Category Archives: History

Rough Riders

Rough Riders synopsis: The first definitive account of this legendary fighting force and its extraordinary leader, Theodore Roosevelt, Mark Lee Gardner’s Rough Riders is narrative nonfiction at its most invigorating and compulsively readable. Its dramatic unfolding of a familiar, yet not-fully-known story will remind readers of James Swanson’s Manhunt. Two months after the sinking of… Read More »

Iwo Jima

Iwo Jima synopsis: The men who fought and survived the deadliest battle of the Pacific—in their own words. On February 19, 1945, nearly 70,000 American marines invaded a tiny volcanic island in the Pacific. Over the next thirty-five days, approximately 28,000 combatants died, including nearly 22,000 Japanese and 6,821 Americans, making Iwo Jima one of… Read More »

The Map That Changed the World

The Map That Changed the World synopsis: In 1793, a canal digger named William Smith made a startling discovery. He found that by tracing the placement of fossils, which he uncovered in his excavations, one could follow layers of rocks as they dipped and rose and fell—clear across England and, indeed, clear across the world—making… Read More »

The Gambler

The Gambler synopsis: The rags-to-riches story of one of America’s wealthiest and least-known financial giants, self-made billionaire Kirk Kerkorian—the daring aviator, movie mogul, risk-taker, and business tycoon who transformed Las Vegas and Hollywood to become one of the leading financiers in American business. Kerkorian combined the courage of a World War II pilot, the fortitude… Read More »

Without Precedent

Without Precedent synopsis: No member of America’s Founding Generation had a greater impact on the Constitution and the Supreme Court than John Marshall, and no one did more to preserve the delicate unity of the fledgling United States. From the nation’s founding in 1776 and for the next forty years, Marshall was at the center… Read More »

A Higher Call

A Higher Call synopsis: December, 1943: A badly damaged American bomber struggles to fly over wartime Germany. At the controls is twenty-one-year-old Second Lieutenant Charlie Brown. Half his crew lay wounded or dead on this, their first mission. Suddenly, a Messerschmitt fighter pulls up on the bomber’s tail. The pilot is German ace Franz Stigler—and… Read More »

The Girl on the Velvet Swing

The Girl on the Velvet Swing synopsis: In 1901 Evelyn Nesbit, a chorus girl in the musical Florodora, dined alone with the architect Stanford White in his townhouse on 24th Street in New York. Nesbit, just sixteen years old, had recently moved to the city. White was forty-seven and a principal in the prominent architectural… Read More »

Wallis in Love

Wallis in Love synopsis: “You have no idea how hard it is to live out a great romance.” -Wallis Simpson Before she became known as the woman who enticed a king from his throne and birthright, Bessie Wallis Warfield was a prudish and particular girl from Baltimore. At turns imaginative, ambitious, and spoiled, Wallis’s first… Read More »

A Very Private Woman

A Very Private Woman synopsis: In 1964, Mary Pinchot Meyer, the beautiful, rebellious, and intelligent ex-wife of a top CIA official, was killed on a quiet Georgetown towpath near her home. Mary Meyer was a secret mistress of President John F. Kennedy, whom she had known since private school days, and after her death, reports… Read More »

Travels with Charley in Search of America

Travels with Charley in Search of America synopsis: In September 1960, John Steinbeck embarked on a journey across America. He felt that he might have lost touch with the country, with its speech, the smell of its grass and trees, its color and quality of light, the pulse of its people. To reassure himself, he… Read More »