History, Biography, and Politics

New York Times best-selling author and officer of the Order of the British Empire, Simon Winchester this time examines not a person, place, or event exactly, but a concept—precision. In this masterfully written study of accuracy and its role in the Industrial Revolution and beyond, Winchester takes us on a journey through time and across the globe, all the while questioning the obsession with precision and wondering what we may have lost because of it. - Aric

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The Perfectionists: How Precision Engineers Created the Modern World Cover Image
$29.99
ISBN: 9780062652553
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper - May 8th, 2018

Barracoon would be a significant document were it only about Cudjo (Kossola) Lewis, the last survivor of the last recorded slave ship to the United States. His memories, recounted orally, preserve a trans-Atlantic history that has long been suppressed. But Barracoon is also a story about Zora Neale Hurston, the Harlem Renaissance, and the reclamation of African American folklore. Woven throughout Hurston and Lewis’s conversations is a yearning for roots and a fight for identity. - Clara

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Barracoon: The Story of the Last
By Zora Neale Hurston, Alice Walker (Foreword by), Deborah G. Plant (Introduction by)
$19.99
ISBN: 9780062748201
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Amistad - May 8th, 2018

Anna-Lisa Cox illuminates how the American frontier, originally established as a bastion of freedom and equality in the spirit of the Revolutionary War, opened the way for black men and women who were able to establish thriving farms, businesses, and communities, all while resisting theft, violence, death, and enslavement. Inspirational and harrowing, this is an important book that helps acknowledge the debt this country owes those Americans and their descendants, still under siege, still creating many of the best parts of their home. - Jocelyn

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The Bone and Sinew of the Land: America's Forgotten Black Pioneers and the Struggle for Equality Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9781610398107
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: PublicAffairs - June 12th, 2018

Fifty-five years ago, Robert F. Kennedy, acknowledging the growing frustration of African Americans, sought out James Baldwin, who in turn brought together Kennedy, Lorraine Hansberry, Kenneth Clark, and Jerome Smith for a conversation about history, politics and race. With passion, unflinching honesty, and the eloquence of a Baptist minister, Michael Eric Dyson—in this moment of political divide and #blacklivesmatter—wants to revisit that conversation. Will you join him? - Jocelyn

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What Truth Sounds Like: Robert F. Kennedy, James Baldwin, and Our Unfinished Conversation about Race in America Cover Image
$24.99
ISBN: 9781250199416
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: St. Martin's Press - June 5th, 2018

Former director of national intelligence James Clapper is known for his frankness; Obama said he has “a willingness to tell leaders what we need to know even if it’s not what we want to hear,” and he has been highly critical of Trump (“Sounding the treason alarm” is more accurate). While Clapper’s new book is a chronicle of his 50-plus years in intelligence, it also addresses the changes to the intelligence community over the years and asks questions such as “Is intelligence ethical?” and “What are the limits of what we should be allowed to do?” Given Clapper’s characteristic candor, his answers make for fascinating reading. - S.B.

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Facts and Fears: Hard Truths from a Life in Intelligence Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9780525558644
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Published: Viking - May 22nd, 2018

To truly understand the path that ancient peoples made across the Bering land bridge, author and adventurer Craig Childs doesn’t just study their path, he walks it. As he describes his journey and that of our ancient ancestors, he shows us a wild world of mastodons, mammoths, and saber-toothed cats. Written with a sense of poetry and appreciation for the untamed, Childs’s latest work is terrific for the student of history or the adventurer at heart. - Aric

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Atlas of a Lost World: Travels in Ice Age America Cover Image
$28.95
ISBN: 9780307908650
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Pantheon Books - May 1st, 2018

McFaul, who served in President Obama’s National Security Council and is the former U.S. ambassador to Russia, combines history and memoir to tell the story of U.S.–Russia relations from the fall of the Soviet Union to the present. I found it fascinating to read about it from his perspective—not only as an expert, but as an individual dealing with other individuals. You really see history as not just moves and countermoves by governments but as a series of efforts and decisions made by people. (Diplomacy never looked so good.) With its insider stories about Obama, Putin, and Russians we’ve recently seen in the Oval Office (like Foreign Minister Lavrov), this is a candid and compelling read. - S.B.

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From Cold War to Hot Peace: An American Ambassador in Putin's Russia Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9780544716247
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Houghton Mifflin - May 8th, 2018

Although collected from essays Kendzior wrote for Al Jazeera between 2012 and 2014, they are just as timely and important today. Her book addresses the post-employment economy, race and religion, higher education, and the media with a fresh eye from living in Middle America. Her pieces are brief yet impactful, told up close and personal, making it an essential read in our efforts to truly understand each other and what makes up these United States today. - Melinda

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The View from Flyover Country: Dispatches from the Forgotten America Cover Image
$12.99
ISBN: 9781250189998
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Flatiron Books - April 17th, 2018

“In Robin, Dave Itzkoff manages to straddle the man and the myth of Robin Williams, all the while helping us see why we fell in love with both. He has written a book about the truth and pain that lies in comedy, and the price paid by a sensitive soul.” —Amy Poehler

Robin Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9781627794244
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Henry Holt & Company - May 15th, 2018

Whoever you are, whatever your political leanings, I urge you to read this story of two boys who fled their country, El Salvador, for a better life in the United States. Told with honesty and a lot of heart, The Far Away Brothers chronicles their journey, from their harrowing passage through the desert to their battles with the legal system in order to remain in a country where their lives are unthreatened. - Jax

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The Far Away Brothers: Two Young Migrants and the Making of an American Life Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781101906200
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Broadway Books - May 22nd, 2018

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