Posted on

True Crime Sale

April means we’re halfway to our next Halloween, and we think it’s a great time to celebrate all things macabre. This month, we’re offering readers 40% off our most riveting—and often downright frightening—books on real-life monsters and mayhem with our true crime sale. Through April 19th, use coupon code TRUECRIME40 on all of our reads about serial killers, unsolved crimes, famous robberies and more. Browse our true crime catalog here!

Posted on

Newly Published: Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing and Horror Cinema

New on our bookshelf:

Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing and Horror Cinema: A Revised and Expanded Filmography of Their Terrifying Collaborations, 2d ed.
Mark A. Miller and David J. Hogan

From their first pairing in Hamlet (1948) to House of the Long Shadows (1983), British film stars Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing forged perhaps the most successful collaboration in horror film history. In its revised and expanded second edition, this volume examines their 22 movie team-ups, with critical commentary, complete cast and credits, production information, details on cinematography and make-up, exhibition history and box-office figures. A wealth of background about Hammer, Amicus and other production companies is provided, along with more than 100 illustrations.

Lee and Cushing describe particulars of their partnership in original interviews. Exclusive interviews with Robert Bloch, Hazel Court and nearly fifty other actors, directors and others who worked on the Lee-Cushing films are included.

Posted on

Newly Published: Nick McLean Behind the Camera

New on our bookshelf:

Nick McLean Behind the Camera: The Life and Works of a Hollywood Cinematographer
Wayne Byrne and Nick McLean

Nick McLean was one of the most acclaimed camera operators in American cinema of the 1970s, during which time he shot many classics of the New Hollywood movement including McCabe & Mrs. Miller, Heaven Can Wait, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, The Deer Hunter, Marathon Man, and Being There. As a cinematographer throughout the 1980s, McLean would film blockbusters such as Cannonball Run II, City Heat, The Goonies, and Short Circuit before being lured into television to photograph some of the biggest shows in town, including Evening Shade, Cybill, and the pop culture phenomenon Friends, for which he was thrice Emmy-nominated.

This candid biography takes readers on an entertaining journey through five decades of Hollywood filmmaking, detailing McLean’s personal and professional relationships with some of the biggest film stars and directors in Hollywood (such as Robert Altman, Warren Beatty, Sylvester Stallone, Burt Reynolds, John Travolta, Paul Newman, George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, Alfred Hitchcock, and Mel Brooks) while delivering a behind-the-scenes look at some revered classics and beloved blockbusters of American film and television.

Posted on

Newly Published: John Derek

New on our bookshelf:

John Derek: Actor, Director, Photographer
Michelangelo Capua

Actor and director John Derek was born in Hollywood, where his striking good looks helped get him a contract with David O’ Selznick. Derek’s career took off after Humphrey Bogart made him his costar in the cultish noir Knock at Any Doors. Derek appeared in such Academy Award-nominated films as All the King’s MenRun for CoverThe Ten Commandments and Exodus, and worked with directors like Nicholas Ray, Cecil B. DeMille, Otto Preminger and others.

He was a competent, dedicated performer even in his last, trivial roles. In the 1960s, his career in decline, he began directing his own films. Although critics panned the string of movies he made starring his three wives—Ursula Andress, Linda Evans and Bo Derek—some were box-office hits, like Tarzan, the Ape Man. This biography covers his extraordinary life and career, with extensive analysis of his films.

Posted on

Newly Published: Film History Through Trade Journal Art, 1916–1920

New on our bookshelf:

Film History Through Trade Journal Art, 1916–1920
Jeff Codori

The period in film history between the regimentation of the Edison Trust and the vertical integration of the Studio System—roughly 1916 through 1920—was a time of structural and artistic experimentation for the American film industry. As the nature of the industry was evolving, society around it was changing as well; arts, politics and society were in a state of flux between old and new. Before the major studios dominated the industry, droves of smaller companies competed for the attention of the independent exhibitor, their gateway to the movie-goer. Their arena was in the pages of the trade press, and their weapons were their advertisements, often bold and eye-catching.

The reporting of the trade journals, as they witnessed the evolution of the industry from its infancy towards the future, is the basis of this history. Pulled from the pages of the journals themselves as archived by the Media History Digital Library, the observations of the trade press writers are accompanied by cleaned and restored advertisements used in the battle among the young film companies. They offer a unique and vital look at this formative period of film history.

Posted on

Newly Published: Sicily on Screen

New on our bookshelf:

Sicily on Screen: Essays on the Representation of the Island and Its Culture
Edited by Giovanna Summerfield

With its physical beauty and kaleidoscopic cultural background, Sicily has long been a source of inspiration for filmmakers.

Twelve new essays by international scholars—and additional writings from directors Roberta Torre, Giovanna Taviani, and Costanza Quatriglio—seek to offset the near-absence of scholarship focusing on the relationship between the Mediterranean island and cinema. Touching on class relations, immigration, gender and poverty, the essays examine how Sicily is depicted in fiction, satire and documentaries.

Situated between North and South, East and West, innovation and tradition, authenticity and displacement, Sicily acts as a microcosm of the world, a place to explore numerous narratives and develop intercultural dialogue. It is also the center of cinematographic discussions and events such as the Taormina Film Festival and the SalinaDocFest. The volume presents Sicily almost as a character and creator in its own right.

Posted on

Newly Published: Virtual Tribe

New on our bookshelf:

Virtual Tribe: Indigenous Identity in Social Media
Steven C. Dinero

In the post-colonial era, tribal peoples are particularly vulnerable to new technologies and industrialization, which threaten their cultures, homelands and ways of living. However, there is a surprising exception to this trend in the form of social media.

This book explores how tribal and indigenous peoples across the globe are using social media such as Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp in fresh and inventive ways unique to their values and lifestyles.
These platforms help tribal peoples to communicate across boundaries and barriers as never before, and are helping to strengthen communal identity and development in the global age.

Posted on

New to Kindle, March 2020

The following titles are now available on Kindle:

A Century in Uniform: Military Women in American Films
African American Entertainers in Australia and New Zealand: A History, 1788–1941
Apocalypse TV: Essays on Society and Self at the End of the World
Apocalyptic Ecology in the Graphic Novel: Life and the Environment After Societal Collapse
Autogenic Training: A Mind-Body Approach to the Treatment of Chronic Pain Syndrome and Stress-Related Disorders, 3d ed.
Baseball in Europe: A Country by Country History, 2d ed.
Chasing the Bounty: The Voyages of the Pandora and Matavy
Colonels in Blue—Missouri and the Western States and Territories: A Civil War Biographical Dictionary
Electric Trucks: A History of Delivery Vehicles, Semis, Forklifts and Others
Ethics After Poststructuralism: A Critical Reader
Film History Through Trade Journal Art, 1916–1920
Final Battles of Patton’s Vanguard: The United States Army Fourth Armored Division, 1945–1946
George “Mooney” Gibson: Canadian Catcher for the Deadball Era Pirates
Girl of Steel: Essays on Television’s Supergirl and Fourth-Wave Feminism
Hollywood’s Hard-Luck Ladies: 23 Actresses Who Suffered Early Deaths, Accidents, Missteps, Illnesses and Tragedies
Italian Crime Fiction in the Era of the Anti-Mafia Movement
Japan’s Spy at Pearl Harbor: Memoir of an Imperial Navy Secret Agent
Joe Quigley, Alaska Pioneer: Beyond the Gold Rush
John Derek: Actor, Director, Photographer
Kenny Riley and Black Union Labor Power in the Port of Charleston
Managing Organizational Conflict
Nick McLean Behind the Camera: The Life and Works of a Hollywood Cinematographer
Parenting Through Pop Culture: Essays on Navigating Media with Children
Philip K. Dick: Essays of the Here and Now
Quaker Carpetbagger: J. Williams Thorne, Underground Railroad Host Turned North Carolina Politician
Rhode Island’s Civil War Dead: A Complete Roster
Rosalie Gardiner Jones and the Long March for Women’s Rights
Rosenblatt Stadium: Essays and Memories of Omaha’s Historic Ballpark, 1948–2012
Sacred and Mythological Animals: A Worldwide Taxonomy
Sailing Under John Paul Jones: The Memoir of Continental Navy Midshipman Nathaniel Fanning, 1778–1783
Section 27 and Freedman’s Village in Arlington National Cemetery: The African American History of America’s Most Hallowed Ground
Sicily on Screen: Essays on the Representation of the Island and Its Culture
Springsteen as Soundtrack: The Sound of the Boss in Film and Television
Taking Fire!: Memoir of an Aerial Scout in Vietnam
The 6th Michigan Volunteer Infantry in the Civil War: A History and Roster
The Civil War in the South Carolina Lowcountry: How a Confederate Artillery Battery and a Black Union Regiment Defined the War
The General Aviation Industry in America: A History, 2d ed.
The Man Who Made Babe Ruth: Brother Matthias of St. Mary’s School
The Showgirl Costume: An Illustrated History
The USS Swordfish: The World War II Patrols of the First American Submarine to Sink a Japanese Ship
The Women of City Point, Virginia, 1864–1865: Stories of Life and Work in the Union Occupation Headquarters
Themes in Latin American Cinema: A Critical Survey, 2d ed.
Understanding Nazi Ideology: The Genesis and Impact of a Political Faith
Virtual Tribe: Indigenous Identity in Social Media
Why the Axis Lost: An Analysis of Strategic Errors
Posted on

Newly Published: Stars of Jazz

New on our bookshelf:

Stars of Jazz: A Complete History of the Innovative Television Series, 1956–1958
James A. Harrod

Imagine an educational television series featuring America’s greatest jazz artists in performance, airing every week from 1956 to 1958 on KABC, Los Angeles.

Stars of Jazz was hosted by Bobby Troup, the songwriter, pianist and vocalist. Each show provided information about the performance that heightened viewers’ appreciation. The series garnered praise from critics and numerous awards including an Emmy from the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. A landmark series visually, too, it presented many television firsts including experimental films by designers Charles and Ray Eames.

All 130 shows were filmed as kinescopes. Surviving films were donated to the UCLA Film & Television Archive, where 16 shows have been restored; 29 additional shows are in the collection. The remaining 85 kinescopes were long ago discarded.

This first full documentation of Stars of Jazz identifies every musician, vocalist, and guest who appeared on the series and lists every song performed on the series along with composer and lyricist credits. More than 100 photographs include images from many of the lost episodes.

Posted on

Newly Published: Text & Presentation, 2019

New on our bookshelf:

Text & Presentation, 2019
Edited by Amy Muse

This volume is the sixteenth in a series dedicated to presenting the latest findings in the fields of comparative drama, performance, and dramatic textual analysis. Featuring some of the best work from the 2019 Comparative Drama Conference in Orlando, this book engages audiences with new research on contemporary and classic drama, performance studies, scenic design and adaptation theory in nine scholarly essays, two event transcripts and six book reviews. This year’s highlights include an interview with playwright Branden Jacobs-Jenkins and a roundtable discussion on the sixtieth anniversary of Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun.

Posted on

Newly Published: Themes in Latin American Cinema

New on our bookshelf:

Themes in Latin American Cinema: A Critical Survey, 2d ed.
Keith John Richards

This updated and expanded edition gives critical analyses of 23 Latin American films from the last 20 years, including the addition of four films from Bolivia. Explored throughout the text are seven crucial themes: the indigenous image, sexuality, childhood, female protagonists, crime and corruption, fratricidal wars, and writers as characters.

Designed for general and scholarly interest, as well as a guide for teachers of Hispanic culture or Latin American film and literature, the book provides a sweeping look at the logistical circumstances of filmmaking in the region along with the criteria involved in interpreting a Latin American film. It includes interviews with and brief biographies of influential filmmakers, along with film synopses, production details and credits, transcripts of selected scenes, and suggestions for discussion and analysis.

 

Posted on

Newly Published: Apocalypse TV

New on our bookshelf:

Apocalypse TV: Essays on Society and Self at the End of the World
Edited by Michael G. Cornelius and Sherry Ginn

The end of the world may be upon us, but it certainly is taking its sweet time playing out. The walkers on The Walking Dead have been “walking” for nearly a decade. There are now dozens of apocalyptic television shows and we use the “end times” to describe everything from domestic politics and international conflict, to the weather and our views of the future.

This collection of new essays asks what it means to live in a world inundated with representations of the apocalypse. Focusing on such series as The Walking Dead, The Strain, Battlestar Galactica, Doomsday Preppers, Westworld, The Handmaid’s Tale, they explore how the serialization of the end of the world allows for a closer examination of the disintegration of humanity—while it happens. Do these shows prepare us for what is to come? Do they spur us to action? Might they even be causing the apocalypse?

Posted on

Newly Published: Girl of Steel

New on our bookshelf:

Girl of Steel: Essays on Television’s Supergirl and Fourth-Wave Feminism
Edited by Melissa Wehler and Tim Rayborn

The CW’s hit adaptation of Supergirl is a new take on the classic DC character for a new audience. With diverse female characters, it explores different versions of the female experience. No single character embodies a feminist ideal but together they represent attributes of the contemporary feminist conversation.

This collection of new essays uses a similar approach, inviting a diverse group of scholars to address the many questions about gender roles and female agency in the series. Essays analyze how the series engages with feminism, Supergirl’s impact on queer audiences, and how families craft the show’s feminist narratives. In the ever-growing superhero television genre, Supergirl remains unique as viewers watch a female hero with almost godlike powers face the same struggles as ordinary women in the series.

Posted on

Newly Published: Parenting Through Pop Culture

New on our bookshelf:

Parenting Through Pop Culture: Essays on Navigating Media with Children
Edited by JL Schatz

With the ever-increasing amount of media children are consuming, it has become important for parents to learn how to help them navigate this consumption productively. All too often, the only approach to screen time by parents is a question of limiting how much and what kind. Instead, if parents and educators can adopt a more nuanced relationship to media and education, adults and children can come together in order to engage with and deconstruct the messages that are embedded in popular culture. This enables children to become more informed citizens.

This collection seeks to do just that by providing a series of essays on strategies to engage children with varying topics and programming to ensure that media consumption is an active process that promotes social and political awareness instead of apathetic entertainment.

Posted on

Newly Published: Japan’s Musical Tradition

New on our bookshelf:

Japan’s Musical Tradition: Hogaku from Prehistory to the Present
Miyuki Yoshikami

What makes Japanese music sound Japanese? Each genre of Japan’s pre–Western music (hogaku) morphed from the preceding one with singing at its foundation. In ancient Shinto prayers, words of power recited in a prescribed cadence communicated veneration and community needs to the divine spirit (kami). From the prayers, Japan’s word-based music evolved into increasingly more sophisticated recitations with biwa, shamisen, and koto accompaniment.

This examination reveals shortcomings in the typical interpretation of Japanese music from a pitch-based Western perspective and carefully explores how the quintessential musical elements of singing, instrumental accompaniment, scale, and format were transmitted from their Shinto inception through all of Japan’s music. Japan’s culture, with its unique iemoto system and teaching methods, served to exactly replicate Japan’s music for centuries. Considering Japan’s music in the context of its own culture, logic, and sources is essential to gaining a clear understanding and appreciation of Japan’s music and dissipating the mystery of the music’s “Japaneseness.” Greater enjoyment of the music inevitably follows.

Posted on

Newly Published: What Is a Game?

New on our bookshelf:

What Is a Game?: Essays on the Nature of Videogames
Edited by Gaines S. Hubbell

What is a videogame? What makes a videogame “good”? If a game is supposed to be fun, can it be fun without a good story? If another is supposed to be an accurate simulation, does it still need to be entertaining? With the ever-expanding explosion of new videogames and new developments in the gaming world, questions about videogame criticism are becoming more complex. The differing definitions that players and critics use to decide what a game is and what makes a game successful, often lead to different ideas of how games succeed or fail.

This collection of new essays puts on display the variety and ambiguity of videogames. Each essay is a work of game criticism that takes a different approach to defining the game and analyzing it. Through analysis and critical methods, these essays discuss whether a game is defined by its rules, its narrative, its technology, or by the activity of playing it, and the tensions between these definitions. With essays on Overwatch, Dark Souls 3, Far Cry 4, Farmville and more, this collection attempts to show the complex changes, challenges and advances to game criticism in the era of videogames.

Posted on

Newly Published: Ray Milland

New on our bookshelf:

Ray Milland: The Films, 1929–1984
James McKay

With no formal training as an actor, Welsh-born Ray Milland (1907–1986), a former trooper in the British Army’s Household Cavalry, enjoyed a half-century career working alongside some of the great directors and stars from the Golden Age of cinema. He won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance as the alcoholic writer in The Lost Weekend (1945), a defining moment that enabled him to break free from romantic leads and explore darker shades of his debonair demeanor, such as the veiled menace of his scheming husband in Hitchcock’s Dial M For Murder (1954).

A consummate professional with wide range, Milland took the directorial reins in several of his starring vehicles in the 1950s, most notably in the intelligent Western A Man Alone (1955). He comfortably slipped into most genres, from romantic comedy to adventure to film noir. Later he turned to science fiction and horror movies, including two with cult filmmaker Roger Corman. This first complete filmography covers the actor’s screen career, with a concise introductory biography and an appendix listing his extensive radio and television credits.

Posted on

New in Softcover: Mack Sennett’s Fun Factory

Now available in a new single-volume softcover:

Mack Sennett’s Fun Factory: A History and Filmography of His Studio and His Keystone and Mack Sennett Comedies, with Biographies of Players and Personnel
Brent E. Walker

This is a comprehensive career study and filmography of Mack Sennett, cofounder of Keystone Studios, home of the Keystone Kops and other vehicles that showcased his innovative slapstick comedy. The filmography covers the more than 1,000 films Sennett produced, directed, wrote or appeared in between 1908 and 1955, including casts, credits, synopses, production and release dates, locations, cross-references of remade stories and gags, footage excerpted in compilations, identification of prints existing in archives, and other information. The book, featuring 280 photographs, also contains biographies of several hundred performers and technical personnel connected with Sennett.

Posted on

Newly Published: New Jack

New on our bookshelf:

New Jack: Memoir of a Pro Wrestling Extremist
New Jack and Jason Norman

You may have cheered him. You may have booed him out of the building. But until now, you’ve never really known “The Most Dangerous Man in Wrestling.”

For the first time, Jerome “New Jack” Young opens up about his rise to stardom in Extreme Championship Wrestling. From his crazed dives off balconies and scaffolds to his bloody weapons matches that trampled the line between reality and entertainment, this candid memoir reveals the man behind the infamy, with new disclosures about the Mass Transit incident, the brutal beat-down of Gypsy Joe, and the stabbing of a fellow wrestler in Florida.

Beyond the gimmicks that united white supremacists and the NAACP against him, New Jack discusses his violent youth that nearly led him to a life of crime, his career as a bounty hunter, a near-fatal drug addiction, the last months of ECW, and his place in wrestling history.

Posted on

New in Softcover: Nazi Films in America, 1933–1942

Now available in softcover:

Nazi Films in America, 1933–1942
Harry Waldman

From 1933 until America’s entry into World War II in 1941, nearly 500 Nazi films were shown in American theaters, accounting for nearly half of all foreign language film imports during the period. These poorly disguised propaganda films were produced by Germany’s top studios and featured prominent pro–German and Nazi actors, directors and technicians. The films were replete with overt and covert anti–Jewish imagery and themes, but in spite of this obvious intent to use the medium to justify Nazi ascendancy, viewers and film critics from such prominent publications as the New York TimesVariety, the Washington Post and the Chicago Times consistently overlooked the films’ anti–Semitic message, dubbing them harmless entertainment.

This is the complete history of German films shown in America from the founding of the Nazi government to America’s involvement in the war. Summaries, descriptions and discussions of these almost 500 films serve to examine the major filmmakers and distributors who kept the German film industry alive during the rule of Hitler and the Third Reich. Special emphasis is placed on films directly commissioned by Joseph Goebbels, head of the German Ministry for the Enlightenment of the People and Propaganda and the man directly responsible for ensuring that the anti–Semitic ideology of the new regime was reflected in all films produced after January 30, 1933. Rarely seen photographs and illustrations complete an in-depth study of the Nazi use of this global medium.

Posted on

New in Softcover: Edwin Booth

Now available in softcover:

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

The great nineteenth-century stage actor Edwin Booth began his long career in 1849 as a young teenager, following in his father’s footsteps. This biography traces his life and career as a tragic actor, including his childhood; his early acting tours of California, Australia and Hawaii; his rise to fame as a touring star; his two marriages; his relationship with his brother John Wilkes Booth; his disastrous management of Booth’s Theatre in New York City; and his death in 1891. The book includes an extensive performance history detailing every known Edwin Booth performance during his more than 30 years on the stage, with reviews and other supplementary materials.

Posted on

New in Softcover: Empires of the Imagination

Now available in softcover:

Empires of the Imagination: A Critical Survey of Fantasy Cinema from Georges Méliès to The Lord of the Rings
Alec Worley

The warlocks and ghosts of fantasy film haunt our popular culture, but the genre has too long been ignored by critics. This comprehensive critical survey of fantasy cinema demonstrates that the fantasy genre amounts to more than escapism. Through a meticulously researched analysis of more than a century of fantasy pictures—from the seminal work of Georges Méliès to Peter Jackson’s recent tours of Middle–earth—the work identifies narrative strategies and their recurring components and studies patterns of challenge and return, setting and character.

First addressing the difficult task of defining the genre, the work examines fantasy as a cultural force in both film and literature and explores its relation to science fiction, horror, and fairy tales. Fantasy’s development is traced from the first days of film, with emphasis on how the evolving genre reflected such events as economic depression and war. Also considered is fantasy’s expression of politics, as either the subject of satire or fuel for the fires of propaganda. Discussion ventures into the subgenres, from stories of invented lands inhabited by fantastic creatures to magical adventures set in the familiar world, and addresses clashes between fantasy and faith, such as the religious opposition to the Harry Potter phenomenon. From the money-making classics to little-known arthouse films, this richly illustrated work covers every aspect of fantasy film.

Posted on

Newly Published: Ethical Dilemmas in Dance Education

New on our bookshelf:

Ethical Dilemmas in Dance Education: Case Studies on Humanizing Dance Pedagogy
Edited by Doug Risner and Karen Schupp

The first of its kind, this volume presents research-based fictionalized case studies from experts in the field of dance education, examining theory and practice developed from real-world scenarios that call for ethical decision-making. Dilemmas faced by dance educators in the studio, on stage, in recreation centers and correctional facilities, and on social media are explored, accompanied by activities for humanizing dance pedagogy.

These challenges converge from educational policies and mandates developed over the past two decades, including teacher-proof “scripted” curriculum, high-stakes testing, standardization, and methods-centered teacher preparation; difficulties are often perpetuated by those who want to make change happen but do not know how.

Posted on

Newly Published: The Twin Towers in Film

New on our bookshelf:

The Twin Towers in Film: A Cinematic History of New York’s World Trade Center
Randy Laist

For thirty years, the twin towers of the World Trade Center soared above the New York City skyline, eventually becoming one of the most conspicuous symbolic structures in the world. They appeared in hundreds of films, from Godspell and Death Wish to Trading PlacesGhostbusters and The Usual Suspects. The politicians, architects and engineers who developed the towers sought to imbue them with a powerful visual presence. The resulting buildings provided filmmakers with imposing set pieces capable of conveying a range of moods and associations, from the sublime and triumphal to the sinister and paranoid.

While they stood, they captured the imagination of the world with their enigmatic symbolism. In their dramatic destruction, they became icons of a history that is still being written. Here viewed in the context of popular cinema, the twin towers are emblematic of how architecture, film and narrative interact to express cultural aspirations and anxieties.

Posted on

Newly Published: Sex, Death and Resurrection in Altered Carbon

New on our bookshelf:

Sex, Death and Resurrection in Altered Carbon: Essays on the Netflix Series
Edited by Aldona Kobus and Łukasz Muniowski

The 2018 Netflix series Altered Carbon is a vital contribution to the cyberpunk renaissance, among such titles as Snowpiercer or Blade Runner 2049. This collection of new essays answers the question: is this increasing popularity of cyberpunk a sign of recognition of the genre’s transgressive aspects, such as a stark critique of capitalism, or is it the opposite—a sign of the genre’s failure to successfully criticize modernity?

The contributors consider the series as taking on current issues, from a critique of neoliberalism, through the ethical aspects of biotechnology, up to thanatology. They provoke questions about what it means to be human in a world in which death does not exist. Essays evaluate the surging popularity of the series and cyberpunk at large from a variety of critical perspectives, shedding new light on a challenging and inventive series.

Posted on

Newly Published: Hollywood’s Hard-Luck Ladies

New on our bookshelf:

Hollywood’s Hard-Luck Ladies: 23 Actresses Who Suffered Early Deaths, Accidents, Missteps, Illnesses and Tragedies
Laura Wagner

In the era of Hollywood now considered its Golden Age, there was no shortage of hard-luck stories—movie stars succumbed to mental illness, addiction, accidents, suicide, early death and more.
This book profiles 23 actresses who achieved a measure of success before fate dealt them losing hands—in full public view. Overviews of their lives and careers provide a wealth of previously unpublished information and set the record straight on long-standing inaccuracies.

Actresses covered include Lynne Baggett, Suzan Ball, Helen Burgess, Susan Cabot, Mary Castle, Mae Clarke, Dorothy Comingore, Patricia Dane, Dorothy Dell, Sidney Fox, Charlotte Henry, Rita Johnson, Mayo Methot, Marjie Millar, Mary Nolan, Susan Peters, Lyda Roberti, Peggy Shannon, Rosa Stradner, Judy Tyler, Karen Verne, Helen Walker and Constance Worth.

Posted on

Newly Published: The Paul McCartney Catalog

New on our bookshelf:

The Paul McCartney Catalog: A Complete Annotated Discography of Solo Works, 1967–2019
Ted Montgomery

This complete discography of Paul McCartney’s solo and other post–Beatles work examines his entire catalog. It covers his studio and live albums and compilations, including the trance, electronic, classical and cover albums and selected bootleg recordings; all of the singles; videos and DVDs; and the 15 radio shows he made as Oobu Joobu. Each song is reviewed in depth, providing a wealth of information for both dedicated McCartney fans and those just discovering his music.

Posted on

Newly Published: Springsteen as Soundtrack

New on our bookshelf:

Springsteen as Soundtrack: The Sound of the Boss in Film and Television
Caroline Madden

A catalog nearly fifty years in the making, Bruce Springsteen’s music remains popular and a frequent subject of study yet little critical attention has been given to its inclusion in film and television. This book examines a selection of films and TV shows from the 1980s to the present—including MaskHigh FidelityThe Sopranos and The Wrestler—that feature Springsteen’s music on the soundtrack.

Relating his thematic preoccupations with religion, the Vietnam War, the promise of the open road, economic disparity and blue-collar malaise, his songs color narrative and articulate the inner lives of characters. This book explores the many on-screen contexts of Springsteen’s work from Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J. to Springsteen on Broadway.

Posted on

Newly Published: Children Beware!

New on our bookshelf:

Children Beware!: Childhood, Horror and the PG-13 Rating
Filipa Antunes

How does a culture respond when the limits of childhood become uncertain? The emergence of pre-adolescence in the 1980s, which is signified by the new PG-13 rating for film, disrupted the established boundaries between childhood and adulthood. The concept of pre-adolescence affected not only America’s pillar ideals of family and childhood innocence but also the very foundation of the horror genre’s identity, its association with maturity and exclusivity.

Cultural disputes over the limits of childhood and horror were explicitly articulated in the children’s horror trend (1980–1997), a cluster of child-oriented horror titles in film and other media, which included Gremlins, The Gate, the Goosebumps series, and others. As the first serious analysis of the children’s horror trend, with a focus on the significance of ratings, this book provides a complete chart of its development while presenting it as a document of American culture’s adaptation to pre-adolescence. Each important children’s horror title corresponds to a key moment of ideological negotiation, cultural power struggles, and industrial compromise.

Posted on

Newly Published: The Big Top on the Big Screen

New on our bookshelf:

The Big Top on the Big Screen: Explorations of the Circus in Film
Edited by Teresa Cutler-Broyles

Circuses and film are a natural pairing, and the new essays making up this volume begin the exploration of how these two forms of entertainment have often worked together to create a spectacle of onscreen alchemy. The films discussed herein are an eclectic group, ranging from early silent comedies to animated, 21st century examples, in which circuses serve as liminal or carnivalesque spaces wherein characters—and by extension audience members—can confront issues as far-reaching as labor relations, sensuality, identity, ethics, and more.

The circus as discussed in these essays encompasses the big top, the midway, the sideshow and the freak show; it becomes backdrop, character, catalyst and setting; and it is welcoming, malicious or terrifying. Circus performers are family, friends, foe or all of the above. And film is the medium that brings it all together. This volume starts the conversation about how circuses and film can combine to form productive, exciting spaces where almost anything can happen.

Posted on

Newly Published: The Global Vampire

New on our bookshelf:

The Global Vampire: Essays on the Undead in Popular Culture Around the World
Edited by Cait Coker

The media vampire has roots throughout the world, far beyond the shores of the usual Dracula-inspired Anglo-American archetypes. Depending on text and context, the vampire is a figure of anxiety and comfort, humor and fear, desire and revulsion. These dichotomies gesture the enduring prevalence of the vampire in mass culture; it can no longer articulate a single feeling or response, bound by time and geography, but is many things to many people. With a global perspective, this collection of essays offers something new and different: a much needed counter-narrative of the vampire’s evolution in popular culture. Divided by geography, this text emphasizes the vampiric as a globetrotting citizen du monde rather than an isolated monster.

Posted on

Newly Published: Willful Monstrosity

Newly Published:

Willful Monstrosity: Gender and Race in 21st Century Horror
Natalie Wilson

Taking in a wide range of film, television, and literature, this volume explores 21st century horror and its monsters from an intersectional perspective with a marked emphasis on gender and race. The analysis, which covers over 70 narratives, is organized around four primary monstrous figures—zombies, vampires, witches and monstrous women. Arguing that the current horror renaissance is populated with willful monsters that subvert prevailing cultural norms and systems of power, the discussion reads horror in relation to topics of particular import in the contemporary moment—rampant sexual violence, unbridled capitalist greed, brutality against people of color, militarism, and the patriarchy’s refusal to die.

Examining ground-breaking films and television shows such as Get Out, Us, The Babadook, A Quiet Place, Stranger Things, Penny Dreadful, and The Passage, as well as works by key authors like Justin Cronin, Carmen Maria Machado, Helen Oyeyemi, Margo Lanagan, and Jeanette Winterson, this monograph offers a thorough account of the horror landscape and what it says about the 21st century world.

Posted on

Newly Published: Secondary Superheroes of Golden Age Comics

New on our bookshelf:

Secondary Superheroes of Golden Age Comics
Lou Mougin

When Superman debuted in 1938, he ushered in a string of imitators—Batman, Wonder Woman, Captain Marvel, Captain America. But what about the many less well-known heroes who lined up to fight crooks, super villains or Hitler—like the Shield, the Black Terror, Crimebuster, Cat-Man, Dynamic Man, the Blue Beetle, the Black Cat and even Frankenstein?

These and other four-color fighters crowded the newsstands from the late 1930s through the early 1950s. Most have since been overlooked, and not necessarily because they were victims of poor publication. This book gives the other superheroes of the Golden Age of comics their due.

Posted on

Newly Published: Chester Morris

New on our bookshelf:

Chester Morris: His Life and Career
Scott Allen Nollen with Yuyun Yuningsih Nollen

The prodigious but humble scion of a New York theatrical family, Chester Morris acted on Broadway as a teenager and earned an Academy Award nomination for his first role in a Hollywood “talkie,” Alibi (1929). He became leading man to filmdom’s top female stars and starred in the popular series of “Boston Blackie” mysteries before creating substantial characters in the theater and the burgeoning medium of television.

This first book about Morris provides a detailed account of his life and career on stage, film, radio and television, and as a celebrated magician. It also constructs a fascinating record of his previously undocumented labor activism during the early years of the Screen Actors Guild and his tireless efforts to aid U.S. troops on the home front during World War II.

Posted on

Newly Published: The Interdisciplinary Theatre of Ping Chong

New on our bookshelf:

The Interdisciplinary Theatre of Ping Chong: Exploring Curiosity and Otherness on Stage
Yuko Kurahashi

This first-ever biography exploring the life of Ping Chong (1946), successful avant-garde artist and Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient, focuses on his valuable contributions to modern theatre. Drawing on primary sources and her own attendance of Chong’s productions, the author takes a broad and informative approach to his work as a performer, playwright and director over 48 years.

Posted on

Newly Published: The Digital Dystopias of Black Mirror and Electric Dreams

New on our bookshelf:

The Digital Dystopias of Black Mirror and Electric Dreams
Steven Keslowitz

This critical examination of two dystopian television series—Black Mirror and Electric Dreams—focuses on pop culture depictions of technology and its impact on human existence. Representations of a wide range of modern and futuristic technologies are explored, from early portrayals of artificial intelligence (Rossum’s Universal Robots, 1921) to digital consciousness transference as envisioned in Black Mirror’s “San Junipero.”

These representations reflect societal anxieties about unfettered technological development and how a world infused with invasive artificial intelligence might redefine life and death, power and control. The impact of social media platforms is considered in the contexts of modern-day communication and political manipulation.

Posted on

Newly Published: Welcome to Arkham Asylum

New on our bookshelf:

Welcome to Arkham Asylum: Essays on Psychiatry and the Gotham City Institution
Edited by Sharon Packer, M.D. and Daniel R. Fredrick

Arkham Asylum for the Criminally Insane is a staple of the Batman universe, evolving into a franchise comprised of comic books, graphic novels, video games, films, television series and more. The Arkham franchise, supposedly light-weight entertainment, has tackled weighty issues in contemporary psychiatry. Its plotlines reference clinical and ethical controversies that perplex even the most up-to-date professionals. The 25 essays in this collection explore the significance of Arkham’s sinister psychiatrists, murderous mental patients, and unethical geneticists. It invites debates about the criminalization of the mentally ill, mental patients who move from defunct state hospitals into expanding prisons, madness versus badness, sociopathy versus psychosis, the “insanity defense” and more. Invoking literary figures from Lovecraft to Poe to Caligari, the 25 essays in this collection are a broad-ranging and thorough assessment of the franchise and its relationship to contemporary psychiatry.

Posted on

Newly Published: Sidney Lumet

Newly Published:

Sidney Lumet: The Actor’s Director
Aubrey Malone

Punctilious to a fault, Sidney Lumet favored intense rehearsal, which enabled him to bring in most of his films under budget and under schedule. An energized director who captured the heart of New York like no other, he created a vast canon of work that stands as a testament to his passionate concern for justice and his great empathy for the hundreds of people with whom he collaborated during a career that spanned more than five decades. This is the first full-scale biography of a man who is generally regarded as one of the most affable directors of his time. Using the oral testimonies of those who worked with him both behind and in front of the camera, this book explores Lumet’s personality and working methods.

Posted on

Newly Published: The Minds Behind Adventure Games

New on our bookshelf:

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

Featuring interviews with the creators of 31 popular video games—including Grand Theft AutoStriderMaximum Carnage and Pitfall—this book gives a behind-the-scenes look at the origins of some of the most enjoyable and iconic adventure games of all time. Interviewees recount the endless hours of painstaking development, the challenges of working with mega-publishers, the growth of the adventure genre, and reveal the creative processes that produced some of the industry’s biggest hits, cult classics and indie successes.

Posted on

Newly Published: Mixed Martial Arts and the Law

New on our bookshelf:

Mixed Martial Arts and the Law: Disputes, Suits and Legal Issues
Jason J. Cruz

Barbaric. Savage. Violent. Words often used by critics to describe the sport of mixed martial arts. To this can be added lucrative, popular and flourishing. MMA has seen astronomical growth since the 2000s, spurred on by its biggest promotion, the Ultimate Fighting Championships (UFC).
Along the way, legal issues have plagued the sport. This book provides an overview of the most important cases and controversies arising both inside and outside of the cage—antitrust suits by fighters against promoters, fighters suing other fighters, drug testing, contractual issues, and the need for federal regulation.

Posted on

Newly Published: Burt Reynolds on Screen

New on our bookshelf:

Burt Reynolds on Screen
Wayne Byrne

In a prolific career spanning six decades, actor Burt Reynolds was one of the world’s most famous stars of film and television. As much a folk hero as a Hollywood celebrity, he began as a stuntman and bit player in B Westerns and TV shows before landing a starring role on NBC’s Riverboat (1959–1961). His breakthrough role in Deliverance (1972) made him famous and the sleeper hit Smokey and the Bandit (1977) made his name a household word.

This first critical overview of Reynolds’ work examines his complete filmography, featuring candid discussions with costars and collaborators, exclusive behind-the-scenes photos and a wealth of film stills.

Posted on

Newly Published: Hollywood and the Female Body

New on our bookshelf:

Hollywood and the Female Body: A History of Idolization and Objectification
Stephen Handzo

From the first, brief moving images of female nudes in the 1880s to the present, the motion picture camera made the female body a battleground in what we now call the culture wars. Churchmen feared the excitation of male lust; feminists decried the idealization of a body type that devalued the majority of women.

This history of Hollywood’s treatment of women’s bodies traces the full span of the motion picture era. Primitive peepshow images of burlesque dancers gave way to the “artistic” nudity of the 1910s when model Audrey Munson and swimmer Annette Kellerman contended for the title of American Venus. Clara Bow personified the qualified sexual freedom of the 1920s flapper. Jean Harlow, Mae West and the scantily clad chorus girls of the early 1930s provoked the Legion of Decency to demand the creation of a Production Code Administration that turned saucy Betty Boop into a housewife. Things loosened up during World War II when Betty Grable and Rita Hayworth ruled the screen. The postwar years saw the blonde bombshells and “mammary madness” of the 1950s while the 1960’s brought bikini-clad sex kittens. With the replacement of the Production Code by a ratings system in 1968, nudity and sex scenes proliferated in the R-rated movies of the 1970s and 1980s. Recent movies, often directed by women, have pointed the way toward a more egalitarian future. Finally, the #MeToo movement and the fall of Harvey Weinstein have forced the industry to confront its own sexism. Each chapter of this book situates movies, famous and obscure, into the context of changes in the movie industry and the larger society.

Posted on

Newly Published: The Haunted House on Film

New on our bookshelf:

The Haunted House on Film: An Historical Analysis
Paul Meehan

A popular phenomenon since antiquity, the image of the haunted house is one that has translated elegantly into the modern medium of film. The haunted house transcends genre, appearing in mysteries, gothic romances, comedies and horror films. This book is the first comprehensive historical and critical study of themes surrounding haunted houses in film. Covering more than 100 films, it spans from the Mystery House thrillers of the silent era to the high-tech, big budget productions of the 21st Century. Included are the works of such acclaimed directors as D.W. Griffith, Robert Wise, Mario Bava, Alfred Hitchcock, Stanley Kubrick, Tim Burton and Guillermo Del Toro. The book also covers the real-life “haunted house” phenomenon and movies based on paranormal case files, including those featured in films like the Conjuring series.

Posted on

Newly Published: Don’t Go Upstairs!

New on our bookshelf:

Don’t Go Upstairs!: A Room-by-Room Tour of the House in Horror Movies
Cleaver Patterson

Throughout cinematic history, the buildings characters inhabit–whether stately rural mansions or inner-city apartment blocks–have taken on extra dimensions, often featuring as well developed characters themselves. Nowhere is this truer than in the horror film, where familiar spaces–from chaotic kitchens to forgotten attics to overgrown greenhouses–become settings for diabolical acts or supernatural visitations.

Showing readers through a selection of prime movie real estate, this book explores how homes come to life in horror with an analysis of more than sixty films, including interviews and insights from filmmakers and scholars, along with many rare stills. From the gruesome murder in the hallway of The House by the Cemetery (1981) to the malevolent haunting in the nursery of Eel Marsh House in The Woman in Black (2012), no door is left unopened.

Posted on

Newly Published: Science Fiction and the Dismal Science

New on our bookshelf:

Science Fiction and the Dismal Science: Essays on Economics in and of the Genre
Edited by Gary Westfahl, Gregory Benford, Howard V. Hendrix and Jonathan Alexander

Despite the growing importance of economics in our lives, literary scholars have long been reluctant to consider economic issues as they examine key texts. This volume seeks to fill one of these conspicuous gaps in the critical literature by focusing on various connections between science fiction and economics, with some attention to related fields such as politics and government. Its seventeen contributors include five award-winning scholars, five science fiction writers, and a widely published economist.

Three topics are covered: what noted science fiction writers like Robert A. Heinlein, Frank Herbert, and Kim Stanley Robinson have had to say about our economic and political future; how the competitive and ever-changing publishing marketplace has affected the growth and development of science fiction from the nineteenth century to today; and how the scholars who examine science fiction have themselves been influenced by the economics of academia. Although the essays focus primarily on American science fiction, the traditions of Russian and Chinese science fiction are also examined. A comprehensive bibliography of works related to science fiction and economics will assist other readers and critics who are interested in this subject.

Posted on

Beer, Wine and Spirits Sale

While many of our readers, authors and staff have an appreciation for the drinking of beer, practically as many also have a fondness for the culture of beer.  Drink and culture converge at McFarland, where we have a small but growing line of books that look at the social and historical impact of beer, wine and spirits.  Now through January 15, get 30% off of these books with coupon code BEER30.  Grab a book, grab your beverage of choice, and kick back and enjoy two of life’s great pastimes!  Furthermore, if you’re an author with an idea for a book about beer culture, tell us what you’ve got on tap at [email protected].

Posted on

Books about the Holidays

Check out our latest catalog of books about the holidays—Jolly Elves with Hearty Beards—and get 20% off books about the holidays thru January 6 with coupon code MIDWINTER19!

Also, our catalog-wide Black Friday / Cyber Monday sale continues through December 2.  Use coupon code HOLIDAY19 to receive 20% off your entire purchase.

Posted on

Newly Published: The Western Films of Robert Mitchum

New on our bookshelf:

The Western Films of Robert Mitchum: Hollywood’s Cowboy Rebel
Gene Freese

Robert Mitchum was—and still is—one of Hollywood’s defining stars of Western film. For more than 30 years, the actor played the weary and cynical cowboy, and his rough-and-tough presence on-screen was no different than his one off-screen. With a personality fit for western-noir, Robert Mitchum dominated the genre during the mid-20th century, and returned as the anti-hero again during the 1990s before his death. This book lays down the life of Mitchum and the films that established him as one of Hollywood’s strongest and smartest horsemen. Going through early classics like Pursued (1947) and Blood on the Moon (1948) to more recent cult favorites like Tombstone (1993) and Dead Man (1995), Freese shows how Mitchum’s nuanced portrayals of the iconic anti-hero of the West earned him his spot in the Cowboy Hall of Fame.

Posted on

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.

Posted on

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.

Posted on

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

Posted on

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.

Posted on

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.

Posted on

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.

Posted on

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.

Posted on

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.

Posted on

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.

Posted on

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.

Posted on

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.

Posted on

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.

Posted on

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

Posted on

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.

Posted on

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.

Posted on

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.

Posted on

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.

Posted on

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.”

Posted on

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.

Posted on

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

Posted on

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.

Posted on

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.

Posted on

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.

Posted on

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.

Posted on

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.

Posted on

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.

Posted on

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

Posted on

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.

Posted on

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.

Posted on

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.

Posted on

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.

Posted on

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.

Posted on

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.

Posted on

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.

Posted on

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.”

Posted on

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.

Posted on

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!

Posted on

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.

Posted on

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.