United States History, Regional
Featured Items
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

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.
Little Crow: Spokesman for the Sioux
Little Crow
Spokesman for the Sioux
Paperback      ISBN: 0873511964

Government officials and missionaries wanted all Sioux men to become self-sufficient farmers, wear pants, and cut their hair. The Indians, confronted by a land-hungry white population and a loss of hunting grounds, sought to exchange title to their homeland for annuities of cash and food, schools and teachers, and farms and agricultural knowledge. By 1862 the Sioux realized that their extensive kinship network and religion were in jeopardy and that the government would not fulfill its promises.

With their way of life endangered, the Sioux turned to Little Crow to lead them in a war for self-preservation, a war that Little Crow had tried to avoid during most of his adult life. Within a year, the Sioux had been evicted from Minnesota, Little Crow was dead, and a way of life had vanished. Through his life-his biography-the complex interrelationship of Indian and white can be studied and, in some measure, understood.

Great Lakes Shipwrecks & Survivals
Great Lakes Shipwrecks & Survivals
Paperback      ISBN: 0802870104

In this breathtaking chronicle of the most spectacular shipwrecks and survivals on the Great Lakes, William Ratigan re-creates vivid scenes of high courage and screaming panic from which no reader can turn away.

Included in this striking catalog of catastrophes and Flying Dutchmen are the magnificent excursion liner Eastland, which capsized at her pier in the Chicago River, drowning 835 people within clutching distance of busy downtown streets; the shipwrecked steel freighter Mataafa, which dumped its crew into freezing waters while the snowbound town of Duluth looked on; the dark Sunday in November 1913 when Lake Huron swallowed eight long ships without a man surviving to tell the tale; and the bitter November of 1958 when the Bradley went down in Lake Michigan during one of the greatest killer storms on the freshwater seas. An entire section is dedicated to the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald -- the most famous maritime loss in modern times -- in Lake Superior in 1975.

Chilling watercolor illustrations, photographs, maps, and news clippings accentuate Ratigan's compelling and dramatic storytelling. Sailors, historians, and general readers alike will be swept away by these unforgettable tales of tragedy and heroism.
Skid Road: An Informal Portrait of Seattle
Skid Road
An Informal Portrait of Seattle
Paperback      ISBN: 0295958464

Informal and picturesque, Skid Road is the story of Seattle during its first hundred years, seen through the lives of the vigorous personalities of its settlers and early citizens. This handsomely illustrated revised edition brings Seattle's history up-to-date and provides a vivid portrayal of its past: pioneering, Indian warfare, lumber, railroads, the great fire of 1889, the Alaska gold rush, the amusement business, newspapers, the general strike of 1919, and the tumultuous politics of city and state that have made history in the Northwest.

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.

History of the Sierra Nevada
History of the Sierra Nevada
Paperback      ISBN: 0520015517
From the time it was sighted by Spanish explorers in the eighteenth century through the creation of the John Muir trail, the building of the Hetch Hetchy Dam, and the founding of the Sierra Club, the great snowy range of California has provided fulfillment to generations of trappers, immigrants, engineers, naturalists, and tourists. Now a mountaineering classic, this pioneering book was the first to synthesize into a single, riveting narrative all of the varied aspects of human endeavor related to the history of the Sierra Nevada. Thoroughly illustrated with photographs, drawings, and maps, the book continues to be indispensable for any lover of the high country.
Salvation on Sand Mountain: Snake Handling and Redemption in Southern Appalachia
Salvation on Sand Mountain
Snake Handling and Redemption in Southern Appalachia
Paperback      ISBN: 0140254587

A journalist describes an assignment in the mountains of Alabama which led to his spiritual journey into the world of holiness snake handling, a faith whose followers characteristically place themselves in life-threatening situations. Reprint. Tour. NYT.

Peculiar Institution: Slavery in the Ante-Bellum South
Peculiar Institution
Slavery in the Ante-Bellum South
Paperback      ISBN: 0679723072

Winner of the Lincoln Prize

Stampp's classic study of American slavery as a deliberately chosen, practical system of controlling and exploiting labor is one of the most important and influential works of American history written in our time.

"A thoughtful and deeply moving book. . . . Mr. Stampp wants to show specifically what slavery was like, why it existed, and what it did to the American people."--Bruce Catton
Bring Warm Clothes: Letters and Photos from Minnesota's Past
Bring Warm Clothes
Letters and Photos from Minnesota's Past
by Meier
Paperback      ISBN: 0932272061

This best-selling book is a look at Minnesota's history as told through the letters, diaries and photographs of people who lived it. You'll find actual letters, journal entries, photos and more woven into a marvelous documentary of Minnesota. Discover what Minnesota was like for her people--explorers, farmers, homemakers, socialites, children, laborers, lawyers and lumberjacks. A classic in its 13th printing.