History

by James Hornfisher

New York Times Bestseller

Neptune’s Inferno
is at once the most epic and the most intimate account ever written of the contest for control of the seaways of the Solomon Islands, America’s first concerted offensive against the Imperial Japanese juggernaut and the true turning point of the Pacific conflict. This grim, protracted campaign has long been heralded as a Marine victory. Now, with his powerful portrait of the Navy’s sacrifice—three sailors died at sea for every man lost ashore—Hornfischer tells for the first time the full story of the men who fought in destroyers, cruisers,  and battleships in the narrow, deadly waters of “Ironbottom Sound.” Here, in brilliant cinematic detail, are the seven major naval actions that began in August of 1942, a time when the war seemed unwinnable and America fought on a shoestring, with the outcome always in doubt. But at Guadalcanal the U.S. proved it had the implacable will to match the Imperial war machine blow for violent blow.

Working from new interviews with survivors, unpublished eyewitness accounts, and newly available documents, Hornfischer paints a vivid picture of the officers and enlisted men who took on the Japanese in America’s hour of need: Vice Admiral William “Bull” Halsey, who took command of the faltering South Pacific Area from his aloof, overwhelmed predecessor and became a national hero; the brilliant Rear Admiral Norman Scott, who died even as he showed his command how to fight and win; Rear Admiral Daniel Callaghan, the folksy and genteel “Uncle Dan,” lost in the strobe-lit chaos of his burning flagship; Rear Admiral Willis Lee, who took vengeance two nights later in a legendary showdown with the Japanese battleship Kirishima; the five Sullivan brothers, all killed in the shocking destruction of the Juneau; and many others, all vividly brought to life.

The first major work on this essential subject in almost two decades, Neptune’s Inferno does what all great battle narratives do: It cuts through the smoke and fog to tell the gripping human stories behind the momentous events and critical decisions that altered the course of history and shaped so many lives. This is a thrilling achievement from a master historian at the very top of his game.

by Philip H. Melanson

This new edition of the definitive history of the Secret Service lays bare the 2004 Bush campaign’s political uses of the agency and the new challenges it faces as a branch of the Homeland Security Department, in a post-9/11 world. Acclaimed scholar of political violence and governmental secrecy Philip Melanson explores the long-hidden workings of the Secret Service since its inception in 1865 and through rigorous research and extensive interviews with former White House staffers and retired agents, uncovers startling facts about the Agency’s role in such traumatic national events as the assassination of JFK and the shooting of President Reagan. Included, too, are revelations about presidential demands on the agency; the problems of alcoholism, divorce, and burnout among agents; and the Service’s inexplicable failure to develop profiles of potential assassins. Up-to-date and explosive, this book assails the public image of the Secret Service as a highly professional apolitical organization, exposing the often-detrimental influence that politics exerts on the Agency.

by Homer Hickam

SLAUGHTER AT SEA - JUST MILES FROM U.S. SOIL!

In 1942 German U-boats turned the shipping lanes off Cape Hatteras into a sea of death. Cruising up and down the U.S. eastern seaboard, they sank 259 ships, littering the waters with cargo and bodies. As astonished civilians witnessed explosions from American beaches, fighting men dubbed the area "Torpedo Junction." And while the U.S. Navy failed to react, a handful of Coast Guard sailors scrambled to the front lines. Outgunned and out-maneuvered, they heroically battled the deadliest fleet of submarines ever launched. Never was Germany closer to winning the war.

In a moving ship-by-ship account of terror and rescue at sea, Homer Hickam chronicles a little-known saga of courage, ingenuity, and triumph in the early years of World War II. From nerve-racking sea duels to the dramatic ordeals of sailors and victims on both sides of the battle, Hickam dramatically captures a war we had to win - because this one hit terrifyingly close to home.

by Barbara Gibson

This is the Kennedy Family as you've never seen them before. Their name is synonymous with power and privilege. No other American family has known the public scrutiny of the Kennedys. And now the reputation of the Kennedy name rests on the shoulders of its third generation. Includes never before seen family photos, and a new chapter on JFK Jr.'s tragic death.

by James Hornfischer

A forgotten chapter of heroism, brutality and survival from the opening days of World War II.

The USS Houston, famed for ferrying FDR on several voyages, was on the wrong side of the Pacific when World War II broke out. The fate of the ship and her crew has never been fully revealed until now. Battered and on the run after several skirmishes in the opening weeks of the war, the Houston was looking for shelter. Just after 11:30 at night, on Feb. 28, 1942, the Houston and the Australian cruiser Perth sailed into the Sunda Strait off the coast of Java. Their arrival coincided with the landing of a massive Japanese army on the island. Against overwhelming odds, the two ships battled for more than an hour before they were sunk. Those who survived were captured and taken to Singapore, but that was only the beginning of their nightmare. The prisoners were put to work in what would become an infamous stretch of jungle, the Burma-Thailand Railway, basis for the epic The Bridge on the River Kwai. Though the Perth and Houston survivors shared the same experience, the author focuses on the Houston crew. As in Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors (2004), personal accounts from survivors make vivid the brutal experience. Scattered by the current, some sailors were immediately captured, while others evaded the enemy for days or weeks. Back home, families waited for news that never came. Harrowing and frank, the story of a gritty band of men -- starved, isolated and working under excruciating conditions -- reflects the triumph of will over adversity.

by James D. Hornfischer

National Bestseller

In the tradition of #1 New York Times bestselling Flags of Our Fathers, James D. Hornfischer's inspiring chronical portrays a naval battle unlike any other in U.S. history. Facing overwhelming firepower, with no prospect of reinforcement, 13 American warships began a fight they couldn't win.

Told from the point of view of the men there, The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors captures Navy pilots attacking enemy battleships with makeshift weapons, a veteran commander improvising tactics, and young crews rising to an impossible challenge. The readers follow an iron-willed, self-made executive officer who leads his men through a sea of carnage over two hellish days and nights, clinging to survival amid oil, blood, sharks, and madness. Despite an overmatched U.S. force enduring the loss of five gallant ships and nearly a thousand brave men, they turned a certain crushing defeat into a momentous victory that would lead to the final surrender of America's ruthless imperial foe.

by Hal Buell

"Among the Americans who served on the Iwo island, uncommon valor was a common virtue."
--Admiral Chester Nimitz                                        

It remains the U.S. Marine Corps' bloodiest battle. In 36 days of horrific fighting, Iwo Jima - a virtually unknown but critically strategic Japanese island - became a place no one would forget. Fifty years later, it is the iconic photo of Marines raising the American flag on the battle's fifth day that keeps the memory of Iwo Jima alive. This photograph, by Associated Press photographer Joe Rosenthal, would eventually mean much more than just a brief image from a faraway island - it would come to symbolize the valor and eventual victory of the Marines, and the nation's determination to win World War II. 

This is the full story of the ten days Rosenthal spent on Iwo Jima as Marines fought on bloody, black volcanic sands against a murderous onslaught - and how his Pulitzer prize-winning picture came to be. Generously illustrated, Uncommon Valor, Common Virtue is a grunts-eye view of the Marines' savage struggle against a masterful Japanese army prepared to fight to the end. Included with the book is a DVD of the actual raising of the flag on that fateful day.



by William A. Fletcher

The recent rediscovery of Rebel Private: Front and Rear, effectively lost for decades, marks an authentic publishing event in the literature of the Civil War. A rare insight into the conflict from the point of view of a Confederate Army enlisted man, William A. Fletcher's compelling memoir has been hailed by historians as a classic and indispensable key to understanding the Southern perspective. Margaret Mitchell even described the volume as her single most valuable source of research for Gone With the Wind.



by H.W. Brands

Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize

New York Times bestseller

The foremost American of his day, Benjamin Franklin was a pivotal figure during America's transition from British colony to the new independent nation of America. In H.W. Brands' masterful biography, he comes vividly to life. Franklin was a printer, a scientist, an inventor, a politician and a diplomat. A generation older than the Founding Fathers, his opinions and wisdom were invaluable to patriots such as John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and Patrick Henry. He helped draft the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. The First American is the grand story of an exceptional man who is an icon in the history of America.



by Peter Stevens

The Voyage of the Catalpa has been optioned for a film by legendary producers James Flynn and Morgan O'Sullivan of Braveheart and Tudors fame.

Fast-paced, compelling, meticulously researched, and dramatically detailed, this saga from the annals of American, Irish, British, and Australian history comprises the first full telling of the secret yearlong journey of the American whaling ship Catalpa, under Captain George Anthony, out of New Bedford, Massachusetts, in 1875. Risking his own freedom and career, Anthony sailed across international waters to Australia, to rescue from hellish imprisonment the group of British-soldiers-turned-Irish-rebels named "The Fremantle Six." The successful escape and hostility the vulnerable Catalpa overcame both from the British Royal Navy and furious seas make Anthony’s historical voyage legendary.



 

 

 

 

 

by Dennis Showalter

Hitler’s Panzers presents the first comprehensive history of Nazi Germany’s armored forces, including the army’s tankers and their sinister partners in the Waffen SS. Among his strategic accomplishments, Hitler built self-contained armored units, able to operate without direct leadership. Their story is presented from multiple complementary perspectives in this unbiased account by scholar Dennis Showalter, author of Patton and Rommel: Men of War in the Twentieth Century.

In Hitler’s Panzers, Showalter demonstrates how the front-line imperatives of arms, doctrine, and tactics were integrated into the development of the panzers’ institutional character. He demonstrates the Panzers’ place in the military culture of the Third Reich; their role in World War II, and of course, their legacies - both the myths and the realities.

by Carl Waldman

Combining clear, informative text with a wealth of maps and illustrations, this unique resource on Native Americans offers comprehensive coverage in a single volume. History, culture, languages and lifestyles of American Indian groups across North America are included. This long-awaited revision has an appealing new design and incorporates many political and cultural developments, such as the creation of the Canadian territory Nunavut and Indian gaming, as well as new archaeological discoveries and theories. Also included are new and updated maps, a glossary, updated appendixes, and an expanded bibliography.

by James Bradley

#1 New York Times Bestseller

Now a major motion picture directed by Clint Eastwood, this is the unforgettable chronicle of perhaps the most famous moment in American military history. James Bradley has captured the glory, the triumph, the heartbreak and the legacy of the six men who raised the flag at Iwo Jima. Here is the true story behind the immortal photograph that has come to symbolize the courage and indomitable will of America.

Nearly 26,000 Americans fell during the Battle of Iwo Jima, the turning point in the war in the Pacific. Navy corpsman James Bradley was one of those six men who raised the flag, a few days after braving enemy mortar and machine-gun fire to aid a wounded Marine and drag him to safety. Bradley was awarded the Navy Cross for his act of heroism. In Flags of Our Fathers, Bradley's son tells his father's story and the story of the five other men who raised the American flag on that fateful day.