Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century by Jessica BruderAuthor Jessica Bruder, who teaches at the Columbia School of Journalism, spent several years traveling with older Americans who have become itinerant workers in order to make ends meet. In Nomadland, she describes how they assume a "wheel estate" (instead of "real estate") existence as they travel from one seasonal job to the next, exchanging information on safe camping sites and enjoying the camaraderie of the road. Bruder vividly and sympathetically characterizes these "workampers" as she critiques the financial systems that have led them to adopt this solution.
A First-Class Catastrophe: The Road to Black Monday, the Worst Day in Wall Street History by Diana B. HenriquesOn Monday, October 19, 1987, "Black Monday," the financial market fell 22.6 percent. It was the worst day in Wall Street history -- more so than the biggest decline during the crash of 1929. Offering accessible, jargon-free explanations, author Diana Henriques depicts the crisis in terms of changes in silver trading, the increased significance of financial futures trading, and the introduction of both institutional investors and computer-driven trades. She also demonstrates why the regulatory agencies were unprepared to deal with this perfect financial storm and argues for the establishment of more effective regulation.
The Templars: The Rise and Spectacular Fall of God's Holy Warriors by Dan JonesIn 1119, after the First Crusade, a remnant of Christian warriors formed a new kind of religious order: the Knights of Templar, devoted to protecting pilgrims from Europe to the Holy Land. An enduring legend grew up around the Templars, producing speculation, conspiracy theories, and eventually, charges of heresy. In The Templars, historian Dan Jones has separated myth from reality and allegation from truth. Fans of medieval history, especially those intrigued by the Knights Templar, won't want to miss this engaging and unbiased account.
The Far Away Brothers: Two Young Migrants and the Making of an American Life by Lauren MarkhamAuthor Lauren Markham was working as a counselor in an Oakland, California school district when she met identical twins Raúl and Ernesto Flores. The teenagers had fled El Salvador to escape deadly gang violence, knowing no English and unprepared for American society. Markham traces their harrowing journey to the U.S. and their struggles to survive in a strange land, shedding light on the difficulties of undocumented minors; she also offers details on migrant shelters, the Texas border wall, and court proceedings in immigration cases.
The Cold War: A World History by Odd Arne WestadThe immediate historical roots of the Cold War sprouted after World War II, when Soviet-led countries faced off against the U.S. and its allies. Though the division of Germany into East and West, the Iron Curtain cutting off Eastern Europe, and the American anticommunist frenzy of the 1940s and '50s come readily to mind, award-winning historian Odd Arne Westad traces the Cold War's origins to the Industrial Revolution and illuminates its effects throughout the world. In a starred review, Library Journal calls this "one of the best written" books on the subject.
The Blood Telegram: Nixon, Kissinger, and a Forgotten Genocide by Gary Jonathan BassIn this award-winning account, Princeton University professor Gary Bass details a 1971 genocide in East Pakistan (now Bangladesh). Drawing on extensive research, including President Richard Nixon's White House recordings, Bass renders a powerful indictment of Nixon and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, who preferred, during the Cold War, to align with authoritarian Pakistan against democratic, liberal India (supported by the Soviet Union). Despite outcries from State Department Officials and others, they refused to acknowledge or take action against the atrocities in East Pakistan. In The Blood Telegram, Bass "holds these leaders to a much-needed reckoning" (Kirkus Reviews).
The Zhivago Affair: The Kremlin, the CIA, and the Battle Over a Forbidden Book by Peter FinnDoctor Zhivago, a novel published in translation during the late 1950s by Russian author Boris Pasternak, created a sensation in the West with its negative depiction of the Russian Revolution. The CIA recognized that the book could promote anticommunist sentiment within the Soviet Union, so they arranged to produce copies of the banned original Russian text and sneak them into Russia. The Zhivago Affair relates the exciting story of the book-smuggling, the severe consequences for Pasternak and his family, and the international controversy over the novel.
The Billion Dollar Spy: A True Story of Cold War Espionage and Betrayal by David E. HoffmanIn 1978, at the height of the Cold War, Adolf Tolkachev, a Soviet military engineer, began passing details of the USSR's technological developments to an American CIA agent in Moscow. Tolkachev's information allowed the U.S. to match and surpass Soviet weapons development, justifying the astronomical sums the CIA paid him. In this riveting, well-researched book, author David Hoffman traces the heart-stopping risks that marked both Tolkachev's activities and those of the CIA. The Billion Dollar Spy brings Tolkachev to life while revealing some of the most significant -- and dangerous -- intelligence gathering of the era.
The Nazis Next Door: How America Became a Safe Haven for Hitler's Men by Eric LichtblauWidely acknowledged to have been part of an anticommunist Cold War strategy, the CIA's quietly executed project dubbed "Paperclip" brought a few German scientists to the U.S. to aid in American weaponry and rocket development. However, recent discoveries reveal that much larger numbers of Nazis (perhaps 10,000) immigrated to the U.S. with the government's assistance. In The Nazis Next Door, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Eric Lichtblau chronicles American policy regarding Holocaust collaborators over several decades. This "riveting account" is an "essential" book for Cold War buffs, according to Library Journal.
Ike's Bluff: President Eisenhower's Secret Battle to Save the World by Evan ThomasIn Ike's Bluff, acclaimed journalist Evan Thomas dissects President Dwight Eisenhower's strategy of ambiguity about the use of atomic weapons. Concealing his keen tactical thinking behind an affable and sometimes bumbling manner, Eisenhower kept the Chinese and Soviet leadership of the early 1950s on edge while restraining the hawks in his administration who were in favor of nuclear strikes. Thomas details Eisenhower's policy moves and vividly depicts his temperament, persuasively arguing that his approach prevented World War III.
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