History

Erin go Bragh!

Biographies for St. Patrick's Day:
 

St. Patrick of Ireland: a biography by Philip Freeman

 

 

Damned to fame: the life of Samuel Beckett by James Knowlson

 

 

 

 

Michael Collins: a life by James Mackay

 

 

 

 

Yeats's ghosts: the secret life of W.B. Yeats by Brenda Maddox

 

 

 

 

Loitering with intent: The child by Peter O'Toole

 

 

 

 

March is Women's History Month. Find out about the many brave and talented  women who have influenced world history by reading some of these titles from the Library's collection:

Presents profiles of war heroines from Germany, Poland, France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Great Britain, and the United States.

The story of Temple Grandin, an autistic young woman who became a great success story in the field of livestock science.

Film adaptation of the musical play which is the story of the poor Argentine girl who came to the city, became an actress and then a politician's mistress, and then the president's wife.

Dramatization of the life of Joan of Arc centering on her trial and execution.

Born in Boston, MA, in 1932, Plath developed a talent as a writer and published her first poem when she was eight years old. That same year, Plath was forced to confront the unexpected death of her father. In 1950, she began studying at Smith College on a literary scholarship. In 1955, she was granted a Fulbright Scholarship to study in England at Cambridge. There, Plath met Ted Hughes, a respected author. The two fell in love, and married in 1958. However, marriage, family, and a growing reputation as an important poet failed to bring Plath happiness.

International Women's Day is a worldwide celebration created in the nineteen-teens to recognize the equal rights of women specifically in labor and suffrage. Today, this celebration takes many forms in different countries. In honor of this day which also takes place during Women's History Month, we offer the following list of historical dramas on these themes of labor, suffrage, and equal rights.

A semi-documentary of the year-long struggle by Chicano zinc miners in New Mexico striking against unsafe working conditions. When an injunction is issued against the workers from picketing, the wives take up battle with a fury, leaving the husbands to care for home and children. They finally overcome the forces of the mine owner and the law that backs them up.

Inspired by true events, a moving drama exploring the passion and heartbreak of the women who risked everything in their fight for equality in early 20th century Britain. The story centers on Maud, a working wife and mother whose life is forever changed when she is secretly recruited to join the U.K.'s growing suffragette movement. Galvanized by the outlaw fugitive Emmeline Pankhurst, Maud becomes an activist for the cause alongside women from all walks of life..

Josey Aimes needs a job and goes to work at a Minnesota steel mine after splitting with her violent husband. But the job proves to be almost as harrowing as her marriage. The male miners are resentful of women taking their jobs, so the men verbally abuse and play humiliating pranks on the female miners. After being physically assaulted by a coworker, Josey tries to fight against the harassment, but none of the other women will join her case for fear that things will only get worse. A fictionalized account of the first major successful sexual harassment case in the U.S. - Jenson vs. Eveleth Mines.

When he was just twenty-three, a recent graduate of Stanford University, Richard Engel set off to Cairo with $2,000 and dreams of being a reporter. Over two decades Engel has been under fire, blown out of hotel beds, taken hostage. He has watched Mubarak and Morsi in Egypt arrested and condemned, reported from Jerusalem, been through the Lebanese war, covered the whole shooting match in Iraq, interviewed Libyan rebels who toppled Gaddafi, reported from Syria as Al-Qaeda stepped in, was kidnapped in the Syrian crosscurrents of fighting. He goes into Afghanistan with the Taliban and to Iraq with ISIS. As NBC's Chief-Foreign Correspondent, he reveals his unparalleled access to the major figures, the gritty soldiers, and the helpless victims in the Middle East during this watershed time.

Hitler's forgotten children by Ingrid von Oelhafen

Created by Heinrich Himmler, the Lebensborn program abducted as many as half a million children from across Europe. Through a process called Germanization, they were to become the next generation of the Aryan master race in the second phase of the Final Solution. In the summer of 1942, parents across Nazi-occupied Yugoslavia were required to submit their children to medical checks designed to assess racial purity. One such child, Erika Matko, was nine months old when Nazi doctors declared her fit to be a 'Child of Hitler.' Taken to Germany and placed with politically vetted foster parents, Erika was renamed Ingrid von Oelhafen. Many years later, Ingrid began to uncover the truth of her identity.

March is Women's History Month. Find out about the many brave and talented  women who have influenced world history by reading some of these titles from the Library's collection:

In celebration of National Women's History Month, five biographies of women who have made their mark.

Shirley Jones is an American film legend of the first order, having starred in Oklahoma!, Carousel, and The Music Man, as well as playing her Oscar-winning role as a prostitute in Elmer Gantry long before The Partridge Family. On that iconic show, she portrayed the epitome of American motherhood, a symbol to generations of families in the 1970s, and she remains a cult icon today.But for those who only think of Shirley as the prim and proper Marian the librarian or the chaste and demure Mrs. Partridge, a massive surprise is in store. Here, in this candid memoir, the real flesh-and-blood Shirley Jones is revealed at last in this hilarious and heartwarming, shocking and intimate memoir.

Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and her husband, astronaut Mark Kelly, were thrust into the world spotlight when Gabby miraculously survived an assassination attempt. Now, as her health continues to improve, the couple shares their story. Told in Mark's voice and from Gabby's heart, this is an unflinching look at the challenges of brain injury, the responsibilities that fall to a loving spouse, and the healing power of deeply shared love and courage.

Shortly after 9/11, Los Angeles Times journalist Megan K. Stack was thrust into Afghanistan and Pakistan, where she dodged gunmen and prodded warlords for information. From there, she traveled to war-ravaged Iraq, Lebanon and other countries scarred by violence. Every Man in This Village is a Liar is Megan K. Stack's electrifying account of what she saw in the combat zones and beyond. She relates her initial wild excitement and her slow disillusionment. She reports from under bombardment in Lebanon; records the raw pain of suicide bombings in Israel and Iraq; and marks the deaths and disappearances of those she has interviewed. Beautiful, savage, and unsettling, this is an unforgettable narrative about the wars of the 21st century - a shattering account from a reporter on the front lines.

Celebrating Extraordinary Women In History

Marie Curie. Eleanor Roosevelt. Susan B. Anthony. Elizabeth I of England. Florence Nightingale. These remarkable women are well known to most of us, but there are many others in history just as remarkable whose names may not be as recognizable. In honor of Women's History Month we should all make some time to learn about them by reading some of the many biographies to found in the library's collection:

Bella Abzug: how one tough broad from the Bronx fought Jim Crow and Joe McCarthy, pissed off Jimmy Carter, battled for the rights of women and workers, rallied against war and for the planet, and shook up politics along the way: an oral history by Suzanne Braun Levine and Mary Thom — Bella Abzug, American lawyer, congresswoman and social activist

Jane Addams and the dream of American democracy: a life by Jean Bethke Elshtain — Jane Addams, American social reformer, suffrage leader and the first woman to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize

"Each time a girl opens a book and reads a womanless history, she learns she is worth less."   ~ Myra Pollack Sadker.  March is National Women's History Month.    History helps us learn who we are, but when we don’t know our own history, our power and dreams are immediately diminished.  Throughout the centuries, women have been strong contributors to our world, but  received no written recognition for their accomplishments.  

West with the Night by Beryl Markham
Also available in: e-audiobook

"West with the Night" is the story of Beryl Markham--aviator, racehorse trainer, beauty--and her life in the Kenya of the 1920s and '30s.  During the pioneer days of aviation, she became the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic from east to west.

Also available in: e-book

A lively and provocative double biography of first cousins Eleanor Roosevelt and Alice Roosevelt Longworth, two extraordinary women whose tangled lives provide a sweeping look at the twentieth century. When Theodore Roosevelt became president in 1901, his beautiful and flamboyant daughter was transformed into "Princess Alice," arguably the century's first global celebrity. Thirty-two years later, her first cousin Eleanor moved into the White House as First Lady. Born eight months and twenty blocks apart from each other in New York City, Eleanor and Alice spent a large part of their childhoods together and were far more alike than most historians acknowledge. But their politics and temperaments couldn't have been more distinct. Do-gooder Eleanor was committed to social justice but hated the limelight; acid-tongued Alice, who became the wife of philandering Republican congressman Nicholas Longworth, was an opponent of big government who gained notoriety for her cutting remarks (she famously quipped that dour President Coolidge "looked like he was weaned on a pickle"). While Eleanor revolutionized the role of First Lady with her outspoken passion for human rights, Alice made the most of her insider connections to influence politics, including doing as much to defeat the League of Nations as anyone in elective office. 

"Inspired by the critically acclaimed Netflix documentary What Happened, Miss Simone?, an intimate and vivid look at the legendary life of Nina Simone, the classically trained pianist who evolved into a chart-topping chanteuse and committed civil rights activist. From music journalist and former Spin and Vibe editor-in-chief Alan Light comes a biography of incandescent soul singer and Black Power icon Nina Simone, one of the most influential, provocative, and least understood artists of our time. Drawn from a trove of rare archival footage, audio recordings and interviews (including Simone's remarkable private diaries), this nuanced examination of Nina Simone's life highlights her musical inventiveness and unwavering quest for equality, while laying bare the personal demons that plagued her from the time of her Jim Crow childhood in North Carolina to her self-imposed exile in Liberia and Paris later in life. Harnessing the singular voice of Miss Simone herself and incorporating candid reflections from those who knew her best, including her only daughter, Light brings us face to face with a legend, examining the very public persona and very private struggles of one of our greatest artists"--.

Also available in: e-audiobook

"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. Join us Saturday, March 19 at 10 AM.

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