On 12 September 1944, a wolfpack of U.S. submarines attacked the Japanese convoy HI-72 in the South China Sea. Among the ships sunk were two carrying Allied prisoners of war. Men who had already endured the trials of Japanese captivity faced a renewed struggle for survival at sea.
This book tells the broader story of the HI-72 convoy through the stories of two survivors: Arthur Bancroft, who was rescued by an American submarine, and Charles “Rowley” Richards, who was rescued by the Japanese. The story of these men represents the thousands of Allied POWs who suffered not only the atrocious conditions of these Japanese hellships, but also the terror of friendly fire from their own side’s submarines. For the first time, the personal, political and legal aftermath of these men’s experiences is fully detailed. At its heart, this is a story of survival. Charting the survivors’ fates from rescue to their attempts at retribution, this book reveals the trauma that continued long after the war was over.
A hybrid machine–powered at times by steam, electricity or internal combustion–the motorcycle in its infancy was an innovation to help bicycle racers go faster. As motor age technology advanced, the quest for greater speed at the velodrome peaked, with riders reaching speeds up to 100 kph on bikes and trikes without brakes, suspensions or gear boxes. This book chronicles the individuals and events at the turn of the 20th century that led to the development of motor-powered two-wheelers.
Women made 2020 a banner year for diversity and inclusivity. In sports, representation on and off the field erupted with the leadership of Kim Ng, Sarah Fuller and Katie Sowers. Scientists Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer A. Doudna jointly earned the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. And in politics, women like Cori Bush, Sarah McBride, Yvette Herrell and others were elected to ever-diversifying legislatures, while Kamala Harris ascended to the highest elected position a woman has yet to hold. To honor Women’s History Month and to nurture the path forward, we’re offering 20% off our catalog through March 31st with coupon code WOMEN20.
In 1930, Cadillac rolled out a line of new cars of unsurpassed elegance and craftsmanship that would launch the company into the top tier of luxury carmakers. While competitors produced models with eight or twelve-cylinder engines, Cadillac offered the smooth, powerful performance of a V-16. Over the next 11 years, each of the more than 4000 V-16s was as close to hand-made as a commercial auto manufacturer could come. Their drivers included statesmen, celebrities, businessmen and, sometimes, well-heeled ne’er-do-wells. Many of the cars survived wartime scrap drives, obsolescence, lack of replacement parts, neglect and the elements. This follow-up volume to Cadillac V-16s Lost and Found (2014) documents the individual stories of 67 more of these magnificent machines.
Before there was a U.S. Navy, several Colonial navies were all-volunteer—both the crews and the vessels. From its beginnings through World War II, the Navy has relied on civilian sailors and their fast vessels to fill out its ranks of small combatants. Beginning with the birth of the yacht in 17th century Netherlands, this illustrated history traces the development of yacht racing, the advent of combustion-engine power and the contribution privately owned vessels have made to national defense. Vessels conscripted during the Civil War served both the Union and Confederacy—sometimes changing sides after capture. The first USS Wanderer saw the slave trade from both sides of the law. Aboard the USS Sylph, Oscar-winning actor Ernest Borgnine fought the Third Reich’s U-boats under sail. USS Sea Cloud made history as the first racially integrated ship in the Navy, three years before President Truman desegregated the military.
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.
For three years, Staff Sergeant Charles M. Eyer served as a B-17 ball turret gunner over Europe during World War II. Based in part on a secret journal he kept as a prisoner of war, this book records Eyer’s firsthand account of his harrowing 59 combat missions (B-17 crewmen could not expect to survive 10), his escape from a burning B-17 deep inside Germany, the horrors of confinement in a Nazi POW camp, and his survival of an 80-day forced march during the brutal winter of 1944–45.
Only in America could Walter A. Soplata, the son of penniless Czech immigrants, accomplish so much single-handedly saving historic aircraft from World War II and other periods. After a childhood spent building model airplanes while dreaming about having his own airfield, Soplata worked in a large scrapyard taking apart hundreds of warplane engines. Shocked to see a rare engine or sometimes a complete warplane on its way to the recycling furnace, he began collecting whatever he could find and afford. He eventually collected nearly 20 complete airplanes and countless pieces of others. One of his Corsair fighters included the experimental F2G Corsair #74 that won the Cleveland National Air Races in 1947. Among other priceless airplanes he rescued was an experimental XP-82 Twin Mustang, an F-82E Twin Mustang, an X-prototype Skyraider, a stainless steel BT-12, and an F7U Cutlass—Soplata hauled the Cutlass fuselage home by stuffing it inside a junked school bus for its 600-mile journey. The story of a workaholic father and his aviation-obsessed son, this book records the accomplishments of a rare bird, just like the many airplanes he saved.
West Point graduates played a central role in developing U.S. military air and space power from the earliest days of mechanized flight through the establishment of the U.S. Air Force in 1947, and continuing through the Persian Gulf War. These graduates served at a time when the world’s greatest wave of technological advancement occurred: in aviation, nuclear weapons, rocketry, ICBMs, computers, satellite systems in inner space and man in outer space.
This history traces the advancement of weapons and space technology that became the hallmark of the U.S. Air Force, and the pivotal role that West Point graduates played in integrating them into a wide variety of Air Force systems and programs. Many became aircraft commanders, test pilots, astronauts and, later in their careers, general officers who helped shape and implement technologies still in use today.
As a 26-year old Marine radar intercept officer (RIO), Fleet Lentz flew 131 combat missions in the back seat of the supersonic F-4 B Phantom II during the wind-down of the Vietnam War. Overcoming military regulations, he and his fellow Marines at The Rose Garden (Royal Thai Air Base Nam Phong) kept sorely needed supplies moving in while moving combat troops out of Southeast Asia. His personal and accessible memoir describes how pilots and RIOs executed dangerous air-to-ground bombing missions in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos—quite different from the air-to-air warfare for which they had trained—and kept themselves mission-capable (and human) while surviving harsh circumstances.
It’s June, gas prices are cheap, the highways are free of traffic, and holiday destinations are uncrowded. Let’s hit the road (in spirit, if not in deed)! Our automotive history line, including histories of marques famous and obscure, auto racing, biographies, reference works like J. Kelly Flory’s massive American Cars volumes, and much more, is complimented by many excellent works on locomotive, aviation, and maritime history; bicycles; and military transportation. This month, we’re offering ALL transportation titles at 40% off the list price with coupon code TRANSPORTATION40! Use this coupon code on our website through Sunday, June 28. Safe travels from your friends at McFarland!
The steamboat evokes images of leisurely travel, genteel gambling, and lively commerce, but behind the romanticized view is an engineering marvel that led the way for the steam locomotive. From the steamboat’s development by Robert Fulton to the dawn of the Civil War, the new mode of transportation opened up America’s frontiers and created new trade routes and economic centers.
Firsthand accounts of steamboat accidents, races, business records and river improvements are collected here to reveal the culture and economy of the early to mid–1800s, as well as the daily routines of crew and passengers. A glossary of steamboat terms and a collection of contemporary accounts of accidents round out this history of the riverboat era.
The whaling bark Progress was a New Bedford whaler transformed into a whaling museum for Chicago’s 1893 world’s fair. Traversing waterways across North America, the whaleship enthralled crowds from Montreal to Racine. Her ultimate fate, however, was to be a failed sideshow of marine curiosities and a metaphor for a dying industry out of step with Gilded Age America. This book uses the story of the Progress to detail the rise, fall, and eventual demise of the whaling industry in America. The legacy of this whaling bark can be found throughout New England and Chicago, and invites questions about what it means to transform a dying industry into a museum piece. The whaling bark Progress was a New Bedford ship transformed into a whaling museum for Chicago’s 1893 world’s fair. Traversing waterways across North America, the whaleship enthralled crowds from Montreal to Racine. Her ultimate fate, however, was to be a failed sideshow of marine curiosities and a metaphor for a dying industry out of step with Gilded Age America. This book uses the story of the Progress to detail the rise, fall, and eventual demise of the whaling industry in America. The legacy of this whaling bark can be found throughout New England and Chicago, and invites questions about what it means to transform a dying industry into a museum piece.
The first quarter of the 20th century was a time of dramatic change in auto racing, marked by the move from the horseless carriage to the supercharged Grand Prix racer, from the gentleman driver to the well-publicized professional, and from the dusty road course to the autodrome. This history of the evolution of European and American auto racing from 1900 to 1925 examines transatlantic influences, early dirt track racing, and the birth of the twin-cam engine and the straight-eight. It also explores the origins of the Bennett and Vanderbilt races, the early career of “America’s Speed King” Barney Oldfield, the rise of the speedway specials from Marmon, Mercer, Stutz and Duesenberg, and developments from Peugeot, Delage, Ballot, Fiat, and Bugatti. This informative work provides welcome insight into a defining period in motorsports.
Combining narrative history with data-rich social and economic analysis, this new institutional economics study examines the failure of frontier farms in the antebellum Northwest Territory, where legislatively-created imperfect markets and poor surveying resulted in massive investment losses for both individual farmers and the national economy. The history of farming and spatial settlement patterns in the Great Lakes region is described, with specific focus on the State of Michigan viewed through a case study of Midland County. Inter and intra-state differences in soil endowments, public and private promoters of site-specific investment opportunities, time trends in settled populations and the experiences of individual investors are covered in detail.
While the United States sought to remain neutral in the early years of World War II, some Americans did not. This book is the first to provide the operational records and combat reports of the three American “Eagle” Royal Air Force squadrons—units comprised of volunteer American pilots who served with the British prior to the U.S. entering the war.
The records tell the story of the more than 200 pilots who, against federal law, flew with the British in their fight against Nazi Germany. While some Americans served individually in other RAF units, these three squadrons—the 71st, 121st and 133rd—were the only ones organized exclusively for Americans. They were the first of dozens of American fighter squadrons that would soar over Europe.
The Westford Knight is a mysterious, controversial stone carving in Massachusetts. Some believe it is an effigy of a 14th century knight, evidence of an early European visit to the New World by Henry Sinclair, the Earl of Orkney and Lord of Roslin. In 1954, an archaeologist encountered the carving, long known to locals and ascribed a variety of origin stories, and proposed it to be a remnant of the Sinclair expedition. The story of the Westford Knight is a mix of history, archaeology, sociology, and Knights Templar lore. This work unravels the threads of the Knight’s history, separating fact from fantasy.
This revised edition includes a new foreword and four new chapters which add context to the myth-building that has surrounded the Westford Knight and artifacts like it.
Popular films about the Bounty mutiny only scratch the surface. This rebellion on a British vessel in 1789 sparked the voyages of H.M.S. Pandora—dispatched to track down the mutineers and return them to England for court-martial—and the Matavy, a schooner built by the mutineers in Tahiti.
This is the first book to include eyewitness accounts from five men who endured these voyages. Presented in overlapping, chronological order are the first publication of a narrative by a member of Matavy’s crew, who vividly describes a desperate struggle to survive with meager provisions among islands filled with hostile natives. A previously unpublished poem by an anonymous sailor on Pandora recounts the ship’s sinking, the survivors’ tortuous journey to the Dutch East Indies, and their return to England. The captain’s unedited statement on the loss of Pandora is included and appendices summarize the Bounty and Pandora courts-martial and the later history of each narrator.
As a first lieutenant in the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, U.S. Army pilot David Porter was section leader in an Aerial Scout platoon in Vietnam. Their mission was to conduct reconnaissance in OH-6 aircraft (a.k.a. Light Observation Helicopter or “Loach”) near the Cambodian border. Finding and engaging the enemy at low altitude in coordination with an AH-1 Cobra gunship circling above, these units developed a remarkable method of fighting the Viet Cong: Hunter-Killer Operations.
The tactic had great local success but died with the war. Few today are aware of the hazards these pilots faced during times of intense combat. Porter’s vivid memoir recounts the internal workings of a legendary air cavalry troop, in-the-cockpit combat actions, and the men who were key players on this perilous battleground.
The industry known as “general aviation”—encompassing all flying outside of the military and commercial airlines—dates from the early days of powered flight. As technology advanced, making possible smaller aircraft that could be owned and operated by civilians, manufacturers emerged to a serve a growing market.
Increasingly this meant business flying, as companies used aircraft in a variety of roles. The industry struggled during the Great Depression but development continued; small aircraft manufacturers became vital to the massive military production effort during World War II.
After the war, rapid technological advancement and a robust, prosperous middle class were expected to result in a democratized civil aviation industry. For many reasons this was never realized, even as general aviation roles and aircraft capabilities expanded. Despite its many reverses and struggles, entrepreneurship has remained the driving factor of the industry.
Connecticut privateer Nathaniel Fanning (1755–1805) was captured by the British during the Revolutionary War. Upon his release, he joined the Continental Navy and sailed as a midshipman under Admiral John Paul Jones during his most famous battles. Fanning later obtained his own command, sailing from French ports to prey upon British warships.
This new edition of Fanning’s memoir—first published in 1806—provides a vivid account of wartime peril and hardship at sea, and a first-hand character study of Jones as an apparent tyrant and narcissist. Vocabulary, spelling and narrative style have changed in the more than two centuries since Fanning’s chronicle, and some details clash with historical and geographical data. The editor has updated and annotated the text for modern readers, but attempted to retain much of the original memoir’s style.
The truck’s role in American society changed dramatically from the 1960s through the 1980s, with the rise of off-roaders, the van craze of the 1970s and minivan revolution of the 1980s, the popularization of the SUV as family car and the diversification of the pickup truck into multiple forms and sizes. This comprehensive reference book follows the form of the author’s popular volumes on American cars. For each year, it provides an industry overview and, for each manufacturer, an update on new models and other news, followed by a wealth of data: available powertrains, popular options, paint colors and more. Finally, each truck is detailed fully with specifications and measurements, prices, production figures, standard equipment and more.
When the English first arrived at the Outer Banks in the summer of 1584, they were greeted by native Algonquian-speaking people who had long occupied present-day North Carolina. That historic contact initiated the often-turbulent period of early American history commonly known as the Roanoke Voyages. Unfortunately, contemporary accounts regularly mischaracterize or marginalize the Algonquins, and their significance in this period is poorly understood.
This volume is a unique collection of narratives highlighting by name all of the Algonquians who played a role in the often-contentious attempts to establish the first permanent English colony in the New World. Starting with Manteo, the fascinating Croatoan Indian who traveled to England twice and learned to speak English, this book focuses on the identities and endeavors of each of these individual Algonquians and tells their stories.
Since the Cold War, outer space has become of strategic importance for nations looking to seize the ultimate high ground. World powers establishing a presence there must consider, among other things, how they will conduct warfare in orbit. Leaders must dispense with “Buck Rogers” notions about operations in space and realize that policies there will have serious ramifications for geopolitics.
How should nations view space? How should they fight there? What would space warfare look like and how should strategists approach it? Offering critical observations regarding this unique theater of international relations, a military professional explores the strategic implications as human affairs move beyond Earth’s atmosphere.
Among the more than 260 American submarines that patrolled the Pacific during World War II, the USS Swordfish in 1941 was the first to sink a Japanese armed merchant ship, marking the beginning of the submarine’s colorful history. A series of seven commanders led Swordfish’s 13 war patrols. Each skipper had a distinct leadership style. Some were successful in sinking enemy ships; others returned to port empty-handed. Yet all patrols risked dangerously close encounters with the enemy and the unforgiving nature of the open sea.
Drawing on archival sources and interviews with veteran sailors, this first full-length history of the Swordfish provides detailed accounts of each patrol and covers the mysterious disappearance of the legendary submarine on its final mission.
In 1913, an expedition was sent to the Arctic, funded by the American Museum of Natural History, the American Geographical Society and the University of Illinois. Its purpose was twofold: to discover whether an archipelago called Crocker Land—reportedly spotted by an earlier explorer in 1906—actually existed; and to engage in scientific research in the Arctic.
When explorers discovered that Crocker Land did not exist, they instead pursued their research, made a number of important discoveries and documented the region’s indigenous inhabitants and natural habitat. Their return to America was delayed by the difficulty of engaging a relief ship, and by the danger of German submarines in Arctic waters during the World War I.
After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, America’s fast carrier task forces, with their aircraft squadrons and powerful support warships, went on the offensive. Under orders from Fleet Admiral Ernest J. King, the newly appointed Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, as the Commander-in-Chief of the Pacific Fleet, took the fight to the Japanese, using island raids to slow their advance in the Pacific.
Beginning in February 1942, a series of task force raids led by the carriers USS Enterprise, USS Yorktown, USS Lexington and USS Hornet were launched, beginning in the Marshall Islands and Gilbert Islands. An attempted raid on Rabaul was followed by successful attacks on Wake Island and Marcus Island. The Lae-Salamaua Raid countered Japanese invasions on New Guinea. The most dramatic was the unorthodox Tokyo (Doolittle) Raid, where 16 carrier-launched B-25 medium bombers demonstrated that the Japanese mainland was open to U.S. air attacks.
The raids had a limited effect on halting the Japanese advance but kept the enemy away from Hawaii, the U.S. West coast and the Panama Canal, and kept open lines of communications to Australia.
During the Pacific War between the United States and Imperial Japanese navies, the author’s father, Francis Gelzheiser, deployed with Motor Torpedo Boat Squadron 16A, from New Orleans to Panama to Seattle and to Attu Island in the Aleutians. After their return voyage, the PT boats journeyed to New Guinea, then battled Japanese kamikazes for the Philippine Island of Mindoro.
Like many World War II veterans, Gelzheiser only shared his recollections of combat later in life. The author chronicles his father’s experience, details the roles PT boats played in the war and examines why, despite America’s overwhelming wartime manufacturing capacity, the Japanese believed they could still win the war.
McFarland is exhibiting at a number of regional and national conferences in the coming months, and conferees are encouraged to take the opportunity to peruse our books and meet an editor. Schedule an appointment by emailing us in advance (Layla Milholen, Gary Mitchem, or Dré Person), or stop by the McFarland booth in the exhibit room for a casual conversation with an editor.
Popular Culture Association in the South Sept 26-28, Wilmington, NC, Layla Milholen Association for the Study of African American Life and History Oct 3-5, Charleston, SC, Dré Person Midwest Popular Culture Association Oct 10-13 Cincinnati, OH, Layla Milholen American Folklore Society Oct 16-19, Baltimore, MD, Gary Mitchem South Central Modern Language Association Oct 24-26, Little Rock, AR, Gary Mitchem Mid-Atlantic Popular Culture Association Nov 7-9, 2019, Pittsburgh, PA, Gary Mitchem Film and History Nov 13-17, Madison, WI, Dré Person National Women’s Studies Association Nov 14-17, San Francisco, CA, Layla Milholen South Atlantic Modern Language Association Nov 15–17, Atlanta, GA, Gary Mitchem American Philosophical Association Jan 8-11, Philadelphia, PA, Dré Person Modern Language Association Jan 9-12, Seattle, WA, Gary Mitchem
The Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge is an endurance ride that takes participants across the United States. Riding 20 hours a day or more for 7–12 days straight, they traverse back roads, brave dangerous conditions and battle mental and physical exhaustion. Fewer than 10 percent of participants are women. They take on the challenge and they excel! Chronicling the journeys of 14 women who participated in the Hoka Hey (Lakota for “Let’s do it!”) from 2010 to 2013, this feminist cultural analysis relates their often harrowing stories of life on the road and draws comparisons to women in other sports.
The C-124 Globemaster—a U.S. military heavy-lift transport in service 1950 through 1974—barreling down a runway was an awesome sight. The aircraft’s four 3800 hp piston engines (the largest ever mass-produced), mounted on its 174-foot wingspan, could carry a 69,000-pound payload of tanks, artillery or other cargo, or 200 fully equipped troops, at more than 300 mph.
The flight crew, perched three stories above the landing gears in an unpressurized cockpit, relied, like Magellan, on celestial fixes to navigate over oceans. With a world-wide mission delivering troops and materials to such destinations as the Congo, Vietnam, Thule, Greenland and Antarctica, the Globemaster lived up to its name and was foundational to what Time magazine publisher Henry Luce termed the “American Century.”
Drawing on archives, Air Force bases, libraries and accident sites, and his own recollections as a navigator, the author details Cold War confrontations and consequent strategies that emerged after Douglas Aircraft Company delivered the first C-124A to the Military Air Transport Service in 1949.
We’re turning 40, and we’re celebrating with a special fortieth anniversary sale! Through June 30, get a 25% discount on ALL books when you use the code ANN2019. And if you’ll be in our area (Ashe County, North Carolina, in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains), we’d love to see you at our open house event on Friday, June 14. Thank you for supporting our first 40 years—we look forward to celebrating many more birthdays with you.
On June 14, 2019, McFarland will celebrate its fortieth anniversary with an open house party. From noon to five, our campus at 960 Hwy 88 W, Jefferson, NC will be open to the public with finger food, conversation and tours available, and many of our authors will be in attendance. To stay up-t0-date with event information, follow our event page. Below is a brief company history, with personal thoughts, by founder and editor-in-chief Robert Franklin.
McFarland Publishers Now Forty Years Old
by Robert Franklin
McFarland’s history (founder, Robbie Franklin, me): My close friends Biff and Alicia Stickel were burned out special ed teachers in Connecticut, early 70’s. What to do? Back to the land! They (and their little daughter Maranatha Shone Stickel) drove south till they loved the vibe and the scenery and wound up living on Peak Road from 1972 through part of 1978 (and birthing Micah Stickel). Alicia played piano at the local Baptist church and they were cofounders of the Creston Co-op. I visited them in ’72 (instantly fell for the land and people, the forefinger car salute, the almost drinkable river) and again every year after, and when wife Cheryl Roberts came into my life in 1975, we visited. Soon I was bragging about Ashe County to everybody – “If your car breaks down, the very next person to come along will stop and ask if you need help.” I hope a few readers can recognize the Stickels’ name (he goes by Richard now; they live in Toronto). They are the reason McFarland was begun in Ashe County. We present band of publishers, about fifty in number, owe them great honor.
I did not learn till after we moved here in 1979 that my Revolutionary War ancestor Lieutenant Robert McFarland, after whupping the king at Kings Mountain, lived up here in the 1790s. He then went overmountain to become the first ever sheriff of Greene/Washington County, Tennessee. (I was born in Memphis.)
McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers is our official name. Founded in April 1979 right here. I had been the executive editor of a smallish scholarly publisher in New Jersey; my mentor/boss/friend Eric Moon (a charismatic Brit) knew before I did it was time for me to go off on “my own” (very misleading words!). The local Ashe County newspaper was failing by 1978 and at first I thought, o.k., I’m an editor type, maybe I can start up a new one. Between summer and Christmas the local fellow David Desautels decided the same thing and very successfully started The Jefferson Times. We became friends and McFarland’s earliest two or three books (including a biography of Soviet leader Brezhnev) were typeset using off-hours time on that new newspaper’s equipment. Katy Zell Taylor was our first fulltime employee (Ashe Central H.S. yearbook editor!) and did a lot of typesetting and correcting. Dental Care in Society was our first published book, in 1980 (ask me some day).
After deciding up in New Jersey to stay with book (versus newspaper) publishing, I phoned the Jefferson Post Office in February 1979 to set up a box number mailing address – they said people had to apply in person. Whew! So I flew from Newark to Tri-Cities, Tennessee (what did I know?), rented a car, drove to Jefferson (hours!), filled out a form, got back in the car, drove back to Tri-Cities, and got back home not long before day was done.
A couple of months later, on April 1, 1979, Cheryl and I packed our former life stuff (including hundreds of books—heavy!) in a small U-Haul, attached it to our VW bug, and began to drive south, the Stickels’ Ashe County on our minds.
My ninth-grade homeroom friend (Toledo, Ohio), Mike Strand, had helped with some financial and emotional support and we stopped at his place in Maryland overnight. Armed with an Ashe return address, I had written several hundred letters (yes!) on a yellow pad on my knees in the front seat while Cheryl drove, and Mike arranged for a nearby university used-to-weird-hours thesis typist to type them all overnight; we mailed them April 2 and drove on. We were headed to my parents’ (retired librarians) house in Charlottesville, with me again writing several hundred short letters on my lap. We had arranged for a similar heroic overnight typing fest (the two days: 905 letters to all the authors I had addresses for, saying my former employer will take good care of you, they’re wonderful publishers—But if by any chance they turn you down for something, give us a shot!).
The U-Haul was too much for the Bug and our left rear wheel came OFF 20 miles north of Charlottesville—but stayed in the wheel well (having nowhere else to go), behaving violently. Definitely exciting (it was my stint at the wheel). We lost two or three days; I split logs for my parents’ fireplace.
In Ashe County finally, we scooped up some reply mail from authors. Already! And we soon secured a sweet farmhouse in Dillard Holler (landlord Jesse Dillard; Mom-figure Clyde Dillard; horse-plus-himself quarter-acre-garden plower Jones Dillard). The Dillard families taught us a great deal about what being “conservative” actually means. (One day Jesse turned up with several hundred fence rails he stored near “our” (his) house; no immediate need, but “I got ’em for 25¢ each.” They stayed stacked for years…) The birth of our sons Charles (in ’81), Nicholas (’85) and William (’89) certainly emphasized the Dillards’ lessons. (Jesse routinely tossed hay bales up into pickup trucks in his 80’s. Lemme be him!)
McFarland itself started out next to the H & R Block office, near the florist, in Jefferson, a small space but enough for our first couple of years. The Jefferson Post Office turned out, under our loyal friend Charles Caudill, to be one of our greatest early assets. He was so supportive as McF struggled through ignorance of mass mailings, foreign registered packages (we learned together!), “library rate” book mailings, etc. McFarland moved in 1981 or ’82 to the Mountain View shopping center between the towns and quickly expanded there. In 1982 we lucked out by having Rhonda Herman agree to join the tiny staff, doing all the “business” stuff while I coddled authors, edited manuscripts and coached the typesetters. High school senior Cynthia Campbell became a stalwart and sixteen year old Cherie Scott was a wow of a typesetter, along with Katy Taylor, on our new typesetting equipment. Within three years we were producing 40 or so new books a year (in 2018 the total was nearly 400).
Meanwhile, the people of Ashe County all around us showed interest, great surprise (“A Publisher in Ashe County?” read one huge Jefferson Times headline), and affection. Highly significant was Hal Colvard, repeatedly trusting us, at Northwestern bank, another wonderful early friend of McFar. We warmly greeted each other on Saturday mornings at the post office for many years after he retired.
By 1984 we’d moved to our present location, which became five buildings on both sides of the road. We’re technically inside Jefferson town limits. We took Mackey McDonald’s trim brick ranch house, whacked walls left and right, pushed out here, there… Years later we added a second floor – my joke is, the main building now has more roof lines than an Italian hill village.
We are, or were, a library-oriented scholarly and reference book publisher. (We’ve grown much more into a straight-to-people operation today but libraries are still a critical component of our efforts.) Two of our earliest works were Library Display Ideas by my sister Linda Franklin and Free Magazines for Libraries, by Adeline Mercer Smith: they were terrific sales successes. Another 1982 biggie was Anabolic Steroids and the Athlete by William M. Taylor, M.D. We hit that topic just as it exploded nationwide. One of the most memorable early works was Keep Watching the Skies! by Bill Warren (1982). This huge book expertly, humorously covers in amazing depth every American science fiction movie of the 1950s and a lot of Hollywood Big Names spoke highly of it in print. We were famous! (Well, the author was…)
McFarland was an early strong supporter of the local arts scene. (There are hundreds of paintings hanging in four of our buildings.) Cheryl Roberts and I founded the publication ARTS/DATES for the Arts Council in 1980 or 1981, and for more than a decade paid all its expenses as it grew grander and ever more useful. Loyal Jane Lonon (Arts Council head) wangled twice for us an N.C. Governor’s Business Award for the Arts and Humanities (go to Raleigh; shake hands; pose for photos; eat dinner).
I joined the strong, active Ashe County Little Theatre and played Dracula for them in 1981, sporting fangs crafted by the late Brett Summey, who became a good friend, now truly missed. Jane Lonon and I wowed the crowd in The King and I and Tom Fowler and I rolled them in the aisles in Greater Tuna. When I played Macbeth, the high school English teacher promised extra credit to student attendees.
McFarland’s output grew rapidly—by the 1990s we were producing hundreds of new titles each year and our staff had doubled, then tripled in size. Margie Turnmire had arrived in the mid–’80s, a beautiful soul and a very smart lady: director of finance and administration. In 1995 the Ashe County Chamber of Commerce honored us with a Business of the Year award (I believe we were the third such) and in 1998 The Wall Street Journal ran a feature article on us, showing that we are a bit unusual in our range of offerings. We have a commanding position in, for example, Vietnam combat memoirs, chess history, baseball (teams, eras, bios), automotive history and popular culture (film, TV, comics, literature…). We’ve done many reference books (though with Wiki-Google etc. now such works are uneconomical to produce); a Library Journal book of the year was local John Stewart’s African States and Rulers in 1989. Lots of Civil War, World War II, American/European/World history, literary criticism. Authors from all over the world. That part’s fun! As I write this we have published 7,800 titles.
We had busted out of our onsite warehouse and used the old Ashe County Jail on Buffalo Road for several years in the 80s! Ultimately we had to move our shipping operation into the building next to the Arts Council owned by Jim Reeves. On its outer wall facing the Arts Center we had Jack Young do the town’s first mural (now painted over): “Ashe County through the Ages.” Finally, Mike Herman built us an entirely new warehouse across the road from our main building in about 1990. Fourteen years later, then-vice-president Rhonda Herman (now president) moved the company onto firmer financial footing by arranging to install state-of-the-art printing equipment in that warehouse (we’d always used out-of-house printing firms).
Cheryl and I love Ashe County. We love the people. We love the trees, the river. (We came in first in the Mixed Expert class canoe race four or five years ago!) I even like the curves driving 23 miles to and fro our home to work (we live practically on the Tennessee line, up in the Flatwoods). The finger salute still works and the tire zing helps me think through business challenges. Our three boys, Charles, Nicky and William, also revere their place of birth. McFarland has about 50 employees, all of whom are exceptionally talented. When I got here to start the company, I truly had my pick of some of the best talent available anywhere, and I mean Anywhere. Our typesetters know every Hungarian or Swedish accent mark there is!
The local merchants have become business partners. Local artists have paintings hanging in our offices. The restaurants are great for business lunches. The weather—sublime (I learned to fell trees and the art of minimizing the lifting and stacking of logs our first year here); I like winter! Mike Herman built our house and the numerous renovations of our current space—impossible to imagine a better job. Stan Barker did some fabulous stone walls at our home. I feel both cozy and exhilarated just getting up in the morning! Ashe County, we’re for you!
McFarland is having an open house (snacks, drinks, tours) starting at noon on Friday, June 14th. We want to show our thanks to a community that has nurtured us for 40 years. Come one, come all!
For more than a century, the U.S. Navy’s battleships, cruisers, destroyers, submarines and amphibious warfare vessels have depended on a small group of specialized auxiliary ships to provide fuel, food, ammunition, parts and other material support and services. Without these workhorse vessels, the U.S. Fleet could not have won in World War II and it could not today deploy and remain on station in the far distant waters of the world.
This book provides the rosters, histories, specifications and illustrations of 130 different auxiliary ship types in the last 100 years, including the little-known ones, the latest expeditionary fast transports and future towing, salvage and rescue ships.
Marie Marvingt (1875–1973) set the world’s first women’s aviation records, won the only gold medal for outstanding performance in all sports, invented the airplane ambulance, was the first female bomber pilot in history, fought in World War I disguised as a man, took part in the Resistance of World War II, was the first to survive crossing the English Channel in a balloon, worked all her life as a journalist, spent years in North Africa and invented metal skis. Her life story was so unusually rich in exploits and accomplishments that some dismissed it as a hoax.
This biography explores the life of “the most incredible woman since Joan of Arc” and investigates the reasons she has been forgotten. Known as the “fiancée of danger,” she was the model for the silent film series The Perils of Pauline.
Perhaps more than all the campaigns of the Union armies, the Union naval blockade—covering all major Southern ports along 3,500 miles of coastline for the duration of the war—brought down the Confederacy. The daring exploits of Confederate blockade runners are well known—but many of them were British citizens operating out of neutral ports such as Nassau, Havana and Bermuda.
Focusing on British involvement in the war, this history names the overseas bankers and manufacturers who, in critical need of cotton and other Confederate exports, financed and equipped the fast little ships that ran the blockade. The author attempts to disentangle the names and aliases of the captains—many of whom were Royal Navy officers on temporary leave—and tells their stories in their own words.
Between 1900 and 1950, Americans built the most powerful steam locomotives of all time—enormous engines that powered a colossal industry. They were deceptively simple machines, yet, the more their technology was studied, the more obscure it became. Despite immense and sustained engineering efforts, steam locomotives remained grossly inefficient in their use of increasingly costly fuel and labor. In the end, they baffled their masters and, as soon as diesel-electric technology provided an alternative, steam locomotives disappeared from American railroads. Drawing on the work of eminent engineers and railroad managers of the day, this lavishly illustrated history chronicles the challenges, triumphs and failures of American steam locomotive development and operation.
As head of Pierce-Arrow in its formative years, Colonel Charles Clifton played a significant role in the development of a venerated automobile manufacturer. Roundly respected in his time, Clifton was a force in automobile trade associations for nearly a quarter century but slipped into undeserved obscurity after his death in 1928.
This biography covers Charles Clifton’s role in the earliest conflicts and achievements of the American automobile industry and the growth of the Pierce-Arrow company, using industry publications and periodicals of the time as well as recollections of his associates and contemporaries. It details his wider importance in shaping the industry itself, especially his role in the controversies surrounding the Selden patent and the patent cross-licensing agreement between auto manufacturers. The impact of World War I on the industry and Clifton’s activities responding to the vast operational changes the war brought about conclude the book.
From 1915 through the early 1920s, American auto racing experienced rapid and exciting change. Competition by European vehicles forced American car manufacturers to incorporate new features, resulting in legendary engineering triumphs (and, essentially, works of art). Some of the greatest drivers in racing history were active during this time—Ralph DePalma, Dario Resta, Eddie Rickenbacker, the Chevrolet brothers, Jimmy Murphy.
Presenting dozens of races in detail and a wealth of engineering specs, this history recalls the era’s cigar-shaped speedway specials and monumental board tracks, the heavy-footed drivers, fearless mechanics, gifted engineers and enthusiastic backers.
Electric Airplanes and Drones: A History
“Certainly one of the most comprehensive histories of electric aviation and drones to date…engaging…extensive…thorough…a highly readable scholarly history relevant to aviation enthusiasts, students, or researchers…highly recommended.”
Hampered by lack of materials, shipyards and experienced shipbuilders, even so the South managed to construct 34 iron-armored warships during the Civil War, of which the Confederate Navy put 25 into service. The stories of these vessels illustrate the hardships under which the Navy operated—and also its resourcefulness. Except for the Albemarle, no Confederate ironclad was sunk or destroyed by enemy action. Overtaken by events on the ground, most were destroyed by their own crews to prevent them from falling into Union hands.
This account covers the design and construction and the engagements of the Confederate ironclads and describes the ingenuity and courage, as well as the challenges and frustrations of their “too little, too late” service.
McFarland’s biographies and memoirs cover the fascinating life stories of both iconic personalities and quiet heroes. On sale now, browse hundreds of titles from history, sports, movies, music, science & technology, literature, military history, transportation and more. When you order direct from our website using the coupon code BIOGRAPHY, print editions of all biographies, autobiographies and memoirs are 20% off now through February 15.
This naval history of the Delaware Estuary spans three centuries, from the arrival of the Europeans to the end of the World War II. The author describes the shipbuilders and infrastructure, and the ships and men who sailed this surprisingly active waterway in peace and in war. From Philadelphia to the Delaware Capes, the story of the nascent U.S. Navy and key historical figures emerges. Dozens of historic images and four appendices are included.
Steam locomotives dominated the railways from the 1820s through the 1960s. Today almost all of them have been replaced with electric and diesel engines, yet the fascination surrounding steam-powered trains has not dwindled. A diverse community of enthusiasts—from mechanics to teachers to lawyers—have taken up the hobby of building and running steam locomotives in their own backyards.
Drawing on the author’s extensive experience and research, this guide covers the materials, tools, skills and technical information needed to get started or to improve an existing design.
Captain Ernie Blanchard left for work January 10, 1995, a successful officer. Respected by superiors and subordinates, his personal and professional values seemed perfectly aligned with the institution he served, the United States Coast Guard. By day’s end his career was finished.
At a speaking engagement at the Coast Guard Academy, Blanchard’s icebreaker—a series of time-tested corny jokes—was met with silence. Within hours, an investigation was underway into whether his remarks constituted sexual harassment. Several weeks later, threatened with a court-martial, he shot himself.
The author investigates Blanchard’s “death by political correctness” in the context of the turmoil surrounding the U.S. Armed Forces’ gender inclusion struggles from the 1980s to the present.
For President Lyndon Johnson, 1968 was a year of calamity, including the hijacking of the USS Puebloin international waters off North Korea. After a fierce attack by the North Korean Navy, the lightly armed spy ship was captured and its 83 crewmen taken hostage, imprisoned and tortured for nearly a year before being released.
How and why did the Navy, the National Security Agency and the Johnson administration place the Pueblo in such an untenable situation? What drove Kim Il-sung, North Korea’s autocrat, to gamble on hijacking a ship belonging to the world’s most powerful nation?
Drawing on extensive research, including summaries of White House meetings and conversations, the author answers these questions and reviews the events and flawed decisions that led to Pueblo’s capture.
Mid-flight noncombat mishaps and blunders occur frequently in the USAF during training and utility flights—sometimes with the loss of life and regularly with the destruction of expensive aircraft. In one extreme case, a $2.2 billion B-2 Spirit bomber crashed soon after takeoff and was destroyed.
The events surrounding such accidents are gathered by USAF investigators and a report is published for each case. The author has collected these reports, including some made available following FOI (Freedom of Information) requests to U.S. air bases, and rewritten them in language accessible to the general public.
The causes—bird-strikes, joy-riding, unauthorized maneuvers, pilot disorientation, an unseen binoculars-case blocking the plane’s joystick, unexpected moisture in an air-pressure gauge—are often surprising and, at times, horrifying.
The advent of mass railroad travel in the 1800s saw the extension of a system of global transport that developed various national styles of construction, operation, administration, and passenger experiences.
Drawing on travel narratives and a broad range of other contemporary sources, this history contrasts the railroad cultures of 19th century England and America, with a focus on the differing social structures and value systems of each nation, and how the railroad fit into the wider industrial landscape.
Beginning in 1881, isolated prototypes of electric tricycles and bicycles were patented and sometimes tested. Limited editions followed in the 1940s, but it was not until the lithium-ion battery became available in the first decade of this century that urban pedelecs and more powerful open-road motorcycles—sometimes with speeds of over 200 mph—became possible and increasingly popular.
Today’s ever-growing fleets of one-wheel, two-wheel and three-wheel light electric vehicles can now be counted in the hundreds of millions. In this third installment of his electric transport history series, the author covers the lives of the innovative engineers who have developed these e-wheelers.
Robert Lovett grew up in Texas, went to Yale, and earned his wings as a naval air force hero in World War I. He played a key role in the development of the Army Air Force in World War II. His emphasis on strategic bombing was instrumental in defeating Hitler’s Germany.
During his postwar State Department service, he was influential in initiating the Marshall Plan, the formation of NATO and planning the Berlin Airlift. He served as Truman’s Secretary of Defense during the Korean War, was a consultant for his friend Dwight Eisenhower and served John F. Kennedy during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Between tours of duty in Washington, he was an international banker on Wall Street. This first complete biography covers his life and career in detail.
The holidays are a special time at McFarland—in addition to publishing scholarship, many of us also participate in the tree harvest, as Ashe County produces more Christmas trees than any other county in the United States. If you live in the Southeast, you may have a little bit of McFarland in your living room right now! This season, please consider putting some McFarlandunder the tree for the readers in your life. To make your holiday shopping easier, we’re offering 25% off of ALL books through the end of the year! On our website, use coupon code HOLIDAY18, or call us at 800-253-2187. For inspiration, browse our new catalog of of gift ideas for readers. Happy holidays from your friends at McFarland!
From 1861 to 1865, the American Civil War saw numerous technological innovations in warfare—chief among them was the ironclad warship. Based on the Official Records, biographical works, ship and operations histories, newspapers and other sources, this book chronicles the lives of 158 ironclad captains, North and South, who were charged with outfitting and commanding these then-revolutionary vessels in combat. Each biography includes (where known) birth and death information, pre- and post-war career, and details about ships served upon or commanded.
Abraham Lincoln’s presidency was bookended by a pair of dramatic railroad trips through the state of New York. His first term began with a pre-inaugural railway tour—his second ended with a funeral train. Each was a five-day crossing of the Empire State.
These two journeys allowed thousands of ordinary Americans first to celebrate, and later to mourn, the great president, and became indelibly etched in the memories of those who had the opportunity to stand along parade route.
Drawing on newspaper accounts, memoirs and diaries, this book brings to life the two epic and unique moments in both New York’s and the nation’s history.
Professional motorsports came to Las Vegas in the mid–1950s at a bankrupt horse track swarmed by gamblers—and soon became enmeshed with the government and organized crime. By 1965, the Vegas racing game moved from makeshift facilities to Stardust International Raceway, constructed with real grandstands, sanitary facilities and air-conditioned timing towers. Stardust would host the biggest racing names of the era—Mario Andretti, Parnelli Jones, John Surtees, Mark Donohue, Bobby Unser, Dan Gurney and Don Garlits among them.
Established by a notorious racketeer, the track stood at the confluence of shadowy elements—wiretaps, casino skimming, Howard Hughes, and the beginnings of Watergate. The author traces the Stardust’s colorful history through the auto racing monthlies, national newspapers, extensive interviews and the files of the FBI.
Attempts at electric powered flight date to well before the 19th century. Battery weight and low energy output made it impractical until the 1990s, when the advent of lightweight materials, more efficient solar power, improved engines and the Li-Po (lithium polymer) battery opened the skies to a wide variety of electric aircraft.
The author describes the diverse designs of modern electric flying machines—from tiny insect-styled drones to stratospheric airships—and explores developing trends, including flying cars and passenger airliners.
Now revised and updated, this book tells the story of how the automobile transformed American life and how automotive design and technology have changed over time. It details cars’ inception as a mechanical curiosity and later a plaything for the wealthy; racing and the promotion of the industry; Henry Ford and the advent of mass production; market competition during the 1920s; the development of roads and accompanying highway culture; the effects of the Great Depression and World War II; the automotive Golden Age of the 1950s; oil crises and the turbulent 1970s; the decline and then resurgence of the Big Three; and how American car culture has been represented in film, music and literature. Updated notes and a select bibliography serve as valuable resources to those interested in automotive history.
Some of you may share a guilty failing of our editors. When they receive proposals and manuscripts, while reading about almost any car–learning how it took shape, its quirks and qualities, how it changed over the production run–desire starts to sprout. Previously ignored vehicles (and even disliked vehicles) show their hidden appeal. On more than one occasion, an editor has looked at ads and undertaken calculations (financial, emotional, marital) for said cars.
If you’re the same, peruse our transportation catalog with caution! In addition to a broad range of books about automobiles, you’ll find offerings about aircraft, locomotives, bicycles, ships, military vehicles and transportation-related topics. When you order direct from our website using the coupon code TRANSPORT25, print editions of all transportation books are 25% off July 16 through July 31. Happy motoring and happy reading!
Incorporated by veteran automakers in 1913, the Chandler Motor Car Company was initially successful in a fiercely competitive industry, manufacturing an array of quality automobiles at a range of prices. Yet by the late 1920s the company was floundering under mismanagement. Producing four lines of cars with numerous body styles, Chandler and its lower-priced companion marque, Cleveland, were unable to find markets for their numerous models and seemed in effect to be competing against themselves.
Drawing on numerous automotive histories and two large private collections of memorabilia, this exhaustive study of the Chandler Motor Car Company covers the automobiles in detail, including all body styles, and their changes during production. The author chronicles the growth, expansion and later troubles of Chandler and Cleveland, providing fresh insight into the formative years of the auto industry and the personalities who made it go.
Since their introduction in 1964, American muscle cars have been closely associated with masculinity. In the 21st century, women have been a growing presence in the muscle car world, exhibiting classic cars at automotive events and rumbling to work in modern Mustangs, Camaros and Challengers.
Informed by the experiences of 88 female auto enthusiasts, this book highlights women’s admiration and passion for American muscle, and reveals how restoring, showing and driving classic and modern cars provides a means to challenge longstanding perceptions of women drivers and advance ideas of identity and gender equality.
In 1963, British inventor Alex Moulton (1920–2012) introduced an innovative compact bicycle. Architectural Review editor Reyner Banham predicted it would give rise to “a new class of cyclists,” young urbanites riding by choice, not necessity. Forced to sell his firm in 1967, Moulton returned in the 1980s with an even more radical model, the AM—his acclaim among technology and design historians is largely due to Banham’s writings.
The AM’s price tag (some models cost many thousands of dollars) has inspired tech-savvy cyclists to create “hot rod” compact bikes from Moulton-inspired “shopper” cycles of the 1970s—a trend also foreseen by Banham, who considered hot rod culture “folk art of the mechanical era.”
The author traces the intertwined lives of two unusually creative men who had an extraordinary impact on each others’ careers, despite having met only a few times.
After the attack on Pearl Harbor (December 7), American sailors of the Asiatic Fleet (where it was December 8) were abandoned by Washington and left to conduct a war on their own, isolated from the rest of the U.S. naval forces. Their fate in the Philippines and Dutch East Indies was often grim—many died aboard burning ships, were executed upon capture or spent years as prisoners of war.
Many books have been written about the ships of the U.S. Asiatic Fleet, yet few look into the experiences of the common sailor. Drawing on official reports, past research, personal memoirs and the writings of war correspondents, the author tells the story of those who never came home in 1945.
On December 22, 1853, a new steamship left New York on its maiden voyage. The San Francisco—perhaps the finest ocean-going vessel of its time—had been chartered by the U.S. Government to transport the Third Artillery to the Pacific Coast.
Two days out, the ship ran into one of the great hurricanes of maritime history. Sails and stacks were blown away, the engine was wrecked and scores of people were washed overboard, as the men frantically worked the pumps to keep afloat. A few days later, cholera broke out.
After two weeks adrift, the survivors were rescued by three ships. The nightmare wasn’t over. Two of the vessels, damaged by the storm, were no position to take on passengers. Provisions ran out. Fighting thirst, starvation, disease and mutiny, they barely made it back to land. Then came the aftermath—accusations, denials, revelations of government ineptitude and negligence, and a cover-up.
In 1962, a unique transport aircraft was built from the parts of 27 Boeing B-377 airliners to provide NASA a means of transporting rocket boosters. With an interior the size of a gymnasium, “The Pregnant Guppy” was the first of six enormous cargo planes built by Aero Spacelines and two built by Union de Transport Aeriens. More than half a century later, the last Super Guppy is still in active service with NASA and the design concept has been applied to next-generation transports.
This comprehensive history of expanded fuselage aircraft begins in the 1940s with the military’s need for a long-range transport. The author examines the development of competing designs by Boeing, Convair and Douglas, and the many challenges and catastrophic failures. Behind-the-scenes maneuvers of financiers, corporate raiders, mobsters and other nefarious characters provide an inside look at aviation development from the drawing board to the scrap yard.
James Claude Beasley was a typical American teenager in the 1940s—a child of the Great Depression with an abiding commitment to family and country. With the outbreak of World War II, he enlisted in the Navy at 18. His plainspoken, personal memoir recounts his three years of service (1942–1945), from his induction at Winston Salem, North Carolina, to the sinking of his ship, the escort carrier USS Liscome Bay, by a Japanese submarine, through the end of the conflict and his return to civilian life.
As the automotive world looks towards a future of electric vehicles, driverless technology and anonymous styling, what can be learned from the individuals who resist these trends and cling to their love of street rods and muscle cars? The hot rodding world still exists, but will it continue to hold a place in tomorrow’s automotive culture?
Gearhead and geographer David Miller has crisscrossed America in his custom built 1958 Chevy Apache pickup, interviewing hot rodders about what drives their passions, values and way of life. Their collected stories present a detailed portrait of modern hot rodding—a distinctly American subculture that survives by bucking the trends and attitudes that increasingly shape the transportation landscape.
In 1750 the Appalachian Mountains were a formidable barrier between the British colonies in the east and French territory in the west, passable only on foot or horseback. It took more than a century to break the mountain barrier and open the west to settlement.
In 1751 a private Virginia company pioneered a road from Maryland to Ohio, challenging the French and Indians for the Ohio country. Several wars stalled the road, which did not start in earnest until after Ohio became a state in 1803. The stone-paved Cumberland Road—from Cumberland, Maryland, to Wheeling, Virginia—was complete by 1818 and over the next 30 years was traversed by Conestoga wagons and stagecoaches. The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad—the first general purpose railroad in the world—started in Baltimore in the 1820s and reached Wheeling by 1852, uniting east and west.
From the earliest “velocipedes” through the advent of the pneumatic tire to the rise of modern road and track competition, this history of the sport of bicycle racing traces its role in the development of bicycle technology between 1868 and 1903.
Providing detailed technical information along with biographies of racers and other important personalities, the book explores this thirty-year period of early bicycle history as the social and technical precursor to later developments in the motorcycle and automobile industries.
In 1893, Indianapolis carriage maker Charles Black created a rudimentary car—perhaps the first designed and built in America. Within 15 years, Indianapolis was a major automobile industry center rivaling Detroit, and known for quality manufacturing and innovation—the aluminum engine, disc brakes, aerodynamics, superchargers, and the rear view mirror were first developed there. When the Indianapolis Motor Speedway opened in 1909, hometown manufacturers dominated the track—Marmon, Stutz and Duesenberg. The author covers their histories, along with less well known contributors to the industry, including National, American, Premier, Marion, Cole, Empire, LaFayette, Knight-Lyons and Hassler.
Covering the history of the U.S. Coast Guard from 1790—when it was called the U.S. Revenue Marine—through World War I, this book describes the service’s national defense missions, including actions during the War of 1812, clashes with pirates, slave ships and Seminole Indians, the Civil War and the Spanish-American War. During World War I the USCG supported U.S. Navy operations across the Atlantic, escorted merchant convoys and engaged in anti-submarine warfare. Original maps are included.
Gregory Cagle was a 10-year-old car fanatic when his family moved from New Jersey to Germany in 1956. For the next five years he photographed unusual, rare and sometimes bizarre automobiles throughout Europe. This book features 105 specimens of auto exotica, captured with Cagle’s Iloca Rapid-B 35mm camera—not showpieces in museums but daily drivers in their natural habitats. In the background can be glimpsed, here and there, the mood of postwar Europe. The story behind each photo is told, with dates and locations, information and history about the cars and some of their owners, along with Cagle’s personal anecdotes.
In the five months after Pearl Harbor, the Imperial Japanese Navy won a string of victories in a campaign to consolidate control of Southeast Asia and the South Pacific. In June of 1942, Japan suffered a devastating defeat at the Battle of Midway and was never again able to take the offensive in the Pacific.
Bringing fresh perspective to the battle and its consequences, the author identifies Japan’s operational plan as a major factor in its Navy’s demise and describes the profound effects Midway had on the course of the war in Europe.
In the final year of World War I, Germany made its first attempt to wage submarine warfare off faraway shores. Large, long-range U-boats (short for unterseeboot or “undersea boat”) attacked Allied shipping off the coasts of the U.S., Canada and West Africa in a desperate campaign to sidestep and scatter the lethal U-boat defenses in European waters.
Commissioned in 1917, U-156 raided commerce, transported captured cargo and terrorized coastal populations from Madeira to Cape Cod. In July 1918, the USS San Diego was sunk as it headed into New York Harbor—the opening salvo in a month-long series of audacious attacks by U-156 along the North American coast. The author chronicles the campaign from the perspective of Imperial Germany for the first time in English.
The first African-American aircraft carrier commander, Rear Admiral Lawrence Cleveland Chambers (1929– ) played a prominent role as captain of the USS Midway during the Vietnam War. During the evacuation of Saigon—known as Operation Frequent Wind—he famously ordered several UH-1 helicopters pushed overboard to make room for an escaping South Vietnamese Air Force major to land his Cessna. Chambers, who had only commanded Midway for a few weeks, gave the order believing (wrongly) that he would be court-martialed for the $10 million loss. This biography covers his early life and military career, including his role in the desegregation of the U.S. Navy during a period racial strife.
Originally designed as a cargo and paratroop transport during World War II, the Fairchild C-82 Packet is today mainly remembered for its starring role in the Hollywood film The Flight of the Phoenix (1965). Its ungainly appearance earned it the nickname “the flying boxcar” but the aircraft was the first to achieve practical end-loading and aerial delivery of cargoes. Its outsized capacity served the U.S. military’s needs for more than ten years—civilian operators flew it in remote locations like Alaska and South America for a further three decades. This book provides a comprehensive history of the C-82, detailing each of the 224 aircraft built, with technical diagrams, multiple appendices and more than 200 photos.
Known as the Coastal Highway, U.S. Route 17 runs along the Eastern Seaboard from Punta Gorda, Florida, to Winchester, Virginia, passing many of the prime shrimping waters in the southern United States. Visiting remote ports-of-call cluttered with trawlers, and the many eateries along the route—some established, some obscure—the author explores the Lowcountry shrimping culture and presents a colorful profile of the “17-ers,” the eccentric lifetime residents of the highway corridor.
A century ago, horses were ubiquitous in America. They plowed the fields, transported people and goods within and between cities and herded livestock. About a million of them were shipped overseas to serve in World War I. Equine related industries employed vast numbers of stable workers, farriers, wainwrights, harness makers and teamsters. Cities were ringed with fodder-producing farmland, and five-story stables occupied prime real estate in Manhattan.
Then, in just a few decades, the horses vanished in a wave of emerging technologies. Those technologies fostered unprecedented economic growth, and with it a culture of recreation and leisure that opened a new place for the horse as an athletic teammate and social companion.
Electric propulsion for boats was developed in the early 19th century and—despite the advent of the internal combustion engine—continued with the perfecting of the modern turbo-electric ship. Sustainable and hybrid technologies, pioneered in small inland watercraft toward the end of the 20th century, have in recent years been scaled up to create integrated electric drives for the largest ocean-going vessels. This comprehensive history traces the birth and rebirth of the electric boat from 1835 to the present, celebrating the Golden Age of electric launches, 1880–1910.
Featuring 256 drawings, this history of military trains and railways from 1853 through 1953 describes how the railroad transformed the nature of warfare. Transport and logistics are discussed for armored trains, rail-borne artillery and armored combat vehicles, medical evacuation trains and draisines (light auxiliary vehicles such as handcars). The railroad’s role in establishing European colonial empires in Asia and Africa is examined. Conflicts covered include the Boer Wars, the American Civil War, the Austro-Prussian War, the Franco-Prussian War, the Russo-Turkish War, World War I, the Finnish Civil War, the Spanish Civil War, World War II and the French Indochina War.
At 2:38 p.m. today, McFarlanders will take a break to go outside and stare directly into the sun. Join us! In honor of the eclipse, take 20% off all books about the solar system with the coupon code ECLIPSE!
Sprint Car Hall of Famer Kramer Williamson began his 45–year professional career as a grassroots racer from Pennsylvania and became one of the most successful and beloved professional drivers of all time. Drawing on interviews with those who knew him best, this first ever biography of Williamson covers his life and career, from his humble beginnings racing the legendary #73 Pink Panther car in 1968 to his fatal crash during qualifying rounds at Lincoln Speedway in 2013.