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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: 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: The Faithful Librarian

New on our bookshelf:

The Faithful Librarian: Essays on Christianity in the Profession
Edited by Garrett B. Trott

What do Christianity and librarianship have in common? Netherlands Prime Minister and theologian Abraham Kuyper (1837–1920) was among the first in the modern era to attempt to rejoin the dichotomy of sacred vs. secular study when he said, “no single piece of our mental world is to be hermetically sealed off from the rest.” Over the years a number of publications have followed Kuyper’s lead yet little has been written on the subject since Greg A. Smith’s notable Christian Librarianship (2002). Building on Smith’s work, this volume seeks to bridge the sacred/secular divide with an exploration of how Christianity and the gospel are manifested through the profession of librarianship.

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Migrating for Medical Marijuana Reviewed in Booklist

Migrating for Medical Marijuana: Pioneers in a New Frontier of Treatment, a forthcoming title in our new imprint, Toplight Books, is reviewed in the October issue of Booklist!

“Even ardent just-say-no proponents may reconsider their feelings toward medical marijuana after reading…makes a compelling argument for changing federal laws…helpful appendices…this is an informative, thought provoking, and worthy read.”—Booklist

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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

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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: Communication Alternatives in Autism

New on our bookshelf:

Communication Alternatives in Autism: Perspectives on Typing and Spelling Approaches for the Nonspeaking
Edited by Edlyn Vallejo Peña

Ten autistic self-advocates share their experiences with alternative forms of communication such as rapid prompting method (RPM) and facilitated communication (FC), both highly controversial. Their narratives document the complexities that autistic individuals navigate–in both educational and community settings–when choosing to use approaches that utilize letter boards and keyboards. While the controversies remain–RPM requires further scientific study, and FC is subject to criticism about confirmation bias–these individuals share powerful stories in the context of aiming for disability rights. The book concludes with a chapter about best practices for educators, particularly for schools and colleges that have students who use these communication methods.

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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: My Soviet Youth

New on our bookshelf:

My Soviet Youth: A Memoir of Ukrainian Life in the Final Years of Communism
Irina Rodríguez

Putting on gas masks and learning how to shoot Kalashnikov rifles in grade school made Soviet children fear possible attack by Cold War enemies. But a more prosaic invasion of Colorado beetles in the 1980s turned out to be a far more real threat to Soviet families. Many had to master farming when the state, near its demise, no longer had the finances to pay salaries.

One of the last generation of Soviet teenagers who tasted the political restrictions and propaganda, and the benefits and deficits of the communist state, the author recalls her early years in a Soviet school, a Young Pioneer inauguration ceremony, work on a collective farm, her family’s plot of land and their fights against invasive insects, and her first breaths of post-Soviet freedom, which brought economic havoc and bitter disappointments, along with new hopes.

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Newly Published: How the Left and Right Think

New on our bookshelf:

How the Left and Right Think: The Roots of Division in American Politics
Bill Meulemans

Emerson said of the left and right, “Each is a good half, but an impossible whole.” In public affairs, the left traditionally pushes for political, economic and social progress, while the right steers towards individual opportunity, stability, tradition and the maintenance of gains already made. Their disagreement is the basis of most of our political discourse.

Drawing on four decades of field research on partisan conflicts in the U.S., Northern Ireland and Israel, the author provides a clear, concise explanation of how the left and right think and why their respective philosophies reflect competing views of human nature.

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Newly Published: Writing Queer Women of Color

New on our bookshelf:

Writing Queer Women of Color: Representation and Misdirection in Contemporary Fiction and Graphic Narratives
Monalesia Earle

Queer women of color have historically been underrepresented or excluded completely in fiction and comics. When present, they are depicted as “less than” the white, Eurocentric norm. Drawing on semiotics, queer theory, and gender studies, this book addresses the imbalanced representation of queer women of color in graphic narratives and fiction and explores ways of rewriting queer women of color back into the frame. The author interrogates what it means to be “Other” and how “Othering” can be more creatively resisted.

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Book Reviewers, Request Your Advance Reader’s Copy

Book reviewers, request your advance reader’s copy now by emailing publicist Beth Cox.

The Durable Runner: A Guide to Injury-Free Running by Alison Heilig

Migrating for Medical Marijuana: Pioneers in a New Frontier of Treatment by Tracy Ferrell

Communication Alternatives in Autism: Perspectives on Typing and Spelling Approaches for the Nonspeaking by Edlyn Vallejo Peña

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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: Women Who Ride the Hoka Hey

New on our bookshelf:

Women Who Ride the Hoka Hey: Enduring America’s Toughest Motorcycle Challenge
Abagail Van Vlerah

The Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge is an endurance ride that takes participants across the United States. Riding 20 hours a day or more for 7–12 days straight, they traverse back roads, brave dangerous conditions and battle mental and physical exhaustion. Fewer than 10 percent of participants are women. They take on the challenge and they excel! Chronicling the journeys of 14 women who participated in the Hoka Hey (Lakota for “Let’s do it!”) from 2010 to 2013, this feminist cultural analysis relates their often harrowing stories of life on the road and draws comparisons to women in other sports.

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Newly Published: Patty Berg

New on our bookshelf:

Patty Berg: Pioneer Champion of Women’s Golf
Kevin Kenny

The Ladies Professional Golfers Association (LPGA) was formed in 1950, 34 years after the men’s association. There were 13 founding members, one of whom was Patty Berg (1918–2006). After a glittering amateur career with 28 championships, Berg turned professional in 1940. Before the formation of the LPGA she made a living playing in an occasional tournament and conducting thousands of exhibitions and teaching clinics in the U.S.

Berg had one of the most successful careers in women’s golf. She won 57 tour titles and her 15 major pro championships remain a record. This first biography of Berg traces her career from “teenage sensation” to beloved and respected elder stateswoman of the game, chronicling her role among the founding members who created the multi-million dollar LPGA.

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Newly Published: Coins and Currency

New on our bookshelf:

Coins and Currency: An Historical Encyclopedia, 2d ed.
Mary Ellen Snodgrass

During ancient times currency took varied forms, including beaver skins, bales of tobacco, and sea salt blocks. As art and technology advanced, monetary systems and currencies altered. Today, coins and currency provide an historical and archeological record of culture, religion, politics, and world leaders.

This updated second edition offers numerous entries of historical commentary on the role of coins and currency in human events, politics, and the arts. It begins with the origin of coins in ancient Sumer, and follows advancements in metallurgy and minting machines to paper, plastic, and electronic moneys designed to ease trade and halt counterfeiting and other forms of theft. A timeline of monetary history is provided along with a glossary and bibliography. Numerous photographs of coins and bills provide an up-close look at beautiful and ingenious artifacts.

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Newly Published: Black Baseball’s Last Team Standing

New on our bookshelf:

Black Baseball’s Last Team Standing: The Birmingham Black Barons, 1919–1962
William J. Plott

The Birmingham Black Barons were a nationally known team in baseball’s Negro leagues from 1920 through 1962. Among its storied players were Hall of Famers Satchel Paige, Willie Mays, and Mule Suttles. The Black Barons played in the final Negro Leagues World Series in 1948 and were a major drawing card when barnstorming throughout the United States and parts of Canada. This book chronicles the team’s history and presents the only comprehensive roster of the hundreds of men who wore the Black Barons uniform.

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Newly Published: He Cheated, She Cheated, We Cheated

New on our bookshelf:

He Cheated, She Cheated, We Cheated: Women Speak About Infidelity
Ebony A. Utley

Infidelity raises questions: Why do women stay with a cheater? Why do women cheat? Why do women become “the Other Woman”? How do past experiences with infidelity impact future relationships?

Drawing on interviews with U.S. women of various ages, racial backgrounds, educational attainments, and sexual orientations, this insightful study examines their personal experiences of being cheated on, cheating, being the Other Woman, or some combination of the three. Always engaging and equal parts uplifting and dispiriting, their narratives range from all-too-familiar stories to unconventional perspectives on love, life, and interpersonal communication.

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Newly Published: Nittany Nightmare

New on our bookshelf:

Nittany Nightmare: The Sex Murders of 1938–1940 and the Panic at Penn State
Derek J. Sherwood

As the Great Depression hit, Penn State College was cash-strapped and dilapidated. Cuts to athletic scholarships left the football program a shambles and the school a last resort for many students. In 1937, underfunded state police, fighting a losing battle against striking miners and steel workers in Johnstown, called in the National Guard.

There were not enough police to cover the state, and it showed. Then someone started killing young women in the area. Between November 1938 and May 1940, Rachel Taylor, Margaret Martin and Faye Gates were abducted and sexually assaulted, their bodies dumped within 50 miles of the college.

As the school grew into Pennsylvania State University and the Nittany Lions became a world-class team, two demoralized police agencies were merged, forming the precursor of the Pennsylvania State Police. Gates’s murderer was captured and convicted. The killer(s) of Taylor and Martin, however, have gone unidentified to this day.

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Newly Published: Madeleine Smith on Trial

New on our bookshelf:

Madeleine Smith on Trial: A Glasgow Murder and the Young Woman Too Respectable to Convict
Brian Jenkins

In 1855, Glasgow socialite Madeleine Smith began a flirtation with Pierre L’Angelier, a handsome clerk—for her a mere diversion. But L’Angelier sought social mobility. Their class disparity gave her control of the intrigue but when the relationship turned sexual, the power imbalance shifted. The Scots recognized irregular unions in certain cases. L’Angelier considered Smith his wife, a part she at first discreetly played. When he refused to step aside and allow her a more socially acceptable marriage, his removal became necessary. Smith’s sensational murder trial captivated both Britain and America. Despite compelling evidence of guilt, various factors led to her acquittal—her class and gender, the peculiarities of Scottish law—and many believed the case went to trial only because the Crown feared blatant confirmation that justice was not blind.

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Newly Published: Voodoo, Hoodoo and Conjure in African American Literature

New on our bookshelf:

Voodoo, Hoodoo and Conjure in African American Literature: Critical Essays
Edited by James S. Mellis

From the earliest slave narratives to modern fiction by the likes of Colson Whitehead and Jesmyn Ward, African American authors have drawn on African spiritual practices as literary inspiration, and as a way to maintain a connection to Africa.

This volume has collected new essays about the multiple ways African American authors have incorporated Voodoo, Hoodoo and Conjure in their work. Among the authors covered are Frederick Douglass, Shirley Graham, Jewell Parker Rhodes, Zora Neale Hurston, Richard Wright, Ntozake Shange, Rudolph Fisher, Jean Toomer, and Ishmael Reed.

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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: Trail of Shadows

New on our bookshelf:

Trail of Shadows: The Unsolved Murders of Prohibition Agents Dale Kearney and Ray Sutton
Chuck Hornung and B. Lee Charlton

In the Summer of 1930, two federal prohibition agents were murdered. The first died in a hail of buckshot on a dark street in Aguilar, Colorado. Six weeks later, the second agent and his vehicle disappeared on a sunny afternoon along a New Mexico state highway south of Raton. These events occurred during the era when the government legislated a ban on alcohol manufacture, distribution, and sales within the United States. During their 50-year search, the authors sought answers to why no one was ever prosecuted for these crimes. This is the first book to correlate the two murders, identify how and why they occurred, name the parties involved and the roles they played. The authors interviewed many individuals associated with the events and discovered a trove of National Archives files containing incident reports, suspect interview notes, the dead agents’ daily activity logs and their personnel files. Building upon this base, they located the remaining documents generated by state and local law enforcement officers and additionally data mined private and public contemporary newspaper collections. The shadows along the trail lift as the light of truth is shown upon this mystery. Two federal agents can now rest in peace.

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Newly Published: Playing on an Uneven Field

New on our bookshelf:

Playing on an Uneven Field: Essays on Exclusion and Inclusion in Sports
Edited by Yuya Kiuchi

We expect sports to be fair and equal—everyone who tries out has a chance to play and everyone who plays hard has a chance to win. But is that really true? In reality, female athletes are paid far less than their male counterparts. Youth sports often cost too much for many families to participate in. African American athletes continue to face discrimination both on and off the field. Adaptive sports are considered to be only for those with disabilities.

But there are signs of progress as sports organizations try to promote equality and fairness. This study explores the intricacies of inclusion and exclusion in sports.

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Newly Published: Words of a Monster

New on our bookshelf:

Words of a Monster: Analyzing the Writings of H.H. Holmes, America’s First Serial Killer
Rebecca Frost

Decades before the coining of the term “serial killer,” H.H. Holmes murdered dozens of people in his now-infamous Chicago “Murder Castle.” In his own autobiography, Holmes struggled to define himself in the language of the late nineteenth century. As the “first”—or, as he labeled himself, “The Greatest Criminal of the Age”—he had no one to compare himself to, and no ready-made biographical structure to follow. Holmes was thus nearly able to invent himself from scratch. This book uses Holmes’ writings and confessions to inspect how the Arch Fiend represented himself. Although the legitimacy of Holmes’ personal accounts have been called into question, his biography mirrors the narrative structure of the true crime genre that emerged decades after his death.

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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: 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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Three New Titles Reviewed in Choice

Infield Fly Rule Is in Effect: The History and Strategy of Baseball’s Most (In)Famous Rule
“This reviewer coached college baseball, and before reading this small treasure wrote down every conceivable argument for and against IFR. All of them and more are addressed here precisely, with wit, style, and evidence. One can ask for no more than that…highly recommended.”—Choice

The League That Didn’t Exist: A History of the All-American Football Conference, 1946–1949
“Thoroughly indexed…recommended.”—Choice

The Language of Popular Science: Analyzing the Communication of Advanced Ideas to Lay Readers
“Insightful analysis…this is a very readable and interesting book…recommended.”—Choice

 

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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: Embracing Philanthropic Environmentalism

New on our bookshelf:

Embracing Philanthropic Environmentalism: The Grand Responsibility of Stewardship
Will Sarvis

This book addresses urban ecology, green technology, problems with climate change prediction, groundwater contamination, invasive species and many other topics, and offers a guardedly optimistic interpretation of humanity’s place in nature and our unique caretaker role.

Drawing upon scholarly and media sources, the author presents a common-sense analysis of environmental science, debunking eco-apocalyptic thinking along the way. Compromised science masquerading as authoritative is revealed as a fundraising and policy-influencing crusade by the environmental elite, overshadowing unambiguous problems like environmental racism.

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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: Literary Journalism in British and American Prose

New on our bookshelf:

Literary Journalism in British and American Prose: An Historical Overview
Doug Underwood

The debate surrounding “fake news” versus “real” news is nothing new. From Jonathan Swift’s work as an acerbic, anonymous journal editor-turned-novelist to reporter Mark Twain’s hoax stories to Mary Ann Evans’ literary reviews written under her pseudonym, George Eliot, famous journalists and literary figures have always mixed fact, imagination and critical commentary to produce memorable works.

Contrasting the rival yet complementary traditions of “literary” or “new” journalism in Britain and the U.S., this study explores the credibility of some of the “great” works of English literature.

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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: Fat Talk

New on our bookshelf:

Fat Talk: A Feminist Perspective
Denise Martz

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

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Newly Published: 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: A True Child of Papua New Guinea

New on our bookshelf:

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

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

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Newly Published: Social Justice and Activism in Libraries

New on our bookshelf:

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

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

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

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Newly Published: The Sacred in Fantastic Fandom

New on our bookshelf:

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

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

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

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Newly Published: Black Baseball, 1858–1900

New on our bookshelf:

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

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

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

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Newly Published: Pardonable Matricide

New on our bookshelf:

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

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

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Newly Published: Latin American Collection Concepts

New on our bookshelf:

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

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

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

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Newly Published: Nuts About Squirrels

New on our bookshelf:

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

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

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Newly Published: Church and State in the Roberts Court

New on our bookshelf:

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

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

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

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Newly Published: Harry Potter and the Cedarville Censors

New on our bookshelf:

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

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

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Newly Published: Cantor William Sharlin

New on our bookshelf:

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

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

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

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

New on our bookshelf:

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

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

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

New on our bookshelf:

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

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

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

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Newly Published: Terrorism Worldwide, 2018

New on our bookshelf:

Terrorism Worldwide, 2018
Edward Mickolus

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

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Newly Published: Perspectives on Digital Comics

New on our bookshelf:

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

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

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Two New Books Reviewed in March Issue of Choice

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

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

 

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Newly Published: Syrian Women Refugees

New on our bookshelf:

Syrian Women Refugees: Personal Accounts of Transition
Ozlem Ezer

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

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Newly Published: Superman and the Bible

New on our bookshelf:

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

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

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

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Newly Published: The Scope of Information Ethics

New on our bookshelf:

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

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

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

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Newly Published: Snakes in American Culture

New on our bookshelf:

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

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

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

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Biographies and Memoirs Catalog and Sale

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

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Newly Published: Guns and College Homicide

New on our bookshelf:

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

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

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

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

New on our bookshelf:

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

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

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

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

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Three Books Named Choice Outstanding Academic Titles

Congratulations to these Choice Outstanding Academic Titles!

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

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

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

 

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Newly Published: America Goes Hawaiian

New on our bookshelf:

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

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

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

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

New on our bookshelf:

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

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

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

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

 

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Newly Published: The Complete Father

New on our bookshelf:

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

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

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

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

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Newly Published: Holy Horror

New on our bookshelf:

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

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

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

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Newly Published: Preparing for Disunion

New on our bookshelf:

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

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

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

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Newly Published: Unsung Heroes of the Dachau Trials

New on our bookshelf:

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

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

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

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Newly Published: Immersive Theater and Activism

New on our bookshelf:

Immersive Theater and Activism: Scripts and Strategies for Directors and Playwrights
Nandita Dinesh

Immersive theater calls upon audience members to become participants, actors and “others.” It traditionally offers binary roles—that of oppressor or that of victim—and thereby stands the risk of simplifying complex social situations.

Challenging such binaries, this book articulates theatrical “grey zones” when addressing juvenile detention, wartime interventions and immigration processes. It presents scripts and strategies for directors and playwrights who want to create theatrical environments that are immersive and pedagogical; aesthetically evocative and politically provocative; simple and complex.

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Newly Published: Legal Marijuana

New on our bookshelf:

Legal Marijuana: Perspectives on Public Benefits, Risks and Policy Approaches
Edited by Joaquin Jay Gonzalez III and Mickey P. McGee

The legalization of marijuana has spread rapidly throughout the United States, from just a handful of states ten years ago to now more than half, as well as the nation’s capital. In Canada, it is legal to use and distribute nationally. Thousands of cities and towns are following suit. Legalization seems to be a win-win—people who use cannabis for health and recreation are served, business is brisk, and many governments welcome the much-needed boost in tax revenue. But not everyone thinks so. The rapid pace of legalization has spurred debate among citizens, cities, states and the federal government. This collection of essays explains the benefits and concerns, the policies and actions, and the future of this controversial issue.

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Newly Published: Americans in a Splintering Europe

New on our bookshelf:

Americans in a Splintering Europe: Refugees, Missionaries and Journalists in World War I
Mark Strecker

World War I began in August 1914—the United States did not enter the conflict until April 1917. During those nearly three years of neutrality, a small number of Americans did experience the horrors of the war zones of Europe. Some ran for their lives as refugees while others, like journalists and doctors, headed toward the fighting. Missionaries in Persia (Iran) and the Ottoman Empire became witnesses to both the Armenian genocide and the persecution of Assyrian Christians. This history focuses on the war from the perspective of ordinary people who found themselves in the midst of what was then the most destructive and bloody war in history.

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Holiday 2018 Sale—Get 25% Off All Books!

The holidays are a special time at McFarland—in addition to publishing scholarship, many of us also participate in the tree harvest, as Ashe County produces more Christmas trees than any other county in the United States. If you live in the Southeast, you may have a little bit of McFarland in your living room right now! This season, please consider putting some McFarland under the tree for the readers in your life. To make your holiday shopping easier, we’re offering 25% off of ALL books through the end of the year! On our website, use coupon code HOLIDAY18, or call us at 800-253-2187. For inspiration, browse our new catalog of of gift ideas for readers. Happy holidays from your friends at McFarland!

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Newly Published: A Wanderer by Trade

New on our bookshelf:

A Wanderer by Trade: Gender in the Songs of Bob Dylan
Patrick Webster

Many of Bob Dylan’s most well-known works date from the 1960s, and can be seen as critical indicators of the changes in American society then and since. This book explores the unthreading of ideas about masculinity, femininity, sexuality, and identity through the lens of some of Dylan’s most popular love songs. The author revealingly employs specific aspects of cultural theory to explore the appeal of Bob Dylan’s music both now and during the time it was written.

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Newly Published: Hindu Gods in an American Landscape

New on our bookshelf:

Hindu Gods in an American Landscape: Changing Perceptions of Indian Sacred Images in the Global Age
E. Allen Richardson

In India, Hindu images have been cast for millennia through the lost wax process and brought to life by priests—becoming not merely venerated icons but actual embodiments of gods. Second and third generation Hindu Americans have increasingly adopted a more worldly perspective toward religious objects, viewing them as symbolic rather than actual presences of the deity.

The author traces the origins of this important shift, and examines Western attitudes regarding sacred objects, as well as the complex layering of traditional and modern Hindu attitudes in a globalized world.

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Newly Published: Prejudice in the Press?

New on our bookshelf:

Prejudice in the Press?: Investigating Bias in Coverage of Race, Gender, Sexuality and Religion
George Yancey and Alicia L. Brunson

Charges of “fake news” tend to be politically motivated whether made by Republicans or Democrats. Yet the potential for media bias is real and deserves an honest assessment.

Using an audit technique—providing journalists with similar scenarios but altering key details—the authors evaluate whether reporters and editors write different narratives depending on the characteristics of the principle issues in the story. The results indicate that race, gender, sexuality and religion have little effect on whether a story will be covered, but do color the story that is written.

Data suggest that news personnel may be operating in ways that promote progressive political leanings. The results of this study are important for journalists seeking to move closer to objective standards of reporting.

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Newly Published: The Creation of American Law

New on our bookshelf today:

The Creation of American Law: John Jay, Oliver Ellsworth and the 1790s Supreme Court
Jude M. Pfister

With the Constitutional Convention in 1787, America was set on a course to develop a unique system of law with roots in the English common law tradition. This new system, its foundations in Article III of the Constitution, called for a national judiciary headed by a supreme court—which first met in 1790.

This book serves as a history of America’s national law with a look at those—such as John Jay (the first Chief), James Iredell, Bushrod Washington and James Wilson—who set in motion not only the new Supreme Court, but also the new federal judiciary. These founders displayed great dexterity in maneuvering through the fraught political landscape of the 1790s.

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Newly Published: Vying for the Iron Throne

New on our bookshelf today:

Vying for the Iron Throne: Essays on Power, Gender, Death and Performance in HBO’s Game of Thrones
Edited by Lindsey Mantoan and Sara Brady

Game of Thrones has changed the landscape of television during an era hailed as the Golden Age of TV. An adaptation of George R.R. Martin’s epic fantasy A Song of Fire and Ice, the HBO series has taken on a life of its own with original plotlines that advance past those of Martin’s books.

The death of protagonist Ned Stark at the end of Season One launched a killing spree in television—major characters now die on popular shows weekly. While many shows kill off characters for pure shock value, death on Game of Thrones produces seismic shifts in power dynamics—and resurrected bodies that continue to fight. This collection of new essays explores how power, death, gender, and performance intertwine in the series.

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Newly Published: Lovable Crooks and Loathsome Jews

New on our bookshelf today:

Lovable Crooks and Loathsome Jews: Antisemitism in German and Austrian Crime Writing Before the World Wars
T.S. Kord

In the years leading up to the World Wars, Germany and Austria saw an unprecedented increase in the study and depiction of the criminal. Science, journalism and crime fiction were obsessed with delinquents while ignoring the social causes of crime. As criminologists measured criminals’ heads and debated biological predestination, court reporters and crime writers wrote side-splitting or heart-rending stories featuring one of the most popular characters ever created—the hilarious or piteous crook. The author examines the figure of the crook and notions of “Jewish” criminality in a range of antisemitic writing, from Nazi propaganda to court reporting to forgotten classics of crime fiction.

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Halloween Sale: Horror Books

We realize that the stores have had their trees and Christmas decorations out for sale for weeks now.  At McFarland though, no one wants to leapfrog past our favorite holiday, Halloween!  McFarland has scheduled a sale for our books about horror – whether on film, television, literature, games, comics, culture or anything else.  When you order direct from our website using the coupon code HORROR25, print editions of all horror books are 25% off Friday, October 26 through Halloween, October 31.  Be prepared to be up late with the lights on…

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Newly Published: A NewsHound’s Guide to Student Journalism

New on our bookshelf today:

A NewsHound’s Guide to Student Journalism
Katina Paron and Javier Güelfi

Covering the basics of media arts values and practice, this graphic textbook offers cub reporters a primer on the drama, adventure and ethical conundrums that make journalism rewarding and fun. Using ripped-from-the-headlines examples, the authors challenge students to engage with the big issues. The stories revolve around a diverse newspaper staff at an urban high school who find themselves in a series of teachable moments. Packed with reporting exercises and fundamentals of the craft, woven into engaging narratives, each comic also gives readers a look at the real-life event that inspired the tale.

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Newly Published: The Romanian Cinema of Nationalism

New on our bookshelf today:

The Romanian Cinema of Nationalism: Historical Films as Propaganda and Spectacle
Onoriu Colăcel

Prior to the collapse of communism, Romanian historical movies were political, encouraging nationalistic feelings and devotion to the state. Vlad the Impaler and other such iconic figures emerged as heroes rather than loathsome bloodsuckers, celebrating a shared sense of belonging. The past decade has, however, presented Romanian films in which ordinary people are the stars—heroes, go-getters, swindlers and sore losers. The author explores a wide selection, old and new, of films set in the Romanian past.

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Newly Published: Religious Traditions of North Carolina

New on our bookshelf today:

Religious Traditions of North Carolina: Histories, Tenets and Leaders
Edited by W. Glenn Jonas, Jr. for the North Caroliniana Society

This book presents most of the religious traditions North Carolinians and their ancestors have embraced since 1650. Baptists, Presbyterians, Catholics, Methodists, Episcopalians, Jews, Brethren, Quakers, Lutherans, Mennonites, Moravians, and Pentecostals, along with African American worshippers and non–Christians, are covered in fourteen essays by men and women who have experienced the religions they describe in detail.

The North Caroliniana Society is a nonprofit, nonsectarian, membership organization dedicated to the promotion of increased knowledge and appreciation of North Carolina’s heritage through the encouragement of scholarly research and writing and the teaching of state and local history, literature and culture.

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Newly Published: My Own Four Walls

New on our bookshelf today:

My Own Four Walls: A Philadelphia Newspaper Columnist as Homesteader Between the Wars
Don Rose

Don Rose came to the U.S. from England in 1908, when he was 18, entering through Ellis Island like countless other immigrants. By 1941 he was one of Philadelphia’s best-known newspaper columnists. That year he published his gentle, funny memoir My Own Four Walls, the story of the ramshackle farmhouse he and Marjorie, his wife, bought in 1918 for themselves and their 12 children.

One of his grandsons, Neil Genzlinger, himself a journalist at the New York Times, here brings that book back to life, with the original illustrations, a century after his grandfather had signed the deed. Part diary, part DIY manual, Rose’s unsung classic is a tale of smoky fireplaces, leaky ceilings and unruly gardens, at a time when refrigerators were newfangled and suburban homes were furnished at country auctions. Most of all it is a story of how one man, with persistence, slowly put down roots in his adopted country.

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Newly Published: Fantasy Literature and Christianity

New on our bookshelf today:

Fantasy Literature and Christianity: A Study of the Mistborn, Coldfire, Fionavar Tapestry and Chronicles of Thomas Covenant Series
Weronika Łaszkiewicz

The debate surrounding the Christian aspects of C.S. Lewis’s The Chronicles of Narnia, J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials and J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter has revealed not only the prominence of religious themes in fantasy fiction, but also readers’ concerns over portrayals of religion in fantasy. Yet while analyses of these works fill many volumes, other fantasy series have received much less attention. This critical study explores the fantastic religions and religious themes in the works of American and Canadian writers Stephen R. Donaldson (Chronicles of Thomas Covenant), Guy Gavriel Kay (Fionavar Tapestry), Celia S. Friedman (Coldfire Trilogy), and Brandon Sanderson (Mistborn) series. References to biblical tradition and Christian teachings reveal these writers’ overall approach to Christianity and the relationship between Christianity and the fantasy genre.

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Newly Published: Post-Apocalyptic Patriarchy

New on our bookshelf today:

Post-Apocalyptic Patriarchy: American Television and Gendered Visions of Survival
Carlen Lavigne

Twenty-first century American television series such as RevolutionFalling SkiesThe Last Ship and The Walking Dead have depicted a variety of doomsday scenarios—nuclear cataclysm, rogue artificial intelligence, pandemic, alien invasion or zombie uprising. These scenarios speak to longstanding societal anxieties and contemporary calamities like 9/11 or the avian flu epidemic. Questions about post-apocalyptic television abound: whose voices are represented? What tomorrows are they most afraid of? What does this tell us about the world we live in today? The author analyzes these speculative futures in terms of gender, race and sexuality, revealing the fears and ambitions of a patriarchy in flux, as exemplified by the “return” to a mythical American frontier where the white male hero fights for survival, protects his family and crafts a new world order based on the old.

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Newly Published: Chauncey Yellow Robe

New on our bookshelf today:

Chauncey Yellow Robe: A Biography of the American Indian Educator, ca. 1870–1930
David W. Messer

In 1883, 12-year old Canowicakte boarded a train on the Rosebud Indian Reservation, beginning a journey his friends said would end at the edge of the world. Raised as a traditional Lakota, he found Carlisle Indian School, with its well-documented horrors, was the end of the world as he knew it.

Renamed Chauncey Yellow Robe, he flourished at Carlisle, developed a lifelong friendship with founder Richard Pratt, and went on to work at Indian boarding schools for most of his professional life.

Despite his acceptance of Indian assimilation, he was adamant that Indians should maintain their identity and was an outspoken critic of their demeaning portrayal in popular Wild West shows. He was the star and technical director of The Silent Enemy (1930), one of the first accurate depictions of Indians on film. His life embodied a cultural conflict that still persists in American society.

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Newly Published: Shapers of American Childhood

New on our bookshelf today:

Shapers of American Childhood: Essays on Visionaries from L. Frank Baum to Dr. Spock to J.K. Rowling
Edited by Kathy Merlock Jackson and Mark I. West

The experience of growing up in the U.S. is shaped by many forces. Relationships with parents and teachers are deeply personal and definitive. Social and economic contexts are broader and harder to quantify.

Key individuals in public life have also had a marked impact on American childhood. These 18 new essays examine the influence of pivotal figures in the culture of 20th and 21st century childhood and child-rearing, from Benjamin Spock and Walt Disney to Ruth Handler, Barbie’s inventor, and Ernest Thompson Seton, founder of the Boy Scouts of America.

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Four New Titles Reviewed in October Issue of Choice

Freedom Narratives of African American Women: A Study of 19th Century Writings
“Compelling…crucially contributing to feminist recovery work and scholarship in African American studies, Freedom Narratives of African American Women is required reading for those interested in 19th-century America…essential.”

The Postmodern Joy of Role-Playing Games: Agency, Ritual and Meaning in the Medium
“Groundbreaking study…this volume is required reading for RPG and gaming scholars…essential.”

The American Soldier, 1866–1916: The Enlisted Man and the Transformation of the United States Army
“This is a rewarding study of enlisted men in the post–Civil War era…recommended.”

Organized Crime in the United States, 1865–1941
“Challenges widely accepted views…an interesting historical analysis…recommended.”

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Newly Published: Writing for College

New on our bookshelf today:

Writing for College: A No-B.S. Guide
Robert Alden Rubin

This book guides first-year students through the dos and don’ts of composition, from such basic questions as “Can I use ‘I’ in a college essay?” to more advanced points about structure and style. Emphasizing the importance of writing in all majors, the author encourages students to find their own voice and to express themselves without jargon or “academese.” Tips are provided on concision, use of supporting claims, marshaling arguments, researching topics, documenting sources, and revision.

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Newly Published: The Echo of Odin

New on our bookshelf today:

The Echo of Odin: Norse Mythology and Human Consciousness
Edward W.L. Smith

The pagan mythology of the Vikings offers a rich metaphor for consciousness. This book presents the cosmography of Norse mythology as a landscape of human inner life. Each of the nine worlds of this cosmography is viewed as a symbol of a distinct type of consciousness that is emblematic of a particular perspective or way of relating to others.

Individual gods and goddesses are considered nuanced personifications of their worlds. The philosophy of pagan mythology is explored by comparing and contrasting the Sayings of Odin from the Norse Edda with the Christian Ten Commandments.

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Newly Published: Bystanders to the Vietnam War

New on our bookshelf today:

Bystanders to the Vietnam War: The Role of the United States Senate, 1950–1965
Ronald Allen Goldberg

Who was most responsible for the Vietnam War? Did President Lyndon Johnson simply continue the policies of his predecessors, Eisenhower and Kennedy, or was he the principal architect? What responsibility did Congress share? Was the Senate a coequal partner in creating the Vietnam policy or a secondary player?

Focusing on the U.S. Senate’s role in the war, this history records the various senators’ views in their own words. The author demonstrates that during the 20-year conflict—as throughout American history—the president was the principal formulator of policy on war and peace, including during the more recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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Newly Published: Harold Gibbons

New on our bookshelf today:

Harold Gibbons: St. Louis Teamsters Leader and Warrior Against Jim Crow
Gordon Burnside

Harold Gibbons (1910–1982), leader of St. Louis Teamsters Local 688, fought and defeated Communists and mobsters and was instrumental in ending racial discrimination in the union. His many friends included Frank Sinatra and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. For a few years, he was Jimmy Hoffa’s right-hand man—the two fell out after the Kennedy assassination, which Hoffa celebrated and Gibbons mourned. Exploring his day-to-day work, the author reveals the full story of Gibbons’ secret effort with Kissinger and Hoffa to bring an end to the Vietnam War.

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New in Softcover: Encyclopedia of Abortion in the United States, 2d ed.

Now available in softcover:

Encyclopedia of Abortion in the United States, 2d ed.
Louis J. Palmer, Jr. and Xueyan Z. Palmer

This now revised and updated encyclopedia comprehensively covers abortion from the founding of the nation through 2007. Since the publication of the first edition, the Supreme Court has issued a number of important opinions on abortion, such as the approval of a federal ban on partial-birth abortion in Gonzales v. Carhart. Along with new entries on these events and other topics, the second edition is also enhanced by more than 40 photographs and more than 300 charts and graphs. The roles of the Supreme Court and other judicial and legislative bodies are covered in great detail. Entries focus on the “voting” position taken by every Supreme Court justice who has ever participated in an abortion decision; provide the actual abortion laws of each state; and summarize individual statutes to help nonspecialist readers understand the laws. Many entries focus on the social, religious, or moral arguments surrounding abortion and identify and describe the leading pro-life and pro-choice abortion organizations. There are entries summarizing the major lawful or unlawful activities that have occurred in support or protest of abortion. Medical issues related to abortion are fully covered: modern contraceptive devices, different methods of abortion, the gestational development of the human fetus, embryonic cloning, assisted reproductive technology, surrogacy, and embryonic/fetal stem cell research.

 

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Newly Published: The Elusive African Renaissance

New on our bookshelf today:

The Elusive African Renaissance: Essays on Today’s Critical Development Issues
Edited by George Klay Kieh, Jr.

Africa faces several major development challenges that have adversely affected the political and material well being of the majority of the people living there.

This collection of new essays rigorously analyzes those frontier development issues—including democracy, leadership, the economy, poverty alleviation through microfinance schemes, food security, education, health and political instability—and offers prescriptions that differ from the dominant neoliberal solutions.

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Newly Published: Teens and the New Religious Landscape

New on our bookshelf today:

Teens and the New Religious Landscape: Essays on Contemporary Young Adult Fiction
Edited by Jacob Stratman

How are teenagers’ religious experiences shown in today’s young adult literature? How do authors use religious texts and beliefs to add depth to characters, settings and plots? How does YA fiction place itself in the larger conversation regarding religion?

Modern YA fiction does not shy away from the dilemmas and anxieties teenagers face today. While many stories end with the protagonist in a state of flux if not despair, some authors choose redemption or reconciliation.

This collection of new essays explores these issues and more, with a focus on stories in which characters respond to a new (often shifting) religious landscape, in both realistic and fantastic worlds.

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Newly Published: Czechoslovakia Behind the Curtain

New on our bookshelf today:

Czechoslovakia Behind the Curtain: Life, Work and Culture in the Communist Era
Thomas K. Murphy

During the Cold War, the West—especially in the popular media—tended to view communism as a monolithic phenomenon, with little variation throughout the Eastern Bloc. Yet culture and geography contributed to social diversity among and within communist systems.

Drawing on interviews with approximately 100 Czechs and Slovaks, the author provides new perspectives on day-to-day life in the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic. Their recollections paint a more complex picture of the life on the other side of the Iron Curtain, from the Sputnik era reforms of the early 1960s, through the tumult of the 1968 Prague Spring and the subsequent Soviet invasion, to the Velvet Revolution, the collapse of the communist regime and the formation of democratic Czechoslovakia in 1989.

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Newly Published: Six Plays of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

New on our bookshelf today:

Six Plays of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
Edited by Jamil Khoury, Michael Malek Najjar and Corey Pond

A bold and singular collection of six plays by Arab and Jewish playwrights explores the human toll of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: The Admission by Motti Lerner, Scenes From 70* Years by Hannah Khalil, Tennis in Nablus by Ismail Khalidi, Urge for Going by Mona Mansour, The Victims by Ken Kaissar, and The Zionists by Zohar Tirosh-Polk.

Rather than striving to achieve balance and moral equivalency between “competing” narratives, the plays investigate themes of identity, justice, occupation, exile, history and homeland with honesty and integrity. The plays do not “take sides” or adhere to ideological orthodoxies but challenge tribalism and narrow definitions of nationalism, while varying widely in thematic content, dramatic structure, and time and place.

Where politicians and diplomats fail, artists and storytellers may yet succeed—not in ratifying a peace treaty between Israel and Palestine, but in building the sort of social and political connectivity that enables resolution.