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Fact or (Historical) Fiction?


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Recommended by Jim, one of the main contributors to the library's Internet Branch.

Check our other Fave Five lists, too!

The Great Influenza

by John M. Barry
1314327.jpg Subtitled "The epic story of the deadliest plague in history," the book does more than capitalize on the world's fear of a bird flu pandemic. It explores in depth the actions, reactions and inactions of the scientific community and the United States government to the influenza that may have killed 100 million people worldwide in 1918at the same time that the U.S. was engaged in WWI.

Los Alamos

by Joseph Kanon
1143609.jpg The year is 1945 and the United States has brought together in Los Alamos, New Mexico the best scientific minds to develop a weapon that would end WWII. The atomic bomb isn't the only explosive element of the book that delves into the camaraderie and relationships of those that make up the Los Alamos Project. A review by the New York Times described it as "a historical drama of excitement and high moral seriousness."

Last Train to Paradise

by Les Standiford
1250255.jpg Henry Flagler was a dreamer and a businessmana wealthy one thanks to his partnership with John D. Rockefeller and their mutual interest, Standard Oil. Credit Flagler with building a railroad that, essentially, crossed ocean waters to Key West, Florida. The railroad opened in 1912, despite a destructive hurricane six years earlier that nearly crippled construction efforts. In the end, though, another, more powerful hurricane in 1935 destroyed what had been heralded as "the eighth wonder of the world."

A Palestine Affair

by Jonathan Wilson
1273197.jpg Smoldering nationalistic and religious passions dominate in British-occupied Palestine after WWI. The book's focus, though, is on a British investigator, a London painter and the painter's American wife following the murder of an Orthodox Jew dressed as an Arab in Jerusalem in 1924. All are caught "in the crosshairs of history."

Cradle to Grave

by Larry Lankton
1083004.jpg The strike along Michigan's Upper Peninsula copper range in 1913-1914 and, in particular, the Italian Hall disaster on Christmas Eve, 1913, serve as the most dramatic elements in Lankton's exploration of "life, work and death at the Lake Superior copper mines." However, the book offers a much deeper look at society, technology and business that, first, helped to create a booming mining industry in our state, then, second, the forces that brought its decline and virtual disappearance.