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|The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl
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List price: $15.95
Author: Timothy Egan
Brand: Mariner Books
"The Worst Hard Time is an epic story of blind hope and endurance almost beyond belief; it is also, as Tim Egan has told it, a riveting tale of bumptious charlatans, conmen, and tricksters, environmental arrogance and hubris, political chicanery, and a ruinous ignorance of nature's ways. Egan has reached across the generations and brought us the people who played out the drama in this devastated land, and uses their voices to tell the story as well as it could ever be told." — Marq de Villiers, author of Water: The Fate of Our Most Precious Resource
The dust storms that terrorized America's High Plains in the darkest years of the Depression were like nothing ever seen before or since, and the stories of the people that held on have never been fully told. Pulitzer Prize–winning New York Times journalist and author Timothy Egan follows a half-dozen families and their communities through the rise and fall of the region, going from sod homes to new framed houses to huddling in basements with the windows sealed by damp sheets in a futile effort to keep the dust out. He follows their desperate attempts to carry on through blinding black blizzards, crop failure, and the deaths of loved ones. Drawing on the voices of those who stayed and survived—those who, now in their eighties and nineties, will soon carry their memories to the grave—Egan tells a story of endurance and heroism against the backdrop of the Great Depression.
As only great history can, Egan's book captures the very voice of the times: its grit, pathos, and abiding courage. Combining the human drama of Isaac's Storm with the sweep of The American People in the Great Depression, The Worst Hard Time is a lasting and important work of American history.
Timothy Egan is a national enterprise reporter for the New York Times. He is the author of four books and the recipient of several awards, including the Pulitzer Prize. He lives in Seattle, Washington.
“As one who, as a young reporter, survived and reported on the great Dust Bowl disaster, I recommend this book as a dramatic, exciting, and accurate account of that incredible and deadly phenomenon. This is can’t-put-it-down history.” —Walter Cronkite
"The Worst Hard Time is wonderful: ribbed like surf, and battering us with a national epic that ranks second only to the Revolution and the Civil War. Egan knows this and convincingly claims recognition for his subject—as we as a country finally accomplished, first with Lewis and Clark, and then for 'the greatest generation,' many of whose members of course were also survivors of the hardships of the Great Depression. This is a banner, heartfelt but informative book, full of energy, research, and compassion." —Edward Hoagland, author of Compass Points: How I Lived
"Here's a terrific true story—who could put it down? Egan humanizes Dust Bowl history by telling the vivid stories of the families who stayed behind. One loves the people and admires Egan's vigor and sympathy." —Annie Dillard, author of Pilgrim at Tinker Creek
"The American West got lucky when Tim Egan focused his acute powers of observation on its past and present. Egan's remarkable combination of clear analysis and warm empathy anchors his portrait of the women and men who held on to their places—and held on to their souls—through the nearly unimaginable miseries of the Dust Bowl. This book provides the finest mental exercise for people wanting to deepen, broaden, and strengthen their thinking about the relationship of human beings to this earth." —Patricia N. Limerick, author of The Legacy of Conquest: The Unbroken Past of the American West
|Gotham: A History of New York City to 1898
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List price: $34.95
Author: Edwin G. Burrows
Brand: Oxford University Press
To European explorers, it was Eden, a paradise of waist-high grasses, towering stands of walnut, maple, chestnut, and oak, and forests that teemed with bears, wolves, raccoons, beavers, otters, and foxes. Today, it is the site of Broadway and Wall Street, the Empire State Building and the Statue of Liberty, and the home of millions of people, who have come from every corner of the nation and the globe.
In Gotham, Edwin G. Burrows and Mike Wallace have produced a monumental work of history, one that ranges from the Indian tribes that settled in and around the island of Manna-hata, to the consolidation of the five boroughs into Greater New York in 1898. It is an epic narrative, a story as vast and as varied as the city it chronicles, and it underscores that the history of New York is the story of our nation. Readers will relive the tumultuous early years of New Amsterdam under the Dutch West India Company, Peter Stuyvesant's despotic regime, Indian wars, slave resistance and revolt, the Revolutionary War and the defeat of Washington's army on Brooklyn Heights, the destructive seven years of British occupation, New York as the nation's first capital, the duel between Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton, the Erie Canal and the coming of the railroads, the growth of the city as a port and financial center, the infamous draft riots of the Civil War, the great flood of immigrants, the rise of mass entertainment such as vaudeville and Coney Island, the building of the Brooklyn Bridge and the birth of the skyscraper. Here too is a cast of thousands--the rebel Jacob Leisler and the reformer Joanna Bethune; Clement Moore, who saved Greenwich Village from the city's street-grid plan; Herman Melville, who painted disillusioned portraits of city life; and Walt Whitman, who happily celebrated that same life. We meet the rebel Jacob Leisler and the reformer Joanna Bethune; Boss Tweed and his nemesis, cartoonist Thomas Nast; Emma Goldman and Nellie Bly; Jacob Riis and Horace Greeley; police commissioner Theodore Roosevelt; Colonel Waring and his "white angels" (who revolutionized the sanitation department); millionaires John Jacob Astor, Cornelius Vanderbilt, August Belmont, and William Randolph Hearst; and hundreds more who left their mark on this great city.
The events and people who crowd these pages guarantee that this is no mere local history. It is in fact a portrait of the heart and soul of America, and a book that will mesmerize everyone interested in the peaks and valleys of American life as found in the greatest city on earth. Gotham is a dazzling read, a fast-paced, brilliant narrative that carries the reader along as it threads hundreds of stories into one great blockbuster of a book.
|S Is for Southern: A Guide to the South, from Absinthe to Zydeco
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List price: $45.00
Author: Editors of Garden and Gun
From the New York Times bestselling authors at Garden & Gun comes a lively compendium of Southern tradition and contemporary culture.
The American South is a diverse region with its own vocabulary, peculiarities, and complexities. Tennessee whiskey may technically be bourbon, but don’t let anyone in Kentucky hear you call it that. And while boiling blue crabs may be the norm across the Lowcountry in South Carolina and Georgia, try that in front of Marylanders and they’re likely to put you in the pot.
Now, from the editors of Garden & Gun comes this illustrated encyclopedia covering age-old traditions and current culture. S Is for Southern contains nearly five hundred entries spanning every letter of the alphabet, with essays from notable Southern writers including:
- Roy Blount, Jr., on humidity
- Frances Mayes on the magnolia
- Jessica B. Harris on field peas
- Rick Bragg on Harper Lee
- Jon Meacham on the Civil War
- Allison Glock on Dolly Parton
- Randall Kenan on Edna Lewis
- The Lee Brothers on boiled peanuts
- Jonathan Miles on Larry Brown
- Julia Reed on the Delta
|The Great Bridge: The Epic Story of the Building of the Brooklyn Bridge
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Author: David McCullough
Brand: Simon Schuster Incorporated
The dramatic and enthralling story of the building of the Brooklyn Bridge, the world’s longest suspension bridge at the time, a tale of greed, corruption, and obstruction but also of optimism, heroism, and determination, told by master historian David McCullough.
This monumental book is the enthralling story of one of the greatest events in our nation’s history, during the Age of Optimism—a period when Americans were convinced in their hearts that all things were possible.
In the years around 1870, when the project was first undertaken, the concept of building an unprecedented bridge to span the East River between the great cities of Manhattan and Brooklyn required a vision and determination comparable to that which went into the building of the great cathedrals. Throughout the fourteen years of its construction, the odds against the successful completion of the bridge seemed staggering. Bodies were crushed and broken, lives lost, political empires fell, and surges of public emotion constantly threatened the project. But this is not merely the saga of an engineering miracle; it is a sweeping narrative of the social climate of the time and of the heroes and rascals who had a hand in either constructing or exploiting the surpassing enterprise.
In the 19th century, the Brooklyn Bridge was viewed as the greatest engineering feat of mankind. The Roeblings--father and son--toiled for decades, fighting competitors, corrupt politicians, and the laws of nature to fabricate a bridge which, after 100 years, still provides one of the major avenues of access to one of the world's busiest cities--as compared to many bridges built at the same time which collapsed within decades or even years. It is refreshing to read such a magnificent story of real architecture and engineering in an era where these words refer to tiny bits and bytes that inspire awe only in their abstract consequences, and not in their tangible physical magnificence.
- Simon Schuster Incorporated
|Of the People: A History of the United States, Volume 1: To 1877
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List price: $59.95
Author: James Oakes
Of the People: A History of the United States, Third Edition, not only tells the history of America--of its people and places, of its dealings and ideals--but it also unfolds the story of American democracy, carefully marking how this country's evolution has been anything but certain, from its complex beginnings to its modern challenges. This comprehensive survey focuses on the social and political lives of people--some famous, some ordinary--revealing the compelling story of America's democracy from an individual perspective, from across the landscapes of diverse communities, and ultimately from within the larger context of the world.
|Janesville: An American Story
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List price: $16.00
Author: Amy Goldstein
* Financial Times and McKinsey Business Book of the Year * Winner of the J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize * 800-CEO-READ Business Book of the Year * A New York Times Notable Book * A Washington Post Notable Book * An NPR Best Book of 2017 * A Wall Street Journal Best Book of 2017 * An Economist Best Book of 2017 * A Business Insider Best Book of 2017 *
“A gripping story of psychological defeat and resilience” (Bob Woodward, The Washington Post)—an intimate account of the fallout from the closing of a General Motors assembly plant in Janesville, Wisconsin, and a larger story of the hollowing of the American middle class.
This is the story of what happens to an industrial town in the American heartland when its main factory shuts down—but it’s not the familiar tale. Most observers record the immediate shock of vanished jobs, but few stay around long enough to notice what happens next when a community with a can-do spirit tries to pick itself up.
Pulitzer Prize–winning reporter Amy Goldstein spent years immersed in Janesville, Wisconsin, where the nation’s oldest operating General Motors assembly plant shut down in the midst of the Great Recession. Now, with intelligence, sympathy, and insight into what connects and divides people in an era of economic upheaval, Goldstein shows the consequences of one of America’s biggest political issues. Her reporting takes the reader deep into the lives of autoworkers, educators, bankers, politicians, and job re-trainers to show why it’s so hard in the twenty-first century to recreate a healthy, prosperous working class.
“Moving and magnificently well-researched...Janesville joins a growing family of books about the evisceration of the working class in the United States. What sets it apart is the sophistication of its storytelling and analysis” (Jennifer Senior, The New York Times).
“Anyone tempted to generalize about the American working class ought to meet the people in Janesville. The reporting behind this book is extraordinary and the story—a stark, heartbreaking reminder that political ideologies have real consequences—is told with rare sympathy and insight” (Tracy Kidder, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of The Soul of a New Machine).
|Midwestern Birds: Backyard Guide - Watching - Feeding - Landscaping - Nurturing - Indiana, Ohio, Iowa, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota. Dakota (Bird Watcher's Digest Backyard Guide)
Lowest new price: $10.99
Lowest used price: $10.33
List price: $17.99
Author: Bill Thompson
Brand: Brand: Cool Springs Press
From the editor of the nation's premier birding magazine, a no-nonsense, no-fluff quick guide to the birds you see every day. Of all the classic American pastimes, perhaps none is as widely accessible as watching birds. Our unusually vast, diverse environmental landscape supports fascinating species and variations exclusive to each region of the country. While birders often spend their efforts in search of the rarest creatures, some of the most beautiful and intriguing birds are the ones that frequent our backyards (or nearby) daily. For that reason, where other larger volumes focus on bird types that the casual observer is never likely to encounter, Midwestern Birds concisely celebrates those species living under our very noses. Written by Bill Thompson III, the editor and co-publisher of Bird Watcher's Digest, this portable 5"x8" book contains the same variety of entertaining and informative entries that make Bird Watcher's Digest the nation's most popular birding magazine. Inside, you'll find profiles of the 55 most common birds in the Midwest, complete with large color photos, gender-specific physical descriptions, nesting and feeding information, bird call particulars, and interesting stories about each species. Thompson also introduces the reader to the basics of bird watching: essential gear, bird-friendly food and plantings, housing tips, and observational techniques. This guide covers Indiana, Ohio, Iowa, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Kentucky, Missouri, Arkansas, Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota. Look for our other backyard bird guides covering the Mid-Atlantic, South, Northeast, and West regions of the United States.
- Used Book in Good Condition
|Women in Texas History (Women in Texas History Series, sponsored by the Ruthe Winegarten Memorial Foundation)
Lowest new price: $37.00
List price: $37.00
Author: Angela Boswell
In recent decades, a small but growing number of historians have dedicated their tireless attention to analyzing the role of women in Texas history. Each contribution—and there have been many—represents a brick in the wall of new Texas history. From early Native societies to astronauts, Women in Texas History assembles those bricks into a carefully crafted structure as the first book to cover the full scope of Texas women’s history.
By emphasizing the differences between race and ethnicity, Angela Boswell uses three broad themes to tie together the narrative of women in Texas history. First, the physical and geographic challenges of Texas as a place significantly affected women’s lives, from the struggles of isolated frontier farming to the opportunities and problems of increased urbanization. Second, the changing landscape of legal and political power continued to shape women’s lives and opportunities, from the ballot box to the courthouse and beyond. Finally, Boswell demonstrates the powerful influence of social and cultural forces on the identity, agency, and everyday life of women in Texas. In challenging male-dominated legal and political systems, Texan women shaped (and were shaped by) class, religion, community organizations, literary and artistic endeavors, and more.
Women in Texas History is the first book to narrate the entire span of Texas women’s history and marks a major achievement in telling the full story of the Lone Star State. Historians and general readers alike will find this book an informative and enjoyable read for anyone interested in the history of Texas or the history of women.
|The Southerner's Handbook: A Guide to Living the Good Life
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List price: $28.99
Author: Editors of Garden and Gun
Whether you live below the Mason Dixon Line or just wish you did, The Southerner’s Handbook is your guide to living the good life. Curated by the editors of the award-winning Garden & Gun magazine, this compilation of more than 100 instructional and narrative essays offers a comprehensive tutorial to modern-day life in the South.
From Food and Drink to Sporting & Adventure; Home & Garden to Style, Arts & Culture, you'll discover essential skills and unique insight from some of the South’s finest writers, chefs, and craftsmen—including the secret to perfect biscuits, how to wear seersucker, and to the right way to fall off of a horse.
You'll also find: Roy Blount Jr. on telling a great story; Julia Reed on the secrets of throwing a great party; Jonathan Miles on drinking like a Southerner; Jack Hitt on the beauty of cooking a whole hog; John T Edge on why Southern food matters; and much more.
As flavorful, authentic, and irresistible as the land and the people who inspire it, The Southerner's Handbook is the ultimate guide to being a Southerner (no matter where you live).
|Cadillac Desert: The American West and Its Disappearing Water, Revised Edition
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Lowest used price: $1.84
List price: $19.00
Author: Marc Reisner
Brand: Penguin (Non-Classics)
"The definitive work on the West's water crisis." --Newsweek
The story of the American West is the story of a relentless quest for a precious resource: water. It is a tale of rivers diverted and dammed, of political corruption and intrigue, of billion-dollar battles over water rights, of ecological and economic disaster. In his landmark book, Cadillac Desert, Marc Reisner writes of the earliest settlers, lured by the promise of paradise, and of the ruthless tactics employed by Los Angeles politicians and business interests to ensure the city's growth. He documents the bitter rivalry between two government giants, the Bureau of Reclamation and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, in the competition to transform the West. Based on more than a decade of research, Cadillac Desert is a stunning expose and a dramatic, intriguing history of the creation of an Eden--an Eden that may only be a mirage.
The definitive history of water resources in the American West, and a very illuminating lesson in the political economy of limited resources anywhere. Highly recommended!
- history of the water wars in the western US
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