Why Bob Dylan Matters

By Richard F. Thomas. A Harvard classics professor and expert on Bob Dylan expands on his popular seminar in a meditative examination of the musician’s enduring influence, sharing insights into Dylan’s formative experiences against a backdrop of western and classical literature.

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Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder

By Caroline Fraser. A comprehensive historical portrait of Laura Ingalls Wilder draws on unpublished manuscripts, letters, diaries, and official records to fill in the gaps in Wilder’s official story, sharing details about her pioneer experiences.

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Cartoon County: My Father and His Friends in the Golden Age of Make-Believe

By Cullen Murphy. A poignant, half-century history of the cartoonists and illustrators from the Connecticut School, written by the son of the Rockwell-trained artist behind the popular strips Prince Valiant and Big Ben Bolt, explores the achievements and pop-culture influence of period artists in the aftermath of World War II.

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A Secret Sisterhood: The Literary Friendships of Jane Austen, Charlotte Brontë, George Eliot & Virginia Woolf

By Emily Midorikawa and Emma Claire Sweeney. Draws on letters and diaries to reveal the friendships of female literary masters, from the influence of feminist Mary Taylor on Charlotte Brontèe’s writings to the erotically charged, love-hate associations between Virginia Woolf and Katherine Mansfield.

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The Revenge of Analog

By David Sax. Collects success stories of entrepreneurs, small business owners, and big corporations that explore unreported trends in analog consumerism and reveal a renewal of interest in tangible goods.

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Grant

By Ron Chernow. Presents a portrait of the Civil War general and eighteenth president, challenging the views of his critics while sharing insights into his prowess as a military leader, the honor with which he conducted his administration, and the rise and fall of his fortunes.

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Churchill and Orwell: The Fight for Freedom

By Thomas E. Ricks. A dual portrait of Winston Churchill and George Orwell focuses on the pivotal years from the mid-1930s through the 1940s, describing how both suffered nearly fatal injuries before their vision and campaigns inspired action to preserve democracy throughout the world.

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The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America’s Shining Women

By Kate Moore.

The incredible true story of the women who fought America’s Undark danger

The Curies’ newly discovered element of radium makes gleaming headlines across the nation as the fresh face of beauty, and wonder drug of the medical community. From body lotion to tonic water, the popular new element shines bright in the otherwise dark years of the First World War.

Meanwhile, hundreds of girls toil amidst the glowing dust of the radium-dial factories. The glittering chemical covers their bodies from head to toe; they light up the night like industrious fireflies. With such a coveted job, these “shining girls” are the luckiest alive — until they begin to fall mysteriously ill.

But the factories that once offered golden opportunities are now ignoring all claims of the gruesome side effects, and the women’s cries of corruption. And as the fatal poison of the radium takes hold, the brave shining girls find themselves embroiled in one of the biggest scandals of America’s early 20th century, and in a groundbreaking battle for workers’ rights that will echo for centuries to come.

Written with a sparkling voice and breakneck pace, The Radium Girls fully illuminates the inspiring young women exposed to the “wonder” substance of radium, and their awe-inspiring strength in the face of almost impossible circumstances. Their courage and tenacity led to life-changing regulations, research into nuclear bombing, and ultimately saved hundreds of thousands of lives…

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The American Spirit: Who We Are and What We Stand for

A timely collection of speeches by David McCullough, the most honored historian in the United States–winner of two Pulitzer Prizes, two National Book Awards, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom, among many others–that reminds us of fundamental American principles.
Over the course of his distinguished career, David McCullough has spoken before Congress, the White House, colleges and universities, historical societies, and other esteemed institutions. Now, at a time of self-reflection in America following a bitter election campaign that has left the country divided, McCullough has collected some of his most important speeches in a brief volume designed to identify important principles and characteristics that are particularly American. The American Spirit reminds us of core American values to which we all subscribe, regardless of which region we live in, which political party we identify with, or our ethnic background. This is a book about America for all Americans that reminds us who we are and helps to guide us as we find our way forward.

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The New York Times Book of Crime: More Than 166 Years of Covering the Beat

By Kevin Flynn.
For 164 years, TheNew York Times has been a rich source of information about crime, its reporters racing alongside tabloids to track the shocking incidents that disrupt daily life. This fascinating compilation, edited by seasoned Times crime-beat veteran Kevin Flynn, captures the full sweep of the newspaper’s coverage of the subject—from the assassinations of icons like Lincoln, President Kennedy, and Malcolm X to the deadly trails left behind by serial killers like H. H. Holmes (America’s first recognized serial killer), the Son of Sam, and Jeffrey Dahmer. This comprehensive review examines issues like incarceration, organized crime, and vice—from the Attica riot to the powerful Medellin Cartel—as well as the infamous crimes that riveted the world. The kidnappings of Elizabeth Smart and the Lindbergh baby. The Manson murders. The robberies that exasperated law enforcement, from bank heists by Dillinger to the enduring mystery of the greatest art heist in American history at Boston’s Gardner Museum. White-collar crimes from Ponzi to Madoff. Crimes of passion, such as Harry Thaw’s dramatic shooting of Stanford White, his rival for the charms of the beautiful Evelyn Nesbit. Chapters are organized by topic and include explanatory material by Flynn to provide context. The book features approximately 40 photographs as well as reproductions of front-page stories. Although the focus is on the US, important international stories are included.

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