A World Ablaze: The Rise of Martin Luther and the Birth of the Reformation
By Harline, Craig
October 2017 marks five hundred years since Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the church door in Wittenberg and launched the Protestant Reformation. At least, that's what the legend says. But with a figure like Martin Luther, who looms so large in the historical imagination, it's hard to separate the legend from the life, or even sometimes to separate assorted legends from each other. Over the centuries, Luther the man has given way to Luther the icon, a polished bronze figure on a pedestal. In A World Ablaze, Craig Harline introduces us to the flesh-and-blood Martin Luther. Harline tells the riveting story of the first crucial years of the accidental crusade that would make Luther a legendary figure. He didn't start out that way; Luther was a sometimes-cranky friar and professor who worried endlessly about the fate of his eternal soul.
A Moonless, Starless Sky: Ordinary Women and Men Fighting Extremism in Africa
By Okeowo, Alexis
"Absolutely essential reading, period."---Alexandra Fuller, bestselling author of Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight
In the tradition of Behind the Beautiful Forevers, this is a masterful, humane work of literary journalism by New Yorker staff writer Alexis Okeowo--a vivid narrative of Africans who are courageously resisting their continent's wave of fundamentalism.
In A Moonless, Starless Sky Okeowo weaves together four narratives that form a powerful tapestry of modern Africa: a young couple, kidnap victims of Joseph Kony's LRA; a Mauritanian waging a lonely campaign against modern-day slavery; a women's basketball team flourishing amid war-torn Somalia; and a vigilante who takes up arms against the extremist group Boko Haram. This debut book by one of America's most acclaimed young journalists illuminates the inner lives of ordinary people doing the extraordinary--lives that are too often hidden, underreported, or ignored by the rest of the world.
The American: A Memoir of Hope and Sacrifice
By KHAN, KHIZR
This inspiring memoir by the Muslim American Gold Star father and captivating DNC speaker is the story of one family's pursuit of the American dream.
"Khan's aspirational memoir reminds us all why Americans should welcome newcomers from all lands." - Kirkus Reviews
In fewer than three hundred words, Khizr Khan electrified viewers around the world when he took the stage at the 2016 Democratic National Convention. And when he offered to lend Donald Trump his own much-read and dog-eared pocket Constitution, his gesture perfectly encapsulated the feelings of millions. But who was that man, standing beside his wife, extolling the promises and virtues of the U.S. Constitution?
In this urgent and timeless immigrant story, we learn that Khizr Khan has been many things. He was the oldest of ten children born to farmers in Pakistan, and a curious and thoughtful boy who listened rapt as his grandfather recited Rumi beneath the moonlight. He was a university student who read the Declaration of Independence and was awestruck by what might be possible in life. He was a hopeful suitor, awkwardly but earnestly trying to win the heart of a woman far out of his league. He was a brilliant and diligent young family man who worked two jobs to save enough money to put himself through Harvard Law School. He was a loving father who, having instilled in his children the ideals that brought him and his wife to America - the sense of shared dignity and mutual responsibility - tragically lost his son, an Army captain killed while protecting his base camp in Iraq. He was and is a patriot, and a fierce advocate for the rights, dignities, and values enshrined in the American system.
An American Family shows us who Khizr Khan and millions of other American immigrants are, and why - especially in these tumultuous times - we must not be afraid to step forward for what we believe in when it matters most.
Praise for Khizr Khan
"I'd like to say to Mr. and Mrs. Khan: Thank you for immigrating to America. We're a better country because of you. And you are certainly right; your son was the best of America, and the memory of his sacrifice will make us a better nation - and he will never be forgotten." - Senator John McCain
Andrew Jackson and the Miracle of New Orleans: The Battle That Shaped America's Destiny
By Kilmeade, Brian
Another pop history pageturner from the New York Times bestselling authors of George Washington's Secret Six and Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates.
When the British fought the young United States during the War of 1812, they knew that taking the mouth of the Mississippi River was the key to crippling their former colony. Capturing the city of New Orleans and stopping trade up the river sounded like a simple task--New Orleans was far away from Washington, out of sight and out of mind for the politicians.
What the British didn't count on was the power of General Andrew Jackson. A formidable military leader with a grudge against the British and a heart for the common man, he rallied the divided inhabitants of New Orleans, bringing together Frenchmen, Native Americans, freed slaves, pirates, and Kentucky woodsmen.
In their now trademark fashion, Kilmeade and Yaeger will trace the development of Jackson's character and bring the reader to the scenes of one of the most pivotal--and surprising--battles in American history.
Queens of the Conquest: England's Medieval Queens Book One
By WEIR, ALISON
The lives of England's medieval queens were packed with incident - love, intrigue, betrayal, adultery, and warfare - but their stories have been largely obscured by centuries of myth and moralizing. Now, in the first volume of an exciting new series, bestselling author and esteemed biographer Alison Weir provides a fresh perspective and restores these women to their rightful place in history.
Spanning the years from the Norman conquest in 1066 to the dawn of a new era in 1154, when Eleanor of Aquitaine, the first Plantagenet queen, was crowned, this epic book brings to vivid life five queens: Matilda of Flanders, wife of William the Conqueror, the first Norman king; Matilda of Scotland, revered as "the common mother of all England"; Adeliza of Louvain, the young beauty whom the aging Henry I married to get an heir; Matilda of Boulogne, one of the most desirable brides in Europe, who fought a war on behalf of her husband, King Stephen, against the Empress Maud, England's first female ruler and this book's fifth queen, whose son King Henry II would go on to found the Plantagenet dynasty. More than those who came before or after them, these Norman consorts were recognized as equal sharers in sovereignty. Without the support of their wives, the Norman kings could not have ruled their disparate dominions as effectively.
Drawing from the most reliable contemporary sources, Weir skillfully strips away centuries of romantic lore to share a balanced and authentic take on the importance of these female monarchs. What emerges is a seamless royal saga, an all-encompassing portrait of English medieval queenship, and a sweeping panorama of British history.
Praise for Alison Weir
The Lost Tudor Princess
"This is a substantial, detailed biography of a fascinating woman who lived her extraordinary life to the full, taking desperate chances for love and for ambition. It will appeal to anyone with an interest in the powerful women of the Tudor period." - Philippa Gregory, The Washington Post
"Weir balances historical data with emotional speculation to illuminate the ferocious dynastic ambitions and will to power that earned her subject a place in the spotlight." - The New York Times Book Review
Elizabeth of York
"Weir tells Elizabeth's story well. . . . She is a meticulous scholar. . . . Most important, Weir sincerely admires her subject, doing honor to an almost forgotten queen." - The New York Times Book Review
"In Weir's skillful hands, Elizabeth of York returns to us, full-bodied and three-dimensional. This is a must-read for Tudor fans!" - Historical Novels Review
"This nuanced, smart, and assertive biography reclaims the life of a Tudor matriarch." - Publishers Weekly
"Weir has achieved the enviable skill of blending the necessary forensic and analytical tasks of academia with the passionate engagement that avocational history lovers crave." - Bookreporter
Orders to Kill: The Putin Regime and Political Murder
By Knight, Amy
Ever since Vladamir Putin came to power in Russia, his critics have turned up dead on a regular basis. According to Amy Knight, this is no coincidence. In Orders to Kill, the KGB scholar ties dozens of victims together to expose a campaign of political murder during Putin's reign that even includes terrorist attacks such as the Boston Marathon Bombing.
Russia is no stranger to political murder, from the tsars to the Soviets to the Putin regime, during which many journalists, activists and political opponents have been killed. Kremlin defenders like to say, "There is no proof," however convenient these deaths have been for Putin, and, unsurprisingly, because he controls all investigations, Putin is never seen holding a smoking gun,. But Amy Knight offers mountains of circumstantial evidence that point to Kremlin involvement.
Called "the West's foremost scholar" of the KGB by The New York Times, Knight traces Putin's journey from the Federal Security Service (FSB) in the late 1990s to his subsequent rise to absolute power as the Kremlin's leader today, detailing the many bodies that paved the way. She offers new information about the most famous victims, such as Alexander Litvinenko, the former FSB officer who was poisoned while living in London, and the statesman Boris Nemtsov, who was murdered outside the Kremlin in 2015, and she puts faces on many others who are less well-known in the West or forgotten. She shows that terrorist attacks in Russia, as well as the Boston Marathon bombing in the U.S., are part of the same campaign. And she explores what these murders mean for Putin's future, for Russia and for the West, where in America Donald Trump has claimed, "Nobody has proven that he's killed anyone....He's always denied it. ... It has not been proven that he's killed reporters."
Orders to Kill is a story long hidden in plain sight with huge ramifications.
The Shattered Lens: A War Photographer's 81 Days of Captivity in Syria -- A Story of Survival
By ALPEYRIE, JONATHAN
Discover a gripping and harrowing tale of war and torture from the man who lived it in this powerful memoir by the celebrated war journalist who not only documented over a dozen conflict zones worldwide but was also captured and held hostage by Syrian rebels in 2013.
Capturing history was Jonathan Alpeyrie's job but he never expected to become a news story himself. For a decade, the Frenchâ€‘American photojournalist had weaved in and out of over a dozen conflict zones. He photographed civilians being chased out of their homes, military trucks roving over bulletâ€‘torn battlefields, and too many bodies to count. But on April 29, 2013, during his third assignment to Syria, Alpeyrie was betrayed by his fixer and handed over to a band of Syrian rebels.
For eightyâ€‘one days he was bound, blindfolded, and beaten. Not too far away, President Bashar alâ€‘Assad's forces and those in opposition continued their bitter and bloody civil war. Over the course of his captivity, Alpeyrie kept his spirits up and strived to see, without his camera lenses, the humanity in his captors. He took part in their activities, taught them how to swim, prayed with them, and tried learning their language and culture. He also discovered a dormant faith within himself, one that strengthened him throughout the ordeal.
The Shattered Lens is the firsthand account of a photojournalist who has always answered the next adrenalineâ€‘pumping assignment. Yet, during his headlineâ€‘making kidnapping, he was left to consider the value and risks of his career, ponder the violent conflicts he had seen, and put the historical events over which we have no control into perspective.
Spy Schools: How the CIA, FBI, and Foreign Intelligence Secretly Exploit America's Universities
By Golden, Daniel
Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Daniel Golden exposes how academia has become the center of foreign and domestic espionage -- and why that is troubling news for our nation's security.
Grounded in extensive research and reporting, Spy Schools reveals how academia has emerged as a frontline in the global spy game. In a knowledge-based economy, universities are repositories of valuable information and research, where brilliant minds of all nationalities mingle freely with few questions asked. Intelligence agencies have always recruited bright undergraduates, but now, in an era when espionage increasingly requires specialized scientific or technological expertise, they're wooing higher-level academics -- not just as analysts, but also for clandestine operations.
Golden uncovers unbelievable campus activity -- from the CIA placing agents undercover in Harvard Kennedy School classes and staging academic conferences to persuade Iranian nuclear scientists to defect, to a Chinese graduate student at Duke University stealing research for an invisibility cloak, and a tiny liberal arts college in Marietta, Ohio, exchanging faculty with China's most notorious spy school. He shows how relentlessly and ruthlessly this practice has permeated our culture, not just inside the US, but internationally as well. Golden, acclaimed author of The Price of Admission, blows the lid off this secret culture of espionage and its consequences at home and abroad.
Alone: Britain, Churchill, and Dunkirk: Defeat Into Victory
By KORDA, MICHAEL
Combining epic history with rich family stories, Michael Korda chronicles the outbreak of World War Two and the great events that led to Dunkirk.
An epic of remarkable originality, Alone captures the heroism of World War II as movingly as any book in recent memory. Bringing to vivid life the world leaders, generals, and ordinary citizens who fought on both sides of the war, Michael Korda, the best-selling author of Clouds of Glory, chronicles the outbreak of hostilities, recalling as a prescient young boy the enveloping tension that defined pre-Blitz London, and then as a military historian the great events that would alter the course of the twentieth century.
For indeed, May 1940 was a month like no other. The superior German war machine blazed into France, as the Maginot Line, supposedly "as firmly fixed in place as the Pyramids," crumbled in days. With the fall of Holland and Belgium, the imminent fall of Paris, the British Army stranded at Dunkirk, and Neville Chamberlain's government in political freefall, Winston Churchill became prime minister on this historical nadir of May 10, 1941. Britain, diplomatically isolated, was suddenly the only nation with the courage and the resolve to defy Hitler.
Against this vast historical canvas, Korda relates what happened and why. We first meet him at the age of six, surrounded by his glamorous movie family: his stage actress mother; his elegant father, Vincent, soon to receive an Academy Award; and his devoted Nanny Low, with whom he cites his evening prayers. Even the cheery BBC bulletins that Michael listened to every night could not mask the impending catastrophe, the German invasion so certain that the young boy, carrying his passport on a string around his neck, was evacuated to Canada on an ocean liner full of children.
Such alarm was hardly exaggerated. No one, after all, could have ever imagined that the most unlikely flotilla of destroyers -- Dutch barges, fishing boats, yachts, and even rowboats -- would rescue over 300,000 men off the beach at Dunkirk and home to England. The miraculous return of the army was greeted with a renewed call for courage, and in the months that followed, the lives of tens of millions would be inexorably transformed, often tragically so, by these epochal weeks of May 1940.
It is this pivotal turning point in world history that Korda captures with such immediacy in Alone, a work that triumphantly demonstrates that even the most calamitous defeats can become the most legendary victories.
12 maps; 68 illustrations
So Great a Prince
By JOHNSON, LAUREN
A vivid and original portrait of the year the young Henry VIII assumes the throne, revealing a kingdom at a crossroads between two dynamic monarchs and two ages of history.
England, 1509. Henry VII, the first Tudor monarch, is dead; his successor, the seventeen-year-old Henry VIII, offers hope of renewal and reconciliation after the corruption and repression of the last years of his father's reign.
The kingdom Henry inherits is not the familiar Tudor England of Protestantism and playwrights. It is still more than two decades away from the English Reformation, and ancient traditions persist: boy bishops, pilgrimages, Corpus Christi pageants, the jewel-decked shrine at Canterbury. So Great a Prince offers a fascinating portrait of a country at a crossroads between two powerful monarchs and between the worlds of the late Middle Ages and the Renaissance.
Historian Lauren Johnson tells the story of 1509 not just from the perspective of the young king and his court, but from the point of view of merchants, ploughmen, apprentices, laundresses, and foreign workers. She looks at these early Tudor lives through the rhythms of annual rituals, juxtaposing political events in Westminster and the palaces of southeast England with the religious, agrarian, and social events that punctuated the lives of the people of young Henry VIII's England.