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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Girl Rising: Changing the World One Girl at a Time

by Tanya Lee Stone

Girl Rising

A gorgeous, full-color oversized book about educating girls across the world inspired by the documentary that Entertainment Weekly says “every mother, sister, daughter, should see, as well as the men who love and support them.” This is the right book for the present moment and perfect for fans of inspirational nonfiction such as I Am Malala and anyone who believes that one girl can change the world.

Worldwide, over 62 million girls are not in school.
But one girl with courage is a revolution.

Girl Rising, a global campaign for girls’ education, created a film that chronicled the stories of nine girls in the developing world, allowing viewers the opportunity to witness how education can break the cycle of poverty.

Now, award-winning author Tanya Lee Stone deftly uses new research to illuminate the dramatic facts behind the film, focusing both on the girls captured on camera and many others. She examines barriers to education in depth—early child marriage and childbearing, slavery, sexual trafficking, gender discrimination, and poverty—and shows how removing these barriers means not only a better life for girls, but safer, healthier, and more prosperous communities.

With full-color photos from the film, infographics, and a compelling narrative, Girl Rising will inspire readers of all ages to join together in a growing movement to help change the world.

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Bad Sports

David Zirin

Book Cover: Bad Sports

Funny, engaging, and sharply pointed in his appraisal of the sports complex bankrupting our cities, the celebrated author of A People’s History of Sports in the United States returns with a hard-hitting indictment of big business and the corrupt practices that are ruining the sports we love.

When attending a baseball game becomes a luxury reserved for the wealthy few and cities build multi-million dollar stadiums while letting their bridges crumble, the price of sports in this country demands reassessment. Bad Sports cuts through the hype and bombast to give us a portrait of sports ownership as irresponsible as the financial shenanigans that drove the nation to the edge of economic ruin. From the outrageous use of public funds for stadium construction to the use of these spaces for religious and political platforms, Dave Zirin raises vital questions about misplaced priorities and moral abdications among the politicians we elect and the owners of the teams we root for.

Speaking out in clear and passionate terms for the rights of any taxpayer and sports fan, Zirin returns America’s favorite pastimes back to where they belong—in the open and for the people.

The Lost Majority

Sean Trende

Book Cover: The Lost Majority

In today’s fraught political climate, one thing is indisputable: the dream of the emerging Democratic majority is dead. How did the Democrats, who seemed unstoppable only two short years ago, lose their momentum so quickly, and what does it mean for the future of our two-party system? Here, RealClearPolitics senior analyst Sean Trende explores the underlying weaknesses of the Democratic promise of recent years, and shows how unlikely a new era of liberal values always was as demonstrated by the current backlash against unions and other Democratic pillars. Persuasively arguing that both Republicans and Democrats are failing to connect with the real values of the American people - and that long-held theories of cyclical political "realignments" are baseless - Trende shows how elusive a true and lasting majority is in today’s climate, how Democrats can make up for the ground they’ve lost, and how Republicans can regain power and credibility. Trende’s surprising insights include:

The South didn’t shift toward the Republicans because of racism, but because of economics.

Barack Obama’s 2008 win wasn’t grounded in a new, transformative coalition, but in a narrower version of Bill Clinton’s coalition.

The Latino vote is not a given for the Democrats; as they move up the economic ladder, they will start voting Republican.

Even before the recent fights about the public sector, Democratic strongholds like unions were no longer relevant political entities.

With important critiques of the possible Republican presidential nominations in 2012, this is a timely, inspiring look at the next era of American politics.

Agent Garbo

Stephan Talty

Book Cover: Agent Garbo

Agent Garbo tells the astonishing story of a self-made secret agent who matched wits with the best minds of the Third Reich — and won. Juan Pujol was a nobody, a Barcelona poultry farmer determined to oppose the Nazis. Using only his gift for daring falsehoods, Pujol became Germany’s most valued agent — or double agent: it took four tries before the British believed he was really on the Allies’ side.

In the guise of Garbo, Pujol turned in a masterpiece of deception worthy of his big-screen namesake. He created an imaginary million-man army, invented armadas out of thin air, and brought a vast network of fictional subagents whirring to life. His unwitting German handlers believed every word, and banked on Garbo’s lies as their only source of espionage within Great Britain.

For his greatest performance, Pujol had to convince the German High Command that the D-Day invasion of Normandy was a feint and the real attack was aimed at Calais. The Nazis bought it, turning the tide of battle at the crucial moment.

Based on years of archival research and interviews with Pujol’s family, Agent Garbo is a true-life thriller set in the shadow world of espionage and deception.

Guantánamo Diary

Guantánamo Diary

Book Cover: Guantánamo Diary

NYT Bestseller

An unprecedented international publishing event: the first and only diary written by a still-imprisoned Guantánamo detainee.

 

Since 2002, Mohamedou Slahi has been imprisoned at the detainee camp at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. In all these years, the United States has never charged him with a crime. Although he was ordered released by a federal judge, the U.S. government fought that decision, and there is no sign that the United States plans to let him go.

 

Three years into his captivity Slahi began a diary, recounting his life before he disappeared into U.S. custody and daily life as a detainee. His diary is not merely a vivid record of a miscarriage of justice, but a deeply personal memoir---terrifying, darkly humorous, and surprisingly gracious. Published now for the first time, GUANTÁNAMO DIARY is a document of immense historical importance.

Rise: A Soldier, a Dream, and a Promise Kept

Daniel Rodriguez & Joe Layden

Book Cover: Rise: A Soldier, a Dream, and a Promise Kept

New York Times Bestseller

 

The unforgettable story of a young soldier who survived one of the bloodiest battles in Afghanistan and lived to pursue his dream of playing Division I college football

 

At 5-foot-8, 175 pounds, Daniel Rodriguez was an unlikely recruit for the gridiron. But on the battlefield, under the daily rain of sniper fire, he made a promise to his best friend. “When I get out of this shithole, I’m going to play college football.”

 

Daniel had joined the army just weeks after graduating from high school, having recently suffered a devastating loss. At age nineteen he had no idea what war really was; he just wanted to get out of town. Almost immediately, he was deployed to Iraq (and would later serve in Afghanistan). And he grew up fast — stopped sleeping, started smoking. Killing became second nature. He fought in the infamous Battle of Kamdesh and for his bravery he was awarded a Purple Heart and the Bronze Star. But his best friend was not so lucky.

 

Against all odds, Daniel returned home — broken, but still alive. Stuck in the clutches of PTSD, Daniel remembered that fateful promise to his friend and knew he had to make good on it. He embarked on a grueling training regimen and when he posted a video of his efforts, it went viral overnight. By some mix of grit, determination, and the power of the Internet, he earned a spot on the Clemson University football team.

 

A powerfully delivered narrative of a young soldier, his unlikely dream, and how he found his way out of darkness, Rise is inspiring, quintessentially American, and will resonate with anyone who has ever fought for what they what they wanted.

American Spy

E. Howard Hunt and Greg Aunapu

Book Cover: American Spy

Startling revelations from the OSS, the CIA, and the Nixon White house

Think you know everything there is to know about the OSS, the Cold War, the CIA, and Watergate? Think again. In American Spy, one of the key figures in postwar international and political espionage tells all. Former OSS and CIA operative and White House staffer E. Howard Hunt takes you into the covert designs of Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon:

-His involvement in the CIA coup in Guatemala in 1954, the Bay of Pigs invasion, and more
-His work with CIA officials such as Allen Dulles and Richard Helms
-His friendship with William F. Buckley Jr., whom Hunt brought into the CIA
-The amazing steps the CIA took to manipulate the media in America and abroad
-The motives behind the break-in at Daniel Ellsberg's psychiatrist's office
-Why the White House "plumbers" were formed and what they accomplished
-The truth behind Operation Gemstone, a series of planned black ops activities against Nixon's political enemies
-A minute-by-minute account of the Watergate break-in
-Previously unreleased details of the post-Watergate cover-up
-Complete with documentation from audiotape transcripts, handwritten notes, and official documents, American Spy is must reading for anyone who is fascinated by real-life spy tales, high-stakes politics, and, of course, Watergate.

Spoiled Rotten

Jay Cost

Book Cover: Spoiled Rotten

The Democratic Party has long presented itself as the party of the poor, the working class, the little guy. As Jay Cost's sweeping revisionist history reveals, nothing could be further from the truth.

Why have the Democrats gone from being the people's party of reform to the party of special-interest carve-outs? In Spoiled Rotten, political analyst Jay Cost tells the story of the modern Democratic party from the end of the Civil War to the present, tracing the sad decline of a once noble political coalition that is no longer capable of living up to its lofty ideals.

When Andrew Jackson formed the Democratic party in 1828, he promised to stand up for the little guy against the rule of privileged elites. What has become of this promise? According to Cost, recent history has shown the Democrats to be anything but the party of and for the people. Instead, they have become a collection of special-interest groups feeding off the federal government, exchanging votes for subsidies and benefits.

With the creation of a partisan spoils system in the nineteenth century, both parties practiced the politics of patronage. But, starting with the New Deal, Franklin Delano Roosevelt used the power of big government to transform whole classes of society into clients of the Democratic party. Urban machines, southern segregationists, and organized labor all benefited from this approach. FDR's successors—Truman, Kennedy, Johnson, and Carter—followed suit, turning African Americans, environmentalists, feminists, government workers, teachers, and a number of other groups into loyal Democratic factions. As a result, the Democratic party has become a kind of national Tammany Hall whose real purpose is to colonize the federal government on behalf of its clients.

No longer able to govern for the vast majority of the country, the Democratic party simply taxes Middle America to pay off its clients while hiding its true nature behind a smoke screen of idealistic rhetoric. Thus, the Obama health care, stimulus, and auto bailout health care bill were created not to help all Americans but to secure contributions and votes. Average Americans need to see that whatever the Democratic party claims it is doing for the country, it is in fact governing simply for its base.

Hard-hitting and uncompromising, Spoiled Rotten is a timely, powerful polemic from a rising intellectual star.

Fortress America

Matthew Brzezinski

Book Cover: Fortress America

Heavily armed guards at the entrances to malls and restaurants. Citizens deemed “suspicious” taken away without formal charges or legal counsel. Would a “safe” America even look like America anymore?

One of the few journalists to penetrate the new counter terror initiative, Matthew Brzezinski offers an insider’s look at the new technology, laws, tactics, and persistent vulnerabilities of the post-9/11 era. The result is this startling, sometimes controversial look at what it will take to achieve genuine homeland security and what it may be like to live inside Fortress America

Is this what a safe America will look like?

• Cameras at airport ticket counters that can tell if you are stressed

• Satellites and surveillance equipment that can see through the walls of your home

• Computer programs capable of spotting abnormal behavior

• National ID “smart” cards encoding your personal, financial, and medical information required for electronic police spot checks

In the aftermath of September 11, a massive effort has been launched to protect us from another terrorist attack. But the costs of safeguarding our country will require not only unprecedented amounts of funding, but dramatic changes in the way Americans lead their everyday lives.

Is this the new price of freedom?

• Mandatory chips installed in all cell phones and automobiles that can locate you instantly within a dozen yards
• Patriot II legislation that can arbitrarily revoke citizenship and allow terrorist sympathizers to vanish without a trace

• Transponder implants that could be injected into the bodies of prisoners, foreign nationals, and perhaps one day all US citizens…

Such high-tech measures are not the stuff of science fiction but in many cases are already being implemented. As Brzezinski discovers, similar measures have been in use for years in security states like Israel. But will Americans trade liberty for security? Will they have a choice? And can even the most radical measures insure that a 9/11 style attack won’t happen again?

From an unheeded warning six years before the WTC disaster to dramatic war-game scenarios secretly conducted at Andrews Air Force Base and chilling on-site simulations of actual attacks, Fortress America paints a sobering picture of the future of freedom…and what life may be like in a maximum security state.