Book cover of American Made: What Happens to People When Work Disappears by Farah Stockman
Business & Money

American Made: What Happens to People When Work Disappears

What happens when Americans lose their jobs?  In American Made, an illuminating story of ruin and reinvention, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Farah Stockman gives an up-close look at the profound role work plays in our sense of identity and belonging, as she follows three workers whose lives unravel when the factory they have dedicated so much to closes down. […Learn More]

Book cover of Mutinous Women: How French Convicts Became Founding Mothers of the Gulf Coast by Joan DeJean
Colonial Period

Mutinous Women: How French Convicts Became Founding Mothers of the Gulf Coast 

The secret history of the rebellious Frenchwomen who were exiled to colonial Louisiana and found power in the Mississippi Valley

In 1719, a ship named La Mutine (the mutinous woman), sailed from the French port of Le Havre, bound for the Mississippi. It was loaded with urgently needed goods for the fledgling French colony, but its principal commodity was a new kind of export: women. […Learn More]

Book cover of Fossil Men: The Quest for the Oldest Skeleton and the Origins of Humankind by Kermit Pattison
Archaeology

Fossil Men: The Quest for the Oldest Skeleton and the Origins of Humankind

It is the ultimate mystery: where do we come from? In 1994, a team led by fossil-hunting legend Tim White uncovered a set of ancient bones in Ethiopia’s Afar region. Radiometric dating of nearby rocks indicated the resulting skeleton, classified as Ardipithecus ramidus—nicknamed “Ardi”—was an astounding 4.4 million years old, more than a million years older than the world-famous “Lucy.” The team spent the next 15 years studying the bones in strict secrecy, all while continuing to rack up landmark fossil discoveries in the field and becoming increasingly ensnared in bitter disputes with scientific peers and Ethiopian bureaucrats. […Learn More]

Book cover of Saving Yellowstone: Exploration and Preservation in Reconstruction America by Megan Kate Nelson
Biography & Autobiography

Saving Yellowstone: Exploration and Preservation in Reconstruction America

Each year nearly four million people visit Yellowstone National Park—one of the most popular of all national parks—but few know the fascinating and complex historical context in which it was established. In late July 1871, the geologist-explorer Ferdinand Hayden led a team of scientists through a narrow canyon into Yellowstone Basin, entering one of the last unmapped places in the country. The survey’s discoveries led to the passage of the Yellowstone Act in 1872, which created the first national park in the world. […Learn More]

Book cover of American Baby: A Mother, a Child, and the Secret History of Adoption by Gabrielle Glaser
Politics & Social Science

American Baby: A Mother, a Child, and the Secret History of Adoption

The shocking truth about postwar adoption in America, told through the bittersweet story of one teenager, the son she was forced to relinquish, and their search to find each other.

During the Baby Boom in 1960s America, women were encouraged to stay home and raise large families, but sex and childbirth were taboo subjects. Premarital sex was common, but birth control was hard to get and abortion was illegal. […Learn More]

Book cover of The Secret History of Home Economics: How Trailblazing Women Harnessed the Power of Home and Changed the Way We Live by Danielle Dreilinger
Politics & Social Science

The Secret History of Home Economics: How Trailblazing Women Harnessed the Power of Home and Changed the Way We Live

The surprising, often fiercely feminist, always fascinating, yet barely known, history of home economics.

The term “home economics” may conjure traumatic memories of lopsided hand-sewn pillows or sunken muffins. But common conception obscures the story of the revolutionary science of better living. The field exploded opportunities for women in the twentieth century by reducing domestic work and providing jobs as professors, engineers, chemists, and businesspeople. And it has something to teach us today. […Learn More]

Book cover of Power and Liberty: Constitutionalism in the American Revolution by Gordon Wood
History

Power and Liberty: Constitutionalism in the American Revolution

New York Times bestseller and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Gordon S. Wood elucidates the debates over the founding documents of the United States.

The half century extending from the imperial crisis between Britain and its colonies in the 1760s to the early decades of the new republic of the United States was the greatest and most creative era of constitutionalism in American history, and perhaps in the world. […Learn More]

Book cover of The Case of the Murderous Dr. Cream: The Hunt for a Victorian Era Serial Killer by Dean Jobb
Biography & Autobiography

The Case of the Murderous Dr. Cream: The Hunt for a Victorian Era Serial Killer

”When a doctor does go wrong he is the first of criminals,” Sherlock Holmes observed during one of his most baffling investigations. “He has nerve and he has knowledge.” In the span of fifteen years, Dr. Thomas Neill Cream murdered as many as ten people in the United States, Britain, and Canada, a death toll with almost no precedent. Poison was his weapon of choice. Largely forgotten today, this villain was as brazen as the notorious Jack the Ripper. […Learn More]

Book cover of Until Justice Be Done: America's First Civil Rights Movement, from the Revolution to Reconstruction by Kate Masur
Civil War

Until Justice Be Done: America’s First Civil Rights Movement, from the Revolution to Reconstruction

A groundbreaking history of the movement for equal rights that courageously battled racist laws and institutions, Northern and Southern, in the decades before the Civil War.

The half-century before the Civil War was beset with conflict over equality as well as freedom. Beginning in 1803, many free states enacted laws that discouraged free African Americans from settling within their boundaries and restricted their rights to testify in court, move freely from place to place, work, vote, and attend public school. But over time, African American activists and their white allies, often facing mob violence, courageously built a movement to fight these racist laws. […Learn More]