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Newly Published: Writing and the Body in Motion

New on our bookshelf today:

Writing and the Body in Motion: Awakening Voice through Somatic Practice
Cheryl Pallant

Based upon the author’s lifetime practices as a dancer, poet and teacher, this innovative approach to developing body awareness focuses on achieving self-discovery and well-being through movement, mindfulness and writing. Written from a holistic (rather than dualistic) view of the mind-body problem, discussion and exercises draw on dance, psychology, neuroscience and meditation to guide personal exploration and creative expression.

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Newly Published: “Don’t tell father I have been shot at”

New on our bookshelf today:

“Don’t tell father I have been shot at”: The Civil War Letters of Captain George N. Bliss, First Rhode Island Cavalry
George N. Bliss

Captain George N. Bliss of the First Rhode Island Cavalry survived some 27 actions during the Civil War. Midway through the war, he served nine months at a conscript training camp in Connecticut, where he sat on several courts-martial. In September 1864, in a skirmish at Waynesboro, Virginia, he single-handedly charged into the 4th Virginia “Black Horse” Cavalry. Badly injured and taken prisoner, he was consigned to the notorious Libby Prison in Richmond.

A colorful correspondent, Bliss detailed his experiences in letters to a close friend and sent dispatches to a Providence newspaper. His candid writings are rich with details of the war and his own opinions. The editors describe how, following the war, Bliss sought out the Confederates who almost killed him and formed friendships with them that lasted for decades.

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Newly Published: The Women of Orphan Black

New on our bookshelf today:

The Women of Orphan Black: Faces of the Feminist Spectrum
Valerie Estelle Frankel

Orphan Black’s Tatiana Maslany plays a host of the show’s main characters, all clones of an illegal experiment. The mighty heroines save one another and destroy the patriarchy—with the aid of supportive yet bumbling males—while subverting gender expectations and celebrating the many facets of feminism.

Sarah, the punk feminist clashing with her radical feminist foster-mother; Alison, the quintessential post-feminist housewife; Cosima, a herald of second-wave lesbian feminism in Birkenstocks and dreads; Beth, a third-wave feminist bogged down by drug and relationship problems; and M.K. a fourth-wave feminist who tackles the hardships of disability through the Internet. This book explores these portrayals and how they relate to the science and ethics surrounding cloning through an emphasis on the women’s war against corporate power.

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Newly Published: Exploring Our Dreams

New on our bookshelf today:

Exploring Our Dreams: The Science and the Potential for Self-Discovery
Paul R. Robbins

What do psychology and neuroscience tell us about our dreams? Dream researcher and practicing psychotherapist Paul R. Robbins presents the science in a non-technical Q&A format. Covering the history of dream interpretation—from ancient Assyrian dream books to the theories of Carl Jung—he describes his own successful approach to dream studies: exploring the real-life incidents brought to mind by dreams and probing their meaning to the individual in an objective way.

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Newly Published: Blood on the Table

New on our bookshelf today:

Blood on the Table: Essays on Food in International Crime Fiction
Edited by Jean Anderson, Carolina Miranda and Barbara Pezzotti

Written from a multicultural and interdisciplinary perspective, this collection of new essays explores the semiotics of food in the 20th and 21st century crime fiction of authors such as Anthony Bourdain, Arthur Upfield, Sara Paretsky, Andrea Camilleri, Fred Vargas, Ruth Rendell, Stieg Larsson, Leonardo Padura, Georges Simenon, Paco Ignacio Talbo II, and Donna Leon. The collection covers a range of issues, such as the provision of intra-, per- or paratextual recipes, the aesthetics and ethics of food, eating rituals as indications of cultural belonging and regional, national and supranational, and eating disorders and other seemingly abnormal habits as signs of “otherness.” Also mentioned are the television productions of the Inspector Montalbano series (1999–ongoing), the Danish-Swedish Bron/Broen (2011[The Bridge]), and its remakes The Tunnel (2013, France/UK) and The Bridge (2013, USA).

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Newly Published: Ultra-Large Aircraft, 1940–1970

New on our bookshelf today:

Ultra-Large Aircraft, 1940–1970: The Development of Guppy and Expanded Fuselage Transports
William Patrick Dean

In 1962, a unique transport aircraft was built from the parts of 27 Boeing B-377 airliners to provide NASA a means of transporting rocket boosters. With an interior the size of a gymnasium, “The Pregnant Guppy” was the first of six enormous cargo planes built by Aero Spacelines and two built by Union de Transport Aeriens. More than half a century later, the last Super Guppy is still in active service with NASA and the design concept has been applied to next-generation transports.

This comprehensive history of expanded fuselage aircraft begins in the 1940s with the military’s need for a long-range transport. The author examines the development of competing designs by Boeing, Convair and Douglas, and the many challenges and catastrophic failures. Behind-the-scenes maneuvers of financiers, corporate raiders, mobsters and other nefarious characters provide an inside look at aviation development from the drawing board to the scrap yard.

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Newly Published: The 758th Tank Battalion in World War II

New on our bookshelf today:

The 758th Tank Battalion in World War II: The U.S. Army’s First All African American Tank Unit
Joe Wilson, Jr.

In 1941, the U.S. Army activated the 758th Tank Battalion, the first all-black armored unit. By December 1944 they were fighting the Axis in Northern Italy, from the Ligurian Sea through the Po Valley and into the Apennine Mountains, where they helped breach the Gothic Line—the Germans’ last major defensive line of the Italian Campaign.

After the war the 758th was deactivated but was reformed as the 64th Tank Battalion, keeping their distinguished insignia, a tusked elephant head over the motto “We Pierce.” They entered the Korean War still segregated but returned fully integrated (though discrimination continued internally). Through the years, they fought with almost every American tank—the Stuart, the Sherman, the Pershing, the Patton and today’s Abrams.

Victorious over two fascist (and racist) regimes, many black servicemen returned home to what they hoped would be a more tolerant nation. Most were bitterly disappointed—segregation was still the law of the land. For many, disappointment became a determination to fight discrimination with the same resolve that had defeated the Axis.

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Newly Published: The Minds Behind the Games

New on our bookshelf today:

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

Featuring interviews with the creators of 36 popular video games—including Deus Ex, Night Trap, Mortal Kombat, Wasteland and NBA Jam—this book gives a behind-the-scenes look at the creation of some of the most influential and iconic (and sometimes forgotten) games of all time. Recounting endless hours of painstaking development, the challenges of working with mega publishers and the uncertainties of public reception, the interviewees reveal the creative processes that produced some of gaming’s classic titles.

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Newly Published: Hollywood Heyday

New on our bookshelf today:

Hollywood Heyday: 75 Candid Interviews with Golden Age Legends
David Fantle and Tom Johnson

“What audacity!” exclaimed Robert Wagner when he heard about the authors’ adolescent exploits in nabbing interviews with celebrities of Hollywood’s Golden Age.

In 1978, David Fantle and Tom Johnson, St. Paul teenagers fresh out of high school, boarded a plane to meet with Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly. On a lark, they had written the two stars requesting interviews—to their amazement, both had agreed.

Over the years, more than 250 other stars also agreed—Lucille Ball, Bob Hope, James Cagney, Mickey Rooney, Debbie Reynolds, George Burns, Rod Steiger, Milton Berle, Frank Capra and Hoagy Carmichael, to name a few. Published for the first time and with exclusive photos, this selection of 75 interviews chronicles the authors’ 40-year quest for wisdom, insights and anecdotes from iconic artists who defined 20th century American popular culture.

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Newly Published: “Get the hell off this ship!”

New on our bookshelf today:

“Get the hell off this ship!”: Memoir of a USS Liscome Bay Survivor in World War II
James Claude Beasley

James Claude Beasley was a typical American teenager in the 1940s—a child of the Great Depression with an abiding commitment to family and country. With the outbreak of World War II, he enlisted in the Navy at 18. His plainspoken, personal memoir recounts his three years of service (1942–1945), from his induction at Winston Salem, North Carolina, to the sinking of his ship, the escort carrier USS Liscome Bay, by a Japanese submarine, through the end of the conflict and his return to civilian life.

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Newly Published: Uncovering Stranger Things

New on our bookshelf today:

Uncovering Stranger Things: Essays on Eighties Nostalgia, Cynicism and Innocence in the Series
Edited by Kevin J. Wetmore, Jr.

The Duffer Brothers’ award-winning Stranger Things exploded onto the pop culture scene in 2016. The Netflix original series revels in a nostalgic view of 1980s America while darkly portraying the cynical aspects of the period. This collection of 23 new essays explores how the show reduces, reuses and recycles ’80s pop culture—from the films of Spielberg, Carpenter and Hughes to punk and synthwave music to Dungeons & Dragons—and how it shapes our understanding of the decade through distorted memory. Contributors discuss gender and sexual orientation; the politics, psychology and educational policies of the day; and how the ultimate upper-class teen idol of the Reagan era became Stranger Things‘ middle-aged blue-collar heroine.

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Newly Published: Women in STEM on Television

New on our bookshelf today:

Women in STEM on Television: Critical Essays
Edited by Ashley Lynn Carlson

Women remain woefully underrepresented in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Negative stereotypes about women in these fields are pervasive, rooted in the debunked claim that women have less aptitude than men in science and math. While some TV series present portrayals that challenge this stereotype, others reinforce troubling biases—sometimes even as writers and producers attempt to champion women in STEM.

This collection of new essays examines numerous popular series, from children’s programs to primetime shows, and discusses the ways in which these narratives inform cultural ideas about women in STEM.

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Newly Published: Perilous Escapades

New on our bookshelf today:

Perilous Escapades: Dimensions of Popular Adventure Fiction
Gary Hoppenstand

Adventure fiction is one of the easiest narrative forms to recognize but one of the hardest to define because of its overlap with many other genres. This collection of essays attempts to characterize adventure fiction through the exploration of key elements—such as larger-than-life characters and imperialistic ideas—in the genre’s 19th- and 20th-century British and American works like The Scarlet Pimpernel by Orczy and Captain Blood by Sabatini. The author explores the cultural and literary impact of such works, presenting forgotten classics in a new light.

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Weekly Deal: Cannabis Studies

This week, get 20% off books about cannabis studies with the coupon code CBD!

Cannabis Extracts in Medicine: The Promise of Benefits in Seizure Disorders, Cancer and Other Conditions

Cannabis in Medical Practice: A Legal, Historical and Pharmacological Overview of the Therapeutic Use of Marijuana

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

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Newly Published: Girls on Fire

New on our bookshelf today:

Girls on Fire: Transformative Heroines in Young Adult Dystopian Literature
Sarah Hentges

Under the threat of climate change, corruption, inequality and injustice, Americans may feel they are living in a dystopian novel come to life. Like many American narratives, dystopian stories often focus on males as the agents of social change.

With a focus on the intersections of race, gender, class, sexuality and power, the author analyzes the themes, issues and characters in young adult (YA) dystopian fiction featuring female protagonists—the Girls on Fire who inspire progressive transformation for the future.

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Newly Published: Death of an Altar Boy

New on our bookshelf today:

Death of an Altar Boy: The Unsolved Murder of Danny Croteau and the Culture of Abuse in the Catholic Church
E.J. Fleming

The tragic death of 13-year-old Danny Croteau in 1972 faded from headlines and memories for 20 years until the Boston abuse scandal—a string of assaults taking place within the Catholic Church—exploded in the early 2000s. Despite numerous indications, including 40 claims of sexual misconduct with minors, pointing to him as Croteau’s killer, Reverend Richard R. Lavigne remains “innocent.”

Drawing on more than 10,000 pages of police and court findings and interviews with Danny’s friends and family, fellow abuse victims, and church officials, the author uncovers the truth—church complicity in the cover up and masking of priests involvement in a ring of abusive clergy—behind Croteau’s death and those who had a hand in it.

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Newly Published: The State of American Hot Rodding

New on our bookshelf today:

The State of American Hot Rodding: Interviews on the Craft and the Road Ahead
David Lawrence Miller

As the automotive world looks towards a future of electric vehicles, driverless technology and anonymous styling, what can be learned from the individuals who resist these trends and cling to their love of street rods and muscle cars? The hot rodding world still exists, but will it continue to hold a place in tomorrow’s automotive culture?

Gearhead and geographer David Miller has crisscrossed America in his custom built 1958 Chevy Apache pickup, interviewing hot rodders about what drives their passions, values and way of life. Their collected stories present a detailed portrait of modern hot rodding—a distinctly American subculture that survives by bucking the trends and attitudes that increasingly shape the transportation landscape.

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Newly Published: British Chess Literature to 1914

New on our bookshelf today:

British Chess Literature to 1914: A Handbook for Historians
Tim Harding

A huge amount was published about chess in the United Kingdom before the First World War. The growing popularity of chess in Victorian Britain was reflected in an increasingly competitive market of books and periodicals aimed at players from beginner to expert. The author combines new information about the early history of the game with advice for researchers into chess history and traces the further development of chess literature well into the 20th century.

Topics include today’s leading chess libraries and the use of digitized chess texts and research on the Web. Special attention is given to the columns that appeared in newspapers (national and provincial) and magazines from 1813 onwards. These articles, usually weekly, provide a wealth of information on early chess, much of which is not to be found elsewhere. The lengthy first appendix, an A to Z of almost 600 chess columns, constitutes a detailed research aid. Other appendices include corrections and supplements to standard works of reference on chess.

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Newly Published: Tiger Stadium

New on our bookshelf today:

Tiger Stadium: Essays and Memories of Detroit’s Historic Ballpark, 1912–2009
Edited by Michael Betzold, John Davids, Bill Dow, John Pastier and Frank Rashid

Built in 1911, Detroit’s Tiger Stadium provided unmatched access for generations of baseball fans. Based on a classic grandstand design, its development through the 20th century reflected the booming industrial city around it. Emphasizing utility over adornment and offering more fans affordable seats near the field, it was in every sense a working class ballpark that made the game the central focus.

Drawing on the perspectives of historians, architects, fans and players, the author describes how Tiger Stadium grew, adapted and thrived, and how it was demolished in 2008—a casualty of racism and corporate welfare. Chronological diagrams illustrate the evolution of the playing field.

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Newly Published: Chasing Charlie

New on our bookshelf today:

Chasing Charlie: A Force Recon Marine in Vietnam
Richard Fleming

Richard Fleming served as a scout with the elite U.S. Marine 1st Force Reconnaissance Company during the bloodiest years of the Vietnam War. Dropped deep into enemy territory, Recon relied on stealth and surprise to complete their mission—providing intelligence on enemy positions, conducting limited raids and capturing prisoners. Fleming’s absorbing memoir recounts his transformation from idealistic recruit to cynical veteran as the war claimed the lives of his friends and the missions became ever more dangerous.

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Newly Published: Melungeon Portraits

New on our bookshelf today:

Melungeon Portraits: Exploring Kinship and Identity
Tamara L. Stachowicz

At a time when concepts of racial and ethnic identity increasingly define how we see ourselves and others, the ancestry of Melungeons—a Central Appalachian multi-racial group believed to be of Native American, African and European origins—remains controversial.

Who is Melungeon, how do we know and what does that mean? In a series of interviews with individuals who claim Melungeon heritage, the author finds common threads that point to shared history, appearance and values, and explores how we decide who we are and what kind of proof we need to do so.

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Newly Published: The Incomparable Hildegarde

New on our bookshelf today:

The Incomparable Hildegarde: The Sexuality, Style and Image of an Entertainment Icon
Monica Storme Gallamore

The Incomparable Hildegarde (1906–2005) lived a life of glamour and excitement. She began her career as a pianist in Milwaukee’s silent movie theaters, which led to the Vaudeville stage. By the 1930s, she was singing in the cabarets of Paris and London, rubbing elbows with royalty, White Russians, and Josephine Baker. Returning to the U.S., she became the darling of the New York City supper club scene. Her name and style became synonymous with high-class entertainment at venues like the Persian Room at the Plaza Hotel. She started fashion trends, had her own signature Revlon nail and lip color, and was the first to have hits with many standards of the World War II era.

This first biography of Hildegarde Sill covers her 70–year career, emphasizing her importance in 20th-century American popular culture. The author analyzes her intimate relationship with her manager of two decades, Anna Sosenko.

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Newly Published: Eminent Charlotteans

New on our bookshelf today:

Eminent Charlotteans: Twelve Historical Profiles from North Carolina’s Queen City
Scott Syfert

Inspired by the 2010 “Spirit of Mecklenburg”—a bronze statue of Captain James Jack, “the South’s Paul Revere,” in downtown Charlotte, North Carolina—this history details the lives of 12 Charlotteans who made important contributions to the Queen City, from the early Colonial period to the 20th century. Subjects include Catawba Indian chief King Haigler, Founding Father Thomas Polk, freed slave Ishmael Titus, African American celebrity barber Thad Tate and North Carolina’s first woman physician, Annie Alexander.

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Newly Published: Jessica Jones, Scarred Superhero

New on our bookshelf today:

Jessica Jones, Scarred Superhero: Essays on Gender, Trauma and Addiction in the Netflix Series
Edited by Tim Rayborn and Abigail Keyes

Jessica Jones barged onto our screens in November 2015, courtesy of Marvel and Netflix, presenting a hard-drinking protagonist who wrestles with her own inner (and outer) demons. Gaining enhanced abilities as a teenager, she eschews the “super costume” and is far more concerned with the problems of daily life. But when Jessica falls under the control of a villain, her life changes forever.

Based on the comic book Alias, the show won a large following and critical acclaim for its unflinching look at subjects like abuse, trauma, PTSD, rape culture, alcoholism, drug addiction, victims’ plight and family conflicts.

This collection of new essays offers insight into the show’s complex themes and story lines.

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Newly Published: Repeating and Multi-Fire Weapons

New on our bookshelf today:

Repeating and Multi-Fire Weapons: A History from the Zhuge Crossbow Through the AK-47
Gerald Prenderghast

From the very earliest days of organized warfare, combatants have wanted to develop weapons with more firepower. This has inevitably led to a wide variety of repeating weapons, capable of a degree of sustained fire without reloading.

Based largely upon new research, this book explores the history of repeating and multi-fire weapons, beginning with the Chinese repeating crossbow in the 4th century BCE, and ending with the world’s most common firearm, the Kalashnikov AK-47. The author describes the potency of the machine gun in World War I, the development of the semiautomatic pistol and the role of the submachine gun in improving the effectiveness of the infantryman.

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Newly Published: Roosevelt’s Revolt

New on our bookshelf today:

Roosevelt’s Revolt: The 1912 Republican Convention and the Launch of the Bull Moose Party
John C. Skipper

The presidential election of 1912 was the only one whose candidates included an incumbent president, a former president and a future president. Theodore Roosevelt, in the Oval Office from 1901 to 1909, chose not to run again. When his former Secretary of War, William Howard Taft, took controversial actions as his successor, Roosevelt challenged him for the 1912 Republican nomination. Taft emerged as the nominee and Roosevelt ran as a third-party candidate on the Progressive (Bull Moose) ticket, causing a split in the GOP that allowed Democrat Woodrow Wilson to win the presidency.

The author examines the election in detail and traces the effects of Roosevelt’s actions on the Republican Party for decades. Appendices detail Republican primary results and all of the parties’ platforms and provide a summary of presidential assassinations and attempts.

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Newly Published: Chasing Frank and Jesse James

New on our bookshelf today:

Chasing Frank and Jesse James: The Bungled Northfield Bank Robbery and the Long Manhunt
Wayne Fanebust

Frank and Jesse James, the infamous brothers from Missouri, rode with marauding Confederate guerrillas during the Civil War. Having learned to kill and raid without compunction, they easily transitioned from rebels to outlaws after the war, robbing stagecoaches, banks and trains in Missouri and surrounding states. It was a botched bank robbery in Northfield, Minnesota, followed by an improbable escape through the Dakota Territory and Iowa, that elevated the James brothers from notorious criminals to legendary figures of American history and folklore.

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Newly Published: In the Shadow of the Bomb

New on our bookshelf today:

In the Shadow of the Bomb: The Legacy of the Cold War in Dr. Strangelove, End Zone, Crash and The Wire
Niall Heffernan

Detective McNulty applies bite marks to a deceased man’s body with a set of dentures in The Wire, illustrating how officialdom deals in falsehood. Dr. Strangelove lovingly describes the “doomsday machine” as being free from “human meddling,” while it destroys the world, highlighting the absurdity of placing systems above any moral considerations. In Crash, Ballard survives a car accident only to be cared for by a paternal technology that tends only to his physical needs—a life of technical certitude bereft of beauty.

The Cold War, with its promise of imminent and purposeless doom, profoundly shaped the post-modern world in ways that are not yet appreciated. This study examines the Cold War zeitgeist and its aftermath as shown in fiction, film and television.

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Newly Published: The Darker Side of Slash Fan Fiction

New on our bookshelf today:

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

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

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

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Opening Day Baseball Sale

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

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Newly Published: Always Been a Rambler

New on our bookshelf today:

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

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

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

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Newly Published: Exploring Downton Abbey

New on our bookshelf today:

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

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

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

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Newly Published: Buster Keaton in His Own Time

New on our bookshelf today:

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

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

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Newly Published: Mixed Martial Arts and the Quest for Legitimacy

New on our bookshelf today:

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

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

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

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Newly Published: Joss Whedon’s Big Damn Movie

New on our bookshelf today:

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

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

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

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

New on our bookshelf today:

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

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

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

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Newly Published: Magic in Britain

New on our bookshelf today:

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

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

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

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Newly Published: Sherlock and Digital Fandom

New on our bookshelf today:

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

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

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

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

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We Rise to Resist Receives Starred Review in Booklist

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

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

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

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

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Newly Published: Superheroes and Their Ancient Jewish Parallels

New on our bookshelf today:

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

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

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

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

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Newly Published: Text & Presentation, 2017

New on our bookshelf today:

Text & Presentation, 2017
Edited by Jay Malarcher

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

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Newly Published: The American Soldier, 1866–1916

New on our bookshelf today:

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

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

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

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Newly Published: Jack Lord

New on our bookshelf today:

Jack Lord: An Acting Life
Sylvia D. Lynch

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

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

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

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Newly Published: The Star Wars Phenomenon in Britain

New on our bookshelf today:

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

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

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

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Newly Published: Identity in Professional Wrestling

New on our bookshelf today:

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

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

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

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Newly Published: Fumbled Call

New on our bookshelf today:

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

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

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

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

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Weekly Deal: Celtic Studies

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

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

Celtic Astrology from the Druids to the Middle Ages

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

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

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

Modern Druidism

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

British and Irish Poets: A Biographical Dictionary 449-2006

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Newly Published: Women in Doctor Who

New on our bookshelf today:

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

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

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Newly Published: Themes in Dickens

New on our bookshelf today:

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

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

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

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Newly Published: Breaking the Appalachian Barrier

New on our bookshelf today:

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

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

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

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Newly Published: James Joyce

New on our bookshelf today:

James Joyce: A Literary Companion
James F. Broderick

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

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

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Newly Published: My Most-Wanted Marijuana Mom

New on our bookshelf today:

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

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

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

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

New on our bookshelf today:

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

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

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Weekly Deal: The Academy Awards

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

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

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

Hollywood Musicals Nominated for Best Picture

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

Encyclopedia of Motion Picture Sound

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

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

Feature Films, 1940–1949: A United States Filmography

Encyclopedia of African American Actresses in Film and Television

Art Directors in Cinema: A Worldwide Biographical Dictionary

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

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

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

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

 

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

New on our bookshelf today:

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

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

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

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Newly Published: The Collected Sonnets of William Shakespeare, Zombie

New on our bookshelf today:

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

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

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Two Books Reviewed in March Issue of Choice

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

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

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Newly Published: Early Bicycles and the Quest for Speed

New on our bookshelf today:

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

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

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

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Newly Published: Beer in Maryland

New on our bookshelf today:

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

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

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

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Newly Published: We Rise to Resist

New on our bookshelf today:

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

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

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Newly Published: Baseball Greatness

New on our bookshelf today:

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

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

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

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Newly Published: Bonds of Brotherhood in Sons of Anarchy

New on our bookshelf today:

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

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

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

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Newly Published: ABC Family to Freeform TV

New on our bookshelf today:

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

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

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

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Newly Published: Assembling the Marvel Cinematic Universe

New on our bookshelf today:

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

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

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Newly Published: The Postmodern Joy of Role-Playing Games

New on our bookshelf today:

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

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

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

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Newly Published: Becoming John Wayne

New on our bookshelf today:

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

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

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Newly Published: Chivalry in Westeros

New on our bookshelf today:

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

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

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

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Newly Published: Terrorism Worldwide, 2016

New on our bookshelf today:

Terrorism Worldwide, 2016
Edward Mickolus

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

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Newly Published: Saturday Night Live and the 1976 Presidential Election

New on our bookshelf today:

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

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

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Newly Published: Virginia and the Great War

New on our bookshelf today:

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

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

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Newly Published: Capitol Hill Pages

New on our bookshelf today:

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

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

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Newly Published: The Subversive Zombie

New on our bookshelf today:

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

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

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Three New Titles Reviewed in February Issue of Choice

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

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

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

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Newly Published: The Indianapolis Automobile Industry

New on our bookshelf today:

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

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

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Newly Published: The Mistaken History of the Korean War

New on our bookshelf today:

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

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

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Newly Published: Harry Potter and Convergence Culture

New on our bookshelf today:

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

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

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

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Newly Published: Janet Frame in Focus

New on our bookshelf today:

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

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

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

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

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Newly Published: A Dark California

New on our bookshelf today:

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

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

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

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Newly Published: Rowena Sunder, Artist in New York

New on our bookshelf today:

Rowena Sunder, Artist in New York
Linda Campbell Franklin

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

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

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Newly Published: Exploring Picard’s Galaxy

New on our bookshelf today:

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

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

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

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Newly Published: Indie Science Fiction Cinema Today

New on our bookshelf today:

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

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

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Newly Published: The Story of a Forest

New on our bookshelf today:

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

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

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

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

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

New on our bookshelf today:

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

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

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Newly Published: Secrets of Great Teachers

New on our bookshelf today:

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

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

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Newly Published: Weathervanes of New England

New on our bookshelf today:

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

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

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Newly Published: Egypt’s Identities in Conflict

New on our bookshelf today:

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

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

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

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Newly Published: Motor City Champs

New on our bookshelf today:

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

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

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

New on our bookshelf today:

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

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

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

New on our bookshelf today:

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

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

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

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Newly Published: Eyes on Havana

New on our bookshelf today:

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

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

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

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Newly Published: Whitey Herzog Builds a Winner

New on our bookshelf today:

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

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

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

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New in Softcover: The Creature Chronicles

Now available in softcover:

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

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

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

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Newly Published: Counterinsurgency and the United States Marine Corps

New on our bookshelf today:

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

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

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Newly Published: Where Monsters Walked

New on our bookshelf today:

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

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

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

New on our bookshelf today:

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

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

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