Secret Service Dogs: The Heroes Who Protect the President of the United States by Maria GoodavageThe U.S. Secret Service is famous for protecting the President, the Vice President, their families, and their residences, but the canine corps has always stayed in the background. For Secret Service Dogs, journalist and dog-lover Maria Goodavage received permission to interview Secret Service personnel and observe their dogs' work, producing this fascinating glimpse into their activities. Goodavage covers the history of the Service's dog teams, their training, the personalities and off-duty lives of dogs and handlers, and intriguing specific incidents involving the canines. For additional engaging depictions of specially trained dogs and their people, try the author's Soldier Dogs and Top Dog.
"They Can't Kill Us All": Ferguson, Baltimore, and a New Era in America's Racial Justice... by Wesley LoweryIn "They Can't Kill Us All", Washington Post reporter Wesley Lowery chronicles his odyssey reporting from U.S. cities where officers have killed unarmed black men, beginning with Ferguson, MO. Depicting family members, protesters, and activist leaders, he sheds light on the experiences and responses of individuals in each situation. The development of the #BlackLivesMatter movement also comes to life in this unbiased report, which draws on data collection and a clear understanding of the dangers facing police officers, in addition to historical perspectives on black-white community relations over a half-century. Library Journal highly recommends this narrative "for those seeking additional clarity" on the subject.
Iron Dawn: The Monitor, the Merrimack, and the Civil War Sea Battle That Changed History by Richard SnowThe Civil War battle between the Confederacy's armored ship Merrimack and the Union's iron Monitor is one of the most memorable events in naval history, and not just because the Monitor saved the Union fleet. Word of the iron warship's victory transformed ship-building around the world; indeed, the British immediately stopped building wooden ships. In Iron Dawn, acclaimed historian Richard Snow details the development of these ironclad ships while vividly relating the historic battle at Hampton Roads, VA. Snow's "thorough and enthusiastic treatment" (Booklist) will captivate history readers.
Writing to Save a Life: The Louis Till File by John Edgar WidemanWhile the events surrounding the 1955 death of teenager Emmett Till in Money, MS have attracted numerous writers, award-winning author John Wideman adds new details to the story in Writing to Save a Life. When Wideman learned that Emmett's father Louis had been executed by the Army for rape and murder in 1945, he was struck by the similarities between the father's and son's deaths. Through research into Louis Till's case, he developed a new narrative of Louis and Emmett's stories. Combined with his own reflections on race and justice in America, this book offers a moving and thought-provoking meditation on the subject.
What Have We Done: The Moral Injury of Our Longest Wars by David WoodIn this "searing, elegantly told" (Publishers Weekly) study of an under-reported aspect of war's effects, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David Wood analyzes the moral and spiritual impact on soldiers who have killed noncombatants. While post-traumatic stress disorder receives considerable attention in the news, "moral injury" can be equally devastating. Wood's primary focus is veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan, but he includes accounts of experiences in other wars. Depicting the work of chaplains and therapists, interviewing military personnel who have faced this trauma, and critiquing the American military command, Wood's eye-opening examination complements David Finkel's Thank You for Your Service and Kevin Sites' The Things They Cannot Say.
The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World by Niall FergusonThough Occupy Wall Street went home five years ago and the story of Wells Fargo's fake accounts broke this past September, this is as opportune a time as any to read author Niall Ferguson's history of money, banking, and credit. Ferguson, who is both a historian and an author of several books on money-related topics, provides an accessible and engaging guide to financial history, from Mesopotamia's clay tablets to the bursting of bubbles. If you're looking for the logic behind financial institutions, want to understand why credit was necessary for civilization to prosper, or are curious what Scottish widows have to do with insurance theory, you'll want to check out The Ascent of Money.
Magna Carta: The Birth of Liberty by Dan JonesIn 1215, a group of violent English barons forced King John to sign the Magna Carta, a treaty that protected their rights against the King's. According to historian Dan Jones, only a few of the Magna Carta's legal rules articulate ideals that may affect the rights of ordinary people. Nevertheless, it's cited (and revered) today as the foundation of modern limits on government. In this "insightful, satisfying" (Kirkus Reviews) study, Jones illuminates the context of King John's disastrous rule, the barons' frustrations, and the reasons why the Magna Carta became a touchstone of liberty during the Enlightenment era -- and remains so today.
Inventing Wine: A New History of One of the World's Most Ancient Pleasures by Paul LukacsFrom its inconsistently palatable origins to today's scientifically managed vintages, alcoholic grape juice has been a popular beverage for 8000 years. In Inventing Wine, English professor and oenophile Paul Lukacs traces details of its history, including ancient casks found in King Tut's tomb, the development of glass bottles, Louis Pasteur's analysis of yeast action, and Prohibition. Though the earliest wines were suitable mainly for getting drunk, human ingenuity and perseverance gradually elevated the vintner's craft to a science and made wine into an affordable source of pleasure. Enjoy this engrossing account while sipping, perhaps, a bottle of Beaujolais Nouveau.
The World That Made New Orleans: From Spanish Silver to Congo Square by Ned SubletteAccording to musician and record producer Ned Sublette, "New Orleans is an alternative American history all in itself." From its initial settlement in 1698 to its recognition as an important city in 1819, New Orleans experienced French, Spanish, and Anglo-American rule in rapid succession. These influences established a variety of social customs, views on slavery and race, and musical traditions that distinguished it from the surrounding regions. Sublette vividly depicts the European and African (and Afro-Caribbean) cultures that wove themselves into the colorful tapestry that can be seen today in the Crescent City. "Cultural studies and history do not get much better than this," says Booklist in a starred review.
Lift Every Voice: The NAACP and the Making of the Civil Rights Movement by Patricia SullivanThis chronological history of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People begins with its little-known early decades, when it was founded and led by an inter-racial group of equal rights activists. Lift Every Voice profiles important individuals, including W.E.B. Du Bois and suffragist Mary White Ovington, and details the organization's activities during World War I and after. In the Depression and New Deal eras, it moved into anti-segregationist litigation; after World War II, Brown v. Board of Education proved to be a key victory. Though published before the advent of #BlackLivesMatter, this compelling account portrays the origins of an essential force in the dismantling of Jim Crow.
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