Chief Seattle and the Town That Took His Name
by David M. Buerge
“This is the first thorough historical account of Chief Seattle and his times–the story of a half-century of tremendous flux, turmoil, and violence, during which a native American war leader became an advocate for peace and strove to create a successful hybrid racial community” (from the publisher).
Gay Seattle: Stories of Exile and Belonging
by Gary Atkins
“In 1893, the Washington State legislature quietly began passing a set of laws that essentially made homosexuality, and eventually even the discussion of homosexuality, a crime. A century later Mike Lowry became the first governor of the state to address the annual lesbian and gay pride rally in Seattle. Gay Seattle traces the evolution of Seattle’s gay community in those 100 turbulent years, telling through a century of stories how gays and lesbians have sought to achieve a sense of belonging in Seattle” (from the publisher).
My People Are Rising: Memoir of a Black Panther Party Captain
by Aaron Dixon
“In an era of stark racial injustice, Aaron Dixon dedicated his life to revolution, founding the Seattle chapter of the Black Panther Party in 1968 at age nineteen. In My People Are Rising, he traces the course of his own radicalization, and that of a generation. Through his eyes, we witness the courage and commitment of the young men and women who rose up in rebellion, risking their lives in the name of freedom. My People are Rising is an unforgettable tale of their triumphs and tragedies, and the enduring legacy of Black Power” (from the publisher).
by Kristine Leander
“The Norwegians who immigrated to Seattle were a sturdy stock. Perhaps it was due to their ancient history as determined Viking seafarers—or their more recent experiences as tenacious fishermen, farmers, loggers, and carpenters. From the first Norwegians to arrive in 1868 through today, Seattle’s Norwegian American community has maintained a remarkable cohesiveness. They participate in Sons and Daughters of Norway and other clubs; enjoy lutefisk dinners, lively music and dance groups, and the annual May 17 parade; boast elaborately knitted sweaters and historic costumes; and labor over language classes and genealogy. The result is a pride of heritage unique to the Norwegian Americans in Seattle and a sinew that binds their community” (from the publisher).
Roadside Geology of Washington
by Marli B. Miller and Darrel S. Cowan
“Washington is alive with geologic activity: It’s home to the most active volcanoes in the lower 48, earthquakes regularly rattle the populated Puget Sound region, the potential of landslides increases with each soaking rain, and tsunami evacuation routes alert tourists in Olympic National Park to the active plate boundary just off the coast. The only geologic hazard Washingtonians need not fear, at least not with the continued trend of global warming, is another Ice Age flood. More than forty of the biggest floods known in the history of Earth scoured the Channeled Scabland of eastern Washington, the most recent only about 15,000 years ago” (from the publisher).
Seattle City of Literature
edited by Ryan Boudinot
“This bookish history of Seattle includes essays, history and personal stories from such literary luminaries as Frances McCue, Tom Robbins, Garth Stein, Rebecca Brown, Jonathan Evison, Tree Swenson, Jim Lynch, and Sonora Jha among many others. Timed with Seattle’s bid to become the second US city to receive the UNESCO designation as a City of Literature, this deeply textured anthology pays homage to the literary riches of Seattle. Strongly grounded in place, funny, moving, and illuminating, it lends itself both to a close reading and to casual browsing, as it tells the story of books, reading, writing, and publishing in one of the nation’s most literary cities” (from the publisher).
The Good Rain: Across Time and Terrain in the Pacific Northwest
by Timothy Egan
“The classic book on the Northwest, consistently voted one of the 10 essential books about the region. The author follows a ghost, Theodore Winthrop, who wrote the first national book about the Northwest in the 1850s. That journey went by horseback and canoe. The modern jaunt goes by kayak, hoof, plane, Coast Guard life raft and car to explore the natural and human wonder at the far edge of the continent” (from the publisher).
Seattleness: A Cultural Atlas
by Tera Hatfield, Jenny Kempson, and Natalie Ross
“This visually rich cultural atlas of Seattle explores the mercurial nature of place through the lens of one of the fastest growing cities in America. Through both experiential and data-driven cartography, Seattleness lends itself to longtime residents, newcomers to the city, and those curious about the moody borough that has brought us airplanes, grunge, gourmet coffee, and e-commerce” (from the publisher).
Native Seattle: Histories from the Crossing Over Place
by Coll Thrush
“Native Seattle brings the indigenous story to the present day and puts the movement of recognizing Seattle’s Native past into a broader context. Native Seattle focuses on the experiences of local indigenous communities on whose land Seattle grew, accounts of Native migrants to the city and the development of a multi-tribal urban community, as well as the role Native Americans have played in the narrative of Seattle” (from the publisher).
by Christopher T. Bayley
“This is the story of one of the youngest county prosecutors in the country whose mission was to finally end the system of vice and corruption that had infiltrated Seattle’s police department, municipal departments, and even the mayor’s office. In the late 1960s, Christopher T. Bayley was a young lawyer with a fire in his belly to break the back of Seattle’s police payoff system, which was built on licensing of acknowledged illegal activity known as the “tolerance policy.” Against the odds, he defeated an entrenched incumbent to become King County Prosecutor (which includes Seattle). Six months into his first term, he indicted a number of prominent city and police officials. Bayley shows how vice and payoffs became rules of the game in Seattle, and what it took to finally clean up the city” (from the publisher).
Skid Road: An Informal Portrait of Seattle
by Murray Morgan
“Skid Road tells the story of Seattle “from the bottom up,” offering an informal and engaging portrait of the Emerald City’s first century, as seen through the lives of some of its most colorful citizens. With his trademark combination of deep local knowledge, precision, and wit, Murray Morgan traces the city’s history from its earliest days as a hacked-from-the-wilderness timber town, touching on local tribes, settlers, the lumber and railroad industries, the great fire of 1889, the Alaska gold rush, flourishing dens of vice, the 1919 general strike, the 1962 World’s Fair, and the stuttering growth of the 1970s and ’80s. Through it all, Morgan shows us that Seattle’s one constant is change and that its penchant for reinvention has always been fueled by creative, if sometimes unorthodox, residents” (from the publisher).
By John Okada
“No-No Boy tells the story of Ichiro Yamada, a fictional version of the real-life “no-no boys.” Yamada answered “no” twice in a compulsory government questionnaire as to whether he would serve in the armed forces and swear loyalty to the United States. Unwilling to pledge himself to the country that interned him and his family, Ichiro earns two years in prison and the hostility of his family and community when he returns home to Seattle. As Ozeki writes, Ichiro’s “obsessive, tormented” voice subverts Japanese postwar “model-minority” stereotypes, showing a fractured community and one man’s “threnody of guilt, rage, and blame as he tries to negotiate his reentry into a shattered world” (from the publisher).
Jackson Street After Hours: The Roots of Jazz in Seattle
By Paul De Barros, photographs by Eduardo Calderon
“Vintage photographs and 24 contemporary portraits capture the style and flavor of Jackson Street and its jazz legacy. Based on extensive interviews with jazz musicians, this significant volume documents the smokey rooms, Prohibition antics, wartime parties, and unforgettable riffs that characterized great moments in Pacific Northwest jazz” (from the publisher).
Seattle’s International District: The Making of a Pan-Asian American Community
by Doug Chin
“Those interested in the history of Asian immigrants to the US will appreciate this history of Seattle’s Asian community. Chin, a specialist in the history of Chinese Americans and of Seattle’s International District, has compiled a thorough treatment of the district, the influx of various groups, the internment of the Japanese during WWII, and the concerted effort to revive the district in recent years. The biographies of prominent citizens are included in the narrative, which is well illustrated in b&w. Distributed by the U. of Washington Press. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)”
Reflections of Seattle's Chinese Americans: The First 100 Years
by Ron Chew
“Through 71 intimate stories and portraits, elders in Seattle’s Chinese American community share, for the first time, their personal memories, both sweet and bitter. In their own voices, they describe their early life in Chinese villages, their passage to America and Seattle’s Chinatown. They share their experiences working in laundries, restaurants and canneries. They tell of the climate of racial discrimination, the era of World War II and the community that emerged after the war. These stories are supplemented by an original historical essay on Seattle’s Chinese American community by Doug Chin. The essay provides a window for understanding the struggles and achievements of Chinese Americans during the period from 1860 to the 1960s, the landmark first 100 years. (book jack description)”
Produced by Seattle’s own KUOW public radio station, and featuring productions by Seattle-area youth, “RadioActive Youth Media is where young people discover public radio journalism and gain access to the skills, community and institutional resources that spur their growth as media makers. Through their stories, listeners of all ages gain a deeper understanding of young people whose voices are rarely heard by the greater public.”
The Other Washington
“The podcast for everyone who knows conventional wisdom stinks. The Other Washington is a Seattle-based podcast that takes a deep dive into a single policy issue each episode. Listen to venture capitalist Nick Hanauer and his team of political troublemakers explain and explore how policies work, how they don’t, and how conventional politics often gets in the way of implementing effective policies.”
“Homelessness on the West Coast is rising to crisis levels at a time of historic economic growth and prosperity. Why? KNKX Public Radio and The Seattle Times’ Project Homeless spent one year in a city that’s grappling with homelessness. What’s it like to live outside for months on end? What’s it like when tents come to your neighborhood? What new solutions can city leaders find? This is Outsiders.”
Rise Seattle Podcast
Podcast host Tyler Davis Jones is a Seattle resident from Nashville, TN, who “understands the difficulty of overcoming the Seattle freeze and plugging into the local community. He started Rise Seattle with the goal of helping Seattleites connect and hear each other’s stories. Each week Tyler sits down with local civic, business and community leaders to discuss all things Seattle.”
The Seattle Files
Host Chris Allen is a comedian and local history buff who uses this podcast to educate listeners on all things Seattle with help from local comedians.
Seattle Growth Podcast
“The Seattle Growth Podcast started as a 13 episode journey led by University of Washington professor, Jeff Shulman, into the minds of residents, businesses, and city leaders about what Seattle’s economic and population growth means to them. Since then it has become a destination for a constructive dialog about many of the challenges and opportunities facing everyone in a growing city.”
The Seattle Public Library: Author Readings and Library Events
Each year the Seattle Public Library hosts a wide variety of events featuring authors and other public figures. Their archive of recorded events spans 10 years and will give you the experience of a live event at Seattle Public Library.
Shelf Life Community Story Project
This podcast seeks to “amplify community voices, learn from neighborhood stories, and interrupt narratives of erasure in Seattle’s Central District.” Through themed episodes—music and arts, migration, food, housing, and education to name a few—Shelf Life tells the story of one of Seattle’s most historic and vibrant neighborhoods.
Indigenizing Urban Seattle
“Indigenizing Urban Seattle is a podcast that contextualizes Indigenous environmental knowledge and resiliency from an urban Native lens. It serves as a platform to amplify urban Natives’ voices and perspectives in the environmental discourse. We focus on urban Natives currently residing in Seattle—a hub for urban Native resiliency, environmental activism, and solidarity movements.”