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Books & Authors

Looking Back while Moving Forward

The year 1919 was filled with notable events: the ratification of two constitutional amendments, the Chicago Race Riots, a rigged World Series, and the culmination of WWI with the treaty of Versailles. Turmoil and conflict seemed to be around every corner and on every continent. These titles highlight those moments which have shaped future generations. As we step forward into the new year, let's look back to see where we've been.

Red summer : the summer of 1919 and the awakening of Black America by Cameron McWhirter
A narrative history of one of America's deadliest episodes of race riots and lynchings. This account traces how black Americans were brutally targeted by anti-black uprisings that culminated in hundreds of deaths and set the stage for the civil rights movement.

The betrayal : the 1919 World Series and the birth of modern baseball by Charles Fountain
In the most famous scandal of sports history, eight Chicago White Sox players--including Shoeless Joe Jackson--agreed to throw the 1919 World Series to the Cincinnati Reds in exchange for the promise of $20,000 each from gamblers reportedly working for New York mobster Arnold Rothstein. Although rumors of a fix flew while the series was being played, they were largely disregarded by players and the public at large. It wasn't until a year later that a general investigation into baseball gambling reopened the case, and a nationwide scandal emerged.

Votes for women! : American suffragists and the battle for the ballot by Winifred Conkling
Relates the story of the 19th Amendment and the nearly eighty-year fight for voting rights for women, covering not only the suffragists' achievements and politics, but also the private journeys that led them to become women's champions.

Bitter freedom : Ireland in a revolutionary world by Maurice Walsh
The Irish Revolution has long been mythologized in American culture but seldom understood. Too often, the story of Irish independence and its grinding aftermath in the early part of the twentieth century has been told only within a parochial Anglo-Irish context. Now, in the critically acclaimed Bitter Freedom, Maurice Walsh, with "a novelist's eye for detailing lives in extremis" (Feargal Keane, Prospect), places revolutionary Ireland within the panorama of nationalist movements born out of World War I.

A shattered peace : Versailles 1919 and the price we pay today by David A. Andelman
In A Shattered Peace, veteran foreign correspondent David A. Andelman takes a fresh new look at the Treaty of Versailles as the point of origin for many of today's most critical international issues. In this revealing history, Andelman turns the spotlight on the many errors committed by the peacemakers that led to crises and bloodshed from Kosovo to Iraq, wars from Israel to Vietnam.

Tommy : the gun that changed America by Karen Blumenthal
John Taliaferro Thompson had a mission: to develop a lightweight, fast-firing weapon that would help Americans win on the battlefield. His Thompson submachine gun could deliver a hundred bullets in a matter of seconds, but didn't find a market in the U.S. military. Instead, the Tommy gun became the weapon of choice for a generation of bootleggers and bank-robbing outlaws, and became a deadly American icon.

The vanquished : why the First World War failed to end by Robert Gerwart
For the Western Allies, November 11, 1918, has always been a solemn date--the end of fighting that had destroyed a generation, but also a vindication of a terrible sacrifice with the total collapse of the principal enemies: the German Empire, Austria-Hungary, and the Ottoman Empire. But for much of the rest of Europe this was a day with no meaning, as a continuing, nightmarish series of conflicts engulfed country after country.

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