The NYPD’s Most Decorated Detective

by Ralph Friedman, with Patrick Picciarelli

I was constantly on the prowl to make quality arrests, the important word being quality. I doubt there’s a police officer in New York who couldn’t lock someone up thirty minutes into a shift. There’s always someone doing something wrong, but most infractions are trifling, and police officers are given discretion when deciding whether to make arrests for minor transgressions. These include simple assaults (particularly when the offender and complainant are friends), personal marijuana use, and misdemeanor criminal mischief when the offender is willing to make restitution. The NYPD allows discretion.

I was after felons. They don’t get the luxury of discretion, and, even if they did, they wouldn’t get it from me. This meant both on duty and off.
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Posted in Contemporary History

Alexander Cochrane and the Enduring Myths of the War of 1812

War of 1812

By Willard Sterne Randall

The War of 1812, often called “the forgotten conflict,” is probably the least understood American war. Just as frequently, it is described as the Second War of American Independence. This is because of a persistent fallacy that Americans fought two separate wars of independence. In fact, Americans endured one unremitting fifty-year-long struggle for economic independence from Britain that overlapped two armed conflicts linked by an unacknowledged global struggle. Throughout this perilous period, the struggle was largely about free trade, what Winston Churchill described in his monumental History of the English Speaking Peoples as an “unofficial trade war.” Read more ›

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Posted in Modern History

The Broadcasting Legend Who Discovered T. E. Lawrence

T.E. Lawrence

by Mitchell Stephens

During the First World War Lowell Thomas was confirming—as he zipped to Europe, through Europe and then to the Middle East— that being in motion was his preferred state. And the direction he preferred for all this moving about, the direction that might best satisfy his adventure addiction, was also becoming clear: toward the increasingly exotic. From Egypt Lowell had made it to Palestine.

And now he was hearing talk of a significant military campaign under way in Arabia—at the time, for a European or American, among the most exotic locales on Earth. Lowell had even spoken with a colorful Englishman, in the habit of dressing in Arab robes, reputed to be riding at the head of the Arab forces.
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Posted in Contemporary History, Military History

Father’s Day Roundup – Our Top Picks for Dad

America first celebrated Father’s Day on June 19, 1910, in Washington. It wasn’t until President Woodrow Wilson made Mother’s Day an official holiday, however, that Father’s Day received the same treatment. The idea that took root in a West Virginia church in 1908 spread slowly throughout the country, until President Calvin Coolidge encouraged state governments to observe the holiday in 1924. Now, the day dedicated to honoring fathers takes place on the third Sunday in June.

To celebrate fathers all over the world, we have rounded up some of our favorite books featuring war heroes, mob bosses, and celebrities– who all share the title of “father.”
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Posted in Modern History

Inside a Prison Cell with Sheikh Ahmed Ashoush

by Shadi Hamid

What does it look like to come of age in the Muslim Brotherhood, to find yourself skipping classes and revolting against the state? In an organization that prioritized the principle of “listening and obeying,” how did Muslim Brotherhood youth decide enough was enough and start questioning not just the decisions of their leaders, but some of Muslim Brotherhood’s most basic assumptions about violence and political change? Read more ›

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Posted in Contemporary History, Modern History

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