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Biography & Autobiography

Over the Edge of the World: Magellan’s Terrifying Circumnavigation of the Globe

by Laurence Bergreen@LBergreen “A first-rate historical page turner.” —New York Times Book Review The acclaimed and bestselling account of Ferdinand Magellan’s historic 60,000-mile ocean voyage. Ferdinand Magellan’s daring circumnavigation of the globe in the sixteenth century was a three-year odyssey filled with sex, violence, and amazing adventure. Now in Over the Edge of the World, prize-winning biographer and journalist Laurence Bergreen entwines a variety of candid, firsthand accounts, bringing to life […Learn More]

Book cover of The Eternal Decline and Fall of Rome: The History of a Dangerous Idea by Edward J. Watts
Ancient Civilizations

The Eternal Decline and Fall of Rome: The History of a Dangerous Idea

For more than 2000 years, those wishing to rule Rome and leaders inspired by their example have claimed they, and only they, could restore their society’s past glory and make it great again. They left millions of victims in their wake.

The decline of Rome has been a constant source of discussion for more than 2200 years. Everyone from American journalists in the twenty-first century AD to Roman politicians at the turn of the third century BC have used it as a tool to illustrate the negative consequences of changes in their world. Because Roman history is so long, it provides a buffet of ready-made stories of decline that can help develop the context around any snapshot. […Learn More]

Book cover of About Time: A History of Civilization in Twelve Clocks by David Rooney
Anthropology

About Time: A History of Civilization in Twelve Clocks

A captivating, surprising history of timekeeping and how it has shaped our world.

For thousands of years, people of all cultures have made and used clocks, from the city sundials of ancient Rome to the medieval water clocks of imperial China, hourglasses fomenting revolution in the Middle Ages, the Stock Exchange clock of Amsterdam in 1611, Enlightenment observatories in India, and the high-precision clocks circling the Earth on a fleet of GPS satellites that have been launched since 1978. Clocks have helped us navigate the world and build empires, and have even taken us to the brink of destruction. […Learn More]

Book cover of The Fate of Rome: Climate, Disease, and the End of an Empire by Kyle Harper
Ancient Civilizations

The Fate of Rome: Climate, Disease, and the End of an Empire

How devastating viruses, pandemics, and other natural catastrophes swept through the far-flung Roman Empire and helped to bring down one of the mightiest civilizations of the ancient world

Here is the monumental retelling of one of the most consequential chapters of human history: the fall of the Roman Empire. The Fate of Rome is the first book to examine the catastrophic role that climate change and infectious diseases played in the collapse of Rome’s power―a story of nature’s triumph over human ambition. […Learn More]

Book cover of Madhouse at the End of the Earth
Arctic & Antarctica

Madhouse at the End of the Earth: The Belgica’s Journey into the Dark Antarctic Night

In August 1897, the young Belgian commandant Adrien de Gerlache set sail for a three-year expedition aboard the good ship Belgica with dreams of glory. His destination was the uncharted end of the earth: the icy continent of Antarctica.
But de Gerlache’s plans to be first to the magnetic South Pole would swiftly go awry. After a series of costly setbacks, the commandant faced two bad options: turn back in defeat and spare his men the devastating Antarctic winter, or recklessly chase fame by sailing deeper into the freezing waters. […Learn More]