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21 Lessons for the 21st Century
by Yuval Noah Harari

Language

English

Pages

356

Publication Date

September 04, 2018

Product Description
Customer Reviews
<b>#1 <i>NEW YORK TIMES </i>BESTSELLER </b>• <b>In<i> Sapiens, </i>he explored our past. In <i>Homo Deus, </i>he looked to our future<i>. </i>Now, one of the most innovative thinkers on the planet turns to the present to make sense of today’s most pressing issues.</b><br /><br /><b>“Fascinating . . . a crucial global conversation about how to take on the problems of the twenty-first century.”—Bill Gates, <i>The New York Times Book Review</i></b><br /><br /><b>NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY <i>FINANCIAL TIMES </i>AND <b>PAMELA PAUL, KQED </b></b><br /><br /> How do computers and robots change the meaning of being human? How do we deal with the epidemic of fake news? Are nations and religions still relevant? What should we teach our children? <br /><br />Yuval Noah Harari’s <i>21 Lessons for the 21st Century</i> is a probing and visionary investigation into today’s most urgent issues as we move into the uncharted territory of the future. As technology advances faster than our understanding of it, hacking becomes a tactic of war, and the world feels more polarized than ever, Harari addresses the challenge of navigating life in the face of constant and disorienting change and raises the important questions we need to ask ourselves in order to survive.<br /><br /> In twenty-one accessible chapters that are both provocative and profound, Harari builds on the ideas explored in his previous books, untangling political, technological, social, and existential issues and offering advice on how to prepare for a very different future from the world we now live in: How can we retain freedom of choice when Big Data is watching us? What will the future workforce look like, and how should we ready ourselves for it? How should we deal with the threat of terrorism? Why is liberal democracy in crisis?<br /><br /> Harari’s unique ability to make sense of where we have come from and where we are going has captured the imaginations of millions of readers. Here he invites us to consider values, meaning, and personal engagement in a world full of noise and uncertainty. When we are deluged with irrelevant information, clarity is power. Presenting complex contemporary challenges clearly and accessibly, <i>21 Lessons for the 21st Century</i> is essential reading.<br /><b><br />“If there were such a thing as a required instruction manual for politicians and thought leaders, Israeli historian Yuval Noah Harari’s <i>21 Lessons for the 21st Century</i> would deserve serious consideration. In this collection of provocative essays, Harari . . . tackles a daunting array of issues, endeavoring to answer a persistent question: ‘What is happening in the world today, and what is the deep meaning of these events?’”—<i>BookPage </i>(top pick)</b>
The Spy and the Traitor: The Greatest Espionage Story of the Cold...
by Ben Macintyre

Language

English

Pages

345

Publication Date

September 18, 2018

Product Description
Customer Reviews
<b><i>NEW YORK TIMES</i> BESTSELLER<br /></b>“The best true spy story I have ever read.”<b>—<b>JOHN LE CARRÉ</b><br /><br />The celebrated author of <i>Double Cross</i> and <i>Rogue Heroes</i> returns with his greatest spy story yet, a thrilling <i>Americans</i>-era tale of Oleg Gordievsky, the Russian whose secret work helped hasten the end of the Cold War.</b><br /><br /> If anyone could be considered a Russian counterpart to the infamous British double-agent Kim Philby, it was Oleg Gordievsky. The son of two KGB agents and the product of the best Soviet institutions, the savvy, sophisticated Gordievsky grew to see his nation's communism as both criminal and philistine. He took his first posting for Russian intelligence in 1968 and eventually became the Soviet Union's top man in London, but from 1973 on he was secretly working for MI6. For nearly a decade, as the Cold War reached its twilight, Gordievsky helped the West turn the tables on the KGB, exposing Russian spies and helping to foil countless intelligence plots, as the Soviet leadership grew increasingly paranoid at the United States's nuclear first-strike capabilities and brought the world closer to the brink of war. Desperate to keep the circle of trust close, MI6 never revealed Gordievsky's name to its counterparts in the CIA, which in turn grew obsessed with figuring out the identity of Britain's obviously top-level source. Their obsession ultimately doomed Gordievsky: the CIA officer assigned to identify him was none other than Aldrich Ames, the man who would become infamous for secretly spying for the Soviets. <br /><br /> Unfolding the delicious three-way gamesmanship between America, Britain, and the Soviet Union, and culminating in the gripping cinematic beat-by-beat of Gordievsky's nail-biting escape from Moscow in 1985, Ben Macintyre's latest may be his best yet. Like the greatest novels of John le Carré, it brings readers deep into a world of treachery and betrayal, where the lines bleed between the personal and the professional, and one man's hatred of communism had the power to change the future of nations.
These Truths: A History of the United States
by Jill Lepore

Language

English

Pages

955

Publication Date

September 18, 2018

Product Description
Customer Reviews
<p><strong><em>New York Times</em> Bestseller<br /><br /><br /><br />In the most ambitious one-volume American history in decades, award-winning historian and <em>New Yorker</em> writer Jill Lepore offers a magisterial account of the origins and rise of a divided nation, an urgently needed reckoning with the beauty and tragedy of American history.</strong></p><br /><p>Written in elegiac prose, Lepore’s groundbreaking investigation places truth itself—a devotion to facts, proof, and evidence—at the center of the nation’s history. The American experiment rests on three ideas—"these truths," Jefferson called them—political equality, natural rights, and the sovereignty of the people. And it rests, too, on a fearless dedication to inquiry, Lepore argues, because self-government depends on it. But has the nation, and democracy itself, delivered on that promise?</p><br /><p><em>These Truths</em> tells this uniquely American story, beginning in 1492, asking whether the course of events over more than five centuries has proven the nation’s truths, or belied them. To answer that question, Lepore traces the intertwined histories of American politics, law, journalism, and technology, from the colonial town meeting to the nineteenth-century party machine, from talk radio to twenty-first-century Internet polls, from Magna Carta to the Patriot Act, from the printing press to Facebook News.</p><br /><p>Along the way, Lepore’s sovereign chronicle is filled with arresting sketches of both well-known and lesser-known Americans, from a parade of presidents and a rogues’ gallery of political mischief makers to the intrepid leaders of protest movements, including Frederick Douglass, the famed abolitionist orator; William Jennings Bryan, the three-time presidential candidate and ultimately tragic populist; Pauli Murray, the visionary civil rights strategist; and Phyllis Schlafly, the uncredited architect of modern conservatism.</p><br /><p>Americans are descended from slaves and slave owners, from conquerors and the conquered, from immigrants and from people who have fought to end immigration. "A nation born in contradiction will fight forever over the meaning of its history," Lepore writes, but engaging in that struggle by studying the past is part of the work of citizenship. "The past is an inheritance, a gift and a burden," <em>These Truths</em> observes. "It can’t be shirked. There’s nothing for it but to get to know it."</p>
Stalin: Paradoxes of Power, 1878-1928
by Stephen Kotkin

Language

English

Pages

975

Publication Date

November 06, 2014

Product Description
Customer Reviews
<b>A magnificent new biography that revolutionizes our understanding of Stalin and his world</b><br /><br />It has the quality of myth: a poor cobbler’s son, a seminarian from an oppressed outer province of the Russian empire, reinvents himself as a top leader in a band of revolutionary zealots. When the band seizes control of the country in the aftermath of total world war, the former seminarian ruthlessly dominates the new regime until he stands as absolute ruler of a vast and terrible state apparatus, with dominion over Eurasia. While still building his power base within the Bolshevik dictatorship, he embarks upon the greatest gamble of his political life and the largest program of social reengineering ever attempted: the collectivization of all agriculture and industry across one sixth of the earth. Millions will die, and many more millions will suffer, but the man will push through to the end against all resistance and doubts.<br /><br />Where did such power come from?  In <i>Stalin</i>, Stephen Kotkin offers a biography that, at long last, is equal to this shrewd, sociopathic, charismatic dictator in all his dimensions. The character of Stalin emerges as both astute and blinkered, cynical and true believing, people oriented and vicious, canny enough to see through people but prone to nonsensical beliefs. We see a man inclined to despotism who could be utterly charming, a pragmatic ideologue, a leader who obsessed over slights yet was a precocious geostrategic thinker—unique among Bolsheviks—and yet who made egregious strategic blunders. Through it all, we see Stalin’s unflinching persistence, his sheer force of will—perhaps the ultimate key to understanding his indelible mark on history.<br /><br /><i>Stalin</i> gives an intimate view of the Bolshevik regime’s inner geography of power, bringing to the fore fresh materials from Soviet military intelligence and the secret police. Kotkin rejects the inherited wisdom about Stalin’s psychological makeup, showing us instead how Stalin’s near paranoia was fundamentally political, and closely tracks the Bolshevik revolution’s structural paranoia, the predicament of a Communist regime in an overwhelmingly capitalist world, surrounded and penetrated by enemies. At the same time, Kotkin demonstrates the impossibility of understanding Stalin’s momentous decisions outside of the context of the tragic history of imperial Russia.<br /><br />The product of a decade of intrepid research, <i>Stalin</i> is a landmark achievement, a work that recasts the way we think about the Soviet Union, revolution, dictatorship, the twentieth century, and indeed the art of history itself.<br /><br /><b><i>Stalin: Waiting for Hitler, 1929-1941 </i>will be published by Penguin Press in October 2017</b>
Vietnam: An Epic Tragedy, 1945-1975
by Max Hastings

Language

English

Pages

895

Publication Date

October 16, 2018

Product Description
Customer Reviews
<p>An absorbing and definitive modern history of the Vietnam War from the acclaimed <em>New York Times</em> bestselling author of <em>The Secret War.</em></p><p>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 1968 Tet offensive, the air blitz of North Vietnam, and also much less familiar miniatures 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 two million people.</p><p>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, and Huey pilots from Arkansas.</p><p>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 twenty-first 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.</p>
Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage
by Alfred Lansing

Language

English

Pages

292

Publication Date

April 29, 2014

Product Description
Customer Reviews
<div><b>The harrowing tale of British explorer Ernest Shackleton's 1914 attempt to reach the South Pole, one of the greatest adventure stories of the modern age.</b></div><div><b><br /></b></div><div>In August 1914, polar explorer Ernest Shackleton boarded the Endurance and set sail for Antarctica, where he planned to cross the last uncharted continent on foot. In January 1915, after battling its way through a thousand miles of pack ice and only a day's sail short of its destination, the Endurance became locked in an island of ice. Thus began the legendary ordeal of Shackleton and his crew of twenty-seven men.</div><div><br /></div><div>For ten months the ice-moored Endurance drifted northwest before it was finally crushed between two ice floes. With no options left, Shackleton and a skeleton crew attempted a near-impossible journey over 850 miles of the South Atlantic's heaviest seas to the closest outpost of civilization. Their survival, and the survival of the men they left behind, depended on their small lifeboat successfully finding the island of South Georgia--a tiny dot of land in a vast and hostile ocean.</div><div><br /></div><div>In <i>Endurance</i>, the definitive account of Ernest Shackleton's fateful trip, Alfred Lansing brilliantly narrates the harrowing and miraculous voyage that has defined heroism for the modern age.</div>
The Fifties
by David Halberstam

Language

English

Pages

654

Publication Date

December 18, 2012

Product Description
Customer Reviews
<DIV><B>This vivid <I>New York Times</I> bestseller about 1950s America from a Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist is “an engrossing sail across a pivotal decade” (<I>Time</I>).</B><BR /><BR /> Joe McCarthy. Marilyn Monroe. The H-bomb. <I>Ozzie and Harriet</I>. Elvis. Civil rights. It’s undeniable: The fifties were a defining decade for America, complete with sweeping cultural change and political upheaval. This decade is also the focus of David Halberstam’s triumphant <I>The Fifties</I>, which stands as an enduring classic and was an instant <I>New York Times</I> bestseller upon its publication. More than a survey of the decade, it is a masterfully woven examination of far-reaching change, from the unexpected popularity of Holiday Inn to the marketing savvy behind McDonald’s expansion. A meditation on the staggering influence of image and rhetoric, <I>The Fifties</I> is vintage Halberstam, who was hailed by the<I> Denver Post </I>as “a lively, graceful writer who makes you . . . understand how much of our time was born in those years.”</DIV><DIV> </DIV><DIV><I>This ebook features an extended biography of David Halberstam.</I></DIV>
The Glass Universe: How the Ladies of the Harvard Observatory Too...
by Dava Sobel

Language

English

Pages

332

Publication Date

December 06, 2016

Product Description
Customer Reviews
<b>From #1 <i>New York Times</i> bestselling author Dava Sobel, t<b>he "inspiring" (<i>People</i>), little-known true story of women's landmark contributions to astronomy</b><br /></b><br /><b>A <i>New York Times Book Review</i> Notable Book of 2017</b><br /><br /><b>Named one of the best books of the year by NPR, <i>The</i> <i>Economist, Smithsonian, Nature,</i> and NPR's</b><i><b> <i>Science Friday<br /></i><br /></b></i><b>Nominated for the PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award<br /><br /><b>"A joy to read.” —<i>The Wall Street Journal</i></b><br /></b><br /> In the mid-nineteenth century, the Harvard College Observatory began employing women as calculators, or “human computers,” to interpret the observations their male counterparts made via telescope each night. At the outset this group included the wives, sisters, and daughters of the resident astronomers, but soon the female corps included graduates of the new women's colleges—Vassar, Wellesley, and Smith. As photography transformed the practice of astronomy, the ladies turned from computation to studying the stars captured nightly on glass photographic plates. <br /><br />The “glass universe” of half a million plates that Harvard amassed over the ensuing decades—through the generous support of Mrs. Anna Palmer Draper, the widow of a pioneer in stellar photography—enabled the women to make extraordinary discoveries that attracted worldwide acclaim. They helped discern what stars were made of, divided the stars into meaningful categories for further research, and found a way to measure distances across space by starlight. Their ranks included Williamina Fleming, a Scottish woman originally hired as a maid who went on to identify ten novae and more than three hundred variable stars; Annie Jump Cannon, who designed a stellar classification system that was adopted by astronomers the world over and is still in use; and Dr. Cecilia Helena Payne, who in 1956 became the first ever woman professor of astronomy at Harvard—and Harvard’s first female department chair. <br /><br />Elegantly written and enriched by excerpts from letters, diaries, and memoirs, <i>The Glass Universe</i> is the hidden history of the women whose contributions to the burgeoning field of astronomy forever changed our understanding of the stars and our place in the universe.
Heirs of the Founders: The Epic Rivalry of Henry Clay, John Calho...
by H. W. Brands

Language

English

Pages

378

Publication Date

November 13, 2018

Product Description
Customer Reviews
<b>From <i>New York Times</i> bestselling historian H. W. Brands comes the riveting story of how, in nineteenth-century America, a new set of political giants battled to complete the unfinished work of the Founding Fathers and decide the future of our democracy</b><br /><br />In the early 1800s, three young men strode onto the national stage, elected to Congress at a moment when the Founding Fathers were beginning to retire to their farms. Daniel Webster of Massachusetts, a champion orator known for his eloquence, spoke for the North and its business class. Henry Clay of Kentucky, as dashing as he was ambitious, embodied the hopes of the rising West. South Carolina's John Calhoun, with piercing eyes and an even more piercing intellect, defended the South and slavery.<br />     Together these heirs of Washington, Jefferson and Adams took the country to war, battled one another for the presidency and set themselves the task of finishing the work the Founders had left undone. Their rise was marked by dramatic duels, fierce debates, scandal and political betrayal. Yet each in his own way sought to remedy the two glaring flaws in the Constitution: its refusal to specify where authority ultimately rested, with the states or the nation, and its unwillingness to address the essential incompatibility of republicanism and slavery. <br /> They wrestled with these issues for four decades, arguing bitterly and hammering out political compromises that held the Union together, but only just. Then, in 1850, when California moved to join the Union as a free state, "the immortal trio" had one last chance to save the country from the real risk of civil war. But, by that point, they had never been further apart.<br />     Thrillingly and authoritatively, H. W. Brands narrates an epic American rivalry and the little-known drama of the dangerous early years of our democracy.
The Story of Wake Island
by James P. S. Devereux

Language

English

Pages

207

Publication Date

September 30, 2018

Product Description
Customer Reviews
<b><h2>“The courageous conduct of the officers and men who defended Wake Island will not be forgotten so long as gallantry and heroism are respected and honored.” <em>Citation of the President</em></b><br /><br />“Excellent” <em>The New York Times</em></h2><br /><br />On 8th December 1941, just hours after the attack on Pearl Harbor, thirty-six Japanese bombers attacked Wake Island and destroyed eight of its twelve aircraft.<br /><br />Two more raid shortly followed, further reducing the defensive possibilities for the men who were left to defend this small area of American soil in the center of the Pacific Ocean.<br /><br />Major James P. S. Devereux was the Commanding Officer of the 1st Marine Defense Battalion who faced Japanese onslaught. <br /><br />The first Japanese landing attempt on the morning of 11th December was repelled by a ferocious defense put forward by Devereux and his men.<br /><br />Yet although the Japanese had withdrawn without landing, they continued to bombard the island by air and sea, and there was little hope of resupply for the Americans.<br /><br />For fifteen days the American troops suffered endless bombardments until the second major Japanese offensive was launched on 23rd December.<br /><br />Against overwhelming forces the Marines and other troops that were stationed on the island fought valiantly, but after forty-nine men had lost their lives in the fight, the remaining American men and civilians were captured by the Japanese.<br /><br />James P. S. Deveraux’s remarkable book <em>The Story of Wake Island</em> takes the reader to the heart of the action from the point of view of the commanding officer. It is a brilliant account of this tragic event that demonstrated the fighting spirit of the American soldier even in the face of unbeatable odds.<br /><br />“His special vantage point enriches his commentary not only on the ill-fated military operation but also on the state (and spirit) of the prewar preparations to defend the island.” John J. Sbrega, <em>The War Against Japan, 1941-1945</em><br /><br />James P. S. Devereaux was a United States Marine Corps general, Navy Cross recipient, and Republican congressman. After the ferocious fifteen-day battle of Wake Island Devereux was interned for nearly four years in Japanese prison camps. His book <em>The Story of Wake Island</em> was first published in 1947 and he passed away in 1988.<br />

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