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Par Harold Holzer, Norton Garfinkle. 2015
In A Just and Generous Nation, the eminent historian Harold Holzer and the noted economist Norton Garfinkle present a groundbreaking… new account of the beliefs that inspired our sixteenth president to go to war when the Southern states seceded from the Union. Rather than a commitment to eradicating slavery or a defense of the Union, they argue, Lincoln’s guiding principle was the defense of equal economic opportunity. Lincoln firmly believed that the government’s primary role was to ensure that all Americans had the opportunity to better their station in life. As president, he worked tirelessly to enshrine this ideal within the federal government. He funded railroads and canals, supported education, and, most importantly, issued the Emancipation Proclamation, which opened the door for former slaves to join white Americans in striving for self-improvement. In our own age of unprecedented inequality, A Just and Generous Nation reestablishes Lincoln’s legacy as the protector not just of personal freedom but of the American dream itself.
Par Tom Lewis. 2015
On January 24, 1791, President George Washington chose the site for the young nation’s capital: ten miles square, it stretched… from the highest point of navigation on the Potomac River, and encompassed the ports of Georgetown and Alexandria. From the moment the federal government moved to the District of Columbia in December 1800, Washington has been central to American identity and life. Shaped by politics and intrigue, poverty and largess, contradictions and compromises, Washington has been, from its beginnings, the stage on which our national dramas have played out. In Washington, the historian Tom Lewis paints a sweeping portrait of the capital city whose internal conflicts and promise have mirrored those of America writ large. Breathing life into the men and women who struggled to help the city realize its full potential, he introduces us to the mercurial French artist who created an ornate plan for the city “en grande”; members of the nearly forgotten anti-Catholic political party who halted construction of the Washington monument for a quarter century; and the cadre of congressmen who maintained segregation and blocked the city’s progress for decades. In the twentieth century Washington’s Mall and streets would witness a Ku Klux Klan march, the violent end to the encampment of World War I “Bonus Army” veterans, the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, and the painful rebuilding of the city in the wake of Martin Luther King, Jr. ’s assassination. “It is our national center,” Frederick Douglass once said of Washington, DC; “it belongs to us, and whether it is mean or majestic, whether arrayed in glory or covered in shame, we cannot but share its character and its destiny. ” Interweaving the story of the city’s physical transformation with a nuanced account of its political, economic, and social evolution, Lewis tells the powerful history of Washington, DC—the site of our nation’s highest ideals and some of our deepest failures.
Par Molly Peacock. 2017
When a psychoanalyst became a painter after surviving a stroke, her longtime patient, distinguished and beloved poet Molly Peacock, took… up a unique task. The Analyst is a new, visceral, twenty-first century "in memoriam" of ambiguous loss in which Peacock brilliantly tells the story of a decades-long patient-therapist relationship that now reverses and continues to evolve. Peacock invigorates the notion of poetry as word-painting: A tapestry of images, from a red enameled steamer on a black stove to Tibetan monks funneling glowing sand into a painting, create the backdrop for her quest to define identity. From "In Our Unexpected Future":. . . for frocks outlast pillars. But feelingsoutlive frocks. The immaterial storms through,a force beyond years (a mere four since youwere nearly felled). It isn't what happened that lasts. Not art, either, but the savory core. What's felt.
Par Margee Kerr. 2015
Shiver-inducing science not for the faint of heart. No one studies fear quite like Margee Kerr. A sociologist who moonlights… at one of America’s scariest and most popular haunted houses, she has seen grown men laugh, cry, and push their loved ones aside as they run away in terror. And she’s kept careful notes on what triggers these responses and why. Fear is a universal human experience, but do we really understand it? If we’re so terrified of monsters and serial killers, why do we flock to the theaters to see them? Why do people avoid thinking about death, but jump out of planes and swim with sharks? For Kerr, there was only one way to find out. In this eye-opening, adventurous book, she takes us on a tour of the world’s scariest experiences: into an abandoned prison long after dark, hanging by a cord from the highest tower in the Western hemisphere, and deep into Japan’s mysterious "suicide forest. ” She even goes on a ghost hunt with a group of paranormal adventurers. Along the way, Kerr shows us the surprising science from the newest studies of fear--what it means, how it works, and what it can do for us. Full of entertaining science and the thrills of a good ghost story, this book will make you think, laugh--and scream.