Dispatches from the New Frontier
Author: Hampton Sides
Harley-Davidson bikers . . . Grand Canyon river rats. . . Mormon archaeologists . . . Spelling bee prodigies . . . For more than fifteen years, best-selling author and historian Hampton Sides has traveled widely across the continent exploring the America that lurks just behind the scrim of our mainstream culture. Reporting for Outside, The New Yorker, and NPR, among other national media, the award-winning journalist has established a reputation not only as a wry observer of the contemporary American scene but also as one of our more inventive and versatile practitioners of narrative non-fiction. In these two dozen pieces, collected here for the first time, Sides gives us a fresh, alluring, and at times startling America brimming with fascinating subcultures and bizarre characters who could live nowhere else. Following Sides, we crash the redwood retreat of an apparent cabal of fabulously powerful military-industrialists, drop in on the Indy 500 of bass fishing, and join a giant techno-rave at the lip of the Grand Canyon. We meet a diverse gallery of American visionaries— from the impossibly perky founder of Tupperware to Indian radical Russell Means to skateboarding legend Tony Hawk. We retrace the route of the historic Bataan Death March with veterans from Sides’ acclaimed WWII epic, Ghost Soldiers. Sides also examines the nation that has emerged from the ashes of September 11, recounting the harrowing journeys of three World Trade Center survivors and deciding at the last possible minute not to "embed" on the Iraqi front-lines with the U.S. Marines. Americana gives us a sparkling mosaic of our country, in all its wild and poignant charm.
Author: Hampton Sides
NATIONAL BESTSELLER Edgar Award Nominee One of the Best Books of the Year: O, The Oprah Magazine, Time, The Washington Post, The Christian Science Monitor, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, San Francisco Chronicle With a New Afterword On April 4, 1968, James Earl Ray shot Martin Luther King at the Lorraine Motel. The nation was shocked, enraged, and saddened. As chaos erupted across the country and mourners gathered at King's funeral, investigators launched a sixty-five day search for King’s assassin that would lead them across two continents. With a blistering, cross-cutting narrative that draws on a wealth of dramatic unpublished documents, Hampton Sides, bestselling author of Ghost Soldiers, delivers a non-fiction thriller in the tradition of William Manchester's The Death of a President and Truman Capote's In Cold Blood. With Hellhound On His Trail, Sides shines a light on the largest manhunt in American history and brings it to life for all to see.
Author: Hampton Sides
In the summer of 1846, the Army of the West marched through Santa Fe, en route to invade and occupy the Western territories claimed by Mexico. Fueled by the new ideology of “Manifest Destiny,” this land grab would lead to a decades-long battle between the United States and the Navajos, the fiercely resistant rulers of a huge swath of mountainous desert wilderness.In Blood and Thunder, Hampton Sides gives us a magnificent history of the American conquest of the West. At the center of this sweeping tale is Kit Carson, the trapper, scout, and soldier whose adventures made him a legend. Sides shows us how this illiterate mountain man understood and respected the Western tribes better than any other American, yet willingly followed orders that would ultimately devastate the Navajo nation. Rich in detail and spanning more than three decades, this is an essential addition to our understanding of how the West was really won. From the Trade Paperback edition.
A Pilgrim's Progress Through Eight American Subcultures
Author: Hampton Sides
Publisher: William Morrow
Category: Social Science
A social analysis of eight uniquely American groups, from the Bohemian Club to the Church of God in Christ, shows to what extent American identities are shaped by involvement in groups and pastimes. 50,000 first printing. $50,000 ad/promo. Tour.
Author: Hampton Sides
Publisher: Oneworld Publications
In 1879 the USS Jeanette set sail from San Francisco to cheering crowds and a frenzy of publicity. The ship and its crew, captained by the heroic George De Long, were heading for glory and the last unmapped area of the globe: the North Pole. But it was not long before the Jeanette was trapped in crushing pack ice. Amid the rush of water and the shrieks of breaking wooden boards, the crew found themselves marooned a thousand miles north of Siberia with only the barest supplies, facing a seemingly impossible trek across the endless ice. Battling everything from snow blindness and polar bears to ferocious storms and frosty labyrinths, the expedition battled madness and starvation as they desperately strove for survival. With twists and turns worthy of a thriller, In the Kingdom of Ice is a spellbinding tale of heroism and determination in the most unforgiving territory on Earth.
The Best of Outside Magazine's "The Wild File"
Author: Hampton Sides
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Addresses questions regarding the strange, bizarre, trivial, and odd facets of nature, animals, geological features, outer space, and humans.
The Epic Account of World War II's Greatest Rescue Mission
Author: Hampton Sides
Chronicles the daring mission of the elite U.S. Army Sixth Ranger Battalion to slip behind enemy lines in the Phillipines and rescue the 513 American and British POWs who had spent over three years in a hellish, Japanese-run camp near Cabanatuan. Reprint. 300,000 first printing.
Tales from America's Contemporary Frontier
Author: Dayton Duncan
Publisher: U of Nebraska Press
"In this splendid book a gifted observer and a terrific idea have come together in a real love match. In 1990, a century after the census bureau's famous observation of the frontier's imminent end, Dayton Duncan set out in an aging GMC Suburban to visit a large sampling of counties outside Alaska that have fewer than two persons per square milethe bureau's old standard for places still in a frontier condition. There are 132 such counties. All are in the West. . . . The result of his tour is an insightful and entertaining book, troubling and funny and consistently illuminating. . . . Much of the book's charm comes from Duncan's sketches of people who choose to live 'miles from nowhere'ranchers in the Nebraska sandhills, a New Mexican bar owner, a priest and United Parcel Service driver along the Texas-Mexico border, and the descendant of a Seminole Negro army scout in west Texas. In them he finds characteristics associated with the mythic frontier. . . . Great fun to read."Montana Born and raised in a small town in Iowa, Dayton Duncan has been a reporter, humor columnist, editorial writer, chief of staff to a governor, and deputy press secretary for presidential campaigns. He lives in Walpole, New Hampshire. His books include Out West: An American Journey, also available in a Bison Books edition.
Lost Songs, Lost Highways, and the Search for the Next American Music
Author: Amanda Petrusich
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
"Where lies the boundary between meaning and sentiment? Between memory and nostalgia? America and Americana? What is and what was? Does it move?" --Donovon Hohn, A Romance of Rust Part travelogue, part cultural criticism, part music appreciation, It Still Moves does for today's avant folk scene what Greil Marcus did for Dylan and The Basement Tapes. Amanda Petrusich outlines the sounds of the new, weird America—honoring the rich tradition of gospel, bluegrass, country, folk, and rock that feeds it, while simultaneously exploring the American character as personified in all of these genres historically. Through interviews, road stories, geographical and sociological interpretations, and detailed music criticism, Petrusich traces the rise of Americana music from its gospel origins through its new and compelling incarnations (as evidenced in bands and artists from Elvis to Iron and Wine, the Carter Family to Animal Collective, Johnny Cash to Will Oldham) and explores how the genre is adapting to the twenty-first century. Ultimately the book is an examination of all things American: guitars, cars, kids, motion, passion, enterprise, and change, in a fervent attempt to reconcile the American past with the American present, using only dusty records and highway maps as guides.
A Lifetime Search for Ordinary People Doing Extraordinary Things
Author: Bob Dotson
Category: Biography & Autobiography
“These are remarkable and poignant stories that need to be told.” —Ken Burns More than six million people watch Bob Dotson’s Emmy award-winning segment, American Story, on NBC’s Today Show. For the last four decades, Dotson has traveled the country searching out inspiring individuals who quietly perform everyday miracles. In the process, he has become the treasured cartographer of America’s heart and soul. Today’s news is overwhelmingly grim; it’s also told by journalists who travel in herds as they trail politicians and camp out at big stories. In American Story, Dotson shines a light on America’s neglected corners, introducing readers to the ordinary Americans who have learned to fix what really matters. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Heartbreak, Triumph, Genius, and Obsession in the World of Competitive Scrabble Players
Author: Stefan Fatsis
Category: Games & Activities
This “marvelously absorbing” book is “a walk on the wild side of words and ventures into the zone where language and mathematics intersect” (San Jose Mercury News). A former Wall Street Journal reporter and NPR regular, Stefan Fatsis recounts his remarkable rise through the ranks of elite Scrabble players while exploring the game’s strange, potent hold over them—and him. At least thirty million American homes have a Scrabble set—but the game’s most talented competitors inhabit a sphere far removed from the masses of “living room players.” Theirs is a surprisingly diverse subculture whose stars include a vitamin-popping standup comic; a former bank teller whose intestinal troubles earned him the nickname “G.I. Joel”; a burly, unemployed African American from Baltimore’s inner city; the three-time national champion who plays according to Zen principles; and the author himself, who over the course of the book is transformed from a curious reporter to a confirmed Scrabble nut. Fatsis begins by haunting the gritty corner of a Greenwich Village park where pickup Scrabble games can be found whenever weather permits. His curiosity soon morphs into compulsion, as he sets about memorizing thousands of obscure words and fills his evenings with solo Scrabble played on his living room floor. Before long he finds himself at tournaments, socializing—and competing—with Scrabble’s elite. But this book is about more than hardcore Scrabblers, for the game yields insights into realms as disparate as linguistics, psychology, and mathematics. Word Freak extends its reach even farther, pondering the light Scrabble throws on such notions as brilliance, memory, competition, failure, and hope. It is a geography of obsession that celebrates the uncanny powers locked in all of us, “a can’t-put-it-down narrative that dances between memoir and reportage” (Los Angeles Times). “Funny, thoughtful, character-rich, unchallengeably winning writing.” —The Atlantic Monthly This edition includes a new afterword by the author.
Joseph Knowles and the Legacy of Frontier Fakery
Author: Jim Motavalli
Category: Sports & Recreation
Recounts the life and times of Joseph Knowles, who became a public sensation when newspapers published a series of his dispatches from 1913 to 1916 describing his survival in the wilderness without any of the trappings of civilization.
The Brief, Legendary Ride of the Pony Express
Author: Jim DeFelice
The #1 New York Times bestselling coauthor of American Sniper brings the Pony Express to life in this rich and rollicking new history "One can hear horse hooves pounding across the prairie and sense the fear and courage and excitement." —Tom Clavin, author of Dodge City On the eve of the Civil War, three American businessmen launched an audacious plan to create a financial empire by transforming communications across the hostile territory between the nation’s two coasts. In the process, they created one of the most enduring icons of the American West: the Pony Express. Daring young men with colorful names like “Bronco Charlie” and “Sawed-Off Jim” galloped at speed over a vast and unforgiving landscape, etching an irresistible tale that passed into myth almost instantly. Equally an improbable success and a business disaster, the Pony Express came and went in just eighteen months, but not before uniting and captivating a nation on the brink of being torn apart. Jim DeFelice’s brilliantly entertaining West Like Lightning is the first major history of the Pony Express to put its birth, life, and legacy into the full context of the American story. The Central Overland California and Pikes Peak Express Company—or “Pony Express,” as it came to be known—was part of a plan by William Russell, Alexander Majors, and William Waddell to create the next American Express, a transportation and financial juggernaut that already dominated commerce back east. All that stood in their way were almost two thousand miles of uninhabited desert, ice-capped mountains, oceanic plains roamed by Indian tribes, whitewater-choked rivers, and harsh, unsettled wilderness. The Pony used a relay system of courageous horseback riders to ferry mail halfway across a continent in just ten days. The challenges the riders faced were enormous, yet the Pony Express succeeded, delivering thousands of letters at record speed. The service instantly became the most direct means of communication between the eastern United States and its far western territories, helping to firmly connect them to the Union. Populated with cast of characters including Abraham Lincoln (news of whose electoral victory the Express delivered to California), Wild Bill Hickock, Buffalo Bill Cody (who fed the legend of the Express in his Wild West Show), and Mark Twain (who celebrated the riders in Roughing It), West Like Lightning masterfully traces the development of the Pony Express and follows it from its start in St. Joseph, Missouri—the edge of the civilized world—west to Sacramento, the capital of California, then booming from the gold rush. Jim DeFelice, who traveled the Pony’s route in his research, plumbs the legends, myths, and surprising truth of the service, exploring its lasting relevance today as a symbol of American enterprise, audacity, and daring.
Author: Sara Luck
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Set in the tumultuous frontier days of the American West, this thrillingly authentic debut novel illuminates the passionate choices of one woman’s heart. A chance encounter . . . Wealthy entrepreneur Rab Trudeau is seething mad. A Nevada newspaper is printing fraudulent stock prices that could force his silver mine to close. Posing as an investigator from San Francisco’s Great Western Detective Agency, which he happens to own, Rab travels to Nevada to uncover who’s behind the false claims. Soon after stepping off the train, he rescues a beautiful woman from an oncoming carriage—and in one blinding moment, both are consumed by the powerful strength and seduction of their embrace. An uncertain destiny . . . An aspiring writer for The Pioneer, Susanna agrees to interview the stranger whom everyone is talking about, and is shocked to discover he’s Rab Trudeau—the gentleman who saved her life. Promised in marriage to the wayward son of the couple who raised her after her parents died on a westward-bound wagon train, Susanna fights her overwhelming desire for Rab. But as the mine scandal heats up and turns violent, Susanna must make an impossible choice—one that could bind her to Rab forever or destroy any hope of their future happiness.
Stumbling Through Hollywood History
Author: Mark Bailey
Publisher: Algonquin Books
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Shares true stories from Hollywood's history of celebrities under the influence, including Ava Gardner's habit of water skiing to the set of "Night of the Iguana" with a cocktail in hand, as well as quotations and cocktail recipes.
On the Other Side Known Commonly as The Little Book
Author: Daniel Quinn
The guide of choice for anyone who plans to die someday--are YOU ready for the AFTERLIFE? To find out, take this simple quiz: 1. Like Earth, the Afterlife has celebrities, outcasts, deadheads, losers, and busybodies. True False 2. Is there an Afterlife after the Afterlife? Yes No 3. When you first arrive on "the Other Side," you will be given: a) a set of wings b) a toaster c) a copy of A Newcomer's Guide to the Afterlife Don't worry if you're not sure how to respond. A Newcomer's Guide to the Afterlife has answers to these questions and more--and if you're lucky, some of them may turn out to be right! An irreverent, one-of-a-kind compendium from the award-winning author of Ishmael, A Newcomer's Guide to the Afterlife can be read as a parable, an allegory, a work of fiction--or exactly what it claims to be: a helpful handbook for the recently deceased. It is filled with uncommon wisdom, bizarre imaginings, uncanny perceptions, and unexpected humor. Is it fantastic escapism or a seminal event in human history? Read it and find out.... Face it. The Afterlife is the ultimate test. You might as well study. From the Trade Paperback edition.
A Reader's Guide to Travel Narrative
Author: Robert Burgin
Category: Language Arts & Disciplines
Successfully navigate the rich world of travel narratives and identify fiction and nonfiction read-alikes with this detailed and expertly constructed guide.
Author: Jeffrey R. Di Leo
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA
Category: Literary Criticism
For better or worse, America lives in the age of "worlded†? literature. Not the world literature of nations and nationalities considered from most powerful and wealthy to the least. And not the world literature found with a map. Rather, the worlded literature of individuals crossing borders, mixing stories, and speaking in dialect. Where translation struggles to be effective and background is itself another story. The "worlded†? literature of the multinational corporate publishing industry where the global market is all. The essays in this collection, from some of the most distinguished figures in American studies and literature, explore what it means to consider American literature as world literature.
The Immigrant Experience
Author: Ben Morreale,Robert Carola
Publisher: Hugh Lauter Levin Assc
Category: Social Science
A colorful narrative of the "Italian experience" in America traces the history of this ethnic community in the new world and celebrates its accomplishments from Frank Sinatra to Lee Iacocca.