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History

1587 , a Year of No Significance

1587 , a Year of No Significance

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"If you buy only one work on pre-modern Chinese history this year, make it this one."--W. S. Atwell, History

Winner of the American Book Award for History

In 1587, the Year of the Pig, nothing very special happened in China. Yet in the seemingly unspectacular events of this ordinary year, Ray Huang finds exemplified the roots of China's perennial inability to adapt to change.

Through fascinating accounts of the lives of seven prominent officials, he fashions a remarkably vivid portrayal of the court and the ruling class of late imperial China. In revealing the subtle but inexorable forces that brought about the paralysis and final collapse of the Ming dynasty, Huang offers the reader perspective into the problems China has faced through the centuries.

1616

1616

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The world of 1616 was a world of motion. Enormous galleons carrying silk and silver across the Pacific created the first true global economy, and the first international megacorporations were emerging as economic powers. In Europe, the deaths of Shakespeare and Cervantes marked the end of an era in literature, as the spirit of the Renaissance was giving way to new attitudes that would lead to the age of revolutions. Great changes were also taking place in East Asia, where the last native Chinese dynasty was entering its final years and Japan was beginning its long period of warrior rule. Artists there, as in many parts of the world, were rethinking their connections to ancient traditions and experimenting with new directions. Women everywhere were redefining their roles in family and society. Slave trading was relocating large numbers of people, while others were migrating in search of new opportunities. The first tourists, traveling not for trade or exploration but for personal fulfillment, were exploring this new globalized world.

Thomas Christensen illuminates this extravagant age by focusing on a single riotous year. Woven with color images and artwork from the period, 1616 tells the surprising tales of the men and women who set the world on its tumultuous course toward modernity.

1619 Project

1619 Project

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#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER - NAACP IMAGE AWARD WINNER - A dramatic expansion of a groundbreaking work of journalism, The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story offers a profoundly revealing vision of the American past and present.

ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR: The Washington Post, NPR, Esquire, Marie Claire, Electric Lit, Ms. magazine, Kirkus Reviews, Booklist

In late August 1619, a ship arrived in the British colony of Virginia bearing a cargo of twenty to thirty enslaved people from Africa. Their arrival led to the barbaric and unprecedented system of American chattel slavery that would last for the next 250 years. This is sometimes referred to as the country's original sin, but it is more than that: It is the source of so much that still defines the United States.

The New York Times Magazine's award-winning "1619 Project" issue reframed our understanding of American history by placing slavery and its continuing legacy at the center of our national narrative. This new book substantially expands on that work, weaving together eighteen essays that explore the legacy of slavery in present-day America with thirty-six poems and works of fiction that illuminate key moments of oppression, struggle, and resistance. The essays show how the inheritance of 1619 reaches into every part of contemporary American society, from politics, music, diet, traffic, and citizenship to capitalism, religion, and our democracy itself.

This is a book that speaks directly to our current moment, contextualizing the systems of race and caste within which we operate today. It reveals long-glossed-over truths around our nation's founding and construction--and the way that the legacy of slavery did not end with emancipation, but continues to shape contemporary American life.

Featuring contributions from: Leslie Alexander - Michelle Alexander - Carol Anderson - Joshua Bennett - Reginald Dwayne Betts - Jamelle Bouie - Anthea Butler - Matthew Desmond - Rita Dove - Camille T. Dungy - Cornelius Eady - Eve L. Ewing - Nikky Finney - Vievee Francis - Yaa Gyasi - Forrest Hamer - Terrance Hayes - Kimberly Annece Henderson - Jeneen Interlandi - Honorée Fanonne Jeffers - Barry Jenkins - Tyehimba Jess - Martha S. Jones - Robert Jones, Jr. - A. Van Jordan - Ibram X. Kendi - Eddie Kendricks - Yusef Komunyakaa - Kevin M. Kruse - Kiese Laymon - Trymaine Lee - Jasmine Mans - Terry McMillan - Tiya Miles - Wesley Morris - Khalil Gibran Muhammad - Lynn Nottage - ZZ Packer - Gregory Pardlo - Darryl Pinckney - Claudia Rankine - Jason Reynolds - Dorothy Roberts - Sonia Sanchez - Tim Seibles - Evie Shockley - Clint Smith - Danez Smith - Patricia Smith - Tracy K. Smith - Bryan Stevenson - Nafissa Thompson-Spires - Natasha Trethewey - Linda Villarosa - Jesmyn Ward

1666 Plague War and Hellfire

1666 Plague War and Hellfire

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1666 was a watershed year for England. An outbreak of the Great Plague, the eruption of the second Dutch War, and the devastating Great Fire of London all struck the country in rapid succession and with devastating repercussions.

Shedding light on these dramatic events and their context, historian Rebecca Rideal reveals an unprecedented period of terror and triumph. Based in original archival research drawing on little-known sources, 1666 opens with the fiery destruction of London before taking readers on a thrilling journey through a crucial turning point in English history as seen through the eyes of an extraordinary cast of historical characters.

While the central events of this significant year were ones of devastation and defeat, 1666 also offers a glimpse of the incredible scientific and artistic progress being made at that time, from Isaac Newton's discovery of gravity to the establishment of The London Gazette. It was in this year that John Milton completed Paradise Lost, Frances Stewart posed for the iconic image of Britannia, and a young architect named Christopher Wren proposed a plan for a new London--a stone phoenix to rise from the charred ashes of the old city.

With flair and style, 1666 exposes readers to a city and a country on the cusp of modernity and a series of events that altered the course of history.

17 Carnations

17 Carnations

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For fans of the Netflix series The Crown, a meticulously researched historical tour de force about the secret ties among Franklin D. Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, the Duke of Windsor, and Adolf Hitler before, during, and after World War II.

Andrew Morton tells the story of the feckless Edward VIII, later Duke of Windsor, his American wife, Wallis Simpson, the bizarre wartime Nazi plot to make him a puppet king after the invasion of Britain, and the attempted cover-up by Churchill, General Eisenhower, and King George VI of the duke's relations with Hitler. From the alleged affair between Simpson and the German foreign minister to the discovery of top secret correspondence about the man dubbed "the traitor king" and the Nazi high command, this is a saga of intrigue, betrayal, and deception suffused with a heady aroma of sex and suspicion.
, br> For the first time, Morton reveals the full story behind the cover-up of those damning letters and diagrams: the daring heist ordered by King George VI, the smooth duplicity of a Soviet spy as well as the bitter rows and recriminations among the British and American diplomats, politicians, and academics. Drawing on FBI documents, exclusive pictures, and material from the German, Russian, and British royal archives, as well as the personal correspondence of Churchill, Eisenhower, and the Windsors themselves, 17 CARNATIONS is a dazzling historical drama, full of adventure, intrigue, and startling revelations, written by a master of the genre.

1759: Year Britain Became Master of the World

1759: Year Britain Became Master of the World

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If not for the events of 1759, the entire history of the world would have been different. Called the Year of Victories, 1759 was the fourth year of the Seven Years, or the French-and-Indian War and defeat of the French paved the way for the global hegemony of the English language. Guiding us through England's conquests (and often extremely narrow victories), Frank McLynn (Wagons West) brilliantly interweaves primary sources, ranging from material in the Vatican archives to oral histories of Native Americans. In a stunning chronicle of a pivotal year in world history, he controversially concludes that the birth of the great British Empire was more a result of luck than of rigorous planning.
1774

1774

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From one of our most acclaimed and original colonial historians, a groundbreaking book tracing the critical long year of 1774 and the revolutionary change that took place from the Boston Tea Party and the First Continental Congress to the Battles of Lexington and Concord.

A WALL STREET JOURNAL BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR

In this masterly work of history, the culmination of more than four decades of research and thought, Mary Beth Norton looks at the sixteen months leading up to the clashes at Lexington and Concord in mid-April 1775. This was the critical, and often overlooked, period when colonists traditionally loyal to King George III began their discordant "discussions" that led them to their acceptance of the inevitability of war against the British Empire. Drawing extensively on pamphlets, newspapers, and personal correspondence, Norton reconstructs colonial political discourse as it took place throughout 1774. Late in the year, conservatives mounted a vigorous campaign criticizing the First Continental Congress. But by then it was too late. In early 1775, colonial governors informed officials in London that they were unable to thwart the increasing power of local committees and their allied provincial congresses. Although the Declaration of Independence would not be formally adopted until July 1776, Americans had in effect "declared independence " even before the outbreak of war in April 1775 by obeying the decrees of the provincial governments they had elected rather than colonial officials appointed by the king. Norton captures the tension and drama of this pivotal year and foundational moment in American history and brings it to life as no other historian has done before.

1774: The Long Year of Revolution

1774: The Long Year of Revolution

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From one of our most acclaimed and original colonial historians, a groundbreaking book tracing the critical long year of 1774 and the revolutionary change that took place from the Boston Tea Party and the First Continental Congress to the Battles of Lexington and Concord.

A WALL STREET JOURNAL BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR

In this masterly work of history, the culmination of more than four decades of research and thought, Mary Beth Norton looks at the sixteen months leading up to the clashes at Lexington and Concord in mid-April 1775. This was the critical, and often overlooked, period when colonists traditionally loyal to King George III began their discordant "discussions" that led them to their acceptance of the inevitability of war against the British Empire. Drawing extensively on pamphlets, newspapers, and personal correspondence, Norton reconstructs colonial political discourse as it took place throughout 1774. Late in the year, conservatives mounted a vigorous campaign criticizing the First Continental Congress. But by then it was too late. In early 1775, colonial governors informed officials in London that they were unable to thwart the increasing power of local committees and their allied provincial congresses. Although the Declaration of Independence would not be formally adopted until July 1776, Americans had in effect "declared independence " even before the outbreak of war in April 1775 by obeying the decrees of the provincial governments they had elected rather than colonial officials appointed by the king. Norton captures the tension and drama of this pivotal year and foundational moment in American history and brings it to life as no other historian has done before.

1775

1775

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A groundbreaking account of the American Revolution--from the bestselling author of American Dynasty

In this major new work, iconoclastic historian and political chronicler Kevin Phillips upends the conventional reading of the American Revolution by debunking the myth that 1776 was the struggle's watershed year. Focusing on the great battles and events of 1775, Phillips surveys the political climate, economic structures, and military preparations of the crucial year that was the harbinger of revolution, tackling the eighteenth century with the same skill and perception he has shown in analyzing contemporary politics and economics. The result is a dramatic account brimming with original insights about the country we eventually became.

1775

1775

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The contrarian historian and analyst upends the conventional reading of the American Revolution
In "1775," iconoclastic historian and bestselling author Kevin Phillips punctures the myth that 1776 was the watershed year of the American Revolution. He suggests that the great events and confrontations of 1775 Congress s belligerent economic ultimatums to Britain, New England s "rage militaire," the exodus of British troops and expulsion of royal governors up and down the seaboard, and the new provincial congresses and hundreds of local committees that quickly reconstituted local authority in Patriot hands achieved a sweeping Patriot control of territory and local government that Britain was never able to overcome. These each added to the Revolution s essential momentum so when the British finally attacked in great strength the following year, they could not regain the control they had lost in 1775.
Analyzing the political climate, economic structures, and military preparations, as well as the roles of ethnicity, religion, and class, Phillips tackles the eighteenth century with the same skill and insights he has shown in analyzing contemporary politics and economics. The result is a dramatic narrative brimming with original insights. "1775" revolutionizes our understanding of America s origins."
1776

1776

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America's beloved and distinguished historian presents, in a book of breathtaking excitement, drama, and narrative force, the stirring story of the year of our nation's birth, 1776, interweaving, on both sides of the Atlantic, the actions and decisions
1776

1776

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America's beloved and distinguished historian presents, in a book of breathtaking excitement, drama, and narrative force, the stirring story of the year of our nation's birth, 1776, interweaving, on both sides of the Atlantic, the actions and decisions that led Great Britain to undertake a war against her rebellious colonial subjects and that placed America's survival in the hands of George Washington.

In this masterful book, David McCullough tells the intensely human story of those who marched with General George Washington in the year of the Declaration of Independence--when the whole American cause was riding on their success, without which all hope for independence would have been dashed and the noble ideals of the Declaration would have amounted to little more than words on paper.

Based on extensive research in both American and British archives, 1776 is a powerful drama written with extraordinary narrative vitality. It is the story of Americans in the ranks, men of every shape, size, and color, farmers, schoolteachers, shoemakers, no-accounts, and mere boys turned soldiers. And it is the story of the King's men, the British commander, William Howe, and his highly disciplined redcoats who looked on their rebel foes with contempt and fought with a valor too little known.

Written as a companion work to his celebrated biography of John Adams, David McCullough's 1776 is another landmark in the literature of American history.

1812

1812

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At the outbreak of the War of 1812, America's prospects looked dismal. It was clear that the primary battlefield would be the open ocean -- but America's war fleet, only twenty ships strong, faced a practiced British navy of more than a thousand men-of-war. Still, through a combination of nautical deftness and sheer bravado, the American navy managed to take the fight to the British and turn the tide of the war: on the Great Lakes, in the Atlantic, and even in the eastern Pacific.

In 1812: The Navy's War, prizewinning historian George C. Daughan tells the thrilling story of how a handful of heroic captains and their stalwart crews overcame spectacular odds to lead the country to victory against the world's greatest imperial power. A stunning contribution to military and national history, 1812: The Navy's War is the first complete account in more than a century of how the U.S. Navy rescued the fledgling nation and secured America's future.

1812: The War That Forged a Nation

1812: The War That Forged a Nation

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Although frequently overlooked between the American Revolution and the Civil War, the War of 1812 tested a rising generation of American leaders; unified the United States with a renewed sense of national purpose; and set the stage for westward expansion from Mackinac Island to the Gulf of Mexico. USS Constitution, Old Ironsides, proved the mettle of the fledgling American navy; Oliver Hazard Perry hoisted a flag boasting, Don't Give Up the Ship; and Andrew Jackson's ragged force stood behind it's cotton bales at New Orleans and bested the pride of British regulars. Here are the stories of commanding generals such as America's double-dealing James Wilkinson, Great Britain's gallant Sir Isaac Brock, Canada's heroine farm wife Laura Secord, and country doctor William Beanes, whose capture set the stage for Francis Scott Key to write The Star-Spangled Banner. During the War of 1812, the United States cast off its cloak of colonial adolescence and -- with both humiliating and glorious moments -- found the fire that was to forge a nation.

This P.S. edition features an extra 16 pages of insights into the book, including author interviews, recommended reading, and more.

1814

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1858

1858

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PRAISE FOR 1858

Highly recommended--a gripping narrative of the critical year of 1858 and the nation's slide toward disunion and war...Readers seeking to understand how individuals are agents of historical change will find Chadwick's account of the failed leadership of President James Buchanan especially compelling.
--G. Kurt Piehler, author of Remembering War the American Way

Chadwick's excellent history shows how the issue of slavery came crashing into the professional, public, and private lives of many Americans...Chadwick offers a fascinating premise: that James Buchanan, far from being a passive spectator, played a major role in the drama of his time. 1858 is a welcome addition to scholarship of the most volatile period of American history.
--Frank Cucurullo, Arlington House, The Robert E. Lee Memorial

As 1858 dawned, the men who would become the iconic figures of the Civil War had no idea it was about to occur: Jefferson Davis was dying, Robert E. Lee was on the verge of resigning from the military, and William Tecumseh Sherman had been reduced to running a roadside food stand. By the end of 1858, the lives of these men would be forever changed, and the North and South were set on a collision course that would end with the deaths of 630,000 young men.

This is the story of seven men on the brink of a war that would transform them into American legends, and the events of the year that set our union on fire.

1861

1861

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A gripping and original account of how the Civil War began and a second American revolution unfolded, setting Abraham Lincoln on the path to greatness and millions of slaves on the road to freedom.

An epic of courage and heroism beyond the battlefields, 1861 introduces us to a heretofore little-known cast of Civil War heroes--among them an acrobatic militia colonel, an explorer's wife, an idealistic band of German immigrants, a regiment of New York City firemen, a community of Virginia slaves, and a young college professor who would one day become president. Their stories take us from the corridors of the White House to the slums of Manhattan, from the waters of the Chesapeake to the deserts of Nevada, from Boston Common to Alcatraz Island, vividly evoking the Union at its moment of ultimate crisis and decision. Hailed as "exhilarating....Inspiring...Irresistible..." by The New York Times Book Review, Adam Goodheart's bestseller 1861 is an important addition to the Civil War canon.

Includes black-and-white photos and illustrations.

1861

1861

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As the United States marks the 150th anniversary of our defining national drama, 1861 presents a gripping and original account of how the Civil War began.
1861 is an epic of courage and heroism beyond the battlefields. Early in that fateful year, a second American revolution unfolded, inspiring a new generation to reject their parents faith in compromise and appeasement, to do the unthinkable in the name of an ideal. It set Abraham Lincoln on the path to greatness and millions of slaves on the road to freedom.
The book introduces us to a heretofore little-known cast of Civil War heroes among them an acrobatic militia colonel, an explorer s wife, an idealistic band of German immigrants, a regiment of New York City firemen, a community of Virginia slaves, and a young college professor who would one day become president. Adam Goodheart takes us from the corridors of the White House to the slums of Manhattan, from the mouth of the Chesapeake to the deserts of Nevada, from Boston Common to Alcatraz Island, vividly evoking the Union at this moment of ultimate crisis and decision."