Dr. Albert Marrin was born in New York City in 1936. As a junior high social studies teacher he learned about the power of stories, the ability of a well-told tale to draw youngsters attention and light up that spark of curiosity. That story-telling ability has propelled him into a career as a prolific writer. He's written over 40 books for young adults as well as four academic titles and has won many awards including Washington Post Childrens' Book Guild Lifetime Achievement Award, the James Madison Award for Lifetime Achievement, several Horn Book awards by the Boston Globe. He consistently appears on the best book of the year lists of the American Library Association, and receives frequent recognition by Book Lists, and the Western Heritage Award for best juvenile nonfiction book presented at the National Cowboy Hall of Fame among others. Winner of the 2008 National Endowment for Humanities Medal for his work, which was presented at the White House, was given "for opening young minds to the glorious pageant of history. His books have made the lessons of the past come alive with rich detail and energy for a new generation."
We couldn't agree more! Marrin also served as professor of history and chairman of the history department at Yeshiva University until he retired to become a full time writer. It was at this point that he was able to devote his energies to making history come alive for millions of young people.
Here at Beautiful Feet Books, we have been able to reprint six of his titles on American history.
Fought in a small Asian country unfamiliar to most Americans at the time, the Vietnam War became a cause that divided the nation and defined a counter-culture. The first televised war, newscasters became a force creating the greatest anti-war movement in history, while American boys suffered and died in jungles and rice paddies against guerilla soldiers they rarely saw face to face. As Marrin does so well, he brings an objective look at the complex issues that brought America into this war, that compelled her to stay there, and that prevented her from pursuing a definitive conclusion. Beginning with a history of Vietnam from ancient times, readers will understand the cultural, religious, and geo-political forces that made Vietnam a desirable territory conquered again and again by rival nations. They will learn how America's initial efforts to support anti-communist forces led to greater and greater involvement eventually spanning the administrations of Eisenhower, Kennedy, LBJ, and Nixon. Through photographs, perceptive epigraphs and first-person accounts, Marrin puts a human face on a multifaceted war. As Everett Alvarez, the longest-held POW in Vietnam, says of this book, "One of the book's strong points is that it portrays the war the way the men who fought remember it."
"Marrin writes insightfully about the life of Adolf Hitler and attempts to ascertain the reasons for his fanaticism, as well as the motives of those who blindly followed him. The author forgoes sensationalism, and his matter-of-fact writing style and recitation of events are more than adequate to chronicle the horror. Step-by-step, he describes how Hitler, a seemingly shy, insecure young man was able to inspire a defeated nation that saw the extermination of many of its citizens as it salvation." - Booklist
School Library Journal: Best Book of the Year
Adolf Hitler—der Fuehrer—rose from a childhood of obscurity to wield more power than probably any person in history. His control over his subjects was so complete that he literally shaped every aspect of their lives—the slightest defiance of his authority meant torture and death. Marrin carefully traces the forces that framed Hitler's fanaticism; readers will learn of his hardhearted and abusive father and his doting and indulgent mother who continually schooled Adolf in his superiority over other children. When he is twice rejected at a prestigious art school in Vienna, Hitler's delusional thoughts of himself seek a scapegoat for his seething anger. This was the genesis of Hitler's raging anti-Semitism that would play out in the deaths of over six million. Hitler's path to power included a heroic career as an infantryman in World War I where he earned six medals for bravery, including the Iron Cross. But Germany's surrender plunged him into a dark depression. In this state he began to believe he was called by God to "right Germany's wrongs, rebuild her armies, and punish the traitors." The rest is history, and Marrin brings the tragedy of Hitler's dark reign to the young adult reader in a manner that is honest, forthright and sobering. Illustrated with maps and photographs.
School Library Journal "Best Books of the Year"
When Joseph Djugashvili was born the son of a poor shoemaker, few suspected he would rise to become one of the twentieth century's most ruthless and powerful dictators. Enamored as a young man with the revolutionary politics of Lenin, he joined the underground Marxist Party and began his pursuit of power by leading strikes and demonstrations. Six times he was exiled to Siberia for his illicit activities, escaping many times despite below freezing temperatures and on one occasion an attack by a pack of wolves. His instinctive ability to command authority and divide the opposition through lies and deceit set him on a path he would follow to become Russia's most absolute dictator. He was never reticent to shed innocent blood in the pursuit of his own ends, and he carefully orchestrated demonstrations that brought about massacres that he then used to his own revolutionary ends. His vision was far reaching, and while his initial purpose was to establish a Soviet socialist state his larger goal was world domination. Ultimately responsible for the deaths of over 30 million—13 million alone in the Ukrainian famine he caused—Stalin's life is a sober and heartbreaking account of the reign of terror suffered by countless millions at the hands of one man. Illustrated with photographs.
Victory in the Pacific covers events from the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor through the battles of Midway, Guadalcanal, the Solomon Islands, Savo Island, the Doolittle raid on Tokyo, Corregidor Island, Leyte Gulf, Iwo Jima , and Okinawa. In each case, readers see the battles through the eyes of the men who were there, landing on the beaches, running raids in PT boats, dodging kamikaze bombers, and flying missions over Japan. In an easily accessible style, Marrin relates not only the important details of these conquests but also explains the military strategies of both the Allied forces and the Japanese. Readers get an overarching view of the war that helps to bring understanding especially as American forces drew increasingly closer to Japan and the Japanese grew ever more determined to fight to the bitter end. Marrin helps readers to understand the Japanese mindset that made surrender impossible and ultimately led to the decision to drop the atomic bomb in the interests of saving millions of lives. For the young adult reader, or even an adult unfamiliar with this period of WWII history, this book provides a sobering but inspiring look and the men and women , the nations and ideologies, that battled over half a century ago in the Pacific theater. Illustrated with diagrams, maps and photographs.
Portraying the sterling character of this admired hero, Marrin paints a complete picture of this complex man. Divided between his dislike of slavery and his loyalty to his beloved Virginia, Lee rose from an impoverished and tragic childhood to become one of the greatest military minds America has ever known even while being lauded for his kind, generous leadership. Marrin writes of Lee while including the stories of the ordinary soldiers, the Johnny Rebs and Billy Yanks. The victories, defeats, successes and failures of each side are portrayed in vivid and personal detail. Used in the Literature Approach to U.S. and World History, from the Civil War to Vietnam study guide.
All of the above titles are available on our website and we're offering a discount when you purchase more than one! Save $13.00 when you purchase all six in our Albert Marrin Collection, a Cathy Duffy Top 100 Pick for Homeschool award winner! Or save $9.00 when you purchase any four!
You can read reviews from other parents and readers at the links below:
And as a little bonus, you can watch Albert Marrin read from his book Flesh & Blood So Cheap, a finalist for the National Book Foundation Young Person's award.
To learn more about Albert Marrin, visit his website.