From Slave to Statesman
by Robert Heinrich; Deborah Harding; Henry Louis Gates (Foreword by)
Publication Date: 2016-05-16
In the 1980s, Willis McGlascoe Carter's handwritten memoir turned up unexpectedly in the hands of a midwestern antiques dealer. Its twenty-two pages told a fascinating story of a man born into slavery in Virginia who, at the onset of freedom, gained an education, became a teacher, started a family, and edited a newspaper. Even his life as a slave seemed exceptional: he described how his owners treated him and his family with respect, and he learned to read and write. Tucked into its back pages, the memoir included a handwritten tribute to Carter, written by his fellow teachers upon his death. Robert Heinrich and Deborah Harding's From Slave to Statesman tells the extraordinary story of Willis M. Carter's life. Using Carter's brief memoir--one of the few extant narratives penned by a former slave--as a starting point, Heinrich and Harding fill in the abundant gaps in his life, providing unique insight into many of the most important events and transformations in this period of southern history. Carter was born a slave in 1852. Upon gaining freedom after the Civil War, Carter, like many former slaves, traveled in search of employment and education. He journeyed as far as Rhode Island and then moved to Washington, DC, where he attended night school before entering and graduating from Wayland Seminary. He continued on to Staunton, Virginia, where he became a teacher and principal in the city's African American schools, the editor of the Staunton Tribune, a leader in community and state civil rights organizations, and an activist in the Republican Party. Carter served as an alternate delegate to the 1896 Republican National Convention, and later he helped lead the battle against Virginia's new state constitution, which white supremacists sought to use as a means to disenfranchise blacks. As part of that campaign, Carter traveled to Richmond to address delegates at the constitutional convention, serving as chairman of a committee that advocated voting rights and equal public education for African Americans. Although Carter did not live to see Virginia adopt its new Jim Crow constitution, he died knowing that he had done all in his power to stop it. From Slave to Statesman fittingly resurrects Carter's all-but-forgotten story, adding immeasurably to our understanding of the journey that he and men like him took out of slavery into a world of incredible promise and powerful disappointment.
The Secret War
by Max Hastings
Publication Date: 2016-05-10
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER From one of the foremost historians of the period and the acclaimed author of Inferno and Catastrophe: 1914, The Secret War is a sweeping examination of one of the most important yet underexplored aspects of World War II--intelligence--showing how espionage successes and failures by the United States, Britain, Russia, Germany, and Japan influenced the course of the war and its final outcome. Spies, codes, and guerrillas played unprecedentedly critical roles in the Second World War, exploited by every nation in the struggle to gain secret knowledge of its foes, and to sow havoc behind the fronts. In The Secret War, Max Hastings presents a worldwide cast of characters and some extraordinary sagas of intelligence and resistance, to create a new perspective on the greatest conflict in history
The Future Is History
by Masha Gessen
Publication Date: 2017-10-03
WINNER OF THE 2017 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD IN NONFICTION FINALIST FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARDS WINNER OF THE NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY'S HELEN BERNSTEIN BOOK AWARD NAMED A BEST BOOK OF 2017 BY THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW, LOS ANGELES TIMES, WASHINGTON POST, BOSTON GLOBE, SEATTLE TIMES, CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR, NEWSWEEK, PASTE, and POP SUGAR The essential journalist and bestselling biographer of Vladimir Putin reveals how, in the space of a generation, Russia surrendered to a more virulent and invincible new strain of autocracy. Award-winning journalist Masha Gessen's understanding of the events and forces that have wracked Russia in recent times is unparalleled. In The Future Is History, Gessen follows the lives of four people born at what promised to be the dawn of democracy. Each of them came of age with unprecedented expectations, some as the children and grandchildren of the very architects of the new Russia, each with newfound aspirations of their own--as entrepreneurs, activists, thinkers, and writers, sexual and social beings. Gessen charts their paths against the machinations of the regime that would crush them all, and against the war it waged on understanding itself, which ensured the unobstructed reemergence of the old Soviet order in the form of today's terrifying and seemingly unstoppable mafia state. Powerful and urgent, The Future Is History is a cautionary tale for our time and for all time.