Evoking the spirit—and danger—of the early American West, this is the story of the Battle of Beecher Island, pitting an outnumbered United States Army patrol against six hundred Native warriors, where heroism on both sides of the conflict captures the vital themes at play on the American frontier.
In February 1861, the twelve-year-old son of Arizona rancher John Ward was kidnapped by Apaches. Ward followed their trail and reported the incident to patrols at Fort Buchanan, blaming a band of Chiricahuas led by the infamous warrior Cochise. Though Ward had no proof that Cochise had kidnapped his son, Lt. George Bascom organized a patrol and met with the Apache leader, who, not suspecting anything was amiss, had brought along his wife, his brother, and two sons. Despite Cochise’s assertions that he had not taken the boy and his offer to help in the search, Bascom immediately took Cochise’s family hostage and demanded the return of the boy. An incensed Cochise escaped the meeting tent amidst flying bullets and vowed revenge.What followed that precipitous encounter would ignite a Southwestern frontier war between the Chiricahuas and the US Army that would last twenty-five years.
In the summer of 1874, Brevet Major General George Armstrong Custer led an expedition of some 1000 troops and more than one hundred wagons into the Black Hills of South Dakota. This fascinating work of narrative history tells the little-known story of this exploratory mission and reveals how it set the stage for the climactic Battle of the Little Bighorn two years later. What is the significance of this obscure foray into the Black Hills? The short answer, as the author explains, is that Custer found gold. This discovery in the context of the worst economic depression the country had yet experienced spurred a gold rush that brought hordes of white prospectors to the Sioux’s sacred grounds. The result was the trampling of an 1868 treaty that had granted the Black Hills to the Sioux and their inevitable retaliation against the white invasion.
A fascinating account of a dramatic, untold chapter in Hemingway’s life—his pursuit of German U-boats during World War II. From the summer of 1942 until the end of 1943, Ernest Hemingway lived in Havana, Cuba, and spent much of his time in the Gulf Stream hunting German sub- marines in his wooden fishing boat, The Pilar. This phase of Hemingway’s life has only been briefly touched upon in biographies of Hemingway but proved to be of enormous importance to him. At the time, the U-boats were torpedoing dozens of Allied tankers each month and threatened America’s ability to wage war in Europe. Hemingway’s patrols were supported by the U.S. Navy, and he viewed these dangerous missions as both patriotic duty and pure adventure. But they were more than that: they provided some literary basis for The Old Man and the Sea and Islands in the Stream.
“I began to get tired of staying in one place so long.” So said Samuel Langhorne Clemens, known to all as Mark Twain. Ironically, the quintessential American writer spent many years of his life living and traveling around the world. Sometimes because of wanderlust, sometimes because of economic necessity, he was on the go constantly. And along the way he encountered colorful characters, strange institutions and cultures, a variety of adventures and misadventures, all of which he incorporated into his travel writing-writing that reflects Twain’s matchless eye for irony, humor and, now and then, tragedy. Mark Twain on Travel is a timeless collection of some of Twain’s best writing, as he catalogued the antics of what he came to call “the damned human race.”
Though he made his name and his fortune as an author of Western novels, Zane Grey’s best writing has to do with fishing. There he was free from the conventions of the Western genre and the expectations of the market, and he was able to blend his talent for narrative with his keen eye for detail and humor, much of it self-deprecating, into books and articles that are both informative and exciting.
in Jack London on Adventure, are excerpts from his well-loved works, which were the result of his restless quest for experience, combined with “his observations of unalterable facts,” as editor Terry Mort writes in his introduction. Lose yourself in the sheer unending quietude of the North in “White Fang” and “The White Silence”; enter into the listless, worried mind of an elder in “The League of the Old Men”; prepare to sail around the world for seven years’ time alongside the author-turned-captain, himself, in “The Cruise of the Snark,” where the famed boat is built with each dollar earned from London’s writings; and peek into the observations of seasoned sailors and the foolish passengers they carry in “The Sea Wolf.” Mort ends with the statement, “A complex man and artist is hard to capture in a single image,” but in terms of the unlikely and unknown, London’s works here capture the thrill that burned in him so brightly.
The best baseball novel of the season – ANY season. No fans are more perpetually disappointed than those of the Chicago Cubs—a team that has not won a World Series since 1908. And chief among the forlorn is Jack Frost. From his assigned seat in the cafeteria at the Bide Awhile Rest Home, Jack reads the sports pages every day and checks out the standings. In the middle of June, the Cubs are already thirteen and a half games out. Last place again—or rather, still. Into this sea of depression drops one Clarence Beazely, a new resident at the home and a baseball fan. But Beazely is not your everyday fan, nor is he your everyday rest home resident. He has extraordinary powers, and in a very friendly way he offers Jack a tantalizing deal. Of course it comes at a cost, but if the price seems a little steep, does it really matter as long as the Cubs might have a chance to be… WORLD CHAMPIONS?