“Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself.”-Milton Friedman

Today marks the one hundredth anniversary of economist Milton Friedman’s birth.

In an op-ed piece in the  Jane Shaw, president of the John W. Pope Center for Higher Education Policy in Raleigh, North Carolina, wrote , “For the past five years, Friedman’s birthday has been celebrated worldwide by numerous organizations… This year’s observances will include 136 events in 44 countries.”

Milton Friedman is best known for his theories on capitalism and free markets. Cynthia Crain and Dwight Lee, authors of Profiles in Economics: Milton Friedman, wrote, “While he recognized that government has an important role to play in protecting people’s rights, he also believed that government does the most to promote prosperity and protect freedom when its role is limited.”

Friedman’s theories on free market economies were not popular in his day. According to Shaw, “Friedman publicly championed capitalism at a time when socialism was in ascendance around the world and government intervention was viewed as inevitable and necessary in the United States.”

“Friedman was almost alone in many of his views during the first half of his career. But the power of his arguments and empirical findings began convincing more and more of his fellow economists that his free-market views were correct,” wrote Crain and Lee. And in 1976, Friedman won the Nobel Prize in Economics for his contributions to monetary theory and history.

Adrianne Loggins
Associate Editor

For more information about Milton Friedman, check out Profiles in Economics: Milton Friedman by Cynthia Crain and Dwight Lee. (ISBN 9781599351807)

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Published in: on July 30, 2012 at 12:40 pm  Leave a Comment  
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‎”A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination.”-Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela in 1937

Today in South Africa, millions of children sang happy birthday to the nation’s beloved anti-apartheid freedom fighter and leader, Nelson Mandela. Mandela is ninety-four years old.

According to Kem Knapp Sawyer, author of Champion of Freedom: Nelson Mandela, Mandela spent more than a third of his life in prison after openly fighting the then oppressive South African government for equal rights for the black majority. “Mandela bravely devoted his life to the cherished ideal of ‘a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony with equal opportunities.'”

In 1990, Mandela was released from prison amid the cheers of his people. Sawyer wrote, “Four years after Mandela’s release from prison… he became the first president of a democratic South Africa, serving as a symbol of peace, unity, and change, even in the face of enormously difficult social and economic challenges.”

For his ninety-fourth birthday, USAToday reports, “Mandela is expected to spend the day privately with his family at their homestead in his southeastern birth village of Qunu.”

Former U.S. President Bill Clinton and his daughter Chelsea are visiting South Africa this week to celebrate with Mandela and his family in Qunu.

“Meanwhile, communities in South Africa and around the world were dedicating 67 minutes of the day to volunteer work and projects for the needy–one minute to mark each of Mandela’s 67 years in public service.”

Adrianne Loggins
Associate Editor

For more information about Nelson Mandela, check out Kem Knapp Sawyer’s Champion of Freedom: Nelson Mandela (ISBN 9781599351674)

Published in: on July 18, 2012 at 1:44 pm  Comments (1)  
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“I do not think there is any thrill that can go through the human heart like that felt by the inventor as he sees some creation of the brain unfolding to success… such emotions make a man forget food, sleep, friends, love, everything.”-Nikola Tesla

Nikola Tesla

Today marks the anniversary of Nikola Tesla’s birth. Born on July 10, 1856, Nikola Tesla grew up to become a brilliant scientist who would become the “father of the radio.”

Patenting the radio was not Tesla’s only accomplishment, though. He is also responsible for discovering how to create a rotating magnetic field, which, according to Lisa Aldrich, author of Nikola Tesla and the Taming of Electricity, “would eventually revolutionize the technological world.”

Today a rotating magnetic field is used to operate alternating-current motors in machines such as generators and other electric machines.

Aldrich wrote,  “Tesla’s legacy lives on today.”

To learn more about Nikola Tesla and his inventions, check out Nikola Tesla and the Taming of Electricity by Lisa Aldrich (ISBN 978193179846X)

Published in: on July 10, 2012 at 2:57 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“Courage is the price Life exacts for granting peace.”-Amelia Earhart

Amelia Earhart

On this day in 1928, Amelia Earhart became the first woman to fly across the Atlantic Ocean.

Wanda Langley, author of Women of the Wind wrote:

On June 17, 1928, Earhart left from Boston on the plane Friendship with pilot Wilmer Stultz and Louis Gordon, copilot and mechanic. They planned to fly from Newfoundland to the United Kingdom, the most direct route across the Atlantic. Earhart had the job of keeping the flight log and taking notes on the ride. After a flight of twenty hours and forty minutes, Friendship touched down at Burry Port, Wales, on June 18, 1928.

She became famous after that trip. “When she appeared in public, people reached out to touch her skin, pat her hair, and tug at her clothes,” Langley wrote.

Earhart would go on to fly across the Atlantic by herself in 1932. Earhart wanted to prove that air travel was safe. Her achievements in the sky paved the way for commercial aviation to prosper.

Next month, a group of scientists will launch a half million dollar exhibition to discover what happened to Earhart after she disappeared seventy-five years ago.

Adrianne Loggins
Associate Editor

For more information about Amelia Earhart and other women pilots, check out Women of the Wind by Wanda Langley (ISBN 9781931798815)

Published in: on June 18, 2012 at 11:00 am  Leave a Comment  
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Today in History

On May 1, 1486, Christopher Columbus persuaded the Spanish queen, Isabella I, to fund an expedition to what would become known as the West Indies. Columbus believed that venturing westward would prove to be a shortcut to Asia.

Wrote Don Nardo, author of The European Exploration of America ,”the Spanish queen and king were hesitant to believe that a westward route to Asia was shorter and to fund Columbus’s expedition. However, Columbus was drawing attention to himself, and Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand were fearful that another nation, specifically France, would eventually support Columbus. If this happened, Spain’s dominance over the seas would be at risk. With this in mind, the Spanish throne decided in 1486 to support Columbus by offering him a salary and residence in their kingdom.”

In 1492, after years of negotiating with the Spanish crown, Columbus sailed west with three small ships, the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria.  In October of that year, Columbus’s ships reached San Salvador, an island in the Bahamas.

Although Native Americans and Vikings had already come to America, Columbus’s exploratory voyage triggered the European immigration to the New World.

Nardo wrote, “… he opened up the largest and longest age of exploration, discovery, and colonization the world had ever known…. The settlement of the Americas marked a crucial development in history and gave rise to the culture that is still prevalent on those continents today.”

Adrianne Loggins
Associate Editor

For more information on the discovery of America, check out The European Exploration of America by Don Nardo (ISBN 9781599351414)

Published in: on May 1, 2012 at 12:43 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Twitter Turns Six

“Just six years ago… co-founder Jack Dorsey published the very first public tweet to the world. But little did Dorsey know that the 24-character snippet of text would be just the beginning of a worldwide revolution,” reported International Business Times.

Since then, “The social network has garnered 300 million users that are collectively tweeting one billion tweets every 4-5 days.”

Twitter celebrated its sixth birthday this past Wednesday. Chris Smith and Marci McGrath, authors of Twitter: Jack Dorsey, Biz Stone and Evan Williams, wrote, “Twitter filled a basic human need to communicate and feel connected.”

This week, Piers Morgan, an avid Twitterer himself, told his audience during his “Only in America” segment, “In a maximum of 140 characters, people anywhere can communicate with each other instantly, and in real time, about anything they want. It’s used by astronauts in orbit, explorers deep under water, and even presidents.”

But in the six years it has existed, Twitter has done more than simply connect people. It has become a tool for change. Jack Dorsey once said, “I’m really excited about what technologies like this can do for government and getting more of the citizens engaged into public action and public policy and into that conversation of how we structure our societies, how we structure our cultures, and what we want to see in the world.”

And that’s exactly what Twitter has done. Throughout the unrest in the Middle East and even in our own backyard with the Occupy movement, Twitter was spitting out thousands (maybe even millions) of tweets informing citizens about what was going on, why, and how to get involved.

International Business Times reported:

While the micro-blogging platform has helped activists around the world organize, the real revolution–The Twitter Revolution–has only just begun…. The ability to dispatch information on a whim has come to represent much more than the ability to express one’s self. It has also given people the ability to share and exchange ideas at a faster rate than ever before. On Twitter’s sixth birthday, it’s evident that the infant company has already grown into a colossal force…. Not only will the revolution be tweeted, the revolution is tweeting.

There is no doubt that Twitter will play a major role in the coming election year, as a campaign board for candidates and a discussion forum for citizens. Revolution, indeed.

Adrianne Loggins
Associate Editor

For more information about Twitter and its founders, check out Twitter: Jack Dorsey, Biz Stone and Evan Williams by Chris Smith and Marci McGrath (ISBN 9781599351797)

Published in: on March 23, 2012 at 1:05 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“When an individual is protesting society’s refusal to acknowledge his dignity as a human being, his very act of protest confers dignity on him.”-Bayard Rustin

Bayard Rustin in 1963

Tomorrow is the one hundredth anniversary of the birth of Bayard Rustin, the civil rights leader who is perhaps best known –if known at all–as the key organizer of the famous 1963 March on Washington.

Rustin, along with civil rights leaders Martin Luther King Jr. and A. Philip Randolph made that August day in 1963 one that went down in history books. However, after the march was over, Rustin did not join his comrades to celebrate the march’s success. Calvin Craig Miller, author of No Easy Answers: Bayard Rustin and the Civil Rights Movement, wrote:

As the day wound to a close, King, Randolph, and other march leaders met at the White House with President John F. Kennedy. Bayard was not among them. Instead, he attended to the inglorious details that had fallen to him during his many years as a social activist. There was a simple, brutal reason for Rustin’s absence at the White House that historic day. In addition to being black, Rustin carried another stigma in America of 1963: he was an acknowledged homosexual who had to labor in the shadows while others enjoyed the limelight. While the marchers returned home and a select few talked with the president, Bayard supervised the litter crews, making sure that the streets were as clean as the March on Washington had found them.

Rustin fought for equality his whole life, and Miller wrote, “Today, Bayard Rustin is remembered as a tireless force, a man who gave his life and his work to the cause he so fervently believed in, and who struggled to bear two crosses–being black and being gay–at a time when one was more than enough.”

This sentiment is echoed by the Bayard Rustin Coalition, which calls Rustin “one of the leading advocates and examples for gay equality.”

In its obituary of Bayard Rustin, the New York Times reported, “Looking back at his career, Mr. Rustin, a Quaker, once wrote: ‘The principal factors which influenced my life are 1) nonviolent tactics; 2) constitutional means; 3) democratic procedures; 4) respect for human personality; 5) a belief that all people are one.'”

Rustin’s life is certainly one worth both praise and study, and to that end, the University of Illinois at Chicago is one of many institutions across the country that will hold tributes during this one hundredth anniversary year.

Adrianne Loggins
Associate Editor

For more information about Bayard Rustin, check out No Easy Answers: Bayard Rustin and the Civil Rights Movement by Calvin Craig Miller (ISBN 9781931798435)

Published in: on March 16, 2012 at 12:36 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Happy International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month!

Today, nations around the world celebrate the progress women have made throughout history. According to InternationalWomensDay.com, “Annually on 8 March, thousands of events are held throughout the world to inspire women and celebrate achievements.”

Here at Morgan Reynolds, we recognize that women have played important roles in the development of our society, which is why several of our books are about some of the most influential women in history.

~*~

In 1933, Franklin Delano Roosevelt appointed Frances Perkins to be his secretary of labor.

Emily Keller, author of Frances Perkins: First Woman Cabinet Member, wrote, “As a young woman in college, Frances Perkins considered becoming an actress or a teacher. However, women’s reform movements of the 1920s fired her imagination.”

When she accepted her position as the secretary of labor, Perkins said, “The overwhelming argument and thought which made me do it in the end in spite of personal difficulties was the realization that the door might not be opened to a woman again for a long, long time, and that I had a kind of duty to other women to walk in and sit down on the chair that was offered, and so establish the right of others long hence and far distant to sit in the high seat.”

Keller wrote, “A woman has not yet been elected president of the United States, but that will likely change someday. When it does, she will owe her election, at least in part, to the hard work and dedication of Frances Perkins, the first woman to serve in a president’s cabinet. ”

~*~

Dr. Padma Venkatraman, author of Profiles in Mathematics: Women Mathematicians, wrote that women have also influenced the world of mathematics.

[M]any women–though not as well-known by history–aided in the development of mathematics….[They] were born at times when women were expected to get only a minimal education. Furthermore, even when their passion prevailed and they were able to attain the knowledge they sought, they were often unable to find careers in their chosen field, blocked by men and the prejudices of their time…. With time and determination they succeeded, creating works that influenced people’s thinking about mathematics and the universe; in doing so, they not only achieved their own goals, but helped to forge the modern world.

~*~

There were even women in the sky at the beginning of the twentieth century. Wanda Langley, author  of Women of the Wind: Early Women Aviators wrote, “Early planes were rickety, open-cockpit contraptions, and daredevils flocked to them in droves. Many of those groundbreaking pilots lost their lives to the sky, even at they inspired others to take to the air. Not a few of these brave aviators were women.”

Women have contributed to the development of many fields. Find out more by taking a look at Morgan Reynolds’s biographies of some of these influential women:

Frances Perkins: First Woman Cabinet Member  (ISBN 9781931798914)                                                     

Profiles in Mathematics: Women Mathematicians (ISBN 9781599350912)                                                                                      

Women of the Wind: Early Women Aviators (ISBN 9781931798815)                                                                                             

Cleopatra: Ruler of Egypt (ISBN 9781599350356)                                                                                                                                       

Profiles in Mathematics: Sophie Germain (ISBN 9781599350622)                                                                                                               

New Elements: The Story of Marie Curie (ISBN 9781599350233)                                                                                                           

Profiles in Fashion: Vera Wang (ISBN 9781599351506)                                                                                                                         

Supreme Court Justices: Sonia Sotomayor (ISBN 9781599351568)                                                                                                     

Profiles in Fashion: Kate Spade (ISBN 9781599351544)                                                                                                                                 

From China to America: The Story of Amy Tan (ISBN 9781599351384) 

Adrianne Loggins
Associate Editor

Published in: on March 8, 2012 at 1:19 pm  Leave a Comment  
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NY Fashion Week 2012

Vera Wang once said, “Women are real works of art, and I try to remember that that’s what makes it worthwhile.” “It” being fashion design.

Thursday ushered in the beginning of New York’s Fashion Week. Loud music, high heels, flashing lights, and the world’s most famous designers’ 2012 collections.

Wang was one of twenty-seven designers to support President Obama at Runway to Win, a campaign fundraising initiative, according to NPR. The event occurred two days before opening day of Fashion Week.

Wang will be introducing her new line this week, along with other big fashion names  such as Ralph Lauren and Marc Jacobs. The event is scheduled to end on February 16.

Adrianne Loggins
Associate Editor

For information on these designers and other well-known fashion designers, check out the Profiles in Fashion series by Morgan Reynolds. (ISBN 9781599351490)

Also, check out Business Leaders: Ralph Lauren by Myra Weatherly. (ISBN 9781599350844)

Published in: on February 10, 2012 at 1:51 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“We are the advance guard of a massive moral revolution for jobs and freedom.”-A. Philip Randolph


A section of lunch counter from the Greensboro, North Carolina, Woolworth's. Photo Courtesy of Mark Pellegrini.

“In 1960, four students of North Carolina A&T University staged a sit-in at a whites-only lunch counter. Despite fears of arrest, beatings, or worse, the four spent the day at the counter, quietly and politely. The next day, they came back, with more protesters. Soon, they inspired sit-in movements throughout the South,” wrote Dave Aretha in Sit-Ins and Freedom Rides, part of Morgan Reynolds’s Civil Rights Movement series.

Black history month begins tomorrow. During the month of February, we honor all of those individuals who fought for freedom during the civil rights movement, including the four A&T students who took a stand, or rather a seat, at a whites-only lunch counter.

Aretha wrote, “Dressed in their finest clothes, the four young men entered Woolworth’s, a downtown five-and-dime store in Greensboro, North Carolina. African Americans were allowed to purchase items at the store, but they were not allowed to sit at the lunch counter.”

That Woolworth’s has since been memorialized as part of the International Civil Rights Museum, located just a few blocks from Morgan Reynolds.

Calvin Craig Miller wrote in No Easy Answers: The Story of Bayard Rustin that nonviolent resistance was a popular form of protest during the civil rights movement.  Civil rights leader Bayard Rustin, according to Miller, “believed that [nonviolent resistance] could also provide a model for achieving racial equality.”  Many involved in the movement agreed.

And so the Greensboro Four used nonviolent resistance to protest their lack of freedom to eat at a lunch counter.

Aretha wrote, “It was the nonviolent aspect of their protest that led to the extraordinary success of the sit-in movement…. The citizens of Greensboro proudly honor the accomplishments of these four men.”

Today, a statue honoring the Four stands in front of Dudley Building on A&T’s campus in Greensboro.

Adrianne Loggins
Associate Editor

Learn more about the civil rights movement by checking out our Civil Rights Movement series (ISBN 9781599350738) and our Civil Rights Leaders series (ISBN 9781931798990).

Published in: on January 31, 2012 at 3:39 pm  Leave a Comment  
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