Staff Selections - Doug
While we are all social distancing, Doug Cooper was happy to share some things that he’s enjoyed that patrons might find as a way to appreciate the chance to slow down a bit.
British Soldiers, American Revolution: This blog’s author, Don N. Hagist, does not update frequently. But, when he does, the stories are worth a read. Hagist examines the British soldiers who were over here serving in the “colonies”. One story that I like talks about the life of Jacob Margas who enlisted in the regiment of foot, leaving behind a career as an optician.
Hub History Podcast: Follows events and places in Boston’s history. My two favorite episodes (so far) are Aeroplane Fever and Annexation and Perambulation. Aeroplane fever covers the Harvard-Boston Aero Meet that took place in 1910. Annexation and Perambulation connects two previous episodes of the show. It discusses the annexation of communities like Dorchester and Charlestown to what’s now the City of Boston. Perambulation refers to the (legally required) practice of walking the bounds of the city every two years.
Empty FramesPodcast: A podcast that covers art thefts around the world. Of course, the hosts mention the heist at the Isabella Stuart Gardner museum a lot. One of my favorite episodes of late discussed “Dr No” art collectors. Taken from a James Bond movie, the term refers to ultra-rich people who buy stolen art and hide it away.
Recommended Reads – Available to borrow on OverDrive/Libby for digital download (subject to availability)
The Glass Universe by Dava Sobel: Explores the work of a group of women who staffed the telescopes, did the math, and made significant discoveries in the field of astronomy. And this all happened at Harvard. Unfortunately, Cambridge has covered over much of what used to be the observatory. I had to read this slowly at times so I could understand the math and science. But the methods and technical details aren’t something to be intimidated by.
Truman by David McCullough: A friend who reads a lot of biographies gave me a copy of this. I borrowed the Overdrive version as well because the book is heavy. McCullough wrote an informative biography of President Truman. Truman was a tenacious person who faced many setbacks in life and tried hard to maintain ties with everyday people. Many people looked down on him because he was “only” an artillery captain. Despite what we might think, Truman wasn’t popular in his time as Senator, Vice President, and President.
Blood and Thunder: The Epic Story of Kit Carson and the Conquest of the American West by Hampton Sides: Kit Carson is one of those historical figures that exists in people’s imagination. Even during his life time, other people made up stories about him. Blood and Thunder tells the real story of Kit Carson, his role in opening the west to American settlers, and the devastating effects that expansion had on Native American tribes.