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231 Featured Titles

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Exam Copy
American Movie Palaces

Written by Rolf Achilles


Format: Trade Paperback, 64 pages
Publisher: Shire
On Sale: October 22, 2013
Price: $9.95
ISBN: 978-0-7478-1282-1 (0-7478-1282-9)

Beginning with the Nickelodeons and penny arcades in the 1890s, the American movie theater evolved as films did, in sophistication and mass appeal, reaching new heights in architecture, décor and glamour by the 1920s and 30s. This book is the story of the American Movie Palace and how the emergence of... Read more >

Exam Copy
Cool Comfort
America's Romance with Air-Conditioning
Written by Marsha Ackermann


Format: Trade Paperback, 224 pages
Publisher: Smithsonian Books
On Sale: July 6, 2010
Price: $29.95
ISBN: 978-1-58834-279-9 (1-58834-279-4)

The year 2002 marked the 100th anniversary of the first installation of air-conditioning. During the past century, it has become a staple of American life; 83% of US homes are now air-conditioned. In this engaging social history, Marsha Ackermann explores how the idea of “cooling” became firmly embedded in the social... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Exam Copy
The Bark Canoes and Skin Boats of North America

Written by Edwin Tappan Adney and Howard Chappelle


Format: Trade Paperback, 256 pages
Publisher: Smithsonian Books
On Sale: March 17, 1983
Price: $32.95
ISBN: 978-1-56098-296-8 (1-56098-296-9)

The bark canoes of the North American Indians, particularly those of birchbark, were among the most highly developed manually propelled primitive watercraft. They could be used to carry heavy loads in shallow streams but were light enough to be hauled long distances over land. Built with Stone Age tools from available... Read more >

Exam Copy
Cotton Tenants
Three Families
Written by James Agee
Edited by John Summers
Photographed by Walker Evans
Introduction by Adam Haslett


Format: Hardcover, 224 pages
Publisher: Melville House
On Sale: May 29, 2013
Price: $24.95
ISBN: 978-1-61219-212-3 (1-61219-212-2)

In 1941, James Agee and Walker Evans published Let Us Now Praise Famous Men, a four-hundred-page prose symphony about three tenant farming families in Hale County, Alabama at the height of the Great Depression. The book shattered journalistic and literary conventions. Critic Lionel Trilling called it the “most realistic and most... Read more >
Also available as an eBook and a trade paperback.

Exam Copy
Grace
Quotes & Passages for Heart, Mind, and Soul
Written by B.C. Aronson


Format: Hardcover, 224 pages
Publisher: Random House Reference
On Sale: May 9, 2006
Price: $14.95
ISBN: 978-0-375-42607-0 (0-375-42607-8)

This treasury of quotes and passages on leading a centered, purposeful, and spiritual life offers the advice and observations of leaders from all walks of life. Included are Ghandi, Lao-Tzu, Maya Angelou, Martin Luther King, Jr., Mother Teresa, and hundreds of other unique and inspiring voices on subjects like compassion, kindness... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Exam Copy
Radical Innocent: Upton Sinclair

Written by Anthony Arthur


Format: Hardcover, 400 pages
Publisher: Random House
On Sale: June 6, 2006
Price: $27.95
ISBN: 978-1-4000-6151-8 (1-4000-6151-2)

Few American writers have revealed their private as well as their public selves so fully as Upton Sinclair, and virtually none over such a long lifetime (1878—1968). Sinclair’s writing, even at its most poignant or electrifying, blurred the line between politics and art–and, indeed, his life followed a similar arc. In... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Exam Copy
The Inventor and the Tycoon
The Murderer Eadweard Muybridge, the Entrepreneur Leland Stanford, and the Birth of Moving Pictures
Written by Edward Ball


Format: Trade Paperback, 464 pages
Publisher: Anchor
On Sale: November 5, 2013
Price: $16.95
ISBN: 978-0-7679-2940-0 (0-7679-2940-3)

Nearly 140 years ago, in frontier California, photographer Eadweard Muybridge captured time with his camera and played it back on a flickering screen, inventing the breakthrough technology of moving pictures. Yet the visionary inventor Muybridge was also a murderer who killed coolly and meticulously, and his trial became a national sensation... Read more >
Also available as an unabridged audiobook download and an eBook.

Exam Copy
Dreaming Up America

Written by Russell Banks


Format: Trade Paperback, 144 pages
Publisher: Seven Stories Press
On Sale: February 2, 2010
Price: $13.95
ISBN: 978-1-58322-891-3 (1-58322-891-8)

With America ever under global scrutiny, Russell Banks contemplates the questions of our origins, values, heroes, conflicts, and contradictions. He writes with conversational ease and emotional insight, drawing on contemporary politics, literature, film, and his knowledge of American history.

“Russell Banks is not only one of our greatest novelists but also a... Read more >
Also available as an eBook and a hardcover.

Exam Copy
Gun Guys
A Road Trip
Written by Dan Baum


Format: Trade Paperback, 352 pages
Publisher: Vintage
On Sale: December 3, 2013
Price: $15.95
ISBN: 978-0-307-74250-6 (0-307-74250-4)

Dan Baum is a gun fanatic. He is also Jewish Democrat who grew up in suburban New Jersey. In Gun Guys, he takes us on a guided tour of gun stores and gun shows, shooting ranges and festivals, contests and auctions, trying to figure out what draws so many of us... Read more >
Also available as an unabridged audiobook download, eBook and a hardcover.

Exam Copy
Gun Guys
A Road Trip
Written by Dan Baum


Format: Hardcover, 352 pages
Publisher: Knopf
On Sale: March 5, 2013
Price: $26.95
ISBN: 978-0-307-59541-6 (0-307-59541-2)

Here is armed America—a land of machine-gun gatherings in the desert, lederhosened German shooting societies, feral-hog hunts in Texas, and Hollywood gun armories. Whether they’re collecting antique weapons, practicing concealed carry, or firing an AR-15 or a Glock at their local range, many Americans love guns—which horrifies and fascinates many other... Read more >
Also available as an unabridged audiobook download, eBook and a trade paperback.

Exam Copy
Sticks and Stones
Defeating the Culture of Bullying and Rediscovering the Power of Character and Empathy
Written by Emily Bazelon


Format: Hardcover, 400 pages
Publisher: Random House
On Sale: February 19, 2013
Price: $27.00
ISBN: 978-0-8129-9280-9 (0-8129-9280-6)

To read the author’s essay to educators, go to: http://tiny.cc/rpzzrw


Being a teenager has never been easy, but in recent years, with the rise of the Internet and social media, it has become exponentially more challenging. Bullying, once thought of as the province of queen bees and goons, has taken on... Read more >
Also available as an unabridged audiobook download, eBook and a trade paperback.

Exam Copy
Dosed
The Medication Generation Grows Up
Written by Kaitlin Bell Barnett


Format: Hardcover, 256 pages
Publisher: Beacon Press
On Sale: April 10, 2012
Price: $25.95
ISBN: 978-0-8070-0134-9 (0-8070-0134-1)

Over the last two decades, we have seen a dramatic spike in the number of young people taking psychiatric medication--but, despite a heated debate on the issue, we haven’t heard directly from the “medicated kids” themselves. In Dosed, Kaitlin Bell Barnett, who was diagnosed with depression as a teenager, weaves together... Read more >
Also available as an eBook and a trade paperback.

Exam Copy
All You Can Eat
How Hungry is America?
Written by Joel Berg


Format: Trade Paperback, 352 pages
Publisher: Seven Stories Press
On Sale: November 4, 2008
Price: $22.95
ISBN: 978-1-58322-854-8 (1-58322-854-3)

With the biting wit of Supersize Me and the passion of a lifelong activist, Joel Berg has his eye on the growing number of people who are forced to wait on lines at food pantries across the nation–the modern breadline. All You Can Eat reveals that hunger is a problem as... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Exam Copy
When a Heart Turns Rock Solid
The Lives of Three Puerto Rican Brothers On and Off the Streets
Written by Timothy Black


Format: Trade Paperback, 464 pages
Publisher: Vintage
On Sale: August 24, 2010
Price: $16.95
ISBN: 978-0-307-45487-4 (0-307-45487-8)

Winner of the Mirra Komarovsky Award
Winner of the Association for Humanist Sociology Book Award
Finalist for the Puerto Rican Studies Association Book Award
A Washington Post Best Book of the Year


This provocative and compelling book examines how jobs, schools, the streets, and prisons have shaped the lives and choices of a generation... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Exam Copy
White Bread
A Social History of the Store-Bought Loaf
Written by Aaron Bobrow-Strain


Format: Trade Paperback
Publisher: Beacon Press
On Sale: January 22, 2013
Price: $17.00
ISBN: 978-0-8070-4478-0 (0-8070-4478-4)

How did white bread, once an icon of American progress, become “white trash”? In this lively history of bakers, dietary crusaders, and social reformers, Aaron Bobrow-Strain shows us that what we think about the humble, puffy loaf says a lot about who we are and what we want our society to... Read more >
Also available as an eBook and a hardcover.

Exam Copy
White Bread
A Social History of the Store-Bought Loaf
Written by Aaron Bobrow-Strain


Format: Hardcover, 272 pages
Publisher: Beacon Press
On Sale: March 6, 2012
Price: $27.95
ISBN: 978-0-8070-4467-4 (0-8070-4467-9)

What can the history of America’s one-hundred-year love-hate relationship with sliced white bread tell us about contemporary efforts to change the way we eat? Fluffy industrial loaves are about as far from slow, local, and organic as you can get, but the story of social reformers, food experts, and diet gurus... Read more >
Also available as an eBook and a trade paperback.

Exam Copy
Bright Boulevards, Bold Dreams
The Story of Black Hollywood
Written by Donald Bogle


Format: Trade Paperback, 432 pages
Publisher: One World/Ballantine
On Sale: January 31, 2006
Price: $15.95
ISBN: 978-0-345-45419-5 (0-345-45419-7)

In Bright Boulevards, Bold Dreams, Donald Bogle tells–for the first time–the story of a place both mythic and real: Black Hollywood. Spanning sixty years, this history uncovers the audacious manner in which many blacks made a place for themselves in an industry that originally had no place for them.

Through interviews... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Exam Copy
Slacks and Calluses
Our Summer in a Bomber Factory
Written by Constance Bowman
Illustrated by Clara Marie Allen


Format: Trade Paperback, 200 pages
Publisher: Smithsonian Books
On Sale: October 17, 2004
Price: $15.95
ISBN: 978-1-56098-368-2 (1-56098-368-X)

In 1943 two spirited young teachers decided to do their part for the war effort by spending their summer vacation working the swing shift on a B-24 production line at a San Diego bomber plant. Entering a male-dominated realm of welding torches and bomb bays, they learned to use tools that... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Exam Copy
The First American
The Life and Times of Benjamin Franklin
Written by H.W. Brands


Format: Trade Paperback, 784 pages
Publisher: Anchor
On Sale: March 12, 2002
Price: $18.00
ISBN: 978-0-385-49540-0 (0-385-49540-4)

Pulitzer Prize Finalist

A groundbreaking scientist, leading businessman, philosopher, bestselling author, inventor, diplomat, politician, and wit, Benjamin Franklin was perhaps the most beloved and celebrated American of his age, or indeed of any age. Now, in a beautifully written and meticulously researched account of Franklin's life and times, his clever repartee, generous... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Exam Copy
Lone Star Nation
The Epic Story of the Battle for Texas Independence
Written by H.W. Brands


Format: Trade Paperback, 608 pages
Publisher: Anchor
On Sale: February 8, 2005
Price: $19.00
ISBN: 978-1-4000-3070-5 (1-4000-3070-6)

In Lone Star Nation, Pulitzer Prize finalist H. W. Brands demythologizes Texas’s journey to statehood and restores the genuinely heroic spirit to a pivotal chapter in American history.

From Stephen Austin, Texas’s reluctant founder, to the alcoholic Sam Houston, who came to lead the Texas army in its hour of crisis and... Read more >

Exam Copy
"I Heard You Paint Houses"
Frank "The Irishman" Sheeran & Closing the Case on Jimmy Hoffa
Written by Charles Brandt


Format: Trade Paperback, 320 pages
Publisher: Steerforth
On Sale: May 24, 2005
Price: $15.95
ISBN: 978-1-58642-089-5 (1-58642-089-5)

"I heard you paint houses" are the first words Jimmy Hoffa ever spoke to Frank "the Irishman" Sheeran. To paint a house is to kill a man. The paint is the blood that splatters on the walls and floors. In the course of nearly five years of recorded interviews Frank Sheeran... Read more >
Also available as an unabridged audiobook download and an eBook.

Exam Copy
Promises Kept
Raising Black Boys to Succeed in School and in Life
Written by Dr. Joe Brewster, Michele Stephenson and Hilary Beard


Format: Trade Paperback, 384 pages
Publisher: Spiegel & Grau
On Sale: January 14, 2014
Price: $18.00
ISBN: 978-0-8129-8489-7 (0-8129-8489-7)

Regardless of how wealthy or poor their parents are, all black boys must confront and surmount the "achievement gap": a divide that shows up not only in test scores, but in their social and emotional development, their physical well-being, and their outlook on life. As children, they score as high on...

Read more >
Also available as an unabridged audiobook download and an eBook.

Exam Copy
The World War II Memorial
A Grateful Nation Remembers
Edited by Douglas Brinkley
Foreword by John Eisenhower


Format: Hardcover, 288 pages
Publisher: Smithsonian Books
On Sale: May 17, 2004
Price: $39.95
ISBN: 978-1-58834-210-2 (1-58834-210-7)

Assuming its rightful place of honor on the National Mall between the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument, the World War II Memorial is an eloquent and moving tribute to “The Greatest Generation.” Sixteen million Americans served in the armed forces–more than 400,000 gave their lives–and millions supported the war effort... Read more >

Exam Copy
Boom!
Talking About the Sixties: What Happened, How It Shaped Today, Lessons for Tomorrow
Written by Tom Brokaw


Format: Trade Paperback, 688 pages
Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks
On Sale: October 14, 2008
Price: $18.00
ISBN: 978-0-8129-7511-6 (0-8129-7511-1)

In Boom!, Tom Brokaw, one of America’s premier journalists and the acclaimed author of The Greatest Generation, gives us an epic portrait of another defining era in America: the tumultuous Sixties. The voices and stories of both famous people and ordinary citizens come together in this “virtual reunion” as Brokaw takes... Read more >

Exam Copy
A Queer History of the United States

Written by Michael Bronski


Format: Trade Paperback, 312 pages
Publisher: Beacon Press
On Sale: May 15, 2012
Price: $18.00
ISBN: 978-0-8070-4465-0 (0-8070-4465-2)

*2011 ALA Stonewall Israel Fishman Non-Fiction Award

The first book to cover the entirety of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender history, from pre-1492 to the present.

In the 1620s, Thomas Morton broke from Plymouth Colony and founded Merrymount, which celebrated same-sex desire, atheism, and interracial marriage. Transgender evangelist Jemima Wilkinson, in the early... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.
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