Mademoiselle Chanel is an insightful and well-researched book of the extraordinary fashion designer Coco Chanel - the ambitious, gifted laundry woman’s daughter who revolutionized fashion, built an international empire, and became one of the most influential and controversial figures of the 20th century.

Author C.W. Gortner’s recreates the inner life of this woman of staggering ambition who transformed the fashion world with the strength, passion, and artistic vision that became her trademark.

Lenox Library Association

Nearly 2,300 items from the Lenox Library just completed a journey from the bookshelves to the internet. It’s part of an effort to preserve history while meeting researchers the curious where they populate in the 21st century.

The French Revolution challenged the foundation of the social order in essentially every political structure in Europe. In his new book, Phantom Terror: Political Paranoia and the Creation of the Modern State, 1789-1848, historian Adam Zamoyski examines the years after the French Revolution when conservative governments from Britain to Russia responded to France’s Revolution. With the hope of protecting their own power against the threat of rebellion, they implemented various forces which policed both the speech and actions of civilians.

Although Zamoyski focuses on a fixed period in human history, his novel provides a fascinating insight into how human beings operate when motivated by power.

  Peter Carey is a two-time winner of the Man Booker Prize - and he's one of only three authors to have won Prize twice. Carey’s newest novel is Amnesia, a cyber-terrorism political thriller that explores Australia’s history and politics, and its quasi-colonial relationship with the United States, during three different periods of recent history: the 1940s, the 1970s, and the present-day era of cybersecurity, hackers, and WikiLeaks.

  Every American president, when faced with a crisis, longs to take bold and decisive action. When American lives or vital interests are at stake, the public—and especially the news media and political opponents—expect aggressive leadership. But, contrary to the dramatizations of Hollywood, rarely does a president have that option.

  In Pictures at a Revolution, Mark Harris turned the story of the five movies nominated for Best Picture in 1967 into a landmark work of cultural history, a book about the transformation of an art form and the larger social shift it signified.

In his new book, Five Came Back: A Story of Hollywood and The Second World War, he achieves something larger and even more remarkable, giving us the untold story of how Hollywood changed World War II, and how World War II changed Hollywood, through the prism of five film directors caught up in the war: John Ford, William Wyler, John Huston, Frank Capra, and George Stevens.

  In Mea Culpa: Lessons on Law and Regret from U.S. History, Steven W. Bender examines how the United States’ collective shame about its past has shaped the evolution of law and behavior.

We regret slavery and segregationist Jim Crow laws. We eventually apologize, while ignoring other oppressions, and our legal response to regret often fails to be transformative for the affected groups.


  There will be a Black History Month event at The Egg in Albany on Saturday, Feb. 28, that will combine music, speeches and a panel discussion to mark the 50th anniversary of the Selma-to-Montgomery civil rights marches and to discuss ongoing civil rights efforts.

They keynote speakers will be Dr. Mark Morrison-Reed and Colia Liddell Lafayette Clark.

Dr. Mark Morrison-Reed joins us. His most recent book is The Selma Awakening: How the Civil Rights Movement Tested and Changed Unitarian Universalism.

  Richard Rhodes is the Pulitzer Prize–winning and bestselling author of The Making of the Atomic Bomb.

His new book, Hell and Good Company: The Spanish Civil War and the World it Made, tells the remarkable story of the Spanish Civil War through the eyes of the reporters, writers, artists, doctors, and nurses who witnessed it.

  The modern-day European Union was crafted in large part to minimize built-in geopolitical tensions that historically have torn it apart.

As George Friedman demonstrates in Flashpoints: The Emerging Crisis In Europe, with a mix of rich history and cultural analysis, that design is failing.