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History Reviews

Shrinking the Earth

STAFF REVIEW: Widely recognized as the nation's first environmental historian, KU professor emeritus of history, Don Worster, has just released his latest book: Shrinking the Earth: The Rise and Decline of American Abundance (Oxford University Press). Each chapter charts the history of North Americans' slow realization of the limits of their continent's natural resources.

Shrinking the Earth: The Rise and Decline of Natural Abundance Cover Image
$27.95
ISBN: 9780199844951
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Published: Oxford University Press, USA - February 5th, 2016

The discovery of the Americas around 1500 AD was an extraordinary watershed in human experience. It gave rise to the modern period of human ecology, a phenomenon global in scope that set in motion profound changes in almost every society on earth.


Nature's God: the Heretical Origins of the American Republic

Nature's God: the Heretical Origins of the American Republic offers a lucid description of the decidedly irreligious philosophies of the founders, Franklin, Jefferson, and Adams, among others. In this campaign season, I found it refreshing to read something that so thoroughly incinerates the fundamentalist cudgel that the country was founded on Christian (read: bigoted) principles. Recommended by Kelly

Nature's God: The Heretical Origins of the American Republic Cover Image
$17.95
ISBN: 9780393351293
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Published: W. W. Norton & Company - July 6th, 2015

America's founders intended to liberate us not just from one king but from the ghostly tyranny of supernatural religion. Drawing deeply on the study of European philosophy, Matthew Stewart brilliantly tracks the ancient, pagan, and continental ideas from which America's revolutionaries drew their inspiration.


Nature's God: the Heretical Origins of the American Republic

STAFF REVIEW: Nature's God: the Heretical Origins of the American Republic offers a lucid description of the decidedly irreligious philosophies of the founders, Franklin, Jefferson, and Adams, among others. In this campaign season, I found it refreshing to read something that so thoroughly incinerates the fundamentalist cudgel that the country was founded on Christian (read: bigoted) principles. Recommended by Kelly

Nature's God: The Heretical Origins of the American Republic Cover Image
$17.95
ISBN: 9780393351293
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - July 6th, 2015

America's founders intended to liberate us not just from one king but from the ghostly tyranny of supernatural religion. Drawing deeply on the study of European philosophy, Matthew Stewart brilliantly tracks the ancient, pagan, and continental ideas from which America's revolutionaries drew their inspiration.


Under This Beautiful Dome by Terry Mutchler

In a heartbreaking new memoir, UNDER THIS BEAUTIFUL DOME, former AP journalist, Terry Mutchler, recounts the story of her closeted marriage to Illinois Democratic Senator Penny Severns, mentor to then young Senator, Barack Obama. After Severns' death from breast cancer, her family locked Mutchler out of their home and appropriated their mutual possessions.

Under This Beautiful Dome: A Senator, a Journalist, and the Politics of Gay Love in America Cover Image
$24.00
ISBN: 9781580055086
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Published: Seal Press (CA) - September 23rd, 2014

One of the greatest love stories I have ever heard played out right here, under this beautiful dome. But it was a secret. . . . Penny and Terry just wanted what so many people wantto express their love through marriage. Illinois Representative Ann Williams


The Last of the Doughboys By Richard Rubin

What Tom Brokaw did for “The Greatest Generation,” Richard Rubin tries to do for their predecessors: the WWI generation, specifically those Americans who served in the American Expeditionary Forces. Rubin sought out the few surviving veterans of WWI (all of whom we have now lost to time), and he lets them tell their stories.

The Last of the Doughboys: The Forgotten Generation and Their Forgotten World War Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780547554433
Availability: Out of Print
Published: Houghton Mifflin - May 28th, 2013

In 2003, 85 years after the armistice, it took Richard Rubin months to find just one living American veteran of World War I. But then, he found another. And another. Eventually he managed to find dozens, aged 101 to 113, and interview them. All are gone now.


HRC: State Secrets and the Rebirth of Hillary Clinton

REVIEW: HRC: State Secrets and the Rebirth of Hillary Clinton.
Allen and Parnes have long histories as political journalists and each covered the Clinton and Obama campaigns. They have written a no-holds-barred biography of the likely Democratic nominee. The result is a fair and surprisingly sympathetic portrayal of Clinton's career as secretary of state and beyond. Recommended by Kelly.

HRC: State Secrets and the Rebirth of Hillary Clinton Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780804136754
Availability: Special Order
Published: Crown Publishing Group (NY) - February 11th, 2014

The mesmerizing story of Hillary Clinton's political rebirth, based on eyewitness accounts from deep inside her inner circle


Any Way You Slice It

Senior scientist at Salina Kansas's The Land Institute, Cox broaches a topic few others are willing to: rationing. Not only does he provide an excellent account of rationing in America's past, he offers scenarios for the types of rationing of ever-decreasing essentials like water, food, and fuel that we may face in an uncertain future. An excellent and brave book. Recommended by Kelly.

Any Way You Slice It: The Past, Present, and Future of Rationing Cover Image
$26.95
ISBN: 9781595588098
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Published: New Press - May 7th, 2013

Rationing: it's a word and an idea that people often loathe and fear. Health care expert Henry Aaron has compared mentioning the possibility of rationing to 'shouting an obscenity in church.' Yet societies in fact ration food, water, medical care and fuel all the time, with those who can pay the most getting the most.


Finders Keepers

This book focuses on the almost universal fascination with ancient human artifacts. In it, Childs explores the "rights" and "wrongs" of pot hunting, whether it be that of a professional archaeologist or an amateur pot hunter. In the end, he arrives in a sea of gray area and many pages of self-examination as well. Fascinating! Recommended by Kelly.

Finders Keepers: A Tale of Archaeological Plunder and Obsession Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780316066464
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Published: Back Bay Books - June 25th, 2013

Renowned naturalist Craig Childs explores the paradoxical nature of anthropological excavation amongst the Native American ruins his work is based upon.


House of Rain

Craig Child's book certainly isn't the definitive answer to how the ancestral Puebloans lived or to what ultimately happened to them. However, broad careful reearch coupled with his own travels through their Southwest homes and sacred spaces such as Chaco Canyon and Mesa Verde provide some excellent clues. Guaranteed to give you goosebumps. Recommended by Kelly.

House of Rain: Tracking a Vanished Civilization Across the American Southwest Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780316067546
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Published: Back Bay Books - July 1st, 2008

In this landmark work on the Anasazi tribes of the Southwest, naturalist Craig Childs dives head on into the mysteries of this vanished people.


THE WORLD OF DOWNTON ABBEY by Jessica Fellowes

The author is the daughter of the writer of this magical series that is now in its second season on Public Television. It looks like just a glossy photo album, but the text is very well-written and thoroughly researched. Fellowes explores the historical background of late Edwardian England and World War I (great bibliography) as well as the architectural history of country houses and details of the actual work that was done by the people in these huge houses. The chapters on the filming of the first two seasons describe the two locations, historical coaching, and the designing and sewing of the glorious costumes both for the aristocrats and the servants. I highly recommend this book for fans of the series, but even if you haven’t seen it, you will learn a lot about life behind the glittering facade of great wealth in the early 20th century. Recommended by Pat.
The World of Downton Abbey Cover Image
By Jessica Fellowes, Julian Fellowes (Foreword by)
$34.99
ISBN: 9781250006349
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: St. Martin's Press - December 6th, 2011

A lavish look at the real world--both the secret history and the behind-the-scenes drama--of the spellbinding Emmy Award-winning Masterpiece TV series Downton Abbey


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