January 30, 2024

Last Alarm: The Charleston 9

Thomas A. Woodley’s Last Alarm concerns the furniture-store fire which became the deadliest single incident for American firefighters since 9/11.

Now-retired labor lawyer Woodley, onetime chief counsel for the IAFF firefighters’ union, brings impeccable credentials for doing justice to this book’s somber topic. In telling the story of the blaze that engulfed the Sofa Super […]

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October 31, 2023

The Overcome: A Black Passover

Peter W.D. Bramble, a retired Episcopal priest, reissues his1989 manifesto on how African-Americans can overcome their historical struggles, updated to counter what he sees as a “new doctrine” that a “permanent state of victimhood” exists among black people.

Bramble’s disagreements with “Critical Race Theory” (itself a disputed term) will irk many, but he doesn’t devote […]

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August 29, 2023

Delaware from Railways to Freeways: First State, Second Phase

Following up his earlier Delaware Before the Railroads, Dave Tabler serves up a strong sequel with Delaware From Railways to Freeways, continuing his home state’s story, this time from the late 18th to the early 20th century.

Like its predecessor, the book largely consists of illustrations and photos, filled out with extensive endnotes. Per the […]

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August 22, 2023

An Intriguing Heritage: The Story of How the Dowdys and Their Kindred Stood Up to Life

Harry Kendall Dowdy, Jr. tackles a monumental challenge in research, collection, and collation to produce this story of his forebears, accompanied by photographs and illustrations.

The author commences his chronicle by introducing readers to the earliest ancestor he can trace, Thomas Dowdy, circa 18th century. Travelling over the decades, he winds through the family tree, […]

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July 4, 2023

The Great Flip: The Shifting Views of Liberals and Conservatives on Active Government 

Donald J. Fraser’s clearly written work proposes that a “great flip” in U.S. politics has seen liberals and conservatives switch positions on activist versus hands-off government.

Here, the two main roles go to “liberal” Thomas Jefferson and “conservative” Alexander Hamilton. Jefferson’s egalitarian vision required the economy to remain largely agricultural and the government mostly inactive. […]

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July 4, 2023

Design and Music in a Changing Northern Sierra Leone Chiefdom

The northern Sierra Leone region known as Wara Wara Balodea is an autonomous, somewhat isolated setting known as a chiefdom, one of seven Limba chiefdoms. In this oversized book filled with glossy color photographs, author Simon Ottenberg offers a portrait of the people and their culture.

Ottenberg, author, curator, and emeritus professor of anthropology at […]

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April 4, 2023

Kissinger’s Betrayal: How America Lost the Vietnam War

In this informative book, Stephen B Young makes a fulsome argument that Henry Kissinger abandoned our allies in Vietnam long before he negotiated the 1973 Paris Peace Accords.

As Richard Nixon’s national security advisor starting in 1969, the controversial Kissinger led the administration’s support for Nationalist South Vietnam in its defensive war against Communist North […]

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February 7, 2023

Delaware Before the Railroads: A Diamond Among the States

Dave Tabler presents a photo gallery of sites and artifacts from Delaware history, along with extensive endnotes, to tell the story of the “Diamond State” during the colonial period and early years of the United States.

The book begins by covering the area’s various long-resident Native American groups, most famously the Lenape, and the 17th-century […]

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January 17, 2023

Inferno! And the Miracles of the Colorado Marshall Fire

Tom Gormley’s Inferno! And the Miracles of the Colorado Marshall Fire recaps the devastation wrought by the massive December 30, 2021 fire that swept through Boulder County, Colorado. “In a little over four hours,” writes Gormley, the Marshall Fire, “fueled by high velocity Chinook winds, burned 6,026 acres, consumed 1,084 structures and damaged many more.”

[…]

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