Thursday, September 25, 2014

Liz Is Recommending:
An extraordinarily vivid and personal portrait of America's greatest political family and its enormous impact on our nation-the tie-in volume to the PBS documentary to air in the fall of 2014.

This handsome, engaging, revelatory book is an intimate history of three extraordinary individuals from the same extraordinary family-Theodore, Eleanor, and Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Geoffrey C. Ward, distilling more than thirty years of thinking and writing about the Roosevelts, and the acclaimed filmmaker Ken Burns help us understand for the first time that, despite the fierce partisanship of their eras and ours, the Roosevelts were far more united than divided. 
All the history the Roosevelts made is here, but this is primarily a book about human beings, each of whom somehow overcame obstacles that would have undone less forceful personalities, and all of whom wrestled in their lives with issues still familiar to the rest of us-anger and the need for forgiveness, courage and cowardice, confidence and self-doubt, loyalty to family and the need to be oneself. This is the story of the Roosevelts, no other American family ever touched so many lives.
A dramatic, illuminating day-by-day account of the 1978 Camp David conference, when President Jimmy Carter convinced Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin and Egyptian President Anwar Sadat to sign a peace treaty--the first treaty in the modern Middle East, and one which endures to this day.

With his hallmark insight into the forces at play in the Middle East and his acclaimed journalistic skill, Lawrence Wright takes us through each of the thirteen days of the Camp David conference, delving deeply into the issues and enmities between the two nations, explaining the relevant background to the conflict and to all the major participants at the conference, from the three heads of state to their mostly well-known seconds working furiously behind the scenes. 
What emerges is not what we've come to think of as an unprecedented yet "simple" peace. Rather, Wright reveals the full extent of Carter's persistence in pushing peace forward, the extraordinary way in which the participants at the conference--many of them lifelong enemies--attained it, and the profound difficulties inherent in the process and its outcome, not the least of which has been the still unsettled struggle between the Israelis and the Palestinians. In Thirteen Days in September, Wright gives us a gripping work of history and reportage that provides an inside view of how peace is made.
A hiker’s dream bucket list is embodied in this lavishly illustrated celebration of more than 50,000 miles of America’s most iconic trails. Celebrating the forty most important trails in America, this volume takes the reader through forty-nine states and eight national parks. Literally tens of millions of tourists and hikers visit these trails each year, some of which wind through the country’s most scenic natural wonders and virtually every major ecosystem in America.

Each featured trail has its own section, complete with a map and photo gallery, and the reader explores what makes it one of the most magnificent hiking experiences anywhere in the world. Trail histories accompany detailed hiker-friendly descriptions that highlight the most scenic spots, with suggestions for shorter weekend and day hikes. The stunning photographs take the reader on a visual adventure conducted by Bart Smith, the first person to hike all eleven National Scenic Trails from end to end. America’s Great Hiking Trails is perfect for anyone interested in outdoor recreation and conservation.
From the authors of the #1 New York Times best-selling Half the Sky, a unique and essential narrative about making a difference in the world-a road-map to becoming a conscientious global citizen. Soon to be the basis of a PBS four-hour series.

Equal in urgency and compassion to Half the Sky, this galvanizing new book from the acclaimed husband-and-wife team is even more ambitious in scale: nothing less than a deep examination of people who are making the world a better place, and the myriad ways we can support them, whether with a donation of five dollars or five million, an inkling to help or a useful skill to deploy. With scrupulous research and on-the-ground reporting, the authors assay the art and science of giving-determining the current most successful local and global aid initiatives (on issues from education to inner-city violence to disease prevention), evaluating the efficiency and impact of specific approaches and charities, as well as fund-raising. Most compellingly, perhaps, they show us how particular people have made a difference, and offer practical advice on how best each of us can give and what we can personally derive from doing so.

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