A World War II Story of Espionage, Adventure, and Betrayal
The riveting biography of Betty Pack, the dazzling American debutante who became an Allied spy during WWII and was hailed by OSS chief General "Wild Bill" Donovan as "the greatest unsung heroine of the war."
Betty Pack was charming, beautiful, and intelligent--and she knew it. As an agent for Britain's MI-6 and then America's OSS during World War II, these qualities proved crucial to her success. This is the remarkable story of this "Mata Hari from Minnesota" (Time) and the passions that ruled her tempestuous life--a life filled with dangerous liaisons and death-defying missions vital to the Allied victory. For decades, much of Betty's career working for MI-6 and the OSS remained classified. Through access to recently unclassified files, Howard Blum discovers the truth about the attractive blond, codenamed "Cynthia," who seduced diplomats and military attachés across the globe in exchange for ciphers and secrets; cracked embassy safes to steal codes; and obtained the Polish notebooks that proved key to Alan Turing's success with Operation Ultra. Beneath Betty's cool, professional determination, Blum reveals a troubled woman conflicted by the very traits that made her successful: her lack of deep emotional connections and her readiness to risk everything. The Last Goodnight is a mesmerizing, provocative, and moving portrait of an exceptional heroine whose undaunted courage helped to save the world.
A pajama party at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport inadvertently helped launch R.T. Rybak's political career (imagine a rumba line one hundred protesters long chanting, "We deserve to sleep, hey!"), but his earliest lessons in leadership occurred during his childhood. Growing up in a middle-class neighborhood, attending private school with students who had much more than he did, spending evenings at his family's store in an area where people lived with much less, he witnessed firsthand the opportunity and injustice of the city he called home. In a memoir that is at once a political coming-of-age story and a behind-the-scenes look at the running of a great city, the three-term mayor takes readers into the highs and lows and the daily drama of a life inextricably linked with Minneapolis over the past fifty years. With refreshing candor and insight, Rybak describes his path through journalism, marketing, and community activism that led to his unlikely (to him, at least) primary election--on September 11, 2001. His personal account of the challenges and crises confronting the city over twelve years, including the tragic collapse of the I-35W bridge, the rising scourge of youth violence, and the bruising fight over a ban on gay marriage (with Rybak himself conducting the first such ceremony at City Hall on August 1, 2013), is also an illuminating, often funny depiction of learning the workings of the job, frequently on the fly, while trying to keep up with his most important constituency, his family. As bracing as the "fresh air" campaign that swept him into office, Rybak's memoir is that rare document from a politician: one more concerned with the people he served and the issues of his time than with burnishing his own credentials. As such, it reflects what leadership truly looks like.
Mayors Richard M. Daley and Rahm Emanuel have touted and promoted Chicago as a "world class city." The skyscrapers kissing the clouds, the billion-dollar Millennium Park, Michelin-rated restaurants, pristine lake views, fabulous shopping, vibrant theater scene, downtown flower beds and stellar architecture tell one story. Yet, swept under the rug is the stench of segregation that compromises Chicago. The Manhattan Institute dubs Chicago as one of the most segregated big cities in thecountry. Though other cities - including Cleveland, Los Angeles, and Baltimore - can fight over that mantle, it's clear that segregation defines Chicago. And unlike many other major U.S. cities, no one race dominates. Chicago is divided equally into black, white, and Latino, each group clustered in their various turfs. In this intelligent and highly important narrative, Chicago-native Natalie Moore shines a light on contemporary segregation on the South Side of Chicago through reported essays, showing the life of these communities through the stories of people who live in them. The South Side shows the important impact of Chicago's historic segregation - and the ongoing policies that keep it that way.
A landmark history -- the sweeping story of the enslavement of tens of thousands of Indians across America, from the time of the conquistadors up to the early 20th century. Since the time of Columbus, Indian slavery was illegal in much of the American continent. Yet, as Andrés Reséndez illuminates in his myth-shattering The Other Slavery, it was practiced for centuries as an open secret. There was no abolitionist movement to protect the tens of thousands of natives who were kidnapped and enslaved by the conquistadors, then forced to descend into the "mouth of hell" of eighteenth-century silver mines or, later, made to serve as domestics for Mormon settlers and rich Anglos. Reséndez builds the incisive case that it was mass slavery, more than epidemics, that decimated Indian populations across North America. New evidence, including testimonies of courageous priests, rapacious merchants, Indian captives, and Anglo colonists, sheds light too on Indian enslavement of other Indians -- as what started as a European business passed into the hands of indigenous operators and spread like wildfire across vast tracts of the American Southwest. The Other Slavery reveals nothing less than a key missing piece of American history. For over two centuries we have fought over, abolished, and tried to come to grips with African-American slavery. It is time for the West to confront an entirely separate, equally devastating enslavement we have long failed truly to see.
From comedian and journalist Faith Salie, of NPR's Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me! and CBS News Sunday Morning , a collection of daring, funny essays chronicling the author's adventures during her lifelong quest for approval.
Faith Salie has done it all in the name of validation. Whether it's trying to impress her parents with a perfect GPA, undergoing an exorcism in the hopes of saving her toxic marriage, or maintaining the BMI of "a flapper with a touch of dysentery," Salie is the ultimate approval seeker--an "approval junkie, " if you will. In "Miss Aphrodite," she recounts her strategy for winning the high school beauty pageant. ("Not to brag or anything, but no one stood a chance against my emaciated, spastic resolve.") "What I Wore to My Divorce" describes Salie's struggle to pick the perfect outfit to wear to the courthouse to divorce her "wasband." ("I envisioned a look that said, 'Yo, THIS is what you'll be missing...even though you've introduced your new girlfriend to our mutual friends, and she's a decade younger than I am and is also a fit model.") In "Ovary Achiever," she shares tips on how to ace your egg retrieval. ("Thank your fertility doctor when she announces you have 'amazing ovaries.' Try to be humble about it [' Oh,these old things? '].") And in "Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me About Batman's Nipples" she reveals the secrets behind Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me! ("I study for this show like Tracy Flick on Adderall").
With thoughtful irreverence, Salie reflects on why she tries so hard to please others, and herself, highlighting a phenomenon that many people--especially women--experience at home and in the workplace. Equal parts laugh-out loud funny and poignant, Approval Junkie is one woman's journey to realizing that seeking approval from others is more than just getting them to like you--it's challenging yourself to achieve, and survive, more than you ever thought you could.
Fifteen-year-old Diamond stopped going to school the day she was expelled for lashing out at peers who constantly harassed and teased her for something everyone on the staff had missed: she was being trafficked for sex. After months on the run, she was arrested and sent to a detention center for violating a court order to attend school. Just 16 percent of female students, Black girls make up more than one-third of all girls with a school-related arrest. The first trade book to tell these untold stories, Pushout exposes a world of confined potential and supports the growing movement to address the policies, practices, and cultural illiteracy that push countless students out of school and into unhealthy, unstable, and often unsafe futures. For four years Monique W. Morris, author of Black Stats, chronicled the experiences of black girls across the country whose intricate lives are misunderstood, highly judged--by teachers, administrators, and the justice system--and degraded by the very institutions charged with helping them flourish. Morris shows how, despite obstacles, stigmas, stereotypes, and despair, black girls still find ways to breathe remarkable dignity into their lives in classrooms, juvenile facilities, and beyond.
J. Richard Gott was among the first cosmologists to propose that the structure of our universe is like a sponge made up of clusters of galaxies intricately connected by filaments of galaxies--a magnificent structure now called the "cosmic web" and mapped extensively by teams of astronomers. Here is his gripping insider's account of how a generation of undaunted theorists and observers solved the mystery of the architecture of our cosmos.
The Cosmic Web begins with modern pioneers of extragalactic astronomy, such as Edwin Hubble and Fritz Zwicky. It goes on to describe how, during the Cold War, the American school of cosmology favored a model of the universe where galaxies resided in isolated clusters, whereas the Soviet school favored a honeycomb pattern of galaxies punctuated by giant, isolated voids. Gott tells the stories of how his own path to a solution began with a high-school science project when he was eighteen, and how he and astronomer Mario Jurič measured the Sloan Great Wall of Galaxies, a filament of galaxies that, at 1.37 billion light-years in length, is one of the largest structures in the universe. Drawing on Gott's own experiences working at the frontiers of science with many of today's leading cosmologists, The Cosmic Web shows how ambitious telescope surveys such as the Sloan Digital Sky Survey are transforming our understanding of the cosmos, and how the cosmic web holds vital clues to the origins of the universe and the next trillion years that lie ahead.
A star-studded collection of essays from acclaimed and bestselling authors and celebrities that illuminates the lasting power of desire and longing, and celebrates our initiation into the euphoria, pain, and mystery that is our first celebrity crush.
Stories of heartbreak, humiliation, and hilarity from a roster of popular luminaries, including James Franco, Carrie Fisher, Stephen King, Roxane Gay, Jodi Picoult, Emily Gould, and Hanna Rosin, who share intimate memories of that first intense taste of love. Here are funny, whimsical, sometimes cringe-worthy tales of falling head over heels for River Phoenix, Mary Tyler Moore, Howard Cosell, Jared Leto, and a host of other pop culture icons.