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Author David Ansell: The Death Gap: How Inequality Kills

7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Main Library
Second Floor - Veterans Room

The greatest health crisis today is not cancer, not heart disease, obesity, or diabetes. It’s something much more common and far less often mentioned: poverty. Explore this issue with Dr. David Ansell, author of The Death Gap: How Inequality Kills on Wednesday, Aug. 23, at the Oak Park Public Library, 834 Lake St. The Book Table will have books available for sale and signing.

Without question, the poor die sooner. Blacks die sooner. And poor urban blacks die sooner than almost all other Americans. In nearly four decades as a doctor at hospitals serving some of the poorest communities in Chicago, David Ansell has witnessed the lives behind these devastating statistics firsthand. In The Death Gap, he gives a grim survey of these realities, drawn from observations and stories of his patients.

The death gap is truly a nationwide epidemic—as Ansell shows, there is a 35-year difference in life expectancy between the healthiest and wealthiest and the poorest and sickest American neighborhoods.

David A. Ansell, MD, is the senior vice president and associate provost for community health equity, as well as the Michael E. Kelly Professor of Medicine, at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. Ansell, a long-time Oak Park resident, is also the author of County: Life, Death, and Politics at Chicago's Public Hospital.

This program is sponsored by Champions for Affordable Healthcare, a volunteer team of the Democratic Party of Oak Park.

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Book Discussion: Our Black Year by Maggie Anderson

2:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Main Library
Second Floor - Book Discussion Room

Author Maggie Anderson and her family's determination to purchase only from black-owned businesses for a full year revealed hard truths about the depth of the black wealth disparity and economic disenfranchisement. Her book, Our Black Year: One Family's Quest to Buy Black in America's Racially Divided Economy, chronicles the journey, which prompted her to create the Black Empowerment Experiment Foundation in 2012.

Learn more about the library's More Than a Month initiative.

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Detection by Daylight: The Beekeeper's Apprentice

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Maze Branch
Meeting Room - Maze Branch
The Beekeeper’s Apprentice by Laurie R. King

Long retired, Sherlock Holmes quietly pursues his study of honeybee behavior on the Sussex Downs. He never imagines he would encounter anyone whose intellect matched his own, much less an audacious teenage girl with a penchant for detection. Miss Mary Russell becomes Holmes' pupil and quickly hones her talent for deduction, disguises, and danger. But when an elusive villain enters the picture, their partnership is put to a real test. Mary Russell series #1.

Detection by Daylight is devoted to reading and discussing detective mysteries in series and non-series form. Bring your lunch (if you like), enjoy cookies and coffee on us, and engage in great discussions.

Titles are available at Maze Branch one month before the discussion. Learn more about all of our monthly book discussions.
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Black Labor, White Wealth Book Discussion (Part 3)

2:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Main Library
Second Floor - Book Discussion Room
Join a frank discussion of the economic disenfranchisement of Black America. This four-part series will examine Dr. Claud Anderson's writing about the causes and enduring underlying structure of the consolidation of wealth and power within a closed white system built on black labor, while restricting gains for those outside that system.
July 22 - Part 1
Aug. 5 - Part 2
Sep. 9 - Part 3
Oct. 14 - Part 4
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Authors Steve Bellinger and Joseph Rulli: History in Fiction and Nonfiction: Books for the Post-Truth Age

2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Main Library
Second Floor - Veterans Room

Meet Steve Bellinger, author of the science-fiction/time-travel novel The Chronocar, and Joseph Rulli, self-proclaimed history nerd and author of The Chicago Haymarket Affair, who will share information about historical research in fiction and nonfiction. Designed for both readers and writers, their presentation will help researchers and writers learn to tell a fuller, more objective story of past events for the betterment of life today.

In The Chronocar, a contemporary African-American IIT student discovers plans for a time machine developed by a turn-of-the-century scientist, the son of a slave. The student visits 1919 Chicago (in what is now Bronzeville) at the time of the Red Summer race riots, where personal and historical adventures unfold.

In The Chicago Haymarket Affair, author Joseph Rulli used actual court transcripts and other reliable sources to tell a definitive account of events surrounding the Haymarket Riot of 1886—and help establish a clearer understanding of its historical significance. Books will be for sale and signing.

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Author William Farina: The German Cabaret Legacy in American Popular Music

2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Main Library
Second Floor - Veterans Room
Meet local author William Farina and learn how the stylistic remnants of cabaret music from Weimar-era Germany are all around us. This presentation includes music clips and many vintage photos.

During the 20th century, cabaret music's most prominent American exponents were the German performers Marlene Dietrich and Lotte Lenya, whose careers extended through the 1970s. More recent songwriters touched by cabaret include Lennon & McCartney, Bacharach & David, Kander & Ebb, Bob Dylan, Randy Newman, and Patti Smith. African-American artists, beginning with Louis Armstrong, have been interpreters of cabaret music. Modern-day Las Vegas appears to be the fulfillment of a prophecy made in the late 1920 by Weill & Brecht in their Mahagonny stage works. Today, the German cabaret tradition remains strong, with stars like Ute Lemper and Max Raabe packing international venues.
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Authors Joyce Maynard & Jane Hamilton

7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Main Library
Second Floor - Veterans Room

Meet New York Times best-selling author Joyce Maynard and hear about her newest book, The Best of Us, a memoir about discovering strength in the midst of great loss. Joyce will be joined by her friend Jane Hamilton, an Oak Park native, author, and Oak Park and River Forest High School graduate.

About The Best of Us
In 2011, when she was in her late fifties, beloved author and journalist Joyce Maynard met the first true partner she had ever known. Then, just after their one-year wedding anniversary, her new husband was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. During the 19 months that followed, as they battled his illness together, she discovered for the first time what it really meant to be a couple—to be a true partner and to have one.

Charting the course through their whirlwind romance, a marriage cut short by tragedy, and Joyce's return to singleness on new terms, The Best of Us is a heart-wrenching, ultimately life-affirming reflection on coming to understand true love through the experience of great loss. Author Anne Lamott calls Maynard’s book "heart wrenching, inspiring, full of joy and tears and life."

About Joyce Maynard
Joyce Maynard first came to national attention with the publication of her New York Times cover story, “An Eighteen-Year-Old Looks Back on Life,” in 1973, when she was a freshman at Yale. Maynard is the author of 16 books, including the novel To Die For and the best-selling memoir At Home in the World, which was translated into 12 languages. Her novel Labor Day became a motion picture in theaters in 2014, adapted and dircted by Jason Reitman, and starring Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin. 

About Jane Hamilton
Jane Hamilton is the author of seven books, including A Map of the World, named a New York Times Notable Book of the Year and one of the top 10 books of 1999 by Publisher’s Weekly, Entertainment Weekly, the Miami Herald, and People Magazine. In 1989, Hamilton’s Book of Ruth won the PEN/Hemingway Award for First Fiction.

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Books & Brews: So You've Been Publicly Shamed

7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
Offsite
BeerShop
Explore the subject of public shaming in today's modern society in Jon Ronson's So You've Been Publicly Shamed. This nonfiction title explores the phenomenon of public shaming in the landscape of social media, and the ramifications from it. 

At Books and Brews expect stimulating conversation about fiction and nonfiction titles in a social atmosphere, and don't worry if you don't have time to finish the book, we're pretty chill! Meet new friends, discuss new books, and enjoy some drinks with us. 

Copies are available at the Main Library one month before the discussion. 

Learn more about our monthly book discussions.


NOTE: Books and Brews will meet at The Beer Shop 1026 North Blvd, Oak Park, IL 60302
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Read & Reflect: Bowling Alone

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Dole Branch
Bowling Alone by Robert D. Putnam

Harvard professor Robert D. Putnam uses 25 years of interviews and research to illustrate how Americans are becoming more and more isolated. Because of this separation, society has developed an unwillingness to unite in communities or even as a nation. However, Putnam does believe there are ways to improve the conditions many Americans may face.

In Read & Reflect, we read and discuss a thoughtful selection of nonfiction titles ripe for meaningful discussion. Books are available at Dole Branch one month before the discussion.

Learn more about all of our monthly book discussions.
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Author Justin Gordon: Holocaust Postal History

2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Main Library
Second Floor - Veterans Room

Meet Justin Gordon, author of Holocaust Postal History: Harrowing Journeys Revealed Through the Letters and Cards of the Victims. Gordon notes that his book "represents a dual journey—one into the childhood delight of stamp collecting and the other into the adult horrors of Holocaust history."

Gordon's journey into the world of the Holocaust began with a cantor who taught him the text for his bar mitzvah. The cantor was a concentration camp survivor, and in quiet moments, he shared his life's path, which included the living hell of Auschwitz: brutal slave labor, insufficient food, cruel guards, and the daily fight to simply survive.

The book takes readers through this catastrophic era and provides a glimpse into the personal journeys of those whose lives were lost or irreversibly changed by the Nazi war against the Jews.

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Brown Bag: Death of a Nightingale

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Dole Branch
Meeting Room - Dole Branch

Death of a Nightingale by Lene Kaberol

In the third installment of the Nina Borg mysteries, Red Cross nurse Nina Borg establishes a relationship with an 8-year-old Ukrainian girl whose mother was accused of killing her fiancé. When the mother escapes custody, the search for her leads to the Stalin era of the 1930s.

Brown Bag is a lunchtime mystery lover’s book group. Pack your own lunch and join us to discuss these suspenseful stories. Books are available at Dole Branch one month before the discussion. Learn more about all of our monthly book discussions.

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Lives They Lived: The Wright Brothers

7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
Maze Branch
Meeting Room - Maze Branch

The Wright Brothers by David McCullough

Two-time Pulitzer Prize winner David McCullough exhibits his artist's touch in re-creating the lives of the Wright brothers, their father, and their sister Katharine from historical documents. Mining their letters, notebooks, and diaries, McCullough shows the Wright brothers (snubbed by the British as mere bicycle mechanics) for the important techno-scientists they were.

"The Wright Brothers" is a story, well told, about what might be the most astonishing feat mankind has ever accomplished: the birth of flight. This is an outstanding saga of the lives of two men who left a giant footprint on our modern age.

In The Lives They Lived, we gain insight into the world of extraordinary individuals, and perhaps our own existence and the human condition at large. Copies of the book are available at Maze Branch one month before the discussion. Learn more about all of our monthly book discussions.

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Words on Wednesday: Hillbilly Elegy

1:00 PM - 2:30 PM
Main Library
Second Floor - Book Discussion Room

J. D. Vance, a Yale Law School graduate who grew up in Appalachia and southern Ohio in dirt poverty, tells the compelling story of his life in Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis. This New York Times best-seller also examines the struggles of white working-class Americans, sharing a firsthand perspective on socioeconomic issues preventing many from rising above their impoverished Rust Belt environment.

In Words on Wednesday, expect stimulating conversation about fiction and nonfiction titles selected by Adult & Teen Services librarians. Copies are available at the Main Library one month before the discussion. Learn more about our monthly book discussions.

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Author George Swimmer: Railroad Collisions: A Deadly Story of Mismanaged Risk

7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Main Library
Second Floor - Veterans Room

Citizen-advocate George Swimmer spent 20 years investigating the causes behind railroad collisions. What he discovered is a tangled mess of both inadvertent and intentional mismanagement. During U.S. Rail Safety Week, meet George Swimmer and hear his findings reported in Railroad Collisions: A Deadly Story of Mismanaged Risk.

Swimmer faults the railroads themselves for poor risk management, but the industry is by no means the only culpable party. The Federal Railroad Administration’s timid dealings with railroad companies impairs meaningful changes, while the National Transportation Safety Board’s findings in many of their accident investigations are woefully, fatally incorrect.

From commuter train collisions to engineer fatigue and a nationwide epidemic of incorrectly set safety crossing lights, Swimmer paints a picture of an industry willing to put complacency ahead of safety, often actively working against positive change.

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New Moms Book Club: "Goodbye, Vitamin" at Exit Strategy Brewing Co.

7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Offsite
Goodbye, Vitamin by Rachel Khong

Freshly disengaged from her fiancé and feeling that life has not turned out quite the way she planned, thirty-year-old Ruth quits her job, leaves town and arrives at her parents’ home to find that situation more complicated than she'd realized. Her father, a prominent history professor, is losing his memory and is only erratically lucid. Ruth’s mother, meanwhile, is lucidly erratic. But as Ruth's father’s condition intensifies, the comedy in her situation takes hold, gently transforming her all her grief. 

Told in captivating glimpses and drawn from a deep well of insight, humor, and unexpected tenderness, Goodbye, Vitamin pilots through the loss, love, and absurdity of finding one’s footing in this life.

Join our New Moms Book Club!  A wonderful opportunity to meet other new moms in the area and a great reason for some adult discussion!  Welcome to all moms with children under 5.

Copies of the book are available at Maze Branch behind the desk.

This meeting will be held at Exit Strategy Brewing Co. at 7700 Madison St, Forest Park, IL 60130
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The No Shush Salon Presents: Patricia Ann McNair

6:30 PM - 8:45 PM
Maze Branch
Meeting Room - Maze Branch

Patricia Ann McNair has a new book coming out in September and will be presenting it at the No Shush Salon. "And These Are the Good Times" is up for pre-order on Amazon and will be available for purchase at the event!

Patricia Ann McNair’s essay collection "And These Are the Good Times: A Chicago gal riffs on death, sex, life, dancing, writing, wonder, loneliness, place, family, faith, coffee, and the FBI (among other things)" will be released by Side Street Press in September. Her short story collection, The Temple of Air, received the Chicago Writers Association Book of the Year Award, Southern Illinois University’s Devil’s Kitchen Reading Award, and the Society of Midland Authors (US) Finalist Award.

Afterward, we have our open mic: 10 minutes for anyone who wants to present their latest creative endeavor. Treats to share are awesome, but we will provide munchies. Spectators are welcome and appreciated!

The No Shush Salon is a monthly open mic for all creative types who want to share their works in progress or newly finished endeavors. We often begin with a featured performer/reader or we have a theme. No registration required, just drop in and share your talents!

Can't make it? Follow us through our blog: noshushsalon.blogspot.com and like us on Facebook: No Shush Salon 

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Author Mary Diab: "All Kinds of Love"

3:30 PM - 5:00 PM
Main Library
Second Floor - Veterans Room

River Forest poet and writer Mary Diab (who writes as Maraki) will share stories from her first novel,  All Kinds of Love, inspired by her upbringing in the small, ethnically diverse Ohio town of Stubenville, Ohio, and her Greek heritage.  In the book, Frankie avenges his sister's rape with murder, and then takes the pregnant girl to Chios, an island in Greece with help of Dimitri, a wealthy ship owner. Frankie is tortured by the murder he had committed and by the fact that he kept the truth from his mother. After his sister gives birth and the child is adopted, they return to Stubenville where they find life there has changed.

Diab has written two poetry books, a travel column in What's Happening, a restaurant column for a national magazine and stories for several newspapers.

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Independent Writers of Chicago: Life in the Freelance Lane

7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Main Library
Second Floor - Veterans Room

Ready to turn your writing hobby into a career? Or brush up your business skills for even greater success? Join members of the Independent Writers of Chicago as they guide you through the business basics, opportunities and challenges of building a career as a freelance writer. Presented by IWOC President Laura Stigler, Vice President Jeff Steele and IWOC member Sally Chapralis.

Ms. Stigler is President of Shebang! Writing-2-Consulting, with experience in creating thousands of strategies, branding, ad campaigns and content for hundreds of companies, from Fortune 500’s to Mom and Pops. Mr. Steele has been a freelance writer since 1989 and has bylined thousands of articles appearing in national, regional, and Chicago-area newspapers and magazines. Ms. Chapralis launched her freelance business in 1984 and has been going full throttle ever since, working with clients on a variety of business communications and public relations activities.

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Detection by Daylight: Christine Falls

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Maze Branch
Meeting Room - Maze Branch

Christine Falls by Benjamin Black

One night Quirke shuffles down into the morgue where he finds his brother-in-law altering a file he has no business even reading. Odd enough in itself to find Malachy there, but the next morning, when the haze has lifted, it looks an awful lot like his brother-in-law, the esteemed doctor, was in fact tampering with a corpse—and concealing the cause of death. The Dublin pathologist follows the corpse into the heart of a conspiracy among the city's high Catholic society in Dublin and Boston in the 1950s. Quirk series #1.

Detection by Daylight is devoted to reading and discussing detective mysteries in series and non-series form. Bring your lunch (if you like), enjoy cookies and coffee on us, and engage in great discussions. Titles are available at Maze Branch one month before the discussion. Learn more about all of our monthly book discussions.

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World War I and America: Essay Discussion, Part 1

1:30 PM - 3:00 PM
Main Library
Second Floor - Small Meeting Room

Join former Marine Corps officer Ed White, who served in Vietnam in 1968-69, to read and discuss a series of essays drawn from World War I and America: Told by the Americans Who Lived It. Pick up packets of essays at any Oak Park Public Library location. U.S. veterans as well as interested readers are encouraged to attend.

This is the first in a series of three discussions, with readings from: 

  • Friday, October 6: From a letter by Alan Seeger to Elsie Simmons Seeger.
  • Friday, October 20: From the diary of Vernon E. Kniptash, written between March and April 1919.
  • Friday, November 3: From Henry Cabot Lodge and his speech on the Senate floor about the League of Nations on August 12, 1919.

Published to mark the centenary of the American entry into the conflict, World War I and America: Told by the Americans Who Lived It brings together 128 diverse texts—speeches, messages, letters, diaries, poems, songs, newspaper and magazine articles, excerpts from memoirs and journalistic narratives—written by scores of American participants and observers that illuminate and vivify events from the outbreak of war in 1914 through the Armistice, the Paris Peace Conference, and the League of Nations debate. The writers collected in the volume—soldiers, airmen, nurses, diplomats, statesmen, political activists, journalists—provide unique insight into how Americans perceived the war and how the conflict transformed American life. It is being published by Library of America.

This event is part of our World War I and America program at the library this October and November. This program is part of World War I and America, a two-year national initiative of Library of America presented in partnership with The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, the National World War I Museum and Memorial, and other organizations, with generous support from The National Endowment for the Humanities.

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Barbara Ballinger Lecture: Jane Hirshfield

2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Main Library
Second Floor - Veterans Room
This year's presenter of the Barbara Ballinger Lecture is award-winning poet, translator, and essayist Jane Hirshfield. Sponsored by the Friends of the Oak Park Public Library, the annual lecture features an accomplished author each year to recognize Ballinger, the former head librarian, and her many years of dedicated service to the library and to Oak Park.

Hirshfield's poetry speaks to the central issues of human existence—desire and loss, impermanence and beauty, the many dimensions of our connection with others and the wider community of creatures and objects with which we share our lives. Demonstrating with quiet authority what it means to awaken into the full capacities of attention, her work sets forth a hard-won affirmation of our human fate. Described by The New York Times as “radiant and passionate” and by other reviewers as “ethically aware,” “insightful and eloquent,” and as conveying “succinct wisdom,” her subjects range from the metaphysical and passionate to the political, ecological, and scientific to subtle unfoldings of daily life and experience. 

Her book of essays on the “mind of poetry” and her several collections presenting and co-translating the work of poets from the past have become classics in their fields. An intimate, profound, and generous master of her art, Hirshfield has taught at UC Berkeley, Duke University, Bennington College, and elsewhere, and her many appearances at writers’ conferences and literary festivals in this country and abroad have been highly acclaimed. Learn more about Jane >

About Barbara Ballinger

Born in Miami, Oklahoma, Ballinger began her library career with the Oklahoma City Public Library. After graduating from the University of Kansas, she received her chauffeur’s license to drive a bookmobile for the Topeka Public Library. She went on to earn her MSLS degree at the Graduate School of Library Science of the University of Illinois. As an Oak Park librarian, Ballinger expected to stay in her position for only a few years. Instead, she retired after 32 years of library service in Oak Park, including her 24 years as head librarian at the Oak Park Public Library. 

Ballinger led the library during a period of extensive growth and change, a time that saw development of Illinois library resource sharing, the introduction of multiple new technologies, and the overall growth of the library's collection and use. She valued working with civic-minded library boards, dedicated staff members, and the ever supportive Friends. Today, Ballinger enjoys the services of our vibrant library community, one she was instrumental in helping create, and volunteers for the Ernest Hemingway Foundation Archives, now housed in the Main Library. Learn more about Barbara Ballinger and previous lectures >
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Books & Brews: Hillbilly Elegy

7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
Offsite
BeerShop
From a former Marine and Yale Law School Graduate, a poignant account of growing up in a poor Appalachian town, offering a broader, probing look at the struggles of America’s white working class. Part memoir, part historical and social analysis, J. D. Vance’s Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis is a fascinating consideration of class, culture, and the American dream.

At Books and Brews expect stimulating conversation about fiction and nonfiction titles in a social atmosphere, and don't worry if you don't have time to finish the book, we're pretty chill! Meet new friends, discuss new books, and enjoy some drinks with us. 

Copies are available at the Main Library one month before the discussion. Learn more about our monthly book discussions.

NOTE: Books and Brews will meet at The Beer Shop, 1026 North Blvd., Oak Park, IL 60302.
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Author Steve Paul: Hemingway at Eighteen

6:30 PM - 8:30 PM
Main Library
Second Floor - Veterans Room
Steve Paul, a longtime journalist and Hemingway student, introduces his new book, Hemingway at Eighteen: The Pivotal Year That Launched an American Legend (Chicago Review Press). The book covers the extraordinary period  when Hemingway’s self-invention and transformation began—from a “modest, rather shy and diffident boy” to a confident writer who aimed to find and record the truth throughout his life. Hemingway at Eighteen provides a fresh perspective on Hemingway’s writing, sheds new light on this young man bound for greatness, and introduces anew a legendary American writer at the very beginning of his journey.
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World War I and America Book Discussion: All Quiet on the Western Front

1:30 PM - 3:30 PM
Maze Branch
Meeting Room - Maze Branch

A book discussion of All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque will be led by Donna Ioppolo. This 1928 book sold 3.5 million copies in the German original and additional 25 translations. Multiple copies of the book will be available in advance at Maze Branch Library.

"I am young, I am twenty years old; yet I know nothing of life but despair, death, fear, and fatuous superficiality cast over an abyss of sorrow..." This is the testament of Paul Baumer, who enlists with his classmates in the German Army of World War I. They become soldiers with youthful enthusiasm. But the world of duty, culture, and progress they had been taught breaks into pieces under the first bombardment in the trenches.

This event is part of our World War I and America program at the library this October and November. This program is part of World War I and America, a two-year national initiative of Library of America presented in partnership with The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, the National World War I Museum and Memorial, and other organizations, with generous support from The National Endowment for the Humanities.

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Black Labor, White Wealth Book Discussion (Part 4)

2:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Main Library
Second Floor - Book Discussion Room
Join a frank discussion of the economic disenfranchisement of Black America. This four-part series will examine Dr. Claud Anderson's writing about the causes and enduring underlying structure of the consolidation of wealth and power within a closed white system built on black labor, while restricting gains for those outside that system.
July 22 - Part 1
Aug. 5 - Part 2
Sep. 9 - Part 3
Oct. 14 - Part 4
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