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Martin Luther

Martin Luther by Carl E. Koppenhaver

Martin Luther by Carl E. Koppenhaver

This short, engaging volume summarizes the life of a priest who, intending to spark a lively academic debate by nailing 95 theses on a church door, unwittingly sets the continent aflame with the 1517 Reformation of the Catholic Church.

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An Essay on the Trial By Jury

An Essay on the Trial By Jury by Lysander Spooner

An Essay on the Trial By Jury by Lysander Spooner

For more than six hundred years that is, since Magna Carta, in 1215 there has been no clearer principle of English or American constitutional law, than that, in criminal cases, it is not only the right and duty of juries to judge what are the facts, what is the law, and what was the moral intent of the accused; but that it is also their right, and their primary and paramount duty, to judge of the justice of the law, and to hold all laws invalid, that are, in their opinion, unjust or oppressive, and all persons guiltless in violating, or resisting the execution of, such laws.

So begins Spooner’s epic on the jury, its origins and history. Spooner examines the history and powers of a jury, from the magna carta in King John’s time, to the practices in the 18th century. A classic work on law, Spooner argues that the decision of the jury is sovereign over the king’s law.

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The Mystery of the Pinckney Draught

The Mystery of the Pinckney Draught by Charles C. Nott

The Mystery of the Pinckney Draught by Charles C. Nott

Charles Pinckney, member of the South Carolina legislature, Confederation Congress, U.S. Congress, and notably the Constitutional Convention of 1787, may have been regarded by some as perhaps the true author of the U.S. Constitution, although most likely James Madison would vehemently argue the point. This book investigates what may, or may not have happened to the draft of the Constitution which was drawn up by Charles Pinckney and submitted to the Constitutional Convention in May of 1787, and how (or if) it differed from the Constitution which was adopted. The questions which are delved into most deeply revolve around the following mystery: why, if, and by whom Pinckney’s version of this important document was overlooked, or was it possibly destroyed intentionally (or for other reasons).

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A Preface to Politics

A Preface to Politics by Walter Lippmann

A Preface to Politics by Walter Lippmann

This is the first book in the bibliography of Walter Lippmann, written three years after emerging from Harvard where he studied under the pragmatists Santayana and James. A refreshing view towards the fundamental purpose (and persistent flaws) of politics, and indeed government itself, just as relevant and meaningful today as when it was written.

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John Brown

John Brown by W. E. B. Du Bois

John Brown by W. E. B. Du Bois

It tells the story of John Brown, from his Christian rural upbringing, to his failed business ventures and finally his “blood feud” with the institution of slavery as a whole. Its moral symbolizes the significance and impact of a white abolitionist at the time, a sign of threat for white slave owners and those who believed that only blacks were behind the idea of freeing slaves. Du Bois describes Brown as a biblical character: fanatically devoted to his abolitionist cause but also a man of rigid social and moral rules. Du Bois showcases his studies on socialism and social Darwinism as well in this work, a continuation on his examination of the genealogy of blacks outlined in The Philadelphia Negro (1899) and The Souls of Black Folk (1903) that refutes the biological differences between blacks and whites. As Du Bois draws out this biographical representation of John Brown, Brown was a man who based his reasoning for fighting against slavery not on social Darwinism, but on his personal morals. –

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Chopin: the Man and His Music

Chopin: the Man and His Music by James Huneker

Chopin: the Man and His Music by James Huneker

A biography of the Polish composer and virtuoso pianist Frédéric Chopin and a critical analysis of his work by American music writer and critic James Huneker.

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Six Months in Mexico

Six Months in Mexico by Nellie Bly

Six Months in Mexico by Nellie Bly

This is an account of Nellie Bly’s travels through Mexico. The book was originally a series of individual articles that she submitted to the Pittsburgh Dispatch newspaper for publication. In them she described the conditions of the people and the political system she found in Mexico. Her narratives focused mostly on the impoverished and disadvantaged in a country whose government was extremely corrupt.

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Abraham Lincoln and the Abolition of Slavery

Abraham Lincoln and the Abolition of Slavery by Charles Godfrey Leland

Abraham Lincoln and the Abolition of Slavery by Charles Godfrey Leland

The book is a biography of Abraham Lincoln with emphasis on how his personality and beliefs impacted the history of the American Emancipation and its causes. The book is very well written, easy to read and includes incredible historical information being written by a man who was there during the civil war. He even fought in the war and was able to add his insight into the happenings from his own perspective. This book would add knowledge to anyone who really wants to know the truth about Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War.

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My Bondage and My Freedom

My Bondage and My Freedom by Frederick Douglass

My Bondage and My Freedom by Frederick Douglass

The life of Frederick Douglass, recorded in the pages which follow, is not merely an example of self elevation under the most adverse circumstances; it is, moreover, a noble vindication of the highest aims of the American anti-slavery movement.

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Indian Home Rule

Indian Home Rule by Mahatma Gandhi

Indian Home Rule by Mahatma Gandhi

First written in Gandhi’s native language Gujarati, this booklet advocates for Indian non-violent self-rule during the struggle for Indian independence against the British Empire. It is written as a dialogue between two characters. In it, the “Reader” serves as a typical Indian countryman (the targeted audience for Hind Swaraj), who voices common beliefs and arguments of the time concerning Indian independence, while Gandhi, the “Editor,” explains why those arguments are flawed and interjects his own valuable arguments of self-reliance, passive resistance and the Indian identity.

The Gujarati-language publication was banned from publication by the British in India, causing Gandhi to translate it to English himself to evade the British authorities, as well as rally support from English-speaking Indians and international supporters of independence. It is now considered the intellectual blueprint of India’s independence movement.

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