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Thomas Edison

Edison

In Edison we learn that, although he was the most famous American of his time, and remains an international name today, he is mostly remembered only for the gift of universal electric light. His invention of the first practical incandescent lamp 140 years ago so dazzled the world—already reeling from his invention of the phonograph and dozens of other revolutionary devices—that it cast a shadow over his later achievements. Read more…

Modern German History

Germany: A Nation in Its Time: Before, During, and After Nationalism, 1500-2000

For nearly a century, historians have depicted Germany as a rabidly nationalist land, born in a sea of aggression. Not so, says Helmut Walser Smith, who, in this groundbreaking 500-year history—the first comprehensive volume to go well beyond World War II—challenges traditional perceptions of Germany’s conflicted past, revealing a nation far more thematically complicated than twentieth-century historians have imagined.   Smith’s dramatic narrative begins with the earliest glimmers of a nation in the 1500s, when visionary mapmakers and adventuresome travelers struggled to delineate and define this embryonic nation. Read more…

New Zealand History

The Penguin History of New Zealand

New Zealand was the last country in the world to be discovered and settled by humankind. It was also the first to introduce full democracy. Between those events, and in the century that followed, the movements and conflicts of human history have been played out more intensively and more rapidly in New Zealand than anywhere else on Earth. The Penguin History of New Zealand tells that story in all its color and drama. The narrative that emerges is an inclusive one about men and women, Maori and Pakeha. Read more…

A History of Mexico

Fire & Blood: A History of Mexico

Fire & Blood brilliantly depicts the succession of tribes and societies that have variously called Mexico their home, their battleground, and their legacy. This is the tale of the indigenous people who forged from this rugged terrain a wide-ranging civilization; of the Olmec, Maya, Toltec, and Aztec dynasties, which exercised their sophisticated powers through bureaucracy and religion; of the Spanish conquistadors, whose arrival heralded death, disease, and a new vision of continental domination. Author T. R. Read more…

The History of the Mexican Pilots

201st Squadron: The Aztec Eagles: The History of the Mexican Pilots Who Fought in World War II

In April of 1945, just before the end of the Second World War, Mexico sent an air contingent to fight shoulder-to-shoulder with the Allied Forces: the 201st Fighter Squadron. The six-year war that had wrought so much havoc would be over in just three months: the group of Mexican pilots flew through the last, rapidly-closing gap in order to finish on the side of the victors. The thirty pilots who made up the air squadron did not fight Nazi Germany or Italian fascism, but Japanese imperialism in Luzon and Formosa. Read more…

Modern History of France

France: A Modern History from the Revolution to the War with Terror

With the defeat of Napoleon Bonaparte at the Battle of Waterloo in June 1815, the next two centuries for France would be tumultuous. Critically acclaimed historian and political commentator Jonathan Fenby provides an expert and riveting journey through this period as he recounts and analyzes the extraordinary sequence of events of this period from the end of the First Revolution through two others, a return of Empire, three catastrophic wars with Germany, periods of stability and hope interspersed with years of uncertainty and high tensions. Read more…

The Apostle Paul

Paul: A Biography

In this definitive biography, renowned Bible scholar, Anglican bishop, and bestselling author N. T. Wright offers a radical look at the apostle Paul, illuminating the humanity and remarkable achievements of this intellectual who invented Christian theology—transforming a faith and changing the world. For centuries, Paul, the apostle who “saw the light on the Road to Damascus” and made a miraculous conversion from zealous Pharisee persecutor to devoted follower of Christ, has been one of the church’s most widely cited saints. While his influence on Christianity has been profound, N. T. Read more…

History of Latin America

Forgotten Continent: A History of the New Latin America

Ten years after its first publication, this best-selling survey of the state of contemporary Latin America by Michael Reid has been wholly updated to reflect the new realities of the “Forgotten Continent.” The former Americas editor for the Economist, Reid suggests that much of Central and South America, though less poor, less unequal, and better educated than before, faces harder economic times now that the commodities boom of the 2000s is over. Read more…

Pandemic

The Great Influenza: The Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History

Magisterial in its breadth of perspective and depth of research, The Great Influenza provides us with a precise and sobering model as we confront the epidemics looming on our own horizon. As Jon M. Barry concludes, “The final lesson of 1918, a simple one yet one most difficult to execute, is that…those in authority must retain the public’s trust. The way to do that is to distort nothing, to put the best face on nothing, to try to manipulate no one. Lincoln said that first, and best. A leader must make whatever horror exists concrete. Read more…

British History

The Splendid and the Vile: A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance During the Blitz

On the first day that Winston Churchill became prime minister, Adolf Hitler invaded Holland and Belgium. Poland and Czechoslovakia had already fallen, and the Dunkirk evacuation was just two weeks away. For the next twelve months, Hitler would wage a relentless bombing campaign, killing 45,000 Britons. It was up to Churchill to hold his country together and persuade President Franklin Roosevelt that Britain was a worthy ally—and willing to fight to the end. Read more…