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Library Bookwatch

Volume 16, Number 9 September 2021 Home | LBW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Writing/Publishing Shelf Education Shelf
International Studies Shelf Biography Shelf American History Shelf
World History Shelf Civil War Shelf Historical Fiction Shelf
Literary Fiction Shelf Western Fiction Shelf Mystery/Suspense Shelf
Fantasy/SciFi Shelf Jobs/Career Shelf Cookbook Shelf
Railroading Shelf Theatre/Cinema Shelf Pets/Wildlife Shelf
Travel Shelf Architecture Shelf Science Shelf
Library CD Shelf Art Shelf Mythology Shelf
Sports Shelf Religion/Spirituality Shelf Language Studies Shelf
Political Science Shelf Military Shelf Holocaust Studies Shelf

Reviewer's Choice

Sunbelt Blues: The Failure of American Housing
Andrew Ross
Metropolitan Books
c/o Henry Holt and Company
9781250804228 $27.99 print / $14.99 Kindle

Synopsis: Today, a minimum-wage earner can afford a one-bedroom apartment in only 145 out of 3,143 counties in America. One of the very worst places in the United States to look for affordable housing is Osceola County, Florida.

Once the main approach to Disney World, where vacationers found lodging on their way to the Magic Kingdom, the fifteen-mile Route 192 corridor in Osceola has become a site of shocking contrasts. At one end, global investors snatch up foreclosed properties and park their capital in extravagant vacation homes for affluent visitors, eliminating the county's affordable housing in the process. At the other, underpaid tourist industry workers, displaced families, and disabled and elderly people subsisting on government checks cram themselves into dilapidated, roach-infested motels, or move into tent camps in the woods.

Through visceral, frontline reporting from the motels and encampments dotting central Florida, renowned social analyst Andrew Ross exposes the overlooked housing crisis sweeping America's suburbs and rural areas, where residents suffer ongoing trauma, poverty, and nihilism. As millions of renters face down evictions and foreclosures in the midst of the COVID-19 recession, Andrew Ross reveals how ineffective government planning, property market speculation, and poverty wages have combined to create this catastrophe. Urgent and incisive, Sunbelt Blues offers original insight into what is quickly becoming a full-blown national emergency.

Critique: Even though Sunbelt Blues: The Failure of American Housing especially focuses upon the housing crisis in Osceola, Florida (known for its proximity to Disney's Magic Kingdom), its eye-opening, up-close look at the housing crisis applies broadly to far too much of America. Here are real-life horror stories of working poor families staying week-to- week in bedbug-infested, live-in motels because their salaries are not high enough to afford both an apartment and food; people who live in wilderness tents and have to beware both wild animals and threats from other humans; and people who live in complexes that are bought up by private equity and left to deteriorate for lack of maintenance.

Why can a corporation buy up a property, collect all the rent, and assign any debts to a shell company that simply declares bankruptcy when fines are levied for building code violations or lack of repair? Why does the market push toward the construction of expensive vacation homes when so many of the full-time working local population endure homelessness or motel life? What can be done to make housing more affordable to ordinary, hardworking Americans? Sunbelt Blues examines the market forces and lax regulations that promulgate human suffering, and shows that treating housing as an investment rather than a basic human right has horrific, real-life consequences. Sunbelt Blues is highly recommended for public and college library collections, as well as the general public - since every human being needs a place to live! It should be noted for personal reading lists that Sunbelt Blues is also available in a Kindle edition ($14.99).

Editorial Note: Andrew Ross is a professor of social and cultural analysis at New York University and a social activist. A contributor to the New York Times, the Guardian, and the Nation, he is the author of many books, including The Celebration Chronicles, Bird on Fire: Lessons from the World's Least Sustainable City, and Nice Work if You Get It: Life and Labor in Precarious Times.

Treasured Lands
Q. T. Luong
Terra Galleria Press
9781733576000, $65.00, HC, 484pp

Synopsis: "Treasured Lands: A Photographic Odyssey Through America's National Parks" showcases an illustrative sampling of the millions of acres of protected wilderness and historical heritage in our country's 62 national parks, including the three (Gateway Arch, Indiana Dunes, White Sands) designated since the award-winning first edition was published in 2016.

Luong, who is featured in Ken Burns and Dayton Duncan's documentary The National Parks: America's Best Idea, is the most prolific photographer working in the national parks and the only one to have made large-format photographs in each of them. In an odyssey that spanned more than a quarter-century and 300 visits, Luong focused his lenses on iconic landscapes and rarely seen remote views, presenting his journey in this sumptuous array of more than 600 breathtaking images.

Accompanying the collection of scenic masterpieces is a guide that includes maps of each park, as well as extended captions that detail where and how the photographs were made. Designed to inspire visitors to connect with the parks and invite photographers to re-create these landscapes, the guide also provides anecdotal observations that give context to the pictures and convey the sheer scope of Luong's extraordinary odyssey.

Including a foreword by author and documentary filmmaker Dayton Duncan, "Treasured Lands" is a rich visual tour of the U.S. National Parks and an invaluable guide from a photographer who hiked-or paddled, dived, skied, snowshoed, and climbed-each park, shooting in all kinds of terrain, in all seasons, and at all times of day. QT Luong's timeless gallery of the nation's most revered landscapes beckons to nature lovers, armchair travelers, and photography enthusiasts alike, keeping America's natural wonders within reach.

Critique: QT Luong has updated and expanded the new second edition of his acclaimed national parks book by adding 28 more pages, 32 new locations, and revising all the maps -- making "Treasured Lands: A Photographic Odyssey Through America's National Parks" a truly extraordinary coffee table style (12.5 x 2 x 10 inches) compendium that is an impressively informative and visual delight the is an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, college, and university library Landscape Photography and National Park collections.

Editorial Note: QT Luong is a photographer and author known for being the first to photograph all 63 US National Parks in a large format. He is featured in the film The National Parks: America s Best Idea, and has been profiled in National Geographic Explorer, Outdoor Photographer, and Parks magazines. His photographs, which are the subject of four pictorial books, have appeared in Time, Life, Outside, Scientific American, GEO, numerous National Geographic publications, and hundreds of others worldwide. Luong's limited-edition prints are widely collected, and his ongoing traveling exhibition of large prints from all the national parks has shown in museums and galleries nationwide and abroad.

The Big Book of Facts
Terri Schlichenmeyer
Visible Ink Press
43311 Joy Rd., #414, Canton, MI 48187-2075
9781578597628, $49.95, PB, 400pp

Synopsis: Strange science facts! Hilarious history facts! Informative and Fun! A treat of science and history stories and trivia that will inform and entertain anyone curious about the world! A compendium compiled by Terri Schlichenmeyer, "The Big Book of Facts" is comprised of astonishing, amazing and surprising science and history facts, along with the little-known stories hidden inside bigger science and history events.

"The Big Book of Facts" is a fascinating tour through the human body, the environment, atomic physics, and technology, as well as social, political, and cultural history. An absorbing guide to history and science, "The Big Book of Facts" is a veritable feast of facts and compelling stories that recount the physics and science that control the universe and the revolutionary ideas, acts, and inventions that changed the world.

Engrossing, engaging, and enlightening, "The Big Book of Facts" is an impressively informative resource for discovering scientific principles, history-makers, and the fun oddities that make up our world. Wide-ranging and fact-filled with nearly 150 illustrations, this information-rich volume also includes a helpful bibliography and an extensive index for those scrambling for more information.

Critique: Exceptionally well organized and presented, "The Big Book of Facts" is a truly extraordinary and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, community, highschool, college, and university library Trivia and General Informational Reference collections -- and as a bar trivia contest resource! It should be noted for the personal reading lists of students and interested non-specialist general readers that "The Big Book of Facts" is also readily available in a paperback edition (9781578597208, $19.95), and in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.49).

The Modern Explorers
Edited by Robin Hanbury-Tenison and Robert Twigger
Thames & Hudson
9780500296325 $16.95 pbk

Synopsis: This book profiles forty modern explorers who have disproved the idea that there is nowhere left to discover. Some are experienced and celebrated worldwide, while others are just starting to make their mark.

The Modern Explorers delves into challenging and extraordinary expeditions to the remotest parts of the world by explorers from the United States, Australia, China, France, and beyond. Nine thematic sections cover all terrains: Polar, Desert, Rainforest, Mountain, Ocean, River, Under Sea, Under Land, and Lost Worlds. Written mainly by the explorers themselves, these accounts provide unique insight into what it is like to join an expedition, from being dragged through the top of the rainforest canopy in an inflatable raft suspended from a balloon to pedaling a boat across the Pacific to standing on the edge of an erupting volcano.

Critique: The Modern Explorers: Epic Journeys to the Ends of the World profiles forty extraordinary explorers and the travels they undertook to the most remote parts of the Earth. Here are true-life stories about journeys to the far reaches of the poles, deserts, rainforests, oceans, caves, and more. 22 striking, full-color photographs round out this utterly fascinating browse, highly recommended for public library collections and an ultimate pick for armchair travelers!

The Writing/Publishing Shelf

Tips to Writers from a Book Publisher
John Schmidt
Path Publishing
9781891774959, $9.99, PB, 143pp

Synopsis: Comprised of hundreds of 'real world' practical tips based on and drawing directly from author/publisher John Schmidt's fifty years of experience and expertise, "Tips to Writers from a Book Publisher: Making Book Publishing a Fun Adventure" is no ordinary 'how to' compendium of 'tips, tricks & techniques'. Rather it is a impressively informative combination of instructional and instructive insights into writing, publishing, and getting published.

The subjects covered are as practical and they are informative, ranging from General Advice about the Publishing Business; Submissions; Marketing; and Self-Publishing; to Computers and Tech Support People; Encouraging Other Authors and Yourself; and an Appendix (Definitions of Poem Forms) -- along with so much more!.

Critique: Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "Tips to Writers from a Book Publisher: Making Book Publishing a Fun Adventure" is impressively 'reader friendly' in tone and commentary style -- making it an especially and unreservedly recommended reading for any and all aspiring writers and novice publishers -- as well as community, college, and university library Contemporary Writing/Publishing collections.

The Education Shelf

The Essential 25
Marilee Sprenger
1703 North Beauregard Street, Alexandria, VA 22311-1714
9781416630142, $31.95, PB, 202pp

Synopsis: Students may recognize the words determine, explain, and summarize in this standard, but would they understand and be able to apply these concepts? Students encounter these and other academic vocabulary words throughout their school years, but too often, they don't have a firm grasp of these words' meanings or what skills they require.

Enter vocabulary expert Marilee Sprenger, who in the pages of "The Essential 25: Teaching the Vocabulary That Makes or Breaks Student Understanding" has curated a list of 25 essential high-frequency words that students must know to be academically successful, especially on standardized tests, and be ready for college and career.

In this indispensable guide for all educators, she provides: Pre- and post-assessments to help you evaluate your students' understanding of the essential 25; A detailed entry for each word, including activities and strategies that will help students internalize the word's meaning and application; Retrieval games to help students practice the words in fun, engaging ways and reinforce the networks for those words in their brains; Downloadable blank templates for many of the strategies used throughout the book.

Every student needs to know and understand these words to perform at their best. If educators get behind this effort and make the essential 25 part of the fabric of their schools, students will be equipped to thrive in school and beyond.

Critique: Exceptionally and impressively well organized and presented, "The Essential 25: Teaching the Vocabulary That Makes or Breaks Student Understanding" is especially commended for school district, college, and university library Contemporary Education instructional reference collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of classroom instructors, student teachers, educational administrators, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "The Essential 25: Teaching the Vocabulary That Makes or Breaks Student Understanding" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $30.99).

Editorial Note: Marilee Sprenger is an international educational consultant in the fields of social-emotional learning, literacy, vocabulary, and brain research. She was a classroom teacher for 25 years, mainly at the middle school level. In 1992, she trained and traveled with author and brain-based-learning educator Eric Jensen and discovered her love for the brain. She has authored 13 books related to the brain, learning, and memory; written numerous articles; and developed DVDs, webinars, Quick Reference Guides, and online courses available through ASCD.

Microscopic Monsters and the Scientists Who Slay Them
Jason S. McIntosh
Prufrock Press
c/o Taylor & Francis Group
9781646320998, $45.00, PB, 125pp

Synopsis: The current COVID-19 pandemic has made children aware that is a germy world out there -- and students are naturally curious about this hidden world. "Microscopic Monsters and the Scientists Who Slay Them: Inquiry-Based Science Lessons for Advanced and Gifted Students in Grades 4-5" by Jason S. McIntosh (who is an experienced educator with 24 years in the field and is passionate advocate for gifted education), a 30-lesson interdisciplinary science unit.

"Microscopic Monsters and the Scientists Who Slay Them" is designed to teach high-ability fourth and fifth graders how to think like real-world epidemiologists; was designed using the research-based Integrated Curriculum Model.; features challenging problem-based learning tasks and engaging resources; includes detailed teacher instructions and suggestions for differentiation; and is winner of the National Association for Gifted Children's curriculum award.

In unit, students apply principles of epidemiology and microbiology to respond to a fictional epidemic and its effect on their town, all while building an understanding of the perseverance required to detect, track, and stop epidemics through the experiences of real-life epidemiologists and exploring career paths available in the diverse fields of medicine and microbiology. Suggestions and guidance are included on how teachers can adjust the rigor of learning tasks based on students' interests and needs.

Critique: Professional organized and exceptionally well presented, "Microscopic Monsters and the Scientists Who Slay Them: Inquiry-Based Science Lessons for Advanced and Gifted Students in Grades 4-5" a thoroughly 'user friendly' compendium ideal for curriculum planning -- making it an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to classroom teacher and school district Elementary School Science Class instructional reference collections.

Teaching with Clarity
Tony Frontier
9781416630074, $30.95 pbk / $22.49 Kindle

Synopsis: Feeling overwhelmed - constantly, on a daily basis - has unfortunately become the status quo among educators. But it doesn't have to be.

Schools need to stop adding more programs, strategies, activities, resources, projects, assessments, and meetings. Though they are often implemented with the best intentions, these things ultimately end up as clutter - that which inhibits our ability to help students learn.

Instead, teachers need more clarity, which emerges when we prioritize our efforts to do less with greater focus. This isn't simply a matter of teachers doing less. Rather, teachers need to be intentional and prioritize their efforts to develop deeper understanding among students.

In Teaching with Clarity, Tony Frontier focuses on three fundamental questions to help reduce curricular and organizational clutter in the interest of clarity and focus:

* What does it mean to understand?
* What is most important to understand?
* How do we prioritize our strategic effort to help students understand what is most important?

By prioritizing clear success criteria, intentional design, meaningful feedback, and a shared purpose, teachers can begin to clear away the curricular clutter that overwhelms the profession - and embrace the clarity that emerges.

Critique: Teaching with Clarity: How to Prioritize and Do Less So Students Understand More is a practical-minded guide written by an expert educator, for professionals in the field. The central message is that too many programs, strategies, activities, assessments, meetings and more distract attention and divide resources so much that students receive less benefit. Instead, Teaching with Clarity provides strategies for prioritizing the most important efforts, in order to better serve students. Chapters discuss how to formulate focused success criteria, gather meaningful feedback, and promote more responsive learning. " more developmental feedback than students can realistically use to improve simply overwhelms them with clutter. Don't ask students to immediately turn 'below basic' evidence into 'advanced' evidence; instead, guide them to take meaningful steps to move to the 'basic' level." Teaching with Clarity is a welcome supplementary resource for professional educators of all grade levels and college library Education shelves, highly recommended.

Editorial Note: Tony Frontier is an award-winning educator who works with teachers and school leaders nationally and internationally to help them prioritize efforts to improve student learning. With expertise in student engagement, evidence-based assessment, effective instruction, teacher reflection, data analysis, and strategic planning, Frontier emphasizes a systems approach to build capacity and empower teachers to improve each student's schooling experience. In addition to his work as an author and a consultant, Frontier serves as an associate professor of doctoral leadership studies at Cardinal Stritch University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where he teaches courses in curriculum development, organizational learning, research methods, and statistics. As a former classroom teacher in Milwaukee Public Schools, an associate high school principal, and the director of curriculum and instruction for the Whitefish Bay School District, Frontier brings a wealth of experience as a classroom teacher, building administrator, and central office administrator to his workshops, writing, and research.

The International Studies Shelf

New Perspectives on Middle East Politics: Economy, Society, and International Relations
Robert Mason, Editor
The American University in Cairo Press
9781617979903, $35.00 Paperback

Synopsis: This compelling volume examines important and cross-cutting themes in the study of contemporary Middle East and North African politics and international relations in the current climate. Drawing together contributions from scholars based within the region and beyond, it weaves together essential interdisciplinary, conceptually rich, and forward-looking content. Chapters cover population and youth, civil - military relations, soft power and geopolitical competition, regionalization and internationalization of conflict, the role of oil in reconstruction efforts, extra-regional actors, environmental politics, and specifically, the Israel-Palestine conflict. Students are supported with an extended and innovative glossary, including key concepts, actors and abbreviations. New Perspectives on Middle East Politics serves as an ideal primer and companion volume for scholars of contemporary Middle East Studies, as well as for policy professionals, journalists and the general reader engaging and re-engaging with the region.

Contributor affiliations:

Mohamed Abdelraouf, Gulf Research Centre, Jeddah, United Arab Emirates
Dina Arakji, Carnegie Middle East Center, Beirut, Lebanon
Eyad AlRefai, Lancaster University, Lancashire, England and King Abdulaziz University, Saudi Arabia
Philipp Casula, University of Basel, Switzerland
Ishac Diwan, Paris Sciences et Lettres and Ecole Normale Superieure, Paris, France
Seif Hendy, American University in Cairo, Egypt
Simon Mabon, Lancaster University, Lancashire, England
Robert Mason, Lancaster University, Lancashire, England
Neil Partrick, freelance consultant, UK

Critique: New Perspectives on Middle East Politics: Economy, Society, and International Relations is an anthology of erudite essays by expert authors discussing modern-day political issues affecting the volatile Middle East region. Individual writings include "The Regionalization and Internationalization of Conflict", "The Middle-Oil Country Curse of the Middle East", "The Fall and Rise of Extra-Regional Actors", "Environmental Politics in the Middle East" and much more. The expert-level writings, often supplemented with data and graphs from recent research offer invaluable insights for policy professionals, journalists, and any reader interested in a deep dive into the extreme complexities of the region. An index rounds out this thought-provoking collection. New Perspectives on Middle East Politics is especially and unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, governmental, college, and university library Contemporary Middle East Studies collections in general and supplemental curriculum reading lists in particular.

Editorial Note: Robert Mason is a Fellow of the Sectarianism, Proxies and De-sectarianisation project at Lancaster University and currently sits on the International Studies Association (ISA) Foreign Policy Analysis Section Executive Board. He was associate professor and director of the Middle East Studies Center at the American University in Cairo 2016-2019, Visiting Scholar in the Department of Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University in 2019, and Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Oxford in 2016. He is author or editor of numerous books, including Reassessing Order and Disorder in the Middle East: Regional Imbalance or Disintegration? (2017), Egypt and the Gulf: A Renewed Regional Policy Alliance (2016), Muslim Minority - State Relations: Violence, Integration and Policy (2016), International Politics of the Arab Spring: Popular Unrest and Foreign Policy (2014) and Foreign Policy in Iran and Saudi Arabia: Economics and Diplomacy in the Middle East (2014).

Chasing the Chinese Dream
William N. Brown
9789811606533, $59.99, HC, 247pp

Synopsis: "Chasing the Chinese Dream: Four Decades of Following China's War on Poverty" by William N. Brown explores the historical, cultural and philosophical contexts that have made anti-poverty the core of Chinese society since Liberation in 1949, and why poverty alleviation measures evolved from the simplistic aid of the 1950s to Xi Jinping's precision poverty alleviation and its goal of eliminating absolute poverty by 2020.

"Chasing the Chinese Dream" also addresses the implications of China's experience for other developing nations tackling not only poverty but such issues as pandemics, rampant urbanization and desertification exacerbated by global warming.

The first of three parts draws upon interviews of rural and urban Chinese from diverse backgrounds and local and national leaders. These interviews, conducted in even the remotest areas of the country, offer candid insights into the challenges that have forced China to continually evolve its programs to resolve even the most intractable cases of poverty.

The second part explores the historic, cultural and philosophical roots of old China's meritocratic government and how its ancient Chinese ethics have led to modern Chinese socialism's stance that "poverty amidst plenty is immoral".

Dr. Huang Chengwei, one of China's foremost anti-poverty experts, explains the challenges faced at each stage as China's anti-poverty measures evolved over 70 years to emphasize "enablement" over "aid" and to foster bottom-up initiative and entrepreneurialism, culminating in Xi Jinping's precision poverty alleviation.

"Chasing the Chinese Dream" also addresses why national economic development alone cannot reduce poverty; poverty alleviation programs must be people-centered, with measurable and accountable practices that reach even to household level, which China has done with its "First Secretary" program.

The third part explores the potential for adopting China's practices in other nations, including the potential for replicating China's successes in developing countries through such measures as the Belt and Road Initiative.

"Chasing the Chinese Dream" also addresses prevalent misperceptions about China's growing global presence and why other developing nations must address historic, systemic causes of poverty and inequity before they can undertake sustainable poverty alleviation measures of their own.

Critique: Exceptionally well organized and presented, "Chasing the Chinese Dream: Four Decades of Following China's War on Poverty" is an extraordinary, detailed, and comprehesnive study that is especially and unreservedly recommended for community, governmental, college, and university library Contemporary Chinese History, Culture, Political Science, and Economics collections and supplemental studies lists. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of students, academia, governmental foreign policy makers, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Chasing the Chinese Dream: Four Decades of Following China's War on Poverty" is also readily available in a paperback edition (9789811606564, $19.99).

Editorial Note: Dr. William N. Brown, at Xiamen University since 1988, is OneMBA academic director and professor of Leadership and Strategy. Fujian's first foreign PR, he has driven over 200,000 km around China exploring its development, co-written and hosted over 400 TV episodes and consulted with cities on urban and rural development. Honors have included China's "Friendship Award," "Honorary Citizen of Fujian" from then-governor Xi Jinping, "Top Ten Educator 1954-2014" and "CCTV's Moving China 2019" award.

Greater: Britain After the Storm
Penny Mordaunt, author
Chris Lewis, author
Biteback Publishing
9781785906091, $29.95, HC, 352pp

Synopsis: Is the Britain of 2021 a nation hopelessly divided? Stuck in outmoded political convention and economically outclassed on the world stage? Penny Morduant and Chris Lewis don't think so. And neither should anyone else.

"Greater: Britain After the Storm" is ground-breaking polemic in which they argue that Britain is a country with still plenty to offer to ourselves and the world- a unique culture and history with endless economic opportunity and an unstoppable drive for innovation. It is an indispensable guide to the post-Brexit future for business, government and everything in between by two individuals with an unmatched experience of both.

Featuring a foreword by Elton John, "Greater: Britain After the Storm" is a manifesto for hope and optimism, a guide for the future in times that are not nearly as troubled and crisis ridden as many would have us believe. Delving insightfully into our culture, our business practices and political conventions, they demonstrate that Brexit is far from a disaster. It is a critically important opportunity for positive reform and preserving the values that can and will bring us together into a brighter future for all.

Critique: Informed and informative, thoughtful and thought provoking, "Greater: Britain After the Storm" provides an undeniably erudite and reasoned perspectives on Great Britain's recent separation from the European Union. While especially and unreservedly recommended for community, college, and university library Contemporary International Studies collections in general, and Brexit supplemental curriculum lists in particular, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of students, academia, corporate executives, governmental policy makers, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Greater: Britain After the Storm" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $7.99).

Editorial Note: Penny Mordaunt is a former UK Secretary of State for Defence. She was the first female to hold this post. She has been the British Member of Parliament for Portsmouth North since 2010. She served as Minister for Women and Equalities from 2018 to 2019 and Secretary of State for International Development from 2017 to 2019. During 2017 to 2019 she was the UK Governor of the World Bank. She has achieved global impact through her work on disability reforms and in cleaning up the aid sector after the Oxfam scandal.

Chris Lewis is a writer, entrepreneur and political adviser. He is the author of Too Fast to Think: How to Maintain Your Creativity in a Hyper-Connected Work Culture (KoganPage, 2016) and The Leadership Lab: Understanding Leadership in the 21st Century (KoganPage, 2018), which won Business Book of the Year and Leadership Book of the Year 2019.

The Biography Shelf

Duty, Honor, Country: The Life of Arthur MacArthur Jr.
A. K. Brackob
Vita Histria
c/o Histria Books
9781592110247, $29.99, HC, 200pp

Synopsis: On September 15, 1906 Arthur MacArthur Jr. became the twelfth man in the history of the United States Army to be awarded the rank of Lieutenant General, the highest rank in the Army up to that time. This great honor, which marked the culmination of MacArthur's brilliant military career, included him in the ranks of such outstanding American military leaders as George Washington, Ulysses S. Grant, and William Tecumseh Sherman, all of whom had previously held this rank. This bespeaks of the importance of Arthur MacArthur as a figure in American history, yet invariably when the name MacArthur is mentioned today it is almost immediately associated with his son Douglas. Arthur MacArthur is, however, equally deserving of recognition as a great military leader.

"Duty, Honor, Country: The Life of Arthur MacArthur Jr." by A. K. Brackob is an impressively detailed biography that is based on extensive archival research, revealing the remarkable career of this great patriot and his contribution to American history. This is all the more important because, to fully understand the career of his famous son, Douglas, who had such a profound impact on the military history of the United States in the twentieth century, it is essential to study the life and career of Arthur MacArthur Jr who began his military career as a mere boy fighting for the 23rd Wisconsin infantry regiment during the Civil War.

It should be noted that General Douglas MacArthur was himself conscious of the profound influence his father had upon his life. Douglas once said, "Of all men I have known my father was the one I most respected and admired."

Critique; An impressively detailed and exceptionally well crafted biography, "Duty, Honor, Country: The Life of Arthur MacArthur Jr." is an extraordinary and highly recommended addition to community, college, and university library American Military History & Biography collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of students, academia, military buffs, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Duty, Honor, Country: The Life of Arthur MacArthur Jr." is also readily available in a paperback edition (9781592111169, $19.99).

Editorial Note: A.K. Brackob has a Ph.D. in history from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is a specialist on the history of southeastern Europe during the Middle Ages and author of "Mircea the Old: Father of Wallachia, Grandfather of Dracula".

Jim Bridger: Trailblazer of the American West
Jerry Enzler
University of Oklahoma Press
2800 Venture Drive, Norman, OK 73069
9780806168630, $29.95, HC, 384pp

Synopsis: iconic frontiersmen, Jim Bridger as what was known as a 'mountain man' of the American West, straddling the fur trade era and the age of exploration, he lived the life legends are made of. His adventures are fit for remaking into the tall tales Bridger himself liked to tell. "Jim Bridger: Trailblazer of the American West" by Jerry Enzler is a definitive biography that finally gives this outsize character his due, taking this frontiersman's full measure for the first time -- and tells a story that would do Jim Bridger proud.

Born in 1804 and orphaned at thirteen, Bridger made his first western foray in 1822, traveling up the Missouri River with Mike Fink and a hundred enterprising young men to trap beaver. At twenty he "discovered" the Great Salt Lake. At twenty-one he was the first to paddle the Bighorn River's Bad Pass. At twenty-two he explored the wonders of Yellowstone. In the following years, he led trapping brigades into Blackfeet territory; guided expeditions of Smithsonian scientists, topographical engineers, and army leaders; and, though he could neither read nor write, mapped the tribal boundaries for the Great Indian Treaty of 1851. Enzler charts Bridger's path from the fort he built on the Oregon Trail to the route he blazed for Montana gold miners to avert war with Red Cloud and his Lakota coalition. Along the way he married into the Flathead, Ute, and Shoshone tribes and produced seven children.

Tapping sources uncovered in the six decades since the last documented Bridger biography, Enzler's book fully conveys the drama and details of the larger-than-life history of the "King of the Mountain Men."

Critique: The result of painstakingly exhaustive research and written with the narrative flair of a novelist, Jerry Enzler's biography of Jim Bridger is an extraordinary work of impeccable scholarship. Exceptionally well organized and presented, enhanced with the inclusion of thirty-six pages of Notes, a sixteen page Bibliography, and a sixteen page Index, "Jim Bridger: Trailblazer of the American West" is unreservedly recommended, especially for community, college, and university library American Biography collections, it should be noted for students, academia, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Jim Bridger: Trailblazer of the American West" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $17.99).

Editorial Note: Jerry Enzler served as founding director of the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium for thirty-seven years. He has written and curated national exhibitions and films and has published historical articles on Jim Bridger, river history, and other topics.

George Armstrong Custer: A Military Life
Sandy Barnard
South Dakota Historical Society Press
9781941813232, $29.95 Hardcover

Synopsis: On 25 June 1876, a combined force of Lakotas and Northern Cheyennes defeated the troops of the Seventh United States Cavalry Regiment on the bluffs overlooking the Little Big Horn River in Montana. This disaster for the United States Army resulted in the deaths of 267 cavalrymen, including their famed commander, Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer. Since his demise at the Battle of the Little Big Horn, Custer has been a symbol for the federal government's bloody conquest of the Great Plains. Custer's military career, however, went beyond the Indian wars of the 1870s. In the Civil War, Custer made his name as a bold and aggressive cavalry commander. After 1865, he led troops during Reconstruction in the South and explored the Black Hills for the federal government in addition to his well\-documented conflicts with American Indians.

George Armstrong Custer: A Military Life explores Custer's life and highlights the complex nature of his experiences and legacy. Yet as Barnard makes clear, Custer was one of many army officers and soldiers who took part in these struggles. Still, Custer's role in the Indian wars of the late nineteenth century has turned him into a notorious figure. Barnard looks beyond the myths surrounding Custer to reveal the influence he had on the frontier army and the West in addition to his symbolic legacy.

Critique: George Armstrong Custer: A Military Life is a scholarly, military-history focused biography of George Armstrong Custer (1839-1876), one of America's most well-known (and infamous) cavalry commanders. Custer was a Union veteran of the Civil War, yet he is especially remembered for his ruthlessness in the Indian Wars, culminating in an attack upon a combined force of Lakotas and Northern Cheyennes that resulted in the disastrous Battle of the Little Bighorn, and Custer's own death. In recounting the events of history, George Armstrong Custer: A Military Life scrutinizes the complex forces at play, dissects myths, and examines the influence Custer had on the frontier army, and his legacy. George Armstrong Custer: A Military Life is highly recommended especially for public and college library military biography shelves, and for the personal reading lists of military historians.

Editorial Note: Sandy Barnard has written numerous publications on the history of the Civil War and Plains Indian Wars. He has especially focused on the life and legacy of George Armstrong Custer and the Seventh United States Cavalry in his writings. He has also worked as the editor of Greasy Grass, the annual magazine of the Custer Battlefield Historical & Museum Association, and on projects for the National Park Service at the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument.

Kwame Nkrumah: Visions of Liberation
Jeffrey S. Ahlman
Ohio University Press
9780821424520 $16.95 pbk / $7.99

Synopsis: A new biography of Ghana's Kwame Nkrumah, one of the most influential political figures in twentieth-century African history.

As the first prime minister and president of the West African state of Ghana, Kwame Nkrumah helped shape the global narrative of African decolonization. After leading Ghana to independence in 1957, Nkrumah articulated a political vision that aimed to free the country and the continent - politically, socially, economically, and culturally - from the vestiges of European colonial rule, laying the groundwork for a future in which Africans had a voice as equals on the international stage.

Nkrumah spent his childhood in the maturing Gold Coast colonial state. During the interwar and wartime periods he was studying in the United States. He emerged in the postwar era as one of the foremost activists behind the 1945 Manchester Pan-African Congress and the demand for an immediate end to colonial rule.

Jeffrey Ahlman's biography plots Nkrumah's life across several intersecting networks: colonial, postcolonial, diasporic, national, Cold War, and pan-African. In these contexts, Ahlman portrays Nkrumah not only as an influential political leader and thinker but also as a charismatic, dynamic, and complicated individual seeking to make sense of a world in transition.

Critique: Part of the "Ohio Short Histories of Africa" series, Kwame Nkrumah: Visions of Liberation is a biography of Kwame Nkrumah (1909-1972), the first Prime Minister and President of Ghana, and an open advocate of Pan-Africanism who believed that tribalism harmed the prosperity of African nations. He abruptly lost political power in the wake of a violent coup in 1966, and never regained it. Kwame Nkrumah: Visions of Liberation explores Kwame Nkrumah's political vision for an independent, post-colonial nation of Ghana and continent of Africa, as well as Nkrumah's contributions to history and his legacy. Thoroughly accessible to readers of all backgrounds, Kwame Nkrumah: Visions of Liberation is highly recommended especially for public and college Biography and World History collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that Kwame Nkrumah: Visions of Liberation is also available in a Kindle edition ($7.99).

Editorial Note: Jeffrey S. Ahlman is an associate professor of history and director of African studies at Smith College. He is the author of Living with Nkrumahism: Nation, State, and Pan-Africanism in Ghana (Ohio University Press, 2017) and coeditor of the journal Ghana Studies.

The American History Shelf

Women in the Workplace in America, 1900-2021
Angela L. Williams
Omnigraphics, Inc.
9780780819573, $69.00 print / $62.00 Kindle

Synopsis: Women in the Workplace in America, 1900-2021 is a resource guide that provides historical context and helps people and organizations better understand the challenges women have faced and continue to face in the American workplace, along with opportunities and recently discovered and developing success stories. The guide covers significant movements and events in women's history, from the Rosie the Riveter to the #metoo movement, highlights the professional strides women have made over the past century, and provides key links to support organizations to help readers identify, manage and navigate both the subtle and overt barriers that women face in professional settings. Current challenges are also covered, including a look at millennial women in the workplace, and a forward-looking trajectory that takes into consideration how Covid-19 has changed the economic landscape for women.

Women in the Workplace in America, 1900-2021 expands on the dominant narrative surrounding women's work and is designed to provide education and resources around women's experiences in the workplace. The guide aims to support interests in career pursuits and programs in Women's Studies, Diversity and Inclusion, American History, Cultural Studies and Social Science. Included in this important and timely title is information on relevant legislation, historical movements, discrimination cases, the 19th Amendment/women's right to vote, Rosie the Riveter, the Equal Rights Amendment, disparity in pay issues, feminism, women in traditionally male roles, sexual harassment in the workplace, the #metoo movement, and more. It emphasizes the importance of gender equity in the workplace and highlights the important work accomplished by women like pioneering engineer Edith Clarke, who helped build the Hoover Dam, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Gloria Steinem, Betty Friedan, Jane Fonda, Michelle Obama, Kamala Harris, Hedy Lamarr, and more.

Critique: Women in the Workplace in America, 1900-2021 is an in-depth history of American women in the workforce over the past century and more. Chapters address both the nuanced and blatant barriers that have affected the careers of working women, including disparate pay, workplace sexual harassment, and social resistance to women assuming traditionally male roles or professions. The effects of historical movements and court cases about discrimination, as well as feminism and the professional accomplishments of extraordinary women, are also presented. Women in the Workplace in America, 1900-2021 is highly recommended especially for public and college library American History or Reference collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that Women in the Workplace in America, 1900-2021 is also available in a Kindle edition ($62.00).

A History of the Chicago Portage
Benjamin Sells
Northwestern University Press
629 Noyes Street, Evanston, IL 60208
9780810143906, $21.95, PB, 256pp

Synopsis: "A History of the Chicago Portage: The Crossroads That Made Chicago and Helped Make America" by Benjamin Sells is an inherently fascinating and fully absorbing study that deftly explores the significance of the Chicago Portage, one of the most important (and neglected) sites in early US history.

The Chicago Portage is a seven-mile-long strip of marsh connecting the Chicago and Des Plaines Rivers. The portage was inhabited by the earliest indigenous people in the Midwest and served as a major trade route for Native American tribes. A link between the Mississippi River and the Atlantic Ocean, the Chicago Portage was a geopolitically significant resource that the French, British, and US governments jockeyed to control.

Later, it became a template for some of the most significant waterways created in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The portage gave Chicago its name and spurred the city's success -- and is the reason why the metropolis is located in Illinois, not Wisconsin!

Critique: The definitive, comprehensive, and compelling story of a national American landmark, "A History of the Chicago Portage: The Crossroads That Made Chicago and Helped Make America" is a unique, extraordinary, and unreservedly recommended addition to community, college, and university library American History collections and supplemental study curriculums. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of students, academia, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "A History of the Chicago Portage: The Crossroads That Made Chicago and Helped Make America" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $20.85).

Editorial Note: Benjamin Sells is also the author of the "The Tunnel under the Lake: The Engineering Marvel That Saved Chicago" which is also published by Northwestern University Press. His other books include "The Soul of the Law"; "The Essentials of Style: A Handbook for Seeing and Being Seen"; "Order in the Court: Crafting a More Just World in Lawless Times"; and "The Soul of Sailing".

The World History Shelf

Who's Who in the Age of Alexander and his Successors
Waldemar Heckel
Greenhill Books
c/o Casemate Publishers
1940 Lawrence Road, Havertown, PA 19083
9781784386481, $39.95, HC, 554pp

Synopsis: "Who's Who in the Age of Alexander and his Successors: From Chaironeia to Ipsos (338-301 BC)" by Canadian historian Waldemar Heckel is a unique compilation of more than one thousand concise biographies of those involved in the campaigns of Alexander the Great, and the struggle for power after his death. From leading commanders in Alexander's army to the nobles of the Persian Empire, and the many other individuals he encountered throughout his life and reign, these complete and balanced biographies are drawn from the literary and epigraphic sources of the age.

Originally published in 2006, this new and updated edition of "Who's Who in the Age of Alexander and his Successors" has been expanded and substantially revised to widen the human and political landscape in which Alexander moved. The only work of its kind, "Who's Who in the Age of Alexander and his Successors" is an essential guide to a fascinating and pivotal historical era, and to one of history's most successful military commanders.

Critique: Exhaustively researched, exceptionally well written, impressively organized and presented, "Who's Who in the Age of Alexander and his Successors: From Chaironeia to Ipsos (338-301 BC)" is an extraordinary history that will have exceptional value and interest for both academia and the non-specialist general reader with an interest in the subject. Of special note is the inclusion of a twenty-two page Bibliography and a five page Concordance. Simply stated, this truly unique compendium is unreservedly recommended for community, college, or university library Ancient History collections in general, and Alexander of Macedonia supplemental studies curriculum reference lists in particular.

Armies of the Thracians and Dacians, 500 BC to AD 150
Gabriele Esposito
Pen & Sword Books
c/o Casemate (US distribution)
9781526772749, $42.95, HC, 192pp

Synopsis: The Thracians were an Indo-European speaking people, who inhabited large parts of Eastern and Southeastern Europe in antiquity. The Thracians resided mainly in the Balkans, but were also located in Asia Minor and other locations in Eastern Europe.

The Thracians are mentioned as early as in the epic poems by Homer and were fundamental in the evolution of the Greek military systems across the ages. They fought in the Persian Wars, were part of Alexander the Great's army, were used as mercenaries in many Hellenistic armies and resisted Roman conquest for a long time. In addition, they used some iconic weapons and had a distinctive panoply.

The Dacians were a mix of different cultures and were extremely influenced by some steppe peoples like the Sarmatians. They had a lot in common with the Thracians but had a different history. They formed one of the largest and most powerful kingdoms of antiquity, being a sort of super-power that dominated over the Balkans. Their wars against Trajan and the Roman Army were absolutely epic, the last campaigns of conquest in the history of the Western Roman Empire.

"Armies of the Thracians and Dacians, 500 BC to AD 150: History, Organization and Equipment" by Garbirele Esposito contains a rich collection of photos specifically made for it by some excellent groups of reenactors.

Critique: An extraordinarily informative and impressively detailed history the is remarkable enhanced throughout with full color illustrations and photography, "Armies of the Thracians and Dacians, 500 BC to AD 150: History, Organization and Equipment" is an essential, core addition to community, college, and university library Military History collections in general, and Thracian/Dacian supplemental curriculums in particular. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of students, academia, military history buffs, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in Thracian/Dacian history that "Armies of the Thracians and Dacians, 500 BC to AD 150: History, Organization and Equipment" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $12.99).

Editorial Note: Gabriele Esposito is an Italian researcher and a long-time student of military history, whose interests and expertise range widely over various periods. He is the author of numerous books on armies and uniforms and is a regular contributor to many specialized magazines in Italy, France, Netherlands and UK. His many previous works include "Armies of Early Colonial North America 1607-1713", published by Pen & Sword in 2018.

Rome's Great Eastern War
Gareth C. Sampson
Pen & Sword Books
c/o Casemate (US distribution)
9781526762689, $34.95, HC, 320pp

Synopsis: Despite Rome's conquest of the Mediterranean, by the turn of the first century BC, it's influence barely stretched into the East. In the century since Rome's defeat of the Seleucid Empire in the 180s BC, the East was dominated by the rise of new empires: Parthia, Armenia and Pontus, each vying to recreate the glories of the Persian Empire. By the 80s BC, the Pontic Empire of Mithridates had grown so bold that it invaded and annexed the whole of Rome's eastern empire and occupied Greece itself. As Rome emerged from the devastating effects of the First Civil War, a new breed of general emerged, eager to re-assert Roman military dominance and carve out a fresh empire in the east, treading in the footsteps of Alexander. "Rome's Great Eastern War: Lucullus, Pompey and the Conquest of the East, 74 - 62 BC" by academician and historian Gareth C. Sampson analyses the military campaigns and battles between a revitalized Rome and the various powers of the eastern Mediterranean hinterland, which ultimately heralded a new phase in Roman imperial expansion and reshaped the ancient East.

Critique: Enhanced with the inclusion of four Appendices, fourteen pages of Notes, an eleven page Bibliography, and a five page Index, "Rome's Great Eastern War: Lucullus, Pompey and the Conquest of the East, 74 - 62 BC" is an extraordinarily detailed and exceptionally well written military history that must be considered an essential and core addition to community, college, and university library Roman Military History collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists. Of special note is that "Rome's Great Eastern War: Lucullus, Pompey and the Conquest of the East, 74 - 62 BC" is also readily available for students, academia, military history buffs, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Rome's Great Eastern War: Lucullus, Pompey and the Conquest of the East, 74 - 62 BC" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $16.99).

Editorial Note: Historian Gareth C Sampson gained his PhD from the University of Manchester, where he taught history for a number of years. His previous books, The Defeat of Rome (2008), The Crisis of Rome (2010), The Collapse of Rome (2013), Rome Spreads Her Wings (2016) and Rome, Blood and Politics (2017) were also published by Pen & Sword.

Military History of Late Rome 518-565
Ilkka Syvanne
Pen & Sword Books
c/o Casemate (US distribution)
9781473895287, $52.95, HC, 464pp

Synopsis: The fourth volume in historian Ilkka Syvanne's series on Roman military history, "The Military History of Late Rome 518-565" provides a new, fresh analysis of the revival of Roman fortunes during the reigns of Justin I (518-527) and Justinian I (527-565). This historical study narrates in great detail the re-conquests of North Africa, Italy and southern Spain by Justinian's armies. It also explores the massive encounters between the Romans and Persians in the east, and the apocalyptic fights in the Balkans between the Romans and barbarians.

Professor Syvanne pays particular attention to the tactics and battles so there is detailed analysis of all of the period engagements, such as Dara, Satala, Callinicum, Ad Decimum, Tricamarum, Rome, Scalae Veteres, Antonia Castra, Gallica, Campi Catonis, Hippis River, Busta Gallorum, Mons Lactarius, Casilinum, Archaeopolis, Phasis, and others. The narrative features the military exploits of the great Roman heroes, such as Belisarius and Narses, while not forgetting the many other overlooked generals such as Germanus, Mundus, John the nephew of Vitalian, Martinus, Dagistheus and Sittas, not to mention the dashing hero John Troglita whose achievements were immortalized by the Roman epic poet Corippus.

Critique: Enhanced with the inclusion of Plates, Maps, an Appendix (De scientia politica dialogues), nineteen pages of Notes, a five page Bibliography, and a twenty-six page Index, "Military History of Late Rome 518-565" is a well crafted, exhaustively researched, deftly organized and presented study which must be considered a core and essential addition to all community, college, and university library Roman Military History collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists. It should also be noted for the benefit of students, academia, Roman history buffs, and Military History enthusiasts that "Military History of Late Rome 518-565" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $32.99).

Editorial Note: Dr. Ilkka Syvanne gained his doctorate in history in 2004 from the University of Tampere in his native Finland. Since then he has written extensively about ancient and medieval warfare and his publications include: 'The Age of Hippotoxotai, Art of War in Roman Military Revival and Disaster 491-636' (Tampere UP 2004), 'The Reign of Gallienus' (Pen & Sword, 2019), the multivolume 'Military History of Late Rome' published by Pen & Sword and the critically acclaimed Caracalla. He is the co-author with Professor Katarzyna Maksymiuk of the 'Military History of Third Century Iran' (Siedlce UP, 2018) and the 'Military History of Fifth Century Iran' (Siedlce UP, 2019). He was Vice Chairman of the Finnish Society for Byzantine Studies from 2007 until 2016. He has been an Affiliated Professor of the University of Haifa since 2016.

The Civil War Shelf

The Summer of '63 Gettysburg
Chris Mackowski, editor
Dan Welch, editor
Savas Beatie
PO Box 4527, El Dorado Hills, CA 95762
9781611215717, $29.95, HC, 264pp

Synopsis: Gettysburg, the largest land battle on the North American continent, has maintained an unshakable grip on the American imagination. Building on momentum from a string of victories that stretched back into the summer of 1862, Robert E. Lee launched his Confederate Army of Northern Virginia on an invasion of the North meant to shake Union resolve and fundamentally shift the dynamic of the war. His counterpart with the Federal Army of the Potomac, George Meade, elevated to command just days before the fighting, found himself defending his home state in a high-stakes battle that could have put Confederates at the very gates of the nation's capital.

The public historians writing for the popular Emerging Civil War blog, speaking on its podcast, or delivering talks at the annual Emerging Civil War Symposium at Stevenson Ridge in Virginia always present their work in ways that engage and animate audiences. Their efforts entertain, challenge, and sometimes provoke readers with fresh perspectives and insights born from years of working at battlefields, guiding tours, presenting talks, and writing for the wider Civil War community.

Expertly compiled by the editorial team of Chis Mackowski and Dan Welch, "The Summer of '63: Gettysburg: Favorite Stories and Fresh Perspectives from the Historians at Emerging Civil War" is a compilation of some of their favorites, anthologized, revised, and updated, together with several original pieces. Each entry includes original and helpful illustrations.

This critically important study, when read with its companion volume "The Summer of '63: Vicksburg and Tullahoma", contextualizes the major 1863 campaigns in what arguably was Civil War's turning-point summer.

Critique: Comprised of thirteen erudite and informative essays, "The Summer of '63: Gettysburg: Favorite Stories and Fresh Perspectives from the Historians at Emerging Civil War" will prove a welcome addition to personal, professional, community, college, and university library American Civil War collections and supplemental studies curriculums. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of students, academia, Civil War buffs, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "The Summer of '63: Gettysburg: Favorite Stories and Fresh Perspectives from the Historians at Emerging Civil War" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $13.49).

Editorial Note: Chris Mackowski, Ph.D., is the editor-in-chief and co-founder of the online resource Emerging Civil War. A writing professor in the Jandoli School of Communication at St. Bonaventure University in Allegany, NY, Chris is also historian-in-residence at Stevenson Ridge, a historic property on the Spotsylvania battlefield in central Virginia. The series editor of the award-winning Emerging Civil War Series, he has authored or co-authored a dozen books on the Civil War, and his articles have appeared in major Civil War magazines.

Dan Welch is currently a primary and secondary educator with a public school district in northeast Ohio. Previously, he was the Education Programs Coordinator for the Gettysburg Foundation, the non-profit partner of Gettysburg National Military Park. Dan continues to serve as a seasonal Park Ranger at Gettysburg National Military Park. He has received his BA in Instrumental Music Education from Youngstown State University and a MA in Military History with a Civil War Era concentration at American Military University.

Grant's Left Hook
Sean Michael Chick
Savas Beatie
9781611214383 $14.95 pbk / $8.49 Kindle

Synopsis: Robert E. Lee feared the day the Union army would return up the James River and invest the Confederate capital of Richmond. In the spring of 1864, Ulysses Grant, looking for a way to weaken Lee, was about to exploit the Confederate commander's greatest fear and weakness. After two years of futile offensives in Virginia, the Union commander set the stage for a campaign that could decide the war.

Grant sent the 38,000-man Army of The James to Bermuda Hundred, to threaten and possibly take Richmond, or at least pin down troops that could reinforce Lee. Jefferson Davis, in desperate need of a capable commander, turned to the Confederacy's first hero: Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard. Butler's 1862 occupation of New Orleans had infuriated the South, but no one more than Beauregard, a New Orleans native.

This campaign would be personal. In the hot weeks of May 1864, Butler and Beauregard fought a series of skirmishes and battles to decide the fate of Richmond and Lee's army.

Historian Sean Michael Chick analyzes and explains the plans, events, and repercussions of the Bermuda Hundred Campaign in Grant's Left Hook: The Bermuda Hundred Campaign, May 5-June 7, 1864. The book contains hundreds of photographs, new maps, and a fresh consideration of Grant's Virginia strategy and the generalship of Butler and Beauregard. The book is also filled with anecdotes and impressions from the rank and file who wore blue and gray.

Critique: Part of the Emerging of Civil War series, Grant's Left Hook: The Bermuda Hundred Campaign May 5-June7, 1864 is a scholarly, in-depth study of the Bermuda Hundred campaign, a series of battles fought at the town of Bermuda Hundred near Richmond, Virginia. The Union had superior numbers commanded by Major General Benjamin Butler, but the smaller Confederate forces commanded by General P.G.T. Beauregard used advantages in the terrain to completely halt the Union's advance. A wealth of black-and-white photographs intersperse the extensively researched text, peppered with anecdotes and impressions from rank and file soldiers of the era. Grant's Left Hook is a choice pick especially for public and college library Civil War shelves, highly recommended. It should be noted for personal reading lists that Grant's Left Hook is also available in a Kindle edition ($8.49).

Editorial Note: Sean Michael Chick is a New Orleans native and tour guide who gives one of the only guided tours of the French Quarter concentrating on the American Civil War and slavery. He also volunteers at the Historic New Orleans Collection, writes for NOLA Defender (, and contributes to Emerging Civil War ( His first book was The Battle of Petersburg, June 15-18, 1864.

The Boy Generals
Adolfo Ovies
Savas Beatie
PO Box 4527, El Dorado Hills, CA 95762
9781611215359, $34.95, HC, 480pp

Synopsis: "The Boy Generals: George Custer, Wesley Merritt, and the Cavalry of the Army of the Potomac" by Adolfo Ovies is the first installment in a remarkable trilogy to examine the strategy, tactics, and relationships of the leading Union army's mounted arm and their influence on the course of the Civil War in the Eastern Theater.

George Armstrong Custer's career has attracted its fair share of coverage, but most Custer-related studies focus on his decision-making and actions to the exclusion of other important factors, including his relationships with his fellow officers. Custer developed his tactical philosophy within the politically ridden atmosphere of the Army of the Potomac's Cavalry Corps. His relationship with his immediate superior, Wesley Merritt, was so acrimonious that even Custer's wife Libbie described him as her husband's "enemy."

"The Boy Generals" examines in detail the steadily deteriorating relationship of two cavalrymen with opposing tactical philosophies, and how this relationship affected events in the field. Custer was a hussar (a firm believer in the shock power of the mounted saber charge) while Merritt was a dragoon, his tactics rooted in the belief that the purpose of the horse was to transport the trooper to the battlefield, where he could fight dismounted with his carbine. With these diametrically opposed belief systems, it was inevitable that these officers would clash. What has often been described as a spirited rivalry was in fact something much darker, an association that moved from initial distaste to acrimony, and finally, outright insubordination on Custer's part.

Author and American Civil War historian Adolfo Ovies has mined deeply Official Reports, regimental histories, and contemporary newspaper accounts, together with unpublished and little used primary sources of men who fought in their commands. The result is a rich and satisfying study exposes the depths of one of the most dysfunctional and influential relationships in the Army of the Potomac and how it affected cavalry operations in the Eastern Theater.

Critique: Notably well written, organized and presented, "The Boy Generals: George Custer, Wesley Merritt, and the Cavalry of the Army of the Potomac" is an impressively informative and inherently fascinating read throughout -- making it an unreservedly recommended addition to community, college, and university library American Civil War History collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of students, academia, and American Civil War buffs that "The Boy Generals: George Custer, Wesley Merritt, and the Cavalry of the Army of the Potomac" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $15.09).

The Historical Fiction Shelf

Lafayette: Courtier to Crown Fugitive, 1757-1777
S. P. Grogan
Addison & Highsmith
c/o Histria Books
9781592110315, $29.99, HC, 370pp

Synopsis: In June, 1777, nineteen-year old Marquis de Lafayette landed in the American colonies to fight in their revolution, and the rest, as they say, is history. But over time many truths have been stretched, including, most recently, a singing role in a hit Broadway musical. Still, the great historical mystery remains: how did the character of the young Gilbert de Lafayette develop? Lafayette wrote his own words about his early life serving as an elder statesman in the French Chamber of Deputies, and, as such, they were shaded both to the heroic, as well as to the political climate of the day.

In the pages of his exceptionally original historical novel, "Lafayette: Courtier to Crown Fugitive, 1757-1777", author S. P. Grogan has blended historically accurate details with a deftly clever narrative storytelling style to create an inherently fascinating and compulsive page-turner of a read. While especially and unreservedly recommended for community library Historical Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Lafayette: Courtier to Crown Fugitive, 1757-1777" is also readily available in a paperback edition (9781592110360, $19.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $4.82).

Olympia: The Birth of the Games
John A. Martino, author
Michael P. O'Kane, author
Addison & Highsmith
c/o Histria Books
9781592110964, $29.99, HC, 228pp

Synopsis: In ancient Greece and across the Mediterranean, kingdoms endlessly competed for dominance. The great powers of Carthage and Egypt look on with avarice as the might of the Greeks is spent warring between themselves, oblivious to external dangers. Year in and year out, the people suffer at the hands of their rulers and the famine and pestilence that comes with conflict. The great rulers of the day are themselves helpless to end this cycle of destruction. While life on the battlefield is cheap, the slave trade flourishes through the years of interminable battle and death. Kings and queens pray to the gods and seek wisdom from the oracles, but the gods, it seems, prefer combat to diplomacy.

At Olympia, the peace of the temple precinct is an island of calm in a sea of turmoil. Here on this sacred soil grows the seed of a better future, yet even here there lurks danger and deceit as the forces of destruction reach into the sanctuary of the gods. For this seed to thrive, it will take more than prayers and goodwill.

Yet often hope springs from the most unlikely sources. There is one amongst the Greeks who sees light where others only perceive darkness. One who sees that there is another way to settle conflict - with honor and courage. One who will set aflame a torch that will burn for thousands of years, down through the ages. In an epoch of chaos and strife, a new force for peace is born.

"Olympia: The Birth of the Games" by Dr. Michael O'Kane (a published academic author who has worked extensively with Australian Aboriginal communities) and Dr. John A. Martino (who wrote his PhD in Classical History through Monash University and the University of Melbourne on martial violence in the Old World and the New) is the simply fascinating and dramatic story of how and why the Olympic games were established and experienced as seen through the eyes of those who were there.

Critique: Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "Olympia: The Birth of the Games" will prove to be an immediate and enduringly appreciated addition to personal, community, college, and university library historical fiction collections.

The Literary Fiction Shelf

Tainna: The Unseen Ones
Norma Dunning
Douglas & McIntyre
9781771622714 $16.95

Synopsis: Drawing on both lived experience and cultural memory, Norma Dunning brings together six powerful new short stories centered on modern-day Inuk characters in Tainna. Ranging from homeless to extravagantly wealthy, from spiritual to jaded, young to elderly, and even from alive to deceased, Dunning's characters are united by shared feelings of alienation, displacement and loneliness resulting from their experiences in southern Canada.

In Tainna - meaning "the unseen ones" and pronounced Da-e-nn-a - a fraught reunion between sisters Sila and Amak ends in an uneasy understanding. From the spirit realm, Chevy Bass watches over his imperilled grandson, Kunak. And in the title story, the broken-hearted Bunny wanders onto a golf course on a freezing night, when a flock of geese stand vigil until her body is discovered by a kind stranger.

Norma Dunning's masterful storytelling uses humor and incisive detail to create compelling characters who discover themselves in a hostile land where prejudice, misogyny and inequity are most often found hidden in plain sight. There, they must rely on their wits, artistic talent, senses of humor and spirituality for survival; and there, too, they find solace in shining moments of reconnection with their families and communities.

Critique: Tainna: The Unseen Ones is an anthology of literary short stories about modern-day Inuk characters living in southern Canada. Despite the variety in their ages, financial situations, and approaches to life, each one feels a shared sense of alienation, displacement, and loneliness. Tainna is a heartrending collection, portraying complex, three-dimensional characters who search for not only survival, but also for hope amid moments of family and community. Highly recommended, especially for public library Literary Fiction collections.

The Western Fiction Shelf

Will Starr
Linford Western Library
c/o Ulverscroft Large Print, Inc.
9781444847130, $22.50, PB, Large Print, 244p

Synopsis: On his way out West, Ben Tower rescues beautiful Mattie Sullivan, the lone survivor of a doomed wagon train. Ben and Mattie fall in love and plan to travel West to start a new life together. But the trail westwards is never easy? Wild animals, greedy ranchers, a crooked judge and lawyer, and flash floods are just some of the hazards they encounter, along with Ben's past catching up with him. Will they ever fulfill their dream of establishing their own little empire in the West?

Critique: A grand saga of a novel, "Empire" by western author Will Starr is an inherently fascinating read with several 'cliff hanger' moments. The stuff of which block buster movies are made, this large print paperback edition of "Empire" from the Linford Western Library series is a very highly recommended addition to the personal reading lists of dedicated western fans and community library Western Fiction collections.

Vigilante Law
Dale Graham
Linford Western Library
c/o Ulverscroft Large Print, Inc.
9781444847147, $22.50, PB, Large Print, 240pp

Synopsis: Having escaped from a firing squad at the hands of the Mexican federales, Blue Creek Ben Chisum flees across the border into Texas. He is soon cast afoot when his horse breaks a leg. After wandering alone for a week he stumbles across a hanging and rescues a homesteader from ruthless vigilantes. The grateful man then offers him a half share in his prosperous farming business. But Ben is loath to become involved in a range war. He only accepts the offer after learning that his old partner Squint Rizzo, has been hired by Web Steiger, the leader of the vigilantes. It was Rizzo who had betrayed him to the Mexican authorities. But how can one man defeat a ruthless gang of land grabbers? With the help of another old pal and fellow gunslinger, and that of a ham-fisted, slow witted, but loyal brawler, Blue Creek sets out to prove that his reputation for fighting on the side of justice has been well earned.

Critique: A minor masterpiece of western action/adventure by a true master of the genre, "Vigilante Law" by Dale Graham is a terrific read from first page to last. This large print edition from the Linford Western Library series is an especially and strongly recommended addition to both the personal reading lists of all dedicated western fans, as well as community library Western Fiction collections.

Prodigal of Death
T. T. Flynn
Linford Western Library
c/o Ulverscroft Large Print, Inc.
9781785419713, $TBA, PB, Large Print, 408pp

Synopsis: "Prodigal of Death" is an anthology of five western short stories by that master of the genre, T. T. Flynn. In these five original stories originally published more than a half century ago in the pulp magazines of the day, Lonesome Lang and Tarnation Tucker watch a runaway buckboard hit a hairpin turn and vanish; Dave Worth is transported back to Lode City to be charged with murder - and finds a lynch mob waiting at the station; George Brandon and Rosie O'Grady find themselves in the middle of a criminal drama; Steve Cochrane seeks his friend Smoky Davis - but the law is searching for him too; Dike Kennedy's and Carole Lamar's courtship comes up against a murderous family feud.

Critique: Theodore Thomas ("T. T.") Flynn (August 8, 1902 - January 8, 1979) was an American writer of pulp fiction in multiple genres. Later in life he concentrated on Westerns. As an author, he is most famous for writing "The Man from Laramie" which was adapted to film starring actor James Stewart. Now in the pages of this newly published large print paperback edition of the "Prodigal from the Linford Western Library series comprised of five of his best western tales (Bush Wackers Die Hard; Killer's Guess; Smart Guy; The Pie River; Prodigal of Death) brings these classic stories to the attention of a grateful new generation of western action/adventure fans. Of special note is that each story is prefaced by an autobiography note of T. T. Flynn's writing career associated with that particular tale. Simply stated, "Prodigal of Death" is a great read from cover to cover and a welcome, recommended addition to personal and community library collections.

The Mystery/Suspense Shelf

Girls Who Lie
Eva Bjorg Aegisdottier
Isis Large Print
c/o Ulverscroft Large Print, Inc.
9781913193737, $15.95, PB, Large Print, 276pp

Synopsis: When single mother Marianna disappears from her home, leaving an apologetic note on the kitchen table, everyone assumes that she's taken her own life -- until her body is found on the Grabrok lava fields seven months later, clearly the victim of murder. Her neglected fifteen-year-old daughter Hekla has been placed in foster care, but is her perfect new life hiding something sinister?

Fifteen years earlier, a desperate new mother lies in a maternity ward, unable to look at her own child, the start of an odd and broken relationship that leads to a shocking tragedy.

Police officer Elma and her colleagues take on the case, which becomes increasingly complex, as the number of suspects grows and new light is shed on Marianna's past - and the childhood of a girl who never was like the others...

Critique: An ideal example of what can be called 'Nordic Noir', "Girls Who Lie" by Eva Bjorg Aegisdottir is a winning combination of complex psychological thriller and sophisticated police procedural. An inherently absorbing read from first page to last, "Girls Who Lie" will prove to be an enduringly welcome addition to community library Mystery/Suspense collections and the personal reading lists of dedicated crime fiction enthusiasts.

What the Cat Dragged In
Miranda James
Berkley Books
c/o Penguin Group (USA)
9780593199466, $26.00, HC, 304pp

Synopsis: Charlie has always believed that his grandfather had sold his house to his longtime tenant, Martin Hale. So when Martin dies, Charlie is surprised to discover the house was not left to Martin but instead belongs to Charlie. As he and Diesel check out the house he remembers fondly from his childhood, he is pleasantly surprised that it is in better condition than expected. That is, until they find a literal skeleton in a closet.

While the sheriff's department investigates the mysterious remains, Charlie digs deeper into the past for clues to the identity of the bones and why they are there. But the cold case heats up quickly when Martin's grandson is found dead on the farm.

As Charlie delves into his own family history, he encounters many people who might have been motivated to take a life. But Charlie and Diesel know that things are not always what they seem, and that secrets seemingly lost to time have a way of finding their way back to haunt the present.

Critique: A true mystery lover's 'whodunnit' delight, "What the Cat Dragged In" (part of novelist Miranda James' 'Cat in the Stacks Mystery' series), is an impressively clever, deftly crafted, inherently entertaining, and unreservedly recommended addition to all community library Contemporary Mystery/Suspense collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of all dedicated mystery buffs and enthusiasts that "What the Cat Dragged In" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $13.99).

A Woman of Intelligence
Karin Tanabe
St. Martin's Press
9781250231505, $27.99, HC, 384pp

Synopsis: A Fifth Avenue address, parties at the Plaza, two healthy sons, and the ideal husband: what looks like a perfect life for Katharina Edgeworth is anything but. It's 1954, and the post-war American dream has become a nightmare.

A born and bred New Yorker, Katharina is the daughter of immigrants, Ivy-League-educated, and speaks four languages. As a single girl in 1940s Manhattan, she is a translator at the newly formed United Nations, devoting her days to her work and the promise of world peace -- and her nights to cocktails and the promise of a good time.

Now the wife of a beloved pediatric surgeon and heir to a shipping fortune, Katharina is trapped in a gilded cage, desperate to escape the constraints of domesticity. So when she is approached by the FBI and asked to join their ranks as an informant, Katharina seizes the opportunity. A man from her past has become a high-level Soviet spy, but no one has been able to infiltrate his circle. Enter Katharina, the perfect woman for the job.

Navigating the demands of the FBI and the secrets of the KGB, she becomes a courier, carrying stolen government documents from D.C. to Manhattan. But as those closest to her lose their covers, and their lives, Katharina's secret soon threatens to ruin her!

Critique: a classic spy thriller set firmly in the Cold War, and providing a nuanced depiction of the female experience in those decades, "A Woman of Intelligence" by Karin Tanabe deftly blends intrigue and desire in an effective, entertaining, and narrative driven storytelling style. While unreservedly and especially recommended addition to community library Mystery/Suspense/Espionage fiction collection, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "A Woman of Intelligence" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.99).

The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf

Ben Bova
Tor Books
c/o Tor/Forge Books
9781250296627, $28.99, HC, 240pp

Synopsis: In the future, humanity has spread throughout the solar system, on planets and moons once visited only by robots or explored at a distance by far-voyaging spacecraft. No matter how hostile or welcoming the environment, mankind has forged a path and found a home.

In the far reaches of the solar system, the outer planets (billions of miles from Earth, and which were unknown for millennia) are being settled. Neptune, the ice giant, is swathed in clouds of hydrogen, helium, and methane and circled by rings of rock and dust. Three years ago, Ilona Magyr's father, Miklos, disappeared while exploring the seas of Neptune. Everyone believes he is dead - crushed, frozen, or boiled alive in Neptune's turbulent seas.

With legendary space explorer Derek Humbolt piloting her ship and planetary scientist Jan Meitner guiding the search, Ilona Magyr knows she will find her father (alive!) on Neptune. But her plans are irrevocably altered when she and her team discover the wreckage of an alien ship deep in Neptune's ocean, a discovery which changes humanity's understanding of its future -- and its past.

Critique: Another resurrected gem of a novel by the now legendary science fiction author, Ben Bova, "Neptune" is an absolute 'must read' for the legions of Ben Bova fans and will be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to all community and academic library Science Fiction collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of all dedicated science fiction fans that "Neptune" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.99).

Editorial Note: Benjamin William Bova (November 8, 1932 - November 29, 2020) was an American writer. During a writing career of 60 years, he was the author of more than 120 works of science fact and fiction, six-time winner of the Hugo Award, an editor of Analog Science Fiction and Fact, an editorial director of Omni; he was also president of both the National Space Society and the Science Fiction Writers of America. (Wikipedia)

The Jobs/Career Shelf

Handbook of Research Methods in Careers
Wendy Murphy, editor
Jennifer Tosti-Kharas, editor
Edward Elgar Publishing
9 Dewey Court, Northampton, MA 01060-3815
9781788976718, $200.00, HC, 352pp

Synopsis: Collaboratively compiled and co-edited by Wendy Murphy (Associate Dean of Academic Programs and Professor of Organizational Behavior, Babson College, USA) and Jennifer Tosti-Khara (Associate Professor of Organizational Behavior, Management Division, Babson College, USA), "Handbook of Research Methods in Careers" ably serves as a comprehensive guide to the methodologies that researchers use in career scholarship. Presenting detailed overviews of methodologies, the expert contributors offer numerous actionable best practices, realistic previews, and cautionary tales based on their vast collective experience of research in the discipline.

Individual chapters informatively showcase diverse and interdisciplinary approaches to studying careers across the spectrum of quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods. Providing an in-depth illustration of established methods and current trends in careers research, "Handbook brings together top international authors to discuss the opportunities and limitations of both design and analysis choices.

Offering cutting-edge methods from established and emerging experts, "Handbook Of Research Methods In Careers" is essential reading for scholars at all levels who are currently studying, or wish to study, careers. It will also be useful for institutions coordinating large research projects on careers, as well as consultants and organizational psychologists providing research support for employee development.

Critique. Comprised of fifteen erudite articles organized into three major sections (Measurement and Design; Quantitative Methods; Qualitative and Mixed Methods), "Handbook of Research Methods in Careers" must be considered an unreservedly recommended and core addition to personal, professional, corporate, college and university library Human Resources & Personnel Management reference collections and supplemental studies curriculums.

The Cookbook Shelf

Dreena's Kind Kitchen
Dreena Burton
BenBella Books
9781950665921, $24.95, PB, 288pp

Synopsis: For more than 20 years, Dreena Burton has been creating plant-based whole-food recipes. Home cooks have long known that they could trust her recipes to work -- and to be delicious! Now with the publication of "Dreena's Kind Kitchen: 100 Whole-Foods Vegan Recipes to Enjoy Every Day" there need be no more scouring social media, sifting through food blogs, or flipping through every book on the shelf for palate pleasing, appetite satisfying, kitche cook friendly recipes for dishes that are reliable, flavorful, and healthy.

Critique: Beautifully illustrated throughout and showcasing an impressive diversity of vegetarian/vegan recipes that range from Sunny Curry Dressing; Summer Chickpea Salad; and Pressure Cooker Qucken Noodle Soup; to Baked Onion Rings; Quinoa-Lentil Stir-Fry; and Nummy Brownie Bites, "Dreena's Kind Kitchen: 100 Whole-Foods Vegan Recipes to Enjoy Every Day" will prove to be an enduringly popular addition to personal, professional, and community library Vegan/Vegetarian cookbook collections.

Ruby Bell and Milly Bagot
Mitchell Beazley
c/o Octopus Books
236 Park Avenue, New York NY 10017
9781784727482, $19.99, HC, 176pp

Synopsis; For being able to serve delicious, nutritious meals to hand when a busy schedule creates time pressures on a family cook, "Freeze: Super nourishing meals to batch cook, freeze and eat on demand" is a culinary compendium that offers the perfect solution by providing brilliantly healthy and nourishing batch cook recipes that will fill a freezer and be enjoyed as if fresh at little to no notice.

With smart meal-prep solutions, Ruby Bell and Milly Bagot have developed the very best ways to get the most out of food when it is frozen, and offer a wealth of practical tips, hacks and suggestions to ensure freezer cooking is fool-proof for even the most novice of family cooks. With DIY instructions on how best to defrost, reheat or cook direct from the freezer, "Freeze" embodies convenient cooking that will enable the whole family to eat well -- especially when they have little time to spare for healthy meals every single day of the week, without none of the usual time limiting stress.

Critique: Offering an impressive variety of beautifully illustrated and thoroughly 'kitchen cook friendly' recipes for all occasions, "Freeze: Super nourishing meals to batch cook, freeze and eat on demand" will prove to be an especially welcome and popular addition to family, professional and community library cookbook collections. For personal use it should be noted that "Freeze: Super nourishing meals to batch cook, freeze and eat on demand" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Editorial Note: ByRuby is a nationwide healthy freezer meal delivery service run by two women in the UK - Ruby Bell and Milly Bagot - and Ruby is a Leith's trained chef. They are committed to offering nutritious and convenient freezer meals and making freezer cooking fool-proof for everyone.

The Railroading Shelf

Christopher Valkoinen
Thames & Hudson, Inc.
500 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10110-0017
9780500021675, $75.00, HC, 304pp

Synopsis: At the beginning of the nineteenth century, the first railway was established in Great Britain, contributing to the country's dramatic social and economic revolution. Detailed plans were created of locomotives, carriages, wagons, stations, bridges, and tunnels to facilitate the manufacturing process and maintenance of the railway network. Miraculously, about one million of these exquisite drawings have survived and are housed at the National Railway Museum, York. In "Railways: A History in Drawings", Christopher Valkoinen has selected over 130 examples from the museum's collection that illustrate the innovative history of Britain's railway.

Accompanied by lively and insightful commentary, as well as contemporary photographs and posters, featured plans range from Queen Victoria's royal saloon, Stephenson's Rocket, and the Flying Scotsman to the boiler for the famous John Bull (the oldest surviving steam locomotive in the United States) and modern experiments with hovertrains. Perfect for train and engineering enthusiasts and anyone interested in British history, this compendium of drawings gives unparalleled insight into all aspects of the design and operation of the British railway system from the early nineteenth century to the 1970s.

Critique: Expertly organized and presented, "Railways: A History In Drawings" is impressively informative, large sized volume (13.3 x 1.2 x 9.7 inches) is enhanced with some 300 illustrations. An ideal selection as a memorial fund acquisition, "Railways: A History In Drawings is a unique, seminal, and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, college, and university library Railroading History collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists.

Editorial Note: Christopher Valkoinen has worked at the National Railway Museum's Search Engine library and archives since 2010 where he is responsible for the digitization of the archives. His passion is engineering drawings and his mission is to see them recognized for the artistic skill of the draughtsmen that created them, and for the fascinating stories they can illuminate about our history. Christopher is also a qualified steam locomotive fireman and has fired/driven locomotives including Flying Scotsman, City of Truro, Olton Hall (aka Hogwarts Castle) and the working Rocket replica.

The Theatre/Cinema Shelf

Resetting the Scene: Classical Hollywood Revisited
Philippa Gates and Katherine Spring, editors
Wayne State University Press
9780814347799, $36.99, Paperback
B08VD5VPCF, $27.99, Kindle

Synopsis: More than a century after its emergence, classical Hollywood cinema remains popular today with cinephiles and scholars alike. Resetting the Scene: Classical Hollywood Revisited, edited by Philippa Gates and Katherine Spring, showcases cutting-edge work by renowned researchers of Hollywood filmmaking of the studio era and proposes new directions for classical Hollywood studies in the twenty-first century.

Resetting the Scene includes twenty-six accessible chapters and an extensive bibliography. In Part 1, Katherine Spring's introduction and David Bordwell's chapter reflect on the newest methods, technological resources, and archival discoveries that have galvanized recent research of studio filmmaking. Part 2 brings together close analyses of film style both visual and sonic with case studies of shot composition, cinematography, and film music. Part 3 offers new approaches to genre, specifically the film musical, the backstudio picture, and the B-film. Part 4 focuses on industry operations, including the origins of Hollywood, cross-promotion, production planning, and talent management. Part 5 offers novel perspectives on the representation of race, in regard to censorship, musicals, film noir, and science fiction. Part 6 illuminates forgotten histories of women's labor in terms of wartime propaganda, below-the-line work, and the evolution of star persona. Part 7 explores the demise of the studio system but also the endurance of classical norms in auteur cinema and screenwriting in the post-classical era. Part 8 highlights new methods for studying Hollywood cinema, including digital resources as tools for writing history and analyzing films, and the intersection of film studies with emergent fields like media industry studies.

Intended for scholars and students of Hollywood film history, Resetting the Scene intersects with numerous fields consonant with film studies, including star studies, media industry studies, and critical race theory.

Critique: Resetting the Scene: Classical Hollywood Revisited is an anthology of scholarly essays by a variety of learned authors about the classical Hollywood films and their history. Individual writings include "Resettling the Score: Musical Recycling in the Hollywood Studio System", "Censoring Racism: The Production Code and Hollywood's Chinese Americans", "MGM: Landmarks in the Decline of a Major Hollywood Studio", "The Video Essay and Classical Hollywood Studies" and much more. Resetting the Scene is an erudite contribution to public and college library Theatre/Cinema shelves, highly recommended. It should be noted for personal reading lists that Resetting the Scene is also available in a Kindle edition ($27.99).

Editorial Note: Philippa Gates is Professor of Film Studies at Wilfrid Laurier University, Canada. Her research and writing focuses on representations of gender and race in Hollywood genre films. Her 2011 book, "Detecting Women: Gender and the Hollywood Detective Film" was nominated for a 2012 Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America.

The Total FilmMaker
Jerry Lewis
Michael Wiese Productions
9781615933204, $29.95, PB, 226pp

Synopsis: Now republished by Michael Wiese Productions in a new 50th anniversary edition of the classic 1971 book, "The Total FilmMaker" by Jerry Lewis (March 16, 1926 - August 20, 2017) is now being released for a new generation of aspiring filmmakers by the Jerry Lewis Estate and features all-new, never-before-seen photos of Jerry on set and with his family and friends, as well as a new foreword by film critic and historian Leonard Maltin.

"The Total FilmMaker" was originally written and based on over 480 hours of Jerry's guest lecture series at USC Film School in 1966, where his then-students included aspiring young filmmakers Steven Spielberg and George Lucas. From script to post-production, it covers the complete arc of filmmaking as taught by one of the first and most original of Hollywood's writer/director/producer/actors.

Critique: Simply stated, "The Total FilmMaker" by comedian, actor, singer, filmmaker, and humanitarian Jerry Lewis is a 'must read' for the legions of Jerry Lewis fans, as well as an essential addition to film school curriculums, and all aspiring filmmakers. While also available for personal reading lists in a digital book format (Kindle, $28.45), "The Total FilmMaker" will prove to be an enduringly important and core addition to personal, professional, community, film school, college, and university library Movie/Video Direction & Production instructional reference collections.

The Pets/Wildlife Shelf

Integrated Dog Training
Michael Wombacher
New World Library
14 Pamaron Way, Novato, CA 94949
9781608686520, $19.95, PB, 192pp

Synopsis: Designed for quick reference while working with any breed of dog, "Integrated Dog Training: The Commonsense Visual Guide to Training Any Dog" by Michael Wombacher is large-format guidebook features the full gamut of step-by-step training exercises, each of which are fully illustrated with photos and clear instructions.

"Integrated Dog Training" offers a wealth of ways to approach various dogs and scenarios, whether you're training a puppy to sit or correcting training issues in a mature dog. Wombacher is a trainer with decades of experience who knows all the competing dog training theories but also knows that in reality, it is a range of methods that gets dogs and their humans where they need to be.

Wombacher's "Integrated Dog Training" offers a much-needed commonsense approach that avoids cookie-cutter dictates and recognizes the individuality of each dog. He includes straightforward discussions of situation-specific equipment, treats, and commands, as well as a variety of age- and environment-variable approaches. Easy-to-use, image-driven, and immediately applicable, "Integrated Dog Training" is a truly unique, invaluable resource that gets people and dogs in sync and happy lifelong.

Critique: Exceptionally well organized and presented, "Integrated Dog Training: The Commonsense Visual Guide to Training Any Dog" is an ideal and comprehensive DIY instruction guide that will enable even the most novice of dog owners will be able to get the most out of their canine companion. While unreservedly and especially recommended for community library Pets/Wildlife collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Integrated Dog Training: The Commonsense Visual Guide to Training Any Dog" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $18.95).

The Travel Shelf

How to Suffer Outside
Diana Helmuth, author
Latasha Dunston, illustrator
Mountaineers Books
1001 SW Klickitat Way, Suite 201, Seattle, WA 98134-1161
9781680513110, $18.95, PB, 224pp

Synopsis: Part critique of modern hiking culture and part how-to guide, "How to Suffer Outside: A Beginner's Guide to Hiking and Backpacking" is for anyone of any age and background who wants to hit the trail without breaking the bank. Author and experienced hiker Diana Helmuth offers real advice, opinionated but accessible and based on in-the-field experiences. She wins readers' hearts and trust through a blend of self-deprecating humor and good-natured heckling of both seasoned backpackers and urbanites who romanticize being outdoorsy, plus a helpful dose of the actual advice a novice needs to get started.

Featuring illustrations by artist and illustrator Latasha Dunston, each individual chapter focuses on a critical topic: gear, food, hygiene, clothing, and more, along with useful checklists and resources. Humorous, philosophical, and practical, "How to Suffer Outside: A Beginner's Guide to Hiking and Backpacking" teaches casual walkers, hikers, and campers of all stripes how to venture outdoors with confidence.

Critique: An ideal DIY instructional guide and manual for aspiring hikers and novice backpackers, "How to Suffer Outside: A Beginner's Guide to Hiking and Backpacking" is especially 'user friendly' in tone, commentary, content, organization and presentation. While highly recommended for personal, professional, community, college, and university library collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "How to Suffer Outside: A Beginner's Guide to Hiking and Backpacking" is also readily available in an digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Editorial Note: Diana Helmuth has hiked extensively throughout the western US, Europe, and Chile. She studied cultural anthropology at University of California - Berkeley and the American University in Cairo. An illustrator and painter, Latasha Dunston earned her BFA from Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts. Her clients include Otterbox, Range magazine, Craghoppers, SNEWs, and the Denver Art Museum.

The Architecture Shelf

Buildings in Print
John Hill
Prestel Publishing
9783791387123, $60.00, HC, 304pp

Synopsis: John Hill is the editor-in-chief of's International Magazine and is the founder of the blog now called A Daily Dose of Architecture. His articles have appeared in Architect Magazine, The Architect's Newspaper, Evolo, and other journals. A registered architect, Hill is the author of 100 Years, 100 Buildings; 100 Years, 100 Landscape Designs; and NYC Walks: Guide to New Architecture, all published by Prestel.

In his hugely influential architecture blog A Daily Dose of Architecture he recently shifted course to focus entirely on architecture books of all kinds. That is how selection for his seminal and ground-breaking volume, "Buildings in Print: 100 Influential & Inspiring Illustrated Architecture Books" came to span centuries, continents, and genres to include Le Corbusier's Towards a New Architecture, Project Japan by Rem Koolhaas, Atlas of Another America: An Architectural Fiction by Keith Krumwiede, X-Ray Architecture by Beatriz Colomina and Thomas Wolfe's From Bauhaus to Our House.

The books selected and included are organized into the categories of Manifestos, Histories, Education, Housing, Monographs, Buildings, Exhibitions, Building Cities, and Critiques, and each one has a reproduction of the book's cover along with selected spreads which are accompanied by Hill's informed, personal, and engaging take on what makes the title unique and indispensable.

In addition, sidebar "Top 10" lists from many of today's leading critics and architects are scattered throughout. Capturing the best of Hill's insightful and curious mind, this invaluable resource will broaden the world of anyone interested in

Critique: Impressively informative, exceptionally well organized and presented, "Buildings in Print: 100 Influential & Inspiring Illustrated Architecture Books" will prove to be a welcome, unique, and unreservedly recommended contribution to personal, professional, community, college, and university library Architectural Studies & Reference collections.

The Science Shelf

Introducing Volcanology: A Guide to Hot Rocks, second edition
Dougal Jerram
Dunedin Academic Press
c/o ISBS (dist.)
9781780460901, $16.50 Paperback

Synopsis: Volcanoes have an endless fascination. Their eruptions are a regular reminder of the power of nature and our vulnerability to this raw geological phenomenon; however, volcanic activity and its plumbing from beneath is an essential element of the forces that shaped and constantly reshape our planet.

Dougal Jerram answers the questions: What are volcanoes? What other volcanic activity is there? How do volcanoes relate to plate tectonics and the movement of continents? What are eruptions and why do they occur? How have volcanoes affected the earth's climate? Can we predict eruptions? He also describes the most notable eruptions in history and their effect. Copiously illustrated throughout, Introducing Volcanology is a concise and accessible introduction to the science of hot rocks for those with an adult curiosity and for those contemplating a course of formal study. As with sister volumes, technical terms are kept to a minimum and a glossary is provided covering the whole subject from ash to zeolites.

Critique: Now in an updated second edition, Introducing Volcanology: A Guide to Hot Rocks is a fascinating, reader- friendly scientific guide, illustrated with at least one full-color photograph or diagram on almost every two-page spread. Although a wealth of technical and scientific terminology is used, a handy glossary makes Introducing Volcanology thoroughly accessible to readers of all backgrounds. Introducing Volcanology is highly recommended especially for volcano enthusiasts and public library Science and Geology collections.

Editorial Note: Dougal Jerram is an academic Earth Scientist, and has a wide experience in both modern and ancient volcanoes and their products. An expert and enthusiastic geological communicator, he has been involved in scientific television programmes for the BBC, National Geographic, Discovery and History channels.

Introducing Hydrogeology
Robins Nicholas
Dunedin Academic Press
c/o ISBS (dist.)
9781780460789, $24.50

Synopsis: Hydrogeology is an important and vibrant sub-set of geology. It deals with the distribution and movement of water, groundwater, in the soil and rocks of the Earth. Groundwater transport is one part of the overall hydrological cycle; water is transferred by evaporation from the oceans into the atmosphere. Some falls to land as precipitation, some percolates underground, much of it to become groundwater. Groundwater travels from areas of high elevation to discharge points such as springs or to lower surface waters. On its way, it acquires its own distinct chemical signature, while its period underground can vary between only a few weeks to tens of thousands of years.

Hydrogeology interacts with a variety of diverse disciplines beyond geology, not least hydrology, climatology and socio-economics. Nick Robins describes the basic concepts of groundwater flow analysis in simple language and avoids burdening the reader with overmuch analytical detail. All facets of hydrogeology, physical and chemical, are described, so the book places hydrogeology in its important role, underpinning our increasing demands on the environment. A variety of topical issues are considered, including climate change impact, water scarcity, nuclear waste repositories and oil shale fracking.

As with other titles in the series, Introducing Hydrogeology will appeal to the non-scientist interested in learning more about this important topic; to those staring on or contemplating a career in hydrogeology; and to those studying related topics, such as civil engineering, who require a sound overview of this branch of earth science.

Critique: A handy glossary makes Introducing Hydrogeology thoroughly accessible to readers of all backgrounds. Full- color photographs or diagrams on almost every page enrich this thoughtful, scientific discussion of interactions between sediment and water, including aquifer properties and groundwater flow, groundwater pollution or protection, the challenges of coastal aquifers and small islands, problems related to floods or droughts, and more. Introducing Hydrogeology is a "must-read" for not only for prospective professionals in the field, but also for policymakers involved in any issue related to groundwater! Highly recommended.

Editorial Note: Dr Nicholas Robins worked for much of his career as a hydrogeologist with the British Geological Survey. He worked both at home and overseas with extensive periods in Africa and the Middle East as well as in Asia and Central America. He was also at one time based at Harwell in Oxfordshire involved with research into radioactive waste disposal. Robins is author or editor of a number of books and is currently Editor-in-Chief for the International Association of Hydrogeologists.

Introducing Tectonics, Rock Structures and Mountain Belts, second edition
Graham Park
Dunedin Academic Press
c/o ISBS (dist.)
9781780460949, $24.50

Synopsis: Introducing Tectonics, Rock Structures and Mountain Belts is written to explain the key concepts of tectonics and rock structures to students and to the interested non-specialist, especially those without a strong mathematical background. The study and understanding of geological structures has traditionally been guided by the rigorous application of mathematics and physics but, in this book, Graham Park has avoided mathematical equations altogether and has reduced the geometry to the minimum necessary. The application of plate tectonic theory has revolutionised structural geology by giving the study of rock structures a context in which they can be explained. Since the large-scale movements of the plates ultimately control smaller-scale structures, the study of tectonics is the key to understanding the latter. The reader is thus introduced to large-scale Earth structure and the theory of plate tectonics before dealing with geological structures such as faults and folds.

Studies by structural geologists of the movement history of rock masses relative to each other, as revealed by the study of fault systems and shear zones, has helped to integrate rock structures with plate tectonics, and this has been emphasized in the book. One of the most exciting aspects of geology is the study of the great mountain ranges, orogenic belts. The final three chapters of the book explain how knowledge of plate tectonic theory, geological structures, and the processes of deformation may be employed to understand these orogenic belts. Whilst excessive use of terminology is avoided, all technical terms are in a Glossary and, as with all books in this series, the text is illustrated profusely.

Critique: Now in an updated second edition, Introducing Tectonics, Rock Structures and Mountain Belts emphasizes large- scale geologic structures and plate tectonic theory. Full-color photographs and diagrams on almost every page, as well as an extensive glossary, help make Introducing Tectonics, Rock Structures and Mountain Belts accessible to readers of all backgrounds. Introducing Tectonics, Rock Structures and Mountain Belts is a choice pick for high school and public library science collections, as well as for anyone interested in this fascinating branch of science about the not-so-solid Earth beneath our feet. Highly recommended!

Editorial Note: Graham Park is Emeritus Professor of Tectonic Geology at the University of Keele and author of the popular Introducing Geology, the title that initiated the successful 'Introducing' series.

The Library CD Shelf

Songs From My Father
Gerry Gibbs
Whaling City Sound
c/o Naxos of America (distribution)
$24.99 CD

Multitalented musician Gerry Gibbs presents Songs From My Father, a 2-CD album of his father's original compositions (except for "Tango For Terry", which is composed by Chick Corea). A jazz celebration honoring the lifetime achievements of Gerry's father, Terry Gibbs, this album reinterprets Terry's songs through Gerry's rearrangements, and is a rousing, emotional, and rapturous audio tour. Highly recommended, especially for jazz connoisseurs! The songs are Kick Those Feet, Smoke 'em Up, Bopstacle Course, Nutty Notes, Take It From Me, Sweet Young Song of Love, The Fat Man, Lonely Days, and Hey Chick on disc 1, and Townhouse 3, T & S, 4 a.m., Waltz For My Children, Hippie Twist, Lonely Dreams, For Keeps, Pretty Blue Eyes, Gibberish, and Tango for Terry on disc 2. 1 hour, 36 min., 47 sec.

Under Cover
Privately Published
$TBA CD / $7.99 MP3

Under Cover is an album of reimagined jazz favorites and rearrangements of beloved art-pop and folk ballads. Esbe showcases the songs that inspired her music career, and takes listeners on a wondrous tour through reinvented classics. Highly recommended! The tracks are Yesterday, A Taste of Honey, Don't Explain, Night and Day, The Sound of Silence, Eleanor Rigby, Bridge Over Troubled Water, Amazing Grace, Summertime, and Silent Night.

The Art Shelf

Gustav Klimt: The Magic of Line
Marian Bisanz-Prakken
J. Paul Getty Museum
c/o Getty Publications
1200 Getty Center Drive, Suite 500, Los Angeles, CA 90049-1682
9781606061114, $49.95, HC, 304pp

Synopsis: The phenomenal draftsman and Austrian symbolist painter, Gustav Klimt (July 14, 1862 - February 6, 1918) occupies a unique place in modern art. His extant uvre comprises some 250 paintings and more than 4,000 works on paper. The study of the human figure (above all female) lies at the heart of the artist's activity as a draftsman, which he practiced assiduously.

Through his study of the poses and gestures of his models, Klimt repeatedly examined the essence of particular psychological and existential states of being. In his constant quest for the ideal solution, Klimt often went beyond the preparation of his paintings, which, particularly after 1900, were dominated by the themes of Eros, Love, Life, and Death. His art cannot be understood without carefully considering the drawings, which are characterized by an unsurpassed mastery of line, in all the phases of his artistic development ranging from Historicism, through Stilkunst around 1900, the Golden Period, and up to his freer late work.

"Gustav Klimt: The Magic of Line" by Dr. Marian Bisanz-Prakken (who is the curator at the Albertina Museum, Vienna, and the reigning expert on Klimt drawings) is lavishly illustrated publication accompanies the exhibition organized by the Albertina Museum in Vienna (March 13 to June 10, 2012) and the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles (July 3 to September 23, 2012) to mark the 150th anniversary of Gustav Klimt's birth.

In both venues, the emphasis will be placed on showing not only the variety of his draftsmanship, but also the centrality of drawing to Klimt's artistic enterprise. Most of the works on display will come from the Albertina's outstanding collection, one of the most extensive and representative groups of Klimt drawings in the world, complemented by select Austrian and international loans.

Critique: Simply stated, this coffee table style (9.5 x 1 x 11 inches) edition of "Gustav Klimt: The Magic of Line" published by the J. Paul Getty Museum is an absolute 'must' for the legions of Gustav Klimit fans and an critically important, essential, core addition to personal, professional, community, college, and university library Art History collections in general, and Gustav Klimit supplemental studies reading lists in particular.

The Mythology Shelf

Primitive Mythology: The Masks of God, Volume 1
Joseph Campbell
New World Library
9781608687251, $29.95 hc / $9.99 Kindle

Synopsis: n this first volume of The Masks of God, the world's preeminent mythologist explores and illuminates the wellsprings of myth. Showing his exemplary combination of scholarly depth and popular enthusiasm, Joseph Campbell looks at the expressions of religious awe in early humans and their echoes in the rites of surviving primal tribes. Campbell shows how myth has informed our understanding of the world, seen and unseen, throughout time. As he explores and shares archetypal mythic images and practices, he also points to how these concepts inform our personal lives.

Upon completing the monumental Masks of God series, Campbell found that his work affirmed "the unity of the race of man, not only in its biology, but also in its spiritual history." He likened this unity to a symphony in which various parts create a "great movement." Perhaps more than ever before, Campbell's insight is not only illuminating but also inspiring.

Critique: The first of a four-volume series originally published in 1959 by celebrated mythologist Joseph Campbell (1904- 1987), Primitive Mythology: The Masks of God, Volume 1 is now available in a "Collected Words of Joseph Campbell" revised edition with up-to-date science and new illustrations. Chapters explore myth as a tool of nascent civilizations in prehistory, including the nature of mythology favored by primitive planters or primitive hunters, and the archaeology of myth. Endnotes, a Joseph Campbell bibliography, and an index round out this classic text, highly recommended especially for public and college library Mythology shelves. It should be noted for personal reading lists that Primitive Mythology: The Masks of God, Volume 1 is also available in a Kindle edition ($9.99).

Editorial Note: Joseph Campbell was an American author and teacher best known for his work in the field of comparative mythology. He was educated at Columbia University, where he specialized in medieval literature, and, after earning a master's degree, continued his studies at universities in Paris and Munich. Throughout his life, he traveled extensively and wrote prolifically, authoring many books, including the classic The Hero with a Thousand Faces, the four-volume series The Masks of God, Myths to Live By, The Inner Reaches of Outer Space, and the Historical Atlas of World Mythology. Campbell died in 1987. In 1988, a series of television interviews, Joseph Campbell and the Power of Myth with Bill Moyers, introduced his views to millions of people.

The Sports Shelf

Injury-Free Running, second edition
Tom Michaud
North Atlantic Books
9781623176310, $19.95 pbk / $13.99 Kindle

Synopsis: Each time your foot hits the ground while running, an impact force averaging three times your weight travels through your body at more than 200 miles per hour, causing your bones to vibrate and tendons to stretch. When you consider that the average runner strikes the ground more than 10,000 times per hour, this translates into a remarkable amount of force that needs to be absorbed, and explains why nearly 50% of recreational runners are injured each year.

The purpose of this book is to show you that impact forces are not necessarily harmful. By modifying your running form and doing specific exercises to improve tendon resiliency, not only can you effectively absorb these forces, but you can also store and return a significant percentage of them in the form of elastic recoil. Besides reducing your risk of injury, efficiently storing and returning energy can allow you to run faster with less effort.

Critique: Featuring more than 200 illustrations and 300 references, Injury-Free Running: Your Illustrated Guide to Biomechanics, Gait Analysis, and Injury Prevention is now in an updated second edition with expanded information on how to perform an at-home gait analysis, identify problems with neuromotor coordination, treat the 25 most common running-related injuries, select the best running shoe for one's needs, and more. Injury-Free Runnings is an absolutely invaluable resource not only for sports medicine professionals, but also runners and joggers of all backgrounds, as well as public and college library collections. Highly recommended! It should be noted for personal reading lists that the second edition of Injury-Free Running is also available in Kindle format ($13.99).

Editorial Note: In addition to lecturing on clinical biomechanics internationally, Dr. Michaud has served on the editorial review boards for Chiropractic Sports Medicine and The Australasian Journal of Podiatric Medicine. Over the past 35 years, Dr. Michaud has maintained a busy private practice in Newton, Massachusetts, where he has treated thousands of elite and recreational runners.

The Religion/Spirituality Shelf

The Aesthetics of Solidarity
Nichole M. Flores
Georgetown University Press
9781647120917, $49.95 pbk / $47.45 Kindle

Synopsis: Latine Catholics have used Our Lady of Guadalupe as a symbol in democratic campaigns ranging from the Chicano movement and United Farm Workers' movements to contemporary calls for just immigration reform. In diverse ways, these groups have used Guadalupe's symbol and narrative to critique society's basic structures - including law, policy, and institutions - while seeking to inspire broader participation and representation among marginalized peoples in US democracy.

Yet, from the outside, Guadalupe's symbol is illegible within a liberal political framework that seeks to protect society's basic structures from religious encroachment by relegating religious speech, practices, and symbols to the background.

The Aesthetics of Solidarity argues for the capacity of Our Lady of Guadalupe - and similar religious symbols - to make democratic claims. Author Nichole M. Flores exposes the limitations of political liberalism's aesthetic responses to religious difference, turning instead to Latine theological aesthetics and Catholic social thought to build a framework for interpreting religious symbols in our contemporary pluralistic and participatory democratic life. By offering a lived theology of Chicanx Catholics in Denver, Colorado, and their use of Guadalupe in the pursuit of justice in response to their neighborhood's gentrification, this book provides an important framework for a community of interpretation where members stand in solidarity to respond to justice claims made from diverse religious and cultural communities.

Critique: Our Lady of Guadalupe is a Catholic title of the Blessed Virgin Mary, linked to an image of the Blessed Virgin Mary enshrined within the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City. The Aesthetics of Solidarity: Our Lady of Guadalupe and American Democracy is a scholarly analysis of why Catholics in Latin American countries have used Our Lady of Guadalupe as a symbol in calls and rallies for democracy. A keen-minded, scholarly analysis enhanced with a bibliography and an index, Our Lady of Guadalupe is highly recommended especially for college and university Religion/Spirituality collections. "Guadalupe's religious, cultural, and political implications invite a specification of the symbol's significance for a modern democracy. What is the political significance of Guadalupe for US Latinx communities engaged in liberative political projects within the context of a twenty-first-century US democracy?" It should be noted for personal reading lists that The Aesthetics of Solidarity is also available in a Kindle edition ($47.45).

Editorial Note: Nichole M. Flores is an assistant professor in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Virginia. She is the author of several scholarly articles and is a contributing writer for America magazine. She was the recipient of the 2015 Catherine Mowry LaCugna Award for the best academic essay in Catholic theology from the Catholic Theological Society of America.

The Language Studies Shelf

Under His Father's Wing
Emma Vanderpool
Bolchazy-Carducci Publishers
9780865168763, $15.00 pbk

Synopsis: Marcus, a young Roman boy, has been struggling to show his father Titus that he is simply not cut out for life as an augur. Why can't he seek adventure and glory as a soldier? Titus, in turn, can't quite get Marcus to understand the importance of augury, especially its role in keeping Roman soldiers safe. Titus has seen the dangers of war firsthand and fears for his son's future. By telling Marcus stories of legendary Greek and Roman augurs, Titus hopes to convey some tough truths about military life - and why divining the gods' will is essential. Along the way, he also reveals how augury has been woven into the fabric of Rome's very existence.

Using fewer than two hundred unique Latin words, this Encounter Latin novella further develops themes and topics introduced in Augury Is for the Birds. Evocative illustrations and a variety of text supports make the story readily comprehensible to novice learners. An introduction by Dr. Robert Patrick, drawing on his decades of experience teaching Latin, explains the pedagogical underpinnings of the text and describes how novellas can be used to further language acquisition.

Critique: Interspersed with simple black-and-white illustrations, Under His Father's Wing is a novella set in ancient Rome, written entirely in Latin with a Latin-to-English glossary, a brief grammatica, and suggestions for further reading. By using fewer than two hundred unique Latin words, Under His Father's Wing is an extremely accessible read for novice Latin learners. Under His Father's Wing is an excellent tool for introductory Latin teaching or for self-study, and highly recommended especially for college library Language Studies collections.

Editorial Note: Emma Vanderpool has been teaching Latin since 2017. Among her awards, Vanderpool is the recipient of the Distinguished Teaching Award from UMASS Amherst (2019) and was honored as the Lincoln Laureate for Monmouth College (2017). She serves on the Executive Board for Ascanius: The Youth Classics Institute and the Classical Association of New England and is an organizer for Lupercal. She has self-published nine novellae and is pleased to be an author for Bolchazy-Carducci Publishers - Explore Latin: Aves (2020) and Encounter Latin: Augury Is for the Birds: Marcus de Avibus Discit (2020).

The Political Science Shelf

Sovereignty: The Biography of a Claim
Peter Russell
University of Toronto Press
9781487509095, $29.95 hc / $28.45 Kindle

Synopsis: To be effective, sovereignty must be secured through force or consent by those living in a territory, and accepted externally by other sovereign states. To be legitimate, the sovereignty claim must have the consent of its people and accord with international human rights.

In Sovereignty: The Biography of a Claim, Peter H. Russell traces the origins of the sovereignty claim to Christian Europe and the attribution of sovereignty to God in the early Middle Ages. Transcending a narrow legal framework, he discusses sovereignty as a political activity including efforts to enshrine sovereignty within international law. Russell does not call for the end of sovereignty but makes readers aware of its limitations. While sovereignty can do good work for small and vulnerable peoples, it cannot be the basis of a global order capable of responding to the major existential threats that threaten our species and our planet.

A brisk, often humorous, and personal exploration, Sovereignty: The Biography of a Claim will interest specialists and general readers alike, offering fresh insights on the limitations of sovereignty and the potential of federalism to alleviate these limitations now and in the future.

Critique: Sovereignty: The Biography of a Claim seeks to provide a scholarly answer to the loaded historical and political question "What is sovereignty?" In modern political theory, sovereignty describes legitimate and legal authority over a territory. Chapters of Sovereignty: The Biography of a Claim explore the concept's origins to Christian Europe and how sovereignty was attributed to God in the Middle Ages, then proceed to recount the evolution of the concept in politics. From sovereignty as a tool for European imperialism, to sovereignty claimed by pioneers and settlers, to the rise of Federalism in sharp contrast to sovereignty, Sovereignty: The Biography of a Claim reveals that sovereignty as a political concept has strict limitations without wholly rejecting the idea. (Sovereignty: The Biography of a Claim does not have much to say about modern-day "Sovereign Citizens" movements, some of which include people that the FBI has classified as domestic terrorists.) Sovereignty: The Biography of a Claim is a valuable addition to public and college library Political Science shelves, highly recommended. It should be noted for personal reading lists that Sovereignty: The Biography of a Claim is also available in a Kindle edition ($28.45).

Editorial Note: Peter H. Russell is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Political Science at the University of Toronto. He has written extensively on issues related to the Canadian Constitution and Canadian politics in general. His other books include: Canada's Odyssey: A Country Based on Incomplete Conquests, Constitutional Odyssey: Can Canadians Become a Sovereign People, and Recognizing Aboriginal Tile: The Mabo Case an Indigenous Resistance to the English-Settler.

Russell was the 2012 winner of the American Political Science Association's Mildred A. Schwartz Award. He is also an Officer of the Order of Canada.

The Military Shelf

Psychiatric Casualties
Mark C. Russell and Charles Figley
Columbia University Press
9780231187770 $40.00 pbk / $19.99 Kindle

Synopsis: The psychological toll of war is vast, and the social costs of war's psychiatric casualties extend even further. Yet military mental health care suffers from extensive waiting lists, organizational scandals, spikes in veteran suicide, narcotic overprescription, shortages of mental health professionals, and inadequate treatment. The prevalence of conditions such as post - traumatic stress disorder is often underestimated, and there remains entrenched stigma and fear of being diagnosed. Even more alarming is how the military dismisses or conceals the significance and extent of the mental health crisis.

The trauma experts Mark C. Russell and Charles Figley offer an impassioned and meticulous critique of the systemic failures in military mental health care in the United States. They examine the persistent disconnect between war culture, which valorizes an appearance of strength and seeks to purge weakness, and the science and treatment of trauma. Instead of reckoning with the mental health crisis, the military has neglected the needs of service members. It has discharged, prosecuted, and incarcerated a large number of people struggling with the psychological realities of war, and it has inflicted humiliation, ridicule, and shame on many more. Through a far-reaching historical account, Russell and Figley detail how the military has perpetuated a self-inflicted crisis. The book concludes with actionable prescriptions for change and a comprehensive approach to significantly improving military mental health.

Critique: Psychiatric Casualties: How and Why the Military Ignores the Full Cost of War examines the failure of America's military mental health care to properly treat veterans suffering from PTSD and worse. The crisis is evident in suicides among veterans, narcotic overprescription, horrendous waiting lists, abuses of the legal system to manage mental health problems, and more. Psychiatric Casualties examines "dark side" strategies used by the military to deny soldiers the health care they need - often under the guise of discouraging desertion or "freezing" in battle - and explore possible options to make the military more resilient and responsible to the people who serve. Exhaustively researched and persuasively presented, Psychiatric Casualties is highly recommended especially for public and college library Psychology and Military Studies collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that Psychiatric Casualties is also available in a Kindle edition ($19.99).

Editor's Note: Mark C. Russell is core faculty in the PsyD Program at Antioch University Seattle, where he is establishing director of the Institute of War Stress Injury, Recovery, and Social Justice. He is a former U.S. Navy commander and military clinical psychologist with over twenty-six years of military service.

Charles Figley is the Paul Henry Kurzweg, MD Distinguished Chair in Disaster Mental Health; professor of social work; and director of the Traumatology Institute at Tulane University. He is the author of many books, the first of which, Stress Disorders Among Vietnam Veterans (1978), contributed to the diagnosis of PTSD. He served a tour of duty in the Vietnam War as a member of the U.S. Marine Corps.

Recce: Small Team Missions Behind Enemy Lines
Koos Stadler
9781636240480, $24.95 pbk / $10.99 Kindle

Synopsis: A gripping first-hand account of the combat operations and life of a member of the secretive and elite South African Special Forces, known as 'Recces'.

South African Special Forces, known as the 'Recces', are an elite group of soldiers that few can aspire to join. Shrouded in secrecy due to the covert nature of their work, the legendary Recces have long fascinated, but little is known about how they operate. Now one of this select band has written a tell-all book about the extraordinary missions he embarked on and the nail-biting action he experienced in the Border War.

Shortly after passing the infamously grueling Special Forces selection course in the early 1980s, Koos Stadler joined the so-called Small Teams group at 5 Reconnaissance Regiment. This sub-unit was made up of two-man teams and was responsible for numerous secret and highly dangerous missions deep behind enemy lines.

With only one other team member, Stadler was sent to blow up railway lines and enemy fighter jets in the south of Angola. As he crawled in and out of enemy-infested territory, he stared death in the face many times.

Critique: Author Koos Stadler, a 30-year career officer of the South African national Defence Force, offers an unforgettable glimpse into his harrowing and deadly service in Recce: Small Team Missions Behind Enemy Lines. Stadler gives personal testimony of operations in the 1980s that took him to the south of Angola to blow up railway lines and enemy fighter jets. Recce is a gripping read from cover to cover as well as an invaluable resource, and highly recommended for personal, public, and college library Military History collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that Recce is also available in a Kindle edition ($10.99).

Pioneers of Irregular Warfare
Malcolm Atkin
Pen & Sword Books
c/o Casemate (US distribution)
9781526766007, $42.95, HC, 272pp

Synopsis: Covert operations and ingenious weapons for irregular warfare were developed rapidly and with great success by the British during the Second World War, and the story of the most famous organizations involved like SOE, the SAS and Section D of SIS is now well known, but Military Intelligence (Research), the smallest but one of the most influential of these units is relatively unknown.

Malcolm Atkin's "Pioneers of Irregular Warfare: Secrets of the Military Intelligence Research Department of the Second World War" provides an intriguing, meticulously researched, groundbreaking account that describes their role at the heart of the War Office in trying to develop a 'respectable' arm of irregular warfare and their innovations ranging from the early Commandos, sticky bombs, limpet mines, booby traps, and even helicopters to the creation of the MI9 escape organization. They were an 'ideas factory' rather than an operational body but the book describes their worldwide operations including Finland, Norway, Romania, the Middle East and Central Africa.

"Pioneers of Irregular Warfare" is also a story of conflicting personalities between Jo Holland, the visionary but self-effacing head of MI(R) and his ambitious deputy, Colin Gubbins (later head of SOE), and the latter's private war with SIS.

Critique: Painstakingly researched, thoroughly 'reader friendly' in organization and presentation, enhanced with a multi- paged section of historical photos, "Pioneers of Irregular Warfare: Secrets of the Military Intelligence Research Department of the Second World War" is a unique and welcome addition to the growing library of World War II histories - - making it an especially recommended addition to personal, professional, community, college, and university library reference collections and supplemental studies reading lists.

Editorial Note: Malcolm Atkin is a former head of the Historic Environment and Archaeology Service for Worcestershire. After becoming a leading authority on the English Civil War, he has more recently made a special study of home defense and the development of British intelligence during the Second World War. His many publications include Cromwell's Crowning Mercy: The Battle of Worcester, The Civil War in Evesham: A Storm of Fire and Leaden Hail, Worcestershire Under Arms, Worcester 1651, Fighting Nazi Occupation: British Resistance 1939-1945, Myth and Reality: the Second World War Auxiliary Units and Section D for Destruction: Forerunner of SOE.

Nanjing 1937: Battle for a Doomed City
Peter Harmsen
Casemate Publishers
1940 Lawrence Road, Havertown, PA 19083
9781612009803, $24.95, PB, 368pp

Synopsis: The infamous Rape of Nanjing looms like a dark shadow over the history of Asia in the 20th century, and is among the most widely recognized chapters of World War II in China. By contrast, the story of the month-long campaign before this notorious massacre has never been told in its entirety. "Nanjing 1937: Battle for a Doomed City" by Peter Harmsen fills this gap.

"Nanjing 1937: Battle for a Doomed City" is the follow-up to Harmsen's WWII history, "Shanghai 1937: Stalingrad on the Yangtze", and begins where that book left off. In stirring prose, it describes how the Japanese Army, having invaded the mainland and emerging victorious from the Battle of Shanghai, pushed on toward the capital Nanjing in a crushing advance that confirmed its reputation for bravery and savagery in equal measure.

While much of the struggle over Shanghai had carried echoes of the grueling war in the trenches two decades earlier, the Nanjing campaign was a fast-paced mobile operation in which armor and air power played mayor roles. It was blitzkrieg two years before Hitler's invasion of Poland. Facing the full might of modern, mechanized warfare, China's resistance was heroic, but ultimately futile.

As in Shanghai, the battle for Nanjing was more than a clash between Chinese and Japanese. Soldiers and citizens of a variety of nations witnessed or took part in the hostilities. German advisors, American journalists and British diplomats all played important parts in this vast drama. And a new power appeared on the scene: Soviet pilots dispatched by Stalin to challenge Japan's control of the skies.

This epic tale is told with verve and attention to detail by Harmsen, a veteran East Asia correspondent who consolidates his status as the foremost chronicler of World War II in China with this path-breaking work of narrative history.

Critique: Originally published in 2015 and now available in a new paperback edition, "Nanjing 1937: Battle for a Doomed City" is an extraordinary and detailed account that is firmly and unreservedly recommended for community, college, and university library World War II history collections and supplemental studies reading lists. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of students, academia, military history buffs, and any other non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Nanjing 1937: Battle for a Doomed City" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $10.99).

Editorial Note: Peter Harmsen, a foreign correspondent in East Asia for two decades, has worked for Bloomberg, the Economist Intelligence Unit, and the Financial Times. A fluent speaker of Mandarin Chinese, Harmsen is also the former bureau chief in Taiwan for French news agency AFP. His book "Shanghai 1937: Stalingrad on the Yangtze" inspired a US Public Television documentary by three-time Emmy Award winner Bill Einreinhofer, which started airing in the fall of 2018, reaching 80 percent of the American television audience.

The Holocaust Studies Shelf

The Dressmakers of Auschwitz
Lucy Adington
HarperCollins Publishers
9780063030923, $26.99, HC, 400pp

Synopsis: At the height of the Holocaust twenty-five young inmates of the infamous Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp (mainly Jewish women and girls) were selected to design, cut, and sew beautiful fashions for elite Nazi women in a dedicated salon. It was work that they hoped would spare them from the gas chambers.

This fashion workshop (called the Upper Tailoring Studio) was established by Hedwig Hoss, the camp commandant's wife, and patronized by the wives of SS guards and officers. Here, the dressmakers produced high-quality garments for SS social functions in Auschwitz, and for ladies from Nazi Berlin's upper crust.

Drawing on diverse sources that including interviews with the last surviving seamstress, "The Dressmakers of Auschwitz: The True Story of the Women Who Sewed to Survive" follows the fates of these brave women. Their bonds of family and friendship not only helped them endure persecution, but also to play their part in camp resistance. Weaving the dressmakers' remarkable experiences within the context of Nazi policies for plunder and exploitation, historian Lucy Adlington exposes the greed, cruelty, and hypocrisy of the Third Reich and offers a fresh look at a little-known chapter of World War II and the Holocaust.

Critique: Showcasing yet one more aspect of the Holocaust, "The Dressmakers of Auschwitz: The True Story of the Women Who Sewed to Survive" is an extraordinary and inherently fascinating story. A compelling and informative read from first page to last, "The Dressmakers of Auschwitz: The True Story of the Women Who Sewed to Survive" is a critically important and unreservedly recommended addition to community, college, and university Holocaust collections and supplemental studies curriculums. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Dressmakers of Auschwitz: The True Story of the Women Who Sewed to Survive" is also available in a paperback edition (9780063030930, $17.99), in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.99), and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Blackstone Audio, 9798200741878, $30.99, CD).

Editorial Note: Currently residing in Yorkshire, UK, Lucy Adlington is a British novelist and clothes historian with more than twenty years' experience researching social history and writing fiction and nonfiction.

James A. Cox, Editor-in-Chief
Diane C. Donovan, Editor
Midwest Book Review
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