Dirty War

The brutal struggle for independence in French Algeria ripped apart ...


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Nonfiction Books and Essays

Featuring good writing for serious readers, Now and Then short-form nonfiction books and essays are available exclusively as Kindle booksNook BooksiPad books or ebooks for other popular mobile devices.  

Each week, we publish original titles, excerpts from forthcoming books, and reprints of work worthy of being read again. We focus on writing that is historically based but also has relevance for present day events.

Our latest titles can be found in the list below.

Henry Adams Grows Up

The Early Years of a Conspicuous American / Selections from The Education of Henry Adams

by Henry Adams

United States History, American History, U.S. History, U.S. Government, Biography

Henry Adams, whose distinguished family had a tradition of service to the nation, thought himself a comparative failure because his instincts ran toward literature and spiritual adventure. In his autobiographical Education he tried to make sense of his own path in a changing America.

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The Capture of Adolf Eichmann

The Inside Story of the Manhunt by the Israeli Secret Service

by Michael Bar-Zohar and Nissim Mishal

European History, Military History

The most celebrated accomplishment in the hunt for Nazi war criminals was the capture, trial, and execution of Adolf Eichmann in 1960—1962. As the Nazi officer overseeing the logistics of the Final Solution, Eichmann had been responsible for sending millions of Jews to their extermination in the death camps of Europe. After World War II he had been living incognito in Argentina when the Mossad, Israel’s intelligence agency, learned of his possible whereabouts. Here is the behind-the-scenes story of Eichmann’s capture.

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The Art of Money-Getting

by P.T. Barnum

United States History, Philosophy, American History

The greatest showman of his age, P. T. Barnum was also the most gifted advocate for the Gospel of Success in nineteenth-century America. Barnum’s autobiography, The Life of P. T. Barnum, Written by Himself, which sold almost half a million copies, included the “Rules of Success.” They were also incorporated into his lecture, “The Art of Money-Getting,” which he delivered more than a hundred times. Horace Greeley thought it “worth a hundred-dollar greenback to a beginner in life.”

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How Iran Got The Bomb

The Twisted Path to a Nuclear Weapon

by Jeremy Bernstein

United States History, Political Science, European History, Military History, American History, U.S. History, U.S. Government

Jeremy Bernstein traces the circuitous route by which Iran secured the expertise to develop a nuclear capability. Since Iran’s program appears to be aimed at weapons production, he concludes, the time of decision for action is fast approaching.

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Oppenheimer's Lives

Reflections on the Father of the Atomic Bomb

by Jeremy Bernstein

United States History, Military History, American History, U.S. History, U.S. Government, Biography, Biography

Jeremy Bernstein remembers the “father” of the atomic bomb—a man unsure of his identity and scarred by the famous government hearing that took away his security clearance.

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Mostly He Won

Kubrick, Bobby Fischer and the Attraction of Chess

by Jeremy Bernstein

United States History, European History, American History, U.S. History, Sports History, Essays, Sports

The 1972 world championship chess match between Bobby Fischer and Boris Spassky was an event of international importance—and a media bonanza. Out of a heady cast of characters, Jeremy Bernstein fashions a tale of large personalities involved in an intense, brainy competition.

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At Los Alamos

Learning to Love the Bomb

by Jeremy Bernstein

United States History, Military History, American History, U.S. History, U.S. Government

The atomic bomb was developed at government laboratories in Los Alamos, New Mexico, by a team of outstanding physicists under the direction of J. Robert Oppenheimer. Upon seeing the results of the first detonation of an atomic device, the test director Kenneth Bainbridge is said to have remarked to Oppenheimer, “Now we are all sons of bitches.” Yet the physicists could scarcely contain their fascination with what they had wrought, as Jeremy Bernstein finds in this report from ground zero.

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Bonnie Parker Writes a Poem

How a Couple of Bungling Sociopaths Became Bonnie and Clyde

by Steven Biel

United States History, American History, U.S. History, Biography

In their time, Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker attracted much less attention than star criminals like John Dillinger. Steven Biel plots the strange path by which this pair of ne’er-do-wells became the stuff of myth and legend.

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