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At the Library: Interesting people make for interesting reading at the Captiva Library

By Staff | May 13, 2015

“The Quartet: Orchestrating the Second American Revolution, 1783-1789”

by Joseph J. Ellis

“From Pulitzer Prize-winning American historian Joseph J. Ellis, the unexpected story of why the 13 colonies, having just fought off the imposition of a distant centralized governing power, would decide to subordinate themselves anew. We all know the famous opening phrase of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address: ‘Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this Continent a new Nation.’ The truth is different. In 1776, 13 American colonies declared themselves independent states that only temporarily joined forces in order to defeat the British. Once victorious, they planned to go their separate ways. The triumph of the American Revolution was neither an ideological nor a political guarantee that the colonies would relinquish their independence and accept the creation of a federal government with power over their autonomy as states.

‘The Quartet’ is the story of this second American founding and of the men most responsible-George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison. These men, with the help of Robert Morris and Gouverneur Morris, shaped the contours of American history by diagnosing the systemic dysfunctions created by the Articles of Confederation, manipulating the political process to force the calling of the Constitutional Convention, conspiring to set the agenda in Philadelphia, orchestrating the debate in the state ratifying conventions and, finally, drafting the Bill of Rights to assure state compliance with the constitutional settlement. Ellis has given us a gripping and dramatic portrait of one of the most crucial and misconstrued periods in American history: the years between the end of the Revolution and the formation of the federal government. ‘The Quartet’ unmasks a myth, and in its place presents an even more compelling truth-one that lies at the heart of understanding the creation of the United States of America.” *

“Out of Orange: A Memoir”

by Cleary Wolters

“The real-life Alex Vause from the critically acclaimed, top-rated Netflix show ‘Orange Is the New Black’ tells her story in her own words for the first time-a powerful, surprising memoir about crime and punishment, friendship and marriage, and a life caught in the ruinous drug trade and beyond. Fans nationwide have fallen in love with ‘Orange Is the New Black,’ the critically acclaimed and wildly popular Netflix show based on Piper Kerman’s sensational No. 1 New York Times bestseller. Now, Catherine Cleary Wolters-the inspiration for Alex Vause, Piper’s ex-girlfriend, friend, and sometimes-romantic partner on the show-tells her true story, offering details and insights that fill in the blanks, set the record straight, and answer common fan questions. An insightful, frustrating, heartbreaking, and uplifting analysis of crime and punishment in our times, ‘Out of Orange’ is an intimate look at international drug crime-a seemingly glamorous lifestyle that dazzles unsuspecting young women and eventually leads them to the seedy world of prison.

Told by a woman originally thrust into the spotlight without her permission-Wolters learned about Piper’s memoir in the media-‘Out of Orange’ chronicles Wolter’s time in the drug trade, her incarceration, her friendships and acquaintances with odd cellmates, her two marriages, and her complicated relationship with Piper. But Wolters is not solely defined by her past; she also reflects on her life and the person she is today.” *

“The Wright Brothers”

by David McCullough

“Two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize, David McCullough tells the dramatic story-behind-the-story about the courageous brothers who taught the world how to fly: Wilbur and Orville Wright. On a winter day in 1903, in the Outer Banks of North Carolina, two unknown brothers from Ohio changed history. But it would take the world some time to believe what had happened: the age of flight had begun, with the first heavier-than-air, powered machine carrying a pilot. Who were these men and how was it that they achieved what they did?

David McCullough, two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize, tells the surprising, profoundly American story of Wilbur and Orville Wright. Far more than a couple of unschooled Dayton bicycle mechanics who happened to hit on success, they were men of exceptional courage and determination, and of far-ranging intellectual interests and ceaseless curiosity, much of which they attributed to their upbringing. The house they lived in had no electricity or indoor plumbing, but there were books aplenty, supplied mainly by their preacher father, and they never stopped reading. When they worked together, no problem seemed to be insurmountable. Wilbur was unquestionably a genius. Orville had such mechanical ingenuity as few had ever seen. That they had no more than a public high school education, little money and no contacts in high places never stopped them in their ‘mission’ to take to the air. Nothing did, not even the self-evident reality that every time they took off in one of their contrivances, they risked being killed. In this thrilling book, master historian David McCullough draws on the immense riches of the Wright Papers, including private diaries, notebooks, scrapbooks, and more than a thousand letters from private family correspondence to tell the human side of the Wright Brothers’ story, including the little-known contributions of their sister, Katharine, without whom things might well have gone differently for them.” *

“The Lost Girls: The True Story of the Cleveland Abductions and the Incredible Rescue of Michelle Knight, Amanda Berry, and Gina Dejesus”

by John Glatt

“New York Times bestselling crime writer John Glatt tells the true story behind the kidnappings and long-overdue rescue of three women found in a Cleveland basement. ‘The Lost Girls’ tells the truly amazing story of Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight, who were kidnapped, imprisoned, and repeatedly raped and beaten in a Cleveland house for over a decade by Ariel Castro, and their amazing escape in May 2013, which made headlines all over the world.

The book has an exclusive interview and photographs of Ariel Castro’s secret fianc, who spent many romantic nights in his house of horror, without realizing he had bound and chained captives just a few feet away. There are also revealing interviews with several Castro family members, musician friends and several neighbors who witnessed the dramatic rescue.” *

“Bella’s Gift: How One Little Girl Transformed Our Family and Inspired a Nation”

by Rick and Karen Santorum

“Rick and Karen Santorum’s inspiring story of life with Bella, their special-needs youngest childFour days after Rick and Karen Santorum welcomed their eighth baby into the world they were given the devastating news that their little girl, Bella, was going to die. The full story of life with Bella has never been told until now. This inspiring family memoir explores what it means to embrace and celebrate the life of each person, and find hope, even in the midst of painful challenges” *

* Book jacket/publisher description

-Senior Librarian Ann Bradley is branch manager Captiva Memorial Library.