It’s cold and windy out AND it’s Friday – what better time to stop by the warm, cozy library and find something good to read or watch for the weekend? We have lots of new titles to choose from. Take a look!
The Earth is Weeping by Peter Cozzens
After the Civil War, the United States turned its attention to conquering the Great Plains and the lands beyond. The expansion of the country and discoveries of gold drew whites to territory traditionally claimed by Indians. But the American West had long been embroiled in conflict: White settlement of eastern North America in the 1600s had disrupted a number of Indian tribes that, in their own westward exodus, clashed with native tribes ove rland, even two centuries later. This Indian disunity, coupled with the Manifest Destiny of the United States, set off a wide-range conflict, which represented at its core the displacing of one emigrant culture by another. The Indian Wars would last more than three decades, permanently altering the physical and political landscape of America.
The Earth is Weeping is a sweeping, definitive history of the battles and negotiations that destroyed the Indian way of life even as they paved the way for the emergence of the United States we know today. Dramatically relating bloody and tragic events as varied as Wounded Knee, the Nez Perce War, the Sierra Madre campaign, and the Battle of the Little Bighorn, Peter Cozzens gives us both sides in comprehensive and singularly intimate detail. He illuminates the intertribal strife over whether to fight or make peace; explores the dreary, squalid lives of frontier soldiers and the imperatives of the Indian warrior culture; and describes the ethical quandaries faced by generals who often sympathized with their native enemies.
As the action moves from the Great Plains to Texas to the sheer cliffs of the Rockies and Sierra Madre, we encounter a pageant of fascinating characters, including Custer, Sherman, Grant, and a host of officers, soldiers, and Indian agents, as well as great native leaders such as Crazy Horse, Sitting Bull, Geronimo, and Red Cloud and the warriors they led. The Earth is Weeping brings them all together for the first time in the fullest account to date of how the West was won – and lost.
IT by Stephen King To the children, the town was their whole world. To the adults, knowing better, Derry, Maine, was just their home town: familiar, well-ordered, a good place to live. It was the the children who saw – and felt – what made Derry so horribly different. In the stormdrains, in the sewers, It lurked, taking on the shape of every nightmare, each person’s deepest dread. Sometimes It reached up, seizing, tearing, killing …
The adults, knowing better, knew nothing. Time passed and the children grew up, moved away. The horror of It was deep-buried, wrapped in forgetfulness. Until the grown-up children were called back, once more to confront It as It stirred and coiled in the sullen depths of their memories, reaching up again to make their past nightmares a terrible present reality.
Frightening, epic, and brilliant, Stephen King’s IT is one of the greatest works of a true storytelling master.
Being Jazz: My Life as a (Transgender) Teen by Jazz Jennings At the age of six, Jazz Jennings’s transition to life as a girl put her in the public spotlight after she shared her story on national television. In the decade since, Jazz has become one of the most recognizable and prominent advocates for transgender teens, through her TV show, magazine interviews, appearances, and social media. But her journey hasn’t always been easy.
Jazz’s openness has led to bullying and mistreatment from those who don’t understand her choices. She’s had to fight for the right to use the girls’ bathroom and to play on a girls’ soccer team, paving the way for others who come after her. And now Jazz faces an even greater struggle – dealing with the physical and social stresses of being a teen. Going from a girl to a woman is never easy – especially when you began your life in a boy’s body.
Being Jazz: My Life as a (Transgender) Teen is a remarkable memoir about accepting yourself, learning to live an authentic life, and helping everyone to embrace their own truths.
Medical Apartheid by Harriet A. Washington Shocking, sobering, and immensely consequential in its implications, Medical Apartheid is a comprehensive history of the abuse of medical experimentation on African Americans, who have for centuries served as unwilling and unwitting subjects. The product of years of prodigious research into medical journals and experimental reports long undisturbed, Medical Apartheid reveals the hidden underbelly of scientific research and makes possible, for the first time, an understanding of the roots of the African American health deficit.
Complicity by Anne Farrow, Joel Lang, and Jennifer Frank The North’s profit from – indeed, dependence on – slavery has mostly been a shameful and well-kept secret . . . until now. Complicity reveals the cruel truth about the lucrative Triangle Trade of molasses, rum, and slaves that linked the North to the West Indies and Africa. It also discloses the reality of Northern empires built on tainted profits – run, in some cases, by abolitionists – and exposes the thousand-acre plantations that existed in towns such as Salem, Connecticut. Here, too, are eye-opening accounts of the individuals who profited directly from slavery far from the Mason-Dixon line. Culled from long-ignored documents and reports – and bolstered by rarely seen photos, publications, maps, and period drawings – Complicity is a fascinating and sobering work that actually does what so many books pretend to do: shed light on America’s past.
The Amistad Rebellion by Marcus Rediker In this powerful and highly original account, Marcus Rediker reclaims the Amistad rebellion for its true proponents: the enslaved Africans who risked death to stake a claim for freedom. Using newly discovered evidence and featuring vividly drawn portraits of the rebels, their captors, and their abolitionist allies, Rediker reframes the story to show how a small group of courageous men fought and won an epic battle against Spanish and American slaveholders and their governments. As a handful of self-emancipated Africans steered their own course for freedom, they opened a way for millions to follow.
The Tuskegee Syphilis Study In 1932, the U.S. Public Health Service recruited 623 African American men from Macon County, Alabama, for a study of “the effects of untreated syphilis in the Negro male.” For the next 40 years – even after the development of penicillin, the cure for syphilis – these men were denied medical care for this potentially fatal disease. The Tuskegee Syphilis Study was exposed in 1972, and in 1975 the government settled a lawsuit but stopped short of admitting wrongdoing. In 1997, President Bill Clinton welcomed five of the Study survivors to the White House and, on behalf of the nation, officially apologized for an experiment he described as wrongful and racist. In this book, the attorney for the men, Fred D. Gray, describes the background of the Study, the investigation and the lawsuit, the events leading up to the Presidential apology, and the ongoing efforts to see that out of this painful and tragic episode of American history comes lasting good.
The Invention of the White Race, Vol. I by Theodore W. Allen When the first Africans arrived in Virginia in 1619, there were no “white” people there. Nor, according to colonial records, would there be for another sixty years. In this seminal two-volume work, The Invention of the White Race, Theodore W. Allen tells the story of how America’s ruling classes created the category of the “white race” as a means of social control. Since that early invention, white privileges have enforced the myth of racial superiority, and that fact has been central to maintaining ruling-class domination over ordinary working people of all colors throughout American history.
Volume I draws lessons from Irish history, comparing British rule in Ireland with “white” oppression of Native Americans and African Americans. Allen details how Irish immigrants fleeing persecution learned to spread racial oppression in their adoptive country as part of white America.
Since publication in the mid-nineties, The Invention of the White Race has become indispensable in debates on the origins of racial oppression in America. In this updated edition, scholar Jeffrey B. Perry provides a new introduction, a short biography of the author, and a study guide.
The Invention of the White, Vol. II Race by Theodore W. Allen On the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in 1963, Martin Luther King outlined a dream of an America where people would not be judged by the color of their skin. That dream has yet to be realized, but some three centuries ago it was a reality. Back then, neither social practice nor law recognized any special privileges in connection with being white. But by the early decades of the eighteenth century, that had all changed. Racial oppression became the norm in the plantation colonies, and African Americans suffered under its yoke for more than two hundred years.
In Volume II of The Invention of the White Race, Theodore Allen explores the transformation that turned African bond-laborers into slaves and segregated them from their fellow proletarians of European origin. In response to labor unrest, where solidarities were not determined by skin color, the plantation bourgeoisie sought to construct a buffer of poor whites, whose new racial identity would protect them from the enslavement visited upon African Americans. This was the invention of the white race, an act of cruel ingenuity that haunts America to this day.
Allen’s acclaimed study has become indispensable in debates on the origins of racial oppression in America. In this updated edition, scholar Jeffrey B. Perry provides a new introduction, a select bibliography, and a study guide.
The Rape of Nanking by Iris Chang In December 1937, the Japanese army swept into the ancient city of Nanking. Within weeks, more than 300,000 Chinese civilians and soldiers were systematically raped, tortured, and murdered – a death toll exceeding that of the atomic blasts of Hiroshima and Nagasaki combined. Iris Chang, one of the nation’s leading historians and critically-acclaimed author of The Thread of the Silkworm, tells the story from three perspectives: that of the Japanese soldiers, that of the Chinese, and that of a group of Westerners who refused to abandon the city and created a safety zone, which saved almost 300,000 Chinese.
More than just narrating the details of an orgy of violence, in The Rape of Nanking, Chang analyzes the militaristic culture that fostered in the Japanese soldiers a total disregard for human life. It also tells of the concerted effort during the Cold War on the part of the West and even China to stifle open discussion of this atrocity. Drawing on extensive interviews with survivors and documents brought to light for the first time, Iris Chang’s classic is the definitive history of this horrifying episode.
The Other Slavery by Andres Resendez Since the time of Columbus, Indian slavery was illegal in much of the American continent. Yet, as Andres Resendez illuminates in his myth-shattering The Other Slavery, it was practiced for centuries as an open secret. There was no abolitionist movement to protect the tens of thousands of Natives who were kidnapped and enslaved by the conquistadors. Resendez builds the incisive case that it was mass slavery – more than epidemics – that decimated Indian populations across North America. Through riveting new evidence, including testimonies of courageous priests, rapacious merchants, and Indian captives, The Other Slavery reveals nothing less than a key missing piece of American history.
For more than two centuries we have fought over, abolished, and tried to come to grips with African American slavery. It is time for the West to confront an entirely separate, equally devastating enslavement we have long failed truly to see.
White Rage by Carol Anderson Since 1865 and the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment, every time African Americans have made advances toward full participation in our democracy, white reaction has fueled a deliberate, relentless rollback of any gains. Carefully linking historical flashpoints – from the post-Civil War Black Codes to expressions of white rage after the election of America’s first black president – Anderson renders visible the long lineage of white rage and the different names under which it hides. Compelling and dramatic in the unimpeachable history it relates, White Rage adds a vital new dimension to the national conversation about race in America.
Slavery by Another Name by Douglas A Blackmon In this groundbreaking historical expose, Douglas A. Blackmon brings to light one of the most shameful chapters in American history – an “Age of Neoslavery” that thrived from the aftermath of the Civil War through the dawn of World War II.
Using a vast record of original documents and personal narratives, Blackmon unearths the lost stories of slaves and their descendants who journeyed into freedom after the Emancipation Proclamation and then back into the shadow of involuntary servitude shortly thereafter. By turns moving, sobering, and shocking, this unprecedented account reveals the stories of those who fought unsuccessfully against the re-emergence of human labor trafficking, the companies that profited most from neoslavery, and the insidious legacy of racism that reverberates today.
They Can’t Kill Us All by Wesley Lowery This is the story of the birth of a movement, from the award-winning journalist who reported at the heart of it. Based on more than a year of on-the-ground reporting, They Can’t Kill Us All is an enduring portrait of the reality of police violence and endemic racism in the United States, and those trying to combat it.
Bad Blood by James H. Jones From 1932 to 1972, the United States Public Health Service conducted a non-therapeutic experiment involving over 400 black male sharecroppers infected with syphilis. The Tuskegee Study had nothing to do with treatment. Its purpose was to trace the spontaneous evolution of the disease in order to learn how syphilis affected black subjects.
The men were not told they had syphilis; they were not warned about what the disease might do to them; and, with the exception of a smattering of medication during the first few months, they were not given health care. Instead of the powerful drugs they required, they were given aspirin for their aches and pains. Health officials systematically deceived the men into believing they were patients in a government study of “bad blood”, a catch-all phrase black sharecroppers used to describe a host of illnesses. At the end of this 40 year deathwatch, more than 100 men had died from syphilis or related complications.
“Bad Blood” provides compelling answers to the question of how such a tragedy could have been allowed to occur. Tracing the evolution of medical ethics and the nature of decision making in bureaucracies, Jones attempted to show that the Tuskegee Study was not, in fact, an aberration, but a logical outgrowth of race relations and medical practice in the United States.
Now, in this revised edition of Bad Blood, Jones traces the tragic consequences of the Tuskegee Study over the last decade. A new introduction explains why the Tuskegee Study has become a symbol of black oppression and a metaphor for medical neglect, inspiring a prize-winning play, a Nova special, and a motion picture. A new concluding chapter shows how the black community’s wide-spread anger and distrust caused by the Tuskegee Study has hampered efforts by health officials to combat AIDS in the black community. Bad Blood was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize and was one of the New York Times 12 best books of the year.
Stamped from the Beginning by Ibram X. Kendi Americans like to insist that we are living in a postracial, color-blind society. In fact, racist thought is alive and well; it has simply become more sophisticated and more insidious. And as award-winning historian, Ibram X. Kendi argues in Stamped from the Beginning, racist ideas in this country have a long and lingering history, one in which nearly every great American thinker is complicit.
In this deeply researched and fast-moving narrative, Kendi chronicles the entire story of anti–Black racist ideas and their staggering power over the course of American history. Stamped from the Beginning uses the lives of five major American intellectuals to offer a window into the contentious debates between assimilationists and segregationists and between racists and antiracists. From Puritan minister Cotton Mather to Thomas Jefferson, from fiery abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison to brilliant scholar W. E. B. Du Bois to legendary anti–prison activist Angela Davis, Kendi shows how and why some of our leading proslavery and pro–civil rights thinkers have challenged or helped cement racist ideas in America.
As Kendi provocatively illustrates, racist thinking did not arise from ignorance or hatred. Racist ideas were created and popularized in an effort to defend deeply entrenched discriminatory policies and to rationalize the nation’s racial inequities in everything from wealth to health. While racist ideas are easily produced and easily consumed, they can also be discredited. In shedding much–needed light on the murky history of racist ideas, Stamped from the Beginning offers us the tools we need to expose them—and in the process, gives us reason to hope.
Member of the Family by Dianne Lake and Deborah Herman There is no doubt that Charlie took advantage of me. This small man oozed self-confidence and sex appeal, and as he would demonstrate time and time again in the months and years ahead, he knew exactly what he was doing. He was a master manipulator, while I was fourteen and essentially on my own. I was a naive, lonely, love-starved little girl looking for a parental figure to tell me ‘No, don’t do that.’ As I discovered that first day in his magic bus, when he focused his attention on you, he made you believe there was no one else in the world. He also had the uncanny sensibility bestowed upon mystics, yet misused by sociopaths and con men, to know exactly what you needed. Charlie knew what you were afraid of . . .
But perhaps the most impressive trick of all was how he made this seem as if it was my idea. Ever since my father first left home, I’d cultivated a sense of independence. I’d taken care of my siblings, I’d cooked, I’d become a free thinker, I’d taken drugs. I might have been fourteen, but I thought I understood who I was and what was missing from my life.
What I needed was a family. And now it seemed I’d found one.
The Dark Intercept by Julia Keller In a world of endless summer, the Intercept keeps the peace Violet Crowley, the sixteen-year-old daughter of New Earth’s Founding Father, has spent her life in comfort and safety. Her days are easy thanks to the Intercept, a crime-prevention device that monitors emotion.
But Violet’s easy life is upended the day her friend and longtime crush, Danny Mayhew, gets into a dangerous altercation on Old Earth. When Danny refuses to explain why he put himself in mortal danger, Violet launches a secret investigation to find out what he’s hiding. An investigation that will lead her to question everything she’s ever known about Danny, her father, and the power of the Intercept.
The Dark Intercept is the beginning of a riveting science fiction adventure that challenges the voluntary surrender of liberties for the perception of safety.
Hacks by Donna Brazile In June 2016 the Washington Post first reported that Russian hackers had penetrated the Democratic National Committee. Barely a month later, these cyber criminals – which the U.S. government later confirmed as Russian intelligence operatives – posted thousands of damaging emails online. These documents seemed to confirm Bernie Sanders supporters’ belief that the DNC had become a tool of the Clinton campaign well before the convention. The hacking’s fallout was swift and devastating – and the attack wasn’t even over. As chaos threatened to consume the party, Democrats turned to a familiar figure to right the ship: Donna Brazile.
Known to millions from her frequent TV appearances, Brazile was no stranger to high stakes and dirty opponents. The longtime Democratic strategist had a reputation in Washington as a one-stop shop for fixing sticky problems. What Brazile found at the DNC, however, was unlike anything she had experienced before – and much worse than is commonly known. The party was beset by infighting, scandal, and hubris, while reeling from a brazen and wholly unprecedented attempt by a foreign power to influence the presidential election. Plus, its nominee, Hillary Clinton, faced an opponent who broke every rule in the political playbook.
Packed with never-before-reported revelations about what went down in 2016, Hacks is a campaign thriller with vital lessons for anyone who cares about free and fair elections. Only by laying bare the missteps, miscalculations, and crimes of 2016, Brazile contends, will Americans be able to salvage their democracy.
The Ballad of Black Bart by Loren D. Estleman Between July 1875 and November 1883, a single outlaw in California’s Mother Lode Country robbed the stagecoaches of Wells, Fargo a record twenty-eight times. Armed with an unloaded shotgun, walking to and from the scenes of the robberies, often for hundreds of miles, and leaving poems behind, the infamous Black Bart was fiercely hunted. James B. Hume, Wells, Fargo’s legendary chief of detectives, made Bart’s apprehension a matter of personal as well as professional interest.
Between Robberies, Black Bart was Charles E. Bolton, a distinguished middle-aged man who enjoyed San Francisco’s entertainments in the company of socialites drawn to his quiet, temperate good nature and upper-class tastes.
The Ballad of Black Bart is a duel of wits involving two adversaries of surpassing cleverness, set against the vivid backdrop of the Old West, from five-time Spur Award-winning author Loren D. Estleman, a modern master of the genre.
The Trouble with Twelfth Grave by Darynda Jones Ever since Reyes Farrow escaped from a hell dimension in which Charley Davidson accidentally trapped him, the son of Satan has been brimstone-bent on destroying the world his heavenly Brother created. His volatile tendencies have put Charley in a bit of a pickle, but that’s not the only briny vegetable on her plate. While trying to domesticate the feral being that used to be her husband, she also has to deal with her everyday job of annoying all manner of beings – some corporeal, some not so much – as she struggles to right the wrongs of society. Only this time she’s not uncovering a murder. This time she’s covering one up.
Add to that her new occupation of keeping a startup PI venture – the indomitable mystery-solving team of Amber Kowalski and Quentin Rutherford – out of trouble and dealing with the Vatican’s inquiries into her beloved daughter, and Charley is on the brink of throwing in the towel and becoming a professional shopper. Or possibly a live mannequin. But when someone starts attacking humans who are sensitive to the supernatural world, Charley knows it’s time to let loose her razor-sharp claws. Then again, her number-one suspect is the dark entity she’s loved for centuries. So the question is, can she tame the unruly beast before it destroys everything she’s worked so hard to protect?
The Librarian of Auschwitz by Antonio Iturbe Based on the experiences of real-life Auschqitz prisoner Dita Kraus, this is the incredible story of a girl who risked her life to keep the magic of books alive during the Holocaust.
Fourteen-year-old Dita is one of the many imprisoned by the Nazis at Auschwitz. Displaced, along with her mother and father, from their home in Prague – first to the capital city’s ghetto, then northward to the Terezin settlement, and now to Auschwitz in Poland – Dita is adjusting to the constant terror that is life in the camp. When Jewish leader Fredy Hirsch asks Dita to take charge of the eight precious volumes the prisoners have managed to sneak past the guards, she agrees, becoming the librarian of Auschwitz.
From one of the darkest chapters of human history comes an extraordinary story of courage and hope.
The Inner Life of Animals by Wohlleben Through vivid stories of devoted pigs, two-timing magpies, and scheming roosters, The Inner Life of Animals weaves Peter Wohlleben’s wealth of personal experience observing nature in forests and fields with the latest scientific research into how animals interact with the world.
Horses feel shame, deer grieve, and goats discipline their kids. Ravens call their friends by name, rats regret bad choices, and butterflies choose the very best places for their children to grow up.
Peter Wohlleben follows the hugely successful The Hidden Life of Trees with insightful stories into the emotions, thoughts, and intelligence of animals around us. Animals are different from us in amazing ways – and they are also much closer to us than we ever would have thought.
Fast Food Genocide by Joel Fuhrman, M.D. Fast food is far more than just the burgers, fries, and burritos served at chain restaurants; it is also the toxic, human-engineered products found in every grocery store across America. These include: cold breakfast cereals; commercial and preserved (deli) meats and cheeses; sandwich breads and buns; chips, pretzels, and crackers; fried foods; energy bars; and soft drinks. Fast foods have become the primary source of calories in the United States and consequently the most far-reaching and destructive influence on our population. The indisputable truth is that our highly processed diet is the source of a national health crisis that is exploding into a genocide with unseen tragic implications.
Heart attacks, strokes, cancer, obesity, ADHD, autism, allergies, and autoimmune diseases all have the same root cause – our addiction to toxic ingredients. New York Times bestselling author, board-certified physician, nutritional researcher, and leading voice in the health field Joel Fuhrman, M.D., explains why the problem of poor nutrition is deeper, more serious, and more pervasive than anyone imagined.
Fast Food Genocide draws on twenty-five years of clinical experience and research to confront our fundamental beliefs about the impact of what we eat. This book identifies issues at the heart of our country’s most urgent problems. Fast food kills, but it also perpetuates bigotry and derails the American dream of equal opportunity and happiness for all. It leaves behind a wake of destruction creating millions of medically dependent and sickly people burdened with poor-quality lives.
The solution hiding in plain sight – a nutrient-dense healthful diet – can save lives and enable humans to reach their intellectual potential and achieve successful and fulfilling lives. Dr. Fuhrman offers a life-changing, scientifically sound approach that can alter American history and perhaps save your life in the process.
Endurance by Scott Kelly A stunning memoir from the astronaut who spent a record-breaking year aboard the International Space Station – a candid account of his remarkable voyage, the journeys that preceded it, and his colorful formative years.
The veteran of four spaceflights and the American record holder for consecutive days spent in space, Scott Kelly has experienced things very few have. Now, he takes us inside a sphere utterly hostile to human life. He describes navigating the extreme challenge of long-term spaceflight, both life-threatening and mundane: the devastating effects on the body, the isolation from everyone he loves and the comforts of Earth; the catastrophic risks of colliding with space junk; and the still more haunting threat of being unable to help should tragedy strike at home – an agonizing situation Kelly faced when, on a previous mission, his twin brother’s wife, Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, was shot while he still had two months in space.
Kelly’s humanity, compassion, humor, and determination resonate throughout, as he recalls his rough-and-tumble New Jersey childhood and the youthful inspiration that sparked his astounding career, and as he makes clear his belief that Mars will be the next, ultimately challenging, step in American space flight.
A natural storyteller and modern-day hero, Kelly has a message of hope for the future that will inspire for generations to come. Here, in his personal story, we see the triumph of the human imagination, the strength of the human will, and the infinite wonder of the galaxy.
Leonardo da Vinci by Walter Isaacson The author of acclaimed bestsellers on Steve Jobs, Albert Einstein, and Benjamin Franklin brings Leonardo da Vinci to life in this exciting new biography.
Drawing on thousands of pages from Leonardo’s astonishing notebooks and new discoveries about his life and work, Walter Isaacson weaves a narrative that connects his art to his science. He shows how Leonardo’s genius was based on skills we can improve in ourselves, such as passionate curiosity, careful observation, and an imagination so playful that it flirted with fantasy.
His creativity, like that of other great innovators, came from standing at the intersection of the humanities and technology. He peeled flesh off the faces of cadavers, drew the muscles that move the lips, and then painted history’s most memorable smile on the Mona Lisa. He explored the math of optics, showed how light rays strike the cornea, and produced illusions of changing perspective in The Last Supper. Isaacson also describes how Leonardo’s lifelong enthusiasm for staging theatrical productions informed his paintings and inventions.
His ability to combine art and science, made iconic by his drawing of what may be himself inside a circle and a square, remains the enduring recipe for innovation. His life should remind us of the importance of instilling, both in ourselves and our children, not just received knowledge but a willingness to question it – to be imaginative and, like talented misfits and rebels in any era, to think different.
How to Hike the A.T. by Michelle Ray How to plan and prepare for a long-distance hike on the Appalachian Trail includes information on trail nutrition, culture, first aid, gear, weather conditions, and more. Expert advice from an experienced long-distance hiker along with useful information for any long-distance trek. Other Appalachian Trail guidebooks tell you about notable scenery, trail history, or changes in terrain. This one tells you exactly what you need to know to prepare for and complete a long-distance hike on the A.T. From determining a budget, preparing an itinerary, and packing gear to resupplying, using bounce boxes, and staying on schedule, this book will help any hiker make certain their long-distance trek is a success.
First Americans, Combined Volume by Kenneth Townsend and Mark A. Nicholas Tells the complete story of Native American history, including the native perspective. First Americans provides a history of Native Americans, from their earliest appearance in North America to the present, that covers the complexity and diversity of their past. The text demonstrates Native Americans’ participation in determining their own future and helps students place Native American history in context with national and international developments. Present throughout the text is the “native voice,” giving American Indians’ perspectives on historical developments. The text also enforces the reality that native people retain a presence in the U.S. today as a growing population with a rich diversity of roles, ideas, and contributions.
American Revolutions by Alan Taylor In this landmark history of the nation’s founding, Alan Taylor masterfully reconstructs America’s creation story on a continental scale. Emerging from the North American rivalries of European empires and their native allies, the American Revolution pivoted on western expansion as well as seaboard resistance to British taxes. The war exploded in battles such as Saratoga and Yorktown and spread through fierce, continuing frontier violence. After independence, the discord smoldering within the fragile new nation called forth a movement to concentrate power through a Federal Constitution. But it was Thomas Jefferson’s expansive “empire of liberty” that carried the revolution forward, propelling white settlement and slavery west, preparing the ground for a new conflagration.
American Holocaust by David E. Stannard For four hundred years – from the first Spanish assaults against the Arawak people of Hispaniola in the 1490s to the U.S. Army’s massacre of Sioux Indians at Wounded Knee in the 1890s – the indigenous inhabitants of North and South America endured an unending firestorm of violence. During that time, the native population of the Western Hemisphere declined by as many as one hundred million people. Indeed, as historian David E. Stannard argues in this stunning new book, the European and white American destruction of the native peoples of the Americas was the most massive act of genocide in the history of the world.
Stannard begins with a portrait of the enormous richness and diversity of life in the Americas prior to Columbus’s fateful voyage in 1492. He then follows the path of genocide from the Indies to Mexico and Central and South America, then north to Florida, Virginia, and New England, and finally out across the Great Plains and Southwest to California and the North Pacific Coast. Stannard reveals that wherever Europeans or white Americans went, the native people were caught between imported plagues and barbarous atrocities, typically resulting in the annihilation of 95 percent of their populations. What kind of people, he asks, do such horrendous things to others? His highly provocative answer: Christians.
Digging deeply into ancient European and Christian attitudes toward sex, race, and war, he finds the cultural ground well prepared by the end of the Middle Ages for the centuries-long genocide campaign that Europeans and their descendants launched – and in places continue to wage – against the New World’s original inhabitants. Advancing a thesis that is sure to create muchcontroversy, Stannard contends that the perpetrators of the American Holocaust drew on the same ideological wellspring as did the later architects of the Nazi Holocaust. It is an ideology that remains dangerously alive today, he adds, and one that in recent years has surfaced in American justifications for large-scale military intervention in Southeast Asia and the Middle East.
At once sweeping in scope and meticulously detailed, American Holocaust is a work of impassioned scholarship that is certain to ignite intense historical and moral debate.
An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz The first history of the United States told from the perspective of indigenous peoples.
Today in the United States, there are more than five hundred federally recognized Indigenous nations comprising nearly three million people, descendants of the fifteen million Native people who once inhabited this land. The centuries-long genocidal program of the US settler-colonial regimen has largely been omitted from history. Now, for the first time, acclaimed historian and activist Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz offers a history of the United States told from the perspective of Indigenous peoples and reveals how Native Americans, for centuries, actively resisted expansion of the US empire.
In An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States, Dunbar-Ortiz adroitly challenges the founding myth of the United States and shows how policy against the Indigenous peoples was colonialist and designed to seize the territories of the original inhabitants, displacing or eliminating them. And as Dunbar-Ortiz reveals, this policy was praised in popular culture, through writers like James Fenimore Cooper and Walt Whitman, and in the highest offices of government and the military. Shockingly, as the genocidal policy reached its zenith under President Andrew Jackson, its ruthlessness was best articulated by US Army general Thomas S. Jesup, who, in 1836, wrote of the Seminoles: “The country can be rid of them only by exterminating them.”
Spanning more than four hundred years, this classic bottom-up peoples’ history radically reframes US history and explodes the silences that have haunted our national narrative.
Andrew Jackson and the Miracle of New Orleans by Brian Kilmeade and Don Yaeger The War of 1812 saw America threatened on every side. Encouraged by the British, Indian tribes attacked settlers in the West, while the Royal Navy terrorized the coasts. By mid-1814, President James Madison’s generals had lost control of the war in the North, losing battles in Canada. Then British troops set the White House ablaze, and a feeling of hopelessness spread across the country.
Into this dire situation stepped Major General Andrew Jackson. A native of Tennessee who had witnessed the horrors of the Revolutionary War and Indian attacks, he was glad America had finally decided to confront repeated British aggression. But he feared that President Madison’s men were overlooking the most important target of all: New Orleans.
If the British conquered New Orleans, they would control the mouth of the Mississippi River, cutting Americans off from that essential trade route and threatening the previous decade’s Louisiana Purchase. The new nation’s dreams of western expansion would be crushed before they really got off the ground.
So Jackson faced three enormous challenges. He had to convince President Madison and his War Department to take him seriously, even though he wasn’t one of the well-educated Virginians and New Englanders who dominated the government. He had to assemble a coalition of frontier militiamen, French-speaking Louisianans, Cherokee and Choctaw Indians, freed slaves, and even some pirates. And he had to defeat the most powerful military force in the world – in the confusing terrain of the Louisiana bayous.
In short, Jackson needed a miracle. The local Ursuline nuns set to work praying for his outnumbered troops. And so the Americans, driven by patriotism and protected by prayer, began the battle that would shape our young nation’s destiny.
As they did in their two previous bestsellers, Kilmeade and Yaeger make history come alive with a riveting true story that will keep you turning the pages. You’ll finish with a new understanding of one of America’s greatest generals – who later became one of our most controversial presidents. And you’ll have a renewed appreciation for the brave men who fought so that America could one day stretch “from sea to shining sea.”
The Day the World Ended at Little Bighorn by Joseph M. Marshall, III The 1876 Battle of the Little Bighorn, or “Custer’s last stand,” as it is also known, captured the American imagination. In the press coverage of the time and even in today’s history books, Custer is presented heroically. Only now is this story being rewritten. Here, award-winning Lakota historian Joseph M. Marshall, III reveals a view of the battle that has been available only in the Lakota oral tradition. Marshall explores the nuances and complexities that led up to and followed the battle. He examines the significance of the battle, illuminating why and how the Lakota fought so fiercely, even as they acknowledged the inevitability of change. And finally, he considers the consequences of the battle as part of the tragic fight that changed the scope of both America and the American landscape.
An American Genocide by Benjamin Madley Between 1846 and 1873, California’s Indian population plunged from perhaps 150,000 to 30,000. Benjamin Madley is the first historian to uncover teh full extent of the slaughter, the involvement of state and federal officials, the taxpayer dollars that supported the violence, indigenous resistance, who did the killing, and why the killings ended. This deeply researched book is a comprehensive and chilling history of an American genocide.
Under the Eagle by Samuel Holiday and Robert S. McPherson Samuel Holiday was one of a small group of Navajo men enlisted by the Marine Corps during World War II to use their native language to transmit secret communications on the battlefield. Based on extensive interviews with historian Robert S. McPherson, who also provides cultural and historical commentary, Under the Eagle is Holiday’s vivid account of his life story. It is the only book-length oral history of a Navajo code talker in which the narrator relates his experiences in his own voice and words.
Under the Eagle carries the reader from Holiday’s childhood years in rural Monument Valley, Utah, into the world of the United States’s Pacific campaign against Japan – to such places as Kwajalein, Saipan, Tinian, and Iwo Jima. Central to Holiday’s story is his Navajo worldview, which shapes how he views his traditional upbringing in Utah, his time at an Indian boarding school, and his experiences during World War II.
The Navajo code talkers have become famous in recent years through books and movies that have dramatized their remarkable story. Their wartime achievements are also a source of national pride for the Navajos. And yet, as McPherson explains, Holiday’s own experience was “as much mental and spiritual as it was physical.” This decorated marine served “under the eagle” not only as a soldier but also as a Navajo man deeply aware of his cultural obligations.
It’s All Relative by A.J. Jacobs A.J. Jacobs has received some strange emails over the years, but this note was perhaps the strangest, “You don’t know me, but my wife is your eighth cousin. And we have over 80,000 relatives of yours in our database.” That’s enough family members to fill Madison Square Garden four times over. Who are these people, A.J. wondered, and how do I find them? So began Jacob’s three-year adventure along the branches of the world’s family tree.
Spanning both the globe and the genome, Jacob’s quest joyously upends what we think about when we think about family. He drinks beer with a U.S. president. He visits Salt Lake City – and the genealogical database of the Mormon Church (where, every year, more data is added than is contained in the entire Library of Congress). He meets scientists and computer programmers working to chart and understand the world’s genetic links. He attempts to convene the biggest family reunion in recorded history. He contemplates black sheep and bad apples. He unearths his own genealogical connections to Hollywood actresses, Civil War soldiers, and real-life scoundrels.
Ultimately, this extraordinary book is a profound exploration of the realms of what binds us all. “We are family,” Sister Sledge famously sang. This book proves it.
The Shattered Lens by Jonathan Alpeyrie with Stash Luczkiw Capturing history was Jonathan Alpeyrie’s job, but he never expected to become a news story himself. For a decade, the French-American photojournalist had woven in and out of more than a dozen conflict zones. He photographed firefights, civilians chased out of their homes, and too many bodies to count. But on April 29, 2013, during his third assignment to Syria, Alpeyrie was abducted by a band of Syrian rebels.
In captivity he was bound, blindfolded, and beaten. Not far away, President Bashar al-Assad’s forces and those in opposition continued their bitter and bloody civil war. Alpeyrie kept his spirits up and strove to see, without his camera lenses, the humanity in his captors. He took part in their activities, taught them how to swim, prayed with them, and tried learning their language and culture. He also discovered a dormant faith within himself, one that helped sustain him throughout the ordeal.
The Shattered Lens is the firsthand account of a photojournalist who has always been drawn to the adrenaline-fueled adventures of war reporting. Yet during his headline-making kidnapping, he was left to consider the value and risks of his career, ponder the violent conflicts he had seen, and put the historical events over which we have no control into perspective.
The Last Girl by Nadia Murad Nadia Murad was born and raised in Kocho, a small village of farmers and shepherds in northern Iraq. A member of the Yazidi community, she and her brothers and sisters lived a quiet life. Nadia had dreams of becoming a history teacher or opening her own beauty salon.
On August 15, 2014, when Nadia was just twenty-one years old, this life ended. Islamic State militants massacred the people of her village, executing men who refused to covert to Islam and women too old to become sex slaves. Six of Nadia’s brothers were killed, and her mother soon after, their bodies swept into mass graves. Nadia was taken to Mosul and forced, along with thousands of other Yazidi girls, into the ISIS slave trade.
Nadia would be held captive by several militants and repeatedly raped and beaten. Finally, she managed a narrow escape through the streets of Mosul, finding shelter in the home of a Sunni Arab family whose eldest son risked his life to smuggle her to safety.
As a farm girl in rural Iraq, Nadia could not have imagined she would one day address the United Nations or be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. She had never been to Baghdad, or even seen an airplane. As a slave, she was told by her captors that Yazidis would be erased from the face of the earth, and there were times when she believed them.
Today, Nadia’s story – as a witness to the Islamic State’s brutality, a survivor of rape, a refugee, a Yazidi – has forced the world to pay attention to the ongoing genocide in Iraq. It is a call to action, a testament to the human will to survive, and a love letter to a lost country, a fragile community, and a family torn apart by war.
Black Knights by Lynn M. Homan and Thomas Reilly Told through fascinating interviews with veterans and historical photographs, Black Knights is the story of the men and women who served in the training program at Tuskegee Army Air Field from 1941 to 1946. Based on rigorous research and analysis, this book is unique because of the inclusion of firsthand accounts; the pilots’ stories are here, as are the experiences of the mechanics, band members, armorers, staff officers, nurses, and more. Altogether, the Tuskegee Experience and the successes of all-black flying squadrons in Europe proved that they had courage and perseverance not only in war, but in peacetime as well.
We’ll see you soon! 🙂