Smithsonian Books


How Lonnie Bunch Built a Museum Dream Team

An exclusive excerpt from the Smithsonian Secretary’s new book, ‘A Fool’s Errand’

“In order to interpret the past," says Matternes (above), "you have to have a pretty good working knowledge of conditions in the present.”

Meet the Master Muralist Who Inspired Today's Generation of Paleoartists

The treasured Jay Matternes murals of lost Mesozoic worlds are featured in a new Smithsonian book

To all the looney lunar landing deniers and conspiracy theorists out there, NASA has just four words to say: "Apollo: Yes, We Did."

Yes, the United States Certainly DID Land Humans on the Moon

Moon-landing deniers, says space scholar and former NASA chief historian Roger Launius, are full of stuff and nonsense

Paella, a national favorite in Spain, is a hearty dish prominently featuring two of Linford's Seven Wonders—rice and tomato. It may be seasoned with salt and chili flakes as well.

The Mouthwatering History of Seven Fundamental Foodstuffs

A new Smithsonian book whisks readers on a culinary odyssey, tracing the history of salt, pork, honey, chili, tomato, rice and chocolate

Though the technological challenges for a future Mars mission are considerable, a proposal to "live off the land" using resources on the Red Planet might dramatically simplify exploration plans.

A Smithsonian Researcher Reflects on What It Will Take to Land Humans on Mars

In a new book on space exploration, Smithsonian curator emeritus Roger D. Launius predicts boots on the Red Planet ground by the 2030s

This creamy oyster pan roast pays homage to the offerings of oysterman-turned-restaurateur Thomas Downing, a household name in 19th-century New York.

Sweet! You Can Now Cook the Food From the African-American History Museum's Award-Winning Café in Your Own Home

Smithsonian Books introduces the <i>Sweet Home Café Cookbook</i>, chock full of delicious riffs on classic African-American recipes

A new Smithsonian Book asks the question: Is there a future for crewed missions to the Moon?

In the Wake of Apollo’s 'Giant Leap,' What’s Next for Lunar Exploration?

A new Smithsonian Book unpacks the possible future of missions to the Moon

The 2000 crash of Flight 4590, says author Samme Chittum, was a perfect storm of chemistry gone wrong, a disaster as remarkable in its own way as the Concorde’s typical grace in flight.

This Freak Aviation Disaster Brought Supersonic Idealism Down in Flames

In a just-released Smithsonian Book, author Samme Chittum assesses the Concorde’s demise with the keen eye of a crime reporter

Deep, lush colors in the Turkey Red Cabinet set of 1911 (above, Safe at Third) led many to tack these on their walls as works of art.

Would Baseball have Become America’s National Pastime Without Baseball Cards?

Tobacco companies spurred the mania, but artistry won the hearts of collectors

Charles Darwin was an avid fossil collector and during his expedition on the HMS Beagle, he was one of the first to collect remains of extinct South American mammals.

How Darwin’s Theory of Evolution Evolved

A new Smithsonian Book highlights firsthand accounts, diaries, letters and notebooks from aboard the <i>HMS Beagle</i>

In the new book North on the Wing from Smithsonian Books, author Bruce Beehler (above left) follows the spring migration of songbirds.

Thirty-Seven Warblers in a Hundred Days

A Smithsonian ornithologist follows the songbird migration north from the Gulf of Mexico. A new book tells his story

From left to right: Jennifer Woodul, Meg Christian (in glasses), Ginny Berson (whose hand is on Meg's leg), Kate Winter (above) and Judy Dlugacz (far right).

How Should We Archive the Soundtrack to 1970s Feminism?

It's time to talk about the lasting legacy of Olivia Records, a leading voice of the women's music movement, whose history is ready to come out of storage

The wreckage of a Southern Airways DC-9 sits in the front yard of a home facing the road that the plane attempted an emergency landing on in New Hope, Ga., April 5, 1977. The pilot's attempt to save himself and his passengers occurred after the plane's engines failed during a heavy thunderstorm.

What Happened When a Southern Airways Flight 242 Crashed in Sadie Burkhalter’s Front Yard

Her home became a makeshift hospital when she looked out her front door to a fiery inferno

In a letter of 1770, Benjamin Franklin described tofu ("tau-fu") to his friend John Bartram as a sort of cheese made from "Chinese Garavances"—what we would call soybeans.

Ben Franklin May Be Responsible for Bringing Tofu to America

How a letter of 1770 may have ushered the Chinese staple into the New World

Eighmey's colonial-style corn cakes (top), forcemeat balls (lower right) and pickled French beans (lower left).

The Ben Franklin-Inspired Super Bowl Recipes You Never Knew You Needed

We don't know who Ben Franklin would root for, but we do know what he'd eat on Super Bowl Sunday

The Ten Best Photography Books of 2017

These eye-opening works invite us to find ourselves in history and nature

Shearith Torah

Why Religious Freedom and Diversity Flourished in Early America

Jam-packed exhibition features artifacts as diverse as Jefferson's Bible, a steeple bell cast by Paul Revere and a storied Torah

Hank Aaron and Ernie Banks before a game at Wrigley Field, 1957

If Only Ernie Had Seen It. Here's Why "Mr. Cub" Is Part of the 2016 World Series Win

From Smithsonian Books, a treasure of baseball history for those who can’t wait for spring training

Stegosaurus and Ceratosaurus are among one of the most successful groups ever to have evolved.

Celebrate Dino Month With Three New Dinosaur Books

From PhDs to 4th graders, something for everyone

Space Patrol depended more on good stories, excellent production values, and an empathic cast of characters than it did on expensive visual special effects. As a result it had a large adult audience, which didn’t stop merchandise being created with younger viewers in mind.

How Artists, Mad Scientists and Speculative Fiction Writers Made Spaceflight Possible

A new book chronicles spaceflight’s centuries-long journey from dream to reality

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