History

The NASW bookstore sells books, music, video, software, and other merchandise via Amazon.com. Every purchase you make on Amazon can support NASW programs and services: Just go to https://www.nasw.org/amazon when you start your shopping. Books featured below were written by NASW members or reviewed in ScienceWriters magazine. Appearance here does not indicate endorsement.

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.

Steve Nadis, Shing-Tung Yau

In the twentieth century, American mathematicians began to make critical advances in a field previously dominated by Europeans. Harvard's mathematics department was at the center of these developments. A History in Sum is an inviting account of the pioneers who trailblazed a distinctly American tradition of mathematics — in algebraic geometry and topology, complex analysis, number theory, and a host of esoteric subdisciplines.

Mark Pendergrast

Author Mark Pendergrast looks at America’s cultural, social, and economic history through the bottom of a green glass Coke bottle and tells the captivating story of the world’s most recognizable consumer product. The tale begins with John Pemberton, a morphine-addicted Atlanta pharmacist who, in 1886, invented Coca-Cola as a hangover cure and treatment for “neurasthenia” and ends with a company unchallenged in its global dominance.

David B. Williams

At the most basic level, a cairn is a pile of rocks. But this definition doesn’t do justice to the myriad shapes and sizes of cairns found around the globe. Nor does it convey the many reasons that people have piled up stones for thousands of years, according to Seattle freelance David Williams. Cairns can indicate a trail, mark a grave, serve as altar or shrine, and reveal good hunting grounds and territorial boundaries.

Kevin Begos Danielle Deaver, John Railey, and Scott Sexton

The authors are investigative reporters, all of whom (except Begos) work for North Carolina’s Winston-Salem Journal. In this book, they reveal a shocking and recent eugenics program in which for more than 40 years, North Carolina ran one of the nation’s largest and most aggressive sterilization programs. It expanded after World War II, even as most other states pulled back in light of the horrors of Hitler’s Germany.