This long-awaited biography establishes Shirley Jackson as a towering figure in American literature and revives the life and work of a neglected master. Still known to millions only as the author of the The Lottery, Shirley Jackson  remains curiously absent from the American literary canon. A genius of literary suspense, Jackson plumbed the cultural anxiety of postwar America better than anyone. Now, biographer Ruth Franklin reveals the tumultuous life and inner darkness of the author behind such classics as The Haunting of Hill House and We Have Always Lived in the Castle.

Guy Burgess was the most important, complex, and fascinating of the Cambridge Spies--Maclean, Philby, Blunt--brilliant young men recruited in the 1930s to betray their country to the Soviet Union. An engaging and charming companion to many, an unappealing, utterly ruthless manipulator to others, Burgess rose through academia, the BBC, the Foreign Office, MI5 and MI6, gaining access to thousands of highly sensitive secret documents which he passed to his Russian handlers. In this first full biography, Andrew Lownie shows us how even Burgess's chaotic personal life of drunken philandering did nothing to stop his penetration and betrayal of the British Intelligence Service.

The key to understanding the calamitous Afghan war is the complex, ultimately failed relationship between the powerful, duplicitous Karzai family and the U.S.--brilliantly portrayed here in its entirety for the first time by the former Washington Post Kabul bureau chief.

The story of the brutal mass slaughter of Jews during World War II and how that genocide has been remembered and misremembered ever since. Taking issue with generations of scholars who separate the Holocaust from Germany's military ambitions, historian Jeremy M. Black demonstrates persuasively that Germany's war on the Allies was entwined with Hitler's war on Jews.

What is an iconic Ann Arbor restaurant? Ask anyone who has ever spent time there as a student, traveler, or townie, and they are likely to name several favorites in an instant. From debating the best place to celebrate or console on football Saturdays to deciding where to eat after the bars close, the choices have always sparked passionate conversation.


Hamilton’s America will air on PBS on October 21. A powerful musical, if you haven’t heard it you can borrow a copy of the broadway soundtrack on CD or stream it on Hoopla. You might find that the music inspires you to explore further into our early nation. If so, try some of these additional resources that span fact and fiction from throughout the library. This assorted list includes items from the children’s collection that might be of wide interest, followed by denser materials from the adult collection. Don't find yourself saying, "What'd I Miss?" 

Aaron and Alexander by Don Brown

Explains how political differences between Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton escalated their Revolutionary War-era rivalry and culminated in the most famous duel in American history. The final line of this beautifully illustrated picture book should sing out to fans of the musical.

Also available in: e-audiobook | video | e-video

Sheds light on the fascinating life and interests of the Renaissance man who was our third president.

A key figure in the American War for Independence, the marquis de Lafayette was an exuberant youth from France who convinced the fledgling United States to volunteer for their army. If you love America's Favorite Fighting Frenchman, this book gives his backstory.

With rich illustrations and evocative narrative, McAuliffe portrays Paris during the fabulous 1920s, when art and architecture, music, literature, fashion, entertainment, transportation, and behavior all took dramatically new forms.

An entertaining and provocative account of India's past, written by one of the country's leading thinkers. His trenchant portraits of emperors, warriors, philosophers, film stars, and corporate titans--some famous, some unjustly forgotten--bring feeling, wry humor, and uncommon insight to dilemmas that extend from ancient times to our own.

Longlisted for the National Book Award A former Wall Street quant sounds an alarm on the mathematical models that pervade modern life -- and threaten to rip apart our social fabric We live in the age of the algorithm. Increasingly, the decisions that affect our lives--where we go to school, whether we get a car loan, how much we pay for health insurance--are being made not by humans, but by mathematical models. In theory, this should lead to greater fairness: Everyone is judged according to the same rules, and bias is eliminated. But as Cathy O'Neil reveals in this urgent and necessary book, the opposite is true. The models being used today are opaque, unregulated, and uncontestable, even when they're wrong. 

Also available in: e-book | audiobook

The Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Cleopatra , the #1 national bestseller, unpacks the mystery of the Salem Witch Trials. It began in 1692, over an exceptionally raw Massachusetts winter, when a minister's daughter began to scream and convulse. It ended less than a year later, but not before 19 men and women had been hanged and an elderly man crushed to death. The panic spread quickly, involving the most educated men and prominent politicians in the colony. Neighbors accused neighbors, parents and children each other. Aside from suffrage, the Salem Witch Trials represent the only moment when women played the central role in American history. In curious ways, the trials would shape the future republic. As psychologically thrilling as it is historically seminal, THE WITCHES is Stacy Schiff's account of this fantastical story-the first great American mystery unveiled fully for the first time by one of our most acclaimed historians.

Featuring a diverse group of writers, War No More gathers the best of America's vibrant tradition of antiwar and peace literature, essays, letters, speeches, memoirs, poems, stories and songs spanning almost three centuries. It offers an unprecedented view of a powerful and perennially relevant American tradition, encompassing five-star generals, theologians, nuclear physicists, folk singers, signers of the declaration, quietists, anarchists, veterans, and Nobel laureates.

With spot-on details and ingenious plot twists, Beverly Connor has been compared to the hottest crime writers on the scene. Now, she ratchets up the suspense with a series featuring a cunning and complex sleuth: forensic anthropologist Diane Fallon. Her new job as director of the RiverTrail Museum of Natural History in Georgia takes Diane out of the game-until a former love and a murdered family bring her back in.

On December 26, 1941, Secret Service Agent Harry E. Neal stood on a platform at Washington's Union Station, watching a train chug off into the dark. These were dire times: as Hitler's armies plowed across Europe, seizing or destroying the Continent's historic artifacts at will, Japan bristled to the East. The Axis was rapidly closing in. So FDR set about hiding the country's valuables. On the train speeding away from Neal sat four plain-wrapped cases containing the documentary history of American democracy: the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, the Gettysburg Address, and more, guarded by a battery of agents and bound for safekeeping in the nation's most impenetrable hiding place.

Several major films being released this fall and winter are based on true events. Find out more about them in the Library's collection of books and documentaries.

The Birth of a Nation.  Based on Nat Turner's 1831 slave uprising. Starring Nate Parker, Armie Hammer, Aja Naomi King, and Aunjanue Ellis. Release date October 7. Suggested reading: Nat Turner: a slave rebellion in history and memory and The rebellious slave: Nat Turner in American memory by Scot French.

Deepwater Horizon. Based on the 2010 oil rig explosion off the coast of Louisiana. Starring Mark Wahlberg, Kurt Russell, and Kate Hudson. Release date September 30. Suggested reading: Drowning in oil: BP and the reckless pursuit of profit by Loren C. Steffy. Suggested viewing: The spill.

Denial. Writer and historian Deborah Lipstadt is sued for libel by Holocaust denier David Irving. Starring Rachel Weisz, Andrew Scott, and Timothy Spall. Release date September 30. Suggested reading: History on trial: my day in court with Holocaust denier David Irving by Deborah E. Lipstadt and Denying the Holocaust: the growing assault on truth and memory by Deborah E. Lipstadt, and Lying about Hitler: history, Holocaust, and the David Irving trial by Richard J. Evans.

There is something about a non-fiction book that challenges people to change, to reflect upon their lives, to explore new worlds...

'Grunt' tackles the science behind some of a soldier's most challenging adversaries-- panic, exhaustion, heat, noise-- and introduces us to the scientists who seek to conquer them.

The story of the gene begins in earnest in an obscure Augustinian abbey in Moravia in 1856 where Gregor Mendel, a monk working with pea plants, stumbles on the idea of a "unit of heredity." It intersects with Darwin's theory of evolution, and collides with the horrors of Nazi eugenics in the 1940s. The gene transforms postwar biology. It invades discourses concerning race and identity and provides startling answers to some of the most potent questions coursing through our political and cultural realms. It reorganizes our understanding of sexuality, gender identity, sexual orientation, temperament, choice, and free will, thus raising the most urgent questions affecting our personal realms. Above all, the story of the gene is driven by human ingenuity and obsessive minds-- from Mendel and Darwin to Francis Crick, James Watson, and Rosalind Franklin to the thousands of scientists working today to understand the code of codes. Woven through the book is the story of Mukherjee's own family and its recurring pattern of schizophrenia, a haunting reminder that the science of genetics is not confined to the laboratory but is vitally relevant to everyday lives. The moral complexity of genetics reverberates even more urgently today as we learn to "read" and "write" the human genome-- unleashing the potential to change the fates and identities of our children and our children's children .

Eric Liddell's story as the Olympic gold medalist was told in the Academy Award winning film Chariots of Fire. Liddell would not run on Sunday because of his strict observance of the Christian sabbath, and so he did not compete in his signature event at the 1924 Paris Olympics. Yet Liddell triumped in a new event and won a gold medal. Liddell ran - and lived - for the glory of his God. After the Olympics, he dedicated himself to missionary work in China. He and thousands of other westerners were eventually interned at a Japanese work camp. Once imprisoned, Liddell did what he was born to do, practice his faith and his sport..

Also available in: e-book | e-audiobook | large print

"This is what we long for: the profound pleasure of being swept into vivid new worlds, worlds peopled by characters so intriguing and real that we can't shake them, even long after the reading's done. In his earlier, award-winning novels, Dominic Smith demonstrated a gift for coaxing the past to life. Now, in The Last Painting of Sara de Vos, he deftly bridges the historical and the contemporary, tracking a collision course between a rare landscape by a female Dutch painter of the golden age, an inheritor of the work in 1950s Manhattan, and a celebrated art historian who painted a forgery of it in her youth. In 1631, Sara de Vos is admitted as a master painter to the Guild of St. Luke's in Holland, the first woman to be so recognized. Three hundred years later, only one work attributed to de Vos is known to remain--a haunting winter scene, At the Edge of a Wood, which hangs over the bed of a wealthy descendant of the original owner. An Australian grad student, Ellie Shipley, struggling to stay afloat in New York, agrees to paint a forgery of the landscape, a decision that will haunt her. Because now, half a century later, she's curating an exhibit of female Dutch painters, and both versions threaten to arrive. As the three threads intersect, The Last Painting of Sara de Vos mesmerizes while it grapples with the demands of the artistic life, showing how the deceits of the past can forge the present"--.

Also available in: e-book

Advances in technology are creating the next economy and enabling us to make things/do things/connect with others in smarter, cheaper, faster, more effective ways. But the price of this progress has been a decoupling of the engine of prosperity from jobs that have been the means by which people have ascended to (and stayed in) the middle class. Andy Stern, the former president of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) spent four years traveling the country and asking economists, futurists, labor leaders, CEOs, investment bankers, entrepreneurs, and political leaders to help picture the U.S. economy 25 to 30 years from now. He vividly reports on people who are analyzing and creating this new economy--such as investment banker Steve Berkenfeld; David Cote, the CEO of Honeywell International; Andy Grove of Intel; Carl Camden, the CEO of Kelly Services; and Geoffrey Canada of the Harlem Children's Zone. Through these stories, we come to a stark and deeper understanding of the toll technological progress will continue to take on jobs and income and its inevitable effect on tens of millions of people. But there is hope for our economy and future. The foundation of economic prosperity for all Americans, Stern believes, is a universal basic income. The idea of a universal basic income for all Americans is controversial but American attitudes are shifting. Stern has been a game changer throughout his career, and his next goal is to create a movement that will force the political establishment to take action against something that many on both the right and the left believe is inevitable. Stern's plan is bold, idealistic, and challenging--and its time has come.

n the early nineteenth century, the United States turned its idealistic gaze southward, imagining a legacy of revolution and republicanism it hoped would dominate the American hemisphere. From pulsing port cities to Midwestern farms and southern plantations, an adolescent nation hailed Latin America's independence movements as glorious tropical reprises of 1776. Even as Latin Americans were gradually ending slavery, U.S. observers remained energized by the belief that their founding ideals were triumphing over European tyranny among their "sister republics." But as slavery became a violently divisive issue at home, goodwill toward antislavery revolutionaries waned. By the nation's fiftieth anniversary, republican efforts abroad had become a scaffold upon which many in the United States erected an ideology of white U.S. exceptionalism that would haunt the geopolitical landscape for generations. Marshaling groundbreaking research in four languages, Caitlin Fitz defines this hugely significant, previously unacknowledged turning point in U.S. history.

Nonfiction Book Group October 2016

Please join the Nonfiction Book Group to discuss:

The Vanderbilt family patriarch, the Commodore, built a fortune that made him the world's richest man by 1877. Less than 50 years after his death, not a single Vanderbilt descendent was counted among the world's richest people. As Publisher's Weekly noted in the review of this book, "Stories about the author's ancestors have been told before, but not so vividly as in his evocations of the snobbery, ostentation and profligacy.Today's Vanderbilts are not rich-rich; the money is gone with the clan's grand homes, felled by wrecking balls in New York and elsewhere, leaving only memories of a singular time in the American past."

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