The members of the History Book Club at the Cayuga Museum met recently to choose the reading selections for the next several months. The History Book Club meets on the first Thursday of the month, at 7:00 p.m. at the Museum. Members discuss non-fiction works of history on local, national and global themes. Participation is free and readers can choose to attend any or all of the monthly meetings.
Thursday, Nov. 4: American Sphinx: The Character of Thomas Jefferson by Joseph J. Ellis. 1997 winner of the National Book Award for history.
Dec. 9: A Midwife's Tale: The Life of Martha Ballard, Based on Her Diary, 1785-1812 by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for History, 1991. Using passages from Ballard's diary as a starting point, demonstrates how the seemingly trivial details of her daily life reflect and relate to prominent themes in the history of the early republic: the role of women in the economic life of the community, the nature of marriage and sexual relations, the scope of medical knowledge and practice.
Jan. 6: Fordlandia: The Rise and Fall of Henry Ford's Forgotten Jungle City by Greg Grandin. In 1927, Henry Ford bought a tract of land twice the size of Delaware in the Brazilian Amazon. His intention was to grow rubber, but the project rapidly evolved into a more ambitious bid to export America itself. Fordlandia soon became the site of an epic clash. On one side was the lean, austere car magnate; on the other, the Amazon, the most complex ecological system on the planet.
Feb. 3: The Sun and the Moon: The Remarkable True Account of Hoaxers, Showmen, Dueling Journalists, and Lunar Man-Bats in Nineteenth-Century New York by Matthew Goodman. Goodman offers a richly detailed and engrossing glimpse of the birth of tabloid journalism in an antebellum New York divided by class, ethnicity and such polarizing issues as slavery, religion and intellectual freedom.