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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.

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Newly Published: Circle in the Square Theatre

New on our bookshelf:

Circle in the Square Theatre: A Comprehensive History
Sheila Hickey Garvey

Based on years of research as well as interviews conducted with Circle in the Square’s major contributing artists, this book records the entire history of this distinguished theatre from its nightclub origins to its current status as a Tony Award-winning Broadway institution. Over the course of seven decades, Circle in the Square theatre profoundly changed ideas of what American theatre could be. Founded by Theodore Mann and José Quintero in an abandoned Off–Broadway nightclub just after WWII, it was a catalyst for the Off–Broadway movement. The building had a unique arena-shaped performance space that became Circle in the Square theatre, New York’s first Off–Broadway arena stage and currently Broadway’s only arena stage. The theatre was precedent-setting in many other regards, including operating as a non-profit, contracting with trade unions, establishing a school, and serving as a home for blacklisted artists. It sparked a resurgence of interest in playwright Eugene O’Neill’s canon, and was famous for landmark revivals and American premieres of his plays. The theatre also fostered the careers of such luminaries as Geraldine Page, Colleen Dewhurst, George C. Scott, Jason Robards, James Earl Jones, Cecily Tyson, Dustin Hoffman, Irene Papas, Alan Arkin, Philip Bosco, Al Pacino, Amy Irving, Pamela Payton-Wright, Vanessa Redgrave, Julie Christie, John Malkovich, Lynn Redgrave, and Annette Bening.

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Newly Published: The Constitution and American Racism

New on our bookshelf:

The Constitution and American Racism: Setting a Course for Lasting Injustice
David P. Madden

Racism has permeated the workings of the U.S. Constitution since ratification. At the 1787 Constitutional Convention, supporters of slavery ensured it was protected by rule of law. The federal government upheld slavery until it was abolished by the Civil War; then supported the South’s Jim Crow power structure. From Reconstruction through the Civil Rights Era until today, veneration of the Constitution has not prevented lynching, segregation, voter intimidation or police brutality against people of color. The Electoral College—a Constitutional accommodation for slaveholding aristocrats who feared popular government—has twice in 20 years given the presidency to the candidate who lost the popular vote. This book describes how pernicious flaws in the Constitution, included to legalize profiting from human bondage, perpetuate systemic racism, economic inequality and the subversion of democracy.

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Newly Published: Who’s in the Game?

New on our bookshelf:

Who’s in the Game?: Identity and Intersectionality in Classic Board Games
Terri Toles Patkin

Some board games—like Candy Land, Chutes & Ladders, Clue, Guess Who, The Game of Life, Monopoly, Operation and Payday—have popularity spanning generations. But over time, updates to games have created significantly different messages about personal identity and evolving social values. Games offer representations of gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, religion, age, ability and social class that reflect the status quo and respond to social change.

Using popular mass-market games, this rhetorical assessment explores board design, game implements (tokens, markers, 3-D elements) and playing instructions. This book argues the existence of board games as markers of an ever-changing sociocultural framework, exploring the nature of play and how games embody and extend societal themes and values.

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Newly Published: Beyond Triathlon

New on our bookshelf:

Beyond Triathlon: A Dual Memoir of Masters Women Athletes
Celeste Callahan and Dottie Dorion with Jane E. Hunt

Female students today never knew a time without Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which protects students from sex-based discrimination and exclusion in education programs or activities. It benefits all women, especially female athletes. This dual memoir recounts the lives of Celeste Callahan and Dottie Dorion, who were athletes before Title IX was passed. Callahan and Dorion were runners and triathletes who constantly battled gender norms and stereotypes. The memoirs of the two athletes’ oral and written accounts are stitched together to detail their journey through sport against societal standards and pressures.

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New in Softcover: Encyclopedia of Ancient Deities

Now available in softcover:

Encyclopedia of Ancient Deities
Charles Russell Coulter and Patricia Turner

Throughout history, humans have pondered the question of their existence. In nearly every society, part of the answer has included some form of god or goddess. For the Mayans, one such deity was Ajtzak, who tried to create humans from wood; for the Yorubas of Africa, Shango controlled the thunder and lightning. The Chinese of the Shang dynasty era worshipped Shang Ti. Evil deities were also part of the answer, as in the case of the Kuvera, the Hindu chief of evil in the Vedic period, and Tu, the Persian or Islamic demon of fatal accidents.

All of the known ancient gods, many heretofore obscure or known only from mythological literature, are included in this exhaustive reference work. The focus is on their origins, histories, and functions. The people who believed in each deity are identified, along with alternate names or spellings both old and modern. The descriptions that follow are of the functions, origins and physical nature of the deities. Extensive cross references are provided for alternate spellings and names.

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Newly Published: Zack Wheat

New on our bookshelf:

Zack Wheat: The Life of the Brooklyn Dodgers Hall of Famer
Joe Niese

Zack Wheat was long considered the greatest player in Dodgers history. The Missouri native parlayed his tenacious work ethic and raw skills into a major league career. For almost two decades, the mild-mannered outfielder was a mainstay for the Dodgers, bringing stability to a team that was at times unhinged. To this day, Wheat is the franchise leader in several batting categories.

Greatly respected by his peers and adored by fans, Wheat served as Brooklyn’s captain for several years, leading the club to two pennants (1916 and 1920). After his playing days, Wheat found difficulty working his way back into the game and was nearly killed in an automobile accident as a member of the Kansas City police force before finding redemption in election to the Hall of Fame in 1959.

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Newly Published: Mr. Sulu Grabbed My Ass, and Other Highlights from a Life in Comics, Novels, Television, Films and Video Games

New on our bookshelf:

Mr. Sulu Grabbed My Ass, and Other Highlights from a Life in Comics, Novels, Television, Films and Video Games
Peter David

Peter David, award-winning writer of comic books, novels, television, films and video games, has boatloads of stories to tell about his 30-year career. Whether it was attending George Takei’s wedding, being described as Will Smith’s bodyguard, or wandering around on the set of Babylon 5, David has been telling anecdotes of his life for years. Here they are all in one place, along with the story of a career that has taken him from writing Marvel Comics’ Incredible Hulk for twelve years to adventures in the Star Trek universe to the New York Times bestseller list.

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Vikings Catalog and Sale

On the threshold of winter, it is not untoward to turn one’s thoughts to hearty beards.  So it is here at McFarland, and ours have specifically turned to Vikings and representations of medieval Nordic-ness in myth, literature and popular culture.  We’ve collected all our related McFarland titles into this catalog, and you’ll find a full range of books covering topics such as the intellectual inspirations for Tolkien’s legendarium, the Vikings television series that successfully summoned their historical world, and insights into the people of the great Icelandic medieval sagas.  If you have an interest in Norse mythology in heavy metal music, McFarland has a book for that, too!  Through December 31, get 30% off these books with coupon code VIKINGS30.

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Newly Published: Murder in a Few Words

New on our bookshelf:

Murder in a Few Words: Gender, Genre and Location in the Crime Short Story
Charlotte Beyer

The clue-puzzle, legal thriller, and classic whodunit are just a few of the subgenres within the widely popular crime fiction genre. However, despite its popularity among readers, the crime short story genre has yet to be fully explored by scholars. This book offers a deep-dive into crime short stories written by a wide range of authors, tracing the history and evolution of the crime short story. The book offers an accessible and original examination of crime short stories, focusing on compelling themes such as miscarriage of justice, feminism, environmental crime and toxic masculinity.

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Newly Published: Leslie Stevens Goes to Hollywood

New on our bookshelf:

Leslie Stevens Goes to Hollywood: Daystar Productions, Kate Manx and the Making of Private Property
Dore Page

The ongoing popularity of Leslie Stevens’ 1960s television masterwork The Outer Limits, as well as later series creations Battlestar Galactica and Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, has kept his name familiar to television fans. Surprisingly, very little writing exists on his earlier Broadway contributions or his seminal film and television production company, Daystar Productions. Stevens’ personal life also remains relatively unknown.

This biography focuses on the origins of Daystar Productions as well as Stevens’ first years in Hollywood when he was married to actress Kate Manx. After meeting Manx in 1957, Stevens took her with him to Los Angeles and refashioned her into a dramatic film actress who would soon star in his startling, New Wave–style debut film, Private Property. That film, which Stevens made for just $40,000, would go on to gross several million dollars and open the doors to Hollywood for Manx and co-star Warren Oates. While Oates prospered, Manx was unable to sustain her brief success and her life soon spiraled out of control as Stevens’ career turned increasingly toward television.

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Newly Published: The Motivated Worker

New on our bookshelf:

The Motivated Worker: A Manager’s Guide to Improving Job Satisfaction
Brad Ward

How can managers and executives motivate workers to make them happier and more productive? How can employees find meaning and motivation in their careers? The classic Two Factor Theory—a simple, time-tested model for conceptualizing job satisfaction—is here re-imagined for a modern world, with relevant examples, and backed by dozens of academic studies that organizational leaders can draw upon to improve worker motivation.

The Universal Dual-Factor Survey (UDS) is introduced, providing a means to assess workforce job satisfaction. Managers will be able to understand which factors need improvement, leading to more meaningful work. Employees, at all levels of business, government and nonprofit organizations, will be able to improve personal motivation, facilitating a more cohesive and thriving workforce.

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Newly Published: Murder, in Fact

New on our bookshelf:

Murder, in Fact: Disillusionment and Death in the American True Crime Novel
Lana A. Whited

With the 1965 publication of In Cold Blood, Truman Capote declared he broke new literary ground. But Capote’s “nonfiction novel” belongs to a long Naturalist tradition originating in the work of 19th-century French novelist Emile Zola. Naturalism offers a particular response to the increasing problem of violence in American life and its sociological implications.

This book traces the origins of the fact-based homicide novel that emerged in the mainstream of American literature with works such as Frank Norris’s McTeague and flourished in the twentieth century with works such as Theodore Dreiser’s An American Tragedy and Richard Wright’s Native Son. At their heart is a young man isolated from community who acts out in desperate circumstances against someone who reflects his isolation. A tension develops between how society views this killer and the way he is viewed by the novelist. The crimes central to these narratives epitomize the vast gap between those who can aspire to the so-called “American dream” and those with no realistic chance of achieving it.

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Newly Published: Lending a Hand, Seeing the World

New on our bookshelf:

Lending a Hand, Seeing the World: Memoir of an International Volunteer
Judith Love Schwab

Judith Love Schwab had many duties as an international volunteer, but some of the most memorable were following meerkats in the Kalahari Desert, collecting data on early gardens and buildings for archaeologists on Easter Island, helping care for underserved babies in Romania, teaching English in Poland, sifting for bones and shells in Portugal and working with severely disabled adults at an institution in Greece. While recounting these experiences, Schwab also examines the limitations imposed on her as a female growing up in the middle of the 20th century and the inhibitions she overcame to begin traveling in her fifties.

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Newly Published: Political Assassins, Terrorists and Related Conspiracies in American History

New on our bookshelf:

Political Assassins, Terrorists and Related Conspiracies in American History
Scott P. Johnson

Political assassinations and terrorism have both outraged and fascinated the public throughout American history, particularly in the modern era. Providing biographical summaries of more than 100 assassins and terrorists, this book aims at a more complete understanding of the motivations behind violent extremism.

The lives of the subjects are analyzed with a focus on psychological and ideological factors, along with details of investigations and criminal trials. Conspiracy theories are evaluated for credibility. Social media features prominently in explaining political violence by members of extremist groups in the 21st century, including radical Islamic terrorists, anti-abortion activists and white supremacists.

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Newly Published: American Yachts in Naval Service

New on our bookshelf:

American Yachts in Naval Service: A History from the Colonial Era to World War II
Kenneth Howard Goldman

Before there was a U.S. Navy, several Colonial navies were all-volunteer—both the crews and the vessels. From its beginnings through World War II, the Navy has relied on civilian sailors and their fast vessels to fill out its ranks of small combatants. Beginning with the birth of the yacht in 17th century Netherlands, this illustrated history traces the development of yacht racing, the advent of combustion-engine power and the contribution privately owned vessels have made to national defense. Vessels conscripted during the Civil War served both the Union and Confederacy—sometimes changing sides after capture. The first USS Wanderer saw the slave trade from both sides of the law. Aboard the USS Sylph, Oscar-winning actor Ernest Borgnine fought the Third Reich’s U-boats under sail. USS Sea Cloud made history as the first racially integrated ship in the Navy, three years before President Truman desegregated the military.

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Newly Published: Voices from Srebrenica

New on our bookshelf:

Voices from Srebrenica: Survivor Narratives of the Bosnian Genocide
Ann Petrila <I>and</I> Hasan Hasanović

In the hills of eastern Bosnia sits the small town of Srebrenica—once known for silver mines and health spas, now infamous for the genocide that occurred there during the Bosnian War. In July 1995, when the town fell to Serbian forces, 12,000 Muslim men and boys fled through the woods, seeking safe territory. Hunted for six days, more than 8000 were captured, killed at execution sites and later buried in mass graves. With harrowing personal narratives by survivors, this book provides eyewitness accounts of the Bosnian genocide, revealing stories of individual trauma, loss and resilience.

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Newly Published: The Supernatural and Fantastic in Short Detective Fiction

New on our bookshelf:

The Supernatural and Fantastic in Short Detective Fiction: A Survey, 1841–2000
Laird R. Blackwell

Although fantasy and supernatural literature have long and celebrated histories, many critics contend that the fantastic and the supernatural have no place in the logical, rational, world of the detective story. This book is the first extensive study of the fantastic in detective fiction and it explores the highly debated question of whether detective fiction and the fantastic can comfortably coexist.

The “locked room” mystery—which often uses the fantastic as a red herring to eventually be debunked by reason and logic—has long been among the most popular subgenres of detective fiction. This book also explores stories featuring almost supernaturally gifted detectives, stories where the supernatural is truly encountered, and stories with ambiguous endings.
Close to 500 detective stories from 1841 to 2000, in which the fantastic or supernatural plays a central role, are discussed and analyzed. Although not all the stories are judged to be successful as detective tales, in the great majority, the fantastic enlivens the tale and deepens the mystery without weakening the detective elements.

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Newly Published: Covid-19 Conspiracy Theories

New on our bookshelf:

COVID-19 Conspiracy Theories: QAnon, 5G, the New World Order and Other Viral Ideas
John Bodner, Wendy Welch, Ian Brodie, Anna Muldoon, Donald Leech and Ashley Marshall

As the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) spread around the world, so did theories, stories, and conspiracy beliefs about it. These theories infected communities from the halls of Congress to Facebook groups, spreading quickly in newspapers, on various social media and between friends. They spurred debate about the origins, treatment options and responses to the virus, creating distrust towards public health workers and suspicion of vaccines.  This book examines the most popular Covid-19 theories, connecting current conspiracy beliefs to long-standing fears and urban legends. By examining the vehicles and mechanisms of Covid-19 conspiracy, readers can better understand how theories spread and how to respond to misinformation.

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Newly Published: Obituaries in the Performing Arts, 2019

New on our bookshelf:

Obituaries in the Performing Arts, 2019
Harris M. Lentz III

The entertainment world lost many notable talents in 2019, including television icon Doris Day, iconic novelist Toni Morrison, groundbreaking director John Singleton, Broadway starlet Carol Channing and lovable Star Wars actor Peter Mayhew. Obituaries of actors, filmmakers, musicians, producers, dancers, composers, writers, animals and others associated with the performing arts who died in 2019 are included in this edition. Date, place and cause of death are provided for each, along with a career recap and a photograph. Filmographies are given for film and television performers.

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Newly Published: The Trauma-Sensitive School

New on our bookshelf:

The Trauma-Sensitive School: Transforming Education to Heal Social and Emotional Wounds
Gerald W. Neal

This examination of child trauma focuses on how it impacts cognitive, emotional and social development, and offers perspectives and strategies for fostering trauma-sensitive school cultures. Strong evidence suggests the central problems that underlie many of the behavioral and emotional obstacles that adversely impact learning are rarely identified by educators. When these issues are properly understood and addressed, teachers, administrators and parents can more effectively serve students’ emotional and social needs, resulting in dramatic improvement in academic outcomes, attendance, teacher retention and parental involvement.

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Newly Published: The High Points of Sobriety

New on our bookshelf:

The High Points of Sobriety: A Comical Guide to Addiction Recovery
Tony Rubino

This book chronicles the author’s experience with sobriety and recovery, offering relief and hope to recovering substance abusers and their loved ones. With optimism and humor, the author explores an enduringly human struggle—living with a consciousness addicted to alteration.

While documenting the world of active addiction and his recovery from substance abuse, the author guides others on their own journey with sobriety. Chapters provide reminders and meditations to the newly recovering; lists of activities and life experiences to enjoy in sobriety; insights into a world seen through “clear” eyes; etiquette for the refined recoverer; behavioral observations and humorous anecdotes from addicts on the mend.

Wrapped in satire and wit, this honest and personally reflective guidebook will be recognizable and helpful to recovering addicts and to their friends and families.

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CrimeCon: Out for Queer Blood

Out for Queer Blood
The Murder of Fernando Rios and the Failure of New Orleans Justice
By Clayton Delery
Exposit Books (2017)

Little is known about the life of Fernando Rios. He was 26, a professional tour guide in New Orleans’ French Quarter. He was Latino, working for a travel service based in Mexico City. He had no known family in the U.S. He was gay.

But his death, and the trial of his assailants was headline news in late 1950s New Orleans.

On a September evening in 1958, three white Tulane University undergraduates went out for a night in the Quarter, decided they should “roll a queer,” and went looking for a gay man to assault. They encountered Rios in a bar, offered to give him a ride back to his hotel, and beat him to death in an alley in Jackson Square.

In perhaps the earliest example of the “gay panic” defense, the defendants argued they were within their rights to attack Rios because he had made an “improper advance.” When the jury acquitted the three, the courtroom cheered.

The trial took place against the backdrop of a full-swing “drive against the deviants,” a city-wide campaign against New Orleans’ sizeable gay community, in particular those in its largest “gayborhood,” the French Quarter.

Clayton Delery’s Lambda Award-winning book provides a deeply researched account of the anti-gay hate crime and the trial, and chronicles the social and political climate of a time and place in America where such a crime was inevitable. An interview with the son of one of Rios’ assailants is included.

Delery’s previous book, The Up Stairs Lounge Arson, named Book of the Year by the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities in 2015, examines the 1973 fire in a New Orleans gay bar that killed 32 people—three decades before the 2006 Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando—and stands as the deadliest fire in the city’s history. Though arson was suspected, and police identified a likely culprit, no arrest was ever made

Links:

https://www.lambdaliterary.org/2018/02/writer-clayton-delery-on-reconstructing-a-hate-crime/

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CrimeCon: The Sadist, the Hitman and the Murder of Jane Bashara

CrimeCon: House Arrest streams live this Saturday, November 21!  Don’t miss it!

The Sadist, the Hitman and the Murder of Jane Bashara
By George Hunter and Lynn Rosenthal
Exposit Books (2018)

Robert “Big Bob” and Jane Bashara were a seemingly perfect couple, respected members of Detroit’s upscale suburban Grosse Pointe community. Bob, a businessman, Rotary Club President, church usher, soccer dad, and philanthropist. Jane, the senior manager for an energy firm, who organized charity events with her husband. They had two children and had been married for 26 years.

On January 24, 2012, Bob filed a missing person report with Grosse Pointe Park Police—Jane was missing, last seen by co-workers that afternoon. The next morning, a tow-truck driver discovered her body in the backseat of her Mercedes, parked in an alley on Detroit’s east side. She had died of strangulation, her broken fingernails indicating she had fought for her life.

After a high-profile trial spanning several weeks, with testimony from more than 70 witnesses (including his children, and former mistress) Bob Bashara was convicted in December 2014 on five felony counts, including first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit first-degree murder, and was sentenced to life in prison without parole.

But Bob had not killed Jane himself; he had hired Joseph Gents, his developmentally disabled former handyman, giving him $2000 and a used Cadillac for the job.

 

During the sensational trial, the shadowy side of Bashara’s life came to light. Posting ads on online BDSM forums (“Kneel and have all your desires and cravings opened to you…are you ready for Master Bob?”) he sought sex slaves to rule over in a “dungeon” in the basement of one of his properties. The substantial cost of attracting and maintaining a harem of submissives, and feeding his own cocaine habit, had furnished the motive for Jane’s murder: her sizeable retirement account.

Veteran Detroit crime beat reporter George Hunter and his wife Lynn Rosnethall’s meticulous account tells the complete story of the crime, the nationally watched investigation and trials, and the lives that were affected.

In August 2020, Bob Bashara died in prison at age 62.

The case was featured on the NBC true crime series American Greed: Deadly Rich in 2019 (S1 E102 “The Dungeon Master”)

Links:

https://www.macombdaily.com/multimedia/photos-looking-back-at-the-bob-bashara-case/collection_b16034a4-e22d-11ea-9703-fb963d64a29c.html#1

https://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/local/wayne-county/2019/05/24/bob-bashara-turns-federal-courts-try-get-out-prison/1226174001/

https://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/local/wayne-county/2020/08/18/bob-bashara-convicted-having-wife-killed-dies-prison/3394028001/

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CRIMECON: The Snow Killings

CrimeCon: House Arrest streams live this Saturday, November 21!  Don’t miss it!

The Snow Killings
Inside the Oakland County Child Killer Investigation
By Marney Keenan
Exposit Books (2020)

In 1976–77, over a period of 13 months, four children ages 10–12 (two boys and two girls) were abducted from their suburban Detroit neighborhoods in Oakland County, Michigan—the second-most populous county in the state, and among the most affluent in the country. Each was held by their captors for periods of 4 to 19 days before their bodies were dumped—still warm and dressed in the clothes they were wearing when they vanished—near roadsides at locations miles from where they were last seen. Autopsies found the boys had been sexually assaulted. The murders spread mass fear across southeast Michigan for years, with far-reaching effects on the community.

In what was then the largest manhunt in U.S. history, a multi-agency law enforcement task force—at one point operating with as many as 200–300 detectives and a sizeable USDOJ grant—spent two years investigating the murders, fielding 18,000 tips and following up thousands of leads before shutting down in 1978, having filed no charges nor naming any persons of interest.

In the end, law enforcement and prosecutors shrugged, telling the public they had exhausted all leads and resources and calling the case unsolved (but not closed). Forty-five years later, the Oakland County Child Killings case remains open (and in recent years is quite active again) but still officially unsolved.

Beginning in the mid-2000s, through a couple of incredibly felicitous discoveries, a few strong suspects were identified—all of them known pedophiles, overlooked (or buried) by the initial task force, or discovered through subsequent cold-case investigations by the longest-serving detective on the case, Cory Williams (now retired from law enforcement).

Each suspect is connected to the crimes by damning circumstantial or physical evidence. One, the son of a highly-placed General Motors executive, was freed on unrelated criminal sexual conduct charges a few weeks before the fourth victim was found dead in a ditch—and a year and a half before he himself was found dead of “suicide” under questionable circumstances.

His close associate, earlier convicted on 45 counts of CSC with minors in California, had no family influence backing him and went to prison for life, where he died in 1995, having never again been questioned about the OCCK crimes.

 

Three others are still living: two are serving life in prison on other CSC charges; one jumped parole in October and remains at large. But none are telling what they must know about the crimes.

All of these men were directly or indirectly associated with a large, highly-organized ring of child exploiters and pornographers operating out of Detroit and in other places across Michigan, including North Fox Island in Lake Michigan, where a wealthy Jeffery Epstein-type figure established a “summer camp” for wayward boys, with the help of government funding, that was in fact a front for a highly profitable child pornography and prostitution operation.

Marney Keenan’s The Snow Killings covers the 45-year investigation in comprehensive detail, and reveals evidence of a multi-faceted, decades-long cover-up in the case, beginning during the initial task force investigation and continuing today among authorities handling the case.

Links:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Newly Published: Grand Mal

New on our bookshelf:

Grand Mal: A Life with Late Onset Epilepsy
Robert V. Dodge

After developing epilepsy as an adult, Robert Dodge experienced increasingly dangerous seizures and was seen by specialists on five continents. His firsthand account of adapting to life with epilepsy begins with an overview of this often misunderstood neurological disorder—still attributed to demonic possession in some parts of the world—and recounts his struggle as his seizures became life-threatening. Dodge describes his treatments and their side effects, including four ineffective surgeries that removed an eighth of his brain, and the personal challenges of social stigma.

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Newly Published: The Cinema of Ermanno Olmi

New on our bookshelf:

The Cinema of Ermanno Olmi
Ian Pettigrew

Ermanno Olmi is one of cinema’s great, unsung filmmakers. Emerging onto the Italian art film scene just as the last canonical neo-realist movies were released in the late 1950s and early 1960s, several of Olmi’s films, including Il Posto (1961), The Tree of Wooden Clogs (1978) and The Legend of the Holy Drinker (1988), won top prizes at Cannes and Venice. However, the majority of his work has remained unappreciated. This, the first English language book on Olmi, explores the director’s style and evolving environmentalism, from his early, institutional short films, made while working at an Italian energy company, to his 19 feature films.

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Newly Published: Boone Before Boone

New on our bookshelf:

Boone Before Boone: The Archaeological Record of Northwestern North Carolina Through 1769
Tom Whyte

Native Americans have occupied the mountains of northwestern North Carolina for around 14,000 years. This book tells the story of their lives, adaptations, responses to climate change, and ultimately, the devastation brought on by encounters with Europeans. After a brief introduction to archaeology, the book covers each time period, chapter by chapter, beginning with the Paleoindian period in the Ice Age and ending with the arrival of Daniel Boone in 1769, with descriptions and interpretations of archaeological evidence for each time period. Each chapter begins with a fictional vignette to kindle the reader’s imaginings of ancient human life in the mountains, and includes descriptions and numerous images of sites and artifacts discovered in Boone, North Carolina, and the surrounding region.

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Newly Published: Pakistan Since Independence

New on our bookshelf:

Pakistan Since Independence: A History, 1947 to Today
Stanley B. Sprague

This concise and balanced account details Pakistan’s turbulent 73-year history of civil war, military coups, political assassinations, wars with India, cooperation with the U.S. during the Afghan-Soviet war, and events following 9/11. An unpredictable nuclear nation, Pakistan has been variously described as the center of international terrorism, the world’s biggest nuclear weapons proliferator, the most dangerous place in the world and, some experts predict, the most likely site of the world’s first nuclear war.

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Newly Published: The National Security League, 1914–1922

New on our bookshelf:

The National Security League, 1914–1922: Wall Street and the War Machine
Kerry Segrave

The early 20th century saw the founding of the National Security League, a nationalistic nonprofit organization committed to an expanded military, conscripted service and meritocracy. This book details its history, from its formation in December 1914 through 1922, at which point it was a spent force in decline. Founded by wealthy corporate lawyers based in New York City, it had secret backers in the capitalist class, who had two goals in mind. One was to profit immensely from the newly begun World War I. The other was to control the working classes in times of both war and peace.

This agenda was presented to the public under the guise of preparedness, patriotism, and Americanization. Although the league was eventually found by Congress to have violated election spending limits, no sanctions of any kind were ever applied. This history details the secret machinations of an organization dedicated to solidifying the grip of the capitalist class over workers, all under the cover of American pride.

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Newly Published: The Herrin Massacre of 1922

New on our bookshelf:

The Herrin Massacre of 1922: Blood and Coal in the Heart of America
Greg Bailey

In 1922, a coal miner strike spread across the United States, swallowing the heavily-unionized mining town of Herrin, Illinois. When the owner of the town’s local mine hired non-union workers to break the strike, violent conflict broke out between the strikebreakers and unionized miners, who were all heavily armed. When strikebreakers surrendered and were promised safe passage home, the unionized miners began executing them before large, cheering crowds.

This book tells the cruel truth behind the story that the coal industry tried to suppress and that Herrin wants to forget. A thorough account of the massacre and its aftermath, this book sets a heartland tragedy against the rise and decline of the coal industry.

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Newly Published: Law Enforcement in American Cinema, 1894–1952

New on our bookshelf:

Law Enforcement in American Cinema, 1894–1952
George Beck

Widespread law enforcement or formal policing outside of cities appeared in the early 20th century around the same time the early film industry was developing—the two evolved in tandem, intersecting in meaningful ways. Much scholarship has focused on portrayals of the criminal in early American cinema, yet little has been written about depictions of the criminal’s antagonist. This history examines how different on-screen representations shifted public perception of law enforcement—initially seen as a suspicious or intrusive institution, then as a power for the common good.

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Newly Published: British Thrillers, 1950–1979

New on our bookshelf:

British Thrillers, 1950–1979: 845 Films of Suspense, Mystery, Murder and Espionage
Franz Antony Clinton

The three decades following WWII are considered the golden age of the British thriller film. Newer characters like James Bond, along with established icons such as Sherlock Holmes, Miss Marple and The Saint, all contributed to the era’s bountiful array of cinematic mystery, danger, excitement and suspense. For the first time, the extensive output of British thrillers from 1950 to 1979 is covered in one volume.

Themed chapters cover a total of 845 films including spy thrillers, mystery thrillers, psychological thrillers, action-adventure thrillers, and crime thrillers. Within these chapters, films appear chronologically, each with a synopsis/review. Additional information provided for each film includes production companies and alternate British and U.S. titles, and the work includes eight useful appendices.

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Newly Published: James Strong

New on our bookshelf:

James Strong: A Biography of the Methodist Scholar
Samuel J. Rogal

This is the first full biography of Biblical scholar and theological seminary professor James Strong (1822–1894). It describes his upbringing, early and higher education, the schools and colleges where he taught, his academic colleagues, his contributions to the development of nineteenth-century American Methodism, and his numerous publications—particularly his Biblical Concordance (1894) which continues as a standard and essential reference work. It includes edited versions of selected sermons and letters never before published, as well as comments from his students, the details of his experience in the development of the early nineteenth-century American railroad system, and detailed obituaries and reactions to his death.

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Newly Published: Pro Sports in 1993

New on our bookshelf:

Pro Sports in 1993: A Signature Season in Football, Basketball, Hockey and Baseball
David Ostrowsky

America and Canada both saw historic sports milestones in 1993. While the Dallas Cowboys and Chicago Bulls reigned supreme, the Toronto Blue Jays won a second consecutive World Series on a walk-off homer, and the Montreal Canadiens emerged as the last Canadian team to win a Stanley Cup. While stars like Michael Jordan, Wayne Gretzky and Joe Montana overcame physical and emotional challenges to make history, teams were performing unprecedented feats, from the Buffalo Bills’ unrivaled comeback on Wild Card Weekend to the Baltimore Orioles’ unveiling of their transformative ballpark design during All-Star Week. Drawing on original interviews with dozens of former players and coaches, this book revisits an exceptional sports year for fans across North America, with memorable stories involving some of the most iconic sports figures of the 1990s.

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Newly Published: The Surviving Twin

New on our bookshelf:

The Surviving Twin: A Memoir of Asperger’s, Anorexia and Loss
Diana Lockwood

This memoir chronicles the unique ordeals of identical twin sisters Diana and Julia Lockwood. Even among twins, Diana and Julia were especially close and deeply entwined—they were more than just sisters or best friends, they were like one soul in two bodies. While their total attunement sometimes saved them in funny and unexpected ways, it also eventually destroyed them.

A survivor of sexual assault and anorexia and living with Asperger’s, the author tells her own life story while weaving Julia’s letters and journal entries into the text. While Diana survived the struggles that led her to three suicide attempts, her twin unfortunately took her own life only a year after their father did the same. This book explores the life and relationship of twins separated by tragedy and follows a woman’s struggle to make it on her own.

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Newly Published: Chuck Palahniuk and the Comic Grotesque

New on our bookshelf:

Chuck Palahniuk and the Comic Grotesque: Subversion of Ideology in the Fiction
David McCracken

With the success of Fight Club, his novel-turned-movie, Chuck Palahniuk has become noticed for accurately capturing the exploitation of power in America in the 21st century. With cynicism and skepticism, he satirizes the manipulative aspects of ideologies and beliefs pushing society’s understanding of the norm.

In this work, Palahniuk’s characters are analyzed as people who rebel against the systems in control. Mikhail Bakhtin’s theory is applied to explain Palahniuk’s application of the comic grotesque; theories from Louis Althusser and Slavoj Žižek help reveal aspects of ideology in Palahniuk’s writing.

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Newly Published: Race Conscious Pedagogy

New on our bookshelf:

Race Conscious Pedagogy: Disrupting Racism at Majority White Schools
Todd M. Mealy

In 1935, W.E.B. Du Bois asked, “Does the Negro need separate schools?” His stunning query spoke to the erasure of cultural relevancy in the classroom and to reassurances given to White supremacy through curricula and pedagogy.

Two decades later, as the Supreme Court ordered public schools to desegregate, educators still overlooked the intimations of his question. This book reflects upon the role K-12 education has played in enabling America’s enduring racial tensions. Combining historical analysis, personal experience, and a theoretical exploration of critical race pedagogy, this book calls for placing race at the center of the pedagogical mission.

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Newly Published: Wonder Women and Bad Girls

New on our bookshelf:

Wonder Women and Bad Girls: Superheroine and Supervillainess Archetypes in Popular Media
Valerie Estelle Frankel

Wonder Woman, Harley Quinn, Shuri, and Black Widow. These four characters portray very different versions of women: the superheroine, the abuse victim, the fourth wave princess, and the spy, respectively. In this in-depth analysis of female characters in superhero media, the author begins by identifying ten eras of superhero media defined by the way they portray women. Following this, the various archetypes of superheroines are classified into four categories: boundary crossers, good girls, outcasts, and those that reclaim power. From Golden Age comics through today’s hottest films, heroines have been surprisingly assertive, diverse, and remarkable in this celebration of all the archetypes.

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Newly Published: Vampire Films Around the World

New on our bookshelf:

Vampire Films Around the World: Essays on the Cinematic Undead of Sixteen Cultures
Edited by James Aubrey

Vampires are arguably the most popular and most paradoxical of gothic monsters: life draining yet passionate, feared yet fascinating, dead yet immortal. Vampire content produces exquisitely suspenseful stories that, combined with motion picture filmmaking, reveal much about the cultures that enable vampire film production and the audiences they attract.

This collection of essays is generously illustrated and ranges across sixteen cultures on five continents, including the films Let the Right One In, What We Do in the Shadows, Cronos, and We Are the Night, among many others. Distinctly different kinds of European vampires have originated in Ireland, Germany, Sweden, and Serbia. North American vampires are represented by films from Mexico, Canada, and the USA. Middle Eastern locations include Tangier, Morocco, and a fictional city in Iran. South Asia has produced Bollywood vampire films, and east Asian vampires are represented by films from Korea, China, and Japan. Some of the most recent vampire movies have come from Australia and New Zealand. These essays also look at vampire films through lenses of gender, post-colonialism, camp, and otherness as well as the evolution of the vampiric character in cinema worldwide, together constituting a mosaic of the cinematic undead.

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Newly Published: Domesticated Bachelors and Femininity in Victorian Novels

New on our bookshelf:

Domesticated Bachelors and Femininity in Victorian Novels
Jennifer Beauvais

Domestic issues, chastity, morality, marriage and love are concerns we typically associate with Victorian female characters. But what happens when men in Victorian novels begin to engage in this type of feminine discourse? While we are familiar with certain Victorian women seeking freedom by moving beyond the domestic sphere, there is an equally interesting movement by the domestic man into the private space through his performance of femininity.

This book defines the domesticated bachelor, examines the effects of the blurring of boundaries between the public and private spheres, and traces the evolution of the public discourse on masculinity in novels such as Brontë’s Shirley, Braddon’s Lady Audley’s Secret, Eliot’s Daniel Deronda, and Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. This bachelor, along with his female counterpart, the New Woman, opens up for discussion new definitions of Victorian masculinity and gender boundaries and blurs the rigid distinction between the gendered spaces thought to be in place during the Victorian period.

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Newly Published: War Pigeons

New on our bookshelf:

War Pigeons: Winged Couriers in the U.S. Military, 1878–1957
Elizabeth G. Macalaster

For more than seven decades, homing pigeons provided the U.S. military with its fastest most reliable means of communication. Originally bred for racing in the early 1800s, homing pigeons were later trained by pigeoneers to fly up to 60 mph for hundreds of miles, and served the United States for almost 75 years, through four wars on four continents. Barely weighing a pound, these extraordinary birds carried messages in and out of gas, smoke, exploding bombs and gunfire. They flew through jungles, deserts and mountains, not faltering even when faced with large expanses of ocean to cross. Sometimes they arrived nearly dead from wounds or exhaustion, refusing to give up until they reached their objective.

This book is the first complete account of the remarkable service that homing pigeons provided for the American armed forces, from its fledgling beginnings after the Civil War to the birds’ invaluable role in communications in every branch of the U.S. military through both World Wars and beyond. Personal narratives, primary sources and news articles tell the story of the pigeons’ recruitment and training in the U.S., their deployment abroad and use on the home front.

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Newly Published: Into Africa, Out of Academia

New on our bookshelf:

Into Africa, Out of Academia: A Doctor’s Memoir
Kwan Kew Lai

In 2006, Kwan Kew Lai left her full-time position as a professor in the United States to provide medical humanitarian aid to the remote villages and the war-torn areas of Africa. This memoir follows her experiences from 2006 to 2013 as she provided care during the HIV/AIDs epidemics, after natural disasters, and as a relief doctor in refugee camps in Kenya, Libya, Uganda and in South Sudan, where civil war virtually wiped out all existing healthcare facilities.

Throughout her memoir, Lai recounts intimate encounters with refugees and internally displaced people in camps and in hospitals with limited resources, telling tales of their resilience, unflinching courage, and survival through extreme hardship. Her writing provides insight into communities and transports readers to heart-achingly beautiful parts of Africa not frequented by the usual travelers. This is a deeply personal account of the huge disparities in the healthcare system of our “global village” and is a call to action for readers to understand the interconnectedness of the modern world, the needs of less developed neighbors, and the shortcomings of their healthcare systems.

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Newly Published: The Carbon Boycott

New on our bookshelf:

The Carbon Boycott: A Path to Freedom from Fossil Fuels
Samuel C. Avery

The science is clear: by the mid-20th century human beings must stop burning coal, oil and natural gas. Reducing carbon emissions is not enough—they must be eliminated. Each individual “doing their part” is only a start. We heat our homes, light our rooms, power our cars, prepare our food, and produce and distribute consumer goods with the help of fossil fuels. A practical and visionary re-imagining of the future is needed.

Calling for a technical and spiritual ground-shift, this book proposes carbon boycotts as collective action, with groups and communities changing what products they consume and seeking new ways to work, live and play to steer aggregate demand towards solar, wind, geothermal and renewable energy alternatives.

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Newly Published: Defending the Dillinger Gang

New on our bookshelf:

Defending the Dillinger Gang: Jessie Levy and Bess Robbins in the Courtroom
D.M. Testa

In the early 1930s women practicing criminal law were often held in the same low regard as the clients they served. When a corrupt prosecutor was determined to send as many of the notorious John Dillinger gang to death row as possible, female attorneys Jessie Levy and Bess Robbins rose to the challenge. They skillfully represented six of the gang members, a number far greater than any of their male counterparts. And yet, their story of deals gone bad, wrongful convictions and success against the odds has all but vanished from history. The recent discovery of interviews, personal correspondence, and court transcripts—a treasure trove untouched for over 80 years—forms the basis for this book, which traces the careers of Jessie Levy, Bess Robbins and the John Dillinger gang in detail for the first time.

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Newly Published: “Don’t Be Sad When I’m Gone”

New on our bookshelf:

“Don’t Be Sad When I’m Gone”: A Memoir of Loss and Healing in Buenos Aires
Beatriz Dujovne

The monumental sense of dislocation we experience after losing a loved one can be life-altering. There is no script for grieving—each individual passes through their own phases of mourning. In this personal narrative, psychologist Beatriz Dujovne documents how she grieved the loss of her husband and sought therapy during an extended stay in her hometown of Buenos Aires, Argentina. Recounting her healing process day-to-day, from shock through recovery, this book traces her navigation of the uncertainty and devastation that often engulfs those who have suffered profound loss.

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Newly Published: Western Water Rights and the U.S. Supreme Court

New on our bookshelf:

Western Water Rights and the U.S. Supreme Court
James H. Davenport

Exploring the little-known history behind the legal doctrine of prior appropriation—“first in time is first in right”—used to apportion water resources in the western United States, this book focuses on the important case of Wyoming v. Colorado(1922). U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Willis Van Devanter, a former Chief Justice of Wyoming, ruled in that state’s favor, finding that prior appropriation applied across state lines—a controversial opinion influenced by cronyism. The dicta in the case, that the U.S. Government has no interest in state water allocation law, drove the balkanization of interstate water systems and resulted in the Colorado River Interstate Compact between Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada and California.

The exhaustive research that has gone into this book has uncovered the secret that Associate Justice Van Devanter had waited eleven years to publish his opinion in this important, but politically self-serving, case, at last finding a moment when his senior colleagues were sufficiently absent or incapacitated to either concur or dissent. Without the knowledge of his “brethren,” save his “loyal friend” Taft, and without recusal, Van Devanter unilaterally delivered his sole opinion to the Clerk for publication on the last day of the Supreme Court’s October 1921 Term.

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Newly Published: Wax Museum Movies

New on our bookshelf:

Wax Museum Movies: A Comprehensive Filmography
George Higham

Spanning over a century of cinema and comprised of 127 films, this book analyzes the cinematic incarnations of the “uncanniest place on earth”—wax museums. Nothing is as it seems at a wax museum. It is a place of wonder, horror and mystery? Will the figures come to life at night, or are they very much dead with corpses hidden beneath their waxen shells? Is the genius hand that molded them secretly scarred by a terrible tragedy, longing for revenge? Or is it a sinner’s sanctum, harboring criminals with countless places to hide in plain sight?

This chronological analysis includes essential behind the scenes information in addition to authoritative research comparing the creation of “real” wax figures to the “reel” ones seen onscreen. Publicly accessible or hidden away in a maniac’s lair, wax museums have provided the perfect settings for films of all genres to thrillingly play out on the big screen since the dawn of cinema.

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Newly Published: Ethics in Comedy

New on our bookshelf:

Ethics in Comedy: Essays on Crossing the Line
Edited by Steven A. Benko

All humans laugh. However, there is little agreement about what is appropriate to laugh at. While laughter can unite people by showing how they share values and perspectives, it also has the power to separate and divide. Humor that “crosses the line” can make people feel excluded and humiliated. This collection of new essays addresses possible ways that moral and ethical lines can be drawn around humor and laughter. What would a Kantian approach to humor look like? Do games create a safe space for profanity and offense? Contributors to this volume work to establish and explain guidelines for thinking about the moral questions that arise when humor and laughter intersect with medicine, gender, race, and politics. Drawing from the work of stand-up comedians, television shows, and ethicists, this volume asserts that we are never just joking.

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New in Softcover: Chronology of the American Revolution

Now available in softcover:

Chronology of the American Revolution: Military and Political Actions Day by Day
Bud Hannings

From the Battle of Lexington and Concord on 19 April, 1775, up through the reduction of the victorious Continental Army to a single regiment in January 1784, this book is a day-to-day chronicle of the American Revolution, both on the battlefield and in the halls of the Continental Congress. Covered in detail are the movements of not only the Continental Army and Navy, but the Marines—not covered comprehensively in other sources—and the militia. Information on the actions of Congress highlights each day’s business, including the resolutions pertinent to the war.

Drawing on such vital primary documents as the Journals of the Continental Congress and the Diplomatic Correspondence of the American Revolution, the book offers a close-up view of the political and military tension of the time, the perilous situation of the colonists, and the concerns of the soldiers and sailors immersed in battle. It also provides insight into the moves and counter-moves of British and American forces as intelligence flowed in both directions to influence the course of combat. All military campaigns of the revolution, from Canada to Florida and Louisiana, are included. The result is unmatched coverage of the battles, both military and legislative, that gave birth to America.

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Newly Published: Engines and Other Apparatus of the Milwaukee Fire Department

New on our bookshelf:

Engines and Other Apparatus of the Milwaukee Fire Department: An Illustrated History
Wayne Mutza

The vehicles and other firefighting equipment of the Milwaukee Fire Department, like the department itself, are unique among the fire service. It built more of its own apparatus than any other American city and few can match the scope and character of apparatus used to serve and protect life and property in Milwaukee.

Through detailed research, firsthand narratives, and captivating photos, the author walks the reader through the fascinating history of the incredible machines that served Cream City from the mid-nineteenth century to modern times. This volume traces the ever-changing face of Milwaukee’s fire-fighting and life-saving equipment in parallel with the city’s own history and growth. The fire department workshop’s reputation for ingenuity is shown through its adaptations to disastrous fires that brought about changes in laws, economic growth and decline, the establishment of Milwaukee’s ethnic neighborhoods, the difficult transition from horses to motorization, the wartime and post-war experience, the corporate world of apparatus manufacturers, and Milwaukee’s fireboat fleet.

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Newly Published: The Landscapes of Western Movies

New on our bookshelf:

The Landscapes of Western Movies: A History of Filming on Location, 1900–1970
Jeremy Agnew

Western films have often been tributes to place and setting, with the magnificent backdrops mirroring the wildness of the narratives. As the splendid outdoor scenery of Westerns could not be found on a studio back lot or on a Hollywood sound stage, the movies have been filmed in the wide open spaces of the American West and beyond. This book chronicles the history of filming Westerns on location, from shooting on the East Coast in the early 1900s; through the use of locations in Utah, Arizona, and California in the 1940s and 1950s; and filming Westerns in Mexico, Spain, and other parts of the world in the 1960s. Also studied is the relationship between the filming location timeline and the evolving motion picture industry of the twentieth century, and how these factors shaped audience perceptions of the “Real West.”

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Newly Published: A Van Beuren Production

New on our bookshelf:

A Van Beuren Production: A History of the 619 Cartoons, 875 Live Action Shorts, Four Feature Films and One Serial of Amedee Van Beuren
Hal Erickson

Prolific American film producer Amedee J. Van Beuren (1879-1938) did not start out in the film industry. After a decade spent in business and advertising, Van Beuren turned his intellect and creativity towards acquiring a foothold in film and began building his empire. He is best known to animation fans for his bizarre cartoons of the 1920s and 1930s, featuring such zanies as Molly Moo Cow, Cubby Bear and Tom and Jerry (not the cat-and-mouse duo). But the majority of the 1,499 films produced by Van Beuren between 1918 and 1937 were live-action short subjects—travelogues, comedies, musicals, sports reels and more. His roster of star performers included Bert Lahr, Shemp Howard, Ethel Waters and (indirectly) Charlie Chaplin. Van Beuren also made several feature films starring legendary big-game hunter Frank Buck, and a 12-episode serial headlining horror icon Lon Chaney, Jr.

Capped by a complete list of his films, this engrossing chronicle of Amedee Van Beuren’s vast output is the first all-inclusive history of one of moviedom’s most successful and least-known filmmakers.

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Newly Published: Saigon to Pleiku

New on our bookshelf:

Saigon to Pleiku: A Counterintelligence Agent in Vietnam’s Central Highlands, 1962‒1963
David Grant Noble

Initially stationed at the U.S. Army’s counterintelligence headquarters in Saigon, David Noble was sent north to launch the army’s first covert intelligence-gathering operation in Vietnam’s Central Highlands. Living in the region of the Montagnards—Vietnam’s indigenous tribal people, deemed critical to winning the war—Noble documented strategic hamlets and Green Beret training camps, where Special Forces teams taught the Montagnards to use rifles rather than crossbows and spears. In this book, he relates the formidable challenges he confronted in the course of his work.

Weaving together memoir, excerpts from letters written home, and photographs, Noble’s compelling narrative throws light on a little-known corner of the Vietnam War in its early years—before the Tonkin Gulf Resolution and the deployment of combat units—and traces his transformation from a novice intelligence agent and believer in the war to a political dissenter and active protester.

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Newly Published: Ann Miller

New on our bookshelf:

Ann Miller: Her Life and Career
Peter Shelley

Ann Miller (1923–2004) was an American actress, dancer, singer and author. Best known as a tap dancer, Miller practiced all forms of dance, and some of her solo routines are considered as good as any recorded in film musical history. Despite a reputation as a kook who believed she was psychic, and the potentially flat image of a “glamour girl,” Miller’s wit, charm and genuine ability to act gave her and her characters depth.

This biography presents Ann Miller’s career in the context of her fascinating life. Her career began with child acting and included three Hollywood studio contracts, two retirements for marriage, and appearances in film, stage, variety shows, sitcoms and more. She made a comeback in the stage musical Sugar Babies, earning a Best Leading Actress in a Musical Tony Award nomination. She was even appointed an international spokesperson for MGM in the ailing years of the studio.

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Newly Published: Animals and Ourselves

New on our bookshelf:

Animals and Ourselves: Essays on Connections and Blurred Boundaries
Edited by Kathy Merlock Jackson Kathy Shepherd Stolley and Lisa Lyon Payne

The relationship between humans and animals has always been strong, symbiotic and complicated. Animals, real and fictional, have been a mainstay in the arts and entertainment, figuring prominently in literature, film, television, social media, and live performances. Increasingly, though, people are anthropomorphizing animals, assigning them humanoid roles, tasks and identities. At the same time, humans, such as members of the furry culture or college mascots, find pleasure in adopting animal identities and characteristics. This book is the first of its kind to explore these growing phenomena across media. The contributors to this collection represent various disciplines, to include the arts, humanities, social sciences, and healthcare. Their essays demonstrate the various ways that human and animal lives are intertwined and constantly evolving.

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New in Softcover: The White House

Now available in softcover:

The White House: An Illustrated Architectural History
Patrick Phillips-Schrock

Formerly known as the President’s House, then the Executive Mansion, and now for a long time the White House, this famous structure has a fascinating architectural history of ongoing change. The white painted façade of James Hoban’s original structure has been added to and strengthened for more than 200 years, and its interior is a repository of some of America’s greatest treasures. Artists such as Benjamin Latrobe, Pierre-Antoine Bellangé, the Herter Brothers, Louis Tiffany, Charles McKim, Lorenzo Winslow, Stephane Boudin, Edward Vason Jones, and a host of others fashioned interiors that welcomed and inspired visitors both foreign and domestic. This meticulous history, featuring more than 325 photographs, diagrams and other illustrations, captures each stage of the White House’s architectural and decorative evolution.

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Star Wars Sale

Since its genre-bending debut in 1977, the Star Wars franchise has contributed material to almost every existing film and television genre, including action, comedy, romance, children’s animation, and even a few turns to horror. But many of Star Wars’ most important and enduring themes are adapted from one genre—the Western—from Han Solo’s shoot-from-the-hip attitude, to crime boss Jabba the Hutt, to the rugged outposts of The Mandalorian.

Just in time for the second season premiere of The Mandalorian, we’re offering 40% off our book selection on the Wild West and the Final Frontier. Through October 30th, use coupon code MANDALORIAN40 on our catalog of Star Wars, space westerns and tales of the Old American West.

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Newly Published: The Knicks of the Nineties

New on our bookshelf:

The Knicks of the Nineties: Ewing, Oakley, Starks and the Brawlers That Almost Won It All
Paul Knepper

The Knicks of the 1990s competed like champions but fell short of their goal. An eclectic group who took divergent, in many cases fascinating paths to New York, they forged an identity as a rugged, relentless squad. Led by a superstar center Patrick Ewing and two captivating coaches—Pat Riley and Jeff Van Gundy—they played David to the Chicago Bulls’ Goliath. Despite not winning a championship, they were embraced as champions by New Yorkers and their rivalries with the Bulls, Indiana Pacers and Miami Heat defined NBA basketball for a decade. Drawing on original interviews with players, coaches and others, this narrative rediscovers the brilliance of the Knicks, Ewing and his colorful supporting cast—Charles Oakley, John Starks, Larry Johnson and Latrell Sprewell—in the glory days of Madison Square Garden.

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Newly Published: The Beginning of Boxing in Britain, 1300–1700

New on our bookshelf:

The Beginning of Boxing in Britain, 1300–1700
Arly Allen

Many books have discussed boxing in the ancient world, but this is the first to describe how boxing was reborn in the modern world. Modern boxing began in the Middle Ages in England as a criminal activity. It then became a sport supported by the kings and aristocracy. Later it was again outlawed and only in the 20th century has it become a sport popular around the world.

This book describes how modern boxing began in England as an outgrowth of the native English sense of fair play. It demonstrates that boxing was the common man’s alternative to the sword duel of honor, and argues that boxing and fair play helped Englishmen avoid the revolutions common to France, Italy and Germany during the eighteenth, nineteenth and twentieth centuries. English enthusiasm for boxing largely drove out the pistol and sword duels from English society. And although boxing remains a brutal sport, it has made England one of the safest countries in the world.

It also examines how the rituals of boxing developed: the meaning of the parade to the ring; the meaning of the ring itself; why only two men fight at one time; why the fighters shake hands before each fight; why a boxing match is called a prizefight; and why a knock-down does not end the bout. Its sources include material from medieval manuscripts, and its notes and bibliography are extensive.

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Newly Published: Patterns of American Popular Heroism

New on our bookshelf:

Patterns of American Popular Heroism: From Roman and Biblical Roots to Modern Media
James G. Shoopman

The American popular hero has deeply bipolar origins: Depending on prevailing attitudes about the use or abuse of authority, American heroes may be rooted in the traditions of the Roman conquerors of The Aeneid or of the biblical underdog warriors and prophets.

This book reviews the history of American popular culture and its heroes from the Revolutionary War and pre-Civil War “women’s literature” to the dime novel tales of Jesse James and Buffalo Bill. “Hinge-heroes” like The Virginian and the Rider’s of the Purple Sage paved the way for John Wayne’s and Humphrey Bogart’s champions of civilization, while Jimmy Stewart’s scrappy rebels fought soulless bankers and cynical politicians. The 1960s and 1970s saw a wave of new renegades—the doctors of MASH and the rebel alliance of Star Wars—but early 21st Century terrorism called for the grit of world weary cops and the super-heroism of Wonder Woman and Black Panther to make the world safe.

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New in Softcover: Warners Wiseguys

Now available in softcover:

Warners Wiseguys: All 112 Films That Robinson, Cagney and Bogart Made for the Studio
Scott Allen Nollen

As three of the most prominent actors of the early studio system, James Cagney, Edward G. Robinson, and Humphrey Bogart played an unparalleled role in the rise of the Warner Brothers Studio. These “Warners Wiseguys” are now virtually synonymous with the studio’s era of gritty gangster films. This study of their interwoven studio-contract careers highlights the similarities of their personalities and their struggles with harsh typecasting. It details and comments critically on each of their combined 112 Warners films. Complete with commentary from the author and other film buffs. An appendix provides a filmographic guide to the films discussed, including lists of primary actors, release dates, directorial credits, and running times for each film.

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Newly Published: Buffalo Bill Cody

New on our bookshelf:

Buffalo Bill Cody: The Man Who Shaped the Wild West Legend
Lew Freedman

William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody (1846-1917) rose from humble origins in Iowa to become one of the most famous and most photographed people in the world. He became a leading scout during the American Indian Wars, winner of the Congressional Medal of Honor, and a renowned show business fixture whose traveling Wild West exhibitions played to millions of spectators the world over for 30 years. He hobnobbed with presidents, kings, queens and European heads of state, befriending many legendary individuals of the West, from General George Armstrong Custer and Sitting Bull to Wild Bill Hickok and Annie Oakley. Aside from these achievements, Cody’s most important legacy may be how he shaped the world’s enduring views of the American West through his shows, which he considered to be educational events rather than entertainment. This biography is a fresh look at the life of Buffalo Bill.

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New in Softcover: The 11th Wisconsin in the Civil War

Now available in softcover:

The 11th Wisconsin in the Civil War: A Regimental History
Christopher C. Wehner

This volume details the Civil War experiences of the 11th Wisconsin Volunteers as they traveled more than 9000 miles in the service of their country. The book looks at the attitude prevalent in Wisconsin at the start of the war and discusses the background of the men who comprised the regiment, 72 percent of whom were farmers. Compiled primarily from the letters and diaries of the men who served in the 11th Wisconsin, the work focuses on the firsthand day-to-day experiences of the common soldier, including rations (or lack thereof), clothing, disease, and, at times, the simple act of waiting.

The 11th Wisconsin lost more men to disease than to battle, so their story presents an accurate picture not only of the heroic but also the sometimes humdrum yet perilous existence of the soldier. Appendices provide a list of occupations practiced by the men, dates of muster into service for the regiment’s companies and a copy of a sermon delivered by George Wells after Lee’s surrender in 1865.

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New in Softcover: Strong Arm Tactics

Now available in softcover:

Strong Arm Tactics: A History and Statistical Analysis of the Professional Quarterback
John Maxymuk

Signal caller, gunslinger, field general—the quarterback goes by many lofty nicknames. It’s arguably the toughest, most high-pressure position to play among all sports. The quarterback touches the ball on every offensive snap, is responsible for reading the defense, adjusting the play, and executing complex schemes that require tremendous physical and mental prowess. He is expected to be the undisputed team leader, whether he’s an established veteran or an untested rookie. If he succeeds, he’s the most likely player on the field to be canonized by fans and broadcasters. If he fails, he’ll be vilified in the press and his home field fans will start cheering for the backup.

This book traces the interesting history of the professional quarterback, from the early years when the quarterback was a blocker (and the appellations quarterback, halfback, and fullback were literal and geographically correct) to the modern-day player who must be the eyes, ears, brains, and, of course, the accurate, strong arm of the offense. The narrative history in Section I is rich with statistical analysis. The author employs realistic metrics for statistical comparison across multiple eras, and includes all-time rankings as well as specific rankings among different styles of quarterbacks. Section II compares quarterbacks within their respective eras, putting their accomplishments in context with those of their contemporaries. Section III breaks down the quarterback position, team-by-team, for current NFL franchises. Appendices provide detailed passing records; additional statistics on everything from relative passer ratings to fourth quarter comebacks; and listings of first round draft picks, trades involving quarterbacks, awards, and uniform numbers.

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New in Softcover: Forts of the United States

Now available in softcover:

Forts of the United States: An Historical Dictionary, 16th through 19th Centuries
Bud Hannings

From forts to blockhouses, garrison houses to trading posts, stations to presidios, missions to ranches and towns, this work provides a history of the primary fortifications established during 400 tumultuous years in what would become the United States of America. Under each state’s heading, this substantial volume contains alphabetized entries with information regarding each structure’s history. The earliest forts established by the Danes, Dutch, English, French, Portuguese, Swedes and Mexicans and by the temporary appearance of the Russians are listed. The colonial American forts, many of which were previously established by the European powers, are covered in detail. Beginning with the American Revolution, each of the American military fortifications, militia forts, settlers’ forts and blockhouses is listed and described. Helpful appendices list Civil War defenses (and military hospitals) of Washington, D.C.; Florida Seminole Indian war forts; Pony Express depots; Spanish missions and presidios; and twentieth-century U.S. forts, posts, bases, and stations. A chronology of conflicts that paralleled the growth of the United States is also provided, offering insight into the historical context of fort construction.

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Newly Published: Advancement in Ancient Civilizations

New on our bookshelf:

Advancement in Ancient Civilizations: Life, Culture, Science and Thought
Harald Haarmann

Traditional scholarship on how ancient civilizations emerged is outmoded and new insights call for revision. According to the well-established paradigm, Mesopotamia is considered the cradle of civilization. Following the cliché of ex oriente lux (“light from the East”) all major achievements of humankind spread from the Middle East. Modern archaeology, cultural science and historical linguistics indicate civilizations did not originate from a single prototype. Several models produced divergent patterns of advanced culture, developing both hierarchical and egalitarian societies. This study outlines a panorama of ancient civilizations, including the still little-known Danube civilization, now identified as the oldest advanced culture in Europe. In a comparative view, a new paradigm of research and a new cultural chronology of civilizations in the Old and New Worlds emerges, with climate change shown to be a continual influence on human lifeways.

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Newly Published: EcoComix

New on our bookshelf:

EcoComix: Essays on the Environment in Comics and Graphic Novels
Edited by Sidney I. Dobrin

Exploring image and imagination in conjunction with natural environments, the animal, and the human, this collection of essays turns the ecocritical and ecocompositional gaze upon comic studies. The comic form has a long tradition of representing environmental rhetoric. Through discussions of comics including A.D.: New Orleans After the Deluge, We3, Concrete, and Black Orchid, these essays bring the rich work of ecological criticism into dialogue with the multi-faceted landscape of comics, graphic novels, web-comics, cartoons, and animation. The contributors ask not only how nature and environment are portrayed in these texts but also how these textual forms inform how we come to know nature and environment–or what we understand those terms to represent. Interdisciplinary in approach, this collection welcomes diverse approaches that integrate not only ecocriticism and comics studies, but animal studies, posthumanism, ecofeminism, queer ecology, semiotics, visual rhetoric and communication, ecoseeing, image-text studies, space and spatial theories, writing studies, media ecology, ecomedia, and other methodological approaches.

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Newly Published: Awaken 101

New on our bookshelf:

Awaken 101: Discovering Meaning and Purpose in Uncertain Times
Christopher Uhl and Melissa DiJulio

Discovering our meaning and purpose—our reason for being—can seem like an impossible task, especially given the tumultuous times in which we find ourselves. Through challenging povocations, uplifting narratives, and profound insights, this book emboldens readers to experience their lives, not as spectators, but as reflective, courageous and purposeful participants. We can turn toward the problems, look them in the eye, and begin the work of setting things right—we can begin the process of awakening.

Aimed at those open to unlearning and seeing with new eyes, this book combines the experience of a seasoned university professor and a discerning millennial to offer a bold alternative to our culture’s standard, one-size-fits-all, uninspiring prescription for “success.” Organized as a five-part journey, it explores, both cognitively and experientially, what it might mean to become fully alive and to assume the rightful the rightful authorship of your life. By breaking out of the dominant narrative of how life should be lived, and by becoming more aware of the world around us, we can gain the tools essential for becoming open-minded, embodied, introspective and soulful human beings.

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Newly Published: Power and the Professional

New on our bookshelf:

Power and the Professional: Ethics, Accountability and Leadership in the Workplace
Gordon W.F. Young

No matter who you are or what you aim to achieve, power determines whether you succeed or fail. But while power dynamics permeate every interaction in the workplace, the concept is very poorly understood or managed in practice. Everyone has influence over some people and is under the influence of others, and must choose how to deal with these realities in daily interactions. This book offers a comprehensive and applied understanding of power in a professional scenario: where it comes from, how it moves and what that means in practice for how professionals work together.

Drawing on numerous recent case studies, this book offers a toolbox that anyone can apply, including explanations of the different forms of power, the two ways power can move between parties, the perils of power, how to create accountability, the intersection of power and ethics, and tools for maintaining power relationships with both superiors and subordinates. It provides employers and employees alike the means to understand, manage, and exert the power necessary to control their own circumstances.