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Newly Published: Cities and Homelessness

New on our bookshelf:

Cities and Homelessness: Essays and Case Studies on Practices, Innovations and Challenges
Edited by Joaquin Jay Gonzalez III and Mickey P. McGee

Homelessness in America’s cities remains a growing problem. The homeless today face the same challenges as in years past: poverty, tenuous or no ties to family and friends, physical and mental health issues, and substance abuse. Compared to the 1950s to 1970s, more homeless are now sleeping on city streets versus in shelters or single room hotels. Homelessness rates are affected by economic trends, lack of equitable and inclusive healthcare and housing, decline in public assistance programs, and natural and man-made disasters. This collection of essays covers case studies, innovations, practices and policies of municipalities coping with homelessness in the 21st century.

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Newly Published: A Supernatural Politics

New on our bookshelf:

A Supernatural Politics
Edited by Lisa Macklem and Dominick Grace

What makes a horror television drama interesting? Like any other drama, it is often the character development or plot, and this certainly applies to the dramatically-resonant Supernatural and its beloved characters. However, Supernatural has achieved a dedicated fandom and a record-breaking 15-season run by skillfully engaging with the social reality inhabited by the show’s audience. Additionally, the show plays with the fourth wall by having an in-world fandom for the main characters. Supernatural‘s many layers have garnered the attention of academics who analyzed the show’s engagement with diverse topics such as the #MeToo movement, consumerism, and the American Dream. This collection of essays studies the topical issues and politics that added depth and maturity to Supernatural, separated it fromX-Files knock-offs, and garnered the show its own cult following.

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Newly Published: Hollywood and the Military Bureaucracy

New on our bookshelf:

Hollywood and the Military Bureaucracy: Depicting America’s Fighting Forces at Their Best and Worst
Bob Herzberg

Through a century of movies, the U.S. military held sway over war and service-oriented films. Influenced by the armed forces and their public relations units, Hollywood presented moviegoers with images of a faultless American fighting machine led by heroic commanders.

This book examines this cooperation with detailed narratives of military blunders and unfit officers that were whitewashed to be presented in a more favorable light. Drawing on production files, correspondence between bureaucrats and filmmakers, and contemporary critical reviews, the author reveals the behind-the-scenes political maneuvers that led to the rewriting of history on-screen.

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Newly Published: Iceman of Brooklyn

New on our bookshelf:

Iceman of Brooklyn: The Mafia Life of Frankie Yale
Michael Newton

Largely forgotten now, Frankie Yale was an influential New York mobster of the early 20th century whose proteges included future leaders of New York’s five Mafia families and Chicago’s outfit. His influence extended to Chicago, where he personally committed two of the city’s most notorious underworld assassinations and waged a five-year war to wrest control of Brooklyn’s docks from Irish rivals. His murder marked New York City’s first use of a Tommy gun in gangland warfare, the same weapon used in Chicago’s St. Valentine’s Day massacre seven months later. Yale’s passing destabilized Gotham’s Mafia, paving the way for an upheaval that modified and modernized the structure of American syndicated crime for the next six decades. Despite Yale’s prominence during his life, this is the first biography to survey his life and career.

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Newly Published: Busted

New on our bookshelf:

Busted: A Vietnam Veteran in Nixon’s America
W.D. Ehrhart

This book picks up where Passing Time: A Vietnam Veteran Against the War left off, and completes the trilogy begun with Vietnam-Perkasie: A Combat Marine Memoir. It begins with the Coast Guard raid on Ehrhart’s oil tanker and ends with the conclusion of his trial for possession of “controlled substances,” a span of time that corresponds almost exactly with the opening of the House Judiciary Committee’s hearings on the impeachment of Richard Nixon and Nixon’s resignation and pardon by Gerald Ford.

Along the way, Ehrhart encounters a wise and sympathetic lawyer, an MG Midget, a local New Jersey cop who thinks he’s Wyatt Earp, New York City detectives who arrest him for armed robbery of a liquor store, a forklift that can turn on a dime, a Coast Guard prosecutor who wants to teach Ehrhart a lesson, the Carranza Memorial, and three ghosts who are as real as you and me.

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Newly Published: Presenting Persis Khambatta

New on our bookshelf:

Presenting Persis Khambatta: From Miss India to Star Trek—The Motion Picture and Beyond
Sherilyn Connelly

In 1965, 18-year-old Persis Khambatta became the third woman to be crowned Miss India. After moving to England and then to the United States, she found worldwide fame in the first Star Trek movie in 1979, and in 1980 she became the first Indian presenter at the Academy Awards.

The American film industry seemed never to forgive Khambatta for being a non-white woman who refused to do nude scenes. After failing to sustain a career as either a producer or a performer, she achieved a triumph before her sudden death in 1998 with the publication of her book Pride of India: A Tribute to Miss India.

Based on contemporary news articles and primary sources, this first biography examines Khambatta’s Hindi and English-language film and television work, and demonstrates the many ways she was ahead of her time as a filmmaker, feminist, and humanitarian.

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Newly Published: The Food Network Recipe

New on our bookshelf:

The Food Network Recipe: Essays on Cooking, Celebrity and Competition
Edited by Emily L. Newman and Emily Witsell

When the Television Food Network launched in 1993, its programming was conceived as educational: it would teach people how to cook well, with side trips into the economics of food and healthy living. Today, however, the network is primarily known for splashy celebrity chefs and spirited competition shows.

These new essays explore how the Food Network came to be known for consistently providing comforting programming that offers an escape from reality, where the storyline is just as important as the food that is being created. It dissects some of the biggest personalities that emerged from the Food Network itself, such as Guy Fieri, and offers a critical examination of a variety of chefs’ feminisms and the complicated nature of success. Some writers posit that the Food Network is creating an engaging, important dialogue about modes of instruction and education, and others analyze how the Food Network presents locality and place through the sharing of food culture with the viewing public. This book will bring together these threads as it explores the rise, development, and unique adaptability of the Food Network.

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Newly Published: J.B. Rhine

New on our bookshelf:

J.B. Rhine: Letters 1923–1939: ESP and the Foundations of Parapsychology
J.B. Rhine

During the 1930s a new approach to exploring human consciousness began at Duke University with Professor J. B. Rhine’s experimental research on extra-sensory perception, or ESP. His findings on telepathy, clairvoyance, precognition and psychokinesis challenged conventional disbelief. Rhine’s findings and his first popular book, New Frontiers of the Mind, ignited excitement and controversy—among not only scientists but the public at large.

Rhine’s letters chronicle his efforts to find reliable evidence of psychic ability, from the séance room to psychic animals and finally to a university research laboratory.

Covering the years 1923–1939, they reveal a gripping story of groundbreaking research, told in the words of the main player as he worked with his team, subjects, critics and supporters alike.

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Newly Published: South Carolinians in the Battle of Gettysburg

New on our bookshelf:

South Carolinians in the Battle of Gettysburg
Derek Smith

July 1, 1863. The Confederate Army of Northern Virginia under General Robert E. Lee advanced across the Pennsylvania countryside toward the small town of Gettysburg—less than 90 miles from Washington, D.C.—on a collision course with the Union Army of the Potomac. In Lee’s ranks were 5,000 South Carolina troops destined to play critical roles in the three days of fighting ahead. From generals to privates, the Palmetto State soldiers were hurled into the Civil War’s most famous battle—hundreds were killed, wounded or later suffered as prisoners of war.

The life-and-death stories of these South Carolinians are here woven together here with official wartime reports, previously unpublished letters, newspaper accounts, diaries and the author’s personal observations from walking the battlefield.

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Newly Published: Having Their Say

New on our bookshelf:

Having Their Say: Athletes and Entertainers and the Ethics of Speaking Out
Kristie Bunton

After Natalie Maines of The Dixie Chicks expressed her opposition to the Iraq War and President Bush in a country music concert, she was told to “shut up and sing.” When NFL player Colin Kaepernick protested police brutality by kneeling during the national anthem, he was applauded by some and demonized by others. Both had their careers irrevocably altered by speaking out for their beliefs.

This book examines the ethical issues that arise when famous people speak out on issues often unrelated to the performances that brought those figures to public attention. It analyzes several celebrity speakers—singers Taylor Swift and the Chicks; satirist Jon Stewart; actor Tom Hanks; and athletes Serena Williams, Stephen Curry, Colin Kaepernick, and Naomi Osaka—and demonstrates that justifiable speaking requires celebrity speakers, journalists, and audiences to consider ethical issues regarding platform, intent, and harm. Celebrity speakers must exercise ethical care in a digital world where audiences equate celebrity status with authority and expertise about public issues. Finally, this book considers how people who are not famous can understand their ethical responsibilities for speaking out about public issues in their own spheres of influence.

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Newly Published: Understanding Kierkegaard’s Parables

New on our bookshelf:

Understanding Kierkegaard’s Parables
Russell Hamer

Kierkegaard is often praised for his poetic writing style. Throughout his works, especially his pseudonymous ones, he often breaks from philosophical prose and instead uses extended metaphors, fairy tales, parables, and allegories. This book, which is the first that directly addresses Kierkegaard’s parables, argues that they help the reader undergo transformative change. It asks why Kierkegaard uses parables in a broad sense, how they function as a form of indirect communication, why Kierkegaard must remain secretive about the purpose of the parables, and how this secrecy plays an important role in Kierkegaard’s authorship.

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Newly Published: Base Ball 12

New on our bookshelf:

Base Ball 12: New Research on the Early Game
Edited by Don Jensen

Base Ball is a peer-reviewed book series published annually. Offering the best in original research and analysis, it promotes study of baseball’s early history, from its protoball roots to 1920, and its rise to prominence within American popular culture. This volume, number 12, includes thirteen articles on topics ranging from the career of pitcher Harry Coveleski, Philadelphia baseball pioneer Thomas Fitzgerald, and a baseball power couple, James and Harriet Coogan, to early Brooklyn baseball, the game in Canada during World War I, and the amateur teams sponsored by typewriter companies.

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Body, Mind and Spirit Sale

It’s early springtime in the mountains around McFarland’s campus, and we’re all waiting for the first explosion of color that the trees will soon bring. Because we just can’t contain our excitement for the upcoming warm-weather hikes, garden blooms and maybe an outdoor meditation session or two, we’re giving 30% off our entire BodyMind & Spirit catalog. Our catalog includes everything from books about spirituality, to our Health Topics series, a cannabis studies selection and our growing imprint, Toplight Books, devoted to all things personal development. Browse our catalog and use coupon code BMS30 at checkout through May 4th.!

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Newly Published: Star Trek, History and Us

New on our bookshelf:

Star Trek, History and Us: Reflections of the Present and Past Throughout the Franchise
A.J. Black

Since 1966, the Star Trek television franchise has used outer space and the thrilling adventures of the crews of the U.S.S. Enterprise to reflect our own world and culture. Kirk and Spock face civil rights issues and Vietnam war allegories while Picard, Data, and the next generation seek an ordered, post-Cold War stability in the Reagan era.

The crews of Deep Space Nine, Voyager and Enterprise must come to terms with our real life of war, manifest destiny in the 21st century, and the shadow of 9/11. Now, as the modern era of the franchise attempts to portray a utopia amidst a world spinning out of control, Star Trek remains about more than just the future. It is about our present. It is about us.

This book charts the history of Gene Roddenberry’s creation across five decades alongside the cultural development of the United States and asks: are we heading for the utopian Federation future, or is it slipping ever further away from reality?

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Newly Published: “He probably won’t shoot you”

New on our  bookshelf:

“He probably won’t shoot you”: Memoir of an Adult Protective Services Case Manager
Mark Mehler

Adult Protective Services (APS) is the social service system charged with aiding older people and disabled adults who are being mistreated by others or cannot meet their own basic needs for health and safety (self-neglect). These are America’s most vulnerable citizens, and they often suffer for years, while remaining largely invisible to the greater world.

Written from the inside of APS, Mark Mehler’s memoir of his seven years as a crisis case manager reveals a world that very few people see, and addresses why and how people do this work, what they take away from it and the price that they pay to do it.

Ranging from horrifying to uplifting and bizarrely funny, the stories recounted here witness human frailty and disaster, and the efforts of some dedicated caseworkers to stem that tide.

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Newly Published: Cold War Frequencies

New on our bookshelf:

Cold War Frequencies: CIA Clandestine Radio Broadcasting to the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe
Richard H. Cummings

Published for the first time, the history of the CIA’s clandestine short-wave radio broadcasts to Eastern Europe and the USSR during the early Cold War is covered in-depth. Chapters describe the “gray” broadcasting of Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty in Munich; clandestine or “black” radio broadcasts from Radio Nacional de Espana in Madrid to Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Ukraine; transmissions to Bulgaria, Romania, Albania, Ukraine and the USSR from a secret site near Athens; and broadcasts to Byelorussia and Slovakia. Infiltrated behind the Iron Curtain through dangerous air drops and boat landings, CIA and other intelligence service agents faced counterespionage, kidnapping, assassination, arrest and imprisonment. Excerpts from broadcasts taken from monitoring reports of Eastern Europe intelligence agencies are included.

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Newly Published: Women of Valor

New on our bookshelf:

Women of Valor: The Rochambelles on the World War II Front, rev. ed.
Ellen Hampton

Women in an armored division! General Leclerc had never heard of such a thing. But if he wanted the 19 brand-new ambulances, he would have to take their women drivers too. Known as the Rochambelles, their courage won the admiration of their comrades and changed many minds. These women learned to drive through mortar fire, to pull men from burning tanks, to stanch blood and ease pain. Above all, they learned that no matter who was doing the shooting, the greater enemy was hatred. Only three of the fifty-one women who served in the group published a memoir, and their stories have been all but lost. This book, newly revised and updated, reveals their daring and accomplishments, from Normandy to Berchtesgaden.

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Newly Published: Hellships Down

New on our bookshelf:

Hellships Down: Allied POWs and the Sinking of the Rakuyo Maru and Kachidoki Maru
Michael Sturma

On 12 September 1944, a wolfpack of U.S. submarines attacked the Japanese convoy HI-72 in the South China Sea. Among the ships sunk were two carrying Allied prisoners of war. Men who had already endured the trials of Japanese captivity faced a renewed struggle for survival at sea.

This book tells the broader story of the HI-72 convoy through the stories of two survivors: Arthur Bancroft, who was rescued by an American submarine, and Charles “Rowley” Richards, who was rescued by the Japanese. The story of these men represents the thousands of Allied POWs who suffered not only the atrocious conditions of these Japanese hellships, but also the terror of friendly fire from their own side’s submarines. For the first time, the personal, political and legal aftermath of these men’s experiences is fully detailed. At its heart, this is a story of survival. Charting the survivors’ fates from rescue to their attempts at retribution, this book reveals the trauma that continued long after the war was over.

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Newly Published: Rape-Revenge Films

New on our bookshelf:

Rape-Revenge Films: A Critical Study, 2d ed.
Alexandra Heller-Nicholas

Often considered the lowest depth to which cinema can plummet, the rape-revenge film is broadly dismissed as fundamentally exploitative and sensational, catering only to a demented, regressive demographic. This second edition, ten years after the first, continues the assessment of these films and the discourse they provoke. Included is a new chapter about women-directed rape-revenge films, a phenomenon that—revitalized since #MeToo exploded in late 2017—is a filmmaking tradition with a history that transcends a contemporary context.

Featuring both famous and unknown movies, controversial and widely celebrated filmmakers, as well as rape-revenge cinema from around the world, this revised edition demonstrates that diverse and often contradictory treatments of sexual violence exist simultaneously.

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Newly Published: The Avengers in Video Games

New on our bookshelf:

The Avengers in Video Games: A Guide to Solo Adventures and Mighty Marvel Team-Ups, with Creator Interviews
Blair Farrell

For decades, Marvel Comics’ superhero group the Avengers have captured the imagination of millions, whether in comics, multi-billion dollar grossing films or video games. Similar to the chronology of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the Avengers video games first started with titles driven by single characters, like Iron Man, the Hulk, Thor and Captain America. Over time, the games grew to include more and more heroes, culminating in playing experiences that featured the Avengers assembled.

This is the first-ever book assessing the video games starring “Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.” Featured games span consoles and platforms, from popular PlayStation and Xbox titles to an arcade game in danger of being lost to time. All video games are covered in depth, with each entry including game background and a detailed review from the author. Some game entries also include behind-the-scenes knowledge from the developers themselves, providing exclusive details on the Marvel video game universe.

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Newly Published: Rachel Carson

New on our bookshelf:

Rachel Carson: A Literary Companion
Mary Ellen Snodgrass

Rachel Carson was a marine biologist credited with the founding of the ecology movement and the rise in ecofeminism. One of her most popular works was Silent Spring, which challenged the use of DDT (an insecticide infamous for its negative environmental effects) and questioned the claims of modern industry. Carson also wrote essays, reviews, articles, and speeches to educate the public about the impacts of chemical pollutants on both the environment and the human body. This literary companion provides readers with Carson’s key messages via an A-to-Z index of topics discussed in her works including carcinogens, endangered species, and radioactivity.

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Newly Published: At the Intersection of Disability and Drama

New on our bookshelf:

At the Intersection of Disability and Drama: A Critical Anthology of New Plays
Edited by John Michael Sefel Amanda Slamcik Lassetter, Jill Summerville

“Cripples ain’t supposed to be happy” sings Anita Hollander, balancing on her single leg and grinning broadly. This moment—from her multi-award-winning one-woman show, Still Standing—captures the essence of this theatre anthology. Hollander and nineteen other playwright-performers craftily subvert and smash stereotypes about how those within the disability community should look, think, and behave. Utilizing the often-conflicting tools of Critical Disability Studies and Medical Humanities, these plays and their accompanying essays approach disability as a vast, intersectional demographic, which ties individuals together less by whatever impairment, difference, or non-normative condition they experience, and more by their daily need to navigate a world that wasn’t built for them. From race, gender, and sexuality to education, dating, and pandemics, these plays reveal there is no aspect of human life that does not, in some way, intersect with disability.

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Newly Published: Velodrome Racing and the Rise of the Motorcycle

New on our bookshelf:

Velodrome Racing and the Rise of the Motorcycle
R.K. Keating

A hybrid machine–powered at times by steam, electricity or internal combustion–the motorcycle in its infancy was an innovation to help bicycle racers go faster. As motor age technology advanced, the quest for greater speed at the velodrome peaked, with riders reaching speeds up to 100 kph on bikes and trikes without brakes, suspensions or gear boxes. This book chronicles the individuals and events at the turn of the 20th century that led to the development of motor-powered two-wheelers.

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Newly Published: The Minds Behind Shooter Games

New on our bookshelf:

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

Featuring interviews with the creators of 39 popular video games–including Halo 3Call of Duty: Modern WarfareMedal of Honor and Metroid Prime–this book gives a behind-the-scenes look at the origins of some of the most iconic shooter games. Interviewees recount endless hours of painstaking development, the challenges of working with mega-publishers, the growth of the genre and the creative processes that produced some of the industry’s biggest hits, cult classics and indie successes.

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Newly Published: LSU Bowl Games

New on our bookshelf:

LSU Bowl Games: A Complete History
Neal Golden

Telling the story of LSU football through coverage of each of the Tigers’ 50 bowl games–from 1907 through 2019–this book provides summaries of the team’s regular season, and their opponents’ season, along with quarter-by-quarter game highlights, important stats, and quotes from players and coaches. Bowl games are presented in a number of notable contexts, including games against Hall of Fame coaches (1936-1938 Sugar Bowls, 2010 Capital One Bowl), games that featured Heisman Trophy winners (1959-1960 Sugar Bowls, 2019 Peach Bowl), LSU’s first games against black players (1965 Sugar Bowl, 1972 Bluebonnet Bowl), and the first game played by a U.S. football team in a foreign country (1907 Bacardi Bowl).

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Newly Published: Marcus Reno in the Valley of the Little Big Horn

New on our bookshelf:

Marcus Reno in the Valley of the Little Big Horn: Limited Means, Excessive Aims
Frederic C. Wagner III

Major Marcus Reno’s actions at the Battle of Little Big Horn have been both criticized and lauded, often without in-depth analysis. This book takes a fresh look the battle and events leading up to it, offering answers to unanswered questions. The author examines the meanings of “orders” given in Custer’s command and how they were treated, the tactics and fighting in the valley, Reno’s alcoholism, and his last stand on the hilltop named for him.

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Newly Published: Star Wars and the Hero’s Journey

New on our bookshelf:

Star Wars and the Hero’s Journey: Mythic Character Arcs Through the 12-Film Epic
Valerie Estelle Frankel

The original Star Wars trilogy famously follows Joseph Campbell’s model for the hero’s journey, making Luke Skywalker’s story the new hero quest for a modern age. With the nine-plus film saga complete, however, new story patterns have emerged as the hero’s journey is imagined over and over for characters of different ages, genders, and backgrounds. The prequels offer the plot arc of the villain’s journey through Anakin. Leia and Padme, while damsels in the men’s story, break out to undergo their own ordeals. The heroine’s journey is exemplified by Rey and Jyn. Obi-Wan, Yoda, and Vader must accept the loss of power and fade into spirit guardians, perpetuating the lifecycle. By the sequel era, the original trio become mentors to the younger generation and finally must do the same. Meanwhile, the Mandalorian explores a different form of the quest as he transforms from immature warrior to patriarch. This book tracks the journeys of over 20 characters throughout the franchise.

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Newly Published: Putin Confronts the West

New on our bookshelf:

Putin Confronts the West: The Logic of Russian Foreign Relations, 1999–2020
René De La Pedraja

Russia’s surprising return to the world stage since 2000 has aroused the curiosity—if not the fear—of the West. Gradually, the Kremlin went from a policy of deference to foreign powers to acting with independence. The driver of this transformation was President Vladimir Putin, who with skillful caution navigated Russia back into the ranks of global powers. In theaters of conflict such as Georgia, Syria and Ukraine, the Kremlin won significant victories at little cost to consolidate its decisive position.

Following a chronological approach from the fall of the Soviet Union to the present, this book draws on new documents to describe how Russia regained its former global prominence. Clear accounts of key decisions and foreign policy events—many presented for the first time—provide important insights into the major confrontations with the West.

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Newly Published: A Statistical History of Pro Football

New on our bookshelf:

A Statistical History of Pro Football: Players, Teams and Concepts
Rupert Patrick

Drawing on the author’s 30-year study of football statistics, this book presents new methods for analyzing the game in different ways. An examination of known distances for missed field goals offers an accurate method for evaluating placekickers. Reassessments of punters and running backs are included, along with an overhaul of the NFL’s passer rating system. Topics previously unexplored through statistics are covered, such as momentum, defining “What is a dynasty?” and “What is a Cinderella team?”

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Newly Published: William Barksdale, CSA

New on our bookshelf:

William Barksdale, CSA: A Biography of the United States Congressman and Confederate Brigadier General
John Douglas Ashton

An aggressive and colorful personality, William Barksdale was no stranger to controversy. Orphaned at 13, he succeeded as lawyer, newspaper editor, Mexican War veteran, politician and Confederate commander. During eight years in the U.S. Congress, he was among the South’s most ardent defenders of slavery and advocates for states’ rights. His emotional speeches and altercations—including a brawl on the House floor—made headlines in the years preceding secession.

His fiery temper prompted three near-duels, gaining him a reputation as a brawler and knife-fighter. Arrested for intoxication, Colonel Barksdale survived a military Court of Inquiry to become one of the most beloved commanders in the Army of Northern Virginia. His reputation soared with his defense against the Union river crossing and street-fighting at Fredericksburg, and his legendary charge at Gettysburg. This first full-length biography places his life and career in historical context.

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Newly Published: Vivid Tomorrows

New on our bookshelf:

Vivid Tomorrows: On Science Fiction and Hollywood
David Brin

Can science fiction–especially sci-fi cinema–save the world? It already has, many times. Retired officers testify that films like Doctor Strangelove, Fail-Safe, On the Beach and War Games provoked changes and helped prevent accidental war. Soylent Green and Silent Running recruited millions of environmental activists. The China Syndrome and countless movies about plagues helped bring attention to those failure modes. And the grand-daddy of “self-preventing prophecy”–Nineteen Eighty-Four–girded countless citizens to stay wary of Big Brother.

It’s not been all dire warnings. While optimism is much harder to dramatize than apocalypse, both large and small screens have also encouraged millions to lift their gaze, contemplating how we might get better, incrementally, or else raise grandchildren worthy of the stars.

Come along on a quirky quest for unusual insights into the power of forward-looking media. How the romantic allure of feudalism tugs at men and women who benefited vastly from modernity. Or explore why almost every Hollywood film preaches Suspicion of Authority, along with tolerance, diversity and personal eccentricity, and how those messages helped keep us free. No one is spared scrutiny! Not Spielberg or Tolkien or Cameron or Costner… nor Dune or demigods or zombie flicks. Certainly not George Lucas or Ayn Rand! Though some critiques are offered from a lifetime of respect and love… and gratitude.

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Newly Published: I’m Not Single, I Have a Dog

New on our bookshelf:

I’m Not Single, I Have a Dog: Dating Tales from the Bark Side
Susan Hartzler

At age 60, Susan Hartzler has learned to accept, even love, the single life, provided she has good friends and a dog or two by her side. Always attracted to the quintessential bad boy with his good looks and charming ways, she was sure she could change “the one” into a devoted partner and loving father, but her compulsive giving and fixing behaviors went hand in hand with her disappointing and disastrous romantic relationships. On a purposeful trip to the pound, she hoped to find a dog to care for, one that would sniff out the bad guys, give her a sense of purpose, and help her find meaning in her crazy world. Thoughtful and funny, this memoir follows Susan’s life through the many ups and downs on her way to finding unconditional love. Her journey is a personal one, full of the hard decisions it took to learn to put herself first and stop entering and staying in unhealthy relationships. By saving a dog, she rescues herself, learning to love herself as much as her dog loves her.

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Newly Published: Money in American Politics

New on our bookshelf:

Money in American Politics: The First 200 Years
Richard Lawrence Miller

The people who run our government are affected by money just like the rest of us. Over the years, many of these officials have worried about meeting mortgage payments, holding off creditors, and avoiding bankruptcy. Others made fortunes by devoting their time to supervising their business interests. Either way, these distractions affected the lives of everyday citizens–from the price of shirts to the decisions for war or peace.

In school, students are taught about governmental principles underlying political controversies, but instructors seldom talk about money that presidents and cabinet members stood to gain or lose, depending on who prevailed in a political dispute. This book will help fill the gaps in that knowledge. To ignore the business activities of our leaders is to ignore most of their adult lives. Having such awareness allows voters to see motivations in government decisions that may otherwise be obscure. Concentrating on presidents and cabinet members, from the birth of the U.S. through the Carter administration, this book tells how they and their associates gained and lost wealth, and how this affected their nation’s well-being.

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Newly Published: Telling an American Horror Story

New on our bookshelf:

Telling an American Horror Story: Essays on History, Place and Identity in the Series
Edited by Cameron Williams Crawford and Leverett Butts

Telling an American Horror Story collects essays from new and established critics looking at the many ways the horror anthology series intersects with and comments on contemporary American social, political and popular culture. Divided into three sections, the chapters apply a cultural criticism framework to examine how the first eight seasons of AHS engage with American history, our contemporary ideologies and social policies.

Part I explores the historical context and the uniquely-American folklore that AHS evokes, from the Southern Gothic themes of Coven to connections between Apocalypseand anxieties of modern American youth. Part II contains interpretations of place and setting that mark the various seasons of the anthology. Finally, Part III examines how the series confronts notions of individual and social identity, like the portrayals of destructive leadership in Cult and lesbian representation in Asylum and Hotel.

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Newly Published: The Gun Makers of Birmingham, 1660–1960

New on our bookshelf:

The Gun Makers of Birmingham, 1660–1960
Joseph McKenna

Tracing the history and development of gun-making in Birmingham, England–for many years a center of the world’s firearms industry–this book covers innovations in design and manufacture of both military and sporting arms from 1660 through 1960. The city is perhaps best known for mass-producing some of the most battle-tested weapons in history, including the Brown Bess musket, the Webley revolver and the Lee-Enfield rifle. Yet Birmingham’s gun-makers have carried on a centuries-long tradition of crafting high quality hand-made sporting guns.

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Newly Published: Draining the Swamp, Southern Style

New on our bookshelf:

Draining the Swamp, Southern Style: North Carolina and Florida Wetlands and the Wright Report Scandal, 1896–1926
Bruce D. Epperson

In 1912, a Congressional committee met to investigate allegations that the Secretary of Agriculture had suppressed a report by J. O. Wright on drainage in the Florida Everglades. The following seven months of committee hearings uncovered a veritable horror-show of corruption, self-dealing, misuse of government personnel and property for private gain, the tarring of reputations in order to protect high-level officials, and outright blackmail within the Department of Agriculture and the state governments of Florida and North Carolina.

The “Wright Report Incident” is most commonly understood in its connection to the Everglades, and few histories have included its effects on the North Carolina Pocosin wetland and other coastal plain swamps. This book seeks fills that gap. It details the timeline, intricate politics, and webs of corruption that make up the story of the Wright Incident and, specifically, its connection to land management practices in coastal North Carolina that continue to impact the industries of the state almost 100 years later.

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Newly Published: Giving Life to Movement

New on our bookshelf:

Giving Life to Movement: The Silvestre Dance Technique
Tamara LaDonna Williams

The Silvestre dance technique was founded by Brazilian dance master Rosangela Silvestre as an extension of the spiritual dance traditions of enslaved Africans. Their culture quashed by Christian slavers; enslaved Africans continued to practice their traditions covertly. The Silvestre technique is a modern effort to connect the present with the past with a goal to heal. Developed to help persons in the African diaspora process their heritage through somatic expression, the method is rooted in traditional tribal dance practice.

In this book, author Tamara LaDonna Williams archives the Silvestre practice and highlights the importance of understanding self-capacity and capability. The applied theory of the dance technique is explored through a series of interviews, physical practice and training.

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Newly Published: American Sports and the Great War

New on our bookshelf:

American Sports and the Great War: College, Military and Professional Athletics, 1916–1919
Peter C. Stewart

Drawing on newspaper accounts, college yearbooks and the recollections of veterans, this book examines the impact of World War I on sports in the U.S. As young men entered the military in large numbers, many colleges initially considered suspending athletics but soon turned to the idea of using sports to build morale and physical readiness. Recruits, mostly in their twenties, ended up playing more baseball and football than they would have in peacetime. Though most college athletes volunteered for military duty, others replaced them so that the reduction of competition was not severe. Pugilism gained participants as several million men learned how to box.

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Newly Published: Advances in Parapsychological Research 10

New on our bookshelf:

Advances in Parapsychological Research 10
Edited by Stanley Krippner, Adam J. Rock, Harris L. Friedman and Nancy L. Zingrone

This book consists of a collection of essays informing readers as to the contemporary status of selected cutting-edge issues in parapsychology (or “psi research”). Each chapter comprehensively reviews a controversial topic from a critical stance, and updates its status based on the latest theoretical and empirical considerations. Chapter authors are authoritative experts in their fields who have captured the complexity and importance of their topics. This is a resource for both the serious scholar and interested follower of psi research, containing in-depth analyses and discussions of topics that cannot be found elsewhere. Topics include cross-examinations of psychical investigations; a meta-analysis of anomalous information collected by mediums; an examination of the relationships between parapsychology, quantum theory and neuroscience; and a study of psychics’ involvement in police investigations.

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Newly Published: Hockey’s Wildest Season

New on our bookshelf:

Hockey’s Wildest Season: The Changing of the Guard in the NHL, 1969–1970
John G. Robertson

The 1969-70 season marked a turning point in the history of the National Hockey League. The season began with a near fatality and it culminated on a steamy Sunday afternoon in Boston with one of the NHL’s most iconic moments. In the interim, the 12 NHL clubs staged thrilling and memorable playoff races that were not decided until the final regular-season games were played. The three traditional powerhouse teams from the Original Six era faltered while former underdog clubs began to vie for top honors. Along the way, Boston’s Bobby Orr made history by becoming the first defenseman to win the NHL scoring title, three aging veterans in Detroit combined to form the most effective forward line in hockey, and a rookie goalie, Tony Esposito, lifted the Chicago Black Hawks from the basement to a divisional championship. Told here are the numerous other wonderful, strange, and captivating incidents that made the fun, fascinating, and free-wheeling 53rd NHL season one for the ages.

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Newly Published: Reading the Cozy Mystery

New on our bookshelf:

Reading the Cozy Mystery: Critical Essays on an Underappreciated Subgenre
Edited by Phyllis M. Betz

With their intimate settings, subdued action and likeable characters, cozy mysteries are rarely seen as anything more than light entertainment. The cozy, a subgenre of crime fiction, has been historically misunderstood and often overlooked as the subject of serious study. This anthology brings together a groundbreaking collection of essays that examine the cozy mystery from a range of critical viewpoints.

The authors engage with the standard classification of a cozy, the characters who appear in its pages, the environment where the crime occurs and how these elements reveal the cozy story’s complexity in surprising ways. Essays analyze cozy mysteries to argue that Agatha Christie is actually not a cozy writer; that Columbo fits the mold of the cozy detective; and that the stories’ portrayals of settings like the quaint English village reveal a more complicated society than meets the eye.

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Newly Published: Inventing Secularism

New on our bookshelf:

Inventing Secularism: The Radical Life of George Jacob Holyoake
Ray Argyle

Jailed for atheism and disowned by his family, George Jacob Holyoake came out of an English prison at the age of 25 determined to bring an end to religion’s control over daily life. This first modern biography of the founder of Secularism describes a transformative figure whose controversial and conflict-filled life helped shape the modern world. Ever on the front lines of social reform, Holyoake was hailed for having won “the freedoms we take for granted today.” With Secularism now under siege, George Holyoake’s vision of a “virtuous society” rings today with renewed clarity.

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Newly Published: Religion and Myth in the Marvel Cinematic Universe

New on our bookshelf:

Religion and Myth in the Marvel Cinematic Universe
Michael D. Nichols

Breaking box office records, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has achieved an unparalleled level of success with fans across the world, raising the films to a higher level of narrative: myth. This is the first book to analyze the Marvel output as modern myth, comparing it to epics, symbols, rituals, and stories from world religious traditions.

This book places the exploits of Iron Man, Captain America, Black Panther, and the other stars of the Marvel films alongside the legends of Achilles, Gilgamesh, Arjuna, the Buddha, and many others. It examines their origin stories and rites of passage, the monsters, shadow-selves, and familial conflicts they contend with, and the symbols of death and the battle against it that stalk them at every turn.

The films deal with timeless human dilemmas and questions, evoking an enduring sense of adventure and wonder common across world mythic traditions.

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Newly Published: Foundations of Recreational Service Management

New on our bookshelf:

Foundations of Recreational Service Management
Jay S. Shivers

This thorough text introduces students to the principles and ways of management in public recreational service. It includes a history of the modern recreational service movement, a general overview of the field, and a detailed guide to best practices in leadership, coordination, public relations, planning and budgeting. Tips on how to find the best service possible in one’s community are offered and the complex relationship between public recreational services and politics is also discussed. Other topics range from staff organization to evaluating the effectiveness of a recreational program.

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Newly Published: Encyclopedia of Easter Celebrations Worldwide

New on our bookshelf:

Encyclopedia of Easter Celebrations Worldwide
William D. Crump

At Eastertime, the most important holiday in the Christian world, religious processions in many Latin American countries pass over ornate street “carpets” fashioned from colored sawdust, flowers and fruit. Children in Finland and Sweden dress as “Easter witches.” In the Caribbean, those who swim on Good Friday risk bad luck. In the Philippines, some penitents volunteer to be crucified. In some European countries, Easter Monday is the day for dousing women with water. With 240 entries, this book explores these and scores of other unusual and sometimes bizarre international Holy Week customs, both sacred and secular, from pilgrimages to Jerusalem to classic seasonal films and television specials.

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Newly Published: Roleplaying Games in the Digital Age

New on our bookshelf:

Roleplaying Games in the Digital Age: Essays on Transmedia Storytelling, Tabletop RPGs and Fandom
Edited by Stephanie Hedge and Jennifer Grouling

The Digital Age has created massive technological and disciplinary shifts in tabletop role-playing, increasing the appreciation of games like Dungeons & Dragons. Millions tune in to watch and listen to RPG players on podcasts and streaming platforms, while virtual tabletops connect online players. Such shifts elicit new scholarly perspectives.

This collection includes essays on the transmedia ecology that has connected analog with digital and audio spaces. Essays explore the boundaries of virtual tabletops and how users engage with a variety of technology to further role-playing. Authors map the growing diversity of the TRPG fandom and detail how players interact with RPG-related podcasts. Interviewed are content creators like Griffin McElroy of The Adventure Zone podcast, Roll20 co-creator Nolan T. Jones, board game designers Nikki Valens and Isaac Childres and fan artists Tracey Alvarez and Alex Schiltz. These essays and interviews expand the academic perspective to reflect the future of role-playing.

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Women’s Studies Sale and New Catalog

Women made 2020 a banner year for diversity and inclusivity. In sports, representation on and off the field erupted with the leadership of Kim Ng, Sarah Fuller and Katie Sowers. Scientists Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer A. Doudna jointly earned the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. And in politics, women like Cori Bush, Sarah McBride, Yvette Herrell and others were elected to ever-diversifying legislatures, while Kamala Harris ascended to the highest elected position a woman has yet to hold. To honor Women’s History Month and to nurture the path forward, we’re offering 20% off our catalog through March 31st with coupon code WOMEN20.

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Newly Published: Baseball and the House of David

New on our bookshelf:

Baseball and the House of David: The Legendary Barnstorming Teams, 1915–1956
P.J. Dragseth

House of David barnstorming baseball (1915-1957) was played without pre-determined schedules, leagues, player statistics or standings. The Davids quickly gained popularity for their hirsute appearance and flashy, fast-paced style of play. During their 200 seasons, they travelled as many as 30,000 miles, criss-crossing the United States, Canada and Mexico. The Benton Harbor teams invented the pepper game and were winners year after year, becoming legends in barnstorming baseball.
Initially a loose affiliation of players, the Davids expanded to three teams–Western, Central and Eastern–as their reputation grew, and hired outsiders to fill the rosters. Prominent among them were pitchers Grover Cleveland Alexander and Charlie “Chief” Bender, both player managers in the early 1930s. They resisted the color barrier, eagerly facing Negro League teams everywhere. In 1934, before their largest crowd to date, they defeated the first Negro team invited to the famed Denver Post Tournament, the great Kansas City Monarchs, for the championship.

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Newly Published: Speculations of War

New on our bookshelf:

Speculations of War: Essays on Conflict in Science Fiction, Fantasy and Utopian Literature
Edited by Annette M. Magid

Late 19th century science fiction stories and utopian treatises related to morals and attitudes often focused on economic, sociological and, at times Marxist ideas. More than a century later, science fiction commonly depicts the inherent dangers of capitalism and imperialism. Examining a variety of conflicts from the Civil War through the post-9/11 era, this collection of new essays explores philosophical introspection and futuristic forecasting in science fiction, fantasy, utopian literature and film, with a focus on the warlike nature of humanity.

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Newly Published: Saints and Sinners in Queen Victoria’s Courts

New on our bookshelf:

Saints and Sinners in Queen Victoria’s Courts: Ten Scandalous Trials
Tom Zaniello

This chronicle of ten controversial mid–Victorian trials features brother versus brother, aristocrats fighting commoners, an imposter to a family’s fortune, and an ex-priest suing his ex-wife, a nun. Most of these trials—never before analyzed in depth—assailed a culture that frowned upon public displays of bad taste, revealing fault lines in what is traditionally seen as a moral and regimented society. The author examines religious scandals, embarrassments about shaky family trees, and even arguments about which architecture is most likely to convert people from one faith to another.

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Newly Published: Clothes Make the Character

New on our bookshelf:

Clothes Make the Character: The Role of Wardrobe in Early Motion Pictures
Lora Ann Sigler

“Clothes make the man” (or woman). This is especially true in early Hollywood silent films where a character’s appearance could show an immense number of different things about them. For example, Theda Bara’s role in A Fool There Was (1915) was known for her revealing clothing, seductive appearance, and being the first “Vamp.”

Wardrobe and costume design played a larger role in silent films than in modern movies. The character’s clothes told the audience who they were and what their role was in the movie. In this in-depth analysis, the author provides examples and explanations about noteworthy characters who used their appearance to further their fame.

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Newly Published: The African American Baseball Experience in Nebraska

New on our bookshelf:

The African American Baseball Experience in Nebraska: Essays and Memories
Edited by Angelo J. Louisa

Nebraska is not usually thought of as a focal point in the history of black baseball, yet the state has seen its share of contributions to the African American baseball experience. This book examines nine of the most significant, including the rise and fall of the Lincoln Giants, Satchel Paige’s adventures in the Cornhusker State, a visit from Jackie Robinson, and the maturation of Bob Gibson both on and off the field. Also, recollections are featured from individuals who participated in or witnessed the African American baseball experience in the Omaha area.

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Newly Published: Hannibal for Dinner

New on our bookshelf:

Hannibal for Dinner: Essays on America’s Favorite Cannibal on Television
Edited by Kyle A. Moody and Nicholas A. Yanes

NBC’s Hannibal only lasted for three seasons but became a critical darling and quickly inspired a ravenous fanbase. Bryan Fuller’s adaptation of Hannibal Lecter’s adventures created a new set of fans and a cult audience through its stunning visuals, playful characters, and mythical tableaus of violence that doubled as works of art. The show became a nexus point for viewers that explored consumption, queerness, beauty, crime, and the meaning of love through a lens of blood and gore.

Much like the show, this collection is a love letter to America’s favorite cannibal, celebrating the multiple ways that Hannibal expanded the mythology, food culture, fandom, artistic achievements, and religious symbolism of the work of Thomas Harris. Primarily focusing on Hannibal, this book combines interviews and academic essays that examine the franchise, its evolution, creatively bold risks, and the art of creating a TV show that consumed the hearts and minds of its audience.

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Newly Published: Working While Black

New on our bookshelf:

Working While Black: Essays on Television Portrayals of African American Professionals
Edited by LaToya T. Brackett

Since the 1990s and the recent rise of the Black Lives Matter movement, there has been a rise in diverse racial representation on television. In particular, Black characters evolved and began to move away from racial stereotypes. In this collection of essays, the representation of Black characters in professionally defined careers is examined. Commentary is also provided on the portrayal of Black people in relation to stereotypes alongside the importance of Black representation on screen. This work also introduces the idea of the Black-collar category to highlight the Black experience in white-collar jobs. The essays are divided into six parts based on themes, including profession, and focuses on a select number of Black characters on TV since the 1990s.

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Newly Published: Gag Reflections

New on our bookshelf:

Gag Reflections: Conquering a Fear of Vomit Through Exposure Therapy
Dara Lovitz and David Yusko, Psy.D.

Emetophobia–the disproportionate fear of vomiting or being in the presence of someone vomiting–affects millions of people yet is seldom discussed. Part-memoir, part clinical history, Dara Lovitz provides a brutally honest account of her life as an emetophobe. Written with her therapist, Dr. David Yusko, her story unravels the mystery of emetophobia.

Lovitz spent years trying traditional talk therapy and self-help books yet nothing seemed to reduce her anxiety. In desperation, she tried exposure therapy. With a therapist’s guidance, she was able to overcome emetophobia. The history of exposure therapy for treating emetophobes is covered.

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Newly Published: Anita Page

New on our bookshelf:

Anita Page: A Career Chronicle and Biography
Allan R. Ellenberger and Robert Murdoch Paton

Anita Page (1910-2008) first captured attention near the end of the silent film era in such classics as While the City Sleeps (1928) with Lon Chaney, The Flying Fleet (1929) with Ramon Novarro, and her own favorite, Our Dancing Daughters (1928) with Joan Crawford. In a relatively short career, Page enjoyed critical acclaim. She appeared in the first full-sound movie to win Best Picture, The Broadway Melody (1929).

With a foreword by her close friend, actor Randal Malone, this reference work is the first to fully detail Page’s remarkable career, including a biography and a complete listing of all her films, along with her one stage appearance and her returns to the limelight in later years.

Entries provide complete production information, reviews and behind-the-scenes commentary. Dozens of photos and revealing anecdotes complete a portrait of a fascinating yet underappreciated performer.

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Newly Published: America’s Early Women Celebrities

New on our bookshelf:

America’s Early Women Celebrities: The Famous and Scorned from Martha Washington to Silent Film Star Mary Fuller
Angela Firkus

Well before television and the internet, there were women who sought fame, flirted with infamy, and actively engaged with their fan base. In today’s pop culture world, it can be hard to understand what the lives of these women were like. In their pre-suffrage world, women who attracted attention were considered scandalous and it was largely uncommon for women to become celebrities. Women who rose to fame in those times had to put up with societal standards for women on top of the lack of privacy and free speech.

This book provides the details and context to let us know the women who captured America’s heart in the 19th century. Rather than looking at influential women who strictly avoided notoriety, it covers the lives of 18 celebrities like Lydia Maria Child, Sojourner Truth, and Jane Addams.

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Newly Published: The Giallo Canvas

New on our bookshelf:

The Giallo Canvas: Art, Excess and Horror Cinema
Alexandra Heller-Nicholas

Beloved among cult horror devotees for its signature excesses of sex and violence, Italian giallo cinema is marked by switchblades, mysterious killers, whisky bottles and poetically overinflated titles. A growing field of English-language giallo studies has focused on aspects of production, distribution and reception. This volume explores an overlooked yet prevalent element in some of the best known gialli–an obsession with art and artists in creative production, with a particular focus on painting. The author explores the appearance and significance of art objects across the masterworks of such filmmakers as Dario Argento, Lucio Fulci, Sergio Martino, Umberto Lenzi, Michele Soavi, Mario Bava and his son Lamberto.

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Newly Published: Ride the Frontier

New on our bookshelf:

Ride the Frontier: Exploring the Myth of the American West on Screen
Flavia Brizio-Skov

With fresh appraisals of popular Westerns, this book examines the history of the genre with a focus on definitional aspects of canon, adaptation and hybridity.

The author covers a range of largely unexplored topics, including the role of “heroines” in a (supposedly) male-oriented system of film production, the function of the celluloid Indians, the transcultural and transnational history of the first spaghetti Western, the construction of femininity and masculinity in the hybrid Westerns of the 1950s, and the new paths of the Western in the 21st century.

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Newly Published: Leiji Matsumoto

New on our bookshelf:

Leiji Matsumoto: Essays on the Manga and Anime Legend
Edited by Helen McCarthy and Darren-Jon Ashmore

Leiji Matsumoto is one of Japan’s most influential myth creators. Yet the huge scope of his work, spanning past, present and future in a constantly connecting multiverse, is largely unknown outside Japan. Matsumoto was the major creative force on Star Blazers, America’s gateway drug for TV anime, and created Captain Harlock, a TV phenomenon in Europe. As well as space operas, he made manga on musicians from Bowie to Tchaikovsky, wrote the manga version of American cowboy show Laramie, and created dozens of girls’ comics. He is a respected manga scholar, an expert on Japanese swords, a frustrated engineer and pilot who still wants to be a spaceman in his eighties.

This collection of new essays–the first book on Matsumoto in English–covers his seven decades of comic creation, drawing on contemporary scholarship, artistic practice and fan studies to map Matsumoto’s vast universe. The contributors–artists, creators, translators and scholars–mirror the range of his work and experience. From the bildungsroman to the importance of textual analysis for costume and performance, from early days in poverty to honors around the world, this volume offers previously unexplored biographical and bibliographic detail from a life story as thrilling as anything he created.

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Newly Published: The Life and Teams of Johnny F. Bassett

New on our bookshelf:

The Life and Teams of Johnny F. Bassett: Maverick Entrepreneur of North American Sports
Denis M. Crawford

One of the most influential sportsmen of the late 20th century, Johnny F. Bassett’s marketing wizardry belied his impact on professional hockey and football. A Canadian showman with a Barnumesque flair for spectacle, Bassett challenged the orthodoxy of sports, building sporting utopias in the fatally flawed World Football League, World Hockey Association, and United States Football League. He catered to the common fan, demanded fair treatment of athletes, and forced the sporting establishment to change the way it did business, often to his own detriment.

Drawing on archival research and interviews with Bassett’s contemporaries, this comprehensive biography chronicles his life in and around professional sports: his quixotic attempt to compete with the Maple Leafs; his stunning coup in signing three members of the reigning Super Bowl champions for his WFL team; his battles with the Canadian government over American football; his audacious marketing of hockey in Alabama; and his rivalry with Donald Trump for the soul of the USFL.

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Newly Published: More Cadillac V-16s Lost and Found

New on our  bookshelf:

More Cadillac V-16s Lost and Found: 67 New Histories
Christopher W. Cummings

In 1930, Cadillac rolled out a line of new cars of unsurpassed elegance and craftsmanship that would launch the company into the top tier of luxury carmakers. While competitors produced models with eight or twelve-cylinder engines, Cadillac offered the smooth, powerful performance of a V-16. Over the next 11 years, each of the more than 4000 V-16s was as close to hand-made as a commercial auto manufacturer could come. Their drivers included statesmen, celebrities, businessmen and, sometimes, well-heeled ne’er-do-wells. Many of the cars survived wartime scrap drives, obsolescence, lack of replacement parts, neglect and the elements. This follow-up volume to Cadillac V-16s Lost and Found (2014) documents the individual stories of 67 more of these magnificent machines.

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Newly Published: S. Sylvan Simon, Moviemaker

New on our bookshelf:

S. Sylvan Simon, Moviemaker: Adventures with Lucy, Red Skelton and Harry Cohn in the Golden Age of Hollywood
David C. Tucker

He was Red Skelton’s favorite director, and mentored Lucille Ball in the art of physical comedy. In his 15-year Hollywood career, S. Sylvan Simon (1910-1951) directed and/or produced more than 40 films, with stars like Lana Turner, Abbott and Costello, and Wallace Beery. Though he loved to make moviegoers laugh, he demonstrated his versatility with murder mysteries, war stories, and musicals. After a decade at MGM, he moved to Columbia, where he produced his own projects, including the Western melodrama Lust for Gold, and popular slapstick comedies like The Fuller Brush Girl. As head of production, reporting to irascible Harry Cohn, he produced the award-winning Born Yesterday, and was working on From Here to Eternity when his life ended tragically at the age of 41.

This first-ever account of Simon’s life and career draws on interviews with family and colleagues, genealogical records, archival materials, and his own annotated scripts to tell the story of a stage-struck boy from Pittsburgh whose talent and tenacity made him a Hollywood success. The filmography provides production histories, critical commentary, and excerpts from published reviews. An appendix covers books written or edited by Simon, including his anthologized plays for amateur groups.

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Newly Published: Best of the Bruins

New on our bookshelf:

Best of the Bruins: Boston’s All-Time Great Hockey Players and Coaches
Jonathan Weeks

Among the “Original Six” National Hockey League clubs to survive the Great Depression, the Boston Bruins have a vibrant history. Entering the 2019-2020 campaign, the team ranked fourth all-time, with six Stanley Cup championships. Some of the most gifted players in NHL history have skated for the Bruins over the years. This detailed survey tells the individual stories of the players and coaches, past and present, who have helped make the Bruins perennial contenders for close to a century.

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Newly Published: The French Terror Wave, 2015–2016

New on our bookshelf:

The French Terror Wave, 2015–2016: Al-Qaeda and ISIS Attacks from Charlie Hebdo to the Bataclan Theatre
Marc E. Vargo

A torrent of Islamist terrorism swept across France in 2015 and 2016, executed by militant jihadists on behalf of al-Qaeda and the Islamic State (ISIS). Their targets ranged from the Paris offices of Charlie Hebdo magazine to the Bataclan Theatre on the Boulevard Voltaire to a parish church in a Normandy village and a beachfront promenade on the Mediterranean. This book reconstructs these and other terrorist offensives France weathered during this period. Placing each attack in its sociopolitical context, the author examines the backgrounds and motives of the perpetrators, the attributes of the victims and the legacy of the attacks for the people.

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Newly Published: Valley Forge to Monmouth

New on our bookshelf:

Valley Forge to Monmouth: Six Transformative Months of the American Revolution
Jim Stempel

From December 1777 through June 1778, the American Revolution achieved a remarkable turnaround. I these months the Continental Army recovered from abject demoralization at Valley Forge to achieve a stunning victory against the British at Monmouth Courthouse. This compelling history chronicles how the war began to turn–from the consequential leadership of General Washington and the Marquis de Lafayette to the experiences of the men who marched and fought in the ranks–and reexamines one of the most controversial periods of early American history.

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Newly Published: Newspaper-Real Estate Schemes of the 1920s

New on our bookshelf:

Newspaper-Real Estate Schemes of the 1920s: Pell Lake and Other Vacation Colonies for Working Class Subscribers
Margaret B. Barker

In the 1920s, newspapers and real estate developers colluded in a scheme to sell tiny vacation lots to subscribers. A zealous advertising campaign spawned a land-buying frenzy that sprouted dozens of waterfront summer colonies across the country. The resulting legal, social and environmental mayhem caused some of these communities to disappear or be drastically altered in character, while others managed to survive more or less intact.

Drawing on newspaper accounts of the day, this book explores how the scheme eluded accusations of fraud, creating an assembly line for middle class resorts through a lucrative merger of real estate and journalism. Pell Lake, Wisconsin, serves as a case study that yields the best evidence for determining if it was all a scam. Told here for the first time, the story of this unusual alliance and the communities it created offers lessons for today’s entrepreneurs, journalists, advertisers, real estate developers, environmentalists and anyone who has ever lived in a resort community.

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Newly Published: The Planetary Emergency

New on our bookshelf:

The Planetary Emergency: Environmental Collapse and the Promise of Ecocivilization
Kent D. Shifferd

Earth and its inhabitants face an unprecedented crisis–the human-caused destruction of the planet’s life support systems. Deteriorating climate bringing super storms, mass forest fires, melting glaciers, droughts, extreme heat and rising seas, a decline in food production, soil loss, water pollution and declining fisheries all threaten the future of life on earth with a looming extinction event not seen for 60 million years.

Beginning in the 17th century, we developed a civilization based on radical materialism, exploitation of natural resources and the myth of endless economic growth. For all its technological wonders, this “hypercivilization” has proven unsustainable. This book explores ways we can create an “ecocivilization” compatible with the laws and limits of nature–a new way of living already developing, with new technologies, new forms of social organization and a new story about ourselves and the Earth.

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Newly Published: Charlie Chaplin and A Woman of Paris

New on our bookshelf:

Charlie Chaplin and A Woman of Paris: The Genesis of a Misunderstood Masterpiece
Wes D. Gehring

Charlie Chaplin’s A Woman of Paris (1923) was a groundbreaking film which was neither a simple recycling of Peggy Hopkins Joyce’s story, nor quickly forgotten. Through heavily-documented “period research,” this book lands several bombshells, including Paris is deeply rooted in Chaplin’s previous films and his relationship with Edna Purviance, Paris was not rejected by heartland America, Chaplin did “romantic research” (especially with Pola Negri), and Paris’ many ongoing influences have never been fully appreciated. These are just a few of the mistakes about Paris.

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Newly Published: Doctor Who and Science

New on our bookshelf:

Doctor Who and Science: Essays on Ideas, Identities and Ideologies in the Series
Edited by Marcus K. Harmes and Lindy A. Orthia

Science has always been part of Doctor Who. The first episode featured scenes in a science laboratory and a science teacher, and the 2020 season’s finale highlighted a scientist’s key role in Time Lord history. Hundreds of scientific characters, settings, inventions, and ethical dilemmas populated the years in between. Behind the scenes, Doctor Who‘s original remit was to teach children about science, and in the 1960s it even had a scientific advisor.

This is the first book to explore this scientific landscape from a broad spectrum of research fields: from astronomy, genetics, linguistics, computing, history, sociology and science communication through gender, media and literature studies. Contributors ask: What sort of scientist is the Doctor? How might the TARDIS translation circuit and regeneration work? Did the Doctor change sex or gender when regenerating into Jodie Whittaker? How do Doctor Who‘s depictions of the Moon and other planets compare to the real universe? Why was the program obsessed with energy in the 1960s and 1970s, Victorian scientists and sciences then and now, or with dinosaurs at any time? Do characters like Missy and the Rani make good scientist role models? How do Doctor Who technical manuals and public lectures shape public ideas about science?

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Martial Arts on Screen Sale

We’re going to let you in on a company secret: our sales staff can’t stop thinking about ninjas. We plan ahead for surprise attacks. One of us is a certified “Cooler,” and the Olympics only make us reminisce about Gymkata. Lucky for us, McFarland offers a number of books about real and fictional martial arts, and we’re putting them all on sale. Through the end of January, get 20% off all martial arts titles with the coupon code KUMITE!.

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Newly Published: Karloff and the East

New on our bookshelf:

Karloff and the East: Asian, Indian, Middle Eastern and Oceanian Characters and Subjects in His Screen Career
Scott Allen Nollen with Yuyun Yuningsih Nollen

Among Golden Age Hollywood film stars of European heritage known for playing characters from the East–Chinese, Southeast Asians, Indians and Middle Easterners–Anglo-Indian actor Boris Karloff had deep roots there. Based on extensive new research, this biography and career study of Karloff’s “eastern” films provides a critical examination of 41 features, including many overlooked early roles, and offers fresh perspective on a cinematic luminary so often labeled a “horror icon.” Films include The Lightning Raider (1919), 14 silent films from the 1920s, The Unholy Night (1929), The Mask of Fu Manchu (1932), The Mummy (1932), John Ford’s The Lost Patrol (1934), the Mr. Wong series (1938-1940), Targets (1968), and Isle of the Snake People (1971), one of six titles released posthumously.

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Newly Published: A Family Disease

New on our bookshelf:

A Family Disease: A Memoir of Multigenerational Ataxia
Dana Lorene Creighton

Dana Creighton and her mother both were affected by the same inherited cerebellar degeneration, known as ataxia–a loss of control over body movements. Both were treated by a healthcare system that failed them in different ways. Yet their experiences were disparate.

Creighton eventually found the right tools to piece together meaning in her life; her mother resisted accepting her condition, in part because doctors repeatedly said nothing was wrong with her. Twenty-five years after her mother’s suicide, Creighton’s memoir finds striking similarities and differences in their lives and traces a lineage of family trauma.

Drawing on research in neuroplasticity, medical records, personal correspondence and genealogy, the author highlights the gap between the lived experience of a debilitating ailment and the impersonal aims of clinicians. She shows how the stories parents tell themselves about living with a genetic disorder influences how they communicate it to their children.

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Newly Published: Heroes Masked and Mythic

New on our bookshelf:

Heroes Masked and Mythic: Echoes of Ancient Archetypes in Comic Book Characters
Christopher Wood

Epic battles, hideous monsters and a host of petty gods–the world of Classical mythology continues to fascinate and inspire. Heroes like Herakles, Achilles and Perseus have influenced Western art and literature for centuries, and today are reinvented in the modern superhero.

What does Iron Man have to do with the Homeric hero Odysseus? How does the African warrior Memnon compare with Marvel’s Black Panther? Do DC’s Wonder Woman and Xena the Warrior Princess reflect the tradition of Amazon women such as Penthesileia? How does the modern superhero’s journey echo that of the epic warrior?

With fresh insight into ancient Greek texts and historical art, this book examines modern superhero archetypes and iconography in comics and film as the crystallization of the hero’s journey in the modern imagination.

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Newly Published: The African Experience in Colonial Virginia

New on our bookshelf:

The African Experience in Colonial Virginia: Essays on the 1619 Arrival and the Legacy of Slavery
Edited by Colita Nichols Fairfax

The State of Virginia recognizes the 1619 landing of Africans at Point Comfort (present-day Hampton) as a complicated beginning. This collection of new essays reckons with this historical fact, with discussions of the impacts 400 years later.

Chapters cover different perspectives about the “20 and odd” who landed, offering insights into how enslavement continues to affect the lives of their descendants. The often overlooked experiences of women in enslavement are discussed.

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Newly Published: Death by Technology

New on our bookshelf:

Death by Technology: The Road to Hell Is Paved with Good Inventions
John R. Cook

This book refutes the 21st-century notion that advancing technology is an unambiguous social good, and examines the effects of this uncritical acceptance and dependence. The author argues that technology has become the new religion for the digital age, and that elevating technology to nearly the status of a deity allows for the denial of problems created by reliance upon machines.

From the release of toxins into the environment to the unsustainable energy demands of the modern era, technological dependence is driving humanity near the brink of extinction.

Despite these problems, and existential issues such as artificial intelligence and the proliferation of nuclear weapons, many people have an unwavering belief in the ability of technology, particularly any device labeled “smart,” to create a perfect future—while denying the history of unmet promises and unintended consequences of technological innovation.

The author explores the psychological underpinnings of these beliefs from both a clinical and a cognitive perspective. The social and economic forces that maintain our reliance on, or addiction to, technology are critiqued as are the ethical and security issues associated with the control of advanced technology.

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Newly Published: Policing the Monstrous

New on our bookshelf:

Policing the Monstrous: Essays on the Supernatural Crime Procedural
Edited by Ashley Szanter

This collection of new essays examines how the injection of supernatural creatures and mythologies transformed the hugely popular crime procedural television genre. These shows complicate the predictable and comforting patterns of the procedural with the inherently unknowable nature of the supernatural. From Sherlock to Supernatural, essays cover a range of topics including the gothic, the post-structural nature of The X-Files, the uncanny lure of Twin Peaks, trickster detectives, forensic fairy tales, the allure of the vampire detective, and even the devil himself.

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Newly Published: Frank Selee

New on our bookshelf:

Frank Selee: Hall of Fame Manager of the Boston Beaneaters and Chicago Cubs
Richard Bressler

One of the best managers in the early years of professional baseball, Frank Selee (1859–1909) built two great teams. The Boston Beaneaters of the 1890s won five National League pennants during his tenure. The Chicago Cubs won four National League pennants and two World Series immediately after his period as manager—mostly with players he assembled. Selee’s teams earned reputations for sportsmanship during an era known for dirty play, and Selee himself was known as a congenial man at a time when many managers and players had were considered loutish or combative. This biography tells the story of one of baseball’s notable nice guys, who honed his craft to succeed in a ruthlessly competitive business.

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Newly Published: Dan Mason

New on our bookshelf:

Dan Mason: From Vaudeville to Broadway to the Silent Screen
Joseph P. Eckhardt

In a career that spanned 57 years, Dan Mason (1853–1929) went from performing German dialect routines in variety halls to appearing in Broadway musicals to playing character roles in silent films. Along the way he also wrote, produced, directed and starred in his own plays. Best remembered for his role as the irascible “Skipper” in the Toonerville Trolley silent comedies, Mason created dozens of unique and colorful characters on stage and screen.

This first-ever biography of the American comedian explores the roots of his craft and the challenges he faced navigating the rapidly changing world of popular entertainment in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

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Newly Published: In Frankenstein’s Wake

New on our bookshelf:

In Frankenstein’s Wake: Mary Shelley, Morality and Science Fiction
Alison Bedford

Just over 200 years ago on a stormy night, a young woman conceived of what would become one of the most iconic images of science gone wrong, the story of Victor Frankenstein and his Creature. For a long period, Mary Shelley languished in the shadow of her luminary husband, Percy Bysshe Shelley, but was rescued from obscurity by the feminist scholars of the 1970s and 1980s.

This book offers a new perspective on Shelley and on science fiction, arguing that she both established a new discursive space for moral thinking and laid the groundwork for the genre of science fiction. Adopting a contextual biographical approach and undertaking a close reading of the 1818 and 1831 editions of the text give readers insight into how this story synthesizes many of the concerns about new science prevalent in Shelley’s time. Using Michel Foucault’s concept of discourse, the present work argues that Shelley should be not only credited with the foundation of a genre but recognized as a figure who created a new cultural space for readers to explore their fears and negotiate the moral landscape of new science.

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Newly Published: The China Incident

New on our bookshelf:

The China Incident: Igniting the Second Sino-Japanese War
G. William Whitehurst

In 1937, Japan blundered into a debilitating war with China, beginning with a minor incident near Peking (now Beijing) that quickly escalated. The Japanese won significant battles and captured the capital, Nanking, after a horrific massacre of its citizens. Chiang Kai-shek, China’s acknowledged leader, would not surrender—each side believed it could win a war of attrition. The U.S. sided with China, primarily because of President Roosevelt’s personal bias in their favor.

Drawing on a wealth of sources including interviews with key players, from soldiers to diplomats, this history traces America’s unexpected and unpopular involvement in an Asian conflict, and the growing recognition of Japan’s threat to world peace and the inevitability of war.

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Newly Published: Running Toward the Guns

New on our bookshelf:

Running Toward the Guns: A Memoir of Escape from Cambodia
Chanty Jong with Lee Ann Van Houten-Sauter

Running Toward the Guns is an autobiographical story and an accounting of Chanty Jong’s personal inner self-healing journey that led to a successfully unexpected discovery. Jong survived the Cambodian genocide during the Khmer Rouge regime of 1975–1979, witnessing the horrors of the killing fields, torture, starvation and much more. Her vivid narrative recounts the suffering under the Khmer Rouge, her perseverance to survive physically and emotionally and her perilous escape to America. Her memoir relives the traumatic memories of her experiences and traces her arduous personal transformation toward a life of inner peace through intensive meditation.

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Newly Published: The Alchemical Harry Potter

New on our bookshelf:

The Alchemical Harry Potter: Essays on Transfiguration in J.K. Rowling’s Novels
Edited by Anne J. Mamary

When Harry Potter first boards the Hogwarts Express, he journeys to a world which Rowling says has alchemy as its “internal logic.” The Philosopher’s Stone, known for its power to transform base metals into gold and to give immortality to its maker, is the subject of the conflict between Harry and Voldemort in the first book of the series. But alchemy is not about money or eternal life, it is much more about the transformations of desire, of power and of people—through love.

Harry’s equally remarkable and ordinary power to love leads to his desire to find but not use the Philosopher’s Stone at the start of the series and his wish to end the destructive power of the Elder Wand at the end. This collection of essays on alchemical symbolism and transformations in Rowling’s series demonstrates how Harry’s work with magical objects, people, and creatures transfigure desire, power, and identity. As Harry’s leaden existence on Privet Drive is transformed in the company of his friends and teachers, the Harry Potter novels have transformed millions of readers, inspiring us to find the gold in our ordinary lives.

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Newly Published: Word Parts Dictionary

New on our bookshelf:

Word Parts Dictionary: Standard and Reverse Listings of Prefixes, Suffixes, Roots and Combining Forms, 3d ed.
Michael J. Sheehan

This book, now in its third edition, is still the most uniquely comprehensive resource for finding word parts needed to express a concept. Along with aiding vocabulary expansion, this dictionary provides guidance to those who may be interested in inventing or deciphering words bearing an established and embedded meaning.

This work is split into three parts. Part I, the dictionary proper, provides an alphabetical listing of over 5,100 word parts. Each entry includes a brief definition, examples of use and etymology.

Part II, the Finder, is a reverse dictionary that allows users to start with a meaning or concept to then find word parts that express the meaning. The only reverse dictionary of its kind,this section is updated with over 4,600 search terms in total.

The expanded Part III organizes word parts under 20 convenient categories—like The Body, Fear or Dislike of, Experts and Shapes.

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Newly Published: Michael Bishop and the Persistence of Wonder

New on our bookshelf:

Michael Bishop and the Persistence of Wonder: A Critical Study of the Writings
Joe Sanders

Since they began appearing in the 1970s, Michael Bishop’s science fiction and fantasy stories have been recognized for their polished prose and their depth of thought and feeling. His award-winning fiction includes No Enemy but Time (1982), Unicorn Mountain (1988), Brittle Innings (1994) and the outstanding short story “The Pile” (2008). After the 2017 publication of his collection Other Arms Reach Out to Me, Bishop was inducted into the Georgia Writers’ Hall of Fame. Revision and republication of much of Bishop’s fiction in recent years have renewed interest in Bishop’s explorations of religion, belief and the pursuit of human truth.

This book is the first comprehensive study of Michael Bishop’s literary body, examining his work in full. Featured are close readings of all his novels and studies of short stories, poetry and essays that Bishop himself identified for special attention.

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Newly Published: Have You Seen This Person?

New on our bookshelf:

Have You Seen This Person?: Ten Unsolved Disappearances, 2000–2013
LJ Roberts

Each year, hundreds of thousands of people are reported missing in the United States alone. The majority of those who disappear turn up within a week, but a small percentage are never heard from again.

Why did a Swedish teenager on an Australian adventure mail a cryptic letter to his family in Stockholm before disappearing forever? What became of a young woman whose car was found crashed and abandoned off a cliffside in Whatcom County, Washington? How can an individual vanish without a trace in a world so connected and monitored?

This book explores ten unsolved missing persons cases from around the world, from a 12-year-old British boy who purchased a one-way ticket to London King’s Cross never to return, to an American traveler who walked into the Himalayas not to be seen again. Included are exclusive interviews, statistical information and a case-by-case analysis of the most common and probable theories for each disappearance.

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Newly Published: The Banisters of Rhode Island in the American Revolution

New on our bookshelf:

The Banisters of Rhode Island in the American Revolution: Liberty and the Costs of Loyalties
Marian Mathison Desrosiers

When Thomas Banister fought for the British during the American Revolution, his farm and business were confiscated. He was exiled in far-off Nova Scotia, before he returned to a secluded life on Long Island. His older brother, John Banister married with a child, swore allegiance to the United Colonies, then witnessed the destruction of his Newport lands by the British Army.

Convinced British laws supported remuneration, John left for England, where he sought justice for four years. His wife, Christian Stelle Banister, managed the family property and raised their son while the state threatened confiscation and the French Army lived in Newport.

Tracing the lives of three young Americans during the Revolution, this study of the Banister family of Rhode Island contributes to an understanding of the war’s effects on the lives of ordinary people.

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Newly Published: Super Skills, Super Reading

New on our bookshelf:

Super Skills, Super Reading: Literacy and Television Superheroes
Perry Dantzler

What comes to mind when you think about superheroes? Strength, bravery, and heroism are common answers. However, superheroes do not only have physical strength, but they also have mental strengths and skills. Superheroes tend to have intelligence and detection skills which allow them to develop other skills. In this analysis of superhero literacy aimed at students, the connection between superhero media and larger theories of literacy are explored. The author uses six superhero television shows to show how literacy is portrayed in superhero media and how it reflects and shapes cultural ideas of literacy. The shows covered are Arrow, The Flash, Gotham, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Daredevil.

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Newly Published: How Not to Make a Movie

New on our bookshelf:

How <I>Not</I> to Make a Movie: An Independent Filmmaker in Hollywood Hell
William Robert Carey

Part memoir, part primer, part cautionary tale, this book takes the reader along on a filmmaker’s 12-year journey through Hollywood Hell, culminating in the movie Angels In Stardust (2016), starring Alicia Silverstone, AJ Michalka and Billy Burke. Describing meetings with producers, agents, managers, hustlers, wannabes and famous celebrities, and how he overcame the host of problems encountered while trying to produce a movie, William Robert Carey’s humorous and confessional narrative illustrates why it takes a minor miracle, a cabinet of liquor and plenty of Pepto-Bismol to complete a film. Copies of his option agreement, script sales contract and director’s contract, crafted by LA entertainment attorneys, are included as a valuable guide for beginners.

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Newly Published: Toni Morrison’s Secret Drive

New on our bookshelf:

Toni Morrison’s Secret Drive: A Reader-Response Study of the Fiction and Its Rhetoric
David S. Goldstein and Shawnrece D. Campbell

The late Toni Morrison was the first African-American to win the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1993. A powerful writer, she wove stories depicting the largely overlooked Black experience in America and exploring the intersection of gender and race through the lives of Black women. Morrison’s writing continues to move people and push readers to reassess their beliefs about what it means to be Black in America.

Synthesizing some 250 scholarly works about Morrison’s writing, this book examines eight novels as well as the short story “Recitatif.” They are analyzed for techniques used to deepen meaning and emotional weight, and reveal Morrison’s mastery over prose.

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BOOK REVIEWS: The People of the Sagas

Here are the latest book reviews for Icelanders in the Viking Age: The People of the Sagas by William R. Short.

• “Provides information on the daily lives, culture, history, and society of the Icelanders in a clear and well-structured fashion that invites and informs modern readers. The 13 chapters are concise, and clearly laid out sections allow readers to review specific themes or read the work as a whole. Using both literary and archaeological sources, Short presents a detailed, succinct, and informative overview of Icelanders of the saga age as well as the sagas themselves. Readers are enticed into further exploration of Viking–age Iceland with the inclusion of detailed chapter notes and recommendations for further readings. This useful introduction to the Viking age is an essential companion to the medieval narratives…. The author’s in-depth research makes this a compelling, informative addition to almost any collection dealing with the sagas or the Viking age. Highly recommended. General and academic collections, all levels.”—Choice

• “Informative…Short has done an excellent job…most interesting…I unhesitatingly recommend this book to anyone with even a shred of interest in the Viking era…faultless…tells a coherent story…this is a book stuffed full of interesting material for anyone interested in the sagas, the Viking age, the Icelandic Commonwealth, and early contact with the New World. Highly recommended”—Armed and Dangerous

• “A warning to readers. You may find you need to hide your copy of this book…chapters on pretty much all aspects of daily life…. You don’t need to be a specialist in anthropology or history to understand…illustrated with numerous black and white photographs of Iceland and Icelandic artifacts, drawings and maps…enjoyed it very much. You’ve got to hand it to McFarland as they publish some fascinating books”—Green Man Review

• “A perfect companion or an introduction to reading the sagas…very easy to read, and covers many topics in the life of the people in Iceland during those times…covers religion, laws, feuds, home life, and the settlement, among other topics…truly gives you an overview of what everyday life was like…[Short’s] research is flawless, and his sources are well-documented…bibliography is impressive…very well-indexed…entertaining, easy-to-read and very educational”—Lögberg-Heimskringla

• “Well-structured, easily understandable and practical…digs deep into a wide range of archaeological and literary sources…presents readers with a realistic account of life in the saga age…excellent…thorough and accurate…interesting…especially helpful”—Iceland Review

• “Riveting exploration…a solid addition”—Midwest Book Review

• “Fresh and interesting…a most readable book”—SMART: Studies in Medieval and Renaissance Teaching

• “Comprehensive but accessible history…. All aspects of society are covered including laws, conflict, domestic work, agriculture, gender roles, trade and production. Blending literature, legal codes, chronicles and archaeology and embellishing them with pictures, many of which he took himself. Short’s book is a perfect companion to the study of the Icelandic sagas”—Reference and Research Book News

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Newly Published: Sid Caesar and Your Show of Shows

New on our bookshelf:

Sid Caesar and Your Show of Shows: The Birth of the Television Sketch Comedy Series
Karen J. Harvey

In the early days of television, “comedy” often meant stale vaudeville routines and stand-up. Then, in 1950, a new comedy-variety show debuted on NBC—Your Show of Shows. Its gifted and mercurial star, Sid Caesar, talented ensemble cast and superb writing staff—including Mel Brooks, Neil Simon, Lucille Kallen and Mel Tolkin—would create comedy designed for the new medium and provide a template for successful shows that followed. With rare illustrations and the most complete sketch guide yet compiled, this book highlights Caesar’s reputation as a brilliant comic actor and describes the writing and production of the weekly live broadcast that kept 60 million TV viewers home on Saturday nights.

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Newly Published: Body Dysmorphic Disorder, Mine and Yours

New on our bookshelf:

Body Dysmorphic Disorder, Mine and Yours: A Personal and Clinical Perspective
Scott M. Granet

As many as 5–10 million Americans may suffer from body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) yet it remains under-recognized by both mental health professionals and the general public. Tormented by obsessive thoughts associated with physical appearance, and related compulsive behaviors, people with BDD believe their bodies are flawed or even deformed—imperfections typically not noticeable to others. High suicide attempt rates, the pursuit of cosmetic remedies and other factors complicate the clinical picture.

Although Scott Granet began showing symptoms of BDD at 19, more than two decades passed before he discovered that his obsessive fear of losing his hair was a sign of a serious psychiatric condition. Written from the perspective of therapist who has lived with and triumphed over BDD, Granet’s personal and clinical narrative guides the reader through the process of assessing and treating BDD.

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Newly Published: Dying for Chocolate

New on our bookshelf:

Dying for Chocolate: Cordelia Botkin and the 1898 Poisoned Candy Murders
Kerry Segrave

On a summer day in 1898, a family in Dover, Delaware, shared a box of chocolates they received in the mail from an anonymous sender. Within days, two of the seven family members were dead; the other five became ill but recovered. The search for the perpetrator soon moved from Delaware to California, where a suspect was quickly identified: Cordelia Botkin, lover of the husband of one of the poisoned women.

This book chronicles the shoddy investigation that led to Botkin’s indictment and the two sensational trials, adjudicated in the press, that found her guilty. National attention was drawn by the cross-country nature of the crime and the fact that the supposed perpetrator had never been in Delaware in her life. It was also a trial over what was viewed as the moral and sexual depravity of the two main participants, Botkin and Dunning (the husband), with most of that criticism directed at Botkin.

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Newly Published: The Science of Spirit

New on our bookshelf:

The Science of Spirit: Parapsychology, Enlightenment and Evolution
Luis Portela

Throughout the 20th century and into the new millennium, humanity has made enormous advancements in science and technology. Spiritual enlightenment, however, has gone relatively neglected, as fascination with material progress tends to keep us focused on the physical world, giving less importance to universal values, to being, to spiritual life.

Parapsychological research has produced significant findings over the last few decades, and science has the obligation to continue exploring this area, seeking to contribute to the spiritual enlightenment of humanity. This book examines evidence of traditional psychic phenomena, promoting a more comprehensive understanding of them, and offering new perspective to see ourselves as particles of “universal energy,” interconnected with all others.

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Newly Published: The Fortean Influence on Science Fiction

New on our bookshelf:

The Fortean Influence on Science Fiction: Charles Fort and the Evolution of the Genre
Tanner F. Boyle

Charles Fort was an American researcher from the early twentieth century who cataloged reports of unexplained phenomena he found in newspapers and science journals. A minor bestseller with a cult appeal, Fort’s work was posthumously republished in the pulp science fiction magazine Astounding Stories in 1934. His idiosyncratic books fascinated, scared, and entertained readers, many of them authors and editors of science fiction. Fort’s work prophesied the paranormal mainstays of SF literature to come: UFOs, poltergeists, strange disappearances, cryptids, ancient mysteries, unexplained natural phenomena, and everything in between. Science fiction authors latched on to Fort’s topics and hypotheses as perfect fodder for SF stories. Writers like Arthur C. Clarke, Philip K. Dick, Robert Heinlein, H.P. Lovecraft, and others are examined in this exploration of Fortean science fiction—a genre that borrows from the reports and ideas of Fort and others who saw the possible science-fictional nature of our reality.

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Newly Published: Chess Rivals of the 19th Century

New on our bookshelf:

Chess Rivals of the 19th Century: With 300 Annotated Games
Tony Cullen

Many historical chess books focus on individual 19th century masters and tournaments yet little is written covering the full scope of competitive chess through the era. This volume provides a comprehensive overview, with more than a third of the 300 annotated games analyzed by past masters and checked by powerful engines.

Players such as Max Lange and Cochrane, known to the chess public only by the name given to a fierce attack or gambit, are brought to life. Fifty masters are each given their own chapter, with brief biographies, results and anecdotes and an endgame section for most chapters.

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Newly Published: Community Eco-Gardens

New on our bookshelf:

Community Eco-Gardens: Landscaping with Native Plants
Dennis Swiftdeer Paige

Part how-to, part personal narrative, this book provides a practical guide for creating native-species ecogardens. It chronicles the author’s 20-year journey of environmental awakening. With the help of the greater community, a neglected five-acre condominium landscape is transformed into a stunning range of multi-seasonal prairie, woodland and wetland micro-habitats. This illustrated account describes the process of ecological reconciliation and traces his discovery of the higher self along the way.