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American history

10 Great Books and Films to Celebrate MLK Day

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On Martin Luther King Jr. Day we think back to the man that changed the course of history during the Civil Rights Movement and left an impression that we will never forget. Today we reflect on some of the books and their movie counterparts that have been made possible due to our American history and King’s contributions. These unforgettable novels are must-reads on a day like today, Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday. Watch: Eyes on the Prize Read: Eyes on the Prize: America’s Civil Rights Years, 1954-1965 With the production of the documentary came the publication of the book Eyes on the Prize. Both the film and book highlight key events during the Civil Rights Movement through first person narratives…

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Pack the car and roll! June 6 is National Drive-in Day

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Occasionally, humankind comes up with an idea so perfect that it defies adequate praise. Combining macaroni and cheese is one. The television remote is another (when I was a kid, when we wanted to change the channel, we had to get up and WALK to the TV—uphill, both ways!). But if you ask me, perhaps the greatest invention in the history of the world (all right, maybe besides penicillin and the polio vaccine) is the drive-in movie theater—the place that combines America’s dual love of movies and automobiles, all taking place under the stars on a beautiful summer night. This Saturday is National Drive-in Day, when the entire country pauses (or should pause, at least!) to observe the opening of…

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12 Martin Luther King Jr. quotes that are amazingly appropriate for our time

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The world knows the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. ’s famous “I have a dream,” speech. The idea of judging someone not by the color of their skin has become a defining cultural sentiment. But Dr. Martin Luther King was also a revolutionary who wasn’t afraid to speak truth to power in soaring rhetoric that remains timeless today. During these difficult times, he still has much to teach us and is a continuing source of inspiration. So, in honor of his birthday, and beyond “I have a dream,” here are 10 of his lesser-known, but amazing prophetic quotes that speak to the present day. We will be … attending rallies without end unless there is a significant and profound change…

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Kunstler’s The New Nation recreates Washington’s most famous Christmas

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What was your most memorable Christmas night? If you’re George Washington, it was probably the evening of December 25, 1776, when you made a nighttime crossing of the Delaware River in order to launch a surprise attack against Hessian forces in Trenton, New Jersey the next morning. The operation helped turn the tide of the Revolutionary War. Merry Christmas, General Washington! Now, there’s a new book that faithfully and accurately captures that scene, and you can put that book under the Christmas tree of your favorite hard-to-shop-for history buff. The New Nation: The Creation of the United States in Paintings and Eyewitness Accounts: The Art of Mort Künstler (Sterling 2014) is a meticulously researched account of the birth of our…

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Imagine if they had cable news: The raucos political election of 1844 — WIN a copy

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As this year’s mid-term elections approach, the modern political zeitgeist tells us that America is more fractured today than it has ever been; that the rift between left and right is a chasm that can’t be breached. But a new book by author and journalist John Bicknell shows us that our modern problems can often pale in comparison to the issues that afflicted the nation at other points in its long and often turbulent history. The book is America 1844: Religious Fervor, Westward Expansion, and the Presidential Election that Transformed the Nation (Chicago Review Press, 2014). In it, Bicknell brings to life an election as tumultuous as any the republic has ever seen. Among its issues: states’ rights, personal liberty…

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A conversation with Joshua Zeitz on LINCOLN’S BOYS

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A conversation with Joshua Zeitz author of LINCOLN’S BOYS: JOHN HAY, JOHN NICOLAY AND THE WAR FOR LINCOLN’S IMAGE Enter below to win a copy until March 5 This Q&A was conducted by Zeitz’s publisher, Viking. What role did John Hay and John Nicolay play in Abraham Lincoln’s life? Every president has his guy. FDR had Harry Hopkins; JFK had RFK; Bush II had Karl Rove; and Barack Obama has Plouffe and Axelrod. During Lincoln’s tenure in the White House, Nicolay and Hay were the President’s closest personal and professional associates. They lived with the First Family in the executive mansion; they acted as the president’s official gatekeepers and political fixers; they were his constant companions by day and night;…

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