As the Red Army advanced across Poland in 1945, thousands of freed Allied POWs - viewed by the Soviets as cowards or potential spies - were abandoned to wander the war-torn Eastern Front.
In total secrecy, the OSS - wartime forerunner to the CIA - conceived an undercover mission to rescue them. The man they picked to lead it was veteran 8th Air Force bomber pilot Captain Robert Trimble.
With little covert training, Trimble survived by wit, courage, and a determination to do some good in a terrible war. Alone, he faced up to the terrifying Soviet secret police and saved hundreds of lives, fighting his own battle against the trauma of war while finding his way home to his wife and child.
Based on hours of testimony from his father, Beyond the Call is written by Trimble's son and by British historian Jeremy Dronfield. It is a filmic, inspiring story of a hitherto unknown true hero.
Kirkus Best Books of the Year (2013)
Time Magazine 10 Top Nonfiction Books of 2013
The New Republic Best Books of 2013
In this heart-lifting chronicle, Richard Holmes, author of the best-selling The Age of Wonder, follows the pioneer generation of balloon aeronauts, the daring and enigmatic men and women who risked their lives to take to the air (or fall into the sky). Why they did it, what their contemporaries thought of them, and how their flights revealed the secrets of our planet is a compelling adventure that only Holmes could tell. His accounts of the early Anglo-French balloon rivalries, the crazy firework flights of the beautiful Sophie Blanchard, the long-distance voyages of the American entrepreneur John Wise and French photographer Felix Nadar are dramatic and exhilarating.
Holmes documents as well the balloons used to observe the horrors of modern battle during the Civil War (including a flight taken by George Armstrong Custer); the legendary tale of at least sixty-seven manned balloons that escaped from Paris (the first successful civilian airlift in history) during the Prussian siege of 1870-71; the high-altitude exploits of James Glaisher (who rose) seven miles above the earth without oxygen, helping to establish the new science of meteorology); and how Mary Shelley, Edgar Allan Poe, and Jules Verne felt the imaginative impact of flight and allowed it to soar in their work. A seamless fusion of history, art, science, biography, and the metaphysics of flights, Falling Upwards explores the interplay between technology and imagination. And through the strange allure of these great balloonists, it offers a masterly portrait of human endeavor, recklessness, and vision. (With 24 pages of color illustrations, and black-and-white illustrations throughout.)
A world-famous Australian writer, an inspiration to Robert Hughes and Clive James, a legendary war correspondent who also wrote bestselling histories of exploration and conservation... and yet forgotten?
In this dazzling book, Thornton McCamish delves into the past to reclaim a remarkable figure, Alan Moorehead. As a reporter, Moorehead witnessed many of the great historical events of the mid-20th century: the Spanish Civil War and both world wars, Cold War espionage, and decolonisation in Africa.
He debated strategy with Churchill and Gandhi, fished with Hemingway, and drank with Graham Greene, Ava Gardner and Truman Capote. As well as being a regular contributor to the New Yorker, in 1956 Moorehead wrote the first significant book about the Gallipoli campaign.
With its countless adventures, its touch of jet-set glamour and its tragic arc, Moorehead's story is a beguiling one. Thornton McCamish tells it as a quest – intimate, perceptive and superbly entertaining. His funny, ardent book reveals an extraordinary Australian and takes its place in a fresh tradition of contemporary biography.
WINNER OF THE 2016 FT & McKINSEY BUSINESS BOOK OF THE YEAR AWARD, this is the biography of one of the titans of financial history over the last fifty years.
Born in 1926, Alan Greenspan was raised in Manhattan by a single mother and immigrant grandparents during the Great Depression but by quiet force of intellect, rose to become a global financial `maestro'. Appointed by Ronald Reagan to Chairman of the Federal Reserve, a post he held for eighteen years, he presided over an unprecedented period of stability and low inflation, was revered by economists, adored by investors and consulted by leaders from Beijing to Frankfurt. Both data-hound and eligible society bachelor, Greenspan was a man of contradictions. His great success was to prove the very idea he, an advocate of the Gold standard, doubted: that the discretionary judgements of a money-printing central bank could stabilise an economy. He resigned in 2006, having overseen tumultuous changes in the world's most powerful economy. Yet when the great crash happened only two years later many blamed him, even though he had warned early on of irrational exuberance in the market place. Sebastian Mallaby brilliantly shows the subtlety and complexity of Alan Greenspan's legacy. Full of beautifully rendered high-octane political infighting, hard hitting dialogue and stories, The Man Who Knew is superbly researched, enormously gripping and the story of the making of modern finance.
In the 1940s and 50s, when the newly minted Jet Propulsion Laboratory needed quick-thinking mathematicians to calculate velocities and plot trajectories, they didn't turn to male graduates. Rather, they recruited an elite group of young women who, with only pencil, paper, and mathematical prowess, transformed rocket design, helped bring about the first American satellites, and made the exploration of the solar system possible.
For the first time, Rise of the Rocket Girls tells the stories of these women--known as human computers --who broke the boundaries of both gender and science. Based on extensive research and interviews with all the living members of the team, Rise of the Rocket Girls offers a unique perspective on the role of women in science: both where we've been, and the far reaches of space to which we're heading.
In White Trash, Nancy Isenberg upends assumptions about America's supposedly class-free society and shows how poor whites have been deeply ingrained in the country's history for the past 400 years. They were central to the both the Civil War itself and the rise of the Republican Party, and still today feature in reality TV as entertainment. White trash have always been an integral part of the American identity, and here their history in both culture and politics in explored in depth. A fascinating work that's timely to today's public debate about rich and poor.
While the Nazi party was being condemned by much of the world for burning books, they were already hard at work perpetrating an even greater literary crime. Through extensive new research that included records saved by the Mouments Men themselves-Anders Rydell tells the untold story of Nazi book theft, as he himself joins the effort to return the stolen books. When the Nazi soldiers ransacked Europe's libraries and bookshops, large and small, the books they stole were not burned. Instead, the Nazis began to complie a library of their own that they could use to wage an intellectual war on literature and history.
In this secret war, the libraries of Jews, Communists, Liberal politicans, LGBT activists, Catholics, Freemasons, and many other opposition groups were appropriated for Nazi research, and used as an intellectual weapon against their owners. But when the war was over, most of the books were never returned. Instead many found their way into the public library system, where they remain to this day. Now, Rydell finds himself entrusted with one of these stolen volumes, setting out to return it to its rightful owner. It was passed to him by the small team of heroic librarians who have begun the monumental task of combing through Berlin's public libraries to identify the looted books and reunite them with the families of their original owners. For those who lost relatives in the Holocaust, these books are often the only remaining possession of their relatives they have ever held. And as Rydell travels to return the volume he was given, he shows just how much a single book can mean to those who own it.
June 1815: The Duke of Wellington, the Prince of Orange, and Napoleon will meet on the battlefield...and decide the fate of EuropeWith the emperor Napoleon at its head, and enormous French army is marching toward Brussels. The British and their allies are also converging on Brussels - in preparation for a grand society ball. And it is up to Richard Sharpe to convince the Prince of Orange, the inexperienced commander of Wellington's Dutch troops, to act before it is too late. But Sharpe's warning cannot stop the tide of battle, and the British suffer heavy losses on the road to Waterloo. Wellington has few reserves of men and ammunition; the Prussian army has not arrived, and the French advance wields tremendous firepower and determinaiton. Victory seems impossible...
The present is a contest between the bright and dark sides of discovery. To avoid being torn apart by its stresses, we need to recognize the fact-and gain courage and wisdom from the past. Age of Discovery shows how.
Now is the best moment in history to be alive, but we have never felt more anxious or divided. Human health, aggregate wealth and education are flourishing. Scientific discovery is racing forward. But the same global flows of trade, capital, people and ideas that make gains possible for some people deliver big losses to others-and make us all more vulnerable to one another.
Business and science are working giant revolutions upon our societies, but our politics and institutions evolve at a much slower pace. That's why, in a moment when everyone ought to be celebrating giant global gains, many of us are righteously angry at being left out and stressed about where we're headed.
To make sense of present shocks, we need to step back and recognize: we've been here before. The first Renaissance, the time of Columbus, Copernicus, Gutenberg and others, likewise redrew all maps of the world, democratized communication and sparked a flourishing of creative achievement. But their world also grappled with the same dark side of rapid change: social division, political extremism, insecurity, pandemics and other unintended consequences of discovery.
Now is the second Renaissance. We can still flourish-if we learn from the first.
A compelling portrait of a unique moment in American history when the ideas of Charles Darwin reshaped American notions about nature, religion, science and race A lively and informative history. - The New York Times Book Review Throughout its history America has been torn in two by debates over ideals and beliefs. Randall Fuller takes us back to one of those turning points, in 1860, with the story of the influence of Charles Darwin's just-published On the Origin of Species on five American intellectuals, including Bronson Alcott, Henry David Thoreau, the child welfare reformer Charles Loring Brace, and the abolitionist Franklin Sanborn.
Each of these figures seized on the book's assertion of a common ancestry for all creatures as a powerful argument against slavery, one that helped provide scientific credibility to the cause of abolition. Darwin's depiction of constant struggle and endless competition described America on the brink of civil war. But some had difficulty aligning the new theory to their religious convictions and their faith in a higher power. Thoreau, perhaps the most profoundly affected all, absorbed Darwin's views into his mysterious final work on species migration and the interconnectedness of all living things.
Creating a rich tableau of nineteenth-century American intellectual culture, as well as providing a fascinating biography of perhaps the single most important idea of that time, The Book That Changed America is also an account of issues and concerns still with us today, including racism and the enduring conflict between science and religion.
Mars, the red planet, is ingrained in our culture, from David Bowie's extra-terrestrial spiders to Captain Scarlet to War of the Worlds. It has inspired hundreds of authors, scientists and science-fiction writers - but why? What is it about this particular planet that makes it so intriguing?
Ancient mythologies defined Mars as a violent harbinger of war, star-gazers puzzled over its peculiar motion, and astrologers defined human personalities by its position and bizarre dance through the sky. And in more recent times, astronomers have explored Mars and its alien characteristics: its dusty red hue, its small moons, its atmosphere, how the planet formed and its mysterious past. Images sent back from various satellites showed startling faces, canals, and pyramids across its surface. Were there Martians, and were they civilised, intelligent, beings?
Science-fact is now catching up with science fiction. Robot vehicles have trundled across the planet's surface, beaming back beautiful views of its rust-orange surface, and testing soil and atmosphere to get clues on how the planet has evolved, and whether it supported (or supports) life. There are many more Mars missions planned over the next decade. And while little green Martians are now firmly the preserve of literature, there is growing evidence that the now arid, frozen planet was once warm, wet, and possibly thronging with microbial life. And one day soon humans will set foot on the red planet. What are the challenges involved, and how are we preparing for them? Is there a long-term future for humans on Mars?
Nicky Jenner's 4th Rock from the Sun reviews Mars in its entirety - its nature, attributes, and impact on 3rd Rock-culture, its environmental science and geology, and its potential as a human colony - everything you need to know about the Red Planet (and quite a few things you don't).
One of the world's leading scholars offers a fresh interpretation of the linked origins of World War I and the Russian Revolution World War I and the Russian Revolution together shaped the twentieth century in profound ways. In The End of Tsarist Russia, acclaimed scholar Dominic Lieven connects for the first time the two events, providing both a history of the First World War's origins from a Russian perspective and an international history of why the revolution happened. Based on exhaustive work in seven Russian archives as well as many non-Russian sources, Dominic Lieven's work is about far more than just Russia. By placing the crisis of empire at its core, Lieven links World War I to the sweep of twentieth-century global history. He shows how contemporary hot issues such as the struggle for Ukraine were already crucial elements in the run-up to 1914. By incorporating into his book new approaches and comparisons, Lieven tells the story of war and revolution in a way that is truly original and thought-provoking.
The #1 New York Times bestseller and the basis for the hit Academy Award-winning movie, now available in a beautifully designed, illustrated edition featuring more than two dozen never-before-seen photos.
Hidden Figures is the untold true story of the African-American female mathematicians, colored computers, at NASA who provided the calculations that helped fuel some of America's greatest achievements in space, set against the Jim Crow South and the civil rights movement.
Before John Glenn orbited the earth, or Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, a group of dedicated female mathematicians known as human computers used pencils, slide rules, and adding machines to calculate the numbers that would launch rockets, and astronauts, into space.
Among these problem-solvers were a group of exceptionally talented African American women. Originally math teachers in the South's segregated public schools, these gifted professionals answered Uncle Sam's call during the labor shortages of World War II. With new jobs at the fascinating, high-energy world of the Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory in Hampton, Virginia, they finally had a shot at jobs that would push their skills to the limits.
Even as Virginia's Jim Crow laws required them to be segregated from their white counterparts, the women of Langley's all-black West Computing group helped America achieve one of things it desired most: a decisive victory over the Soviet Union in the Cold War, and complete domination of the heavens.
Starting in World War II and moving through to the Cold War, the Civil Rights Movement, and the Space Race, Hidden Figures follows the interwoven accounts of Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson, and Christine Darden-four African American women who participated in some of NASA's greatest successes. It chronicles their careers over nearly three decades as they faced challenges, forged alliances, and used their intellect to change their own lives, and their country's future.
From the 2015 winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature, Svetlana Alexievich, comes the first English translation of her latest work, an oral history of the disintegration of the Soviet Union and the emergence of a new Russia. Bringing together dozens of voices in her distinctive documentary style, Secondhand Time is a monument to the collapse of the USSR, charting the decline of Soviet culture and speculating on what will rise from the ashes of Communism. As in all her books, Alexievich gives voice to women and men whose stories are lost in the official narratives of nation-states, creating a powerful alternative history from the personal and private stories of individuals. Svetlana Alexievich was born in the Ukraine in 1948 and grew up in Belarus. As a newspaper journalist, she spent her early career in Minsk compiling first-hand accounts of World War II, the Soviet-Afghan War, the fall of the Berlin Wall and the Chernobyl meltdown. Her unflinching work-`the whole of our history...is a huge common grave and a bloodbath'-earned her persecution from the Lukashenko regime and she was forced to emigrate. She lived in Paris, Gothenburg and Berlin before returning to Minsk in 2011. She has won a number of prizes, including the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Prix Medicis, and the Oxfam Novib/PEN Award. In 2015, she was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. Bela Shayevich is a writer, translator and illustrator. Her translations have appeared in journals such as Little Star, St. Petersburg Review, and Calque. She was the editor of n+1 magazine's translations of the Pussy Riot closing statements. Of Alexievich's writing, she says it is `resounding with nothing but the truth'. `The force of her work, the source of its power and plausibility, is the choice of a generation (her own) as a major subject and the close attention to its major inflection point, which was the end of the Soviet Union...
Her method is the close interrogation of the past through the collection of individual voices; patient in overcoming cliche, attentive to the unexpected, and restrained in the exposition, her writing reaches those far beyond her own experiences and preoccupations, far beyond her generation, and far beyond the lands of the former Soviet Union.' New York Review of Books `For the past thirty or forty years she's been busy mapping the Soviet and post-Soviet individual. But it's not really a history of events. It's a history of emotions.' Sara Danius, Permanent Secretary, Swedish Academy `Alexievich builds her narratives about Russian national traumas...by interviewing those who lived them, and immersing herself deeply in their testimonies. But her voice is much more than the sum of their voices.' New Yorker `[A] masterpiece...a magnificent work of literary art. This vast panorama can justly be regarded I think as the War and Peace of our age.' Age `It's a meaty read and also incredibly significant and respectful to those whose stories appear in its pages.' Readings `A mosaic of pain and loss, hope and betrayal, fear and anger. It is profoundly moving. At its heart though is a deep empathy for a people who have experienced some of the worst humanity, yet found a way to cope. It is both inspiring and devastating.' Herald Sun `Secondhand Time is a majestic portrait of Soviet life.' Australian `A rich and textured history.' Best Books of 2016, New Zealand Listener `A deeply empathic oral history of the disintegration of the Soviet Union; open at any page and you will be moved.' Best Non-Fiction Books of 2016, Readings `If I had to punt now on which book will be on the most best-of lists here and overseas, it would be Secondhand Time: The Last of the Soviets, the stunning oral history by the 2015 Nobel laureate Svetlana Alexievich.' Australian `Harrowing...
To describe the book as a vast collection of oral testimonies is to under-esti-mate the achievement of this superbly crafted history of human feelings. ' Louise Adler, Best Books of 2016, Australian `The goddess of ``high journalism''- that form without a name-is Svetlana Alexievich...
Her masterpiece, Secondhand Time: The Last of the Soviets, [is] a panorama of the lives of ordinary people who lived through the collapse of the Soviet Union. I've never read anything to touch her work-the tremendous scale of her inquiry, and yet the intimacy of the experiences she records. Her powers of compression fill me with awe.' Helen Garner, Best Books of 2016, Australian `The book of the year, if not the decade...
Alexievich is not the author so much as the compiler of this collective self-portrait. The quality of focus, attention and empathy in her work of listening and interviewing is balanced by the depth of emotion-love, desire, longing for grace-that she records in her subjects...
Both in formal terms, as a piece of literature, and in moral terms, as a tribute to the human spirit, this is an essential work.' Nicolas Rothwell, Best Books of 2016, Australian `At once intimate and cosmic...
The individual testimony is sometimes harrowing-enough to make me drop the book into my lap, tilt my head back and close my eyes - but upon reflection the voices come together to become a kind of untamed fugue about love: love of family, love of home, love of country, love of the natural world.' Melinda Harvey, Best Books of 2016, Australian `Scenes from Svetlana Alexievich's majestic Secondhand Time: The Last of the Soviets have lingered with me like fever dreams.' Mireille Juchau, Best Books of 2016, Australian `An utterly authentic and often harrowing history of extraordinary times.' Listener `One of the most compelling books that I've read in a while...
Full of hope and disillusionment, humour and anger, it's a moving testament to the lives history leaves in its wake.' Diane Stubbings, Australian, Books of the Year 2017
Here is a story of self-discovery, of entering adulthood and of freeing oneself. The tone is sarcastic, lucid, cruel yet realistic. On a background of RB and funky electronic music, Nicolas argues gives us an impressive and subtle account of relations between the sexes and of examining the choices one has made in the past.
The French title of Men plays on a quote by Marguerite Duras- 'We have to love men a lot. A lot, a lot. Love them a lot in order to love them. Otherwise it's impossible, we couldn't bear them.' With her characteristic intensity, edginess and humour, Marie Darrieussecq explores female desire, what it means to be a woman. Solange was a provincial teenager in All the Way; now in her thirties, she's not a great mother, is a mediocre actress, but in Hollywood she falls for a charismatic actor, Kouhouesso, who wants to direct a movie of Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness-in Africa. He's black; she's white-what's the difference when it comes to love, she wonders? Solange follows her man to Africa, determined to play a main role in both his film and his affections. But nothing goes to plan in this brilliantly droll examination of romance, movie-making and cliches about race relations. After all, there's no guarantee you'll be loved by the one you love. Personal and political, passionate and engaged, Men is a novel that will make you see things differently.