New Arrivals · History

August 1, 2015
These titles were recently added to the collection of the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County.

Death in Florence : the Medici, Savonarola, and the battle for the soul of a renaissance city

July 31, 2015
Strathern, Paul, 1940- author.
New York : Pegasus Books, 2015.
xv, 428 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations (some color), maps ; 24 cm
"By the end of the fifteenth century, Florence was well established as the home of the Renaissance. As generous patrons to the likes of Botticelli and Michelangelo, the ruling Medici embodied the progressive humanist spirit of the age, and in Lorenzo de' Medici (Lorenzo the Magnificent) they possessed a diplomat capable of guarding the militarily weak city in a climate of constantly shifting allegiances between the major Italian powers. However, in the form of Savonarola, an unprepossessing provincial monk, Lorenzo found his nemesis. Filled with Old Testament fury and prophecies of doom, Savonarola's sermons reverberated among a disenfranchised population, who preferred medieval Biblical certainties to the philosophical interrogations and intoxicating surface glitter of the Renaissance. Savonarola's aim was to establish a 'City of God' for his followers, a new kind of democratic state, the likes of which the world had never seen before. The battle between these two men would be a fight to the death, a series of sensational events--invasions, trials by fire, the 'Bonfire of the Vanities', terrible executions and mysterious deaths--featuring a cast of the most important and charismatic Renaissance figures. Was this a simple clash of wills between a benign ruler and religious fanatic? Between secular pluralism and repressive extremism? In an exhilaratingly rich and deeply researched story, Paul Strathern reveals the paradoxes, self-doubts, and political compromises that made the battle for the soul of the Renaissance city one of the most complex and important moments in Western history" -- provided by publisher.

Bunny tales : behind closed doors at the Playboy Mansion

July 31, 2015
St. James, Izabella.
Philadelphia, Pa. : Running Press, c2009.
253 p., [16] p. of plates : ill. ; 23 cm.

Avenue of spies : a true story of terror, espionage, and one American family's heroic resistance in Nazi-occupied Paris

July 30, 2015
Kershaw, Alex, author.
x, 286 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations, maps ; 25 cm
City of darkness. The fall ; To save France ; The fourteenth ; Day trippers ; Spies of summer ; Winged victory -- Armies of the night. On doctor's orders ; Avenue Boche ; The shadow game ; Number 11 ; The last summer ; The last metro -- Night and fog. Guests of the Reich ; The Coup : July 20, 1944 ; Ave Maria ; Days of glory ; Night and fog ; Neuengamme ; Deliverance -- After the fall. One day in May ; His Majesty's service ; Justice ; Les Invalides.
Brings to life the true story of an American doctor and his family in Paris, and his heroic espionage efforts during World War II. Exclusive Avenue Foch was Paris's hotbed of spies, secret police, informers, and Vichy collaborators. So when the couple at number 11-- American physician Sumner Jackson and his Swiss-born wife Toquette-- joined the French Resistance, they knew the stakes were extraordinarily high. They would be risking not only their own lives but that of their only child, twelve-year-old Phillip. There was no more dangerous place in all of Occupied Europe than their street-- Nazis had commandeered almost every building. At number 31 was the "mad sadist" Theodor Dannecker, charged with deporting French Jews to concentration camps. Number 72 housed the Parisian headquarters of the Gestapo. As their Nazi neighbors rounded up Jews and ruthlessly destroyed all opposition, the Jacksons stepped up their own private war against Hitler. From the American Hospital, Sumner smuggled fallen Allied crewmen out of France. And Toquette agreed to allow the Goélette network of the Resistance to use their home as a drop box for vital information en route to Britain. As D-Day neared, the noose began to tighten; when the family's secret was finally discovered, they were sent on a journey into the black heart of the war-torn continent from which there was little chance of return. Drawing upon a wealth of primary source material and extensive interviews with Phillip Jackson, Alex Kershaw re-creates the City of Light during its darkest days.--Adapted from book jacket.

Nagasaki : life after nuclear war

July 28, 2015
Southard, Susan, author.
New York, NY : Viking, 2015.
xix, 389 pages : illustrations, maps ; 24 cm
Convergence -- Flashpoint -- Embers -- Exposed -- Time suspended -- Emergence -- Afterlife -- Against forgetting -- Gaman.
Published to coincide with the 70th anniversary of the bombing of Nagasaki, a riveting narrative of human resilience, told through first-hand experiences of five survivors, reveals the physical, emotional and social challenges of post-atomic life.

North Korea undercover : inside the world's most secret state

July 28, 2015
Sweeney, John, 1958- author.
New York : Pegasus Books, LLC, 2015.
xv, 306 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations (chiefly color) ; 24 cm
Originally published by Bantam Press, 2013.
In the Land of the Plastic Toad -- Zombie Gods Seep Goo -- God the Waxwork Father -- 'No photos, no photos' -- Jimmy the Gold-Smuggler -- Pyongyang Zoo -- The Scariest Place on Earth -- Facing the Final Curtain -- Cruel Christs of Pus -- Pissing on Marble -- 'Would the Dear Leader not be offended by such a gift?' -- The Man Who Went to North Korea and Came Back Mad -- The Washing of Brains -- God the Bad Elvis Son -- Fifty Shades of Green -- Empty Bellies -- The American Who Went to North Korea and Stayed -- The Hospital that Has Patients, but Only in the Morning -- The Gulag Circus -- God the Fat Boy Kim.
North Korea is like no other tyranny on earth. Its citizens are told their home is the greatest nation in the world, and big brother is always watching. It is Orwell's 1984 made reality. Award-winning BBC journalist John Sweeney is one of the few foreign journalists to have witnessed the devastating reality of life in the controversial and isolated nation of North Korea. Having entered the country undercover, Sweeny posed as a university professor with a group of students from the London School of Economics. Huge factories with no staff or electricity, hospitals with no patients, uniformed child soldiers, and the world-famous and eerily empty DMZ--the Demilitarized Zone, where North Korea ends and South Korea begins--are all framed by a relentless flow of regime propaganda from omnipresent loudspeakers. Free speech is an illusion: one word out of line, and the gulag awaits. State spies are everywhere, ready to punish disloyalty at the slightest sign of discontent. Drawing on his own experiences and his extensive interviews with defectors and other key witnesses, Sweeney's North Korea Undercover pulls back the curtain, providing a rare insight into life there today while examining the country's troubled history and addressing important questions about its uncertain future.

U.S. Army service

July 28, 2015
Liles, Jim, 1947- author.
[Northern Kentucky?] : James E. Liles, [2015?]
15 unumbered pages : color illustrations ; 28 cm

Swedes in Canada : invisible immigrants

July 27, 2015
Barr, Elinor, 1933- author.
Toronto ; Buffalo ; London : University of Toronto Press, 2015.
xv, 554 pages : illustrations, maps ; 24 cm
Includes new article "The Swedes in Canada's national game: they changed the face of pro hockey" by Charles Wilkins.

Circling the Square : stories from the Egyptian Revolution

July 27, 2015
Steavenson, Wendell, 1970- author.
x, 366 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Beforeword -- Tanks -- Tahrir -- Hassan -- Welter -- Tewfik house -- Koshari -- When Platon met Wael Ghonim -- The Army is a red line -- Bread, life -- Milling -- Let's go for a walk -- Every Friday -- Maspero -- Z -- On thugs -- Trees grow -- November December January -- Circle of deceit -- A parliament -- Mogamma -- Anniversary -- The second battle of Mohammed Mahmoud -- The skin -- The standard bearer -- Graffiti -- Broken cameras -- Islam is the solution! -- Merry-go-round -- Intelligence -- On the beach -- Election -- Morsi is the President -- Lie down for a bit -- 1900 : two tribes -- Down with the Brotherhood -- Citadel -- Napoleon -- Reasons to be cheerful -- Waves and sea -- Afterword -- Note about the graffiti.

The two-state delusion : Israel and Palestine - a tale of two narratives

July 24, 2015
O'Malley, Padraig, author.
New York, New York : Viking, 2015.
xvi, 493 pages : map ; 25 cm
Early history: the two narratives -- Dueling narratives and addiction to narrative -- Two-state paradigm, decades of failure, and addiction to process -- Specifics failures -- Hamas: spinning wheels -- Refugees and right of return -- Settlers and settlements -- The economics of sustainability -- Demographics: the enemy within -- Facing the truth
Arguing that a two-state solution is no longer a viable path to lasting peace, a controversial assessment of the Israeli-Palestine conflict addresses key issues while outlining a framework for action.

Dancing with the devil in the City of God : Rio de Janeiro on the brink

July 24, 2015
Barbassa, Juliana, author.
New York, NY : Touchstone, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, Inc., 2015.
xxiii, 308 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations (chiefly color), map ; 24 cm
Introduction, or, is God Brazilian? -- Rio, home -- The rise of the Red Command -- Whacking the weeds -- Fear and heat -- In the heart of evil -- Not for beginners -- It's complicated, querida -- Saving themselves -- Beautiful and broken -- The first carioca -- Long live construction -- The business of sex -- Love is essential -- Dignified living conditions -- We built this city -- The world belongs to the daring -- Futebol nation -- The Cup of Cups.
"In the tradition of Detroit : An American Autopsy and Maximum City comes a deeply reported and beautifully written biography of the seductive and chaotic city of Rio de Janeiro from prizewinning journalist and Brazilian native Juliana Barbassa. Juliana Barbassa moved a great deal throughout her life, but Rio was always home. After twenty-one years abroad, she returned to find the city that once ravaged by inflation, drug wars, corrupt leaders, and dying neighborhoods was now on the precipice of a major change. Rio has always aspired to the pantheon of global capitals, and under the spotlight of the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympic Games it seems that its moment has come. But in order to prepare itself for the world stage, Rio must vanquish the entrenched problems that Barbassa recalls from her childhood. Turning this beautiful but deeply flawed place into a predictable, pristine showcase of the best that Brazil has to offer in just a few years is a tall order--and with the whole world watching, the stakes couldn't be higher. With a cast of larger-than-life characters who are driving this fast-moving juggernaut or who risk getting caught in its gears, this kaleidoscopic portrait of Rio introduces the reader to the people who make up this city of extremes, revealing their aspirations and their grit, their violence, their hungers and their splendor, and shedding light on the future of this city they are building together. Dancing with the Devil in the City of God is an insider perspective into a city on the brink from a native daughter whose life, hopes, and fortunes are entwined with those of the city she portrays"-- Provided by publisher.

Nigeria revisited : my life and loves abroad

July 24, 2015
Onyemelukwe, Catherine, author.
xiv, 297 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
"A Peace Corps Writers book."

Last to die : a defeated empire, a forgotten mission, and the last American killed in World War II

July 21, 2015
Harding, Stephen, 1952-
Boston : Da Capo Press, 2015.
vii, 253 pages : 16 unnumbered pages of plates, maps ; 24 cm
Son and gunner -- The second-string super bomber -- Crisis in Tokyo -- Ceasefire, or not? -- A desperate fight -- Peace, or war? -- Homecoming.

The rebel of Rangoon : a tale of defiance and deliverance in Burma

July 21, 2015
Schrank, Delphine, author.
xxiv, 312 pages : maps ; 25 cm
Nway -- Nigel -- City of exiles -- Grandpa -- City of Wraiths -- The stakeholders -- City of Kings -- The road to Naypyidaw.
"An epic, multigenerational story of courage and sacrifice set in a tropical dictatorship on the verge of massive transformation, The Rebel of Rangoon captures a gripping moment of possibility in Burma. Journalist Delphine Schrank spent four years underground tracking Burmese dissidents whose semi-clandestine existence and fight for democracy remained largely hidden behind their globally celebrated figurehead, Aung San Suu Kyi. With intimate, vivid prose, Schrank follows the inner life of a daredevil young dissident, his friends and rivals, across rural hamlets and flickering Internet connections, into prison cells and safe houses, and deep into their own hearts, as they escape spies and outwit interrogators, fall in love or slip into insanity. Through that dissident's perspective, Schrank unfurls a harrowing account of a country's efforts to emerge from military dictatorship, how a movement of dissidents came into being, how it almost died, and how it pushed its government to crack apart and begin an irreversible process of political reform. In doing so, Schrank delivers a profoundly human exploration of daring and defiance and of the power and meaning of freedom. "-- Provided by publisher.

The Oxford illustrated history of World War II

July 21, 2015
x, 492 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations (some color), maps ; 26 cm
A team of leading historians re-assesses the conflict for a new generation, exploring the course of the war not just in terms of the Allied response but also from the viewpoint of the Axis aggressor states. Under Richard Overy's expert editorial guidance, the contributions take us from the genesis of war, through the action in the major theatres of conflict by land, sea, and air, to assessments of fighting power and military and technical innovation, the economics of total war, the culture and propaganda of war, and the experience of war (and genocide) for both combatants and civilians, concluding with an account of the transition from World War to Cold War in the late 1940s. Together, they provide a stimulating and thought-provoking new interpretation of one of the most terrible and fascinating episodes in world history.

The President and the apprentice : Eisenhower and Nixon, 1952-1961

July 21, 2015
Gellman, Irwin F.
xviii, 791 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 25 cm
More than half a century after Eisenhower left office, the history of his presidency is so clouded by myth, partisanship, and outright fraud that most people have little understanding of how Ike's administration worked or what it accomplished. We know-or think we know-that Eisenhower distrusted his vice president, Richard Nixon, and kept him at arm's length; that he did little to advance civil rights; that he sat by as Joseph McCarthy's reckless anticommunist campaign threatened to wreck his administration; and that he planned the disastrous 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba. None of this is true. This book reveals a different Eisenhower, and a different Nixon. Ike trusted and relied on Nixon, sending him on many sensitive overseas missions. Eisenhower, not Truman, desegregated the military. Eisenhower and Nixon, not Lyndon Johnson, pushed the Civil Rights Act of 1957 through the Senate. Eisenhower was determined to bring down McCarthy and did so.

The last full measure of devotion : ARSOF fallen from the War on Terrorism, 2001-2014.

July 21, 2015
Washington, DC : U.S. Government Printing Office, [2015]
203 pages : color illustrations, 29 cm
Shipping list no.: 2015-0249-P.
"Printed March, 2015"--Page [i].

U.S. Marines in Afghanistan, 2001-2009 : anthology and annotated bibliography

July 21, 2015
Kummer, David W., compiler.
xiii, 419 pages : illustrations (chiefly color), color maps ; 29 cm.
Shipping list no: 2015-0245-P.
"PCN 10600011000"--Title page verso.
Foreword -- Preface -- Maps -- Part 1: America's 911 Force, 2001-02: -- Address to the nation on operations in Afghanistan / President George W Bush -- Thunderbolts: strike first marine corps blow against Taliban / Fred H Allison -- Afghanistan diary corps considerations: lessons learned in phase one / Arthur P Brill Jr -- Le Petit Beourge du Decotiis (1st Platoon Defense at Kandahar) / Second Lieutenant Art G Decotiis -- Deployment to remember: the Navy's Seabees in Afghanistan / Lieutenant Commander Leonard WW Cooke, USN -- Embassy: Kabul / Lieutenant Colonel Brian D Perry Sr, USA -- Leatherneck air on target during operation anaconda / First Lieutenant Jeff Landis -- Bagram nightmares / Fred H Allison -- Part 2: Rebuilding A Nation, 2003-07: -- Fighting 'the other war': counterinsurgency strategy in Afghanistan, 2003-05 / Lieutenant General David W Barno, USA (Ret) -- Marine light attack squadron 773(-) reinforced summary of action -- From Bridgeport to blessing / Ed Darack -- Operation red wings / Ed Darack -- Chai patrols-conducting stability operations in Afghanistan / Colonel James A Hogberg -- Interview: Major Thomas Clinton Jr / Combat studies institute -- Marines deliver in mountain storm / Colonel Kenneth F McKenzie, Major Roberta L Shea and Major Christopher Phelps -- Artillery 'Gruntz' is out / Captain Matthew M Maz, First Lieutenant Jason R Gibbs, First Lieutenant David W Litkenhus, and First Lieutenant Wayne A Wood -- Mission ends as Army, NATO troops take over in Afghanistan, Marines reflect on a tour that "you never forget" / Christian Lowe -- Marines push to take lead in Afghanistan / Sean D Naylor -- Part 3: Buildup, 2008: -- Change in mission / Kristin Henderson -- Counterinsurgency on the ground in Afghanistan: how different units adapted local conditions a US Marine Platoon in Gulistan, Farah, 2008 / Jerry Meyerle, Megan Katt, and James A Gavrilis -- Belated honors for marines in fierce battle / Jeanette Steele -- Cobras strike in Afghanistan special purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force-Afghanistan / Captain Justin M Welan -- Combined arms in Afghanistan / Major Samuel L Meyer -- Special purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force-Afghanistan: bridge to Marine Corps' future in Afghanistan / Sergeant Scott A Whittington -- Afghanistan deployed aviation combat element performs above, beyond expectations / Sergeant Juan D Alfonso -- Interview: Captain Robert G Barber / Marine Corps history division -- Part 4: Marineistan, 2009: -- Interview: Brigadier General Lawrence D Nicholson / Marine Corps History Division -- Marines launch mission in Afghanistan's south focused on security and governance / Rajiv Chandrasekaran -- Arty in Afghanistan-"we're here to shoot" / Andrew Lubin -- Counterinsurgency on the ground in Afghanistan: how different units adapted local conditions US Marine Battalion Nawa, Helmand, 2009 / Jerry Meyerle, Megan Katt, and James A Gavrilis -- With special operations Marines in Afghanistan / Stewart Nusbaumer -- Religious leader engagement in Southern Afghanistan / Alexs Thompson -- Female engagement teams: the case for more female civil affairs Marines / Master Sergeant Julia L Watson -- Acknowledging limits: police advisors and counterinsurgency in Afghanistan US Marine Corps Police mentor, Now Zad District, 2009 / William Rosenau -- Victory in Afghanistan / Lieutenant Colonel Patrick J Carroll (Ret) and Chief Warrant Officer-5 Terry L Walker (Ret) -- Remarks by the President awarding the medal of honor to Sergeant Dakota Meyer / President Barack H Obama -- At Afghan outpost, Marines gone rogue or leading the fight against counterinsurgency? / Rajiv Chandrasekaran -- Remarks by the President in an address to the nation on the way forward in Afghanistan and Pakistan / President Barack H Obama -- Appendices: -- Appendix A: Command and staff list -- Appendix B: Unit list -- Appendix C: Selected terms and abbreviations from operation enduring freedom -- Appendix D: Chronology of events, 2001-9 -- Appendix E: Medal of honor citation -- Appendix F: Selected sources and annotated bibliography -- Index.

Looking east : William Howard Taft and the 1905 U.S. diplomatic mission to Asia : the photographs of Harry Fowler Woods

July 20, 2015
Stever, Margo.
Wilmington, Ohio : Orange Frazer Press, 2015.
xviii, 291 pages : illustrations ; 26 cm
Originally published in Chinese.
Looking east: W. H. Taft and the 1905 U.S. diplomatic mission to Asia -- Francis W. Frost's letters from China to his father -- William Howard Taft's letter from China to his wife -- Margo Taft Stever's interviews: interview with Eric Besch, April, 2009; interview with Michael Hunt, April, 2009; interview with Stacy Cordery, May, 2009 -- Conclusion / by Hong Shen.

Disaster at Stalingrad

July 20, 2015
Tsouras, Peter.
London : Frontline, 2013.
xiv, 242 p., [16] p. of plates : ill., maps, ports. ; 24 cm.
"An alternate history" -- dust jacket.

Battle heroes : voices from Afghanistan

July 20, 2015
Zullo, Allan, author.
ix, 159 pages ; 20 cm
[Table of contents]. Operation enduring freedom -- The Stand (Captain Jason Amerine) -- "The Americans won't get out alive" (Lieutenant Stephen Boada) -- The fatal funnel (Master Sergeant Sarun Sar) -- The battle of Ebrahimkhel (Staff Sergeant Jason "Jake" Kimberling) -- In the chaos of combat (Tech Sergeant Mark DeCorte) -- The ambush at Afghanya (Specialist Gregory "Scott" Ruske) -- The "fire-and-forget" guys (Captain Sheffield Ford III, Master Sergeant Thom Maholic, Staff Sergeant Matthew Binney, Staff Sergeant Joseph Fuerst III, Sergeant First Class Abram Hernandez) -- The crawl for life (Sergeant First Class Brendan O'Connor) -- Death struggle (Staff Sergeant Jason Fetty) -- Saving Private Moss (Major John Oh).
Ten stories of American heroes who have risked their lives for their country while fighting in the Afghan War.

Being Berlusconi : the rise and fall from cosa nostra to bunga bunga

July 17, 2015
Day, Michael, 1966-
New York : Palgrave Macmillan Trade, 2015.
274 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
"People from all walks of life are appalled and fascinated in equal measure by the stratospheric political career of the tycoon and three-time Italian Prime Minister. Michael Day provides an in depth look at the life and crimes of the shameless media mogul until his nine lives ran out and he faced definitive conviction which signaled his irreversible decline. He tells the story of a bright and ambitious man from a lower-middle class family who shook off his humble origins and rose to become rich and powerful beyond most people's dreams--a multi-billionaire whose Mediaset company remains one of Europe's largest television and cinema conglomerates. Along the way, amid the election victories, business triumphs, and womanizing, he became bogged down by his hubris, egotism, sexual obsessions, as well as his flagrant disregard for the law. And yet how and why did Italy and Italians put up with him for so long? With the 78-year-old's legal woes ongoing, including further trials for bribery, after a recent nine-month community service stint, Being Berlusconi is well-timed to mark the final chapters of a notorious--and astonishing--life and career"-- Provided by publisher.

Spain : the centre of the world, 1519-1682

July 17, 2015
Goodwin, Robert, 1969-
New York, NY : Bloomsbury Press, 2015.
[xv], 587 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations, maps, portraits ; 25 cm
Includes bibliographical references (pages [491]-567) and index.
"First published in Great Britain in 2015"--Title-page verso.
Gold. The Age of Chivalry : Charles V. Realms of gold ; Holy Roman Emperor ; Isabella of Portugal ; Arms and letters : Garcilaso and Alba ; Rule of law ; Death of the emperor -- The Age of Bureaucracy : Philip II. El Escorial and El Greco ; St Teresa, mystic poets, and the Inquisition ; The Netherlands : "the Great Bog of Europe" ; Portugal and the Duke of Alba ; Pirates, criminals, and tax collecting ; The Great Armada, 1588 -- Glitter. The Age of Peace : Philip III and the Duke of Lerma. The first modern novel, Don Quixote ; Moriscos and Catalans ; Holy Week : art and illusion ; Velázquez and Zurbarán ; Politics and poetry : Góngora and Quevedo -- The Age of Decline : Philip IV and the Count-Duke of Olivares. Drama : Olivares and Don Juan ; The Prince of Wales in Madrid ; Triumph and disaster ; Death and defeat.
The Golden Age of the Spanish Empire would establish five centuries of Western supremacy across the globe and usher in an era of transatlantic exploration that eventually gave rise to the modern world. It was a time of discovery and adventure, of great political and social change--it was a time when Spain learned to rule the world. Assembling a spectacular cast of legendary characters like the Duke of Alba, El Greco, Miguel de Cervantes, and Diego Velázquez, Robert Goodwin brings the Spanish Golden Age to life with the vivid clarity and gripping narrative of an epic novel. From scholars and playwrights, to poets and soldiers, Goodwin is in complete command of the history of this tumultuous and exciting period. But the superstars alone will not tell the whole tale--Goodwin delves deep to find previously unrecorded sources and accounts of how Spain's Golden Age would unfold, and ultimately, unravel. Spain is a sweeping and revealing portrait of Spain at the height of its power and a world at the dawn of the modern age.

Trapped in Hitler's hell : a young Jewish girl discovers the Messiah's faithfulness in the midst of the Holocaust

July 17, 2015
Dittman, Anita.
Washington, D.C. : WND Books, 2014.
xiv, 206 pages : illustrations ; 21 cm
"Previously titled Angels in the camp; published by Tyndale House, 1979"--Title page verso.
A new era : "Heil Hitler!" -- Race disgrace -- Trapped -- "A lovely Christian..." -- "Open up!" -- Forced labor -- Jaundice -- Good-bye, Mother -- Zwieback bread -- Work camp -- Sustained -- A taste of freedom -- Escape -- Hospitalized -- End of a journey.

Sicily : an island at the crossroads of history

July 16, 2015
Norwich, John Julius, 1929-
New York : Random House, 2015.
xxvii, 362 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 25 cm
1. Greeks -- 2. Carthaginians -- 3. Romans, Barbarians, Byzantines, Arabs -- 4. Normans -- 5. The End of the Kingdom -- 6. Stupor Mundi -- 7. The Vespers -- 8. The Domination of Spain -- 9. Piracy and Revolution -- 10. The Coming of the Bourbons -- 11. Napoleon, Nelson and the Hamiltons -- 12. Joseph and Joachim -- 13. The End of the Murats -- 14. The Carbonari and the Quarantotto -- 15. Risorgimento -- 16. The Mafia and Mussolini -- 17. The Second World War -- Epilogue.
"'Sicily,' said Goethe, 'is the key to everything.' The birthplace of Archimedes, Georgio de Chirico, and Muhammad al-Idrisi, it is the largest island in the Mediterranean. The stepping-stone between Europe and Africa, the gateway between the East and the West, the link between the Latin world and the Greek, at once a stronghold, clearing-house and observation-point, it has been fought over and occupied in turn by all the great powers that have striven over the centuries to extend their dominion across the Middle Sea. John Julius Norwich offers a vivid, erudite, page-turning account of an island and the remarkable kings, queens, and tyrants who fought to rule it. From its beginnings as a feared Greek city-state to its rise as a wealthy, multicultural trading hub during the Crusades, to its rebellion against Italian unification and the rise of the Mafia, the story of Sicily is rich with extraordinary moments and dramatic characters. Norwich outlines the surprising influence Sicily has had on world history--the Roman fascination with Greek culture dates back to their sack of Sicily--and tells the story of one of the world's most kaleidoscopic cultures in a galvanizing, contemporary way"-- Provided by publisher.

Our man in Charleston : Britain's secret agent in the Civil War South

July 16, 2015
Dickey, Christopher.
New York : Crown Publishers, [2015]
388 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations, map ; 25 cm
Prologue -- An Englishman of the Americas -- Observations on the price of Negroes -- Quasi-war -- First shots -- Wicked designs -- Epilogue: the reign of error.
"Between the Confederacy and recognition by Great Britain stood one unlikely Englishman who hated the slave trade. His actions helped determine the fate of a nation. When Robert Bunch arrived in Charleston to take up the post of British consul in 1853, he was young and full of ambition, but even he couldn't have imagined the incredible role he would play in the history-making events to unfold. In an age when diplomats often were spies, Bunch's job included sending intelligence back to the British government in London. Yet as the United States threatened to erupt into Civil War, Bunch found himself plunged into a double life, settling into an amiable routine with his slavery-loving neighbors on the one hand, while working furiously to thwart their plans to achieve a new Confederacy. As secession and war approached, the Southern states found themselves in an impossible position. They knew that recognition from Great Britain would be essential to the survival of the Confederacy, and also that such recognition was likely to be withheld if the South reopened the Atlantic slave trade. But as Bunch meticulously noted from his perch in Charleston, secession's red-hot epicenter, that trade was growing. And as Southern leaders continued to dissemble publicly about their intentions, Bunch sent dispatch after secret dispatch back to the Foreign Office warning of the truth--that economic survival would force the South to import slaves from Africa in massive numbers. When the gears of war finally began to turn, and Bunch was pressed into service on an actual spy mission to make contact with the Confederate government, he found himself in the middle of a fight between the Union and Britain that threatened, in the boast of Secretary of State William Seward, to 'wrap the world in flames.' In this masterfully told story, Christopher Dickey introduces Consul Bunch as a key figure in the pitched battle between those who wished to reopen the floodgates of bondage and misery, and those who wished to dam the tide forever. Featuring a remarkable cast of diplomats, journalists, senators, and spies, Our Man in Charleston captures the intricate, intense relationship between great powers on the brink of war"-- Provided by publisher.

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