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History of Pakistan

Midnight’s Furies: The Deadly Legacy of India’s Partition

As we learn in Midnight’s Furies: The Deadly Legacy of India’s Partition, nobody expected the liberation of India and birth of Pakistan to be so bloody — it was supposed to be an answer to the dreams of Muslims and Hindus who had been ruled by the British for centuries. Jawaharlal Nehru, Gandhi’s protégé and the political leader of India, believed Indians were an inherently nonviolent, peaceful people. Pakistan’s founder, Mohammad Ali Jinnah, was a secular lawyer, not a firebrand. But in August 1946, exactly a year before Independence, Calcutta erupted in street-gang fighting. Read more…

Simon Sebag Montefiore

The Romanovs: 1613-1918

The Romanovs is the intimate story of twenty tsars and tsarinas, some touched by genius, some by madness, but all inspired by holy autocracy and imperial ambition. Simon Sebag Montefiore’s gripping chronicle reveals their secret world of unlimited power and ruthless empire-building, overshadowed by palace conspiracy, family rivalries, sexual decadence and wild extravagance, with a global cast of adventurers, courtesans, revolutionaries and poets, from Ivan the Terrible to Tolstoy and Pushkin, to Bismarck, Lincoln, Queen Victoria and Lenin. To rule Russia was both imperial-sacred mission and poisoned chalice: six of the last twelve tsars were murdered. Read more…

Energy Crisis

Panic at the Pump: The Energy Crisis and the Transformation of American Politics in the 1970s

Panic at the Pump is an authoritative history of the energy crises of the 1970s and the world they wrought… In 1973, the Arab OPEC cartel banned the export of oil to the United States, sending prices and tempers rising across the country. Dark Christmas trees, lowered thermostats, empty gas tanks, and the new fifty-five-mile-per-hour speed limit all suggested that America was a nation in decline. “Don’t be fuelish” became the national motto. Read more…

Segregation in America

The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America

Widely heralded as a “masterful” (Washington Post) and “essential” (Slate) history of the modern American metropolis, The Color of Law by Richard Rothstein offers “the most forceful argument ever published on how federal, state, and local governments gave rise to and reinforced neighborhood segregation” (William Julius Wilson). Read more…

History of Tammany Hall

Machine Made: Tammany Hall and the Creation of Modern American Politics

Machine Made takes some issue with the history of Tammany hall that references it as shorthand for the worst of urban politics: graft and patronage personified by notoriously crooked characters. In his groundbreaking work, journalist and historian Terry Golway dismantles these stereotypes, focusing on the many benefits of machine politics for marginalized immigrants. As thousands sought refuge from Ireland’s potato famine, the very question of who would be included under the protection of American democracy was at stake. Read more…

George Herbert Walker Bush

Destiny and Power: The American Odyssey of George Herbert Walker Bush

Destiny and Power draws on President Bush’s personal diaries, on the diaries of his wife, Barbara, and on the author’s extraordinary access to the forty-first president and his family. Jon Meacham paints an intimate and surprising portrait of an intensely private man who led the nation through tumultuous times. Read more…

William F. Buckley

Open to Debate: How William F. Buckley Put Liberal America on the Firing Line

Open to Debate is a unique and compelling portrait of William F. Buckley as the champion of conservative ideas in an age of liberal dominance, taking on the smartest adversaries he could find while single-handedly reinventing the role of public intellectual in the network television era. When Firing Line premiered on American television in 1966, just two years after Barry Goldwater’s devastating defeat, liberalism was ascendant. Though the left seemed to have decisively won the hearts and minds of the electorate, the show’s creator and host, William F. Read more…

History of New York City

City of Dreams: The 400-Year Epic History of Immigrant New York

“City of Dreams is a richly textured guide to the history of our immigrant nation’s pinnacle immigrant city has managed to enter the stage during an election season that has resurrected this historically fraught topic in all its fierceness.” — New York Times Book Review New York has been America’s city of immigrants for nearly four centuries. Read more…

Baseball History

The Summer of Beer and Whiskey: How Brewers, Barkeeps, Rowdies, Immigrants, and a Wild Pennant Fight Made Baseball America’s Game

As recounted in The Summer of Beer and Whiskey Chris von der Ahe knew next to nothing about base¬ball when he risked his life’s savings to found the franchise that would become the St. Louis Cardinals. Yet the German-born beer garden proprietor would become one of the most important—and funniest—figures in the game’s history. Von der Ahe picked up the team for one reason—to sell more beer. Then he helped gather a group of ragtag professional clubs together to create a maverick new league that would fight the haughty National League, reinventing big-league baseball to attract Americans of all classes. Read more…

Cornelius Vanderbilt

The Last Tycoon

Meticulously researched and elegantly written, The First Tycoon describes an improbable life, from Vanderbilt’s humble birth during the presidency of George Washington to his death as one of the richest men in American history. In between we see how the Commodore helped to launch the transportation revolution, propel the Gold Rush, reshape Manhattan, and invent the modern corporation. Epic in its scope and success, the life of Vanderbilt is also the story of the rise of America itself. In this groundbreaking, Pulitzer prize-winning biography, T.J. Read more…