United States history
Last year marked the 50th anniversary of one of the most pivotal moments of the Cold War. For 13 days in October 1962, the United States and the former Soviet Union engaged in a political and military standoff over the installation of nuclear-armed Soviet missiles in Cuba — just 90 miles off the U.S. coast. President John F. Kennedy notified the country about the presence of the missiles in an historic television address on October 22, 1962. It was during this speech that he explained his decision to enact a naval blockade around Cuba. Because of this many, people believed the world was on the brink of nuclear war. Disaster was averted, however when Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev agreed to remove the missiles in exchange for the U.S. not invading Cuba, and also removing U.S. missiles from Turkey. The confrontation was officially ended on October 28, 1962.
Maximum danger: Kennedy, the missiles, and the crisis of American confidence by Robert Weisbrot
10 buildings that changed America by Window to the World Communications ; produced and written by Dan Protess
History of the Eagles [videodisc]: the story of an American band by Monhegan Films ; director, Alison Ellwood ; producer, Alex Gibney
History of the world in two hours [videodisc] by produced by Sam Dolan ; directed by Douglas J. Cohen
Country school [videodisc]: one room - one nation by produced, written, and directed by Kelly Rundle
Genius of Britain [videodisc]: the scientists who changed the world by an IWC Media production for Channel 4
Benjamin Franklin [large print] by Edmund S. Morgan
Bunker Hill [large print]: a city, a siege, a revolution by Nathaniel Philbrick
The killer angels [Large print] by Michael Shaara
Samuel Adams [Large print]: a life by Ira Stoll
This month in history Benedict Arnold was executed, Marilyn Monroe was born, The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album was released, WWII Allied troops landed on the beaches of Normandy, and the Statue of Liberty arrived in New York.
The real Benedict Arnold by Jim Murphy
The making of Some like it hot: my memories of Marilyn Monroe and the classic American movie by Tony Curtis with Mark A. Vieira
D-day: the battle for Normandy by Antony Beevor
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band [sound recording] by The Beatles
Enlightening the world: the creation of the Statue of Liberty by Yasmin Sabina Khan
Steven Spielberg's highly anticipated new film Lincoln opens on November 9. Starring Daniel Day-Lewis as our 16th president, and Sally Field as Mary Todd Lincoln, it is inspired by Doris Kearns Goodwin's 2005 book Team of Rivals: the political genius of Abraham Lincoln. The film focuses on Lincoln's final few months in office, specifically his tireless efforts to get the 13th Amendment to the Constitution (abolishing slavery) passed.
This year marks the 200th anniversary of the beginning of the War of 1812. It was on June 18, 1812 that the United States declared war on Great Britain, and although it is arguably one of America's least remembered wars, it was during this time that many legendary battles were fought, heroes made, and memorable events occurred. It was during this war that the British burned the White House and First Lady Dolley Madison helped to save several valuable items — such as George Washington's portrait and original drafts of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. It was during this war that Francis Scott Key wrote the Star Spangled Banner at Fort McHenry. It was during this war that the infamous Battle of New Orleans was fought, making a national hero of Andrew Jackson. It was also during this war that several crucial battles were fought in the Great Lakes Region, including the surrender of the Detroit to the British. The causes for the conflict were many, including attempts by the British to restrict U.S. trade, and the desire by Americans to expand their territory — specifically into Florida and Canada. Hostilities came to an end on December 24, 1814 with the signing of the Treaty of Ghent.
1493: uncovering the new world Columbus created by Charles C. Mann
The swerve: how the world became modern by Stephen Greenblatt
Why America failed: the roots of imperial decline by Morris Berman
1861: the Civil War awakening by Adam Goodheart
Blood, bones, & butter: the inadvertent education of a reluctant chef by Gabrielle Hamilton
Blue nights by Joan Didion
If you have read Kevin Boyle's Arc of Justice: A Saga of Race, Civil Rights, and Murder in the Jazz Age, the 2011-2012 Great Michigan Read try David Halberstram or Branch Taylor or one of the many documentaries about Civil Rights in America produced over the years.
Faith in the city: preaching radical social change in Detroit by Angela D. Dillard; with a foreword by Charles G. Adams
Race and remembrance: a memoir by Arthur L. Johnson
In 1990 President George H. W. Bush approved a joint resolution designating November 1990 National American Indian Heritage Month. Similar proclamations have been issued each year since 1994. The National Register of Historic Places has put together a list of sites promoting the history and culture of Native Americans. The following Special Collection is designed to highlight some of the library's many resources about Native Americans.
General Reference Books
Historical Dictionary of North American Archaeology edited by Edward B.