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Neither Snow Nor Rain Book Summary : “[The] book makes you care what happens to its main protagonist, the U.S. Postal Service itself. And, as such, it leaves you at the end in suspense.” —USA Today Founded by Benjamin Franklin, the United States Postal Service was the information network that bound far-flung Americans together, and yet, it is slowly vanishing. Critics say it is slow and archaic. Mail volume is down. The workforce is shrinking. Post offices are closing. In Neither Snow Nor Rain, journalist Devin Leonard tackles the fascinating, centuries-long history of the USPS, from the first letter carriers through Franklin’s days, when postmasters worked out of their homes and post roads cut new paths through the wilderness. Under Andrew Jackson, the post office was molded into a vast patronage machine, and by the 1870s, over seventy percent of federal employees were postal workers. As the country boomed, USPS aggressively developed new technology, from mobile post offices on railroads and airmail service to mechanical sorting machines and optical character readers. Neither Snow Nor Rain is a rich, multifaceted history, full of remarkable characters, from the stamp-collecting FDR, to the revolutionaries who challenged USPS’s monopoly on mail, to the renegade union members who brought the system—and the country—to a halt in the 1970s. “Delectably readable . . . Leonard’s account offers surprises on almost every other page . . . [and] delivers both the triumphs and travails with clarity, wit and heart.” —Chicago Tribune
Appointed Rounds Book Summary : Michael McFee's new book takes its title from the unofficial motto of the US Postal Service: "Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds." All of us have appointed rounds in our lives-essential things we are given to do and must try to complete, whatever the inner or outer weather, whenever the time of day or night, however we may approach those duties. This lively and wide-ranging collection of fifty essays-many of them pointed, a page or so, in the playful manner of Robert Francis and The Satirical Rogue on Poetry, and others rolling on for much longer-addresses McFee's appointed rounds, subjects he has been thinking and caring about for decades: books, his native Western North Carolina mountains, writing, reading, editing, teaching, and, as the title suggests, the daily mail. It includes pieces on "My Inner Hillbilly" and Appalachia, on "Authors' Photos" and "Blurbs" and other parts of the physical book, on "My New Yorker" and contemporary literary culture, on "Poets as Novelists" and "Marginalia" and being a writer, on a teacher's "Gradebook" and "The Blackboard," and on authorial matters like "Voice," "Audience," and "Immortality." The prose explorations in Appointed Rounds, like McFee's poems, are meant as appreciations, paying close attention to things that have mattered to him (and many others), savoring their details while exploring their larger design, and saving his versions of them even as they may change or fade or disappear altogether.
How the Post Office Created America Book Summary : A masterful history of a long underappreciated institution, How the Post Office Created America examines the surprising role of the postal service in our nation’s political, social, economic, and physical development. The founders established the post office before they had even signed the Declaration of Independence, and for a very long time, it was the U.S. government’s largest and most important endeavor—indeed, it was the government for most citizens. This was no conventional mail network but the central nervous system of the new body politic, designed to bind thirteen quarrelsome colonies into the United States by delivering news about public affairs to every citizen—a radical idea that appalled Europe’s great powers. America’s uniquely democratic post powerfully shaped its lively, argumentative culture of uncensored ideas and opinions and made it the world’s information and communications superpower with astonishing speed. Winifred Gallagher presents the history of the post office as America’s own story, told from a fresh perspective over more than two centuries. The mandate to deliver the mail—then “the media”—imposed the federal footprint on vast, often contested parts of the continent and transformed a wilderness into a social landscape of post roads and villages centered on post offices. The post was the catalyst of the nation’s transportation grid, from the stagecoach lines to the airlines, and the lifeline of the great migration from the Atlantic to the Pacific. It enabled America to shift from an agrarian to an industrial economy and to develop the publishing industry, the consumer culture, and the political party system. Still one of the country’s two major civilian employers, the post was the first to hire women, African Americans, and other minorities for positions in public life. Starved by two world wars and the Great Depression, confronted with the country’s increasingly anti-institutional mind-set, and struggling with its doubled mail volume, the post stumbled badly in the turbulent 1960s. Distracted by the ensuing modernization of its traditional services, however, it failed to transition from paper mail to email, which prescient observers saw as its logical next step. Now the post office is at a crossroads. Before deciding its future, Americans should understand what this grand yet overlooked institution has accomplished since 1775 and consider what it should and could contribute in the twenty-first century. Gallagher argues that now, more than ever before, the imperiled post office deserves this effort, because just as the founders anticipated, it created forward-looking, communication-oriented, idea-driven America.
There s Always Work at the Post Office Book Summary : This book brings to life the important but neglected story of African American postal workers and the critical role they played in the U.S. labor and black freedom movements. Historian Philip Rubio, a former postal worker, integrates civil rights, labor, and left movement histories that too often are written as if they happened separately. Centered on New York City and Washington, D.C., the book chronicles a struggle of national significance through its examination of the post office, a workplace with facilities and unions serving every city and town in the United States. Black postal workers--often college-educated military veterans--fought their way into postal positions and unions and became a critical force for social change. They combined black labor protest and civic traditions to construct a civil rights unionism at the post office. They were a major factor in the 1970 nationwide postal wildcat strike, which resulted in full collective bargaining rights for the major postal unions under the newly established U.S. Postal Service in 1971. In making the fight for equality primary, African American postal workers were influential in shaping today's post office and postal unions.
Spreading the News Book Summary : In the seven decades from its establishment in 1775 to the commercialization of the electric telegraph in 1844, the American postal system spurred a communications revolution no less far-reaching than the subsequent revolutions associated with the telegraph, telephone, and computer. This book tells the story of that revolution and the challenge it posed for American business, politics, and cultural life. During the early republic, the postal system was widely hailed as one of the most important institutions of the day. No other institution had the capacity to transmit such a large volume of information on a regular basis over such an enormous geographical expanse. The stagecoaches and postriders who conveyed the mail were virtually synonymous with speed. In the United States, the unimpeded transmission of information has long been hailed as a positive good. In few other countries has informational mobility been such a cherished ideal. Richard John shows how postal policy can help explain this state of affairs. He discusses its influence on the development of such information-intensive institutions as the national market, the voluntary association, and the mass party. He traces its consequences for ordinary Americans, including women, blacks, and the poor. In a broader sense, he shows how the postal system worked to create a national society out of a loose union of confederated states. This exploration of the role of the postal system in American public life provides a fresh perspective not only on an important but neglected chapter in American history, but also on the origins of some of the most distinctive features of American life today. Table of Contents: Preface Acknowledgments The Postal System as an Agent of Change The Communications Revolution Completing the Network The Imagined Community The Invasion of the Sacred The Wellspring of Democracy The Interdiction of Dissent Conclusion Abbreviations Notes Sources Index Reviews of this book: "[A] splendid new book...that gives the lie to any notion that 'government' and 'administration' were 'absent' in early America." DD--Theda Skocpol, Social Science History "This well-researched and elegantly written book will become a model for historians attempting to link public policy to cultural and political change...[It] will engage not only historians of the early republic, but all scholars interested in the relationship between state and society." DD--John Majewski, Journal of Economic History "The strength of the book is...the author's ability to untangle the thousands of social, political, economic, and cultural threads of the postal fabric and to rearrange them into a clear and compelling social history." DD--Roy Alden Atwood, Journal of American History "Richard R. John provides an insightful cultural history of the often-overlooked American postal system, concentrating on its preeminent status for long-distance communication between its birth in 1775 and the commercialization of the electric telegraph in 1844...John effectively draws upon government documents, newspapers, travelogues, and contemporary social and political histories to argue that the postal system causes and mirrors dramatic changes in American public life during this period...John focuses his study on the communication revolution of the past, yet his meticulous
The Persian Wars Book Summary : Recounts the history of the Persian Wars, which occurred in 5th century Greece between the Persian Empire and Greek city-states, including Athens and Sparta. Discusses the Battle of Marathon, the Battle at Thermopylae, and the Battle of Plataea. The information is provided by Ellis L. Knox of Boise State University.
Moments in Time Book Summary : In the hallway, during a break in trial, the famed defense attorney spoke to the Postal Inspector. "You're a helluva investigator." And the Inspector said, "What do you mean?" "That interview you did with Frank," the lawyer said. Recalling the hours he had spent questioning the attorney's client, the Inspector asked, "What did I leave out?" As he turned to enter the courtroom, to stand beside his client and face the judge, the lawyer sighed, "Absolutely nothing!" In Moments in Time, Bill Phinazee and Larry Weaver tell what it's like to be a United States Postal Inspector. Some of their stories are uncomplicated, some are complex, and others are amusing, poignant or chilling. All are entertaining. They tell why a Postal Inspector is respected by his or her peers, feared by law breakers, and known by both as a "helluva investigator" whose investigations leave out absolutely nothing.
My Life and Times As a Postal Worker Book Summary : The book you're about to read is my story working in the post office as a clerk and union officer. Some cases I worked on and my investigations, and how I dealt with management. You will read about how 5 unions merged to form the American Postal Workers Union. The reorganization act and when the United States Postal Service became an independent government agency. You will read about the shootings inside the post offices, and shooting elsewhere. The misappropriation from management, clerks and union officers. you will read about some of the cases postal inspectors investigated outside the post office. Finally you will a little about the two loves of my life and how I went quietly into retirement.
Brand Thinking and Other Noble Pursuits Book Summary : "This engaging and highly informative book presents twenty interviews with the world's leading designers, anthropologists and innovators in the field of branding. In a series of illuminating, spirited conversations with preeminent global brand designer Debbie Millman, these influential figures share their take on how and why humans have branded the world around us, and the ideas, inventions, and insight inherent in this process"--
Deliver Me Book Summary : You see them driving down your street and walking through your neighborhood, but how well do you know your lettercarrier? Deliver Me! takes you behind the scenes for an hilarious look at the lives of these ubiquitous civil servants. Whether it's dealing with dogs, unruly customers, or the puzzling demands of management, it's all in a day's work for these everyday heroes!
What Doctors Feel Book Summary : A look at the emotional side of medicine—the shame, fear, anger, anxiety, empathy, and even love that affect patient care Physicians are assumed to be objective, rational beings, easily able to detach as they guide patients and families through some of life’s most challenging moments. But doctors’ emotional responses to the life-and-death dramas of everyday practice have a profound impact on medical care. And while much has been written about the minds and methods of the medical professionals who save our lives, precious little has been said about their emotions. In What Doctors Feel, Dr. Danielle Ofri has taken on the task of dissecting the hidden emotional responses of doctors, and how these directly influence patients. How do the stresses of medical life—from paperwork to grueling hours to lawsuits to facing death—affect the medical care that doctors can offer their patients? Digging deep into the lives of doctors, Ofri examines the daunting range of emotions—shame, anger, empathy, frustration, hope, pride, occasionally despair, and sometimes even love—that permeate the contemporary doctor-patient connection. Drawing on scientific studies, including some surprising research, Dr. Danielle Ofri offers up an unflinching look at the impact of emotions on health care. With her renowned eye for dramatic detail, Dr. Ofri takes us into the swirling heart of patient care, telling stories of caregivers caught up and occasionally torn down by the whirlwind life of doctoring. She admits to the humiliation of an error that nearly killed one of her patients and her forever fear of making another. She mourns when a beloved patient is denied a heart transplant. She tells the riveting stories of an intern traumatized when she is forced to let a newborn die in her arms, and of a doctor whose daily glass of wine to handle the frustrations of the ER escalates into a destructive addiction. But doctors don’t only feel fear, grief, and frustration. Ofri also reveals that doctors tell bad jokes about “toxic sock syndrome,” cope through gallows humor, find hope in impossible situations, and surrender to ecstatic happiness when they triumph over illness. The stories here reveal the undeniable truth that emotions have a distinct effect on how doctors care for their patients. For both clinicians and patients, understanding what doctors feel can make all the difference in giving and getting the best medical care.
Going Postal Book Summary : Suddenly, condemned arch-swindler Moist von Lipwig found himself with a noose around his neck and dropping through a trapdoor into ... a government job? By all rights, Moist should be meeting his maker rather than being offered a position as Postmaster by Lord Vetinari, supreme ruler of Ankh-Morpork. Getting the moribund Postal Service up and running again, however, may prove an impossible task, what with literally mountains of decades-old undelivered mail clogging every nook and cranny of the broken-down post office. Worse still, Moist could swear the mail is talking to him. Worst of all, it means taking on the gargantuan, greedy Grand Trunk clacks communication monopoly and its bloodthirsty piratical headman. But if the bold and undoable are what's called for, Moist's the man for the job -- to move the mail, continue breathing, get the girl, and specially deliver that invaluable commodity that every being, human or otherwise, requires: hope.
This Troubled World Book Summary : “We will have to want Peace, want it enough to pay for it, before it becomes and accepted rule.” With these words, Mrs. Roosevelt concludes her appeal for peace on earth, good will to men. During the past year, World Peace has seemed more difficult of achievement than ever before, despite the efforts of Leagues and Courts. This discouraging situation has inspired Mrs. Roosevelt, whose life is bound by special ties to the whole fabric of our country’s welfare, to express her own sincere beliefs on the subject. She has analysed many peace plans and, as a result of her studies, presents her own suggestions as to how permanent peace can be brought about. This is a thoughtful book, written by a woman who realises that it is easier to keep out of situations which lead to war than it is to bring about peace once war is going on. If we can dispassionately go over the difficulties which arise between conflicting interests within our own borders, we will be in a better position to understand and arbitrate the quarrels which lead to war among other nations.
Hottest Heads of State Book Summary : TigerBeat for U.S. presidents—a tour of our nation’s history through its irresistible commanders-in-chief Is there anything hotter than former U.S. presidents? Obviously, there is not. And yet, until now, there was no way to learn about these handsome and mysterious men that is funny, educational, and includes thoughtful analysis of which ones would make good boyfriends. Thankfully, Hottest Heads of State fills this void. Get to know each president intimately with an individual profile outlining his particular charms (or, in some cases, “charms”). Plus, inside you’ll find: · GAMES including “Match the Mistress to her POTUS” · QUIZZES like “Which President has a Secret Crush on You?” and “Can You Cover Up Watergate?” · that POSTER of Rutherford B. Hayes you’ve always secretly wanted! J. D. and Kate Dobson’s wickedly smart and refreshingly bipartisan debut is a spot-on parody of a teen magazine featuring such unlikely heartthrobs as Richard Nixon and William H. Taft. In the end, you’ll learn centuries’ worth of cocktail party-worthy trivia, and you’ll be slightly more prepared to take the AP U.S. History exam. You’ll also start tingling whenever you hear the name Herbert Hoover.
Case Closed Book Summary : Pulitzer Prize Finalist: “By far the most lucid and compelling account . . . of what probably did happen in Dallas—and what almost certainly did not.” —The New York Times Book Review The Kennedy assassination has reverberated for five decades, with tales of secret plots, multiple killers, and government cabals often overshadowing the event itself. As Gerald Posner writes, “Fifty years after the assassination, the biggest casualty has been the truth.” In this first-ever digital edition of his classic work, updated with a special comment for the fiftieth anniversary, Posner lays to rest all of the convoluted conspiracy theories—concerning the mafia, a second shooter, and the CIA—that have obscured over the decades what really happened in Dealey Plaza on November 22, 1963. Drawing from official sources and dozens of interviews, and filled with powerful historical detail, Case Closed is a vivid and straightforward account that stands as one of the most authoritative books on the assassination of John F. Kennedy.
Art Deco Mailboxes An Illustrated Design History Book Summary : A great gift book for lovers of unsung urban decorative art and unique architectural details. Mailboxes and their chutes were once as essential to the operation of any major hotel, office, civic, or residential building as the front door. In time they developed a decorative role, in a range of styles and materials, and as American art deco architecture flourished in the 1920s and 1930s they became focal points in landmark buildings and public spaces: the GE Building, Grand Central Terminal, the Woolworth Building, 29 Broadway, the St. Regis Hotel, York & Sawyer’s Salmon Tower, the Waldorf Astoria, and many more. While many mailboxes have been removed, forgotten, disused, or painted over (and occasionally repurposed), others are still in use, are polished daily, and hold a place of pride in lobbies throughout the country. A full-color photographic survey of beautiful early mailboxes, highlighting those of the grand art deco period, together with a brief history of the innovative mailbox-and-chute system patented in 1883 by James Cutler of Rochester, New York, Art Deco Mailboxes features dozens of the best examples of this beloved, dynamic design’s realization in the mailboxes of New York City as well as Chicago, Philadelphia, Indianapolis, Cincinnati, and beyond.
Spaceman Book Summary : Have you ever wondered what it would be like to find yourself strapped to a giant rocket that’s about to go from zero to 17,500 miles per hour? Or to look back on Earth from outer space and see the surprisingly precise line between day and night? Or to stand in front of the Hubble Space Telescope, wondering if the emergency repair you’re about to make will inadvertently ruin humankind’s chance to unlock the universe’s secrets? Mike Massimino has been there, and in Spaceman he puts you inside the suit, with all the zip and buoyancy of life in microgravity. Massimino’s childhood space dreams were born the day Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon. Growing up in a working-class Long Island family, he catapulted himself to Columbia and then MIT, only to flunk his first doctoral exam and be rejected three times by NASA before making it through the final round of astronaut selection. Taking us through the surreal wonder and beauty of his first spacewalk, the tragedy of losing friends in the Columbia shuttle accident, and the development of his enduring love for the Hubble Telescope—which he and his fellow astronauts were tasked with saving on his final mission—Massimino has written an ode to never giving up and the power of teamwork to make anything possible. Spaceman invites us into a rare, wonderful world where science meets the most thrilling adventure, revealing just what having “the right stuff” really means.
Ninety Percent of Everything Book Summary : Eye-opening and compelling, the overlooked world of freight shipping, revealed as the foundation of our civilization On ship-tracking websites, the waters are black with dots. Each dot is a ship; each ship is laden with boxes; each box is laden with goods. In postindustrial economies, we no longer produce but buy. We buy, so we must ship. Without shipping there would be no clothes, food, paper, or fuel. Without all those dots, the world would not work. Freight shipping has been no less revolutionary than the printing press or the Internet, yet it is all but invisible. Away from public scrutiny, shipping revels in suspect practices, dubious operators, and a shady system of "flags of convenience." Infesting our waters, poisoning our air, and a prime culprit of acoustic pollution, shipping is environmentally indefensible. And then there are the pirates. Rose George, acclaimed chronicler of what we would rather ignore, sails from Rotterdam to Suez to Singapore on ships the length of football fields and the height of Niagara Falls; she patrols the Indian Ocean with an anti-piracy task force; she joins seafaring chaplains, and investigates the harm that ships inflict on endangered whales. Sharply informative and entertaining, Ninety Percent of Everything reveals the workings and perils of an unseen world that holds the key to our economy, our environment, and our very civilization.