The Accidental President: Harry S. Truman and the Four Months That Changed the World

By A.J. Baime

Book Cover: The Accidental President: Harry S. Truman and the Four Months That Changed the World

The dramatic, pulse-pounding story of Harry Truman’s first four months in office, when this unlikely, small-town Washington outsider had to take on Germany, Japan, Stalin, and the atomic bomb, with the fate of the world hanging in the balance.

Heroes are often defined as ordinary characters who get thrust into extraordinary circumstances, and through courage and a dash of luck, cement their place in history. Chosen as FDR’s fourth-term vice president for his well-praised work ethic, good judgment, and lack of enemies, Harry S. Truman was the prototypical ordinary man, still considered an obscure Missouri politician. That is, until he was shockingly thrust in over his head after FDR's sudden death. At the climactic moments of the Second World War, Truman had to play judge and jury during the founding of the United Nations, the Potsdam Conference, the Manhattan Project, the Nazi surrender, the liberation of concentration camps, and the decision to drop the bomb and end World War II. Tightly focused, meticulously researched, and using documents not available to previous biographers, The Accidental President escorts readers into the situation room with Truman during this tumultuous, history-making 120 days, when the stakes were high and the challenges even higher.

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Stanton: Lincoln’s War Secretary

By Walter Stahr

Book Cover: Stanton: Lincoln’s War Secretary

Walter Stahr, award-winning author of the New York Times bestseller Seward, tells the story of Abraham Lincoln’s indispensable Secretary of War, Edwin Stanton, the man the president entrusted with raising the army that preserved the Union.

Of the crucial men close to President Lincoln, Secretary of War Edwin Stanton (1814–1869) was the most powerful and controversial. Stanton raised, armed, and supervised the army of a million men who won the Civil War. He organized the war effort. He directed military movements from his telegraph office, where Lincoln literally hung out with him. He arrested and imprisoned thousands for “war crimes,” such as resisting the draft or calling for an armistice. Stanton was so controversial that some accused him at that time of complicity in Lincoln’s assassination. He was a stubborn genius who was both reviled and revered in his time.

Stanton was a Democrat before the war and a prominent trial lawyer. He opposed slavery, but only in private. He served briefly as President Buchanan’s Attorney General and then as Lincoln’s aggressive Secretary of War. On the night of April 14, 1865, Stanton rushed to Lincoln’s deathbed and took over the government since Secretary of State William Seward had been critically wounded the same evening. He informed the nation of the President’s death, summoned General Grant to protect the Capitol, and started collecting the evidence from those who had been with the Lincolns at the theater in order to prepare a murder trial.

Now with this worthy complement to the enduring library of biographical accounts of those who helped Lincoln preserve the Union, Stanton honors the indispensable partner of the sixteenth president. Walter Stahr’s essential book is the first major biography of Stanton in fifty years, restoring this underexplored figure to his proper place in American history.

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Cinderella Man

Jeremy Schaap

Book Cover: Cinderella Man

A riveting tale of perseverance in the face of hardship, Cinderella Man is the chronicle of the boxer James J. Braddock, whose exceptional story of achievement against all odds was the subject of a major motion picture. Braddock, dubbed the Cinderella Man, staged the greatest comeback in fighting history, rising in the span of twelve months from the relief rolls to a face-off against the heavyweight champion, Max Baer.

Against the gritty backdrop of Depression-era New York, Schaap paints a vivid picture of the fight world in its golden age, evoking a time when boxing resonated with a country trying desperately to get back on its feet.

Blood in the Cage

L. Jon Wertheim

Book Cover: Blood in the Cage

Based on unique access to the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and its rival organizations, Blood in the Cage peers through the chain-link Octagon into the frighteningly seductive world of mixed martial arts, which has exploded in popularity despite resistance. Wertheim focuses on Pat Miletich, who runs the most famous MMA training school in the world. Single-handedly Miletich has transformed a gritty town on the Mississippi into an unlikely hotbed for his sport. He has also transformed many an average Joe into a walking weapon of destruction.

Wertheim intertwines Miletich’s own life story, by turns tragic and triumphant, with the larger story of the unholy rise of the UFC, from its controversial, back alley roots to the fastest-growing sports enterprise in America. Blood in the Cage takes readers behind the scenes, right down to the mat, from a punch in the kidney to the ping of the cash register, as Wertheim brilliantly exposes the no-holds-barred reality of the blood sport for a new generation.

Slaying the Tiger: A Year Inside the Ropes on the New PGA Tour

Shane Ryan

Book Cover: Slaying the Tiger: A Year Inside the Ropes on the New PGA Tour

In Slaying the Tiger, one of today’s boldest young sportswriters spends a season inside the ropes alongside the rising stars who are transforming the game of golf.

 

For more than a decade, golf was dominated by one galvanizing figure: Eldrick “Tiger” Woods. But as his star has fallen, a new, ambitious generation has stepped up to claim the crown. Once the domain of veterans, golf saw a youth revolution in 2014. In Slaying the Tiger, Shane Ryan introduces us to the volatile, colorful crop of heirs apparent who are storming the barricades of this traditionally old-fashioned sport.

 

As the golf writer for Bill Simmons’s Grantland, Shane Ryan is the perfect herald for the sport’s new age. In Slaying the Tiger, he embeds himself for a season on the PGA Tour, where he finds the game far removed from the genteel rhythms of yesteryear. Instead, he discovers a group of mercurial talents driven to greatness by their fear of failure and their relentless perfectionism. From Augusta to Scotland, with an irreverent and energetic voice, Ryan documents every transcendent moment, every press tent tirade, and every controversy that made the 2014 Tour one of the most exciting and unpredictable in recent memory.

 

Here are indelibly drawn profiles of the game’s young guns: Rory McIlroy, the Northern Irish ace who stepped forward as the game’s next superstar; Patrick Reed, a brash, boastful competitor with a warrior’s mentality; Dustin Johnson, the brilliant natural talent whose private habits sabotage his potential; and Jason Day, a resilient Aussie whose hardscrabble beginnings make him the Tour’s ultimate longshot. Here also is the bumptious Bubba Watson, a devout Christian known for his unsportsmanlike outbursts on the golf course; Keegan Bradley, a flinty New Englander who plays with a colossal chip on his shoulder; twenty-one-year-old Jordan Spieth, a preternaturally mature Texan carrying the hopes of the golf establishment; and Rickie Fowler, the humble California kid striving to make his golf speak louder than his bright orange clothes.

 

Bound by their talent, each one hungrier than the last, these players will vie over the coming decade for the right to be called the next king of the game. Golf may be slow to change, but in 2014, the wheels were turning at a feverish pace. Slaying the Tiger offers a dynamic snapshot of a rapidly evolving sport.

Billy Martin: Baseball’s Flawed Genius

Bill Pennington

Book Cover: Billy Martin: Baseball's Flawed Genius

NYT Bestseller

The definitive biography of one of baseball’s most celebrated, mercurial, and misunderstood figures

 

Billy Martin is a story of contrasts. He was the clutch second baseman for the dominant New York Yankees of the 1950s. He then spent sixteen seasons managing in the big leagues, and is considered by anyone who knows baseball to have been a true baseball genius, a field manager without peer. Yet he’s remembered more for his habit of kicking dirt on umpires, for being hired and fired by George Steinbrenner five times, and for his rabble rousing and public brawls. He was combative, fiery, intimidating, and controversial, yet beloved by the everyday fan. He was hard on his players and even harder on himself. He knew how to turn around a losing team like no one else—and how to entertain us every step of the way.

Now, with his definitive biography Billy Martin, Pennington finally erases the caricature of Martin. Drawing on exhaustive interviews with friends, family, teammates, and countless adversaries, Pennington paints an indelible portrait of a man who never backed down for the game he loved. From his shantytown upbringing in a broken home; to his days playing for the Yankees when he almost always helped his team find a way to win; through sixteen years of managing, including his tenure in New York in the crosshairs of Steinbrenner and Reggie Jackson, Billy Martin made sure no one ever ignored him. And indeed no one could. He was the hero, the antihero, and the alter ego—or some combination of all three—for his short sixty-one years among us.

American Legend

Buddy Levy

Book Cover: American Legend

THE REAL KING OF THE WILD FRONTIER

David Crockett was an adventurer, a pioneer, and a media-savvy national celebrity. In his short-but-distinguished lifetime, this charismatic frontiersman won three terms as a U.S. congressman and a presidential nomination. His 1834 memoir enjoyed frenzied sales and prompted the first-ever "official" book tour for its enormously popular author. Down-to-earth, heroic, and independent to a fault, the real Crockett became lost in his own hype-and he's been overshadowed by a larger-than-life pop-culture character in a coonskin cap.

Now, American Legend debunks the tall tales to reveal the fascinating truth of Crockett's hardscrabble childhood, his near-death experiences, his unlikely rise to Congress-and the controversial last stand at the Alamo that mythologized him beyond recognition. In this beautifully written narrative, Crockett emerges as never before-a rugged individual, a true American original, and an enduring symbol of the Western frontier.

Being Santa Claus

Sal Lizard and Jonathan Lane

Book Cover: Being Santa Claus

"What does it take to become Santa Claus? Lizard, a regular guy, transformed himself into the symbol of Christmas after his hair started going white in his 20s. With a heady blend of humor and sentiment, the author explains his role as a positive, affirming figure in the public pageantry surrounding the gala winter holiday citing his joy from the kids' utter adoration, and making wishes come true. Although Lizard sometimes views the grownups as an occupational hazard, he dons the red velvet costume, answers any pee-wee question, and treats every child "with love, dignity, and respect." For the child in every one of us remembering the magic of the Christmas season, he takes us back to the sheer happiness and anticipation of the holiday with his cheerful yet wacky takes in his chapters, "What Would Santa Do?" and "He Knows If You've Been Bad Or Good." If you want to begin to believe again in yuletide mirth and merriment, this book is the perfect sales pitch for the winter classic from a nutty professional Santa, the most effective antidote for sales, bargain and commercialism." - Publisher's Weekly