WINNER History: United States 2023 Best Book Awards
Published under the auspices of the American Revolution Institute of the Society of the Cincinnati, Freedom: The Enduring Importance of the American Revolution is a narrative history of the War for Independence. It tells the pivotal story of the courageous men and women who risked their lives to create a new nation based on the idea that government should serve people and protect their freedom. Written for Americans intent on understanding our national origins, but also appropriate for teachers and secondary classrooms, Freedom argues that the American Revolution is the central event in our history: the turning point between our colonial origins and our national experience. This volume includes 167 full-color paintings, maps, illustrations, and photos—many of them seen only in historical institutions across the country!
The Freedom narrative spans from the American Revolution’s origins in the nature of colonial British America—a society in which freedom was limited and in which everyone was the subject of a distant monarch—through the crisis in the British Empire that followed the French and Indian War, to the events of the War for Independence itself, and ultimately to the creation of the first great republic in modern history. This is the story of how Americans came to fight for their freedom and became a united people, with a shared history and national identity, and how a generation of founders expressed ideals of liberty, equality, natural and civil rights, and responsible citizenship: ideals that have shaped our history and will shape our future—and the future of the world.
The year 1968 was arguably the most significant year of the war. It was the height of the American involvement, and because officer casualties had been so great after the Tet Offensive of January 1968, all prior officer assignments were canceled.
1st Lieutenant Robin Bartlett, originally on orders to the 101st Airborne Division, suddenly found himself at the “repo-depo” in Bien Hoa reassigned to the 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile). The unit had more helicopter support than any other unit in Vietnam. The soldiers carried lighter packs, more ammo and water because of the availability of rapid helicopter resupply. Immediate support from artillery, helicopter gunships and ARA (aerial rocket artillery) was only minutes away to support a firefight. Wounded troops could be medevaced even in dense jungle using “jungle penetrators.” It also meant that Bartlett’s platoon could deploy through helicopter combat assaults into hot LZs (landing zones) at a moment’s notice if an enemy force had been spotted. And they did.
It was with extreme anxiety that Bartlett made his way to join his battalion and company – it was the worst of times to be a platoon leader in Vietnam, let alone a grunt serving in a combat unit. Bartlett also had to cope with personal issues of commitment to a war that was rapidly losing support not only back home but among the soldiers he was leading through the jungles of I Corps on “search and destroy” missions. Fifty years later, Bartlett’s vivid combat experiences are brought to light in a fast-moving, well-written, first-person narrative expressing the horror, fear, anguish, and sometimes illogical humor of that war.
In Murder in Manchuria, Scott D. Seligman explores an unsolved murder set amid the chaos that reigned in China in the run-up to World War II. The story unfolds against the backdrop of a three-country struggle for control of Manchuria—an area some called China’s “Wild East”—and an explosive mixture of nationalities, religions, and ideologies. Semyon Kaspé, a young Jewish musician, is kidnapped, tortured, and ultimately murdered by disaffected, antisemitic White Russians, secretly acting on the orders of Japanese military overlords who covet his father’s wealth. When local authorities deliberately slow-walk the search for the kidnappers, a young French diplomat takes over and launches his own investigation.
Part cold-case thriller and part social history, the true, tragic saga of Kaspé is told in the context of the larger, improbable story of the lives of the twenty thousand Jews who called Harbin home at the beginning of the twentieth century. Scott D. Seligman recounts the events that led to their arrival and their hasty exodus—and solves a crime that has puzzled historians for decades.
WINNER History: Military 2023 International Book Awards
“What would it be like to keep a secret for fifty years? Never telling your parents, your children, or even your husband?”
Codebreaker Girls: A Secret Life at Bletchley Park tells the true story of Daisy Lawrence. Following extensive research, the author uses snippets of information, unpublished photographs and her own recollections to describe scenes from her mother’s poor, but happy, upbringing in London, and the disruptions caused by the outbreak of the Second World War to a young woman in the prime of her life.
The author asks why, and how, Daisy was chosen to work at the Government war station, as well as the clandestine operation she experienced with others, deep in the British countryside, during a time when the effects of the war were felt by everyone. In addition, the author examines her mother's personal emotions and relationships as she searches for her young fiancée, who was missing in action overseas. The three years at Bletchley Park were Daisy's university, but having closed the door in 1945 on her hidden role of national importance — dealing with Germany, Italy and Japan — this significant period in her life was camouflaged for decades in the filing cabinet of her mind. Now her story comes alive with descriptions, original letters, documents, newspaper cuttings and unique photographs, together with a rare and powerful account of what happened to her after the war.
WINNER History: United States 2023 International Book Awards
President Gerald Ford suffered two attempts on his life during his term in office: one by a young woman in Charles Manson's Family, Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme, and the other by a far more unlikely candidate—an average middle-aged mother of five—Sara Jane Moore. After thirty years in contact with Moore in prison, journalist Geri Spieler deconstructs her life in Housewife Assassin, tracing the path from Moore’s small-town upbringing in West Virginia to that fateful moment when she tried to assassinate the president.
Throughout Moore’s dodgy life she hid her identity and misled those around her. Through the turbulent 60s and 70s, she married five times, abandoned children, faked amnesia, befriended Patty Hearst’s father, became a revolutionary, and worked as an FBI informant turned double agent feeding information to the underground radicals, all before the assassination attempt.
From Spieler’s insider correspondence and independent research, including interviews with President Ford himself, she confirms details (the gunshot missed the President’s head by six inches) and debunks others (Sara Jane did not “shoot wild” as the press had reported) to deliver a compelling profile of a society lady turned elusive assassin.
WINNER History: General 2023 International Book Awards
This volume collates transcripts from the landmark NGV seminar series Observations: Women in Art and Design History, which took place online during 2022 and examines the historical, often forgotten contributions of women to the fields of art and design from 1500-1970. Named after English artist Mary Beale’s 1633 text Observations by MB, written in 1633 and widely recognised as the first manuscript on painting written by a woman artist, Observations features the insights of historians, writers and curators from around the world.
Featuring authors, commentators and art historians including Jennifer Higgie, Dr Adelina Modesti, Professor Elizabeth Otto and Dr Penelope Hunting.