Book cover of Checkpoint Charlie: The Cold War, The Berlin Wall, and the Most Dangerous Place On Earth by Iain MacGregor
Europe

Checkpoint Charlie: The Cold War, The Berlin Wall, and the Most Dangerous Place On Earth

In the early 1960s, East Germany committed a billion dollars to the creation of the Berlin Wall, an eleven-foot-high barrier that consisted of seventy-nine miles of fencing, 300 watchtowers, 250 guard dog runs, twenty bunkers, and was operated around the clock by guards who shot to kill. Over the next twenty-eight years, at least five thousand people attempt to smash through it, swim across it, tunnel under it, or fly over it. […Learn More]

Book cover of The Lighthouse of Stalingrad: The Hidden Truth at the Heart of the Greatest Battle of World War II by Iain MacGregor
Eastern Europe

The Lighthouse of Stalingrad: The Hidden Truth at the Heart of the Greatest Battle of World War II 

To the Soviet Union, the sacrifices that enabled the country to defeat Nazi Germany in World War II were sacrosanct. The foundation of the Soviets’ hard-won victory was laid during the battle for the city of Stalingrad, resting on the banks of the Volga River. To Russians, it is a pivotal landmark of their nation’s losses, with more than two million civilians and combatants either killed, wounded, or captured during the bitter fighting from September 1942 to February 1943. Both sides endured terrible conditions in brutal, relentless house-to-house fighting. […Learn More]

Book cover of Cloud Cuckoo Land: A Novel by Anthony Doerr
Fiction

Cloud Cuckoo Land: A Novel

From the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of All the Light We Cannot See, comes the instant New York Times bestseller that is a “wildly inventive, a humane and uplifting book for adults that’s infused with the magic of childhood reading experiences” (The New York Times Book Review).

Among the most celebrated and beloved novels of recent times, Cloud Cuckoo Land is a triumph of imagination and compassion, a soaring story about children on the cusp of adulthood in worlds in peril, who find resilience, hope, and a book. […Learn More]

Book cover of Corruptible: Who Gets Power and How It Changes Us by Brian Klaas
Health and Psychology

Corruptible: Who Gets Power and How It Changes Us

An “absorbing, provocative, and far-reaching” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review) look at what power is, who gets it, and what happens when they do, based on over 500 interviews with those who (temporarily, at least) have had the upper hand—from the creator of the Power Corrupts podcast and Washington Post columnist Brian Klaas. […Learn More]

Book cover of Red Roulette: An Insider's Story of Wealth, Power, Corruption, and Vengeance in Today's China by Desmond Shum
Asia

Red Roulette: An Insider’s Story of Wealth, Power, Corruption, and Vengeance in Today’s China

As Desmond Shum was growing up impoverished in China, he vowed his life would be different. Through hard work and sheer tenacity he earned an American college degree and returned to his native country to establish himself in business. There, he met his future wife, the highly intelligent and equally ambitious Whitney Duan who was determined to make her mark within China’s male-dominated society. Whitney and Desmond formed an effective team and, aided by relationships they formed with top members of China’s Communist Party, the so-called red aristocracy, he vaulted into China’s billionaire class. […Learn More]