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Staff Reviews: History

Check out these reviews written by the staff of the Marathon County Public Library! (For reviews in all genres, visit our main Staff Reviews webpage.) Staff book reviews are also published at Goodreads.com; follow us for the latest updates.


Cover: 'Paul'

"Paul" by Tony Scherman

★★★★ In the 50th Anniversary year of the Beatles' conquest of America, LIFE Magazine offers up this breezy photo-guide to the life and times of the most famous member of the Fab Four, Sir James Paul McCartney, MBE. It traces Macca's life, the beginnings of the Beatles, their subsequent fame & fortune and McCartney's post-Beatle career. The book is...

Audience: Adults | Genre: Nonfiction, Music, History, Biography

Cover: 'The Great War'

"The Great War" by Mark Holborn, Hilary Roberts

★★★★★ 1914 marks the 100th anniversary of the start of World War I. 'The War to End All Wars" was like no conflict before, embracing many nations worldwide and resulting in horrifying casualties. THE GREAT WAR, A PHOTOGRAPHIC NARRATIVE commemorates that epic struggle, offering up almost 400 photographs depicting all aspects of the war. The pix depict a myriad of...

Audience: Adults | Genre: Nonfiction, History

Cover: 'Royal Britain'

"Royal Britain" by Jane Struthers

★★★★★ Jane Struthers' impressive book depicts and describes over 30 historic palaces, castles and other royal residences in England, Scotland and Wales. Gorgeous, full-color photographs accompanied by descriptive write-ups reveal Buckingham Palace, Westminster, Balmoral, the Tower of London, Edinburgh Castle and other 'royal digs' in all their glory. It's a...

Audience: Adults | Genre: Nonfiction, History

Cover: 'Did Romans Eat Chips?: And Other Questions About History'

"Did Romans Eat Chips?: And Other Questions About History" by Paul Mason

★★★★ What did athletes wear at the original Olympics? Which horse had a city named after him? Did Romans eat chips? Find out the answers to these crazy questions in Paul Mason's fun book about history. The book is filled with funny illustrations and asks questions about a wide range of historical events. The questions range geographically from South America to...

Audience: Children | Genre: Nonfiction, History

Cover: 'Ultimate Price'

"Ultimate Price" by Annemarie S. Kidder

★★★ This nonfiction book contains the testimonies of German Christians whose personal beliefs conflicted with Hitler's political ideologies. These were people not involved with the  military; common people, so to speak, also known as the resistance. Various countries had resistance groups attempting to guide citizenry away from Hitler's purification plan....

Audience: Adults | Genre: Nonfiction, History, Spirituality

Cover: 'Mountain of the Dead: The Dyatlov Pass Incident'

"Mountain of the Dead: The Dyatlov Pass Incident" by Keith McCloskey

★★★★★ The Dyatlov Pass Incident happened in February, 1959, in what was then the Soviet Union.  Nine university students set out for a ski tourism trip and never returned.  Their frozen, and in at least three cases seriously injured bodies, were found weeks later.  Their tent was cut open from the inside.  What could have cause these nine to...

Audience: Adults | Genre: Nonfiction, Mystery, History

Cover: 'The Devil in the White City'

"The Devil in the White City" by Erik Larson

★★★★ The author Erik Larson (also of In the Garden of the Beasts), gives a detailed account of the creation of the World's Fair held in Chicago at the end of the 19th century.   The "White City" is the idealized, created city that provided a figurative and literal shape to the fair . The book spends considerable time discussing, in factual detail, how the...

Audience: Adults | Genre: Nonfiction, History

Cover: 'Once Upon a Time in Hollywood'

"Once Upon a Time in Hollywood" by Juliette Michaud

★★★★ Movie buffs will be delighted with ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD. Juliette Michaud's coffee-table book is an affectionate, wonderfully-illustrated chronicle of the silver screen. Bursting with hundreds of photographs of movie actors, actresses, directors and producers from the early 1900s to the late 1980s, the book offers up both a history of Hollywood and...

Audience: Adults | Genre: Nonfiction, Celebrities, History

Cover: 'Treasures of the Civil War'

"Treasures of the Civil War" by

★★★★★ Published in conjunction with the 150th anniversary of Gettysburg, MacLachlan's book is an appealing, intimate tribute to 13 legendary leaders who shaped the nation during the Civil War. Among the individuals covered are Lincoln, Grant Lee, Sherman, Clara Barton, George Custer, Frederick Douglass and George Pickett. Each merits a lengthy write-up...

Audience: Adults | Genre: Nonfiction, History

Cover: 'The West That Was'

"The West That Was" by John E. Eggen

★★★★★ John Eggen's book is a fascinating 'time travel' look back at Wild West cowboys. The hundreds of photographs found in the book date from the late 1880s and depict working cowboys in Colorado. They accurately capture the true life and times of cowboys as they round up steers, train horses, chow down around the campfire, etc. Taken together, they supply a...

Audience: Adults | Genre: Nonfiction, History

Cover: 'Souvenir Relics: Relics, Keepsakes and Curios from the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History'

"Souvenir Relics: Relics, Keepsakes and Curios from the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History" by William L. Bird, Jr.

★★★★★ This appealing look at American history spotlights over 50 memorabilia from history, detailing each item's history and how they came to find a home at the Smithsonian. Included are such fascinating items as a piece of the original Plymouth Rock, a Washington Monument cornerstone, the table/chairs used by Grant and Lee at Appomattox, a framed lock of Andrew...

Audience: Adults | Genre: Nonfiction, History

Cover: 'Toy Time: From Hula Hoops to He-Man to Hungry, Hungry Hippos'

"Toy Time: From Hula Hoops to He-Man to Hungry, Hungry Hippos" by Christopher Byrne

★★★★★ Revisit your childhood with this charming, full-color chronicle of toys from decades past. Among the toys described and illustrated are Play-Doh, Barbie, Gumby, Uno, Rubik's Cube, Etch-a-Sketch, Teddy Ruxpin, Silly Putty, G.I. Joe, the Star Wars Action Figures, Care Bears, Dungeons and Dragons, Tonka Toy Trucks, NERF Ball, View-Master and the Frisbee....

Audience: Adults | Genre: Nonfiction, History, Collectibles

Cover: 'The 100 Most Influential People Who Never Lived'

"The 100 Most Influential People Who Never Lived" by Time Magazine

★★★★ If it weren't for characters like Sherlock Holmes, Santa Claus, Robin Hood, Lucy Ricardo,  Falstaff, Norman Bates,  King Lear, Jekyll & Hyde, Nancy Drew, Dracula and Wonder Woman, our lives would be immeasurably duller. This fascinating Time Home Entertainment release provides brief biographies/tributes to 100 characters from TV, films,...

Audience: Adults | Genre: Nonfiction, History

Cover: 'The A-Z of Curious London'

"The A-Z of Curious London" by Gilly Pickup

★★★★ One of the most fascinating cities in the world, London has had its share of 'oddball history' as revealed in Gilly Pickup's charming, informative book. Here can be found details on the dentist who kept his dead wife on view in a shop window, London's oldest restaurant, the ghosts of Ham House, Sweeney Todd's evil doings, the smallest police station in the...

Audience: Adults | Genre: Nonfiction, History, Travel

Cover: 'The Beatles in 100 Objects'

"The Beatles in 100 Objects" by Brian Southall

★★★★ Take a Magical Mystery Tour back to the heady days of Beatlemania when John, Paul, George and Ringo were front-page news around the world. Brian Southall's appealing book traces the Fab Four's history by describing and illustrating 100 objects - guitars, drum kits, suits, lyric sheets, audition tapes, film scripts, show posters, gold records, cars, etc. -...

Audience: Adults | Genre: Nonfiction, Celebrities, History

Cover: 'Thomas Jefferson Builds a Library'

"Thomas Jefferson Builds a Library" by Barb Rosenstock

★★★★★ Thomas Jefferson’s love of books and reading is wonderfully portrayed in this short children’s book.  Amusing illustrations of books on the roof of the White House, books used to spell out the word “BOOKS” on his fireplace mantle, and a picture of Jefferson being so engrossed in reading a book that they had to wait for him to sign the Declaration of...

Audience: Children | Genre: Nonfiction, Picture Book, History

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