What's Your Pronoun? Beyond He & She by Dennis BaronWhat it is: a playful yet thought-provoking deep dive into the history and politics of pronoun usage, written by Guggenheim fellow and linguistics professor Dennis Baron.
Did you know? Although gender-neutral pronouns are a hot topic right now, they've been around for centuries: ou, the earliest documented gender-neutral pronoun, was first used in 1789.
Don't miss: the annotated chronology of more than 250 gender-neutral and nonbinary pronouns that concludes the volume.
Fight of the Century: Writers Reflect on 100 Years of Landmark ACLU Cases by Michael Chabon and Ayelet Waldman, editorsWhat it is: an incisive collection of essays commemorating the centennial of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).
Topics include: immigration; intellectual freedom; racial discrimination.
What sets it apart: Well-known writers including Marlon James, Neil Gaiman, Jacqueline Woodson, Charlie Jane Anders, and Salman Rushdie offer insights and personal connections to some of the organization's most hard-fought battles.
A House in the Mountains: The Women Who Liberated Italy from Fascism by Caroline MooreheadWhat it's about: how a group of anti-fascist women in Italy's Piedmont region spearheaded the country's resistance efforts after Mussolini's fall in 1943, navigating a treacherous web of Nazi invaders, Italian fascists, and mistrustful Allies.
Read it for: a portrait of four heroic women eager to shake off the social norms of a system that preferred them to be passive.
Series alert: A House in the Mountains is the moving conclusion to the bestselling World War II-themed Resistance Quartet.
Slaying Goliath: The Passionate Resistance to Privatization and the Fight to Save America's... by Diane RavitchWhat it is: an impassioned, well-researched analysis of how the school privatization movement fails students and teachers, and how grassroots efforts are leading the charge to prioritize America's public schools.
Author alert: Historian Diane Ravitch is the former U.S. assistant secretary of education and the author of Reign of Error: The Hoax of the Privatization Movement and the Danger to America's Public Schools.
Wilmington's Lie: The Murderous Coup of 1898 and the Rise of White Supremacy by David ZucchinoWhat it's about: the Wilmington Insurrection of 1898, when white supremacist Democrats in Wilmington, North Carolina stoked racist ire to overthrow the city's mixed-race government and disenfranchise thousands of black citizens, killing an estimated 60 black people.
Why you should read it: Drawing upon numerous primary sources including diaries and witness testimonies, Pulitzer Prize winner David Zucchino's sobering and resonant history rightly corrects the historical record -- for decades, the coup was viewed as a race riot instigated by Wilmington's black population.
The Hello Girls: America's First Women Soldiers by Elizabeth CobbsWhat it's about: During World War I, 223 American women enlisted in the U.S. Army Signal Corps and served as switchboard operators in France. Denied veteran's benefits after the war and classed as civilian employees, it took them more than 60 years to be formally recognized for their accomplishments.
For fans of: Margot Lee Shetterly's Hidden Figures.
Reviewers say: "A fresh, well-researched contribution to military and gender history" (Kirkus Reviews).
Searching for the Amazons: The Real Warrior Women of the Ancient World by John ManWhat it is: a sweeping history of the women warriors of central Asia whose mystique inspired the ancient Greeks to create myths about them that endure to this day.
Why you might like it: Historian John Man's playful account debunks many common misconceptions about the Amazons' way of life (no, they did not cut off their right breasts to improve their skills with a bow).
Further reading: For another scholarly yet accessible history of this formidable culture, check out Adrienne Mayor's The Amazons: Lives and Legends of Warrior Women Across the Ancient World.
Madame Fourcade's Secret War: The Daring Young Woman Who Led France's Largest Spy... by Lynne OlsonStarring: French Resistance operative Marie-Madeleine Fourcade, aka "Hedgehog," who led a spy network of thousands in occupied France and whose efforts crucially helped secure an Allied victory on D-Day.
Read it for: evocative period detail, white-knuckle cat-and-mouse games, and dramatic political intrigue.
Don't miss: Fourcade's multiple escapes from captivity.
Louisa on the Front Lines: Louisa May Alcott in the Civil War by Samantha SeipleWhat it's about: how Little Women author Louisa May Alcott's experiences as a Civil War nurse shaped her as a writer and bolstered her dedication to the abolitionist movement.
Who it's for: Alcott fans, Civil War buffs, and teen readers will all find much to appreciate in this engaging adult debut written by young adult nonfiction author Samantha Seiple (Ghosts in the Fog: The Untold Story of Alaska's WWII Invasion).
Women Warriors: An Unexpected History by Pamela D. TolerWhat it is: a spirited exploration of women warriors, many of them from non-Western countries, who "have been pushed into the shadows, hidden in the footnotes, or half-erased."
Featuring: the Trung sisters of Vietnam, who led an uprising to drive the Chinese out of their homeland; Buffalo Calf Road Woman, the Northern Cheyenne woman who felled Custer at the Battle of Little Bighorn; mestiza military leader Juana Azurduy de Padilla, who defended Bolivia from Latin American colonization; Hausa queen Amina, who led a three-decade campaign of territorial expansion in present-day Nigeria.
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