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History and Current Events February 2014
"Most of us spend too much time on the last twenty-four hours and too little on the last six thousand years."
~ Will Durant (1885-1981), American historian
New and Recently Released!
A History of the World in 12 Maps - by Jerry Brotton
Publisher: Viking
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 11/14/2013
Share A History of the World in 12 Maps ISBN-13: 9780670023394
ISBN-10: 0670023396
Looking at a map can clarify information that is otherwise hard to understand. Making a map can further an agenda by various means, including distorting relative size or creatively applying labels and illustrations. From before Ptolemy's time to contemporary Google Earth, maps have both recorded and created history. Using a dozen maps chosen from specific historical periods, historian Jerry Brotton reviews world history from about 150 BCE to 2012 CE, not just explaining what was happening during the times the maps were made, but also discussing how the mapmakers chose to portray their world. Brotton's selection of maps, chosen thematically and arranged chronologically, provides a thought-provoking and informative approach to history.
Glorious War: The Civil War Adventures of George Armstrong Custer - by Thom Hatch
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 12/10/2013
Share Glorious War%3a The Civil War Adventures of George Armstrong Custer ISBN-13: 9781250028501
ISBN-10: 1250028507
The 1860s and '70s were full of strife in the U.S., including the Civil War and numerous battles between the Army and Native peoples. Among many victories and defeats, one name stands out in the "failure" column: General George Armstrong Custer, who led the Seventh Cavalry in the disastrous Battle of the Little Big Horn in 1876. In Glorious War, historian Tom Hatch reminds us that Custer's career before the Little Big Horn had been brilliant, justifying his promotion to brigadier general at age 23 during the Civil War. Vividly describing Custer's battlefield performance, Hatch brings this remarkable figure to life and paints a portrait of his military career that relates his successes as well as his final defeat.
1963: The Year That Rocked: How Youth Changed the World with Music, Art, and Fashion - by Robin Morgan and Ariel Leve
Publisher: HarperCollins
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 11/19/2013
Share 1963%3a The Year That Rocked%3a How Youth Changed the World with Music, Art, and Fashion ISBN-13: 9780062120441
ISBN-10: 0062120441
In 1963 both the Beatles and Bob Dylan debuted on British television. Taking this as a pivotal moment in the British and American cultural shifts of the 1960s (termed a "youthquake" by fashionista Diana Vreeland), journalists Robin Morgan and Ariel Levy have assembled quotations from a varied selection of people prominent in the youth movement, including excerpts from interviews with musicians, agents, producers, fashion leaders, and other trend setters. The result is a colorful patchwork of commentary and personal statements that provides an entertaining and informative impression of events in this significant year, emblematic of the baby boomers' youth.
Red Fortress: History and Illusion in the Kremlin - by Catherine Merridale
Publisher: Henry Holt & Company
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 11/12/2013
Share Red Fortress%3a History and Illusion in the Kremlin ISBN-13: 9780805086805
ISBN-10: 0805086803
In Red Fortress, a "well-done portrait of both Russian history and the Kremlin" (Booklist), historian Catherine Merridale portrays both the initial building and the frequent rebuilding of the central administrative complex in Moscow while reflecting on the autocratic leadership styles of eight centuries of rulers. From Ivan the Terrible's oppressive, bloody rule through Stalin's executions and forced labor camps, Russian governments tried and failed to hold power over a large, varied, and disorganized swath of territory. The rich culture and politics of Russian history emerge clearly in this fascinating biography of an architectural icon.
Capturing the Light: The Birth of Photography, a True Story of Genius and Rivalry - by Roger Watson and Helen Rappaport
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 11/26/2013
Share Capturing the Light%3a The Birth of Photography, a True Story of Genius and Rivalry ISBN-13: 9781250009708
ISBN-10: 1250009707
French stage designer Louis Daguerre announced his success in creating photographic images in 1839; by 1835, English inventor Henry Fox Talbot had produced a permanent image through a completely different process. Talbot's earlier method is similar to the one that eventually dominated the field, but Daguerre is remembered as the "inventor" of photography. In Capturing the Light, historians Roger Watson and Helen Rappaport explore the history of photography in detail, including the rivalries, patent disputes, and arguments over the best media for creating and preserving images. This compelling and illuminating portrait of the subject brings the uses of photography up to the present day, when digital images captured on Mars seem commonplace.
Focus on: History Through the Years
Lincoln President-Elect: Abraham Lincoln and the Great Secession Winter 1860-1861 - by Harold Holzer
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 10/20/2009
Share Lincoln President-Elect%3a Abraham Lincoln and the Great Secession Winter 1860-1861 ISBN-13: 9780743289481
ISBN-10: 074328948X
In the months between his election to the presidency in November, 1860, and his inauguration in March, 1861, Republicans and Democrats closely watched Abraham Lincoln for signs of how he would lead the United States. Lincoln's tendency to withhold comment (considered disengaged) and the few statements he did make (branded inflammatory) have been criticized ever since, often by those who admire him most. In this careful, detailed examination of Lincoln's words and actions during those months, historian Harold Holzer effectively argues that Lincoln was both actively engaged in the political process and able to keep silent when needed. Anyone interested in the 1860s and Lincoln's presidency will find this a compelling and valuable analysis.
1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created - by Charles C. Mann
Publisher: Knopf
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 08/09/2011
Share 1493%3a Uncovering the New World Columbus Created ISBN-13: 9780307265722
ISBN-10: 0307265722
In 1493, acclaimed author Charles C. Mann reveals that globalization's origins are as much ecological as economic. The arrival of Europeans in the New World sparked an unplanned exchange of plants, animals, and diseases between Europe and the Americas that forever altered global economies, politics and culture. 1493 describes complex, surprising cause-effect scenarios -- for example, how European honeybees and earthworms transformed the Western Hemisphere's ecology -- in an engaging, accessible style that lay readers and scholars alike will love. If you liked Jared Diamond's Guns, Germs, and Steel, don't miss 1493!
1775: A Good Year for Revolution - by Kevin Phillips
Publisher: Viking
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 11/27/2012
Share 1775%3a A Good Year for Revolution ISBN-13: 9780670025121
ISBN-10: 0670025127
Historian Kevin Phillips, a well regarded political analyst, challenges the notion that the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776 was the "birthday" of American independence. Instead, the real excitement went down in 1775: colonial legislators rousted royal governors from power, Congress assumed executive powers, and local Patriot Committees showed Tory merchants (and their British-made goods) the door. Colonial militia scored key wins, including those at Lexington, Concord, and Bunker Hill, throughout 1775. By December, only Boston remained under British control; ink on paper in 1776 simply formalized the reality of American autonomy. For an engaging and "impressively authoritative" (Kirkus Reviews) reassessment of the American Revolution, put 1775 on your reading calendar.
America, 1908: The Dawn of Flight, the Race to the Pole, the Invention of the Model T, and the Making of a Modern Nation - by Jim Rasenberger
Publisher: Scribner
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 06/07/2011
Share America, 1908%3a The Dawn of Flight, the Race to the Pole, the Invention of the Model T, and the Making of a Modern Nation ISBN-13: 9780743280785
ISBN-10: 0743280784
In America, 1908 journalist Jim Rasenberger weaves together details of grand and mundane events throughout 1908 that, taken as a whole, make that year seem a major turning point in history. Relating typical annual rites, such as the drama of baseball's World Series, and more unusual and disturbing incidents, such as a Springfield, Illinois, race riot, Rasenberger creates a portrait of a year of wonders. His enthralling compilation includes the political showmanship of President Theodore Roosevelt, significant progress in transportation (the Model T Ford and airplanes that could carry passengers), and the quest for the North Pole. America, 1908 provides a "reach across time that is both poignant and entertaining," says Kirkus Reviews.
Empire of Liberty: A History of the Early Republic, 1789-1815 - by Gordon S. Wood
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 10/28/2009
Share Empire of Liberty%3a A History of the Early Republic, 1789-1815 ISBN-13: 9780195039146
ISBN-10: 0195039149
Noted historian Gordon Wood, a specialist in the early years of U.S. history, describes in detail the changes, shifts, and growth of the young republic. Beginning with the hotly contested campaign to ratify the new Constitution and concluding with the period immediately following the War of 1812, Wood discusses the significance of population growth and territorial expansion, increasing democratization, and economic development in shaping both governmental structures and daily life and customs. Empire of Liberty (which won the 2009 American History Book Prize awarded by the New York Historical Society) will satisfy both general readers and scholars interested in this period in American history.
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