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Newly Published: The Musical Artistry of Rap

New on our bookshelf today:

The Musical Artistry of Rap
Martin E. Connor

For years Rap artists have met with mixed reception—acclaimed by fans yet largely overlooked by scholars. Focusing on 135 tracks from 56 artists, this survey appraises the artistry of the genre with updates to the traditional methods and measures of musicology.

Rap synthesizes rhythmic vocals with complex beats, intonational systems, song structures, orchestration and instrumentalism. The author advances a rethinking of musical notation and challenges the conventional understanding of Rap through analysis of such artists as Eminem, Kanye West and Jean Grae.

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Newly Published: The Call to the Hall

New on our bookshelf today:

The Call to the Hall: When Baseball’s Highest Honor Came to 31 Legends of the Sport
Kevin Warneke and David C. Ogden

The names on the cast-bronze plaques hanging in the National Baseball Hall of Fame embody the history and drama of the sport—they are the royalty of baseball. Yet many inductees believed their entry into the Hall was anything but guaranteed, and even some who waited by the phone for the fateful “call to the Hall” were stunned to hear the news. Reactions to the call varied from stoicism to overwhelming emotion, but for most of the 31 inductees interviewed in this book, it was a moment of reflection and gratitude. In other cases, the call came years too late and family members received the posthumous honor.

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Newly Published: Egyptian Belly Dance in Transition

New on our bookshelf today:

Egyptian Belly Dance in Transition: The Raqs Sharqi Revolution, 1890–1930
Heather D. Ward

Raqs sharqi, the Egyptian dance form also known as belly dance, has for generations captured imaginations around the globe. Yet its origins have been obscured by misinformation and conjecture, rooted in Orientalist attitudes about the Middle East—a widely accepted narrative suggests the dance was created in response to Western influences and desires. Drawing on an array of primary sources, the author traces the early development of raqs sharqi in the context of contemporary trends in Egyptian arts and entertainment. The dance is revealed to be a hybrid cultural expression, emerging with the formation of Egyptian national identity at the end of the 19th century, when Egypt was occupied by the British.

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Newly Published: United States Revenue and Coast Guard Cutters in Naval Warfare, 1790–1918

New on our bookshelf today:

United States Revenue and Coast Guard Cutters in Naval Warfare, 1790–1918
Thomas P. Ostrom with Maps by David H. Allen

Covering the history of the U.S. Coast Guard from 1790—when it was called the U.S. Revenue Marine—through World War I, this book describes the service’s national defense missions, including actions during the War of 1812, clashes with pirates, slave ships and Seminole Indians, the Civil War and the Spanish-American War. During World War I the USCG supported U.S. Navy operations across the Atlantic, escorted merchant convoys and engaged in anti-submarine warfare. Original maps are included.

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Newly Published: North Korea and Myanmar

New on our bookshelf today:

North Korea and Myanmar: Divergent Paths
Andray Abrahamian

North Korea and Myanmar (Burma) are Asia’s most mysterious, tragic stories. For decades they were infamous as the region’s most militarized and repressed societies, self-isolated and under sanctions by the international community while, from Singapore to Japan, the rest of Asia saw historic wealth creation and growing middle class security.
For Burma, the threat was internal: insurgent factions clashed with the government and each other. For North Korea, it was external: a hostile superpower—the United States—and a far more successful rival state—South Korea—occupying half of the Korean peninsula.
Over time, Myanmar defeated its enemies, giving it space to explore a form of democratization and openness that has led to reintegration into international society. Meanwhile, North Korea’s regime believes its nuclear arsenal—the primary reason for their pariah status—is vital to survival.

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Newly Published: Scenes from an Automotive Wonderland

New on our bookshelf today:

Scenes from an Automotive Wonderland: Remarkable Cars Spotted in Postwar Europe
Gregory A. Cagle

Gregory Cagle was a 10-year-old car fanatic when his family moved from New Jersey to Germany in 1956. For the next five years he photographed unusual, rare and sometimes bizarre automobiles throughout Europe. This book features 105 specimens of auto exotica, captured with Cagle’s Iloca Rapid-B 35mm camera—not showpieces in museums but daily drivers in their natural habitats. In the background can be glimpsed, here and there, the mood of postwar Europe. The story behind each photo is told, with dates and locations, information and history about the cars and some of their owners, along with Cagle’s personal anecdotes.

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New in Softcover: Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff

Now available in softcover:

Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff: The Expanded Story of a Haunting Collaboration, with a Complete Filmography of Their Films Together
Gregory William Mank

Dracula and Frankenstein’s Monster are horror cinema icons, and the actors most deeply associated with the two roles also shared a unique friendship. Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff starred in dozens of black-and-white horror films, and over the years managed to collaborate on and co-star in eight movies. Through dozens of interviews and extensive archival research, this greatly expanded new edition examines the Golden Age of Hollywood, the era in which both stars worked, recreates the shooting of Lugosi and Karloff’s mutual films, examines their odd and moving personal relationship and analyzes their ongoing legacies. Features include a fully detailed filmography of the eight Karloff and Lugosi films, full summaries of both men’s careers and more than 250 photographs, some in color.

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Newly Published: Another Me

New on our bookshelf today:

Another Me: The Doppelganger in 21st Century Fiction, Television and Film
Heather Duerre Humann

A figure from ancient folklore, the doppelgänger—in fiction a character’s sinister look-alike—continues to reemerge in literature, television and film. The modern-day doppelganger (“double-goer” in German) is typically depicted in a traditional form adapted to reflect present-day social anxieties. Focusing on a broad range of narratives, the author explores 21st century representations in novels (Audrey Niffenegger’s Her Fearful Symmetry, José Saramago’s The Double), TV shows (Orphan Black, Battlestar Galactica, Ringer) and movies (The Island, The Prestige, Oblivion).

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Four New Titles Reviewed in Choice

Winston Churchill, Myth and RealityThe January issue of Choice features four recommended McFarland titles!

Winston Churchill, Myth and Reality: What He Actually Did and Said
Richard M. Langworth
“Langworth fires a stunning barrage in the long-running battle over Churchill’s reputation…effectively demolishes many core myths…a required addition to any collection on Churchill…essential.”

The Lost Colony of Roanoke: New Perspectives
Brandon Fullam
“Persuasively written, coherent, and in-depth…fresh and well thought out…a fascinating account…well-researched…recommended.”

Science Is Not What You Think: How It Has Changed, Why We Can’t Trust It, How It Can Be Fixed
Henry H. Bauer
“Recommended.”

For the Gay Stage: A Guide to 456 Plays, Aristophanes to Peter Gill
Drewey Wayne Gunn
“Comprehensive…recommended for all theater and gay studies collections.”

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Newly Published: That Bloody Hill

That Bloody HillNew on our bookshelf today:

That Bloody Hill: Hilliard’s Legion at Chickamauga
Lee Elder

Hilliard’s Legion—a part of Archibald Gracie’s Brigade of Alabama Confederates—at the battle of Chickamauga. The author shows conclusively that Gracie’s command was never forced from the berm at the top of the Horseshoe Ridge and that some men from Hilliard’s Legion penetrated to the top of the Ridge. A reexamination of the battle’s conclusion highlights the Legion’s role in the final movement.

A Medal of Honor citation is corrected and the Legion’s post-war contributions are explored. A complete roster is included, with biographical notes on most of the soldiers.