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Title Author Description
book image The Judges of the Secret Court
Judges of the Secret Court
David Stacton
Stacton
+ Description

Stacton’s historical recreation of John Wilkes Booth’s plot to assassinate Lincoln, its execution, and its aftermath (including the trials of the conspirators, Mary Surratt among them) is among the finest books ever written about the Civil War. “David Stacton is an original, finely pitched voice in American fiction.” —Larry McMurtry
Contributors: John Crowley

book image Reveille in Washington: 1860–1865
Reveille in Washington
Margaret Leech
Leech
+ Description

This Pulitzer Prize–winning view of Washington during the Civil War forgoes the battlefield to focus on the daily life, political intrigues, and social currents of the young capital. Leech brings to life extravagant dinner parties, saloon backrooms, makeshift barracks, and White House halls. "Packed and running over with the anecdotes, scandals, personalities, and tragi-comedies of the day." —The New Yorker
Contributors: James M. McPherson

book image Defeat: Napoleon's Russian Campaign
Defeat
Philippe-Paul de Ségur
Segur
+ Description

Ségur's eye-witness account of what remains one of the greatest military disasters of all time is a masterpiece of military history and was an essential source for Tolstoy's War and Peace. It is also a reminder of the risks of imperial hubris.
Contributors: Mark Danner , J. David Townsend

book image Miami and the Siege of Chicago
Miami and the Siege of Chicago
Norman Mailer
Mailer
+ Description

1968 was one of the most tumultuous years in American politics and society, the effects of which reverberate today. Norman Mailer was on the ground, covering Nixon's relentlessly stage-managed nomination in Miami as well as the Democratic convention in Chicago—where the violence at the heart of the American dream exploded on the streets.
Contributors: Frank Rich

book image Names on the Land: A Historical Account of Place-Naming in the United States
Names on the Land
George R. Stewart
Stewart
+ Description

Organized thematically (sample chapters: "Yankee Flavor," "America Discovers Columbus," and "How Names Were Symbols of Empire") this lighthearted book will be a delight for anyone who ever wondered how their hometown, or (more likely) the next town over, could be called that.
Contributors: Matt Weiland

book image Born Under Saturn: The Character and Conduct of Artists
Born Under Saturn
Margot and Rudolf Wittkower
Wittkower
+ Description

A rare art history classic that The New York Times calls a "delightful, scholarly and gossipy romp through the character and conduct of artists from antiquity to the French Revolution."
Contributors: Joseph Connors

book image A Savage War of Peace: Algeria 1954-1962
Savage War of Peace
Alistair Horne
Horne
+ Description

Not only essential reading for anyone who wishes to investigate this dark stretch of history, but a lasting monument of the historian's art.

book image The Jeffersonian Transformation: Passages from the "History"
Jeffersonian Transformation
Henry Adams
Adams
+ Description

The ideal introduction and companion to Adams's "massive and magisterial" history of the administrations of Jefferson and Madison, presenting an indelible picture of America's startling rise to world power.
Contributors: Garry Wills

book image The Age of Conversation
Age of Conversation
Benedetta Craveri
Craveri
+ Description

An award-winning look at French salons and the women who presided over them.
Contributors: Teresa Waugh

book image Moura: The Dangerous Life of the Baroness Budberg
Moura
Nina Berberova
Berberova
+ Description

In this legendary biography, an unusual labor of love, Berberova paints a portrait of the ultimate survivor, a woman who made her life a triumph of fiction.
Contributors: Marian Schwartz, Richard D. Sylvester