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About Hampton Sides
HAMPTON SIDES is the author of In the Kingdom of Ice, Ghost Soldiers, Blood and Thunder, Hellhound On His Trail, and other bestselling works of narrative history and literary non-fiction. His newest work, On Desperate Ground, will be published by Doubleday this October. Hampton is an editor-at-large for Outside magazine. His magazine work, collected in numerous published anthologies, has been twice named a Finalist for the National Magazine Awards in feature writing. A recent fellow of the Santa Fe Institute, he teaches literary journalism and narrative history at Colorado College. A native of Memphis with a BA in history from Yale, he lives in Santa Fe with his wife Anne.
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Titles By Hampton Sides
On July 8, 1879, Captain George Washington De Long and his team of thirty-two men set sail from San Francisco on the USS Jeanette.
Heading deep into uncharted Arctic waters, they carried the aspirations of a young country burning to be the first nation to reach the North Pole. Two years into the harrowing voyage, the Jeannette's hull was breached by an impassable stretch of pack ice, forcing the crew to abandon ship amid torrents of rushing of water. Hours later, the ship had sunk below the surface, marooning the men a thousand miles north of Siberia, where they faced a terrifying march with minimal supplies across the endless ice pack.
Enduring everything from snow blindness and polar bears to ferocious storms and labyrinths of ice, the crew battled madness and starvation as they struggled desperately to survive. With thrilling twists and turns, In The Kingdom of Ice is a spellbinding tale of heroism and determination in the most brutal place on Earth.
On January 28, 1945, 121 hand-selected U.S. troops slipped behind enemy lines in the Philippines. Their mission: March thirty rugged miles to rescue 513 POWs languishing in a hellish camp, among them the last survivors of the infamous Bataan Death March. A recent prison massacre by Japanese soldiers elsewhere in the Philippines made the stakes impossibly high and left little time to plan the complex operation.
In Ghost Soldiers Hampton Sides vividly re-creates this daring raid, offering a minute-by-minute narration that unfolds alongside intimate portraits of the prisoners and their lives in the camp. Sides shows how the POWs banded together to survive, defying the Japanese authorities even as they endured starvation, tropical diseases, and torture. Harrowing, poignant, and inspiring, Ghost Soldiers is the mesmerizing story of a remarkable mission. It is also a testament to the human spirit, an account of enormous bravery and self-sacrifice amid the most trying conditions.
From the New York Times bestselling author of Ghost Soldiers and In the Kingdom of Ice, a chronicle of the extraordinary feats of heroism by Marines called on to do the impossible during the greatest battle of the Korean War
On October 15, 1950, General Douglas MacArthur, Supreme Commander of UN troops in Korea, convinced President Harry Truman that the Communist forces of Kim Il-sung would be utterly defeated by Thanksgiving. The Chinese, he said with near certainty, would not intervene in the war.
As he was speaking, 300,000 Red Chinese soldiers began secretly crossing the Manchurian border. Led by some 20,000 men of the First Marine Division, the Americans moved deep into the snowy mountains of North Korea, toward the trap Mao had set for the vainglorious MacArthur along the frozen shores of the Chosin Reservoir. What followed was one of the most heroic--and harrowing--operations in American military history, and one of the classic battles of all time. Faced with probable annihilation, and temperatures plunging to 20 degrees below zero, the surrounded, and hugely outnumbered, Marines fought through the enemy forces with ferocity, ingenuity, and nearly unimaginable courage as they marched their way to the sea.
Hampton Sides' superb account of this epic clash relies on years of archival research, unpublished letters, declassified documents, and interviews with scores of Marines and Koreans who survived the siege. While expertly detailing the follies of the American leaders, On Desperate Ground is an immediate, grunt's-eye view of history, enthralling in its narrative pace and powerful in its portrayal of what ordinary men are capable of in the most extreme circumstances.
Hampton Sides has been hailed by critics as one of the best nonfiction writers of his generation. As the Miami Herald wrote, "Sides has a novelist's eye for the propulsive elements that lend momentum and dramatic pace to the best nonfiction narratives."
NATIONAL BESTSELLER • On April 4, 1968, James Earl Ray shot Martin Luther King Jr. at the Lorraine Motel. The nation was shocked, enraged, and saddened. As chaos erupted across the country and mourners gathered at King's funeral, investigators launched a sixty-five day search for King’s assassin that would lead them across two continents.
With a blistering, cross-cutting narrative that draws on a wealth of dramatic unpublished documents, Hampton Sides, bestselling author of Ghost Soldiers, delivers a non-fiction thriller in the tradition of William Manchester's The Death of a President and Truman Capote's In Cold Blood. With Hellhound On His Trail, Sides shines a light on the largest manhunt in American history and brings it to life for all to see.
With a New Afterword
For more than fifteen years, best-selling author and historian Hampton Sides has traveled widely across the continent exploring the America that lurks just behind the scrim of our mainstream culture. Reporting for Outside, The New Yorker, and NPR, among other national media, the award-winning journalist has established a reputation not only as a wry observer of the contemporary American scene but also as one of our more inventive and versatile practitioners of narrative non-fiction.
In these two dozen pieces, collected here for the first time, Sides gives us a fresh, alluring, and at times startling America brimming with fascinating subcultures and bizarre characters who could live nowhere else. Following Sides, we crash the redwood retreat of an apparent cabal of fabulously powerful military-industrialists, drop in on the Indy 500 of bass fishing, and join a giant techno-rave at the lip of the Grand Canyon. We meet a diverse gallery of American visionaries— from the impossibly perky founder of Tupperware to Indian radical Russell Means to skateboarding legend Tony Hawk. We retrace the route of the historic Bataan Death March with veterans from Sides’ acclaimed WWII epic, Ghost Soldiers. Sides also examines the nation that has emerged from the ashes of September 11, recounting the harrowing journeys of three World Trade Center survivors and deciding at the last possible minute not to "embed" on the Iraqi front-lines with the U.S. Marines. Americana gives us a sparkling mosaic of our country, in all its wild and poignant charm.
Mit erzählerischer Kraft und einem unvergleichlichen Gespür für Dramaturgie entfaltet Hampton Sides in seinem NYT-Bestseller die tragische Geschichte dieser großen, gescheiterten Polarexpedition und zeigt die fatalen Folgen falscher Hypothesen und den Wahnwitz menschlicher Ruhmsucht.
No final do século XIX, o mundo era bem diferente de como o conhecemos hoje. Os Estados Unidos eram um jovem país em acelerado crescimento após a Guerra Civil, invenções tecnológicas apareciam a todo momento e muitas partes do globo ainda continuavam completamente inexploradas. Entre elas estava o Polo Norte.
George Washington De Long, jovem tenente da Marinha americana, ficou obcecado pelo Ártico após retornar de uma viagem de resgate na costa da Groenlândia. Inspirado pela teoria amplamente difundida (embora pouco fundamentada) de que haveria águas quentes e navegáveis no topo do planeta, permitindo talvez a existência de terras e até mesmo civilizações perdidas, De Long traça um plano minucioso para alcançar esse local desconhecido. No mesmo período, James Gordon Bennett Jr., o rico e excêntrico proprietário do New York Herald, em busca de uma história que gere comoção nos leitores, decide patrocinar a expedição de De Long. Com a ajuda financeira do magnata, o navegador encontra e reforma o navio perfeito para a aventura e tem acesso aos mais variados equipamentos, a cartas de navegação e a círculos políticos, conseguindo todo o apoio necessário para a jornada.
Em 8 de julho de 1879, De Long e uma tripulação de 32 homens zarpam de São Francisco no USS Jeannette com o ambicioso objetivo de alcançar o Ártico pelo estreito de Bering, em vez da até então conhecida rota ao longo da costa da Groenlândia. No entanto, apenas dois meses após a partida o Jeannette fica totalmente preso a uma enorme banquisa, e assim permanece por quase dois anos, flutuando ao sabor da maré em meio ao oceano congelado. Quando, na primavera de 1881, parece que o navio finalmente se libertará de sua prisão, um violento choque com um bloco de gelo força os homens a abandonarem a embarcação. Horas mais tarde, o Jeannette afunda, e sua tripulação se vê obrigada a vencer a pé e em pequenos botes os mil quilômetros de oceano congelado que a separam do norte da Sibéria e da frágil tentativa de sobrevivência.
Enfrentando os terríveis efeitos do frio e da neve, a fome, ferozes ursos polares e labirintos de gelo, a tripulação segue rumo a um destino incerto. Com reviravoltas impressionantes, No reino do gelo é uma fascinante história de heroísmo e determinação num dos locais mais implacáveis do planeta.
“Um livro esplêndido em todos os sentidos. Um incrível thriller de não ficção.” The Wall Street Journal