Wounded Knee 1973: Still Bleeding

The 1973 occupation of Wounded Knee by American Indians, defying ...


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Nonfiction Books and Essays

Featuring good writing for serious readers, Now and Then short-form nonfiction books and essays are available exclusively as Kindle booksNook BooksiPad books or ebooks for other popular mobile devices.  

Each week, we publish original titles, excerpts from forthcoming books, and reprints of work worthy of being read again. We focus on writing that is historically based but also has relevance for present day events.

Our latest titles can be found in the list below.

The Solitude of Self

Elizabeth Cady Stanton Appeals for Women's Rights

by Elizabeth Cady Stanton

United States History

The major women’s suffrage organizations used a variety of tactics in seeking the vote but did not achieve success until the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution in 1920. Elizabeth Cady Stanton served these organizations for more than twenty years as president. In that time she became a leading champion of women’s rights and the intellectual powerhouse of the woman’s movement in the United States. Late in life, in “The Solitude of Self,” she distilled her most compelling arguments.

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The Granddaddy of All Bubbles

The Lessons of the South Sea Financial Hysteria Remain Unlearned Since 1720

by Paul Strathern

World History, Economic History

The lessons of financial bubbles and their inevitable consequences could be discerned almost three centuries ago, in 1720. Paul Strathern here relates the story of London’s South Sea Bubble, the first great financial hysteria, whose characteristics appear all too familiar today.

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Birth of the Skyscraper

Louis Sullivan Describes the Heart and Soul of the Tall Building

by Louis H. Sullivan

American History, Architecture

In these excerpts from his most important writings, Louis Sullivan explores the cultural ideas as well as the engineering and architectural realities that led to the making of the skyscraper and America's emphasis on the tall building as a fixture of modern urban society. Sullivan is the key link between nineteenth- and twentieth-century architecture and moreover between two worldviews. 

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The Rise of the Standard Oil Company

by Ida M. Tarbell

American History

The discovery of oil in Pennsylvania in 1859 opened a new chapter in world commerce and riveted the attention of American entrepreneurs, notably a young man named John D. Rockefeller of Cleveland, Ohio. Rockefeller was not only a man of vision; he was possessed of singular drive, ambition, and a ruthlessness to succeed. Almost single-handedly he built the Standard Oil Company into the greatest corporate colossus the country had witnessed. Ms. Tarbell’s account of the Standard’s rise covers a crucial moment in Rockefeller’s quest for dominance of the industry. 

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Expanded Powers

The FBI, the NSA, and the Struggle Between National Security and Civil Liberties in the Wake of 9/11

by Athan G. Theoharis

United States History, American History, U.S. History, U.S. Government

Athan Theoharis considers the record of the past to assess today’s broadened powers for the FBI and the NSA after 9/11.  He concludes that Americans may feel marginally safer, but at a dangerous cost to their freedoms and to the tenor of our political dialogue.

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The Story of a Photograph

Walker Evans, Ellie Mae Burroughs, and the Great Depression

by Jerry L. Thompson

United States History, American History, U.S. History, Essays

Walker Evans’s iconic photograph of Ellie Mae Burroughs of Hale County, Alabama, made while he was working with James Agee, has become a memorable symbol of the Great Depression. How it came to be, and what consequences it provoked, make for a fascinating tale.

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Why American Newspapers Gave Away the Future

by Richard J. Tofel

United States History, European History, Military History, American History, U.S. History, Essays

An insider’s assessment of the precipitous decline of large city papers in the United States, and the newspapers’ response to their problems, by an experienced newspaper executive. 

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Shaping the American Character

The Significance of the Frontier in American History

by Frederick Jackson Turner

United States History, American History, U.S. History

Turner here lays out his “frontier thesis,” which remains one of the key interpretations of American history. He argued that the circumstances of life on the western frontier were a determining influence on American character and institutions. 

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