History

20 More Great Reads for Black History Month

Death of a king: the real story of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s final year by Tavis Smiley with David Ritz

 

 

 

 

 

Children of fire: a history of African Americans by Thomas C. Holt

 

 

 

 

Say it loud: great speeches on civil rights and African American identity by edited by Catherine Ellis and Stephen Drury Smith

 

Stokely: a life by Peniel E. Joseph

 

 

 

 

Across that bridge: life lessons and a vision for change by John Lewis ; with Brenda Jones

 

 

 

 

More non-fiction than fiction, but often a well-written biography or history can be as exciting a read as a good suspense novel.

"The life and times of the wealthiest man who ever lived--Jacob Fugger--the Renaissance banker who revolutionized the art of making money and established the radical idea of pursuing wealth for its own sake. Jacob Fugger lived in Germany at the turn of the sixteenth century, the grandson of a peasant. By the time he died, his fortune amounted to nearly two percent of European GDP. Not even John D. Rockefeller had that kind of wealth. Most people become rich by spotting opportunities, pioneering new technologies, or besting opponents in negotiations. Fugger did all that, but he had an extra quality that allowed him to rise even higher: nerve. In an era when kings had unlimited power, Fugger had the nerve to stare down heads of state and ask them to pay back their loans--with interest. It was this coolness and self-assurance, along with his inexhaustible ambition, that made him not only the richest man ever, but a force of history as well. Before Fugger came along it was illegal under church law to charge interest on loans, but he got the Pope to change that. He also helped trigger the Reformation and likely funded Magellan's circumnavigation of the globe. His creation of a news service, which gave him an information edge over his rivals and customers, earned Fugger a footnote in the history of journalism. And he took Austria's Habsburg family from being second-tier sovereigns to rulers of the first empire where the sun never set. The ultimate untold story, The Richest Man Who Ever Lived is more than a tale about the richest and most influential businessman of all time. It is a story about palace intrigue, knights in battle, family tragedy and triumph, and a violent clash between the 1 percent and everybody else. To understand our financial system and how we got it, it pays to understand Jacob Fugger"--.

NYPD Detective Claire Codella has just won a tough battle with cancer. Now she has to regain her rightful place on the force. she hasn't even been back a day when Hector Sanchez, a maverick public school principal, is found murdered. The school is on high alert. The media is howling for answers. And Codella catches the high-profile case at the worst possible time. As she races to track down the killer, she uncovers dirty politics, questionable contracts, and dark secrets. Each discovery she makes brings her closer to the truth, but the truth may cost Codella her life.

Florida's favorite trigger-happy, shoot-from-the-hip vigilante history teacher is back--and he has a few scores to settle Serge A. Storms is hitting the road. Inspired by the classic biker flick Easy Rider, the irrepressible trivia buff and his drug-addled travel buddy, Coleman, head out on a motorcycle tour down the length of the Sunshine State, on a mission to rediscover the lost era of the American Dream. But going from small town to small town, they discover that some have lost much of their former charm--including one particular hamlet of skeezy rural politicos that is hell-bent on keeping prying eyes out of their ineptly corrupt style of local government. Traveling across the state, Serge and Coleman engage in some high-life hijinks, complete with the state's trademark crop of jerks, lethal science experiments, drug kingpins, double-crosses, unearthed bodies, barbecue and groovy tunes. And when a few innocent newcomers stumble into the mix, the stakes are raised to new back-woods heights.

20 Great Reads for Black History Month

Documentaries for Black History Month

American Experience: The Abolitionists by Artist Not Provided — Men and women, black and white, Northerners and Southerners, poor and wealthy, these passionate anti-slavery activists fought  in the most important civil rights crusade in American history. Part of the PBS series American Experience.

 

 

Africans in America [videodisc]: America's journey through slavery by produced for PBS by WGBH Boston — The story of slavery's birth in the early 1660s through the onset of thr Civil War. Narrated by Academy Award nominee Angela Bassett.

 

 

 

 

4 little girls [videodisc] by an HBO documentary film in association with 40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks production ; a Spike Lee Joint — When a bomb tore through the basement of a black Baptist church in Birmingham, Alabama on September 15, 1963, it took the lives of four young girls. This powerful documentary captures a time, a place, and a way of life that would be forever altered by their deaths. Directed by Spike Lee.

 

 

Biographies for Black History Month

The butler: a witness to history by Wil Haygood

 

 

The rebellious life of Mrs. Rosa Parks by Jeanne Theoharis

 

 

 

Crusader for justice: federal judge Damon J. Keith by compiled, written, and edited by Peter J. Hammer and Trevor W. Coleman ; forward by Mitch Albom

 

 

 

Dave Bing: a life of challenge by Drew Sharp

 

 

 

A gentleman of color: the life of James Forten by Julie Winch

 

 

 

Also available in: audiobook | large print

On May 1, 1915, with WWI entering its tenth month, a luxury ocean liner sailed out of New York, bound for Liverpool, carrying a record number of children and infants. The passengers were surprisingly at ease, even though Germany had declared the seas around Britain to be a war zone. For months, German U-boats had brought terror to the North Atlantic. But the Lusitania was one of the era's great transatlantic "Greyhounds"--the fastest liner then in service--and her captain, William Thomas Turner, placed tremendous faith in the gentlemanly strictures of warfare that for a century had kept civilian ships safe from attack. Germany, however, was determined to change the rules of the game. Join us on Saturday, February 20 at 10:00 AM.

Remembering Martin Luther King, Jr.

Today we honor the life of Martin Luther King Jr., the civil rights leader who would have turned 84 this year. A federal holiday to honor King, who was assassinated in April 1968, was first observed in 1986. Congress also designated it a national day of service in 1994.

Books

April 4, 1968: Martin Luther King Jr.'s death and transformation of America by Michael Eric Dyson

At Canaan's edge: America in the King years 1965-68 by Taylor Branch

The autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr. by edited by Clayborne Carson

2015 Non-Fiction Librarians' Picks

This year three of the picks were nominated by more than one librarian: Erik Larson's DEAD WAKE, Amy Poehler's YES PLEASE, and Jennifer Lawson's FURIOUSLY HAPPY.

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author and master of narrative nonfiction comes the enthralling story of the sinking of the Lusitania On May 1, 1915, with WWI entering its tenth month, a luxury ocean liner as richly appointed as an English country house sailed out of New York, bound for Liverpool, carrying a record number of children and infants. The passengers were surprisingly at ease, even though Germany had declared the seas around Britain to be a war zone. For months, German U-boats had brought terror to the North Atlantic. But the Lusitania was one of the era's great transatlantic "Greyhounds"--the fastest liner then in service--and her captain, William Thomas Turner, placed tremendous faith in the gentlemanly strictures of warfare that for a century had kept civilian ships safe from attack. Germany, however, was determined to change the rules of the game, and Walther Schwieger, the captain of Unterseeboot -20, was happy to oblige. 

Examines the pervasive fears and myths surrounding vaccines from a mother's perspective and identifies the historical and cultural factors that cause people to doubt government regulations and the medical establishment.

On August 16, 1824, an elderly French gentlemen sailed into New York Harbor and giddy Americans were there to welcome him. Or, rather, to welcome him back. It had been 30 years since the Revolutionary War hero the Marquis de Lafayette had last set foot in the United States, and he was so beloved that 80,000 people showed up to cheer for him. The entire population of New York at the time was 120,000. Lafayette's arrival in 1824 coincided with one of the most contentious presidential elections in American history. Congress had just fought its first epic battle over slavery, and the threat of a Civil War loomed. But Lafayette, belonging to neither North nor South, to no political party or faction, was a walking, talking reminder of the sacrifices and bravery of the revolutionary generation and what they wanted the country to be. His return was not just a reunion with his beloved Americans, it was a reunion for Americans with their own astonishing singular past. .

Pearl Harbor Remembered

Today marks the 74th anniversary of the surprise attack on Hawaii's Pearl Harbor by the Imperial Japanese Navy. The early morning attack on December 7, 1941 on the U.S. fleet stationed in the harbor, and at Hickam Field where 51 airplanes were on the ground, was the catalyst for the United States' entry into World War II. Nine ships were sunk and twenty-one were severely damaged and nearly half of the airplanes were destroyed or severely damaged. The death toll numbered 2,403 - 1,177 from the battleship Arizona alone.

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