The History Reader

The History Reader A History Blog by @StMartinsPress, and imprint of @MacmillanUSA. We offer interviews, excerpts, and original commentary from a wide range of experts; from award-winning historians to honored veterans and more.
For more than sixty years, St. Martin's Press has published award-winning history books on a range of subjects.
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The History Reader offers articles, interviews, and further reading for history buffs and book lovers everywhere, drawing from military history and ancient times to today.

In anticipation of his new book, LABYRINTH OF ICE, we sat down with author Buddy Levy to learn more about his research, ...
12/05/2019

In anticipation of his new book, LABYRINTH OF ICE, we sat down with author Buddy Levy to learn more about his research, journey, and what attracted him to this project. Learn more about his retelling of the Greely Expedition in our exclusive Q&A: http://bit.ly/2PgvDVQ

In our third featured excerpt from REVOLUTIONARY BROTHERS, the Continental Army celebrates the French alliance as a twen...
12/04/2019

In our third featured excerpt from REVOLUTIONARY BROTHERS, the Continental Army celebrates the French alliance as a twenty-one-year-old Lafayette proves his worth to General Washington. Read on: http://bit.ly/2YdUHAQ

In our second excerpt from Tom Chaffin’s REVOLUTIONARY BROTHERS, the Marquis de Lafayette inspects the Continental Arm...
11/27/2019
The History Reader - A History Blog from St. Martins Press

In our second excerpt from Tom Chaffin’s REVOLUTIONARY BROTHERS, the Marquis de Lafayette inspects the Continental Army for the first time in 1777. Although the Army is raggedly dressed and poorly armed, Lafayette acts with grace and humility as General Washington displays his troops. Read on: bit.ly/34wGstm

The History Reader is a blog for history lovers and readers of history books

The Mayflower Compact has been much romanticized. The signing took place in no special cabin. It is unlikely that women ...
11/25/2019
The History Reader - A History Blog from St. Martins Press

The Mayflower Compact has been much romanticized. The signing took place in no special cabin. It is unlikely that women or children were present for it, as many representations suggest. Yet artists are right to depict the scene as a moment of great drama and historical import. The act of creating such a colony was revolutionary. Read on: http://bit.ly/2NDv9cC

Rebecca Fraser's THE MAYFLOWER is now available in paperback: https://us.macmillan.com/books/9781250108579

The History Reader is a blog for history lovers and readers of history books

In our latest post, F/A-18 Weapon Systems Officer Caroline Johnson gives an intense and thrilling account of her first c...
11/19/2019

In our latest post, F/A-18 Weapon Systems Officer Caroline Johnson gives an intense and thrilling account of her first contact with ISIS in Iraq: http://bit.ly/JetGirlExcerpt

Sweepstakes! Enter for a chance to win an advance copy of LABYRINTH OF ICE, the incredible true story of the Greely Expe...
11/12/2019
Labyrinth of Ice Sweepstakes

Sweepstakes! Enter for a chance to win an advance copy of LABYRINTH OF ICE, the incredible true story of the Greely Expedition, one of the most harrowing adventures in the annals of polar exploration: https://read.macmillan.com/promo/labyrinthsweepstakes

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Abbreviated Rules: No purchase necessary. Open only to legal residents of the 50 United States or the District of Columbia who are age 13 years of age or older. Entry period begins at 12:00 a.m. (ET) on Tuesday, October 15, 2019 and ends at 11:59 PM ET on Saturday, November 30, 2019. Void where prohibited. For full Official Rules, visit https://read.macmillan.com/promo/labyrinthsweepstakes. Sponsored by St. Martin's Press, 120 Broadway 10271.

Labyrinth of Ice Sweepstakes

Sweepstakes! Enter for a chance to win an advance copy of MANHUNTERS, the real story of the hunt for Pablo Escobar from ...
09/20/2019

Sweepstakes! Enter for a chance to win an advance copy of MANHUNTERS, the real story of the hunt for Pablo Escobar from the actual DEA agents portrayed in the hit Netflix original series Narcos: https://read.macmillan.com/promo/thrmanhunterssweepstakes
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Abbreviated Rules: No purchase necessary. Open only to legal residents of the 50 United States or the District of Columbia who are age 18 years of age or older and of the legal age of majority in the jurisdiction in which he or she resides. Entry period begins at 12:00 a.m. (ET) on Sunday, September 01, 2019 and ends at 11:59 PM ET on Monday, September 30, 2019. Void where prohibited. For full Official Rules, visit https://read.macmillan.com/promo/thrmanhunterssweepstakes. Sponsored by St. Martin's Press, 120 Broadway, 26th Floor 10271.

Visionary chemist Sidney Gottlieb was the CIA’s master magician and gentlehearted torturer—the agency’s “poisone...
09/11/2019

Visionary chemist Sidney Gottlieb was the CIA’s master magician and gentlehearted torturer—the agency’s “poisoner in chief.”

As head of the MK-ULTRA mind control project, he directed brutal experiments at secret prisons on three continents. He made pills, powders, and potions that could kill or maim without a trace—including some intended for Fidel Castro and other foreign leaders. He paid prostitutes to lure clients to CIA-run bordellos, where they were secretly dosed with mind-altering drugs. His experiments spread LSD across the United States, making him a hidden godfather of the 1960s counterculture. For years he was the chief supplier of spy tools used by CIA officers around the world.

Learn more in an excerpt from Stephen Kinzer's POISONER IN CHIEF: http://www.thehistoryreader.com/modern-history/sidney-gottlieb-and-the-cia-search-for-mind-control/

Condé Nast’s life and career was as high profile and glamorous as his magazines. Moving to New York in the early twen...
09/03/2019

Condé Nast’s life and career was as high profile and glamorous as his magazines. Moving to New York in the early twentieth century with just the shirt on his back, he soon became the highest-paid executive in the United States, acquiring Vogue in 1909 and Vanity Fair in 1913.

Read an excerpt of Susan Ronald's biography of the publishing pioneer, CONDÉ NAST: http://www.thehistoryreader.com/modern-history/conde-nast-the-man-and-his-empire/

Who was Terence Otway? And why was he chosen to capture one of the biggest German bunkers in the early hours of D-Day? T...
08/16/2019
D-Day and the Battle for Merville

Who was Terence Otway? And why was he chosen to capture one of the biggest German bunkers in the early hours of D-Day? Turns out that he was one of the most extraordinary Allied commanders to fight against the Germans on June 6, 1944. Read on: http://bit.ly/DDayMerville

A few hours before the Normandy beach landings, Allied troops invaded the Merville Battery, a giant gun encampment, with instructions to destroy it.

Based on hundreds of exclusive first-hand interviews and cultivated over twenty years of research—including numerous O...
07/26/2019

Based on hundreds of exclusive first-hand interviews and cultivated over twenty years of research—including numerous Oral Histories from the JFK Library and the Edward M. Kennedy Institute—THE KENNEDY HEIRS is an epic drama of ambition, scandal, pride and power. Enter for a chance to win a hardcover copy! http://bit.ly/KennedyHeirsSweeps

In recent years, we’ve been subjected to movies and various reality shows ostensibly depicting the Amish and the plain...
07/11/2019
The History Behind the Mystery: Shamed - The History Reader

In recent years, we’ve been subjected to movies and various reality shows ostensibly depicting the Amish and the plain life. But what do we really know about the Amish?

Author Linda Castillo explores the community's history in the latest on our blog: http://bit.ly/32nVikU

Author Linda Castillo delves into the history of the Amish communities that provide the setting for her bestselling Kate Burkholder mysteries.

Who was Denis Edwards? And why was he dropped behind enemy lines some six hours before the beach landings on D-Day? Find...
06/18/2019
The Mission You've Never Heard Of: The Hours Before D-Day

Who was Denis Edwards? And why was he dropped behind enemy lines some six hours before the beach landings on D-Day? Find out in the latest from Giles Milton (Writer): http://bit.ly/2MTrEAx

Hours before the beach landings on D-Day, a group of men underwent a dangerous nighttime mission in France. What happened in that fateful operation?

Mercenaries live outside the law and are often portrayed as colorful characters, a little bit brigand and a little bit h...
06/17/2019

Mercenaries live outside the law and are often portrayed as colorful characters, a little bit brigand and a little bit hero. But living outside the law comes with consequences. More from author J. R. Olson: http://bit.ly/2x2ufgw

Photo: UK Express, October 12th, 2017, Russian Mercenaries Fighting in Syria, Image Courtesy of Getty

As is well known by now, the Kennedys have always been a family of dreamers. The members of the third generation have me...
06/14/2019

As is well known by now, the Kennedys have always been a family of dreamers. The members of the third generation have memories of their grandparents, Joseph and Rose, talking about discrimination against the Irish and showing them newspaper clippings from the Boston press where the letters NINA (“No Irish Need Apply”) were splashed on want ads for job opportunities. These young Kennedys came to understand that when Grandpa Joe was appointed ambassador to England back in 1938, it had been a real victory considering it had been just two generations since the family was of Irish peasantry. The way Grandpa had advanced in society while carving out his fortune in the Manhattan banking industry, on Wall Street, in politics, and, later, even in Hollywood would always inspire them.

Read on: http://www.thehistoryreader.com/modern-history/the-kennedy-heirs-a-legacy-of-courage/

General Eisenhower and the architects of D-Day knew that the Allied landings would only be successful if they had up-to-...
05/22/2019
D-Day: What Was Operation Tarbrush X?

General Eisenhower and the architects of D-Day knew that the Allied landings would only be successful if they had up-to-the-minute information about the German coastal defenses. Read on: http://bit.ly/D-DayOpTarbrushX

The architects of D-Day: learn about Operation Tarbrush X, French spies, and the agents that risked their lives for the Allied forces.

In REVOLUTIONARY BROTHERS, Tom Chaffin casts fresh light on the remarkable, often complicated, four-decade friendship of...
05/20/2019

In REVOLUTIONARY BROTHERS, Tom Chaffin casts fresh light on the remarkable, often complicated, four-decade friendship of Thomas Jefferson and the Marquis de Lafayette.

Enter for a chance to win an early copy: bit.ly/RevBrothersSweeps

05/14/2019
George Washington, A Novice General

WATCH: Rick Atkinson, best-selling author and winner of the Pulitzer Prize, in "George Washington, A Novice General" for George Washington's Mount Vernon.

Rick Atkinson's new book, THE BRITISH ARE COMING, is now available wherever books are sold.

At the start of the Revolutionary War, it had been seventeen years since General George Washington last wore a military uniform and he was only a provincial ...

"The fateful news traveled swiftly on the post road from Philadelphia, covering more than ninety miles and crossing five...
05/14/2019
"A Declaration" that Changed the Course of History - The History Reader

"The fateful news traveled swiftly on the post road from Philadelphia, covering more than ninety miles and crossing five rivers in just a couple of days. Precise copies were then made of the thirteen-hundred-word broadside, titled “A Declaration,” that arrived at the Mortier mansion headquarters, and by Tuesday, July 9, General Washington was ready for every soldier in his command to hear what Congress had to say." Read on: http://bit.ly/2YplxVq

by Rick Atkinson The fateful news traveled swiftly on the post road from Philadelphia, covering more than ninety miles and crossing five rivers in just a couple of days. Precise copies were then made of the thirteen-hundred-word broadside, titled “A…Read more ›

"Upon his arrival in Washington, it was both natural and expectable that Johnson would want to learn how things worked i...
05/11/2019
Lyndon Johnson: The Making of a Politician - The History Reader

"Upon his arrival in Washington, it was both natural and expectable that Johnson would want to learn how things worked in the nation’s capital--the relationships and sources of power--just as he had at Johnson City, San Marcos, and Cotulla. The task, of course, was more formidable. Many a small-town giant had been swallowed up by a city whose concerns were as varied as the affairs and populace of the nation. Nevertheless, to Johnson, the activating principles were much the same. If he had more to learn than ever before, that meant only that there was no time to waste."

Read on: http://bit.ly/30a3hRv

by Doris Kearns Goodwin Updated for 2019 with a new foreword from the author, Doris Kearns Goodwin’s Lyndon Johnson and the American Dream is an extraordinary and insightful biography of the former president. This book traces the 36th president’s life…Read more ›

Time is running out! Enter for a chance to win a signed advance copy of Rick Atkinson's THE BRITISH ARE COMING--learn mo...
05/10/2019

Time is running out! Enter for a chance to win a signed advance copy of Rick Atkinson's THE BRITISH ARE COMING--learn more: http://bit.ly/AtkinsonSweepsFB

When builders pounded the golden spike at Promontory Point, Utah, on May 10, 1869, they opened a new era in transportati...
05/10/2019
The Golden Age of the Pullman Car - The History Reader

When builders pounded the golden spike at Promontory Point, Utah, on May 10, 1869, they opened a new era in transportation. But long train trips required innovations in passenger cars. Sleeping cars operated by the Pullman Palace Car Company solved a problem and influenced American taste for decades to come. Read on: http://bit.ly/2J96BqQ

This year marks the 150th anniversary of the completion of the first transcontinental railroad.

They were the two most famous plainsmen of the American West, and they shared the same first name. Well, sort of... Will...
05/09/2019
Friendship in the American Frontier: Buffalo Bill and Wild Bill

They were the two most famous plainsmen of the American West, and they shared the same first name. Well, sort of... William Cody came to be known as Buffalo Bill and James Butler Hickok came to be known as Wild Bill.

Learn more about the friendship between Wild Bill and Buffalo Bill in the latest post from author Tom Clavin: http://bit.ly/2V98u8I

Still looking for the perfect Mother's Day gift? Enter for a chance to win a signed copy of THE LEAGUE OF WIVES by Heath...
05/04/2019
The League of Wives Mother's Day Sweepstakes

Still looking for the perfect Mother's Day gift? Enter for a chance to win a signed copy of THE LEAGUE OF WIVES by Heath Hardage Lee! This page-turning work of narrative non-fiction tells the true story of the military wives who battled Washington—and Hanoi—to bring their husbands home from the jungles of Vietnam.

Learn more and enter for a chance to win: https://read.macmillan.com/promo/tlowmothersday

The League of Wives Sweepstakes

Sweepstakes alert! We've partnered with Henry Holt to offer a chance to win a signed advance copy of the first book in R...
05/02/2019
The British Are Coming Sweepstakes

Sweepstakes alert! We've partnered with Henry Holt to offer a chance to win a signed advance copy of the first book in Rick Atkinson's new trilogy about the American Revolution, THE BRITISH ARE COMING.

Learn more and enter: http://bit.ly/AtkinsonSweepsFB

Enter for a chance to win an advance reader's copy of THE BRITISH ARE COMING!

"As the author of a mystery series, when I decided to tackle the Italian American experience at the turn of the 20th cen...
04/11/2019

"As the author of a mystery series, when I decided to tackle the Italian American experience at the turn of the 20th century, I became acutely aware of two things: most of my adored images came from mob movies—and many Italian Americans had serious issues with those movies and the way they sold the image of Italians as career criminals, incapable of following the laws and customs of the United States. Some of the books I read on the Italian American history in New York avoided all but the briefest mention of the mafia altogether, refusing to dignify what the authors saw as exploitative and damaging myth."

Read on in The History Behind the Mystery: http://bit.ly/2Idovbv

Tom Clavin, the bestselling author of DODGE CITY, returns to the Wild West with WILD BILL—and we're offering a chance ...
04/05/2019

Tom Clavin, the bestselling author of DODGE CITY, returns to the Wild West with WILD BILL—and we're offering a chance to win a FREE hardcover copy!

Learn more and enter here: http://bit.ly/WildBillSweepsFB

ABBREVIATED RULES
No purchase necessary. Open only to legal residents of the 50 United States and D.C. who are age 18 or older and of the legal age of majority. Entry period begins at 12:00 a.m. Eastern Time (ET) on 4/1/2019 and ends at 11:59 p.m. ET on 4/14/2019. Void where prohibited. For full Official Rules, visit https://read.macmillan.com/promo/smpwildbillsweepsapr19. Sponsored by St. Martin’s Press, 175 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10010.

To most Americans, Frank Hamer is known only as the “villain” of the 1967 film Bonnie and Clyde. In TEXAS RANGER, hi...
03/25/2019

To most Americans, Frank Hamer is known only as the “villain” of the 1967 film Bonnie and Clyde. In TEXAS RANGER, historian John Boessenecker sets out to restore Hamer’s good name and prove that he was, in fact, a classic American hero.

For a limited time, get the eBook edition of TEXAS RANGER for just $2.99!
Amazon Kindle: http://bit.ly/TexasRanger_KINDLE
Apple Books: http://bit.ly/TexasRanger_APPLE
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/TexasRanger_NOOK
Google Play: http://bit.ly/TexasRanger_GOOGLE
Kobo: http://bit.ly/TexasRanger_KOBO

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