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Title Author Description
book image American Humor: A Study of the National Character
American Humor
Constance Rourke
Rourke
+ Description

Constance Rourke's pioneering "study of the national character" examines such legendary figures as the Yankee, the backwoodsman, and the minstrel singer to show how the popular comic imagination contributed to America's changing self-awareness.
Contributors: Greil Marcus

book image India: A Mosaic
India: A Mosaic
Robert B. Silvers, Barbara Epstein
Roy
+ Description

Nine essays on India, all originally published in The New York Review of Books.
Contributors: Arundhati Roy

book image The Moro Affair
Moro Affair
Leonardo Sciascia
Sciascia
+ Description

The Moro Affair presents a chilling picture of how a secretive government and a ruthless terrorist faction help to keep each other in business.
Contributors: Peter Robb , Sacha Rabinovitch

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 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 My Century
My Century
Aleksander Wat
Wat
+ Description

The great Polish poet Aleksander Wat's memoirs provide a powerful and moving account of life in Eastern Europe in the terrible twentieth century.
Contributors: Czesław Miłosz , Richard Lourie

book image The Thirty Years War
Thirty Years War
C.V. Wedgwood
Wedgwood
+ Description

The only comprehensive account of the war in English, C.V. Wedgwood's magisterial book is a triumph of literary history that brings to life the war's campaigns, battles, and negotiations, as well as its terrible human toll.
Contributors: Anthony Grafton

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 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 Looking Back: Heroes, Rascals, and Other Icons of the American Imagination
Looking Back
Russell Baker
Baker
+ Description

In these eleven essays, all originally published in The New York Review of Books, Russell Baker looks back on a group of iconic public figures from his own past.