Category Archives: History

White Rage

Carol Anderson’s book White Rage is surprisingly brief — only about 165 pages — but it is as powerful as a vaccine. If you read it, you won’t be able to look at American history (or your own education) in … Continue reading

Posted in History, Nonfiction | 4 Comments

Sally Heathcote, Suffragette

I haven’t written a blog post for over two months, and I’m not sure… why not? I’ve just been very busy and tired, and I’ve been reading, but not at my usual volume, and when I’ve thought about writing a … Continue reading

Posted in Biography, Graphic Novels / Comics, History, Nonfiction | 6 Comments

Young Romantics: The Shelleys, Byron, and Other Tangled Lives

The story of how Mary Shelley came up with the idea for Frankenstein as part of a storytelling competition is fairly well known, but that’s far from the only instance of how the circle around the Shelleys influenced each other, both … Continue reading

Posted in History, Nonfiction | 2 Comments

The Discoverers

The Discoverers is the first in Daniel Boorstin’s “knowledge trilogy.” (The others are The Creators and The Seekers.) This book, more than 700 pages long in small type, describes the progress of the inventors and explorers of Western civilization, beginning … Continue reading

Posted in History, Nonfiction | 11 Comments

White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide

In the prologue to this short, but devastating history, scholar Carol Anderson explains her title in this way: White rage is not about visible violence, but rather it works its way through the courts, the legislatures, and a range of … Continue reading

Posted in History, Nonfiction | 25 Comments

The Way to Rainy Mountain

In 2012, I read N. Scott Momaday’s groundbreaking novel House Made of Dawn, which is the story of a young Native man who has returned to the reservation from the second World War in order to face his demons. The … Continue reading

Posted in History, Memoir | 4 Comments

Truevine: Two Brothers, a Kidnapping, and a Mother’s Quest: A True Story of the Jim Crow South

That’s a lot of subtitle, no? And all those subtitles don’t even get into the circus sideshows. This book first captured my interest because I grew up just a few miles from Truevine, the Franklin County, Virginia, community where the … Continue reading

Posted in History, Nonfiction | 10 Comments

Blood Done Sign My Name

In the United States, when we are first taught about the Civil Rights movement, in our high schools and sometimes into college, it goes something like this: There was segregation and injustice, and it was bad. And then Martin Luther … Continue reading

Posted in History, Memoir, Nonfiction | 13 Comments

The Wicked Boy: The Mystery of a Victorian Child Murderer

In July 1865, a 13-year-old London boy named Robert Coombs murdered his mother Emily. After the murder, he and his 12-year-old brother Nattie attended cricket matches, played games, and went fishing, all the while claiming their mother was away visiting family. When … Continue reading

Posted in History, Nonfiction | 18 Comments

Mountains of the Mind

For years, I’ve been a lover of the literature of exploration. I’ve read many books in which men (and some women, but mostly men) hurl themselves at intemperate climates and impossible peaks. In Mountains of the Mind, Robert Macfarlane goes … Continue reading

Posted in History, Memoir, Nonfiction, Travel/ Exploration | Leave a comment