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Entertaining the Troops: 1939 - 1945 (Shire Library)
Walden, Kiri Bloom
The fascinating story of the entertainment used to keep up the troops' spirits in the Second World War.This book explores the foundation of the Entertainments National Service Association (ENSA) and also the home-grown entertainments put on by members of the military services in all theatres of war during the Second World War. ENSA ensured that troops were visited by big bands, ballet stars, Shakespearian actors and the most famous popular entertainers of the day. And the forces were resourceful too when it came to putting on their own shows when ENSA couldn't come, with pantomimes and plays written and performed by POWs being a prime example. Many of Britain's biggest stars cut their teeth performing on makeshift stages to homesick soldiers, sailors and airmen and women during the war years. Famous individuals who feature are Laurence Olivier, Gracie Fields, George Formby, Al Bowlly, Vera Lynn, Ninette de Valois and members of The Goons.
A Sidecar Named Desire: Great Writers and the Booze That Stirred Them
An unforgettable bar crawl through literary history, following our most beloved writers and their passion for drink, form Aristophanes's love for wine, to Jane Austen's fondness for brewing beer, to E.B. White's cure for writer's block: a dry martini.
Walls: A History of Civilization in Blood and Brick
For over ten thousand years, much of humankind has lived inside walls behind walls behind still more walls. Walls have protected us and divided us, but have they also affected the way we think, work, and create?In a brisk and compulsively readable narrative of invasions, empires, kings, and khans, David Frye presents a bold new theory: walls haven't just influenced the course of history; they have profoundly shaped the human psyche.For thousands of years, people have built walls and assaulted them, admired walls and reviled them. Great walls have appeared on every continent, the handiwork of Persians, Romans, Chinese, Inca, Ukrainians, and dozens of other peoples. They have accompanied the rise of cities, nations, and empires. And yet they rarely appear in our history books.In Walls, David Frye makes a powerful case for rewriting history. Drawing on evidence from around the world, as well as his own experiences on archaeological digs, Frye takes us on a provocative and occasionally humorous journey across windswept deserts and grassy, Northumbrian hills. As Frye guides us through a maze of exotic locales, investigating the coldest of cold cases, he gradually exposes a broader story with implications for the present as well as the past. The history of walls becomes more than a tale of bricks and stone; it becomes the story of who we are and how we came to be.
Act Natural: A Cultural History of Misadventures in Parenting
From a distinctive, inimitable voice, a wickedly funny and fascinating romp through the strange and often contradictory history of Western parentingWhy do we read our kids fairy tales about homicidal stepparents? How did helicopter parenting develop if it used to be perfectly socially acceptable to abandon your children? Why do we encourage our babies to crawl if crawling won’t help them learn to walk?These are just some of the questions that came to Jennifer Traig when—exhausted, frazzled, and at sea after the birth of her two children—she began to interrogate the traditional parenting advice she’d been conditioned to accept at face value. The result is Act Natural, hilarious and deft dissection of the history of Western parenting, written with the signature biting wit and deep insights Traig has become known for.Moving from ancient Rome to Puritan New England to the Dr. Spock craze of mid-century America, Traig cheerfully explores historic and present-day parenting techniques ranging from the misguided, to the nonsensical, to the truly horrifying. Be it childbirth, breastfeeding, or the ways in which we teach children how to sleep, walk, eat, and talk, she leaves no stone unturned in her quest for answers: Have our techniques actually evolved into something better? Or are we still just scrambling in the dark?
A sweeping, smart, and smart-ass graphic history of women's ongoing quest for equalityIn March 2017, Nevada surprised the rest of America by suddenly ratifying the Equal Rights Amendment - thirty-five years after the deadline had passed. Hey, better late than never, right? Then, lo and behold, a few months later, Illinois followed suit. Hurrah for the Land of Lincoln!That left the ERA just one state short of the congressional minimum for ratification. One state - and a legacy of shame - are what stand between American women and full equality.She the People takes on the campaign for change by offering a cheekily illustrated, sometimes sarcastic, and all-too-true account of women's evolving rights and citizenship. Divided into twelve historical periods between 1776 and today, journalist, historian, and activist Jen Deaderick takes readers on a walk down the ERA's rocky road to become part of our Constitution by highlighting changes in the legal status of women alongside the significant cultural and social influences of the time, so women's history is revealed as an integral part of U.S. history, and not a tangential sideline.Clever and dynamic, She the People is informative, entertaining, and a vital reminder that women still aren't fully accepted as equal citizens in America.
Chefs, Drugs and Rock & Roll: How Food Lovers, Free Spirits, Misfits and Wanderers Created a New American Profession
Chefs, Drugs and Rock & Roll transports readers back in time to witness the remarkable evolution of the American restaurant chef in the 1970s and '80s. Taking a rare, coast-to-coast perspective, Andrew Friedman goes inside Chez Panisse and other Bay Area restaurants to show how the politically charged backdrop of Berkeley helped draw new talent to the profession; into the historically underrated community of Los Angeles chefs, including a young Wolfgang Puck and future stars such as Susan Feniger, Mary Sue Milliken, and Nancy Silverton; and into the clash of cultures between established French chefs in New York City and the American game changers behind The Quilted Giraffe, The River Cafe, and other East Coast establishments. We also meet young cooks of the time such as Tom Colicchio and Emeril Lagasse who went on to become household names in their own right. Along the way, the chefs, their struggles, their cliques, and, of course, their restaurants are brought to life in vivid detail. As the '80's unspool, we see the profession evolve as American masters like Thomas Keller rise, and watch the genesis of a “chef nation” as these culinary pioneers crisscross the country to open restaurants and collaborate on special events, and legendary hangouts like Blue Ribbon become social focal points, all as the industry-altering Food Network shimmers on the horizon.Told largely in the words of the people who lived it, as captured in more than two hundred author interviews with writers like Ruch Reichl and legends like Jeremiah Tower, Alice Waters, Jonathan Waxman, and Barry Wine, Chefs, Drugs and Rock & Roll treats readers to an unparalleled 360-degree re-creation of the business and the times through the perspectives not only of the groundbreaking chefs but also of line cooks, front-of-house personnel, investors, and critics who had front-row seats to this extraordinary transformation.
Good and Mad: The Revolutionary Power of Women's Anger
Long before Pantsuit Nation, before the Women’s March, and before the #MeToo movement, women’s anger was not only politically catalytic—but politically problematic. The story of female fury and its cultural significance demonstrates its crucial role in women’s slow rise to political power in America, as well as the ways that anger is received when it comes from women as opposed to when it comes from men. In Good and Mad, Traister tracks the history of female anger as political fuel—from suffragettes marching on the White House to office workers vacating their buildings after Clarence Thomas was confirmed to the Supreme Court. Traister explores women’s anger at both men and other women; anger between ideological allies and foes; the varied ways anger is received based on who’s expressing it; and the way women’s collective fury has become transformative political fuel. She deconstructs society’s (and the media’s) condemnation of female emotion (especially rage) and the impact of their resulting repercussions.Highlighting a double standard perpetuated against women by all sexes, and its disastrous, stultifying effect, Good and Mad is “perfectly timed and inspiring” (People, Book of the Week). This “admirably rousing narrative” (The Atlantic) offers a glimpse into the galvanizing force of women’s collective anger, which, when harnessed, can change history.
The Wood for the Trees: One Man's Long View of Nature
From the author of Earth: An Intimate History, an exuberant "biography" of four acres of woodland, evoking a cosmos of living and inanimate things and imagining its millennia of existence A few years ago, award-winning scientist Richard Fortey purchased four acres of woodland in the Chiltern Hills of Oxfordshire, England. The Wood for the Trees is the joyful, lyrical portrait of what he found there.With one chapter for each month, we move through the seasons: tree felling in January, moth hunting in June, finding golden mushrooms in September. Fortey, along with the occasional expert friend, investigates the forest top to bottom, discovering a new species and explaining the myriad connections that tie us to nature and nature to itself. His textured, evocative prose and gentle humor illuminate the epic story of a small forest. But he doesn't stop at mere observation. The Wood for the Trees uses the forest as a springboard back through time, full of rich and unexpected tales of the people, plants, and animals that once called the land home. With Fortey's help, we come to see a universe in miniature.
The Mile End Murder: The Case Conan Doyle Couldn't Solve
In 1860, a 70 year old widow turned landlady named Mary Emsley was found dead in her own home, killed by a blow to the back of her head.What followed was a murder case that gripped the nation, a veritable locked room mystery which baffled even legendary Sherlock Holmes author, Arthur Conan Doyle. With an abundance of suspects, from disgruntled step children concerned about their inheritance and a spurned admirer repeatedly rejected by the widow, to a trusted employee, former police officer and spy, the case led to a public trial dominated by surprise revelations and shock witnesses, before culminating with one of the final public executions at Newgate.This is the case Conan Doyle couldn’t solve and, after confounding the best detectives for years, has finally be solved by author Sinclair McKay. Discover 'whodunit' as the real murderer is revealed for the first time exclusively in this captivating study of a murder case in the nineteenth century, a story never told before.
Remember the Ladies: Celebrating Those Who Fought for Freedom at the Ballot Box
Dodson, Angela P.
One of the best women's suffrage books, Remember the Ladies releases in paperback for the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment with unforgettable stories of the courageous leaders who secured women's right to vote.When the Second Continental Congress of the thirteen colonies convened to draft the Declaration of Independence, Abigail Adams admonished her husband, John Adams, to "remember the ladies" to no avail. From the birth of our nation to the crushing defeat of the first female presidential nominee for a major party, this popular history highlights women's impact on United States politics and government.Drawing on original source documents, including biographies of leaders, first-hand letters, beautiful black and white photos, historical cartoons, charts and graphs, as well as posters, ads, and buttons, Remember the Ladies presents this often-forgotten struggle-and its roots in other justice work-in an accessible, conversational, relevant manner for a wide audience. Here are the groundbreaking convention records, speeches, newspaper accounts, letters, photos, and drawings of those who fought for women's right to vote, arranged to convey the inherent historical drama. The accessible almanac style lets our compelling history speak for itself.From an award-winning author and former New York Times editor, Remember the Ladies does not extract women's suffrage from the inseparable concurrent historic endeavors for emancipation, immigration, and temperance. Instead, its robust research documents the intersectionality of women's struggle for the vote in its true context with other progressive efforts.
Homelands: Four Friends, Two Countries, and the Fate of the Great Mexican-American Migration
From prizewinning journalist and immigration expert Alfredo Corchado comes the sweeping story of the great Mexican migration from the late 1980s to today.
Charlie Company Journeys Home: The Forgotten Impact on the Wives of Vietnam Veterans
The human experience of the Vietnam War is almost impossible to grasp--the camaraderie, the fear, the smell, the pain. Men were transformed into soldiers, and then into warriors.These warriors had wives who loved them and shared in their transformations. Some marriages were strengthened, while for others there was all too often a dark side, leaving men and their families emotionally and spiritually battered for years to come.Focusing in on just one company’s experience of war and its eventual homecoming, Andrew Wiest shines a light on the shared experience of combat and both the darkness and resiliency of war’s aftermath.
Good and Mad: The Revolutionary Power of Women's Anger
From Rebecca Traister, the New York Times bestselling author of All the Single Ladies comes a vital, incisive exploration into the transformative power of female anger and its ability to transcend into a political movement. In the year 2018, it seems as if women’s anger has suddenly erupted into the public conversation. But long before Pantsuit Nation, before the Women’s March, and before the #MeToo movement, women’s anger was not only politically catalytic—but politically problematic. The story of female fury and its cultural significance demonstrates the long history of bitter resentment that has enshrouded women’s slow rise to political power in America, as well as the ways that anger is received when it comes from women as opposed to when it comes from men.With eloquence and fervor, Rebecca tracks the history of female anger as political fuel—from suffragettes marching on the White House to office workers vacating their buildings after Clarence Thomas was confirmed to the Supreme Court. Here Traister explores women’s anger at both men and other women; anger between ideological allies and foes; the varied ways anger is perceived based on its owner; as well as the history of caricaturing and delegitimizing female anger; and the way women’s collective fury has become transformative political fuel—as is most certainly occurring today. She deconstructs society’s (and the media’s) condemnation of female emotion (notably, rage) and the impact of their resulting repercussions.Highlighting a double standard perpetuated against women by all sexes, and its disastrous, stultifying effect, Traister’s latest is timely and crucial. It offers a glimpse into the galvanizing force of women’s collective anger, which, when harnessed, can change history.
The World Only Spins Forward: The Ascent of Angels in America
The oral history of Angels in America, as told by the artists who created it and the audiences forever changed by it--a moving account of the AIDS era, essential queer history, and an exuberant backstage tale.
Burning Down the Haus: Punk Rock, Revolution, and the Fall of the Berlin Wall
It began with a handful of East Berlin teens who heard the Sex Pistols on a British military radio broadcast to troops in West Berlin, and it ended with the collapse of the East German dictatorship. Punk rock was a life-changing discovery. The buzz-saw guitars, the messed-up clothing and hair, the rejection of society and the DIY approach to building a new one: in their gray surroundings, where everyone’s future was preordained by some communist apparatchik, punk represented a revolutionary philosophy—quite literally, as it turned out.But as these young kids tried to form bands and became more visible, security forces—including the dreaded secret police, the Stasi—targeted them. They were spied on by friends and even members of their own families; they were expelled from schools and fired from jobs; they were beaten by police and imprisoned. Instead of conforming, the punks fought back, playing an indispensable role in the underground movements that helped bring down the Berlin Wall.This secret history of East German punk rock is not just about the music; it is a story of extraordinary bravery in the face of one of the most oppressive regimes in history. Rollicking, cinematic, deeply researched, highly readable, and thrillingly topical, Burning Down the Haus brings to life the young men and women who successfully fought authoritarianism three chords at a time—and is a fiery testament to the irrepressible spirit of revolution.
Confucius Lives Next Door
Reid, T. R.
Anyone who has heard his weekly commentary on NPR knows that T. R. Reid is trenchant, funny, and deeply knowledgeable reporter and now he brings this erudition and humor to the five years he spent in Japan--where he served as The Washington Post's Tokyo bureau chief. He provides unique insights into the country and its 2,500-year-old Confucian tradition, a powerful ethical system that has played an integral role in the continent's "postwar miracle."Whether describing his neighbor calmly asserting that his son's loud bass playing brings disrepute on the neighborhood, or the Japanese custom of having students clean the schools, Reid inspires us to consider the many benefits of the Asian Way--as well as its drawbacks--and to use this to come to a greater understanding of both Japanese culture and America.
Drinking in America: Our Secret History
In DRINKING IN AMERICA, bestselling author Susan Cheever chronicles our national love affair with liquor, taking a long, thoughtful look at the way alcohol has changed our nation's history. This is the often-overlooked story of how alcohol has shaped American events and the American character from the seventeenth to the twentieth century.
Of Dice and Men: The Story of Dungeons & Dragons and the People Who Play It
Ewalt, David M.
A fascinating and personal look at Dungeons & Dragons that "tracks D&D's turbulent rice, fall, and survival, from its heyday in the 1980s...to the twenty-first century" (The Wall Street Journal). Even if you've never played Dungeons & Dragons, you probably know someone who has: the game has had a profound influence on our culture, and 2014 marks the intriguing role-playing phenomenon's 40th anniversary. Released decades before the Internet and social media, Dungeons & Dragons inspired one of the original nerd subcultures and is still revered by more than 30 million fans. Now, the authoritative history and magic of the game are revealed by an award-winning journalist and lifelong D&D player. In Of Dice and Men, David Ewalt describes the development of Dungeons & Dragons from the game's origins on the battlefields of ancient Europe through the hysteria that linked it to satanic rituals and teen suicides to its apotheosis as father of the modern video-game industry. As he chronicles the surprising history of the game's origins (a history largely unknown even to hardcore players) and examines D&D's lasting impact, Ewalt weaves laser-sharp subculture analysis with his own present-day gaming experiences, "writing about the world of fantasy role-playing junkies with intelligence, dexterity, and even wisdom" (Ken Jennings). An enticing blend of history, journalism, narrative, and memoir, Of Dice and Men sheds light on America's most popular (and widely misunderstood) form of collaborative entertainment.
Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis
Putnam, Robert D.
Central to the very idea of America is the principle that we are a nation of opportunity. But over the last quarter century we have seen a disturbing “opportunity gap” emerge. We Americans have always believed that those who have talent and try hard will succeed, but this central tenet of the American Dream seems no longer true or at the least, much less true than it was.In Our Kids, Robert Putnam offers a personal and authoritative look at this new American crisis, beginning with the example of his high school class of 1959 in Port Clinton, Ohio. The vast majority of those students went on to lives better than those of their parents. But their children and grandchildren have faced diminishing prospects. Putnam tells the tale of lessening opportunity through poignant life stories of rich, middle class, and poor kids from cities and suburbs across the country, brilliantly blended with the latest social-science research.
Spies and Stars: MI5, Showbusiness and Me
London in the 1950s. Lottie is a reluctant typist at MI5 and the even more reluctant daughter of the organisation's most illustrious spy. Now she has had the bad luck to fall in love with Harry, a handsome if frustrated young actor, who has also been press-ganged into the family business, acting as one of her father's undercover agents in the Communist hotbed of British theatre.Together the two young lovers embark on a star-studded adventure through the glittering world of theatre - but, between missing files, disapproving parents, and their own burgeoning creative endeavours, life is about to become very complicated indeed...
The United States of Beer: The True Tale of How Beer Conquered America, From B.C. to Budweiser and Beyond
Dane Huckelbridge charts the surprisingly fascinating history of Americans’ relationship with their most popular alcoholic beverage. Huckelbridge shows how beer has evolved along with the country - from a local and regional product (once upon a time every American city has its own brewery and iconic beer brand) to the rise of global mega-brands like Budweiser and Miller that are synonymous with U.S. capitalism.We learn of George Washington’s failed attempt to brew beer at Mount Vernon with molasses instead of barley, of the 19th century "Beer Barons" like Captain Frederick Pabst, Adolphus Busch, and Joseph Schlitz who revolutionized commercial brewing and built lucrative empires - and the American immigrant experience - and of the advances in brewing and bottling technology that allowed beer to flow in the saloons of the Wild West. Throughout, Huckelbridge draws connections between seemingly remote fragments of the American past, and shares his reports from the frontlines of today’s craft-brewing revolution.
Kafka Was the Rage
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Christmas - A Short History From Solstice to Santa
From ancient ceremonies to raucous festivals, the time surrounding the winter solstice has long been an occasion for people to come together and rejoice. Christmas: A Short History from Solstice to Santa explores the diverse origins, figures, and traditions of one of the world's most famous celebrations. Despite a Puritan ban in the 1600s and today's commercialization, Christmas has survived and this book shows why it still holds meaning for us today.
The City of Falling Angels
The City of Falling Angels opens on the evening of January 29, 1996, when a dramatic fire destroys the historic Fenice opera house. The loss of the Fenice, where five of Verdi's operas premiered, is a catastrophe for Venetians. Arriving in Venice three days after the fire, Berendt becomes a kind of detective-inquiring into the nature of life in this remarkable museum-city-while gradually revealing the truth about the fire. In the course of his investigations, Berendt introduces us to a rich cast of characters; a prominent Venetian poet whose shocking 'suicide' prompts his skeptical friends to pursue a murder suspect on their own; the first family of American expatriates that loses possession of the family palace after four generations of ownership; an organization of high-society, partygoing Americans who raise money to preserve the art and architecture of Venice, while quarreling in public among themselves, questioning one another's motives and drawing startled Venetians into the fray; a contemporary Venetian surrealist painter and outrageous provocateur; the master glassblower of Venice; and numerous others-stool pigeons, scapegoats, hustlers, sleepwalkers, believers in Martians, the Plant Man, the Rat Man, and Henry James.
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