Flight to Freedom: The Story of the Underground Railroad by Henrietta Buckmaster

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This is a story of almost unbelievable heroism and great daring, told with gusto and sincerity. It is told through the lives of courageous men and women—some of them known to us by name; most of them, unknown.

The Underground Railroad maneuvered the escape of Southern slaves to the North. It was carried on at first by a handful of people: Quakers, ministers, farmers, journalists, the escaped slaves themselves. The movement spread, and eventually the network extended from Georgia to Iowa, from Alabama to Canada.

The North Star was the slave’s hope . . . “keep on going north, and if you do not die, you will find freedom.” Going north meant careful planning, hairbreadth escapes at night, slow journeys through swamps and forests, careful disguises along open roads. It meant hunger, weariness, and dread. But the rewards of freedom from slavery were worth all the suffering.

Henrietta Buckmaster has told this little-known story against a background of the times.

But history is made by people. So Flight to Freedom is the story of people: Harriet Tubman, Levi Coffin, Wendell Phillips, Stephen Douglas, Abraham Lincoln, Frederick Douglass—and Harriet Beecher Stowe, whose vivid picture of slavery hastened the climax of a conflict that had been brewing since the first slaves were brought to these shores from Africa in chains.

It is a glorious story the author tells, a dramatic chapter in our history. It is a story that is not yet finished.

Book Cover with Text the Fire in the Flint

The Fire in the Flint by Walter F. White

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In this novel Kenneth Harper a southern born but northern trained African American physician returns from World War I to start a medical clinic and practice in southern Georgia.  He is flush from his good treatment by whites in the north and in Europe so he expects such treatment in the south.  His brother warns him but he soon learns that southern white treatment for “negroes” will not allow him to set up the clinic for all that he wants to.  The novel is the story of his slow downfall as he finds out that even sympathetic whites will not challenge the racism of their colleagues, runs afoul of the Ku Klux Klan, has his brother lynched and his sister raped by white men.  He ends being lynched himself while killing some whites in the process. The novel was published in 1924 and met with success. He tried unsuccessfully to have the novel turned into a play or movie.

As a member of the NAACP, Walter White investigated lynchings and worked to end segregation. He was the organization’s executive secretary from 1931 to 1955. White was also a significant figure in the Harlem Renaissance. His books included A Man Called White, and Flight, Rope and Faggot: A Biography of Judge Lynch.

The Cossacks and The Raid by Leo Tolstoy with Maps

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A brilliant short novel inspired by Leo Tolstoy’s experience as a soldier in the Caucasus, “The Cossacks” has all the energy and poetry of youth while also foreshadowing the great themes of Tolstoy’s later years. His naïve hero, Olenin, is a young nobleman who is disenchanted with his privileged and superficial existence in Moscow and hopes to find a simpler life in a Cossack village. As Olenin foolishly involves himself in their violent clashes with neighboring Chechen tribesmen and falls in love with a local girl, Tolstoy gives us a wider view than Olenin himself ever possesses of the brutal realities of the Cossack way of life and the wild, untamed beauty of the rugged landscape.

This novel of love, adventure, and male rivalry on the Russian frontier—completed in 1862, when the author was in his early thirties—has always surprised readers who know Tolstoy best through the vast, panoramic fictions of his middle years. Unlike those works, The Cossacks is lean and supple, economical in design and execution. But Tolstoy could never touch a subject without imbuing it with his magnificent many-sidedness, and so this book bears witness to his brilliant historical imagination, his passionately alive spiritual awareness, and his instinctive feeling for every level of human and natural life.

Translated by Louise and Aylmer Maude

Image of Cinque and Schooner in Background

The Long Black Schooner: The Voyage of the Amistad

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Men, women, boys, girls—all are chained together on the slave ship Amistad. Only yesterday they were free in their beloved African villages. Then slave catchers kidnapped them, and are taking them in chains across the sea to be sold.

But Cinque, their leader, has an iron file….

On the night of June 30, 1839, the slaves cut their chains and take over the ship. Here is the true story of a breathtaking and little-known event in American history.

Here is what one reader had to say in a review on Amazon:

The book tells the story surrounding the Amistad. However, it is told in a way that is appealing to both youth and adults. The language is simple and the story is straightforward. There is no historical gobbly-gook here.

I found the book to be rather interesting, quite informative, and fairly easy to read (I read it in less than two days). It makes a great gift for any young history buff or anyone who is interesting in learning more about the Amistad but who hasn’t studied much history.

Debs Speaking to a Crowd

Eugene V. Debs: A Man Unafraid by McAlister Coleman

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From a Review by H.L. Mencken in the American Mercury, August 1930.

“Mr. Coleman has told his story very well.”

MR. COLEMAN’S sub-title may seem a bit pretentious, but the record bears it out. Debs was one of those fanatics who are simply unacquainted with the meaning of fear. At a time when practically all of the other Socialists of America were running ignominiously for cover he stood his ground magnificently and went to jail without a quaver. He would have gone to the gallows, I believe, in the same serene and unperturbed manner. Perhaps it is something of a slander to call him a Socialist at all. He died without knowing more than the A B C of Marxism, and had relatively little to do with its chief prophets. The shabbiness of spirit that is their chief mark, at least on this side of the water, was not in him. An ignorant man, and, in more than one way, a childishly silly man, he yet managed to show a singular fineness of character.
Someday, I suppose, his admirers will be comparing him to Lincoln, as Lincoln is compared to Jesus. The likeness is faulty in each case. Lincoln was a far shrewder and more politic fellow than Jesus, and Debs was far braver and more forthright than Lincoln. In old Abe, in fact, the cross-roads politician was always visible. He never did anything without figuring out its consequences to five places of decimals, and when those consequences promised to damage his private fortunes he usually found a good reason to refrain. But Debs banged through life without caring a damn, innocent and cocksure. He got into trouble very often, but I can find no evidence that he was ever bothered by doubts.
If common decency ever gets any credit in America, and the schoolbooks are revised accordingly, there will be a chapter in them on the great encounter between Debs and Woodrow Wilson. They never met face to face, for Wilson was in the White House and Debs was in prison; nevertheless, their souls came together, and it was old Gene’s that won hands down.
The conflict between them had been fought out in the world many times before, but never by two such perfect champions. On the side of Wilson were power, eminence, learning, glory, a vast forensic skill, a haughty manner, and the almost unanimous support of the American press and people; on the side of Debs there was only the dignity of an honest and honorable man. Debs remained behind the bars, but Wilson danced naked before the world, exposed to posterity as the abject and pathetic bounder that he was. It was his tragedy that he was not only quite unable to achieve decency himself, but also quite unable to recognize it in other men. When he died Harding turned Debs loose, with a gesture both generous and charming. Thus it remained for a boozy Elk out of the Jimson weed country to teach manners to a Princeton Presbyterian….
The whole labor movement in the United States is in the hands of sleek, oily gentlemen who have learned that it is far more comfortable to make terms with the bosses than to fight them. These gentlemen, as I have said, are well fed and well tailored, and have no sympathy with dreamers. Presently they will be collecting money for a monument to old Sam Gompers. But they will never propose a monument to Debs. • In the long run, however, he will probably be recalled, at all events by romantics. There was genuinely heroic blood in him, though he sacrificed himself to a chimera. Mr. Coleman has told his story very well.

Patrick Henry: Firebrand of the Revolution by Nardi Campion, Reading Level is 5.6

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“Firebrand” is an engaging biography of a pivotal figure in America’s fight for independence.

A reviewer from Goodreads writes “This is an older biography of Patrick Henry (1961), with target audience of middle school/junior high. Overall, this was a really excellent read, with plenty of details about Henry’s life and career, but not too overwhelming. It’s written to engage younger readers, so there is some dialogue and little anecdotes along the way, but most of these stories added to the character development of Henry, helping us to see what shaped him throughout his younger years and even as an adult.”

Pioneers of Freedom by McAlister Coleman

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In simple, vigorous fashion, and in a style so clear that it can be read with pleasure by high school students, Mr. Coleman tells the stories of nine men and one woman whom he has chosen as the outstanding leaders of the forces of democracy in America. Some of them are known to every schoolboy, a few of them have almost been forgotten, but all of them again glow with life in these vivid pages.

Here they are — Jefferson, Paine, Wendell Phillips, ‘Gene Debs and the rest—leaders of American democracy. Unforgettable portraits of great men who have pointed the way to a new America.

title and small photo of Walter Reed

Vanquishing Yellow Fever by Edward F. Dolan

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The epub format below is for your Apple and Android devices and in one case for Amazon devices. As you may know, Amazon has changed to the epub format to use with the Send to Kindle program. A great feature of the Send to Kindle program is that the file will go directly to your Library folder, and not have to be searched for in ES File Explorer or another app. If you use the mobi format in Send to Kindle, you will now get an error message. You can see instructions about Send to Kindle at https://www.amazon.com/gp/sendtokindle/email.

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If you or your students want to download directly from this web site to  an Amazon device, you can use the mobi format below. When you find the mobi file  in ES File Explorer, it will then open in the Kindle app on your tablet. If you download an epub file to your Amazon tablet, it will also open if you have an app such as Overdrive on your tablet. The Kindle app offers an excellent reading experience to start with. Overdrive may need some customization of font size.

No sooner had the Spanish-American War ended —a war lasting less than five months—than a killer of men appeared in Cuba that was far deadlier than any man-made arms. Yellow fever, which for centuries had ravaged the island population, struck down Cubans and Americans alike.

The cause of yellow fever was unknown. It was believed to be spread by disease-fouled bedding and clothes of the victims. With only this theory at hand, Walter Reed went to Cuba in 1900 as head of the Army’s Yellow Fever Commission. His orders from Surgeon General George Sternberg were: “Wipe it out, Major, before it destroys all of the American occupation force in Cuba, wipe it out if you can.”

Reed was well qualified for the task. When the Spanish-American War had broken out, he had been appointed chairman of a committee to investigate the cause and mode of propagation of typhoid fever, which had broken out among the soldiers. His Report on the Origin and Spread of Typhoid Fever in U. S. Military Camps, published after Reed’s death, revealed a number of facts about the disease that had not been known before.

Earlier Reed and an associate had disproved the theory of Giuseppe Sanarelli, that the Bacillus icteroides was the cause of yellow fever.
Vanquishing Yellow Fever is the story of brave men—those doctors James Carroll, Jesse Lazear, and Aristides Agramonte, who served with Reed on the Commission, and the volunteers who risked their lives by subjecting themselves to the bite of the dreaded mosquito. Edward Dolan presents this dramatic story in a striking and gripping manner.

The determination of the Commissioners to succeed is a lesson in itself. At first they met defeat at every turn; finally they turned to the discredited theory of Dr. Carlos Juan Finlay: that the yellow fever virus was carried by the mosquito, Culex fasciatus, and that the disease was induced by its bite.

Dr. Jesse Lazear died proving the validity of this theory by experimenting upon himself. Reed, after successfully carrying out his orders, returned to Washington, D. C, in 1901, where he died November 23, 1902. The Army general hospital in Washington, D. C. was named in his honor.

Louis Pasteur by Mary June Burton

Louis Pasteur-Founder of Microbiology by Mary June Burton

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Learn how Louis Pasteur discovered which microbes were beneficial and which were deadly to mankind.

His years of patient and exhaustive research on the germ theory of disease earned this tireless French chemist a place as one of the true IMMORTALS OF SCIENCE.

Perhaps Pasteur is best known for showing how harmful bacteria could be killed by holding them at a definite temperature for a certain length of time. Later this process acquired its discoverer’s name—pasteurization.

And Pasteur improved the practice of medicine in his day in a major way. It was his research that inspired the British surgeon Joseph Lister to demand that doctors keep germs out of surgeries. Post-surgery deaths from gangrene plummeted due to the work of Pasteur and Lister. Gangrene did not have to set in after surgery if doctors, instruments and bandages and beddings were germ free.

Pasteur was also instrumental in opening a breach in the fight against cholera, yellow fever, and diphtheria. This biography is written at a 10.3 grade level according to the Flesch-Kincaid readability scale available in Microsoft Word.

Jenner vaccinating a boy

Edward Jenner and Smallpox Vaccination by Irmengarde Eberle

His Discoveries Saved Millions of Lives

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The Kindle Personal Document Service allows teachers, or librarians to send a mobi file to up to 15 student Kindle email addresses at a time.

With Calibre, you and your students can read this ebook in epub format on computer screens. By changing the background color, and enlarging the font, the reading experience on a computer screen is reasonable. On Chromebooks, you will need to use Google Play Books. Calibre is not available for Chromebooks.