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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.

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Newly Published: The Art of American Screen Acting, 1960 to Today

New on our bookshelf:

The Art of American Screen Acting, 1960 to Today
Dan Callahan

Modern screen acting in English is dominated by two key figures: Method acting guru Lee Strasberg—who taught the “the art of experiencing” over “the art of representing”—and English theater titan Laurence Olivier, who once said of the Method’s immersive approach, “try acting, it’s so much easier.”

This book explores in detail the work of such method actors as Al Pacino, Ellen Burstyn, Jack Nicholson and Jane Fonda, and charts the shift away from the more internally focused Strasberg-based acting of the 1970s, and towards the more “external” way of working, exemplified by the career of Meryl Streep in the 1980s.

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Newly Published: Tal, Petrosian, Spassky and Korchnoi

New on our bookshelf:

Tal, Petrosian, Spassky and Korchnoi: A Chess Multibiography with 207 Games
Andrew Soltis

This book describes the intense rivalry—and collaboration—of the four players who created the golden era when USSR chess players dominated the world. More than 200 annotated games are included, along with personal details—many for the first time in English.

Mikhail Tal, the roguish, doomed Latvian who changed the way chess players think about attack and sacrifice; Tigran Petrosian, the brilliant, henpecked Armenian whose wife drove him to become the world’s best player; Boris Spassky, the prodigy who survived near-starvation and later bouts of melancholia to succeed Petrosian—but is best remembered for losing to Bobby Fischer; and “Evil” Viktor Korchnoi, whose mixture of genius and jealousy helped him eventually surpass his three rivals (but fate denied him the title they achieved: world champion).

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Newly Published: The Scope of Information Ethics

New on our bookshelf:

The Scope of Information Ethics: Challenges in Education, Technology, Communications, Medicine and Other Domains
Robert Hauptman

The field of information ethics (IE)—a subdivision of ethics—was developed during the 1980s, originating and maturing in library science and slowly working its way into other disciplines and practical applications. Some years later, a secondary field emerged, emphasizing theoretical and philosophical concepts, with little focus on real-world applicability.

The first of its kind, this comprehensive overview of IE evaluates the production, dissemination, storage, accessing and retrieval of information in an ethical context in areas including the humanities, sciences, medicine and business. A leading figure in the field, the author is concerned with misconduct (falsification, fabrication, plagiary), peer review, the law, privacy, imaging and robotics, among other matters.

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Newly Published: Snakes in American Culture

New on our bookshelf:

Snakes in American Culture: A Hisstory
Jesse C. Donahue and Conor Shaw-Draves

The literature on snakes is manifold but overwhelmingly centered on the natural sciences. Little has been published about them in the fields of popular culture or the history of medicine.

Focusing primarily on American culture and history from the 1800s, this study draws on a wide range of sources—including newspaper archives, medical journals, and archives from the Smithsonian Institute—to examine the complex relationship between snakes and humans.

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Newly Published: The Detective and the Artist

New on our bookshelf:

The Detective and the Artist: Painters, Poets and Writers in Crime Fiction, 1840s–1970s
J.K. Van Dover

This book focuses on the distinctive role that artists have played in detective fiction—as detectives, as villains and victims, and as bystanders. With a few significant exceptions, literary detectives have always identified themselves as essentially the deconstructors of the artful crimes of others. They may use various methods—ratiocinative, scientific, or hard-boiled—but they always unravel the threads that the villains have woven into deceptive covers for their crimes.

The detective does, in the end, produce a work of art: a narrative that explains everything that needs explanation. But the detective’s moral work is often juxtaposed to the aesthetic work of the painters, poets, and writers that the detective encounters during an investigation. The author surveys this juxtaposition in works by important authors from the early development of the genre (Poe, Conan Doyle), the golden age (Bentley, Christie, Sayers, James, et al.), and the hard-boiled era (Hammett, Chandler, Macdonald, Spicer et al.).

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Newly Published: The Muse Process

New on our bookshelf:

The Muse Process: Unleashing the Power of the Feminine for Success and Fulfillment
Barbara Cox

We are all instilled with principles, passed down through generations, that guide our feelings and behaviors. Women often feel immense pressure to live up to preconceived standards when taking on the roles of wife, partner or mother. The drive to meet expectations can lead to a sense of lost individuality and feelings of isolation and invisibility. This book serves as a guide through the “muse process,” which encourages women to explore their innate feminine power to reach their full potential and create a happier, healthier life.

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Newly Published: Elder Horror

New on our bookshelf:

Elder Horror: Essays on Film’s Frightening Images of Aging
Edited by Cynthia J. Miller and A. Bowdoin Van Riper

As baby boomers gray, cinematic depictions of aging and the aged are on the rise. In the horror genre, fears of growing old take on fantastic proportions. Elderly characters are portrayed as either eccentric harbingers of doom—the crone who stops at nothing to restore her youth, the ancient ancestor who haunts the living—or as frail victims.

This collection of new essays explores how various filmic portrayals of aging, as an inescapable horror destined to overtake us all, reflect our complex attitudes toward growing old, along with its social, psychological and economic consequences.

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New in Softcover: The Texas Rangers

Now available in softcover:

The Texas Rangers: A Registry and History
Darren L. Ivey

The Texas Ranger law enforcement agency features so prominently in Texan and Wild West folklore that its accomplishments have been featured in everything from pulp novels to popular television. After a brief overview of the Texas Rangers’ formation, this book provides an exhaustive account of every known Ranger unit from 1823 to the present. Each chapter provides a brief contextual explanation of the time period covered and features entries on each unit’s commanders, periods of service, activities, and supervising authorities. Appendices include an account of the Rangers’ battle record, a history of the illustrious badge, documents relating to the Rangers, and lists of Rangers who have died in service, been inducted into the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame, or received the Texas Department of Public Safety’s Medal of Valor.

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Newly Published: The Body, the Dance and the Text

New on our bookshelf:

The Body, the Dance and the Text: Essays on Performance and the Margins of History
Edited by Brynn Wein Shiovitz

This collection of new essays explores the many ways in which writing relates to corporeality and how the two work together to create, resist or mark the body of the “Other.” Contributors draw on varied backgrounds to examine different movement practices. They focus on movement as a meaning-making process, including the choreographic act of writing. The challenges faced by marginalized bodies are discussed, along with the ability of a body to question, contest and re-write historical narratives.

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Newly Published: Neil “Soapy” Castles

New on our bookshelf:

Neil “Soapy” Castles: Memoir of a Life in NASCAR and the Movies
Henry Neil “Soapy” Castles with Perry Allen Wood

Henry Neil “Soapy” Castles grew up in Charlotte, North Carolina, and became involved in its pioneering auto racing scene at an early age. Graduating from soapbox derby cars to midgets and sprints and finally to stock cars, he sometimes crashed, sometimes won, saw friends die horribly, and became a champion.

Eventually he left the racetrack for Hollywood where he became a stuntman working alongside such stars as Rory Calhoun, Elvis Presley, Kenny Rogers, Richard Pryor and Andy Griffith. In the 1990s, groundwater contamination at Castle’s truck repair business from an Exxon oil storage facility cost him an eye and most of his lungs. His decade-long class action lawsuit won him millions in compensation. Now in his mid-eighties, Castles is still going strong, procuring vehicles for movie and television projects.

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Newly Published: Valor of Many Stripes

New on our bookshelf:

Valor of Many Stripes: Remarkable Americans in World War II
Scott Baron

The award of a military decoration does not define valor—it only recognizes it. Many acts of notable courage and self-sacrifice occur on the battlefield but are often obscured in the fog of battle or lost to history, unrecognized and unheralded.

The largely overlooked men and women in this volume did incredible things in dire circumstances. Although in some cases decorations were awarded—including several Medals of Honor—their stories remain unknown.

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Biographies and Memoirs Catalog and Sale

McFarland’s biographies and memoirs cover the fascinating life stories of both iconic personalities and quiet heroes.  On sale now, browse hundreds of titles from history, sports, movies, music, science & technology, literature, military history, transportation and more. When you order direct from our website using the coupon code BIOGRAPHY, print editions of all biographies, autobiographies and memoirs are 20% off now through February 15.

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Newly Published: America’s Anchor

New on our bookshelf:

America’s Anchor: A Naval History of the Delaware River and Bay, Cradle of the United States Navy
Kennard R. Wiggins, Jr.

This naval history of the Delaware Estuary spans three centuries, from the arrival of the Europeans to the end of the World War II. The author describes the shipbuilders and infrastructure, and the ships and men who sailed this surprisingly active waterway in peace and in war. From Philadelphia to the Delaware Capes, the story of the nascent U.S. Navy and key historical figures emerges. Dozens of historic images and four appendices are included.

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Newly Published: A Burned Land

New on our bookshelf:

A Burned Land: The Trans-Mississippi in the Civil War
Robert R. Laven

Often neglected by historians, actions in Missouri and Kansas had an important influence on the course of the Civil War, with profound effects for the communities and people in the region. Outside of Virginia and Tennessee, Missouri was perhaps the most hotly contested territory during the war. The fighting in Missouri culminated with an expedition that re-wrote the books on tactics and the use of mounted infantry.

This book focuses on the experiences of the soldiers, officers and civilians on both sides. The author brings to life the events in the region that contributed to the internecine strife in the Western Theater.

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Newly Published: Leo Houck

New on our bookshelf:

Leo Houck: A Biography of Boxing’s Uncrowned Middleweight Champion
Randy L. Swope

While many of his peers began their careers as farmers and factory workers, Leo Florian Houck became a boxing sensation at age 14, enabling him to support his mother and six siblings after his father’s death. Houck’s career really took off in 1911 with a 20–round victory over world-class welterweight Harry Lewis in Paris. During 1913 Leo became the leading middleweight contender in America.
This biography details Houck’s early years in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, his long career in the ring—including 200 fights—and his 27 years as Penn State’s legendary boxing coach.

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Newly Published: The Advance of Neuroscience

New on our bookshelf:

The Advance of Neuroscience: Twelve Topics from the Victorian Era to Today
Lori A. Schmied

Neuroscience, like psychology, has a short history but a long past. Although the mind-body relationship has been studied for a long time, it is only in the last fifty years that the term “neuroscience” has been applied to the academic disciplines focusing on brain and behavior.
This book explores topics on the brain, psychoactive drugs, and a variety of human behaviors and experiences—such as music and sleep—taking into consideration the importance of historical roots of neuroscience, which have been largely unexamined before now. It looks particularly at the importance of the Victorian era in the development of theories of the nervous system, which are still visible in today’s discourse on brain and behavior.

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Newly Published: American Small-Town Fiction, 1940–1960

Newly Published:

American Small-Town Fiction, 1940–1960: A Critical Study
Nathanael T. Booth

In literature and popular culture, small town America is often idealized as distilling the national spirit. Does the myth of the small town conceal deep-seated reactionary tendencies or does it contain the basis of a national re-imagining?

During the period between 1940 and 1960, America underwent a great shift in self-mythologizing that can be charted through representations of small towns. Authors like Henry Bellamann and Grace Metalious continued the tradition of Sherwood Anderson in showing the small town—by extension, America itself—profoundly warping the souls of its citizens. Meanwhile, Ray Bradbury, Toshio Mori and Ross Lockridge, Jr., sought to identify the small town’s potential for growth, away from the shadows cast by World War II toward a more inclusive, democratic future. Examined together, these works are key to understanding how mid–20th century America refashioned itself in light of a new postwar order, and how the literary small town both obscures and reveals contradictions at the heart of the American experience.

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Newly Published: Film Appreciation through Genres

New on our bookshelf:

Film Appreciation through Genres
Michael Patrick Gillespie

Our love of films often leads us to discuss them in enthusiastic, if not necessarily sophisticated, conversations. Many moviegoers want a better understanding so that they might better articulate their experiences. This midpoint between theorizing and plot summary is not difficult to achieve.

Since their introduction just before the turn of the 20th century, the vast majority of narrative films have followed the same structure—now known as Classic Hollywood Cinema. This book examines what “classic” means, particularly in Westerns, gangster films, film noir, horror, science fiction, slapstick comedy and screwball comedy/romance. The reader is introduced to concepts of film theory, which leads to a better and deeper appreciation of the movies. A 20-page comprehensive industry glossary of film terms is included for easy reference.

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Newly Published: Guns and College Homicide

New on our bookshelf:

Guns and College Homicide: The Case to Prohibit Firearms on Campus
Stephen K. Boss

At a time when mass shootings in schools and other public spaces have become commonplace, it might seem surprising that American college campuses are not magnets for murderers but sanctuaries from them. Because of remarkably effective gun-safe policies, deaths by firearms on college campuses are 1,000 times less frequent than in the U.S. public at large.

Drawing on crime data submitted in compliance with the Clery Act and public reports of those crimes, this study inventories every documented homicide at a U.S. college or university between 2001 and 2016, making a compelling argument for using gun-safe campuses as guides for broader public safety.

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Newly Published: The Paranormal Surrounds Us

New on our bookshelf:

The Paranormal Surrounds Us: Psychic Phenomena in Literature, Culture and Psychoanalysis
Richard Reichbart

Shakespeare, Tolstoy, Joyce, E.M. Forster and Ingmar Bergman all made the paranormal essential to their depiction of humanity. Freud recognized telepathy as an everyday phenomenon. Observations on parapsychological aspects of psychoanalysis also include the findings of the Mesmerists, Jung, Ferenczi and Eisenbud.

Many academicians attribute such psychic discoveries to “poetic license” rather than to accurate understanding of our parapsychological capacities. The author—a practicing psychoanalyst and parapsychologist, and a lawyer familiar with Navajo culture—argues for a fresh appraisal of psi phenomena and their integration into psychoanalytic theory and clinical work, literary studies and anthropology.

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Newly Published: A Bloody Day at Gaines’ Mill

New on our bookshelf:

A Bloody Day at Gaines’ Mill: The Battlefield Debut of the Army of Northern Virginia, June 27, 1862
Elmer R. Woodard, III

In the summer of 1862, two great armies met outside of Richmond in a series of battles that would determine the course of the Civil War. The Union had time, men and materiel on its side, while the Confederates had mobility, esprit de corps and aggressive leadership. Untried General Robert E. Lee was tasked with driving the Yankees from their almost impregnable positions to save Richmond and end the war.

Lee planned to isolate part of the Union Army, crush it, and then destroy the only supply base the remaining Federals had. To do so, he had to move thousands of troops hundreds of miles, bringing multiple forces together with intricate timing, all without the Yankees or their spies finding out. The largest and most important of these battles occurred at Gaines’ Mill.

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Newly Published: Roger C. Sullivan and the Triumph of the Chicago Democratic Machine, 1908–1920

New on our bookshelf:

Roger C. Sullivan and the Triumph of the Chicago Democratic Machine, 1908–1920
Richard Allen Morton

Between 1908 and 1920, Roger C. Sullivan and his political allies consolidated their control of the Chicago and Illinois Democratic parties, creating the enduring structure known as the “Chicago Democratic machine.” Not a personal faction nor tied to any cause, it was a coalition of professional political operatives employing business principles to achieve legal profit and advantage.

Sullivan was its chief organizer and first “boss,” rising to primacy after many political battles—with William Jennings Bryan, among others—and went on to become a kingmaker who helped Woodrow Wilson win the presidency. By the time of his death, Sullivan was widely respected, his achievements recognized even by those who deplored his politics.

Based upon new research, this first comprehensive study of Sullivan and the early days of the Chicago “machine” focuses on the daily realities of the city’s politics and the personalities who shaped them.

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Three Books Named Choice Outstanding Academic Titles

Congratulations to these Choice Outstanding Academic Titles!

Winston Churchill, Myth and Reality: What He Actually Did and Said
Richard M. Langworth

Freedom Narratives of African American Women: A Study of 19th Century Writings
Janaka Bowman Lewis

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

 

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Newly Published: Tony Scott

New on our bookshelf:

Tony Scott: A Filmmaker on Fire
Larry Taylor

Tony Scott got his start as a film director when he joined his brother at the lucrative commercial directing company Ridley Scott Associates. After directing Top Gun—his second film, which changed not only the trajectory of his own life but of the entire action-movie industry—Scott’s career would be a roller coaster of blockbuster hits, personal films and confounding failures.

With extensive research and original interviews with actors, cinematographers and writers, this book documents Tony Scott’s larger-than-life persona from his early days to his untimely death, which left a hole in genre filmmaking yet to be filled.

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Newly Published: The 22nd Michigan Infantry and the Road to Chickamauga

New on our bookshelf:

The 22nd Michigan Infantry and the Road to Chickamauga
John Cohassey

Called upon to take a hill at the 1863 Battle of Chickamauga, the untested 22nd Michigan Infantry helped to save General George H. Thomas’ right flank. Formed in 1862, the regiment witnessed slavery and encountered runaways in the border state of Kentucky, faced near starvation during the siege of Chattanooga and marched to Atlanta as General Thomas’ provost guard.

This history explores the 22nd’s day-to-day experiences in Kentucky, Tennessee and Georgia. The author describes the challenges faced by volunteer farm boys, shopkeepers, school teachers and lawyers as they faced death, disease and starvation on battlefields and in Confederate prisons.

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Newly Published: Making the Cut

New on our bookshelf:

Making the Cut: Life Inside the PGA Tour System
John A. Fortunato

The success of the PGA TOUR lies in the compelling narratives of the golfers’ individual quests for achievement—making the tournament cut, qualifying for the FedEx Cup Playoffs, and the ultimate challenge of making it onto the TOUR, where victory is often determined by a single stroke. Based on interviews with more than twenty alumni, this book provides new insight into the TOUR system, the events affecting tournament outcomes, and the career-changing opportunities that result.

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Newly Published: The Backyard Railroader

New on our bookshelf:

The Backyard Railroader: Building and Operating a Miniature Steam Locomotive
Jeff Frost

Steam locomotives dominated the railways from the 1820s through the 1960s. Today almost all of them have been replaced with electric and diesel engines, yet the fascination surrounding steam-powered trains has not dwindled. A diverse community of enthusiasts—from mechanics to teachers to lawyers—have taken up the hobby of building and running steam locomotives in their own backyards.
Drawing on the author’s extensive experience and research, this guide covers the materials, tools, skills and technical information needed to get started or to improve an existing design.

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Newly Published: America Goes Hawaiian

New on our bookshelf:

America Goes Hawaiian: The Influence of Pacific Island Culture on the Mainland
Geoff Alexander

How did Hawaiian and Polynesian culture come to dramatically alter American music, fashion and decor, as well as ideas about race, in less than a century? It began with mainland hula and musical performances in the late 19th century, rose dramatically as millions shipped to Hawaii during the Pacific War, then made big leap with the advent of low-cost air travel.

By the end of the 1950s, mainlanders were hosting tiki parties, listening to exotic music, lazing on rattan furniture in Hawaiian shirts and, of course, surfing. The author describes how this cultural conquest came about and the people and events that led to it.

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Newly Published: America’s “Foreign Legion”

New on our bookshelf:

America’s “Foreign Legion”: Immigrant Soldiers in the Great War
Dennis A. Connole

Immigrant American soldiers played an important, often underrated role in World War I. Those who were non-citizens had no obligation to participate in the war, though many volunteered. Due to language barriers that prevented them from receiving proper training, they were often given the most dangerous and dirty jobs.

The impetus for this book was the story of Matthew Guerra (the author’s great-uncle). He immigrated to America from Italy around age 12. He was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1918 and shipped to France, where he joined the 58th Infantry Regiment of the 4th “Ivy” Division and participated in the St. Mihiel and Meuse-Argonne offensives. Wounded in the Bois de Fays, the 22-year-old Guerra died in a field hospital.

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Newly Published: African Americans and American Indians in the Revolutionary War

New on our bookshelf:

African Americans and American Indians in the Revolutionary War
Jack Darrell Crowder

At the time of the Revolutionary War, a fifth of the Colonial population was African American. By 1779, 15 percent of the Continental Army were former slaves, while the Navy recruited both free men and slaves. More than 5000 black Americans fought for independence in an integrated military—it would be the last until the Korean War.

The majority of Indian tribes sided with the British yet some Native Americans rallied to the American cause and suffered heavy losses. Of 26 Wampanoag enlistees from the small town of Mashpee on Cape Cod, only one came home. Half of the Pequots who went to war did not survive. Mohegans John and Samuel Ashbow fought at Bunker Hill. Samuel was killed there—the first Native American to die in the Revolution.

This history recounts the sacrifices made by forgotten people of color to gain independence for the people who enslaved and extirpated them.

 

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Newly Published: Gene Kiniski

New on our bookshelf:

Gene Kiniski: Canadian Wrestling Legend
Steven Verrier

Gene Kiniski (1928–2010) was internationally known to a generation of wrestling fans and to Canadians everywhere as “Canada’s Greatest Athlete.” Older fans and wrestling historians remember him best for his accomplishments in the ring, his run-’em-over approach to the game, his growly demeanor, and his razor wit he could unleash at will. Drawing on recollections from fellow wrestlers, promoters, and friends, this first biography of Kiniski gives a full account of the life of a champion pro wrestler who won over fans throughout the U.S., Canada, and Japan in a career spanning more than three decades.

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Newly Published: Thrills Untapped

New on our bookshelf:

Thrills Untapped: Neglected Horror, Science Fiction and Fantasy Films, 1928–1936
Michael R. Pitts

Giving deserved attention to nearly 150 neglected films, this book covers early sound era features, serials and documentaries with genre elements of horror, science fiction and fantasy, from major and minor studios and independents.

Full credits, synopses, critical analyses and contemporary reviews are provided for The Blue LightThe Cat CreepsCollege ScandalCosmic VoyageThe Dragon Murder CaseThe Haunted BarnLost GodsMurder in the Red BarnThe New GulliverReturn of the TerrorSeven Footprints to SatanS.O.S. IcebergWhile the Patient SleptThe White Hell of Pitz Palu and many others.

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Newly Published: The Language of Popular Science

New on our bookshelf:

The Language of Popular Science: Analyzing the Communication of Advanced Ideas to Lay Readers
Olga A. Pilkington

If you read (or write) popular science, you might sometimes wonder: how do the authors manage to make subjects that once put you to sleep in science class both so entertaining and approachable? The use of language is key.

Based on analyses of popular science bestsellers, this linguistic study shows how expert popularizers use the voices and narratives of scientists to engage readers, demonstrating the power of science and portraying researchers as champions of knowledge. By doing so they often blur the lines between nonfiction and fiction, inviting readers to take part in thought experiments and turn ordinary scientists into omnipotent heroes.

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Newly Published: In Theaters Everywhere

New on our bookshelf:

In Theaters Everywhere: A History of the Hollywood Wide Release, 1913–2017
Brian Hannan

Conflicts among Hollywood studios and exhibitors have been going on for years. At their heart are questions about how films should be released—where, when and at what speed. Both sides of this disagreement are losers, with exhibitors using the law via various Consent Decrees and studios retaliating by tightly controlling output.

In the Silent Era, movies were not released nearly as widely as they are now. This book tells the story of how the few became the many. It explores the contraction of the release cycle, the maximization of the marketing dollar, and the democratization of consumer access. It also offers a comprehensive list of wide releases and rebuts much of what previous scholars have found.

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Newly Published: Abandoned Shipmate

New on our bookshelf:

Abandoned Shipmate: The Destruction of Coast Guard Captain Ernie Blanchard
Ladson F. Mills, III

Captain Ernie Blanchard left for work January 10, 1995, a successful officer. Respected by superiors and subordinates, his personal and professional values seemed perfectly aligned with the institution he served, the United States Coast Guard. By day’s end his career was finished.

At a speaking engagement at the Coast Guard Academy, Blanchard’s icebreaker—a series of time-tested corny jokes—was met with silence. Within hours, an investigation was underway into whether his remarks constituted sexual harassment. Several weeks later, threatened with a court-martial, he shot himself.

The author investigates Blanchard’s “death by political correctness” in the context of the turmoil surrounding the U.S. Armed Forces’ gender inclusion struggles from the 1980s to the present.

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Newly Published: The Vermont Brigade in the Seven Days

New on our bookshelf:

The Vermont Brigade in the Seven Days: The Battles and Their Personal Aftermath
Paul G. Zeller

The Vermont Brigade, sometimes referred to as the “First Vermont Brigade” or the “Old Brigade,” fought its first full-brigade engagement in the Seven Days’ battles. The leaders, as well as the rank and file, were inexperienced in warfare, but through sheer grit and determination they made a name for themselves as one of the hardest-fighting units in the Army of the Potomac.

Using soldiers’ letters, diaries, and service and pension records, this book gives a soldier’s-eye-view of the Virginia summer heat, days of marching with very little rest or nourishment, and the fear and exhilaration of combat. Also included are the stories of 29 men that were wounded or killed and how the tragedies affected their families.

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Newly Published: The Complete Father

New on our bookshelf:

The Complete Father: Essential Concepts and Archetypes
Michael O. Weiner and Les Paul Gallo-Silver

Fatherhood is a foundational human endeavor steeped in the history of familial and societal development. Every father has within himself the makings of a “complete” parent in terms of his sense of fulfillment.

Are you the type of father that you truly want to be? Do you feel secure in your decision-making? Do you sense that you come across as too strict at times, or too lenient? Can you be playful and spontaneous when you want to be? Are you comfortable with having those difficult conversations?

Drawing on Carl Jung’s theories, this book discusses several father archetypes, presenting a positive view of fatherhood that emphasizes its manifestations and benefits in childrens’ lives rather than the difficulties and struggles of parenting.

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Newly Published: The Modern Kiteflier

New on our bookshelf:

The Modern Kiteflier: Voices of Those Pulling the Strings
Patti Gibbons

Over the past generation, kiteflying has evolved beyond a childhood rite of passage into a mainstream adult activity. The kite’s popularity skyrocketed at a time when kite makers adopted modern synthetic materials developed for other industries. A new breed of sport kites appeared and kite artists emerged, dazzling onlookers with three-dimensional aerial sculptures. Inventors perfected new designs and accessories while entrepreneurs created a multimillion-dollar kiting industry. Yet, the kitefliers themselves have remained largely anonymous. Drawing on the World Kite Museum’s audio archives, this book brings together firsthand stories from the community of devoted enthusiasts who pull the strings.

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Newly Published: The Capture of the USS Pueblo

New on our bookshelf:

The Capture of the USS Pueblo: The Incident, the Aftermath and the Motives of North Korea
James Duermeyer

For President Lyndon Johnson, 1968 was a year of calamity, including the hijacking of the USS Puebloin international waters off North Korea. After a fierce attack by the North Korean Navy, the lightly armed spy ship was captured and its 83 crewmen taken hostage, imprisoned and tortured for nearly a year before being released.

How and why did the Navy, the National Security Agency and the Johnson administration place the Pueblo in such an untenable situation? What drove Kim Il-sung, North Korea’s autocrat, to gamble on hijacking a ship belonging to the world’s most powerful nation?

Drawing on extensive research, including summaries of White House meetings and conversations, the author answers these questions and reviews the events and flawed decisions that led to Pueblo’s capture.

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Newly Published: Flight Accidents in the 21st Century U.S. Air Force

New on our bookshelf:

Flight Accidents in the 21st Century U.S. Air Force: The Facts of 40 Non-Combat Events
Henry Bond

Mid-flight noncombat mishaps and blunders occur frequently in the USAF during training and utility flights—sometimes with the loss of life and regularly with the destruction of expensive aircraft. In one extreme case, a $2.2 billion B-2 Spirit bomber crashed soon after takeoff and was destroyed.

The events surrounding such accidents are gathered by USAF investigators and a report is published for each case. The author has collected these reports, including some made available following FOI (Freedom of Information) requests to U.S. air bases, and rewritten them in language accessible to the general public.
The causes—bird-strikes, joy-riding, unauthorized maneuvers, pilot disorientation, an unseen binoculars-case blocking the plane’s joystick, unexpected moisture in an air-pressure gauge—are often surprising and, at times, horrifying.

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Newly Published: Diverging Tracks

New on our bookshelf:

Diverging Tracks: American Versus English Rail Travel in the 19th Century
Trevor K. Snowdon

The advent of mass railroad travel in the 1800s saw the extension of a system of global transport that developed various national styles of construction, operation, administration, and passenger experiences.

Drawing on travel narratives and a broad range of other contemporary sources, this history contrasts the railroad cultures of 19th century England and America, with a focus on the differing social structures and value systems of each nation, and how the railroad fit into the wider industrial landscape.

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Newly Published: Hammer Complete

New on our bookshelf:

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

Think you know everything there is to know about Hammer Films, the fabled “Studio that Dripped Blood?” The lowdown on all the imperishable classics of horror, like The Curse of FrankensteinHorror of Dracula and The Devil Rides Out? What about the company’s less blood-curdling back catalog? What about the musicals, comedies and travelogues, the fantasies and historical epics—not to mention the pirate adventures? This lavishly illustrated encyclopedia covers every Hammer film and television production in thorough detail, including budgets, shooting schedules, publicity and more, along with all the actors, supporting players, writers, directors, producers, composers and technicians. Packed with quotes, behind-the-scenes anecdotes, credit lists and production specifics, this all-inclusive reference work is the last word on this cherished cinematic institution.

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Newly Published: Electric Motorcycles and Bicycles

New on our bookshelf:

Electric Motorcycles and Bicycles: A History Including Scooters, Tricycles, Segways and Monocycles
Kevin Desmond

Beginning in 1881, isolated prototypes of electric tricycles and bicycles were patented and sometimes tested. Limited editions followed in the 1940s, but it was not until the lithium-ion battery became available in the first decade of this century that urban pedelecs and more powerful open-road motorcycles—sometimes with speeds of over 200 mph—became possible and increasingly popular.

Today’s ever-growing fleets of one-wheel, two-wheel and three-wheel light electric vehicles can now be counted in the hundreds of millions. In this third installment of his electric transport history series, the author covers the lives of the innovative engineers who have developed these e-wheelers.

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Newly Published: When Love Meets Dementia

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When Love Meets Dementia: Frontotemporal Degeneration (FTD) and the Family
Ada Anbar

Frontotemporal Degeneration (FTD) is now recognized as one of the most common forms of dementia in individuals under age 65, second only to Alzheimer’s. Shedding light on a little known brain disease, this volume examines FTD from a few angles, beginning with the author’s insightful memoir of her husband’s struggle with FTD and its impact on their family. Detailed background information on the disease is provided along with discussion of related issues, and information on how to minimize the chances of becoming a victim.

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Newly Published: Swedish Marxist Noir

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Swedish Marxist Noir: The Dark Wave of Crime Writers and the Influence of Raymond Chandler
Per Hellgren

Marxist theories have had a profound influence on crime fiction, beginning with the works of the American writers of the 1930s. This study explores the development of a Swedish Marxist noir subgenre after the 1990s through a Marxist reading of central works, from the Marlowe novels of Raymond Chandler to the 1960s social crime fiction of Sjöwall-Wahlöö to modern bestselling authors such as Henning Mankell, Stieg Larsson, Roslund & Hellström, Jens Lapidus, Arne Dahl and others. The works of these writers show a common thread of Marxist worldview in their portrayal of a modern world gone wrong.

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Newly Published: The Hal Roach Comedy Shorts of Thelma Todd, ZaSu Pitts and Patsy Kelly

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The Hal Roach Comedy Shorts of Thelma Todd, ZaSu Pitts and Patsy Kelly
James L. Neibaur

Hoping to follow his Laurel and Hardy success with a female comedy team, producer Hal Roach paired Thelma Todd with ZaSu Pitts in a 1931 series of two-reel shorts. Pitts left the studio for other pursuits, was replaced by Patsy Kelly and the series continued to be successful. Todd died under mysterious circumstances in 1935 and Kelly tried to carry on, first with Pert Kelton, then with Lyda Roberti. When Roberti died in 1938, the series ended.

This book takes the first film-by-film look at each of the comedies these women made, how they responded to different directors and how production adapted to changes along the way. Credits, production information, period reviews, and critical assessments are included.

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Newly Published: Holy Horror

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Holy Horror: The Bible and Fear in Movies
Steve A. Wiggins

What, exactly, makes us afraid? Is it monsters, gore, the unknown? Perhaps it’s a biblical sense of malice, lurking unnoticed in the corners of horror films. Holy Writ attempts to ward off aliens, ghosts, witches, psychopaths and demons, yet it often becomes a source of evil itself.

Looking first at Psycho (1960) and continuing through 2010, this book analyzes the starring and supporting roles of the Good Book in horror films, monster movies and thrillers to discover why it incites such fear. In a culture with high biblical awareness and low biblical literacy, horrific portrayals can greatly influence an audience’s canonical beliefs.

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Newly Published: The British Comic Book Invasion

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The British Comic Book Invasion: Alan Moore, Warren Ellis, Grant Morrison and the Evolution of the American Style
Jochen Ecke

What makes a successful comics creator? How can storytelling stay exciting and innovative? How can genres be kept vital?

Writers and artists in the highly competitive U.S. comics mainstream have always had to explore these questions but they were especially pressing in the 1980s. As comics readers grew older they started calling for more sophisticated stories. They were also no longer just following the adventures of popular characters—writers and artists with distinctive styles were in demand. DC Comics and Marvel went looking for such mavericks and found them in the United Kingdom. Creators like Alan Moore (WatchmenSaga of the Swamp Thing), Grant Morrison (The InvisiblesFlex Mentallo) and Garth Ennis (Preacher) migrated from the anarchical British comics industry to the U.S. mainstream and shook up the status quo yet came to rely on the genius of the American system.

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Newly Published: Westchester

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Westchester: History of an Iconic Suburb
Robert Marchant

This history of Westchester County, New York, from the time of European settlement to the present, examines four centuries of development in an iconic region that became the archetypal American suburb.

Drawing on a wide range of primary sources, the author uncovers a complex and often surprising narrative of slavery, anti–Semitism, immigration, Jim Crow, silent film stars, suffragettes, gangland violence, political riots, eccentric millionaires, industry and aviation, man-made disasters and assassinations.

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Newly Published: Eisenhower’s Nuclear Calculus in Europe

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Eisenhower’s Nuclear Calculus in Europe: The Politics of IRBM Deployment in NATO Nations
Gates Brown

Through a reliance on nuclear weapons, President Eisenhower hoped to provide a defense strategy that would allow the U.S. to maintain its security requirements without creating an economic burden. This defense strategy, known as the New Look, benefited the U.S. Air Force with its focus on strategic bombing. The U.S. also required European missile bases to deploy its intermediate range ballistic missiles, while efforts continued to develop U.S. based intercontinental ballistic missiles.

Deploying such missiles to Europe required balancing regional European concerns with U.S. domestic security priorities. In the wake of the Soviet Sputnik launch in 1957, the U.S. began to fear Soviet missile capabilities. Using European missile bases would mitigate this domestic security issue, but convincing NATO allies to base the missiles in their countries raised issues of sovereignty and weapons control and ran the risk of creating divisions in the NATO alliance.

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Newly Published: American Gothic Literature

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American Gothic Literature: A Thematic Study from Mary Rowlandson to Colson Whitehead
Ruth Bienstock Anolik

American Gothic literature inherited many time-worn tropes from its English Gothic precursor, along with a core preoccupation: anxiety about power and property. Yet the transatlantic journey left its mark on the genre—the English ghostly setting becomes the wilderness haunted by spectral Indians. The aristocratic villain is replaced by the striving, independent young man. The dispossession of Native Americans and African Americans add urgency to traditional Gothic anxieties about possession.

The unchanging role of woman in early Gothic narratives parallels the status of American women, even after the Revolution. Twentieth century Gothic works offer inclusion to previously silent voices, including immigrant writers with their own cultural traditions. The 21st century unleashes the zombie horde—the latest incarnation of the voracious American.

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Newly Published: Preparing for Disunion

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Preparing for Disunion: West Point Commandants and the Training of Civil War Leaders
Allen H. Mesch

Between 1817 and 1864, sixteen officers were assigned as Commandants of Cadets at the U.S. Military Academy. They played an important role in training the officers who would serve on both sides of the Civil War.

Historians criticize the program as antiquated for its time: A course in Napoleonic strategy and tactics that did not account for rifled weapons or the particularities of terrain. Yet these commandants made changes to the program, developed new textbooks and instructed cadets who became field generals.
The biographies of the commandants are presented along with their contributions to the Academy, notable graduates and other military service.

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Newly Published: Robert A. Lovett and the Development of American Air Power

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Robert A. Lovett and the Development of American Air Power
David M. Jordan

Robert Lovett grew up in Texas, went to Yale, and earned his wings as a naval air force hero in World War I. He played a key role in the development of the Army Air Force in World War II. His emphasis on strategic bombing was instrumental in defeating Hitler’s Germany.

During his postwar State Department service, he was influential in initiating the Marshall Plan, the formation of NATO and planning the Berlin Airlift. He served as Truman’s Secretary of Defense during the Korean War, was a consultant for his friend Dwight Eisenhower and served John F. Kennedy during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Between tours of duty in Washington, he was an international banker on Wall Street. This first complete biography covers his life and career in detail.

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Newly Published: Gene Hackman

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Gene Hackman: The Life and Work
Peter Shelley

Gene Hackman (b. 1930) has been described as the best actor of his generation. During almost half a century as an American film, television and stage actor, film producer and author, he was nominated for five Academy Awards, winning the Best Actor for The French Connection (1971) and the Best Supporting Actor for Unforgiven (1992), as well as three Golden Globes and two BAFTAs. This study examines his film work in detail, with a filmography/videography included.

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Newly Published: Bobby Maduro and the Cuban Sugar Kings

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Bobby Maduro and the Cuban Sugar Kings
Lou Hernández

Roberto “Bobby” Maduro (1916–1986) was a visionary baseball team owner and executive. His dedication to promoting the game internationally from the 1950s through the 1970s remains unrivaled. He headed Havana-based clubs in the Cuban Winter League and teams in the U.S. minor leagues, which helped brand Caribbean baseball in the eyes of North American fans. He co-built the first million-dollar ballpark in Latin America. His Havana stadium was confiscated by Castro’s revolution, along with all his accumulated wealth.

Maduro began a new life in exile in the U.S., first as a minor league owner, then as a front office executive. He founded the short-lived Inter-American League in 1979, composed of five Caribbean-basin teams and one U.S. entry from his adopted hometown of Miami. Commissioner Bowie Kuhn said of his many achievements, “No one was more dedicated, more knowledgeable or more concerned about the game than Bobby Maduro.”

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Newly Published: Unsung Heroes of the Dachau Trials

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Unsung Heroes of the Dachau Trials: The Investigative Work of the U.S. Army 7708 War Crimes Group, 1945–1947
John J. Dunphy

The U.S. Army 7708 War Crimes Group investigated atrocities committed in Germany and Nazi-occupied Europe during World War II. These young Americans—many barely out of their teens—gathered evidence, interviewed witnesses, apprehended suspects and prosecuted defendants at trials held at Dachau. Their work often put them in harm’s way—some suspects facing arrest preferred to shoot it out.

The War Crimes Group successfully prosecuted the perpetrators of the Malmedy Massacre, in which 84 American prisoners of war were shot by their German captors; and Waffen-SS commando Otto Skorzeny, aptly described as “the most dangerous man in Europe.” Operation Paperclip, however, placed some war criminals—scientists and engineers recruited by the U.S. government—beyond their reach. From the ruins of the Third Reich arose a Nazi underground that preyed on Americans—especially members of the Group.

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Newly Published: Infield Fly Rule Is in Effect

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Infield Fly Rule Is in Effect: The History and Strategy of Baseball’s Most (In)Famous Rule
Howard M. Wasserman

The Infield Fly Rule is the most misunderstood rule in baseball and perhaps in all of sports. That also makes it the most infamous. Drawing on interviews with experts, legal arguments and a study of every infield fly play in eight Major League seasons, this book tells the complete story of the rule. The author covers the rule’s history from the 19th century to the modern game, its underlying logic and supporting arguments, recent criticisms and calls for repeal, the controversies and confusion it creates, and its effect on how the game is played.

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Newly Published: The Playing Grounds of College Football

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The Playing Grounds of College Football: A Comprehensive Directory, 1869 to Today
Mark Pollak

College football teams today play for tens of thousands of fans in palatial stadiums that rival those of pro teams. But most started out in humbler venues, from baseball parks to fairgrounds to cow pastures. This comprehensive guide traces the long and diverse history of playing grounds for more than 1000 varsity football schools, including bowl-eligible teams, as well as those in other divisions (FCS, D2, D3, NAIA).