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Newly Published: Egyptian Belly Dance in Transition

New on our bookshelf today:

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

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

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

New on our bookshelf today:

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

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

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Newly Published: North Korea and Myanmar

New on our bookshelf today:

North Korea and Myanmar: Divergent Paths
Andray Abrahamian

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

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Four New Titles Reviewed in Choice

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

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

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

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

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

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Newly Published: That Bloody Hill

That Bloody HillNew on our bookshelf today:

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

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

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

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Newly Published: Victory at Midway

New on our bookshelf today:

Victory at Midway: The Battle That Changed the Course of World War II
James M. D’Angelo
Foreword by William S. Dudley

In the five months after Pearl Harbor, the Imperial Japanese Navy won a string of victories in a campaign to consolidate control of Southeast Asia and the South Pacific. In June of 1942, Japan suffered a devastating defeat at the Battle of Midway and was never again able to take the offensive in the Pacific.

Bringing fresh perspective to the battle and its consequences, the author identifies Japan’s operational plan as a major factor in its Navy’s demise and describes the profound effects Midway had on the course of the war in Europe.

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Newly Published: “We used to eat people”

“We used to eat people”New on our bookshelf today:

“We used to eat people”: Revelations of a Fiji Islands Traditional Village
R.M.W. Dixon

Living in a reed hut on Taveuni—the “garden isle” of Fiji—the author studied the native language and carefully observed their traditions until he was accepted as a (somewhat unusual) member of the village.

Despite five cyclones the summer of 1985, daily life was idyllic. Cannibalism has been abandoned, reluctantly, at the behest of the new Christian God. But the old religion survived beneath the facade and priests danced naked on the beach beneath the full moon. The village pulsated with factions and feuds, resolved by the stern but benevolent chief, whose word was law. Legends told of a princess born as a bird, who was killed and thus became a comely maiden—but the murderer had to be cooked and eaten.

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Newly Published: The Kaiser’s Lost Kreuzer

The Kaiser’s Lost KreuzerNew on our bookshelf today:

The Kaiser’s Lost Kreuzer: A History of U-156 and Germany’s Long-Range Submarine Campaign Against North America, 1918
Paul N. Hodos

In the final year of World War I, Germany made its first attempt to wage submarine warfare off faraway shores. Large, long-range U-boats (short for unterseeboot or “undersea boat”) attacked Allied shipping off the coasts of the U.S., Canada and West Africa in a desperate campaign to sidestep and scatter the lethal U-boat defenses in European waters.

Commissioned in 1917, U-156 raided commerce, transported captured cargo and terrorized coastal populations from Madeira to Cape Cod. In July 1918, the USS San Diego was sunk as it headed into New York Harbor—the opening salvo in a month-long series of audacious attacks by U-156 along the North American coast. The author chronicles the campaign from the perspective of Imperial Germany for the first time in English.

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Newly Published: Any Resemblance to Actual Persons

Any Resemblance to Actual PersonsNew on our bookshelf today:

Any Resemblance to Actual Persons: The Real People Behind 400+ Fictional Movie Characters
Hal Erickson

Most film buffs know that Citizen Kane was based on the life of publisher William Randolph Hearst. But few are aware that key characters in films like Double Indemnity, Cool Hand Luke, Jaws, Rain Man, A Few Good Men and Zero Dark Thirty were inspired by actual persons. This survey of à clef characters covers a selection of fictionalized personalities, beginning with the Silent Era. The landmark lawsuit surrounding Rasputin and the Empress (1932) introduced disclaimers in film credits, assuring audiences that characters were not based on real people—even when they were. Entries cover screen incarnations of Wyatt Earp, Al Capone, Bing Crosby, Amelia Earhart, Buster Keaton, Howard Hughes, Janis Joplin and Richard Nixon, along with the inspirations behind perennial favorites like Charlie Chan and Indiana Jones.