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Reprint, Spring 1981

ISSUE:  Spring 1981

Irving Howe’s World of Our Fathers, an account of the migration by two million East European Jews to America during four decades beginning in the 1880’s, was deemed “a masterpiece” by critic Harold Clurman, became a #1 bestseller, and subsequently won the National Book Award for 1976. An edition specially condensed by the author has now been issued by Bantam Books [$3.95]. The teaching of history in American schools has long been a subject of controversy, as Frances Fitzgerald made clear in her extensive report on the remaking and revising of the past in U.S. history textbooks during the 20th century. Entitled America Revised, her book was commended by John Kenneth Galbraith, who found its writing “admirable” and its research “inspired.” Vintage Books is offering a paperback edition [$3.95]. Vintage has also reprinted another study of our past, this being the noted historian Eugene D. Genovese’s From Rebellion to Revolution: Afro-American Slave Revolts in the Making of the New World [$3.95]. Billed as “the true story of Custer’s Last Stand,” Keep the Last Bullet for Yourself by Thomas B. Marquis, with an introduction by Joseph Medicine Crow, has been reprinted in paperback by Reference Publications, Inc. [$5.95].


Cornell has published five new paperback volumes in the History of Europe Series under the editorship of the eminent English historian J.H. Plumb, a series acclaimed by the London Observer as “one of the best multivolume histories of Europe in this generation at any price and in any format.” The five volumes are, respectively: Europe in Crisis, 1598—1648 by Geoffrey Parker [$5.95], Europe: Privilege and Protest, 1730—1789 by Olwen Hufton [$5.95], Europe between Revolutions, 1815—1848 by Jacques Droz [$4.95], Europe Reshaped, 1848—1878 by J.A.S. Grenville [$5. 95], and Europe of the Dictators, 1919—1945 by Elizabeth Wiskemann [$4.95]. Cambridge has issued the first paperback edition of The Companion Volume to complement the rest of The New Cambridge Modem History. Edited by Peter Burke, this 13th volume of the series deals with “problems of continuity and change in European history over the whole period covered . . .1492—1950,” whereas Volumes I-XII are each concerned with events and trends over 30 or 40 years [$13.95]. Other recent Cambridge paperbacks include Keith Hopkins’ Conquerors and Slaves: Sociological Studies in Roman History, Volume One, a work the London Times Literary Supplement thought should receive “a warm welcome” from “anyone interested in the ancient world, and in the limits and nature of our understanding of it” [$12.50]; and David Calico’s The German Problem Reconsidered: Germany and the World Order, 1870 to the Present, which Foreign Affairs called “a skillful and intelligent questioning of current interpretations of the development of modern Germany” [$6.95]. Another problem of modern times, Imperialism in the Twentieth Century, is examined by A. P. Thornton in a recent Minnesota reprint, a book the Journal of Modern History considered “elegantly written . . .from which both the knowing and the innocent will learn” [$22.50 cloth, $10.95 paper].


Cambridge has published a new edition of M.C. Bradbrook’s Themes and Conventions of Elizabethan Tragedy, a work which first appeared in 1935 and formed, according to the dust jacket, “the basis of the modern approach to Elizabethan poetic drama as a performing art” [$44.50 cloth, $12.95 paper]. Also recently released in paperback by Cambridge is Hisaaki Yamanouchi’s The Search for Authenticity in Modem Japanese Literature, a book considered “an excellent companion to any collection of modern Japanese literature” by the Library Journal [$10.95]. Columbia has brought out a paperback edition of M.C. Bradbrook’s Shakespeare: The Poet in His World, which Renaissance Quarterly described as a “pleasant, informal biography” [$5.95]. Ohio University has reissued Harry Levin’s The Power of Blackness: Hawthorne, Poe, Melville in paperback, a study cited a “a substantial critical work” by Booklist [$6.95]. Ohio University has also brought out a paperback edition of Max F. Schulz’s Black Fiction of the Sixties [$5.95]. Matthew J. Bruccoli’s examination of the sometimes stormy friendship of F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway, Scott and Ernest: The Authority of Failure and the Authority of Success, is out as a Southern Illinois paperback [$7.95]. Another modern American literary giant, William Faulkner, sets down his thoughts about life and literature in Lion in the Garden: Interviews with William Faulkner, 1926—1962, edited by James B. Meriwether and Michael Millgate and reprinted as a Bison Book by Nebraska [$17.50 cloth, $5.95 paper].


British novelist and critic Ford Maddox Ford was very much a part of the London literary scene at the century’s outset, and he set forth his reminiscences on writers he had known—including Henry James, Stephen Crane, Joseph Conrad, Thomas Hardy, and D.H. Lawrence—in Portraits from Life, which first appeared in 1936 and has now been reprinted in paperback by Houghton Mifflin [$4.95]. Erskine Caldwell’s Deep South: Memory and Observation, the story of his encounters with the varieties of Southern Protestantism, is available, in a paperback edition recently put out by Georgia [$5.95]. Considered the classic account of D.H. Lawrence’s childhood and youth, D.H. Lawrence: A Personal Record, was written in the 1930’s by Jessie Chambers, the girl who was the model for Miriam Leivers in Sons and Lovers, and is again available as a Cambridge paperback [$8. 95]. One of the world’s most celebrated composers, Dmitri Shostakovich set the skeletons rattling in the Soviet closet when he produced Testimony: The Memoirs of Dmitri Shostakovich, as related to and edited by Solomon Volkov and now reprinted in paperback by Harper Colophon Books [$4.95]. One of the last of the West’s legendary mountain men was Richens Lacy (Uncle Dick) Wootton, who died in 1893 but not before completing a colorful autobiography, Uncle Dick Wootton, which came out in 1890 and is again available as a Bison Book [$22.50 cloth, $7.50 paper].


Described as the “Queen of Crime” and considered by many as the heir to the mantle of mystery so long worn by Agatha Christie, P.D. James has won a large American audience in recent years, so much so that Scribner’s has combined three of her novels into a new cloth volume called Murder in Triplicate, the triplicate consisting of Unnatural Causes, An Unsuitable Job for a Woman, and The Black Tower [$14.95]. My Brilliant Career, the trials and torments of a young woman coming of age in the macho world of turn-of-the-century Australia, was written when its author, Miles Franklin, was only 16 years old and originally published in 1901. A new cloth edition of the novel, with a preface by Henry Lawson and a new introduction by Carmen Callil, has been produced by St. Martin’s [$9.95]. St. Martin’s is also offering a paperback reprint of Djuna Barnes’ novel, Ryder, a 1928 bestseller recounting the adventures of an eccentric polygamist [$5.95], Frances Newman’s The Hard-Boiled Virgin, a 1926 novel about an Atlanta woman imprisoned by tradition, is among the new Georgia paperbacks, with a foreword by Anne Firor Scott [$5.95]. The latest addition to Southern Illinois’ Lost American Fiction is Caroline Gordon’s Aleck Maury, Sportsman [$12.95 cloth, $6.95 paper].


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