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The Cold War saw scientists in East and West racing to create amazing new technologies, the like of which the world had never seen. Yet not everyone was taken by surprise. From super-powerful atomic weapons to rockets and space travel, readers of science fiction (SF) had seen it all before. Sometimes reality lived up to the SF vision, at other times it didn't. The hydrogen bomb was as terrifyingly destructive as anything in fiction, while real-world lasers didn't come close to the promise of the classic SF ray gun. Nevertheless, when the scientific Cold War culminated in the Strategic Defense Initiative of the 1980s, it was so science-fictional in its aspirations that the media dubbed it "Star Wars." This entertaining account, offering a plethora of little known facts and insights from previously classified military projects, shows how the real-world science of the Cold War followed in the footsteps of SF-and how the two together changed our perception of both science and scientists, paving the way for the world we live in today.Show more
In Blood, the Civil War, the most dramatic moment in this nation's history, also produced some of our greatest literature. From tragic charges to prison escapes to the desolation wrought on those who stayed behind, Blood is an extraordinary collection of reminiscences, fiction, and excerpts from diaries and letters by an array of soldiers, writers and observers that includes Abraham Lincoln, General George Pickett, Walt Whitman, Ulysses S. Grant and Stephen Crane. In The War, no one knew it was going to be that bad. World War II killed some 60 million people-20 million of them soldiers-and inflicted wounds, bereavement, poverty and suffering on countless others. But such destruction was an impossible to imagine in advance as it was for young pilots-in-training to imagine their coming fiery deaths; or for Jews to foresee their last moments in the gas chambers; or for parents to imagine their children killed by the mortars and bullets and other munitions that factories churned out in such enormous quantities. As impossible, perhaps, as it is for us to imagine a disaster of similar scale in our future. The War presents an unforgettable mosaic of memoirs from soldiers, citizens and historians, detailing the immense tragedy that stretched from the Western Front to the Pacific Theater.Show more
Saving My Enemy is a Band of Brothers sequel like no other. Guilt nearly killed one of the celebrated Band of Brothers members, Sgt. Don Malarkey. He was a hero for his service in World War II, especially in the Battle of the Bulge, yet he came to the brink of suicide, haunted by the memories of the German soldiers he killed. Across the ocean, Fritz Engelbert was shackled in shame for having been a pawn of Hitler-he too had fought in the Battle of the Bulge-but for the Germans. He could not find peace. Saving My Enemy is the touching true story of two soldiers on opposite sides of WWII whose unlikely friendship, forged in their eighties, dissolves six decades of guilt and shame that had pushed both men to despair. "I contend that every vet crying over his beer in some American Legion hall about something that happened seventy years ago is doing so not because of lost buddies, but because of lost honor, of shame. Long after World War II was over, Don helped restore that honor in Fritz. And Fritz did the same for Don. I was gripped by this story." -Jeff Struecker, a former US Army Ranger who heard this story directly from the men's families Malarkey and Engelbert had completely different backgrounds, but their stories collided amid the largest and bloodiest single battle fought by the USA in WWII-the Battle of the Bulge. Beneath blankets of snow, the earth was hardened like iron. With temperatures dipping below zero degrees Fahrenheit, the conditions were as brutal as any in the history of warfare. This was Germany's last hope to stop the Allies and they were desperate for victory. Fritz, nineteen, a private in the Panzer-Lerh-Division, had the chief duty of being a krad messenger (on a military motorcycle). Don, twenty-three, is a sergeant in E Company, 506th Regiment, and is living in a foxhole in the woods overlooking villages below where Fritz and other German soldiers are awaiting the fight. Both men took quiet moments of introspection. Fritz remembered a dead American soldier he saw alongside the road and he "thought of his parents who would miss him dearly" and felt a certain "brotherhood with the enemy." Two weeks later, as Easy Company pushed Germany back, Don had a similar experience-he had just shot and killed a German soldier and was shocked to find he was only sixteen. "I looked at his face, eyes fixed forever. A face that I wouldn't forget. Not the next day. Not the next month. Not ever." Welch gives intimate glimpses into these men's souls as they fought each other during the war, lived in despair and guilt in the decades that followed, and finally found forgiveness and peace through each other. Don and Fritz's story is one of hope and inspiration that will not be forgotten.Show more
Astrobiology is an exciting new subject, and one, arguably, more interdisciplinary than any other. Astrobiologists seek to understand the origin and evolution of life on Earth in order to illuminate and guide the search for life on other planets. In this Very Short Introduction, David C. Catling introduces the subject through our understanding of the factors that allowed life to arise and persist on our own planet, and for the signs we are looking for in the search for extraterrestrial life.Show more
The endgame for Hitler's Reich Hitler's army had dared all to win all on the Western Front with its surprise winter campaign in the Ardennes, the "Battle of the Bulge." But when American and Allied forces recovered from their initial shock, the German Army, the Wehrmacht, was left fighting for its very survival-especially on the Eastern Front, where the Soviet Army was intent on matching, or even surpassing, Nazi atrocities. At the mercy of the Fuhrer-who refused to acknowledge reality and insisted on forbidding German retreats-the Wehrmacht was slowly annihilated in horrific battles that have rarely been adequately covered in histories of the Second World War, perhaps most especially the brutal Soviet siege of Budapest, which became known as "the Stalingrad of the Waffen-SS." Now, at last, veteran military historian Dr. Samuel Mitcham, in the capstone of a career covering of more than forty books-most of them on the German Armed Forces in World War II-tells the extraordinary tale of how Hitler's once-feared war machine came to a cataclysmic end, from the Battle of the Bulge in December 1944 to the German surrender in May 1945. Making use of German wartime papers and memoirs-some rarely seen in English-language sources-Mitcham's sweeping narrative makes The Death of Hitler's War Machine: The Final Destruction of the Wehrmacht a book that needs to be on the shelf of every student of World War II history.Show more
Bastard's Eve is a night of celebration for most residents in the canal city of Lodi-but not for sorcerer Learned Penric and his Temple demon Desdemona, who find themselves caught up in the affairs of a shiplost madman, a dangerous ascendant demon, and a very unexpected saint of the fifth god. This novella falls between "Penric's Fox" and "Penric's Mission" in the internal chronology of the Penric & Desdemona tales.Show more
The biggest crime story in American history began on the night of March 1, 1932, when the twenty-month-old son of Charles and Anne Lindbergh was snatched from his crib in Hopewell, New Jersey. The news shocked a nation enthralled with the aviator, the first person to fly solo nonstop across the Atlantic. American law enforcement marshalled all its resources to return "Little Lindy" to the arms of his parents-and perhaps even more energized were the legions of journalists catering to a public whose appetite for Lindbergh news was insatiable. In Little Lindy Is Kidnapped, Thomas Doherty offers a lively and comprehensive cultural history of the media coverage of the abduction and its aftermath. Beginning with Lindbergh's ascent to fame and proceeding through the trial and execution of the accused kidnapper, Doherty traces how newspapers, radio, and newsreels reported on what was dubbed the "crime of the century." He casts the affair as a transformative moment for American journalism, analyzing how the case presented new challenges and opportunities for each branch of the media in the days before the rise of television. Coverage of the Lindbergh story, Doherty reveals, set the template for the way the media would treat breaking news ever after. An engrossing account of an endlessly fascinating case, Little Lindy Is Kidnapped sheds new light on an enduring quality of journalism ever since: the media's eye on a crucial part of the story-itself.Show more
Take another super-big globe-trotting, plaid pants spotting adventure with Samantha Spinner and her brother, Nipper, in the fourth book in this hilarious, puzzle-packed series! Perfect for fans of Mr. Lemoncello's Library and the Secret series, and classics like Holes and The Westing Game. Samantha Spinner's Uncle Paul has gone missing again. But this time, he left behind a yellow mitten and a note: Watch out for the SNOW! That's weird, especially because they're in Seattle . . . and it's the middle of summer! Samantha has defeated ninjas, battled clowns, and faced down daredevils. But with the sinister SNOW, she may have met her math!* A puzzling uncle, a mission to Michigan, and a mysterious mitten. Let's hope Samantha's super-annoying brother can lend her a hand with . . . the PERPLEXING PANTS! *That's a super-secret clue.Show more
In this new collection, Ben Bova has compiled fourteen of his favorite short stories. Each story includes an all-new introduction with compelling insight into the narrative. Exploring the boundaries of the genre, Bova not only writes of spaceships, aliens, and time travel in most of his titles, but also speculates on the beginnings of science fiction in "Scheherazade and the Storytellers," as well as the morality of man in "The Angel's Gift." Stories such as "The Café Coup" and "We'll Always Have Paris" dip into speculative historical fiction, asking questions about what would happen if someone could change history for the better. This expansive collection is a key addition for Bova fans and sci-fi lovers alike! Stories included in this collection: "Monster Slayer," "Muzhestvo," "We'll Always Have Paris," "The Great Moon Hoax, or A Princess of Mars," "Inspiration," "Scheherazade and the Storytellers," "The Supersonic Zeppelin," "Mars Farts," "The Man Who Hated Gravity," "Sepulcher," "The Café Coup," "The Angel's Gift," "Waterbot," and "Sam and the Flying Dutchman."Show more
Previously unpublished, this German postwar classic is one of the best books of this major writer, who died in 2014. The last summer before the end of World War II, Walter Proska is posted to a small unit tasked with ensuring the safety of a railway line deep in the forest on the border with Ukraine and Belarus. In this swampy region, a handful of men-stunned by the heat, attacked by mosquitoes, and abandoned by their own troops in the face of the Resistance-must also submit to the increasingly absurd and inhuman orders of their superior. Time passes, and the soldiers isolate themselves, haunted by madness and the desire for death. An encounter with a young Polish partisan, Wanda, makes Proska further doubt the validity of his oath of allegiance, and he seeks to answer the questions that obsess him: When conscience and duty clash, which is more important? Is it possible to take any action without becoming guilty in some way? And where is Wanda, this woman from the Resistance he can't forget? A posthumous triumph, The Turncoat, written in 1951, is Siegfried Lenz's second novel. Rejected by his publisher, who thought that the story of a German soldier defecting to the Soviet side would be unwelcome in the context of the Cold War, the manuscript was forgotten for nearly seventy years before being rediscovered after the author's death.Show more
After World War II, 50 percent of Americans polled said they didn't believe Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun had committed suicide in their bunker in 1945, as captured Nazi officials claimed. Instead, they believed the dictator faked his death and escaped, perhaps to Argentina. This wasn't a crazy opinion: Joseph Stalin told Allied leaders that Soviet forces never discovered Hitler's body and that he personally believed the Nazi leader had escaped justice. At least two German submarines crossed the Atlantic and landed on the coast of Argentina in July 1945. Plus, there were numerous reports of top Nazi officials successfully fleeing to South America, where there was a large German colony. So what really happened? Popular history writer Robert J. Hutchinson, author of What Really Happened: The Lincoln Assassination, takes a fresh look at the evidence and discovers, once and for all, the truth about Hitler's last week in Berlin. Among the questions the book explores are: What did surviving Nazi eyewitnesses really say about the Führer's final days in the bunker-and could they have been lying to aid Hitler's escape?If Hitler didn't escape, why did the Allies not find his body?What about Hitler's proven use of body doubles? Could Hitler have used a body double in the bunker while he and Eva Braun flew to safety in a long-range aircraft that took off from a runway in Berlin's Tiergarten?Why did the FBI continue to investigate reports of Hitler's survival for more than a decade after World War II-reports that were only declassified in 2014?What about sensational claims in books such as The Grey Wolf that Hitler and Eva Braun lived in an isolated chalet in the Andes-and that Hitler died in 1962?Why were forensic tests on crucial physical evidence only conducted in 2016, more than seventy years after World War II ended?And much moreShow more
When a mysterious plague breaks out in the army fort guarding Vilnoc, the port capital of the duchy of Orbas, Temple sorcerer Penric and his demon Desdemona are called upon by General Arisaydia to resurrect Penric's medical skills and solve its lethal riddle. In the grueling days that follow, Pen will find that even his magic is not enough to meet the challenges without help from dedicated new colleagues-and the god of mischance.Show more
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