Author: Russell Freedman

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Book:Eleanor Roosevelt: A Life of Discovery

Eleanor Roosevelt: A Life of Discovery

Russell Freedman

The intriguing story of Eleanor Roosevelt traces the life of the former First Lady from her early childhood through the tumultuous years in the White House to her active role in the founding of the United Nations after World War II.

Book:The Voice That Challenged a Nation

The Voice That Challenged a Nation: Marian Anderson and the Struggle for Equal Rights

Russell Freedman

“A voice like yours,” celebrated conductor Arturo Toscanini told contralto Marian Anderson, “is heard once in a hundred years.” This insightful account of the great African American vocalist considers her life and musical career in the context of the history of civil rights in this country. Drawing on Anderson’s own writings and other contemporary accounts, Russell Freedman shows readers a singer pursuing her art despite the social constraints that limited the careers of black performers in the 1920s and 1930s. Though not a crusader or a spokesperson by nature, Marian Anderson came to stand for all black artists-and for all Americans of color-when, with the help of such prominent figures as Eleanor Roosevelt, she gave her landmark 1939 performance on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, which signaled the end of segregation in the arts. Carefully researched, expertly told, and profusely illustrated with contemporary photographs, here is a moving account of the life of a talented and determined artist who left her mark on musical and social history. Through her story, one of today’s leading authors of nonfiction for young readers illuminates the social and political climate of the day and an important chapter in American history.

Book:The Wright Brothers

The Wright Brothers: How They Invented the Airplane

Russell Freedman

He saw the first regular airmail service introduced in 1918, the first nonstop transcontinental flight in 1923, the first round-the-world flight in 1924, the first polar flight in 1926, and the first nonstop flight across the Atlantic in 1927. He witnessed two world wars in which the airplane played a critical role. He saw the earth shrink as the jet engine replaced propellers. He lived to see airplanes that flew faster than the speed of sound, and planes whose wings stretched farther than the distance of his first flight at Kitty Hawk.

There were moments when he looked back wistfully to those long-ago days when flying was still a dream that he shared with his brother. He once said, “I got more thrill out of flying before I had ever been in the air at all—while lying in bed thinking how exciting it would be to fly.

Book:Children of the Great Depression

Children of the Great Depression

Russell Freedman

As he did for frontier children in his enormously popular Children of the Wild West, Russell Freedman illuminates the lives of the American children affected by the economic and social changes of the Great Depression. Middle-class urban youth, migrant farm laborers, boxcar kids, children whose families found themselves struggling for survival…all Depression-era young people faced challenges like unemployed and demoralized parents, inadequate food and shelter, schools they couldn’t attend because they had to go to work, schools that simply closed their doors. Even so, life had its bright spots — like favorite games and radio shows — and many young people remained upbeat and optimistic about the future.

Drawing on memoirs, diaries, letters, and other firsthand accounts, and richly illustrated with classic archival photographs, this book by one of the most celebrated authors of nonfiction for children places the Great Depression in context and shows young readers its human face. Endnotes, selected bibliography, index.

Book:Martha Graham

Martha Graham: A Dancer's Life

Russell Freedman

Martha Graham, the American dancer, teacher, and choreographer, revolutionized the world of modern dance. She possessed a great gift for revealing emotion through dance, expressing beliefs and telling stories in an utterly new way. Newbery Medalist Russell Freedman documents Martha Graham’s life from her birth in 1894 to her final dance performance at the age of seventy-five and continued career as a choreographer until her death in 1991. Graham’s own recollections as well as those of her dancers, students, friends, and lovers reveal Graham’s unwavering dedication, her extraordinary sense of artistry, and the fierce intensity that left an impression on all who saw her perform. Original research based on interviews and a remarkable collection of photographs not widely reproduced give this biography a rare and unparalleled depth. Includes notes,a bibliography, and an index.

Book:Lincoln: A Photobiography

Lincoln: A Photobiography

Russell Freedman

Abraham Lincoln stood out in a crowd as much for his wit and rollicking humor as for his height. Here is a warm, appealing biography of our Civil War president, illustrated with dozens of carefully chosen photographs and prints.

Russell Freedman begins with a lively account of Abraham Lincoln’s boyhood, his career as a country lawyer, and his courtship and marriage to Mary Todd. Then the author focuses on the presidential years (1861 to 1865), skillfully explaining the many complex issues Lincoln grappled with as he led a deeply divided nation through the Civil War. The book’s final chapter is a moving account of that tragic evening in Ford’s Theatre on April 14, 1865.

Lincoln: A Photobiography concludes with a sampling of Lincoln writings and a detailed list of Lincoln historical sites. Russell Freedman visited all the major Lincoln historical sites while researching this book. At the Illinois State Historical…[more]

Book:The Adventures of Marco Polo

The Adventures of Marco Polo

Russell Freedman

He claimed to have seen rocks burn, bandits command sandstorms, lions tamed with a look, and sorcerers charm sharks while divers gathered pearls on the ocean floor. Marco Polo shook Europe with descriptions of the world he'd seen on his epic journey to the court of Kublai Khan. But was Marco Polo the world's most accomplished explorer? Had he really seen the "Roof of the World" in Central Asia, and the "City of Heaven" in far-off China? Or was he a charlatan who saw nothing more than the conjurings of his inventive mind? Join Russell Freedman as he tackles a centuries-old mystery.

Book:Kids at Work

Kids at Work: Lewis Hine and the Crusade Against Child Labor

Russell Freedman

Photobiography of early twentieth-century photographer and schoolteacher Lewis Hine, using his own work as illustrations. Hines’s photographs of children at work were so devastating that they convinced the American people that Congress must pass child labor laws.

Book:Lafayette and the American Revolution

Lafayette: and the American Revolution

Russell Freedman

When the Marquis de Lafayette ran off to join the American Revolution against the explicit orders of the king of France, he was a strong-willed nineteen-year-old who had never set foot on a battlefield. Although the U.S. Congress granted him an honorary commission only out of respect for his title and wealth, Lafayette quickly earned the respect of his fellow officers with his bravery, devotion to the cause of liberty, and incredible drive.

Playing a pivotal role in the Revolution, Lafayette convinced the French government to send troops, made crucial pacts with Native Americans, and lead his men to victory at Yorktown. This thrilling account of a daring soldier will fascinate young historians. Source notes, bibliography, time line, index.

Book:Washington at Valley Forge

Washington at Valley Forge

Russell Freedman

Newbery Award-winning author Russell Freedman offers up this powerful account of the survival of American soldiers while camped at Valley Forge during a crucial period in the American Revolution.

George Washington's army almost perished during the winter of 1777-78. Camped at Valley Forge, about twenty miles from Philadelphia, the revolutionaries endured severe hardship because the army's supply system had collapsed and they were without food, clothing, and blankets.

The army was at its most vulnerable; but when the harsh winter drew to a close, the soldiers had survived, and marched away from Valley Forge more determined than ever. The British were defeated in 1783, and Washington, for the rest of his life, said that the credit for the American victory belonged to the soldiers who had braved the horrific conditions at Valley Forge.

Book:Freedom Walkers

Freedom Walkers: The Story of the Montgomery Bus Boycott

Russell Freedman

On December 1, 1955, Rosa Parks refused to move to the back of the bus and give up her seat to a white man. This refusal to give up her dignity sparked the Montgomery bus boycott, a yearlong struggle, and a major victory in the civil rights movement. Source notes, map, bibliography, index.

Book:In Defense of Liberty

In Defense of Liberty: The Story of America's Bill of Rights

Russell Freedman

When the Delegates to the Constitutional Convention signed the Constitution, they knew it was not perfect. They were concerned their government might be too powerful and not respect the rights of its citizens. So at the first session of the United States Congress in 1789, they voted on a set of ten amendments, aimed to preserve and protect the rights and liberties of all citizens. These ten amendments comprise the Bill of Rights. As our country has grown, American citizens have continued to rely on this landmark document as a means to defend the liberties of all, across boundaries of race and gender, age and class, religion and ethics. Focusing on examples of ordinary citizens who have had the courage to challenge their government and raise their voices at injustice, Russell Freedman's compelling text is essential reading for every American.

Book:Confucius

Confucius: The Golden Rule

Russell Freedman, Frederic Clement

Born in China in 551 B.C., Confucius rose from poverty to the heights of his country’s ruling class. But then he quit his high post for the life of an itinerant philosopher. “The Analects” collects his teachings on education and government, the definition of nobility, the equality of man, and the right way and purpose of living—ideas that eventually spread to the West and influenced the great thinkers of the Enlightenment. And five centuries before Christ, Confucius set forth his own Golden Rule: “Do not impose on others what you do not wish for yourself.”

Book:The Life and Death of Crazy Horse

The Life and Death of Crazy Horse

Russell Freedman

A biography of the Oglala leader who relentlessly resisted the white man’s attempt to take over Indian lands.

Book:An Indian Winter

An Indian Winter

Russell Freedman

Relates the experiences of a German prince, his servant, and a young Swiss artist as they traveled through the Missouri River Valley in 1833 learning about the territory and its inhabitants and recording their impressions in words and pictures.

Book:Franklin Delano Roosevelt

Franklin Delano Roosevelt

Russell Freedman

Photographs and text trace the life of Franklin Delano Roosevelt from his birth in 1882 through his youth, early political career, and presidency, to his death in Warm Springs, Georgia, in 1945.

Book:Buffalo Hunt

Buffalo Hunt

Russell Freedman

Examines the importance of the buffalo in the lore and day-to-day life of the Indian tribes of the Great Plains and describes hunting methods and the uses found for each part of the animal that could not be eaten.

Book:Babe Didrikson Zaharias

Babe Didrikson Zaharias: The Making of a Champion

Russell Freedman

When Babe Didrikson Zaharias was a child, her goal was to be the greatest athlete who ever lived. Few people come as close to their childhood goals as Babe did. She was an All-American basketball player, an Olympic gold medalist in track and field, and a championship golfer who won eighty-two amateur and professional tournaments. She also mastered tennis, played exhibition baseball, and was an accomplished diver and bowler.

The Associated Press elected her Woman Athlete of the Year six times and in 1950 named her Woman Athlete of the Half Century. Babe accomplished all of this at a time when most girls and women didn’t take part in these sports.

This insightful and well-researched biography from Newbery medalist Russell Freedman brings to life the woman who changed the world’s perception of female athletes forever - Babe Didrikson Zaharias.

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