Lake Minnetonka is renowned for its natural beauty as well as the prominent people it has attracted to its shores as a historic site of grand hotels, steamboats, and wealthy visitors from around the world, and as the home of the legendary Excelsior Amusement Park. But did you know that early European settlers to the region faced conditions so dire that they named an outlet of the lake "Purgatory Creek"? Or that a ginseng boom brought slaves to Wayzata to harvest the plant's roots? Many know that Frank Lloyd Wright designed famous homes around the lake, but few are aware he was also arrested there for living with his mistress and sent to the Hennepin County jail for "white slavery." By the Waters of Minnetonka uncovers remarkable and hidden facts about the lake and those who have lived on its shores, from the region's original Dakota inhabitants to the present. Nineteenth-century plantation owners made Minnetonka into a summer vacation playground for the wealthy, and Prohibition-era battles led teetotalers to hoax Minneapolis newspapers about bloody clashes between preachers and saloon owners. Eric Dregni, who grew up in Minnetonka, sheds light on intriguing, if at times unsettling, aspects of the lake's history, challenging myths and revisiting elements of the past that have been forgotten or glossed over. He also relates--and sometimes pokes fun at--the opulent, glamorous, and sometimes raucous moments that have made Lake Minnetonka an icon of splendid resort living in Minnesota.
The first major biography of an American icon, comedian Bill Cosby. Based on extensive research and in-depth interviews with Cosby and more than sixty of his closest friends and associates, it is a frank, fun and fascinating account of his life and historic legacy. Far from the gentle worlds of his routines or TV shows, Cosby grew up in a Philadelphia housing project, the son of an alcoholic, largely absent father and a loving but overworked mother. With novelistic detail, award winning journalist Mark Whitaker tells the story of how, after dropping out of high school, Cosby turned his life around by joining the Navy, talking his way into college, and seizing his first breaks as a stand-up comedian. Published on the 30th anniversary of The Cosby Show, the book reveals the behind-the-scenes story of that groundbreaking sitcom as well as Cosby's bestselling albums, breakout role on I Spy, and pioneering place in children's TV. But it also deals with professional setbacks and personal dramas, from an affair that sparked public scandal to the murder of his only son, and the private influence of his wife of fifty years, Camille Cosby. Whitaker explores the roots of Cosby's controversial stands on race, as well as "the Cosby effect" that helped pave the way for a black president. For any fan of Bill Cosby's work, and any student of American television, comedy, or social history, Cosby: His Life and Times is an essential read.
They left everything behind to follow their hearts. . . . True stories that illuminate the experiences of British war brides in America after World War II American soldiers stationed in the UK came away winning more than just a war, they also won the hearts of young women across Britain. At the end of World War II, more than 70,000 GI brides followed the men they'd married--men they barely knew--to begin a new life in the United States. Meet four of these women: Sylvia Bradley, a loyal, bright-eyed optimist Rae Brewer, a resourceful, quick-witted tomboy Margaret Boyle, an English beauty who faced down every challenge Gwendolyn Rowe, a brave woman ahead of her time Though all made the bold choice to leave family and the world they knew, the journey each experienced was unique--ranging from romantic to heartbreaking. Fascinating and unforgettable, GI Brides pays homage to these brave women, propelled by love and hope, who embarked on an adventure that would change their lives.
This volume collects the finest essays from the second half of the Believer's decade-long (and counting) run. The Believer, the McSweeney's-published four-time nominee for the National Magazine Award, is beloved for tackling everything from pop culture to ancient literature with the same sagacity and wit, and this collection cements that reputation with pieces as wildly diverse as the magazine itself. Featured articles include Nick Hornby on his first job, Rebecca Taylor on her time acting in no-budget horror movies, Francisco Goldman on the failings of memoir in dealing with personal tragedy, Megan Abbott and Sara Gran on V.C. Andrews and the secret life of girls, and Brian T. Edwards on Western pop culture's influence on Iran. Read Harder collects some of the finest nonfiction writing published in America today, from the profound to the absurd, the crushing to the uplifting. As the Believer enters its second decade, Read Harder serves as both an essential primer for one of the finest, strangest magazines in the country, and an indispensable stand-alone volume.
In this heartfelt, thoughtful, and inspiring memoir, New York Times bestselling author Jon Katz tells the story of his beloved rescue donkey, Simon, and the wondrous ways that animals make us wiser and kinder people. In the spring of 2011, Jon Katz received a phone call that would challenge every idea he ever had about mercy and compassion. An animal control officer had found a neglected donkey on a farm in upstate New York, and she hoped that Jon and his wife, Maria, would be willing to adopt him. Jon wasn't planning to add another animal to his home on Bedlam Farm, certainly not a very sick donkey. But the moment he saw the wrenching sight of Simon, he felt a powerful connection. Simon touched something very deep inside of him. Jon and Maria decided to take him in. Simon's recovery was far from easy. Weak and malnourished, he needed near constant care, but Jon was determined to help him heal. As Simon's health improved, Jon would feed him by hand, read to him, take him on walks, even confide in him like an old and trusted friend. Then, miraculously, as if in reciprocation, Simon began to reveal to Jon the true meaning of compassion, the ways in which it can transform our lives and inspire us to take great risks. This radically different perspective on kindness and empathy led Jon to a troubled border collie from Ireland in need of a home, a blind pony who had lived outside in a pasture for fifteen years, and a new farm for him and Maria. In the great tradition of heroes--from Don Quixote to Shrek--who faced the world in the company of their donkeys, Jon came to understand compassion and mercy in a new light, learning to open up "not just to Simon, not just to animals, but to the human experience. To love, to risk, to friendship."
By now, everyone in the world knows the song "Gangnam Style" and Psy, an instantly recognizable star. But the song's international popularity is no passing fad. "Gangnam Style" is only one tool in South Korea's extraordinarily elaborate and effective strategy to become a major world superpower by first becoming the world's number one pop culture exporter. As a child, Euny Hong moved from America to the Gangnam neighbourhood in Seoul. She was a witness to the most accelerated part of South Korea's economic development, during which time it leapfrogged from third-world military dictatorship to first-world liberal democracy on the cutting edge of global technology. Euny Hong recounts how South Korea vaulted itself into the twenty-first century, becoming a global leader in business, technology, education, and pop culture. Featuring lively, in-depth reporting and numerous interviews with Koreans working in all areas of government and society, The Birth of Korean Cool reveals how a really uncool country became cool, and how a nation that once banned miniskirts, long hair on men, and rock 'n' roll could come to mass produce boy bands, soap operas, and the world's most important smart phone.
Following his blockbuster biography of Steve Jobs, The Innovators is Walter Isaacson's revealing story of the people who created the computer and the Internet. It is destined to be the standard history of the digital revolution and an indispensable guide to how innovation really happens. What were the talents that allowed certain inventors and entrepreneurs to turn their visionary ideas into disruptive realities? What led to their creative leaps? Why did some succeed and others fail? In his masterly saga, Isaacson begins with Ada Lovelace, Lord Byron's daughter, who pioneered computer programming in the 1840s. He explores the fascinating personalities that created our current digital revolution, such as Vannevar Bush, Alan Turing, John von Neumann, J.C.R. Licklider, Doug Engelbart, Robert Noyce, Bill Gates, Steve Wozniak, Steve Jobs, Tim Berners-Lee, and Larry Page. This is the story of how their minds worked and what made them so inventive. It's also a narrative of how their ability to collaborate and master the art of teamwork made them even more creative. For an era that seeks to foster innovation, creativity, and teamwork, The Innovators shows how they happen.
Marc Abrahams collects the odd, the imaginative, and the brilliantly improbable from around the world. Here he investigates research on the ins and outs of the very improbable evolutionary innovation that is the human body (brain included). This Is Improbable Too explores the odd questions that researchers are asking, such as: What's the best way to get a monkey to floss regularly? How much dandruff do soldiers in Pakistan's army have? If you add an extra henchman to your bank-robbing gang, how much more money will you earn? Why is it so impossible to estimate the number of stupid people in circulation? How many dimples will be found on the cheeks of 28,282 Greek children? Who is the Einstein of pork carcasses? This Is Improbable Too also investigates unlikely medical cases, including a boy with an "Eiffel head injury" (involving a toy tower), and even more unlikely inventions, such as a patented system for attacking your enemy with a bio-waste bomb.
The Day of the Locust meets The Devil in the White City and Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil in this juicy, untold Hollywood story: an addictive true tale of ambition, scandal, intrigue, murder, and the creation of the modern film industry. By 1920, the movies had suddenly become America's new favorite pastime, and one of the nation's largest industries. Never before had a medium possessed such power to influence. Yet Hollywood's glittering ascendency was threatened by a string of headline-grabbing tragedies--including the murder of William Desmond Taylor, the popular president of the Motion Picture Directors Association, a legendary crime that has remained unsolved until now. In a fiendishly involving narrative, bestselling Hollywood chronicler William J. Mann draws on a rich host of sources, including recently released FBI files, to unpack the story of the enigmatic Taylor and the diverse cast that surrounded him--including three beautiful, ambitious actresses; a grasping stage mother; a devoted valet; and a gang of two-bit thugs, any of whom might have fired the fatal bullet. And overseeing this entire landscape of intrigue was Adolph Zukor, the brilliant and ruthless founder of Paramount, locked in a struggle for control of the industry and desperate to conceal the truth about the crime. Along the way, Mann brings to life Los Angeles in the Roaring Twenties: a sparkling yet schizophrenic town filled with party girls, drug dealers, religious zealots, newly-minted legends and starlets already past their prime--a dangerous place where the powerful could still run afoul of the desperate.
Through a series of miraculous events, a Chinese family, living in Vietnam, joins the ranks of "boat people"and overcomes oppressive struggles to raise its children in the foreign culture of America.