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Smart Reads: 5 Beautiful Books That Offer a Visual Feast

in Nonfiction by

By now our readers are aware of how much we love the holidays—and how much we love sharing our favorite books to give as gifts. But our suggestions wouldn’t be complete without those gorgeous coffee table books that sweep you away with their luscious photos and fascinating stories. Their spectacular covers are the literary equivalent of “You had me at ‘hello’.” Here are some of the most visually sumptuous and smartest reads for your holiday giving. The Sartorialist: X by Scott Schuman (Penguin; October 27, 2015) Nowadays it seems like everyone and her sister have a fashion blog, but Scott Schuman started it all 10 years ago with his photos captured on sidewalks of New York City street style. The…

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Exclusive! Jeannie Morris on Clinton, Moseley Braun and the Barriers of Race and Gender

in Potpourri by

As we approach 2016, the nation turns its attention to the long, arduous path to the White House, now occupied by an African-American and sought by female candidates. Not much more than a couple of decades ago, the thought of a Barack Obama or a Hillary Clinton as president seemed more fantasy than reality. In the past 25 years, however, political barriers have fallen. Many of those barriers were shattered by Carol Moseley Braun, the first (and to date, only) African-American woman to serve in the United States Senate. The historical importance of Moseley Braun’s election from the politically vital state of Illinois (the state has voted for the candidate who would win nearly every presidential election) still reverberates today.…

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