Category Archives: Books

Douglas Brinkley On FDR’s Environmental Legacy April 27th


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rightful heritage bookDouglas Brinkley will read from and discuss his latest book, Rightful Heritage: Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Land of America (2016), at 8 pm on Thursday, April 27 in the Clark Auditorium, New York State Museum, Cultural Education Center, in downtown Albany. Earlier that same day, at 4:15 pm in the Ballroom of the Campus Center on the UAlbany uptown campus the author will hold an informal seminar with audience discussion.

Free and open to the public, the events are sponsored by the New York State Writers Institute and cosponsored by the Friends of the New York State Library. Continue reading

The Road to Concord, 1775


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ben_franklins_worldHow did the colonists of Massachusetts go from public protests meant to shame government officials and destroy offending property, to armed conflict with British Regulars in Lexington and Concord?

In this episode of Ben Franklin’s World: A Podcast About Early American History, John Bell, the prolific blogger behind Boston1775.net and the author of The Road to Concord: How Four Stolen Cannon Ignited the Revolutionary War, (Westholme Publishing, 2016), leads us on an investigation of what brought colonists and redcoats to the Battles of Lexington and Concord. You can listen to the podcast here: www.benfranklinsworld.com/129

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American Revolutions: A Continental History


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ben_franklins_worldHistorians often portray the American Revolution as an orderly, if violent, event that moved from British colonists’ high-minded ideas about freedom  to American independence from Great Britain and the ratification of the Constitution of 1787.

But was the American Revolution an orderly event that took place only between Great Britain and her North American colonists? Was it really about high-minded ideas?

Two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Alan Taylor joins us on Ben Franklin’s World: A Podcast About Early American History to explore the American Revolution as a Continental event with details from his book, American Revolutions: A Continental History. 1750-1804 (W.W. Norton & Company, 2016). You can listen to the podcast here: www.benfranklinsworld.com/128

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Guide to NYC’s Art Deco Architectural Treasures Published


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Of all the world’s cities, perhaps none is so defined by its Art Deco architecture as New York. Anthony W. Robins’ new book New York Art Deco: A Guide to Gotham’s Jazz Age Architecture (SUNY Press, 2017) leads readers step-by-step past the monuments of the 1920s and 30s that recast New York as the world’s modern metropolis.

Robins’ new guide includes an introductory essay describing the Art Deco phenomenon, followed by eleven walking tour itineraries in Manhattan each accompanied by a map designed by New York cartographer John Tauranac and a survey of Deco sites across the four other boroughs. Also included is a photo gallery of sixteen color plates by Art Deco photographer Randy Juster. Continue reading

New Book On Elliott And Eleanor Roosevelt


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A new book by Geraldine Hawkins, Elliott and Eleanor Roosevelt: The Story of a Father and His Daughter in the Gilded Age (Black Dome Press Corp. 2017) takes a look into the lives and relationship between Elliot and Eleanor Roosevelt.

Elliott Roosevelt was by all accounts as charming and charismatic as any member of that charming and charismatic family, including his godson, Franklin Delano Roosevelt. As an adolescent Elliott was the protector of his older brother, the then-sickly Theodore Roosevelt, and as a teenager and young man in his early twenties he roamed the American West when the west was still wild and went off on his own for an extended safari hunting big game in India. A strong social conscience instilled by his father stayed with him all his life, and he passed that compassion for the downtrodden on to his daughter, Eleanor Roosevelt. He was intelligent, handsome, wealthy, beloved by all, and he married one of the most beautiful women in New York society. Ten months later their first child, Eleanor, was born. It would seem that Elliott Roosevelt had the perfect life. Continue reading

Historians Podcast: History’s Wonder Women


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The Historians LogoThis week on “The Historians” podcast, Sam Maggs discusses her book on women who
made often unheralded contributions to history, Wonder Women: 25 Innovators, Inventors, and Trailblazers Who Changed History.  On part two of the podcast Bob Cudmore and Dave Greene discuss the story of a debutante spy for America during World War II, Gertrude Sanford Legendre.

Listen to the podcast here.    Continue reading

American Enlightenments


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ben_franklins_worldIn many ways, the Enlightenment gave birth to the United States. Enlightened ideas informed protests over imperial governance and taxation and over whether there should be an American bishop.

If we want to understand early America, we need to understand the Enlightenment.

In this episode of Ben Franklin’s World: A Podcast About Early American History, Caroline Winterer, a Professor of History at Stanford University and author of American Enlightenments: Pursuing Happiness in the Age of Reason (Yale University Press, 2016), takes us through her ideas about the Enlightenment and how it influenced early America. You can listen to the podcast here: www.benfranklinsworld.com/127

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Sacred Sites in North Star Country Book Event Saturday


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sacred sites book coverOn Saturday, April 1st at 1 pm, the Oneida County History Center will host Author Madis Senner who will discuss his new book Sacred Sites in North Star Country.

Upstate New York was the birthplace of the Women’s Movement and American Democracy, home to America’s Second Great Awakening, and was called the Burned-Over District for its spiritual wildfires, and America’s Psychic Highway.  Continue reading

The Reintegration of American Loyalists


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ben_franklins_worldWhat happened to the loyalists who stayed in the United States after the War for Independence?

After the war, 60,000 loyalists and 15,000 slaves evacuated the United States. But thousands more opted to remain in the new nation.

In this episode of the Ben Franklin’s World podcast, Rebecca Brannon, an Associate Professor of History at James Madison University and author of From Revolution to Reunion: The Reintegration of  South Carolina Loyalists (University of South Carolina Press, 2016), joins us to explore what happened to the loyalists who stayed. You can listen to the podcast here: www.benfranklinsworld.com/126

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New York 2140: A Climate Change Thriller


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A global warming apocalypse has been brewing for centuries since the Industrial Revolution converted Western countries and then the world into great carbon emission machines. Some historians divide history up into periods by looking at energy source: from very early fire to wood, wind, water, then on to coal, gas petroleum. Environmental history generates interpretations that resonate with this energy-based view of the past, because industrialization has such dramatic impacts on ecology. Continue reading