Almost every public library has a strong online presence, and city library sites are normally spectacular. Boston Public Library has some collections on flickr, including 351 travel posters from the 1920s and 1940s, when the average person could seriously travel if he wanted because of railways, luxurious ocean liners, and good highways. "Travel agents and ticket offices during this period were festooned with vivid, eye-catching posters, all designed to capture the beauty, excitement and adventure of travel." Now these same posters make nostalgic and artistic statements about a time long gone.
"Anderson [was] the most savage and sadistic of all Civil War guerrillas. There is gore galore in this . . . pulse-quickening narrative of 'bitter bloodshed,' for no other rebel guerrila was more clearly motivated by revenge than Bloody Bill." Daniel Sutherland in Civil War History
At 7:14 p.m. on an early summer evening in 1966, an EF-5 tornado a half-mile wide barreled over an Indian burial mound at the southwest edge of Topeka, Kansas, and proceeded to slash an eight-mile channel of destruction across the breadth of Kansas’ capital city.
The towering black column packed winds of more than 200 miles an hour as it roared through the community. By the time the twister lifted over Topeka's eastern outskirts about 20 minutes later, a university and approximately 800 homes and buildings had been destroyed. Another 3,000 were damaged. The total cost of the devastation topped $100 million, making the tornado one of the most destructive in American history.
And Hell Followed With It: Life and Death in a Kansas Tornadoreconstructs the spellbinding tale of that epic day. Dozens of people from all walks of life who survived the event have been interviewed; each provides a highly personal and often emotional account of what they saw, felt and heard.
The book also provides a panoramic backdrop of time and place. There’s the Indian legend about the hill that was supposed to shield the city from tornadoes and the curse that destroyed that protection, the history of settlement on the Great Plains and a gritty rendering of everyday life in a largely blue-collar, middle-American community in the mid-1960s. (from topekatornado.com)
I bought an updated copy of probably the best history of the Kansa. While the writing style is rather academic and dry in the beginning, it improves, particulary when Unrau quotes from contemporary sources. One example occurs when describing Kansa living conditions on page 37.
"The obvious lack of family privacy apparently did not bother the Indians, but it left an indelible impression on some white visitors. The Reverend Isaac McCoy complained in 1828 that 'half the village' appreared to crowd into the lodge assigned to him; children cried without interruption, adults screamed wildly, and the air was so saturated with smoke from the fireplaces and tobacco pipes that he was forced to punch a hole in the wall in order to breathe."
When Carry Nation marched into saloons with her hatchet in the early 1900s, patrons barricaded themselves behind closed doors, beat her with a broom, and hurled raw eggs. Twice she was nearly carried away by a lynch mob. What drew this gritty woman to the temperance cause that she eventually personified? In this new biography, Grace retells the life of Nation from her upbringing in Kentucky and devastating first marriage to her ascendancy as a full-time smasher, preacher, lecturer, off-Broadway performer, and, from time to time, jailbird. Nation has often been lampooned for her obsession with "hatchetation," but Grace's biography lets readers see that, in her day, Nation was widely admired as a riveting speaker and offered a model of politically active womanhood at a time when states still legislated whether or not women could wear trousers. The book admirably interweaves early 20th-century religious culture, regional politics, the suffrage and temperance movements, and the woman who worked zealously to unite them all. (Library Journal's Review from Amazon.com)