Beginning with “My American Revolution: A Modern Expedition Through History’s Forgotten Battlegrounds” and ending with “A New Leaf: The End of Cannabis Prohibition” these picks from the library’s New Non-Fiction shelves enlighten America’s past, instruct citizen activism and of course, entertain.
Robert Sullivan literally treads headlong into history in “My American Revolution.” Journey with him. It’s worth it.
Benjamin Franklin had more careers than the number of days in a week. In alphabetical order they included, but were not limited to, author, diplomat, inventor, politician, postmaster, printer, public citizen extraordinaire and scientist. Enjoy discovering much more with “Ben Franklin for Beginners,” written and illustrated by Tim Ogline.
Recent news coverage of “Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War” focused somewhat narrowly on a few passages. This New York Times nonfiction bestseller is by Robert Gates, Secretary of Defense under two American Presidents, Republican George W. Bush and Democrat Barack Obama. Wide and thoughtful in scope, it covers many aspects of wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Another new non-fiction must-read is “Love & War: Twenty Years, Three Presidents, Two Daughters and One Louisiana Home” by James Carville and Mary Matalin. Matalin, with strong ties to three American presidents, and Carville, lead strategist for Bill Clinton’s successful 1992 campaign, are a diametrically opposed couple at least when it comes to politics. These back and forth short takes – a sort of “he says, she says” format – make this memoir entertaining.
“Death in Yellowstone: Accidents and Foolhardiness in the First National Park” is the updated second edition of the 1995 classic by Lee H. Whittlesey, life-long Yellowstone tour guide and historian. Whittlesey appears in Ken Burn’s PBS special “The National Parks: America’s Best Idea,” at the library and online. This book is more than the stories of grizzly attacks and buffalo gorings. Whittlesey takes you there, armed with the knowledge you need to answer the questions you’ll have. Armchair travelers, take note.
Not to be ignored for its diminutive size is “The Citizen Lobbyist: A How-to Manual for Making Your Voice Heard in Government” by Amanda Knief. Want some tips on grassroots activism? Maybe citizen lobbyist is your calling. Find sample lobbying worksheets and resources within.
While medical cannabis is legal in 20 states and Washington, D.C., it would be hard not to have noticed that residents of neighboring state Colorado passed measures in 2012 to legalize the production and sale of cannabis for social use. “A New Leaf: The End of Cannabis Prohibition,” by investigative journalists Alyson Martin and Nushin Rashidian, offers up in-depth interviews with patients, growers, doctors, entrepreneurs, politicians, activists, and regulators.