Monday, November 7, 2011

More Bestsellers are waiting for you @ your library

Lost in Shangri-La: A True Story of Survival, Adventure, and the Most Incredible Rescue Mission of World War II by Mitchell Zuckoff

Publishers Weekly-

Zuckoff (Ponzi's Scheme) skillfully narrates the story of a plane crash and rescue mission in an uncharted region of New Guinea near the end of WWII. Of the 24 American soldiers who flew from their base on a sightseeing tour to a remote valley, only three survived the disaster, including one WAC. As the three waited for help, they faced death from untreated injuries and warlike local tribesmen who had never seen white people before and believed them to be dangerous spirits. Even after a company of paratroopers arrived, the survivors still faced a dangerous escape from the valley via "glider snatch." Zuckoff transforms impressive research into a deft narrative that brings the saga of the survivors to life. His access to journal accounts, letters, photos, military records, and interviews with the eyewitnesses allows for an almost hour-by-hour account of the crash and rescue, along with vivid portraits of his main subjects. Zuckoff also delves into the Stone Age culture of the New Guinea tribesmen and the often humorous misapprehensions the Americans and natives have about each other. In our contemporary world of eco-tourism and rain-forest destruction, Zuckoff's book gives a window on a more romantic, and naïve, era.




The Miracle of Freedom: Seven Tipping Points That Saved the World by Chris Stewart and Ted Stewart

From the Publisher –

To what do we owe the great privilege of freedom?

• To a handful of Greek soldiers and their naval commanders in a life-or-death confrontation with the Persians in 480 bc?

• To a small band of Frankish soldiers who stood against the conquering armies of Islam more than 1,300 years ago?

• To the people of Great Britain who refused to surrender to the overwhelming power of Hitler's Third Reich? Today, fewer than 12 of the 193 countries in the world have a democratic government that has survived for more than fifty years. So, what extraordinary events in history have made it possible for us to enjoy self-rule and personal liberty? And what role has the hand of God played in securing that freedom? In this remarkable new book, bestselling authors Chris Stewart and Ted Stewart highlight seven miracles that changed the course of the world. Skillfully weaving story vignettes with historical explanations, they affirm that history would have been dramatically altered if any one of these events had turned out differently.




The Origins of Political Order: From Prehuman Times to the French Revolution by Francis Fukuyama

Publishers Weekly –

The evolving tension between private and public animates this magisterial history of the state. In his hominids-to-guillotines chronicle of humanity's attempts to build strong, accountable governments that adhere to the rule of law, international relations scholar Fukuyama (The End of History) advances two themes: the effort to create an impersonal state free from family and tribal allegiances, and the struggle—often violent—against wealthy elites who capture the state and block critical reforms. Fukuyama's multifaceted comparative approach grounds politics and government in the demands of biology, geography, war, and economics, and pays appropriately lavish attention to China (he styles the Qin Dynasty of 221 B.C.E. the world's first modern state), India, and the Islamic countries. A neo-Hegelian, he's especially trenchant on the importance of ideology—especially religious beliefs—as an autonomous instigator of social and political change. (He cogently ascribes Europe's distinctively individualistic culture to the medieval Catholic Church's "assault on kinship.") Fukuyama writes a crystalline prose that balances engaging erudition with incisive analysis. As germane to the turmoil in Afghanistan as it is to today's congressional battles, this is that rare work of history with up-to-the-minute relevance.


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