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Newly Published: What Is a Game?

New on our bookshelf:

What Is a Game?: Essays on the Nature of Videogames
Edited by Gaines S. Hubbell

What is a videogame? What makes a videogame “good”? If a game is supposed to be fun, can it be fun without a good story? If another is supposed to be an accurate simulation, does it still need to be entertaining? With the ever-expanding explosion of new videogames and new developments in the gaming world, questions about videogame criticism are becoming more complex. The differing definitions that players and critics use to decide what a game is and what makes a game successful, often lead to different ideas of how games succeed or fail.

This collection of new essays puts on display the variety and ambiguity of videogames. Each essay is a work of game criticism that takes a different approach to defining the game and analyzing it. Through analysis and critical methods, these essays discuss whether a game is defined by its rules, its narrative, its technology, or by the activity of playing it, and the tensions between these definitions. With essays on Overwatch, Dark Souls 3, Far Cry 4, Farmville and more, this collection attempts to show the complex changes, challenges and advances to game criticism in the era of videogames.

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Newly Published: Horror Literature from Gothic to Post-Modern

New on our bookshelf:

Horror Literature from Gothic to Post-Modern: Critical Essays
Edited by Michele Brittany and Nicholas Diak

From shambling zombies to Gothic ghosts, horror has entertained thrill-seeking readers for centuries. A versatile literary genre, it offers commentary on societal issues, fresh insight into the everyday and moral tales disguised in haunting tropes and grotesque acts, with many stories worthy of critical appraisal. This collection of new essays takes in a range of topics, focusing on historic works such as Ann Radcliffe’s Gaston de Blondeville (1826) and modern novels including Max Brooks’ World War Z. Other contributions examine weird fiction, Stephen King, Richard Laymon, Indigenous Australian monster mythology and horror in picture books for young children.

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Newly Published: Mountain Climber

New on our bookshelf:

Mountain Climber: A Memoir
Bill Katra

Nearing his sixth decade as a dedicated climber, William “Bill” Katra describes himself as “not a great climber, but a persistent one.” In his memoir, the author details his climbs in vivid detail, describing some of the world’s most popular routes while emphasizing that scenic beauty is as important to a hike as technical difficulty.

From his early partner-belayed adventures to his more recent unassisted solo “scamper-climbs,” Bill’s techniques have evolved, but his love for the experience remains steadfast. Within recent years, Bill has again summited a few climbs from his younger days, often reflecting on where senior climbers fit in the sport’s changing social—and environmental—landscape. This memoir is a relatable and nostalgic account of a life well-spent in nature, as the author muses on his long-past adventures enriched and nurtured by the wisdom of the present.

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Newly Published: Rebirth in the Life and Works of Beatrix Potter

New on our bookshelf:

Rebirth in the Life and Works of Beatrix Potter
Richard Tuerk

This work traces the concepts of initiation, transformation and rebirth though Beatrix Potter’s personal writings and her children’s fiction. Her letters and journals reveal attempts to escape from what she called her “unloved birthplace” and her overbearing parents. Potter felt that her life culminated in her forties, when she was, in effect, reborn through marriage as Mrs. William Heelis, a farmer raising Herdwick sheep and buying land for the National Trust.

From her first book, The Tale of Peter Rabbit, through some of the last, such as The Fairy Caravan and The Tale of Little Pig Robinson, central characters undergo processes of initiation during which they mature toward adulthood. The most successful ones move from being helpless children to more mature creatures on their way to independence, while others experience no change or even regression.

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Newly Published: Ray Milland

New on our bookshelf:

Ray Milland: The Films, 1929–1984
James McKay

With no formal training as an actor, Welsh-born Ray Milland (1907–1986), a former trooper in the British Army’s Household Cavalry, enjoyed a half-century career working alongside some of the great directors and stars from the Golden Age of cinema. He won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance as the alcoholic writer in The Lost Weekend (1945), a defining moment that enabled him to break free from romantic leads and explore darker shades of his debonair demeanor, such as the veiled menace of his scheming husband in Hitchcock’s Dial M For Murder (1954).

A consummate professional with wide range, Milland took the directorial reins in several of his starring vehicles in the 1950s, most notably in the intelligent Western A Man Alone (1955). He comfortably slipped into most genres, from romantic comedy to adventure to film noir. Later he turned to science fiction and horror movies, including two with cult filmmaker Roger Corman. This first complete filmography covers the actor’s screen career, with a concise introductory biography and an appendix listing his extensive radio and television credits.

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Newly Published: Sports in African American Life

New on our bookshelf:

Sports in African American Life: Essays on History and Culture
Edited by Drew D. Brown

African Americans have made substantial contributions to the sporting world, and vice versa. This wide-ranging collection of new essays explores the inextricable ties between sports and African American life and culture. Contributors critically address important topics such as the historical context of African American participation in major U.S. sports, social justice and responsibility, gender and identity, and media and art.

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New in Softcover: Mack Sennett’s Fun Factory

Now available in a new single-volume softcover:

Mack Sennett’s Fun Factory: A History and Filmography of His Studio and His Keystone and Mack Sennett Comedies, with Biographies of Players and Personnel
Brent E. Walker

This is a comprehensive career study and filmography of Mack Sennett, cofounder of Keystone Studios, home of the Keystone Kops and other vehicles that showcased his innovative slapstick comedy. The filmography covers the more than 1,000 films Sennett produced, directed, wrote or appeared in between 1908 and 1955, including casts, credits, synopses, production and release dates, locations, cross-references of remade stories and gags, footage excerpted in compilations, identification of prints existing in archives, and other information. The book, featuring 280 photographs, also contains biographies of several hundred performers and technical personnel connected with Sennett.

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Black Baseball, 1858–1900 Wins Brown Award

Congratulations to author James E. Brunson III, whose book, Black Baseball, 1858–1900, received the Brown Award for Best Edited Reference/Primary Source by the Popular Culture Association!

Black Baseball previously received the Robert Peterson Recognition Award from the Society for American Baseball Research, was named an ALA Outstanding Reference Source, and was given an Honorable Mention for the Dartmouth Medal.

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Newly Published: George Washington and Political Fatherhood

New on our bookshelf:

George Washington and Political Fatherhood: The Endurance of a National Myth
Heinz Tschachler

More than two hundred years after his death, George Washington is still often considered the metaphorical father of the United States. He was first known as the “Father of His Country” during his lifetime, when the American people bestowed the title upon him as a symbolic act of resistance and rebirth. Since then, presidents have stood as paternal figureheads for America, often serving as moral beacons.

This book tracks political fatherhood throughout world history, from the idea of the pater patriae in Roman antiquity to Martin Luther’s Bible translations and beyond. Often using George Washington as a paradigm, the author explores presidential iconography in the U.S., propaganda and the role of paternal rhetoric in shaping American sociopolitical history—including the results of the 2016 presidential election.

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Newly Published: Christopher H. Tebault, Surgeon to the Confederacy

New on our bookshelf:

Christopher H. Tebault, Surgeon to the Confederacy
Alan I. West

Among the top physicians of the Confederacy, Christopher H. Tebault distinguished himself as a surgeon during the Civil War. Recognized for his medical contributions after the war, he was nominated Surgeon General of the United Confederate Veterans, a position he used to compile the history of Confederate medicine, advocate for veterans and contribute to Southern literature. A staunch “Lost Cause” proponent, he also fought Reconstruction policies and the enfranchisement of former slaves.

Drawing on his own writings, this first biography of Tebault describes his notable medical education in New Orleans and the ingenuity he used to treat wounds and illness, as well as his struggles against Reconstruction policies, situating his story in the problematic context of Confederate history that persists today.

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Newly Published: New Jack

New on our bookshelf:

New Jack: Memoir of a Pro Wrestling Extremist
New Jack and Jason Norman

You may have cheered him. You may have booed him out of the building. But until now, you’ve never really known “The Most Dangerous Man in Wrestling.”

For the first time, Jerome “New Jack” Young opens up about his rise to stardom in Extreme Championship Wrestling. From his crazed dives off balconies and scaffolds to his bloody weapons matches that trampled the line between reality and entertainment, this candid memoir reveals the man behind the infamy, with new disclosures about the Mass Transit incident, the brutal beat-down of Gypsy Joe, and the stabbing of a fellow wrestler in Florida.

Beyond the gimmicks that united white supremacists and the NAACP against him, New Jack discusses his violent youth that nearly led him to a life of crime, his career as a bounty hunter, a near-fatal drug addiction, the last months of ECW, and his place in wrestling history.

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New in Softcover: American Military Cemeteries, 2d ed.

Now available in softcover:

American Military Cemeteries, 2d ed.
Dean W. Holt

This updated edition of the 1992 reference work (“exhaustive…fascinating”—Library Journal) contains comprehensive information about United States military cemeteries, including how each cemetery was chosen, why it was established, and notable individuals buried therein. Covered are cemeteries operated by the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Department of the Army, the National Park Service, the American Battle Monuments Commission, and the various states, among others, along with smaller and “lost” cemeteries. Appendices provide lists of installations by state and by year of establishment, as well as information on headstones, markers and the Medal of Honor.

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New in Softcover: Nazi Films in America, 1933–1942

Now available in softcover:

Nazi Films in America, 1933–1942
Harry Waldman

From 1933 until America’s entry into World War II in 1941, nearly 500 Nazi films were shown in American theaters, accounting for nearly half of all foreign language film imports during the period. These poorly disguised propaganda films were produced by Germany’s top studios and featured prominent pro–German and Nazi actors, directors and technicians. The films were replete with overt and covert anti–Jewish imagery and themes, but in spite of this obvious intent to use the medium to justify Nazi ascendancy, viewers and film critics from such prominent publications as the New York TimesVariety, the Washington Post and the Chicago Times consistently overlooked the films’ anti–Semitic message, dubbing them harmless entertainment.

This is the complete history of German films shown in America from the founding of the Nazi government to America’s involvement in the war. Summaries, descriptions and discussions of these almost 500 films serve to examine the major filmmakers and distributors who kept the German film industry alive during the rule of Hitler and the Third Reich. Special emphasis is placed on films directly commissioned by Joseph Goebbels, head of the German Ministry for the Enlightenment of the People and Propaganda and the man directly responsible for ensuring that the anti–Semitic ideology of the new regime was reflected in all films produced after January 30, 1933. Rarely seen photographs and illustrations complete an in-depth study of the Nazi use of this global medium.

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New in Softcover: Edwin Booth

Now available in softcover:

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

The great nineteenth-century stage actor Edwin Booth began his long career in 1849 as a young teenager, following in his father’s footsteps. This biography traces his life and career as a tragic actor, including his childhood; his early acting tours of California, Australia and Hawaii; his rise to fame as a touring star; his two marriages; his relationship with his brother John Wilkes Booth; his disastrous management of Booth’s Theatre in New York City; and his death in 1891. The book includes an extensive performance history detailing every known Edwin Booth performance during his more than 30 years on the stage, with reviews and other supplementary materials.

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New in Softcover: James Mason in America

Now available in softcover:

James Mason in America: The Early Chess Career, 1867–1878
Joost van Winsen

Few men are prominent chess players as well as esteemed chess writers. James Mason, in his lifetime, had the reputation of being both. This book chronicles Mason’s early career in the United States, providing many details on his writings and annotations for The Spirit of the Times and The American Chess Journal, his participation in the Café Europa and Café International tournaments, his win in 1876’s Fourth American Chess Congress, and his matches against chess greats like George H. Mackenzie, Eugene Delmar, Dión M. Martínez, Edward Alberoni, and Henry E. Bird. Mason’s efforts to establish an American Chess Association and to arrange an international centennial congress in 1876 are also explored. In addition to the general index, the work also includes indexes of games, annotators, and openings.

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New in Softcover: Empires of the Imagination

Now available in softcover:

Empires of the Imagination: A Critical Survey of Fantasy Cinema from Georges Méliès to The Lord of the Rings
Alec Worley

The warlocks and ghosts of fantasy film haunt our popular culture, but the genre has too long been ignored by critics. This comprehensive critical survey of fantasy cinema demonstrates that the fantasy genre amounts to more than escapism. Through a meticulously researched analysis of more than a century of fantasy pictures—from the seminal work of Georges Méliès to Peter Jackson’s recent tours of Middle–earth—the work identifies narrative strategies and their recurring components and studies patterns of challenge and return, setting and character.

First addressing the difficult task of defining the genre, the work examines fantasy as a cultural force in both film and literature and explores its relation to science fiction, horror, and fairy tales. Fantasy’s development is traced from the first days of film, with emphasis on how the evolving genre reflected such events as economic depression and war. Also considered is fantasy’s expression of politics, as either the subject of satire or fuel for the fires of propaganda. Discussion ventures into the subgenres, from stories of invented lands inhabited by fantastic creatures to magical adventures set in the familiar world, and addresses clashes between fantasy and faith, such as the religious opposition to the Harry Potter phenomenon. From the money-making classics to little-known arthouse films, this richly illustrated work covers every aspect of fantasy film.

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Newly Published: Ethical Dilemmas in Dance Education

New on our bookshelf:

Ethical Dilemmas in Dance Education: Case Studies on Humanizing Dance Pedagogy
Edited by Doug Risner and Karen Schupp

The first of its kind, this volume presents research-based fictionalized case studies from experts in the field of dance education, examining theory and practice developed from real-world scenarios that call for ethical decision-making. Dilemmas faced by dance educators in the studio, on stage, in recreation centers and correctional facilities, and on social media are explored, accompanied by activities for humanizing dance pedagogy.

These challenges converge from educational policies and mandates developed over the past two decades, including teacher-proof “scripted” curriculum, high-stakes testing, standardization, and methods-centered teacher preparation; difficulties are often perpetuated by those who want to make change happen but do not know how.

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Newly Published: The Twin Towers in Film

New on our bookshelf:

The Twin Towers in Film: A Cinematic History of New York’s World Trade Center
Randy Laist

For thirty years, the twin towers of the World Trade Center soared above the New York City skyline, eventually becoming one of the most conspicuous symbolic structures in the world. They appeared in hundreds of films, from Godspell and Death Wish to Trading PlacesGhostbusters and The Usual Suspects. The politicians, architects and engineers who developed the towers sought to imbue them with a powerful visual presence. The resulting buildings provided filmmakers with imposing set pieces capable of conveying a range of moods and associations, from the sublime and triumphal to the sinister and paranoid.

While they stood, they captured the imagination of the world with their enigmatic symbolism. In their dramatic destruction, they became icons of a history that is still being written. Here viewed in the context of popular cinema, the twin towers are emblematic of how architecture, film and narrative interact to express cultural aspirations and anxieties.

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Newly Published: John Beilein at Michigan

New on our bookshelf:

John Beilein at Michigan: A Basketball Revival
Tim Rooney

When John Beilein arrived at University of Michigan in 2007, the once-proud men’s basketball program was adrift after failing to reach the NCAA Tournament for nine straight seasons. Over the next twelve years, he became the program’s all-time winningest coach, reached two national championship games, won four Big Ten championships and produced eight NBA first-round draft picks.

In an age of ethical lapses throughout college basketball, Beilein succeeded without a hint of impropriety. As much a teacher as a coach, he consistently identified undervalued recruits, taught them his innovative offensive system and carefully developed them into better players—an approach to the game that drove his unprecedented rise from high school junior varsity coach to head coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers. This book examines his tenure at Michigan in detail for the first time.

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Newly Published: Human Rights in Islamic North Africa

New on our bookshelf:

Human Rights in Islamic North Africa: Clashes Between Constitutional Laws and Penal Codes
E. Ike Udogu

It is one thing to craft superb human rights tenets in a constitution and another to enforce such policies in practice. This book explores the contradictions between interpretations of constitutional tenets and the dogmas contained in the penal code of Islamic North Africa—particularly in regard to Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, and Tunisia. Provided are brief histories of each country that connect the colonial past to present-day human rights records. The author also suggests ways in which to mitigate human rights infractions to advance peaceful coexistence that could promote political and economic development.

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Newly Published: The Davidson Family of Rural Hill, North Carolina

New on our bookshelf:

The Davidson Family of Rural Hill, North Carolina: Three Generations on a Piedmont Plantation
Jim Williams and Ann Williams

John Davidson came to the North Carolina back country circa 1751 as a young man, with his sister and widowed mother. Typical of Scots-Irish settlers, they arrived with little more than basic farming tools, determined to make it on their own terms. Davidson worked hard, prospered, married well and built a plantation on the Catawba River he called Rural Hill. The Davidson’s were loyal British citizens who paid their taxes and participated in colonial government. When the Crown’s overbearing authority interfered, independence became paramount and Davidson and his neighbors became soldiers in the Revolutionary War.

After the war Davidson managed his plantation, created shad fisheries, helped develop the local iron industry with his sons-in-law and was an early planter of cotton. His sons and grandsons, along with their slave families, continuously increased and improved the acreage and became early practitioners of scientific farming. Drawing on public documents, family papers and slave records, this history describes how a fiercely independent family grew their lands and fortunes into a lasting legacy.

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Newly Published: Sex, Death and Resurrection in Altered Carbon

New on our bookshelf:

Sex, Death and Resurrection in Altered Carbon: Essays on the Netflix Series
Edited by Aldona Kobus and Łukasz Muniowski

The 2018 Netflix series Altered Carbon is a vital contribution to the cyberpunk renaissance, among such titles as Snowpiercer or Blade Runner 2049. This collection of new essays answers the question: is this increasing popularity of cyberpunk a sign of recognition of the genre’s transgressive aspects, such as a stark critique of capitalism, or is it the opposite—a sign of the genre’s failure to successfully criticize modernity?

The contributors consider the series as taking on current issues, from a critique of neoliberalism, through the ethical aspects of biotechnology, up to thanatology. They provoke questions about what it means to be human in a world in which death does not exist. Essays evaluate the surging popularity of the series and cyberpunk at large from a variety of critical perspectives, shedding new light on a challenging and inventive series.

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Newly Published: Hollywood’s Hard-Luck Ladies

New on our bookshelf:

Hollywood’s Hard-Luck Ladies: 23 Actresses Who Suffered Early Deaths, Accidents, Missteps, Illnesses and Tragedies
Laura Wagner

In the era of Hollywood now considered its Golden Age, there was no shortage of hard-luck stories—movie stars succumbed to mental illness, addiction, accidents, suicide, early death and more.
This book profiles 23 actresses who achieved a measure of success before fate dealt them losing hands—in full public view. Overviews of their lives and careers provide a wealth of previously unpublished information and set the record straight on long-standing inaccuracies.

Actresses covered include Lynne Baggett, Suzan Ball, Helen Burgess, Susan Cabot, Mary Castle, Mae Clarke, Dorothy Comingore, Patricia Dane, Dorothy Dell, Sidney Fox, Charlotte Henry, Rita Johnson, Mayo Methot, Marjie Millar, Mary Nolan, Susan Peters, Lyda Roberti, Peggy Shannon, Rosa Stradner, Judy Tyler, Karen Verne, Helen Walker and Constance Worth.

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Newly Published: The Paul McCartney Catalog

New on our bookshelf:

The Paul McCartney Catalog: A Complete Annotated Discography of Solo Works, 1967–2019
Ted Montgomery

This complete discography of Paul McCartney’s solo and other post–Beatles work examines his entire catalog. It covers his studio and live albums and compilations, including the trance, electronic, classical and cover albums and selected bootleg recordings; all of the singles; videos and DVDs; and the 15 radio shows he made as Oobu Joobu. Each song is reviewed in depth, providing a wealth of information for both dedicated McCartney fans and those just discovering his music.

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Newly Published: Springsteen as Soundtrack

New on our bookshelf:

Springsteen as Soundtrack: The Sound of the Boss in Film and Television
Caroline Madden

A catalog nearly fifty years in the making, Bruce Springsteen’s music remains popular and a frequent subject of study yet little critical attention has been given to its inclusion in film and television. This book examines a selection of films and TV shows from the 1980s to the present—including MaskHigh FidelityThe Sopranos and The Wrestler—that feature Springsteen’s music on the soundtrack.

Relating his thematic preoccupations with religion, the Vietnam War, the promise of the open road, economic disparity and blue-collar malaise, his songs color narrative and articulate the inner lives of characters. This book explores the many on-screen contexts of Springsteen’s work from Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J. to Springsteen on Broadway.

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New in Softcover: Inside the Spanish-American War

Now available in softcover:

Inside the Spanish-American War: A History Based on First-Person Accounts
James M. McCaffrey

This is the story of the Spanish-American War, told not from the perspective of generals, policy makers, or politicians, but from that of the soldiers, sailors and marines in the field and the reporters who covered their efforts. Concentration on the daily lives of these people provides insight into the often overlooked facets of a soldier’s life, detailing their training and interaction with weaponry, their food, clothing, and medical supplies, and their personal interactions and daily struggles. While the Spanish-American War set the stage for America’s emergence as a global power, this is its history on an individual scale, as seen through the eyes of those upon whom the war had the most immediate impact.

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New in Softcover: Battle History of the United States Marine Corps, 1775–1945

Now available in softcover:

Battle History of the United States Marine Corps, 1775–1945
George B. Clark

Designed as a reference work for those interested in the combat history of the U.S. Marine Corps, this book describes the engagements from the formation of the Continental Marines to the Corps’ great exercise at the Battle of Okinawa. Organized chronologically, the individual skirmishes illustrate how each of the Marine Corps’ engagements contributed to the formation and evolution of the United States. Persons and divisions of note are mentioned, including key players, commanders and medal recipients.

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Newly Published: Women and Video Game Modding

New on our bookshelf:

Women and Video Game Modding: Essays on Gender and the Digital Community
Edited by Bridget Whelan

The world of video games has long revolved around a subset of its player base: straight, white males aged 18–25. Highly gendered marketing in the late 1990s and early 2000s widened the gap between this perceived base and the actual diverse group who buy video games. Despite reports from the Entertainment Software Association that nearly half of gamers identify as female, many developers continue to produce content reflecting this imaginary audience.

Many female gamers are in turn modifying the games. “Modders” alter the appearance of characters, rewrite scenes and epilogues, enhance or add love scenes and create fairy tale happy endings.
This is a collection of new essays on the phenomenon of women and modding, focusing on such titles as SkyrimDragon AgeMass Effect and The Sims. Topics include the relationship between modders and developers, the history of modding, and the relationship between modding and disability, race, sexuality and gender identity.

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Newly Published: Children Beware!

New on our bookshelf:

Children Beware!: Childhood, Horror and the PG-13 Rating
Filipa Antunes

How does a culture respond when the limits of childhood become uncertain? The emergence of pre-adolescence in the 1980s, which is signified by the new PG-13 rating for film, disrupted the established boundaries between childhood and adulthood. The concept of pre-adolescence affected not only America’s pillar ideals of family and childhood innocence but also the very foundation of the horror genre’s identity, its association with maturity and exclusivity.

Cultural disputes over the limits of childhood and horror were explicitly articulated in the children’s horror trend (1980–1997), a cluster of child-oriented horror titles in film and other media, which included Gremlins, The Gate, the Goosebumps series, and others. As the first serious analysis of the children’s horror trend, with a focus on the significance of ratings, this book provides a complete chart of its development while presenting it as a document of American culture’s adaptation to pre-adolescence. Each important children’s horror title corresponds to a key moment of ideological negotiation, cultural power struggles, and industrial compromise.

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Newly Published: The Women of City Point, Virginia, 1864–1865

New on our bookshelf:

The Women of City Point, Virginia, 1864–1865: Stories of Life and Work in the Union Occupation Headquarters
Jeanne Marie Christie

After more than three years of grim fighting, General Ulysses Grant had a plan to end the Civil War—laying siege to Petersburg, Virginia, thus cutting off supplies to the Confederate capital at Richmond. He established his headquarters at City Point on the James River, requiring thousands of troops, tons of supplies, as well as extensive medical facilities and staff.

Nurses flooded the area, yet many did not work in medical capacities—they served as organizers, advocates and intelligence gatherers. Nursing emerged as a noble profession with multiple specialties. Drawing on a range of primary and secondary sources, this history covers the resilient women who opened the way for others into postwar medical, professional and political arenas.

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Newly Published: Yale Football Through the Years

New on our bookshelf:

Yale Football Through the Years
Rich Marazzi

Chronicling Yale football from its 1872 inception to the present, this volume offers a comprehensive coverage of the most important games, including all Yale-Harvard contests, most Yale-Princeton games, record-making performances, great plays and more. Human-interest anecdotes offer a sidebar to the game or era covered, giving color to the storied history of Yale football. The evolution is traced of rules that transformed a game combining soccer and rugby into the football we know today.

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Newly Published: Agency in The Hunger Games

New on our bookshelf:

Agency in The Hunger Games: Desire, Intent and Action in the Novels
Kayla Ann

For 21st-century young adults struggling for personal autonomy in a society that often demands compliance, the bestselling trilogy, The Hunger Games remains palpably relevant despite its futuristic setting. For Suzanne Collins’ characters, personal agency involves not only the physical battle of controlling one’s body but also one’s response to such influences as morality, trauma, power and hope.

The author explores personal agency through in-depth examinations of the lives of Katniss, Peeta, Gale, Haymitch, Cinna, Primrose, and others, and through an analysis of themes like the overabundance of bodily imagery, social expectations in the Capitol, and problem parental figures. Readers will discover their own “dandelion of hope” through the examples set out by Collins’ characters, who prove over and over that human agency is always attainable.

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Newly Published: The Athlete as National Symbol

New on our bookshelf:

The Athlete as National Symbol: Critical Essays on Sports in the International Arena
Edited by Nicholas Villanueva, Jr.

Examining the phenomenon of nationalism in the world of sport, this collection of new essays identifies moments when athletes became national symbols through their actions on and off the field. Since the break-up of the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia, and related global events of the 1980s and 1990s, scholars have explored how race, ethnicity, gender and sexuality shape and are shaped by nationalism and national participation.

Topics include: race, golf and the struggle for social justice in South Africa; sport as a battleground within the Israel/Palestine conflict; multiculturalism and the Olympic Games; and white privilege in sport. These case studies explore the strength (and fragility) associated with national identity, and how athletes become icons for their nations.

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Newly Published: The Italian Squad

New on our bookshelf:

The Italian Squad: How the NYPD Took Down the Black Hand Extortion Racket
Andrew Paul Mele

At the turn of the twentieth century, thousands of Italian immigrants left their home country for the United States and, particularly, New York City. A small minority of the immigrants were members of a criminal syndicate that largely victimized fellow immigrants. The most common crime was a type of extortion known as “Black Hand.” The methods of extortion were particularly violent, and included kidnapping, arson, and murder. The New York Police Department, unable to speak the language and unaware of the traditions of the immigrants, was virtually helpless in dealing with them. In 1904, Italian-American Lt. Detective Joseph Petrosino formed a group of Italian detectives to deal exclusively with the extortion crimes and the criminal underworld of Italian society in New York which had become known in the American press as “The Black Hand Society.” This book tells the story of The Italian Squad from its inception, through Petrosino’s death, to the squad’s expansion into Queens and Brooklyn.

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Newly Published: Lost to the Shoah

New on our bookshelf:

Lost to the Shoah: Eight Lives
Vera Schiff with Jeff McLaughlin

It is important to remember not just what the Holocaust was but the individuals who were the subjects of its unrelenting Nazi brutalities. Written by a survivor about the people she knew and cared for, these eight stories fight against the depiction of Jews as victims and victims only, and individualize a tragedy that is too often abstracted into dates and statistics.

Amidst the dramatic narrative, there is a brutal honesty and frankness that makes these stories far more infuriating, sad and shocking than any fictional attempt to convey what it was like to be human in such inhuman circumstances. These biographies remind readers of the consequences of hate upon the fragile beauty and complexity of human life.

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Newly Published: The Big Top on the Big Screen

New on our bookshelf:

The Big Top on the Big Screen: Explorations of the Circus in Film
Edited by Teresa Cutler-Broyles

Circuses and film are a natural pairing, and the new essays making up this volume begin the exploration of how these two forms of entertainment have often worked together to create a spectacle of onscreen alchemy. The films discussed herein are an eclectic group, ranging from early silent comedies to animated, 21st century examples, in which circuses serve as liminal or carnivalesque spaces wherein characters—and by extension audience members—can confront issues as far-reaching as labor relations, sensuality, identity, ethics, and more.

The circus as discussed in these essays encompasses the big top, the midway, the sideshow and the freak show; it becomes backdrop, character, catalyst and setting; and it is welcoming, malicious or terrifying. Circus performers are family, friends, foe or all of the above. And film is the medium that brings it all together. This volume starts the conversation about how circuses and film can combine to form productive, exciting spaces where almost anything can happen.

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Newly Published: Joe Quigley, Alaska Pioneer

New on our bookshelf:

Joe Quigley, Alaska Pioneer: Beyond the Gold Rush
Cheryl Fair

In May 1891, Joe Quigley embarked on a journey north to try his luck prospecting for gold in Alaska. Although he had been wandering across America since leaving home at 15, this would be the biggest adventure, and the biggest risk, Quigley had ever taken. A project that began as genealogical research into a family’s history, this biography traces the life of a fascinating character before, during and after the great Klondike gold rush. Deeply researched, including quotes from Quigley and numerous photographs, this book is more than another tale of the Klondike Gold Rush. It is an intimate look at the inspiring life of a pioneer prospector, who witnessed the exploration and development of one of America’s most harsh, beautiful and captivating landscapes.

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Newly Published: The Global Vampire

New on our bookshelf:

The Global Vampire: Essays on the Undead in Popular Culture Around the World
Edited by Cait Coker

The media vampire has roots throughout the world, far beyond the shores of the usual Dracula-inspired Anglo-American archetypes. Depending on text and context, the vampire is a figure of anxiety and comfort, humor and fear, desire and revulsion. These dichotomies gesture the enduring prevalence of the vampire in mass culture; it can no longer articulate a single feeling or response, bound by time and geography, but is many things to many people. With a global perspective, this collection of essays offers something new and different: a much needed counter-narrative of the vampire’s evolution in popular culture. Divided by geography, this text emphasizes the vampiric as a globetrotting citizen du monde rather than an isolated monster.

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Newly Published: American Indians of the Ohio Country in the 18th Century

New on our bookshelf:

American Indians of the Ohio Country in the 18th Century
Paul R. Misencik and Sally E. Misencik

In the mid–17th century, the Iroquois Confederacy launched a war for control of the burgeoning fur trade industry. These conflicts, known as the Beaver Wars, were among the bloodiest in North American history, and the resulting defeat of the Erie nation led to present-day Ohio’s becoming devoid of significant, permanent Indian inhabitants. Only in the first quarter of the 18th century did tribes begin to tentatively resettle the area.

This book details the story of the Beaver Wars, the subsequent Indian migrations into present Ohio, the locations and descriptions of documented Indian trails and settlements, the Moravian Indian mission communities in Ohio, and the Indians’ forlorn struggles to preserve an Ohio homeland, culminating in their expulsion by Andrew Jackson’s Indian Removal Act in 1830.

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Newly Published: Cum Posey of the Homestead Grays

New on our bookshelf:

Cum Posey of the Homestead Grays: A Biography of the Negro Leagues Owner and Hall of Famer
James E. Overmyer

Cumberland Posey began his career in 1911 playing outfield for the Homestead Grays, a local black team in his Pennsylvania hometown. He soon became the squad’s driving force as they dominated semi-pro ball in the Pittsburgh area. By the late 1930s the Grays were at the top of the Negro Leagues with nine straight pennant wins.

Posey was also a League officer; he served 13 years as the first black member of the Homestead school board; and he wrote an outspoken sports column for the African American weekly, the Pittsburgh Courier. He was regarded as one of the best black basketball players in the East; he was the organizer of a team that held the consensus national black championship five years running. Ten years after his induction into the National Baseball Hall of Fame, he became a member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame—one of only two athletes to be honored by two pro sports halls.

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Newly Published: Veteran Care and Services

New on our bookshelf:

Veteran Care and Services: Essays and Case Studies on Practices, Innovations and Challenges
Edited by Joaquin Jay Gonzalez III, Mickey P. McGee and Roger L. Kemp

The public services and care being provided to our veteran citizens are rapidly changing due to the increasing number of veterans that live in our cities. There are more veteran citizens now living in America than ever before, and the veteran population is becoming ever more diverse. For this reason, cities throughout our nation are expanding their public services in scope and scale, as well as enhancing the quality of existing services. This volume documents these rapid developments in order to help our veteran citizens and supporting communities understand the evolving, dynamic, and innovative services and care that are increasingly available to them.

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Newly Published: Quaker Carpetbagger

New on our bookshelf:

Quaker Carpetbagger: J. Williams Thorne, Underground Railroad Host Turned North Carolina Politician
Max Longley

J. Williams Thorne (1816–1897) was an outspoken farmer who spent the first half-century of his remarkable life in Chester County, Pennsylvania, where he took part in political debates, helped fugitive slaves in the Underground Railroad and was active in the Progressive Friends Meeting, a national group of activist Quakers and allied reformers who met annually in Chester County. Williams and his associates discussed vital matters of the day, from slavery to prohibition to women’s rights. These issues sometimes came to Thorne’s doorstep—he met with nationally prominent reformers, and thwarted kidnappers seeking to enslave one of his free black tenants.

After the Civil War, Williams became a “carpetbagger,” moving to North Carolina to pursue farming and politics. An “infidel” Quaker (anti-Christian), he was opposed by Democrats who sought to keep him out of the legislature on account of his religious beliefs. Today a little-known figure in history, Williams made his mark through his outspokenness and persistent battling for what he believed.

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Newly Published: Escape from Cuba

New on our bookshelf:

Escape from Cuba: Personal Accounts of Those Who Fled Castro’s Regime
Edited by Eloy L. Nuñez and Ernest G. Vendrell

In 1959, Fidel Castro assumed power in Cuba after overthrowing the government of Fulgencio Batista. In response, thousands of Cubans fled the island, mostly to the United States. This book tells the stories of these Cubans in exile, all of whom overcame great obstacles to escape the brutal Castro regime. Neither a history of Cuba nor of Castro, this book illuminates the underrepresented legacy of the Cuban Exile Community and celebrates their continued thriving in a new country.

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Newly Published: Jimmy Carter and the Restoration of Presidential Dignity

New on our bookshelf:

Jimmy Carter and the Restoration of Presidential Dignity
Jason Friedman

The office of the President of the United States was plagued by scandals in the early 1970s. When Jimmy Carter ran for office in 1976, the nation was still struggling to process the Vietnam War and Watergate. Questionable presidential decisions prolonged a quagmire in Asia, Richard Nixon’s illegal surveillance broke the people’s trust, and Gerald Ford’s subsequent pardon of Nixon irrevocably sullied his relationship with the American people. Jimmy Carter sought to be the transparent, trustworthy leader that the nation demanded.

Based on archival research and government documents, this book explores the steps Carter took during his presidency and how Congress reacted to them. Though Carter was not elected for a second term, this detailed history makes the case that his legacy has been misrepresented, and that he should not be remembered as a failed president, but as a man who restored dignity to an office burdened by controversy.

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Newly Published: Willful Monstrosity

Newly Published:

Willful Monstrosity: Gender and Race in 21st Century Horror
Natalie Wilson

Taking in a wide range of film, television, and literature, this volume explores 21st century horror and its monsters from an intersectional perspective with a marked emphasis on gender and race. The analysis, which covers over 70 narratives, is organized around four primary monstrous figures—zombies, vampires, witches and monstrous women. Arguing that the current horror renaissance is populated with willful monsters that subvert prevailing cultural norms and systems of power, the discussion reads horror in relation to topics of particular import in the contemporary moment—rampant sexual violence, unbridled capitalist greed, brutality against people of color, militarism, and the patriarchy’s refusal to die.

Examining ground-breaking films and television shows such as Get Out, Us, The Babadook, A Quiet Place, Stranger Things, Penny Dreadful, and The Passage, as well as works by key authors like Justin Cronin, Carmen Maria Machado, Helen Oyeyemi, Margo Lanagan, and Jeanette Winterson, this monograph offers a thorough account of the horror landscape and what it says about the 21st century world.

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Newly Published: Democracy’s Troubles

New on our bookshelf:

Democracy’s Troubles: Twelve Threats to the American Ideal and How We Can Overcome Them
John E. Miller

Evidence is accumulating that democracy is under siege—in the United States and around the world. This volume identifies and explains a dozen separate challenges threatening American democracy today. Sorting these challenges into political and social-cultural problems, each is placed in an historical context to describe how they work together to undermine the democratic underpinnings of the nation.

Opening with a sketch of the historical development of democracy, this book makes the case for improved civic education, rebuilding trust in institutions and leaders, promoting good character and the revitalization of the healthy community. A renewed commitment to governmental institutions is necessary for the people to fulfill democracy’s promise.

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Newly Published: An Introduction to Comparative Sociology

New on our bookshelf:

An Introduction to Comparative Sociology
Jon Oplinger

Not your typical sociology primer, this straightforward yet challenging text begins with a discussion of foundational theories, central concepts and areas of study. Drawing on anthropology, archaeology and history to illustrate key points, the book offers a thorough examination of the field, covering such often neglected topics as the mass production of deviance (Stalin’s lethal purges, for example) and the sociology of war. This multifaceted approach provides a broad overview of the discipline through a clear-eyed investigation of human society at its best and worst.

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Newly Published: Katharine Whitney Curtis

New on our bookshelf:

Katharine Whitney Curtis: Mother of Synchronized Swimming
Jordan Whitney-Wei

How do you invent an Olympic sport? For Katharine Whitney Curtis, it took the right idea, great talent, some good timing, and the determination to make it happen. The originator of synchronized swimming as we know it today, she even wrote the first book on the subject in 1936. But there was much more to her life and career. After the start of World War II, Curtis became a recreational director in the American Red Cross and followed the troops wherever the course of war took them, serving under Generals Patton and Eisenhower, before becoming a director of travel for the U.S. Army in Europe during the Cold War. Unbound by fear or the narrow expectations of society, this was a woman who lived ahead of her time, making things happen along the way. As her first biography, this book generously features Curtis’s own words, selected from more than 2,000 pages of letters, and contextualized by her surviving friends and family members.

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Newly Published: Managing Organizational Conflict

New on our bookshelf:

Managing Organizational Conflict
Sam Blank

Conflict in business and personal relationships is inevitable—much of the success of companies depends on how well they respond to it. Developing rapport, collaboration and cooperation hinges on positive conflict management strategies that stimulate innovation and growth where companies can look for solutions to common issues and needs.

Conflict management can address dysfunctional outcomes that result in job stress, less effective communication and a climate of distrust, where working relationships are damaged and job performance reduced. Organizations must minimize and resolve internal and external conflicts to remain vibrant and profitable.

Drawing on examples from a wide range of corporate experiences, this volume provides role-playing scenarios, checklists, tables and research studies to help employees, managers and owners better comprehend the dynamics of conflict in every interaction.

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Newly Published: Secondary Superheroes of Golden Age Comics

New on our bookshelf:

Secondary Superheroes of Golden Age Comics
Lou Mougin

When Superman debuted in 1938, he ushered in a string of imitators—Batman, Wonder Woman, Captain Marvel, Captain America. But what about the many less well-known heroes who lined up to fight crooks, super villains or Hitler—like the Shield, the Black Terror, Crimebuster, Cat-Man, Dynamic Man, the Blue Beetle, the Black Cat and even Frankenstein?

These and other four-color fighters crowded the newsstands from the late 1930s through the early 1950s. Most have since been overlooked, and not necessarily because they were victims of poor publication. This book gives the other superheroes of the Golden Age of comics their due.

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Newly Published: American Zouaves, 1859–1959

New on our bookshelf:

American Zouaves, 1859–1959: An Illustrated History
Daniel J. Miller

The elite French Zouaves, with their distinctive, colorful uniforms, set an influential example for volunteer soldiers during the Civil War and continued to inspire American military units for a century. Hundreds of militia companies adopted the flamboyant uniform to emulate the gallantry and martial tradition of the Zouaves.

Drawing on fifty years of research, this volume provides a comprehensive state-by-state catalog of American Zouave units, richly illustrated with rare and previously unpublished photographs and drawings. The author dispels many misconceptions and errors that have persisted over the last 150 years.

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Newly Published: The New New Zealand

New on our bookshelf:

The New New Zealand: The Māori and Pākehā Populations
William Edward Moneyhun

Today’s New Zealand is an emerging paradigm for successful cultural relations. Although the nation’s Māori (indigenous Polynesian) and Pākehā (colonial European) populations of the 19th century were dramatically different and often at odds, they are today co-contributors to a vibrant society. For more than a century they have been working out the kind of nation that engenders respect and well-being; and their interaction, though often riddled with confrontation, is finally bearing bicultural fruit. By their model, the encounter of diverse cultures does not require the surrender of one to the other; rather, it entails each expanding its own cultural categories in the light of the other.

The time is ripe to explore modern New Zealand’s cultural dynamics for what we can learn about getting along. The present anthropological work focuses on religion and related symbols, forms of reciprocity, the operation of power and the concept of culture in modern New Zealand society.

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Newly Published: Chester Morris

New on our bookshelf:

Chester Morris: His Life and Career
Scott Allen Nollen with Yuyun Yuningsih Nollen

The prodigious but humble scion of a New York theatrical family, Chester Morris acted on Broadway as a teenager and earned an Academy Award nomination for his first role in a Hollywood “talkie,” Alibi (1929). He became leading man to filmdom’s top female stars and starred in the popular series of “Boston Blackie” mysteries before creating substantial characters in the theater and the burgeoning medium of television.

This first book about Morris provides a detailed account of his life and career on stage, film, radio and television, and as a celebrated magician. It also constructs a fascinating record of his previously undocumented labor activism during the early years of the Screen Actors Guild and his tireless efforts to aid U.S. troops on the home front during World War II.

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Newly Published: The Interdisciplinary Theatre of Ping Chong

New on our bookshelf:

The Interdisciplinary Theatre of Ping Chong: Exploring Curiosity and Otherness on Stage
Yuko Kurahashi

This first-ever biography exploring the life of Ping Chong (1946), successful avant-garde artist and Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient, focuses on his valuable contributions to modern theatre. Drawing on primary sources and her own attendance of Chong’s productions, the author takes a broad and informative approach to his work as a performer, playwright and director over 48 years.

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Newly Published: The Digital Dystopias of Black Mirror and Electric Dreams

New on our bookshelf:

The Digital Dystopias of Black Mirror and Electric Dreams
Steven Keslowitz

This critical examination of two dystopian television series—Black Mirror and Electric Dreams—focuses on pop culture depictions of technology and its impact on human existence. Representations of a wide range of modern and futuristic technologies are explored, from early portrayals of artificial intelligence (Rossum’s Universal Robots, 1921) to digital consciousness transference as envisioned in Black Mirror’s “San Junipero.”

These representations reflect societal anxieties about unfettered technological development and how a world infused with invasive artificial intelligence might redefine life and death, power and control. The impact of social media platforms is considered in the contexts of modern-day communication and political manipulation.

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Newly Published: Welcome to Arkham Asylum

New on our bookshelf:

Welcome to Arkham Asylum: Essays on Psychiatry and the Gotham City Institution
Edited by Sharon Packer, M.D. and Daniel R. Fredrick

Arkham Asylum for the Criminally Insane is a staple of the Batman universe, evolving into a franchise comprised of comic books, graphic novels, video games, films, television series and more. The Arkham franchise, supposedly light-weight entertainment, has tackled weighty issues in contemporary psychiatry. Its plotlines reference clinical and ethical controversies that perplex even the most up-to-date professionals. The 25 essays in this collection explore the significance of Arkham’s sinister psychiatrists, murderous mental patients, and unethical geneticists. It invites debates about the criminalization of the mentally ill, mental patients who move from defunct state hospitals into expanding prisons, madness versus badness, sociopathy versus psychosis, the “insanity defense” and more. Invoking literary figures from Lovecraft to Poe to Caligari, the 25 essays in this collection are a broad-ranging and thorough assessment of the franchise and its relationship to contemporary psychiatry.

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Newly Published: Sidney Lumet

Newly Published:

Sidney Lumet: The Actor’s Director
Aubrey Malone

Punctilious to a fault, Sidney Lumet favored intense rehearsal, which enabled him to bring in most of his films under budget and under schedule. An energized director who captured the heart of New York like no other, he created a vast canon of work that stands as a testament to his passionate concern for justice and his great empathy for the hundreds of people with whom he collaborated during a career that spanned more than five decades. This is the first full-scale biography of a man who is generally regarded as one of the most affable directors of his time. Using the oral testimonies of those who worked with him both behind and in front of the camera, this book explores Lumet’s personality and working methods.

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Newly Published: 4–31 Infantry in Iraq’s Triangle of Death

New on our bookshelf:

4–31 Infantry in Iraq’s Triangle of Death
Darrell E. Fawley III

The Iraqi Triangle of Death, south of Baghdad, was a raging inferno of insurgent activity in August of 2006; by November 2007, attacks had been suppressed to such an extent as to return the area to near obscurity. In the intervening months, the U.S. Army 4th Battalion, 31st Infantry (“Polar Bears”) employed a counterinsurgency approach that set the conditions for a landmark peace agreement that has held to the present.

With a focus on counterinsurgency, this book is the first to look at the breadth of military operations in Yusifiyah, Iraq, and to analyze the methods the Polar Bears employed. It is a story not of those who fought in the Triangle of Death, but of how they fought.

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Newly Published: Sailing Under John Paul Jones

New on our bookshelf:

Sailing Under John Paul Jones: The Memoir of Continental Navy Midshipman Nathaniel Fanning, 1778–1783
Nathaniel Fanning

Connecticut privateer Nathaniel Fanning (1755–1805) was captured by the British during the Revolutionary War. Upon his release, he joined the Continental Navy and sailed as a midshipman under Admiral John Paul Jones during his most famous battles. Fanning later obtained his own command, sailing from French ports to prey upon British warships.

This new edition of Fanning’s memoir—first published in 1806—provides a vivid account of wartime peril and hardship at sea, and a first-hand character study of Jones as an apparent tyrant and narcissist. Vocabulary, spelling and narrative style have changed in the more than two centuries since Fanning’s chronicle, and some details clash with historical and geographical data. The editor has updated and annotated the text for modern readers, but attempted to retain much of the original memoir’s style.

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Newly Published: The Minds Behind Adventure Games

New on our bookshelf:

The Minds Behind Adventure Games: Interviews with Cult and Classic Video Game Developers
Patrick Hickey, Jr.

Featuring interviews with the creators of 31 popular video games—including Grand Theft AutoStriderMaximum Carnage and Pitfall—this book gives a behind-the-scenes look at the origins of some of the most enjoyable and iconic adventure games of all time. Interviewees recount the endless hours of painstaking development, the challenges of working with mega-publishers, the growth of the adventure genre, and reveal the creative processes that produced some of the industry’s biggest hits, cult classics and indie successes.

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Newly Published: Mixed Martial Arts and the Law

New on our bookshelf:

Mixed Martial Arts and the Law: Disputes, Suits and Legal Issues
Jason J. Cruz

Barbaric. Savage. Violent. Words often used by critics to describe the sport of mixed martial arts. To this can be added lucrative, popular and flourishing. MMA has seen astronomical growth since the 2000s, spurred on by its biggest promotion, the Ultimate Fighting Championships (UFC).
Along the way, legal issues have plagued the sport. This book provides an overview of the most important cases and controversies arising both inside and outside of the cage—antitrust suits by fighters against promoters, fighters suing other fighters, drug testing, contractual issues, and the need for federal regulation.

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Newly Published: Burt Reynolds on Screen

New on our bookshelf:

Burt Reynolds on Screen
Wayne Byrne

In a prolific career spanning six decades, actor Burt Reynolds was one of the world’s most famous stars of film and television. As much a folk hero as a Hollywood celebrity, he began as a stuntman and bit player in B Westerns and TV shows before landing a starring role on NBC’s Riverboat (1959–1961). His breakthrough role in Deliverance (1972) made him famous and the sleeper hit Smokey and the Bandit (1977) made his name a household word.

This first critical overview of Reynolds’ work examines his complete filmography, featuring candid discussions with costars and collaborators, exclusive behind-the-scenes photos and a wealth of film stills.

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Newly Published: Bromo-Seltzer King

New on our bookshelf:

Bromo-Seltzer King: The Opulent Life of Captain Isaac “Ike” Emerson, 1859–1931
Bob Luke

Captain Isaac “Ike” Emerson, riding high on the international success of his patent, Bromo-Seltzer, lived a storied life of opulence. This first biography of the “Bromo-Seltzer King” traces his path from North Carolina farm boy to Baltimore-based multimillionaire with a penchant for lavish entertaining.
Emerson is presented as an entrepreneur, patriot, civic leader, sportsman, and philanthropist. He was a phenom in his era, and this book, drawing from archival records, newspapers of the day, and interviews with descendants, details the ups and downs of his complex and indulgent life.

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Newly Published: The Civil War in the South Carolina Lowcountry

New on our bookshelf:

The Civil War in the South Carolina Lowcountry: How a Confederate Artillery Battery and a Black Union Regiment Defined the War
Ron Roth

Some of the most dramatic and consequential events of the Civil War era took place in the South Carolina Lowcountry between Charleston and Savannah. From Robert Barnwell Rhett’s inflammatory 1844 speech in Bluffton calling for secession, to the last desperate attempts by Confederate forces to halt Sherman’s juggernaut, the region was torn apart by war.

This history tells the story through the experiences of two radically different military units—the Confederate Beaufort Volunteer Artillery and the U.S. 1st South Carolina Regiment, the first black Union regiment to fight in the war—both organized in Beaufort, the heart of the Lowcountry.

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Newly Published: The U.S. Invasion of Grenada

The U.S. Invasion of Grenada: Legacy of a Flawed Victory
Philip Kukielski

In the fall of 1983, arguably the coldest year of the decades-long Cold War, the world’s greatest superpower invaded Grenada, a Marxist-led Caribbean nation the size of Atlanta. Why and how this unlikely one-week war was waged was shrouded in secrecy at the time—and has remained so ever since.

This book is an overdue reconsideration of Operation Urgent Fury, based on historical evidence that only recently has been revealed in declassified documents, oral history interviews and memoir accounts. This chronological narrative emphasizes the human dimension of a sudden crisis now regarded as the greatest foreign policy challenge of President Ronald Reagan’s first term. Because the American intervention was hastily drafted, many snafus and accidents marked the chaotic initial days of the operation. Inevitably it fell to individual soldiers, aviators and sailors to perform heroic acts to make up for faulty intelligence, inadequate communication or poor coordination. This work recounts their inspiring, underreported stories in filling out a more complete portrait of Operation Urgent Fury. The final chapter recounts the invasion’s aftereffects, especially the unexpected role it played in Congressional reform of the military for future combat in the Middle East.

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Newly Published: Vigilantes

Vigilatnes: Private Justice in Popular Cinema
Kevin Grant

For many people, the cinematic vigilante has been shaped by Charles Bronson’s character in Death Wish and its sequels. But screen vigilantes have taken many guises, from Old West lynch mobs and rogue police officers to rape-avengers and military-trained equalizers.

This book recounts the varied representations of such characters in films like The Birth of a Nation, which celebrated the violence of the Ku Klux Klan, and Taxi Driver, Falling Down and You Were Never Really Here, in which the vigilante impulse was symptomatic of mental instability. Also considered is the extent to which fictional vigilantism functions as social commentary and to what degree it is simply stoking popular fears.

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Newly Published: A Century in Uniform

A Century in Uniform: Military Women in American Films
By Stacy Fowler and Deborah A. Deacon

From silents of the early American motion picture era through 21st century films, this book offers a decade-by-decade examination of portrayals of women in the military. The full range of genres is explored, along with films created by today’s military women about their experiences.

Laws regarding women in the service are analyzed, along with discussion of the challenges they have faced in the push for full participation and of the changing societal attitudes through the years.

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Newly Published: The Boys of St. Joe’s ’65 in the Vietnam War

The Boys of St. Joe’s ’65 in the Vietnam War
Dennis G. Pregent

Eleven high school friends in idyllic North Adams, Massachusetts, enlisted to serve in Vietnam, and one stayed behind to protest the war. All were from patriotic, working-class families, all members of the class of 1965 at Saint Joseph’s School. Dennis Pregent was one of them. He and his classmates joined up—most right out of school, some before graduating—and endured the war’s most vicious years. Seven served in the Army, three in the Marine Corps, and one in the Navy. After fighting in a faraway place, they saw the trajectories of their lives dramatically altered. One died in combat, another became paralyzed, and several still suffer from debilitating conditions five decades later. Inspired by his 50th high school reunion, Pregent located his classmates, rekindled friendships, and—together, over hours of interviews—they remembered the war years.

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Newly Published: Easing Pain on the Western Front

Easing Pain on the Western Front: American Nurses of the Great War and the Birth of Modern Nursing Practice
By Paul E. Stepansky

World War I is regarded as the first modern war, driven by fearful new technologies of mechanized combat. The unprecedented carnage rapidly advanced military medicine, transforming the nature of wartime caregiving and paving the way for modern nursing practice.

Drawing on firsthand accounts of American nurses, as well as their Canadian and British counterparts, this study describes nurses’ encounters with devastating new forms of injury—wounds from high-explosive artillery shells, poison gas burns, “shell shock,” the Spanish Flu. Comparing nursing practice on the western front with the Spanish-American War and the Anglo-Boer War, the author is especially attentive to the emergent technologies newly employed.

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Newly Published: Hollywood and the Female Body

New on our bookshelf:

Hollywood and the Female Body: A History of Idolization and Objectification
Stephen Handzo

From the first, brief moving images of female nudes in the 1880s to the present, the motion picture camera made the female body a battleground in what we now call the culture wars. Churchmen feared the excitation of male lust; feminists decried the idealization of a body type that devalued the majority of women.

This history of Hollywood’s treatment of women’s bodies traces the full span of the motion picture era. Primitive peepshow images of burlesque dancers gave way to the “artistic” nudity of the 1910s when model Audrey Munson and swimmer Annette Kellerman contended for the title of American Venus. Clara Bow personified the qualified sexual freedom of the 1920s flapper. Jean Harlow, Mae West and the scantily clad chorus girls of the early 1930s provoked the Legion of Decency to demand the creation of a Production Code Administration that turned saucy Betty Boop into a housewife. Things loosened up during World War II when Betty Grable and Rita Hayworth ruled the screen. The postwar years saw the blonde bombshells and “mammary madness” of the 1950s while the 1960’s brought bikini-clad sex kittens. With the replacement of the Production Code by a ratings system in 1968, nudity and sex scenes proliferated in the R-rated movies of the 1970s and 1980s. Recent movies, often directed by women, have pointed the way toward a more egalitarian future. Finally, the #MeToo movement and the fall of Harvey Weinstein have forced the industry to confront its own sexism. Each chapter of this book situates movies, famous and obscure, into the context of changes in the movie industry and the larger society.

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Newly Published: Greene and Cornwallis in the Carolinas

New on our bookshelf:

Greene and Cornwallis in the Carolinas: The Pivotal Struggle in the American Revolution, 1780–1781
Jeffrey A. Denman and John F. Walsh

The story of the Revolutionary War in the Northern colonies is well known but the war that raged across the South in 1780–1781—considered by some the “unknown Revolution”—included some of the most important yet least studied engagements.

Drawing extensively on their letters, this book follows the campaigns of General Nathanael Greene and Lord Charles Cornwallis as they fought across the Carolinas, and offers a compelling look at their leadership. The theater of war in which the two commanders operated was populated by various ethnic and religious groups and separated geographically, economically and politically into the low country and the simmering backcountry, setting the stage for what was to come.

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Newly Published: The Haunted House on Film

New on our bookshelf:

The Haunted House on Film: An Historical Analysis
Paul Meehan

A popular phenomenon since antiquity, the image of the haunted house is one that has translated elegantly into the modern medium of film. The haunted house transcends genre, appearing in mysteries, gothic romances, comedies and horror films. This book is the first comprehensive historical and critical study of themes surrounding haunted houses in film. Covering more than 100 films, it spans from the Mystery House thrillers of the silent era to the high-tech, big budget productions of the 21st Century. Included are the works of such acclaimed directors as D.W. Griffith, Robert Wise, Mario Bava, Alfred Hitchcock, Stanley Kubrick, Tim Burton and Guillermo Del Toro. The book also covers the real-life “haunted house” phenomenon and movies based on paranormal case files, including those featured in films like the Conjuring series.

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Newly Published: Disputed Decisions of World War II

New on our bookshelf:

Disputed Decisions of World War II: Decision Science and Game Theory Perspectives
Mark Thompson

A former Harvard professor of decision science and game theory draws on those disciplines in this review of controversial strategic and tactical decisions of World War II.

Allied leaders—although outstanding in many ways—sometimes botched what now is termed meta-decision making or deciding how to decide. Operation Jubilee, a single-division raid on Dieppe, France, in August 1942, for example, illustrated the pitfalls of groupthink. In the Allied invasion of North Africa three months later, American and British leaders fell victim to the planning fallacy: having unrealistically rosy expectations of an easy victory. In Sicily in the summer of 1943, they violated the millennia-old principle of command unity—now re-endorsed and elaborated on by modern theorists. Had Allied strategists understood the game theory of bluffing, in January 1944 they might well not have landed two-plus divisions at Anzio in Italy.

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Newly Published: American Light Trucks and Utility Vehicles, 1967–1989

New on our bookshelf:

American Light Trucks and Utility Vehicles, 1967–1989: Every Model, Year by Year
J. “Kelly” Flory, Jr.

The truck’s role in American society changed dramatically from the 1960s through the 1980s, with the rise of off-roaders, the van craze of the 1970s and minivan revolution of the 1980s, the popularization of the SUV as family car and the diversification of the pickup truck into multiple forms and sizes. This comprehensive reference book follows the form of the author’s popular volumes on American cars. For each year, it provides an industry overview and, for each manufacturer, an update on new models and other news, followed by a wealth of data: available powertrains, popular options, paint colors and more. Finally, each truck is detailed fully with specifications and measurements, prices, production figures, standard equipment and more.

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Newly Published: Slavery and Racism in American Politics, 1776–1876

New on our bookshelf:

Slavery and Racism in American Politics, 1776–1876
Michael C. Thomsett

From the very inception of the United States, few issues have been so divisive and defining as American slavery. Even as the U.S. was founded on principles of liberty, independence and freedom, slavery advocates and sympathizers positioned themselves in every aspect of American influence. Over the centuries, the characterization of early American figures, legislation and party platforms has been debated.

The author seeks to clarify often unanswered–or ignored–questions about notable figures, sociopolitical movements and their positions on slavery. From early legislation like the Fugitive Slave Law of 1793 to Reconstruction and the rise of the Ku Klux Klan, this book explores some of America’s most controversial moments. Spanning the first American century, it offers a detailed chronology of slavery and racism in early U.S. politics and society.

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Newly Published: Beau Jack

Beau Jack: The Boxing Life of Sidney Walker, Two-Time Lightweight Champion
By Robert A Mullins

Among the great lightweights of the 1940s and 1950s, Boxing Hall of Famer Sidney “Beau Jack” Walker (1921–2000) was virtually orphaned by his parents and eked out a living as a shoeshine boy. He honed his craft fighting battles royale for wealthy white members of the prestigious Augusta National Golf Club, eventually receiving financing for his career from club founders.

He went on to win two lightweight titles and set numerous records. He was the draw for the highest admission paid for a ringside seat—$100,000—and was named “Fighter of the Year” in 1944.
Like most black pugilists of his day he struggled against discrimination in the sport. Despite this, he sustained an impressive 18-year professional career—117 fights, 83 wins, 40 by KO. Walker retired from the ring penniless and went back to shining shoes, the money set aside for him by his handlers mysteriously depleted.

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Newly Published: African American Entertainers in Australia and New Zealand

African American Entertainers in Australia and New Zealand: A History, 1788-1941
By Bill Egan

Eleven African Americans, including a musician, were among the First Fleet of colonial settlers to Australia. In the 150-plus following years, African Americans visiting the region included jubilee singers, vaudevillians, sports stars and general entertainers. This book provides the only comprehensive history of more than 350 African American entertainers in Australia and New Zealand between European settlement in Australia in 1788 and the entry of the United States into World War II in 1941. Famous names covered include boxer Jack Johnson, film star Nina Mae McKinney and jazz singer Eva Taylor. Background stories provide a multidimensional view of the entertainers’ time in a place very far from home.

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Newly Published: The White House’s Unruly Neighborhood

New on our bookshelf:

The White House’s Unruly Neighborhood: Crime, Scandal and Intrigue in the History of Lafayette Square
Edward P. Moser

Chronicling the sometimes outlandish, often tragic history of the environs of the White House, this book covers two centuries of assassinations, slave escapes, deadly duels, sex scandals, battles, brawls and spy intrigues that took place in the presidential neighborhood, Lafayette Square. The author recounts the triumphs and catastrophes of heroes and villains both famous and unsung, placing them in the context of contemporary world events of the day.

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Newly Published: Don’t Go Upstairs!

New on our bookshelf:

Don’t Go Upstairs!: A Room-by-Room Tour of the House in Horror Movies
Cleaver Patterson

Throughout cinematic history, the buildings characters inhabit–whether stately rural mansions or inner-city apartment blocks–have taken on extra dimensions, often featuring as well developed characters themselves. Nowhere is this truer than in the horror film, where familiar spaces–from chaotic kitchens to forgotten attics to overgrown greenhouses–become settings for diabolical acts or supernatural visitations.

Showing readers through a selection of prime movie real estate, this book explores how homes come to life in horror with an analysis of more than sixty films, including interviews and insights from filmmakers and scholars, along with many rare stills. From the gruesome murder in the hallway of The House by the Cemetery (1981) to the malevolent haunting in the nursery of Eel Marsh House in The Woman in Black (2012), no door is left unopened.

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Newly Published: The Negro Leagues Were Major Leagues

The Negro Leagues Were Major Leagues: Historians Reappraise Black Baseball
Edited by Todd Peterson

How good was Negro League Baseball (1920–1948)? Some experts maintain that the quality of play was equal to that of the American and National Leagues. Some believe the Negro Leagues should be part of Major League Baseball’s official record and that more Negro League players should be in the Hall of Fame. Skeptics contend that while many players could be rated highly, NL organizations were minor league at best.

Drawing on the most comprehensive data available, including stats from more than 2,000 interracial games, this study finds that black baseball was very good indeed. Negro leaguers beat the big leaguers more than half the time in head-to-head contests, demonstrated stronger metrics within their own leagues and excelled when finally allowed into the majors. The authors document the often duplicitous manner in which MLB has dealt with the legacy of the Negro Leagues, and an appendix includes the scores and statistics from every known contest between Negro League and Major League teams.

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Newly Published: Science Fiction and the Dismal Science

New on our bookshelf:

Science Fiction and the Dismal Science: Essays on Economics in and of the Genre
Edited by Gary Westfahl, Gregory Benford, Howard V. Hendrix and Jonathan Alexander

Despite the growing importance of economics in our lives, literary scholars have long been reluctant to consider economic issues as they examine key texts. This volume seeks to fill one of these conspicuous gaps in the critical literature by focusing on various connections between science fiction and economics, with some attention to related fields such as politics and government. Its seventeen contributors include five award-winning scholars, five science fiction writers, and a widely published economist.

Three topics are covered: what noted science fiction writers like Robert A. Heinlein, Frank Herbert, and Kim Stanley Robinson have had to say about our economic and political future; how the competitive and ever-changing publishing marketplace has affected the growth and development of science fiction from the nineteenth century to today; and how the scholars who examine science fiction have themselves been influenced by the economics of academia. Although the essays focus primarily on American science fiction, the traditions of Russian and Chinese science fiction are also examined. A comprehensive bibliography of works related to science fiction and economics will assist other readers and critics who are interested in this subject.

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Beer, Wine and Spirits Sale

While many of our readers, authors and staff have an appreciation for the drinking of beer, practically as many also have a fondness for the culture of beer.  Drink and culture converge at McFarland, where we have a small but growing line of books that look at the social and historical impact of beer, wine and spirits.  Now through January 15, get 30% off of these books with coupon code BEER30.  Grab a book, grab your beverage of choice, and kick back and enjoy two of life’s great pastimes!  Furthermore, if you’re an author with an idea for a book about beer culture, tell us what you’ve got on tap at [email protected].

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Newly Published: Manteo and the Algonquians of the Roanoke Voyages

New on our bookshelf:

Manteo and the Algonquians of the Roanoke Voyages
Brandon Fullam

When the English first arrived at the Outer Banks in the summer of 1584, they were greeted by native Algonquian-speaking people who had long occupied present-day North Carolina. That historic contact initiated the often-turbulent period of early American history commonly known as the Roanoke Voyages. Unfortunately, contemporary accounts regularly mischaracterize or marginalize the Algonquins, and their significance in this period is poorly understood.

This volume is a unique collection of narratives highlighting by name all of the Algonquians who played a role in the often-contentious attempts to establish the first permanent English colony in the New World. Starting with Manteo, the fascinating Croatoan Indian who traveled to England twice and learned to speak English, this book focuses on the identities and endeavors of each of these individual Algonquians and tells their stories.

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Newly Published: The Furies of Marjorie Bowen

New on our bookshelf:
The Furies of Marjorie Bowen
By John C. Tibbetts

This first book-length critical examination of the life and work of Marjorie Bowen (1885–1952) reveals a major English writer whose prodigious output included stories of history, romance, and the supernatural. As Pulitzer Prize–winning critic Michael Dirda writes in his Foreword, Bowen may be “the finest British woman writer of the uncanny of the last century,” a view that echoes the high regard of cultural historian Edward Wagenknecht, who called her “a literary phenomenon,” one whose best work places her alongside such contemporaries as Edith Wharton and Daphne du Maurier. Publicly acclaimed—known only by a series of pseudonyms (including “Marjorie Bowen”)—but privately inscrutable, she was and is a mysterious and complex character.

Drawing for the first time upon archival resources and the cooperation of the Bowen Estate, this book reveals a woman who saw herself as a rationalist and serious historian, but also as a mystic and “dark enchantress of dread.” Above all, through a lifetime of domestic storms and creative ecstasy, Bowen worked tirelessly as both a professional writer and a consummate artist, always seeking, as she once confessed, “to find beauty in dark places.”

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Newly Published: The Pricke of Conscience

New on our bookshelf:

The Pricke of Conscience: An Annotated Edition of the Southern Recension
Edited by Jean E. Jost

This dramatic early 14th century Middle English sermon rehearses humanity’s wretchedness and the world’s instability, before contemplating the journey from death to the anguish of purgatory and hell, or ultimately to the joys of heaven. Its 7,316 lines of rhyming couplets present sensational descriptions intended to shock the audience into religious zeal, alongside a biblical exegesis reinforcing the message of salvation and cautioning against its impediments.

Although the Main version of the Pricke of Conscience has thrice been edited from three manuscripts, no version from the Southern Recension group has appeared to date. This edited version of a shorter, tighter Southern manuscript fills the gap. In-line glosses, extensive notes and translated Latin quotations make this fascinating text accessible to modern readers.

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Newly Published: The Year the Packers Came Back

New on our bookshelf:

The Year the Packers Came Back: Green Bay’s 1972 Resurgence
Joe Zagorski

The 1972 Green Bay Packers were not expected to challenge for a playoff spot, or even to top their four victories from the season before. But the players were an eclectic group of over-achievers, 20 of whom were brand new to the team. Despite disheartening decisions by a questionable head coach, they gelled almost immediately and by season’s end became the only Packers team throughout the 1970s to earn a division title. This book details how they succeeded beyond all expectations and tells one of the great stories in pro football history.

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Newly Published: Formula for Failure in Vietnam

New on our bookshelf:

Formula for Failure in Vietnam: The Folly of Limited Warfare
William Hamilton

Drawing on a range of sources, including original interviews with the commanders ordered to fight a land war in Southeast Asia, former U.S. Army infantry officer recounts his experiences in Vietnam as a company commander and as a battalion- and division-level operations officer carrying out those orders. The crucial flaws of the Johnson Administration’s strategy of attrition are analyzed—the failure to seal off the theater of battle from Chinese and Soviet resupply, and allowing North Vietnamese forces to maintain sanctuaries in Laos, Cambodia and even North Vietnam.

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Newly Published: The Blackface Minstrel Show in Mass Media

The Blackface Minstrel Show in Mass Media: 20th Century Performances on Radio, Records, Film and Television
Tim Brooks

The minstrel show occupies a complex and controversial space in the history of American popular culture. Today considered a shameful relic of America’s racist past, it nonetheless offered many black performers of the 19th and early 20th centuries their only opportunity to succeed in a white-dominated entertainment world, where white performers in blackface had by the 1830s established minstrelsy as an enduringly popular national art form.

This book traces the often overlooked history of the “modern” minstrel show through the advent of 20th century mass media—when stars like Al Jolson, Bing Crosby and Mickey Rooney continued a long tradition of affecting black music, dance and theatrical styles for mainly white audiences—to its abrupt end in the 1950s. A companion two-CD reissue of recordings discussed in the book is available from Archeophone Records at www.archeophone.com.