Biography

“The benefits of reading books include a longer life in which to read them.”  –A. Bashivi, M. D. Slade, B. R. Levy. (Social Science & Medicine. Vol 164. Sept, 2016)

 Jeremy Black offers a historian's interpretation from the perspective of the late 2010s, assessing James Bond in terms of the greatly changing world order of the Bond years--a lifetime that stretches from 1953, when the first novel appeared, to the present. Black argues that the Bond novels--the Fleming books as well as the often-neglected novels authored by others after Fleming died in 1964--and films drew on current fears in order to reduce the implausibility of the villains and their villainy.  Class, place, gender, violence, sex, race--all are themes that Black scrutinizes through the ongoing shifts in characterization and plot. His well-informed and well-argued analysis provides a fascinating history of the enduring and evolving appeal of James Bond.

Also available in: e-book

"In An Extraordinary Time, acclaimed economic historian Marc Levinson recounts the global collapse of the postwar economy in the 1970s. While economists struggle to return us to the high economic growth rates of the past, Levinson counterintuitively argues that the boom years of the 1950s and 1960s were an anomaly; slow economic growth is the norm-no matter what economists and politicians may say. Yet these atypical years left the public with unreasonable expectations of what government can achieve. When the economy failed to revive, suspicion of government and liberal institutions rose sharply, laying the groundwork for the political and economic polarization that we're still grappling with today. A sweeping reappraisal of the last sixty years of world history, An Extraordinary Time describes how the postwar economic boom dissipated, undermining faith in government, destabilizing the global financial system, and forcing us to come to terms with how tumultuous our economy really is"--.

The books featured below include stories of athletes who, either by choice or by circumstance, found themselves involved in one or more social issues of the day. If you're looking for children's books on the topic, check out the materials at end of the list. 

October 1, 1908. The Model T Ford went on sale for the first time.

October 1, 1938. Hitler's troops occupied the Sudetenland in Czechoslovakia.

October 1,1949. The People's Republic of China was founded.

The Fearless Benjamin Lay chronicles the transatlantic life and times of a singular and astonishing man--a Quaker dwarf who became one of the first ever to demand the total, unconditional emancipation of all enslaved Africans around the world.

This month we've read a collection of essays by Pulitzer Prize winner, David McCullough, the real story about America's 'Wild West',  the 1947 World Series--the first to be televised, and two thrillers.

Also available in: audiobook | large print

This collection of speeches by historian David McCullough 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, as many Americans engage in self-reflection following a bitter election campaign that has left the country divided, McCullough has collected some of his most important speeches in a brief volume that articulates important principles and characteristics that are particularly American.

Also available in: e-book

A revolutionary new appraisal of the Old West and the America it made The open range cattle era lasted barely a quarter-century, but it left America irrevocably changed. These few decades following the Civil War brought America its greatest boom-and-bust cycle until the Depression, the invention of the assembly line, and the dawn of the conservation movement. It inspired legends, such as that icon of rugged individualism, the cowboy. Yet this extraordinary time and its import have remained unexamined for decades. Cattle Kingdom reveals the truth of how the West rose and fell, and how its legacy defines us today. The tale takes us from dust-choked cattle drives to the unlikely splendors of boomtowns like Abilene, Kansas, and Cheyenne, Wyoming. We venture from the Texas Panhandle to the Dakota Badlands to the Chicago stockyards. We meet a diverse array of players--from the expert cowboy Teddy Blue to the failed rancher and future president Teddy Roosevelt. Knowlton shows us how they and others like them could achieve so many outsized feats: killing millions of bison in a decade, building the first opera house on the open range, driving cattle by the thousand, and much more. Cattle Kingdom is a revelatory new view of the Old West.
 

September 1, 1939. Hitler's armies invaded Poland, igniting the start of World War Ii.

September 2, 1666. The Great Fire of London began, raging for three days.

September 3, 1783. The Treaty of Paris, ending the Revolutionary War, was signed by John Adams, Ben Franklin and John Jay.

The politics of upheaval, 1935-1936 by Arthur M. Schlesinger

A brilliant reconsideration of the events and the political, social, and religious movements that led to France's embrace of Fascism and anti-Semitism.

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