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  • Midnight's Descendants: A History of South Asia since Partition

    Midnight's Descendants: A History of South Asia since Partition

    Author/Actors/Director/etc.:   John Keay
    Format:   
    Publisher:   Basic Books (2014, Mar 11th).
    Pages:   

    Dispersed across India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka, Midnight’s Descendants—the generations born since the 1947 “midnight hour partition” of British India—are the world’s fastest growing population. This vast region and its peoples wield an enormous influence over global economics and geopolitics, yet their impact is too often simplified by accounts that focus solely on one nation and ignore the intricate web of affiliations that shape relations among British India’s successor states. Now, in Midnight Descendants, celebrated historian John Keay presents the first comprehensive history of this complex and interconnected region, delving deep into the events that have shaped its past and continue to guide its future. more

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  • Midnight's Descendants: A History of South Asia since Partition

    Midnight's Descendants: A History of South Asia since Partition

    Author/Actors/Director/etc.:   John Keay
    Format:   
    Publisher:   Basic Books (2014, Mar 11th).
    Pages:   

    Dispersed across India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka, Midnight’s Descendants—the generations born since the 1947 “midnight hour partition” of British India—are the world’s fastest growing population. This vast region and its peoples wield an enormous influence over global economics and geopolitics, yet their impact is too often simplified by accounts that focus solely on one nation and ignore the intricate web of affiliations that shape relations among British India’s successor states. Now, in Midnight Descendants, celebrated historian John Keay presents the first comprehensive history of this complex and interconnected region, delving deep into the events that have shaped its past and continue to guide its future. more

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  • An Idea Whose Time Has Come: Two Presidents, Two Parties, and the Battle for the Civil Rights Act of 1964

    An Idea Whose Time Has Come: Two Presidents, Two Parties, and the Battle for the Civil Rights Act of 1964

    Author/Actors/Director/etc.:   Todd S. Purdum
    Format:   
    Publisher:   Henry Holt and Co. (2014, Apr 1st).
    Pages:   

    A top Washington journalist recounts the dramatic political battle to pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the law that created modern America, on the fiftieth anniversary of its passageIt was a turbulent time in America—a time of sit-ins, freedom rides, a March on Washington and a governor standing in the schoolhouse door—when John F. Kennedy sent Congress a bill to bar racial discrimination in employment, education, and public accommodations. Countless civil rights measures had died on Capitol Hill in the past. But this one was different because, as one influential senator put it, it was “an idea whose time has come.”In a powerful narrative layered with revealing detail, Todd S. Purdum tells the story of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, recreating the legislative maneuvering and the larger-than-life characters who made its passage possible. more

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  • Censoring Queen Victoria: How Two Gentlemen Edited a Queen and Created an Icon

    Censoring Queen Victoria: How Two Gentlemen Edited a Queen and Created an Icon

    Author/Actors/Director/etc.:   Yvonne M. Ward
    Format:   
    Publisher:   Oneworld Publications (2014, Apr 15th).
    Pages:   

    In 1901, two literary gentlemen were appointed a novel task: to preserve the memory of Queen Victoria in her own words. By the time they were finished, 460 volumes of the Queen’s correspondence had become just three; their decisions — and distortions — would influence perceptions of Victoria for generations to come. The editors chosen for the task were deeply eccentric and complicated men. Baron Esher was the consummate royal confidant who hid his obsession with Eton boys and incestuous relationship with his youngest son behind a persona of charm and discretion. Arthur Benson, an ex-Etonian master and closeted homosexual, struggled to fit in with the blue-blooded clubs and codes of the court while fighting bouts of severe depression. more

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  • The Gods of Olympus: A History

    The Gods of Olympus: A History

    Author/Actors/Director/etc.:   Barbara Graziosi
    Format:   
    Publisher:   Metropolitan Books (2014, Mar 11th).
    Pages:   

    An elegant and entertaining account of the transformations of the Greek gods across the ages, from antiquity to the Renaissance and the present dayThe gods of Olympus are the most colorful characters of Greek civilization: even in antiquity, they were said to be cruel, oversexed, mad, or just plain silly. Yet for all their foibles and flaws, they proved to be tough survivors, far outlasting classical Greece itself. In Egypt, the Olympian gods claimed to have given birth to pharaohs; in Rome, they led respectable citizens into orgiastic rituals of drink and sex. Under Christianity and Islam they survived as demons, allegories, and planets; and in the Renaissance, they triumphantly emerged as ambassadors of a new, secular belief in humanity. Their geographic range, too, has been little short of astounding: in their exile, the gods of Olympus have traveled east to the walls of cave temples in China and west to colonize the Americas. more

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  • Appomattox: Victory, Defeat, and Freedom at the End of the Civil War

    Appomattox: Victory, Defeat, and Freedom at the End of the Civil War

    Author/Actors/Director/etc.:   Elizabeth R. Varon
    Format:   
    Publisher:   Oxford University Press, USA (2013, Oct 4th).
    Pages:   

    Lee's surrender to Grant at Appomattox Court House evokes a highly gratifying image in the popular mind -- it was, many believe, a moment that transcended politics, a moment of healing, a moment of patriotism untainted by ideology. But as Elizabeth Varon reveals in this vividly narrated history, this rosy image conceals a seething debate over precisely what the surrender meant and what kind of nation would emerge from war. The combatants in that debate included the iconic Lee and Grant, but they also included a cast of characters previously overlooked, who brought their own understanding of the war's causes, consequences, and meaning. In Appomattox, Varon deftly captures the events swirling around that well remembered-but not well understood-moment when the Civil War ended. more

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  • Twelve Years a Slave

    Twelve Years a Slave

    Author/Actors/Director/etc.:   Solomon Northup
    Format:   Hardcover
    Publisher:   Atria / 37 Ink (2013, Nov 19th).
    Pages:   

    The story that inspired the major motion picture, with an introduction by the bestselling author of Wench, Dolen Perkins-Valdez, Twelve Years a Slave is a harrowing, vividly detailed, and utterly unforgettable account of slavery.Solomon Northup was an entrepreneur and dedicated family man, father to three young children, Elizabeth, Margaret, and Alonzo. What little free time he had after long days of manual and farm labor he spent reading books and playing the violin. Though his father was born into slavery, Solomon was born and lived free.In March 1841, two strangers approached Northup, offering him employment as a violinist in a town hundreds of miles away from his home in Saratoga Springs, New York. Solomon bid his wife farewell until his return. more

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  • Trapped Under the Sea: One Engineering Marvel, Five Men, and a Disaster Ten Miles Into the Darkness

    Trapped Under the Sea: One Engineering Marvel, Five Men, and a Disaster Ten Miles Into the Darkness

    Author/Actors/Director/etc.:   Neil Swidey
    Format:   
    Publisher:   Crown (2014, Feb 18th).
    Pages:   

    The harrowing story of five men who were sent into a dark, airless, miles-long tunnel, hundreds of feet below the ocean, to do a nearly impossible job—with deadly results  A quarter-century ago, Boston had the dirtiest harbor in America. The city had been dumping sewage into it for generations, coating the seafloor with a layer of “black mayonnaise.” Fisheries collapsed, wildlife fled, and locals referred to floating tampon applicators as “beach whistles.”   In the 1990s, work began on a state-of-the-art treatment plant and a 10-mile-long tunnel—its endpoint stretching farther from civilization than the earth’s deepest ocean trench—to carry waste out of the harbor. With this impressive feat of engineering, Boston was poised to show the country how to rebound from environmental ruin. more

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  • Blood Royal: A True Tale of Crime and Detection in Medieval Paris

    Blood Royal: A True Tale of Crime and Detection in Medieval Paris

    Author/Actors/Director/etc.:   Eric Jager
    Format:   
    Publisher:   Little, Brown and Company (2014, Feb 25th).
    Pages:   

    A riveting true story of murder and detection in 15th-century Paris, by one of the most brilliant medievalists of his generation. On a chilly November night in 1407, Louis of Orleans was murdered by a band of masked men. The crime stunned and paralyzed France since Louis had often ruled in place of his brother King Charles, who had gone mad. As panic seized Paris, an investigation began. In charge was the Provost of Paris, Guillaume de Tignonville, the city's chief law enforcement officer--and one of history's first detectives. As de Tignonville began to investigate, he realized that his hunt for the truth was much more dangerous than he ever could have imagined.A rich portrait of a distant world, BLOOD ROYAL is a gripping story of conspiracy, crime and an increasingly desperate hunt for the truth. more

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  • Five Came Back: A Story of Hollywood and the Second World War

    Five Came Back: A Story of Hollywood and the Second World War

    Author/Actors/Director/etc.:   Mark Harris
    Format:   
    Publisher:   Penguin Press HC, The (2014, Feb 27th).
    Pages:   

    In Pictures at a Revolution, Mark Harris turned the story of the five movies nominated for Best Picture in 1967 into a landmark work of cultural history, a book about the transformation of an art form and the larger social shift it signified. In Five Came Back, he achieves something larger and even more remarkable, giving us the untold story of how Hollywood changed World War II, and how World War II changed Hollywood, through the prism of five film directors caught up in the war: John Ford, William Wyler, John Huston, Frank Capra, and George Stevens.   It was the best of times and the worst of times for Hollywood before the war. The box office was booming, and the studios’ control of talent and distribution was as airtight as could be hoped. more

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