Kings Park DVD

A groundbreaking new documentary

On June 21, 1967, at the age of 17, Lucy Winer was committed to the female violent ward of Kings Park State Hospital following a series of failed suicide attempts. Over 30 years later, now a veteran documentary filmmaker, Lucy returns to Kings Park for the first time since her discharge. Her journey back sparks a decade-long effort to face her past and learn the story of the now abandoned institution that once held her captive. Her meetings with other former patients, their families, and the hospital staff reveal the painful legacy of our state hospital system and the crisis left by its demise.

The skull in the rock : how a scientist, a boy, and Google Earth opened a new window on human origins / by Lee Berger and Marc Aronson

Call number: GN282 .A695 2012


In 2008, Professor Lee Berger–with the help of his curious 9-year-old son–discovered two remarkably well preserved, two-million-year-old fossils of an adult female and young male, known as Australopithecus sediba; a previously unknown species of ape-like creatures that may have been a direct ancestor of modern humans. This discovery of has been hailed as one of the most important archaeological discoveries in history. The fossils reveal what may be one of humankind’s oldest ancestors.Berger believes the skeletons they found on the Malapa site in South Africa could be the “Rosetta stone that unlocks our understanding of the genus Homo” and may just redesign the human family tree.

Berger, an Eagle Scout and National Geographic Grantee, is the Reader in Human Evolution and the Public Understanding of Science in the Institute for Human Evolution at the University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa.

The focus of the book will be on the way in which we can apply new thinking to familiar material and come up with a breakthrough. Marc Aronson is particularly interested in framing these issues for young people and has had enormous success with this approach in his previous books: Ain’t Nothing But a Man and If Stones Could Speak.

Berger’s discovery in one of the most excavated and studied areas on Earth revealed a treasure trove of human fossils–and an entirely new human species–where people thought no more field work might ever be necessary. Technology and revelation combined, plus a good does of luck, to broaden by ten times the number of early human fossils known, rejuvenating this field of study and posing countless more questions to be answered in years and decades to come. (From Google Books)

100 people who changed 20th-century America / Mary Cross, editor

Call number: CT220 .A16 2013

100 People Who Changed 20th-Century America provides a two-volume encyclopedia of the individuals whose contributions to society made the 20th century what it was. Comprising contributions from 20 academics and experts in their field, the thought-provoking essays examine the men and women who have shaped the modern American cultural experience – change agents who defined their time period as a result of their talent, imagination, and enterprise. Organized chronologically by the subjects’ birthdates, the essays are written to accessible to the general reader yet provide in-depth information for scholars, ensuring that the work will appeal to many audiences.  (From Google Books)

Acid test : LSD, Ecstasy, and the power to heal / Tom Shroder

Call number: RC483.5.L9 S57 2014

It’s no secret that psychedelic drugs have the ability to cast light on the miraculous reality hidden within our psyche. Almost immediately after the discovery of LSD less than a hundred years ago, psychedelics began to play a crucial role in the quest to understand the link between mind and matter. With an uncanny ability to reveal the mind’s remote frontiers and the unmapped areas of human consciousness, LSD and MDMA (better known as Ecstasy) have proven extraordinarily effective in treating anxiety disorders such as PTSD—yet the drugs remain illegal for millions of people who might benefit from them.

Anchoring Tom Shroder’s Acid Test are the stories of Rick Doblin, the founder and executive director of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), who has been fighting government prohibition of psychedelics for more than thirty years; Michael Mithoefer, a former emergency room physician, now a psychiatrist at the forefront of psychedelic therapy research; and his patient Nicholas Blackston, a former Marine who has suffered unfathomable mental anguish from the effects of brutal combat experiences in Iraq. All three men are passionate, relatable people; each flawed, each resilient, and each eccentric, yet very familiar and very human.

Acid Test covers the first heady years of experimentation in the fifties and sixties, through the backlash of the seventies and eighties, when the drug subculture exploded and uncontrolled use of street psychedelics led to a PR nightmare that created the drug stereotypes of the present day. Meticulously researched and astoundingly informative, this is at once a personal story of intertwining lives against an epic backdrop, and a compelling argument for the unprecedented healing properties of drugs that have for decades been characterized as dangerous, illicit substances. (From Google Books)

An American tragedy / by Theodore Dreiser

Call number: PS3507.R55 A7 1982

Taking as his point of departure a notorious murder case of 1910, [the author] immersed himself in the social background of the crime to produce a book that is both a … work of reportage and a monumental study of character. [This novel tracks] the process by which an ordinary young man becomes capable of committing a ruthless murder, and the further process by which social and political forces come into play after his arrest. In Clyde Griffiths, the impoverished, restless offspring of a family of street preachers, [the author] created [a] portrait of a man whose circumstances and dreams of self-betterment conspire to pull him toward an act of unforgivable violence. Around Clyde, [the author] builds [a] detailed fictional portrait of early twentieth-century America, its religious and sexual hypocrisies, its economic pressures, its political corruption. (From Google Books)

Icons of African American literature : the Black literary world / Yolanda Williams Page, editor

Call number: PS153.N5 I33 2011

African American literature has a long and fascinating history. This book examines 24 of the most recognizable and popular topics related to African American literature. Each piece is substantial enough to provide more information than a typical encyclopedia entry but not so long as to be tedious or overwhelming. Arranged alphabetically, the entries cover such writers as Maya Angelou, James Baldwin, and August Wilson; major works, such as Invisible Man, Native Son, and Their Eyes Were Watching God; and a range of cultural topics, including the black arts movement, the Harlem Renaissance, and the jazz aesthetic. Entries are written by expert contributors and discuss the enduring significance of these topics in American history and popular culture. Each entry provides sidebars of interesting information and suggestions for further reading, while the set closes with a selected, general bibliography of print and electronic resources for student research. (From Google Books)

The news sorority : Diane Sawyer, Katie Couric, Christiane Amanpour– and the (ongoing, imperfect, complicated) triumph of women in TV news / Sheila Weller

Call number: PN4872 .W42 2014

For decades, women battered the walls of the male fortress of television journalism, until finally three—Diane Sawyer, Katie Couric, and Christiane Amanpour—broke through, definitively remaking America’s nightly news. Drawing on exclusive interviews with their colleagues and intimates from childhood on, bestselling author Sheila Weller crafts a lively and eye-opening narrative, revealing the combination of ambition, skill, and character that enabled these three singular women to infiltrate the once impenetrable “boys club” and become cultural icons.

Raised in Louisville, Kentucky, Diane Sawyer was a driven, elegant young woman in a time of societal upheaval. Her fierce intellect, almost insuperable work ethic, and mysterious emotional intelligence would catapult Sawyer from being the first female on-air correspondent for 60 Minutes to presenting heartbreaking specials on child poverty in America while anchoring the network flagship, ABC World News Tonight.

Katie Couric, always convenient l y underestimated because of her girl-next-door demeanor, brazened her way through a succession of regional TV news jobs until she finally hit it big in New York. In 1991, Couric became the Today show cohost, where over the next fifteen years she transformed the “female” slot from secondary to preeminent. Couric’s greatest triumph—and most bedeviling challenge—was inheriting the mantle of Walter Cronkite at CBS Evening News, as the first woman ever to anchor a prestigious nighttime network news program.

A glamorous but unorthodox cosmopolite— the daughter of a British Catholic mother and Iranian Muslim father—Christiane Amanpour made a virtue of her outsider status. She joined the fledgling CNN on the bottom rung and then became its “face,” catalyzing its rise to global prominence. Her fearlessness in war zones and before presidents and despots would make her the world’s witness to some of its most acute crises and television’s chief advocate for international justice.

The News Sorority takes us behind the scenes as never before to track Sawyer’s, Couric’s, and Amanpour’s ascendance to the highest ranks of the media elite, showing that the compelling desire to report the news—a drive born of curiosity, empathy, and humanity—must be matched by guts, awesome competitive fervor, and rare strategic savvy.