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History and Current Affairs

 
 
The Race Underground: Boston, New York, and the Incredible Rivalry That Built America's First Subway Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781250061355
Availability: Special Order
Published: St. Martin's Griffin - February 10th, 2015

An interesting account of the turbulent last half of the 1800’s. Inventions, the urbanization of American towns and fortunes made and lost while New York and Boston create the mass transit systems that color those cities so distinctly. 

Recommended by John


Rules for Radicals: A Pragmatic Primer for Realistic Radicals Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9780679721130
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage - October 23rd, 1989

For anyone who is serious about changing the world. More than 40 years later, Alinsky’s no-nonsense advice has never been more relevant. 

Recommended by Jordan


In Harm's Way: The Sinking of the USS Indianapolis and the Extraordinary Story of Its Survivors Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780805073669
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Owl Books (NY) - May 1st, 2003

Possibly the greatest real-life adventure ever! It’s the riveting story of the naval cruiser USS Indianapolis, torpedoed after delivering the bomb that would be dropped on Hiroshima. Fans of Jaws may recognize the events described but won’t be prepared for the astonishing details. Terrifying, maddening, and ultimately very moving. A GREAT READ!.

Recommended by Anne


The Fall of the Ottomans: The Great War in the Middle East Cover Image
$32.00
ISBN: 9780465023073
Availability: Special Order
Published: Basic Books - March 10th, 2015

Rogan delivers another great book! This is the story of the divisions between the Ottoman government and the people it ruled. Rogan demonstrates that while diplomats fought a European war, the people waged battles for their own national independence. 

Recommended by Rafael


Ballpoint: A Tale of Genius and Grit, Perilous Times, and the Invention That Changed the Way We Write Cover Image
$14.95
ISBN: 9780982578117
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: New Europe Books - August 7th, 2012

Genius and Grit, Perilous Times, and the Invention That Changed the Way We Write This is a surprisingly riveting, heartbreaking account of the efforts to create the first ballpoint pen. Invented in Hungary during WWII, it changed how we write while destroying the lives of those who invented it. Highly recommended!

Recommended by Waylon


The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris Cover Image
$49.99
ISBN: 9781442344181
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Simon & Schuster Audio - May 24th, 2011

McCullough’s 17-hour audio book took me on a journey to Paris. I love American history, but this was something a bit different covering Americans in Paris from 1830 to 1900. It transformed my thinking about what it must have been like to travel or live in France as an American in this volatile period in French history. I learned so much about a broad cross section of artists, doctors, writers, politicians and architects and their profound impact on America from their experiences. I really enjoyed this book.

Recommended by Clark

 


The Last Stand: Custer, Sitting Bull, and the Battle of the Little Bighorn Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780143119609
Availability: Special Order
Published: Penguin Books - April 26th, 2011

Philbrick’s faithfully researched book on The Battle of the Little Bighorn, George Custer and Sitting Bull was a rewarding read for the history buff in me. I enjoyed it immensely and highly recommend this to those interested in history especially those who don’t know much about the period of the late 1800’s in the American old west. The author’s account is through a very wide lens, but that made it a wonderful account of the battle at what lead to it.

Recommended by Clark

 


The Pacific Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780451232250
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Nal Caliber - September 6th, 2011

This was my father's war. What's in this book is a lot of what he wouldn't talk about. Yet I knew about a lot of it simply because he was there, in the Pacific, when all this was going on. What I wasn't truly aware of was the level of mistakes that were made. The SNAFUs, the Situation Normal All Fouled Up that went on with so many of the island landings. Much of what I learned about the Pacific war was after I myself became a Marine – but it still wasn't the same because I wasn't there. This book takes you there and no matter how hard you try, you may leave a bit of yourself behind with the men who didn't come home. I cannot think of another book that really makes the island war live. Flags of Our Fathers comes close but The Pacificcarries it all the way. There are some things in it you may not like hearing about but they happened and for a reason. As always, war changes those who fight them – good or bad. If you have a love of history and a sense of pride in our fighting men, I recommend this book. It had me riveted from the first page to the last.

Recommended by Lee

 


The Star Machine Cover Image
$18.95
ISBN: 9780307388759
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage - January 6th, 2009

Film historian Basinger takes a detailed and wide-ranging look at the fabled Hollywood studio system, focusing on both major stars (Lana Turner, Tyrone Power, Errol Flynn) and actors who were huge in their day but are perhaps less well-known now (Deanna Durbin, Jean Arthur, Wallace Beery). My favorite chapters deal with "malfunctions" -- actors who were given every opportunity to become stars but failed -- and "bonuses" -- actors never expected to make it big but who somehow caught on with the public. Rich, juicy, opinionated, and thoroughly researched, The Star Machine is a bonanza for any film lover.

Recommended by Anne

 


Snow Flower and the Secret Fan Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780812968064
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Random House Trade - February 21st, 2006

A really beautiful story set in 19th century China about the enduring friendship between two women during a time when it wasn’t easy to be female. Together, Lily and Snow Flower endure footbinding, arranged marriages, war, and motherhood, by communicating through a secret language written on a fan. Not exactly a happy read, but See has create a touching and poignant portrait of love and friendship that leaves you satisfied.  

Recommended by Emily P.