History

CHEESE AND THE WORMS

CHEESE AND THE WORMS

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The now-classic tale of a sixteenth-century miller facing the Roman Inquisition.

The Cheese and the Worms is an incisive study of popular culture in the sixteenth century as seen through the eyes of one man, the miller known as Menocchio, who was accused of heresy during the Inquisition and sentenced to death. Carlo Ginzburg uses the trial records to illustrate the religious and social conflicts of the society Menocchio lived in.

For a common miller, Menocchio was surprisingly literate. In his trial testimony he made references to more than a dozen books, including the Bible, Boccaccio's Decameron, Mandeville's Travels, and a mysterious book that may have been the Koran. And what he read he recast in terms familiar to him, as in his own version of the creation: All was chaos, that is earth, air, water, and fire were mixed together; and of that bulk a mass formed--just as cheese is made out of milk--and worms appeared in it, and these were the angels.

Ginzburg's influential book has been widely regarded as an early example of the analytic, case-oriented approach known as microhistory. In a thoughtful new preface, Ginzburg offers his own corollary to Menocchio's story as he considers the discrepancy between the intentions of the writer and what gets written. The Italian miller's story and Ginzburg's work continue to resonate with modern readers because they focus on how oral and written culture are inextricably linked. Menocchio's 500-year-old challenge to authority remains evocative and vital today.

DEVIL-LAND: ENGLAND UNDER SIEG

DEVIL-LAND: ENGLAND UNDER SIEG

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A BOOK OF THE YEAR 2021, AS CHOSEN BY THE TIMES, NEW STATESMAN, TELEGRAPH AND TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT

'A big historical advance. Ours, it turns out, is a very un-insular "Island Story". And its 17th-century chapter will never look quite the same again' John Adamson, Sunday Times

A ground-breaking portrait of the most turbulent century in English history

Among foreign observers, seventeenth-century England was known as 'Devil-Land' a diabolical country of fallen angels, torn apart by seditious rebellion, religious extremism and royal collapse. Clare Jackson's dazzling, original account of English history's most turbulent and radical era tells the story of a nation in a state of near continual crisis.

As an unmarried heretic with no heir, Elizabeth I was regarded with horror by Catholic Europe, while her Stuart successors, James I and Charles I, were seen as impecunious and incompetent, unable to manage their three kingdoms of England, Scotland and Ireland. The traumatic civil wars, regicide and a republican Commonwealth were followed by the floundering, foreign-leaning rule of Charles II and his brother, James II, before William of Orange invaded England with a Dutch army and a new order was imposed.

Devil-Land reveals England as, in many ways, a 'failed state' endemically unstable and rocked by devastating events from the Gunpowder Plot to the Great Fire of London. Catastrophe nevertheless bred creativity, and Jackson makes brilliant use of eyewitness accounts - many penned by stupefied foreigners - to dramatize her great story. Starting on the eve of the Spanish Armada's descent in 1588 and concluding with a not-so 'Glorious Revolution' a hundred years later, Devil-Land is a spectacular reinterpretation of England's vexed and enthralling past.

DOCTORING THE BLACK DEATH: MED

DOCTORING THE BLACK DEATH: MED

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The Black Death of the late Middle Ages is often described as the greatest natural disaster in the history of humankind. More than fifty million people, half of Europe's population, died during the first outbreak alone from 1347 to 1353. Plague then returned fifteen more times through to the end of the medieval period in 1500, posing the greatest challenge to physicians ever recorded in the history of the medical profession. This engrossing book provides the only comprehensive history of the medical response to the Black Death over time. Leading historian John Aberth has translated many unknown plague treatises from nine different languages that vividly illustrate the human dimensions of the horrific scourge. He includes doctors' remarkable personal anecdotes, showing how their battles to combat the disease (which often afflicted them personally) and the scale and scope of the plague led many to question ancient authorities. Dispelling many myths and misconceptions about medicine during the Middle Ages, Aberth shows that plague doctors formulated a unique and far-reaching response as they began to treat plague as a poison, a conception that had far-reaching implications, both in terms of medical treatment and social and cultural responses to the disease in society as a whole.
Duel Without End

Duel Without End

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From the bubonic plague to theoretical pathogens on other worlds, a sweeping look at the past, present, and future of mass infections--and how we battle them.

In this panoramic and up-to-date account, we learn how the Black Death, smallpox, the 1918 influenza pandemic, and other great epidemics have not only led to enormous suffering and mass death but have also contributed to the fall of empires and changed the course of history. We also discover how new infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS and COVID-19 emerge--and how we wage war against them.

Humanity has struck back at the microbes: antibiotics and new vaccines have saved millions of lives. But the battle with these relentless, silent enemies is far from won. We face increasing threats from new and unavoidable pandemics, antibiotic resistance, and even potential extraterrestrial microbes. Duel Without End is a fascinating journey through the long history of infection, from the dawn of life to humanity's future exploration of deep space.

Fast Girls: A Novel of the 1936 Women's Olympic Team

Fast Girls: A Novel of the 1936 Women's Olympic Team

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ONE OF THE MOST ANTICIPATED BOOKS OF THE SUMMER BY POPSUGAR, FROLIC, PARADE, TRAVEL & LEISURE, SHE KNOWS, and SHE READS!

NAMED A REAL SIMPLE BEST BOOK OF 2020 (SO FAR).

"Fast Girls is a compelling, thrilling look at what it takes to be a female Olympian in pre-war America...Brava to Elise Hooper for bringing these inspiring heroines to the wide audience they so richly deserve."--Tara Conklin, New York Times bestselling author of The Last Romantics and The House Girl

Acclaimed author Elise Hooper explores the gripping, real life history of female athletes, members of the first integrated women's Olympic team, and their journeys to the 1936 summer games in Berlin, Nazi Germany. Perfect for readers who love untold stories of amazing women, such as The Only Woman in the Room, Hidden Figures, and The Lost Girls of Paris.

In the 1928 Olympics, Chicago's Betty Robinson competes as a member of the first-ever women's delegation in track and field. Destined for further glory, she returns home feted as America's Golden Girl until a nearly-fatal airplane crash threatens to end everything.

Outside of Boston, Louise Stokes, one of the few black girls in her town, sees competing as an opportunity to overcome the limitations placed on her. Eager to prove that she has what it takes to be a champion, she risks everything to join the Olympic team.

From Missouri, Helen Stephens, awkward, tomboyish, and poor, is considered an outcast by her schoolmates, but she dreams of escaping the hardships of her farm life through athletic success. Her aspirations appear impossible until a chance encounter changes her life.

These three athletes will join with others to defy society's expectations of what women can achieve. As tensions bring the United States and Europe closer and closer to the brink of war, Betty, Louise, and Helen must fight for the chance to compete as the fastest women in the world amidst the pomp and pageantry of the Nazi-sponsored 1936 Olympics in Berlin.

FOR THE SOUL OF FRANCE: CULTUR

FOR THE SOUL OF FRANCE: CULTUR

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In the aftermath of the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-71, a defeated and humiliated France split into cultural factions that ranged from those who embraced modernity to those who championed the restoration of throne and altar. This polarization--to which such iconic monuments as the Sacre-Coeur and the Eiffel Tower bear witness--intensified with a succession of grave events over the following decades: the crash of an investment bank founded to advance Catholic interests; the failure of the Panama Canal Company; the fraudulent charge of treason brought against a Jewish officer, Alfred Dreyfus, which resulted in a civil war between his zealous supporters and fanatical antagonists.

In this brilliant reconsideration of what fostered the rise of fascism and anti-Semitism in twentieth-century Europe, Frederick Brown chronicles the intense struggle for the soul of a nation, and shows how France's deep fractures led to its surrender to Hitler's armies in 1940.

FOUR HUNDRED SOULS: A COMMUNIT

FOUR HUNDRED SOULS: A COMMUNIT

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The story begins in 1619—a year before the Mayflower—when the White Lion disgorges “some 20-and-odd Negroes” onto the shores of Virginia, inaugurating the African presence in what would become the United States. It takes us to the present, when African Americans, descendants of those on the White Lion and a thousand other routes to this country, continue a journey defined by inhuman oppression, visionary struggles, stunning achievements, and millions of ordinary lives passing through extraordinary history. 

Four Hundred Souls is a unique one-volume “community” history of African Americans. The editors, Ibram X. Kendi and Keisha N. Blain, have assembled ninety brilliant writers, each of whom takes on a five-year period of that four-hundred-year span. The writers explore their periods through a variety of techniques: historical essays, short stories, personal vignettes, and fiery polemics. They approach history from various perspectives: through the eyes of towering historical icons or the untold stories of ordinary people; through places, laws, and objects. While themes of resistance and struggle, of hope and reinvention, course through the book, this collection of diverse pieces from ninety different minds, reflecting ninety different perspectives, fundamentally deconstructs the idea that Africans in America are a monolith—instead it unlocks the startling range of experiences and ideas that have always existed within the community of Blackness. 

This is a history that illuminates our past and gives us new ways of thinking about our future, written by the most vital and essential voices of our present.

From #Blacklivesmatter to Black Liberation

From #Blacklivesmatter to Black Liberation

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Winner of the 2016 Lannan Cultural Freedom Prize for an Especially Notable Book

"Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor's searching examination of the social, political and economic dimensions of the prevailing racial order offers important context for understanding the necessity of the emerging movement for black liberation."
--Michelle Alexander

The eruption of mass protests in the wake of the police murders of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri and Eric Garner in New York City have challenged the impunity with which officers of the law carry out violence against Black people and punctured the illusion of a postracial America. The Black Lives Matter movement has awakened a new generation of activists.

In this stirring and insightful analysis, activist and scholar Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor surveys the historical and contemporary ravages of racism and persistence of structural inequality such as mass incarceration and Black unemployment. In this context, she argues that this new struggle against police violence holds the potential to reignite a broader push for Black liberation.
GREED IN THE GILDED AGE: THE B

GREED IN THE GILDED AGE: THE B

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Greed in the Gilded Age is a Gatsby-esque tale of mystery, money, sex, and scandal. 'Millionaire' had just entered the American lexicon and Cassie Chadwick was front page news, becoming a media sensation before mass media, even eclipsing President Roosevelt's inauguration. Using these newspaper articles, Hazelgrove tells the story of one of the greatest cons in American history. Combining the sexuality and helplessness her gender implied, Chadwick conned at least 2 million dollars, equivalent to about 60 million today, simply by claiming to be the illegitimate daughter and heir of steel titan, Andrew Carnegie. Playing to their greed, she was able to convince highly educated financiers to loan hundreds of thousands of dollars, on nothing more than a rumor and her word. She was a product of her time and painting her as a criminal is only one way to look at it. Those times rewarded someone who was smart, inventive, bold, and aggressive. She was able to break through boundaries of class, education, and gender, to beat the men of the one percent at their own game.
GROUND BREAKING: AN AMERICAN C

GROUND BREAKING: AN AMERICAN C

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One of The New York Times's 11 Books we Recommend This Week One of Oprah Daily's 20 of the Best Books to Pick Up This May One of The Oklahoman's 15 books to help you learn about the Tulsa Race Massacre as the 100-year anniversary approaches A The Week book of the week

As seen in documentaries on History Channel and CNN/Lebron James' Spring Hill Productions

And then they were gone.



More than one-thousand homes and businesses. Restaurants and movie theaters, churches and doctors' offices, a hospital, a public library, a post office. Looted, burned, and bombed from the air.

Over the course of less than twenty-four hours in the spring of 1921, Tulsa's infamous "Black Wall Street" was wiped off the map--and erased from the history books. Official records were disappeared, researchers were threatened, and the worst single incident of racial violence in American history was kept hidden for more than fifty years. But there were some secrets that would not die.

A riveting and essential new book, The Ground Breaking not only tells the long-suppressed story of the notorious Tulsa Race Massacre. It also unearths the lost history of how the massacre was covered up, and of the courageous individuals who fought to keep the story alive. Most importantly, it recounts the ongoing archaeological saga and the search for the unmarked graves of the victims of the massacre, and of the fight to win restitution for the survivors and their families.

Both a forgotten chronicle from the nation's past, and a story ripped from today's headlines, The Ground Breaking is a page-turning reflection on how we, as Americans, must wrestle with the parts of our history that have been buried for far too long.

More than one-thousand homes and businesses.  Restaurants and movie theaters, churches and doctors’ offices, a hospital, a public library, a post office.  Looted, burned, and bombed from the air. 
 
Over the course of less than twenty-four hours in the spring of 1921, Tulsa’s infamous “Black Wall Street” was wiped off the map—and erased from the history books.  Official records were disappeared, researchers were threatened, and the worst single incident of racial violence in American history was kept hidden for more than fifty years.  But there were some secrets that would not die.
 
A riveting and essential new book, The Ground Breaking not only tells the long-suppressed story of the notorious Tulsa Race Massacre.  It also unearths the lost history of how the massacre was covered up, and of the courageous individuals who fought to keep the story alive.  Most importantly, it recounts the ongoing archaeological saga and the search for the unmarked graves of the victims of the massacre, and of the fight to win restitution for the survivors and their families.
 
Both a forgotten chronicle from the nation’s past, and a story ripped from today’s headlines, The Ground Breaking is a page-turning reflection on how we, as Americans, must wrestle with the parts of our history that have been buried for far too long.