History

The dressmakers of Auschwitz : the true story of the women who sewed to survive book cover

The dressmakers of Auschwitz : the true story of the women who sewed to survive

Lucy Adlington

940.5318 /Adlington
History

Drawing on a vast array of sources, including interviews with the last surviving seamstress, this powerful book tells the story of the brave women who used their sewing skills to survive the Holocaust, exposing the greed, cruelty and hypocrisy of the Third Reich.

Amanda's picture

This was a beautiful and heartbreaking read about an aspect of the Holocaust I was not aware of. It was inspiring to read about what these women did to survive and help each other and all they encountered. -Amanda

Women in white coats : how the first women doctors changed the world of medicine book cover

Women in white coats : how the first women doctors changed the world of medicine

Olivia M. Campbell

610.922 /Campbell
Nonfiction, History, Science

Documents the true stories of three pioneering women who defied Victorian-era boundaries to become the first women doctors, discussing how they banded together to support each other and advocate for women's health in a male-dominated field.

Angie's picture

For fans of Hidden Figures and Radium Girls comes the remarkable story of three Victorian women who broke down barriers in the medical field to become the first women doctors, revolutionizing the way women receive health care. With gripping storytelling based on extensive research and access to archival documents, Women in White Coats tells the courageous history these women made by becoming doctors, detailing the boundaries they broke of gender and science to reshape how we receive medical care today. -Angie

Witches! The Absolutely True Tale of Disaster in Salem book cover

Witches! The Absolutely True Tale of Disaster in Salem

Rosalyn

133.4309/Schanzer
Religion, History

"Tackling the same twisted subject as Stacy Schiff's much-lauded book The Witches: Salem, 1692, this Sibert Honor book for young readers features unique scratchboard illustrations, chilling primary source material, and powerful narrative to tell the true tale.In the little colonial town of Salem Village, Massachusetts" (From Amazon)

Mykle's picture

A historical account with just the right amount of flavorful text and illustrations to keep it interesting. A humbling look at what superstition and zeal can do to people when it's not tempered with reason. -Mykle

The woman they could not silence : one woman, her incredible fight for freedom, and the men who tried to make her disappear book cover

The woman they could not silence : one woman, her incredible fight for freedom, and the men who tried to make her disappear

Kate (Writer and editor) Moore

BIOGRAPHY Packard, E. P. W.
History

"1860: As the clash between the states rolls slowly to a boil, Elizabeth Packard, housewife and mother of six, is facing her own battle. The enemy sits across the table and sleeps in the next room. Threatened by Elizabeth's intellect, independence, and outspokenness, her husband of twenty-one years is plotting against her and makes a plan to put her back in her place. One summer morning, he has her committed to an insane asylum. The horrific conditions inside the Illinois State Hospital in Jacksonville, Illinois, are overseen by Dr. Andrew McFarland, a man who will prove to be even more dangerous to Elizabeth than her traitorous husband. But most disturbing is that Elizabeth is not the only sane woman confined to the institution. There are many rational women on her ward who tell the same story: they've been committed not because they need medical treatment, but to keep them in line--conveniently labeled "crazy" so their voices are ignored. No one is willing to fight for their freedom, and disenfranchised both by gender and the stigma of their supposed madness, they cannot possibly fight for themselves. But Elizabeth is about to discover that the merit of losing everything is that you then have nothing to lose..."--

Anne M's picture

This incredible work of nonfiction reads like a fast-past melodrama. -Anne M

Let's get physical : how women discovered exercise and reshaped the world book cover

Let's get physical : how women discovered exercise and reshaped the world

Danielle Friedman

613.7045 /Friedman
History, Sports

"A captivating blend of reportage and personal narrative that explores the untold history of women's exercise culture--from jogging and Jazzercise to Jane Fonda--and how women have parlayed physical strength into other forms of power"--

Amanda's picture

This is a super enjoyable and informative read about the history of women's fitness and so many of the players who started the programs and clothes and mindsets we have today. I couldn't put it down! -Amanda

The rape of Nanking : the forgotten holocaust of World War II book cover

The rape of Nanking : the forgotten holocaust of World War II

Iris Chang

951.042 /Chang
History

In December 1937, the Japanese army swept into the ancient city of Nanking. Within weeks, more than 300,000 Chinese civilians and soldiers were systematically raped, tortured, and murdered a death toll exceeding that of the atomic blasts of Hiroshima and Nagasaki combined. Using extensive interviews with survivors and newly discovered documents, Iris Chang has written the definitive history of this horrifying episode.

Fang's picture

Iris Chang will be remembered forever for her in-depth documentation of this horrifying episode during the Second Sino-Japanese War. Why couldn’t we forget the history? because “those who failed to learn from history are condemned to repeat it’. -Fang

Plunder : a memoir of family property and Nazi treasure book cover

Plunder : a memoir of family property and Nazi treasure

Menachem Kaiser

940.5318 /Kaiser
Nonfiction, Literary Nonfiction, History, Religion, Political

When Kaiser takes up his Holocaust-survivor grandfather's former battle to reclaim the family's apartment building in Sosnowiec, Poland, he finds himself on a circuitous path to encounters with the long-time residents of the building, and with a Polish lawyer known as "The Killer." A surprise discovery-- that his grandfather's cousin not only survived the war, but wrote a secret memoir while a slave laborer in a vast, secret Nazi tunnel complex-- leads to Kaiser being adopted as a virtual celebrity by a band of Silesian treasure seekers who revere the memoir as the indispensable guidebook to Nazi plunder. Here Kaiser questions: What does it mean to seize your own legacy? Can reclaimed property repair rifts among the living? -- adapted from jacket

Candice's picture

First, this book is beautifully written. Menachem Kaiser's grasp of language to tell a story, illustrate situations, and convey thoughts and emotions is so fluid and engaging. Second, this book is important in many ways, but also very interesting--a real nonfiction win-win. It's a slightly winding story, starting out with particular goals and desired outcomes, but as so often happens when researching and interacting history, the modern world and reality intervene, and make things a lot harder to get hold of and follow. Menachem goes where the story leads him, and the results are so strange, interesting, and profound that you couldn't have imagined some of it. This story is also full of love and learning and respect--for self, for others, for history, and for the stories that survive. -Candice

The secret history of home economics : how trailblazing women harnessed the power of home and changed the way we live book cover

The secret history of home economics : how trailblazing women harnessed the power of home and changed the way we live

Danielle Dreilinger

640.922 /Dreilinger
History, Technology

"The surprising, often fiercely feminist, always fascinating, yet barely known, history of home economics. The term "home economics" may conjure traumatic memories of lopsided hand-sewn pillows or sunken cakes. But obscured by common conception is the story of the revolutionary science of better living. The field exploded opportunities for women in the twentieth century by reducing domestic work and providing jobs as professors, engineers, chemists, and businesspeople that were otherwise foreclosed. In The Secret History of Home Economics, Danielle Dreilinger traces the field's history from small farms to the White House, from Victorian suffragists to Palo Alto techies. Home economics followed the currents of American culture even as it shaped them; Dreilinger brings forward the racism within the movement along with the strides taken by Black women who were influential leaders and innovators. She also looks at the personal lives of home economics' women, as they chose being single, shared lives with women, or tried for egalitarian marriages. This groundbreaking and engaging history restores a maligned subject to its rightful importance"--

Amanda's picture

I had no idea the field of home economics was so progressive and wide-reaching! I kept having to stop to share a fun piece of trivia I just learned. You'll recognize a lot of the influence today from the women of decades past. -Amanda

Twilight man : love and ruin in the shadows of Hollywood and the Clark empire book cover

Twilight man : love and ruin in the shadows of Hollywood and the Clark empire

Liz Brown

306.766092 /Post
History, Biographies

"The unbelievable true story of Harrison Post--the enigmatic lover of one of the richest men in 1920s Hollywood--and the battle for a family fortune. In the booming 1920s, William Andrews Clark Jr. was one of the richest, most respected men in Los Angeles. The son of the mining tycoon known as "The Copper King of Montana," Clark launched the Los Angeles Philharmonic and helped create the Hollywood Bowl. He was also a man with secrets, including a lover named Harrison Post. A former salesclerk, Post enjoyed a lavish existence among Hollywood elites, but the men's money--and their homosexuality--made them targets, for the district attorney, their employees and, in Post's case, his own family. When Clark died suddenly, Harrison Post inherited a substantial fortune--and a wealth of trouble. From Prohibition-era Hollywood to Nazi prison camps to Mexico City nightclubs, Twilight Man tells the story of an illicit love and the battle over a family estate that would destroy one man's life. Harrison Post was forgotten for decades, but after a chance encounter with his portrait, Liz Brown, Clark's great-grandniece, set out to learn his story. Twilight Man is more than just a biography. It is an exploration of how families shape their own legacies, and the lengths they will go in order to do so"--

Amanda's picture

I was mesmerized by this story, and loved hearing all the scandals and gossip from Old Hollywood. It's a sad and engaging story that will keep you on the edge of your seat. -Amanda

Capone : the man and the era book cover

Capone : the man and the era

Laurence Bergreen

BIOGRAPHY Capone, Al
Biographies, History

Bergreen shows the seedy and glamorous sides of the age, the rise of Prohibition, the illicit liquor trade, the battlefield that was Chicago. Delving beyond the Capone mythology. Bergreen finds a paradox: a coldblooded killer, thief, pimp, and racketeer who was also a devoted son and father; a self-styled Robin Hood who rose to the top of organized crime. Capone is a masterful portrait of an extraordinary time and of the one man who reigned supreme over it all, Al Capone.

Hanna's picture

This is a well-structured, narrative account of Al Capone's career. It's not my usual kind of book, but I picked it up while in the hospital and it got me through some bad days. The small moments about a daughter's first date are just as engrossing as the descriptions of well-known and historical shootouts between the mob and the cops in downtown Chicago. This book was a surprisingly good read. -Hanna