Category Archives: history

Galileo : and the Science Deniers – Mario Livio

There have been a great many biographies written about Galileo, but very few (if any) written by someone with Mario Livio’s credentials. He is an astrophysicist who has worked with the Hubble telescope, the descendant of Galileo’s telescope.  As a … Continue reading

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Educated for Freedom: The Incredible Story of Two Fugitive Schoolboys who Grew Up to Change a Nation – Anna Mae Duane

In the 1820s most Americans did not see a need to educate black children. Reading, writing and a bit of math would do very well. After all, these children were seen as inferior. But the people who established the New York … Continue reading

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The Journey to the Mayflower: God’s Outlaws and the Invention of Freedom – Stephen Tomkins

This year, 2020, marks the 400th anniversary of the sailing of the Mayflower. That’s usually the beginning of the story. But the story begins in 1553 with Queen Mary’s cleansing of the church. No, it really begins several hundred years before that. … Continue reading

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The Golden Thread: How Fabric Changed History – Kassia St. Clair

We take cloth for granted. It has just always been there. Cotton, silk, wool, linen, have been with us forever, nothing special. But this book shows how fabric has shaped our civilizations, has allowed us to go to extreme places, … Continue reading

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The Way I Heard It: True Tales for the Curious Mind with a Short Attention – Mike Rowe

Part autobiography, part biography, this is a collection of stories from a master storyteller.  As I read, I heard hear his rich baritone telling the stories with the unique cadence of his voice.  Each short chapter focuses on a life-changing … Continue reading

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Daughters of Chivalry: The Forgotten Princesses of King Edward Longshanks – Kelcey Wilson-Lee

Joanna, Margaret, Mary and Elizabeth, were the daughters of Edward I, who reigned from 1239 to1307. The traditional view of medieval royal princesses is of quiet young ladies, tending to their needlework, participating in royal pageantry dressed in beautiful silks … Continue reading

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The Pioneers: The Heroic Story of the Settlers Who Brought the American Ideal West – David McCullough

The wilderness northwest of the Ohio River was ready to be settled and Manasseh Cutler was determined to have his conditions included in the Northwest Ordinance: free universal education, freedom of religion and prohibition of slavery. He was not sure … Continue reading

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Greek to Me: Adventures of the Comma Queen – Mary Norris

Mary Norris loves all things Greek, but especially the Greek language. Not modern, Greek, mind you, Ancient Greek. This book recounts her studies learning the language, speaking the language. We go with her on solo trips to Greece (Crete, Rhodes, … Continue reading

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The Malta Exchange – Steve Berry

Oh boy, Cotton has come out of retirement again. He’s working freelance for British intelligence – a simple buy and sell of letters between Churchill and Mussolini which had been lost in 1945. But now his orders are to steal … Continue reading

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Code Name: Lise – The True Story of the Woman Who Became WWII’s Most Highly Decorated Spy – Larry Loftis

Odette was born and raised in France. Her father died a hero in the First World War, and every Sunday afternoon she and her brother placed flowers on his grave. Her Grandfather told the children that in twenty or twenty-five … Continue reading

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Jefferson’s Treasure: How Albert Gallatin Saved the new nation from Debt – Gregory May

The Federalists were not happy campers when Thomas Jefferson appointed Albert Gallatin Secretary of the Treasury in 1801. This was the man who was responsible for the Republican win. And now, this immigrant who spoke with a heavy French accent, … Continue reading

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Dancing on Thin Ice: Travails of a Russian Dissenter – Arkady Polishchuk

For twenty-three years, from 1950 to 1973, Arkady Polishchuk, a Russian Jew, worked as a journalist for Russian media, and for much of that time he also worked on behalf of persecuted Jews and Christians who were denied emigration. His … Continue reading

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The Last Castle: The Epic Story of Love, Loss, and American Royalty in the Nation’s Largest Home – Denise Kiernan

In 1888, George Vanderbilt, one of the richest men in the world, took his mother to Asheville, North Carolina, to breathe the mountain air and heal. He settled her in then went to see the magnificent views. The sight of … Continue reading

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The Story of Egypt: The Civilization that Shaped the World – Joann Fletcher

This is a long book, it has to be. It spans 4,000 years. It’s not just names and dates, but filled with real people, like the royal manicurists Niankhnum and Khnumhotep, whose house was decorated with vignettes of their lives, … Continue reading

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The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu And Their Race to Save the World’s Most Precious Manuscripts – Joshua Hammer

Timbuktu . . . the name evokes an inaccessible, mysterious place in darkest Africa. But it seems that in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries it was quite accessible. Scholars from distant lands flocked to the city to study. It was … Continue reading

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