Book Markers 03.07.13

Local book news

Caro Does It Again — and Again
    Robert A. Caro won the National Book Critics Circle Award for biography last Thursday for “The Passage of Power,” the latest installment in his magisterial, multipart assessment, “The Years of Lyndon Johnson.” Two earlier books in the series have won the same award. This year’s ceremony was held at the New School in New York City.
    Also late last month, Mr. Caro, who lives in East Hampton part of the year, was awarded the New-York Historical Society’s American History Book Prize. It means he is now “American historian laureate,” and in April he can pick up a medal and a $50,000 prize at a black-tie dinner that’s part of the historical society’s Weekend With History symposium.

Long Island’s Other Railroad
    Forget the Confederate flag that once flew over Sagaponack. Consider instead our fair Island’s role in helping slaves find freedom by way of the Underground Railroad. Kathleen Gaffney Velsor has done just that, and has written a book about her research, “The Underground Railroad on Long Island: Friends in Freedom,” out last month from the History Press. As the subtitle suggests, the book emphasizes involvement by the Quakers, but it also covers the first free black communities on the Island and the efforts of people like the Post family in Old Westbury. Old Westbury, in fact, is where Ms. Velsor is now an associate professor in the School of Education at the campus of the State University of New York. She’ll talk about her book on Saturday at 5 p.m. at Canio’s Books in Sag Harbor.