McFarland & Co.
The Greeks who made us who we are; eighteen ancient philosophers, scientists, poets and others.
Soupios (political philosophy, Long Island U.) presents a series of short monographs on eighteen ancient figures of seminal importance to Western civilization and culture — particularly scientists, poets, and teachers. They focus on the context of their achievements in their own time and their legacy over time, stressing less the chronological unfolding of lives than their larger than life significance. Each figure is somewhat typecast, such as Homer "the founder of western humanism," Pythagoras "mystic mathematician," Thucydides the "true father of history," Alexander the Great "disseminator of Greek Culture." These are not exhaustive treatments, ranging from 5-20 pages, but make for good supplementary material for understanding broader trends in Western intellectual and cultural history. (Annotation ©2013 Book News Inc. Portland, OR)
Henry Frye; North Carolina's first African American chief justice.
Henry Frye, chief justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court, was the state's first African American to hold the position. In this career biography, journalist Covington uses Frye's story to reflect on a revolutionary time in the state, when Frye and his wife broke a number of color barriers by their involvement in the vanguard of political, social, and civic events and issues. The book is illustrated with b&w personal and news photos. (Annotation ©2013 Book News Inc. Portland, OR)
Herman "Baron" Lamm, the father of modern bank robbery.
While doing research on famed bank robber John Dillinger, this independent Bloomington, Indiana-based researcher/writerlearned of less well-known Herman "Baron" Lamm (1890-1930), whose crime tactics (e.g., rehearsing his holdups and only using late-model getaway cars) had influenced Dillinger's. Based on interviews with family members and archival records, Mittelshtaedt presents the first book-length study of the Midwest bandit in the context of 1920s America. "Baron" refers to Lamm's early service as a Prussian soldier. Includes photos, the trial transcript of fellow gang members, and a facsimile of his purported death certificate. (Annotation ©2013 Book News Inc. Portland, OR)
Innocent on the Bounty; the court-martial and pardon of midshipman Peter Heywood, in letters.
Between 1790 and 1792, Peter Heywood, a Royal Navy midshipman on the H.M.S. Bounty, was accused of mutiny but ultimately acquitted. During this time his sister Nessy worked to prevent his execution, and this collection includes their official letters to authorities, along with their substantial personal correspondence. This book is a transcription of the manuscript that can be found in the Newberry Library of Chicago. Du Rietz, former director of the Center for Bibliographic Studies in Uppsala, Sweden, provides a substantial introduction and textual postscript, along with three appendixes. (Annotation ©2013 Book News Inc. Portland, OR)
James F. Jaquess; scholar, soldier and private agent for President Lincoln.
This biography follows the first president of MacMurray College in Jacksonville, Illinois, who became one of Lincoln's personal agents during the Civil War. After the war ended, his fortunes took a turn for the worse: he was jailed as an abortionist, tried to make his way as a carpetbagger, and he was eventually jailed for investment fraud in England. On his return to Illinois in his old age, Jaquess regained the respect of those who knew him in his better days. The book is illustrated with b&w historical photos, political cartoons, and maps, plus contemporary photos of historical sites. The cover features a b&w historical photo in a color layout. Author Burnette is affiliated with the Prairie Council on Aging. (Annotation ©2013 Book News Inc. Portland, OR)
Janet Leigh; a biography.
Capua, author of many Hollywood film star biographies and correspondent for an Italian film magazine, provides a biography of American film legend Janet Leigh. The author follows the then Jeanette Helen Morrison from childhood to her entry into Hollywood film, and on to her marriage to film star Tony Curtis, and on through the remaining trajectory of her life. He also documents her consistently good-natured and honest attitude, her talent, and the lack of critical acclaim that hampered her career. (Annotation ©2013 Book News Inc. Portland, OR)
League Park; historic home of Cleveland baseball, 1891-1946.
This history charts the growth, decline, restoration, and rebirth of League Park baseball park from the 1960s to the present. The book includes appendices of teams that have called League Park home and box scores from memorable games. Krsolovic is a baseball coach and sports broadcaster. Fritz has published a previous book about sports history. (Annotation ©2013 Book News Inc. Portland, OR)
The Margaret Mitchell encyclopedia.
Davis (education, Converse College) presents an encyclopedia on writer Margaret Mitchell and her life, writings, legacy, and humanitarian work. She presents entries on people and organizations, events, places, her family, Gone With the Wind, films, actors, and other topics. Some b&w photos are incorporated. She includes recent information from archives and universities about Mitchell, aiming to supplement earlier biographies. (Annotation ©2013 Book News Inc. Portland, OR)
NFL head coaches; a biographical dictionary, 1920-2011.
According to Maxymuk (reference librarian, Rutgers U., New Jersey), 466 men have held the demanding and sometimes beleaguered position of head coach in the National Football League. Following introductory remarks on the coach's role, evolution of the NFL, and the top ten most influential head coaches, offensive assistants, and defensive assistants, the reference lists biographical entries from Frankie Albert of the San Francisco 49ers from 1956-58 to James Zorn of, most recently, the Seattle Seahawks from 2001-7. Includes statistics on their teams' wins, losses, and percentages; a section on pre-1933 coaches; rankings of the coaches; and bibliography. (Annotation ©2013 Book News Inc. Portland, OR)
North Carolina Civil War monuments; an illustrated history.
Butler, a physician and photographer who lives in North Carolina, presents photographs and descriptions of 109 Civil War monuments, memorials, and commemorations erected in North Carolina between 1865 and 1961. Presented chronologically, they include eight Union memorials (one honoring African American troops); all others are Confederate monuments. Cemetery monuments are included, but individual gravestones are omitted, and focus is on monuments honoring all members of a group and not individual people or events. (Annotation ©2013 Book News Inc. Portland, OR)
President Lincoln's recruiter; General Lorenzo Thomas and the United States Colored Troops in the Civil War.
Through his recruitment of blacks to fight on the Union side of the Civil War, General Lorenzo Thomas was instrumental in achieving the right for African Americans to serve in the military. Thomas was also temporary Secretary of War after the Civil War ended and played a role in stopping impeachment proceedings against President Andrew Johnson. This biography draws on letters and telegrams by Thomas, held in the National Archives and the Library of Congress, plus newspaper articles from the time period and firsthand reports by commanders. Almost 60 pages of appendices provide data on Thomas's early recruiting efforts, the Senate votes on impeachment, major battles fought by US Colored Troops, and African American recipients of the Medal of Honor. The book contains b&w historical photos. Eggleston is retired from the Army. (Annotation ©2013 Book News Inc. Portland, OR)
Punch and Judy in 19th century America; a history and biographical dictionary.
Howard (art, Morehead State U.) presents a history of the Punch and Judy puppet show in the US in the nineteenth century, from about 1800 to 1915, when the puppetry revival began. He draws on newspapers and public records of about 350 American Punch players to illustrate the numbers of professionals and amateurs involved and the role of the show in representing the attitudes and conditions of the period. He describes the history of Punch, the play, American shows, performers, influences from other countries, and offshoots, as well as the new importance of childhood at the time, puppet theater in general, and the show in outdoor spaces, museums, and at the circus. He then presents a biographical dictionary of players and figure makers. (Annotation ©2013 Book News Inc. Portland, OR)
The Queen of Sheba; legend, literature and lore.
Coulter-Harris (English language and literature, U. of Toledo) examines the religious and secular legends, literature, and lore surrounding the Queen of Sheba. She first looks at scriptural references to Sheba, especially the origins and genealogy of the name, its former tribal territories, and connections to Hebrew patriarchs such as Abraham, King Saul, and King David. She argues that Sheba was a special title given to female leaders in ancient history to show support for their genetic or spiritual association with the original gods of Sumer. She explores the literature and legends related to King Solomon and his trade negotiations with Sheba, his wealth and character, and existing trade partnerships and routes between ancient Israel and the ancient Sabaeans from the 12th century BC until the fourth century AD. She focuses on the cultures with the strongest associations with the Sheba-Solomon legends and also considers the influence of the Sheba legend and Hatshepsut's story on later legends in ancient literature and folklore that relate tales of goddesses and demigod women. The second half of the book explores ancient Arabian, Yemeni, Ethiopian, and Eritrean tales of the Queen of Sheba, from the Hebrew Bible, Talmud, Targum Sheni, and Midrash to The Book of the Cave of Treasures, and concludes with an analysis of whether Sheba was a divine princess, clues to her identity, and the real extent and location of her empire. (Annotation ©2013 Book News Inc. Portland, OR)
Rebellion as genre in the novels of Scott, Dickens and Stevenson.
Faktorovich, who has taught English at Middle Georgia College and Edinboro U. of Pennsylvania, examines the rebellion novel genre in nineteenth-century British literature through Sir Walter Scott's Waverly and Rob Roy, Charles Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities and Barnaby Rudge, and Robert Louis Stevenson's Kidnapped and The Young Chevalier. She analyzes their linguistic and structural formulas, how they used subversive tools to avoid censorship, and how they individualized the genre to suit their needs, in terms of Scott's Scottish nationalism, Dickens' socialist purpose, and Stevenson's radical aims. She also discusses the rebellion novel and its context and elements, the genre in terms of genre theory, its readers, her criteria for selection, and censorship, the publishing business, and subversion. (Annotation ©2013 Book News Inc. Portland, OR)
Remaking horror; Hollywood's new reliance on scares of old.
Due to substantial financial success, remakes of horror films accelerated after Gus Vans Sant's 1998 reworking of Alfred Hitchcock's original Psycho. This work, a version of the author's PhD dissertation completed in 2010, explores the subject in as scholarly as possible a form. Four chapters provide extensive focus on well-known films such as Halloween or A Nightmare on Elm Street, while another covers a variety of reworked movies. Perhaps most interesting, however, is a chapter providing interviews with six industry professionals who played roles in writing, acting and directing. Francis, Jr. (English and composition, Middle Tennessee State U.) closes the work with a remake catalog showing horror films from 1931 on which were later redone in the United States. (Annotation ©2013 Book News Inc. Portland, OR)
Robert Rossen; the films and politics of a blacklisted idealist.
All the King's Men (1949) and The Hustler (1961) are among the films of Hollywood screenwriter/director Rossen (1908-1966). In this extension of Communism in Hollywood: The Moral Paradoxes of Testimony, Silence, and Betrayal (2009), Casty, a cinema studies scholar, critiques Rossen's career and works in the context of his blacklisting in the McCarthy era for refusing to answer whether he had ever been a Communist, and subsequent removal from the blacklist in the 1950s for 'naming names' and disillusionment. Includes movie stills. (Annotation ©2013 Book News Inc. Portland, OR)
The Sister Fidelma mysteries; essays on the historical novels of Peter Tremayne.
Rielly (English, Saint Joseph's College of Maine) and Wooten (International Sister Fidelma Society) introduce Sister Fidelma as a 7th century Irish religious figure, lawyer, and crime investigator, who figures in the popular historical crime fiction of Peter Tremayne (pseudonym of Celtic scholar Peter Berresford Ellis). This collection of essays critically discuss the phenomenon of "Fidelmania," due at least in part to the works' historical/cultural setting in an era when women could be independent, the Celtic Church, the Druid tradition, Fidelma locations in Munster, Ireland, and the Irish language peppering the works. Includes an interview with Tremayne, and a bibliography of Sister Fidelma fiction. (Annotation ©2013 Book News Inc. Portland, OR)
Smallpox; a history.
Writers Kotar and Gessler recount the history of smallpox, its spread, effects, and the medical, political, and moral issues of combating the disease around the world. They draw on accounts of those who researched it, wrote about it, treated it, and saw loved ones suffer from it to describe its history, beginning with the first millennium BC and focusing on the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. They discuss inoculation; germ warfare; smallpox among Native Americans and colonists; the role of Cotton Mather in inoculation in America; Edward Jenner's vaccine; religious and other opposition to vaccination; compulsory vaccination; quarantines; home remedies; the disease and mortality in Europe, Canada, and other countries; misdiagnoses; transmission; and eradication. (Annotation ©2013 Book News Inc. Portland, OR)
Television series regulars of the fifties and sixties in interview. (reprint 1992)
Members of the baby boom generation who grew up watching (and may still be watching in reruns) such television series as I Dream of Jeannie, My Three Sons, Rowan & Martin's Laugh-in, and Mr. Ed, will appreciate this collection of entertaining interviews with 22 of their actors by film historian/journalist Kulzer. Includes TV stills, cast shots, and recent photos, and a bibliography. (Annotation ©2013 Book News Inc. Portland, OR)
Three bad men; John Ford, John Wayne, Ward Bond.
Part film history and part biography, this work explores the friendship, feuds, binges, and creativity between irascible film director John Ford and his actors, the charismatic John Wayne and the flamboyant Ward Bond. The narrative draws on letters from all three men, interviews with other members of the Ford Stock Company, and other memorabilia. The book is illustrated with b&w film stills, studio portraits, and on-set photos. Appendices list Ford films with Wayne and/or Bond and offer a complete Bond filmography and a list of Bond's TV appearances. Author Nollen has written other books on film history. (Annotation ©2013 Book News Inc. Portland, OR)