United States History, Regional
Featured Items
Frogtown: Photographs and Conversations in an Urban Neighborhood
Frogtown
Photographs and Conversations in an Urban Neighborhood
Paperback      ISBN: 0873513363

Frogtown is a discerning portrait of an ethnically mixed neighbourhood that lies within the shadow of the Minnesota State Capital near downtown St. Paul. Wing Young Huie combines 130 compelling black-and-white photographs, some 50 quotes from talks with residents, and his own commentary to produce a powerful depiction of life on Frogtown's streets and front porches, in its kitchens and backyards, shops and churches. The images are documentary in nature, but the perspective is that of an artist who leaves meanings open to interpretation. Drawn to Frogtown by his own abiding curiosity, Huie spent two years photographing and getting to know its people -- working class whites, Southeast Asian immigrants, African Americans, American Indians, and Latinos. These exquisitely rendered images of Frogtown show the multiple realities that make up a dynamic urban neighbourhood. At the same time, they reflect the changing faces of American cities.

The Women's West
The Women's West
Paperback      ISBN: 0806120673

The American West looms large in popular imagination-a place where men were rugged and independent, violent and courageous. In this mythic West all the men were white, and the women were largely absent. The few female actors played supporting roles around the edges of the drama. Molded by the Victorian Cult of True Womanhood, they were passive, dependent, reluctant, and out of place. Men won the West. Women, against their better judgement, followed them to this newly discovered place and tried to re-create the amenities of the urban East.

Or so the myth goes. The Women's West challenges this picture as racist, sexist, and romantic and rejects the customary emphasis of traditional western history on the nineteenth-century frontier, discovered and defined by Anglo men. In its place The Women's West begins the construction of a new western history as complex and varied as the people who lived it.

This collection of twenty-one articles creates a multidimensional portrait of western women. The pioneer women presented here were actors in their own lives, not passive participants in their husbands' ventures. They were hardy seekers who came west, sometimes alone, in search of jobs, freedom, or land to homestead. They were political activists who worked tirelessly to win the right to vote and to hold political office. They adapted in practical ways to their own and their families' economic and personal needs in a new environment.

Virgin Land: The American West as Symbol and Myth
Virgin Land
The American West as Symbol and Myth
Paperback      ISBN: 0674939557

The spell that the West has always exercised on the American people had its most intense impact on American literature and thought during the nineteenth century. Henry Nash Smith shows, with vast comprehension, the influence of the nineteenth-century West in all its variety and strength, in special relation to social, economic, cultural, and political forces. He traces the myths and symbols of the Westward movement such as the general notion of a Westward-moving Course of Empire, the Wild Western hero, the virtuous yeoman-farmer--in such varied nineteenth-century writings as Leaves of Grass, the great corpus of Dime Novels, and most notably, Frederick Jackson Turner's The Frontier in American History. Moreover, he synthesizes the imaginative expression of Western myths and symbols in literature with their role in contemporary politics, economics, and society, embodied in such forms as the idea of Manifest Destiny, the conflict in the American mind between idealizations of primitivism on the one hand and of progress and civilization on the other, the Homestead Act of 1862, and public-land policy after the Civil War.

The myths of the American West that found their expression in nineteenth-century words and deeds remain a part of every American's heritage, and Smith, with his insight into their power and significance, makes possible a critical appreciation of that heritage.

Postcards from Manhattan: A Unique Look at the History of Manhattan
Postcards from Manhattan
A Unique Look at the History of Manhattan
Paperback      ISBN: 0757001017

These unique full-color books capture the events and emotions of times gone by through beautiful postcard images, personal messages, and captivating text. Each book is designed to bring alive not only the sights of the last century, but also the sentiments--whether those of a young actress telling her family that she's landed a job with Rudy Vallee's revue, or of an army corporal letting his friend know that he'll be discharged by Christmas 1941. Perfect as mementos, pictorial histories, and gifts, the Postcards From . . . Series transports you back in time, allowing you to explore the events, places, and people that have enriched our country and our culture.

Three Roads to the Alamo: The Lives and Fortunes of David Crockett, James Bowie, and William Barret Travis
Three Roads to the Alamo
The Lives and Fortunes of David Crockett, James Bowie, and William Barret Travis
Paperback      ISBN: 0060930942

William C. Davis's Three Roads to the Alamo is far and away the best account of the Alamo I have ever read. The portraits of Crockett, Bowie, and Travis are brilliantly sketched in a fast-moving story that keeps the reader riveted to the very last word. -- Stephen B. Oates

Three Roads to the Alamois the definitive book about the lives of David Crockett, James Bowie and William Barret Travis--the legendary frontiersmen and fighters who met their destiny at the Alamo in one of the most famous and tragic battles in American history--and about what really happened in that battle.

The Mill on the Boot: The Story of the St. Paul and Tacoma Lumber Company
The Mill on the Boot
The Story of the St. Paul and Tacoma Lumber Company
Paperback      ISBN: 0295962739
Gotham Restored: The Preservation of Monumental New York
Gotham Restored
The Preservation of Monumental New York
Hardcover      ISBN: 1580930859

James Rudnick moved to Brooklyn, New York, in 1977 to attend graduate school and almost immediately began to photograph two nearby landmarks: the Statue of Liberty and the Brooklyn Bridge. Both structures were approaching their centennials, and Rudnick was soon drawn into the resulting restorations as a documentary photographer. He followed this work, in the 1980s and 1990s, with similar projects at the New York Public Library and Grand Central Terminal. These four monuments are emblems of America's transformation at the end of the nineteenth century and, more particularly, of New York City.
Rudnick's photographs -- both color and black-and-white -- are a unique exploration of the great architecture of New York, from "before" shots showing sadly ignored structures to fascinating in-progress images of craftspeople and techniques to spectacular views of the gleaming, post-restoration monuments. Accompanying the photographs in this beautifully designed volume is text by Thomas Mellins that discusses the history of New York City, notably the period from 1865 to 1915 in which the four landmarks were built, as well as the development of the city's historic preservation movement, both popular and institutional. Rudnick himself describes the details of each restoration in informative captions; his evocative afterword beautifully recounts his own engagement with the spectacular architectural legacy of New York.

Confederates in the Attic: Dispatches from the Unfinished Civil War
Confederates in the Attic
Dispatches from the Unfinished Civil War
Paperback      ISBN: 067975833x
National Bestseller

For all who remain intrigued by the legacy of the Civil War -- reenactors, battlefield visitors, Confederate descendants and other Southerners, history fans, students of current racial conflicts, and more -- this ten-state adventure is part travelogue, part social commentary and always good-humored.

When prize-winning war correspondent Tony Horwitz leaves the battlefields of Bosnia and the Middle East for a peaceful corner of the Blue Ridge Mountains, he thinks he's put war zones behind him. But awakened one morning by the crackle of musket fire, Horwitz starts filing front-line dispatches again this time from a war close to home, and to his own heart.

Propelled by his boyhood passion for the Civil War, Horwitz embarks on a search for places and people still held in thrall by America's greatest conflict. The result is an adventure into the soul of the unvanquished South, where the ghosts of the Lost Cause are resurrected through ritual and remembrance.

In Virginia, Horwitz joins a band of 'hardcore' reenactors who crash-diet to achieve the hollow-eyed look of starved Confederates; in Kentucky, he witnesses Klan rallies and calls for race war sparked by the killing of a white man who brandishes a rebel flag; at Andersonville, he finds that the prison's commander, executed as a war criminal, is now exalted as a martyr and hero; and in the book's climax, Horwitz takes a marathon trek from Antietam to Gettysburg to Appomattox in the company of Robert Lee Hodge, an eccentric pilgrim who dubs their odyssey the 'Civil Wargasm.'

Written with Horwitz's signature blend of humor, history, and hard-nosed journalism, Confederates in the Attic brings alive old battlefields and the new 'classrooms, courts, country bars' where the past and the present collide, often in explosive ways.

Tony Horwitz's new book, Spying on the South: An Odyssey Across the American Divide, is available now.
The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York
The Power Broker
Robert Moses and the Fall of New York
Paperback      ISBN: 0394720245

Everywhere acknowledged as a modern American classic, winner of the Pulitzer Prize, and chosen by the Modern Library as one of the hundred greatest books of the twentieth century, The Power Broker is a huge and galvanizing biography revealing not only the saga of one man's incredible accumulation of power, but the story of the shaping (and mis-shaping) of New York in the twentieth century.

Robert Caro's monumental book makes public what few outsiders knew: that Robert Moses was the single most powerful man of his time in the City and in the State of New York. And in telling the Moses story, Caro both opens up to an unprecedented degree the way in which politics really happens--the way things really get done in America's City Halls and Statehouses--and brings to light a bonanza of vital information about such national figures as Alfred E. Smith and Franklin D. Roosevelt (and the genesis of their blood feud), about Fiorello La Guardia, John V. Lindsay and Nelson Rockefeller.

But The Power Broker is first and foremost a brilliant multidimensional portrait of a man--an extraordinary man who, denied power within the normal framework of the democratic process, stepped outside that framework to grasp power sufficient to shape a great city and to hold sway over the very texture of millions of lives. We see how Moses began: the handsome, intellectual young heir to the world of Our Crowd, an idealist. How, rebuffed by the entrenched political establishment, he fought for the power to accomplish his ideals. How he first created a miraculous flowering of parks and parkways, playlands and beaches--and then ultimately brought down on the city the smog-choked aridity of our urban landscape, the endless miles of (never sufficient) highway, the hopeless sprawl of Long Island, the massive failures of public housing, and countless other barriers to humane living. How, inevitably, the accumulation of power became an end in itself.

Moses built an empire and lived like an emperor. He was held in fear--his dossiers could disgorge the dark secret of anyone who opposed him. He was, he claimed, above politics, above deals; and through decade after decade, the newspapers and the public believed. Meanwhile, he was developing his public authorities into a fourth branch of government known as Triborough--a government whose records were closed to the public, whose policies and plans were decided not by voters or elected officials but solely by Moses--an immense economic force directing pressure on labor unions, on banks, on all the city's political and economic institutions, and on the press, and on the Church. He doled out millions of dollars' worth of legal fees, insurance commissions, lucrative contracts on the basis of who could best pay him back in the only coin he coveted: power. He dominated the politics and politicians of his time--without ever having been elected to any office. He was, in essence, above our democratic system.

Robert Moses held power in the state for 44 years, through the governorships of Smith, Roosevelt, Lehman, Dewey, Harriman and Rockefeller, and in the city for 34 years, through the mayoralties of La Guardia, O'Dwyer, Impellitteri, Wagner and Lindsay, He personally conceived and carried through public works costing 27 billion dollars--he was undoubtedly America's greatest builder.

This is how he built and dominated New York--before, finally, he was stripped of his reputation (by the press) and his power (by Nelson Rockefeller). But his work, and his will, had been done.
The Alamo and the War of Texan Independence 1835-36
The Alamo and the War of Texan Independence 1835-36
Paperback      ISBN: 0850456843

In 1823 Texas was opened to American settlement; over the next 12 years thousands took advantage of the opportunity. During this time the corrupt Santa Anna rose to power. A dishonest and ruthless politician, thief, compulsive gambler, opium addict and liar, he nevetheless gained a measure of popular support and set about destroying federalism. Conflict with the American settlers ('Texians') became inevitable, a conflict which included the legendary Battle of the Alamo. Philip Haythornwaite covers the story of the War of Texan Independence (1835-1936) in a volume backed by a wealth of illustrations and photographs, including eight full page colour plates by Paul Hannon