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207 Featured Titles

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Exam Copy
Reading Jazz
A Gathering of Autobiography, Reportage, and Criticism from 1919 to Now
Edited by Robert Gottlieb


Format: Trade Paperback, 1088 pages
Publisher: Vintage
On Sale: October 26, 1999
Price: $25.00
ISBN: 978-0-679-78111-0 (0-679-78111-0)

Including over 100 selections and 1,000 pages, Reading Jazz is indispensable for anyone interested in jazz and its world. While no single volume can contain everything written about any significant subject, this book does manage to encompass a vast array of jazz figures, veiw points, events, and criticism. As the book's... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Exam Copy
The Democracy Project
A History, a Crisis, a Movement
Written by David Graeber


Format: Hardcover, 352 pages
Publisher: Spiegel & Grau
On Sale: April 9, 2013
Price: $26.00
ISBN: 978-0-8129-9356-1 (0-8129-9356-X)

A bold rethinking of the most powerful political idea in the world—democracy—and the story of how radical democracy can yet transform America

Democracy has been the American religion since before the Revolution—from New England town halls to the multicultural democracy of Atlantic pirate ships. But can our current political system, one that... Read more >
Also available as an unabridged audiobook download and an eBook.

Exam Copy
Katharine Graham's Washington

Written by Katharine Graham


Format: Trade Paperback, 832 pages
Publisher: Vintage
On Sale: November 11, 2003
Price: $16.95
ISBN: 978-1-4000-3059-0 (1-4000-3059-5)

A final legacy from Katharine Graham: an all-embracing, highly personal collection of writings (more than one hundred articles, essays, and excerpts from books) about Washington, D.C.—covering the period from 1917, the year of her birth, to early 2001, just before she died.

Here are the president-watchers (including Will Rogers on Calvin... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Exam Copy
Black Fire
The True Story of the Original Tom Sawyer--and of the Mysterious Fires That Baptized Gold Rush-Era San Francisco
Written by Robert Graysmith


Format: Trade Paperback, 288 pages
Publisher: Broadway Books
On Sale: October 29, 2013
Price: $15.00
ISBN: 978-0-307-72057-3 (0-307-72057-8)

The first biography of the little-known real-life Tom Sawyer (a friend of Mark Twain during his brief tenure as a California newspaper reporter), told through a harrowing account of Sawyer's involvement in the hunt for a serial arsonist who terrorized mid-nineteenth century San Francisco.

When 28-year-old San Francisco Daily Morning Call reporter... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Exam Copy
The Scientists
A History of Science Told Through the Lives of Its Greatest Inventors
Written by John Gribbin
Illustrated by Adam Hook


Format: Trade Paperback, 672 pages
Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks
On Sale: August 10, 2004
Price: $17.95
ISBN: 978-0-8129-6788-3 (0-8129-6788-7)

In this new and landmark history of modern science, author and trained astrophysicist John Gribbin recounts the development of science over the past five-hundred years—as seen specifically through the lives and achievements of individual scientists.

John Gribbin has written extensively before on scientific subjects such as the theory of everything, the existence... Read more >

Exam Copy
The Story of Science: Newton at the Center
Newton at the Center
Written by Joy Hakim


Format: Hardcover, 480 pages
Publisher: Smithsonian Books
On Sale: November 1, 2005
Price: $27.95
ISBN: 978-1-58834-161-7 (1-58834-161-5)

In volume two, students will watch as Copernicus’s systematic observations place the sun at the center of our universe–to the dismay of establishment thinkers. After students follow the achievements and frustrations of Galileo, Kepler, and Descartes, they will appreciate the amazing Isaac Newton, whose discoveries about gravity, motion, colors, calculus, and... Read more >

Exam Copy
On the Frontier
Experimental Flight at NASA Dryden
Written by Richard P. Hallion and Michael H. Gorn


Format: Trade Paperback, 584 pages
Publisher: Smithsonian Books
On Sale: July 6, 2010
Price: $39.95
ISBN: 978-1-58834-289-8 (1-58834-289-1)

This little known classic history of flight-testing the Xplanes is reborn, sweepingly revised and updated with new and recently released information. Aviation enthusiasts will savor the most detailed account available of record-setting aircraft like the X-1 and XZ-15, flown by Chuck Yeager and other legends, as well as all the cutting-edge... Read more >

Exam Copy
The Federalist
A Commentary on the Constitution of the United States
Written by Alexander Hamilton, John Jay and James Madison
Edited by Robert Scigliano


Format: Trade Paperback, 688 pages
Publisher: Modern Library
On Sale: September 11, 2001
Price: $15.00
ISBN: 978-0-375-75786-0 (0-375-75786-4)

The series of essays that comprise The Federalist constitutes one of the key texts of the American Revolution and the democratic system created in the wake of independence. Written in 1787 and 1788 by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay to promote the ratification of the proposed Constitution, these papers... Read more >
Also available as an eBook and a trade paperback.

Exam Copy
The Mind of War
John Boyd and American Security
Written by Grant Hammond


Format: Trade Paperback, 248 pages
Publisher: Smithsonian Books
On Sale: August 17, 2004
Price: $17.95
ISBN: 978-1-58834-178-5 (1-58834-178-X)

The ideas of US Air Force Colonel John Boyd have transformed American military policy and practice. A first-rate fighter pilot and a self-taught scholar, he wrote the first manual on jet aerial combat; spearheaded the design of both of the Air Force’s premier fighters, the F-15 and the F-16; and shaped... 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
The Survivor
Bill Clinton in the White House
Written by John F. Harris


Format: Trade Paperback, 560 pages
Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks
On Sale: October 10, 2006
Price: $16.95
ISBN: 978-0-375-76084-6 (0-375-76084-9)

The definitive account of one of the most accomplished, controversial, and polarizing figures in American history

Bill Clinton is the most arresting leader of his generation. He transformed American politics, and his eight years as president spawned arguments that continue to resonate. For all that has been written about this singular personality–including... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Exam Copy
Exhibiting Dilemmas
Issues of Representation at the Smithsonian
Written by Amy Henderson


Format: Trade Paperback, 292 pages
Publisher: Smithsonian Books
On Sale: March 17, 1999
Price: $24.95
ISBN: 978-1-56098-444-3 (1-56098-444-9)

In twelve essays on such diverse Smithsonian Institution holdings as the Hope Diamond, the Wright Flyer, wooden Zuni carvings, and the Greensboro, North Carolina Woolworth lunch counter that became a symbol of the Civil Rights movement, Exhibiting Dilemmas explores a wide range of social, political, and ethical questions faced by museum... Read more >

Exam Copy
Amusement Parks

Written by Jim Hillman


Format: Trade Paperback, 64 pages
Publisher: Shire
On Sale: May 21, 2013
Price: $9.95
ISBN: 978-0-7478-1209-8 (0-7478-1209-8)

America’s amusement industry emerged from simple swimming ponds, family picnic areas, and community gathering spots. Although the first major entrepreneurial-driven amusement resort, known as Jones Woods, grew from the banks of New York’s East River in the 1800s, the Golden Age of American amusement parks began with the mid-1800s development of... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Exam Copy
The Age of Extremes
A History of the World, 1914-1991
Written by Eric Hobsbawm


Format: Trade Paperback, 672 pages
Publisher: Vintage
On Sale: February 13, 1996
Price: $19.00
ISBN: 978-0-679-73005-7 (0-679-73005-2)

The Age of Extremes, the fourth and final volume in Hobsbawm's astounding history of the world, is a brilliant chronicle of the events that have given shape to the twentieth century. The book is divided into three parts: "The Age of Catastrophe 1914-1950," "The Golden Age 1950-1973," and "The Landslide 1973-1991."  In... Read more >

Exam Copy
Social Darwinism in American Thought

Written by Richard Hofstadter


Format: Trade Paperback, 288 pages
Publisher: Beacon Press
On Sale: September 1, 1992
Price: $27.00
ISBN: 978-0-8070-5503-8 (0-8070-5503-4)

Social Darwinism in American Thought portrays the overall influence of Darwin on American social theory and the notable battle waged among thinkers over the implications of evolutionary theory for social thought and political action. Theorists such as Herbert Spencer and William Graham Sumner adopted the idea of the struggle for existence... Read more >

Exam Copy
I Wish I'd Been There
Twenty Historians Bring to Life the Dramatic Events That Changed America
Written by Byron Hollinshead


Format: Trade Paperback, 352 pages
Publisher: Anchor
On Sale: September 4, 2007
Price: $15.95
ISBN: 978-1-4000-9654-1 (1-4000-9654-5)

I Wish I’d Been There brings together twenty of our most distinguished historians’ responses to the question “What scene or incident in American history would you most liked to have witnessed—and why?” The answers illuminate crucial moments in our past and give readers a front-row seat at some of American history’s... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Exam Copy
Let the Students Speak!
A History of the Fight for Free Expression in American Schools
Written by David L. Hudson


Format: Trade Paperback, 208 pages
Publisher: Beacon Press
On Sale: August 16, 2011
Price: $17.00
ISBN: 978-0-8070-4454-4 (0-8070-4454-7)

From a trusted scholar and powerful story teller, an accessible and lively history of free speech, for and about students.

Let the Students Speak! details the rich history and growth of the First Amendment in public schools, from the early nineteenth-century’s failed student free-expression claims to the development of protection for students... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Exam Copy
Raising America
Experts, Parents, and a Century of Advice About Children
Written by Ann Hulbert


Format: Trade Paperback, 464 pages
Publisher: Vintage
On Sale: April 13, 2004
Price: $15.00
ISBN: 978-0-375-70122-1 (0-375-70122-2)

In this probing inquiry into America’s preoccupation with raising children, Ann Hulbert blends biography and critical analysis to probe the personal dramas, the scientific claims, and the social visions of a succession of experts who during the twentieth century aimed to make a science of child rearing. She describes how these... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Exam Copy
Crash Course
The American Automobile Industry's Road to Bankruptcy and Bailout-and Beyond
Written by Paul Ingrassia


Format: Trade Paperback, 336 pages
Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks
On Sale: January 11, 2011
Price: $17.00
ISBN: 978-0-8129-8075-2 (0-8129-8075-1)

With an updated Afterword by the author

This is the epic saga of the American automobile industry’s rise and demise, a compelling story of hubris, missed opportunities, and self-inflicted wounds that culminates with the president of the United States ushering two of Detroit’s Big Three car companies—once proud symbols of prosperity—through bankruptcy... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Exam Copy
The Published Writings of Wilbur and Orville Wright

Edited by Peter Jakab and Rick Young


Format: Trade Paperback, 368 pages
Publisher: Smithsonian Books
On Sale: June 17, 2004
Price: $22.95
ISBN: 978-1-58834-142-6 (1-58834-142-9)

For the first time, nearly seventy of Wilbur and Orville Wright’s published writings are brought together in a single, annotated reference. Spanning the decades from the brothers’ turn-of-the-century experiments with gliders until Orville’s death in 1948, the articles describe the design of their aircraft, early test flights, and camp life at... Read more >

Exam Copy
Visions of a Flying Machine
The Wright Brothers and the Process of Invention
Written by Peter Jakab


Format: Trade Paperback, 272 pages
Publisher: Smithsonian Books
On Sale: April 17, 1997
Price: $18.95
ISBN: 978-1-56098-748-2 (1-56098-748-0)

This acclaimed book on the Wright Brothers takes the reader straight to the heart of their remarkable achievement, focusing on the technology and offering a clear, concise chronicle of precisely what they accomplished and how they did it. This book deals with the process of the invention of the airplane and... Read more >

Exam Copy
Bananas
An American History
Written by Virgina Jenkins


Format: Trade Paperback, 210 pages
Publisher: Smithsonian Books
On Sale: August 17, 2000
Price: $16.95
ISBN: 978-1-56098-966-0 (1-56098-966-1)

Before 1880 most Americans had never seen a banana. By 1910 bananas were so common that streets were littered with their peels. Today Americans eat on average nearly seventy-five per year. More than a staple of the American diet, bananas have gained a secure place in the nation’s culture and folklore... Read more >

Exam Copy
The Lawn
A History of an American Obsession
Written by Virgina Jenkins


Format: Trade Paperback, 246 pages
Publisher: Smithsonian Books
On Sale: April 17, 1994
Price: $18.95
ISBN: 978-1-56098-406-1 (1-56098-406-6)

Lawns now blanket thirty million acres of the United States, but until the late nineteenth century few Americans had any desire for a front lawn, much less access to seeds for growing one. In her comprehensive history of this uniquely American obsession, Virginia Scott Jenkins traces the origin of the front... Read more >

Exam Copy
Kelly
More Than My Share of It All
Written by Clarence L. Johnson


Format: Trade Paperback, 224 pages
Publisher: Smithsonian Books
On Sale: December 17, 1989
Price: $21.95
ISBN: 978-0-87474-491-0 (0-87474-491-1)

Clarence L. “Kelly” Johnson led the design of such crucial aircraft as the P-38 and Constellation, but he will be more remembered for the U-2 and SR-71 spy planes. His extraordinary leadership of the Lockheed “Skunk Works” cemented his reputation as a legendary figure in American aerospace management.

“Reads like the autobiography... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Exam Copy
Tex Johnston
Jet-Age Test Pilot
Written by A.M. Johnston


Format: Trade Paperback, 274 pages
Publisher: Smithsonian Books
On Sale: December 17, 2000
Price: $17.95
ISBN: 978-1-56098-931-8 (1-56098-931-9)

One of America’s most daring and accomplished test pilots, Tex Johnston flew the first US jet airplanes and, in a career spanning the 1930s through the 1970s, helped create the jet age at such pioneering aerospace companies as Bell Aircraft and Boeing.

“There seem to be two Tex Johnstons: the one who... Read more >
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