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VB Reads...Armchair Historians

Book lovers, you have heard the old adage "Those who don't know history are doomed to repeat it!" Well, here is your chance to prepare yourself for the future. Join the Village Books Armchair Historians Book Group - "understanding the past!" We meet the second Monday of every month from 6pm to 7:30pm in the Readings Gallery to chat, discuss, and dissect the most current and interesting history being written. We will cover all eras and topics in our quest to "know history". Join us! Authors DO NOT attend.

Monday, February 13, 6pm  

The Good Rain: Across Time & Terrain in the Pacific Northwest by Timothy Egan

A fantastic book! Timothy Egan describes his journeys in the Pacific Northwest through visits to salmon fisheries, redwood forests and the manicured English gardens of Vancouver. Here is a blend of history, anthropology and politics.

Timothy Egan is a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter and the author of eight books, including The Immortal Irishman, a New York Times Bestseller. His book on the Dust Bowl, The Worst Hard Time, won a National Book Award for nonfiction and was named a New York Times Editors' Choice, a New York Times Notable Book, a Washington State Book Award winner, and a Book Sense Book of the Year Honor Book. He writes a weekly opinion column for the New York Times.

The Good Rain: Across Time & Terrain in the Pacific Northwest (Vintage Departures) By Timothy Egan Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780679734857
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage - December 3rd, 1991

Monday, March 13, 6pm  

Paris, 1919: Six Months That Changed the World by Margaret MacMillan

For six months in 1919, after the end of “the war to end all wars,” the Big Three—President Woodrow Wilson, British prime minister David Lloyd George, and French premier Georges Clemenceau—met in Paris to shape a lasting peace. In this landmark work of narrative history, Margaret MacMillan gives a dramatic and intimate view of those fateful days, which saw new political entities—Iraq, Yugoslavia, and Palestine, among them—born out of the ruins of bankrupt empires, and the borders of the modern world redrawn.

Margaret MacMillan received her Ph.D. from Oxford University and is provost of Trinity College and professor of history at the University of Toronto. Her previous books include Women of the Raj and Canada and NATO.

Paris 1919: Six Months That Changed the World By Margaret MacMillan, Richard Holbrooke (Foreword by) Cover Image
$22.00
ISBN: 9780375760525
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Random House Trade Paperbacks - September 9th, 2003

Monday, April 10, 6pm  

The Age of the Vikings by Anders Winroth

The Vikings maintain their grip on our imagination, but their image is too often distorted by myth. It is true that they pillaged, looted, and enslaved. But they also settled peacefully and traveled far from their homelands in swift and sturdy ships to explore. The Age of the Vikings tells the full story of this exciting period in history. Drawing on a wealth of written, visual, and archaeological evidence, Anders Winroth captures the innovation and pure daring of the Vikings without glossing over their destructive heritage. He not only explains the Viking attacks, but also looks at Viking endeavors in commerce, politics, discovery, and colonization, and reveals how Viking arts, literature, and religious thought evolved in ways unequaled in the rest of Europe. The Age of the Vikings sheds new light on the complex society, culture, and legacy of these legendary seafarers.

Anders Winroth is the Birgit Baldwin Professor of History at Yale University.

The Age of the Vikings By Anders Winroth Cover Image
$17.95
ISBN: 9780691169293
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Princeton University Press - March 1st, 2016

Monday, May 8, 6pm  

Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America by Ibram X. Kendi

The National Book Award winning history of how racist ideas were created, spread, and deeply rooted in American society.
In this deeply researched and fast-moving narrative, Kendi chronicles the entire story of anti-black racist ideas and their staggering power over the course of American history. He uses the life stories of five major American intellectuals to drive this history: Puritan minister Cotton Mather, Thomas Jefferson, abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison, W.E.B. Du Bois, and legendary activist Angela Davis.

Ibram X. Kendi is a #1 New York Times bestselling author, the Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities at Boston University, and the founding director of the BU Center for Antiracist Research. He is an Ideas Columnist at the Atlantic and a correspondent with CBS News.

Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America By Ibram X. Kendi Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9781568585987
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Bold Type Books - August 15th, 2017

Monday, June 12, 6pm  

The Great Dissenter: The Story of John Marshall Harlan, America's Judicial Hero by Peter S. Canellos

The “superb” (The Guardian) biography of an American who stood against all the forces of Gilded Age America to fight for civil rights and economic freedom: Supreme Court Justice John Marshall Harlan.

They say that history is written by the victors. But not in the case of the most famous dissenter on the Supreme Court. Almost a century after his death, John Marshall Harlan’s words helped end segregation and gave us our civil rights and our modern economic freedom.
But his legacy would not have been possible without the courage of Robert Harlan, a slave who John’s father raised like a son in the same household. After the Civil War, Robert emerges as a political leader. With Black people holding power in the Republican Party, it is Robert who helps John land his appointment to the Supreme Court.

Peter S. Canellos is an award-winning writer and former Editorial Page Editor of The Boston Globe and Executive Editor of Politico. He is the editor of the New York Times bestseller, Last Lion: The Fall and Rise of Ted Kennedy.

The Great Dissenter: The Story of John Marshall Harlan, America's Judicial Hero By Peter S. Canellos Cover Image
$21.99
ISBN: 9781501188213
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Simon & Schuster - June 28th, 2022

Monday, July 10, 6pm  

Peace Weavers: Uniting the Salish Coast Through Cross-Cultural Marriages by Candace Wellman

Throughout the mid-1800s, Coast and Interior Salish families arranged strategic cross-cultural marriages, and these alliances played a crucial role in regional settlement and spared Puget Sound's upper corner from the tragic conflicts other regions experienced. Although accounts of the men exist in a variety of records, the contributions of their native wives remain unacknowledged.

Author Candace Wellman hopes to shatter stereotypes surrounding these relationships. The four women profiled--Caroline Davis Kavanaugh, Mary Fitzhugh Lear Phillips, Clara Tennant Selhameten, and Nellie Carr Lane--exhibited exceptional endurance, strength, and adaptability. Remembered as loving mothers and good neighbors, they ran successful farms, nursed and supported family members, served as midwives, and operated profitable businesses. They visited relatives and attended ancestral gatherings, often with their children. Each woman's story is uniquely her own, but together they and other intermarried women left lasting legacies. They were peace weavers.

Peace Weavers: Uniting the Salish Coast Through Cross-Cultural Marriages By Candace Wellman Cover Image
$27.95
ISBN: 9780874223460
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Washington State University Press - May 17th, 2017

Monday, August 14, 6pm  

King Leopold's Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror, and Heroism in Colonial Africa by Adam Hochschild

In the late nineteenth century, as the European powers were carving up Africa, King Leopold II of Belgium carried out a brutal plundering of the territory surrounding the Congo River. Ultimately slashing the area’s population by ten million, he still managed to shrewdly cultivate his reputation as a great humanitarian. A tale far richer than any novelist could invent, King Leopold’s Ghost is the horrifying account of a megalomaniac of monstrous proportions. It is also the deeply moving portrait of those who defied Leopold: African rebel leaders who fought against hopeless odds and a brave handful of missionaries, travelers, and young idealists who went to Africa for work or adventure but unexpectedly found themselves witnesses to a holocaust and participants in the twentieth century’s first great human rights movement.

Adam Hochschild is the author of ten books. King Leopold’s Ghost was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, as was To End All Wars. His Bury the Chains was a finalist for the National Book Award and won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and PEN USA Literary Award. 

King Leopold's Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror, and Heroism in Colonial Africa By Adam Hochschild Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780358212508
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Mariner Books - March 3rd, 2020

Monday, September 11, 6pm  

Jerusalem: The Biography by Simon Sebag Montefiore

In this masterful narrative, Simon Sebag Montefiore brings the holy city to life and draws on the latest scholarship, his own family history, and a lifetime of study to show that the story of Jerusalem is truly the story of the world.

Simon Sebag Montefiore is a historian of Russia and the Middle East. Montefiore’s books are published in more than forty languages. He is the author of the novels Sashenka and One Night in Winter, which won the Paddy Power Political Fiction Book of the Year Award in 2014. A Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, Montefiore graduated from Cambridge University, where he received his PhD.

Jerusalem: The Biography By Simon Sebag Montefiore Cover Image
$21.00
ISBN: 9780307280503
Availability: Not in-stock currently-usually arrives within 1-14 business days
Published: Vintage - September 18th, 2012