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History

Reviews of books on the subject of history.

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    Target Sitting by Cathy Travis: Book Review

    Beginning the week after the 2001 attacks, "Target Sitting" carries readers through that heart-pounding day, the anthrax attack on Capitol Hill, and the full body shudder associated with working at the seat of government in the ensuing years. To deal with pressure and anxiety, Cathy Travis wrote a journal, a detailed rendition of the life and times of a wartime Capitol under attack from hostile forces inside the country. "Target Sitting" is a stark look at life in the target that al Qaeda missed in 2001. “Working on Capitol Hill was always brutal; it’s the NFL of politics,” said Travis. “Even the prospect of somebody blowing up the place was always part of our consciousness, just usually in the back of our minds. Part of the ethos of being a Capitol Hill staffer was to be tough enough to both do the work and stand the pressure of everything else.”

    A new translation of the defense speech of Socrates in clear and contemporary English and presented in a cinematic style that makes the trial of Socrates come to life. The cinematic additions make Socrates' day in court as visual and audible as it is readable, while incorporating material that would otherwise be footnoted. The cinematic technique of "Plato's Apology of Socrates," by author Steve Kostecke, helps the reader to construct a movie in her or his head - a movie of one of the most renowned defense speeches in history. The cinematic additions are largely based on John Burnet's classic 1924 notes and commentary on "the Apology" and on the the testimonia of courtroom equipment and procedure in "The Lawcourts at Athens" (The American School of Classical Studies at Athens, 1995).

    "A Generation Awakes" by author Wayne Thorburn tells the story of Young Americans for Freedom and its activities on American campuses from 1960 forward as well as its role in creating the contemporary conservative movement in America. Wayne Thorburn brings an insider's perspective to A Generation Awakes while stressing an objective presentation. Beginning while in college, over the next fourteen years he held nearly every position in Young Americans for Freedom, including serving as national executive director.

    "ERIC II: The Encyclopedia of Roman Imperial Coins" is the most comprehensive, colorful, and detailed single volume exploration of Roman coins ever written. Rasiel Suarez, longtime coin collector and history buff, has assembled information for over 60,000 Roman coins, complete with colored photographs, individual coin descriptions, histories of individual emperors, and details about Roman coin production. This rich array of information makes this 1,500 page encyclopedia the most thorough study of Roman coins ever published.

    ISBN 9781932690132

    "White Gold Railroad" is the story of a private, industrial, three-foot narrow gauge railroad that began in 1922 and continues today. The book’s title refers to the raw gypsum the railroad carried over a twenty-six mile track from the quarry to the processing plant. The book provides a thorough look into the importance of railroads to American industry as illustrated by one small railroad in Southern California. Anyone interested in railroads will find "White Gold Railroad" the perfect read. Charles O’Herin intended to create a book that would “give railroad hobbyists, enthusiasts, and historians equal consideration of their interests” and he has succeeded. Every facet of the railroad is explored from its creators, to its technical detail, its role in industry, and how it has adapted over nearly a century while still performing the original role intended. The vintage photographs and the thorough commentary make the sounds of steam engines, train whistles, and men pounding railroad spikes come to life on the page.

    Book Review: Goddess Shift: Women Leading for a Change Editor: Stephanie Marohn Publisher: Elite Books ISBN: 978-1-60070-067-5

    Crestmont

    Step into the lives of Gracie Antes and the Woods family of Eagles Mere Pennsylvania. Gracie, who decided to take control and live her life, left her sheltered family in 1925 to pursue her dreams. Crestmont was a summer job, a way to start earning money in order to follow her dream and sing. Little did she know she would find herself, friends, and a family of her own by taking a job at the Crestmont Inn. The woods own the Crestmont and spend their time keeping the dream of Mrs. Woods’s father alive. The Crestmont is not just and Inn, but a place of happiness and solitude for many guest as well as the charming staff. As you read this wonderful novel, you will be taken back in time to the 1920’s. You will feel you are part of the Crestmont and its staff. As Gracie’s’ story unfolds you are vividly aware of the decade, its people, pastimes and its trials. The book is truly engulfing. You will not want to put it down. The characters are unique and charming, giving the book a truly small town feel with a get away to dream of. I really enjoyed this debut novel. I felt I was actually part of Eagles Mere and the Crestmont Inn. The characters are charming and loveable. It makes you want to visit the modern day Crestmont, though I’m sure you would arrive and be disappointed. The book is a work of historical fiction, combined with actual history, The Crestmont is a wildly entertaining read. Everything is well presented and thought out. The descriptive nature enables you to envision life during this time. The author does a wonderful job at drawing the reader in and making them welcome, wanting to be part of the story and happenings. She has a way of making the business of running an Inn feel charming and delightful. It is a pleasure to read.

    Book Review A Healing Grove African Tree Remedies and Rituals for the Body and Spirit Author: Stephanie Rose Bird Publisher: Lawrence Hill Books ISBN: 978-1-55652-764-7

    The powerful quilts of Harriet Powers (1837-1910), a former Athens, Georgia slave, continue to capture our imagination today. Her two-known creations, the Bible Quilt and the Pictorial Quilt, have independently survived since stitched more than a century ago. Over the years, thousands of museum visitors to the Smithsonian National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C. and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston have stood transfixed viewing her artwork. Powers' two quilts are arguably the most well-known and cited coverings in American quilt history. "This I Accomplish" by author Kyra E. Hicks tells the entire, dramatic story of how these two quilts, one of which initially sold for $5, were coveted, cared for, and cherished for decades in private homes before emerging as priceless, national treasures.

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