Category Archives: Historical

Battle of Wills

Title: Battle of Wills

Author: David Allen Johnson

Historians have long analyzed the battles and the military strategies that brought the American Civil War to an end. Going beyond tactics and troop maneuvers, this book concentrates on the characters of the two opposing generals–Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant–showing how their different temperaments ultimately determined the course of the war. As author David Alan Johnson explains, Grant’s dogged and fearless determination eventually gained the upper hand over Lee’s arguably superior military brilliance.

Delving into their separate upbringings, the book depicts Grant as a working-class man from Ohio and Lee as a Virginia aristocrat. Both men were strongly influenced by their fathers. Grant learned a lesson in determination as he watched his father overcome economic hardships to make a successful living as a tanner and leather goods dealer. By contrast, Lee did his best to become he polar opposite of his father, a man whose bankruptcy and imprisonment for unpaid debts brought disgrace upon the family. Lee cultivated a manner of unimpeachable respectability and patrician courtesy, which in the field of battle did not always translate into decisive orders. Underscoring the tragedy of this fratricidal conflict, the author recounts episodes from the earlier Mexican War (1846-1848), when Grant and Lee and many other officers who would later oppose each other were comrades in arms.
This vivid narrative brings to life a crucial turning point in American history, showing how character and circumstances combined to have a decisive influence on the course of events.

A Land Remembered

Title: A Land Remembered

Author: Patrick D. Smith

In 1858 Tobias Maclvey abandoned his Georgia farm, loaded his meager possessions and his wife and infant son in a wagon, and headed south into the Florida wilderness to search for a new life. What follows in A Land Remembered is a big, rougy-to7ugh, folksy Florida saga — three generations of the MacIvey family (1858-s1968) from a dirt poor cattle-droving cracker (cattle rancher who cracks a whip) to a Miami real estate tycoon.

But it is also an epic portrayal of the American pioneer will to survive against all odds. And finally it is the story of the land, how at first bare survival is scratched from it and then how it is exploited far beyond human need.

The sweeping story that emerges is a rich, rugged Florida history featuring a memorable cast to crusty, indomitable crackers battling wild animals, rustlers, Confederate deserters, mosquitoes, starvation and hurricanes and freezes to carve a kingdom out of the swamp. But their most formidable adversary turns out to be greed, including finally their own.

Love and tenderness are here too: the hopes and passions of each new generation, friendships with the persecuted blacks and Indians, respect for the land and its wildlife.

American Heiress

Title: American Heiress

Author: Jeffrey Toobin

On February 4, 1974, Patty Hearst, a sophomore in college and heiress to the Hearst family fortune, was kidnapped by a ragtag group of self-styled revolutionaries calling itself the Symbionese Liberation Army. the already sensational story took the first of many incredible twists of April 3, when the group released a tape of Patty saying she had joined the SLA and had adopted the nom de guerre “Tania.”

The weird turns of the tale are truly astonishing–the Hearst family trying to secure Patty’s release by feeding all the people of Oakland and San Francisco for free; the bank security cameras capturing “Tania” wielding a machine gun during a robbery; a cast of characters including everyone from Bill Walton to the Black Panthers to Ronald Regan to F. Lee Bailey; the largest police shoot-out in American history; the first breaking news event to be broadcast live on television stations across the country; Patty’s year on the lam, running from authorities; and her circuslike trial, filled with theatrical courtroom confrontations and a dramatic last-minute reversal, after which the term “Stockholm Syndrome” entered the lexicon.

The saga of Patty Hearst highlighted a decade in which America seemed to be suffering a collective nervous breakdown. Based on more then a hundred interviews and thousands of previously secret documents, American Heiress thrillingly recounts the craziness of the times (there were an average of 1,500 bombings a year the early 1970s). Tobbin portrays the lunacy of the half-baked radicals of the SLA and the toxic mix of sex, politics and violence that swept up Patty Hearst and re-creates her melodramatic rtial. American Heritage examines the life of a young woman who suffered an unimaginable trauma and then made the stunning decision to join her captors’ crusade. Or did she?

Among The Headhunters

Title: Among The Headhunters

Author: Robert Lyman

Flying the notorious “Hump” route between India and China in 1943, a twin-engine plane suffered mechanical failure and crashed in a dense mountain jungle, deep within Japanese-held territory. Among the passengers and crew were celebrated CBS journalist Eric Sevareid, an Oss General Joseph “Vinegar Joe” Stilwell’s personal political adviser. Against the odds, all but one of the twenty-one peop00000le aboard the doomed aircraft survived–it remains the largest civilian evacuation of an aircraft by parachute. But they fell from the frying pan into the fire.

Disentangling themselves from their parachutes, the shocked survivors discovered that they had arrived in wild country dominated by a tribe with a special reason to hate white men. The Nagas were notorious headhunters who routinely practiced slavery and human sacrifice, their specialty being the removal of enemy heads. Japanese soldiers lay close by too, with their own brand of hatred for Americans.

Among the Headhunters tells–for the first time–the incredible true story of the adventures of these men among the Naga warriors, their sustenance form the air by the USAAF, and their ultimate rescue. It is also a story of two very different worlds colliding–young Americans, exuberant apostles of their country’s vast industrial democracy, coming face-to-face with the Naga, an ancient tribe determined to preserve its local power based opn headhunting and slaving.

All The Missing Girls and Wake Up America

All The Missing Girls

Author: Megan Mirahda

Nicolette Farrell has made a successful life for herself in Philadelphia. She has a job and a finance, both of which she must leave behind in order to go home to Cooley Ridge to care for her father. She left ten years ago, not long after her best friend, Corinne, disappeared and was never found. Now, just days after Nic returns home, another girl goes missing in Cooley Ridge, reawakening Corinne’s case and breaking open old wounds not yet healed.

All of the primary people of interest in Corinne’s disappearance are still in town. Nic’s brother, Daniel, is expecting a baby with his wife. Corinne’s former boyfriend works a the local bar. And Tyler, Nic’s ex-boyfriend is dating Annaleise Carter, who was the group’s alibi the night Corinne disappeared.

Burt now it’s Annaleise who is missing..

Telling the story backward–Day 15 to Day 1–NIc works to unravel the truth about Annaleise’s disappearance, uncovering shocking secrets about her friends, her family, and what really happened to Corinne that night ten years ago.

Title: Wake Up AMerica

Author: Eric Bolling

Grit, Merit, Providence, Individualism, Thrift–and above all pride in our country. These qualities, among others, oar the reason that hundreds of millions of people worldwide look to America for hope, inspiration, and opportunity.

But it’s precisely these virtues that are now under attack by the radical Left of Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and their followers. America as we know it is eroding before our eyes and becoming what Fox News Channel personality and cohost of The Five ERic Bolling calls a “politically correct nanny state.” The rewards for individual achievement and hard work, our basic constitutional rights, religious faith, national identity, and capitalism itself are being replaced by a dangerous socialistic ideology that is the polar opposite of what our Founding Fathers intended America to be.

Wake Up America identifies the nine core virtues of our nation and demonstrates why each one is so important to our history and our future. It’s time for us to wake up and heed the clear-cut warning signs that America is heading in the wrong direction–before we’re too far gone.

A celebration of America that is informed by Eric Bolling’s inspiring personal story. Wake Up America is an urgent call to arms for America’s citizens to preserve what makes us great.


Title: MacArthur At War

Arthur: Walter R. Borneman

MacArthur At War chronicles General Douglas MacArthur’s rapid emergence as an iconic global hero. I the first book to focus intensively on the decisive four-year period of MacArthur’s lie during World War II, Walter R. Borneman examines an America grinding against its enemies in the Pacific Theater giving special attention to the relationships between MacArthur and his family and staff, his colleagues in the war effort such as Eisenhower, Marshall, Leahy, and Halsey, and political leaders including Churchill and Roosevelt.

On December 7, 1941, General MacArthur was a military officer whose career had little to recommend it to the history books. Yet within six months, he was hailed as the hero of Bataan and Corregidor–stunning American defeats though they were–and had come to personify the war effort in the Pacific.

One pithy quote–“I shall return”–enshrined him as a legend. But the full story went deeper. Following the destruction of his air force after Pearl Harbor and the bungled supplying of Bataan, MacArthur looked frozen at best. For a time, MacArthur himself was certain he would meet his end before the war was over. There were other moments when his strategic daring seemed to defy conventional logic: his audacious surprise landings and the aggressive leaps across the Pacific. And then there were the general’s personal appearances at the front, charging in from the ocean to announce dramatic victories–sometimes as the bullets were still flying.

MacArthur at War deftly shows why, as architect of stunning triumphs as well as inexplicable defeats, Douglas MacArthur remains the most intriguing military leader of the twentieth century–an inspiring and complex hero.

Bill O’Reilly’s Legends Lies

Title: Bill O’Reilly’s Legends Lies

Author: Bill O’Reilly

The American Revolution was not inevitable nor was it a unanimous cause. It pitted neighbors against one another as loyalists and colonial rebels faced off for their lives and futures.
These were the times that tried men’s souls: mo one was on stable ground and few could be trusted. Through the remarkable lives of the first Americans, Legends and Lies: The Patriots reveals the contentious arguments that turned friends into foes and the land into a war zone.

From the riots over a child’s murder that led to the Boston Massacre, to the Continental Army’s first victory under George Washington’s leadership, to the little-known southern guerrilla campaign of “Swamp Fox” Francis Marion, to Benedict Arnold’s audacious betrayal, David Fisher explores the amazing combination of resourcefulness, perseverance, strategy, and luck that resulted in the creation of a country that would go on to become the most powerful in the world.

Despite the casualty-riddled victory of the Revolution, the ruthless fight for democracy wasn’t over. Moving from the combat zone to congress, it was a political battle as much as a physical one. With the patriots grappling to create a government, one for and by the people, the origin story of the United States of America was only starting to be written. Here, in the enthralling companion to the second season of Bill O’Reilly’s historical docudrama TV series, Legends and Lies: The Patriots reveals the riveting truth behind the stories you think you know and others that will astonish you.

Heavily illustrated with spectacular artwork that further brings this vital history to life, and told in the same fast-paced immersive narrative as the first Legends and Lies, The Patriots is an irresistible adventure-packed journey back into one of the most storied moments of our nation’s rich history.

The Greatest Generation Speaks

Title: The Greatest Generation Speaks

Author: Tom Brokaw

“I first began to appreciate fully all we owed the World War II generation while I was covering the fortieth and fiftieth anniversaries of D-Day for NBC News. When I wrote in The Greatest Generation about the men and women who came out of the Depression, who won great victories and made lasting sacrifices in World War II and then returned home to begin building the world we have today—the people I called the Greatest Generation—it was my way of saying thank you. I felt that this tribute was long overdue, but I was not prepared for the avalanche of letters and responses touched off by that book.

“Members of that generation were, characteristically, grateful for the attention and modest about their own experiences in the Depression and during the war years.

“Their children and grandchildren were eager to share the lessons and insights they gained from the stories they heard about the lives of a generation now passing on top swiftly. They wanted to say thank you in their own way. I had wanted to write a book about America, and now America was writing back.

“The letters, many of them written in firm Palmer penmanship on flowered stationery, have given me a much richer understanding not only of those difficult years but also of my own life. They give us new, intensely personal perspectives of a momentous time in our history. They are the voices of a generation that has given so much and wants to share even more.

“Some of the letters were written from the front during the war, or from families to their loved ones in harm’s way in distant places. There were first hand accounts of battles and poignant reflections on loneliness, exuberant expressions of love and somber accounts of loss.

“It seems that everyone in that generation has something worthwhile to contribute, and so we have included some pages in The Greatest Generation Speaks for others to share memories at once inspirational and instructive.

“If we are to heed the past to prepare for the future, we should listen to these quiet voices of a generation that speaks to us of duty and honor, sacrifice and accomplishment. I hope more of their stories will be preserved and cherished as reminders of all that we owe them and all that we can learn from them.”
Tom Brokaw


Title:  Apostle

Author:  Tom Bissell

A profound and moving journey into the heart of Christianity that explores the mysterious and often paradoxical lives and legacies of the Twelve Apostles–a book both for those of the faith and for others who seek to understand Christianity from the outside.

Peter, Mathew, Thomas, John: Who were these men?  What was their relationship to Jesus?  Tom Bissell provides rich and surprising answers to these ancient, elusive questions.  He examines not just who these men were (and weren’t), but also how their identities have taken shape over the course of two millennia.

Ultimately, Bissell finds that the story of the apostles is the story of early Christianity: its competing versions of Jesus’s ministry,  countless schisms, and its ultimate evolution from an obscure Jewish sect to the global faith we know today in all its forms and permutations.  In his quest to understand the underpinnings of the world’s largest religion, Bissell embarks on a years-long pilgrimage to the supposed tombs of the Twelve Apostles.  He travels from Jerusalem and Rome to Turkey, Greece, Spain, France, India, and Kyrgyzstan, vividly capturing the rich diversity of Christianity’s worldwide reach.  along the way, he engages with a host of characters–priest, paupers, a Vatican archaeologist, a Palestinian taxi driver, a Russian monk–posing sharp questions that range from the religious to the philosophical to the political.

Written with warmth, empathy, and rare acumen, Apostle is a brilliant synthesis of travel writing, biblical history, and a deep, lifelong relationship with Christianity.  The result is an unusual, erudite, and at times hilarious book–a religious, intellectual, and personal ad0venture fit for believers, scholars, and wanderers alike.

The First Congress

Title:  The First Congress

Author:  Fergus M. Bordewich

When the members of the First Congress met in New York, the new nation was still fragile, riven by sectional differences, hobbled by competing currencies, crushed by debt, and stitched together only tentatively by the new Constitution. The Constitution provided a set of principles by offered few instructions about how the government should operate, leaving it to Congress and the president to create the machinery of government.  As James Madison put it, “We are in a wilderness without a single footstep to guide us.”  Had Congress failed in its work, the United States as we know it might not exist.

Along with Madison, powerful men such as Roger Sherman, Oliver Ellsworth, Elbridge Gerry, and Robert Morris often clashed, sometimes savagely, but ultimately they forged a consensus that gave strength and credibility to the new government.  Fergus M. Bordewich brings alive the passions and conflicts of these extraordinary men, who with President George Washington and Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton, breathed life into the Constitution.  Bordewich immerses us in the dramatic debates over the Gill of Rights, the creation of the president’s cabinet the adoption of a new capitalist financial system, and the acrimonious argument over the new capital, among many other issues.

Not all went well.  Washington was astonished when Congress chose to debate rather than instantly endorse some of his proposals.  John Adams antagonized friends and foes alike, leaving the vice presidency permanently diminished.  Madison, the acknowledged leader of the House of Representatives clashed with Hamilton over their competing visions of government.  Quakers initiated the first lobbying campaign in American history, challenging Congress over the greatest issue that it failed to resolve: slavery.

Some of the issues the First Congress faced still challenge us: literal versus liberal interpretations of the Constitution, conflict between the states’ rights and federal power, protection of individual rights, and many more.  How Congress and the president achieved as much as they did is a story that could not be more timely in our era of hyperpartisanship and governmental gridlock.