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A Glimpse of Understanding: A(nother) look at Post 9/11 Novels

By Leah Dobrinska. Sep 11, 2018. 9:00 AM.

Topics: American History

September 11, 2001. A day which—much like December 7, 1941—will live in infamy. Most everyone you ask can remember exactly where they were, who they were with, and what they were doing when they heard or saw the news of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. In fact, many of us who lived through the day and were tuned into the news can remember the moment the second plane hit the south tower because we watched it happen.

     
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John McCain: Remembering An American Hero

By Leah Dobrinska. Aug 30, 2018. 9:00 AM.

Topics: American History

The world lost a good man on Saturday. John McCain passed away at the age of 81 after a year-long battle with brain cancer. McCain was many things: husband, father, Navy pilot, prisoner of war, senator, presidential candidate, and author. Moreover, he served as an inspiration for scores of Americans who looked to the war-hero as a no-nonsense patriot who wasn’t afraid to tell the truth and get the job done, party-lines notwithstanding. Countless former colleagues and friends have come forward to pay tribute to John McCain through articles and videos. Two past presidents have been tapped to speak at his funeral events, happening over the course the next few days. If you’re looking for a way to pay tribute to McCain and to honor his legacy, the following list contains a selection of his books. No other politician in recent memory is as deserving of a place on our book shelves as John McCain.

     
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Happy Birthday, Lyndon B. Johnson!

By Leah Dobrinska. Aug 27, 2018. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Book Collecting, American History

Lyndon B. Johnson, 36th President of the United States, would be 110 years old today. Few persons in positions of executive power have experienced such an unthinkable, history-making event as LBJ did. Of course, we’re talking about the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and what followed. Another example occurred on September 11, 2001, when then President George W. Bush faced the news of a domestic terrorist attack. How a president—or soon-to-be president, in the case of Lyndon B. Johnson—handles himself in the wake of such a moment, for better or worse, tends to define his legacy.

So, in honor of LBJ’s birthday, let’s examine his presidency and beyond.

     
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The Founding of the Smithsonian Institution: Increasing & Diffusing Knowledge

By Katie Behrens. Jul 13, 2018. 9:00 AM.

Topics: American History, Libraries & Special Collections

Imagine you wake up one morning and discover that a mysterious benefactor left you a small fortune, stipulating that the funds be used to help others. How would you spend it? Now imagine that you have to make that decision with 293 other people without splitting the money. This is the task that the 24th Congress of the United States faced when it created the Smithsonian Institution

     
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Book Collecting Spotlight: Decision Points by George W. Bush

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

Topics: Book Collecting, American History

Today is former President George W. Bush's birthday. We've written numerous times before about presidents as authors and award winning books by political leaders. We thought today would be a good opportunity to take a closer look at President Bush's book, Decision Points

     
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Patriotic Poems to Read in Honor of the Fourth of July

By Leah Dobrinska. Jul 4, 2018. 9:00 AM.

Topics: American History

It’s Independence Day here in the USA. Whether you’re firing up the grill, attending a local parade, or saving seats for the firework show, we hope you have a safe and celebratory 4th of July. If you’re looking for another way to get in a festive spirit, we’d recommend seeking out the following four poems. While America is certainly not a utopia, these poems both remind us of the good and challenge us to be better. The list of great American, patriotic poems is a long one, so we’ve only scratched the surface here. Share your favorites with us in the comments. Happy 4th of July, everyone!

     
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Getting Lost in Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

By Leah Dobrinska. Jun 30, 2018. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Legendary Authors, American History, Movie Tie-Ins

Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell has staying power. Today, the book turns 82 years young, and it continues to be heralded as a favorite by readers of all ages. Gone with the Wind has become a sort of benchmark for Southern Literature since its publication in 1936, and while some contest its portrayal of African American and period-based racism, it remains widely studied and referenced both by scholars and readers alike. The book won the Pulitzer Prize in 1937, and a now well-known and well-loved film by the same name was released in 1939. We've collected everything we could pertaining to  Gone with the Wind to help celebrate its publication. Read on for facts about the film, Mitchell herself, and more!      
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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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The Importance of Remembering D-Day

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

Topics: Legendary Authors, American History, 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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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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