Before Ron Chernow’s new multi-dimensional portrait of WASHINGTON (Penguin Press, $40), the first president’s character, as portrayed in the standard accounts, was as lifeless as that of a waxworks figure. Chernow’s wide-ranging research, including newly found diaries and letters, rescues Washington from the mausoleum where historians have heretofore placed him, and establishes his rightful place in American history as a complex man of deep emotions and strong opinions. In the French and Indian War he was an insecure young colonel, but as General Washington he went on to lead the Continental Army to victory; in his first inaugural address his voice and hand trembled, but his mastery of political skills and his growing self-assurance and self-control elevated him to a status that earned the admiration and trust of the new American nation.  To Chernow, he was the greatest president in our history.

Washington: A Life Cover Image
ISBN: 9781594202667
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Penguin Press - October 5th, 2010

Washington: A Life Cover Image
ISBN: 9780143119968
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Penguin Books - September 27th, 2011

Maira Kalman (The Elements of Style Illustrated) has created a new form: the visual essay (hand-painted and hand-lettered, with photographs and embroideries). Her follow-up to The Principles of Uncertainty, AND THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS (Penguin Press, $29.95), takes on American democracy itself—Kalman becomes a modern Tocqueville, an inquiring tourist and a philosopher traveling the country. The month-by-month chapters start in January 2009 with the Inauguration, and end in December with a meditation on George Washington at Mount Vernon. Painting artifacts and ephemera, interiors and people—a National Gallery museum guard, a Capitol tram operator—as she travels, Kalman observes, makes connections, and drifts into reveries. The book is especially a treat for Washingtonians: Kalman spent a lot of time in the Library of Congress, the Capitol, and the Supreme Court. There are detours to the Land of Lincoln, Monticello, Fort Campbell, even the edible schoolyard program in Berkeley. A wonderful book for students of American history—or for anyone; you will be delighted, and transformed. 

And the Pursuit of Happiness Cover Image
ISBN: 9780143122036
Availability: Backordered
Published: Penguin Books - October 30th, 2012

Willie Mays and Henry “Hank” Aaron share many things. Both were born and grew up in Alabama in the segregated South. They both played in the Negro leagues. Both men were outfielders. And both would have stellar careers that would land them in the Hall of Fame. Where they differed was in style. Mays was an outgoing fellow, who always had a smile. It was not uncommon to see pictures of him, nattily dressed, signing autographs for young fans. He was all energy on the field—from his speed to his skill as a fielder—as evidenced in the amazing catch in the 1954 World Series, which James S. Hirsch analyzes in his wonderful biography, WILLIE MAYS: The Life, The Legend (Scribner, $30).

Willie Mays: The Life, The Legend Cover Image
ISBN: 9781416547907
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Scribner - February 9th, 2010

Willie Mays: The Life, The Legend Cover Image
ISBN: 9781416547914
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Scribner - March 1st, 2011