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A Jewish State
Theodor Herzl proposes a solution to the 'Jewish Question' and to anti-Semitism: a separate and independent ...
My Father's Girl
Jane Addams, whose Hull-House became a symbol of progressive reform, here remembers her father who helped ...
Paris Goes to War
As the World War engulfs Europe in August 1914, Edith Wharton reports from Paris on the ...
Lord Charnwood recounts the development and importance of Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, a signal event in American ...
Darwin Changes His Mind
Here is Darwin’s account of his visit to the Galapagos Islands with its myriad species, which ...
A Grand Way to Chronicle a War
A fascinating glimpse of World War II journalism behind the front lines at Paris’s Hotel Scribe, ...
The Genius and the Jerk
Walter Vatter explores the early years of Steve Jobs--was he a genius, or simply an expert ...
The Story of a Photograph
The story behind Walker Evans’s iconic photograph of Ellie Mae ...
Nonfiction Books and Essays
Featuring good writing for serious readers, Now and Then short-form nonfiction books and essays are available exclusively as Kindle books, Nook Books, iPad 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.
Learning to Love the BombUnited 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.
How a Couple of Bungling Sociopaths Became Bonnie and Clyde
by Steven BielUnited 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.
by Ann BirsteinEuropean History, Holocaust
“European Discovery Tour” was the title on the travel brochure. But as Ann Birstein knew, the journey that she signed up for included a discovery of the most unhappy places on the continent. Her little tour group, most all of them Jewish, was shepherded not only to some of Eastern Europe’s grandest locales but also to its most terrible, including the remnants of the Warsaw Ghetto, Auschwitz, and other grim reminders of the Holocaust and the lost Jews of Europe. Along the way in what became a search for her own soul, Ms. Birstein offers a moving perspective on a tragic people trapped by history.
Instead of consoling sermons, modern drama offered painful demands; instead of a liturgy of acceptance, a liturgy of complaint. The man who first brought the theater to this confrontation with reality was Henrik Ibsen. Robert Brustein explores the nature of his revolt.
The Formative Years of Adolf Hitler
by Alan BullockEuropean History, Military History, Biography, Biography
From Alan Bullock’s incomparable biography: Hitler’s formative years, from his birth in 1889 to the end of the First World War in 1918. It sets the stage for Hitler’s later strategies and programs by explaining the sources of his ideas and the influences of his early life experiences.
Lincoln Frees the SlavesAmerican History
In September 1862, some fourteen months into the Civil War and having pondered deeply the freeing of the slaves, Lincoln issued his first Emancipation Proclamation. Lord Charnwood recounts the development and importance of this signal event in American history.
Assassination in Sarajevo and the Onset of the Great WarMilitary History, European History
The assassination of the Austrian archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie in Sarajevo in June 1914 by Serbian terrorists capped the political tension and instability of the Balkans in the years before World War I. The European continent, beset by intricate diplomacy and complex alliances, fell into war just thirty-seven days later. The Old World nature of the assassination disguises some very modern elements: a cavalcade of automobiles, a squad of suicide bombers, and an avowedly terrorist organization that existed across political borders, without a clear location. Here in gripping detail is the story of what happened on that fateful morning in Sarajevo.
Alger Hiss’s turn toward the political left, leading to his association with Whittaker Chambers, is portrayed in Bruce Craig’s incisive account of Hiss’s early years, drawing upon previously untapped sources.