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A Jewish State
Theodor Herzl proposes a solution to the 'Jewish Question' and to anti-Semitism: a separate and independent ...
My Father's Girl
Jane Addams, whose Hull-House became a symbol of progressive reform, here remembers her father who helped ...
Paris Goes to War
As the World War engulfs Europe in August 1914, Edith Wharton reports from Paris on the ...
Lord Charnwood recounts the development and importance of Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, a signal event in American ...
Darwin Changes His Mind
Here is Darwin’s account of his visit to the Galapagos Islands with its myriad species, which ...
A Grand Way to Chronicle a War
A fascinating glimpse of World War II journalism behind the front lines at Paris’s Hotel Scribe, ...
The Genius and the Jerk
Walter Vatter explores the early years of Steve Jobs--was he a genius, or simply an expert ...
Too Fantastic to Be True
Even when the “final solution” became apparent, why did the ...
Nonfiction Books and Essays
Featuring good writing for serious readers, Now and Then short-form nonfiction books and essays are available exclusively as Kindle books, Nook Books, iPad 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.
Ollie Stewart and the Reporting of Black Correspondents in World War IIUnited States History
American blacks entered World War II in a peculiar position. Could they fight for the freedom of others while their own country denied theirs? And could they fight honorably in a still segregated armed forces? This illuminating perspective on World War II reportage shows how questions of race followed troops to the battlefields and how black correspondents—allowed on the frontlines for the first time—reported it.
As Civil War Loomed in the 1850s, Why Couldn’t North and South Get AlongAmerican History, Civil War
Soon after Appomattox, historians began debating the causes of the American Civil War. Why had North and South grown apart? Had it been all about slavery as a moral question? Or were less visible economic interests at work? Perhaps two distinct cultures had finally produced irreconcilable differences. The debates continue to this day, but nowhere is the reader likely to find a more brilliant and succinct analysis than in David Potter’s account of the major events that led to war.
An Outmoded Concept Is Sapping America's Strength
by John PradosUnited States History, Political Science, Military History, American History, U.S. History, U.S. Government, Essays
The distinguished historian John Prados calls for a total rethinking of our expansive concept of national security. If we fail to make hard decisions about existential threats, he concludes, we will find ourselves in a death spiral as a nation.
Immigrant Jewish Life in New York City in the Late Nineteenth CenturyAmerican History, Immigration History
In the great migrations of the later nineteenth century, New York City drew masses of Irish, Italian, and Jewish newcomers, many of them crowded into tenements on the Lower East Side. Soon it was the most densely populated place on earth. In the 1890s the area became a subject of investigation by a new breed of American journalists, the muckrakers. Jacob Riis’s How the Other Half Lives, published in 1890, sought to reveal the way of life in the New York tenements. Here he describes how Jewish immigrants made their way in a strange new land.
Selections from a Series of Very Plain Talks on Very Practical Politics, Delivered by Ex-Senator George Washington Plunkitt, the Tammany Philosopher, from His Rostrum--the New York County Court House Bootblack StandAmerican History
Among the great manuals of urban politics in America, none is more charming or instructive than the plain talks of George Washington Plunkitt of New York City’s powerful Tammany Hall at the turn of the twentieth century. “I seen my opportunities and I took ’em,” said Plunkitt while explaining the differences between honest graft and dishonest graft. His office was Graziano’s bootblack stand in New York’s old county courthouse.
Hank Greenberg Confronts Anti-Semitism in Baseball
by Ray RobinsonUnited States History, U.S. History, Sports History
When Hank Greenberg challenged Babe Ruth’s home run record he became a hero to American Jews. On the 100th anniversary of his birth, Ray Robinson remembers the man, the player, and the prejudice he overcame.
by Ray RobinsonUnited States History, American History, U.S. History, Sports History, Sports
No politician who yearns for the White House would dare turn his back on the National Pastime. Ray Robinson surveys the presidential attitude toward baseball since the early twentieth century, separating the enthusiasts from the pretenders.