No one writes about history like Judith Flanders. Reading her work (The Victorian City, Inside the Victorian Home) is like going back in time with an expert guide at your side. In her new book, The Making of Home, Flanders ventures beyond one city or time period to explore the political, religious, economic and social factors that led to the notions of home that still influence us today.
A beloved true story of adventure, a harrowing story of underground survival and an artfully woven historical make for great group discussion this month.
In his richly detailed and stimulating new book, Kissinger’s Shadow: The Long Reach of America’s Most Controversial Statesman, historian Greg Grandin writes that Kissinger was “the quintessential American, his cast of mind perfectly molded to his place and time.”
Social work research professor Brené Brown is not your run-of-the-mill academic. Eschewing the ivory tower, Brown puts her research—enhanced by her personal story and the stories of others—out into the world for all to see (catch her TED talk on vulnerability—millions have!). She’s ready to rumble with the tough stuff of life, including failure, imperfection, vulnerability, shame and courage.
Never heard of Jacob Fugger? That’s probably because he was born in Augsburg in 1459, the grandson of a Swabian peasant. But by the time he died in 1525, Fugger had become, according to author Greg Steinmetz (who compared the net worth of wealthy people with the size of the economy in which they operated), the richest man who ever lived.
True crime fans know the formula when it comes to serial killers: Take one messed up childhood, add a domineering mother and shake repeatedly until something snaps. It was certainly true in the case of Michael Ross, who raped and murdered eight women before he was caught, tried and ultimately put to death. By the time journalist Martha Elliott met Ross in prison, he'd received extensive treatment and refused a new trial on the grounds that he didn't want the families of his victims to be further traumatized.
Descendants of the biblical farmer Cain can see the world through the shepherd’s eyes of his brother Abel in this memorable journey with today’s Abels, the Fulani nomads of Mali. Modern times encroach upon the ancient paths of their seasonal pilgrimages: New generations trade their Zebu cows and goats for the settled life, cellphones and urban good times. Overhead, warplanes commandeer the skies, working the ever-changing frontlines of terrorism in West Africa. Borders and rules—and risks—adjust with regimes. Climate change distorts the seasons, pummeling these travelers with untimely droughts and ravaging storms.
C.S. Lewis wrote that “eating and reading are two pleasures that combine admirably,” and Cara Nicoletti has made both her life pursuits as she explains in Voracious: A Hungry Reader Cooks Her Way Through Great Books.
After the Germans occupied Paris in 1940, Dr. Sumner Jackson, a high-profile American-born surgeon, found himself in the perilous position of living a few doors down fashionable Avenue Foch from the Gestapo headquarters.
August 29 marks the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, the most expensive natural disaster in U.S. history and the storm that delivered a near-mortal blow to the city of New Orleans. An estimated 250 billion gallons of water inundated the Big Easy when its levee system failed, damaging four out of every five homes in the city.