History

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Our world was made on and by the Silk Roads. For millennia it was here that East and West encountered each other through trade and conquest, leading to the spread of ideas and cultures, the birth of the world's great religions, the appetites for foreign goods that drove economies and the growth of nations. From the first cities in Mesopotamia to the growth of Greece and Rome to the depredations by the Mongols and the Black Death to the Great Game and the fall of Communism, the fate of the West has always been inextricably linked to the East. The Silk Roads vividly captures the importance of the networks that crisscrossed the spine of Asia and linked the Atlantic with the Pacific, the Mediterranean with India, America with the Persian Gulf.

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Lindow Man, the famous 'Pete Marsh' discovered in Cheshire in the 1980s, has been joined by new finds from Ireland and elsewhere. Who were these unfortunate people, and why were they killed?

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One of the most controversial men of his age, Alexander Hamilton was a gifted statesman brought down by the fatal flaws of stubbornness, extreme candor, and arrogance. His life and career were marked by power, scandal, and tragedy.

Born in 1838, Queen Lili'uokalani was a talented composer who took the throne after her brother's death in 1891. She dealt with the U.S. government revoking her position on the sugar market, was overtaken by U.S. Marines, and lost her throne.

Outlaw, soldier, general and politician, he led a life that ended in violence but left him a legend.

Recounts the life of a colonial silversmith who risked everything for the American Revolution.

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Documents the Vietnam War using footage from the Dick Cavett Show, archival footage and newly filmed interviews.

Recounts the assassination and excruciating final months of President James Garfield's life. A brilliant scholar, courageous general, and fervent abolitionist, Garfield never wanted the job of president. But once in office, he worked tirelessly to reunite a nation still divided 15 years after the Civil War. As he lay dying, the North and South came together to pray for his recovery.

In the early 1900s, San Francisco stood as a proud and flourishing symbol of America's recent conquest of the once-wild West. But on April 19, 1906, the city would experience an awesome reminder of the uncontrollable forces lying dormant just beneath the splendors of its cosmopolitan surface. Thirty times more powerful than the temblor that decimated northern California in 1989, this earthquake measured a ground-wrenching 8.3 on the Richter scale, resulting in the worst catastrophe suffered by a North American city in the twentieth century. Contains rare, newly restored movie footage from the period and the personal accounts of eyewitnesses.

It was the year of the Beatles and the Civil Rights Act, of the Gulf of Tonkin and Barry Goldwater's campaign for the presidency. The year that Americans learned smoking was bad for their health, and Cassius Clay became Mohammed Ali. The year that cities across the country erupted in violence and Americans tried to make sense of the assassination of their president. Based on The Last Innocent Year: America in 1964.

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Documents the dramatic 1897 flight of a visionary Swedish explorer who attempted to discover the North Pole in a hydrogen balloon, describing the formidable environmental conditions that challenged his efforts.

Alone on the wall by Alex Honnold
Into the wild by Jon Krakauer
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When Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Bill Dedman noticed a property listing for a grand estate that had been unoccupied for nearly sixty years, he stumbled into one of the most surprising American stories of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Empty Mansions is a rich tale of wealth and loss, complete with copper barons, Gilded Age opulence, and backdoor politics. At its heart is a reclusive 104-year-old heiress named Huguette Clark.

After the Ninth Duke of Rutland, one of the wealthiest men in Britain, died alone in a cramped room in the servants' quarters of Belvoir Castle on April 21, 1940, his son and heir ordered the room, which contained the Rutland family archives, sealed. Sixty years later, Catherine Bailey became the first historian given access. What she discovered was a mystery: the Duke had painstakingly erased three periods of his life from all family records-but why? As Bailey uncovers the answers, she also provides an intimate portrait of the very top of British society in the turbulent days leading up to World War I.

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The extraordinary true story of the downfall of one of England's wealthiest families. When the sixth Earl Fitzwilliam died in 1902, he left behind the second largest estate in twentieth-century England -- a lifeline to the tens of thousands of people who worked either in the family's coal mines or on their expansive estate. The earl also left behind four sons, and the family line seemed assured. But was it?

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