FEBRUARY 22, 2012

History

Alcatraz: History and Design of a Landmark

Donald MacDonald and Ira Nadel
(Chronicle Books, $16.95, HC, 9781452101538)

Alcatraz-a major tourist attraction, draws over a million visitors a year. This enlightening volume provides the first complete history of Alcatraz told through its architecture. In friendly illustrations and accessible text, authors Donald MacDonald and Ira Nadel reveal the design decisions that have shaped the island from its first brick and masonry fortress to the infamous concrete cellblock, to the landscape design of its contemporary gardens and bird sanctuaries.

Brave Dragons: A Chinese Basketball Team, an American Coach, and Two Cultures Clashing

Jim Yardley
(Knopf Publishing Group, $26.95, HC, 9780307272218)

Brave Dragons is the wonderfully original story of a struggling Chinese basketball team and its quixotic, often comical attempt to right its fortunes by copying the American stars of the NBA--a season of cultural misunderstanding that transcends sports and reveals China's ambivalent relationship with the West.

Enemies: A History of the FBI

Tim Weiner
(Random House, $30.00, HC , 9781400067480)

Drawing on thousands of pages of recently declassified documents and oral histories, here is the hidden history of America's hundred-year war on terror. Enemies is the first definitive history of the FBI's secret intelligence operations, from an author whose work on the Pentagon and the CIA won him the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award.

The Hemlock Cup: Socrates, Athens and the Search for the Good Life

Bettany Hughes
(Vintage Books, $17.95, TP, 9781400076017)

From a celebrated British author and historian: a brilliant new book combining historical inquiry and storytelling élan to paint an unprecedentedly vivid portrait of Socrates and the Golden Age of classical Athens. Deeply informed and vibrantly written, The Hemlock Cup gives us the most substantial, fascinating, humane depiction we have ever had of one of the most influential thinkers of all time.

Son of Forgotten Hollywood Forgotten History

Manny Pacheco
(Book Publishers Network, $18.95, TP, 9781937454142)

Manny Pacheco's Son of Forgotten Hollywood Forgotten History is the long anticipated sequel to the award-winning Forgotten Hollywood Forgotten History, and it tells more rarely shared American stories through the eyes of 21 character actors of Hollywood s Golden Age, including Frank Morgan, Peter Lorre, Cesar Romero, Majorie Main, Andy Devine, Alan Hale Sr., Leo Gorcey, Jack Carson, and Lon Chaney Jr. Son of Forgotten Hollywood Forgotten History is an entertaining read for anyone interested in Hollywood lore.

Wreck and Sinking of the Titanic: The Ocean's Greatest Disaster: A Graphic and Thrilling Account of the Sinking of the Greatest Floating Palace Ever

Marshall B. Everett, III
(Harper Design, $24.99, HC, 9780062067401)

A gorgeously produced, rediscovered classic, Wreck and Sinking of the Titanic revives 1912's most exciting and sensational report of the doomed ship's catastrophic voyage, first published mere months after the Titanic met her fate. Stunningly designed to convey the rich look and feel of the original 1912 publication, with a worn cloth cover, hand-tinted maps, and gold foil-stamped pages, this rare treasure is a must-have for any Titanic fan.