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  • Colorization

    Colorization

    Author/Actors/Director/etc.:   Haygood, Wil

    “At once a film book, a history book, and a civil rights book … without a doubt, not only the very best film book … but it is also one of the best books of the year in any genre. An absolutely essential read.” —Shondaland

    This unprecedented history of Black cinema examines 100 years of Black movies—from Gone with the Wind to Blaxploitation films to Black Panther—using the struggles and triumphs of the artists, and the films themselves, as a prism to explore Black culture, civil rights, and racism in America. From the acclaimed author of The Butler and Showdown.

    Beginning in 1915 with D. W. Griffith's The Birth of a Nation—which glorified the Ku Klux Klan and became Hollywood's first blockbuster—Wil Haygood gives us an incisive, fascinating, little-known history, spanning more than a century, of Black artists in the film business, on-screen and behind the scenes.
     
    He makes clear the effects of changing social realities and events on the business of making movies and on what was represented on the screen: from Jim Crow and segregation to white flight and interracial relationships, from the assassination of Malcolm X, to the O. J. Simpson trial, to the Black Lives Matter movement. He... more

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  • Klondikers

    Klondikers

    Author/Actors/Director/etc.:   Falconer, Tim

    ... more

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  • Voices from the Pandemic

    Voices from the Pandemic

    Author/Actors/Director/etc.:   Saslow, Eli

    From the Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post reporter, a powerful and cathartic portrait of a country grappling with the Covid-19 pandemic—from feeling afraid and overwhelmed to extraordinary resilient—told through voices of people from all across America

    The Covid-19 pandemic was a world-shattering event, affecting everyone in the nation. From its first ominous stirrings, renowned journalist Eli Saslow began interviewing a cross-section of Americans, capturing their experiences in real time: An exhausted and anguished EMT risking his life in New York City; a grocery store owner feeding his neighborhood for free in locked-down New Orleans; an overwhelmed coroner in Georgia; a Maryland restaurateur forced to close his family business after forty-six years; an Arizona teacher wrestling with her fears and her obligations to her students; rural citizens adamant that the whole thing is a hoax, and retail workers attacked for asking people to wear masks; patients struggling to breathe and doctors desperately trying to save them.

    Through Saslow's masterful, empathetic interviewing, we are given a kaleidoscopic picture of a people dealing with the unimaginable. These deeply personal accounts make for cathartic reading, as we see Americans at... more

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  • The Matter of Black Lives

    The Matter of Black Lives

    Author/Actors/Director/etc.:   Cobb, Jelani; Remnick, David

    A collection of The New Yorker‘s groundbreaking writing on race in America—including work by James Baldwin, Toni Morrison, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Hilton Als, Zadie Smith, and more—with a foreword by Jelani Cobb

    This anthology from the pages of the New Yorker provides a bold and complex portrait of Black life in America, told through stories of private triumphs and national tragedies, political vision and artistic inspiration. It reaches back across a century, with Rebecca West’s classic account of a 1947 lynching trial and James Baldwin’s “Letter from a Region in My Mind” (which later formed the basis of The Fire Next Time), and yet it also explores our current moment, from the classroom to the prison cell and the upheavals of what Jelani Cobb calls “the American Spring.” Bringing together reporting, profiles, memoir, and criticism from writers such as Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Elizabeth Alexander, Hilton Als, Vinson Cunningham, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Malcolm Gladwell, Jamaica Kincaid, Kelefa Sanneh, Doreen St. Félix, and others, the collection offers startling insights about this country’s relationship with race. The Matter of Black Lives reveals the weight... more

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  • Travels with George

    Travels with George

    Author/Actors/Director/etc.:   Philbrick, Nathaniel

    NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

    Travels with George . . . is quintessential Philbrick—a lively, courageous, and masterful achievement.” The Boston Globe

     
    Does George Washington still matter? Bestselling author Nathaniel Philbrick argues for Washington’s unique contribution to the forging of America by retracing his journey as a new president through all thirteen former colonies, which were now an unsure nation. Travels with George marks a new first-person voice for Philbrick, weaving history and personal reflection into a single narrative.


    When George Washington became president in 1789, the United States of America was still a loose and quarrelsome confederation and a tentative political experiment. Washington undertook a tour of the ex-colonies to talk to ordinary citizens about his new government, and to imbue in them the idea of being one thing—Americans.

    In the fall of 2018, Nathaniel Philbrick embarked on his own journey into what Washington called “the infant woody country” to see for himself what America had become in the 229 years since. Writing in a thoughtful first person about his own adventures with his wife, Melissa, and their dog, Dora, Philbrick follows Washington’s... more

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  • Modest Hopes

    Modest Hopes

    Author/Actors/Director/etc.:   Loucks, Don; Valpy, Leslie

    Celebrating Toronto’s built heritage of row houses, semis, and cottages and the people who lived in them.

    Despite their value as urban property, Toronto’s workers’ cottages are often characterized as being small, cramped, poorly built, and in need of modernization or even demolition. But for the workers and their families who originally lived in them from the 1820s to the 1920s, these houses were far from modest. Many had been driven off their ancestral farms or had left the crowded conditions of tenements in their home cities abroad. Once in Toronto, many lived in unsanitary conditions in makeshift shantytowns or cramped shared houses in downtown neighbourhoods such as The Ward. To then move to a self-contained cottage or rowhouse was the result of an unimaginably strong hope for the future and a commitment to family life.

    Through the stories of eight families who lived in these “Modest Hopes,” authors Don Loucks and Leslie Valpy bring an important but forgotten part of the Toronto narrative to life. They illuminate the development of Toronto’s working-class neighbourhoods, such as Leslieville, Corktown, and others, and explain the designs and architectural antecedents of these undervalued heritage properties.

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  • Unfollow Me

    Unfollow Me

    Author/Actors/Director/etc.:   Busby, Jill Louise

    An intimate, impertinent, and incisive collection about race, progress, and hypocrisy from Jill Louise Busby, aka Jillisblack.

    Jill Louise Busby spent years in the nonprofit sector specializing in Diversity & Inclusion. She spoke at academic institutions, businesses, and detention centers on the topics of Race, Power, and Privilege and delivered over two-hundred workshops to nonprofit organizations all over the California Bay Area.

    In 2016, fed up with what passed as progressive in the Pacific Northwest, Busby uploaded a one-minute video about race, white institutions, and faux liberalism to Instagram. The video received millions of views across social platforms. As her pithy persona Jillisblack became an \"it-voice\" weighing in on all things race-based, Jill began to notice parallels between her performance of \"diversity\" in the white corporate world and her performance of \"wokeness\" for her followers. Both, she realized, were scripted.

    Unfollow Me is a memoir-in-essays about these scripts; it's about tokenism, micro-fame, and inhabiting spaces-real and virtual, black and white-where complicity is the price of entry. Busby's social commentary manages to be both wryly funny and achingly open-hearted as she recounts her... more

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  • The Gambler Wife

    The Gambler Wife

    Author/Actors/Director/etc.:   Kaufman, Andrew D.

    “Feminism, history, literature, politics—this tale has all of that, and a heroine worthy of her own turn in the spotlight.” —Therese Anne Fowler, bestselling author of Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald

    A revelatory new portrait of the courageous woman who saved Dostoyevsky’s life—and became a pioneer in Russian literary history


    In the fall of 1866, a twenty-year-old stenographer named Anna Snitkina applied for a position with a writer she idolized: Fyodor Dostoyevsky. A self-described “emancipated girl of the sixties,” Snitkina had come of age during Russia’s first feminist movement, and Dostoyevsky—a notorious radical turned acclaimed novelist—had impressed the young woman with his enlightened and visionary fiction. Yet in person she found the writer “terribly unhappy, broken, tormented,” weakened by epilepsy, and yoked to a ruinous gambling addiction. Alarmed by his condition, Anna became his trusted first reader and confidante, then his wife, and finally his business manager—launching one of literature’s most turbulent and fascinating marriages.

    The Gambler Wife offers a fresh and captivating portrait of Anna Dostoyevskaya, who reversed the novelist’s freefall and cleared the way for two of the most... more

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  • Not

    Not "A Nation of Immigrants"

    Author/Actors/Director/etc.:   Dunbar-Ortiz, Roxanne

    Debunks the pervasive and self-congratulatory myth that our country is proudly founded by and for immigrants, and urges readers to embrace a more complex and honest history of the United States

    Whether in political debates or discussions about immigration around the kitchen table, many Americans, regardless of party affiliation, will say proudly that we are a nation of immigrants. In this bold new book, historian Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz asserts this ideology is harmful and dishonest because it serves to mask and diminish the US’s history of settler colonialism, genocide, white supremacy, slavery, and structural inequality, all of which we still grapple with today.

    She explains that the idea that we are living in a land of opportunity—founded and built by immigrants—was a convenient response by the ruling class and its brain trust to the 1960s demands for decolonialization, justice, reparations, and social equality. Moreover, Dunbar-Ortiz charges that this feel good—but inaccurate—story promotes a benign narrative of progress, obscuring that the country was founded in violence as a settler state, and imperialist since its inception.

    While some of us are immigrants or descendants of immigrants, others are descendants of white settlers who arrived... more

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  • Reign of Terror

    Reign of Terror

    Author/Actors/Director/etc.:   Ackerman, Spencer

    \"An impressive combination of diligence and verve, deploying Ackerman’s deep stores of knowledge as a national security journalist to full effect. The result is a narrative of the last 20 years that is upsetting, discerning and brilliantly argued.\" —The New York Times
     
    \"One of the most illuminating books to come out of the Trump era.\" —New York Magazine

    An examination of the profound impact that the War on Terror had in pushing American politics and society in an authoritarian direction


    For an entire generation, at home and abroad, the United States has waged an endless conflict known as the War on Terror. In addition to multiple ground wars, it has pioneered drone strikes and industrial-scale digital surveillance, as well as detaining people indefinitely and torturing them. These conflicts have yielded neither peace nor victory, but they have transformed America. What began as the persecution of Muslims and immigrants has become a normalized, paranoid feature of American politics and security, expanding the possibilities for applying similar or worse measures against other targets at home. A politically divided country turned the War on Terror into a cultural and then tribal struggle, first on the ideological fringes and... more

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  • The Rise and Fall of Osama bin Laden

    The Rise and Fall of Osama bin Laden

    Author/Actors/Director/etc.:   Bergen, Peter L.

    The world’s leading expert on Osama bin Laden delivers for the first time the definitive biography of a man who set the course of American foreign policy for the 21st century, and whose ideological heirs we continue to battle today.

    In The Rise and Fall of Osama bin Laden, Peter Bergen provides the first reevaluation of the man responsible for precipitating America’s long wars with al-Qaeda and its descendants, capturing bin Laden in all the dimensions of his life: as a family man, as a zealot, as a battlefield commander, as a terrorist leader, and as a fugitive. The book sheds light on his many contradictions: he was the son of a billionaire, yet insisted his family live like paupers. He adored his wives and children, depending on two of his wives, both of whom had PhDs, to make important strategic decisions. Yet he also brought ruin to his family. He was fanatically religious, yet willing to kill thousands of civilians in the name of Islam. He inspired deep loyalty yet, in the end, his bodyguards turned against him. And while he inflicted the most lethal act of mass murder in United States history, he failed to achieve any of his strategic goals.

    The lasting image we have of bin Laden in his final years is of an aging man with a graying beard... more

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  • New Women in the Old West

    New Women in the Old West

    Author/Actors/Director/etc.:   Gallagher, Winifred

    A riveting history of the American West told for the first time through the pioneering women who used the challenges of migration and settlement as opportunities to advocate for their rights, and transformed the country in the process

    Between 1840 and 1910, hundreds of thousands of men and women traveled deep into the underdeveloped American West, lured by the prospect of adventure and opportunity, and galvanized by the spirit of Manifest Destiny. Alongside this rapid expansion of the United States, a second, overlapping social shift was taking place: survival in a settler society busy building itself from scratch required two equally hardworking partners, compelling women to compromise eastern sensibilities and take on some of the same responsibilities as their husbands. At a time when women had very few legal or economic--much less political--rights, these women soon proved they were just as essential as men to westward expansion. Their efforts to attain equality by acting as men's equals paid off, and well before the Nineteenth Amendment, they became the first American women to vote.

    During the mid-nineteenth century, the fight for women's suffrage was radical indeed. But as the traditional domestic model of womanhood shifted to one that included public... more

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  • The Director

    The Director

    Author/Actors/Director/etc.:   Letersky, Paul; Dillow, Gordon L.

    The first book ever written about FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover by a member of his personal staff—his former assistant, Paul Letersky—offers unprecedented, “clear-eyed and compelling” (Mark Olshaker, coauthor of Mindhunter) insight into an American legend.

    The 1960s and 1970s were arguably among America’s most turbulent post-Civil War decades. While the Vietnam War continued seemingly without end, protests and riots ravaged most cities, the Kennedys and MLK were assassinated, and corruption found its way to the highest levels of politics, culminating in Watergate.

    In 1965, at the beginning of the chaos, twenty-two-year-old Paul Letersky was assigned to assist the legendary FBI director J. Edgar Hoover who’d just turned seventy and had, by then, led the Bureau for an incredible forty-one years. Hoover was a rare and complex man who walked confidently among the most powerful. His personal privacy was more tightly guarded than the secret “files” he carefully collected—and that were so feared by politicians and celebrities. Through Letersky’s close working relationship with Hoover, and the trust and confidence he gained from Hoover’s most loyal senior assistant, Helen Gandy, Paul became one of the few able to enter the... more

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  • Frankly, We Did Win This Election

    Frankly, We Did Win This Election

    Author/Actors/Director/etc.:   Michael C. Bender

    Michael C. Bender, senior White House reporter for the Wall Street Journal, presents a deeply reported account of the 2020 presidential campaign that details how Donald J. Trump became the first incumbent in three decades to lose reelection—and the only one whose defeat culminated in a violent insurrection.Beginning with President Trump's first impeachment and ending with his second, Frankly, We Did Win This Election chronicles the inside-the-room deliberations between Trump and his campaign team as they opened 2020 with a sleek political operation built to harness a surge of momentum from a bullish economy, a unified Republican Party, and a string of domestic and foreign policy successes—only to watch everything unravel when fortunes suddenly turned.With first-rate sourcing cultivated from five years of covering Trump in the White House and both of his campaigns, Bender brings readers inside the Oval Office, aboard Air Force One, and into the front row of the movement's signature mega-rallies for the story of an epic election-year convergence of COVID, economic collapse, and civil rights upheaval—and an unorthodox president's attempt to battle it all.Fresh interviews with Trump, key campaign advisers, and senior administration officials are paired with an exclusive... more

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  • The Cruelty Is the Point

    The Cruelty Is the Point

    Author/Actors/Director/etc.:   Serwer, Adam

    NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • From an award-winning journalist at The Atlantic, these searing essays make a damning case that cruelty is not merely an unfortunate byproduct of the Trump administration but its main objective and the central theme of the American project.

    \"No writer better demonstrates how American dreams are so often sabotaged by American history. Adam Serwer is essential.\"-Ta-Nehisi Coates

    \"Trump summoned the most treacherous forces in American history and conducted them with the ease of a grand maestro.\"

    Like many of us, Adam Serwer didn't know that Donald Trump would win the 2016 election. But over the four years that followed, the Atlantic staff writer became one of our most astute analysts of the Trump presidency and the volatile powers it harnessed. The shock that greeted Trump's victory, and the subsequent cruelty of his presidency, represented a failure to confront elements of the American past long thought vanquished. 

    In this searing collection, Serwer chronicles the Trump administration not as an aberration but as an outgrowth of the inequalities the United States was founded on. Serwer is less interested in the presidential spectacle than in the ideological and structural currents... more

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  • Why She Wrote

    Why She Wrote

    Author/Actors/Director/etc.:   Burke, Lauren; Chapman, Hannah K.; Bales, Kaley

    In Why She Wrote, dive into the fascinating, unexpected, and inspiring stories behind the greatest women writers in the English language.

    This compelling graphic collection features 18 women—including Jane Austen, Louisa May Alcott, Alice Dunbar Nelson, Anne Lister, and more—and asks a simple question: in a time when being a woman writer often meant being undervalued, overlooked, or pigeonholed, why did she write?

    Why did Jane Austen struggle to write for five years before her first novel was ever published? How did Edith Maude Eaton's writing change the narrative around Chinese immigrant workers in North America? Why did the Brontë sisters choose to write under male pennames, and Anne Lister write her personal diaries in code?

    Learn about women writers from the 18th, 19th, and early 20th centuries, from familiar favorites to those who have undeservedly fallen into obscurity, and their often untold histories, including:

    • The forgotten mother of the gothic genre
    • The unexpected success of Little Women
    • The diaries of the \"first modern lesbian\"
    • The lawsuit to protect Little Lord Fauntleroy
    • The personal account of a mastectomy in 1811
    • Austen's struggles with writer's block
    • And... more

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  • Preventable

    Preventable

    Author/Actors/Director/etc.:   Slavitt, Andy

    The definitive, behind-the-scenes look at the U.S. Coronavirus crisis from one of the
    most recognizable and influential voices in healthcare

    From former head of Obamacare Andy Slavitt, Preventable is the definitive inside account of the United States' failed response to the Coronavirus pandemic. Slavitt chronicles what he saw and how much could have been prevented -- an unflinching investigation of the cultural, political, and economic drivers that led to unnecessary loss of life.

    With unparalleled access to the key players throughout the government on both sides of the aisle, the principal public figures, as well as the people working on the frontline involved in fighting the virus, Slavitt brings you into the room as fateful decisions are made and focuses on the people at the center of the political system, health care system, patients, and caregivers. The story that emerges is one of a country in which -- despite the heroics of many -- bad leadership, political and cultural fractures, and an unwillingness to sustain sacrifice light a fuse that is difficult to extinguish.

    Written in the tradition of The Big Short, Preventable continues Andy Slavitt’s important work of addressing the uncomfortable realities that... more

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  • After the Fall

    After the Fall

    Author/Actors/Director/etc.:   Rhodes, Ben

    NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Why is democracy so threatened in America and around the world? And what can we do about it? A former White House aide and close confidant to President Barack Obama—and the author of The World as It Is—travels the globe in a deeply personal, beautifully observed quest for answers.

    In 2017, as Ben Rhodes was helping Barack Obama begin his next chapter, the legacy they had worked to build for eight years was being taken apart. To understand what was happening in America, Rhodes decided to look outward. Over the next three years, he traveled to dozens of countries, meeting with politicians, activists, and dissidents confronting the same nationalism and authoritarianism that was tearing America apart. Along the way, a Russian opposition leader he spoke with was poisoned, the Hong Kong protesters he came to know saw their movement snuffed out, and America itself reached the precipice of losing democracy before giving itself a second chance.

    Part memoir and part reportage, After the Fall is a hugely ambitious and essential work of discovery. In his travels, Rhodes comes to realize how much America’s fingerprints are on a world we helped to shape, through our post–Cold War embrace of unbridled capitalism... more

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  • The Ride of Her Life

    The Ride of Her Life

    Author/Actors/Director/etc.:   Letts, Elizabeth

    The triumphant true story of a woman who rode her horse across America in the 1950s, fulfilling her dying wish to see the Pacific Ocean, from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Perfect Horse and The Eighty-Dollar Champion

    \"The gift Elizabeth Letts has is that she makes you feel you are the one taking this trip. This is a book we can enjoy always but especially need now.\"-Elizabeth Berg, author of The Story of Arthur Truluv

    In 1954, sixty-three-year-old Maine farmer Annie Wilkins embarked on an impossible journey. She had no money and no family, she had just lost her farm, and her doctor had given her only two years to live. But Annie wanted to see the Pacific Ocean before she died. She ignored her doctor's advice to move into the county charity home. Instead, she bought a cast-off brown gelding named Tarzan, donned men's dungarees, and headed south in mid-November, hoping to beat the snow. Annie had little idea what to expect beyond her rural crossroads; she didn't even have a map. But she did have her ex-racehorse, her faithful mutt, and her own unfailing belief that Americans would treat a stranger with kindness.

    Annie, Tarzan, and her dog, Depeche Toi, rode straight into a world transformed by the... more

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  • This Country

    This Country

    Author/Actors/Director/etc.:   Matthews, Chris

    A “quintessentially American” (Policy Magazine) memoir of politics and history from Chris Matthews, New York Times bestselling author and long-time host of MSNBC’s Hardball with Chris Matthews.

    In This Country, Chris Matthews “has written a love letter to his country” (Joy Reid, host of The ReidOut and author of The Man Who Sold America), offering a panoramic portrait of post-World War II America through the story of his remarkable life and career. It is a story of risk and adventure, of self-reliance and service, of loyalty and friendship. It is a story driven by an abiding faith in our country.

    Raised in a large Irish-Catholic family in Philadelphia at a time when kids hid under their desks in atomic war drills, Chris’s life etched a pattern: take a leap, live an adventure, then learn what it means. As a young Peace Corps graduate, Chris moved to DC and began knocking on doors on Capitol Hill. With dreams of becoming what Ted Sorensen had been for Jack Kennedy, Chris landed as a staffer to Utah Senator Frank Moss, where his eyes were opened to the game of big-league politics.

    In the 1970s, Matthews mounted a campaign for Congress as a Democratic maverick running against Philadelphia’s old... more

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