Meeting Tuesday June 4 @ 10:15 am in Community Room

The benchmark is one of the following 4 titles:

  • King Leopold’s Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror, and Heroism in Colonial Africa by Adam Hochschild is a great example of explanation history. Hochschild recounts the grim history of the Belgian Congo, shedding light on colonial exploitation and the power of public outrage.
  • The Map That Changed the World by Simon Winchester explores the pivotal moment when geology was understood. William Smith, a canal digger, noticed patterns in the striations of the earth and, even faced with great bad luck and terrible odds, went on to publish one of the most important documents of his era.
  • The Greatest Generation by Tom Brokaw is a classic example of social and cultural history. Brokaw interviewed or solicited recollections via letter from hundreds of men and women who came of age between the Great Depression and WWII. Their stories are captured here and recount sweeping world changes and the motivating power of a common set of values and goals.
  • One Good Turn: A Natural History of the Screwdriver and the Screw by Witold Rybczynski is a fun example of microhistory. Exploring how the screw was invented (not till the late Middle Ages) and its many uses (guns, watches, water carrier), Rybczynski offers an entertaining look at the most common of tools and the huge impact it has had.

Please comment on this post with your second title choice to avoid duplication.

Some resources for finding a second title:

Getting Up to Speed in History
Pulitzer Prize in History
Bookmarks Magazine – 4 star History books
St. Charles Public Library: many history lists
Novelist Historical Scandals
Novelist Best History & Current Events 2012


9 Responses to History

  1. Benjamin Kalish says:

    For my second title I will be read Crying : the natural and cultural history of tears by Tom Lutz.

  2. Paula says:

    I’ll be reading A distant mirror : the calamitous 14th century by Barbara Tuchman.

  3. Lisa says:

    Cod : a biography of the fish that changed the world by Mark Kurlansky.

  4. Molly M says:

    The Big Burn: Teddy Roosevelt and the Fire that Saved America by Timothy Egan

  5. Lilly says:

    I’ll be reading… The age of Edison : electric light and the invention of modern America / Ernest Freeberg.

  6. Faith says:

    Hard Times by Studs Terkel (oral histories of the Great Depression)

  7. Steven says:

    Railroaded: The Transcontinentals and the Making of Modern America by Richard Wright

  8. Frank says:

    Century of Dishonor by Helen Hunt Jackson

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