Marc Aronson

Author, Professor, Speaker, and Publisher

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Race: A History Beyond Black and White

by Marc Aronson
Ginee Seo Books


Race: You know it at a glance: he’s black, she’s white. They’re Asian; we’re Latino. Racism: I’m better; she’s worse. Those people do those kinds of things.We all know it’s wrong to make these judgments, but they come faster than thought.


Where did those feelings come from?

Why are they so powerful?

Race: A History Beyond Black and White explores these questions and more, as it traces the history of race and race prejudice in the West back to ancient Sumer and beyond. Today we all say “race is only skin deep” and yet experience racial prejudice every day. Here is one book that helps us to understand why.

Download the free teacher’s guide for Race: A History Beyond Black and White

To see sample chapters click here.

The World Made New: Why the Age of Exploration Happened and How It Changed the World (Timelines of American History)

twmnby Marc Aronson (Author), John W. Glenn (Author)
National Geographic Children’s Books

This splendid, exciting, beautifully illustrated account of the Age of Exploration relates events so dramatic that they would have been dismissed as implausible fiction if they hadn’t actually happened. Don’t think of this as `just’ a book for kids: children’s parents will find it equally gripping and informative.

– Jared Diamond professor of Geography at UCLA, and author of the best-selling Pulitzer-Prize-winner Guns, Germs, and Steel

The “How To Get Rich” Series


How to Get Rich In the California Gold Rush
Tod Olson (Author), Scott Allred (Illustrator), Marc Aronson (Afterword)

Booklist *Starred Review*

…the How to Get Rich series deftly blends story with history to not only give readers an understanding of a gold rush but also to provide a lighthearted and engaging entry point into frontier life. The story (with a tongue-in-

cheek claim to be true) follows three young men as they decide to try their luck as prospectors out west. Period lithographs are reproduced alongside original illustrations, all lending to the historical feel of the gold rush era, as the young men embark upon their journey, meet with moderate but backbreaking success, fall apart when they run out of money, and eventually all set out on their own to pursue different means of getting rich.

This is where the book really shines—showing how very few people actually got rich panning and mining for gold, but demonstrating that a vast number claimed shares of wealth by creating the various trades and services necessary to support the influx of people bustling into the new towns out west. A ledger on each page tracks the young men’s finances in a genuinely exciting way, adding a sly element of math to this well-conceived and compulsively appealing book. Kids won’t even realize how much they’re learning. Grades 4-8. –Ian Chipman


John Winthrop, Oliver Cromwell, and the Land of Promise

the_land_of_promiseby Marc Aronson (Author)

This carefully researched and insightful account by Sibert medalist Marc Aronson focuses on the intertwined lives of John Winthrop, the first governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, and Oliver Cromwell, Lord Protector of the Puritan Commonwealth in England. Set against a broad canvas of the turmoil that engulfed Britain in the 17th century, the book examines the clashes of the monarchy and the church with Parliament, which led these two powerful men to take opposite courses. Here is a panoramic view of the period, from elaborate masques to the trial of a heretic, from wars fought against Indians to dramatic battles led by cavalry, from the toppling of a king to the search for the ideal society. Packed with literary allusions, vivid descriptions of significant events, and a cast of memorable figures, this sweeping account picks up where the highly acclaimed Sir Walter Ralegh leaves off, providing another riveting look at British and early American history. Cast of characters, maps, endnotes and bibliography, Internet resources, timeline, index.

Kirkus Reviews

…writing is clear and the documentation meticulous…an important study of the origins of America as a land of promise.

The Real Revolution: The Global Story of American Independence

by Marc Aronson Clarion Books

the_real_revolutionFrom Kevin Baker, columnist for American Heritage, author of Dreamland, and Paradise Alley:

The Real Revolution is a unique and dynamic look at the origins of the American Revolution. Seamlessly connecting events from India to the North American wilderness, Marc Aronson has created a brilliant mosaic that will fascinate and inform both young adults and their parents. This is history as it should always be written.

From John Peters, Booklist — starred review:

In another expert analysis of milestones in the formation of our country’s distinctive character, Aronson traces a complex social, political and economic dance that links Clive’s consolidation of the British East India Company’s power in India, the growing unrest in Britain’s North American colonies, and the often-shortsighted actions of a corrupt British Parliament.

What caused the American Revolution?

How did India become the “Jewel in the Crown” of the British Empire?

How are the histories of America, Britain, and India linked?

Marc Aronson’s new book answers these questions, and more.

Completing his trilogy on the colonial period, Aronson follows the trail of a simple question to a world of fascinating answers. In tracing out the reasons why the British sent the tea that the Americans tossed into Boston harbor, he discovered that the history of the English in India, and riots on the streets of London, were as important to the American Revolution as familiar protests in Boston or speeches in Virginia. Here is American History and World History combined – a picture of the past that perfectly matches our global present.

Beyond the Pale: New Essays for a New Era

beyond_the_paleEllen A. Greever, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

This excellent book should be required reading for anyone who cares about young adults and their literature.

Exploding the Myths: The Truth about Teens and Reading

exploding_the_mythWe are in the midst of the largest teenage population boom since the nineteen sixties, and all of the media are scrambling to reach this alert, savvy, wealthy, and self-conscious generation. But for authors, editors, parents, teachers, and librarians this large group of readers poses a series of special problems: what is too old, or too young for teenage eyes? Should there even be a literature for teenagers, or wouldn’t they be better off skipping ahead to adult books? Do boys read at all? Can books offer moral instruction, role models, or guidance on the path to adulthood? Where do books fit into the ever-growing set of multimedia options that are this generation’s birthright?

Marc Aronson, Ph.D. has won the LMP, the industry award for editing, and the Boston Globe Horn Book award for writing books for teenagers. Here, in a series of probing, innovative essays he marshals a decade of insights earned in practice as well as his knowledge as a scholar of publishing history, to pose and answer these key questions. As he explores the true potential of Young Adult literature and revels in the passion of its readers he exposes the real problem with teenagers and reading: adult myths, projections, and blind prejudices.”Exploding the Myths” is a provocative book that will be necessary reading for everyone who deals with this burgeoning generation of readers.


As a YA publisher, editor, writer, and critic, Aronson is an eloquent, passionate advocate for high-quality YA books. The collection comprises 13 of his speeches and articles from the past six years, including “The Challenge and the Glory of YA Literature,” which originally appeared in Booklist. He opens up the intense arguments about censorship, audience (how adult is young adult?), authenticity, popularity versus quality, and more.

Buy Exploding the Myths: The Truth about Teens and Reading at, at Barnes and Noble at

Sir Walter Ralegh and the Quest for El Dorado

sirwalterraleghSir Walter Ralegh (the way he spelled it) was so much more than a promoter of tobacco–although he certainly did promote tobacco. He was so much more than a man who lay down his cloak so Queen Elizabeth I would not get her feet wet–a story which may or may not be true. He was a man from a poor background who rose almost as high as one could in Elizabethan England–and then fell about as low. Stunningly researched, brilliantly written, full of fascinating facts (did you know there were no maps of England that showed ROADS until the 1590s), this is young adult writing at its finest.

School Library Journal

This book is exemplary nonfiction and pure gold for libraries.

Publishers Weekly

Aronson’s portrait of “the first modern man” is both provocative and tantalizing, revealing his subject as a person of canny wit and magnetism with all-too-human shortcomings. Age 11-up.


The book chronicles Ralegh’s rise from his country-bumpkin origins to Elizabeth’s courtier and goes on to describe how his ambition pointed him toward the New World. It also reveals much about the intrigue at Queen Elizabeth’s court, as well as the motives and machinations of those living in the Americas.

Buy Sir Walter Ralegh and the Quest for El Dorado at, at Barnes and Noble, at Scholastic


Art Attack : A Brief Cultural History of the Avant-Garde

In the army, the advance guard is the first wave of soldiers who rush into enemy territory, risking their lives to map out the terrain. In the arts, the avant-garde consists of people who have devoted their talents, even their lives, to seeing the future and to confronting others with their visions. This intriguing introduction to modern art examines the avant-garde from its nineteenth-century origins in Paris to its meaning and influence today. It presents the visionaries who took the greatest risks, who saw the furthest, and who made the most challenging art-art that changed how we imagine our world. From cubism to pop art and beyond, this is the story not only of those risk takers, but of their creations and of the times in which they lived. Notes, bibliography, index.

Publishers Weekly

Aronson combines traditional art historical narrative with his personal passion for all of the arts to make a convincing case that pop art, surrealism, dadaism, cubism, abstract expressionismAand all the other “isms” of convention-defying avant-garde art can be intelligible to young readers. Ambitious yet accessible, this volume describes virtually every artistic movement challenging the social, political and cultural status quo from the 1830s to the present, each within its historical context from the bohemians of 19th-century Paris to the Generation Xers and cybertechies of today.

Buy Art Attack : A Brief Cultural History of the Avant-Garde at, at Barnes and Noble at

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