From the days of the Spanish Armada to the modern age of aircraft carriers, battles have been bungled just as badly on water as they have been on land. Some blunders were the result of insufficient planning, overinflated egos, espionage, or miscalculations; others were caused by ideas that didn't hold water in the first place. In glorious detail, here are thirty-three of history's worst maritime mishaps, including:The British Royal Navy's misguided attempts to play it safe during the American Revolution The short life and death of the Imperial Japanese Navy The scuttling of the Graf Spee by a far inferior force The sinking of the Nazi megaship Bismarck "Remember the Maine!"—the lies that started the Spanish-American War Admiral Nelson losing track of Napoleon but redeeming himself at the Nile The ANZAC disaster at Gallipoli Germany's failed WWII campaign in the North Atlantic Kennedy's quarantine of Cuba
Chock-full of amazing facts and hilarious trivia, How to Lose a War at Sea is the most complete volume of nautical failures ever assembled.
From the Maginot Line to the Cuban Missile Crisis, history is filled with bad moves and not-so-bright ideas that snowballed into disasters and unintended consequences.
This engrossing book looks at one hundred such tipping points. Japan bombs Pearl Harbor. The Caliphs of Baghdad spend themselves into bankruptcy. The Aztecs greet the Conquistadors with open arms. Mexico invites the Americans to Texas-and the Americans never leave.
And the rest is history...
Doomed to Repeat is a collection of essays, edited by Bill Fawcett, that illuminates some of the problems we've faced repeatedly throughout history, including Islamic jihad, terrorism, military insurgencies, inflation and the devaluation of currency, financial disasters, ecological collapses, radical political minorities like the Nazis and Bolsheviks, and pandemics and epidemics like the Black Death.
With more than 35 chapters of the Groundhog Days of world history, both infamous and obscure, Doomed to Repeat: The Lessons of History We've Failed to Learn is chock-full of trivia, history, and fascinating looks at the world’s repeated mistakes.
In this remarkable volume, fifteen former SEALs—most of them original founding team members, or "plankowners"—share their vivid first-person remembrances of action in Vietnam. Here are honest, brutal, and relentlessly thrilling stories of covert missions, ferocious firefights, and red-hot chopper insertions and extractions, revealing astonishing little-known truths that will only add strength to the enduring SEAL legend.
White House Whoopee: We've all heard about the dalliances of Clinton and Kennedy—but what were Washington, Jefferson, FDR, and Ike doing behind closed doors?
America's Imelda: Mary Todd Lincoln had an endearing little clothing fetish . . . and once purchased 300 pairs of gloves in a single month!
Go West, Young Prez: "California Dreamin'" was not a top presidential priority . . . since no Commander in Chief bothered to visit the neglected coast until Rutherford B. Hayes did in 1880.
Crazy Jack: Many prominent leaders were absolutely convinced that John Adams was stark raving bonkers!
In this volume, a select group of Wolfe's fellow authors pay tribute to the award-winning creator of The Book of the New Sun, The Fifth Head of Cerberus, Soldier of the Mist, The Wizard Knight and many others, with entirely new stories written specifically to honor the writer hailed by The Washington Post as "one of America's finest."
Shadows of the New Sun features contributions by Neil Gaiman, David Brin, David Drake, Nancy Kress, and many others, plus two new short stories by Gene Wolfe himself.
At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.
A Holy War—The Medieval Crusades for religious liberation become centuries of slaughter and destruction.
Sibling Rivalry—Leif Erikson spares his sister's life and delays the discovery of the New World for five hundred years.
Big Guns—Emperor Constantine XI refuses to buy a new supercannon that would let him dominate his enemies, so its creator sells the cannon to the Turks, who then crush Constantinople.
With casual wit and subtle insight, It Seemed Like a Good Idea...tucks tongue in cheek and rides out the fiascoes of history.
Throughout history—from the dawn of man to the War on Terror—governments, corporations, historians, and high-level braggarts of every stripe have freely engaged in the time-honored pastime of lying for fun and profit. You Said What? is an endlessly entertaining and outrageously edifying look at some of the biggest whoppers of all time, chock-full of deceptions, trickery, and incredible untruths both infamous and obscure.
The press conspiracies that protected FDR's legs, as well as JFK's sex addiction and failing health
Lies that caused the Knights Templar fall, the Salem witch trials, and the Black Death
Big lies that changed history: Vietnam's Gulf of Tonkin, the Cuban missile crisis, the “Polish” raid that kicked off WWII . . . and remember the Maine?
The self-made, self-serving myths we still believe today of Davy Crockett, Lawrence of Arabia, and Napoleon
Plus our own personal pick for History's #1 Biggest Liar . . . and much more!
The lies will out! You Said What? is an indispensable treasure trove of true falsehoods, and an irreverent introduction to the world's greatest lies and the liars who told them.
Every phenomenally bad idea seemed like a good idea to someone. How else can you explain the Ford Edsel or the sword pistol—absolutely absurd creations that should have never made it off the drawing board? It Looked Good on Paper gathers together the most flawed plans, half-baked ideas, and downright ridiculous machines throughout history that some second-rate Einstein decided to foist on an unsuspecting populace with the best and most optimistic intentions. Some failed spectacularly. Others fizzled after great expense. One even crashed on Mars. But every one of them at one time must have looked good on paper, including:The lead water pipes of RomeThe Tacoma Narrows Bridge—built to collapseThe Hubble telescope—the $2 billion scientific marvel that couldn't seeThe Spruce Goose—Howard Hughes's airborne atrocity: big, expensive, slow, unstable, and made of wood
With more than thirty-five chapters full of incredibly insipid inventions, both infamous and obscure, It Looked Good on Paper is a mind-boggling, endlessly entertaining collection of fascinating failures.
Throughout history, the rich and powerful, and even just the dim-witted, have made horrifically bad decisions that have had resounding effects on our world. From kings to corporate leaders, from captains to presidents, no one is immune to bad decisions and their lasting legacy. The fiascoes that litter our history are innumerable ... and fascinating in their foolishness. This witty collection of historical mayhem chronicles unwise decisions from ancient Greece to modern-day Hollywood and everything in between. Learn such lessons as:Never trust Greeks bearing gifts of large wooden horses.Avoid building elementary schools on toxic waste dumps, even those with sweet monikers like Love Canal.Rabbits multiply like rabbits Down Under.Even if you use brightly colored paint on the boats, it's quite easy to misplace an entire country's navy.
With more than forty-five chapters of mind-boggling flubs and follies, fans of history, trivia, and those who just want a good laugh will adore this intriguing and fun read.
An annual commemoration, the Nebula Awards are presented by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America to those members whose imaginations refine and re-define the infinite storytelling possibilities found within the genre. The Nebula Awards Showcase represents the best of the best in fantasy in one indispensible collection.
This year's compilation includes stories by:
?Ursula K. LeGuin
?Nina Kiriki Hoffman
?Harry Harrison, this year's Grandmaster
decisions and the men who made them
The annals of history are littered with horribly bad military leaders. These combat incompetents found amazing ways to ensure their army's defeat. Whether it was a lack of proper planning, miscalculation, ego, bad luck, or just plain stupidity, certain wartime stratagems should never have left the drawing board. Written with wit, intelligence, and eminent readability, How to Lose a Battle pays dubious homage to these momentous and bloody blunders, including:
Cannae, 216 B.C.: the bumbling Romans lose 80,000 troops to Hannibal's forces.
The Second Crusade: an entire Christian army is slaughtered when it stops for a drink of water.
The Battle of Britain: Hitler's dreaded Luftwaffe blows it big-time.
Pearl Harbor: more than one warning of the impending attack is there, but nobody listens.
How to Lose a Battle includes more than thirty-five chapters worth of astonishing (and avoidable) disasters, both infamous and obscure -- a treasure trove of trivia, history, and jaw-dropping facts about the most costly military missteps ever taken.
From Gettysburg to D-Day, history?s most momentous battles have been recounted to the world on a grand scale. This book, for the first time ever, looks at man?s most epic battles from the point of view of the soldiers on the front lines; providing new insight into the great wars of history. Stories told by the Roman Legionaire, the British Doughboy, and the American Doggie, delve into these battles and battlefronts:
Third Crusade under Richard Lionheart
Waterloo, French under Napoleon
American Civil War: Gettysburg
WWI: Americans at Ardennes
WWII: Japanese Island Defense
WWII: D-Day, Americans at Normandy
Marines at Chosin.
DID I DO THAT???
When asked to name a successor, Alexander the Great declared that his empire should go “to the strongest”. . . but would rival factions have descended into war if he’d been a little more specific?
What if the Vienna Academy of Art took a chance on a hopeful young student named Adolf Hitler?
If Pope Clement VII granted King Henry VIII an annulment, England would likely still be Catholic today—and so would America.
Bill Fawcett, author of 100 Mistakes That Changed History, offers a compendium of 101 all-new mammoth mistakes—from the ill-fated rule of Emperor Darius III to the equally ill-fated search for WMDs in Iraq—that will, unfortunately, never be forgotten by history.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
An expert on historical military incompetence, Bill Fawcett now offers an engrossing, fact-filled collection that sheds light on the biggest, dumbest screw ups of the America’s bloodiest conflict. How to Lose the Civil War is a fascinating compendium of battlefield blunders and strategic mistakes on both sides of the line. History and military buffs, trivia lovers, and students of the War Between the States will all be mesmerized by this amazing collection of gaffes and bungles perpetrated by idiot officers and short-sighted politicians, Union and Confederate alike— published on the 150th anniversary of the brutal conflict that changed America forever.
At the publisher's request, this title is sold without DRM (Digital Rights Management).
But as perfect as America is in every single way, America is broken! And we can't exchange it because we're 236 years past the 30-day return window. Look around--we don't make anything anymore, we've mortgaged our future to China, and the Apologist-in-Chief goes on world tours just to bow before foreign leaders. Worse, the L.A. Four Seasons Hotel doesn't even have a dedicated phone button for the Spa. You have to dial an extension! Where did we lose our way?!
It's high time we restored America to the greatness it never lost!
Luckily, AMERICA AGAIN will singlebookedly pull this country back from the brink. It features everything from chapters, to page numbers, to fonts. Covering subject's ranging from healthcare ("I shudder to think where we'd be without the wide variety of prescription drugs to treat our maladies, such as think-shuddering") to the economy ("Life is giving us lemons, and we're shipping them to the Chinese to make our lemon-flavored leadonade") to food ("Feel free to deep fry this book-it's a rich source of fiber"), Stephen gives America the dose of truth it needs to get back on track.
As a prisoner of war, Andrew Jackson walked several miles barefoot across state lines while suffering from smallpox and a serious head wound received when he refused to polish the boots of the soldiers who had taken him captive. He was thirteen years old. A few decades later, he became the first popularly elected president and served the nation, pausing briefly only to beat a would-be assassin with a cane to within an inch of his life. Theodore Roosevelt had asthma, was blind in one eye, survived multiple gunshot wounds, had only one regret (that there were no wars to fight under his presidency), and was the first U.S. president to win the Medal of Honor, which he did after he died. Faced with the choice, George Washington actually preferred the sound of bullets whizzing by his head in battle over the sound of silence.
And now these men—these hallowed leaders of the free world—want to kick your ass.
Plenty of historians can tell you which president had the most effective economic strategies, and which president helped shape our current political parties, but can any of them tell you what to do if you encounter Chester A. Arthur in a bare-knuckled boxing fight? This book will teach you how to be better, stronger, faster, and more deadly than the most powerful (and craziest) men in history. You’re welcome.
We all know the system isn’t working. Our governments are corrupt and the opposing parties pointlessly similar. Our culture is filled with vacuity and pap, and we are told there’s nothing we can do: “It’s just the way things are.”
In this book, Russell Brand hilariously lacerates the straw men and paper tigers of our conformist times and presents, with the help of experts as diverse as Thomas Piketty and George Orwell, a vision for a fairer, sexier society that’s fun and inclusive.
You have been lied to, told there’s no alternative, no choice, and that you don’t deserve any better. Brand destroys this illusory facade as amusingly and deftly as he annihilates Morning Joe anchors, Fox News fascists, and BBC stalwarts.
This book makes revolution not only possible but inevitable and fun.
From politics to the personal, from fashion to food, from the campus to the locker room, the desire to be cool has infected all aspects of our lives. At its most harmless, it is annoying. At its worst, it is deadly, on a massive scale. The Cool are the termites of life, infiltrating every nook and cranny and destroying it from within. The Cool report the news, write the scripts, teach our children, run our government—and each day they pass judgment on those who don’t worship at the altar of their coolness. The cool fawn over terrorists, mock the military, and denigrate employers. They are, in short, awful people.
From what we wear and what we eat, to what we smoke and who we poke, pop culture is crafted and manipulated by the cool and, to Greg Gutfeld, that's Not Cool.
How do the cool enslave you? By convincing you that:
- If you don't agree with them no one will like you.
- If you don't follow them you will miss out on life.
- If you don't listen to them you will die a lonely loser
How do you vanquish the cool and discover your own true self? Read this book.
In Not Cool, Greg Gutfeld, bestselling author of The Joy Of Hate, lays out the battle plan for reclaiming the real American ideal of cool--building businesses, protecting freedom at home and abroad, taking responsibility for your actions, and leaving other people alone to live as they damn well please. Not Cool fights back against the culture of phonies, elitists, and creeps who want your soul. It’s not a book, it’s a weapon—and one should be armed with it at all times.
From the Hardcover edition.
Greg Gutfeld hates artificial tolerance. At the root of every single major political conflict is the annoying coddling Americans must endure of these harebrained liberal hypocrisies. In fact, most of the time liberals uses the mantle of tolerance as a guise for their pathetic intolerance. And what we really need is smart intolerance, or as Gutfeld reminds us, what we used to call common sense.
The Joy of Hate tackles this conundrum head on--replacing the idiocy of open-mindness with a shrewd judgmentalism that rejects stupid ideas, notions, and people. With countless examples grabbed from the headlines, Gutfeld provides readers with the enormous tally of what pisses us all off. For example:
- The double standard: You can make fun of Christians, but God forbid Muslims. It's okay to call a woman any name imaginable, as long as she's a Republican. And no problem if you're a bigot, as long as you're politically correct about it.
- The demonizing of the Tea Party and romanticizing of the Occupy Wall Streeters.
- The media who are always offended (see MSNBC lineup)
- How critics of Obamacare or illegal immigration are somehow immediately labeled racists.
- The endless debate over the Ground Zero Mosque (which Gutfeld planned to open a Muslim gay bar next to).
- As well as pretentious music criticism, slow-moving ceiling fans, and snotty restaurant hostesses.
Funny and sarcastic to the point of being mean (but in a nice way), The Joy of Hate points out the true jerks in this society and tells them all off.
From the Hardcover edition.
-Dan Jones, author of The Plantagenets: The Kings Who Made England
There is an increasing realisation that our knowledge of world history – and how it all fits together – is far from perfect. A Short History of the World aims to fill the big gaps in our historical knowledge with a book that is easy to read and assumes little prior knowledge of past events.
The book does not aim to come up with groundbreaking new theories on why things occurred, but rather gives a broad overview of the generally accepted version of events so that non-historians will feel less ignorant when discussing the past.
While the book covers world history from the Big Bang to the present day, it principally covers key people, events and empires since the dawn of the first civilisations in around 3500 BC. To help readers put events, places and empires into context, the book includes 36 specially commissioned maps to accompany the text.
The result is a book that is reassuringly epic in scope but refreshingly short in length. An excellent place to start to bring your historical knowledge up to scratch!
In this groundbreaking historical expose, Douglas A. Blackmon brings to light one of the most shameful chapters in American history—an “Age of Neoslavery” that thrived from the aftermath of the Civil War through the dawn of World War II.
Using a vast record of original documents and personal narratives, Douglas A. Blackmon unearths the lost stories of slaves and their descendants who journeyed into freedom after the Emancipation Proclamation and then back into the shadow of involuntary servitude shortly thereafter. By turns moving, sobering, and shocking, this unprecedented account reveals the stories of those who fought unsuccessfully against the re-emergence of human labor trafficking, the companies that profited most from neoslavery, and the insidious legacy of racism that reverberates today.
A follow-up to the New York Times bestselling The New Rules, The New New Rules delivers a series of hilarious, intelligent rants on everything from same-sex marriage to healthcare, from Republican agendas to celebrity meltdowns, with all the razor-sharp insight that has made Bill Maher one of the most influential comedic voices shaping the political debate today. With another presidential campaign on the horizon and a stellar set of real- life characters to have fun with-"New Rule: If Charlie Sheen's home life means he can't have a TV show, then I say Newt Gingrich can't be president"-this enlightening and important book may be the best thing you pretend to read all year.
It happens to all of us: You're minding your own business, when some idiot informs you that guns are evil, the Prius will save the planet, or the rich have to finally start paying their fair share of taxes.
Just go away! you think to yourself -- but they only become more obnoxious. Your heart rate quickens. You start to sweat. You can't get away. Your only hope is...
Glenn Beck, author of the #1 New York Times bestsellers An Inconvenient Book and Glenn Beck's Common Sense, has stumbled upon the secret formula to winning arguments against people with big mouths but small minds: knowing the facts.
And this book is full of them.
The next time your Idiot Friends tell you how gun control prevents gun violence, you'll tell them all about England's handgun ban (see page 53). When they tell you that we should copy the UK's health-care system, you'll recount the horrifying facts you read on page 244. And the next time an idiot tells you that vegetable prices will skyrocket without illegal workers, you'll stop saying "no, they won't" and you'll start saying, "actually, eliminating all illegal labor will cause us to spend just $8 a year more on produce." (See page 139.)
Idiots can't be identified through voting records, they can be found only by looking for people who hide behind stereotypes, embrace partisanship, and believe that bumper sticker slogans are a substitute for common sense. If you know someone who fits the bill, then Arguing with Idiots will help you silence them once and for all with the ultimate weapon: the truth.
To millions of people, Nick Offerman is America. Both Nick and his character, Ron Swanson, are known for their humor and patriotism in equal measure.
After the great success of his autobiography, Paddle Your Own Canoe, Offerman now focuses on the lives of those who inspired him. From George Washington to Willie Nelson, he describes twenty-one heroic figures and why they inspire in him such great meaning. He combines both serious history with light-hearted humor—comparing, say, Benjamin Franklin’s abstinence from daytime drinking to his own sage refusal to join his construction crew in getting plastered on the way to work. The subject matter also allows Offerman to expound upon his favorite topics, which readers love to hear—areas such as religion, politics, woodworking and handcrafting, agriculture, creativity, philosophy, fashion, and, of course, meat.
From the Hardcover edition.
With an irreverent voice, incredible wit, and a firm take on just about everything, this is a manual for how to think about stuff, by a guy who has thought about precisely that same stuff. And, even if you disagree with Greg, this book will make you laugh--guaranteed.*
What is in my book, you ask? (I'm really glad you asked, by the way, because now I get to tell you.)
Time travel. Gay marriage. Sportsballing. Futuristic goggles that DO NOTHING.
Tiny brags from my publisher, stuff like: "This is an uproarious, uncensored take on empathy, personal responsibility, and what it means to be human."
Excessive brags about myself: "An extraordinarily clever, punishingly funny, sharp-tongued blogosphere star, NFL player, husband and father, one-time violin prodigy, voracious lifetime reader, obsessive gamer, and fearless champion of personal freedom."
Oh, and also an essay on the Pope's Twitter account. Honestly, if that doesn't draw you in, there's no hope left for humanity. I also give my own funeral eulogy, in case you were hoping I'd go away and die now!
So please, join me in the glorious art of windmill tilting by reading this "collection of rousing, uncensored personal essays, letters, and stories" (I have no idea why that's in quotes).
Join the herd of Beautifully Unique Sparkleponies.
(You know you want to.)
Al Franken, one of our “savviest satirists” (People), has been studying the rhetoric of the Right. He has listened to their cries of “slander,” “bias,” and even “treason.” He has examined the GOP's policies of squandering our surplus, ravaging the environment, and alienating the rest of the world. He’s even watched Fox News. A lot.
And, in this fair and balanced report, Al bravely and candidly exposes them all for what they are: liars. Lying, lying liars. Al destroys the liberal media bias myth by doing what his targets seem incapable of: getting his facts straight. Using the Right’s own words against them, he takes on the pundits, the politicians, and the issues, in the most talked about book of the year.
Timely, provocative, unfailingly honest, and always funny, Lies sticks it to the most right-wing administration in memory, and to the right-wing media hacks who do its bidding.
The American South is home to some of the best music, cuisine, athletics, whiskey, and weather the country has to offer, but its reputation as a haven for its “right-wing, Bible-beatin’, assault-rifle-totin’” citizens precedes it—and, according to the Liberal Rednecks, rightfully so. Yet, as they explain it, the situation in the South is far more complex than “hypocritical, nose-up-in-the-air Yankees” give it credit for. And they should know—they are native sons.
Whip-smart, hilarious, and incisive, the Liberal Rednecks are lifelong, down-home Southern boys who aren’t afraid to call out the outdated traditions and intolerant attitudes of their native land—while also shining a proud light on the most misunderstood region of the country. Their mission: to provide a manifesto for young progressives south of the Mason-Dixon line to rise up and claim their homeland—without abandoning the best of their culture.
Exploring race, class, guns, religion, drug addiction, alcoholism, and homophobia, the Liberal Rednecks tell it like it is while challenging stereotypes at every turn. Fresh, funny, and surprising, The Liberal Redneck Manifesto gives us a vision of Dixieland as it exists now—and what it could become.
He tried to warn us. Ever since the release of the first Trump-for-President trial balloon in 1987, Doonesbury’s Garry Trudeau has tirelessly tracked and highlighted the unsavory career of the most unqualified candidate to ever aspire to the White House. It’s all there--the hilarious narcissism, the schoolyard bullying, the loathsome misogyny, the breathtaking ignorance; and a good portion of the Doonesbury cast has been tangled up in it. Join Duke, Honey, Earl, J.J., Mike, Mark, Roland, Boopsie, B.D., Sal, Alice, Elmont, Sid, Zonker, Sam, Bernie, Rev. Sloan, and even the Red Rascal as they cross storylines with the big, orange airhorn who’s giving the GOP such fits.
Garry Trudeau is the “sleazeball” “third-rate talent” who draws the “overrated” comic strip Doonesbury, which “very few people read.” He lives in New York City with his wife Jane Pauley, who “has far more talent than he has."
Replete with an astonishing assemblage of facts, illustrations, maps, charts, threats, blood, and additional fees to edify even the most simple-minded book-buyer, THE ONION BOOK OF KNOWN KNOWLEDGE is packed with valuable information-such as the life stages of an Aunt; places to kill one's self in Utica, New York; and the dimensions of a female bucket, or "pail." With hundreds of entries for all 27 letters of the alphabet, THE ONION BOOK OF KNOWN KNOWLEDGE must be purchased immediately to avoid the sting of eternal ignorance.
As we approach the most important presidential election in America’s history, something has been lost among all of the debates, attack ads, and super- PACs—something that Americans used to hold in very high regard: THE TRUTH.
Glenn Beck likes to say that “the truth has no agenda”—but there’s another side to that: people who have agendas rarely care about the truth. And, these days, it seems like everyone has an agenda. The media leads with stories that rate over those that matter. Politicians put lobbyists and electability over honesty. Radicals alter history in order to change the future.
In Cowards, Glenn Beck exposes the truth about thirteen important issues that have been hijacked by deceit. Whether out of spite, greed, or fear, these are the things that no one seems to be willing to have an honest conversation about. For example:
* How our two-party POLITICAL SYSTEM often leaves voters with NO GOOD OPTIONS.
* How extremists are slowly integrating ISLAMIC LAW into our SOCIETY.
* How PROGRESSIVE “religious” leaders like JIM WALLIS are politicizing the Bible.
* How the CARTEL VIOLENCE on our border is FAR WORSE than people realize.
* How “LIBERTARIAN” has been INTENTIONALLY turned into a DIRTY WORD.
* How GEORGE SOROS has amassed enough MONEY and POWER to INFLUENCE entire ECONOMIES.
In some cases, the truth is out there, but people simply don’t want to hear it. It’s much easier, and certainly a lot more convenient, to keep our blinders on. After all, as a quote attributed to President James Garfield made clear, “The truth will set you free, but first it will make you miserable.”
Miserable or not, the truth can no longer be something we hope for; it must be something we live. When courage prevails, cowards do not—and this book was written to ensure that’s exactly what happens.
THE BOSTON GLOBE
Madcap, bittersweet humor in classic Erma Bombeck-style. You'll laugh until it hurts and love it! "Any mother with half a skull knows that when Daddy's little boy becomes Mommy's little boy, the kid is so wet, he's treading water. What do you mean you're a participle in the school play and you need a costume? Those rotten kids. If only they'd let me wake up in my own way. Why do they have to line up along my bed and stare at me like Moby Dick just washed up onto a beach somewhere?"
“Sprezzatura,” or the art of effortless mastery, was coined in 1528 by Baldassare Castiglione in The Book of the Courtier. No one has demonstrated effortless mastery throughout history quite like the Italians. From the Roman calendar and the creator of the modern orchestra (Claudio Monteverdi) to the beginnings of ballet and the creator of modern political science (Niccolò Machiavelli), Sprezzatura highlights fifty great Italian cultural achievements in a series of fifty information-packed essays in chronological order.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Kafka is one of 161 inspired—and inspiring—minds, among them, novelists, poets, playwrights, painters, philosophers, scientists, and mathematicians, who describe how they subtly maneuver the many (self-inflicted) obstacles and (self-imposed) daily rituals to get done the work they love to do, whether by waking early or staying up late; whether by self-medicating with doughnuts or bathing, drinking vast quantities of coffee, or taking long daily walks. Thomas Wolfe wrote standing up in the kitchen, the top of the refrigerator as his desk, dreamily fondling his “male configurations”. . . Jean-Paul Sartre chewed on Corydrane tablets (a mix of amphetamine and aspirin), ingesting ten times the recommended dose each day . . . Descartes liked to linger in bed, his mind wandering in sleep through woods, gardens, and enchanted palaces where he experienced “every pleasure imaginable.”
Here are: Anthony Trollope, who demanded of himself that each morning he write three thousand words (250 words every fifteen minutes for three hours) before going off to his job at the postal service, which he kept for thirty-three years during the writing of more than two dozen books . . . Karl Marx . . . Woody Allen . . . Agatha Christie . . . George Balanchine, who did most of his work while ironing . . . Leo Tolstoy . . . Charles Dickens . . . Pablo Picasso . . . George Gershwin, who, said his brother Ira, worked for twelve hours a day from late morning to midnight, composing at the piano in pajamas, bathrobe, and slippers . . .
Here also are the daily rituals of Charles Darwin, Andy Warhol, John Updike, Twyla Tharp, Benjamin Franklin, William Faulkner, Jane Austen, Anne Rice, and Igor Stravinsky (he was never able to compose unless he was sure no one could hear him and, when blocked, stood on his head to “clear the brain”).
Brilliantly compiled and edited, and filled with detail and anecdote, Daily Rituals is irresistible, addictive, magically inspiring.
To survive, the right must learn how to express nonliberal principles as effectively as possible, and persuade others of their point of view. It is an art that demands patience, research, humor, understanding, creative thinking, learning from your opponent and even mimicking their tactics.
In How to Be Right: the Art of Being Persuasively Correct, Gutfeld reveals the strategies that have helped him keep a steady job for almost three decades. From “Discard Your Outrage” and “Outcompassion Them” To “Find the Right’s Obama” and “Use your Mom,” Gutfeld gives readers the tools they’ll need to argue, influence, and convince their friends, family and foes throughout the 2016 election cycle.
From the Hardcover edition.
To this day, America views itself as a Puritan nation, but Vowell investigates what that means? and what it should mean. What was this great political enterprise all about? Who were these people who are considered the philosophical, spiritual, and moral ancestors of our nation? What Vowell discovers is something far different from what their uptight shoe-buckles-and- corn reputation might suggest. The people she finds are highly literate, deeply principled, and surprisingly feisty. Their story is filled with pamphlet feuds, witty courtroom dramas, and bloody vengeance. Along the way she asks:
*Was Massachusetts Bay Colony governor John Winthrop a communitarian, a Christlike Christian, or conformity?s tyrannical enforcer? Answer: Yes!
*Was Rhode Island?s architect, Roger Williams, America?s founding freak or the father of the First Amendment? Same difference.
*What does it take to get that jezebel Anne Hutchinson to shut up? A hatchet.
*What was the Puritans? pet name for the Pope? The Great Whore of Babylon.
Sarah Vowell?s special brand of armchair history makes the bizarre and esoteric fascinatingly relevant and fun. She takes us from the modern-day reenactment of an Indian massacre to the Mohegan Sun casino, from old-timey Puritan poetry, where ?righteousness? is rhymed with ?wilderness,? to a Mayflower-themed waterslide. Throughout, The Wordy Shipmates is rich in historical fact, humorous insight, and social commentary by one of America?s most celebrated voices. Thou shalt enjoy it.
A GUY WHO IS REALLY GONE!
Complete with maps, histories, quaint local facts (France's National Underwear Changing Day is March 12), song lyrics, helpful hints on how to get through Customs (all insects must be spayed), and tidbits from Dave Barry's own fond vacation nightmares, DAVE BARRY'S ONLY TRAVEL GUIDE YOU'LL EVER NEED is just that. You'll find everything you need to know in this incredibly comprehensive reference, including:
- Air Travel (Or: Why Birds Never Look Truly Relaxed)
- Traveling as a Family (Or: No, We Are NOT There Yet)
- Traveling in Europe ("Excuse me! Where is the Big Mona Lisa?")
- Camping: Nature's Way of Promoting the Motel Industry
From the Paperback edition.
Remember the things Mother used to say? Erma Bombeck remembers them all and now she's using them on her own kids! With clever illustrations by Bil Keane, these really funny, too-true observations on family and kids and why it shouldn't work but does, is a wonderful antitdote to the daily problems and crises that every family faces. With Erma Bombeck in your corner, laughter is the best coach you can have....
From the Paperback edition.
Pulitzer Prize–winner Art Spiegelman's introduction places Seuss firmly in the pantheon of the leading political cartoonists of our time.
A timely collection of speeches by David McCullough, the most honored historian in the United States—winner of two Pulitzer Prizes, two National Book Awards, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom, among many others—that reminds us of fundamental American principles.
Over the course of his distinguished career, David McCullough has spoken before Congress, the White House, colleges and universities, historical societies, and other esteemed institutions. Now, at a time of self-reflection in America following a bitter election campaign that has left the country divided, McCullough has collected some of his most important speeches in a brief volume designed to identify important principles and characteristics that are particularly American. The American Spirit reminds us of core American values to which we all subscribe, regardless of which region we live in, which political party we identify with, or our ethnic background. This is a book about America for all Americans that reminds us who we are and helps to guide us as we find our way forward.
"Thank you, Howard Zinn. Thank you for telling us what none of our leaders are willing to: The truth. And you tell it with such brilliance, such humanity. It is a personal honor to be able to say I am a better citizen because of you." —Michael Moore, director of Fahrenheit 9/11
"This strong, incisive book by Howard Zinn provides us with a penetrating critique of current U.S. policies and embraces the sweep of history. . . . A Power Governments Cannot Suppress leaves us with the faith that citizens have what it takes to confront power and to reverse the dangerous and unjust acts of our government." —Jonathan Kozol, author of The Shame of the Nation: The Restoration of Apartheid Schooling in America
"Find here the voice of the well-educated and honorable and capable and humane United States of America, which might have existed if only absolute power had not corrupted its third-rate leaders so absolutely." —Kurt Vonnegut, author of A Man Without a Country
"Howard Zinn is a unique voice of sanity, clarity, and wisdom who reads history not only to understand the present but to shape the future . . . . Profoundly insightful . . . A Power Governments Cannot Suppress should be read by every American, over and over again." —Michael Lerner, editor of Tikkun Magazine
"Zinn writes with an enthusiasm rarely encountered in the leaden prose of academic history. . ." —New York Times Book Review
"Zinn collects here almost three dozen brief, passionate essays that follow in the tradition of his landmark work, A People's History of the United States . . . Readers seeking to break out of their ideological comfort zones will find much to ponder here." —Publishers Weekly
Howard Zinn was an acclaimed historian, playwright, and combat veteran of World War II. He was the author of more than two dozen books, including his masterpiece A People's History of the United States, and The Historic Unfulfilled Promise (City Lights).
Pat Buchanan: becomes the first politician ever to choose a black hat over a white one.
Phil Gramm: spends twenty million dollars to convince voters of his fiscal responsibility.
John McCain: makes the fatal mistake of actually speaking his mind.
Alan Keyes: checks out of a New Hampshire hotel and tells the manager another candidate will be paying his bill.
Steve Forbes: refuses to answer questions about his father's motorcycles.
Bob Dole: marches through the campaign without ever seeming to care.
Losers is a wickedly funny, unflinching look at how America really goes about choosing a President.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Part civics primer, part cultural history, The Story of America excavates the origins of everything from the paper ballot and the Constitution to the I.O.U. and the dictionary. Along the way it presents fresh readings of Benjamin Franklin's Way to Wealth, Thomas Paine's Common Sense, "The Raven" by Edgar Allan Poe, and "Paul Revere's Ride" by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, as well as histories of lesser-known genres, including biographies of presidents, novels of immigrants, and accounts of the Depression.
From past to present, Lepore argues, Americans have wrestled with the idea of democracy by telling stories. In this thoughtful and provocative book, Lepore offers at once a history of origin stories and a meditation on storytelling itself.
Gleeful, naughty, sometimes perverted-like so many of the crowned heads themselves-A Treasury of Royal Scandals presents the best (the worst?) of royal misbehavior through the ages. From ancient Rome to Edwardian England, from the lavish rooms of Versailles to the dankest corners of the Bastille, the great royals of Europe have excelled at savage parenting, deadly rivalry, pathological lust, and meeting death with the utmost indignity-or just very bad luck.
Founder of George Mason University’s History News Network and bestselling author of Presidential Ambition and One Night Stands with American History, Rick Shenkman is an historian, a rebel, and a myth debunker par excellence. In Legends, Lies & Cherished Myths of World History, he explodes some of the most honored and long-held misconceptions about kings and despots, wars and empires, religions, inventions, from the glory days of the Roman Empire to the dark days of World War Two. Fascinating, edifying, and irreverent, here is the real world history you were never taught in school—for history buffs and confirmed trivia fanatics everywhere!
We all love to eat, and most people have a favorite ingredient or dish. But how many of us know where our much-loved recipes come from, who invented them, and how they were originally cooked? In A HISTORY OF FOOD IN 100 RECIPES, culinary expert and BBC television personality William Sitwell explores the fascinating history of cuisine from the first cookbook to the first cupcake, from the invention of the sandwich to the rise of food television. A book you can read straight through and also use in the kitchen, A HISTORY OF FOOD IN 100 RECIPES is a perfect gift for any food lover who has ever wondered about the origins of the methods and recipes we now take for granted.