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📒The Devil In The White City ✍ Erik Larson
✏The Devil In The White City Book Summary : The Chicago World's Fair of 1893 and its amazing 'White City' was one of the wonders of the world. This is the incredible story of its realization, and of the two men whose fates it linked: one was an architect, the other a serial killer. The architect was Daniel H. Burnham, the driving force behind the White City, the massive, visionary landscape of white buildings set in a wonderland of canals and gardens. The killer was H. H. Holmes, a handsome doctor with striking blue eyes. He used the attraction of the great fair - and his own devilish charms - to lure scores of young women to their deaths. While Burnham overcame politics, infighting, personality clashes and Chicago's infamous weather to transform the swamps of Jackson Park into the greatest show on Earth, Holmes built his own edifice just west of the fairground. He called it the World's Fair Hotel. In reality it was a torture palace, a gas chamber, a crematorium. These two disparate but driven men together with a remarkable supporting cast of colourful characters, including as Buffalo Bill, George Ferris, Thomas Edison and some of the 27 million others who converged on the dazzling spectacle of the White City, are brought to life in this mesmerizing, murderous tale of the legendary Fair that transformed America and set it on course for the twentieth century.
📒Texas Legacy Project ✍ David Todd
✏Texas Legacy Project Book Summary : A city dweller's vacant lot . . . A rancher's back forty . . . A hiker's favorite park . . . When the places that we love are threatened, we can be stirred to action. In Texas, people of all stripes and backgrounds have fought hard to safeguard the places they hold dear. To find and preserve these stories of courage and perseverance, the Conservation History Association of Texas launched the Texas Legacy Project in 1998, traveling thousands of miles to conduct hundreds of interviews with people from all over the state. These remarkable oral histories now reside in an incomparable online and physical archive of video, audio, text, and other materials that record these extraordinary efforts by veteran conservationists and ordinary citizens to preserve the natural legacy of Texas. This book holds stories from more than sixty people who represent a variety of causes, communities, and walks of life--from a West Texas grocer fighting nuclear waste to an Austin lobbyist pressing for green energy. Each speaks from the heart in personal reminiscences and first-hand accounts of battles fought for land and wildlife, for public health, and for a voice in media and politics. These impassioned accounts remind us of the importance of protecting and conserving the natural resources in our own backyards . . . wherever they may be. "The Texas Legacy Project" is a companion to the interactive website www.texaslegacy.org. Records of the archive are available at the Briscoe Center for American History at the University of Texas at Austin. "Five dollars of the cost of this book goes to environmentally friendly materials and processes."
📒This Land That I Love ✍ John Shaw
✏This Land that I Love Book Summary : February, 1940: After a decade of worldwide depression, World War II had begun in Europe and Asia. With Germany on the march, and Japan at war with China, the global crisis was in a crescendo. America's top songwriter, Irving Berlin, had captured the nation's mood a little more than a year before with his patriotic hymn, “God Bless America.” Woody Guthrie was having none of it. Near-starving and penniless, he was traveling from Texas to New York to make a new start. As he eked his way across the country by bus and by thumb, he couldn't avoid Berlin's song. Some people say that it was when he was freezing by the side of the road in a Pennsylvania snowstorm that he conceived of a rebuttal. It would encompass the dark realities of the Dust Bowl and Great Depression, and it would begin with the lines: “This land is your land, this land is my land….” In This Land That I Love, John Shaw writes the dual biography of these beloved American songs. Examining the lives of their authors, he finds that Guthrie and Berlin had more in common than either could have guessed. Though Guthrie's image was defined by train-hopping, Irving Berlin had also risen from homelessness, having worked his way up from the streets of New York. At the same time, This Land That I Love sheds new light on our patriotic musical heritage, from “Yankee Doodle” and “The Star-Spangled Banner” to Martin Luther King's recitation from “My Country 'Tis of Thee” on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in August 1963. Delving into the deeper history of war songs, minstrelsy, ragtime, country music, folk music, and African American spirituals, Shaw unearths a rich vein of half-forgotten musical traditions. With the aid of archival research, he uncovers new details about the songs, including a never-before-printed verse for “This Land Is Your Land.” The result is a fascinating narrative that refracts and re-envisions America's tumultuous history through the prism of two unforgettable anthems.
📒The Test ✍ Anya Kamenetz
✏The Test Book Summary : "[The anti-testing] movement now has a guidebook. . . . Kamenetz shows how fundamentally American it would be to move toward a more holistic system." -New York Times Book Review The Test is an essential and critically acclaimed book for any parent confounded by our national obsession with standardized testing. It recounts the shocking history and tempestuous politics of testing and borrows strategies from fields as diverse as games, neuroscience, and ancient philosophy to help children cope. It presents the stories of families, teachers, and schools maneuvering within and beyond the existing educational system, playing and winning the testing game. And it points the way toward a hopeful future of better tests and happier kids.
📒Powering Forward ✍ Bill Ritter, Jr.
✏Powering Forward Book Summary : A historic energy revolution is underway in the United States. Wind, sunlight, and other sustainable resources are now the fastest growing sources of energy in the U.S. and worldwide. American families are installing power plants on their roofs and entire communities are switching to 100 percent renewable energy. The urgent need to prevent climate change is causing people around the planet to question their reliance on carbon-intensive oil, coal, and natural gas. Author Bill Ritter, Jr., the 41st governor of Colorado and one of America's key thought leaders on this topic, discusses the forces behind the energy revolution, the new ways we must think about energy, and the future of fossil and renewable fuels. It is an essential read for any who want to understand one of history's biggest challenges to peace, prosperity, and security in the United States. Written in partnership with the Center for a New Energy Economy.
📒The Children S Blizzard ✍ David Laskin
✏The Children s Blizzard Book Summary : Thousands of impoverished Northern European immigrants were promised that the prairie offered "land, freedom, and hope." The disastrous blizzard of 1888 revealed that their free homestead was not a paradise but a hard, unforgiving place governed by natural forces they neither understood nor controlled, and America’s heartland would never be the same. This P.S. edition features an extra 16 pages of insights into the book, including author interviews, recommended reading, and more.
📒Destiny Of The Republic ✍ Candice Millard
✏Destiny of the Republic Book Summary : James A. Garfield was one of the most extraordinary men ever elected president. Born into abject poverty, he rose to become a wunderkind scholar, a Civil War hero, and a renowned and admired reformist congressman. Nominated for president against his will, he engaged in a fierce battle with the corrupt political establishment. But four months after his inauguration, a deranged office seeker tracked Garfield down and shot him in the back. But the shot didn’t kill Garfield. The drama of what happened subsequently is a powerful story of a nation in turmoil. The unhinged assassin’s half-delivered strike shattered the fragile national mood of a country so recently fractured by civil war, and left the wounded president as the object of a bitter behind-the-scenes struggle for power—over his administration, over the nation’s future, and, hauntingly, over his medical care. A team of physicians administered shockingly archaic treatments, to disastrous effect. As his condition worsened, Garfield received help: Alexander Graham Bell, the inventor of the telephone, worked around the clock to invent a new device capable of finding the bullet. Meticulously researched, epic in scope, and pulsating with an intimate human focus and high-velocity narrative drive, The Destiny of the Republic will stand alongside The Devil in the White City and The Professor and the Madman as a classic of narrative history.
📒In The Garden Of Beasts ✍ Erik Larson
✏In the Garden of Beasts Book Summary : Erik Larson, New York Times bestselling author of Devil in the White City, delivers a remarkable story set during Hitler’s rise to power. The time is 1933, the place, Berlin, when William E. Dodd becomes America’s first ambassador to Hitler’s Nazi Germany in a year that proved to be a turning point in history. A mild-mannered professor from Chicago, Dodd brings along his wife, son, and flamboyant daughter, Martha. At first Martha is entranced by the parties and pomp, and the handsome young men of the Third Reich with their infectious enthusiasm for restoring Germany to a position of world prominence. Enamored of the “New Germany,” she has one affair after another, including with the suprisingly honorable first chief of the Gestapo, Rudolf Diels. But as evidence of Jewish persecution mounts, confirmed by chilling first-person testimony, her father telegraphs his concerns to a largely indifferent State Department back home. Dodd watches with alarm as Jews are attacked, the press is censored, and drafts of frightening new laws begin to circulate. As that first year unfolds and the shadows deepen, the Dodds experience days full of excitement, intrigue, romance—and ultimately, horror, when a climactic spasm of violence and murder reveals Hitler’s true character and ruthless ambition. Suffused with the tense atmosphere of the period, and with unforgettable portraits of the bizarre Göring and the expectedly charming--yet wholly sinister--Goebbels, In the Garden of Beasts lends a stunning, eyewitness perspective on events as they unfold in real time, revealing an era of surprising nuance and complexity. The result is a dazzling, addictively readable work that speaks volumes about why the world did not recognize the grave threat posed by Hitler until Berlin, and Europe, were awash in blood and terror.
📒Olympic Affair ✍ Terry Frei
✏Olympic Affair Book Summary : Though not a member of the National Socialist Party, Leni Riefenstahl was the filmmaker darling of the Nazis and Adolf Hitler. First a successful dancer and actress in Germany, she became more notorious when she produced and directed Victory of Faith and Triumph of the Will, the chilling documentaries about Nazi Party Congresses at Nuremberg. Glenn Morris was an All-American farm boy from tiny Simla, Colorado, as well as a former college football star and student body president at the school now known as Colorado State University. At the 1936 Olympics, he won the decathlon, earning him the label “the world’s greatest athlete.” Among the American heroes at the Berlin Games, he was considered second only to Jesse Owens, who won four gold medals. Riefenstahl and Morris: An unlikely couple? Perhaps, but in her 1987 memoirs, the German filmmaker belatedly confirmed she had an affair with the American athlete during the filming of Olympia, Riefenstahl’s documentary about the Berlin Games. In fact, she portrayed it as much more than a dalliance, saying that she had dreamed of marrying Morris and that he broke her heart. Morris, who went on to Hollywood, the National Football League, and military service, spoke sparingly of the relationship, but mused late in life that he “should have stayed in Germany with Leni.” In Olympic Affair, author Terry Frei turns to historical fiction in a novel researched in much the same fashion as his widely praised works of nonfiction, including Horns, Hogs, and Nixon Coming and Third Down and a War to Go. Using deduction, imagination and narrative skill to augment documented fact (as well as debunk myths parroted for many years), Frei tells the story of their ill-fated affair . . . and beyond. Read the first chapter of Olympic Affair here.
📒Isaac S Storm ✍ Erik Larson
✏Isaac s Storm Book Summary : Provides an account of the hurricane which struck Galveston, Texas, in 1900 and killed ten thousand people.