History

The NASW bookstore sells books, music, video, software, and other merchandise via Amazon.com. Every purchase helps support NASW programs and services. Books featured below were written by NASW members or reviewed in ScienceWriters magazine. Appearance here does not indicate endorsement.

David A. Taylor

In 1940, as German U-boats blocked ships attempting Atlantic crossings, a 15-alarm blaze at Baltimore’s Crown Cork and Seal factory consumed nine acres of baled cork, a sealant crucial to the defense industry. Was the fire caused by Nazi sabotage? In Cork Wars: Intrigue and Industry in World War II, David Taylor describes this event and its impact on the lives of three men and their families

Simson L. Garfinkel and Rachel H. Grunspan

A 1970 Monty Python sketch in which a group of Vikings chant “spam, spam…” to overwhelm conversation around them sparked use of “spam” for unsolicited email. JPEG stands for the “joint photographic experts group” that devised the now standard way to compress images. In The Computer Book, Simson Garfinkel and Rachel Grunspan provide backstories for 250 seminal events in the history of computing.

Betsy Mason & Greg Miller

In 1680, an English pirate captured a Spanish ship near Panama, neglecting a trove of unrefined silver but seizing an atlas of Pacific Ocean sailing charts and maps. On receiving it, King Charles II of England made him a captain in the Royal Navy. Betsy Mason and Greg Miller recount this and dozens of other fascinating tales in All Over the Map, illuminating worlds both real and imagined.

Mark A. Marchand

US Route 1, the nation’s first highway, runs the entire length of the East Coast. Long bypassed by the interstate highway system, it’s still used by millions of people every day, and ranges from two-lane divided highways to narrow crooked roads. In U.S. Route 1: Rediscovering the New World, Mark A. Marchand explores the character of communities and geographical challenges that determined its path.

Luba Vikhanski

Around Christmas of 1882, while peering through a microscope at starfish larvae in which he had inserted tiny thorns, Russian zoologist Elie Metchnikoff had a brilliant insight: What if the mobile cells he saw gathering around the thorns were nothing but a healing force in action? Metchnikoff’s daring theory of immunity — that voracious cells he called phagocytes formed the first line of defense against invading bacteria — would eventually earn the scientist a Nobel Prize, shared with his archrival, as well as the unofficial moniker “Father of Natural Immunity.” But first he had to win over skeptics, especially those who called his theory “an oriental fairy tale.”

Heather Hansen

Most people who have stood beneath a redwood, necks craned to see its top 300 feet rising far above; or who have heard ghostly whispers of residents long-past among the burnt-red cliff dwellings of Mesa Verde; or who have climbed the stairs to gaze out from the Statue of Liberty's crown, would agree that our National Park system is a source of pride and wonder.

David Zimmerman

SANKOFA? How Racism and Sexism Skewed New York’s Epochal Black Research Project is an investigative report on an important - and costly - anthropological study that failed. The research was on bones dug up from a black slave cemetery in New York City. The city's current black population - the “Descendant Community” - was promised key information about their ancestors and antecedents. But little was provided.