United States History, Regional
Featured Items
Kitchi-Gami: Life Among the Lake Superior Ojibway
Kitchi-Gami
Life Among the Lake Superior Ojibway
Paperback      ISBN: 0873511727

"Johann Kohl was an educated, urbane, and well-trained German geographer, ethnologist, and popular writer. During his visit with the Lake Superior Ojibwa in 1855, he made useful and unbiased studies of their material culture, religion, and folklore. . . . The extent of Kohl's observations is really amazing. They cover the fur trade, canoe building, domestic utensils, quillwork, native foods, hunting, fishing, trapping, cooking, toboggans, snowshoes, gardening, lodge building, games and warfare."--Museum of the Fur Trade Quarterly

Over the Edge: Death in Grand Canyon
Over the Edge
Death in Grand Canyon
Paperback      ISBN: 097009731x
The Mole People: Life in the Tunnels Beneath New York City
The Mole People
Life in the Tunnels Beneath New York City
Paperback      ISBN: 155652241x

Thousands of people live in the subway, railroad, and sewage tunnels that form the bowels of New York City and this book is about them, the so-called mole people. They live alone and in communities, in subway tunnels and below subway platforms and this fascinating study presents how and why people move underground, who they are, and what they have to say about their lives and the "topside" world they've left behind.

The Checkered Years: A Bonanza Farm Diary, 1884-88
The Checkered Years
A Bonanza Farm Diary, 1884-88
Paperback      ISBN: 0873512375

Mary Dodge Woodward, a fifty-six-year-old widow, moved from Wisconsin with her two grown sons and a daughter to a 1,500-acre bonanza wheat farm in Dakota Territory's Red River valley in 1882. For five years she recorded the yearly farm cycle of plowing and harvesting as well as the frustrations of gardening and raising chickens, the phenomenon of mirages on the plains, the awesome blizzard of 1888, her reliance on her family, and her close relationship with her daughter. She noted "blots, mistakes, joys, and sorrows" in her "olf friend." This Borealis edition brings back to print a valuable record of a frontier woman's life.

"Mary Dodge Woodward's personal record of her life on a Dakota Territory 'bonanza farm' adds new detail and texture to the histories of both women and the West. . . . She] wrote about what she saw: The epic procession of reapers and threshing crews, the wildflowers and birds, the stupendous mirages that could make the wintry prairie an optical wonderland." --Elizabeth Jameson, from the Introduction

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.

Local Wonders: Seasons in the Bohemian Alps
Local Wonders
Seasons in the Bohemian Alps
Hardcover      ISBN: 0803227515

Ted Kooser describes with exquisite detail and humor the place he calls home in the rolling hills of southeastern Nebraska--an area known as the Bohemian Alps. Nothing is too big or too small for his attention. Memories of his grandmother's cooking are juxtaposed with reflections about the old-fashioned outhouse on his property. When casting his eye on social progress, Kooser reminds us that the closing of local schools, thoughtless county weed control, and irresponsible housing development destroy more than just the view.

In the end, what makes life meaningful for Kooser are the ways in which his neighbors care for one another and how an afternoon walking with an old dog, or baking a pie, or decorating the house for Christmas can summon memories of his Iowa childhood. This writer is a seer in the truest sense of the word, discovering the extraordinary within the ordinary, the deep beneath the shallow, the abiding wisdom in the pithy Bohemian proverbs that are woven into his essays.

The Evidence of Things Not Seen: Reissued Edition
The Evidence of Things Not Seen
Reissued Edition
Paperback      ISBN: 0805039392

One of America's most important writers takes on the arrest of Wayne Bertram Williams for the murder of twenty-eight black children in Atlanta to offer this searing indictment of the nation's racial stagnation.

This edition of James Baldwin's classic work offers a new foreword by Derrick Bell (with Janet Dewart Bell), and is as meaningful today as it was when it was first published in 1985.

In his searing and moving essay, James Baldwin explores the Atlanta child murders that took place over a period of twenty-two months in 1979 and 1980. Examining this incident with a reporter's skill and an essayist's insight, he notes the significance of Atlanta as the site of these brutal killings--a city that claimed to be "too busy to hate"--and the permeation of race throughout the case: the black administration in Atlanta; the murdered black children; and Wayne Williams, the black man tried for the crimes.

Rummaging through the ruins of American race relations, Baldwin addresses all the hard-to-face issues that have brought us a moment in history where it is terrifying to to be a black child in white America, and where, too often, public officials fail to ask real questions about "justice for all." Baldwin takes a time-specific event and makes it timeless: The Evidence of Things Not Seen offers an incisive look at race in America through a lens at once disturbing and profoundly revealing.

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil: A Savannah Story
Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil
A Savannah Story
Hardcover      ISBN: 0679429220

Shots rang out in Savannah's grandest mansion in the misty, early morning hours of May 2, 1981. Was it murder or self-defense? For nearly a decade, the shooting and its aftermath reverberated throughout this hauntingly beautiful city of moss-hung oaks and shaded squares. John Berendt's sharply observed, suspenseful, and witty narrative reads like a thoroughly engrossing novel, and yet it is a work of nonfiction. Berendt skillfully interweaves a hugely entertaining first-person account of life in this isolated remnant of the Old South with the unpredictable twists and turns of a landmark murder case.


It is a spellbinding story peopled by a gallery of remarkable characters: the well-bred society ladies of the Married Woman's Card Club; the turbulent young redneck gigolo; the hapless recluse who owns a bottle of poison so powerful it could kill every man, woman, and child in Savannah; the aging and profane Southern belle who is the "soul of pampered self-absorption"; the uproariously funny black drag queen; the acerbic and arrogant antiques dealer; the sweet-talking, piano-playing con artist; young blacks dancing the minuet at the black debutante ball; and Minerva, the voodoo priestess who works her magic in the graveyard at midnight. These and other Savannahians act as a Greek chorus, with Berendt revealing the alliances, hostilities, and intrigues that thrive in a town where everyone knows everyone else.


Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil: A Savannah Story is a sublime and seductive reading experience. Brilliantly conceived and masterfully written, this enormously engaging portrait of a most beguiling Southern city is certain to become a modern classic.
The Frontier in American History
The Frontier in American History
Paperback      ISBN: 0486291677

One of the most influential and important books written about the impact of frontier life on a transplanted civilization. Reprinted from original 1920 edition, this edition lucidly reflects Jackson's thoughts on the frontier's role in promoting self-reliance, independence, democracy, immigration and westward expansion. A classic for students, teachers, and general readers.

It Happened in Washington Square
It Happened in Washington Square
Hardcover      ISBN: 0801870887

The heart of New York City's Greenwich Village, Washington Square Park has been a vital public space for nearly two centuries. Lined by elegant townhouses, anchored by Stanford White's iconic Washington Arch, and used by students and professionals, dog walkers and musicians, chess players and toddlers, the park is both an oasis from and an ideal of urban life. Synonymous with the city's artistic identity, the park has also witnessed waves of political and social unrest, and served as a focal point for contentious debates about the future of urban development. This rich and colorful history is captivatingly told by Emily Kies Folpe in It Happened on Washington Square.

Farmed by New Amsterdam's freed African slaves in the seventeenth century, the park was used as a potter's field and dueling ground in the aftermath of the Revolutionary War and then converted into a parade ground for the city's volunteer militia in 1826. Since the 1830s, when it formed the nucleus of an upscale community, Washington Square has been an incubator for American art and a haven for writers, painters, sculptors, and architects. At the beginning of the twentieth century, the area began to attract the artists and political radicals--from John Reed to the Beats--who gave the Square a counter-cultural aura it still possesses. In recent decades, the Square's residents have united against such threats to their neighborhood as the urban redevelopment proposed by Robert Moses and the expansion of New York University. Illustrated with a remarkable selection of historic images, It Happened on Washington Square explains why the survival of this unique public space is so important.