The Witches: Salem, 1692

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The Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Cleopatra, the #1 national bestseller, unpacks the mystery of the Salem Witch Trials.

It began in 1692, over an exceptionally raw Massachusetts winter, when a minister's daughter began to scream and convulse. It ended less than a year later, but not before 19 men and women had been hanged and an elderly man crushed to death.

The panic spread quickly, involving the most educated men and prominent politicians in the colony. Neighbors accused neighbors, parents and children each other. Aside from suffrage, the Salem Witch Trials represent the only moment when women played the central role in American history. In curious ways, the trials would shape the future republic.

As psychologically thrilling as it is historically seminal, THE WITCHES is Stacy Schiff's account of this fantastical story-the first great American mystery unveiled fully for the first time by one of our most acclaimed historians.
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About the author

Stacy Schiff is the author of Véra (Mrs. Vladimir Nabokov), winner of the Pulitzer Prize; Saint-Exupéry, Pulitzer Prize finalist; A Great Improvisation: Franklin, France, and the Birth of America, winner of the George Washington Book Prize; and Cleopatra: A Life. Schiff has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities and an award in literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Named a 2011 Library Lion by the New York Public Library, she lives in New York City.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Little, Brown
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Published on
Oct 27, 2015
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Pages
512
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ISBN
9780316200615
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
History / United States / Colonial Period (1600-1775)
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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From the bestselling author of Assassination Vacation and The Partly Cloudy Patriot, an insightful and unconventional account of George Washington’s trusted officer and friend, that swashbuckling teenage French aristocrat the Marquis de Lafayette.  

Chronicling General Lafayette’s years in Washington’s army, Vowell reflects on the ideals of the American Revolution versus the reality of the Revolutionary War.  Riding shotgun with Lafayette, Vowell swerves from the high-minded debates of Independence Hall to the frozen wasteland of Valley Forge, from bloody battlefields to the Palace of Versailles, bumping into John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Lord Cornwallis, Benjamin Franklin, Marie Antoinette and various kings, Quakers and redcoats along the way. 
 
Drawn to the patriots’ war out of a lust for glory, Enlightenment ideas and the traditional French hatred for the British, young Lafayette crossed the Atlantic expecting to join forces with an undivided people, encountering instead fault lines between the Continental Congress and the Continental Army, rebel and loyalist inhabitants, and a conspiracy to fire George Washington, the one man holding together the rickety, seemingly doomed patriot cause.  
 
While Vowell’s yarn is full of the bickering and infighting that marks the American past—and present—her telling of the Revolution is just as much a story of friendship: between Washington and Lafayette, between the Americans and their French allies and, most of all between Lafayette and the American people.  Coinciding with one of the most contentious presidential elections in American history, Vowell lingers over the elderly Lafayette’s sentimental return tour of America in 1824, when three fourths of the population of New York City turned out to welcome him ashore.  As a Frenchman and the last surviving general of the Continental Army, Lafayette belonged to neither North nor South, to no political party or faction.  He was a walking, talking reminder of the sacrifices and bravery of the revolutionary generation and what the founders hoped this country could be. His return was not just a reunion with his beloved Americans it was a reunion for Americans with their own astonishing, singular past.
 
Vowell’s narrative look at our somewhat united states is humorous, irreverent and wholly original.




From the Hardcover edition.
The #1 New York Times bestseller from David McCullough, two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize—the dramatic story-behind-the-story about the courageous brothers who taught the world how to fly—Wilbur and Orville Wright.

On a winter day in 1903, in the Outer Banks of North Carolina, two brothers—bicycle mechanics from Dayton, Ohio—changed history. But it would take the world some time to believe that the age of flight had begun, with the first powered machine carrying a pilot.

Orville and Wilbur Wright were men of exceptional courage and determination, and of far-ranging intellectual interests and ceaseless curiosity. When they worked together, no problem seemed to be insurmountable. Wilbur was unquestionably a genius. Orville had such mechanical ingenuity as few had ever seen. That they had no more than a public high school education and little money never stopped them in their mission to take to the air. Nothing did, not even the self-evident reality that every time they took off, they risked being killed.

In this “enjoyable, fast-paced tale” (The Economist), master historian David McCullough “shows as never before how two Ohio boys from a remarkable family taught the world to fly” (The Washington Post) and “captures the marvel of what the Wrights accomplished” (The Wall Street Journal). He draws on the extensive Wright family papers to profile not only the brothers but their sister, Katharine, without whom things might well have gone differently for them. Essential reading, this is “a story of timeless importance, told with uncommon empathy and fluency…about what might be the most astonishing feat mankind has ever accomplished…The Wright Brothers soars” (The New York Times Book Review).
The Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer brings to life the most intriguing woman in the history of the world: Cleopatra, the last queen of Egypt.

Her palace shimmered with onyx, garnets, and gold, but was richer still in political and sexual intrigue. Above all else, Cleopatra was a shrewd strategist and an ingenious negotiator.

Though her life spanned fewer than forty years, it reshaped the contours of the ancient world. She was married twice, each time to a brother. She waged a brutal civil war against the first when both were teenagers. She poisoned the second. Ultimately she dispensed with an ambitious sister as well; incest and assassination were family specialties. Cleopatra appears to have had sex with only two men. They happen, however, to have been Julius Caesar and Mark Antony, among the most prominent Romans of the day. Both were married to other women. Cleopatra had a child with Caesar and--after his murder--three more with his protégé. Already she was the wealthiest ruler in the Mediterranean; the relationship with Antony confirmed her status as the most influential woman of the age. The two would together attempt to forge a new empire, in an alliance that spelled their ends. Cleopatra has lodged herself in our imaginations ever since.

Famous long before she was notorious, Cleopatra has gone down in history for all the wrong reasons. Shakespeare and Shaw put words in her mouth. Michelangelo, Tiepolo, and Elizabeth Taylor put a face to her name. Along the way, Cleopatra's supple personality and the drama of her circumstances have been lost. In a masterly return to the classical sources, Stacy Schiff here boldly separates fact from fiction to rescue the magnetic queen whose death ushered in a new world order. Rich in detail, epic in scope, Schiff 's is a luminous, deeply original reconstruction of a dazzling life.
Laureatka Nagrody Pulitzera prezentuje najbardziej intrygującą kobietę w dziejach świata - królową Egiptu Kleopatrę.

Bogini. Najbardziej wpływowa i najbardziej pociągająca kobieta swoich czasów. Kochanka Juliusza Cezara i Marka Antoniusza. Żona - kolejno - swoich dwóch braci i morderczyni jednego z nich. Matka. Samobójczyni.

Życie Kleopatry VII, ostatniej królowej hellenistycznego Egiptu, obfitowało w wydarzenia, które na zawsze uczyniły ją inspiracją dla twórców. Dzięki temu pamięć o niej pozostała wiecznie żywa, ale też uległa zniekształceniu - prawdziwa Kleopatra zniknęła gdzieś pod warstwami farby, inkaustu, taśmy filmowej.

Stacy Schiff w swojej książce odczarowuje Kleopatrę, zdejmując z niej, warstwa po warstwie, ów szlachetny kulturowy osad, oddzielając fakty od fikcji. Buduje przy tym obraz antycznego świata, bo osadza swoją bohaterkę pośród ludzi z krwi i kości, na tle ówczesnych realiów. Przy okazji portretuje również jej dwóch sławnych kochanków, a wraz z nimi przybliża polityczną zawieruchę w ówczesnym imperium rzymskim.

Jednak to nie polityka i nie wodzowie są głównymi bohaterami, ale ona - kobieta, o której Blaise Pascal powiedział, że nawet kształtem nosa wpłynęła na kształt świata.

Stacy Schiff demitologizuje postać egipskiej królowej, która została szczelnie opleciona wyobrażeniami Szekspira, Shawa i Elisabeth Taylor.

„The New York Times"

Biografia ukazuje egipską władczynię zarówno jako sprytnego politycznego stratega, wykorzystującego swoje romanse do budowania wpływów, jak i najsławniejszą osobistość swoich czasów.

„Los Angeles Times"

Schiff, autorka nagrodzonej Pulitzerem biografii Véry Nabokov, z mitycznej postaci wydobywa prawdziwą Kleopatrę. Wiedza Schiff jest imponująca, ale została ubrana w lekkie słowa i przekazana z wielkim wyczuciem ludzkiej natury.

„Vanity Fair"

Schiff zabiera nas w czasy i miejsca, które można określić zarówno jako „orgie grabieży i mordu", jak i jako „Paryż antycznego świata". [...] Nakreślony przez Schiff portret ukazuje charyzmatyczną postać, płynnie mówiącą ośmioma językami, która przez dwadzieścia dwa lata rządziła przebogatym państwem-miastem. Jej panowanie zakończyła owiana legendą makabryczna śmierć...

„Elle"

Stacy Schiff napisała książkę, której brakowałoby nam, gdyby nie powstała.

„The Wall Street Journal"

In this dazzling work of history, a Pulitzer Prize-winning author follows Benjamin Franklin to France for the crowning achievement of his career

In December of 1776 a small boat delivered an old man to France." So begins an enthralling narrative account of how Benjamin Franklin--seventy years old, without any diplomatic training, and possessed of the most rudimentary French--convinced France, an absolute monarchy, to underwrite America's experiment in democracy.

When Franklin stepped onto French soil, he well understood he was embarking on the greatest gamble of his career. By virtue of fame, charisma, and ingenuity, Franklin outmaneuvered British spies, French informers, and hostile colleagues; engineered the Franco-American alliance of 1778; and helped to negotiate the peace of 1783. The eight-year French mission stands not only as Franklin's most vital service to his country but as the most revealing of the man.

In A Great Improvisation, Stacy Schiff draws from new and little-known sources to illuminate the least-explored part of Franklin's life. Here is an unfamiliar, unforgettable chapter of the Revolution, a rousing tale of American infighting, and the treacherous backroom dealings at Versailles that would propel George Washington from near decimation at Valley Forge to victory at Yorktown. From these pages emerge a particularly human and yet fiercely determined Founding Father, as well as a profound sense of how fragile, improvisational, and international was our country's bid for independence.

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