Gentleman bandit : the true story of Black Bart, the Old West's most infamous stagecoach robber book cover

Gentleman bandit : the true story of Black Bart, the Old West's most infamous stagecoach robber

Boessenecker, John, 1953- author.

364.1552 /Boessenecker
Nonfiction, True Crime, History

"Black Bart is widely regarded today as not only the most notorious stage robber of the Old West but also the best behaved. Over his lifetime, Black Bart held up at least twenty-nine stagecoaches in California and Oregon with mild, polite commands, stealing from Wells Fargo and the US mail but never robbing a passenger. Such behavior earned him the title of a true 'gentleman bandit.' His real name was Charles E. Boles, and in the public eye, Charles lived quietly as a boulevardier in San Francisco, the wealthiest and most exciting city in the American West. Boles was an educated man who traveled among respectable crowds. Because he did not drink, fight or consort with prostitutes, his true calling as America's greatest stage robber was never suspected until his final capture in 1883. Sheriffs searched and struggled for years to find him, and newspaper editors had a field day reporting his exploits. Legends and rumors trailed his name until his mysterious death, and his ultimate fate remains one of the greatest mysteries of the Old West. Now historian John Boessenecker sheds new light on Black Bart's beginnings, reputation and exploits, bringing to life the glittering story of the mysterious stage robber who doubled as a rich, genteel socialite in the golden era of the Wild West"--

Candice's picture

A little western history with your crime never hurts! The extremely picky Kirkus Reviews says: "An entertaining, well-researched foray into the life of a well-known but legend-layered outlaw." -Candice

The angel makers : arsenic, a midwife, and modern history's most astonishing murder ring book cover

The angel makers : arsenic, a midwife, and modern history's most astonishing murder ring

McCracken, Patricia Nell, author.

364.1523 /McCracken
Nonfiction, True Crime, History

"THE ANGEL MAKERS is a true-crime story like no other--a 1920s midwife who may have been the century's most prolific killer, leading a murder ring of women responsible for the deaths of at least 160 men"--

Candice's picture

A story that seems unlike any other, with an old-world, clandestine feel that could easily be the plot of a fiction book--but it isn't. -Candice

Five stories book cover

Five stories

Ellen Weinstein

j813.54 Weinstein
Picture Books, History, Kids, Nonfiction

"Five children, from five different cultures and in five different decades, grow up in the same building on the Lower East Side of New York City"--

Anne W's picture

Fascinating look at the generations who arrive and make New York their own - the neighborhood businesses changes, cultures ebb and flow and blend, but the vibrancy and character remain and build year after year! -Anne W

Hell put to shame : the 1921 Murder Farm massacre and the horror of America's second slavery book cover

Hell put to shame : the 1921 Murder Farm massacre and the horror of America's second slavery

Swift, Earl, 1958- author.

973.9 /Swift
History, True Crime, Nonfiction

On a Sunday morning in the spring of 1921, a small boy made a grim discovery as he played on a riverbank in the cotton country of rural Georgia: the bodies of two drowned men, bound together with wire and chain and weighted with a hundred-pound sack of rocks. Within days a third body turned up in another nearby river, and in the weeks that followed, eight others. And with them a deeper horror: all eleven had been kept in virtual slavery before their deaths. In fact, as America was shocked to learn, the dead were among thousands of Black men enslaved throughout the South in conditions nearly as dire as those before the Civil War. Hell Put to Shame tells the forgotten story of that mass killing and of the revelations about peonage, or debt slavery, that it placed before a public self-satisfied that involuntary servitude had ended at Appomattox more than fifty years before. By turns police procedural, courtroom drama, and political exposé, Hell Put to Shame also reintroduces readers to three Americans who spearheaded the prosecution of John S. Williams, the wealthy plantation owner behind the murders, at a time when white people rarely faced punishment for violence against their Black neighbors. The remarkable polymath James Weldon Johnson, newly appointed the first Black leader of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, marshaled the organization into a full-on war against peonage. Johnson's lieutenant, Walter F. White, a light-skinned, fair-haired, blue-eyed Black man, conducted undercover work at the scene of lynchings and other Jim Crow atrocities, helping to throw a light on such violence and to hasten its end. And Georgia governor Hugh M. Dorsey won the statehouse as a hero of white supremacists--then redeemed himself in spectacular fashion with the "Murder Farm" affair. The result is a story that remains fresh and relevant a century later, as the nation continues to wrestle with seemingly intractable challenges in matters of race and justice. And the 1921 case at its heart argues that the forces that so roil society today have been with us for generations.

Candice's picture

A book that combines history, true crime, racial injustice, and taut courtroom drama. NYT says that "...Swift shines a powerful light on the practice of debt slavery, and notes that it persists to this day as human traffickers continue to coerce immigrants..." making it timely as well. -Candice

Differ we must : how Lincoln succeeded in a divided America book cover

Differ we must : how Lincoln succeeded in a divided America

Steve Inskeep

973.7092 /Inskeep

"From journalist and historian Steve Inskeep, a compelling and nuanced exploration of the political acumen of Abraham Lincoln via sixteen encounters before and during his presidency, bringing to light not only the strategy of a great politician who inherited a country divided, but lessons for our own disorderly present. In 1855, as the United States found itself at odds over the issue of slavery, then lawyer Abraham Lincoln composed a note on the matter to his close friend, the heir to a slaveholding family in the South. Lincoln--who was morally against the institution of slavery--rebuked his friend for his opposing views, he lectured him, he challenged him. But in the end, he wrote: "If for this you and I must differ, differ we must." Throughout his life and political career, Lincoln often agreed to disagree. Democracy demanded it--even an adversary had a vote. The man who went on to become the sixteenth president of the United States has assumed many roles in our historical consciousness, but most notable is that he was, with no apology, a politician. And as Steve Inskeep argues, it was because he was willing to engage in politics--to work with his critics, to compromise with those whom he deeply opposed, and to move only as fast as voters would allow--that he was able to lead a social revolution. In DIFFER WE MUST, Inskeep illuminates this master politician's life through sixteen encounters. Some of these meetings are well known, and others more obscure, but all take on new significance when examined in detail. Each interaction was with a person who differed from Lincoln, and in each someone wanted something from the other. While it isn't clear if Lincoln was able to alter his critics' beliefs--many went to war against him--nor if they were able to change his, what is notable is that he learned how to make his beliefs actionable, via precise and practical techniques. Lincoln was a skilled storyteller, and a great orator. He told jokes, he relied on sarcasm, and often made fun of himself. But behind the banter was a master storyteller, who carefully chose what to say and what to withhold. He knew his limitations and, as history came to prove, he knew how to prioritize. As the host of NPR's Morning Edition for almost two decades, Inskeep has mastered the art of bridging divides and building constructive debate in interviews; in DIFFER WE MUST, he brings his skills to bear on a prior master and in doing so forms a fresh and compelling narrative of Lincoln's life. With rich detail and enlightening commentary, Inskeep expands our understanding of a politician who held strong to his moral compass while navigating between corrosive political factions, one who began his career in the minority party and not only won the majority, but succeeded in uniting a nation"--

Anne M's picture

Lincoln was a gifted politician. In Steve Inskeep's latest, he explores how Lincoln navigated arguing with, persuading, and standing up to the many different people he disagreed with during his political career, from people in his own party, to people he agreed with morally, but disagreed on methods, to those he didn't want anything to do with, but needed their votes to achieve his ends. Inskeep's engaging book holds lessons for our politically fractured times. -Anne M

Alexandria : the city that changed the world book cover

Alexandria : the city that changed the world

Islam Issa

962.1 /Issa
Nonfiction, History

An award-winning British-Egyptian writer presents an authoritative history of the first modern city and how it has shaped our modern world, including its role as a global capital of knowledge as well as the site of plagues and violence. A city drawn in sand. Inspired by the tales of Homer and his own ambitions of empire, Alexander the Great sketched the idea of a city onto the sparsely populated Egyptian coastline. He did not live to see Alexandria built, but his vision of a sparkling metropolis that celebrated learning and diversity was swiftly realised and still stands today. Situated on the cusp of Africa, Europe and Asia, great civilisations met in Alexandria. Together, Greeks and Egyptians, Romans and Jews created a global knowledge capital of enormous influence: the inventive collaboration of its citizens shaped modern philosophy, science, religion and more. In pitched battles, later empires, from the Arabs and Ottomans to the French and British, laid claim to the city but its independent spirit endures. In this sweeping biography of the great city, Islam Issa takes us on a journey across millennia, rich in big ideas, brutal tragedies and distinctive characters, from Cleopatra to Napoleon. From its humble origins to dizzy heights and present-day strife, Alexandria tells the gripping story of a city that has shaped our modern world.

Candice's picture

Calling all history buffs! This isn't just a well-researched, comprehensive history of one of the most fascinating cities in the world (past and present), written by someone who is from there: it's also wildly interesting! Many of us already know the high points--Alexander and Ptolemy, Cleopatra, the Ottomans, the British, the library (oh, the library!)--but really there's so much more to learn. Islam Issa tells the story of this city with thought and skill, resulting in a delightful book that gives Alexandria the respect it deserves in the minds of readers. -Candice

Living the Beatles legend : the untold story of Mal Evans book cover

Living the Beatles legend : the untold story of Mal Evans

Kenneth Womack

781.66092 /Beatles
History, Music

"Malcolm Evans, the Beatles' long-time roadie, personal assistant, and devoted friend, was an invaluable member of the band's inner circle. A towering figure in horn-rimmed glasses, Evans loomed large in the Beatles' story, contributing at times as a performer and sometime lyricist, while struggling mightily to protect his beloved "boys." He was there for the whole of the group's remarkable, unparalleled story: from the Shea Stadium triumph through the creation of the timeless cover art for Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band and the famous Let It Be rooftop concert. Leaving a stable job as telecommunications engineer to serve as road manager for this fledgling band, Mal was the odd man out from the start--older, married with children, and without any music business experience. And yet he threw himself headlong into their world, traveling across the globe and making himself indispensable. In the years after the Beatles' disbandment, Big Mal continued in their employ as each embarked upon solo careers. By 1974, he was determined to make his name as a songwriter and record producer, setting off for a new life in Los Angeles, where he penned his memoirs. But in January 1976, on the verge of sharing his book with the world, Evans's story came to a tragic end during a domestic standoff with the LAPD. For Beatles devotes, Mal's life and untimely death have always been shrouded in mystery. For decades, his diaries, manuscripts, and vast collection of memorabilia was missing, seemingly lost forever...until now. Working with full access to Mal's unpublished archives and having conducted hundreds of new interviews, Beatles' scholar and author Kenneth Womack affords readers with a full telling of Mal's unknown story at the heart of the Beatles' legend. Lavishly illustrated with unseen photos and ephemera from Mal's archives, Living the Beatles' Legend: The Untold Story of Mal Evans is the missing puzzle piece in the Fab Four's incredible story."--Amazon.com

Amanda's picture

This was an absolute joy to read and I HIGHLY encourage any fan of the Beatles to add this to your TBR and follow through. It's a wonderful tribute that will leave you smiling. -Amanda

Dolls of our lives : why we can't quit American Girl book cover

Dolls of our lives : why we can't quit American Girl

Mary Mahoney

745.59221 /Mahoney
Memoir, History

"Are you a Molly (a patriotic overachiever with a flair for drama)? Felicity (the original horse girl)? Kirsten (a cottagecore fan who seems immune to cholera), Samantha (a savior complex in a sailor suit), or Josefina (who dealt with grief by befriending a baby goat)? Have you ever wondered how Britney Spears or Michelle Kwan would answer that question? And why do we care so much which girl we are? Combining history, travelogue, and memoir, Dolls of Our Lives follows Allison Horrocks and Mary Mahoney on an unforgettable journey to the past as they delve into the origins of this iconic brand. Continuing the conversations that began on their podcast, they set out to answer the lingering questions that keep them up at night. What did American Girl inventor Pleasant Rowland hope to say to children with these dolls? Was girl power something that could be ordered from a catalogue, described by a magazine, or modeled in the plot lines of books? And how - and why - did this brand shape an entire generation? Through interviews with a legion of devoted doll lovers, a field trip to Colonial Williamsburg, a place that inspired Pleasant to create American Girl, and an exploration of their own (complicated) fandom, this is a deep dive into one of the 90s most coveted products - the American Girl doll" --

Amanda's picture

As a Molly myself (with a little Felicity for good measure), this book brought me a lot of joy! I have enjoyed the podcast from the authors, and this book expands on their and our collective love of these dolls. It's a sweet and fuzzy read! -Amanda

Extremely online : the untold story of fame, influence, and power on the internet book cover

Extremely online : the untold story of fame, influence, and power on the internet

Taylor Lorenz

302.231 /Lorenz
Technology, History

"For over a decade, Taylor Lorenz has been the authority on internet culture, documenting its far-reaching effects on all corners of our lives. Her reporting is serious yet entertaining and illuminates deep truths about ourselves and the lives we create online. In her debut book, Extremely Online, she reveals how online influence came to upend the world, demolishing traditional barriers and creating whole new sectors of the economy. Lorenz shows this phenomenon to be one of the most disruptive changes in modern capitalism. By tracing how the internet has changed what we want and how we go about getting it, Lorenz unearths how social platforms' power users radically altered our expectations of content, connection, purchasing, and power. Lorenz documents how moms who started blogging were among the first to monetize their personal brands online, how bored teens who began posting selfie videos reinvented fame as we know it, and how young creators on TikTok are leveraging opportunities to opt out of the traditional career pipeline. It's the real social history of the internet. Emerging seemingly out of nowhere, these shifts in how we use the internet seem easy to dismiss as fads. However, these social and economic transformations have resulted in a digital dynamic so unappreciated and insurgent that it ultimately created new approaches to work, entertainment, fame, and ambition in the 21st century. Extremely Online is the inside, untold story of what we have done to the internet, and what it has done to us." --Amazon.

Amanda's picture

This is the kind of book that will be invaluable and useful to future readers interested in the evolution of the internet as we know it. I lived through all of this, and was not fully aware of the players or the context, or even some of the apps that thrust people into the spotlight. It's a fun read now for sure, but I think it will fill a spot in the discourse we need as we develop and innovate more. -Amanda

Of all tribes : American Indians and Alcatraz book cover

Of all tribes : American Indians and Alcatraz

Bruchac, Joseph, 1942- author.

j970.5 Bruchac
Nonfiction, History

"On November 20, 1969, a group of 89 Native Americans-most of them young activists in their twenties, led by Richard Oakes, LaNada Means, and others-crossed San Francisco Bay under the cover of darkness. They called themselves the "Indians of All Tribes." Their objective was to occupy the abandoned prison on Alcatraz Island ("The Rock"), a mile and a half across the treacherous waters. Under the 1868 Treaty of Fort Laramie between the U.S. and the Lakota tribe, all retired, abandoned, or out-of-use federal land was supposed to be returned to the Indigenous peoples who once occupied it. As Alcatraz penitentiary was closed by that point, activists sought to reclaim that land, and more broadly, bring greater attention to the lies and injustices of the federal government when it came to Indian policy. Their initial success resulted in international attention to Native American rights and the continuing presence of present-day Indigenous peoples, who refused to accept being treated as a "vanishing race". Over the protestors' 19-month occupation, one key way of raising awareness to issues in Native life was through Radio Free Alcatraz, which touched on: the forced loss of ancestral lands, contaminated water supply on reservations, sharp disparities in infant mortality and life expectancy among Native Americans compared to statistics in white communities, and many other inequalities. From acclaimed Abenaki children's book legend, Joseph Bruchac, this middle-grade nonfiction book tells the riveting story of that 1969 takeover, which inspired a whole generation of Native activists and ignited the modern American Indian Movement"--

Casey's picture

Engagingly written by Joseph Bruchac, Of All Tribes presents a wealth of information regarding the history of the United States government's treatment of various American Indian Nations. How this fraught history led to the eventual claiming of Alcatraz Island in 1969, and how this activism continues to ripple through current geopolitical and georestoritive movements. This would be a great gift book for middle-grade, and older, children, and families, especially those interested in US history and social justice movements. -Casey