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Biography / Autobiography

American Band: Music, Dreams, and Coming of Age in the Heartland

American Band: Music, Dreams, and Coming of Age in the Heartland

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In the spirit of Friday Night Lights, Laine presents the stirring story of a marching band from small-town middle America in this snapshot of a heartland community and its triumphs, disappointment, and drama.
American Berserk

American Berserk

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After publishing his third novel, Motor City Burning (Pegasus Books, 2014), Bill Morris turned his attention to researching, remembering and reliving some of the spectacularly lurid stories he covered in Chambersburg nearly forty years ago. These included arson, rape, murder, kidnapping, attempted suicide, the paranormal, prison breaks - all of it leavened by the more prosaic aspects of life in a picturesque small town in central Pennsylvania's Cumberland Valley. He has now collected his memories - along with explorations into the slippery nature of memory - in a non-fiction book he's called American Berserk: A Cub Reporter, a Small-Town Daily, the Schizo '70s.

American Bride in Kabul

American Bride in Kabul

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Few westerners will ever be able to understand Muslim or Afghan society unless they are part of a Muslim family. Twenty years old and in love, Phyllis Chesler, a Jewish-American girl from Brooklyn, embarked on an adventure that has lasted for more than a half-century. In 1961, when she arrived in Kabul with her Afghan bridegroom, authorities took away her American passport. Chesler was now the property of her husband's family and had no rights of citizenship. Back in Afghanistan, her husband, a wealthy, westernized foreign college student with dreams of reforming his country, reverted to traditional and tribal customs. Chesler found herself unexpectedly trapped in a posh polygamous family, with no chance of escape. She fought against her seclusion and lack of freedom, her Afghan family's attempts to convert her from Judaism to Islam, and her husband's wish to permanently tie her to the country through childbirth. Drawing upon her personal diaries, Chesler recounts her ordeal, the nature of gender apartheid--and her longing to explore this beautiful, ancient, and exotic country and culture. Chesler nearly died there but she managed to get out, returned to her studies in America, and became an author and an ardent activist for women's rights throughout the world. An American Bride in Kabul is the story of how a naive American girl learned to see the world through eastern as well as western eyes and came to appreciate Enlightenment values. This dramatic tale re-creates a time gone by, a place that is no more, and shares the way in which Chesler turned adversity into a passion for world-wide social, educational, and political reform.

American Caesar: Douglas MacArthur 1880-1964

American Caesar: Douglas MacArthur 1880-1964

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The acclaimed biographer and historian examines the career of the legendary soldier-hero and paradoxical four-star general, a military genius who suffered from lapses in strategy.
American Chica

American Chica

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In her father's Peruvian family, Marie Arana was taught to be a proper lady, yet in her mother's American family she learned to shoot a gun, break a horse, and snap a chicken's neck for dinner. Arana shuttled easily between these deeply separate cultures for years. But only when she immigrated with her family to the United States did she come to understand that she was a hybrid American whose cultural identity was split in half. Coming to terms with this split is at the heart of this graceful, beautifully realized portrait of a child who "was a north-south collision, a New World fusion. An American Chica."

Here are two vastly different landscapes: Peru--earthquake-prone, charged with ghosts of history and mythology--and the sprawling prairie lands of Wyoming. In these rich terrains resides a colorful cast of family members who bring Arana's historia to life...her proud grandfather who one day simply stopped coming down the stairs; her dazzling grandmother, "clicking through the house as if she were making her way onstage." But most important are Arana's parents: he a brilliant engineer, she a gifted musician. For more than half a century these two passionate, strong-willed people struggled to overcome the bicultural tensions in their marriage and, finally, to prevail.

American Childhood

American Childhood

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A book that instantly captured the hearts of readers across the country, "An American Childhood" is Pulitzer Prize-winning author Annie Dillard's poignant, vivid memoir of growing up in Pittsburgh in the 1950s.
American Cocktail

American Cocktail

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This is the rollicking, never-before-published memoir of a fascinating woman with an uncanny knack for being in the right place in the most interesting times. Of racially mixed heritage, Anita Reynolds was proudly African American but often passed for Indian, Mexican, or Creole. Actress, dancer, model, literary critic, psychologist, but above all free-spirited provocateur, she was, as her Parisian friends nicknamed her, an "American cocktail."

One of the first black stars of the silent era, she appeared in Hollywood movies with Rudolph Valentino, attended Charlie Chaplin's anarchist meetings, and studied dance with Ruth St. Denis. She moved to New York in the 1920s and made a splash with both Harlem Renaissance elites and Greenwich Village bohemians. An émigré in Paris, she fell in with the Left Bank avant garde, befriending Antonin Artaud, Man Ray, and Pablo Picasso. Next, she took up residence as a journalist in Barcelona during the Spanish Civil War and witnessed firsthand the growing menace of fascism. In 1940, as the Nazi panzers closed in on Paris, Reynolds spent the final days before the French capitulation as a Red Cross nurse, afterward making a mad dash for Lisbon to escape on the last ship departing Europe.

In prose that perfectly captures the globetrotting nonchalance of its author, American Cocktail presents a stimulating, unforgettable self-portrait of a truly extraordinary woman.

American Crucifixion: The Murder of Joseph Smith and the Fate of the Mormon Church

American Crucifixion: The Murder of Joseph Smith and the Fate of the Mormon Church

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On June 27, 1844, a mob stormed the jail in the dusty frontier town of Carthage, Illinois. Clamorous and angry, they were hunting down a man they saw as a grave threat to their otherwise quiet lives: the founding prophet of Mormonism, Joseph Smith. They wanted blood.

At thirty-nine years old, Smith had already lived an outsized life. In addition to starting his own religion and creating his own "Golden Bible"--the Book of Mormon--he had worked as a water-dowser and treasure hunter. He'd led his people to Ohio, then Missouri, then Illinois, where he founded a city larger than fledgling Chicago. He was running for president. And, secretly, he had married more than thirty women.

In American Crucifixion, Alex Beam tells how Smith went from charismatic leader to public enemy: How his most seismic revelation--the doctrine of polygamy--created a rift among his people; how that schism turned to violence; and how, ultimately, Smith could not escape the consequences of his ambition and pride.

Mormonism is America's largest and most enduring native religion, and the "martyrdom" of Joseph Smith is one of its transformational events. Smith's brutal assassination propelled the Mormons to colonize the American West and claim their place in the mainstream of American history. American Crucifixion is a gripping story of scandal and violence, with deep roots in our national identity.

American daredevil

American daredevil

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With a polished walking stick and neatly pressed trousers, Richard Halliburton served as an intrepid globetrotting guide for millions of Americans in the 1920s and '30s. Readers waited with bated breath for each new article and book he wrote. During his career, Halliburton climbed the Matterhorn, nearly fell out of his plane while shooting the first aerial photographs of Mount Everest, and became the first person to swim the full length of the Panama Canal.

With his matinee idol looks, the Tennessee native was a media darling in an era of optimism and increased social openness. But as the Great Depression and looming war pushed America toward social conservatism, Halliburton more actively worked to hide his homosexuality, burnishing his image as a masculine trailblazer. No middle ground existed regarding Halliburton--he was either adored or abhorred. Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald called the Princeton graduate a poseur, a symbol of nouveau riche depravity. But most found his daredevil persona irresistible.

As chronicled in American Daredevil, Halliburton harnessed the media of his day to gain and maintain a widespread following long before our age of the twenty-four-hour news cycle, and thus became the first adventure journalist. And during the darkest hours of the Great Depression, Halliburton did something remarkable: he inspired generations of authors, journalists, and everyday people who dreamed of fame and glory to explore the world.

American Daughter

American Daughter

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The sharp and surprising true story of a woman who finally sets out to understand her past, and the mother she had one day hoped to forget. Full of unexpected twists and unbelievable revelations, American Daughter is an immersive memoir that will have you on the edge of your seat to the very last page.

For years, Stephanie Plymale, successful CEO and interior designer, kept her past a fiercely guarded secret. Only her husband knew that her childhood was fraught with every imaginable hardship: neglect, hunger, poverty, homelessness, truancy, foster homes, a harrowing lack of medical care, and worse. Stephanie, in turn, knew very little about the past of her mother, who was in and out of jails and psych wards for most of Stephanie's formative years. All this changed when a series of shocking revelations forced Stephanie to revisit her tortured past and revise the meaning of every aspect of her compromised childhood.

American Daughter is the extraordinary true story of a young girl growing up on the wrong side of the American Dream. Stephanie has slept in blankets on the floor of crowded apartments, lived in the back seat of a car with her siblings, and spent decades looking over her shoulder at a mother who might just as easily hug or harm her. American Daughter is at once a moving account of a troubled mother-daughter relationship and a meditation on resilience, transcendence, and ultimately, redemption.

American Desperado

American Desperado

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In 2008 veteran journalist Evan Wright, acclaimed for his "New York Times "bestselling book "Generation Kill "and co-writer of the Emmy-winning HBO series it spawned," " began a series of conversations with super-criminal Jon Roberts, star of the fabulously successful documentary "Cocaine Cowboys. "Those conversations would last three years, during which time Wright came to realize that Roberts was much more than the de-facto "transportation chief" of the Medellin Cartel during the 1980s, much more than a facilitator of a national drug epidemic. As Wright's tape recorder whirred and Roberts unburdened himself of "hundreds "of jaw-dropping tales, it became clear that perhaps no one in history had broken so many laws with such willful abandon.
Roberts, in fact, seemed to be a prodigy of criminality - but one with a remarkable self-awareness and a fierce desire to protect his son from following the same path.
"American Desperado "is Roberts' no-holds-barred account of being born into Mafia royalty, witnessing his first murder at the age of seven, becoming a hunter-assassin in Vietnam, returning to New York to become -- at age 22 -- one of the city's leading nightclub impresarios, then journeying to Miami where in a few short years he would rise to become the Medellin Cartel's most effective smuggler.
But that's just "half "the tale.
The roster of Roberts' friends and acquaintances reads like a Who's Who of the latter half of the 20th century and includes everyone from Jimi Hendrix, Richard Pryor, and O.J. Simpson to Carlo Gambino, Meyer Lansky, and Manuel Noriega.
Nothing if not colorful, Roberts surrounded himself with beautiful women, drove his souped-up street car at a top speed of 180 miles per hour, shared his bed with a 200-pound cougar, and employed a 6"6" professional wrestler called "The Thing" as his bodyguard. Ultimately, Roberts became so powerful that he attracted the attention of the Republican Party's leadership, was wooed by them, and even was co-opted by the CIA for which he carried out its secret agenda.
Scrupulously documented and relentlessly propulsive, this collaboration between a bloodhound journalist and one of the most audacious criminals ever is like no other crime book you've ever read. Jon Roberts may be the only criminal who changed the course of American history.
American Dreamer: The Life of Henry A. Wallace

American Dreamer: The Life of Henry A. Wallace

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The great politician, agriculturalist, economist, author, and businessman--loved and reviled, and finally now revealed. The first full biography of Henry A. Wallace, a visionary intellectual and one of this century's most important and controversial figures. Henry Agard Wallace was a geneticist of international renown, a prolific author, a groundbreaking economist, and a businessman whose company paved the way for a worldwide agricultural revolution. He also held two cabinet posts, served four tumultuous years as America's wartime vice president under FDR, and waged a quixotic campaign for president in 1948. Wallace was a figure of Sphinx-like paradox: a shy man, uncomfortable in the world of politics, who only narrowly missed becoming president of the United States; the scion of prominent Midwestern Republicans and the philosophical voice of New Deal liberalism; loved by millions as the Prophet of the Common Man, and reviled by millions more as a dangerous, misguided radical. John C. Culver and John Hyde have combed through thousands of document pages and family papers, from Wallace's letters and diaries to previously unavailable files sealed within the archives of the Soviet Union. Here is the remarkable story of an authentic American dreamer. A Washington Post Best Book of the Year. 32 pages of b/w photographs. A careful, readable, sympathetic but commendably dispassionate biography.--Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., Los Angeles Times Book Review In this masterly work, Culver and Hyde have captured one of the more fascinating figures in American history.--Doris Kearns Goodwin, author of No Ordinary Time Wonderfully researched and very well written...an indispensable document on both the man and the time.--John Kenneth Galbraith A fascinating, thoughtful, incisive, and well-researched life of the mysterious and complicated figure who might have become president...--Michael Beschloss, author of Taking Charge: The Johnson White House Tapes, 1963-1964 This is a great book about a great man. I can't recall when--if ever--I've read a better biography.--George McGovern
[A] lucid and sympathetic portrait of a fascinating character. Wallace's life reminds us of a time when ideas really mattered.--Evan Thomas, author of The Very Best Men: The Early Years of the CIA
Everyone interested in twentieth-century American history will want to read this book.--Robert Dallek, author of Flawed Giant [T]he most balanced, complete, and readable account...--Walter LaFeber, author of Inevitable Revolutions At long last a lucid, balanced and judicious narrative of Henry Wallace...a first-rate biography.--Douglas Brinkley, author of The Unfinished Presidency
A fine contribution to twentieth-century American history.--James MacGregor Burns, author of Dead Center: Clinton-Gore Leadership and the Perils of Moderation [E]minently readable...a captivating chronicle of American politics from the Depression through the 1960s.--Senator Edward M. Kennedy A formidable achievement....[an] engrossing account.--Kai Bird, author of The Color of Truth: McGeorge Bundy & William Bundy, Brothers in Arms Many perceptions of Henry Wallace, not always favorable, will forever be changed.--Dale Bumpers, former US Senator, Arkansas
American Eve

American Eve

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The scandalous story of America's first supermodel, sex goddess, and modern celebrity--Evelyn Nesbit.

By the time of her sixteenth birthday in 1900, Evelyn Nesbit was known to millions as the most photographed woman of her era, an iconic figure who set the standard for female beauty, and whose innocent sexuality was used to sell everything from chocolates to perfume. Women wanted to be her. Men just wanted her. But when Evelyn's life of fantasy became all too real and her insanely jealous millionaire husband, Harry K. Thaw, murdered her lover, New York City architect Stanford White, the most famous woman in the world became infamous as she found herself at the center of the "Crime of the Century" and a scandal that signaled the beginning of a national obsession with youth, beauty, celebrity, and sex.

American Eve

American Eve

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The scandalous story of America's first supermodel, sex goddess, and modern celebrity, Evelyn Nesbit, the temptress at the center of Stanford White's famous murder, whose iconic life story reflected all the paradoxes of America's Gilded Age.
Known to millions before her sixteenth birthday in 1900, Evelyn Nesbit was the most photographed woman of her era, an iconic figure who set the standard for female beauty. Women wanted to be her. Men just wanted her. When her life of fantasy became all too real, and her jealous millionaire husband, Harry K. Thaw, killed her lover?celebrity architect Stanford White, builder of the Washington Square Arch and much of New York City?she found herself at the center of the ?Crime of the Century? and the popular courtroom drama that followed?a scandal that signaled the beginning of a national obsession with youth, beauty, celebrity, and sex.
The story of Evelyn Nesbit is one of glamour, money, romance, sex, madness, and murder, and Paula Uruburu weaves all of these elements into an elegant narrativethat reads like the best fiction? only it's all true. "American Eve" goes far beyond just literary biography; it paints a picture of America as it crossed from the Victorian era into the modern, foreshadowing so much of our contemporary culture today.
American Evita

American Evita

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I don't quit. I keep going.
-Hillary Rodham Clinton

She is, quite simply, the most famous, most complex, most loved/hated/admired/reviled woman -- perhaps person -- in America. And, whether she fulfills her life's ambition or not, she can already lay claim to being the first woman ever considered a serious contender for the presidency.

From the beginning, there have been the inevitable comparisons to Argentina's legendary Eva Perón. Sex, power, money, lies, scandal, tragedy, and betrayal were the things that defined the lives of both women. Yet most of what we know about Hillary Rodham Clinton is seen in the context of her tumultuous marriage to the 42nd President. Now a power in the Senate, Hillary waits for the right moment to make her own run for the White House.

In the style of his #l New York Times bestsellers The Day Diana Died and The Day John Died, as well as Jack and Jackie, Jackie After Jack, George and Laura and Sweet Caroline, Christopher Andersen draws on important sources -- many speaking here for the first time -- to paint a startling portrait of America's most controversial woman. Among the revelations:

  • How U.S. history has been shaped -- and will continue to be shaped -- by the arrangement between Hillary and Bill known as The Plan.
  • Important new details about the role Hillary played in the scandalous eleventh hour pardons of armed radicals, drug dealers, tax cheats, embezzlers, money launderers and more.
  • How the outgoing First Lady registered like a bride at a gift store and left the White House with $400,000 worth of gifts belonging to the American people.
  • How JFK Jr. almost thwarted her Senate plans.
  • New details about Hillary's relationship with Vince Foster.
  • How Hillary has coped with Bill's hundreds of affairs, and the new women in her husband's life.
  • What Martha Stewart did for Hillary, and how Hillary repaid her.
  • How Hillary is using the 2004 elections as a springboard to her own future presidential candidacy--regardless of who wins.

    Whatever the ultimate judgment of history, the ongoing saga of Hillary Clinton's inexorable rise to power continues to stir passions, and to make her the American Evita.

  • American Family

    American Family

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    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.

    NAMED ONE OF THE FIVE BEST MEMOIRS OF THE YEAR BY THE WASHINGTON POST

    "Moving . . . a story about family and faith, told with a poet's sensibility . . . Khizr Khan's book can teach all of us what real American patriotism looks like." --The New York Times Book Review

    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 An American Family

    "An American Family is a small but lovely immigrant's journey, full of carefully observed details from the order in which Ghazala served tea at a university event, to the schedule of the police patrols in the Boston Public Garden where Khan briefly slept while he was in between apartments, to the description of Humayun's headstone as a 'slab of white marble with soft streaks the color of wood smoke.'"--Alyssa Rosenberg, The Washington Post

    American Family

    American Family

    $26.00
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    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.

    NAMED ONE OF THE FIVE BEST MEMOIRS OF THE YEAR BY THE WASHINGTON POST

    "Moving . . . a story about family and faith, told with a poet's sensibility . . . Khizr Khan's book can teach all of us what real American patriotism looks like." --The New York Times Book Review

    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 An American Family

    "An American Family is a small but lovely immigrant's journey, full of carefully observed details from the order in which Ghazala served tea at a university event, to the schedule of the police patrols in the Boston Public Garden where Khan briefly slept while he was in between apartments, to the description of Humayun's headstone as a 'slab of white marble with soft streaks the color of wood smoke.'"--Alyssa Rosenberg, The Washington Post

    American Genocide

    American Genocide

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    The American Genocide reveals a fatal flaw in the healthcare system--tainted blood transfusion--that caused the deaths of thousands of Americans. Saddened by his mother's sudden death from HIV-infected blood, crime expert Elvis Slaughter scrutinized the system to discover some shocking truths. Despite the availability of high-tech equipment and sophisticated testing capabilities, contaminated blood could easily enter the system. Administrative lapse, corruption, cover-up, and negligence threaten the integrity of the system designed to save lives.