Charismatic, charming, and one of the best orators of his era, Henry Clay seemed to have it all. He offered a comprehensive plan of change for America, and he directed national affairs as Speaker of the House, as Secretary of State to John Quincy Adams--the man he put in office--and as acknowledged leader of the Whig party. As the broker of the Missouri Compromise and the Compromise of 1850, Henry Clay fought to keep a young nation united when westward expansion and slavery threatened to tear it apart. Yet, despite his talent and achievements, Henry Clay never became president. Three times he received Electoral College votes, twice more he sought his party's nomination, yet each time he was defeated. Alongside fellow senatorial greats Daniel Webster and John C.
Oxford University Press
Blood & Ivy
By Collins, Paul
A delectable true-crime story of scandal and murder at America's most celebrated university.
On November 23rd of 1849, in the heart of Boston, one of the city's richest men simply vanished. Dr. George Parkman, a Brahmin who owned much of Boston's West End, was last seen that afternoon visiting his alma mater, Harvard Medical School. Police scoured city tenements and the harbor, and offered hefty rewards as leads put the elusive Dr. Parkman at sea or hiding in Manhattan. But one Harvard janitor held a much darker suspicion: that their ruthless benefactor had never left the Medical School building alive.
His shocking discoveries in a chemistry professor's laboratory engulfed America in one of its most infamous trials: The Commonwealth of Massachusetts v. John White Webster. A baffling case of red herrings, grave robbery, and dismemberment -- of Harvard's greatest doctors investigating one of their own, for a murder hidden in a building full of cadavers -- it became a landmark case in the use of medical forensics and the meaning of reasonable doubt. Paul Collins brings nineteenth-century Boston back to life in vivid detail, weaving together newspaper accounts, letters, journals, court transcripts, and memoirs from this groundbreaking case.
Rich in characters and evocative in atmosphere, Blood & Ivy explores the fatal entanglement of new science and old money in one of America's greatest murder mysteries.
W. W. Norton & Company
Meg, Jo, Beth, Amy
By Rioux, Anne Boyd
On its 150th anniversary, discover the story of the beloved classic that has captured the imaginations of generations.
Soon after publication on September 30, 1868, Little Women became an enormous bestseller and one of America's favorite novels. Its popularity quickly spread throughout the world, and the book has become an international classic. When Anne Boyd Rioux read the novel in her twenties, she had a powerful reaction to the story. Through teaching the book, she has seen the same effect on many others.
In Meg, Jo, Beth, Amy, Rioux recounts how Louisa May Alcott came to write Little Women, drawing inspiration for it from her own life. Rioux also examines why this tale of family and community ties, set while the Civil War tore America apart, has resonated through later wars, the Depression, and times of changing opportunities for women.
Alcott's novel has moved generations of women, many of them writers: Simone de Beauvoir, J. K. Rowling, bell hooks, Cynthia Ozick, Jane Smiley, Margo Jefferson, and Ursula K. Le Guin were inspired by Little Women, particularly its portrait of the iconoclastic young writer, Jo. Many have felt, as Anna Quindlen has declared, "Little Women changed my life."
Today, Rioux sees the novel's beating heart in Alcott's portrayal of family resilience and her honest look at the struggles of girls growing into women. In gauging its current status, Rioux shows why Little Women remains a book with such power that people carry its characters and spirit throughout their lives.
W. W. Norton & Company
The Strange Case of Dr. Couney
By Raffel, Dawn
The extraordinary tale of how a mysterious immigrant "doctor" became the revolutionary innovator of saving premature babies--by placing them in incubators in World's Fair side shows and on Coney Island and Atlantic City.
Drawing on historical documents, original reportage, and interviews with surviving patients, acclaimed journalist and magazine editor Dawn Raffel tells the marvelously eccentric story of Couney's mysterious carnival career, his larger-than-life personality, and his unprecedented success as the savior of tiny babies.
Blue Rider Press
A Girl's Guide to Missiles
By Piper, Karen
A poignant, surreal, and fearlessly honest look at growing up on one of the most secretive weapons installations on earth, by a young woman who came of age with missiles
The China Lake missile range is located in a huge stretch of the Mojave Desert, about the size of the state of Delaware. It was created during the Second World War, and has always been shrouded in secrecy. But people who make missiles and other weapons are regular working people, with domestic routines and everyday dilemmas, and four of them were Karen Piper's parents, her sister, and--when she needed summer jobs--herself. Her dad designed the Sidewinder, which was ultimately used catastrophically in Vietnam. When her mom got tired of being a stay-at-home mom, she went to work on the Tomahawk. Once, when a missile nose needed to be taken offsite for final testing, her mother loaded it into the trunk of the family car, and set off down a Los Angeles freeway. Traffic was heavy, and so she stopped off at the mall, leaving the missile in the parking lot.
Piper sketches in the belief systems--from Amway's get-rich schemes to propaganda in The Rocketeer to evangelism, along with fears of a Lemurian takeover and Charles Manson--that governed their lives. Her memoir is also a search for the truth of the past and what really brought her parents to China Lake with two young daughters, a story that reaches back to her father's World War II flights with contraband across Europe. Finally, it recounts the crossroads moment in a young woman's life when she finally found a way out of a culture of secrets and fear, and out of the desert.
By Honegger, Jessica
The founder of the popular fair trade jewelry brand Noonday Collection shares her story of starting the rapid-growing business that impacts over 4,400 artisans in vulnerable communities across the globe and invites readers on a journey of transformation, challenging them to trade their comfort zones for a life of impact and adventure.
In 2015, Inc. magazine recognized Noonday Collection as one of the fastest-growing companies in America. Years earlier, as Jessica Honegger stood at a pawn-shop counter in Austin, Texas, and handed over her grandmother's gold jewelry, her goal was personal: to fund the adoption of her Rwandan son, Jack, by selling artisan-made jewelry. This first step launched an unexpected side-hustle that would grow into Noonday Collection. She embarked on this new journey and teamed up with her first artisan partner, Jalia, a Ugandan jewelry maker. She saw the meaningful impact Noonday brought to Jalia's community and knew it was the right move. Fear crept into Jessica's heart as she realized her success, or failure, meant the same for Jalia. Refusing to let fear hinder her goals, Jessica found the necessary (if imperfect) courage she needed along the way--the courage to leave comfort and embrace a life of risk and impact. In Imperfect Courage, Jessica invites you to draw a circle of compassion around yourself and leads you through soul-searching aimed at setting you free from shame. Next, she challenges you to come together, risking all for each other and commit to building a culture of collaboration. Finally, Jessica calls on you to broaden your circles of compassion to embrace the entire globe--and to bring that cultivation of imperfect courage to a world that deeply needs you.
By Casillo, Charles
Based on new interviews and research, this ground-breaking biography reveals how Marilyn's childhood contributed to her struggle with bi-polar disorder, and impacted her career and personal life.Marilyn Monroe. Her beauty still captivates. Her love life still fascinates. Her story still dominates popular culture. Now, drawing on years of research and dozens of new interviews this biography cuts through decades of lies and secrets and introduces you to the Marilyn Monroe you always wanted to know: a living, breathing, complex woman, bewitching and maddening, brilliant yet flawed.Casillo studies Monroe's life through the context of her times -- in the days before feminism. Before there was adequate treatment for bipolar disorder. Starting with her abusive childhood, this biography exposes how -- in spite of her fractured psyche -- Marilyn managed to transform each celebrated love affair and each tragedy into another step in her journey towards immortality.
St. Martin's Press
The Husband Hunters
By Courcy, Anne De
A deliciously told group biography of the young, rich, American heiresses who married into the impoverished British aristocracy at the turn of the twentieth century - The real women who inspired Downton Abbey
Towards the end of the nineteenth century and for the first few years of the twentieth, a strange invasion took place in Britain. The citadel of power, privilege and breeding in which the titled, land-owning governing class had barricaded itself for so long was breached. The incomers were a group of young women who, fifty years earlier, would have been looked on as the alien denizens of another world - the New World, to be precise. From 1874 - the year that Jennie Jerome, the first known 'Dollar Princess', married Randolph Churchill - to 1905, dozens of young American heiresses married into the British peerage, bringing with them all the fabulous wealth, glamour and sophistication of the Gilded Age.
Anne de Courcy sets the stories of these young women and their families in the context of their times. Based on extensive first-hand research, drawing on diaries, memoirs and letters, this richly entertaining group biography reveals what they thought of their new lives in England - and what England thought of them.
St. Martin's Press
By Arsenault, Raymond
The first comprehensive, authoritative biography of American icon Arthur Ashe - the Jackie Robinson of men's tennis - a pioneering athlete who, after breaking the color barrier, went on to become an influential civil rights activist and public intellectual.
Born in Richmond, Virginia, in 1943, by the age of eleven, Arthur Ashe was one of the state's most talented black tennis players. Jim Crow restrictions barred Ashe from competing with whites. Still, in 1960 he won the National Junior Indoor singles title, which led to a tennis scholarship at UCLA. He became the first African American to play for the US Davis Cup team in 1963, and two years later he won the NCAA singles championship. In 1968, he won both the US Amateur title and the first US Open title, rising to a number one national ranking. Turning professional in 1969, he soon became one of the world's most successful tennis stars, winning the Australian Open in 1970 and Wimbledon in 1975. After retiring in 1980, he served four years as the US Davis Cup captain and was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1985.
In this revelatory biography, Raymond Arsenault chronicles Ashe's rise to stardom on the court. But much of the book explores his off-court career as a human rights activist, philanthropist, broadcaster, writer, businessman, and celebrity. In the 1970s and 1980s, Ashe gained renown as an advocate for sportsmanship, education, racial equality, and the elimination of apartheid in South Africa. But from 1979 on, he was forced to deal with a serious heart condition that led to multiple surgeries and blood transfusions, one of which left him HIV-positive. In 1988, after completing a three-volume history of African-American athletes, he was diagnosed with AIDS, a condition he revealed only four years later. After devoting the last ten months of his life to AIDS activism, he died in February 1993 at the age of forty-nine, leaving an inspiring legacy of dignity, integrity, and active citizenship.
Based on prodigious research, including more than one hundred interviews, Raymond Arsenault's insightful and compelling biography puts Ashe in the context of both his time and the long struggle of African-American athletes seeking equal opportunity and respect.
Simon & Schuster
By Felix, Antonia
Elizabeth Warren's rise as one of America's most powerful women is a stirring lesson in persistence. From her fierce support of the middle class to her unapologetic response to political bullies, Warren is known as a passionate yet plain-speaking champion of equity and fairness. In the wake of one fellow senator's effort to silence her in 2016, three words became a rallying cry across the country:
Nevertheless, she persisted...
In this breakthrough biography, bestselling author Antonia Felix carries readers from Warren's hardscrabble roots in Norman, Oklahoma, to her career as one of the nation's most distinguished legal scholars and experts on the economics of working Americans. Felix reveals how Warren brought her expertise to Washington to become an icon of progressive politics in a deeply divided nation, and weaves together never-before-told stories from those who have journeyed with Warren from Oklahoma to the halls of power.