The Man Who Ran Washington: The Life and Times of James A. Baker III

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The Man Who Ran Washington: The Life and Times of James A. Baker III
Title The Man Who Ran Washington: The Life and Times of James A. Baker III
Author
Publisher Doubleday
Release DateSeptember 29, 2020
Category New Release
Total Pages 671 pages
ISBN 1234567890
Book Rating 5 out of 5 from 151 reviews
Language EN, ES, BE, DA ,DE , NL and FR
Book Review & Summary:

From two of America's most revered political journalists comes the definitive biography of legendary White House chief of staff and secretary of state James A. Baker III: the man who ran Washington when Washington ran the world. For a quarter-century, from the end of Watergate to the aftermath of the Cold War, no Republican won the presidency without his help or ran the White House without his advice. James Addison Baker III was the indispensable man for four presidents because he understood better than anyone how to make Washington work at a time when America was shaping events around the world. The Man Who Ran Washington is a page-turning portrait of a power broker who influenced America's destiny for generations. A scion of Texas aristocracy who became George H. W. Bush's best friend on the tennis courts of the Houston Country Club, Baker had never even worked in Washington until a devastating family tragedy struck when he was thirty-nine. Within a few years, he was leading Gerald Ford's campaign and would go on to manage a total of five presidential races and win a sixth for George W. Bush in a Florida recount. He ran Ronald Reagan's White House and became the most consequential secretary of state since Henry Kissinger. He negotiated with Democrats at home and Soviets abroad, rewrote the tax code, assembled the coalition that won the Gulf War, brokered the reunification of Germany and helped bring a decades-long nuclear superpower standoff to an end. Ruthlessly partisan during campaign season, Baker governed as the avatar of pragmatism over purity and deal-making over division, a lost art in today's fractured nation. His story is a case study in the acquisition, exercise, and preservation of power in late twentieth-century America and the story of Washington and the world in the modern era--how it once worked and how it has transformed into an era of gridlock and polarization. This masterly biography by two brilliant observers of the American political scene is destined to become a classic.

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Title The Man Who Ran Washington
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Publisher Doubleday
Release Date 2020-09-29
Category Biography & Autobiography
Total Pages 720
ISBN 9780385540568
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

From two of America's most revered political journalists comes the definitive biography of legendary White House chief of staff and secretary of state James A. Baker III: the man who ran Washington when Washington ran the world. For a quarter-century, from the end of Watergate to the aftermath of the Cold War, no Republican won the presidency without his help or ran the White House without his advice. James Addison Baker III was the indispensable man for four presidents because he understood better than anyone how to make Washington work at a time when America was shaping events around the world. The Man Who Ran Washington is a page-turning portrait of a power broker who influenced America's destiny for generations. A scion of Texas aristocracy who became George H. W. Bush's best friend on the tennis courts of the Houston Country Club, Baker had never even worked in Washington until a devastating family tragedy struck when he was thirty-nine. Within a few years, he was leading Gerald Ford's campaign and would go on to manage a total of five presidential races and win a sixth for George W. Bush in a Florida recount. He ran Ronald Reagan's White House and became the most consequential secretary of state since Henry Kissinger. He negotiated with Democrats at home and Soviets abroad, rewrote the tax code, assembled the coalition that won the Gulf War, brokered the reunification of Germany and helped bring a decades-long nuclear superpower standoff to an end. Ruthlessly partisan during campaign season, Baker governed as the avatar of pragmatism over purity and deal-making over division, a lost art in today's fractured nation. His story is a case study in the acquisition, exercise, and preservation of power in late twentieth-century America and the story of Washington and the world in the modern era--how it once worked and how it has transformed into an era of gridlock and polarization. This masterly biography by two brilliant observers of the American political scene is destined to become a classic.

Days Of Fire by Peter Baker

Title Days of Fire
Author Peter Baker
Publisher Anchor Books
Release Date 2014
Category Biography & Autobiography
Total Pages 800
ISBN 9780385525190
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

A senior White House correspondent presents a history of the Bush and Cheney White House years that shares anecdotes by more than two hundred insiders to explore the inner conflicts that shaped the handling of significant events.

Kremlin Rising by Peter Baker

Title Kremlin Rising
Author Peter Baker
Publisher Simon and Schuster
Release Date 2005-06-07
Category Political Science
Total Pages 464
ISBN 9780743281799
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

In the tradition of Hedrick Smith's The Russians, Robert G. Kaiser's Russia: The People and the Power, and David Remnick's Lenin's Tomb comes an eloquent and eye-opening chronicle of Vladimir Putin's Russia, from this generation's leading Moscow correspondents. With the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia launched itself on a fitful transition to Western-style democracy. But a decade later, Boris Yeltsin's handpicked successor, Vladimir Putin, a childhood hooligan turned KGB officer who rose from nowhere determined to restore the order of the Soviet past, resolved to bring an end to the revolution. Kremlin Rising goes behind the scenes of contemporary Russia to reveal the culmination of Project Putin, the secret plot to reconsolidate power in the Kremlin. During their four years as Moscow bureau chiefs for The Washington Post, Peter Baker and Susan Glasser witnessed firsthand the methodical campaign to reverse the post-Soviet revolution and transform Russia back into an authoritarian state. Their gripping narrative moves from the unlikely rise of Putin through the key moments of his tenure that re-centralized power into his hands, from his decision to take over Russia's only independent television network to the Moscow theater siege of 2002 to the "managed democracy" elections of 2003 and 2004 to the horrific slaughter of Beslan's schoolchildren in 2004, recounting a four-year period that has changed the direction of modern Russia. But the authors also go beyond the politics to draw a moving and vivid portrait of the Russian people they encountered -- both those who have prospered and those barely surviving -- and show how the political flux has shaped individual lives. Opening a window to a country on the brink, where behind the gleaming new shopping malls all things Soviet are chic again and even high school students wonder if Lenin was right after all, Kremlin Rising features the personal stories of Russians at all levels of society, including frightened army deserters, an imprisoned oil billionaire, Chechen villagers, a trendy Moscow restaurant king, a reluctant underwear salesman, and anguished AIDS patients in Siberia. With shrewd reporting and unprecedented access to Putin's insiders, Kremlin Rising offers both unsettling new revelations about Russia's leader and a compelling inside look at life in the land that he is building. As the first major book on Russia in years, it is an extraordinary contribution to our understanding of the country and promises to shape the debate about Russia, its uncertain future, and its relationship with the United States.

The Great Rift by James Mann

Title The Great Rift
Author James Mann
Publisher Henry Holt and Company
Release Date 2020-01-14
Category History
Total Pages 432
ISBN 9781627797566
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

The Great Rift is a sweeping history of the intertwined careers of Dick Cheney and Colin Powell, whose rivalry and conflicting views of U.S. national security color our political debate to this day. Dick Cheney and Colin Powell emerged on the national scene more than thirty years ago, and it is easy to forget that they were once allies. The two men collaborated closely in the successful American wars in Panama and Iraq during the presidency of George H. W. Bush--but from this pinnacle, conflicts of ideology and sensibility drove them apart. Returning to government service under George W. Bush in 2001, they (and their respective allies within the administration) fell into ever-deepening antagonism over the role America should play in a world marked by terrorism and other nontraditional threats. In a wide-ranging, deeply researched, and dramatic narrative, James Mann explores each man’s biography and philosophical predispositions to show how and why this deep and permanent rupture occurred. Through dozens of original interviews and surprising revelations from presidential archives, he brings to life the very human story of how this influential friendship turned so sour and how the enmity of these two powerful men colored the way America acts in the world.

Title Work Hard Study and Keep Out of Politics
Author James A. Baker
Publisher Northwestern University Press
Release Date 2008-06-02
Category Biography & Autobiography
Total Pages 485
ISBN 9780810124899
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

A revelatory memoir by the former secretary of state and White House chief of staff describes his behind-the-scenes witness to numerous political machinations, in an account in which he discusses the Iran-Contra scandal, the Reagan assassination attempt, and the 2000 election in Florida, with an epilogue on the author's vision for U.S. foreign policy. Reprint.

Title The Hardest Job in the World
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Publisher Random House
Release Date 2020-06-16
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Total Pages 656
ISBN 9781984854520
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Book Summary:

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • From the veteran political journalist and 60 Minutes correspondent, a deep dive into the history, evolution, and current state of the American presidency—and how we can make the job less impossible and more productive. “This is a great gift to our sense of theactual presidency, a primer on leadership.”—Ken Burns Imagine you have just been elected president. You are now commander-in-chief, chief executive, chief diplomat, chief legislator, chief of party, chief voice of the people, first responder, chief priest, and world leader. You’re expected to fulfill your campaign promises, but you’re also expected to solve the urgent crises of the day. What’s on your to-do list? Where would you even start? What shocks aren’t you thinking about? The American presidency is in trouble. It has become overburdened, misunderstood, almost impossible to do. “The problems in the job unfolded before Donald Trump was elected, and the challenges of governing today will confront his successors,” writes John Dickerson. After all, the founders never intended for our system of checks and balances to have one superior Chief Magistrate, with Congress demoted to “the little brother who can’t keep up.” In this eye-opening book, John Dickerson writes about presidents in history such a Washington, Lincoln, FDR, and Eisenhower, and and in contemporary times, from LBJ and Reagan and Bush, Obama, and Trump, to show how a complex job has been done, and why we need to reevaluate how we view the presidency, how we choose our presidents, and what we expect from them once they are in office. Think of the presidential campaign as a job interview. Are we asking the right questions? Are we looking for good campaigners, or good presidents? Once a candidate gets the job, what can they do to thrive? Drawing on research and interviews with current and former White House staffers, Dickerson defines what the job of president actually entails, identifies the things that only the president can do, and analyzes how presidents in history have managed the burden. What qualities make for a good president? Who did it well? Why did Bill Clinton call the White House “the crown jewel in the American penal system”? The presidency is a job of surprises with high stakes, requiring vision, management skill, and an even temperament. Ultimately, in order to evaluate candidates properly for the job, we need to adjust our expectations, and be more realistic about the goals, the requirements, and the limitations of the office. As Dickerson writes, “Americans need their president to succeed, but the presidency is set up for failure. It doesn’t have to be.”

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Title The Wise Men
Author Walter Isaacson
Publisher Simon and Schuster
Release Date 1997-06-04
Category Biography & Autobiography
Total Pages 864
ISBN 9780684837710
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

A captivating blend of personal biography and public drama, The Wise Men introduces the original best and brightest, leaders whose outsized personalities and actions brought order to postwar chaos: Averell Harriman, the freewheeling diplomat and Roosevelt's special envoy to Churchill and Stalin; Dean Acheson, the secretary of state who was more responsible for the Truman Doctrine than Truman and for the Marshall Plan than General Marshall; George Kennan, self-cast outsider and intellectual darling of the Washington elite; Robert Lovett, assistant secretary of war, undersecretary of state, and secretary of defense throughout the formative years of the Cold War; John McCloy, one of the nation's most influential private citizens; and Charles Bohlen, adroit diplomat and ambassador to the Soviet Union.

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Author Tevi Troy
Publisher Regnery History
Release Date 2020-02-11
Category History
Total Pages 320
ISBN 9781621578369
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

"Fight House looks juicy as all hell" - National Review "Troy seamlessly weaves West Wing gossip with significant moments in modern history." - Jewish Insider THE WHITE HOUSE HAS ALWAYS BEEN A FIGHT HOUSE President Trump’s White House is famously tumultuous. But as presidential historian and former White House staffer Tevi Troy reminds us, bitter rivalries inside the White House are nothing new. From the presidencies of Harry S. Truman, when the modern White House staff took shape, to Donald Trump, the White House has been filled with ambitious people playing for the highest stakes and bearing bitter grudges. In Fight House, you’ll discover: -The advisor to President Harry Truman that General George Marshall refused to acknowledge -How the supposed “Camelot” Kennedy White House was rife with conflict -How Dr. Henry Kissinger displaced other national security advisors to gain President Richard Nixon’s ear -Why President Jimmy Carter’s personal pettiness and obsession with detail led to a dysfunctional White House—and played a role in his losing the 1980 election -How the contrasting management styles of President Ronald Reagan and First Lady Nancy Reagan led to some epic White House staff clashes -Why the “No Drama Obama” White House was anything but no drama Insightful, entertaining, and important, Tevi Troy’s Fight House will delight and instruct anyone interested in American politics and presidential history.

The Quiet Americans by Scott Anderson

Title The Quiet Americans
Author Scott Anderson
Publisher Signal
Release Date 2020-09-01
Category History
Total Pages 448
ISBN 9780771009150
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

From the bestselling author of Lawrence in Arabia, a gripping history of the early years of the Cold War, the CIA's covert battles against communism, and the tragic consequences which still affect the world today At the end of World War II, the United States dominated the world militarily, economically, and in moral standing--seen as the victor over tyranny and a champion of freedom. But it was clear--to some--that the Soviet Union was already executing a plan to expand and foment revolution around the world. The American government's strategy in response relied on the secret efforts of a newly-formed CIA. The Quiet Americans chronicles the exploits of four spies--Michael Burke, a charming former football star fallen on hard times; Frank Wisner, the scion of a wealthy Southern family; Peter Sichel, a sophisticated German Jew who escaped the Nazis; and Edward Lansdale, a brilliant ad executive. The four ran covert operations across the globe, trying to outwit the ruthless KGB in Berlin, parachuting commandos into Eastern Europe, plotting coups, and directing wars against Communist insurgents in Asia. But time and again their efforts went awry, thwarted by a combination of stupidity and ideological rigidity at the highest levels of the government--and more profoundly, the decision to abandon American ideals. By the mid-1950s, the Soviet Union had a stranglehold on Eastern Europe, the U.S. had begun its disastrous intervention in Vietnam, and America, the beacon of democracy, was overthrowing democratically-elected governments and earning the hatred of much of the world. All of this culminated in an act of betrayal and cowardice that would lock the Cold War into place for decades to come. Anderson brings to the telling of this story all the narrative brio, deep research, skeptical eye, and lively prose that made Lawrence in Arabia a major international bestseller. The intertwined lives of these men began in a common purpose of defending freedom, but the ravages of the Cold War led them to different fates. Two would quit the CIA in despair, stricken by the moral compromises they had to make; one became the archetype of the duplicitous and destructive American spy; and one would be so heartbroken he would take his own life. The Quiet Americans is the story of these four men. It is also the story of how the United States, at the very pinnacle of its power, managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

Our Man by George Packer

Title Our Man
Author George Packer
Publisher Vintage
Release Date 2020-05-26
Category History
Total Pages 624
ISBN 9780307948175
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

*Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Biography* *Winner of the Los Angeles Times Prize for Biography* *Winner of the 2019 Hitchens Prize* "Portrays Holbrooke in all of his endearing and exasperating self-willed glory...Both a sweeping diplomatic history and a Shakespearean tragicomedy... If you could read one book to comprehend American's foreign policy and its quixotic forays into quicksands over the past 50 years, this would be it."--Walter Isaacson, The New York Times Book Review "By the end of the second page, maybe the third, you will be hooked...There never was a diplomat-activist quite like [Holbrooke], and there seldom has been a book quite like this -- sweeping and sentimental, beguiling and brutal, catty and critical, much like the man himself."--David M. Shribman, The Boston Globe Richard Holbrooke was brilliant, utterly self-absorbed, and possessed of almost inhuman energy and appetites. Admired and detested, he was the force behind the Dayton Accords that ended the Balkan wars, America's greatest diplomatic achievement in the post-Cold War era. His power lay in an utter belief in himself and his idea of a muscular, generous foreign policy. From his days as a young adviser in Vietnam to his last efforts to end the war in Afghanistan, Holbrooke embodied the postwar American impulse to take the lead on the global stage. But his sharp elbows and tireless self-promotion ensured that he never rose to the highest levels in government that he so desperately coveted. His story is thus the story of America during its era of supremacy: its strength, drive, and sense of possibility, as well as its penchant for overreach and heedless self-confidence. In Our Man, drawn from Holbrooke's diaries and papers, we are given a nonfiction narrative that is both intimate and epic in its revelatory portrait of this extraordinary and deeply flawed man and the elite spheres of society and government he inhabited.

Impeachment by Jon Meacham

Title Impeachment
Author Jon Meacham
Publisher Modern Library
Release Date 2018-10-16
Category History
Total Pages 304
ISBN 9781984853790
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

Four experts on the American presidency examine the three times impeachment has been invoked—against Andrew Johnson, Richard Nixon, and Bill Clinton—and explain what it means today. Impeachment is a double-edged sword. Though it was designed to check tyrants, Thomas Jefferson also called impeachment “the most formidable weapon for the purpose of a dominant faction that was ever contrived.” On the one hand, it nullifies the will of voters, the basic foundation of all representative democracies. On the other, its absence from the Constitution would leave the country vulnerable to despotic leadership. It is rarely used, and with good reason. Only three times has a president’s conduct led to such political disarray as to warrant his potential removal from office, transforming a political crisis into a constitutional one. None has yet succeeded. Andrew Johnson was impeached in 1868 for failing to kowtow to congressional leaders—and, in a large sense, for failing to be Abraham Lincoln—yet survived his Senate trial. Richard Nixon resigned in August 1974 after the House Judiciary Committee approved three articles of impeachment against him for lying, obstructing justice, and employing his executive power for personal and political gain. Bill Clinton had an affair with a White House intern, but in 1999 he faced trial in the Senate less for that prurient act than for lying under oath about it. In the first book to consider these three presidents alone—and the one thing they have in common—Jeffrey A. Engel, Jon Meacham, Timothy Naftali, and Peter Baker explain that the basis and process of impeachment is more political than legal. The Constitution states that the president “shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors,” leaving room for historical precedent and the temperament of the time to weigh heavily on each case. This book reveals the complicated motives behind each impeachment—never entirely limited to the question of a president’s guilt—and the risks to all sides. Each case depended on factors beyond the president’s behavior: his relationship with Congress, the polarization of the moment, and the power and resilience of the office itself. This is a realist view of impeachment that looks to history for clues about its potential use in the future.

Title What I Saw at the Revolution
Author Peggy Noonan
Publisher Random House Incorporated
Release Date 2003
Category Biography & Autobiography
Total Pages 384
ISBN 9780812969894
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

A speechwriter in the Reagan Administration describes life in and around the White House, the speechwriting process, and the experience of being a woman in a traditionally male environment.

The Politics Of Diplomacy by James A. Baker, III

Title The Politics of Diplomacy
Author James A. Baker, III
Publisher Putnam Adult
Release Date 1995
Category Political Science
Total Pages 687
ISBN 0399140875
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

The Secretary of State for the Bush administration recounts his efforts at diplomacy during his time in office, from the fall of the U.S.S.R. to the Israeli-Palestinian peace accord

Title Henry Kissinger and American Power
Author Thomas A. Schwartz
Publisher Hill and Wang
Release Date 2020-08-25
Category Biography & Autobiography
Total Pages 560
ISBN 9780809095445
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

[Henry Kissinger and American Power] effectively separates the man from the myths." —The Christian Science Monitor | Best books of August 2020 The definitive biography of Henry Kissinger—at least for those who neither revere nor revile him Over the past six decades, Henry Kissinger has been America’s most consistently praised—and reviled—public figure. He was hailed as a “miracle worker” for his peacemaking in the Middle East, pursuit of détente with the Soviet Union, negotiation of an end to the Vietnam War, and secret plan to open the United States to China. He was assailed from the left and from the right for his indifference to human rights, complicity in the pointless sacrifice of American and Vietnamese lives, and reliance on deception and intrigue. Was he a brilliant master strategist—“the 20th century’s greatest 19th century statesman”—or a cold-blooded monster who eroded America’s moral standing for the sake of self-promotion? In this masterfully researched biography, the renowned diplomatic historian Thomas Schwartz offers an authoritative, and fair-minded, answer to this question. While other biographers have engaged in hagiography or demonology, Schwartz takes a measured view of his subject. He recognizes Kissinger’s successes and acknowledges that Kissinger thought seriously and with great insight about the foreign policy issues of his time, while also recognizing his failures, his penchant for backbiting, and his reliance on ingratiating and fawning praise of the president as a source of power. Throughout, Schwartz stresses Kissinger’s artful invention of himself as a celebrity diplomat and his domination of the medium of television news. He also notes Kissinger’s sensitivity to domestic and partisan politics, complicating—and undermining—the image of the far-seeing statesman who stands above the squabbles of popular strife. Rounded and textured, and rich with new insights into key dilemmas of American power, Henry Kissinger and American Power stands as an essential guide to a man whose legacy is as complex as the last sixty years of US history itself.

Native American Son by Kate Buford

Title Native American Son
Author Kate Buford
Publisher Knopf
Release Date 2010-10-26
Category Biography & Autobiography
Total Pages 496
ISBN 9780307594297
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

The first comprehensive biography of the legendary figure who defined excellence in American sports: Jim Thorpe, arguably the greatest all-around athlete the United States has ever seen. With clarity and a fine eye for detail, Kate Buford traces the pivotal moments of Thorpe’s incomparable career: growing up in the tumultuous Indian Territory of Oklahoma; leading the Carlisle Indian Industrial School football team, coached by the renowned “Pop” Warner, to victories against the country’s finest college teams; winning gold medals in the 1912 Olympics pentathlon and decathlon; defining the burgeoning sport of professional football and helping to create what would become the National Football League; and playing long, often successful—and previously unexamined—years in professional baseball. But, at the same time, Buford vividly depicts the difficulties Thorpe faced as a Native American—and a Native American celebrity at that—early in the twentieth century. We also see the infamous loss of his Olympic medals, stripped from him because he had previously played professional baseball, an event that would haunt Thorpe for the rest of his life. We see his struggles with alcoholism and personal misfortune, losing his first child and moving from one failed marriage to the next, coming to distrust many of the hands extended to him. Finally, we learn the details of his vigorous advocacy for Native American rights while he chased a Hollywood career, and the truth behind the supposed reinstatement of his Olympic record in 1982. Here is the story—long overdue and brilliantly told—of a complex, iconoclastic, profoundly talented man whose life encompassed both tragic limitations and truly extraordinary achievements. From the Hardcover edition.

The Ghost by Jefferson Morley

Title The Ghost
Author Jefferson Morley
Publisher St. Martin's Press
Release Date 2017-10-24
Category Political Science
Total Pages 336
ISBN 9781250139108
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

"The best book ever written about the strangest CIA chief who ever lived." - Tim Weiner, National Book Award-winning author of Legacy of Ashes A revelatory new biography of the sinister, powerful, and paranoid man at the heart of the CIA for more than three tumultuous decades. CIA spymaster James Jesus Angleton was one of the most powerful unelected officials in the United States government in the mid-20th century, a ghost of American power. From World War II to the Cold War, Angleton operated beyond the view of the public, Congress, and even the president. He unwittingly shared intelligence secrets with Soviet spy Kim Philby, a member of the notorious Cambridge spy ring. He launched mass surveillance by opening the mail of hundreds of thousands of Americans. He abetted a scheme to aid Israel’s own nuclear efforts, disregarding U.S. security. He committed perjury and obstructed the JFK assassination investigation. He oversaw a massive spying operation on the antiwar and black nationalist movements and he initiated an obsessive search for communist moles that nearly destroyed the Agency. In The Ghost, investigative reporter Jefferson Morley tells Angleton’s dramatic story, from his friendship with the poet Ezra Pound through the underground gay milieu of mid-century Washington to the Kennedy assassination to the Watergate scandal. From the agency’s MKULTRA mind-control experiments to the wars of the Mideast, Angleton wielded far more power than anyone knew. Yet during his seemingly lawless reign in the CIA, he also proved himself to be a formidable adversary to our nation’s enemies, acquiring a mythic stature within the CIA that continues to this day.

Title The Zealot and the Emancipator
Author H. W. Brands
Publisher Doubleday
Release Date 2020-10-06
Category History
Total Pages 464
ISBN 9780385544016
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

Gifted storyteller and bestselling historian H. W. Brands narrates the epic struggle over slavery as embodied by John Brown and Abraham Lincoln—two men moved to radically different acts to confront our nation’s gravest sin. John Brown was a charismatic and deeply religious man who heard the God of the Old Testament speaking to him, telling him to destroy slavery by any means. When Congress opened Kansas territory to slavery in 1854, Brown raised a band of followers to wage war. His men tore pro-slavery settlers from their homes and hacked them to death with broadswords. Three years later, Brown and his men assaulted the federal arsenal at Harpers Ferry, Virginia, hoping to arm slaves with weapons for a race war that would cleanse the nation of slavery. Brown’s violence pointed ambitious Illinois lawyer and former officeholder Abraham Lincoln toward a different solution to slavery: politics. Lincoln spoke cautiously and dreamed big, plotting his path back to Washington and perhaps to the White House. Yet his caution could not protect him from the vortex of violence Brown had set in motion. After Brown’s arrest, his righteous dignity on the way to the gallows led many in the North to see him as a martyr to liberty. Southerners responded with anger and horror to a terrorist being made into a saint. Lincoln shrewdly threaded the needle between the opposing voices of the fractured nation and won election as president. But the time for moderation had passed, and Lincoln’s fervent belief that democracy could resolve its moral crises peacefully faced its ultimate test. The Zealot and the Emancipator is acclaimed historian H. W. Brands’s thrilling and page-turning account of how two American giants shaped the war for freedom.

The Breach by Peter Baker

Title The Breach
Author Peter Baker
Publisher Simon and Schuster
Release Date 2000-09-18
Category Political Science
Total Pages 464
ISBN 9780743212939
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

The journalist who co-wrote the original article breaking the Monica Lewinsky scandal for the Washington Post reveals the complete story behind the headlines: a riveting, in-depth account of an event unique in American history -- the first impeachment of an elected president. "For all of the titillation about thongs and cigars, the story of the impeachment and trial of William Jefferson Clinton was not so much about sex as it was about power. It may have started with an unseemly rendezvous near the Oval Office, but it mushroomed into the Washington battle of a generation, ultimately dragging in all three branches of government.... "Clinton opened his second term vowing to bring the parties together, to become the 'repairer of the breach.' But the last half of the presidency demonstrated that the breach was wider than anyone had anticipated." -- from the Prologue With unprecedented access to all the players -- major and minor -- Washington Post reporter Peter Baker reconstructs the compelling drama that gripped the nation for six critical months: the impeachment and trial of William Jefferson Clinton. The Breach vividly depicts the mind-boggling political and legal events as they unfolded, a day-by-day and sometimes hour-by-hour account beginning August 17, 1998, the night of the president's grand-jury testimony and his disastrous speech to the nation, through the House impeachment hearings and the Senate trial, ending on February 12, 1999, the day of his acquittal. Using 350 original interviews, confidential investigation files, diaries, and tape recordings, Baker goes behind the scenes and packs the book with newsworthy revelations -- the infighting among the president's advisers, the pressure among Democrats to call for Clinton's resignation, the secret back-channel negotiations between the White House and Congress, a tour of the War Room set up by Tom DeLay to force Clinton out of office, the agonizing of various members of Congress, the anxiety of lawmakers who feared the exposure of their own sex lives, and Hillary Clinton's learning that her husband would admit his affair with Monica Lewinsky. The Breach is contemporary history at its best -- shocking, revealing, and consequential. It is a tale of how Washington became lost in "the breach" of its own partisan impulses. All of this, and much more, makes The Breach one of the most important and illuminating volumes of history and contemporary politics of our generation.

Veritas by Ariel Sabar

Title Veritas
Author Ariel Sabar
Publisher Doubleday
Release Date 2020-08-11
Category True Crime
Total Pages 416
ISBN 9780385542593
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

From National Book Critics Circle Award-winning author Ariel Sabar, the gripping true story of a sensational religious forgery and the scandal that shook Harvard. In 2012, Dr. Karen King, a star professor at Harvard Divinity School, announced a blockbuster discovery at a scholarly conference just steps from the Vatican: She had found an ancient fragment of papyrus in which Jesus calls Mary Magdalene "my wife." The tattered manuscript made international headlines. If early Christians believed Jesus was married, it would upend the 2,000-year history of the world's predominant faith, threatening not just the celibate, all-male priesthood but sacred teachings on marriage, sex and women's leadership. Biblical scholars were in an uproar, but King had impeccable credentials as a world-renowned authority on female figures in the lost Christian texts from Egypt known as the Gnostic gospels. "The Gospel of Jesus's Wife"--as she provocatively titled her discovery--was both a crowning career achievement and powerful proof for her arguments that Christianity from its start embraced alternative, and far more inclusive, voices. As debates over the manuscript's authenticity raged, award-winning journalist Ariel Sabar set out to investigate a baffling mystery: where did this tiny scrap of papyrus come from? His search for answers is an international detective story--leading from the factory districts of Berlin to the former headquarters of the East German Stasi before winding up in rural Florida, where he discovered an internet pornographer with a prophetess wife, a fascination with the Pharaohs and a tortured relationship with the Catholic Church. VERITAS is a tale of fierce intellectual rivalries at the highest levels of academia, a piercing psychological portrait of a disillusioned college dropout whose life had reached a breaking point, and a tragedy about a brilliant scholar handed a piece of scripture that embodied her greatest hopes for Christianity--but forced a reckoning with fundamental questions about the nature of truth and the line between reason and faith.

Presidents Of War by Michael Beschloss

Title Presidents of War
Author Michael Beschloss
Publisher Broadway Books
Release Date 2019-10-22
Category Executive power
Total Pages 752
ISBN 9780307409614
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

Ever since our nation's founding, after a nearly decade-long struggle with Great Britain, America has found itself almost continuously at war. And at the forefront of every struggle-large or small, foreign or domestic, celebrated or forgotten-has been the president, who as commander-in-chief of the armed forces has to make the impossible choice of when to hazard American lives. Michael Beschloss is a lauded historian and one of the keenest observers of the White House. In Presidents of War, he offers an authoritative portrait of our major wartime presidents in action, from the War of 1812 to the Vietnam War. Whether examining Lincoln's controversial military leadership, Wilson's idealistic and authoritarian approach to World War I, or LBJ sinking into the quagmire of Vietnam, Beschloss employs deep research and unsurpassed storytelling to bring these presidents to life in moments of public oratory and private doubt. He also charts their relationships with the public, which has consigned them to fame or infamy, and with Congress, which has continually struggled to define and redefine the president's wartime powers. Provocative and illuminating, Presidents of Waris a definitive work of presidential history and an invaluable guide to leadership and decision-making in times of crisis.

A Farewell To Arms by Ernest Hemingway

Title A Farewell to Arms
Author Ernest Hemingway
Publisher Simon and Schuster
Release Date 2014-07-08
Category Fiction
Total Pages 352
ISBN 9781476764528
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

Featuring a previously published author introduction, a personal foreword by his son and a new introduction by his grandson, a definitive edition of the lauded World War I classic collects all 39 of the Nobel Prize-winning author's alternate endings to offer new insights into his creative process. Reprint.

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