January 4, 2014

John Muller spoke about his book, Mark Twain in Washington, D.C., at Politics & Prose on Saturday, January 4, 2014.

When young Samuel Clemens first visited the nation's capital in 1854, both were rough around the edges and of dubious potential. Returning as Mark Twain in 1867, he brought his sharp eye and acerbic pen to the task of covering the capital for nearly a half-dozen newspapers. He fit in perfectly among the other hard-drinking and irreverent correspondents. His bohemian sojourn in Washington, D.C., has been largely overlooked, but his time in the capital city was catalytic to Twain's rise as America's foremost man of letters. Through original research unearthing never-before-seen material, author John Muller explores how Mark Twain's adventures as a capital correspondent proved to be a critical turning point in his career..

Mark Twain in Washington, D.C.: The Adventures of a Capital Correspondent Cover Image
By John Muller, Donald T. Ambassador Bliss (Foreword by), Donald A. Ritchie (Foreword by)
$19.99
ISBN: 9781609499648
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: History Press - October 29th, 2013

October 25, 2013

Jeff Greenfield spoke about his book, If Kennedy Lived: The First and Second Terms of President John F. Kennedy: An Alternate History, at Politics & Prose on Friday, October 25, 2013.

In Then Everything Changed, Jeff Greenfield created an “utterly compelling” (Joe Klein), “riveting” (The New York Times), “eye-opening” (Peggy Noonan), “captivating” (Doris Kearns Goodwin) exploration of three modern alternate histories, “with the kind of political insight and imagination only he possesses” (David Gregory). Based on memoirs, histories, oral histories, fresh reporting, and his own knowledge of the players, the book looked at the tiny hinges of history—and the extraordinary changes that would have resulted if they had gone another way.

Now he presents his most compelling narrative of all about the historical event that has riveted us for fifty years. What if Kennedy were not killed that fateful day? What would the 1964 campaign have looked like? Would changes have been made to the ticket? How would Kennedy, in his second term, have approached Vietnam, civil rights, the Cold War? With Hoover as an enemy, would his indiscreet private life finally have become public? Would his health issues have become so severe as to literally cripple his presidency? And what small turns of fate in the days and years before Dallas might have kept him from ever reaching the White House in the first place?

As with Then Everything Changed, the answers Greenfield provides and the scenarios he develops are startlingly realistic, rich in detail, shocking in their projections, but always deeply, remarkably plausible. It is a tour de force of American political history.

If Kennedy Lived: The First and Second Terms of President John F. Kennedy: An Alternate History Cover Image
ISBN: 9780451471321
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: New American Library - November 4th, 2014

October 23, 2013

Simon Winchester spoke about his book, The Men Who United the States: America's Explorers, Inventors, Eccentrics and Mavericks, and the Creation of One Nation, Indivisible, at Politics & Prose on Wednesday, October 23, 2013.

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"? In this monumental history, Simon Winchester addresses these questions, bringing together the breathtaking achievements of those American pioneers who helped to forge and unify the new nation, and who toiled fearlessly to bond the citizens and geography of the United States from its very beginnings. This sweeping narrative details how these daring men, some famous, some forgotten, left their mark on America's natural landscapes, through courage, ingenuity, and hard work.

Winchester follows the footsteps of America's most crucial innovators, thinkers, and explorers, from Lewis and Clark and the leaders of the Great Surveys of the West to the builders of the first transcontinental railroad and the curmudgeonly civil engineer who oversaw the creation of more than three million miles of highway. Winchester travels across vast swaths of the American landscape, from Pittsburgh to Portland, Seattle to Anchorage, Truckee to Laramie, using the five classical elements--Wood, Earth, Water, Fire, and Metal--to chart the contributions these adventurous leaders made to connect the diverse communities within the United States and ensure the future of the American project begun in 1776.

The Men Who United the States is an unforgettable journey of unprecedented scope across time and open spaces, providing a new lens through which to view American history, led by one of our most gifted writers.

The Men Who United the States: America's Explorers, Inventors, Eccentrics, and Mavericks, and the Creation of One Nation, Indivisible Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062079619
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Harper Perennial - September 16th, 2014

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