The Demon of Unrest

The Demon of Unrest
Author: Erik Larson
Publisher: Random House Large Print
Total Pages: 881
Release: 2024-05-28
Genre: History
ISBN: 0593861833

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The #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Splendid and the Vile brings to life the pivotal five months between the election of Abraham Lincoln and the start of the Civil War—a simmering crisis that finally tore a deeply divided nation in two. A MOST ANTICIPATED BOOK OF THE YEAR: The New York Times, Time, Los Angeles Times, Men’s Health, New York Post, Lit Hub, Book Riot On November 6, 1860, Abraham Lincoln became the fluky victor in a tight race for president. The country was bitterly at odds; Southern extremists were moving ever closer to destroying the Union, with one state after another seceding and Lincoln powerless to stop them. Slavery fueled the conflict, but somehow the passions of North and South came to focus on a lonely federal fortress in Charleston Harbor: Fort Sumter. Master storyteller Erik Larson offers a gripping account of the chaotic months between Lincoln’s election and the Confederacy’s shelling of Sumter—a period marked by tragic errors and miscommunications, enflamed egos and craven ambitions, personal tragedies and betrayals. Lincoln himself wrote that the trials of these five months were “so great that, could I have anticipated them, I would not have believed it possible to survive them.” At the heart of this suspense-filled narrative are Major Robert Anderson, Sumter’s commander and a former slave owner sympathetic to the South but loyal to the Union; Edmund Ruffin, a vain and bloodthirsty radical who stirs secessionist ardor at every opportunity; and Mary Boykin Chesnut, wife of a prominent planter, conflicted over both marriage and slavery and seeing parallels between them. In the middle of it all is the overwhelmed Lincoln, battling with his duplicitous secretary of state, William Seward, as he tries desperately to avert a war that he fears is inevitable—one that will eventually kill 750,000 Americans. Drawing on diaries, secret communiques, slave ledgers, and plantation records, Larson gives us a political horror story that captures the forces that led America to the brink—a dark reminder that we often don’t see a cataclysm coming until it’s too late.

The Splendid and the Vile

The Splendid and the Vile
Author: Erik Larson
Publisher: Crown
Total Pages: 609
Release: 2020-02-25
Genre: History
ISBN: 038534872X

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#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • The author of The Devil in the White City and Dead Wake delivers an intimate chronicle of Winston Churchill and London during the Blitz—an inspiring portrait of courage and leadership in a time of unprecedented crisis “One of [Erik Larson’s] best books yet . . . perfectly timed for the moment.”—Time • “A bravura performance by one of America’s greatest storytellers.”—NPR NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The New York Times Book Review • Time • Vogue • NPR • The Washington Post • Chicago Tribune • The Globe & Mail • Fortune • Bloomberg • New York Post • The New York Public Library • Kirkus Reviews • LibraryReads • PopMatters On Winston Churchill’s first day as prime minister, Adolf Hitler invaded Holland and Belgium. Poland and Czechoslovakia had already fallen, and the Dunkirk evacuation was just two weeks away. For the next twelve months, Hitler would wage a relentless bombing campaign, killing 45,000 Britons. It was up to Churchill to hold his country together and persuade President Franklin Roosevelt that Britain was a worthy ally—and willing to fight to the end. In The Splendid and the Vile, Erik Larson shows, in cinematic detail, how Churchill taught the British people “the art of being fearless.” It is a story of political brinkmanship, but it’s also an intimate domestic drama, set against the backdrop of Churchill’s prime-ministerial country home, Chequers; his wartime retreat, Ditchley, where he and his entourage go when the moon is brightest and the bombing threat is highest; and of course 10 Downing Street in London. Drawing on diaries, original archival documents, and once-secret intelligence reports—some released only recently—Larson provides a new lens on London’s darkest year through the day-to-day experience of Churchill and his family: his wife, Clementine; their youngest daughter, Mary, who chafes against her parents’ wartime protectiveness; their son, Randolph, and his beautiful, unhappy wife, Pamela; Pamela’s illicit lover, a dashing American emissary; and the advisers in Churchill’s “Secret Circle,” to whom he turns in the hardest moments. The Splendid and the Vile takes readers out of today’s political dysfunction and back to a time of true leadership, when, in the face of unrelenting horror, Churchill’s eloquence, courage, and perseverance bound a country, and a family, together.

Thunderstruck

Thunderstruck
Author: Erik Larson
Publisher: Crown
Total Pages: 481
Release: 2006-10-24
Genre: History
ISBN: 0307351920

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A true story of love, murder, and the end of the world’s “great hush.” In Thunderstruck, Erik Larson tells the interwoven stories of two men—Hawley Crippen, a very unlikely murderer, and Guglielmo Marconi, the obsessive creator of a seemingly supernatural means of communication—whose lives intersect during one of the greatest criminal chases of all time. Set in Edwardian London and on the stormy coasts of Cornwall, Cape Cod, and Nova Scotia, Thunderstruck evokes the dynamism of those years when great shipping companies competed to build the biggest, fastest ocean liners; scientific advances dazzled the public with visions of a world transformed; and the rich outdid one another with ostentatious displays of wealth. Against this background, Marconi races against incredible odds and relentless skepticism to perfect his invention: the wireless, a prime catalyst for the emergence of the world we know today. Meanwhile, Crippen, “the kindest of men,” nearly commits the perfect murder. With his unparalleled narrative skills, Erik Larson guides us through a relentlessly suspenseful chase over the waters of the North Atlantic. Along the way, he tells of a sad and tragic love affair that was described on the front pages of newspapers around the world, a chief inspector who found himself strangely sympathetic to the killer and his lover, and a driven and compelling inventor who transformed the way we communicate.

Mary Churchill's War

Mary Churchill's War
Author: Mary Churchill
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Total Pages: 416
Release: 2022-06-07
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
ISBN: 1639361626

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A unique and evocative portrait of World War II—and a charming coming-of-age story—from the private diaries of Winston Churchill's youngest daughter, Mary. “I am not a great or important personage, but this will be the diary of an ordinary person's life in war time. Though I may never live to read it again, perhaps it may not prove altogether uninteresting as a record of my life.” In 1939, seventeen-year-old Mary found herself in an extraordinary position at an extraordinary time: it was the outbreak of World War II and her father, Winston Churchill, had been appointed First Lord of the Admiralty; within months he would become prime minister. The young Mary Churchill was uniquely placed to observe this remarkable historical moment, and her diaries—most of which have never been published until now—provide an immediate view of the great events of the war, as well as exchanges and intimate moments with her father. But these diaries also capture what it was like to be a young woman during wartime. An impulsive and spirited writer, full of coming-of-age self-consciousness and joie de vivre, Mary's diaries are untrammeled by self-censorship or nostalgia. From aid raid sirens at 10 Downing Street to seeing action with the women’s branch of the British Army, from cocktail parties with presidents and royals to accompanying her father on key diplomatic trips, Mary's wartime diaries are full of color, rich in historical insight, and a charming and intimate portrait of life alongside Winston Churchill during a key moment of the twentieth century.

The Demon of Unrest: Abraham Lincoln & America’s Road to Civil War

The Demon of Unrest: Abraham Lincoln & America’s Road to Civil War
Author: Erik Larson
Publisher: HarperCollins UK
Total Pages: 682
Release: 2024-04-30
Genre: History
ISBN: 0008681775

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The internationally bestselling author of The Splendid and the Vile brings to life the pivotal five months between the election of Abraham Lincoln and the start of the Civil War—a slow-burning crisis that finally tore a deeply divided nation in two.

Dead Wake

Dead Wake
Author: Erik Larson
Publisher: Crown
Total Pages: 481
Release: 2015-03-10
Genre: History
ISBN: 0553446754

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#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • From the bestselling author and master of narrative nonfiction comes the enthralling story of the sinking of the Lusitania “Both terrifying and enthralling.”—Entertainment Weekly “Thrilling, dramatic and powerful.”—NPR “Thoroughly engrossing.”—George R.R. Martin 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 Lusitania 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. Germany, however, was determined to change the rules of the game, and Walther Schwieger, the captain of Unterseeboot-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 Lusitania 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. 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, Dead Wake 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. Gripping and important, Dead Wake captures the sheer drama and emotional power of a disaster whose intimate details and true meaning have long been obscured by history. Finalist for the Washington State Book Award • One of the Best Books of the Year: The Washington Post, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Miami Herald, Library Journal, Kirkus Reviews, LibraryReads, Indigo

Lethal Passage

Lethal Passage
Author: Erik Larson
Publisher: Vintage
Total Pages: 299
Release: 1995-01-15
Genre: Social Science
ISBN: 0679759271

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This devastating book illuminates America's gun culture -- its manufacturers, dealers, buffs, and propagandists -- but also offers concrete solutions to our national epidemic of death by firearm. It begins with an account of a crime that is by now almost commonplace: on December 16, 1988, sixteen-year-old Nicholas Elliot walked into his Virginia high school with a Cobray M-11/9 and several hundred rounds of ammunition tucked in his backpack. By day's end, he had killed one teacher and severely wounded another. In Lethal Passage Erik Larson shows us how a disturbed teenager was able to buy a weapon advertised as "the gun that made the eighties roar." The result is a book that can -- and should -- save lives, and that has already become an essential text in the gun-control debate. With a new afterword. "Touches on all aspects of the gun issue in this country. Gives great voice to that feeling...that something real must be done." --San Diego Union-Tribune "One of the most readable anti-gun treatises in years." --Washington Post Book World

In The Garden of Beasts

In The Garden of Beasts
Author: Erik Larson
Publisher: Random House
Total Pages: 464
Release: 2011-08-31
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
ISBN: 1446464504

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'A compelling tale... a narrative that makes such a brave effort to see history as it evolves and not as it becomes.' SPECTATOR Suffused with the tense atmosphere of the times, and with brilliant portraits of Hitler, Goebbels, Goering and Himmler amongst others, Erik Larson's new book sheds unique light on events as they unfold, resulting in an unforgettable, addictively readable work of narrative history. Berlin,1933. William E. Dodd, a mild-mannered academic from Chicago, has to his own and everyone else's surprise, become America's first ambassador to Hitler's Germany, in a year that proves to be a turning point in history. Dodd and his family, notably his vivacious daughter, Martha, observe at first-hand the many changes - some subtle, some disturbing, and some horrifically violent - that signal Hitler's consolidation of power. Dodd has little choice but to associate with key figures in the Nazi party, his increasingly concerned cables make little impact on an indifferent U.S. State Department, while Martha is drawn to the Nazis and their vision of a 'New Germany' and has a succession of affairs with senior party players, including first chief of the Gestapo, Rudolf Diels. But as the year darkens, Dodd and his daughter find their lives transformed and any last illusion they might have about Hitler are shattered by the violence of the 'Night of the Long Knives' in the summer of 1934 that established him as supreme dictator . . .

Isaac's Storm

Isaac's Storm
Author: Erik Larson
Publisher: Vintage
Total Pages: 338
Release: 2000-07-11
Genre: History
ISBN: 0375708278

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From the bestselling author of The Devil in the White City, here is the true story of the deadliest hurricane in history. National Bestseller September 8, 1900, began innocently in the seaside town of Galveston, Texas. Even Isaac Cline, resident meteorologist for the U.S. Weather Bureau failed to grasp the true meaning of the strange deep-sea swells and peculiar winds that greeted the city that morning. Mere hours later, Galveston found itself submerged in a monster hurricane that completely destroyed the town and killed over six thousand people in what remains the greatest natural disaster in American history--and Isaac Cline found himself the victim of a devastating personal tragedy. Using Cline's own telegrams, letters, and reports, the testimony of scores of survivors, and our latest understanding of the science of hurricanes, Erik Larson builds a chronicle of one man's heroic struggle and fatal miscalculation in the face of a storm of unimaginable magnitude. Riveting, powerful, and unbearably suspenseful, Isaac's Storm is the story of what can happen when human arrogance meets the great uncontrollable force of nature.

In the garden of beasts

In the garden of beasts
Author: Erik Larson
Publisher: Random House Digital, Inc.
Total Pages: 466
Release: 2011
Genre: History
ISBN: 0307952428

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The time is 1933, the place, Berlin, when William E. Dodd becomes America's first ambassador to Hitler's Germany. A mild-mannered professor from Chicago, Dodd brings along his wife, son, and flamboyant daughter, Martha. At first Martha is entranced by the parties and pomp, and the handsome young men of the Third Reich with their infectious enthusiasm for restoring Germany to a position of world prominence. Enamored of the 'New Germany,' she has one affair after another, including with the suprisingly honorable first chief of the Gestapo, Rudolf Diels. But as evidence of Jewish persecution mounts, confirmed by chilling first-person testimony, her father telegraphs his concerns to a largely indifferent State Department back home. Dodd watches with alarm as Jews are attacked, the press is censored, and drafts of frightening new laws begin to circulate. As that first year unfolds and the shadows deepen, the Dodds experience days full of excitement, intrigue, romance - and ultimately, horror, when a climactic spasm of violence and murder reveals Hitler's true character and ruthless ambition.