Today in context, October 28, 2020

October Is National Book Month

To help you celebrate by reading, we’ve listed some of the previous National Book Award winners below.
The Women of Brewster Place
The novel by Gloria Naylor chronicles the communal strength of seven diverse Black women who live in decaying rented houses on a walled-off street of an urban neighborhood.
War Trash
The fictional memoir by Chinese-American writer Ha Jin recounts the struggles of a Chinese soldier in a prisoner-of-war camp during the Korean War. Jin previously won the National Book Award for Waiting (2000).
Invisible Man
This groundbreaking work by Ralph Ellison is told by a man who is never named but believes he is “invisible” to others socially. He faces adversity and discrimination throughout his move from the South to college and then to New York City.
Just Kids
Poet and musician Patti Smith’s memoir focused on her relationship with photographer Robert Mapplethorpe.
Looking for more ideas?
Check out our full lists of National Book Award winners in each category since 1950, when the award began.

The Arch as Monument

The Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri, designed by architect Eero Saarinen, was completed on October 28, 1965. One of the most iconic monuments in the U.S., the 630-foot-tall structure takes its name from the city’s role as the “Gateway to the West” during the westward expansion in the 19th century. Although the Gateway Arch, with its elegant catenary shape, feels modern, the concept of the monumental arch goes back thousands of years. It is especially associated with ancient Rome, where triumphal arches were constructed as isolated structures, having no connection with city gates or city walls, to serve as honorary monuments.
A Monument to Westward Expansion
article / Geography & Travel
© Davel5957—E+/Getty Images
The Triumphal Arch
article / Technology
© Jeff Banke/
Other Memorials and Monuments in the United States
List / Geography & Travel
© Mark Edward Harris—Stockbyte/Getty Images

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New on Britannica

"Sale of Estates, Pictures and Slaves in the Rotunda, New Orleans," 1842.While many small Southern farmers owned a few slaves, the weight of slavery as an institution depended on the largeplantation. New Orleans was the site of the nations most acti

Sectionalism is an exaggerated devotion to the interests of a region over those of a country as a whole. Throughout American history, tension has existed between several regions, but the competing views of the institution of slavery held by Northerners and Southerners was the preeminent sectional split and the defining political issue in the United States from the founding of the country until the American Civil War.

African Americans demonstrating for voting rights in front of the White House as police and others watch, March 12, 1965. One sign reads, "We demand the right to vote everywhere." Voting Rights Act, civil rights.
Voter Suppression

In U.S. history and politics, voter suppression is any legal or extralegal measure or strategy whose purpose or practical effect is to reduce voting, or registering to vote, by members of a targeted racial group, political party, or religious community. The overwhelming majority of victims of voter suppression in the United States have been African Americans.

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    The study of the human mind and body, how these function, and how they interact—not only with each other but also with their environment—has been of utmost importance in ensuring human well-being. Research on potential treatments and preventive medicine has expanded greatly with the development of modern medicine, and a network of disciplines, including such fields as genetics, psychology, and nutrition, aims to facilitate the betterment of our health.
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