By Bill Minutaglio
First released in 2003, City on Fire is a gripping, intimate account of the explosions of 2 ships loaded with ammonium nitrate fertilizer that demolished Texas urban, Texas, in April 1947, in a single of the main catastrophic failures in American history.
By Mike Dash
In 1628 the Dutch East India corporation loaded the Batavia, the flagship of its fleet, with a king’s ransom in gold, silver, and gemstones for her maiden voyage to Java; the send itself used to be a tangible image of the world’s richest and strongest monopoly.
The corporation additionally despatched alongside a brand new worker to protect its treasure. He used to be Jeronimus Corneliszoon, a disgraced and bankrupt guy with nice air of mystery and dangerously heretical rules. With the aid of a number of disgruntled sailors, he hatched a plot to grab the send and her riches. The mutiny may have succeeded, yet at the hours of darkness morning hours of June three, 1629, the Batavia smashed via a coral reef and ran aground on a small chain of islands close to Australia. The captain and skipper escaped the ruin, and in a tiny lifeboat they set sail for Java—some 1,500 miles north—to summon support. greater than 250 nervous survivors waded ashore, grateful to be alive. regrettably, Jeronimus and the mutineers had survived too, and the nightmare was once basically starting.
By John Bender
Ends of Enlightenment explores 3 nation-states of eighteenth-century ecu innovation that stay lively within the twenty-first century: the realist novel, philosophical notion, and the actual sciences, specifically human anatomy. the ecu Enlightenment used to be a nation of being, a private stance, and an orientation to the area. methods of probing event and information within the novel and within the visible arts have been interleaved with equipment of experimentation in technological know-how and philosophy. This book's clean standpoint considers the radical as an artwork but additionally as a strength in pondering. The severe distance afforded by means of a view again around the centuries permits Bender to redefine such novelists as Defoe, Fielding, Goldsmith, Godwin, and Laclos by means of putting them alongside philosophers and scientists like Newton, Locke, and Hume but additionally along engravings via Hogarth and by way of anatomist William Hunter. His booklet probes the kinship between realism, speculation, and medical truth, defining within the strategy the rhetorical foundation of public verbal exchange throughout the Enlightenment.
By Ernest Freeberg
The past due 19th century used to be a interval of explosive technological creativity, yet arguably an important invention of all used to be Thomas Edison’s incandescent lightbulb. Unveiled in his Menlo Park, New Jersey, laboratory in 1879, the lightbulb beaten the yank public with the experience of the beginning of a brand new age. greater than the other invention, the electrical gentle marked the coming of modernity.
The lightbulb grew to become a catalyst for the nation’s transformation from a rural to an urban-dominated tradition. urban streetlights outlined zones among wealthy and bad, and grid sharpened the road among city and state. “Bright lights” intended “big city.” Like moths to a flame, hundreds of thousands of usa citizens migrated to city facilities in those many years, forsaking the shadow of candle and kerosene lamp in want of the interesting brilliance of the city streetscape.
The Age of Edison places the tale of Edison’s invention within the context of a technological revolution that remodeled the United States and Europe in those a long time. Edison and his fellow inventors emerged from a tradition formed by way of huge public schooling, a full of life renowned press that became interested in technology and know-how, and an American patent approach that inspired innovation and democratized some great benefits of invention. And in any case, as Freeberg exhibits, Edison’s maximum invention was once now not any unmarried know-how, yet fairly his reinvention of the method itself. At Menlo Park he amassed the combo of capital, clinical education, and engineering ability that might evolve into the trendy study and improvement laboratory. His innovative electric grid not just broke the stronghold of fuel businesses, but additionally ushered in an period whilst powerful, transparent gentle might turn into available to everyone.
In The Age of Edison, Freeberg weaves a story that reaches from Coney Island and Broadway to the tiniest cities of rural the US, tracing the development of electrical gentle in the course of the reactions of everybody who observed it. it's a quintessentially American tale of ingenuity, ambition, and risk, during which the better forces of development and alter are made seen through one in every of our such a lot humble and ubiquitous objects.
By Bruce Merry
This reference offers greater than 800 alphabetically prepared entries on vital authors, texts, genres, issues, and subject matters in Greek literature from the Byzantine interval to the current. short, readable entries offer uncomplicated details at the historical past and improvement of recent Greek literature and language. each one access is carefully cross-referenced, and so much finish with a bibliography of extra info resources.
Greece has an outdated and influential literary culture. The lion's proportion of consciousness has been given to classical Greek literature, but the country maintains to provide major creative works. This reference offers greater than 800 alphabetically prepared entries on very important authors, texts, genres, issues, and subject matters in Greek literature from the Byzantine interval to the present.
Brief, readable entries supply simple info at the historical past and improvement of recent Greek literature and language. each one access is punctiliously cross-referenced, and such a lot finish with a bibliography of extra info assets. The encyclopedia additionally bargains an invaluable chronology of contemporary Greek literature, a decide upon bibliography of vital common works, and a close topic index.
By John Demos
Longlisted for the 2014 nationwide booklet Award
The amazing tale of a unique missionary project—and the the USA it embodied—from award-winning historian John Demos.
close to the beginning of the 19th century, because the newly demonstrated usa appeared outward towards the broader global, a gaggle of eminent Protestant ministers shaped a grand scheme for gathering the remainder of mankind into the redemptive fold of Christianity and “civilization.” Its center point was once a distinct tuition for “heathen formative years” drawn from all components of the earth, together with the Pacific Islands, China, India, and, more and more, the local international locations of North the United States. If all went good, graduates might go back to hitch related initiatives of their respective homelands. For a few years, the college prospered, certainly grew to become relatively famous. despite the fact that, while Cherokee scholars courted and married neighborhood girls, public resolve—and fundamental ideals—were put to a severe test.
The Heathen School follows the development, and the death, of this primary precise melting pot throughout the lives of person scholars: between them, Henry Obookiah, a tender Hawaiian who ran clear of domestic and labored as a seaman within the China exchange sooner than finishing up in New England; John Ridge, son of a robust Cherokee leader and as a result a pace-setter within the strategy of Indian “removal”; and Elias Boudinot, editor of the 1st newspaper released via and for local american citizens. From its delivery as a beacon of wish for universal “salvation,” the heathen university descends into sour controversy, as American racial attitudes harden and accentuate. rather than encouraging reconciliation, the college exposes the bounds of tolerance and sets off a series of occasions that may culminate tragically within the path of Tears.
In The Heathen School, John Demos marshals his deep empathy and think for the textures of heritage to inform a relocating tale of households and communities—and to probe the very roots of yankee identification.
His significant paintings, an enormous learn of the increase of totalitarian existence and a profound confirmation of the fight to reassert human values. probably the most major and influential anarchic texts of the previous few a long time.
By Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz
2015 Recipient of the yank publication Award
The first historical past of the USA informed from the viewpoint of indigenous peoples
Today within the usa, there are greater than federally well-known Indigenous countries comprising approximately 3 million humans, descendants of the fifteen million local those who as soon as inhabited this land. The centuries-long genocidal software of the united states settler-colonial routine has mostly been passed over from historical past. Now, for the 1st time, acclaimed historian and activist Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz deals a historical past of the U.S. instructed from the viewpoint of Indigenous peoples and divulges how local american citizens, for hundreds of years, actively resisted growth of the USA empire.
In An Indigenous Peoples’ background of the United States, Dunbar-Ortiz adroitly demanding situations the founding fantasy of the U.S. and indicates how coverage opposed to the Indigenous peoples was once colonialist and designed to grab the territories of the unique population, displacing or taking away them. And as Dunbar-Ortiz finds, this coverage used to be praised in pop culture, via writers like James Fenimore Cooper and Walt Whitman, and within the maximum workplaces of presidency and the army. Shockingly, because the genocidal coverage reached its zenith less than President Andrew Jackson, its ruthlessness was once most sensible articulated through US military common Thomas S. Jesup, who, in 1836, wrote of the Seminoles: “The nation will be rid of them in basic terms by way of exterminating them.”
Spanning greater than 400 years, this vintage bottom-up peoples’ historical past noticeably reframes US historical past and explodes the silences that experience haunted our nationwide narrative.
From the Hardcover edition.
By Michael Freedland
This can be the tale of ways the politicians took Tinseltown to job within the overdue Forties and Nineteen Fifties. because the chilly conflict started in earnest, the hunt for 'Reds below the bed', later led by means of Senator Joseph McCarthy, used to be felt so much keenly in Hollywood the place the investigations have been conducted less than the total glare of the flashlights.
A high-tech experience approximately breaking the financial institution in Las Vegas with toe-operated pcs. the result's a veritable piñata of a booklet, which, whilst smashed through the readers enthusiastic awareness, showers upon him every little thing from the background of dead roulette platforms to the most recent advancements in chaos conception, acknowledged the hot York instances. Richard Dawkins known as it an incredible and interesting story of clinical heroism. the l. a. occasions stated that Bass has performed the easiest task to date of shooting the wedding of technical mind's eye and the communal coziness that gave delivery to Silicon Valley.