For a woman traveling without her husband in the late nineteenth century, there was only one reason to take the train all the way to Sioux Falls, South Dakota, one sure to garner disapproval from fellow passengers. On the American frontier, the new state offered a tempting freedom often difficult to obtain elsewhere: divorce. […Learn More]
A fascinating political, racial, economic, and cultural tapestry” (Detroit Free Press), Once in a Great City is a tour de force from David Maraniss about the quintessential American city at the top of its game: Detroit in 1963. […Learn More]
In Kingdom of Nauvoo, Benjamin E. Park draws on newly available sources to re-create the founding and destruction of the Mormon city of Nauvoo. On the banks of the Mississippi in Illinois, the early Mormons built a religious utopia, establishing their own army and writing their own constitution. For those offenses and others—including the introduction of polygamy, which was bitterly opposed by Emma Smith, the iron-willed first wife of Joseph Smith—the surrounding population violently ejected the Mormons, sending them on their flight to Utah. […Learn More]
When the people of Flint, Michigan, turned on their faucets in April 2014, the water pouring out was poisoned with lead and other toxins.
Through a series of disastrous decisions, the state government had switched the city’s water supply to a source that corroded Flint’s aging lead pipes. Complaints about the foul-smelling water were dismissed: the residents of Flint, mostly poor and African American, were not seen as credible, even in matters of their own lives. […Learn More]
Dodge City, Kansas, is a place of legend. The town that started as a small military site exploded with the coming of the railroad, cattle drives, eager miners, settlers, and various entrepreneurs passing through to populate the expanding West. Before long, Dodge City’s streets were lined with saloons and brothels and its populace was thick with gunmen, horse thieves, and desperadoes of every sort. By the 1870s, Dodge City was known as the most violent and turbulent town in the West. […Learn More]
Al Capone and the 1933 World’s Fair: The End of the Gangster Era in Chicago is a historical look at Chicago during the darkest days of the Great Depression. The story of Chicago fighting the hold that organized crime had on the city to be able to put on The 1933 World’s Fair.
William Hazelgrove provides the exciting and sprawling history behind the 1933 World’s Fair, the last of the golden age. […Learn More]
From Kliph Nesteroff, “the human encyclopedia of comedy” (VICE), comes the important and underappreciated story of Native Americans and comedy.
It was one of the most reliable jokes in Charlie Hill’s stand-up routine: “My people are from Wisconsin. We used to be from New York. We had a little real estate problem.”
In We Had a Little Real Estate Problem, acclaimed comedy historian Kliph Nesteroff focuses on one of comedy’s most significant and little-known stories: how, despite having been denied representation in the entertainment industry, Native Americans have influenced and advanced the art form. […Learn More]
The prizewinning, nationally celebrated account of the slave origins of a major northern city
A brilliant paradigm-shifting book that “transports the reader back to the eighteenth century and brings to life a multiracial community that began in slavery” (The New York Times), The Dawn of Detroitreveals for the first time that slavery was at the heart of the Midwest’s iconic city. Hailed by Publishers Weekly in a starred review as “a necessary work of powerful, probing scholarship,” The Dawn of Detroitmeticulously uncovers the experience of the unfree—both native and African American—in a place wildly remote yet at the center of national and international conflict. […Learn More]
“A gripping story of psychological defeat and resilience” (Bob Woodward, The Washington Post)—an intimate account of the fallout from the closing of a General Motors assembly plant in Janesville, Wisconsin, and a larger story of the hollowing of the American middle class.
This is the story of what happens to an industrial town in the American heartland when its main factory shuts down—but it’s not the familiar tale. Most observers record the immediate shock of vanished jobs, but few stay around long enough to notice what happens next when a community with a can-do spirit tries to pick itself up. […Learn More]
The definitive account of the Ghost Dance religion, which led to the infamous massacre at Wounded Knee in 1890
Winner of the Bancroft Prize in American History
In 1890, on Indian reservations across the West, followers of a new religion danced in circles until they collapsed into trances. In an attempt to suppress this new faith, the US Army killed over two hundred Lakota Sioux at Wounded Knee Creek. In God’s Red Son, historian Louis Warren offers a startling new view of the religion known as the Ghost Dance, from its origins in the visions of a Northern Paiute named Wovoka to the tragedy in South Dakota. […Learn More]