history

Public Domain / Archive.org

The story of Solomon Northup, a free man lured from New York and sold into slavery in 1841, is now known by a worldwide audience thanks to the Oscar-nominated film 12 Years A Slave. The film, directed by Steve McQueen, shares the title of the narrative written by Northup after his rescue in 1853.

    The young Mary Cassatt never thought moving to Paris after the Civil War to be an artist was going to be easy, but when, after a decade of work, her submission to the Paris Salon is rejected, Mary’s fierce determination wavers. Her father is begging her to return to Philadelphia to find a husband before it is too late, her sister Lydia is falling mysteriously ill, and worse, Mary is beginning to doubt herself. Then one evening a friend introduces her to Edgar Degas and her life changes forever. Years later she will learn that he had begged for the introduction, but in that moment their meeting seems a miracle. So begins the defining period of her life and the most tempestuous of relationships.

In I Always Loved You, Robin Oliveira brilliantly re-creates the irresistible world of Belle Époque Paris, writing with grace and uncommon insight into the passion and foibles of the human heart.

    The arrival of the Beatles was one of those unforgettable cultural touchstones. Through the voices of those who witnessed it or were swept up in it indirectly, The Beatles Are Here! explores the emotional impact—some might call it hysteria—of the Fab Four’s February 1964 dramatic landing on our shores.

This intimate and entertaining collection arose from writer Penelope Rowlands’s own Beatlemaniac phase: she was one of the screaming girls captured in an iconic photograph that has since been published around the world—and is displayed on the cover of this book.

      Award winning documentary filmmaker, Ken Burns, will be at the Memorial Hall in Shelburne Falls, MA on February 12 at 7pm to present clips from his new seven-part film The Roosevelts: An Intimate History. The 14 hour film will air on PBS later this year. The event will help the Arms Library raise money for the first phase of a multi-year project to restore the historic Pratt Memorial Library Building. To reserve tickets call 413 625 0306.

“The Roosevelts” weaves together the stories of Theodore, Franklin, and Eleanor Roosevelt – three members of one of the most prominent and influential families in American politics.

Ken Burns has been making films for more than thirty years. Since the Academy Award nominated Brooklyn Bridge in 1981, Ken has gone on to direct and produce some of the most acclaimed historical documentaries ever made, including The Civil War, Baseball, Jazz, The National Parks: America’s Best Idea, The Dust Bowl – and many others.

    The Hanford Mills Museum in East Meredith, NY is having their annual Ice Harvest Festival on February 1st from 10am to 4pm.

Ice harvests were once an essential part of winter in rural communities. Before there was refrigeration, ice was needed to preserve agricultural products and to keep food cold in the warmer months. Ice Festival attendees can take part in a traditional ice harvest! They’ll walk out on the frozen mill pond to help cut and maneuver blocks of ice using historic tools. The ice will be transported by sled and then packed in the Museum’s traditional ice house.

    Fearing a backlash, according to our next guest, the military has routinely distorted its casualty reports in order to hide the true cost of war.

When Soldiers Fall takes a new look at the way Americans have dealt with the toll of armed conflict. Drawing on a vast array of sources, from George Patton's command papers to previously untapped New York Times archives, historian Steven Casey ranges from World War I (when the U.S. government first began to report casualties) to the War on Terror, examining official policy, the press, and the public reaction.

    Jamie Ford's first novel, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, was a surprise New York Times bestseller. His second book, Songs of Willow Frost is the story of a Chinese-American orphan in Seattle during The Great Depression.

   We are very happy to continue our weekly feature on the RT, entitled – Ideas Matter: Checking in with the Public Humanities. It is our chance to check in with the Humanities Councils throughout our 7-State area to discuss important ideas and why they do indeed matter.

This morning we spotlight the Connecticut Humanities Council and talk about the idea of public commemoration and lessons of history.

Our guest is Dr. Matthew Warshauer, Author, public historian, Professor of History at Central Connecticut State University, Chair of the Connecticut Civil War Commemoration Commission and trustee of Connecticut Humanities.

    The Girls of Atomic City rescues a remarkable, forgotten chapter of American history from obscurity. Denise Kiernan captures the spirit of the times through these women: their pluck, their desire to contribute, and their enduring courage.

At the height of World War II, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, was home to 75,000 residents, consuming more electricity than New York City. But to most of the world, the town did not exist. Thousands of civilians--many of them young women from small towns across the South--were recruited to this secret city, enticed by solid wages and the promise of war-ending work. Kept very much in the dark, few would ever guess the true nature of the tasks they performed each day in the hulking factories in the middle of the Appalachian Mountains. That is, until the end of the war--when Oak Ridge's secret was revealed.

My Promised Land: The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel, is a deeply personal narrative history of the state of Israel by Ari Shavit - one of the most influential Israeli journalist writing about the Middle East today.

As it examines the complexity and the contradictions of the Israeli condition, My Promised Land asks difficult but important questions- Why did Israel come to be? How did it come to be? And can Israel survive?

Shavit draws on an almost 30 year long careered delve into his countries most defining conflicts, ambitions, successes, and disappointments- as well as to explore his own families history, and the story of other ordinary individuals.

A strong willed and device of figure in British and International politics- Margaret Thatcher was the longest serving Prime Minister in the 20th century, and the first woman to hold the office. She oversaw Britain’s biggest social and political revolution in its post war history.

Jonathan Aitken, Cabinet administer under Thatcher, and a close family friend of 40 years- had a unique vantage point, and brings new light to many crucial episodes of the Thatcher era. He writes about it in his new book, Margaret Thatcher: Power and Personality.

He speaks about the source of the boundless ambition, and what gave root to her astonishing force of personality.

  Based on years of intensive primary document research, Lawrence in Arabia: War, Deceit, Imperial Folly and the Making of the Modern Middle East definitively overturns received wisdom on how the modern Middle East was formed. Sweeping in its action, keen in its portraiture, acid in its condemnation of the destruction wrought by European colonial plots, this is a book that brilliantly captures the way in which the folly of the past creates the anguish of the present.

Scott Anderson is an American novelist, journalist, and a veteran war correspondent.

    California now has more trees than at any time since the late Pleistocene. This green landscape, however, is not the work of nature. It’s the work of history.

Jared Farmer's book, Trees in Paradise offers an insightful, new perspective on the history of the Golden State and the American West.

Jared Farmer, a Utah native and former Californian, is the author of On Zion’s Mount, a landscape history awarded the prestigious Parkman Prize for literary excellence. He teaches history at Stony Brook University and lives in Brooklyn, New York.

 

 Launched on July 1, 1916, the Battle of the Somme has come to epitomize the madness of the First World War. Almost 20,000 British soldiers were killed and another 40,000 were wounded that first day, and there were more than one million casualties by the time the offensive halted.

In The Great War, acclaimed cartoon journalist Joe Sacco depicts the events of that day in an extraordinary, 24-foot long panorama: from General Douglas Haig and the massive artillery positions behind the trench lines to the legions of soldiers going “over the top” and getting cut down in no-man’s-land, to the tens of thousands of wounded soldiers retreating and the dead being buried en masse.

Printed on fine accordion-fold paper and packaged in a slipcase with a 16-page booklet, The Great War is a landmark in Sacco’s illustrious career and allows us to see the War to End All Wars as we’ve never seen it before.

    Much of the history of New York's scenic Mohawk Valley has been recounted time and again. But so many other stories have remained buried, almost lost from memory. Enter Bob Cudmore and his new book - Hidden History of the Mohawk Valley: The Baseball Oracle, the Mohawk Encampment and More.

The man called the baseball oracle correctly predicted the outcome of twenty-one major-league games. Mrs. Bennett, a friend of Governor Thomas Dewey, owned the Tower restaurant and lived in the unique Cranesville building. An Amsterdam sailor cheated death onboard a stricken submarine.

Not only people but once-loved places are also all but forgotten, like the twentieth-century Mohawk Indian encampment and the Camp in the Adirondacks, where Kirk Douglas was a counselor. Local historian Bob Cudmore delves deep into the region's history to find its most fascinating pieces of hidden history.

    

  Historian Lincoln Paine has just written a monumental retelling of world history through the lens of maritime enterprise, revealing in breathtaking depth how people first came into contact with one another by ocean and river, lake and stream, and how goods, languages, religions, and entire cultures spread across and along the world’s waterways, bringing together civilizations and defining what makes us most human.

In his book, Sea and Civilization: A Maitime History of the World, Lincoln Paine takes us back to the origins of long-distance migration by sea with our ancestors’ first forays from Africa and Eurasia to Australia and the Americas.

    

  From the author of the acclaimed Island at the Center of the Earth comes Amsterdam: A History of the World's Most Liberal City; an endlessly entertaining portrait of the city of Amsterdam and the ideas that make it unique.

Weaving in his own experiences in his adopted home, Russell Shorto provides an ever-surprising, intellectually engaging story of Amsterdam from the building of its first canals in the 1300s, through its brutal struggle for independence, its golden age as a vast empire, to its complex present in which its cherished ideals of liberalism are under siege.

Russell Shorto is the bestselling author of Descartes' Bones and The Island at the Center of the World and will be at Northshire Bookstore in Saratoga on Saturday at 7PM.

    This morning we spotlight New York Council for the Humanities and get seasonal and talk about their spooky humanities projects across New York.

We are joined by: Dr. Tim Madigan, Associate Professor of Philosophy and Director of Irish Studies at St. John Fisher College. Tim, in addition to giving talks about Frankenstein through the Council's Speakers in the Humanities program, is the organizer of a one-day public conference, "The Irish Vampire," exploring the life and influence of the Irish novelist, Bram Stoker, and his immortal 1897 work, Dracula.

Erika Sanger, Director of Education, The Albany Institute of History & Art. Erika joins us to talk about the exciting slate of programs she's organized around The Albany's Institute new exhibit, The Mystery of the Albany Mummies, specifically an upcoming project on Amenhotep's Mask and the Book of the Dead.

Anne Field of the Friends of the Town of Pelham Library is here to talk about Pelham Reads Frankenstein, a community-wide reading festival around Mary Shelley's 19th century classic novel.

Understanding Filibusters

Sep 29, 2013
Jim Levulis / WAMC

While Republican U.S. Senator Ted Cruz’s recent 21-hour talk on the Senate floor wasn’t a filibuster, the parliamentary procedure is certainly a unique part of our nation’s political workings.

Albany Ale Project

Sep 4, 2013

    In 2010, beer bloggers Alan McLeod and Craig Gravina stumbled across an early 19th century advertisement for Albany Ale—but what exactly was Albany Ale? That question took them on a journey through history spanning nearly 400 years—from the arrival of the first Dutch brewers to the 21st century.

Along the way, the duo has re-discovered the city’s mid-19th century phenomenon—a double-strength XX ale, brewed across the city and exported around the world—known as Albany Ale. Growing since 2010, this international research endeavor has been dubbed the Albany Ale Project, and is focused on bringing the history and stories of an industry that helped to build the capital city of New York to light.

Roger Savoy of Hennessy Home Brew Emporium and Ryan Demler of the Pump Station in Albany join us to tell us more.

    

  Simón Bolivar freed six countries from Spanish rule, traveled more than 75,000 miles on horseback to do so, and became the greatest figure in Latin American history. His life is epic, heroic, straight out of Hollywood: he fought battle after battle in punishing terrain, forged uncertain coalitions of competing forces and races, lost his beautiful wife soon after they married and never remarried (although he did have a succession of mistresses, including one who held up the revolution and another who saved his life), and he died relatively young, uncertain whether his achievements would endure.

Drawing on a wealth of primary documents, novelist and journalist Marie Arana brilliantly captures early nineteenth-century South America and the explosive tensions that helped revolutionize Bolívar.

    Americans cherish their national myths, some of which predate the country’s founding. But the time for illusions, nostalgia, and grand ambition abroad has gone by, according to journalist Patrick Smith in his new book, Time No Longer.

He says Americans are now faced with a choice between a mythical idea of themselves, their nation, and their global “mission,” on the one hand, and on the other an idea of America that is rooted in historical consciousness.

    When Hitler’s armies occupied Italy in 1943, they also seized control of mankind’s greatest cultural treasures. As they had done throughout Europe, the Nazis could now plunder the masterpieces of the Renaissance, the treasures of the Vatican, and the antiquities of the Roman Empire. 

Robert Edsel joins us to talk about the efforts to save Italy’s great artistic treasures from the Nazis. 

His book is Saving Italy: The Race to Rescue a Nation's Treasures from the Nazis.

  We are very happy to continue our new regular feature on The Roundtable, entitled – Ideas Matter: Checking in with the Public Humanities. It is our chance to check in with the Humanities Councils throughout our 7-State area to discuss important ideas and why they do indeed matter.

This morning we spotlight MASS Humanities and specifically we’ll talk about Reading Frederick Douglass. Our guests this morning are Pleun Bouricius, Assistant Director, Mass Humanities and Don Quinn Kelley, Founding Co-Chair Lift Ev'ry Voice Festival.

    Chesterwood, the country home, studio, and gardens of America’s foremost public sculptor – Daniel Chester French is holding their Vintage Motorcar Festival this Sunday, May 26th – rain or shine – from 10am to 4pm.

    What would today’s technology look like with Victorian-era design and materials? That’s the world steampunk envisions: a mad-inventor collection of 21st century-inspired contraptions powered by steam and driven by gears.

In this book, futurist Brian David Johnson and cultural historian James Carrott explore steampunk, a cultural movement that’s captivated thousands of artists, designers, makers, hackers, and writers throughout the world.

  This week's Book Picks list comes from Bill Lewis of Northshire Bookstore.

List after the break.

    Operation Storm: Japan's Top Secret Submarines and Its Plan to Change the Course of World War II tells the riveting true story of Japan's top secret plan to change the course of World War II using a squadron of mammoth submarines a generation ahead of their time.

John Geoghegan has written extensively about aviation history, underwater exploration and marine engineering for The New York Times Science Section, Smithsonian Air & Space, WIRED, Popular Science, Aviation History, Military Heritage, Flight Journal and the San Francisco Chronicle Sunday Magazine.

    In Tara Conklin's debut novel, The House Girl: A Novel, two remarkable women, separated by more than a century, live lives that unexpectedly intertwine.

2004: Lina Sparrow is an ambitious young lawyer working on a historic class-action lawsuit seeking reparations for the descendants of American slaves.

1852: Josephine is a seventeen-year-old house slave who tends to the mistress of a Virginia tobacco farm—an aspiring artist named Lu Anne Bell.

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