Category Archives: Books

Joanne Freeman on Alexander Hamilton


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ben_franklins_worldIn this week’s new episode of the Ben Franklin’s World podcast, we speak with Joanne Freeman, a Professor of History and American Studies at Yale University, and one of the foremost experts on the life of Alexander Hamilton. Joanne joins us to explore the life of Hamilton so we can discover more about the man who helped to create the United States. You can listen to the podcast here: www.benfranklinsworld.com/203

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Colonial Dutch Lecture In Albany Sept 23rd


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Adriaen van der Donck, A Dutch Rebel in Seventeeth-Century AmericaThe Albany Institute of History & Art is set to host author Julie van den Hout on Sunday, September 23 at 2 pm for a lecture on her book Adriaen van der Donck, A Dutch Rebel in Seventeenth-Century America. This lecture is co-sponsored by the New Netherland Institute and is included with museum admission.

Adriaen van der Donck, A Dutch Rebel in Seventeenth-Century America focuses on Adriaen van der Donck, a young legal activist from the seventeenth-century Dutch colony of New Netherland. The book details his life from his childhood and education, but it focuses on his battle to bring his struggling colony’s complaints with the Dutch West India Company to the highest level of government in the Dutch Republic. It also delves into the changes he brought long after his death, as well as discussing his book, Description of New Netherland, which contains his vision for the country. Continue reading

New Book Celebrates the Literary Legacy of William Kennedy


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bootlegger of the soulUntil now, Pulitzer Prize-winning author William Kennedy’s literary legacy has never been celebrated in one book. From novels such as Ironweed, Legs, and Billy Phelan’s Greatest Game (the Albany Cycle) to Bootlegger of the Soul screenplays like The Cotton Club, as well as his many years of investigative journalistic work, Suzanne Lance and Paul Grondahl, have compiled reviews, essays, and interviews about Kennedy’s contributions to the literary landscape in the new book from SUNY Press, Bootlegger of the Soul. Also included is original writing by the author himself – a play and a short story. Continue reading

Adrift: An 1856 Tragedy on the Atlantic


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adriftBrian Murphy’s new book Adrift: A True Story of Tragedy on the Icy Atlantic and the One Who Lived to Tell about It , with contributions from Toula Vlahou (Da Capo Press, 2018), tells the story of thirteen victims and a tragedy on the Atlantic Ocean.

The small ship making the Liverpool-to-New York trip in the early months of 1856 carried mail, crates of dry goods, and more than one hundred passengers, mostly Irish emigrants. Suddenly an iceberg tore the ship asunder and five lifeboats were lowered. As four lifeboats drifted into the fog and icy water, the last boat wrenched away from the sinking ship with a few blankets, some water and biscuits, and thirteen passengers. Only one would survive. This is his story. Continue reading

Indigenous London: Native Travelers at the Heart of the Empire


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ben_franklins_worldIn this episode of the Ben Franklin’s World podcast, Coll Thrush, an Associate Professor of History at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver and author of Indigenous London: Native Travelers at the Heart of the Empire (Yale, 2016), leads us on an exploration of Native American and European interactions that took place in London.You can listen to the podcast here: www.benfranklinsworld.com/199

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Native Americans & Colonists on the Northeastern Coast


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ben_franklins_worldIn this episode of the Ben Franklin’s World podcast, Andrew Lipman, an Assistant Professor of History at Barnard College, Columbia University and author of The Saltwater Frontier: Indians and the Contest for the American Coast (Yale, 2015), leads us on an exploration of the northeastern coastline and of the Native American and European peoples who lived there during the seventeenth century. You can listen to the podcast here: www.benfranklinsworld.com/198

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Native American Slavery in New France


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ben_franklins_worldIn this episode of the Ben Franklin’s World podcast, Brett Rushforth, an Assistant Professor of History at the University of Oregon and author of Bonds of Alliance: Indigenous and Atlantic Slaveries in New France OIEAHC, UNC Press, 2014), leads us on an exploration of a little-known aspect of early American history: the practice of Native American slavery.You can listen to the podcast here: www.benfranklinsworld.com/197

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Information & Communication in the Early American South


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ben_franklins_worldIn this episode of the Ben Franklin’s World podcast, Alejandra Dubcovsky, an Assistant Professor at Yale University and author of Informed Power: Communication in the Early South (Harvard, 2016), takes us through the early American south and how the Native Americans, Europeans, and enslaved Africans who lived there acquired, used, and traded information. You can listen to the podcast here: www.benfranklinsworld.com/196

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Manhattan Skyline History Now In Paperback


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building the skylineJason M. Barr’s book Building the Skyline: The Birth and Growth of Manhattan’s Skylines (Oxford University Press, 2016) is now available in paperback.

The Manhattan skyline is one of the great wonders of the modern world. In Building the Skyline, Jason Barr chronicles the history of the Manhattan skyscrapers and provides insights into the economic forces that have created its distinctive and iconic panorama. Continue reading