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Newly Published: The Darker Side of Slash Fan Fiction

New on our bookshelf today:

The Darker Side of Slash Fan Fiction: Essays on Power, Consent and the Body
Edited by Ashton Spacey

Like other forms of fan fiction, slash fiction—centered on same-sex relationships between two or more characters—is a powerful cultural dialogue. Though the genre can be socially transformative, particularly as an active feminist resistance to patriarchal ideologies, it is complex and continually evolving.

This collection of new essays covers topics on real, “fringe” bodies and identities; the inscription and transgression of bodily boundaries; and the exploration of power, autonomy and personal agency. Considering the darker side of the genre, these essays discuss how systems of authority are both challenged and reiterated by the erotic imagination, and how the voices of marginalized groups are both raised and ignored within slash fiction and fan communities.

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Opening Day Baseball Sale

We have all caught spring fever here at McFarland, and we’re certain that’s the case with many of our readers, as well!  We’re offering a surprise sale coinciding with Opening Day. When you order direct from our website with the coupon code OpeningDay40, print editions of all baseball
books are 40% off beginning Opening Day, March 29 through Easter Monday April 2.

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Newly Published: Always Been a Rambler

New on our bookshelf today:

Always Been a Rambler: G.B. Grayson and Henry Whitter, Country Music Pioneers of Southern Appalachia
Josh Beckworth

GB. Grayson and Henry Whitter were two of the most influential artists in the early days of country music. Songs they popularized—“Tom Dooley,” “Little Maggie,” “Handsome Molly,” and “Nine Pound Hammer”—are still staples of traditional music. Although the duo sold tens of thousands of records during the 1920s, the details of their lives remain largely unknown.

Featuring never before published photographs and interviews with friends and relatives, this book chronicles for the first time the romantic intrigues and tragic deaths that marked their lives and explores the Southern Appalachian culture that shaped their music.

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Newly Published: Exploring Downton Abbey

New on our bookshelf today:

Exploring Downton Abbey: Critical Essays
Edited by Scott F. Stoddart

The BBC television series Downton Abbey (2010–2016), highly rated in the UK, achieved cult status among American viewers, harking back to the days when serial dramas ruled the airwaves. The show’s finale was one of the most watched in all of television history.

This collection of new essays by British and American contributors explores how a series about life in an early 20th century English manor home resonated with American audiences. Topics include the role of the house in literature and film, the changing roles of women and the servant class, the influence of jazz and fashion, and attitudes regarding education and the class system.

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Newly Published: Buster Keaton in His Own Time

New on our bookshelf today:

Buster Keaton in His Own Time: What the Responses of 1920s Critics Reveal
Wes D. Gehring

Buster Keaton “can impress a weary world with the vitally important fact that life, after all, is a foolishly inconsequential affair,” wrote critic Robert Sherwood in 1918. A century later Keaton, with his darkly comic “theater of the absurd,” speaks to audiences like no other silent comedian. If you thought you knew Keaton—think again!

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Weekly Kindle Spotlight: March 26th

Whitey Herzog Builds a WinnerLove e-books? Save on several popular titles this week with our Kindle Spotlight! Through March 31st, get these books on Kindle for just $3.99.

Whitey Herzog Builds a Winner: The St. Louis Cardinals, 1979-1982

Superheroines and the Epic Journey: Mythic Themes in Comics, Film and Television

Responding to Call of Duty: Critical Essays on the Game Franchise

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

Eye of the Tiger: Memoir of a United States Marine, Third Force Recon Company, Vietnam

Tail End Charlie: Memoir of a United States Marine in the Vietnam War

War, Politics and Superheroes: Ethics and Propaganda in Comics and Film

Extraordinary Dreams: Visions, Announcements and Premonitions Across Time and Place

Children Who Remember Previous Lives: A Question of Reincarnation

The Culture of Sports in the Harlem Renaissance

The NFL in the 1970s: Pro Football’s Most Important Decade

Mustang Genesis: The Creation of the Pony Car

Wells, Fargo & Co: Stagecoach and Train Robberies, 1870-1884

Dark Bayou: Infamous Louisiana Homicide

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Newly Published: Mixed Martial Arts and the Quest for Legitimacy

New on our bookshelf today:

Mixed Martial Arts and the Quest for Legitimacy: The Sport vs. Spectacle Divide
Mark S. Williams

Mixed martial arts or MMA is widely regarded as the fastest growing sport. Events fill stadiums around the world and draw vast television audiences, earning strong revenue through pay-per-view at a time when other sports have abandoned it. In 2016, the Ultimate Fighting Championship was bought by the massive talent agency WME-IMG for $4 billion. Despite this success, much of the public remains uneasy with the sport, which critics have denounced as “human cockfighting.”

Through an exploration of violence, class, gender, race and nationalism, the author finds that MMA is both an expression of the positive values of martial arts and a spectacle defined by narcissism, hate and patriarchy. The long-term success of MMA will depend on the ability of promoters and athletes to resist indulging in spectacle at the expense of sport.

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Newly Published: Joss Whedon’s Big Damn Movie

New on our bookshelf today:

Joss Whedon’s Big Damn Movie: Essays on Serenity
Edited by Frederick Blichert

When Joss Whedon’s television show Firefly (2002–2003) was cancelled, devoted fans cried foul and demanded more—which led to the 2005 feature film Serenity. Both the series and the film were celebrated for their melding of science fiction and western iconography, dystopian settings, underdog storylines, and clever fast-paced dialogue.

Firefly has garnered a great deal of scholarly attention—less so, Serenity. This collection of new essays, the first focusing exclusively on the film, examines its depictions of race, ableism, social engineering and systems of power, and its status as a crime film, among other topics.

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

New on our bookshelf today:

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

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

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

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Newly Published: Magic in Britain

New on our bookshelf today:

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

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

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

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Newly Published: Sherlock and Digital Fandom

New on our bookshelf today:

Sherlock and Digital Fandom: The Meeting of Creativity, Community and Advocacy
Jennifer Wojton and Lynnette Porter

When the BBC’s Sherlock debuted in summer 2010—and appeared in the U.S. on PBS a few months later—no one knew it would become an international phenomenon. The series has since gathered a diverse and enthusiastic fandom.

Like their hero, Sherlock fans scrutinize clues about the show’s deeper meaning, as well as happenings off screen. They postulate theories and readings of the characters and their relationships. They have tweeted with “The Powers That Be,” mobilized to filming locations via #Setlock, and become advocates for LGBTQIA communities.

Sherlock’s digital communities have changed the way that fans and series creators interact in person and online, as each publicly takes “ownership” of beloved television characters who represent far more than entertainment to fans.

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Weekly Kindle Spotlight: March 19

Through an Unlocked DoorLove e-books? Save on several popular titles this week with our Kindle Spotlight! Through March 31st, get these books on Kindle for just $3.99.

Through and Unlocked Door: In Walks Murder

A Life in Code: Pioneer Cryptanalyst Elizebeth Smith Friedman

Winston Churchill, Myth and Reality: What He Actually Did and Said

Star Wars Heresies: Interpreting the Themes, Symbols and Philosophies of Episodes I, II and III

Gaming as Culture: Essays on Reality, Identity and Experience in Games

Storytelling in Video Games: The Art of the Digital Narrative

The Lost Colony of Roanoke: New Perspectives

African American Doctors of World War I: The Lives of 104 Volunteers

Runway Visions: An American C-130 Pilot’s Memoir of Combat Airlift Operations in Southeast Asia, 1967-1968

North Korea and Myanmar: Divergent Paths

Fascist Lizards from Outer Space: The Politics, Literary Influence and Cultural History of Kenneth Johnson’s V

Evidence for Psi: Thirteen Empirical Research Reports

The Origins and History of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League

The Indianapolis Automobile Industry: A History, 1893-1939

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We Rise to Resist Receives Starred Review in Booklist

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

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

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J.L. Wilkinson and the Kansas City Monarchs Wins 2018 SABR Baseball Research Award

William A. Young’s J.L. Wilkinson and the Kansas City Monarchs has been named a 2018 SABR Baseball Research Award winner.  The judges praised the book for providing “new insights into the relationship between the Negro Leagues and Judge Landis and the leagues’ role in Jackie Robinson’s ascension,” as well as for its focus on “the central role played by Wilkinson in maintaining the institution of Negro League baseball.”  Read the announcement here.

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Newly Published: Superheroes and Their Ancient Jewish Parallels

New on our bookshelf today:

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

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

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

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

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Newly Published: Text & Presentation, 2017

New on our bookshelf today:

Text & Presentation, 2017
Edited by Jay Malarcher

Presenting some of the best work from the 2017 Comparative Drama Conference at Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida, this collection highlights the latest research in comparative drama, performance and dramatic textual analysis. Contributors cover a broad range of topics, from the “practical ethnography” of directing foreign language productions to writing for theoretical stages to the “radical deaf theater” of Aaron Sawyer’s The Vineyard. A full transcript of the keynote conversation with American playwright and screenwriter Lisa Loomer is included.

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Newly Published: The American Soldier, 1866–1916

New on our bookshelf today:

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

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

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

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Newly Published: Jack Lord

New on our bookshelf today:

Jack Lord: An Acting Life
Sylvia D. Lynch

Before his rise to superstardom portraying Detective Steve McGarrett on the long-running police drama Hawaii Five-O, Jack Lord was already a dedicated and versatile actor on Broadway, in film and on television.

His range of roles included a Virginia gentleman planter in Colonial Williamsburg (The Story of a Patriot), CIA agent Felix Leiter in the first James Bond movie (Dr. No) and the title character in the cult classic rodeo TV series Stoney Burke. Lord’s career culminated in twelve seasons on Hawaii Five-O, where his creative control of the series left an indelible mark on every aspect of its production.

This book, the first to draw on Lord’s massive personal archive, gives a behind-the-scenes look into the life and work of a TV legend.

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Newly Published: The Star Wars Phenomenon in Britain

New on our bookshelf today:

The Star Wars Phenomenon in Britain: The Blockbuster Impact and the Galaxy of Merchandise, 1977–1983
Craig Stevens

Among the top-grossing Hollywood blockbusters of all time, Star Wars launched one of the most successful movie and licensing franchises in history. Yet much of the film’s backstory was set in Britain, where the original trilogy was made and where early efforts at tie-in merchandising were spearheaded.

The author provides a detailed account of the saga’s British connection, including personal recollections of fans in the UK, exclusive interviews with staff members of Palitoy who took on the challenge of producing millions of toys, and the story of how a group of writers from the underground press in London combined with Marvel comics to produce the first Star Wars expanded universe.

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Newly Published: Identity in Professional Wrestling

New on our bookshelf today:

Identity in Professional Wrestling: Essays on Nationality, Race and Gender
Edited by Aaron D. Horton

Part sport, part performance art, professional wrestling’s appeal crosses national, racial and gender boundaries—in large part by playing to national, racial and gender stereotypes that resonate with audiences. Scholars who study competitive sports tend to dismiss wrestling, with its scripted outcomes, as “fake,” yet fail to recognize a key similarity: both present athletic displays for maximized profit through live events, television viewership and merchandise sales.

This collection of new essays contributes to the literature on pro wrestling with a broad exploration of identity in the sport. Topics include cultural appropriation in the ring, gender non-comformity, national stereotypes, and wrestling as transmission of cultural values.

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Newly Published: Fumbled Call

New on our bookshelf today:

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

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

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

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

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Weekly Deal: Celtic Studies

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

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

Celtic Astrology from the Druids to the Middle Ages

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

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

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

Modern Druidism

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

British and Irish Poets: A Biographical Dictionary 449-2006

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Newly Published: Women in Doctor Who

New on our bookshelf today:

Women in Doctor Who: Damsels, Feminists and Monsters
Valerie Estelle Frankel

Over the past half-century Doctor Who has defined science fiction television. The women in the series—from orphans and heroic mothers to seductresses and clever teachers—flourish in their roles yet rarely surmount them. Some companions rescue the Doctor and charm viewers with their technical brilliance, while others only scream for rescue. The villainesses dazzle with their cruelty, from the Rani to Cassandra and Missy. Covering all of the series—classic and new—along with Class, K9, Torchwood, The Sarah Jane Adventures, novels, comics and Big Finish Audio adventures, this book examines the women archetypes in Doctor Who.

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Newly Published: Themes in Dickens

New on our bookshelf today:

Themes in Dickens: Seven Recurring Concerns in the Writings
Peter J. Ponzio

The Victorian age is often portrayed as an era of repressive social mores. Yet this simplified view ignores the context of Great Britain’s profound shift, through rapid industrialization, from rural to metropolitan life during this time.

Throughout his career, Charles Dickens addressed the numerous changes occurring in Victorian society. His portrayals of organized religion, class distinction, worker’s rights, prison reform and rampant poverty resonated with readers experiencing social upheaval. Focusing on his novels, nonfiction writing, speeches and personal correspondence, this book explores Dickens’s use of these themes as both literary devices and as a means to effect social progress.

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Newly Published: Breaking the Appalachian Barrier

New on our bookshelf today:

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

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

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

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Newly Published: James Joyce

New on our bookshelf today:

James Joyce: A Literary Companion
James F. Broderick

Though he published just a handful of major works in his lifetime, James Joyce (1882–1941) continues to fascinate readers around the world and remains one of the most important literary figures of the 20th century. The complexity of Joyce’s style has attracted—and occasionally puzzled—generations of readers who have succumbed to the richness of his literary world.

This literary companion guides readers through his four major works—Dubliners, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Ulysses and Finnegans Wake—with chapter-by-chapter discussions and critical inquiry. An A to Z format covers the works, people, history and context that influenced his writing. Appendices summarize notable Joycean literary criticism and biography, and also discuss significant films based on his work.

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Newly Published: My Most-Wanted Marijuana Mom

New on our bookshelf today:

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

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

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

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Newly Published: The Many Lives of Ajax

New on our bookshelf today:

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

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

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Weekly Kindle Spotlight: March 5th

Japan’s Green MonstersLove e-books? Save on several popular titles this week with our Kindle Spotlight! Through March 31st, get these books on Amazon Kindle for just $3.99.

Laird Cregar: A Hollywood Tragedy

Japan’s Green Monsters: Environmental Commentary in Kaiju Cinema

The Sadist, the Hitman and the Murder of Jane Bashara

Booking Hawaii Five-0: An Episode Guide and Critical History of the 1968-1980 Television Detective Series

The Evolution of Fantasy Role-Playing Games

Black Slaveowners: Free Black Slave Masters in South Carolina, 1790-1860

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

Hornet 33: Memoir of a Combat Helicopter Pilot in Vietnam

Capitol Hill Pages: Young Witnesses to 200 Years of History

Scientifical Americans: The Culture of Amateur Paranormal Researchers

The United States Football League, 1982-1986

Motor City Champs: Mickey Cochrane and the 1934-1935 Detroit Tigers

The Cars of American Motors: An Illustrated History

Out for Queer Blood: The Murder of Fernando Rios and the Failure of New Orleans Justice


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

New on our bookshelf today:

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

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

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Weekly Deal: The Academy Awards

This week, get 20% off all books about the Academy Awards when you use the coupon code OSCAR!

Oscar’s Favorite Actors: The Winningest Stars (and More Who Should Be)

Foreign Language Films and the Oscar: The Nominees and Winners, 1948–2017

Hollywood Musicals Nominated for Best Picture

Behind the Scenes with Hollywood Producers: Interviews with 14 Top Film Creators

Encyclopedia of Motion Picture Sound

The Films of the Nineties: A Complete, Qualitative Filmography of Over 3000 Feature-Length English Language Films, Theatrical and Video-Only, Released Between January 1, 1990, and December 31, 1999

Western Film Highlights: The Best of the West, 1914–2001

Feature Films, 1940–1949: A United States Filmography

Encyclopedia of African American Actresses in Film and Television

Art Directors in Cinema: A Worldwide Biographical Dictionary

The Columbia Checklist: The Feature Films, Serials, Cartoons and Short Subjects of Columbia Pictures Corporation, 1922–1988

Best Songs of the Movies: Academy Award Nominees and Winners, 1934–1958

The First Hollywood Musicals: A Critical Filmography of 171 Features, 1927 through 1932

The Fox Film Corporation, 1915–1935: A History and Filmography


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Newly Published: The Art of American Screen Acting, 1912–1960

New on our bookshelf today:

The Art of American Screen Acting, 1912–1960
Dan Callahan

Some people claim that audiences go to the movies for the genre. Others say they go for the director. But most really go to see their favorite actors and actresses. This book explores the work of many of classic Hollywood’s influential stars, such as James Cagney, Bette Davis, Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn.

These so-called “pre–Brando” entertainers, often dismissed as old fashioned, were part of an explosion of talent that ran from the late 1920s through the early 1950s. The author analyzes their compelling styles and their ability to capture audiences.

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Newly Published: The Collected Sonnets of William Shakespeare, Zombie

New on our bookshelf today:

The Collected Sonnets of William Shakespeare, Zombie
William Shakespeare and Chase Pielak

What if one of literature’s greatest poets was actually a zombie, writing in an Elizabethan world teeming with the undead hiding in plain sight? Inviting readers to see the sublime in the looming apocalypse, this book presents all 154 Shakespearean sonnets (with minor alterations transfigured into “zonnets”) in their horrifying glory, highlighting transcendent themes of love, death, beauty and feasting on the flesh of the living. Each sonnet portrays a zombie encounter, with accompanying vignettes revealing the struggles of undead life in early modern England. Original illustrations by Anna Pagnucci bring the nightmare to life. Shakespeare will never be the same.

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Two Books Reviewed in March Issue of Choice

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

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

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Newly Published: Early Bicycles and the Quest for Speed

New on our bookshelf today:

Early Bicycles and the Quest for Speed: A History, 1868–1903, 2d ed.
Andrew Ritchie

From the earliest “velocipedes” through the advent of the pneumatic tire to the rise of modern road and track competition, this history of the sport of bicycle racing traces its role in the development of bicycle technology between 1868 and 1903.

Providing detailed technical information along with biographies of racers and other important personalities, the book explores this thirty-year period of early bicycle history as the social and technical precursor to later developments in the motorcycle and automobile industries.

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Newly Published: Beer in Maryland

New on our bookshelf today:

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

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

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

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Newly Published: We Rise to Resist

New on our bookshelf today:

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

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

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Newly Published: Bridges to Science Fiction and Fantasy

New on our bookshelf today:

Bridges to Science Fiction and Fantasy: Outstanding Essays from the J. Lloyd Eaton Conferences
Edited by Gregory Benford, Gary Westfahl, Howard V. Hendrix and Joseph D. Miller

The J. Lloyd Eaton Conferences on Science Fiction and Fantasy Literature—long held at the University of California, Riverside—have been a major influence in the study of science fiction and fantasy for thirty years. The conferences have attracted leading scholars whose papers are published in Eaton volumes found in university libraries throughout the world.

This collection brings together 22 of the best papers—most with new afterwords by the authors—presented in chronological order to show how science fiction and fantasy criticism has evolved since 1979.

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Newly Published: Baseball Greatness

New on our bookshelf today:

Baseball Greatness: Top Players and Teams According to Wins Above Average, 1901–2017
David Kaiser

Recent advances in baseball statistical analysis have made it possible to assess the totality of contribution each player makes to team success or failure. Using the metric Wins Above Average (WAA)—the number of wins that the 2016 Red Sox, for example, added because they had Mookie Betts in right field, instead of an average player—the author undertakes a fascinating review of major league baseball from 1901 through 2017. The great teams are analyzed, underscoring why they were successful. The great players of each generation are identified using simple, reliable metrics—from Ty Cobb through Mike Trout, and pitchers from Christy Mathewson to Clayton Kershaw.

Surprises abound. The importance of pitching is found to be vastly exaggerated. Many Hall of Fame pitchers (and some hitters) achieved immortality almost entirely on the backs of their teammates, while a few over-qualified players still await induction. Focusing on today’s rosters, the WAA assessment shows that the game is threatened by an unprecedented shortage of great players.

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Newly Published: Bonds of Brotherhood in Sons of Anarchy

New on our bookshelf today:

Bonds of Brotherhood in Sons of Anarchy: Essays on Masculinity in the FX Series
Edited by Susan Fanetti

One of FX’s most successful original productions, Sons of Anarchy roared onto the screen in 2008 and dominated the cable network’s programming for seven seasons. Following an outlaw motorcycle club on its Shakespearean journey, the series took audiences on a wild ride powered by a high-octane brand of masculinity.

This collection of new essays explores the show’s complicated presentation of masculinity and its cultural implications. Series creator and writer Kurt Sutter depicts male characters who act from a highly traditional sense of what it means to be a man. SOA both vaunts and challenges that sense of manhood as the characters face the consequences of their ride-or-die lifestyle.

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Newly Published: ABC Family to Freeform TV

New on our bookshelf today:

ABC Family to Freeform TV: Essays on the Millennial-Focused Network and Its Programs
Edited by Emily L. Newman and Emily Witsell

Launched in 1977 by the Christian Broadcasting Service (originally associated with Pat Robertson), the ABC Family/Freeform network has gone through a number of changes in name and ownership. Over the past decade, the network—now owned by Disney—has redefined “family programming” for its targeted 14- to 34-year-old demographic, addressing topics like lesbian and gay parenting, postfeminism and changing perceptions of women, the issue of race in the U.S., and the status of disability in American culture.

This collection of new essays examines the network from a variety of perspectives, with a focus on inclusive programming that has created a space for underrepresented communities like transgender youth, overweight teens, and the deaf.

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Newly Published: Assembling the Marvel Cinematic Universe

New on our bookshelf today:

Assembling the Marvel Cinematic Universe: Essays on the Social, Cultural and Geopolitical Domains
Edited by Julian C. Chambliss, William L. Svitavsky and Daniel Fandino

The Marvel Cinematic Universe—comprised of films, broadcast television and streaming series and digital shorts—has generated considerable fan engagement with its emphasis on socially relevant characters and plots. Beyond considerable box office achievements, the success of Marvel’s movie studios has opened up dialogue on social, economic and political concerns that challenge established values and beliefs. This collection of new essays examines those controversial themes and the ways they represent, construct and distort American culture.

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Newly Published: The Postmodern Joy of Role-Playing Games

New on our bookshelf today:

The Postmodern Joy of Role-Playing Games: Agency, Ritual and Meaning in the Medium
René Reinhold Schallegger

Historian Johan Huizinga once described game playing as the motor of humanity’s cultural development, predating art and literature. Since the late 20th century, Western society has undergone a “ludification,” as the influence of game-playing has grown ever more prevalent. At the same time, new theories of postmodernism have emphasized the importance of interactive, playful behavior.

Core concepts of postmodernism are evident in pen-and-paper role-playing, such as Dungeons and Dragons. Exploring the interrelationships among narrative, gameplay, players and society, the author raises questions regarding authority, agency and responsibility, and discusses the social potential of RPGs in the 21st century.

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Newly Published: Becoming John Wayne

New on our bookshelf today:

Becoming John Wayne: The Early Westerns of a Screen Icon, 1930–1939
Larry Powell and Jonathan H. Amsbary

Exploring the early westerns of John Wayne—from his first starring role in the The Big Trail (1930) to his breakthrough as the Ringo Kid in John Ford’s Stagecoach (1939)—the authors trace his transformation from Marion Mitchell Morrison, movie studio prop man, into John Wayne, a carefully crafted film persona of his own invention that made him world famous. Wayne’s years of training went well beyond honing his acting skill, as he developed the ability to do his own stunts, perfected his technique as a gun handler and became an expert horseman.

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Newly Published: Chivalry in Westeros

New on our bookshelf today:

Chivalry in Westeros: The Knightly Code of A Song of Ice and Fire
Carol Parrish Jamison

George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire has sparked a renewed interest in things medieval. The pseudo-historical world of Westeros delights casual fans while offering a rich new perspective for medievalists and scholars.
This study explores how Martin crafts a chivalric code that intersects with and illuminates well known medieval texts, including both romance and heroic epics.

Through characters such as Brienne of Tarth, Sandor Clegane and Jaime Lannister, Martin variously challenges, upholds and deconstructs chivalry as depicted in the literature of the Middle Ages.

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Newly Published: Terrorism Worldwide, 2016

New on our bookshelf today:

Terrorism Worldwide, 2016
Edward Mickolus

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

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Newly Published: Saturday Night Live and the 1976 Presidential Election

New on our bookshelf today:

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

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

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Weekly Kindle Spotlight: February 19th

Love e-books? Save on several popular titles this week with our Kindle Spotlight! Through February 28th, get these books on Amazon Kindle for just $3.99.

Classics Illustrated: A Cultural History

Goon: Memoir of a Minor League Hockey Enforcer

The Musical Artistry of Rap

The Hippies: A 1960’s History

Becoming a Leader is Becoming Yourself

Diversity in Disney Films

The Age of Netflix: Critical Essays on Streaming Media, Digital Delivery and Instant Access

Understanding Minecraft: Essays on Play, Community, and Possibilities

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

“Ask the Man Who Owns One”: And Illustrated History of Packard Advertising

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Newly Published: Virginia and the Great War

New on our bookshelf today:

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

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

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Newly Published: Capitol Hill Pages

New on our bookshelf today:

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

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

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Newly Published: The Subversive Zombie

New on our bookshelf today:

The Subversive Zombie: Social Protest and Gender in Undead Cinema and Television
Elizabeth Aiossa

Historically, zombies have been portrayed in films and television series as mindless, shuffling monsters. In recent years, this has changed dramatically. The undead are fast and ferocious in 28 Days Later… (2002) and World War Z (2013). In Warm Bodies (2013) and In the Flesh (2013–2015), they are thoughtful, sensitive and capable of empathy. These sometimes radically different depictions of the undead (and the still living) suggest critical inquiries: What does it mean to be human? What makes a monster? Who survives the zombie apocalypse, and why? Focusing on classic and current movies and TV shows, the author reveals how the once-subversive modern zombie, now more popular than ever, has been co-opted by the mainstream culture industry.

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Three New Titles Reviewed in February Issue of Choice

Egyptomania Goes to the Movies: From Archaeology to Popular Craze to Hollywood Fantasy
Matthew Coniam
“Informative and fun…provides much interesting detail…recommended.”

Player and Avatar: The Affective Potential of Videogames
David Owen
“An engaging book…approachable, topical, and well sourced…recommended”

P.D. James: A Companion to the Mystery Fiction
Laurel A. Young

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Newly Published: The Indianapolis Automobile Industry

New on our bookshelf today:

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

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

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Newly Published: The Mistaken History of the Korean War

New on our bookshelf today:

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

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

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Newly Published: Harry Potter and Convergence Culture

New on our bookshelf today:

Harry Potter and Convergence Culture: Essays on Fandom and the Expanding Potterverse
Edited by Amanda Firestone and Leisa A. Clark

Since the 1997 publication of the first Harry Potter novel, the “Potterverse” has seen the addition of eight feature films (with a ninth in production), the creation of the interactive Pottermore© website, the release of myriad video games, the construction of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios, several companion books (such as Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them), critical essays and analyses, and the 2016 debut of the original stage play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.

This collection of new essays interprets the Wizarding World beyond the books and films through the lens of convergence culture. Contributors explore how online communities tackle Sorting and games like the Quidditch Cup and the Triwizard Tournament, and analyze how Fantastic Beasts and Harry Potter and the Cursed Child are changing fandom and the canon alike.

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Newly Published: Janet Frame in Focus

New on our bookshelf today:

Janet Frame in Focus: Women Analyze the Works of the New Zealand Writer
Edited by Josephine A. McQuail

 New Zealand author Janet Frame (1924-2004) during her lifetime published 11 novels, three collections of short stories, a volume of poetry and a children’s book.

   The details of her life–her tragic early years, her confinement in a psychiatric hospital and her miraculous reprieve–overshadow her work and she remains largely neglected by scholars.

   These essays focus on Frame’s autobiography, short stories and novels. Contributors from around the world explore a range of topics, including her mother’s Christadelphian faith, her relationships with two 20th century icons (William Theophilus Brown and John Money), and a view of Frame in the context of trauma studies. Two of the essays were presented at the 2014 Northeast Modern Language Association convention.

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Newly Published: A Dark California

New on our bookshelf today:

A Dark California: Essays on Dystopian Depictions in Popular Culture
Edited by Katarzyna Nowak-McNeice and Agata Zarzycka

Focusing on portrayals of California in popular culture, this collection of new essays traces a central theme of darkness through literature (Toby Barlow, Angela Carter, Joan Didion, Thomas Pynchon, and Claire Vaye Watkins), video games (L.A. Noire), music (Death Grips, Lana Del Rey, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers), TV (True Detective and American Horror Story), and film  (Starry Eyes, Southland Tales and A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night).

Providing insight into the significance of Californian icons, the contributors explore the interplay between positive stereotypes connected to the myth of the Golden State and ambivalent responses to the myth based on social and political power, the consequences of consumerism, transformations of the landscape and the dominance of hyperreality.

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Newly Published: Rowena Sunder, Artist in New York

New on our bookshelf today:

Rowena Sunder, Artist in New York
Linda Campbell Franklin

Rowena Sunder, still an artist in 2018, composes a meta auto-biographical book about five years of her life in New York City between 1965 and 1970. She escapes Toledo and her father’s idea that she should marry and paint on Sundays and drives away in her VW bug. She sells one painting on the way, and arrives in the big city during one of its most exciting times. She works at the (invented) Museum of Invention, sublets on E. 94th Street, makes friends, acquires a cat named Kittyhawk, and finds NYC much to her liking.

After selling paintings to a psychotherapist, he listens while she struggles with mixed feelings about focus. She finally rejoices in the swarm of ideas that come to her from everywhere. Now, a half-century later, she draws her book, and talks directly to the reader in a series of vignettes, all connected by her gift of too many ideas. Rowena loves words and puns and little jokes and these add other perspectives to every page.

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Newly Published: Exploring Picard’s Galaxy

New on our bookshelf today:

Exploring Picard’s Galaxy: Essays on Star Trek: The Next Generation
Edited by Peter W. Lee

Serving as the sequel to Gene Roddenberry’s original television series, Star Trek: The Next Generation pushed the boundaries of the “final frontier.” At the same time, the show continued the franchise’s celebrated exploration of the human experience, reflecting current social and political events. ST:TNG became immensely successful, spawning four feature films and several television spin-offs.

This collection of new essays explores both the series’ characters and its themes. Topics include the Federation’s philosophy concerning technocracy, sexuality and biopolitics; foreign policy shifts in the Prime Directive; key characters including Jean-Luc Picard, Data, Deanna Troi, Tasha Yar; and Klingon martial arts, music, and history.

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Newly Published: Indie Science Fiction Cinema Today

New on our bookshelf today:

Indie Science Fiction Cinema Today: Conversations with 21st Century Filmmakers
Kathleen Fernandez-Vander Kaay and Chris Vander Kaay

Much of 20th century science fiction foretold technological and social developments beyond the year 2000. Since then, a key theme has been: what happens when the future no one anticipated arrives faster than anyone expected? Focusing on 21st century independent science fiction films, the author describes a seismic shift in subject matter as society moves into a new technological age. Independent films since the millennium are more daring, incisive and even plausible in their depiction of possible futures than blockbuster films of the same period. Twenty-one chapters break down today’s subgenres, featuring interviews with the filmmakers who created them.

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Newly Published: The Story of a Forest

New on our bookshelf today:

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

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

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

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

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

New on our bookshelf today:

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

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

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Newly Published: Secrets of Great Teachers

New on our bookshelf today:

Secrets of Great Teachers: 22 Strategies to Energize Middle and High School Classrooms
Elisheva Zeffren with Perella Perlstein

You can abandon rote learning with this middle and high school teaching guide. Encouraging both students and teachers to unlock their creativity, the authors provide guidance in lesson planning and ideas for creating unconventional homework, projects and tests that are cost-free and easy to implement. This book leads teachers away from endorsing competition and teacher-pleasing behavior, and offers ideas for independent thinking that will strengthen students’ decision-making, deductive reasoning and emotional intelligence.

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Weekly Deal: The Olympics

It’s time again for the world’s greatest display of sportsmanship! Celebrate PyeongChang 2018 by receiving 20% off our Olympic titles— use the coupon code “OLYMPICS” at checkout.

A Hurdler’s Hurdle

Encyclopedia of International Games

Jim Thorpe

American Decathletes

The Pan American Games/Los Juegos Panamericanos

The Art of Sprinting

The 1920 Olympic Games

The 1912 Olympic Games

The 1908 Olympic Games

The 1904 Olympic Games

The 1900 Olympic Games

The 1896 Olympic Games

American Women’s Track and Field, 1981-2000

Ellison “Tarzan” Brown

Running Through the Ages, 2nd ed

Playing for Equality

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Newly Published: Weathervanes of New England

New on our bookshelf today:

Weathervanes of New England
Glenn A. Knoblock and David W. Wemmer

First used to gauge New England’s ever-changing weather, now viewed as American folk art, historic weathervanes have been a part of the region’s skyline for more than three centuries. Focusing on examples that can still be seen in public, this comprehensive study of the development of the weathervane describes changes in form and function from colonial times to the present, and also documents the histories of weathervane makers throughout New England.

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Newly Published: Egypt’s Identities in Conflict

New on our bookshelf today:

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

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

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

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Newly Published: Motor City Champs

New on our bookshelf today:

Motor City Champs: Mickey Cochrane and the 1934–1935 Detroit Tigers
Scott Ferkovich

In the early 1930s, the Motor City was sputtering from the Great Depression. Then came a talented Detroit Tigers team, steered by player-manager Mickey Cochrane, to inject new pride into the Detroit psyche. It was a cast of colorful characters, with such nicknames as Schoolboy, Goose, Hammerin’ Hank and Little Tommy. Over two seasons in 1934 and 1935, the team powered its way to the top of the baseball world, becoming a symbol of a resurgent metropolis and winning the first-ever Tigers championship. This exhaustively researched account provides an in-depth look into a remarkable period in baseball history.

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Newly Published: Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Film Sequels, Series and Remakes

New on our bookshelf today:

Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Film Sequels, Series and Remakes: An Illustrated Filmography, Volume II (1996–2016)
Kim R. Holston and Tom Winchester

Science fiction, fantasy and horror movies have spawned more sequels and remakes than any other film genre. Following Volume 1, which covered 400 films made 1931–1995, Volume 2 of this comprehensive reference analyzes 334 releases 1996–2017. The traditional cinematic monsters are represented—Dracula, Frankenstein, the Wolf Man, a new Mummy. A new wave of popular series inspired by comics and video games, as well as The Lord of the Rings trilogy, could never have been credibly produced without advances in special effects technology. Audiences follow the exploits of superheroes like Captain America, Iron Man, Spider-Man and Thor, and such heroines as the vampire Selene, zombie killer Alice, dystopian rebels Katniss Everdeen and Imperator Furiosa, and Soviet spy turned American agent Black Widow. The continuing depredations of Jason Voorhees, Freddy Krueger and Michael Myers are described. Pre–1996 movies that have since been remade are included. Entries features cast and credits, detailed synopsis, critics’ reviews, and original analysis.

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

New on our bookshelf today:

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

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

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

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Newly Published: Eyes on Havana

New on our bookshelf today:

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

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

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

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Newly Published: Ukraine Over the Edge

New on our bookshelf today:

Ukraine Over the Edge: Russia, the West and the “New Cold War”
Gordon M. Hahn

The Ukrainian crisis that dominated headlines in fall 2013 was decades in the making. Two great schisms shaped events: one within Ukraine, its western and southeastern parts divided along cultural and political lines; the other was driven by geopolitical factors. Competition between Russia and the West exacerbated Ukraine’s divisions.

This study focuses on the historical background and complex causality of the crisis, from the rise of mass demonstrations on Kiev’s Maidan Nezalezhnosti (Independence Square) to the making of the post-revolt regime. In the context of a “new cold war,” the author sheds light on the role of radical Ukrainian nationalists and neofascists in the February 2014 snipers’ massacre, the ouster of President Viktor Yanukovych, and Russia’s seizure of Crimea and involvement in the civil war in the eastern region of Donbass.

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Newly Published: Whitey Herzog Builds a Winner

New on our bookshelf today:

Whitey Herzog Builds a Winner: The St. Louis Cardinals, 1979–1982
Doug Feldmann

As Lou Brock was chasing 3000 career hits late in the 1979 season—his last after 18 years in the majors—the St. Louis Cardinals were looking for a new identity. Brock’s departure represented the final link to the team’s glory years of the 1960s, and a parade of new players now came in from the minor leagues. With the Cardinals mired in last place by the following June, owner August A. Busch, Jr., hired Whitey Herzog as field manager, and shortly handed him the general manager’s position, too.

Herzog was given free rein to rebuild the club to embrace the new running game trend in the majors. With an aggressive style of play and an unconventional approach to personnel moves, he catapulted the Cardinals back into prominence and defined a new age of baseball in St. Louis.

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New in Softcover: The Creature Chronicles

Now available in softcover:

The Creature Chronicles: Exploring the Black Lagoon Trilogy
Tom Weaver, David Schecter and Steve Kronenberg

He was the final addition to Universal’s “royal family” of movie monsters: the Creature from the Black Lagoon. With his scaly armor, razor claws and a face only a mother octopus could love, this Amazon denizen was perhaps the most fearsome beast in the history of Hollywood’s Studio of Horrors. But he also possessed a sympathetic quality which elevated him fathoms above the many aquatic monsters who swam in his wake.

Everything you ever wanted to know about the Gill Man and his mid–1950s film career (Creature from the Black Lagoon, Revenge of the Creature, The Creature Walks Among Us) is collected in this book, packed to the gills with hour-by-hour production histories, cast bios, analyses, explorations of the music, script-to-screen comparisons, in-depth interviews and an ocean of fin-tastic photos.

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Newly Published: Counterinsurgency and the United States Marine Corps

New on our bookshelf today:

Counterinsurgency and the United States Marine Corps: Volume 2, An Era of Persistent Warfare, 1945–2016
Leo J. Daugherty III and Rhonda L. Smith-Daugherty

Volume 2 continues the history of the U.S. Marine Corps’ involvement in “small wars” after World War II, beginning with advisory efforts with the Netherlands Marine Korps (1943–1946). The author describes counterinsurgency efforts during the Korean War (1950–1953), the development of vertical assault tactics in the late 1940s, 1950s and 1960s, counterinsurgency in Southeast Asia (1962–1975), involvement in Central America (1983–1989), and present-day conflicts, including the War on Terror and operations in Iraq and Libya.

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Newly Published: Where Monsters Walked

New on our bookshelf today:

Where Monsters Walked: California Locations of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films, 1925–1965
Gail Orwig and Raymond Orwig

This richly illustrated guide to dozens of California filming locations covers four decades of science fiction, fantasy and horror movies, documenting such familiar places as the house used in Psycho and the Bronson Caves of Robot Monster, along with less well known sites from films like Lost Horizon and Them! Arranged alphabetically by movie title—from Amazing Colossal Man to Zotz!—the entries provide many “then” and “now” photos, with directions to the locations.

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

New on our bookshelf today:

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

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

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

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

New on our bookshelf today:

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

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

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Newly Published: Folk Religion of the Pennsylvania Dutch

New on our bookshelf today:

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

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

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

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

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Newly Published: Japan’s Green Monsters

New on our bookshelf today:

Japan’s Green Monsters: Environmental Commentary in Kaiju Cinema
Sean Rhoads and Brooke McCorkle

In 1954, a massive irradiated dinosaur emerged from Tokyo Bay and rained death and destruction on the Japanese capital. Since then Godzilla and other monsters, such as Mothra and Gamera, have gained cult status around the world.
This book provides a new interpretation of these monsters, or kaijū, and their respective movies. Analyzing Japanese history, society and film, the authors demonstrate various ways in which this monster cinema tackles environmental and ecological issues—from nuclear power and industrial pollution to biodiversity and climate change.

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Newly Published: Sex and the Scientist

New on our bookshelf today:

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

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

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True Crime 2018 Catalog Now Available


From the swamps of Louisiana, to the shadowy streets of London, our authors show that violence can lurk anywhere. Revisit some of the world’s most infamous and mysterious crimes with our True Crime catalog. Use the coupon code “TRUECRIME” to receive 20% off select titles now through February 28th.

Our True Crime 2018 selection includes tales of high-profile serial killers like Ted Bundy, detailed accounts of unsolved child murders that still haunt the American consciousness, and profiles of the enigmatic Jack the Ripper. Well-researched and energetically narrated, our True Crime books provide interesting and informative reads for those that love to learn about the more unsettling pieces of history.


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Newly Published: Women in the American Revolution

New on our bookshelf today:

Women in the American Revolution
Sudie Doggett Wike

Without the support of American women, victory in the Revolutionary War would not have been possible. They followed the Continental Army, handling a range of jobs usually performed by men. On the orders of General Washington, some were hired as nurses for $2 per month and one full ration per day—disease was rampant and nurse mortality was high. A few served with artillery units or masqueraded as men to fight in the ranks. The author focuses on the many key roles women filled in the struggle for independence, from farming to making saltpeter to spying.

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Newly Published: A Green and Pagan Land

New on our bookshelf today:

A Green and Pagan Land: Myth, Magic and Landscape in British Film and Television
David Huckvale

British literature often refers to pagan and classical themes through richly detailed landscapes that suggest more than a mere backdrop of physical features. The myth-inspired writings of Alfred, Lord Tennyson, Algernon Blackwood, Aleister Crowley, Lord Dunsany and even Kenneth Grahame’s The Wind in the Willows informed later British films and television dramas such as The Owl Service (1969-70), Blood on Satan’s Claw (1971), The Wicker Man (1973), Excalibur (1981) and Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975). The author analyzes the evocative language and esthetics of landscapes in literature, film, television and music, and how “psycho-geography” is used to explore the influence of the past on the present.

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Newly Published: The Star Gate Archives

New on our bookshelf today:

The Star Gate Archives: Reports of the United States Government Sponsored Psi Program, 1972–1995. Volume 1: Remote Viewing, 1972–1984
Compiled and Edited by Edwin C. May and Sonali Bhatt Marwaha

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

Remote viewing (RV) is an atypical ability that allows some individuals to gain information blocked from the usual senses by shielding, distance or time. Early work benefited from a few “stars” of RV who were successful at convincing investigators of its existence and its potential as a means of gathering intelligence. Research focused on determining the parameters of RV, who may have the ability, how to collect and analyze data and the best way to use RV in intelligence operations. Volume 1 Remote Viewing (1972–1984) and Volume 2 Remote Viewing (1985–1995) include laboratory trials and several operational results.

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Newly Published: The Lone Ranger on Radio, Film and Television

New on our bookshelf today:

The Lone Ranger on Radio, Film and Television
Ed Andreychuk

The Lone Ranger has endured as an iconic figure in American popular culture, from his 1933 premier as a radio serial hero through a highly-rated television series (1949–1957) to a 2013 feature film. Created by script writer Fran Striker and radio station owner George W. Trendle, the character was meant to embody courage, fair play and honesty, and writers had to adhere to specific guidelines: “he never smokes … he uses precise speech … he never shoots to kill.” The popularity of the Ranger and his companion Tonto inspired later crime fighting duos like Batman and Robin, and The Green Hornet and Kato. This book examines the franchise in detail, with summaries and production details of the original radio episodes.

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Newly Published: The Liberators of Pilsen

New on our bookshelf today:

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

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

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Newly Published: The All-America Football Conference

New on our bookshelf today:

The All-America Football Conference: Players, Coaches, Records, Games and Awards, 1946–1949
Edited by Kenneth R. Crippen and Matt Reaser

The All-America Football Conference and the National Football League battled for supremacy from 1946 through 1949. In the end, the players from the AAFC, as well as three teams, were brought into the NFL, including many future members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Through extensive research, the Professional Football Researchers Association (PFRA) has corrected the statistics and coaching records, selected All-Pro Teams for all four seasons and an All-Conference team, and provided brief biographies and scouting reports for the members of the All-Conference Team. Unlike All-Pro teams selected at the time, in which offense and defense were merged into a single position, the PFRA has selected individual offensive and defensive All-Pro teams.

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Newly Published: The Musical Artistry of Rap

New on our bookshelf today:

The Musical Artistry of Rap
Martin E. Connor

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

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

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Newly Published: The Call to the Hall

New on our bookshelf today:

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

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

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

New on our bookshelf today:

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

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

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Newly Published: Scenes from an Automotive Wonderland

New on our bookshelf today:

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

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

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New in Softcover: Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff

Now available in softcover:

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

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

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Newly Published: Another Me

New on our bookshelf today:

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

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

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Four New Titles Reviewed in Choice

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

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

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

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

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

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Newly Published: “We used to eat people”

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

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

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

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

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Newly Published: Extraordinary Dreams

Extraordinary DreamsNew on our bookshelf today:

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

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