Hampton Sides
Hellhound on His Trail: The Stalking of Martin Luther King, Jr. and the International Hunt for His Assassin

Hellhound on His Trail: The Stalking of Martin Luther King, Jr. and the International Hunt for His Assassin

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I recommended this to Traci Thomas on episode 162 of WSIRN. This true story reads like a thriller; it begins and ends with a prison escape. What journalist Hampton Sides does is tell both sides of the story. You get what happened from the point of view of MLK Jr. and from the point of view of James Earl Ray, who called himself Eric Galt at the time that he became a follower of George Wallace and traveled to Memphis in 1968. This is a period of time that a lot of people know was extremely important; they feel like they know a lot about it because it's part of our nation's history, but Sides writes about how you don't really know what happened or why it matters. Hampton Sides himself narrates the Audible version.

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In the Kingdom of Ice: The Grand and Terrible Polar Voyage of the USS Jeannette

In the Kingdom of Ice: The Grand and Terrible Polar Voyage of the USS Jeannette

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From the publisher: "Hampton Sides returns with a white-knuckle tale of polar exploration and survival in the Gilded Age. James Gordon Bennett had recently captured the world's attention by dispatching Stanley to Africa to find Dr. Livingstone. Now he was keen to re-create that sensation so he funded an official U.S. naval expedition to reach the North Pole. On July 8, 1879, the USS Jeannette set sail from San Francisco to cheering crowds in the grip of 'Arctic Fever.' The ship sailed into uncharted seas, but soon was trapped in pack ice. Two years into the harrowing voyage, the hull was breached. Amid the rush of water and the shrieks of breaking wooden boards, the crew abandoned the ship. Less than an hour later, the Jeannette sank to the bottom, and the men found themselves marooned a thousand miles north of Siberia with only the barest supplies. Thus began their long march across the endless ice—a frozen hell in the most lonesome corner of the world."

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