History, Biography, and Politics

Gripping, evocative, and richly detailed, Tara Westover's clear-eyed account of how she achieved a Ph.D.— despite the fact that her father's religious fundamentalism kept her out of school until she was 17 (and she and her siblings out of hospitals, despite some truly horrendous injuries)—is a must-read. I couldn't put this memoir down. - Stuart

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Educated: A Memoir Cover Image
ISBN: 9780399590504
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Random House - February 20th, 2018

The sexual politics of college (and post-college) life are central to successful discussions of gender equality. In this must-read book Wade investigates what hookup culture looks like, the unequal impacts of it (oftentimes along racial and gender lines), and its relationship to an ever-changing lineage of American youths and how they initiate and experience sex and romance. - Clara

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American Hookup: The New Culture of Sex on Campus Cover Image
ISBN: 9780393355536
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - March 13th, 2018

As common as cotton is to your lives and persons, it's become so ubiquitous to the point of irrelevance. But its history stretches back thousands of years, wars have been fought, peoples subjugated, and revolutions propelled. A history of cotton is an economic history of the modern world. - Ian

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Empire of Cotton: A Global History Cover Image
ISBN: 9780375713965
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage - November 10th, 2015

Desmond, a Harvard sociologist, lived in low-income neighborhoods for three years, recording this true story of people in the slums of Milwaukee, as they struggled (and failed) to keep a roof over their heads. Evicted engages the topic of income inequality with honest reportage and real solutions to ensure that everyone has a place to call home. - Jason

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Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City Cover Image
ISBN: 9780553447453
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Broadway Books - February 28th, 2017

I’m pretty sure I read this with my jaw clenched. Wariner tells a difficult story about being raised in a polygamist colony by her mother along with several siblings. Wariner’s stepfather is particularly hard to read. It is a survival tale that you makes you rage at times and sob in others, but in the end will make you all the more better for reading it. - Karena

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The Sound of Gravel: A Memoir Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250077707
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Flatiron Books - April 25th, 2017

Historians often portray Europe and the Middle East as adversarial, but Brotton highlights another story. After much of Europe turned its back on England, Queen Elizabeth sought new allies and opportunities and found them among the Ottomans. In illuminating this influential relationship, Brotton broadens our history in a welcome antidote to creeping islamophobia. - Ian

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The Sultan and the Queen: The Untold Story of Elizabeth and Islam Cover Image
ISBN: 9780143110620
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Books - September 5th, 2017

Poverty, racism, and a violent stepfather; comedian Trevor Noah faced many challenges growing up under Apartheid. Born to a black mother and white father, his very existence broke several laws. Noah flits seamlessly between cheeky humor and raw emotion in snapshots of his life from childhood to present day. His story is poignant, inspiring and yes, it’s funny, too. - Jade

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Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood Cover Image
ISBN: 9780399588174
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Spiegel & Grau - November 15th, 2016

This history of the postal service follows the contours of American history. But sometimes the postal service was the actor directing the flow. From the beginning of our nation to the current day, mail has been the driving force in unexpected areas of the nation’s development and it continues to innovate today despite alarmist detractors and falling prestige. - Ian

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Neither Snow Nor Rain: A History of the United States Postal Service Cover Image
ISBN: 9780802126405
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Published: Grove Press - February 14th, 2017

In David Grann’s latest book, he sheds light on the tragic fate of the Osage people, who, in the 1920s, were manipulated into giving up their immense oil wealth to white men. Those who got in the way were systematically murdered. The masterful prose of Killers of the Flower Moon hooked me by the first paragraph, and I hungrily devoured every subsequent word. The book is, hands down, one of the best I’ve ever read. - Jade

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Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI Cover Image
ISBN: 9780307742483
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Published: Vintage - April 3rd, 2018

This is the Native memoir we need to be reading right now, one that does not look so much at the experience as through it, beyond it into a painful, poetic, grippingly real journey through struggle, breakdown, mental illness, relationship, abuse, shame, strength, motherhood and the perseverance to live. Mailhot’s writing is magnetic, propulsive, exquisitely crafted to pinpoint the intensity, confusion and complexity of each moment. - Melinda

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Heart Berries: A Memoir Cover Image
ISBN: 9781619023345
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Counterpoint LLC - February 6th, 2018



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