History

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1108 Alan Turing the enigmaAlan Turing died in 1954, but the themes of his life epitomize the turn of the millennium. A pure mathematician from a tradition that prided itself on its impracticality, Turing laid the foundations for modern computer science, writes Andrew Hodges:

Alan had proved that there was no "miraculous machine" that could solve all mathematical problems, but in the process he had discovered something almost equally miraculous, the idea of a universal machine that could take over the work of any machine.

A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
The official book behind the Academy Award-winning film The Imitation Game, starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley

 

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1107 unlocking the enigmaAlan Mathison Turing. Mathematician, philosopher, codebreaker, a founder of computer science, and the father of Artificial Intelligence, Turing was one of the most original thinkers of the last century - and the man whose work helped create the computer-driven world we now inhabit. But he was also an enigmatic figure, deeply reticent yet also strikingly naïve.

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1106 OSSA history of World War II espionage and covert operations activities, presented from the perspective of OSS agents, recounts numerous secret missions that contributed to the war's outcome.

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1105 OSSIn the months before World War II, FDR prepared the country for conflict with Germany and Japan by reshuffling various government agencies to create the Office of Strategic Services--America's first intelligence agency and the direct precursor to the CIA. When he charged William ("Wild Bill") Donovan, a successful Wall Street lawyer and Wilkie Republican, to head up the office, the die was set for some of the most fantastic and fascinating operations the U.S. government has ever conducted.

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1104 donovanHe was one of America's most exciting and secretive generals—the man Franklin Roosevelt made his top spy in World War II. A mythic figure whose legacy is still intensely debated, "Wild Bill" Donovan was director of the Office of Strategic Services (the country's first national intelligence agency) and the father of today's CIA. Donovan introduced the nation to the dark arts of covert warfare on a scale it had never seen before. Now, veteran journalist Douglas Waller has mined government and private archives throughout the United States and England, drawn on thousands of pages of recently declassified documents, and interviewed scores of Donovan's relatives, friends, and associates to produce a riveting biography of one of the most powerful men in modern espionage.

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1036 olympic gamesThe Official History of the Olympic Games and the IOC 1894-2012 is a dramatic account of the history of the world's foremost sporting spectacle. It is the lavishly illustrated story of the re-creation of the Olympic Games by Pierre de Coubertin, of the often controversial fortunes of the governing body, which was formed in 1894, and of the highs and lows of the Olympics themselves since the first Games in 1896.

The Ancient Olympic Games

by  Judith Swaddling
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1035 olympic gamesFor over one thousand years between 776 B.C. and A.D. 395, princes, statesmen, and famous athletes gathered every four years at Olympia in western Greece to compete for the olive crowns of the ancient Olympic Games. Judith Swaddling traces the mythological and religious origins of the games and describes the events, religious ceremony, and celebrations that were an essential part of the Olympic festival.

The Olympic Games: The First Thousand Years

by  M. I. Finley , H. W. Pleket
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1034 olympic games

A definitive survey of the Olympic games, from 776 B.C. to A.D. 261, this scholarly, yet immensely readable account of Olympic athletes in ancient times takes a highly realistic view of these fabled contests. Transporting readers back to the eighth century b.c., Professor M. I. Finley and Dr. H. W. Pleket draw upon their extensive knowledge of the ancient world to explain in absorbing detail the various sporting events and their historical, social, and religious context. They also detail the similarities and differences between ancient and modern games.

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1033 naked gamesTony Perrottet delves into the ancient world and lets the Greek Games begin again, bringing attitude, erudition, and humor to the fascinating story of the original Olympic festival, tracking the event day by day to re-create the experience in all its compelling spectacle.

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The war within the war was the struggle among Roosevelt, Churchill, and Stalin for the shape of the world that would follow World War II. That delicate diplomacy is spelled out in Lloyd Gardner's brilliant reinterpretation of the negotiations that divided Europe and laid the foundations of the cold war.

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