Book cover of Colossus: Hoover Dam and the Making of the American Century by Michael Hiltzik
Engineering & Transportation

Colossus: Hoover Dam and the Making of the American Century

As breathtaking today as the day it was completed, Hoover Dam not only shaped the American West but helped launch the American century. In the depths of the Great Depression it became a symbol of American resilience and ingenuity in the face of crisis, putting thousands of men to work in a remote desert canyon and bringing unruly nature to heel. […Learn More]

Book cover of Private Empire ExxonMobil and American Power by Steve Coll
Business & Money

Private Empire: ExxonMobil and American Power

From the award-winning and bestselling author of Ghost Wars and Directorate S, an “extraordinary” and “monumental” exposé of Big Oil (The Washington Post)

Includes a profile of current Secretary of State and former chairman and chief executive of ExxonMobil, Rex Tillerson

In this, the first hard-hitting examination of ExxonMobil—the largest and most powerful private corporation in the United States—Steve Coll reveals the true extent of its power. […Learn More]

Civil War

Lincoln’s Code: The Laws of War in American History

In the closing days of 1862, just three weeks before Emancipation, the administration of Abraham Lincoln commissioned a code setting forth the laws of war for US armies. It announced standards of conduct in wartime—concerning torture, prisoners of war, civilians, spies, and slaves—that shaped the course of the Civil War. By the twentieth century, Lincoln’s code would be incorporated into the Geneva Conventions and form the basis of a new international law of war. […Learn More]

History

Union: The Struggle to Forge the Story of United States Nationhood

The author of American Nations returns to the historical study of a fractured America by examining how a myth of national unity was created and fought over in the nineteenth century–a myth that continues to affect us today

Union tells the story of the struggle to create a national myth for the United States, one that could hold its rival regional cultures together and forge, for the first time, an American nationhood. […Learn More]