Posted on

Newly Published: Reality Simulation in Science Fiction Literature, Film and Television

New on our bookshelf:

Reality Simulation in Science Fiction Literature, Film and Television
Heather Duerre Humann

In recent decades, science fiction in both print and visual media has produced an outpouring of story lines that feature forms of simulated reality. These depictions appear with such frequency that fictional portrayals of simulated worlds have become a popular sci-fi trope—one that prompts timeless questions about the nature of reality while also tapping into contemporary debates about emerging technologies. In combination with tech-driven tensions, this study shows that our collective sense of living in politically uncertain times also propels the popularity of these story lines. Because of the kinds of questions they raise and the cultural anxieties they provoke, these fictional representations provide a window into contemporary culture and demonstrate how we are reassessing our own reality.

Posted on

Newly Published: The NFL’s Greatest Day

New on our bookshelf:

The NFL’s Greatest Day: Roger Staubach, Franco Harris and the Story of Immaculate Saturday
Brad Schultz

A tight, dramatic NFL playoff game is exciting on its own, but two of the most dramatic in the same afternoon might result in the most compelling day in football history. This book is the first to capture the excitement and tension of December 23, 1972, when Pittsburgh played Oakland and Dallas met San Francisco in a pair of first-round playoff games that captivated millions. One game saw Dallas rally from three scores down in the fourth quarter, while the other featured the most famous ending in league history—the Immaculate Reception. This book details both high-stakes games as well as the historic season that led each team to the 1972 playoffs. Also covered are the men behind the miracles—some captured the moment to become heroes and legends, while others let success slip through their grasp. Two games, one afternoon, countless memories.

Posted on

Newly Published: Darkening the Italian Screen

New on our bookshelf:

Darkening the Italian Screen: Interviews with Genre and Exploitation Directors Who Debuted in the 1950s and 1960s
Eugenio Ercolani

The birth and rise of popular Italian cinema since the early 1950s can be attributed purely to necessity. The vast number of genres, sub-genres, currents and crossovers and the way they have overlapped, died out or replaced each other has been an attempt, in postwar years, to contain the invasion of U.S. product while satisfying the demands the American industry had created in Italy.

The author explores one of the most multi-faceted and contradictory industries cinema has ever known through the careers of those most closely associated with it. His recorded interviews were conducted with directors and actors both well-known and upcoming.

Posted on

Book Reviewers, Request Your Advance Reader’s Copy

Book reviewers, request your advance reader’s copy now by emailing publicist Beth Cox.

The Durable Runner: A Guide to Injury-Free Running by Alison Heilig

Migrating for Medical Marijuana: Pioneers in a New Frontier of Treatment by Tracy Ferrell

Communication Alternatives in Autism: Perspectives on Typing and Spelling Approaches for the Nonspeaking by Edlyn Vallejo Peña

Posted on

Newly Published: Presidents by Fate

New on our bookshelf:

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

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

Posted on

Newly Published: Gender, Sexuality and Queerness in American Horror Story

New on our bookshelf:

Gender, Sexuality and Queerness in American Horror Story: Critical Essays
Edited by Harriet E.H. Earle

The horror anthology TV show American Horror Story first aired on FX Horror in 2011 and has thus far spanned eight seasons. Addressing many areas of cultural concern, the show has tapped in to conversations about celebrity culture, family dynamics, and more.

This volume with nine new essays and one reprinted one considers how this series engages with representations of gender, sexuality, queer identities and other LGBTQ issues. The contributors address myriad elements of American Horror Story, from the relationship between gender and nature to contemporary masculinities, offering a sustained analysis of a show that has proven to be central to contemporary genre television.

Posted on

Newly Published: Mountain Miles

New on our bookshelf:

Mountain Miles: A Memoir of Section Hiking the Southern Appalachian Trail
Mark Clegg

The Appalachian Mountains are a well-known world treasure, perhaps the most biodiverse region on the planet. This book spans almost six years and 500 miles of hiking by the author along the southern portion of the Appalachian Trail. A fresh perspective is brought to the subculture of “AT” hikers.

The path of the trail crosses many areas that featured dramatic family events, and the author weaves in compelling stories of his ancestors who called this ancient mountain range home. Also explored are a multitude of topics ranging from environmental challenges to the modern day problems facing residents of the region.

Posted on

Newly Published: Women Who Ride the Hoka Hey

New on our bookshelf:

Women Who Ride the Hoka Hey: Enduring America’s Toughest Motorcycle Challenge
Abagail Van Vlerah

The Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge is an endurance ride that takes participants across the United States. Riding 20 hours a day or more for 7–12 days straight, they traverse back roads, brave dangerous conditions and battle mental and physical exhaustion. Fewer than 10 percent of participants are women. They take on the challenge and they excel! Chronicling the journeys of 14 women who participated in the Hoka Hey (Lakota for “Let’s do it!”) from 2010 to 2013, this feminist cultural analysis relates their often harrowing stories of life on the road and draws comparisons to women in other sports.

Posted on

Newly Published: Patty Berg

New on our bookshelf:

Patty Berg: Pioneer Champion of Women’s Golf
Kevin Kenny

The Ladies Professional Golfers Association (LPGA) was formed in 1950, 34 years after the men’s association. There were 13 founding members, one of whom was Patty Berg (1918–2006). After a glittering amateur career with 28 championships, Berg turned professional in 1940. Before the formation of the LPGA she made a living playing in an occasional tournament and conducting thousands of exhibitions and teaching clinics in the U.S.

Berg had one of the most successful careers in women’s golf. She won 57 tour titles and her 15 major pro championships remain a record. This first biography of Berg traces her career from “teenage sensation” to beloved and respected elder stateswoman of the game, chronicling her role among the founding members who created the multi-million dollar LPGA.

Posted on

Newly Published: Civil War Taxes

New on our bookshelf:

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

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

Posted on

Newly Published: Coins and Currency

New on our bookshelf:

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

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

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

Posted on

Newly Published: Nonpareil Jack Dempsey

New on our bookshelf:

Nonpareil Jack Dempsey: Boxing’s First World Middleweight Champion
Joseph S. Page

Hall of Fame middleweight prizefighter John Edward Kelly, better known as Nonpareil Jack Dempsey, was one of the most popular athletes in the United States during the late 19th century. To many observers, Dempsey is one of the greatest pound-for-pound fighters in ring history. Inside the ropes, he was fearless, poised, quick, agile, and had terrific punching power with both hands.

His story is rich—full of amazing highs and terrible lows. He was a poor immigrant Irish boy who scaled great heights to become one of this nation’s first sports celebrities. He became a household name, wealthy and popular. But much too soon, it all came crashing down. His violent profession, alcoholism, mental illness, and tuberculosis left little to recognize of the valiant hero of so many battles.

Posted on

Newly Published: Margaret Sullavan

New on our bookshelf:

Margaret Sullavan: The Life and Career of a Reluctant Star
Michael D. Rinella

In 1933, Margaret Sullavan made her film debut and was an overnight sensation. For the next three decades, she enchanted audiences and critics in any medium she chose—film, theater, television—and was regarded as one of the foremost dramatic actresses. Off screen, she epitomized the Southern Belle—beauty, hospitality and flirtatiousness. Deep down, she suffered from crippling insecurity, especially as a mother—a feeling exacerbated by progressive hearing loss. By age 50, she could no longer cope and took an overdose of sleeping pills. This biography covers her film career with insightful criticism from the period and details her personal life, including her marriage to Henry Fonda, her special friendship with James Stewart and her bitter rivalry with Katharine Hepburn.

Posted on

Newly Published: Autogenic Training

New on our bookshelf:

Autogenic Training: A Mind-Body Approach to the Treatment of Chronic Pain Syndrome and Stress-Related Disorders, 3d ed.
Micah R. Sadigh

Using repeated sets of exercises meant to relax and desensitize the mind, autogenic training equips patients to deal with chronic conditions such as anxiety disorders, recurring pain and stress. Patients learn how to gain control over their symptoms and improve coping to reduce suffering. This expanded edition presents practitioners with a concise exploration of autogenic technique and its clinical use for patients, especially in treating those suffering from chronic pain syndrome and disrupted sleep.

Posted on

Plants Go to War Reviewed in Booklist

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

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

Posted on

Newly Published: Navigating the C-124 Globemaster

New on our bookshelf:

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

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

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

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

Posted on

Newly Published: The Dirty College Game

New on our bookshelf:

The Dirty College Game: Corruption, Gambling and the Pursuit of Money in NCAA Football and Basketball
Al Figone

Commercial aspects of college football and basketball during the mid– to late 20th century were dominated by a few “get rich quick” schools. Though the NCAA was responsible for controlling such facets of college sports, the organization was unwilling and unable to control the excesses of the few who opposed the majority opinion. The result was a period of corruption, rules violations, unnecessary injuries and overspending. These events led to the formation of larger conferences, richer bowl games and rules intended to preserve the “money-making” value of college football and basketball.

This book explores gambling, academic fraud, illegal booster activity and the single-minded pursuit of television contracts in college sports, as well as the NCAA’s involvement—or lack thereof—in such cases.

Posted on

Newly Published: Weird Tales of Modernity

New on our bookshelf:

Weird Tales of Modernity: The Ephemerality of the Ordinary in the Stories of Robert E. Howard, Clark Ashton Smith and H.P. Lovecraft
Jason Ray Carney

Serious literary artists such as T.S. Eliot, James Joyce and Virginia Woolf loom large in most accounts of the literary art of the first half of the 20th century. And yet, working in the shadows cast by these modernists were science fiction, horror and fantasy writers like the “Weird Tales Three”: H.P. Lovecraft, Clark Ashton Smith and Robert E. Howard.

They did not publish in artistically ambitious magazines like Dial, The Smart Set and The Little Reviewbut instead in commercial pulp magazines like Weird Tales. Contrary to the stereotypes about pulp fiction and those who wrote it, these three were serious literary artists who used their fiction to speculate about such philosophical questions as the function of art and the brevity of life.

Posted on

Newly Published: Beryl Halley

New on our bookshelf:

Beryl Halley: The Life and Follies of a Ziegfeld Beauty, 1897–1988
Jacob L. Bapst and Ivan M. Tribe

Born in rural Ohio in 1897, Beryl Halley was educated at a strict Freewill Baptist school. After briefly teaching in a one-room schoolhouse, she joined the navy in 1918 before her unlikely path led her to Broadway, then to the Ziegfeld Follies (1923–1925). She also appeared in Earl Carroll’s Vanities and other revues, as well as in films, and had a widely publicized brush with the law (over alleged nudity) in 1926.

She retired from show business in 1930, married an insurance executive and had a family, later reappearing in the public eye as an officer in the Ziegfeld Girls’ Club. Making her home in Houston in the 1950s, she worked as legal secretary for a large law firm. Her death at age 90 was unpublicized. Her story is told here for the first time.

Posted on

Newly Published: Women’s Space

New on our bookshelf:

Women’s Space: Essays on Female Characters in the 21st Century Science Fiction Western
Edited by Melanie A. Marotta

From the Star Wars expanded universe to Westworld, the science fiction western has captivated audiences for more than fifty years. These twelve new essays concentrate on the female characters in the contemporary science fiction western, addressing themes of power, agency, intersectionality and the body. Discussing popular works such as FringeGuardians of the Galaxy and Mass Effect, the essayists shed new light on the gender dynamics of these beloved franchises, emphasizing inclusion and diversity with their critical perspectives.

Posted on

Newly Published: Joss Whedon, Anarchist?

New on our bookshelf:

Joss Whedon, Anarchist?: A Unified Theory of the Films and Television Series
James Rocha and Mona Rocha

Joss Whedon has created numerous TV series, movies, comics and one sing-along-blog, all of which focus on societal problems in the metaphorical guise of monsters-of-the-week and over-arching big-bads.

The present work examines structural violence through interdimensional law firm Wolfram & Hart’s legal representation of evil. We explore the limits of consent through the Rossum Corporation’s coercion and manipulation. We rehearse the struggle to find meaningful freedom from the crew of Serenity.

This book traces a theme of anarchist theory through the multiple strings of the Whedonverse—all of his works show how ordinary heroes can unite for the love of humanity to save the world from hierarchy and paternalism.

Posted on

Newly Published: Black Baseball’s Last Team Standing

New on our bookshelf:

Black Baseball’s Last Team Standing: The Birmingham Black Barons, 1919–1962
William J. Plott

The Birmingham Black Barons were a nationally known team in baseball’s Negro leagues from 1920 through 1962. Among its storied players were Hall of Famers Satchel Paige, Willie Mays, and Mule Suttles. The Black Barons played in the final Negro Leagues World Series in 1948 and were a major drawing card when barnstorming throughout the United States and parts of Canada. This book chronicles the team’s history and presents the only comprehensive roster of the hundreds of men who wore the Black Barons uniform.

Posted on

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

New on our bookshelf:

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

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

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

Posted on

Newly Published: The Television Horrors of Dan Curtis

New on our bookshelf:

The Television Horrors of Dan Curtis: Dark Shadows, The Night Stalker and Other Productions, 2d ed.
Jeff Thompson

Before award-winning director Dan Curtis became known for directing epic war movies, he darkened the small screen with the horror genre’s most famous soap opera, Dark Shadows, and numerous subsequent made-for-TV horror movies. This second edition serves as a complete filmography, featuring each of Curtis’s four-dozen productions and 100 photographs. With the addition of new chapters on Dark Shadows, the author further explores the groundbreaking daytime television serial. Fans and scholars alike will find an exhaustive account of Curtis’s work, as well as a new foreword from My Music producer Jim Pierson and an afterword from Dr. Mabuse director Ansel Faraj.

Posted on

Newly Published: On Stage at the Ballet

New on our bookshelf:

On Stage at the Ballet: My Life as Dancer and Artistic Director
Robert Barnett with Cynthia Crain

Dancer Robert Barnett trained under legendary choreographer Bronislava Nijinska. His professional ballet career was launched when he joined the Colonel de Basil Original Ballet Russe company. In the late 1940s, when George Balanchine and Lincoln Kirstein formed the New York City Ballet, Barnett was among the first generation of dancers. Under Balanchine’s direction, he rose from corps de ballet to soloist.

In 1958 he became principal dancer and associate artistic director of the Atlanta Ballet—the oldest continuously operating company in America—and served as artistic director for more than thirty years. He was head coach of the American delegation to the International Ballet Competitions in Varna, Bulgaria, in 1980 and in Moscow in 1981.

Barnett’s autobiography recounts the life of a dancer and artistic director, offers insight into what is involved in pursuing a professional career in dance and provides a history of ballet in America from the early 1920s through 2019.

Posted on

Newly Published: He Cheated, She Cheated, We Cheated

New on our bookshelf:

He Cheated, She Cheated, We Cheated: Women Speak About Infidelity
Ebony A. Utley

Infidelity raises questions: Why do women stay with a cheater? Why do women cheat? Why do women become “the Other Woman”? How do past experiences with infidelity impact future relationships?

Drawing on interviews with U.S. women of various ages, racial backgrounds, educational attainments, and sexual orientations, this insightful study examines their personal experiences of being cheated on, cheating, being the Other Woman, or some combination of the three. Always engaging and equal parts uplifting and dispiriting, their narratives range from all-too-familiar stories to unconventional perspectives on love, life, and interpersonal communication.

Posted on

Newly Published: Shakespeare Scholars in Conversation

New on our bookshelf:

Shakespeare Scholars in Conversation: Interviews with 24 Leading Experts
Michael P. Jensen

Twenty-four of today’s most prominent Shakespeare scholars discuss the best-known works in Shakespeare studies, along with some nearly forgotten classics that deserve fresh appraisal.
An extensive bibliography provides a reading list of the most important works in the field. A filmography then lists the most important Shakespeare films, along with the films that influenced Shakespeare filmmakers.

Interviewees include Sir Stanley Wells, Sir Jonathan Bate, Sir Brian Vickers, Ann Thompson, Virginia Mason Vaughan, George T. Wright, Lukas Erne, MacDonald P. Jackson, Peter Holland, James Shapiro, Katherine Duncan-Jones and Barbara Hodgdon.

Posted on

Newly Published: “Hailing frequencies open”

New on our bookshelf:

“Hailing frequencies open”: Communication in Star Trek: The Next Generation
Thomas D. Parham, III

Star Trek: The Next Generation blended speculative science fiction and space opera in its portrayal of communication. Multiple modes of communication used between characters are presented and the multilevel tapestry of communication in the series is critical in its appeal.

This book proposes that these patterns of communication reveal a foundational philosophy of Star Trek(while enticing millions of viewers). These patterns serve both to cause strong empathetic connections with characters and to impel viewers to form relationships with the show, explaining their extreme devotion.

Posted on

Newly Published: The Struggle Behind the Soundtrack

New on our bookshelf:

The Struggle Behind the Soundtrack: Inside the Discordant New World of Film Scoring
Stephan Eicke

Do you want to pick up a light saber whenever you hear John Williams’ Star Wars theme? Get the urge to ride into the desert and face down steely-eyed desperados to the refrain of Ennio Morricone’s The Good, the Bad and the Ugly? Does Hans Zimmer’s Pirates of the Caribbean score have you talking like Jack Sparrow?

From the Westerns of the 1960s to current blockbusters, composers for both film and television have faced new challenges—evermore elaborate sound design, temp tracks, test audiences and working with companies that invest in film score recordings all have led to creative sparks, as well as frustrations. Drawing on interviews with more than 40 notable composers, this book gives an in-depth analysis of the industry and reveals the creative process behind such artists as Klaus Badelt, Mychael Danna, Abel Korzeniowski, Walter Murch, Rachel Portman, Alan Silvestri, Randy Thom and others.

Posted on

Newly Published: Death in Supernatural

New on our bookshelf today:

Death in Supernatural: Critical Essays
Ed. by Amanda Taylor and Susan Nylander

Over 14 seasons, television’s Supernatural has developed a devoted following of both fans and scholars. The show has addressed big issues, including perhaps the biggest—death.

This collection of new essays examines how death is represented and personified in the series, and how grief is processed in American society. Contributors discuss the show’s explorations of the ultimate mystery, with topics covering American traditions and attitudes, folklore and mythology, resurrection, and grief and grieving.

Posted on

Newly Published: John C. O’Neill

New on our bookshelf:

John C. O’Neill: The Irish Nationalist and American Military Officer Who Invaded Canada
Thomas Fox

In June 1866, an 800-man contingent of the Irish Fenian Brotherhood invaded Canada from Buffalo, New York, in an effort to free Ireland from British rule. The force was led by Irish-born John Charles O’Neill, a veteran of the Union Army’s 5th Indiana Cavalry.

The three-day invasion was a military success but a political failure, yet O’Neill was celebrated for his leadership and humanity. Elevated to the presidency of the Fenian Brotherhood, “General” O’Neill would again lead Irish nationalists against Canada in 1870. Jailed and later pardoned by President U.S. Grant, O’Neill left the Fenians and attempted a third, futile attack into Canada.

O’Neill then became a colonizer, urging Irish Americans to abandon cities in the East to settle on the fertile plains of the West. O’Neill City, Nebraska, is named in his honor.
This first full-length biography covers the rise, fall and resurgence of a remarkable figure in American and Irish history.

Posted on

Newly Published: General Emory Upton in the Civil War

New on our bookshelf:

General Emory Upton in the Civil War: The Formative Experiences of an American Military Visionary
Robert N. Thompson

Considered by many to be the architect of the modern U.S. Army, Union General Emory Upton commanded troops in almost every major battle of the Civil War’s Eastern Theater. Witnessing some of the war’s bloodiest engagements convinced him of the need for comprehensive reform in military organization, professionalism, education, tactics and personnel policies. From the end of the war to his 1881 death by suicide, Upton led an effort to modernize U.S. military culture.

While much has been written about the politics of his reform campaign, this book details his wartime experiences and how they informed his intense fervor for change.

Posted on

Newly Published: World War II Veterans in Motorsports

New on our bookshelf:

World War II Veterans in Motorsports
Art Evans

“This generation of Americans has a rendezvous with destiny,” said President Franklin D. Roosevelt of the young Americans who grew up during the deprivation of the Great Depression and later served during World War II. The 23 described in this book went on from military service to make their mark in auto racing, particularly in the sports car scene of the 1950s and 1960s.

Ken Miles and Vasek Polak were not Americans during the war but later went on to become citizens. Carroll Shelby was not only a great driver but also created cars that are still manufactured. John Von Neumann and Vasek Polak were instrumental in helping to establish Porsche as a marque in the U.S. John Fitch, Ed Hugus, Chuck Daigh, Bill Stroppe, Max Balchowsky, Jay Chamberlain, Jim Peterson and Paul Newman were heroes in the war before succeeding in businesses and motorsports.

Posted on

Newly Published: Claiming Her Place in Congress

New on our bookshelf:

Claiming Her Place in Congress: Women from American Political Families as Legislators

The fall of 2018 saw an unprecedented number of women elected to Congress, changing estimates of how long it might take to achieve equal representation. For the first time, women candidates used techniques honed by America’s political families, which have helped women enter politics since 1916. Drawing on extensive research and conversations with successful women politicians, this book offers a history of the political opportunities provided through familial connections. Family networks have a long history of enabling women to run for political office. There is much for the latest group of candidates to emulate.

Posted on

Newly Published: Dracula as Absolute Other

New on our bookshelf:

Dracula as Absolute Other: The Troubling and Distracting Specter of Stoker’s Vampire on Screen
Simon Bacon

Dark, dangerous and transgressive, Bram Stoker’s Dracula is often read as Victorian society’s absolute Other—an outsider who troubles and distracts those around him, one who represents the fears and anxieties of the age. This book is a study of Dracula’s role of absolute Other as it appears on screen, and an investigation of popular culture’s continued fascination with vampires. Drawing on vampire films spanning from the early 20th century to 2017, the author examines how different generations construct Otherness and how this is reflected in vampire media.

Posted on

Newly Published: Pinkertons, Prostitutes and Spies

New on our bookshelf:

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

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

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

Posted on

Newly Published: Eugene O’Neill and the Reinvention of Theatre Aesthetics

New on our bookshelf:

Eugene O’Neill and the Reinvention of Theatre Aesthetics
Thierry Dubost

The plays of Eugene O’Neill testify to his continued search for new dramatic strategies. The author explores the Nobel Prize winner’s attempts at creating a new Modern play. He shows how, moving away from melodrama or “the problem play,” O’Neill revisited the classical frames of drama and reinvented theater aesthetics by resorting to masks, the chorus, acoustics, silence or immobility for the creation of his dramatic works.

Posted on

Newly Published: Between the Ropes at Madison Square Garden

New on our bookshelf:

Between the Ropes at Madison Square Garden: The History of an Iconic Boxing Ring, 1925–2007
Mark Allen Baker

Inside Madison Square Garden, the City Ring was the altar of pugilism from 1925 until 2007. Hosting countless championship fights, historic main events and memorable undercards, it was center stage of boxing history.

The ring now rests at the International Boxing Hall of Fame in Canastota, New York—its 132 assembled pieces memorializing a key facet of 20th century American life. While many books have been written about great fistic contests that took place at Madison Square Garden, this is the first to focus on its Holy Grail.

Posted on

Weekly Kindle Spotlight: July 8th

The HumpNow through July 19th, get these popular ebook titles for just 3.99 on Amazon Kindle!

The Hump: The 1st Battalion, 503rd Airborne Infantry, in the First Major Battle of the Vietnam War

Punching from the Shadows: A Memoir of a Minor League Professional Boxer

Opening the X-Files: A Critical History of the Original Series

The Stewart/Colbert Effect: The Real Impacts of Fake News

The Cubs and the White Sox: A Baseball Rivalry, 1900 to the Present

Eyes on Havana: Memoir of an American Spy Betrayed by the CIA

Echo of Odin: Norse Mythology and Human Consciousness

Kramer Williamson, Sprint Car Legend

Wizards vs. Muggles: Essays on Identity and the Harry Potter Universe

A Very Witching Time of Night: Dark Alleys of Classic Horror Cinema

Posted on

Newly Published: Medieval Art and the Look of Silent Film

New on our bookshelf:

Medieval Art and the Look of Silent Film: The Influence on Costume and Set Design
Lora Ann Sigler

The heyday of silent film soon became quaint with the arrival of “talkies.” As early as 1929, critics and historians were writing of the period as though it were the distant past. Much of the literature on the silent era focuses on its filmic art—ambiance and psychological depth, the splendor of the sets and costumes—yet overlooks the inspiration behind these.

This book explores the Middle Ages as the prevailing influence on costume and set design in silent film and a force in fashion and architecture of the era. In the wake of World War I, designers overthrew the artifice of prewar style and manners and drew upon what seemed a nobler, purer age to create an ambiance that reflected higher ideals.

Posted on

Newly Published: Nittany Nightmare

New on our bookshelf:

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

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

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

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

Posted on

Newly Published: Madeleine Smith on Trial

New on our bookshelf:

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

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

Posted on

Newly Published: Horror Comes Home

New on our bookshelf:

Horror Comes Home: Essays on Hauntings, Possessions and Other Domestic Terrors in Cinema
Edited by Cynthia J. Miller and A. Bowdoin Van Riper

Home, we are taught from childhood, is safe. Home is a refuge that keeps the monsters out—until it isn’t.

This collection of new essays focuses on genre horror movies in which the home is central to the narrative, whether as refuge, prison, menace or supernatural battleground. The contributors explore the shifting role of the home as both a source and a mitigator of the terrors of this world, and the next.

Well known films are covered—including PsychoGet OutInsidious: The Last Key and Winchester House—along with films produced outside the U.S. by directors such as Alejandro Amenábar (The Others), Hideo Nakata (Ringu) and Guillermo Del Toro (The Orphanage), and often overlooked classics like Alfred Hitchcock’s The Lodger.

Posted on

Newly Published: The Gijón International Chess Tournaments, 1944–1965

New on our bookshelf:

The Gijón International Chess Tournaments, 1944–1965: A History with Biographies and 213 Games
Pedro Méndez Castedo and Luis Méndez Castedo

Focusing on the recovery of chess in Spain and Europe after World War II, this book traces the development of the International Chess Tournaments in Gijón from 1944 to 1965. The authors cover the decline of world champion Alekhine and the rise of the child prodigy Arturo Pomar, along with the great chess of Euwe, Rossolimo, Prins, Medina, Larsen and others.

Drawing on primary sources and testimonies of former players and organizers, chapters feature the tournament tables, winner’s biographies, historical commentaries and 213 games.
Appendices with biographical notes and tables of participants for each year are included.

Posted on

Newly Published: Voodoo, Hoodoo and Conjure in African American Literature

New on our bookshelf:

Voodoo, Hoodoo and Conjure in African American Literature: Critical Essays
Edited by James S. Mellis

From the earliest slave narratives to modern fiction by the likes of Colson Whitehead and Jesmyn Ward, African American authors have drawn on African spiritual practices as literary inspiration, and as a way to maintain a connection to Africa.

This volume has collected new essays about the multiple ways African American authors have incorporated Voodoo, Hoodoo and Conjure in their work. Among the authors covered are Frederick Douglass, Shirley Graham, Jewell Parker Rhodes, Zora Neale Hurston, Richard Wright, Ntozake Shange, Rudolph Fisher, Jean Toomer, and Ishmael Reed.

Posted on

Newly Published: The Traveling Chautauqua

New on our bookshelf:

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

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

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

Posted on

Newly Published: Tip O’Neill and the St. Louis Browns of 1887

New on our bookshelf:

Tip O’Neill and the St. Louis Browns of 1887
Dennis Thiessen

In 1887, Tip O’Neill, left fielder for the St. Louis Browns, won the American Association batting championship with a .492 average—the highest ever for a single season in the Major Leagues.
Yet his record was set during a season when a base on balls counted as a hit and a time at bat. Over the next 130 years, the debate about O’Neill’s “correct” average diverted attention from the other batting feats of his record-breaking season, including numerous multi-hit games, streaks and long hits, as well as two cycles and the triple crown.

The Browns entered 1887 as the champions of St. Louis, the American Association and the world. Following the lead set by their manager, Charles Comiskey, the Browns did “anything to win,” combining skill with an aggressive style of play that included noisy coaching, incessant kicking, trickery and rough play. O’Neill did “everything to win” at the plate, leaving the no-holds-barred tactics to his rowdier teammates.

Posted on

Newly Published: Girl Warriors

New on our bookshelf:

Girl Warriors: Feminist Revisions of the Hero’s Quest in Contemporary Popular Culture
Svenja Hohenstein

Quest narratives are as old as Western culture. In stories like The OdysseyThe Lord of the RingsStar Wars and Harry Potter, men set out on journeys, fight battles and become heroes. Women traditionally feature in such stories as damsels in need of rescue or as the prizes at the end of heroic quests. These narratives perpetuate predominant gender roles by casting men as active and women as passive. Focusing on stories in which popular teenage heroines—Buffy Summers, Katniss Everdeen and Disney’s Princess Merida—embark on daring journeys, this book explores what happens when traditional gender roles and narrative patterns are subverted. The author examines representations of these characters across various media—film, television, novels, posters, merchandise, fan fiction and fan art, and online memes—that model concepts of heroism and girlhood inspired by feminist ideas.

Posted on

Newly Published: Comiskey Park’s Last World Series

New on our bookshelf:

Comiskey Park’s Last World Series: A History of the 1959 Chicago White Sox
Charles N. Billington

Charter members of the American League and the country’s last “neighborhood” pro baseball franchise, the White Sox are one of the few teams of the power hitting–focused modern era to win a pennant with speed, pitching and defense. Covering the 1959 White Sox from a range of perspectives, the author examines the club’s historical importance to Chicago and the significance of the ’59 “South Side Series”—the first in 40 years. Many behind-the-scenes details are discussed, from the refined media markets of Golden Age baseball to the team’s ancillary sources of revenue to the bitter legal feud between Charles Comiskey and Bill Veeck.

Posted on

Weekly Kindle Spotlight: June 25th

Now through July 19th, get these popular Kindle titles for just 3.99 on Amazon!

Solemn Duty in the Old Guard: From Arlington National Cemetery to the Pentagon on 9/11 in America’s Oldest Regiment

In Lonely Places: Film Noir Beyond the City

Before Salem: Witch Hunting in the Connecticut River Valley, 1647-1663

Women in Game of Thrones: Power, Conformity and Resistance

Understanding the Pipe Organ: A Guide for Students, Teachers and Lovers of the Instrument

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

Inside Gilligan’s Island: From Creation to Syndication

Evolution of Tolkien’s Mythology: A Study of the History of Middle-earth

Posted on

Newly Published: Discovering Musicals

New on our bookshelf:

Discovering Musicals: A Liberal Arts Guide to Stage and Screen
Marc Raymond Strauss

One of the few studies that cover both Broadway and Hollywood musicals, this book explores a majority of the most famous musicals over the past two centuries plus a select number of overlooked gems. Doubling as an introductory college and university text for musical, dance and theater majors and a guide for both musical connoisseurs and novices, the book includes YouTube references of nearly 1000 examples of dances and songs from musicals.

Posted on

Newly Published: Children in Prison

New on our bookshelf:

Children in Prison: Six Profiles Before, During and After Incarceration
Jerome Gold

Almost 330,000 children in America are in prison, in a detention center, on probation or parole, or otherwise under the control of the criminal justice system. In a time of nascent prison reform, these children are often left out of the conversation.

This book chronicles the experiences of six young people in Ash Meadow in Washington State. Written from the perspective of a prison rehabilitation counselor, this book provides a firsthand account of these children’s lives during and after their stay.

These accounts show how domestic violence, inequality and poor adult-modeling influence the decisions that children make later in life.

Posted on

Newly Published: David McCampbell

New on our bookshelf:

David McCampbell: Top Ace of U.S. Naval Aviation in World War II
David Lee Russell

This book explores the life and career of David McCampbell, the leader of the most successful naval air group in combat in WWII. An unequalled naval aviator, McCampbell shot down a total of 34 Japanese aircraft across numerous battles. Eventually awarded the Medal of Honor, he first served in the Atlantic as a carrier Landing Safety Officer, then as an air group leader in the Pacific theater. The author details McCampbell’s 31-year career, revealing an incredible diversity of leadership roles and service assignments. McCampbell commanded ships, training centers, aircraft squadrons and held a variety of Navy and Defense Department senior staff positions.

Posted on

Newly Published: Trumping Truth

New on our bookshelf:

Trumping Truth: Essays on the Destructive Power of “Alternative Facts”
Salvador Jiménez Murguía

When Kellyanne Conway, counselor to President Trump, coined the phrase “alternative facts” in January 2017, objectivity in public discourse—the long-held belief in a more or less agreed-upon set of verifiable truths—went into a tailspin. The use of alternative facts and narratives quickly became the go-to rhetorical strategy, especially among Trump’s administration and base. Rebuttals based on fact-checking and hard data were demoted to mere choices in a media bazaar where consumers are free to source their own versions of reality.

This volume explores the social and political disruption accompanying the loss of faith in objectivity, along with reflections on the disregard for truth and honesty, both within the Trump Administration and in contemporary popular culture.

Posted on

Newly Published: Ngaio Marsh

New on our bookshelf:

Ngaio Marsh: A Companion to the Mystery Fiction
Bruce Harding

Considered one of the “Queens of Crime”—along with such greats as Agatha Christie, Dorothy Sayers and Margery Allingham—Ngaio Marsh (1895–1982) was a gifted writer and a celebrated author of classic British detective fiction, as well as a successful theater director. Best known for the 32 detective novels she published between 1934 and 1982, she received the Order of the British Empire in 1948 and was made a Dame of the British Empire (DBE) in 1966. Based on years of original research by the curator of the Ngaio Marsh House in Christchurch, New Zealand, this book explores the fascinating literary world of Dame Ngaio.

Posted on

Newly Published: Robots in American Popular Culture

New on our bookshelf:

Robots in American Popular Culture
Steve Carper

They are invincible warriors of steel, silky-skinned enticers, stealers of jobs and lovable goofball sidekicks. Legions of robots and androids star in the dream factories of Hollywood and leer on pulp magazine covers, instantly recognizable icons of American popular culture. For two centuries, we have been told tales of encounters with creatures stronger, faster and smarter than ourselves, making us wonder who would win in a battle between machine and human. This books examines society’s reactions to robots and androids such as Robby and Rosie, Elektro and Sparko, Data, WALL-E, C3PO and the Terminator in popular culture, particularly before and after World War II when the power of technology unfolded. It shows how robots evolved with the times and then eventually caught up with and surpassed them.

Posted on

Newly Published: Rocky Colavito

New on our bookshelf:

Rocky Colavito: Cleveland’s Iconic Slugger
Mark Sommer

Iconic ballplayer Rocky Colavito captivated fans during the 1950s and 1960s with his movie-star looks, boyish enthusiasm, powerful batting and cannon-like arm. This comprehensive biography of “the Rock”—the first in more than half a century—recounts his origins in an Italian immigrant family, his close friendships with Herb Score and Roger Maris, and his rise through the minors to become one of the Cleveland Indians’ most beloved players. Colavito retired with the third-most home runs by a right-handed batter in American League history.

The author tells the story of baseball’s perhaps most controversial trade—Colavito, the AL’s 1959 home run champion, for the Detroit Tigers’ batting champion, Harvey Kuenn. Colavito’s departure was a crushing blow to Indians fans and the team’s subsequent 34–year slump was dubbed “the Curse of Colavito.”

Posted on

Newly Published: The Rise of K-Dramas

New on our bookshelf:

The Rise of K-Dramas: Essays on Korean Television and Its Global Consumption
Edited by JaeYoon Park and Ann-Gee Lee

Korean dramas gained popularity across Asia in the late 1990s, and their global fandom continues to grow. Despite cultural differences, non-Asian audiences find “K-dramas” appealing. Diverse in both content and form, they range from historical melodrama and romantic comedy to action, horror, sci-fi and thriller.
Devotees pursue an immersive fandom, consuming Korean food, fashion and music, learning Korean to better understand their favorite shows, and travelling to Korea for firsthand experiences.

Examining the cultural impact of K-drama and its fandom, this collection of new essays focuses on the formation and transformation of identities in the context of regional and global dynamics and differing values and beliefs among social groups. Contributors discuss such popular series as Boys over Flowers, My Love from the Star and Descendants of the Sun.

Posted on

Newly Published: The North Carolina Symphony

New on our bookshelf:

The North Carolina Symphony: A History
Joe A. Mobley and John W. Lambert

From its beginnings during the Great Depression, the North Carolina Symphony has touched the lives of countless Tar Heels. One of the state’s premier cultural organizations and the oldest continuously state-supported orchestra in the nation, the “Suitcase Symphony” grew from a small group of volunteer players to the world-class orchestra it is today.

This book details the contributions of founder Lamar Stringfield, longtime conductor Benjamin Swalin and his wife, Maxine, current music director Grant Llewellyn, and other leaders of this iconic institution. The authors place the symphony’s story for the first time in the context of North Carolina’s cultural history and, in the process, reveal much about the musical traditions of the “Sahara of the Bozart” and about the trials and triumphs of maintaining a state symphony orchestra.

Posted on

Newly Published: Understanding Sabermetrics

New on our bookshelf:

Understanding Sabermetrics: An Introduction to the Science of Baseball Statistics, 2d ed.
Gabriel B. Costa, Michael R. Huber and John T. Saccoman

Interest in Sabermetrics has increased dramatically in recent years as the need to better compare baseball players has intensified among managers, agents and fans, and even other players. The authors explain how traditional measures—such as Earned Run Average, Slugging Percentage, and Fielding Percentage—along with new statistics—Wins Above Average, Fielding Independent Pitching, Wins Above Replacement, the Equivalence Coefficient and others—define the value of players. Actual player statistics are used in developing models, while examples and exercises are provided in each chapter. This book serves as a guide for both beginners and those who wish to be successful in fantasy leagues.

Posted on

Newly Published: Woody Allen and Charlie Chaplin

New on our bookshelf:

Woody Allen and Charlie Chaplin: Little Men, Big Auteurs
Jill Franks

The comic archetype of the Little Man—a “nobody” who stands up to unfairness—is central to the films of Woody Allen and Charlie Chaplin. Portraying the alienation of life in an indifferent world with a mix of pathos, irony and slapstick, both adopted absurdist characters—Chaplin’s bumbling yet clever Tramp with his shabby clothes, and Allen’s fool with his metaphysical witticisms and proclivity to fall in love too quickly.

Both men were auteurs who managed to retain creative control of their work and achieve worldwide popularity. Both felt an attraction to young women. Drawing on psychoanalysis and gender-studies, this book explores their films as barometers of their respective cultural moments, marking the shift between modernism and postmodernism.

Posted on

Weekly Kindle Spotlight: June 17th

The Crouching BeastOur weekly Kindle spotlight is back! Through July 19th, get the following popular Kindle titles for just 3.99 on Amazon.

The Crouching Beast: A United States Army Lieutenant’s Account of the Battle of Hamburger Hill, May 1969

Gwen Verdon: A Life on Stage and Screen

The Divine Feminine in Ancient Europe: Goddesses, Sacred Women and the Origins of Western Culture

Encyclopedia of Demons in World Religions and Cultures

The Art of Sprinting: Techniques for Speed and Performance

The Ore Knob Mine Murders: The Crimes, the Investigation and the Trials

Timothy Matlack, Scribe of the Declaration of Independence

Emily Dickinson as a Second Language: Demystifying the Poetry

From War to Peace: A Guide to the Next Hundred Years

Electric Airplanes and Drones: A History

Posted on

Newly Published: Creativity for Library Career Advancement

New on our bookshelf:

Creativity for Library Career Advancement: Perspectives, Techniques and Eureka Moments
Edited by Vera Gubnitskaia and Carol Smallwood

“Creativity is just connecting things,” observed Steve Jobs. In today’s diverse, ever-changing job market, creativity is more necessary than ever. In a profession offering a broad range of job opportunities, librarians are surrounded by myriad connections to be made. They are trained to recognize them.

This insightful collection of new essays covers a wide spectrum of methods for cultivating creativity as a skill for career fulfillment and success. Topics include learning through role-playing games, libraries as publishers, setting up and using makerspaces, developing in-house support for early-career staff, creating travelling exhibits, creative problem solving, and organizing no-cost conferences.

Posted on

Newly Published: Trail of Shadows

New on our bookshelf:

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

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

Posted on

Newly Published: Plants Go to War

New on our bookshelf:

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

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

Posted on

Newly Published: George Foster and the 1977 Reds

New on our bookshelf:

George Foster and the 1977 Reds: The Rise of a Slugger and the End of an Era
Mike Shannon

The Cincinnati Reds are recognized as one of the great teams in baseball history. Left fielder George Foster—an integral part of the Reds’ back-to-back World Championships in 1975–1976—has never received proper credit for his contribution to their legacy.

In 1977, Foster became the most feared slugger in the National League, batting .320, with 52 home runs and 149 runs batted in to win the NL MVP Award, establishing a new single-season home run record for the Reds’ franchise that still stands. Yet Foster’s big year was not enough to stem the emergence of the Los Angeles Dodgers, who roared out of the gate and ran away with the NL West Division pennant.

This book tells the story of Foster’s record-setting season and puts his pre-steroid era achievements in proper perspective. The author chronicles the subsequent decline of the Big Red Machine and the rest of Foster’s big league career, including his disappointing tenure with the New York Mets.

Posted on

Newly Published: Obituaries in the Performing Arts, 2018

New on our bookshelf:

Obituaries in the Performing Arts, 2018
Harris M. Lentz III

The entertainment world lost many notable talents in 2018, including movie icon Burt Reynolds, “Queen of Soul” Aretha Franklin, celebrity chef and food critic Anthony Bourdain, bestselling novelist Anita Shreve and influential Chicago blues artist Otis Rush.

Obituaries of actors, filmmakers, musicians, producers, dancers, composers, writers and others associated with the performing arts who died in 2018 are included. Date, place and cause of death are provided for each, along with a career recap and a photograph. Filmographies are given for film and television performers. Books in this annual series are available dating to 1994—a subscription is available for future volumes.

Posted on

Newly Published: Professionals in Western Film and Fiction

New on our bookshelf:

Professionals in Western Film and Fiction: The Portrayal of Doctors, Lawyers, Journalists, Clergymen and Others
Kenneth E. Hall

In American Westerns, the main characters are most often gunfighters, lawmen, ranchers and dancehall girls. Civil professionals such as doctors, engineers and journalists have been given far less representation, appearing as background characters in most films and fiction. However, in Westerns about the 1910 Mexican Revolution, civil professionals also feature prominently in the narrative, often as members of the intelligentsia—an important force in Mexican politics. This book compares the roles of civil professionals in most American Westerns to those in work on the 1910 Mexican Revolution. Included are studies on the Santiago Toole novels by Richard Wheeler, Strange Lady in Town with Greer Garson and La sombra del Caudillo by Martín Luis Guzmán.

Posted on

Newly Published: Playing on an Uneven Field

New on our bookshelf:

Playing on an Uneven Field: Essays on Exclusion and Inclusion in Sports
Edited by Yuya Kiuchi

We expect sports to be fair and equal—everyone who tries out has a chance to play and everyone who plays hard has a chance to win. But is that really true? In reality, female athletes are paid far less than their male counterparts. Youth sports often cost too much for many families to participate in. African American athletes continue to face discrimination both on and off the field. Adaptive sports are considered to be only for those with disabilities.

But there are signs of progress as sports organizations try to promote equality and fairness. This study explores the intricacies of inclusion and exclusion in sports.

Posted on

Newly Published: Words of a Monster

New on our bookshelf:

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

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

Posted on

McFarland 40th Anniversary Sale

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

Posted on

Newly Published: Vietnam Veterans Unbroken

New on our bookshelf:

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

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

Posted on

McFarland Turns 40

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

McFarland Publishers Now Forty Years Old
by Robert Franklin

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted on

Newly Published: The Films of Robin Williams

New on our bookshelf:

The Films of Robin Williams: Critical Essays
Edited by Johnson Cheu

From his first appearance as Mork from Ork on the 1970s sitcom Happy Days, Robin Williams was heralded as a singular talent. In the pre–cable television era, he was one of the few performers to successfully transition from TV to film. An Oscar-winning actor and preternaturally quick-witted comedian, Williams became a cultural icon, leaving behind a large and varied body of work when he unexpectedly took his own life in 2014.

This collection of new essays brings together a range of perspectives on Williams and his oeuvre, including beloved hits like Mrs. DoubtfireGood Morning, VietnamGood Will HuntingThe Fisher KingDead Poets Society and Aladdin. Contributors explore his earlier work (Mork and MindyThe World According to Garp) and his political and satirical films (Moscow on the HudsonToys). Williams’s darker, less well-known fare, such as Being HumanOne Hour PhotoFinal Cut and Boulevard, is also covered. Williams’s artistry has become woven into the fabric of our global media culture.

Posted on

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

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

Posted on

Newly Published: The Star Gate Archives

New on our bookshelf:

The Star Gate Archives: Reports of the United States Government Sponsored Psi Program, 1972–1995. Volume 4: Operational Remote Viewing: Memorandums and Reports
Compiled and Edited by Edwin C. May and Sonali Bhatt Marwaha

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

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

Posted on

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

New on our bookshelf:

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

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

Posted on

Newly Published: When the Heavyweight Title Mattered

New on our bookshelf:

When the Heavyweight Title Mattered: Five Championship Fights That Captivated the World, 1910–1971
John G. Robertson

The world heavyweight championship once transcended boxing and conferred global renown. This book gives detailed coverage to five legendary championship bouts that captivated audiences worldwide.

Coaxed out of retirement by the press, former champ James Jeffries challenged black titleholder Jack Johnson—universally despised by white audiences—in 1910, in hopes of returning the title to the white race. In 1921, dapper World War I hero and light-heavyweight champion Georges Carpentier hoped to upset heavyweight champ Jack Dempsey, widely considered a draft-dodger, in a fight that garnered the first “million dollar gate.” In perhaps the most politically charged bout ever, “Brown Bomber” Joe Louis, popular with both the white and black America, faced Nazi Germany’s Max Schmeling—the first ever to win the title by disqualification—at a sold-out Yankee stadium in 1936. A relentless brawler, undefeated Rocky Marciano in 1952 sought to bludgeon the title away from the stronger and savvier Joe Walcott, at 38 the oldest heavyweight champ in history. In a monumental clash of two undefeated world champions, Muhammad Ali—on the comeback trail after his title was stripped from him for refusing to be drafted during the Vietnam War—squared off with titleholder Joe Frazier in 1971.

 

 

Posted on

Three New Titles Reviewed in Choice

Infield Fly Rule Is in Effect: The History and Strategy of Baseball’s Most (In)Famous Rule
“This reviewer coached college baseball, and before reading this small treasure wrote down every conceivable argument for and against IFR. All of them and more are addressed here precisely, with wit, style, and evidence. One can ask for no more than that…highly recommended.”—Choice

The League That Didn’t Exist: A History of the All-American Football Conference, 1946–1949
“Thoroughly indexed…recommended.”—Choice

The Language of Popular Science: Analyzing the Communication of Advanced Ideas to Lay Readers
“Insightful analysis…this is a very readable and interesting book…recommended.”—Choice

 

Posted on

Newly Published: Finding God in the Devil’s Music

New on our bookshelf:

Finding God in the Devil’s Music: Critical Essays on Rock and Religion
Edited by Alex DiBlasi and Robert McParland

From the rise of the American Evangelical movement to the introduction of Eastern philosophies in the West, the past century has seen major changes in the religious makeup of Western culture. As one result, musicians across the world have brought both “new” and old religious beliefs into their works. This book investigates Rock music as an expression of religious inquiry and religious devotion. Contributors to this essay collection use a variety of sources, including artist biographies, record and concert reviews, videos, personal experience, rock music forums and social media in order to investigate the relationship of Rock music and religion from a number of perspectives. The essays also explore public interest in religion as a platform for expression and social critique, viewing this issue through the lens of popular Rock music.

Posted on

Newly Published: U.S. Navy Auxiliary Vessels

New on our bookshelf:

U.S. Navy Auxiliary Vessels: A History and Directory from World War I to Today
Ken W. Sayers

For more than a century, the U.S. Navy’s battleships, cruisers, destroyers, submarines and amphibious warfare vessels have depended on a small group of specialized auxiliary ships to provide fuel, food, ammunition, parts and other material support and services. Without these workhorse vessels, the U.S. Fleet could not have won in World War II and it could not today deploy and remain on station in the far distant waters of the world.

This book provides the rosters, histories, specifications and illustrations of 130 different auxiliary ship types in the last 100 years, including the little-known ones, the latest expeditionary fast transports and future towing, salvage and rescue ships.

Posted on

Newly Published: Opdycke’s Tigers in the Civil War

New on our bookshelf:

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

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

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

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

Posted on

Newly Published: Embracing Philanthropic Environmentalism

New on our bookshelf:

Embracing Philanthropic Environmentalism: The Grand Responsibility of Stewardship
Will Sarvis

This book addresses urban ecology, green technology, problems with climate change prediction, groundwater contamination, invasive species and many other topics, and offers a guardedly optimistic interpretation of humanity’s place in nature and our unique caretaker role.

Drawing upon scholarly and media sources, the author presents a common-sense analysis of environmental science, debunking eco-apocalyptic thinking along the way. Compromised science masquerading as authoritative is revealed as a fundraising and policy-influencing crusade by the environmental elite, overshadowing unambiguous problems like environmental racism.

Posted on

Newly Published: Parenting in the Zombie Apocalypse

New on our bookshelf:

Parenting in the Zombie Apocalypse: The Psychology of Raising Children in a Time of Horror
Steven J. Kirsh

Parenting is difficult under the best of circumstances—but extremely daunting when humanity faces cataclysmic annihilation. When the dead rise, hardship, violence and the ever-present threat of flesh-eating zombies will adversely affect parents and children alike.

Depending on their age, children will have little chance of surviving a single encounter with the undead, let alone the unending peril of the Zombie Apocalypse. The key to their survival—and thus the survival of the species—will be the caregiving they receive.

Drawing on psychological theory and real-world research on developmental status, grief, trauma, mental illness, and child-rearing in stressful environments, this book critically examines factors influencing parenting, and the likely outcomes of different caregiving techniques in the hypothetical landscape of the living dead.

Posted on

Newly Published: The German Failure in Belgium, August 1914

New on our bookshelf:

The German Failure in Belgium, August 1914: How Faulty Reconnaissance Exposed the Weakness of the Schlieffen Plan
Dennis Showalter, Joseph P. Robinson and Janet A. Robinson

If wars were wagered on like pro sports or horse races, the Germany military in August 1914 would have been a clear front-runner, with a century-long record of impressive victories and a general staff the envy of its rivals. Germany’s overall failure in the first year of World War I was surprising and remains a frequent subject of analysis, mostly focused on deficiencies in strategy and policy.
But there were institutional weaknesses as well. This book examines the structural failures that frustrated the Germans in the war’s crucial initial campaign, the invasion of Belgium. Too much routine in planning, command and execution led to groupthink, inflexibility and to an overconfident belief that nothing could go too terribly wrong. As a result, decisive operation became dicey, with consequences that Germany’s military could not overcome in four long years.

Posted on

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

New on our bookshelf:

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

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

Posted on

Newly Published: The New York Yankees in Popular Culture

New on our bookshelf:

The New York Yankees in Popular Culture: Critical Essays
Edited by David Krell

How did Reggie Jackson go from superstar to icon? Why did Joe DiMaggio’s nickname change from “Deadpan Joe” to “Joltin’ Joe”? How did Seinfeld affect public perception of George Steinbrenner?

The New York Yankees’ dominance on the baseball diamond has been lauded, analyzed and chronicled. Yet the team’s broader impact on popular culture has been largely overlooked—until now. From Ruth’s called shot to the Reggie! candy bar, this collection of new essays offers untold histories, new interpretations and fresh analyses of baseball’s most successful franchise. Contributors explore the Yankee mystique in film, television, theater, music and advertising.

Posted on

Newly Published: Ernie Banks

New on our bookshelf:

Ernie Banks: The Life and Career of “Mr. Cub”
Lew Freedman

Ernie Banks is perhaps the most popular ballplayer in the history of the Chicago Cubs—a man as famous for his personality and trademark phrases as for his accomplishments on the field. Nicknamed “Mr. Cub,” Banks won two National League Most Valuable Player awards and slugged 512 home runs, all while battling discrimination and poverty. His conduct away from the field was so exemplary he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Based on extensive research and personal interviews conducted by the author, this biography details the life of the Texas-born shortstop and first baseman, from his childhood playing softball to his induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame to his death in 2015.

Posted on

Newly Published: Literary Journalism in British and American Prose

New on our bookshelf:

Literary Journalism in British and American Prose: An Historical Overview
Doug Underwood

The debate surrounding “fake news” versus “real” news is nothing new. From Jonathan Swift’s work as an acerbic, anonymous journal editor-turned-novelist to reporter Mark Twain’s hoax stories to Mary Ann Evans’ literary reviews written under her pseudonym, George Eliot, famous journalists and literary figures have always mixed fact, imagination and critical commentary to produce memorable works.

Contrasting the rival yet complementary traditions of “literary” or “new” journalism in Britain and the U.S., this study explores the credibility of some of the “great” works of English literature.

Posted on

Newly Published: Anatomy of the Slasher Film

New on our bookshelf:

Anatomy of the Slasher Film: A Theoretical Analysis
Sotiris Petridis

The term “slasher film” was common parlance by the mid–1980s but the horror subgenre it describes was at least a decade old by then—formerly referred to as “stalker,” “psycho” or “slice-’em-up.” Examining 74 movies—from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) to Texas Chainsaw 3D (2013)—the author identifies the characteristic elements of the subgenre while tracing changes in narrative patterns over the decades.

The slasher canon is divided into three eras: the classical (1974–1993), the self-referential (1994–2000) and the neoslasher cycle (2000–2013).

Posted on

Two New Titles Reviewed in Booklist

Too Funny for Words: A Contrarian History of American Screen Comedy from Silent Slapstick to Screwball
“Spirited discussion… Kalat’s knowledgeable and conversational style makes the work accessible to all readers not just the cineastes among us. Film fans, students, and researchers will applaud  this lively and impassioned look at a turning point in American film history.”—Booklist

Robots That Kill: Deadly Machines and Their Precursors in Myth, Folklore, Literature, Popular Culture and Reality
“With a broad range of examples, this examination of humanity’s artificial counterparts offers plenty to delve into for sf fans and everyone interested in a rich context for AI.”—Booklist

Posted on

Newly Published: To Deprave and Corrupt

New on our bookshelf:

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

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

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

Posted on

Newly Published: Democratic Repairman

New on our bookshelf:

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

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

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

Posted on

Newly Published: Edwin Forrest

New on our bookshelf:

Edwin Forrest: A Biography and Performance History
Arthur W. Bloom

Edwin Forrest was the foremost American actor of the nineteenth century. His advocacy of American, and specifically Jacksonian, themes made him popular in New York’s Bowery Theatre. His rivalry with the English tragedian William Charles Macready led to the Astor Place Riot, and his divorce from Catharine Sinclair Forrest was one of the greatest social scandals of the period. This full-length biography examines Forrest’s personal life while acknowledging the impossibility of separating it from his public image. Included is a historical chronology of every known performance the actor gave.

Posted on

Newly Published: That’s Rufus

New on our bookshelf:
That’s Rufus: A Memoir of Tar Heel Politics, Watergate and Public Life

A farm boy from the mountains of North Carolina, Rufus Edmisten could not have been prepared for the halls of power in Washington, D.C., during the Vietnam War era, as young men burned their draft cards and pro-cannabis factions held “smoke-ins” in the capital.

A University of North Carolina Chapel Hill graduate, he earned a law degree at George Washington University and landed a job as counsel to U.S. senator Samuel J. Ervin, Jr. This led to Edmisten’s appointment as Deputy Chief Counsel for the Senate Watergate Committee—he personally served Richard Nixon the first ever subpoena of a sitting president by Congress.

Returning to North Carolina, he served as Attorney General and Secretary of State before retiring from public life to practice law and participate in charitable activities. Written with humor and candor, his memoir recalls the cultural contrasts of American life in the 1970s and 1980s, and affirms that the business of government is to enable us to live together peacefully.

Posted on

Newly Published: The Cold War Defense of the United States

New on our bookshelf:
The Cold War Defense of the United States: Strategy, Weapon Systems and Operations
John E. Bronson

During the Cold War, as part of its defense strategy against the Soviet Union, the U.S. was forced to establish means of massive long-range attack in response to Soviet advancements in weaponry. These defenses detected and tracked manned bomber aircraft, hostile submarines and missiles launched from the other side of the world. This book shows how these defenses evolved from fledgling stop-gap measures into a complex fabric of interconnected combinations of high-tech equipment over 40 years. Maps illustrate the extent of the geographic coverage required for these warning and response systems and charts display the time frames and vast numbers of both people and equipment that made up these forces.

Posted on

Newly Published: The Pokémon Go Phenomenon

New on our bookshelf:

The Pokémon Go Phenomenon: Essays on Public Play in Contested Spaces
Edited by Jamie Henthorn, Andrew Kulak, Kristopher Purzycki and Stephanie Vie

Pokémon Go is not just play—the game has had an impact on public spaces, social circles and technology, suggesting new ways of experiencing our world. This collection of new essays explores what Pokémon Go can tell us about how and why we play.

Covering a range of topics from mobile hardware and classroom applications to social conflict and urban planning, the contributors approach Pokémon Go from both practical and theoretical angles, anticipating the impact play will have on our digitally augmented world.