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Set amid the civil rights movement, this is the true story of NASA's African-American female mathematicians who played a crucial role in America's space program.
Before Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, a group of professionals worked as 'Human Computers', calculating the flight paths that would enable these historic achievements. Among these were a coterie of bright, talented African-American women. Segregated from their white counterparts, these 'coloured computers' used pencil and paper to write the equations that would launch rockets, and astronauts, into space.
Moving from World War II through NASA's golden age, touching on the civil rights era, the Space Race, the Cold War, and the women's rights movement, 'Hidden Figures' interweaves a rich history of mankind's greatest adventure with the intimate stories of five courageous women whose work forever changed the world.
The stunning story of an Alabama serial killer and the true-crime book that Harper Lee worked on obsessively in the years after To Kill a Mockingbird
Reverend Willie Maxwell was a rural preacher accused of murdering five of his family members for insurance money in the 1970s. With the help of a savvy lawyer, he escaped justice for years until a relative shot him dead at the funeral of his last victim. Despite hundreds of witnesses, Maxwell’s murderer was acquitted – thanks to the same attorney who had previously defended the Reverend. As Alabama is consumed by these gripping events, it’s not long until news of the case reaches Alabama’s – and America’s – most famous writer. Intrigued by the story, Harper Lee makes a journey back to her home state to witness the Reverend’s killer face trial. Harper had the idea of writing her own In Cold Blood, the true-crime classic she had helped her friend Truman Capote research. Lee spent a year in town reporting on the Maxwell case and many more years trying to finish the book she called The Reverend.
Now Casey Cep brings this story to life, from the shocking murders to the courtroom drama to the racial politics of the Deep South. At the same time, she offers a deeply moving portrait of one of the country’s most beloved writers and her struggle with fame, success, and the mystery of artistic creativity.
This is the story Harper Lee wanted to write. This is the story of why she couldn’t.
National Book Club Conference ‘Book of the Year’ Award Winner!
From her more than three hundred appearances for film and television, stage and cabaret, performing comedy or drama, as an unforgettable lead or a scene stealing supporting character, Jenifer Lewis has established herself as one of the most respected, admired, talented, and versatile entertainers working today. This “Mega Diva” and costar of the hit sitcom black-ish bares her soul in this touching and poignant—and at times side-splittingly hilarious—memoir of a Midwestern girl with a dream, whose journey took her from poverty to the big screen, and along the way earned her many accolades.
With candor and warmth, Jenifer Lewis reveals the heart of a woman who lives life to the fullest. This multitalented “force of nature” landed her first Broadway role within eleven days of her graduation from college and later earned the title “Reigning Queen of High-Camp Cabaret.” In the audaciously honest voice that her fans adore, Jenifer describes her transition to Hollywood, with guest roles on hits like The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and Friends. Her movie Jackie’s Back! became a cult favorite, and as the “Mama” to characters portrayed by Whitney Houston, Tupac Shakur, Taraji P. Henson, and many more, Jenifer cemented her status as the “Mother of Black Hollywood.”
When an undiagnosed mental illness stymies Jenifer’s career, culminating in a breakdown while filming The Temptations, her quest for wholeness becomes a harrowing and inspiring tale, including revelations of bipolar disorder and sex addiction.
Written with no-holds-barred honesty and illustrated with more than forty color photographs, this gripping memoir is filled with insights gained through a unique life that offers a universal message: “Love yourself so that love will not be a stranger when it comes.”
In November 2014, thirteen members of the Biden family gathered on Nantucket for Thanksgiving, a tradition they had been celebrating for the past forty years; it was the one constant in what had become a hectic, scrutinized, and overscheduled life. The Thanksgiving holiday was a time to connect, a time to reflect on what the year had brought, and what the future might hold. But this year felt different from all those that had come before. Joe and Jill Biden's eldest son, Beau, had been diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor fifteen months earlier, and his survival was uncertain. "Promise Me, Dad" Beau had told his father. "Give me your word that no matter what happens, you’re going to be all right." Joe Biden gave him his word.
Promise Me, Dad chronicles the year that followed, which would be the most momentous and challenging in Joe Biden’s extraordinary life and career. Vice President Biden traveled more than a hundred thousand miles that year, across the world, dealing with crises in Ukraine, Central America, and Iraq. When a call came from New York, or Capitol Hill, or Kyiv, or Baghdad—“Joe, I need your help”—he responded. For twelve months, while Beau fought for and then lost his life, the vice president balanced the twin imperatives of living up to his responsibilities to his country and his responsibilities to his family. And never far away was the insistent and urgent question of whether he should seek the presidency in 2016.
The year brought real triumph and accomplishment, and wrenching pain. But even in the worst times, Biden was able to lean on the strength of his long, deep bonds with his family, on his faith, and on his deepening friendship with the man in the Oval Office, Barack Obama.
Writing with poignancy and immediacy, Joe Biden allows readers to feel the urgency of each moment, to experience the days when he felt unable to move forward as well as the days when he felt like he could not afford to stop.
This is a book written not just by the vice president, but by a father, grandfather, friend, and husband. Promise Me, Dad is a story of how family and friendships sustain us and how hope, purpose, and action can guide us through the pain of personal loss into the light of a new future.
The stories of Naz Gool Ebrahim and District Six are intimately linked; in fact it is hard to imagine the one without the other.
As the niece of Cissie Gool, Naz came from fighting stock. Strong women with strong voices ran in the family. So when the Apartheid Government declared 'the District', a slum in 1966 and announced plans to flatten it, Naz wasn’t about to lose all that she held dear without a fight. She became the voice of the voiceless, both in South Africa and in the USA and was nominated as ‘Woman of the Year’. Naz combined her radical political activism with her roles as devoted wife and mother to six children. Up until the end of her life in 2005, she worked tirelessly to oppose the evil of racial segregation.
To her opponents, she was an indomitable adversary, but to her friends she was ‘Naz – Raz-a-ma-tazz’, a great lady who certainly knew how to tell a story and put on a good show.
A clear-eyed account of learning how to lead in a chaotic world, by General Jim Mattis—the former Secretary of Defense and one of the most formidable strategic thinkers of our time—and Bing West, a former assistant secretary of defense and combat Marine.
Call Sign Chaos is the account of Jim Mattis’s storied career, from wide-ranging leadership roles in three wars to ultimately commanding a quarter of a million troops across the Middle East. Along the way, Mattis recounts his foundational experiences as a leader, extracting the lessons he has learned about the nature of warfighting and peacemaking, the importance of allies, and the strategic dilemmas—and short-sighted thinking—now facing our nation. He makes it clear why America must return to a strategic footing so as not to continue winning battles but fighting inconclusive wars.
Mattis divides his book into three parts: Direct Leadership, Executive Leadership, and Strategic Leadership. In the first part, Mattis recalls his early experiences leading Marines into battle, when he knew his troops as well as his own brothers. In the second part, he explores what it means to command thousands of troops and how to adapt your leadership style to ensure your intent is understood by your most junior troops so that they can own their mission. In the third part, Mattis describes the challenges and techniques of leadership at the strategic level, where military leaders reconcile war’s grim realities with political leaders’ human aspirations, where complexity reigns and the consequences of imprudence are severe, even catastrophic.
Call Sign Chaos is a memoir of a life of warfighting and lifelong learning, following along as Mattis rises from Marine recruit to four-star general. It is a journey about learning to lead and a story about how he, through constant study and action, developed a unique leadership philosophy, one relevant to us all.
An instant Number One New York Times bestseller, Humans of New York began in the summer of 2010, when photographer Brandon Stanton set out on an ambitious project: to single-handedly create a photographic census of New York City. Armed with his camera, he began crisscrossing the city, covering thousands of miles on foot, all in his attempt to capture ordinary New Yorkers in the most extraordinary of moments. The result of these efforts was "Humans of New York," a vibrant blog in which he featured his photos alongside quotes and anecdotes.
The blog has steadily grown, now boasting nearly a million devoted followers. Humans of New York is the book inspired by the blog. With four hundred colour photos, including exclusive portraits and all-new stories, and a distinctive vellum jacket, Humans of New York is a stunning collection of images that will appeal not just to those who have been drawn in by the outsized personalities of New York, but to anyone interested in the breathtaking scope of humanity it displays.
Heartfelt and moving, Humans of New York is a celebration of individuality and a tribute to the spirit of a city.
When Herman Cain speaks, people listen. When he debates, he wins. If you care about the future of America, you have heard of the down-to-earth political newcomer running for president, the straight-talking man of the people with blunt assessments of what America needs. Originally overlooked by mainstream politicos and media, Herman Cain is truly a candidate from "outside the Beltway," but no longer one who is being ignored. BUT WHO IS HE? While Herman Cain has been the host of a popular conservative Atlanta-area radio talk show called "The Herman Cain Show," a different name originally captured American interest. As CEO, Herman Cain transformed Godfather's Pizza from a company teetering on the verge of bankruptcy into a household word. Cain--as those with an interest in commonsense solutions to political problems will remember--is also famous for using the language and logic of everyday business to expose the fallacies inherent in Clinton assumptions about "Hillarycare" during a 1994 televised town hall meeting. WHAT IS HIS STORY? Herman Cain's rise is the embodiment of the American dream. His parents, Luther and Lenora Cain, made a living the only way black people could in the '40s and '50s. Luther held down three jobs, including being a chauffeur; Lenora cleaned houses. They had two big dreams: to buy a house and to see their sons graduate from college. With dedication and hard work, they made both these dreams come true. In this thrilling memoir, Herman Cain describes his past and present . . . and the future he is determined to create, a future that will put our country back on track. His message resonates because he describes the American reality, and his down-to-earth personal tale of hope and hard work is both unforgettable and inspirational. *** What is it in my DNA that years ago prompted me to forgo the ease of cruise control and take on the enormous challenge of doing my part toward making America a better place for my granddaughter and the generations to come? Why do I, a son of the segregated South, refuse to think of myself as a "victim" of racism? What is it that motivates me to insist on defining my identity in terms of "ABC"--as being American first, black second, and Conservative third? Just who is Herman Cain? And how did I get this way? Just a hint: it may have had something to do with lessons learned from my parents, Lenora and Luther Cain, Jr. --From This Is Herman
The Observer Book of the Year 'The war hero, senator, secretary of state and presidential candidate has plenty to write about - and to be right about'The Guardian 'Frank, thoughtful and clearly written ... What lingers are not the parts but the whole; not the life, but the man' New York Times 'Draws back the curtain on a life you thought you knew, but turns out to be a bit different ... surprisingly personal'Washington Post Every Day Is Extra is John Kerry's personal story. The title comes from a saying he and his buddies had in Vietnam. A child of privilege, Kerry went to private schools and Yale, then enlisted in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War. He commanded river patrols - swift boats - and was highly decorated, but he discovered that the truth about what was happening in Vietnam was different from what the government was reporting. He returned home disillusioned, became active against the war, and testified in Congress as a 27-year-old veteran who opposed the war. Kerry served as a prosecutor in Massachusetts, then as Massachusetts lieutenant governor, and was elected to the Senate in 1984. His friendship with the Kennedy family gave him valuable contacts, but he earned his victory by campaigning hard. He would be re-elected four times. Kerry's service in the Senate was distinguished. Unlike most senators, who travel on foreign junkets for "fact-finding missions," Kerry travelled to the Philippines and based on what he learned, helped to orchestrate the peaceful transition from Ferdinand Marcos to the duly elected Corazon Aquino government. He played an active role in the BCCI and Iran-Contra matters. In 2004 he ran for president against the incumbent, George W. Bush and came within one state - Ohio - of winning. In Every Day Is Extra he explains why he chose not to contest widespread voting irregularities in Ohio, fearing that after the 2000 election went to the U.S. Supreme Court, another challenge would undermine confidence in the voting system. Kerry returned to the Senate, endorsed Barack Obama over Hillary Clinton in 2008, and when Clinton resigned in 2012 to run for the presidency, Kerry was confirmed as Secretary of State. In that position he tried - and like all his predecessors, failed - to find peace between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (he is critical of both sides but especially Prime Minister Netanyahu); dealt with the Syrian civil war and the rise of ISIS; negotiated the Iran nuclear deal; and signed the Paris climate accord. This is a personal book, sometimes angry, sometimes funny, always moving. Secretary Kerry describes some of the remarkable events of his life, such as discovering that his paternal grandfather committed suicide - something his father never told him - and that this grandfather was Jewish, not Irish (he changed his name to Kerry from Kohn, and also converted to Catholicism). His account of his experiences in Vietnam is riveting. His failed first marriage left a wound that never completely healed, but his second marriage, to Teresa Heinz, widow of a Senate colleague, has been an anchor in his life. He tells wonderful stories about the Kennedys and especially about Senate colleagues Ted Kennedy and John McCain. His story of his first real meeting with John McCain, another Vietnam veteran, is one of the most moving stories in the book; his respect for McCain is genuine and inspiring. Every Day Is Extra shows readers how arduous it is to run for president and how demanding the role of secretary of state is. Readers of this book, whatever their political persuasion, will come away grateful that we have public servants who are prepared to spend their lives in service to their country. They will also come away with a new appreciation of John Kerry, a man often portrayed as aloof and stiff, but as this book reveals, funny, warm, and dedicated.
This authoritative volume has been revised throughout and expanded, with stunning new images and accounts of the major discoveries of recent years. Recent findings have been added to expand our understanding of the Olmecs outside of their heartland, and new research on the legacy of the Maya offers a wider and more cohesive narrative of Mexico's history. New co-author Javier Urcid has added greater coverage of Oaxaca and of Monte Alban, one of the earliest cities in Mesoamerica and the center of the Zapotec civilization, and a fully revised Epilogue discusses the survival of indigenous populations in Mexico from the Conquest up to the present. This longstanding classic now features full-colour photos of the vibrant art and architecture of ancient Mesoamerica throughout.
'To say that Atkinson can tell a story is like saying Sinatra can sing ... A powerful new voice has been added to the dialogue about [America's] origins as a people and a nation. It is difficult to imagine any reader putting this beguiling book down without a smile and a tear.' New York Times In June 1773, King George III attended a grand celebration of his reign over the greatest, richest empire since ancient Rome. Less than two years later, Britain's bright future turned dark: after a series of provocations, the king's soldiers took up arms against his rebellious colonies in America. The war would last eight years, and though at least one in ten of the Americans who fought for independence would die for that cause, the prize was valuable beyond measure: freedom from oppression and the creation of a new republic. Rick Atkinson, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning An Army at Dawn and two other superb books about the Second World War has long been admired for his unparalleled ability to write deeply researched, stunningly vivid narrative history. In this new book, he tells the story of the first twenty-one months of America's violent effort to forge a new nation. From the battles at Lexington and Concord in spring 1775 to those at Trenton and Princeton in winter 1776-77, American militiamen and then the ragged Continental Army take on the world's most formidable fighting force and struggle to avoid annihilation. It is a gripping saga alive with astonishing characters: Henry Knox, the former bookseller with an uncanny understanding of artillery; Nathanael Greene, the blue-eyed bumpkin who becomes one of America's greatest battle captains; Benjamin Franklin, the self-made man who proves himself the nation's wiliest diplomat; George Washington, the commander in chief who learns the difficult art of leadership when the war seems all but lost. Full of riveting details and untold stories, The British Are Coming is a tale of heroes and knaves, of sacrifice and blunder, of redemption and profound suffering. Rick Atkinson has given stirring new life to the first act of America's creation drama.
"Medical Apartheid" is the first and only comprehensive history of medical experimentation on African Americans, from the era of slavery to today. Washington details the ways both slaves and freedmen have been used in hospitals for experiments conducted without their knowledge.
During World War II, the lives of millions of Americans lay precariously in the hands of a few brilliant scientists who raced to develop the first weapon of mass destruction. Elected officials gave the scientists free rein in the Manhattan Project without understanding the complexities and dangers involved in splitting the atom. The Manhattan Project was the first example of a new type of choice for congressmen, presidents, and other government officials: life and death on a national scale. From that moment, our government began fashioning public policy for issues of scientific development, discoveries, and inventions that could secure or threaten our existence and our future. But those same men and women had no training in such fields, did not understand the ramifications of the research, and relied on incomplete information to form potentially life-changing decisions. Through the story of the Manhattan Project, Neil J. Sullivan asks by what criteria the people in charge at the time made such critical decisions. He also ponders how similar judgments are reached today with similar incomprehension from those at the top as our society dives down the potential rabbit hole of bioengineering, nanotechnology, and scientific developments yet to come.
There are few living international figures who fascinate the world more than Fidel Castro. He is at once an infamous historical figure, a modern-day politician and one of the last of his kind. From the leader of a revolution to one who has been accused of dictatorship, exploiting the power of his position to become one of the wealthiest leaders in the world, Fidel Castro's life away from the public eye has remained largely unscrutinised. Despite the world's long-standing desire to know more, biographers have thus far barely scratched the surface of Castro's life and reign. No one with any real knowledge or intimacy of Castro has ever been able to come forward to tell their story - partly because so few people can claim that distinction, and partly because the few who can would never make it out of Cuba. At long last, though, at the end of Castro's life, someone has. Juan Sanchez, former personal chaperone to Castro and, later, fugitive from the vindictive regime, offers a shocking exposure of the man to whom he was devoted for seventeen years - a man whose secret life is entirely different from the facade he presents to the people of Cuba.
On 7 December 1941, an armada of 354 Japanese warplanes launched a surprise attack on the United States, killing 2,403 people and forcing America's entry into the Second World War. With vivid prose and astonishing detail, Craig Nelson combines thrilling historical drama with individual concerns and experiences, following an ensemble of sailors, soldiers, pilots, diplomats, admirals, generals, the emperor and the president. Unmatched in breadth and depth, Pearl Harbor: From Infamy to Greatness in a portrait of the terror, chaos, violence and tragedy of the attack that would prove to be a turning point of the war.
Vietnam became the Western world’s most divisive modern conflict, precipitating a battlefield humiliation for France in 1954, then a vastly greater one for the United States in 1975. Max Hastings has spent the past three years interviewing scores of participants on both sides, as well as researching a multitude of American and Vietnamese documents and memoirs, to create an epic narrative of an epic struggle. He portrays the set pieces of Dienbienphu, the Tet offensive, the air blitz of North Vietnam, and less familiar battles such as the bloodbath at Daido, where a US Marine battalion was almost wiped out, together with extraordinary recollections of Ho Chi Minh’s warriors. Here are the vivid realities of strife amid jungle and paddies that killed 2 million people.
Many writers treat the war as a US tragedy, yet Hastings sees it as overwhelmingly that of the Vietnamese people, of whom forty died for every American. US blunders and atrocities were matched by those committed by their enemies. While all the world has seen the image of a screaming, naked girl seared by napalm, it forgets countless eviscerations, beheadings and murders carried out by the communists. The people of both former Vietnams paid a bitter price for the Northerners’ victory in privation and oppression. Here is testimony from Vietcong guerrillas, Southern paratroopers, Saigon bargirls and Hanoi students alongside that of infantrymen from South Dakota, Marines from North Carolina, Huey pilots from Arkansas.
No past volume has blended a political and military narrative of the entire conflict with heart-stopping personal experiences, in the fashion that Max Hastings’ readers know so well. The author suggests that neither side deserved to win this struggle with so many lessons for the 21st century about the misuse of military might to confront intractable political and cultural challenges. He marshals testimony from warlords and peasants, statesmen and soldiers, to create an extraordinary record.
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