[bksvol-discuss] Fw: History and Current Events December 2008

  • From: "Amber Wallenstein" <amber.wallens@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <bksvol-discuss@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 9 Dec 2008 13:26:11 -0500

New and Recently Released!

The Decline and Fall of the British Empire, 1781-1997 - by Piers Brendon
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf
Check Library Catalog
Pub Date: 10/28/2008
ISBN: 9780307268297
ISBN-10: 0307268292
October 17th, 1781--according to British historian Piers Brendon, that date 
(the day that Lord Cornwallis surrendered to George Washington) marked the 
of the end for the British Empire. But this book isn't a dreary chronicle of 
the inevitable decline of the British Empire--rather, it's a "colorful and
often brilliant" (Booklist) analysis of Britain's imperial reign between the 
American Revolution and the handoff of Hong Kong back to China. In a 
and detailed manner that is sure to fascinate armchair historians, imperial 
Britain's weaknesses, strengths, diversity, and legacy are all brought to life.
First Chapter

The Ascent of Money - by Niall Ferguson
Publisher: Penguin Group USA
Check Library Catalog
Pub Date: 11/13/2008
ISBN: 9781594201929
ISBN-10: 1594201927
What timing--just when the world is experiencing a series of financial dramas, 
historian Niall Ferguson offers up a look at the history of money, banking,
and credit. Ferguson, who is both a historian and an author of several books on 
money-related topics, is an excellent guide to financial history from 
clay tablets to the bursting of bubbles. If you're looking for the logic behind 
financial institutions, want to better understand why credit was necessary
for civilization to prosper, or are curious what Scottish widows have to do 
with insurance theory, you'll want to check out The Ascent of Money.

The Ayatollah Begs to Differ: Understanding Iran and Iranians - by Hooman Majd
Publisher: Bantam Dell
Check Library Catalog
Pub Date: 9/23/2008
ISBN: 9780385523349
ISBN-10: 0385523343
Journalist Hooman Majd is ideally positioned to write about contemporary Iran, 
for he's the Western-educated son of an Iranian diplomat and the grandson
of an ayatollah. His ability to speak Farsi like a native allows him to use the 
language as a window into the economic, political, and social forces at
work in Iran, and his examination of Iran as a Muslim, Shiite, and Persian 
country takes into account the diverse perspectives of many real-life people
in the modern-day nation. Majd's even-handed, conversational style covers 
everything from the role of cats (not what you'd think for the home of Persian
cats) to President Ahmadinejad's thoughts on the Holocaust.
First Chapter
Table of Contents

Napoleon in Egypt - by Paul Strathern
Publisher: Bantam Dell
Check Library Catalog
Pub Date: 10/28/2008
ISBN: 9780553806786
ISBN-10: 0553806785
Napoleon's ill-fated invasion of Egypt in 1798, with 335 ships and 40,000 men, 
was the largest long-distance seaborne force that the world had ever seen.
But Napoleon's assault was intended to do more than simply expand French 
control, for Napoleon took with him more than 150 scientists, mathematicians,
artists, and writers for the dual purposes of bringing Western civilization to 
Egypt and bringing Egyptian treasures back to France. Using newly uncovered
diaries and papers, author Paul Strathern offers an entertaining account of the 
enterprise, as well as a nuanced portrait of Napoleon and the colorful
members of his expedition. For more on the scientific expedition, try Nina 
Burleigh's Mirage.
First Chapter

Loot: The Battle Over the Stolen Treasures of the Ancient World - by Sharon 
Publisher: Times Books
Check Library Catalog
Pub Date: 10/28/2008
ISBN: 9780805086539
ISBN-10: 0805086536
If you've already read journalist Simon Houpt's Museum of the Missing, an 
excellent history of modern-day art theft, you may be eager to get your hands
on Sharon Waxman's Loot, which tackles the debate over the ownership of great 
works of ancient art. Who has stronger claim--the museum that houses the
art, or the country from which it originated? Though there are no easy answers, 
journalist Waxman will take you on a fascinating journey through hotly
contested battles (including over the Elgin marbles, among others) while also 
posing the arguments on all sides. "Erudite and wholly satisfying," says
Kirkus Reviews.
Focus on: The Victorian Era

Ghost Hunters: William James and the Search for Scientific Proof of Life after 
Death - by Deborah Blum
Publisher: Penguin Press
Check Library Catalog
Pub Date: 8/3/2006
ISBN: 9781594200908
ISBN-10: 1594200904
During the Victorian era, attempts to communicate with the dead through mediums 
and séances grew in popularity, but they were attended by a flurry of scientific
activity as researchers tried to determine whether spiritualism had a grounding 
in science. Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Deborah Blum focuses on the
prominent Harvard psychologist William James, who risked his reputation trying 
to gather scientific data proving--or disproving--the existence of paranormal
powers. Although many scorned the idea that scientific reasoning could be 
applied to mind-reading and apparitions, he did find some allies. Their efforts
are chronicled here, in what The Washington Post calls a "lively and 
provocative" book.
Table of Contents

Barbary Plague: The Black Death in Victorian San Francisco - by Marilyn Chase
Publisher: Random House
Check Library Catalog
Pub Date: 3/1/2004
ISBN: 9780375757082
ISBN-10: 0375757082
Though Victorian Europe suffered from several cholera epidemics, it was bubonic 
plague that erupted in turn-of-the-century San Francisco. In addition to
describing how the plague arrived in San Francisco and how it spread once it 
got there, Wall Street Journal reporter Marilyn Chase also looks at the efforts
of scientists Joseph Kinyoun, Dr. Rupert Blue, and Blue's aide Colby Rucker to 
contain and eradicate the disease. She also focuses on city administrators,
who didn't want word of the epidemic to spread, and on the discriminatory 
practices aimed at the booming city's population of Chinese immigrants. If 
interested in public health issues or the history of San Francisco, you won't 
want to miss this gripping book.
First Chapter
Table of Contents

Three Empires on the Nile: The Victorian Jihad, 1869-1899 - by Dominic Green
Publisher: Free Press
Check Library Catalog
Pub Date: 1/9/2007
ISBN: 9780743280716
ISBN-10: 0743280717
The Victorian era is recognized as a time of prosperity for the British, but it 
wasn't without its conflicts. In the second half of the 19th century, as
the British Empire expanded along the Nile River, tensions rose between the 
despotic Egyptian ruler and his people; then, when British troops made their
presence felt, relations soured between the British and their Muslim subjects. 
Author Dominic Green profiles several prominent men, several of whom will
be of interest to readers looking to discover parallels with today's troubles 
in the Middle East: the Sudanese Sufi leader Mohammed Ahmed; the British
general Charles George Gordon; and the leader of the Egyptian revolt, Colonel 
Ahmed Urabi.
First Chapter
Table of Contents

Death at the Priory: Love, Sex and Murder in Victorian England - by James 
Publisher: PGW
Check Library Catalog
Pub Date: 12/1/2002
ISBN: 9780802139740
ISBN-10: 0802139744
If you're a fan of Agatha Christie novels, your curiosity will be piqued by the 
true-life--and still unsolved--murder of successful attorney Charles Bravo,
which a fascinated Christie called "one of the most mysterious poisoning cases 
ever recorded." Bravo and his new wife, Florence, lived in a stately house
in London and enjoyed the best of Victorian society, but the household was not 
a happy one, for Bravo was abusive towards his wife and unreasonable towards
his servants. His death, mere months into the marriage, was never solved, 
though Florence and several unhappy servants were suspected of murder. Could
it have been suicide? Read Death at the Priory and draw your own conclusions.
Table of Contents

The Victorian Internet: The Remarkable Story of the Telegraph and the 
Nineteenth Century's On-line Pioneers - by Tom Standage
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Check Library Catalog
Pub Date: 9/18/2007
ISBN: 9780802716040
ISBN-10: 0802716040
What do the Internet and the telegraph have in common? No, that's not the start 
of a bad joke--it's a serious question, and one that journalist Tom Standage
answers in this "lively, anecdote-filled history" (Booklist). For the most 
part, Standage covers the history of the telegraph, from its invention to the
ways this once cutting-edge invention changed the world. But by looking at the 
social, cultural, economic, and political influence of the telegraph on
the Victorian era, he is also able to draw conclusions about the Internet's 
effect on the modern age (though keep in mind that this book was first published
in 1998--the year that Google was incorporated, and long before the advent of 
YouTube or Wikipedia).

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  • » [bksvol-discuss] Fw: History and Current Events December 2008 - Amber Wallenstein