What motivated Adolf Tolkachev to begin spying for the CIA? Was it for money? Did he require an ego boost? Was it based on his hatred of the Soviet system? It likely was a combination of all three. But what mattered most to the CIA was that Tolkachev was delivering a treasure trove of Soviet military secrets during a critical period of the Cold War. Tolkachev’s daring exploits are described in riveting detail in David E. Hoffman’s The Billion Dollar Spy.
Robert Kennedy often worked in the shadow of his brother John, but he found a sense of purpose and identity when he committed to wipe out corruption in the labor movement. His white whale was Jimmy Hoffa, president of the Teamsters Union, who was uncannily able to evade charges for years despite being up to his neck in criminal behavior. In Vendetta: Bobby Kennedy Versus Jimmy Hoffa, author James Neff follows their clashes against a backdrop of Vegas lounges, the Hollywood tabloid press and Washington politics.
The residents of the Gulf Coast in the 1770s and 1780s saw the American Revolution differently from the rebelling colonists in the north.In her richly detailed and riveting Independence Lost: Lives on the Edge of the American Revolution, historian Kathleen DuVal explores what the war and its aftermath meant in the lives of eight individuals who lived in an area with many competing interests.
It’s no surprise that Alfred Lansing’s 1959 book, Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage, is still in print. The harsh reality of survival near the Poles continues to make gripping reading, especially from the safety of our own homes.
Don’t miss these superbly written books that combine intriguing history with memorable real-life escapades.
Charles Kaiser’s remarkable portrait of one Parisian family examines the high cost and often tragic consequences that accompanied the decision to resist. The Cost of Courage is also a story of recovery and resilience, brought to life thanks to the author’s commitment to honoring Christiane Boull-oche-Audibert and her family.
Inspect Europe today, and you would struggle to believe that its greatest scuffles were once about anything other than bailouts and shared currency, or Eurovision and football. Yet 2015 marks the bicentennial of a battle that stands as a summation of that continent's centuries of bloody wars, particularly those of the 20th: Waterloo. Two new books take different approaches to remembering this conflict.
Something Must Be Done About Prince Edward County, deftly interweaves the personal and the historical into a compelling narrative that leaves no stone unturned.
Hard as it might be to imagine, readers of Ben Mezrich’s Once Upon a Time in Russia could find themselves feeling a certain sympathy for Vladimir Putin. Sure, the new Russian president was trying to seize control of the news media in 2000 when he forced television magnate Boris Berezovsky to sell his business. But Berezovsky was, to put it mildly, a handful.
The final chapter in Lev Grossman's Magicians Trilogy, a suspenseful historic account of a perilous voyage and a National Book Award finalist make for great reading this month.