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Our Holiday Sale Early Access Starts Now!

We get it: someone in your household wants to bring in a tree while another hasn’t put away the Halloween decorations yet. We suggest using this liminal time to get started with your holiday shopping (and reading). Many of our readers look forward to our traditional post–Thanksgiving holiday sale to fill their shelves, nightstands and gift bags. This year, instead of waiting around for Black Friday, we’re opening up early access to you, our loyal readers and followers, as a way of saying “thank you!” for celebrating with us all year round. From now through Cyber Monday, November 28, get a Santa–sized 40% off ALL titles with coupon code HOLIDAY22! Don’t delay, because when early access ends, the discount will drop to the standard 25%. Happy reading!

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Women’s Studies Sale and New Catalog

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.

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Newly Published: More Cadillac V-16s Lost and Found

New on our  bookshelf:

More Cadillac V-16s Lost and Found: 67 New Histories
Christopher W. Cummings

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.

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Newly Published: American Yachts in Naval Service

New on our bookshelf:

American Yachts in Naval Service: A History from the Colonial Era to World War II
Kenneth Howard Goldman

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.

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June Transportation Sale

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!

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Newly Published: The American Eagle Squadrons of the Royal Air Force

New on our bookshelf:

The American Eagle Squadrons of the Royal Air Force: Operational Records and Combat Reports, 1940–1942
Edited by Timothy S. Good

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.

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Newly Published: The Westford Knight and Henry Sinclair

New on our bookshelf:

The Westford Knight and Henry Sinclair: Evidence of a 14th Century Scottish Voyage to North America, 2d ed.
David Goudsward

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.

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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: Chasing the Bounty

New on our bookshelf:

Chasing the Bounty: The Voyages of the Pandora and Matavy
Edited by Donald A. Maxton

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.

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Newly Published: Taking Fire!

New on our bookshelf:

Taking Fire!: Memoir of an Aerial Scout in Vietnam
David L. Porter

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.

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Newly Published: The General Aviation Industry in America

New on our bookshelf:

The General Aviation Industry in America: A History, 2d ed.
Donald M. Pattillo

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.

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Newly Published: American Light Trucks and Utility Vehicles, 1967–1989

New on our bookshelf:

American Light Trucks and Utility Vehicles, 1967–1989: Every Model, Year by Year
J. “Kelly” Flory, Jr.

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.

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Newly Published: Deep Space Warfare

New on our bookshelf:

Deep Space Warfare: Military Strategy Beyond Orbit
John C. Wright

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.

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Newly Published: The USS Swordfish

New on our bookshelf:

The USS Swordfish: The World War II Patrols of the First American Submarine to Sink a Japanese Ship
George J. Billy

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.

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Newly Published: Arctic Mirage

New on our bookshelf:

Arctic Mirage: The 1913–1920 Expedition in Search of Crocker Land
Winton U. Solberg

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.

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Six New Titles Recommended in October Issue of Choice

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Newly Published: Early U.S. Navy Carrier Raids, February–April 1942

New on our bookshelf:

Early U.S. Navy Carrier Raids, February–April 1942: Five Operations That Tested a New Dimension of American Air Power
David Lee Russell

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.

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CONFERENCES: Upcoming MLA and PCA events

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

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


Cinema & Media Studies


Comics & Graphic Narratives


Literature

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McFarland 40th Anniversary Sale

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

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McFarland Turns 40

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

McFarland Publishers Now Forty Years Old
by Robert Franklin

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Newly Published: Marie Marvingt, Fiancée of Danger

New on our bookshelf:

Marie Marvingt, Fiancée of Danger: First Female Bomber Pilot, World-Class Athlete and Inventor of the Air Ambulance
Rosalie Maggio

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.

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Newly Published: Charles Clifton of Pierce-Arrow

New on our bookshelf:

Charles Clifton of Pierce-Arrow: A Sure Hand and a Fine Automobile
Roger J. Sherman

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.

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Two New Books Reviewed in March Issue of Choice

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

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

 

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Biographies and Memoirs Catalog and Sale

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

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Newly Published: America’s Anchor

New on our bookshelf:

America’s Anchor: A Naval History of the Delaware River and Bay, Cradle of the United States Navy
Kennard R. Wiggins, Jr.

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.

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Newly Published: The Backyard Railroader

New on our bookshelf:

The Backyard Railroader: Building and Operating a Miniature Steam Locomotive
Jeff Frost

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.

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Newly Published: Abandoned Shipmate

New on our bookshelf:

Abandoned Shipmate: The Destruction of Coast Guard Captain Ernie Blanchard
Ladson F. Mills, III

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.

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Newly Published: The Capture of the USS Pueblo

New on our bookshelf:

The Capture of the USS Pueblo: The Incident, the Aftermath and the Motives of North Korea
James Duermeyer

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.

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Newly Published: Flight Accidents in the 21st Century U.S. Air Force

New on our bookshelf:

Flight Accidents in the 21st Century U.S. Air Force: The Facts of 40 Non-Combat Events
Henry Bond

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.

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Newly Published: Diverging Tracks

New on our bookshelf:

Diverging Tracks: American Versus English Rail Travel in the 19th Century
Trevor K. Snowdon

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.

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Newly Published: Electric Motorcycles and Bicycles

New on our bookshelf:

Electric Motorcycles and Bicycles: A History Including Scooters, Tricycles, Segways and Monocycles
Kevin Desmond

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.

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Newly Published: Robert A. Lovett and the Development of American Air Power

New on our bookshelf:

Robert A. Lovett and the Development of American Air Power
David M. Jordan

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.

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Holiday 2018 Sale—Get 25% Off All Books!

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

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Four New Titles Reviewed in November Issue of Choice

Ultra-Large Aircraft, 1940–1970: The Development of Guppy and Expanded Fuselage Transports
“This work is an important contribution to the history of aviation and a fine treatment of these enormous, ungainly looking airplanes. A worthwhile read for all interested in transport aircraft and the history of aviation…recommended.”

Tiger Stadium: Essays and Memories of Detroit’s Historic Ballpark, 1912–2009
“The editors of this text do an excellent job…a richly informative and entertaining resource for sports history collection…recommended.”

Exploring Our Dreams: The Science and the Potential for Self-Discovery
“Written in an easy to read, conversational tone, this book is easily accessible to the general reader…recommended.”

Early Bicycles and the Quest for Speed: A History, 1868–1903, 2d ed.
“Highly detailed…richly illustrated…[illustrations] provide a fascinating view of the late 19th century.”

 

 

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Newly Published: The Automobile and American Life, 2d ed.

New on our bookshelf today:

The Automobile and American Life, 2d ed.
John Heitmann

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.

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July Transportation Sale: Get 25% off ALL Transportation Titles

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!
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Four New Titles Reviewed in Choice

Four new titles are reviewed in the July issue of Choice!

Scenes from an Automotive Wonderland: Remarkable Cars Spotted in Postwar Europe
“Any car spotter will enjoy this book, and may find a 26 horsepower favorite. The book is presented in a pleasant, easily readable format and contains a useful index and excellent bibliography… recommended.”

Women in the American Revolution
“effective… enriches the breadth of scholarship published on this topic… Wike’s multicultural net captures the multifaceted roles of women… recommended.”

The First 50 Super Bowls: How Football’s Championships Were Won
“This readable book will no doubt be enjoyed by his intended audience of football and sports fans… recommended.”

Henry Green: Havoc in the House of Fiction
“Nuanced… one leaves this study with a thorough knowledge of Green’s oeuvre and full insight into his mastery of high modernism… recommended.”

 

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Newly Published: The Chandler Automobile

New on our bookshelf today:

The Chandler Automobile: A History Including the Cleveland and Chandler-Cleveland Marques
James H. Lackey

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.

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Newly Published: Power Under Her Foot

New on our bookshelf today:

Power Under Her Foot: Women Enthusiasts of American Muscle Cars
Chris Lezotte

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.

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Newly Published: The Moulton Bicycle

New on our bookshelf today:

The Moulton Bicycle: A History of the Innovative Compact Design
Bruce D. Epperson

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.

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Newly Published: The Last Days of the United States Asiatic Fleet

New on our bookshelf today:

The Last Days of the United States Asiatic Fleet: The Fates of the Ships and Those Aboard, December 8, 1941–February 5, 1942
Greg H. Williams

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.

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Newly Published: The Wreck of the San Francisco

New on our bookshelf today:

The Wreck of the San Francisco: Disaster and Aftermath in the Great Hurricane of December 1853
John Stewart

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.

 

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Newly Published: Ultra-Large Aircraft, 1940–1970

New on our bookshelf today:

Ultra-Large Aircraft, 1940–1970: The Development of Guppy and Expanded Fuselage Transports
William Patrick Dean

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.

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Newly Published: “Get the hell off this ship!”

New on our bookshelf today:

“Get the hell off this ship!”: Memoir of a USS Liscome Bay Survivor in World War II
James Claude Beasley

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.

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Newly Published: The State of American Hot Rodding

New on our bookshelf today:

The State of American Hot Rodding: Interviews on the Craft and the Road Ahead
David Lawrence Miller

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.

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Ashe County: Where McFarland Resides

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Authors, customers, friends, and fans: if you’ve ever wondered what McF’s mountain town is like, have a look at this neat response about our area from a recent vacationer.  (A special nod, too, to our Boondocks friends who regularly support us in a number of ways.)  We love where we live!

 

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McFarland Celebrates 35 Years

mainofficeOn April 1st, 1979, founder Robert McFarland Franklin departed Plainfield, New Jersey, heading south in a Volkswagen bug towing a U-Haul.  With wife Cheryl behind the wheel, Robert began company operations on a yellow pad in his lap.

Thirty-five years ago, libraries provided almost the sole market (but a robust one!) for the heavily-researched books that McFarland made its specialty.  Over the decades, the company won ever-growing numbers of devoted readers who appreciated the care McFarland and its authors lavished on our books.  Our authors, a throng of thousands now, teach us something new every day.

We’re having an open house Friday, June 20, from noon until 5:00.  Join us for tours, conversation, punch, finger food, art and books.


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Celebrate 2014 with the best possible gift: books!

Our holiday sale ends today, Dec. 31st, so don’t delay!   Best wishes to all from your McFarland friends…happy reading!  Enjoy 20% off your order through today.  On the McFarland website, use coupon code HOLIDAY in the cart as you are checking out. Or, call toll-free 800-253-2187 (Mon-Fri 8:00am to 4:30pm Eastern Time). http://www.mcfarlandbooks.com/2013/11/holiday-sale/