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Longitude: The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greates...
by Dava Sobel

Language

English

Pages

191

Publication Date

July 05, 2010

Product Description
Customer Reviews
<b>The dramatic human story of an epic scientific quest and of one man's forty-year obsession to find a solution to the thorniest scientific dilemma of the day--"the longitude problem."</b><br /><br />Anyone alive in the eighteenth century would have known that "the longitude problem" was the thorniest scientific dilemma of the day-and had been for centuries. Lacking the ability to measure their longitude, sailors throughout the great ages of exploration had been literally lost at sea as soon as they lost sight of land. Thousands of lives and the increasing fortunes of nations hung on a resolution. One man, John Harrison, in complete opposition to the scientific community, dared to imagine a mechanical solution-a clock that would keep precise time at sea, something no clock had ever been able to do on land. <br /><i><br /></i><i>Longitude</i> is the dramatic human story of an epic scientific quest and of Harrison's forty-year obsession with building his perfect timekeeper, known today as the chronometer. Full of heroism and chicanery, it is also a fascinating brief history of astronomy, navigation, and clockmaking, and opens a new window on our world.
The Taking of K-129: How the CIA Used Howard Hughes to Steal a Ru...
by Josh Dean

Language

English

Pages

442

Publication Date

September 05, 2017

Product Description
Customer Reviews
<b>An incredible true tale of espionage and engineering set at the height of the Cold War—a mix between <i>The</i> <i>Hunt for Red October</i> and <i>Argo—</i>about how the CIA, the U.S. Navy, and <b>America’s most eccentric mogul </b>spent six years and nearly a billion dollars to steal the nuclear-armed Soviet submarine K-129 after it had sunk to the bottom of the Pacific Ocean; all while the Russians were watching.</b><br /><br />In the early hours of February 25, 1968, a Russian submarine armed with three nuclear ballistic missiles set sail from its base in Siberia on a routine combat patrol to Hawaii. Then it vanished.<br /><br />As the Soviet Navy searched in vain for the lost vessel, a small, highly classified American operation using sophisticated deep-sea spy equipment found it—wrecked on the sea floor at a depth of 16,800 feet, far beyond the capabilities of any salvage that existed. But the potential intelligence assets onboard the ship—the nuclear warheads, battle orders, and cryptological machines—justified going to extreme lengths to find a way to raise the submarine.<br /><br />So began Project Azorian, a top-secret mission that took six years, cost an estimated $800 million, and would become the largest and most daring covert operation in CIA history. <br /><br />After the U.S. Navy declared retrieving the sub “impossible,” the mission fell to the CIA's burgeoning Directorate of Science and Technology, the little-known division responsible for the legendary U-2 and SR-71 Blackbird spy planes. Working with Global Marine Systems, the country's foremost maker of exotic, deep-sea drilling vessels, the CIA commissioned the most expensive ship ever built and told the world that it belonged to the reclusive billionaire Howard Hughes, who would use the mammoth ship to mine rare minerals from the ocean floor. In reality, a complex network of spies, scientists, and politicians attempted a project even crazier than Hughes’s reputation: raising the sub directly under the watchful eyes of the Russians. <br /> <i> <br />The Taking of K-129</i> is a riveting, almost unbelievable true-life tale of military history, engineering genius, and high-stakes spy-craft set during the height of the Cold War, when nuclear annihilation was a constant fear, and the opportunity to gain even the slightest advantage over your enemy was worth massive risk.
Supernavigators: Exploring the Wonders of How Animals Find Their ...
by David Barrie

Language

English

Pages

320

Publication Date

May 28, 2019

Product Description
Customer Reviews
<B>“Just astonishing . . . Our natural navigational capacities are no match for those of the supernavigators in this eye-opening book.”—Frans de Waal, <I>The New York Times Book Review</I></B><BR /><BR /> Publisher's note: <I>Supernavigators </I>was published in the UK under the title <I>Incredible Journeys.</I><BR /><BR /> Animals plainly know where they’re going, but <I>how</I> they get there has remained surprisingly mysterious—until now.<BR /><BR /> In <I>Supernavigators,</I> award-winning author David Barrie catches us up on the cutting-edge science. Here are astounding animals of every stripe: Dung beetles that steer by the light of the Milky Way. Ants and bees that rely on patterns of light invisible to humans. Sea turtles and moths that find their way using Earth’s magnetic field. Humpback whales that swim thousands of miles while holding a rocksteady course. Birds that can locate their nests on a tiny island after crisscrossing an ocean.<BR /><BR /> The age of viewing animals as unthinking drones is over. As <I>Supernavigators</I> makes clear, a stunning array of species command senses and skills—and arguably, types of intelligence—beyond our own. Weaving together interviews with leading animal behaviorists and the groundbreaking discoveries of Nobel Prize–winning scientists, David Barrie reveals these wonders in a whole new light.
Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage
by Alfred Lansing

Language

English

Pages

292

Publication Date

April 29, 2014

Product Description
Customer Reviews
<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><br /> <br />In August 1914, polar explorer Ernest Shackleton boarded the <i>Endurance </i>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 <i>Endurance </i>became locked in an island of ice. Thus began the legendary ordeal of Shackleton and his crew of twenty-seven men. When their ship was finally crushed between two ice floes, they attempted a near-impossible journey over 850 miles of the South Atlantic's heaviest seas to the closest outpost of civilization.<br /> <br />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.<br />
Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania
by Erik Larson

Language

English

Pages

450

Publication Date

March 10, 2015

Product Description
Customer Reviews
<b>#1 New York Times Bestseller<br /><br />From the bestselling author and master of narrative nonfiction comes the enthralling story of the sinking of the <i>Lusitania</i></b><br /><br />On May 1, 1915, with WWI entering its tenth month, a luxury ocean liner as richly appointed as an English country house sailed out of New York, bound for Liverpool, carrying a record number of children and infants. The passengers were surprisingly at ease, even though Germany had declared the seas around Britain to be a war zone. For months, German U-boats had brought terror to the North Atlantic. But the <i>Lusitania</i> was one of the era’s great transatlantic “Greyhounds”—the fastest liner then in service—and her captain, William Thomas Turner, placed tremendous faith in the gentlemanly strictures of warfare that for a century had kept civilian ships safe from attack. <br /><br />Germany, however, was determined to change the rules of the game, and Walther Schwieger, the captain of <i>Unterseeboot</i>-20, was happy to oblige. Meanwhile, an ultra-secret British intelligence unit tracked Schwieger’s U-boat, but told no one. As U-20 and the <i>Lusitania</i> made their way toward Liverpool, an array of forces both grand and achingly small—hubris, a chance fog, a closely guarded secret, and more—all converged to produce one of the great disasters of history.<br /><br /> It is a story that many of us think we know but don’t, and Erik Larson tells it thrillingly, switching between hunter and hunted while painting a larger portrait of America at the height of the Progressive Era. Full of glamour and suspense, <i>Dead Wake</i> brings to life a cast of evocative characters, from famed Boston bookseller Charles Lauriat to pioneering female architect Theodate Pope to President Woodrow Wilson, a man lost to grief, dreading the widening war but also captivated by the prospect of new love. <br /><br /> Gripping and important, <i>Dead Wake</i> captures the sheer drama and emotional power of a disaster whose intimate details and true meaning have long been obscured by history.
The Battle for Leyte Gulf
by C. Vann Woodward

Language

English

Pages

239

Publication Date

April 28, 2019

Product Description
Customer Reviews
<h2>The Battle for Leyte Gulf was the greatest naval battle of the Second World War. <br /><br />It the largest engagement ever fought on the high seas.</h2><br /><br />From Singapore, Formosa, and Japan the Imperial Japanese Navy set forth: 9 battleships, 4 carriers, 14 heavy cruisers, 6 light cruisers, 33 destroyers — all bound for victory or death in the waters of Leyte Gulf.<br /><br />They were met by the combined forces of the American and Australian navies with 12 battleships, 8 fleet carriers, 8 light carriers, 18 escort carriers, 24 cruisers, 166 destroyers and destroyer escorts, along with numerous other vessels.<br /><br />For the Japanese the battle represented the supreme naval effort of the war. <br /><br />At Leyte Gulf they aimed to smash the Allied navies and prevent the American attempt to recapture the Philippines.<br /><br />The Japanese were willing to gamble everything on this battle and one of their Admirals, Takeo Kurita, admitted after the war that they “expected that more than half our ships would be lost.”<br /><br />Yet, the Japanese were not able to smash the Allied navies and never again demonstrated the same strength on the highs seas that they had prior to 23rd October 1944.<br /><br />C. Vann Woodward, the Pulitzer-prize winning historian, provides a fascinating overview of the engagement that lasted for four days.<br /><br />He breaks down the conflict into four separate major battles, including the Battle of the Sibuyan Sea, the Battle of Surigao Strait, the Battle off Cape Engaño, and the Battle off Samar, to demonstrate to the reader the sheer scale and ferocity of the Battle for Leyte Gulf.<br /><br />“This is the first full account of what will undoubtedly be a considerable library on the Battle for Leyte Gulf and it is well that it is the first. The general picture is so soundly documented that it is hard to see how anyone, ever, will be able to improve on Mr. Woodward’s presentation of the facts in the case.” — <em>The New York Times</em><br /><br />C. Vann Woodward was Professor of History at John Hopkins University and subsequently at Yale. During the war he served as as an Intelligence Officer in the Office of Chief of Naval Operations. He wrote numerous books on the American south and race relations. His book <em>The Battle for Leyte Gulf</em> was first published in 1947 and he passed away in 1999.<br /><br />
The Wright Brothers
by David McCullough

Language

English

Pages

337

Publication Date

May 05, 2015

Product Description
Customer Reviews
The #1 <i>New York Times</i> bestseller from David McCullough, two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize—the dramatic story-behind-the-story about the courageous brothers who taught the world how to fly—Wilbur and Orville Wright.<BR><BR>On a winter day in 1903, in the Outer Banks of North Carolina, two brothers—bicycle mechanics from Dayton, Ohio—changed history. But it would take the world some time to believe that the age of flight had begun, with the first powered machine carrying a pilot.<BR> <BR>Orville and Wilbur Wright were men of exceptional courage and determination, and of far-ranging intellectual interests and ceaseless curiosity. When they worked together, no problem seemed to be insurmountable. Wilbur was unquestionably a genius. Orville had such mechanical ingenuity as few had ever seen. That they had no more than a public high school education and little money never stopped them in their mission to take to the air. Nothing did, not even the self-evident reality that every time they took off, they risked being killed.<BR> <BR>In this “enjoyable, fast-paced tale” (<i>The Economist</i>), master historian David McCullough “shows as never before how two Ohio boys from a remarkable family taught the world to fly” (<i>The Washington Post) </i>and “captures the marvel of what the Wrights accomplished” (<i>The Wall Street Journal</i>). He draws on the extensive Wright family papers to profile not only the brothers but their sister, Katharine, without whom things might well have gone differently for them. Essential reading, this is “a story of timeless importance, told with uncommon empathy and fluency…about what might be the most astonishing feat mankind has ever accomplished…<i>The Wright Brothers</i> soars” (<i>The New York Times Book Review</i>).
How Carriers Fought: Carrier Operations in WWII
by Lars Celander

Language

English

Pages

296

Publication Date

July 19, 2018

Product Description
Customer Reviews
<SPAN STYLE="" >In November 1921 the first purpose-built aircraft carrier was launched by the Japanese, followed a year later by the launch of the British Hermes. The conversion of battlecruisers into aircraft carriers after World War I required the consideration of issues including handling aircraft on the flight deck and the techniques of attacking enemy ships, and the evolution of carrier operations was ongoing when World War II broke out. With a focus on the conflict in the Pacific between the U.S. Navy and the imperial Japanese fleet, this title examines how aircraft carriers fought during World War II by first considering all the tools and building blocks of carrier operations, and then discussing the various battles that involved aircraft carriers to explore how carrier operations evolved during war.<BR><BR>Every aspect of carrier operations is covered; from the technology used on the carriers and in aircraft including for navigation and communication, to what life was really like in the cockpit for the pilots. A world of tactical dehydration, amphetamine pills, and illegal smoking is explored, as well as the measures pilots implemented to reduce their risk of death in the event of being hit.<BR><BR>The major carrier battles of the war are considered, from Coral Sea to Leyte Gulf, with a focus on how the tools of carrier operations were employed. At the battle of Midway the debate of concentration vs. dispersion became relevant, as the Japanese decided to divide their forces while the Americans concentrated theirs. How Carriers Fought questions these tactics, exploring which worked best in theory and in practice.<BR>The book concludes with a discussion of how carrier operations changed during the course of the war, as better technology and a better understanding of this new type of warfare allowed for quick advances in how operations were carried out.</SPAN>
Island of the Lost: Shipwrecked at the Edge of the World
by Joan Druett

Language

English

Pages

299

Publication Date

June 08, 2007

Product Description
Customer Reviews
Auckland Island is a godforsaken place in the middle of the Southern Ocean, 285 miles south of New Zealand. With year-round freezing rain and howling winds, it is one of the most forbidding places in the world. To be shipwrecked there means almost certain death.<br /> <br /> In 1864 Captain Thomas Musgrave and his crew of four aboard the schooner <em>Grafton</em> wreck on the southern end of the island. Utterly alone in a dense coastal forest, plagued by stinging blowflies and relentless rain, Captain Musgrave—rather than succumb to this dismal fate—inspires his men to take action. With barely more than their bare hands, they build a cabin and, remarkably, a forge, where they manufacture their tools. Under Musgrave's leadership, they band together and remain civilized through even the darkest and most terrifying days.<br /> <br /> Incredibly, at the same time on the opposite end of the island—twenty miles of impassable cliffs and chasms away—the <em>Invercauld</em> wrecks during a horrible storm. Nineteen men stagger ashore. Unlike Captain Musgrave, the captain of the <em>Invercauld</em> falls apart given the same dismal circumstances. His men fight and split up; some die of starvation, others turn to cannibalism. Only three survive. Musgrave and all of his men not only endure for nearly two years, they also plan their own astonishing escape, setting off on one of the most courageous sea voyages in history.<br /> <br /> Using the survivors' journals and historical records, award-winning maritime historian Joan Druett brings this extraordinary untold story to life, a story about leadership and the fine line between order and chaos.
Barracoon: The Story of the Last "Black Cargo"
by Zora Neale Hurston

Language

English

Pages

193

Publication Date

May 08, 2018

Product Description
Customer Reviews
<p><strong><em>New York Times</em> Bestseller • Amazon's Best History Book of the Year 201 • <em>TIME M</em>agazine<em>’s</em> Best Nonfiction Book of 2018 • New York Public Library’s Best Book of 2018 • NPR’s Book Concierge Best Book of 2018 • <em>Economist </em>Book of the Year • SELF.com’s Best Books of 2018 • Audible’s Best of the Year • BookRiot’s Best Audio Books of 2018 • The Atlantic’s Books Briefing: History, Reconsidered • Atlanta Journal Constitution, Best Southern Books 2018  • The Christian Science Monitor’s Best Books 2018</strong><strong> • </strong><strong>Barnes & Noble’s Best Books of the Year</strong> </p><p><p><p><strong>“A profound impact on Hurston’s literary legacy.”—<em>New York Times</em></strong></p><p><strong>“One of the greatest writers of our time.”—Toni Morrison</strong></p><p><strong>“Zora Neale Hurston’s genius has once again produced a <em>Maestrapiece</em>.”—Alice Walker</strong></p><p><strong>A major literary event: a newly published work from the author of the American classic <em>Their Eyes Were Watching God, </em>with a foreword from Pulitzer Prize-winning author Alice Walker, brilliantly illuminates the horror and injustices of slavery as it tells the true story of one of the last-known survivors of the Atlantic slave trade—abducted from Africa on the last "Black Cargo" ship to arrive in the United States.</strong></p><p>In 1927, Zora Neale Hurston went to Plateau, Alabama, just outside Mobile, to interview eighty-six-year-old Cudjo Lewis. Of the millions of men, women, and children transported from Africa to America as slaves, Cudjo was then the only person alive to tell the story of this integral part of the nation’s history. Hurston was there to record Cudjo’s firsthand account of the raid that led to his capture and bondage fifty years after the Atlantic slave trade was outlawed in the United States.</p><p>In 1931, Hurston returned to Plateau, the African-centric community three miles from Mobile founded by Cudjo and other former slaves from his ship. Spending more than three months there, she talked in depth with Cudjo about the details of his life. During those weeks, the young writer and the elderly formerly enslaved man ate peaches and watermelon that grew in the backyard and talked about Cudjo’s past—memories from his childhood in Africa, the horrors of being captured and held in a barracoon for selection by American slavers, the harrowing experience of the Middle Passage packed with more than 100 other souls aboard the <em>Clotilda</em>, and the years he spent in slavery until the end of the Civil War.</p><p>Based on those interviews, featuring Cudjo’s unique vernacular, and written from Hurston’s perspective with the compassion and singular style that have made her one of the preeminent American authors of the twentieth-century, <em>Barracoon</em> masterfully illustrates the tragedy of slavery and of one life forever defined by it. Offering insight into the pernicious legacy that continues to haunt us all, black and white, this poignant and powerful work is an invaluable contribution to our shared history and culture.</p><p></p><p></p><p></p>

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