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New Books on the History Shelf

Most of the critical naval fighting during the War of 1812 took place, not on the high seas, but on the inland lakes of North America: the Great Lakes and Lake Champlain. Carrying between 12 and 22 cannon, the British and American sloops-of-war were ship-rigged, brig-rigged or schooner-rigged vessels with their guns on a single deck. Actions often involved two ships facing each other broadside to broadside, the best example of which was the battle of Lake Erie in 1813 where HMS Detroit led a Royal Navy squadron against the USS Lawrence-led US Navy.

A story of courage in the face of evil. The tense drama of Suzanne Spaak who risked and gave her life to save hundreds of Jewish children from deportation from Nazi Paris to Auschwitz. This is one of the untold stories of the Holocaust. Suzanne Spaak was born into the Belgian Catholic elite and married into the country's leading political family.When France fell and the Nazis occupied Paris, she joined the Resistance. She used her fortune and social status to enlist allies among wealthy Parisians and church groups. Under the eyes of the Gestapo, Suzanne and women from the Jewish and Christian resistance groups "kidnapped" hundreds of Jewish children to save them from the gas chambers.

In its two-hundred year history the University of Michigan has planned its campus in waves, from the earliest days of the iconic buildings around the Diag to the plans for the hospitals and the North Campus. This immensely informative and entertaining second volume in the history of the evolution of the campuses offers an absorbing narrative from the perspective of Fred Mayer, who served for more than three decades as the campus planner for the university during an important period of its growth during the late twentieth century.

In 1934, the highly respected head of the Soviet Union's meteorology department, Alexei Feodosievich Wangenheim, was suddenly arrested without cause and taken to a gulag. Less than a year after being hailed by Stalin as a national hero, he ended up with thousands of other 'political prisoners' in a camp on an island in the north, under vast skies and surrounded by water that was, for more than six months of the year, a sheet of motionless ice. He was violently executed in 1937--a fact kept from his family for nearly 20 years. Olivier Rolin masterfully weaves together Alexei's story and his eventual fate, drawing on an archive of letters and delicate drawings of the natural world which Wangenheim sent to his family from prison.

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