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Bringing to the attention of readers important new titles. (Descriptions are usually provided by the publishers.)

America at the Crossroads: Democracy, Power, and the Neoconservative Legacy
By Francis Fukuyama

Francis Fukuyama's criticism of the Iraq war put him at odds with neoconservative friends both within and outside the Bush administration. Here he explains how, in its decision to invade Iraq, the Bush administration failed in its stewardship of American foreign policy. First, the administration wrongly made preventive war the central tenet of its foreign policy. In addition, it badly misjudged the global reaction to its exercise of"benevolent hegemony." And finally, it failed to appreciate the difficulties involved in large-scale social engineering, grossly underestimating the difficulties involved in establishing a successful democratic government in Iraq.

Fukuyama explores the contention by the Bush administration's critics that it had a neoconservative agenda that dictated its foreign policy during the president's first term. Providing a fascinating history of the varied strands of neoconservative thought since the 1930s, Fukuyama argues that the movement's legacy is a complex one that can be interpreted quite differently than it was after the end of the Cold War. Analyzing the Bush administration's miscalculations in responding to the post-September 11 challenge, Fukuyama proposes a new approach to American foreign policy through which such mistakes might be turned around—one in which the positive aspects of the neoconservative legacy are joined with a more realistic view of the way American power can be used around the world.

Susan B. Carter, Scott Sigmund Gartner, Michael R. Haines, Alan L. Olmstead, Richard Sutch, and Gavin Wright, Editors. Historical Statistics of the United States: Earliest Times to the Present. Millennial Edition. Five volumes and On-Line, Cambridge University Press, 2006.

Historical Statistics of the United States presents the numerical history of the United States. This definitive reference work contains more than 37,000 annual time series of quantitative historical information covering virtually every quantifiable dimension of American history: population, work and welfare, economic structure and performance, governance, and internatinal relations, all from the earliest times to the present. Each series is fully documented and placed in historical context by a recognized expert. It will be a valuable resource for libraries, students, scholars, and journalists. There is nothing comparable.

Click here for an interview with two editors of Historical Statistics.

Mirror to America: The Autobiography of John Hope Franklin
By John Hope Franklin

This autobiography of John Hope Franklin might be viewed as a microcosm of the civil rights movement and race relations in America. Born in 1905, he grew up in an era of enforced segregation and spontaneous lynching. He earned a Harvard Ph.D. and became the first black historian to gain a full professorship at a white institution, but Franklin was no reclusive academician. From his 1934 effort to force President Franklin Roosevelt to respond to racial violence to his participation in freedom marches and the Brown v. Board of Education case, Franklin walked the walk. From Slavery to Freedom, his history of blacks in America, has sold more than 3 million copies and continues to reshape views of African-American history. This is a major statement by a great American.

Reporting from Washington: The History of the Washington Press Corps
By Donald A. Ritchie

Donald Ritchie here offers a chronicle of news coverage in our nation's capital, from the early days of radio and print reporting and the heyday of the wire services to the brave new world of the Internet. Beginning with 1932, when a newly elected FDR energized the sleepy capital, Ritchie highlights the dramatic changes in journalism that have occurred in the last seven decades. We meet legendary columnists - including Walter Lippmann, Joseph Alsop, and Drew Pearson - as well as the great investigative reporters, from Paul Y. Anderson (who broke the Teapot Dome scandal) to the two green Washington Post reporters who launched the political story of the decade - Woodward and Bernstein.

We read of the rise of radio news - fought tooth and nail by the print barons - and of such pioneers as Edward R. Murrow, H. V. Kaltenborn, and Elmer Davis. Ritchie also offers a history of TV news, from the early days of Meet the Press, to Huntley and Brinkley and Walter Cronkite, to the cable revolution led by C-SPAN and CNN. In addition, he compares political news on the Internet to the alternative press of the '60s and '70s; describes how black reporters slowly broke into the white press corps (helped mightily by FDR's White House); discusses path-breaking woman reporters such as Sarah McClendon and Helen Thomas, and much more.

Sundown Towns: A Hidden Dimension of Segregation in America
By James Loewen

Don't let the sun go down on you in this town." We equate these words with the Jim Crow South but in a sweeping analysis of American residential patterns, award-winning and bestselling historian James W. Loewen demonstrates that strict racial exclusion was the norm in American towns and villages from sea to shining sea for much of the twentieth century.

Weaving history, personal narrative, and hard-nosed analysis, Loewen shows that the sundown town was—and is—an American institution with a powerful and disturbing history of its own, told here for the first time. In Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, Missouri, Pennsylvania, and elsewhere, sundown towns were created in waves of violence in the early decades of the twentieth century, and maintained well into the contemporary era.

Sundown Towns redraws the map of race relations, extending the lines of racial oppression through the backyard of millions of Americans—and lobbing an intellectual hand grenade into the debates over race and racism today. 20 black-and-white photographs.

Big Questions In History
By Harriet Swain (ed.)

What wins wars? Why do empires rise and fall? What makes a great leader? What causes nationalism? How do spiritual movements spread?

These are questions in the forefront of our minds today but they meant just as much to people in the past. How did earlier generations tackle them? And how far can historians use the lessons of the past to help to find some answers?

Drawing on examples ranging from ancient Greece to Tony Blair’s Britain, leading historical thinkers address 20 of the really big questions that have been asked over the centuries about the course of human events. While Richard Evans asks what history is, Ian Kershaw considers how personality affects politics, Lisa Jardine looks at the impact of technology on social change, Felipe Fernández-Armesto measures the influence of geography, David A Bell assesses what causes nationalism and Colin Renfrew considers how civilisations develop. Others examine why revolutions happen, how spiritual movements spread, why economies collapse, how intellectual movements start, and what impact our physical bodies and our private lives have on changing history.

Each essay is accompanied by commentary by a journalist, discussing the differing views of other leading thinkers, today and in the past. The result is a stimulating ride over continents and across centuries in search of answers that are sometimes surprising, often controversial, and all of great relevance to how we live today.

Blind Spot: The Secret History of American Counterterrorism
By Timothy Naftali

In this revelatory new account-parts of which were written at the request of the 9/11 Commission-national security historian Timothy Naftali relates the full story of America's decades-long attempt to fight terrorism. On September 11, 2001, a long history of failures and missteps came to a head, with tragic results. But, says Naftali, it didn't have to be so.

The United States hasn't always failed at counterterrorism. At the end of WWII, the government had established a seamless system for countering the threats of Nazi terrorists. But those capabilities were soon forgotten, and it wasn't until 1968, when Palestinian groups began a series of highly publicized airplane hijackings, that the United States had to take counterterrorism seriously again. In Blind Spot, Naftali narrates the game of catch-up that various administrations and the CIA played-with varying degrees of success-from the Munich Games hostage-taking, to the raft of terrorist incidents in the mid-1980s, through the first bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993. The learning curve was steep, yet these years brought unheralded achievements: the United States neutralized Abu Nidal, Abimael Guzman, and Carlos the Jackal-three of its greatest terrorist enemies. In riveting detail, based on newly researched documents, recently uncovered archival information, and interviews with the key participants, Naftali describes these earlier successes and explains why they did not translate into success against Osama bin Laden later in the 1990s.

Until 9/11, the domestic threat of terrorism was the largest blind spot in United States national security. For the first time, Naftali shows that holes in homeland security discovered by Vice President George H. W. Bush in 1986 were still a problem when his son became President, and why George W. Bush did nothing to fix them until it was too late. For anyone concerned about the future of America's security, this masterful, dramatic, and at times disheartening history is necessary and eye-opening reading.

Mysteries of My Father: An Irish-American Memoir

By Thomas Fleming

Inspired by the discovery of a ring once worn by his father during World War I, historian and novelist Fleming (The Officers' Wives) chronicles three generations of his Irish American family in early 20th-century Jersey City, NJ. The narrative alternates between the families of Fleming's father and mother, both of whom had lower-class Irish American beginnings. His father, Teddy, rose to prominence as a sheriff under the reign of corrupt political boss Frank Hague, while his mother, Kitty, raised two sons and remained devoted to her husband, even after their love deteriorated. By uniting these two strands of personal history, Fleming's story transcends traditional memoir and becomes a moving examination of the unique challenges faced by 20th-century Irish Americans as they struggled to integrate into American society. The constant rift between Catholics and Protestants, survival in the midst of crippling poverty, the significance of education, and the deep, persistent bonds of family are key themes here. (Library Journal Review)

Disclosure: Mr. Fleming is a member of HNN's nonprofit corporate board of directors.

Richard B. Morris and American History in the Twentieth Century (University Press of America)
By Philip Ranlet

Richard B. Morris, an internationally known early American scholar, was a historian at both City College of New York and Columbia University. His dissertation, Studies in the History of American Law, helped establish American legal history as a field. This biography is based primarily upon Morris' extensive papers and the recollections of historians who knew him well.

A Restless Past: History and the American Public
By Joyce Appleby

Distinguished historian Joyce Appleby has been at the forefront of many of the recent debates about historians and the public's history. In this engaging work, she brings together her most important reflections on the historian's craft and its importance. A Restless Past carefully examines the ways in which the dynamic events of the second half of the 20th Century have significantly altered the way historians approach the past and highlights the incredible power they hold in shaping a national identity.

The Pursuit of Truth: A Historian's Memoir
By William H. McNeill

William H. McNeill's seminal book The Rise of the West: A History of the Human Community (1963) received the National Book Award in 1964 and was later named one of the 100 best nonfiction books of the twentieth century by the Modern Library. From his post at the University of Chicago, McNeill became one of the first contemporary North American historians to write world history, seeking a broader interpretation of human affairs than prevailed in his youth.

A candid, intellectual memoir from one of the most famous and influential historians of our era, The Pursuit of Truth charts the development of McNeill's thought over seven decades. At the core of his worldview is the belief that historical truth does not derive exclusively from criticizing, paraphrasing, and summarizing written documents, nor is history merely a record of how human intentions and plans succeeded or failed. Instead, McNeill believes that human lives are immersed in vast overarching processes of change. Ecological circumstances frame and limit human action, while in turn humans have been able to alter their environment more and more radically as technological skill and knowledge increased.

Over the course of his career as a historian, teacher, and mentor, McNeill expounded the range of history and integrated it into an evolutionary worldview uniting physical, biological, and intellectual processes. Accordingly, The Pursuit of Truth explores the personal and professional life of a man who affected the way a core academic discipline has been taught and understood in America.

A Life with History
By John Morton Blum

The author of such classic works as The Republican Roosevelt, V Was for Victory, and Years of Discord, John Morton Blum is one of a small group of intellectuals who for more than a quarter of a century dominated the writing of American political history. Writing now of his own career, Blum provides a behind-the-scenes look at Ivy League education and political power from the 1940s to the 1980s.

Blum insightfully recounts a long and distinguished journey that began at Phillips Academy, where he first realized he could make a career of teaching and writing history. He tells how young men were socialized to the values of the Northeastern establishment in those years before World War II, and how as a non-practicing Jew he learned to over-come bigotry both at Andover and at Harvard, which then had no Jewish professors.

In 1957 Blum joined the faculty of Yale University's history department, widely regarded as the nation's best, where he became both influential and popular and where his students included one future U.S. president as well as others who aspired to the office. He reveals much about the inner workings of Ivy League education and tells of controversies over the Vietnam War and the Black Panthers, his role in Eugene McCarthy's presidential campaign, and how he searched for common ground between reactionary faculty and radical students.

More than a recounting of a singular life, Blum's story explains how political history was researched and written during the second half of the twentieth century, describing how the discipline evolved, gained ascendancy, and was challenged as historical fashions changed. It also offers revealing glimpses of such prominent academics as Kingman Brewster, Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., C. Vann Woodward, and William Sloan Coffin.

Over a distinguished career, Blum witnessed considerable change in elite educational institutions, where minorities and women were grossly underrepresented when he first entered academia. In a memoir brimming with insight and laced with humor, he looks back at the academy-"not a refuge from reality but an alternative reality"-as he reflects upon his intellectual journey and his contributions to the study and writing of twentieth-century American history.

Ron Robin takes an intriguing look at the shifting nature of academic and public discourse in this incisive consideration of recent academic scandals-including charges of plagiarism against Stephen Ambrose, Derek Freeman's attempt to debunk Margaret Mead's research, Michael Bellesiles's alleged fabrication of an early America without weapons, Joseph Ellis's imaginary participation in major historical events of the 1960s, Napoleon Chagnon's creation and manipulation of a"Stone Age people," and accusations that Nobel Peace Prize winner Rigoberta Menchú's testimony on the Maya holocaust was in part fiction. Scandals and Scoundrels makes the case that, contrary to popular imagery, we're not living in particularly deviant times and there is no fundamental flaw permeating a decadent academy. Instead, Robin argues, latter-day scandals are media events, tailored for the melodramatic and sensationalist formats of mass mediation. In addition, the contentious and uninhibited nature of cyberdebates fosters acrimonious exposure. Robin convincingly demonstrates that scandals are part of a necessary process of rule making and reinvention rather than a symptom of the bankruptcy of the scientific enterprise.


Taking Back the Academy!: History of Activism, History As Activism
By Jim Downs and Jennifer Manion

Taking Back the Academy! is not only a historical look at activism on campus since the 1960s, but also an exploration of the ways in which the historian's craft leads to social change. Written against the current political wave that views liberal academics as treasonous and unpatriotic, these authors defend political dissent and powerfully document the importance of activism and public debate on college campuses. From the controversies surrounding the current war to continuing problems of identity politics on campus, Taking Back the Academy! covers a number of issues raging on today's university campuses. The book includes articles by Jesse Lemisch and Glenda Gilmore.

Recovering the Past
By Forrest McDonald

Forrest McDonald is a legend in his own time. The NEH’s sixteenth Jefferson Lecturer, he is one of our most eminent historians and the author of numerous provocative works on the early American republic, the Constitution, and the American presidency. Renowned for his sly wit and iconoclasm, he is also a conservative in a mostly liberal profession, a man who believes that his discipline has been subverted by those who serve public policy agendas. He now candidly recounts and reconsiders his own career, mixing in equal measure autobiography with a sharp critique of the historical craft.

Past Imperfect: Facts, Fictions, Frauds - American History From Bancroft And Parkman To Ambrose, Bellisles, Ellis, And Goodwin
By Peter Charles Hoffer

From Publisher's Weekly:"An adviser to the American Historical Association on plagiarism, Hoffer focuses on the four most notorious recent cases of professional historical misconduct in this useful and reasonably argued study: Michael Bellesiles's manufacturing of data in Arming America; Joseph Ellis's fabrication of a fraudulent Vietnam-era past for himself; and the documented plagiarisms of Doris Kearns Goodwin and Stephen Ambrose. In the case of Goodwin, historian Hoffer, of the University of Georgia, cites not only the much-written-about instances of copying in The Fitzgeralds and the Kennedys but also the L.A. Times's investigative work showing that Goodwin plagiarized from books by Joseph Lash, Grace Tully (Franklin Roosevelt's secretary) and Hugh Gregory Gallagher when cobbling together her Pulitzer Prize–winning No Ordinary Time. With regard to Ambrose, Hoffer goes back to the historian's earliest works to document an apparently lifelong pattern of word theft. In the end, Hoffer sees the sins of Bellesiles (falsifying research data) and Ellis (lying to students and the press about his personal history) as in a different and smaller league. Hoffer examines these cases in the broader context of the professionalization of history, the battle between academic and popular history, and professional standards. Those concerned with the integrity and future of the field will find this analysis illuminating."

Secret Empire: Eisenhower, the CIA, and the Hidden Story of America's Space Espionage
By Philip Taubman

From Publisher's Weekly:"In this exciting, meticulously researched spy story, Taubman takes readers behind the closed doors of the Eisenhower administration to tell about the small group of Cold Warriors whose technological innovations-including the U2 spy plane and Corona, the country's first spy satellite-revolutionized espionage and intelligence gathering. The author, an award-winning New York Times editor who has reported on national security issues for more than two decades, gives an account drawn from previously classified documents, oral history archives and scores of interviews with the men who were there. The new technology was driven by the need for safer ways to spy on the Soviet Union-hundreds of pilots had been killed or lost in aerial reconnaissance missions-and, as Taubman argues, it served as a peacekeeper by eliminating the fear of surprise attack. Through the U2 program, CIA analysts determined that the U.S.S.R. was neither outpacing the U.S. in the manufacture of long-range bombers nor fielding hundreds of intercontinental missiles as feared. This book functions marvelously as a history of science, detailing the research, engineering and policy decisions behind the U2 and Corona, but it's also an excellent social history of the Cold War in the 1950s and early '60s. It's a page-turner as well, notably with Taubman's narratives of the first U2 flight, Sputnik and the downing of Francis Gary Powers's U2 over the Soviet Union and the resulting blow to the Eisenhower administration's credibility. Taubman sheds light on a era when the nation's lawmakers were regularly kept in the dark about CIA and other spy agency activities. In an epilogue, the author addresses some unintended consequences in light of September 11, exploring the neglect of conventional manned spying."

Click here to read chapter one online.

All the Shah's Men: An American Coup and the Roots of Middle East Terror
By Stephen Kinzer

Half a century ago, the United States overthrew a Middle Eastern government for the first time. The victim was Mohammad Mossadegh, the democratically elected prime minister of Iran. Although the coup seemed a success at first, today it serves as a chilling lesson about the dangers of foreign intervention. In this book, veteran New York Times correspondent Stephen Kinzer gives the first full account of this fateful operation. His account is centered around an hour-by-hour reconstruction of the events of August 1953, and concludes with an assessment of the coup's haunting and terrible legacy.

Operation Ajax, as the plot was code-named, reshaped the history of Iran, the Middle East and the world. It restored Mohammad Reza Shah to the Peacock Throne, allowing him to impose a tyranny that ultimately sparked the Islamic Revolution of 1979. The Islamic Revolution, in turn, inspired fundamentalists throughout the Muslim world, including the Taliban and terrorists who thrived under its protection.

"It is not mbfar-fetched," Kinzer asserts in his book,"to draw a line from Operation Ajax through the Shah's repressive regime and the Islamic Revolution to the fireballs that engulfed the World Trade Center in New York."

Click here to read chapter one online.


Surprise, Security, and the American Experience
By John Lewis Gaddis

September 11, 2001, distinguished Cold War historian John Lewis Gaddis argues, was not the first time a surprise attack shattered American assumptions about national security and reshaped American grand strategy. We've been there before, and have responded each time by dramatically expanding our security responsibilities.

The pattern began in 1814, when the British attacked Washington, burning the White House and the Capitol. This early violation of homeland security gave rise to a strategy of unilateralism and preemption, best articulated by John Quincy Adams, aimed at maintaining strength beyond challenge throughout the North American continent. It remained in place for over a century. Only when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor in 1941 did the inadequacies of this strategy become evident: as a consequence, the administration of Franklin D. Roosevelt devised a new grand strategy of cooperation with allies on an intercontinental scale to defeat authoritarianism. That strategy defined the American approach throughout World War II and the Cold War.

The terrorist attacks of 9/11, Gaddis writes, made it clear that this strategy was now insufficient to ensure American security. The Bush administration has, therefore, devised a new grand strategy whose foundations lie in the nineteenth-century tradition of unilateralism, preemption, and hegemony, projected this time on a global scale. How successful it will be in the face of twenty-first-century challenges is the question that confronts us. This provocative book, informed by the experiences of the past but focused on the present and the future, is one of the first attempts by a major scholar of grand strategy and international relations to provide an answer.

Click here to read chapter one online.

The The Education of Historians for the Twenty-First Century
By Thomas Bender (Editor), Philip M. Katz (Editor), Colin Palmer (Editor)

In 1958, the American Historical Association began a study to determine the status and condition of history education in U.S. colleges and universities. Published in 1962 and addressing such issues as the supply and demand for teachers, student recruitment, and training for advanced degrees, that report set a lasting benchmark against which to judge the study of history thereafter. Now, more than forty years later, the AHA has commissioned a new report. The Education of Historians for the Twenty-first Century documents this important new study's remarkable conclusions.
Both the American academy and the study of history have been dramatically transformed since the original study, but doctoral programs in history have barely changed. This report from the AHA explains why and offers concrete, practical recommendations for improving the state of graduate education. The Education of Historians for the Twenty-first Century stands as the first investigation of graduate training for historians in more than four decades and the best available study of doctoral education in any major academic discipline.

Prepared for the AHA by the Committee on Graduate Education, the report represents the combined efforts of a cross-section of the entire historical profession. It draws upon a detailed review of the existing studies and data on graduate education and builds upon this foundation with an exhaustive survey of history doctoral programs. This included actual visits to history departments across the country and consultations with scores of individual historians, graduate students, deans, academic and non-academic employers of historians, as well as other stakeholders in graduate education.

As the ethnic and gender composition of both graduate students and faculty has changed, methodologies have been refined and the domains of historical inquiry expanded. By addressing these revolutionary intellectual and demographic changes in the historical profession, The Education of Historians for the Twenty-first Century breaks important new ground. Combining a detailed historical snapshot of the profession with a rigorous analysis of these intellectual changes, this volume is ideally positioned as the definitive guide to strategic planning for history departments. It includes practical recommendations for handling institutional challenges as well as advice for everyone involved in the advanced training of historians, from department chairs to their students, and from university administrators to the AHA itself.

Although focused on history, there are lessons here for any department. The Education of Historians for the Twenty-first Century is a model for in-depth analysis of doctoral education, with recommendations and analyses that have implications for the entire academy. This volume is required reading for historians, graduate students, university administrators, or anyone interested in the future of higher education. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

The Iraq War Reader
Edited by Micah L. Sifry and Christopher Cerf

Despite the torrent of coverage devoted to war with Iraq, woefully little attention has been paid to the history of the region, the policies that led to the conflict, and the daunting challenges that will confront America and the Middle East once the immediate crisis has ended. In this collection, Micah L. Sifry and Christopher Cerf, coeditors of the acclaimed Gulf War Reader, have assembled essays and documents that present an eminently readable, up-to-the-moment guide -- from every imaginable perspective -- to the continuing crisis in the Gulf and Middle East.

Here, in analysis and commentary from some of the world's leading writers and opinion makers -- and in the words of the key participants themselves -- is the engrossing saga of how oil economics, power politics, dreams of empire, nationalist yearnings, and religious fanaticism -- not to mention naked aggression, betrayal, and tragic miscalculation -- have conspired to bring us to the fateful collision of the West and the Arab world over Iraq.

Contributors include:

Fouad Ajami
George W. Bush
Richard Butler
John le Carré
Noam Chomsky
Thomas Friedman
Al Gore
Seymour Hersh
Christopher Hitchens
Arianna Huffington
Saddam Hussein
Terry Jones
Robert Kagan
Charles Krauthammer
William Kristol
Nicholas Lemann
Kanan Makiya

Click here to read portions of the book online.

The Middle East and Islamic World Reader
By Marvin E. Gettleman (Editor) and Stuart Schaar (Editor)

The Muslim world is tremendously rich and diverse, yet few Westerners are familiar with the writings and teachings of a culture that in recent months has come to the forefront of world events. In their insightful new anthology The Middle East and Islamic World Reader, historians Marvin E. Gettleman and Stuart Schaar have assembled a broad selection of documents and contemporary scholarship to give a view of the history of the peoples from the core Islamic lands, from the Golden Age of Islam to today.

With carefully framed essays beginning each chapter and brief introductory notes accompanying over seventy readings, the anthology reveals the multifaceted societies and political systems of the Islamic world. Selections range from theological texts illuminating the differences between Shiite and Sunni Muslims, to diplomatic exchanges and state papers, to memoirs and literary works, to manifestos of Islamic radicals. The anthology spans the distance from Tunisia to India through writings by such key figures as the early Muslim historian Ibn Khaldun, Turkish founding father Kemal Ataturk, Israeli statesman David Ben-Gurion, and the Iranian revolutionary leader Ayatollah Khomeini. The readings chart the effects of the Islamic world's interactions with outsiders — from the invasions of Central Asian nomads and Crusading Europeans in the Middle Ages, to European colonization in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries — as well as its own internal evolution, through accounts of peasants, urban workers, and the experience of Muslim women.

Wide-ranging and thought-provoking, The Middle East and Islamic World Reader is a fascinating historical survey of complexsocieties that — now more than ever — are crucial for us to understand.

Click here to purchase a copy.

The Modern American Presidency
By Lewis Gould

After two decades of uninterrupted growth in the power of the modern presidency, the 1960s saw the ?rst signs of popular questioning about the increasing authority of the American executive. The skepticism did not begin during the opening three years of that decade, when John F. Kennedy was in the White House. The way in which Kennedy approached the o?ce, however, laid the foundation for the problems that Lyndon B. Johnson encountered in foreign policy. Both men conducted their administrations in a manner that rejected the institutional precedents set under Dwight D. Eisenhower. The results did not suggest that notable improvements in presidential leadership had occurred.

John F. Kennedy became president in January 1961 with one of the thinnest policy backgrounds of any chief executive in the twentieth century. After three terms in the House of Representatives, from 1947 to 1953, Kennedy won a Senate seat in 1952 and gained a landslide reelection six years later. Never much interested in legislation, the Massachusetts senator spent his ?rst term in uncertain health and in his second immediately began a presidential run. His involvement in labor reform legislation in 1959 represented his one serious commitment to Capitol Hill. Perhaps because he was not tied to a legislative record, Kennedy proved to be an excellent presidential candidate, whose rhetoric aroused powerful expectations about how he would get the nation “moving again.” The exact means of achieving such goals, however, were left unde?ned when his presidency got under way, following his narrow victory over Richard M. Nixon in the 1960 election.

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No End to War
By Walter Laqueur

To understand terrorism one ought to investigate its roots rather than deal with its outward manifestations. This statement, endlessly repeated in recent years, happens to be perfectly correct and is, of course, quite true with regard to any phenomenon in the world. Unfortunately, the statement has very often become a misleading slogan, justifying a parade of hobby horses. Instead of studying the available evidence, preconceived notions have frequently been proclaimed as the received truth.

The causes of terrorism have been a source of bewilderment and misconceptions for a long time. It was widely believed that terrorism was a response to injustice and that terrorists were people driven to desperate actions by intolerable conditions, be it poverty, hopelessness, or political or social oppression. Following this reasoning, the only way to remove or at least to reduce terrorism is to tackle its sources, to deal with the grievances and frustrations of the terrorists rather than simply trying to suppress terrorism by brute force. As an American linguist put it,"Drain the swamp, and the mosquitoes will disappear."

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Changing the World: American Progressives in War and Revolution, 1914-1924
By Alan Dawley

At the dawn of the twentieth century in a climate of hope and promise a new internationalism took wing. After a long century of releative peace among the great powers, it was easy to believe that another century of even great cooperation among great powers was in the offing. Growing connections among peoples around the globe seemed to be reducing ancient hatreds and national rivalries, while movements for the peaceful resolution of differences through mediation and arbitration were gaining wide support.

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Hellfire Nation: The Politics of Sin in American History
By James A. Morone

Introduction: A Nation with the Soul of A Church

Ten thousand people spilled out of the Holt Street Baptist church and into the Montgomery evening. The young minister, Martin Luther King, slowly worked his way through the crowd. When he finally got to the pulpit and began to speak, loudspeakers carried the message to the black men and women standing outside. King called on them to rise in protest."There comes a time," he roared over shouts and amens,"when the people get tired of being trampled over by the iron feet of oppression." Then, he defined this movement's celebrated path."I want it to be known through out . . . this nation that we are a Christian people. The only weapon in our hand is the weapon of protest." King capped that first great sermon of the civil rights era with one of his favorite quotations."We are determined, here in Montgomery, to work and fight until justice runs down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream." King took the passage from the Old Testament's Book of Amos which runs a lot harsher than the preacher let on."Woe unto you," warns Amos in a passage King never touches,"wailing shall be in all the streets." Why? Because you turned your back on Joseph when he was sold into bondage by his brothers. [The message ran from the Old Testament through the pulpit and out into the Montgomery streets]

The civil rights movement poured out of Holt Street Baptist on that December night in 1955. The people put aside a long, black jeremiad about God's wrath toward those who oppressed His children. Instead, the activists clutched onto Christian non-violence and, in the next decade, transformed the United States. So did the implacable segregationists who stormed back at the marchers with their own twisted moral arguments. All sides called on God to witness the cause. Today Americans honor King and skip lightly over the segregationist violence - the great shame of the 1960s. The civil rights crusade embodied an ancient political tradition: Across American time, nothing rallies the people or grows their government like a pulpit-thumping moral crusade against social injustice.

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Mrs. Astor's New York: Money and Power in a Gilded Age
By Eric Homberger

In this book I have sought to portray the aristocracy of an American city in the nineteenth century, considering the entertainments, rituals, values, houses, marriages, divorces, snobbishness, infidelities, and cultural horizons-as well as the neighborhoods where these aristocrats lived. For obvious reasons I have concentrated on New York City: 'All American society is modeled on that of New York,' observed Louis Simonin in the Revue des deux mondes. 'The imperial city regulates American customs and fashions, as Paris regulates those of France...no American city can dispute with New York in population, extent, and magnificence, nor contest with her in the amount of business transactions, the riches of the nabobs, the elegance of the feminine toilets, the luxury and splendor of the fetes and receptions. What happened in New York mattered. The aristocracy of Philadelphia and Savannah moved on a local or regional state; the aristocrats of New York could confidently assume that their houses, wealth, and entertainments would be subjects of interest whenever and wherever Americans thought about money and class. From Henry Brevoort's fancy dress ball at his home on lower Fifth Avenue in 1840, until the death of Mrs. Astor at her home on Fifth Avenue in 1908, New York experienced an age of aristocracy.

As recent scholarship has shown, the aristocracy of New York was something of a hybrid. It was 'newer' than the equivalent groups in Charleston, Philadelphia, or Boston, and less stable. Although the word 'aristocrat' has a long and venerable history as a term of political abuse, it was widely used in a descriptive and sometimes sardonic way, and without too much anxiety over the differing nuances of 'aristocracy' and 'upper class.' Nathaniel Parker Willis, litterateur and sharp-eyed observer of the bon ton, remarked on the proliferation of aristocracies in New York within the 'upperdom' of the 'upper ten,' the 10,000 New Yorkers constituting the city's social leaders.

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Power to Destroy: The Political uses of the IRS from Kennedy to Nixon
By John A. Andrew III

Chapter 1 The Early 1960s: A New Role for the IRS?

On January 20, 1961, a bitter cold but sunny day in the nation's capital, John F. Kennedy took the oath of office as the thirty-fifth president of the United States. His soaring rhetoric that noon--the promises to"bear any burden" and"pay any price"--led many Americans to believe that a new generation and a new era had arrived, that the reins of power were now in the hands of an idealistic activist interested in exercising power to address social problems. It marked the beginning, many later believe, of Camelot. John Kennedy, however, was a professional politician, more practical than idealistic. His rhetoric often exceeded his intent. He addressed social problems ore directly than had Dwight Eisenhower, his predecessor, but he also intended to make government responsive in other ways. With his brother Robert installed as attorney general, one of the powers he sought to mobilize was that of the Internal Revenue Service.

His first move was to use an old colleague and family friend, recently names special consultant to the president, Carmine Bellino, to look inside the IRS. Bellino, undoubtedly the foremost investigative accountant in American history, is perhaps the most important"unknown" in the Kennedy Administration. A former agent of the FBI, where he headed the accounting division, Bellino served with Robert Kenny on the McClellan Committee (Senate Investigations Subcommittee) in the late 1950s. There he was instrumental to the prosecution of labor leaders Dave Beck and Jimmy Hoffa, as well as the Teamsters Union.

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The Conquerors: Roosevelt, Truman, and the Destruction of Hitler's Germany, 1941-1945
By Michael R. Beschloss

Chapter 1: The Plot to Murder Hitler

Had the plotters been more deft, Thursday, July 20, 1944, would have been Adolf Hitler's last day on earth.

Six weeks after D-Day, the United States, Great Britain and their allies had landed a million men in France. The Red Army was marching westward. When Hitler's generals proposed retreat behind more defensible lines, the Führer had shaken his head, crying,"Victory or death!"

Now Hitler was burrowed in at the Wolf's Lair, his field headquarters near Rastenburg, in a melancholy, dank East Prussian forest. At noon, in a log barracks, he listened to a gloomy report from one of his army chiefs about Germany's retreat on the Eastern front. In the steamy room, Hitler took off the eyeglasses he vainly refused to use in public and mopped his forehead with a handkerchief. SS men and stenographers stood around the massive, long oak table like nervous cats. Maps were unfurled. Hitler leaned over them and squinted through a magnifying glass, grimacing at the bad news.

Into the room strode a thirty-seven-year-old officer named Claus von Stauffenberg. He was a Bavarian nobleman, with blond hair and sharp cheekbones, who had lost an eye and seven fingers to an Allied mine in Tunisia while fighting for Germany. Unknown to the Führer or the other two dozen people in the chamber, Stauffenberg was part of a secret, loosely rigged anti-Hitler conspiracy that included military officers, diplomats, businessmen, pastors, intellectuals, landed gentry.

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In the Devil's Snare: The Salem Witchcraft Crisis of 1692
By Mary Beth Norton

In January 1692 in Salem Village, Massachusetts, two young girls began to suffer from inexplicable fits. Seventeen months later, after legal action had been taken against 144 people-20 of them put to death-the ignominious Salem witchcraft trials finally came to an end.

Now, Mary Beth Norton-one of our most ad-mired historians-gives us a unique account of the events at Salem, helping us to understand them as they were understood by those who lived through the frenzy. Describing the situation from a seventeenth-century perspective, Norton examines the crucial turning points, the accusers, the confessors, the judges, and the accused, among whom were thirty-eight men. She shows how the situation spiraled out of control following a cascade of accusations beginning in mid-April. She explores the role of gossip and delves into the question of why women and girls under the age of twenty-five, who were the most active accusers and who would normally be ignored by male magistrates, were suddenly given absolute credence.

A vivid, authoritative historical evocation and exploration that will alter forever the way we think about one of the most perennially fascinating and horrifying events in our history.

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THE LANDSCAPE OF HISTORY: How Historians Map the Past
By John Lewis Gaddis

Chapter 1: The Landscape of the World

A young man stands hatless in a black coat on a high rocky point. His back is turned toward us, and he is bracing himself with a walking stick against the wind that blows his hair in tangles. Before him lies a fog-shrouded landscape in which the fantastic shapes of more distant promontories are only partly visible. The far horizon reveals mountains off to the left, plains to the right, and perhaps very far away-one can't be sure-an ocean. But maybe it's just more fog, merging imperceptibly into the clouds. The painting, which dates from 1818, is a familiar one: Caspar David Friedrich's The Wanderer above a Sea of Fog. The impression it leaves is contradictory, suggesting at once mastery over a landscape and the insignificance of an individual within it. We see no face, so it's impossible to know whether the prospect confronting the young man is exhilarating, or terrifying, or both.

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Benjamin Franklin
By Edmund S. Morgan

Chapter 1: An Exciting World

The first thing to do is to overcome the image of a man perpetually at his desk, scribbling out the mountain of words that confront us. Because Franklin wrote so well and so much it is natural to think of him with pen in hand. But the man we will find in his writings likes to be in the open air, walking the city streets, walking the countryside, walking the deck of a ship. Indoors, he likes to be with people, sipping tea with young women, raising a glass with other men, playing chess, telling jokes, singing songs.

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Diary of a Contraband: The Civil War Passage of a Black Sailor
By William Benjamin Gould IV

The heart of this book is the remarkable Civil War diary of the author’s great-grandfather, William Benjamin Gould, an escaped slave who served in the United States Navy from 1862 until the end of the war. The diary vividly records Gould’s activity as part of the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron off the coast of North Carolina and Virginia; his visits to New York and Boston; the pursuit to Nova Scotia of a hijacked Confederate cruiser; and service in European waters pursuing Confederate ships constructed in Great Britain and France.

Gould’s diary is one of only three known diaries of African American sailors in the Civil War. It is distinguished not only by its details and eloquent tone, but also by its reflections on war, on race, on race relations in the Navy, and on what African Americans might expect after the War.

The book includes introductory chapters establishing the context of the diary narrative, an annotated version of the diary, a brief account of Gould’s life in Massachusetts after the War, and William B. Gould IV’s thoughts about the legacy of his great-grandfather and his own journey of discovery in learning about this remarkable man.

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The Debt:What America Owes to Blacks
By Randall N. Robinson

Chapter One:
Reclaiming Our Ancient Self

I was born in 1941, but my black soul is much older than that. Its earliest incarnations occurred eons ago on another continent somewhere in the mists of prehistory. Thus, there are two selves: one born a mere fifty-eight years ago; the other, immortal, who has lost sight of the trail of his long story. I am this new self and an ancient self. I need both to be whole. Yet there is a war within, and I feel a great wanting of the spirit.

The immortal self--the son of the shining but distant African ages--tells the embattled, beleaguered, damaged self, the modern self, what he needs to remember of his ancient traditions. But the modern self simply cannot remember and thus cannot believe. The modern self has desperately tried, but the effort has been only marginally fruitful. Maliciously shorn of his national identity for so long, he can too easily get lost in another's.

In any case, in America, there is little space for before.

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Law In America:
A Brief History

By Lawrence M. Friedman

Chapter One:

At my university (Stanford) I teach a course to undergraduates called Introduction to American Law. On my way to class, on the first day—the class usually meets at nine o’clock, and it is a tough assignment to keep the students awake—I buy a copy of the Chronicle, the morning newspaper from San Francisco. When I begin the class, after the first few announcements and the like, I wave the paper in front of the class, and read some of the headlines. The point I want to get across to the students is that every domestic story in the front part of the newspaper, before you get to the recipes and the comics and the sports pages, has a legal angle—has some connection with the legal system. Of course, I have no control over the newspaper, but the trick never fails. Almost invariably, every story about public life in the United States, or private life interesting enough to get into the newspaper, will mention a law, a legal proposal, a bill in Congress or in the state legislature, or something a judge, a policeman, a court, a lawyer has done or said; or some statement from the president or other high officials, in any case always about some affair or situation or event done by, with, through, or against the law. In the world we live in—the country we live in—almost nothing has more impact on our lives, nothing is more entangled with our everyday existence, than that something we call the law. This is a startling fact; and it gets the students attention—as it should.

Why is it the case that the newspapers are so full of material about the legal system? What makes law so central to American society? Where does all this law come from? Is all of this emphasis on law and legal matters good for the country, or is it a sign of some deep-seated pathology? What is American law, and how did it get this way? These questions are the subject of this short book. What I am trying to do is provide a historical introduction to American law—or, perhaps more accurate, to American legal culture; or, perhaps, to the spirit of American law, and how it has related, over time, to American society in general.

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Slaves on Screen:
Film and Historical Vision

By Natalie Zemon Davis

Chapter One:
Film as Historical Narrative

Three reenactments in film of imagined moments in the long history of slavery and resistance to it: What do we make of them? Do we shrug them off as Laurence Olivier merely playing the Roman general, Kirk Douglas Spartacus, and Marlon Brando, the Englishman? Do we note the similarity in all the scenes - the masters seeking acknowledgement, the rebels silent, the spitting - and wonder whether the latter two movies are quoting the first, as filmmakers are wont to do? Or can we go on to ask whether these scenes are also serious efforts to represent conflicts and sensibilities in the history of slavery? Can we cast filmmakers, actors, and viewers as participants in a collective"thought experiment" about the past?

At first glance, this objective may seem to be a difficult one. Readers may well wonder whether we can arrive at a historical account faithful to the evidence if we leave the boundaries of professional prose for the sight, sound, and dramatic action of film. In fact, this question was posed in Ancient Greece, long before Spartacus's day, in regard to historical prose and epic poetry.

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