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Once known as the "Pottery Capital of the World," East Liverpool boasted some 300 potteries in its heyday, along with many ancillary industries. When British immigrant Thomas Bennett found promising clay deposits along the riverfront, he opened the city's first one-kiln pottery in 1839. From that humble beginning, the industry burgeoned, eventually spreading up the hills and across the river. Besides sturdy kitchenware, hotel china, toilet ware, and ceramic doorknobs and insulators, the potteries produced such elegant designs as Lotus Ware, Lu-Ray, and Fiesta Ware. The men, women, and children who worked in the potteries also built a town with a busy and complex social life. Churches, schools, cultural and service organizations, theaters, and restaurants filled the downtown area. East Liverpool struggled after the collapse of the pottery industry in the second half of the 20th century but has persevered into the 21st century with hope for the future.
From a former marine and Yale Law School graduate, a probing look at the struggles of America’s white working class through the author’s own story of growing up in a poor Rust Belt town. Hillbilly Elegy is a passionate and personal analysis of a culture in crisis—that of poor, white Americans. The disintegration of this group, a process that has been slowly occurring now for over forty years, has been reported with growing frequency and alarm, but has never before been written about as searingly from the inside. In HillbillyElegy, J.D. Vance tells the true story of what a social, regional, and class decline feels like when you were born with it hanging around your neck. The Vance family story began with hope in postwar America. J.D.’s grandparents were “dirt poor and in love” and moved north from Kentucky’s Appalachia region to Ohio in the hopes of escaping the dreadful poverty around them. They raised a middle-class family, and eventually one of their grandchildren would graduate from Yale Law School, a conventional marker of success in achieving generational upward mobility. But as the family saga of Hillbilly Elegy plays out, we learn that J.D.’s grandparents, aunt, uncle, sister, and, most of all, his mother struggled profoundly with the demands of their new middle-class life, never fully escaping the legacy of abuse, alcoholism, poverty, and trauma so characteristic of their part of America. With piercing honesty, Vance shows how he himself still carries around the demons of his chaotic family history. A deeply moving memoir, with its share of humor and vividly colorful figures, Hillbilly Elegy is the story of how upward mobility really feels. And it is an urgent and troubling meditation on the loss of the American dream for a large segment of this country.
2016 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST FOR NONFICTION A 2016 NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER A NEWSDAY TOP 10 BOOK OF THE YEAR A KIRKUS BEST BOOK OF 2016 One of "6 Books to Understand Trump's Win" according to the New York Times the day after the election The National Book Award Finalist and New York Times bestseller that became a guide and balm for a country struggling to understand the election of Donald Trump When Donald Trump won the 2016 presidential election, a bewildered nation turned to Strangers in Their Own Land to understand what Trump voters were thinking when they cast their ballots. Arlie Hochschild, one of the most influential sociologists of her generation, had spent the preceding five years immersed in the community around Lake Charles, Louisiana, a Tea Party stronghold. As Jedediah Purdy put it in the New Republic, “Hochschild is fascinated by how people make sense of their lives. . . . [Her] attentive, detailed portraits . . . reveal a gulf between Hochchild’s ‘strangers in their own land’ and a new elite.” Already a favorite common read book in communities and on campuses across the country and called “humble and important” by David Brooks, Hochschild’s book has been lauded by Noam Chomsky, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, and countless others. The paperback edition will feature a new introduction by the author reflecting on the election of Donald Trump and the other events that have unfolded both in Louisiana and around the country since the hardcover edition was published, and will also include a readers’ group guide in the back of the book.
Americans tend to cast slavery as a pre-modern institution—the nation's original sin, perhaps, but isolated in time and divorced from America's later success. But to do so robs the millions who suffered in bondage of their full legacy. As historian Edward Baptist reveals in The Half Has Never Been Told, the expansion of slavery in the first eight decades after American independence drove the evolution and modernization of the United States. In the span of a single lifetime, the South grew from a narrow coastal strip of worn-out tobacco plantations to a continental cotton empire, and the United States grew into a modern, industrial, and capitalist economy. Until the Civil War, Baptist explains, the most important American economic innovations were ways to make slavery ever more profitable. Through forced migration and torture, slave owners extracted continual increases in efficiency from enslaved African Americans. Thus the United States seized control of the world market for cotton, the key raw material of the Industrial Revolution, and became a wealthy nation with global influence. Told through intimate slave narratives, plantation records, newspapers, and the words of politicians, entrepreneurs, and escaped slaves, The Half Has Never Been Told offers a radical new interpretation of American history. It forces readers to reckon with the violence at the root of American supremacy, but also with the survival and resistance that brought about slavery's end—and created a culture that sustains America's deepest dreams of freedom.
Where is American art in the new millennium? At the heart of all cultural developments is diversity. Access through recent technology engenders interaction with artists from around the world. The visual arts in the United States are bold and pulsating with new ideas.
This groundbreaking work consists of hand-colored, life-size prints, made from engraved plates measuring around 39 by 26 inches (99 by 66 cm). This is the first of seven volumes. Audubon identified 25 new species over his career and is known for portraying animals in their real-life habitats. In contrast to other wildlife artists of his day, Audubon painted animals as if caught in motion—particularly feeding, hunting or escaping predators. The seven-volume Birds of America includes images of six now-extinct birds: the Carolina parakeet, passenger pigeon, Labrador duck, great auk, Esquimaux curlew and pinnated grouse. Nearly all later ornithological works were inspired by Audubon's artistry and high standards, and Birds of America is considered one of the greatest examples of book art. Numerous parks, towns and other places are named in his honor.
When Henry Luce announced in 1941 that we were living in an “American century,” he believed the international popularity of American culture made a world favorable to U.S. interests. For decades, his claim seemed to hold. Now, in the digital twenty-first century, the “American century” has been superseded, as American movies, music, video games, and television shows are received, understood, and transformed in unexpected ways. How do we make sense of this shift? Built on a decade of fieldwork in Cairo, Casablanca, and Tehran, Brian T. Edwards maps new routes of cultural exchange that are unpredictable, accelerated, and full of diversions. Shaped by the digital revolution, these paths are entwined with the growing fragility of American “soft” power. They indicate an era after the American century, in which popular American products and phenomena, such as comic books, teen romances, social networking sites, and American ways of expressing sexuality, are stripped of their American associations and creatively re-presented in very different terms. A film like Argo or superhero comics is then imbibed with new meanings. Arguing against those in both scholarly and policy circles who talk about a world in which American culture is merely replicated or appropriated, Edwards focuses instead on creative moments of uptake, in which Arabs and Iranians make something unexpected. He argues that these products do more then extend the reach of the original. They reflect a world in which culture endlessly circulates and gathers new meanings.
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