The library would like to highlight prominent books in the collection that offer something new or relevant to the ongoing discussion of history in our community. With this in mind, Book Spotlight will provide a monthly summary of a new or undiscovered book that might be of interest to readers. All the books featured in JNEM Library Book Spotlight are available in the park library, located in the Old Courthouse at 11 N. Fourth Street. Please note that the library is a research facility and therefore books do not circulate. Many of the books highlighted will also be available at local public libraries.
Local author Fredrick McKissack died recently at the age of 73. He wrote many award- winning books with his wife, Patricia McKissack in the past 33 years. Let’s celebrate that partnership and look back at a book they wrote in 1989.
Author Amy S. Greenberg’s skilled storytelling and solid scholarship bring this American war to life with memorable characters, plotlines, and legacies. Often overlooked, the U.S.-Mexican War featured lots of drama as it divided the nation, paved the way for the Civil War a generation later, and virtually launched the career of Abraham Lincoln. A Wicked War brings all these elements to life.
As we celebrate Women’s History Month in March, let’s remember a woman who shared her life story several decades ago. Pretty-shield, the legendary medicine woman of the Crows, remembered what life was like on the Plains when the buffalo were still plentiful.
Author Ruth Ann Hager sheds new light on many aspects of the Dred Scott family in her recent book, Dred & Harriet Scott: Their Family Story. Hager, a certified genealogist and genealogical lecturer, works at the St. Louis County Library as a genealogical specialist and is clearly motivated by her subject material.
Inside the White House; America’s Most Famous Home. Caroli, Betty Boyd. Pleasantville, NY: Reader’s Digest, 1999. The White House has a long and interesting history that unfolds in the splendid book, Inside the White House; America’s Most Famous Home.
Lincoln: An Illustrated Biography. Philip B. Kunhardt, Jr., Philip B. Kunhardt III, and Peter W. Kunhardt. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1992. Many people are crowding theaters to see Steven Spielberg’s film, Lincoln. To any reader who wants a closer look at the sixteenth president, I propose they get a copy of Lincoln: An Illustrated Biography.
Days of Jubilee: The End of Slavery in the United States. Patricia & Frederick McKissack. New York: Scholastic Press, 2003. Patricia and Frederick McKissack’s book, Days of Jubilee: The End of Slavery in the United States, explains early on that there was no single day when slavery ended in the United States. The day a slave was told of his or her freedom was their day of emancipation- their “day of jubilee.”
Thomas Jefferson Architect: The Built Legacy of Our Third President, is a tribute to Jefferson’s architectural legacy and an archive of his building legacy. Thomas Jefferson is considered by many as our first great American architect and the Jeffersonian classical style is one of the most recognized architectural styles in American history.
Joe Jones: Radical Painter of the American Scene. Walker, Andrew. St. Louis: St. Louis Art Museum and University of Washington Press, 2010. Joe Jones (1909-1963) was an American painter and social realist from St. Louis. His artistic career is explored in Andrew Walker’s book, Joe Jones: Radical Painter of the American Scene. The book is a catalogue for a recent exhibition on Jones.
Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass: The Story Behind an American Friendship, by Russell Freedman. Boston: Clarion Books, 2012. Author Russell Freedman, a Newberry Medal winner for Lincoln: A Photobiography, once again sets his sights on Lincoln, but this time he writes a joint biography about the friendship of Lincoln and Frederick Douglass.
Sestric, Anthony J. 57 Years: A History of the Freedom Suits in the Missouri Courts. St. Louis, MO: Reedy Press, 2012. The new book, 57 Years: A History of the Freedom Suits in the Missouri Courts, is the collective story of the people who worked to legally undo the mandates of the slave laws through freedom suits.
Mark Twain: A Life. Ron Powers. New York: Free Press, 2005. Any curious reader wanting a capsule biography of Mark Twain should probably steer clear of this voluminous entry on the famous writer’s life and work. If, however, you are attempting to get a more thorough look at the man- then this might be the book for you.
Sisters: The Lives of America's Suffragists. Jean H. Baker. New York: Hill and Wang, 2005.
Historian Jean H. Bakercombines the life stories of Lucy Stone, Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Frances Willard, and Alice Paul into a compelling collective history titled Sisters: The Lives of America's Suffragists.
The People of the River's Mouth: In Search of the Missouria Indians, by Michael Dickey. Columbia, MO: University of Missouri Press, 2011
The People of the River's Mouth explores the Missouria people, the first American Indians encountered by European explorers venturing up the Pekitanoui River-the waterway we know as the Missouri. This Indian nation was a dominant force in the upper Midwest in the pre-colonial era.
From All Points: America's Immigrant West, 1870s-1952, by Elliot Robert Barkan. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2007.
By the end of the 20th century the American West was home to nearly half of America's immigrant population, including Asians and Armenians, Germans and Greeks, Mexicans, Italians, Swedes, Basques, and others. This book tells their rich and complex story.
The library would like to highlight prominent books in our collection that offer something new or relevant to the ongoing discussion of history in our community. With this in mind, we would like to inaugurate a new feature on our website that provides a summary of a new or undiscovered book that might be of interest to readers.
Did You Know?
Pierre Cruzatte and George Gibson brought their fiddles along on the Lewis and Clark expedition. Their music entertained the group on many evenings. Click here to learn more about Lewis and Clark and the Corps of Discovery.