1980s

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil: A Savannah Story

By John Berendt

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Shots rang out in Savannah's grandest mansion in the misty, early morning hours of May 2, 1981. Was it murder or self-defense? For nearly a decade, the shooting and its aftermath reverberated throughout this hauntingly beautiful city of moss-hung oaks and shaded squares.

On Film:
Directed by Clint Eastwood, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil is a must see. Against the back drop of this charming southern city, great performances by Kevin Spacey and John Cusack bring Berendt's fascinating story to life.

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The Black O: Racism and Redemption in an American

By Steve Watkins

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In 1988, several white managers of the Shoney's restaurant chain protested against the company's discriminatory hiring practices, including an order at some restaurants to blacken the "O" in "Shoney's" on minorities' job applications so that the marked forms could then be ignored or discarded. When the managers refused to comply, they lost their jobs but not their resolve - they sued the company, and their case grew to become one of the largest racial job discrimination class action lawsuits and settlements in American history. The Black O is a fascinating, behindthe- scenes detective story about how the case evolved. The saga is populated with many unforgettable characters. Watkins teaches at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, VA.

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In the Name of God: The Khomeini Decade

By Robin Wright

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Wright examines how having the international spotlight shown on Iran during the hostage crisis, terrorist bombings, and Iraq War distracted the government's attention from the country's problems of unemployment, rising population, and food shortages.

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Great Lives Series: Margaret Thatcher

For more than a decade, she was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, and "Iron Maggie" Thatcher promoted a conservative agenda that focused on deregulation and anti-union policies.