Presidents & Historical Biographies

Abe

Abe

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One of the Wall Street Journal Ten Best Books of the Year

A Washington Post Notable Book

A Christian Science Monitor and Kirkus Reviews Best Book of 2020

A marvelous cultural biography that captures Lincoln in all his historical fullness. . . . using popular culture in this way, to fill out the context surrounding Lincoln, is what makes Mr. Reynolds's biography so different and so compelling . . . Where did the sympathy and compassion expressed in [Lincoln's] Second Inaugural--'With malice toward none; with charity for all'--come from? This big, wonderful book provides the richest cultural context to explain that, and everything else, about Lincoln. --Gordon Wood, Wall Street Journal

From one of the great historians of nineteenth-century America, a revelatory and enthralling new biography of Lincoln, many years in the making, that brings him to life within his turbulent age

David S. Reynolds, author of the Bancroft Prize-winning cultural biography of Walt Whitman and many other iconic works of nineteenth century American history, understands the currents in which Abraham Lincoln swam as well as anyone alive. His magisterial biography Abe is the product of full-body immersion into the riotous tumult of American life in the decades before the Civil War.

It was a country growing up and being pulled apart at the same time, with a democratic popular culture that reflected the country's contradictions. Lincoln's lineage was considered auspicious by Emerson, Whitman, and others who prophesied that a new man from the West would emerge to balance North and South. From New England Puritan stock on his father's side and Virginia Cavalier gentry on his mother's, Lincoln was linked by blood to the central conflict of the age. And an enduring theme of his life, Reynolds shows, was his genius for striking a balance between opposing forces. Lacking formal schooling but with an unquenchable thirst for self-improvement, Lincoln had a talent for wrestling and bawdy jokes that made him popular with his peers, even as his appetite for poetry and prodigious gifts for memorization set him apart from them through his childhood, his years as a lawyer, and his entrance into politics.

No one can transcend the limitations of their time, and Lincoln was no exception. But what emerges from Reynolds's masterful reckoning is a man who at each stage in his life managed to arrive at a broader view of things than all but his most enlightened peers. As a politician, he moved too slowly for some and too swiftly for many, but he always pushed toward justice while keeping the whole nation in mind. Abe culminates, of course, in the Civil War, the defining test of Lincoln and his beloved country. Reynolds shows us the extraordinary range of cultural knowledge Lincoln drew from as he shaped a vision of true union, transforming, in Martin Luther King Jr.'s words, the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood.

Abraham Lincoln did not come out of nowhere. But if he was shaped by his times, he also managed at his life's fateful hour to shape them to an extent few could have foreseen. Ultimately, this is the great drama that astonishes us still, and that Abe brings to fresh and vivid life. The measure of that life will always be part of our American education.

Barack Before Obama

Barack Before Obama

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A personal, intimate photographic celebration of President Barack Obama, featuring over 200 rare and never-before seen images from the years prior to his presidency, from photographer, friend, and former aide David Katz

In 2004, David Katz worked alongside then Senate-hopeful Barack Obama as a photographer and personal aide. He spent approximately six days a week alongside the future president as Obama campaigned across downstate Illinois, and the two developed a close, professional, and personal relationship. What began as a long-shot Senate run culminated with the election of America's first African American president in 2008, which Katz also photographed.

During this time, David was never without his camera, capturing quotidian scenes from the life of a man who would soon become known the world over: a dad playing with his small daughters; a young unknown politician walking the streets of New York by himself with no one noticing; a devoted husband lovingly making faces at his wife in an elevator. In 2004, after seeing the unique and touching photographs David had amassed, Annie Leibovitz gave him some advice: "Don't release these photos of Obama for at least fifteen years. They need time to age."

Now, fifteen years later, Barack Before Obama is the treasury of these photographs. Pulled from an archive of more than ninety thousand images, every photograph in this volume is like nothing that has been seen before: the ease in which David captures the spirit and essence of one of our most beloved first families is unparalleled, and it is in this affectionate familiarity that his photographs sing. Warm, engaging captions tell the stories behind the photos--the surprise meeting with Nelson Mandela, the back room conversation before the rally, the emotion after sending one of the Obamas' daughters off to school--bringing readers closer than ever to the spirit and motivation behind the extraordinary man who became our forty-fourth president.

Barack Before Obama is a unique collection of images illustrating the making of an American icon. A moving document of an historic moment, it's the perfect gift for all those who want to remember it.

Becoming

Becoming

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An intimate, powerful, and inspiring memoir by the former First Lady of the United States

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER - WATCH THE EMMY-NOMINATED NETFLIX ORIGINAL DOCUMENTARY - OPRAH'S BOOK CLUB PICK - NAACP IMAGE AWARD WINNER - ONE OF ESSENCE'S 50 MOST IMPACTFUL BLACK BOOKS OF THE PAST 50 YEARS

In a life filled with meaning and accomplishment, Michelle Obama has emerged as one of the most iconic and compelling women of our era. As First Lady of the United States of America--the first African American to serve in that role--she helped create the most welcoming and inclusive White House in history, while also establishing herself as a powerful advocate for women and girls in the U.S. and around the world, dramatically changing the ways that families pursue healthier and more active lives, and standing with her husband as he led America through some of its most harrowing moments. Along the way, she showed us a few dance moves, crushed Carpool Karaoke, and raised two down-to-earth daughters under an unforgiving media glare.

In her memoir, a work of deep reflection and mesmerizing storytelling, Michelle Obama invites readers into her world, chronicling the experiences that have shaped her--from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive balancing the demands of motherhood and work, to her time spent at the world's most famous address. With unerring honesty and lively wit, she describes her triumphs and her disappointments, both public and private, telling her full story as she has lived it--in her own words and on her own terms. Warm, wise, and revelatory, Becoming is the deeply personal reckoning of a woman of soul and substance who has steadily defied expectations--and whose story inspires us to do the same.

Fitzgeralds and the Kennedys : An American Saga (Signed 1st edition)
Fitzgeralds and the Kennedys : An American Saga (Signed 1st edition)
Fitzgeralds and the Kennedys : An American Saga (Signed 1st edition)
Fitzgeralds and the Kennedys : An American Saga (Signed 1st edition)

Fitzgeralds and the Kennedys : An American Saga (Signed 1st edition)

$95.00
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Chronicles the story of three generations of the Fitzgeralds and the Kennedys, beginning in 1863 with the baptism of John Francis Fitzgerald and closing with the inauguration of John Fitzgerald Kennedy in January 1961. This copy is a scarce first edition (2nd printing) inscribed by the author.

This copy is a scarce first edition (2nd printing) inscribed by the author. Tight binding, minimal wear to edges of cover and DJ, water stain at bottom of DJ spine, minimal yellowing to DJ; slight tanning to front endpapers due to newspaper articles being laid in; front hinge weak. G/G


Hard Choices

Hard Choices

$35.00
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Hillary Rodham Clinton's inside account of the crises, choices, and challenges she faced during her four years as America's 67th Secretary of State, and how those experiences drive her view of the future.

"All of us face hard choices in our lives," Hillary Rodham Clinton writes at the start of this personal chronicle of years at the center of world events. "Life is about making such choices. Our choices and how we handle them shape the people we become."

In the aftermath of her 2008 presidential run, she expected to return to representing New York in the United States Senate. To her surprise, her former rival for the Democratic Party nomination, newly elected President Barack Obama, asked her to serve in his administration as Secretary of State. This memoir is the story of the four extraordinary and historic years that followed, and the hard choices that she and her colleagues confronted.

Secretary Clinton and President Obama had to decide how to repair fractured alliances, wind down two wars, and address a global financial crisis. They faced a rising competitor in China, growing threats from Iran and North Korea, and revolutions across the Middle East. Along the way, they grappled with some of the toughest dilemmas of US foreign policy, especially the decision to send Americans into harm's way, from Afghanistan to Libya to the hunt for Osama bin Laden.

By the end of her tenure, Secretary Clinton had visited 112 countries, traveled nearly one million miles, and gained a truly global perspective on many of the major trends reshaping the landscape of the twenty-first century, from economic inequality to climate change to revolutions in energy, communications, and health. Drawing on conversations with numerous leaders and experts, Secretary Clinton offers her views on what it will take for the United States to compete and thrive in an interdependent world. She makes a passionate case for human rights and the full participation in society of women, youth, and LGBT people. An astute eyewitness to decades of social change, she distinguishes the trendlines from the headlines and describes the progress occurring throughout the world, day after day.

Secretary Clinton's descriptions of diplomatic conversations at the highest levels offer readers a master class in international relations, as does her analysis of how we can best use "smart power" to deliver security and prosperity in a rapidly changing world--one in which America remains the indispensable nation.

Promised Land (Preorder and save 20%!)

Promised Land (Preorder and save 20%!)

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A riveting, deeply personal account of history in the making--from the president who inspired us to believe in the power of democracy

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER - NAACP IMAGE AWARD NOMINEE - NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The Washington Post - Jennifer Szalai, The New York Times - NPR - The Guardian - Marie Claire

In the stirring, highly anticipated first volume of his presidential memoirs, Barack Obama tells the story of his improbable odyssey from young man searching for his identity to leader of the free world, describing in strikingly personal detail both his political education and the landmark moments of the first term of his historic presidency--a time of dramatic transformation and turmoil.

Obama takes readers on a compelling journey from his earliest political aspirations to the pivotal Iowa caucus victory that demonstrated the power of grassroots activism to the watershed night of November 4, 2008, when he was elected 44th president of the United States, becoming the first African American to hold the nation's highest office.

Reflecting on the presidency, he offers a unique and thoughtful exploration of both the awesome reach and the limits of presidential power, as well as singular insights into the dynamics of U.S. partisan politics and international diplomacy. Obama brings readers inside the Oval Office and the White House Situation Room, and to Moscow, Cairo, Beijing, and points beyond. We are privy to his thoughts as he assembles his cabinet, wrestles with a global financial crisis, takes the measure of Vladimir Putin, overcomes seemingly insurmountable odds to secure passage of the Affordable Care Act, clashes with generals about U.S. strategy in Afghanistan, tackles Wall Street reform, responds to the devastating Deepwater Horizon blowout, and authorizes Operation Neptune's Spear, which leads to the death of Osama bin Laden.

A Promised Land is extraordinarily intimate and introspective--the story of one man's bet with history, the faith of a community organizer tested on the world stage. Obama is candid about the balancing act of running for office as a Black American, bearing the expectations of a generation buoyed by messages of "hope and change," and meeting the moral challenges of high-stakes decision-making. He is frank about the forces that opposed him at home and abroad, open about how living in the White House affected his wife and daughters, and unafraid to reveal self-doubt and disappointment. Yet he never wavers from his belief that inside the great, ongoing American experiment, progress is always possible.

This beautifully written and powerful book captures Barack Obama's conviction that democracy is not a gift from on high but something founded on empathy and common understanding and built together, day by day.

A riveting, deeply personal account of history in the making—from the president who inspired us to believe in the power of democracy
 
In the stirring, highly anticipated first volume of his presidential memoirs, Barack Obama tells the story of his improbable odyssey from young man searching for his identity to leader of the free world, describing in strikingly personal detail both his political education and the landmark moments of the first term of his historic presidency—a time of dramatic transformation and turmoil.

Obama takes readers on a compelling journey from his earliest political aspirations to the pivotal Iowa caucus victory that demonstrated the power of grassroots activism to the watershed night of November 4, 2008, when he was elected 44th president of the United States, becoming the first African American to hold the nation’s highest office.

Reflecting on the presidency, he offers a unique and thoughtful exploration of both the awesome reach and the limits of presidential power, as well as singular insights into the dynamics of U.S. partisan politics and international diplomacy. Obama brings readers inside the Oval Office and the White House Situation Room, and to Moscow, Cairo, Beijing, and points beyond. We are privy to his thoughts as he assembles his cabinet, wrestles with a global financial crisis, takes the measure of Vladimir Putin, overcomes seemingly insurmountable odds to secure passage of the Affordable Care Act, clashes with generals about U.S. strategy in Afghanistan, tackles Wall Street reform, responds to the devastating Deepwater Horizon blowout, and authorizes Operation Neptune’s Spear, which leads to the death of Osama bin Laden.

A Promised Land is extraordinarily intimate and introspective—the story of one man’s bet with history, the faith of a community organizer tested on the world stage. Obama is candid about the balancing act of running for office as a Black American, bearing the expectations of a generation buoyed by messages of “hope and change,” and meeting the moral challenges of high-stakes decision-making. He is frank about the forces that opposed him at home and abroad, open about how living in the White House affected his wife and daughters, and unafraid to reveal self-doubt and disappointment. Yet he never wavers from his belief that inside the great, ongoing American experiment, progress is always possible.

This beautifully written and powerful book captures Barack Obama’s conviction that democracy is not a gift from on high but something founded on empathy and common understanding and built together, day by day.

River of Doubt : Theodore Roosevelt's Darkest Journey (Used) (USED)

River of Doubt : Theodore Roosevelt's Darkest Journey (Used) (USED)

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At once an incredible adventure narrative and a penetrating biographical portrait, The River of Doubt is the true story of Theodore Roosevelt's harrowing exploration of one of the most dangerous rivers on earth.

The River of Doubt--it is a black, uncharted tributary of the Amazon that snakes through one of the most treacherous jungles in the world. Indians armed with poison-tipped arrows haunt its shadows; piranhas glide through its waters; boulder-strewn rapids turn the river into a roiling cauldron.

After his humiliating election defeat in 1912, Roosevelt set his sights on the most punishing physical challenge he could find, the first descent of an unmapped, rapids-choked tributary of the Amazon. Together with his son Kermit and Brazil's most famous explorer, Cândido Mariano da Silva Rondon, Roosevelt accomplished a feat so great that many at the time refused to believe it. In the process, he changed the map of the western hemisphere forever.

Along the way, Roosevelt and his men faced an unbelievable series of hardships, losing their canoes and supplies to punishing whitewater rapids, and enduring starvation, Indian attack, disease, drowning, and a murder within their own ranks. Three men died, and Roosevelt was brought to the brink of suicide. The River of Doubt brings alive these extraordinary events in a powerful nonfiction narrative thriller that happens to feature one of the most famous Americans who ever lived.

From the soaring beauty of the Amazon rain forest to the darkest night of Theodore Roosevelt's life, here is Candice Millard's dazzling debut.

The River of Doubt : Theodore Roosevelt's Darkest Journey, by Candice Millard

Did you know that Theodore Roosevelt ran for a third term, this time with the Progressive Party, a new, independent third party? That when he lost, he decided to join an expedition of The River of Doubt, a tributary of the Amazon River? He did, along with the Brazilian explorer Candido Rondon and Roosevelt’s son, Kermit. Of the nineteen men who attempted to map The River of Doubt, only sixteen survived.

Everything that could go wrong did. The explores contracted serious diseases, lost canoes and built new ones, encountered white water rapids and portaged around them, and faced starvation and rebellion. One man drowned, one was murdered, and one (the murderer) was left behind. Roosevelt himself, suffering from Malaria, was wounded in his leg and developed an almost fatal infection. He even considered suicide before they were found by native “rubber-trappers” who helped them traverse the river back to civilization.

The descriptions of these events and of the dense, dangerous Amazon forest are absolutely riveting. Written by Candice Millard, this book is a must for anyone interested in the tragedy and triumphs of historical exploration.

Sarah Willis

Six  Crises  (Signed  1st  edition)
Six  Crises  (Signed  1st  edition)
Six  Crises  (Signed  1st  edition)

Six Crises (Signed 1st edition)

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Six Crises, the first book written by Richard M. Nixon, recounts his recollections of six major political situations that required crisis management on his part.

Doubleday, 1962. 1st edition, inscribed to Joanne Kennedy, signed by Nixon on ffep. Dust jacket in protective cover; front cover lightly rubbed corners chipped; light gray cloth with gilt title embossed against blue field on front cover and spine; binding tight; text clean. VG/VG

Stronger

Stronger

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In Stronger, the widow of Senator John McCain opens up about her beloved husband, their thirty-eight-year marriage, and the trials and triumphs of a singular American life.

My husband, John McCain, never viewed himself as larger than life--but he was. He had more tenacity and resolve than anybody I ever met. Being with him didn't hold me back--it gave me flight, a courage I never would have felt on my own.

Cindy Hensley was just out of college when she met and fell in love with the celebrated Navy hero John McCain. They embarked on a thrilling life together that put her at the center of American politics for over four decades. Stronger, her moving and inspiring memoir, tells the story of her adventurous life with John for the first time.

Raising their four children in Arizona while John flourished as a six-term senator in Washington, D.C., Cindy McCain brought her own flair to the role of political wife. She eagerly supported John's career even as she tried hard to stay out of the spotlight and maintain her own health and well-being. In Stronger, she is honest in revealing her own successes and missteps, discussing how she dealt with political attacks targeting her children, her battle with opioid addiction, and the wild whirl of campaigning for president.

As they built their life together, Cindy and John continued the multi-generation McCain tradition of service to country. With both immense pride and deep worry, she sent two sons off to active duty in the military. She describes her own brave efforts bringing medical support to countries in crisis and empowering women in Africa and around the world. And she reveals her feelings about the tumultuous effects of the Trump presidency on the military.

Most important, this book shares how John's humor and strength helped Cindy grow into the confident woman she is now. More than a political story, Stronger is the unforgettable journey of one woman who believes in family, honor, and country--and is willing to stand up for all of them.

The Bully Pulpit

The Bully Pulpit

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One of the Best Books of the Year as chosen by The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Economist, Time, USA TODAY, Christian Science Monitor, and more. "A tale so gripping that one questions the need for fiction when real life is so plump with drama and intrigue" (Associated Press).

Doris Kearns Goodwin's The Bully Pulpit is a dynamic history of the first decade of the Progressive era, that tumultuous time when the nation was coming unseamed and reform was in the air.

The story is told through the intense friendship of Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft--a close relationship that strengthens both men before it ruptures in 1912, when they engage in a brutal fight for the presidential nomination that divides their wives, their children, and their closest friends, while crippling the progressive wing of the Republican Party, causing Democrat Woodrow Wilson to be elected, and changing the country's history.

The Bully Pulpit is also the story of the muckraking press, which arouses the spirit of reform that helps Roosevelt push the government to shed its laissez-faire attitude toward robber barons, corrupt politicians, and corporate exploiters of our natural resources. The muckrakers are portrayed through the greatest group of journalists ever assembled at one magazine--Ida Tarbell, Ray Stannard Baker, Lincoln Steffens, and William Allen White--teamed under the mercurial genius of publisher S.S. McClure.

Goodwin's narrative is founded upon a wealth of primary materials. The correspondence of more than four hundred letters between Roosevelt and Taft begins in their early thirties and ends only months before Roosevelt's death. Edith Roosevelt and Nellie Taft kept diaries. The muckrakers wrote hundreds of letters to one another, kept journals, and wrote their memoirs. The letters of Captain Archie Butt, who served as a personal aide to both Roosevelt and Taft, provide an intimate view of both men.

The Bully Pulpit, like Goodwin's brilliant chronicles of the Civil War and World War II, exquisitely demonstrates her distinctive ability to combine scholarly rigor with accessibility. It is a major work of history--an examination of leadership in a rare moment of activism and reform that brought the country closer to its founding ideals.