The Last Million, by David Nasaw

Staff Pick


Longtime history professor David Nasaw, who has authored several acclaimed biographies, provides a deeply researched and eye-opening account of how the world managed the massive refugee crisis that emerged after World War II. The one million displaced persons who ended up stranded for several years in camps in Germany included not only Jews who had survived the Holocaust but Polish forced laborers and Latvian, Estonian, Lithuanian, and Ukrainian collaborators who either refused to go home or had no homes to return to. In The Last Million, Nasaw describes how  humanitarian considerations often gave way to narrow foreign policy goals and Cold War calculations, setting a pattern for what governments would do when confronted by other refugee crises in the second half of the 20th and early 21st centuries.

The Last Million: Europe's Displaced Persons from World War to Cold War By David Nasaw Cover Image
ISBN: 9781594206733
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Penguin Press - September 15th, 2020

The Outlaw Ocean by Ian Urbina

Staff Pick

Four years ago, The New York Times ran a series of articles about a vast, menacing world rarely covered in the media, an offshore frontier crucial to the existence of the planet and yet one in which impunity is the norm in the face of murder, piracy, enslavement, commercial violations, and environmental offenses. The series documented a range of egregious crimes being committed on the high seas and largely going unpunished. It reported on killings of stowaways and others, sea slavery, intentional dumping, illegal fishing, gun running, and the stealing of ships. But there was more to reveal, and the author of the series, Ian Urbina, has gone on to write The Outlaw Ocean: Journeys Across the Last Untamed Frontier (Knopf, $30). The book is a startling and riveting exposé that bears witness to a woefully under-protected part of the world beset by all kinds of ills but also one vital to the global economy.

The Outlaw Ocean: Journeys Across the Last Untamed Frontier By Ian Urbina Cover Image
ISBN: 9780451492944
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Knopf - August 20th, 2019

Against the Grain -- James C. Scott

Staff Pick

Against the Grain is one of the most exhilarating, genre-defying, wild cards of a book on our shelves at the moment. Prehistory buffs, climate scientists, economists, Paleo-dieters, social justice warriors, libertarians, tax code reformers, anthropologists ---  as well as curious minds of an ilk not covered by such categories ...  all will have reason to find James Scott's reassessment of the earliest proto-states in the Mesopotamian alluvial delta fascinating beyond all expectation. It's the kind of book you'll want to reference in every conversation for months post-reading.  

Against the Grain: A Deep History of the Earliest States By James C. Scott Cover Image
ISBN: 9780300240214
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Yale University Press - July 24th, 2018