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Book cover for "The Ravine"
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

In 2009 Wendy Lower, the acclaimed author of "Hitler’s Furies" was shown a photograph just brought to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. The documentation of the Holocaust is vast, but there are virtually no images of a Jewish family at the actual moment of murder, in this case by German officials and Ukrainian collaborators. A Ukrainian shooter’s rifle is inches from a woman's head, obscured in a cloud of smoke. She is bending forward, holding the hand of a barefooted little boy.

And—only one of the shocking revelations of Wendy Lower’s brilliant ten-year investigation of this image—the shins of another child, slipping from the woman’s lap.

The name of the book is "The Ravine: A Family, a Photograph, a Holocaust Massacre Revealed."

Book cover for "The Girl from the Channel Islands"
Harper Collins

Inspired by true events, "The Girl from the Channel Islands" by Jenny Lecoat tells the riveting story of a young Jewish woman trapped on the occupied island of Jersey during World War II.

In June 1940, the Channel Islands are occupied by Hitler’s forces. Hedy Bercu is a young Jewish woman who fled from Vienna to escape the Anschluss. She finds herself once more trapped by the Nazis, on the tiny island of Jersey. Concealing her racial status, Hedy finds work with the German authorities as a translator and embarks on acts of resistance.

Scott Silverstone is an ASU Future of War Fellow at New America and a professor of international relations at the United States Military Academy at West Point. His new book, "From Hitler's Germany to Saddam's Iraq: The Enduring False Promise of Preventive War."

This book challenges conventional wisdom about the value of preventive war. Beginning with the rise of German power and the French and British response to the Rhineland crisis leading to World War II, Silverstone overturns the common impulse to point an accusing finger at British leadership for its alleged naïveté, willful blindness, or outright cowardice.

Silverstone argues that the Rhineland crisis is a critical case for studying a central dynamic of world history - power shifts among states - and the preventive war temptation that power shifts frequently produce.

  Despite the outpouring of books, movies, museums, memorials, and courses devoted to the Holocaust, a coherent explanation of why such ghastly carnage erupted from the heart of civilized Europe in the twentieth century still seems elusive even seventy years later. 

Peter Hayes' Why? dispels many misconceptions and answers some of the most basic, yet vexing, questions that remain: why the Jews and not another ethnic group? Why the Germans? Why such a swift and sweeping extermination? Why didn’t more Jews fight back more often? Why didn’t they receive more help?

Peter Hayes is professor of history and German and Theodore Zev Weiss Holocaust Educational Foundation Professor of Holocaust Studies Emeritus at Northwestern University and chair of the Academic Committee of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

In 1938, Mercedes-Benz began production of the largest, most luxurious limousine in the world. A machine of frightening power and sinister beauty, the Grosser 770K Model 150 Offener Tourenwagen was 20 feet long, seven feet wide, and tipped the scales at 5 tons. Its supercharged, 230-horsepower engine propelled the beast to speeds over 100 m.p.h. while its occupants reclined on glove-leather seats stuffed with goose down. Armor plated and equipped with hidden compartments for Luger pistols, the 770K was a sumptuous monster with a monstrous patron: Adolph Hitler and the Nazi party.

In The Devil’s Mercedes, author Robert Klara uncovers the forgotten story of how Americans responded to these rolling relics of fascism on their soil.

Robert Klara is the author of FDR’s Funeral Train and The Hidden White House. His articles and essays have appeared in The New York Times, American Heritage, and The Guardian, among numerous other publications. Klara has also worked as a staff editor for magazines including Town & Country, Architecture, and Adweek.

Jack Mayer is a pediatrician and a writer. He was last here to talk about his book - Life in a Jar: The Irena Sendler Project. His new novel is: Before the Court of Heaven - based on a true story of Weimar Germany and the rise of the Third Reich.

Three themes impel the book: understanding the rise of Nazism, unfathomable forgiveness, and the complexity of redemption. It is a portrait of Germany between world wars, from revolution and unrest following World War I to the rise of the Nazis, World War II and the Holocaust.

Erik Larson
Benjamin-Benschneider

The Poughkeepsie Public Library District will kick off Library Week with best-selling author Erik Larson on April 9 at 2:30 p.m.

Larson will focus his presentation on the early rise of Nazi Germany. In his 2008 book “In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler’s Berlin,”: Larson described the experiences of the U.S. Ambassador to Germany and his family in the 1930s.

Originally published in 1935 as a response to the rise of Hitler and Mussolini in Europe, Sinclair Lewis’ It Can’t Happen Here has renewed relevance in the wake of Donald Trump’s campaign and election.

Physical sales for the Signet Classics mass-market edition of It Can’t Happen Here are up 1100% over last year’s sales, and eBook sales have jumped 750%.

Dr. Sally Parry, executive director of the Sinclair Lewis Society, joins us this morning to discuss this shockingly prescient novel that remains as fresh and contemporary as today’s news. 

  The Boys in the Boat: The True Story of an American Team's Epic Journey to Win Gold at the 1936 Olympics by Daniel James Brown tells the story of the University of Washington’s 1936 eight-oar crew and their epic quest for an Olympic gold medal, a team that transformed the sport and grabbed the attention of millions of Americans. The sons of loggers, shipyard workers, and farmers, the boys defeated elite rivals first from eastern and British universities and finally the German crew rowing for Adolf Hitler in the Olympic games in Berlin, 1936.

First released in 2013, the best-selling book has been released in a Young Readers Adaptation by Viking Books.

Berkshire Sculling Association in Pittsfield is hosting John Biglow, member of the 1984 Olympic rowing team. John has developed a talk around the The Boys in the Boat book, which he’ll be presenting at the Duffin Theater in Lenox on Sunday June 26 at 2:30.

  Reeling from the Great Depression, the United States and Germany elected two new leaders of diametrically opposing ideologies. In 1932, Franklin Roosevelt won the presidency and Adolf Hitler became chancellor.

Author and historian David Pietrusza will discuss his new book - 1932: The Rise of Hitler and FDR–Two Tales of Politics, Betrayal, and Unlikely Destiny.