History

Murder by the book : the crime that shocked Dickens's London book cover

Murder by the book : the crime that shocked Dickens's London

Claire Harman

eBOOK
True Crime, History

"From the prize-winning biographer--the fascinating, little-known story of a Victorian-era murder that rocked literary London, leading Charles Dickens, William Thackeray, and Queen Victoria herself to wonder: can a novel kill? In May 1840, Lord William Russell, well known in London's highest social circles, was found with his throat cut. The brutal murder had the whole city talking. The police suspected Russell's valet, Courvoisier, but the evidence was weak. And the missing clue lay in the unlikeliest place: what Courvoisier had been reading. In the years just before the murder, new printing methods had made books cheap and abundant, the novel form was on the rise, and suddenly everyone was reading. The best-selling titles were the most sensational true-crime stories. Even Dickens and Thackeray, both at the beginning of their careers, fell under the spell of these tales--Dickens publicly admiring them, Thackeray rejecting them. One such phenomenon was William Harrison Ainsworth's Jack Sheppard, the story of an unrepentant criminal who escaped the gallows time and again. When Courvoisier finally confessed his guilt, he would cite this novel in his defense. Murder By the Book combines the thrilling true-crime story with a illuminating account of the rise of the novel form and the battle for its early soul between the most famous writers of the time. It is a superbly researched, vividly written, fascinating read from first to last"--

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Indecent advances : a hidden history of true crime and prejudice before Stonewall book cover

Indecent advances : a hidden history of true crime and prejudice before Stonewall

James Polchin

eBOOK
True Crime, History

A skillful hybrid of true crime and social history that examines the relationship between the media and popular culture in the portrayal of crimes against gay men in the decades before Stonewall. Stories of murder have never been just about killers and victims. Instead, crime stories take the shape of their times and reflect cultural notions and prejudices. In Indecent Advances, James Polchin recovers and recounts queer stories from the crime pages--often lurid and euphemistic--that reveal the hidden history of violence against gay men. What was left unsaid in the crime pages provides insight into the figure of the queer man as both criminal and victim, offering readers tales of vice and violence that aligned gender and sexual deviance with tragic, gruesome endings. Victims were often reported as having made "indecent advances," forcing the accused's hands in self-defense and reducing murder charges to manslaughter. Published in time for the fiftieth anniversary of the Stonewall uprising on June 28, 1969, Indecent Advances investigates how queer men navigated a society that criminalized them and displayed little compassion for the violence they endured. Polchin shows, with masterful insight, how this discrimination was ultimately transformed by activists to help shape the burgeoning gay rights movement in the years leading up to Stonewall.

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The ghosts of Eden Park : the bootleg king, the women who pursued him, and the murder that shocked jazz- age America book cover

The ghosts of Eden Park : the bootleg king, the women who pursued him, and the murder that shocked jazz- age America

Karen Abbott

eBOOK
True Crime, Music, History

The epic true crime story of bootlegger George Remus and the murder that shocked the nation, from the New York Times bestselling author of Sin in the Second City and Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy In the early days of Prohibition, long before Al Capone became a household name, a German immigrant named George Remus quits practicing law and starts trafficking whiskey. Within two years he's a multi-millionaire. The press calls him "King of the Bootleggers," writing breathless stories about the Gatsby-esque events he and his glamorous second wife, Imogene, host at their Cincinnati mansion, with party favors ranging from diamond jewelry for the men to brand-new Pontiacs for the women. By the summer of 1921, Remus owns 35 percent of all the liquor in the United States. Pioneering prosecutor Mabel Walker Willebrandt is determined to bring him down. Willebrandt's bosses at the U.S. Attorney's office hired her right out of law school, assuming she'd pose no real threat to the cozy relationship they maintain with Remus. Eager to prove them wrong, she dispatches her best investigator, Franklin Dodge, to look into his empire. It's a decision with deadly consequences: with Remus behind bars, Franklin and Imogene begin an affair and plot to ruin him, sparking a bitter feud that soon reaches the highest levels of government--and that can only end in murder. Combining deep historical research with novelistic flair, THE GHOSTS OF EDEN PARK is the unforgettable, stranger-than-fiction story of a rags-to-riches entrepreneur and a long-forgotten heroine, of the excesses and absurdities of the Jazz Age, and of the infinite human capacity to deceive.

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The woman's hour : the great fight to win the vote book cover

The woman's hour : the great fight to win the vote

Elaine F. Weiss

324.623 /Weiss
History, Political

"The nail-biting climax of one of the greatest political battles in American history. Nashville, August 1920. The Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution, granting all women the vote, is on the verge of ratification--or defeat. Out of the thirty-six states needed, thirty-five have approved it, and one last state is still in play--Tennessee. After a seven-decade crusade to win the ballot, this is the moment of truth for the suffragists, and Nashville becomes a frenzied battleground as the enormous forces allied for and against women's suffrage make their last stand. Elaine Weiss artfully recasts the saga of women's quest for the vote by focusing on the campaign's last six weeks, when it all came down to one ambivalent state. The dauntless--but divided--suffragists confront the 'Antis'--women who oppose their own enfranchisement, fearing suffrage will bring about the moral collapse of the nation. With the 1920 elections looming, the Suffs are also opposed by wary politicians, corporate lobbyists, and blatant racists who don't want black women voting. In the steaming corridors of Nashville's state house and hotels, they stage a vicious face-off replete with dirty tricks, betrayals and bribes, bourbon, bigotry, and the Bible, and at the last moment, a crucial vote of conscience. [This book] has all the color and drama of a great political novel, but Weiss also shows how the core themes of American history--race, class, money, gender, states' rights, power, and democracy--all came into play in Nashville. Rich with vivid characters--and appearances by Susan B. Anthony, Woodrow Wilson, Warren Harding, Frederick Douglass, and Eleanor Roosevelt--The Woman's Hour shows what it took for activists to win their own freedom and how close they came to losing. Unfolding in the lingering shadow of the Civil War, and in the aftermath of the war to 'make the world safe for democracy,' the drama in Nashville also marks the dawning of the great twentieth-century battles for civil rights."

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The splendid and the vile : a saga of Churchill, family, and defiance during the blitz book cover

The splendid and the vile : a saga of Churchill, family, and defiance during the blitz

Erik Larson

940.5421 /Larson
Nonfiction, History, Biographies

"The #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Devil in the White City and Dead Wake delivers a fresh and compelling portrait of Winston Churchill and London during the Blitz On Winston Churchill's first day as prime minister, Hitler invaded Holland and Belgium. Poland and Czechoslovakia had already fallen, and the Dunkirk evacuation was just two weeks away. For the next twelve months, Hitler would wage a relentless bombing campaign, killing 45,000 Britons. It was up to Churchill to hold the country together and persuade President Franklin Roosevelt that Britain was a worthy ally-and willing to fight to the end. In The Splendid and the Vile, Erik Larson shows, in cinematic detail, how Churchill taught the British people "the art of being fearless." It is a story of political brinkmanship, but it's also an intimate domestic drama set against the backdrop of Churchill's prime-ministerial country home, Chequers; his wartime retreat, Ditchley, where he and his entourage go when the moon is brightest and the bombing threat is highest; and of course 10 Downing Street in London. Drawing on diaries, original archival documents, and once-secret intelligence reports-some released only recently-Larson provides a new lens on London's darkest year through the day-to-day experience of Churchill and his family: his wife, Clementine; their youngest daughter, Mary, who chafes against her parents' wartime protectiveness; their son, Randolph, and his beautiful, unhappy wife, Pamela; Pamela's illicit lover, a dashing American emissary; and the cadre of close advisers who comprised Churchill's "Secret Circle," including his lovestruck private secretary, John Colville; newspaper baron Lord Beaverbrook; and the Rasputin-like Frederick Lindemann. The Splendid and the Vile takes readers out of today's political dysfunction and back to a time of true leadership, when-in the face of unrelenting horror-Churchill's eloquence, courage, and perseverance bound a country, and a family, together."--

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I never thought I would laugh out loud reading a Churchill biography, but leave it to Erik Larson to make that happen. A consummate researcher, he has the inscrutable knack for bringing people and past events to life, and with Churchill being, in some ways, a very unique and peculiar person, laugh I did. Not to make light of the topic of interest, which is the very specific time during World War II where Churchill has just been elected PM, France is just getting ready to capitulate to the Germans, and Germany is just about to bomb England. It's intense and overwhelming and imminent. Larson's book is the Churchill/WWII book for those who might have said they'd never read such a book, who might think it's not interesting or too remote. -Candice

Tough mothers : amazing stories of history's mightiest matriarchs book cover

Tough mothers : amazing stories of history's mightiest matriarchs

Jason Porath

920.72 /Porath
Nonfiction, Biographies, History

Offers examples of 50 real-life matriarchs who gave everything to protect their children and causes, from Sojourner Truth's legal campaign against slavery to Irena Sender's advocacy on behalf of young Holocaust victims.

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Fire!! : the Zora Neale Hurston story book cover

Fire!! : the Zora Neale Hurston story

Peter Bagge

BIOGRAPHY Hurston, Zora Neale
Nonfiction, Graphic Novels, Biographies, History

"Peter Bagge has defied the expectations of the comics industry by changing gears from his famous slacker hero Buddy Bradley to documenting the life and times of historical 20th century trailblazers. If Bagge had not already had a New York Times bestseller with his biography of Margaret Sanger, his newest biography, Fire!!: The Zora Neale Hurston Story, would seem to be an unfathomable pairing of author and subject. Yet through Bagge's skilled cartooning, he turns what could be a rote biography into a bold and dazzling graphic novel, creating a story as brilliant as the life itself. Hurston challenged the norms of what was expected of an African American woman in early 20th century society. The fifth of eight kids from a Baptist family in Alabama, Hurston's writing prowess blossomed at Howard University, and then Barnard College, where she was the sole black student. She arrived in NYC at the height of the Harlem Renaissance and quickly found herself surrounded by peers such as Langston Hughes and Wallace Thurman. Hurston went on to become a noted folklorist and critically acclaimed novelist, including her most provocative work Their Eyes Were Watching God. Despite these landmark achievements, personal tragedies and shifting political winds in the midcentury rendered her almost forgotten by the end of her life. With admiration and respect, Bagge reconstructs her vivid life in resounding full-color."--

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The genius of women : from overlooked to changing the world book cover

The genius of women : from overlooked to changing the world

Janice Kaplan

305.420922 /Kaplan
Nonfiction, Biographies, History

"We tell girls that they can be anything, so why do 90 percent of Americans believe that geniuses are almost always men? New York Times bestselling journalist Janice Kaplan explores the powerful forces that have rigged the system--and celebrates the women geniuses past and present who have triumphed anyway. Even in this time of rethinking women's roles, we define genius almost exclusively through male achievement. When asked to name a genius, people mention Albert Einstein, Leonardo da Vinci, and Steve Jobs. As for great women? In one survey, the only female genius anyone listed was Marie Curie. Janice Kaplan, the New York Times bestselling author of The Gratitude Diaries, set out to determine why the extraordinary work of so many women has been brushed aside. Using her unique mix of memoir, narrative, and inspiration, she makes surprising discoveries about women geniuses now and throughout history, in fields from music to robotics. Through interviews with neuroscientists, psychologists, and dozens of women geniuses at work in the world today--including Nobel Prize winner Frances Arnold and AI expert Fei-Fei Li--she proves that genius isn't just about talent. It's about having that talent recognized, nurtured, and celebrated. Across the generations, even when they face less-than-perfect circumstances, women geniuses have created brilliant and original work. In The Genius of Women, you'll learn how they ignored obstacles and broke down seemingly unshakable barriers. The geniuses in this moving, powerful, and very entertaining book provide more than inspiration--they offer a clear blueprint to everyone who wants to find her own path and move forward with passion." --

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She the people : a graphic history of uprisings, breakdowns, setbacks, revolts, and enduring hope on the unfinished road to women's equality book cover

She the people : a graphic history of uprisings, breakdowns, setbacks, revolts, and enduring hope on the unfinished road to women's equality

Jen Deaderick

305.4209 /Deaderick
Nonfiction, History

"A sweeping, smart, and smart-ass graphic history of women's ongoing quest for equality. In March 2017, Nevada surprised the rest of America by suddenly ratifying the Equal Rights Amendment--thirty-five years after the deadline had passed. Hey, better late than never, right? Then, lo and behold, a few months later, Illinois followed suit. Hurrah for the Land of Lincoln! That left the ERA just one state short of the congressional minimum for ratification. One state--and a legacy of shame--are what stand between American women and full equality. She the People takes on the campaign for change by offering a cheekily illustrated, sometimes sarcastic, and all-too-true account of women's evolving rights and citizenship. Divided into twelve historical periods between 1776 and today, journalist, historian, and activist Jen Deaderick takes readers on a walk down the ERA's rocky road to become part of our Constitution by highlighting changes in the legal status of women alongside the significant cultural and social influences of the time, so women's history is revealed as an integral part of U.S. history, and not a tangential sideline"--

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Rad women worldwide : artists and athletes, pirates and punks, and other revolutionaries who shaped history book cover

Rad women worldwide : artists and athletes, pirates and punks, and other revolutionaries who shaped history

Kate Schatz

305.420922 /Schatz
Nonfiction, Biographies, History

"From the authors of the New York Times bestselling book Rad American Women A-Z, comes a bold new collection of 40 biographical profiles, each accompanied by a striking illustrated portrait, showcasing extraordinary women from around the world. In Rad Women Worldwide, writer Kate Schatz and artist Miriam Klein Stahl tell fresh, engaging, and inspiring tales of perseverance and radical success by pairing well researched and riveting biographies with powerful and expressive cut-paper portraits. Featuring an array of diverse figures from Hatshepsut (the great female king who ruled Egypt peacefully for two decades) and Malala Yousafzi (the youngest person to win the Nobel Peace Prize) to Poly Styrene (legendary teenage punk and lead singer of X-Ray Spex) and Liv Arnesen and Ann Bancroft (polar explorers and the first women to cross Antarctica), this progressive and visually arresting book is a compelling addition to women's history"--

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