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Newly Published: Coaching Women’s Softball

New on our bookshelf:

Coaching Women’s Softball: A Practical Guide with Insights from Players
Steve Meyer

What do women softball players look for in a coach? Drawing on interviews with 50 college players and a survey of players from all NCAA divisions, this book explores what players want and need: someone who connects with them on and off the field, a competent leader who knows and loves the game and mentors them with a vision beyond softball.

Coaches from major Division One conferences, as well as Divisions Two and Three and Junior College ranks, share their experiences and coaching strategies—among them four-time Olympian Laura Berg, Baylor University Coach Glenn Moore, University of South Carolina Coach Bev Smith, and four coaches with national championships to their credit. Taking cues from the coaches and players themselves, softball coaches will have the tools they need to revolutionize their approaches.

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Newly Published: Modern Paraguay

New on our bookshelf:

Modern Paraguay: Uncovering South America’s Best Kept Secret
Tomás Mandl

Paraguay has been called the least-known country in Latin America, an island surrounded by land, and the “South American Tibet.” For many years, foreign writers and journalists described it as an enigmatic land where a peculiar people endured calamities and Nazis sought refuge.

Tomás Mandl spent 2016 to 2020 traveling through the country, meeting leading minds and sifting through data. Drawing on more than 40 interviews with historians, political scientists, economists, journalists and diplomats, this book provides a timely assessment of Paraguay’s strengths, challenges and developmental outlook, and their implications for the world.

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Newly Published: Children at the Border

New on our bookshelf:

Children at the Border: An American Human Rights Crisis
Jo-Anne Wilson-Keenan

The Trump administration violated the rights of migrant children who fled brutal violence in the Northern Triangle of Central America. Their rights are human rights. This book explores the administration’s policies and practices of family separation at the U.S. southern border and its confinement of migrant children that, in some cases, experts describe as torture. Specific connections are made between harmful actions on the part of government officials and agencies, and provisions that protect against them in The Convention on the Rights of the Child and four other UN conventions. Awareness of the violations and the safeguards afforded to children may help preserve children’s human rights.

The book also examines efforts of humanitarian organizations, courts, and legislators to reclaim and defend migrant children’s rights. The author’s research includes information from international and national government documents, news reports, and interviews and stories that resulted from networking with advocates in both Arizona and Mexico. The young asylum seekers were called “criminals” and “not-innocent” by the President. However, his narrative is contradicted by vignettes that describe children’s own experiences and beliefs and by photographs of them taken by advocates in Arizona and by the author in shelters in Mexico where families await asylum.

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Newly Published: Dutch Fortifications

New on our bookshelf:

Dutch Fortifications: An Illustrated History from the Roman Era to the Cold War
Jean-Denis G.G. Lepage

Covering 2000 years–from Roman times through the Cold War–this book describes the evolution of military architecture in the territory today known as the Netherlands. A vital ally of the Dutch–their numerous rivers and canals–played a central role in the defensive strategy of the country, particularly since the 17th century. A general history covers the innovators, architects and engineers of each period and their involvement in the development of fortifications. Illustrations detail the technical features of defensive structures, alongside discussion of the weapons and tactics they were designed confront.

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Newly Published: Painters and Their Paintings: Ashe County, North Carolina

New on our bookshelf:

Painters and Their Paintings: Ashe County, North Carolina
Doug Munroe with Kim Hadley

Nestled in the northwestern corner of North Carolina, the mountainous Ashe County boasts the most picturesque landscapes that painters and other artists could hope to find. This spirit of natural artistry runs deep through the county’s culture—towns offer murals, street art, galleries and institutions like the Florence Thomas Art School. Even in West Jefferson, a town in which getting lost is impossible, there is an “art district.” Truly an art destination, Ashe County is home to hundreds of painters inspired by the natural beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains and the New River valleys.

This book showcases the talented painters of Ashe, professionals and hobbyists alike, across generations and paint media. Works from 103 artists are represented in 415 full color images.

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Newly Published: Adapting Superman

New on our bookshelf:

Adapting Superman: Essays on the Transmedia Man of Steel
Edited by John Darowski

Almost immediately after his first appearance in comic books in June 1938, Superman began to be adapted to other media. The subsequent decades have brought even more adaptations of the Man of Steel, his friends, family, and enemies in film, television, comic strip, radio, novels, video games, and even a musical. The rapid adaptation of the Man of Steel occurred before the character and storyworld were fully developed on the comic book page, allowing the adaptations an unprecedented level of freedom and adaptability.

The essays in this collection provide specific insight into the practice of adapting Superman from comic books to other media and cultural contexts through a variety of methods, including social, economic, and political contexts. Authors touch on subjects such as the different international receptions to the characters, the evolution of both Clark Kent’s character and Superman’s powers, the importance of the radio, how the adaptations interact with issues such as racism and Cold War paranoia, and the role of fan fiction in the franchise. By applying a wide range of critical approaches to adaption and Superman, this collection offers new insights into our popular entertainment and our cultural history.

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Newly Published: Surviving Theresienstadt

New on our bookshelf:

Surviving Theresienstadt: A Teenager’s Memoir of the Holocaust
Vera Schiff

After the Nazis invaded Czechoslovakia in 1939, Vera Schiff and her family were sent to Theresienstadt. Touted as the “model ghetto” for propaganda purposes, as well as to deceive Red Cross inspectors, it was in fact a holding camp for famous Jews—in case the world was to inquire. For most, however, it was the last stop on the way to the gas chambers. Those “lucky” enough to remain alive faced slave labor, starvation and disease.

Shiff’s intimate narrative of endurance recounts her and her family’s three years in Theresienstadt, the challenges of life under postwar communism, and her escape to the nascent and turbulent state of Israel.

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Newly Published: Vampires from Another World

New on our bookshelf:

Vampires from Another World: The Cinematic Progeny of H.G. Wells’ The War of the Worlds and Bram Stoker’s Dracula
Simon Bacon

This book begins at the intersection of Dracula and War of the Worlds, both published in 1897 London, and describes the settings of Transylvania, Mars, and London as worlds linked by the body of the vampire. It explores the “vampire from another world” in all its various forms, as a manifestation of not just our anxieties around alien others, but also our alien selves.

Unsurprisingly, many of the tropes these novels generated and particularly the themes they have in common have been used and adapted by vampire narratives that followed. From Nosferatu to AlienInterstellarStranger Things, and many others, this book examines how these narratives have evolved since the end of the nineteenth century. Bringing together texts and films from across the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries, from the far reaches of outer space and the distant future, it concludes that the unexpected and the unknown are not always to be feared, and that humanity does have the power to write its own future.

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Newly Published: Arctic Cinemas

New on our bookshelf:

Arctic Cinemas: Essays on Polar Spaces and the Popular Imagination
Edited by Kylo-Patrick R. Hart

Arctic cinemas represent a noteworthy new subfield of film studies, and in the current era of unprecedented global warming, interest in the Arctic region and its cinematic portrayals has never been greater. Individually and collectively, films pertaining to Arctic inhabitants and experiences have substantially influenced viewer perceptions of the region throughout the world, often serving as blank slates for the fantasies and projections of individuals elsewhere with regard to its challenging landscape and perceived “otherworldliness.”

Written by a blend of academic scholars, artists, and filmmakers, this collection of essays provides a transnational overview of the variety of works—ranging from art films and documentaries to horror and road movies—that fall under the conceptual rubric of “Arctic cinemas,” and examines their contributions to past and present perceptions of the Arctic. Theoretical and analytical approaches represented here include critical theory, cultural studies, ecocriticism, ethnography, gender studies, genre theory, historiography, and indigenous studies.

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Newly Published: Writing Madness, Writing Normalcy

New on our bookshelf:

Writing Madness, Writing Normalcy: Self and Stigma in Memoirs of Mental Illness
Lisa Spieker

What does it mean to be “mad” in contemporary American society? How do we categorize people’s reactions to extreme pressures, trauma, loneliness and serious mental illness? Importantly—who gets to determine these classifications, and why?

This book seeks to answer these questions through studying an increasingly popular media genre—memoirs of people with mental illnesses. Memoirs, like the ones examined in this book, often respond to stigmatizing tropes about “the mad” in popular culture and engage with concepts in mental health activism and research. This study breaks new academic ground and argues that the featured texts rethink the possibilities of community building and stigma politics. Drawing on literary analysis and sociological concepts, it understands these memoirs as complex, at times even contradictory, approaches to activism.

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Newly Published: Television’s Outlander

New on our bookshelf:

Television’s Outlander: A Companion, Seasons 1–5
Mary Ellen Snodgrass

Over its five seasons on the air, the televised series Outlander has combined romance, adventure, history, and time travel into a classic saga of love, war, and the ties that bind family together. After surviving the 1746 uprising of the Scottish Highlanders, the intrigue-ridden Paris of Charles Stuart, and a sea voyage across the Caribbean, Claire and Jamie Fraser finally settle in the mountains of North Carolina. There, they build a community of immigrant farmers who continue to struggle for justice, democracy, and independence from British colonialism.

This companion volume offers detailed information on more than 125 topics including characters, themes, places, events, actors, herbalism, and historical chronology. For fans and scholars alike, it separates fact from fiction and aids in understanding the effects of the 1746 Jacobite uprising on the formation of the United States.

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Newly Published: The Mythopoeic Code of Tolkien

New on our bookshelf:

The Mythopoeic Code of Tolkien: A Christian Platonic Reading of the Legendarium
Jyrki Korpua

J. R. R. Tolkien is arguably the most influential fantasy writer of all time–his world building and epic mythology have changed Western audiences’ imaginations and the entire fantasy genre. This book is the first wide-ranging Christian Platonic reading on Tolkien’s fiction. This analysis, written for scholars and general Tolkien enthusiasts alike, discusses how his fiction is constructed on levels of language, myth and textuality that have a background in the Greek philosopher Plato’s texts and early Christian philosophy influenced by Plato. It discusses the concepts of ideal and real, creation and existence, and fall and struggle as central elements of Tolkien’s fiction, focusing on The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, The Silmarillion and The History of Middle-earth. Reading Tolkien’s fiction as a depiction of ideal and real, from the vision of creation to the process of realization, illuminates a part of Tolkien’s aesthetics and mythology that previous studies have overlooked.

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Newly Published: Watergate’s Forgotten Hero

New on our bookshelf:

Watergate’s Forgotten Hero: Frank Wills, Night Watchman
Adam Henig

Nearly everyone who played a significant role in the Watergate saga has been scrutinized except one key participant: night watchman Frank Wills.

On the evening of June 17, 1972, in Washington D.C, the twenty-four-year-old security guard was on duty at the Watergate Office Building when he detected a break-in. A high school dropout with only a few hours of formal guard training, Wills alerted the police who caught five burglars, ultimately igniting a national political scandal that ended with the resignation of President Richard Nixon.

The only African American identified with the Watergate affair, Frank Wills enjoyed a brief moment in the limelight, but was unable to cope with his newfound fame, living the remainder of his life in obscurity and poverty. Through exhaustive research and numerous interviews, the story of America’s most famous night watchman finally has been told.

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Newly Published: That’s Entertainment

New on our bookshelf:

That’s Entertainment: A Biography of Broadway Composer Arthur Schwartz
Tighe E. Zimmers

Arthur Schwartz (1900–1984), a premier composer of American Popular Song during the mid-20th century, has been overlooked by historians. This first full-length biography covers his work on Broadway and in Hollywood, where he was known as the “master of the intimate revue” for his songs in the 1930s with Howard Dietz.

Schwartz wrote music for films in the 1940s—with Academy Award nominations for They’re Either Too Young or Too Old and A Gal in Calico—produced two popular movie musicals—Cover Girl and Night and Day—and was among the first songwriters to work in the new medium of television. The author describes his creative process and includes behind-the-scenes stories of each of his major musicals.

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Newly Published: Women in the Life of Andrew Jackson

New on our bookshelf:

Women in the Life of Andrew Jackson
Ludwig M. Deppisch, M.D.

Andrew Jackson is one of the most significant and controversial United States Presidents. This book follows Jackson’s life and death through the lives of six women who influenced both his politics and his persona. His mother, Elizabeth Hutchinson Jackson, introduced him to their Scots-Irish heritage. Jackson’s wife, Rachel Donelson Jackson provided emotional support and a stable household throughout her life. Emily Donelson, his niece, was the White House hostess for most of his presidency and was one of the few women to stand up to Jackson’s overbearing nature. She, along with Rachel Jackson and Mary Eaton (the wife of Jackson’s Secretary of War) was also involved in the Petticoat Affair, a historic scandal that consumed the early Jackson administration. His daughter-in-law, Sarah Yorke Jackson, and niece, Mary Eastin Polk, supported Jackson in his retirement and buttressed his political legacy. These six women helped to mold, support, and temper the figure of Andrew Jackson we know today.

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Newly Published: Writers by the River

New on our bookshelf:

Writers by the River: Reflections on 40+ Years of the Highland Summer Conference
Edited by Donia S. Eley and Grace Toney Edwards

The Highland Summer Writing Conference (HSC), held each summer along the banks of the ancient New River at Radford University’s Selu Conservancy, brings together and inspires writers as they participate in the communal art of creating and sharing. Over the years, many prestigious Appalachian authors have taught workshops to like-minded students, many of whom became published authors in their own right. This book, a celebration of the HSC, is a collection of reflective essays, poetry, fiction, and non-fiction contributed by 41 authors and student-authors who have taken part in the conference over a span of 43 years.

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Newly Published: Garden Neighborhoods of San Francisco

New on our bookshelf:

Garden Neighborhoods of San Francisco: The Development of Residence Parks, 1905–1924
Richard Brandi

San Francisco is not known for detached houses with landscaped setbacks, lining picturesque, park-side streets. But between 1905 and 1924, thirty-six such neighborhoods, called residence parks, were proposed or built in the city. Hundreds like them were constructed across the country yet they are not well known or understood today. This book examines the city planning aspects of residence parks in a new way, with tracing how developers went about the business of building them, on different sites and for different markets, and how they kept out black and Asian residents.

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True Crime Sale

Whether you are a regular listener to true crime podcasts or an avid reader looking for an engaging beach-front read, true crime books are great additions to any summer reading list. Now through June 14th, we’re giving 30% off our true crime catalog with coupon code TRUECRIME30 available on the McFarland website and on our Exposit Books imprint site. If you’re attending CrimeCon’s virtual exhibit this weekend, be sure to check out our Exposit booth for our newest true crime content!

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Newly Published: Jane Austen

New on our bookshelf:

Jane Austen: A Companion
Laura Dabundo

Written for readers at all levels, this book situates Jane Austen in her time, and for all times. It provides a biography; locates her work in the context of literary history and criticism; explores her fiction; and features an encyclopedic, readable resource on the people, places and things of relevance to Austen the person and writer. Details on family members, beaux, friends, national affairs, church and state politics, themes, tropes, and literary devices ground the reader in Austen’s world. Appendices offer resources for further reading and consider the massive modern industry that has grown up around Austen and her works.

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Newly Published: Thomas Hardy

New on our bookshelf:

Thomas Hardy: A Companion to the Novels
Ronald D. Morrison

Thomas Hardy enjoyed a long and distinguished career as a novelist before devoting his talents to writing poetry for the remainder of his life. This book focuses on Hardy’s remarkable achievements as a novelist. Although Victorian readers considered some of his works controversial, his novels remained highly regarded. His novels still appear in the syllabi of courses in Victorian literature and the British novel, as well as courses in feminist/gender studies, environmental studies, and other topics.

For scholars, students, and the general reader, this companion helps to makes Hardy’s novels accessible by providing a detailed biography of Hardy, plot summaries of each novel, and analyses of the critical contexts surrounding them. Entries focus on the people, cultural forces, literary forms, and movements that influenced Hardy’s novels. The companion also suggests approaches for original interpretations and suggestions for further study.

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Newly Published: Baseball Under the Lights

New on our bookshelf:

Baseball Under the Lights: The Rise of the Night Game
Charlie Bevis

Night games transformed the business of professional baseball, as the smaller, demographically narrower audiences able to attend daytime games gave way to larger, more diversified crowds of nighttime spectators. Many ball club owners were initially conflicted about artificial lighting and later actually resisted expanding the number of night games during the sport’s struggle to balance ballpark attendance and television viewership in the 1950s.

This first-ever comprehensive history of night baseball examines the factors, obstacles and trends that shaped this dramatic change in both the minor and major leagues between 1930 and 1990.

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Newly Published: Blood and Steel

New on our bookshelf:

Blood and Steel: Ryan White, the AIDS Crisis and Deindustrialization in Kokomo, Indiana
Ruth D. Reichard

Set in the 1980s against a backdrop of the AIDS crisis, deindustrialization and the Reagan era, this book tells the story of one individual’s defiant struggle against his community—the city of Kokomo, Indiana. At the same time as teenage AIDS patient Ryan White bravely fought against the intolerance of his hometown to attend public school, one of Kokomo’s largest employers, Continental Steel, filed for bankruptcy, significantly raising the stakes of the fight for the city’s livelihood and national image. This book tells the story of a fearful time in our recent history, as people in the heartland endured massive layoffs, coped with a lethal new disease and discovered a legacy of toxic waste. Now, some 30 years after Ryan White’s death, this book offers a fuller accounting of the challenges that one city reckoned with during this tumultuous period.

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Newly Published: Mark Gruenwald and the Star Spangled Symbolism of Captain America, 1985–1995

New on our bookshelf:

Mark Gruenwald and the Star Spangled Symbolism of Captain America, 1985–1995
Jason Olsen

From 1985 to 1995, Mark Gruenwald was the head writer for Captain America. During this decade, Gruenwald wrote some of the most essential stories in Captain America’s history and guided the comic through an eventful period of both world history and comic book history. This book dissects the influence of the world at large on Gruenwald’s stories and the subsequent influence of Gruenwald’s work on the world of comics. The book’s ten chapters discuss a wide range of topics including the generational tensions inherent in a comic about a G.I. Generation hero, written by a baby boomer, for an audience of Gen Xers; the enduring threat of the Red Skull and the never-ending aura of World War II; the rising popularity of vigilante characters during the ‘90s; and how Captain America fits into the war on drugs and its “just say no” mentality. Set against the declining American patriotism of the 1980s and 1990s, this book places special emphasis on the symbolism of the most American of superheroes.

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Newly Published: Beware of Dog

New on our bookshelf:

Beware of Dog: How Media Portrays the Aggressive Canine
Melissa Crawley

For many of us, the only way we meet “dangerous” dogs is through news reports about vicious attacks, and films and TV shows that feature out-of-control versions of man’s best friend. But there’s more to the Bad Dog’s story than sensational headlines and movie beasts. A deeper look at these representations reveals a villain much closer to home.

This book takes the reader on a rich journey through depictions of violent dogs in popular media. It explores how press accounts and screen stories transform canines into bloodthirsty hunters, rabies-infested strays, ferocious fighters, rogue law enforcement partners and diabolical pets, all adding up to a frightening picture of our usually beloved companions. But, when media tells the dangerous dog’s story, it is often with a deep connection to the person on the other end of the leash.

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Newly Published: Media Environments and Mental Disorder

New on our bookshelf:

Media Environments and Mental Disorder: The Psychology of Information Immersion
William Indick

The information environments that modern society requires us to master and engage in are based in literacy and digital communication. Mediated information not only passes through our brains, it alters and rewires them. Since our environment, to a large extent, is shaped by the way we perceive, understand, and communicate information, we can even think of mental disorders as symptoms of maladaptation to our media environments.

This book uses this “media ecology” model to explore the effects of media on mental disorders. It traces the development of media from the most basic forms–the sights and sounds expressed by the human body–to the most technologically complex media created to date, showing how each medium of communication relates to specific mental disorders such as anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, and autism. As the digital age proceeds to envelop us in an environment of infinite and instantly accessible information, it’s crucial to our own mental health to understand how the various forms of media influence and shape our minds and behaviors.

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Newly Published: War, Revolution and Remembrance in World Cinema

New on our bookshelf:

War, Revolution and Remembrance in World Cinema: Critical Essays
Edited by Nancy J. Membrez

Two World Wars engulfed Europe, Asia and the United States, leaving indelible scars on the landscape and survivors. The trauma of civil wars in Spain (declared) and Latin America (tacit) spanned decades yet, contradictorily, bind parties together even today. Civil wars still haunt Africa where, in more recent years, ethnic cleansing has led to wholesale genocide. Drawing on the emerging field of Memory Studies, this book examines narrative and documentary films, made far from Hollywood, that address memory—both traumatic and nostalgic—surrounding these conflicts, despite attempts by special interests to erase or manipulate history.

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Newly Published: Reaching for Normal

New on our bookshelf:

Reaching for Normal: A Mother’s Memoir of Raising a Child with Brain Cancer and Chronic Illness
By Amy Daniels

When Amy and Dave learned that their six-month-old daughter, Emily, was diagnosed with a slow-growing brain tumor, they were devastated. Throughout her childhood, they managed their daughter’s complex cancer, all the while striving just to be an ordinary, normal family. In doing so, Amy kept her emotions close and plastered on smiles, some genuine, as she worked in between cancer clinic appointments, had another baby, and attended cul-de-sac potluck dinners. The smiles were harder to put on when Emily suffered from a massive stroke just before her 8th birthday. Amy suddenly found herself a parent to an active toddler and an almost eight-year-old who could no longer talk, walk, or feed herself. Emily’s spirit remained shockingly unscathed. In the end, it was she who reminded the family to laugh, smile, and finally accept that they were anything but ordinary. This memoir of motherhood at its hardest reveals what went on behind closed doors and beneath the smiles, as Amy writes in raw, honest detail about her relationship with her spouse, juggling work demands, raising her typically developing son, and finding lasting friendships throughout each of Emily’s setbacks.

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Newly Published: Exploring The Orville

New on our bookshelf:

Exploring The Orville: Essays on Seth MacFarlane’s Space Adventure
Edited by David Kyle Johnson and Michael R. Berry

This is the first book to take a deep dive into the philosophical, social, moral, political, and religious issues tackled by Seth MacFarlane’s marvelous space adventure, The Orville. These new essays explore what The Orville has to say on everything from climate change, artificial intelligence, and sexual assault, to gender, feminism, love, and care. Divided into six “acts” (just like every episode of The Orville), with the show as its backdrop, the book asks questions about the dangers of democracy and social media, the show’s relationship to Star Trek and the puzzle of time travel.

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Newly Published: Television Movies of the 21st Century

New on our bookshelf:

Television Movies of the 21st Century
Vincent Terrace

For the major broadcast networks, the heyday of made-for-TV movies was 20th Century programming like The ABC Movie of the Week and NBC Sunday Night at the Movies. But with changing economic times and the race for ratings, the networks gradually dropped made-for-TV movies while basic cable embraced the format, especially the Hallmark Channel (with its numerous Christmas-themed movies) and the Syfy Channel (with its array of shark attack movies and other things that go bump in the night). From the waning days of the broadcast networks to the influx of basic cable TV movies, this encyclopedia covers 1,370 films produced during the period 2000-2020. For each film entry, the reader is presented with an informative storyline, cast and character lists, technical credits (producer, director, writer), air dates, and networks. It covers the networks (ABC, CBS, Fox, Ion, and NBC) and such basic cable channels as ABC Family, Disney, Fox Family, Freeform, Hallmark, INSP, Lifetime, Nickelodeon, Syfy, TBS and TNT. There is also an appendix of “Announced but Never Produced” TV movies and a performer’s index.

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Newly Published: Beulah Bondi

New on our bookshelf:

Beulah Bondi: A Life on Stage and Screen
Axel Nissen

Best known for her roles in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, It’s a Wonderful Life, and Make Way for Tomorrow, Beulah Bondi (1889-1981) had a 60-year long acting career and an interesting on-screen life. Despite starting her professional acting career at 30, she made her mark on the film industry as a character actress. Before making a name for herself on-screen, she worked at the Stuart Walker stock company and performed on Broadway. This biography is the first to unpack Bondi’s life before and throughout her film career. This work also explores Bondi’s early family life in Indiana with a Jewish underwear salesman and a Presbyterian poet for parents.

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Military History Sale

Our extensive catalog of military history books now features more than 1,000 titles in print, and among them are many of our bestsellers. No matter your interests (or those of the history buff in your life), you’re sure to find a good fit. Through Memorial Day, May 31, get 25% off all military history titles with coupon code MILITARY25!

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Newly Published: Is Superman Circumcised?

New on our bookshelf:

Is Superman Circumcised?: The Complete Jewish History of the World’s Greatest Hero
Roy Schwartz

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. A fascinating journey through comic book lore, American history, and Jewish tradition, this book examines the entirety of Superman’s career from 1938 to date, and is sure to give readers a newfound appreciation for the Mensch of Steel!

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Science Fiction & Fantasy Sale

Between Godzilla vs. Kong, a full slate of Marvel Studios premieres and the highly anticipated Dune, 2021 is shaping up to be an exciting year for the science fiction & fantasy genres. To help you navigate all things science fiction academia, we’re giving 25% off of this year’s SF & F catalog. Our catalog offers thought-provoking, in-depth treatments of your favorite science fiction and fantasy properties across media old and new. Use coupon code SFF25 through May 17th on the McFarland website.

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Newly Published: Strictly Fantasy

New on our bookshelf:

Strictly Fantasy: The Cultural Roots of Tabletop Role-Playing Games
Gerald Nachtwey

Role-playing games seemed to appear of nowhere in the early 1970s and have been a quiet but steady presence in American culture ever since. This new look at the hobby searches for the historical origins of role-playing games deep in the imaginative worlds of Western culture. It looks at the earliest fantasy stories from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, at the fans–both readers and writers–who wanted to bring them to life, at the Midwestern landscape and the middle-class households that were the hobby’s birthplace, and at the struggle to find meaning and identity amidst cultural conflicts that drove many people into these communities of play. This book also addresses race, religion, gender, fandom, and the place these games have within American capitalism. All the paths of this journey are connected by the very quality that has made fantasy role-playing so powerful: it binds the limitless imagination into a “strict” framework of rules. Far from being an accidental offshoot of marginalized fan communities, role-playing games’ ability to hold contradictions in dynamic, creative tension made them a necessary and central product of the twentieth century.

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Newly Published: Stephen A. Douglas, Western Man

New on our bookshelf:

Stephen A. Douglas, Western Man: The Early Years in Congress, 1844-1850
Reg Ankrom

It didn’t take long for freshman Congressman Stephen A. Douglas to see the truth of Senator Thomas Hart Benton’s warning: slavery attached itself to every measure that came before the U.S. Congress. Douglas wanted to expand the nation into an ocean-bound republic. Yet slavery and the violent conflicts it stirred always interfered, as it did in 1844 with his first bill to organize Nebraska.

In 1848, when America acquired 550,000 square miles after the Mexican War, the fight began over whether the territory would be free or slave. Henry Clay, a slave owner who favored gradual emancipation, packaged territorial bills from Douglas’s committee with four others. But Clay’s “Omnibus Bill” failed. Exhausted, he left the Senate, leaving Douglas in control.

Within two weeks, Douglas won passage of all eight bills, and President Millard Fillmore signed the Compromise of 1850. It was Douglas’s greatest legislative achievement. This book, a sequel to the author’s Stephen A. Douglas: The Political Apprenticeship, 1833–1843, fully details Douglas’s early congressional career. The text chronicles how Douglas moved the issue of slavery from Congress to the ballot box.

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Newly Published: Cities and Homelessness

New on our bookshelf:

Cities and Homelessness: Essays and Case Studies on Practices, Innovations and Challenges
Edited by Joaquin Jay Gonzalez III and Mickey P. McGee

Homelessness in America’s cities remains a growing problem. The homeless today face the same challenges as in years past: poverty, tenuous or no ties to family and friends, physical and mental health issues, and substance abuse. Compared to the 1950s to 1970s, more homeless are now sleeping on city streets versus in shelters or single room hotels. Homelessness rates are affected by economic trends, lack of equitable and inclusive healthcare and housing, decline in public assistance programs, and natural and man-made disasters. This collection of essays covers case studies, innovations, practices and policies of municipalities coping with homelessness in the 21st century.

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Newly Published: A Supernatural Politics

New on our bookshelf:

A Supernatural Politics
Edited by Lisa Macklem and Dominick Grace

What makes a horror television drama interesting? Like any other drama, it is often the character development or plot, and this certainly applies to the dramatically-resonant Supernatural and its beloved characters. However, Supernatural has achieved a dedicated fandom and a record-breaking 15-season run by skillfully engaging with the social reality inhabited by the show’s audience. Additionally, the show plays with the fourth wall by having an in-world fandom for the main characters. Supernatural‘s many layers have garnered the attention of academics who analyzed the show’s engagement with diverse topics such as the #MeToo movement, consumerism, and the American Dream. This collection of essays studies the topical issues and politics that added depth and maturity to Supernatural, separated it fromX-Files knock-offs, and garnered the show its own cult following.

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Star Wars Catalog Sale!

This Star Wars Day, bring galaxies far, far away right to your own reading chair with our books on the iconic genre-busting franchise. In addition to our classic Star Wars collection, our 2021 catalog includes our newest related title, Star Wars and the Hero’s Journey, which explores the series’ famous Campbellian themes in exhaustive detail. Our catalog also features a number of interdisciplinary titles exploring gender and ethnicity in the Star Wars series and other popular sci-fi franchises. For 40% off our entire catalog, use coupon code STARWARS40 on the McFarland website now through May 10th. May the Fourth Be with You!

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Newly Published: Hollywood and the Military Bureaucracy

New on our bookshelf:

Hollywood and the Military Bureaucracy: Depicting America’s Fighting Forces at Their Best and Worst
Bob Herzberg

Through a century of movies, the U.S. military held sway over war and service-oriented films. Influenced by the armed forces and their public relations units, Hollywood presented moviegoers with images of a faultless American fighting machine led by heroic commanders.

This book examines this cooperation with detailed narratives of military blunders and unfit officers that were whitewashed to be presented in a more favorable light. Drawing on production files, correspondence between bureaucrats and filmmakers, and contemporary critical reviews, the author reveals the behind-the-scenes political maneuvers that led to the rewriting of history on-screen.

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Newly Published: Iceman of Brooklyn

New on our bookshelf:

Iceman of Brooklyn: The Mafia Life of Frankie Yale
Michael Newton

Largely forgotten now, Frankie Yale was an influential New York mobster of the early 20th century whose proteges included future leaders of New York’s five Mafia families and Chicago’s outfit. His influence extended to Chicago, where he personally committed two of the city’s most notorious underworld assassinations and waged a five-year war to wrest control of Brooklyn’s docks from Irish rivals. His murder marked New York City’s first use of a Tommy gun in gangland warfare, the same weapon used in Chicago’s St. Valentine’s Day massacre seven months later. Yale’s passing destabilized Gotham’s Mafia, paving the way for an upheaval that modified and modernized the structure of American syndicated crime for the next six decades. Despite Yale’s prominence during his life, this is the first biography to survey his life and career.

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Newly Published: Lightning Strikes Twice

New on our bookshelf:

Lightning Strikes Twice: Johnny Vander Meer and the Cincinnati Reds

Lew Freedman

In June of 1938, southpaw Johnny Vander Meer of the Cincinnati Reds became the only pitcher in Major League history to hurl two consecutive no-hitters–an achievement that has stood unsurpassed for more than 80 years. Vander Meer was just 23 at the time and a glorious future was predicted. Despite injuries, he became a four-time All-Star yet ended up a .500 pitcher–not a surefire Hall of Famer as many expected. Both the Reds and Vander Meer persevered, but decades later the left-hander is best remembered for his stunning no-hit package. This volume follows Vander Meer and the Reds through the triumphs of two National League pennants and one World Series title, the hardship of World War II, and the trying suicide of a teammate.

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Newly Published: Busted

New on our bookshelf:

Busted: A Vietnam Veteran in Nixon’s America
W.D. Ehrhart

This book picks up where Passing Time: A Vietnam Veteran Against the War left off, and completes the trilogy begun with Vietnam-Perkasie: A Combat Marine Memoir. It begins with the Coast Guard raid on Ehrhart’s oil tanker and ends with the conclusion of his trial for possession of “controlled substances,” a span of time that corresponds almost exactly with the opening of the House Judiciary Committee’s hearings on the impeachment of Richard Nixon and Nixon’s resignation and pardon by Gerald Ford.

Along the way, Ehrhart encounters a wise and sympathetic lawyer, an MG Midget, a local New Jersey cop who thinks he’s Wyatt Earp, New York City detectives who arrest him for armed robbery of a liquor store, a forklift that can turn on a dime, a Coast Guard prosecutor who wants to teach Ehrhart a lesson, the Carranza Memorial, and three ghosts who are as real as you and me.

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Newly Published: Presenting Persis Khambatta

New on our bookshelf:

Presenting Persis Khambatta: From Miss India to Star Trek—The Motion Picture and Beyond
Sherilyn Connelly

In 1965, 18-year-old Persis Khambatta became the third woman to be crowned Miss India. After moving to England and then to the United States, she found worldwide fame in the first Star Trek movie in 1979, and in 1980 she became the first Indian presenter at the Academy Awards.

The American film industry seemed never to forgive Khambatta for being a non-white woman who refused to do nude scenes. After failing to sustain a career as either a producer or a performer, she achieved a triumph before her sudden death in 1998 with the publication of her book Pride of India: A Tribute to Miss India.

Based on contemporary news articles and primary sources, this first biography examines Khambatta’s Hindi and English-language film and television work, and demonstrates the many ways she was ahead of her time as a filmmaker, feminist, and humanitarian.

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Newly Published: The Food Network Recipe

New on our bookshelf:

The Food Network Recipe: Essays on Cooking, Celebrity and Competition
Edited by Emily L. Newman and Emily Witsell

When the Television Food Network launched in 1993, its programming was conceived as educational: it would teach people how to cook well, with side trips into the economics of food and healthy living. Today, however, the network is primarily known for splashy celebrity chefs and spirited competition shows.

These new essays explore how the Food Network came to be known for consistently providing comforting programming that offers an escape from reality, where the storyline is just as important as the food that is being created. It dissects some of the biggest personalities that emerged from the Food Network itself, such as Guy Fieri, and offers a critical examination of a variety of chefs’ feminisms and the complicated nature of success. Some writers posit that the Food Network is creating an engaging, important dialogue about modes of instruction and education, and others analyze how the Food Network presents locality and place through the sharing of food culture with the viewing public. This book will bring together these threads as it explores the rise, development, and unique adaptability of the Food Network.

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Newly Published: J.B. Rhine

New on our bookshelf:

J.B. Rhine: Letters 1923–1939: ESP and the Foundations of Parapsychology
J.B. Rhine

During the 1930s a new approach to exploring human consciousness began at Duke University with Professor J. B. Rhine’s experimental research on extra-sensory perception, or ESP. His findings on telepathy, clairvoyance, precognition and psychokinesis challenged conventional disbelief. Rhine’s findings and his first popular book, New Frontiers of the Mind, ignited excitement and controversy—among not only scientists but the public at large.

Rhine’s letters chronicle his efforts to find reliable evidence of psychic ability, from the séance room to psychic animals and finally to a university research laboratory.

Covering the years 1923–1939, they reveal a gripping story of groundbreaking research, told in the words of the main player as he worked with his team, subjects, critics and supporters alike.

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Newly Published: South Carolinians in the Battle of Gettysburg

New on our bookshelf:

South Carolinians in the Battle of Gettysburg
Derek Smith

July 1, 1863. The Confederate Army of Northern Virginia under General Robert E. Lee advanced across the Pennsylvania countryside toward the small town of Gettysburg—less than 90 miles from Washington, D.C.—on a collision course with the Union Army of the Potomac. In Lee’s ranks were 5,000 South Carolina troops destined to play critical roles in the three days of fighting ahead. From generals to privates, the Palmetto State soldiers were hurled into the Civil War’s most famous battle—hundreds were killed, wounded or later suffered as prisoners of war.

The life-and-death stories of these South Carolinians are here woven together here with official wartime reports, previously unpublished letters, newspaper accounts, diaries and the author’s personal observations from walking the battlefield.

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Newly Published: Having Their Say

New on our bookshelf:

Having Their Say: Athletes and Entertainers and the Ethics of Speaking Out
Kristie Bunton

After Natalie Maines of The Dixie Chicks expressed her opposition to the Iraq War and President Bush in a country music concert, she was told to “shut up and sing.” When NFL player Colin Kaepernick protested police brutality by kneeling during the national anthem, he was applauded by some and demonized by others. Both had their careers irrevocably altered by speaking out for their beliefs.

This book examines the ethical issues that arise when famous people speak out on issues often unrelated to the performances that brought those figures to public attention. It analyzes several celebrity speakers—singers Taylor Swift and the Chicks; satirist Jon Stewart; actor Tom Hanks; and athletes Serena Williams, Stephen Curry, Colin Kaepernick, and Naomi Osaka—and demonstrates that justifiable speaking requires celebrity speakers, journalists, and audiences to consider ethical issues regarding platform, intent, and harm. Celebrity speakers must exercise ethical care in a digital world where audiences equate celebrity status with authority and expertise about public issues. Finally, this book considers how people who are not famous can understand their ethical responsibilities for speaking out about public issues in their own spheres of influence.

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Newly Published: Understanding Kierkegaard’s Parables

New on our bookshelf:

Understanding Kierkegaard’s Parables
Russell Hamer

Kierkegaard is often praised for his poetic writing style. Throughout his works, especially his pseudonymous ones, he often breaks from philosophical prose and instead uses extended metaphors, fairy tales, parables, and allegories. This book, which is the first that directly addresses Kierkegaard’s parables, argues that they help the reader undergo transformative change. It asks why Kierkegaard uses parables in a broad sense, how they function as a form of indirect communication, why Kierkegaard must remain secretive about the purpose of the parables, and how this secrecy plays an important role in Kierkegaard’s authorship.

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Newly Published: Base Ball 12

New on our bookshelf:

Base Ball 12: New Research on the Early Game
Edited by Don Jensen

Base Ball is a peer-reviewed book series published annually. Offering the best in original research and analysis, it promotes study of baseball’s early history, from its protoball roots to 1920, and its rise to prominence within American popular culture. This volume, number 12, includes thirteen articles on topics ranging from the career of pitcher Harry Coveleski, Philadelphia baseball pioneer Thomas Fitzgerald, and a baseball power couple, James and Harriet Coogan, to early Brooklyn baseball, the game in Canada during World War I, and the amateur teams sponsored by typewriter companies.

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Body, Mind and Spirit Sale

It’s early springtime in the mountains around McFarland’s campus, and we’re all waiting for the first explosion of color that the trees will soon bring. Because we just can’t contain our excitement for the upcoming warm-weather hikes, garden blooms and maybe an outdoor meditation session or two, we’re giving 30% off our entire BodyMind & Spirit catalog. Our catalog includes everything from books about spirituality, to our Health Topics series, a cannabis studies selection and our growing imprint, Toplight Books, devoted to all things personal development. Browse our catalog and use coupon code BMS30 at checkout through May 4th.!

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Newly Published: Star Trek, History and Us

New on our bookshelf:

Star Trek, History and Us: Reflections of the Present and Past Throughout the Franchise
A.J. Black

Since 1966, the Star Trek television franchise has used outer space and the thrilling adventures of the crews of the U.S.S. Enterprise to reflect our own world and culture. Kirk and Spock face civil rights issues and Vietnam war allegories while Picard, Data, and the next generation seek an ordered, post-Cold War stability in the Reagan era.

The crews of Deep Space Nine, Voyager and Enterprise must come to terms with our real life of war, manifest destiny in the 21st century, and the shadow of 9/11. Now, as the modern era of the franchise attempts to portray a utopia amidst a world spinning out of control, Star Trek remains about more than just the future. It is about our present. It is about us.

This book charts the history of Gene Roddenberry’s creation across five decades alongside the cultural development of the United States and asks: are we heading for the utopian Federation future, or is it slipping ever further away from reality?

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Sale: Cannabis Studies

In the U.S., as more states move toward legalization of recreational marijuana, discussions about cannabis’ role in healthcare, incarceration and legal ethics have flowered as well. Our Cannabis Studies books are a part of a growing interdisciplinary study of cannabis, covering everything from explorations of holistic and medical marijuana treatments, sociopolitical histories and more. Now through April 23rd, we’re giving 20% off our Cannabis Studies catalog with code WEED20 at checkout on the McFarland site.

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Newly Published: “He probably won’t shoot you”

New on our  bookshelf:

“He probably won’t shoot you”: Memoir of an Adult Protective Services Case Manager
Mark Mehler

Adult Protective Services (APS) is the social service system charged with aiding older people and disabled adults who are being mistreated by others or cannot meet their own basic needs for health and safety (self-neglect). These are America’s most vulnerable citizens, and they often suffer for years, while remaining largely invisible to the greater world.

Written from the inside of APS, Mark Mehler’s memoir of his seven years as a crisis case manager reveals a world that very few people see, and addresses why and how people do this work, what they take away from it and the price that they pay to do it.

Ranging from horrifying to uplifting and bizarrely funny, the stories recounted here witness human frailty and disaster, and the efforts of some dedicated caseworkers to stem that tide.

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Newly Published: Cold War Frequencies

New on our bookshelf:

Cold War Frequencies: CIA Clandestine Radio Broadcasting to the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe
Richard H. Cummings

Published for the first time, the history of the CIA’s clandestine short-wave radio broadcasts to Eastern Europe and the USSR during the early Cold War is covered in-depth. Chapters describe the “gray” broadcasting of Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty in Munich; clandestine or “black” radio broadcasts from Radio Nacional de Espana in Madrid to Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Ukraine; transmissions to Bulgaria, Romania, Albania, Ukraine and the USSR from a secret site near Athens; and broadcasts to Byelorussia and Slovakia. Infiltrated behind the Iron Curtain through dangerous air drops and boat landings, CIA and other intelligence service agents faced counterespionage, kidnapping, assassination, arrest and imprisonment. Excerpts from broadcasts taken from monitoring reports of Eastern Europe intelligence agencies are included.

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Newly Published: Women of Valor

New on our bookshelf:

Women of Valor: The Rochambelles on the World War II Front, rev. ed.
Ellen Hampton

Women in an armored division! General Leclerc had never heard of such a thing. But if he wanted the 19 brand-new ambulances, he would have to take their women drivers too. Known as the Rochambelles, their courage won the admiration of their comrades and changed many minds. These women learned to drive through mortar fire, to pull men from burning tanks, to stanch blood and ease pain. Above all, they learned that no matter who was doing the shooting, the greater enemy was hatred. Only three of the fifty-one women who served in the group published a memoir, and their stories have been all but lost. This book, newly revised and updated, reveals their daring and accomplishments, from Normandy to Berchtesgaden.

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Newly Published: The NFL’s Pivotal Years

New on our bookshelf:

The NFL’s Pivotal Years: Remaking Pro Football, 1957-1962
By Brad Schultz

Recent years have been among the most challenging in NFL history, culminating in the 2020-21 coronavirus and social justice issues. Yet a complete understanding of where the NFL is today begins with a five-year period that was the most transformative for the league. From 1957 to 1962, the NFL saw: the advent of unionization, with a landmark Supreme Court decision; the legendary 1958 title game, the first to go into sudden death overtime; a challenge from the American Football League that would have important consequences for decades; the introduction of computerization and statistical analysis; the first steps towards globalization; and the hiring of legends Vince Lombardi and Tom Landry, who both contributed to the league’s growing mythology.

This book describes in detail the key events that helped shape the modern NFL, and why this period was so momentous to the league and its fans.

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Newly Published: The Quest for The Dark Tower

New on our bookshelf:

The Quest for the Dark Tower: Genre and Interconnection in the Stephen King Series
By Alissa Burger

A sprawling epic that encompasses many worlds, parallel and alternate timelines, and the echoes between these disconnects, Stephen King’s Dark Tower series spans the entirety of King’s career, from The Gunslinger (limited edition 1982; revised in 2003) to The Wind Through the Keyhole (2012). The series has two distinctive characteristics: its genre hybridity and its interconnection with the larger canon of King’s work. The Dark Tower series engages with a number of distinct and at times dissonant genre traditions, including those of Arthurian legend, fairy tales, the fantasy epic, the Western, and horror. The Dark Tower series is also significant in its cross-references to King’s other works, ranging from overt connections like characters or places to more subtle allusions, like the sigil of the Dark Tower‘s Crimson King appearing in the graffiti of other realities. This book examines these connections and genre influences to consider how King negotiates and transforms these elements, why they matter, and the impact they have on one another and on King’s work as a whole.

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Newly Published: The Psychological Legacy of Slavery

New on our bookshelf:

The Psychological Legacy of Slavery: Essays on Trauma, Healing and the Living Past
Edited by Benjamin Bowser and Aimé Charles-Nicolas

This collection of essays surveys the practices, behaviors, and beliefs that developed during slavery in the Western Hemisphere, and the lingering psychological consequences that continue to impact the descendants of enslaved Africans today. The psychological legacies of slavery highlighted in this volume were found independently in Brazil, the U.S., Belize, Jamaica, Colombia, Haiti, and Martinique. They are color prejudice, self and community disdain, denial of trauma, black-on-black violence, survival crime, child beating, underlying African spirituality, and use of music and dance as community psychotherapy. The effects on descendants of slave owners include a belief in white supremacy, dehumanization of self and others, gun violence, and more.

Essays also offer solutions for dealing with this vast psychological legacy. Knowledge of the continuing effects of slavery has been used in psychotherapy, family, and group counseling of African slave descendants. Progress in resolving these legacies has been made as well using psychohistory, forensic psychiatry, family social histories, and community mental health. This knowledge is crucial to eventual reconciliation and resolution of the continuing legacies of slavery and the slave trade.

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Newly Published: Clark Gable in the 1930s

New on our bookshelf:
Clark Gable in the 1930s: The Films That Made Him King of Hollywood
By James L. Neibaur

The 1930s represented the strongest and most significant decade in Clark Gable’s career. Later known as The King of Hollywood, Gable started out as a journeyman actor who quickly rose to the level of star, and then icon. With his ruggedly attractive looks and effortless charisma, Gable was the sort of manly romantic lead that bolstered features alongside the likes of Jean Harlow, Joan Crawford, and Spencer Tracy. The decade culminated with Gable’s most noted movie, Gone With the Wind. This book traces Gable’s early career, film-by-film, offering background information and a critical assessment of each of his movies released during the 1930s.

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Newly Published: Baseball’s Who’s Who of What Ifs

New on our bookshelf:
Baseball’s Who’s Who of What Ifs: Players Derailed en Route to Cooperstown
By Bill Deane

The greatest players in baseball history are honored in the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York. Fans and sports journalists often lament about players who might have joined the immortal ranks, if only fate–circumstances, injury or even death–hadn’t intervened.

Presenting a “who’s who of what-ifs,” this book focuses on 40 well known non-inductees, such as Tony Conigliaro, Denny McLain and Jose Fernandez, along with many others all but lost to history, such as Ross Barnes, Charlie Ferguson and Hal Trosky. Also included are more than 100 “honorable mentions” covering all of pro baseball history, from the 1860s to the 2010s.

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Newly Published: The Truths of Monsters

New on out bookshelf:

The Truths of Monsters: Coming of Age with Fantastic Media
By Ildiko Limpar

As monster theory highlights, monsters are cultural symbols, guarding the borders that society creates to protect its values and norms. Adolescence is the time when one explores and aims at crossing borders to learn the rules of the culture that one will fit into as an adult. Exploring the roles of monsters in coming-of-age narratives and the need to confront and understand the monstrous, this work explores recent developments in the presentation of monsters–such as the vampire, the zombie, and the man-made monster–in maturation narratives, then moves on to discuss monsters inhabiting the psychic landscapes of child characters. Finally, it touches on monsters in science fiction, in which facing the monstrous is a variation of the New World narrative. Discussions of novels by M. R. Carey, Suzanne Collins, Neil Gaiman, Theodora Goss, Daryl Gregory, Sarah Maria Griffin, Seanan McGuire, Stephenie Meyer, Patrick Ness, and Jon Skovron are complemented by analysis of television series, such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Westworld.

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Newly Published: Hellships Down

New on our bookshelf:

Hellships Down: Allied POWs and the Sinking of the Rakuyo Maru and Kachidoki Maru
Michael Sturma

On 12 September 1944, a wolfpack of U.S. submarines attacked the Japanese convoy HI-72 in the South China Sea. Among the ships sunk were two carrying Allied prisoners of war. Men who had already endured the trials of Japanese captivity faced a renewed struggle for survival at sea.

This book tells the broader story of the HI-72 convoy through the stories of two survivors: Arthur Bancroft, who was rescued by an American submarine, and Charles “Rowley” Richards, who was rescued by the Japanese. The story of these men represents the thousands of Allied POWs who suffered not only the atrocious conditions of these Japanese hellships, but also the terror of friendly fire from their own side’s submarines. For the first time, the personal, political and legal aftermath of these men’s experiences is fully detailed. At its heart, this is a story of survival. Charting the survivors’ fates from rescue to their attempts at retribution, this book reveals the trauma that continued long after the war was over.

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Newly Published: Rape-Revenge Films

New on our bookshelf:

Rape-Revenge Films: A Critical Study, 2d ed.
Alexandra Heller-Nicholas

Often considered the lowest depth to which cinema can plummet, the rape-revenge film is broadly dismissed as fundamentally exploitative and sensational, catering only to a demented, regressive demographic. This second edition, ten years after the first, continues the assessment of these films and the discourse they provoke. Included is a new chapter about women-directed rape-revenge films, a phenomenon that—revitalized since #MeToo exploded in late 2017—is a filmmaking tradition with a history that transcends a contemporary context.

Featuring both famous and unknown movies, controversial and widely celebrated filmmakers, as well as rape-revenge cinema from around the world, this revised edition demonstrates that diverse and often contradictory treatments of sexual violence exist simultaneously.

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Newly Published: The Avengers in Video Games

New on our bookshelf:

The Avengers in Video Games: A Guide to Solo Adventures and Mighty Marvel Team-Ups, with Creator Interviews
Blair Farrell

For decades, Marvel Comics’ superhero group the Avengers have captured the imagination of millions, whether in comics, multi-billion dollar grossing films or video games. Similar to the chronology of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the Avengers video games first started with titles driven by single characters, like Iron Man, the Hulk, Thor and Captain America. Over time, the games grew to include more and more heroes, culminating in playing experiences that featured the Avengers assembled.

This is the first-ever book assessing the video games starring “Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.” Featured games span consoles and platforms, from popular PlayStation and Xbox titles to an arcade game in danger of being lost to time. All video games are covered in depth, with each entry including game background and a detailed review from the author. Some game entries also include behind-the-scenes knowledge from the developers themselves, providing exclusive details on the Marvel video game universe.

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Newly Published: Rachel Carson

New on our bookshelf:

Rachel Carson: A Literary Companion
Mary Ellen Snodgrass

Rachel Carson was a marine biologist credited with the founding of the ecology movement and the rise in ecofeminism. One of her most popular works was Silent Spring, which challenged the use of DDT (an insecticide infamous for its negative environmental effects) and questioned the claims of modern industry. Carson also wrote essays, reviews, articles, and speeches to educate the public about the impacts of chemical pollutants on both the environment and the human body. This literary companion provides readers with Carson’s key messages via an A-to-Z index of topics discussed in her works including carcinogens, endangered species, and radioactivity.

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Newly Published: At the Intersection of Disability and Drama

New on our bookshelf:

At the Intersection of Disability and Drama: A Critical Anthology of New Plays
Edited by John Michael Sefel Amanda Slamcik Lassetter, Jill Summerville

“Cripples ain’t supposed to be happy” sings Anita Hollander, balancing on her single leg and grinning broadly. This moment—from her multi-award-winning one-woman show, Still Standing—captures the essence of this theatre anthology. Hollander and nineteen other playwright-performers craftily subvert and smash stereotypes about how those within the disability community should look, think, and behave. Utilizing the often-conflicting tools of Critical Disability Studies and Medical Humanities, these plays and their accompanying essays approach disability as a vast, intersectional demographic, which ties individuals together less by whatever impairment, difference, or non-normative condition they experience, and more by their daily need to navigate a world that wasn’t built for them. From race, gender, and sexuality to education, dating, and pandemics, these plays reveal there is no aspect of human life that does not, in some way, intersect with disability.

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Newly Published: Velodrome Racing and the Rise of the Motorcycle

New on our bookshelf:

Velodrome Racing and the Rise of the Motorcycle
R.K. Keating

A hybrid machine–powered at times by steam, electricity or internal combustion–the motorcycle in its infancy was an innovation to help bicycle racers go faster. As motor age technology advanced, the quest for greater speed at the velodrome peaked, with riders reaching speeds up to 100 kph on bikes and trikes without brakes, suspensions or gear boxes. This book chronicles the individuals and events at the turn of the 20th century that led to the development of motor-powered two-wheelers.

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Newly Published: The Minds Behind Shooter Games

New on our bookshelf:

The Minds Behind Shooter Games: Interviews with Cult and Classic Video Game Developers
Patrick Hickey, Jr.

Featuring interviews with the creators of 39 popular video games–including Halo 3Call of Duty: Modern WarfareMedal of Honor and Metroid Prime–this book gives a behind-the-scenes look at the origins of some of the most iconic shooter games. Interviewees recount endless hours of painstaking development, the challenges of working with mega-publishers, the growth of the genre and the creative processes that produced some of the industry’s biggest hits, cult classics and indie successes.

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Newly Published: LSU Bowl Games

New on our bookshelf:

LSU Bowl Games: A Complete History
Neal Golden

Telling the story of LSU football through coverage of each of the Tigers’ 50 bowl games–from 1907 through 2019–this book provides summaries of the team’s regular season, and their opponents’ season, along with quarter-by-quarter game highlights, important stats, and quotes from players and coaches. Bowl games are presented in a number of notable contexts, including games against Hall of Fame coaches (1936-1938 Sugar Bowls, 2010 Capital One Bowl), games that featured Heisman Trophy winners (1959-1960 Sugar Bowls, 2019 Peach Bowl), LSU’s first games against black players (1965 Sugar Bowl, 1972 Bluebonnet Bowl), and the first game played by a U.S. football team in a foreign country (1907 Bacardi Bowl).

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Newly Published: Marcus Reno in the Valley of the Little Big Horn

New on our bookshelf:

Marcus Reno in the Valley of the Little Big Horn: Limited Means, Excessive Aims
Frederic C. Wagner III

Major Marcus Reno’s actions at the Battle of Little Big Horn have been both criticized and lauded, often without in-depth analysis. This book takes a fresh look the battle and events leading up to it, offering answers to unanswered questions. The author examines the meanings of “orders” given in Custer’s command and how they were treated, the tactics and fighting in the valley, Reno’s alcoholism, and his last stand on the hilltop named for him.

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Newly Published: Star Wars and the Hero’s Journey

New on our bookshelf:

Star Wars and the Hero’s Journey: Mythic Character Arcs Through the 12-Film Epic
Valerie Estelle Frankel

The original Star Wars trilogy famously follows Joseph Campbell’s model for the hero’s journey, making Luke Skywalker’s story the new hero quest for a modern age. With the nine-plus film saga complete, however, new story patterns have emerged as the hero’s journey is imagined over and over for characters of different ages, genders, and backgrounds. The prequels offer the plot arc of the villain’s journey through Anakin. Leia and Padme, while damsels in the men’s story, break out to undergo their own ordeals. The heroine’s journey is exemplified by Rey and Jyn. Obi-Wan, Yoda, and Vader must accept the loss of power and fade into spirit guardians, perpetuating the lifecycle. By the sequel era, the original trio become mentors to the younger generation and finally must do the same. Meanwhile, the Mandalorian explores a different form of the quest as he transforms from immature warrior to patriarch. This book tracks the journeys of over 20 characters throughout the franchise.

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Newly Published: Putin Confronts the West

New on our bookshelf:

Putin Confronts the West: The Logic of Russian Foreign Relations, 1999–2020
René De La Pedraja

Russia’s surprising return to the world stage since 2000 has aroused the curiosity—if not the fear—of the West. Gradually, the Kremlin went from a policy of deference to foreign powers to acting with independence. The driver of this transformation was President Vladimir Putin, who with skillful caution navigated Russia back into the ranks of global powers. In theaters of conflict such as Georgia, Syria and Ukraine, the Kremlin won significant victories at little cost to consolidate its decisive position.

Following a chronological approach from the fall of the Soviet Union to the present, this book draws on new documents to describe how Russia regained its former global prominence. Clear accounts of key decisions and foreign policy events—many presented for the first time—provide important insights into the major confrontations with the West.

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Newly Published: A Statistical History of Pro Football

New on our bookshelf:

A Statistical History of Pro Football: Players, Teams and Concepts
Rupert Patrick

Drawing on the author’s 30-year study of football statistics, this book presents new methods for analyzing the game in different ways. An examination of known distances for missed field goals offers an accurate method for evaluating placekickers. Reassessments of punters and running backs are included, along with an overhaul of the NFL’s passer rating system. Topics previously unexplored through statistics are covered, such as momentum, defining “What is a dynasty?” and “What is a Cinderella team?”

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Newly Published: William Barksdale, CSA

New on our bookshelf:

William Barksdale, CSA: A Biography of the United States Congressman and Confederate Brigadier General
John Douglas Ashton

An aggressive and colorful personality, William Barksdale was no stranger to controversy. Orphaned at 13, he succeeded as lawyer, newspaper editor, Mexican War veteran, politician and Confederate commander. During eight years in the U.S. Congress, he was among the South’s most ardent defenders of slavery and advocates for states’ rights. His emotional speeches and altercations—including a brawl on the House floor—made headlines in the years preceding secession.

His fiery temper prompted three near-duels, gaining him a reputation as a brawler and knife-fighter. Arrested for intoxication, Colonel Barksdale survived a military Court of Inquiry to become one of the most beloved commanders in the Army of Northern Virginia. His reputation soared with his defense against the Union river crossing and street-fighting at Fredericksburg, and his legendary charge at Gettysburg. This first full-length biography places his life and career in historical context.

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Newly Published: Vivid Tomorrows

New on our bookshelf:

Vivid Tomorrows: On Science Fiction and Hollywood
David Brin

Can science fiction–especially sci-fi cinema–save the world? It already has, many times. Retired officers testify that films like Doctor Strangelove, Fail-Safe, On the Beach and War Games provoked changes and helped prevent accidental war. Soylent Green and Silent Running recruited millions of environmental activists. The China Syndrome and countless movies about plagues helped bring attention to those failure modes. And the grand-daddy of “self-preventing prophecy”–Nineteen Eighty-Four–girded countless citizens to stay wary of Big Brother.

It’s not been all dire warnings. While optimism is much harder to dramatize than apocalypse, both large and small screens have also encouraged millions to lift their gaze, contemplating how we might get better, incrementally, or else raise grandchildren worthy of the stars.

Come along on a quirky quest for unusual insights into the power of forward-looking media. How the romantic allure of feudalism tugs at men and women who benefited vastly from modernity. Or explore why almost every Hollywood film preaches Suspicion of Authority, along with tolerance, diversity and personal eccentricity, and how those messages helped keep us free. No one is spared scrutiny! Not Spielberg or Tolkien or Cameron or Costner… nor Dune or demigods or zombie flicks. Certainly not George Lucas or Ayn Rand! Though some critiques are offered from a lifetime of respect and love… and gratitude.

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Newly Published: I’m Not Single, I Have a Dog

New on our bookshelf:

I’m Not Single, I Have a Dog: Dating Tales from the Bark Side
Susan Hartzler

At age 60, Susan Hartzler has learned to accept, even love, the single life, provided she has good friends and a dog or two by her side. Always attracted to the quintessential bad boy with his good looks and charming ways, she was sure she could change “the one” into a devoted partner and loving father, but her compulsive giving and fixing behaviors went hand in hand with her disappointing and disastrous romantic relationships. On a purposeful trip to the pound, she hoped to find a dog to care for, one that would sniff out the bad guys, give her a sense of purpose, and help her find meaning in her crazy world. Thoughtful and funny, this memoir follows Susan’s life through the many ups and downs on her way to finding unconditional love. Her journey is a personal one, full of the hard decisions it took to learn to put herself first and stop entering and staying in unhealthy relationships. By saving a dog, she rescues herself, learning to love herself as much as her dog loves her.

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Newly Published: Money in American Politics

New on our bookshelf:

Money in American Politics: The First 200 Years
Richard Lawrence Miller

The people who run our government are affected by money just like the rest of us. Over the years, many of these officials have worried about meeting mortgage payments, holding off creditors, and avoiding bankruptcy. Others made fortunes by devoting their time to supervising their business interests. Either way, these distractions affected the lives of everyday citizens–from the price of shirts to the decisions for war or peace.

In school, students are taught about governmental principles underlying political controversies, but instructors seldom talk about money that presidents and cabinet members stood to gain or lose, depending on who prevailed in a political dispute. This book will help fill the gaps in that knowledge. To ignore the business activities of our leaders is to ignore most of their adult lives. Having such awareness allows voters to see motivations in government decisions that may otherwise be obscure. Concentrating on presidents and cabinet members, from the birth of the U.S. through the Carter administration, this book tells how they and their associates gained and lost wealth, and how this affected their nation’s well-being.

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Newly Published: Telling an American Horror Story

New on our bookshelf:

Telling an American Horror Story: Essays on History, Place and Identity in the Series
Edited by Cameron Williams Crawford and Leverett Butts

Telling an American Horror Story collects essays from new and established critics looking at the many ways the horror anthology series intersects with and comments on contemporary American social, political and popular culture. Divided into three sections, the chapters apply a cultural criticism framework to examine how the first eight seasons of AHS engage with American history, our contemporary ideologies and social policies.

Part I explores the historical context and the uniquely-American folklore that AHS evokes, from the Southern Gothic themes of Coven to connections between Apocalypseand anxieties of modern American youth. Part II contains interpretations of place and setting that mark the various seasons of the anthology. Finally, Part III examines how the series confronts notions of individual and social identity, like the portrayals of destructive leadership in Cult and lesbian representation in Asylum and Hotel.

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Newly Published: The Gun Makers of Birmingham, 1660–1960

New on our bookshelf:

The Gun Makers of Birmingham, 1660–1960
Joseph McKenna

Tracing the history and development of gun-making in Birmingham, England–for many years a center of the world’s firearms industry–this book covers innovations in design and manufacture of both military and sporting arms from 1660 through 1960. The city is perhaps best known for mass-producing some of the most battle-tested weapons in history, including the Brown Bess musket, the Webley revolver and the Lee-Enfield rifle. Yet Birmingham’s gun-makers have carried on a centuries-long tradition of crafting high quality hand-made sporting guns.

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Newly Published: Draining the Swamp, Southern Style

New on our bookshelf:

Draining the Swamp, Southern Style: North Carolina and Florida Wetlands and the Wright Report Scandal, 1896–1926
Bruce D. Epperson

In 1912, a Congressional committee met to investigate allegations that the Secretary of Agriculture had suppressed a report by J. O. Wright on drainage in the Florida Everglades. The following seven months of committee hearings uncovered a veritable horror-show of corruption, self-dealing, misuse of government personnel and property for private gain, the tarring of reputations in order to protect high-level officials, and outright blackmail within the Department of Agriculture and the state governments of Florida and North Carolina.

The “Wright Report Incident” is most commonly understood in its connection to the Everglades, and few histories have included its effects on the North Carolina Pocosin wetland and other coastal plain swamps. This book seeks fills that gap. It details the timeline, intricate politics, and webs of corruption that make up the story of the Wright Incident and, specifically, its connection to land management practices in coastal North Carolina that continue to impact the industries of the state almost 100 years later.

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Newly Published: Giving Life to Movement

New on our bookshelf:

Giving Life to Movement: The Silvestre Dance Technique
Tamara LaDonna Williams

The Silvestre dance technique was founded by Brazilian dance master Rosangela Silvestre as an extension of the spiritual dance traditions of enslaved Africans. Their culture quashed by Christian slavers; enslaved Africans continued to practice their traditions covertly. The Silvestre technique is a modern effort to connect the present with the past with a goal to heal. Developed to help persons in the African diaspora process their heritage through somatic expression, the method is rooted in traditional tribal dance practice.

In this book, author Tamara LaDonna Williams archives the Silvestre practice and highlights the importance of understanding self-capacity and capability. The applied theory of the dance technique is explored through a series of interviews, physical practice and training.

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Newly Published: American Sports and the Great War

New on our bookshelf:

American Sports and the Great War: College, Military and Professional Athletics, 1916–1919
Peter C. Stewart

Drawing on newspaper accounts, college yearbooks and the recollections of veterans, this book examines the impact of World War I on sports in the U.S. As young men entered the military in large numbers, many colleges initially considered suspending athletics but soon turned to the idea of using sports to build morale and physical readiness. Recruits, mostly in their twenties, ended up playing more baseball and football than they would have in peacetime. Though most college athletes volunteered for military duty, others replaced them so that the reduction of competition was not severe. Pugilism gained participants as several million men learned how to box.

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Newly Published: Advances in Parapsychological Research 10

New on our bookshelf:

Advances in Parapsychological Research 10
Edited by Stanley Krippner, Adam J. Rock, Harris L. Friedman and Nancy L. Zingrone

This book consists of a collection of essays informing readers as to the contemporary status of selected cutting-edge issues in parapsychology (or “psi research”). Each chapter comprehensively reviews a controversial topic from a critical stance, and updates its status based on the latest theoretical and empirical considerations. Chapter authors are authoritative experts in their fields who have captured the complexity and importance of their topics. This is a resource for both the serious scholar and interested follower of psi research, containing in-depth analyses and discussions of topics that cannot be found elsewhere. Topics include cross-examinations of psychical investigations; a meta-analysis of anomalous information collected by mediums; an examination of the relationships between parapsychology, quantum theory and neuroscience; and a study of psychics’ involvement in police investigations.

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Newly Published: Hockey’s Wildest Season

New on our bookshelf:

Hockey’s Wildest Season: The Changing of the Guard in the NHL, 1969–1970
John G. Robertson

The 1969-70 season marked a turning point in the history of the National Hockey League. The season began with a near fatality and it culminated on a steamy Sunday afternoon in Boston with one of the NHL’s most iconic moments. In the interim, the 12 NHL clubs staged thrilling and memorable playoff races that were not decided until the final regular-season games were played. The three traditional powerhouse teams from the Original Six era faltered while former underdog clubs began to vie for top honors. Along the way, Boston’s Bobby Orr made history by becoming the first defenseman to win the NHL scoring title, three aging veterans in Detroit combined to form the most effective forward line in hockey, and a rookie goalie, Tony Esposito, lifted the Chicago Black Hawks from the basement to a divisional championship. Told here are the numerous other wonderful, strange, and captivating incidents that made the fun, fascinating, and free-wheeling 53rd NHL season one for the ages.

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Newly Published: Reading the Cozy Mystery

New on our bookshelf:

Reading the Cozy Mystery: Critical Essays on an Underappreciated Subgenre
Edited by Phyllis M. Betz

With their intimate settings, subdued action and likeable characters, cozy mysteries are rarely seen as anything more than light entertainment. The cozy, a subgenre of crime fiction, has been historically misunderstood and often overlooked as the subject of serious study. This anthology brings together a groundbreaking collection of essays that examine the cozy mystery from a range of critical viewpoints.

The authors engage with the standard classification of a cozy, the characters who appear in its pages, the environment where the crime occurs and how these elements reveal the cozy story’s complexity in surprising ways. Essays analyze cozy mysteries to argue that Agatha Christie is actually not a cozy writer; that Columbo fits the mold of the cozy detective; and that the stories’ portrayals of settings like the quaint English village reveal a more complicated society than meets the eye.

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Newly Published: Inventing Secularism

New on our bookshelf:

Inventing Secularism: The Radical Life of George Jacob Holyoake
Ray Argyle

Jailed for atheism and disowned by his family, George Jacob Holyoake came out of an English prison at the age of 25 determined to bring an end to religion’s control over daily life. This first modern biography of the founder of Secularism describes a transformative figure whose controversial and conflict-filled life helped shape the modern world. Ever on the front lines of social reform, Holyoake was hailed for having won “the freedoms we take for granted today.” With Secularism now under siege, George Holyoake’s vision of a “virtuous society” rings today with renewed clarity.

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Newly Published: Body Odor and Biopolitics

New on our bookshelf:

Body Odor and Biopolitics: Characterizing Smell in Neoliberal America
By Nat Lazakis

Originally rooted in stereotypes about race and class, the modern norm of bodily odorlessness emerged amid 19th and early 20-century developments in urban sanitation, labor relations and product marketing. Today, discrimination against strong-smelling people includes spatial segregation and termination from employment yet goes unchallenged by social justice movements.

This book examines how neoliberal rhetoric legitimizes treating strong-smelling people as defective individuals rather than a marginalized group, elevates authority figures into arbiters of odor, and drives sales of hygiene products for making bodies acceptable.

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Newly Published: Religion and Myth in the Marvel Cinematic Universe

New on our bookshelf:

Religion and Myth in the Marvel Cinematic Universe
Michael D. Nichols

Breaking box office records, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has achieved an unparalleled level of success with fans across the world, raising the films to a higher level of narrative: myth. This is the first book to analyze the Marvel output as modern myth, comparing it to epics, symbols, rituals, and stories from world religious traditions.

This book places the exploits of Iron Man, Captain America, Black Panther, and the other stars of the Marvel films alongside the legends of Achilles, Gilgamesh, Arjuna, the Buddha, and many others. It examines their origin stories and rites of passage, the monsters, shadow-selves, and familial conflicts they contend with, and the symbols of death and the battle against it that stalk them at every turn.

The films deal with timeless human dilemmas and questions, evoking an enduring sense of adventure and wonder common across world mythic traditions.

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Newly Published: Foundations of Recreational Service Management

New on our bookshelf:

Foundations of Recreational Service Management
Jay S. Shivers

This thorough text introduces students to the principles and ways of management in public recreational service. It includes a history of the modern recreational service movement, a general overview of the field, and a detailed guide to best practices in leadership, coordination, public relations, planning and budgeting. Tips on how to find the best service possible in one’s community are offered and the complex relationship between public recreational services and politics is also discussed. Other topics range from staff organization to evaluating the effectiveness of a recreational program.

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Newly Published: Encyclopedia of Easter Celebrations Worldwide

New on our bookshelf:

Encyclopedia of Easter Celebrations Worldwide
William D. Crump

At Eastertime, the most important holiday in the Christian world, religious processions in many Latin American countries pass over ornate street “carpets” fashioned from colored sawdust, flowers and fruit. Children in Finland and Sweden dress as “Easter witches.” In the Caribbean, those who swim on Good Friday risk bad luck. In the Philippines, some penitents volunteer to be crucified. In some European countries, Easter Monday is the day for dousing women with water. With 240 entries, this book explores these and scores of other unusual and sometimes bizarre international Holy Week customs, both sacred and secular, from pilgrimages to Jerusalem to classic seasonal films and television specials.

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Newly Published: Roleplaying Games in the Digital Age

New on our bookshelf:

Roleplaying Games in the Digital Age: Essays on Transmedia Storytelling, Tabletop RPGs and Fandom
Edited by Stephanie Hedge and Jennifer Grouling

The Digital Age has created massive technological and disciplinary shifts in tabletop role-playing, increasing the appreciation of games like Dungeons & Dragons. Millions tune in to watch and listen to RPG players on podcasts and streaming platforms, while virtual tabletops connect online players. Such shifts elicit new scholarly perspectives.

This collection includes essays on the transmedia ecology that has connected analog with digital and audio spaces. Essays explore the boundaries of virtual tabletops and how users engage with a variety of technology to further role-playing. Authors map the growing diversity of the TRPG fandom and detail how players interact with RPG-related podcasts. Interviewed are content creators like Griffin McElroy of The Adventure Zone podcast, Roll20 co-creator Nolan T. Jones, board game designers Nikki Valens and Isaac Childres and fan artists Tracey Alvarez and Alex Schiltz. These essays and interviews expand the academic perspective to reflect the future of role-playing.

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Women’s Studies Sale and New Catalog

Women made 2020 a banner year for diversity and inclusivity. In sports, representation on and off the field erupted with the leadership of Kim Ng, Sarah Fuller and Katie Sowers. Scientists Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer A. Doudna jointly earned the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. And in politics, women like Cori Bush, Sarah McBride, Yvette Herrell and others were elected to ever-diversifying legislatures, while Kamala Harris ascended to the highest elected position a woman has yet to hold. To honor Women’s History Month and to nurture the path forward, we’re offering 20% off our catalog through March 31st with coupon code WOMEN20.

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Newly Published: Baseball and the House of David

New on our bookshelf:

Baseball and the House of David: The Legendary Barnstorming Teams, 1915–1956
P.J. Dragseth

House of David barnstorming baseball (1915-1957) was played without pre-determined schedules, leagues, player statistics or standings. The Davids quickly gained popularity for their hirsute appearance and flashy, fast-paced style of play. During their 200 seasons, they travelled as many as 30,000 miles, criss-crossing the United States, Canada and Mexico. The Benton Harbor teams invented the pepper game and were winners year after year, becoming legends in barnstorming baseball.
Initially a loose affiliation of players, the Davids expanded to three teams–Western, Central and Eastern–as their reputation grew, and hired outsiders to fill the rosters. Prominent among them were pitchers Grover Cleveland Alexander and Charlie “Chief” Bender, both player managers in the early 1930s. They resisted the color barrier, eagerly facing Negro League teams everywhere. In 1934, before their largest crowd to date, they defeated the first Negro team invited to the famed Denver Post Tournament, the great Kansas City Monarchs, for the championship.

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Newly Published: Speculations of War

New on our bookshelf:

Speculations of War: Essays on Conflict in Science Fiction, Fantasy and Utopian Literature
Edited by Annette M. Magid

Late 19th century science fiction stories and utopian treatises related to morals and attitudes often focused on economic, sociological and, at times Marxist ideas. More than a century later, science fiction commonly depicts the inherent dangers of capitalism and imperialism. Examining a variety of conflicts from the Civil War through the post-9/11 era, this collection of new essays explores philosophical introspection and futuristic forecasting in science fiction, fantasy, utopian literature and film, with a focus on the warlike nature of humanity.

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Newly Published: Walter Alston

New on our bookshelf:

Walter Alston: The Rise of a Manager from the Minors to the Baseball Hall of Fame
By Alan H. Levy

Walter “Smokey” Alston is best known for his long and successful tenure as manager of the Dodgers–first in Brooklyn, then in Los Angeles. Yet few fans are aware of his years in the minors, where he honed the skills that would make him famous. Raised in rural Ohio, Alston graduated from Miami University, where he was noticed by scouts for the St. Louis Cardinals. Signed in 1935, he played on minor league teams in the Cardinals’ system. He went to bat in the majors just once–and struck out. But Cardinals President Branch Rickey recognized other talents in Alston and made him a player-manager for several clubs. He steadily produced winning teams and in 1946 led the racially integrated Nashua “Little” Dodgers to a championship. In 1953, he was tapped to run the big club and over the next 23 seasons led the Dodgers to nine pennants and four World Series wins. This book traces Alston’s rise through the minor and major leagues to become a Hall of Famer with more than 2000 career wins.

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Newly Published: Saints and Sinners in Queen Victoria’s Courts

New on our bookshelf:

Saints and Sinners in Queen Victoria’s Courts: Ten Scandalous Trials
Tom Zaniello

This chronicle of ten controversial mid–Victorian trials features brother versus brother, aristocrats fighting commoners, an imposter to a family’s fortune, and an ex-priest suing his ex-wife, a nun. Most of these trials—never before analyzed in depth—assailed a culture that frowned upon public displays of bad taste, revealing fault lines in what is traditionally seen as a moral and regimented society. The author examines religious scandals, embarrassments about shaky family trees, and even arguments about which architecture is most likely to convert people from one faith to another.

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Newly Published: Clothes Make the Character

New on our bookshelf:

Clothes Make the Character: The Role of Wardrobe in Early Motion Pictures
Lora Ann Sigler

“Clothes make the man” (or woman). This is especially true in early Hollywood silent films where a character’s appearance could show an immense number of different things about them. For example, Theda Bara’s role in A Fool There Was (1915) was known for her revealing clothing, seductive appearance, and being the first “Vamp.”

Wardrobe and costume design played a larger role in silent films than in modern movies. The character’s clothes told the audience who they were and what their role was in the movie. In this in-depth analysis, the author provides examples and explanations about noteworthy characters who used their appearance to further their fame.

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Newly Published: The African American Baseball Experience in Nebraska

New on our bookshelf:

The African American Baseball Experience in Nebraska: Essays and Memories
Edited by Angelo J. Louisa

Nebraska is not usually thought of as a focal point in the history of black baseball, yet the state has seen its share of contributions to the African American baseball experience. This book examines nine of the most significant, including the rise and fall of the Lincoln Giants, Satchel Paige’s adventures in the Cornhusker State, a visit from Jackie Robinson, and the maturation of Bob Gibson both on and off the field. Also, recollections are featured from individuals who participated in or witnessed the African American baseball experience in the Omaha area.