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A powerful work of visual nonfiction about three generations of an Apache family struggling to protect sacred land from a multinational mining corporation, by MacArthur "Genius" and National Book Award finalist Lauren Redniss, the acclaimed author of Thunder & Lightning. Oak Flat is a serene high-elevation mesa that sits above the southeastern Arizona desert, fifteen miles to the west of the San Carlos Apache Indian Reservation. For the San Carlos tribe, Oak Flat is a holy place, an ancient burial ground and religious site where Apache girls celebrate the coming-of-age ritual known as the Sunrise Ceremony. In 1995, a massive untapped copper reserve was discovered nearby. A decade later, a law was passed transferring the area to a private company, whose planned copper mine will wipe Oak Flat off the map-sending its natural springs, petroglyph-covered rocks, and old-growth trees tumbling into a void. Redniss's deep reporting anchors this mesmerizing human narrative. Oak Flat tells the story of a race-against-time struggle for a swath of American land, which pits one of the poorest communities in the United States against the federal government and two of the world's largest mining conglomerates. The book follows the fortunes of two families with profound connections to the contested site: the Nosies, an Apache family whose teenage daughter is an activist and leader in the Oak Flat fight, and the Gorhams, a mining family whose patriarch was a sheriff in the lawless early days of Arizona statehood. The still-unresolved Oak Flat conflict is ripped from today's headlines, but its story resonates with foundational American themes: the saga of westward expansion, the resistance and resilience of Native peoples, and the efforts of profiteers to control the land and unearth treasure beneath it while the lives of individuals hang in the balance. This audiobook includes a downloadable PDF that contains a selection of original illustrations by the author, which appear in the print book. Read by: Lauren Redniss, Darrell Dennis, Kimberly Farr, Kyla Garcia, Kimberly Guerrero, Hillary Huber, Ami Korn, A. Martinez, Ann Marie Lee, Elizabeth Liang, Crystle Lightning, Jon Lindstrom, John H. Mayer, Arthur Morey, and Tanis ParenteauShow more
In this offbeat approach to leadership, college president Steven B. Sample-the man who turned the University of Southern California into one of the most respected and highly rated universities in the country-challenges many conventional teachings on the subject. Here, Sample outlines an iconoclastic style of leadership that flies in the face of current leadership thought, but a style that unquestionably works, nevertheless. Sample urges leaders and aspiring leaders to focus on some key counterintuitive truths. He offers his own down-to-earth, homespun, and often provocative advice on some complex and thoughtful issues. And he provides many practical, if controversial, tactics for successful leadership, suggesting, among other things, that leaders should sometimes compromise their principles, not read everything that comes across their desks, and always put off decisions.Show more
A literary treasure of over one hundred unpublished letters from National Book Award-winning author Flannery O'Connor and her circle of extraordinary friends. Flannery O'Connor is a master of twentieth-century American fiction, joining, since her untimely death in 1964, the likes of Hawthorne, Hemingway, and Faulkner. Those familiar with her work know that her powerful ethical vision was rooted in a quiet, devout faith and informed all she wrote and did. Good Things Out of Nazareth, a much-anticipated collection of many of O'Connor's previously unpublished letters-along with those of literary luminaries such as Walker Percy (The Moviegoer), Caroline Gordon (None Shall Look Back), Katherine Anne Porter (Ship of Fools), Robert Giroux and movie critic Stanley Kauffmann. The letters explore such themes as creativity, faith, suffering, and writing. Brought together, they form a riveting literary portrait of these friends, artists, and thinkers. Here we find their joys and loves, as well as their trials and tribulations as they struggle with doubt and illness while championing their beliefs and often confronting racism in American society during the civil rights era. Praise for Good Things Out of Nazareth "An epistolary group portrait that will appeal to readers interested in the Catholic underpinnings of O'Connor's life and work . . . These letters by the National Book Award-winning short story writer and her friends alternately fit and break the mold. Anyone looking for Southern literary gossip will find plenty of barbs. . . . But there's also higher-toned talk on topics such as the symbolism in O'Connor's work and the nature of free will."-Kirkus Reviews "A fascinating set of Flannery O'Connor's correspondence . . . The compilation is highlighted by gems from O'Connor's writing mentor, Caroline Gordon. . . . While O'Connor's milieu can seem intimidatingly insular, the volume allows readers to feel closer to the writer, by glimpsing O'Connor's struggles with lupus, which sometimes leaves her bedridden or walking on crutches, and by hearing her famously strong Georgian accent in the colloquialisms she sprinkles throughout the letters. . . . This is an important addition to the knowledge of O'Connor, her world, and her writing."-Publishers WeeklyShow more
The remarkable story of Benjamin Rush, medical pioneer and one of our nation's most provocative and unsung Founding Fathers In the summer of 1776, fifty-six men put their quills to a dangerous document they called the Declaration of Independence. Among them was a thirty-year-old doctor named Benjamin Rush. One of the youngest signatories, he was also, among stiff competition, one of the most visionary. A brilliant physician and writer, Rush was known as the "American Hippocrates" for pioneering national healthcare and revolutionizing treatment of mental illness and addiction. Yet medicine is only part of his legacy. Dr. Rush was both a progressive thorn in the side of the American political establishment-a vocal opponent of slavery, capital punishment, and prejudice by race, religion or gender-and close friends with its most prominent leaders. He was the protégé of Franklin, the editor of Common Sense, Washington's surgeon general, and the broker of peace between Adams and Jefferson, yet his stubborn convictions more than once threatened his career and his place in the narrative of America's founding. Drawing on a trove of previously unpublished letters and images, the voluminous correspondence between Rush and his better-known counterparts, and his candid and incisive personal writings, New York Times bestselling author and award-winning journalist Stephen Fried resurrects the most significant Founding Father we've never heard of and finally installs Dr. Rush in the pantheon of great American leaders.Show more
The adventures in Humphrey's Room 26 are hopping back into the spotlight, from the perspective of Og the Frog! When Og the Frog first comes to Room 26, he doesn't know what to think. He misses his friends from the pond, there are all kinds of strange noises, and the water is his tank just might be too clean (you know, a little muck never hurt anyone). But the furry, squeaky fellow living next to him is endlessly entertaining, the kids sure are friendly, and--BING, BANG, BOING!--they put big fat crickets right into his tank. All of this gives Og lots of ideas for one of his favorite passtimes--making up poems and songs. But he gets stumped when talk turns to sending him back to the pond. Will he have to say good-bye to Tabitha whose whole life just changed like his? Or Mandy who just started seeing the bright side of things with his help? And Humphrey, who he's finally beginning to figure out? Og's frog's-eye view of the world is curious, sympathetic, and poetic, and the perfect companion to The World According to Humphrey.Show more
A sweeping reexamination of the Founding Father who transformed the United States in each of his political "lives"-as a revolutionary thinker, as a partisan political strategist, and as a president Over the course of his life, James Madison changed the United States three times: First, he designed the Constitution, led the struggle for its adoption and ratification, then drafted the Bill of Rights. As an older, cannier politician he co-founded the original Republican party, setting the course of American political partisanship. Finally, having pioneered a foreign policy based on economic sanctions, he took the United States into a high-risk conflict, becoming the first wartime president and, despite the odds, winning. In The Three Lives of James Madison, Noah Feldman offers an intriguing portrait of this elusive genius and the constitutional republic he created-and how both evolved to meet unforeseen challenges. Madison hoped to eradicate partisanship yet found himself giving voice to, and institutionalizing, the political divide. Madison's lifelong loyalty to Thomas Jefferson led to an irrevocable break with George Washington, hero of the American Revolution. Madison closely collaborated with Alexander Hamilton on the Federalist papers-yet their different visions for the United States left them enemies. Alliances defined Madison, too. The vivacious Dolley Madison used her social and political talents to win her husband new supporters in Washington-and define the diplomatic customs of the capital's society. Madison's relationship with James Monroe, a mixture of friendship and rivalry, shaped his presidency and the outcome of the War of 1812. We may be more familiar with other Founding Fathers, but the United States today is in many ways Madisonian in nature. Madison predicted that foreign threats would justify the curtailment of civil liberties. He feared economic inequality and the power of financial markets over politics, believing that government by the people demanded resistance to wealth. Madison was the first Founding Father to recognize the importance of public opinion, and the first to understand that the media could function as a safeguard to liberty. The Three Lives of James Madison is an illuminating biography of the man whose creativity and tenacity gave us America's distinctive form of government. His collaborations, struggles, and contradictions define the United States to this day. Jacket illustration adapted from a 1792 portrait of James Madison by Charles Willson Peale (Gilcrease Museum, Tulsa, Okla.) Advance praise for The Three Lives of James Madison "Noah Feldman brings a scholarly rigor and a gift for narrative to this impressive account of the sprawling-and often perplexing-life of James Madison. Understanding America requires understanding this often-overlooked Founder and his long, eventful life in the arena. We are fortunate indeed that Feldman has given us such a thoughtful examination of Madison's mind and its still-unfolding role in the story of the nation."-Jon Meacham, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power "James Madison is famously known as the 'Father' of the American Constitution. With great insight, conveyed in elegant and commanding prose, Noah Feldman gives us a rich portrait of our fourth president in all his many aspects: constitution maker, politician, partisan, friend, slaveholder, husband, president, and elder statesmen. The result is a fresh, bold, and much-needed look at a pivotal figure in American and, therefore, world history."-Annette Gordon-Reed, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Hemingses of Monticello: An American FamilyShow more
From the award-winning author of The Mushroom Hunters comes the story of an iconic fish, perhaps the last great wild food: salmon. For some, a salmon evokes the distant wild, thrashing in the jaws of a hungry grizzly bear on TV. For others, it’s the catch of the day on a restaurant menu, or a deep red fillet at the market. For others still, it’s the jolt of adrenaline on a successful fishing trip. Our fascination with these superlative fish is as old as humanity itself. Long a source of sustenance among native peoples, salmon is now more popular than ever. Fish hatcheries and farms serve modern appetites with a domesticated “product”—while wild runs of salmon dwindle across the globe. How has this once-abundant resource reached this point, and what can we do to safeguard wild populations for future generations? Langdon Cook goes in search of the salmon in Upstream, his timely and in-depth look at how these beloved fish have nourished humankind through the ages and why their destiny is so closely tied to our own. Cook journeys up and down salmon country, from the glacial rivers of Alaska to the rainforests of the Pacific Northwest to California’s drought-stricken Central Valley and a wealth of places in between. Reporting from remote coastlines and busy city streets, he follows today’s commercial pipeline from fisherman’s net to corporate seafood vendor to boutique marketplace. At stake is nothing less than an ancient livelihood. But salmon are more than food. They are game fish, wildlife spectacle, sacred totem, and inspiration—and their fate is largely in our hands. Cook introduces us to tribal fishermen handing down an age-old tradition, sport anglers seeking adventure and a renewed connection to the wild, and scientists and activists working tirelessly to restore salmon runs. In sharing their stories, Cook covers all sides of the debate: the legacy of overfishing and industrial development; the conflicts between fishermen, environmentalists, and Native Americans; the modern proliferation of fish hatcheries and farms; and the longstanding battle lines of science versus politics, wilderness versus civilization. This firsthand account—reminiscent of the work of John McPhee and Mark Kurlansky—is filled with the keen insights and observations of the best narrative writing. Cook offers an absorbing portrait of a remarkable fish and the many obstacles it faces, while taking readers on a fast-paced fishing trip through salmon country. Upstream is an essential look at the intersection of man, food, and nature. Advance praise for Upstream “Langdon Cook delivers a beautifully written portrait of the iconic salmon that blends history, biology, contentious politics, and the joy of fishing into a captivating and thought-provoking tale.”—Eric Jay Dolin, author of Brilliant Beacons “Salmon are the essence of the Pacific Northwest, and as Langdon Cook shows so powerfully, they are the key to its future. From the wild flats of Alaska’s Copper River to the straitjacketed creeks of California, Upstream captures the myriad ways people and salmon are deeply intertwined.”—Rowan Jacobsen, author of The Essential Oyster “In this fresh tale of an ancient wonder, Langdon Cook takes us on an inspired journey of discovery through the heart and soul of salmon country.”—David R. Montgomery, author of King of Fish and Growing a Revolution “Cook takes the reader on a thrilling adventure through the mountains, rivers, farmlands, and kitchens where progress, against all odds, is being made.”—Zeb Hogan, biologist and host of Nat Geo Wild’s Monster FishShow more
Not since Betty Eadie’s Embraced by the Light has a personal account of a Near-Death Experience (NDE) been so utterly different from most others—or nearly as compelling. In the thirty years since Raymond Moody’s Life After Life appeared, a familiar pattern of NDEs has emerged: suddenly floating over one’s own body, usually in a hospital setting, then a sudden hurtling through a tunnel of light toward a presence of love. Not so in Howard Storm’s case. Storm, an avowed atheist, was awaiting emergency surgery when he realized that he was at death’s door. Storm found himself out of his own body, looking down on the hospital room scene below. Next, rather than going “toward the light,” he found himself being torturously dragged to excruciating realms of darkness and death, where he was physically assaulted by monstrous beings of evil. His description of his pure terror and torture is unnerving in its utter originality and convincing detail. Finally, drawn away from death and transported to the realm of heaven, Storm met angelic beings as well as the God of Creation. In this fascinating account, Storm tells of his “life review,” his conversation with God, even answers to age-old questions such as why the Holocaust was allowed to take place. Storm was sent back to his body with a new knowledge of the purpose of life here on earth. This book is his message of hope. "This is a book you devour from cover to cover, and pass on to others. This is a book you will quote in your daily conversation. Storm was meant to write it and we were meant to read it." -From the foreward by Anne Rice As I lay on the ground, my tormentors swarming around me, a voice emerged from my chest. It sounded like my voice, but it wasn’t a thought of mine. I didn’t say it. The voice that sounded like my voice, but wasn’t, said, “Pray to God.” I remember thinking, “Why? What a stupid idea. That doesn’t work. What a cop-out . . .” That voice said it again, “Pray to God!” It was more definite this time. I wasn’t sure what to do. Praying, for me as a child, had been something I had watched adults doing. It was something fancy and had to be done just so. I tried to remember prayers from my childhood experiences in Sunday school. Prayer was something you memorized. What could I remember from so long ago? Tentatively, I murmured a line, which was a jumble from the Twenty-third Psalm, “The Star-Spangled Banner,” the Lord’s Prayer, the Pledge of Allegiance, and “God Bless America,” and whatever other churchly sounding phrases came to mind. “Yea, though I walk in the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for thou art with me. For purple mountain majesty, mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord. Deliver us from evil. One nation under God. God Bless America.” To my amazement, the cruel, merciless beings tearing the life out of me were incited to rage by my ragged prayer. It was as if I were throwing boiling oil on them. They screamed at me, “There is no God! Who do you think you’re talking to? Nobody can hear you! Now we are really going to hurt you.” They spoke in the most obscene language, worse than any blasphemy said on earth. But at the same time, they were backing away. —From My Descent into Death - See more at: http://www.penguinrandomhouseaudio.com/book/174224/my-descent-into-death/#sthash.Do6Ie4xX.dpufShow more
In curiously parallel lives, Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr were both orphaned at an early age. Both were brilliant students who attended college? one at Princeton, the other at Columbia?and studied law. Both were young staff officers under General George Washington, and both became war heroes. Politics beckoned them, and each served in the newly formed government of the fledgling nation. Why, then, did these two face each other at dawn in a duel that ended with death for one and opprobrium for the other? Judith St. George's lively biography, told in alternating chapters, brings to life two complex men who played major roles in the formation of the United States.Show more
The bestselling author of A Tale Dark and Grimm takes on medieval times in an exciting and hilarious new adventure about history, religion . . . and farting dragons. 1242. On a dark night, travelers from across France cross paths at an inn and begin to tell stories of three children: William, an oblate on a mission from his monastery; Jacob, a Jewish boy who has fled his burning village; and Jeanne, a peasant girl who hides her prophetic visions. They are accompanied by Jeanne's loyal greyhound, Gwenforte . . . recently brought back from the dead. As the narrator collects their tales, the story of these three unlikely allies begins to come together. Their adventures take them on a chase through France to escape prejudice and persecution and save precious and holy texts from being burned. They’re taken captive by knights, sit alongside a king, and save the land from a farting dragon. And as their quest drives them forward to a final showdown at Mont Saint-Michel, all will come to question if these children can perform the miracles of saints. Beloved bestselling author Adam Gidwitz makes his long awaited return with his first new world since his hilarious and critically acclaimed Grimm series. Filled with Adam’s trademark style and humor, The Inquisitor's Tale is bold storytelling that’s richly researched and adventure-packed. Read by Vikas Adam, Mark Bramhall, Jonathan Cowley, Kimberly Farr, Adam Gidwitz, Ann Marie Lee, Bruce Mann, John H. Mayer, and Arthur Morey Features medieval music performed by Benjamin Bagby of SequentiaShow more
For readers of Station Eleven and The Snow Child, Lily Brooks-Dalton's haunting debut is the unforgettable story of two outsiders-a lonely scientist in the Arctic and an astronaut trying to return to Earth-as they grapple with love, regret, and survival in a world transformed. Augustine, a brilliant, aging astronomer, is consumed by the stars. For years he has lived in remote outposts, studying the sky for evidence of how the universe began. At his latest posting, in a research center in the Arctic, news of a catastrophic event arrives. The scientists are forced to evacuate, but Augustine stubbornly refuses to abandon his work. Shortly after the others have gone, Augustine discovers a mysterious child, Iris, and realizes that the airwaves have gone silent. They are alone. At the same time, Mission Specialist Sullivan is aboard the Aether on its return flight from Jupiter. The astronauts are the first human beings to delve this deep into space, and Sully has made peace with the sacrifices required of her: a daughter left behind, a marriage ended. So far the journey has been a success. But when Mission Control falls inexplicably silent, Sully and her crewmates are forced to wonder if they will ever get home. As Augustine and Sully each face an uncertain future against forbidding yet beautiful landscapes, their stories gradually intertwine in a profound and unexpected conclusion. In crystalline prose, Good Morning, Midnight poses the most important questions: What endures at the end of the world? How do we make sense of our lives? Lily Brooks-Dalton's captivating debut is a meditation on the power of love and the bravery of the human heart. Advance praise for Good Morning, Midnight "Good Morning, Midnight is a remarkable and gifted debut novel. Lily Brooks-Dalton is an uncanny chronicler of desolate spaces, whether it's the cold expanse of the universe or the deepest recesses of the human heart."-Colson Whitehead "What does it mean to be isolated from the ordinariness of the everyday world, yet to find the extraordinariness of being close to another human being? With imagination, empathy, and insight into unchanged and unchangeable human nature, Lily Brooks-Dalton takes us on an emotional journey in this beautiful debut."-Yiyun Li "A truly original novel, otherworldly and profoundly human . . . This beautiful story reminds us of our deep longing for connection-with those we love, with strangers, with ourselves. We come to understand that, across time and distance, in the face of isolation and emptiness, it is tenderness and communication that keep us tethered to each other. Good Morning, Midnight is a fascinating story, surprising and inspiring at every turn."-Keith ScribnerShow more
With the Pulitzer Prize–winning The Looming Tower, Lawrence Wright became generally acknowledged as one of our major journalists writing on terrorism in the Middle East. Here, in ten powerful pieces first published in The New Yorker, he recalls the path that terror in the Middle East has taken, from the rise of al-Qaeda in the 1990s to the recent beheadings of reporters and aid workers by ISIS. The Terror Years draws on several articles he wrote while researching The Looming Tower, as well as many that he’s written since, following where and how al-Qaeda and its core cultlike beliefs have morphed and spread. They include a portrait of the “man behind bin Laden,” Ayman al-Zawahiri, and the tumultuous Egypt he helped spawn; an indelible impression of Saudi Arabia, a kingdom of silence under the control of the religious police; the Syrian film industry, at the time compliant at the edges but already exuding a feeling of the barely masked fury that erupted into civil war; the 2006–11 Israeli-Palestinian conflict in Gaza, a study in the disparate value of human lives. Other chapters examine al-Qaeda as it forms a master plan for its future, experiences a rebellion from within the organization, and spins off a growing web of worldwide terror. The American response is covered in profiles of two FBI agents and the head of the intelligence community. The book ends with a devastating piece about the capture and slaying by ISIS of four American journalists and aid workers, and our government’s failed response. On the fifteenth anniversary of 9/11, The Terror Years is at once a unifying recollection of the roots of contemporary Middle Eastern terrorism, a study of how it has grown and metastasized, and, in the scary and moving epilogue, a cautionary tale of where terrorism might take us yet. With a Prologue read by the Author AFP PHOTO/HO/ISILShow more
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