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History

1938: Hitler's Gamble

1938: Hitler's Gamble

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In this masterful narrative, acclaimed historian Giles MacDonogh chronicles Adolf Hitler's consolidation of power over the course of one year. Until 1938, Hitler could be dismissed as a ruthless but efficient dictator, a problem to Germany alone; after 1938 he was clearly a threat to the entire world.

It was in 1938 that Third Reich came of age. The Fehrer brought Germany into line with Nazi ideology and revealed his plans to take back those parts of Europe lost to Greater Germany after the First World War. From the purging of the army in January through the Anschluss in March, from the Munich Conference in September to the ravages of Kristallnacht in November, MacDonogh offers a gripping account of the year Adolf Hitler came into his own and set the world inexorably on track to a cataclysmic war.

1939: Countdown to War

1939: Countdown to War

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"Overy's book is easily the best account of Europe's descent into...death and destruction." --Evening Standard (London)

A brilliantly concise narrative of the days leading to the outbreak of history's greatest conflagration, 1939 takes readers hour by hour through the nail-biting decisions that determined the fate of millions. Richard Overy, a leading historian of the period, masterfully recreates the jockeying for advantage that set Europe's greatest powers on a collision course. Would Stalin join Hitler in a bid to divide Poland and flout the West? Would Britain and France succeed in forcing Germany to reason? And how far would a defiant Poland push its claim to exist? In the summer of 1939, the course of events was anything but assured, as this exceptionally absorbing book drives home.

1939: Countdown to War

1939: Countdown to War

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A leading historian re-creates the final hours of peace in Europe.
On August 24, 1939, the world held its collective breath as Hitler and Stalin signed the now infamous nonaggression pact, signaling an imminent invasion of Poland and daring Western Europe to respond.
In this dramatic account of the final days before the outbreak of World War II, award-winning historian Richard Overy vividly chronicles the unraveling of peace, hour by grim hour, as politicians and ordinary citizens brace themselves for a war that could spell the end of European civilization. Nothing was entirely predictable or inevitable. The West hoped that Hitler would see sense if they stood firm. Hitler was convinced the West would back down. Moments of uncertainty alternated with those of confrontation; secret intelligence was used by both sides to support their hopes. The one constant feature was the determination of Poland, a country created only in 1919, to protect its newfound independence against a vastly superior enemy. "1939" documents a defining moment in the violent history of the twentieth century.
1940

1940

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In 1940, against the explosive backdrop of the Nazi onslaught in Europe, two farsighted candidates for the U.S. presidency Democrat Franklin D. Roosevelt, running for an unprecedented third term, and talented Republican businessman Wendell Willkie found themselves on the defensive against American isolationists and their charismatic spokesman Charles Lindbergh, who called for surrender to Hitler's demands. In this dramatic account of that turbulent and consequential election, historian Susan Dunn brings to life the debates, the high-powered players, and the dawning awareness of the Nazi threat as the presidential candidates engaged in their own battle for supremacy."1940 "not only explores the contest between FDR and Willkie but also examines the key preparations for war that went forward, even in the midst of that divisive election season. The book tells an inspiring story of the triumph of American democracy in a world reeling from fascist barbarism, and it offers a compelling alternative scenario to today s hyperpartisan political arena, where common ground seems unattainable."
1941 Fighting the Shadow War

1941 Fighting the Shadow War

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In 1941: Fighting the Shadow War, A Divided America in a World at War, historian Marc Wortman thrillingly explores the little-known history of America's clandestine involvement in World War II before the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Prior to that infamous day, America had long been involved in a shadow war. Winston Churchill, England's beleaguered new Prime Minister, pleaded with Franklin D. Roosevelt for help. FDR concocted ingenious ways to come to his aid, without breaking the Neutrality Acts. Launching Lend-Lease, conducting espionage at home and in South America to root out Nazi sympathizers, and waging undeclared war in the Atlantic, were just some of the tactics with which FDR battled Hitler in the shadows.

FDR also had to contend with growing isolationism and anti-Semitism as he tried to influence public opinion. While Americans were sympathetic to those being crushed under Axis power, they were unwilling to enter a foreign war. Wortman tells the story through the eyes of the powerful as well as ordinary citizens. Their stories weave throughout the intricate tapestry of events that unfold during the crucial year of 1941.

Combining military and political history, Wortman tells the eye-opening story of how FDR took the country to war.

1941 The Year That Keeps Returning

1941 The Year That Keeps Returning

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A New York Review Books Original

The distinguished Croatian journalist and publisher Slavko Goldstein says, "Writing this book about my family, I have tried not to separate what happened to us from the fates of many other people and of an entire country." 1941: The Year That Keeps Returning is Goldstein's astonishing historical memoir of that fateful year--when the Ustasha, the pro-fascist nationalists, were brought to power in Croatia by the Nazi occupiers of Yugoslavia. On April 10, when the German troops marched into Zagreb, the Croatian capital, they were greeted as liberators by the Croats. Three days later, Ante Pavelic, the future leader of the Independent State of Croatia, returned from exile in Italy and Goldstein's father, the proprietor of a leftist bookstore in Karlovac--a beautiful old city fifty miles from the capital--was arrested along with other local Serbs, communists, and Yugoslav sympathizers. Goldstein was only thirteen years old, and he would never see his father again.

More than fifty years later, Goldstein seeks to piece together the facts of his father's last days. The moving narrative threads stories of family, friends, and other ordinary people who lived through those dark times together with personal memories and an impressive depth of carefully researched historic details. The other central figure in Goldstein's heartrending tale is his mother--a strong, resourceful woman who understands how to act decisively in a time of terror in order to keep her family alive.

From 1941 through 1945 some 32,000 Jews, 40,000 Gypsies, and 350,000 Serbs were slaughtered in Croatia. It is a period in history that is often forgotten, purged, or erased from the history books, which makes Goldstein's vivid, carefully balanced account so important for us today--for the same atrocities returned to Croatia and Bosnia in the 1990s. And yet Goldstein's story isn't confined by geographical boundaries as it speaks to the dangers and madness of ethnic hatred all over the world and the urgent need for mutual understanding.

1944

1944

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**New York Times Bestseller**

Jay Winik brings to life in "gripping" detail (The New York Times Book Review) the year 1944, which determined the outcome of World War II and put more pressure than any other on an ailing yet determined President Roosevelt.

1944 was a year that could have stymied the Allies and cemented Hitler's waning power. Instead, it saved those democracies--but with a fateful cost. Now, in a "complex history rendered with great color and sympathy" (Kirkus Reviews, starred review), Jay Winik captures the epic images and extraordinary history "with cinematic force" (Time).

1944 witnessed a series of titanic events: FDR at the pinnacle of his wartime leadership as well as his reelection, the unprecedented D-Day invasion, the liberation of Paris, and the tumultuous conferences that finally shaped the coming peace. But millions of lives were at stake as President Roosevelt learned about Hitler's Final Solution. Just as the Allies were landing in Normandy, the Nazis were accelerating the killing of millions of European Jews. Winik shows how escalating pressures fell on an infirm Roosevelt, who faced a momentous decision. Was winning the war the best way to rescue the Jews? Or would it get in the way of defeating Hitler? In a year when even the most audacious undertakings were within the world's reach, one challenge--saving Europe's Jews--seemed to remain beyond Roosevelt's grasp.

"Compelling....This dramatic account highlights what too often has been glossed over--that as nobly as the Greatest Generation fought under FDR's command, America could well have done more to thwart Nazi aggression" (The Boston Globe). Destined to take its place as one of the great works of World War II, 1944 is the first book to retell these events with moral clarity and a moving appreciation of the extraordinary actions of many extraordinary leaders.

1946

1946

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From the author of Twelve Days: The Story of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution and Revolution 1989: The Fall of the Soviet Empire comes a powerful, revelatory book about the year that would signal the beginning of the Cold War, the end of the British Empire, and the beginning of the rivalry between the United States and the USSR. Victor Sebestyen reveals the events of 1946 by chronologically framing what was taking place in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia, with seminal decisions made by heads of state that would profoundly change the old order forever. Whether it was the July 22 bombing of the King David Hotel in Jerusalem, the July 25 Bikini Atoll underwater atomic bomb test, or the August 16 Great Calcutta Killings in India, 1946 was a year of seismic and dramatic events.

Sebestyen begins with the Moscow Foreign Ministers' Conference the week before Christmas 1945, when Stalin announced that the USSR would not withdraw its troops from Iran by March 1946, and ends with the morning of November 3, 1946, when Emperor Hirohito officially unveiled Japan's new constitution before the National Diet. The year 1946 would see the map of Eastern Europe redrawn, Chinese communists gaining decisive victories in their fight for power, and the birth of Israel.

Though Truman, Stalin, Churchill, MacArthur, Ben-Gurion, Hirohito, and Menachem Begin are part of the story, Sebestyen also writes about the enormous suffering and ongoing persecution of civilians in the aftermath of the war: the pillaging and rape; the ethnic cleansing of the German population from Czechoslovakia and Poland; the rise of a violent new anti-Semitism; the civil wars in China and Greece; the mass starvation in Japan, Eastern Europe, and Germany on a scale not seen since the Middle Ages; the spread of diseases such as tuberculosis and diphtheria; and such total desolation that schools, government, and transportation were nonexistent and currency was worthless.

Drawing on personal testimonies and new archival research, Sebestyen has written a vivid and compelling narrative that brilliantly evokes the beginning of the Cold War set against a devastated landscape of dystopian horrors.

(With 16 pages of black-and-white photographs.)

1947

1947

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An award-winning writer captures a year that defined the modern world, intertwining historical events around the globe with key moments from her personal history.

The year 1947 marks a turning point in the twentieth century. Peace with Germany becomes a tool to fortify the West against the threats of the Cold War. The CIA is created, Israel is about to be born, Simone de Beauvoir experiences the love of her life, an ill George Orwell is writing his last book, and Christian Dior creates the hyperfeminine New Look as women are forced out of jobs and back into the home.

In the midst of it all, a ten-year-old Hungarian Jewish boy resides in a refugee camp for children of parents murdered by the Nazis. This year he has to make the decision of a lifetime, one that will determine his own fate and that of his daughter yet to be born, Elisabeth.

1947: Where Now Begins

1947: Where Now Begins

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An NPR Best Book of the Year 2018

"One of the best books, certainly the best nonfiction book, that I've read recently." --Nancy Pearl on NPR's Morning Edition



"An extraordinary achievement." --New York Times Book Review

An award-winning writer captures a year that defined the modern world, intertwining historical events around the globe with key moments from her personal history.

The year 1947 marks a turning point in the twentieth century. Peace with Germany becomes a tool to fortify the West against the threats of the Cold War. The CIA is created, Israel is about to be born, Simone de Beauvoir experiences the love of her life, an ill George Orwell is writing his last book, and Christian Dior creates the hyper-feminine New Look as women are forced out of jobs and back into the home.

In the midst of it all, a ten-year-old Hungarian-Jewish boy resides in a refugee camp for children of parents murdered by the Nazis. This year he has to make the decision of a lifetime, one that will determine his own fate and that of his daughter yet to be born, Elisabeth.

1959: The Year Everything Changed

1959: The Year Everything Changed

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Acclaimed national security columnist and noted cultural critic Fred Kaplan looks past the 1960s to the year that really changed America

While conventional accounts focus on the sixties as the era of pivotal change that swept the nation, Fred Kaplan argues that it was 1959 that ushered in the wave of tremendous cultural, political, and scientific shifts that would play out in the decades that followed. Pop culture exploded in upheaval with the rise of artists like Jasper Johns, Norman Mailer, Allen Ginsberg, and Miles Davis. Court rulings unshackled previously banned books. Political power broadened with the onset of Civil Rights laws and protests. The sexual and feminist revolutions took their first steps with the birth control pill. America entered the war in Vietnam, and a new style in superpower diplomacy took hold. The invention of the microchip and the Space Race put a new twist on the frontier myth.

  • Vividly chronicles 1959 as a vital, overlooked year that set the world as we know it in motion, spearheading immense political, scientific, and cultural change
  • Strong critical acclaim: ""Energetic and engaging"" (Washington Post); ""Immensely enjoyable . . . a first-rate book"" (New Yorker); ""Lively and filled with often funny anecdotes"" (Publishers Weekly)
  • Draws fascinating parallels between the country in 1959 and today

    Drawing fascinating parallels between the country in 1959 and today, Kaplan offers a smart, cogent, and deeply researched take on a vital, overlooked period in American history.

  • 1963 The Year of the Revolution

    1963 The Year of the Revolution

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    Beginning in London and ricocheting across the Atlantic, 1963: The Year of the Revolution is an oral history of twelve months that changed our world--the Youth Quake movement--and laid the foundations for the generation of today.

    Ariel Leve and Robin Morgan's oral history is the first book to recount the kinetic story of the twelve months that witnessed a demographic power shift--the rise of the Youth Quake movement, a cultural transformation through music, fashion, politics, theater, and film. Leve and Morgan detail how, for the first time in history, youth became a commercial and cultural force with the power to command the attention of government and religion and shape society.

    While the Cold War began to thaw, the race into space heated up, feminism and civil rights percolated in politics, and JFK's assassination shocked the world, the Beatles and Bob Dylan would emerge as poster boys and the prophet of a revolution that changed the world.

    1963: The Year of the Revolution records, documentary-style, the incredible roller-coaster ride of those twelve months, told through the recollections of some of the period's most influential figures--from Keith Richards to Mary Quant, Vidal Sassoon to Graham Nash, Alan Parker to Peter Frampton, Eric Clapton to Gay Talese, Stevie Nicks to Norma Kamali, and many more.

    1967: Israel, the War, and the Year That Transformed the Middle East

    1967: Israel, the War, and the Year That Transformed the Middle East

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    A marvelous achievement . . . Anyone curious about the extraordinary six days of Arab-Israeli war will learn much from it.--The Economist

    Tom Segev's acclaimed One Palestine, Complete and The Seventh Million overturned accepted views of the history of Israel. Now, in 1967, he brings his masterful skills to the watershed year when six days of war reshaped the country and the entire region.

    Going far beyond a military account, Segev re-creates the apocalyptic climate in Israel before the war as well as the country's bravado after its victory. He introduces the legendary figures--Moshe Dayan, Golda Meir, Gamal Abdel Nasser, and Lyndon Johnson--and an epic cast of soldiers, lobbyists, refugees, and settlers. He reveals as never before Israel's intimacy with the White House, and the political rivalries that sabotaged any chance of peace. Above all, Segev challenges the view that the war was inevitable, showing that behind the bloodshed was a series of disastrous miscalculations.

    Vibrant and original, 1967 is sure to stand as the definitive account of that pivotal year.

    1968

    1968

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    Now in paperback, a major history of one of the seminal years in the postwar world, when rebellion and disaffection broke out on an extraordinary scale.

    The year 1968 saw an extraordinary range of protests across much of the western world. Some of these were genuinely revolutionary--around ten million French workers went on strike and the whole state teetered on the brink of collapse. Others were more easily contained, but had profound longer-term implications--terrorist groups, feminist collectives, gay rights activists could all trace important roots to 1968.

    1968 is a striking and original attempt half a century later to show how these events, which in some ways still seem so current, stemmed from histories and societies which are in practice now extraordinarily remote from our own time. 1968 pursues the story into the 1970s to show both the ever more violent forms of radicalization that stemmed from 1968 and the brutal reaction that brought the era to an end.

    1968

    1968

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    A major new history of one of the seminal years in the postwar world, when rebellion and disaffection broke out on an extraordinary scale.

    The year 1968 saw an extraordinary range of protests across much of the western world. Some of these were genuinely revolutionary--around ten million French workers went on strike and the whole state teetered on the brink of collapse. Others were more easily contained, but had profound longer-term implications--terrorist groups, feminist collectives, gay rights activists could all trace important roots to 1968.

    1968 is a striking and original attempt half a century later to show how these events, which in some ways still seem so current, stemmed from histories and societies which are in practice now extraordinarily remote from our own time. 1968 pursues the story into the 1970s to show both the ever more violent forms of radicalization that stemmed from 1968 and the brutal reaction that brought the era to an end.

    1968 in America

    1968 in America

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    Charles Kaiser s 1968 in America is widely recognized as one of the best historical accounts of the 1960s. This book devotes equal attention to the personal and the political and speaks with authority about such diverse figures as Bob Dylan, Eugene McCarthy, Janis Joplin, and Lyndon Johnson."
    1968: The Year That Rocked the World

    1968: The Year That Rocked the World

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    NATIONAL BESTSELLER - "In this highly opinionated and highly readable history, Kurlansky makes a case for why 1968 has lasting relevance in the United States and around the world."--Dan Rather

    To some, 1968 was the year of sex, drugs, and rock and roll. Yet it was also the year of the Martin Luther King, Jr., and Bobby Kennedy assassinations; the riots at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago; Prague Spring; the antiwar movement and the Tet Offensive; Black Power; the generation gap; avant-garde theater; the upsurge of the women's movement; and the beginning of the end for the Soviet Union.

    In this monumental book, Mark Kurlansky brings to teeming life the cultural and political history of that pivotal year, when television's influence on global events first became apparent, and spontaneous uprisings occurred simultaneously around the world. Encompassing the diverse realms of youth and music, politics and war, economics and the media, 1968 shows how twelve volatile months transformed who we were as a people--and led us to where we are today.

    2,000 Questions And Answers About The Civil War

    2,000 Questions And Answers About The Civil War

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    2,000 Questions and Answers About the Civil War is full of fascinating trivia and facts about America's most colorful and intriguing war. The questions are presented in categories, making it easy to test your knowledge of the fighting men of the Confederate or Union armies, the roles of civilians, transportation and communication, sites, weapons, and specific areas of battles.