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Newly Published: The Musical Artistry of Rap

New on our bookshelf today:

The Musical Artistry of Rap
Martin E. Connor

For years Rap artists have met with mixed reception—acclaimed by fans yet largely overlooked by scholars. Focusing on 135 tracks from 56 artists, this survey appraises the artistry of the genre with updates to the traditional methods and measures of musicology.

Rap synthesizes rhythmic vocals with complex beats, intonational systems, song structures, orchestration and instrumentalism. The author advances a rethinking of musical notation and challenges the conventional understanding of Rap through analysis of such artists as Eminem, Kanye West and Jean Grae.

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Newly Published: The Call to the Hall

New on our bookshelf today:

The Call to the Hall: When Baseball’s Highest Honor Came to 31 Legends of the Sport
Kevin Warneke and David C. Ogden

The names on the cast-bronze plaques hanging in the National Baseball Hall of Fame embody the history and drama of the sport—they are the royalty of baseball. Yet many inductees believed their entry into the Hall was anything but guaranteed, and even some who waited by the phone for the fateful “call to the Hall” were stunned to hear the news. Reactions to the call varied from stoicism to overwhelming emotion, but for most of the 31 inductees interviewed in this book, it was a moment of reflection and gratitude. In other cases, the call came years too late and family members received the posthumous honor.

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

New on our bookshelf today:

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

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

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Newly Published: Scenes from an Automotive Wonderland

New on our bookshelf today:

Scenes from an Automotive Wonderland: Remarkable Cars Spotted in Postwar Europe
Gregory A. Cagle

Gregory Cagle was a 10-year-old car fanatic when his family moved from New Jersey to Germany in 1956. For the next five years he photographed unusual, rare and sometimes bizarre automobiles throughout Europe. This book features 105 specimens of auto exotica, captured with Cagle’s Iloca Rapid-B 35mm camera—not showpieces in museums but daily drivers in their natural habitats. In the background can be glimpsed, here and there, the mood of postwar Europe. The story behind each photo is told, with dates and locations, information and history about the cars and some of their owners, along with Cagle’s personal anecdotes.

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New in Softcover: Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff

Now available in softcover:

Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff: The Expanded Story of a Haunting Collaboration, with a Complete Filmography of Their Films Together
Gregory William Mank

Dracula and Frankenstein’s Monster are horror cinema icons, and the actors most deeply associated with the two roles also shared a unique friendship. Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff starred in dozens of black-and-white horror films, and over the years managed to collaborate on and co-star in eight movies. Through dozens of interviews and extensive archival research, this greatly expanded new edition examines the Golden Age of Hollywood, the era in which both stars worked, recreates the shooting of Lugosi and Karloff’s mutual films, examines their odd and moving personal relationship and analyzes their ongoing legacies. Features include a fully detailed filmography of the eight Karloff and Lugosi films, full summaries of both men’s careers and more than 250 photographs, some in color.

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Newly Published: Another Me

New on our bookshelf today:

Another Me: The Doppelganger in 21st Century Fiction, Television and Film
Heather Duerre Humann

A figure from ancient folklore, the doppelgänger—in fiction a character’s sinister look-alike—continues to reemerge in literature, television and film. The modern-day doppelganger (“double-goer” in German) is typically depicted in a traditional form adapted to reflect present-day social anxieties. Focusing on a broad range of narratives, the author explores 21st century representations in novels (Audrey Niffenegger’s Her Fearful Symmetry, José Saramago’s The Double), TV shows (Orphan Black, Battlestar Galactica, Ringer) and movies (The Island, The Prestige, Oblivion).

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Four New Titles Reviewed in Choice

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

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

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

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

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

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Newly Published: The Trunk Dripped Blood

The Trunk Dripped BloodNew on our bookshelf today:

The Trunk Dripped Blood: Five Sensational Murder Cases of the Early 20th Century
Mark Grossman

A trunk dripping blood, discovered at a railway station in Stockton in 1906, launched one of the most famous murder investigations in California history—still debated by crime historians. In 1913, the dismembered body of a young pregnant woman, found in the East River, was traced back to her killer and husband, who remains the only priest ever executed for homicide in the U.S. In 1916, a successful dentist, recently married into a prestigious family, poisoned his in-laws—first with deadly bacteria, then with arsenic—claiming the real murderer was an Egyptian incubus who took control of his body.

Drawing on court transcripts, newspaper coverage and other contemporary sources, this collection of historical American true crime stories chronicles five murder cases that became media sensations of their day, making headlines across the country in the decades before radio or television.

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Newly Published: “We used to eat people”

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

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

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

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

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Newly Published: Extraordinary Dreams

Extraordinary DreamsNew on our bookshelf today:

Extraordinary Dreams: Visions, Announcements and Premonitions Across Time and Place
Kimberly R. Mascaro

Some see dreams as communications with another reality and others see them as insignificant random phenomena. Dreams range from the mundane of day-to-day events to the extraordinary, including visions, lucid dreaming, out of body experiences, interactions with the deceased, precognition, sleep paralysis and vivid hallucinations during transitions between sleep and wakefulness. Drawing on individuals’ reports, this book explores the phenomena and the significance of extraordinary dreams.