Celebrate the paperback release of “Lincoln’s Gamble” by Todd Brewster on Wednesday September 16th at 7pm

Lincolns GamblePlease join us at Byrd’s Books on Wednesday September 16th at 7:00p.m. for an author talk and book signing of “Lincoln’s Gamble: The Tumultuous Six Months That Gave America the Emancipation Proclamation and Changed the Course of the Civil War” with Connecticut author Todd Brewster.

About the book:

On July 12, 1862, Abraham Lincoln spoke for the first time of his intention to free the slaves. On January 1, 1863, Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, doing precisely that. In between, however, was a tumultuous six months, an episode during which the sixteenth president fought bitterly with his generals, disappointed his cabinet, and sank into painful bouts of clinical depression. Most surprising, the man who would be remembered as “The Great Emancipator” did not hold firm to his belief in emancipation. He agonized over the decision and was wracked by private doubts almost to the moment when he inked the decree that would change a nation. It was a great gamble, with the future of the Union, of slavery, and of the presidency itself hanging in the balance.
In this compelling narrative, Todd Brewster focuses on this crucial time period to ask: was it through will or by accident, intention or coincidence, personal achievement or historical determinism that he freed the slaves? “Brewster brings elegant clarity to the tangle of conflicting ideologies, loyalties, and practicalities that pushed the proclamation forward” (“Publishers Weekly”), portraying the president as an imperfect man with an unshakable determination to save a country he believed in, even as the course of the Civil War remained unknown.

“A masterful psychological portrait” (George Stephanopoulos) of the most critical six months in Abraham Lincoln’s presidency, when he wrote the Emancipation Proclamation and changed the course of the Civil War.

About the author:

Todd Brewster has served as Don E. Ackerman Director of Oral History at the United States Military Academy, West Point, and is a longtime journalist who has worked as an editor for Time and Life and as senior producer for ABC News. He has written for Vanity FairTimeLifeThe Huffington PostThe Philadelphia Inquirer, The New York Times, and is the coauthor with the late Peter Jennings of the bestselling books The CenturyThe Century for Young People, and In Search of America. He lives with his wife and two sons in Ridgefield, Connecticut. Lincoln’s Gamble is his first book.

To register for this event click here.

The Oregon Trail: A New American Journey

Oregon TrailRecounts the author’s two-thousand-mile trip on the Oregon Trail the old-fashioned way, in a covered wagon with a team of mules, and discusses the rich history of the trail, the people who made the migration, and its significance to the United States.

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.

The Great War: Stories Inspired by Items from the First World War

Gret WarCombines evocative photographs and illustrations in a treasury of stories by 11 international writers that were inspired by artifacts connected to World War I. Illustrated by the Kate Greenaway Medal-winning artist of A Monster Calls.

A toy soldier. A butter dish. A compass. Mundane objects, perhaps, but to the remarkable authors in this collection, artifacts such as these have inspired stories that go to the heart of the human experience of World War I.

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.

Gregg Mangan: On This Day in Connecticut History

On this Day CT histGregg Mangan gave an author talk and sign copies of his new book, “On This Day in Connecticut History” on Saturday May 9th at 4:00p.m.

About the book:

Connecticut’s character runs much deeper than breathtaking fall foliage and quaint coastal towns. One day at a time, author Gregg Mangan chronicles fascinating episodes in state history, from the earliest European settlements to the modern era. After a lengthy debate, the state senate voted in favor of “Yankee Doodle” as the official state song on March 16, 1978. Bridgeport’s General Electric Company completed work on the bazooka on June 14, 1942. On the morning of December 4, 1891, the only four-train collision in American history occurred at the railroad station in East Thompson. Each date on the calendar holds a nugget of knowledge in this celebration of Constitution State history.

Legends: The Best Players, Games, and Teams in Baseball

LegendsPresents a history of America’s pastime that discusses many of its most notable players, teams, rivalries, and moments, from Jackie Robinson’s breaking of the color barrier to the home run race between Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire.

A Soldier’s Sketchbook

By Joseph FarrisA Soldier's Sketchbook cover

An illustrated memoir from a World War II soldier is drawn from the letters, sketches, snapshots, and mementos of Pvt. Farris, who left his home of Danbury, Connecticut, and set off to war aboard the U.S.S. “General Gordon” in October 1944, bound for France as part of Company M, 398th Infantry.

 

 

This watercolor shows one of the most dangerous moments in our battle for the Maginot Line. The Germans had bracketed our position, and we anxiously feared the next shell would zero in on us. p. 120

This is an illustration by Joseph Farris from his powerful memoir A Soldier’s Sketchbook.

PERMITTED USE: This image may be downloaded or is otherwise provided at no charge for one-time use for coverage or promotion of the “A SOLDIER’S SKETCHBOOK” dated 2011 and exclusively in conjunction thereof. No copying, distribution or archiving permitted. Sublicensing, sale or resale is prohibited.

REQUIRED CREDIT AND CAPTION: All image uses must bear the copyright notice and be properly credited to the relevant photographer, as shown in this metadata, and must be accompanied by a caption which makes reference to the “A SOLDIER’S SKETCHBOOK.” Any uses in which the image appears without proper copyright notice, photographer credit and a caption referencing the “A SOLDIER’S SKETCHBOOK” are subject to paid licensing.

 

Surprise visit by author Sean Pidgeon on Saturday March 9th at 5:30!

Byrd’s Books is thrilled to host author Sean Pidgeon in a SURPRISE visit to our store on Saturday March 9th at 5:30! Please join us to meet the author, discuss his wonderful book, “Finding Camlann” and get a signed copy.  Finding Camlann

About the book:

“This is a new and gripping look at the history and landscape of Britain and the legend of King Arthur. A linguist and an archeologist search for the truth behind the myth, as they climb foggy hills and glean new meanings from a mysterious poem. We follow them in the throes of love and dread, through long-lost battles and modern feuds, as they look with fascination at the secrets and natural beauty of an ancient land that lives anew. Finding Camlann will please both scholars and poets and will intrigue historians and lovers of romance.” —Daniel Butler, Brookline Booksmith, Brookline, MA

About the author:

Sean Pidgeon was born in Reading, England, and studied physics and astrophysics at the University of Manchester. He subsequently began a career in science publishing as a book editor, working at Oxford University Press and Macmillan. He moved to the United States in 1990 and is currently vice-president and publisher at John Wiley & Sons in Hoboken, New Jersey. He lives in New Jersey with his family. Visit him online at www.seanpidgeon.com or on Facebook, or follow him on Twitter @pidgeonwriter.

The Black Count

Black CountThe Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte Cristo by Tom Reiss

Here is the remarkable true story of the real Count of Monte Cristo – a stunning feat of historical sleuthing that brings to life the forgotten hero who inspired such classics as The Count of Monte Cristo and The Three Musketeers.

The real-life protagonist of The Black Count, General Alex Dumas, is a man almost unknown today yet with a story that is strikingly familiar, because his son, the novelist Alexandre Dumas, used it to create some of the best loved heroes of literature.

Yet, hidden behind these swashbuckling adventures was an even more incredible secret: the real hero was the son of a black slave – who rose higher in the white world than any man of his race would before our own time.

Born in Saint-Domingue (now Haiti), Alex Dumas was briefly sold into bondage but made his way to Paris where he was schooled as a sword-fighting member of the French aristocracy. Enlisting as a private, he rose to command armies at the height of the Revolution, in an audacious campaign across Europe and the Middle East – until he met an implacable enemy he could not defeat.

The Black Count is simultaneously a riveting adventure story, a lushly textured evocation of 18th-century France, and a window into the modern world’s first multi-racial society. But it is also a heartbreaking story of the enduring bonds of love between a father and son.

The Black Count is currently a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in biography.

wwd