Recommended History Books of 2013 – remember that our definitions are pretty loose

So you checked the last entry and discovered that it was all fiction titles and you only read non-fiction.  I hear you…here’s the list for you.

Lawrence in Arabia Scott Anderson – A thrilling and revelatory narrative of one of the most epic and consequential periods in 20th century history – the Arab Revolt and the secret “great game” to control the Middle East

The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft and the Age of Journalism – Doris Kearns Goodwin – The gap between rich and poor has never been wider…legislative stalemate paralyzes the country…corporations resist federal regulations…spectacular mergers produce giant companies…the influence of money in politics deepens…bombs explode in crowded streets…small wars proliferate far from our shores…a dizzying array of inventions speeds the pace of daily life.  These unnervingly familiar headlines serve as the backdrop for Doris Kearns Goodwin’s highly anticipated The Bully Pulpit—a dynamic history of the first decade of the Progressive era, that tumultuous time when the nation was coming unseamed and reform was in the air.

ImageHumans of New York  – Brandon Stanton – With four hundred color photos, including exclusive portraits and all-new stories, Humans of New York is a stunning collection of images that showcases the outsized personalities of New York.

 One Summer: America, 1927 Bill Bryson  – … much, much … transpired in that epochal summer of 1927, and Bill Bryson captures its outsized personalities, exciting events, and occasional just plain weirdness with his trademark vividness, eye for telling detail, and delicious humor. In that year America stepped out onto the world stage as the main event, and One Summer transforms it all into narrative nonfiction of the highest order.

The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their epic Quest for Gold at 1936 Berlin OlympicsDaniel James Brown – 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.

 Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of NazarathReza Asian – From the internationally bestselling author of No god but God comes a fascinating, provocative, and meticulously researched biography that challenges long-held assumptions about the man we know as Jesus of Nazareth.

The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New AmericaGeorge Packer – This book hums—with sorrow, with outrage and with compassion for those who are caught in the gears of America’s increasingly complicated (and increasingly poorly calibrated) financial machinery…The Unwinding contains many sweeping, wide-angle views of American life. Its portraits of Youngstown, Ohio; Tampa; Silicon Valley; Washington; and Wall Street are rich, complex and interlocking. Mr. Packer’s gifts are Steinbeckian in the best sense of that term…he’s written something close to a nonfiction masterpiece.

 Five Days in Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital by Sheri Fink – Pulitzer Prize winner Sheri Fink’s landmark investigation of patient deaths at a New Orleans hospital ravaged by Hurricane Katrina – and her suspenseful portrayal of the quest for truth and justice

 Thank You for Your Service David Finkel – In Thank You for Your Service, Finkel has done something even more extraordinary. Once again, he has embedded with some of the men of the 2-16—but this time he has done it at home, here in the States, after their deployments have ended. He is with them in their most intimate, painful, and hopeful moments as they try to recover, and in doing so, he creates an indelible, essential portrait of what life after war is like—not just for these soldiers, but for their wives, widows, children, and friends, and for the professionals who are truly trying, and to a great degree failing, to undo the damage that has been done.

The Guns at Last Light: The War in Western Europe, 1944-1945 (Liberation Trilogy) by Rick Atkinson – It is the twentieth century’s unrivaled epic: at a staggering price, the United States and its allies liberated Europe and vanquished Hitler. In the first two volumes of his bestselling Liberation Trilogy, Rick Atkinson recounted how the American-led coalition fought through North Africa and Italy to the threshold of victory. Now, in The Guns at Last Light, he tells the most dramatic story of all—the titanic battle for Western Europe.

 The Men Who United the States: America’s Explorers, Inventors, Eccentrics and Mavericks, and the Creation of One Nation, Indivisible – Simon Winchester – For more than two centuries, E pluribus unum—”Out of many, one”—has been featured on America’s official government seals and stamped on its currency. But how did America become “one nation, indivisible”? Simon Winchester addresses these questions, bringing together the breathtaking achievements of those American pioneers who helped, with their multitudes of callings, to forge and unify the new nation, and who toiled fearlessly to discover, connect, and bond the citizens and the geography of the United States from its very beginnings

The Girls of Atomic City: The Untold Story of the Women Who Helped Win World War IIDenise Kiernan – an incredible true story of the top-secret World War II town of Oak Ridge, Tennessee, and the young women brought there unknowingly to help build the atomic bomb.

 

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