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Newly Published: George Washington on Coins and Currency

New on our bookshelf:

George Washington on Coins and Currency
Heinz Tschachler

George Washington is the most popular subject on coins, medals, tokens, paper money and postage stamps in America. Attempts to eliminate one-dollar bills from circulation, replacing them with coins, have been unsuccessful. Americans’ reluctance to part with their “Georges” are beyond rational considerations but tap into deep-felt emotions. To discard one-dollar bills means discarding the metaphorical Father of His Country.

Alexander Hamilton, the nation’s first Secretary of the Treasury, said that monetary tokens were “vehicles of useful impressions.” This numismatic history of George Washington traces the persistence of his image on American currency. These images are mostly from the late 18th-century. This book also offers a close look at the pictorial tradition in which these images are rooted.

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Newly Published: She Said God Blessed Us

New on our bookshelf:

She Said God Blessed Us: A Life Marked by Childhood Sexual Abuse in the Church
Gail Hovey

When Gail Hovey was a teenager, her local Presbyterian church hired Georgia, a seminary-trained Christian education director. Brilliant and charismatic, Georgia used the language of faith to seduce several of her students, swearing each to secrecy. When she eventually abandoned the others and focused on Gail, Gail believed herself uniquely blessed and for the next 15 years modeled her life on Georgia’s—the seminary degree, the minister husband. The relationship had a profound and lasting influence on the woman Gail became and left her a legacy of guilt and shame. Shedding light on the largely invisible issue of sexual abuse of girls by women, Hovey’s brave memoir relates her decades-long journey—from East Harlem to South Africa to Brooklyn—to break free of an overwhelmingly powerful and deeply destructive first love.

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Newly Published: Queen of the Burglars

New on our bookshelf:

Queen of the Burglars: The Scandalous Life of Sophie Lyons
Shayne Davidson

Born in the mid-nineteenth century, Sophie Lyons was a master thief, con artist, blackmailer and smuggler. Much of her success as a criminal was due to the fact that she was fearless, reckless, sharp and cunning—everything a woman of her time was not supposed to be. As a young child, Sophie’s parents forced her to steal when she showed a talent for pickpocketing. Strong-willed and smart, she blossomed into a beautiful teenager who caught the eye of many men in the underworld of New York City. By the time Sophie reached her late teens she was married to her second husband—a notorious bank burglar named Ned Lyons—and was a professional criminal in her own right.

Despite her prominent place in crime history, Sophie Lyons has never been the subject of a full-length biography. This book chronicles Sophie’s fascinating and tragic life, from her beginnings as a criminal prodigy, through her ingenious escape from Sing Sing prison and her lifelong struggle with mental illness.

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Newly Published: Arky

New on our bookshelf:

Arky: The Baseball Life of Joseph Floyd “Arky” Vaughan
Frank Garland

Bursting onto the scene as a 20-year-old rookie, Arky Vaughan quickly established himself as the next great Pittsburgh Pirates shortstop. In 1935 his .385 batting average eclipsed even that of the immortal Honus Wagner, who was a steadying influence for Vaughan during his 10 seasons with the Pirates. Vaughan never hit under .300 with Pittsburgh and his versatility later made him an asset to the Brooklyn Dodgers. One of the quietest men in baseball, the nine-time All-Star eschewed the limelight but received plenty of attention for his on-field performance, for his one-man mutiny against Brooklyn manager Leo Durocher, and for walking away from the game to take care of his family and his beloved ranch during World War II. Drawing on dozens of articles, personal writings, recorded interviews and his daughter’s unpublished biography, this book covers the life and career of an often overlooked Hall of Famer who died in a tragic boating accident at age 40.

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Newly Published: Boom and Bust in St. Louis

New on our bookshelf:

Boom and Bust in St. Louis: A Cardinals History, 1885 to the Present
Jon David Cash

The St. Louis Cardinals, despite winning more World Series than any Major League franchise except for the New York Yankees, have seen their share of dry spells when they were shut out of the postseason. Like the American economy, the Cardinals have seen their fortunes cycle through prolonged ups and downs, with booms in 1885–1888, 1926–1946, 1964–1968, 1982–1987 and 1996–2011, and busts in 1889–1925, 1947–1963, 1969–1981 and 1988–1995. Drawing on years of research, this book chronicles the Cardinals’ periods of success and failure and explains the reasons behind them.

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Newly Published: John Alton

New on our bookshelf:

John Alton: Essays on the Cinematographer’s Art and Craft
Edited by Leon Lewis

Devoted to his craft—sometimes to the detriment of his reputation—cinematographer John Alton (1901–1996) was sought after by such directors as Vincente Minnelli, Richard Brooks and Anthony Mann but was disdained by others of comparable talent. An auteur in the truest sense, Alton established a landmark body of work described by Variety film critic Todd McCarthy as “The essence, and ultimate example, of film noir … logically created by a cinematographer, not a director.” This collection of new essays by filmmakers and film scholars explores the central role Alton’s distinctive style of “painting with light” played in formulating the aesthetics of noir, as well as his contributions to other genres.

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Newly Published: Baseball and Football Pulp Fiction

New on our bookshelf:

Baseball and Football Pulp Fiction: Six Publishers, with a Directory of Stories, 1935–1957
Michelle Nolan

This first-ever volume focusing on sports pulp fiction devoted to America’s two most popular pastimes of the 1935–1957 era—baseball and football—provides extensive detail on authors, along with examination of key plots, themes, trends and categories. Commentary relates the works to real-life baseball and football of the period.

The history of the genre is traced, beginning with the debut of Dime Sport (later renamed Dime Sports), the first magazine from a major publisher to provide competition for Street & Smith’s long-established Sport Story Magazine. Complementing the text is a complete catalog of fiction from the six major publishers who competed with S&S, also noting the cover themes for 1,054 issues.

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Newly Published: Dictionary of World Monasticism

New on our bookshelf:

Dictionary of World Monasticism
Steven Olderr

The roots of monasticism may go back as far as 1700 BCE, to ascetic practices in ancient India. Since that time, the monastic world has naturally developed its own extensive and distinct vocabulary. Countless volumes have been written on monasticism yet many do not clearly define obscure or vernacular terms. Some terms may be found in standard dictionaries but without in-depth explanations.

This first comprehensive dictionary—not a proselytizing work but a reference with historical and biographical focus—fills the gap, with a worldwide scope covering not only Christianity, but all faiths that have monastic traditions, including but not limited to Buddhism, Jainism and Hinduism.

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Newly Published: The Liberation of Manila

New on our bookshelf:

The Liberation of Manila: 28 Days of Carnage, February–March 1945
John A. Del Gallego

During the early months of World War II, Winston Churchill maneuvered to get the U.S. involved in the war to save his country from German invasion. Roosevelt, scheming to lure Hitler into a casus belli, ensnared Japan instead, resulting in the attack on Pearl Harbor and the Pacific War that followed. When the doomed U.S. garrison in the Philippines soon capitulated to the Japanese, the atrocities inflicted on the Filipino and American units that surrendered were portents for the inhabitants of Manila.

The history chronicles the 1945 recapture of Manila largely from the perspective of the civilian population, which suffered horrific brutality from the Japanese, followed by destruction and heavy loss of life during the American assault. Individual stories are included of citizens caught in the crossfire between the tenacious Japanese defenders and American troops determined to seize the capital city while minimizing their own casualties, regardless of the cost in civilian lives. More than 175 photographs document the events described.

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Newly Published: Lessons from Hogwarts

New on our bookshelf:

Lessons from Hogwarts: Essays on the Pedagogy of Harry Potter
Edited by Marcie Panutsos Rovan and Melissa Wehler

Before she was a renowned children’s author, J.K. Rowling was an educator. Her bestselling series, Harry Potter, places education at the forefront, focusing not only on Harry, Ron, and Hermione’s adventures but also on their magical education.
This multi-author collection shines a light on the central role of education within the Harry Potter series, exploring the pedagogical possibilities of using Harry Potter to enhance teaching effectiveness. Authors examine topics related to environments for learning, approaches to teaching and learning, and the role of mentorship. Created for scholars, teachers, and fans alike, this collection provides an entry into pedagogical theories and offers critical perspectives on the quality of Hogwarts education—from exemplary to abusive and every approach in between. Hogwarts provides many lessons for educators, both magical and muggle alike.

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Newly Published: Love and the Fighting Female

New on our bookshelf:

Love and the Fighting Female: A Critical Study of Onscreen Depictions
Allison P. Palumbo

The fighting female archetype—a self-reliant woman of great physical prowess—has become increasingly common in action films and on television. However, the progressive female identities of these narratives cannot always resist the persistent and problematic framing of male-female relationships as a battle of the sexes or other source of antagonism.

Combining cultural analysis with close readings of key popular American film and television texts since the 1980s, this study argues that certain fighting female themes question regressive conventions in male-female relationships. Those themes reveal potentially progressive ideologies regarding female agency in mass culture that reassure audiences of the desirability of empowered women while also imagining egalitarian intimacies that further empower women. Overall, the fighting female narratives addressed here afford contradictory viewing pleasures that reveal both new expectations for and remaining anxieties about the “strong, independent woman” ideal that emerged in American popular culture post-feminism.

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Newly Published: Terrors of the Flesh

New on our bookshelf:

Terrors of the Flesh: The Philosophy of Body Horror in Film
David Huckvale

The horror and psychological denial of our mortality, along with the corruptibility of our flesh, are persistent themes in drama. Body horror films have intensified these themes in increasingly graphic terms. The aesthetic of body horror has its origins in the ideas of the Marquis de Sade and the existential philosophies of Arthur Schopenhauer and Friedrich Nietzsche, all of whom demonstrated that we have just cause to be anxious about our physical reality and its existence in the world.

This book examines the relationship between these writers and the various manifestations of body horror in film. The most characteristic examples of this genre are those directed by David Cronenberg, but body horror as a whole includes many variations on the theme by other figures, whose work is charted here through eight categories: copulation, generation, digestion, mutilation, infection, mutation, disintegration and extinction.

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Newly Published: The Baseball Bat

New on our bookshelf:

The Baseball Bat: From Trees to the Major Leagues, 19th Century to Today
Stephen M. Bratkovich

Why do modern-day sluggers like Aaron Judge prefer maple bats over the traditional ash bats swung by Ted Williams and others? Why did the surge of broken bats in the early 21st century create a crisis for Major League Baseball and what steps were taken to address the issue? Are different woods being considered by players and manufacturers? Do insects, disease and climate change pose a problem long-term?

These and other questions are answered in this exhaustive examination of the history and future of wooden bats, written for both lifelong baseball fans and curious newcomers.

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Newly Published: Architect of Death at Auschwitz

New on our bookshelf:

Architect of Death at Auschwitz: A Biography of Rudolf Höss
John W. Primomo

Rudolf Höss has been called the greatest mass murderer in history. As the longest-serving commandant of Auschwitz, he supervised the killing of more than 1.1 million people. Unlike many of his Nazi colleagues who denied either knowing about or participating in the Holocaust, Höss remorselessly admitted, both at the Nuremberg war crimes trial and in his memoirs, that he sent hundreds of thousands of Jews to their deaths in the gas chambers, frankly describing the killing process. His “innovations” included the use of hydrogen cyanide (derived from the pesticide Zyklon B) in the camp’s gas chambers. Höss lent his name to the 1944 operation that gassed 430,000 Hungarian Jews in 56 days, exceeding the capacity of the Auschwitz’s crematoria.

This biography follows Höss throughout his life, from his childhood through his Nazi command and eventual reckoning at Nuremberg. Using historical records and Höss’ autobiography, it explores the life and mind of one of history’s most notorious and sadistic individuals.

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New in Softcover: The Pleasure and Pain of Cult Horror Films

Now available in softcover:

The Pleasure and Pain of Cult Horror Films: An Historical Survey
Bartłomiej Paszylk

The horror genre harbors a number of films too bold or bizarre to succeed with mainstream audiences, but offering unique, startling and often groundbreaking qualities that have won them an enduring following. Beginning with Victor Sjöström’s The Phantom Carriage in 1921, this book tracks the evolution and influence of underground cult horror over the ensuing decades, closing with William Winckler’s Frankenstein vs. the Creature from Blood Cove in 2005. It discusses the features that define a cult film, trends and recurring symbols, and changing iconography within the genre through insightful analysis of 88 movies. Included are works by popular directors who got their start with cult horror films, including Oliver Stone, David Cronenberg and Peter Jackson.

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Newly Published: Twenty Years in a Siberian Gulag

New on our bookshelf:

Twenty Years in a Siberian Gulag: Memoir of a Political Prisoner at Kolyma
Leonid Petrovich Bolotov

Caught up in one of the many purges that swept the Soviet Union during the Great Terror, Leonid Petrovich Bolotov (1906–1987) was one of 86 engineers arrested at Leningrad’s Red Triangle Rubber Factory and sent to the Gulag as “enemies of the people.” He would be the only one to survive and return to his family after enduring two decades in the infamous Kolyma labor camps.

Translated into English and published here for the first time, Bolotov’s memoir narrates with growing intensity his arrest, imprisonment and interrogation, his “confession” and trial, his exile to hard labor in Arctic Siberia, and his rehabilitation in 1956 following the official end of Stalin’s personality cult.

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Newly Published: Navigating Glioblastoma

New on our bookshelf:

Navigating Glioblastoma: A Caregiver’s Perspective
Sally Connolly

A stale marriage. A deadly diagnosis. For Sally Connolly, three years of struggle followed her husband Peter’s surgery for terminal brain cancer at age 61. Choosing treatment options that interfered least with his career, Peter focused his limited energy on work, with little left for his family, further straining the marriage during his remaining days. Connolly’s clear-eyed and affecting memoir recounts their wrangling over gender roles, money management, domestic decisions and lifestyle changes. Through their traumatic journey, they find humor and comfort in unexpected places.

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Newly Published: Spiritualism in the American Civil War

New on our bookshelf:

Spiritualism in the American Civil War
R. Gregory Lande

America’s Civil War took a dreadful toll on human lives, and the emotional repercussions were exacerbated by tales of battlefield atrocities, improper burials and by the lack of news that many received about the fate of their loved ones. Amidst widespread religious doubt and social skepticism, spiritualism—the belief that the spirits of the dead existed and could communicate with the living—filled a psychological void by providing a pathway towards closure during a time of mourning, and by promising an eternal reunion in the afterlife regardless of earthly sins.

Primary research, including 55 months of the weekly spiritual newspaper, Banner of Light and records of hundreds of soldiers’ and family members’ spirit messages, reveals unique insights into battlefield deaths, the transition to spirit life, and the motivations prompting ethereal communications. This book focuses extensively on Spiritualism’s religious, political, and commercial activities during the war years, as well as the controversies surrounding the faith, strengthening the connection between ante- and postbellum studies of Spiritualism.

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Newly Published: Encyclopedia of American Short Films, 1926–1959

New on our bookshelf:

Encyclopedia of American Short Films, 1926–1959
Graham Webb

Short subject films have a long history in American cinemas. These could be anywhere from 2 to 40 minutes long and were used as a “filler” in a picture show that would include a cartoon, a newsreel, possibly a serial and a short before launching into the feature film. Shorts could tackle any topic of interest: an unusual travelogue, a comedy, musical revues, sports, nature or popular vaudeville acts. With the advent of sound-on-film in the mid-to-late 1920s, makers of earlier silent short subjects began experimenting with the short films, using them as a testing ground for the use of sound in feature movies. After the Second World War, and the rising popularity of television, short subject films became far too expensive to produce and they had mostly disappeared from the screens by the late 1950s. This encyclopedia offers comprehensive listings of American short subject films from the 1920s through the 1950s.

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Newly Published: B-17 Gunner

New on our bookshelf:

B-17 Gunner: Charles M. Eyer, Survivor of 59 Combat Missions and a Year in Nazi Captivity
Craig A. Kleinsmith

For three years, Staff Sergeant Charles M. Eyer served as a B-17 ball turret gunner over Europe during World War II. Based in part on a secret journal he kept as a prisoner of war, this book records Eyer’s firsthand account of his harrowing 59 combat missions (B-17 crewmen could not expect to survive 10), his escape from a burning B-17 deep inside Germany, the horrors of confinement in a Nazi POW camp, and his survival of an 80-day forced march during the brutal winter of 1944–45.

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Newly Published: Cy Young

New on our bookshelf:

Cy Young: The Baseball Life and Career
Lew Freedman

An early celebrity pitcher, Denton “Cy” Young (1867–1955) established supreme standards on the mound. A small-town Ohio farmer made good, he set Major League pitching records in the late 19th and early 20th centuries that will likely last forever.
The winner of 511 games—nearly one hundred more than the second-ranked hurler—Young pitched the first perfect game of the modern era, as well as three no-hitters. His talents helped establish the American League in 1901.

Among the Hall of Fame’s first inductees, he remained a sought-after interviewee decades after retirement. A year after his death, the Cy Young Award was dedicated as baseball’s most prestigious honor for pitchers.

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Newly Published: Reagan’s Cowboys

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Reagan’s Cowboys: Inside the 1984 Reelection Campaign’s Secret Operation Against Geraldine Ferraro
John B. Roberts II

When rumors about Geraldine Ferraro—the first woman vice-presidential nominee by a major party in U.S history—reached First Lady Nancy Reagan during the 1984 presidential election, a secret operation was launched to investigate her. It revealed Ferraro’s ties to organized crime and the extent to which she would have been subject to pressure or blackmail by the Mafia if elected. Written by an insider responsible for running the investigation, this never-before-told story goes behind the scenes as an incumbent president’s campaign works to expose a political opponent’s mob connections. Part detective story, part political thriller, the narrative features all the major players in the Reagan White House and 1984 reelection committee, with revealing anecdotes about Ronald and Nancy Reagan.

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Newly Published: Civil War Scoundrels and the Texas Cotton Trade

New on our bookshelf:

Civil War Scoundrels and the Texas Cotton Trade
Walter E. Wilson

During the Civil War, scoundrels from both the Union and Confederate sides were able to execute illicit, but ingenious, schemes to acquire Texas cotton. Texas was the only Confederate state that bordered a neutral country, it was never forcibly conquered, and its coast was impossible to effectively blockade.
Using little known contemporary sources, this story reveals how charlatans exploited these conditions to run the blockade, import machinery and weapons, and defraud the state’s most prominent political, military and civilian leaders in the process. Best known for his role in the romantic entanglements of his co-conspirator William Sprague, Harris Hoyt stands out due to his sharp intellect and fascinating character. Hoyt was able to draw most of Abraham Lincoln’s inner circle into his web of deceit and even influenced the impeachment of President Andrew Johnson. This is the first account to expose the depth and breadth of the many Texas cotton trading scams and the sheer audacity of the shadowy men who profited from them, but managed to escape the gallows.

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Newly Published: Poland and the Holocaust in the Polish-American Press, 1926–1945

New on our bookshelf:

Poland and the Holocaust in the Polish-American Press, 1926–1945
Magdalena Kubow

Contrary to the common notion that news regarding the unfolding Holocaust was unavailable or unreliable, news from Europe was often communicated to North American Poles through the Polish-language press. This work engages with the origins debate and demonstrates that the Polish-language press covered seminal issues during the interwar years, the war, and the Holocaust extensively on their front and main story pages, and were extremely responsive, professional, and vocal in their journalism. From Polish-Jewish relations, to the cause of the Second World War and subsequently the development of genocide-related policy, North American Poles, had a different perspective from mainstream society on the causes and effects of what was happening. New research for this book examines attitudes toward Jews prior to and during the Holocaust, and how information on such attitudes was disseminated. It utilizes selected Polish newspapers of the period 1926-1945, predominantly the Republika-Górnik, as well as survivor testimony.

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Newly Published: The B-25 in the Backyard

New on our bookshelf:

The B-25 in the Backyard: My Father’s Historic Airplane Sanctuary
Wally Soplata

Only in America could Walter A. Soplata, the son of penniless Czech immigrants, accomplish so much single-handedly saving historic aircraft from World War II and other periods. After a childhood spent building model airplanes while dreaming about having his own airfield, Soplata worked in a large scrapyard taking apart hundreds of warplane engines. Shocked to see a rare engine or sometimes a complete warplane on its way to the recycling furnace, he began collecting whatever he could find and afford. He eventually collected nearly 20 complete airplanes and countless pieces of others. One of his Corsair fighters included the experimental F2G Corsair #74 that won the Cleveland National Air Races in 1947. Among other priceless airplanes he rescued was an experimental XP-82 Twin Mustang, an F-82E Twin Mustang, an X-prototype Skyraider, a stainless steel BT-12, and an F7U Cutlass—Soplata hauled the Cutlass fuselage home by stuffing it inside a junked school bus for its 600-mile journey. The story of a workaholic father and his aviation-obsessed son, this book records the accomplishments of a rare bird, just like the many airplanes he saved.

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Newly Published: Athletes Breaking Bad

New on our bookshelf:

Athletes Breaking Bad: Essays on Transgressive Sports Figures
Edited by John C. Lamothe and Donna J. Barbie

At their basic level, sporting events are about numbers: wins and losses, percentages and points, shots and saves, clocks and countdowns. However, sports narratives quickly leave the realm of statistics. The stories we tell and retell, sometimes for decades, make sports dramatic and compelling. Just like any great drama, sports imply conflict, not just battles on the field of play, but clashes of personalities, goals, and strategies. In telling these stories, we create heroes, but we also create villains. This book is about the latter, those players who transgress norms and expectations and who we label the “bad boys” of sports.

Using a variety of approaches, these 13 new essays examine the cultural, social, and rhetorical implications of sports villainy. Each chapter focuses on a different athlete and sport, questioning issues such as how notorious sports figures are defined to be “bad” within particular sports and within the larger culture, the role media play in creating antiheroes, fan reactions when players cross boundaries, and how those boundaries shift depending on the athlete’s gender, sexuality, and race.

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Newly Published: Bungalow Modernity

New on our bookshelf:

Bungalow Modernity: A Study of Twentieth Century Fictions of Home
Mary Lou Emery

Despite its cozy image, the bungalow in literature and film is haunted by violence even while fostering possibilities for personal transformation, utopian social vision and even comedy. Originating in Bengal and adapted as housing for colonialist ventures worldwide, the homes were sold in mail-order kits during the “bungalow mania” of the early 20th century and enjoyed a revival at century’s end. The bungalow as fictional setting stages ongoing contradictions of modernity—home and homelessness, property and dispossession, self and other—prompting a rethinking of our images of house and home. Drawing on the work of writers, architects and film directors, including Katherine Mansfield, E. M. Forster, Amitav Ghosh, Frank Lloyd Wright, Willa Cather, Buster Keaton and Walter Mosley, this study offers new readings of the transcultural bungalow.

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Newly Published: Victoria, Queen of the Screen

New on our bookshelf:

Victoria, Queen of the Screen: From Silent Cinema to New Media
Leigh Ehlers Telotte

Both in life and death, Queen Victoria is among the most popular monarchs to be committed to film. Her reign was characterized by an explosion in media coverage that began to rely on images rather than words to tell her story. Even though Victoria has been labeled the “first media monarch,” the sheer magnitude of her screen presence has been neither chronicled nor fully appreciated until now.

This book examines the growth and evolution of Queen Victoria’s on-screen image. From the satirical cartoons and silent films of the 19th century to the television shows, video games, and webcomics of the 21st, it demonstrates how the protean Victoria character has evolved, ultimately meaning many different things to many different people in many different ways. Each chapter looks at a facet of her character and includes analysis of how these media present Queen Victoria as a real person and shape her as a character acting within a narrative. The book includes a comprehensive and international filmography.

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Newly Published: So You Want to Direct TV

New on our bookshelf:

So You Want to Direct TV?: Sixteen Professionals Share Their Paths to Success
Jacob Pinger

Becoming a TV director is nothing like other professions. There is no road map. Traditionally, the only way to break in was through access to a powerful mentor to show you the way, but today creative people with a drive to direct are finding their own ways into the industry. In this book of interviews, working TV directors show you exactly how they did it. No two stories are exactly alike. These deeply personal interviews with a racially and culturally diverse range of eight women and eight men are candid and full of practical insights.

For the first time in the 100-plus year history of the entertainment industry there are increasing opportunities to rise into the director’s chair. This book reflects the hope and promise of a new era. Open the cover and discover the mentor you deserve.

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Newly Published: The Snow Killings

New on our bookshelf:

The Snow Killings: Inside the Oakland County Child Killer Investigation
Marney Rich Keenan

Over 13 months in 1976­–1977, four children were abducted in the Detroit suburbs, each of them held for days before their still-warm bodies were dumped in the snow near public roadsides. The Oakland County Child Murders spawned panic across southeast Michigan, triggering the most extensive manhunt in U.S. history. Yet after less than two years, the task force created to find the killer was shut down without naming a suspect. The case “went cold” for more than 30 years, until a chance discovery by one victim’s family pointed to the son of a wealthy General Motors executive: Christopher Brian Busch, a convicted pedophile, was freed weeks before the fourth child disappeared. Veteran Detroit News reporter Marney Rich Keenan takes the reader inside the investigation of the still-unsolved murders—seen through the eyes of the lead detective in the case and the family who cracked it open—revealing evidence of a decades-long coverup of malfeasance and obstruction that denied justice for the victims.

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Newly Published: Futures of the Past

New on our bookshelf:

Futures of the Past: An Anthology of Science Fiction Stories from the 19th and Early 20th Centuries, with Critical Essays
Edited by Ivy Roberts

Science fiction boasts a deceptively long history, extending as far back as the 19th century. This anthology pairs original essays that introduce short stories of vintage science fiction. Critical introductions written by international experts contextualize these stories from the 19th and early 20th centuries. Inclusions range from legendary authors like Mary Shelley and Edgar Allan Poe to lesser-known figures like E.P Mitchell, George Parsons Lathrop, and Franklin Ruth.

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Newly Published: “They say I’m not a girl”

New on our bookshelf:

“They say I’m not a girl”: Case Studies of Gender Verification in Elite Sports
Max Dohle

In July 1950, a young Dutch intersex woman was expelled from elite competition by the International Amateur Athletic Federation. It turned out to be the beginning of a dark era in the history of women in sport. Young women were subjected to humiliating examinations and dozens of intersex athletes were suspended, although no fraud was ever uncovered.

This book presents a compelling argument against gender verification, showing the pernicious effects that suspension inflicted on the lives of young athletes. Some withdrew from the public eye, lived in solitude, or even committed suicide. Compassionate profiles of these banned athletes highlight the unfair play of gender verification and of their exclusion from competition.

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Newly Published: World War II Veterans in Hollywood

New on our bookshelf:

World War II Veterans in Hollywood
Art Evans

Profiling World War II veterans who became famous Hollywood personalities, this book presents biographical chapters on celebrities like Audie Murphy, “America’s number one soldier”; Clark Gable, the “King of Hollywood”; Jimmy Stewart, combat pilot; Gene Autry, the “singing cowboy,” who flew the infamous Hump; the amorous Mickey Rooney; Jackie Coogan, “the Kid” who crashed gliders in the jungle; James Arness, who acquired his Gunsmoke limp in the mountains of Italy; Tony Bennett, who discovered his voice during the Battle of the Bulge; and Lee Marvin, a Marine NCO who invaded 29 islands. Profiles of these and 21 others include little-known stories and details.

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Newly Published: The Many Ways Jews Loved

New on our bookshelf:

The Many Ways Jews Loved: A History from Printed Words and Images
Constance Harris

While acknowledging the ways in which persecution inevitably affects a community, this book deviates from most Jewish studies to survey the ways in which Jewish history has been shaped by the everyday experience of love. It examines erotic poetry, sensual art and literature, and biblical and rabbinic stories about lust. It reviews the ways in which Jewish law has both encouraged and regulated sexual interaction and studies the diversity of Jewish attitudes toward such relationships, found in a vast array of works whose authors and artists often speak to the confusion and failure of love while also finding a purpose in its pursuance. It tells the stories of those people who revel in love and of others who remember love and grieve in its absence.

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Newly Published: The Ekphrastic Writer

New on our bookshelf:

The Ekphrastic Writer: Creating Art-Influenced Poetry, Fiction and Nonfiction
Janée J. Baugher

A common definition of ekphrasis is descriptive writing influenced by the visual arts. Beyond the written word, however, responding to art can engender self-reflection, creativity, and help writers to build characters, plot, and setting. This book unites the history and tradition of ekphrasis, its conventions, the writing process, and multi-genre writing prompts. In addition to subjects such as early art engagement, psychology, and the eye-brain-perception relationship, this book discusses artists’ creative processes, tools, and techniques, and offers instruction on how to read art by way of deep-looking.

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Newly Published: West Point Graduates and the United States Air Force

New on our bookshelf:

West Point Graduates and the United States Air Force: Shaping American Aerospace Power
Charles F.G. Kuyk, Jr., with Charles F.G. Kuyk III

West Point graduates played a central role in developing U.S. military air and space power from the earliest days of mechanized flight through the establishment of the U.S. Air Force in 1947, and continuing through the Persian Gulf War. These graduates served at a time when the world’s greatest wave of technological advancement occurred: in aviation, nuclear weapons, rocketry, ICBMs, computers, satellite systems in inner space and man in outer space.

This history traces the advancement of weapons and space technology that became the hallmark of the U.S. Air Force, and the pivotal role that West Point graduates played in integrating them into a wide variety of Air Force systems and programs. Many became aircraft commanders, test pilots, astronauts and, later in their careers, general officers who helped shape and implement technologies still in use today.

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New in Softcover: The Ku Klux Klan in Mississippi

Now available in softcover:

The Ku Klux Klan in Mississippi: A History
Michael Newton

Since 1866 the Ku Klux Klan has been a significant force in Mississippi, enduring repeated cycles of expansion and decline. Klansmen have rallied, marched, elected civic leaders, infiltrated law enforcement, and committed crimes ranging from petty vandalism to assassination and mass murder. This is the definitive history of the KKK in Mississippi, long recognized as one of the group’s most militant and violent realms. The campaigns of terrorism by the Klan, its involvement in politics and religion, and its role as a social movement for marginalized poor whites are fully explored.

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Newly Published: Charlie 2-1 Bravo

New on our bookshelf:

Charlie 2-1 Bravo: Memoir of a Drunken Paratrooper in Afghanistan
E.E. Summerfield

In 2012, Specialist Summerfield and the 2-508th Parachute Infantry Regiment were deployed to the Kandahar province of Afghanistan. A Special Forces dropout, Summerfield was given a second chance at leadership as the head of an infantry team in one of the most IED-ridden areas in Afghanistan. With zero training and little intel, his squad navigated IED belts, leadership conflict and enemy ambushes. This book provides a thought-provoking and often humorous account of life on the front in a frontless war, all from the perspective of a low-ranking enlisted soldier.

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Newly Published: Ippolita Maria Sforza

New on our bookshelf:

Ippolita Maria Sforza: The Renaissance Princess Who Linked Milan and Naples
Jeryldene M. Wood

In April 1455, ten-year-old Ippolita Maria Sforza, a daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Milan, was betrothed to the seven-year-old crown prince of the Kingdom of Naples as a symbol of peace and reconciliation between the two rival states. This first full-scale biography of Ippolita Maria follows her life as it unfolds at the rival courts of Milan and Naples amid a cast of characters whose political intrigues too often provoked assassinations, insurrections, and wars. She was conscious of her duty to preserve peace despite the strains created by her husband’s arrogance, her father-in-law’s duplicity, and her Milanese brothers’ contentiousness. The duchess’s intelligence and charm calmed the habitual discord between her families, and in time, her diplomatic savvy and her great friendship with Lorenzo de’ Medici of Florence made her a key player in the volatile politics of the peninsula for almost 20 years.

Drawing on her letters and contemporary chronicles, memoirs, and texts, this biography offers a rare look into the private life of a Renaissance woman who attempted to preserve a sense of self while coping with a tempestuous marriage, dutifully giving birth to three children, and supervising a large household under trying political circumstances.

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Newly Published: Voices of the 9/11 Pentagon Recovery Effort

New on our bookshelf:

Voices of the 9/11 Pentagon Recovery Effort: Essays from the U.S. Army’s Old Guard
Mark Joseph Mongilutz

9/11 is more commonly associated with New York and the World Trade Center than with the Pentagon, whose destruction received far less coverage. But those who helped extinguish the fires, tend to the wounded, and clean up the aftermath will never forget such a loss.

Thousands took part in the Pentagon recovery effort following 9/11, but few knew exactly what they were signing up for. A nearby Army unit, the 3rd United States Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard), sent its soldiers to contribute where they could, as best they could, and in any capacity they could. In this book, soldiers of The Old Guard have elected to share their experiences. Their accounts attest to the honor and camaraderie that were necessary for picking up the pieces, as well as the traumatic effects of being enveloped in the aftermath of tragedy.

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Newly Published: Popular Music in the Classroom

New on our bookshelf:

Popular Music in the Classroom: Essays for Instructors
Edited by David Whitt

   Popular music has long been a subject of academic inquiry, with college courses taught on Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan, and the Beatles, along with more contemporary artists like Beyoncé and Outkast. This collection of essays draws upon the knowledge and expertise of instructors from a variety of disciplines who have taught classes on popular music. Topics include: the analysis of music genres such as American folk, Latin American protest music, and Black music; exploring the musical catalog and socio-cultural relevance of specific artists; and discussing how popular music can be used to teach subjects such as history, identity, race, gender, and politics. Instructional strategies for educators are provided.

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Newly Published: The Dakota Conflict and Its Leaders, 1862–1865

New on our bookshelf:

The Dakota Conflict and Its Leaders, 1862–1865: Little Crow, Henry Sibley and Alfred Sully
Paul Williams

Custer, Sitting Bull and Little Bighorn are familiar names in the history of the American West. Yet the Great Sioux War of 1876 was a less notorious affair than earlier events in Minnesota during 1862 when, over a few bloody weeks, hundreds of white settlers were killed by Sioux led by Little Crow. The following three years saw military thrusts under generals Sibley and Sully onto the Western Plains where hundreds of Indians, as innocent as the white victims, were cut down by American soldiers. From this carnage Sitting Bull first emerged as a military leader. This history reexamines the facts behind Sitting Bull’s legend and that of the white captive, Fanny Kelly.

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Newly Published: The Baltimore Black Sox

New on our bookshelf:

The Baltimore Black Sox: A Negro Leagues History, 1913–1936
Bernard McKenna

Providing a comprehensive history of the Baltimore Black Sox from before the team’s founding in 1913 through its demise in 1936, this history examines the social and cultural forces that gave birth to the club and informed its development. The author describes aspects of Baltimore’s history in the first decades of the 20th century, details the team’s year-by-year performance, explores front-office and management dynamics and traces the shaping of the Negro Leagues. The history of the Black Sox’s home ballparks and of the people who worked for the team both on and off the field are included.

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Newly Published: A Backseat View from the Phantom

New on our bookshelf:

A Backseat View from the Phantom: A Memoir of a Marine Radar Intercept Officer in Vietnam

Fleet S. Lentz, Jr., Col USMCR (Ret)

As a 26-year old Marine radar intercept officer (RIO), Fleet Lentz flew 131 combat missions in the back seat of the supersonic F-4 B Phantom II during the wind-down of the Vietnam War. Overcoming military regulations, he and his fellow Marines at The Rose Garden (Royal Thai Air Base Nam Phong) kept sorely needed supplies moving in while moving combat troops out of Southeast Asia. His personal and accessible memoir describes how pilots and RIOs executed dangerous air-to-ground bombing missions in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos—quite different from the air-to-air warfare for which they had trained—and kept themselves mission-capable (and human) while surviving harsh circumstances.

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Newly Published: The Sound of Hope

New on our bookshelf:

The Sound of Hope: Music as Solace, Resistance and Salvation During the Holocaust and World War II

Kellie D. Brown

   Since ancient times, music has demonstrated the incomparable ability to touch and resonate with the human spirit as a tool for communication, emotional expression, and as a medium of cultural identity. During World War II, Nazi leadership recognized the power of music and chose to harness it with malevolence, using its power to push their own agenda and systematically stripping it away from the Jewish people and other populations they sought to disempower. But music also emerged as a counterpoint to this hate, withstanding Nazi attempts to exploit or silence it. Artistic expression triumphed under oppressive regimes elsewhere as well, including the horrific siege of Leningrad and in Japanese internment camps in the Pacific. The oppressed stubbornly clung to music, wherever and however they could, to preserve their culture, to uplift the human spirit and to triumph over oppression, even amid incredible tragedy and suffering.

   This volume draws together the musical connections and individual stories from this tragic time through scholarly literature, diaries, letters, memoirs, compositions, and art pieces. Collectively, they bear witness to the power of music and offer a reminder to humanity of the imperative each faces to not only remember, but to prevent another such cataclysm.

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Newly Published: Myth-Building in Modern Media

New on our bookshelf:

Myth-Building in Modern Media: The Role of the Mytharc in Imagined Worlds

A.J. Black

Mythology for centuries has served as humanity’s window into understanding its distant past. In our modern world, storytelling creates its own myths and legends, in media ranging from the world of television and cinema to literature and comic books, that help us make sense of the world we live in today.

What is the “Mytharc”? How did it arise? How does it inform modern long-form storytelling? How does the classical hero’s journey intersect with modern myths and narratives? And where might the storytelling of tomorrow take readers and viewers as we imagine our future? From The X-Files to H.P. Lovecraft, from Lost to the Marvel cinematic universe and many worlds beyond, this study explores our modern storytelling mythology and where it may lead us.

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Newly Published: The Lonely Hearts Killers

New on our bookshelf:

The Lonely Hearts Killers: The Bloody Passions of Martha Beck and Raymond Fernandez

Tobin T. Buhk

The shocking series of crimes committed by lovers Martha Beck and Raymond Fernandez dominated the front pages in 1949. Caught for the double homicide of a widow and her young daughter in Michigan, the first couple of crime became the focus of an intense debate over the death penalty and extradition. Their story climaxed in a sensational trial in New York City and concluded two years later inside Sing Sing’s notorious “Death House.” Pulp fiction era reporters, who followed every step taken by the accused slayers, christened Beck and Fernandez the “Lonely Hearts Killers”—a nickname that stuck and has since been used to describe an entire category of criminal behavior.

Despite the sensationalization of the killer couple’s exploits, the story of the Michigan crime that ended their spree has until now remained largely untold. Drawing on rare archival material, this book presents, for the first time anywhere, a detailed account of this lost chapter in the saga of the “Lonely Hearts Killers.” Both biography and analysis, this book also attempts to deconstruct the myths and misconceptions and to provide answers to a few unanswered questions about the case.

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Newly Published: Hollywood Musicals You Missed

New on our bookshelf:

Hollywood Musicals You Missed: Seventy Noteworthy Films from the 1930s

Edwin M. Bradley

Pre-World War II Hollywood musicals weren’t only about Astaire and Rogers, Mickey and Judy, Busby Berkeley, Bing Crosby, or Shirley Temple. The early musical developed through tangents that reflected larger trends in film and American culture at large. Here is a survey of select titles with a variety of influences: outsized songwriter personalities, hubbub over “hillbilly” and cowboy stereotypes, the emergence of swing, and the brief parade of opera stars to celluloid. Featured movies range from the smash hit Alexander’s Ragtime Band (1938), to obscurities such as Are You There? (1930) and Swing, Sister, Swing (1938), to the high-grossing but now forgotten Mountain Music (1937), and It’s Great to Be Alive (1933), a zesty pre-Code musical/science-fiction/comedy mishmash. Also included are some of the not-so-memorable pictures made by some of the decade’s greatest musical stars.

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Newly Published: Encyclopedia of Mythological Objects

New on our bookshelf:

Encyclopedia of Mythological Objects

Theresa Bane

Curious about the chains that bound Fenriswulf in Norse mythology? Or the hut of Baba Yaga, the infamous witch of Russian folklore? Containing more than one thousand detailed entries on the magical and mythical items from the different folklore, legends, and religions the world over, this encyclopedia is the first of its kind. From Abadi, the named stone in Roman mythology to Zul-Hajam, one of the four swords said to belong to the prophet Mohammed, each item is described in as much detail as the original source material provided, including information on its origin, who was its wielder, and the extent of its magical abilities. The text also includes a comprehensive cross-reference system and an extensive bibliography to aid researchers.

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Newly Published: Pro Football in the 1960s

New on our bookshelf:

Pro Football in the 1960s: The NFL, the AFL and the Sport’s Coming of Age

Patrick Gallivan

The 1960s were a tumultuous period in U.S. history and the sporting world was not immune to the decade’s upturn of tradition. As war in Southeast Asia, civil unrest at home and political assassinations rocked the nation, professional football struggled to attract fans. While some players fought for civil rights and others fought overseas, the ideological divides behind the protests and riots in the streets spilled into the locker rooms, and athletes increasingly brought their political beliefs into the sports world.

This history describes how a decade of social upheaval affected life on the gridiron, and the personalities and events that shaped the game. The debut of the Super Bowl, soon to become a fixture of American culture, marked a professional sport on the rise. Increasingly lucrative television contracts and innovations in the filming and broadcasting of games expanded pro football’s audiences. An authoritarian old guard, best represented by the revered Vince Lombardi, began to give way as star players like Joe Namath commanded new levels of pay and power. And at last, all teams fielded African American players, belatedly beginning the correction of the sport’s greatest wrong.

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Newly Published: Tiger Papa Three

New on our bookshelf:

Tiger Papa Three: Memoir of a Combined Action Marine in Vietnam

Edward F. Palm

The U.S. Marine Corps’ Combined Action Program (CAP) in Vietnam was an enlightened gesture of strategic dissent. Recognizing that search-and-destroy operations were immoral and self-defeating and that the best hope for victory was “winning hearts and minds,” the Corps stationed squads of Marines, augmented by Navy corpsmen, in the countryside to train and patrol alongside village self-defense units called Popular Forces.

Corporal Edward F. Palm became a combined-action Marine in 1967. His memoir recounts his experiences fighting with the South Vietnamese, his readjustment to life after the war, and the circumstances that prompted him to join the Corps in the first place. A one-time aspiring photojournalist, Palm includes photographs he took while serving, along with an epilogue describing what he and his former sergeant found during their 2002 return to Vietnam.

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Newly Published: Mission Yugoslavia

New on our bookshelf:

Mission Yugoslavia: The OSS and the Chetnik and Partisan Resistance Movements, 1943–1945

Blaž Torkar

Focusing on the wartime activities of the U.S. Office of Strategic Services (OSS) in Axis-controlled Yugoslavia during World War II, this book chronicles American policy, plans for sending aid and agents, and the establishment of the first training bases in North Africa and the Mediterranean. OSS missions and field operations with the Chetniks and Partisans are cataloged and analyzed for the first time, along with OSS views on Yugoslav border claims against Italy and Austria, the OSS position on Slovenia in postwar Yugoslavia, and the role of Yugoslavs cooperating within the OSS.

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Newly Published: The Hall Ball

New on our bookshelf:

The Hall Ball: One Fan’s Journey to Unite Cooperstown Immortals with a Single Baseball

Ralph Carhart

Rescued in 2010 from the small creek that runs next to Doubleday Field in Cooperstown, New York, a simple baseball launched an epic quest that spanned the United States and beyond. For eight years, “The Hall Ball” went on a journey to have its picture taken with every member of the Baseball Hall of Fame, both living and deceased. The goal? To enshrine the first crowd-sourced artifact ever donated to the Hall.

Part travelogue, part baseball history, part photo journal, this book tells the full story for the first time. The narratives that accompany the ball’s odyssey are as funny and moving as any in the history of the game.

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Newly Published: Heart Full of Soul

New on our bookshelf:

Heart Full of Soul: Keith Relf of the Yardbirds

David French

This is the first full-length biography of Keith Relf, frontman for the Yardbirds and one of the great tragic characters in rock history. Keith’s moody vocals and harmonica helped to define the Yardbirds’ sound on a string of innovative hit records in the 1960s that influenced garage rock, psychedelia, blues rock, hard rock and heavy metal. Numerous books have been written about the Yardbirds’ famous guitarists—Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page—yet Keith has remained a mysterious and elusive figure since his death by electrocution at age 33.
A deeply private person, prone to depression and poor health, Keith was ill-suited to the life of a rock star. In the years following the Yardbirds’ breakup, as the band’s guitarists became household names playing blues-based rock, Keith insisted on pursuing new musical paths, always searching for something new and trying to extend the Yardbirds’ spirit of curiosity and innovation. By the time of his death in 1976, Keith was nearly forgotten and struggling physically, emotionally and financially. More than forty years after his tragic death, this important artist’s story has finally been written and his contributions celebrated as more than just a footnote to the careers of his better-known bandmates.

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Newly Published: Daniel Lewis

New on our bookshelf:

Daniel Lewis: A Life in Choreography and the Art of Dance

Donna H. Krasnow and Daniel E. Lewis

Daniel Lewis’s legacy as a hugely influential choreographer and teacher of modern dance is celebrated in this biography. It showcases the many roles he played in the dance world by organizing his story around various aspects of his work, including his years at the Juilliard School, dancing and touring with the José Limón Company, staging Limón’s masterpieces around the world, directing his own company (Daniel Lewis Dance Repertory Company), writing and choreographing operas and musicals, and his years as dean of dance at New World School of the Arts. His life has spanned a particular period of growth of modern and contemporary dance, and his biography gives insight into how the artistic and journalistic perspectives on modern dance were influenced by what was occurring in the broader dance and arts communities. The book also offers rarely seen photographs and interviews with unique perspectives on many dance luminaries.

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Newly Published: The Umpire Was Blind!

New on our bookshelf

The Umpire Was Blind!: Controversial Calls by MLB’s Men in Blue

Jonathan Weeks

In the words of former American League umpire Nestor Chylak, umpires are expected to “be perfect on the first day of the season and then get better every day.” Forced to deal with sullen managers and explosive players, they often take the blame for the failures of both. But let’s face it—umpires are only human.

For well over a century, the fortunes of Major League teams—and the fabric of baseball history itself—have been dramatically affected by the flawed decisions of officials. While the use of video replay in recent decades has reduced the number of bitter disputes, many situations remain exempt from review and are subject to swirling controversy. In the heat of the moment mistakes are often made, sometimes with monumental consequences. This book details some of these more controversial calls and the men who made them.

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Newly Published: Doppelgangers, Alter Egos and Mirror Images in Western Art, 1840–2010

New on our bookshelf:

Doppelgangers, Alter Egos and Mirror Images in Western Art, 1840–2010: Critical Essays

Edited by Mary D. Edwards

The notion of a person—or even an object—having a “double” has been explored in the visual arts for ages, and in myriad ways: portraying the body and its soul, a woman gazing at her reflection in a pool, or a man overwhelmed by his own shadow. In this edited collection focusing on nineteenth- and twentieth-century western art, scholars analyze doppelgangers, alter egos, mirror images, double portraits and other pairings, human and otherwise, appearing in a large variety of artistic media. Artists whose works are discussed at length include Richard Dadd, Salvador Dalí, Egon Schiele, Frida Kahlo, the creators of Superman, and Nicola Costantino, among many others.

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Newly Published: Lucid Dreaming, Waking Life

New on our bookshelf:

Lucid Dreaming, Waking Life: Unlocking the Power of Your Sleep
Elliot Riley

Lucid dreaming, the skill of recognizing that you’re dreaming within a dream, has a vast potential to not only improve the content of your dreams but also to quell anxiety and improve confidence during your waking life. Leveraging both scientific research and two decades of personal experimentation, this book provides everything readers need to know in order to begin lucid dreaming for the first time and to improve the frequency, control, and clarity of existing lucid dream experiences. Personal anecdotes and dream journal entries from the author help clarify points of confusion and motivate readers. This book focuses heavily on the connections between lucid dreaming, mindfulness, and anxiety, and on the myriad benefits lucid dreaming can have while you are awake.

Whether you have never had a lucid dream before, or you want to improve the quality and frequency of your lucid dreams, the techniques provided here will make the process simple. With the skill of lucid dreaming, your dreams will become your own personal playground, laboratory, artist studio, or spiritual center. What you gain from such a journey is up to you.

 

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Newly Published: The Television Treasury

New on our bookshelf:

The Television Treasury: Onscreen Details from Sitcoms, Dramas and Other Scripted Series, 1947–2019
Vincent Terrace

The first and only of its kind, this book is a straightforward listing of more than 25,000 trivia facts from 2,498 TV series aired between 1947 and 2019. Organized by topic, trivia facts include everything from home addresses of characters, to names of pets and jobs that characters worked. Featured programs include popular shows like The Big Bang Theory and Friends and more obscure programs like A Date with Judy or My Friend Irma. Included is an alphabetical program index that lists trivia facts grouped by series.

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New in Softcover: Prizefighting

Now available in softcover:

Prizefighting: An American History
Arne K. Lang

This work brings a fresh perspective to the history of modern prizefighting, a sport which has evolved over several centuries to become one of mankind’s most lasting and valued sporting attractions. With his primary focus outside the ropes, the author shows how organizers, publicity agents, and political allies overcame both legal and moral roadblocks to make fisticuffing a lively commercial enterprise.

The book begins with the clandestine bare-knuckle fights in eighteenth-century London, and ends with the vibrant, large-scale productions of modern Las Vegas “fight nights.” Along the way, he explains many of the myths about antiquarian prizefighters, describes the origins of slave fight folklore, and examines the forces that transformed Las Vegas into the world’s leading venue for important fights.

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June Transportation Sale

It’s June, gas prices are cheap, the highways are free of traffic, and holiday destinations are uncrowded. Let’s hit the road (in spirit, if not in deed)! Our automotive history line, including histories of marques famous and obscure, auto racing, biographies, reference works like J. Kelly Flory’s massive American Cars volumes, and much more, is complimented by many excellent works on locomotive, aviation, and maritime history; bicycles; and military transportation. This month, we’re offering ALL transportation titles at 40% off the list price with coupon code TRANSPORTATION40! Use this coupon code on our website through Sunday, June 28. Safe travels from your friends at McFarland!

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New in Softcover: Encyclopedia of Capital Punishment in the United States, 2d ed.

Now available in softcover:

Encyclopedia of Capital Punishment in the United States, 2d ed.
Louis J. Palmer, Jr.

This updated encyclopedia provides ready information on all aspects of capital punishment in America. It details virtually every capital punishment decision rendered by the United States Supreme Court through 2006, including more than 40 cases decided since publication of the first edition. Entries are also provided for each Supreme Court Justice who has ever rendered a capital punishment opinion. Entries on jurisdictions cite present-day death penalty laws and judicial structure state by state, with synopses of common and unique features.

Also included are entries on significant U.S. capital prosecutions; legal principles and procedures in capital cases; organizations that support and oppose capital punishment; capital punishment’s impact on persons of African, Asian, Hispanic, and Native American descent, on women, and on foreign nationals; and the methods of execution. Essential facts are also provided on capital punishment in more than 200 other nations. A wealth of statistical data is found throughout.

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New in Softcover: The War of 1812

Now available in softcover:

The War of 1812: A Complete Chronology with Biographies of 63 General Officers
Bud Hannings

Although the American Revolution ended in 1783, tensions between the United States and Britain over disruptions to American trade, the impressment of American merchant sailors by British ships, and British support of Native American resistance to American expansion erupted in another military conflict nearly three decades later. Scarcely remembered in England today, the War of 1812 stood as a veritable “second war of independence” to the victorious Americans and ushered in an extended period of peaceful relations and trade between the United States and Britain. This major reference work offers a comprehensive day-by-day chronology of the War of 1812, including its slow build-up and aftermath, and provides detailed biographies of the generals who made their marks.

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Newly Published: Ian Rankin

New on our bookshelf:

Ian Rankin: A Companion to the Mystery Fiction
Erin E. MacDonald

Ian Rankin is considered by many to be Scotland’s greatest living crime fiction author. Most well known for his Inspector Rebus series—which has earned critical acclaim as well as scores of fans worldwide—Rankin is a prolific author whose other works include spy thrillers, nonfiction books and articles, short stories, novels, graphic novels, audio recordings, television/film, and plays.

This companion—the first to provide a complete look at all of his writings—includes alphabetized entries on Rankin’s works, characters, and themes; a biography; a chronology; maps of Rebus’ Edinburgh; and an annotated bibliography. A champion of both Edinburgh and Scotland, Rankin continues to combine engaging entertainment with socio-political commentary showing Edinburgh as a microcosm of Scotland, and Scotland as a microcosm of the world. His writing investigates questions of Scottish identity, British history, masculinity, and contemporary culture while providing mystery readers with complex, suspenseful plots, realistic character development, and a unique mix of American hard-boiled and procedural styles with Scottish dialects and sensibilities.

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New in Softcover: The Steamboat Era

Now available in softcover:

The Steamboat Era: A History of Fulton’s Folly on American Rivers, 1807–1860
S.L. Kotar and J.E. Gessler

The steamboat evokes images of leisurely travel, genteel gambling, and lively commerce, but behind the romanticized view is an engineering marvel that led the way for the steam locomotive. From the steamboat’s development by Robert Fulton to the dawn of the Civil War, the new mode of transportation opened up America’s frontiers and created new trade routes and economic centers.

Firsthand accounts of steamboat accidents, races, business records and river improvements are collected here to reveal the culture and economy of the early to mid–1800s, as well as the daily routines of crew and passengers. A glossary of steamboat terms and a collection of contemporary accounts of accidents round out this history of the riverboat era.

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Newly Published: Confederate Veterans in Northern California

New on our bookshelf:

Confederate Veterans in Northern California: 101 Biographies
Jeff Erzin

Drawing on six years of research, this book covers the military service and postwar lives of notable Confederate veterans who moved into Northern California at the end the Civil War. Biographies of 101 former rebels are provided, from the oldest brother of the Clanton Gang to the son of a President to plantation owners, dirt farmers, criminals and everything in between.

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Newly Published: Women in Jamaican Music

New on our bookshelf:

Women in Jamaican Music
Heather Augustyn

As the ubiquitous Jamaican musician Bob Marley once famously sang, “half the story has never been told.” This rings particularly true for the little-known women in Jamaican music who comprise significantly less than half of the Caribbean nation’s musical landscape. This book covers the female contribution to Jamaican music and its subgenres through dozens of interviews with vocalists, instrumentalists, bandleaders, producers, deejays and supporters of the arts. Relegated to marginalized spaces, these pioneering women fought for their claim to the spotlight amid oppressive conditions to help create and shape Jamaica’s musical heritage.

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Newly Published: Archie’s Rivals in Teen Comics, 1940s–1970s

New on our bookshelf:

Archie’s Rivals in Teen Comics, 1940s–1970s: An Illustrated History
Michelle Nolan

This is the first book to comprehensively examine the multitude of non-Archie teen humor comic books, including girls and boys such as Patsy Walker, Hedy Wolfe, Buzz Baxter and Wendy Parker from Marvel; Judy Foster, Buzzy, Binky and Scribbly from DC; Candy from Quality Comics; and Hap Hazard from Ace Comics. It covers, often for the first time, the history of the characters, who drew them, why (or why not) they succeeded as rivals for the Archie Series, highlights of both unusual and typical stories and much more. The author provides major plotlines and a history of the development of each series. Much has been written about the Archie characters, but until now very little has been told about most of their many comic book competitors.

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Newly Published: The Last Voyage of the Whaling Bark Progress

New on our bookshelf:

The Last Voyage of the Whaling Bark Progress: New Bedford, Chicago and the Twilight of an Industry
Daniel Gifford

The whaling bark Progress was a New Bedford whaler transformed into a whaling museum for Chicago’s 1893 world’s fair. Traversing waterways across North America, the whaleship enthralled crowds from Montreal to Racine. Her ultimate fate, however, was to be a failed sideshow of marine curiosities and a metaphor for a dying industry out of step with Gilded Age America. This book uses the story of the Progress to detail the rise, fall, and eventual demise of the whaling industry in America. The legacy of this whaling bark can be found throughout New England and Chicago, and invites questions about what it means to transform a dying industry into a museum piece. The whaling bark Progress was a New Bedford ship transformed into a whaling museum for Chicago’s 1893 world’s fair. Traversing waterways across North America, the whaleship enthralled crowds from Montreal to Racine. Her ultimate fate, however, was to be a failed sideshow of marine curiosities and a metaphor for a dying industry out of step with Gilded Age America. This book uses the story of the Progress to detail the rise, fall, and eventual demise of the whaling industry in America. The legacy of this whaling bark can be found throughout New England and Chicago, and invites questions about what it means to transform a dying industry into a museum piece.

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Newly Published: Captured by Aliens?

New on our bookshelf:

Captured by Aliens?: A History and Analysis of American Abduction Claims
Nigel Watson

New Hampshire couple Betty and Barney Hill provided Americans with what is essentially the original alien abduction story. Since their story became public in the early 1960s, many thousands of Americans have likewise come forward with similar stories of traumatic experiences. Sometimes the abductee has little conscious recollection of these events, but through nightmares, dreams, flashbacks and hypnosis they eventually learn more. Sometimes the participants are bewildered. To get a better understanding of the opposing viewpoints of skeptic and believer, the Betty and Barney Hill case is used to examine the wider context of such encounters, their historical origins, media influences and the latest extraterrestrial, psychological, paranormal, conspiracy and sociological theories that surround them.

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New Editorship for Clues: A Journal of Detection

We’re pleased to announce that Caroline Reitz will be the next executive editor of Clues: A Journal of Detection. Reitz is an associate professor at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice–CUNY and a faculty member of the CUNY Graduate Center. She is also co-editor of the Dickens Studies Annual and brings rich personal publishing experience.

Reitz will succeed Janice Allan,  who assumed executive editorship in 2012. Allan’s high standards and commitment to diverse voices led to publication of high-quality articles from authors from all over the world, demonstrating that mystery/detective/crime fiction study truly is an international enterprise that offers much to the field of literary criticism. We deeply appreciate her contributions and excellent leadership over the past eight years.

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Newly Published: Sexualities in the Works of Joss Whedon

New on our bookshelf:

Sexualities in the Works of Joss Whedon
Lewis Call

Joss Whedon’s works, across all media including television, film, musicals, and comic books, are known for their commitment to gender and sexual equality. They have always encouraged their audiences to love whomever, and however, they wish. This book is a history of the sexualities represented in the works of Joss Whedon and it covers all of Whedon’s genres, including fantasy, horror, science fiction, westerns, superhero stories, and Shakespearean comedy.

Unique for its consideration of the entire arc of Whedon’s two-decade career, from the beginning of Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s first season in 1997 through the conclusion of its twelfth (comic book) season in 2018, this book examines in detail both better-known queer sexualities of the LGBTQ+ spectrum, and lesser-known non-normative sexualities. The book includes chapters on Whedon’s sexually dominant women and submissive men, sexual pluralism on Firefly, disabled sexualities in Whedon’s superhero narratives, zoophilia in Buffy, queer and heteronormative sexualities in Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, the subversion of the sexual tropes of slasher films in The Cabin in Woods, and dominance and submission in Whedon’s Much Ado About Nothing.

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New in Softcover: Tal, Petrosian, Spassky and Korchnoi

Now available in softcover:

Tal, Petrosian, Spassky and Korchnoi: A Chess Multibiography with 207 Games
Andrew Soltis

This book describes the intense rivalry—and collaboration—of the four players who created the golden era when USSR chess players dominated the world. More than 200 annotated games are included, along with personal details—many for the first time in English.

Mikhail Tal, the roguish, doomed Latvian who changed the way chess players think about attack and sacrifice; Tigran Petrosian, the brilliant, henpecked Armenian whose wife drove him to become the world’s best player; Boris Spassky, the prodigy who survived near-starvation and later bouts of melancholia to succeed Petrosian—but is best remembered for losing to Bobby Fischer; and “Evil” Viktor Korchnoi, whose mixture of genius and jealousy helped him eventually surpass his three rivals (but fate denied him the title they achieved: world champion).

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New in Softcover: Auto Racing Comes of Age

Now available in softcover:

Auto Racing Comes of Age: A Transatlantic View of the Cars, Drivers and Speedways, 1900–1925
Robert Dick

The first quarter of the 20th century was a time of dramatic change in auto racing, marked by the move from the horseless carriage to the supercharged Grand Prix racer, from the gentleman driver to the well-publicized professional, and from the dusty road course to the autodrome. This history of the evolution of European and American auto racing from 1900 to 1925 examines transatlantic influences, early dirt track racing, and the birth of the twin-cam engine and the straight-eight. It also explores the origins of the Bennett and Vanderbilt races, the early career of “America’s Speed King” Barney Oldfield, the rise of the speedway specials from Marmon, Mercer, Stutz and Duesenberg, and developments from Peugeot, Delage, Ballot, Fiat, and Bugatti. This informative work provides welcome insight into a defining period in motorsports.

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Newly Published: Mental Health Disorders on Television

New on our bookshelf:

Mental Health Disorders on Television: Representation Versus Reality
Kimberley McMahon-Coleman and Roslyn Weaver

In past decades portrayals of mental illness on television were limited to psychotic criminals or comical sidekicks. As public awareness of mental illness has increased so too have its depictions on the small screen. A gradual transition from stereotypes towards more nuanced representations has seen a wide range of lead characters with mental health disorders, including schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, OCD, autism spectrum disorder, dissociative identity disorder, anxiety, depression and PTSD. But what are these portrayals saying about mental health and how closely do they align with real-life experiences?

Drawing on interviews with people living with mental illness, this book traces these shifts, placing on-screen depictions in context and demonstrating their real world impacts.

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Newly Published: The Cavalries in the Nashville Campaign

New on our bookshelf:

The Cavalries in the Nashville Campaign
Dennis W. Belcher

The Nashville Campaign, culminating with the last major battle of the Civil War, is one of the most compelling and controversial campaigns of the conflict. The campaign pitted the young and energetic James Harrison Wilson and his Union cavalry against the cunning and experienced Nathan Bedford Forrest with his Confederate cavalry. This book is an analysis of contributions made by the two opposing cavalry forces and provides new insights and details into the actions of the cavalry during the battle. This campaign highlighted important changes in cavalry tactics and never in the Civil War was there closer support by the cavalry for infantry actions than for the Union forces in the Battle of Nashville. The retreat by Cheatham’s corps and the Battle of the Barricade receive a more in-depth discussion than in previous works on this battle. The importance of this campaign cannot be overstated as a different outcome of this battle could have altered history. The Nashville Campaign reflected the stark realities of the war across the country in December 1864 and would mark an important part of the death knell for the Confederacy.

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All Sports Titles On Sale Now!

Remember live sports? So do we, but just barely. With nothing on TV and the ballparks empty, we’re using this time to read, study and reminisce with some good books. Luckily, for the last forty years, we’ve celebrated sports by publishing the best scholarship available, with more than 1,000 titles covering all aspects of sport.  Through Sunday, June 14, we’re offering 40% off the list price of ALL sports titles—use coupon code SPORTS40 at checkout! Thank you for continuing to support McFarland, and we look forward to sitting next to you at the ballpark again.

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Newly Published: Elder Fraud Wars

New on our bookshelf:

Elder Fraud Wars: Case Histories from an Enforcement Attorney
David Neil Kirkman

By recounting actual court cases, this book examines the multi-billion-dollar elder fraud industry, the special vulnerabilities of those it targets, and the ease and frequency with which it obtains hundreds of thousands of dollars per victim. It also reveals successful strategies for combating that industry and the important contributions to that effort by concerned bankers, doctors, reporters and others in the private sector.

The cases reveal an increasingly sophisticated global industry that targets each victim with a series of repeat “hits.” This tactic—criminals call it “reloading”—sets the elder fraud industry apart from groups that defraud younger individuals. Twelve key age-related fraud vulnerabilities are illustrated in the cases. So, too, are the scammers’ skills in mapping their target’s unique combination of vulnerabilities and then tailoring their narratives to exploit each one. Most of the cases highlight actual victims, scam artists or fraud fighters. Their individual stories range from inspiring and sometimes comical to frustrating and deeply disturbing. Readers with aging parents, law enforcement officials, medical professionals, members of the financial industry and others who work with older adults will find it particularly useful.

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Newly Published: Teaching Girls on Fire

New on our bookshelf:

Teaching Girls on Fire: Essays on Dystopian Young Adult Literature in the Classroom
Edited by Sarah Hentges and Sean P. Connors

The rise of YA dystopian literature has seen an explosion of female protagonists who are stirring young people’s interest in social and political topics, awakening their civic imagination, and inspiring them to work for change. These “Girls on Fire” are intersectional and multidimensional characters. They are leaders in their communities and they challenge injustice and limited representations. The Girl on Fire fights for herself and for those who are oppressed, voiceless, or powerless. She is the hope for our shared future.

This collection of new essays brings together teachers and students from a variety of educational contexts to explore how to harness the cultural power of the Girl on Fire as we educate real-world students. Each essay provides both theoretical foundations as well as practical, hands-on teaching tools that can be used with diverse groups of students, in formal as well as informal educational settings. This volume challenges readers to realize the symbolic power the Girl on Fire has to raise consciousness and inform action and to keep that fire burning.

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Newly Published: Murder Movie Makers

New on our bookshelf:

Murder Movie Makers: Directors Dissect Their Killer Flicks
Matthew Edwards

Serial killers, mass murderers, spree killers, outlaws, and real-life homicidal maniacs have long held a grim fascination for both filmmakers and viewers. Since the 1970s, hundreds of films and television movies have been made covering killers from Charles Manson to Ted Bundy and the Zodiac Killer creating a uniquely morbid sub-genre within horror and thrillers.

This collection of interviews sheds light on 17 filmmakers and screenwriters who tackled this controversial subject while attempting to explore the warped world of infamous killers. The interviews include John McNaughton (Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer), Tom Hanson (The Zodiac Killer), David Wickes (Jack the Ripper), Chris Gerolmo (Citizen X), Chuck Parello (The Hillside Stranglers), David Jacobson (Dahmer) and Clive Saunders on his ill-fated experience directing Gacy. Offering candid insights into the creative process behind these movies, the interviews also show the pitfalls and moral controversy the filmmakers had to wrestle with to bring their visions to the screen.

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Newly Published: Morality and the Law in British Detective and Spy Fiction, 1880–1920

New on our bookshelf:

Morality and the Law in British Detective and Spy Fiction, 1880–1920
Kate Morrison

Who decides what is right or wrong, ethical or immoral, just or unjust? In the world of crime and spy fiction between 1880 and 1920, the boundaries of the law were blurred and justice called into question humanity’s moral code. As fictional detectives mutated into spies near the turn of the century, the waning influence of morality on decision-making signaled a shift in behavior from idealistic principles towards a pragmatic outlook taken in the national interest.

Taking a fresh approach to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s popular protagonist, Sherlock Holmes, this book examines how Holmes and his rival maverick literary detectives and spies manipulated the law to deliver a fairer form of justice than that ordained by parliament. Multidisciplinary, this work views detective fiction through the lenses of law, moral philosophy, and history, and incorporates issues of gender, equality, and race. By studying popular publications of the time, it provides a glimpse into public attitudes towards crime and morality and how those shifting opinions helped reconstruct the hero in a new image.

 

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Newly Published: The Quadruple Aim in Nursing and Healthcare

New on our bookshelf:

The Quadruple Aim in Nursing and Healthcare: Improving Care, Lowering Costs, Serving Populations, Elevating Work Life
Sue Johnson

In times of ever-changing healthcare policy, many organizations have developed methods for reforming and optimizing healthcare systems. One prevailing healthcare approach is the Quadruple Aim, which incorporates four different goals: improving population health; improving experience of care; lowering healthcare costs; and improving provider work life (team vitality). Created by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, the Quadruple Aim method is not nursing-specific, but its framework for optimizing health system performance is coherent with the nursing profession today. This book argues that the widespread adoption of the Quadruple Aim could help create a sustainable healthcare system. Using the work and legacy of nursing pioneer Florence Nightingale, this book provides an early example of successful, holistic healthcare that balances cost-effectiveness with quality of care for both patients and nurses.

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Newly Published: Resist and Persist

New on our bookshelf:

Resist and Persist: Essays on Social Revolution in 21st Century Narratives
Edited by Amanda Firestone and Leisa A. Clark

To many, the world appears to be in a state of dangerous change. News and fictional media alike report that these are dark times, and narratives of social resistance imbue many facets of Western culture. The new essays making up this collection examine different events and themes of the 2010s that readily acknowledge the struggling state of things. Crucially, these essays look to the resistance and political activism of communities that seek to make long-reaching and institutional changes in the world through a diverse group of media texts. They scrutinize how a society relates to injustices and how individuals enact a desire for change. The authors analyze a broad range of works such as texts as Awake: A Dream from Standing Rock, Black Panther, The Death of Stalin, Get Out, Jessica Jones, Hamilton, The Shape of Water, and Star Wars: The Last Jedi. By digging into these and other works, as well as historic events, the contributors explicate the soul-deep necessity of pushing back against injustice, whether personal or cultural.

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Newly Published: Crime Fiction and National Identities in the Global Age

New on our bookshelf:

Crime Fiction and National Identities in the Global Age: Critical Essays
Edited by Julie H. Kim

To read a crime novel today largely simulates the exercise of reading newspapers or watching the news. The speed and frequency with which today’s bestselling works of crime fiction are produced allow them to mirror and dissect nearly contemporaneous socio-political events and conflicts. This collection examines this phenomenon and offers original, critical, essays on how national identity appears in international crime fiction in the age of populism and globalization. These essays address topics such as the array of competing nationalisms in Europe; Indian secularism versus Hindu communalism; the populist rhetoric tinged with misogyny or homophobia in the United States; racial, religious or ethnic others who are sidelined in political appeals to dominant native voices; and the increasing economic chasm between a rich and poor.

More broadly, these essays inquire into themes such as how national identity and various conceptions of masculinity are woven together, how dominant native cultures interact with migrant and colonized cultures to explore insider/outsider paradigms and identity politics, and how generic and cultural boundaries are repeatedly crossed in postcolonial detective fiction.

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Newly Published: Eco-Vampires

New on our bookshelf:

Eco-Vampires: The Undead and the Environment
Simon Bacon

This work studies the ways vampiric narratives explore the eco-friendly credentials of the undead. Many of these texts and films show the vampire to be an essential part of a global ecosystem and an organism that can no longer tolerate the all-consuming forces of globalization and consumerism. Re-examining Bram Stoker’s Dracula and a range of other vampire narratives, primarily films, in a fresh light, this book reveals the nosferatu as both a plague on humankind and the eco-warriors that planet Earth desperately needs.

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Newly Published: Santa Claus Worldwide

New on our bookshelf:

Santa Claus Worldwide: A History of St. Nicholas and Other Holiday Gift-Bringers
Tom A. Jerman

This is a comprehensive history of the world’s midwinter gift-givers, showcasing the extreme diversity in their depictions as well as the many traits and functions these characters share. It tracks the evolution of these figures from the tribal priests who presided over winter solstice celebrations thousands of years before the birth of Christ, to Christian notables like St. Martin and St. Nicholas, to a variety of secular figures who emerged throughout Europe following the Protestant Reformation. Finally, it explains how the popularity of a poem about a “miniature sleigh” and “eight tiny reindeer” helped consolidate the diverse European gift-givers into an enduring tradition in which American children awake early on Christmas morning to see what Santa brought.

Although the names, appearance, attire and gift-giving practices of the world’s winter solstice gift-givers differ greatly, they are all recognizable as Santa, the personification of the Christmas and Midwinter festivals. Despite efforts to eliminate him by groups as diverse as the Puritans of seventeenth century New England, the Communist Party of the twentieth century Soviet Union and the government of Nazi Germany, Santa has survived and prospered, becoming one of the best known and most beloved figures in the world.

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Newly Published: Power and Marginalization in Popular Culture

New on our bookshelf:

Power and Marginalization in Popular Culture: The Oppressed in Six Television and Literature Media Franchises
Lisa A. King

In many pop culture texts, “monsters” can be read as metaphors for marginalized Others in U.S. culture. This book applies the philosophical lens of Michel Foucault’s normalizing and bio-powers to zombies, vampires, magicians, genetic mutants and others, asking whether these stories of apparent liberation really are so. Exploring a single theme in depth across a series of pop culture texts, this book encourages a radical new understanding of liberation narratives and of political activism as a mechanism of social change.

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Newly Published: The Hallmark Channel

New on our bookshelf:

The Hallmark Channel: Essays on Faith, Race and Feminism
Edited by Emily L. Newman and Emily Witsell

Originally known as a brand for greeting cards, Hallmark has seen a surge in popularity since the early 2010s for its made-for-TV movies and television channels: the Hallmark Channel and its spinoffs, Hallmark Movie Channel (now Hallmark Movies & Mysteries) and Hallmark Drama. Hallmark’s brand of comforting, often sentimental content includes standalone movies, period and contemporary television series, and mystery film series that center on strong, intuitive female leads. By creating reliable and consistent content, Hallmark offers people a calming retreat from the real world.

This collection of new essays strives to fill the void in academic attention surrounding Hallmark. From the plethora of Christmas movies that are released each year to the successful faith-based scripted programming and popular cozy mysteries that air every week, there is a wealth of material to be explored. Specifically, this book explores the network’s problematic relationship with race, the dominance of Christianity and heteronormativity, the significance placed on nostalgia, and the hiring and re-hiring of a group of women who thrived as child stars.

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Newly Published: Girls to the Rescue

New on our bookshelf:

Girls to the Rescue: Young Heroines in American Series Fiction of World War I
Emily Hamilton-Honey and Susan Ingalls Lewis

During World War I, as young men journeyed overseas to battle, American women maintained the home front by knitting, fundraising, and conserving supplies. These became daily chores for young girls, but many longed to be part of a larger, more glorious war effort—and some were. A new genre of young adult books entered the market, written specifically with the young girls of the war period in mind and demonstrating the wartime activities of women and girls all over the world. Through fiction, girls could catch spies, cross battlefields, man machine guns, and blow up bridges. These adventurous heroines were contemporary feminist role models, creating avenues of leadership for women and inspiring individualism and self-discovery. The work presented here analyzes the powerful messages in such literature, how it created awareness and grappled with the engagement of real girls in the United States and Allied war effort, and how it reflects their contemporaries’ awareness of girls’ importance.

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Newly Published: Waging the War Within

New on our bookshelf:

Waging the War Within: A Marine’s Memoir of Vietnam and PTSD
Tim Fortner with Elizabeth Ridley

United Sates Marine Sergeant Tim Fortner survived 14 months in Vietnam as a door gunner in a CH-46 helicopter, completing 27 strike flight missions. He was awarded the Air Medal for heroic achievement in aerial flight. Like many veterans, his real battle didn’t begin until he returned home, where he struggled to adjust to the “new normal” of American life in 1969, still haunted by his experiences during the nation’s most unpopular war. His memoir describes his military training, his unit’s harrowing missions inserting and extracting troops over landing zones under enemy fire, and his four-decade struggle with service-connected PTSD.

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Newly Published: Marketing the Frontier in the Northwest Territory

New on our bookshelf:

Marketing the Frontier in the Northwest Territory: Land Sales, Soils and the Settling of the Great Lakes Region in the 19th Century
Robert E. Mitchell

Combining narrative history with data-rich social and economic analysis, this new institutional economics study examines the failure of frontier farms in the antebellum Northwest Territory, where legislatively-created imperfect markets and poor surveying resulted in massive investment losses for both individual farmers and the national economy. The history of farming and spatial settlement patterns in the Great Lakes region is described, with specific focus on the State of Michigan viewed through a case study of Midland County. Inter and intra-state differences in soil endowments, public and private promoters of site-specific investment opportunities, time trends in settled populations and the experiences of individual investors are covered in detail.

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Newly Published: The British Aristocracy in Popular Culture

New on our bookshelf:

The British Aristocracy in Popular Culture: Essays on 200 Years of Representations
Edited by Stefania Michelucci, Ian Duncan and Luisa Villa

As traditional social hierarchies fall away, ever steeper levels of economic inequality and the entrenchment of new class distinctions lend a new glamor to the idea of aristocracy: witness the worldwide popularity of Downton Abbey, or the seemingly insatiable public fascination with the private lives of the British royal family. This collection of new essays investigates the enduring attraction to the icon of the aristocrat and the spectacle of aristocratic society. It traces the ambivalent reactions the aristocracy provokes and the needs (political, ideological, psychological, and otherwise) it caters to in modern times when the economic power of the landed classes have been eroded and their political role curtailed. In this interdisciplinary collection, aristocracy is considered from multiple viewpoints, including British and American literature, European history and politics, cultural studies, linguistics, visual arts, music, and media studies.

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New in Softcover: Clark Gable, in Pictures

Now available in softcover:

Clark Gable, in Pictures: Candid Images of the Actor’s Life
Chrystopher J. Spicer

From the very beginning of Clark Gable’s screen career, the life of the glamorous film star came under the scrutiny of the camera. While audiences are familiar with the public Gable as seen through the studio lens, the private Gable as seen in photos taken by members of the public, friends, and family is much less known.

This collection of candid photographs, many of them published here for the first time, has been compiled by biographer Chrystopher J. Spicer from his archives and from sources around the world. As with Spicer’s acclaimed centenary biography Clark Gable (McFarland, 2002), this volume provides rare insight into the life of the man behind the star.

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Newly Published: Major General Philip Kearny

New on our bookshelf:

Major General Philip Kearny: A Soldier and His Time in the American Civil War
Robert R. Laven

Union General Philip Kearny began his career as a lieutenant with the 1st U.S. Dragoons. He studied cavalry tactics in France and fought with the Chasseurs d’Afrique in Algeria, where his fearlessness earned him the nickname “Kearny le Magnifique.” Returning to America, he wrote a cavalry manual for the U.S. Army and later raised a troop of dragoons—using his own money to buy 120 matching dapple-gray mounts for his men—and led them during the Mexican War, where he lost an arm.
This biography chronicles the military life of one of the most talented field officers in the Army of the Potomac at the outbreak of the Civil War, who famously led a charge at the Battle of Williamsburg with his reins in his teeth, and sometimes disobeyed General George McClellan, once protesting an order to retreat as “prompted by cowardice or treason.” Kearny was on the verge of higher command when he was killed at the 1862 Battle of Chantilly.

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Newly Published: The Bionic Woman and Feminist Ethics

New on our bookshelf:

The Bionic Woman and Feminist Ethics: An Analysis of the 1970s Television Series
David Greven

The ABC TV series The Bionic Woman, created by Kenneth Johnson, was a 1970s pop culture phenomenon. Starring Lindsay Wagner as Jaime Sommers, the groundbreaking series follows Jaime’s evolution from a young woman vulnerable to an exploitative social order, to a fierce individualist defying a government that sees her as property. Beneath the action-packed surface of Jaime’s battles with Fembots, themes such as the chosen family, technophobia, class passing, the cyborg, artificial beings, and a growing racial consciousness receive a sophisticated treatment.

This book links the series to precedents such as classical mythology, first-wave feminist literature, and the Hollywood woman’s film, to place The Bionic Woman in a tradition of feminist ethics deeply concerned with female autonomy, community, and the rights of nonhuman animals. Seen through the lens of feminist philosophy and gender studies, Jaime’s constantly changing disguises, attempts to pass as human, and struggles to accept her new bionic abilities offer provocative engagement with issues of identity. Jaime Sommers is a feminist icon who continues to speak to women and queer audiences, and her struggles and triumphs resonate with a worldwide fanbase that still remains enthralled and represented by The Bionic Woman.