Adams, Henry, The Education of Henry Adams in Novels, 818. 409 Ada these are the best known works of Henry Adams, one of the most powerful and original minds to confront the American scene from the Civil War to the first World War



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  • Adams, Henry, The Education of Henry Adams in Novels, 818.409 ADA
    These are the best known works of Henry Adams, one of the most powerful and original minds to confront the American scene from the Civil War to the first World War.  The Education of Henry Adams is on this reading list and is this anthology.

  • Brown, Dee, Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, 970.5 BRO
    This extraordinary book changed the way Americans think about the original inhabitants of their country. Beginning with the Long Walk of the Navajos in 1860 and ending 30 years later with the massacre of Sioux men, women, and children at Wounded Knee in South Dakota, it tells how the American Indians lost their land and lives to a dynamically expanding white society. During these three decades, America's population doubled from 31 million to 62 million. Again and again, promises made to the Indians fell victim to the ruthlessness and greed of settlers pushing westward to make new lives. The Indians were herded off their ancestral lands into ever-shrinking reservations, and were starved and killed if they resisted. It is a truism that "history is written by the victors"; for the first time, this book described the opening of the West from the Indians' viewpoint.

  • Clark, Walter Van T., The Ox-Bow Incident, FIC CLA
    This is a psychological study of corrupt leadership and mob rule. Set in Nevada in1885, the story concerns the brutal lynching of three characters falsely accused of murder and theft. The strong-willed leader of the lynch mob, Major Tetley, easily takes advantage of the suppressed resentment and boredom of the townspeople. Here is the historical version of modern "road rage."

  • Cooper, James Fenimore, The Deerslayer, FIC COO
    A tribute to the noble pioneer spirit in conflict with encroaching society. Natty Bumppo is an idealistic youth raised among the Indians but he has yet to meet the test. In a tale of violent action, the harsh realities of tribal warfare force him to kill his first foe and face torture at the stake.

  • Cooper, James Fenimore, The Last of the Mohicans, FIC COO
    The classic portrait of a man of moral courage who severs all connections with a society whose values he can no longer accept. A brave woodsman, Natty Bumppo, and his loyal

  • Crane, Stephen, The Open Boat AND The Red Badge of Courage FIC CRA

  • Douglass, Frederick, Narrative of the Life of an American Slave, 921 DOU
    In 1845, just seven years after his escape from slavery, the young Frederick Douglass published this powerful account of his life in bondage and his triumph over oppression. The book, which marked the beginning of Douglass's career as an impassioned writer, journalist, and orator for the abolitionist cause, reveals the terrors he faced as a slave, the brutalities of his owners and overseers, and his harrowing escape to the North. It has become a classic of American autobiography.

  • DuBois, W.E.B., The Souls of Black Folk, 301.451 DUB
    One of the most influential and widely read texts in all of African American letters and history, The Souls of Black Folk combines some of the most enduring reflections on black identity, the meaning of emancipation, and African American culture. This new edition reprints the original 1903 edition of W. E. B. DuBois's classic work with the fullest set of annotations of any version yet published, together with two related essays, and numerous letters DuBois received and wrote concerning his widely read text.

  • Faulkner, William, Absalom, Absalom!, FIC FAU
    The story of Thomas Sutpen, an enigmatic stranger who came to Jefferson in the early 1830s to wrest his mansion out of the muddy bottoms of the north Mississippi wilderness. He was a man, Faulkner said, "who wanted sons and the sons destroyed him."

  • Faulkner, William, The Sound and the Fury, FIC FAU
    The subject of The Sound and the Fury is how the Compson family is falling apart. They are one of those august old Mississippi families that fell on hard times and wild eccentricity after the Civil War. But in fact what William Faulkner is really after in his legendary novel is the kaleidoscope of consciousness--the overwrought mind caught in the act of thought. His rich, dark, scandal-ridden story of squandered fortune, madness, congenital brain damage, theft, illegitimacy, and stoic endurance is told in the interior voices of three Compson brothers: first Benjy, the "idiot" man-child who blurs together three decades of sensations as he stalks the fringes of the family's former pasture; next Quentin, torturing himself brilliantly, obsessively over Caddy's lost virginity and his own failure to recover the family's honor as he wanders around the seedy fringes of Boston; and finally Jason, heartless, shrewd, sneaking, nursing a perpetual sense of injury and outrage against his outrageous family.

  • Frazier, Charles, Cold Mountain, FIC FRA
    Cold Mountain is an extraordinary novel about a soldier's perilous journey back to his beloved at the end of the Civil War. At once a magnificent love story and a harrowing account of one man's long walk home.

  • Franklin, Benjamin, Autobiography, 921 FRA
    One of the most popular works of American literature, this charming self-portrait has been translated into nearly every language. It covers Franklin’s life up to his prewar stay in London as representative of the Pennsylvania Assembly, including his boyhood years, work as a printer, experiments with electricity, political career, much more.

  • Hawthorne, Nathaniel, The Scarlet Letter, FIC HAW
    Set in Puritan New England, the main character is Hester Prynne, a young woman who has borne an illegitimate child. It is considered a masterpiece of American literature and a classic moral study.

  • Melville, Herman, Moby-Dick, FIC MEL
    Moby Dick, the great white whale, is pursued by the monomaniacal Captain Ahab, whose ivory leg is testimony to their previous encounter. The crew of Ahab's ship, the Pequod, is composed of a mixture of races and religions, including the God-fearing mate Starbuck; three primitive harpooners; the Black cabin boy; and the fire-worshipping Parsee.

  • Mitchell, Margaret, Gone With the Wind, FIC MIT
    Gone with the Wind is a compelling and entertaining novel. It was the sweeping story of tangled passions and the rare courage of a group of people in Atlanta during the time of Civil War that brought those cinematic scenes to life. The reason the movie became so popular was the strength of its characters--Scarlett O'Hara, Rhett Butler, and Ashley Wilkes--all created here by the deft hand of Margaret Mitchell, in this, her first novel.

  • Morrison, Toni, Beloved, FIC MOR
    In this Pulitzer prize winning novel, is a dense, complex story that yields up its secrets one by one. As Toni Morrison takes us deeper into Sethe's history and her memories, the horrifying circumstances of her baby's death start to make terrible sense. And as past meets present in the shape of a mysterious young woman about the same age as Sethe's daughter would have been, the narrative builds inexorably to its powerful, painful conclusion. Beloved may well be the defining novel of slavery in America, the one that all others will be measured by.  

  • Shaara, Michael, Killer Angels, FIC SHA
    This novel reveals more about the Battle of Gettysburg than any piece of learned nonfiction on the same subject. Michael Shaara's account of the three most important days of the Civil War features deft characterizations of all of the main actors, including Lee, Longstreet, Pickett, Buford, and Hancock. The most inspiring figure in the book, however, is Col. Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, whose 20th Maine regiment of volunteers held the Union's left flank on the second day of the battle. This unit's bravery at Little Round Top helped turned the tide of the war against the rebels. There are also plenty of maps, which convey a complete sense of what happened July 1-3, 1863. Reading about the past is rarely so much fun as on these pages.

  • Stone, Irving, Love is Eternal
    In Irving Stone’s historical novel about Mary Todd, Love is Eternal, the future Mrs. Lincoln confides to her cousin Ann that she might marry a Springfield, Illinois, lawyer because he has a promising political future and might someday be president.

  • Stowe, Harriet Beecher, Uncle Tom's Cabin, FIC STO
    This is a book that changed history. Harriet Beecher Stowe was appalled by slavery, and she took one of the few options open to nineteenth century women who wanted to affect public opinion: she wrote a novel, a huge, enthralling narrative that claimed the heart, soul, and politics of pre-Civil War Americans. It is unabashed propaganda and overtly moralistic, an attempt to make whites - North and South - see slaves as mothers, fathers, and people with (Christian) souls. In a time when women might see the majority of their children die, Harriet Beecher Stowe portrays beautiful Eliza fleeing slavery to protect her son. In a time when many whites claimed slavery had "good effects" on blacks, Uncle Tom's Cabin paints pictures of three plantations, each worse than the other, where even the best plantation leaves a slave at the mercy of fate or debt. By twentieth-century standards, her propaganda verges on melodrama, and it is clear that even while arguing for the abolition of slavery she did not rise above her own racism. Yet her questions remain penetrating even today: "Is man ever a creature to be trusted with wholly irresponsible power?".

  • Welch, James, Fools Crow, FIC WEL
    How was the Indian nation changed forever? The year is 1870. A portentous dream seems to overshadow the Lone Eaters clan of the Blackfeet Indians in the post-Civil War years. The slow invasion of the Napikwans, or whites, is inevitable and coincidental, however. As we follow White Man's Dog (later renamed Fools Crow), we see how some of his people try to follow the Napikwan ways, others rebel against them, and many ignore them. This alien force has both subtle and obvious methods of eliminating the tribal ways, and we watch individuals, families, and traditions crumbling. Welch's third novel ( Winter in the Blood, The Death of Jim Loney) is like finding a lifestyle preserved for a century and reanimated for our benefit and education. Recommended for anyone who wants to see what we have lost, and read a fine novel in the process.

  • Other author possibilities: Larry McMurty, Louisa May Alcott


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