The orphans of Davenport : eugenics, the Great Depression, and the war over children's intelligence book cover

The orphans of Davenport : eugenics, the Great Depression, and the war over children's intelligence

Marilyn Brookwood

305.231 /Brookwood
Nonfiction, History, Science

"The fascinating-and eerily timely-tale of the forgotten Depression-era psychologists who overthrew long-accepted racist and classist views of childhood development. "Doomed from birth" was how psychologist Harold Skeels described two toddler girls at the Orphans' Home in Davenport, Iowa, in 1934. Following prevailing eugenic beliefs, Skeels and his colleague Marie Skodak assumed that the girls had inherited their parents' low intelligence and sent them to an institution for the "feebleminded" to be cared for by "moron" women. To their astonishment, under the women's care, the children's IQ scores became normal. This revolutionary finding, replicated in eleven more "retarded" children, infuriated leading psychologists, all eugenicists unwilling to accept that nature and nurture work together to decide our fates. Recasting Skeels and his team as intrepid heroes, Marilyn Brookwood weaves years of prodigious archival research to show how after decades of backlash, the Iowans finally prevailed. In a dangerous time of revived white supremacy, The Orphans of Davenport is an essential account, confirmed today by neuroscience, of the power of the Iowans' scientific vision"--

Anne M's picture

It is fascinating. It is emotionally wrenching. It is an important story of how our community contributed to how we understand the human condition. -Anne M

All stirred up : suffrage cookbooks, food, and the battle for women's right to vote book cover

All stirred up : suffrage cookbooks, food, and the battle for women's right to vote

Laura (Food writer) Kumin

324.623 /Kumin
History, Cookbooks

Ever courageous and creative, suffragists carried their radical message into America's homes wrapped in food wisdom. Cookbooks, which ingenuously packaged political strategy into already existent social communities, gave suffragists a chance to reach out to women on their own terms, in nonthreatening and accessible ways. Cooking together, feeding people, and using social situations to put people at ease were pioneering grassroots tactics that leveraged the domestic knowledge these women already had. Kumin shows us how these women brilliantly wove charm and wit into their message. Her book is filled with actual historic recipes that evoke the spirited flavor of feminism and food movements. -- adapted from jacket

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How the word is passed : a reckoning with the history of slavery across America book cover

How the word is passed : a reckoning with the history of slavery across America

Clint Smith

973.00496 /Smith
History, Black Lives Matter

"'How the Word is Passed' is Clint Smith's revealing, contemporary portrait of America as a slave owning nation. Beginning in his own hometown of New Orleans, Smith leads the reader through an unforgettable tour of monuments and landmarks - those that are honest about the past and those that are not - that offer an intergenerational story of how slavery has been central in shaping our nations collective history, and ourselves."--

Victoria's picture

A thoroughly researched exploration of the impact of slavery and how it's history has been recorded through various monuments and landmarks. You may never see the Statue of Liberty or Wall Street the same way again! -Victoria

Let's celebrate Emancipation Day & Juneteenth book cover

Let's celebrate Emancipation Day & Juneteenth

Barbara DeRubertis

j394.263 DeRubertis

Abolitionists like Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglass, and Sojourner Truth fought for freedom from slavery for all African Americans. They fought with speeches, writings, and even daring rescue missions! Every year on both Emancipation Day and Juneteenth we honor and continue their fight for freedom and equality.

Anne W's picture

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The story behind Juneteenth book cover

The story behind Juneteenth

Jack Reader

j394.263 Reader

"Juneteenth, which is celebrated each year on June 19, commemorates the end of slavery in the United States. Interestingly, this holiday began in 1865--more than two years after President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation. News spread much slower back then, and when slaves in Texas finally learned of their freedom, the holiday was born. In this book, readers are given an in-depth look at the history of Juneteenth, including the events leading up to its creation. Readers will love learning about how this important moment in U.S. history is celebrated each year"--

Anne W's picture

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The Barbizon : the hotel that set women free book cover

The Barbizon : the hotel that set women free

Paulina Bren

305.409 /Bren
Nonfiction, History

World War I had liberated women from home and hearth, setting them on the path to political enfranchisement and gainful employment. Arriving in New York to work in the dazzling new skyscrapers, they did not want to stay in uncomfortable boarding houses; they wanted what men already had: exclusive residential hotels that catered to their needs, with daily maid service, cultural programs, workout rooms, and private dining. The Barbizon would become the most famous residential hotel of them all. Bren shows how young women arrived at the Barbizon with a suitcase, and hope, and found a chance to remake themselves however they pleased. -- adapted from jacket

Amanda's picture

What a fun book. I’ve always been fascinated by the Barbizon, and it was wonderful to read a book on its history that also is a marvelous history lesson in mid-century New York for women. The author details so many interesting women who lived in the Barbizon, most particularly the guest editors of Mademoiselle magazine over the years (like Sylvia Plath and Joan Didion). I could barely keep up with the wealth of information and all the intriguing characters and stories over the many decades of the Barbizon, and kept pausing to look more into many of them. This is as much of a page-turner as a non-fiction book can be! -Amanda

One day : the extraordinary story of an ordinary 24 hours in America book cover

One day : the extraordinary story of an ordinary 24 hours in America

Gene Weingarten

973 /Weingarten
Nonfiction, History

"The Extraordinary Story of an Ordinary 24 Hours in America"--

Anne M's picture

Washington Post humor columnist Gene Weingarten picked a single day from the last 40 years to see if there was anything worth noting about an ordinary day in America. At first, he thought he was doomed. The day chosen at random was December 28, 1986, a Sunday that landed right in the middle of two major holidays. This time of year is always a slow news time. But Weingarten found some truly extraordinary stories from around the country, including Cedar Rapids. This book is both funny and heartbreaking, containing stories of individual triumphs as well as tragedies. It may be a snapshot of America in the late 1980's, but many of the themes hold for today. -Anne M

Fallout : the Hiroshima cover-up and the reporter who revealed it to the world book cover

Fallout : the Hiroshima cover-up and the reporter who revealed it to the world

Lesley M. M. Blume

940.5425 /Blume
Nonfiction, History

"New York Times bestselling author Lesley M.M. Blume reveals how a courageous reporter uncovered one of greatest and deadliest cover-ups of the 20th century-the true effects of the atom bomb-potentially saving millions of lives"--

Anne M's picture

"Fallout" chronicles the writing of John Hersey's "Hiroshima," originally published in the August 31st, 1946 issue of "The New Yorker." The article chronicled the experiences of six survivors of the United States' dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima. What is now seen as a standard text, assigned reading in many high schools, may never have been written. Hersey faced an uphill climb to report the story. There was the United States government and its limitations on where journalists could go and what they could report, as well as their denial of long-term health effects, such as radiation sickness. Also, how do you report this story to an American public that is ready to move on after a decade of war information? Every day they saw images of bomb-out cities and read statistics of the dead and the wounded in the newspapers. They spent years seeing the Japanese as an enemy. How could Hersey make this story resonate? Blume provides a fascinating account of how Hersey struck a chord. If you are a reader of "The New Yorker," this book provides great insight on the inner workings of the magazine during the 1940's. -Anne M

Railway Jack : the true story of an amazing baboon book cover

Railway Jack : the true story of an amazing baboon

KT Johnston

j599.865 Johnston

"Jim was a South African railway inspector in the late 1800s who lost his legs in an accident while at work. Unable to perform all his tasks with his disability but desperate to keep his job, Jim discovered a brilliant solution, a baboon named Jack. Jim trained Jack to help him both at home and at the depot. But when the railway authorities and the public discovered a monkey on the job, Jack and Jim had to work together to convince everyone that they made a great team. This inspiring true story celebrates the history of service animals and a devoted friendship"--

Anne W's picture

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Disability rights movement book cover

Disability rights movement

Amy Hayes

j323.37 Hayes

Traces the history of people with disabilities from the discrimination they endured during much of history through the earliest efforts at change to the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and the current situation.

Anne W's picture

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