Searching for: "Richard Zacks"

  • Richard Zacks

    From Richard Zacks, bestselling author of Island of Vice and The Pirate Hunter, a rich and lively account of how Mark Twain’s late-life adventures abroad helped him recover from financial disaster and family tragedy—and revived his world-class sense of humor Mark Twain, the highest-paid writer in America in 1894, was also one of the nation’s worst investors. “There are two times in a man’s life when he should not speculate,” he wrote. “When he can’t afford it and when he can.” The publishing company Twain owned was failing; his investment in a typesetting device was bleeding red ink. After losing hundreds...read more

  • Richard Zacks

    A ROLLICKING NARRATIVE HISTORY OF THEODORE ROOSEVELT'S EMBATTLED TENURE AS POLICE COMMISSIONER OF CORRUPT, PLEASURE-LOVING NEW YORK CITY IN THE 1880s, AND HIS DOOMED MISSION TO WIPE OUT VICE In the 1890s, New York City was America’s financial, manufacturing, and entertainment capital, and also its preferred destination for sin, teeming with 40,000 prostitutes, glittering casinos, and all-night dives packed onto the island’s two dozen square miles. Police captains took hefty bribes to see nothing while reformers writhed in frustration.      In Island of Vice, bestselling author Richard Zacks paints a vivid picture of the lewd underbelly of 1890s New York,...read more

  • Richard Zacks

    Captain Kidd has gone down in history as America's most ruthless buccaneer, fabulously rich, burying treasure up and down the eastern seaboard. But it turns out that most everyone, from novelists to scholars, has the story all wrong. Captain William Kidd was no career cutthroat; he was a tough, successful New York sea captain who was hired to chase pirates in the 1690s. His three-year odyssey aboard the aptly named Adventure Galley would pit him against arrogant Royal Navy commanders, jealous East India Company captains, storms, starvation, angry natives, and, above all, flesh-and-blood pirates. Captain Kidd found himself facing a long-forgotten rogue by the name of Robert Culliford, who...read more

  • Richard Zacks

    A real-life thriller—the true story of the unheralded American who brought the Barbary Pirates to their knees After Tripoli declared war on the United States in 1801, Barbary pirates captured three hundred US sailors and marines. President Jefferson sent out navy squadrons, but he also authorized a secret mission to overthrow the government of Tripoli. He chose an unlikely diplomat, William Eaton, to lead the mission. But before Eaton departed, Jefferson grew wary of the affair and withdrew his support. Astoundingly, Eaton persevered, gathering a ragtag army and leading them on a brutal march across five hundred miles of desert. After surviving sandstorms, treachery, and near death,...read more

  • Richard Zacks

    Okay, so maybe you know all the stuff you're supposed to know. But really, is this kind of knowledge going to make you the hit of the cocktail party, or the loser spending forty-five minutes examining the host's bookshelves? Wouldn't you rather learn things like how the invention of the bicycle affected the evolution of underwear? Or that the 1949 Nobel Prize for Medicine was awarded to a doctor who performed lobotomies with a household ice pick? Or how Catherine the Great really died? Or that heroin was sold over the counter not too long ago? For the truly well-rounded 'intellectual,' nothing fascinates so much as the subversive, the contrarian, the suppressed, and the bizarre. Richard...read more