"Perhaps more than any other nation in the world," Kyle writes, "the history of the United States has been shaped by the gun. Firearms secured the first Europeans' hold on the continent, opened the frontier, helped win our independence, settled the West, kept law and order, and defeated tyranny across the world." Drawing on his unmatched firearms knowledge and combat experience, Kyle carefully chose ten guns to help tell his story: the American long rifle, Spencer repeater, Colt .45 revolver, Winchester rifle, Springfield 1903 rifle, Thompson sub-machine gun, 1911 pistol, M1 Garand, .38 Special police revolver, and the M-16 rifle platform Kyle himself used as a SEAL. Through them, he revisits thrilling turning points in American history, including the single sniper shot that turned the tide of the Revolutionary War, the firearms designs that proved decisive at Gettysburg, the "gun that won the West," and the weapons that gave U.S. soldiers an edge in the world wars and beyond. This is also the story of how firearms innovation, creativity, and industrial genius has constantly pushed American history--and power--forward.
Everyone knows someone who's sick or suffering. Yet when a friend or relative is under duress many of us feel uncertain about how to cope.Throughout her recent bout with breast cancer, Letty Cottin Pogrebin became fascinated by her friends' and family's diverse reactions to her and her illness: how awkwardly some of them behaved; how some misspoke or misinterpreted her needs; and how wonderful it was when people read her right. She began talking to her fellow patients and dozens of other veterans of serious illness, seeking to discover what sick people wished their friends knew about how best to comfort, help, andeven simply talk to them.Now Pogrebin has distilled their collective stories and opinions into this wide-ranging compendium of pragmatic guidance and usable wisdom. Her advice is always infused with sensitivity, warmth, and humor.
Maple syrup is a genuine product of the north, made only in the north-eastern quarter of the United States and adjoining Canadian provinces. The Ojibwe and Dakota used it as a seasoning and also cooked it down to a crystallised state to preserve and transport it. Today, locally produced pure maple syrup is regarded as an artisan product, prized by cooks and bakers alike. Minnesota and Wisconsin are home to numerous syrup producers, from family-run operations that do everything from collection to boiling and bottling to large packagers that buy raw sap to process and sell. Modern Maple celebrates this local treasure in ways both traditional and contemporary, with seventy-five recipes using maple to season, flavour, and sweeten dishes ranging from traditional breakfast favourites to appetisers, sandwiches, vegetables, main courses, breads, and desserts.
Chris von der Ahe knew next to nothing about baseball when he risked his life's savings to found the franchise that would become the St. Louis Cardinals. Yet the German-born beer garden proprietor would become one of the most important -- and funniest -- figures in the game's history. Von der Ahe picked up the team for one reason -- to sell more beer. Then he helped gather a group of ragtag professional clubs together to create a maverick new league that would fight the haughty National League, reinventing big-league baseball to attract Americans of all classes. Sneered at as "The Beer and Whiskey Circuit" because it was backed by brewers, distillers, and saloon owners, their American Association brought Americans back to enjoying baseball by offering Sunday games, beer at the ballpark, and a dirt-cheap ticket price of 25 cents. The womanizing, egocentric, wildly generous Von der Ahe and his fellow owners filled their teams' rosters with drunks and renegades, and drew huge crowds of rowdy spectators who screamed at umpires and cheered like mad as the Philadelphia Athletics and St. Louis Browns fought to the bitter end for the 1883 pennant. In The Summer of Beer and Whiskey, Edward Achorn re-creates this wondrous and hilarious world of cunning, competition, and boozing, set amidst a rapidly transforming America. It is a classic American story of people with big dreams, no shortage of chutzpah, and love for a brilliant game that they refused to let die.
In engaging prose and with practical examples and anecdotes, an eye-opening look at human reasoning and essential reading for anyone with important decisions to make.
As America's Mercury Seven astronauts were launched on death-defying missions, television cameras focused on the brave smiles of their young wives. Overnight, these women were transformed from military spouses into American royalty. They had tea with Jackie Kennedy, appeared on the cover of "Life" magazine, and quickly grew into fashion icons. Annie Glenn, with her picture-perfect marriage, was the envy of the other wives; platinum-blonde Rene Carpenter was proclaimed JFKs favorite; and licensed pilot Trudy Cooper arrived on base with a secret. Together with the other wives they formed the Astronaut Wives Club, meeting regularly to provide support and friendship. Many became next-door neighbors and helped to raise each others children by day, while going to glam parties at night as the country raced to land a man on the Moon. As their celebrity rose-and as divorce and tragic death began to touch their lives-they continued to rally together, and the wives have now been friends for more than fifty years. The Astronaut Wives Club tells the real story of the women who stood beside some of the biggest heroes in American history.
The America's Cup, first awarded in 1851, is the oldest trophy in international sports, and one of the most hotly contested. In 2000, Larry Ellison, co-founder and billionaire CEO of Oracle Corporation, decided to run for the coveted prize and found an unlikely partner in Norbert Bajurin, a car radiator mechanic who had recently been named Commodore of the blue collar Golden Gate Yacht Club.Julian Guthrie's The Billionaire and the Mechanic tells the incredible story of the partnership between Larry and Norbert, their unsuccessful runs for the Cup in 2003 and 2007, and their victory in 2010. With unparalleled access to Ellison and his team, Guthrie takes readers inside the design and building process of these astonishing boats, and the management of the passionate athletes who race them. She traces the bitter rivalries between Oracle and their competitors, including Swiss billionaire Ernesto Bertarelli's Team Alinghi, and throws readers into exhilarating races from Australia and New Zealand to Valencia, Spain.
The dramatic story of the American rowing team that stunned the world at Hitler's 1936 Berlin Olympics.
Daniel James Brown's robust book tells the story of the University of Washington's 1936 eight-oar crew and their epic quest for an Olympic gold medal, a team that transformed the sport and grabbed the attention of millions of Americans. The sons of loggers, shipyard workers, and farmers, the boys defeated elite rivals first from eastern and British universities and finally the German crew rowing for Adolf Hitler in the Olympic games in Berlin, 1936. The emotional heart of the story lies with one rower, Joe Rantz, a teenager without family or prospects, who rows not for glory, but to regain his shattered self-regard and to find a place he can call home. The crew is assembled by an enigmatic coach and mentored by a visionary, eccentric British boat builder, but it is their trust in each other that makes them a victorious team. They remind the country of what can be done when everyone quite literally pulls together--a perfect melding of commitment, determination, and optimism.
Part biography, part cultural history, The Creation of Anne Boleyn is a fascinating reconstruction of Anne's life and an illuminating look at her afterlife in the popular imagination. Why is Anne so compelling? Why has she inspired such extreme reactions? What did she really look like? Was she the flaxen-haired martyr of Romantic paintings or the raven-haired seductress of twenty-first-century portrayals? (Answer: neither.) And perhaps the most provocative questions concern Anne's death more than her life. How could Henry order the execution of a once beloved wife? Drawing on scholarship and critical analysis, Bordo probes the complexities of one of history's most infamous relationships. Bordo also shows how generations of polemicists, biographers, novelists, and filmmakers imagined and re-imagined Anne: whore, martyr, cautionary tale, proto "mean girl," feminist icon, and everything in between. In this lively book, Bordo steps off the well-trodden paths of Tudoriana to expertly tease out the human being behind the competing mythologies.
For a few decades, jet packs seemed to be everywhere: on Gilligan's Island, Lost in Space, Thunderball, and even the opening ceremony of the 1984 Olympics. Inventors promised we'd all be flying with them now, enabling us to zoom around effortlessly in the sky and getting us to work without traffic jams and trains. What happened to the jet pack? In The Great American Jet Pack, Steve Lehto gives us the definitive history of this and related devices, explaining how the technology arose, how it works, and why we don't have them in our garages today. These individual lift devices, as they were blandly labeled by the government men who financed much of their development, answered man's desire to simply step outside and take flight. No runways, no wings, no pilot's license were required. Soaring through the air with the wind in your face and landing anyplace there was room to stand--could this be done? Yes, it could be, and it was. But the jet pack was perhaps the most overpromised technology of all time. From the rocket belt to the jet belt to the flying platform and all the way to Yves Rossy's 21st-century free flights using a jet-powered wing, this book profiles the inventors and pilots, the hucksters and cheats, the businessmen and soldiers who were involved with these machines. And it finally tells a great American story of a technology whose promise may, one day, yet come to fruition.
From Clear Cola to Furby, and Grunge to Whatever , the Toys, Tastes, and Trends That Defined a Decade
If you can tell the difference between the Petes in Pete & Pete, know every step to the Macarena by heart, and remember when The Real World was about more than just drunken hookups, The Totally Sweet '90s will be a welcome trip down memory lane. With this hella cool guide, you'll reminisce about that glorious decade when Beanie Babies seemed like a smart economic investment and Kris Kross had you wearing your pants backward. Whether you contracted dysentery on the Oregon Trail or longed to attend Janet Reno's Dance Party, you'll get a kick out of seeing which toys, treats, and trends stayed around, and which flopped. So throw your ponytail into a scrunchie, take a swig from your can of Surge, and join us on this ride through the unforgettable (and sometimes unforgivable) trends of the '90s.
The Startling Story of the Crooked Tailed Elephant, P.t. Barnum, and the American Wizard, Thomas Edison
In 1903, on Coney Island, an elephant named Topsy was electrocuted, and over the past century, this bizarre, ghoulish execution has reverberated through popular culture with the whiff of urban legend. But it really happened, and many historical forces conspired to bring Topsy, Thomas Edison, and those 6600 volts of alternating current together that day.
At the turn of the century, the circus in America was at its apex with the circuses of P.T. Barnum and Adam Forepaugh (or 4-Paw) competing in a War of the Elephants, with declarations of whose pachyderms were younger, bigger, or more "sacred". This brought Topsy to America, fraudulently billed as the first native-born, and caught between the circus disputes and the War of the Currents, in which Edison and George Westinghouse (and Nikola Tesla) battled over alternating versus direct current.Rich in period Americana, and full of circus tidbits and larger than life characters -- both human and elephant -- Topsy is a touching tale and an entertaining read.