Browse Category

American History

Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition

By Daniel Okrent

An excellent, authoritative, and interesting heritage of America’s so much complicated period, the years 1920 to 1933, while the USA structure used to be amended to limit one in every of America’s favourite pursuits: ingesting alcoholic beverages.

From its commence, the USA has been awash in drink. The crusing vessel that introduced John Winthrop to the beaches of the hot global in 1630 carried extra beer than water. via the 1820s, liquor flowed so plentifully it was once more affordable than tea. That american citizens may ever agree to relinquish their booze was once as inconceivable because it used to be astonishing.

Yet we did, and Last name is Daniel Okrent’s magnificent clarification of why we did it, what lifestyles below Prohibition was once like, and the way such an unheard of measure of presidency interference within the inner most lives of usa citizens replaced the rustic forever.

Writing with either wit and old acuity, Okrent finds how Prohibition marked a confluence of numerous forces: the starting to be political energy of the women’s suffrage circulation, which allied itself with the antiliquor crusade; the terror of small-town, native-stock Protestants that they have been wasting keep watch over in their nation to the immigrants of the big towns; the anti-German sentiment stoked via international warfare I; and various different not likely components, starting from the increase of the auto to the arrival of the source of revenue tax.

Through all of it, americans stored ingesting, going to remarkably inventive lengths to smuggle, promote, hide, and convivially (and occasionally fatally) imbibe their favourite intoxicants. Last name is peopled with shiny characters of an impressive kind: Susan B. Anthony and Billy Sunday, William Jennings Bryan and bootlegger Sam Bronfman, Pierre S. du Pont and H. L. Mencken, Meyer Lansky and the incredible—if long-forgotten—federal respectable Mabel Walker Willebrandt, who through the twenties used to be the main robust girl within the kingdom. (Perhaps so much unbelievable of all is Okrent’s account of Joseph P. Kennedy’s mythical, and long-misunderstood, position within the liquor business.)

It’s a e-book wealthy with tales from approximately all components of the rustic. Okrent’s narrative runs via smoky big apple speakeasies, the place family among the sexes have been replaced without end; California vineyards busily generating “sacramental” wine; New England fishing groups that gave up fishing for the extra profitable rum-running enterprise; and in Washington, the halls of Congress itself, the place politicians who had voted for Prohibition drank overtly and with no apology.

Last name is capacious, meticulous, and thrillingly instructed. It stands because the such a lot entire background of Prohibition ever written and confirms Daniel Okrent’s rank as an important American author.

Show description

Keep Reading

Becoming Confederates: Paths to a New National Loyalty (Mercer University Lamar Memorial Lectures)

By Gary W. Gallagher

In Becoming Confederates, Gary W. Gallagher explores loyalty within the period of the Civil battle, targeting Robert E. Lee, Stephen Dodson Ramseur, and Jubal A. Early—three admired officials within the military of Northern Virginia who grew to become ardent accomplice nationalists. Loyalty used to be verified and proved in lots of methods prime as much as and through the warfare. taking a look at degrees of allegiance to their local nation, to the slaveholding South, to the USA, and to the Confederacy, Gallagher indicates how those males symbolize responses to the mid-nineteenth-century crisis.

Lee routinely has been offered as a reluctant convert to the Confederacy whose strongest identity was once together with his domestic kingdom of Virginia—an interpretation at odds together with his way more advanced variety of loyalties. Ramseur, the youngest of the 3, eagerly embraced a accomplice identification, highlighting generational adjustments within the equation of loyalty. Early mixed components of Lee's and Ramseur's reactions—a Unionist who grudgingly authorised Virginia's departure from the us yet later got here to personify defiant accomplice nationalism.

The paths of those males towards accomplice loyalty aid delineate very important contours of yankee background. Gallagher indicates that americans juggled a number of, frequently conflicting, loyalties and that white southern identification used to be preoccupied with racial regulate transcending politics and sophistication. certainly, figuring out those men's views makes it tough to argue that the Confederacy shouldn't be deemed a state. possibly most crucial, their reviews support us comprehend why Confederates waged a prodigiously bloody conflict and the way within which they handled defeat.

Show description

Keep Reading

American Character: A History of the Epic Struggle Between Individual Liberty and the Common Good

By Colin Woodard

The writer of American Nations examines the heritage of and options to the most important American query: how most sensible to reconcile person liberty with the upkeep of a unfastened society

The fight among person rights and the nice of the neighborhood as a complete has been the root of approximately each significant war of words in our background, from the debates on the Constitutional conference and within the run as much as the Civil battle to the fights surrounding the agendas of the Federalists, the Progressives, the hot buyers, the civil rights move, and the Tea occasion. In American Character, Colin Woodard lines those key strands in American politics in the course of the 4 centuries of the nation’s life, from the 1st colonies in the course of the Gilded Age, nice melancholy and the current day, and he explores how varied areas of the rustic have effectively or disastrously accommodated them. The self sustaining streak discovered its such a lot pernicious shape within the antebellum South yet was once balanced within the Gilded Age by way of communitarian reform efforts; the hot Deal was once an instance of a winning coalition among communitarian-minded jap elites and Southerners.

Woodard argues that holding a liberal democracy, a society the place mass human freedom is feasible, calls for discovering a stability among maintaining  individual liberty and nurturing a unfastened society. Going to both libertarian or collectivist extremes leads to tyranny. yet the place does the “sweet spot” lie within the usa, a federation of disparate nearby cultures that experience regularly strongly disagreed on those concerns? Woodard leads readers on a riveting and revealing trip via 4 centuries of fight, experimentation, successes and screw ups to supply a solution. His traditionally trained and pragmatic feedback on how you can accomplish that stability and holiday the nation’s  political impasse can be of curiosity to someone who cares concerning the present American predicament—political, ideological, and sociological.

Show description

Keep Reading

California: A History

By Arthur C. Verge

The 8th version of California: A History covers the total scope of the background of the Golden nation, from prior to first touch with Europeans through the current; an accessible and compelling narrative that contains the tales of the various various peoples who've known as, and at present do name, California home.

  • Explores the most recent advancements in terms of California’s immigration, strength, atmosphere, and transportation concerns
  • Features concise chapters and a story technique in addition to a variety of maps, pictures, and new photo gains to facilitate pupil comprehension
  • Offers illuminating insights into the numerous occasions and folks that formed the long and complicated historical past of a nation that has turn into synonymous with the yank dream
  • Includes dialogue of contemporary – and uniquely Californian – social developments connecting Hollywood, social media, and Silicon Valley – and such a lot lately "Silicon Beach"

Show description

Keep Reading

No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, The Home Front in World War II

Doris Kearns Goodwin's Pulitzer Prize-winning enormous bestseller, No usual Time, is now to be had from Encore for less than $14.99!

From the bestselling writer of Team of Rivals and The Fitzgeralds and the Kennedys, a compelling chronicle of a state and its leaders in the course of the interval while glossy the USA used to be created. on the middle of the country’s transformation was once the complicated partnership of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt.

Using diaries, interviews, and White apartment files of the president’s and primary lady’s comings and goings, Goodwin paints an in depth, intimate portrait not just of the day-by-day behavior of the presidency in the course of wartime yet of the Roosevelts themselves and their remarkable constellation of pals, advisers, and family members, a lot of whom lived with them within the White House.

Bringing to endure the instruments of historical past and biography in addition to her nice expertise for taking pictures larger-than-life characters, Goodwin relates the original tale of the way Franklin Roosevelt, surrounded by means of his small circle of intimates, led the state to army victory overseas opposed to doubtless insurmountable odds and, with Eleanor’s crucial aid, ceaselessly adjustments the cloth of yank society.

Show description

Keep Reading

The American Catholic Almanac: A Daily Reader of Patriots, Saints, Rogues, and Ordinary People Who Changed the United States

By Brian Burch, Emily Stimpson


They’re all Catholics who've formed the USA. during this page-a-day heritage, 365 inspiring tales have fun the historical contributions of yankee women and men formed via their Catholic religion. From recognized figures to lesser-known saints and sinners, the yankee Catholic Almanac tells the attention-grabbing, humorous, uplifting, and not likely stories of Catholics’ effect on American historical past, tradition, and politics. Spanning the scope of the progressive struggle to Notre Dame soccer, this designated choice of tales highlights the transformative position of the Catholic Church in American public existence during the last four hundred years.

Did you know…
• the 1st immigrant to reach in the United States through Ellis Island was once a 15-year-old Irish Catholic girl?
• Al Capone’s tombstone reads “MY JESUS MERCY”?
• Andrew Jackson credited America’s victory within the conflict of recent Orleans to the prayers of the Virgin Mary and the Ursuline Sisters?
• 5 Franciscans died in sixteenth-century Georgia protecting the Church’s teachings on marriage?
• Jack Kerouac died desirous to be referred to as a Catholic and never in simple terms as a beat poet?
• Catholic missionaries lived in Virginia 36 years sooner than the English settled Jamestown?

Show description

Keep Reading

The Age of Reform

This booklet is a landmark in American political idea. It examines the fervour for development and reform that coloured the complete interval from 1890 to 1940 -- with startling and stimulating effects. it searches out the ethical and emotional explanations of the reformers the myths and desires within which they believed, and the realities with which that they had to compromise.

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize.

Show description

Keep Reading

Moonshine Nation: The Art of Creating Cornbread in a Bottle

By Mark Spivak

Moonshine is corn whiskey, characteristically made in improvised stills through the Appalachian South. whereas caliber diverse from one manufacturer to a different, the whiskey had something in universal: It was once unlawful as the distiller refused to pay taxes to the united states executive. Many moonshiners have been descendants of Scots-Irish immigrants who had fought within the unique Whiskey uprising within the early 1790s. They introduced their wisdom of distilling with them to the United States besides a profound experience of independence and a refusal to undergo executive authority. Today many Southern states have cozy their legislation and now enable the criminal creation of moonshine—provided that taxes are paid. but many glossy moonshiners hold deep hyperlinks to their bootlegging historical past. Moonshine Nation is the tale of moonshine’s background and origins along profiles of contemporary moonshiners—and a set of drink recipes from each.

Show description

Keep Reading

Theodore Rex

By Edmund Morris

Theodore Rex is the story—never totally instructed before—of Theodore Roosevelt’s world-changing phrases as President of the USA. 100 years prior to the disaster of September eleven, 2001, “TR” succeeded to energy within the aftermath of an act of terrorism. Youngest of all our leader executives, he rallied a afflicted state together with his superhuman power, allure, and political abilities. He proceeded to strive against the issues of race and exertions kinfolk and belief keep an eye on whereas making the Panama Canal attainable and profitable the Nobel Peace Prize. yet his such a lot old fulfillment continues to be his construction of a countrywide conservation coverage, and his monument thousands of acres of secure parks and woodland. Theodore Rex ends with TR leaving place of work, nonetheless simply fifty years outdated, his destiny acceptance safe as one in all our best presidents.

Show description

Keep Reading

Argo: How the CIA and Hollywood Pulled Off the Most Audacious Rescue in History

By Matt Baglio

The precise account of a bold rescue that encouraged the movie ARGO, winner of the 2012 Academy Award for most sensible Picture

On November four, 1979, Iranian militants stormed the yank embassy in Tehran and captured dozens of yankee hostages, sparking a 444-day ordeal and a quake in worldwide politics nonetheless reverberating this present day. yet there's a little-known drama hooked up to the problem: six american citizens escaped. And a top-level CIA officer named Antonio Mendez devised an creative but awfully dicy plan to rescue them earlier than they have been detected.

Disguising himself as a Hollywood manufacturer, and supported by way of a forged of professional forgers, deep disguise CIA operatives, international brokers, and Hollywood lighting tricks artists, Mendez traveled to Tehran below the guise of scouting destinations for a faux technological know-how fiction movie referred to as Argo. whereas pretending to discover the best movie backdrops, Mendez and a colleague succeeded in contacting the escapees, and smuggling them out of Iran.

Antonio Mendez ultimately information the terribly advanced and unsafe operation he led greater than 3 a long time in the past. A riveting tale of mystery identities and overseas intrigue, Argo is the gripping account of the history-making collusion among Hollywood and high-stakes espionage. 

Show description

Keep Reading