This illustrated collection of essays examines early Native American contact with European explorers, fishermen, and traders in "Norumbega,"the sixteenth century name of the Atlantic coast of New England near the Penobscot River in Maine. hardcover,1994,388 pages
With this volume, Alan Taylor challenges the traditional story of colonial history by examining the many cultures that helped make America. Transcending the usual Anglocentric version of our colonial past, he recovers the importance of Native American tribes, African slaves, and the rival empires of France, Spain, the Netherlands, and even Russia in the colonization of North America. Moving beyond the Atlantic seaboard to examine the entire continent, American Colonies reveals a pivotal period in the global interaction of peoples, cultures, plants, animals, and microbes. In a vivid narrative, Taylor draws upon cutting-edge scholarship to create a timely picture of the colonial world characterized by an interplay of freedom and slavery, opportunity and loss. Paperback 544 pages
Shetterly introduces 50 esteemed Americans through their portraits and quotes. Some-Helen Keller, Muhammad Ali, Eleanor Roosevelt, etc.-will be familiar to most readers, but historian Howard Zinn and peace activists Samantha Smith and Kathy Kelly will likely be new to them. Some quotes make more sense than others. Henry David Thoreau said, "The law will never make men free; it is men who have got to make the law free." How true. Molly Ivins says, "The best way to get the sons of bitches is to make people laugh at them." Uh, maybe sometimes. A few, taken out of context, hold little meaning. Dorothea Lange opined, "This is what we did. How did it happen? How could we?" At least one quote will have readers grabbing for the dictionary. Emma Goldman stated, "The greatest bulwark of capitalism is militarism." Fortunately, brief biographies are appended, helping to clarify many of the quotes. There is neither rhyme nor reason to the order of the individuals, as it is neither chronological nor alphabetical. Shetterly's fine illustrations, mostly somber, are fully realized. They go hand in hand with the quotes to acknowledge what the person was (or is) all about. This lovely portrayal will probably find its best use in enhancing civics classes. Because of its picture-book appearance, students might not gravitate to it on their own. Grades 7 thru 10. Paperback 48 pages
Temporarily out of stock
"During the 'axe age' in America (arbitrarily 1850-1960) axes were a commodity of great importance. Today, only about five manufacturers remain in the U.S. and none in Canada. While the axe is not uniquely North American, its specific use in this land, along with the men who manufactured them, gave them a character all of their own." --from the Preface.
This well-illustrated book compiles the history of axes and their manufacturers in North America. Paperback, 160 pages.
Benedict Arnold, whose very name has become a synonym for "traitor," is reconsidered in this biography. "My research," writes the author, "did not confirm what so many others have said Arnold was or what the folktales made him out to be...this is an account of a Revolutionary warrior and hero in which the answer to the question -- why treason? -- also resides." (New York University Press, 535 pages, softcover)
With his keen sense of the unexplored side of mythic events in U.S. history,author Nathaniel Philbrick ("Mayflower" and "In the Heart of the Sea") turns his talents to pre-Revolutionary Boston and the spark that ignited the American Revolution. In the aftermath of the Boston Tea Party and the violence at Lexington and Concord, Boston in 1775 is cut off from supplies by a British blockade. As the conflict escalates, skirmishes give way to outright war in the Battle of Bunker Hill. Philbrick brings a fresh perspective to every aspect of the story and its dynamic personalities. Paperback. 396 pgs. ISBN 978-0-143125327
Colin G. Calloway collects, for the first time, documents describing the full range of encounters of Indians and Europeans in northern New England during the Colonial era. His comprehensive and highly readable introduction to the subject of Indian and European interaction in northern New England covers early encounters, missionary efforts, diplomacy, war, commerce, and cultural interchange and features a wide range of primary sources, including narratives, letters, account books, treaties, and council proceedings. Together with period illustrations, the documents testify to the richness and variety of the inter-ethnic relations in northern New England. They also show that while conflict certainly occurred, the encounters were also marked by cooperation and accommodation. Paperback 311 pages
Every day stories from American history that are not true are repeated in museums and classrooms across the country. Some are outright fabrications; others contain a kernel of truth that has been embellished over the years. Collaborating with The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, Mary Miley Theobald has uncovered the truth behind many widely repeated myth-understandings in our history in Death by Petticoat including: * Hat makers really were driven mad. They were poisoned by the mercury used in making hats from furs. Their symptoms included hallucinations, tremors, and twitching, which looked like insanity to people of the 17th and 18th centuries--and the phrase "mad as a hatter" came about. * The idea that portrait painters gave discounts if their subjects posed with one hand inside the vest (so they didn't have to paint fingers and leading to the saying that something "costs an arm and a leg") is strictly myth. It isn't likely that Napoleon, King George III, or George Washington were concerned about getting a discount from their portrait painters. Pregnant women secluded themselves indoors, uneven stairs were made to trip up burglars, people bathed once a year, women had tiny waists, apprenticeships lasted seven years--Death by Petticoat reveals the truth about these hysterical historical myth-understandings. Paperback 144 pages
A nation’s standards of private cleanliness reveal much about its ideals of civilization, fears of disease, and expectations for public life, says Kathleen Brown in this unusual cultural history. Starting with the shake-up of European practices that coincided with Atlantic expansion, she traces attitudes toward “dirt” through the mid-nineteenth century, demonstrating that cleanliness—and the lack of it—had moral, religious, and often sexual implications. Brown contends that care of the body is not simply a private matter but an expression of cultural ideals that reflect the fundamental values of a society. The book explores early America’s evolving perceptions of cleanliness, along the way analyzing the connections between changing public expectations for appearance and manners, and the backstage work of grooming, laundering, and housecleaning performed by women. Brown provides an intimate view of cleanliness practices and how such forces as urbanization, immigration, market conditions, and concerns about social mobility influenced them. Broad in historical scope and imaginative in its insights, this book expands the topic of cleanliness to encompass much larger issues, including religion, health, gender, class, and race relations. Paperback 464 pages
Little has been known of one of the most important figures in early American history, Dr. Joseph Warren, an architect of the colonial rebellion, and a man who might have led the country as Washington or Jefferson did had he not been martyred at Bunker Hill in 1775. Warren was involved in almost every major insurrectionary act in the Boston area for a decade, from the Stamp Act protests to the Boston Massacre to the Boston Tea Party, and his incendiary writings included the famous Suffolk Resolves, which helped unite the colonies against Britain and inspired the Declaration of Independence. Yet after his death, his life and legend faded, leaving his contemporaries to rise to fame in his place and obscuring his essential role in bringing America to independence. Christian Di Spigna’s definitive new biography of Warren is a loving work of historical excavation, the product of two decades of research and scores of newly unearthed primary-source documents that have given us this forgotten Founding Father anew. Following Warren from his farming childhood and years at Harvard through his professional success and political radicalization to his role in sparking the rebellion, Di Spigna’s thoughtful, judicious retelling not only restores Warren to his rightful place in the pantheon of Revolutionary greats, it deepens our understanding of the nation’s dramatic beginnings. 8 pages of illustrations and color plates included. Hardcover. 322 pgs.
Colin Dickey is on the trail of America's ghosts. Crammed into old houses and hotels, abandoned prisons and empty hospitals, the spirits that linger continue to capture our collective imagination, but why? His own fascination piqued by a house hunt in Los Angeles that revealed derelict foreclosures and "zombie homes," Dickey embarks on a journey across the continental United States to decode and unpack the American history repressed in our most famous haunted places. Some have established reputations as "the most haunted mansion in America," or "the most haunted prison"; others, like the haunted Indian burial grounds in West Virginia, evoke memories from the past our collective nation tries to forget. With boundless curiosity, Dickey conjures the dead by focusing on questions of the living—how do we, the living, deal with stories about ghosts, and how do we inhabit and move through spaces that have been deemed, for whatever reason, haunted? Paying attention not only to the true facts behind a ghost story, but also to the ways in which changes to those facts are made—and why those changes are made—Dickey paints a version of American history left out of the textbooks, one of things left undone, crimes left unsolved. Spellbinding, scary, and wickedly insightful, Ghostland discovers the past we're most afraid to speak of aloud in the bright light of day is the same past that tends to linger in the ghost stories we whisper in the dark. Paperback. 320 pgs.
Here Is Where chronicles Andrew Carroll’s eye-opening – and at times hilarious -- journey across America to find and explore unmarked historic sites where extraordinary moments occurred and remarkable individuals once lived. Sparking the idea for this book was Carroll’s visit to the spot where Abraham Lincoln’s son was saved by the brother of Lincoln’s assassin. Carroll wondered, how many other unmarked places are there where intriguing events have unfolded and that we walk past every day, not realizing their significance? To answer that question, Carroll ultimately trekked to every region of the country -- by car, train, plane, helicopter, bus, bike, and kayak and on foot. Featured prominently in Here Is Where are an abundance of firsts (from the first use of modern anesthesia to the first cremation to the first murder conviction based on forensic evidence); outrages (from riots to massacres to forced sterilizations); and breakthroughs (from the invention, inside a prison, of a revolutionary weapon; to the recovery, deep in the Alaskan tundra, of a super-virus; to the building of the rocket that made possible space travel). Here Is Where is thoroughly entertaining, but it’s also a profound reminder that the places we pass by often harbor amazing secrets and that there are countless other astonishing stories still out there, waiting to be found. Paperback. 498 pgs.
For more than four hundred years the people of coastal Maine have clung to their rocky, wind-swept lands, resisting outsiders’ attempts to control them while harvesting the astonishing bounty of the Gulf of Maine. Today’s independent, self-sufficient lobstermen belong to the communities imbued with a European sense of ties between land and people, but threatened by the forces of homogenization spreading up the eastern seaboard. In the tradition of William Warner’s Beautiful Swimmers, veteran journalist Colin Woodard traces the history of the rugged fishing communities that dot the coast of Maine and the prized crustacean that has long provided their livelihood. Through forgotten wars and rebellions, and with a deep tradition of resistance to interference by people “from away,” Maine’s lobstermen have defended an earlier vision of America while defying the “tragedy of the commons”—the notion that people always overexploit their shared property. Instead, these icons of American individualism represent a rare example of true communal values and collaboration through grit, courage, and hard-won wisdom. Paperback 384 pages
With the same patriotic fever as Maine's response to a call for troops in the Civil War, more than 35,000 men and women across the state joined the armed forces in 1917-1918 to fight in aid of America's European allies against Germany. Mainers also provided vital support to the United States and the Allies through war-related industries, like shipbuilding, munitions, textiles, and agriculture, while purchasing more than $100 million in war bonds and donating bandages, books, and other comforts of home to the troops. The war may have been "over there", but its effects were found throughout the state of Maine. Black & white photographs throughout. Paperback. 127 pgs.
In "Making the World Safe", historian Julia Irwin offers an insightful account of the American Red Cross, from its founding in 1881 by Clara Barton to its rise as the government's official voluntary aid agency. Equally important, Irwin shows that the story of the Red Cross is simultaneously a story of how Americans first began to see foreign aid as a key element in their relations with the world.
As the American Century dawned, more and more Americans saw the need to engage in world affairs and to make the world a safer place--not by military action but through humanitarian aid. It was a time perfectly suited for the rise of the ARC. Irwin shows how the early and vigorous support of William H. Taft--who was honorary president of the ARC even as he served as President of the United States--gave the Red Cross invaluable connections with the federal government, eventually making it the official agency to administer aid both at home and abroad. Irwin describes how, during World War I, the ARC grew at an explosive rate and extended its relief work for European civilians into a humanitarian undertaking of massive proportions, an effort that was also a major propaganda coup. Irwin also shows how in the interwar years, the ARC's mission meshed well with presidential diplomatic styles, and how, with the coming of World War II, the ARC once again grew exponentially, becoming a powerful part of government efforts to bring aid to war-torn parts of the world. Paperback. 273 pgs.
Filled with quizzes, games and the most fascinating facts about the most powerful office on earth. "Presidential Trivia" is the perfect book for the novice history buff and covers the years between President Washington 1789 and President Bush 2008. Chapters include: running mates, first ladies, presidents under fire, presidential nicknames, presidential record setters, and more! Paperback. 148 pgs.
James White (1824-1863) of Gardiner, Maine, caught the California gold fever in 1850. Author Ken Martin, working from the colorful correspondence of both White and his wife, Rebecca (1831-1903), develops a tale of adventure that brings to life White's steamship travel via Panama and Nicaragua-including an early stint as first mate on the Pacific Mail Steamship Company's Gold Hunter, working in the lumber business with William Neely Thompson and "Honest Harry" Meiggs, operating with fabled financier William Ralston, and becoming president of the Comstock's hugely profitable Ophir Silver Mine. We are also witness to Rebecca's San Francisco travails, as she deals with childbirth, the raising of children, and the early loss of a husband. It is a fascinating narrative of Gold Rush times. Paperback 320 pages
On April 10, 1963, the submarine USS Thresher sank off the New England coast. The loss of the 129 officers, sailors, and civilian technicians was a tragedy for the Navy, our nation, and especially for the families of that gallant crew. With interviews and photographs from the families of the lost submariners, Kerr captures most vividly the lives and achievements of this remarkable group of men. Hardcover. 124 pgs.
SOUTHERN LADIES and SUFFRAGISTS-JULIA WARD HOW and WOMEN'S RIGHTS at the 1884 NEW ORLEANS WORLD'S FAIR
Women from all over the country came to New Orleans in 1884 for the Woman’s Department of the Cotton Centennial Exposition, that portion of the World’s Fair exhibition devoted to the celebration of women’s affairs and industry. Their conversations and interactions played out as a drama of personalities and sectionalism at a transitional moment in the history of the nation. These women planted seeds at the Exposition that would have otherwise taken decades to drift southward. This book chronicles the successes and setbacks of a lively cast of postbellum women in the first Woman’s Department at a world’s fair in the Deep South. From a wide range of primary documents, Miki Pfeffer recreates the sounds and sights of 1884 New Orleans after Civil War and Reconstruction. She focuses on how difficult unity was to achieve, even when diverse women professed a common goal. Such celebrities as Julia Ward Howe and Susan B. Anthony brought national debates on women’s issues to the South for the first time, and journalists and ordinary women reacted. At the World’s Industrial and Cotton Centennial Exposition, the Woman’s Department became a petri dish where cultures clashed but where women from across the country exchanged views on propriety, jobs, education, and suffrage. Pfeffer memorializes women’s exhibits of handwork, literary and scientific endeavors, inventions, and professions, but she proposes that the real impact of the six-month long event was a shift in women’s self-conceptions of their public and political lives. For those New Orleans ladies who were ready to seize the opportunity of this uncommon forum, the Woman’s Department offered a future that they had barely imagined. Paperback. 267 pgs.
Written by William Thomas Generous Jr., "Sweet Pea at War" is a definitive history of the USS Portland. He recounts her history from launch to scrapyard, proving that she deserves to be remembered as one of the most important ships in U.S. naval history. 290 pages paperback.
When America entered World War II in 1941, we faced an enemy that had banned and burned 100 million books. Outraged librarians launched a campaign to send free books to American troops and gathered 20 million hardcover donations. In 1943, the War Department and the publishing industry stepped in with an extraordinary program: 120 million small, lightweight paperbacks for troops to carry in their pockets and rucksacks in every theater of war. These Armed Services Editions were beloved by the troops and are still fondly remembered today. Soldiers read them while waiting to land at Normandy, in hellish trenches in the midst of battles in the Pacific, in field hospitals, and on long bombing flights. They helped rescue The Great Gatsby from obscurity and made Betty Smith, author of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, into a national icon. When Books Went to War is the inspiring story of the Armed Services Editions, and a treasure for history buffs and book lovers alike. Paperback. 267 pgs.
One of Franklin Delano Roosevelt's closest friends and the first female secretary of labor, Frances Perkins capitalized on the President's political savvy and popularity to enact most of the Depression-Era programs that are today considered essential parts of this country's social safety network. More than a biography of an extraordinary woman, it is a window into another time through which we are able to observe the birthing pains of reforms we now take for granted. Paperback. 458 pgs.