History and Current Events
Unexampled Courage: The Blinding of Sgt. Isaac Woodard and the Awakening of President Harry S. Truman and Judge J. Waties Waring by Richard GergelWhat it's about: On February 12, l1946, African American veteran Isaac Woodard was beaten and permanently blinded by Batesburg, South Carolina police chief Lynwood Shull after a dispute with a bus driver.
What happened next: President Truman established the President's Committee on Civil Rights, which led to the desegregation of the U.S. armed services in 1948. After Shull was acquitted, Judge J. Waties Waring, who had presided over the case, dedicated the rest of his career to fighting racial injustice.
Underground: A Human History of the Worlds Beneath Our Feet by Will HuntWhat it is: a brisk, panoramic exploration of the history, science, and mythology of subterranean spaces, written by a self-proclaimed urban explorer and underworld enthusiast.
Featuring: Paris catacombs, Australian ochre mines, New York City subway tunnels, and Turkish underground cities.
For fans of: unique and offbeat travelogues.
Code Name: Lise: The True Story of the Woman Who Became WWII's Most Highly Decorated Spy by Larry LoftisWho it's about: Odette Sansom, a French woman recruited by England's Special Operations Executive to spy for Britain during World War II.
Is it for you? Readers who enjoy fast-paced histories that read like thrillers will find much to appreciate in this dramatic tale.
Don't miss: Sansom's relationship with her commanding officer is "the stuff of romance novels" (Publishers Weekly).
Forgotten & Untold Histories
The Sultan and the Queen: The Untold Story of Elizabeth and Islam by Jerry BrottonWhat it's about: the unlikely trading alliance between Elizabeth I of England and Sultan Murad III of the Ottoman Empire that was forged after Elizabeth's 1570 excommunication from the Catholic Church.
Read it for: a fascinating exploration of Eastern influences on Elizabethan culture, including the works of Shakespeare and Marlowe.
Who it's for: readers who enjoy immersive microhistories.
Here is Where: Discovering America's Great Forgotten History by Andrew CarrollWhat it is: a rollicking coast-to-coast adventure exploring 50 overlooked historical sites.
Why you might like it: This concise page-turner offers plenty of surprising twists and a guide whose enthusiasm is infectious.
Fascinating finds: the New Jersey railroad stop where John Wilkes Booth's brother saved Abraham Lincoln's son from an accident; a sunken ship in the Mississippi River with a higher death toll than the Titanic.
The Bone and Sinew of the Land: America's Forgotten Black Pioneers & the Struggle for Equality by Anna-Lisa CoxWho it's about: the 19th-century black pioneers who established over 300 settlements in the Northwest Territory.
Featuring: Keziah and Charles Grier, who bought their own land in 1818 and became Underground Railroad conductors a few years later.
Book buzz: The Bone and Sinew of the Land was named one of Smithsonian's Best History Books of 2018; Booklist calls it "a moving and necessary corrective to American pioneer history."
Contact your librarian for more great books!
200 North Dakota Avenue
P.O. Box 7403
Sioux Falls, South Dakota 57117