Barnum by Robert Wilson

Staff Pick

Phineas Barnum (1810-1891), American hustler, huckster, and entertainer, is best known for Barnum and Bailey’s circus, billed as “the greatest show on earth.” Robert Wilson’s elegantly written Barnum (Simon & Schuster, $28) spotlights Barnum’s humbugs and hoaxes prior to the circus days, such as the former slave, Joice Heath, he passed off as George Washington’s 161-year-old nursemaid; the Fejee Mermaid, which was part fi sh, part monkey skeleton; and his long tour with five-year-old Charley Stratton dubbed “the little general” and renamed Tom Thumb. Barnum also constructed an Oriental Villa in Connecticut which ultimately burned to the ground, and lectured on temperance reform and money-making, in spite of his own spectacular bankruptcies. Wilson, the author of two previous biographies and editor of The American Scholar, resists the urge to editorialize but his meticulous research speaks for itself. Ultimately, Barnum emerges as complicated, vain, and selfserving, and in the words of one contemporary journalist, "Barnum appears to be a vain elderly man on the best possible terms with himself."

Barnum: An American Life By Robert Wilson Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9781501118623
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Simon & Schuster - August 6th, 2019

All the Powers of Earth by Sidney Blumenthal

Staff Pick

Sidney Blumenthal, a veteran journalist and former high-level government advisor, has been making impressive progress writing a monumental series on the life of Abraham Lincoln. Volume one, A Self- Made Man, appeared just three years ago and dealt with the first forty years of Lincoln’s life, through his start as a lawyer, deepening interest in politics, growing confidence and skill as a public speaker, marriage to Mary Todd, a stint in the House of Representatives, and return to Springfield in 1849 to practice law. The second volume, Wrestling with His Angel, came out just a year later and focused on the period between 1849 and 1856, a sort of wilderness period for Lincoln after his fi rst exposure to national politics. Now in All the Powers of Earth: The Political Life of Abraham Lincoln, Vol. III 1856-1860 (Simon & Schuster, $35), Blumenthal chronicles Lincoln’s political ascent, culminating in his election to the presidency. This was an extraordinarily tumultuous time in U.S. history, and Blumenthal explores extensively a number of seminal events surrounding Lincoln as he re-enters the political spotlight.

All the Powers of Earth: The Political Life of Abraham Lincoln Vol. III, 1856-1860 By Sidney Blumenthal Cover Image
$35.00
ISBN: 9781476777283
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Simon & Schuster - September 3rd, 2019

Alexander the Great by Anthony Everitt

Staff Pick

Alexander the Great has captured the imagination of history like few others have: Julius Caesar is said to have wept before a statue of this Macedonian king. Pompey allegedly wore a cloak that once belonged to this legendary general. Despite the fascination, questions still remain about who Alexander was, how he was able to achieve what he did, and, most importantly, the nature of his sudden demise. Anthony Everitt provides answers to these questions in his excellent new biography Alexander the Great: His Life and His Mysterious Death (Random House, $30). Despite the immense scholarship surrounding Alexander, Everitt succeeds in providing a new and full portrait of the legendary figure. At the core of this remarkable book is the author’s stated goal of interpreting Alexander not through a modern lens, but through that of Alexander’s own time—providing insight into how the events of his life were viewed as they unfolded. What emerges is an eminently readable and compelling biography that captures the character of the man himself.

Alexander the Great: His Life and His Mysterious Death By Anthony Everitt Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9780425286524
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Random House - August 27th, 2019

Pages