On the bookshelf

“Al Capone and the 1933 World’s Fair: The End of the Gangster Era in Chicago”

by William Hazelgrove (Rowman & Littlefield

Organized crime turned Chicago into a private fiefdom; elected government had effectively ceased to exist. The Great Depression came crashing down at the end of the “Roaring Twenties”, 10 years after the Volstead Amendment essentially drove Americans to drink illegally. That created vast fortunes for those who smuggled in booze and beer, such as Al Capone.

“Immigrant Girl, Radical Woman: A Memoir from the Early Twentieth Century”

By Matilda Rabinowitz 

​​​​The author of this book was the grandmother of the editor. “Her life represents the lives of many immigrant girls who dreamed that America would provide a better life than the one they had escaped—those who found toil, exploitation, and disappointment, yet struggled to realize the ideals of democracy, freedom, and equality that drew them here.” 

American History Reviews

“Alexander Hamilton: Revolutionary”

By Martha Brockenbrough (Feiwel and Friends, an imprint of MacMillan)

​​No one born outside the US can be president because Thomas Jefferson wanted to make sure than Hamilton never would! Alexander was born in the West Indies, and his parents weren’t married at the time. At age 14 he was homeless, penniless and had no hope for the future, but AH was smart, resourceful and ambitious.  

“Warring for America: Cultural Contests in the Era of 1812”

Nicole Eustace & Fredrika J. Teute, Editors

UNC Press

​​The early years of the 19th century were fraught with changes and challenges in the new American republic. Wars with Barbary pirates, the birth of the American navy, the vast expanse of the Louisiana Purchase that doubled the territory of the USA while bringing in many Native American tribes as protagonists, the growing anti-slavery movement in Great Britain and America, the military challenge of Napoleon in Europe, while Central and South American were filled with revolts against their Spanish colonizers.