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Newly Published: To Deprave and Corrupt

New on our bookshelf:

To Deprave and Corrupt: Obscenity Battles in British Law and Culture
Catherine Scott

Thousands have run afoul of Britain’s Obscene Publications Act—from Victorian erotica presses to 21st-century dominatrices. At a time when the internet has made sexually explicit material ubiquitous, why are British traditional media still regulated by a vaguely worded law from 1857?

This comprehensive analysis of obscenity in British culture explores what is considered obscene, who gets to decide, and how class, race and gender inform laws regarding adult content. The author describes how obscenity laws disproportionately affect the BDSM subculture, the LGBT community and feminist porn performers.

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Newly Published: Democratic Repairman

New on our bookshelf:

Democratic Repairman: The Political Life of J. Howard McGrath
Debra A. Mulligan

As governor of Rhode Island, J. Howard McGrath oversaw the passage of social legislation aimed at improving the lives of his constituents during the dark days of World War II. As a Rhode Island senator he served as the Democratic National Committee Chairman during the contentious 1948 presidential election, when few believed Harry Truman could defeat New York governor Thomas R. Dewey.

Following Truman’s victory, McGrath could easily have written his own ticket to further political success—but his career was cut short in 1952 when he was forced to resign as Attorney General amid a cloud of scandal. This biography traces the rise and fall of a politician who achieved notable success yet ultimately fell victim to his appetite for power, fame and fortune.

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Newly Published: Edwin Forrest

New on our bookshelf:

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

Edwin Forrest was the foremost American actor of the nineteenth century. His advocacy of American, and specifically Jacksonian, themes made him popular in New York’s Bowery Theatre. His rivalry with the English tragedian William Charles Macready led to the Astor Place Riot, and his divorce from Catharine Sinclair Forrest was one of the greatest social scandals of the period. This full-length biography examines Forrest’s personal life while acknowledging the impossibility of separating it from his public image. Included is a historical chronology of every known performance the actor gave.

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Newly Published: The Pokémon Go Phenomenon

New on our bookshelf:

The Pokémon Go Phenomenon: Essays on Public Play in Contested Spaces
Edited by Jamie Henthorn, Andrew Kulak, Kristopher Purzycki and Stephanie Vie

Pokémon Go is not just play—the game has had an impact on public spaces, social circles and technology, suggesting new ways of experiencing our world. This collection of new essays explores what Pokémon Go can tell us about how and why we play.

Covering a range of topics from mobile hardware and classroom applications to social conflict and urban planning, the contributors approach Pokémon Go from both practical and theoretical angles, anticipating the impact play will have on our digitally augmented world.

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Newly Published: Seeing the Beat Generation

New on our bookshelf:

Seeing the Beat Generation: Entering the Literature through Film
Raj Chandarlapaty

Beat generation writers dismantled mainstream America. They wrote under the influence of psychedelic drugs; they crossed and navigated multicultural boundaries and questioned the American dream; and they explored homosexuality, feminism and hyper-masculinity, redefining America’s marital and familial codes. Teaching such a history can be daunting, but film adaptations of Beat literature have proven to engage students. This book looks closely at the film adaptations of works by such authors as Jack Kerouac, Neal Cassady, Allen Ginsberg, William S. Burroughs, Gary Snyder, Carolyn Cassady, Amiri Baraka and Lawrence Ferlinghetti, as they relate to American history and literary studies.

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Newly Published: Fat Talk

New on our bookshelf:

Fat Talk: A Feminist Perspective
Denise Martz

Women have unintentionally become their own worst enemies through their engagement in “fat talk”—critical dialogue about one’s own physical appearance, and “body snarking” or criticism towards other women’s bodies. Not only does this harsh judgment pervade our psyches and societies, it also contributes to the glass ceiling in a variety of professions, including politics representing feminist activism. This book reviews and analyzes the origins and effects of fat talk and body snarking, and provides potential solutions that include evidence-based personal therapies and community interventions.

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Newly Published: The Ages of The Flash

New on our bookshelf:

The Ages of The Flash: Essays on the Fastest Man Alive
Edited by Joseph J. Darowski

While many American superheroes have multiple powers and complex gadgets, the Flash is simply fast. This simplicity makes his character easily comprehendible for all audiences, whether they are avid comic fans or newcomers to the genre, and in turn he has become one of the most iconic figures in the comic-book industry. This collection of new essays serves as a stepping-stone to an even greater understanding of the Flash, examining various iterations of his character—including those of Jay Garrick, Barry Allen, Wally West and Bart Allen—and what they reveal about the era in which they were written.

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Newly Published: The Golden Age of Disaster Cinema

New on our bookshelf:

The Golden Age of Disaster Cinema: A Guide to the Films, 1950–1979
Nik Havert

From the 1950s through the 1970s, disaster movies were a wildly popular genre. Audiences thrilled at the spectacle of these films, many of which were considered glamorous for their time. Derided by critics, they became box office hits and cult classics, inspiring filmmakers around the globe. Some of them launched the careers of producers, directors and actors who would go on to create some of Hollywood’s biggest blockbusters.

With more than 40 interviews with actors, actresses, producers, stuntmen, special effects artists and others, this book covers the Golden Age of sinking ships, burning buildings, massive earthquakes, viral pandemics and outbreaks of animal madness.

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Newly Published: Peanuts and American Culture

New on our bookshelf:

Peanuts and American Culture: Essays on Charles M. Schulz’s Iconic Comic Strip
Peter W.Y. Lee

Peanuts creator Charles M. Schulz insisted good ol’ Charlie Brown and his friends were neither “great art” nor “significant.” Yet Schulz’s acclaimed daily comic strip—syndicated in thousands of newspapers over five decades—brilliantly mirrored tensions in American society during the second half of the 20th century.

Focusing on the strip’s Cold War roots, this collection of new essays explores existentialism, the reshaping of the nuclear family, the Civil Rights Movement, 1960s counterculture, feminism, psychiatry and fear of the bomb. Chapters focus on the development of Lucy, Peppermint Patty, Schroeder, Franklin, Shermy, Snoopy and the other characters that became American icons.

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Newly Published: Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young’s 50-Year Quest

New on our bookshelf:

Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young’s 50-Year Quest: Music to Change the World
Robert McParland

Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young, with their distinct vocal harmonies, blending of rock, jazz, folk, and blues, and political and social activism, have remained one of the most enduring musical acts of the 1960s. This book examines their songs and themes, which continue to resonate with contemporary listeners, and argues that Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young reflect part of the broader story of American culture. This appreciative volume contextualizes their work within the political climate of the late 1960s, and makes the case that the values and concerns expressed in their music thread through the American experience today.

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Newly Published: Medieval Crime Fiction

New on our bookshelf:

Medieval Crime Fiction: A Critical Overview
Anne McKendry

Combining elements of medievalism, the historical novel and the detective narrative, medieval crime fiction capitalizes upon the appeal of all three—the most famous examples being Umberto Eco’s The Name of the Rose (one of the best-selling books ever published) and Ellis Peters’ endearing Brother Cadfael series.

Hundreds of other novels and series fill out the genre, in settings ranging from the so-called Celtic Enlightenment in seventh-century Ireland to the ruthless Inquisition in fourteenth-century France to the mean streets of medieval London. The detectives are an eclectic group, including weary ex-crusaders, former Knights Templar, enterprising monks and nuns, and historical poets such as Geoffrey Chaucer.

This book investigates the enduring popularity of the largely unexamined genre and explores its social, cultural and political contexts.

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McFarland Expands with New Imprint, Toplight Books

JEFFERSON, North Carolina – May 10, 2019 – Scholarly publisher McFarland has announced the launch of Toplight Books, a new imprint with a focus on the body, mind and spirit.

“We hope to offer a wide array of books that explore these basic, essential components of being human that in the pace and pressure of modern life are too often relegated to the periphery of our consciousness,” said acquiring editor Natalie Foreman.

The first season of releases, planned for fall 2019, includes titles about migrating for medical marijuana, effective communication alternatives for the autistic, and a comprehensive guide to being an injury-free runner.  In Migrating for Medical Marijuana, University of Colorado professor Tracy Ferrell shares unique insights into a social, political and medical revolution, including personal accounts from doctors and patients.  Communication Alternatives in Autism chronicles the experiences of ten autistic self-advocates, covering effective but controversial communication methods.  In The Durable Runner, author Alison Heilig–an RRCA running coach, yoga teacher, corrective exercise specialist, and NASM personal trainer–maps out proven strategies for a lifetime of healthy and happy running.

“We’re excited about this eclectic debut of titles for Toplight Books. The neglect of our physical, mental and spiritual selves diminishes our capacity to respond to life and each other, to the great detriment of personal and planetary well-being, and we hope to counter the trend with well-researched books covering any or all of the three core human dimensions, in original and inspiring ways,” said Foreman.

Toplight’s interests include uplifting and positive books about psychology and mindfulness, religious studies and spirituality, and alternative health treatments.  Submissions from authors and literary agents are invited, and should be directed to Foreman’s attention at [email protected].  Foreman welcomes proposals for books as wide ranging as reincarnation and the soul, yoga and meditation guides, nature’s relationship to well-being, explorations of neurodiversity, and scientific studies on the nature of qi.  For more information about the imprint, go to Toplight Books.

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Jessica Jones, Scarred Superhero Wins Koppelman Award at PCA

Jessica Jones, Scarred Superhero: Essays on Gender, Trauma and Addiction in the Netflix Series received the 2018 Susan Koppelman Award, the Popular Culture Association announced. Presented annually, the Koppelman Award honors the best anthology, multi-authored, or edited book in feminist studies in popular and American culture. Congratulations to editors Tim Rayborn and Abigail Keyes, and to all contributors!

Two other McFarland books were also honored at the annual meeting of the Popular Culture Association. Craig Martin Gibbs’ Field Recordings of Black Singers and Musicians: An Annotated Discography of Artists from West Africa, the Caribbean and the Eastern and Southern United States, 1901-1943 was selected as the second runner-up for the Ray and Pat Browne Award for the best reference/primary source work in popular and American culture. When Women Wrote Hollywood: Essays on Female Screenwriters in the Early Film Industry, edited by Roseanne Welch, was selected as the runner-up for the Susan Koppelman Award.

 

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Newly Published: Hitchcock and Humor

New on our bookshelf:

Hitchcock and Humor: Modes of Comedy in Twelve Defining Films
Wes D. Gehring

Woody Allen’s Manhattan Murder Mystery has been described as “a kind of Rear Window for retirees.” As this quote suggests, an analysis of Alfred Hitchcock’s methodical use of comedy in his films is past due.

One of Turner Classic Movies’ on-screen scholars for their summer 2017 online Hitchcock class, the author grew tired of misleading throwaway references to the director’s “comic relief.” This book examines what should be obvious: Hitchcock systematically incorporated assorted types of comedy—black humor, parody, farce/screwball comedy and romantic comedy—in his films to entertain his audience with “comic” thrillers.

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Newly Published: Marie Marvingt, Fiancée of Danger

New on our bookshelf:

Marie Marvingt, Fiancée of Danger: First Female Bomber Pilot, World-Class Athlete and Inventor of the Air Ambulance
Rosalie Maggio

Marie Marvingt (1875–1973) set the world’s first women’s aviation records, won the only gold medal for outstanding performance in all sports, invented the airplane ambulance, was the first female bomber pilot in history, fought in World War I disguised as a man, took part in the Resistance of World War II, was the first to survive crossing the English Channel in a balloon, worked all her life as a journalist, spent years in North Africa and invented metal skis. Her life story was so unusually rich in exploits and accomplishments that some dismissed it as a hoax.

This biography explores the life of “the most incredible woman since Joan of Arc” and investigates the reasons she has been forgotten. Known as the “fiancée of danger,” she was the model for the silent film series The Perils of Pauline.

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Newly Published: Tom Petty

New on our bookshelf:

Tom Petty: Essays on the Life and Work
Edited by Crystal D. Sands

Rock and Roll hall-of-famer Tom Petty had a musical career that spanned four decades with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, and also notably included the co-founding of supergroup The Traveling Wilburys. As a songwriter and rock star, Petty was among the most successful of his time.
His work appealed across socioeconomic boundaries to a diverse group of fans, and this collection of new essays explores this phenomenon. Other topics include Petty’s writing process, his political stances and the psychology behind his music.

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Newly Published: Astor Pictures

New on our bookshelf:

Astor Pictures: A Filmography and History of the Reissue King, 1933–1965
Michael R. Pitts

Founded by Robert M. Savini in 1933, Astor Pictures Corporation distributed hundreds of films in its 32 years of operation. The company distributed over 150 first run features in addition to the numerous re-releases for which it became famous. Astor had great success in the fields of horror and western movies and was a pioneer in African-American film productions. While under Savini’s management, Astor and its subsidiaries were highly successful, but after his death in 1956 the company was sold, leading to eventual bankruptcy and closure. This volume provides the first in-depth look at Astor Pictures Corporation with thorough coverage of its releases, including diverse titles like La Dolce Vitaand Frankenstein’s Daughter.

 

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Newly Published: A True Child of Papua New Guinea

New on our bookshelf:

A True Child of Papua New Guinea: Memoir of a Life In Two Worlds
Maggie Wilson

Maggie Wilson was born in the highlands of Papua New Guinea to Melka Amp Jara, a woman of the highlands, and Patrick Leahy, brother of Australian explorers Michael and Daniel Leahy, who were among the first Australian explorers to encounter people in the Highlands of Papua New Guinea, during an expedition in search for gold. Maggie’s life serves as a window into the complex social and cultural transformations experienced during the early years of the Australian administration in Papua New Guinea and the first three decades after independence. This ethnography—started as an autobiography and completed by Rosita Henry after Maggie’s death in 2009—tells Maggie’s story and the stories of those whose lives she touched. Their recollections of Maggie Wilson offer insights into life in Papua New Guinea today.

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Newly Published: The Civil War from Its Origins to Reconstruction

New on our bookshelf:

The Civil War from Its Origins to Reconstruction
James S. Pula

The period of Sectionalism, Civil War and Reconstruction was the most traumatic in American history. The outcome changed the foundations of the nation, with effects still felt today. While most Civil War histories focus on specific topics―military history, economics, politics―this book presents the narrative as it unfolded against a broader historical background. Drawing on direct quotations from actual participants, the author provides an interpretive overview of the issues and events that divided and then devastated the United States.

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Newly Published: George Stevens

New on our bookshelf:

George Stevens: The Films of a Hollywood Giant
Neil Sinyard

“George Stevens could do anything,” said veteran Hollywood producer Pandro S. Berman, “break your heart or make you laugh.”

Winner of two Best Director Oscars—for A Place in the Sun (1951) and Giant (1956)—Stevens excelled in a range of genres, gave luster to some of Hollywood’s brightest stars and was revered by his peers. Yet his work has been largely neglected by critics and scholars.

This career retrospective highlights Stevens’ achievements, particularly in his sweeping “American Dream” trilogy (A Place in the SunShane (1953) and Giant). His recurrent themes and characteristic style reveal a progressive attitude towards women’s experiences and highlight the continued relevance of his films today.

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Newly Published: Social Justice and Activism in Libraries

New on our bookshelf:

Social Justice and Activism in Libraries: Essays on Diversity and Change
Edited by Su Epstein, Carol Smallwood and Vera Gubnitskaia

In a rapidly changing world with myriad conflicting voices, the library’s role as a place of safety and inclusion and as a repository of knowledge cannot be overstated. Librarians must serve as community leaders with a mission to educate and inform, ready to model the principles they support. The question for many is: how?

Experienced librarians offer ideas and guidance in seeking new creative paths, working to support change in library organizations and reexamining principles that may be taken for granted. Theoretical foundations are discussed, along with practical ideas such as the creation a book groups for the intellectually disabled and partnership with social workers or advocates for employees with disabilities.

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Newly Published: The Sacred in Fantastic Fandom

New on our bookshelf:

The Sacred in Fantastic Fandom: Essays on the Intersection of Religion and Pop Culture
Edited by Carole M. Cusack, John W. Morehead and Venetia Laura Delano Robertson

To the casual observer, similarities between fan communities and religious believers are difficult to find. Religion is traditional, institutional, and serious; whereas fandom is contemporary, individualistic, and fun. Can the robes of nuns and priests be compared to cosplay outfits of Jedi Knights and anime characters? Can travelling to fan conventions be understood as pilgrimages to the shrines of saints?

These new essays investigate fan activities connected to books, film, and online games, such as Harry Potter-themed weddings, using The Hobbit as a sacred text, and taking on heroic roles in World of Warcraft. Young Muslim women cosplayers are brought into conversation with Chaos magicians who use pop culture tropes and characters. A range of canonical texts, such as Supernatural, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Sherlock—are examined in terms of the pleasure and enchantment of repeated viewing. Popular culture is revealed to be a fertile source of religious and spiritual creativity in the contemporary world.

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Newly Published: Diagnosing Churchill

New on our bookshelf:

Diagnosing Churchill: Bipolar or “Prey to Nerves”?
Wilfred Attenborough

The posthumous diagnosis of Winston Churchill as manic-depressive has been drawn entirely from biographical information, which, though significant to understanding his life and mind, has often been misused or misunderstood. This book investigates how such materials have been interpreted (and misinterpreted) in relation to Churchill’s mental health, taking a particularly close look at his association with nerves or “neurasthenia.” Included are appendices on Churchill’s remedies for worry and mental overstrain and an investigation of his mental state after losing the 1945 general election.

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Newly Published: Lincoln’s Greatcoat

New on our bookshelf:

Lincoln’s Greatcoat: The Unlikely Odyssey of a Presidential Relic
Reignette G. Chilton

Brooks Brothers crafted Abraham Lincoln’s greatcoat in honor of the president’s second inauguration. The coat’s wool was “finer than cashmere” and its silk-embroidered lining read, “One Country, One Destiny.” Lincoln was wearing the garment when he was assassinated on April 14, 1865. After her husband’s death, Mrs. Lincoln gave the greatcoat to a faithful White House doorkeeper. More than a century after her bequest, the coat was returned to Ford’s Theatre, but not before it underwent a mysterious and exciting journey. This book recounts that journey as a reminder of the 16th president and his call to “bind up wounds” and care for others.

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Newly Published: Fred Reinfeld

New on our bookshelf:

Fred Reinfeld: The Man Who Taught America Chess, with 282 Games
Alex Dunne

Fred Reinfeld—his name used to be known to almost every chess player in the United States. Not so well known are his accomplishments. One of the strongest players of his time, he ranked just below Reuben Fine and Samuel Reshevsky (against whom he had a plus score). He was the accomplished author of some of the best chess books of the 1930s and 1940s, and a respected numismatist, recognized as a pioneer in the field. He was an editor or major contributor to almost every major chess magazine through the 1940s—Chess Review, Chess Correspondent and Chess Life.

This first book on Renfield covers his remarkable contributions to the chess world, with many of his ideas and writings quoted in their original context and with many of his famous annotations preserved for the modern reader.

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Newly Published: Robots That Kill

New on our bookshelf:

Robots That Kill: Deadly Machines and Their Precursors in Myth, Folklore, Literature, Popular Culture and Reality
Judith A. Markowitz

This book describes real-world killer robots using a blend of perspectives. Overviews of technologies, such as autonomy and artificial intelligence, demonstrate how science enables these robots to be effective killers. Incisive analyses of social controversies swirling around the design and use of killer robots reveal that science, alone, will not govern their future. Among those disputes is whether fully-autonomous, robotic weapons should be banned. Examinations of killers from the golem to Frankenstein’s monster reveal that artificially-created beings like them are precursors of real 21st century killer robots. This book laces the death and destruction caused by all these killers with science and humor. The seamless combination of these elements produces a deeper and richer understanding of the robots around us.

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Newly Published: Author in Chief

New on our bookshelf:

Author in Chief: The Presidents as Writers from Washington to Trump
Michael B. Costanzo

With the publication of his Personal Memoirs in 1885, Ulysses S. Grant established what is today known as the presidential memoir. Every U.S. president since Benjamin Harrison has written one and many have turned to other forms of writing, as well.

This book covers the history of works—including autobiographies, diaries, political manifestos, speeches, fiction and poetry—authored by U.S. presidents and published prior to, during or after their terms. The writing was easy for some, harder for others, with varying success, from literary comebacks and bestsellers to false starts and failures.

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Newly Published: Too Funny for Words

New on our bookshelf:

Too Funny for Words: A Contrarian History of American Screen Comedy from Silent Slapstick to Screwball
David Kalat

American silent film comedies were dominated by sight gags, stunts and comic violence. With the advent of sound, comedies in the 1930s were a riot of runaway heiresses and fast-talking screwballs. It was more than a technological pivot—the first feature-length sound film, The Jazz Singer (1927), changed Hollywood.

Lost in the discussion of that transition is the overlap between the two genres. Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton and Harold Lloyd kept slapstick alive well into the sound era. Screwball directors like Leo McCarey, Frank Capra and Ernst Lubitsch got their starts in silent comedy.

From Chaplin’s tramp to the witty repartee of His Girl Friday (1940), this book chronicles the rise of silent comedy and its evolution into screwball—two flavors of the same genre—through the works of Mack Sennett, Roscoe Arbuckle, Harry Langdon and others.

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Newly Published: Decoding Dylan

New on our bookshelf:

Decoding Dylan: Making Sense of the Songs That Changed Modern Culture
Jim Curtis

Taking readers behind Bob Dylan’s familiar image as the enigmatic rebel of the 1960s, this book reveals a different view—that of a careful craftsman and student of the art of songwriting. Drawing on revelations from Dylan’s memoir Chronicles and a variety of other sources, the author arrives at a radically new interpretation of his body of work, which revolutionized American music and won him the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2016. Dylan’s songs are viewed as collages, ingeniously combining themes and images from American popular culture and European high culture.

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New in Softcover: Homophones and Homographs

Now available in softcover:

Homophones and Homographs: An American Dictionary, 4th ed.
Compiled by James B. Hobbs

This expanded fourth edition defines and cross-references 9,040 homophones and 2,133 homographs (up from 7,870 and 1,554 in the 3rd ed.).

As the most comprehensive compilation of American homophones (words that sound alike) and homographs (look-alikes), this latest edition serves well where even the most modern spell-checkers and word processors fail—although rain, reign, and rein may be spelled correctly, the context in which these words may appropriately be used is not obvious to a computer.

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Newly Published: British Blockade Runners in the American Civil War

New on our bookshelf:

British Blockade Runners in the American Civil War
Joseph McKenna

Perhaps more than all the campaigns of the Union armies, the Union naval blockade—covering all major Southern ports along 3,500 miles of coastline for the duration of the war—brought down the Confederacy. The daring exploits of Confederate blockade runners are well known—but many of them were British citizens operating out of neutral ports such as Nassau, Havana and Bermuda.
Focusing on British involvement in the war, this history names the overseas bankers and manufacturers who, in critical need of cotton and other Confederate exports, financed and equipped the fast little ships that ran the blockade. The author attempts to disentangle the names and aliases of the captains—many of whom were Royal Navy officers on temporary leave—and tells their stories in their own words.

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Newly Published: The Star Gate Archives

New on our bookshelf:

The Star Gate Archives: Reports of the United States Government Sponsored Psi Program, 1972–1995. Volume 3: Psychokinesis
Compiled and Edited by Edwin C. May and Sonali Bhatt Marwaha

Star Gate is the largest funded program in the history of psi research receiving about $19.933 million in funding from 1972 to 1995. Researchers from SRI International, and later at Science Applications International Corporation, in association with various U.S. intelligence agencies participated in this program.

Using the remote viewing method, research focused on understanding the applicability and nature of psi in general but mostly upon informational psi. Volume 1: Remote Viewing (1972–1984) and Volume 2: Remote Viewing (1985–1995) include all aspects of RV including laboratory trials and several operational results. Volume 3: Psychokinesis focuses on laboratory investigations. Volume 4: Operational Remote Viewing: Government Memorandums and Reports includes an analysis of the applied remote viewing program and a selection of documents that provide a narrative on the behind the scenes activities of Star Gate.

In a total of 504 separate missions from 1972 to 1995, remote viewing produced actionable intelligence prompting 89 percent of the customers to return with additional missions. The Star Gate data indicate that informational psi is a valid phenomenon. These data have led to the development of a physics and neuroscience based testable model for the underlying mechanism, which considers informational psi as a normal, albeit atypical, phenomenon.

The Star Gate data found insufficient evidence to support the causal psi (psychokinesis) hypothesis.

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New in Softcover: The American Steam Locomotive in the Twentieth Century

Now available in softcover:

The American Steam Locomotive in the Twentieth Century
Tom Morrison

Between 1900 and 1950, Americans built the most powerful steam locomotives of all time—enormous engines that powered a colossal industry. They were deceptively simple machines, yet, the more their technology was studied, the more obscure it became. Despite immense and sustained engineering efforts, steam locomotives remained grossly inefficient in their use of increasingly costly fuel and labor. In the end, they baffled their masters and, as soon as diesel-electric technology provided an alternative, steam locomotives disappeared from American railroads. Drawing on the work of eminent engineers and railroad managers of the day, this lavishly illustrated history chronicles the challenges, triumphs and failures of American steam locomotive development and operation.

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Newly Published: Black Baseball, 1858–1900

New on our bookshelf:

Black Baseball, 1858–1900: A Comprehensive Record of the Teams, Players, Managers, Owners and Umpires
James E. Brunson III

This is one of the most important baseball books to be published in a long time, taking a comprehensive look at black participation in the national pastime from 1858 through 1900. It provides team rosters and team histories, player biographies, a list of umpires and games they officiated and information on team managers and team secretaries. Well known organizations like the Washington’s Mutuals, Philadelphia Pythians, Chicago Uniques, St. Louis Black Stockings, Cuban Giants and Chicago Unions are documented, as well as lesser known teams like the Wilmington Mutuals, Newton Black Stockings, San Francisco Enterprise, Dallas Black Stockings, Galveston Flyaways, Louisville Brotherhoods and Helena Pastimes.

Player biographies trace their connections between teams across the country. Essays frame the biographies, discussing the social and cultural events that shaped black baseball. Waiters and barbers formed the earliest organized clubs and developed local, regional and national circuits. Some players belonged to both white and colored clubs, and some umpires officiated colored, white and interracial matches. High schools nurtured young players and transformed them into powerhouse teams, like Cincinnati’s Vigilant Base Ball Club. A special essay covers visual representations of black baseball and the artists who created them, including colored artists of color who were also baseballists.

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New in Softcover: Horror Films of the 1990s

Now available in softcover:

Horror Films of the 1990s
John Kenneth Muir

This filmography covers more than 300 horror films released from 1990 through 1999. The horror genre’s trends and clichés are connected to social and cultural phenomena, such as Y2K fears and the Los Angeles riots. Popular films were about serial killers, aliens, conspiracies, and sinister “interlopers,” new monsters who shambled their way into havoc.

Each of the films is discussed at length with detailed credits and critical commentary. There are six appendices: 1990s clichés and conventions, 1990s hall of fame, memorable ad lines, movie references in Scream, 1990s horrors vs. The X-Files, and the decade’s ten best. Fully indexed, 224 photographs.

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New in Softcover: Wives of the American Presidents, 2d ed.

Now available in softcover:

Wives of the American Presidents, 2d ed.
Carole Chandler Waldrup

Their personalities often set the tone for Washington society, from Julia Tyler’s open hospitality to Sarah Polk’s somber religious devotion. Some, like Abigail Adams, had little formal schooling. Others, such as Pat Nixon and Hillary Clinton, earned college degrees. There were those who outlived their spouses as well as women who died before seeing their husbands realize their presidential dreams. In spite of differing circumstances, these presidential wives influenced—sometimes overtly and often inadvertently—everything from domestic political agendas to foreign policy through their relationships with their husbands.

This book discusses the lives and circumstances of the women who have been married to an American president. It emphasizes the relationship each wife had with her husband and the ways in which this contributed to the success or failure of his presidency. Details include birthplace, upbringing, political viewpoints and final resting place. Chapters are also included on women such as Hannah Van Buren and Jane Wyman, who although married to men who eventually became president, never became first lady.

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New in Softcover: The Great Monster Magazines

Now available in softcover:

The Great Monster Magazines: A Critical Study of the Black and White Publications of the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s
Robert Michael “Bobb” Cotter

This is a critical overview of monster magazines from the 1950s through the 1970s. “Monster magazine” is a blanket term to describe both magazines that focus primarily on popular horror movies and magazines that contain stories featuring monsters, both of which are illustrated in comic book style and printed in black and white.

The book describes the rise and fall of these magazines, examining the contributions of Marvel Comics and several other well-known companies, as well as evaluating the effect of the Comics Code Authority on both present and future efforts in the field. It identifies several sub-genres, including monster movies, zombies, vampires, sword-and-sorcery, and pulp-style fiction. The work includes several indexes and technical credits.

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Newly Published: Primal Roots of Horror Cinema

New on our bookshelf:

Primal Roots of Horror Cinema: Evolutionary Psychology and Narratives of Fear
Carrol L. Fry

Why is horror in film and literature so popular? Why do viewers and readers enjoy feeling fearful? Experts in the fields of sociobiology and evolutionary psychology posit that behaviors from our ancestors that favored survival and adaptation still influence our actions, decisions and thoughts today.

The author, with input from a new generation of Darwinists, explores six primal narratives that recur in the horror genre. They are territoriality, tribalism, fear of genetic assimilation, mating rituals, fear of the predator, and distrust or fear of the Other.

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Newly Published: Historic Nevada Waters

New on our bookshelf:

Historic Nevada Waters: Four Rivers, Three Lakes, Past and Present
Hunt Janin and Ursula Carlson

The Great Basin is a hydrographic region that includes most of Nevada and parts of five other Western states. The histories of four of the Western rivers of the Great Basin—the Walker, the Truckee, the Carson and the Humboldt—are explored in this book, along with three of the western lakes of the Great Basin: Lake Tahoe, Pyramid Lake, and Walker Lake. Drawing on a range of sources, the coauthors address both the natural and the human aspects of the history and likely futures of Great Basin waterways.

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Newly Published: Louis Paulsen

New on our bookshelf:

Louis Paulsen: A Chess Biography with 719 Games
Hans Renette

Louis Paulsen (1833–1891) was one of the 19th century’s strongest chess players and a world record holder in blindfold chess. He maintained an unbeaten record in matches, created several opening systems and was an originator of the positional approach to the game. This extensive biography—the first in English—explores Paulsen’s life and career and includes 719 of his games, presented here with both contemporary and modern comments.

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Newly Published: Alert America!

New on our bookshelf:

Alert America!: The Atomic Bomb and “The Show That May Save Your Life”
Michael Scheibach

To address the threat of an atomic-armed Soviet Union during the early days of the Cold War, President Harry Truman approved the Alert America exhibit as the most effective way to convey the destructive power of the atomic bomb and to encourage participation in civil defense. Following its debut in the nation’s capital in January 1952, Alert America, promoted as “The Show That May Save Your Life,” traveled in three separate convoys to more than eighty cities considered most likely to be bombed, and garnered unprecedented support from elected and civic officials, the media, the military, private industry, and myriad organizations. This is the first book to examine the scope and impact of Alert America, which has been largely overlooked by historians. Also included are resource materials providing insights into the government’s overriding objective of preparing men, women and children to survive an atomic war.

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Newly Published: The Psychology of Moviegoing

New on our bookshelf:

The Psychology of Moviegoing: Choosing, Viewing and Being Influenced by Films
Ashton D. Trice and Hunter W. Greer

How do we choose what movies to go see? How do we process the sounds and images of those films? How do they influence our behaviors, attitudes and beliefs after we leave the theater? Using psychology theory, this book answers these questions while considering the effects of relatively permanent personality variables, our changeable moods and the people we are with in such scenarios. It also points out areas of the study in which further work is necessary and where new concepts, such as awe and aesthetic pleasure, may further understanding.

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Newly Published: The Jean Harlow Films

New on our bookshelf:

The Jean Harlow Films
James L. Neibaur

One of the powerful icons of 1930s Hollywood film, Jean Harlow died a tragically early death in 1937 at age 26. During her brief career, she delivered memorable performances in such MGM classics as Red Dust (1932), Bombshell (1933), Dinner at Eight (1933) and Libeled Lady (1936), among others.

Taking a film-by-film look at Harlow’s work and her own impressions of her costars and directors, this retrospective traces her growth as an actress—from tentative supporting player to top star at a prestigious studio—and how her often tumultuous life informed her performances.

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Newly Published: Mass Suicides on Saipan and Tinian, 1944

New on our bookshelf:

Mass Suicides on Saipan and Tinian, 1944: An Examination of the Civilian Deaths in Historical Context
Alexander Astroth

When the Americans invaded the Japanese-controlled islands of Saipan and Tinian in 1944, civilians and combatants committed mass suicide to avoid being captured. Though these mass suicides have been mentioned in documentary films, they have received scant scholarly attention. This book draws on United States National Archives documents and photographs, as well as veteran and survivor testimonies, to provide readers with a better understanding of what happened on the two islands and why. The author details the experiences of the people of the islands from prehistoric times to the present, with an emphasis on the Japanese, Okinawan, Korean, Chamorro and Carolinian civilians during invasion and occupation.

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Newly Published: The Harry Potter Generation

New on our bookshelf:

The Harry Potter Generation: Essays on Growing Up with the Series
Emily Lauer and Balaka Basu

The generation of readers most heavily impacted by J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series—those who grew up alongside “the boy who lived”—have come of age. They are poised to become teachers, parents, critics and writers, and many of their views and choices will be influenced by the literary revolution in which they were immersed. This collection of new essays explores the many different ways in which Harry Potter has shaped this generation’s views on everything from politics to identity to pedagogical spaces online. It seeks to determine how the books have affected fans’ understanding of their place in the world and their capacity to create it anew.

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Newly Published: Tommy Thompson

New on our bookshelf:

Tommy Thompson: New-Timey String Band Musician
Lewis M. Stern

Tommy Thompson arrived in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, in 1963, smitten by folk and traditional Appalachian music. In 1972, he teamed with Bill Hicks and Jim Watson to form the nontraditional string band the Red Clay Ramblers. Mike Craver joined in 1973, and Jack Herrick in 1976.  Over time, musicians including Clay Buckner, Bland Simpson and Chris Frank joined Tommy, who played with the band until 1994.

Drawing on interviews and correspondence, and the personal papers of Thompson, the author depicts a life that revolved around music and creativity. Appendices cover Thompson’s banjos, his discography and notes on his collaborative lyric writing.

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Newly Published: Text & Presentation, 2018

New on our bookshelf:

Text & Presentation, 2018
Edited by Jay Malarcher

The 15th in a series drawn from scholarship presented at the annual Comparative Drama Conference at Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida, this collection provides insights into texts and practices currently at the forefront of theatrical discussion. The volume includes various essays on the intersections of script and performance, and features an exclusive interview with keynote speaker, playwright Simon Stephens.

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Newly Published: Early Baseball in New Orleans

New on our bookshelf:

Early Baseball in New Orleans: A History of 19th Century Play
S. Derby Gisclair

In the 1800s, New Orleans’ local economy evolved from rural-agrarian into urban-industrial. With this transformation came newfound leisure time, which birthed the concept of organized sport. Though first considered a game for children, baseball became New Orleans’ most popular pastime, and by 1859, numerous baseball clubs had been established in the city. This book traces the development of baseball in New Orleans from its earliest recorded games in 1859 through the end of the 19th century, with a particular focus on the New Orleans Pelicans.

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Newly Published: Professionalizing Medicine

New on our bookshelf:

Professionalizing Medicine: James Reeves and the Choices That Shaped American Health Care
John M. Harris Jr.

This biography of James Edmund Reeves, whose legislative accomplishments cemented American physicians’ control of the medical marketplace, illuminates landmarks of American health care: the troubled introduction of clinical epidemiology and development of botanic medicine and homeopathy, the Civil War’s stimulation of sanitary science and hospital medicine, the rise of government involvement, the revolution in laboratory medicine, and the explosive growth of phony cures. It recounts the human side of medicine as well, including the management of untreatable diseases and the complex politics of medical practice and professional organizing. Reeves’ life provides a reminder that while politics, economics, and science drive the societal trajectory of modern health care, moral decisions often determine its path.

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Newly Published: Cowboy Courage

New on our bookshelf:

Cowboy Courage: Westerns and the Portrayal of Bravery
William Hampes

Film and television Westerns are most often associated with physical bravery. However, many—especially those produced during the “Golden Age” of Westerns from the late 1940s through the early 1960s—also demonstrate moral bravery (the willingness to do the right thing even when met with others’ disapproval) and psychological bravery (the ability to overcome one’s fear and inner conflict to bring out the best in oneself and others).

Through a close examination of Westerns displaying all three types of bravery, the author shows us how courage can lead to, and even enrich, other virtues like redemption, authenticity, love, friendship, allegiance to one’s community, justice, temperance, and growing up and growing old successfully.

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Newly Published: Forum-Based Role Playing Games as Digital Storytelling

New on our bookshelf:

Forum-Based Role Playing Games as Digital Storytelling
Csenge Virág Zalka

When people hear the term “role-playing games,” they tend to think of two things: a group of friends sitting around a table playing Dungeons & Dragons or video games with exciting graphics. Between those two, however, exists a third style of gaming. Hundreds of online forums offer gathering places for thousands of players—people who come together to role-play through writing. They create stories by taking turns, describing events through their characters’ eyes. Whether it is the arena of the Hunger Games, the epic battles of the Marvel Universe or love stories in a fantasy version of New York, people build their own spaces of words, and inhabit them day after day.

But what makes thousands of players, many teenagers among them, voluntarily type up novel-length stories? How do they use the resources of the Internet, gather images, sounds, and video clips to weave them into one coherent narrative? How do they create together through improvisation and negotiation, in ways that connect them to older forms of storytelling? Through observing more than a hundred websites and participating in five of them for a year, the author has created a pilot study that delves into a subculture of unbounded creativity.

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Newly Published: Takashi Shimura

New on our bookshelf:

Takashi Shimura: Chameleon of Japanese Cinema
Scott Allen Nollen

Considered one of the finest performers in world cinema, Japanese actor Takashi Shimura (1905–1982) appeared in more than 300 stage, film and television roles during his five-decade career. He is best known for his frequent collaborations with Akira Kurosawa, including major roles in the landmark classics Rashômon (1950), Ikiru (1952) and Seven Samurai (1954), and for his memorable characterizations in Ishirô Honda’s Godzilla (1954) and several Kaijû sequels. This is the first complete English-language account of Shimura’s work. In addition to historical and critical coverage of Shimura’s life and career, it includes an extensive filmography.

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Newly Published: Trigger

New on our bookshelf:

Trigger: The Lives and Legend of Roy Rogers’ Palomino, 2d ed.
Leo Pando

Roy Rogers’ golden palomino, Trigger, was the perhaps the most famous horse in film—more popular than the man himself among certain fans. In its expanded second edition, this detailed look at the animals and men who created the legend of “the smartest horse in the movies” examines the life story of the original Trigger—and his doubles, particularly Little Trigger, the extraordinary trick horse.

Movies in which Trigger appeared without Rogers are discussed. More than 200 photographs (90 new to this edition) and 30,000 words of additional material are included, covering unresolved aspects of Trigger’s story, controversies surrounding the sale of the Roy Roger’s Museum collection and the fate of his legacy.

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Newly Published: The Cooperstown Symposium on Baseball and American Culture, 2017–2018

New on our bookshelf:

The Cooperstown Symposium on Baseball and American Culture, 2017–2018
Edited by William M. Simons

Widely acknowledged as the preeminent gathering of baseball scholars, the annual Cooperstown Symposium on Baseball and American Culture has made significant contributions to baseball research. This collection of 15 new essays selected from the 2017 and the 2018 symposia examines topics whose importance extend beyond the ballpark. Presented in six parts, the essays explore baseball’s cultural and social history and analyze the tools that encourage a more sophisticated understanding of baseball as a game and enterprise.

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Newly Published: Charles Clifton of Pierce-Arrow

New on our bookshelf:

Charles Clifton of Pierce-Arrow: A Sure Hand and a Fine Automobile
Roger J. Sherman

As head of Pierce-Arrow in its formative years, Colonel Charles Clifton played a significant role in the development of a venerated automobile manufacturer. Roundly respected in his time, Clifton was a force in automobile trade associations for nearly a quarter century but slipped into undeserved obscurity after his death in 1928.

This biography covers Charles Clifton’s role in the earliest conflicts and achievements of the American automobile industry and the growth of the Pierce-Arrow company, using industry publications and periodicals of the time as well as recollections of his associates and contemporaries. It details his wider importance in shaping the industry itself, especially his role in the controversies surrounding the Selden patent and the patent cross-licensing agreement between auto manufacturers. The impact of World War I on the industry and Clifton’s activities responding to the vast operational changes the war brought about conclude the book.

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Newly Published: Pardonable Matricide

New on our bookshelf:

Pardonable Matricide: Robert Irving Latimer, from Michigan’s “Most Dangerous Inmate” to Free Man
Tobin T. Buhk

In January 1889, as London constables hunted for Jack the Ripper and theaters around the world presented theatrical renditions of the Jekyll and Hyde story, Jackson, Michigan, Police Captain Jack Boyle searched for the murderer of Mary Latimer. This book follows Captain Boyle to the bordellos of gaslight-era Detroit—populated by madams, pimps, prostitutes and gamblers. It describes the investigation that led him to a pharmacist that prowled the streets, akin to a real-life Jekyll and Hyde. Ultimately, the book delves into the mind of Robert Irving Latimer, known as the most dangerous prisoner in Michigan and the man who inspired talk about resurrecting the state’s long-dead death penalty.

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Newly Published: Healing Waters

New on our bookshelf:

Healing Waters: A History of Victorian Spas
Jeremy Agnew

Modern spas are wellness resorts that offer beauty treatments, massages and complementary therapies. Victorian spas were sanitariums, providing “water cure” treatments supplemented by massage, vibration, electricity and radioactivity.

Rooted in the palliative health reforms of the early 19th century, spas of the Victorian Age grew out of the hydrotherapy institutions of the 1840s—an alternative to the horrors of bleeding and purging. The regimen focused on diet, rest, cessation of alcohol and foods that upset the stomach, stress reduction and plenty of water. The treatments, though sometimes of a dubious nature, formed the transition from the primitive methods of “heroic medicine” to the era of scientifically based practices.

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Newly Published: Auto Racing in the Shadow of the Great War

New on our bookshelf:

Auto Racing in the Shadow of the Great War: Streamlined Specials and a New Generation of Drivers on American Speedways, 1915–1922
Robert Dick

From 1915 through the early 1920s, American auto racing experienced rapid and exciting change. Competition by European vehicles forced American car manufacturers to incorporate new features, resulting in legendary engineering triumphs (and, essentially, works of art). Some of the greatest drivers in racing history were active during this time—Ralph DePalma, Dario Resta, Eddie Rickenbacker, the Chevrolet brothers, Jimmy Murphy.

Presenting dozens of races in detail and a wealth of engineering specs, this history recalls the era’s cigar-shaped speedway specials and monumental board tracks, the heavy-footed drivers, fearless mechanics, gifted engineers and enthusiastic backers.

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Newly Published: The Many Lives of The Evil Dead

New on our bookshelf:

The Many Lives of The Evil Dead: Essays on the Cult Film Franchise
Edited by Ron Riekki and Jeffrey A. Sartain

One of the top-grossing independent films of all time, The Evil Dead (1981) sparked a worldwide cult following, resulting in sequels, remakes, musicals, comic books, conventions, video games and a television series.

Examining the legacy of one of the all-time great horror films, this collection of new essays covers the franchise from a range of perspectives. Topics include The Evil Dead as punk rock cinema, the Deadites’ (demon-possessed undead) place in the American zombie tradition, the powers and limitations of Deadites, evil as affect, and the films’ satire of neoliberal individualism.

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Newly Published: “Twice the Thrills! Twice the Chills!”

New on our bookshelf:

“Twice the Thrills! Twice the Chills!”: Horror and Science Fiction Double Features, 1955–1974
Bryan Senn

In the mid-1950s, to combat declining theater attendance, film distributors began releasing pre-packaged genre double-bills—including many horror and science fiction double features. Though many of these films were low-budget and low-end, others, such as Invasion of the Body SnatchersHorror of Dracula and The Fly, became bona fide classics. Beginning with Universal-International’s 1955 pairing of Revenge of the Creature and Cult of the Cobra, 147 officially sanctioned horror and sci-fi double-bills were released over a 20-year period. This book presents these double features year-by-year, and includes production details, historical notes, and critical commentary for each film.

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Newly Published: General Custer, Libbie Custer and Their Dogs

New on our bookshelf:

General Custer, Libbie Custer and Their Dogs: A Passion for Hounds, from the Civil War to Little Bighorn
Brian Patrick Duggan

General George Armstrong Custer and his wife, Libbie Custer, were wholehearted dog lovers. At the time of his death at Little Bighorn, they owned a rollicking pack of 40 hunting dogs, including Scottish Deerhounds, Russian Wolfhounds, Greyhounds and Foxhounds. Told from a dog owner’s perspective, this biography covers their first dogs during the Civil War and in Texas; hunting on the Kansas and Dakota frontiers; entertaining tourist buffalo hunters, including a Russian Archduke, English aristocrats and P. T. Barnum (all of whom presented the general with hounds); Custer’s attack on the Washita village (when he was accused of strangling his own dogs); and the 7th Cavalry’s march to Little Bighorn with an analysis of rumors about a Last Stand dog. The Custers’ pack was re-homed after his death in the first national dog rescue effort. Well illustrated, the book includes an appendix giving depictions of the Custers’ dogs in art, literature and film.

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Booklist Starred Review: Hammer Complete

Hammer Complete: The Films, the Personnel, the Company
Howard Maxford

“This superb encyclopedia is likely the definitive work on Britain’s most celebrated genre-film producer…skilfully compact prose shares space with tons of illustrations, including rare foreign-market posters…a voluminous index ensures that you won’t get lost navigating this giant tome…this is such an appealing book that it’s practically guaranteed to find its way into readers’ hands. A major achievement that can only strengthen its subject’s reputation.”—Booklist (starred review)

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Newly Published: Before They Were the Cubs

New on our bookshelf:

Before They Were the Cubs: The Early Years of Chicago’s First Professional Baseball Team
Jack Bales

Founded in 1869, the Chicago Cubs are a charter member of the National League and the last remaining of the eight original league clubs still playing in the city in which the franchise started. Drawing on newspaper articles, books and archival records, the author chronicles the team’s early years. He describes the club’s planning stages of 1868; covers the decades when the ballplayers were variously called White Stockings, Colts, and Orphans; and relates how a sportswriter first referred to the young players as Cubs in the March 27, 1902, issue of the Chicago Daily News.

Reprinted selections from firsthand accounts provide a colorful narrative of baseball in 19th-century America, as well as a documentary history of the Chicago team and its members before they were the Cubs.

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Newly Published: Good Queen Anne

New on our bookshelf:

Good Queen Anne: Appraising the Life and Reign of the Last Stuart Monarch
Judith Lissauer Cromwell

Queen Anne (1665–1714) was not charismatic, brilliant or beautiful, but under her rule, England rose from the chaos of regicide, civil war and revolution to the cusp of global supremacy. She fought a successful overseas war against Europe’s superpower and her moderation kept the crown independent of party warfare at home. This biography reveals Anne Stuart as resolute, kind and practical—a woman who surmounted personal tragedy and poor health to become a popular and effective ruler.

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Newly Published: Latin American Collection Concepts

New on our bookshelf:

Latin American Collection Concepts: Essays on Libraries, Collaborations and New Approaches
Edited by Gayle Ann Williams and Jana Lee Krentz

Though still hampered by some challenging obstacles, Latin American collection development is not the static, tradition-bound field many believe it to be. Latin American studies librarians have confronted these difficulties head-on and developed strategies to adapt to the field’s continuous digital advancements.

Presenting perspectives from several independent Latin American libraries, this collection of new essays covers the history of collecting, current strategies in collection development, collaborative collection development, buying trips, and future trends and new technologies.

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Newly Published: The Nosferatu Story

New on our bookshelf:

The Nosferatu Story: The Seminal Horror Film, Its Predecessors and Its Enduring Legacy
Rolf Giesen

Director F.W. Murnau’s Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror, made in 1921, right after the devastating Spanish Flu pandemic, has become the ultimate cult classic among horror film buffs around the world. For years there was much speculation about the production background, the filmmakers, and their star, the German actor Max Schreck. This book tells the complete story drawing on rare sources. This book tells the complete story, drawing on rare sources. The trail leads to a group of occultists with a plan to establish a leading film company that would produce a momentous series of horror movies. Along the way, the author touches upon other classic German fantasy silents, such as The GolemThe Cabinet of Dr. Caligari and Metropolis.

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Newly Published: Nuts About Squirrels

New on our bookshelf:

Nuts About Squirrels: The Rodents That Conquered Popular Culture
Don H. Corrigan

Squirrels have made numerous appearances in mass media over the years, from Beatrix Potter’s Nutkin and Timmy Tiptoes, to Rocky the flying squirrel of The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle, and to Conker and Squirrel Girl of video game fame. This book examines how squirrel legends from centuries ago have found new life through contemporary popular culture, with a focus on the various portrayals of these wily creatures in books, newspapers, television, movies, public relations, advertising and video games.

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Newly Published: The Kelvin Timeline of Star Trek

New on our bookshelf:

The Kelvin Timeline of Star Trek: Essays on J.J. Abrams’ Final Frontier
Edited by Matthew Wilhelm Kapell and Ace G. Pilkington

In an era of reboots, restarts and retreads, J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek trilogy—featuring new, prequel adventures of Kirk, Spock and the rest of the original series characters, aboard the USS Enterprise—has brought the franchise to a new generation and perfected a process that is increasingly central to entertainment media: reinvigorating the beloved classic.

This collection of new essays offers the first in-depth analysis of the new trilogy and the vision of the next generation of Star Trek film-makers. Issues of gender, race, politics, economics, technology and morality—always key themes of the franchise—are explored in the 21st century context of “The Kelvin Timeline.”

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Newly Published: Church and State in the Roberts Court

New on our bookshelf:

Church and State in the Roberts Court: Christian Conservatism and Social Change in Ten Cases, 2005–2018
Jerold Waltman

Religious liberty is often called “the first freedom.” For many years, few decisions made by the Supreme Court have been more significant for ordinary Americans than those concerning issues of church and state. By what criteria do the justices make these holdings?

This analysis reaches beyond legal doctrines and focuses on four important aspects of change in the American religious landscape: increasing religious diversity; the rise of secularism; the fast growing political influence of gay and lesbian groups; and the pushback from conservative Christians caused by these trends. The author examines how these changes nation-wide have influenced the Supreme Court under Chief Justice John Roberts in dealing with church-state cases.

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Newly Published: Harry Potter and the Cedarville Censors

New on our bookshelf:

Harry Potter and the Cedarville Censors: Inside the Precedent-Setting Defeat of an Arkansas Book Ban
Brian Meadors

In 2002, the Cedarville School Board in Crawford County, Arkansas, ordered the removal of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books from library shelves, holding that “witchcraft or sorcery [should not] be available for study.” The Board picked some formidable adversaries. School librarian Estella Roberts, standing on policy, had the books reviewed—and unanimously approved—by a committee of teachers and administrators that included a child and a parent. Not satisfied with the Board’s half-measure permitting access to the books with parental approval, 4th-grader Dakota Counts and her father Bill Counts sued the school district in Federal court, drawing on the precedent Pico v. Island Trees to reaffirm that Constitutional rights apply to school libraries. Written by the lawyer who prosecuted the case, this book details the origins of the book ban and the civil procedures and legal arguments that restored the First Amendment in Cedarville.

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Newly Published: Cantor William Sharlin

New on our bookshelf:

Cantor William Sharlin: Musical Revolutionary of Reform Judaism
Jonathan L. Friedmann

William Sharlin (1920–2012) was a cantor, synagogue composer, teacher and musicologist. Raised in an Orthodox household, he turned toward Universalism and the liberal Reform movement. A member of the first graduating class of the first cantorial school in America, he was a founding member of the American Conference of Cantors and is recognized as the first to play a guitar in the synagogue. Sharlin developed the Department of Sacred Music at HUC in Los Angeles, where he taught for 40 years, trained women to be cantors before they were allowed in the seminary, and spent nearly four decades at Leo Baeck Temple.

Drawing on interviews conducted with Sharlin late in life, the author chronicles the career of one of the most inventive and creative figures in the history of the cantorate.

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Newly Published: Lee Smith

New on our bookshelf:

Lee Smith: A Literary Companion
Mary Ellen Snodgrass

This literary companion surveys the works of Lee Smith, a Southern author lauded for her autobiographical familiarity with Appalachian settings and characters. Her dialogue captures the distinct voices of mountain people and their perceptions of local and world events, ranging from the Civil War to ecology and modernization. Mental and physical disability and the Southern cultural norm of including the disabled as both family and community members are recurring themes in Smith’s writing. An A to Z arrangement of entries incorporates specific titles, and themes such as belonging, healing and death, humor, parenting and religion.

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Newly Published: Longstreet at Gettysburg

New on our bookshelf:

Longstreet at Gettysburg: A Critical Reassessment
Cory M. Pfarr

This is the first book-length, critical analysis of Lieutenant General James Longstreet’s actions at the Battle of Gettysburg. The author argues that Longstreet’s record has been discredited unfairly, beginning with character assassination by his contemporaries after the war and, persistently, by historians in the decades since. By closely studying the three-day battle, and conducting an incisive historiographical inquiry into Longstreet’s treatment by scholars, this book presents an alternative view of Longstreet as an effective military leader, and refutes over a century of negative evaluations of his performance.

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Newly Published: The Culture and Art of Death in 19th Century America

New on our bookshelf:

The Culture and Art of Death in 19th Century America
D. Tulla Lightfoot

Nineteenth-century Victorian-era mourning rituals—long and elaborate public funerals, the wearing of lavishly somber mourning clothes, and families posing for portraits with deceased loved ones—are often depicted as bizarre or scary. But behind many such customs were rational or spiritual meanings.
This book offers an in-depth explanation at how death affected American society and the creative ways in which people responded to it. The author discusses such topics as mediums as performance artists and postmortem painters and photographers, and draws a connection between death and the emergence of three-dimensional media.

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Newly Published: Frederic Dannay, Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine and the Art of the Detective Short Story

New on our bookshelf:

Frederic Dannay, Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine and the Art of the Detective Short Story
Laird R. Blackwell

Frederic Dannay (1905–1982) was—with his partner Manfred Lee—the creator of the Ellery Queen detective novels and short stories. Dannay was also a literary historian and critic, and the editor of the renowned Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine.

Queen—both a pen name and the fictional protagonist of the stories—was also a vital force behind the continuing popularity of crime fiction in the early to mid–20th century, after the deaths of Arthur Conan Doyle, G.K. Chesterton, Melville Davisson Post, and other Old Masters of the genre.

This book presents the first critical study of Ellery Queen’s role in the preservation of the detective short story. Many of the writers, characters and stories EQMM championed are covered, including such celebrated authors as Allingham, Ambler, Ellin, Innes, Vickers, and even William Butler Yeats.

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Newly Published: Birthplace of the Atomic Bomb

New on our bookshelf:

Birthplace of the Atomic Bomb: A Complete History of the Trinity Test Site
William S. Loring

It was not Robert Oppenheimer who built the bomb—it was engineers, chemists and young physicists in their twenties, many not yet having earned a degree. The first atomic bomb was originally conceived as a backup device, a weapon not then currently achievable. The remote Trinity Site—the birthplace of the bomb—was used as a test range for U.S. bombers before the first nuclear device was secretly detonated. After the blast, locals speculated that the flash and rumble were caused by colliding B-29s, while Manhattan Project officials nervously measured high levels of offsite radiation.

Drawing on original documents, many recently declassified, the author sheds new light on a pivotal moment in history—now approaching its 75th anniversary—told from the point of view of the men who inaugurated the Atomic Age in the New Mexico desert.

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Newly Published: The Writer’s Guide to Self-Editing

New on our bookshelf:

The Writer’s Guide to Self-Editing: Essential Tips for Online and Print Publication
Naveed Saleh

Over the years, technological advances have given publishers the ability to produce more books and online publications with greater speed. This new efficiency, however, has increased editors’ workloads, limiting the amount of detailed editorial feedback that they can provide authors. In turn, writers must become self-editors, ensuring that their text is nearly perfect on submission.

This book serves as a guide to self-editing nonfiction print and online publications, including articles for general and academic audiences. It is both prescriptive and descriptive, drawing from stylebooks, dictionaries, research, and more to provide a full picture of both style and grammar. Also provided are techniques that boost search-engine optimization and engagement of Internet audiences.

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Newly Published: Terrorism Worldwide, 2018

New on our bookshelf:

Terrorism Worldwide, 2018
Edward Mickolus

This comprehensive worldwide study catalogs terrorist attacks in 2018, during which the Islamic State continued its decline from a quasi-government commanding territory the size of the United Kingdom to a more traditional terrorist network controlling just 1000 square miles. Yet IS still boasts 30,000 adherents in Syria and Iraq, with many others awaiting plans for attacks in their home nations. Organized by region and country, this volume covers domestic and international incidents around the world, outlining significant trends. The author offers several indicators of what to watch in the coming years. The single-year format allows readers access to the most up-to-date information on terrorism, while geographic focus more easily facilitates regional comparison.

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Newly Published: Italian Gothic Horror Films, 1980–1989

New on our bookshelf:

Italian Gothic Horror Films, 1980–1989
Roberto Curti

The Italian Gothic horror genre underwent many changes in the 1980s, with masters such as Mario Bava and Riccardo Freda dying or retiring and young filmmakers such as Lamberto Bava (MacabroDemons) and Michele Soavi (The Church) surfacing.

Horror films proved commercially successful in the first half of the decade thanks to Dario Argento (both as director and producer) and Lucio Fulci, but the rise of made-for-TV products has resulted in the gradual disappearance of genre products from the big screen.

This book examines all the Italian Gothic films of the 1980s. It includes previously unpublished trivia and production data taken from official archive papers, original scripts and interviews with filmmakers, actors and scriptwriters. The entries include a complete cast and crew list, plot summary, production history and analysis. Two appendices list direct-to-video releases and made-for-TV films.

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Newly Published: Perspectives on Digital Comics

New on our bookshelf:

Perspectives on Digital Comics: Theoretical, Critical and Pedagogical Essays
Edited by Jeffrey SJ Kirchoff and Mike P. Cook

This collection of new essays explores various ways of reading, interpreting and using digital comics. Contributors discuss comics made specifically for web consumption, and also digital reproductions of print-comics. Written for those who may not be familiar with digital comics or digital comic scholarship, the essays cover perspectives on reading, criticism and analysis of specific titles, the global reach of digital comics, and how they can be used in educational settings.

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Two New Books Reviewed in March Issue of Choice

Electric Airplanes and Drones: A History
“Certainly one of the most comprehensive histories of electric aviation and drones to date…engaging…extensive…thorough…a highly readable scholarly history relevant to aviation enthusiasts, students, or researchers…highly recommended.”

Field Recordings of Black Singers and Musicians: An Annotated Discography of Artists from West Africa, the Caribbean and the Eastern and Southern United States, 1901–1943
“This is an important reference source…highly recommended.”

 

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Newly Published: “I’m Just a Comic Book Boy”

New on our bookshelf:

“I’m Just a Comic Book Boy”: Essays on the Intersection of Comics and Punk
Edited by Christopher B. Field, Keegan Lannon, Michael David MacBride and Christopher C. Douglas

Comics and the punk movement are inextricably linked—each has a foundational do-it-yourself ethos and a nonconformist spirit defiant of authority. This collection of new essays provides for the first time a thorough analysis of the intersections between comics and punk. The contributors expand the discussion beyond the familiar U.S. and UK scenes to include the influence punk has had on comics produced in other countries, such as Spain and Turkey.

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New in Softcover: A Sci-Fi Swarm and Horror Horde

Now available in softcover:

A Sci-Fi Swarm and Horror Horde: Interviews with 62 Filmmakers
Tom Weaver

In this jam-packed jamboree of conversations, more than 60 movie veterans describe their experiences on the sets of some of the world’s most beloved sci-fi and horror movies and television series. Including groundbreaking oldies (Flash Gordon, One Million B.C.); 1950s and 1960s milestones (The War of the Worlds, Psycho, House of Usher); classic schlock (Queen of Outer Space, Attack of the Crab Monsters); and cult TV favorites (Lost in Space, Land of the Giants), the discussions offer a frank and fascinating behind-the-scenes look.

Among the interviewees: Roger Corman, Pamela Duncan, Richard and Alex Gordon, Tony “Dr. Lao” Randall, Troy Donahue, Sid Melton, Fess Parker, Nan Peterson, Alan Young, John “Bud” Cardos, and dozens more.

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Newly Published: The Mayor of Shantytown

New on our bookshelf:

The Mayor of Shantytown: The Life of Father James Renshaw Cox
Richard Gazarik

Father James R. Cox became the voice of Pittsburgh’s poor and jobless during the worst years of the Great Depression. Long lines of needy people were showing up daily at St. Patrick’s Church in the city’s historic Strip District but Cox turned no one away. He served more than two million meals to the hungry and was the “mayor” of a shantytown of homeless men.

In 1932, Cox led one of the first mass marches on Washington, D.C., confronting President Herbert Hoover in a face-to-face White House meeting. He later ran for president himself on the Jobless Party ticket—a quixotic campaign that ended in the deserts of New Mexico. Father Cox’s reputation as a humanitarian was ruined after he barely escaped a mail fraud conviction for running a rigged fundraising contest.

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Newly Published: American International Pictures

New on our bookshelf:

American International Pictures: A Comprehensive Filmography
Rob Craig

American International Pictures was in many ways the “missing link” between big-budget Hollywood studios, “poverty-row” B-movie factories and low-rent exploitation movie distributors. AIP first targeted teen audiences with science fiction, horror and fantasy, but soon grew to encompass many genres and demographics—at times, it was indistinguishable from many of the “major” studios.
From Abby to Zontar, this filmography lists more than 800 feature films, television series and TV specials by AIP and its partners and subsidiaries. Special attention is given to American International Television (the TV arm of AIP) and an appendix lists the complete AITV catalog. The author also discusses films produced by founders James H. Nicholson and Samuel Z. Arkoff after they left the company.

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Newly Published: Syrian Women Refugees

New on our bookshelf:

Syrian Women Refugees: Personal Accounts of Transition
Ozlem Ezer

Based on original interviews conducted across three continents, this book relates the experiences of nine Syrian women refugees and their perspectives on a range of subjects. Each narrative reveals a displaced woman’s concept of the self in relation to memory, history, trauma and reconciliation within familial, international and cultural contexts. Their life stories contribute to building bonds and promoting trust between locals and “strangers” who are often defined only by their status as refugees. The book raises critical questions about stereotypes and racism while reminding readers of the shared joys and concerns of womanhood across cultures.

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Newly Published: The Polo Grounds

New on our bookshelf:

The Polo Grounds: Essays and Memories of New York City’s Historic Ballpark, 1880–1963
Edited by Stew Thornley

In an era of unique baseball stadiums, the Polo Grounds in New York stood out from the rest. With its horseshoe shape, the Polo Grounds had extremely short distances down the foul lines and equally long distances up the alley and to center field. Some of baseball’s most historic moments—Bobby Thomson’s Shot Heard Round the World, Willie Mays’ Catch, Fred Merkle’s infamous blunder—happened at the Polo Grounds.

This book offers descriptive text and photographs that give a sense of the glory of this classic ballpark. Additionally, it contains historical articles and memories submitted by more than 70 former players who played at the Polo Grounds.

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New in Softcover: Show Business Homicides

Now available in softcover:

Show Business Homicides: An Encyclopedia, 1908–2009
David K. Frasier

A companion volume to the author’s Suicide in the Entertainment Industry: An Encyclopedia of 840 Twentieth Century Cases (2002), this reference work chronicles 298 cases of what can be broadly defined as “celebrity” homicides from the early twentieth century onward. Cases are drawn from the realms of film, theatre, music, dance and other entertainment fields. In each instance, the person was either the actual or suspected perpetrator or the victim of a murder.

Included are entries on such well-known personalities as film comedian Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle, actress Sharon Tate, music producer Phil Spector, rap artist Notorious B.I.G., and superstar Michael Jackson. Each entry covers the crime, its legal disposition, and the subject’s personal and professional background, comprehensively documented with notes and a separate bibliography.

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New in Softcover: Laird Cregar

Now available in softcover:

Laird Cregar: A Hollywood Tragedy
Gregory William Mank

In 1944, Laird Cregar played Jack the Ripper in The Lodger, giving one of the most haunting performances in Hollywood history. It was the climax of a strange celebrity that saw the young American actor—who stood 6’ 3” and weighed more than 300 pounds—earn distinction as a portrayer of psychopaths and villains. Determined to break free of this typecasting, he desperately desired to become “a beautiful man,” embarking on an extreme diet that killed him at 31. This first biography of Cregar tells the heartbreaking story of the brilliant but doomed actor. Appendices cover his film, theatre, and radio work. Many never before published photographs are included.  The limited hardcover edition is available here.

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Newly Published: The Confederate Yellow Fever Conspiracy

New on our bookshelf:

The Confederate Yellow Fever Conspiracy: The Germ Warfare Plot of Luke Pryor Blackburn, 1864–1865
H. Leon Greene

Defeat was looming for the South—as the Civil War continued, paths to possible victory were fast disappearing. Dr. Luke Pryor Blackburn, a Confederate physician and expert in infectious diseases, had an idea that might turn the tide: he would risk his own life and career to bring a yellow fever epidemic to the North. To carry out his mission, he would need some accomplices. Tracing the plans and movements of the conspirators, this thoroughly researched history describes in detail the yellow fever plot of 1864–1865.

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Newly Published: Confederate Ironclads at War

New on our bookshelf:

Confederate Ironclads at War
R. Thomas Campbell

Hampered by lack of materials, shipyards and experienced shipbuilders, even so the South managed to construct 34 iron-armored warships during the Civil War, of which the Confederate Navy put 25 into service. The stories of these vessels illustrate the hardships under which the Navy operated—and also its resourcefulness. Except for the Albemarle, no Confederate ironclad was sunk or destroyed by enemy action. Overtaken by events on the ground, most were destroyed by their own crews to prevent them from falling into Union hands.

This account covers the design and construction and the engagements of the Confederate ironclads and describes the ingenuity and courage, as well as the challenges and frustrations of their “too little, too late” service.

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New in Softcover: The Greatest Minor League

Now available in softcover:

The Greatest Minor League: A History of the Pacific Coast League, 1903–1957
Dennis Snelling

In 1903, a small league in California defied Organized Baseball by adding teams in Portland and Seattle to become the strongest minor league of the twentieth century. Calling itself the Pacific Coast League, this outlaw association frequently outdrew its major league counterparts and continued to challenge the authority of Organized Baseball until the majors expanded into California in 1958.

The Pacific Coast League introduced the world to Joe, Vince and Dom DiMaggio, Paul and Lloyd Waner, Ted Williams, Tony Lazzeri, Lefty O’Doul, Mickey Cochrane, Bobby Doerr, and many other baseball stars, all of whom originally signed with PCL teams. This thorough history of the Pacific Coast League chronicles its foremost personalities, governance, and contentious relationship with the majors, proving that the history of the game involves far more than the happenings in the American and National leagues.

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New in Softcover: Country Boy

Now available in softcover:

Country Boy: A Biography of Albert Lee
Derek Watts

Best known for his unique musical style and blindingly fast hybrid picking technique, English guitarist Albert Lee is often referred to within the music industry as the “guitar player’s guitar player,” renowned for his work across several genres of music and for the respect that he has garnered from other industry giants.

This comprehensive biography tells the entire story of Lee’s long career and personal experiences, beginning with his upbringing in south London and his early experimentations with skiffle music (the British equivalent of American rockabilly). It covers Lee’s career in Chris Farlowe’s Thunderbirds and the British rock and country group Heads, Hands, and Feet, his move to the United States in the 1970s and his subsequent work with Eric Clapton, the Crickets, Emmylou Harris and the Hot Band, the Everly Brothers, and, more recently, with Bill Wyman and with Hogan’s Heroes. Lee’s career is set against the background of changes in popular music and shows how he, as a British artist with nomadic Romany roots, has influenced traditionally “American” musical genres. The work includes 66 photographs, many from Lee’s personal collection, two appendices, and an extensive bibliography.

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Newly Published: Superman and the Bible

New on our bookshelf:

Superman and the Bible: How the Idea of Superheroes Affects the Reading of Scripture
Nicholaus Pumphrey

In 1938, Superman debuted, jumping off the pages of Action Comics #1. In the cultural context of the Great Depression and World War II, the U.S. would see the rise of the superhero not only in comic books but in radio programs, animated cartoons and television shows. Superman forever changed one’s concept of the hero and became permanently engrained in both American and worldwide culture.

This study explores the Man of Steel’s narrative as a fresh perspective on readings of the Bible—his character is reflected in such figures as Moses, Samson and Jesus. The author argues that if we read the Bible it can be said we are reading about Superman.

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New in Softcover: Abbott and Costello on the Home Front

Now available in softcover:

Abbott and Costello on the Home Front: A Critical Study of the Wartime Films
Scott Allen Nollen

As two of the most popular entertainers of the mid-century film industry, comic greats Bud Abbott and Lou Costello offered an essential balm to the American public following the sorrows of the Great Depression and during the trauma of World War II. This is the first book to focus in detail on the immensely popular wartime films of Abbott and Costello, discussing the production, content, and reception of 18 films within the context of wartime events on the home front and abroad. The films covered include the service comedies Buck Privates, In the Navy, and Keep ’Em Flying; more mainstream comic relief films such as Pardon My Sarong and Who Done It?; and post-war experiments such as Little Giant and The Time of Their Lives. More than 120 stills and lobby cards from the author’s personal collection illustrate the text, including many showing outtakes or deleted scenes.

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Newly Published: The Horror Comic Never Dies

New on our bookshelf:

The Horror Comic Never Dies: A Grisly History
Michael Walton

Horror comics were among the first comic books published—ghastly tales that soon developed an avid young readership, along with a bad reputation. Parent groups, psychologists, even the United States government joined in a crusade to wipe out the horror comics industry—and they almost succeeded. Yet the genre survived and flourished, from the 1950s to today.

This history covers the tribulations endured by horror comics creators and the broader impact on the comics industry. The genre’s ultimate success helped launch the careers of many of the biggest names in comics. Their stories and the stories of other key players are included, along with a few surprises.