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Newly Published: Presidents by Fate

New on our bookshelf:

Presidents by Fate: Nine Who Ascended through Death or Resignation
F. Martin Harmon

Throughout the history of the United States, only nine men were elevated to the White House by the death or failure of a sitting president, and their legacies are as mixed as their circumstances. This book evaluates the similarities and distinct differences of these men, their varying degrees of ambition and readiness, and how each handled their suddenly enormous duties. Some became presidential legends, while others are counted among the worst. Their shared stories shed light on America’s political development during the last two centuries.

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Newly Published: Civil War Taxes

New on our bookshelf:

Civil War Taxes: A Documentary History, 1861–1900
John Martin Davis, Jr.

During the Civil War, both the North and South were challenged by fiscal and monetary needs, but physical differences such as gold reserves, industrialization and the blockade largely predicted the war’s outcome from the onset. To raise revenue for the war effort, every possible person, business, activity and property was assessed, but projections and collections were seldom up to expectations, and waste, fraud and ineffectiveness in the administration of the tax systems plagued both sides. This economic history uses forensic examination of actual documents to discover the various taxes that developed from the Civil War, including the direct and poll taxes, which were dropped; the income tax, which stands today; and the war tax, which was effective for only a short time.

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Newly Published: Coins and Currency

New on our bookshelf:

Coins and Currency: An Historical Encyclopedia, 2d ed.
Mary Ellen Snodgrass

During ancient times currency took varied forms, including beaver skins, bales of tobacco, and sea salt blocks. As art and technology advanced, monetary systems and currencies altered. Today, coins and currency provide an historical and archeological record of culture, religion, politics, and world leaders.

This updated second edition offers numerous entries of historical commentary on the role of coins and currency in human events, politics, and the arts. It begins with the origin of coins in ancient Sumer, and follows advancements in metallurgy and minting machines to paper, plastic, and electronic moneys designed to ease trade and halt counterfeiting and other forms of theft. A timeline of monetary history is provided along with a glossary and bibliography. Numerous photographs of coins and bills provide an up-close look at beautiful and ingenious artifacts.

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Plants Go to War Reviewed in Booklist

Plants Go to War: A Botanical History of World War II
Judith Sumner

“In this impressively researched exploration, esteemed ethnobotanist Sumner takes a scholarly yet totally accessible approach to the myriad ways plant materials were critical to both Allied and Axis war efforts. With balanced attention to domestic sacrifices and ingenuity, Sumner’s astonishing discoveries make this a fascinating read for botany buffs and those steeped in military history.”—Booklist

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Newly Published: Navigating the C-124 Globemaster

New on our bookshelf:

Navigating the C-124 Globemaster: In the Cockpit of America’s First Strategic Heavy-Lift Aircraft
Billy D. Higgins

The C-124 Globemaster—a U.S. military heavy-lift transport in service 1950 through 1974—barreling down a runway was an awesome sight. The aircraft’s four 3800 hp piston engines (the largest ever mass-produced), mounted on its 174-foot wingspan, could carry a 69,000-pound payload of tanks, artillery or other cargo, or 200 fully equipped troops, at more than 300 mph.

The flight crew, perched three stories above the landing gears in an unpressurized cockpit, relied, like Magellan, on celestial fixes to navigate over oceans. With a world-wide mission delivering troops and materials to such destinations as the Congo, Vietnam, Thule, Greenland and Antarctica, the Globemaster lived up to its name and was foundational to what Time magazine publisher Henry Luce termed the “American Century.”

Drawing on archives, Air Force bases, libraries and accident sites, and his own recollections as a navigator, the author details Cold War confrontations and consequent strategies that emerged after Douglas Aircraft Company delivered the first C-124A to the Military Air Transport Service in 1949.

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Newly Published: A U.S. Army Medical Base in World War I France

New on our bookshelf:

A U.S. Army Medical Base in World War I France: Life and Care at Bazoilles Hospital Center, 1918–1919
Peter Wever

Nothing in the small village of Bazoilles-sur-Meuse in the northeast of France bears witness today to the 13,000–bed Bazoilles Hospital Center located there during World War I. Yet in 1918–1919 more than 63,000 American soldiers received treatment there—three out of every 100 U.S. servicemen and women who served in Europe.

This richly illustrated history describes daily life and medical care at Bazoilles, providing a vivid picture of the conditions for both patients and personnel, along with stories of those who worked there, and those who were treated or died there.

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Newly Published: Pinkertons, Prostitutes and Spies

New on our bookshelf:

Pinkertons, Prostitutes and Spies: The Civil War Adventures of Secret Agents Timothy Webster and Hattie Lawton
John Stewart

Hattie Lawton was a young Pinkerton detective who with her partner, Timothy Webster, spied for the U.S. Secret Service during the Civil War. Working in Richmond, the two posed as husband and wife. A dazzling blonde from New York and a handsome Englishman, both with checkered pasts, they were matched in charm, cunning, duplicity and boldness. Betrayed by their own spymaster, Allan Pinkerton, they fell into the hands of the dictator of Richmond, the notorious General John H. “Hog” Winder.

This lively history, scrupulously researched from all available sources, corrects the record on many points and definitively answers the long-standing question of Hattie Lawton’s true identity.

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Newly Published: Nittany Nightmare

New on our bookshelf:

Nittany Nightmare: The Sex Murders of 1938–1940 and the Panic at Penn State
Derek J. Sherwood

As the Great Depression hit, Penn State College was cash-strapped and dilapidated. Cuts to athletic scholarships left the football program a shambles and the school a last resort for many students. In 1937, underfunded state police, fighting a losing battle against striking miners and steel workers in Johnstown, called in the National Guard.

There were not enough police to cover the state, and it showed. Then someone started killing young women in the area. Between November 1938 and May 1940, Rachel Taylor, Margaret Martin and Faye Gates were abducted and sexually assaulted, their bodies dumped within 50 miles of the college.

As the school grew into Pennsylvania State University and the Nittany Lions became a world-class team, two demoralized police agencies were merged, forming the precursor of the Pennsylvania State Police. Gates’s murderer was captured and convicted. The killer(s) of Taylor and Martin, however, have gone unidentified to this day.

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Newly Published: Madeleine Smith on Trial

New on our bookshelf:

Madeleine Smith on Trial: A Glasgow Murder and the Young Woman Too Respectable to Convict
Brian Jenkins

In 1855, Glasgow socialite Madeleine Smith began a flirtation with Pierre L’Angelier, a handsome clerk—for her a mere diversion. But L’Angelier sought social mobility. Their class disparity gave her control of the intrigue but when the relationship turned sexual, the power imbalance shifted. The Scots recognized irregular unions in certain cases. L’Angelier considered Smith his wife, a part she at first discreetly played. When he refused to step aside and allow her a more socially acceptable marriage, his removal became necessary. Smith’s sensational murder trial captivated both Britain and America. Despite compelling evidence of guilt, various factors led to her acquittal—her class and gender, the peculiarities of Scottish law—and many believed the case went to trial only because the Crown feared blatant confirmation that justice was not blind.

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Newly Published: The Traveling Chautauqua

New on our bookshelf:

The Traveling Chautauqua: Caravans of Culture in Early 20th Century America
Roger E. Barrows

Before radio and sound movies, early 20th century performers and lecturers traveled the nation providing entertainment and education to Americans thirsty for culture. These “chautauquas” brought politicians, activists, scholars, musical ensembles and theatrical productions to remote communities. A conduit for global perspectives and progressive ideas, these gatherings introduced issues like equal suffrage, prohibition and pure food laws to rural America.

This book explores an overlooked yet influential movement in U.S. history, capturing the vagaries of speakers’ and performers’ lives on the road and their reception by audiences. Excerpts from lectures and plays portray a vibrant circuit that in a single summer drew 20 million in more than 9,000 towns.

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Newly Published: Trail of Shadows

New on our bookshelf:

Trail of Shadows: The Unsolved Murders of Prohibition Agents Dale Kearney and Ray Sutton
Chuck Hornung and B. Lee Charlton

In the Summer of 1930, two federal prohibition agents were murdered. The first died in a hail of buckshot on a dark street in Aguilar, Colorado. Six weeks later, the second agent and his vehicle disappeared on a sunny afternoon along a New Mexico state highway south of Raton. These events occurred during the era when the government legislated a ban on alcohol manufacture, distribution, and sales within the United States. During their 50-year search, the authors sought answers to why no one was ever prosecuted for these crimes. This is the first book to correlate the two murders, identify how and why they occurred, name the parties involved and the roles they played. The authors interviewed many individuals associated with the events and discovered a trove of National Archives files containing incident reports, suspect interview notes, the dead agents’ daily activity logs and their personnel files. Building upon this base, they located the remaining documents generated by state and local law enforcement officers and additionally data mined private and public contemporary newspaper collections. The shadows along the trail lift as the light of truth is shown upon this mystery. Two federal agents can now rest in peace.

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Newly Published: Plants Go to War

New on our bookshelf:

Plants Go to War: A Botanical History of World War II
Judith Sumner

As the first botanical history of World War II, Plants Go to War examines military history from the perspective of plant science. From victory gardens to drugs, timber, rubber, and fibers, plants supplied materials with key roles in victory. Vegetables provided the wartime diet both in North America and Europe, where vitamin-rich carrots, cabbages, and potatoes nourished millions. Chicle and cacao provided the chewing gum and chocolate bars in military rations. In England and Germany, herbs replaced pharmaceutical drugs; feverbark was in demand to treat malaria, and penicillin culture used a growth medium made from corn. Rubber was needed for gas masks and barrage balloons, while cotton and hemp provided clothing, canvas, and rope. Timber was used to manufacture Mosquito bombers, and wood gasification and coal replaced petroleum in European vehicles. Lebensraum, the Nazi desire for agricultural land, drove Germans eastward; troops weaponized conifers with shell bursts that caused splintering. Ironically, the Nazis condemned non-native plants, but adopted useful Asian soybeans and Mediterranean herbs. Jungle warfare and camouflage required botanical knowledge, and survival manuals detailed edible plants on Pacific islands. Botanical gardens relocated valuable specimens to safe areas, and while remote locations provided opportunities for field botany, Trees surviving in Hiroshima and Nagasaki live as a symbol of rebirth after vast destruction.

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Newly Published: Words of a Monster

New on our bookshelf:

Words of a Monster: Analyzing the Writings of H.H. Holmes, America’s First Serial Killer
Rebecca Frost

Decades before the coining of the term “serial killer,” H.H. Holmes murdered dozens of people in his now-infamous Chicago “Murder Castle.” In his own autobiography, Holmes struggled to define himself in the language of the late nineteenth century. As the “first”—or, as he labeled himself, “The Greatest Criminal of the Age”—he had no one to compare himself to, and no ready-made biographical structure to follow. Holmes was thus nearly able to invent himself from scratch. This book uses Holmes’ writings and confessions to inspect how the Arch Fiend represented himself. Although the legitimacy of Holmes’ personal accounts have been called into question, his biography mirrors the narrative structure of the true crime genre that emerged decades after his death.

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McFarland 40th Anniversary Sale

We’re turning 40, and we’re celebrating with a special fortieth anniversary sale! Through June 30, get a 25% discount on ALL books when you use the code ANN2019. And if you’ll be in our area (Ashe County, North Carolina, in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains), we’d love to see you at our open house event on Friday, June 14. Thank you for supporting our first 40 years—we look forward to celebrating many more birthdays with you.

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Newly Published: Vietnam Veterans Unbroken

New on our bookshelf:

Vietnam Veterans Unbroken: Conversations on Trauma and Resiliency
Jacqueline Murray Loring

For 50 years, civilians have avoided hearing about the controversial experiences of Vietnam veterans, many of whom suffer through post-traumatic stress alone. Through interviews conducted with 17 soldiers, this book shares the stories of those who have been silenced. These men and women tell us about life before and after the war. They candidly share stories of 40–plus years lived on the “edge of the knife” and many wonder what their lives would be like if they had come home to praise and parades. They offer their tragedies and successes to newer veterans as choices to be made or rejected.

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McFarland Turns 40

On June 14, 2019, McFarland will celebrate its fortieth anniversary with an open house party. From noon to five, our campus at 960 Hwy 88 W, Jefferson, NC will be open to the public with finger food, conversation and tours available, and many of our authors will be in attendance. To stay up-t0-date with event information, follow our event page. Below is a brief company history, with personal thoughts, by founder and editor-in-chief Robert Franklin.

McFarland Publishers Now Forty Years Old
by Robert Franklin

McFarland’s history (founder, Robbie Franklin, me): My close friends Biff and Alicia Stickel were burned out special ed teachers in Connecticut, early 70’s.  What to do?  Back to the land!  They (and their little daughter Maranatha Shone Stickel) drove south till they loved the vibe and the scenery and wound up living on Peak Road from 1972 through part of 1978 (and birthing Micah Stickel).  Alicia played piano at the local Baptist church and they were cofounders of the Creston Co-op.  I visited them in ’72 (instantly fell for the land and people, the forefinger car salute, the almost drinkable river) and again every year after, and when wife Cheryl Roberts came into my life in 1975, we visited.  Soon I was bragging about Ashe County to everybody – “If your car breaks down, the very next person to come along will stop and ask if you need help.”  I hope a few readers can recognize the Stickels’ name (he goes by Richard now; they live in Toronto).  They are the reason McFarland was begun in Ashe County.  We present band of publishers, about fifty in number, owe them great honor.

I did not learn till after we moved here in 1979 that my Revolutionary War ancestor Lieutenant Robert McFarland, after whupping the king at Kings Mountain, lived up here in the 1790s.  He then went overmountain to become the first ever sheriff of Greene/Washington County, Tennessee.  (I was born in Memphis.)

McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers is our official name.  Founded in April 1979 right here.  I had been the executive editor of a smallish scholarly publisher in New Jersey; my mentor/boss/friend Eric Moon (a charismatic Brit) knew before I did it was time for me to go off on “my own” (very misleading words!).  The local Ashe County newspaper was failing by 1978 and at first I thought, o.k., I’m an editor type, maybe I can start up a new one.  Between summer and Christmas the local fellow David Desautels decided the same thing and very successfully started The Jefferson Times.  We became friends and McFarland’s earliest two or three books (including a biography of Soviet leader Brezhnev) were typeset using off-hours time on that new newspaper’s equipment.  Katy Zell Taylor was our first fulltime employee (Ashe Central H.S. yearbook editor!) and did a lot of typesetting and correcting.  Dental Care in Society was our first published book, in 1980 (ask me some day).

After deciding up in New Jersey to stay with book (versus newspaper) publishing, I phoned the Jefferson Post Office in February 1979 to set up a box number mailing address – they said people had to apply in person.  Whew!  So I flew from Newark to Tri-Cities, Tennessee (what did I know?), rented a car, drove to Jefferson (hours!), filled out a form, got back in the car, drove back to Tri-Cities, and got back home not long before day was done.

A couple of months later, on April 1, 1979, Cheryl and I packed our former life stuff (including hundreds of books—heavy!) in a small U-Haul, attached it to our VW bug, and  began to drive south, the Stickels’ Ashe County on our minds.

My ninth-grade homeroom friend (Toledo, Ohio), Mike Strand, had helped with some financial and emotional support and we stopped at his place in Maryland overnight.  Armed with an Ashe return address, I had written several hundred letters (yes!) on a yellow pad on my knees in the front seat while Cheryl drove, and Mike arranged for a nearby university used-to-weird-hours thesis typist to type them all overnight; we mailed them April 2 and drove on.  We were headed to my parents’ (retired librarians) house in Charlottesville, with me again writing several hundred short letters on my lap. We had arranged for a similar heroic overnight typing fest (the two days: 905 letters to all the authors I had addresses for, saying my former employer will take good care of you, they’re wonderful publishers—But if by any chance they turn you down for something, give us a shot!).

The U-Haul was too much for the Bug and our left rear wheel came OFF 20 miles north of Charlottesville—but stayed in the wheel well (having nowhere else to go), behaving violently.  Definitely exciting (it was my stint at the wheel).  We lost two or three days; I split logs for my parents’ fireplace.

In Ashe County finally, we scooped up some reply mail from authors.  Already!  And we soon secured a sweet farmhouse in Dillard Holler (landlord Jesse Dillard; Mom-figure Clyde Dillard; horse-plus-himself quarter-acre-garden plower Jones Dillard).  The Dillard families taught us a great deal about what being “conservative” actually means.  (One day Jesse turned up with several hundred fence rails he stored near “our” (his) house; no immediate need, but “I got ’em for 25¢ each.”  They stayed stacked for years…)  The birth of our sons Charles (in ’81), Nicholas (’85) and William (’89) certainly emphasized the Dillards’ lessons.  (Jesse routinely tossed hay bales up into pickup trucks in his 80’s.  Lemme be him!)

McFarland itself started out next to the H & R Block office, near the florist, in Jefferson, a small space but enough for our first couple of years.  The Jefferson Post Office turned out, under our loyal friend Charles Caudill, to be one of our greatest early assets.  He was so supportive as McF struggled through ignorance of mass mailings, foreign registered packages (we learned together!), “library rate” book mailings, etc.  McFarland moved in 1981 or ’82 to the Mountain View shopping center between the towns and quickly expanded there.  In 1982 we lucked out by having Rhonda Herman agree to join the tiny staff, doing all the “business” stuff while I coddled authors, edited manuscripts and coached the typesetters.  High school senior Cynthia Campbell became a stalwart and sixteen year old Cherie Scott was a wow of a typesetter, along with Katy Taylor, on our new typesetting equipment.  Within three years we were producing 40 or so new books a year (in 2018 the total was nearly 400).

Meanwhile, the people of Ashe County all around us showed interest, great surprise (“A Publisher in Ashe County?” read one huge Jefferson Times headline), and affection.  Highly significant was Hal Colvard, repeatedly trusting us, at Northwestern bank, another wonderful early friend of McFar.  We warmly greeted each other on Saturday mornings at the post office for many years after he retired.

By 1984 we’d moved to our present location, which became five buildings on both sides of the road.  We’re technically inside Jefferson town limits.  We took Mackey McDonald’s trim brick ranch house, whacked walls left and right, pushed out here, there… Years later we added a second floor – my joke is, the main building now has more roof lines than an Italian hill village.

We are, or were, a library-oriented scholarly and reference book publisher.  (We’ve grown much more into a straight-to-people operation today but libraries are still a critical component of our efforts.)  Two of our earliest works were Library Display Ideas by my sister Linda Franklin and Free Magazines for Libraries, by Adeline Mercer Smith: they were terrific sales successes.  Another 1982 biggie was Anabolic Steroids and the Athlete by William M. Taylor, M.D.  We hit that topic just as it exploded nationwide.  One of the most memorable early works was Keep Watching the Skies! by Bill Warren (1982).  This huge book expertly, humorously covers in amazing depth every American science fiction movie of the 1950s and a lot of Hollywood Big Names spoke highly of it in print.  We were famous!  (Well, the author was…)

McFarland was an early strong supporter of the local arts scene.  (There are hundreds of paintings hanging in four of our buildings.)  Cheryl Roberts and I founded the publication ARTS/DATES for the Arts Council in 1980 or 1981, and for more than a decade paid all its expenses as it grew grander and ever more useful.  Loyal Jane Lonon (Arts Council head) wangled twice for us an N.C. Governor’s Business Award for the Arts and Humanities (go to Raleigh; shake hands; pose for photos; eat dinner).

I joined the strong, active Ashe County Little Theatre and played Dracula for them in 1981, sporting fangs crafted by the late Brett Summey, who became a good friend, now truly missed.  Jane Lonon and I wowed the crowd in The King and I and Tom Fowler and I rolled them in the aisles in Greater Tuna.  When I played Macbeth, the high school English teacher promised extra credit to student attendees.

McFarland’s output grew rapidly—by the 1990s we were producing hundreds of new titles each year and our staff had doubled, then tripled in size.  Margie Turnmire had arrived in the mid–’80s, a beautiful soul and a very smart lady:  director of finance and administration.  In 1995 the Ashe County Chamber of Commerce honored us with a Business of the Year award (I believe we were the third such) and in 1998 The Wall Street Journal ran a feature article on us, showing that we are a bit unusual in our range of offerings.  We have a commanding position in, for example, Vietnam combat memoirs, chess history, baseball (teams, eras, bios), automotive history and popular culture (film, TV, comics, literature…).  We’ve done many reference books (though with Wiki-Google etc. now such works are uneconomical to produce); a Library Journal book of the year was local John Stewart’s African States and Rulers in 1989.  Lots of Civil War, World War II, American/European/World history, literary criticism.  Authors from all over the world.  That part’s fun!  As I write this we have published 7,800 titles.

We had busted out of our onsite warehouse and used the old Ashe County Jail on Buffalo Road for several years in the 80s!  Ultimately we had to move our shipping operation into the building next to the Arts Council owned by Jim Reeves.  On its outer wall facing the Arts Center we had Jack Young do the town’s first mural (now painted over):  “Ashe County through the Ages.”  Finally, Mike Herman built us an entirely new warehouse across the road from our main building in about 1990.  Fourteen years later, then-vice-president Rhonda Herman (now president) moved the company onto firmer financial footing by arranging to install state-of-the-art printing equipment in that warehouse (we’d always used out-of-house printing firms).

Cheryl and I love Ashe County.  We love the people.  We love the trees, the river.  (We came in first in the Mixed Expert class canoe race four or five years ago!)  I even like the curves driving 23 miles to and fro our home to work (we live practically on the Tennessee line, up in the Flatwoods).  The finger salute still works and the tire zing helps me think through business challenges.  Our three boys, Charles, Nicky and William, also revere their place of birth.  McFarland has about 50 employees, all of whom are exceptionally talented.  When I got here to start the company, I truly had my pick of some of the best talent available anywhere, and I mean Anywhere.  Our typesetters know every Hungarian or Swedish accent mark there is!

The local merchants have become business partners.  Local artists have paintings hanging in our offices.  The restaurants are great for business lunches.  The weather—sublime (I learned to fell trees and the art of minimizing the lifting and stacking of logs our first year here); I like winter!  Mike Herman built our house and the numerous renovations of our current space—impossible to imagine a better job.  Stan Barker did some fabulous stone walls at our home.  I feel both cozy and exhilarated just getting up in the morning!  Ashe County, we’re for you!

McFarland is having an open house (snacks, drinks, tours) starting at noon on Friday, June 14th.  We want to show our thanks to a community that has nurtured us for 40 years.  Come one, come all!

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Author Charles “Jerry” Juroe Receives France’s Legion of Honor

Charles “Jerry” Juroe, who ran publicity on 14 James Bond movies, starting with Dr. No in 1962, will be awarded France’s prestigious Legion of Honor award for excellence in military conduct on June 6th, 2019 during D-Day Celebrations in Normandy.  Juroe, 96, was part of the historic invasion on June 6th, 1944.  After his WWII service, Juroe had a long career in the film industry, starting out as a publicist for Paramount Pictures, then serving as the personal publicist for stars like Bob Hope, Bing Crosby and Marilyn Monroe when she was filming The Prince And The Showgirl in England.  Jerry was based in Europe for many years, working for every major studio. He worked with The Beatles on their UA movies, A Hard Day’s Night and Help!, but is best known for his association with the Bond films and his fruitful working relationship with legendary producer, Albert “Cubby” Broccoli. In 2018, he published his memoir, Bond, the Beatles and My Year with Marilyn: 50 Years as a Movie Marketing Man.

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Newly Published: The Star Gate Archives

New on our bookshelf:

The Star Gate Archives: Reports of the United States Government Sponsored Psi Program, 1972–1995. Volume 4: Operational Remote Viewing: Memorandums and Reports
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.

Volume 4 focuses on selections from a vast body of U.S. Government documents that present a multifaceted view of its support of Star Gate. These materials show that the project was briefed to the President, Vice President, agency directors and Secretaries of the Armed Services, and other senior officials. The fact that the program ran for so many years, and that there were many returning end users, is offered as evidence of the utility of psi, and hence of its very existence.

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Newly Published: Spike Lee’s Bamboozled and Blackface in American Culture

New on our bookshelf:

Spike Lee’s Bamboozled and Blackface in American Culture
Elizabeth L. Sanderson

Spike Lee’s challenging film Bamboozled (2000) is often read as a surface level satire of blackface minstrelsy. Careful analysis, however, gives way to a complex and nuanced study of the history of black performance. This book analyzes the work of five men, minstrel performer Bert Williams, director Oscar Micheaux, writer Ralph Ellison, painter Michael Ray Charles, and director Spike Lee, all through the lens of this misunderstood film. Equal parts biography and cultural analysis, this book examines the intersections of these five artists and Bamboozled, and investigates their shared legacy of resistance against misrepresentation.

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Newly Published: Opdycke’s Tigers in the Civil War

New on our bookshelf:

Opdycke’s Tigers in the Civil War: A History of the 125th Ohio Volunteer Infantry
Thomas Crowl

Organized in the fall of 1862, the 125th Ohio Volunteer Infantry was commanded by the aggressive and ambitious Colonel Emerson Opdycke, a citizen-soldier with no military experience who rose to brevet major general.

Part of the Army of the Cumberland, the 125th first saw combat at Chickamauga. Charging into Dyer’s cornfield to blunt a rebel breakthrough, the Buckeyes pressed forward and, despite heavy casualties, drove the enemy back, buying time for the fractured Union army to rally. Impressed by the heroic charge of an untested regiment, Union General Thomas Wood labeled them “Opdycke’s Tigers.”

After losing a third of their men at Chickamauga, the 125th fought engagements across Tennessee and Georgia during 1864, and took part in the decisive battles at Franklin and Nashville.
Drawing on both primary sources and recent scholarship, this is the first full-length history of the regiment in more than 120 years.

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Newly Published: Folk Music and the New Left in the Sixties

New on our bookshelf:

Folk Music and the New Left in the Sixties
Michael Scott Cain

Artists have often provided the earliest demonstrations of conscience and ethical examination in response to political events. The political shifts that took place in the 1960s were addressed by a revival of folk music as an expression of protest, hope and the courage to imagine a better world. This work explores the relationship between the cultural and political ideologies of the 1960s and the growing folk music movement, with a focus on musicians Phil Oaks; Joan Baez; Peter, Paul and Mary; Carolyn Hester and Bob Dylan.

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Newly Published: To Deprave and Corrupt

New on our bookshelf:

To Deprave and Corrupt: Obscenity Battles in British Law and Culture
Catherine Scott

Thousands have run afoul of Britain’s Obscene Publications Act—from Victorian erotica presses to 21st-century dominatrices. At a time when the internet has made sexually explicit material ubiquitous, why are British traditional media still regulated by a vaguely worded law from 1857?

This comprehensive analysis of obscenity in British culture explores what is considered obscene, who gets to decide, and how class, race and gender inform laws regarding adult content. The author describes how obscenity laws disproportionately affect the BDSM subculture, the LGBT community and feminist porn performers.

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Newly Published: Democratic Repairman

New on our bookshelf:

Democratic Repairman: The Political Life of J. Howard McGrath
Debra A. Mulligan

As governor of Rhode Island, J. Howard McGrath oversaw the passage of social legislation aimed at improving the lives of his constituents during the dark days of World War II. As a Rhode Island senator he served as the Democratic National Committee Chairman during the contentious 1948 presidential election, when few believed Harry Truman could defeat New York governor Thomas R. Dewey.

Following Truman’s victory, McGrath could easily have written his own ticket to further political success—but his career was cut short in 1952 when he was forced to resign as Attorney General amid a cloud of scandal. This biography traces the rise and fall of a politician who achieved notable success yet ultimately fell victim to his appetite for power, fame and fortune.

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Newly Published: Peanuts and American Culture

New on our bookshelf:

Peanuts and American Culture: Essays on Charles M. Schulz’s Iconic Comic Strip
Peter W.Y. Lee

Peanuts creator Charles M. Schulz insisted good ol’ Charlie Brown and his friends were neither “great art” nor “significant.” Yet Schulz’s acclaimed daily comic strip—syndicated in thousands of newspapers over five decades—brilliantly mirrored tensions in American society during the second half of the 20th century.

Focusing on the strip’s Cold War roots, this collection of new essays explores existentialism, the reshaping of the nuclear family, the Civil Rights Movement, 1960s counterculture, feminism, psychiatry and fear of the bomb. Chapters focus on the development of Lucy, Peppermint Patty, Schroeder, Franklin, Shermy, Snoopy and the other characters that became American icons.

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Newly Published: Marie Marvingt, Fiancée of Danger

New on our bookshelf:

Marie Marvingt, Fiancée of Danger: First Female Bomber Pilot, World-Class Athlete and Inventor of the Air Ambulance
Rosalie Maggio

Marie Marvingt (1875–1973) set the world’s first women’s aviation records, won the only gold medal for outstanding performance in all sports, invented the airplane ambulance, was the first female bomber pilot in history, fought in World War I disguised as a man, took part in the Resistance of World War II, was the first to survive crossing the English Channel in a balloon, worked all her life as a journalist, spent years in North Africa and invented metal skis. Her life story was so unusually rich in exploits and accomplishments that some dismissed it as a hoax.

This biography explores the life of “the most incredible woman since Joan of Arc” and investigates the reasons she has been forgotten. Known as the “fiancée of danger,” she was the model for the silent film series The Perils of Pauline.

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Newly Published: A True Child of Papua New Guinea

New on our bookshelf:

A True Child of Papua New Guinea: Memoir of a Life In Two Worlds
Maggie Wilson

Maggie Wilson was born in the highlands of Papua New Guinea to Melka Amp Jara, a woman of the highlands, and Patrick Leahy, brother of Australian explorers Michael and Daniel Leahy, who were among the first Australian explorers to encounter people in the Highlands of Papua New Guinea, during an expedition in search for gold. Maggie’s life serves as a window into the complex social and cultural transformations experienced during the early years of the Australian administration in Papua New Guinea and the first three decades after independence. This ethnography—started as an autobiography and completed by Rosita Henry after Maggie’s death in 2009—tells Maggie’s story and the stories of those whose lives she touched. Their recollections of Maggie Wilson offer insights into life in Papua New Guinea today.

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Newly Published: The Civil War from Its Origins to Reconstruction

New on our bookshelf:

The Civil War from Its Origins to Reconstruction
James S. Pula

The period of Sectionalism, Civil War and Reconstruction was the most traumatic in American history. The outcome changed the foundations of the nation, with effects still felt today. While most Civil War histories focus on specific topics―military history, economics, politics―this book presents the narrative as it unfolded against a broader historical background. Drawing on direct quotations from actual participants, the author provides an interpretive overview of the issues and events that divided and then devastated the United States.

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Newly Published: Diagnosing Churchill

New on our bookshelf:

Diagnosing Churchill: Bipolar or “Prey to Nerves”?
Wilfred Attenborough

The posthumous diagnosis of Winston Churchill as manic-depressive has been drawn entirely from biographical information, which, though significant to understanding his life and mind, has often been misused or misunderstood. This book investigates how such materials have been interpreted (and misinterpreted) in relation to Churchill’s mental health, taking a particularly close look at his association with nerves or “neurasthenia.” Included are appendices on Churchill’s remedies for worry and mental overstrain and an investigation of his mental state after losing the 1945 general election.

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Newly Published: Lincoln’s Greatcoat

New on our bookshelf:

Lincoln’s Greatcoat: The Unlikely Odyssey of a Presidential Relic
Reignette G. Chilton

Brooks Brothers crafted Abraham Lincoln’s greatcoat in honor of the president’s second inauguration. The coat’s wool was “finer than cashmere” and its silk-embroidered lining read, “One Country, One Destiny.” Lincoln was wearing the garment when he was assassinated on April 14, 1865. After her husband’s death, Mrs. Lincoln gave the greatcoat to a faithful White House doorkeeper. More than a century after her bequest, the coat was returned to Ford’s Theatre, but not before it underwent a mysterious and exciting journey. This book recounts that journey as a reminder of the 16th president and his call to “bind up wounds” and care for others.

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Newly Published: Author in Chief

New on our bookshelf:

Author in Chief: The Presidents as Writers from Washington to Trump
Michael B. Costanzo

With the publication of his Personal Memoirs in 1885, Ulysses S. Grant established what is today known as the presidential memoir. Every U.S. president since Benjamin Harrison has written one and many have turned to other forms of writing, as well.

This book covers the history of works—including autobiographies, diaries, political manifestos, speeches, fiction and poetry—authored by U.S. presidents and published prior to, during or after their terms. The writing was easy for some, harder for others, with varying success, from literary comebacks and bestsellers to false starts and failures.

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Newly Published: British Blockade Runners in the American Civil War

New on our bookshelf:

British Blockade Runners in the American Civil War
Joseph McKenna

Perhaps more than all the campaigns of the Union armies, the Union naval blockade—covering all major Southern ports along 3,500 miles of coastline for the duration of the war—brought down the Confederacy. The daring exploits of Confederate blockade runners are well known—but many of them were British citizens operating out of neutral ports such as Nassau, Havana and Bermuda.
Focusing on British involvement in the war, this history names the overseas bankers and manufacturers who, in critical need of cotton and other Confederate exports, financed and equipped the fast little ships that ran the blockade. The author attempts to disentangle the names and aliases of the captains—many of whom were Royal Navy officers on temporary leave—and tells their stories in their own words.

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Newly Published: The Star Gate Archives

New on our bookshelf:

The Star Gate Archives: Reports of the United States Government Sponsored Psi Program, 1972–1995. Volume 3: Psychokinesis
Compiled and Edited by Edwin C. May and Sonali Bhatt Marwaha

Star Gate is the largest funded program in the history of psi research receiving about $19.933 million in funding from 1972 to 1995. Researchers from SRI International, and later at Science Applications International Corporation, in association with various U.S. intelligence agencies participated in this program.

Using the remote viewing method, research focused on understanding the applicability and nature of psi in general but mostly upon informational psi. Volume 1: Remote Viewing (1972–1984) and Volume 2: Remote Viewing (1985–1995) include all aspects of RV including laboratory trials and several operational results. Volume 3: Psychokinesis focuses on laboratory investigations. Volume 4: Operational Remote Viewing: Government Memorandums and Reports includes an analysis of the applied remote viewing program and a selection of documents that provide a narrative on the behind the scenes activities of Star Gate.

In a total of 504 separate missions from 1972 to 1995, remote viewing produced actionable intelligence prompting 89 percent of the customers to return with additional missions. The Star Gate data indicate that informational psi is a valid phenomenon. These data have led to the development of a physics and neuroscience based testable model for the underlying mechanism, which considers informational psi as a normal, albeit atypical, phenomenon.

The Star Gate data found insufficient evidence to support the causal psi (psychokinesis) hypothesis.

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New in Softcover: Wives of the American Presidents, 2d ed.

Now available in softcover:

Wives of the American Presidents, 2d ed.
Carole Chandler Waldrup

Their personalities often set the tone for Washington society, from Julia Tyler’s open hospitality to Sarah Polk’s somber religious devotion. Some, like Abigail Adams, had little formal schooling. Others, such as Pat Nixon and Hillary Clinton, earned college degrees. There were those who outlived their spouses as well as women who died before seeing their husbands realize their presidential dreams. In spite of differing circumstances, these presidential wives influenced—sometimes overtly and often inadvertently—everything from domestic political agendas to foreign policy through their relationships with their husbands.

This book discusses the lives and circumstances of the women who have been married to an American president. It emphasizes the relationship each wife had with her husband and the ways in which this contributed to the success or failure of his presidency. Details include birthplace, upbringing, political viewpoints and final resting place. Chapters are also included on women such as Hannah Van Buren and Jane Wyman, who although married to men who eventually became president, never became first lady.

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Newly Published: Historic Nevada Waters

New on our bookshelf:

Historic Nevada Waters: Four Rivers, Three Lakes, Past and Present
Hunt Janin and Ursula Carlson

The Great Basin is a hydrographic region that includes most of Nevada and parts of five other Western states. The histories of four of the Western rivers of the Great Basin—the Walker, the Truckee, the Carson and the Humboldt—are explored in this book, along with three of the western lakes of the Great Basin: Lake Tahoe, Pyramid Lake, and Walker Lake. Drawing on a range of sources, the coauthors address both the natural and the human aspects of the history and likely futures of Great Basin waterways.

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Newly Published: Alert America!

New on our bookshelf:

Alert America!: The Atomic Bomb and “The Show That May Save Your Life”
Michael Scheibach

To address the threat of an atomic-armed Soviet Union during the early days of the Cold War, President Harry Truman approved the Alert America exhibit as the most effective way to convey the destructive power of the atomic bomb and to encourage participation in civil defense. Following its debut in the nation’s capital in January 1952, Alert America, promoted as “The Show That May Save Your Life,” traveled in three separate convoys to more than eighty cities considered most likely to be bombed, and garnered unprecedented support from elected and civic officials, the media, the military, private industry, and myriad organizations. This is the first book to examine the scope and impact of Alert America, which has been largely overlooked by historians. Also included are resource materials providing insights into the government’s overriding objective of preparing men, women and children to survive an atomic war.

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Newly Published: Mass Suicides on Saipan and Tinian, 1944

New on our bookshelf:

Mass Suicides on Saipan and Tinian, 1944: An Examination of the Civilian Deaths in Historical Context
Alexander Astroth

When the Americans invaded the Japanese-controlled islands of Saipan and Tinian in 1944, civilians and combatants committed mass suicide to avoid being captured. Though these mass suicides have been mentioned in documentary films, they have received scant scholarly attention. This book draws on United States National Archives documents and photographs, as well as veteran and survivor testimonies, to provide readers with a better understanding of what happened on the two islands and why. The author details the experiences of the people of the islands from prehistoric times to the present, with an emphasis on the Japanese, Okinawan, Korean, Chamorro and Carolinian civilians during invasion and occupation.

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Newly Published: Professionalizing Medicine

New on our bookshelf:

Professionalizing Medicine: James Reeves and the Choices That Shaped American Health Care
John M. Harris Jr.

This biography of James Edmund Reeves, whose legislative accomplishments cemented American physicians’ control of the medical marketplace, illuminates landmarks of American health care: the troubled introduction of clinical epidemiology and development of botanic medicine and homeopathy, the Civil War’s stimulation of sanitary science and hospital medicine, the rise of government involvement, the revolution in laboratory medicine, and the explosive growth of phony cures. It recounts the human side of medicine as well, including the management of untreatable diseases and the complex politics of medical practice and professional organizing. Reeves’ life provides a reminder that while politics, economics, and science drive the societal trajectory of modern health care, moral decisions often determine its path.

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Newly Published: Pardonable Matricide

New on our bookshelf:

Pardonable Matricide: Robert Irving Latimer, from Michigan’s “Most Dangerous Inmate” to Free Man
Tobin T. Buhk

In January 1889, as London constables hunted for Jack the Ripper and theaters around the world presented theatrical renditions of the Jekyll and Hyde story, Jackson, Michigan, Police Captain Jack Boyle searched for the murderer of Mary Latimer. This book follows Captain Boyle to the bordellos of gaslight-era Detroit—populated by madams, pimps, prostitutes and gamblers. It describes the investigation that led him to a pharmacist that prowled the streets, akin to a real-life Jekyll and Hyde. Ultimately, the book delves into the mind of Robert Irving Latimer, known as the most dangerous prisoner in Michigan and the man who inspired talk about resurrecting the state’s long-dead death penalty.

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Newly Published: Healing Waters

New on our bookshelf:

Healing Waters: A History of Victorian Spas
Jeremy Agnew

Modern spas are wellness resorts that offer beauty treatments, massages and complementary therapies. Victorian spas were sanitariums, providing “water cure” treatments supplemented by massage, vibration, electricity and radioactivity.

Rooted in the palliative health reforms of the early 19th century, spas of the Victorian Age grew out of the hydrotherapy institutions of the 1840s—an alternative to the horrors of bleeding and purging. The regimen focused on diet, rest, cessation of alcohol and foods that upset the stomach, stress reduction and plenty of water. The treatments, though sometimes of a dubious nature, formed the transition from the primitive methods of “heroic medicine” to the era of scientifically based practices.

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Newly Published: Auto Racing in the Shadow of the Great War

New on our bookshelf:

Auto Racing in the Shadow of the Great War: Streamlined Specials and a New Generation of Drivers on American Speedways, 1915–1922
Robert Dick

From 1915 through the early 1920s, American auto racing experienced rapid and exciting change. Competition by European vehicles forced American car manufacturers to incorporate new features, resulting in legendary engineering triumphs (and, essentially, works of art). Some of the greatest drivers in racing history were active during this time—Ralph DePalma, Dario Resta, Eddie Rickenbacker, the Chevrolet brothers, Jimmy Murphy.

Presenting dozens of races in detail and a wealth of engineering specs, this history recalls the era’s cigar-shaped speedway specials and monumental board tracks, the heavy-footed drivers, fearless mechanics, gifted engineers and enthusiastic backers.

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Newly Published: General Custer, Libbie Custer and Their Dogs

New on our bookshelf:

General Custer, Libbie Custer and Their Dogs: A Passion for Hounds, from the Civil War to Little Bighorn
Brian Patrick Duggan

General George Armstrong Custer and his wife, Libbie Custer, were wholehearted dog lovers. At the time of his death at Little Bighorn, they owned a rollicking pack of 40 hunting dogs, including Scottish Deerhounds, Russian Wolfhounds, Greyhounds and Foxhounds. Told from a dog owner’s perspective, this biography covers their first dogs during the Civil War and in Texas; hunting on the Kansas and Dakota frontiers; entertaining tourist buffalo hunters, including a Russian Archduke, English aristocrats and P. T. Barnum (all of whom presented the general with hounds); Custer’s attack on the Washita village (when he was accused of strangling his own dogs); and the 7th Cavalry’s march to Little Bighorn with an analysis of rumors about a Last Stand dog. The Custers’ pack was re-homed after his death in the first national dog rescue effort. Well illustrated, the book includes an appendix giving depictions of the Custers’ dogs in art, literature and film.

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Newly Published: Good Queen Anne

New on our bookshelf:

Good Queen Anne: Appraising the Life and Reign of the Last Stuart Monarch
Judith Lissauer Cromwell

Queen Anne (1665–1714) was not charismatic, brilliant or beautiful, but under her rule, England rose from the chaos of regicide, civil war and revolution to the cusp of global supremacy. She fought a successful overseas war against Europe’s superpower and her moderation kept the crown independent of party warfare at home. This biography reveals Anne Stuart as resolute, kind and practical—a woman who surmounted personal tragedy and poor health to become a popular and effective ruler.

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Newly Published: Church and State in the Roberts Court

New on our bookshelf:

Church and State in the Roberts Court: Christian Conservatism and Social Change in Ten Cases, 2005–2018
Jerold Waltman

Religious liberty is often called “the first freedom.” For many years, few decisions made by the Supreme Court have been more significant for ordinary Americans than those concerning issues of church and state. By what criteria do the justices make these holdings?

This analysis reaches beyond legal doctrines and focuses on four important aspects of change in the American religious landscape: increasing religious diversity; the rise of secularism; the fast growing political influence of gay and lesbian groups; and the pushback from conservative Christians caused by these trends. The author examines how these changes nation-wide have influenced the Supreme Court under Chief Justice John Roberts in dealing with church-state cases.

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Newly Published: Harry Potter and the Cedarville Censors

New on our bookshelf:

Harry Potter and the Cedarville Censors: Inside the Precedent-Setting Defeat of an Arkansas Book Ban
Brian Meadors

In 2002, the Cedarville School Board in Crawford County, Arkansas, ordered the removal of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books from library shelves, holding that “witchcraft or sorcery [should not] be available for study.” The Board picked some formidable adversaries. School librarian Estella Roberts, standing on policy, had the books reviewed—and unanimously approved—by a committee of teachers and administrators that included a child and a parent. Not satisfied with the Board’s half-measure permitting access to the books with parental approval, 4th-grader Dakota Counts and her father Bill Counts sued the school district in Federal court, drawing on the precedent Pico v. Island Trees to reaffirm that Constitutional rights apply to school libraries. Written by the lawyer who prosecuted the case, this book details the origins of the book ban and the civil procedures and legal arguments that restored the First Amendment in Cedarville.

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Newly Published: Longstreet at Gettysburg

New on our bookshelf:

Longstreet at Gettysburg: A Critical Reassessment
Cory M. Pfarr

This is the first book-length, critical analysis of Lieutenant General James Longstreet’s actions at the Battle of Gettysburg. The author argues that Longstreet’s record has been discredited unfairly, beginning with character assassination by his contemporaries after the war and, persistently, by historians in the decades since. By closely studying the three-day battle, and conducting an incisive historiographical inquiry into Longstreet’s treatment by scholars, this book presents an alternative view of Longstreet as an effective military leader, and refutes over a century of negative evaluations of his performance.

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Newly Published: The Culture and Art of Death in 19th Century America

New on our bookshelf:

The Culture and Art of Death in 19th Century America
D. Tulla Lightfoot

Nineteenth-century Victorian-era mourning rituals—long and elaborate public funerals, the wearing of lavishly somber mourning clothes, and families posing for portraits with deceased loved ones—are often depicted as bizarre or scary. But behind many such customs were rational or spiritual meanings.
This book offers an in-depth explanation at how death affected American society and the creative ways in which people responded to it. The author discusses such topics as mediums as performance artists and postmortem painters and photographers, and draws a connection between death and the emergence of three-dimensional media.

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Newly Published: Birthplace of the Atomic Bomb

New on our bookshelf:

Birthplace of the Atomic Bomb: A Complete History of the Trinity Test Site
William S. Loring

It was not Robert Oppenheimer who built the bomb—it was engineers, chemists and young physicists in their twenties, many not yet having earned a degree. The first atomic bomb was originally conceived as a backup device, a weapon not then currently achievable. The remote Trinity Site—the birthplace of the bomb—was used as a test range for U.S. bombers before the first nuclear device was secretly detonated. After the blast, locals speculated that the flash and rumble were caused by colliding B-29s, while Manhattan Project officials nervously measured high levels of offsite radiation.

Drawing on original documents, many recently declassified, the author sheds new light on a pivotal moment in history—now approaching its 75th anniversary—told from the point of view of the men who inaugurated the Atomic Age in the New Mexico desert.

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Newly Published: Terrorism Worldwide, 2018

New on our bookshelf:

Terrorism Worldwide, 2018
Edward Mickolus

This comprehensive worldwide study catalogs terrorist attacks in 2018, during which the Islamic State continued its decline from a quasi-government commanding territory the size of the United Kingdom to a more traditional terrorist network controlling just 1000 square miles. Yet IS still boasts 30,000 adherents in Syria and Iraq, with many others awaiting plans for attacks in their home nations. Organized by region and country, this volume covers domestic and international incidents around the world, outlining significant trends. The author offers several indicators of what to watch in the coming years. The single-year format allows readers access to the most up-to-date information on terrorism, while geographic focus more easily facilitates regional comparison.

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Newly Published: The Mayor of Shantytown

New on our bookshelf:

The Mayor of Shantytown: The Life of Father James Renshaw Cox
Richard Gazarik

Father James R. Cox became the voice of Pittsburgh’s poor and jobless during the worst years of the Great Depression. Long lines of needy people were showing up daily at St. Patrick’s Church in the city’s historic Strip District but Cox turned no one away. He served more than two million meals to the hungry and was the “mayor” of a shantytown of homeless men.

In 1932, Cox led one of the first mass marches on Washington, D.C., confronting President Herbert Hoover in a face-to-face White House meeting. He later ran for president himself on the Jobless Party ticket—a quixotic campaign that ended in the deserts of New Mexico. Father Cox’s reputation as a humanitarian was ruined after he barely escaped a mail fraud conviction for running a rigged fundraising contest.

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Newly Published: Syrian Women Refugees

New on our bookshelf:

Syrian Women Refugees: Personal Accounts of Transition
Ozlem Ezer

Based on original interviews conducted across three continents, this book relates the experiences of nine Syrian women refugees and their perspectives on a range of subjects. Each narrative reveals a displaced woman’s concept of the self in relation to memory, history, trauma and reconciliation within familial, international and cultural contexts. Their life stories contribute to building bonds and promoting trust between locals and “strangers” who are often defined only by their status as refugees. The book raises critical questions about stereotypes and racism while reminding readers of the shared joys and concerns of womanhood across cultures.

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Newly Published: The Confederate Yellow Fever Conspiracy

New on our bookshelf:

The Confederate Yellow Fever Conspiracy: The Germ Warfare Plot of Luke Pryor Blackburn, 1864–1865
H. Leon Greene

Defeat was looming for the South—as the Civil War continued, paths to possible victory were fast disappearing. Dr. Luke Pryor Blackburn, a Confederate physician and expert in infectious diseases, had an idea that might turn the tide: he would risk his own life and career to bring a yellow fever epidemic to the North. To carry out his mission, he would need some accomplices. Tracing the plans and movements of the conspirators, this thoroughly researched history describes in detail the yellow fever plot of 1864–1865.

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Newly Published: Snakes in American Culture

New on our bookshelf:

Snakes in American Culture: A Hisstory
Jesse C. Donahue and Conor Shaw-Draves

The literature on snakes is manifold but overwhelmingly centered on the natural sciences. Little has been published about them in the fields of popular culture or the history of medicine.

Focusing primarily on American culture and history from the 1800s, this study draws on a wide range of sources—including newspaper archives, medical journals, and archives from the Smithsonian Institute—to examine the complex relationship between snakes and humans.

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New in Softcover: The Texas Rangers

Now available in softcover:

The Texas Rangers: A Registry and History
Darren L. Ivey

The Texas Ranger law enforcement agency features so prominently in Texan and Wild West folklore that its accomplishments have been featured in everything from pulp novels to popular television. After a brief overview of the Texas Rangers’ formation, this book provides an exhaustive account of every known Ranger unit from 1823 to the present. Each chapter provides a brief contextual explanation of the time period covered and features entries on each unit’s commanders, periods of service, activities, and supervising authorities. Appendices include an account of the Rangers’ battle record, a history of the illustrious badge, documents relating to the Rangers, and lists of Rangers who have died in service, been inducted into the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame, or received the Texas Department of Public Safety’s Medal of Valor.

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Newly Published: Valor of Many Stripes

New on our bookshelf:

Valor of Many Stripes: Remarkable Americans in World War II
Scott Baron

The award of a military decoration does not define valor—it only recognizes it. Many acts of notable courage and self-sacrifice occur on the battlefield but are often obscured in the fog of battle or lost to history, unrecognized and unheralded.

The largely overlooked men and women in this volume did incredible things in dire circumstances. Although in some cases decorations were awarded—including several Medals of Honor—their stories remain unknown.

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Biographies and Memoirs Catalog and Sale

McFarland’s biographies and memoirs cover the fascinating life stories of both iconic personalities and quiet heroes.  On sale now, browse hundreds of titles from history, sports, movies, music, science & technology, literature, military history, transportation and more. When you order direct from our website using the coupon code BIOGRAPHY, print editions of all biographies, autobiographies and memoirs are 20% off now through February 15.

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Newly Published: America’s Anchor

New on our bookshelf:

America’s Anchor: A Naval History of the Delaware River and Bay, Cradle of the United States Navy
Kennard R. Wiggins, Jr.

This naval history of the Delaware Estuary spans three centuries, from the arrival of the Europeans to the end of the World War II. The author describes the shipbuilders and infrastructure, and the ships and men who sailed this surprisingly active waterway in peace and in war. From Philadelphia to the Delaware Capes, the story of the nascent U.S. Navy and key historical figures emerges. Dozens of historic images and four appendices are included.

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Newly Published: A Burned Land

New on our bookshelf:

A Burned Land: The Trans-Mississippi in the Civil War
Robert R. Laven

Often neglected by historians, actions in Missouri and Kansas had an important influence on the course of the Civil War, with profound effects for the communities and people in the region. Outside of Virginia and Tennessee, Missouri was perhaps the most hotly contested territory during the war. The fighting in Missouri culminated with an expedition that re-wrote the books on tactics and the use of mounted infantry.

This book focuses on the experiences of the soldiers, officers and civilians on both sides. The author brings to life the events in the region that contributed to the internecine strife in the Western Theater.

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Newly Published: The Advance of Neuroscience

New on our bookshelf:

The Advance of Neuroscience: Twelve Topics from the Victorian Era to Today
Lori A. Schmied

Neuroscience, like psychology, has a short history but a long past. Although the mind-body relationship has been studied for a long time, it is only in the last fifty years that the term “neuroscience” has been applied to the academic disciplines focusing on brain and behavior.
This book explores topics on the brain, psychoactive drugs, and a variety of human behaviors and experiences—such as music and sleep—taking into consideration the importance of historical roots of neuroscience, which have been largely unexamined before now. It looks particularly at the importance of the Victorian era in the development of theories of the nervous system, which are still visible in today’s discourse on brain and behavior.

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Newly Published: A Bloody Day at Gaines’ Mill

New on our bookshelf:

A Bloody Day at Gaines’ Mill: The Battlefield Debut of the Army of Northern Virginia, June 27, 1862
Elmer R. Woodard, III

In the summer of 1862, two great armies met outside of Richmond in a series of battles that would determine the course of the Civil War. The Union had time, men and materiel on its side, while the Confederates had mobility, esprit de corps and aggressive leadership. Untried General Robert E. Lee was tasked with driving the Yankees from their almost impregnable positions to save Richmond and end the war.

Lee planned to isolate part of the Union Army, crush it, and then destroy the only supply base the remaining Federals had. To do so, he had to move thousands of troops hundreds of miles, bringing multiple forces together with intricate timing, all without the Yankees or their spies finding out. The largest and most important of these battles occurred at Gaines’ Mill.

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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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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: 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: 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: 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 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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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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: 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 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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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: Diabolical Possession and the Case Behind The Exorcist

New on our bookshelf today:

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

New on our bookshelf today:

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: Religious Traditions of North Carolina

New on our bookshelf today:

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

New on our bookshelf today:

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

New on our bookshelf today:

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: A Surgeon with Stilwell

New on our bookshelf today:

A Surgeon with Stilwell: Dr. John H. Grindlay and Combat Medicine in the China-Burma-India Theater of World War II
Alan K. Lathrop

United States Army surgeon John H. Grindlay served in the China-Burma-India Theater of World War II in 1941–1944. Drawing on his unpublished war diary and letters, this book sheds new light on the conduct of battlefield medicine in the tropics and provides a new perspective on such personalities as General Joseph W. Stilwell, the famed “Burma Surgeon” Dr. Gordon S. Seagrave, and Chiang Kai-shek. Stilwell’s famous 1942 “walkout” retreat from Burma to India is covered, along with the 1943 Allied return to Burma to push the Japanese from the Ledo Road connecting northeast India to southwestern China.

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Newly Published: Chauncey Yellow Robe

New on our bookshelf today:

Chauncey Yellow Robe: A Biography of the American Indian Educator, ca. 1870–1930
David W. Messer

In 1883, 12-year old Canowicakte boarded a train on the Rosebud Indian Reservation, beginning a journey his friends said would end at the edge of the world. Raised as a traditional Lakota, he found Carlisle Indian School, with its well-documented horrors, was the end of the world as he knew it.

Renamed Chauncey Yellow Robe, he flourished at Carlisle, developed a lifelong friendship with founder Richard Pratt, and went on to work at Indian boarding schools for most of his professional life.

Despite his acceptance of Indian assimilation, he was adamant that Indians should maintain their identity and was an outspoken critic of their demeaning portrayal in popular Wild West shows. He was the star and technical director of The Silent Enemy (1930), one of the first accurate depictions of Indians on film. His life embodied a cultural conflict that still persists in American society.