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Bookjacket for  After the last border
After the last border After the last border / Jessica Goudeau

The story of two refugee families and their hope and resilience as they fight to survive and belong in America The welcoming and acceptance of immigrants and refugees has been central to America's identity for centuries--yet America has periodically turned its back at the times of greatest humanitarian need. After the Last Border is an intimate look at the lives of two women as they struggle for the twenty-first century American dream, having won the "golden ticket" to settle as refugees in Austin, Texas. Mu Naw, a Christian from Myanmar struggling to put down roots with her family, was accepted after decades in a refugee camp at a time when America was at its most open to displaced families; and Hasna, a Muslim from Syria, agrees to relocate as a last resort for the safety of her family--only to be cruelly separated from her children by a sudden ban on refugees from Muslim countries. Writer and activist Jessica Goudeau tracks the human impacts of America's ever-shifting refugee policy as both women narrowly escape from their home countries and begin the arduous but lifesaving process of resettling in Austin, Texas--a city that would show them the best and worst of what America has to offer. After the Last Border situates a dramatic, character-driven story within a larger history--the evolution of modern refugee resettlement in the United States, beginning with World War II and ending with current closed-door policies--revealing not just how America's changing attitudes toward refugees has influenced policies and laws, but also the profound effect on human lives.

Bookjacket for  Alex Haley and the books that changed a nation
Alex Haley and the books that changed a nation Alex Haley and the books that changed a nation / Robert J. Norrell

It is difficult to think of two twentieth century books by one author that have had as much influence on American culture when they were published as Alex Haley's monumental bestsellers, The Autobiography of Malcolm X (1965), and Roots (1976). They changed the way white and black America viewed each other and the country's history. This first biography of Haley follows him from his childhood in relative privilege in deeply segregated small town Tennessee to fame and fortune in high powered New York City. It was in the Navy, that Haley discovered himself as a writer, which eventually led his rise as a star journalist in the heyday of magazine personality profiles. At Playboy Magazine, Haley profiled everyone from Martin Luther King and Miles Davis to Johnny Carson and Malcolm X, leading to their collaboration on The Autobiography of Malcolm X. Roots was for Haley a deeper, more personal reach. The subsequent book and miniseries ignited an ongoing craze for family history, and made Haley one of the most famous writers in the country. Roots sold half a million copies in the first two months of publication, and the original television miniseries was viewed by 130 million people. Haley died in 1992. This deeply researched and compelling book offers the perfect opportunity to revisit his authorship, his career as one of the first African American star journalists, as well as an especially dramatic time of change in American history.

Bookjacket for  American tapestry
American tapestry American tapestry / Rachel L. Swarns

A family history traces the compelling story of Michelle Obama's ancestors, covering a journey from slavery to the White House in five generations that bears witness to the changes in the nation.

Bookjacket for  Asians in Colorado
Asians in Colorado Asians in Colorado / William Wei

 Providing the most comprehensive examination to date of Asians in the Centennial State, William Wei addresses a wide range of experiences, from anti-Chinese riots in late nineteenth-century Denver to the World War II incarceration of Japanese Americans at the Amache concentration camp to the more recent influx of Southeast Asian refugees and South Asian tech professionals. Drawing on a wealth of historical sources, Wei reconstructs what life was like for the early Chinese and Japanese pioneers, and he pays special attention to the different challenges faced by those in urban versus rural areas. The result is a groundbreaking approach that helps us better understand how Asians survived and thrived in an often hostile environment.

Offering a fresh perspective on how cycles of persecution are repeated, Wei reveals how the treatment of Asian Americans resonates with the experiences of other marginalized groups in American society. His study sheds light not only on the Asian American experience but also on the development of Colorado and the greater American West.

Bookjacket for The Black Calhouns : from Civil War to Civil Rights with one African American family
The Black Calhouns : from Civil War to Civil Rights with one African American family The Black Calhouns : from Civil War to Civil Rights with one African American family / Gail Lumet Buckley

  In The Black Calhouns, Gail Lumet Buckley, daughter of actress Lena Horne, delves deep into her family history, detailing the experiences of an extraordinary African-American family from Civil War to Civil Rights. Beginning with her great-great grandfather Moses Calhoun, a house slave who used the rare advantage of his education to become a successful businessman in post-war Atlanta, Buckley follows her family's two branches: one that stayed in the South, and the other that settled in Brooklyn. Through the lens of her relatives' momentous lives, Buckley examines major events throughout American history. From Atlanta during Reconstruction and the rise of Jim Crow, to New York City during the Harlem Renaissance, and then from World War II to the Civil Rights Movement, this ambitious, brilliant family witnessed and participated in the most crucial events of the 19th and 20th centuries. Combining personal and national history, The Black Calhouns is a unique and vibrant portrait of six generations during dynamic times of struggle and triumph.

Bookjacket for  Britain: a Genetic Journey
Britain: a Genetic Journey Britain: a Genetic Journey / Alistair Moffat

 Based on exciting new research involving the largest sampling of DNA ever made in Britain, Moffat, author of the bestselling The Scots: A Genetic Journey, shows how all of us who live on these islands are immigrants. The last ice age erased any trace of more ancient inhabitants, and the ancestors of everyone who now lives in Britain came here after the glaciers retreated and the land greened once more. In an epic narrative, sometimes moving, sometimes astonishing, always revealing, Moffat writes an entirely new history of Britain. Instead of the usual parade of the usual suspects -- kings, queens, saints, warriors and the notorious -- this is a people's history, a narrative made from stories only DNA can tell which offers insights into who we are and where we come from.

Bookjacket for  Common people : in pursuit of my ancestors
Common people : in pursuit of my ancestors Common people : in pursuit of my ancestors / Alison Light

Family history begins with missing persons,” Alison Light writes in Common People. We wonder about those we’ve lost, and those we never knew, about the long skein that led to us, and to here, and to now. So we start exploring. What she did for the servants of Bloomsbury in her celebrated Mrs. Woolf and the Servants Light does here for her own ancestors, and, by extension, everyone’s: she draws their experiences from the shadows of the past and helps us understand their lives, estranged from us by time yet inextricably interwoven with our own. Family history, in her hands, becomes a new kind of public history.

Bookjacket for  Enduring legacies
Enduring legacies Enduring legacies / Arturo Aldama

 Traditional accounts of Colorado's history often reflect an Anglocentric perspective that begins with the 1859 Pikes Peak Gold Rush and Colorado's establishment as a state in 1876. Enduring Legacies expands the study of Colorado's past and present by adopting a borderlands perspective that emphasizes the multiplicity of peoples who have inhabited this region.

Addressing the dearth of scholarship on the varied communities within Colorado-a zone in which collisions structured by forces of race, nation, class, gender, and sexuality inevitably lead to the transformation of cultures and the emergence of new identities-this volume is the first to bring together comparative scholarship on historical and contemporary issues that span groups from Chicanas and Chicanos to African Americans to Asian Americans.

Bookjacket for The family tree
The family tree The family tree / Karen Branan

A white man, the beloved nephew of the county sheriff, is shot dead on the porch of a black woman. Days later, the sheriff sanctions the lynching of a black woman and three black men; all of them innocent. For Karen Branan, the great-granddaughter of that sheriff, this isn't just history, this is family history. Branan spent nearly twenty years combing through diaries and letters, hunting for clues in libraries and archives throughout the United States, and interviewing community elders to piece together the events and motives that led a group of people to murder four of their fellow citizens in such a brutal public display. Her research revealed surprising new insights into the day-to-day reality of race relations in the Jim Crow-era South, but what she ultimately discovered was far more personal. As she dug into the past, Branan was forced to confront her own deep-rooted beliefs surrounding race and family, a process that came to a head when Branan learned a shocking truth: she is related not only to the sheriff, but also to one of the four who were murdered. Both identities--perpetrator and victim--are her inheritance to bear. A gripping story of privilege and power, anger, and atonement, The Family Tree transports readers to a small Southern town steeped in racial tension and bound by powerful family ties.

Bookjacket for The Hairstons
The Hairstons The Hairstons / Henry Wiencek

The Hairstons is the story of the largest family in America, the Hairston clan. With several thousand black and white members, the Hairstons share a complex history: divided in the time of slavery, they have come to embrace their past as one family. The black family's story is the account of the rise of a remarkable people--the children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren of slaves--who took their rightful place in mainstream America. In contrast, it has been the fate of the white family--once one of the wealthiest in America--to endure the decline and fall of the Old South, and to become an apparent metaphor for that demise. Journalist Wiencek weaves the Hairstons' stories from all sides of historical events likeslave emancipation, Reconstruction, school segregation, and lynching. 

Bookjacket for  Heart of the trail : stories of covered wagon women
Heart of the trail : stories of covered wagon women Heart of the trail : stories of covered wagon women / O'Brien, Mary Barmeyer.

This book beautifully captures the triumphs and tribulations of ten women who crossed the American frontier by wagon. While their stories are widely different, each of these remarkable women was inspiring, courageous, and resourceful. The legacy of their letters and diaries, most written on the trail, is a fascinating addition to the understanding of the history of the West.

Bookjacket for The Hemingses of Monticello : an American family
The Hemingses of Monticello : an American family The Hemingses of Monticello : an American family / Annette Gordon-Reed

In the mid-1700s the English captain of a trading ship that made runs between England and the Virginia colony fathered a child by an enslaved woman living near Williamsburg. The woman, whose name is unknown and who is believed to have been born in Africa, was owned by the Eppeses, a prominent Virginia family. The captain, whose surname was Hemings, and the woman had a daughter. They named her Elizabeth. So begins this epic work by Annette Gordon-Reed, a riveting history of the Hemings family, whose story comes to vivid life in this brilliantly researched and deeply moving work.

Although the book presents the most detailed and richly drawn portrait ever written of Sarah Hemings, better known by her nickname Sally, who bore seven children by Jefferson over the course of their thirty-eight-year liaison, The Hemingses of Monticello tells more than the story of her life with Jefferson and their children.

As the author makes vividly clear, Monticello can no longer be known only as the home of a remarkable American leader, the author of the Declaration of Independence; nor can the story of the Hemingses, whose close blood ties to our third president have been expunged from history until very recently, be left out of the telling of America's story. With its empathetic and insightful consideration of human beings acting in almost unimaginably difficult and complicated family circumstances, The Hemingses of Monticello is history as great literature. 

Bookjacket for  How to archive family photos
How to archive family photos How to archive family photos / Denise May Levenick

Organize and enjoy your family's memories! You've captured countless cherished family photos of babies' first steps, graduations, weddings, holidays, vacations, and priceless everyday moments on your smartphone or digital camera. Perhaps you've inherited a collection of heirloom family photographs, too. But now what? How to Archive Family Photos is a practical how-to guide for organizing your growing digital photo collection, digitizing and preserving heirloom family photos, and sharing your treasured photos. In this book, you'll find: Simple strategies to get your photos out of a smart.

Bookjacket for  Inheritance
Inheritance Inheritance / Dani Shapiro

Inheritance is a book about secrets--secrets within families, kept out of shame or self-protectiveness; secrets we keep from one another in the name of love. It is the story of a woman's urgent quest to unlock the story of her own identity, a story that has been scrupulously hidden from her for more than fifty years, years she had spent writing brilliantly, and compulsively, on themes of identity and family history. It is a book about the extraordinary moment we live in--a moment in which science and technology have outpaced not only medical ethics but also the capacities of the human heart to contend with the consequences of what we discover.

Bookjacket for  It's all relative
It's all relative It's all relative / A.J. Jacobs

A.J. Jacobs has received some strange emails over the years, but this note was perhaps the strangest: "You don't know me, but I'm your eighth cousin. And we have over 80,000 relatives of yours in our database." That's enough family members to fill Madison Square Garden four times over. Who are these people, A.J. wondered, and how do I find them? So began Jacobs's three-year adventure to help build the biggest family tree in history. Jacobs's journey would take him to all seven continents. He drank beer with a US president, found himself singing with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, and unearthed genetic links to Hollywood actresses and real-life scoundrels. After all, we can choose our friends, but not our family.

Bookjacket for  Journeys home
Journeys home Journeys home

Actor and award-winning travel writer Andrew McCarthy discovers his ancestry in a compelling narrative that combines 26 intriguing and heartfelt stories about discovering home and roots with tips and recommendations on how to begin your own explorations. Addressing the explosive growth in ancestral travel, actor and travel writer McCarthy recounts his own quest to uncover his family's Irish history, along with 25 other prominent writers whose stories span the globe. Each story offers a personal take on journeying home; actively seeking unknown relatives, meeting up with seldom-seen family members, or perhaps just visiting the old country to get a feel for one's roots. Sidebars and a hefty resource section provide tips and recommendations on how to go about your own research, and a foreword by the Genographic Project's Spencer Wells sets the scene. Stunning images, along with family heirlooms, old photos, recipes, and more, round out this unique take on the genealogical research craze.

Bookjacket for  Little America
Little America Little America / Kumail Nanjiani ; edited by Jennifer Swann

Nearly everyone in America came from somewhere else. This is a fundamental part of the American idea--an identity and place open to everyone. People arrive from all points distant, speaking a thousand languages, carrying every culture, each with their own reason for uprooting themselves to try something new. Everyone has their own unique story. Little America is a collection of those stories, told by the people who lived them. Together, they form a wholly original, at times unexpected portrait of America's immigrants, and thereby a portrait of America itself.

Bookjacket for The lost family
The lost family The lost family / Libby Copeland

A deeply reported look at the rise of home genetic testing and the seismic shock it has had on individual lives You swab your cheek or spit into a vial, then send it away to a lab somewhere. Weeks later you get a report that might tell you where your ancestors came from or if you carry certain genetic risks. Or the report could reveal a long-buried family secret and upend your entire sense of identity. Soon a lark becomes an obsession, an incessant desire to find answers to questions at the core of your being, like 'Who am I?' and 'Where did I come from?' Welcome to the age of home genetic testing. In The Lost Family, journalist Libby Copeland investigates what happens when we embark on a vast social experiment with little understanding of the ramifications. Copeland explores the culture of genealogy buffs, the science of DNA, and the business of companies like Ancestry and 23andMe, all while tracing the story of one woman, her unusual results, and a relentless methodical drive for answers that becomes a thoroughly modern genetic detective story. The Lost Family delves into the many lives that have been irrevocably changed by home DNA tests—a technology that represents the end of family secrets. There are the adoptees who’ve used the tests to find their birth parents; donor-conceived adults who suddenly discover they have more than fifty siblings; hundreds of thousands of Americans who discover their fathers aren’t biologically related to them, a phenomenon so common it is known as a “non-paternity event”; and individuals who are left to grapple with their conceptions of race and ethnicity when their true ancestral histories are discovered. Throughout these accounts, Copeland explores the impulse toward genetic essentialism and raises the question of how much our genes should get to tell us about who we are. With more than thirty million people having undergone home DNA testing, the answer to that question is more important than ever.

Bookjacket for  Mochi's war : the tragedy of Sand Creek
Mochi's war : the tragedy of Sand Creek Mochi's war : the tragedy of Sand Creek / Chris Enss and Howard Kazanjian

  As with many incidents in American history, the victors wrote the first version of history--turning the tragedy of the Sand Creek Massacre into a heroic feat by the Colorado militia tasked with moving the Cheyenne onto reservations. The truth of those events has made Colonel John Chivington's name infamous in Colorado and American history, and this dramatic and poignant reflection on the events leading to the tragic events of the massacre and the ensuing years of violence offers new perspectives with the hindsight of more than a century and a half of repercussions by telling the story of one of the women, a Cheyenne named Mochi, who became swept up in the cycle of war and vengeance that ensued.

Bookjacket for  My time to speak
My time to speak My time to speak / Ilia Calderón

"An inspiring, timely, and conversation-starting memoir from the barrier-breaking and Emmy Award-winning journalist Ilia Calderón-the first Afro-Latina to anchor a high-profile newscast for a major Hispanic broadcast network in the United States-about following your dreams, overcoming prejudice, and embracing your identity"--

Bookjacket for The origin of the Jews
The origin of the Jews The origin of the Jews / Steven Weitzman

The Jews have one of the longest continuously recorded histories of any people in the world, but what do we actually know about their origins? While many think the answer to this question can be found in the Bible, others look to archaeology or genetics. Some skeptics have even sought to debunk the very idea that the Jews have a common origin. In this book, Steven Weitzman takes a learned and lively look at what we know - or think we know - about where the Jews came from, when they arose, and how they came to be. Scholars have written hundreds of books on the topic and come up with scores of explanations, theories, and historical reconstructions, but this is the first book to trace the history of the different approaches that have been applied to the question, including genealogy, linguistics, archaeology, psychology, sociology, and genetics. Weitzman shows how this quest has been fraught since its inception with religious and political agendas, how anti-Semitism cast its long shadow over generations of learning, and how recent claims about Jewish origins have been difficult to disentangle from the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He does not offer neatly packaged conclusions but invites readers on an intellectual adventure, shedding new light on the assumptions and biases of those seeking answers - and the challenges that have made finding answers so elusive.

Bookjacket for The Other Madisons : the lost history of a president's Black family
The Other Madisons : the lost history of a president's Black family The Other Madisons : the lost history of a president's Black family / Bettye Kearse

A Pushcart Prize-nominated writer and descendant of an enslaved cook describes the rich oral traditions that documented her shared ancestry with President James Madison and the human realities of rape and incest throughout the slave era.

Bookjacket for  Pleas and petitions
Pleas and petitions Pleas and petitions / Virginia Sánchez

This book examines territorial legislation and jurisprudence in the Colorado Territory and its impact on the life of Hispano settlers in the area. The book intertwines elements of ethnic history, politics, cultural conflict, and institutional racism during the establishment of the Territory of Colorado. There is special focus on the roles of Hispano assemblymen in southern Colorado as they tried to help their 7,000 Hispano constituents in the Territory of Colorado. The book contains a foreword by Ken Salazar, former US Secretary of the Interior and Colorado attorney general, along with black & white historical photos, maps, letters, and documents. About 60 pages of appendices list Hispano territorial assemblymen, as well as territorial governors and delegates, and offer a glossary of Spanish terms.

Bookjacket for  Preserving their stories
Preserving their stories Preserving their stories / Creating Keepsakes

Preserving family memories is a universal hobby that presents a special challenge for families with loved ones who are experiencing memory loss, such as from Alzheimer's disease. This ground-breaking guidebook from the editors of Creating Keepsakes scrapbook magazine provides a wealth of effective ideas and projects to help individuals with memory loss, their families and loved ones, and their caregivers. It's loaded with advice on how to gather memories from various sources and have meaningful conversations with memory loss sufferers. The book includes projects such as mini albums with memories told like stories, detail albums of favorite places and family traditions, an album of "My Friends Over the Years," and a "What I Love" wall collage.

Bookjacket for The road to McCarthy
The road to McCarthy The road to McCarthy / Pete McCarthy

Pete McCarthy's characteristic good humor, curiosity, and thirst for adventure take him on a fantastic jaunt around the world in search of his Irish roots -- from Morocco, where he tracks down the unlikely chief of the McCarthy clan, to Rocky Sullivan's in New York, where he braves a crowd of stratospherically drunken Scotsmen in the midst of their St. Patrick's Day celebrations -- just before he is engulfed by a sea of green plastic bowler hats on Fifth Avenue. After clocking thousands of miles and landing in more than a few exotic locations, he finally reaches his coveted destination: a remote and sparsely populated Alaskan town (named McCarthy, of course) where the eighteen townspeople are far outnumbered by the bears. Risking life, limb, and liberty in an almost heroic effort to trace his own lineage, he also happens to discover the peculiar and fascinating history of McCarthys everywhere while managing to down a few good pints along the way. Packed with unexpected detours and dozens of hilarious moments, The Road to McCarthy is a quixotic and anything but typical Irish odyssey that confirms Pete McCarthy's status as one of the funniest and most incisive authors writing today.

Bookjacket for  Sustainable genealogy
Sustainable genealogy Sustainable genealogy / Richard Hite

There are a lot of textbooks that describe how to find your ancestors; this new one by Richard Hite clarifies how not to. In short, Sustainable Genealogy explains how to avoid the traps many family historians can fall into. Whether it's a proud family legend, a venerable publication or the claims of an Internet family tree, the unsubstantiated genealogical source is like a house of sticks before the Big Bad Wolf -- it won't stand up. As Hite demonstrates in this collection of case studies, many are the "oral traditions that have fallen by the wayside under the lens of careful research in primary sources and more recently, DNA testing."

Bookjacket for  Telling your story
Telling your story Telling your story / Jerry Apps

Jerry Apps, renowned author and storyteller, believes that storytelling is the key to maintaining our humanity, fostering connection, and preserving our common history. In Telling Your Story, he offers tips for people who are interested in telling their own stories. Readers will learn how to choose stories from their memories, how to journal, and find tips for writing and oral storytelling as well as Jerry's seasoned tips on speaking to a live radio or TV audience. Telling Your Story reveals how Jerry weaves together his stories and teaches how to transform experiences into cherished tales. Along the way, readers will learn about the value of storytelling and how this skill ties generations together, preserves local history, and much more.

Bookjacket for  Your life is a book
Your life is a book Your life is a book / Brenda Peterson, Sarah Jane Freymann

Everyone has a story to tell. Learn how to write your memoir and get published with the help of two well-known publishing professionals. Your Life is a Book guides budding writers though the transformative process of memoir writing to publication. In addition to exploring the unique elements of crafting a memoir--story arc, point of view, dialogue, where to start (not the beginning!) -Your Life is a Book also focuses on the self-exploration, awareness, and understanding that this emotional literary project triggers. With proven writing exercises and prompts, this book is a practical and enlightening guide to perfecting the art of memoir writing.

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