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Newly Published: Heroes Masked and Mythic

New on our bookshelf:

Heroes Masked and Mythic: Echoes of Ancient Archetypes in Comic Book Characters
Christopher Wood

Epic battles, hideous monsters and a host of petty gods–the world of Classical mythology continues to fascinate and inspire. Heroes like Herakles, Achilles and Perseus have influenced Western art and literature for centuries, and today are reinvented in the modern superhero.

What does Iron Man have to do with the Homeric hero Odysseus? How does the African warrior Memnon compare with Marvel’s Black Panther? Do DC’s Wonder Woman and Xena the Warrior Princess reflect the tradition of Amazon women such as Penthesileia? How does the modern superhero’s journey echo that of the epic warrior?

With fresh insight into ancient Greek texts and historical art, this book examines modern superhero archetypes and iconography in comics and film as the crystallization of the hero’s journey in the modern imagination.

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Newly Published: The African Experience in Colonial Virginia

New on our bookshelf:

The African Experience in Colonial Virginia: Essays on the 1619 Arrival and the Legacy of Slavery
Edited by Colita Nichols Fairfax

The State of Virginia recognizes the 1619 landing of Africans at Point Comfort (present-day Hampton) as a complicated beginning. This collection of new essays reckons with this historical fact, with discussions of the impacts 400 years later.

Chapters cover different perspectives about the “20 and odd” who landed, offering insights into how enslavement continues to affect the lives of their descendants. The often overlooked experiences of women in enslavement are discussed.

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Newly Published: Running Toward the Guns

New on our bookshelf:

Running Toward the Guns: A Memoir of Escape from Cambodia
Chanty Jong with Lee Ann Van Houten-Sauter

Running Toward the Guns is an autobiographical story and an accounting of Chanty Jong’s personal inner self-healing journey that led to a successfully unexpected discovery. Jong survived the Cambodian genocide during the Khmer Rouge regime of 1975–1979, witnessing the horrors of the killing fields, torture, starvation and much more. Her vivid narrative recounts the suffering under the Khmer Rouge, her perseverance to survive physically and emotionally and her perilous escape to America. Her memoir relives the traumatic memories of her experiences and traces her arduous personal transformation toward a life of inner peace through intensive meditation.

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Newly Published: Have You Seen This Person?

New on our bookshelf:

Have You Seen This Person?: Ten Unsolved Disappearances, 2000–2013
LJ Roberts

Each year, hundreds of thousands of people are reported missing in the United States alone. The majority of those who disappear turn up within a week, but a small percentage are never heard from again.

Why did a Swedish teenager on an Australian adventure mail a cryptic letter to his family in Stockholm before disappearing forever? What became of a young woman whose car was found crashed and abandoned off a cliffside in Whatcom County, Washington? How can an individual vanish without a trace in a world so connected and monitored?

This book explores ten unsolved missing persons cases from around the world, from a 12-year-old British boy who purchased a one-way ticket to London King’s Cross never to return, to an American traveler who walked into the Himalayas not to be seen again. Included are exclusive interviews, statistical information and a case-by-case analysis of the most common and probable theories for each disappearance.

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Newly Published: Super Skills, Super Reading

New on our bookshelf:

Super Skills, Super Reading: Literacy and Television Superheroes
Perry Dantzler

What comes to mind when you think about superheroes? Strength, bravery, and heroism are common answers. However, superheroes do not only have physical strength, but they also have mental strengths and skills. Superheroes tend to have intelligence and detection skills which allow them to develop other skills. In this analysis of superhero literacy aimed at students, the connection between superhero media and larger theories of literacy are explored. The author uses six superhero television shows to show how literacy is portrayed in superhero media and how it reflects and shapes cultural ideas of literacy. The shows covered are Arrow, The Flash, Gotham, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Daredevil.

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Newly Published: Dying for Chocolate

New on our bookshelf:

Dying for Chocolate: Cordelia Botkin and the 1898 Poisoned Candy Murders
Kerry Segrave

On a summer day in 1898, a family in Dover, Delaware, shared a box of chocolates they received in the mail from an anonymous sender. Within days, two of the seven family members were dead; the other five became ill but recovered. The search for the perpetrator soon moved from Delaware to California, where a suspect was quickly identified: Cordelia Botkin, lover of the husband of one of the poisoned women.

This book chronicles the shoddy investigation that led to Botkin’s indictment and the two sensational trials, adjudicated in the press, that found her guilty. National attention was drawn by the cross-country nature of the crime and the fact that the supposed perpetrator had never been in Delaware in her life. It was also a trial over what was viewed as the moral and sexual depravity of the two main participants, Botkin and Dunning (the husband), with most of that criticism directed at Botkin.

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Newly Published: The Constitution and American Racism

New on our bookshelf:

The Constitution and American Racism: Setting a Course for Lasting Injustice
David P. Madden

Racism has permeated the workings of the U.S. Constitution since ratification. At the 1787 Constitutional Convention, supporters of slavery ensured it was protected by rule of law. The federal government upheld slavery until it was abolished by the Civil War; then supported the South’s Jim Crow power structure. From Reconstruction through the Civil Rights Era until today, veneration of the Constitution has not prevented lynching, segregation, voter intimidation or police brutality against people of color. The Electoral College—a Constitutional accommodation for slaveholding aristocrats who feared popular government—has twice in 20 years given the presidency to the candidate who lost the popular vote. This book describes how pernicious flaws in the Constitution, included to legalize profiting from human bondage, perpetuate systemic racism, economic inequality and the subversion of democracy.

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Newly Published: The Motivated Worker

New on our bookshelf:

The Motivated Worker: A Manager’s Guide to Improving Job Satisfaction
Brad Ward

How can managers and executives motivate workers to make them happier and more productive? How can employees find meaning and motivation in their careers? The classic Two Factor Theory—a simple, time-tested model for conceptualizing job satisfaction—is here re-imagined for a modern world, with relevant examples, and backed by dozens of academic studies that organizational leaders can draw upon to improve worker motivation.

The Universal Dual-Factor Survey (UDS) is introduced, providing a means to assess workforce job satisfaction. Managers will be able to understand which factors need improvement, leading to more meaningful work. Employees, at all levels of business, government and nonprofit organizations, will be able to improve personal motivation, facilitating a more cohesive and thriving workforce.

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Newly Published: Murder, in Fact

New on our bookshelf:

Murder, in Fact: Disillusionment and Death in the American True Crime Novel
Lana A. Whited

With the 1965 publication of In Cold Blood, Truman Capote declared he broke new literary ground. But Capote’s “nonfiction novel” belongs to a long Naturalist tradition originating in the work of 19th-century French novelist Emile Zola. Naturalism offers a particular response to the increasing problem of violence in American life and its sociological implications.

This book traces the origins of the fact-based homicide novel that emerged in the mainstream of American literature with works such as Frank Norris’s McTeague and flourished in the twentieth century with works such as Theodore Dreiser’s An American Tragedy and Richard Wright’s Native Son. At their heart is a young man isolated from community who acts out in desperate circumstances against someone who reflects his isolation. A tension develops between how society views this killer and the way he is viewed by the novelist. The crimes central to these narratives epitomize the vast gap between those who can aspire to the so-called “American dream” and those with no realistic chance of achieving it.

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Newly Published: Lending a Hand, Seeing the World

New on our bookshelf:

Lending a Hand, Seeing the World: Memoir of an International Volunteer
Judith Love Schwab

Judith Love Schwab had many duties as an international volunteer, but some of the most memorable were following meerkats in the Kalahari Desert, collecting data on early gardens and buildings for archaeologists on Easter Island, helping care for underserved babies in Romania, teaching English in Poland, sifting for bones and shells in Portugal and working with severely disabled adults at an institution in Greece. While recounting these experiences, Schwab also examines the limitations imposed on her as a female growing up in the middle of the 20th century and the inhibitions she overcame to begin traveling in her fifties.

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Newly Published: Covid-19 Conspiracy Theories

New on our bookshelf:

COVID-19 Conspiracy Theories: QAnon, 5G, the New World Order and Other Viral Ideas
John Bodner, Wendy Welch, Ian Brodie, Anna Muldoon, Donald Leech and Ashley Marshall

As the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) spread around the world, so did theories, stories, and conspiracy beliefs about it. These theories infected communities from the halls of Congress to Facebook groups, spreading quickly in newspapers, on various social media and between friends. They spurred debate about the origins, treatment options and responses to the virus, creating distrust towards public health workers and suspicion of vaccines.  This book examines the most popular Covid-19 theories, connecting current conspiracy beliefs to long-standing fears and urban legends. By examining the vehicles and mechanisms of Covid-19 conspiracy, readers can better understand how theories spread and how to respond to misinformation.

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Newly Published: The Trauma-Sensitive School

New on our bookshelf:

The Trauma-Sensitive School: Transforming Education to Heal Social and Emotional Wounds
Gerald W. Neal

This examination of child trauma focuses on how it impacts cognitive, emotional and social development, and offers perspectives and strategies for fostering trauma-sensitive school cultures. Strong evidence suggests the central problems that underlie many of the behavioral and emotional obstacles that adversely impact learning are rarely identified by educators. When these issues are properly understood and addressed, teachers, administrators and parents can more effectively serve students’ emotional and social needs, resulting in dramatic improvement in academic outcomes, attendance, teacher retention and parental involvement.

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CRIMECON: The Snow Killings

CrimeCon: House Arrest streams live this Saturday, November 21!  Don’t miss it!

The Snow Killings
Inside the Oakland County Child Killer Investigation
By Marney Keenan
Exposit Books (2020)

In 1976–77, over a period of 13 months, four children ages 10–12 (two boys and two girls) were abducted from their suburban Detroit neighborhoods in Oakland County, Michigan—the second-most populous county in the state, and among the most affluent in the country. Each was held by their captors for periods of 4 to 19 days before their bodies were dumped—still warm and dressed in the clothes they were wearing when they vanished—near roadsides at locations miles from where they were last seen. Autopsies found the boys had been sexually assaulted. The murders spread mass fear across southeast Michigan for years, with far-reaching effects on the community.

In what was then the largest manhunt in U.S. history, a multi-agency law enforcement task force—at one point operating with as many as 200–300 detectives and a sizeable USDOJ grant—spent two years investigating the murders, fielding 18,000 tips and following up thousands of leads before shutting down in 1978, having filed no charges nor naming any persons of interest.

In the end, law enforcement and prosecutors shrugged, telling the public they had exhausted all leads and resources and calling the case unsolved (but not closed). Forty-five years later, the Oakland County Child Killings case remains open (and in recent years is quite active again) but still officially unsolved.

Beginning in the mid-2000s, through a couple of incredibly felicitous discoveries, a few strong suspects were identified—all of them known pedophiles, overlooked (or buried) by the initial task force, or discovered through subsequent cold-case investigations by the longest-serving detective on the case, Cory Williams (now retired from law enforcement).

Each suspect is connected to the crimes by damning circumstantial or physical evidence. One, the son of a highly-placed General Motors executive, was freed on unrelated criminal sexual conduct charges a few weeks before the fourth victim was found dead in a ditch—and a year and a half before he himself was found dead of “suicide” under questionable circumstances.

His close associate, earlier convicted on 45 counts of CSC with minors in California, had no family influence backing him and went to prison for life, where he died in 1995, having never again been questioned about the OCCK crimes.

 

Three others are still living: two are serving life in prison on other CSC charges; one jumped parole in October and remains at large. But none are telling what they must know about the crimes.

All of these men were directly or indirectly associated with a large, highly-organized ring of child exploiters and pornographers operating out of Detroit and in other places across Michigan, including North Fox Island in Lake Michigan, where a wealthy Jeffery Epstein-type figure established a “summer camp” for wayward boys, with the help of government funding, that was in fact a front for a highly profitable child pornography and prostitution operation.

Marney Keenan’s The Snow Killings covers the 45-year investigation in comprehensive detail, and reveals evidence of a multi-faceted, decades-long cover-up in the case, beginning during the initial task force investigation and continuing today among authorities handling the case.

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Newly Published: Pakistan Since Independence

New on our bookshelf:

Pakistan Since Independence: A History, 1947 to Today
Stanley B. Sprague

This concise and balanced account details Pakistan’s turbulent 73-year history of civil war, military coups, political assassinations, wars with India, cooperation with the U.S. during the Afghan-Soviet war, and events following 9/11. An unpredictable nuclear nation, Pakistan has been variously described as the center of international terrorism, the world’s biggest nuclear weapons proliferator, the most dangerous place in the world and, some experts predict, the most likely site of the world’s first nuclear war.

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Newly Published: The National Security League, 1914–1922

New on our bookshelf:

The National Security League, 1914–1922: Wall Street and the War Machine
Kerry Segrave

The early 20th century saw the founding of the National Security League, a nationalistic nonprofit organization committed to an expanded military, conscripted service and meritocracy. This book details its history, from its formation in December 1914 through 1922, at which point it was a spent force in decline. Founded by wealthy corporate lawyers based in New York City, it had secret backers in the capitalist class, who had two goals in mind. One was to profit immensely from the newly begun World War I. The other was to control the working classes in times of both war and peace.

This agenda was presented to the public under the guise of preparedness, patriotism, and Americanization. Although the league was eventually found by Congress to have violated election spending limits, no sanctions of any kind were ever applied. This history details the secret machinations of an organization dedicated to solidifying the grip of the capitalist class over workers, all under the cover of American pride.

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Newly Published: The Herrin Massacre of 1922

New on our bookshelf:

The Herrin Massacre of 1922: Blood and Coal in the Heart of America
Greg Bailey

In 1922, a coal miner strike spread across the United States, swallowing the heavily-unionized mining town of Herrin, Illinois. When the owner of the town’s local mine hired non-union workers to break the strike, violent conflict broke out between the strikebreakers and unionized miners, who were all heavily armed. When strikebreakers surrendered and were promised safe passage home, the unionized miners began executing them before large, cheering crowds.

This book tells the cruel truth behind the story that the coal industry tried to suppress and that Herrin wants to forget. A thorough account of the massacre and its aftermath, this book sets a heartland tragedy against the rise and decline of the coal industry.

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Newly Published: Law Enforcement in American Cinema, 1894–1952

New on our bookshelf:

Law Enforcement in American Cinema, 1894–1952
George Beck

Widespread law enforcement or formal policing outside of cities appeared in the early 20th century around the same time the early film industry was developing—the two evolved in tandem, intersecting in meaningful ways. Much scholarship has focused on portrayals of the criminal in early American cinema, yet little has been written about depictions of the criminal’s antagonist. This history examines how different on-screen representations shifted public perception of law enforcement—initially seen as a suspicious or intrusive institution, then as a power for the common good.

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Newly Published: James Strong

New on our bookshelf:

James Strong: A Biography of the Methodist Scholar
Samuel J. Rogal

This is the first full biography of Biblical scholar and theological seminary professor James Strong (1822–1894). It describes his upbringing, early and higher education, the schools and colleges where he taught, his academic colleagues, his contributions to the development of nineteenth-century American Methodism, and his numerous publications—particularly his Biblical Concordance (1894) which continues as a standard and essential reference work. It includes edited versions of selected sermons and letters never before published, as well as comments from his students, the details of his experience in the development of the early nineteenth-century American railroad system, and detailed obituaries and reactions to his death.

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Newly Published: Race Conscious Pedagogy

New on our bookshelf:

Race Conscious Pedagogy: Disrupting Racism at Majority White Schools
Todd M. Mealy

In 1935, W.E.B. Du Bois asked, “Does the Negro need separate schools?” His stunning query spoke to the erasure of cultural relevancy in the classroom and to reassurances given to White supremacy through curricula and pedagogy.

Two decades later, as the Supreme Court ordered public schools to desegregate, educators still overlooked the intimations of his question. This book reflects upon the role K-12 education has played in enabling America’s enduring racial tensions. Combining historical analysis, personal experience, and a theoretical exploration of critical race pedagogy, this book calls for placing race at the center of the pedagogical mission.

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Newly Published: Wonder Women and Bad Girls

New on our bookshelf:

Wonder Women and Bad Girls: Superheroine and Supervillainess Archetypes in Popular Media
Valerie Estelle Frankel

Wonder Woman, Harley Quinn, Shuri, and Black Widow. These four characters portray very different versions of women: the superheroine, the abuse victim, the fourth wave princess, and the spy, respectively. In this in-depth analysis of female characters in superhero media, the author begins by identifying ten eras of superhero media defined by the way they portray women. Following this, the various archetypes of superheroines are classified into four categories: boundary crossers, good girls, outcasts, and those that reclaim power. From Golden Age comics through today’s hottest films, heroines have been surprisingly assertive, diverse, and remarkable in this celebration of all the archetypes.

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Newly Published: Domesticated Bachelors and Femininity in Victorian Novels

New on our bookshelf:

Domesticated Bachelors and Femininity in Victorian Novels
Jennifer Beauvais

Domestic issues, chastity, morality, marriage and love are concerns we typically associate with Victorian female characters. But what happens when men in Victorian novels begin to engage in this type of feminine discourse? While we are familiar with certain Victorian women seeking freedom by moving beyond the domestic sphere, there is an equally interesting movement by the domestic man into the private space through his performance of femininity.

This book defines the domesticated bachelor, examines the effects of the blurring of boundaries between the public and private spheres, and traces the evolution of the public discourse on masculinity in novels such as Brontë’s Shirley, Braddon’s Lady Audley’s Secret, Eliot’s Daniel Deronda, and Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. This bachelor, along with his female counterpart, the New Woman, opens up for discussion new definitions of Victorian masculinity and gender boundaries and blurs the rigid distinction between the gendered spaces thought to be in place during the Victorian period.

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Newly Published: Into Africa, Out of Academia

New on our bookshelf:

Into Africa, Out of Academia: A Doctor’s Memoir
Kwan Kew Lai

In 2006, Kwan Kew Lai left her full-time position as a professor in the United States to provide medical humanitarian aid to the remote villages and the war-torn areas of Africa. This memoir follows her experiences from 2006 to 2013 as she provided care during the HIV/AIDs epidemics, after natural disasters, and as a relief doctor in refugee camps in Kenya, Libya, Uganda and in South Sudan, where civil war virtually wiped out all existing healthcare facilities.

Throughout her memoir, Lai recounts intimate encounters with refugees and internally displaced people in camps and in hospitals with limited resources, telling tales of their resilience, unflinching courage, and survival through extreme hardship. Her writing provides insight into communities and transports readers to heart-achingly beautiful parts of Africa not frequented by the usual travelers. This is a deeply personal account of the huge disparities in the healthcare system of our “global village” and is a call to action for readers to understand the interconnectedness of the modern world, the needs of less developed neighbors, and the shortcomings of their healthcare systems.

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Newly Published: The Carbon Boycott

New on our bookshelf:

The Carbon Boycott: A Path to Freedom from Fossil Fuels
Samuel C. Avery

The science is clear: by the mid-20th century human beings must stop burning coal, oil and natural gas. Reducing carbon emissions is not enough—they must be eliminated. Each individual “doing their part” is only a start. We heat our homes, light our rooms, power our cars, prepare our food, and produce and distribute consumer goods with the help of fossil fuels. A practical and visionary re-imagining of the future is needed.

Calling for a technical and spiritual ground-shift, this book proposes carbon boycotts as collective action, with groups and communities changing what products they consume and seeking new ways to work, live and play to steer aggregate demand towards solar, wind, geothermal and renewable energy alternatives.

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Newly Published: Defending the Dillinger Gang

New on our bookshelf:

Defending the Dillinger Gang: Jessie Levy and Bess Robbins in the Courtroom
D.M. Testa

In the early 1930s women practicing criminal law were often held in the same low regard as the clients they served. When a corrupt prosecutor was determined to send as many of the notorious John Dillinger gang to death row as possible, female attorneys Jessie Levy and Bess Robbins rose to the challenge. They skillfully represented six of the gang members, a number far greater than any of their male counterparts. And yet, their story of deals gone bad, wrongful convictions and success against the odds has all but vanished from history. The recent discovery of interviews, personal correspondence, and court transcripts—a treasure trove untouched for over 80 years—forms the basis for this book, which traces the careers of Jessie Levy, Bess Robbins and the John Dillinger gang in detail for the first time.

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Newly Published: Western Water Rights and the U.S. Supreme Court

New on our bookshelf:

Western Water Rights and the U.S. Supreme Court
James H. Davenport

Exploring the little-known history behind the legal doctrine of prior appropriation—“first in time is first in right”—used to apportion water resources in the western United States, this book focuses on the important case of Wyoming v. Colorado(1922). U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Willis Van Devanter, a former Chief Justice of Wyoming, ruled in that state’s favor, finding that prior appropriation applied across state lines—a controversial opinion influenced by cronyism. The dicta in the case, that the U.S. Government has no interest in state water allocation law, drove the balkanization of interstate water systems and resulted in the Colorado River Interstate Compact between Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada and California.

The exhaustive research that has gone into this book has uncovered the secret that Associate Justice Van Devanter had waited eleven years to publish his opinion in this important, but politically self-serving, case, at last finding a moment when his senior colleagues were sufficiently absent or incapacitated to either concur or dissent. Without the knowledge of his “brethren,” save his “loyal friend” Taft, and without recusal, Van Devanter unilaterally delivered his sole opinion to the Clerk for publication on the last day of the Supreme Court’s October 1921 Term.

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Newly Published: Ethics in Comedy

New on our bookshelf:

Ethics in Comedy: Essays on Crossing the Line
Edited by Steven A. Benko

All humans laugh. However, there is little agreement about what is appropriate to laugh at. While laughter can unite people by showing how they share values and perspectives, it also has the power to separate and divide. Humor that “crosses the line” can make people feel excluded and humiliated. This collection of new essays addresses possible ways that moral and ethical lines can be drawn around humor and laughter. What would a Kantian approach to humor look like? Do games create a safe space for profanity and offense? Contributors to this volume work to establish and explain guidelines for thinking about the moral questions that arise when humor and laughter intersect with medicine, gender, race, and politics. Drawing from the work of stand-up comedians, television shows, and ethicists, this volume asserts that we are never just joking.

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Newly Published: Engines and Other Apparatus of the Milwaukee Fire Department

New on our bookshelf:

Engines and Other Apparatus of the Milwaukee Fire Department: An Illustrated History
Wayne Mutza

The vehicles and other firefighting equipment of the Milwaukee Fire Department, like the department itself, are unique among the fire service. It built more of its own apparatus than any other American city and few can match the scope and character of apparatus used to serve and protect life and property in Milwaukee.

Through detailed research, firsthand narratives, and captivating photos, the author walks the reader through the fascinating history of the incredible machines that served Cream City from the mid-nineteenth century to modern times. This volume traces the ever-changing face of Milwaukee’s fire-fighting and life-saving equipment in parallel with the city’s own history and growth. The fire department workshop’s reputation for ingenuity is shown through its adaptations to disastrous fires that brought about changes in laws, economic growth and decline, the establishment of Milwaukee’s ethnic neighborhoods, the difficult transition from horses to motorization, the wartime and post-war experience, the corporate world of apparatus manufacturers, and Milwaukee’s fireboat fleet.

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Newly Published: Animals and Ourselves

New on our bookshelf:

Animals and Ourselves: Essays on Connections and Blurred Boundaries
Edited by Kathy Merlock Jackson Kathy Shepherd Stolley and Lisa Lyon Payne

The relationship between humans and animals has always been strong, symbiotic and complicated. Animals, real and fictional, have been a mainstay in the arts and entertainment, figuring prominently in literature, film, television, social media, and live performances. Increasingly, though, people are anthropomorphizing animals, assigning them humanoid roles, tasks and identities. At the same time, humans, such as members of the furry culture or college mascots, find pleasure in adopting animal identities and characteristics. This book is the first of its kind to explore these growing phenomena across media. The contributors to this collection represent various disciplines, to include the arts, humanities, social sciences, and healthcare. Their essays demonstrate the various ways that human and animal lives are intertwined and constantly evolving.

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New in Softcover: The White House

Now available in softcover:

The White House: An Illustrated Architectural History
Patrick Phillips-Schrock

Formerly known as the President’s House, then the Executive Mansion, and now for a long time the White House, this famous structure has a fascinating architectural history of ongoing change. The white painted façade of James Hoban’s original structure has been added to and strengthened for more than 200 years, and its interior is a repository of some of America’s greatest treasures. Artists such as Benjamin Latrobe, Pierre-Antoine Bellangé, the Herter Brothers, Louis Tiffany, Charles McKim, Lorenzo Winslow, Stephane Boudin, Edward Vason Jones, and a host of others fashioned interiors that welcomed and inspired visitors both foreign and domestic. This meticulous history, featuring more than 325 photographs, diagrams and other illustrations, captures each stage of the White House’s architectural and decorative evolution.

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Newly Published: Patterns of American Popular Heroism

New on our bookshelf:

Patterns of American Popular Heroism: From Roman and Biblical Roots to Modern Media
James G. Shoopman

The American popular hero has deeply bipolar origins: Depending on prevailing attitudes about the use or abuse of authority, American heroes may be rooted in the traditions of the Roman conquerors of The Aeneid or of the biblical underdog warriors and prophets.

This book reviews the history of American popular culture and its heroes from the Revolutionary War and pre-Civil War “women’s literature” to the dime novel tales of Jesse James and Buffalo Bill. “Hinge-heroes” like The Virginian and the Rider’s of the Purple Sage paved the way for John Wayne’s and Humphrey Bogart’s champions of civilization, while Jimmy Stewart’s scrappy rebels fought soulless bankers and cynical politicians. The 1960s and 1970s saw a wave of new renegades—the doctors of MASH and the rebel alliance of Star Wars—but early 21st Century terrorism called for the grit of world weary cops and the super-heroism of Wonder Woman and Black Panther to make the world safe.

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Newly Published: Advancement in Ancient Civilizations

New on our bookshelf:

Advancement in Ancient Civilizations: Life, Culture, Science and Thought
Harald Haarmann

Traditional scholarship on how ancient civilizations emerged is outmoded and new insights call for revision. According to the well-established paradigm, Mesopotamia is considered the cradle of civilization. Following the cliché of ex oriente lux (“light from the East”) all major achievements of humankind spread from the Middle East. Modern archaeology, cultural science and historical linguistics indicate civilizations did not originate from a single prototype. Several models produced divergent patterns of advanced culture, developing both hierarchical and egalitarian societies. This study outlines a panorama of ancient civilizations, including the still little-known Danube civilization, now identified as the oldest advanced culture in Europe. In a comparative view, a new paradigm of research and a new cultural chronology of civilizations in the Old and New Worlds emerges, with climate change shown to be a continual influence on human lifeways.

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Newly Published: Power and the Professional

New on our bookshelf:

Power and the Professional: Ethics, Accountability and Leadership in the Workplace
Gordon W.F. Young

No matter who you are or what you aim to achieve, power determines whether you succeed or fail. But while power dynamics permeate every interaction in the workplace, the concept is very poorly understood or managed in practice. Everyone has influence over some people and is under the influence of others, and must choose how to deal with these realities in daily interactions. This book offers a comprehensive and applied understanding of power in a professional scenario: where it comes from, how it moves and what that means in practice for how professionals work together.

Drawing on numerous recent case studies, this book offers a toolbox that anyone can apply, including explanations of the different forms of power, the two ways power can move between parties, the perils of power, how to create accountability, the intersection of power and ethics, and tools for maintaining power relationships with both superiors and subordinates. It provides employers and employees alike the means to understand, manage, and exert the power necessary to control their own circumstances.

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Newly Published: Back to Human Nature

New on our bookshelf:

Back to Human Nature: The Power of Emotion and Subjectivity in a Socially Fractured World
Charles B. Osburn

Emotions, feelings and morality play a critical role in our daily decision-making. With the rapid advance of industry and technology, however, this subjective information is becoming less valued in critical decisions. Rational thought and the accumulation of objective knowledge are often credited with humanity’s thriving success in recent centuries. This book makes the case that humanity’s social progress has only been possible through these too often repressed subjective factors, and will be equally crucial in altering the present course of society.

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Newly Published: From Kathmandu to Kilimanjaro

New on our bookshelf:

From Kathmandu to Kilimanjaro: A Mother-Daughter Memoir
Margaret Elizabeth Lovett Wilson and Sylvie Wilson Emmanuel

Margaret (Peggy) Wilson, born in England in 1897, was the model of the new woman, serving as a medical volunteer during World War I, and later going to medical school to become a doctor of tropical diseases. In 1926, Peggy traveled to Kathmandu, and four years later married her friend from medical school who was on assignment with the British Colonial Medical Service in Tanganyika (modern-day Tanzania). Peggy and Donald spent the next 30 years working side-by-side on malaria research and public health, winning multiple awards in the process. Peggy’s daughter Sylvie, born in 1935, recalls World War II in Tanganyika and Kenya, boarding school, and university at Cambridge. After university, Sylvie returned home to teach and married a Greek Tanganyikan farmer. They welcomed independence and the nation of Tanzania, yet struggled under the impacts it had for expats. While most of the Greek community left Tanzania, Sylvie and her husband persisted on the slopes of Kilimanjaro, participating in building new Tanzania.

Drawn from Peggy’s unpublished memoir and the letters, diaries and photographs that Sylvie meticulously collected, this inspiring mother-daughter memoir spans three continents and a century of travel, love, defiance, wars, medical research, and revolutions.

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Newly Published: Fighting Union Busters in a Carolina Carpet Mill

New on our bookshelf:

Fighting Union Busters in a Carolina Carpet Mill: An Organizer’s Memoir
Phil Cohen

In 2017, Workers United/SEIU called veteran organizer Phil Cohen out of retirement to investigate and expose a union-busting plot by Mohawk Industries at a North Carolina carpet mill. His hard-hitting account chronicles the resulting labor dispute that rocked a Fortune 500 company. The organizer had to prove management was behind an illegal decertification petition and forced workers to sign using strong-arm tactics. Though terrified of retaliation, witnesses gradually agreed to testify before federal agents. Mohawk retained a high-powered union-busting attorney who appealed directly to ultra-conservative heads of the National Labor Relations Board, while Right to Work Committee lawyers framed the issue as a test case to revoke laws protecting employee rights. The union’s only hope rested on presenting evidence too formidable for political bias to surmount. This memoir, infused with dry wit and insights into human nature, blows the lid off the nation’s union-busting epidemic, thrusting readers into the tumultuous environment of a union hall in crisis.

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Newly Published: Chinese Women Writers on the Environment

New on our bookshelf:

Chinese Women Writers on the Environment: A Multi-Ethnic Anthology of Fiction and Nonfiction
Edited by Dong Isbister, Xiumei Pu and Stephen D. Rachman

The stories, prose and poems in this anthology offer readers a unique and generous array of women’s experiences in China. In a world that is rapidly modernizing, these writings attempt to reconcile with the ever-changing people, plants, beasts and environment. After five years of painstaking collection and translation, the authors present these stories of strength and sadness, defiance and resilience, urban and village life, from the days of the cultural revolution to the present. Whether a house full of hawks and eagles, a stubborn cow, or a defiant elderly couple sabotaging a lumber operation, these stories express powerful visions of the earth interwoven with human memory.

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Newly Published: The World Colored Heavyweight Championship, 1876–1937

New on our bookshelf:

The World Colored Heavyweight Championship, 1876–1937
Mark Allen Baker

For six decades the World Colored Heavyweight Championship was a useful tool of racial oppression—the existence of the title far more important to the white public than its succession of champions. It took some extraordinary individuals, most notably Jack Johnson, to challenge “the color line” in the ring, although the title and the black fighters who contended for it continued until the reign of Joe Louis a generation later. This history traces the advent and demise of the Championship, the stories of the 28 professional athletes who won it, and the demarcation of the color line both in and out of the ring.

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Newly Published: Places to Bee

New on our bookshelf:

Places to Bee: A Guide to Apitourism
Lynnette Porter

Travelers are buzzing about apitourism—or “bee tourism”—as an opportunity to get close to bees and learn about the ecology and industry they support. Apitours invite visitors to see what takes place inside a hive, taste fresh honey and observe its journey from comb to bottle. Apitourists explore “bee culture” through diverse activities—watching films, creating art, building “bee hotels,” sampling mead, learning to plant pollinator gardens and documenting species in the wild. This guide presents an educational overview of apitourism, with an exploration of the fascinating world of bees and the sometimes controversial issues surrounding them.

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Newly Published: Rachel Donelson Jackson

New on our bookshelf:

Rachel Donelson Jackson: The First Lady Who Never Was
Betty Boles Ellison

Rachel Jackson, wife of President Andrew Jackson, never wanted to be First Lady and tried to dissuade him from his political ambitions. Yet she publicly supported his political advancement and was the first wife of a presidential candidate to take to the campaign trail. Privy to his political decisions, she offered valued counsel, and Jackson sometimes regretted not taking her advice. Denied a traditional education by her father, Rachel’s innate business savvy made the Jacksons’ Tennessee plantation and businesses profitable during her husband’s continual absences.

This biography chronicles the life of a First Lady who rebelled against 19th-century constraints on women, overcame personal tragedies to become an inspirational figure of persistence and strength, and found herself at the center of one of the vilest presidential smear campaigns in history.

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Newly Published: Lincoln’s Jewish Spy

New on our bookshelf:

Lincoln’s Jewish Spy: The Life and Times of Issachar Zacharie
E. Lawrence Abel

Born into a Sephardic Jewish immigrant family, Dr. Issachar Zacharie was the preeminent foot doctor for the American political elite before and during the Civil War. An expert in pain management, Zacharie treated the likes of Henry Clay, John C. Calhoun, General George McClelland and most notably, President Abraham Lincoln.

As Zacharie’s professional and personal relationship with Lincoln deepened, the President began to entrust the doctor with political missions. Throughout Lincoln’s presidency, Zacharie traveled to southern cities like New Orleans and Richmond in efforts to ally with some of the Confederacy’s most influential Jewish citizens.

This biography explores Dr. Zacharie’s life, from his birth in Chatham, England, through his medical practice, espionage career and eventual political campaigning for President Lincoln.

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Newly Published: American Indian Sovereignty

New on our bookshelf:

American Indian Sovereignty: The Struggle for Religious, Cultural and Tribal Independence
J. Mark Hazlett II

Since the arrival of European settlers, Native American cultural sovereignty has been under attack. Self-determination is a tribal right of Native people, but colonial oppression banned their traditions and religion, purloined and misused sacred sites, and betrayed treaties when convenient. Over time, the settlers usurped Native American culture and lands, and these destructive behaviors continue today. Within the decimated Native American culture left after forced assimilation, American Indians still struggle to retain their rights. In this historical account of the despotism against Native American culture, the altercations of sovereignty, territory, and pluralistic democracy are analyzed in an effort to provide a path towards justice.

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Newly Published: Media and the Murderer

New on our bookshelf:

Media and the Murderer: Jack the Ripper, Steven Avery and an Enduring Formula for Notoriety
Rebecca Frost

Some criminals become household names, while others—even those who seek recognition through their crimes—are forgotten. The criminal’s actions are only a part of every famous true crime story. Other factors, such as the setting and circumstances of the crimes and the ways in which others take control of the narrative, ultimately drive their notoriety. Through a comparison of the tellings and retellings of two famous cases more than a century apart—the Jack the Ripper killings in 1888, and the murder trials of Steven Avery as documented in Making a Murderer—this book examines the complicated dynamics of criminal celebrity.

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Newly Published: Henry Box Brown

New on our bookshelf:

Henry Box Brown: From Slavery to Show Business
Kathleen Chater

Henry Box Brown is well known in America for escaping slavery by being packed in a box and mailed from Virginia to Philadelphia. The passing of the Fugitive Slave Act in 1850 made it unsafe for Brown to remain in America. He relocated to England where he had a very successful career, initially as a speaker on abolitionism before he began speaking on other subjects and then branched out into other forms of entertainment, including magic. He married Jane Floyd, who, with their children, appeared in his acts.

This book concentrates on the relatively unknown period of his life in Britain, detailing both how he was received and how he developed as a performer. It is the biography of a brave, intelligent individualist who was always willing to learn and to take chances, becoming the first black man to achieve landmarks in British law and entertainment.

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Newly Published: The Best Murders Are British

New on our bookshelf:

The Best Murders Are British: Essays on the International Appeal of English Crime Dramas
Edited by Jim Daems

A staple of television since the early years of the BBC, British crime drama first crossed the Atlantic on public broadcasting stations and specialty cable channels, and later through streaming services. Often engaging with domestic anxieties about the government’s power (or lack thereof), and with larger issues of social justice like gender equality, racism, and homophobia, it has constantly evolved to reflect social and cultural changes while adapting U.S. and Nordic noir influences in a way that retains its characteristically British elements.

This collection examines the continuing appeal of British crime drama from The Sweeney through Sherlock, Marcella, and Happy Valley. Individual essays focus on male melodrama, nostalgia, definitions of community, gender and LGBTQ representation, and neoliberalism. The persistence of the English murder, as each chapter of this collection reveals, points to the complexity of British crime drama’s engagement with social, political, and cultural issues. It is precisely the mix of British stereotypes, coupled with a willingness to engage with broader global social and political issues, that makes British crime drama such a successful cultural export.

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Newly Published: From the Front Lines of the Appalachian Addiction Crisis

New on our bookshelf:

From the Front Lines of the Appalachian Addiction Crisis: Healthcare Providers Discuss Opioids, Meth and Recovery
Edited by Wendy Welch

Stories from doctors, nurses, and therapists dealing on a daily basis with the opioid crisis in Appalachia should be heartbreaking. Yet those told here also inspire with practical advice on how to assist those in addiction, from a grass-roots to a policy level. Readers looking for ways to combat the crisis will find suggestions alongside laughter, tears, and sometimes rage. Each author brings the passion of their profession and the personal losses they have experienced from addiction, and posits solutions and harm reduction with positivity, grace, and even humor. Authors representing seven states from northern, Coalfields, and southern Appalachia relate personal encounters with patients or providers who changed them forever. This is a history document, showing how we got here; an evidenced indictment of current policies failing those who need them most; an affirmation that Appalachia solves its own problems; and a collection of suggestions for best practice moving forward.

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Newly Published: Poverty in American Popular Culture

New on our bookshelf:

Poverty in American Popular Culture: Essays on Representations, Beliefs and Policy
Edited by Wylie Lenz

In 1964, President Lyndon Johnson declared an “unconditional war” on poverty in the form of sweeping federal programs to assist millions of Americans. Two decades later, President Reagan drastically cut such programs, claiming that welfare encouraged dependency and famously quipping, “Some years ago, the federal government declared war on poverty, and poverty won.” These opposing policy positions and the ideologies informing them have been well studied. Here, the focus turns to the influence of popular art and entertainment on beliefs about poverty’s causes and potential cures.
These new essays interrogate the representation of poverty in film, television, music, photography, painting, illustration and other art forms from the late 19th century to the present. They map when, how, and why producers of popular culture represent—or ignore—poverty, and what assumptions their works make and encourage.

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Newly Published: Rising from Rape

New on our bookshelf:

Rising from Rape: A Memoir of Survival and Justice
Pamela Braswell

As a new attorney, Pamela Braswell was confident her career was about to skyrocket. Instead, she narrowly escaped death at the hands of a serial rapist and killer—his only surviving victim. Twenty years later, the moratorium on executions in California that put his execution on hold ended, but the governor announced he wouldn’t enforce the death penalty. Braswell’s firsthand true crime narrative gives a victim’s perspective of the harrowing investigation, the revelations in the press, the grand jury indictment and capital murder trial. Through it all, her refusal to be a victim transforms her view of the world—and its heroes.

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Newly Published: James Connolly

New on our bookshelf:

James Connolly: Irish Revolutionary
Seán Cronin

Revolutionary, unionist and socialist James Connolly is best known for his part in organizing the bloody Easter Rising of 1916. Yet the Rising was just one defining event in a career devoted to peaceful activism for Irish independence, social justice for the working class, and the rights of women. This biography traces the political life of an unassuming advocate for nonviolent social change at the ballot box, who later helped lead a violent insurrection to establish an Irish Republic and was executed by a British firing squad.

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Newly Published: She Said God Blessed Us

New on our bookshelf:

She Said God Blessed Us: A Life Marked by Childhood Sexual Abuse in the Church
Gail Hovey

When Gail Hovey was a teenager, her local Presbyterian church hired Georgia, a seminary-trained Christian education director. Brilliant and charismatic, Georgia used the language of faith to seduce several of her students, swearing each to secrecy. When she eventually abandoned the others and focused on Gail, Gail believed herself uniquely blessed and for the next 15 years modeled her life on Georgia’s—the seminary degree, the minister husband. The relationship had a profound and lasting influence on the woman Gail became and left her a legacy of guilt and shame. Shedding light on the largely invisible issue of sexual abuse of girls by women, Hovey’s brave memoir relates her decades-long journey—from East Harlem to South Africa to Brooklyn—to break free of an overwhelmingly powerful and deeply destructive first love.

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Newly Published: Queen of the Burglars

New on our bookshelf:

Queen of the Burglars: The Scandalous Life of Sophie Lyons
Shayne Davidson

Born in the mid-nineteenth century, Sophie Lyons was a master thief, con artist, blackmailer and smuggler. Much of her success as a criminal was due to the fact that she was fearless, reckless, sharp and cunning—everything a woman of her time was not supposed to be. As a young child, Sophie’s parents forced her to steal when she showed a talent for pickpocketing. Strong-willed and smart, she blossomed into a beautiful teenager who caught the eye of many men in the underworld of New York City. By the time Sophie reached her late teens she was married to her second husband—a notorious bank burglar named Ned Lyons—and was a professional criminal in her own right.

Despite her prominent place in crime history, Sophie Lyons has never been the subject of a full-length biography. This book chronicles Sophie’s fascinating and tragic life, from her beginnings as a criminal prodigy, through her ingenious escape from Sing Sing prison and her lifelong struggle with mental illness.

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Newly Published: Dictionary of World Monasticism

New on our bookshelf:

Dictionary of World Monasticism
Steven Olderr

The roots of monasticism may go back as far as 1700 BCE, to ascetic practices in ancient India. Since that time, the monastic world has naturally developed its own extensive and distinct vocabulary. Countless volumes have been written on monasticism yet many do not clearly define obscure or vernacular terms. Some terms may be found in standard dictionaries but without in-depth explanations.

This first comprehensive dictionary—not a proselytizing work but a reference with historical and biographical focus—fills the gap, with a worldwide scope covering not only Christianity, but all faiths that have monastic traditions, including but not limited to Buddhism, Jainism and Hinduism.

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Newly Published: Lessons from Hogwarts

New on our bookshelf:

Lessons from Hogwarts: Essays on the Pedagogy of Harry Potter
Edited by Marcie Panutsos Rovan and Melissa Wehler

Before she was a renowned children’s author, J.K. Rowling was an educator. Her bestselling series, Harry Potter, places education at the forefront, focusing not only on Harry, Ron, and Hermione’s adventures but also on their magical education.
This multi-author collection shines a light on the central role of education within the Harry Potter series, exploring the pedagogical possibilities of using Harry Potter to enhance teaching effectiveness. Authors examine topics related to environments for learning, approaches to teaching and learning, and the role of mentorship. Created for scholars, teachers, and fans alike, this collection provides an entry into pedagogical theories and offers critical perspectives on the quality of Hogwarts education—from exemplary to abusive and every approach in between. Hogwarts provides many lessons for educators, both magical and muggle alike.

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Newly Published: Love and the Fighting Female

New on our bookshelf:

Love and the Fighting Female: A Critical Study of Onscreen Depictions
Allison P. Palumbo

The fighting female archetype—a self-reliant woman of great physical prowess—has become increasingly common in action films and on television. However, the progressive female identities of these narratives cannot always resist the persistent and problematic framing of male-female relationships as a battle of the sexes or other source of antagonism.

Combining cultural analysis with close readings of key popular American film and television texts since the 1980s, this study argues that certain fighting female themes question regressive conventions in male-female relationships. Those themes reveal potentially progressive ideologies regarding female agency in mass culture that reassure audiences of the desirability of empowered women while also imagining egalitarian intimacies that further empower women. Overall, the fighting female narratives addressed here afford contradictory viewing pleasures that reveal both new expectations for and remaining anxieties about the “strong, independent woman” ideal that emerged in American popular culture post-feminism.

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Newly Published: Twenty Years in a Siberian Gulag

New on our bookshelf:

Twenty Years in a Siberian Gulag: Memoir of a Political Prisoner at Kolyma
Leonid Petrovich Bolotov

Caught up in one of the many purges that swept the Soviet Union during the Great Terror, Leonid Petrovich Bolotov (1906–1987) was one of 86 engineers arrested at Leningrad’s Red Triangle Rubber Factory and sent to the Gulag as “enemies of the people.” He would be the only one to survive and return to his family after enduring two decades in the infamous Kolyma labor camps.

Translated into English and published here for the first time, Bolotov’s memoir narrates with growing intensity his arrest, imprisonment and interrogation, his “confession” and trial, his exile to hard labor in Arctic Siberia, and his rehabilitation in 1956 following the official end of Stalin’s personality cult.

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Newly Published: Reagan’s Cowboys

New on our bookshelf:

Reagan’s Cowboys: Inside the 1984 Reelection Campaign’s Secret Operation Against Geraldine Ferraro
John B. Roberts II

When rumors about Geraldine Ferraro—the first woman vice-presidential nominee by a major party in U.S history—reached First Lady Nancy Reagan during the 1984 presidential election, a secret operation was launched to investigate her. It revealed Ferraro’s ties to organized crime and the extent to which she would have been subject to pressure or blackmail by the Mafia if elected. Written by an insider responsible for running the investigation, this never-before-told story goes behind the scenes as an incumbent president’s campaign works to expose a political opponent’s mob connections. Part detective story, part political thriller, the narrative features all the major players in the Reagan White House and 1984 reelection committee, with revealing anecdotes about Ronald and Nancy Reagan.

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Newly Published: Civil War Scoundrels and the Texas Cotton Trade

New on our bookshelf:

Civil War Scoundrels and the Texas Cotton Trade
Walter E. Wilson

During the Civil War, scoundrels from both the Union and Confederate sides were able to execute illicit, but ingenious, schemes to acquire Texas cotton. Texas was the only Confederate state that bordered a neutral country, it was never forcibly conquered, and its coast was impossible to effectively blockade.
Using little known contemporary sources, this story reveals how charlatans exploited these conditions to run the blockade, import machinery and weapons, and defraud the state’s most prominent political, military and civilian leaders in the process. Best known for his role in the romantic entanglements of his co-conspirator William Sprague, Harris Hoyt stands out due to his sharp intellect and fascinating character. Hoyt was able to draw most of Abraham Lincoln’s inner circle into his web of deceit and even influenced the impeachment of President Andrew Johnson. This is the first account to expose the depth and breadth of the many Texas cotton trading scams and the sheer audacity of the shadowy men who profited from them, but managed to escape the gallows.

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Newly Published: Poland and the Holocaust in the Polish-American Press, 1926–1945

New on our bookshelf:

Poland and the Holocaust in the Polish-American Press, 1926–1945
Magdalena Kubow

Contrary to the common notion that news regarding the unfolding Holocaust was unavailable or unreliable, news from Europe was often communicated to North American Poles through the Polish-language press. This work engages with the origins debate and demonstrates that the Polish-language press covered seminal issues during the interwar years, the war, and the Holocaust extensively on their front and main story pages, and were extremely responsive, professional, and vocal in their journalism. From Polish-Jewish relations, to the cause of the Second World War and subsequently the development of genocide-related policy, North American Poles, had a different perspective from mainstream society on the causes and effects of what was happening. New research for this book examines attitudes toward Jews prior to and during the Holocaust, and how information on such attitudes was disseminated. It utilizes selected Polish newspapers of the period 1926-1945, predominantly the Republika-Górnik, as well as survivor testimony.

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Newly Published: Athletes Breaking Bad

New on our bookshelf:

Athletes Breaking Bad: Essays on Transgressive Sports Figures
Edited by John C. Lamothe and Donna J. Barbie

At their basic level, sporting events are about numbers: wins and losses, percentages and points, shots and saves, clocks and countdowns. However, sports narratives quickly leave the realm of statistics. The stories we tell and retell, sometimes for decades, make sports dramatic and compelling. Just like any great drama, sports imply conflict, not just battles on the field of play, but clashes of personalities, goals, and strategies. In telling these stories, we create heroes, but we also create villains. This book is about the latter, those players who transgress norms and expectations and who we label the “bad boys” of sports.

Using a variety of approaches, these 13 new essays examine the cultural, social, and rhetorical implications of sports villainy. Each chapter focuses on a different athlete and sport, questioning issues such as how notorious sports figures are defined to be “bad” within particular sports and within the larger culture, the role media play in creating antiheroes, fan reactions when players cross boundaries, and how those boundaries shift depending on the athlete’s gender, sexuality, and race.

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Newly Published: The Snow Killings

New on our bookshelf:

The Snow Killings: Inside the Oakland County Child Killer Investigation
Marney Rich Keenan

Over 13 months in 1976­–1977, four children were abducted in the Detroit suburbs, each of them held for days before their still-warm bodies were dumped in the snow near public roadsides. The Oakland County Child Murders spawned panic across southeast Michigan, triggering the most extensive manhunt in U.S. history. Yet after less than two years, the task force created to find the killer was shut down without naming a suspect. The case “went cold” for more than 30 years, until a chance discovery by one victim’s family pointed to the son of a wealthy General Motors executive: Christopher Brian Busch, a convicted pedophile, was freed weeks before the fourth child disappeared. Veteran Detroit News reporter Marney Rich Keenan takes the reader inside the investigation of the still-unsolved murders—seen through the eyes of the lead detective in the case and the family who cracked it open—revealing evidence of a decades-long coverup of malfeasance and obstruction that denied justice for the victims.

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Newly Published: “They say I’m not a girl”

New on our bookshelf:

“They say I’m not a girl”: Case Studies of Gender Verification in Elite Sports
Max Dohle

In July 1950, a young Dutch intersex woman was expelled from elite competition by the International Amateur Athletic Federation. It turned out to be the beginning of a dark era in the history of women in sport. Young women were subjected to humiliating examinations and dozens of intersex athletes were suspended, although no fraud was ever uncovered.

This book presents a compelling argument against gender verification, showing the pernicious effects that suspension inflicted on the lives of young athletes. Some withdrew from the public eye, lived in solitude, or even committed suicide. Compassionate profiles of these banned athletes highlight the unfair play of gender verification and of their exclusion from competition.

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Newly Published: The Many Ways Jews Loved

New on our bookshelf:

The Many Ways Jews Loved: A History from Printed Words and Images
Constance Harris

While acknowledging the ways in which persecution inevitably affects a community, this book deviates from most Jewish studies to survey the ways in which Jewish history has been shaped by the everyday experience of love. It examines erotic poetry, sensual art and literature, and biblical and rabbinic stories about lust. It reviews the ways in which Jewish law has both encouraged and regulated sexual interaction and studies the diversity of Jewish attitudes toward such relationships, found in a vast array of works whose authors and artists often speak to the confusion and failure of love while also finding a purpose in its pursuance. It tells the stories of those people who revel in love and of others who remember love and grieve in its absence.

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Newly Published: Ippolita Maria Sforza

New on our bookshelf:

Ippolita Maria Sforza: The Renaissance Princess Who Linked Milan and Naples
Jeryldene M. Wood

In April 1455, ten-year-old Ippolita Maria Sforza, a daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Milan, was betrothed to the seven-year-old crown prince of the Kingdom of Naples as a symbol of peace and reconciliation between the two rival states. This first full-scale biography of Ippolita Maria follows her life as it unfolds at the rival courts of Milan and Naples amid a cast of characters whose political intrigues too often provoked assassinations, insurrections, and wars. She was conscious of her duty to preserve peace despite the strains created by her husband’s arrogance, her father-in-law’s duplicity, and her Milanese brothers’ contentiousness. The duchess’s intelligence and charm calmed the habitual discord between her families, and in time, her diplomatic savvy and her great friendship with Lorenzo de’ Medici of Florence made her a key player in the volatile politics of the peninsula for almost 20 years.

Drawing on her letters and contemporary chronicles, memoirs, and texts, this biography offers a rare look into the private life of a Renaissance woman who attempted to preserve a sense of self while coping with a tempestuous marriage, dutifully giving birth to three children, and supervising a large household under trying political circumstances.

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Newly Published: Popular Music in the Classroom

New on our bookshelf:

Popular Music in the Classroom: Essays for Instructors
Edited by David Whitt

   Popular music has long been a subject of academic inquiry, with college courses taught on Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan, and the Beatles, along with more contemporary artists like Beyoncé and Outkast. This collection of essays draws upon the knowledge and expertise of instructors from a variety of disciplines who have taught classes on popular music. Topics include: the analysis of music genres such as American folk, Latin American protest music, and Black music; exploring the musical catalog and socio-cultural relevance of specific artists; and discussing how popular music can be used to teach subjects such as history, identity, race, gender, and politics. Instructional strategies for educators are provided.

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Newly Published: The Baltimore Black Sox

New on our bookshelf:

The Baltimore Black Sox: A Negro Leagues History, 1913–1936
Bernard McKenna

Providing a comprehensive history of the Baltimore Black Sox from before the team’s founding in 1913 through its demise in 1936, this history examines the social and cultural forces that gave birth to the club and informed its development. The author describes aspects of Baltimore’s history in the first decades of the 20th century, details the team’s year-by-year performance, explores front-office and management dynamics and traces the shaping of the Negro Leagues. The history of the Black Sox’s home ballparks and of the people who worked for the team both on and off the field are included.

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Newly Published: The Lonely Hearts Killers

New on our bookshelf:

The Lonely Hearts Killers: The Bloody Passions of Martha Beck and Raymond Fernandez

Tobin T. Buhk

The shocking series of crimes committed by lovers Martha Beck and Raymond Fernandez dominated the front pages in 1949. Caught for the double homicide of a widow and her young daughter in Michigan, the first couple of crime became the focus of an intense debate over the death penalty and extradition. Their story climaxed in a sensational trial in New York City and concluded two years later inside Sing Sing’s notorious “Death House.” Pulp fiction era reporters, who followed every step taken by the accused slayers, christened Beck and Fernandez the “Lonely Hearts Killers”—a nickname that stuck and has since been used to describe an entire category of criminal behavior.

Despite the sensationalization of the killer couple’s exploits, the story of the Michigan crime that ended their spree has until now remained largely untold. Drawing on rare archival material, this book presents, for the first time anywhere, a detailed account of this lost chapter in the saga of the “Lonely Hearts Killers.” Both biography and analysis, this book also attempts to deconstruct the myths and misconceptions and to provide answers to a few unanswered questions about the case.

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Newly Published: Encyclopedia of Mythological Objects

New on our bookshelf:

Encyclopedia of Mythological Objects

Theresa Bane

Curious about the chains that bound Fenriswulf in Norse mythology? Or the hut of Baba Yaga, the infamous witch of Russian folklore? Containing more than one thousand detailed entries on the magical and mythical items from the different folklore, legends, and religions the world over, this encyclopedia is the first of its kind. From Abadi, the named stone in Roman mythology to Zul-Hajam, one of the four swords said to belong to the prophet Mohammed, each item is described in as much detail as the original source material provided, including information on its origin, who was its wielder, and the extent of its magical abilities. The text also includes a comprehensive cross-reference system and an extensive bibliography to aid researchers.

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

Now available in softcover:

Encyclopedia of Capital Punishment in the United States, 2d ed.
Louis J. Palmer, Jr.

This updated encyclopedia provides ready information on all aspects of capital punishment in America. It details virtually every capital punishment decision rendered by the United States Supreme Court through 2006, including more than 40 cases decided since publication of the first edition. Entries are also provided for each Supreme Court Justice who has ever rendered a capital punishment opinion. Entries on jurisdictions cite present-day death penalty laws and judicial structure state by state, with synopses of common and unique features.

Also included are entries on significant U.S. capital prosecutions; legal principles and procedures in capital cases; organizations that support and oppose capital punishment; capital punishment’s impact on persons of African, Asian, Hispanic, and Native American descent, on women, and on foreign nationals; and the methods of execution. Essential facts are also provided on capital punishment in more than 200 other nations. A wealth of statistical data is found throughout.

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Newly Published: Women in Jamaican Music

New on our bookshelf:

Women in Jamaican Music
Heather Augustyn

As the ubiquitous Jamaican musician Bob Marley once famously sang, “half the story has never been told.” This rings particularly true for the little-known women in Jamaican music who comprise significantly less than half of the Caribbean nation’s musical landscape. This book covers the female contribution to Jamaican music and its subgenres through dozens of interviews with vocalists, instrumentalists, bandleaders, producers, deejays and supporters of the arts. Relegated to marginalized spaces, these pioneering women fought for their claim to the spotlight amid oppressive conditions to help create and shape Jamaica’s musical heritage.

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Newly Published: Sexualities in the Works of Joss Whedon

New on our bookshelf:

Sexualities in the Works of Joss Whedon
Lewis Call

Joss Whedon’s works, across all media including television, film, musicals, and comic books, are known for their commitment to gender and sexual equality. They have always encouraged their audiences to love whomever, and however, they wish. This book is a history of the sexualities represented in the works of Joss Whedon and it covers all of Whedon’s genres, including fantasy, horror, science fiction, westerns, superhero stories, and Shakespearean comedy.

Unique for its consideration of the entire arc of Whedon’s two-decade career, from the beginning of Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s first season in 1997 through the conclusion of its twelfth (comic book) season in 2018, this book examines in detail both better-known queer sexualities of the LGBTQ+ spectrum, and lesser-known non-normative sexualities. The book includes chapters on Whedon’s sexually dominant women and submissive men, sexual pluralism on Firefly, disabled sexualities in Whedon’s superhero narratives, zoophilia in Buffy, queer and heteronormative sexualities in Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, the subversion of the sexual tropes of slasher films in The Cabin in Woods, and dominance and submission in Whedon’s Much Ado About Nothing.

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Newly Published: Elder Fraud Wars

New on our bookshelf:

Elder Fraud Wars: Case Histories from an Enforcement Attorney
David Neil Kirkman

By recounting actual court cases, this book examines the multi-billion-dollar elder fraud industry, the special vulnerabilities of those it targets, and the ease and frequency with which it obtains hundreds of thousands of dollars per victim. It also reveals successful strategies for combating that industry and the important contributions to that effort by concerned bankers, doctors, reporters and others in the private sector.

The cases reveal an increasingly sophisticated global industry that targets each victim with a series of repeat “hits.” This tactic—criminals call it “reloading”—sets the elder fraud industry apart from groups that defraud younger individuals. Twelve key age-related fraud vulnerabilities are illustrated in the cases. So, too, are the scammers’ skills in mapping their target’s unique combination of vulnerabilities and then tailoring their narratives to exploit each one. Most of the cases highlight actual victims, scam artists or fraud fighters. Their individual stories range from inspiring and sometimes comical to frustrating and deeply disturbing. Readers with aging parents, law enforcement officials, medical professionals, members of the financial industry and others who work with older adults will find it particularly useful.

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Newly Published: Morality and the Law in British Detective and Spy Fiction, 1880–1920

New on our bookshelf:

Morality and the Law in British Detective and Spy Fiction, 1880–1920
Kate Morrison

Who decides what is right or wrong, ethical or immoral, just or unjust? In the world of crime and spy fiction between 1880 and 1920, the boundaries of the law were blurred and justice called into question humanity’s moral code. As fictional detectives mutated into spies near the turn of the century, the waning influence of morality on decision-making signaled a shift in behavior from idealistic principles towards a pragmatic outlook taken in the national interest.

Taking a fresh approach to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s popular protagonist, Sherlock Holmes, this book examines how Holmes and his rival maverick literary detectives and spies manipulated the law to deliver a fairer form of justice than that ordained by parliament. Multidisciplinary, this work views detective fiction through the lenses of law, moral philosophy, and history, and incorporates issues of gender, equality, and race. By studying popular publications of the time, it provides a glimpse into public attitudes towards crime and morality and how those shifting opinions helped reconstruct the hero in a new image.

 

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Newly Published: Resist and Persist

New on our bookshelf:

Resist and Persist: Essays on Social Revolution in 21st Century Narratives
Edited by Amanda Firestone and Leisa A. Clark

To many, the world appears to be in a state of dangerous change. News and fictional media alike report that these are dark times, and narratives of social resistance imbue many facets of Western culture. The new essays making up this collection examine different events and themes of the 2010s that readily acknowledge the struggling state of things. Crucially, these essays look to the resistance and political activism of communities that seek to make long-reaching and institutional changes in the world through a diverse group of media texts. They scrutinize how a society relates to injustices and how individuals enact a desire for change. The authors analyze a broad range of works such as texts as Awake: A Dream from Standing Rock, Black Panther, The Death of Stalin, Get Out, Jessica Jones, Hamilton, The Shape of Water, and Star Wars: The Last Jedi. By digging into these and other works, as well as historic events, the contributors explicate the soul-deep necessity of pushing back against injustice, whether personal or cultural.

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Newly Published: Crime Fiction and National Identities in the Global Age

New on our bookshelf:

Crime Fiction and National Identities in the Global Age: Critical Essays
Edited by Julie H. Kim

To read a crime novel today largely simulates the exercise of reading newspapers or watching the news. The speed and frequency with which today’s bestselling works of crime fiction are produced allow them to mirror and dissect nearly contemporaneous socio-political events and conflicts. This collection examines this phenomenon and offers original, critical, essays on how national identity appears in international crime fiction in the age of populism and globalization. These essays address topics such as the array of competing nationalisms in Europe; Indian secularism versus Hindu communalism; the populist rhetoric tinged with misogyny or homophobia in the United States; racial, religious or ethnic others who are sidelined in political appeals to dominant native voices; and the increasing economic chasm between a rich and poor.

More broadly, these essays inquire into themes such as how national identity and various conceptions of masculinity are woven together, how dominant native cultures interact with migrant and colonized cultures to explore insider/outsider paradigms and identity politics, and how generic and cultural boundaries are repeatedly crossed in postcolonial detective fiction.

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Newly Published: Santa Claus Worldwide

New on our bookshelf:

Santa Claus Worldwide: A History of St. Nicholas and Other Holiday Gift-Bringers
Tom A. Jerman

This is a comprehensive history of the world’s midwinter gift-givers, showcasing the extreme diversity in their depictions as well as the many traits and functions these characters share. It tracks the evolution of these figures from the tribal priests who presided over winter solstice celebrations thousands of years before the birth of Christ, to Christian notables like St. Martin and St. Nicholas, to a variety of secular figures who emerged throughout Europe following the Protestant Reformation. Finally, it explains how the popularity of a poem about a “miniature sleigh” and “eight tiny reindeer” helped consolidate the diverse European gift-givers into an enduring tradition in which American children awake early on Christmas morning to see what Santa brought.

Although the names, appearance, attire and gift-giving practices of the world’s winter solstice gift-givers differ greatly, they are all recognizable as Santa, the personification of the Christmas and Midwinter festivals. Despite efforts to eliminate him by groups as diverse as the Puritans of seventeenth century New England, the Communist Party of the twentieth century Soviet Union and the government of Nazi Germany, Santa has survived and prospered, becoming one of the best known and most beloved figures in the world.

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Newly Published: Power and Marginalization in Popular Culture

New on our bookshelf:

Power and Marginalization in Popular Culture: The Oppressed in Six Television and Literature Media Franchises
Lisa A. King

In many pop culture texts, “monsters” can be read as metaphors for marginalized Others in U.S. culture. This book applies the philosophical lens of Michel Foucault’s normalizing and bio-powers to zombies, vampires, magicians, genetic mutants and others, asking whether these stories of apparent liberation really are so. Exploring a single theme in depth across a series of pop culture texts, this book encourages a radical new understanding of liberation narratives and of political activism as a mechanism of social change.

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Newly Published: Girls to the Rescue

New on our bookshelf:

Girls to the Rescue: Young Heroines in American Series Fiction of World War I
Emily Hamilton-Honey and Susan Ingalls Lewis

During World War I, as young men journeyed overseas to battle, American women maintained the home front by knitting, fundraising, and conserving supplies. These became daily chores for young girls, but many longed to be part of a larger, more glorious war effort—and some were. A new genre of young adult books entered the market, written specifically with the young girls of the war period in mind and demonstrating the wartime activities of women and girls all over the world. Through fiction, girls could catch spies, cross battlefields, man machine guns, and blow up bridges. These adventurous heroines were contemporary feminist role models, creating avenues of leadership for women and inspiring individualism and self-discovery. The work presented here analyzes the powerful messages in such literature, how it created awareness and grappled with the engagement of real girls in the United States and Allied war effort, and how it reflects their contemporaries’ awareness of girls’ importance.

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Newly Published: The Bionic Woman and Feminist Ethics

New on our bookshelf:

The Bionic Woman and Feminist Ethics: An Analysis of the 1970s Television Series
David Greven

The ABC TV series The Bionic Woman, created by Kenneth Johnson, was a 1970s pop culture phenomenon. Starring Lindsay Wagner as Jaime Sommers, the groundbreaking series follows Jaime’s evolution from a young woman vulnerable to an exploitative social order, to a fierce individualist defying a government that sees her as property. Beneath the action-packed surface of Jaime’s battles with Fembots, themes such as the chosen family, technophobia, class passing, the cyborg, artificial beings, and a growing racial consciousness receive a sophisticated treatment.

This book links the series to precedents such as classical mythology, first-wave feminist literature, and the Hollywood woman’s film, to place The Bionic Woman in a tradition of feminist ethics deeply concerned with female autonomy, community, and the rights of nonhuman animals. Seen through the lens of feminist philosophy and gender studies, Jaime’s constantly changing disguises, attempts to pass as human, and struggles to accept her new bionic abilities offer provocative engagement with issues of identity. Jaime Sommers is a feminist icon who continues to speak to women and queer audiences, and her struggles and triumphs resonate with a worldwide fanbase that still remains enthralled and represented by The Bionic Woman.

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Newly Published: As I Was Burying Comrade Stalin

New on our bookshelf:

As I Was Burying Comrade Stalin: My Life Becoming a Jewish Dissident
Arkady Polishchuk

Arkady Polishchuk came of age in Stalin’s Russia, in the turbulent times before, during and after World War II. His love for the Soviet dictator persisted for years until Polishchuk, a 19-year-old Jew, was not admitted to the university. In 1952, he learned about the preparations for mass deportation of Jews to Siberia.

He celebrated Stalin’s death in 1953—but state oppression dominated his life as before. As a young reporter for the Kostroma regional newspaper, he met with destitute plowmen, teenage milkmaids and former prisoners turned woodcutters, and wrote about them. When his satirical flair outraged a Communist Party secretary, the KGB initiated a political case against him and he fled to avoid persecution.

His memoir describes his painstaking journey toward mental and spiritual liberation.

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Newly Published: The Ages of the Black Panther

New on our bookshelf:

The Ages of the Black Panther: Essays on the King of Wakanda in Comic Books
Edited by Joseph J. Darowski

Black Panther was the first black superhero in mainstream comic books, and his most iconic adventures are analyzed here. This collection of new essays explores Black Panther’s place in the Marvel universe, focusing on the comic books. With topics ranging from the impact apartheid and the Black Panther Party had on the comic to theories of gender and animist imagery, these essays analyze individual storylines and situate them within the socio-cultural framework of the time periods in which they were created, drawing connections that deepen understanding of both popular culture and the movements of society. Supporting characters such as Everett K. Ross and T’Challa’s sister Shuri are also considered. From his creation in 1966 by Jack Kirby and Stan Lee up through the character’s recent adventures by Ta-Nehisi Coates and Brian Stelfreeze, more than fifty years of the Black Panther’s history are addressed.

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Newly Published: Windows into The West Wing

New on our bookshelf:

Windows into The West Wing: Theoretical Approaches to an Ideal Presidency
Patrick Webster

The West Wing, first broadcast in 1999, is thought by many to have been one of the most significant dramas shown on network television. Despite its overly idealized depiction of American political life, and blatant contradictions in the way we consider America, its values, its aspirations, and its behavior in the world, The West Wing nonetheless succeeds in attaining popular national and international aesthetic appeal.

This book aspires to explain the appeal of the show by considering issues such as race, religion, sexuality, disability, and education—from both a practical and theoretical perspective—through the lenses of feminism, gender theory, Marxism, psychoanalytical theories, structuralism, poststructuralism, postcolonialism and more. It seeks to offer informative and revealing readings of one of the most significant television productions of recent times.

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New in Softcover: Encyclopedia of Vampire Mythology

Now available in softcover:

Encyclopedia of Vampire Mythology
Theresa Bane

From the earliest days of oral history to the present, the vampire myth persists among mankind’s deeply-rooted fears. This encyclopedia, with entries ranging from “Abchanchu” to “Zmeus,” includes nearly 600 different species of historical and mythological vampires, fully described and detailed.

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Newly Published: Homeschooling and Libraries

New on our bookshelf:

Homeschooling and Libraries: New Solutions and Opportunities
Edited by Vera Gubnitskaia and Carol Smallwood

As families are looking for better ways to educate their children, more and more of them are becoming interested and engaged in alternative ways of schooling that are different, separate, or opposite of the traditional classroom. Homeschooling has become ever more creative and varied as families create custom-tailored curricula, assignments, goals, and strategies that are best for each unique child. This presents a multitude of challenges and opportunities for information institutions, including public, academic, school, and special libraries. The need for librarians to help homeschool families become information and media literate is more important than ever.

This collection of essays provides a range of approaches and strategies suggested by skilled professionals as well as veteran homeschool parents on how to best serve the diverse needs and learning experiences of homeschooled youth. It includes information on needs assessments for special needs students, gifted students, and African American students; advice on how to provide support for the families of homeschoolers; case studies; and information on new technologies that could benefit libraries and the homeschooler populations that they serve.

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Newly Published: Senior Care and Services

New on our bookshelf:

Senior Care and Services: Essays and Case Studies on Practices, Innovations and Challenges
Edited by Joaquin Jay Gonzalez III, Roger L. Kemp and Willie Lee Britt

There are more senior citizens in the U.S. today than ever before. Public services for seniors are rapidly changing and expanding as this diverse population ages. This collection of essays describes key developments in services being provided in cities across the nation. Topics include seniors and the U.S. government; health and wellness; longevity; caregiving; housing and accommodations; Social Security and finance; immigrant, minority and LGBT issues, and life-long learning and technology.

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Newly Published: Henry Clay Frick and the Golden Age of Coal and Coke, 1870–1920

New on our bookshelf:

Henry Clay Frick and the Golden Age of Coal and Coke, 1870–1920
Cassandra Vivian

Once the beehive coke oven was perfected in Fayette County, Pennsylvania, the coal and coke industry began to flourish and supply other fledgling industries with the fuel they needed to succeed. The thrust of this growth came from Henry Clay Frick, who opened his first coal mines in the Morgan Valley of Fayette County in 1871. There, he helped lead the industry, making it the major developmental force in industrial America. This book traces the birth and growth of the early coal and coke industry from 1870 to 1920, primarily in Fayette and Westmoreland Counties. Beyond Frick’s importance to the industry, other major topics covered in this history include the lives and struggles of the miners and immigrants who worked in the industry, the growth of unions and the many strikes in the region, and the attempts to clean the surrounding waterways from the horrific pollution that resulted from industrial development. Perhaps the most significant fact is that this book uses primary sources contemporary with the golden age of the coal and coke industry. That effort offers an alternative view and helps repair the common portrayal of Frick as corrupt by showing his work as that of an industrial genius.

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Newly Published: The Bundy Murders

New on our bookshelf:

The Bundy Murders: A Comprehensive History, 2d ed.
Kevin M. Sullivan

In this revised, updated and expanded edition, the author explores the life of Theodore Bundy, one of the more infamous—and flamboyant—American serial killers on record. Bundy’s story is a complex mix of psychopathology, criminal investigation, and the U.S. legal system. This in-depth examination of Bundy’s life and his killing spree that totaled dozens of victims is drawn from legal transcripts, correspondence and interviews with detectives and prosecutors. Using these sources, new information about several murders is unveiled. The biography follows Bundy from his broken family background to his execution in the electric chair.

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Newly Published: The Black Athlete in West Virginia

New on our bookshelf:

The Black Athlete in West Virginia: High School and College Sports from 1900 Through the End of Segregation
Bob Barnett, Dana Brooks and Ronald Althouse

This chronicle of sports at West Virginia’s 40 black high schools and three black colleges illuminates many issues in race relations and the struggle for social justice within the state and nation. Despite having inadequate resources, the black schools’ sports teams thrived during segregation and helped tie the state’s scattered black communities together. West Virginia hosted the nation’s first state-wide black high school basketball tournament, which flourished for 33 years, and both Bluefield State and West Virginia State won athletic championships in the prestigious Colored Intercollegiate Athletic Association (now Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association). Black schools were gradually closed after the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision, and the desegregation of schools in West Virginia was an important step toward equality. For black athletes and their communities, the path to inclusion came with many costs.

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Newly Published: Medieval Women on Film

New on our bookshelf:

Medieval Women on Film: Essays on Gender, Cinema and History
Edited by Kevin J. Harty

In this first ever book-length treatment, 11 scholars with a variety of backgrounds in medieval studies, film studies, and medievalism discuss how historical and fictional medieval women have been portrayed on film and their connections to the feminist movements of the 20th and 21st centuries. From detailed studies of the portrayal of female desire and sexuality, to explorations of how and when these women gain agency, these essays look at the different ways these women reinforce, defy, and complicate traditional gender roles.

Individual essays discuss the complex and sometimes conflicting cinematic treatments of Guinevere, Morgan Le Fay, Isolde, Maid Marian, Lady Godiva, Heloise, Eleanor of Aquitaine, and Joan of Arc. Additional essays discuss the women in Fritz Lang’s The Nibelungen, Liv Ullmann’s Kristin Lavransdatter, and Bertrand Tavernier’s La Passion Béatrice.

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Newly Published: Technology, Management and the Evangelical Church

New on our bookshelf:

Technology, Management and the Evangelical Church
John Weaver

This book explores the technological innovations and management practices of evangelical Christian religions. Beginning from the late 19th century, the author examines the evangelical church’s increasing appropriation of business practices from the secular world as solutions to organizational problems. He notes especially the importance of the church growth movement and the formation of church networks.

Particular attention is paid to the history of evangelical uses of computer technology, including connections the Christian Right has made within Silicon Valley. Most significantly, this book offers one of the first academic explorations of the use of cybernetics, systems theory and complexity theory by evangelical leaders and management theorists.

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True Crime Sale

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

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Newly Published: Boss of Murder, Inc.

New on our bookshelf:

Boss of Murder, Inc.: The Criminal Life of Albert Anastasia
Michael Newton

Umberto Anastasio, better known as Albert Anastasia, was an Italian-American mobster and hitman who became one of the deadliest criminals in American history and one of the founders of the modern American Mafia in New York City. For all-out savagery and ruthlessness, few other leaders of the Mafia worldwide have rivaled Anastasia, known to peers as “The Mad Hatter” and to journalists as “The Lord High Executioner.” After escaping a death sentence in 1921 and multiple other arrests for murder, he later served as director of the national crime syndicate’s contract murder department (“Murder, Inc.”) from 1931 until informers brought it down ten years later. By 1951 he led one of New York City’s Five Families, a post he held until his public barbershop assassination in October 1957.

This first-ever book-length biography of Anastasia traces the mobster’s life and the ripple effects his career had on the American crime world. The story also tracks his brothers and their families, while debunking certain widespread myths about their parentage, various deportations, trials, convictions, and eventual retirement from the mob, dead or alive.

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Newly Published: Apocalyptic Ecology in the Graphic Novel

New on our bookshelf:

Apocalyptic Ecology in the Graphic Novel: Life and the Environment After Societal Collapse
Clint Jones

As awareness of climate change grows, so do the number of cultural depictions of environmental disaster. Graphic novels have reliably produced dramatizations of such disasters. Many use themes of dystopian hopefulness, or the enjoyment readers experience from seeing society prevail in times of apocalypse.

This book argues that these generally inspirational narratives contribute to a societal apathy for real-life environmental degradation. By examining the narratives and art of the environmental apocalypse in contemporary graphic novels, the author stands against dystopian hope, arguing that the ways in which we experience depictions of apocalypse shape how we respond to real crises.

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Newly Published: Virtual Tribe

New on our bookshelf:

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

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

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

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New to Kindle, March 2020

The following titles are now available on Kindle:

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

New on our bookshelf:

Sacred and Mythological Animals: A Worldwide Taxonomy
Yowann Byghan

From the household cat to horses that can fly, a surprisingly wide range of animals feature in religions and mythologies all across the world. The same animal can take on different roles: the raven can be a symbol of evil, a harbinger of death, a wise messenger or a shape-changing trickster. In Norse mythology, Odin’s magical ravens perch on his shoulders and bring him news.

This compendium draws upon religious texts and myths to explore the ways sacred traditions use animal images, themes and associations in rituals, ceremonies, texts, myths, literature and folklore across the world. Sections are organized by the main animal classifications such as mammals, birds, reptiles, fish, amphibians and insects. Each chapter covers one significant grouping (such as dogs, cats or horses), first describing an animal scientifically and then detailing the mythological attributes. Numerous examples cite texts or myths. A final section covers animal hybrids, animal monsters and mythical animals as well as stars, constellations and Zodiac symbols. An appendix describes basic details of the religions and mythologies covered. A glossary defines uncommon religious terms and explains scientific animal names.

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Newly Published: Ethics After Poststructuralism

New on our bookshelf:

Ethics After Poststructuralism: A Critical Reader
Edited by Lee Olsen, Brendan Johnston and Ann Keniston

The present era of economic devastation, legacies of colonization and imperialism, climate change and habitat loss, calls for a new understanding of ethics. These essays on otherness, responsibility and hospitality raise urgent questions. Contributors range from the prominent—including Levinas, Michel Foucault, Jacques Derrida and Giorgio Agamben—to recent theorists such as Judith Butler, Enrique Dussell and Rosi Braidotti. The essays emphasize the always vulnerable status of a radically different Other, even as they question what responsibility to that Other might mean.

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Newly Published: Kenny Riley and Black Union Labor Power in the Port of Charleston

New on our bookshelf:

Kenny Riley and Black Union Labor Power in the Port of Charleston
Ted Reed and John J. Yurechko

Their ancestors may have been cargo in the slave ships that arrived in Charleston, S.C. Today, the scale has been rebalanced: black longshoremen run the port’s cargo operation. They are members of the International Longshoremen’s Association, a powerful labor union, and Kenny Riley is the charismatic leader of the Charleston local.

Riley combines commitment to the civil rights movement with the practicality to ensure that Charleston remains a principal East Coast port. He emerged on the international stage in 2000, rallying union members worldwide to the defense of “The Charleston Five,” longshoremen arrested after a confrontation with police turned violent. This is Riley’s story as well as a behind-the-scenes look at organized black labor in a Deep South port.