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When the Mind Hears: A History of the Deaf
The authoritative statement on the deaf, their education, and their struggle against prejudice.
The Fair Chase: The Epic Story of Hunting in America
An award-winning historian tells the story of hunting in America, showing how this sport has shaped our national identity.From Daniel Boone to Teddy Roosevelt, hunting is one of America's most sacred - but also most fraught - traditions. It was promoted in the 19th century as a way to reconnect "soft" urban Americans with nature and to the legacy of the country's pathfinding heroes. Fair chase, a hunting code of ethics emphasizing fairness, rugged independence, and restraint towards wildlife, emerged as a worldview and gave birth to the conservation movement. But the sport's popularity also caused class, ethnic, and racial divisions, and stirred debate about the treatment of Native Americans and the role of hunting in preparing young men for war.This sweeping and balanced book offers a definitive account of hunting in America. It is essential reading for anyone interested in the evolution of our nation's foundational myths.
Cambodia's Curse: The Modern History of a Troubled Land
A generation after genocide, Cambodia seemed on the surface to have overcome its history--the streets of Phnom Penh were paved; skyscrapers dotted the skyline. But under this façade lies a country still haunted by its years of terror. Although the international community tried to rebuild Cambodia and introduce democracy in the 1990s, in the country remained in the grip of a venal government. Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Joel Brinkley learned that almost a half of Cambodians who lived through the Khmer Rouge era suffered from P.T.S.D.--and had passed their trauma to the next generation. His extensive close-up reporting in Cambodia's Curse illuminates the country, its people, and the deep historical roots of its modern-day behavior.
Printer's Error: Irreverent Stories from Book History
Romney, J. P.
A funny and entertaining history of printed books as told through absurd moments in the lives of authors and printers, collected by television’s favorite rare-book expert from HISTORY’s hit series Pawn Stars.Since the Gutenberg Bible first went on sale in 1455, printing has been viewed as one of the highest achievements of human innovation. But the march of progress hasn’t been smooth; downright bizarre is more like it. Printer’s Error chronicles some of the strangest and most humorous episodes in the history of Western printing, and makes clear that we’ve succeeded despite ourselves. Rare-book expert Rebecca Romney and author J. P. Romney take us from monasteries and museums to auction houses and libraries to introduce curious episodes in the history of print that have had a profound impact on our world.Take, for example, the Gutenberg Bible. While the book is regarded as the first printed work in the Western world, Gutenberg’s name doesn’t appear anywhere on it. Today, Johannes Gutenberg is recognized as the father of Western printing. But for the first few hundred years after the invention of the printing press, no one knew who printed the first book. This long-standing mystery took researchers down a labyrinth of ancient archives and libraries, and unearthed surprising details, such as the fact that Gutenberg’s financier sued him, repossessed his printing equipment, and started his own printing business afterward. Eventually the first printed book was tracked to the library of Cardinal Mazarin in France, and Gutenberg’s forty-two-line Bible was finally credited to him, thus ensuring Gutenberg’s name would be remembered by middle-school students worldwide.Like the works of Sarah Vowell, John Hodgman, and Ken Jennings, Printer’s Error is a rollicking ride through the annals of time and the printed word.
Wild Nights: How Taming Sleep Created Our Restless World
Why is sleep frustrating for so many people? Why do we spend so much time and money managing and medicating it, and training ourselves and our children to do it correctly? In Wild Nights, Benjamin Reiss finds answers in sleep's hidden history--one that leads to our present, sleep-obsessed society, its tacitly accepted rules, and their troubling consequences.Today we define a good night's sleep very narrowly: eight hours in one shot, sealed off in private bedrooms, children apart from parents. But for most of human history, practically no one slept this way. Tracing sleep's transformation since the dawn of the industrial age, Reiss weaves together insights from literature, social and medical history, and cutting-edge science to show how and why we have tried and failed to tame sleep. In lyrical prose, he leads readers from bedrooms and laboratories to factories and battlefields to Henry David Thoreau's famous cabin at Walden Pond, telling the stories of troubled sleepers, hibernating peasants, sleepwalking preachers, cave-dwelling sleep researchers, slaves who led nighttime uprisings, rebellious workers, spectacularly frazzled parents, and utopian dreamers. We are hardly the first people, Reiss makes clear, to chafe against our modern rules for sleeping.A stirring testament to sleep's diversity, Wild Nights offers a profound reminder that in the vulnerability of slumber we can find our shared humanity. By peeling back the covers of history, Reiss recaptures sleep's mystery and grandeur and offers hope to weary readers: as sleep was transformed once before, so too can it change today.
When Chinese alchemists fashioned the first manmade explosion sometime during the tenth century, no one could have foreseen its full revolutionary potential. Invented to frighten evil spirits rather than fuel guns or bombs—neither of which had been thought of yet—their simple mixture of saltpeter, sulfur, and charcoal went on to make the modern world possible. As word of its explosive properties spread from Asia to Europe, from pyrotechnics to battleships, it paved the way for Western exploration, hastened the end of feudalism and the rise of the nation state, and greased the wheels of the Industrial Revolution.With dramatic immediacy, novelist and journalist Jack Kelly conveys both the distant time in which the “devil's distillate” rose to conquer the world, and brings to rousing life the eclectic cast of characters who played a role in its epic story, including Michelangelo, Edward III, Vasco da Gama, Cortés, Guy Fawkes, Alfred Nobel, and E. I. DuPont. A must-read for history fans and military buffs alike, Gunpowder brings together a rich terrain of cultures and technological innovations with authoritative research and swashbuckling style.
The Irish Way: Becoming American in the Multiethnic City
Barrett, James R.
A Lively Street-Level History of the Influence of the Irish on Turn-Of-The-Century Urban Life
Callings: The Purpose and Passion of Work (A StoryCorps Book)
Stories of passion, courage, and commitment, following individuals as they pursue the work they were born to do, from StoryCorps founder Dave Isay In Callings, StoryCorps founder Dave Isay presents unforgettable stories from people doing what they love. Some found their paths at a very young age, others later in life; some overcame great odds or upturned their lives in order to pursue what matters to them. Many of their stories have never been broadcast or published by StoryCorps until now. We meet a man from the barrios of Texas whose harrowing experiences in a family of migrant farmers inspired him to become a public defender. We meet a longtime waitress who takes pride in making regulars and newcomers alike feel at home in her Nashville diner. We meet a young man on the South Side of Chicago who became a teacher in order to help at-risk teenagers like the ones who killed his father get on the right track. We meet a woman from Little Rock who helps former inmates gain the skills and confidence they need to rejoin the workforce. Together they demonstrate how work can be about much more than just making a living, that chasing dreams and finding inspiration in unexpected places can transform a vocation into a calling. Their shared sense of passion, honor, and commitment brings deeper meaning and satisfaction to every aspect of their lives. An essential contribution to the beloved StoryCorps collection, Callings is an inspiring tribute to rewarding work and the American pursuit of happiness.
A History of Modern Britain
A History of Modern Britain by Andrew Marr confronts head-on the victory of shopping over politics. It tells the story of how the great political visions of New Jerusalem or a second Elizabethan Age, rival idealisms, came to be defeated by a culture of consumerism, celebrity and self-gratification. In each decade, political leaders think they know what they are doing, but find themselves confounded. Every time, the British people turn out to be stroppier and harder to herd than predicted.Throughout, Britain is a country on the edge – first of invasion, then of bankruptcy, then on the vulnerable front line of the Cold War and later in the forefront of the great opening up of capital and migration now reshaping the world. This history follows all the political and economic stories, but deals too with comedy, cars, the war against homosexuals, Sixties anarchists, oil-men and punks, Margaret Thatcher's wonderful good luck, political lies and the true heroes of British theatre.
Scandinavians: Search of the Soul of the North
Scandinavia is the epitome of cool: from IKEA to hygge, Hamlet to the latest bestselling crime novel, the region’s cultural influence is vast. But how valid is this outsider’s view of Scandinavia, and how accurate is our picture of life in Scandinavia today? Enter Robert Ferguson’s Scandinavians, an ambitious work of history and cultural comment that follows a chronological progression across the Northern centuries: from the Vendel era of Swedish prehistory all the way through Scandinavia’s postwar social democratic nirvana and the terror attacks of Anders Behring Beivik.Scandinavians is also a personal investigation, with award-winning author Robert Ferguson as the ideal companion as he explores wide-ranging topics such as the power and mystique of Scandinavian women, from the Valkyries to the Vikings; from Nora and Hedda to Garbo and Bergman. Employing a digressive technique that deftly “combines the factual and the intimate” (Publishers Weekly), recalling the writings of W.G. Sebald, Scandinavians provides unequaled access to the society, politics, culture and temperament of modern Scandinavia.
Paradise Now: The Story of American Utopianism
For readers of Jill Lepore, Joseph J. Ellis, and Tony Horwitz comes a lively, thought-provoking intellectual history of the golden age of American utopianism--and the bold, revolutionary, and eccentric visions for the future put forward by five of history's most influential utopian movements. In the wake of the Enlightenment and the onset of industrialism, a generation of dreamers took it upon themselves to confront the messiness and injustice of a rapidly changing world. To our eyes, the utopian communities that took root in America in the nineteenth century may seem ambitious to the point of delusion, but they attracted members willing to dedicate their lives to creating a new social order and to asking the bold question What should the future look like? In Paradise Now, Chris Jennings tells the story of five interrelated utopian movements, revealing their relevance both to their time and to our own. Here is Mother Ann Lee, the prophet of the Shakers, who grew up in newly industrialized Manchester, England--and would come to build a quiet but fierce religious tradition on the opposite side of the Atlantic. Even as the society she founded spread across the United States, the Welsh industrialist Robert Owen came to the Indiana frontier to build an egalitarian, rationalist utopia he called the New Moral World. A decade later, followers of the French visionary Charles Fourier blanketed America with colonies devoted to inaugurating a new millennium of pleasure and fraternity. Meanwhile, the French radical Etienne Cabet sailed to Texas with hopes of establishing a communist paradise dedicated to ideals that would be echoed in the next century. And in New York's Oneida Community, a brilliant Vermonter named John Humphrey Noyes set about creating a new society in which the human spirit could finally be perfected in the image of God. Over time, these movements fell apart, and the national mood that had inspired them was drowned out by the dream of westward expansion and the waking nightmare of the Civil War. Their most galvanizing ideas, however, lived on, and their audacity has influenced countless political movements since. Their stories remain an inspiration for everyone who seeks to build a better world, for all who ask, What should the future look like?
Devil's Mile: The Rich, Gritty History of the Bowery
Alexiou, Alice Sparberg
A fascinating cultural history of New York City's Bowery, from the author of The Flatiron.The Bowery was a synonym for despair throughout most of the 20th century. The very name evoked visuals of drunken bums passed out on the sidewalk, and New Yorkers nicknamed it “Satan’s Highway,” “The Mile of Hell,” and “The Street of Forgotten Men.” For years the little businesses along the Bowery - stationers, dry goods sellers, jewelers, hatters - periodically asked the city to change the street’s name. To have a Bowery address, they claimed, was hurting them; people did not want to venture there.But when New York exploded into real estate frenzy in the 1990s, developers discovered the Bowery. They rushed in and began tearing down. Today, Whole Foods, hipster night spots, and expensive lofts have replaced the old flophouses and dive bars, and the bad old Bowery no longer exists.In Devil’s Mile, Alice Sparberg Alexiou tells the story of The Bowery, starting with its origins, when forests covered the surrounding area, and through the pre-Civil War years, when country estates of wealthy New Yorkers lined this thoroughfare. She then describes The Bowery’s deterioration in stunning detail, starting in the post-bellum years. She ends her historical exploration of this famed street in the present, bearing witness as the old Bowery buildings, and the memories associated with them, are disappearing.
Fortress America: How We Embraced Fear and Abandoned Democracy
May, Elaine Tyler
An award-winning historian untangles the roots of America's culture of fear, and argues that it imperils our democracy.For the last sixty years, fear has seeped into every area of American life: Americans own more guns than citizens of any other country, sequester themselves in gated communities, and retreat from public spaces. And yet, crime rates have plummeted, making life in America safer than ever. Why, then, are Americans so afraid-and where does this fear lead to?In this remarkable work of social history, Elaine Tyler May demonstrates how our obsession with security has made citizens fear each other and distrust the government, making America less safe and less democratic. Fortress America charts the rise of a muscular national culture, undercutting the common good. Instead of a thriving democracy of engaged citizens, we have become a paranoid, bunkered, militarized, and divided vigilante nation.
A Sidecar Named Desire: Great Writers and the Booze That Stirred Them
An unforgettable bar crawl through literary history, following our most beloved writers and their passion for drink, form Aristophanes's love for wine, to Jane Austen's fondness for brewing beer, to E.B. White's cure for writer's block: a dry martini.
Walls: A History of Civilization in Blood and Brick
With esteemed historian David Frye as our raconteur-guide in Walls, which Publishers Weekly praises as “informative, relevant, and thought-provoking,” we journey back to a time before barriers of brick and stone even existed—to an era in which nomadic tribes vied for scarce resources, and each man was bred to a life of struggle. Ultimately, those same men would create edifices of mud, brick, and stone, and with them effectively divide humanity: on one side were those the walls protected; on the other, those the walls kept out.The stars of this narrative are the walls themselves - rising up in places as ancient and exotic as Mesopotamia, Babylon, Greece, China, Rome, Mongolia, Afghanistan, the lower Mississippi, and even Central America. As we journey across time and place, we discover a hidden, thousand-mile-long wall in Asia's steppes; learn of bizarre Spartan rituals; watch Mongol chieftains lead their miles-long hordes; witness the epic siege of Constantinople; chill at the fate of French explorers; marvel at the folly of the Maginot Line; tense at the gathering crisis in Cold War Berlin; gape at Hollywood’s gated royalty; and contemplate the wall mania of our own era.Hailed by Kirkus Reviews as “provocative, well-written, and - with walls rising everywhere on the planet - timely,” Walls gradually reveals the startling ways that barriers have affected our psyches. The questions this book summons are both intriguing and profound: Did walls make civilization possible? And can we live without them? Find out in this masterpiece of historical recovery and preeminent storytelling
In this timely, carefully reasoned social history of the United States, the New York Times bestselling author of Religious Literacy and God Is Not One places today’s heated culture wars within the context of a centuries-long struggle of right versus left and religious versus secular to reveal how, ultimately, liberals always win.Though they may seem to be dividing the country irreparably, today’s heated cultural and political battles between right and left, Progressives and Tea Party, religious and secular are far from unprecedented. In this engaging and important work, Stephen Prothero reframes the current debate, viewing it as the latest in a number of flashpoints that have shaped our national identity. Prothero takes us on a lively tour through time, bringing into focus the election of 1800, which pitted Calvinists and Federalists against Jeffersonians and "infidels;" the Protestants’ campaign against Catholics in the mid-nineteenth century; the anti-Mormon crusade of the Victorian era; the fundamentalist-modernist debates of the 1920s; the culture wars of the 1980s and 1990s; and the current crusade against Islam.As Prothero makes clear, our culture wars have always been religious wars, progressing through the same stages of conservative reaction to liberal victory that eventually benefit all Americans. Drawing on his impressive depth of knowledge and detailed research, he explains how competing religious beliefs have continually molded our political, economic, and sociological discourse and reveals how the conflicts which separate us today, like those that came before, are actually the byproduct of our struggle to come to terms with inclusiveness and ideals of "Americanness." To explore these battles, he reminds us, is to look into the soul of America - and perhaps find essential answers to the questions that beset us.
A Dreadful Deceit: The Myth of Race from the Colonial Era to Obama's America
In 1656, a Maryland planter tortured and killed an enslaved man named Antonio, an Angolan who refused to work in the fields. Three hundred years later, Simon P. Owens battled soul-deadening technologies as well as the fiction of race that divided him from his co-workers in a Detroit auto-assembly plant. Separated by time and space, Antonio and Owens nevertheless shared a distinct kind of political vulnerability; they lacked rights and opportunities in societies that accorded marked privileges to people labeled white. An American creation myth posits that these two black men were the victims of racial discrimination, a primal prejudice that the United States has haltingly but gradually repudiated over the course of many generations. In "A Dreadful Deceit," award-winning historian Jacqueline Jones traces the lives of Antonio, Owens, and four other African Americans to illustrate the strange history of race in America. In truth, Jones shows, race does not exist, and the very factors that we think of as determining it a person s heritage or skin color are mere pretexts for the brutalization of powerless people by the powerful. Jones shows that for decades, southern planters did not even bother to justify slavery by invoking the concept of race; only in the late eighteenth century did whites begin to rationalize the exploitation and marginalization of blacks through notions of racial difference. Indeed, race amounted to a political strategy calculated to defend overt forms of discrimination, as revealed in the stories of Boston King, a fugitive in Revolutionary South Carolina; Elleanor Eldridge, a savvy but ill-starred businesswoman in antebellum Providence, Rhode Island; Richard W. White, a Union veteran and Republican politician in post-Civil War Savannah; and William Holtzclaw, founder of an industrial school for blacks in Mississippi, where many whites opposed black schooling of any kind. These stories expose the fluid, contingent, and contradictory idea of race, and the disastrous effects it has had, both in the past and in our own supposedly post-racial society. Expansive, visionary, and provocative, "A Dreadful Deceit" explodes the pernicious fiction that has shaped four centuries of American history.
Love, Cecil: A Journey with Cecil Beaton
Vreeland, Lisa Immordino
In Love, Cecil, Lisa Immordino Vreeland offers an evocative portrait of this talented whirlwind whose creative work captured many facets of the 20th century. Using photography, drawings, letters, and scrapbooks by Beaton and his contemporaries, along with excerpts from his sparkling diaries and other writings, Immordino Vreeland brings his spirit to life in a way that no previous book has been able to do.Immordino Vreeland organizes her book around the circles of Beaton’s daily life: the people who inspired and influenced him, his colorful friends, his fellow photographers, his Hollywood conquests, his wartime service, and his English roots. This cavalcade offers a shimmering vision of high style, but it also captures often-troubled souls struggling to create the open, tolerant, creative worlds of art and culture that we have inherited today.
1913: In Search of the World Before the Great War
Today, 1913 is inevitably viewed through the lens of 1914: as the last year before a war that would shatter the global economic order and tear Europe apart, undermining its global pre-eminence. Our perspectives narrowed by hindsight, the world of that year is reduced to its most frivolous features—last summers in grand aristocratic residences—or its most destructive ones: the unresolved rivalries of the great European powers, the fear of revolution, violence in the Balkans.In this illuminating history, Charles Emmerson liberates the world of 1913 from this “prelude to war” narrative, and explores it as it was, in all its richness and complexity. Traveling from Europe's capitals, then at the height of their global reach, to the emerging metropolises of Canada and the United States, the imperial cities of Asia and Africa, and the boomtowns of Australia and South America, he provides a panoramic view of a world crackling with possibilities, its future still undecided, its outlook still open.The world in 1913 was more modern than we remember, more similar to our own times than we expect, more globalized than ever before. The Gold Standard underpinned global flows of goods and money, while mass migration reshaped the world's human geography. Steamships and sub-sea cables encircled the earth, along with new technologies and new ideas. Ford's first assembly line cranked to life in 1913 in Detroit. The Woolworth Building went up in New York. While Mexico was in the midst of bloody revolution, Winnipeg and Buenos Aires boomed. An era of petro-geopolitics opened in Iran. China appeared to be awaking from its imperial slumber. Paris celebrated itself as the city of light—Berlin as the city of electricity.Full of fascinating characters, stories, and insights, 1913: In Search of the World before the Great War brings a lost world vividly back to life, with provocative implications for how we understand our past and how we think about our future.
Race: A History Beyond Black and White
Award-winning author Marc Aronson explores not only the different forms racial prejudice has taken, but the way it has manifested itself in the politics, philosophies, and beliefs of individuals and civilizations, in this ambitious and fascinating study.
The Frighteners: A Journey Through our Cultural Fascination with the Macabre
The Firghteners is a bizarrely compelling, laugh-out-loud exploration of society’s fascination with the dark, spooky, and downright repellent, written by a man who went from horror-obsessed church hater to a God-fearing Christian, who then reconciled his love of the macabre with his new faith.Laws takes us on a worldwide adventure to shine a light on the dark corners of our own minds. He meets the people who collect serial killers’ hair, spends a night in a haunted hotel, and has dinner with a woman who keeps her own coffin in her living room, ready for the big day. He’s chased by zombies through an underground nuclear bunker, hunts a supposed real-life werewolf through the city streets, and meets self-proclaimed vampires who drink actual blood.From the corpse-packed crypts of Rome to the spooky streets of a Transylvanian night, he asks why he, and millions of other people, are drawn to ponder monsters, ghosts, death, and gore. And, in a world that worships rationality and points an accusing finger at violent video games and gruesome films, can a love of morbid culture actually give both adults and children safe ways to confront our mortality? Might it even have power to re-enchant our jaded world?Grab your crucifixes, pack the silver bullets, and join the Sinister Minister on this celebratory romp through our morbid curiosities.
The United States of Beer: A Freewheeling History of the All-American Drink
Equally irreverent and revealing, Dane Huckelbridge's masterful cultural history charts the wild, engrossing, and surprisingly complex story of our favorite alcoholic drink, showing how America has been under the influence of beer at almost every stage. From the earliest Native American corn brew (called chicha) to the waves of immigrants who brought with them their unique brewing traditions, to the seemingly infinite varieties of craft-brewed suds found on tap today, beer has claimed an outsized place in our culture that far transcends its few simple ingredients - water, barley, and hops. And yet despite its ubiquity - Americans consume some six billion gallons of beer each year - the story of beer in the USA is as diverse and fascinating as the country itself, overflowing with all the color and character of America's many peoples and regions.
Full Spectrum Resistance: Building Movements and Fighting to Win (Volume 1)
A guide to direct action for those disillusioned with the posturing of liberal “activism.”The radical left is losing, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Here is the radical’s guide to activist work—the manual we need at this crucial moment to organize for universal human rights, a habitable earth, and a more egalitarian society. Thoroughly exploring the achievements and failures of radical movements throughout history—from 19th-century anti-colonial rebellions in China and the environmental actions of First Nations and Native American tribes throughout the 20th century, to Black Lives Matter and the fight for Gay Liberation—the two volumes of Full Spectrum Resistance candidly advocate for direct action, not just risk-averse models of protest marches and call-ins. With in-depth histories and case studies of social justice and environmental movements, noted writer, activist, and farmer Aric McBay explains why passive resistance alone cannot work, and how we must be prepared to do whatever it takes to create substantial social change. In Volume 1: Building Movements and Fighting to Win, McBay describes the need for resistance movements, and paints a portrait of what a thriving resistance movement might look like today. Citing successful movements such as the Deacons of Defense of the American Civil Rights Movement, the anti-colonial revolutions in Guinea and Cape Verde, and activist groups like Act-UP, McBay deftly illustrates how to organize activist groups and encourage enlistment, while also noting the necessary precautions one must take to secure these radical circles from infiltration and collapse.
The United States of Beer: The True Tale of How Beer Conquered America, From B.C. to Budweiser and Beyond
Dane Huckelbridge charts the surprisingly fascinating history of Americans’ relationship with their most popular alcoholic beverage. Huckelbridge shows how beer has evolved along with the country - from a local and regional product (once upon a time every American city has its own brewery and iconic beer brand) to the rise of global mega-brands like Budweiser and Miller that are synonymous with U.S. capitalism.We learn of George Washington’s failed attempt to brew beer at Mount Vernon with molasses instead of barley, of the 19th century "Beer Barons" like Captain Frederick Pabst, Adolphus Busch, and Joseph Schlitz who revolutionized commercial brewing and built lucrative empires - and the American immigrant experience - and of the advances in brewing and bottling technology that allowed beer to flow in the saloons of the Wild West. Throughout, Huckelbridge draws connections between seemingly remote fragments of the American past, and shares his reports from the frontlines of today’s craft-brewing revolution.
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