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230 Featured Titles

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Exam Copy
Sento at Sixth and Main
Preserving Landmarks of Japanese American Heritage
Written by Gail Dubrow


Format: Trade Paperback, 224 pages
Publisher: Smithsonian Books
On Sale: October 17, 2004
Price: $18.95
ISBN: 978-1-58834-208-9 (1-58834-208-5)

Quietly elegant, yet issuing a clarion call for intervention, Sento at Sixth and Main rediscovers early Japanese American culture and presents an indisputable case for the preservation of ten key landmarks in California and Washington. The authors recreate the Japanese American experience, intertwining rich oral histories from community members with current... Read more >

Exam Copy
Lewis & Clark
The Journey of the Corps of Discovery
Written by Dayton Duncan


Format: Trade Paperback, 272 pages
Publisher: Knopf
On Sale: August 31, 1999
Price: $29.95
ISBN: 978-0-375-70652-3 (0-375-70652-6)

This companion volume to Ken Burns' PBS documentary provides a richly detailed, factual account of Lewis and Clark's Corps of Discovery and its trek across the newly acquired Louisiana Territory.

Including over 150 illustrations--most in full color--and numerous excerpts from the journals kept by the two captains and four enlisted men, Lewis... Read more >
Also available as an abridged audiobook download.

Exam Copy
The National Parks
America's Best Idea
Written by Dayton Duncan and Ken Burns


Format: Trade Paperback, 432 pages
Publisher: Knopf
On Sale: May 3, 2011
Price: $35.00
ISBN: 978-0-375-71210-4 (0-375-71210-0)

The companion volume to the twelve-hour PBS series from the acclaimed filmmaker behind The Civil War, Baseball, and The War

America’s national parks spring from an idea as radical as the Declaration of Independence: that the nation’s most magnificent and sacred places should be preserved, not for royalty or the rich, but... Read more >

Exam Copy
Lasso the Wind
Away to the New West
Written by Timothy Egan


Format: Trade Paperback, 288 pages
Publisher: Vintage
On Sale: October 26, 1999
Price: $16.95
ISBN: 978-0-679-78182-0 (0-679-78182-X)

A New York Times Notable Book of the Year

Winner of the Mountains and Plains Book Seller's Association Award

"Sprawling in scope. . . . Mr. Egan uses the past powerfully to explain and give dimension to the present." --The New York Times

"Fine reportage . . . honed and polished until it reads... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Exam Copy
Representations of Slavery
Race and Ideology in Southern Plantation Museums
Written by Jennifer L. Eichstedt and Stephen Small


Format: Trade Paperback, 312 pages
Publisher: Smithsonian Books
On Sale: September 17, 2002
Price: $21.95
ISBN: 978-1-58834-096-2 (1-58834-096-1)

How is slavery presented at the public and private plantation museums in the American South, almost 150 years after the Civil War? Jennifer L. Eichstedt and Stephen Small investigated this question in Virginia, Georgia, and Louisiana by touring more than one hundred plantation museums; twenty locations organized and run by African... Read more >

Exam Copy
His Excellency
George Washington
Written by Joseph J. Ellis


Format: Hardcover, 352 pages
Publisher: Knopf
On Sale: October 26, 2004
Price: $29.95
ISBN: 978-1-4000-4031-5 (1-4000-4031-0)

The author of seven highly acclaimed books, Joseph J. Ellis has crafted a landmark biography that brings to life in all his complexity the most important and perhaps least understood figure in American history, George Washington. With his careful attention to detail and his lyrical prose, Ellis has set a new... Read more >
Also available as an eBook and a trade paperback.

Exam Copy
American Plastic
Boob Jobs, Credit Cards, and Our Quest for Perfection
Written by Laurie Essig


Format: Trade Paperback, 248 pages
Publisher: Beacon Press
On Sale: November 8, 2011
Price: $20.00
ISBN: 978-0-8070-0323-7 (0-8070-0323-9)

The story of how credit and cosmetic surgery have created a subprime mortgage crisis of the body.

In this provocative book, sociologist Laurie Essig traces the history of plastic surgery, tracks the effect of fashion and porn on our desire to “fix” ourselves, and explores our image- and youth-obsessed culture. In over... Read more >
Also available as an eBook and a hardcover.

Exam Copy
Toms River
A Story of Science and Salvation
Written by Dan Fagin


Format: Hardcover, 560 pages
Publisher: Bantam
On Sale: March 19, 2013
Price: $28.00
ISBN: 978-0-553-80653-3 (0-553-80653-X)

Winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize (General Nonfiction)

The riveting true story of a small town ravaged by industrial pollution, Toms River melds hard-hitting investigative reporting, a fascinating scientific detective story, and an unforgettable cast of characters into a sweeping narrative in the tradition of A Civil Action, The Emperor of All... Read more >
Also available as an unabridged audiobook download and an eBook.

Exam Copy
One Nation Under Goods
Malls and the Seductions of American Shopping
Written by James J. Farrell


Format: Trade Paperback, 352 pages
Publisher: Smithsonian Books
On Sale: July 6, 2010
Price: $26.95
ISBN: 978-1-58834-292-8 (1-58834-292-1)

Loved and hated, visited and avoided, seemingly everywhere yet endlessly the same, malls occupy a special place in American life. What, then, is this invention that evokes such strong and contradictory emotions in Americans? In many ways malls represent the apotheosis of American consumerism and this synthetic and wide-ranging investigation is... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Exam Copy
The Oxford Project

Text by Stephen G. Bloom
Photographed by Peter Feldstein


Format: Trade Paperback, 256 pages
Publisher: Welcome Books
On Sale: September 28, 2010
Price: $29.95
ISBN: 978-1-59962-087-9 (1-59962-087-1)

The Alex-award winning The Oxford Project is back in an abridged paperback edition. Less expensive, more portable, and retaining all the drama of this extraordinary true tale of a seemingly ordinary Midwestern town through the pictures and words its residents. Equal parts art, American history, cultural anthropology, and human narrative -... Read more >

Exam Copy
Farewell, My Subaru
An Epic Adventure in Local Living
Written by Doug Fine


Format: Trade Paperback, 224 pages
Publisher: Villard
On Sale: March 24, 2009
Price: $15.00
ISBN: 978-0-8129-7789-9 (0-8129-7789-0)

Selected for Common Reading at Western Connecticut State University


Like many Americans, Doug Fine enjoys his creature comforts, but he also knows full well they keep him addicted to oil. So he wonders: Is it possible to keep his Netflix and his car, his Wi-Fi and his subwoofers, and still reduce his... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Exam Copy
Richistan
A Journey Through the American Wealth Boom and the Lives of the New Rich
Written by Robert Frank


Format: Trade Paperback, 288 pages
Publisher: Three Rivers Press
On Sale: June 24, 2008
Price: $13.95
ISBN: 978-0-307-34145-7 (0-307-34145-3)

THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

RICH-I-STAN n. 1. a new country located in the heart of America, populated entirely by millionaires, most of whom acquired their wealth during the new Gilded Age of the past twenty years. 2. a country with a population larger than Belgium and Denmark; typical citizens include “spud... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Exam Copy
Everyday Heroes
50 Americans Changing the World One Nonprofit at a Time
Written by Katrina Fried
Photographed by Paul Mobley


Format: Hardcover, 224 pages
Publisher: Welcome Books
On Sale: October 23, 2012
Price: $45.00
ISBN: 978-1-59962-112-8 (1-59962-112-6)

American Heroes: Everyday People Changing the World is a groundbreaking visual book introducing the stories and causes of 50 courageous individuals who have made an astonishing difference in the lives of others. From environmental activists who have rallied the support of hundreds of volunteers to bring such necessities as clean drinking... Read more >

Exam Copy
Law in America
A Short History
Written by Lawrence M. Friedman


Format: Trade Paperback, 224 pages
Publisher: Modern Library
On Sale: October 12, 2004
Price: $15.00
ISBN: 978-0-8129-7285-6 (0-8129-7285-6)

Throughout America’s history, our laws have been a reflection of who we are, of what we value, of who has control. They embody our society’s genetic code. In the masterful hands of Lawrence M. Friedman, the story of the evolution of our laws serves to lay bare the deciding struggles over... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Exam Copy
Down the Up Escalator
How the 99 Percent Live
Written by Barbara Garson


Format: Trade Paperback, 288 pages
Publisher: Anchor
On Sale: January 28, 2014
Price: $15.95
ISBN: 978-0-307-47598-5 (0-307-47598-0)

One of our most incisive and committed journalists—author of the classic All the Livelong Day—shows us the real human cost of our economic follies.

The Great Recession has thrown huge economic challenges at almost all Americans save the super-affluent few, and we are only now beginning to reckon up the human... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Exam Copy
Life Upon These Shores
Looking at African American History, 1513-2008
Written by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.


Format: Hardcover, 512 pages
Publisher: Knopf
On Sale: November 22, 2011
Price: $50.00
ISBN: 978-0-307-59342-9 (0-307-59342-8)

Henry Louis Gates, Jr., gives us a sumptuously illustrated landmark book tracing African American history from the arrival of the conquistadors to the election of Barack Obama.

Informed by the latest, sometimes provocative scholarship and including more than seven hundred images—ancient maps, fine art, documents, photographs, cartoons, posters—Life Upon These Shores focuses... Read more >
Also available as a trade paperback.

Exam Copy
Seven American Deaths and Disasters

Written by Kenneth Goldsmith


Format: Trade Paperback, 176 pages
Publisher: powerHouse Books
On Sale: March 12, 2013
Price: $19.95
ISBN: 978-1-57687-636-7 (1-57687-636-5)

What are the words we use to describe something that we never thought we'd have to describe? In Seven American Deaths and Disasters, Kenneth Goldsmith transcribes historic radio and television reports of national tragedies as they unfurl, revealing an extraordinarily rich linguistic panorama of passionate description. Taking its title from the... Read more >

Exam Copy
Capital Losses
A Cultural History of Washington's Destroyed Buildings, Second Edition
Written by James M. Goode


Format: Hardcover, 541 pages
Publisher: Smithsonian Books
On Sale: March 17, 2003
Price: $69.95
ISBN: 978-1-58834-105-1 (1-58834-105-4)

Before the passage of critical preservation legislation in 1978, the Nation’s Capital lost an irreplaceable assembly of architecturally and culturally significant buildings. Wanton destruction in the name of progress–particularly in the decades immediately following World War II–resulted in a legacy forever lost, a cultural heritage destroyed by the wrecker’s ball. By... Read more >

Exam Copy
Growing Up Absurd
Problems of Youth in the Organized Society
Written by Paul Goodman
Afterword by Susan Sontag
Foreword by Casey Nelson Blake


Format: Trade Paperback, 312 pages
Publisher: NYRB Classics
On Sale: September 11, 2012
Price: $17.95
ISBN: 978-1-59017-581-1 (1-59017-581-6)

Paul Goodman’s Growing Up Absurd was a runaway best seller when it was first published in 1960, and it became one of the defining texts of the New Left. Goodman was a writer and thinker who broke every mold and did it brilliantly—he was a novelist, poet, and a social theorist... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Exam Copy
the immigrant suite
hey xenophobe! who you calling foreigner?
Written by Hattie Gossett


Format: Trade Paperback, 144 pages
Publisher: Seven Stories Press
On Sale: December 4, 2007
Price: $14.95
ISBN: 978-1-58322-778-7 (1-58322-778-4)

Writing from the upper west side of Manhattan, where Harlem intersects with waves of immigrants from the Dominican Republic, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Korea, Cambodia, Ivory Coast, India, Native America, and from all over the globe, hattie gossett vividly invokes her neighborhood experience. With wit and candor, she questions why so many... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

The Protestant Temperament

Written by Philip J. Greven, Jr.


Format: eBook, 432 pages
Publisher: Knopf
On Sale: September 4, 2013
Price: $25.99
ISBN: 978-0-307-83134-7 (0-307-83134-5)

Bringing together an extraordinary richness of evidence—from letters, diaries, and other intimate family writing of the 17th and 18th centuries—Philip Greven, the distinguished scholar of colonial history explores the strikingly distinctive ways in which Protestant children were reared, and the Protestant temperament shaped, in America.

Through this cache of remarkable and remarkably... Read more >

Exam Copy
Culture and Comfort
Parlor Making and Middle-Class Identity, 1850-1930
Written by Katherine Grier


Format: Trade Paperback, 280 pages
Publisher: Smithsonian Books
On Sale: June 22, 2010
Price: $24.95
ISBN: 978-1-56098-716-1 (1-56098-716-2)

In Culture and Comfort Katherine C. Grier shows how the design and furnishings of the mid-nineteenth century parlor reflected the self-image of the Victorian middle class. Parlors provided public facades for formal occasions and represented an attempt to resolve the often opposing ideals of gentility and sincerity to which American culture... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Exam Copy
Epic Rivalry
The Inside Story of the Soviet and American Space Race
Written by Von Hardesty and Gene Eisman
Foreword by Sergei Khrushchev


Format: Hardcover, 304 pages
Publisher: National Geographic
On Sale: September 18, 2007
Price: $28.00
ISBN: 978-1-4262-0119-6 (1-4262-0119-2)

When Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked on the moon in 1969, they personified an almost unimaginable feat—the incredibly complex task of sending humans safely to another celestial body. This extraordinary odyssey, which grew from the rivalry between the United States and the Soviet Union during the Cold War, was galvanized... Read more >
Also available as an eBook and a trade paperback.

Exam Copy
Building Suburbia
Green Fields and Urban Growth, 1820-2000
Written by Dolores Hayden


Format: Trade Paperback, 336 pages
Publisher: Vintage
On Sale: November 9, 2004
Price: $18.00
ISBN: 978-0-375-72721-4 (0-375-72721-3)

A lively history of the contested landscapes where the majority of Americans now live, Building Suburbia chronicles two centuries in the birth and development of America’s metropolitan regions.

From rustic cottages reached by steamboat to big box stores at the exit ramps of eight-lane highways, Dolores Hayden defines seven eras of suburban... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Exam Copy
Unbroken
A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption
Written by Laura Hillenbrand


Format: Hardcover, 496 pages
Publisher: Random House
On Sale: November 16, 2010
Price: $28.00
ISBN: 978-1-4000-6416-8 (1-4000-6416-3)

A 2012 American Library Association Notable Book for Adults (Nonfiction)
Finalist, 2011 Dayton Literary Peace Prize for Non-fiction
Selected for Common Reading at Avila University and Barton College


On a May afternoon in 1943, an Army Air Forces bomber crashed into the Pacific Ocean and disappeared, leaving only a spray of debris and a... Read more >
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