The veteran of four space flights and the American record holder for consecutive days spent in space, Scott Kelly has experienced things very few have. Now, he takes us inside a sphere utterly inimical to human life. He describes navigating the extreme challenge of long-term spaceflight, both existential and banal: the devastating effects on the body; the isolation from everyone he loves and the comforts of Earth; the pressures of constant close cohabitation; the catastrophic risks of depressurization or colliding with space junk, and the still more haunting threat of being unable to help should tragedy strike at home--an agonizing situation Kelly faced when, on another mission, his twin brother's wife, Gabrielle Giffords, was shot while he still had two months in space. Kelly's humanity, compassion, humor, and passion resonate throughout, as he recalls his rough-and-tumble New Jersey childhood and the youthful inspiration that sparked his astounding career, and as he makes clear his belief that Mars will be the next, ultimately challenging step in American spaceflight. A natural storyteller and modern-day hero, Kelly has a message of hope for the future that will inspire for generations to come. Here, in his personal story, we see the triumph of the human imagination, the strength of the human will, and the boundless wonder of the galaxy.
He was history's most creative genius. What secrets can he teach us? The author of the acclaimed bestsellers Steve Jobs, Einstein, and Benjamin Franklin brings Leonardo da Vinci to life in this exciting new biography. Based on thousands of pages from Leonardo's astonishing notebooks and new discoveries about his life and work, Walter Isaacson weaves a narrative that connects his art to his science. He shows how Leonardo's genius was based on skills we can improve in ourselves, such as passionate curiosity, careful observation, and an imagination so playful that it flirted with fantasy. He produced the two most famous paintings in history, The Last Supper and the Mona Lisa. But in his own mind, he was just as much a man of science and technology. With a passion that sometimes became obsessive, he pursued innovative studies of anatomy, fossils, birds, the heart, flying machines, botany, geology, and weaponry. His ability to stand at the crossroads of the humanities and the sciences, made iconic by his drawing of Vitruvian Man, made him history's most creative genius--
Joni Mitchell may be the most influential female recording artist and composer of the late twentieth century. In Reckless Daughter, the music critic David Yaffe tells the remarkable, heart-wrenching story of how the blond girl with the guitar became a superstar of folk music in the 1960s, a key figure in the Laurel Canyon music scene of the 1970s, and the songwriter who spoke resonantly to, and for, audiences across the country. A Canadian prairie girl, a free-spirited artist, Mitchell never wanted to be a pop star. She was nothing more than a painter derailed by circumstances, she would explain. And yet, she went on to become a talented self-taught musician and a brilliant bandleader, releasing album after album, each distinctly experimental, challenging, and revealing. Her lyrics captivated listeners with their perceptive language and naked emotion, born out of Mitchell's life, loves, complaints, and prophecies. As an artist whose work deftly balances narrative and musical complexity, she has been admired by such legendary lyricists as Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen and beloved by such groundbreaking jazz musicians as Jaco Pastorius, Wayne Shorter, and Herbie Hancock. Her hits--from Big Yellow Taxi to Both Sides, Now to A Case of You--endure as timeless favorites, and her influence on the generations of singer-songwriters who would follow her, from her devoted fan Prince to Björk, is undeniable. In this intimate biography, drawing on dozens of unprecedented in-person interviews with Mitchell, her childhood friends, and a cast of famous characters, Yaffe reveals the backstory behind the famous songs--from Mitchell's youth in Canada, her bout with polio at age nine, and her early marriage and the child she gave up for adoption, through the love affairs that inspired masterpieces, and up to the present--and shows us why Mitchell has so enthralled her listeners, her lovers, and her friends. Reckless Daughter is the story of an artist and an era that have left an indelible mark on American music.--Jacket.~Reckless Daughter tells the story of Mitchell and also of the fertile, exciting musical time of which she was an integral part, one that had a profound effect that can still be felt today on American music and the industry.
The sweeping authorized biography of one of America's most complex, influential, and enduring poets --
In Where the Past Begins, bestselling author of The Joy Luck Club and The Valley of Amazement Amy Tan is at her most intimate, revealing the truths and inspirations that underlie her extraordinary fiction. By delving into vivid memories of her traumatic childhood, confessions of self-doubt in her journals, and heartbreaking letters to and from her mother, she gives evidence to all that made it both unlikely and inevitable that she would become a writer. Through spontaneous storytelling, she shows how a fluid fictional state of mind unleashed near-forgotten memories that became the emotional nucleus of her novels. Tan explores shocking truths uncovered by family memorabilia--the real reason behind an IQ test she took at age six, why her parents lied about their education, mysteries surrounding her maternal grandmother--and, for the first time publicly, writes about her complex relationship with her father, who died when she was fifteen. Suffused with candor and characteristic humor, Where the Past Begins takes readers into the idiosyncratic workings of her writer's mind, a journey that explores memory, imagination, and truth, with fiction serving as both her divining rod and link to meaning.--Jacket.~From New York Times bestselling author Amy Tan, a memoir on her life as a writer, her childhood, and the symbiotic relationship between fiction and emotional memory--
The definitive biography of Golda Meir: the iron-willed leader, chain-smoking political operative, and tea-and-cake-serving grandmother who became the fourth prime minister of Israel and one of the most notable women of our time--
Before he was an HGTV star, Chip Gaines was a serial entrepreneur always ready for the next challenge. In this book, he relives some of his craziest antics and lessons he has learned.
A stunning memoir from the astronaut who spent a record-breaking year aboard the International Space Station, a candid account of his remarkable voyage, of the journeys off the planet that preceded it, and of his colorful formative years. The veteran of four space flights and the American record holder for consecutive days spent in space, Scott Kelly has experienced things very few have. He describes navigating the extreme challenge of long-term spaceflight, both existential and banal: the devastating effects on the body; the isolation from everyone he loves and the comforts of Earth; the pressures of constant close cohabitation; the catastrophic risks of depressurization or colliding with space junk, and the still more haunting threat of being unable to help should tragedy strike at home; an agonizing situation Kelly faced when, on another mission, his twin brother's wife, Gabrielle Giffords, was shot while he still had two months in space.
In her second memoir, the Real Housewife chronicles her life since her release from prison and what it's been like to weather difficult times as a single mother. Though she recounts the happy memories she's experienced over the past year, she also touches upon some of the darkest times of her life, including her parents' hospitalizations for severe medical issues in late 2016, which led to her mother's passing in March 2017.
Explores the life of Martin Luther, delving into his life and works, as well as how his ideas had a profound impact on later conceptions of faith, virtue, and freedom.
Ulysses S. Grant's life has typically been misunderstood. All too often he is caricatured as a chronic loser and inept businessman, or as the triumphant but brutal Union general of the Civil War. But these stereotypes don't come close to capturing him, as Ron Chernow shows in his masterful biography, the first to provide a complete understanding of the general and president whose fortunes rose and fell with dizzying speed and frequency. Before the Civil War, Grant was flailing. His business ventures had ended dismally, and despite distinguished service in the Mexican War, he ended up resigning from the army in disgrace amid recurring accusations of drunkenness. But in war, Grant began to realize his remarkable potential, soaring through the ranks of the Union army, prevailing at the Battle of Shiloh and in the Vicksburg campaign, and ultimately defeating the legendary Confederate general Robert E. Lee. Along the way, Grant endeared himself to President Lincoln and became his most trusted general and the strategic genius of the war effort. Grant's military fame translated into a two-term presidency, but one plagued by corruption scandals involving his closest staff members. More important, he sought freedom and justice for black Americans, working to crush the Ku Klux Klan and earning the admiration of Frederick Douglass, who called him 'the vigilant, firm, impartial, and wise protector of my race.' After Grant's presidency, he was again brought low by a dashing young swindler on Wall Street, only to resuscitate his image by working with Mark Twain to publish his memoirs, which are recognized as a masterpiece of the genre. With lucidity, breadth, and meticulousness, Chernow finds the threads that bind these disparate stories together, shedding new light on the man whom Walt Whitman described as 'nothing heroic... and yet the greatest hero.' Chernow's probing portrait of Grant's lifelong struggle with alcoholism transforms our understanding of the man at the deepest level. This is America's greatest biographer, bringing movingly to life one of our finest but most underappreciated presidents. The definitive biography, Grant is a grand synthesis of painstaking research and literary brilliance that makes sense of all sides of Grant's life, explaining how this simple midwesterner could at once be so ordinary and so extraordinary.--Jacket.~Pulitzer Prize-winner and biographer of Alexander Hamilton, George Washington, and John D. Rockefeller, Ron Chernow returns with a sweeping and dramatic portrait of one of our most complicated generals and presidents, Ulysses S. Grant Ulysses S. Grant's life has typically been misunderstood. All too often he is caricatured as a chronic loser and inept businessman, fond of drinking to excess; or as the triumphant but brutal Union general of the Civil War; or as a credulous and hapless president whose tenure came to symbolize the worst excesses of the Gilded Age. These stereotypes don't come close to capturing adequately his spirit and the sheer magnitude of his monumental accomplishments. A biographer at the height of his powers, Chernow has produced a portrait of Grant that is a masterpiece, the first to provide a complete understanding of the general and president whose fortunes rose and fell with dizzying speed and frequency--
The definitive biography of Herbert Hoover, one of the most remarkable and least understood Americans of the twentieth century--a wholly original account that will forever change the way Americans understand the man, his presidency, and his battle against the Great Depression. An impoverished orphan who built a fortune. A great humanitarian. A president elected in a landslide and then resoundingly defeated four years later. Arguably the father of both New Deal liberalism and modern conservatism, Herbert Hoover lived one of the most extraordinary American lives of the twentieth century. Yet however astonishing, his accomplishments are often eclipsed by the perception that Hoover was inept and heartless in the face of the Great Depression. Now, Kenneth Whyte vividly re-creates Hoover's rich and dramatic life in all its complex glory. He follows Hoover through his Iowa boyhood, his cutthroat business career, his brilliant rescue of millions of lives during World War I and the 1927 Mississippi floods, his misconstrued presidency, his defeat at the hands of Franklin Roosevelt, his devastating years in the political wilderness, his return to grace as Truman's emissary to help European refugees after World War II, and his final vindication in the days of Kennedy's 'New Frontier.' Ultimately, Whyte brings to light Hoover's complexities and contradictions--his modesty and ambition, his ruthlessness and extreme generosity--as well as his profound political legacy. [This] is the epic, poignant story of the deprived boy who, through force of will, made himself the most accomplished figure in the land, and who experienced a range of achievements and failures unmatched by many Americans of his, or perhaps any, era. Here, for the first time, is the definitive biography that fully captures the colossal scale of Hoover's momentous life and volatile times.--Jacket.
'Behind every successful woman, there is a man in shock.' Contrary to popular belief, self-proclaimed 'Lion Mom' Ivana Trump has not always had it all. Born to two loving and diligent parents but raised in communist Czechoslovakia, Ivana knows a thing or two about working her way to the top. And though she is now a successful businesswoman in her own right, her true pride and joy rests within the triumphs that are her three children: Donald Jr., Ivanka, and Eric Trump. As Ivana's former husband takes his place as the forty-fifth president of the United States, his children have also been thrust into the media spotlight--but it is Ivana who proudly imparted upon their children what she believes to be the most important life lessons: loyalty, honesty, integrity, and drive. With unparalleled candor and wit, Ivana shares never-before-told, highly personal stories of what it was like to raise three children in New York City while the whole world watched. With the help of Donald Jr., Ivanka, and Eric, Ivana recounts with warmth and grace the surprisingly relatable lessons she learned while Raising Trump--and touches upon what it means to be a fierce mother in this universal, eye-opening memoir for devoted parents everywhere.--Jacket.~The former wife of Donald Trump reflects on her life, from her childhood in communist Czechoslovakia and successes as a businesswoman to her views on motherhood and the ways her ex-husband's election has changed their children's lives.
Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. (1917-2007), known today as the architect of John F. Kennedy's presidential legacy, blazed an extraordinary path from Harvard University to wartime London to the West Wing. The son of a pioneering historian--and a two-time Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award winner in his own right--Schlesinger redefined the art of presidential biography. A Thousand Days, his best-selling and immensely influential record of the Kennedy administration, cemented Schlesinger's place as one of the nation's greatest political image makers and a key figure of the American intellectual elite--a peer and contemporary of Reinhold Niebuhr, Isaiah Berlin, and Adlai Stevenson.The first major biography of this defining figure in Kennedy's Camelot, Schlesinger: The Imperial Historian presents a dramatic life and career set against the backdrop of the American Century. Biographer Richard Aldous draws on oral history, rarely seen archival documents, and the official Schlesinger papers to craft a portrait of the incandescently brilliant and controversial historian who framed America's ascent to global empire--Google Books.
Ulysses S. Grant's life has typically been misunderstood. All too often he is caricatured as a chronic loser and inept businessman, fond of drinking to excess; or as the triumphant but brutal Union general of the Civil War; or as a credulous and hapless president whose tenure came to symbolize the worst excesses of the Gilded Age. These stereotypes don't come close to capturing adequately his spirit and the sheer magnitude of his monumental accomplishments. A biographer at the height of his powers, Chernow has produced a portrait of Grant that is a masterpiece, the first to provide a complete understanding of the general and president whose fortunes rose and fell with dizzying speed and frequency.
From the golden-haired, curly-headed half of Simon & Garfunkel--a memoir (of sorts): artful, moving, lyrical impressions of a life that reveal the making of a musician, the evolution of a man; a portrait of a lifelong friendship and of a collaboration that became the most successful singing duo in the roiling age that embraced, and was defined by their pathfinding music. In What Is It All but Luminous, Art Garfunkel writes about growing up in the 1940s and '50s (son of a traveling salesman listening as his father played Enrico Caruso records), a middle-class Jewish boy living in a redbrick semi-attached house on Jewel Avenue in Kew Gardens, Queens, playing chess by day watching the Brooklyn Dodgers on TV by night, feeling his vocal cords vibrate with the love of sound from the age of five when he began to sing with the sense of God's gift running through him. He writes of meeting Paul Simon, the funny guy who made Art laugh (they met at their graduation play, Alice in Wonderland; Paul was the White Rabbit; Art, the Cheshire Cat). Of their being twelve at the birth of rock 'n' roll--Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis, Bobby Freeman (It was rhythm and blues. It was black. It was from New Orleans, Chicago, Philadelphia. It was dirty music; 'sexual.' I was captured. So was Paul.), of a demo of their song Hey, Schoolgirl for seven dollars and the actual record (with Paul's father on bass) going to #40 on the national charts, selling 150,000 copies. He writes about their becoming Simon & Garfunkel, ruling the pop charts from the age of sixteen, about not being a natural performer but more of a thinker, an underground man. He writes of the hit songs, touring, sex on tour for the thrills, reading books to calm it down, the road to walk it off ... he writes of his wife to ease his soul and children to end the aloneness ... about being an actor working with director Mike Nichols (the greatest of them all), about choosing music over a PhD in mathematics. And he writes about his long-unfolding split with Paul, and how and why it evolved, and after, learning to perform on his own ... about his voice going south (a stiffening of one of his vocal cords) and working to get it back ... about being a husband, a father, and much more.--Jacket.~From the golden-haired, curly-headed half of Simon & Garfunkel--a memoir (of sorts): artful, moving, lyrical; the making of a musician; the evolution of a man, a portrait of a life-long friendship and collaboration that became one of the most successful singing duos of their time. He writes about his life before, during, and after Simon & Garfunkel . . . about their folk-rock music in the roiling age that embraced and was defined by their pathbreaking sound.
In March 1917, Nicholas II, the last Tsar of All Russia, abdicated the throne and the dynasty that had ruled an empire for three hundred years was forced from power by revolution. Now, on the hundredth anniversary of that revolution, eminent historian Robert Service examines Nicholas's life--in fresh and unprecedented detail--from the weeks before his momentous abdication to his death, with his family, in Ekaterinburg in July 1918. The story has been told many times, but Service's deep understanding of the period and his forensic examination of the Tsar's diaries and other newly discovered recorded conversations, as well as manifold testimonies of the official inquiry, shed remarkable new light on his troubled reign, and also reveals the kind of Russia that Nicholas wanted to emerge from the Great War. The Last of the Tsars is a masterful study of a man who was almost entirely out of his depth, perhaps even willfully so. It is also a compelling account of the social, economic, and political ferment in Russia that followed the February Revolution, the Bolshevik seizure of power in October 1917, and the beginnings of Lenin's Soviet socialist republic.--Jacket.~A detailed account of Tsar Nicholas II's last eighteenth months draws on the Tsar's diaries, recorded conversations, and official inquiry testimonies to create a portrait of a man entirely out of his depth.
In this long-awaited memoir, the beloved author of the bestselling Tales of the City series chronicles his odyssey from the old South to freewheeling San Francisco, and his evolution from curious youth to ground-breaking writer and gay rights pioneer. Born in the mid-twentieth century and raised in the heart of conservative North Carolina, Armistead Maupin lost his virginity to another man on the very spot where the first shots of the Civil War were fired. Realizing that the South was too small for him, this son of a traditional lawyer packed his earthly belongings into his Opel GT (including a beloved portrait of a Confederate ancestor), and took to the road in search of adventure. It was a journey that would lead him from a homoerotic Navy initiation ceremony in the jungles of Vietnam to that strangest of strange lands: San Francisco in the early 1970s. Reflecting on the profound impact those closest to him have had on his life, Maupin shares his candid search for his logical family, the people he could call his own. Sooner or later, we have to venture beyond our biological family to find our logical one, the one that actually makes sense for us, he writes. We have to, if we are to live without squandering our lives. From his loving relationship with his palm-reading Grannie who insisted Maupin was the reincarnation of her artistic bachelor cousin, Curtis, to an awkward conversation about girls with President Richard Nixon in the Oval Office, Maupin tells of the extraordinary individuals and situations that shaped him into one of the most influential writers of the last century. Maupin recalls his losses and life-changing experiences with humor and unflinching honesty, and brings to life flesh-and-blood characters as endearing and unforgettable as the vivid, fraught men and women who populate his enchanting novels. What emerges is an illuminating portrait of the man who depicted the liberation and evolution of America's queer community over the last four decades with honesty and compassion--and inspired millions to claim their own lives. Logical Family includes black-and-white photographs.
A new biography of Bunny Mellon, the style icon and American aristocrat who designed the White House Rose Garden for her friend JFK and served as a living witness to 20th Century American history, operating in the high-level arenas of politics, diplomacy, art and fashion. Bunny Mellon, who died in 2014 at age 103, was press-shy during her lifetime. With the co-operation of Bunny Mellon's family, author Meryl Gordon received access to thousands of pages of her letters, diaries and appointment calendars and has interviewed more than 175 people to capture the spirit of this talented American original--