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Reprint, Autumn 1987

ISSUE:  Autumn 1987

A best seller for over 25 years, Benjamin Quarks’ The Negro in the Making of America opens with the arrival of slave ships from Africa in the early 17th century, then fully chronicles the role of blacks from the colonial period through the civil rights movement of the 20th century. A third edition, revised, updated, and expanded, of this three-century history of black Americans has recently been published in paper by Collier Books [$5.95]. Cornell has come out with a paper edition of Amy Bridges’ A City in the Republic: Antebellum New York and the Origins of Machine Politics, which Reviews in American History praised for offering “a splendid reinterpretation of class and politics in the Jacksonian city” [$8. 95]. In the foreword to a new edition of Clinton Rossiter’s 1787: The Grand Convention, fellow historian Richard B. Morris comments: “No one has so successfully captured the human elements of the gathering at Philadelphia as has Clinton Rossiter in these pages.” Norton has published a paper edition of 1787, a work which first appeared in 1966 [$8.95]. When Phil Patton’s Open Road: A Celebration of the American Highway came out last year, The New York Times Book Review offered this advice, “Put Mr. Patton’s lovely little book in the glove compartment of your Toyota and point it west.” You can now put a paper edition of that little book published by Touchstone Books in your glove compartment [$7.95]. Another recent Touchstone Book is John Ranelagh’s The Agency: The Rise and Decline of the CIA, in a revised and updated edition. William Stevenson, author of A Man Called Intrepid, lauded The Agency for presenting “an outstanding, exciting picture of the secret world” [$12.95]. Kentucky has reprinted Robert H. Walker’s Reform in America: The Continuing Frontier, a study of various reform movements in this country and the attempts to improve the welfare of blacks and women, as well as to enhance civil liberties and civil rights [$25.00 cloth]. As a part of its Bison Book series, Nebraska has republished Paul L. Hedren’s First Scalp for Custer: The Skirmish at Warbonnet Creek, Nebraska, July 17, 1876, with an introduction by Don Russell [$5.95]. Two other recent Bison Books are Life in Custer’s Cavalry: Diaries and Letters of Albert and Jennie Barnitz, 1867—1868, edited by Robert M. Utley [$7.95], and The Rocky Mountain Journals of William Marshall Anderson: The West in 1834, edited by Dale L. Morgan and Eleanor Towles Harris [$9.95]. Written in 1906 and long out of print, H.G. Wells’ The Future in America, took a prophetic look at this nation as it began the 20th century. Now with the end of that century approaching, St. Martin’s has come out with a new edition of Wells’ report of a 1906 visit to the U.S. [$16.95 cloth].


Shortly after Outside the Magic Circle: The Autobiography of Virginia Foster Durr was published by Alabama in 1985, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution said of this Birmingham native’s memoirs: “A fascinating chronicle of evolving Southern womanhood in a segregationist and sexist society. . . . As a civil rights chronicle, Outside the Magic Circle. . .puts prejudice in its place—the past.” The story of Virginia Foster Durr’s metamorphosis from Southern belle to New Deal liberal to a matriarch of the civil rights movement is now available in a paper edition from Touchstone Books [$9.95]. Touchstone has also republished the story of another Alabama woman whose race and origin were quite different from those of Mrs. Durr. The book is You May Plow Here: The Narrative of Sara Brooks, edited and photographed by Thordis Simonsen, the recollections of a black woman born on a subsistence Alabama farm in 1911 and her struggles, tragedies and triumphs [$6.95]. Atheneum has come out with a paper edition of Arthur and Lila Weinberg’s Clarence Darrow: A Sentimental Rebel, which the Los Angeles Times called “a fine, loving and judicious biography” of the best known and most controversial lawyer of his era [$14.95]. Oxford Paperbacks has reprinted Peter Griffin’s Along with Youth: Hemingway, The Early Years, of which the novelist and short story writer Ward Just said in a VQR review: “one of the most purely attractive biographies I have ever read” [$7.95]. One of Hemingway’s literary contemporaries was James M. Cain who, although he wrote continually for 63 years, regarded writing as “a refined form of crucifixion.” A biography of the author of such books as The Postman Always Rings Twice and Double Indemnity, was published by Roy Hoopes in 1982 under the title Cain: The Biography of James M. Cain. Southern Illinois has now come out with a paper edition of Hoopes’ biography [$16.95]. Although he committed suicide at the age of 32; Hart Crane left behind an outpouring of poetic genius that has given him a rank among major American poets of this century. His brief, tumultuous, often notorious life was examined in detail by John Unterecker in Voyager: A Life of Hart Crane, originally published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux in 1969. Liveright Books now has a paper edition of Voyager available [$14.95]. North Point Press has reprinted Mary Taylor Simeti’s On Persephone’s Island: A Sicilian Journal [$11.95]. Fireside Books has published a completely revised and updated edition of Harold C. Schonberg’s The Great Pianists: From Mozart to the Present, a work traversing the development of piano performance since its inception 200 years ago by the former senior music critic for The New York Times [$12.95]. Bison Books has republished The Custer Story: The Life and Intimate Letters of General George A. Custer and His Wife Elizabeth, edited by Marguerite Merington [$9.95].


Tournament, published in 1949, was novelist and historian Shelby Foote’s first novel, one set in Jordan County, Foote’s fictional Mississippi Delta county. Now Summa Publications has reprinted Tournament, with a foreword by noted Southern critic, Louis D. Rubin, Jr. [$19.95 paper]. Washington Square Press has a paper edition of William McPherson’s Testing the Current, a novel The New York Times Book Review deemed “an extraordinarily intelligent, powerful and . . .permanent contribution to the literature of family, childhood and memory” [$6.95] Recent paperbacks in Henry Holt’s Owl Book Series include Norman Mailer’s An American Dream [$8.95], and two novels by the German author Martin Walser, the novels being Runaway Horse [$6.95] and The Swan Villa [$7.95]. Atheneum has a paper edition of Harry Crews’ A Feast of Snakes, a fierce and funny account of life in Mystic, a small town in south Georgia, with a curious assortment of dirt farmers, peg-legged deputy sheriffs, and languishing ex-football heroes turned liquor-runners [$6.95]. Dover Books has a new edition of Anthony Trollope’s novel of English colonial life in Australia, Harry Heathcote of Gangoil [$3.95 paper]. Fireside Books has republished two novels and one collection of stories by the noted Indian writer Ruth Prawer Jhabvala. The novels are respectively Heat and Dust, winner of England’s prestigious Booker Prize [$6.95], and Travelers [$6.95], The third work by Ms. Jhabvala is Out of India: Selected Stories [$6.95]. Novels recently brought out as part of Scribner’s Signature Edition Series include: Mary Lee Settle’s The Clam Shell [$6.95], Barry Hannah’s The Tennis Handsome [$4.95], Sarah Sheard’s Almost Japanese [$4.95], James McPherson’s short story collection, Elbow Room (which received the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction) [$6.95], and Arthur Miller’s The Misfits and Other Stories [$5.95].


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