Description : At some point during the inhumanly cold Himalayan winter straddling 1965 and 1966, a peculiar collection of box-shaped objects — one sprouting a six-foot, insect-like antenna — plummets nine thousand feet down the sheer flanks of a remote peak. Ripped from its moorings by an avalanche, the jumbled apparatus slides down a funnel-shaped hourglass of hard snow and shoots over a black cliff band, careening a vertical distance six times the height of the Empire State building. The boxes come to rest on the glacier at the mountain's base. One, an olive-drab casing the size of a personal computer, begins to sink. Then, trailing a robotic dogtail of torn wires, it slowly burns through the snow, melting into solid blue glacial ice, eventually disappearing beneath the surface, and never seen again. No one actually witnessed this event. But as you read these words, nearly four pounds of plutonium — locked in the glacier's dark unknowable heart — are almost certainly moving ever closer to the source of the Ganges River. Eye at the Top of the World, provides a harrowing present-day account of Takeda's expedition to solve the mystery of Nanda Devi.
Description : In his day Walter Wellman (1858–1934) was one of America’s most famous men. To his contemporaries, he seemed like a character from a Jules Verne novel. He led five expeditions in search of the North Pole, two by dogsled and three by dirigible airship, and in 1910 made the first attempt to cross the Atlantic Ocean by air—which the self-styled expert on aerial warfare saw as a mission of world peace. He endured hardships, cheated death on more than one occasion, and surrounded himself with a team of assistants as eccentric and audacious as he was. In addition to his daring adventures, Wellman became a nationally known political reporter and unofficial spokesman for the McKinley and Roosevelt administrations. He was not the first newspaper-sponsored adventurer, but more than any of his predecessors he turned exploration into a real-time media event, and his reputation both flourished and suffered because of it. Wellman lived during a time of rapid social and technological change, when explorers were racing to fill in the last remaining blank spots on the map and when aviation promised to fulfill humanity’s greatest hopes and darkest fears. Flight to the Top of the World is a window into Wellman’s time and illuminates many of its dreams and contradictions.
Description : The Sino-Indian War of 1962 delivered a crushing defeat to India: not only did the country suffer a loss of lives and a heavy blow to its pride, the world began to see India as the provocateur of the war, with China ‘merely defending’ its territory. This perception that China was largely the innocent victim of Nehru’s hostile policies was put forth by journalist Neville Maxwell in his book India’s China War, which found readers in many opinion makers, including Henry Kissinger and Richard Nixon. For far too long, Maxwell’s narrative, which sees India as the aggressor and China as the victim, has held court. Nearly 50 years after Maxwell’s book, Bertil Lintner’s China’s India War puts the ‘border dispute’ into its rightful perspective. Lintner argues that China began planning the war as early as 1959 and proposes that it was merely a small move in the larger strategic game that China was playing to become a world player—one that it continues to play even today.
Description : This book by a leading scholar of international relations examines the origins of the new world disorder – the resurgence of Russia, the rise of populism in the West, deep tensions in the Atlantic alliance, and the new strategic partnership between China and Russia – and asks why so many assumptions about how the world might look after the Cold War – liberal, democratic and increasingly global – have proven to be so wrong. To explain this, Michael Cox goes back to the moment of disintegration and examines what the Cold War was about, why the Cold War ended, why the experts failed to predict it, and how different writers and policy-makers (and not just western ones) have viewed the tumultuous period between 1989 when the liberal order seemed on top of the world through to the current period when confidence in the western project seems to have disappeared almost completely.
Description : The Boy at the Top of the Mountain by John Boyne, the author of The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, is another extraordinary historical fiction about World War II and innocence in the face of evil. When Pierrot becomes an orphan, he must leave his home in Paris for a new life with his aunt Beatrix, a servant in a wealthy Austrian household. But this is no ordinary time, for it is 1935 and the Second World War is fast approaching; and this is no ordinary house, for this is the Berghof, the home of Adolf Hitler. Pierrot is quickly taken under Hitler's wing and thrown into an increasingly dangerous new world: a world of terror, secrets, and betrayal from which he may never be able to escape. This title has Common Core connections.
Description : The Polar North is known to be home to large gas and oil reserves and its position holds significant trading and military advantages, yet the maritime boundaries of the region remain ill-defined. In the twenty-first century the Arctic is undergoing profound change. As the sea ice melts, a result of accelerating climate change, global governance has become vital. In this, the third of three volumes, the latest research and analysis from the world's leading Arctic research body - the Fridtjof Nansen Institute - is brought together for the first time. Arctic Governance: Norway, Russia and Asia investigates the foreign policy discourses of Arctic governance, specifically as regarding international relations and competing interests between Norway, Russia and various Asian states.
Description : ‘If Downton Abbey still colours your impression of what Britain was like on the cusp of the First World War, 1913 could be a useful corrective’ Scotsman 2018 marks the centenary of the end of the Great War. What was the year before the war really like? 1913 is usually seen as little more than the antechamber to apocalypse. Our images of the times are too often dominated by last summers of upper-class indulgence or by a world rushing headlong into the abyss of an inevitable war. 1913: The World before the Great War proposes a strikingly different portrait: told through the stories of twenty-three cities – Europe’s capitals at the height of their global reach, the emerging metropolises of America, the imperial cities of Asia and Africa, the boomtowns of Australia and the Americas – Charles Emmerson presents a panoramic view of a world crackling with possibilities, from St Petersburg to Shanghai and from Los Angeles to Jerusalem. What emerges is a rich and complex world, more familiar than we expect, connected as never before, on the threshold of events which would change the course of global history. ‘A masterful, comprehensive portrait of the world at that last moment in its history...’ Spectator
Description : Few American military figures are more revered than General John J. "Black Jack" Pershing (1860--1948), who is most famous for leading the American Expeditionary Forces in World War I. The only soldier besides George Washington to be promoted to the highest rank in the U.S. Army (General of the Armies), Pershing was a mentor to the generation of generals who led America's forces during the Second World War. Though Pershing published a two-volume memoir, My Experiences in the World War, and has been the subject of numerous biographies, few know that he spent many years drafting a memoir of his experiences prior to the First World War. In My Life Before the World War, 1860--1917, John T. Greenwood rescues this vital resource from obscurity, making Pershing's valuable insights into key events in history widely available for the first time. Pershing performed frontier duty against the Apaches and Sioux from 1886--1891, fought in Cuba in 1898, served three tours of duty in the Philippines, and was an observer with the Japanese Army in 1905 during the Russo-Japanese War. He also commanded the Mexican Punitive Expedition to capture Pancho Villa in 1916--1917. My Life Before the World War provides a rich personal account of events, people, and places as told by an observer at the center of the action. Carefully edited and annotated, this memoir is a significant contribution to our understanding of a legendary American soldier and the historic events in which he participated.
Description : Never before in the history of mankind have so few people had so much power over so many. The people at the top of the American national security establishment, the President and his principal advisors, the core team at the helm of the National Security Council, are without question the most powerful committee in the history of the world.Yet, in many respects, they are among the least understood. A former senior official in the Clinton Administration himself, David Rothkopf served with and knows personally many of the NSC's key players of the past twenty-five years. In Running the World he pulls back the curtain on this shadowy world to explore its inner workings, its people, their relationships, their contributions and the occasions when they have gone wrong. He traces the group's evolution from the final days of the Second World War to the post-Cold War realities of global terror—exploring its triumphs, its human dramas and most recently, what many consider to be its breakdown at a time when we needed it most. Drawing on an extraordinary series of insider interviews with policy makers including Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell, Henry Kissinger, senior officials of the Bush Administration, and over 130 others, the book offers unprecedented insights into what must change if America is to maintain its unprecedented worldwide leadership in the decades ahead.