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  1. Means of Ascent

    by Robert A. Caro
    Quality: 🟢🟢🟡⚪️
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    Readership: Very niche

    Robert A. Caro's life of Lyndon Johnson, which began with the greatly acclaimed The Path to Power, also winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award, continues -- one of the richest, most intensive and most revealing examinations ever undertaken of an American President. In Means of Ascent the Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer/historian, chronicler also of Robert Moses in The Power Broker, carries Johnson through his service in World War II and the foundation of his long-concealed fortune and the facts behind the myths he created about it. But the explosive heart of the book is Caro's revelation of the true … (Goodreads)

  2. The Passage of Power

    by Robert A. Caro
    Quality: 🟢🟢🟡⚪️
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    Readership: Very niche

    The Passage of Power follows Lyndon Johnson through both the most frustrating and the most triumphant periods of his career—1958 to1964. It is a time that would see him trade the extraordinary power he had created for himself as Senate Majority Leader for what became the wretched powerlessness of a Vice President in an administration that disdained and distrusted him. Yet it was, as well, the time in which the presidency, the goal he had always pursued, would be thrust upon him in the moment it took an assassin’s bullet to reach its mark. By 1958, as Johnson began … (Goodreads)

  3. The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York

    by Robert A. Caro
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    Readership: Very niche

    One of the most acclaimed books of our time, winner of both the Pulitzer and the Francis Parkman prizes, The Power Broker tells the hidden story behind the shaping (and mis-shaping) of twentieth-century New York (city and state) and makes public what few have known: that Robert Moses was, for almost half a century, the single most powerful man of our time in New York, the shaper not only of the city's politics but of its physical structure and the problems of urban decline that plague us today. In revealing how Moses did it--how he developed his public authorities into … (Goodreads)

  4. Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln

    by Doris Kearns Goodwin
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    Readership: Somewhat known

    Winner of the Lincoln Prize Acclaimed historian Doris Kearns Goodwin illuminates Lincoln's political genius in this highly original work, as the one-term congressman and prairie lawyer rises from obscurity to prevail over three gifted rivals of national reputation to become president. On May 18, 1860, William H. Seward, Salmon P. Chase, Edward Bates, and Abraham Lincoln waited in their hometowns for the results from the Republican National Convention in Chicago. When Lincoln emerged as the victor, his rivals were dismayed and angry. Throughout the turbulent 1850s, each had energetically sought the presidency as the conflict over slavery was leading inexorably … (Goodreads)

  5. Battle Cry of Freedom

    by James M. McPherson
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    Readership: Very niche

    Filled with fresh interpretations and information, puncturing old myths and challenging new ones, Battle Cry of Freedom will unquestionably become the standard one-volume history of the Civil War. James McPherson's fast-paced narrative fully integrates the political, social, and military events that crowded the two decades from the outbreak of one war in Mexico to the ending of another at Appomattox. Packed with drama and analytical insight, the book vividly recounts the momentous episodes that preceded the Civil War--the Dred Scott decision, the Lincoln-Douglas debates, John Brown's raid on Harper's Ferry--and then moves into a masterful chronicle of the war itself--the … (Goodreads)

  6. American Caesar: Douglas MacArthur 1880-1964

    by William Manchester
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    Readership: Very niche

    MacArthur, the public figure, the private man, the soldier-hero whose mystery and appeal created a uniquely American legend, portrayed in a biography that will challenge the cherished myths of admirers and critics alike. Illustrations Preamble: Reveille First Call Ruffles & Flourishes (1880-1917) Charge (1917-1918) Call to Quarters (1919-1935) To the Colors (1935-1941) Retreat (1941-1942) The Green War (1942-1944) At High Port (1944-1945) Last Post (1945-1950) Sunset Gun (1950-1951) Recall (1951) Taps (1951-1964) Acknowledgments Notes Bibliography Copyright Acknowledgments Index … (Goodreads)

  7. Truman

    by David McCullough
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    Readership: Eclectic

    The book provides a biography of Harry Truman in chronological fashion from his birth to his rise to U.S. Senator , Vice President , and President . It follows his activities until death, exploring many of the major decisions he made as president, including his decision to drop the atom bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki , his meetings and confrontation with Joseph Stalin during the end of World War II , his decision to create the Marshall Plan , his decision to send troops to the Korean War , his decision to recognize the State of Israel , and his … (Wikipedia)

  8. The Making of the Atomic Bomb

    by Richard Rhodes
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    Readership: Very niche

    Here for the first time, in rich, human, political, and scientific detail, is the complete story of how the bomb was developed, from the turn-of-the-century discovery of the vast energy locked inside the atom to the dropping of the first bombs on Japan. Few great discoveries have evolved so swiftly -- or have been so misunderstood. From the theoretical discussions of nuclear energy to the bright glare of Trinity there was a span of hardly more than twenty-five years. What began as merely an interesting speculative problem in physics grew into the Manhattan Project, and then into the Bomb with … (Goodreads)

  9. A Bright Shining Lie: John Paul Vann and America in Vietnam

    by Neil Sheehan
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    Readership: Very niche

    This passionate, epic account of the Vietnam War centres on Lt Col John Paul Vann, whose story illuminates America's failures & disillusionment in SE Asia. A field adviser to the army when US involvement was just beginning, he quickly became appalled at the corruption of the S. Vietnamese regime, their incompetence in fighting the Communists & their brutal alienation of their own people. Finding his superiors too blinded by political lies to understand the war was being thrown away, he secretly briefed reporters on what was really happening. One of those reporters was Neil Sheehan.--Amazon (edited) Neil Sheehan was a … (Goodreads)

  10. The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill: Alone, 1932-40

    by William Manchester
    Quality: 🟢🟢🟡⚪️
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    Readership: Very niche

    ,“The best Churchill biography [for] this generation . . . Even readers who know the basic story will find much that is new.”—,Newsweek,,,,,,In this powerful biography, the middle volume of William Manchester’s critically acclaimed trilogy, Winston Churchill wages his defining campaign: not against Hitler’s war machine but against his own reluctant countrymen. Manchester contends that even more than his leadership in combat, Churchill’s finest hour was the uphill battle against appeasement. As Parliament received with jeers and scorn his warnings against the growing Nazi threat, Churchill stood alone—only to be vindicated by history as a beacon of hope amid the … (Barnes & Noble)

  11. Grant

    by Ron Chernow
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    Readership: Very niche

    Ulysses S. Grant's life has typically been misunderstood. All too often he is caricatured as a chronic loser and inept businessman, fond of drinking to excess; or as the triumphant but brutal Union general of the Civil War; or as a credulous and hapless president whose tenure came to symbolize the worst excesses of the Gilded Age. These stereotypes don't come close to capturing adequately his spirit and the sheer magnitude of his monumental accomplishments. A biographer at the height of his powers, Chernow has produced a portrait of Grant that is a masterpiece, the first to provide a complete … (Goodreads)

  12. The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill: Visions of Glory, 1874-1932

    by William Manchester
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    Readership: Very niche

    s/t: Winston Spencer Churchill: Visions of Glory 1874-1932 When Winston Spencer Churchill was born in Blenheim Palace, Imperial Britain stood at the splendid pinnacle of her power. Yet within a few years, the Empire would hover on the brink of a catastrophic new era. This first volume of the best-selling biography of the adventurer, aristocrat, soldier, and statesman covers the first 58 years of the remarkable man whose courageous vision guided the destiny of those darkly troubled times and who looms today as one of the greatest figures of the 20th century. Black and white photos & illustrations. … (Goodreads)

  13. Alexander Hamilton

    by Ron Chernow
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    Readership: Somewhat known

    An alternate cover edition can be found ,here., Pulitzer Prize-winning author Ron Chernow presents a landmark biography of Alexander Hamilton, the Founding Father who galvanized, inspired, scandalized, and shaped the newborn nation. In the first full-length biography of Alexander Hamilton in decades, Ron Chernow tells the riveting story of a man who overcame all odds to shape, inspire, and scandalize the newborn America. According to historian Joseph Ellis, ,Alexander Hamilton, is “a robust full-length portrait, in my view the best ever written, of the most brilliant, charismatic and dangerous founder of them all.” Few figures in American history have been … (Goodreads)

  14. No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: The Home Front in World War II

    by Doris Kearns Goodwin
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    Readership: Eclectic

    Winner of the Pulitzer for History, No Ordinary Time is a chronicle of one of the most vibrant & revolutionary periods in US history. With an extraordinary collection of details, Goodwin weaves together a number of story lines—the Roosevelt’s marriage & partnership, Eleanor’s life as First Lady, & FDR’s White House & its impact on America as well as on a world at war. Goodwin melds these into an intimate portrait of Eleanor & Franklin Roosevelt & of the time during which a new, modern America was born. … (Goodreads)

  15. The Civil War, Vol. 1: Fort Sumter to Perryville

    by Shelby Foote
    Quality: 🟢🟢🟡⚪️
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    Readership: Very niche

    The Civil War: A Narrative, Vol. 1 begins one of the most remarkable works of history ever fashioned. All the great battles are here, of course, from Bull Run through Shiloh, the Seven Days Battles, and Antietam, but so are the smaller ones: Ball's Bluff, Fort Donelson, Pea Ridge, Island Ten, New Orleans, and Monitor versus Merrimac. The word "narrative" is the key to this extraordinary book's incandescence and its truth. The story is told entirely from the point of view of the people involved in it. One learns not only what was happening on all fronts but also how … (Goodreads)

  16. John Adams

    by David McCullough
    Quality: 🟢🟢🟢🟡
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    Readership: Fairly popular

    The enthralling, often surprising story of John Adams, one of the most important and fascinating Americans who ever lived. In this powerful, epic biography, David McCullough unfolds the adventurous life-journey of John Adams, the brilliant, fiercely independent, often irascible, always honest Yankee patriot -- "the colossus of independence," as Thomas Jefferson called him -- who spared nothing in his zeal for the American Revolution; who rose to become the second President of the United States and saved the country from blundering into an unnecessary war; who was learned beyond all but a few and regarded by some as "out of … (Goodreads)

  17. Mornings on Horseback: The Story of an Extraordinary Family, a Vanished Way of Life, and the Unique Child Who Became Theodore Roosevelt

    by David McCullough
    Quality: 🟢🟢🟡⚪️
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    Readership: Very niche

    Mornings on Horseback: The Story of an Extraordinary Family, a Vanished Way of Life, and the Unique Child Who Became Theodore Roosevelt is the brilliant biography of the young Theodore Roosevelt. Hailed as a masterpiece by Newsday, it also won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Biography. Now with a new introduction by the author, Mornings on Horseback is reprinted as a Simon & Schuster Classic Edition. ,Mornings on Horseback, is about the world of the young Theodore Roosevelt. It is the story of a remarkable little boy, seriously handicapped by recurrent and nearly fatal attacks of asthma, and … (Goodreads)

  18. Washington: A Life

    by Ron Chernow
    Quality: 🟢🟢🟡⚪️
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    Readership: Eclectic

    A gripping portrait of the first president of the United States from the author of ,Alexander Hamilton,, the New York Times bestselling biography that inspired the musical.,,,, Celebrated biographer Ron Chernow provides a richly nuanced portrait of the father of our nation and the first president of the United States. With a breadth and depth matched by no other one volume biography of George Washington, this crisply paced narrative carries the reader through his adventurous early years, his heroic exploits with the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War, his presiding over the Constitutional Convention, and his magnificent performance as America's … (Barnes & Noble)

  19. FDR

    by Jean Edward Smith
    Quality: 🟢🟢🟡⚪️
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    Readership: Very niche

    One of today’s premier biographers has written a modern, comprehensive, indeed ultimate book on the epic life of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. In this superlative volume, Jean Edward Smith combines contemporary scholarship and a broad range of primary source material to provide an engrossing narrative of one of America’s greatest presidents. This is a portrait painted in broad strokes and fine details. We see how Roosevelt’s restless energy, fierce intellect, personal magnetism, and ability to project effortless grace permitted him to master countless challenges throughout his life. Smith recounts FDR’s battles with polio and physical disability, and how these experiences helped … (Goodreads)

  20. The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany

    by William L. Shirer
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    Readership: Somewhat known

    Hitler boasted that The Third Reich would last a thousand years. It lasted only 12. But those 12 years contained some of the most catastrophic events Western civilization has ever known. No other powerful empire ever bequeathed such mountains of evidence about its birth and destruction as the Third Reich. When the bitter war was over, and before the Nazis could destroy their files, the Allied demand for unconditional surrender produced an almost hour-by-hour record of the nightmare empire built by Adolph Hitler. This record included the testimony of Nazi leaders and of concentration camp inmates, the diaries of officials, … (Goodreads)