On the Origins of Sports: The Early History and Original Rules of Everybody’s Favorite Games

On the origins of sportsby Gary Belsky and Neil Fine

Did you know that James Naismith invented basketball as a way to keep his students indoors during the cold Massachusetts winter? Or that many of the Southerners who began racing stock cars got their early driving experience escaping police while running moonshine? On the Origins of Sports is jam-packed with these compelling tidbits of information tailor-made for obsessive sports fans, and covers a wide range of sports—whether national pastimes like football and cricket or global obsessions such as soccer and basketball.

Each sport will have its own chapter, which will include the sport’s original rules; a short history of the sport in accessible, insightful text; and informative line illustrations. Also included are annotated interstitials that take a deeper look into an element of the sport: for example, the evolution of the baseball glove; sports with war roots; a compendium of sports balls; iconic sports trophies; and more. Aside from facts and figures, rules and history,On the Origins of Sports will be a book that sports enthusiasts and history buffs alike will want to display on their coffee tables, showcase on their bookshelves, and treasure for generations

The Immortal Irishman: The Irish Revolutionary Who Became an American Hero

Immortal IrishmanPlaces the improbable life of Great Famine orator and revolutionary hero Thomas Francis Meagher against a backdrop of Irish-American history, detailing his leadership during Irish uprisings, service with the Irish Brigade and achievements as the territorial governor of Montana. By a National Book Award-winning author Timothy Egan.

The Geography of Genius: A Search for the World’s Most Creative Places from Ancient Athens to Silicon Valley

Geography of geniusAn acclaimed travel writer examines the connection between surroundings and innovative ideas, profiling examples in such regions as early 20th-century Vienna, Renaissance Florence, ancient Athens and Silicon Valley. By the best-selling author of The Geography of Bliss.

The Three-Year Swim Club

ThreeYearSwimClubThe Three-Year Swim Club: The Untold Story of Maui’s Sugar Ditch Kids and Their Quest for Olympic Glory
By Julie Checkoway

For readers of Unbroken and The Boys in the Boat comes the inspirational, untold story of impoverished children who transformed themselves into world-class swimmers.

In 1937, a schoolteacher on the island of Maui challenged a group of poverty-stricken sugar plantation kids to swim upstream against the current of their circumstance. The goal? To become Olympians.

They faced seemingly insurmountable obstacles. The children were Japanese-American, were malnourished and barefoot and had no pool; they trained in the filthy irrigation ditches that snaked down from the mountains into the sugarcane fields. Their future was in those same fields, working alongside their parents in virtual slavery, known not by their names but by numbered tags that hung around their necks. Their teacher, Soichi Sakamoto, was an ordinary man whose swimming ability didn’t extend much beyond treading water.

In spite of everything, including the virulent anti-Japanese sentiment of the late 1930s, in their first year the children outraced Olympic athletes twice their size; in their second year, they were national and international champs, shattering American and world records and making headlines from L.A. to Nazi Germany. In their third year, they’d be declared the greatest swimmers in the world, but they’d also face their greatest obstacle: the dawning of a world war and the cancellation of the Games. Still, on the battlefield, they’d become the 20th century’s most celebrated heroes, and in 1948, they’d have one last chance for Olympic glory.

They were the Three-Year Swim Club. This is their story.

Pirate Hunters: Treasure, Obsession, and the Search for a Legendary Pirate Ship

Pirate HuntersTraces the high-stakes quest of John Mattera and Shadow Divers’ Chatterton to find the lost pirate ship of Joseph Bannister, discussing their teamwork with technology-eschewing Tracy Bowden and the story behind Bannister’s elusive treasure.

Dead Wake

Dead WakeThe #1 New York Times best-selling author of In the Garden of Beasts presents a 100th-anniversary chronicle of the sinking of the Lusitania that discusses the factors that led to the tragedy and the contributions of such figures as President Wilson, bookseller Charles Lauriat and architect Theodate Pope Riddle. Includes two maps.

33 Artists in 3 Acts

33Artistis33 Artists in 3 Acts
By Sarah Thornton

The best-selling author of Seven Days in the Art World now tells the story of the artists themselves how they move through the world, command credibility, and create iconic works.

33 Artists in 3 Acts offers unprecedented access to a dazzling range of artists, from international superstars to unheralded art teachers. Sarah Thornton’s beautifully paced, fly-on-the-wall narratives include visits with Ai Weiwei before and after his imprisonment and Jeff Koons as he woos new customers in London, Frankfurt, and Abu Dhabi. Thornton meets Yayoi Kusama in her studio around the corner from the Tokyo asylum that she calls home. She snoops in Cindy Sherman s closet, hears about Andrea Fraser s psychotherapist, and spends quality time with Laurie Simmons, Carroll Dunham, and their daughters Lena and Grace.

Through these intimate scenes, 33 Artists in 3 Acts explores what it means to be a real artist in the real world. Divided into three cinematic “acts” politics, kinship, and craft it investigates artists’ psyches, personas, politics, and social networks. Witnessing their crises and triumphs, Thornton turns a wry, analytical eye on their different answers and non-answers to the question “What is an artist?”

33 Artists in 3 Acts reveals the habits and attributes of successful artists, offering insight into the way these driven and inventive people play their game. In a time when more and more artists oversee the production of their work, rather than make it themselves, Thornton shows how an artist s radical vision and personal confidence can create audiences for their work, and examines the elevated role that artists occupy as essential figures in our culture.”

Unbroken

UnbrokenUnbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand

In boyhood, Louis Zamperini was an incorrigible delinquent. As a teenager, he channeled his defiance into running, discovering a prodigious talent that had carried him to the Berlin Olympics. But when World War II began, the athlete became an airman, embarking on a journey that led to a doomed flight on a May afternoon in 1943. When his Army Air Forces bomber crashed into the Pacific Ocean, against all odds, Zamperini survived, adrift on a foundering life raft. Ahead of Zamperini lay thousands of miles of open ocean, leaping sharks, thirst and starvation, enemy aircraft, and, beyond, a trial even greater. Driven to the limits of endurance, Zamperini would answer desperation with ingenuity; suffering with hope, resolve, and humor; brutality with rebellion. His fate, whether triumph or tragedy, would be suspended on the fraying wire of his will.

Appearing in paperback for the first time – with twenty arresting new photos and an extensive Q&A with the author – Unbroken is an unforgettable testament to the resilience of the human mind, body, and spirit, brought vividly to life by Seabiscuit author Laura Hillenbrand.

 

A Spy Among Friends

SpyAmongFriendsA Spy Among Friends: Kim Philby and the Great Betrayal by Ben Macintyre

Master storyteller Ben Macintyre’s most ambitious work to date offers a powerful new angle on the 20th century’s greatest spy story Kim Philby was the greatest spy in history, a brilliant and charming man who rose to head Britain’s counterintelligence against the Soviet Union during the height of the Cold War – while he was secretly working for the enemy. And nobody thought he knew Philby like Nicholas Elliott, Philby’s best friend and fellow officer in MI6. The two men had gone to the same schools, belonged to the same exclusive clubs, grown close through the crucible of wartime intelligence work and long nights of drink and revelry. It was madness for one to think the other might be a communist spy, bent on subverting Western values and the power of the free world.

But Philby was secretly betraying his friend. Every word Elliott breathed to Philby was transmitted back to Moscow – and not just Elliott’s words, for Philby had made another powerful friend in America: James Jesus Angleton, the crafty, paranoid head of CIA counterintelligence. Angleton and Elliott’s unwitting disclosures helped Philby sink almost every important Anglo-American spy operation for twenty years, leading countless operatives to their doom. Even as the web of suspicion closed around him, and Philby was driven to greater lies to protect his cover, his two friends never abandoned him – until it was too late. The stunning truth of his betrayal would have devastating consequences on the two men who thought they knew him best, and on the intelligence services he left crippled in his wake.

Told with heart-pounding suspense and keen psychological insight, and based on personal papers and never-before-seen British intelligence files, A Spy Among Friends is Ben Macintyre’s best book yet, a high-water mark in Cold War history telling.

The Nixon Tapes: 1971-1972

NixonTapesBy Douglas  Brinkley & Luke A. Nichter

The famous – and infamous – Nixon White House tapes that reveal President Richard Nixon uncensored, unfiltered, and in his own words

President Nixon’s voice-activated taping system captured every word spoken in the Oval Office, Cabinet Room, and other key locations in the White House, and at Camp David – 3,700 hours of recordings between 1971 and 1973. Yet less than 5 percent of those conversations have ever been transcribed and published. Now, thanks to professor Luke Nichter’s massive effort to digitize and transcribe the tapes, the world can finally read an unprecedented account of one of the most important and controversial presidencies in U.S. history.

The Nixon Tapes, with annotations and commentary by Nichter and Professor Douglas Brinkley, offers a selection of fascinating scenes from the year Nixon opened relations with China, negotiated the SALT I arms agreement with the Soviet Union, and won a landslide reelection victory. All the while, the growing shadow of Watergate and Nixon’s political downfall crept ever closer. The Nixon Tapes provides a unique glimpse into a flawed president’s hubris, paranoia, and political genius.

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