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History

101 Things You Didnt Know about World War I

101 Things You Didnt Know about World War I

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In honor of the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I, here are 101 little-known and fascinating facts about its history.

In this informative, accessible look at World War I, you'll find a complete overview of this critical historical event, its long-standing impact, and little-known facts. Identify the important figures, discover what everyday life was like during wartime, and learn about the inventions and momentous events from the Great War that changed history forever. Whether you're seeking a basic, academic introduction or looking for interesting new facts to expand your knowledge, you're sure to find it in 101 Things You Didn't Know about World War I.

101 Things You Thought You Knew About the Titanic but Didnt

101 Things You Thought You Knew About the Titanic but Didnt

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April 15th, 2012, will be the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic.

People have an endless fascination with the Titanic, yet much of what they know today is a mixture of fact and fiction. In one hundred and one brief and engaging chapters, Tim Maltin, one of the foremost experts on the Titanic, reveals the truth behind the most common beliefs about the ship and the night it sank. From physics to photographs, lawsuits to love stories, Maltin doesn't miss one tidbit surrounding its history. Heavily researched and filled with detailed descriptions, quotes from survivors, and excerpts from the official inquiries, this book is guaranteed to make readers rethink everything they thought they knew about the legendary ship and its tragic fate.

102 Minutes

102 Minutes

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The dramatic and moving account of the struggle for life inside the World Trade Center on the morning of September 11, when every minute counted
At 8:46 am on September 11, 2001, 14,000 people were inside the twin towers-reading e-mails, making trades, eating croissants at Windows on the World. Over the next 102 minutes, each would become part of a drama for the ages, one witnessed only by the people who lived it-until now.
Of the millions of words written about this wrenching day, most were told from the outside looking in. "New York Times" reporters Jim Dwyer and Kevin Flynn have taken the opposite-and far more revealing-approach. Reported from the perspectives of those inside the towers, "102 Minutes" captures the little-known stories of ordinary people who took extraordinary steps to save themselves and others. Beyond this stirring panorama stands investigative reporting of the first rank. An astounding number of people actually survived the plane impacts but were unable to escape, and the authors raise hard questions about building safety and tragic flaws in New York's emergency preparedness.
Dwyer and Flynn rely on hundreds of interviews with rescuers, thousands of pages of oral histories, and countless phone, e-mail, and emergency radio transcripts. They cross a bridge of voices to go inside the infernos, seeing cataclysm and heroism, one person at a time, to tell the affecting, authoritative saga of the men and women-the nearly 12,000 who escaped and the 2,749 who perished-as they made 102 minutes count as never before. "102 Minutes" is a 2005 National Book Award Finalist for Nonfiction.
102 Minutes: Untold Story of the Fight to Survive Inside the Twin Towers

102 Minutes: Untold Story of the Fight to Survive Inside the Twin Towers

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The dramatic and moving account of the struggle for life inside the World Trade Center on the morning of September 11, when every minute counted
At 8:46 am on September 11, 2001, 14,000 people were inside the twin towers-reading e-mails, making trades, eating croissants at Windows on the World. Over the next 102 minutes, each would become part of a drama for the ages, one witnessed only by the people who lived it-until now.
Of the millions of words written about this wrenching day, most were told from the outside looking in. "New York Times" reporters Jim Dwyer and Kevin Flynn have taken the opposite-and far more revealing-approach. Reported from the perspectives of those inside the towers, "102 Minutes" captures the little-known stories of ordinary people who took extraordinary steps to save themselves and others. Beyond this stirring panorama stands investigative reporting of the first rank. An astounding number of people actually survived the plane impacts but were unable to escape, and the authors raise hard questions about building safety and tragic flaws in New York's emergency preparedness.
Dwyer and Flynn rely on hundreds of interviews with rescuers, thousands of pages of oral histories, and countless phone, e-mail, and emergency radio transcripts. They cross a bridge of voices to go inside the infernos, seeing cataclysm and heroism, one person at a time, to tell the affecting, authoritative saga of the men and women-the nearly 12,000 who escaped and the 2,749 who perished-as they made 102 minutes count as never before. "102 Minutes" is a 2005 National Book Award Finalist for Nonfiction.
1066: The Hidden History in the Bayeux Tapestry

1066: The Hidden History in the Bayeux Tapestry

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This text presents a new reading of the Bayeux tapestry that radically alters our understanding of the events of 1066 and reveals the astonishing story of early Medieval Europe's greatest treasure.
11 Days in December

11 Days in December

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A true World War II Christmas story from the bestselling author of Silent Night.

It was truly a white Christmas in the Ardennes Forest in 1944, but that was cold comfort to the Allied soldiers trying to stop the Nazis from retaking Belgium in one of the most decisive battles of World War II. While a German loudspeaker taunted, "How would you like to die for Christmas?" the Allied forces dug in, despite freezing conditions. They needed a miracle.

In a medieval chapel, General Patton, who needed clear skies to allow airborne reinforcements to reach his trapped men, uttered what would become a famous prayer: "Sir, whose side are you on?" His soldiers wouldn't be home for Christmas, but as the skies cleared, they went on to win a battle and a war.

11 Days in December is the dramatic story of a miraculous shift in the midst of a terrible battle, and an extraordinary chapter from the greatest war of the modern era.

1177 B.C.: The Year Civilization Collapsed

1177 B.C.: The Year Civilization Collapsed

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A bold reassessment of what caused the Late Bronze Age collapse

In 1177 B.C., marauding groups known only as the Sea Peoples invaded Egypt. The pharaoh's army and navy managed to defeat them, but the victory so weakened Egypt that it soon slid into decline, as did most of the surrounding civilizations. After centuries of brilliance, the civilized world of the Bronze Age came to an abrupt and cataclysmic end. Kingdoms fell like dominoes over the course of just a few decades. No more Minoans or Mycenaeans. No more Trojans, Hittites, or Babylonians. The thriving economy and cultures of the late second millennium B.C., which had stretched from Greece to Egypt and Mesopotamia, suddenly ceased to exist, along with writing systems, technology, and monumental architecture. But the Sea Peoples alone could not have caused such widespread breakdown. How did it happen?

In this major new account of the causes of this First Dark Ages, Eric Cline tells the gripping story of how the end was brought about by multiple interconnected failures, ranging from invasion and revolt to earthquakes, drought, and the cutting of international trade routes. Bringing to life the vibrant multicultural world of these great civilizations, he draws a sweeping panorama of the empires and globalized peoples of the Late Bronze Age and shows that it was their very interdependence that hastened their dramatic collapse and ushered in a dark age that lasted centuries.

A compelling combination of narrative and the latest scholarship, 1177 B.C. sheds new light on the complex ties that gave rise to, and ultimately destroyed, the flourishing civilizations of the Late Bronze Age--and that set the stage for the emergence of classical Greece.

1177 B.C.: The Year Civilization Collapsed: Revised and Updated

1177 B.C.: The Year Civilization Collapsed: Revised and Updated

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A bold reassessment of what caused the Late Bronze Age collapse

In 1177 B.C., marauding groups known only as the "Sea Peoples" invaded Egypt. The pharaoh's army and navy managed to defeat them, but the victory so weakened Egypt that it soon slid into decline, as did most of the surrounding civilizations. After centuries of brilliance, the civilized world of the Bronze Age came to an abrupt and cataclysmic end. Kingdoms fell like dominoes over the course of just a few decades. No more Minoans or Mycenaeans. No more Trojans, Hittites, or Babylonians. The thriving economy and cultures of the late second millennium B.C., which had stretched from Greece to Egypt and Mesopotamia, suddenly ceased to exist, along with writing systems, technology, and monumental architecture. But the Sea Peoples alone could not have caused such widespread breakdown. How did it happen?

In this major new account of the causes of this "First Dark Ages," Eric Cline tells the gripping story of how the end was brought about by multiple interconnected failures, ranging from invasion and revolt to earthquakes, drought, and the cutting of international trade routes. Bringing to life the vibrant multicultural world of these great civilizations, he draws a sweeping panorama of the empires and globalized peoples of the Late Bronze Age and shows that it was their very interdependence that hastened their dramatic collapse and ushered in a dark age that lasted centuries.

A compelling combination of narrative and the latest scholarship, 1177 B.C. sheds new light on the complex ties that gave rise to, and ultimately destroyed, the flourishing civilizations of the Late Bronze Age--and that set the stage for the emergence of classical Greece.

11th Month, 11th day, 11th Hour

11th Month, 11th day, 11th Hour

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November 11, 1918. The final hours pulsate with tension as every man in the trenches hopes to escape the melancholy distinction of being the last to die in World War I. The Allied generals knew the fighting would end precisely at 11: 00 A.M, yet in the final hours they flung men against an already beaten Germany. The result? Eleven thousand casualties suffered-more than during the D-Day invasion of Normandy. Why? Allied commanders wanted to punish the enemy to the very last moment and career officers saw a fast-fading chance for glory and promotion.
Joseph E. Persico puts the reader in the trenches with the forgotten and the famous-among the latter, Corporal Adolf Hitler, Captain Harry Truman, and Colonels Douglas MacArthur and George Patton. Mainly, he follows ordinary soldiers' lives, illuminating their fate as the end approaches. Persico sets the last day of the war in historic context with a gripping reprise of all that led up to it, from the 1914 assassination of the Austrian archduke, Franz Ferdinand, which ignited the war, to the raw racism black doughboys endured except when ordered to advance and die in the war's last hour. Persico recounts the war's bloody climax in a cinematic style that evokes "All Quiet on the Western Front, Grand Illusion, "and" Paths of Glory."
The pointless fighting on the last day of the war is the perfect metaphor for the four years that preceded it, years of senseless slaughter for hollow purposes. This book is sure to become the definitive history of the end of a conflict Winston Churchill called "the hardest, cruelest, and least-rewarded of all the wars that have been fought."
12 Strong: The Declassified True Story of the Horse Soldiers

12 Strong: The Declassified True Story of the Horse Soldiers

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Now a major motion picture from Jerry Bruckheimer in theaters everywhere!

"A thrilling action ride of a book" (The New York Times Book Review)--the New York Times bestselling, true-life account of a US Special Forces team deployed to dangerous, war-ridden Afghanistan in the weeks following 9/11.

Previously published as Horse Soldiers, 12 Strong is the dramatic account of a small band of Special Forces soldiers who secretly entered Afghanistan following 9/11 and rode to war on horses against the Taliban. Outnumbered forty to one, they pursued the enemy army across the mountainous Afghanistan terrain and, after a series of intense battles, captured the city of Mazar-i-Sharif. The bone-weary American soldiers were welcomed as liberators as they rode into the city. Then the action took a wholly unexpected turn.

During a surrender of six hundred Taliban troops, the Horse Soldiers were ambushed by the would-be POWs. Dangerously overpowered, they fought for their lives in the city's immense fortress, Qala-i-Janghi, or the House of War. At risk were the military gains of the entire campaign: if the soldiers perished or were captured, the entire effort to outmaneuver the Taliban was likely doomed.

"A riveting story of the brave and resourceful American warriors who rode into Afghanistan after 9/11 and waged war against Al Qaeda" (Tom Brokaw), Doug Stanton's account touches the mythic. The soldiers on horses combined ancient strategies of cavalry warfare with twenty-first-century aerial bombardment technology to perform a seemingly impossible feat. Moreover, their careful effort to win the hearts of local townspeople proved a valuable lesson for America's ongoing efforts in Afghanistan. With "spellbinding...action packed prose...The book reads more like a novel than a military history...the Horse Soldier's secret mission remains the US military's finest moment in what has since arguably been a muddled war" (USA TODAY).

13 Hours

13 Hours

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The harrowing, true account from the brave men on the ground who fought back during the Battle of Benghazi.

13 Hours presents, for the first time ever, the true account of the events of September 11, 2012, when terrorists attacked the US State Department Special Mission Compound and a nearby CIA station called the Annex in Benghazi, Libya. A team of six American security operators fought to repel the attackers and protect the Americans stationed there. Those men went beyond the call of duty, performing extraordinary acts of courage and heroism, to avert tragedy on a much larger scale. This is their personal account, never before told, of what happened during the thirteen hours of that now-infamous attack.

13 Hours sets the record straight on what happened during a night that has been shrouded in mystery and controversy. Written by New York Times bestselling author Mitchell Zuckoff, this riveting book takes readers into the action-packed story of heroes who laid their lives on the line for one another, for their countrymen, and for their country.

13 Hours is a stunning, eye-opening, and intense book--but most importantly, it is the truth. The story of what happened to these men--and what they accomplished--is unforgettable.

1368

1368

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A new picture of China's rise since the Age of Exploration and its historical impact on the modern world.

The establishment of the Great Ming dynasty in 1368 was a monumental event in world history. A century before Columbus, Beijing sent a series of diplomatic missions across the South China Sea and Indian Ocean that paved the way for China's first modern global era. 1368 maps China's ascendance from the embassies of Admiral Zheng He to the arrival of European mariners and the shock of the Opium Wars. In Ali Humayun Akhtar's new picture of world history, China's current rise evokes an earlier epoch, one that sheds light on where Beijing is heading today.

Spectacular accounts in Persian and Ottoman Turkish describe palaces of silk and jade in Beijing's Forbidden City. Malay legends recount stories of Chinese princesses arriving in Melaka with gifts of porcelain and gold. During Europe's Age of Exploration, Iberian mariners charted new passages to China, which the Dutch and British East India Companies transformed into lucrative tea routes.

But during the British Industrial Revolution, the rise of steam engines and factories allowed the export of the very commodities once imported from China. By the end of the Opium Wars and the arrival of Commodore Perry in Japan, Chinese and Japanese reformers called for their own industrial revolutions to propel them into the twentieth century.

What has the world learned from China since the Ming, and how did China reemerge in the 1970s as a manufacturing superpower? Akhtar's book provides much-needed context for understanding China's rise today and the future of its connections with both the West and a resurgent Asia.

13th Century Reader's Travels Through Ten Tumultuous Decades of World History

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Encountering the Last Viking New World Settlements, the Magna Carta, the Great Zimbabwean Cities, the Conquests of the Mongols, and Other Marvels Through Books
Richard D. Bressler believes in libraries. After reading The First Century: Emperor, God, and Everyman by William K. Klingaman and The Birth of the Modern: World Society 1815-1830 by Paul Johnson, Bressler was inspired by these books to write about a time period that holds his fascination: the 1200s. Famously called the "greatest of centuries" by James J. Walsh, Bressler decided to travel back 800 years in the books he found in his local library and through interlibrary loan. He simply wanted to learn what was happening around the world at that time and in doing so, share his exploration with fellow readers. The result is The 13th Century: A Reader's Travels Through Ten Tumultuous Decades of World History, a fascinating and surprising global adventure with books, journals, and articles as our Virgil.
The story begins in southern Illinois where we encounter the North American "Stonehenge," a wooden astronomical observatory built by Native Americans around 1200, as described in an archaeological report. We continue north and east, to watch the Vikings abandon their last New World settlements. Moving across the Atlantic with our books, the Fourth Crusade begins and ends in disaster, the Cordoban caliphate in Iberia begins to fall to Christian forces, John I is forced to sign the Magna Carta in 1215, and St. Francis of Assisi founds his order. In Africa, the Kanem state centered around Lake Chad becomes a powerful African trade center, while by mid-century in the Americas, Toltec society in Mexico has splintered. In the Indian subcontinent, Muslim invaders clash with Hindu armies. Among other topics Bressler discusses are the rise of universities, construction of underground churches in Ethiopia, the establishment of the Chimor Kingdom in Peru, and the rise of the Hanseatic League. But one long event is of overwhelming importance during this century and dominates all others: the Mongol conquests. With the rise of Genghis Khan in 1206, his central Asian armies swept all before them, killing and subjugating millions. By the end of the century Mongol rule was in place from Moscow to Korea, from Turkey to the Pacific coast of China--the largest contiguous land empire of all time.
Written in an engaging style, with all of the sources read by the author appearing where as they are discussed or cited, The 13th Century is a rewarding diversion into a world full of wonders, terrors, and ultimately the spirit of human achievement that informs our own times.
1421

1421

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On March 8, 1421, the largest fleet the world had ever seen set sail from China to proceed all the way to the ends of the earth to collect tribute from the barbarians beyond the seas. When the fleet returned home in October 1423, the emperor had fallen, leaving China in political and economic chaos. The great ships were left to rot at their moorings and the records of their journeys were destroyed. Lost in the long, self-imposed isolation that followed was the knowledge that Chinese ships had reached America seventy years before Columbus and had circumnavigated the globe a century before Magellan. And they colonized America before the Europeans, transplanting the principal economic crops that have since fed and clothed the world.

1434: The Year a Magnificent Chinese Fleet Sailed to Italy and Ignited the Renai

1434: The Year a Magnificent Chinese Fleet Sailed to Italy and Ignited the Renai

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The brilliance of the Renaissance laid the foundation of the modern world. Textbooks tell us that it came about as a result of a rediscovery of the ideas and ideals of classical Greece and Rome. But now bestselling historian Gavin Menzies makes the startling argument that in the year 1434, China--then the world's most technologically advanced civilization--provided the spark that set the European Renaissance ablaze. From that date onward, Europeans embraced Chinese ideas, discoveries, and inventions, all of which form the basis of Western civilization today.

The New York Times bestselling author of 1421 combines a long-overdue historical reexamination with the excitement of an investigative adventure, bringing the reader aboard the remarkable Chinese fleet as it sails from China to Cairo and Florence, and then back across the world. Erudite and brilliantly reasoned, 1434 will change the way we see ourselves, our history, and our world.

1434: Year a Magnificent Chinese Fleet Sailed to Italy and Ignited Renaissance

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The New York Times bestselling author of 1421 offers another stunning reappraisal of history, presenting compelling new evidence that traces the roots of the European Renaissance to Chinese exploration in the fifteenth century

The brilliance of the Renaissance laid the foundation of the modern world. Textbooks tell us that it came about as a result of a rediscovery of the ideas and ideals of classical Greece and Rome. But now bestselling historian Gavin Menzies makes the startling argument that in the year 1434, China--then the world's most technologically advanced civilization--provided the spark that set the European Renaissance ablaze. From that date onward, Europeans embraced Chinese intellectual ideas, discoveries, and inventions, all of which form the basis of western civilization today.

Florence and Venice of the early fifteenth century were hubs of world trade, attracting traders from across the globe. Based on years of research, this marvelous history argues that a Chinese fleet--official ambassadors of the emperor--arrived in Tuscany in 1434, where they were received by Pope Eugenius IV in Florence. The delegation presented the influential pope with a wealth of Chinese learning from a diverse range of fields: art, geography (including world maps that were passed on to Christopher Columbus and Ferdinand Magellan), astronomy, mathematics, printing, architecture, steel manufacturing, military weaponry, and more. This vast treasure trove of knowledge spread across Europe, igniting the legendary inventiveness of the Renaissance, including the work of such geniuses as da Vinci, Copernicus, Galileo, and more.

In 1434, Gavin Menzies combines this long-overdue historical reexamination with the excitement of an investigative adventure. He brings the reader aboard the remarkable Chinese fleet as it sails from China to Cairo and Florence, and then back across the world. Erudite and brilliantly reasoned, 1434 will change the way we see ourselves, our history, and our world.

1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus

1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus

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NATIONAL BESTSELLER - A groundbreaking work of science, history, and archaeology that radically alters our understanding of the Americas before the arrival of Columbus in 1492--from "a remarkably engaging writer" (The New York Times Book Review).

Contrary to what so many Americans learn in school, the pre-Columbian Indians were not sparsely settled in a pristine wilderness; rather, there were huge numbers of Indians who actively molded and influenced the land around them. The astonishing Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan had running water and immaculately clean streets, and was larger than any contemporary European city. Mexican cultures created corn in a specialized breeding process that it has been called man's first feat of genetic engineering. Indeed, Indians were not living lightly on the land but were landscaping and manipulating their world in ways that we are only now beginning to understand. Challenging and surprising, this a transformative new look at a rich and fascinating world we only thought we knew.

1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus

1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus

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A groundbreaking study that radically alters our understanding of the Americas before the arrival of the Europeans in 1492.

Traditionally, Americans learned in school that the ancestors of the people who inhabited the Western Hemisphere at the time of Columbus's landing had crossed the Bering Strait twelve thousand years ago; existed mainly in small, nomadic bands; and lived so lightly on the land that the Americas was, for all practical purposes, still a vast wilderness. But as Charles C. Mann now makes clear, archaeologists and anthropologists have spent the last thirty years proving these and many other long-held assumptions wrong.

In a book that startles and persuades, Mann reveals how a new generation of researchers equipped with novel scientific techniques came to previously unheard-of conclusions. Among them:

- In 1491 there were probably more people living in the Americas than in Europe.
- Certain cities-such as Tenochtitlán, the Aztec capital-were far greater in population than any contemporary European city. Furthermore, Tenochtitlán, unlike any capital in Europe at that time, had running water, beautiful botanical gardens, and immaculately clean streets.
- The earliest cities in the Western Hemisphere were thriving before the Egyptians built the great pyramids.
- Pre-Columbian Indians in Mexico developed corn by a breeding process so sophisticated that the journal Science recently described it as "man's first, and perhaps the greatest, feat of genetic engineering."
- Amazonian Indians learned how to farm the rain forest without destroying it-a process scientists are studying today in the hope of regaining this lost knowledge.
- Native Americans transformed their land so completely that Europeans arrived in a hemisphere already massively "landscaped" by human beings.

Mann sheds clarifying light on the methods used to arrive at these new visions of the pre-Columbian Americas and how they have affected our understanding of our history and our thinking about the environment. His book is an exciting and learned account of scientific inquiry and revelation.