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The First Family: Terror, Extortion, Revenge, Murder, and the Birth of the American Mafia

by Mike Dash

Before the notorious Five Families who dominated U.S. organized crime for a bloody half century, there was the one-fingered criminal genius Giuseppe Morello -- known as "The Clutch Hand" -- and his lethal coterie of associates. In The First Family, historian, journalist, and New York Times bestselling author Mike Dash brings to life this little-known story, following the rise of the Mafia in America from the 1890s to the 1920s, from the lawless villages of Sicily to the streets of Little Italy. Using an impressive array of primary sources -- hitherto untapped Secret Service archives, prison records, trial transcripts, and interviews with surviving family members -- this is the first Mafia history that applies scholarly rigor to the story of the Morello syndicate and the birth of organized crime on these shores.

Read Dr. Dolhenty's Review of this Book

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An Intimate Understanding of America's Teenagers: Shaking Hands With Aliens

by Bruce J. Gevirtzman

Alicia is so obsessed with being popular, she does things that would shock her parents, if they knew. Hector is aware the gang that wants him to join may be the death of him, but he will not decline. Sam was a baseball star, but can't play the sport he loves anymore because he is wracked from football injuries, a sport his father will not let him quit. These are just a few of the teenagers readers will "meet," in this candid book authored by a 34-year veteran high school teacher.

Voted Teacher of the Year and Coach of the Year, Bruce Gevirtzman shares with us the results of his years spent talking with teenagers about topics from life and lust to depression and death. Revealing honest, poignant words shared in conversations, classroom talk, interviews, surveys, and journals, Gevirtzman takes us inside the minds of today's youths, and also contrasts them with teenagers of decades past.

Topics include teen thinking and secrets on issues from sex, drinking, and drugs to peer pressure, self-imposed standards, and beliefs about what is important, and painful, in life. Including interviews with fellow teachers, Gevirtzman's book is threaded with one recurring truth: "Sadly, instead of parents and teachers and lawmakers and the public looking out for our kids, today's kids are largely left to fend for themselves," he concludes. Not only will general readers and educators find great insight in this work, it will be of interest to students and scholars of adolescent psychology, clinical psychology, and social work.

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Distracted: The Erosion of Attention and the Coming Dark Age

by Maggie Jackson

Journey with Maggie Jackson as she explores the many ways in which we are eroding our capacity for deep, sustained attention-the building block of intimacy, wisdom, and cultural progress. In her sweeping quest to unravel the nature of attention and detail its erosion, she introduces us to scientists, cartographers, marketers, educators, wired teens, virtual lovers from the telegraph age, and roboticists building smart machines to comfort and care for us. She takes us from the nineteenth-century roots of our mobile, virtual multitasking ways into a darkening future of snippets, glimpses, skimming, McThinking, and mistrust.

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A Slave No More: Two Men Who Escaped to Freedom, Including Their Own Narratives of Emancipation

by David W. Blight

Slave narratives, some of the most powerful records of our past, are extremely rare, with only fifty-five post&endash;Civil War narratives surviving. A mere handful are first-person accounts by slaves who ran away and freed themselves. Now two newly uncovered narratives, and the biographies of the men who wrote them, join that exclusive group with the publication of A Slave No More, a major new addition to the canon of American history. Handed down through family and friends, these narratives tell gripping stories of escape: Through a combination of intelligence, daring, and sheer luck, the men reached the protection of the occupying Union troops. David W. Blight magnifies the drama and significance by prefacing the narratives with each man's life history. Using a wealth of genealogical information, Blight has reconstructed their childhoods as sons of white slaveholders, their service as cooks and camp hands during the Civil War, and their climb to black working-class stability in the north, where they reunited their families.

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Teach Like Your Hair's on Fire: The Methods and Madness Inside Room 56

by Rafe Esquith

From the man whom The New York Times calls "a genius and a saint" comes a revelatory program for educating today's youth. In Teach Like Your Hair's on Fire!, Rafe Esquith reveals the techniques that have made him one of the most acclaimed educators of our time. The two mottoes in Esquith's classroom are "Be Nice, Work Hard," and "There Are No Shortcuts." His students voluntarily come to school at 6:30 in the morning and work until 5:00 in the afternoon. They learn to handle money responsibly, tackle algebra, and travel the country to study history. They pair Hamlet with rock and roll, and read the American classics. Teach Like Your Hair's on Fire! is a brilliant and inspiring road map for parents, teachers, and anyone who cares about the future success of our nation's children.

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Boom!: Voices of the Sixties

by Tom Brokaw

In The Greatest Generation, his landmark bestseller, Tom Brokaw eloquently evoked for America what it meant to come of age during the Great Depression and the Second World War. Now, in Boom!, one of America's premier journalists gives us an epic portrait of another defining era in America as he brings to life the tumultuous Sixties, a fault line in American history. The voices and stories of both famous people and ordinary citizens come together as Brokaw takes us on a memorable journey through a remarkable time, exploring how individual lives and the national mindset were affected by a controversial era and showing how the aftershocks of the Sixties continue to resound in our lives today. In the reflections of a generation, Brokaw also discovers lessons that might guide us in the years ahead.

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The Society & Culture Bookshelf


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