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While there are more than 15,000 museums in our country, visitors get to see only about five percent of any institution’s collections. Most museums simply don’t have room to display everything they’ve got. However, there are a wide variety of surprising and intriguing reasons that, for example, the Smithsonian Institution doesn’t display its collection of condoms, Florida's Lightner Museum locks up all but one of its shrunken heads, and a world-class stash of Japanese erotica (shunga) art was kept in the Honolulu Museum of Art's storage until only recently.
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February, 1940: After a decade of worldwide depression, World War II had begun in Europe and Asia. With Germany on the march, and Japan at war with China, the global crisis was in a crescendo. America’s top songwriter, Irving Berlin, had captured the nation’s mood a little more than a year before with his patriotic hymn, “God Bless America.”
Woody Guthrie was having none of it. Near-starving and penniless, he was traveling from Texas to New York to make a new start. As he eked his way across the country by bus and by thumb, he couldn’t avoid Berlin’s song. Some people say that it was when he was freezing by the side of the road in a Pennsylvania snowstorm that he conceived of a rebuttal. It would encompass the dark realities of the Dust Bowl and Great Depression, and it would begin with the lines: “This land is your land, this land is my land…."
The author of the The Children’s Blizzard delivers an epic work of twentieth century history through the riveting story of one extraordinary Jewish family
With cinematic power and beauty, bestselling author David Laskin brings to life the upheavals of the twentieth century through the story of one family, three continents, two world wars, and the rise and fall of nations.
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In 1845, an estimated 2,500 emigrants left Independence and St. Joseph, Missouri, for the Willamette Valley in what was soon to become the Oregon Territory. It was general knowledge that the route of the Oregon Trail through the Blue Mountains and down the Columbia River to The Dalles was grueling and dangerous. About 1,200 men, women, and children in over two hundred wagons accepted fur trapper and guide Stephen Meek's offer to lead them on a shortcut across the trackless high desert of eastern Oregon.
Daniel James Brown’s robust book tells the story of the University of Washington’s 1936 eight-oar crew and their epic quest for an Olympic gold medal, a team that transformed the sport and grabbed the attention of millions of Americans. The sons of loggers, shipyard workers, and farmers, the boys defeated elite rivals first from eastern and British universities and finally the German crew rowing for Adolf Hitler in the Olympic games in Berlin, 1936.
How a lone man’s epic obsession led to one of America’s greatest cultural treasures: Prizewinning writer Timothy Egan tells the riveting, cinematic story behind the most famous photographs in Native American history — and the driven, brilliant man who made them.
Edward Curtis was charismatic, handsome, a passionate mountaineer, and a famous photographer, the Annie Leibovitz of his time. He moved in rarefied circles, a friend to presidents, vaudeville stars, leading thinkers. And he was thirty-two years old in 1900 when he gave it all up to pursue his Great Idea: to capture on film the continent’s original inhabitants before the old ways disappeared.