A passionate, thought provoking exploration of walking as a political and cultural activity, from the author of Men Explain Things to Me.
Drawing together many histories–of anatomical evolution and city design, of treadmills and labyrinths, of walking clubs and sexual mores–Rebecca Solnit creates a fascinating portrait of the range of possibilities presented by walking. Arguing that the history of walking includes walking for pleasure as well as for political, aesthetic, and social meaning, Solnit focuses on the walkers whose everyday and extreme acts have shaped our culture, from philosophers to poets to mountaineers. She profiles some of the most significant walkers in history and fiction–from Wordsworth to Gary Snyder,
Wally Funk was among the Mercury 13, the first group of American pilots to complete NASA’s 1961 Women in Space program. Funk breezed through the rigorous physical and mental tests, her scores beating those of many of the male candidates—even John Glenn. Just one week before Funk was to enter the final phase of training, the entire program was abruptly cancelled. Politics and prejudice meant that none of the more-than-qualified women ever went to space. Undeterred, Funk went on to become one of America’s first female aviation inspectors and civilian flight instructors, though her dream of being an astronaut never dimmed.
Bert Lewyn was still a teenager when he and his parents were arrested by the Gestapo. It was 1942 in wartime Berlin. While his parents were sent to a concentration camp, Bert’s youth and training as a machinist made him useful. He was sent to work in a weapons factory. He received one postcard from his parents, then never heard from them again.
Through a combination of luck and will to survive, Bert fled the factory and lived underground in Berlin. By hook or crook, he found shelter, sometimes with compassionate civilians, sometimes with others who found his skills useful,
The gripping true story of the only women to fly in combat in World War II—from Elizabeth Wein, award-winning author of Code Name Verity
In the early years of World War II, Josef Stalin issued an order that made the Soviet Union the first country in the world to allow female pilots to fly in combat. Led by Marina Raskova, these three regiments, including the 588th Night Bomber Regiment—nicknamed the “night witches”—faced intense pressure and obstacles both in the sky and on the ground. Some of these young women perished in flames. Many of them were in their teens when they went to war.
This absorbing, heartfelt work uncovers the story of the real dancer behind Degas’s now-iconic sculpture, and the struggles of late nineteenth-century Parisian life.
She is famous throughout the world, but how many know her name? You can admire her figure in Washington, Paris, London, New York, Dresden, or Copenhagen, but where is her grave? We know only her age, fourteen, and the work that she did—because it was already grueling work, at an age when children today are sent to school. In the 1880s, she danced as a “little rat” at the Paris Opera, and what is often a dream for young girls now wasn’t a dream for her.
The Lake on Fire is an epic narrative that begins among 19th century Jewish immigrants on a failing Wisconsin farm. Dazzled by lore of the American dream, Chaya and her strange, brilliant, young brother Asher stow away to Chicago; what they discover there, however, is a Gilded Age as empty a façade as the beautiful Columbian Exposition luring thousands to Lake Michigan’s shore. The pair scrapes together a meager living–Chaya in a cigar factory; Asher, roaming the city and stealing books and jewelry to share with the poor, until they find different paths of escape.
An examination of family,