Nonfiction

This year marks the 100th awarding of the Pulitzer Prizes. The 2016 winners include:

The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen

Winner of the Fiction Category, this is a gripping spy novel, a moving story of love and friendship, and a layered portrayal of a young man drawn into extreme politics,The Sympathizer examines the legacy of the Vietnam War in literature, film, and the wars we fight today.

Celebrate Earth Day 2016 by planting a tree! Why? They combat climate change by absorbing excess CO2 from the atmosphere, and help us breathe clean air by absorbing odors and pollutant gases.  And they're beautiful to look at!

Planting with trees by Andrew McIndoe

A look at the high-wire walk made by Philippe Petit in 1974 between the World Trade Center's Twin Towers in New York City, and how it is still considered one of history's most artistic crimes.

The legacy of Roger Ebert's life, recounts the inspiring and entertaining life of the world-renowned film critic and social commentator, from his Pulitzer Prize-winning film criticism at the Chicago Sun-Times to becoming one of the most influential cultural voices in America .

2014's Academy Award winning documentary Citizenfour is a real life international thriller that unfolds by the minute. With unprecedented access, this gripping behind-the-scenes chronicle follows award-winning director Laura Poitras (My Country, My Country) and journalist Glenn Greenwald's remarkable encounters with whistle-blower Edward Snowden in a hotel room in Hong Kong, as he hands over classified documents that provide evidence of mass indiscriminate and illegal invasions of privacy by the National Security Agency (NSA). The documentary not only shows the dangers of government surveillance, but makes audiences feel them. After seeing the film, viewers will never think the same way about their phone, e-mail, credit cards, web browser or digital footprint again..

Learn about your food - where it comes from, how it's made, and the history of how and why we started to eat what we eat - with some of these informative documentaries.

This film shows how human desires are an essential, intricate part of natural history by exploring the natural history of four plants -the apple, the tulip, marijuana, and the potato - and the corresponding human desires - sweetness, beauty, intoxication and control. This two-hour documentary begins in Michael Pollan's garden, and roams the world, from the fields of Iowa to the apple forests of Kazakhstan, from a medical marijuana hot house to the tulip markets of Amsterdam.

"Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." These simple words go to the heart of food journalist Pollan's thesis. Humans used to know how to eat well, he argues, but the balanced dietary lessons that were once passed down through generations have been confused and distorted by food industry marketers, nutritional scientists, and journalists. As a result, we face today a complex culinary landscape dense with bad advice and foods that are not "real." Indeed, plain old eating is being replaced by an obsession with nutrition that is, paradoxically, ruining our health, not to mention our meals. Pollan's advice is: "Don't eat anything that your great-great grandmother would not recognize as food."

Based on two decades of reporting, NBC's chief foreign correspondent's riveting story of the Middle East revolutions, the Arab Spring, war, and terrorism seen up-close--sometimes dangerously so. When he was just twenty-three, a recent graduate of Stanford University, Richard Engel set off to Cairo with $2,000 and dreams of being a reporter. Shortly thereafter he was working freelance for Arab news sources and got a call that a busload of Italian tourists were massacred at a Cairo museum. This is his first view of the carnage these years would pile on. Reporting as NBC's Chief-Foreign Correspondent, he reveals his unparalleled access to the major figures, the gritty soldiers, and the helpless victims in the Middle East during this watershed time.

In the months after her husband's death, Martha Washington told several friends that the two worst days of her life were the day George died -- and the day Thomas Jefferson came to Mount Vernon to offer his condolences. What could elicit such a strong reaction from the nation's original first lady? Though history tends to cast the early years of America in a glow of camaraderie, there were, in fact, many conflicts among the Founding Fathers -- none more important than the one between George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. The chief disagreement between these former friends centered on the highest, most original public office created by the Constitutional Convention -- the presidency.

More than fifty years before the American Revolution, Boston was in revolt against the tyrannies of the Crown, Puritan Authority, and Superstition. This is the story of a fateful year that prefigured the events of 1776.

April is Arab American Heritage Month.  Read about some of our well known and accomplished Arab American citizens.

Finding my voice by Diane Rehm

Hoda Kotb grew up in two cultures--one where summers meant playing at the foot of the ancient pyramids and another where she had to meet her junior prom date at the local 7-Eleven to spare them both the wrath of her conservative Egyptian parents. She's traveled the globe for network television, smuggling videotapes in her shoes and stepping along roads riddled with land mines. She's weathered the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, and a personal Category 5 as well: divorce and breast cancer in the same year. And if that's not scary enough, she then began cohosting the fourth hour of Today with Kathie Lee Gifford.

Our world was made on and by the Silk Roads. For millennia it was here that East and West encountered each other through trade and conquest, leading to the spread of ideas and cultures, the birth of the world's great religions, the appetites for foreign goods that drove economies and the growth of nations. From the first cities in Mesopotamia to the growth of Greece and Rome to the depredations by the Mongols and the Black Death to the Great Game and the fall of Communism, the fate of the West has always been inextricably linked to the East. The Silk Roads vividly captures the importance of the networks that crisscrossed the spine of Asia and linked the Atlantic with the Pacific, the Mediterranean with India, America with the Persian Gulf.

International Women's Day is a worldwide celebration created in the nineteen-teens to recognize the equal rights of women specifically in labor and suffrage. Today, this celebration takes many forms in different countries. In honor of this day which also takes place during Women's History Month, we offer the following list of historical dramas on these themes of labor, suffrage, and equal rights.

A semi-documentary of the year-long struggle by Chicano zinc miners in New Mexico striking against unsafe working conditions. When an injunction is issued against the workers from picketing, the wives take up battle with a fury, leaving the husbands to care for home and children. They finally overcome the forces of the mine owner and the law that backs them up.

Inspired by true events, a moving drama exploring the passion and heartbreak of the women who risked everything in their fight for equality in early 20th century Britain. The story centers on Maud, a working wife and mother whose life is forever changed when she is secretly recruited to join the U.K.'s growing suffragette movement. Galvanized by the outlaw fugitive Emmeline Pankhurst, Maud becomes an activist for the cause alongside women from all walks of life..

When he was just twenty-three, a recent graduate of Stanford University, Richard Engel set off to Cairo with $2,000 and dreams of being a reporter. Over two decades Engel has been under fire, blown out of hotel beds, taken hostage. He has watched Mubarak and Morsi in Egypt arrested and condemned, reported from Jerusalem, been through the Lebanese war, covered the whole shooting match in Iraq, interviewed Libyan rebels who toppled Gaddafi, reported from Syria as Al-Qaeda stepped in, was kidnapped in the Syrian crosscurrents of fighting. He goes into Afghanistan with the Taliban and to Iraq with ISIS. As NBC's Chief-Foreign Correspondent, he reveals his unparalleled access to the major figures, the gritty soldiers, and the helpless victims in the Middle East during this watershed time.

Hitler's forgotten children by Ingrid von Oelhafen

Created by Heinrich Himmler, the Lebensborn program abducted as many as half a million children from across Europe. Through a process called Germanization, they were to become the next generation of the Aryan master race in the second phase of the Final Solution. In the summer of 1942, parents across Nazi-occupied Yugoslavia were required to submit their children to medical checks designed to assess racial purity. One such child, Erika Matko, was nine months old when Nazi doctors declared her fit to be a 'Child of Hitler.' Taken to Germany and placed with politically vetted foster parents, Erika was renamed Ingrid von Oelhafen. Many years later, Ingrid began to uncover the truth of her identity.

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