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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.
THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER 'His masterpiece' Antony Beevor, Spectator 'A masterful performance' Sunday Times 'By far the best book on the Vietnam War' Gerald Degroot, The Times, Book of the Year 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.
The Vietnam War - a conflict defined by an ever-evolving mixture of conventional and guerrilla warfare and mass politics - has often been called a ""war without fronts."" In fact, Vietnam had a multitude of fronts, as insurgents and counterinsurgents wrestled for control throughout 44 provinces, 250 districts, and more than 11,000 hamlets. In The Control War, Martin G. Clemis focuses on South Vietnam, where a highly complex politico-military struggle fragmented the battlefield along countless divergent points of conflict as both sides sought spatial and political hegemony. Complicating the conventional view that the Vietnam War was about winning ""hearts and minds,"" Clemis argues that both sides were more interested in asserting control over the people - and resources - of the countryside. As in other revolutionary civil conflicts, the key to winning political power in South Vietnam was to control the physical world of territory, population, and resources, as well as the ideational world of political organization and long-term legitimacy. Despite their countervailing purposes, both insurgency and pacification provided the means to exert this control. Proponents of each approach pursued the same goals, relying on a blend of military force, political violence, and socioeconomic policy to achieve them. Revealing the unique spatiality of the Vietnam War, The Control War analyzes the ways that both sides of the conflict conceptualized and used geography and the environment to serve strategic, tactical, and political ends. Clemis shows us that the operational environment of Vietnam, both natural and human-made, was far more than a backdrop to two decades of war.
Half-Hispanic, half-Yaqui Indian, and an orphan, Roy Benavidez fought his way out of poverty and bigotry to serve with the U.S. Army s elite the Airborne and the Special Forces. Seriously wounded in Vietnam, he was told he would never walk again. Benavidez not only conquered his disability but demanded to return to combat.On his second tour, when twelve of his comrades on a secret CIA mission in Cambodia were surrounded by hundreds of North Vietnamese regulars, Benavidez volunteered to rescue them. Despite severe injuries suffered in hand-to-hand combat, Benavidez personally saved eight men. His actions ensured his everlasting place as one of the great heroes of the war. In February 1981, President Reagan awarded him the Medal of Honor.
In 1965, Gene Basset, a well-known political cartoonist, was sent to Vietnam by his newspaper publishing syndicate. His assignment: to sketch scenes of the increasingly controversial war in order to help the newspaper-reading public better understand the events occurring in Southeast Asia. In much the same way that M.A.S.H. gave viewers an irreverent, wry view of war and its devastating effects on citizens as well as soldiers, Basset's sketches portray the everyday, often mundane, aspects of wartime with an intimate touch that eases access to the dark subject matter. In this affectionately curated collection, author, doctor, and longtime friend of the artist, Thom Rooke, deftly leads us through more than eighty of Basset's cartoons, organizing his insights according to the well-known stages of grief, from denial to acceptance, and demonstrating how Basset's images convey moments of trauma, coping, and healing. From scenes of American GIs haggling with Vietnamese street vendors to a medic dressing the wounds of a wide-eyed soldier, Basset's endearing sketches and Rooke's friendly prose humanize life during wartime. The seriocomic vignettes and analyses are delivered with wit, compassion, and subtle charm sure to please academic, artistic, and casual readers alike.
On May 24, 1911, one of the most notorious murders in Denver's history occurred. The riveting tale involves high society, adultery, drugs, multiple murder, and more, all set in Denver's grand old hotel, the Brown Palace. As foreword writer and historian Tom Noel proclaims, "Hollywood murder mystery writers could not have contrived a thriller as chilling as this factual account." The characters in this real-life melodrama could not have been better cast. At the center of the storm was the seductively beautiful Denver socialite, Isabel Springer. In her thrall were three men--two locked in a struggle for her affections, and the third her unsuspecting husband. Little did ambitious John W. Springer, wealthy Denver businessman and politician, know that lovely Isabel, 20 years his junior, had been feeding the romantic fire of an out-of-town suitor at the same time that she was developing a cozy relationship with a man he regarded a friend and business partner. Threat and counter-threat between one-time cowboy and automobile racing driver Sylvester Louis ("Tony") von Phul and the dapper Harold Francis Henwood culminated in a barroom confrontation and a double gunshot murder. What followed were two of the most lurid court trials in Colorado history. This tragic story of a spectacular crime of passion and how it ruined the lives of those involved is one readers won't be able to put down.
Comprehensive ethnographic portrait of contemporary rural Barbados focuses on patterns of work, gender relations and life cycle, community, and religion in St. Lucy Parish. Recurring theme throughout work is impact of widening social relations - throughglobalization, tourism, transnationalism, tech
Deep in the jungles of Vietnam, Alpha Troop, 1st Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry, the famed Blackhorse Regiment, was a specialized cavalry outfit equipped with tanks and armored assault vehicles. On the morning of March 26, 1970, they began hearing radio calls from an infantry unit four kilometres away that had stumbled into a hidden North Vietnamese Army stronghold. Outnumbered at least six to one, the ninety-man American company was quickly surrounded, pinned down, and fighting for its existence. Helicopters could not penetrate the dense jungle, and artillery and air support could not be targeted effectively. Captain John Poindexter, Alpha Troop's twenty-five-year-old commander, realized that his outfit was the only hope for the trapped company. It just might be possible that they could "bust" enough jungle by nightfall to reach them. With the courage and determination that makes legends out of ordinary men, they affected a daring rescue and fought a pitched battle - at considerable cost. Thirty years later, Poindexter was made aware that his award recommendations, and even the records of the battle, had somehow gone missing. Thus began a "battle" to ensure that his brave men's accomplishments would never be forgotten again. President Obama stepped to the podium on October 20, 2009, to award Alpha Troop with the Presidential Unit Citation: the highest combat award that can be given to a military unit.
The aircraft carrier USS Forrestal was preparing to launch attacks into North Vietnam when one of its jets accidentally fired a rocket into an aircraft occupied by pilot John McCain. A huge fire ensued, and McCain barely escaped before a 1,000-pound bomb on his plane exploded, causing a chain reaction with other bombs on surrounding planes. The crew struggled for days to extinguish the fires, but, in the end, the tragedy took the lives of 134 men. For thirty-five years, the terrible loss of life has been blamed on the sailors themselves, but this meticulously documented history shows that they were truly the victims and heroes.
"What should we tell our children about Vietnam?" That was the question facing junior high school teacher and Vietnam veteran Bill McCloud as he prepared to teach his students about the war. To find the answers, he went straight to the people who were involved in the war: soldiers, politicians, military officers, POWs, nurses, refugees, writers, and parents of soldiers who died in the war. He sent them handwritten letters, and responses poured in from all over the country. A collection of these responses, this book represents a unique and heartening outpouring of national conscience, hindsight, reflection, sorrow, and wisdom.
Respondents included here are: George Bush, Jimmy Carter, Geraldine A Ferraro, Allen Ginsburg, Barry Goldwater, Tom Hayden, Henry Kissinger, Timothy Leary, Robert S. McNamara, George S. Patton, Oliver Stone, Gary Trudeau, Kurt Vonnegut, and Caspar W. Weinberger.
This study examines the educational decentalization and privatization of schools in Chile, integrating the country's political and economic problems during the reform process of the Pinochet regime of the early 1980s. It presents data from a survey of 726 households in the Greater Santiago area.
With the resignation of General Renee Emilio Ponce in March 1993, the Salvadorian army's sixty-year domination of El Salvador came to an end. The country's January 1992 peace accords stripped the military of the power it once enjoyed, placing many areas under civilian rule. Establishing civilian control during the transition to democracy was no easy task, especially for a country that had never experienced even a brief period of democracy in its history.
Phillip J. Williams and Knut Walter argue that prolonged military rule produced powerful obstacles that limited the possibilities for demilitarization in the wake of the peace accords. The failure of the accords to address several key aspects of the military's political power had important implications for the democratic transition and for future civil-military relations.
Drawing on an impressive array of primary source materials and interviews, this book will be valuable to students, scholars, and policy makers concerned with civil-military relations, democratic transitions, and the peace process in Central America.
At the height of WWI, history's most lethal influenza virus erupted in an army camp in Kansas, moved east with American troops, then exploded, killing as many as 100 million people worldwide. It killed more people in twenty-four months than AIDS killed in twenty-four years, more in a year than the Black Death killed in a century. But this was not the Middle Ages, and 1918 marked the first collision of science and epidemic disease. Magisterial in its breadth of perspective and depth of research and now revised to reflect the growing danger of the avian flu, "The Great Influenza" is ultimately a tale of triumph amid tragedy, which provides us with a precise and sobering model as we confront the epidemics looming on our own horizon. John M Barry has written a new afterword for this edition that brings us up to speed on the terrible threat of the avian flu and suggests ways in which we might head off another flu pandemic.
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.
The U.S. Army teamed up with cartoonist and graphic artist Will Eisner to produce teaching tools for U.S. soldiers in a medium that they could easily understand. "The M16A1 Rifle: Operation and Preventive Maintenance," first printed in 1969, features a female narrator who instructs GIs on the proper care of their AR-15 (military name M16A1) rifles--firearms notorious for jamming and malfunctioning. More than a simple manual and step-by-step guide, this unconventional yet important military document tried to appeal to soldiers with suggestive chapter titles such as "How to Strip Your Baby," "What to Do in a Jam," "Sweet 16," and "All the Way with Neglige." A copy of the thirty-two-page booklet was issued to nearly every soldier serving in Vietnam.
How the Vietnam War changed American art By the late 1960s, the United States was in a pitched conflict in Vietnam, against a foreign enemy, and at home-between Americans for and against the war and the status quo. This powerful book showcases how American artists responded to the war, spanning the period from Lyndon B. Johnson's fateful decision to deploy U.S. Marines to South Vietnam in 1965 to the fall of Saigon ten years later. Artists Respond brings together works by many of the most visionary and provocative artists of the period, including Asco, Chris Burden, Judy Chicago, Corita Kent, Leon Golub, David Hammons, Yoko Ono, and Nancy Spero. It explores how the moral urgency of the Vietnam War galvanized American artists in unprecedented ways, challenging them to reimagine the purpose and uses of art and compelling them to become politically engaged on other fronts, such as feminism and civil rights. The book presents an era in which artists struggled to synthesize the turbulent times and participated in a process of free and open questioning inherent to American civic life. Beautifully illustrated, Artists Respond features a broad range of art, including painting, sculpture, printmaking, performance and body art, installation, documentary cinema and photography, and conceptualism. Published in association with the Smithsonian American Art Museum Exhibition Schedule Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC March 15-August 18, 2019 Minneapolis Institute of Art September 28, 2019-January 5, 2020
As a 26-year old Marine radar intercept officer (RIO), Fleet Lentz flew 131 combat missions in the back seat of the supersonic F-4 B Phantom II during the wind-down of the Vietnam War. Overcoming military regulations, he and his fellow Marines at The Rose Garden (Royal Thai Air Base Nam Phong) kept sorely needed supplies moving in while moving combat troops out of Southeast Asia. His personal and accessible memoir describes how pilots and RIOs executed dangerous air-to-ground bombing missions in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos--quite different from the air-to-air warfare for which they had trained--and kept themselves mission-capable (and human) while surviving harsh circumstances.
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