Five years ago I picked up a book that I never finished, but I fell in love with its title and the promise of a narrative so perfectly laced with a train of political and religious of thought that would fall perfectly in line with mine.
More than ever before, conservative thought leaders have been seeing their books flying off store shelves. These days, lots of people want to understand right-wing ideologies, and want to learn how to support conservative politicians.
Since the dawn of the nuclear age, how to survive a potential war fought with perhaps the most dangerous weapons invented by human beings has been a frequently asked —not just by private individuals, but by governments as well. Tracing the history of how the U.S. government has planned for a nuclear showdown and its aftermath, Garrett M. Graff's 2017 book Raven Rock: The Story of the U.S. Government’s Secret Plan to Save Itself — While the Rest of Us Die is a sobering but engrossing look into this shadowy world.
Politics has never been a hotter subject. People are now discussing it at bars, at the dinner table, and even using political parties as an insult. Many of us, particularly those who enjoyed the Obama years, are wondering how things got this way.
A businessman turned politician wins the Republican nomination for President of the United States. He defeats his Democratic challenger and looks set to go into the White House, preaching policies favorable to Russia. Yet a British intelligence operative uncovers proof linking the campaign to the Russians, forcing an investigation that eventually leads not just to major campaign officials but to the President-Elect himself.
It's been more than a quarter of a century since the Berlin Wall came down and the Cold War ended. There's a generation that has grown up in its aftermath, looked back on what was done, and wondered whether it was worth all the toil and treasure paid out for it. It is perhaps not surprising, in a time of retrospection about that great and most secretive conflict of the twentieth century, that one of the authors who came out of it returns to it. John le Carré, himself briefly a British intelligence agent at the height of the Cold War, does so with his novel A Legacy Of Spies and he brings forth many of his best-known characters to do so.
James Jesus Angleton is one of those enigmas that could only have come out of the Cold War era. The long-time head of the CIA's counter-intelligence wing after serving with the agency's precursor organization during World War II, few figures could claim to have had as much of an effect on the secret wars that marked the Cold War as he did. He was a man who remains highly controversial due to his methods, claims of massive Soviet infiltration of Western intelligence agencies, and dozens within the CIA who had their careers affected by his molehunt.
The Cold War gave rise to many pieces of fiction looking at the decades long conflict between East and West. Few writers, though, seemed to have taken the time to have imagined what it might be like if the East came forth to occupy one of the major Western powers. One who did was prolific thriller writer Ted Allbeury who created a vision of a Britain under Soviet occupation with his 1982 novel All Our Tomorrows.
Leon Trotsky's History of the Russian Revolution is, in many ways, one of the most important works of historical writing. Simply put, this book retells the story of 1917's Bolshevik Revolution, a communist uprising that ushered in a new era of human history, the effects of which are still being felt today. These three volumes collect an (almost tediously) in-depth retelling of the event, made all the more significant because it was put down in words by one of the foremost architects of the event itself.
There is an old saying that truth is often stranger than fiction. Works of non-fiction can often prove that to be the case, revealing sometimes hidden or forgotten stories from our history. The Cold War, that epic conflict of ideologies fought largely in the shadows and still influencing the world we live in today, is just such an example. While so many great fictional spy stories were inspired by it ranging from Ian Fleming's James Bond novels to John le Carré's George Smiley, the real world of Cold War espionage can be just as fascinating as any thriller. The non-fiction work The Haunted Wood proves that to be the case with its exploration of the Americans who spied for the Russians in the 1930s and 1940s.
If you are interested in learning more history about the United States, then I recommend you get these must read books about American presidents. These books will allow you to go back in history and understand the lives of each of these presidents. You will be able to learn about the strengths and weaknesses of each of these presidents and their personal lives.
If anyone asks me what I’ve been doing to get in the spirit of the Fourth of July, I will respond, in the words of Angelica Schuyler, “I’ve been reading Common Sense by Thomas Paine…” I read excerpts from Common Sense in my American Literature class last semester and I bought a copy of the full work in the gift shop of the Concord Bridge battlefield site and thought it would be a good idea to read it in honor of Independence Day.