Thursday, October 21, 2010

New History & Biography Books @ the library

Wert, Jeffry D. Gettysburg: Day Three. New York, New York: Simon and Schuster, 2001.

From Bowker’s Books in Print-“ Jeffry D. Wert re-creates the last day of the bloody Battle of Gettysburg in astonishing detail, taking readers from Meade's council of war to the seven-hour struggle for Culp's Hill -- the most sustained combat of the entire engagement. Drawing on hundreds of sources, including more than 400 manuscript collections, he offers brief excerpts from the letters and diaries of soldiers. He also introduces heroes on both sides of the conflict -- among them General George Greene, the oldest general on the battlefield, who led the Union troops at Culp's Hill. A gripping narrative written in a fresh and lively style, Gettysburg, Day Three is an unforgettable rendering of an immortal day in our country's history.”

Barnes, Ben. Barn Burning Barn Building: Tales of a Political Life From LBJ to George W. Bush and Beyond. Albany, Texas: Bright Sky Press, 2006.

From Bowker’s Books in Print-“How did the Democratic Party--of JFK, LBJ, and civil rights--fall from glory? How did Texas, home of its most promising players, become Bush territory? What do politicians on either side need to do today to get our country back on track? Ben Barnes has the answers. Barnes had a front-row seat through it all. His political savvy and bravado made him a standout in the rough-and-tumble world of Texas politics. He won a seat in the Texas Legislature in 1960, at the unheard-of age of 22, and four years later he became the youngest Speaker of the House since the Civil War. In 1968, he helped Congressman George Herbert Walker Bush get his son into the National Guard--a controversy that would rage during the 2004 presidential election. In 1970, Lyndon Johnson told the public that Ben was destined to be the next US president to hail from Texas. Barnes's rollicking memoir recalls the glory days of his Texas past and blazes a trail for our country's future.”

Friedman, Lawrence M. Crime and Punishment in American History. New York, New York: Basic Books, 1993.

From Bowker’s Books in Print-“ In a panoramic history of our criminal justice system from Colonial times to today, one of our foremost legal thinkers shows how America fashioned a system of crime and punishment in its own image.”

Palin, Sarah. Going Rogue: An American Life. New York, New York: Harper Collins, 2009.

This is the autobiography of Sarah Palin, the running mate for John McCain in 2008 presidential election. The book traces her life from an childhood through her political career.

Lennon, Nigey. The Sagebrush Bohemian: Mark Twain in California. New York, New York, Paragon House, 1990.

From the cover-“Skillfully blending excerpts from Twain’s notebooks, letters, and autobiography with a lively narrative. The Sagebrush Bohemian discloses fascinating new views of his personal life. Here is free-spirited Sam Clemens fleeing Nevada after an aborted duel with a rival paper’s editor; terrorizing San Francisco with his buddies in search of billiards and booze, and brothels; and stumbling through various bachelor love affairs. Lennon captures his coming of age with warm, anecdotal humor and literary insight, and illuminates these pivotal Western years as no other biographer.”

Remnick, David. The Bridge: The Life and Rise of Barack Obama. New York, New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2010.

From Bowker’s Books in Print-“ No story has been more central to America's history this century than the rise of Barack Obama, ….. The Bridge offers the most complete account yet of Obama's tragic father, a brilliant economist who abandoned his family and ended his life as a beaten man; of his mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, who had a child as a teenager and then built her career as an anthropologist living and studying in Indonesia; and of the succession of elite institutions that first exposed Obama to the social tensions and intellectual currents that would force him to imagine and fashion an identity for himself. Through extensive on-the-record interviews with friends and teachers, mentors and disparagers, family members and Obama himself, David Remnick allows us to see how a rootless, unaccomplished, and confused young man created himself first as a community organizer in Chicago, an experience that would not only shape his urge to work in politics but give him a home and a community, and that would propel him to Harvard Law School, where his sense of a greater mission emerged. …. The Bridge revisits the American drama of race, from slavery to civil rights, and makes clear how Obama's quest is not just his own but is emblematic of a nation where destiny is defined by individuals keen to imagine a future that is different from the reality of their current lives.”

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