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America's Great Migration

The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration

In The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration we learn that from 1915 to 1970, this exodus of almost six million people changed the face of America.   Isabel Wilkerson compares this epic migration to the migrations of other peoples in history. She interviewed more than a thousand people, and gained access to new data and official records, to write this definitive and vividly dramatic account of how these American journeys unfolded, altering our cities, our country, and ourselves. Read more…

Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism

White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism

White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism is a “vital, necessary, and beautiful book” says scholar Michael Eric Dyson. Author and antiracist educator Robin DiAngelo deftly illuminates the phenomenon of white fragility and “allows us to understand racism as a practice not restricted to ‘bad people’ (essayist Claudia Rankine).   Referring to the defensive moves that white people make when challenged racially, white fragility is characterized by emotions such as anger, fear, and guilt, and by behaviors including argumentation and silence. Read more…

History of Abolition

The Slave’s Cause: A History of Abolition

The Slave’s Cause: A History of Abolition questions the received historical wisdom that portrays abolitionists as bourgeois, mostly white reformers burdened by racial paternalism and economic conservatism.   Manisha Sinha overturns this image, broadening her scope beyond the antebellum period usually associated with abolitionism and recasting it as a radical social movement in which men and women, black and white, free and enslaved found common ground in causes ranging from feminism and utopian socialism to anti-imperialism and efforts to defend the rights of labor. Read more…

John D. Rockefeller

Breaking Rockefeller: The Incredible Story of the Ambitious Rivals Who Toppled an Oil Empire

In Breaking Rockefeller we follow the rise of Marcus Samuel, Jr., an unorthodox Jewish merchant trader and Henri Deterding, a take-no-prisoners oilman. There lives become intertwined in 1889, with John D. Rockefeller at the peak of his power. Having annihilated all competition and possessing near-total domination of the market, even the U.S. government is wary of challenging the great “anaconda” of Standard Oil. The Standard never loses—that is until Samuel and Deterding team up to form Royal Dutch Shell. Read more…

New York During The Civil War

City of Sedition: The History of New York City During the Civil War

No city was more of a help to Abraham Lincoln and the Union war effort, or more of a hindrance than the City of Sedition. No city raised more men, money, and materiel for the war, and no city raised more hell against it. It was a city of patriots, war heroes, and abolitionists, but simultaneously a city of antiwar protest, draft resistance, and sedition.   Without his New York supporters, it’s highly unlikely Lincoln would have made it to the White House. Read more…

Washington Press Corps

Reporting from Washington: The History of the Washington Press Corps

Reporting from Washington: The History of the Washington Press Corps is a vibrant chronicle of news coverage in our nation’s capital, from the early days of radio and print reporting and the heyday of the wire services to the brave new world of the Internet.   Beginning with 1932, when a newly elected FDR energized the sleepy capital, Donald Ritchie highlights the dramatic changes in journalism that have occurred in the last seven decades. We meet legendary columnists–including Walter Lippmann, Joseph Alsop, and Drew Pearson –as well as the great investigative reporters, from Paul Y. Read more…

The Republican Party

To Make Men Free: A History of the Republican Party

In To Make Men Free: A History of the Republican Party, the distinguished American historian, Heather Cox Richardson, traces the paradoxical evolution of the Republican Party—founded to give the poor equal opportunity, but too often aligned with the country’s elites. Read more…

April 1865

April 1865: The Month That Saved America

The month of April 1865 witnessed the frenzied fall of Richmond, a daring last-ditch Southern plan for guerrilla warfare, Lee’s harrowing retreat, and then, Appomattox. It saw Lincoln’s assassination just five days later and a near-successful plot to decapitate the Union government, followed by chaos and coup fears in the North, collapsed negotiations and continued bloodshed in the South, and finally, the start of national reconciliation. In the end, April 1865 emerged as not just the tale of the war’s denouement, but the story of the making of our nation. Read more…

History of the Bowery

The Bowery: The Strange History of New York’s Oldest Street

From peglegged Peter Stuyvesant to CBGB’s, The Bowery: The Strange History of New York’s Oldest Street explains the history of the city that grew up around it. It was the street your mother warned you about—even if you lived in San Francisco. Long associated with skid row, saloons, freak shows, violence, and vice, the Bowery often showed the worst New York City had to offer. Yet there were times when it showed its best as well. The Bowery is New York’s oldest street and Manhattan’s broadest boulevard. Like the city itself, it has continually reinvented itself over the centuries. Read more…

Energy Crisis

Panic at the Pump: The Energy Crisis and the Transformation of American Politics in the 1970s

Panic at the Pump is an authoritative history of the energy crises of the 1970s and the world they wrought… In 1973, the Arab OPEC cartel banned the export of oil to the United States, sending prices and tempers rising across the country. Dark Christmas trees, lowered thermostats, empty gas tanks, and the new fifty-five-mile-per-hour speed limit all suggested that America was a nation in decline. “Don’t be fuelish” became the national motto. Read more…