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

    by Doris Kearns Goodwin
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    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)

  2. Truman

    by David McCullough
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    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)

  3. Washington: A Life

    by Ron Chernow
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    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)

  4. Alexander Hamilton

    by Ron Chernow
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    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)

  5. Benjamin Franklin: An American Life

    by Walter Isaacson
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    Benjamin Franklin is the Founding Father who winks at us. An ambitious urban entrepreneur who rose up the social ladder, from leather-aproned shopkeeper to dining with kings, he seems made of flesh rather than of marble. In bestselling author Walter Isaacson's vivid and witty full-scale biography, we discover why Franklin seems to turn to us from history's stage with eyes that twinkle from behind his new-fangled spectacles. By bringing Franklin to life, Isaacson shows how he helped to define both his own time and ours. He was, during his 84-year life, America's best scientist, inventor, diplomat, writer, and business strategist, … (Goodreads)

  6. The Wright Brothers

    by David McCullough
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    Librarian's note: An alternate cover edition can be found ,here, Two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize David McCullough tells the dramatic story-behind-the-story about the courageous brothers who taught the world how to fly: Wilbur and Orville Wright. On a winter day in 1903, in the Outer Banks of North Carolina, two unknown brothers from Ohio changed history. But it would take the world some time to believe what had happened: the age of flight had begun, with the first heavier-than-air, powered machine carrying a pilot. Who were these men and how was it that they achieved what they did? David … (Goodreads)

  7. Band of Brothers: E Company, 506th Regiment, 101st Airborne from Normandy to Hitler's Eagle's Nest

    by Stephen E. Ambrose
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    As good a rifle company as any, Easy Company, 506th Airborne Division, US Army, kept getting tough assignments--responsible for everything from parachuting into France early DDay morning to the capture of Hitler's Eagle's Nest at Berchtesgaden. In "Band of Brothers," Ambrose tells of the men in this brave unit who fought, went hungry, froze & died, a company that took 150% casualties & considered the Purple Heart a badge of office. Drawing on hours of interviews with survivors as well as the soldiers' journals & letters, Stephen Ambrose recounts the stories, often in the men's own words, of these American … (Goodreads)

  8. Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a President

    by Candice Millard
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    James A. Garfield was one of the most extraordinary men ever elected president. Born into abject poverty, he rose to become a wunderkind scholar, a Civil War hero, and a renowned and admired reformist congressman. Nominated for president against his will, he engaged in a fierce battle with the corrupt political establishment. But four months after his inauguration, a deranged office seeker tracked Garfield down and shot him in the back. But the shot didn’t kill Garfield. The drama of what hap­pened subsequently is a powerful story of a nation in tur­moil. The unhinged assassin’s half-delivered strike shattered the fragile … (Goodreads)

  9. 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
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    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)

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

    by Doris Kearns Goodwin
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    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)

  11. American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House

    by Jon Meacham
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    The definitive biography of a larger-than-life president who defied norms, divided a nation, and changed Washington forever Andrew Jackson, his intimate circle of friends, and his tumultuous times are at the heart of this remarkable book about the man who rose from nothing to create the modern presidency. Beloved and hated, venerated and reviled, Andrew Jackson was an orphan who fought his way to the pinnacle of power, bending the nation to his will in the cause of democracy. Jackson's election in 1828 ushered in a new and lasting era in which the people, not distant elites, were the guiding … (Goodreads)

  12. The Great Bridge: The Epic Story of the Building of the Brooklyn Bridge

    by David McCullough
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    Published on the fortieth anniversary of its initial publication, this edition of the classic book contains a new Preface by David McCullough, “one of our most gifted living writers” (,The Washington Post,). Built to join the rapidly expanding cities of New York and Brooklyn, the Brooklyn Bridge was thought by many at the start to be an impossibility destined to fail if not from insurmountable technical problems then from political corruption. (It was the heyday of Boss Tweed in New York.) But the Brooklyn Bridge was at once the greatest engineering triumph of the age, a surpassing work of art, … (Goodreads)

  13. Seabiscuit: An American Legend

    by Laura Hillenbrand
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    There's an alternate cover edition ,here, Seabiscuit was one of the most electrifying and popular attractions in sports history and the single biggest newsmaker in the world in 1938, receiving more coverage than FDR, Hitler, or Mussolini. But his success was a surprise to the racing establishment, which had written off the crooked-legged racehorse with the sad tail. Three men changed Seabiscuit’s fortunes: Charles Howard was a onetime bicycle repairman who introduced the automobile to the western United States and became an overnight millionaire. When he needed a trainer for his new racehorses, he hired Tom Smith, a mysterious mustang … (Goodreads)

  14. The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics

    by Daniel James Brown
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    Readership: Fairly popular

    This novel is about the University of Washington eight-oared crew that represented the United States in the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, and narrowly beat out Italy and Germany to win the gold medal. The main character is Joe Rantz . There are two backstories. One illustrates how all nine members of the Washington team came from lower-middle-class families and had to struggle to earn their way through school during the depths of the Depression . Along with the chronicle of their victories and defeats in domestic competition, the reader learns the importance of synchronization of the eight rowers as they … (Wikipedia)

  15. Undaunted Courage: The Pioneering First Mission to Explore America's Wild Frontier

    by Stephen E. Ambrose
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    'This was much more than a bunch of guys out on an exploring and collecting expedition. This was a military expedition into hostile territory'. In 1803 President Thomas Jefferson selected his personal secretary, Captain Meriwether Lewis, to lead a pioneering voyage across the Great Plains and into the Rockies. It was completely uncharted territory; a wild, vast land ruled by the Indians. Charismatic and brave, Lewis was the perfect choice and he experienced the savage North American continent before any other white man. UNDAUNTED COURAGE is the tale of a hero, but it is also a tragedy. Lewis may have … (Goodreads)

  16. The Path Between the Seas: The Creation of the Panama Canal, 1870-1914

    by David McCullough
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    Readership: Very niche

    On December 31, 1999, after nearly a century of rule, the United States officially ceded ownership of the Panama Canal to the nation of Panama. That nation did not exist when, in the mid-19th century, Europeans first began to explore the possibilities of creating a link between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans through the narrow but mountainous isthmus; Panama was then a remote and overlooked part of Colombia. All that changed, writes David McCullough in his magisterial history of the Canal, in 1848, when prospectors struck gold in California. A wave of fortune seekers descended on Panama from Europe and … (Goodreads)

  17. In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex

    by Nathaniel Philbrick
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    Readership: Eclectic

    "With its huge, scarred head halfway out of the water and its tail beating the ocean into a white-water wake more than forty feet across, the whale approached the ship at twice its original speed - at least six knots. With a tremendous cracking and splintering of oak, it struck the ship just beneath the anchor secured at the cat-head on the port bow..." In the Heart of the Sea brings to new life the incredible story of the wreck of the whaleship Essex - an event as mythic in its own century as the Titanic disaster in ours, and … (Goodreads)

  18. A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail

    by Bill Bryson
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    The book starts with Bryson explaining his curiosity about the Appalachian Trail near his house. He and his old friend Stephen Katz start hiking the trail from Georgia in the South , and stumble in the beginning with the difficulties of getting used to their equipment; Bryson also soon realizes how difficult it is to travel with his friend, who is a crude, overweight recovering alcoholic, and even less prepared for the ordeal than he is. Overburdened, they soon discard much extra food and equipment to lighten their loads. After hiking for what seemed to him a large distance, they … (Wikipedia)

  19. Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation

    by Joseph J. Ellis
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    Informs our understanding of American politics--then and now--and gives us a new perspective on the unpredictable forces that shape history. An illuminating study of the intertwined lives of the founders of the American republic--John Adams, Aaron Burr, Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and George Washington. During the 1790s, which Ellis calls the most decisive decade in our nation's history, the greatest statesmen of their generation--and perhaps any--came together to define the new republic and direct its course for the coming centuries. Ellis focuses on six discrete moments that exemplify the most crucial issues facing the fragile new … (Goodreads)

  20. Battle Cry of Freedom

    by James M. McPherson
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    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)