Fresh Ink: Spring Books

Fresh Ink: Spring Books
Fresh Ink: Spring Books
By Sacha Zimmerman

A history of the Han Dynasty at war, a history of war via global finance, and a history of America through the eyes of a Black dynasty. Plus, the life of a landlord and two children’s books that point to the beauty in cross-cultural exchanges.

The Garretts of Columbia: A Black South Carolina Family from Slavery to the Dawn of Integration

By David Nicholson ’68
University of South Carolina Press, 2024

“At the heart of David Nicholson’s beautifully written and carefully researched book … are his great-grandparents, Casper George Garrett and his wife, Anna Maria. Papa … was a professor at Allen University, a lawyer, and an editor of three newspapers. Dubbed Black South Carolina’s ‘most respected disliked man,’ he was always ready to attack those he believed disloyal to his race. When his quixotic idealism and acerbic editorials resulted in his dismissal from Allen, his wife … came into her own as the family bread winner. She was appointed supervisor of rural colored schools, trained teachers, and oversaw the construction of schoolhouses. … Though Papa and Mama came of age in the bleak Jim Crow years after Reconstruction, they believed in the possibility of America. … The Garretts of Columbia is family history as American history, rich with pivotal events viewed through the lens of the Garretts’s lives.”

The Han-Xiongnu War, 133 BC–89 AD: The Struggle of China and a Steppe Empire Told Through Its Key Figures 

By Scott Forbes Crawford ’96
Pen & Sword Books Ltd., 2023

“The Han-Xiongnu War pitted the Han dynasty against a confederation of nomadic steppe peoples, the Xiongnu Empire. In campaigns waged on a huge scale by the standards of contemporary western warfare, … the two states fought for control of Central Asia, hungry for its rich resources and Western trade links. China’s victory set the stage for millennia of imperial rule and a vast sphere of influence in Asia. Scott Forbes Crawford examines the war in a lively, engaging narrative … through biographies of fifteen historical figures: the Chinese and Xiongnu emperors who first led their armies into battle; ‘peace bride’ Princess Jieyou, whose marriage to a steppe king forged a vital Chinese alliance and positioned her to feed intelligence to the Han Court; [and] the explorer-diplomat Zhang Qian, who almost inadvertently established the Silk Road, among other pivotal individuals.”

Waging War with Gold: National Security and the Finance Domain Across the Ages

By Charles A. Dainoff, Robert M. Farley, Geoffrey F. Williams ’87 
Lynne Rienner Publishers

“‘The sinews of war,’ posited Cicero, ‘are infinite money.’ Can the same be said of security? Tackling this thought-provoking question, the authors of Waging War with Gold show how states across the centuries have weaponized the global finance domain—a constellation of economic, legal, and monetary relations—in order to exert influence and pursue national interests.”

House for Rent: A Small-Time Landlord’s Bumpy Road to Financial Freedom

By J. Robert Giffen ’51
Outskirts Press, 2018

Here are the “[e]veryday adventures and lessons learned over 20 years renting single-family homes to a wide variety of tenants. Tenants come and go. Some even come and stay a long time. Most are totally unremarkable. … This book focuses on some of the more challenging tenants, who have come and, thankfully, gone. They can drive you crazy when you’re dealing with them, but in hindsight, they are what makes the life of a landlord an interesting adventure.”

Eyes that Weave the World’s Wonders 

By Joanna Ho and Liz Kleinrock ’05
HarperCollins, 2024

“A young girl who is a transracial adoptee learns to appreciate the differences in her family and celebrate them. Even though her adopted family may look different from her, their bond is deep and their connection is filled with love. She wonders about her birth mom and comes to appreciate both her birth culture and her adopted family’s culture, for even though they may seem very different, they are both a part of her, and that is what makes her beautiful.”

Come and Join Us: 18 Holidays Celebrated All Year Long 

By Liz Kleinrock ’05
HarperCollins, 2023

“Meet kids who share how they celebrate holidays all year long—perfect for discussions about de-centering winter holidays! Who says the holidays only happen in the winter? Every day’s a holiday when you live in a world as diverse as ours! From Juneteenth to Vesak, and Yom Kippur to Día de las Muertos, the festivities never end. Come and join us and learn about eighteen holidays celebrated by a diverse group of children in this inviting and joyful picture book.”

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Fresh Ink: Spring Books

A history of the Han Dynasty at war, a history of war via global finance, and a history of America through the eyes of a Black dynasty. Plus, the life of a landlord and two children’s books that point to the beauty in cross-cultural exchanges.

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Ben Charo ’14 has dedicated his life to coral—with some help from Sidwell Friends.

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A roundtable discussion about the new wave of  American censorship.

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The current Upper School turns 60. The new Upper School is prepping for construction.


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