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McFarland Book Is The Guardian’s “Oddest Book Title of the Year”

Roy Schwartz’s 2020 book, Is Superman Circumcised? The Complete History of the World’s Greatest Hero, has won The Guardian’s Diagram Prize for “Oddest Book Title of the Year.” Competing against five other finalists, Schwartz’s book won in a landslide, receiving 51% of the 11,000 votes cast. The inaugural Diagram Prize was awarded in 1978.

In a comment to The Guardian, Schwartz says: “I’m sincerely honoured to receive this august literary prize. It’s a great reminder that even serious literature is allowed to be fun.”

Is Superman Circumcised? is a journey through comic book lore, American history, and Jewish tradition, examining the entirety of Superman’s career from 1938 to date, and is sure to give readers a newfound appreciation for the Mensch of Steel! Superman is the original superhero, an American icon, and arguably the most famous character in the world—and he’s Jewish! Introduced in June 1938, the Man of Steel was created by two Jewish teens, Jerry Siegel, the son of immigrants from Eastern Europe, and Joe Shuster, an immigrant. They based their hero’s origin story on Moses, his strength on Samson, his mission on the golem, and his nebbish secret identity on themselves. They made him a refugee fleeing catastrophe on the eve of World War II and sent him to tear Nazi tanks apart nearly two years before the US joined the war. In the following decades, Superman’s mostly Jewish writers, artists, and editors continued to borrow Jewish motifs for their stories, basing Krypton’s past on Genesis and Exodus, its society on Jewish culture, the trial of Lex Luthor on Adolf Eichmann’s, and a future holiday celebrating Superman on Passover.

Roy Schwartz has written for newspapers, magazines, websites, academic organizations, law firms, tech companies, toy companies, and production studios. He has taught English and writing at the City University of New York and is a former writer-in-residence at the New York Public Library. He is the director of marketing and business development of a regional law firm.

 

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Newly Published: English Magic and Imperial Madness

New on our bookshelf:

English Magic and Imperial Madness: The Anti-Colonial Politics of Susanna Clarke’s Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell
Peter D. Mathews

Regency England was a pivotal time of political uncertainty, with a changing monarchy, the Napoleonic Wars, and a population explosion in London. In Susanna Clarke’s fantasy novel Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, the era is also witness to the unexpected return of magic. Locating the consequences of this eruption of magical unreason within the context of England’s imperial history, this study examines Merlin and his legacy, the roles of magicians throughout history, the mythology of disenchantment, the racism at work in the character of Stephen Black, the meaning behind the fantasy of magic’s return, and the Englishness of English magic itself. Looking at the larger historical context of magic and its links to colonialism, the book offers both a fuller understanding of the ethical visions underlying Clarke’s groundbreaking novel of madness intertwined with magic, while challenging readers to rethink connections among national identity, rationality, and power.

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Newly Published: Reading the Gravestones of Old New England

New on our bookshelf:

Reading the Gravestones of Old New England
John G.S. Hanson

The graveyards of old New England hold a great range of poetic messages in the epitaphs etched into the gravestones, each a profound expression of emotion, culture, religion, and literature. These epitaphs are old, but their themes are timeless: mourning and faith, grief and hope, loss, and memory.

This book tells the story of a years-long walk among gravestones and the insights gained. It identifies the source texts and authors chosen for these stones; interprets something of the beliefs of the people who did the choosing; offers some ideas on the ways these texts were accessible in remote towns and villages; gives a summary of the religious context of the times; and reflects on how the language and literature chosen for these epitaphs express conflicted and evolving attitudes towards life, death, and eternity.

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Newly Published: The New Fiction Technologies

New on our bookshelf:

The New Fiction Technologies: Interactivity, Agency and Digital Narratology
Shawn Edrei

The Internet has fundamentally altered our perceptions of narrative and its core components, including authorship, setting, characterization, reader reception and more. With new trends, tropes and conventions emerging at the speed of cyberspace, digital media like web comics, video games and fan fiction have become laboratories for experimentation on the boundaries of contemporary storytelling.

While web comics, video games and fan fiction have received much scholarly study, this book focuses on the common ground they share, and how their processes, motivations and evolution may be more similar than we think. These media are all regarded as unique genres of digital fiction, and this book aims to bridge the gap between them. Understanding these phenomena as expressions of the same principles could be crucial to understanding the future of narrative storytelling.

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Newly Published: The JFK Assassination Dissected

New on our bookshelf:

The JFK Assassination Dissected: An Analysis by Forensic Pathologist Cyril Wecht
Cyril H. Wecht, M.D., J.D. and Dawna Kaufmann

Since President John F. Kennedy’s 1963 murder in Dallas, medical examiner and lawyer Dr. Cyril Wecht was initially inclined to accept the official theory that one person alone was responsible for the crime. But as Wecht delved into the evidence with boundless curiosity and unprecedented access, he came to understand that America had, instead, suffered a coup d’etat at the hands of rogue elements within our own government.

Nobody else has Wecht’s up-close and personal experience in uncovering the facts behind this assassination—and now he is sharing it with the world. Co-authored by investigative journalist Dawna Kaufmann, this comprehensive book reveals Wecht’s analyses of the case’s forensic and medical evidence. With his keen eye and sharp tongue, Wecht wields his scalpel on JFK’s dubious autopsy report, the inept Warren Commission Report, the mishandling of crucial materials, all of the key players, and the media malpractice that has allowed the truth to remain hidden for nearly six decades.

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Newly Published: Dream Medicine

New on our bookshelf:

Dream Medicine: The Intersection of Wellness and Consciousness
Kimberly R. Mascaro

This book surveys both the scientific and the spiritual terrain of altered states of consciousness, highlighting how extrasensory encounters can be soul-healing balm. It explores a wide range of cultural interpretations of out-of-body experiences, from shamanistic practices to the importance of dreams in ancient world cultures. A dozen or more interviews with health-related professionals present unique, holistic glimpses of our inner lives.

Dreaming takes center stage, with the author presenting her most profound and insidious dreams. Part reference work and part guidebook, this book tells readers how to make the most of their dream experiences through a variety of techniques like incubation, talisman creation, tarot and more.

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Newly Published: Speculative Modernism

New on our bookshelf:

Speculative Modernism: How Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Conceived the Twentieth Century
William Gillard James Reitter and Robert Stauffer

Speculative modernists—that is, British and American writers of science fiction, fantasy and horror during the late 19th and early 20th centuries—successfully grappled with the same forces that would drive their better-known literary counterparts to existential despair. Building on the ideas of the 19th-century Gothic and utopian movements, these speculative writers anticipated literary Modernism and blazed alternative literary trails in science, religion, ecology and sociology. Such authors as H.G. Wells and H.P. Lovecraft gained widespread recognition—budding from them, other speculative authors published fascinating tales of individuals trapped in dystopias, of anti-society attitudes, post-apocalyptic worlds and the rapidly expanding knowledge of the limitless universe. This book documents the Gothic and utopian roots of speculative fiction and explores how these authors played a crucial role in shaping the culture of the new century with their darker, more evolved themes.

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Newly Published: “Devil Dog” Dan Daly

New on our bookshelf:

“Devil Dog” Dan Daly: America’s Fightin’est Marine
Charley Roberts

More than 40 million Americans have served in the U.S. military during wartime. Only 3500 have been awarded the Medal of Honor. Of these, three have received the medal twice. One was recommended for it a third time. Marine Corps Sergeant Major Daniel J. Daly was an unlikely hero at five feet, six inches tall and 132 pounds. What he lacked in size he made up for in grit. He received his first Medal of Honor for single-handedly holding off enemy attacks during China’s Boxer Rebellion of 1900, the second for his daring, one-man action during an ambush in Haiti in 1915. He was nominated for (but not awarded) an unprecedented third medal in World War I for his valor at Belleau Wood, where he led a charge against the German stronghold with the battle cry, “Come on you sons of bitches, do you want to live forever?” This first full-length biography presents a detailed examination of a Marine Corps legend.

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Newly Published: The American Cardiovascular Pandemic

New on our bookshelf:

The American Cardiovascular Pandemic: A 100-Year History
David Gordon

As Americans and citizens of other industrializing countries began to enjoy lives of increasing affluence and ease during the first half of the 20th century, a rising tide of heart attacks and strokes displaced infectious diseases as the leading cause of death, killing millions in the United States and throughout the world. Although cardiovascular disease remains serious and widespread, the significant decline of per capita deaths is one of the greatest accomplishments of modern public health and medicine. Death rates from heart attack and stroke have fallen dramatically by 80% in the past 50 years — the progress has been hard won by a combination of basic and applied laboratory research, broad and far-reaching epidemiological studies by physicians, scientists, and public health experts. Cardiovascular disease is no longer viewed as an as an inevitable feature of the natural course of aging, and complacency has given way to hope. This book focuses on developments that influenced the rise and decline of cardiovascular mortality since 1900, but also includes insider insights from the author, a 42-year NIH employee.

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Newly Published: A Lost Colony Hoax

New on our bookshelf:

A Lost Colony Hoax: The Chowan River Dare Stone
Brandon Fullam

On November 8, 1937, a tourist from California named L. E. Hammond walked onto the campus of Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, carrying a 21-pound rock he had accidentally stumbled upon in North Carolina. The barely-legible inscription on the rock appeared to be a lengthy message from Eleanor Dare, mother of Virginia Dare, and it was dated 1591. The inscription told of the trials and tribulations endured by the English colonists after their departure from Roanoke Island in 1587.

The authenticity of that stone, commonly referred to as the Chowan River Dare Stone, has remained an open question since its appearance in 1937. Carefully researched and documented, this book finally provides conclusive evidence that the Chowan River Dare Stone is a clever 20th century fraud. In doing so, the book also tells the fascinating story of the Dare Stone and exposes the orchestration of the hoax and its shadowy perpetrators.

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Newly Published: Writings of a Rebel Colonel

New on our bookshelf:

Writings of a Rebel Colonel: The Civil War Diary and Letters of Samuel Walkup, 48th North Carolina Infantry
Samuel Walkup

Lawyer, planter and politician Samuel Hoey Walkup (1818–1876) led the 48th North Carolina Infantry in the Civil War. A devout Christian and Whig nationalist, he opposed secession until hostilities were well underway, then became a die-hard Confederate, serving in the Army of Northern Virginia from the Seven Days battles through Appomattox.

Presenting Walkup’s complete and annotated writings, this composite biography of an important but overlooked Southern leader reveals an insightful narrator of his times. Having been a pre-war civilian outside the West Point establishment, he offers a candid view of Confederate leadership, particularly Robert E. Lee and A.P. Hill. Home life with his wife Minnie Parmela Reece Price and the enslaved members of their household was a complex relationship of cooperation and resistance, congeniality and oppression. Walkup’s story offers a cautionary account of misguided benevolence supporting profound racial oppression.

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Newly Published: After Vicksburg

New on our bookshelf:

After Vicksburg: The Civil War on Western Waters, 1863–1865
Myron J. Smith, Jr.

This is the first published comprehensive survey of naval action on the Mississippi River and its tributaries for the years 1863–1865. Following introductory reviews of the rivers and of the U.S. Navy’s Mississippi Squadron, chronological Federal naval participation in various raids and larger campaigns is highlighted, as well as counterinsurgency, economical support and control, and logistical protection. The book includes details on units, locations and activities that have been previously underreported or ignored. Examples include the birth and function of the Mississippi Squadron’s 11th District, the role of U.S. Army gunboats, and the war on the Upper Cumberland and Upper Tennessee Rivers. The last chapter details the coming of the peace in 1865 and the decommissioning of the U.S. river navy and the sale of its gunboats.

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Jewish Book Month

November is Jewish Book Month! At McFarland, we’re celebrating by highlighting our Jewish Studies line, which includes everything from biographies of prominent Jewish community members to religious histories, holocaust filmographies, memoirs and more. Now through November 15th, get 25% off our Jewish Studies books using code JBM25 on the McFarland website.

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Newly Published: Community College Leadership

New on our bookshelf:

Community College Leadership: Strategies for Boards, Presidents and Administrators
Gary L. Rhodes and Mark A. Creery, Sr.

Written from the dual perspectives of a community college president and community college board chair, this book covers everything about college leadership. Through personal anecdotes peppered with solid strategies, it offers advice on the responsibilities and challenges that come with leading a college. Whether you are a sitting college president or someday might be, this book will help you. If you serve on a community college board and would like insight into how to lead your college to its greatest potential, this book will help.

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Newly Published: The Nurse in Popular Media

New on our bookshelf:

The Nurse in Popular Media: Critical Essays
Edited by Marcus K. Harmes, Barbara Harmes and Meredith A. Harmes

The image of the nurse is ubiquitous, both in life and in popular media. One of the earliest instances of nursing and media intersecting is the Edison phonographic recording of Florence Nightingale’s voice in 1890. Since then, a parade of nurses, good, bad or otherwise, has appeared on both cinema and television screens. How do we interpret the many different types of nurses— real and fictional, lifelike and distorted, sexual and forbidding—who are so visible in the public consciousness?

This book is a comprehensive collection of unique insights from scholars across the Western world. Essays explore a diversity of nursing types that traverse popular characterizations of nurses from various time periods. The shifting roles of nurses are explored across media, including picture postcards, film, television, journalism and the collection and preservation of uniforms and memorabilia.

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Newly Published: Inside Abu Ghraib

New on our bookshelf:

Inside Abu Ghraib: Memoirs of Two U.S. Military Intelligence Officers
William Edwards, Robert P. Walters, Jr. and Paul Zanon

In 2003, Major William Edwards and Lt. Col. Robert P. Walters of the 165th Military Intelligence Battalion were given the near-impossible task of improving the U.S. Army’s security posture at Abu Ghraib prison under unfathomable conditions. With input from officers who served with them, their candid firsthand accounts of life at the notorious prison reveal unpublished details of the human devastation that took place there, along with unexpected glimpses of humanity.

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Newly Published: Joseph James Kinyoun

New on our bookshelf:

Joseph James Kinyoun: Discoverer of Bubonic Plague in America and Father of the National Institutes of Health
Joseph K. Houts, Jr.

In March 1900, Dr. Joseph James Kinyoun, a surgeon with the Marine Hospital Service and the founder of the Hygienic Laboratory, which became the National Institutes of Health, discovered bubonic plague in San Francisco. His finding led to an immediate outcry from the governor, local and state politicians, and the city’s commercial interests. In the hyper-sensationalized journalism of San Francisco’s newspapers, Kinyoun was ridiculed, leading to death threats and a $50,000 bounty on his head. Eventually, California’s quarantine caused an enormous uproar.

By the time a special federal commission produced a report (initially withheld from the public, leading to charges of a coverup) that vindicated Kinyoun, a deal had been brokered wherein the pioneering doctor was removed from his post.

This book tells a timely story about yellow journalism, coverup, corruption, the struggle between science and politics, and the consequences of blind denial of the truth.

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Newly Published: The Force of The Umbrella Academy

New on our bookshelf:

The Force of The Umbrella Academy: Essays on Voices and Violence in the Comics and Netflix Series
Edited by Lisann Anders

Even as the major superhero film franchises appear to be exhausting their runs The Umbrella Academy demonstrates that the superhero genre is still extremely effective at creating role models with lasting psychological resonance and allegories with extraordinary emotional impact. These essays give a voice to the misunderstood family members of The Umbrella Academy in the comic book series and its highly popular Netflix adaptation. They explore different forces like individualism, identity, family, and feminism. One of the most striking features that unites these concepts is the linkage between violence with voice, as well as violence’s aestheticized depiction.

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Newly Published: A Worldbuilder’s Guide to Magic

New on our bookshelf:

A Worldbuilder’s Guide to Magic: Essentials for Writers, Game Developers and Dungeon Masters
Brent A. Stypczynski

Constructing a functional system of magic that helps readers suspend disbelief is a crucial part of worldbuilding in the fantasy genres. Yet creating a believable, compelling and original fictional universe can be daunting. To help inspire writers, this guide provides an overview of how magic has been understood in history and used in myth, legend and modern fiction. Different forms of magic are explored and a broad range of stories—from Nordic myths to modern novels—are described and referenced. Discussion explores how magic as a concept shapes, and is shaped by, fictional worlds and societies.

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Newly Published: American Roadkill

New on our bookshelf:

American Roadkill: The Animal Victims of Our Busy Highways
Don H. Corrigan

Slaughtered along our highways, roadkill may be observed regularly, but aren’t likely to be given much thought. Research scientists, animal rights activists, roadkill artists, writers, ethicists and lyricists, however, are increasingly sounding the alarm. They report that we are killing the very animals we love, and are driving many of them to the brink of extinction. Detailing the death and destruction of mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and insect pollinators, this study examines the ways in which we are thus jeopardizing our own futures.

Beginning in the Model T era, biologists counted the common carnage of the time—cottontails, woodchucks, and squirrels, mostly. That record-keeping continues today. Beyond the bleak statistics, zoologists are rerouting migratory paths of animals and are advocating for cat and dog companions. This book illuminates both our successes and failures in keeping animals out of harm’s way and what those efforts reflect about ourselves and our capacity to care enough to alter the road ahead.

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Newly Published: Presidents versus Senators

New on our bookshelf:

Presidents versus Senators: Conflicts and Rivalries That Shaped America
F. Martin Harmon

Landmark political confrontations between sitting presidents and powerful senators have occurred throughout American history—some have shaped the nation. This book takes an in-depth look at seven of those major “Washington wars,” including the personal rivalries that spawned each one, the strategies and events that transpired as a result, and the aftermaths and impacts on the country.

Neither compromise nor surrender were considered in these intense debates, which left scars on the national psyche. Each episode could be worthy of a historical narrative all its own but considered together they illustrate the long and bitter history of democratic warfare between the leaders and branches of government at either end of Pennsylvania Avenue.

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Newly Published: Digesting Foods and Fads

New on our bookshelf:

Digesting Foods and Fads
Judi Nath

It is time to tease sense out of the nonsense when it comes to eating smartly. This book offers advice on how to eat nutritiously every day without all the guilt, money, and discomfort wasted on the latest, greatest fad. Using the best scientific nutrition research available, this book will show how to navigate the complicated world of food with ease. Peppered with historical background and fascinating facts, this is an introduction to basic nutritional practices. The book covers what foods you need, how your body uses the nutrients found in those foods, disease, sustainability, weight control, and food as medicine. It exposes the lies about supplements, fad foods, fad diets, and quick fixes. Armed with the knowledge that you are making the best decisions for yourself, there will be no need to chase after the latest magic potion or remedy.

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Newly Published: Small Cities Thinking Big

New on our bookshelf:

Small Cities Thinking Big: Revitalization Lessons from Augusta, Maine, and Other Communities
Michael G. Hall

Many cities with a population of 150,000 or less struggle to compete with their larger neighbors and often have trouble attracting residents and new businesses. This book explores the numerous ways these cities can compete on a larger scale without sacrificing their small-town character. It utilizes experiences from other cities, as well as from the author’s time revitalizing Augusta, Maine (pop. 19,000). Featuring chapters that focus on organizing volunteers, adhering to aesthetics, marketing, urban planning, and more, this book tackles key paths every small city should follow when attempting to redevelop its image.

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Newly Published: The Transmedia Vampire

New on our bookshelf:

The Transmedia Vampire: Essays on Technological Convergence and the Undead
Edited by Simon Bacon

This book explores vampire narratives that have been expressed across multiple media and new technologies. Stories and characters such as Dracula, Carmilla and even Draculaura from Monster High have been made more “real” through their depictions in narratives produced in and across different platforms. This also allows the consumer to engage on multiple levels with the “vampire world,” blurring the boundaries between real and imaginary realms and allowing for different kinds of identity to be created while questioning terms such as “author,” “reader,” “player” and “consumer.” These essays investigate the consequences of such immersion and why the undead world of the transmedia vampire is so well suited to life in the 21st century.

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Newly Published: Anthony Trollope

New on our bookshelf:

Anthony Trollope: A Companion
Nicholas Birns and John F. Wirenius

Anthony Trollope’s novels and stories entertain while vividly bringing the Victorian era to life. His deep empathy for the underdog led him to subvert conventions, exploring the lives of women, as well as men, and choosing as heroes and heroines outsiders who would be viewed with suspicion by his readers. Trollope’s profound insight to human nature made him the first novelist in English to develop three dimensional characters and to create the novel sequence. This literary companion introduces readers to his life and work. A-to-Z entries explore Trollope’s short story collections, and nonfiction contributions, as well as important themes in the works. This companion also includes fresh voices of contributors that bring in their contemporary insights to bear on Trollope’s achievements, facilitating the understanding of Trollope’s perspectives in relation to feminism, queer studies, and transnationalism.

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Newly Published: Rehearsing for Doomsday

New on our bookshelf:

Rehearsing for Doomsday: Memoir of a Nuclear Missile Crew Commander
Scott Cook

In 1988, Scott Cook was a boarding school PE teacher responsible for the proper inflation of dodge balls. A year later, he was operating an underground strategic missile control center with 10 intercontinental nuclear weapons capable of obliterating an entire country. This unexpected journey took him from the serene hills of Virginia through months of intensive training on the California coast to the front lines of the Cold War, beneath the frozen plains of North Dakota. His frank, entertaining memoir describes the insular and secretive military subculture of men and women who lived with the sobering burden of potentially unleashing global devastation, and how an easy-going gym coach ended up in an organization whose unofficial motto was “To err is human; to forgive is not Strategic Air Command policy.”

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Newly Published: The Flat Tire Murders

New on our bookshelf:

The Flat Tire Murders: Unsolved Crimes of a South Florida Serial Killer
Michael P. Burns

South Florida in the 1970s was one of the nation’s most dangerous locations. Behind the image of sun and surf, young women were the victims of a brutal killer. In the mid-1970s, over a dozen young women were murdered and found in canals. These cases became known as the Flat Tire Murders and the Canal Murders. Only one case was ever solved. More than four decades have passed since these crimes, and no arrests were ever made. This is the first book to explore these murders in depth, as well as a bizarre series of murders occurring in the years earlier, known as the Gold Sock Stranglings. Interviews with the detectives that originally worked to solve these cases provide an intimate view of the attempt to capture the killer that terrorized South Florida. In addition to the cases themselves, the book explores several suspects, including the infamous serial killer Ted Bundy. Detailed maps of South Florida illustrate the complex canal system that became the victims’ graveyard.

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Newly Published: Gettysburg Eddie Plank

New on our bookshelf:

Gettysburg Eddie Plank: A Pitcher’s Journey to the Hall of Fame
Dave Heller

Eddie Plank won 326 games and has the most complete games and shutouts by a left-handed pitcher in Major League history. But how much do we know about the hurler best known as “Gettysburg Eddie” in his playing days? And what of him that we do know is factual?

This biography of Plank sorts out the truth and the myths—and everything in between—as he made his way from a college team in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, all the way to the Hall of Fame, 20 years after his death. Along the way, readers will discover what made Plank so great, the secrets behind his famous crossfire delivery, and more.

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Newly Published: Seven Games in ’62

New on our bookshelf:

Seven Games in ’62: The Yankees and Giants Square Off in a Classic World Series
John Iamarino

After seven games and 13 days, the outcome of the 1962 World Series hung on the final pitch, thrown by a pitcher for the New York Yankees to a hitter for the San Francisco Giants. The teams had been evenly matched, alternating victories until the final, winner-take-all contest. One more out would give the Yankees the championship. A hit would almost certainly win the Giants their first Series title since moving to San Francisco. Despite its breathtaking climax, the ’62 Series has seldom been chronicled among the most dramatic Fall Classics. This book provides an unprecedented in-depth examination, describing in detail each game of the Series and the events that led up to it, including the Giants’ thrilling playoff with the Dodgers for the National League pennant. The author compares common game strategies used in the early 1960s vs. today and explores possible factors that made this Series historically underrated in the annals of baseball.

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Newly Published: Major League Turbulence

New on our bookshelf:

Major League Turbulence: Baseball in the Era of Drug Use, Labor Strife and Black Power, 1968–1988
Douglas M. Branson

The decades between the late 1960s counterculture and the advent of steroid use in the late 1980s bought tumult to Major League Baseball. Dock Ellis (Pirates, Yankees) and Dick Allen (Phillies, Cardinals, Dodgers, White Sox) epitomized the era with recreational drug use (Ellis), labor strife (Allen), and the questioning of authority. Both men were Black Power advocates at a time when the movement was growing in baseball. In the 1970s and 1980s, Marvin Miller and the Major League Baseball Players Association fought numerous, mostly victorious battles with MLB and team owners. This book chronicles a turbulent period in baseball, and in American life, that led directly to the performance-enhancing drug era and the dramatically changed nature of the game.

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Newly Published: Amos Alonzo Stagg

New on our bookshelf:

Amos Alonzo Stagg: College Football’s Greatest Pioneer
David E. Sumner

Amos Alonzo Stagg (1862–1965) grew up one of eight children in a poor New Jersey family, graduated high school at 21 and worked his way through Yale. His goal was to become a Presbyterian minister, but he dropped out of Yale Divinity School because he felt he could have more influence on young men through coaching. He was hired as the first football coach at University of Chicago after its founding in 1892.

Under Stagg’s leadership, Chicago emerged as one of the nation’s most formidable football teams during the early 20th century, winning seven Big Ten championships and two national championships. After Chicago forced him to retire at 70, Stagg found another coaching position at College of the Pacific, where he was forced to retire at 84. He found another job and never fully retired from coaching until he was 98. His marriage to his wife to Stella­—his de facto assistant coach—lasted almost 70 years. Sports Illustrated wrote of him, “If any single individual can be said to have created today’s game, Stagg is the man. He either invented outright or pioneered every aspect of the modern game from…the huddle, shift and tackling dummy to such refinements as the T-formation strategy.” This biography tells the story of his life and many innovations, which made him one of the great pioneers of college football.

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Newly Published: Ted Sullivan, Barnacle of Baseball

New on our bookshelf:

Ted Sullivan, Barnacle of Baseball: The Life of the Prolific League Founder, Scout, Manager and Unrivaled Huckster
Pat O’Neill and Tom Coffman

In his day, perhaps no one in baseball was better known than Irish-born Timothy Paul “Ted” Sullivan. For 50 years, America’s sportswriters sang his praises, genuflected to his genius and bought his blarney by the barrel. Damon Runyon dubbed him “The Celebrated Carpetbagger of Baseball.”

Cunning, fast-talking, witty and sober, Sullivan was the game’s first player agent, a groundbreaking scout who pulled future Hall of Famers from the bushes, an author, a playwright and a baseball evangelist who promoted the game across five continents. He coined the term “fan” and was among the first to suggest the designated hitter—because pitchers were “a lot of whippoorwill swingers.” But he was also a convert to the Jim Crow attitudes of his day—black ballplayers were unimaginable to him.

Unearthing thousands of contemporaneous newspaper accounts, this first exhaustive biography of “Hustlin’” Ted Sullivan recounts the life and career of one of the greatest hucksters in the history of the game.

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Newly Published: The Dark Side of G.K. Chesterton

New on our bookshelf:

The Dark Side of G.K. Chesterton: Gargoyles and Grotesques
John C. Tibbetts

This is a critical study of the great British man of letters G.K. Chesterton, devoted to the novels, stories and essays that explore the darker fringes of his wild imagination. “Everything is different in the dark,” wrote Chesterton; “perhaps you don’t know how terrible a truth that is.” Chesterton’s use of the theme of “gargoyles” provides the thematic structure of the book. It covers the detective stories of Father Brown and others, the locked rooms and miracle crimes in his writing, his status as a science fiction writer, and the riddles and paradoxes of three works—Job, The Man Who Was Thursday, and the play The Surprise. This volume also includes an interlude about Chesterton and Jorge Luis Borges and a robust appendix including interviews about the formation of Ignatius Press’s Collected Chesterton.

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Newly Published: Surviving Stephen King

New on our bookshelf:

Surviving Stephen King: Reactions to the Supernatural in Works by the Master of Horror
Rebecca Frost

Stephen King frequently places his human characters in danger against a supernatural antagonist. These characters, being realists of the late 20th and early 21st centuries, must first overcome their disbelief at what is happening to them, and then decide what to do about it. Both their explanations for the strange happenings and their attempts to deal with them can be divided into four main categories: cultural appropriation; Christianity, especially Catholic rites; attempts at utter destruction; and a resignation to simply live—or die—with the supernatural intact.

This book examines over 30 of King’s works, revealing that the overall success of the characters in removing the supernatural threat from their towns, or perhaps defeating it entirely, does not depend fully on which of these four paths of action they choose. It is possible for any attempt to destroy the supernatural threat to fail, and what works in one of King’s books will not have the same outcome in another. For King, the most likely success comes when his characters can choose a course of action that allows them to stand and be true to themselves.

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Newly Published: Caesars Palace Grand Prix

New on our bookshelf:

Caesars Palace Grand Prix: Las Vegas, Organized Crime and the Pinnacle of Motorsport
Randall Cannon

The path of Grand Prix racing in America wound through raceways at Sebring, Riverside, Watkins Glen, Long Beach, and finally Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. At each stop, the influence of organized crime seemed no more than a handshake away. But at Caesars the vast crime syndicate appeared deeply involved in the operations of the luxury-branded resort. The Caesars Palace Grand Prix then culminated in an unholy alliance of the world capital of gambling, the mob, and the international czar of Formula One.

During its four-year run of successive Formula One and CART IndyCar events, the race hosted the biggest names in motorsport—Mario Andretti, Bernie Ecclestone, Roger Penske, Chris Pook, Alan Jones, Nelson Piquet, Niki Lauda, Danny Sullivan, Bobby Rahal and Al Unser among them. The podium celebration of the inaugural Grand Prix put the convergence of alleged organized crime influences and auto racing on public display, while the years that followed provided their own curiosities. This book traces the intertwined threads through decades of accounts, extensive interviews, and the files of the FBI.

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Newly Published: “Don’t Shoot, G-Men!”

New on our bookshelf:

“Don’t Shoot, G-Men!”: The FBI Crime War, 1933–1939
Michael Newton

Between 1933 and 1939, the FBI pursued an aggressive, highly publicized nationwide campaign against a succession of Depression era “public enemies,” including John Dillinger, George “Baby Face” Nelson, Charles Arthur “Pretty Boy” Floyd, George “Machine Gun Kelly” Barnes, Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow, and the Ma Barker Gang.

Bureau Director J. Edgar Hoover’s successes in this crusade made him the hero of law and order in the public mind. This historical analysis reveals the agency’s often illegal tactics, including torture, frame-ups, and summary executions–later expanded throughout Hoover’s 48-year reign in Washington, D.C., and exposed only after his death (some say murder) in 1972.

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Newly Published: Encyclopedia of Television Miniseries, 1936–2020

New on our bookshelf:

Encyclopedia of Television Miniseries, 1936–2020
Vincent Terrace

In 1936, as television networks CBS, DuMont, and NBC experimented with new ways to provide entertainment, NBC deviated from the traditional method of single experimental programs to broadcast the first multi-part program, Love Nest, over a three-episode arc. This would come to be known as a miniseries. Although the term was not coined until 1954, several other such miniseries were broadcast, including Jack and the Beanstalk and Women in Wartime.

In the mid–1960s the concept was developed into a genre that still exists. While the major broadcast networks pioneered the idea, it quickly became popular with cable and streaming services. This encyclopedic source contains a detailed history of 878 TV miniseries broadcast from 1936 to 2020, complete with casts, networks, credits, episode count and detailed plot information.

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Newly Published: Nineties to Now

New on our bookshelf:

Nineties to Now: The Evolution of American Popular Culture
Matthew McKeever

What is it actually like to live today? It’s an era where world politics play out on Twitter, and where the gig economy has made the nine-to-five job an object of aspiration rather than dread. Rates of mental illness are soaring, inequality predominates everything and much of life is contained in our phones. The core idea of this book is that we can only understand what life is like now by comparing it to previous times to see what has changed, what is genuinely new, and what is a continuation of existing trends. Providing original analyses of a range of seminal works of 90s pop culture, this book extracts a core set of concepts—such as irony, branding, and media—that defined the 90s. It demonstrates how these concepts are expressed in both those works and in the art of today. Presenting close history in a new light, this book helps us understand today by framing it in terms of yesterday.

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Newly Published: Through Thick and Thin

New on our bookshelf:

Through Thick and Thin: One Foster Family’s Eating Disorder Journey
Carolyn Roy-Bornstein

Pediatrician Carolyn Roy-Bornstein and her husband had a comfortably empty nest after their sons had grown and flown. Soon after, Carolyn noticed that two of her patients struggled after their father died of cancer and their mother became too mentally ill to care for them. As a result, they were both placed in foster care, where one developed a severe eating disorder and the other began self-harming.

In a leap of faith, Carolyn and her husband opened their home to these sisters and became their foster parents. Carolyn, despite being a doctor, was unprepared for the harsh realities of severe anorexia, depression and grueling treatment. She had worked as a pediatrician for the Department of Children and Families for years, but still was not equipped for the bureaucratic struggles she would face to save her youngest foster child from a brutal eating disorder. This book outlines the struggles of a fledgling foster family who, despite all odds, remains devoted to one another throughout the healing process.

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Newly Published: The Laird Rams

New on our bookshelf:

The Laird Rams: Britain’s Ironclads Built for the Confederacy, 1862–1923
Andrew R. English

Built in Birkenhead, England, in 1862 to 1865, the “Laird rams” were two innovative armored warships intended for service with the Confederate Navy during the Civil War. The vessels represented a substantial threat to Union naval power, and offered the Confederacy a potential means to break the Union blockade of the Southern coastline. During 1863, the critical year of the Confederacy’s last hope of recognition by the British and French, President Lincoln threatened war with Britain if the ships ever sailed under Confederate colors. Built in some secrecy, then launched on the River Mersey under intense international scrutiny, the ships were first seized, and then purchased by Britain to avoid a war with the United States. These armored warships were largely forgotten after the Admiralty acquired them. Historians rarely mention these sister warships—if referred at all, they are given short shrift. This book provides the first complete history of these once famous ironclads that never fired a shot in anger yet served at distant stations as defenders of the British Empire.

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Newly Published: Puppet Master Complete

New on our bookshelf:

Puppet Master Complete: A Franchise History
Nat Brehmer

This book is a comprehensive history of the most successful straight-to-video horror franchise of all time: Puppet Master. It provides an in-depth exploration of all 14 films to date—including a made-for-TV crossover and a theatrical reboot—and the action figures, comics, and other merchandise that have helped to keep the brand alive for the past 30 years. Puppet Master was the first film for independent producer extraordinaire Charles Band’s Full Moon Entertainment, launching a franchise and a micro-budget studio that have both continued to this day. What led to the film’s success? How did a little movie about killer puppets, designed to cater to the then-booming video market, wind up surviving video stores themselves? How did a series that had never even had a theatrical entry wind up with an unusually successful toy series? All of these questions are answered within these pages. Featuring new interviews with some of the biggest creative minds behind the franchise, as well as dozens of behind-the-scenes photos, this book is the ultimate guide to horror’s most murderous marionettes.

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Newly Published: The Adventures of Ozzie Nelson

New on our bookshelf:

The Adventures of Ozzie Nelson: The Life and Career of America’s Favorite Pop
John R. Holmes

When Ozzie Nelson died in 1975, he was no longer a household name. For a guy who had created the longest-running TV sitcom in history, invented the rock video, and fronted one of the most successful big bands of the 1930s, it’s baffling that Nelson has faded so far from American media memory. Larger than life offscreen—an attorney, college football star, cartoonist, songwriter, major band leader—Ozzie created a smaller-than-life TV persona, the bumbling average Dad who became known to the rock generation (which included his teen idol son Rick Nelson) as the essence of blandness. But America also saw Ozzie as their iconic Dad: not a “father knows best,” since his pontifications usually proved flawed by the end of each episode, but the father who tried his best.

This book is the only full-length biography of Ozzie Nelson since he published his memoirs in 1973. It treats the big band and early TV icon with affection and hints that American pop culture may owe more to Ozzie than is generally acknowledged.

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Newly Published: The Suffrage Photography of Lena Connell

New on our bookshelf:

The Suffrage Photography of Lena Connell: Creating a Cult of Great Women Leaders in Britain, 1908–1914
Colleen Denney

Lena Connell was one of a new breed of young professional women who took up photography at the turn of the 20th century. She ran her own studio in North London, only employed women, and made her mark on history by creating compellingly modern portraits of women in the British suffrage movement. The women that Connell captured on film are as class-inclusive a group as you could find: whether they were factory workers, schoolteachers, or aristocrats, they joined the cause to make a difference for future generations of women, if not for themselves. Connell’s portraits created a new kind of visibility for these activists as hard-working, unrelenting women, whose spirits rose above injustice. This book examines Connell’s artistic career within the Edwardian suffrage movement. It discusses her body of portraits within the British suffrage movement’s propagandistic efforts and its goals of sophisticated, professional representations of its members. It includes all of her known portraits of suffragettes through 1914.

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Newly Published: The Art of Medieval Jewelry

New on our bookshelf:

The Art of Medieval Jewelry: An Illustrated History
T.N. Pollio

What are the origins of the imagery and designs on common jewelry and portable artwork between late antiquity and the Middle Ages? These dynamic centuries encompass the transformation of the Greco-Roman world into the nascent kingdoms and medieval states upon which most modern European nations are based. The choices of jewelry and other forms of personal expression among the lower classes in ancient times is notoriously difficult to contextualize for a number of reasons. Nonetheless, these precious articles were expressions of individual identity as well as signifiers of rites of passage. As such, they reflect not only the people who wore them, but also the social milieu and artistic trends at that moment in time.

This new study assists in identifying the types, origins and routes of transmission of personal artwork, particularly finger rings, across Europe and Byzantium, an area of study that has been neglected in previous works. Some of this material represents the first time relevant research from Central and Eastern Europe has been translated and made available to the general reader in the English-speaking world.

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Newly Published: Voting for War

New on our bookshelf:

Voting for War: A U.S. Congressman’s Awakening to the Lies Behind the Iraq Invasion
Walter B. Jones, Jr. with Taylor Sisk

The moment came at a funeral for a soldier. Republican Congressman Walter Jones (North Carolina, 3rd District) had voted to go to war in Iraq but had begun to question that decision, and the dubious claims by the Bush administration that Saddam Hussein harbored weapons of mass destruction. At the service for U.S. Marine Michael Bitz—killed three days into the war—Jones saw Bitz’s two-year-old son, Joshua, and was overcome with grief. Jones, whose district is home to Camp Lejeune and two Marine Corps air stations, set out to learn the truth—and was compelled to publicly acknowledge he had made “a grievous mistake.” “We were lied to about the justifications for going to war in Iraq,” he writes. “I was lied to; the nation was lied to.” In these pages, with insights from family, colleagues and former members of the military, Jones recounts his journey to becoming a more independent thinker, a renegade within his party and a more faithful public servant.

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Newly Published: Norman Corwin

New on our bookshelf:

Norman Corwin: His Early Life and Radio Career, 1910–1950
By Wayne Soini

Called “The Poet Laureate of Radio” by critics, Norman Corwin was the top writer at CBS when CBS reigned supreme in radio, and when radio itself dominated public attention. This biography tells the story of Norman’s unlikely rise from a triple-decker tenement on Bremen Street in East Boston to the top rung of radio writers during the Golden Age of Radio. A self-taught writer who never graduated from high school, he learned what audiences craved, and he gave it to them. His nuanced “theater of the mind” dramas, tender love stories, and witty comedies were hits talked about long after they were broadcast, and, when his scripts were published, became bestsellers. The week after Pearl Harbor, Norman’s show “We Hold These Truths” was broadcast to the largest radio audience ever. His V-E Day broadcast on May 8, 1945, “On a Note of Triumph,” made a similarly enduring mark and still constitutes the gold standard for wartime drama.

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Newly Published: Legislative Foundations of American Consumer Society

New on our bookshelf:

Legislative Foundations of American Consumer Society
By Bob Sullivan

The current literature on consumerism is diverse, scattered, and unsystematic. This book remedies this by identifying the beginning of mass consumer society in the United States, starting with the New Deal. The New Deal framework of guaranteeing new home purchases by means of low down-payment, fixed-rate home mortgages lasted until the 1970s, at which time the legal framework unraveled due to a sustained attack on New Deal racism. Despite this, American consumerism continued and even flourished without a regulatory structure. This book analyzes seven key pieces of federal legislation which undergird American consumer society to this day.

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Newly Published: Women and Mixed Race Representation in Film

New on our bookshelf:

Women and Mixed Race Representation in Film: Eight Star Profiles
Valerie C. Gilbert

This book uses a black/white interracial lens to examine the lives and careers of eight prominent American-born actresses from the silent age through the studio era, New Hollywood, and into the present century: Josephine Baker, Nina Mae McKinney, Fredi Washington, Lena Horne, Dorothy Dandridge, Lonette McKee, Jennifer Beals and Halle Berry. Combining biography with detailed film readings, the author fleshes out the tragic mulatto stereotype, while at the same time exploring concepts and themes such as racial identity, the one-drop rule, passing, skin color, transracial adoption, interracial romance, and more. With a wealth of background information, this study also places these actresses in historical context, providing insight into the construction of race, both onscreen and off.

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Newly Published: The Mythic Mr. Lincoln

New on our bookshelf:

The Mythic Mr. Lincoln: America’s Favorite President in Multimedia Fiction
Jeff O’Bryant

Honest Abe. The rail-splitter. The Great Emancipator. Old Abe. These are familiar monikers of Abraham Lincoln. They describe a man who has influenced the lives of everyday people as well as notables like Leo Tolstoy, Marilyn Monroe, and Winston Churchill. But there is also a multitude of fictional Lincolns almost as familiar as the original: time traveler, android, monster hunter. This book explores Lincoln’s evolution from martyred president to cultural icon and the struggle between the Lincoln of history and his fictional progeny. He has been Simpsonized by Matt Groening, charmed by Shirley Temple, and emulated by the Lone Ranger. Devotees have attempted to clone him or to raise him from the dead. Lincoln’s image and memory have been invoked to fight communism, mock a sitting president, and sell products. Lincoln has even been portrayed as the greatest example of goodness humanity has to offer. In short, Lincoln is the essential American myth.

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Newly Published: The NHL’s Mistake by the Lake

New on our bookshelf:

The NHL’s Mistake by the Lake: A History of the Cleveland Barons
Gary Webster

The Cleveland Barons should never have existed. Born when the National Hockey League’s California Golden Seals—another team that should never have existed—were transplanted to Cleveland in 1976 and greeted with apathy by the dwindling number of hockey fans in northeastern Ohio, the Barons were an embarrassment to the city and to the NHL. The only thing the team had going for them was the state-of-the-art arena they played in, which was all but empty for nearly every game they played. This book chronicles the Barons’ two regrettable seasons—a case study in what happens when an ill-conceived professional sports team created in an expansion splurge is moved, in an effort to save it, to a city that doesn’t really want it.

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Newly Published: Tar Heels in Gray

New on our bookshelf:

Tar Heels in Gray: Life in the 30th North Carolina Infantry in the Civil War
John B. Cameron

The 30th North Carolina Infantry was involved in most of the major battles in Virginia from the Seven Days through the surrender at Appomattox, and saw some of the bloodiest fighting of the American Civil War. Two-thirds of these men volunteered early; the others were enlisted at the point of a bayonet. Their casualty rate was high, the rate of death from disease was higher and the desertion and AWOL rate was higher still. What was the war actually like for these men? What was their economic status? To what extent were they involved in the institution of slavery? What were their lives like in the Army? What did they believe they were fighting for and did those views change over time? This book answers those questions and depicts Civil War soldiers as they were, rather than as appendages to famous generals or symbols of myth. It focuses on the realities of the men themselves, not their battles. In addition to the author’s personal collection of letters and other contemporary records, it draws upon newly discovered letters, diaries, memoirs, census records, and published works.

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Newly Published: Nineteenth Century Detective Fiction

New on our bookshelf:

Nineteenth Century Detective Fiction: An Analytical History
LeRoy Lad Panek

In English and American cultures, detective fiction has a long and illustrious history. Its origins can be traced back to major developments in Anglo-American law, like the concept of circumstantial evidence and the rise of lawyers as heroic figures. Edgar Allen Poe’s writings further fueled this cultural phenomenon, with the use of enigmas and conundrums in his detective stories, as well as the hunt-and-chase action of early police detective novels. Poe was only one staple of the genre, with detective fiction contributing to a thriving literary market that later influenced Arthur Conan Doyle’s work.

This text examines the emergence of short detective fiction in the nineteenth century, as well as the appearance of detectives in Victorian novels. It explores how the genre has captivated readers for centuries, with the chapters providing a framework for a more complete understanding of nineteenth-century detective fiction.

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Newly Published: The Working Class in American Literature

New on our bookshelf:

The Working Class in American Literature: Essays on Blue Collar Identity
Edited by John F. Lavelle and Debbie Lelekis

Literary texts are artifacts of their time and ideologies. This book collection explores the working class in American literature from the colonial to the contemporary period through a critical lens which addresses the real problems of approaching class through economics. Significantly, this book moves the analysis of working-class literature away from the Marxist focus on the relationship between class and the means of production and applies an innovative concept of class based on the sociological studies of humans and society first championed by Max Weber. Of primary concern is the construction of class separation through the concept of in-grouping/out grouping. This book builds upon the theories established in John F. Lavelle’s Blue Collar, Theoretically: A Post-Marxist Approach to Working Class Literature (McFarland, 2011) and puts them into practice by examining a diverse set of texts that reveal the complexity of class relations in American society.

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Newly Published: Coming Home to the Third Reich

New on our bookshelf:

Coming Home to the Third Reich: Return Migration of German Nationals from the United States and Canada, 1933–1941
Grant W. Grams

During the 1930s, Germany’s industrialization, rearmament and economic plans taxed the existing manpower, forcing the country to explore new ways of acquiring Aryan-German labor. Eventually, the Third Reich implemented a return migration program which used various recruitment strategies to entice Germans from Canada and the United States to migrate home. It initially used the Atlantic Ocean to transport German-speakers, but after the outbreak of World War II, German civilians were brought from the Americas to East Asia and then to Germany via the Trans-Siberian Railway through the Soviet Union. Germany’s attack on the Soviet Union in June 1941 ended this overland route, but some Germans were moved on Nazi ships from East Asia to the Third Reich until the end of 1942. This book investigates why Germans who had already established themselves in overseas countries chose to migrate back to an oppressive and authoritarian country. It sheds light on some aspects of the Third Reich’s administration, goals and achievements associated with return migration while also telling the individual stories of returnees.

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Newly Published: Like Boy Scouts with Guns

New on our bookshelf:

Like Boy Scouts with Guns: Memoir of a Counterculture Warrior in Vietnam
Roger S. Durham

Facing the possibility of being drafted and sent to Vietnam, Roger Durham secured a deferment when he enrolled in college. Devoting more time to anti-war protests than to studies, he became immersed in the late 1960s counterculture, flunked out and was drafted anyway. Deployed to Vietnam with the U.S. Army’s 18th Engineer Brigade Headquarters, he was assigned to a helicopter base “behind the wire,” far from the action. Or so he thought—the action came to him as the base drew mortar, rocket and sapper attacks.

Durham’s clear-eyed memoir relates an often untold experience of the Vietnam War—that of the counterculture soldier whose opposition to war did not end when he was inducted. Adjusting to life in-country, he finds a thriving drug culture and a brotherhood of like-minded warriors, who resist both the enemy and the culture of zealous militarism that prosecutes what they see as an immoral war, against American national interests. Durham undergoes changes in perspective, extending his tour of duty when the thought of going home fills him with anxiety and anticipation.

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Newly Published: Opening the East River

New on our bookshelf:

Opening the East River: John Newton and the Blasting of Hell Gate
Thomas Barthel

After the Civil War, the New York City’s East River was a massive unsolved and dangerous navigation problem. A major waterway into and out of the Harbor—where customs revenue equaled 42 percent of the U.S. Government’s income—the river’s many hindrances, centered around Hell Gate, included whirlpools, rocks and reefs. These, combined with swirling currents and powerful tides, led to deaths, cargo losses and destruction of vessels. Charged with clearing the river, General John Newton of the Army Corps of Engineers went to work with the most rudimentary tools for diving, mining, lighting, pumping and drilling. His crews worked for 20 years, using a steam-drilling scow of his own design and a new and perilous explosive—nitroglycerine. In 1885, Newton destroyed the nine-acre Flood Rock with 282,730 pounds of high explosives. The demolition was watched by tens of thousands. This book chronicles the clearing of the East River and the ingenuity of the Army engineer whose work was praised by the National Academy of Sciences.

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Newly Published: Beyond the Living Dead

New on our bookshelf:

Beyond the Living Dead: Essays on the Romero Legacy
Edited by Bruce Peabody and Gloria Pastorino

In 1968, George Romero’s film Night of the Living Dead premiered, launching a growing preoccupation with zombies within mass and literary fiction, film, television, and video games. Romero’s creativity and enduring influence make him a worthy object of inquiry in his own right, and his long career helps us take stock of the shifting interest in zombies since the 1960s. Examining his work promotes a better understanding of the current state of the zombie and where it is going amidst the political and social turmoil of the twenty-first century.

These new essays document, interpret, and explain the meaning of the still-budding Romero legacy, drawing cross-disciplinary perspectives from such fields as literature, political science, philosophy, and comparative film studies. Essays consider some of the sources of Romero’s inspiration (including comics, science fiction, and Westerns), chart his influence as a storyteller and a social critic, and consider the legacy he leaves for viewers, artists, and those studying the living dead.

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Newly Published: Max Gordon

New on our bookshelf:

Max Gordon: Life, Loss and Baseball’s Greatest Comeback
Jacob Kornhauser and Dylan Kornhauser

A left-handed batter in the NCAA’s Division 1, Max Gordon still had a lot to live for, provided he would live at all. Facing a devastating loss–the death of his brother, Nick–and a life-threatening physical injury, he went on a transformative personal journey that united his family through the most difficult time they had ever faced.

In this intimate narrative about the healing power of sports, a family is made whole again through the determination of a son who proves that in life as in baseball, no matter the score, as long as you have one more at bat, you’re still in the game. The authors tell the story from the perspective of having shared relationships with the Gordon brothers.

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Newly Published: George Washington Parke Custis

New on our bookshelf:

George Washington Parke Custis: A Rarefied Life in America’s First Family
Charles S. Clark

George Washington Parke Custis (1781-1857) was raised at Mount Vernon by George and Martha Washington. Young “Wash” appears in Savage’s 1789 painting of the first presidential family, his small hand placed symbolically on a globe. He would later make his mark on the national landscape by building Arlington House on the Potomac. A poor student, he emerged as an agricultural reformer and sought-after Federalist orator. He championed the plights of Irish Americans and war veterans. An important memoirist, he wrote well-received theatrical works and produced paintings rich in historical detail. Inheriting much of the vast Custis fortune, he also became the enslaver of more than 200 people. The slow march toward their emancipation became the central struggle of his life, particularly after his daughter’s 1831 marriage to Robert E. Lee. This first full-length biography of Custis offers a 21st century reappraisal of life that dramatically bridged the American Revolution and the Civil War.

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Newly Published: Judge, Jury and Executioner

New on our boookshelf:

Judge, Jury and Executioner: Essays on The Punisher in Print and on Screen
Edited by Alicia M. Goodman, Matthew J. McEniry, Ryan Cassidy and Robert G. Weiner

Since the Punisher’s first appearance in the pages of Spider-Man #129, the character has become one of the most popular and controversial figures in Marvel’s vast universe. The Punisher represents one of the most recognizable types of anti-heroes. His iconic skull insignia stands for a unique type of justice: protecting the innocent while violently eliminating everyone he sees as a villain. This collection examines the Punisher from philosophical perspectives about morality and justice. Essays critique the character through the lenses of gender and feminism; consider the Punisher’s veteran status in relation the Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq wars; and examine how politics and gun violence connect the Punisher’s world with the real world. Many iterations of the Punisher are examined within, including the Netflix release of Marvel’s The Punisher, comics series such as Punisher: MAX, Marvel Knights, and Cosmic Ghost Rider, and several fan fiction stories.

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Newly Published: Southern Baptists

New on our bookshelf:

Southern Baptists: A History of a Confessional People
Slayden A. Yarbrough and Michael Kuykendall

Southern Baptists have a unique and colorful story. Birthed in the time of slavery controversy, their theology on this and human rights issues has changed as cultural and societal developments occurred. One thing that never changed, however, was their zeal for evangelism. They eventually grew to become the largest Protestant denomination in the United States. Later, a major controversy in the late twentieth century pitted conservative Baptists against moderates. Both sides, however, wrote histories of the controversy from their own perspectives. These histories were significant for understanding how each side interpreted the events. These pages attempt to fill a missing gap. Readers will hear the Southern Baptist story from both sides. Understand from this how Southern Baptists work, think, grow, argue, and have changed over time. They have weathered the ups and downs of history to reveal an ever-growing heritage.

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Newly Published: The ARVN and the Fight for South Vietnam

New on our bookshelf:

The ARVN and the Fight for South Vietnam
Nghia M. Vo

With the withdrawal of French forces from South Vietnam in 1955, the U.S. took an ever-widening role in defending the country against invasion by North Vietnam. By 1965, the U.S. had “Americanized” the war, relegating the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) to a supporting role. While the U.S. won many tactical victories, it had difficulty controlling the territory it fought for. As the war grew increasingly unpopular with the American public, the North Vietnamese launched two large-scale invasions in 1968 and 1972—both tactical defeats but strategic victories for the North that precipitated the U.S. policy of “Vietnamization,” the drawdown of American forces that left the ARVN to fight alone.

This book examines the maturation of the ARVN, and the major battles it fought from 1963 to its demise in 1975. Despite its flaws, the ARVN was a well-organized and disciplined force with an independent spirit and contributed enormously to the war effort. Had the U.S. “Vietnamized” the war earlier, it might have been won in 1967–1968.

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Newly Published: Defining America in the Radical 1760s

New on our bookshelf:

Defining America in the Radical 1760s: John Dickinson, George III and the Fate of Empire
Jude M. Pfister

The 1760s were a period of great agitation in the American colonies. The policies implemented by the British resulted in an outcry from the Americans that inaugurated the radical ideas leading to the Revolution in 1775. John Dickinson led the way in the “war of ink” between America and Britain, which saw over 1,000 pamphlets and essays written both for and against British policy. King George III, the new British monarch, wrote extensively on the role of Britain in the colonial world and sought to find a middle way between the quickly rising feelings on both sides of the debate. This book tells the story of this radical decade as it occurred in writing, drawing from primary sources and rarely seen exchanges.

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Newly Published: The River Batteries at Fort Donelson

New on our bookshelf:

The River Batteries at Fort Donelson: Construction, Armament and Battles, 1861–1862
M. Todd Cathey and Ricky W. Robnett

Unprepared for invasion, Tennessee joined the Confederacy in June 1861. The state’s long border and three major rivers with northern access made defense difficult. Cutting through critical manufacturing centers, the Cumberland River led directly to the capital city of Nashville. To thwart Federal attack, engineers hastily constructed river batteries as part of the defenses that would come to be known as Fort Donelson, downstream near the town of Dover.

Ulysses S. Grant began moving up the rivers in early 1862. In last-minute desperation, two companies of volunteer infantry and a company of light artillerymen were deployed to the hastily constructed batteries. On February 14, they slugged it out with four City-class ironclads and two timber-clads, driving off the gunboats with heavy casualties, while only losing one man. This book details the construction, armament, and battle for the Fort Donelson river batteries.

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Newly Published: Transformed in a Stroke

New on our bookshelf:

Transformed in a Stroke: A Memoir of Brain Hemorrhage and Recovery in the United States and Japan
Laurel Kamada

In 2013, while visiting her sister in the United States, Laurel Kamada collapsed. Far from her husband, son, career, and home in Japan, she spent the next few weeks in a coma from a stroke that left a hole the size of a baseball in the center of her brain. In this multicultural memoir, Kamada writes about her years of recovery with a profound sense of grace, still seeing the beauty in her life while not shying away from its many struggles.

This five-part memoir addresses the basics of strokes; an East-West (Japan, U.S.) comparison of stroke, advice and help for the primary caregivers and families of stroke survivors, and lessons on how to improve systems of care and rehabilitation. Kamada also introduces networking means and advice to help stroke survivors, their families and friends, and professionals working in long-term care facilities, such as nursing and rehabilitation staff.

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Newly Published: Mohawk Recon

New on our bookshelf:

Mohawk Recon: Vietnam from Treetop Level with the 1st Cavalry, 1968-1969
Russell Pettis

Before unmanned combat drones, there was the Grumman OV-1C Mohawk, a twin-engine turboprop fixed-wing reconnaissance aircraft loaded with state-of-the-art target detection systems. Crewed by a pilot and observer, it flew at treetop level by day, taking panoramic photographs. By night it scanned the landscape from 800 feet with side-looking airborne radar (SLAR) and infrared. This lively, detailed memoir recounts the author’s 1968–1969 tour with the 1st Cavalry Division in Vietnam, serving as a technical observer (T.O.) aboard an unarmed Mohawk, searching for elusive enemy forces near the DMZ and along the Laotian and Cambodian borders, dodging mountains in the dark and avoiding anti-aircraft fire.

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Newly Published: The Body in Theory

New on our bookshelf:

The Body in Theory: Essays After Lacan and Foucault
Edited by Becky R. McLaughlin and Eric Daffron

The body has always had the potential to unsettle us with its strange exigencies and suppurations, its demands and desires, and thus throughout the ages, it has continued to be a subject of interest and obsession. This collection of twelve peer-reviewed essays on Jacques Lacan and Michel Foucault interrogates the body in all of its beauty…and with all of its blights and blemishes.

Written by a diverse body of scholars—art historians, cultural theorists, English professors, philosophers, psychoanalysts, and sociologists from North America and Europe—these essays bring into conversation two intellectual giants frequently seen as antagonists, and thus rarely seen together. Topics covered include: the intersections of Foucault and Lacan and how they bring to light new thoughts on the senses, the self-destructive body, ableism and disability in Guillermo del Toro’s film The Shape of Water, body image and the ego, selfie-culture, and metamorphosis in Ottessa Moshfegh’s novel My Year of Rest and Relaxation, among others.

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Newly Published: The Longest Siege

New on our bookshelf:

The Longest Siege: Port Hudson, Louisiana, 1863
Russell W. Blount, Jr.

During the Civil War, control of the Mississippi River was hotly contested by both the Union and Confederate armies. By late 1862, the South held only a 110–mile stretch of this vital waterway. Determined to defend this critical span, the Confederacy built two fortresses to defend it—Vicksburg on the north end, Port Hudson on the south. Drawing on the letters and memoirs of soldiers and officers on both sides, this book chronicles the brutal struggle for Port Hudson, Louisiana, beginning with Admiral Farragut’s costly naval attack by the Union fleet, through the furious infantry assaults ordered by General Nathaniel Banks—including the first charge made by black troops in the Civil War—and finally to the 48–day siege itself. Among the most tragic campaigns of the war, it is recognized by historians as the longest siege in American military history.

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Newly Published: When Home Is Not Safe

New on our bookshelf:

When Home Is Not Safe: Writings on Domestic Verbal, Emotional and Physical Abuse
Edited by Judith Skillman and Linera Lucas

Even if you haven’t been hurt by domestic violence, someone you know has and wishes they could tell you about it. Perhaps you are a therapist, teacher, academic, or social worker who wants to help those who are suffering. Or maybe you are in an abusive relationship and need to know that you are not alone.

The poems, memoirs, and creative nonfiction pieces collected here tell of real incidents of abuse, as well as of those who left destructive and unsalvageable relationships. The beauty and truth of the language, as well as the honesty and courage, set this anthology apart from self-help manuals and academic treatises on domestic violence. This book offers a path forward to healing, health and fulfillment, using the power of art to give voice where voice has been stifled, forgotten, overlooked or denied.

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Newly Published: Bill DeWitt, Sr.

New on our bookshelf:

Bill DeWitt, Sr.: Patriarch of a Baseball Family
Burton A. Boxerman and Benita W. Boxerman

In 1954, one year after Baltimore bought the St. Louis Browns, the New York Yankees hired former Browns executive and owner William O. DeWitt as assistant to general manager George Weiss. “DeWitt,” the news announced, “was considered an astute baseball man who would have a definite role to play with the Yankees.” Baseball fans had assumed that once the Browns were no longer the American League’s doormats, DeWitt would quietly retire. But for DeWitt, a shrewd protégé of Branch Rickey, his years with the Browns began a long and fascinating career, including his years as owner and general manager of the Cincinnati Reds. This first ever biography focuses on the career of a baseball executive who contributed greatly to America’s pastime.

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Newly Published: Deconstructing Bret Easton Ellis

New on our bookshelf:

Deconstructing Bret Easton Ellis: A Derridean Reading of the Fiction
Annette Schimmelpfennig

Riddled with intertextual references and notorious for their explicit portrayal of sex, drugs, and the occasional rock ’n’ roll, the novels of Bret Easton Ellis reveal many layers. The novels are often accused of not making sense—but they instead make many senses. Their semantic complexity is obvious when put under a theoretical lens as provided by Jacques Derrida. His semiotic analysis, which focuses on the instability of meaning and is shaped by key terms such as différance, the trace, and the supplement, offers the ideal framework to look behind Ellis’s obsession with surfaces.

Aimed at aficionados of Ellis’s works as well as students of contemporary American fiction and literary theory, this book discusses the central issues in Ellis’s novels through 2019 and offers a new perspective for the practical use of Derrida’s ideas. In order to ensure accessibility, a theoretical chapter introduces all the concepts necessary to understand a Derridean analysis of Ellis’s fiction. As Rip says in Imperial Bedrooms: “It means so many things, Clay.”

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Newly Published: A Short Good Life

New on our bookshelf:

A Short Good Life: Her Father Tells Liza’s Story of Facing Death
Philip Lister

It’s unusual to access a child’s mind during the magic years of childhood. It’s rarer when the child is facing her death. Liza, an ardent child with a deep love of cows and the color purple was diagnosed with leukemia at age four and died two years later in 1996. Liza was an unusually expressive child and her parents, both child psychiatrists, were uniquely oriented to appreciate the richness of a child’s mind. Through writing this book, Liza’s father strove to reveal the inner world of a child’s mind—and a parent’s mind—as few other books can.

At its center, this is the story of a child’s psyche growing and striving to understand all she could of her experience, and of a small family coping with life’s biggest challenges. It is a story of love’s power to help a family cope and endure despite loss, and to grow, through darkness, back toward a full embrace of life. Through the process, the family emerges transformed, awed by the capacities of this child.

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Newly Published: Radio Psychics

New on our bookshelf:

Radio Psychics: Mind Reading and Fortune Telling in American Broadcasting, 1920–1940
John Benedict Buescher

When radio broadcasting began in the early 1920s, the radio was a magic box aglow with the future, drawing humanity into a new age. Some thought it would dissolve the distance between time and place, others that human minds would become transparent, one tuned to another. Performers claiming psychic powers turned radio broadcasting into a fabulous money machine. These “mentalists,” born from vaudeville, circuses, sideshows, and the Spiritualist and New Thought movements of the mid-late 19th century, used the language of wireless technology to explain their ability to see the past, present, and future. Casting their mystical knowledge as a scientifically honed craft, these mentalists persuaded millions to pay for dubious advice until governmental and public pressures forced them off the air.

This book is a history of over 25 performers who practiced their art behind studio microphones during the early years of radio broadcasting, from about 1920 to 1940. Here, laid out for the first time, is the tale of how they made cash rain from the heavens and harnessed the sensation of the radio in search of wealth, health, love, and success.

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Newly Published: Dyslexia and the Journalist

New on our bookshelf:

Dyslexia and the Journalist: Battling a Silent Disability
Tony Silvia and Suzanne Arena

For aspiring journalists, the challenges of dyslexia can seem insurmountable, especially in the face of an educational system that is ill-equipped to help. Many with dyslexia and related learning and attention deficit disorders also struggle with low self-esteem and emotional health, leading to the assumption that they cannot succeed, especially in a profession dominated by reading and writing.

This book profiles famous broadcast journalists who overcame the long-overlooked, often misdiagnosed learning disability, dyslexia, to succeed at the highest level. Among them are Emmy Award winners, including CNN’s Anderson Cooper and Robyn Curnow, NBC’s Richard Engel, and ABC’s Byron Pitts. For students and practicing journalists, it is a resource to learn more about dyslexia and how best to approach covering “the invisible disability.” Each of the journalists profiled offer advice into the best practices in researching, interviewing, writing, and presenting issues related to dyslexia.

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Newly Published: The Sociology of Sports

New on our bookshelf:

The Sociology of Sports: An Introduction, 3d ed.
Tim Delaney and Tim Madigan

This third edition takes a fresh approach to the study of sport, presenting key concepts such as socialization, race, ethnicity, gender, economics, religion, politics, deviance, violence, school sports and sportsmanship. While providing a critical examination of athletics, this text also highlights many of sports’ positive features. This new edition includes significantly updated statistics, data and information along with updated popular culture references and real-world examples. Newly explored is the impact of several major world events that have left lasting effects on the sports realm, including a global pandemic (SARS-CoV-2, or COVID-19) and social movements like Black Lives Matter and Me Too. Another new topic is the “pay for play” movement, wherein college athletes demanded greater compensation and, at the very least, the right to profit from their own names, images and likenesses.

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Heavy Metal Music and Culture Catalog

It’s Friday and I have a bone to pick. When it came time to choose the cover art for this catalog about a subject dear to my heart, I wanted a black cover with no identifying lettering or logos. “That’s impractical,” said one coworker, adding “it’s a very bad idea.” Another simply stared at me silently with a look of disapproval. Even my own inner monologue turned against me, repeatedly telling me that “nobody else cares about your obsession with Spinal Tap. It’s annoying.” When our design department produced this cover (which I quite like), I pushed for the addition of an umlaut over the F in McFarland. As it turns out, there is no commercially available font that includes that character. You learn a lot of interesting trivia in the book business.

I’m nevertheless thrilled to present to you this latest catalog of scholarly books about heavy metal music and culture. There’s even a sale—get 25% off through the month of September! The coupon code is SMELLTHEGLOVE.

—Adäm

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New in Softcover: Forry

Now available in softcover:
 
By Deborah Painter
 
https://mcfarland.onpressidium.com/product/forry-p/

Forrest J Ackerman (1916–2008) was an author, archivist, agent, actor, promoter, and editor of the iconic fan magazine Famous Monsters of Filmland; a founder of science fiction fandom; and one of the world’s foremost collectors of sci-fi, horror and fantasy films, literature, and memorabilia.

This biography begins with a foreword by Joe Moe, Ackerman’s caregiver and close friend since 1982. It documents Ackerman’s lifelong dedication to his work in both literature and film; his interests, travels, relationships and associations with famous personalities; and his lasting impact on popular culture. Primary research material includes letters given by Ackerman to the author during their long friendship, and numerous reminiscences from Ackerman’s friends, fans and colleagues.

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Newly Published: The Definitive Diva

New on our bookshelf:

The Definitive Diva: The Life and Career of Maria Callas
By John Louis DiGaetani

Maria Callas was, perhaps, the greatest opera singer of the 20th century. Hers was a life lived on the world stage, and her fame extended to the public consciousness of many parts of the world. Even after her mysterious death in 1977, her singing and acting continue to thrill new generations of opera fans thanks to her many recordings and her fascinating life. This new biography of Callas tells her story from difficult beginnings as the daughter of Greek immigrants to New York City in 1923 to her wonderful performances at La Scala, Covent Garden, and the Metropolitan Opera. Callas was quite a diva and a master at creating a captivating public image. She also became notorious because of her very public affair with Aristotle Onassis, the wealthy ship-owner who left Callas to marry Jacqueline Kennedy.

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Newly Published: The Medieval Mediterranean City

New on our bookshelf:

The Medieval Mediterranean City: Urban Life and Design Before European Hegemony, 1250-1380
By Felicity Ratté

This book is a study of architecture and urban design across the Mediterranean Sea from the 12th to the 14th Century, a time when there was no single, hegemonic power dominating the area. The focus of the study—four cities on the Italian peninsula, and four in Syria and Egypt—is the interconnectedness of the design and use of urban structures, streets and open space. Each chapter offers an historical analysis of the buildings and spaces used for trade, education, political display and public action.

The work includes historical and social analyses of the mercantile, social, political and educational cultures of the eight cities, highlighting similarities and differences between Christian and Islamic practices. Sixteen new maps drawn specifically for this book are based on the writings of medieval travelers.

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New in Softcover: The First Black Boxing Champions

Now available in softcover:

The First Black Boxing Champions: Essays on Fighters of the 1800s to the 1920s
Edited by Colleen Aycock and Mark Scott

This volume presents fifteen chapters of biography of African American and black champions and challengers of the early prize ring. They range from Tom Molineaux, a slave who won freedom and fame in the ring in the early 1800s; to Joe Gans, the first African American world champion; to the flamboyant Jack Johnson, deemed such a threat to white society that film of his defeat of former champion and “Great White Hope” Jim Jeffries was banned across much of the country. Photographs, period drawings, cartoons, and fight posters enhance the biographies. Round-by-round coverage of select historic fights is included, as is a foreword by Hall-of-Fame boxing announcer Al Bernstein.

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Newly Published: Interpreting and Responding to Classroom Behaviors

New on our bookshelf:

Interpreting and Responding to Classroom Behaviors: A Guide for Early Childhood Educators
Michael O. Weiner Les Paul Gallo-Silver and Tal D. Lucas

“I spend all my time with this kid!” is a typical teacher complaint when challenged by a young child who disrupts the classroom with rebellious, impulsive, worrisome or odd behaviors. It is vital that teachers gain the skills to holistically decipher and respond to these complex classroom situations. By addressing the underlying meanings that motivate children’s behaviors, teachers increase the opportunity for change within the classroom setting. Focusing on communication, this book discusses practical ways to apply child developmental theories to help address common classroom situations, problems, and worries. It identifies new frameworks and rationales, such as the troubling child, the testing child, the worrying child, and the hiding child; describes the unique aspects of these children’s communication; and offers an easy-to-use language for successful teacher intervention. It also provides an adaptable, week-by-week planning and intervention structure as a way of creating some balance between practicality and theory.

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Newly Published: U.S. Navy Patrol Vessels

New on our bookshelf:

U.S. Navy Patrol Vessels: A History and Directory from World War I to Today
Ken W. Sayers

During the past century, U.S. Navy patrol vessels have operated everywhere larger warships have—as well as in places where the big boats could not operate. These bantam warriors have performed in a variety of roles, from antisubmarine warfare to convoy escort and offensive operations against enemy forces afloat and ashore. Patrol vessels battled German units in the Mediterranean, fought insurgents along rivers and canals in China and Vietnam and protected U.S. ships and facilities in the Persian Gulf. Covering more than 1000 of the Navy’s small combatants, this comprehensive survey provides all-time rosters, histories, specifications and illustrations of patrol vessels from before World War I to the present. World War II PT boats and submarine chasers and Vietnam War swift boats are covered, along with less well known ships such as Eagle boats, patrol yachts, hydrofoil gunboats and control escorts. A detailed accounting of patrol vessel exports, transfers and shipbuilders is included.

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Newly Published: The Science of Sci-Fi Cinema

New on our bookshelf:

The Science of Sci-Fi Cinema: Essays on the Art and Principles of Ten Films
Edited by Vincent Piturro

Science fiction films present hypothetical futures, featuring imagined technological advancements—not yet realized but perhaps (more or less) plausible. Yet how much of what audiences see is within the bounds of possibility? Can we really envision what a black hole looks like? Can dinosaurs really be genetically re-engineered? Originating from an annual Science Fiction Film Series in Denver, Colorado, this volume of essays examines 10 films, with a focus on discerning the possible, the unlikely, and the purely science fictional. With essays by scientists in relevant fields, chapters provide analyses of the movies themselves, along with examination of the actual science (or lack thereof) in each film.

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Newly Published: The Rail, the Body and the Pen

New on our bookshelf:

The Rail, the Body and the Pen: Essays on Travel, Medicine and Technology in 19th Century British Literature
Edited by Brian Cowlishaw

Many of the best-known British authors of the 1800s were fascinated by the science and technology of their era. Dickens included spontaneous human combustion and “mesmerism” (hyptnotism) in his plots. Mary Shelley created the immortal Dr. Victor Frankenstein and his creature. H.G. Wells imagined the Time Machine, the Invisible Man, and invaders from Mars. Percy Shelley was as infamous at Oxford for his smelly experiments and for his atheism.

This book of essays explores representations of technology in the work of various nineteenth-century British authors. Essays cluster around two important areas of innovation— transportation and medicine. Each essay contributor accessibly maps out the places where art and science meet, detailing how these authors both affected and reflected the technological revolutions of their time.

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Newly Published: Nixon Rebuilds

New on our bookshelf:

Nixon Rebuilds: From Defeat to the White House, 1962–1968
John David Briley

Richard Nixon’s election to the presidency in 1968 was an improbable vindication for a man branded as a loser after unsuccessful presidential and gubernatorial campaigns. Yet during the 1966 mid-term elections, he emerged as the critical figure who united the fractured Republican Party after the disastrous 1964 presidential election. Along the way, he sensed how large swaths of the American public were moving against the Democrats, and how a candidate could take advantage of this.
Filling an important gap in the Nixon literature, this book explores his dynamic reinvention during the dark days of the mid-sixties—a period that mirrored his 1946–1952 rise from obscure congressman to Eisenhower’s vice-president. Beginning with his 1962 press conference after losing the California governor’s election and ending with his 1968 presidential victory, a far more human Nixon is revealed, unlike the familiar caricature of the shady politician and orchestrator of Watergate who would do anything to win.

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Newly Published: Barney Dreyfuss

New on our bookshelf:

Barney Dreyfuss: Pittsburgh’s Baseball Titan
Brian Martin

A young German immigrant, Barney Dreyfuss was an American success story in business and in baseball. He fell in love with the game after settling in Paducah, Kentucky, where he discovered he had a knack for assembling good players on the diamond. Relocating to Louisville, he became involved in the professional game with the Colonels. Faced with ouster from the National League, he took his players to Pittsburgh, where he became owner of the Pirates and forged a winning tradition, leading the club to six pennants and two World Series.

This first biography of Dreyfuss chronicles the innovative career of the Hall of Famer executive who built Forbes Field—the National League’s first concrete-and-steel ballpark, into which he put $1 million of his own money—pushed for creation of the office of commissioner to govern the game and helped initiate the modern World Series.

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Newly Published: The Harriman Alaska Expedition of 1899

New on our bookshelf:

The Harriman Alaska Expedition of 1899: Scientists, Naturalists, Artists and Others Document America’s Last Frontier
John J. Michalik

In 1899, one of America’s wealthiest men assembled an interdisciplinary team of experts—many of whom would become legendary in their fields—to join him, entirely at his expense, on a voyage to the largely unknown territory of Alaska. The Harriman Expedition remains unparalleled in its conception and execution. This book follows the team closely: where they went, what they did, and what they learned—including finding early evidence of glacial retreat, assessing the nature and future of Alaska’s natural resources, making important scientific discoveries, and collecting an astonishing collection of specimens. A second thread involves the lives and accomplishments of the members of the party, weaving biographical strands into the narrative of the journey and the personal experiences they shared. This is the first comprehensive, scholarly treatment of the Harriman Alaska Expedition since the 1980s. It features the diaries, letters home, and post-Expedition writings, including unpublished autobiographies, generated by the members of the party.

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Newly Published: Ancient Greeks on the Human Condition

New on our bookshelf:

Ancient Greeks on the Human Condition: Themes in the Writings of Homer, Aristophanes, Euripides and Thucydides
Matthew Sims

This book examines the writings of four ancient Greeks–Homer, Thucydides, Euripides, and Aristophanes. Each of these four individuals represents a different approach toward the human condition, ranging from the heroic and tragic to the comic and absurd. This book focuses on how the human condition can best be understood within the framework of these four perspectives by examining the major contributions of these Greek writers, whether in the form of epic (Homer’s Iliad), history (Thucydides’ History of the Peloponnesian War), or drama (the plays of Euripides and Aristophanes). These various perceptions of Greek thought illuminate our understanding of what it means to be fully human. By focusing on the concepts of the heroic, tragic, comic, and absurd, we can see how these ancient Greek authors still provide key insights for us today as they clarify those timeless features that define the human condition.

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Newly Published: Dead Man’s Curve

New on our bookshelf:

Dead Man’s Curve: The Rock ’n’ Roll Life of Jan Berry
Mark A. Moore

Jan Berry, leader of the music duo Jan & Dean from the late 1950s to mid-1960s, was an intense character who experienced more in his first 25 years than many do in a lifetime. As an architect of the West Coast sound, he was one of rock ‘n’ roll’s original rebels—brilliant, charismatic, reckless, and flawed. As a songwriter, music arranger, and record producer for Nevin-Kirshner Associates and Screen Gems-Columbia Music, Berry was one of the pioneering self-produced artists of his era in Hollywood. He lived a dual life, reaching the top of the charts with Jan & Dean while transitioning from college student to medical student, until an automobile accident in 1966 changed his trajectory forever. Suffering from brain damage and partial paralysis, Jan spent the rest of his life trying to come back from Dead Man’s Curve.

His story is told here in-depth for the first time, based on extensive primary source documentation and supplemented by the stories and memories of Jan’s family members, friends, music industry colleagues, and contemporaries. From the birth of rock to the bitter end, Berry’s life story is thrilling, humorous, unsettling, and disturbing, yet ultimately uplifting.

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Newly Published: Watch Us Roll

New on our bookshelf:

Watch Us Roll: Essays on Actual Play and Performance in Tabletop Role-Playing Games
Edited by Shelly Jones

Actual play is a movement within role-playing gaming in which players livestream their gameplay for others to watch and enjoy. This new medium has allowed the playing of games to become a digestible, consumable text for individuals to watch, enjoy, learn from, and analyze. Bridging the gap between the analog and the digital, actual play is changing and challenging our expectations of tabletop role-playing and providing a space for new scholarship. This edited collection of essays focuses on Dungeons and Dragons actual play and examines this phenomenon from a variety of different disciplinary approaches. Authors explore how to define actual play, how fans interact with and affect the narrative and gameplay of actual play, the diversity of gamers (or lack thereof) within actual play media, and how audiences can use actual play media for more than mere entertainment.

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Newly Published: Thirteen Charges Against Benedict Arnold

New on our bookshelf:

Thirteen Charges Against Benedict Arnold: The Accusations of Colonel John Brown Prior to the Act of Treason
Ennis Duling

Years before General Benedict Arnold betrayed the American cause, a young officer and attorney named John Brown brought 13 charges of misconduct against him and called for his arrest, Brown was shuttled from one general to another, and finally to George Washington, before powerful politicians decided in Arnold’s favor without hearing from Brown or any other witnesses. Historians have continued to ignore the accusations, finding Brown’s charges to be false, and even absurd. In fact, some are unquestionably true, and all are worthy of investigation.

John Brown was an early hero of the Revolution, a legislator, envoy, spy, and accomplished field officer. His charges and his many proposed witnesses are a starting point for a reevaluation of Arnold’s conduct in the war—on his storied march up Maine’s Kennebec River to Canada, during the winter siege of Québec, and at the battles of Valcour Island and Saratoga. What emerges from Brown’s charges is a story of deceit and misconduct, and of prominent leaders and historians turning a blind eye in order to maintain exciting myths.

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Newly Published: Screening American Nostalgia

New on our bookshelf:

Screening American Nostalgia: Essays on Pop Culture Constructions of Past Times
Edited by Susan Flynn and Antonia Mackay

This book examines American screen culture and its power to create and sustain values. Looking specifically at the ways in which nostalgia colors the visions of American life, essays explore contemporary American ideology as it is created and sustained by the screen. Nostalgia is omnipresent, selling a version of America that arguably never existed. Current socio-cultural challenges are played out onscreen and placed within the historical milieu through a nostalgic lens which is tempered by contemporary conservatism. Essays reveal not only the visual catalog of recognizable motifs but also how these are used to temper the uncertainty of contemporary crises. Media covered spans from 1939’s Gone with the Wind, to Stranger Things, The Americans, Twin Peaks, the Fallout franchise and more.

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Newly Published: Lessons from a Disabled Caregiver

New on our bookshelf:

Lessons from a Disabled Caregiver: Thriving Together and Maintaining Independence with Physical Disability and Dementia
William G. Reed

Progressive, untreatable nerve and muscle diseases transformed the author’s life from having been a college athlete to needing a wheelchair and special equipment for day-to-day activities. While dealing with his own conditions, he was faced with the unique challenge of being the sole caregiver for his wife who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease. He has written this experience-based book to help people with life-altering medical conditions and those dealing with challenging caregiving responsibilities. Comprehensive in scope, it covers topics including grief, finances, safety and end-of-life planning. This is a resource book containing many references aimed at helping the reader overcome their challenges, maintain their independence and have have happy, fulfilling lives.

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Newly Published: Adapting Stephen King

New on our bookshelf:

Adapting Stephen King: Volume 1, Carrie, ’Salem’s Lot and The Shining from Novel to Screenplay
Joseph Maddrey

Stephen King’s fiction has formed the basis of more motion picture adaptations than any other living author. Over half a century since his earliest publications, Hollywood filmmakers continue to reinvent, reimagine, remake, and reboot King’s stories, with mixed results. This book, volume 1 in a series, examines the various screen adaptations of King’s first three novels: Carrie, Salem’s Lot, and The Shining. Reaching further than questions of fidelity to the author and adherence to directorial visions, it charts the development of each individual adaptation from first option to final cut. Through old and new interviews with the writers, producers, and directors of these films–as well as in-depth analyses of produced and unproduced screenplays–it illuminates the adaptation process as an intricately collaborative endeavor. Rather than merely synopsize the resulting stories, its goal is to compare, contrast, and contextualize each of these adaptations as the products of their creators.

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Newly Published: The Rankins of Montana

New on our bookshelf:

The Rankins of Montana: Risk Takers, History Makers, American Dreamers
Katherine H. Adams

This is the story of the Rankins, a family that embodied the risk and ambition that transformed America. John Rankin arrived in the West chasing the adventure of gold mining but soon turned to ranching and building in the new town of Missoula. There he met Olive Pickering, who had left New Hampshire in 1878 to become a teacher and seek a husband on the American frontier.

John and Olive’s children continued to demonstrate their parent’s ambition and nerve. Their son became one of the biggest landowners in the country, one of the first personal injury lawyers, and a crusader against railroads and mining. Jeannette became the first woman in a national legislature, voted against two world wars and led marches protesting the Vietnam War. As a dean, Harriet helped develop the modern co-educational university. Edna traveled the world advocating for birth control. The Rankins faced both national adulation and condemnation for the choices they made. Their family story concerns independence and education, activism, the boundaries created by gender, religious choices, and the changing meaning of the West.

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Newly Published: Hosted Horror on Television

New on our bookshelf:

Hosted Horror on Television: The Films and Faces of Shock Theate, Creature Features and Chiller Theater
Bruce Markusen

In October 1957, Screen Gems made numerous horror movies available to local television stations around the country as part of a package of films called Shock Theater. These movies became a huge sensation with TV viewers, as did the horror hosts who introduced the films and offered insight—often humorous—into the plots, the actors, and the directors. This history of hosted horror walks readers through the best TV horror films, beginning with the 1930s black-and-white classics from Universal Studios and ending with the grislier color films of the early 1970s. It also covers and explores the horror hosts who presented them, some of whom faded into obscurity while others became iconic within the genre.

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New Chess Catalog and Sale

McFarland has long served the chess scholar and collector, and our line of scholarly books about chess reflects our roots in more ways than one: chess was one of our earliest lines, and even today our chess books are often published in time-honored, cloth-covered library binding (so-named because it was once the standard for durable library books). Browse our chess catalog for new books and old favorites, and, through the end of August, get 25% off all chess books with coupon code CHESS25.