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Miami, Florida, famed for its blue skies and sandy beaches, is one of the world’s most popular vacation destinations, with nearly twenty-three million tourists visiting annually. But few people have any idea how this unofficial capital of Latin America came to be.
The Year of Dangerous Days is “an engrossing, peek-between-your-fingers history of an American city on the edge” (Kirkus Reviews). With a cast that includes iconic characters such as Jimmy Carter, Fidel Castro, and Janet Reno, this slice of history is brought to life through intertwining personal stories. At the core, there’s Edna Buchanan, a reporter for the Miami Herald who breaks the story on the wrongful murder of a black man and the shocking police cover-up; Captain Marshall Frank, the hardboiled homicide detective tasked with investigating the murder; and Mayor Maurice Ferré, the charismatic politician who watches the case, and the city, fall apart.
On a roller coaster of national politics and international diplomacy, these three figures cross paths as their city explores one of the worst race riots in American history as more than 120,000 Cuban refugees land south of Miami, and as drug cartels flood the city with cocaine and infiltrate all levels of law enforcement. In a battle of wills, Buchanan has to keep up with the 150 percent murder rate increase; Captain Frank has to scrub and rebuild his homicide bureau; and Mayor Ferré must find a way to reconstruct his smoldering city. Against all odds, they persevere, and a stronger, more vibrant, Miami begins to emerge. But the foundation of this new Miami—partially built on corruption and drug money—will have severe ramifications for the rest of the country.
Deeply researched, “well-written” (New York Journal of Books), and covering many timely issues including police brutality, immigration, and the drug crisis, The Year of Dangerous Days is both a clarion call and a dramatic rebirth story of one of America’s most iconic cities.
THE SPRING OF 1971 heralded the greatest geopolitical realignment in a generation. After twenty-two years of antagonism, China and the United States suddenly moved toward a détente—achieved not by politicians but by Ping-Pong players. The Western press delighted in the absurdity of the moment and branded it “Ping-Pong Diplomacy.” But for the Chinese, Ping-Pong was always political, a strategic cog in Mao Zedong’s foreign policy. Nicholas Griffin proves that the organized game, from its first breath, was tied to Communism thanks to its founder, Ivor Montagu, son of a wealthy English baron and spy for the Soviet Union.
Ping-Pong Diplomacy traces a crucial intersection of sports and society. Griffin tells the strange and tragic story of how the game was manipulated at the highest levels; how the Chinese government helped cover up the death of 36 million peasants by holding the World Table Tennis Championships during the Great Famine; how championship players were driven to their deaths during the Cultural Revolution; and, finally, how the survivors were reconvened in 1971 and ordered to reach out to their American counterparts. Through a cast of eccentric characters, from spies to hippies and Ping-Pong-obsessed generals to atom-bomb survivors, Griffin explores how a neglected sport was used to help realign the balance of worldwide power.
When the Russians bombed the capital of Muslim Chechnya in 2000, a city with almost a half million people was left with barely a single building intact. Rarely since Dresden and Stalingrad has the world witnessed such destruction.
The Caucasus is a jagged land. With Turkey to the west, Iran to the south, and Russia to the north, the Caucasus is trapped between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea. If it didn't already possess the highest mountain range in Europe, the political pressure exerted from all sides would have forced the land to crack and rise. Alexander the Great, Genghis Khan, Tamerlane, Peter the Great, Hitler, and Stalin all claimed to have conquered the region, leaving it a rich, but bloody history. A borderland between Christian and Muslim worlds, the Caucasus is the front line of a fascinating and formidable clash of cultures: Russia versus the predominantly Muslim mountains.
Award-winning writer Nicholas Griffin travels to the mountains of the Caucasus to find the root of today's conflict. Mapping the rise of Islam through myth, history, and politics, this travelogue centers on the story of Imam Shamil, the greatest Muslim warrior of the nineteenth century, who led a forty-year campaign against the invading Russians. Griffin follows Imam's legacy into the war-torn present and finds his namesake, the Chechen warlord Shamil Basayev, continuing his struggle.
Enthralling and fiercely beautiful, Caucasus lifts the lid on a little known but crucially important area of world. With approximately 100 billion barrels of crude oil in the Caspian Sea combined with an Islamic religious interest, it is an unfortunate guarantee that the tragedies that have haunted these jagged mountains in the past will show no sign of abating in the near future.
Set in the 18th century's Golden Age of Piracy, THE REQUIEM SHARK is the tale of a young recruit, William Williams and his forced apprenticeship to Bartholomew Roberts, slaver turned pirate Captain. Enlisted first as a musician, then as the Captain's biographer, Williams learns to negotiate the seas of the Caribbean and West Africa recording their conflicts with the merchantmen and whores, tribesmen and soldiers that populated the ends of the known world.
Influenced by shipmates, from the learned Dr Scudamore to Innocent, ex-slave and sole member of his own religion, Williams struggles to justify his own position within the Royal Fortune, as the British Navy hunt them down and the fanatical Captain Roberts drives the ship onwards to the ultimate prize - the mysterious treasure ship...
Rich in historical detail and based upon the last years of the most successful pirate known to history, THE REQUIEM SHARK is a gripping adventure set in a brutal environment dominated by gold, disease and blood.
Off the coast of Liguria, 1713 - accompanied by his valet Thomas Noon and tutor Lucius Jelbourne, young aristocrat Lord Stilwell is bound for Genoa and that essential part of an English gentleman's education; the Grand Tour of Italy. Jelbourne has long been wary of Noon: his standing at Dengby Hall, his relationship with Stilwell and his intelligence do not tally with his role as a servant. Noon, likewise is suspicious of Jelbourne: why does Stilwell's tutor enjoy better hospitality than Stilwell himself? And why, when Jelbourne is purchasing Italian pictures supposedly a century old, is the paint still fresh?
The English who visit eighteenth-century Italy normally consider it only for its past: Jelbourne, as Noon is to discover, is different. For there is a new king on the throne of England - a German, a protestant - and not all of his subjects are loyal. As the Grand Tour weaves its way to Venice, Rome and Naples, Noon finds himself drawn into a deadly world of intrigue, and double lives: a world where nothing and no-one are as they seem. And though Noon would like to unmask the mysterious Jelbourne, his attentions are drawn to the delectable Natalia Silver, and the unmistakable lure of love . . .
THE MASQUERADE is a sophisticated literary thriller that confirms Nicholas Griffin's growing reputation as one our finest exponents of historical fiction.
Against the window a pale hand, a gentle wave that was not a wave at all. A distant female face veiled by the sweep of a curtain. Then stillness. Bendix remained transfixed for a full minute. It was most certainly a woman'
Early eighteenth-century London, and two doctors are criss-crossing the boundaries of morality in the heady pursuit of scientific progress. It is a challenge that leads Sir Edmund Calcraft, an eminent and notorious anatomist, and Joseph Bendix, his young ambitious student, into playing a dark game with the lawless side of London. But Bendix's growing passion for a woman he first glimpses in Calcraft's house threatens to end their mutual quest. From gallows to mad houses, from anatomical laboratories to frost fairs set on the frozen Thames, the two men begin to compete in both head and heart...
Mixing history, myth, medicine and fiction, THE HOUSE OF SIGHT AND SHADOW is a compelling tale about ambition, deception and the vulnerability of love.
Mark Moffett doesn't just study ants, he travels among them. Moffet holds a Harvard Ph.D. in entomology and is an accomplished scientist, an award-winning author and journalist, and one of the best nature photographers of his generation. Years ago, this free-spirited naturalist left academia behind to plunge into the deepest jungles and observe insect societies up close. Now author Nicholas Griffin takes us inside Moffett's own world, to explore his death-cheating quest for discovery and his end-run around the scientific establishment. We'll follow Moffett into the rainforest as he chases a groundbreaking theory of ant superorganisms and supercolonies, one that may help us understand our own increasingly urbanized society. Along the way we'll meet a fascinating cast of battling army ants, farming leafcutter ants, and the insatiable Argentines: an ant species built to take over the world.
Nicholas Griffin is the author of four novels and one work of nonfiction. He lives in New York City. His next book comes out in 2013.