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AMERICA INVADED

A STATE BY STATE GUIDE TO FIGHTING ON AMERICAN SOIL

A captivating look at how America’s 50 states survived on the way to becoming a nation.

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A historical compendium proves that many countries had a shot at the land that became the United States, but circumstances instead resulted in a new nation.

For their latest volume, Kelly and Laycock (America Invades, 2015, etc.) turn their series concept on its head. Instead of detailing how a particular country invades other nations, it summarizes how various countries invaded the United States. And the work re-emphasizes how the U.S.’s many vanquishers pushed its only true inhabitants, the Native Americans, off their lands and onto fixed reservations. As Kelly writes in the introduction: “These invasions have, for good or ill, reshaped” America and “in many ways defined her.” The authors take the reader alphabetically through the 50 states and Washington, D.C., covering skirmishes, great and small, that took place within each. The exhaustive research shows how the governance—and the borders—of each state was exceptionally fluid, as conquerors came and went, often because of military action elsewhere, either in North America or around the globe. Drawing from hundreds of years and thousands of battles, the two succeed in being extremely thorough rather than all-encompassing. Yet they manage to keep their book an airy read. That’s because, as always, Kelly and Laycock are masters of the fascinating factoid, information that’s tangential to their overall thesis yet exceptionally worthwhile: “The training of African-American airmen at Tuskegee is also a noteworthy feature of Alabama’s war effort during World War II. In March of 1941, First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt was a passenger in a plane flown by an African-American pilot over Alabama.” Because both authors are history buffs, Kelly acknowledges that this volume was almost inevitable: “America Invaded was in many ways inspired by my personal journal of discovery of American military history. In 2014, I drove through 36 states on my book tour for America Invades.” The work contains a treasure trove of maps, photos, and Web addresses that allows amateur historians to undertake their own research. All told, this is a worthwhile addition to the authors’ invasion series. The only question remaining is, after covering Britain, Italy, and America (twice), which nation will pique their curiosity next?

A captivating look at how America’s 50 states survived on the way to becoming a nation.

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-692-90240-0

Page Count: 414

Publisher: History Invasions Press

Review Posted Online: Aug. 4, 2017

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KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON

THE OSAGE MURDERS AND THE BIRTH OF THE FBI

Dogged original research and superb narrative skills come together in this gripping account of pitiless evil.

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Greed, depravity, and serial murder in 1920s Oklahoma.

During that time, enrolled members of the Osage Indian nation were among the wealthiest people per capita in the world. The rich oil fields beneath their reservation brought millions of dollars into the tribe annually, distributed to tribal members holding "headrights" that could not be bought or sold but only inherited. This vast wealth attracted the attention of unscrupulous whites who found ways to divert it to themselves by marrying Osage women or by having Osage declared legally incompetent so the whites could fleece them through the administration of their estates. For some, however, these deceptive tactics were not enough, and a plague of violent death—by shooting, poison, orchestrated automobile accident, and bombing—began to decimate the Osage in what they came to call the "Reign of Terror." Corrupt and incompetent law enforcement and judicial systems ensured that the perpetrators were never found or punished until the young J. Edgar Hoover saw cracking these cases as a means of burnishing the reputation of the newly professionalized FBI. Bestselling New Yorker staff writer Grann (The Devil and Sherlock Holmes: Tales of Murder, Madness, and Obsession, 2010, etc.) follows Special Agent Tom White and his assistants as they track the killers of one extended Osage family through a closed local culture of greed, bigotry, and lies in pursuit of protection for the survivors and justice for the dead. But he doesn't stop there; relying almost entirely on primary and unpublished sources, the author goes on to expose a web of conspiracy and corruption that extended far wider than even the FBI ever suspected. This page-turner surges forward with the pacing of a true-crime thriller, elevated by Grann's crisp and evocative prose and enhanced by dozens of period photographs.

Dogged original research and superb narrative skills come together in this gripping account of pitiless evil.

Pub Date: April 18, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-385-53424-6

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: Feb. 1, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2017

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NIGHT

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...

Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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