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Newly Published: Roger C. Sullivan and the Triumph of the Chicago Democratic Machine, 1908–1920

New on our bookshelf:

Roger C. Sullivan and the Triumph of the Chicago Democratic Machine, 1908–1920
Richard Allen Morton

Between 1908 and 1920, Roger C. Sullivan and his political allies consolidated their control of the Chicago and Illinois Democratic parties, creating the enduring structure known as the “Chicago Democratic machine.” Not a personal faction nor tied to any cause, it was a coalition of professional political operatives employing business principles to achieve legal profit and advantage.

Sullivan was its chief organizer and first “boss,” rising to primacy after many political battles—with William Jennings Bryan, among others—and went on to become a kingmaker who helped Woodrow Wilson win the presidency. By the time of his death, Sullivan was widely respected, his achievements recognized even by those who deplored his politics.

Based upon new research, this first comprehensive study of Sullivan and the early days of the Chicago “machine” focuses on the daily realities of the city’s politics and the personalities who shaped them.

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Newly Published: The Infamous Cherry Sisters

New on our bookshelf:
The Infamous Cherry Sisters: The Worst Act in Vaudeville
By: Darryl W. Bullock

Raised in poverty on an Iowa farm, the Cherry Sisters had little education and no training. But they possessed a burning desire to take to the stage and show the world what they could do—and what they could do was awful. Their unique act was “so bad it was good.” When the sisters took the stage, they were met with rotten fruit and vegetables, festering meat, dead cats… Riots often broke out after (and sometimes during) their concerts, but they carried on, changing attitudes—and laws—along the way.

This book follows the five women through their forty-year career in vaudeville theaters across the U.S. Proud, fearless and fiercely independent in a time when women were treated as second-class citizens, the Cherry Sisters insisted that their voices be heard.

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Newly Published: Army of the Cumberland

New on our bookshelf today:
Army of the Cumberland: Organization, Strength, Casualties, 1862-1865
By: Darrell L. Collins

Comprehensively researched from the 128 volumes of the reference work commonly referred to as the Official Records, this book delves deeply into the structural and statistical history of the Union army that served primarily in Tennessee, Georgia and the Carolinas during the American Civil War.

Extensive details are provided regarding the army’s evolving organization, its constantly fluctuating strength, and the sacrifices made during its many campaigns and battles.

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Three Books Named Choice Outstanding Academic Titles

Congratulations to these Choice Outstanding Academic Titles!

Winston Churchill, Myth and Reality: What He Actually Did and Said
Richard M. Langworth

Freedom Narratives of African American Women: A Study of 19th Century Writings
Janaka Bowman Lewis

The Postmodern Joy of Role-Playing Games: Agency, Ritual and Meaning in the Medium
René Reinhold Schallegger

 

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Newly Published: Tony Scott

New on our bookshelf:

Tony Scott: A Filmmaker on Fire
Larry Taylor

Tony Scott got his start as a film director when he joined his brother at the lucrative commercial directing company Ridley Scott Associates. After directing Top Gun—his second film, which changed not only the trajectory of his own life but of the entire action-movie industry—Scott’s career would be a roller coaster of blockbuster hits, personal films and confounding failures.

With extensive research and original interviews with actors, cinematographers and writers, this book documents Tony Scott’s larger-than-life persona from his early days to his untimely death, which left a hole in genre filmmaking yet to be filled.

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Newly Published: The 22nd Michigan Infantry and the Road to Chickamauga

New on our bookshelf:

The 22nd Michigan Infantry and the Road to Chickamauga
John Cohassey

Called upon to take a hill at the 1863 Battle of Chickamauga, the untested 22nd Michigan Infantry helped to save General George H. Thomas’ right flank. Formed in 1862, the regiment witnessed slavery and encountered runaways in the border state of Kentucky, faced near starvation during the siege of Chattanooga and marched to Atlanta as General Thomas’ provost guard.

This history explores the 22nd’s day-to-day experiences in Kentucky, Tennessee and Georgia. The author describes the challenges faced by volunteer farm boys, shopkeepers, school teachers and lawyers as they faced death, disease and starvation on battlefields and in Confederate prisons.

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Newly Published: Making the Cut

New on our bookshelf:

Making the Cut: Life Inside the PGA Tour System
John A. Fortunato

The success of the PGA TOUR lies in the compelling narratives of the golfers’ individual quests for achievement—making the tournament cut, qualifying for the FedEx Cup Playoffs, and the ultimate challenge of making it onto the TOUR, where victory is often determined by a single stroke. Based on interviews with more than twenty alumni, this book provides new insight into the TOUR system, the events affecting tournament outcomes, and the career-changing opportunities that result.

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Newly Published: The Backyard Railroader

New on our bookshelf:

The Backyard Railroader: Building and Operating a Miniature Steam Locomotive
Jeff Frost

Steam locomotives dominated the railways from the 1820s through the 1960s. Today almost all of them have been replaced with electric and diesel engines, yet the fascination surrounding steam-powered trains has not dwindled. A diverse community of enthusiasts—from mechanics to teachers to lawyers—have taken up the hobby of building and running steam locomotives in their own backyards.
Drawing on the author’s extensive experience and research, this guide covers the materials, tools, skills and technical information needed to get started or to improve an existing design.

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Newly Published: America Goes Hawaiian

New on our bookshelf:

America Goes Hawaiian: The Influence of Pacific Island Culture on the Mainland
Geoff Alexander

How did Hawaiian and Polynesian culture come to dramatically alter American music, fashion and decor, as well as ideas about race, in less than a century? It began with mainland hula and musical performances in the late 19th century, rose dramatically as millions shipped to Hawaii during the Pacific War, then made big leap with the advent of low-cost air travel.

By the end of the 1950s, mainlanders were hosting tiki parties, listening to exotic music, lazing on rattan furniture in Hawaiian shirts and, of course, surfing. The author describes how this cultural conquest came about and the people and events that led to it.

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Newly Published: America’s “Foreign Legion”

New on our bookshelf:

America’s “Foreign Legion”: Immigrant Soldiers in the Great War
Dennis A. Connole

Immigrant American soldiers played an important, often underrated role in World War I. Those who were non-citizens had no obligation to participate in the war, though many volunteered. Due to language barriers that prevented them from receiving proper training, they were often given the most dangerous and dirty jobs.

The impetus for this book was the story of Matthew Guerra (the author’s great-uncle). He immigrated to America from Italy around age 12. He was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1918 and shipped to France, where he joined the 58th Infantry Regiment of the 4th “Ivy” Division and participated in the St. Mihiel and Meuse-Argonne offensives. Wounded in the Bois de Fays, the 22-year-old Guerra died in a field hospital.

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Newly Published: African Americans and American Indians in the Revolutionary War

New on our bookshelf:

African Americans and American Indians in the Revolutionary War
Jack Darrell Crowder

At the time of the Revolutionary War, a fifth of the Colonial population was African American. By 1779, 15 percent of the Continental Army were former slaves, while the Navy recruited both free men and slaves. More than 5000 black Americans fought for independence in an integrated military—it would be the last until the Korean War.

The majority of Indian tribes sided with the British yet some Native Americans rallied to the American cause and suffered heavy losses. Of 26 Wampanoag enlistees from the small town of Mashpee on Cape Cod, only one came home. Half of the Pequots who went to war did not survive. Mohegans John and Samuel Ashbow fought at Bunker Hill. Samuel was killed there—the first Native American to die in the Revolution.

This history recounts the sacrifices made by forgotten people of color to gain independence for the people who enslaved and extirpated them.

 

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Newly Published: Gene Kiniski

New on our bookshelf:

Gene Kiniski: Canadian Wrestling Legend
Steven Verrier

Gene Kiniski (1928–2010) was internationally known to a generation of wrestling fans and to Canadians everywhere as “Canada’s Greatest Athlete.” Older fans and wrestling historians remember him best for his accomplishments in the ring, his run-’em-over approach to the game, his growly demeanor, and his razor wit he could unleash at will. Drawing on recollections from fellow wrestlers, promoters, and friends, this first biography of Kiniski gives a full account of the life of a champion pro wrestler who won over fans throughout the U.S., Canada, and Japan in a career spanning more than three decades.

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Newly Published: Thrills Untapped

New on our bookshelf:

Thrills Untapped: Neglected Horror, Science Fiction and Fantasy Films, 1928–1936
Michael R. Pitts

Giving deserved attention to nearly 150 neglected films, this book covers early sound era features, serials and documentaries with genre elements of horror, science fiction and fantasy, from major and minor studios and independents.

Full credits, synopses, critical analyses and contemporary reviews are provided for The Blue LightThe Cat CreepsCollege ScandalCosmic VoyageThe Dragon Murder CaseThe Haunted BarnLost GodsMurder in the Red BarnThe New GulliverReturn of the TerrorSeven Footprints to SatanS.O.S. IcebergWhile the Patient SleptThe White Hell of Pitz Palu and many others.

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Newly Published: The Language of Popular Science

New on our bookshelf:

The Language of Popular Science: Analyzing the Communication of Advanced Ideas to Lay Readers
Olga A. Pilkington

If you read (or write) popular science, you might sometimes wonder: how do the authors manage to make subjects that once put you to sleep in science class both so entertaining and approachable? The use of language is key.

Based on analyses of popular science bestsellers, this linguistic study shows how expert popularizers use the voices and narratives of scientists to engage readers, demonstrating the power of science and portraying researchers as champions of knowledge. By doing so they often blur the lines between nonfiction and fiction, inviting readers to take part in thought experiments and turn ordinary scientists into omnipotent heroes.

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Newly Published: In Theaters Everywhere

New on our bookshelf:

In Theaters Everywhere: A History of the Hollywood Wide Release, 1913–2017
Brian Hannan

Conflicts among Hollywood studios and exhibitors have been going on for years. At their heart are questions about how films should be released—where, when and at what speed. Both sides of this disagreement are losers, with exhibitors using the law via various Consent Decrees and studios retaliating by tightly controlling output.

In the Silent Era, movies were not released nearly as widely as they are now. This book tells the story of how the few became the many. It explores the contraction of the release cycle, the maximization of the marketing dollar, and the democratization of consumer access. It also offers a comprehensive list of wide releases and rebuts much of what previous scholars have found.

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Newly Published: Abandoned Shipmate

New on our bookshelf:

Abandoned Shipmate: The Destruction of Coast Guard Captain Ernie Blanchard
Ladson F. Mills, III

Captain Ernie Blanchard left for work January 10, 1995, a successful officer. Respected by superiors and subordinates, his personal and professional values seemed perfectly aligned with the institution he served, the United States Coast Guard. By day’s end his career was finished.

At a speaking engagement at the Coast Guard Academy, Blanchard’s icebreaker—a series of time-tested corny jokes—was met with silence. Within hours, an investigation was underway into whether his remarks constituted sexual harassment. Several weeks later, threatened with a court-martial, he shot himself.

The author investigates Blanchard’s “death by political correctness” in the context of the turmoil surrounding the U.S. Armed Forces’ gender inclusion struggles from the 1980s to the present.

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Newly Published: The Vermont Brigade in the Seven Days

New on our bookshelf:

The Vermont Brigade in the Seven Days: The Battles and Their Personal Aftermath
Paul G. Zeller

The Vermont Brigade, sometimes referred to as the “First Vermont Brigade” or the “Old Brigade,” fought its first full-brigade engagement in the Seven Days’ battles. The leaders, as well as the rank and file, were inexperienced in warfare, but through sheer grit and determination they made a name for themselves as one of the hardest-fighting units in the Army of the Potomac.

Using soldiers’ letters, diaries, and service and pension records, this book gives a soldier’s-eye-view of the Virginia summer heat, days of marching with very little rest or nourishment, and the fear and exhilaration of combat. Also included are the stories of 29 men that were wounded or killed and how the tragedies affected their families.

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Newly Published: The Complete Father

New on our bookshelf:

The Complete Father: Essential Concepts and Archetypes
Michael O. Weiner and Les Paul Gallo-Silver

Fatherhood is a foundational human endeavor steeped in the history of familial and societal development. Every father has within himself the makings of a “complete” parent in terms of his sense of fulfillment.

Are you the type of father that you truly want to be? Do you feel secure in your decision-making? Do you sense that you come across as too strict at times, or too lenient? Can you be playful and spontaneous when you want to be? Are you comfortable with having those difficult conversations?

Drawing on Carl Jung’s theories, this book discusses several father archetypes, presenting a positive view of fatherhood that emphasizes its manifestations and benefits in childrens’ lives rather than the difficulties and struggles of parenting.

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Newly Published: The Modern Kiteflier

New on our bookshelf:

The Modern Kiteflier: Voices of Those Pulling the Strings
Patti Gibbons

Over the past generation, kiteflying has evolved beyond a childhood rite of passage into a mainstream adult activity. The kite’s popularity skyrocketed at a time when kite makers adopted modern synthetic materials developed for other industries. A new breed of sport kites appeared and kite artists emerged, dazzling onlookers with three-dimensional aerial sculptures. Inventors perfected new designs and accessories while entrepreneurs created a multimillion-dollar kiting industry. Yet, the kitefliers themselves have remained largely anonymous. Drawing on the World Kite Museum’s audio archives, this book brings together firsthand stories from the community of devoted enthusiasts who pull the strings.

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Newly Published: The Capture of the USS Pueblo

New on our bookshelf:

The Capture of the USS Pueblo: The Incident, the Aftermath and the Motives of North Korea
James Duermeyer

For President Lyndon Johnson, 1968 was a year of calamity, including the hijacking of the USS Puebloin international waters off North Korea. After a fierce attack by the North Korean Navy, the lightly armed spy ship was captured and its 83 crewmen taken hostage, imprisoned and tortured for nearly a year before being released.

How and why did the Navy, the National Security Agency and the Johnson administration place the Pueblo in such an untenable situation? What drove Kim Il-sung, North Korea’s autocrat, to gamble on hijacking a ship belonging to the world’s most powerful nation?

Drawing on extensive research, including summaries of White House meetings and conversations, the author answers these questions and reviews the events and flawed decisions that led to Pueblo’s capture.

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Newly Published: Flight Accidents in the 21st Century U.S. Air Force

New on our bookshelf:

Flight Accidents in the 21st Century U.S. Air Force: The Facts of 40 Non-Combat Events
Henry Bond

Mid-flight noncombat mishaps and blunders occur frequently in the USAF during training and utility flights—sometimes with the loss of life and regularly with the destruction of expensive aircraft. In one extreme case, a $2.2 billion B-2 Spirit bomber crashed soon after takeoff and was destroyed.

The events surrounding such accidents are gathered by USAF investigators and a report is published for each case. The author has collected these reports, including some made available following FOI (Freedom of Information) requests to U.S. air bases, and rewritten them in language accessible to the general public.
The causes—bird-strikes, joy-riding, unauthorized maneuvers, pilot disorientation, an unseen binoculars-case blocking the plane’s joystick, unexpected moisture in an air-pressure gauge—are often surprising and, at times, horrifying.

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Newly Published: Diverging Tracks

New on our bookshelf:

Diverging Tracks: American Versus English Rail Travel in the 19th Century
Trevor K. Snowdon

The advent of mass railroad travel in the 1800s saw the extension of a system of global transport that developed various national styles of construction, operation, administration, and passenger experiences.

Drawing on travel narratives and a broad range of other contemporary sources, this history contrasts the railroad cultures of 19th century England and America, with a focus on the differing social structures and value systems of each nation, and how the railroad fit into the wider industrial landscape.

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Newly Published: Hammer Complete

New on our bookshelf:

Hammer Complete: The Films, the Personnel, the Company
Howard Maxford

Think you know everything there is to know about Hammer Films, the fabled “Studio that Dripped Blood?” The lowdown on all the imperishable classics of horror, like The Curse of FrankensteinHorror of Dracula and The Devil Rides Out? What about the company’s less blood-curdling back catalog? What about the musicals, comedies and travelogues, the fantasies and historical epics—not to mention the pirate adventures? This lavishly illustrated encyclopedia covers every Hammer film and television production in thorough detail, including budgets, shooting schedules, publicity and more, along with all the actors, supporting players, writers, directors, producers, composers and technicians. Packed with quotes, behind-the-scenes anecdotes, credit lists and production specifics, this all-inclusive reference work is the last word on this cherished cinematic institution.

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Newly Published: Electric Motorcycles and Bicycles

New on our bookshelf:

Electric Motorcycles and Bicycles: A History Including Scooters, Tricycles, Segways and Monocycles
Kevin Desmond

Beginning in 1881, isolated prototypes of electric tricycles and bicycles were patented and sometimes tested. Limited editions followed in the 1940s, but it was not until the lithium-ion battery became available in the first decade of this century that urban pedelecs and more powerful open-road motorcycles—sometimes with speeds of over 200 mph—became possible and increasingly popular.

Today’s ever-growing fleets of one-wheel, two-wheel and three-wheel light electric vehicles can now be counted in the hundreds of millions. In this third installment of his electric transport history series, the author covers the lives of the innovative engineers who have developed these e-wheelers.

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Newly Published: When Love Meets Dementia

New on our bookshelf:

When Love Meets Dementia: Frontotemporal Degeneration (FTD) and the Family
Ada Anbar

Frontotemporal Degeneration (FTD) is now recognized as one of the most common forms of dementia in individuals under age 65, second only to Alzheimer’s. Shedding light on a little known brain disease, this volume examines FTD from a few angles, beginning with the author’s insightful memoir of her husband’s struggle with FTD and its impact on their family. Detailed background information on the disease is provided along with discussion of related issues, and information on how to minimize the chances of becoming a victim.

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Newly Published: Swedish Marxist Noir

New on our bookshelf:

Swedish Marxist Noir: The Dark Wave of Crime Writers and the Influence of Raymond Chandler
Per Hellgren

Marxist theories have had a profound influence on crime fiction, beginning with the works of the American writers of the 1930s. This study explores the development of a Swedish Marxist noir subgenre after the 1990s through a Marxist reading of central works, from the Marlowe novels of Raymond Chandler to the 1960s social crime fiction of Sjöwall-Wahlöö to modern bestselling authors such as Henning Mankell, Stieg Larsson, Roslund & Hellström, Jens Lapidus, Arne Dahl and others. The works of these writers show a common thread of Marxist worldview in their portrayal of a modern world gone wrong.

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Newly Published: The Hal Roach Comedy Shorts of Thelma Todd, ZaSu Pitts and Patsy Kelly

New on our bookshelf:

The Hal Roach Comedy Shorts of Thelma Todd, ZaSu Pitts and Patsy Kelly
James L. Neibaur

Hoping to follow his Laurel and Hardy success with a female comedy team, producer Hal Roach paired Thelma Todd with ZaSu Pitts in a 1931 series of two-reel shorts. Pitts left the studio for other pursuits, was replaced by Patsy Kelly and the series continued to be successful. Todd died under mysterious circumstances in 1935 and Kelly tried to carry on, first with Pert Kelton, then with Lyda Roberti. When Roberti died in 1938, the series ended.

This book takes the first film-by-film look at each of the comedies these women made, how they responded to different directors and how production adapted to changes along the way. Credits, production information, period reviews, and critical assessments are included.

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Newly Published: Holy Horror

New on our bookshelf:

Holy Horror: The Bible and Fear in Movies
Steve A. Wiggins

What, exactly, makes us afraid? Is it monsters, gore, the unknown? Perhaps it’s a biblical sense of malice, lurking unnoticed in the corners of horror films. Holy Writ attempts to ward off aliens, ghosts, witches, psychopaths and demons, yet it often becomes a source of evil itself.

Looking first at Psycho (1960) and continuing through 2010, this book analyzes the starring and supporting roles of the Good Book in horror films, monster movies and thrillers to discover why it incites such fear. In a culture with high biblical awareness and low biblical literacy, horrific portrayals can greatly influence an audience’s canonical beliefs.

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Newly Published: The British Comic Book Invasion

New on our bookshelf:

The British Comic Book Invasion: Alan Moore, Warren Ellis, Grant Morrison and the Evolution of the American Style
Jochen Ecke

What makes a successful comics creator? How can storytelling stay exciting and innovative? How can genres be kept vital?

Writers and artists in the highly competitive U.S. comics mainstream have always had to explore these questions but they were especially pressing in the 1980s. As comics readers grew older they started calling for more sophisticated stories. They were also no longer just following the adventures of popular characters—writers and artists with distinctive styles were in demand. DC Comics and Marvel went looking for such mavericks and found them in the United Kingdom. Creators like Alan Moore (WatchmenSaga of the Swamp Thing), Grant Morrison (The InvisiblesFlex Mentallo) and Garth Ennis (Preacher) migrated from the anarchical British comics industry to the U.S. mainstream and shook up the status quo yet came to rely on the genius of the American system.

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Newly Published: Westchester

New on our bookshelf:

Westchester: History of an Iconic Suburb
Robert Marchant

This history of Westchester County, New York, from the time of European settlement to the present, examines four centuries of development in an iconic region that became the archetypal American suburb.

Drawing on a wide range of primary sources, the author uncovers a complex and often surprising narrative of slavery, anti–Semitism, immigration, Jim Crow, silent film stars, suffragettes, gangland violence, political riots, eccentric millionaires, industry and aviation, man-made disasters and assassinations.

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Newly Published: The Army of Tennessee in Retreat

New on our bookshelf:

The Army of Tennessee in Retreat: From Defeat at Nashville through “the Sternest Trials of War”
O.C. Hood

Following the Battle of Nashville, Confederate General John Bell Hood’s Army of Tennessee was in full retreat, from the battle lines south of Nashville to the Tennessee River at the Alabama state line. Ferocious engagements broke out along the way as Hood’s small rearguard, harried by Federal Cavalry brigades, fought a 10-day running battle over 100 miles of impoverished countryside during one of the worst winters on record.

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Newly Published: The Meaning of Myth in World Cultures

New on our bookshelf:

The Meaning of Myth in World Cultures
Michael Buonanno

Mythology—circulated in sacred stories (myths) and their reenactments (rituals)—is the basis of any society’s religion, and religion is an essential key to identity. Mythology’s meaning depends on the elaboration of identity in cultural metaphors that are at the same time ecological (arising from a society’s environmental exploitation), sociological (based on indigenous social relations) and ideological (couched in terms of a society’s worldview). But tellingly, these metaphors are embodied in anthropomorphic spirits, fostering a deep sense of identification with those spirits as well as with individuals who share in one’s spiritual devotions.

This study examines mythology from a global perspective, citing case studies in cultural traditions from Africa, Europe, Oceania, Native America and elsewhere.

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Newly Published: Star Trek and the British Age of Sail

New on our bookshelf today:

Star Trek and the British Age of Sail: The Maritime Influence Throughout the Series and Films
Stefan Rabitsch

Clear all moorings, one-half impulse power and set course for a mare incognitum…

A popular culture artifact of the New Frontier/Space Race era, Star Trek is often mistakenly viewed as a Space Western. However, the Western format is not what governs the worldbuilding of Star Trek, which was, after all, also pitched as “Hornblower in space.” Star Trek is modeled on the world of the “British Golden Age of Sail” as it is commonly found in the genre of sea fiction. This book re-historicizes and remaps the origins of the franchise and subsequently the entirety of its fictional world—the Star Trek continuum—on an as yet uncharted transatlantic bearing.

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Newly Published: The Showgirl Costume

New on our bookshelf today:

The Showgirl Costume: An Illustrated History
Jane Merrill

Fashion is synonymous with change yet the iconic showgirl costume—feathers, sparkle and revealing clothes—has remained largely unchanged since the early 20th century. Beginning in the 1800s, a couture of the risqué evolved from Paris nightclubs to Las Vegas casinos. The concept of glamour itself was based on what Parisian courtesans and burlesque performers wore. A tall pretty girl with headdress, nude core with spangles, high heels and dramatic makeup became a Gallic symbol and later the trademark of Hollywood musicals. France exported costumes and millinery—as well as whole productions from the Moulin Rouge, the Lido and Folies Bergère —to the U.S. and the world. More recently, cabaret styling has translated into today’s day, sport and evening clothes.

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Newly Published: Eisenhower’s Nuclear Calculus in Europe

New on our bookshelf:

Eisenhower’s Nuclear Calculus in Europe: The Politics of IRBM Deployment in NATO Nations
Gates Brown

Through a reliance on nuclear weapons, President Eisenhower hoped to provide a defense strategy that would allow the U.S. to maintain its security requirements without creating an economic burden. This defense strategy, known as the New Look, benefited the U.S. Air Force with its focus on strategic bombing. The U.S. also required European missile bases to deploy its intermediate range ballistic missiles, while efforts continued to develop U.S. based intercontinental ballistic missiles.

Deploying such missiles to Europe required balancing regional European concerns with U.S. domestic security priorities. In the wake of the Soviet Sputnik launch in 1957, the U.S. began to fear Soviet missile capabilities. Using European missile bases would mitigate this domestic security issue, but convincing NATO allies to base the missiles in their countries raised issues of sovereignty and weapons control and ran the risk of creating divisions in the NATO alliance.

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Newly Published: American Gothic Literature

New on our bookshelf:

American Gothic Literature: A Thematic Study from Mary Rowlandson to Colson Whitehead
Ruth Bienstock Anolik

American Gothic literature inherited many time-worn tropes from its English Gothic precursor, along with a core preoccupation: anxiety about power and property. Yet the transatlantic journey left its mark on the genre—the English ghostly setting becomes the wilderness haunted by spectral Indians. The aristocratic villain is replaced by the striving, independent young man. The dispossession of Native Americans and African Americans add urgency to traditional Gothic anxieties about possession.

The unchanging role of woman in early Gothic narratives parallels the status of American women, even after the Revolution. Twentieth century Gothic works offer inclusion to previously silent voices, including immigrant writers with their own cultural traditions. The 21st century unleashes the zombie horde—the latest incarnation of the voracious American.

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Newly Published: Preparing for Disunion

New on our bookshelf:

Preparing for Disunion: West Point Commandants and the Training of Civil War Leaders
Allen H. Mesch

Between 1817 and 1864, sixteen officers were assigned as Commandants of Cadets at the U.S. Military Academy. They played an important role in training the officers who would serve on both sides of the Civil War.

Historians criticize the program as antiquated for its time: A course in Napoleonic strategy and tactics that did not account for rifled weapons or the particularities of terrain. Yet these commandants made changes to the program, developed new textbooks and instructed cadets who became field generals.
The biographies of the commandants are presented along with their contributions to the Academy, notable graduates and other military service.

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Newly Published: Robert A. Lovett and the Development of American Air Power

New on our bookshelf:

Robert A. Lovett and the Development of American Air Power
David M. Jordan

Robert Lovett grew up in Texas, went to Yale, and earned his wings as a naval air force hero in World War I. He played a key role in the development of the Army Air Force in World War II. His emphasis on strategic bombing was instrumental in defeating Hitler’s Germany.

During his postwar State Department service, he was influential in initiating the Marshall Plan, the formation of NATO and planning the Berlin Airlift. He served as Truman’s Secretary of Defense during the Korean War, was a consultant for his friend Dwight Eisenhower and served John F. Kennedy during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Between tours of duty in Washington, he was an international banker on Wall Street. This first complete biography covers his life and career in detail.

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Newly Published: Gene Hackman

New on our bookshelf:

Gene Hackman: The Life and Work
Peter Shelley

Gene Hackman (b. 1930) has been described as the best actor of his generation. During almost half a century as an American film, television and stage actor, film producer and author, he was nominated for five Academy Awards, winning the Best Actor for The French Connection (1971) and the Best Supporting Actor for Unforgiven (1992), as well as three Golden Globes and two BAFTAs. This study examines his film work in detail, with a filmography/videography included.

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Newly Published: Bobby Maduro and the Cuban Sugar Kings

New on our bookshelf:

Bobby Maduro and the Cuban Sugar Kings
Lou Hernández

Roberto “Bobby” Maduro (1916–1986) was a visionary baseball team owner and executive. His dedication to promoting the game internationally from the 1950s through the 1970s remains unrivaled. He headed Havana-based clubs in the Cuban Winter League and teams in the U.S. minor leagues, which helped brand Caribbean baseball in the eyes of North American fans. He co-built the first million-dollar ballpark in Latin America. His Havana stadium was confiscated by Castro’s revolution, along with all his accumulated wealth.

Maduro began a new life in exile in the U.S., first as a minor league owner, then as a front office executive. He founded the short-lived Inter-American League in 1979, composed of five Caribbean-basin teams and one U.S. entry from his adopted hometown of Miami. Commissioner Bowie Kuhn said of his many achievements, “No one was more dedicated, more knowledgeable or more concerned about the game than Bobby Maduro.”

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Newly Published: Unsung Heroes of the Dachau Trials

New on our bookshelf:

Unsung Heroes of the Dachau Trials: The Investigative Work of the U.S. Army 7708 War Crimes Group, 1945–1947
John J. Dunphy

The U.S. Army 7708 War Crimes Group investigated atrocities committed in Germany and Nazi-occupied Europe during World War II. These young Americans—many barely out of their teens—gathered evidence, interviewed witnesses, apprehended suspects and prosecuted defendants at trials held at Dachau. Their work often put them in harm’s way—some suspects facing arrest preferred to shoot it out.

The War Crimes Group successfully prosecuted the perpetrators of the Malmedy Massacre, in which 84 American prisoners of war were shot by their German captors; and Waffen-SS commando Otto Skorzeny, aptly described as “the most dangerous man in Europe.” Operation Paperclip, however, placed some war criminals—scientists and engineers recruited by the U.S. government—beyond their reach. From the ruins of the Third Reich arose a Nazi underground that preyed on Americans—especially members of the Group.

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Newly Published: Infield Fly Rule Is in Effect

New on our bookshelf:

Infield Fly Rule Is in Effect: The History and Strategy of Baseball’s Most (In)Famous Rule
Howard M. Wasserman

The Infield Fly Rule is the most misunderstood rule in baseball and perhaps in all of sports. That also makes it the most infamous. Drawing on interviews with experts, legal arguments and a study of every infield fly play in eight Major League seasons, this book tells the complete story of the rule. The author covers the rule’s history from the 19th century to the modern game, its underlying logic and supporting arguments, recent criticisms and calls for repeal, the controversies and confusion it creates, and its effect on how the game is played.

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Newly Published: The Playing Grounds of College Football

New on our bookshelf:

The Playing Grounds of College Football: A Comprehensive Directory, 1869 to Today
Mark Pollak

College football teams today play for tens of thousands of fans in palatial stadiums that rival those of pro teams. But most started out in humbler venues, from baseball parks to fairgrounds to cow pastures. This comprehensive guide traces the long and diverse history of playing grounds for more than 1000 varsity football schools, including bowl-eligible teams, as well as those in other divisions (FCS, D2, D3, NAIA).

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Newly Published: Immersive Theater and Activism

New on our bookshelf:

Immersive Theater and Activism: Scripts and Strategies for Directors and Playwrights
Nandita Dinesh

Immersive theater calls upon audience members to become participants, actors and “others.” It traditionally offers binary roles—that of oppressor or that of victim—and thereby stands the risk of simplifying complex social situations.

Challenging such binaries, this book articulates theatrical “grey zones” when addressing juvenile detention, wartime interventions and immigration processes. It presents scripts and strategies for directors and playwrights who want to create theatrical environments that are immersive and pedagogical; aesthetically evocative and politically provocative; simple and complex.

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Newly Published: The Making of Tombstone

New on our bookshelf:

The Making of Tombstone: Behind the Scenes of the Classic Modern Western
John Farkis

The day-by-day inside story of the making of Tombstone (1993) as told to the author by those who were there—actors, extras, crew members, Buckaroos, historians and everyone in between. Historical context that inspired Kevin Jarre’s screenplay is included. Production designers, cameramen, costume designers, composers, illustrators, screenwriter, journalists, set dressers, prop masters, medics, stuntmen and many others share their recollections—many never-before-told—of filming this epic Western.

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Newly Published: Legal Marijuana

New on our bookshelf:

Legal Marijuana: Perspectives on Public Benefits, Risks and Policy Approaches
Edited by Joaquin Jay Gonzalez III and Mickey P. McGee

The legalization of marijuana has spread rapidly throughout the United States, from just a handful of states ten years ago to now more than half, as well as the nation’s capital. In Canada, it is legal to use and distribute nationally. Thousands of cities and towns are following suit. Legalization seems to be a win-win—people who use cannabis for health and recreation are served, business is brisk, and many governments welcome the much-needed boost in tax revenue. But not everyone thinks so. The rapid pace of legalization has spurred debate among citizens, cities, states and the federal government. This collection of essays explains the benefits and concerns, the policies and actions, and the future of this controversial issue.

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Newly Published: Americans in a Splintering Europe

New on our bookshelf:

Americans in a Splintering Europe: Refugees, Missionaries and Journalists in World War I
Mark Strecker

World War I began in August 1914—the United States did not enter the conflict until April 1917. During those nearly three years of neutrality, a small number of Americans did experience the horrors of the war zones of Europe. Some ran for their lives as refugees while others, like journalists and doctors, headed toward the fighting. Missionaries in Persia (Iran) and the Ottoman Empire became witnesses to both the Armenian genocide and the persecution of Assyrian Christians. This history focuses on the war from the perspective of ordinary people who found themselves in the midst of what was then the most destructive and bloody war in history.

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Holiday 2018 Sale—Get 25% Off All Books!

The holidays are a special time at McFarland—in addition to publishing scholarship, many of us also participate in the tree harvest, as Ashe County produces more Christmas trees than any other county in the United States. If you live in the Southeast, you may have a little bit of McFarland in your living room right now! This season, please consider putting some McFarland under the tree for the readers in your life. To make your holiday shopping easier, we’re offering 25% off of ALL books through the end of the year! On our website, use coupon code HOLIDAY18, or call us at 800-253-2187. For inspiration, browse our new catalog of of gift ideas for readers. Happy holidays from your friends at McFarland!

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Newly Published: The Two Walter Raleighs

New on our bookshelf:

The Two Walter Raleighs: Famous Father, Rebellious Son and a Shared Tragedy
Fred B. Tromly

Sir Walter Raleigh’s biographers have given little attention to his tragic relationship with his son Wat (Walter). They began in proud identification, each seeing himself in the other. But after the father’s political downfall and imprisonment for treason, he lost his authority in the family, and the son began to reject paternal advice and his studies and to engage in violent quarrels and duels. Often the father used his influence to rescue his son from his rash acts.

Things came to a head after Wat was sued by a young woman for violent assault, and imprisoned. The aged Raleigh had been freed from the Tower to lead an expedition to Guiana, and—as recently discovered documents reveal—he delivered his son from the law by commissioning him as a captain on his flagship, ominously named the Destiny. In a shared tragedy, Wat was killed in a skirmish, and the grieving Raleigh returned to England, broken in spirit and ready for the execution that awaited him.

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Newly Published: Charles Ebbets

New on our bookshelf:

Charles Ebbets: The Man Behind the Dodgers and Brooklyn’s Beloved Ballpark
John G. Zinn

Much has been written about the legendary players and managers of baseball’s Deadball Era (1901–1919). Far less attention has been given to the club owners, like Charles Ebbets. In 1898, after a 15 year apprenticeship, he became president of the Brooklyn Dodgers, taking over a chronic second division team in poor financial condition. Over the next 25 years, he organized four pennant-winning clubs and developed one of the most profitable franchises in the game—while building two state-of-the-art ballparks in Brooklyn.

Ebbets was also an effective steward of the national pastime, working tirelessly on innovations that would help all teams, not just his own. Despite his success, his personal weaknesses ultimately undermined much of what he had so painstakingly built.

This first full length biography provides an in-depth view of his life and career, filling a critical gap in the history of the Deadball Era and the Brooklyn Dodgers.

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Newly Published: A Wanderer by Trade

New on our bookshelf:

A Wanderer by Trade: Gender in the Songs of Bob Dylan
Patrick Webster

Many of Bob Dylan’s most well-known works date from the 1960s, and can be seen as critical indicators of the changes in American society then and since. This book explores the unthreading of ideas about masculinity, femininity, sexuality, and identity through the lens of some of Dylan’s most popular love songs. The author revealingly employs specific aspects of cultural theory to explore the appeal of Bob Dylan’s music both now and during the time it was written.

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Newly Published: Hindu Gods in an American Landscape

New on our bookshelf:

Hindu Gods in an American Landscape: Changing Perceptions of Indian Sacred Images in the Global Age
E. Allen Richardson

In India, Hindu images have been cast for millennia through the lost wax process and brought to life by priests—becoming not merely venerated icons but actual embodiments of gods. Second and third generation Hindu Americans have increasingly adopted a more worldly perspective toward religious objects, viewing them as symbolic rather than actual presences of the deity.

The author traces the origins of this important shift, and examines Western attitudes regarding sacred objects, as well as the complex layering of traditional and modern Hindu attitudes in a globalized world.

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Newly Published: Carl Hiaasen

New on our bookshelf:

Carl Hiaasen: Sunshine State Satirist
David Geherin

Carl Hiaasen has been described as “one of the funniest crime writers in decades,” “America’s finest satirical novelist,” and a “great American writer about the great American subjects of ambition, greed, vanity, and disappointment.”

A columnist for thirty years, Hiaasen also wrote several award-winning young adult books but is best known for his 14 crime novels. His distinctive blend of outrageous humor and biting satire appeals to mystery fans, as well as readers of comic fiction and those interested in social and environmental issues.

The author examines Hiaasen’s entire body of work, from his earliest writing as a reporter and then columnist for the Miami Herald to his bestselling novels for both adult and young readers. While much of his writing focuses on his beloved Florida, his work has a universal appeal that has earned him global fame.

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Newly Published: Ironclad Captains of the Civil War

New on our bookshelf:

Ironclad Captains of the Civil War
Myron J. Smith, Jr.

From 1861 to 1865, the American Civil War saw numerous technological innovations in warfare—chief among them was the ironclad warship. Based on the Official Records, biographical works, ship and operations histories, newspapers and other sources, this book chronicles the lives of 158 ironclad captains, North and South, who were charged with outfitting and commanding these then-revolutionary vessels in combat. Each biography includes (where known) birth and death information, pre- and post-war career, and details about ships served upon or commanded.

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Newly Published: I Wanna Wrock!

New on our bookshelf:

I Wanna Wrock! The World of Harry Potter–Inspired “Wizard Rock” and Its Fandom
Paul A. Thomas

“Wizard rock”—music based on the Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling—is an idiosyncratic subgenre, with band names like Harry and the Potters, Draco and the Malfoys and The Whomping Willows. Drawing on input from insiders and fans, and interviews with more than a dozen wizard rockers, this book explores the history and aesthetics of the movement. An appendix lists dozens of popular bands, members and discographies: a must-have for fandom scholars and wizard rock devotees alike.

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Newly Published: Phinally!

New on our bookshelf:

Phinally!: The Phillies, the Royals and the 1980 Baseball Season That Almost Wasn’t
J. Daniel

A lot happened in baseball in 1980. After being stabbed with a penknife in Mexico during spring training, the Indians’ “Super Joe” Charboneau captured Cleveland’s heart—and Rookie of the Year. Nolan Ryan became baseball’s first Million Dollar Man, Reggie Jackson twice found himself looking down the wrong end of a gun, and George Brett posted the highest single-season batting average since 1941. The Phillies and Expos battled up to the season’s final weekend while the Dodgers tilted against the Astros in a one-game playoff for the division title. In the American League, Brett led Kansas City past the mighty Yankees and into the Series, where slugger Mike Schmidt and the Phillies awaited. This book covers it all.

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Newly Published: Prejudice in the Press?

New on our bookshelf:

Prejudice in the Press?: Investigating Bias in Coverage of Race, Gender, Sexuality and Religion
George Yancey and Alicia L. Brunson

Charges of “fake news” tend to be politically motivated whether made by Republicans or Democrats. Yet the potential for media bias is real and deserves an honest assessment.

Using an audit technique—providing journalists with similar scenarios but altering key details—the authors evaluate whether reporters and editors write different narratives depending on the characteristics of the principle issues in the story. The results indicate that race, gender, sexuality and religion have little effect on whether a story will be covered, but do color the story that is written.

Data suggest that news personnel may be operating in ways that promote progressive political leanings. The results of this study are important for journalists seeking to move closer to objective standards of reporting.

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Newly Published: Karin Bergöö Larsson and the Emergence of Swedish Design

New on our bookshelf:

Karin Bergöö Larsson and the Emergence of Swedish Design
Marge Thorell

Identified as “the first designer of what would become known as Swedish Modern” by the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C., Karin Bergöö Larsson (1859–1928) was a mother of eight and wife to Sweden’s beloved painter, Carl Larsson. Herself a well-regarded artist, she gave up painting when she married, at the request of her husband. Taking up needles and cloth, she then turned a somewhat ugly cottage—Lilla Hyttnäs in the tiny village of Sundborn, Sweden—into a designer showcase.

Inspired by the Swedish countryside, she filled the home with handcrafted wall hangings, bed coverings, tablecloths, pillow covers and even furniture of her own design, while greatly influencing her husband’s work by encouraging him to move away from dark oils to more illuminating and light-filled watercolors. His paintings of their home made her interior designs famous, and her influence continues to inform the concepts of retail giant IKEA.

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Black Friday 2018 Sale

The turkey has been cooked, the table cleared, the leftovers stowed, the Christmas tree decorated— now, it’s time to enjoy some of the best shopping deals of the year. Here at McFarland, we have several exciting deals to share with you this Black Friday. Today and today only, get 25% off purchases made on our website with coupon code “BLACKFRIDAY25.” You can also find all of our Kindle titles on Amazon for 5.99 each. Both deals expire tonight, 11/23, at midnight.

Happy Holidays!

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Newly Published: Rulers and Realms in Medieval Iberia, 711-1492

New on our bookshelf today:

Rulers and Realms in Medieval Iberia, 711-1492
Timothy M. Flood

The Muslim conquest of Iberia in 711 began nearly eight centuries of struggle for control of the peninsula. The invaders quickly achieved military supremacy, but political dominance was less complete. Within a few years, a small band of Christian rebels defied Muslim authority, establishing their own ruling class in the northern mountains of Asturias. The opposing forces competed for control until the Catholic Monarchs Fernando and Isabel established absolute rule in 1492.

Drawing on the latest scholarship, this comprehensive study traces the succession of Iberian sovereigns during a complicated period in early European history.

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Newly Published: Baseball and Softball Drills

New on our bookshelf:

Baseball and Softball Drills: More Than 200 Games and Activities for Preschool to College Players, 3d ed.
Dirk Baker

Written for coaches, this book—in its expanded third edition—presents more than 200 baseball and softball games and activities for preschoolers through college age, focusing on teaching, improvement of skills and enjoyment. Games emphasizing base running, bunting, catching, fielding, hitting, throwing and pitching are covered. Each section reviews fundamentals, introduces creative skills and drills for group practice, and details the age group, objective, equipment and rules for each activity.

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Newly Published: The Creation of American Law

New on our bookshelf today:

The Creation of American Law: John Jay, Oliver Ellsworth and the 1790s Supreme Court
Jude M. Pfister

With the Constitutional Convention in 1787, America was set on a course to develop a unique system of law with roots in the English common law tradition. This new system, its foundations in Article III of the Constitution, called for a national judiciary headed by a supreme court—which first met in 1790.

This book serves as a history of America’s national law with a look at those—such as John Jay (the first Chief), James Iredell, Bushrod Washington and James Wilson—who set in motion not only the new Supreme Court, but also the new federal judiciary. These founders displayed great dexterity in maneuvering through the fraught political landscape of the 1790s.

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Newly Published: The League That Didn’t Exist

New on our bookshelf today: The League that Didn’t Exist: A History of the All-American Football Conference, 1946-1949
Gary Webster

The All-American Football Conference was the only challenger to the NFL (except for the American Football League of the 1960s) to survive more than two seasons in competition with the established league. It ultimately failed to achieve its goal of a peaceful coexistence with the NFL and folded in 1949. Its Cleveland Browns and San Francisco 49ers, which were absorbed by the NFL in 1950, are still in business.

This book takes a brief look at all of the NFL’s challengers (and would-be challengers) from 1926 to 1945. It looks particularly at the All-American Conference, which overcame obstacles that proved too difficult for others and opened the 1946 season with teams on the East Coast, in the Midwest, on the West Coast, and in the deep South, making it a truly “All-American” enterprise. Each season and off-season is examined in detail.

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Newly Published: Ballet Matters

New on our bookshelf today:

Ballet Matters: A Cultural Memoir of Dance Dreams and Empowering Realities
Jennifer Fisher

Part memoir, part dance history and ethnography, this critical study explores ballet’s power to inspire and to embody ideas about politics, race, women’s agency, and spiritual experience.

The author knows that dance relates to life in powerful individual and communal ways, reflecting culture and embodying new ideas. Although ballet can appear (and sometimes is) elite and exclusionary, it also has revolutionary potential.

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Newly Published: After Valkyrie

New on our bookshelf today:

After Valkyrie: Military and Civilian Consequences of the Attempt to Assassinate Hitler
Don Allen Gregory

After Operation Valkyrie—the failed July 20, 1944, plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler and seize control of the German government—both the Third Reich and Hitler came to a violent end. Hitler promised a classless fatherland before he became chancellor and had covertly been liquidating Germany’s elite officer corps long before Stalingrad. Today it is possible to reconstruct and connect important events and biographies of the principle characters to chronicle the disappearance of Germany’s officer class, its nobility and, for a time, its civilian leadership.

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Newly Published: Kurt Richter

New on our bookshelf:

Kurt Richter: A Chess Biography with 499 Games
Alan McGowan

German master Kurt Richter (1900–1969) made significant contributions to the chess world as a player, and as an editor and author. Unassuming in real life, Richter was a fearsome opponent who expressed himself mainly through his over-the-board results, as well as through his chess journalism and literary output. He was responsible for several innovative openings, some of which gained renewed status in later years.

This overview of his life and games sheds light on a player who should be better known, with much never-before-seen material. Examples of his entertaining writings on chess are included, some featuring his fictitious student opponent, Dr. Zabel. A wide selection of games illustrates the surprising combinations and brilliant style of play that earned him the title “The Executioner of Berlin.”

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Newly Published: Theatre of the Ridiculous

New on our bookshelf:

Theatre of the Ridiculous: A Critical History
Kelly I. Aliano

Theatre of the Ridiculous is a significant movement that highlighted the radical possibilities inherent in camp. Much of contemporary theatre owes this form a great debt but little has been written about its history or aesthetic markers. This book offers a comprehensive overview of the important practitioners, along with critical commentary of their work.

Beginning with Ridiculous’ most recognizable name, Charles Ludlam, the author traces the development of this campy, queer genre, from the B movies of Maria Montez to the Pop Art scene of Andy Warhol to the founding of the Play-House of the Ridiculous and the dawn of Ludlam’s career and finally to the contemporary theatre scene.

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Newly Published: A Life Both Public and Private

New on our bookshelf today:

A Life Both Public and Private: Expressions of Individuality in Old English Poetry
Brent R. LaPadula

The concept of the individual or the self, central in so many modern-day contexts, has not been investigated in depth in the Anglo-Saxon period. Focusing on Old English poetry, the author argues that a singular, Anglo-Saxon sense of self may be found by analyzing their surviving verse. The concept of the individual, with an identity outside of her community, is clearly evident during this period, and the widely accepted view that the individual as we understand it did not really exist until the Renaissance does not stand up to scrutiny.

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Newly Published: Rebel Guerrillas

New on our bookshelf today:

Rebel Guerrillas: Mosby, Quantrill and Anderson
Paul Williams

From the hills and valleys of the eastern Confederate states to the sun-drenched plains of Missouri and “Bleeding Kansas,” a vicious, clandestine war was fought behind the big-battle clashes of the American Civil War. In the east, John Singleton Mosby became renowned for the daring hit-and-run tactics of his rebel horsemen. Here a relatively civilized war was fought; women and children usually left with a roof over their heads. But along the Kansas-Missouri border it was a far more brutal clash; no quarter given. William Clarke Quantrill and William “Bloody Bill” Anderson became notorious for their savagery.

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Newly Published: George Orwell

New on our bookshelf today:

George Orwell: A Literary Companion
Mark Connelly

George Orwell (1903–1950) is one of the most influential authors in the English language. His landmark novels Animal Farm (1945) and Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949) have been translated into many foreign languages and inspired numerous stage and film adaptations. His well-known essays “A Hanging” and “Shooting an Elephant” are widely anthologized and often taught in college composition classes. The writer is credited with inventing the terms “Big Brother,” “thought crime,” “unperson” and “double think.” His name itself has become an adjective—“Orwellian.”

Seventy years after its publication, Nineteen Eighty-Four remains very popular, its sales surging in an era of enhanced surveillance and media manipulation. This literary companion provides an extensive chronology and more than 175 entries about both his literary works and personal life. Also included are discussion questions and research topics, notable quotations by Orwell and an extensive bibliography of related sources.

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Newly Published: Movie Magick

New on our bookshelf today:

Movie Magick: The Occult in Film
David Huckvale

“Magick” as defined by Aleister Crowley is “the Science and Art of causing Change to occur in conformity with Will.” This book explores expressions of movie magick in classic occult films like Hammer’s adaptation of Dennis Wheatley’s The Devil Rides Out and modern occult revival movies. These films are inspired by the aesthetics of fin de siècle decadence, the symbolist writings of Villiers de l’Isle Adam, Wagnerian music drama, the Faust legend, the pseudo-science of theosophy, 1960s occult psychedelia, occult conspiracy theories and obscure aspects of animation.

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Newly Published: A Spear-Carrier in Viet Nam

New on our bookshelf today:

A Spear-Carrier in Viet Nam: Memoir of an American Civilian in Country, 1967 and 1970–1972
Michael E. Tolle

There was another war in Vietnam, one that mostly did not make the headlines: the campaign to “win the hearts and minds” of the Vietnamese people.

Fought not with artillery and helicopters but with food, medicine and shelter for civilians devastated by the conflict, the effort was unprecedented in U.S. history, involving both military and civilian personnel working together in widely spread areas of the countryside.

Part history and part memoir, this book chronicles an overlooked aspect of U.S. involvement in Vietnam, with a focus on the war victims and refugees who were most tragically affected by the carnage. The author recounts his two years “in-country” as an aid worker and tells how the humanitarian effort was conducted and why it failed.

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Newly Published: Stopping by Woods

New on our bookshelf today:

Stopping by Woods: Robert Frost as New England Naturalist
Owen D.V. Sholes

Robert Frost was a practicing farmer, a skilled naturalist and one of America’s best-loved poets. His body of work provides a vivid and compelling narrative of New England’s changing environment—though it can be hard to discern when its parts are scattered through hundreds of different poems, voices and moods.

This book pieces together Frost’s environmental commentary, examining his poems thematically and in a logical order. In them, homesteads are carved out of the forest, families make their living from an obdurate land, property is abandoned when it fails to sell, and plants and animals reclaim deserted farms. Frost bemoaned the loss of people from the land but also celebrated the flora and fauna that thrived in fallow fields and empty barns.

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Four New Titles Reviewed in November Issue of Choice

Ultra-Large Aircraft, 1940–1970: The Development of Guppy and Expanded Fuselage Transports
“This work is an important contribution to the history of aviation and a fine treatment of these enormous, ungainly looking airplanes. A worthwhile read for all interested in transport aircraft and the history of aviation…recommended.”

Tiger Stadium: Essays and Memories of Detroit’s Historic Ballpark, 1912–2009
“The editors of this text do an excellent job…a richly informative and entertaining resource for sports history collection…recommended.”

Exploring Our Dreams: The Science and the Potential for Self-Discovery
“Written in an easy to read, conversational tone, this book is easily accessible to the general reader…recommended.”

Early Bicycles and the Quest for Speed: A History, 1868–1903, 2d ed.
“Highly detailed…richly illustrated…[illustrations] provide a fascinating view of the late 19th century.”

 

 

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Newly Published: Manager of Giants

New on our bookshelf today:

Manager of Giants: The Tactics, Temper and True Record of John McGraw
Lou Hernández

For decades prior to the rise of Babe Ruth, the most recognized name in baseball was John McGraw. An outstanding player in the 1890s, McGraw—nicknamed “Mugsy”—was molded in the rough and tumble pre–20th century game where sportsmanship and fair play took a back seat to competition. Later, he became the successful manager of the New York Giants, dominating the National League in New York City for more than 30 years.

McGraw led the Giants with authoritarian swagger—earning another moniker, “Little Napoleon”—from 1902 through 1932, before illness forced his retirement. In his 31 seasons in New York, his teams won three world championships and 10 pennants and rarely finished out of the first division. He was a trailblazer in the use of bullpen and position player substitutions, and pushed hit-and-run strategies over the then prevalent dictums of sacrifice bunting. An unconventional leader, McGraw missed considerable bench time during his reign on account of injury, illness and fiery temperament.

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Newly Published: Vying for the Iron Throne

New on our bookshelf today:

Vying for the Iron Throne: Essays on Power, Gender, Death and Performance in HBO’s Game of Thrones
Edited by Lindsey Mantoan and Sara Brady

Game of Thrones has changed the landscape of television during an era hailed as the Golden Age of TV. An adaptation of George R.R. Martin’s epic fantasy A Song of Fire and Ice, the HBO series has taken on a life of its own with original plotlines that advance past those of Martin’s books.

The death of protagonist Ned Stark at the end of Season One launched a killing spree in television—major characters now die on popular shows weekly. While many shows kill off characters for pure shock value, death on Game of Thrones produces seismic shifts in power dynamics—and resurrected bodies that continue to fight. This collection of new essays explores how power, death, gender, and performance intertwine in the series.

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Newly Published: Lovable Crooks and Loathsome Jews

New on our bookshelf today:

Lovable Crooks and Loathsome Jews: Antisemitism in German and Austrian Crime Writing Before the World Wars
T.S. Kord

In the years leading up to the World Wars, Germany and Austria saw an unprecedented increase in the study and depiction of the criminal. Science, journalism and crime fiction were obsessed with delinquents while ignoring the social causes of crime. As criminologists measured criminals’ heads and debated biological predestination, court reporters and crime writers wrote side-splitting or heart-rending stories featuring one of the most popular characters ever created—the hilarious or piteous crook. The author examines the figure of the crook and notions of “Jewish” criminality in a range of antisemitic writing, from Nazi propaganda to court reporting to forgotten classics of crime fiction.

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Newly Published: The Manson Family on Film and Television

New on our bookshelf today:

The Manson Family on Film and Television
Ian Cooper

For half a century the Manson Family has captured the public imagination—the lurid, inexplicable violence in a glamorous Hollywood setting, the bizarre and lengthy trials, and Charles Manson’s strange charisma and willingness to embrace the role of evil icon.

For years, the story has been documented, dramatized and lampooned in dozens of films and television programs. This comprehensive study examines the various on-screen portrayals, from factual accounts based on prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi’s true crime classic Helter Skelter to prime-time TV dramas to a claymation spoof and even hardcore porn.

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Newly Published: The Rolling Stones in Concert, 1962–1982

New on our bookshelf today:

The Rolling Stones in Concert, 1962–1982: A Show-by-Show History
Ian M. Rusten

This day-by-day chronicle of every live concert by the Rolling Stones from 1962 through 1982 traces their development from a band playing small clubs around London to the global phenomenon we know today. Comprehensive coverage of the shows includes set lists, venues, concert reviews, anecdotes and notable events in the lives of the band members.

A list of the Stones’ radio recordings— some of which were performed before live audiences—and television performances is included, along with never-before-published posters, programs, tickets, handbills and photographs.

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Newly Published: The Star Gate Archives (Vol. 2)

New on our bookshelf today:

The Star Gate Archives: Reports of the United States Government Sponsored Psi Program, 1972–1995. Volume 2: Remote Viewing, 1985–1995
Compiled and Edited by Edwin C. May and Sonali Bhatt Marwaha

During the Cold War, the U.S. government began testing paranormal claims under laboratory conditions in hopes of realizing intelligence applications for psychic phenomena. Thus began the project known as Star Gate. The largest in the history of parapsychological research, it received more than $20 million in funding and continued into the mid–1990s. This project archive includes all available documents generated by research contractor SRI International and those provided by government officials.

Remote viewing (RV) is an atypical ability that allows some individuals to gain information blocked from the usual senses by shielding, distance or time. During the final decade of Star Gate, the emphasis shifted to a support role of a government in-house psychic spying unit at Ft. Meade, MD, and to engage a number of full-time scientists to investigate the physical and biological properties of RV, which proved successful. Results included how to identify the RV-gifted, what constitutes an RV target, some correlations with parts of the nervous system, and an indication of a potential 6th sense. This volume includes numerous examples as well as operational simulations.

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Halloween Sale: Horror Books

We realize that the stores have had their trees and Christmas decorations out for sale for weeks now.  At McFarland though, no one wants to leapfrog past our favorite holiday, Halloween!  McFarland has scheduled a sale for our books about horror – whether on film, television, literature, games, comics, culture or anything else.  When you order direct from our website using the coupon code HORROR25, print editions of all horror books are 25% off Friday, October 26 through Halloween, October 31.  Be prepared to be up late with the lights on…

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Newly Published: “My brothers have my back”

New on our bookshelf today:

“My brothers have my back”: Inside the November 1969 Battle on the Vietnamese DMZ
Lou Pepi

In November 1969, what Time Magazine called the “largest battle of the year” took place less than two miles from the Vietnamese Demilitarized Zone. Three companies of Task Force 1-61 met 2,000–3,000 North Vietnamese. American forces fought for two days, inflicting heavy casualties and suffering eight killed.

Late on November 12, it became evident that the American position could be overrun. Alpha Company was airlifted in darkness to reinforce a small hill in the jungle. Three hours later, well past midnight, the Americans were attacked by 1,500 NVA.
There was a twist: A secret Vietcong document captured near Saigon urged intense action before November 14 in anticipation of the Vietnam War Moratorium Demonstrations set for November 15 in many cities in America. The Vietcong planned to inflict a stunning defeat in “an effort to get the fighting in step with the peace marchers.”

The author, a member of Alpha Company who rode in on the last helicopter, offers unique insights into the story of the men who fought those three days in 1969.

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Newly Published: Ancient Rings

New on our bookshelf today:

Ancient Rings: An Illustrated Collector’s Guide
T.N. Pollio

Ancient finger rings made of base metals and low-grade silver alloys are increasingly being unearthed and sold through a growing assortment of marketplaces worldwide. Reference material on ancient rings has focused mainly on historic and “high-end” pieces—the precious metals and stones of royalty and the wealthy—while little has been written on the evaluation of common rings. This guide describes their composition, structure and imagery, thus providing merchants, collectors and researchers with a comprehensive reference on these ancient artifacts that, until now, have gone unexamined.

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Newly Published: “Bare Knees” Flapper

New on our bookshelf today:

“Bare Knees” Flapper: The Life and Films of Virginia Lee Corbin
Tim Lussier

One of the most popular Hollywood child stars of the late 1910s, Virginia Lee Corbin was well known to fans worldwide. With her mother as her manager, Corbin retained her popularity as she grew older. She performed in vaudeville for a couple of years before continuing her film career. Corbin fit well into the flapper mold of the Jazz Age and appeared in many films throughout the 1920s. As she matured, her mother found it ever more difficult to control her. Corbin led a difficult life. After her mother’s suicide attempt, she found that all the money she had earned was gone. Her marriage (at age 18) failed and she was eventually separated from her children. The flapper struggled to remain relevant in the sound era and was trying to make a comeback when she died at 31 in 1942.

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Newly Published: The Archive Incarnate

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The Archive Incarnate: The Embodiment and Transmission of Knowledge in Science Fiction
Joseph Hurtgen

We live in an information economy, a vast archive of data ever at our fingertips. In the pages of science fiction, powerful entities—governments and corporations—attempt to use this archive to control society, enforce conformity or turn citizens into passive consumers. Opposing them are protagonists fighting to liberate the collective mind from those who would enforce top-down control.

Archival technology and its depictions in science fiction have developed dramatically since the 1950s. Ray Bradbury discusses archives in terms of books and television media, and Margaret Atwood in terms of magazines and journaling. William Gibson focused on technofuturistic cyberspace and brain-to-computer prosthetics, Bruce Sterling on genetics and society as an archive of social practices. Neal Stephenson has imagined post-cyberpunk matrix space and interactive primers. As the archive is altered, so are the humans that interact with ever-advancing technology.

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Newly Published: Companion to Victorian Popular Fiction

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Companion to Victorian Popular Fiction
Edited by Kevin A. Morrison

This companion to Victorian popular fiction includes more than 300 cross-referenced entries on works written for the British mass market. Biographical sketches cover the writers and their publishers, the topics that concerned them and the genres they helped to establish or refine. Entries introduce readers to long-overlooked authors who were widely read in their time, with suggestions for further reading and emerging resources for the study of popular fiction.

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Newly Published: Diabolical Possession and the Case Behind The Exorcist

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Diabolical Possession and the Case Behind The Exorcist: An Overview of Scientific Research with Interviews with Witnesses and Experts
Sergio A. Rueda

Reexamining the purported 1949 exorcism of a 13-year old boy in Mount Ranier, Maryland—the most famous and widely documented case in history—the author explores the subject of demonic possession in the light of science. Eyewitness accounts, unpublished photos and never before published documents from the archives of the Rhine Research Foundation provide fresh perspective on the events that inspired the novel, and later the film, The Exorcist.

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Newly Published: Movements and Positions in the Battle of Kennesaw Mountain

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Movements and Positions in the Battle of Kennesaw Mountain: The Memoir of Colonel James T. Holmes, 52d Ohio Volunteer Infantry
James T. Holmes

Published here for the first time, the Civil War combat memoir of Lieutenant Colonel James Taylor Holmes of the 52nd Ohio Volunteers presents a richly detailed firsthand account of the action on Cheatham’s Hill during the June 1864 Battle of Kennesaw Mountain. Written in 1915, Holmes’ insightful narrative, with original hand-drawn diagrams, differs on key points from the accepted scholarship on troop movements and positions at Kennesaw, and contests the legitimacy of a battlefield monument. An extensive introduction and annotations by historian Mark A. Smith provide a brief yet comprehensive overview of the battle and places Holmes’ document in historical context.

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Newly Published: A NewsHound’s Guide to Student Journalism

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A NewsHound’s Guide to Student Journalism
Katina Paron and Javier Güelfi

Covering the basics of media arts values and practice, this graphic textbook offers cub reporters a primer on the drama, adventure and ethical conundrums that make journalism rewarding and fun. Using ripped-from-the-headlines examples, the authors challenge students to engage with the big issues. The stories revolve around a diverse newspaper staff at an urban high school who find themselves in a series of teachable moments. Packed with reporting exercises and fundamentals of the craft, woven into engaging narratives, each comic also gives readers a look at the real-life event that inspired the tale.

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Newly Published: The Romanian Cinema of Nationalism

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The Romanian Cinema of Nationalism: Historical Films as Propaganda and Spectacle
Onoriu Colăcel

Prior to the collapse of communism, Romanian historical movies were political, encouraging nationalistic feelings and devotion to the state. Vlad the Impaler and other such iconic figures emerged as heroes rather than loathsome bloodsuckers, celebrating a shared sense of belonging. The past decade has, however, presented Romanian films in which ordinary people are the stars—heroes, go-getters, swindlers and sore losers. The author explores a wide selection, old and new, of films set in the Romanian past.

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Newly Published: Christopher Nolan

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Christopher Nolan: A Critical Study of the Films
Darren Mooney

Christopher Nolan is one of the defining directors of the 21st century. Few of his contemporaries can compete in terms of critical and commercial success, let alone cultural impact. His films have a rare ability to transcend audience expectations, appealing to both casual moviegoers and dyed-in-the-wool cineastes.

Nolan’s work ranges from gritty crime thrillers (Memento, Insomnia) to spectacular blockbusters (the Dark Knight trilogy, Inception). They have taken audiences from the depths of space (Interstellar) to the harsh realities of war (Dunkirk). They have pushed the boundaries of possibility in modern movie making. This critical history covers his complete filmography, tracing his career from film student to indie darling to Oscar-nominated auteur.

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Newly Published: Religious Traditions of North Carolina

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Religious Traditions of North Carolina: Histories, Tenets and Leaders
Edited by W. Glenn Jonas, Jr. for the North Caroliniana Society

This book presents most of the religious traditions North Carolinians and their ancestors have embraced since 1650. Baptists, Presbyterians, Catholics, Methodists, Episcopalians, Jews, Brethren, Quakers, Lutherans, Mennonites, Moravians, and Pentecostals, along with African American worshippers and non–Christians, are covered in fourteen essays by men and women who have experienced the religions they describe in detail.

The North Caroliniana Society is a nonprofit, nonsectarian, membership organization dedicated to the promotion of increased knowledge and appreciation of North Carolina’s heritage through the encouragement of scholarly research and writing and the teaching of state and local history, literature and culture.

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Newly Published: My Own Four Walls

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My Own Four Walls: A Philadelphia Newspaper Columnist as Homesteader Between the Wars
Don Rose

Don Rose came to the U.S. from England in 1908, when he was 18, entering through Ellis Island like countless other immigrants. By 1941 he was one of Philadelphia’s best-known newspaper columnists. That year he published his gentle, funny memoir My Own Four Walls, the story of the ramshackle farmhouse he and Marjorie, his wife, bought in 1918 for themselves and their 12 children.

One of his grandsons, Neil Genzlinger, himself a journalist at the New York Times, here brings that book back to life, with the original illustrations, a century after his grandfather had signed the deed. Part diary, part DIY manual, Rose’s unsung classic is a tale of smoky fireplaces, leaky ceilings and unruly gardens, at a time when refrigerators were newfangled and suburban homes were furnished at country auctions. Most of all it is a story of how one man, with persistence, slowly put down roots in his adopted country.

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Newly Published: Under Fire with ARVN Infantry

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Under Fire with ARVN Infantry: Memoir of a Combat Advisor in Vietnam, 1966–1967
Bob Worthington

From 1945 to 1973, more than 100,000 members of the U.S. military were advisors in Vietnam. Of these, 66,399 were combat advisors. Eleven were awarded the Medal of Honor, 378 were killed and 1393 were wounded. Combat advisors lived and fought with South Vietnamese combat units, advising on tactics and weapons and liaising with local U.S. military support.

Bob Worthington’s first tour (1966–1967) began with training at the Army Special Warfare School in unconventional warfare, Vietnamese culture and customs, advisor responsibilities and Vietnamese language. Once in-country, he acted as senior advisor to infantry defense forces and then an infantry mobile rapid reaction force.

Worthington worked alongside ARVN forces, staging operations against Vietcong and North Vietnamese Army units and coordinated actions with the U.S. Marines. He describes a night helicopter assault by 320-man ARVN battalion against a 1,200-man NVA regiment. On another night, the Vietcong ceased fire while Worthington arranged a Marine helicopter to medevac a wounded baby.

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Newly Published: The Hopefuls

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The Hopefuls: Chasing a Rock ’n’ Roll Dream in the Minnesota Music Scene
Paul V. Allen

Songwriters, performers and producers Erik Appelwick, Eric Fawcett, John Hermanson and Darren Jackson were important players in an early 2000s musical collective. This collective included genres such as folk, power pop, R & B, electro-funk and indie rock. Well-known bands Storyhill, Spymob, Alva Star, Kid Dakota, Vicious Vicious, Tapes ’n Tapes, Olympic Hopefuls and others were part of this movement.

These four men worked for their rock n’ roll dreams, producing well-crafted albums and exciting live performances along the way. Their shared biography draws from dozens of new interviews and hundreds of articles to document their intersecting musical journeys—from playing air guitar to KISS records to rocking gyms in high school cover bands to touring the world with some of pop music’s biggest names. Equal parts celebration and cautionary tale, this book discusses both the rewards and difficulties of life as an independent musician.

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Newly Published: Jean Gabin

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Jean Gabin: The Actor Who Was France
Joseph Harriss

Jean Gabin was more than just a star of iconic movies still screened in film festivals around the world. To many, he was France itself. During his 45-year career, he acted in 95 French films, including Le Quai des BrumesLa Grande IllusionTouchez Pas au Grisbi and French Cancan.

From his start as a reluctant song and dance man at the Moulin Rouge and Folies Bergère, Gabin became a first-magnitude actor under such directors as Julien Duvivier, Marcel Carné and Jean Renoir. This revealing biography traces his involvement in the réalisme poétique and film noir movements of the 1930s and 1940s, his unhappy Hollywood years, his role in the World War II liberation of France, his tumultuous affairs with Michèle Morgan and Marlene Dietrich and his real-life role as a Normandy gentleman farmer.

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Newly Published: Artistic Collaboration Today

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Artistic Collaboration Today: Profiles of Creative Teams in Diverse Media
Victor M. Cassidy

Most artists work alone, but some find a creative partner and team up for their entire careers. Artistic collaborators testify that their work done jointly is better than what each person could create on his or her own. They say this collaboration is like marriage in the way that both partners benefit from a commitment to shared goals, excellent communication and trust.
Based on studio visits and in-depth interviews, this book reports on more than forty collaborating sculptors, painters, printmakers, photographers and other artists who have worked in tandem with architects and performers.

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Newly Published: Fantasy Literature and Christianity

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Fantasy Literature and Christianity: A Study of the Mistborn, Coldfire, Fionavar Tapestry and Chronicles of Thomas Covenant Series
Weronika Łaszkiewicz

The debate surrounding the Christian aspects of C.S. Lewis’s The Chronicles of Narnia, J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials and J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter has revealed not only the prominence of religious themes in fantasy fiction, but also readers’ concerns over portrayals of religion in fantasy. Yet while analyses of these works fill many volumes, other fantasy series have received much less attention. This critical study explores the fantastic religions and religious themes in the works of American and Canadian writers Stephen R. Donaldson (Chronicles of Thomas Covenant), Guy Gavriel Kay (Fionavar Tapestry), Celia S. Friedman (Coldfire Trilogy), and Brandon Sanderson (Mistborn) series. References to biblical tradition and Christian teachings reveal these writers’ overall approach to Christianity and the relationship between Christianity and the fantasy genre.