New Nonfiction Arrivals

Posted on: Tuesday, April 15, 2014 at 5:00:00 pm

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

Come Back Africa

Come Back Africa (Not Rated)

In 1957, Lionel Rogosin followed his calling to South Africa creating Come Back, Africa - a powerful and moving drama exposing the harsh reality of life under the system apartheid. Shooting secretly under the very noses of the feared South African police, Rogosin, his crew and his cast (including journalists/activists Lewis Nkosi, Bloke Modisane, and Can Themba) risked arrest and deportation. Miriam Makeba, whose electrifying appearance in Come Back, Africa launched a legendary career, found herself banned from her country after she traveled to Venice for the movie's premiere. The scenes shot in the vibrant black ghetto of Sophiatown are precious images of a lost world. Nkosi later said of the film, It is a monument.We were able to show the world what South Africa really was like.

Congratulations, By the Way

Congratulations, By the Way: Some Thoughts on Kindness by George Saunders

Three months after George Saunders gave a convocation address at Syracuse University, a transcript of that speech was posted on the website of The New York Times, where its simple, uplifting message struck a deep chord. Within days, it had been shared more than one million times. Why? Because Saunders’s words tap into a desire in all of us to lead kinder, more fulfilling lives. Powerful, funny, and wise, Congratulations, by the way is an inspiring message from one of today’s most influential and original writers.

Also available as an audiobook CD.

Flash Boys

Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt by Michael Lewis

Flash Boys is about a small group of Wall Street guys who figure out that the U.S. stock market has been rigged for the benefit of insiders and that, post–financial crisis, the markets have become not more free but less, and more controlled by the big Wall Street banks. Working at different firms, they come to this realization separately; but after they discover one another, the flash boys band together and set out to reform the financial markets. This they do by creating an exchange in which high-frequency trading—source of the most intractable problems—will have no advantage whatsoever.

The characters in Flash Boys are fabulous, each completely different from what you think of when you think “Wall Street guy.” Several have walked away from jobs in the financial sector that paid them millions of dollars a year. From their new vantage point they investigate the big banks, the world’s stock exchanges, and high-frequency trading firms as they have never been investigated, and expose the many strange new ways that Wall Street generates profits.

The light that Lewis shines into the darkest corners of the financial world may not be good for your blood pressure, because if you have any contact with the market, even a retirement account, this story is happening to you. But in the end, Flash Boys is an uplifting read. Here are people who have somehow preserved a moral sense in an environment where you don’t get paid for that; they have perceived an institutionalized injustice and are willing to go to war to fix it.

Also available as an audiobook CD.

Let the Fire Burn

Let the Fire Burn (Not Rated)

In the astonishingly gripping Let the Fire Burn, director Jason Osder has crafted that rarest of cinematic objects: a found-footage film that unfurls with the tension of a great thriller. On May 13, 1985, a longtime feud between the city of Philadelphia and controversial Black Power group MOVE came to a deadly climax. By order of local authorities, police dropped military-grade explosives onto a MOVE-occupied rowhouse. TV cameras captured the conflagration that quickly escalated and resulted in the tragic deaths of eleven people (including five children) and the destruction of 61 homes. Using only archival news coverage and interviews, first-time filmmaker Osder has brought to life one of the most tumultuous and largely forgotten clashes between government and citizens in modern American history.

Love Life

Love Life by Rob Lowe

When Rob Lowe’s first book, Stories I Only Tell My Friends, was published in 2011, he received the kind of rapturous reviews that writers dream of and rocketed to the top of the bestseller list. Now, in Love Life, he expands his scope, using stories and observations from his life in a poignant and humorous series of true tales about men and women, art and commerce, fathers and sons, addiction and recovery, and sex and love.

Also available as an audiobook CD.

The Most Dangerous Man in America

The Most Dangerous Man in America: The Making of Douglas MacArthur

At times, even his admirers seemed unsure of what to do with General Douglas MacArthur. Imperious, headstrong, and vain, MacArthur matched an undeniable military genius with a massive ego and a rebellious streak that often seemed to destine him for the dustbin of history. Yet despite his flaws, MacArthur is remembered as a brilliant commander whose combined-arms operation in the Pacific—the first in the history of warfare—secured America’s triumph in World War II and changed the course of history. 

In The Most Dangerous Man in America, celebrated historian Mark Perry examines how this paradox of a man overcame personal and professional challenges to lead his countrymen in their darkest hour. As Perry shows, Franklin Roosevelt and a handful of MacArthur’s subordinates made this feat possible, taming MacArthur, making him useful, and finally making him victorious. A gripping, authoritative biography of the Pacific Theater’s most celebrated and misunderstood commander, The Most Dangerous Man in America reveals the secrets of Douglas MacArthur’s success—and the incredible efforts of the men who made it possible.

Secret State of North Korea

Secret State of North Korea (Not Rated)

Just two years into the job and armed with nuclear weapons, North Korea's Kim Jong-un is the world's youngest dictator, ruling one of the world's most isolated countries. Like his father and grandfather, he wants to maintain tight control over what North Koreans see of the world-and what the world sees of North Korea. But with unique access, FRONTLINE goes inside the secret state to explore life under its new ruler and investigate the enigmatic "Morning Star King" as he tries to hold onto power. 

Using new footage smuggled from inside and never-before-told stories from recent defectors living in South Korea, the film offers a rare glimpse at how some North Koreans are defying authority in a country where just being caught with illegal DVDs could mean immediate imprisonment.* 

Youngstown Boys

Youngstown Boys (Not Rated)

Explore the class and power dynamics in college sports through the parallel interconnected journeys of one-time dynamic running back Maurice Clarett and former elite head coach Jim Tressel. Both emerged from the working-class city of Youngstown, Ohio and eventually joined for a magical season at Ohio State University in 2002 that produced the first national football championship for the school in over 30 years. Shortly thereafter though, Clarett was suspended from college football and began a downward spiral that ended with a prison term. Tressel continued at Ohio State for another eight years before his career there also ended in scandal.

Item descriptions from Amazon. *Item description from Shop PBS.

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