History Books

A Treasury of Foolishly Forgotten Americans: Pirates, Skinflints, Patriots, and Other Colorful Characters Stuck in the Footnotes of History

By Michael Farquhar

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Michael Farquhar ransacked the archives to rescue 30 almost-famous Americans from the dust bin of obscurity. These colorful figures range from Mayflower Murderer John Billington (1624) to Dick Fosbury, father of the "Flop" (1968).
Also available to download as an audiobook.
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For Liberty and Glory: Washington, Lafayette, and Their Revolutions

By James R. Gaines

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A narrative account of the "sister revolutions" of France and America reveals the lesser-known agendas that intertwined the conflicts, discussing the close but complex relationship between Washington and the Marquis de Lafayette. (Publisher's description)
Also available as an audiobook.

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Signing Their Lives Away: The Fame and Misfortune of the Men Who Signed the Declaration of Independence

By Denise Kiernan and Joseph D'Agnese

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A lively look at the men who risked their lives and fortunes to declare American independence. Learn about Josiah Bartlett : the signer immortalized on The West Wing, Samuel Adams : the signer whose brewery went bust, Francis Lewis : the signer whose wife was imprisoned, Thomas Nelson Jr. : the signer who ordered troops to fire on his own home, as well as dozens more.

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Adopted Son: Washington, Lafayette, and the Friendship That Saved the Revolution

By David A. Clary

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"One was a self-taught, middle-aged Virginia planter in charge of a ragtag army of revolutionaries, the other a rich, glory-seeking teenage French aristocrat. But the childless Washington and the orphaned Lafayette forged a bond as strong as any between father and son, a trust that saw them through betrayals, shifting political alliances, and the trials of war. Using personal letters and other key documents, author Clary offers a rare glimpse of the American Revolution, including intimate portraits of such major figures as Alexander Hamilton, Benedict Arnold, and Benjamin Franklin."
(From the publisher's description)
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Prodigy Houses of Virginia: Architecture and the Native Elite

By Barbara Burlison Mooney

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The grand houses created by 18th-century Virginians are a huge tourist draw, but what does their design tell us about the natures of the men who built them?  The auhor "illuminates the fortunes, motivations, and aspirations of the wealthy and powerful owners who built their 'homes'  with the object of securing their status and impressing the public."
Among those included are the houses of Governor Alexander Spotswood, William Fitzhugh, the Lee family of Westmoreland, and Thomas Jefferson. Historians and students of architecture should enjoy this unusual approach to the time period.

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Tribute to an Artist: The Jamestown Paintings of Sidney E. King

By James A. Crutchfield

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In the 1950s, local artist Sidney King was commissioned to create the historical tableaux that enliven the bare landscapes of Jamestown National Park. He worked with archaelogists and historians to illustrate the past and his work has been enjoyed by thousands of visitors. This book beautifully reproduces those images and includes commentary by historian James A. Crutchfield.

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Dr. Johnson's London: Coffee-houses and Climbing Boys, Medicine, Toothpaste and Gin, Poverty and Press-gangs, Freakshows and Female Education

By Liza Picard

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Coffee shops have been used as gathering places for a long time. During their mid-eighteenth century incarnation, they served as a meeting place for middle class up and comers and political radicals.

As might be surmised from the title, Dr. Johnson's London gives glimpses into the various sights, smells, and practical matters of life in long ago London for criminals, the poor, the middle class, high society and royalty. The author draws largely from original sources.

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Slave Laws in Virginia

By Philip J. Schwartz

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Professor Schwartz has written not an out-and-out description of slave laws in Virginia but rather gives a discussion of particular points of the laws, punctuated by specific examples.

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Conserving the Commonwealth: The Early Years of the Environmental Movement in Virginia

By Margaret T. Peters

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Environmentalism and historic preservation have their own histories, and it's the former that's presented in this new book. What were the struggles and who were the heroes of the movement in Virginia? This is the story of how the Old Dominion's state parks, historic easement programs, and environmental foundations came to be in the 20th century.

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Benson J. Lossing's Pictorial Field-Book of the Revolution in Virginia & Maryland

By Jack E. Fryar, Jr., Editor

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Originally published in 1850--less than 75 years after the war--this attractive reprint of a history classic gives a unique narrative to the conflict based on the author's travels to the original sites, some of which are now unrecognizable. The Field-Book also contains many unique illustrations by the author of places, people, and objects important to the history of the American Revolution.

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