History

Investigator Theresa Argie and journalist Eric Olsen team up to take you on a first-person tour of some of America's most active paranormal hotspots. Experience the crawl through the death tunnel where visitors have reported sightings of an inhuman creature that creeps along the walls and ceilings. Walk the decks of the Queen Mary with the dozens of souls that met their ends in watery graves. And get to know the spirits that wait in prisons, mansions, lunatic asylums, and even a stately old hotel.

The Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Cleopatra analyzes the Salem Witch Trials to offer key insights into the role of women in its events while explaining how its tragedies became possible.

From the author of A. Lincoln, a major new biography of one of America's greatest generals--and most misunderstood presidents In his time, Ulysses S. Grant was routinely grouped with George Washington and Abraham Lincoln in the "Trinity of Great American Leaders." But the battlefield commander-turned-commander-in-chief fell out of favor in the twentieth century. In American Ulysses, Ronald C. White argues that we need to once more revise our estimates of him in the twenty-first.  Grant was not only a brilliant general but also a passionate defender of equal rights in post-Civil War America. After winning election to the White House in 1868, he used the power of the federal government to battle the Ku Klux Klan. He was the first president to state that the government's policy toward American Indians was immoral, and the first ex-president to embark on a world tour, and he cemented his reputation for courage by racing against death to complete his Personal Memoirs . 

Also available in: e-book

We may love books, but do we know what lies behind them? In The Book, Keith Houston reveals that the paper, ink, thread, glue, and board from which a book is made tell as rich a story as the words on its pages--of civilizations, empires, human ingenuity, and madness. In an invitingly tactile history of this 2,000-year-old medium, Houston follows the development of writing, printing, the art of illustrations, and binding to show how we have moved from cuneiform tablets and papyrus scrolls to the hardcovers and paperbacks of today. Sure to delight book lovers of all stripes with its lush, full-color illustrations, The Book gives us the momentous and surprising history behind humanity's most important--and universal--information technology.

"While working at the Newark Star-Ledger, Matt Zoller Seitz and Alan Sepinwall created a popular column debating the merits of then-current television. Eventually they went on to successful careers as critics elsewhere, but the debate raged on and now comes to an epic conclusion in TV (THE BOOK). Alan and Matt have established The Pantheon of top TV shows using a complex, obsessively all-encompassing ranking system by which to order and stack them up against each other. With a mix of lively entries on critically acclaimed and commercially successful classics such as Seinfeld, The Sopranos, Star Trek, The Simpsons and Twin Peaks and illuminating essays on short-lived favorites such as Taxi, Freaks and Geeks, and My So-Called Life, TV (THE BOOK) is sure to spark conversation and debate among readers. TV (THE BOOK) is a must-have for long-time television and film buffs and for young enthusiasts who, fresh off their latest Netflix binge, are looking to expand their knowledge of the medium and wondering what show to start streaming next"--.

Graced by the Huron River with an abundance of parks, Ann Arbor offers residents and visitors entertainment, sports, shopping, dining, and of course, the University of Michigan. Legendary Locals of Ann Arbor celebrates its citizens. Some of those who make up Ann Arbor are creative artists, inspiring educators, dedicated public servants, and determined business owners. With the exception of Lewis the cat, who reigned at Downtown Home and Garden, this book is filled with stories about people who have made and are making Ann Arbor one of the best places to live in the United States. Within its pages lie the stories of who chose maize and blue as the University of Michigan's colors; who was the first Ann Arborite to race in the Indy 500; and who sold Tom Monaghan, founder of Domino's, his first pizzeria. Inside are photographs and descriptions of the legendary people of the past and the present, as well as those who are on their way to becoming the legends of the future.

The adoption of firearms by Native Americans between the seventeenth and nineteenth centuries marked a turning point in the history of North America's indigenous peoples--a cultural earthquake so profound  that its impact has yet to be adequately measured. Thundersticks reframes our understanding of Native Americans' historical relationship with guns, arguing against the notion that Indians prized these weapons more for the pyrotechnic terror they inspired than their efficiency as tools of war.

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.

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - History