Story Tags

Washington's Circle

Proximity to Power

A look at (mostly) presidents and their advisers

What is it like standing behind the head that wears the crown? The following titles look at heads of state and the people who influenced them. Four of them deal with U.S. Presidents and those who counseled them, their cabinet members in particular, and are listed in chronological order. The last title deals with a difficult English monarch and the courtiers who served him.

Revenge of the Analog

The Retro-Tech Revival

Visions of a Less Digital, More Fulfilling Future

A prevalent mythology of the future, pushed by the digital tech industry, assumes it will be increasingly digital. This trajectory is often thought to be inevitable and that therefore individuals and institutions have no choice but to embrace it. I find the books below stimulating because they reject this inevitability and imagine a future less dominated by digital media than it is now.

Crushing

The Human Spirit

I am drawn to people's personal stories of triumph over adversity. I think often about the imagery and symbolism of the lotus plant. The lotus shoot has to grow through the mud of swamps and other still bodies of water. The unseen shoot struggles upward towards the light and when it pierces the surface, a beautiful flower unfurls. What these stories have in common is they explore the resiliency of human peoples despite the misfortunes that can happen in any person's life.

The Killer of Little Shepherds by Douglas P. Starr

After Ted Bundy

Non-fiction Books about True Crime

True crime has been a pop culture trend lately, with lots of people finding themselves glued to their Netflix account watching Making A Murderer and Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy

Bright boulevards, bold dreams: the story of Black Hollywood cover

Mr. DeMille, I’m Ready for My Close-Up

Classic Hollywood nonfiction and biographies

Classic Hollywood: an era in American cinema that stretched from the 1910s to the 1960s and influenced film world-wide. Countless books have been written about the era. Some focus on actors, often describing their lives and experiences in their own words; or on specific films; and others on scandals that rocked the industry. Some examine how society and government, such as the Hays Code and the Red Scare, influenced Hollywood. Still others look at women’s roles within the industry.

Agent 110 cover

World War II Espionage for the 75th Anniversary of D-Day

June 6, 2019, is the 75th anniversary of World War II’s D-Day which ultimately led to the Nazi’s defeat. D-Day was a massive military invasion that was both supported and opposed by new and growing intelligence operations on both sides. Explore the intelligence efforts and learn about some of the interesting spies working in espionage during World War II with these books.  

So You've Been Publicly Shamed

"Right to Be Forgotten"

A reading list for the Arena Stage Production

What is “the right to be forgotten?"  Besides the name of the play coming to Arena Stage in October, it is also a legal right in much of Europe, which allows individuals to apply to media and internet companies to have links to past indiscretions like debts and small crimes erased from search results. Advocates claim utility for people like victims of revenge porn, while those opposed contend it can allow history to be re-written and violates free speech rights.

Being the Change: Live Well and Spark a Climate Revolution

Post-Carbon Living

Individual, Family & Community Adaptation to Life after Fossil Fuels

The lifestyles of most of us in the industrialized world depend heavily on fossil fuels. Despite its normalcy for many of us, the era of fossil-fueled extravagant living will look like a fleeting moment within a larger view of human history. Formed over half a billion years, fossil fuels are non-renewable, depleting, declining in quality and net energy, and their contribution to climate change, pollution, and other forms of ecological degradation make perpetuity of this way of life impossible. Either we change voluntarily, or let crises increasingly force us to change.

The Wright Brothers by David McCullough

The Wright Stuff

Orville and Wilbur Wright and the quest for human flight

From the earliest days of recorded history, we humans have longed to fly.  Although the only known flying mammals are bats, Orville and Wilbur Wright, and other twentieth century inventors, built aircraft that enabled our species to soar through the skies.  These titles tell the story of their achievements and the many failures they experienced along the way.   

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