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How Harriet Beecher Stowe (and Lincoln) Freed the Slaves

By Andrea Koczela. Jun 14, 2018. 9:00 AM.

Topics: American History, American Literature

In the mid-eighteen hundreds, women had no voice in American politics. Yet one woman, Harriet Beecher Stowe, played a central role in triggering the Civil War and bringing about the abolition of slavery. Prior to Stowe’s novel, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, abolitionists were considered an extremist group—even in the North. Yet the publication of Uncle Tom changed everything. In honor of her birthday, let's take a look at Harriet Beecher Stowe's influence.

     
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Collecting the Works of President and Peace Prize Winner, Jimmy Carter

By Leah Dobrinska. Jun 12, 2018. 9:00 AM.

Topics: American History, Book Collecting

“To be true to ourselves, we must be true to others.” ~Jimmy Carter, Inaugural Address, January 20, 1977

Do you have a collection of books by U.S. presidents? Or, are you interested in Nobel Peace Prize winners, twentieth century history, or human rights? If you’ve answered “yes” to any of these questions, the works of Jimmy Carter should be on your radar.

     
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The Importance of Remembering D-Day

By Leah Dobrinska. Jun 6, 2018. 9:00 AM.

Topics: American History, Legendary Authors, History

Today marks the anniversary of the Allied invasion of Normandy on June 6, 1944. The day is commonly referred to as D-Day, and nearly everyone knows that. But, do we remember its significance? Or are we quick to dismiss it as another marker of a long-past historic battle? Have the intermittent years of war since numbed us to the cost of it all?

As the years tick on, we have fewer and fewer first-hand witnesses of these events in our midst. The unimaginably brave men who stormed the beaches and survived that gruesome day (and the ensuing Battle of Normandy, which lasted until August, 1944) are now dying of old age. And when the last of them dies, how will we honor them? How will we remember what they fought for? We believe that it is crucial to keep the events of D-Day, and all that followed, fresh in our memory, so that we can teach it to our children and our children's children—those who may never get to hear an eye-witness account in person. How can we do that? Certainly the literature surrounding D-Day and all of World War II can be of help.

     
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An Economist for the People: John Kenneth Galbraith

By Adrienne Rivera. Jun 5, 2018. 9:00 AM.

Topics: American History, Book Collecting

John Kenneth “Ken” Galbraith was one of the most well-known economists and diplomats of the 20th century. Born in Ontario, Galbraith received his masters and doctorates in agricultural economics from University of California Berkeley. He went on to teach at both Harvard and Princeton University, and he held fellowships at the University of Cambridge in England. Galbraith published widely and became well known for his positions as a diplomat and as the editor of Fortune magazine during World War II. His role was exceedingly important at a time when understanding the politics and economy of agriculture was necessary for a nation at war and a people who had not yet recovered from the harsh impact of the Great Depression.

     
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R. Buckminster Fuller Collection at Stanford University

By Audrey Golden. Apr 19, 2018. 9:00 AM.

Topics: American History, Libraries & Special Collections, Art

Who was R. Buckminster Fuller? In Stanford University Library’s description of the R. Buckminster Fuller Collection, the description describes Fuller as a “20th century polymath,” while the Buckminster Fuller Institute describes the man as “a 20th century inventor and visionary who did not limit himself to one field but worked as a ‘comprehensive anticipatory design scientist’ to solve global problems.” He was, indeed, a person of many interests, many academic pursuits, and many talents. Fuller lived through most of the twentieth century and published novels and essays, wrote poetry, designed architectural geodesic domes and works of contemporary art, and built prototype cars of the future.

His books are highly collectible, and if you are interested in seeing and learning more, you can access the R. Buckminster Fuller Collection at Stanford’s Special Collections and University Archives.

     
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Five of the Best Western Novels

By Matt Reimann. Mar 22, 2018. 9:00 AM.

Topics: American History

In place of Romulus and Remus, of Ra and Isis, Americans created two popular mythic heroes: the superhero and the cowboy. While the superhero has only grown in its capacity as one of the United States’ most recognizable cultural exports (and as cinema’s most lucrative subject), the Western genre has diminished in status, falling from the wide popularity on television it enjoyed as recently as 40 years ago. The shift has come with justifiable reason, as an increasingly skeptical audience finds it hard to identify heroism within a violent environment built on the deliberate extermination of the American Indian, and other historical crimes.

     
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John Steinbeck and the Nixon Novel that Never Was

John Steinbeck, born on February 27, 1902 in Salinas, California, would become one of American's most notable authors. Steinbeck established himself as an author in an era when accomplished authors held considerable clout. As a result, he one day found himself in a unique position: he held the upcoming United States presidential election in his hands.

     
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'March' and the National Book Award for Young People's Literature

By Audrey Golden. Mar 9, 2018. 9:00 AM.

Topics: American History, Children's Books, Awarded Books

Whether you are searching for a new graphic novel to buy the kids or teenagers in your life, or if you are adding to an ever-expanding graphic novel collection of your own, we want to make sure you know about the March Trilogy. This three-book set from John Lewis, one of the key figures of the American Civil Rights Movement and current Georgia congressman, is a memoir about his “coming-of-age in the movement,” according to an article in The New York Times about the graphic memoir collection. The books are significant for anyone hoping to learn more about the history of the Civil Rights Movement and Lewis’s experiences, and they are also important guidebooks for future leaders who are willing to make “necessary trouble,” as Lewis has described the act of protest.

     
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In Their Own Words: Books to Be Inspired by on President's Day

By Matt Reimann. Feb 19, 2018. 9:00 AM.

Topics: American History, American Literature

The British have had ripe occasion recently to appreciate a leader whose oratory and philosophy were integral to his ability to improve the world. With movies like Dunkirk and Darkest Hour and TV shows like The Crown, memories of Winston Churchill, winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature, sting all the more sharply as they are juxtaposed against what many view as the failures of some of our current leaders to live up to truly noble aspirations. It's always good to remember our presidents and statesmen who led with a certain moral obligation, integrity of character, humanistic concern, and displayed a talent for language.

     
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Autobiography from the Civil Rights Movement

By Audrey Golden. Jan 31, 2018. 9:00 AM.

Topics: American History, American Literature, History

Have you been following news about civil rights activism on social media and in your community? Are you wondering more about how current protests for equality have ties to the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s in America, as well as similar movements in other parts of the world? We want to say up front that we couldn’t possible write about, in a short article, all of the significant biographies and autobiographies that concern leaders of civil rights and freedom movements in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. With that being said, we have selected a handful of texts that we think are not only important to read, but also offer interesting and distinct modes of autobiography from the Civil Rights Movement.

     
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How can I identify a first edition? Where do I learn about caring for books? How should I start collecting? Hear from librarians about amazing collections, learn about historic bindings or printing techniques, get to know other collectors. Whether you are just starting or looking for expert advice, chances are, you'll find something of interest on blogis librorum.

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