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Newly Published: American Indian Image Makers of Hollywood

New on our bookshelf:

American Indian Image Makers of Hollywood
Frank Javier Garcia Berumen

Images from movies and film have had a powerful hand in how Native Americans are perceived. In many cases, they have been represented as violent, uncivilized, and an impediment to progress and civilization. This book analyzes the representation of Native Americans in cinematic images from the 1890s to the present day, deconstructing key films in each decade. This book also addresses efforts by the Native American to improve and have a part in their filmic representations, including mini-biographies of important indigenous filmmakers and performers.

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Newly Published: Billie Holiday

New on our bookshelf:

Billie Holiday: Essays on the Artistry and Legacy
Edited by Michael V. Perez and Jessica McKee

Eleanora “Lady Day” Fagan, better known as Billie Holiday, played a primary role in the development of American jazz culture and in African American history. Devoted to the enduring jazz icon, covering many aspects of her career, image and legacy, these fresh essays range from musical and vocal analyses, to critical assessments of film depictions of the singer, to analysis of the social movements and protests addressed by her signature songs, including her impact on contemporary movements such as #BlackLivesMatter. More than a century after her birth, Billie Holiday’s abiding relevance and impact is a testament to the power of musical protest. This collection pays tribute to her creativity, bravery and lasting legacy.

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American Philosophical Association 2020 Eastern Division

McFarland is exhibiting at the 2020 Eastern Division conference of the American Philosophical Association January 8-11 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  You are invited to meet with assistant editor Dré Person.  Schedule an appointment by emailing us in advance ([email protected]) or stop by the McFarland booth in the exhibit room for a casual conversation with Dré.

Instructors are welcome to examine books for potential adoption, whether at the McFarland booth at APA or electronically, by submitting a request via our web form.

 


The Apocalypse, Ethics and Philosophy

 


Sustainability, Ethics and Philosophy

 


Pop Culture and Philosophy

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Newly Published: The Flamingos

New on our bookshelf:

The Flamingos: A Complete History of the Doo-Wop Legends
Todd R. Baptista

Formed by five young black men from Chicago, the Flamingos rose to prominence as one of the top vocal acts of the 1950s rock and roll explosion. They appeared in motion pictures and turned out a string of hit records that have remained popular for more than a half-century.

Providing a wealth of never-before-told stories of the influential quintet and their experiences in a white-dominated industry, this book details the back-room record deals, life on the road, the creative process, meticulous recording sessions and live performances, based on interviews with original members and those who worked with them.

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Newly Published: Vikings and the Vikings

New on our bookshelf:

Vikings and the Vikings: Essays on Television’s History Channel Series
Edited by Paul Hardwick and Kate Lister

This essay collection is a wide-ranging exploration of Vikings, the television series that has successfully summoned the historical world of the Norse people for modern audiences to enjoy. From a range of critical viewpoints, these all fresh essays explore the ways in which past and present representations of the Vikings converge in the show’s richly textured dramatization of the rise and fall of Ragnar Loðbrók—and the exploits of his heirs—creating what many viewers label a “true” representation of the age. From the show’s sources in both saga literature and Victorian revival, to its engagement with contemporary concerns regarding gender, race and identity, via setting, sex, society and more, this first book-length study of the History Channel series appeals to fans of the show, Viking enthusiasts, and anyone with an interest in medievalist representation in the 21st century.

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Newly Published: Home Is Where the Hurt Is

New on our bookshelf:

Home Is Where the Hurt Is: Media Depictions of Wives and Mothers
Sara Hosey

Despite years of propaganda attempting to convince us otherwise, popular media is beginning to catch on to the idea that the home is one of the most dangerous and difficult places for a woman to be. This book examines emergent trends in popular media, which increasingly takes on the realities of domestic violence, toxic home lives and the impossibility of “having it all.” While many narratives still fall back on outmoded and limiting narratives about gender—the pursuit of romance, children, and a life dedicated to the domestic—this book makes the case that some texts introduce complexity and a challenge to the status quo, pointing us toward a feminist future in which women’s voices and concerns are amplified and respected.

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Newly Published: Dirk Bogarde

New on our bookshelf:

Dirk Bogarde: Matinee Idol, Art House Star
David Huckvale

English actor Dirk Bogarde dominated the films in which he starred. Exploring the tension between his matinee idol appeal and his own closeted sexuality, this book focuses on the wide variety of genres in which he worked, and the highly charged interaction between his life and his roles.

Beginning with an exposé of gay life in post-war Britain and his relationship with partner/manager, Anthony Forwood, each chapter explores Bogarde’s performances by genre—his juvenile delinquent movies, his military roles, his contribution to Basil Dearden’s overtly gay thriller Victim (1961), and his “outsider” roles in such films as The Servant (1963), The Fixer (1968) and Despair (1978). Bogarde’s “camp” cinema, espionage thrillers and various roles as artists are also examined, along with the misogyny of the Doctor films and his later television work.

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Newly Published: Fourth Wave Feminism in Science Fiction and Fantasy

New on our bookshelf:

Fourth Wave Feminism in Science Fiction and Fantasy: Volume 1. Essays on Film Representations, 2012–2019
Edited by Valerie Estelle Frankel

Fourth wave feminism has entered the national conversation and established a highly visible presence in popular media, especially in cutting-edge science fiction and fantasy films and television series. Wonder Woman, the Wasp, and Captain Marvel headline superhero films while Black Panther celebrates nonwestern power. Disney princesses value sisterhood over conventional marriage.
This first of two companion volumes addresses cinema, exploring how, since 2012, such films as the Hunger Games trilogy, Mad Max: Fury Road, and recent Star Wars installments have showcased women of action. The true innovation is a product of the Internet age. Though the web has accelerated fan engagement to the point that progressivism and backlash happen simultaneously, new films increasingly emphasize diversity over toxic masculinity. They defy net trolls to provide stunning role models for viewers across the spectrum of age, gender, and nationality.

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Newly Published: Women of Science Fiction and Fantasy Television

New on our bookshelf:

Women of Science Fiction and Fantasy Television: An Encyclopedia of 400 Characters and 200 Shows, 1950–2016
Karen A. Romanko

Samantha Stephens in Bewitched. Lieutenant Uhura on Star Trek. Wonder Woman, Xena, Warrior Princess, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and many more. Television’s women of science fiction and fantasy are iconic and unforgettable yet there hasn’t been a reference book devoted to them until now.

Covering 400 female characters from 200 series since the 1950s, this encyclopedic work celebrates the essential contributions of women to science fiction and fantasy TV, with characters who run the gamut from superheroes, extraterrestrials and time travelers to witches, vampires and mere mortals who deal with the fantastic in their daily lives.

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Newly Published: The First Star Trek Movie

New on our bookshelf:

The First Star Trek Movie: Bringing the Franchise to the Big Screen, 1969–1980
Sherilyn Connelly

The story of Star Trek’s resurrection between the 1969 cancellation of the original series and the 1979 release of Robert Wise’s Star Trek—The Motion Picture, has become legend and like so many other legends, it tends to get printed instead of the facts. Drawing on hundreds of contemporary news articles and primary sources not seen in decades, this book tells the true story of the first successful Star Trek revival.

After several attempts to relaunch the franchise, ST—TMP was released on a wave of prestige promotion, hype, and public frenzy unheard of for a film based on a television show. Controversy surrounded its troubled production and $44M budget, earning it a reputation at the time as the most expensive movie ever made. After a black-tie premiere in Washington, D.C., its opening in 856 North American theaters broke multiple box-office records—a harbinger of the modern blockbuster era. Despite immediate financial success, the film was panned by both critics and the public, leaving this enterprise nowhere to boldly go but down.

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Newly Published: What Happened to the Hippies?

New on our bookshelf:

What Happened to the Hippies?: Voices and Perspectives
Stewart L. Rogers

Peaceniks. Stoners. Tree huggers. Freaks. For many, the hippies of the 1960s and early 1970s were immoral, drug-crazed kids too spoiled to work and too selfish to embrace the American way of life. But who were these longhaired dissenters bent on peace, love and equality? What did they believe? What did they want? Are their values still relevant today?

Bringing together the personal accounts and perspectives of 54 “old hippies,” this book illustrates how their lives and outlooks have changed over the past five decades. Their collective narrative invites readers to reach their own conclusions about the often misunderstood movement of ordinary young people who faced an era of escalating war, civil turmoil and political assassinations with faith in humanity and a belief in the power of ideas.

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Newly Published: The Wild Bunch

New on our bookshelf:

The Wild Bunch: The American Classic That Changed Westerns Forever
Bill Mesce, Jr.

One of the most controversial films of its time, The Wild Bunch is the epitome of the no-holds-barred filmmaking of the 1960s and 1970s. Since its 1969 release, it has come to be recognized not only as an iconic Western, but as one of the most important films in the American cinematic canon.

Over the years a parade of filmmakers have tried to imitate its gut-punch effects but none have equaled it. The Wild Bunch revived the floundering career of volatile, self-destructive director Sam Peckinpah—it also hung on him the label “Bloody Sam.” This book tells the complete story of the film’s production, reception and legacy.

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National Women’s Studies Association 2019

McFarland is exhibiting at the annual conference of the National Women’s Studies Association November 14-16 in San Francisco.  You are invited to meet with editor Layla Milholen.  Schedule an appointment by emailing us in advance ([email protected]) or stop by the McFarland booth in the exhibit room for a casual conversation with Layla.

Instructors are welcome to examine books for potential adoption, whether at the McFarland booth at NWSA or electronically, by submitting a request via our web form.


Literature & Pop Culture


Comics & Heroism

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Newly Published: Chinese Gong Fu

New on our bookshelf:

Chinese Gong Fu: Toward a Body-Centered Understanding
R.F. Gonzalez

Gong fu, the indigenous martial art of China, was exported into American popular culture through numerous “kung fu” movies in the 20th century. Perhaps the most renowned of the martial arts in the U.S., gong fu remains often misunderstood, perhaps because of its esoteric practices that include aspects of Daoism, Confucianism, Buddhism and other syncretic elements.

Using the science of embodiment—the study of the interaction between body, mind, cognition, behavior and environment—this book explores the relationships among practitioner, praxis, spirituality, philosophy and the body in gong fu. Drawing on familiar routines, films, artifacts and art, the author connects the reader to ancient Chinese culture, philosophy, myth, shamanism and ritual.

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Newly Published: The Gunslingers of ’69

New on our bookshelf:

The Gunslingers of ’69: Western Movies’ Greatest Year
Brian Hannan

In 1969—the counter-cultural moment when Easy Rider triggered a “youthquake” in audience interests—Westerns proved more dominant than ever at the box office and at the Oscars.

It was a year of masterpieces—The Wild BunchButch Cassidy and the Sundance KidOnce Upon a Time in the West and True Grit. Robert Redford achieved star status. Old-timers like John Wayne, Gregory Peck and Robert Mitchum appeared in two Westerns apiece. Raquel Welch took on the mantle of Queen of the West. Clint Eastwood and Lee Marvin tried their hand at a musical (Paint Your Wagon). New directors like George Roy Hill reinvigorated the genre while veteran Sam Peckinpah at last found popular approval. Themes included women’s rights, social anxieties about violence and changing attitudes of and towards African-Americans and Native Americans.

All of the 40-plus Westerns released in the U.S. in 1969 are covered in depth, offering a new perspective on the genre.

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Newly Published: Alien in the Mirror

New on our bookshelf:

Alien in the Mirror: Scarlett Johansson, Jonathan Glazer and Under the Skin
Maureen Foster

Directed by Jonathan Glazer (Sexy Beast, Birth) and starring Scarlett Johansson, the 2013 film Under the Skin contains elements of science fiction and fantasy, horror, mystery, and thriller. Arguably the most compelling of Johansson’s career, the movie follows a unique tale of one woman’s journey to self-discovery. This is the first book to be written about the quiet masterpiece, revisiting the film scene-by-scene through all its cinematic elements. Extensive interviews detail the challenges the filmmakers faced—from hidden filming on the streets of Glasgow to defying a blizzard in the Scottish Highlands. Readers are invited to explore connections between the movie and its science fiction cousins and discover the reasons why Under the Skin deserves to find a wider audience.

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Newly Published: Under the Influence of Classic Country

New on our bookshelf:

Under the Influence of Classic Country: Profiles of 36 Performers of the 1940s to Today
Sheree Homer

The music today known as “classic country” originated in the South in the 1920s. Influenced by blues and folk music, instrumentation was typically guitar, fiddle, bass, steel guitar, and later drums, with lyrics and arrangements rooted in tradition.

This book covers some of the genre’s legendary artists, from its heyday in the 1940s to its decline in the early 1970s. Revivalists keeping the traditions alive in the 21st century are also explored.
Drawing on original interviews with artists and their associates, biographical profiles chronicle their lives on the road and in the studio, as well as the stories behind popular songs. Thirty-six performers are profiled, including Ernest Tubb, Ray Price, Loretta Lynn, Bill Anderson, Faron Young, Mickey Gilley, Freddie Hart, Jerry Reed, Charley Pride, David Frizzell, The Cactus Blossoms, The Secret Sisters, and Pokey LaFarge.

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Six New Titles Recommended in October Issue of Choice

Black Baseball, 1858–1900: A Comprehensive Record of the Teams, Players, Managers, Owners and Umpires
“Brunson delivers an extraordinarily well researched guide…the level of detail and commitment to this research is impressive…ideal for accessing primary sources or teaching material…highly recommended.”

Fat Talk: A Feminist Perspective
“An engaging exploration…this book is an important read for women…recommended.”

The Polo Grounds: Essays and Memories of New York City’s Historic Ballpark, 1880–1963
“The essays flow smoothly from one topic to the next, making this an easy read from cover to cover. This book should be a welcome addition to most sports history or stadium architecture collections…recommended.”

Phinally!: The Phillies, the Royals and the 1980 Baseball Season That Almost Wasn’t
“The book is well researched and entertaining, and Daniel provides a behind-the-scenes story that transforms a straightforward historical account into an extremely detailed yet quick-moving read for die-hard baseball fans…recommended.”

Babe Ruth and the Creation of the Celebrity Athlete
“Heavily researched and detailed study…an important contribution to understanding Ruth’s prominent place in American cultural and marketing history…recommended.”

The Electric Car in America, 1890–1922: A Social History
“Segrave brings together a great deal of information about many short-lived electric car models, for which documentation is scant; this text therefore represents a substantial amount of archival research…recommended.”

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Newly Published: The Tyranny of Tradition in Piano Teaching

New on our bookshelf:

The Tyranny of Tradition in Piano Teaching: A Critical History from Clementi to the Present
Walter Ponce

The strict traditions of piano teaching have remained entrenched for generations. The dominant influence of Muzio Clementi (1752–1832), the first composer-pedagogue of the instrument, brought about an explosion of autocratic instruction and bizarre teaching systems, exemplified in the mind-numbing drills of Hanon’s “The Virtuoso Pianist.” These practices—considered absurd or abusive by many—persist today at all levels of piano education. This book critically examines two centuries of teaching methods and encourages instructors to do away with traditions that disconnect mental and creative skills.

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American Folklore Society 2019

McFarland is exhibiting at the annual conference of the American Folklore Society October 16-19 in Baltimore, Maryland.  You are invited to meet with senior acquisitions editor Gary Mitchem.  Schedule an appointment by emailing us in advance ([email protected]) or stop by the McFarland booth in the exhibit room for a casual conversation with Gary.

Instructors are welcome to examine books for potential adoption, whether at the McFarland booth at AFS or electronically, by submitting a request via our web form.

 


Folklore

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Newly Published: Joanne Woodward

New on our bookshelf:

Joanne Woodward: Her Life and Career
Peter Shelley

In her 60-year career, Joanne Woodward has been a film, television and stage actress, television producer and director, stage director, and film director. She won the Best Actress Academy Award for her performance in The Three Faces of Eve and was nominated for Rachel, RachelSummer Wishes, Winter Dreams and Mr. & Mrs. Bridge. She also won the Best Actress Emmy Award for See How She Runs and Do You Remember Love. This book is the first to be solely devoted to Woodward’s life and career, which were often overshadowed by the successes of her late husband, Paul Newman.

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Newly Published: Furry Tales

New on our bookshelf:

Furry Tales: A Review of Essential Anthropomorphic Fiction
Fred Patten

Tales featuring anthropomorphic animals have been around as long as there have been storytellers to spin them, from Aesop’s Fables to Reynard the Fox to Alice in Wonderland. The genre really took off following the explosion of furry fandom in the 21st century, with talking animals featuring in everything from science fiction to fantasy to LGBTQ coming-out stories.

In his lifetime, Fred Patten (1940–2018)—one of the founders of furry fandom and a scholar of anthropomorphic animal literature—authored hundreds of book reviews that comprise a comprehensive critical survey of the genre. This selected compilation provides an overview from 1784 through the 2010s, covering such popular novels as Watership Down and Redwall, along with forgotten gems like The Stray Lamb and Where the Blue Begins, and science fiction works like Sundiver and Decision at Doona.

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Newly Published: Encyclopedia of Weird Detectives

New on our bookshelf:

Encyclopedia of Weird Detectives: Supernatural and Paranormal Elements in Novels, Pulps, Comics, Film, Television, Games and Other Media
Paul Green

The detective genre has explored supernatural and paranormal themes throughout its colorful history. Stories of detectives investigating spiritualists, ghostly apparitions, the occult and psychics have spanned pulp fiction magazines, comic books, novels, film, television, animation and video games.
This encyclopedia covers the history of the genre in its multiple forms and informs and adds to the knowledge of either the new or informed reader. Its A-Z format provides ready reference by title. Detective fans browsing for new discoveries will enjoy the entertaining style.

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Newly Published: The Complete Misfits Discography

New on our bookshelf:

The Complete Misfits Discography: Authorized Releases and Bootlegs, Including Recordings by Danzig, Samhain and The Undead
Robert Michael “Bobb” Cotter

A pioneering “horror-punk” band, the Misfits are legends in their own time. This discography tells the story of the band in all of its incarnations through all of their recorded output—both official and unauthorized releases. Discographies are provided for both present and former members’ solo projects and bands, along with a wealth of rare record sleeves, photos and vintage posters documenting the evolution of the band and the brand.

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Newly Published: Buffy to Batgirl

New on our bookshelf:

Buffy to Batgirl: Essays on Female Power, Evolving Femininity and Gender Roles in Science Fiction and Fantasy
Edited by Julie M. Still and Zara T. Wilkinson

Science fiction and fantasy are often thought of as stereotypically male genres, yet both have a long and celebrated history of female creators, characters, and fans. In particular, the science fiction and fantasy heroine is a recognized figure made popular in media such as Alien, The Terminator, and Buffy, The Vampire Slayer. Though imperfect, she is strong and definitely does not need to be saved by a man. This figure has had an undeniable influence on The Hunger Games, Divergent, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and many other, more recent female-led book and movie franchises.

Despite their popularity, these fictional women have received inconsistent scholarly interest. This collection of new essays is intended to help fill a gap in the serious discussion of women and gender in science fiction and fantasy. The contributors are scholars, teachers, practicing writers, and other professionals in fields related to the genre. Critically examining the depiction of women and gender in science fiction and fantasy on both page and screen, they focus on characters who are as varied as they are interesting, and who range from vampire slayers to time travelers, witches, and spacefarers.

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Newly Published: Encyclopedia of Television Pilots

New on our bookshelf:

Encyclopedia of Television Pilots: 2,470 Films Broadcast 1937–2019, 2d ed.
Vincent Terrace

On November 27, 1937, NBC presented TV’s first pilot film, Sherlock Holmes (then called an “experiment”). Thousands of pilot films (both unaired and televised) have been produced since. This updated and restyled book contains 2,470 alphabetically arranged pilot films broadcast from 1937 to 2019. Entries contain the concept, cast and character information, credits (producer, writer, director), dates, genre and network or cable affiliation. In addition to a complete performer’s index, two appendices have been included: one detailing the pilot films that led to a series and a second that lists the programs that were spun off from one series into another. (Information on unaired pilot films can be found in the companion volume, Encyclopedia of Unaired Television Pilots, 1945–2018.) Both volumes are the most complete and detailed sources for such information, a great deal of which is based on viewing the actual programs.

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CONFERENCES: Upcoming MLA and PCA events

McFarland is exhibiting at a number of regional and national conferences in the coming months, and conferees are encouraged to take the opportunity to peruse our books and meet an editor.  Schedule an appointment by emailing us in advance (Layla Milholen, Gary Mitchem, or Dré Person), or stop by the McFarland booth in the exhibit room for a casual conversation with an editor.

Popular Culture Association in the South Sept 26-28, Wilmington, NC, Layla Milholen
Association for the Study of African American Life and History Oct 3-5, Charleston, SC, Dré Person
Midwest Popular Culture Association Oct 10-13 Cincinnati, OH, Layla Milholen
American Folklore Society Oct 16-19, Baltimore, MD, Gary Mitchem
South Central Modern Language Association Oct 24-26, Little Rock, AR, Gary Mitchem
Mid-Atlantic Popular Culture Association Nov 7-9, 2019, Pittsburgh, PA, Gary Mitchem
Film and History Nov 13-17, Madison, WI, Dré Person
National Women’s Studies Association Nov 14-17, San Francisco, CA, Layla Milholen
South Atlantic Modern Language Association Nov 15–17, Atlanta, GA, Gary Mitchem
American Philosophical Association Jan 8-11, Philadelphia, PA, Dré Person
Modern Language Association Jan 9-12, Seattle, WA, Gary Mitchem


Cinema & Media Studies


Comics & Graphic Narratives


Literature

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Newly Published: Memory in World Cinema

New on our bookshelf:

Memory in World Cinema: Critical Essays
Edited by Nancy J. Membrez

Film itself is an artifact of memory. A blend of all the other fine arts, film portrays and preserves human memory, someone’s memory, faulty or not, dramatically or comically, in a documentary, feature film or short. Hollywood may dominate 80 percent of cinema production but it is not the only voice. World cinema is about those other voices.

Drawn initially from presentations from a series of film conferences held at the University of Texas at San Antonio, this collection of essays covers multiple geographical, linguistic, and cultural areas worldwide, emphasizing the historical and cultural interpretation of films. Appendices list films focusing on memory and invite readers to explore the films and issues raised.

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Association for the Study of African American Life and History 2019

McFarland is exhibiting at the annual conference of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History October 3-5 in Charleston, South Carolina.  You are invited to meet with editor Dré Person.  Schedule an appointment by emailing us in advance ([email protected]) or stop by the McFarland booth in the exhibit room for a casual conversation with Dré.

Instructors are welcome to examine books for potential adoption, whether at the McFarland booth at ASALH or electronically, by submitting a request via our web form.

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Newly Published: Mary Nolan, Ziegfeld Girl and Silent Movie Star

New on our bookshelf:

Mary Nolan, Ziegfeld Girl and Silent Movie Star: A Biography Including Her 1941 Memoir
Louise Carley Lewisson and Mary Nolan

Mary Nolan (1905–1948), also known as Imogene “Bubbles” Wilson, was the subject of two infamous court cases—one with Frank Tinney and the other with Eddie Mannix—in the 1920s. Like many Ziegfeld Follies girls, she had the beginnings of a promising career, but by the 1930s it had been destroyed by adultery, drugs and physical abuse.

This biography follows Nolan’s life from the backwoods of Kentucky to her death in 1948. Included is a series of newspaper articles published in 1941 that were to be expanded into her memoir, which she was unable to complete before her death.

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Newly Published: Cinderella in Spain

New on our bookshelf:

Cinderella in Spain: Variations of the Story as Socio-Ethical Texts
Maia Fernández-Lamarque

Every culture in the world has a version of the story of Cinderella. Surveying thousands of tellings of what is perhaps the most popular fairy tale of all time, this critical examination explores how the famous folk heroine embodies common societal values, traits and ethics. Multiple adaptations in Spain—gay Cinderella, suicidal Cinderella, censored Cinderella, masked Cinderella, porn Cinderella and others—highlight not only Spanish traditions, history and Zeitgeist, but reflect the story’s global appeal on a philosophical level.

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September Journalism Books Sale

These books discuss a wide range of topics about journalism, the only profession protected by the Constitution. Investigative reporting, social media, the First Amendment, ethical conundrums, history of the media, advertising, news entertainment, civics, writing, reporting and pop culture, among other topics, are covered here. Through September 30, get 20% off journalism books with coupon code JOURN19.

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Newly Published: The Simpsons’ Beloved Springfield

New on our bookshelf:

The Simpsons’ Beloved Springfield: Essays on the TV Series and Town That Are Part of Us All
Edited by Karma Waltonen and Denise Du Vernay

First aired in 1989, The Simpsons has become America’s most beloved animated show. It changed the world of television, bringing to the screen a cartoon for adults, a sitcom without a laugh track, an imperfect lower class family, a mixture of high and low comedy and satire for the masses. This collection of new essays explores the many ways in which The Simpsons reflects everyday life through its exploration of gender roles, music, death, food politics, science and religion, anxiety, friendship and more.

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Newly Published: Meet the Bronies

New on our bookshelf:

Meet the Bronies: The Psychology of the Adult My Little Pony Fandom
Patrick Edwards, Daniel P. Chadborn, Courtney N. Plante, Stephen Reysen, Marsha Howze Redden

In 2010, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic premiered on television. A large, avid fandom soon emerged—not the pre-teen female demographic earlier versions of the franchise had been created for, but a roughly 80 percent male audience, most of them age 14–24. With this came questions about the nature of the audience who would come to call themselves “bronies.” Brony Studies was born.

Approaching the fandom from a perspective of clinical, social and experimental psychology, this study presents eight years of research, written for academics and fans alike. An understanding of the brony fan culture has broader application for other fan communities as well.

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Four New Titles Reviewed in September Issue of Choice

Snakes in American Culture: A Hisstory
“This book offers a valuable perspective on snakes that would be a welcome addition to any library collection. Excellent references and the careful consideration of historical topics are of particular merit…recommended.”

The Body, the Dance and the Text: Essays on Performance and the Margins of History
“An informative collection that can be used in composition, criticism and aesthetics, and pedagogy courses…recommended.”

Bobby Maduro and the Cuban Sugar Kings
“Relying on contemporary newspaper accounts, baseball archives, and interviews with surviving players and members of the Maduro family, this book is both thoroughly researched and engaging…recommended.”

Professionalizing Medicine: James Reeves and the Choices That Shaped American Health Care
“This well-researched biography makes a positive contribution to the history of medicine…offers inspiration for today’s medical professionals confronting problems in health care by affirming that moral decisions should determine the path of the politics, economics, and science that may drive modern health care…recommended.”

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Newly Published: Transmedia Harry Potter

New on our bookshelf:

Transmedia Harry Potter: Essays on Storytelling Across Platforms
Edited by Christopher E. Bell

Transmediation—the telling of a single story across multiple media—is a relatively new phenomenon. While there have been adaptations (books to films, for example) for more than a century, modern technology and media consumption have expanded the scope of trans-mediating practices.
Nowhere are these more evident than within the Harry Potter universe, where a coherent world and narrative are iterated across books, films, video games, fan fiction, art, music and more. Curated by a leading Harry Potter scholar, this collection of new essays explores the range of Potter texts across a variety of media.

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Metallica’s Kirk Hammett Praises McFarland in New Interview

In a new interview in Bright Lights Film Journal, Metallica’s Kirk Hammett opens up about his love of classic horror films, and he singles out McFarland in his praise:

“There’s a really, really great publishing house called McFarland that kind of specializes in preserving the integrity and the personality of the directors and the actors and what it was like to be on the set of a lot of these films and, you know, to be in a lot of these subgroups that were working on some of these films. It’s really amazing. Check that out: McFarland. It is really, truly amazing.”

Read the entire interview here!

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Newly Published: Bob Steele on the Radio

New on our bookshelf:

Bob Steele on the Radio: The Life of Connecticut’s Beloved Broadcaster
Paul Hensler

For more than sixty years, Bob Steele was the radio voice of Southern New England, entertaining listeners of WTIC AM with his wit and humor and an inimitable style that kept listeners faithfully tuning in to his morning show. Capturing the nation’s highest market share, the National Radio Hall of Fame inductee maintained an unparalleled popularity through the latter half of the twentieth century.

This first ever biography of Bob Steele details both the home life and the award-winning broadcasting career of this Connecticut media legend, from his humble Midwestern roots to the pinnacle of radio fame. Steele and his “The Word for the Day” feature remain forever embedded in the memories of his many listeners.

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Newly Published: Pine-Thomas Productions

New on our bookshelf:

Pine-Thomas Productions: A History and Filmography
David C. Tucker

Dubbed “The Dollar Bills,” William H. Pine and William C. Thomas made 1940s Hollywood take notice with their B movies for Paramount that gave solid entertainment while cutting costs to the bone. In the 1950s, with television looming, Pine-Thomas Productions began making bigger-budget films with stars including James Cagney and Jane Wyman, and incorporating trends like 3-D. “The public is Hollywood’s boss,” Pine said, and the company gave moviegoers what they wanted.

Written with the assistance of the Pine and Thomas families, this book draws on Thomas’ never-published memoir, interviews with colleagues and relatives, and rarely seen photographs to document the story of Pine-Thomas and its founders. An annotated filmography covers their 76 feature films and five shorts. Appendices give biographical sketches of such actors as Robert Lowery, Jean Parker and John Payne, as well as the directors, cinematographers and other crew members who made movies at top speed with more ingenuity than money.

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Newly Published: Reality Simulation in Science Fiction Literature, Film and Television

New on our bookshelf:

Reality Simulation in Science Fiction Literature, Film and Television
Heather Duerre Humann

In recent decades, science fiction in both print and visual media has produced an outpouring of story lines that feature forms of simulated reality. These depictions appear with such frequency that fictional portrayals of simulated worlds have become a popular sci-fi trope—one that prompts timeless questions about the nature of reality while also tapping into contemporary debates about emerging technologies. In combination with tech-driven tensions, this study shows that our collective sense of living in politically uncertain times also propels the popularity of these story lines. Because of the kinds of questions they raise and the cultural anxieties they provoke, these fictional representations provide a window into contemporary culture and demonstrate how we are reassessing our own reality.

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Newly Published: Darkening the Italian Screen

New on our bookshelf:

Darkening the Italian Screen: Interviews with Genre and Exploitation Directors Who Debuted in the 1950s and 1960s
Eugenio Ercolani

The birth and rise of popular Italian cinema since the early 1950s can be attributed purely to necessity. The vast number of genres, sub-genres, currents and crossovers and the way they have overlapped, died out or replaced each other has been an attempt, in postwar years, to contain the invasion of U.S. product while satisfying the demands the American industry had created in Italy.

The author explores one of the most multi-faceted and contradictory industries cinema has ever known through the careers of those most closely associated with it. His recorded interviews were conducted with directors and actors both well-known and upcoming.

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Newly Published: Gender, Sexuality and Queerness in American Horror Story

New on our bookshelf:

Gender, Sexuality and Queerness in American Horror Story: Critical Essays
Edited by Harriet E.H. Earle

The horror anthology TV show American Horror Story first aired on FX Horror in 2011 and has thus far spanned eight seasons. Addressing many areas of cultural concern, the show has tapped in to conversations about celebrity culture, family dynamics, and more.

This volume with nine new essays and one reprinted one considers how this series engages with representations of gender, sexuality, queer identities and other LGBTQ issues. The contributors address myriad elements of American Horror Story, from the relationship between gender and nature to contemporary masculinities, offering a sustained analysis of a show that has proven to be central to contemporary genre television.

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Newly Published: Margaret Sullavan

New on our bookshelf:

Margaret Sullavan: The Life and Career of a Reluctant Star
Michael D. Rinella

In 1933, Margaret Sullavan made her film debut and was an overnight sensation. For the next three decades, she enchanted audiences and critics in any medium she chose—film, theater, television—and was regarded as one of the foremost dramatic actresses. Off screen, she epitomized the Southern Belle—beauty, hospitality and flirtatiousness. Deep down, she suffered from crippling insecurity, especially as a mother—a feeling exacerbated by progressive hearing loss. By age 50, she could no longer cope and took an overdose of sleeping pills. This biography covers her film career with insightful criticism from the period and details her personal life, including her marriage to Henry Fonda, her special friendship with James Stewart and her bitter rivalry with Katharine Hepburn.

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Newly Published: Beryl Halley

New on our bookshelf:

Beryl Halley: The Life and Follies of a Ziegfeld Beauty, 1897–1988
Jacob L. Bapst and Ivan M. Tribe

Born in rural Ohio in 1897, Beryl Halley was educated at a strict Freewill Baptist school. After briefly teaching in a one-room schoolhouse, she joined the navy in 1918 before her unlikely path led her to Broadway, then to the Ziegfeld Follies (1923–1925). She also appeared in Earl Carroll’s Vanities and other revues, as well as in films, and had a widely publicized brush with the law (over alleged nudity) in 1926.

She retired from show business in 1930, married an insurance executive and had a family, later reappearing in the public eye as an officer in the Ziegfeld Girls’ Club. Making her home in Houston in the 1950s, she worked as legal secretary for a large law firm. Her death at age 90 was unpublicized. Her story is told here for the first time.

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Newly Published: Women’s Space

New on our bookshelf:

Women’s Space: Essays on Female Characters in the 21st Century Science Fiction Western
Edited by Melanie A. Marotta

From the Star Wars expanded universe to Westworld, the science fiction western has captivated audiences for more than fifty years. These twelve new essays concentrate on the female characters in the contemporary science fiction western, addressing themes of power, agency, intersectionality and the body. Discussing popular works such as FringeGuardians of the Galaxy and Mass Effect, the essayists shed new light on the gender dynamics of these beloved franchises, emphasizing inclusion and diversity with their critical perspectives.

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Newly Published: Joss Whedon, Anarchist?

New on our bookshelf:

Joss Whedon, Anarchist?: A Unified Theory of the Films and Television Series
James Rocha and Mona Rocha

Joss Whedon has created numerous TV series, movies, comics and one sing-along-blog, all of which focus on societal problems in the metaphorical guise of monsters-of-the-week and over-arching big-bads.

The present work examines structural violence through interdimensional law firm Wolfram & Hart’s legal representation of evil. We explore the limits of consent through the Rossum Corporation’s coercion and manipulation. We rehearse the struggle to find meaningful freedom from the crew of Serenity.

This book traces a theme of anarchist theory through the multiple strings of the Whedonverse—all of his works show how ordinary heroes can unite for the love of humanity to save the world from hierarchy and paternalism.

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Newly Published: The Television Horrors of Dan Curtis

New on our bookshelf:

The Television Horrors of Dan Curtis: Dark Shadows, The Night Stalker and Other Productions, 2d ed.
Jeff Thompson

Before award-winning director Dan Curtis became known for directing epic war movies, he darkened the small screen with the horror genre’s most famous soap opera, Dark Shadows, and numerous subsequent made-for-TV horror movies. This second edition serves as a complete filmography, featuring each of Curtis’s four-dozen productions and 100 photographs. With the addition of new chapters on Dark Shadows, the author further explores the groundbreaking daytime television serial. Fans and scholars alike will find an exhaustive account of Curtis’s work, as well as a new foreword from My Music producer Jim Pierson and an afterword from Dr. Mabuse director Ansel Faraj.

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Newly Published: On Stage at the Ballet

New on our bookshelf:

On Stage at the Ballet: My Life as Dancer and Artistic Director
Robert Barnett with Cynthia Crain

Dancer Robert Barnett trained under legendary choreographer Bronislava Nijinska. His professional ballet career was launched when he joined the Colonel de Basil Original Ballet Russe company. In the late 1940s, when George Balanchine and Lincoln Kirstein formed the New York City Ballet, Barnett was among the first generation of dancers. Under Balanchine’s direction, he rose from corps de ballet to soloist.

In 1958 he became principal dancer and associate artistic director of the Atlanta Ballet—the oldest continuously operating company in America—and served as artistic director for more than thirty years. He was head coach of the American delegation to the International Ballet Competitions in Varna, Bulgaria, in 1980 and in Moscow in 1981.

Barnett’s autobiography recounts the life of a dancer and artistic director, offers insight into what is involved in pursuing a professional career in dance and provides a history of ballet in America from the early 1920s through 2019.

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Newly Published: Shakespeare Scholars in Conversation

New on our bookshelf:

Shakespeare Scholars in Conversation: Interviews with 24 Leading Experts
Michael P. Jensen

Twenty-four of today’s most prominent Shakespeare scholars discuss the best-known works in Shakespeare studies, along with some nearly forgotten classics that deserve fresh appraisal.
An extensive bibliography provides a reading list of the most important works in the field. A filmography then lists the most important Shakespeare films, along with the films that influenced Shakespeare filmmakers.

Interviewees include Sir Stanley Wells, Sir Jonathan Bate, Sir Brian Vickers, Ann Thompson, Virginia Mason Vaughan, George T. Wright, Lukas Erne, MacDonald P. Jackson, Peter Holland, James Shapiro, Katherine Duncan-Jones and Barbara Hodgdon.

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Newly Published: “Hailing frequencies open”

New on our bookshelf:

“Hailing frequencies open”: Communication in Star Trek: The Next Generation
Thomas D. Parham, III

Star Trek: The Next Generation blended speculative science fiction and space opera in its portrayal of communication. Multiple modes of communication used between characters are presented and the multilevel tapestry of communication in the series is critical in its appeal.

This book proposes that these patterns of communication reveal a foundational philosophy of Star Trek(while enticing millions of viewers). These patterns serve both to cause strong empathetic connections with characters and to impel viewers to form relationships with the show, explaining their extreme devotion.

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Newly Published: The Struggle Behind the Soundtrack

New on our bookshelf:

The Struggle Behind the Soundtrack: Inside the Discordant New World of Film Scoring
Stephan Eicke

Do you want to pick up a light saber whenever you hear John Williams’ Star Wars theme? Get the urge to ride into the desert and face down steely-eyed desperados to the refrain of Ennio Morricone’s The Good, the Bad and the Ugly? Does Hans Zimmer’s Pirates of the Caribbean score have you talking like Jack Sparrow?

From the Westerns of the 1960s to current blockbusters, composers for both film and television have faced new challenges—evermore elaborate sound design, temp tracks, test audiences and working with companies that invest in film score recordings all have led to creative sparks, as well as frustrations. Drawing on interviews with more than 40 notable composers, this book gives an in-depth analysis of the industry and reveals the creative process behind such artists as Klaus Badelt, Mychael Danna, Abel Korzeniowski, Walter Murch, Rachel Portman, Alan Silvestri, Randy Thom and others.

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Newly Published: Dracula as Absolute Other

New on our bookshelf:

Dracula as Absolute Other: The Troubling and Distracting Specter of Stoker’s Vampire on Screen
Simon Bacon

Dark, dangerous and transgressive, Bram Stoker’s Dracula is often read as Victorian society’s absolute Other—an outsider who troubles and distracts those around him, one who represents the fears and anxieties of the age. This book is a study of Dracula’s role of absolute Other as it appears on screen, and an investigation of popular culture’s continued fascination with vampires. Drawing on vampire films spanning from the early 20th century to 2017, the author examines how different generations construct Otherness and how this is reflected in vampire media.

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Newly Published: Eugene O’Neill and the Reinvention of Theatre Aesthetics

New on our bookshelf:

Eugene O’Neill and the Reinvention of Theatre Aesthetics
Thierry Dubost

The plays of Eugene O’Neill testify to his continued search for new dramatic strategies. The author explores the Nobel Prize winner’s attempts at creating a new Modern play. He shows how, moving away from melodrama or “the problem play,” O’Neill revisited the classical frames of drama and reinvented theater aesthetics by resorting to masks, the chorus, acoustics, silence or immobility for the creation of his dramatic works.

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Newly Published: Medieval Art and the Look of Silent Film

New on our bookshelf:

Medieval Art and the Look of Silent Film: The Influence on Costume and Set Design
Lora Ann Sigler

The heyday of silent film soon became quaint with the arrival of “talkies.” As early as 1929, critics and historians were writing of the period as though it were the distant past. Much of the literature on the silent era focuses on its filmic art—ambiance and psychological depth, the splendor of the sets and costumes—yet overlooks the inspiration behind these.

This book explores the Middle Ages as the prevailing influence on costume and set design in silent film and a force in fashion and architecture of the era. In the wake of World War I, designers overthrew the artifice of prewar style and manners and drew upon what seemed a nobler, purer age to create an ambiance that reflected higher ideals.

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Newly Published: Horror Comes Home

New on our bookshelf:

Horror Comes Home: Essays on Hauntings, Possessions and Other Domestic Terrors in Cinema
Edited by Cynthia J. Miller and A. Bowdoin Van Riper

Home, we are taught from childhood, is safe. Home is a refuge that keeps the monsters out—until it isn’t.

This collection of new essays focuses on genre horror movies in which the home is central to the narrative, whether as refuge, prison, menace or supernatural battleground. The contributors explore the shifting role of the home as both a source and a mitigator of the terrors of this world, and the next.

Well known films are covered—including PsychoGet OutInsidious: The Last Key and Winchester House—along with films produced outside the U.S. by directors such as Alejandro Amenábar (The Others), Hideo Nakata (Ringu) and Guillermo Del Toro (The Orphanage), and often overlooked classics like Alfred Hitchcock’s The Lodger.

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Newly Published: The Traveling Chautauqua

New on our bookshelf:

The Traveling Chautauqua: Caravans of Culture in Early 20th Century America
Roger E. Barrows

Before radio and sound movies, early 20th century performers and lecturers traveled the nation providing entertainment and education to Americans thirsty for culture. These “chautauquas” brought politicians, activists, scholars, musical ensembles and theatrical productions to remote communities. A conduit for global perspectives and progressive ideas, these gatherings introduced issues like equal suffrage, prohibition and pure food laws to rural America.

This book explores an overlooked yet influential movement in U.S. history, capturing the vagaries of speakers’ and performers’ lives on the road and their reception by audiences. Excerpts from lectures and plays portray a vibrant circuit that in a single summer drew 20 million in more than 9,000 towns.

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Newly Published: Girl Warriors

New on our bookshelf:

Girl Warriors: Feminist Revisions of the Hero’s Quest in Contemporary Popular Culture
Svenja Hohenstein

Quest narratives are as old as Western culture. In stories like The OdysseyThe Lord of the RingsStar Wars and Harry Potter, men set out on journeys, fight battles and become heroes. Women traditionally feature in such stories as damsels in need of rescue or as the prizes at the end of heroic quests. These narratives perpetuate predominant gender roles by casting men as active and women as passive. Focusing on stories in which popular teenage heroines—Buffy Summers, Katniss Everdeen and Disney’s Princess Merida—embark on daring journeys, this book explores what happens when traditional gender roles and narrative patterns are subverted. The author examines representations of these characters across various media—film, television, novels, posters, merchandise, fan fiction and fan art, and online memes—that model concepts of heroism and girlhood inspired by feminist ideas.

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Newly Published: Discovering Musicals

New on our bookshelf:

Discovering Musicals: A Liberal Arts Guide to Stage and Screen
Marc Raymond Strauss

One of the few studies that cover both Broadway and Hollywood musicals, this book explores a majority of the most famous musicals over the past two centuries plus a select number of overlooked gems. Doubling as an introductory college and university text for musical, dance and theater majors and a guide for both musical connoisseurs and novices, the book includes YouTube references of nearly 1000 examples of dances and songs from musicals.

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Newly Published: Woody Allen and Charlie Chaplin

New on our bookshelf:

Woody Allen and Charlie Chaplin: Little Men, Big Auteurs
Jill Franks

The comic archetype of the Little Man—a “nobody” who stands up to unfairness—is central to the films of Woody Allen and Charlie Chaplin. Portraying the alienation of life in an indifferent world with a mix of pathos, irony and slapstick, both adopted absurdist characters—Chaplin’s bumbling yet clever Tramp with his shabby clothes, and Allen’s fool with his metaphysical witticisms and proclivity to fall in love too quickly.

Both men were auteurs who managed to retain creative control of their work and achieve worldwide popularity. Both felt an attraction to young women. Drawing on psychoanalysis and gender-studies, this book explores their films as barometers of their respective cultural moments, marking the shift between modernism and postmodernism.

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Newly Published: Obituaries in the Performing Arts, 2018

New on our bookshelf:

Obituaries in the Performing Arts, 2018
Harris M. Lentz III

The entertainment world lost many notable talents in 2018, including movie icon Burt Reynolds, “Queen of Soul” Aretha Franklin, celebrity chef and food critic Anthony Bourdain, bestselling novelist Anita Shreve and influential Chicago blues artist Otis Rush.

Obituaries of actors, filmmakers, musicians, producers, dancers, composers, writers and others associated with the performing arts who died in 2018 are included. Date, place and cause of death are provided for each, along with a career recap and a photograph. Filmographies are given for film and television performers. Books in this annual series are available dating to 1994—a subscription is available for future volumes.

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Newly Published: Professionals in Western Film and Fiction

New on our bookshelf:

Professionals in Western Film and Fiction: The Portrayal of Doctors, Lawyers, Journalists, Clergymen and Others
Kenneth E. Hall

In American Westerns, the main characters are most often gunfighters, lawmen, ranchers and dancehall girls. Civil professionals such as doctors, engineers and journalists have been given far less representation, appearing as background characters in most films and fiction. However, in Westerns about the 1910 Mexican Revolution, civil professionals also feature prominently in the narrative, often as members of the intelligentsia—an important force in Mexican politics. This book compares the roles of civil professionals in most American Westerns to those in work on the 1910 Mexican Revolution. Included are studies on the Santiago Toole novels by Richard Wheeler, Strange Lady in Town with Greer Garson and La sombra del Caudillo by Martín Luis Guzmán.

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McFarland 40th Anniversary Sale

We’re turning 40, and we’re celebrating with a special fortieth anniversary sale! Through June 30, get a 25% discount on ALL books when you use the code ANN2019. And if you’ll be in our area (Ashe County, North Carolina, in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains), we’d love to see you at our open house event on Friday, June 14. Thank you for supporting our first 40 years—we look forward to celebrating many more birthdays with you.

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McFarland Turns 40

On June 14, 2019, McFarland will celebrate its fortieth anniversary with an open house party. From noon to five, our campus at 960 Hwy 88 W, Jefferson, NC will be open to the public with finger food, conversation and tours available, and many of our authors will be in attendance. To stay up-t0-date with event information, follow our event page. Below is a brief company history, with personal thoughts, by founder and editor-in-chief Robert Franklin.

McFarland Publishers Now Forty Years Old
by Robert Franklin

McFarland’s history (founder, Robbie Franklin, me): My close friends Biff and Alicia Stickel were burned out special ed teachers in Connecticut, early 70’s.  What to do?  Back to the land!  They (and their little daughter Maranatha Shone Stickel) drove south till they loved the vibe and the scenery and wound up living on Peak Road from 1972 through part of 1978 (and birthing Micah Stickel).  Alicia played piano at the local Baptist church and they were cofounders of the Creston Co-op.  I visited them in ’72 (instantly fell for the land and people, the forefinger car salute, the almost drinkable river) and again every year after, and when wife Cheryl Roberts came into my life in 1975, we visited.  Soon I was bragging about Ashe County to everybody – “If your car breaks down, the very next person to come along will stop and ask if you need help.”  I hope a few readers can recognize the Stickels’ name (he goes by Richard now; they live in Toronto).  They are the reason McFarland was begun in Ashe County.  We present band of publishers, about fifty in number, owe them great honor.

I did not learn till after we moved here in 1979 that my Revolutionary War ancestor Lieutenant Robert McFarland, after whupping the king at Kings Mountain, lived up here in the 1790s.  He then went overmountain to become the first ever sheriff of Greene/Washington County, Tennessee.  (I was born in Memphis.)

McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers is our official name.  Founded in April 1979 right here.  I had been the executive editor of a smallish scholarly publisher in New Jersey; my mentor/boss/friend Eric Moon (a charismatic Brit) knew before I did it was time for me to go off on “my own” (very misleading words!).  The local Ashe County newspaper was failing by 1978 and at first I thought, o.k., I’m an editor type, maybe I can start up a new one.  Between summer and Christmas the local fellow David Desautels decided the same thing and very successfully started The Jefferson Times.  We became friends and McFarland’s earliest two or three books (including a biography of Soviet leader Brezhnev) were typeset using off-hours time on that new newspaper’s equipment.  Katy Zell Taylor was our first fulltime employee (Ashe Central H.S. yearbook editor!) and did a lot of typesetting and correcting.  Dental Care in Society was our first published book, in 1980 (ask me some day).

After deciding up in New Jersey to stay with book (versus newspaper) publishing, I phoned the Jefferson Post Office in February 1979 to set up a box number mailing address – they said people had to apply in person.  Whew!  So I flew from Newark to Tri-Cities, Tennessee (what did I know?), rented a car, drove to Jefferson (hours!), filled out a form, got back in the car, drove back to Tri-Cities, and got back home not long before day was done.

A couple of months later, on April 1, 1979, Cheryl and I packed our former life stuff (including hundreds of books—heavy!) in a small U-Haul, attached it to our VW bug, and  began to drive south, the Stickels’ Ashe County on our minds.

My ninth-grade homeroom friend (Toledo, Ohio), Mike Strand, had helped with some financial and emotional support and we stopped at his place in Maryland overnight.  Armed with an Ashe return address, I had written several hundred letters (yes!) on a yellow pad on my knees in the front seat while Cheryl drove, and Mike arranged for a nearby university used-to-weird-hours thesis typist to type them all overnight; we mailed them April 2 and drove on.  We were headed to my parents’ (retired librarians) house in Charlottesville, with me again writing several hundred short letters on my lap. We had arranged for a similar heroic overnight typing fest (the two days: 905 letters to all the authors I had addresses for, saying my former employer will take good care of you, they’re wonderful publishers—But if by any chance they turn you down for something, give us a shot!).

The U-Haul was too much for the Bug and our left rear wheel came OFF 20 miles north of Charlottesville—but stayed in the wheel well (having nowhere else to go), behaving violently.  Definitely exciting (it was my stint at the wheel).  We lost two or three days; I split logs for my parents’ fireplace.

In Ashe County finally, we scooped up some reply mail from authors.  Already!  And we soon secured a sweet farmhouse in Dillard Holler (landlord Jesse Dillard; Mom-figure Clyde Dillard; horse-plus-himself quarter-acre-garden plower Jones Dillard).  The Dillard families taught us a great deal about what being “conservative” actually means.  (One day Jesse turned up with several hundred fence rails he stored near “our” (his) house; no immediate need, but “I got ’em for 25¢ each.”  They stayed stacked for years…)  The birth of our sons Charles (in ’81), Nicholas (’85) and William (’89) certainly emphasized the Dillards’ lessons.  (Jesse routinely tossed hay bales up into pickup trucks in his 80’s.  Lemme be him!)

McFarland itself started out next to the H & R Block office, near the florist, in Jefferson, a small space but enough for our first couple of years.  The Jefferson Post Office turned out, under our loyal friend Charles Caudill, to be one of our greatest early assets.  He was so supportive as McF struggled through ignorance of mass mailings, foreign registered packages (we learned together!), “library rate” book mailings, etc.  McFarland moved in 1981 or ’82 to the Mountain View shopping center between the towns and quickly expanded there.  In 1982 we lucked out by having Rhonda Herman agree to join the tiny staff, doing all the “business” stuff while I coddled authors, edited manuscripts and coached the typesetters.  High school senior Cynthia Campbell became a stalwart and sixteen year old Cherie Scott was a wow of a typesetter, along with Katy Taylor, on our new typesetting equipment.  Within three years we were producing 40 or so new books a year (in 2018 the total was nearly 400).

Meanwhile, the people of Ashe County all around us showed interest, great surprise (“A Publisher in Ashe County?” read one huge Jefferson Times headline), and affection.  Highly significant was Hal Colvard, repeatedly trusting us, at Northwestern bank, another wonderful early friend of McFar.  We warmly greeted each other on Saturday mornings at the post office for many years after he retired.

By 1984 we’d moved to our present location, which became five buildings on both sides of the road.  We’re technically inside Jefferson town limits.  We took Mackey McDonald’s trim brick ranch house, whacked walls left and right, pushed out here, there… Years later we added a second floor – my joke is, the main building now has more roof lines than an Italian hill village.

We are, or were, a library-oriented scholarly and reference book publisher.  (We’ve grown much more into a straight-to-people operation today but libraries are still a critical component of our efforts.)  Two of our earliest works were Library Display Ideas by my sister Linda Franklin and Free Magazines for Libraries, by Adeline Mercer Smith: they were terrific sales successes.  Another 1982 biggie was Anabolic Steroids and the Athlete by William M. Taylor, M.D.  We hit that topic just as it exploded nationwide.  One of the most memorable early works was Keep Watching the Skies! by Bill Warren (1982).  This huge book expertly, humorously covers in amazing depth every American science fiction movie of the 1950s and a lot of Hollywood Big Names spoke highly of it in print.  We were famous!  (Well, the author was…)

McFarland was an early strong supporter of the local arts scene.  (There are hundreds of paintings hanging in four of our buildings.)  Cheryl Roberts and I founded the publication ARTS/DATES for the Arts Council in 1980 or 1981, and for more than a decade paid all its expenses as it grew grander and ever more useful.  Loyal Jane Lonon (Arts Council head) wangled twice for us an N.C. Governor’s Business Award for the Arts and Humanities (go to Raleigh; shake hands; pose for photos; eat dinner).

I joined the strong, active Ashe County Little Theatre and played Dracula for them in 1981, sporting fangs crafted by the late Brett Summey, who became a good friend, now truly missed.  Jane Lonon and I wowed the crowd in The King and I and Tom Fowler and I rolled them in the aisles in Greater Tuna.  When I played Macbeth, the high school English teacher promised extra credit to student attendees.

McFarland’s output grew rapidly—by the 1990s we were producing hundreds of new titles each year and our staff had doubled, then tripled in size.  Margie Turnmire had arrived in the mid–’80s, a beautiful soul and a very smart lady:  director of finance and administration.  In 1995 the Ashe County Chamber of Commerce honored us with a Business of the Year award (I believe we were the third such) and in 1998 The Wall Street Journal ran a feature article on us, showing that we are a bit unusual in our range of offerings.  We have a commanding position in, for example, Vietnam combat memoirs, chess history, baseball (teams, eras, bios), automotive history and popular culture (film, TV, comics, literature…).  We’ve done many reference books (though with Wiki-Google etc. now such works are uneconomical to produce); a Library Journal book of the year was local John Stewart’s African States and Rulers in 1989.  Lots of Civil War, World War II, American/European/World history, literary criticism.  Authors from all over the world.  That part’s fun!  As I write this we have published 7,800 titles.

We had busted out of our onsite warehouse and used the old Ashe County Jail on Buffalo Road for several years in the 80s!  Ultimately we had to move our shipping operation into the building next to the Arts Council owned by Jim Reeves.  On its outer wall facing the Arts Center we had Jack Young do the town’s first mural (now painted over):  “Ashe County through the Ages.”  Finally, Mike Herman built us an entirely new warehouse across the road from our main building in about 1990.  Fourteen years later, then-vice-president Rhonda Herman (now president) moved the company onto firmer financial footing by arranging to install state-of-the-art printing equipment in that warehouse (we’d always used out-of-house printing firms).

Cheryl and I love Ashe County.  We love the people.  We love the trees, the river.  (We came in first in the Mixed Expert class canoe race four or five years ago!)  I even like the curves driving 23 miles to and fro our home to work (we live practically on the Tennessee line, up in the Flatwoods).  The finger salute still works and the tire zing helps me think through business challenges.  Our three boys, Charles, Nicky and William, also revere their place of birth.  McFarland has about 50 employees, all of whom are exceptionally talented.  When I got here to start the company, I truly had my pick of some of the best talent available anywhere, and I mean Anywhere.  Our typesetters know every Hungarian or Swedish accent mark there is!

The local merchants have become business partners.  Local artists have paintings hanging in our offices.  The restaurants are great for business lunches.  The weather—sublime (I learned to fell trees and the art of minimizing the lifting and stacking of logs our first year here); I like winter!  Mike Herman built our house and the numerous renovations of our current space—impossible to imagine a better job.  Stan Barker did some fabulous stone walls at our home.  I feel both cozy and exhilarated just getting up in the morning!  Ashe County, we’re for you!

McFarland is having an open house (snacks, drinks, tours) starting at noon on Friday, June 14th.  We want to show our thanks to a community that has nurtured us for 40 years.  Come one, come all!

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Newly Published: The Films of Robin Williams

New on our bookshelf:

The Films of Robin Williams: Critical Essays
Edited by Johnson Cheu

From his first appearance as Mork from Ork on the 1970s sitcom Happy Days, Robin Williams was heralded as a singular talent. In the pre–cable television era, he was one of the few performers to successfully transition from TV to film. An Oscar-winning actor and preternaturally quick-witted comedian, Williams became a cultural icon, leaving behind a large and varied body of work when he unexpectedly took his own life in 2014.

This collection of new essays brings together a range of perspectives on Williams and his oeuvre, including beloved hits like Mrs. DoubtfireGood Morning, VietnamGood Will HuntingThe Fisher KingDead Poets Society and Aladdin. Contributors explore his earlier work (Mork and MindyThe World According to Garp) and his political and satirical films (Moscow on the HudsonToys). Williams’s darker, less well-known fare, such as Being HumanOne Hour PhotoFinal Cut and Boulevard, is also covered. Williams’s artistry has become woven into the fabric of our global media culture.

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Author Charles “Jerry” Juroe Receives France’s Legion of Honor

Charles “Jerry” Juroe, who ran publicity on 14 James Bond movies, starting with Dr. No in 1962, will be awarded France’s prestigious Legion of Honor award for excellence in military conduct on June 6th, 2019 during D-Day Celebrations in Normandy.  Juroe, 96, was part of the historic invasion on June 6th, 1944.  After his WWII service, Juroe had a long career in the film industry, starting out as a publicist for Paramount Pictures, then serving as the personal publicist for stars like Bob Hope, Bing Crosby and Marilyn Monroe when she was filming The Prince And The Showgirl in England.  Jerry was based in Europe for many years, working for every major studio. He worked with The Beatles on their UA movies, A Hard Day’s Night and Help!, but is best known for his association with the Bond films and his fruitful working relationship with legendary producer, Albert “Cubby” Broccoli. In 2018, he published his memoir, Bond, the Beatles and My Year with Marilyn: 50 Years as a Movie Marketing Man.

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Newly Published: Spike Lee’s Bamboozled and Blackface in American Culture

New on our bookshelf:

Spike Lee’s Bamboozled and Blackface in American Culture
Elizabeth L. Sanderson

Spike Lee’s challenging film Bamboozled (2000) is often read as a surface level satire of blackface minstrelsy. Careful analysis, however, gives way to a complex and nuanced study of the history of black performance. This book analyzes the work of five men, minstrel performer Bert Williams, director Oscar Micheaux, writer Ralph Ellison, painter Michael Ray Charles, and director Spike Lee, all through the lens of this misunderstood film. Equal parts biography and cultural analysis, this book examines the intersections of these five artists and Bamboozled, and investigates their shared legacy of resistance against misrepresentation.

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Newly Published: Finding God in the Devil’s Music

New on our bookshelf:

Finding God in the Devil’s Music: Critical Essays on Rock and Religion
Edited by Alex DiBlasi and Robert McParland

From the rise of the American Evangelical movement to the introduction of Eastern philosophies in the West, the past century has seen major changes in the religious makeup of Western culture. As one result, musicians across the world have brought both “new” and old religious beliefs into their works. This book investigates Rock music as an expression of religious inquiry and religious devotion. Contributors to this essay collection use a variety of sources, including artist biographies, record and concert reviews, videos, personal experience, rock music forums and social media in order to investigate the relationship of Rock music and religion from a number of perspectives. The essays also explore public interest in religion as a platform for expression and social critique, viewing this issue through the lens of popular Rock music.

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Newly Published: Parenting in the Zombie Apocalypse

New on our bookshelf:

Parenting in the Zombie Apocalypse: The Psychology of Raising Children in a Time of Horror
Steven J. Kirsh

Parenting is difficult under the best of circumstances—but extremely daunting when humanity faces cataclysmic annihilation. When the dead rise, hardship, violence and the ever-present threat of flesh-eating zombies will adversely affect parents and children alike.

Depending on their age, children will have little chance of surviving a single encounter with the undead, let alone the unending peril of the Zombie Apocalypse. The key to their survival—and thus the survival of the species—will be the caregiving they receive.

Drawing on psychological theory and real-world research on developmental status, grief, trauma, mental illness, and child-rearing in stressful environments, this book critically examines factors influencing parenting, and the likely outcomes of different caregiving techniques in the hypothetical landscape of the living dead.

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Newly Published: Folk Music and the New Left in the Sixties

New on our bookshelf:

Folk Music and the New Left in the Sixties
Michael Scott Cain

Artists have often provided the earliest demonstrations of conscience and ethical examination in response to political events. The political shifts that took place in the 1960s were addressed by a revival of folk music as an expression of protest, hope and the courage to imagine a better world. This work explores the relationship between the cultural and political ideologies of the 1960s and the growing folk music movement, with a focus on musicians Phil Oaks; Joan Baez; Peter, Paul and Mary; Carolyn Hester and Bob Dylan.

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Newly Published: The New York Yankees in Popular Culture

New on our bookshelf:

The New York Yankees in Popular Culture: Critical Essays
Edited by David Krell

How did Reggie Jackson go from superstar to icon? Why did Joe DiMaggio’s nickname change from “Deadpan Joe” to “Joltin’ Joe”? How did Seinfeld affect public perception of George Steinbrenner?

The New York Yankees’ dominance on the baseball diamond has been lauded, analyzed and chronicled. Yet the team’s broader impact on popular culture has been largely overlooked—until now. From Ruth’s called shot to the Reggie! candy bar, this collection of new essays offers untold histories, new interpretations and fresh analyses of baseball’s most successful franchise. Contributors explore the Yankee mystique in film, television, theater, music and advertising.

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Newly Published: Anatomy of the Slasher Film

New on our bookshelf:

Anatomy of the Slasher Film: A Theoretical Analysis
Sotiris Petridis

The term “slasher film” was common parlance by the mid–1980s but the horror subgenre it describes was at least a decade old by then—formerly referred to as “stalker,” “psycho” or “slice-’em-up.” Examining 74 movies—from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) to Texas Chainsaw 3D (2013)—the author identifies the characteristic elements of the subgenre while tracing changes in narrative patterns over the decades.

The slasher canon is divided into three eras: the classical (1974–1993), the self-referential (1994–2000) and the neoslasher cycle (2000–2013).

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Two New Titles Reviewed in Booklist

Too Funny for Words: A Contrarian History of American Screen Comedy from Silent Slapstick to Screwball
“Spirited discussion… Kalat’s knowledgeable and conversational style makes the work accessible to all readers not just the cineastes among us. Film fans, students, and researchers will applaud  this lively and impassioned look at a turning point in American film history.”—Booklist

Robots That Kill: Deadly Machines and Their Precursors in Myth, Folklore, Literature, Popular Culture and Reality
“With a broad range of examples, this examination of humanity’s artificial counterparts offers plenty to delve into for sf fans and everyone interested in a rich context for AI.”—Booklist

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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: 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: 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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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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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.