History

Renaissance Invention: Stradanus’s Nova Reperta

Renaissance Invention: Stradanus’s Nova Reperta

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This book is the first full-length study of the Nova Reperta (New Discoveries), a renowned series of prints designed by Johannes Stradanus during the late 1580s in Florence. Reproductions of the prints, essays, conversations from a scholarly symposium, and catalogue entries complement a Newberry Library exhibition that tells the story of the design, conception, and reception of Stradanus's engravings.

Renaissance Invention: Stradanus's "Nova Reperta" seeks to understand why certain inventions or novelties were represented in the series and how that presentation reflected and fostered their adoption in the sixteenth century. What can Stradanus's prints tell us about invention and cross-cultural encounter in the Renaissance? What was considered "new" in the era? Who created change and technological innovation?

Through images of group activities and interactions in workshops, Stradanus's prints emphasize the importance of collaboration in the creation of new things, dispelling traditional notions of individual genius. The series also dismisses the assumption that the revival of the wonders of the ancient world in Italy was the catalyst for transformation. In fact, the Latin captions on the prints explain how contemporary inventions surpass those of the ancients. Together, word and image foreground the global nature of invention and change in the early modern period even as they promote specifically Florentine interests and activities.

Riding Jane Crow: African American Women on the American Railroad FREE SHIPPING

Riding Jane Crow: African American Women on the American Railroad FREE SHIPPING

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Miriam Thaggert illuminates the stories of African American women as passengers and as workers on the nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century railroad. As Jim Crow laws became more prevalent and forced Black Americans to "ride Jim Crow" on the rails, the train compartment became a contested space of leisure and work. Riding Jane Crow examines four instances of Black female railroad travel: the travel narratives of Black female intellectuals such as Anna Julia Cooper and Mary Church Terrell; Black middle-class women who sued to ride in first class "ladies' cars"; Black women railroad food vendors; and Black maids on Pullman trains. Thaggert argues that the railroad represented a technological advancement that was entwined with African American attempts to secure social progress. Black women's experiences on or near the railroad illustrate how American technological progress has often meant their ejection or displacement; thus, it is the Black woman who most fully measures the success of American freedom and privilege, or "progress," through her travel experiences.
Rising from the Rails: Pullman Porters and the Making of the Black Middle Class

Rising from the Rails: Pullman Porters and the Making of the Black Middle Class

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When George Pullman began recruiting Southern blacks as porters in his luxurious new sleeping cars, the former slaves suffering under Jim Crow laws found his offer of a steady job and worldly experience irresistible. They quickly signed up to serve as maid, waiter, concierge, nanny, and occasionally doctor and undertaker to cars full of white passengers, making the Pullman Company the largest employer of African American men in the country by the 1920s.

In the world of the Pullman sleeping car, where whites and blacks lived in close proximity, porters developed a unique culture marked by idiosyncratic language, railroad lore, and shared experience. They called difficult passengers "Mister Charlie"; exchanged stories about Daddy Jim, the legendary first Pullman porter; and learned to distinguish generous tippers such as Humphrey Bogart from skinflints like Babe Ruth. At the same time, they played important social, political, and economic roles, carrying jazz and blues to outlying areas, forming America's first black trade union, and acting as forerunners of the modern black middle class by virtue of their social position and income.

Drawing on extensive interviews with dozens of porters and their descendants, Larry Tye reconstructs the complicated world of the Pullman porter and the vital cultural, political, and economic roles they played as forerunners of the modern black middle class.
Rising from the Rails provides a lively and enlightening look at this important social phenomenon.

Rough Spirits & High Society: The Culture of Drink

Rough Spirits & High Society: The Culture of Drink

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The tavern, the inn, the coffee house, the tea shop: these are places where, throughout history, we have met and socialized and where the issues of the day could be discussed over a drink. Postal services developed between networks of inns and enabled modern communication. The first insurance companies were created in the coffee houses. Gin palaces prompted moral outrage. The suffragette movement found its birthplace in tea shops which allowed women to meet across social classes. This generously illustrated book unveils the little-known ways that drinks, whether alcoholic or caffeinated, have found their place at the center of our social and political lives.
Slavery and the University: Histories and Legacies

Slavery and the University: Histories and Legacies

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Slavery and the University is the first edited collection of scholarly essays devoted solely to the histories and legacies of this subject on North American campuses and in their Atlantic contexts. Gathering together contributions from scholars, activists, and administrators, the volume combines two broad bodies of work: (1) historically based interdisciplinary research on the presence of slavery at higher education institutions in terms of the development of proslavery and antislavery thought and the use of slave labor; and (2) analysis on the ways in which the legacies of slavery in institutions of higher education continued in the post-Civil War era to the present day.

The collection features broadly themed essays on issues of religion, economy, and the regional slave trade of the Caribbean. It also includes case studies of slavery's influence on specific institutions, such as Princeton University, Harvard University, Oberlin College, Emory University, and the University of Alabama. Though the roots of Slavery and the University stem from a 2011 conference at Emory University, the collection extends outward to incorporate recent findings. As such, it offers a roadmap to one of the most exciting developments in the field of U.S. slavery studies and to ways of thinking about racial diversity in the history and current practices of higher education.

Smashing Statues: The Rise and Fall of America's Public Monuments

Smashing Statues: The Rise and Fall of America's Public Monuments

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An urgent and fractious national debate over public monuments has erupted in America. Some people risk imprisonment to tear down long-ignored hunks of marble; others form armed patrols to defend them. Why do we care so much about statues? Which ones should stay up and which should come down? Who should make these decisions, and how?

Erin L. Thompson, the country's leading expert in the tangled aesthetic, legal, political, and social issues involved in such battles, brings much-needed clarity in Smashing Statues. She lays bare the turbulent history of American monuments and its abundant ironies, from the enslaved man who helped make the statue of Freedom that tops the United States Capitol, to the fervent Klansman fired from sculpting the world's largest Confederate monument--who went on to carve Mount Rushmore. And she explores the surprising motivations behind contemporary flashpoints, including the toppling of a statue of Columbus at the Minnesota State Capitol, the question of who should be represented on the Women's Rights Pioneers Monument in Central Park, and the decision by a museum of African American culture to display a Confederate monument removed from a public park.

Written with great verve and informed by a keen sense of American history, Smashing Statues gives readers the context they need to consider the fundamental questions for rebuilding not only our public landscape but our nation as a whole: Whose voices must be heard, and whose pain must remain private?

Stay Woke: A People's Guide to Making All Black Lives Matter

Stay Woke: A People's Guide to Making All Black Lives Matter

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The essential guide to understanding how racism works and how racial inequality shapes black lives, ultimately offering a road-map for resistance for racial justice advocates and antiracists

When #BlackLivesMatter went viral in 2013, it shed a light on the urgent, daily struggles of black Americans to combat racial injustice. The message resonated with millions across the country. Yet many of our political, social, and economic institutions are still embedded with racist policies and practices that devalue black lives. Stay Woke directly addresses these stark injustices and builds on the lessons of racial inequality and intersectionality the Black Lives Matter movement has challenged its fellow citizens to learn.

In this essential primer, Tehama Lopez Bunyasi and Candis Watts Smith inspire readers to address the pressing issues of racial inequality, and provide a basic toolkit that will equip readers to become knowledgeable participants in public debate, activism, and politics.

This book offers a clear vision of a racially just society, and shows just how far we still need to go to achieve this reality. From activists to students to the average citizen, Stay Woke empowers all readers to work toward a better future for black Americans.

SUM OF US: WHAT RACISM COSTS E

SUM OF US: WHAT RACISM COSTS E

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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER - LONGLISTED FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK AWARD - One of today's most insightful and influential thinkers offers a powerful exploration of inequality and the lesson that generations of Americans have failed to learn: Racism has a cost for everyone--not just for people of color.

WINNER OF THE PORCHLIGHT BUSINESS BOOK AWARD - ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR: Time, The Washington Post, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Ms. magazine, BookRiot, Library Journal - LONGLISTED FOR THE ANDREW CARNEGIE MEDAL - "This is the book I've been waiting for."--Ibram X. Kendi, #1 New York Times bestselling author of How to Be an Antiracist

Heather McGhee's specialty is the American economy--and the mystery of why it so often fails the American public. From the financial crisis of 2008 to rising student debt to collapsing public infrastructure, she found a root problem: racism in our politics and policymaking. But not just in the most obvious indignities for people of color. Racism has costs for white people, too. It is the common denominator of our most vexing public problems, the core dysfunction of our democracy and constitutive of the spiritual and moral crises that grip us all. But how did this happen? And is there a way out?

McGhee embarks on a deeply personal journey across the country from Maine to Mississippi to California, tallying what we lose when we buy into the zero-sum paradigm--the idea that progress for some of us must come at the expense of others. Along the way, she meets white people who confide in her about losing their homes, their dreams, and their shot at better jobs to the toxic mix of American racism and greed. This is the story of how public goods in this country--from parks and pools to functioning schools--have become private luxuries; of how unions collapsed, wages stagnated, and inequality increased; and of how this country, unique among the world's advanced economies, has thwarted universal healthcare.

But in unlikely places of worship and work, McGhee finds proof of what she calls the Solidarity Dividend: the benefits we gain when people come together across race to accomplish what we simply can't do on our own. The Sum of Us is not only a brilliant analysis of how we arrived here but also a heartfelt message, delivered with startling empathy, from a black woman to a multiracial America. It leaves us with a new vision for a future in which we finally realize that life can be more than a zero-sum game.

SWEET LAND OF LIBERTY: A HISTO

SWEET LAND OF LIBERTY: A HISTO

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A delicious and delightful narrative history of pie in America, from the colonial era through the civil rights movement and beyond

From the pumpkin pie gracing the Thanksgiving table to the apple pie at the Fourth of July picnic, nearly every American shares a certain nostalgia for a simple circle of crust and filling. But America's history with pie has not always been so sweet. After all, it was a slice of cherry pie at the Woolworth's lunch counter on a cool February afternoon that helped to spark the Greensboro sit-ins and ignited a wave of anti-segregation protests across the South during the civil rights movement. Molasses pie, meanwhile, captures the legacies of racial trauma and oppression passed down from America's history of slavery, and Jell-O pie exemplifies the pressures and contradictions of gender roles in an evolving modern society. We all know the warm comfort of the so-called "All-American" apple pie . . . but just how did pie become the symbol of a nation?

In Sweet Land of Liberty: A History of America in 11 Pies, food writer Rossi Anastopoulo cracks open our relationship to pie with wit and good humor. For centuries, pie has been a malleable icon, co-opted for new social and political purposes. Here, Anastopoulo traces the pies woven into our history, following the evolution of our country across centuries of innovation and change. With corresponding recipes for each chapter and sidebars of quirky facts throughout, Sweet Land of Liberty is an entertaining, informative, and utterly charming food history for bakers, dessert lovers, and history aficionados alike. Ultimately, the story of pie is the story of America itself, and it's time to dig in.

The War on Alcohol: Prohibition and the Rise of the American State

The War on Alcohol: Prohibition and the Rise of the American State

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Prohibition has long been portrayed as a "noble experiment" that failed, a newsreel story of glamorous gangsters, flappers, and speakeasies. Now at last Lisa McGirr dismantles this cherished myth to reveal a much more significant history. Prohibition was the seedbed for a pivotal expansion of the federal government, the genesis of our contemporary penal state. Her deeply researched, eye-opening account uncovers patterns of enforcement still familiar today: the war on alcohol was waged disproportionately in African American, immigrant, and poor white communities. Alongside Jim Crow and other discriminatory laws, Prohibition brought coercion into everyday life and even into private homes. Its targets coalesced into an electoral base of urban, working-class voters that propelled FDR to the White House.

This outstanding history also reveals a new genome for the activist American state, one that shows the DNA of the right as well as the left. It was Herbert Hoover who built the extensive penal apparatus used by the federal government to combat the crime spawned by Prohibition. The subsequent federal wars on crime, on drugs, and on terror all display the inheritances of the war on alcohol. McGirr shows the powerful American state to be a bipartisan creation, a legacy not only of the New Deal and the Great Society but also of Prohibition and its progeny.

The War on Alcohol is history at its best--original, authoritative, and illuminating of our past and its continuing presence today.