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THE #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
‘Every time Churchill took to the airwaves it was as if he were injecting adrenaline-soaked courage directly into the British people … Larson tells the story of how that feat was accomplished … Fresh, fast and deeply moving.’ New York Times
A STARTLING, GRIPPING PORTRAIT OF WHAT IT WAS LIKE TO BE ALIVE IN BRITAIN DURING THE BLITZ, AND WHAT IT WAS LIKE TO BE AROUND CHURCHILL.
On Winston Churchill’s first day as prime minister, Hitler invaded Holland and Belgium. Poland and Czechoslovakia had already fallen, and the Dunkirk evacuation was just two weeks away. For the next twelve months, the Nazis would wage a relentless bombing campaign, killing 45,000 Britons and destroying two million homes.
In The Splendid and the Vile, Erik Larson gives a new and brilliantly cinematic account of how Britain’s most iconic leader set about unifying the nation at its most vulnerable moment, and teaching ‘the art of being fearless.’
Drawing on once-secret intelligence reports and diaries, #1 bestselling author Larson takes readers from the shelled streets of London to Churchill’s own chambers, giving a vivid vision of true leadership, when – in the face of unrelenting horror – a leader of eloquence, strategic brilliance and perseverance bound a country, and a family, together.
Berlin, 1933. William E. Dodd, a mild-mannered academic from Chicago, becomes America’s first ambassador to Hitler’s Germany, where he is about to witness a turning point in history.
Dodd and his family observe firsthand the many changes — some subtle, some disturbing, and some horrifically violent — that signal Hitler’s consolidation of power. The ambassador has little choice but to associate with key figures in the Nazi party, and his increasingly concerned cables make little impact on an indifferent US State Department. Meanwhile, his daughter, Martha, is drawn to the young men of the Third Reich and their vision of a ‘New Germany’, and has a succession of affairs with senior party players, including the first chief of the Gestapo, Rudolf Diels.
As the year darkens, the Dodds find their lives transformed, and any last illusions they might have about Hitler are shattered. Suffused with the tense atmosphere of the times, and with brilliant portraits of Hitler, Goebbels, Göring, Himmler, and others, Erik Larson’s extraordinary book sheds unique light on events as they unfold, resulting in an unforgettable, addictively readable work of narrative history.
'A big, bold approach to the writing of narrative non-fiction . . . it shows how tiny lives may occasionally become caught up in the wonders of the age' GUARDIAN
In 1910, Edwardian England was scandalized by a murder.
Mild-mannered American Hawley Crippen had killed his wife, buried her remains in the cellar of their North London home and then gone on the run with his young mistress, his secretary Ethel Le Neve.
A Scotland Yard inspector, already famous for his part in the Ripper investigation, discovered the murder and launched an international hunt for Crippen that climaxed in a trans-Atlantic chase between two ocean liners.
The chase itself was novel, but what captured the imagination was the role played by a new and little understood technology: the wireless. Thanks to its inventor Marconi's obsessive fight to perfect his machine, the world was able to learn of events occurring in the middle of the Atlantic as they unfolded - something previously unthinkable.
It was the Crippen case that helped convince the world of the potential of Marconi's miracle technology, so accelerating the revolution that eventually produced the modern means of communication we take for granted today . . .
'An irresistible page-turner that reads like the most compelling, sleep defying fiction' TIME OUT
One was an architect. The other a serial killer. This is the incredible story of these two men and their realization of the Chicago World's Fair of 1893, and its amazing 'White City'; one of the wonders of the world.
The architect was Daniel H. Burnham, the driving force behind the White City, the massive, visionary landscape of white buildings set in a wonderland of canals and gardens.
The killer was H. H. Holmes, a handsome doctor with striking blue eyes. He used the attraction of the great fair - and his own devilish charms - to lure scores of young women to their deaths.
While Burnham overcame politics, infighting, personality clashes and Chicago's infamous weather to transform the swamps of Jackson Park into the greatest show on Earth, Holmes built his own edifice just west of the fairground. He called it the World's Fair Hotel.
In reality it was a torture palace, a gas chamber, a crematorium.
These two disparate but driven men are brought to life in this mesmerizing, murderous tale of the legendary Fair that transformed America and set it on course for the twentieth century . . .
Something is amiss at the Hotel Angeline, a rickety former mortuary perched atop Capitol Hill in rain-soaked Seattle. Fourteen-year-old Alexis Austin is fixing the plumbing, the tea, and all the problems of the world, it seems, in her landlady mother’s absence. The quirky tenants—a hilarious mix of misfits and rabble-rousers from days gone by—rely on Alexis all the more when they discover a plot to sell the Hotel. Can Alexis save their home? Find her real father? Deal with her surrogate dad’s dicey past? Find true love? Perhaps only their feisty pet crow, Habib, truly knows. Provoking interesting questions about the creative process, this novel is by turns funny, scary, witty, suspenseful, beautiful, thrilling, and unexpected.
WINNER OF THE 2015 GOODREADS CHOICE AWARDS ‘BEST HISTORY AND BIOGRAPHY’
From the #1 New York Times bestselling author and master of narrative non-fiction comes the enthralling story of the sinking of the Lusitania, published to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the disaster
On May 1 1915, a luxury ocean liner as richly appointed as an English country house sailed out of New York, bound for Liverpool, carrying a record number of children and infants. The passengers were anxious. Germany had declared the seas around Britain to be a war zone, and for months, its U-boats had brought terror to the North Atlantic. But the Lusitania was one of the era's great transatlantic 'Greyhounds' and her captain, William Thomas Turner, placed tremendous faith in the gentlemanly strictures of warfare that for a century had kept civilian ships safe from attack. He knew, moreover, that his ship — the fastest then in service — could outrun any threat.
Germany, however, was determined to change the rules of the game, and Walther Schwieger, the captain of Unterseeboot-20, was happy to oblige. Meanwhile, an ultra-secret British intelligence unit tracked Schwieger's U-boat, but told no one. As U-20 and the Lusitania made their way toward Liverpool, an array of forces both grand and achingly small — hubris, a chance fog, a closely guarded secret, and more — all converged to produce one of the great disasters of history.
It is a story that many of us think we know but don't, and Erik Larson tells it thrillingly, switching between hunter and hunted while painting a larger portrait of America at the height of the Progressive Era. Full of glamour, mystery, and real-life suspense, Dead Wake brings to life a cast of evocative characters, from famed Boston bookseller Charles Lauriat to pioneering female architect Theodate Pope Riddle to President Wilson, a man lost to grief, dreading the widening war but also captivated by the prospect of new love. Gripping and important, Dead Wake captures the sheer drama and emotional power of a disaster that helped place America on the road to war.
PRAISE FOR ERIK LARSON
‘Larson is one of the modern masters of popular narrative nonfiction … a resourceful reporter and a subtle stylist who understands the tricky art of Edward Scissorhands-ing narrative strands into a pleasing story … An entertaining book about a great subject, and it will do much to make this seismic event resonate for new generations of readers.’ The New York Tmes
‘[Larson is] a superb storyteller and a relentless research hound’ Time
Em 1º de maio de 1915, com a I Guerra Mundial chegando a seu décimo mês, um luxuoso transatlântico, decorado como um palacete inglês, saiu de Nova York com destino a Liverpool, levando um número recorde de bebês e crianças. Era surpreendente que os passageiros estivessem tão tranquilos, já que os mares ao redor da Inglaterra tinham sido declarados zona de guerra pela Alemanha e havia meses os U-boats alemães levavam terror ao Atlântico Norte. Mas o Lusitania era um dos maiores navios “galgos”, e seu capitão, William Thomas Turner, acreditava piamente no cavalheirismo de guerra que por um século evitara que navios civis fossem atacados.
No caminho para Liverpool, porém, uma série de forças, algumas imensas e outras dolorosamente pequenas — arrogância, segredos, um nevoeiro —, convergiu na rota do Lusitania e de um submarino alemão, culminando em uma das maiores tragédias da história.
Esse episódio é contado de forma impressionante por Erik Larson numa narrativa cheia de glamour e suspense, que revive momentos de figuras célebres da época, como a arquiteta pioneira Theodate Pope e o presidente dos Estados Unidos Woodrow Wilson. O leitor é convidado a visitar os quartos compartilhados da segunda classe e a Sala 40, um misterioso departamento do Almirantado inglês, percorrendo fragmentos que capturam o drama e a carga emocional de um acidente cujo significado mais profundo foi obscurecido pelo tempo.
“O relato de Larson do naufrágio do Lusitania é o mais lúcido e cheio de suspense já escrito.”The Washington Post