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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.

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Newly Published: Hannibal for Dinner

New on our bookshelf:

Hannibal for Dinner: Essays on America’s Favorite Cannibal on Television
Edited by Kyle A. Moody and Nicholas A. Yanes

NBC’s Hannibal only lasted for three seasons but became a critical darling and quickly inspired a ravenous fanbase. Bryan Fuller’s adaptation of Hannibal Lecter’s adventures created a new set of fans and a cult audience through its stunning visuals, playful characters, and mythical tableaus of violence that doubled as works of art. The show became a nexus point for viewers that explored consumption, queerness, beauty, crime, and the meaning of love through a lens of blood and gore.

Much like the show, this collection is a love letter to America’s favorite cannibal, celebrating the multiple ways that Hannibal expanded the mythology, food culture, fandom, artistic achievements, and religious symbolism of the work of Thomas Harris. Primarily focusing on Hannibal, this book combines interviews and academic essays that examine the franchise, its evolution, creatively bold risks, and the art of creating a TV show that consumed the hearts and minds of its audience.

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Newly Published: Working While Black

New on our bookshelf:

Working While Black: Essays on Television Portrayals of African American Professionals
Edited by LaToya T. Brackett

Since the 1990s and the recent rise of the Black Lives Matter movement, there has been a rise in diverse racial representation on television. In particular, Black characters evolved and began to move away from racial stereotypes. In this collection of essays, the representation of Black characters in professionally defined careers is examined. Commentary is also provided on the portrayal of Black people in relation to stereotypes alongside the importance of Black representation on screen. This work also introduces the idea of the Black-collar category to highlight the Black experience in white-collar jobs. The essays are divided into six parts based on themes, including profession, and focuses on a select number of Black characters on TV since the 1990s.

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Newly Published: Gag Reflections

New on our bookshelf:

Gag Reflections: Conquering a Fear of Vomit Through Exposure Therapy
Dara Lovitz and David Yusko, Psy.D.

Emetophobia–the disproportionate fear of vomiting or being in the presence of someone vomiting–affects millions of people yet is seldom discussed. Part-memoir, part clinical history, Dara Lovitz provides a brutally honest account of her life as an emetophobe. Written with her therapist, Dr. David Yusko, her story unravels the mystery of emetophobia.

Lovitz spent years trying traditional talk therapy and self-help books yet nothing seemed to reduce her anxiety. In desperation, she tried exposure therapy. With a therapist’s guidance, she was able to overcome emetophobia. The history of exposure therapy for treating emetophobes is covered.

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Newly Published: Anita Page

New on our bookshelf:

Anita Page: A Career Chronicle and Biography
Allan R. Ellenberger and Robert Murdoch Paton

Anita Page (1910-2008) first captured attention near the end of the silent film era in such classics as While the City Sleeps (1928) with Lon Chaney, The Flying Fleet (1929) with Ramon Novarro, and her own favorite, Our Dancing Daughters (1928) with Joan Crawford. In a relatively short career, Page enjoyed critical acclaim. She appeared in the first full-sound movie to win Best Picture, The Broadway Melody (1929).

With a foreword by her close friend, actor Randal Malone, this reference work is the first to fully detail Page’s remarkable career, including a biography and a complete listing of all her films, along with her one stage appearance and her returns to the limelight in later years.

Entries provide complete production information, reviews and behind-the-scenes commentary. Dozens of photos and revealing anecdotes complete a portrait of a fascinating yet underappreciated performer.

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Newly Published: Fight Sports and the Church

New on our bookshelf:

Fight Sports and the Church: Boxing and Martial Arts Ministries in America
By Richard Wolff

Fighting sports may seem at odds with Christian tradition, yet modern ministries have embraced them as a means for evangelism and social outreach. While news media often sensationalize fighting sports, churches see them as a way to appeal to male congregants, presenting a peace-loving yet tough model of discipleship.

From martial arts programs at suburban churches to urban boxing ministries geared towards at-risk youth, this book examines the substantial history of church sponsored training in combat sports, and presents arguments by Christian ethicists about their compatibility with church teachings and settings.

Interviews with boxing and martial arts ministry leaders describe their programs and the relationship between fight sports and faith.

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Romance Book Sale!

Image previewEven in the days after Valentine’s Day, love still lingers potently in the air. Not only can you rush to the supermarket to get discounts on chocolates and other heart-shaped sweet treats, you can also head to the McFarland website for 30% off our catalog of romance books. This catalog includes everything from studies of romantic media favorites like Outlander and Twilight, to histories of erotica and other scholarly works on sexuality. Browse our catalog and use coupon code ROMANCE30 now through February 28th.

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Newly Published: The Body Onscreen in the Digital Age

New on our bookshelf:

The Body Onscreen in the Digital Age: Voyeurism, Violence and Power
Edited by Susan Flynn

This collection examines the peculiarly modern phenomenon of voyeurism as it is experienced through the digital screen. Violence, voyeurism, and power populate film more than ever, and the centrality of the terrified body to many digital narratives suggests new forms of terror and angst, where bodies are subjected to an endless knowing look. The particular perils of the digital age can be seen on, by, and through screen bodies as they are made, remade, represented, and used.

The essays in this book examine the machinations of voyeurism in the digital age and the realization of power through digital visual forms. They look at the uses of power over the female body, at the domination and repression of women through symbolic violence, at discourses of power as they are played out onscreen, and at how the digital realm might engage the active/passive dichotomy in new ways.

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Newly Published: Our Fears Made Manifest

New on our bookshelf:

Our Fears Made Manifest: Essays on Terror, Trauma and Loss in Film, 1998-2019
Edited by Ashley Jae Carranza

The beginning of the 21st century was a time of unprecedented events in American society: Y2K, 9/11 and the wars that followed, partisan changes in government and the rapid advancements of the Internet and mass consumerism. In the two decades since, popular culture—particularly film—has manifested the underlying anxieties of the American psyche. This collection of new essays examines dozens of movies released 1998–2020 and how they drew upon and spoke to mass cultural fears. Contributors analyze examples across a range of genres—horror, teen rom-coms, military flicks, slow-burns, and animated children’s films—covering topics including gender and sexuality, environmental politics, technophobia, xenophobia, and class and racial inequality.

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Newly Published: Murder Down Under

New on our bookshelf:

Murder Down Under: Notorious Australian Serial Killers
By Anthony Ferguson

Notorious, numerous and varied, serial murderers from Australia have an eclectic record of crimes, methods and trademarks. Scrutinizing these murderers at length, this book aims to identify characteristics exclusive to Australian serial killers, connecting the crimes with the continent’s geography, culture and social structure.

Featured are murderers like the “Granny Killer” John Wayne Glover, William “The Sydney Mutilator” McDonald and “Backpacker Killer” Ivan Milat. Also covered are well-known events like the Snowtown Murders and killer couples like David and Catherine Birnie. Unique in the true crime genre, this book studies fictional Australian murderer Mick Taylor to examine how pop culture portrayals develop the distinct psychology of killers from “down under.”

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Newly Published: America’s Early Women Celebrities

New on our bookshelf:

America’s Early Women Celebrities: The Famous and Scorned from Martha Washington to Silent Film Star Mary Fuller
Angela Firkus

Well before television and the internet, there were women who sought fame, flirted with infamy, and actively engaged with their fan base. In today’s pop culture world, it can be hard to understand what the lives of these women were like. In their pre-suffrage world, women who attracted attention were considered scandalous and it was largely uncommon for women to become celebrities. Women who rose to fame in those times had to put up with societal standards for women on top of the lack of privacy and free speech.

This book provides the details and context to let us know the women who captured America’s heart in the 19th century. Rather than looking at influential women who strictly avoided notoriety, it covers the lives of 18 celebrities like Lydia Maria Child, Sojourner Truth, and Jane Addams.

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Black History Month Sale

In celebration of Black History Month, get 20% off our catalog of African American Studies books through February 28th with coupon code AFAM20. Our catalog includes biographies of celebrated revolutionaries like Fannie Lou Hamer and Malcom X, as well as studies of Black representation and contributions in art and pop culture. From oral histories of African-American life, to profiles on 21st-century leaders like Kenny Riley, these books aim to illuminate the Black experience and to celebrate Black communities, athletics and art.

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Newly Published: The Giallo Canvas

New on our bookshelf:

The Giallo Canvas: Art, Excess and Horror Cinema
Alexandra Heller-Nicholas

Beloved among cult horror devotees for its signature excesses of sex and violence, Italian giallo cinema is marked by switchblades, mysterious killers, whisky bottles and poetically overinflated titles. A growing field of English-language giallo studies has focused on aspects of production, distribution and reception. This volume explores an overlooked yet prevalent element in some of the best known gialli–an obsession with art and artists in creative production, with a particular focus on painting. The author explores the appearance and significance of art objects across the masterworks of such filmmakers as Dario Argento, Lucio Fulci, Sergio Martino, Umberto Lenzi, Michele Soavi, Mario Bava and his son Lamberto.

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Newly Published: Ride the Frontier

New on our bookshelf:

Ride the Frontier: Exploring the Myth of the American West on Screen
Flavia Brizio-Skov

With fresh appraisals of popular Westerns, this book examines the history of the genre with a focus on definitional aspects of canon, adaptation and hybridity.

The author covers a range of largely unexplored topics, including the role of “heroines” in a (supposedly) male-oriented system of film production, the function of the celluloid Indians, the transcultural and transnational history of the first spaghetti Western, the construction of femininity and masculinity in the hybrid Westerns of the 1950s, and the new paths of the Western in the 21st century.

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Newly Published: Leiji Matsumoto

New on our bookshelf:

Leiji Matsumoto: Essays on the Manga and Anime Legend
Edited by Helen McCarthy and Darren-Jon Ashmore

Leiji Matsumoto is one of Japan’s most influential myth creators. Yet the huge scope of his work, spanning past, present and future in a constantly connecting multiverse, is largely unknown outside Japan. Matsumoto was the major creative force on Star Blazers, America’s gateway drug for TV anime, and created Captain Harlock, a TV phenomenon in Europe. As well as space operas, he made manga on musicians from Bowie to Tchaikovsky, wrote the manga version of American cowboy show Laramie, and created dozens of girls’ comics. He is a respected manga scholar, an expert on Japanese swords, a frustrated engineer and pilot who still wants to be a spaceman in his eighties.

This collection of new essays–the first book on Matsumoto in English–covers his seven decades of comic creation, drawing on contemporary scholarship, artistic practice and fan studies to map Matsumoto’s vast universe. The contributors–artists, creators, translators and scholars–mirror the range of his work and experience. From the bildungsroman to the importance of textual analysis for costume and performance, from early days in poverty to honors around the world, this volume offers previously unexplored biographical and bibliographic detail from a life story as thrilling as anything he created.

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Newly Published: The Life and Teams of Johnny F. Bassett

New on our bookshelf:

The Life and Teams of Johnny F. Bassett: Maverick Entrepreneur of North American Sports
Denis M. Crawford

One of the most influential sportsmen of the late 20th century, Johnny F. Bassett’s marketing wizardry belied his impact on professional hockey and football. A Canadian showman with a Barnumesque flair for spectacle, Bassett challenged the orthodoxy of sports, building sporting utopias in the fatally flawed World Football League, World Hockey Association, and United States Football League. He catered to the common fan, demanded fair treatment of athletes, and forced the sporting establishment to change the way it did business, often to his own detriment.

Drawing on archival research and interviews with Bassett’s contemporaries, this comprehensive biography chronicles his life in and around professional sports: his quixotic attempt to compete with the Maple Leafs; his stunning coup in signing three members of the reigning Super Bowl champions for his WFL team; his battles with the Canadian government over American football; his audacious marketing of hockey in Alabama; and his rivalry with Donald Trump for the soul of the USFL.

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Newly Published: More Cadillac V-16s Lost and Found

New on our  bookshelf:

More Cadillac V-16s Lost and Found: 67 New Histories
Christopher W. Cummings

In 1930, Cadillac rolled out a line of new cars of unsurpassed elegance and craftsmanship that would launch the company into the top tier of luxury carmakers. While competitors produced models with eight or twelve-cylinder engines, Cadillac offered the smooth, powerful performance of a V-16. Over the next 11 years, each of the more than 4000 V-16s was as close to hand-made as a commercial auto manufacturer could come. Their drivers included statesmen, celebrities, businessmen and, sometimes, well-heeled ne’er-do-wells. Many of the cars survived wartime scrap drives, obsolescence, lack of replacement parts, neglect and the elements. This follow-up volume to Cadillac V-16s Lost and Found (2014) documents the individual stories of 67 more of these magnificent machines.

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Newly Published: S. Sylvan Simon, Moviemaker

New on our bookshelf:

S. Sylvan Simon, Moviemaker: Adventures with Lucy, Red Skelton and Harry Cohn in the Golden Age of Hollywood
David C. Tucker

He was Red Skelton’s favorite director, and mentored Lucille Ball in the art of physical comedy. In his 15-year Hollywood career, S. Sylvan Simon (1910-1951) directed and/or produced more than 40 films, with stars like Lana Turner, Abbott and Costello, and Wallace Beery. Though he loved to make moviegoers laugh, he demonstrated his versatility with murder mysteries, war stories, and musicals. After a decade at MGM, he moved to Columbia, where he produced his own projects, including the Western melodrama Lust for Gold, and popular slapstick comedies like The Fuller Brush Girl. As head of production, reporting to irascible Harry Cohn, he produced the award-winning Born Yesterday, and was working on From Here to Eternity when his life ended tragically at the age of 41.

This first-ever account of Simon’s life and career draws on interviews with family and colleagues, genealogical records, archival materials, and his own annotated scripts to tell the story of a stage-struck boy from Pittsburgh whose talent and tenacity made him a Hollywood success. The filmography provides production histories, critical commentary, and excerpts from published reviews. An appendix covers books written or edited by Simon, including his anthologized plays for amateur groups.

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Newly Published: Best of the Bruins

New on our bookshelf:

Best of the Bruins: Boston’s All-Time Great Hockey Players and Coaches
Jonathan Weeks

Among the “Original Six” National Hockey League clubs to survive the Great Depression, the Boston Bruins have a vibrant history. Entering the 2019-2020 campaign, the team ranked fourth all-time, with six Stanley Cup championships. Some of the most gifted players in NHL history have skated for the Bruins over the years. This detailed survey tells the individual stories of the players and coaches, past and present, who have helped make the Bruins perennial contenders for close to a century.

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Newly Published: The French Terror Wave, 2015–2016

New on our bookshelf:

The French Terror Wave, 2015–2016: Al-Qaeda and ISIS Attacks from Charlie Hebdo to the Bataclan Theatre
Marc E. Vargo

A torrent of Islamist terrorism swept across France in 2015 and 2016, executed by militant jihadists on behalf of al-Qaeda and the Islamic State (ISIS). Their targets ranged from the Paris offices of Charlie Hebdo magazine to the Bataclan Theatre on the Boulevard Voltaire to a parish church in a Normandy village and a beachfront promenade on the Mediterranean. This book reconstructs these and other terrorist offensives France weathered during this period. Placing each attack in its sociopolitical context, the author examines the backgrounds and motives of the perpetrators, the attributes of the victims and the legacy of the attacks for the people.

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Newly Published: Valley Forge to Monmouth

New on our bookshelf:

Valley Forge to Monmouth: Six Transformative Months of the American Revolution
Jim Stempel

From December 1777 through June 1778, the American Revolution achieved a remarkable turnaround. I these months the Continental Army recovered from abject demoralization at Valley Forge to achieve a stunning victory against the British at Monmouth Courthouse. This compelling history chronicles how the war began to turn–from the consequential leadership of General Washington and the Marquis de Lafayette to the experiences of the men who marched and fought in the ranks–and reexamines one of the most controversial periods of early American history.

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Newly Published: Newspaper-Real Estate Schemes of the 1920s

New on our bookshelf:

Newspaper-Real Estate Schemes of the 1920s: Pell Lake and Other Vacation Colonies for Working Class Subscribers
Margaret B. Barker

In the 1920s, newspapers and real estate developers colluded in a scheme to sell tiny vacation lots to subscribers. A zealous advertising campaign spawned a land-buying frenzy that sprouted dozens of waterfront summer colonies across the country. The resulting legal, social and environmental mayhem caused some of these communities to disappear or be drastically altered in character, while others managed to survive more or less intact.

Drawing on newspaper accounts of the day, this book explores how the scheme eluded accusations of fraud, creating an assembly line for middle class resorts through a lucrative merger of real estate and journalism. Pell Lake, Wisconsin, serves as a case study that yields the best evidence for determining if it was all a scam. Told here for the first time, the story of this unusual alliance and the communities it created offers lessons for today’s entrepreneurs, journalists, advertisers, real estate developers, environmentalists and anyone who has ever lived in a resort community.

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Newly Published: The Planetary Emergency

New on our bookshelf:

The Planetary Emergency: Environmental Collapse and the Promise of Ecocivilization
Kent D. Shifferd

Earth and its inhabitants face an unprecedented crisis–the human-caused destruction of the planet’s life support systems. Deteriorating climate bringing super storms, mass forest fires, melting glaciers, droughts, extreme heat and rising seas, a decline in food production, soil loss, water pollution and declining fisheries all threaten the future of life on earth with a looming extinction event not seen for 60 million years.

Beginning in the 17th century, we developed a civilization based on radical materialism, exploitation of natural resources and the myth of endless economic growth. For all its technological wonders, this “hypercivilization” has proven unsustainable. This book explores ways we can create an “ecocivilization” compatible with the laws and limits of nature–a new way of living already developing, with new technologies, new forms of social organization and a new story about ourselves and the Earth.

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Newly Published: Charlie Chaplin and A Woman of Paris

New on our bookshelf:

Charlie Chaplin and A Woman of Paris: The Genesis of a Misunderstood Masterpiece
Wes D. Gehring

Charlie Chaplin’s A Woman of Paris (1923) was a groundbreaking film which was neither a simple recycling of Peggy Hopkins Joyce’s story, nor quickly forgotten. Through heavily-documented “period research,” this book lands several bombshells, including Paris is deeply rooted in Chaplin’s previous films and his relationship with Edna Purviance, Paris was not rejected by heartland America, Chaplin did “romantic research” (especially with Pola Negri), and Paris’ many ongoing influences have never been fully appreciated. These are just a few of the mistakes about Paris.

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Newly Published: Doctor Who and Science

New on our bookshelf:

Doctor Who and Science: Essays on Ideas, Identities and Ideologies in the Series
Edited by Marcus K. Harmes and Lindy A. Orthia

Science has always been part of Doctor Who. The first episode featured scenes in a science laboratory and a science teacher, and the 2020 season’s finale highlighted a scientist’s key role in Time Lord history. Hundreds of scientific characters, settings, inventions, and ethical dilemmas populated the years in between. Behind the scenes, Doctor Who‘s original remit was to teach children about science, and in the 1960s it even had a scientific advisor.

This is the first book to explore this scientific landscape from a broad spectrum of research fields: from astronomy, genetics, linguistics, computing, history, sociology and science communication through gender, media and literature studies. Contributors ask: What sort of scientist is the Doctor? How might the TARDIS translation circuit and regeneration work? Did the Doctor change sex or gender when regenerating into Jodie Whittaker? How do Doctor Who‘s depictions of the Moon and other planets compare to the real universe? Why was the program obsessed with energy in the 1960s and 1970s, Victorian scientists and sciences then and now, or with dinosaurs at any time? Do characters like Missy and the Rani make good scientist role models? How do Doctor Who technical manuals and public lectures shape public ideas about science?

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Martial Arts on Screen Sale

We’re going to let you in on a company secret: our sales staff can’t stop thinking about ninjas. We plan ahead for surprise attacks. One of us is a certified “Cooler,” and the Olympics only make us reminisce about Gymkata. Lucky for us, McFarland offers a number of books about real and fictional martial arts, and we’re putting them all on sale. Through the end of January, get 20% off all martial arts titles with the coupon code KUMITE!.

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Newly Published: Karloff and the East

New on our bookshelf:

Karloff and the East: Asian, Indian, Middle Eastern and Oceanian Characters and Subjects in His Screen Career
Scott Allen Nollen with Yuyun Yuningsih Nollen

Among Golden Age Hollywood film stars of European heritage known for playing characters from the East–Chinese, Southeast Asians, Indians and Middle Easterners–Anglo-Indian actor Boris Karloff had deep roots there. Based on extensive new research, this biography and career study of Karloff’s “eastern” films provides a critical examination of 41 features, including many overlooked early roles, and offers fresh perspective on a cinematic luminary so often labeled a “horror icon.” Films include The Lightning Raider (1919), 14 silent films from the 1920s, The Unholy Night (1929), The Mask of Fu Manchu (1932), The Mummy (1932), John Ford’s The Lost Patrol (1934), the Mr. Wong series (1938-1940), Targets (1968), and Isle of the Snake People (1971), one of six titles released posthumously.

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Newly Published: A Family Disease

New on our bookshelf:

A Family Disease: A Memoir of Multigenerational Ataxia
Dana Lorene Creighton

Dana Creighton and her mother both were affected by the same inherited cerebellar degeneration, known as ataxia–a loss of control over body movements. Both were treated by a healthcare system that failed them in different ways. Yet their experiences were disparate.

Creighton eventually found the right tools to piece together meaning in her life; her mother resisted accepting her condition, in part because doctors repeatedly said nothing was wrong with her. Twenty-five years after her mother’s suicide, Creighton’s memoir finds striking similarities and differences in their lives and traces a lineage of family trauma.

Drawing on research in neuroplasticity, medical records, personal correspondence and genealogy, the author highlights the gap between the lived experience of a debilitating ailment and the impersonal aims of clinicians. She shows how the stories parents tell themselves about living with a genetic disorder influences how they communicate it to their children.

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Newly Published: Heroes Masked and Mythic

New on our bookshelf:

Heroes Masked and Mythic: Echoes of Ancient Archetypes in Comic Book Characters
Christopher Wood

Epic battles, hideous monsters and a host of petty gods–the world of Classical mythology continues to fascinate and inspire. Heroes like Herakles, Achilles and Perseus have influenced Western art and literature for centuries, and today are reinvented in the modern superhero.

What does Iron Man have to do with the Homeric hero Odysseus? How does the African warrior Memnon compare with Marvel’s Black Panther? Do DC’s Wonder Woman and Xena the Warrior Princess reflect the tradition of Amazon women such as Penthesileia? How does the modern superhero’s journey echo that of the epic warrior?

With fresh insight into ancient Greek texts and historical art, this book examines modern superhero archetypes and iconography in comics and film as the crystallization of the hero’s journey in the modern imagination.

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Newly Published: The African Experience in Colonial Virginia

New on our bookshelf:

The African Experience in Colonial Virginia: Essays on the 1619 Arrival and the Legacy of Slavery
Edited by Colita Nichols Fairfax

The State of Virginia recognizes the 1619 landing of Africans at Point Comfort (present-day Hampton) as a complicated beginning. This collection of new essays reckons with this historical fact, with discussions of the impacts 400 years later.

Chapters cover different perspectives about the “20 and odd” who landed, offering insights into how enslavement continues to affect the lives of their descendants. The often overlooked experiences of women in enslavement are discussed.

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Newly Published: Death by Technology

New on our bookshelf:

Death by Technology: The Road to Hell Is Paved with Good Inventions
John R. Cook

This book refutes the 21st-century notion that advancing technology is an unambiguous social good, and examines the effects of this uncritical acceptance and dependence. The author argues that technology has become the new religion for the digital age, and that elevating technology to nearly the status of a deity allows for the denial of problems created by reliance upon machines.

From the release of toxins into the environment to the unsustainable energy demands of the modern era, technological dependence is driving humanity near the brink of extinction.

Despite these problems, and existential issues such as artificial intelligence and the proliferation of nuclear weapons, many people have an unwavering belief in the ability of technology, particularly any device labeled “smart,” to create a perfect future—while denying the history of unmet promises and unintended consequences of technological innovation.

The author explores the psychological underpinnings of these beliefs from both a clinical and a cognitive perspective. The social and economic forces that maintain our reliance on, or addiction to, technology are critiqued as are the ethical and security issues associated with the control of advanced technology.

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Newly Published: Policing the Monstrous

New on our bookshelf:

Policing the Monstrous: Essays on the Supernatural Crime Procedural
Edited by Ashley Szanter

This collection of new essays examines how the injection of supernatural creatures and mythologies transformed the hugely popular crime procedural television genre. These shows complicate the predictable and comforting patterns of the procedural with the inherently unknowable nature of the supernatural. From Sherlock to Supernatural, essays cover a range of topics including the gothic, the post-structural nature of The X-Files, the uncanny lure of Twin Peaks, trickster detectives, forensic fairy tales, the allure of the vampire detective, and even the devil himself.

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Newly Published: Frank Selee

New on our bookshelf:

Frank Selee: Hall of Fame Manager of the Boston Beaneaters and Chicago Cubs
Richard Bressler

One of the best managers in the early years of professional baseball, Frank Selee (1859–1909) built two great teams. The Boston Beaneaters of the 1890s won five National League pennants during his tenure. The Chicago Cubs won four National League pennants and two World Series immediately after his period as manager—mostly with players he assembled. Selee’s teams earned reputations for sportsmanship during an era known for dirty play, and Selee himself was known as a congenial man at a time when many managers and players had were considered loutish or combative. This biography tells the story of one of baseball’s notable nice guys, who honed his craft to succeed in a ruthlessly competitive business.

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Newly Published: Dan Mason

New on our bookshelf:

Dan Mason: From Vaudeville to Broadway to the Silent Screen
Joseph P. Eckhardt

In a career that spanned 57 years, Dan Mason (1853–1929) went from performing German dialect routines in variety halls to appearing in Broadway musicals to playing character roles in silent films. Along the way he also wrote, produced, directed and starred in his own plays. Best remembered for his role as the irascible “Skipper” in the Toonerville Trolley silent comedies, Mason created dozens of unique and colorful characters on stage and screen.

This first-ever biography of the American comedian explores the roots of his craft and the challenges he faced navigating the rapidly changing world of popular entertainment in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

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Newly Published: In Frankenstein’s Wake

New on our bookshelf:

In Frankenstein’s Wake: Mary Shelley, Morality and Science Fiction
Alison Bedford

Just over 200 years ago on a stormy night, a young woman conceived of what would become one of the most iconic images of science gone wrong, the story of Victor Frankenstein and his Creature. For a long period, Mary Shelley languished in the shadow of her luminary husband, Percy Bysshe Shelley, but was rescued from obscurity by the feminist scholars of the 1970s and 1980s.

This book offers a new perspective on Shelley and on science fiction, arguing that she both established a new discursive space for moral thinking and laid the groundwork for the genre of science fiction. Adopting a contextual biographical approach and undertaking a close reading of the 1818 and 1831 editions of the text give readers insight into how this story synthesizes many of the concerns about new science prevalent in Shelley’s time. Using Michel Foucault’s concept of discourse, the present work argues that Shelley should be not only credited with the foundation of a genre but recognized as a figure who created a new cultural space for readers to explore their fears and negotiate the moral landscape of new science.

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Newly Published: The China Incident

New on our bookshelf:

The China Incident: Igniting the Second Sino-Japanese War
G. William Whitehurst

In 1937, Japan blundered into a debilitating war with China, beginning with a minor incident near Peking (now Beijing) that quickly escalated. The Japanese won significant battles and captured the capital, Nanking, after a horrific massacre of its citizens. Chiang Kai-shek, China’s acknowledged leader, would not surrender—each side believed it could win a war of attrition. The U.S. sided with China, primarily because of President Roosevelt’s personal bias in their favor.

Drawing on a wealth of sources including interviews with key players, from soldiers to diplomats, this history traces America’s unexpected and unpopular involvement in an Asian conflict, and the growing recognition of Japan’s threat to world peace and the inevitability of war.

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Newly Published: Running Toward the Guns

New on our bookshelf:

Running Toward the Guns: A Memoir of Escape from Cambodia
Chanty Jong with Lee Ann Van Houten-Sauter

Running Toward the Guns is an autobiographical story and an accounting of Chanty Jong’s personal inner self-healing journey that led to a successfully unexpected discovery. Jong survived the Cambodian genocide during the Khmer Rouge regime of 1975–1979, witnessing the horrors of the killing fields, torture, starvation and much more. Her vivid narrative recounts the suffering under the Khmer Rouge, her perseverance to survive physically and emotionally and her perilous escape to America. Her memoir relives the traumatic memories of her experiences and traces her arduous personal transformation toward a life of inner peace through intensive meditation.

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Newly Published: The Alchemical Harry Potter

New on our bookshelf:

The Alchemical Harry Potter: Essays on Transfiguration in J.K. Rowling’s Novels
Edited by Anne J. Mamary

When Harry Potter first boards the Hogwarts Express, he journeys to a world which Rowling says has alchemy as its “internal logic.” The Philosopher’s Stone, known for its power to transform base metals into gold and to give immortality to its maker, is the subject of the conflict between Harry and Voldemort in the first book of the series. But alchemy is not about money or eternal life, it is much more about the transformations of desire, of power and of people—through love.

Harry’s equally remarkable and ordinary power to love leads to his desire to find but not use the Philosopher’s Stone at the start of the series and his wish to end the destructive power of the Elder Wand at the end. This collection of essays on alchemical symbolism and transformations in Rowling’s series demonstrates how Harry’s work with magical objects, people, and creatures transfigure desire, power, and identity. As Harry’s leaden existence on Privet Drive is transformed in the company of his friends and teachers, the Harry Potter novels have transformed millions of readers, inspiring us to find the gold in our ordinary lives.

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Newly Published: Word Parts Dictionary

New on our bookshelf:

Word Parts Dictionary: Standard and Reverse Listings of Prefixes, Suffixes, Roots and Combining Forms, 3d ed.
Michael J. Sheehan

This book, now in its third edition, is still the most uniquely comprehensive resource for finding word parts needed to express a concept. Along with aiding vocabulary expansion, this dictionary provides guidance to those who may be interested in inventing or deciphering words bearing an established and embedded meaning.

This work is split into three parts. Part I, the dictionary proper, provides an alphabetical listing of over 5,100 word parts. Each entry includes a brief definition, examples of use and etymology.

Part II, the Finder, is a reverse dictionary that allows users to start with a meaning or concept to then find word parts that express the meaning. The only reverse dictionary of its kind,this section is updated with over 4,600 search terms in total.

The expanded Part III organizes word parts under 20 convenient categories—like The Body, Fear or Dislike of, Experts and Shapes.

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Newly Published: Michael Bishop and the Persistence of Wonder

New on our bookshelf:

Michael Bishop and the Persistence of Wonder: A Critical Study of the Writings
Joe Sanders

Since they began appearing in the 1970s, Michael Bishop’s science fiction and fantasy stories have been recognized for their polished prose and their depth of thought and feeling. His award-winning fiction includes No Enemy but Time (1982), Unicorn Mountain (1988), Brittle Innings (1994) and the outstanding short story “The Pile” (2008). After the 2017 publication of his collection Other Arms Reach Out to Me, Bishop was inducted into the Georgia Writers’ Hall of Fame. Revision and republication of much of Bishop’s fiction in recent years have renewed interest in Bishop’s explorations of religion, belief and the pursuit of human truth.

This book is the first comprehensive study of Michael Bishop’s literary body, examining his work in full. Featured are close readings of all his novels and studies of short stories, poetry and essays that Bishop himself identified for special attention.

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Newly Published: Have You Seen This Person?

New on our bookshelf:

Have You Seen This Person?: Ten Unsolved Disappearances, 2000–2013
LJ Roberts

Each year, hundreds of thousands of people are reported missing in the United States alone. The majority of those who disappear turn up within a week, but a small percentage are never heard from again.

Why did a Swedish teenager on an Australian adventure mail a cryptic letter to his family in Stockholm before disappearing forever? What became of a young woman whose car was found crashed and abandoned off a cliffside in Whatcom County, Washington? How can an individual vanish without a trace in a world so connected and monitored?

This book explores ten unsolved missing persons cases from around the world, from a 12-year-old British boy who purchased a one-way ticket to London King’s Cross never to return, to an American traveler who walked into the Himalayas not to be seen again. Included are exclusive interviews, statistical information and a case-by-case analysis of the most common and probable theories for each disappearance.

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Newly Published: The Banisters of Rhode Island in the American Revolution

New on our bookshelf:

The Banisters of Rhode Island in the American Revolution: Liberty and the Costs of Loyalties
Marian Mathison Desrosiers

When Thomas Banister fought for the British during the American Revolution, his farm and business were confiscated. He was exiled in far-off Nova Scotia, before he returned to a secluded life on Long Island. His older brother, John Banister married with a child, swore allegiance to the United Colonies, then witnessed the destruction of his Newport lands by the British Army.

Convinced British laws supported remuneration, John left for England, where he sought justice for four years. His wife, Christian Stelle Banister, managed the family property and raised their son while the state threatened confiscation and the French Army lived in Newport.

Tracing the lives of three young Americans during the Revolution, this study of the Banister family of Rhode Island contributes to an understanding of the war’s effects on the lives of ordinary people.

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Newly Published: Super Skills, Super Reading

New on our bookshelf:

Super Skills, Super Reading: Literacy and Television Superheroes
Perry Dantzler

What comes to mind when you think about superheroes? Strength, bravery, and heroism are common answers. However, superheroes do not only have physical strength, but they also have mental strengths and skills. Superheroes tend to have intelligence and detection skills which allow them to develop other skills. In this analysis of superhero literacy aimed at students, the connection between superhero media and larger theories of literacy are explored. The author uses six superhero television shows to show how literacy is portrayed in superhero media and how it reflects and shapes cultural ideas of literacy. The shows covered are Arrow, The Flash, Gotham, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Daredevil.

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Newly Published: How Not to Make a Movie

New on our bookshelf:

How <I>Not</I> to Make a Movie: An Independent Filmmaker in Hollywood Hell
William Robert Carey

Part memoir, part primer, part cautionary tale, this book takes the reader along on a filmmaker’s 12-year journey through Hollywood Hell, culminating in the movie Angels In Stardust (2016), starring Alicia Silverstone, AJ Michalka and Billy Burke. Describing meetings with producers, agents, managers, hustlers, wannabes and famous celebrities, and how he overcame the host of problems encountered while trying to produce a movie, William Robert Carey’s humorous and confessional narrative illustrates why it takes a minor miracle, a cabinet of liquor and plenty of Pepto-Bismol to complete a film. Copies of his option agreement, script sales contract and director’s contract, crafted by LA entertainment attorneys, are included as a valuable guide for beginners.

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Newly Published: Toni Morrison’s Secret Drive

New on our bookshelf:

Toni Morrison’s Secret Drive: A Reader-Response Study of the Fiction and Its Rhetoric
David S. Goldstein and Shawnrece D. Campbell

The late Toni Morrison was the first African-American to win the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1993. A powerful writer, she wove stories depicting the largely overlooked Black experience in America and exploring the intersection of gender and race through the lives of Black women. Morrison’s writing continues to move people and push readers to reassess their beliefs about what it means to be Black in America.

Synthesizing some 250 scholarly works about Morrison’s writing, this book examines eight novels as well as the short story “Recitatif.” They are analyzed for techniques used to deepen meaning and emotional weight, and reveal Morrison’s mastery over prose.

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BOOK REVIEWS: The People of the Sagas

Here are the latest book reviews for Icelanders in the Viking Age: The People of the Sagas by William R. Short.

• “Provides information on the daily lives, culture, history, and society of the Icelanders in a clear and well-structured fashion that invites and informs modern readers. The 13 chapters are concise, and clearly laid out sections allow readers to review specific themes or read the work as a whole. Using both literary and archaeological sources, Short presents a detailed, succinct, and informative overview of Icelanders of the saga age as well as the sagas themselves. Readers are enticed into further exploration of Viking–age Iceland with the inclusion of detailed chapter notes and recommendations for further readings. This useful introduction to the Viking age is an essential companion to the medieval narratives…. The author’s in-depth research makes this a compelling, informative addition to almost any collection dealing with the sagas or the Viking age. Highly recommended. General and academic collections, all levels.”—Choice

• “Informative…Short has done an excellent job…most interesting…I unhesitatingly recommend this book to anyone with even a shred of interest in the Viking era…faultless…tells a coherent story…this is a book stuffed full of interesting material for anyone interested in the sagas, the Viking age, the Icelandic Commonwealth, and early contact with the New World. Highly recommended”—Armed and Dangerous

• “A warning to readers. You may find you need to hide your copy of this book…chapters on pretty much all aspects of daily life…. You don’t need to be a specialist in anthropology or history to understand…illustrated with numerous black and white photographs of Iceland and Icelandic artifacts, drawings and maps…enjoyed it very much. You’ve got to hand it to McFarland as they publish some fascinating books”—Green Man Review

• “A perfect companion or an introduction to reading the sagas…very easy to read, and covers many topics in the life of the people in Iceland during those times…covers religion, laws, feuds, home life, and the settlement, among other topics…truly gives you an overview of what everyday life was like…[Short’s] research is flawless, and his sources are well-documented…bibliography is impressive…very well-indexed…entertaining, easy-to-read and very educational”—Lögberg-Heimskringla

• “Well-structured, easily understandable and practical…digs deep into a wide range of archaeological and literary sources…presents readers with a realistic account of life in the saga age…excellent…thorough and accurate…interesting…especially helpful”—Iceland Review

• “Riveting exploration…a solid addition”—Midwest Book Review

• “Fresh and interesting…a most readable book”—SMART: Studies in Medieval and Renaissance Teaching

• “Comprehensive but accessible history…. All aspects of society are covered including laws, conflict, domestic work, agriculture, gender roles, trade and production. Blending literature, legal codes, chronicles and archaeology and embellishing them with pictures, many of which he took himself. Short’s book is a perfect companion to the study of the Icelandic sagas”—Reference and Research Book News

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Newly Published: Sid Caesar and Your Show of Shows

New on our bookshelf:

Sid Caesar and Your Show of Shows: The Birth of the Television Sketch Comedy Series
Karen J. Harvey

In the early days of television, “comedy” often meant stale vaudeville routines and stand-up. Then, in 1950, a new comedy-variety show debuted on NBC—Your Show of Shows. Its gifted and mercurial star, Sid Caesar, talented ensemble cast and superb writing staff—including Mel Brooks, Neil Simon, Lucille Kallen and Mel Tolkin—would create comedy designed for the new medium and provide a template for successful shows that followed. With rare illustrations and the most complete sketch guide yet compiled, this book highlights Caesar’s reputation as a brilliant comic actor and describes the writing and production of the weekly live broadcast that kept 60 million TV viewers home on Saturday nights.

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Newly Published: Body Dysmorphic Disorder, Mine and Yours

New on our bookshelf:

Body Dysmorphic Disorder, Mine and Yours: A Personal and Clinical Perspective
Scott M. Granet

As many as 5–10 million Americans may suffer from body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) yet it remains under-recognized by both mental health professionals and the general public. Tormented by obsessive thoughts associated with physical appearance, and related compulsive behaviors, people with BDD believe their bodies are flawed or even deformed—imperfections typically not noticeable to others. High suicide attempt rates, the pursuit of cosmetic remedies and other factors complicate the clinical picture.

Although Scott Granet began showing symptoms of BDD at 19, more than two decades passed before he discovered that his obsessive fear of losing his hair was a sign of a serious psychiatric condition. Written from the perspective of therapist who has lived with and triumphed over BDD, Granet’s personal and clinical narrative guides the reader through the process of assessing and treating BDD.

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Newly Published: Dying for Chocolate

New on our bookshelf:

Dying for Chocolate: Cordelia Botkin and the 1898 Poisoned Candy Murders
Kerry Segrave

On a summer day in 1898, a family in Dover, Delaware, shared a box of chocolates they received in the mail from an anonymous sender. Within days, two of the seven family members were dead; the other five became ill but recovered. The search for the perpetrator soon moved from Delaware to California, where a suspect was quickly identified: Cordelia Botkin, lover of the husband of one of the poisoned women.

This book chronicles the shoddy investigation that led to Botkin’s indictment and the two sensational trials, adjudicated in the press, that found her guilty. National attention was drawn by the cross-country nature of the crime and the fact that the supposed perpetrator had never been in Delaware in her life. It was also a trial over what was viewed as the moral and sexual depravity of the two main participants, Botkin and Dunning (the husband), with most of that criticism directed at Botkin.

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Newly Published: The Science of Spirit

New on our bookshelf:

The Science of Spirit: Parapsychology, Enlightenment and Evolution
Luis Portela

Throughout the 20th century and into the new millennium, humanity has made enormous advancements in science and technology. Spiritual enlightenment, however, has gone relatively neglected, as fascination with material progress tends to keep us focused on the physical world, giving less importance to universal values, to being, to spiritual life.

Parapsychological research has produced significant findings over the last few decades, and science has the obligation to continue exploring this area, seeking to contribute to the spiritual enlightenment of humanity. This book examines evidence of traditional psychic phenomena, promoting a more comprehensive understanding of them, and offering new perspective to see ourselves as particles of “universal energy,” interconnected with all others.

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Newly Published: The Fortean Influence on Science Fiction

New on our bookshelf:

The Fortean Influence on Science Fiction: Charles Fort and the Evolution of the Genre
Tanner F. Boyle

Charles Fort was an American researcher from the early twentieth century who cataloged reports of unexplained phenomena he found in newspapers and science journals. A minor bestseller with a cult appeal, Fort’s work was posthumously republished in the pulp science fiction magazine Astounding Stories in 1934. His idiosyncratic books fascinated, scared, and entertained readers, many of them authors and editors of science fiction. Fort’s work prophesied the paranormal mainstays of SF literature to come: UFOs, poltergeists, strange disappearances, cryptids, ancient mysteries, unexplained natural phenomena, and everything in between. Science fiction authors latched on to Fort’s topics and hypotheses as perfect fodder for SF stories. Writers like Arthur C. Clarke, Philip K. Dick, Robert Heinlein, H.P. Lovecraft, and others are examined in this exploration of Fortean science fiction—a genre that borrows from the reports and ideas of Fort and others who saw the possible science-fictional nature of our reality.

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Newly Published: Chess Rivals of the 19th Century

New on our bookshelf:

Chess Rivals of the 19th Century: With 300 Annotated Games
Tony Cullen

Many historical chess books focus on individual 19th century masters and tournaments yet little is written covering the full scope of competitive chess through the era. This volume provides a comprehensive overview, with more than a third of the 300 annotated games analyzed by past masters and checked by powerful engines.

Players such as Max Lange and Cochrane, known to the chess public only by the name given to a fierce attack or gambit, are brought to life. Fifty masters are each given their own chapter, with brief biographies, results and anecdotes and an endgame section for most chapters.

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Newly Published: Community Eco-Gardens

New on our bookshelf:

Community Eco-Gardens: Landscaping with Native Plants
Dennis Swiftdeer Paige

Part how-to, part personal narrative, this book provides a practical guide for creating native-species ecogardens. It chronicles the author’s 20-year journey of environmental awakening. With the help of the greater community, a neglected five-acre condominium landscape is transformed into a stunning range of multi-seasonal prairie, woodland and wetland micro-habitats. This illustrated account describes the process of ecological reconciliation and traces his discovery of the higher self along the way.

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Newly Published: Circle in the Square Theatre

New on our bookshelf:

Circle in the Square Theatre: A Comprehensive History
Sheila Hickey Garvey

Based on years of research as well as interviews conducted with Circle in the Square’s major contributing artists, this book records the entire history of this distinguished theatre from its nightclub origins to its current status as a Tony Award-winning Broadway institution. Over the course of seven decades, Circle in the Square theatre profoundly changed ideas of what American theatre could be. Founded by Theodore Mann and José Quintero in an abandoned Off–Broadway nightclub just after WWII, it was a catalyst for the Off–Broadway movement. The building had a unique arena-shaped performance space that became Circle in the Square theatre, New York’s first Off–Broadway arena stage and currently Broadway’s only arena stage. The theatre was precedent-setting in many other regards, including operating as a non-profit, contracting with trade unions, establishing a school, and serving as a home for blacklisted artists. It sparked a resurgence of interest in playwright Eugene O’Neill’s canon, and was famous for landmark revivals and American premieres of his plays. The theatre also fostered the careers of such luminaries as Geraldine Page, Colleen Dewhurst, George C. Scott, Jason Robards, James Earl Jones, Cecily Tyson, Dustin Hoffman, Irene Papas, Alan Arkin, Philip Bosco, Al Pacino, Amy Irving, Pamela Payton-Wright, Vanessa Redgrave, Julie Christie, John Malkovich, Lynn Redgrave, and Annette Bening.

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Newly Published: The Constitution and American Racism

New on our bookshelf:

The Constitution and American Racism: Setting a Course for Lasting Injustice
David P. Madden

Racism has permeated the workings of the U.S. Constitution since ratification. At the 1787 Constitutional Convention, supporters of slavery ensured it was protected by rule of law. The federal government upheld slavery until it was abolished by the Civil War; then supported the South’s Jim Crow power structure. From Reconstruction through the Civil Rights Era until today, veneration of the Constitution has not prevented lynching, segregation, voter intimidation or police brutality against people of color. The Electoral College—a Constitutional accommodation for slaveholding aristocrats who feared popular government—has twice in 20 years given the presidency to the candidate who lost the popular vote. This book describes how pernicious flaws in the Constitution, included to legalize profiting from human bondage, perpetuate systemic racism, economic inequality and the subversion of democracy.

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Newly Published: Who’s in the Game?

New on our bookshelf:

Who’s in the Game?: Identity and Intersectionality in Classic Board Games
Terri Toles Patkin

Some board games—like Candy Land, Chutes & Ladders, Clue, Guess Who, The Game of Life, Monopoly, Operation and Payday—have popularity spanning generations. But over time, updates to games have created significantly different messages about personal identity and evolving social values. Games offer representations of gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, religion, age, ability and social class that reflect the status quo and respond to social change.

Using popular mass-market games, this rhetorical assessment explores board design, game implements (tokens, markers, 3-D elements) and playing instructions. This book argues the existence of board games as markers of an ever-changing sociocultural framework, exploring the nature of play and how games embody and extend societal themes and values.

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Newly Published: Beyond Triathlon

New on our bookshelf:

Beyond Triathlon: A Dual Memoir of Masters Women Athletes
Celeste Callahan and Dottie Dorion with Jane E. Hunt

Female students today never knew a time without Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which protects students from sex-based discrimination and exclusion in education programs or activities. It benefits all women, especially female athletes. This dual memoir recounts the lives of Celeste Callahan and Dottie Dorion, who were athletes before Title IX was passed. Callahan and Dorion were runners and triathletes who constantly battled gender norms and stereotypes. The memoirs of the two athletes’ oral and written accounts are stitched together to detail their journey through sport against societal standards and pressures.

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New in Softcover: Encyclopedia of Ancient Deities

Now available in softcover:

Encyclopedia of Ancient Deities
Charles Russell Coulter and Patricia Turner

Throughout history, humans have pondered the question of their existence. In nearly every society, part of the answer has included some form of god or goddess. For the Mayans, one such deity was Ajtzak, who tried to create humans from wood; for the Yorubas of Africa, Shango controlled the thunder and lightning. The Chinese of the Shang dynasty era worshipped Shang Ti. Evil deities were also part of the answer, as in the case of the Kuvera, the Hindu chief of evil in the Vedic period, and Tu, the Persian or Islamic demon of fatal accidents.

All of the known ancient gods, many heretofore obscure or known only from mythological literature, are included in this exhaustive reference work. The focus is on their origins, histories, and functions. The people who believed in each deity are identified, along with alternate names or spellings both old and modern. The descriptions that follow are of the functions, origins and physical nature of the deities. Extensive cross references are provided for alternate spellings and names.

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Newly Published: Zack Wheat

New on our bookshelf:

Zack Wheat: The Life of the Brooklyn Dodgers Hall of Famer
Joe Niese

Zack Wheat was long considered the greatest player in Dodgers history. The Missouri native parlayed his tenacious work ethic and raw skills into a major league career. For almost two decades, the mild-mannered outfielder was a mainstay for the Dodgers, bringing stability to a team that was at times unhinged. To this day, Wheat is the franchise leader in several batting categories.

Greatly respected by his peers and adored by fans, Wheat served as Brooklyn’s captain for several years, leading the club to two pennants (1916 and 1920). After his playing days, Wheat found difficulty working his way back into the game and was nearly killed in an automobile accident as a member of the Kansas City police force before finding redemption in election to the Hall of Fame in 1959.

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Newly Published: Mr. Sulu Grabbed My Ass, and Other Highlights from a Life in Comics, Novels, Television, Films and Video Games

New on our bookshelf:

Mr. Sulu Grabbed My Ass, and Other Highlights from a Life in Comics, Novels, Television, Films and Video Games
Peter David

Peter David, award-winning writer of comic books, novels, television, films and video games, has boatloads of stories to tell about his 30-year career. Whether it was attending George Takei’s wedding, being described as Will Smith’s bodyguard, or wandering around on the set of Babylon 5, David has been telling anecdotes of his life for years. Here they are all in one place, along with the story of a career that has taken him from writing Marvel Comics’ Incredible Hulk for twelve years to adventures in the Star Trek universe to the New York Times bestseller list.

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Vikings Catalog and Sale

On the threshold of winter, it is not untoward to turn one’s thoughts to hearty beards.  So it is here at McFarland, and ours have specifically turned to Vikings and representations of medieval Nordic-ness in myth, literature and popular culture.  We’ve collected all our related McFarland titles into this catalog, and you’ll find a full range of books covering topics such as the intellectual inspirations for Tolkien’s legendarium, the Vikings television series that successfully summoned their historical world, and insights into the people of the great Icelandic medieval sagas.  If you have an interest in Norse mythology in heavy metal music, McFarland has a book for that, too!  Through December 31, get 30% off these books with coupon code VIKINGS30.

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Newly Published: Murder in a Few Words

New on our bookshelf:

Murder in a Few Words: Gender, Genre and Location in the Crime Short Story
Charlotte Beyer

The clue-puzzle, legal thriller, and classic whodunit are just a few of the subgenres within the widely popular crime fiction genre. However, despite its popularity among readers, the crime short story genre has yet to be fully explored by scholars. This book offers a deep-dive into crime short stories written by a wide range of authors, tracing the history and evolution of the crime short story. The book offers an accessible and original examination of crime short stories, focusing on compelling themes such as miscarriage of justice, feminism, environmental crime and toxic masculinity.

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Newly Published: Leslie Stevens Goes to Hollywood

New on our bookshelf:

Leslie Stevens Goes to Hollywood: Daystar Productions, Kate Manx and the Making of Private Property
Dore Page

The ongoing popularity of Leslie Stevens’ 1960s television masterwork The Outer Limits, as well as later series creations Battlestar Galactica and Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, has kept his name familiar to television fans. Surprisingly, very little writing exists on his earlier Broadway contributions or his seminal film and television production company, Daystar Productions. Stevens’ personal life also remains relatively unknown.

This biography focuses on the origins of Daystar Productions as well as Stevens’ first years in Hollywood when he was married to actress Kate Manx. After meeting Manx in 1957, Stevens took her with him to Los Angeles and refashioned her into a dramatic film actress who would soon star in his startling, New Wave–style debut film, Private Property. That film, which Stevens made for just $40,000, would go on to gross several million dollars and open the doors to Hollywood for Manx and co-star Warren Oates. While Oates prospered, Manx was unable to sustain her brief success and her life soon spiraled out of control as Stevens’ career turned increasingly toward television.

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Newly Published: The Motivated Worker

New on our bookshelf:

The Motivated Worker: A Manager’s Guide to Improving Job Satisfaction
Brad Ward

How can managers and executives motivate workers to make them happier and more productive? How can employees find meaning and motivation in their careers? The classic Two Factor Theory—a simple, time-tested model for conceptualizing job satisfaction—is here re-imagined for a modern world, with relevant examples, and backed by dozens of academic studies that organizational leaders can draw upon to improve worker motivation.

The Universal Dual-Factor Survey (UDS) is introduced, providing a means to assess workforce job satisfaction. Managers will be able to understand which factors need improvement, leading to more meaningful work. Employees, at all levels of business, government and nonprofit organizations, will be able to improve personal motivation, facilitating a more cohesive and thriving workforce.

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Newly Published: Murder, in Fact

New on our bookshelf:

Murder, in Fact: Disillusionment and Death in the American True Crime Novel
Lana A. Whited

With the 1965 publication of In Cold Blood, Truman Capote declared he broke new literary ground. But Capote’s “nonfiction novel” belongs to a long Naturalist tradition originating in the work of 19th-century French novelist Emile Zola. Naturalism offers a particular response to the increasing problem of violence in American life and its sociological implications.

This book traces the origins of the fact-based homicide novel that emerged in the mainstream of American literature with works such as Frank Norris’s McTeague and flourished in the twentieth century with works such as Theodore Dreiser’s An American Tragedy and Richard Wright’s Native Son. At their heart is a young man isolated from community who acts out in desperate circumstances against someone who reflects his isolation. A tension develops between how society views this killer and the way he is viewed by the novelist. The crimes central to these narratives epitomize the vast gap between those who can aspire to the so-called “American dream” and those with no realistic chance of achieving it.

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Newly Published: Lending a Hand, Seeing the World

New on our bookshelf:

Lending a Hand, Seeing the World: Memoir of an International Volunteer
Judith Love Schwab

Judith Love Schwab had many duties as an international volunteer, but some of the most memorable were following meerkats in the Kalahari Desert, collecting data on early gardens and buildings for archaeologists on Easter Island, helping care for underserved babies in Romania, teaching English in Poland, sifting for bones and shells in Portugal and working with severely disabled adults at an institution in Greece. While recounting these experiences, Schwab also examines the limitations imposed on her as a female growing up in the middle of the 20th century and the inhibitions she overcame to begin traveling in her fifties.

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Newly Published: Political Assassins, Terrorists and Related Conspiracies in American History

New on our bookshelf:

Political Assassins, Terrorists and Related Conspiracies in American History
Scott P. Johnson

Political assassinations and terrorism have both outraged and fascinated the public throughout American history, particularly in the modern era. Providing biographical summaries of more than 100 assassins and terrorists, this book aims at a more complete understanding of the motivations behind violent extremism.

The lives of the subjects are analyzed with a focus on psychological and ideological factors, along with details of investigations and criminal trials. Conspiracy theories are evaluated for credibility. Social media features prominently in explaining political violence by members of extremist groups in the 21st century, including radical Islamic terrorists, anti-abortion activists and white supremacists.

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Newly Published: American Yachts in Naval Service

New on our bookshelf:

American Yachts in Naval Service: A History from the Colonial Era to World War II
Kenneth Howard Goldman

Before there was a U.S. Navy, several Colonial navies were all-volunteer—both the crews and the vessels. From its beginnings through World War II, the Navy has relied on civilian sailors and their fast vessels to fill out its ranks of small combatants. Beginning with the birth of the yacht in 17th century Netherlands, this illustrated history traces the development of yacht racing, the advent of combustion-engine power and the contribution privately owned vessels have made to national defense. Vessels conscripted during the Civil War served both the Union and Confederacy—sometimes changing sides after capture. The first USS Wanderer saw the slave trade from both sides of the law. Aboard the USS Sylph, Oscar-winning actor Ernest Borgnine fought the Third Reich’s U-boats under sail. USS Sea Cloud made history as the first racially integrated ship in the Navy, three years before President Truman desegregated the military.

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Newly Published: Voices from Srebrenica

New on our bookshelf:

Voices from Srebrenica: Survivor Narratives of the Bosnian Genocide
Ann Petrila <I>and</I> Hasan Hasanović

In the hills of eastern Bosnia sits the small town of Srebrenica—once known for silver mines and health spas, now infamous for the genocide that occurred there during the Bosnian War. In July 1995, when the town fell to Serbian forces, 12,000 Muslim men and boys fled through the woods, seeking safe territory. Hunted for six days, more than 8000 were captured, killed at execution sites and later buried in mass graves. With harrowing personal narratives by survivors, this book provides eyewitness accounts of the Bosnian genocide, revealing stories of individual trauma, loss and resilience.

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Newly Published: The Supernatural and Fantastic in Short Detective Fiction

New on our bookshelf:

The Supernatural and Fantastic in Short Detective Fiction: A Survey, 1841–2000
Laird R. Blackwell

Although fantasy and supernatural literature have long and celebrated histories, many critics contend that the fantastic and the supernatural have no place in the logical, rational, world of the detective story. This book is the first extensive study of the fantastic in detective fiction and it explores the highly debated question of whether detective fiction and the fantastic can comfortably coexist.

The “locked room” mystery—which often uses the fantastic as a red herring to eventually be debunked by reason and logic—has long been among the most popular subgenres of detective fiction. This book also explores stories featuring almost supernaturally gifted detectives, stories where the supernatural is truly encountered, and stories with ambiguous endings.
Close to 500 detective stories from 1841 to 2000, in which the fantastic or supernatural plays a central role, are discussed and analyzed. Although not all the stories are judged to be successful as detective tales, in the great majority, the fantastic enlivens the tale and deepens the mystery without weakening the detective elements.

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Newly Published: Covid-19 Conspiracy Theories

New on our bookshelf:

COVID-19 Conspiracy Theories: QAnon, 5G, the New World Order and Other Viral Ideas
John Bodner, Wendy Welch, Ian Brodie, Anna Muldoon, Donald Leech and Ashley Marshall

As the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) spread around the world, so did theories, stories, and conspiracy beliefs about it. These theories infected communities from the halls of Congress to Facebook groups, spreading quickly in newspapers, on various social media and between friends. They spurred debate about the origins, treatment options and responses to the virus, creating distrust towards public health workers and suspicion of vaccines.  This book examines the most popular Covid-19 theories, connecting current conspiracy beliefs to long-standing fears and urban legends. By examining the vehicles and mechanisms of Covid-19 conspiracy, readers can better understand how theories spread and how to respond to misinformation.

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Newly Published: Obituaries in the Performing Arts, 2019

New on our bookshelf:

Obituaries in the Performing Arts, 2019
Harris M. Lentz III

The entertainment world lost many notable talents in 2019, including television icon Doris Day, iconic novelist Toni Morrison, groundbreaking director John Singleton, Broadway starlet Carol Channing and lovable Star Wars actor Peter Mayhew. Obituaries of actors, filmmakers, musicians, producers, dancers, composers, writers, animals and others associated with the performing arts who died in 2019 are included in this edition. Date, place and cause of death are provided for each, along with a career recap and a photograph. Filmographies are given for film and television performers.

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Newly Published: The Trauma-Sensitive School

New on our bookshelf:

The Trauma-Sensitive School: Transforming Education to Heal Social and Emotional Wounds
Gerald W. Neal

This examination of child trauma focuses on how it impacts cognitive, emotional and social development, and offers perspectives and strategies for fostering trauma-sensitive school cultures. Strong evidence suggests the central problems that underlie many of the behavioral and emotional obstacles that adversely impact learning are rarely identified by educators. When these issues are properly understood and addressed, teachers, administrators and parents can more effectively serve students’ emotional and social needs, resulting in dramatic improvement in academic outcomes, attendance, teacher retention and parental involvement.

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Newly Published: The High Points of Sobriety

New on our bookshelf:

The High Points of Sobriety: A Comical Guide to Addiction Recovery
Tony Rubino

This book chronicles the author’s experience with sobriety and recovery, offering relief and hope to recovering substance abusers and their loved ones. With optimism and humor, the author explores an enduringly human struggle—living with a consciousness addicted to alteration.

While documenting the world of active addiction and his recovery from substance abuse, the author guides others on their own journey with sobriety. Chapters provide reminders and meditations to the newly recovering; lists of activities and life experiences to enjoy in sobriety; insights into a world seen through “clear” eyes; etiquette for the refined recoverer; behavioral observations and humorous anecdotes from addicts on the mend.

Wrapped in satire and wit, this honest and personally reflective guidebook will be recognizable and helpful to recovering addicts and to their friends and families.

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Crime Con: The Life and Deaths of Cyril Wecht

CrimeCon: House Arrest streams live this Saturday, November 21!  Don’t miss it!

The Life and Deaths of Cyril Wecht: Memoirs of America’s Most Controversial Forensic Pathologist
By Dr. Cyril Wecht, M.D., J.D. and Jeff Sewald
Exposit Books (2020)

This memoir is written in the first person of Cyril Wecht, describing his life in detail, from early childhood to his experiences in forensic pathology, politics, popular media and more. Co-author Jeff Sewald’s experience as a documentarian shines through the addition of interviews from the people who have known Cyril best. Reading like a well-written documentary script, the text is often accentuated with reflections from Cyrils friends, family, colleagues and contemporaries, all describing their own relationships with Cyril. One common thread unites many of the interviews– talk of Cyril’s natural expertise, his impeccable instincts and the qualities that make him the best at what he does. 

Dr. Wecht also details his involvement in high-profile cases, discussing his observations of cases that contribute to his fascinating conclusions. In the midst of a worldwide resurgence in true crime interest, Cyril’s notes pull back the curtain on some of the most popular and notorious cases, giving readers technical forensic insights that are not often discussed. 

While much of the book is an autobiography and professional chronology, the book is also a rumination on Dr. Wecht’s philosophies on justice. Dr. Wecht writes extensively on instances of miscarried justice and police brutality, discussing the well-known cases of Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, Freddie Gray and others. But for Cyril, this memoir serves as his chance to extend his lifelong pursuit of justice towards himself. Dr. Wecht details his own experiences with the law and powers that be, as he gives his own perspective of the criminal and civil cases brought against him during his time as Allegheny County Coroner, and seeks to clear the air about his battles with politicians, media organizations, and others. As Dr. Wecht writes, “If I had been a bit more diplomatic and patient, and a little less antagonistic and controversial, I might have achieved more.” To which Joshua Axelrod of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette responds “But then, he wouldn’t be Cyril Wecht.”

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CrimeCon: Out for Queer Blood

Out for Queer Blood
The Murder of Fernando Rios and the Failure of New Orleans Justice
By Clayton Delery
Exposit Books (2017)

Little is known about the life of Fernando Rios. He was 26, a professional tour guide in New Orleans’ French Quarter. He was Latino, working for a travel service based in Mexico City. He had no known family in the U.S. He was gay.

But his death, and the trial of his assailants was headline news in late 1950s New Orleans.

On a September evening in 1958, three white Tulane University undergraduates went out for a night in the Quarter, decided they should “roll a queer,” and went looking for a gay man to assault. They encountered Rios in a bar, offered to give him a ride back to his hotel, and beat him to death in an alley in Jackson Square.

In perhaps the earliest example of the “gay panic” defense, the defendants argued they were within their rights to attack Rios because he had made an “improper advance.” When the jury acquitted the three, the courtroom cheered.

The trial took place against the backdrop of a full-swing “drive against the deviants,” a city-wide campaign against New Orleans’ sizeable gay community, in particular those in its largest “gayborhood,” the French Quarter.

Clayton Delery’s Lambda Award-winning book provides a deeply researched account of the anti-gay hate crime and the trial, and chronicles the social and political climate of a time and place in America where such a crime was inevitable. An interview with the son of one of Rios’ assailants is included.

Delery’s previous book, The Up Stairs Lounge Arson, named Book of the Year by the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities in 2015, examines the 1973 fire in a New Orleans gay bar that killed 32 people—three decades before the 2006 Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando—and stands as the deadliest fire in the city’s history. Though arson was suspected, and police identified a likely culprit, no arrest was ever made

Links:

https://www.lambdaliterary.org/2018/02/writer-clayton-delery-on-reconstructing-a-hate-crime/

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CrimeCon: The Sadist, the Hitman and the Murder of Jane Bashara

CrimeCon: House Arrest streams live this Saturday, November 21!  Don’t miss it!

The Sadist, the Hitman and the Murder of Jane Bashara
By George Hunter and Lynn Rosenthal
Exposit Books (2018)

Robert “Big Bob” and Jane Bashara were a seemingly perfect couple, respected members of Detroit’s upscale suburban Grosse Pointe community. Bob, a businessman, Rotary Club President, church usher, soccer dad, and philanthropist. Jane, the senior manager for an energy firm, who organized charity events with her husband. They had two children and had been married for 26 years.

On January 24, 2012, Bob filed a missing person report with Grosse Pointe Park Police—Jane was missing, last seen by co-workers that afternoon. The next morning, a tow-truck driver discovered her body in the backseat of her Mercedes, parked in an alley on Detroit’s east side. She had died of strangulation, her broken fingernails indicating she had fought for her life.

After a high-profile trial spanning several weeks, with testimony from more than 70 witnesses (including his children, and former mistress) Bob Bashara was convicted in December 2014 on five felony counts, including first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit first-degree murder, and was sentenced to life in prison without parole.

But Bob had not killed Jane himself; he had hired Joseph Gents, his developmentally disabled former handyman, giving him $2000 and a used Cadillac for the job.

 

During the sensational trial, the shadowy side of Bashara’s life came to light. Posting ads on online BDSM forums (“Kneel and have all your desires and cravings opened to you…are you ready for Master Bob?”) he sought sex slaves to rule over in a “dungeon” in the basement of one of his properties. The substantial cost of attracting and maintaining a harem of submissives, and feeding his own cocaine habit, had furnished the motive for Jane’s murder: her sizeable retirement account.

Veteran Detroit crime beat reporter George Hunter and his wife Lynn Rosnethall’s meticulous account tells the complete story of the crime, the nationally watched investigation and trials, and the lives that were affected.

In August 2020, Bob Bashara died in prison at age 62.

The case was featured on the NBC true crime series American Greed: Deadly Rich in 2019 (S1 E102 “The Dungeon Master”)

Links:

https://www.macombdaily.com/multimedia/photos-looking-back-at-the-bob-bashara-case/collection_b16034a4-e22d-11ea-9703-fb963d64a29c.html#1

https://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/local/wayne-county/2019/05/24/bob-bashara-turns-federal-courts-try-get-out-prison/1226174001/

https://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/local/wayne-county/2020/08/18/bob-bashara-convicted-having-wife-killed-dies-prison/3394028001/

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True crime sale starts now!

Chilly weather calls for chilling stories, which are exactly what you’ll find in our new true crime catalog. Packed with brand-new titles like The Snow Killings and classics like The Bundy Murders, our catalog features reads that will keep you engaged during this very peculiar holiday season. Just in time for CrimeCon’s virtual House Arrest event, our entire true crime catalog will be 30% off from this Friday, November 20, to November 30— just use coupon code TRUECRIME30 at checkout on our website. And if you’re attending CrimeCon’s House Arrest, be sure to visit McFarland’s virtual booth where we’ll be hosting live streams and discussing our most popular true crime books.

Browse our true crime catalog here.

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CRIMECON: The Snow Killings

CrimeCon: House Arrest streams live this Saturday, November 21!  Don’t miss it!

The Snow Killings
Inside the Oakland County Child Killer Investigation
By Marney Keenan
Exposit Books (2020)

In 1976–77, over a period of 13 months, four children ages 10–12 (two boys and two girls) were abducted from their suburban Detroit neighborhoods in Oakland County, Michigan—the second-most populous county in the state, and among the most affluent in the country. Each was held by their captors for periods of 4 to 19 days before their bodies were dumped—still warm and dressed in the clothes they were wearing when they vanished—near roadsides at locations miles from where they were last seen. Autopsies found the boys had been sexually assaulted. The murders spread mass fear across southeast Michigan for years, with far-reaching effects on the community.

In what was then the largest manhunt in U.S. history, a multi-agency law enforcement task force—at one point operating with as many as 200–300 detectives and a sizeable USDOJ grant—spent two years investigating the murders, fielding 18,000 tips and following up thousands of leads before shutting down in 1978, having filed no charges nor naming any persons of interest.

In the end, law enforcement and prosecutors shrugged, telling the public they had exhausted all leads and resources and calling the case unsolved (but not closed). Forty-five years later, the Oakland County Child Killings case remains open (and in recent years is quite active again) but still officially unsolved.

Beginning in the mid-2000s, through a couple of incredibly felicitous discoveries, a few strong suspects were identified—all of them known pedophiles, overlooked (or buried) by the initial task force, or discovered through subsequent cold-case investigations by the longest-serving detective on the case, Cory Williams (now retired from law enforcement).

Each suspect is connected to the crimes by damning circumstantial or physical evidence. One, the son of a highly-placed General Motors executive, was freed on unrelated criminal sexual conduct charges a few weeks before the fourth victim was found dead in a ditch—and a year and a half before he himself was found dead of “suicide” under questionable circumstances.

His close associate, earlier convicted on 45 counts of CSC with minors in California, had no family influence backing him and went to prison for life, where he died in 1995, having never again been questioned about the OCCK crimes.

 

Three others are still living: two are serving life in prison on other CSC charges; one jumped parole in October and remains at large. But none are telling what they must know about the crimes.

All of these men were directly or indirectly associated with a large, highly-organized ring of child exploiters and pornographers operating out of Detroit and in other places across Michigan, including North Fox Island in Lake Michigan, where a wealthy Jeffery Epstein-type figure established a “summer camp” for wayward boys, with the help of government funding, that was in fact a front for a highly profitable child pornography and prostitution operation.

Marney Keenan’s The Snow Killings covers the 45-year investigation in comprehensive detail, and reveals evidence of a multi-faceted, decades-long cover-up in the case, beginning during the initial task force investigation and continuing today among authorities handling the case.

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Newly Published: Grand Mal

New on our bookshelf:

Grand Mal: A Life with Late Onset Epilepsy
Robert V. Dodge

After developing epilepsy as an adult, Robert Dodge experienced increasingly dangerous seizures and was seen by specialists on five continents. His firsthand account of adapting to life with epilepsy begins with an overview of this often misunderstood neurological disorder—still attributed to demonic possession in some parts of the world—and recounts his struggle as his seizures became life-threatening. Dodge describes his treatments and their side effects, including four ineffective surgeries that removed an eighth of his brain, and the personal challenges of social stigma.

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Newly Published: The Cinema of Ermanno Olmi

New on our bookshelf:

The Cinema of Ermanno Olmi
Ian Pettigrew

Ermanno Olmi is one of cinema’s great, unsung filmmakers. Emerging onto the Italian art film scene just as the last canonical neo-realist movies were released in the late 1950s and early 1960s, several of Olmi’s films, including Il Posto (1961), The Tree of Wooden Clogs (1978) and The Legend of the Holy Drinker (1988), won top prizes at Cannes and Venice. However, the majority of his work has remained unappreciated. This, the first English language book on Olmi, explores the director’s style and evolving environmentalism, from his early, institutional short films, made while working at an Italian energy company, to his 19 feature films.

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Newly Published: Boone Before Boone

New on our bookshelf:

Boone Before Boone: The Archaeological Record of Northwestern North Carolina Through 1769
Tom Whyte

Native Americans have occupied the mountains of northwestern North Carolina for around 14,000 years. This book tells the story of their lives, adaptations, responses to climate change, and ultimately, the devastation brought on by encounters with Europeans. After a brief introduction to archaeology, the book covers each time period, chapter by chapter, beginning with the Paleoindian period in the Ice Age and ending with the arrival of Daniel Boone in 1769, with descriptions and interpretations of archaeological evidence for each time period. Each chapter begins with a fictional vignette to kindle the reader’s imaginings of ancient human life in the mountains, and includes descriptions and numerous images of sites and artifacts discovered in Boone, North Carolina, and the surrounding region.

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Newly Published: Pakistan Since Independence

New on our bookshelf:

Pakistan Since Independence: A History, 1947 to Today
Stanley B. Sprague

This concise and balanced account details Pakistan’s turbulent 73-year history of civil war, military coups, political assassinations, wars with India, cooperation with the U.S. during the Afghan-Soviet war, and events following 9/11. An unpredictable nuclear nation, Pakistan has been variously described as the center of international terrorism, the world’s biggest nuclear weapons proliferator, the most dangerous place in the world and, some experts predict, the most likely site of the world’s first nuclear war.

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Newly Published: The National Security League, 1914–1922

New on our bookshelf:

The National Security League, 1914–1922: Wall Street and the War Machine
Kerry Segrave

The early 20th century saw the founding of the National Security League, a nationalistic nonprofit organization committed to an expanded military, conscripted service and meritocracy. This book details its history, from its formation in December 1914 through 1922, at which point it was a spent force in decline. Founded by wealthy corporate lawyers based in New York City, it had secret backers in the capitalist class, who had two goals in mind. One was to profit immensely from the newly begun World War I. The other was to control the working classes in times of both war and peace.

This agenda was presented to the public under the guise of preparedness, patriotism, and Americanization. Although the league was eventually found by Congress to have violated election spending limits, no sanctions of any kind were ever applied. This history details the secret machinations of an organization dedicated to solidifying the grip of the capitalist class over workers, all under the cover of American pride.

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Newly Published: The Herrin Massacre of 1922

New on our bookshelf:

The Herrin Massacre of 1922: Blood and Coal in the Heart of America
Greg Bailey

In 1922, a coal miner strike spread across the United States, swallowing the heavily-unionized mining town of Herrin, Illinois. When the owner of the town’s local mine hired non-union workers to break the strike, violent conflict broke out between the strikebreakers and unionized miners, who were all heavily armed. When strikebreakers surrendered and were promised safe passage home, the unionized miners began executing them before large, cheering crowds.

This book tells the cruel truth behind the story that the coal industry tried to suppress and that Herrin wants to forget. A thorough account of the massacre and its aftermath, this book sets a heartland tragedy against the rise and decline of the coal industry.

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Newly Published: Law Enforcement in American Cinema, 1894–1952

New on our bookshelf:

Law Enforcement in American Cinema, 1894–1952
George Beck

Widespread law enforcement or formal policing outside of cities appeared in the early 20th century around the same time the early film industry was developing—the two evolved in tandem, intersecting in meaningful ways. Much scholarship has focused on portrayals of the criminal in early American cinema, yet little has been written about depictions of the criminal’s antagonist. This history examines how different on-screen representations shifted public perception of law enforcement—initially seen as a suspicious or intrusive institution, then as a power for the common good.

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Newly Published: British Thrillers, 1950–1979

New on our bookshelf:

British Thrillers, 1950–1979: 845 Films of Suspense, Mystery, Murder and Espionage
Franz Antony Clinton

The three decades following WWII are considered the golden age of the British thriller film. Newer characters like James Bond, along with established icons such as Sherlock Holmes, Miss Marple and The Saint, all contributed to the era’s bountiful array of cinematic mystery, danger, excitement and suspense. For the first time, the extensive output of British thrillers from 1950 to 1979 is covered in one volume.

Themed chapters cover a total of 845 films including spy thrillers, mystery thrillers, psychological thrillers, action-adventure thrillers, and crime thrillers. Within these chapters, films appear chronologically, each with a synopsis/review. Additional information provided for each film includes production companies and alternate British and U.S. titles, and the work includes eight useful appendices.

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Newly Published: James Strong

New on our bookshelf:

James Strong: A Biography of the Methodist Scholar
Samuel J. Rogal

This is the first full biography of Biblical scholar and theological seminary professor James Strong (1822–1894). It describes his upbringing, early and higher education, the schools and colleges where he taught, his academic colleagues, his contributions to the development of nineteenth-century American Methodism, and his numerous publications—particularly his Biblical Concordance (1894) which continues as a standard and essential reference work. It includes edited versions of selected sermons and letters never before published, as well as comments from his students, the details of his experience in the development of the early nineteenth-century American railroad system, and detailed obituaries and reactions to his death.

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Newly Published: Pro Sports in 1993

New on our bookshelf:

Pro Sports in 1993: A Signature Season in Football, Basketball, Hockey and Baseball
David Ostrowsky

America and Canada both saw historic sports milestones in 1993. While the Dallas Cowboys and Chicago Bulls reigned supreme, the Toronto Blue Jays won a second consecutive World Series on a walk-off homer, and the Montreal Canadiens emerged as the last Canadian team to win a Stanley Cup. While stars like Michael Jordan, Wayne Gretzky and Joe Montana overcame physical and emotional challenges to make history, teams were performing unprecedented feats, from the Buffalo Bills’ unrivaled comeback on Wild Card Weekend to the Baltimore Orioles’ unveiling of their transformative ballpark design during All-Star Week. Drawing on original interviews with dozens of former players and coaches, this book revisits an exceptional sports year for fans across North America, with memorable stories involving some of the most iconic sports figures of the 1990s.

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Newly Published: The Surviving Twin

New on our bookshelf:

The Surviving Twin: A Memoir of Asperger’s, Anorexia and Loss
Diana Lockwood

This memoir chronicles the unique ordeals of identical twin sisters Diana and Julia Lockwood. Even among twins, Diana and Julia were especially close and deeply entwined—they were more than just sisters or best friends, they were like one soul in two bodies. While their total attunement sometimes saved them in funny and unexpected ways, it also eventually destroyed them.

A survivor of sexual assault and anorexia and living with Asperger’s, the author tells her own life story while weaving Julia’s letters and journal entries into the text. While Diana survived the struggles that led her to three suicide attempts, her twin unfortunately took her own life only a year after their father did the same. This book explores the life and relationship of twins separated by tragedy and follows a woman’s struggle to make it on her own.

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Newly Published: Chuck Palahniuk and the Comic Grotesque

New on our bookshelf:

Chuck Palahniuk and the Comic Grotesque: Subversion of Ideology in the Fiction
David McCracken

With the success of Fight Club, his novel-turned-movie, Chuck Palahniuk has become noticed for accurately capturing the exploitation of power in America in the 21st century. With cynicism and skepticism, he satirizes the manipulative aspects of ideologies and beliefs pushing society’s understanding of the norm.

In this work, Palahniuk’s characters are analyzed as people who rebel against the systems in control. Mikhail Bakhtin’s theory is applied to explain Palahniuk’s application of the comic grotesque; theories from Louis Althusser and Slavoj Žižek help reveal aspects of ideology in Palahniuk’s writing.

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Newly Published: Race Conscious Pedagogy

New on our bookshelf:

Race Conscious Pedagogy: Disrupting Racism at Majority White Schools
Todd M. Mealy

In 1935, W.E.B. Du Bois asked, “Does the Negro need separate schools?” His stunning query spoke to the erasure of cultural relevancy in the classroom and to reassurances given to White supremacy through curricula and pedagogy.

Two decades later, as the Supreme Court ordered public schools to desegregate, educators still overlooked the intimations of his question. This book reflects upon the role K-12 education has played in enabling America’s enduring racial tensions. Combining historical analysis, personal experience, and a theoretical exploration of critical race pedagogy, this book calls for placing race at the center of the pedagogical mission.

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Newly Published: Wonder Women and Bad Girls

New on our bookshelf:

Wonder Women and Bad Girls: Superheroine and Supervillainess Archetypes in Popular Media
Valerie Estelle Frankel

Wonder Woman, Harley Quinn, Shuri, and Black Widow. These four characters portray very different versions of women: the superheroine, the abuse victim, the fourth wave princess, and the spy, respectively. In this in-depth analysis of female characters in superhero media, the author begins by identifying ten eras of superhero media defined by the way they portray women. Following this, the various archetypes of superheroines are classified into four categories: boundary crossers, good girls, outcasts, and those that reclaim power. From Golden Age comics through today’s hottest films, heroines have been surprisingly assertive, diverse, and remarkable in this celebration of all the archetypes.

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Newly Published: Vampire Films Around the World

New on our bookshelf:

Vampire Films Around the World: Essays on the Cinematic Undead of Sixteen Cultures
Edited by James Aubrey

Vampires are arguably the most popular and most paradoxical of gothic monsters: life draining yet passionate, feared yet fascinating, dead yet immortal. Vampire content produces exquisitely suspenseful stories that, combined with motion picture filmmaking, reveal much about the cultures that enable vampire film production and the audiences they attract.

This collection of essays is generously illustrated and ranges across sixteen cultures on five continents, including the films Let the Right One In, What We Do in the Shadows, Cronos, and We Are the Night, among many others. Distinctly different kinds of European vampires have originated in Ireland, Germany, Sweden, and Serbia. North American vampires are represented by films from Mexico, Canada, and the USA. Middle Eastern locations include Tangier, Morocco, and a fictional city in Iran. South Asia has produced Bollywood vampire films, and east Asian vampires are represented by films from Korea, China, and Japan. Some of the most recent vampire movies have come from Australia and New Zealand. These essays also look at vampire films through lenses of gender, post-colonialism, camp, and otherness as well as the evolution of the vampiric character in cinema worldwide, together constituting a mosaic of the cinematic undead.

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Newly Published: Domesticated Bachelors and Femininity in Victorian Novels

New on our bookshelf:

Domesticated Bachelors and Femininity in Victorian Novels
Jennifer Beauvais

Domestic issues, chastity, morality, marriage and love are concerns we typically associate with Victorian female characters. But what happens when men in Victorian novels begin to engage in this type of feminine discourse? While we are familiar with certain Victorian women seeking freedom by moving beyond the domestic sphere, there is an equally interesting movement by the domestic man into the private space through his performance of femininity.

This book defines the domesticated bachelor, examines the effects of the blurring of boundaries between the public and private spheres, and traces the evolution of the public discourse on masculinity in novels such as Brontë’s Shirley, Braddon’s Lady Audley’s Secret, Eliot’s Daniel Deronda, and Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. This bachelor, along with his female counterpart, the New Woman, opens up for discussion new definitions of Victorian masculinity and gender boundaries and blurs the rigid distinction between the gendered spaces thought to be in place during the Victorian period.

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Newly Published: War Pigeons

New on our bookshelf:

War Pigeons: Winged Couriers in the U.S. Military, 1878–1957
Elizabeth G. Macalaster

For more than seven decades, homing pigeons provided the U.S. military with its fastest most reliable means of communication. Originally bred for racing in the early 1800s, homing pigeons were later trained by pigeoneers to fly up to 60 mph for hundreds of miles, and served the United States for almost 75 years, through four wars on four continents. Barely weighing a pound, these extraordinary birds carried messages in and out of gas, smoke, exploding bombs and gunfire. They flew through jungles, deserts and mountains, not faltering even when faced with large expanses of ocean to cross. Sometimes they arrived nearly dead from wounds or exhaustion, refusing to give up until they reached their objective.

This book is the first complete account of the remarkable service that homing pigeons provided for the American armed forces, from its fledgling beginnings after the Civil War to the birds’ invaluable role in communications in every branch of the U.S. military through both World Wars and beyond. Personal narratives, primary sources and news articles tell the story of the pigeons’ recruitment and training in the U.S., their deployment abroad and use on the home front.

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Newly Published: Into Africa, Out of Academia

New on our bookshelf:

Into Africa, Out of Academia: A Doctor’s Memoir
Kwan Kew Lai

In 2006, Kwan Kew Lai left her full-time position as a professor in the United States to provide medical humanitarian aid to the remote villages and the war-torn areas of Africa. This memoir follows her experiences from 2006 to 2013 as she provided care during the HIV/AIDs epidemics, after natural disasters, and as a relief doctor in refugee camps in Kenya, Libya, Uganda and in South Sudan, where civil war virtually wiped out all existing healthcare facilities.

Throughout her memoir, Lai recounts intimate encounters with refugees and internally displaced people in camps and in hospitals with limited resources, telling tales of their resilience, unflinching courage, and survival through extreme hardship. Her writing provides insight into communities and transports readers to heart-achingly beautiful parts of Africa not frequented by the usual travelers. This is a deeply personal account of the huge disparities in the healthcare system of our “global village” and is a call to action for readers to understand the interconnectedness of the modern world, the needs of less developed neighbors, and the shortcomings of their healthcare systems.