On April 18, 1983, a bomb exploded outside the American Embassy in Beirut, killing 63 people. The attack was a geopolitical turning point. It marked the beginning of Hezbollah as a political force, but even more important, it eliminated America s most influential and effective intelligence officer in the Middle East CIA operative Robert Ames. What set Ames apart from his peers was his extraordinary ability to form deep, meaningful connections with key Arab intelligence figures. Some operatives relied on threats and subterfuge, but Ames worked by building friendships and emphasizing shared values never more notably than with Yasir Arafat s charismatic intelligence chief and heir apparent Ali Hassan Salameh (aka The Red Prince ). Ames deepening relationship with Salameh held the potential for a lasting peace. Within a few years, though, both men were killed by assassins, and America s relations with the Arab world began heading down a path that culminated in 9/11, the War on Terror, and the current fog of mistrust.
Bird, who as a child lived in the Beirut Embassy and knew Ames as a neighbor when he was twelve years old, spent years researching The Good Spy. Not only does the book draw on hours of interviews with Ames widow, and quotes from hundreds of Ames private letters, it s woven from interviews with scores of current and former American, Israeli, and Palestinian intelligence officers as well as other players in the Middle East Great Game.
What emerges is a masterpiece-level narrative of the making of a CIA officer, a uniquely insightful history of twentieth-century conflict in the Middle East, and an absorbing hour-by-hour account of the Beirut Embassy bombing. Even more impressive, Bird draws on his reporter s skills to deliver a full dossier on the bombers and expose the shocking truth of where the attack s mastermind resides today."
A New York Times Book Review Favorite Read of 2016
"Despair is always described as dull," writes Daphne Merkin, "when the truth is that despair has a light all its own, a lunar glow, the color of mottled silver." This Close to Happy--Merkin's rare, vividly personal account of what it feels like to suffer from clinical depression--captures this strange light.
Daphne Merkin has been hospitalized three times: first, in grade school, for childhood depression; years later, after her daughter was born, for severe postpartum depression; and later still, after her mother died, for obsessive suicidal thinking. Recounting this series of hospitalizations, as well as her visits to myriad therapists and psychopharmacologists, Merkin fearlessly offers what the child psychiatrist Harold Koplewicz calls "the inside view of navigating a chronic psychiatric illness to a realistic outcome." The arc of Merkin's affliction is lifelong, beginning in a childhood largely bereft of love and stretching into the present, where Merkin lives a high-functioning life and her depression is manageable, if not "cured." "The opposite of depression," she writes with characteristic insight, "is not a state of unimaginable happiness . . . but a state of relative all-right-ness."
In this dark yet vital memoir, Merkin describes not only the harrowing sorrow that she has known all her life, but also her early, redemptive love of reading and gradual emergence as a writer. Written with an acute understanding of the ways in which her condition has evolved as well as affected those around her, This Close to Happy is an utterly candid coming-to-terms with an illness that many share but few talk about, one that remains shrouded in stigma. In the words of the distinguished psychologist Carol Gilligan, "It brings a stunningly perceptive voice into the forefront of the conversation about depression, one that is both reassuring and revelatory."
The back must slave to feed the belly. . . . "In this urgent and unique book, chef Michael Gibney uses twenty-four hours to animate the intricate camaraderie and culinary choreography in an upscale New York restaurant kitchen. Here readers will find all the details, in rapid-fire succession, of what it takes to deliver an exceptional plate of food the journey to excellence by way of exhaustion.
Told in second-person narrative, "Sous Chef" is an immersive, adrenaline-fueled run that offers a fly-on-the-wall perspective on the food service industry, allowing readers to briefly inhabit the hidden world behind the kitchen doors, in real time. This exhilarating account provides regular diners and food enthusiasts alike a detailed insider s perspective, while offering fledgling professional cooks an honest picture of what the future holds, ultimately giving voice to the hard work and dedication around which chefs have built their careers.
In a kitchen where the highest standards are upheld and one misstep can result in disaster, "Sous Chef" conjures a greater appreciation for the thought, care, and focus that go into creating memorable and delicious fare. With grit, wit, and remarkable prose, Michael Gibney renders a beautiful and raw account of this demanding and sometimes overlooked profession, offering a nuanced perspective on the craft and art of food and service.
Praise for "Sous Chef"
This is excellent writing "excellent!" and it is thrilling to see a debut author who has language and story and craft so well in hand. Though I would never ask my staff to read my own book, I would happily require them to read Michael Gibney s. Gabrielle Hamilton
[Michael] Gibney has the soul of a poet and the stamina of a stevedore. . . . Tender and profane, his book will leave you with a permanent appreciation for all those people who desire to feed, to nourish, to dish out the tasty bits of life. "The New York Times Book Review"
A terrific nuts-and-bolts account of the real business of cooking as told from the trenches. No nonsense. This is what it takes. Anthony Bourdain
A wild ride, not unlike a roller coaster, and the reader experiences all the drama, tension, exhilaration, exhaustion and relief that accompany cooking in an upscale Manhattan restaurant. " USA Today"
Vibrantly written. "Entertainment Weekly"
Sizzling . . . Such culinary experience paired with linguistic panache is a rarity. "The Daily Beast"
Reveals the high-adrenaline dance behind your dinner. NPR"
But America was facing more than economic hardship. With the Nazis gaining power across Europe, political and social tensions were approaching a boiling point. As one of the few Jewish athletes competing nationally, Hank Greenberg became not only an iconic ball player, but also an important and sometimes controversial symbol of Jewish identity and the American immigrant experience.
When Hank joined the Detroit Tigers in 1933, they were headed for a dismal fifth-place season finish. The following year, with Hank leading the charge, they were fighting off the Yankees for the pennant. As his star ascended, he found himself cheered wherever he went. But there were other noises also. On and off the field, he met with taunts and anti-Semitic threats. Yet the hardship only drove him on to greater heights, sharing the spotlight with the most legendary sluggers of the day, including Babe Ruth, Jimmie Foxx, and Lou Gehrig.
"Hank Greenberg" offers an intimate account of the man s life on and off the field. It is a portrait of integrity, triumph over adversity, and one of the greatest baseball players to ever grace the field."
An O, The Oprah Magazine Terrific Read of the Year
A Huffington Post Best Book of the Year
A New Yorker Favorite Book of the Year
A Chicago Tribune Favorite Nonfiction Book of the Year
A Kansas City Star Best Book of the Year
A San Francisco Chronicle Best Book of the Year
An Entertainment Weekly Best Book of the Decade
For years Don Piper kept his heavenly experience to himself. Finally, friends and family convinced him to share his remarkable story. An inspiring and encouraging account, 90 Minutes in Heaven continues to touch and comfort millions of people around the world as it offers a glimpse of inexpressible heavenly bliss.
Set in 1970s San Francisco, Swallow the Ocean is redolent with place. In luminous prose, this memoir paints a most intimate portrait of what might have been a catastrophic childhood had Laura and her sisters not been resilient and determined enough to survive their environment even as they yearned to escape it.
In This Common Secret Dr. Susan Wicklund chronicles her emotional and dramatic twenty-year career on the front lines of the abortion war. Growing up in working class, rural Wisconsin, Wicklund had her own painful abortion at a young age. It was not until she became a doctor that she realized how many women shared her ordeal of an unwanted pregnancy--and how hidden this common experience remains.
This is the story of Susan's love for a profession that means listening to women and helping them through one of the most pivotal and controversial events in their lives. Hers is also a calling that means sleeping on planes and commuting between clinics in different states--and that requires her to wear a bulletproof vest and to carry a .38 caliber revolver. This is also the story of the women whom Susan serves, women whose options are increasingly limited.
Through these intimate, complicated, and inspiring accounts, Wicklund reveals the truth about the women's clinics that anti-abortion activists portray as little more than slaughterhouses for the unborn. As we enter the most fevered political fight over abortion America has ever seen, this raw and powerful memoir shows us what is at stake.
"Walking in This World" picks up where Julia Cameron's bestselling book on the creative process, The Artist's Way, left off to present readers with a second course-Part Two in an amazing journey toward discovering our human potential. Full of valuable new strategies and techniques for breaking through difficult creative ground, this is the "intermediate level" of the Artist's Way program.
A profoundly inspired work by the leading authority on the subject of creativity, "Walking in This World" is an invaluable tool for artists.
Journey back through time to relive events that shaped the Chicago metropolitan area and contributed to its world-class reputation. "Chicago Days" is a collection of 150 essays and 500 dramatic photographs compiled from the voluminous files of the "Chicago Tribune," the Chicago Historical Society, and other important collections.
"You have never again been as funny as you were that night," Alice would say, twenty or thirty years later.
"You mean I peaked in December of 1963?"
"I'm afraid so." But he never quit trying to impress her. In his writing, she was sometimes his subject and always his muse. The dedication of the first book he published after her death read, "I wrote this for Alice. Actually, I wrote everything for Alice." In that spirit, Calvin Trillin has, with About Alice, created a gift to the wife he adored and to his readers.
W. H. Auden disapproved of literary biography. Or did he? The truth is far more equivocal than at first seems apparent. There is no denying he delivered himself of such unambiguous pronouncements as 'Biographies of writers are always superfluous and usually in bad taste.'; and that he asked for his friends to burn his letters at his death, but, against that, Auden himself often reviewed literary biographies and normally with enthusiasm. Moreover he argued for biographies of writers such as Dryden, Trollope, Wagner and Gerard Manley Hopkins as their lives would tell us something about their art.
Humphrey Carpenter himself nicely summarizes Auden's ambiguity on this question. 'Here (referring to literary biography), as so often in his life, Auden adopted a dogmatic attitude which did not reflect the full range of his opinions, and which he sometimes flatly contradicted.'
Although the biography was not authorized it did receive the co-operation of the Auden Estate which gave permission for letters and unpublished works to be quoted. The result is a biography that was widely praised on first publication in 1981 and which continues to hold its own. Now is the obvious time to reissue it with the character of Humphrey Carpenter playing an important role in Alan Bennett's "The Habit of Art. "In his introduction Alan Bennett writes 'When I started writing the play I made much use of the biographies of both Auden and Britten written by Humphrey Carpenter and both are models of their kind. Indeed I was consulting his books so much that eventually Carpenter found his way into the play.'" "
""'Carpenter is a model biographer - diligent, unspeculative, sympathetic, and extremely good at finding out what happened when and with whom . . . admirably detailed and researched study.' John Bayley, "The Listener"
""'an illuminating book; full of information, unobtrusively affectionate, it describes with unpretentious elegance the curve of a great poet's life and work' Frank Kermode, "Guardian"
""'sharpens and usually lights up even the most canvassed parts of the Auden life and myth . . . a deeply interesting book about a deeply interesting life' Roy Fuller, "Sunday Times"
""' . . . the story of a remarkable man told by one of the best living biographers' David Cecil, "Book Choice "
Written with elegance, "Path Without Destination"is the exhilarating account of Satish Kumar's extraordinary life. At nine, Satish renounced the world, left his home in rural India, and joined a wandering brotherhood of beggar monks until an inner voice guided hin to Gandhi's vision of a peaceful world. His inspiring journy led him to settle in England, where he became one of the leaders with E. F. Schumacher of the "small is beautiful" movement and the guiding spirit behind a number of ecological, spiritual, and educational ventures.