Want to really dive into U.S. history? This exciting bundle can help you do that! Together with Arcadia Publishing, The Archive is giving away 10 great history books. From the little-known story of Mark Twain to that of Boston during the American Revolution, there's something for everyone!
About the Books
The Last Civil War Diary of Captain John Rigdon
On a crisp fall day in October of 1862, a precocious seventeen-year-old boy went into a bookshop in his hometown of Hagerstown, Maryland, and purchased a composition book. Into his new diary, John R. King would steadfastly record what he did, saw and heard daily, as the Civil War raged around him. During May of 1862, after learning the photography trade, John took portraits of Union soldiers stationed in the Shenandoah Valley. Then, on May 23, 1862, when he heard the sounds of battle, he attempted to flee on a wagon. He was soon captured by Stonewall Jackson's troops. His treasured diary was taken. Force marched to a Confederate prison, John vowed revenge. Two weeks after escaping from captivity, John joined the Union Army. He fought with fury, courage and valor, was wounded three times and became a war hero. Later, John was not only appointed by two presidents to prestigious positions in the Pension Bureau, but he also became leader of the Grand Army of the Republic. After being lost for 150 years, his diary was recently discovered and is now being published.
Mark Twain in Washington, D.C.: The Adventures of a Capitol Correspondent
When young Samuel Clemens first visited the nation's capital in 1854, both were rough around the edges and of dubious potential. Returning as Mark Twain in 1867, he brought his sharp eye and acerbic pen to the task of covering the capital for nearly a half-dozen newspapers. He fit in perfectly among the other hard-drinking and irreverent correspondents. His bohemian sojourn in Washington, D.C., has been largely overlooked, but his time in the capital city was catalytic to Twain's rise as America's foremost man of letters. While in Washington City, Twain received a publishing offer from the American Publishing Company that would jumpstart his fame. Through original research unearthing never-before-seen material, author John Muller explores how Mark Twain's adventures as a capital correspondent proved to be a critical turning point in his career.
Lost Car Companies of Detroit
Among more than two hundred auto companies that tried their luck in the Motor City, just three remain: Ford, General Motors and Chrysler. But many of those lost to history have colorful stories worth telling. For instance, J.J. Cole forgot to put brakes in his new auto, so on the first test run, he had to drive it in circles until it ran out of gas. Brothers John and Horace Dodge often trashed saloons during wild evenings but used their great personal wealth to pay for the damage the next day (if they could remember where they had been). David D. Buick went from being the founder of his own leading auto company to working the information desk at the Detroit Board of Trade. Author Alan Naldrett explores these and more tales of automakers who ultimately failed but shaped the industry and designs putting wheels on the road today.
A History Lover’s Guide to New York City
New York is a city of superlatives. It has the largest population, greatest wealth, broadest diversity, and most elegant museums in the nation. With that comes an amazing history that you can experience firsthand with this unique guide.
George Washington took his first oath of office on the steps of Federal Hall. Visitors can still dine at the famed Fraunces Tavern and worship at historic St. Paul’s Chapel. From the Brooklyn Bridge to stunning skyscrapers, the city celebrates its own history and that of the nation. Join author Alison Fortier as she traces the history and heritage of America’s largest metropolis.
Boston in the American Revolution: A Town versus an Empire
In 1764, a small town in the British colony of Massachusetts ignited a bold rebellion. When Great Britain levied the Sugar Act on its American colonies, Parliament was not prepared for Boston's backlash. For the next decade, Loyalists and rebels harried one another as both sides revolted and betrayed, punished and murdered. But the rebel leaders were not quite the heroes we consider them today. Samuel Adams and John Hancock were reluctant allies. Paul Revere couldn't recognize a traitor in his own inner circle. And George Washington dismissed the efforts of the Massachusetts rebels as unimportant. With a helpful guide to the very sites where the events unfolded, historian Brooke Barbier seeks the truth behind the myths. Barbier tells the story of how a city radicalized itself against the world's most powerful empire and helped found the United States of America.
Chicago Shakedown: The Ogden Gas Scandal
The Ogden Gas Affair represented the biggest political scandal of Chicago's first sixty years. Mayor John P. Hopkins and Democratic Party boss Roger Sullivan conspired with ten other insiders to form a dummy corporation to blackmail Peoples Gas Company. The scam poured money into the coffers of beneficiaries who were never prosecuted, including the governor of Illinois, John P. Altgeld. As their lengthy swindle ran its course, Hopkins and Sullivan rubbed elbows with the most notorious grafters of the robber baron era, including Charles Yerkes and "Big Bill" Thompson. Author John Hogan follows the money in a scheme that became a template for the enrichment of the connected at the expense of the citizenry.
George Washington’s 1790 Grand Tour of Long Island
After being elected president, George Washington set out to tour the new nation, which was desperate for a unifying symbol. He spent five days on Long Island in April 1790, an area recovering from seven years of devastating British occupation. Washington saw it all, from Brooklyn to Patchogue to Setauket and back. He was honored at each stop and wrote extensive diary entries about his impressions of the carriage stops for food, overnight stays at taverns and private homes, as well as his vision for the future of the region. Author Dr. Joanne S. Grasso traces this momentous journey.
Steel: The Story of Pittsburgh's Iron & Steel Industry, 1852 - 1902
Steel portrays the growth of the iron and steel industry in smoke-filled Pittsburgh during America's industrial age. It's the fast-paced saga of millionaire barons Andrew Carnegie, Ben Franklin Jones, Henry Clay Frick, Henry Phipps, and Charles Schwab. These strong-willed leaders often plotted and schemed against one another yet united against their underpaid and undervalued pro-union immigrant workforce. Author Dale Richard Perelman recounts this struggle of bloody battles throughout Western Pennsylvania's plants, mines, and railroad yards.
Inside the Texas Chicken Ranch: The Definitive Account of the Best Little Whorehouse
Thanks to the classic Dolly Parton film The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas and ZZ Top's ode "La Grange," many people think they know the story of the infamous Chicken Ranch. The reality is more complex, lying somewhere between heartbreaking and absurd. For more than a century, dirt farmers and big-cigar politicians alike rubbed shoulders at the Chicken Ranch, operated openly under the sheriff's watchful eye. Madam Edna Milton and her girls ran a tight, discreet ship that the God-fearing people of La Grange tolerated if not outright embraced. That is, until a secret conspiracy enlisted an opportunistic reporter to bring it all crashing down on primetime television. Through exclusive interviews with Milton, former government officials and reporters, Jayme Lynn Blaschke delivers a fascinating, revelatory view of the Ranch that illuminates the truth and lies that surround this iconic brothel.
The Los Angeles Sugar Ring: Inside the World of Old Money, Bootleggers, & Gambling Barons
Early movers and shakers of Los Angeles didn't always operate within the confines of the law, including opportunist and family man Big George Niotta, who supplied sugar to make illegal liquor. Niotta rose to prominence thanks to his magnetic charm and collaborations with infamous bootlegger Frank Borgia and influential gambling baron Jack Dragna. But the fall is hard for those soaring high. Bled dry by the IRS, Niotta fought to restore his wealth through ringer horses, a multimillion-dollar lottery and a notorious gambling parlor. Through the moves of a pawn dead set on wearing a crown, author J. Michael Niotta explores three decades of L.A. crime, including a rare insider's look at the history of the Eagle Brewing Company and other survivors of Prohibition.
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Note: The sweepstakes is open to all legal residents of the 50 United States and Washington, DC who are 18 years of age and older by November 19, 2018.