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History

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Activist (USED)

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The story of the landmark case that put the "Supreme" in Supreme Court.

Among the many momentous decisions rendered by the Supreme Court, none has had a greater impact than that passed down in 1803 by Chief Justice John Marshall in the case of Marbury v. Madison. While the ruling itself was innocuous--denying the plea of a minor functionary named William Marbury on constitutionally technical grounds--its implications were enormous. For Marshall had, in essence, claimed for the Supreme Court the right to determine what the Constitution and our laws under it really mean, known formally as the principle of "judicial review." Yet, as Lawrence Goldstone shows in his compelling narrative, that right is nowhere expressed in the Constitution and was not even considered by the Framers or the Founding Fathers, who would never have granted such power in a checks-and-balances system to unelected officials serving for life.

The Activist underscores the drama that occurred in 1803 by examining the debates that took place during the Constitutional Convention of 1787--among the most dramatic moments in American history--over the formation and structure of our judicial system. In parallel, Goldstone introduces in brief the life and ambition of John Marshall, and the early, fragile years of the Supreme Court, which--until Marshall's ascension to Chief Justice--sat atop the weakest of the three branches of government. Marshall made the Court supreme, and while judicial review has been used sparingly, without it the Court would likely never have intervened in the 2000 presidential election. Indeed, the great irony Goldstone reveals is that judicial review is now so enfranchised that Justice Antonin Scalia could admit, as he has, that the Supreme Court "made it up" in the same breath as he insists that justices must adhere steadfastly to the exact words of the Constitution.

Nobody brings the debates of the Constitutional Convention to life as does Lawrence Goldstone, and in this election year, no more interesting book on the Supreme Court will appear than The Activist, which makes the past come alive in the present.

Afghanistan Papers

Afghanistan Papers

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The groundbreaking investigative story of how three successive presidents and their military commanders deceived the public year after year about America's longest war, foreshadowing the Taliban's recapture of Afghanistan, by Washington Post reporter and three-time Pulitzer Prize finalist Craig Whitlock.

Unlike the wars in Vietnam and Iraq, the US invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 had near-unanimous public support. At first, the goals were straightforward and clear: to defeat al-Qaeda and prevent a repeat of 9/11. Yet soon after the United States and its allies removed the Taliban from power, the mission veered off course and US officials lost sight of their original objectives.

Distracted by the war in Iraq, the US military became mired in an unwinnable guerrilla conflict in a country it did not understand. But no president wanted to admit failure, especially in a war that began as a just cause. Instead, the Bush, Obama, and Trump administrations sent more and more troops to Afghanistan and repeatedly said they were making progress, even though they knew there was no realistic prospect for an outright victory.

Just as the Pentagon Papers changed the public's understanding of Vietnam, The Afghanistan Papers contains startling revelation after revelation from people who played a direct role in the war, from leaders in the White House and the Pentagon to soldiers and aid workers on the front lines. In unvarnished language, they admit that the US government's strategies were a mess, that the nation-building project was a colossal failure, and that drugs and corruption gained a stranglehold over their allies in the Afghan government. All told, the account is based on interviews with more than 1,000 people who knew that the US government was presenting a distorted, and sometimes entirely fabricated, version of the facts on the ground.

Documents unearthed by The Washington Post reveal that President Bush didn't know the name of his Afghanistan war commander--and didn't want to make time to meet with him. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld admitted he had "no visibility into who the bad guys are." His successor, Robert Gates, said: "We didn't know jack shit about al-Qaeda."

The Afghanistan Papers is a shocking account that will supercharge a long overdue reckoning over what went wrong and forever change the way the conflict is remembered.

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Aftermath: Travels in a Post War World (USED)

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Mowat returned to Europe in 1953 to retrace his wartime footsteps. Encountering populations changed by tragedy yet determined to move forward, he returned with stories of the courage and resilience of ordinary people.
Age of Cryptocurrency: How Bitcoin and Digital Money are Challenging the Global Economic Order (USED)

Age of Cryptocurrency: How Bitcoin and Digital Money are Challenging the Global Economic Order (USED)

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Bitcoin became a buzzword overnight. A cyber-enigma with an enthusiastic following, it pops up in headlines and fuels endless media debate. You can apparently use it to buy anything from coffee to cars, yet few people seem to truly understand what it is. This raises the question: Why should anyone care about bitcoin?

In The Age of Cryptocurrency, Wall Street journalists Paul Vigna and Michael J. Casey deliver the definitive answer to this question. Cybermoney is poised to launch a revolution, one that could reinvent traditional financial and social structures while bringing the world's billions of unbanked individuals into a new global economy. Cryptocurrency holds the promise of a financial system without a middleman, one owned by the people who use it and one safeguarded from the devastation of a 2008-type crash.

But bitcoin, the most famous of the cybermonies, carries a reputation for instability, wild fluctuation, and illicit business; some fear it has the power to eliminate jobs and to upend the concept of a nation state. It implies, above all, monumental and wide-reaching change-for better and for worse. But it is here to stay, and you ignore it at your peril.

Vigna and Casey demystify cryptocurrency-its origins, its function, and what you need to know to navigate a cyber-economy. The digital currency world will look very different from the paper currency world; The Age of Cryptocurrency will teach you how to be ready.

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Alive in the Killing Fields, Surviving the Khmer Rouge (USED)

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Alive in the Killing Fields is the real-life memoir of Nawuth Keat, a man who survived the horrors of war-torn Cambodia. He has now broken a longtime silence in the hope that telling the truth about what happened to his people and his country will spare future generations from similar tragedy.

In this captivating memoir, a young Nawuth defies the odds and survives the invasion of his homeland by the Khmer Rouge. Under the brutal reign of the dictator Pol Pot, he loses his parents, young sister, and other members of his family. After his hometown of Salatrave was overrun, Nawuth and his remaining relatives are eventually captured and enslaved by Khmer Rouge fighters. They endure physical abuse, hunger, and inhumane living conditions. But through it all, their sense of family holds them together, giving them the strength to persevere through a time when any assertion of identity is punishable by death.

Nawuth's story of survival and escape from the Killing Fields of Cambodia is also a message of hope; an inspiration to children whose worlds have been darkened by hardship and separation from loved ones. This story provides a timeless lesson in the value of human dignity and freedom for readers of all ages.

All Quiet on the Rappahannock Tonight

All Quiet on the Rappahannock Tonight

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Dear Friends, Here I am on the sacred soil of the FFV within 8 miles of the rebel pickets, and expecting to move 6 miles further on every hour...

Sandra A. Turgeon and the East Providence Historical Society are proud to present this compilation of wartime correspondence from Lt. Peter Hunt. These intimate letters provide insight to the human cost of one of America's bloodiest conflicts. Peter is not merely another faceless Union soldier but an eager eighteen-year-old recruit-his story exemplifies the courage of the many men who went to war.

Not until after the catastrophic First Battle of Bull Run did Peter receive his mother's blessing to join the Union army. Peter's regular letters back to his mother, sister, and three brothers evidence the alternating boredom and brutality of the war, chronicling a frustrating winter spent waiting at Miner's Hill and the shock of seeing the carnage wreaked at the Battle of Hanover Court House. Peter's own horse was once shot out from under him as his comrades beside him fell.

Peter experienced the violence of the war firsthand, but through it all, he kept his faith in the cause. Turgeon's collection celebrates his bravery, honor, and humanity.

Ambition and the Power the Fall of Jim Wright: A True Story of Washington (USED)

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America at War (USED)

America at War (USED)

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War--organized violence against an enemy of the state--seems part and parcel of the American journey. Indeed, the United States was established by means of violence as ordinary citizens from New Hampshire to Georgia answered George Washington's call to arms.

Since then, war has become a staple of American history. Counting the War for Independence, the United States has fought the armed forces of other nations at least twelve times, averaging a major conflict every twenty years. In so doing, the objectives have been simple: advance the cause of freedom, protect U.S. interests, and impose America's will upon a troubled world. More often than not, the results have been successful as America's military has accounted itself well. Yet the cost has been high, in both blood and treasure. Americans have fought and died around the globe--on land, at sea, and in the air. Without doubt, their actions have shaped the world in which we live.

In this comprehensive collection, Terence T. Finn provides a set of narratives--each concise and readable--on the twelve major wars America has fought. He explains what happened, and why such places as Saratoga and Antietam, Manila Bay and Midway are important to an understanding of America's past. Readers will easily be able to brush up on their history and acquaint themselves with those individuals and events that have helped define the United States of America.

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America the Beautiful (USED)

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What is America becoming? Or, more importantly, what can she be if we reclaim a vision for the things that made her great in the first place?

In America the Beautiful, Dr. Ben Carson helps us learn from our past in order to chart a better course for our future.

From his personal ascent from inner-city poverty to international medical and humanitarian acclaim, Carson shares experiential insights that help us understand

... what is good about America

... where we have gone astray

... which fundamental beliefs have guided America from her founding into preeminence among nations

Written by a man who has experienced America's best and worst firsthand, America the Beautiful is at once alarming, convicting, and inspiring. You'll gain new perspectives on our nation's origins, our Judeo-Christian heritage, our educational system, capitalism versus socialism, our moral fabric, healthcare, and much more.

An incisive manifesto of the values that shaped America's past and must shape her future, America the Beautiful calls us all to use our God-given talents to improve our lives, our communities, our nation, and our world.

America's Forgotten History

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