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Reprint, Spring 1985

ISSUE:  Spring 1985

Considered a master of narrative history, Francis Parkman produced a chronicle of the French and Indian War a century ago that has become a classic account of that conflict. Now Atheneum has published a new edition of this work, which is entitled Montcalm and Wolfe, the respective names of the French and British generals who clashed on the Plains of Abraham outside Quebec in 1759.The eminent contemporary historian, C.Vann Woodward, has written a foreword to the new edition of Parkman’s masterpiece [$19.95 cloth]. The French and Indian War, known, too, as the Seven Years’ War, is also the subject of Fred Anderson’s A People’s Army: Massachusetts Soldiers and Society in the Seven fears’ War.Anderson’s purpose, as he explains in his preface, is to focus on “the mundane aspects of soldiering. . . in order to gauge the effects of military life” on provincial American troops. North Carolina has published a new edition of Anderson’s book, which won the Jamestown Prize in Early American History [$25.00 cloth]. Hailed by The New Yorker in 1938 as “the most original and admirable” volume in the WPA American Guide Series, New York Panorama is a collection of 26 essays touching on every aspect of the city’s life from its subways to its slang. To New Yorker Alfred Kazin, Panorama is “a still unequaled history and guide to New York. . . in its last age of innocence.” Pantheon has just brought out a new edition of this thirties classic, with an introduction by Kazin [$20.00 cloth]. The 1930’s are the subject as well of Richard H.Pells’ Radical Visions and American Dreams: Culture and Social Thought in the Depression Years, a critical assessment of how American intellectuals confronted that economic and social crisis known as the Great Depression [$10.95 paper]. The Union siege of Vicksburg proved to be the turning point in the military career of General Ulysses S. Grant, and that siege and Grant’s role in it are the subjects of the late Earl S. Miers’ The Web of Victory, which Civil War historian Bruce Catton deemed “a permanent and valuable addition to the lore” of our worst war. Louisiana is offering a new edition of this book [$8.95 paper]. The conquest of the West has long fascinated Americans, and it is described in Robert M. Utley’s Frontier Regulars: The United States Army and the Indian, 1866—1891, a history of the final massive drive by the Regular Army to subdue and control the Indians and open the region during the 25 years following the Civil War. Called “an excellent piece of scholarship and writing” by the Library Journal, the book has been reissued as a part of Nebraska’s Bison Book series [$12.95 paper]. Touchstone has published a new edition of Rosabeth Moss Kanter’s The Change Masters: Innovation and Entrepreneurship in the American Corporation, which Publishers Weeklycalled “stimulating and invaluable reading” [$9.95 paper]. Simon & Schuster has come out with a new edition of Henry Pleasant’s The Great American Popular Singers: Their Lives, Careers and Art, covering popular American vocalists from Al Jolson to Barbara Streisand [$19.95 cloth, $9.95 paper].


The foremost figure of the Romantic Age in English literature, William Wordsworth was not only a prolific poet; he was an equally prolific letter writer. One hundred sixty-two of his letters, eight previously unpublished, can be perused in Letters of William Wordsworth, a selection compiled by Alan G.Hill, a professor of English at the University of London. Oxford recently published a paper edition of this selection [$7.95]. Phyllis Rose’s Parallel Lives: Five Victorian Marriages also involves giants of 19th-century British literature. The unions she describes—three devoid of passion, one scandalous, and one happy—include those of John Ruskin, Thomas Carlyle, John Stuart Mill, Charles Dickens, and George Eliot.Parallel Lives is now available as a Vintage Book [$6.95]. John Buchan (Lord Tweedsmuir) is best known as the author of such suspense novels as The Thirty-Nine Steps and The Adventures of Richard Hannay, but he also wrote an account of his own life, which he called Pilgrim’s Way and which he subtitled “An Essay in Recollection.” Buchan’s autobiography has been reprinted by Carroll & Graf [$10.95 paper]. The career of John Houseman has been long and distinguished, and it is recounted by Houseman himself in his acclaimed three-volume autobiography, two volumes of which are currently available as Touchstone Books, the volumes being, respectively, RunThrough, a memoir covering the years 1902—41, and Final Dress covering the period 1955—74 [$9.95 each]. Another recent Touchstone Book is James Grant’s Bernard Baruch: The Adventures of a Wall Street Legend, which the Los Angeles Timescalled “the best Baruch biography to date” [$9.95]. Cornell has issued a new edition of Viktor Shklovsky’s A Sentimental Journey: Memoirs, 1917—1922, translated from the Russian by Richard Sheldon [$9.95 paper].


The late Paul Scott’s The Raj Quartetserved as the basis for the acclaimed PBS television series, The Jewel in the Crown. Jewel, however, was but the first of the four volumes in which Scott set forth an epic fictional account of the twilight of British rule in India. The four volumes—Jewel, The Day of the Scorpion, The Towers of Silence, and A Division of the Spoils—have been assembled into one volume by Morrow [$25.00 cloth]. William Cooper’s Scenes from Married Life and Scenes from Later Life, novels about a British couple going through the years of early marriage and impending old age, have also been combined into one volume and reprinted by Dutton [$18.95 cloth]. Harper Colophon Books has recently reprinted editions of two novels by a third British author, John Cowper Powys. The first is Weymouth Sands, with an introduction by James Purdy [$8.95], and the second is Wolf Solent, with an introduction by Robertson Davies [$9.95], Dover is offering a paper edition of Anthony Trollope’s Lady Anna, a novel written at the height of the British writer’s creative powers [$6.95]. Shusaku Endo is considered Japan’s leading writer, and three of his novels are now available in paper editions, one from the Vintage Library of Contemporary World Literature and two from Taplinger. The Vintage work is The Samurai [$7.95], while the two Taplinger offerings are, respectively, The Sea and Poison [$5.95] and Volcano [also $5.95]. Hailed as the “most impressive novel of the Second World War yet to appear” by The New fork Times when first published in 1948, Theodore Plievier’s Stalingrad is a fictional re-creation of the titanic battle of World War II, and a new edition of the work has been published by Carroll & Graf [$8.95 paper]. Vintage Books has come out with new editions of two classics by Ring Lardner, the classics being, respectively, You Know Me Al and Haircut and Other Stories, each with an introduction by Wilfrid Sheed, and they are $5.95 each. Also available in Vintage editions are three works by the Trinidadian writer V.S.Naipaul, the works being Miguel Street [$4.95], The Loss of El Dorado [$5,95], and A House for Mr. Biswas[also $5.95]. Two recent additions to the Virago Modern Classic paperback series of “enduring works by woman novelists” are Violet Trefusis’ Hunt the Slipper and Elizabeth Taylor’s Angel [$7.95 each].


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