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History and Current Events April 2014
"I have never felt salvation in nature. I love cities above all."
~ Michelangelo (1475-1564), Italian painter and sculptor
New And Recently Released!
Dark Invasion: 1915: Germany's Secret War and the Hunt for the First Terrorist Cell in America - by Howard Blum
Publisher: HarperCollins
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 02/11/2014
Share Dark Invasion%3a 1915%3a Germany ISBN-13: 9780062307552
ISBN-10: 006230755X
In the early months of World War I, the U.S. remained officially neutral, hoping to avoid direct involvement in the European war. German agents, however, wanted to make sure that American munitions couldn't be deployed by the Allies, so they launched a sabotage campaign against American shipyards in New York. Federal intelligence agencies were unable to coordinate their work effectively, leaving the New York City Police to battle the German network of spies and saboteurs. In this thrilling account, author Howard Blum details how the metropolitan police prevailed against the German efforts. Well-researched and informative, Dark Invasion will keep you turning the pages to discover each new twist of this little-known period in history.
Dear Abigail: The Intimate Lives and Revolutionary Ideas of Abigail Adams and Her Two Remarkable Sisters - by Diane Jacobs
Publisher: Random House
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 02/25/2014
Share Dear Abigail%3a The Intimate Lives and Revolutionary Ideas of Abigail Adams and Her Two Remarkable Sisters ISBN-13: 9780345465061
ISBN-10: 0345465067
Elizabeth, Abigail, and Mary Smith, three sisters born in mid-18th century Massachusetts, had ringside seats to the political strife of their period. Abigail is now the best known, having married John Adams -- who later became the second President of the U.S. Well-educated compared with many other women of their time, the Smith sisters filled their correspondence with perceptive details of colonial and revolutionary history and the early years of the Republic. They also wrote vividly about their lives as women, including the challenges of raising families and, for Elizabeth and Mary, the difficulties their husbands caused them. Dear Abigail, drawn from their voluminous correspondence, offers an unusual and compelling view of the times.
Operation Paperclip: The Secret Intelligence Program That Brought Nazi Scientists to America - by Annie Jacobsen
Publisher: Little, Brown & Company
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 02/11/2014
Share Operation Paperclip%3a The Secret Intelligence Program That Brought Nazi Scientists to America ISBN-13: 9780316221047
ISBN-10: 031622104X
After World War II, the U.S. and the Soviet Union realized that German scientists -- especially their physicists -- could make invaluable contributions to the continued development of atomic weapons. Both countries eagerly recruited the men who had done so much for German rocket science and weaponry, hoping to bolster their own projects. In Operation Paperclip, historian Annie Jacobsen draws on recently released official documents, personal interviews, and memoirs to create a revealing account of how the scientists were recruited, including how Nazi scientists accused of war crimes were quietly allowed to move to the U.S. For more history of these efforts, read Wayne Biddle's Dark Side of the Moon, which focuses on physicist Werner von Braun.
Hundred Days: The Campaign That Ended World War I - by Nick Lloyd
Publisher: Perseus Books Group
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 01/28/2014
Share Hundred Days%3a The Campaign That Ended World War I ISBN-13: 9780465074921
ISBN-10: 0465074928
World War I started a hundred years ago this August and didn't end until Europe had been thoroughly trashed and thousands of civilians and soldiers had died. In Hundred Days, historian Nick Lloyd provides details of strategy and battles during the last few months of the war, explaining how the Allied leadership profited from earlier experiences and ultimately defeated the Germans in November of 1918. Lloyd also relates how later German politicians, especially Hitler and his supporters, were able to claim that Germany was betrayed from within rather than being beaten by the Allied campaign. Kirkus Reviews calls this a "fine account" of the end of the first war and the beginning of the period leading to World War II.
Lincoln's Boys: John Hay, John Nicolay, and the War for Lincoln's Image - by Joshua Zeitz
Publisher: Penguin Group USA
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 02/04/2014
Share Lincoln ISBN-13: 9780670025664
ISBN-10: 0670025666
John Hay and John Nicolay served Abraham Lincoln as his personal secretaries from before his election to the presidency to the time of his assassination. Their journals, correspondence, and ten-volume authorized biography of Lincoln, along with other official records and Lincoln's presidential papers, provide historian Joshua Zeitz with ample material for analysis of Lincoln's character and career. In Lincoln's Boys, Zeitz concludes that Nicolay and Hay were key figures in establishing Lincoln's legacy and shaping public opinion about his leadership both before and after his death. Thoroughly researched, carefully argued, and accessible to general readers, this portrait of Lincoln's closest associates contributes significant scholarship to American history of the Civil War period.
Focus on: Cities
The Ghost Map: The Story of London's Most Terrifying Epidemic and How it Changed Science, Cities, and the Modern World - by Steven Johnson
Publisher: Riverhead Books
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 10/02/2007
Share The Ghost Map%3a The Story of London ISBN-13: 9781594482694
ISBN-10: 1594482691
Though it is now known that cholera is transmitted by contaminated water, in the 19th century foul air, or "miasma," got the blame -- a mistaken notion that officials used to explain a devastating cholera epidemic in Victorian London just as the city was beginning to modernize. In this gripping chronicle, writer Steven Johnson takes readers back to 1854 to follow Dr. John Snow and the Reverend Henry Whitehead as they discover and prove that the outbreak came from contaminated drinking water. Part page-turning medical mystery and part social history, The Ghost Map also offers a timely look at current and future threats from contagious diseases.
Death in the City of Light: The Serial Killer of Nazi-Occupied Paris - by David King
Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 06/05/2012
Share Death in the City of Light%3a The Serial Killer of Nazi-Occupied Paris ISBN-13: 9780307452900
ISBN-10: 0307452905
In 1944, a chimney fire drew Paris police to the home of a respected physician, Marcel Petiot; in the basement they found a charnel house of dismembered bodies. As Petiot eluded authorities and Nazi forces retreated from Paris, officials learned how the doctor had preyed upon Jews fleeing the Gestapo, luring them with false promises of safe passage out of the city. Petiot's trial became an international media circus as he insisted he was dedicated to the French Resistance, while the citizens of Paris seemed almost inured to Petiot's crimes. Death in the City of Light offers a startling and thought-provoking glimpse into the history of Paris.
City of Scoundrels: The Twelve Days of Disaster That Gave Birth to Modern Chicago - by Gary Krist
Publisher: Crown Publishers
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 04/17/2012
Share City of Scoundrels%3a The Twelve Days of Disaster That Gave Birth to Modern Chicago ISBN-13: 9780307454294
ISBN-10: 0307454290
During two weeks of July in 1919, Chicago was devastated by a series of terrible events. A fire on the Loop caused by a dirigible crash, the murder of a six-year-old child, a transit workers' strike, a race riot, and political shenanigans combined to bring Chicago to its knees. Political leaders tried to cope with these events and to fend off damage to the city's already dismal image, but with little success. In City of Scoundrels, historian Gary Krist offers an engaging snapshot of urban history as he portrays the resourcefulness and perseverance of ordinary citizens. Those interested in Chicago and in close-ups of city life will find this an irresistible read.
Bunker Hill: A City, a Siege, a Revolution - by Nathaniel Philbrick
Publisher: Penguin Group USA
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 04/30/2013
Share Bunker Hill%3a A City, a Siege, a Revolution ISBN-13: 9780670025442
ISBN-10: 0670025445
Though Bunker Hill is the title of this work by historian Nathaniel Philbrick, the book discusses much more than the skirmish on that site, also depicting events in Boston from 1773 to 1776. With colorful descriptions of the militia, geographic details that include maps, and lively explanations of political and military maneuvers, Philbrick brings to life an important segment of the American Revolution. His vivid portraits of key figures, including British leaders and well-known Americans John Hancock, Samuel Adams, and others, illuminate the significance of battles at Concord and Lexington, the British siege lasting ten months, and George Washington's success in driving out the British troops. This is a must-read for anyone interested in Boston or the Revolutionary War.
Harlem Is Nowhere: A Journey to the Mecca of Black America - by Sharifa Rhodes-Pitts
Publisher: Little, Brown & Company
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 01/22/2013
Share Harlem Is Nowhere%3a A Journey to the Mecca of Black America ISBN-13: 9780316017244
ISBN-10: 0316017248
The portion of upper Manhattan known as Harlem has been a vibrant cultural center for African Americans since the late 19th century. When housing discrimination concentrated black Americans into the area, African- and Southern-influenced culture found expression through music, literature, and the visual arts. Despite the negative aspects of its image produced by white prejudice against its black residents, Harlem is, instead of "nowhere," the "Mecca of Black America." In this urban portrait, part memoir and part well-researched history, author Sharifa Rhodes-Pitts vividly depicts the cultural contributions of Harlem's residents, including writers Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, and James Baldwin, photographer James VanDerZee, and many others. Harlem is Nowhere offers a "glittering living tapestry" (Publishers Weekly) of a vital part of New York City.
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