Check out our newest selections, temporarily shelved on the 3rd floor new book shelves.

Broke, USA: From Pawnshops to Poverty, Inc. – How the Working Poor Became Big Business

by Gary Rivlin (2010)

From the author of the New York Times Notable Book of the Year Drive By comes a unique and riveting exploration of one of America’s largest and fastest-growing industries—the business of poverty. Broke, USA is a Fast Food Nation for the “poverty industry” that will also appeal to readers of Barbara Ehrenreich (Nickel and Dimed) and David Shipler (The Working Poor).

Broke, USA is Gary Rivlin’s riveting report from the economic fringes. From the annual meeting of the national check cashers association in Las Vegas to a tour of the foreclosure-riddled neighborhoods of Dayton, Ohio, here is a subprime Fast Food Nation featuring an unforgettable cast of characters and memorable scenes. Rivlin profiles players like a former small-town Tennessee debt collector whose business offering cash advances to the working poor has earned him a net worth in the hundreds of millions, and legendary Wall Street dealmaker Sandy Weill, who rode a subprime loan business into control of the nation’s largest bank. Rivlin parallels their stories with the tale of those committed souls fighting back against the major corporations, chain franchises, and newly hatched enterprises that fleece the country’s hardworking waitresses, warehouse workers, and mall clerks.  Timely, shocking, and powerful, Broke, USA offers a much-needed look at why our country is in a financial mess and gives a voice to the millions of ordinary Americans left devastated in the wake of the economic collapse.  (description from publisher)

1861 : the Civil War awakening / Adam Goodheart.

As the United States marks the 150th anniversary of our defining national drama, 1861 presents a gripping and original account of how the Civil War began.

1861 is an epic of courage and heroism beyond the battlefields. Early in that fateful year, a second American revolution unfolded, inspiring a new generation to reject their parents’ faith in compromise and appeasement, to do the unthinkable in the name of an ideal. It set Abraham Lincoln on the path to greatness and millions of slaves on the road to freedom.

The book introduces us to a heretofore little-known cast of Civil War heroes—among them an acrobatic militia colonel, an explorer’s wife, an idealistic band of German immigrants, a regiment of New York City firemen, a community of Virginia slaves, and a young college professor who would one day become president. Adam Goodheart takes us from the corridors of the White House to the slums of Manhattan, from the mouth of the Chesapeake to the deserts of Nevada, from Boston Common to Alcatraz Island, vividly evoking the Union at this moment of ultimate crisis and decision. (description from the publisher)

The fiery trial : Abraham Lincoln and American slavery / Eric Foner.

In this landmark work of deep scholarship and insight, Eric Foner gives us the definitive history of Lincoln and the end of slavery in America. Foner begins with Lincoln’s youth in Indiana and Illinois and follows the trajectory of his career across an increasingly tense and shifting political terrain from Illinois to Washington, D.C. Although “naturally anti-slavery” for as long as he can remember, Lincoln scrupulously holds to the position that the Constitution protects the institution in the original slave states. But the political landscape is transformed in 1854 when the Kansas-Nebraska Act makes the expansion of slavery a national issue. A man of considered words and deliberate actions, Lincoln navigates the dynamic politics deftly, taking measured steps, often along a path forged by abolitionists and radicals in his party. Lincoln rises to leadership in the new Republican Party by calibrating his politics to the broadest possible antislavery coalition. As president of a divided nation and commander in chief at war, displaying a similar compound of pragmatism and principle, Lincoln finally embraces what he calls the Civil War’s “fundamental and astounding” result: the immediate, uncompensated abolition of slavery and recognition of blacks as American citizens. Foner’s Lincoln emerges as a leader, one whose greatness lies in his capacity for moral and political growth through real engagement with allies and critics alike. This powerful work will transform our understanding of the nation’s greatest president and the issue that mattered most. (description from publisher)

The philosophical actor : a practical meditation for practicing theatre artists / Donna Soto-Morettini

There have been many books published on acting, actor training, and practical theories for preparing for a role, but none of these books have ever looked philosophically at the language and the concepts that we use when we talk about acting. The Philosophical Actoris the first attempt to grapple with the fundamental questions of truth, art, and human nature unexamined in past treatments, from the first great essay by Diderot to the exhaustive system described by Stanislavski. With wide appeal to actors, directors, acting students, acting teachers and trainers, Donna Soto-Morettini draws from twenty-five years of experience as an acting teacher and director to introduce innovative ways of thinking about acting. (description from publisher)

The lost boyz : a dark side of graffiti / Justin Rollins ; foreword Noel ‘Razor’ Smith.

For those who equate graffiti tagging with the cosy quirkiness of Banksy or the colourful artistry of wasteground murals – this book will be a real eye-opener. ‘The Lost Boyz documents Justin’s road to change and redemption. This is the story of almost feral youth, spraying their mark on the urban chaos of pre-millenium London. A story of what it’s like to grow up as a confused and mentally unstable child of mixed race in a predominantly white area. A story of mental torture, racism and extreme violence. The Lost Boyz takes the reader through the dirty back streets and dark alleys of south London where vicious gangs of graffiti taggers fought an all-out turf war that left many victims and casualties in its wake. The Lost Boyz squandered their youth in a nihilistic rush towards oblivion. And some did not survive the journey. Justin Rollins was one of the lucky ones…He spent years in prison before managing to wrest back some control over his life. Now in his mid 20s Justin is a changed man, hardly recognisable (both physically and mentally) to the youth I first met. He now has a young daughter of his own and is reconciled with the family he once felt so distant from. He no longer drinks or takes drugs, and nor does he see himself as separate from the rest of society. In writing this book, which was a long and painful journey for him, Justin hopes to lay his ghosts of the past to rest. And if it serves as a warning to even one kid who may be starting out on the same road, then it is a job well done’: Noel ‘Razor’ Smith, crime writer (from the Foreword) .