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History

Wreck and Sinking of the Titanic

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A gorgeously produced rediscovered classic, Wreck and Sinking of the Titanic revives 1912's most exciting and sensational report of the doomed ship's catastrophic voyage, first published mere months after the Titanic met her fate: "A graphic and thrilling account of the sinking of the greatest palace ever built, carrying down to watery graves more than 1,500 souls.... Exciting escapes from death and acts of heroism not equaled in ancient or modern times, as told by the survivors, and includes the history of icebergs, the terror of the seas, wireless telegraphy, and modern shipbuilding!" Stunningly designed to convey the rich look and feel of the original 1912 publication, with a worn cloth cover, hand-tinted maps, and gold foil-stamped pages, this rare treasure is a must-have for any Titanic fan.
Wreck of the Carl D.

Wreck of the Carl D.

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By the author of Mighty Fitz, the dramatic account of the sinking of the Carl D. Bradley on Lake Michigan, published on the fiftieth anniversary of the wreck.

At approximately 5:30 P.M. on November 18, 1958, the Carl D. Bradley, a 623-foot limestone carrier caught in one of the most violent storms in Lake Michigan history, snapped in two and sank within minutes. Four of the thirty-five man crew escaped to a small raft, where they hung on in total darkness, braving massive waves and frigid temperatures. As the storm raged on, a search-and-rescue mission hunted for survivors, while the frantic citizens of nearby Rogers City, the tiny Michigan hometown to twenty-six members of the Bradley crew, anxiously awaited word of their loved ones' fates.

In Wreck of the Carl D., Michael Schumacher reconstructs, in dramatic detail, the tragic accident, the perilous search-and-rescue mission, and the chilling aftermath for the small town so intimately affected by the tragedy. A fitting tribute to a powerful ship, the men who died aboard it, and the town that still mourns its loss, Schumacher's compelling follow up to Mighty Fitz is a wonderful addition to the literature of the Great Lakes and maritime history.

Wreck of the Medusa: The Most Famous Sea Disaster of the Nineteenth Century

Wreck of the Medusa: The Most Famous Sea Disaster of the Nineteenth Century

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The Wreck of the Medusa is Jonathan Miles's spellbinding account of the most famous shipwreck before the Titanic. Drawing on contemporaneously published accounts and journals of survivors, Miles brilliantly reconstructs the ill-fated voyage and the events that inspired Theodore Gericault's magnificent painting The Raft of the Medusa.

In July of 1816, the French frigate Medusa, bound for the Senegalese port colony of Saint Louis under the command of an incompetent royalist captain, hit a famously treacherous reef. In the chaos that ensued, the commander and a privileged few claimed the lifeboats. The rest were herded onto a makeshift raft and set adrift. Without a compass or many provisions, hit by a vicious storm the first night and exposed to sweltering heat during the following days, the group set upon each other: mayhem, mutiny, and murder ensued. When rescue arrived thirteen days later, only fifteen were alive.

Two survivors' written account of the tragedy became an international best seller that exposed far-reaching corruption in Restoration France. The scandal inspired a young artist, Theodore Gericault, whose iconic depiction of suffering and hope won first prize at the Salon of 1819 and captivated viewers in the Louvre for centuries to come.

Wreck of the Medusa: The Most Famous Sea Disaster of the Nineteenth Century

Wreck of the Medusa: The Most Famous Sea Disaster of the Nineteenth Century

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The Wreck of the Medusa is a spellbinding account of the most famous shipwreck before the Titanic, a tragedy that riled a nation and inspired Théodore Géricault's magnificent painting The Raft of the Medusa . In June 1816, the flagship of a French expedition to repossess a colony in Senegal from the British set sail. She never arrived at her destination; her incompetent captain Hugo de Chaumareys, ignoring telltale signs of shallow waters, plowed the ship into a famously treacherous sandbar. A privileged few claimed the lifeboats while 146 men and one woman were herded aboard a makeshift raft and set adrift. Without a compass or many provisions, hit by a vicious storm the first night, and exposed to sweltering heat during the following days, the group set upon each other: mayhem, mutiny, and murder ensued. When rescue arrived thirteen days later only fifteen were alive. Meanwhile, those in the boats who made it to shore undertook a dangerous two-hundred-mile slog through the desert. Among the handful of survivors from the raft were two men whose written account of the fiasco became a bestseller that rocked France's political foundations and provided graphic fodder for Géricault's world-famous painting.
Wreckers: A Story of Killing Seas

Wreckers: A Story of Killing Seas

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Bella Bathurst's first book, the acclaimed The Lighthouse Stevensons, told the story of Scottish lighthouse construction by the ancestors of Robert Louis Stevenson. Now she returns to the sea to search out the darker side of those lights, detailing the secret history of shipwrecks and the predatory scavengers who live off the spoils. Even today, Britain's coastline remains a dangerous place. An island soaked by four separate seas, with shifting sand banks to the east, veiled reefs to the west, powerful currents above, and the world's busiest shipping channel below, the country's offshore waters are strewn with shipwrecks. For villagers scratching out an existence along Britain's shores, those wrecks have been more than simply an act of God; in many cases, they have been the difference between living well and just getting by. Though Daphne Du Maurier made Cornwall Britain's most notorious region for wrecking, many other coastal communities regarded the sea's bounty as an impromptu way of providing themselves with everything from grapefruits to grand pianos. Some plunderers were held to be so skilled that they could strip a ship from stem to stern before the Coast Guard had even left port, some were rumored to lure ships onto the rocks with false lights, and some simply waited for winter gales to do their work. From all around Britain, Bathurst has uncovered the hidden history of ships and shipwreck victims, from shoreline orgies so Dionysian that few participants survived the morning to humble homes fitted with silver candelabra, from coastlines rigged like stage sets to villages where everyone owns identical tennis shoes. Spanning three hundred years of history, The Wreckers examines the myths, the realities, and the superstitions of shipwrecks and uncovers the darker side of life on Britain's shores.
Wretched and Precarious Situation

Wretched and Precarious Situation

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From a snow-swept hill in the ice fields northwest of Greenland, famed Arctic explorer Robert E. Peary spots a line of mysterious peaks dotting the horizon. In 1906, he names that distant, uncharted territory "Crocker Land." Years later, two of Peary's disciples, George Borup and Donald MacMillan, take the brave steps Peary never did: with a team of amateur adventurers and intrepid native guides, they endeavor to reach this unknown land and fill in the last blank space on the globe. What follows is hardship and mishap the likes of which none of the explorers could possibly have imagined. From howling blizzards and desperate food shortages to crime and tragedy, the explorers experience a remarkable journey of endurance, courage, and hope. Set in one of the world's most inhospitable places, A Wretched and Precarious Situation is an Arctic tale unlike any other.
Wretched of the Earth

Wretched of the Earth

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A distinguished psychiatrist from Martinique who took part in the Algerian Nationalist Movement, Frantz Fanon was one of the most important theorists of revolutionary struggle, colonialism, and racial difference in history. Fanon's masterwork is a classic alongside Edward Said's Orientalism or The Autobiography of Malcolm X, and it is now available in a new translation that updates its language for a new generation of readers. The Wretched of the Earth is a brilliant analysis of the psychology of the colonized and their path to liberation. Bearing singular insight into the rage and frustration of colonized peoples, and the role of violence in effecting historical change, the book incisively attacks the twin perils of postindependence colonial politics: the disenfranchisement of the masses by the elites on the one hand, and intertribal and interfaith animosities on the other. Fanon's analysis, a veritable handbook of social reorganization for leaders of emerging nations, has been reflected all too clearly in the corruption and violence that has plagued present-day Africa. The Wretched of the Earth has had a major impact on civil rights, anticolonialism, and black consciousness movements around the world.

Wretched of the Earth

Wretched of the Earth

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First published in 1961, Frantz Fanon's The Wretched of the Earth is a masterful and timeless interrogation of race, colonialism, psychological trauma, and revolutionary struggle. In 2020, it found a new readership in the wake of the Black Lives Matter protests and the centering of narratives interrogating race by Black writers. Bearing singular insight into the rage and frustration of colonized peoples, and the role of violence in spurring historical change, the book incisively attacks the twin perils of post-independence colonial politics: the disenfranchisement of the masses by the elites on the one hand, and intertribal and interfaith animosities on the other. A landmark text for revolutionaries and activists, The Wretched of the Earth is an eternal touchstone for civil rights, anti-colonialism, psychiatric studies, and Black consciousness movements around the world. Translated by Richard Philcox, and featuring now-classic critical essays by Jean-Paul Sartre and Homi K. Bhabha, as well as a new essay, this sixtieth anniversary edition of Fanon's most famous text stands proudly alongside such pillars of anti-colonialism and anti-racism as Edward Said's Orientalism and The Autobiography of Malcolm X.
Wright Brothers

Wright Brothers

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The #1 New York Times bestseller from David McCullough, two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize--the dramatic story-behind-the-story about the courageous brothers who taught the world how to fly--Wilbur and Orville Wright.

On a winter day in 1903, in the Outer Banks of North Carolina, two brothers--bicycle mechanics from Dayton, Ohio--changed history. But it would take the world some time to believe that the age of flight had begun, with the first powered machine carrying a pilot.

Orville and Wilbur Wright were men of exceptional courage and determination, and of far-ranging intellectual interests and ceaseless curiosity. When they worked together, no problem seemed to be insurmountable. Wilbur was unquestionably a genius. Orville had such mechanical ingenuity as few had ever seen. That they had no more than a public high school education and little money never stopped them in their mission to take to the air. Nothing did, not even the self-evident reality that every time they took off, they risked being killed.

In this "enjoyable, fast-paced tale" (The Economist), master historian David McCullough "shows as never before how two Ohio boys from a remarkable family taught the world to fly" (The Washington Post) and "captures the marvel of what the Wrights accomplished" (The Wall Street Journal). He draws on the extensive Wright family papers to profile not only the brothers but their sister, Katharine, without whom things might well have gone differently for them. Essential reading, this is "a story of timeless importance, told with uncommon empathy and fluency...about what might be the most astonishing feat mankind has ever accomplished...The Wright Brothers soars" (The New York Times Book Review).

Wright Brothers

Wright Brothers

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#1 New York Times bestseller

Two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize David McCullough tells the dramatic story-behind-the-story about the courageous brothers who taught the world how to fly: Wilbur and Orville Wright.

On a winter day in 1903, in the Outer Banks of North Carolina, two unknown brothers from Ohio changed history. But it would take the world some time to believe what had happened: the age of flight had begun, with the first heavier-than-air, powered machine carrying a pilot.

Who were these men and how was it that they achieved what they did?

David McCullough, two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize, tells the surprising, profoundly American story of Wilbur and Orville Wright.

Far more than a couple of unschooled Dayton bicycle mechanics who happened to hit on success, they were men of exceptional courage and determination, and of far-ranging intellectual interests and ceaseless curiosity, much of which they attributed to their upbringing. The house they lived in had no electricity or indoor plumbing, but there were books aplenty, supplied mainly by their preacher father, and they never stopped reading.

When they worked together, no problem seemed to be insurmountable. Wilbur was unquestionably a genius. Orville had such mechanical ingenuity as few had ever seen. That they had no more than a public high school education, little money and no contacts in high places, never stopped them in their "mission" to take to the air. Nothing did, not even the self-evident reality that every time they took off in one of their contrivances, they risked being killed.

In this thrilling book, master historian David McCullough draws on the immense riches of the Wright Papers, including private diaries, notebooks, scrapbooks, and more than a thousand letters from private family correspondence to tell the human side of the Wright Brothers' story, including the little-known contributions of their sister, Katharine, without whom things might well have gone differently for them.

Writing America

Writing America

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Winner of the John S. Tuckey 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award for Mark Twain Scholarship from The Center for Mark Twain Studies

American novelist E.L. Doctorow once observed that literature "endows places with meaning." Yet, as this wide-ranging new book vividly illustrates, understanding the places that shaped American writers' lives and their art can provide deep insight into what makes their literature truly meaningful.

Published on the eve of the 50th anniversary of the Historic Preservation Act, Writing America is a unique, passionate, and eclectic series of meditations on literature and history, covering over 150 important National Register historic sites, all pivotal to the stories that make up America, from chapels to battlefields; from plantations to immigration stations; and from theaters to internment camps. The book considers not only the traditional sites for literary tourism, such as Mark Twain's sumptuous Connecticut home and the peaceful woods surrounding Walden Pond, but also locations that highlight the diversity of American literature, from the New York tenements that spawned Abraham Cahan's fiction to the Texas pump house that irrigated the fields in which the farm workers central to Gloria Anzaldúa's poetry picked produce. Rather than just providing a cursory overview of these authors' achievements, acclaimed literary scholar and cultural historian Shelley Fisher Fishkin offers a deep and personal reflection on how key sites bore witness to the struggles of American writers and inspired their dreams. She probes the global impact of American writers' innovative art and also examines the distinctive contributions to American culture by American writers who wrote in languages other than English, including Yiddish, Chinese, and Spanish.

Only a scholar with as wide-ranging interests as Shelley Fisher Fishkin would dare to bring together in one book writers as diverse as Gloria Anzaldúa, Nicholas Black Elk, David Bradley, Abraham Cahan, S. Alice Callahan, Raymond Chandler, Frank Chin, Elizabeth Cook-Lynn, Countee Cullen, Frederick Douglass, Paul Laurence Dunbar, Jessie Fauset, William Faulkner, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Allen Ginsberg, Jovita González, Rolando Hinojosa, Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, Lawson Fusao Inada, James Weldon Johnson, Erica Jong, Maxine Hong Kingston, Irena Klepfisz, Nella Larsen, Emma Lazarus, Sinclair Lewis, Genny Lim, Claude McKay, Herman Melville, N. Scott Momaday, William Northup, John Okada, Miné Okubo, Simon Ortiz, Américo Paredes, John P. Parker, Ann Petry, Tomás Rivera, Wendy Rose, Morris Rosenfeld, John Steinbeck, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Henry David Thoreau, Mark Twain, Yoshiko Uchida, Tino Villanueva, Nathanael West, Walt Whitman, Richard Wright, Hisaye Yamamoto, Anzia Yezierska, and Zitkala-Sa.

Leading readers on an enticing journey across the borders of physical places and imaginative terrains, the book includes over 60 images, and extended excerpts from a variety of literary works. Each chapter ends with resources for further exploration. Writing America reveals the alchemy though which American writers have transformed the world around them into art, changing their world and ours in the process.

Writing History in the Global Era

Writing History in the Global Era

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George Orwell wrote that "history is written by the winners." Even if that seems a bit too cut-and-dried, we can say that history is always written from a viewpoint but that viewpoints change, sometimes radically.

The history of workers, women, and minorities challenged the once-unquestioned dominance of the tales of great leaders and military victories. Then, cultural studies--including feminism and queer studies--brought fresh perspectives, but those too have run their course.

With globalization emerging as a major economic, cultural, and political force, Lynn Hunt examines whether it can reinvigorate the telling of history. She hopes that scholars from East and West can collaborate in new ways and write wider-ranging works.

At the same time, Hunt argues that we could better understand the effects of globalization in the past if we knew more about how individuals felt about the changes they were experiencing. She proposes a sweeping reevaluation of individuals' active role and their place in society as the keys to understanding the way people and ideas interact. She also reveals how surprising new perspectives on society and the self--from environmental history, the history of human-animal interactions, and even neuroscience--offer promising new ways of thinking about the meaning and purpose of history in our time.

Writing of the Gods: The Race to Decode the Rosetta Stone

Writing of the Gods: The Race to Decode the Rosetta Stone

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The surprising and compelling story of two rival geniuses in an all-out race to decode one of the world's most famous documents--the Rosetta Stone--and their twenty-year-long battle to solve the mystery of ancient Egypt's hieroglyphs.

The Rosetta Stone is one of the most famous objects in the world, attracting millions of visitors to the British museum ever year, and yet most people don't really know what it is. Discovered in a pile of rubble in 1799, this slab of stone proved to be the key to unlocking a lost language that baffled scholars for centuries.

Carved in ancient Egypt, the Rosetta Stone carried the same message in different languages--in Greek using Greek letters, and in Egyptian using picture-writing called hieroglyphs. Until its discovery, no one in the world knew how to read the hieroglyphs that covered every temple and text and statue in Egypt.

Dominating the world for thirty centuries, ancient Egypt was the mightiest empire the world had ever known, yet everything about it--the pyramids, mummies, the Sphinx--was shrouded in mystery. Whoever was able to decipher the Rosetta Stone, and learn how to read hieroglyphs, would solve that mystery and fling open a door that had been locked for two thousand years.

Two brilliant rivals set out to win that prize. One was English, the other French, at a time when England and France were enemies and the world's two great superpowers. The Writing of the Gods chronicles this high-stakes intellectual race in which the winner would win glory for both himself and his nation. A riveting portrait of empires both ancient and modern, this is an unparalleled look at the culture and history of ancient Egypt and a fascinating, fast-paced story of human folly and discovery unlike any other.

Writing the Gettysburg Address

Writing the Gettysburg Address

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Winner: Lincoln Prize

Four score and seven years ago . . . .


Are any six words better known, of greater import, or from a more crucial moment in our nation': s history? And yet after 150 years the dramatic and surprising story of how Lincoln wrote the Gettysburg Address has never been fully told. Until now.

Martin Johnson's remarkable work of historical and literary detection illuminates a speech, a man, and a moment in history that we thought we knew. Johnson guides readers on Lincoln's emotional and intellectual journey to the speaker's platform, revealing that Lincoln himself experienced writing the Gettysburg Address as an eventful process that was filled with the possibility of failure, but which he knew resulted finally in success beyond expectation.

We listen as Lincoln talks with the cemetery designer about the ideals and aspirations behind the unprecedented cemetery project, look over Lincoln's shoulder as he rethinks and rewrites his speech on the very morning of the ceremony, and share his anxiety that he might not live up to the occasion. And then, at last, we stand with Lincoln at Gettysburg, when he created the words and image of an enduring and authentic legend.

Writing the Gettysburg Address resolves the puzzles and problems that have shrouded the composition of Lincoln's most admired speech in mystery for fifteen decades. Johnson shows when Lincoln first started his speech, reveals the state of the document Lincoln brought to Gettysburg, traces the origin of the false story that Lincoln wrote his speech on the train, identifies the manuscript Lincoln held while speaking, and presents a new method for deciding what Lincoln's audience actually heard him say.

Ultimately, Johnson shows that the Gettysburg Address was a speech that grew and changed with each step of Lincoln's eventful journey to the podium. His two-minute speech made the battlefield and the cemetery into landmarks of the American imagination, but it was Lincoln's own journey to Gettysburg that made the Gettysburg Address.

Written in History

Written in History

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Outstanding selection of great letters from ancient times to the 21st century, touching on power, love, art, sex, faith, and war.

Written in History: Letters that Changed the World celebrates the great letters of world history, and cultural and personal life. Bestselling, prizewinning historian Simon Sebag Montefiore selects letters that have changed the course of global events or touched a timeless emotion--whether passion, rage, humor--from ancient times to the twenty-first century. Some are noble and inspiring, some despicable and unsettling, some are exquisite works of literature, others brutal, coarse, and frankly outrageous, many are erotic, others heartbreaking. It is a surprising and eclectic selection, from the four corners of the world, filled with extraordinary women and men, from ancient times to now.

Truly a choice of letters for our own times encompassing love letters to calls for liberation to declarations of war to reflections on life and death. The writers vary from Elizabeth I and Catherine the Great to Mandela, Stalin and Picasso, Fanny Burney and Emily Pankhurst to Ada Lovelace and Rosa Parks, Oscar Wilde, Chekhov and Pushkin to Balzac, Mozart and Michelangelo, Hitler, Rameses the Great and Alexander Hamilton to Augustus and Churchill, Lincoln, Donald Trump and Suleiman the Magnificent.

In a book that is a perfect gift, here is a window on astonishing characters, seminal events, and unforgettable words. In the colorful, accessible style of a master storyteller, Montefiore shows why these letters are essential reading and how they can unveil and enlighten the past--and enrich the way we live now.

Written World

Written World

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The story of literature in sixteen acts--from Homer to Harry Potter, including The Tale of Genji, Don Quixote, The Communist Manifesto, and how they shaped world history

In this groundbreaking book, Martin Puchner leads us on a remarkable journey through time and around the globe to reveal the how stories and literature have created the world we have today. Through sixteen foundational texts selected from more than four thousand years of world literature, he shows us how writing has inspired the rise and fall of empires and nations, the spark of philosophical and political ideas, and the birth of religious beliefs.

We meet Murasaki, a lady from eleventh-century Japan who wrote the first novel, The Tale of Genji, and follow the adventures of Miguel de Cervantes as he battles pirates, both seafaring and literary. We watch Goethe discover world literature in Sicily, and follow the rise in influence of The Communist Manifesto. Puchner takes us to Troy, Pergamum, and China, speaks with Nobel laureates Derek Walcott in the Caribbean and Orhan Pamuk in Istanbul, and introduces us to the wordsmiths of the oral epic Sunjata in West Africa. This delightful narrative also chronicles the inventions--writing technologies, the printing press, the book itself--that have shaped people, commerce, and history. In a book that Elaine Scarry has praised as "unique and spellbinding," Puchner shows how literature turned our planet into a written world.

Praise for The Written World

"It's with exhilaration . . . that one hails Martin Puchner's book, which asserts not merely the importance of literature but its all-importance. . . . Storytelling is as human as breathing."--The New York Times Book Review

"Puchner has a keen eye for the ironies of history. . . . His ideal is 'world literature, ' a phrase he borrows from Goethe. . . . The breathtaking scope and infectious enthusiasm of this book are a tribute to that ideal."--The Sunday Times (U.K.)

"Enthralling . . . Perfect reading for a long chilly night . . . [Puchner] brings these works and their origins to vivid life."--BookPage

"Well worth a read, to find out how come we read."--Margaret Atwood, via Twitter

Written World

Written World

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The story of literature in sixteen acts--from Homer to Harry Potter, including The Tale of Genji, Don Quixote, The Communist Manifesto, and how they shaped world history

In this groundbreaking book, Martin Puchner leads us on a remarkable journey through time and around the globe to reveal the how stories and literature have created the world we have today. Through sixteen foundational texts selected from more than four thousand years of world literature, he shows us how writing has inspired the rise and fall of empires and nations, the spark of philosophical and political ideas, and the birth of religious beliefs.

We meet Murasaki, a lady from eleventh-century Japan who wrote the first novel, The Tale of Genji, and follow the adventures of Miguel de Cervantes as he battles pirates, both seafaring and literary. We watch Goethe discover world literature in Sicily, and follow the rise in influence of The Communist Manifesto. Puchner takes us to Troy, Pergamum, and China, speaks with Nobel laureates Derek Walcott in the Caribbean and Orhan Pamuk in Istanbul, and introduces us to the wordsmiths of the oral epic Sunjata in West Africa. This delightful narrative also chronicles the inventions--writing technologies, the printing press, the book itself--that have shaped people, commerce, and history. In a book that Elaine Scarry has praised as "unique and spellbinding," Puchner shows how literature turned our planet into a written world.

Praise for The Written World

"It's with exhilaration . . . that one hails Martin Puchner's book, which asserts not merely the importance of literature but its all-importance. . . . Storytelling is as human as breathing."--The New York Times Book Review

"Puchner has a keen eye for the ironies of history. . . . His ideal is 'world literature, ' a phrase he borrows from Goethe. . . . The breathtaking scope and infectious enthusiasm of this book are a tribute to that ideal."--The Sunday Times (U.K.)

"Enthralling . . . Perfect reading for a long chilly night . . . [Puchner] brings these works and their origins to vivid life."--BookPage

"Well worth a read, to find out how come we read."--Margaret Atwood, via Twitter

Wrong on Race: The Democratic Party's Buried Past

Wrong on Race: The Democratic Party's Buried Past

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On the tails of an election with the subject of race at the forefront, Wrong on Race uncovers a hidden past that many Democrats would rather see swept under the carpet. Ranging from the founding of the Republic through to today, it rectifies the unfair perceptions of America's two national parties. While Nixon's infamous Southern Strategy is constantly referenced in the media, less well remembered are Woodrow Wilson's segregation of the entire Federal civil service; FDR's appointment of a member of the KKK to the Supreme Court; John F. Kennedy's apathy towards civil rights legislation; and the ascension of Robert Byrd, who is current President pro tempore of the Senate, third in line in the presidential line of succession, and a former member of the KKK.