3330 books for genre «Books ~~ Biography & Autobiography~~ Historical»

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Since his execution by guillotine in July 1794, Maximilien Robespierre has been contested terrain for historians, at once the most notorious leader of the French Revolution and the least comprehensible. Was he a bloodthirsty charlatan or the only true defender of revolutionary ideals? Was his extreme moralism--­he was known as "The Incorruptible"--­a heroic virtue or a ruinous flaw? Was he the first modern dictator or the earliest democrat? Against the dramatic backdrop of the French Revolution, historian Ruth Scurr follows the trajectory of Robespierre's paradoxical life, from his unprepossessing beginnings as a provincial lawyer opposed to repressive authority and the death penalty, to his meteoric rise in Paris politics as a devastatingly efficient revolutionary leader, righteous and paranoid in equal measure. She explores his reformist zeal, his role in the trial of the king and the fall of the monarchy, his passionate attempt to design a modern republic, even his extraordinary . . .

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A Top 10 Nonfiction book of 2011 A Best Nonfiction title for 2011

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A dramatic, thought-­provoking portrait of one of the most compelling figures in early Christianity which explores two thousand years of history, art, and literature to provide a close-­up look at Mary Magdalen and her significance in religious and cultural thought.

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During her 110-­year lifetime, Maude Allen Williams went from oil lamps to a microwave oven, from the horse and buggy to an automobile. She stepped onto an airplane for the first time at age 77. Maude was married at 19, four months pregnant, to Lee Williams. She once said her Puritan forefathers might not have approved. The cold winds of winter and the hot winds of summer blew under the ill-­fitting doors of the family's sprawling, story-­and-­a-­half, 10-­room farmhouse on the banks of Rush Creek. It had been built in 1853 by Lee's grandfather on a Congressional land grant. The couple had no electricity, no indoor plumbing. While her husband plowed and planted the fields, Maude baked bread in the oven of her temperamental 400-­pound wood-­burning Kalamazoo stove, churned butter, canned fruits from the orchard and vegetables from the garden, did the laundry on a washboard until after her four youngsters were potty trained, made their clothes by hand from flour sacks, and read to them by . . .

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1963 saw Labour's emergence from its 'wilderness years' in Opposition, and the election of Harold Wilson following the unexpected death of Hugh Gaitskell. In the first Wilson government of 1964 Benn was made Postmaster General and became known as an innovator for his introduction of the Giro and arguing for a radical broadcasting policy. After Labour's landslide victory of 1966 he was appointed to the Cabinet as Minister of Technology, but Labour's honeymoon came to an abrupt end in 1967 with the introduction of devaluation, leading to disilliusionment with the Government. Tony Benn's account on his relations with the industrialists, television and press chiefs, the Palace and the diplomatic world as well as trade unionists, civil servants, and his Cabinet colleagues, reveals the workings of our political and economic systems at the highest level. is a unique political record of the 1960s, told by a man who served in five Labour administrations and who today is one of the most . . .

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A Vietnamese Bicycle Days by a stunning new voice in American letters.­Andrew X. Pham dreamed of becoming a writer. Born in Vietnam and raised in California, he held technical jobs at United Airlines-­and always carried a letter of resignation in his briefcase. His father had been a POW of the Vietcong; his family came to America as "boat people.­" His sister committed suicide, prompting Andrew to quit his job. He sold all of his possessions and embarked on a year-­long bicycle journey that took him through the Mexican desert, where he was treated as a bueno hermano, a "good brother"; around a thousand-­mile loop from Narita to Kyoto in Japan; and, after five months and 2,­357 miles, to Saigon, where he finds "nothing familiar in the bombed-­out darkness.­" In Mexico he's treated kindly as a Vietnamito, though he shouts, "I'm American, Vietnamese American!­" In Vietnam, he's taken for Japanese or Korean by his countrymen, except, of course, by his relatives, who doubt that as a Vietnamese . . .

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Books for genre Books ~~ Biography & Autobiography~~...