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Virtual Library Display - “Women's History Month" eBooks & eAudiobooks available from OverDrive

The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America's Shining Women

"the glowing ghosts of the radium girls haunt us still."—NPR Books

For fans of Hidden Figures, comes the incredible true story of the women heroes who were exposed to radium in factories across the U.S. in the early 20th century, and their brave and groundbreaking battle to strengthen workers' rights, even as the fatal poison claimed their own lives...

The Curies' newly discovered element of radium makes gleaming headlines across the nation as the fresh face of beauty and wonder drug of the medical community. From body lotion to tonic water, the popular new element shines bright in the otherwise dark years of the First World War.

Meanwhile, hundreds of girls toil amidst the glowing dust of the radium-dial factories. The glittering chemical covers their bodies from head to toe; they light up the night like industrious fireflies. With such a coveted job, these "shining girls" are the luckiest alive — until they begin to fall mysteriously ill.

But the factories that once offered golden opportunities are now ignoring all claims of the gruesome side effects, and the women's cries of corruption. And as the fatal poison of the radium takes hold, the brave shining girls find themselves embroiled in one of the biggest scandals of America's early 20th century, and in a groundbreaking battle for workers' rights that will echo for centuries to come.

Written with a sparkling voice and breakneck pace, The Radium Girls fully illuminates the inspiring young women exposed to the "wonder" substance of radium, and their awe-inspiring strength in the face of almost impossible circumstances. Their courage and tenacity led to life-changing regulations, research into nuclear bombing, and ultimately saved hundreds of thousands of lives...

Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy: Four Women Undercover in the Civil War

Karen Abbott, the New York Times bestselling author of Sin in the Second City and "pioneer of sizzle history" (USA Today), tells the spellbinding true story of four women who risked everything to become spies during the Civil War.

Karen Abbott illuminates one of the most fascinating yet little known aspects of the Civil War: the stories of four courageous women—a socialite, a farmgirl, an abolitionist, and a widow—who were spies.

After shooting a Union soldier in her front hall with a pocket pistol, Belle Boyd became a courier and spy for the Confederate army, using her charms to seduce men on both sides. Emma Edmonds cut off her hair and assumed the identity of a man to enlist as a Union private, witnessing the bloodiest battles of the Civil War. The beautiful widow, Rose O'Neale Greenhow, engaged in affairs with powerful Northern politicians to gather intelligence for the Confederacy, and used her young daughter to send information to Southern generals. Elizabeth Van Lew, a wealthy Richmond abolitionist, hid behind her proper Southern manners as she orchestrated a far-reaching espionage ring, right under the noses of suspicious rebel detectives.

Using a wealth of primary source material and interviews with the spies' descendants, Abbott seamlessly weaves the adventures of these four heroines throughout the tumultuous years of the war. With a cast of real-life characters including Walt Whitman, Nathaniel Hawthorne, General Stonewall Jackson, detective Allan Pinkerton, Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln, and Emperor Napoleon III, Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy draws you into the war as these daring women lived it.

Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy contains 39 black & white photos and 3 maps.

Trainwreck: The Women We Love to Hate, Mock, and Fear . . . and Why

She's everywhere once you start looking for her: the trainwreck.

She's Britney Spears shaving her head, Whitney Houston saying, "crack is whack," and Amy Winehouse, dying in front of millions. But the trainwreck is also as old (and as meaningful) as feminism itself.
From Mary Wollstonecraft—who, for decades after her death, was more famous for her illegitimate child and suicide attempts than for A Vindication of the Rights of Woman—to Charlotte Brontë, Billie Holiday, Sylvia Plath, and even Hillary Clinton, Sady Doyle's Trainwreck dissects a centuries-old phenomenon and asks what it means now, in a time when we have unprecedented access to celebrities and civilians alike, and when women are pushing harder than ever against the boundaries of what it means to "behave."

Where did these women come from? What are their crimes? And what does it mean for the rest of us? For an age when any form of self-expression can be the one that ends you, Sady Doyle's book is as fierce and intelligent as it is funny and compassionate—an essential, timely, feminist anatomy of the female trainwreck.

Code Girls: The Untold Story of the American Women Code Breakers of World War II

The award-winning national bestseller about the American women who secretly served as codebreakers during World War II—a "prodigiously researched and engrossing" (New York Times) book that "shines a light on a hidden chapter of American history" (Denver Post).
Recruited by the U.S. Army and Navy from small towns and elite colleges, more than ten thousand women served as codebreakers during World War II. While their brothers and boyfriends took up arms, these women moved to Washington and learned the meticulous work of code-breaking. Their efforts shortened the war, saved countless lives, and gave them access to careers previously denied to them. A strict vow of secrecy nearly erased their efforts from history; now, through dazzling research and interviews with surviving code girls, bestselling author Liza Mundy brings to life this riveting and vital story of American courage, service, and scientific accomplishment.

Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race

The phenomenal true story of the black female mathematicians at NASA whose calculations helped fuel some of America's greatest achievements in space. Soon to be a major motion picture starring Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monae, Kirsten Dunst, and Kevin Costner.

Before John Glenn orbited the earth, or Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, a group of dedicated female mathematicians known as "human computers" used pencils, slide rules and adding machines to calculate the numbers that would launch rockets, and astronauts, into space.

Among these problem-solvers were a group of exceptionally talented African American women, some of the brightest minds of their generation. Originally relegated to teaching math in the South's segregated public schools, they were called into service during the labor shortages of World War II, when America's aeronautics industry was in dire need of anyone who had the right stuff. Suddenly, these overlooked math whizzes had a shot at jobs worthy of their skills, and they answered Uncle Sam's call, moving to Hampton, Virginia and the fascinating, high-energy world of the Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory.

Even as Virginia's Jim Crow laws required them to be segregated from their white counterparts, the women of Langley's all-black "West Computing" group helped America achieve one of the things it desired most: a decisive victory over the Soviet Union in the Cold War, and complete domination of the heavens.

Starting in World War II and moving through to the Cold War, the Civil Rights Movement and the Space Race, Hidden Figures follows the interwoven accounts of Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson and Christine Darden, four African American women who participated in some of NASA's greatest successes. It chronicles their careers over nearly three decades they faced challenges, forged alliances and used their intellect to change their own lives, and their country's future.

Sign My Name to Freedom: A Memoir of a Pioneering Life

In Betty Reid Soskin's 96 years of living, she has been a witness to a grand sweep of American history. When she was born in 1921, the lynching of African-Americans was a national epidemic, blackface minstrel shows were the most popular American form of entertainment, white women had only just won the right to vote, and most African-Americans in the Deep South could not vote at all. From her great-grandmother, who had been enslaved until her mid-20s, Betty heard stories of slavery and the times of terror and struggle for black folk that followed. In her lifetime, Betty has watched the nation begin to confront its race and gender biases when forced to come together in the World War II era; seen our differences nearly break us apart again in the upheavals of the civil rights and Black Power eras; and, finally, lived long enough to witness both the election of an African-American president and the re-emergence of a militant, racist far right.

The child of proud Louisiana Creole parents who refused to bow down to Southern discrimination, Betty was raised in the Bay Area black community before the great westward migration of World War II. After working in the civilian home front effort in the war years, she and her husband, Mel Reid, helped break down racial boundaries by moving into a previously all-white community east of the Oakland hills, where they raised four children while resisting the prejudices against the family that many of her neighbors held.

With Mel, she opened up one of the first Bay Area record stores in Berkeley both owned by African-Americans and dedicated to the distribution of African-American music. Her volunteer work in rehabilitating the community where the record shop began eventually led her to a paid position as a state legislative aide, helping to plan the innovative Rosie the Riveter/WWII Home Front National Historical Park in Richmond, California, then to a "second" career as the oldest park ranger in the history of the National Park Service. In between, she used her talents as a singer and songwriter to interpret and chronicle the great American social upheavals that marked the 1960s.

In 2003, Betty displayed a new talent when she created the popular blog CBreaux Speaks, sharing the sometimes fierce, sometimes gently persuasive, but always brightly honest story of her long journey through an American and African-American life. Blending together selections from many of Betty's hundreds of blog entries with interviews, letters, and speeches, Sign My Name to Freedom invites you along on that journey, through the words and thoughts of a national treasure who has never stopped looking at herself, the nation, or the world with fresh eyes.

A Woman of No Importance: The Untold Story of the American Spy Who Helped Win World War II

A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
Chosen as a BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR by NPR, the New York Public Library, Amazon, the Seattle Times, the Washington Independent Review of Books, PopSugar, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, BookBrowse, the Spectator, and the Times of London
Winner of the Plutarch Award for Best Biography

"Excellent...This book is as riveting as any thriller, and as hard to put down." — The New York Times Book Review
"A compelling biography of a masterful spy, and a reminder of what can be done with a few brave people — and a little resistance." - NPR
"A meticiulous history that reads like a thriller." - Ben Macintyre
A never-before-told story of Virginia Hall, the American spy who changed the course of World War II, from the author of Clementine.
In 1942, the Gestapo sent out an urgent transmission: "She is the most dangerous of all Allied spies. We must find and destroy her."
The target in their sights was Virginia Hall, a Baltimore socialite who talked her way into Special Operations Executive, the spy organization dubbed Winston Churchill's "Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare." She became the first Allied woman deployed behind enemy lines and—despite her prosthetic leg—helped to light the flame of the French Resistance, revolutionizing secret warfare as we know it.
Virginia established vast spy networks throughout France, called weapons and explosives down from the skies, and became a linchpin for the Resistance. Even as her face covered wanted posters and a bounty was placed on her head, Virginia refused order after order to evacuate. She finally escaped through a death-defying hike over the Pyrenees into Spain, her cover blown. But she plunged back in, adamant that she had more lives to save, and led a victorious guerilla campaign, liberating swathes of France from the Nazis after D-Day.
Based on new and extensive research, Sonia Purnell has for the first time uncovered the full secret life of Virginia Hall—an astounding and inspiring story of heroism, spycraft, resistance, and personal triumph over shocking adversity. A Woman of No Importance is the breathtaking story of how one woman's fierce persistence helped win the war.

The Widow Washington: The Life of Mary Washington

The Widow Washington is the first life of Mary Ball Washington, George Washington's mother, based on archival sources. Her son's biographers have, for the most part, painted her as self-centered and crude, a trial and an obstacle to her oldest child. But the records tell a very different story. Mary Ball, the daughter of a wealthy planter and a formerly indentured servant, was orphaned young and grew up working hard, practicing frugality and piety. Stepping into Virginia's upper class, she married an older man, the planter Augustine Washington, with whom she had five children before his death eleven years later. As a widow deprived of most of her late husband's properties, Mary struggled to raise her children, but managed to secure them places among Virginia's elite. In her later years, she and her wealthy son George had a contentious relationship, often disagreeing over money, with George dismissing as imaginary her fears of poverty and helplessness.Yet Mary Ball Washington had a greater impact on George than mothers of that time and place usually had on their sons. Martha Saxton's The Widow Washington is a necessary and deeply insightful corrective, telling the story of Mary's long, arduous life on its own terms, and not treating her as her son's satellite.

Lady Clementine

From Marie Benedict, the New York Times bestselling author of The Only Woman in the Room! An incredible novel that focuses on one of the people with the most influence during World War I and World War II: Clementine Churchill.

In 1909, Clementine steps off a train with her new husband, Winston. An angry woman emerges from the crowd to attack, shoving him in the direction of an oncoming train. Just before he stumbles, Clementine grabs him by his suit jacket. This will not be the last time Clementine Churchill will save her husband.

Lady Clementine is the ferocious story of the ambitious woman beside Winston Churchill, the story of a partner who did not flinch through the sweeping darkness of war, and who would not surrender to expectations or to enemies.

Lady in Waiting: My Extraordinary Life in the Shadow of the Crown

Discover untold secrets with this extraordinary memoir of drama and tragedy by Anne Glenconner—a close member of the royal circle and lady-in-waiting to Princess Margaret. Anne Glenconner has been at the center of the royal circle from childhood, when she met and befriended the future Queen Elizabeth II and her sister, the Princess Margaret. Though the firstborn child of the 5th Earl of Leicester, who controlled one of the largest estates in England, as a daughter she was deemed "the greatest disappointment" and unable to inherit. Since then she has needed all her resilience to survive court life with her sense of humor intact.A unique witness to landmark moments in royal history, Maid of Honor at Queen Elizabeth's coronation, and a lady in waiting to Princess Margaret until her death in 2002, Anne's life has encompassed extraordinary drama and tragedy. In Lady in Waiting, she will share many intimate royal stories from her time as Princess Margaret's closest confidante as well as her own battle for survival: her broken-off first engagement on the basis of her "mad blood"; her 54-year marriage to the volatile, unfaithful Colin Tennant, Lord Glenconner, who left his fortune to a former servant; the death in adulthood of two of her sons; a third son she nursed back from a six-month coma following a horrific motorcycle accident. Through it all, Anne has carried on, traveling the world with the royal family, including visiting the White House, and developing the Caribbean island of Mustique as a safe harbor for the rich and famous-hosting Mick Jagger, David Bowie, Raquel Welch, and many other politicians, aristocrats, and celebrities.With unprecedented insight into the royal family, Lady in Waiting is a witty, candid, dramatic, at times heart-breaking personal story capturing life in a golden cage for a woman with no inheritance.New York Times BestsellerUSA Today BestsellerThe Sunday Times BestsellerThe Globe and Mail BestsellerABA Indie BestsellerThe Times (UK) Memoir of the YearOne of Newsweek's Most Anticipated Books of 2020

Becoming

An intimate, powerful, and inspiring memoir by the former First Lady of the United States

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
WATCH THE EMMY-NOMINATED NETFLIX ORIGINAL DOCUMENTARY
OPRAH'S BOOK CLUB PICK • NAACP IMAGE AWARD WINNER • ONE OF ESSENCE'S 50 MOST IMPACTFUL BLACK BOOKS OF THE PAST 50 YEARS
In a life filled with meaning and accomplishment, Michelle Obama has emerged as one of the most iconic and compelling women of our era. As First Lady of the United States of America—the first African American to serve in that role—she helped create the most welcoming and inclusive White House in history, while also establishing herself as a powerful advocate for women and girls in the U.S. and around the world, dramatically changing the ways that families pursue healthier and more active lives, and standing with her husband as he led America through some of its most harrowing moments. Along the way, she showed us a few dance moves, crushed Carpool Karaoke, and raised two down-to-earth daughters under an unforgiving media glare.

In her memoir, a work of deep reflection and mesmerizing storytelling, Michelle Obama invites readers into her world, chronicling the experiences that have shaped her—from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive balancing the demands of motherhood and work, to her time spent at the world's most famous address. With unerring honesty and lively wit, she describes her triumphs and her disappointments, both public and private, telling her full story as she has lived it—in her own words and on her own terms. Warm, wise, and revelatory, Becoming is the deeply personal reckoning of a woman of soul and substance who has steadily defied expectations—and whose story inspires us to do the same.

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Virtual Library Display - "Irish American Heritage Month" - eBooks available from eBook Central

The Columbia Guide to Irish American History

Once seen as threats to mainstream society, Irish Americans have become an integral part of the American story. More than 40 million Americans claim Irish descent, and the culture and traditions of Ireland and Irish Americans have left an indelible mark on U.S. society. Timothy J. Meagher fuses an overview of Irish American history with an analysis of historians' debates, an annotated bibliography, a chronology of critical events, and a glossary discussing crucial individuals, organizations, and dates. He addresses a range of key issues in Irish American history from the first Irish settlements in the seventeenth century through the famine years in the nineteenth century to the volatility of 1960s America and beyond. The result is a definitive guide to understanding the complexities and paradoxes that have defined the Irish American experience. Throughout the work, Meagher invokes comparisons to Irish experiences in Canada, Britain, and Australia to challenge common perceptions of Irish American history. He examines the shifting patterns of Irish migration, discusses the role of the Catholic church in the Irish immigrant experience, and considers the Irish American influence in U.S. politics and modern urban popular culture. Meagher pays special attention to Irish American families and the roles of men and women, the emergence of the Irish as a "governing class" in American politics, the paradox of their combination of fervent American patriotism and passionate Irish nationalism, and their complex and sometimes tragic relations with African and Asian Americans.

Ourselves Alone: Women's Emigration from Ireland, 1885-1920

In early April of 1888, sixteen-year-old Mary Ann Donovan stood alone on the quays of Queenstown in county Cork waiting to board a ship for Boston in far-off America. She was but one of almost 700,000 young, usually unmarried women, traveling alone, who left their homes in Ireland during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries in a move unprecedented in the annals of European emigration. Using a wide variety of sources -- many of which appear here for the first time -- including personal reminiscences, interviews, oral histories, letter, and autobiographies as well as data from Irish and American census and emigration repots, Janet Nolan makes a sustained analysis of this migration of a generation of young women that puts a new light on Irish social and economic history. By the late nineteenth century changes in Irish life combined to make many young women unneeded in their households and communities; rather than accept a marginal existence, they elected to seek a better life in a new world, often with the encouragement and help of a female relative who had already emigrated. Mary Ann Donovan's journey was representative of thousands of journeys made by Irish women who could truly claim that they had seized control over their lives, by themselves, alone. This book tells their story.

Luck and the Irish: A Brief History of Change From 1970

Roy Foster is one of Ireland's leading historians, the author of the much acclaimed two-volume biography of Yeats as well as the definitive history Modern Ireland, which has been hailed as "dazzling" (New York Times Book Review) and "elegant, erudite, wise, witty" (Irish Times). Now, this brilliant writer offers a "short and combative" account of Ireland's astonishing transformation over the last three decades.Has there really been an "economic miracle"? Where does the explosion of cultural energy in music, literature, and theater come from? Has the power of the Catholic Church really crumbled? Focusing largely on contemporary events, living people, current controversies, and popular culture, Luck and the Irish explores these questions and raises other provocative questions of its own. Foster looks at the astonishing volte-face undertaken by Sinn Fein, eventually taking office in a state they had once fought to destroy. He describes how Catholicism, once the bedrock of Irish identity, has been decisively compromised, as evidenced by the exploitation and abuse scandals and the drastic decline in devotions. At the same time, the position of women in Irish society has been transformed, with the growth of feminism, a revolution in sexual attitudes, far more women in the work force, the ascendancy of President Mary Robinson, and the movement of women to front-rank Cabinet posts--all of which have put the position of Irish women ahead of that in many European nations.Many old molds have been broken in Irish society over the last 30 years, and the immediate results have been breath-taking. But are these developments really as permanent or even as beneficial as they appear? Everyone curious about the recent past, the burgeoning present, and the unclear future of Ireland will want to read this superbly written and deeply thoughtful book.

A Journey into Ireland's Literary Revival

A great tide of literary invention swept through Ireland between the 1890s and the 1920s. This engrossing, illuminating, and beautifully illustrated guidebook explores the personal and professional histories of writers such as W. B. Yeats, Lady Gregory, John Millington Synge, and Sean O’Casey and examines their relationships with the people, culture, and landscapes of Ireland. From Galway and the Aran Islands, to County Mayo and County Sligo, and from Dublin to Wicklow, this guide to the places that inspired Irish Literary Revival showcases the locations where many of Ireland’s finest writers shaped an enduring vision of the country.

A Short History of Ireland

This third edition of John O'Beirne Ranelagh's classic history of Ireland incorporates contemporary political and economic events as well as the latest archaeological and DNA discoveries. Comprehensively revised and updated throughout, it considers Irish history from the earliest times through the Celts, Cromwell, plantations, famine, Independence, the Omagh bomb, peace initiatives, and financial collapse. It profiles the key players in Irish history from Diarmuid MacMurrough to Gerry Adams and casts new light on the events, North and South, that have shaped Ireland today. Ireland's place in the modern world and its relationship with Britain, the USA and Europe is also examined with a fresh and original eye. Worldwide interest in Ireland continues to increase, but whereas it once focused on violence in Northern Ireland, the tumultuous financial events in the South have opened fresh debates and drawn fresh interest. This is a new history for a new era.

An Economic History of Ireland since Independence

This book provides a cogent summary of the economic history of the Irish Free State/Republic of Ireland. It takes the Irish story from the 1920s right through to the present, providing an excellent case study of one of many European states which obtained independence during and after the First World War. The book covers the transition to protectionism and import substitution between the 1930s and the 1950s and the second major transition to trade liberalisation from the 1960s. In a wider European context, the Irish experience since EEC entry in 1973 was the most extreme European example of the achievement of industrialisation through foreign direct investment. The eager adoption of successive governments in recent decades of a neo-liberal economic model, more particularly de-regulation in banking and construction, has recently led the Republic of Ireland to the most extreme economic crash of any western society since the Great Depression.

The Harp and the Eagle: Irish-American Volunteers and the Union Army, 1861-1865

On the eve of the Civil War, the Irish were one of America's largest ethnic groups, and approximately 150,000 fought for the Union. Analyzing letters and diaries written by soldiers and civilians; military, church, and diplomatic records; and community newspapers, Susannah Ural Bruce significantly expands the story of Irish-American Catholics in the Civil War, and reveals a complex picture of those who fought for the Union. While the population was diverse, many Irish Americans had dual loyalties to the U.S. and Ireland, which influenced their decisions to volunteer, fight, or end their military service. When the Union cause supported their interests in Ireland and America, large numbers of Irish Americans enlisted. However, as the war progressed, the Emancipation Proclamation, federal draft, and sharp rise in casualties caused Irish Americans to question and sometimes abandon the war effort because they viewed such changes as detrimental to their families and futures in America and Ireland. By recognizing these competing and often fluid loyalties, The Harp and the Eagle sheds new light on the relationship between Irish-American volunteers and the Union Army, and how the Irish made sense of both the Civil War and their loyalty to the United States."

Ireland: A History from the Twelfth Century to the Present Day

Drawing from a wealth of historical and scholarly sources, Johnson traces the important social, religious and political development of Ireland's struggle to become a unified, settled country. Johnson describes with accurate detail Ireland's barbarous beginnings, Oliver Cromwell's religious "crusade," the tragic Irish potato famine, the Ulster resistance and the outstanding fact of the constant British-Irish connection and the fearful toll of life it exacted. Among the anonymous multitude are famous names such as "Silken Thom" Kildare, Thomas Wentworth, Archbishop Plunkett and Lord Frederick Cavendish. And yet many great men marshaled their energies and wits to settle Ireland: Sir Henry Sidney, Sire Walter Raleigh, Edmund Spenser, Chruchill and others.