Category Archives: Books

Saranac Lake Memoir: A Small Corner of the ADKs


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finding true northFran Yardley’s new book Finding True North: A History of One Small Corner of The Adirondacks (SUNY Press, 2018) traces the challenges and transformations of Saranac Lake.

In 1968 Fran and Jay Yardley, a young couple with pioneering spirit, moved to a remote corner of the Adirondacks to revive the long-abandoned but historic Bartlett Carry Club, with its one thousand acres and thirty-seven buildings. Continue reading

The New Map of the British Empire


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ben_franklins_worldIn this episode of the Ben Franklin’s World podcast, Max Edelson, an Associate Professor of History at the University of Virginia and author of The New Map of Empire: How Britain Imagined America Before Independence (Harvard University Press, 2017), helps us explore how Great Britain intended to govern its newly expanded empire in North America by taking us on an investigation of the Board of Trade and its General Survey of North America. You can listen to the podcast here: www.benfranklinsworld.com/186

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New Historical Fiction: New York 1609


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new york 1609A new novel of historical fiction, New York 1609 (Phoozl, LLC, 2018) by Harald Johnson tells a story of the birth of New York City (and its centerpiece island, Manhattan) from its earliest beginnings.

Based on true events, New York 1609 spans the crucial years 1609–1644, which firmly planted the seeds of commerce, finance, and culture that continue to this day for the world’s first megacity. Continue reading

A World War II Love Story in Letters Published


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we are going to be luckyElizabeth L. Fox’s new book We Are Going to Be Lucky: A World War II Love Story in Letters (SUNY Press, 2018) tells the story of a first-generation Jewish American couple separated by war, captured in their own words.

Lenny and Diana Miller were married just one year before America entered World War II. Deeply committed to social justice and bonded by love, both vowed to write to one another daily after Lenny enlisted in 1943. Continue reading

A Short History of Drunkenness


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short history of drunkennessMark Forsyth’s new book A Short History of Drunkenness: How, Why, Where, and When Humankind Has Gotten Merry from the Stone Age to the Present, (Viking, 2018) traces humankind’s love affair with booze from our primate ancestors through to Prohibition.

Almost every culture on earth has drink, and where there’s drink there’s drunkenness. But in every age and in every place drunkenness is a little bit different. It can be religious, it can be sexual, it can be the duty of kings or the relief of peasants. It can be an offering to the ancestors, or a way of marking the end of a day’s work. Continue reading

Colonial New York City and Its Culture


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ben_franklins_worldIn this episode of the Ben Franklin’s World podcast, Joyce Goodfriend, a professor of history at the University of Denver and author of Who Should Rule at Home? Confronting the Elite in British New York City (Cornell University Press, 2017), helps us investigate how early New Yorkers established and negotiated the culture of their city between 1664 and 1776. You can listen to the podcast here: www.benfranklinsworld.com/185

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New Book: Hudson River and Modern American Environmentalism


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embattled riverDavid Schuyler‘s new book, Embattled River: The Hudson and Modern American Environmentalism (Cornell University Press, 2018) describes the efforts to reverse the pollution and bleak future of the Hudson River that became evident in the 1950s.

Through his investigative narrative, Schuyler uncovers the role of this iconic American waterway in the emergence of modern environmentalism in the United States.

Writing fifty-five years after Consolidated Edison announced plans to construct a pumped storage power plant at Storm King Mountain, Schuyler recounts how a loose coalition of activists took on corporate capitalism and defended the river. Continue reading

New Book On Oneida Co’s Harold Bell Wright


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William A. Wright of Boonville NY’s 97th Regiment and the lieutenant’s cousin, Frank L. WrightThe new book, Harold Bell Wright and his Wright Settlement Cousins, by Christine Tyrlik, looks into Harold Bell Wright’s life, and his ties to New York State.

In the early 20th century Wright became one of America’s best-selling authors. Known for his westerns, Wright was born in 1872 near Rome, NY, and maintained close ties to his cousins and old friends in Wright Settlement (Ridge Mills). Wright returned to New York often and used some of the state’s settings and people in his novels.

His birthplace, Spring Brook Farms is now the Mohawk Glen Golf Clubhouse on the former Griffiss Air Force Base (now itself an industrial park). Wright’s parents and a brother are buried near the runway at the historic Wright Settlement Cemetery. Continue reading

Thundersticks: Violent Transformation in Native America


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ben_franklins_worldIn this episode of the Ben Franklin’s World podcast, David J. Silverman, a professor of history at George Washington University and the author of Thundersticks: Firearms and the Violent Transformation of Native America (Harvard University Press, 2016), joins us for an exploration of Native America and the ways Native Americans used guns to shape their lives and the course of North American colonial and indigenous history.

You can listen to the podcast here: www.benfranklinsworld.com/184

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