History > Giveaways
by Ted Anthony Roberts (Goodreads Author)
by Bruce Riedel
In What We Won, CIA and National Security Council veteran Bruce Riedel tells the story of America's secret war in Afghanistan and the defeat of the Soviet 40th Red Army in the war that proved to be the final battle of the cold war. He seeks to answer one simple question —why did this intelligence operation succeed so brilliantly?
Riedel has the vantage point few others can offer: He was ensconced in the CIA's Operations Center when the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan on Christmas Eve 1979. The invasion took the intelligence community by surprise. But the response, initiated by Jimmy Carter and accelerated by Ronald Reagan, was a masterful intelligence enterprise.
Many books have been written about intelligence failures —from Pearl Harbor to 9/11. Much less has been written about how and why intelligence operations succeed. The answer is complex. It involves both the weaknesses and mistakes of America's enemies, as well as good judgment and strengths of the United States.
Riedel introduces and explores the complex personalities pitted in the war —the Afghan communists, the Russians, the Afghan mujahedin, the Saudis, and the Pakistanis. And then there are the Americans —in this war, no Americans fought on the battlefield. The CIA did not send officers into Afghanistan to fight or even to train.
In 1989, victory for the American side of the cold war seemed complete. Now we can see that a new era was also beginning in the Afghan war in the 1980s, the era of the global jihad. This book examines the lessons we can learn from this intelligence operation for the future and makes some observations on what came next in Afghanistan —and what is likely yet to come. [close]
by Jason Ryan
Thus, by 1980—the year Charles Marsland was elected Honolulu's top prosecutor—the honeymoon island paradise was also plagued by violence, corruption and organized crime. The zeal that Marsland brought to his crusade against the Hawaiian underworld was relentless, self-destructive, and very personal. Five years earlier, Marsland’s son had been gunned down. His efforts to bring his son’s killers to justice—and indeed, eradicate the entire organized criminal element in Hawaii—make for an extraordinary tale that culminates with intense courtroom drama.
Hawaii Five-O meets Wiseguy in author Jason Ryan’s vigorously reported chronicle of brazen gangsters, brutal murders, and a father’s quest for vengeance—all set against an unlikely backdrop of seductive tropical beauty.
by N.B. Goldzer (Goodreads Author)
by Tavis Smiley, David Ritz
Martin Luther King, Jr. died in one of the most shocking assassinations the world has known, but little is remembered about the life he led in his final year. Smiley recounts the final 365 days of King's life, revealing the minister's trials and tribulations -- denunciations by the press, rejection from the president, dismissal by the country's black middle class and militants, assaults on his character, ideology, and political tactics, to name a few - all of which he had to rise above in order to lead and address the racism, poverty, and militarism that threatened to destroy our democracy.
Smiley's DEATH OF A KING paints a portrait of a leader and visionary in a narrative different from all that have come before. Here is an exceptional glimpse into King's life - one that adds both nuance and gravitas to his legacy as an American hero. [close]
by Susan Ottaway
When elderly recluse Eileen Nearne died, few suspected that the quiet little old lady was a decorated WWII war hero. Volunteering to serve for British intelligence at age 21, Eileen was posted to Nazi-occupied France to send encoded messages of crucial importance for the Allies, until her capture by the Gestapo.
Eileen was not the only agent in her family-her sister Jacqueline was a courier for the French resistance. While Jacqueline narrowly avoided arrest, Eileen was tortured by the Nazis, then sent to the infamous Ravensbrück women's concentration camp. Astonishingly, this resourceful young woman eventually escaped her captors and found her way to the advancing American army.
In this amazing true story of triumph and tragedy, Susan Ottaway unveils the secret lives of two sisters who sacrificed themselves to defend their country. [close]
by Joseph Masco
by Dan Sisson, Thom Hartmann
Most contemporary historians celebrate Jefferson’s victory over Adams in 1800 as the beginning of the two-party system, but Sisson believes this reasoning is entirely the wrong lesson. Jefferson saw his election as a peaceful revolution by the American people overturning an elitist faction that was stamping out cherished constitutional rights and trying to transform our young democracy into an authoritarian state. If anything, our current two-party system is a repudiation of Jefferson's theory of revolution and his earnest desire that the people as a whole, not any faction or clique, would triumph in government. Sisson's book makes clear that key ideas of the American Revolution did not reach their full fruition until the "Revolution of 1800," to which we owe the preservation of many of our key rights.
With contributions by Thom Hartmann that bring out the book’s contemporary relevance, this fortieth anniversary edition contains new insights and reflections on how Jefferson’s vision can help us in our own era of polarization, corruption, government overreach, and gridlock.
by Robert W. Mackay
“The Cold War was intensifying, and British submarines had one overriding aim: to defeat the enemy. In blunt
terms, to kill Russian sailors before Russian sailors killed them . . .”
On the eve of the Cuban Missile Crisis, naval lieutenant Ted Hawkins is ordered to serve on the HMCS Alert, a submarine shadowing Soviet submarines. Hampered by trauma-induced claustrophobia and a superior officer with a grudge, Ted struggles to maintain his self-control while performing his duties. But when Alert is struck by an enemy torpedo two hundred miles off the coast of Gibraltar and the boat's commanding officer is incapacitated, ted must take control of the vessel and its crew to ensure they have a fighting chance at survival. [close]
by Greg Oliver, Richard Kamchen
by Narkael (Goodreads Author)
Speaking in this…more
Speaking in this book:
Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus (Pompey The Great)
Lucius Cornelius Sulla Felix
Lucius Licinius Lucullus
Mithridates II of Parthia
Nero Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus
Aulus Vitellius Germanicus Augustus
Gaius Julius Caesar
This book intends to give real conversations with the spirits of Romans. At the very least it is a fictional work of the clash between Great Romans and a modern day woman. Decide which it is only after you read this book.
We speak about their lives, about wine and about women, the gods, military and politics. They believe I was sent to them by the feared wind gods, and maybe I was.
Find out which of them was an avid collector of weird things? Who had leopard skins thrown over a chair and why? Who was a self-admitted sweet tooth and ruined his teeth by drinking honey straight out of jugs?
Was Nero a madman and did he start the great fire of Rome? Was Domitia an adulteress? Was Julius Caesar homosexual? What was the background of Pompeius really?
Find out in the words of the Romans Channeled.
As one should have expected with the Romans, this book contains violence and sexual material and should only be read by an adult audience. [close]
by Allan H. Goodman (Goodreads Author)
The book is authored by Allan H.Goodman, a judge, a mediator, and an arbitrator…more
The book is authored by Allan H.Goodman, a judge, a mediator, and an arbitrator.
Father, Son, Stone blends history and mystery to reveal the secret of the most controversial religious site in Jerusalem - known to Jews as the Temple Mount and to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary.
In the year 2035, a grandfather and his grandson enter the Dome of the Rock on the Temple Mount. The grandfather, speaking in Arabic, tells his grandson why Jews no longer pray at the Western Wall.
The grandfather's story begins in 1967 during the Six-Day War, with three Israeli paratroopers fighting in the battle for Jerusalem. The tale continues fifty years later, in 2017, after a catastrophic event near the Temple Mount brings together the same three men - now the Prime Minister of Israel, a Justice of the Supreme Court of Israel, and a Mossad agent. As the crisis unfolds, the three seek to discover the reason behind mysterious events that occurred on the Temple Mount during the Six-Day War. The truth, when finally revealed, changes Jerusalem, and the people who live there, forever. [close]
by Mike Meginnis (Goodreads Author)
In this striki…more
In this striking debut novel, the atomic bombs dropped on Japan are personified as Fat Man and Little Boy. This small measure of humanity is a cruelty the bombs must suffer. Given life from death, the brothers' journey is one of surreal and unsettling discovery, transforming these symbols of mass destruction into beacons of longing and hope.
"Only someone with the deftness of heart of a writer like Mike Meginnis could redefine the war novel into something like Fat Man and Little Boy, a book which translates our basic world of never-ending terror into a highly nuanced and inventive diorama available absolutely nowhere else."—Blake Butler, author of Scorch Atlas and There is No Year
"Beguiling, strange, and strangely lovely, Fat Man and Little Boy is a deeply sorrowful yet mysteriously empowering debut."—Patrick deWitt, author of The Sisters Brothers
"Mike Meginnis is my favorite kind of writer—extraordinarily inventive, formally curious, profoundly moving—and his Fat Man and Little Boy is a debut of impressive ambition, a reinvention of the historical novel, an existential thriller powered by the booming engines of history, the atom, the human heart." —Matt Bell, author of In the House upon the Dirt between the Lake and the Woods
"In Fat Man and Little Boy, Mike Meginnis takes the mother of all atrocities and makes it strange, sizable, turns it so sideways that we're forced to notice, to take heed. This alone is an achievement, but it's the way he does it that dazzles—with gorgeous, careful prose that gives us human failings and a desperate longing for connection so vividly rendered that we have no choice but drink it in, to reckon once again with this disaster in our own time and way."—Amber Sparks, author of The Desert Places and May We Shed These Human Bodies
"In this auspicious debut novel, Mike Meginnis charts a course for two itinerant brother bombs, Fat Man and Little Boy, with a wild and tender fabulist historical imagination. Among the many things I admire here is the overwhelming sense of language's displacement of history: Fat Man and Little Boy, made of flesh and bone, who exploded when they were born.... This is language and literary form grappling with atrocity—and finally delivering us from it. It is difficult to imagine a more humane task for writing."—Evan Lavender-Smith, author of Avatar
"Fat Man and Little Boy doesn't at all feel like a debut novel. Mike Meginnis writes like an old pro, entirely in control and in charge of this strange and haunted world. His prose is tight as hell, yet powerful, poignant and poetic."—Robert Lopez, author of Asunder and Kamby Bolongo Mean River [close]
by Bob Boze Bell
Tens of thousands of travelers from around the world spend millions of dollars…more
Tens of thousands of travelers from around the world spend millions of dollars every year trying to recapture the aura of a simpler time. When gasoline can top $4 a gallon and Route 66 is, in many ways, a shell of its former glory, what keeps them coming? Author Bob Boze Bell, a lifelong resident of Kingman, Arizona (one of the quintessential Route 66 towns), has accumulated a unique sense of the Mother Road's history, not to mention friendships with folks from Kingman and other Route 66 communities. In The 66 Kid--part autobiography, part narrative history, part oral history - Bell offers a highly illustrated account of the world's most famous highway full of the author's personal observations and recollections, and exciting first-person accounts from people who lived, worked, and played along the road. Bell digs deep into the roots of the Route 66, offering insights into the people who made it run: from the neon-lit motels to the greasy-spoon diners, and even the shady roadside attractions. Illustrated with period postcards and photos, as well as the author's own maps and art created for this project, The 66 Kid proves that you can still get your kicks on Route 66. [close]
by D.W. Brown (Goodreads Author)
An evil man getting fat off of human flesh. He prowls the streets looking for his next meal ticket, the fatter, the better tasting.
A young man raping and murdering young girls for the thrill of it—his younger brother a witness, but too afraid to do anything about it.
How would our country look if all criminals suddenly turned themselves in to the police? What if they confessed their crimes instead of their innocence? Would there be a need for prisons? Two men with the ability to see death before it occurs embark on the dangerous mission of forcing these law breakers professing their evil doings.
by Brenda M. Spalding
saved from a speeding car by a tall dark stranger, she feels and unexpected connection to. Together they try to untangle the riddles left centuries ago that lead to a lost family treasurer. another murder and break ins set them on the trail. Visions of the past lead Megan to discover her future. [close]
by James Green
by Alison Weir
Many are familiar with the story of the much-married King Henry VIII of England and the celebrated reign of his daughter, El…more
Many are familiar with the story of the much-married King Henry VIII of England and the celebrated reign of his daughter, Elizabeth I. But it is often forgotten that the life of the first Tudor queen, Elizabeth of York, Henry’s mother and Elizabeth’s grandmother, spanned one of England’s most dramatic and perilous periods. Now New York Times bestselling author and acclaimed historian Alison Weir presents the first modern biography of this extraordinary woman, whose very existence united the realm and ensured the survival of the Plantagenet bloodline.
Drawing from a rich trove of historical records, Weir gives a long overdue and much-deserved look at this unforgettable princess whose line descends to today’s British monarch—a woman who overcame tragedy and danger to become one of England’s most beloved consorts. [close]
by Susan Spann (Goodreads Author)
The investigation reveals a plot to assassinate the shogun and depose the ruling Ashikaga clan. With enemy forces approaching Kyoto, and the murderer poised to strike again, Hiro and Father Mateo must produce the killer in time . . . or die in his place.
BLADE OF THE SAMURAI is a complex mystery that will transport readers to a thrilling and unforgettable adventure in sixteenth-century Japan.
This giveaway is for three (3) signed hardback copies of BLADE OF THE SAMURAI - maximum of one book per person. Good luck! [close]
by Alexander Lee
Renowned as a period of cultural rebirth and artistic innovation, the Renaissance is cloaked in a unique aura of beauty and brilliance. Its very name conjures up awe-inspiring images of an age of lofty ideals in which life imitated the fantastic artworks for which it has become famous. But behind the vast explosion of new art and culture lurked a seamy, vicious world of power politics, perversity, and corruption that has more in common with the present day than anyone dares to admit.
In this lively and meticulously researched portrait, Renaissance scholar Alexander Lee illuminates the dark and titillating contradictions that were hidden beneath the surface of the period’s best-known artworks. Rife with tales of scheming bankers, greedy politicians, sex-crazed priests, bloody rivalries, vicious intolerance, rampant disease, and lives of extravagance and excess, this gripping exploration of the underbelly of Renaissance Italy shows that, far from being the product of high-minded ideals, the sublime monuments of the Renaissance were created by flawed and tormented artists who lived in an ever-expanding world of inequality, dark sexuality, bigotry, and hatred.
The Ugly Renaissance is a delightfully debauched journey through the surprising contradictions of Italy’s past and shows that were it not for the profusion of depravity and degradation, history’s greatest masterpieces might never have come into being. [close]
by John Jobling
How Bono, the Edge, and Larry Mullen, Jr. worshipped with a Charismatic Christian church that practiced speaking in tongues during the band’s early days
Insider stories of the genesis and recording of classic albums such as The Joshua Tree and Achtung Baby
Creative tensions within the band and power struggles among management
How the disappointments of the Rattle and Hum film and PopMart Tour spurred the band to greater creative heights
Both the successes and controversies of Bono’s wide-sweeping philanthropic and political ventures
The disconnect between the band’s personal lives and public personas
Sure to inspire debate with every music lover, U2: The Definitive Biography humanizes the band and paints an honest picture of a band’s rise to the top, plunging into the heart and underlying soul of this iconic rock and roll band.
by Robert Twigger
Seasoned historical writer Robert Twigger connects the comprehensive history of the Nile with his personal experience of living in Egypt while researching the Nile’s historical origins. Twigger covers the entirety of the river, charting the length of the Nile from its disputed origins through Africa on a whirlwind tour of the rulers, explorers, conquerors, generals, and novelists who painted the Nile “red.” Both comprehensive and intimate, this narrative guides readers through history by way of the mighty river known across the world.
The result of this meticulously researched book is an all-inclusive history of this epic river and the incredible connections throughout history. The stories of excess, love, passion, splendor, and violence are what make the Nile so engaging, even after centuries of change.
by Kirstin Downey (Goodreads Author)
Born at a time when Christianity was dying out and the Ottoman Empire was aggressively expanding, Isabella was inspired in her youth by tales of Joan of Arc, a devout young woman who unified her people and led them to victory against foreign invaders. In 1474, when most women were almost powerless, twenty-three-year-old Isabella defied a hostile brother and a mercurial husband to seize control of Castile and León. Her subsequent feats were legendary. She ended a twenty-four-generation struggle between Muslims and Christians, forcing North African invaders back over the Mediterranean Sea. She laid the foundation for a unified Spain. She sponsored Columbus's trip to the Indies and negotiated Spanish control over much of the New World with the help of Rodrigo Borgia, the infamous Pope Alexander VI. She also annihilated all who stood against her by establishing a bloody religious Inquisition that would darken Spain's reputation for centuries. Whether saintly or satanic, no female leader has done more to shape our modern world, in which millions of people in two hemispheres speak Spanish and practice Catholicism. Yet history has all but forgotten Isabella's influence, due to hundreds of years of misreporting that often attributed her accomplishments to Ferdinand, the bold and philandering husband she adored. Using new scholarship, Downey's luminous biography tells the story of this brilliant, fervent, forgotten woman, the faith that propelled her through life, and the land of ancient conflicts and intrigue she brought under her command. [close]
by Sigrid MacRae
Sigrid MacRae never knew her father, until a trove of letters revealed not only him, but also the singular story…more
Sigrid MacRae never knew her father, until a trove of letters revealed not only him, but also the singular story of her parents’ intercontinental love affair. While visiting Paris in 1927, her American mother, Aimée, raised in a wealthy Connecticut family, falls in love with a charming, sophisticated Baltic German baron, a penniless exile of the Russian revolution. They marry. But the harsh reality of post–World War I Germany is inescapable: a bleak economy and the rise of Hitler quash Heinrich’s diplomatic ambitions, and their struggling family farm north of Berlin drains Aimée’s modest fortune. In 1941, Heinrich volunteers for the Russian front and is killed by a sniper. Widowed, living in a country soon at war with her own, Aimée must fend for herself. With home and family in jeopardy, she and her six young children flee the advancing Russian army in an epic journey, back to the country she thought she’d left behind.
A World Elsewhere is a stirring narrative of two hostages to history and a mother’s courageous fight to save her family. [close]
by Rochus Misch
‘[Misch’s] memoir is full of details, asides and digressions, which allow the reader a rare and fascinating insight into the Third Reich’…more
‘[Misch’s] memoir is full of details, asides and digressions, which allow the reader a rare and fascinating insight into the Third Reich’s inner sanctum . . . Misch overheard conversations, watched the comings and goings and was a keen observer of events . . . He was as close to being a ‘fly on the wall’ as one could get.’
Roger Moorhouse, author Berlin at War
Misch knew Hitler as the private man and his position was one of unconditional loyalty. His memoirs offer an intimate view of life in close attendance to Hitler and of the endless hours deep inside the bunker; and provide new insights into military events such as Hitler’s initial feelings that the 6th Army should pull out of Stalingrad. Shortly before he died Misch wrote a new introduction for this first-ever English-language edition. [close]
by James M. McPherson
History has not been kind to Jefferson Davis. His cause went do…more
History has not been kind to Jefferson Davis. His cause went down in disastrous defeat and left the South impoverished for generations. If that cause had succeeded, it would have torn the United States in two and preserved the institution of slavery. Many Americans in Davis’s own time and in later generations considered him an incompetent leader, if not a traitor. Not so, argues James M. McPherson.
In Embattled Rebel, McPherson shows us that Davis might have been on the wrong side of history, but it is too easy to diminish him because of his cause’s failure. In order to understand the Civil War and its outcome, it is essential to give Davis his due as a military leader and as the president of an aspiring Confederate nation.
Davis did not make it easy on himself. His subordinates and enemies alike considered him difficult, egotistical, and cold. He was gravely ill throughout much of the war, often working from home and even from his sickbed. Nonetheless, McPherson argues, Davis shaped and articulated the principal policy of the Confederacy with clarity and force: the quest for independent nationhood. Although he had not been a fire-breathing secessionist, once he committed himself to a Confederate nation he never deviated from this goal. In a sense, Davis was the last Confederate left standing in 1865.
As president of the Confederacy, Davis devoted most of his waking hours to military strategy and operations, along with Commander Robert E. Lee, and delegated the economic and diplomatic functions of strategy to his subordinates. Davis was present on several battlefields with Lee and even took part in some tactical planning; indeed, their close relationship stands as one of the great military-civilian partnerships in history.
Most critical appraisals of Davis emphasize his choices in and management of generals rather than his strategies, but no other chief executive in American history exercised such tenacious handson influence in the shaping of military strategy. And while he was imprisoned for two years after the Confederacy’s surrender awaiting a trial for treason that never came, and lived for another twenty-four years, he never once recanted the cause for which he had fought and lost. McPherson gives us Jefferson Davis as the commander in chief he really was, showing persuasively that while Davis did not win the war for the South, he was scarcely responsible for losing it. [close]
by Jonathan Eig (Goodreads Author)
We know it simply as “the p…more
We know it simply as “the pill,” yet its genesis was anything but simple. Jonathan Eig’s masterful narrative revolves around four principal characters: the fiery feminist Margaret Sanger, who was a champion of birth control in her campaign for the rights of women but neglected her own children in pursuit of free love; the beautiful Katharine McCormick, who owed her fortune to her wealthy husband, the son of the founder of International Harvester and a schizophrenic; the visionary scientist Gregory Pincus, who was dismissed by Harvard in the 1930s as a result of his experimentation with in vitro fertilization but who, after he was approached by Sanger and McCormick, grew obsessed with the idea of inventing a drug that could stop ovulation; and the telegenic John Rock, a Catholic doctor from Boston who battled his own church to become an enormously effective advocate in the effort to win public approval for the drug that would be marketed by Searle as Enovid.
Spanning the years from Sanger’s heady Greenwich Village days in the early twentieth century to trial tests in Puerto Rico in the 1950s to the cusp of the sexual revolution in the 1960s, this is a grand story of radical feminist politics, scientific ingenuity, establishment opposition, and, ultimately, a sea change in social attitudes. Brilliantly researched and briskly written, The Birth of the Pill is gripping social, cultural, and scientific history. [close]
by Adam Tooze
In the depths of the Great War, with millions dead and no imaginable end to the conflict, societies around…more
In the depths of the Great War, with millions dead and no imaginable end to the conflict, societies around the world began to buckle. The heart of the financial system shifted from London to New York. The infinite demands for men and matériel reached into countries far from the front. The strain of the war ravaged all economic and political assumptions, bringing unheard-of changes in the social and industrial order.
A century after the outbreak of fighting, Adam Tooze revisits this seismic moment in history, challenging the existing narrative of the war, its peace, and its aftereffects. From the day the United States enters the war in 1917 to the precipice of global financial ruin, Tooze delineates the world remade by American economic and military power.
Tracing the ways in which countries came to terms with America’s centrality—including the slide into fascism—The Deluge is a chilling work of great originality that will fundamentally change how we view the legacy of World War I. [close]
by James Tobin (Goodreads Author)
In 1921, at the age of thirty-nine, Roosevelt was the brightest young star in the Democratic Party. One day he was racing his children around their summer home. Two days later he could not stand up. Hopes of a quick recovery faded fast. “He’s through,” said allies and enemies alike. Even his family and close friends misjudged their man, as they and the nation would learn in time.
With a painstaking reexamination of original documents, James Tobin uncovers the twisted chain of accidents that left FDR paralyzed; he reveals how polio recast Roosevelt’s fateful partnership with his wife, Eleanor; and he shows that FDR’s true victory was not over paralysis but over the ancient stigma attached to the disabled. Tobin also explodes the conventional wisdom of recent years—that FDR deceived the public about his condition. In fact, Roosevelt and his chief aide, Louis Howe, understood that only by displaying himself as a man who had come back from a knockout punch could FDR erase the perception that had followed him from childhood—that he was a pampered, too smooth pretty boy without the strength to lead the nation. As Tobin persuasively argues, FDR became president less in spite of polio than because of polio.
The Man He Became affirms that true character emerges only in crisis and that in the shaping of this great American leader character was all. [close]
by Mark Whitaker
Far from the gentle worlds of his routines or TV shows, Cosby grew up in a Philadelphia housing project, the son of an alcoholic, largely absent father and a loving but overworked mother. With novelistic detail, award winning journalist Mark Whitaker tells the story of how, after dropping out of high school, Cosby turned his life around by joining the Navy, talking his way into college, and seizing his first breaks as a stand-up comedian.
Published on the 30th anniversary of The Cosby Show, the book reveals the behind-the-scenes story of that groundbreaking sitcom as well as Cosby’s bestselling albums, breakout role on I Spy, and pioneering place in children’s TV. But it also deals with professional setbacks and personal dramas, from an affair that sparked public scandal to the murder of his only son, and the private influence of his wife of fifty years, Camille Cosby.
Whitaker explores the roots of Cosby’s controversial stands on race, as well as “the Cosby effect” that helped pave the way for a black president. For any fan of Bill Cosby’s work, and any student of American television, comedy, or social history, Cosby: His Life and Times is an essential read.
“Whenever I think of why my life as a comedian happened, the first name I think of is Bill Cosby. I know certain religions forbid idol worship. If anyone ever told me I had to stop idolizing Bill Cosby, I would say, ‘Sorry, but I’m out of this religion.’ So if you want to join the Religion of Cosby, as I did back in 1966, Mark Whitaker’s wonderful new book would be our Bible.” (Jerry Seinfeld)
“Cosby always makes things look so easy. This compelling book tells us it wasn’t always so. A revealing, honest look at my favorite comedian.” (Billy Crystal)
“If I was America’s ‘sweetheart’—turning the world on with a smile—then Bill Cosby was and still is our ‘best man.’ In his masterly telling of a great storyteller’s story, Mark Whitaker reminds us why we all love Bill Cosby.” (Mary Tyler Moore)
“Mark Whitaker has written a terrific book about one of America’s greatest cultural heroes. Comprehensive and compelling, by turns moving and hilarious, Cosby brings powerfully to life the story of the most influential comedian of our times.” (Stephen L. Carter)
“Mark Whitaker’s take on Bill Cosby is intimate, revealing, generous, and honest. He does what the best biographers do—fuses historical fact with the narrative of a fine novel and polishes everything with an objective eye. This is the biography Cosby so richly deserves.” (Bob Spitz)
“Bill Cosby has contributed more to comedy, television, education and humanitarian causes than any person I know. Actually any hundred people I know. And he’s still funny. It’s really not fair.” (Dave Letterman)
“Bill Cosby is a modern American troubadour, a griot and a comic genius. This revealing book evokes the world that inspired his artistry, tells us how much it has cost him and makes us grateful that he has been willing to pay the price.” (Wynton Marsalis)
“Readable, thoughtful life of the brilliant comedian and entrepreneur…Whitaker closes this lucid, often entertaining biography with a pointed look at the oft-mooted question: Did Bill Cosby make Barack Obama possible? The answer is yes, and in more ways than one. An eye-opening book and a pleasure to read.” (Kirkus Reviews (starred review))
“Bill Cosby has his image complicated in this absorbing biography from former Newsweek editor Whitaker...[Whitaker] illuminates, with telling detail, Cosby’s remarkable achievements as a comedic technician who avoided easy gags and carefully honed his long-form stand-up routines while approaching acting roles with naturalistic improvisation…[Whitaker] makes a persuasive case for Cosby as a groundbreaking comic and a quiet but far-ranging pioneer of black advancement.” (Publishers Weekly (starred review)) [close]
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