal insights that made him one of the most important justices in the Court’s history and to learn from his broader insights into a life well lived.

This timeless book is perfect for any reader interested in a man and mind that helped shape our nation.

THE ODYSSEY OF ECHO COMPANY

Title: The Odyssey of Echo Company

Author: Doug Stanton

On a single night, January 31, 1968, as many as 100,000 soldiers in the North Vietnamese Army attack thirty-six cities throughout South Vietnam, hoping to dislodge American forces. forty-six young American soldiers of an Army reconnaissance platoon (Echo Company, 1/501) of the 101st Airborne Division hailing from farms, small towns, and big cities, are thrust into savage combat having been in-country only a few weeks. Their battles against North Vietnamese soldiers and toughened Viet Cong guerrillas are relentless, often hand to hand, and waged ac ross landing zones, rice paddies hamlets, rivers and dense jungle. Their exhausting day-to-day existence, which involves ambushes, grueling machine-gun battles, and heroic rescues of wounded comrades, forges the group into a lifelong brotherhood, The Odyssey of Echo Company is about these young men and centers on the searing experiences of one of them, Stanley Parker, who is wounded three times during the fighting.

When the young men came home, some encounter a country that doesn’t understand what they have survived. Many fall silent, knowing that few want to hear the stories they have lived to tell–until now. Based on interviews, personal letters, and Army after-action reports, and augmented by maps and combat zone photos, The Odyssey of Echo Company recounts the wartime service and incoming of ordinary young American men in an extraordinary time and confirms Doug Stanton’s prominence as an unparalleled storyteller of our age.

THOMAS JEFFERSON AND THE TRIPOLI PIRATES

Title: Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates

Author: Brian Kilmeade

This is the little-known story of how a newly independent nation was challenged by four Muslim powers and what happened when America’s third president decided to stand up to intimidation.

When Thomas Jefferson became president in 1801, America faced a crisis. The new nation was deeply in debt and needed its economy to grow quickly, but its merchant ships were under attack. Pirates from North Africa’s Barbary coast routinely captured American sailors and held them as slaves, demanding ransom and tribute payments far beyond what the new country could afford.

Over the previous fifteen years, as a diplomat and then as secretary of state, Jefferson had tried to work with the Barbary states (Tripoli, Tunis, Algiers, and Morocco). Unfortunately, he found in impossible to negotiate with people who believed their religion justified the plunder and enslavement of non-Muslims. These rogue states would show no mercy–at least not while easy money could be made by extorting the Western powers. So President Jefferson decided to move beyond diplomacy. He sent the U.S Navy’s new warships and a detachment of Marines to blockade Tripoli–launching the Barbary Wars and beginning America’s journey toward future superpower status.

As they did in their previous bestseller, George Washington’s Secret Six, Kilmeade and Yaeger have transformed a nearly forgotten slice of history into a dramatic story that will keep you turning the pages to find our what happens next. Among the many suspenseful episodes: 1. Lieutenant Andrew Sterett’s ferocious cannon battle on the high seas against the treacherous pirate ship Tripoli. 2. Lieutenant Stephen Decatur’s daring night raid of an enemy harbor, with the aim of destroying an American ship that had fallen into the pirates’ hands. 3. General William Eaton’s unprecedented five-hundred-mile land march from Egypt to the port of Derne, where the Marines launched a surprise attack and an American flag was raised in victory on foreign soil for the first time.

few today remember these men and other heroes who inspired the Marine Corps hymn “From the Halls of Montezuma to the Shores of Tripoli, we fight our country’s battles in the air and, on land and sea.” Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates recaptures this forgotten war that changed American history with a real-life drama of intrigue, bravery, and battle on the high seas.

THE UNWOMANLY FACE OF WAR

Title: The Unwomanly Face Of War

Author: Svetlana Alexievich/strong>

For more than three decades, Svetlana Alexievich has been the memory and conscience of the twentieth century. When the Swedish Academy awarded her the Novel Prize, it cited her invention of “a new kink of literary genre,” describing her work as “a history of emotions….a history of the soul.”

The Unwomanly Face of War is the long awaited English translation of Alexievich’s first book, a groundbreaking oral history of women in World War II across Europe and Russia. Alexievich chronicles the experiences of the Soviet women who fought on the front lines, on the home front, and in the occupied territories. These women–more than a million in total–were nurses and doctors, pilots, tank drivers, machine-gunners, and snipers. They battled alongside men, and yet, after the victory, their efforts and sacrifices were forgotten.

Alexievich traveled thousands of miles and visited more than a hundred towns to record these women’s stories. Together, this symphony of voices reveals a different aspect of the war–the everyday details of life in combat left out of the official histories.

Translated by the renown Rchard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky, The Unworthy Face of War is a powerful and poignant account of the central conflict of the twentieth century a kaleidoscopic portrait of the human side of war.

DEMOCRACY

Title: Democracy

Author: Condoleezza Rice

From the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the soviet Union to the ongoing struggle for human rights in the Middle East, Condoleezza Rice has served on the front lines of history. As a child of freedom, when her hometown of Birmingham, Alabama, became the epicenter of he civil rights movement for black Americans.

In this book, Rice explains what these epochal events teach us about democracy. At a time when people around the world are wondering whether democracy is in decline, Rice shares insights from her experiences as a policymaker, scholar, and citizen, in order to put democracy’s challenges into perspective.

When the United States was founded, it was the only attempt at self-government in the world. Today more than half of all countries qualify as democracies, and in the long run that number will continue to grow. Yet nothing worthwhile ever comes easily. Using America’s long struggle as a template, Rice draws lessons for democracy around the world–from Russia, Poland, and Ukraine, to Kenya, Colombia, and the Middle East. She finds that no transitions to democracy are the same because every country starts in a different place. Pathways diverge and sometimes circle backward. Time frames for success vary dramatically, and countries often suffer false starts before getting it right. But Rice argues, that does not mean they should not try. While the ideal conditions for democracy are well known in academia, they never exist in the real world. The question is not how to create perfect circumstances but how to move forward under difficult ones.

These same insights apply in overcoming the challenges faced by governments today. The pursuit of democracy is a continuing struggle shared by people around the world, whether they are opposing authoritarian regimes, establishing new democratic institutions, or reforming mature democracies to better live up to their ideals. The work of securing it is never finished.

DESTINED FOR WAR

Title: Destined For War

Author: Graham Allison

The reason is Thucydides’s Trap: When a rising power threatens to displace a ruling one, the most likely outcome is war. This phenomenon is as old as history itself. About the Peloponnesian War that devastated ancient Greece, the historian Thucydides explained that “it was the rise of Athens and the fear that this instilled in Sparta that made war inevitable.” These conditions have occurred sixteen times over the past five hundred years. Twelve ended violently.

In the seventeenth case, an irresistible rising China is on course to collide with an immovable America. Both Xi Jinping and Donald Trump promise to make their countries “great again.” But unless China is willing to moderate its ambitions, or Washington can agree to share primacy in the Pacific, a trade conflict, cyberattack, or accident at sea could be the spark that ignites a major war.

In Destined For War, the eminent Harvard scholar Graham Allison explains why Thucydides’s Trap is the best lens for understanding the competition between the United States and China. Can Washington and Beijing steer their ships of state through these treacherous shoals? Allison shows how imaginative statecraft has averted war in the past, and what painful steps must be taken to avoid disaster today. By masterfully blending history and current events, Destined For War aims not to predict the future, ut to prevent it.

CATTLE KINGDOM

Title: Cattle Kingdom

Author: Christopher Knowlton

The open range cattle era lasted barely a quarter century, but it left American irrevocably changed. These few decades following the Civil War brought American its greatest boom-and-bust cycle until the Depression, the invention of the assembly line, and the dawn of the conservation movement. It inspired legends, such as that icon of rugged individualism, the cowboy. Yet this extraordinary time and its import have remained unexamined for decades.

Cattle Kingdom reveals the truth of how the West rose and fell, and how its legacy defines us today. The tale takes us from dust-choked cattle drives to the unlikely splendors of boomtowns like Abilene, Kansas and Cheyenne, Wyoming. We venture from the Texas Panhandle to the Dakota Badlands to the Chicago stockyards. We meet a diverse array of players–from the expert cowboy Teddy Blue to the failed rancher and future president Teddy Roosevelt. Knowlton shows us how they and others like them could achieve so many outsized feats: killing millions of bison in a decade, building the first opera house on the open range, driving cattle by the thousands, and much more. Cattle Kingdom is a revelatory new view of the Old West.

TALKING TO ANIMALS

Title:: Talking to Animals

Author: Jon Katz

We seem to need animals in our disconnected lives more and more, yet we understand them less and less. In Talking to Animals, New York Times bestselling author Hon Katz–who left his Manhattan life behind two decades ago for life on a farm where he is surrounded by dogs, cats, sheep, horses, cows, goats, and chickens–draws from his experience to offer us a deeper insight into animals and the tools needed for effectively communicating with them. By better understanding animal instincts, recognizing they are not mere reflections of our own human emotions and neuroses, we can help them live happily in our shared world.

Devoting each chapter to an animal who has played an important role in his life, Katz tells funny and illuminating stories about his profound experiences with them. He shows us how healthy engagement with animals falls into five key areas: Food, Movement, Visualization, Language, and Instincts. Along the way, we meet Simon the donkey, who arrives at Katz’s farm near death and now serves as his Tai Chi partner. WE meet Red the dog, who started our antisocial and untrained and is now a therapy dog working with veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan. And we meet Winston, the dignified and brave rooster who was injured defending his hens from a hawk and who has better “interpersonal” skills than most humans.

Thoughtful and intelligent, lovely and heartwarming, this book will completely change the way you think about and interact with animals, building mutual trust and e4nduring connections.

THREE MINUTES TO DOOMSDAY

Title: Three Minutes To Doomsday

Author: Joe Navarro

In 1988 Joe Navarro one of the younger agents ever hired by the FBI, was dividing his time between SWAT assignments, flying air reconnaissance, and working counterintelligence. But his real expertise was “reading” body language. He possessed an uncanny ability to glean the thoughts of those he interrogated.

So it was that, on a routine assignment to interview a “person of interest”–a former American soldier named Rod Ramsey–Navarro noticed his interviewer’s hand trembling slightly when he was asked about another soldier who had recently been arrested in Germany on suspicion of espionage. That thin lead was enough for the FBI agent to insist to his bosses that an investigation be opened.

What followed is unique in the annals of espionage detection–a two-year-long battle of wits. The dueling antagonists: an FBI agent who couldn’t overtly tip to his target that he suspected him of wrongdoing lest he clam up and a traitor whose weakness was the enjoyment he derived from sparring with his inquisitor. Navarro’s job was made even more difficult by his adversary’s brilliance: not only did Ramsay posses an authentic photographic memory as well as the second highest IQ ever recorded by the US Army, he was bored by people who couldn’t match his erudition. To ensure that the information flow would continue, Navarro had to choreograph every interview, becoming a chess master plotting twenty moves in advance.

And the backdrop to this mental tug-of-war was the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the very real possibility that its leaders, in a last bid to alter the course of history, might launch a devastating attack. If they did, they would have Ramsay to thank, because as Navarro would learn over the course of forty-two mind-bending interviews, Ramsay had, by his stunning intelligence giveaways, handed the Soviets the ability to utterly destroy the United States.

the story of a determined hero who pushed himself to jaw-dropping levels of exhaustion and who rallied his team to expose undreamed of vulnerabilities in America’s defense, Three Minutes to Doomsday will leave the reader with disturbing thoughts of the risk the country takes even today with to its most protected national secrets.