New Nonfiction Arrivals

Posted on: Thursday, September 5, 2013 at 2:20:00 pm

Here's a selection of what's new in our nonfiction arrivals. Click an image to view availability or place a hold.

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The Assassination of the Archduke: Sarajevo 1914 and the Romance That Changed the World by Greg King and Sue Woolmans

In the summer of 1914, three great empires dominated Europe: Germany, Russia, and Austria-Hungary. Four years later all had vanished in the chaos of World War I. One event precipitated the conflict, and at its hear was a tragic love story. When Austrian heir Archduke Franz Ferdinand married for love against the wishes of the emperor, he and his wife Sophie were humiliated and shunned, yet they remained devoted to each other and to their children. The two bullets fired in Sarajevo not only ended their love story, but also led to war and a century of conflict.

Set against a backdrop of glittering privilege,The Assassination of the Archdukecombines royal history, touching romance, and political murder in a moving portrait of the end of an era. One hundred years after the event, it offers the startling truth behind the Sarajevo assassinations, including Serbian complicity and examines rumors of conspiracy and official negligence. Events in Sarajevo also doomed the couple’s children to lives of loss, exile, and the horrors of Nazi concentration camps, their plight echoing the horrors unleashed by their parents’ deaths. 

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Old Man River: The Mississippi River in North American History by Paul Schneider

In Old Man River, Paul Schneider tells the story of the river at the center of America’s rich history—the Mississippi. Some fifteen thousand years ago, the majestic river provided Paleolithic humans with the routes by which early man began to explore the continent’s interior. Since then, the river has been the site of historical significance, from the arrival of Spanish and French explorers in the 16th century to the Civil War. George Washington fought his first battle near the river, and Ulysses S. Grant and William T. Sherman both came to President Lincoln’s attention after their spectacular victories on the lower Mississippi.

In the 19th century, home-grown folk heroes such as Daniel Boone and the half-alligator, half-horse, Mike Fink, were creatures of the river. Mark Twain and Herman Melville led their characters down its stream in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and The Confidence-Man. A conduit of real-life American prowess, the Mississippi is also a river of stories and myth.

Schneider traces the history of the Mississippi from its origins in the deep geologic past to the present. Though the busiest waterway on the planet today, the Mississippi remains a paradox—a devastated product of American ingenuity, and a magnificent natural wonder.

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Paul McCartney: In His Own Words from the BBC Audio series In Their Own Words, narrated by Paul McCartney

In interviews ranging from 1968 to 2009, Paul McCartney talks about touring the UK with Wings (which was then a new band), a mid70s offer to reform the Beatles, the early days of the Beatles, and their final breakup. He also discusses his solo albums, receiving the freedom of the City of Liverpool, Christmas with his family, his love of music, and his career since the breakup of the Beatles up to 2009. BBC Archive Voices: shining a light on the icons of our time. BBC Archive Voices features interviews with some of the key figures from the fields of entertainment, sport, politics, and literaturemany of which haven’t been heard since their original transmission. This is a unique window into the past and is a chance for us to hear those who contributed to the richness of our cultural heritage. With access to the entire archive of BBC Radio and television, we can now witness some of the most lively, entertaining, and informative encounters in BBC broadcasting. Due to the age and nature of this archive material, the sound quality may vary.

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Salinger by David Shields and Shane Salerno

For more than fifty years, the ever elusive author of The Catcher in the Rye has been the subject of a relentless stream of newspaper and magazine articles as well as several biographies. Yet all of these attempts have been hampered by a fundamental lack of access and by the persistent recycling of inaccurate information. Salinger remains, astonishingly, an enigma. The complex and contradictory human being behind the myth has never been revealed.

No longer. 

In the eight years since Salinger was begun, and especially in the three years since Salinger’s death, the authors interviewed on five continents more than 200 people, many of whom had previously refused to go on the record about their relationship with Salinger. This oral biography offers direct eyewitness accounts from Salinger’s World War II brothers-in-arms, his family members, his close friends, his lovers, his classmates, his neighbors, his editors, his publishers, his New Yorkercolleagues, and people with whom he had relationships that were secret even to his own family. Shields and Salerno illuminate most brightly the last fifty-six years of Salinger’s life: a period that, until now, had remained completely dark to biographers. Provided unprecedented access to never-before-published photographs (more than 100 throughout the book), diaries, letters, legal records, and secret documents, readers will feel they have, for the first time, gotten beyond Salinger’s meticulously built-up wall. The result is the definitive portrait of one of the most fascinating figures of the twentieth century.

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Scarcity: Why Having Too Little Means So Much by Sendhil Mullainathan and Eldar Shafir

Why do successful people get things done at the last minute? Why does poverty persist? Why do organizations get stuck firefighting? Why do the lonely find it hard to make friends? These questions seem unconnected, yet Sendhil Mullainathan and Eldar Shafir show that they are all are examples of a mind-set produced by scarcity.

Drawing on cutting-edge research from behavioral science and economics, Mullainathan and Shafir show that scarcity creates a similar psychology for everyone struggling to manage with less than they need. Busy people fail to manage their time efficiently for the same reasons the poor and those maxed out on credit cards fail to manage their money. The dynamics of scarcity reveal why dieters find it hard to resist temptation, why students and busy executives mismanage their time, and why sugarcane farmers are smarter after harvest than before. Once we start thinking in terms of scarcity and the strategies it imposes, the problems of modern life come into sharper focus.

Mullainathan and Shafir discuss how scarcity affects our daily lives, recounting anecdotes of their own foibles and making surprising connections that bring this research alive. Their book provides a new way of understanding why the poor stay poor and the busy stay busy, and it reveals not only how scarcity leads us astray but also how individuals and organizations can better manage scarcity for greater satisfaction and success.

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Stories We Tell (Rated PG-13)

Sarah Polley's documentary Stories We Tell finds the director/actress exploring a family secret. She had discovered a few years earlier that her biological father was not actually the person she knew as her father; in an effort to fully understand this long-held family secret, Polley interviews every member of her family, and had the man she thought of as her dad write his version of events and record it, using him reading his story as a recurring voiceover throughout the film. *

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West of Memphis (Rated R)

Although the infamous case of the West Memphis Three has already been the subject of three first-class documentaries from director Joe Berlinger, Amy Berg's West of Memphis again explores the oft-documented incarceration of three teenagers for a triple homicide that many believe they never committed. Co-produced by one of the three supposedly falsely convicted men, West of Memphis lays out the case for their innocence and details how a number of high-profile figures -- including Eddie Vedder, Johnny Depp, and Natalie Maines -- helped raise money and awareness in order to free the trio.*

Item descriptions from Amazon. *Item descriptions from All Movie Guide.

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