Mon
2

History Hijinx Book Club

Monday, May 2, 2011

7:00 PM-8:00 PM

Cost: Free

Providence Public Library
150 Empire Street
Providence, RI 02903
Trustees Room, 3rd Fl

May 2 - The Big Burn: Teddy Roosevelt and the Fire that Saved America
by Timothy Egan

History HiJinks is the name of our wonderful book club at the Providence Public Library. Always informative and entertaining, we meet once a month (usually the first Monday night) from 7:00-8:00pm. We’re big fans of the democratic process and welcome new members regardless of their history background. To register, please call or email Nancy: nancycallanan@cox.net; 401-787-4152. For more information, check out our blog. http://historyhijinks.wordpress.com/

The Big Burn: Teddy Roosevelt and the Fire that Saved America by Timothy Egan

Amazon.com Review  Amazon Best of the Month, October 2009: When Theodore Roosevelt vacated the Oval Office, he left a vast legacy of public lands under the stewardship of the newly created Forest Service. Immediately, political enemies of the nascent conservation movement chipped away at the foundations of the untested agency, lobbying for a return of the land to private interests and development. Then, in 1910, several small wildfires in the Pacific Northwest merge into one massive, swift, and unstoppable blaze, and the Forest Service is pressed into a futile effort to douse the flames. Over 100 firefighters died heroically, galvanizing public opinion in favor of the forests--with unexpected ramifications exposed in today's proliferation of destructive fires. Just as he recounted the Dust Bowl experience in The Worst Hard Time (a National Book Award winner),  The Big Burn vividly recreates disaster through the eyes of the men and women who experienced it (though this time without the benefit of first-hand accounts). It's another incredible--and incredibly compelling--feat of historical journalism. --Jon Foro

June 6 - Four Hats in the Ring: The 1912 Election and the Birth of Modern American Politics by Lewis L. Gould

The presidential election of 1912 saw a third-party candidate finish second in both popular and electoral votes. The Socialist candidate received the highest percentage of the popular vote his party ever attained. In addition to year-round campaigning in the modern style, the 1912 contest featured a broader role for women, two exciting national conventions, and an assassination attempt on Roosevelt's life. The election defined the major parties for generations to come as the Taft-Roosevelt split pushed the Republicans to the right and the Democrats' agenda of reform set them on the road to the New Deal.

Lewis L. Gould, one of America's preeminent political historians, tells the story of this dramatic race and explains its enduring significance. Basing his narrative on the original letters and documents of the candidates themselves, he guides his readers down the campaign trail through the factional splits, exciting primaries, tumultuous conventions and the turbulent fall campaign to Wilson's landslide electoral vote victory in November.

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