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History

Say nothing : a true story of murder and memory in Northern Ireland book cover

Say nothing : a true story of murder and memory in Northern Ireland

Patrick Radden Keefe

941.60824 /Keefe
True Crime, History

"From award-winning New Yorker staff writer Patrick Radden Keefe, a stunning, intricate narrative about a notorious killing in Northern Ireland and its devastating repercussions. In December 1972, Jean McConville, a thirty-eight-year-old mother of ten, was dragged from her Belfast home by masked intruders, her children clinging to her legs. They never saw her again. Her abduction was one of the most notorious episodes of the vicious conflict known as the Troubles. Everyone in the neighborhood knew the IRA was responsible. But in a climate of fear and paranoia, no one would speak of it. In 2003, five years after an accord brought an uneasy peace to Northern Ireland, a set of human bones was discovered on a beach. McConville's children knew it was their mother when they were told a blue safety pin was attached to the garments--with so many kids, she had always kept it handy for diapers or ripped clothes. Patrick Radden Keefe's mesmerizing book on the bitter conflict in Northern Ireland and its aftermath uses the McConville case as a starting point for the tale of a society wracked by a violent guerrilla war, a war whose consequences have never been reckoned with. The brutal violence seared not only people like the McConville children but also IRA members embittered by a peace that fell far short of the goal of a united Ireland and left them wondering whether the killings they committed were not justified acts of war but simple murders. From radical and impetuous IRA terrorists such as Dolours Price, who, when she was barely out of her teens, was already planting bombs in London and targeting informers for execution, to the ferocious IRA mastermind known as The Dark, to the spy games and dirty schemes of the British Army, to Gerry Adams, who negotiated the peace but betrayed his hardcore comrades by denying his IRA past--[this book] conjures a world of passion, betrayal, vengeance, and anguish."--Dust jacket.

Mari's picture

This is a true crime story about a mother of ten's disappearance during the "Troubles" in Northern Ireland, almost three decades in of turmoil between Catholics and Protestants while the IRA recruited young people to plant bombs and carry out murders. While this mystery operates as a frame work, I would say it's more of a modern telling of the history of violence, albeit a chilling nonfiction narrative. There were almost too many characters to keep track of, but I found the story of Dolours Price and her sister Marian to be fascinating. Both were arrested for the car bombing of the Old Bailey in London in the 70's and spent years in prison on hunger strike until they were allowed to finish their prison sentence in Northern Ireland. This story makes you question if there is a difference between political violence and crime. -Mari

1776 book cover

1776

David G McCullough

973.3 /McCullough
Nonfiction, History

In this masterful book, David McCullough tells the intensely human story of those who marched with General George Washington in the year of the Declaration of Independence—when the whole American cause was riding on their success, without which all hope for independence would have been dashed and the noble ideals of the Declaration would have amounted to little more than words on paper. Based on extensive research in both American and British archives, 1776 is a powerful drama written with extraordinary narrative vitality. It is the story of Americans in the ranks, men of every shape, size, and color, farmers, schoolteachers, shoemakers, no-accounts, and mere boys turned soldiers. And it is the story of the King’s men, the British commander, William Howe, and his highly disciplined redcoats who looked on their rebel foes with contempt and fought with a valor too little known. Written as a companion work to his celebrated biography of John Adams, David McCullough’s 1776 is another landmark in the literature of American history.

Beth's picture

Added by Beth

Ballpark : baseball in the American city book cover

Ballpark : baseball in the American city

Paul Goldberger

796.35709 /Goldberger
Nonfiction, History, Sports

"An exhilarating, splendidly illustrated, entirely new look at the history of baseball: told through the stories of the vibrant and ever-changing ballparks where the game was and is staged, by the Pulitzer Prize-winning architectural critic. From the earliest corrals of the mid-1800s (Union Grounds in Brooklyn was a 'saloon in the open air'), to the much mourned parks of the early 1900s (Detroit's Tiger Stadium, Cincinnati's Palace of the Fans), to the stadiums we fill today, Paul Goldberger makes clear the inextricable bond between the American city and America's favorite pastime. In the changing locations and architecture of our ballparks, Goldberger reveals the manifestations of a changing society: the earliest ballparks evoked the Victorian age in their accommodations--bleachers for the riffraff, grandstands for the middle-class; the 'concrete donuts' of the 1950s and 60s made plain television's grip on the public's attention; and more recent ballparks, like Baltimore's Camden Yards, signal a new way forward for stadium design and for baseball's role in urban development. Throughout, Goldberger shows us the way in which baseball's history is concurrent with our cultural history: the rise of urban parks and public transportation; the development of new building materials and engineering and design skills. And how the site details and the requirements of the game--the diamond, the outfields, the walls, the grandstands--shaped our most beloved ballparks. A fascinating, exuberant ode to the Edens at the heart of our cities--where dreams are as limitless as the outfields"--

Anne M's picture

This is more of an architectural history book than a sports book. Goldberger focuses on the relationship between the major league ballpark and the city it serves, discussing the different trends of stadium architectural history. This is more than just for baseball fans. If you are interested in urban development and renewal, I highly recommend it. -Anne M

The undefeated book cover

The undefeated

Kwame Alexander

jE Alexander
Kids, History

"The Newbery Award-winning author of The Crossover pens an ode to black American triumph and tribulation, with art from a two-time Caldecott Honoree"--

Casey's picture

Added by Casey

The trial of Lizzie Borden : a true story book cover

The trial of Lizzie Borden : a true story

Cara Robertson

364.1523 /Robertson
History, True Crime

"The remarkable new account of an essential piece of American mythology--the trial of Lizzie Borden--based on twenty years of research and recently unearthed evidence. The Trial of Lizzie Borden tells the true story of one of the most sensational murder trials in American history. When Andrew and Abby Borden were brutally hacked to death in Fall River, Massachusetts, in August 1892, the arrest of the couple's younger daughter Lizzie turned the case into international news and her trial into a spectacle unparalleled in American history. Reporters flocked to the scene. Well-known columnists took up conspicuous seats in the courtroom. The defendant was relentlessly scrutinized for signs of guilt or innocence. Everyone--rich and poor, suffragists and social conservatives, legal scholars and laypeople--had an opinion about Lizzie Borden's guilt or innocence. Was she a cold-blooded murderess or an unjustly persecuted lady? Did she or didn't she? The popular fascination with the Borden murders and its central enigmatic character has endured for more than one hundred years. Immortalized in rhyme, told and retold in every conceivable genre, the murders have secured a place in the American pantheon of mythic horror, but one typically wrenched from its historical moment. In contrast, Cara Robertson explores the stories Lizzie Borden's culture wanted and expected to hear and how those stories influenced the debate inside and outside of the courtroom. Based on transcripts of the Borden legal proceedings, contemporary newspaper accounts, unpublished local accounts, and recently unearthed letters from Lizzie herself, The Trial of Lizzie Borden offers a window onto America in the Gilded Age, showcasing its most deeply held convictions and its most troubling social anxieties"--

Anne M's picture

Lizzie Borden was always condemned in my mind for the murder of her father and stepmother because there was a playground rhyme about it. And I've always wondered if there is a rhyme that seems so true, why was Lizzie Borden acquitted? Cara Robertson dives right into this very question by looking at what happened during her trial. What were the arguments from the prosecution and how did the defense answer to those charges? It is actually pretty fascinating and I came away with more questions than answers. **Please be advised that there are pictures of the crime scene. And it was done by an axe.** -Anne M

War of two : Alexander Hamilton, Aaron Burr, and the duel that stunned the nation book cover

War of two : Alexander Hamilton, Aaron Burr, and the duel that stunned the nation

John Sedgwick

973.4 /Sedgwick
Nonfiction, History

Examines the rivalry between Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr, whose infamous duel left the Founding Father dead and turned a sitting vice-president into a fugitive.

Anne M's picture

In exploring his family's history, author John Sedgwick was shown the last letter Alexander Hamilton ever wrote--to Theodore Sedgwick--his great, great, great (plus more) grandfather, former Speaker of the House and Massachusetts senator. It was written on the eve of the famous duel. The author wanted to explore his ancestor's relationships with both Burr and with Hamilton and why Hamilton would write Sedgwick at that particular time. What the book ended up being is an exploration of two people--Burr and Hamilton--their ambitions, the way those ambitions manifested themselves, and how the feud between the two started. It is a good, accessible read. If you want to know more about these two figures without picking up the Chernow tome, this is your book. -Anne M

Seduction : sex, lies, and stardom in Howard Hughes's Hollywood book cover

Seduction : sex, lies, and stardom in Howard Hughes's Hollywood

Karina Longworth

791.43 /Longworth
Nonfiction, Biographies, History

An exploration of "Hollywood's glamorous golden age via the cinematic life of Howard Hughes and the women who encountered him--sometimes at the expense of their minds and souls"--Dust jacket flap.

Anne M's picture

If you are a fan of Karina Longworth's "You Must Remember This" podcast, this is the book for you. Longworth sorta, kinda started this book through her podcast--some of her earlier episodes make up the chapters describing Hughes' time in the 1930's. But this is a much deeper dive. So much so, that I think I now know too much about Howard Hughes' love life. -Anne M

Rome : a history in seven sackings book cover

Rome : a history in seven sackings

Matthew Kneale

945.632 /Kneale
History, Nonfiction

"[This book] tells the story of the Eternal City--from the early Roman Republic through the Renaissance and the Reformation to Mussolini and the German occupation in World War Two--through pivotal moments that defined its history"--Amazon.com.

Candice's picture

Some may feel that there is an overabundance of books on the history of Rome--what more could there be to say?? I think it's a given; in a city where the physical layers of over two millennia still exist, not to mention the cultural heritage and legacy, it's tempting to try and interpret that history in various ways. It's endlessly fascinating. In this case, Kneale looks at seven pivotal attacks on the city, and how they transformed it. So, not necessarily the story of the always-conquering, expanding, empire-creating Rome, but instead. those who tried (and succeeded, at times) to subdue it. -Candice

Destiny of the Republic : a tale of madness, medicine and the murder of a president book cover

Destiny of the Republic : a tale of madness, medicine and the murder of a president

Candice Millard

973.84 /Millard
Nonfiction, History

A narrative account of the twentieth president's political career offers insight into his background as a scholar and Civil War hero, his battles against the corrupt establishment, and Alexander Graham Bell's failed attempt to save him from an assassin's bullet.

Jason's picture

Highly readable history covering the political life, assassination attempt, and subsequent slow death of President James A. Garfield. Multiple story lines follow the mental health of the assassin, the various medical blunders that hasten Garfield's decline, and Alexander Graham Bell's attempt to create a device to detect the bullet buried in Garfield's body. -Jason

Lifting as they climbed : mapping a history of black women on Chicago's south side : a self-guided tour book cover

Lifting as they climbed : mapping a history of black women on Chicago's south side : a self-guided tour

Mariame Kaba

977.311 /Kaba
History

This publication features a number of Black women who contributed to the development of Chicago from the mid-19th century to today. It tells a story of Black women activists and artists who lived and worked on Chicago's South Side by taking readers on a tour of relevant landmarks and locations. The vast majority of women featured on this tour were active members of multiple organizations who pursued a broad range of issues. Others were artists (writers, painters, musicians, dancers) who both documented the conditions of Black people and shaped the culture of Chicago & the entire country. Chicago's Black women activists organized to make the city work better for themselves, their loved ones and communities. There are 33 main locations, mostly centered on the South Side of Chicago, featured in this guidebook. We've also included 10 additional sites of interest. --

Jason's picture

A self-guided walking tour of historical sites focused around the contributions made by Black women to the city of Chicago. Some great local history research went into this book! -Jason