New works from Bethesda-area authors
Garrett Park’s Lawrence Roberts says there are lessons to be learned from his book, Mayday 1971: A White House at War, a Revolt in the Streets, and the Untold History of America’s Biggest Mass Arrest (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, July 2020), which examines the arrest of 12,000 anti-war protesters in Washington, D.C., in 1971. “There were questions at the time whether the anti-war movement had an effect on government policy, and it’s clear from an historical perspective it had a major effect,” says Roberts, a journalist who worked for The Washington Post and ProPublica. “I hope people read this book and understand this is not the first time we felt the country was being ripped apart by division…Democratic institutions are very resilient.”
Fred Bowen says one of the challenges of writing a kids book about the history of professional football was narrowing down what to include. The Silver Spring author divided his book, Gridiron: Stories from 100 Years of the National Football League (Margaret K. McElderry Books, July 2020), into quarters, covering the league 25 years at a time. He touches on everything from writing the rules of the game to the impact of World War II on players, the integration of the NFL, and the recent controversy about concussions. “Sport history is a wonderful way to get kids interested in history,” Bowen says. “They suddenly realize, ‘Things were not always the way I see them now,’ and once they understand that, it helps to explain why things are the way they are now.”
Tecumseh and the Prophet: The Shawnee Brothers Who Defied a Nation (Alfred A. Knopf, September 2020) examines the lives of iconic men who created the broadest alliance in opposition to white encroachment on Native American land in the early 1800s, according to author Peter Cozzens. “They were two of the most influential brothers in American history,” Cozzens says of Tecumseh, a political and military leader, and Tenskwatawa, a religious prophet. “Their movement and ultimate defeat really shaped the subsequent events west of the Mississippi and the conquest of the American West.” In his research, the Kensington author says he was surprised to discover how close the men were to achieving a Native American homeland in the Upper Midwest.
Melanie Choukas-Bradley wrote a book in three weeks for a series that focused on the practical, emotional and psychological skills people need to survive the global pandemic. The Chevy Chase environmental enthusiast shared ideas on integrating mindfulness into nature walks, becoming a backyard naturalist, and engaging in activities with kids outdoors in her 92-page book Resilience: Connecting with Nature in a Time of Crisis (Changemakers Books, May 2020). “Now that life is closed down and the normal forms of entertainment and distraction aren’t there, people are staying close to home,” she says. “People are noticing the trees leafing out on their streets and the birds nesting in their backyards.”