The extraordinary career of George Catlett Marshall--America's most distinguished soldier-statesman since George Washington--whose selfless leadership and moral character influenced the course of two world wars and helped define the American century. Winston Churchill called him World War II's organizer of victory. Harry Truman said he was the greatest military man that this country ever produced. Today, in our era of failed leadership, few lives are more worthy of renewed examination than Marshall and his fifty years of loyal service to the defense of his nation and its values. Even as a young officer he was heralded as a genius, a reputation that grew when in WWI he planned and executed a nighttime movement of more than a half million troops from one battlefield to another that led to the armistice. Between the wars he helped modernize combat training, and re-staffed the U.S. Army's officer corps with the men who would lead in the next decades. But as WWII loomed, it was the role of army chief of staff in which Marshall's intellect and backbone were put to the test, when his blind commitment to duty would run up against the realities of Washington politics. Long seen as a stoic, almost statuesque figure, he emerges in these pages as a man both remarkable and deeply human, thanks to newly discovered sources. Set against the backdrop of five major conflicts--two world wars, Palestine, Korea, and the Cold War--Marshall's education in military, diplomatic, and political power, replete with their nuances and ambiguities, runs parallel with America's emergence as a global superpower. The result is a defining account of one of our most consequential leaders--
Rudyard Kipling once towered over not just English literature, but indeed the entire literary world. In 1907, at just forty-two, he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature, becoming its youngest winner and the first in the English language. Today, however, when he is read, if indeed he is read at all, it is regarding the history of colonial India, his birthplace and the setting of some his most famous work, and to a lesser extent England, his ancestral home. But, in fact, Kipling's most prodigious and creative period took place in America, which was also his preferred home. It was here, on the crest of a Vermont hillside overlooking the Connecticut River, that Kipling wrote both The Jungle Book and Captains Courageous. And here where his ascent to fame was most rapid. Almost certainly, he would have stayed in the United States, understanding himself not just to be an American but a particularly American artist, had a family dispute not forced his departure in 1896. Steeped in the history of the Gilded Age, Christopher Benfey brings to life in fresh revelatory detail American Kipling, tracing a great but today deeply unfashionable writer's intense personal, political, and artistic involvement with the United States. He offers an overdue reminder of Kipling's extraordinary influence in his own lifetime, as well as a compelling portrait of the American artists and writers he both influenced and was influence by, including William James and, in particular, Mark Twain--who Kipling sought out specifically as kindred spirit when he first arrived, and before long had eclipsed in literary fame and critical estimation. Intertwining biography, criticism, and history, IF restores judiciously a true story of great American artistry--
With his eponymous store on 125th Street in Harlem, Dapper Dan pioneered high-end streetwear in the early 1980s, remixing classic luxury-brand logos into his own flamboyant designs. But before reinventing fashion, he was a hungry boy with holes in his shoes, a teen who daringly gambled drug dealers out of their money, a young man in a prison cell who found nourishment in books, and, finally, a designer who broke barriers to outfit a whos-who of music, sport, and crime world celebrities in looks that went on to define an era. By turns playful, poignant, and inspiring, Dapper Dan's memoir is a high-stakes coming-of-age story spanning more than 70 years and set against the backdrop of an ever-evolving America--
Through the lens of their decades-long friendship and including exclusive interviews and details from previously classified documents, noted historian and New York Times bestselling author Steven M. Gillon examines John F. Kennedy Jr.'s life and legacy from before his birth to the day he died. Gillon covers the highs, the lows, and the surprising incidents, viewpoints, and relationships that John never discussed publicly, revealing the full story behind JFK Jr.'s complicated and rich life. In the end, Gillon proves that John's life was far more than another tragedy--rather, it's the true key to understanding both the Kennedy legacy and how America's First Family continues to shape the world we live in today.
Robert Johnson is the subject of the most famous myth about the blues: he allegedly sold his soul at the crossroads in exchange for his incredible talent, and this deal led to his death at age 27. But the actual story of his life remains unknown save for a few inaccurate anecdotes. Up Jumped the Devil is the result of over 50 years of research. Gayle Dean Wardlow has been interviewing people who knew Robert Johnson since the early 1960s, and he was the person who discovered Johnson's death certificate in 1967. Bruce Conforth began his study of Johnson's life and music in 1970 and made it his mission to fill in what was still unknown about him. In this definitive biography, the two authors relied on every interview, resource and document, most of it material no one has seen before. As a result, this book not only destroys every myth that ever surrounded Johnson, but also tells a human story of a real person. It is the first book about Johnson that documents his years in Memphis, details his trip to New York, uncovers where and when his wife Virginia died and the impact this had on him, fully portrays the other women Johnson was involved with, and tells exactly how and why he died and who gave him the poison that killed him. Up Jumped the Devil will astonish blues fans who thought they knew something about Johnson -- Google Books.