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Newly Published: The Visual Culture of Women’s Activism in London, Paris and Beyond

New on our bookshelf today:

The Visual Culture of Women’s Activism in London, Paris and Beyond: An Analytical Art History, 1860 to the Present
Colleen Denney

Women’s bodies and their portrayals in the media remain at the center of every debate on women’s rights worldwide. This study examines the domains of public and private space—and the interstices between them—with a focus on how women advance in the public arena, drawing on the domestic politics of the private realm in their drive for social justice and equality. The author examines the visual culture of first-wave feminists in Edwardian England and feminist developments in France. Late 20th century and 21st century women’s movements are discussed in the context of how they continue to honor first-wave suffrage history.

 

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July Transportation Sale: Get 25% off ALL Transportation Titles

Some of you may share a guilty failing of our editors.  When they receive proposals and manuscripts, while reading about almost any car–learning how it took shape, its quirks and qualities, how it changed over the production run–desire starts to sprout.  Previously ignored vehicles (and even disliked vehicles) show their hidden appeal.  On more than one occasion, an editor has looked at ads and undertaken calculations (financial, emotional, marital) for said cars.
 
If you’re the same, peruse our transportation catalog with caution!  In addition to a broad range of books about automobiles, you’ll find offerings about aircraft, locomotives, bicycles, ships, military vehicles and transportation-related topics.  When you order direct from our website using the coupon code TRANSPORT25, print editions of all transportation books are 25% off July 16 through July 31. Happy motoring and happy reading!
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Newly Published: Edith Wharton and Mary Roberts Rinehart at the Western Front, 1915

New on our bookshelf today:

Edith Wharton and Mary Roberts Rinehart at the Western Front, 1915
Ed Klekowski and Libby Klekowski

By 1915, the Western Front was a 450–mile line of trenches, barbed wire and concrete bunkers, stretching across Europe. Attempts to break the stalemate were murderous and futile. Censorship of the press was extreme—no one wanted the carnage reported.

Remakably, the Allied command gave two intrepid American women, Edith Wharton and Mary Roberts Rinehart, permission to visit the front and report on what they saw. Their travels are reconstructed from their own published accounts, Rinehart’s unpublished day-by-day notes, and the writings of other journalists who toured the front in 1915. The present authors’ explorations of the places Wharton and Rinehart visited serves as a travel guide to the Western Front.

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Four New Titles Reviewed in Choice

Four new titles are reviewed in the July issue of Choice!

Scenes from an Automotive Wonderland: Remarkable Cars Spotted in Postwar Europe
“Any car spotter will enjoy this book, and may find a 26 horsepower favorite. The book is presented in a pleasant, easily readable format and contains a useful index and excellent bibliography… recommended.”

Women in the American Revolution
“effective… enriches the breadth of scholarship published on this topic… Wike’s multicultural net captures the multifaceted roles of women… recommended.”

The First 50 Super Bowls: How Football’s Championships Were Won
“This readable book will no doubt be enjoyed by his intended audience of football and sports fans… recommended.”

Henry Green: Havoc in the House of Fiction
“Nuanced… one leaves this study with a thorough knowledge of Green’s oeuvre and full insight into his mastery of high modernism… recommended.”

 

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Newly Published: The 31st Infantry Regiment

New on our bookshelf today:

The 31st Infantry Regiment: A History of “America’s Foreign Legion” in Peace and War
By the Members of the 31st Infantry Regiment Association

Formed in 1916, the U.S. Army 31st Infantry Regiment—known as the Polar Bears—has fought in virtually every war in modern American history. This richly illustrated chronicle of the regiment’s century of combat service covers their exploits on battlefields from Manila to Siberia—including Pork Chop Hill, Nui Chom Mountain and Iraq’s Triangle of Death—along with their survival during the Bataan Death March and the years of brutal captivity that followed.

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Newly Published: Decent, Safe and Sanitary Dwellings

New on our bookshelf today:

Decent, Safe and Sanitary Dwellings: The National Conversation About Public Housing, 1932–1973
James P. Hubbard

In 1973, President Nixon halted new construction of public housing, claiming that the U.S. government had become “the biggest slumlord in history.” Four decades earlier, in the depths of the Great Depression, strong political support for federally-subsidized low-income housing had resulted in the Housing Act of 1937.

By the 1950s, growing criticism of the housing constructed by local authorities and prejudice against poor residents—particularly African Americans—fueled opposition to new projects. This book documents the lively and wide-ranging national debate over public housing from the New Deal to Nixon.

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Newly Published: Informers in 20th Century Ireland

New on our bookshelf today:

Informers in 20th Century Ireland: The Costs of Betrayal
Angela Duffy

Informers have been active during many periods of unrest in Ireland but, until Tudor times, they had never been an organized phenomenon until the twentieth century. The decision (or refusal) to inform is dangerous—thus the motives of the informers are compelling, as is their ability to deceive themselves.

Drawing on firsthand and newspaper accounts of the Easter Rising and other events, this book provides a history of the gradual development of informing in Ireland. Each informer’s story details their life and secrets and the outcome of their actions. All of them have shared two experiences: the accusation of informing, whether true or false, and betrayal, whether committed or endured.

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Newly Published: When Women Wrote Hollywood

New on our bookshelf today:

When Women Wrote Hollywood: Essays on Female Screenwriters in the Early Film Industry
Edited by Rosanne Welch

This collection of 23 new essays focuses on the lives of female screenwriters of Golden Age Hollywood, whose work helped create those unforgettable stories and characters beloved by audiences—but whose names have been left out of most film histories. The contributors trace the careers of such writers as Anita Loos, Adela Rogers St. Johns, Lillian Hellman, Gene Gauntier, Eve Unsell and Ida May Park, and explore themes of their writing in classics like Gentlemen Prefer BlondesBen Hur, and It’s a Wonderful Life.

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Newly Published: The Art of the English Trade Gun in North America

New on our bookshelf today:

The Art of the English Trade Gun in North America
Nathan E. Bender

Symbolic ornamentation inspired by ancient Greek and Roman art is a long-standing Western tradition. The author explores the designs of 18th century English gunsmiths who engraved classical ornamental patterns on firearms gifted or traded to American Indians. A system of allegory is found that symbolized the Americas of the New World in general, and that enshrined the American Indian peoples as “noble savages.”

The same allegorical context was drawn upon for symbols of national liberty in the early American republic. Inadvertently, many of the symbolic designs used on the trade guns strongly resonated with several Native American spiritual traditions.

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Newly Published: Murder Files from Scotland Yard and the Black Museum

New on our bookshelf today:

Murder Files from Scotland Yard and the Black Museum
R. Michael Gordon

From the files of Scotland Yard’s “Black Museum” (open only to police officers) come true crime stories of some of the most infamous murder cases of the 19th and 20th centuries—the Lambeth Poisoner, “baby farmer” Amelia Elizabeth Dyer, the Gentleman Vampire of Bournemouth, the Brides in the Bath Murders, the Rillington Place murders and many others. Along the way, investigators pass a number of crime-solving milestones, included the first use of fingerprint technology, the early use of photography and the first time “The Yard” enlisted the press to help hunt down a killer.

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Newly Published: Middle Georgia and the Approach of Modernity

New on our bookshelf today:

Middle Georgia and the Approach of Modernity: Essays on Race, Culture and Daily Life, 1885–1945
Edited by Fred R. van Hartesveldt

By eve of the 20th century, Middle Georgia was a rural region transitioning from the aftermath of the Reconstruction Era into the modern age. This collection of new essays describes the lives of the common people of the day. A grisly mass murder underscored issues of race, class and poverty. African Americans struggled for self-betterment against the rise of Jim Crow. Women striving to overcome gender barriers found a hero in a pioneering Georgian female pilot. The government worked to protect communities from the influenza pandemic of 1918. Fighting boll weevils and declining cotton prices, farmers diversified crops and developed of a national pimento pepper industry.

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Newly Published: Field Recordings of Black Singers and Musicians

New on our bookshelf today:

Field Recordings of Black Singers and Musicians: An Annotated Discography of Artists from West Africa, the Caribbean and the Eastern and Southern United States, 1901–1943
Compiled by Craig Martin Gibbs

Traditional African musical forms have long been accepted as fundamental to the emergence of blues and jazz. Yet there has been little effort at compiling recorded evidence to document their development. This discography brings together hundreds of recordings that trace in detail the evolution of the African American musical experience, from early wax cylinder recordings made in West Africa to voodoo rituals from the Carribean Basin to the songs of former slaves in the American South.

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Two New Titles Reviewed in Booklist

The Women of Orphan Black: Faces of the Feminist Spectrum
Valerie Estelle Frankel
“Frankel takes a deep dive into the sci-fi cult hit Orphan Black…explor[es] how the show challenged female stereotypes and the often-limiting categories women are put into on screen by creating female characters who were radically different despite having the same DNA…examines each character in depth…Frankel also illuminates the science at the heart of the show, along with the many literary allusions referenced each season…smart analysis”

Magic in Britain: A History of Medieval and Earlier Practices
Robin Melrose
“The author allows the reader to see how the relationship between magic and the church changed over time…a collection of fascinating stories about people, places, and practices”

 

 

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Newly Published: The Chinese Information War

New on our bookshelf today:

The Chinese Information War: Espionage, Cyberwar, Communications Control and Related Threats to United States Interests, 2d ed.
Dennis F. Poindexter

China’s information war against the United States is clever technically, broadly applied and successful. The intelligence community in the U.S. has publicly stated this is a kind of war we do not know how to fight—yet it is the U.S. military that developed and expanded the doctrine of information war.

In fact, the U.S. military is at a disadvantage because it is part of a democratic, decentralized system of government that separates the state from commercial business. China’s political systems are more easily adapted to this form of warfare, as their recent land seizures in the South China Sea demonstrate. We call this annexation, when it is a new form of conquest.

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Newly Published: Wisconsin’s 37

New on our bookshelf today:

Wisconsin’s 37: The Lives of Those Missing in Action in the Vietnam War
Erin Miller with John B. Sharpless

The signing of the Paris Peace Accords in 1973 signified the end of the Vietnam War. American personnel returned home and the 591 American prisoners held captive in North Vietnam were released. Still, 2,646 individuals did not come home.

Thirty-seven of those missing in action were from Wisconsin. Their names appear on the largest object—a motorcycle (now part of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Collection)—ever left at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

Using the recollections of the soldiers’ families, friends and fellow servicemen, the author tells the story of each man’s life.

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Newly Published: Justice Perverted

New on our bookshelf today:

Justice Perverted: The Molestation Mistrial of Richard Charles Haefner
Derek J. Sherwood

In 1975, Dr. Richard Charles Haefner had it all—a Ph.D. from Penn State University, a prestigious job offer with UCLA and a thriving family business. Then it all came crashing down. Two boys who worked for Haefner accused him of sexual molestation, but allegations of police brutality, prosecutorial misconduct, bribery and corruption soon overshadowed what seemed like an “open-and-shut-case,” ultimately resulting in the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s amending state law. Drawing on interviews and recently discovered documents, the author revisits the case and explores a number of open questions—including whether Haefner was set up by police as he claimed.

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Military History Summer Sale

June has arrived, and with it McFarland’s military history sale.   Whether you’re a military scholar, armchair historian, veteran, genealogist, or general reader interested in gripping nonfiction, now is the time to save.  When you order direct from our website using the coupon code MILITARY25, print editions of all military history books are 25% off June 1 through June 15.  Best of luck to all with your summer reading lists!

 

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Newly Published: Shocking and Sensational

New on our bookshelf today:

Shocking and Sensational: The Stories Behind Famous True Crime and Scandal Books
Julian Upton

Already part of a genre known for generating controversy, some true crime and scandal books have wielded a particular power to unsettle readers, provoke authorities and renew interest in a case. The reactions to such literature have been as contentious as the books themselves, clouding the “truth” with myths and inaccuracies.

From high-profile publishing sensations such as Ten Rillington PlaceFatal Vision and Mommie Dearestto the wealth of writing on the JFK assassination, the death of Marilyn Monroe and the Black Dahlia murder, this book delves into that hard copy era when crime and scandal books had a cultural impact beyond the genre’s film and TV documentaries, fueling outcries that sometimes matched the notoriety of the cases they discussed and leaving legacies that still resonate today.

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Newly Published: The 96th Pennsylvania Volunteers in the Civil War

New on our bookshelf today:

The 96th Pennsylvania Volunteers in the Civil War
David A. Ward

The 96th Pennsylvania Volunteers infantry regiment was formed in 1861—its ranks filled by nearly 1,200 Irish and German immigrants from Schuylkill County responding to Lincoln’s call for troops. The men saw action for three years with the Army of the Potomac’s VI Corps, participating in engagements at Gaines’ Mill, Crampton’s Gap, Salem Church and Spotsylvania. Drawing on letters, diaries, memoirs and other accounts, this comprehensive history documents their combat service from the point of view of the rank-and-file soldier, along with their views on the war, slavery, emancipation and politics.

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Newly Published: A Poisoned Life

New on our bookshelf today:

A Poisoned Life: Florence Chandler Maybrick, the First American Woman Sentenced to Death in England
Richard Jay Hutto

Florence Maybrick was the first American woman to be sentenced to death in England—for murdering her husband, a crime she almost certainly did not commit. Her 1889 trial was presided over by an openly misogynist judge who was later declared incompetent and died in an asylum. Hours before Maybrick was to be hanged, Queen Victoria reluctantly commuted her sentence to life in prison—in her opinion a woman who would commit adultery, as Maybrick had admitted, would also kill her husband.

Her children were taken from her; she never saw them again. Her mother worked for years to clear her name, enlisting the president of the United States and successive ambassadors, including Robert Todd Lincoln. Decades later, a gruesome diary was discovered that made Maybrick’s husband a prime Jack the Ripper suspect.

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Newly Published: Celtic Cosmology and the Otherworld

New on our bookshelf today:

Celtic Cosmology and the Otherworld: Mythic Origins, Sovereignty and Liminality
Sharon Paice MacLeod

Despite censorship and revision by Christian redactors, the early medieval manuscripts of Ireland and Britain contain tantalizing clues to the cosmology, religion and mythology of native Celtic cultures. Focusing on the latest research and translations, the author provides fresh insight into the indigenous beliefs and practices of the Iron Age inhabitants of the British Isles. Chapters cover a broad range of topics, including creation and cosmogony, the deities of the Gaels, feminine power in early Irish sources, and priestesses and magical rites.

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Newly Published: The Moulton Bicycle

New on our bookshelf today:

The Moulton Bicycle: A History of the Innovative Compact Design
Bruce D. Epperson

In 1963, British inventor Alex Moulton (1920–2012) introduced an innovative compact bicycle. Architectural Review editor Reyner Banham predicted it would give rise to “a new class of cyclists,” young urbanites riding by choice, not necessity. Forced to sell his firm in 1967, Moulton returned in the 1980s with an even more radical model, the AM—his acclaim among technology and design historians is largely due to Banham’s writings.

The AM’s price tag (some models cost many thousands of dollars) has inspired tech-savvy cyclists to create “hot rod” compact bikes from Moulton-inspired “shopper” cycles of the 1970s—a trend also foreseen by Banham, who considered hot rod culture “folk art of the mechanical era.”

The author traces the intertwined lives of two unusually creative men who had an extraordinary impact on each others’ careers, despite having met only a few times.

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Newly Published: Terrorism Worldwide, 2017

New on our bookshelf today:

Terrorism Worldwide, 2017
Edward Mickolus

This fourth comprehensive study of international terrorist attacks covers 2017, during which the Islamic State suffered continued reversals yet retained its status as the most active, well-financed and well-armed terrorist group worldwide. Organized by region and country, the study 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 Wreck of the San Francisco

New on our bookshelf today:

The Wreck of the San Francisco: Disaster and Aftermath in the Great Hurricane of December 1853
John Stewart

On December 22, 1853, a new steamship left New York on its maiden voyage. The San Francisco—perhaps the finest ocean-going vessel of its time—had been chartered by the U.S. Government to transport the Third Artillery to the Pacific Coast.

Two days out, the ship ran into one of the great hurricanes of maritime history. Sails and stacks were blown away, the engine was wrecked and scores of people were washed overboard, as the men frantically worked the pumps to keep afloat. A few days later, cholera broke out.

After two weeks adrift, the survivors were rescued by three ships. The nightmare wasn’t over. Two of the vessels, damaged by the storm, were no position to take on passengers. Provisions ran out. Fighting thirst, starvation, disease and mutiny, they barely made it back to land. Then came the aftermath—accusations, denials, revelations of government ineptitude and negligence, and a cover-up.

 

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Newly Published: Lewis Hine

New on our bookshelf today:

Lewis Hine: Photographer and American Progressive
Timothy J. Duerden

Nearly 80 years after his death, Lewis Hine’s name is revered in the world of photography and practically synonymous with the labor reforms of the Progressive Era. His body of work—much of it a century old or more—remains vital as both aesthetic statement and social document.
Drawing on a range of sources, including information from surviving family members, this first full-length illustrated biography presents a detailed and personal portrait of the sociologist and photographer whose haunting images of children at work in cotton mills and coal mines sparked the movement to end child labor, culminating with the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938. There are 62 of his penetrating photographs included.

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Newly Published: The Public Artscape of New Haven

New on our bookshelf today:

The Public Artscape of New Haven: Themes in the Creation of a City Image
Laura A. Macaluso

There are nearly 500 public works of art throughout New Haven, Connecticut—a city of 17 square miles with 130,000 residents. While other historic East Coast cities—Philadelphia, Providence, Boston—have been the subjects of book-length studies on the function and meaning of public art, New Haven (founded 1638) has been largely ignored. This comprehensive analysis provides an overview of the city’s public art policy, programs and preservation, and explores its two centuries of public art installations, monuments and memorials in a range of contexts.

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Newly Published: “Masquerading in Male Attire”

New on our bookshelf today:

“Masquerading in Male Attire”: Women Passing as Men in America, 1844–1920
Kerry Segrave

Historically, American women have dressed as men for a number of reasons—to enter the military, to travel freely, to commit a criminal act, to marry other women—but most often to secure employment. During the mid–1800s and early 1900s, most jobs were barred to women, and those that were available to both sexes paid women far less.

This book profiles both women who tried to pass as men and were caught—and even arrested—and those who successfully masqueraded for years. Whatever their motives, all took part in a common rebellion against an economic and social system that openly discriminated against them.

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Newly Published: “Don’t tell father I have been shot at”

New on our bookshelf today:

“Don’t tell father I have been shot at”: The Civil War Letters of Captain George N. Bliss, First Rhode Island Cavalry
George N. Bliss

Captain George N. Bliss of the First Rhode Island Cavalry survived some 27 actions during the Civil War. Midway through the war, he served nine months at a conscript training camp in Connecticut, where he sat on several courts-martial. In September 1864, in a skirmish at Waynesboro, Virginia, he single-handedly charged into the 4th Virginia “Black Horse” Cavalry. Badly injured and taken prisoner, he was consigned to the notorious Libby Prison in Richmond.

A colorful correspondent, Bliss detailed his experiences in letters to a close friend and sent dispatches to a Providence newspaper. His candid writings are rich with details of the war and his own opinions. The editors describe how, following the war, Bliss sought out the Confederates who almost killed him and formed friendships with them that lasted for decades.

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Newly Published: Ultra-Large Aircraft, 1940–1970

New on our bookshelf today:

Ultra-Large Aircraft, 1940–1970: The Development of Guppy and Expanded Fuselage Transports
William Patrick Dean

In 1962, a unique transport aircraft was built from the parts of 27 Boeing B-377 airliners to provide NASA a means of transporting rocket boosters. With an interior the size of a gymnasium, “The Pregnant Guppy” was the first of six enormous cargo planes built by Aero Spacelines and two built by Union de Transport Aeriens. More than half a century later, the last Super Guppy is still in active service with NASA and the design concept has been applied to next-generation transports.

This comprehensive history of expanded fuselage aircraft begins in the 1940s with the military’s need for a long-range transport. The author examines the development of competing designs by Boeing, Convair and Douglas, and the many challenges and catastrophic failures. Behind-the-scenes maneuvers of financiers, corporate raiders, mobsters and other nefarious characters provide an inside look at aviation development from the drawing board to the scrap yard.

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Newly Published: The 758th Tank Battalion in World War II

New on our bookshelf today:

The 758th Tank Battalion in World War II: The U.S. Army’s First All African American Tank Unit
Joe Wilson, Jr.

In 1941, the U.S. Army activated the 758th Tank Battalion, the first all-black armored unit. By December 1944 they were fighting the Axis in Northern Italy, from the Ligurian Sea through the Po Valley and into the Apennine Mountains, where they helped breach the Gothic Line—the Germans’ last major defensive line of the Italian Campaign.

After the war the 758th was deactivated but was reformed as the 64th Tank Battalion, keeping their distinguished insignia, a tusked elephant head over the motto “We Pierce.” They entered the Korean War still segregated but returned fully integrated (though discrimination continued internally). Through the years, they fought with almost every American tank—the Stuart, the Sherman, the Pershing, the Patton and today’s Abrams.

Victorious over two fascist (and racist) regimes, many black servicemen returned home to what they hoped would be a more tolerant nation. Most were bitterly disappointed—segregation was still the law of the land. For many, disappointment became a determination to fight discrimination with the same resolve that had defeated the Axis.

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Newly Published: “Get the hell off this ship!”

New on our bookshelf today:

“Get the hell off this ship!”: Memoir of a USS Liscome Bay Survivor in World War II
James Claude Beasley

James Claude Beasley was a typical American teenager in the 1940s—a child of the Great Depression with an abiding commitment to family and country. With the outbreak of World War II, he enlisted in the Navy at 18. His plainspoken, personal memoir recounts his three years of service (1942–1945), from his induction at Winston Salem, North Carolina, to the sinking of his ship, the escort carrier USS Liscome Bay, by a Japanese submarine, through the end of the conflict and his return to civilian life.

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Weekly Deal: Cannabis Studies

This week, get 20% off books about cannabis studies with the coupon code CBD!

Cannabis Extracts in Medicine: The Promise of Benefits in Seizure Disorders, Cancer and Other Conditions

Cannabis in Medical Practice: A Legal, Historical and Pharmacological Overview of the Therapeutic Use of Marijuana

My Most-Wanted Marijuana Mom: Growing Up in a Smuggling Family

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Newly Published: Death of an Altar Boy

New on our bookshelf today:

Death of an Altar Boy: The Unsolved Murder of Danny Croteau and the Culture of Abuse in the Catholic Church
E.J. Fleming

The tragic death of 13-year-old Danny Croteau in 1972 faded from headlines and memories for 20 years until the Boston abuse scandal—a string of assaults taking place within the Catholic Church—exploded in the early 2000s. Despite numerous indications, including 40 claims of sexual misconduct with minors, pointing to him as Croteau’s killer, Reverend Richard R. Lavigne remains “innocent.”

Drawing on more than 10,000 pages of police and court findings and interviews with Danny’s friends and family, fellow abuse victims, and church officials, the author uncovers the truth—church complicity in the cover up and masking of priests involvement in a ring of abusive clergy—behind Croteau’s death and those who had a hand in it.

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Newly Published: Chasing Charlie

New on our bookshelf today:

Chasing Charlie: A Force Recon Marine in Vietnam
Richard Fleming

Richard Fleming served as a scout with the elite U.S. Marine 1st Force Reconnaissance Company during the bloodiest years of the Vietnam War. Dropped deep into enemy territory, Recon relied on stealth and surprise to complete their mission—providing intelligence on enemy positions, conducting limited raids and capturing prisoners. Fleming’s absorbing memoir recounts his transformation from idealistic recruit to cynical veteran as the war claimed the lives of his friends and the missions became ever more dangerous.

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Newly Published: Melungeon Portraits

New on our bookshelf today:

Melungeon Portraits: Exploring Kinship and Identity
Tamara L. Stachowicz

At a time when concepts of racial and ethnic identity increasingly define how we see ourselves and others, the ancestry of Melungeons—a Central Appalachian multi-racial group believed to be of Native American, African and European origins—remains controversial.

Who is Melungeon, how do we know and what does that mean? In a series of interviews with individuals who claim Melungeon heritage, the author finds common threads that point to shared history, appearance and values, and explores how we decide who we are and what kind of proof we need to do so.

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Newly Published: Eminent Charlotteans

New on our bookshelf today:

Eminent Charlotteans: Twelve Historical Profiles from North Carolina’s Queen City
Scott Syfert

Inspired by the 2010 “Spirit of Mecklenburg”—a bronze statue of Captain James Jack, “the South’s Paul Revere,” in downtown Charlotte, North Carolina—this history details the lives of 12 Charlotteans who made important contributions to the Queen City, from the early Colonial period to the 20th century. Subjects include Catawba Indian chief King Haigler, Founding Father Thomas Polk, freed slave Ishmael Titus, African American celebrity barber Thad Tate and North Carolina’s first woman physician, Annie Alexander.

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Newly Published: Repeating and Multi-Fire Weapons

New on our bookshelf today:

Repeating and Multi-Fire Weapons: A History from the Zhuge Crossbow Through the AK-47
Gerald Prenderghast

From the very earliest days of organized warfare, combatants have wanted to develop weapons with more firepower. This has inevitably led to a wide variety of repeating weapons, capable of a degree of sustained fire without reloading.

Based largely upon new research, this book explores the history of repeating and multi-fire weapons, beginning with the Chinese repeating crossbow in the 4th century BCE, and ending with the world’s most common firearm, the Kalashnikov AK-47. The author describes the potency of the machine gun in World War I, the development of the semiautomatic pistol and the role of the submachine gun in improving the effectiveness of the infantryman.

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Newly Published: Roosevelt’s Revolt

New on our bookshelf today:

Roosevelt’s Revolt: The 1912 Republican Convention and the Launch of the Bull Moose Party
John C. Skipper

The presidential election of 1912 was the only one whose candidates included an incumbent president, a former president and a future president. Theodore Roosevelt, in the Oval Office from 1901 to 1909, chose not to run again. When his former Secretary of War, William Howard Taft, took controversial actions as his successor, Roosevelt challenged him for the 1912 Republican nomination. Taft emerged as the nominee and Roosevelt ran as a third-party candidate on the Progressive (Bull Moose) ticket, causing a split in the GOP that allowed Democrat Woodrow Wilson to win the presidency.

The author examines the election in detail and traces the effects of Roosevelt’s actions on the Republican Party for decades. Appendices detail Republican primary results and all of the parties’ platforms and provide a summary of presidential assassinations and attempts.

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Newly Published: Chasing Frank and Jesse James

New on our bookshelf today:

Chasing Frank and Jesse James: The Bungled Northfield Bank Robbery and the Long Manhunt
Wayne Fanebust

Frank and Jesse James, the infamous brothers from Missouri, rode with marauding Confederate guerrillas during the Civil War. Having learned to kill and raid without compunction, they easily transitioned from rebels to outlaws after the war, robbing stagecoaches, banks and trains in Missouri and surrounding states. It was a botched bank robbery in Northfield, Minnesota, followed by an improbable escape through the Dakota Territory and Iowa, that elevated the James brothers from notorious criminals to legendary figures of American history and folklore.

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Newly Published: Saint James the Greater in History, Art and Culture

New on our bookshelf today:

Saint James the Greater in History, Art and Culture
William Farina

Among the 12 disciples of Jesus, perhaps none has inspired more magnificent art—as well as political upheaval—than Saint James the Greater. Portrayed in the New Testament as part of Jesus’ inner circle, he was the first apostle to be martyred. Eight centuries later, Saint James, or Santiago, become the de facto patron saint of Spain, believed to be a supernatural warrior who led the victorious Christian armies during the Iberian Reconquista. After 1492, the Santiago cult found its way to the New World, where it continued to exert influence.

Today, he remains the patron saint of pilgrims to the shrine of Santiago de Compostela. His legacy has bequeathed a magnificent tradition of Western art over nearly two millennia.

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Newly Published: Magic in Britain

New on our bookshelf today:

Magic in Britain: A History of Medieval and Earlier Practices
Robin Melrose

Magic, both benevolent (white) and malign (black), has been practiced in the British Isles since at least the Iron Age (800 BCE–CE 43). “Curse tablets”—metal plates inscribed with curses intended to harm specific people—date from the Roman Empire. The Anglo-Saxons who settled in England in the fifth and sixth centuries used ritual curses in documents, and wrote spells and charms.

When they became Christians in the seventh century, the new “magicians” were saints, who performed miracles. When William of Normandy became king in 1066, there was a resurgence of belief in magic. The Church was able to quell the fear of magicians, but the Reformation saw its revival, with numerous witchcraft trials in the late 16th and 17th centuries.

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We Rise to Resist Receives Starred Review in Booklist

We Rise to Resist: Voices from a New Era in Women’s Political Action
Edited by Paula vW. Dáil and Betty L. Wells

“For every person who railed in private or public protest against assaults on our nation’s cherished institutions, Dail’s anthology provides essential validation, affirming that dissent eventually works and that one’s outrage need not be in vain.”—Booklist (starred review)

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Newly Published: Superheroes and Their Ancient Jewish Parallels

New on our bookshelf today:

Superheroes and Their Ancient Jewish Parallels: A Comparative Study
Johnny E. Miles

Persia had Rostam. Babylonia had Gilgamesh and Enkidu. Egypt had Horus and Isis. Greece had Odysseus and Achilles.

Israel had its heroes, too–Moses, David, Esther and Samson. While Israel’s heroes did not wear capes or spandex, they did meet cultural needs.

In times of crisis, heroes emerge to model virtues that inspire a sense of commitment and worth. Identity concerns were especially acute for a post-exilic Jewish culture. Using modern American superheroes and their stories in a cross-cultural discussion, this book presents the stories of Israelite characters as heroes filling a cultural need.

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Newly Published: The American Soldier, 1866–1916

New on our bookshelf today:

The American Soldier, 1866–1916: The Enlisted Man and the Transformation of the United States Army
John A. Haymond

In the years following the Civil War, the U.S. Army underwent a professional decline. Soldiers served their enlistments at remote, nameless posts from Arizona to Alaska. Harsh weather, bad food and poor conditions were adversaries as dangerous as Indian raiders. Yet under these circumstances, men continued to enlist for $13 a month.

Drawing on soldiers’ narratives, personal letters and official records, the author explores the common soldier’s experience during the Reconstruction Era, the Indian Wars, the Spanish-American War, the Philippine-American War and the Punitive Expedition into Mexico.

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Newly Published: Fumbled Call

New on our bookshelf today:

Fumbled Call: The Bear Bryant–Wally Butts Football Scandal That Split the Supreme Court and Changed American Libel Law
David E. Sumner

Atlanta insurance salesman George Burnett found himself at the center of a football scandal when he overheard a phone conversation between University of Georgia athletic director Wally Butts and University of Alabama football coach Paul “Bear” Bryant. Butts seemed to be giving Bryant play formations that would help Alabama defeat Georgia 35-0 in the 1962 season opener.

When the Saturday Evening Post published Burnett’s story months later, Butts and Bryant successfully sued the magazine for libel. The case went to the Supreme Court where it was upheld in a landmark 5–4 decision that expanded the legal definition of “public figures.”

Referencing more than 3,000 pages of letters, depositions and trial transcripts, the author reveals new information about this scandal and its resulting trial.

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Weekly Deal: Celtic Studies

This week, celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with 20% off all Celtic studies books! Enter the coupon code CELTIC at checkout!

Celtic Myth and Religion: A Study of Traditional Belief, with Newly Translated Prayers, Poems and Songs

Celtic Astrology from the Druids to the Middle Ages

The Irish Vampire: From Folklore to the Imaginations of Charles Robert Maturin, Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu and Bram Stoker

The Druids and King Arthur: A New View of Early Britain

The Other British Isles: A History of Shetland, Orkney, the Hebrides, Isle of Man, Anglesey, Scilly, Isle of Wight and the Channel Islands

Modern Druidism

Celtic Cosmology and the Other World: Mythic Origins, Sovereignty and Liminality

British and Irish Poets: A Biographical Dictionary 449-2006

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Newly Published: Breaking the Appalachian Barrier

New on our bookshelf today:

Breaking the Appalachian Barrier: Maryland as the Gateway to Ohio and the West, 1750–1850
John Hrastar

In 1750 the Appalachian Mountains were a formidable barrier between the British colonies in the east and French territory in the west, passable only on foot or horseback. It took more than a century to break the mountain barrier and open the west to settlement.

In 1751 a private Virginia company pioneered a road from Maryland to Ohio, challenging the French and Indians for the Ohio country. Several wars stalled the road, which did not start in earnest until after Ohio became a state in 1803. The stone-paved Cumberland Road—from Cumberland, Maryland, to Wheeling, Virginia—was complete by 1818 and over the next 30 years was traversed by Conestoga wagons and stagecoaches. The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad—the first general purpose railroad in the world—started in Baltimore in the 1820s and reached Wheeling by 1852, uniting east and west.

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Newly Published: My Most-Wanted Marijuana Mom

New on our bookshelf today:

My Most-Wanted Marijuana Mom: Growing Up in a Smuggling Family
David Michael McNelis

“You are about to enter a world of drug smuggling, drug greed, and drug murder.” With those words, the West Palm Beach assistant DA began the 1986 murder trial of Judy “Haas” McNelis. The only woman on the U.S. Federal Marshal’s 15 Most-Wanted List, she gained infamy as head of the “Haas Organization,” a reputed $267 million per year marijuana empire. But before her jet-set lifestyle as a drug “queen-pin,” Haas was simply a divorcée with two young children and a penchant for growing pot.

David McNelis’ candid memoir recounts his life with a brash, free-spirited mother determined to achieve success in the male-dominated world of international narcotics smuggling. A studious kid striving for normalcy, McNelis is thrust into an extraordinary adventure where dealers, smugglers, daredevil pilots, federal agents, hitmen, and even an accused KGB spy all become part of “normal” life.

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Newly Published: The Many Lives of Ajax

New on our bookshelf today:

The Many Lives of Ajax: The Trojan War Hero from Antiquity to Modern Times
Timothy V. Dugan

Ajax, the archetypal Greek warrior, has over the years been trivialized as a peripheral character in the classics through Hollywood representations, and by the use of his name on household cleaning products. Examining a broad range of sources—from film, art and literature to advertising and sports—this study of the “Bulwark of the Achaeans” and his mythological image redefines his presence in Western culture, revealing him as the predominant voice in The Iliad and in myriad works across the classical canon.

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Newly Published: The German Secret Field Police in Greece, 1941–1944

New on our bookshelf today:

The German Secret Field Police in Greece, 1941–1944
Antonio J. Muñoz

The Geheime Feldpolizei (Secret Field Police) was the political police force of the German Army during World War II. Its members were drawn from both the regular German police, including detectives, and various Nazi security organizations. The goals of the GFP were numerous and included protecting important political and military leaders; investigating black market activities as well as acts of sabotage and espionage; locating deserters; examining anti–German activists and hunting down partisans. While performing these duties, GFP members immersed themselves in criminal activities. This book focuses on the function of the GFP in Greece compared to that of the GFP elsewhere in Europe.

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Two Books Reviewed in March Issue of Choice

Library World Records, 3d ed.
Godfrey Oswald
“Simply fun to browse…a tremendous resource for researchers and authors wishing to incorporate library facts and statistics into their work…recommended.”—Choice

The Morals of Monster Stories: Essays on Children’s Picture Book Messages
Edited by Leslie Ormandy
“A valuable resource for future analysis…recommended.”—Choice

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Newly Published: Beer in Maryland

New on our bookshelf today:

Beer in Maryland: A History of Breweries Since Colonial Times
By Maureen O’Prey

This history begins with the earliest brewers in the colony–women–revealing details of the Old Line State’s brewing families and their methods. Stories never before told trace the effects of war, competition, the Industrial Revolution, Prohibition and changing political philosophies on the brewing industry. Some brewers persevered through crime, scandal and intrigue to play key roles in building their communities.

Today’s craft brewers face a number of very different challenges, from monopolistic macro breweries and trademark quandaries to hop shortages, while attempting to establish their own legacies.

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Newly Published: We Rise to Resist

New on our bookshelf today:

We Rise to Resist: Voices from a New Era in Women’s Political Action
Edited by Paula vW. Dáil and Betty L. Wells

“There are more seasons to come and there is more work to do,” Hillary Clinton told her supporters following her surprising defeat in the 2016 presidential election. Taking her words to heart, on January 21, 2017, millions of women (and men) across America—opposing a president-elect many considered a misogynist—marched in protest. Millions more around the world joined them in the first mass action of a new women’s political resistance movement. This collection of essays and interviews presents 36 voices in this emerging movement discussing a range of topics—activism, healthcare, education, LGBTQIA issues, the environment, and other concerns that affect the political and cultural environment now and in the future (www.werisetoresist.com).

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Newly Published: Terrorism Worldwide, 2016

New on our bookshelf today:

Terrorism Worldwide, 2016
Edward Mickolus

This third comprehensive chronology of international terrorist attacks covers 2016, during which the Islamic State suffered several battlefield reversals yet continued its operations as the most active, well-financed and well-armed terrorist group worldwide. Domestic and international incidents around the world are covered and several trends are observed. A new format and organization allows readers to quickly access the most up-to-date information and make regional comparisons.

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Newly Published: Saturday Night Live and the 1976 Presidential Election

New on our bookshelf today:

Saturday Night Live and the 1976 Presidential Election: A New Voice Enters Campaign Politics
William T. Horner and M. Heather Carver

The debut of Saturday Night Live and the 1976 presidential election between Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter had enduring effects on American culture. With its mix of sketch comedy and music, SNL grabbed huge ratings and several Emmys in its first season. President Ford’s press secretary, Ron Nessen, was the first politician to host SNL. Ford also appeared on the show, via video tape, to offer a comic counterpunch to Chevy Chase’s signature line, “I’m Chevy Chase and you’re not.” Since then, it has become a rite of passage for national politicians to appear on SNL, and the show’s treatment of them and their platforms has a continuing impact on political discourse.

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Newly Published: Virginia and the Great War

New on our bookshelf today:

Virginia and the Great War: Mobilization, Supply and Combat, 1914–1919
Lynn Rainville

Virginia played an important role during World War I, supplying the Allied forces with food, horses and steel in 1915 and 1916. After America entered the war in 1917, Virginians served in numerous military and civilian roles—Red Cross nurses, sailors, shipbuilders, pilots, stenographers and domestic gardeners. More than 100,000 were drafted—more than 3600 lost their lives. Almost every city and county lost men and women to the war. The author details the state’s manifold contributions to the war effort and presents a study of monuments erected after the war.

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Newly Published: Capitol Hill Pages

New on our bookshelf today:

Capitol Hill Pages: Young Witnesses to 200 Years of History
Marcie Sims

The Capitol Page Program allowed teenagers to serve as nonpartisan federal employees performing a number of duties within the House, Senate and Supreme Court. Though only Senate Pages remain after the controversial closing of the House Page Program in 2011, current and former pages’ unique perspectives still, and perhaps not surprisingly, play an important role in United States government.
The author, a former Senate Page, shares firsthand accounts along with interviews of past pages and some current notable political figures. In-depth research into the history of Capitol Pages’ duties, schooling, experiences, downfalls and victories—including the admission of the first African American and female pages—illustrates the importance of the program in both the lives of the pages and in American politics.

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Newly Published: The Indianapolis Automobile Industry

New on our bookshelf today:

The Indianapolis Automobile Industry: A History, 1893–1939
Sigur E. Whitaker

In 1893, Indianapolis carriage maker Charles Black created a rudimentary car—perhaps the first designed and built in America. Within 15 years, Indianapolis was a major automobile industry center rivaling Detroit, and known for quality manufacturing and innovation—the aluminum engine, disc brakes, aerodynamics, superchargers, and the rear view mirror were first developed there. When the Indianapolis Motor Speedway opened in 1909, hometown manufacturers dominated the track—Marmon, Stutz and Duesenberg. The author covers their histories, along with less well known contributors to the industry, including National, American, Premier, Marion, Cole, Empire, LaFayette, Knight-Lyons and Hassler.

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Newly Published: The Mistaken History of the Korean War

New on our bookshelf today:

The Mistaken History of the Korean War: What We Got Wrong Then and Now
Paul M. Edwards

Much of the history of the Korean War has been misinterpreted or obscured. Intense propaganda and limited press coverage during the war, coupled with vague objectives and an incomplete victory, resulted in a popular narrative of partial truth and factual omission. Battlefield stories—essentially true but often missing significant data—added an element of myth. Drawing on a range of sources, the author, a Korean War veteran, reexamines the war’s causes, costs and outcomes.

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Newly Published: The Story of a Forest

New on our bookshelf today:

The Story of a Forest: Growth, Destruction and Renewal in the Upper Delaware Valley
Robert Kuhn McGregor

The re-established forests of the Upper Delaware exist as a living reminder of centuries of both exploitation and good intentions. Emerging after the last glaciation, they were first modified by Native Americans to promote hunting and limited agriculture. The forests began to disappear as Europeans clear-cut farmland and fed sawmills and tanneries.

The advent of the railroad accelerated demand and within 30 years industry had consumed virtually every mature tree in the valley, leaving barren hillsides subject to erosion and flooding. Even as unchecked cutting continued, conservation efforts began to save what little remained.

A century and a half later, a forest for the 21st century has emerged–an ecological patchwork protected by a web of governmental agencies, yet still subject to danger from humans.

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Newly Published: The Sadist, the Hitman and the Murder of Jane Bashara

New on our bookshelf today:

The Sadist, the Hitman and the Murder of Jane Bashara
George Hunter and Lynn Rosenthal

“Big Bob” Bashara put on a respectable face. To his friends in Detroit’s affluent suburb of Grosse Pointe, he was a married father of two, Rotary Club President, church usher and soccer dad who organized charity events with his wife, Jane. To his “slaves,” he was “Master Bob,” a cocaine-snorting slumlord who operated a sex dungeon and had a submissive girlfriend to do his bidding–and he wanted more slaves to serve him. But Bashara knew he couldn’t rule a household of concubines on his income alone. He eyed his wife’s sizable retirement account and formulated a murderous plan. This meticulous account tells the complete story of the crime, the nationally watched investigation and trials, and the lives affected.

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Newly Published: Egypt’s Identities in Conflict

New on our bookshelf today:

Egypt’s Identities in Conflict: The Political and Religious Landscape of Copts and Muslims
Girgis Naiem

Egypt’s lack of a common national identity is the basis for much of its internal conflict—Coptic Christians have been particularly affected. Once major contributors to Christian civilization, their influence ended with the 5th century Council of Chalcedon and they endured persecution. With the 7th century Arabization of Egypt, Copts were given dhimma or “protected persons” status. The 1919 revolution granted them greater political participation but the 1952 revolution ended liberal democracy and established a military regime that championed Arab identity.

Secular Egyptians rebelled against the Mubarak regime in 2011, yet his successor was the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohamed Morsi, Egypt’s first Islamist president. In yet another fight over national identity, secular factions removed Morsi in 2013—the Copts suffered the brunt of violence.

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Newly Published: General E.A. Paine in Western Kentucky

New on our bookshelf today:

General E.A. Paine in Western Kentucky: Assessing the “Reign of Terror” of the Summer of 1864
Dieter C. Ullrich and Berry Craig

When General E. A. Paine assumed command of the U.S. Army’s District of Western Kentucky at Paducah in the summer of 1864, he faced a defiant populace, a thriving black market and undisciplined troops plagued by low morale. Outside the picket lines, guerrillas pillaged towns and murdered the vocal few that supported the Union. Paine’s unenviable task was to enforce discipline and to mollify the secessionist majority in 2300 square-mile district.
In less than two months, he succeeded where other commanders had failed. For secessionists, his tenure was a “reign of terror”—for the Unionist minority, a “happy and jubilant” time.

An abolitionist, Paine promoted the enlistment of black troops and encouraged fair wages for former slaves. Yet his principled views led to his downfall. Critics and enemies falsified reports, leading to his removal from command and a court-martial. He was exonerated on all but one minor charge yet generations of historians perpetuated the Paine-the-monster myth. This book tells the complete story.

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Newly Published: Eyes on Havana

New on our bookshelf today:

Eyes on Havana: Memoir of an American Spy Betrayed by the CIA
Verne Lyon with Philip Zwerling

An Iowa boy away at college, Verne Lyon was recruited by the CIA to spy on college professors and fellow students as part of Operation CHAOS, a massive domestic surveillance program carried out at the height of the Vietnam War. Framed by his handlers for an airport bombing, he was later dispatched to Cuba to subvert the Castro regime.

Balking at his increasingly nefarious missions, he tried to quit—and, twice kidnapped by the CIA, he landed in Leavenworth Penitentiary. Today a free man, his memoir details his journey through the secret workings of the U.S. government.

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Newly Published: Organized Crime in the United States, 1865–1941

New on our bookshelf today:

Organized Crime in the United States, 1865–1941
Kristofer Allerfeldt

Why do Americans alternately celebrate and condemn gangsters, outlaws and corrupt politicians? Why do they immortalize Al Capone while forgetting his more successful contemporaries George Remus or Roy Olmstead? Why are some public figures repudiated for their connections to the mob while others gain celebrity status?

Drawing on historical accounts, the author analyzes the public’s understanding of organized crime and questions some of our most deeply held assumptions about crime and its role in society.

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Newly Published: American Zeus

New on our bookshelf today:

American Zeus: The Life of Alexander Pantages, Theater Mogul
Taso G. Lagos

Alexander Pantages was 13 when he arrived in the U.S. in the 1880s, after contracting malaria in Panama. He opened his first motion picture theater in 1902 and went on to build one of the largest and most important independently-owned theater chains in the country. At the height of the Pantages Theaters’ reach, he owned or operated 78 theaters across the U.S. and Canada. He amassed a fortune, yet he could not read or write English.

In 1929 he was convicted of sexually assaulting a 17-year-old dancer—a scandal that destroyed his empire and reduced him to a pariah. The day his grandest theater, the Pantages Hollywood, opened in 1930, he lay sick in a jailhouse infirmary. His conviction was overturned a year later after an appeal to the California State Supreme Court, but the question remains: how should history judge this theater pioneer, wealthy magnate and embodiment of the American Dream?

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Weekly Deal: Philadelphia

This week, celebrate the Eagles’ first Super Bowl win with 20% off all books about Philadelphia—use coupon code PHILLY at checkout!

Connie Mack’s First DynastyThe Philadelphia Athletics, 1910–1914

Philadelphia Quakers and the Antislavery Movement

Ed Bolden and Black Baseball in Philadelphia

A’s Bad as It Gets: Connie Mack’s Pathetic Athletics of 1916

The A’s: A Baseball History

Lefty Grove and the 1931 Philadelphia Athletics

Timothy Matlack, Scribe of the Declaration of Independence

Walter Penn Shipley: Philadelphia’s Friend of Chess

Occasional Glory: The History of the Philadelphia Phillies, 2d ed.

Steve Carlton and the 1972 Phillies

The Fairmount Park Motor Races, 1908–1911

Yuengling: A History of America’s Oldest Brewery

Mack, McGraw and the 1913 Baseball Season

The Fall of the 1977 Phillies: How a Baseball Team’s Collapse Sank a City’s Spirit

Base Ball in Philadelphia: A History of the Early Game, 1831–1900

Connie Mack’s ’29 Triumph: The Rise and Fall of the Philadelphia Athletics Dynasty

The 1964 Phillies: The Story of Baseball’s Most Memorable Collapse

Jimmie Foxx: The Life and Times of a Baseball Hall of Famer, 1907–1967

Charles Brockden Brown and the Literary Magazine: Cultural Journalism in the Early American Republic

The Integration of Baseball in Philadelphia

The Summer of ’64: A Pennant Lost

Mike Schmidt: Philadelphia’s Hall of Fame Third Baseman

The Athletics of Philadelphia: Connie Mack’s White Elephants, 1901–1954

 

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Newly Published: The 30th North Carolina Infantry in the Civil War

New on our bookshelf today:

The 30th North Carolina Infantry in the Civil War: A History and Roster
William Thomas Venner

At the outbreak of the Civil War, the men of the 30th North Carolina rushed to join the regiment, proclaiming, “we will whip the Yankees, or give them a right to a small part of our soil—say 2 feet by 6 feet.” Once the Tar Heels experienced combat, their attitudes changed. One rifleman recorded: “We came to a Yankee field hospital … we moved piles of arms, feet, hands.” By 1865, the unit’s survivors reflected on their experiences, wondering “when and if I return home—will I be able to fit in?”
Drawing on letters, journals, memoirs and personnel records, this history follows the civilian-soldiers from their mustering-in to the war’s final moments at Appomattox. The 30th North Carolina had the distinction of firing at Abraham Lincoln on July 12, 1864, as the president stood upon the ramparts of Ft. Stevens outside Washington D.C., and firing the last regimental volley before the surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia.

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Newly Published: Folk Religion of the Pennsylvania Dutch

New on our bookshelf today:

Folk Religion of the Pennsylvania Dutch: Witchcraft, Faith Healing and Related Practices
Richard L.T. Orth

For almost three centuries, the “Pennsylvania Dutch”—descended from German immigrants—have practiced white magic, known in their dialect as Braucherei (from the German “brauchen,” to use) or Powwowing. The tradition was brought by immigrants from the Rhineland and Switzerland in the 17th and 18th centuries, when they settled in Pennsylvania and in other areas of what is now the eastern United States and Canada.

Practitioners draw on folklore and tradition dating to the turn of the 19th century, when healers like Mountain Mary—canonized as a saint for her powers—arrived in the New World.

The author, a member of the Pennsylvania Dutch community, describes in detail the practices, culture and history of faith healers and witches.

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Newly Published: Sex and the Scientist

New on our bookshelf today:

Sex and the Scientist: The Indecent Life of Benjamin Thompson, Count Rumford (1753–1814)
Jane Merrill

One of the preeminent natural philosophers of the Enlightenment, Benjamin Thompson started out
as a farm boy with a practical turn of mind. His inventions include the Rumford fireplace, insulated clothing, the thermos, convection ovens, double boilers, double-paned glass and an improved sloop. He was knighted by King George III and became a Count of the Holy Roman Emperor.
Thompson’s popularity with women eclipsed his achievements, though. He was married twice and had affairs with many other prominent women, including the wife of Boston printer Isaiah Thomas and that of a doctor who would crew the first balloon to cross the English Channel. He even fathered a child by the court mistress of the Prince Elector and had affairs with several other German noblewomen. Drawing on Thompson’s correspondence and diaries, this book examines his friendships and romantic relationships.

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Newly Published: The Ripper’s Victims in Print

New on our bookshelf today:

The Ripper’s Victims in Print: The Rhetoric of Portrayals Since 1929
Rebecca Frost

Mary Ann Nichols, Annie Chapman, Elizabeth Stride, Katherine Eddowes and Mary Jane Kelly—the five known victims of Jack the Ripper—are among the most written-about women in history. Hundreds of books on the Ripper murders describe their deaths in detail. Yet they themselves remain as mysterious as their murderer.
This first ever study of the victims surveys the Ripper literature to reveal what is known about their lives, how society viewed them at the time of their deaths, and how attitudes and perceptions of them have (or have not) changed since the Victorian era.

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Newly Published: The Star Gate Archives

New on our bookshelf today:

The Star Gate Archives: Reports of the United States Government Sponsored Psi Program, 1972–1995. Volume 1: Remote Viewing, 1972–1984
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. Early work benefited from a few “stars” of RV who were successful at convincing investigators of its existence and its potential as a means of gathering intelligence. Research focused on determining the parameters of RV, who may have the ability, how to collect and analyze data and the best way to use RV in intelligence operations. Volume 1 Remote Viewing (1972–1984) and Volume 2 Remote Viewing (1985–1995) include laboratory trials and several operational results.

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Newly Published: The Liberators of Pilsen

New on our bookshelf today:

The Liberators of Pilsen: The U.S. 16th Armored Division in World War II Czechoslovakia
Bryan J. Dickerson

Formed in July 1943 at Camp Chaffee, Arkansas, the 16th Armored Division was the last U.S. armored division to be activated in World War II, the last deployed to the European Theater and the last to see combat. As the war in Europe was coming to an end, General George S. Patton chose the division to spearhead a daring advance into Czechoslovakia. In its first and only combat operation, the 16th liberated the city of Pilsen, forever endearing itself to the Czech people. Poised to continue to the capital city of Prague, the division was halted not by German resistance but by political rivalries between the Western powers and the Soviet Union. Official U.S. Army records and veteran accounts tell the story of the unit’s brief two-year existence and its successful mission.

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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.

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Newly Published: When Baseball Met Big Bill Haywood

When Baseball Met Big Bill HaywoodNew on our bookshelf today:

When Baseball Met Big Bill Haywood: The Battle for Manchester, New Hampshire, 1912–1916
Scott C. Roper and Stephanie Abbot Roper

In the early 20th century, immigration, labor unrest, social reforms and government regulations threatened the power of the country’s largest employers. The Amoskeag Manufacturing Company of Manchester, New Hampshire, remained successful by controlling its workforce, the local media, and local and state government. When a 1912 strike in nearby Lawrence, Massachusetts, threatened to bring the Industrial Workers of the World union to Manchester, the company sought to reassert its influence. Amoskeag worked to promote company pride and to Americanize its many foreign-born workers through benevolence programs, including a baseball club.

Textile Field, the most advanced stadium in New England outside of Boston when it was built in 1913, was the centerpiece of this effort. Results were mixed—the company found itself at odds with social movements and new media outlets, and Textile Field became a magnet for conflict with all of professional baseball.

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Newly Published: The Ugandan Morality Crusade

The Ugandan Morality CrusadeNew on our bookshelf today:

The Ugandan Morality Crusade: The Brutal Campaign Against Homosexuality and Pornography Under Yoweri Museveni
Deborah Kintu

In 1999, General Museveni, Uganda’s autocratic leader, ordered police to arrest homosexuals for engaging in behavior that he characterized as “un–African” and against Biblical teaching. A state-sanctioned campaign of harassment of LGBT people followed. With the approval of sections of Uganda’s clergy (and with the support of U.S. evangelicals) harsh morality laws were passed against pornography and homosexual acts.

The former law disproportionately affected urban women, curtailing their freedoms. The latter—known as the “kill the gays bill”—called for life imprisonment or capital punishment for homosexuals. The author weaves together a series of vignettes that trace the development of Uganda’s morality laws amidst Machiavellian politics, religious fundamentalism and the human rights struggle of LGBT Ugandans.

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Newly Published: Freedom Narratives of African American Women

Freedom Narratives of African American WomenNew on our bookshelf today:

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

Stories of liberation from enslavement or oppression have become central to African American women’s literature. Beginning with a discussion of black women freedom narratives as a literary genre, the author argues that these texts represent a discourse on civil rights that emerged earlier than the ideas of racial uplift that culminated in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. An examination of the collective free identity of black women and their relationships to the community focuses on education, individual progress, marriage and family, labor, intellectual commitments and community rebuilding projects.

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Newly Published: The Yanks Are Coming Over There

New on our bookshelf today:

The Yanks Are Coming Over There: Anglo-Saxonism and American Involvement in the First World War
Dino E. Buenviaje

World War I was a global cataclysm that toppled centuries-old dynasties and launched “the American century.” Yet at the outset few Americans saw any reason to get involved in yet another conflict among the crowned heads of Europe. Despite its declared neutrality, the U.S. government gradually became more sympathetic with the Allies, until President Woodrow Wilson asked Congress to declare war on Germany to “make the world safe for democracy.”

Key to this shift in policy and public opinion was the belief that the English-speaking peoples were inherently superior and fit for world leadership. Just before the war, British and American elites set aside former disputes and recognized their potential for dominating the international stage. By casting Germans as “barbarians” and spreading stories of atrocities, the Wilson administration persuaded the public—including millions of German Americans—that siding with the Allies was a just cause.

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Newly Published: We Who Lived

New on our bookshelf today:

We Who Lived: Two Teenagers in World War II Poland
Hava Bromberg Ben-Zvi
Foreword by Justine M. Pas

Hava (Eva) Bromberg and Ephraim Sokal were Jewish teenagers in Poland when the Nazis invaded in 1939. Hiding in plain sight, Bromberg lived among the non–Jewish Polish population, always in danger of discovery or betrayal.

Sokal and his family were deported as “enemies of the people” when the Russians occupied eastern Poland—a calamity that saved their lives. Liberated by the 1941 Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union, Sokal fought the Germans, serving with the Polish Navy and British armed forces.

Bromberg and Sokal met in 1947, both facing the challenges of surviving in a postwar world they were unprepared for. This combined memoir tells their story of resilience.

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New in Softcover: Circle the Wagons!

Now available in softcover:

Circle the Wagons!: Attacks on Wagon Trains in History and Hollywood Films
Gregory F. Michno and Susan J. Michno

It’s a cinematic image as familiar as John Wayne’s face: a wagon train circling as a defensive maneuver against Indian attacks. This book examines actual and fictional wagon-train battles and compares them for realism. It also describes how fledgling Hollywood portrayed the concept of westward migration but, as the evolving industry became more accurate in historical detail, how filmmakers then lost sight of the big picture.

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Newly Published: Rear Admiral Larry Chambers, USN

New on our bookshelf today:

Rear Admiral Larry Chambers, USN: First African American to Command an Aircraft Carrier
Ric Murphy

The first African-American aircraft carrier commander, Rear Admiral Lawrence Cleveland Chambers (1929– ) played a prominent role as captain of the USS Midway during the Vietnam War. During the evacuation of Saigon—known as Operation Frequent Wind—he famously ordered several UH-1 helicopters pushed overboard to make room for an escaping South Vietnamese Air Force major to land his Cessna. Chambers, who had only commanded Midway for a few weeks, gave the order believing (wrongly) that he would be court-martialed for the $10 million loss. This biography covers his early life and military career, including his role in the desegregation of the U.S. Navy during a period racial strife.

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Newly Published: The Californios

New on our bookshelf today:

The Californios: A History, 1769–1890
Hunt Janin and Ursula Carlson

Before the Gold Rush of 1848–1858, Alta (Upper) California was an isolated cattle frontier—and home to a colorful group of Spanish-speaking, non-indigenous people known as Californios. Profiting from the forced labor of large numbers of local Indians, they carved out an almost feudal way of life, raising cattle along the California coast and valleys. Visitors described them as a good-looking, vibrant, improvident people. Many traces of their culture remain in California.

Yet their prosperity rested entirely on undisputed ownership of large ranches. As they lost control of these in the wake of the Mexican War, they lost their high status and many were reduced to subsistence-level jobs or fell into abject poverty. Drawing on firsthand contemporary accounts, the authors chronicle the rise and fall of Californio men and women.

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Newly Published: World Epidemics

New on our bookshelf today:

World Epidemics: A Cultural Chronology of Disease from Prehistory to the Era of Zika, 2d ed.
Mary Ellen Snodgrass

In its expanded second edition, this chronology examines the effects of epidemic illness and death on human culture from 2700 bce to 2017. Entries summarize incidents of contagion across the globe, including symptoms, treatment, prevention and demographics, as well as biographical information on notable people who identified and battled disease. Entries feature citations from personal and public documents along with maps, charts comparing types of infection, and estimated populations affected by each epidemic.

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Four Books Reviewed in December Issue of Choice

The December issue of Choice features reviews of four new McFarland books!

Major General Israel Putnam: Hero of the American Revolution
Robert Ernest Hubbard
“This masterfully researched account is a solid contribution to American Revolutionary historiography as well as to the histories of Connecticut, New England, and the French and Indian War…highly recommended.”

Joseph Brown and His Civil War Ironclads: The USS Chillicothe, Indianola and Tuscumbia
Myron J. Smith, Jr.
“Excellent…thorough…a plethora of maps, illustrations, and charts…recommended.”

LGBTQ Young Adult Fiction: A Critical Survey, 1970s–2010s
Caren J. Town
“Important…deftly balances several elements to serve a variety of readers…recommended.”

The Culture and Ethnicity of Nineteenth Century Baseball
Jerrold I. Casway
“Excellent…This scholarly, informative, yet easy-to-read volume includes an excellent bibliography and will be a fine addition to academic library collections…recommended.”

 

 

 

 

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Newly Published: Operation Squarepeg

New on our bookshelf today:

Operation Squarepeg: The Allied Invasion of the Green Islands, February 1944
Reg Newell

In late January 1944 a force of New Zealand soldiers and Allied specialists undertook a daring behind the lines reconnaissance of the Japanese-held Green Islands of Papua New Guinea. The New Zealand Army’s largest amphibious operation of World War II followed two weeks later. The Japanese contested the invasion with air power and inflicted heavy damage on the American cruiser USS St. Louis. After landing, the New Zealanders pushed inland and encountered fanatical Japanese defenders entrenched in thick jungle.

Allied engineers—including the famed Seabees—then built airfields, roads and shipping facilities. The seizure of the Green Islands completed the encirclement of the main Japanese base in the South Pacific at Rabaul. A memorable but overlooked action of the Pacific War, “Operation Squarepeg” involved a diverse force of Allied sailors, soldiers and airmen that included Charles Lindbergh and future U.S. president Richard Nixon.

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Newly Published: Fairchild C-82 Packet

New on our bookshelf today:

Fairchild C-82 Packet: The Military and Civil History
Simon D. Beck

Originally designed as a cargo and paratroop transport during World War II, the Fairchild C-82 Packet is today mainly remembered for its starring role in the Hollywood film The Flight of the Phoenix (1965). Its ungainly appearance earned it the nickname “the flying boxcar” but the aircraft was the first to achieve practical end-loading and aerial delivery of cargoes. Its outsized capacity served the U.S. military’s needs for more than ten years—civilian operators flew it in remote locations like Alaska and South America for a further three decades. This book provides a comprehensive history of the C-82, detailing each of the 224 aircraft built, with technical diagrams, multiple appendices and more than 200 photos.