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NEW YORK AT WAR

FOUR CENTURIES OF COMBAT, FEAR, AND INTRIGUE IN GOTHAM

Well-researched, with a flair for the dramatic, and full of unexpected tidbits. Military buffs and New Yorkers will...

Military history of America’s greatest city.

Jaffe (Who Were the Founding Fathers?: Two Hundred Years of Reinventing American History, 1996), a historian attached to the South Street Seaport Museum and the New-York Historical Society, begins his study at the earliest point of which we have records: Henry Hudson’s entry into what is now New York Harbor in 1609. Hudson and his men encountered a group of Indians, and a skirmish broke out, leaving one of Hudson’s men dead. The incident set a pattern that dogged the Dutch colony that grew up on Manhattan Island and spread fingers along the coast and up the Hudson; only in the 1640s was a solid peace with the native peoples concluded. By then, the British were a greater threat, and the city became a British stronghold for more than a century. From there, troops went forth to fight the French and their Indian allies, and there the main force of British power remained during the Revolution. After Washington’s troops were driven away in 1776, the redcoats had Manhattan to themselves. Washington managed to exploit the city’s vulnerability by threatening attacks against it, keeping troops bottled up to defend it while he won battles elsewhere. In the early days of the Republic, the city became a center for privateers preying on British merchantmen, then suffered blockades by the British fleet that all but stifled its mercantile might. Jaffe moves on to more familiar territory with the draft riots of the Civil War. World War I saw anti-German fervor and U-boat raids on ships leaving the harbor. In the final chapters, the author looks at the Cold War and other late-20th-century events, culminating in 9/11 and the aftermath.

Well-researched, with a flair for the dramatic, and full of unexpected tidbits. Military buffs and New Yorkers will especially love it.

Pub Date: April 3, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-465-03642-4

Page Count: 432

Publisher: Basic Books

Review Posted Online: Jan. 29, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2012

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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.

Awards & Accolades

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  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2017


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  • National Book Award Finalist

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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