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Reprint, Spring 1988

ISSUE:  Spring 1988

When Robert Griffith’s The Politics of Fear: Joseph R. McCarthy and the Senate was first published in 1970, it was deemed “a highly valuable addition to our knowledge of power politics and the “anti-communist impulse” in the 1950’s” by the American Historical Review. The book, which traces the rise and fall of one of America’s most notorious political demagogues, later won the Organization of American Historians’ Frederick Jackson Turner Award. Now a second edition, with a new introduction, of the Griffith study has been published by Massachusetts [$25.00 cloth, $10.95 paper]. A recent addition to Harper & Row’s Perennial Library is Otto Friedrich’s City of Nets: A Portrait of Hollywood in the 1940’s, which the New York Times Book Review called “the Scheherazade of Hollywood—a spell-binding incantation of every adventure and misadventure within the film community . . . highly enjoyable.” Said Newsweek, “you couldn’t ask for a livelier or more exotic cast” [$10.95]. If Hollywood contains many visionaries, it is by no means alone among American communities. Four such visionary communities—a fundamentalist church, a guru-inspired commune, a Sunbelt retirement city, and gay activist community—all embodying an American drive to shake the past and build anew, are examined by Frances Fitzgerald in Cities on a Hill, a new Touchstone Book [$8.95]. Paul A. Carter’s Another Part of the Fifties was described by Library Journal as “a serious and substantive perspective on the fifties experience. This may be the best historical synthesis of the decade available.” This account of the decade that began with Korea and ended on the threshold of Camelot has been republished by Columbia [$13.50 paper]. Two other new reprints in the Columbia Morningside Edition Series are respectively Paul Joseph’s Cracks in the Empire: State Politics in the Vietnam War, an account of when, how, and why we got involved in the Vietnam War, with a new preface by the author [$12.50], and Robin Wood’s Hollywood from Vietnam to Reagan, a collection of essays describing the shift in American cinema from the turbulent 70’s of Vietnam and Watergate to the reactionary and recuperative films of the 80’s [$12.50]. Nebraska’s Bison Book Series has added two works by Paul I. Wellman, one being Death on the Prairie: The Thirty Years’ Struggle for the Western Plains, beginning with the Minnesota Sioux Uprising in 1862, and the other being Death in the Desert: The Fifty Years’ War for the Great Southwest, beginning in 1837 with the rise to tribal leadership of Mangas Coloradas [$8.95 each]. The Apaches are also the subject of another Bison Book, John G. Bourke’s An Apache Campaign in the Sierra Madre, an account of General George Crook’s pursuit of Gerónimo and other Apache Indians across southern Arizona and New Mexico into the Sierra Madre of Mexico in 1883 [$4.95]. Louisiana has published a paper edition of Joseph G. Baldwin’s The Flush Times of Alabama and Mississippi, a series of 26 sketches and satires originally published in 1853, drawn from Baldwin’s experiences as an attorney on the turbulent Mississippi and Alabama frontiers in the 1830’s and 1840’s [$12.95].


Among American Secretaries of State, few have been as controversial or commanding as Dean Acheson, the secretary who, under Harry Truman, forged the foreign policy that took America from traditional isolationism to a role of international preeminence. During Acheson’s years as secretary, the reconstruction of Europe was achieved, the Korean War broke out, and NATO came into being. It was truly a time of tumult and triumph, one which led Acheson to title his 1970 memoirs Present at the Creation: My Years in the State Department, a work which won the Pulitzer Prize in 1970. In the opinion of diplomatic historian Gaddis Smith, Acheson “as a writer. . .has no equal since Thomas Jefferson first occupied the office in the 18th century.” A new edition of Present at the Creation has been published by Norton [$12.95]. Vintage Books has reprinted David J. Garrow’s Bearing the Cross: Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, a book, according to historian C. Vann Woodward, “likely to remain for a long time the most informative life of Martin Luther King, Jr. and the most thorough study of the civil rights movement,” and a book which won both the Pulitzer Prize and the Robert Kennedy Book Award [$10.95]. Like King, South African Alan Patón has devoted his life to the opposition of racial prejudice, and that life is described in his autobiography Towards the Mountain, a work the Boston Globe acclaimed as “a triumph of hope against hate.” It has been republished in paperback by Scribner’s on the occasion of Paton’s 85th birthday in January 1988 [$9.95]. St. Martin’s has published a revised edition of English Mediaeval Architects, by the esteemed architectural historian John Harvey, and made it available in the United States for the first time. The result of many years of research—Harvey recently marked his 70th birthday—the volume is a compilation of biographical material from about 1700 or so of those master masons, carpenters, carvers, and contractors who erected the cathedrals and castles, structures and spires of medieval England. The biographical dictionary runs down to 1550 [$35.00 paper]. Kentucky has published a second edition, with a new preface, of Boynton Merrill, Jr.’s Jefferson’s Nephews: A Frontier Tragedy, the tragedy being the gruesome murder of a black slave by Lilburne and Isham Lewis, two nephews of Jefferson who had emigrated from Virginia to western Kentucky in 1808 [$15.00]. Poseidon Press has republished J.R. Ackerley’s My Father and Myself, which The Times of London said, “is a masterpiece, and there is no need to prefix this judgement with a tentative adjective” [$7.95]. Three recent Bison Books from Nebraska are respectively I Fought with Custer: The Story of Sergeant Windolph, Last Survivor of the Battle of the Little Big Horn As Told to Frazier and Robert Hunt [$6.95], Custer’s Chief of Scouts: The Reminiscences of Charles A. Varnum, edited by John M. Carroll [$6.95], and 1 Fought with Geronimo by Jason Betzinez with Wilbur Sturtevant Nye [$7.95].


First published in France in 1961, Richard Cobb’s The People’s Armies has now been translated into English by Marianne Elliott, a fellow historian of the French Revolution and one of Cobb’s former pupils. The work describes the civilian armies created to obtain food and military equipment from the reluctant and frequently antirevolutionary rural populace during the turbulent era of the French Revolution. This classic book has now been reissued in a paper edition by Yale as a commemoration of the bicentenary of the Frenph Revolution. Said The Times of London of Cobb’s classic, it “deserves to be in the hands—not just on the shelf—of anyone who cares about history as a stimulating, entertaining, living, evocation of the past” [$17.95; also available in cloth at $55.00]. Simon and Schuster’s Summit Book Series is offering an edition of Mikhail Heller and Aleksandr M. Nekrich’s Utopian Power: The History of the Soviet Union from 1917 to the Present, which historian Walter Laguer considers “the best history of the Soviet Union now in print in any language” [$12.95]. Laquer himself is the author of The Fate of the Revolution: Interpretations of Soviet History from 1917 to the Present, a revised and updated edition of which has been printed by Collier Books [$10.95], Raymond Schwab’s The Oriental Renaissance: Europe’s Rediscovery of India and the East, 1680—1880, a history of European Oriental studies and their impact on European thought and literature, originally appeared in France in 1950. An English edition of what the Journal of Asian Studies called “an extraordinary achievement,” has been translated by Gene Patterson-Black and Victor Reinking and reissued by Columbia [$22.50 paper]. Vintage Books is offering an edition of Martin J. Shewin’s A World Destroyed: Hiroshima and the Origins of the Arms Race, with a new introduction by the author, an account of the political and diplomatic circumstances surrounding the development of the first atomic bomb [$9.95]. Harper & Row has come out with a new edition of Alan Moorhead’s The Fatal Impact: The Invasion of the South Pacific, 1767—1840, a work first published in 1966. Moorhead told the tragic story of what happened to the innocent inhabitants of the Pacific after the white man entered the area in the late 18th century [$25.00 cloth].


Norman Page’s A Dickens Companion was acclaimed by Library Journal as “an excellent book” whose “chapters on the individual novels are models of their kind.” Schocken Books has come out with a new edition of A Dickens Companion, covering a wealth of little known anecdotes about Dickens’ life and work [$11.95, distributed by Pantheon]. Columbia has a paper edition of Michael Rosenthal’s Virginia Woolf, a critical study of both the writer’s fiction and her nonfiction, exploring different ways Woolf sought to embody her artistic vision during a notable career [$15.00 paper]. Blackwell has a second edition of Lesley Milroy’s Language and Social Networks, a work first published in 1980 which had a great influence on the development of sociolinguistics [$14.95 paper].


Kenneth W. Thompson’s Winston Churchill’s World View: Statesmanship and Power was described by Norman Stone in the New York Review of Books, as “a decent, honest book. . . . It is a tract for the times in that the life of Churchill is used as a parable for the present.” A new edition of Thompson’s work is available from Louisiana [$9.95 paper], A recent New Directions paper work is The Book of Elaborations: Essays by Oscar Mandel, in which the author discusses such subjects as psychology, feminism, boredom, language, superstition, literature, punishment, poetry, etc. [$12.95]. A recent edition to the Perennial Library is J. Ruth Gendler’s The Book of Qualities, an exploration of the diversity of human qualities [$7.95]^ As a part of its Bradford Books Series’, MIT Press has a new edition of Raymond S. Nickerson’s Using Computers: Human Factors in Information Systems, an intensive introduction to the information technology revolution that is transforming industrial society [$12.50 paper].


Bantam Books has begun publishing a complete edition of the works of William Shakespeare, with forewords by Joseph Papp and edited by David Bevington. The first volume in the series by Papp and Elizabeth Kirkland is Shakespeare Alive!, a tour through the world of William Shakespeare [$4.50]. The plays published thus far in single volumes are A Midsummer Night’s Dream [$2.75], Julius Caesar [$1.95], Macbeth [$2.75], and Hamlet [$2.75]. Atheneum is offering a 25th Anniversary Edition of Reynolds Price’s first novel, A Long and Happy Life, of which Eudora Welty said upon its initial publication, “Reynolds Price is the most impressive new writer I’ve come across in a long time . . .here is a fine novel” [$14.95 cloth].


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