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The Secret Life of Houdini: The Making of America's First Superhero

by William Kalush & Larry Sloman

Handcuff King. Escape Artist. International Superstar.

Since his death eighty-eight years ago, Harry Houdini’s life has been chronicled in books, in film, and on television. Now, in this groundbreaking biography,...


My Bondage and My Freedom

by Frederick Douglass & David W. Blight

Born into slavery in 1818, Frederick Douglass escaped to freedom and became a passionate advocate for abolition and social change and the foremost spokesperson for the nation’s enslaved African American population...


Kinky Gazpacho: Life, Love & Spain

by Lori Tharps

Magazine writer and editor Lori Tharps was born and raised in the comfortable but mostly White suburbs of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where she was often the only person of color in her school and neighborhood. At...


Noah Webster: The Life and Times of an American Patriot

by Harlow Giles Unger

"Noah Webster was a truly remarkable man, shrewd, passionate, learned and energetic, God-fearing and patriotic. Mr. Unger has done a fine job reintroducing him to a new generation of Americans." --Washington...


Julius Caesar

by Philip Freeman

More than two thousand years after his death, Julius Caesar remains one of the great figures of history. He shaped Rome for generations, and his name became a synonym for "emperor" -- not only in Rome but as...


Not Just the Levees Broke: My Story During and After Hurricane Katrina

by Phyllis Montana-Leblanc & Spike Lee

Called "one of the rawest specimens of classic Nawlins spitfire you'll ever find" by Newsweek, and featured in Spike Lee's HBO documentary When the Levees Broke, Phyllis Montana-Leblanc gives an astounding and...


James & Dolley Madison: America's First Power Couple

by Bruce Chadwick

This revealing new portrait of James and Dolley Madison introduces the reader to America’s first power couple. Using recently uncovered troves of letters at the University of Virginia, among other sources,...


The Washingtons of Wessyngton Plantation: Stories of My Family's Journey to Freedom

by John F., Jr. Baker

When John F. Baker Jr. was in the seventh grade, he saw a photograph of four former slaves in his social studies textbook. When he learned that two of them were his grandmother's grandparents, he began the lifelong...


A Native of Nowhere: The Life of Nat Nakasa

by Ryan Brown

Tracing the life of South African writer Nat Nakasa, this biography tells the story of how a quiet, serious African boy growing up in the sleepy coastal city of Durban in the 1940s became part of the generation...


Sophia Tolstoy: A Biography

by Alexandra Popoff

As Leo Tolstoy’s wife, Sophia Tolstoy experienced both glory and condemnation during their forty-eight-year marriage. She was admired as the muse and literary assistant to one of the world’s most celebrated...


Tutankhamen

by Christine El Mahdy

When Tutankhamen's tomb was discovered in 1922, even the most experienced archaeologists joined the international community in marveling at the incredible wealth--and seemingly bizarre rituals--of ancient Egypt....


The Reagans

by Anne Edwards

He was an actor, newly divorced, whose controversial tenure as president of the Screen Actors Guild was drawing more attention than his film career. She was a contract player at MGM, unmarried and rapidly growing...


Pearl Buck in China: Journey to The Good Earth

by Hilary Spurling

One of the twentieth century’s most extraordinary Americans, Pearl Buck was the first person to make China accessible to the West.

 

She recreated the lives of ordinary Chinese people in The Good Earth, an...


My Larger Education: Being Chapters from My Experience

by Booker T. Washington

The celebrated leader describes his influences and proposes that most African Americans would benefit from a practical trade rather than a liberal arts education, a position that ignited an enduring debate....


Autobiography of Mother Jones

by Mary Harris Jones, Mary Field Parton & Clarence Darrow

This important addition to labor and feminist literature speaks tirelessly and effectively on behalf of workers' rights and unions in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.


My Bondage and My Freedom

by Frederick Douglass

Born a slave, Douglass became outspoken force in antislavery movement. The best of Douglass's autobiographies. Graphic description of slave life.


Geronimo: My Life

by Geronimo & S. M. Barrett

Completely and utterly authentic, this classic's captivating narrator is the legendary warrior and shaman himself, who describes his early life and his family, rituals related to hunting and religion, and his...


Nostradamus and His Prophecies

by Edgar Leoni

Complete, definitive study: biography, historical background, and parallel texts in English and French of all the prophecies, most of the famous — and infamous — interpretations, and much more.


Jefferson Davis Gets His Citizenship Back

by Robert Penn Warren

In 1979 Robert Penn Warren returned to his native Todd Country, Kentucky, to attend ceremonies in honor of another native son, Jefferson Davis, president of the Confederacy, whose United States citizenship had...


The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

by Benjamin Franklin

Charming self-portrait covers boyhood, work as a printer, political career, scientific experiments, much more. Its openness, honesty, and readable style have made the Autobiography one of the great classics...