Nicholas Lemann’s The Promised Land: The Great Black Migration and How it Changed America became a national best-seller after its publication in 1991 and received several awards including the Southern Book Critics Circle Award and the Los Angeles Times Book Award for History. The Promised Land is now available as a Vintage book [$14], Another recent Vintage reprint is William Leach’s Land of Desire: Merchants, Power, and the Rise of a New American Culture, the story of merchant princes like John Wanamaker and Marshall Field [$15]. As part of its Civic War Library series, Vintage has reissued Geoffrey Ward’s The Civil War, the complete text of the best-selling narrative history of the Civil War, based on Ken Burn’s celebrated PBS television series [$13]. Harvard has reprinted noted political scientist Samuel H.Beer’s To Make a Nation: The Rediscovery of American Federalism, a work which won the 1994 Fraunces Tavern Museum Book Award [$17.95 paper]. Yale has a paper edition of Joan Delfattore’s What Johnny Shouldn’t Read: Textbook Censorship in America [$12], Another recent Yale paperback deals with the American West. It is Richard W.Slatta’s Cowboys of the Americas [$20], Princeton has republished Joyce D.Goodfriend’s Before the Melting Pot: Society and Culture in Colonial New York City, 1664—1730 which Choice called “an excellent study of New York City’s diverse population” [$16.95 paper]. The South may have seen more visitors between 1861 and 1865 than any other four years before or since, and many of them set down their experiences on paper. The late E.Merton Coulter, a professor of history at the University of Georgia, surveyed the vast body of travel literature on the Confederacy and then compiled a bibliography of annotated entries on nearly 500 accounts choosing only those he considered best and whose authors were actually present on the trip described. Coulter’s bibliography entitled Travels in the Confederate States originally appeared in 1948.A new edition has been published by Louisiana [$14.95 paper ].
David Levering Lewis’ W. E. B. Du Bois: Biography of a Race, 1868—1919 won the 1994 Pulitzer Price for Biography as well as the Francis Parkman Prize and the Bancroft Prize. It was also a finalist for the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award. This biography of the premiere architect of the civil rights movement in America is now available as a Henry Holt Owl paperback [$17.95]. Little, Brown’s Back Bay Books series has republished Noel Riley Fitche’s Anais: The Erotic Life of Anais Nin, a work Booklist described as “superbly written, sexually charged” [$14.95 paper], Ellen Glasgow ‘s autobiography The Woman Within was originally published by Harcourt Brace in 1954.Now some four decades later an expanded paper edition of Glasgow ‘s account of her life has been brought out by Virginia edited and with an introduction by Pamela R.Matthews [$16.95 paper]. Princeton has a new edition of Robert Sklar’s City Boys: Cagney, Bogart, Garfield, a triple biography of three of the top Warner Brothers stars of the 1930’s and 40’s [$39.50 cloth, $14.95 paper]. Texas A&M has reissued Frank E.Vandiver’s Ploughshares into Swords: Josiah Gorges and Confederate Ordnance, a biography of the Confederate responsible for supplying the South with firearms [$35 cloth, $16.95 paper]. A winner of the 1993 National Book Critics Circle award, Edmund White’s Genet: A Biography was acclaimed as “monumental” by the New York Times Book Review. White’s biography of one of French literature’s most controversial figures is now out as a Vintage book [$17]. Vintage is also offering a new edition of Blanche McCrary Boyd’s The Redneck Way of Knowledge with a new introduction by Dorothy Allison [$10], Nebraska has published a new edition of Lucie Aubrac’s Outwitting the Gestapo, an account of one woman’s role in the French Resistance during World War II [$25 cloth, $10 paper]. In its Bison Book series, Nebraska has reprinted biographies of the two principal figures on each side during the American Civil War. One is Isaac N.Arnold’s The Life of Abraham Lincoln, with an introduction by James A.Rawley, a fourth edition of a biography written by a Lincoln contemporary after the Civil War [$12.95 paper]. The other is Walter H.Taylor’s General Lee: His Campaigns in Virginia, 1861—1865, a work written by a member of Lee’s staff with a new introduction by Civil War historian Gary W.Gallagher [$12.95].
Francis Turner Palgrave first compiled his famous anthology of the best-known and best-loved poetry in the English language in 1861.Now Oxford has published a sixth edition of the famous Palgrave’s Golden Treasury, the first to be undertaken in 30 years. It was prepared by John Press who also edited the fifth edition and includes major figures of the 20th century such as Auden, Eliot, and Yeats as well as the finest poets of previous centuries [$35 cloth]. As part of its “Everyman’s Library Pocket Poets” series, Knopf is offering one-volume selections of these poets: William Blake, George Gordon, Lord Byron, and the American Walt Whitman [$10.95 cloth each volume]. Alef Books has republished Carol Moldaw’s Taken From the River: Poems, the first book in a publishing project that puts emphasis on new writers and new works [$10 paper]. Cornell has a new edition of Andrew Ford’s Homer: Poetry of the Past, a study of what poetry is, how it came to be, and what it is for as seen through fresh readings of the Illiad and the Odyssey [$39.95 cloth, $16.95 paper].
Possibly the most famous work of history in the English language is Edward Gibbon ‘s The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire which was first published in the 18th century. The last three volumes of Gibbon’s master work are now available in a boxed set as part of Knopf’s “Everymans Library” series. These volumes tell the story of the Eastern Roman Empire at Byzantium from its inception to the rise of the Islamic civilization that would eventually supplant it to its final dissolution at the fall of Constantinople in 1453.Throughout Gibbon displays the lucidity and literary vigor that is his hallmark as well as his rationality, acerbic irony, and fatalistic wisdom. The three volume set has an introduction by the noted Oxford historian Hugh Trevor-Roper [$45 cloth for the set]. Vintage Books has reprinted noted British military historian John Keegan’s A History of Warfare, deemed “perhaps the most remarkable study of warfare that has yet been written” by the New fork Times Book Review [$14]. Louisiana has published a paper edition of William F.Thompson’s The Image of War: The Pictorial Reporting of the American Civil War [$12.95].
Eric J. Sundquist’s To Wake the Nations: Race in the Making of American Literature is a reevaluation of the formative years of American literature—from 1830 to 1930— that shows how white literature and black literature constitute a single interwoven tradition.Choice lauded To Wake the Nations as “a major work of American criticism comparable in importance to Henry Nash Smith’s Virgin Land and Leo Marx’s The Machine in the Garden.” Winner of the 1993 Christian Gauss Award of Phi Beta Kappa, To Wake the Nations is now available in a paper edition from Harvard [$16.95]. Yale has a paper edition of J. Gerald Kennedy’s Imagining Paris: Exile, Writing, and American Identity in which Kennedy explores the imaginative process of five expatriate Americans in Paris— Gertrude Stein, Ernest Hemingway, Henry Miller, F.Scott Fitzgerald, and Djuana Barnes [$15].
Anatol Lieven’s The Baltic Revolution: Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and the Path to Independence is a portrait of the history, culture, and politics of the Baltic states from their ancient origins to their contemporary status. A new paperback edition fully revised and updated to take in accounts of events up to the spring of 1994 including the Russian election of December 1993 has been published by Yale [$15]. Yale also has a paper edition of Sandra Lipsitz Bern’s The Lenses of Gender: Transforming the Debate on Sexual Inequality, winner of the 1993 award for the Best New Book in Psychology given by the Association of American Publishers [$14]. A third recent Yale paperback is Diane E. Eyer’s Mother Infant Bonding: A Scientific Fiction [$13]. Chicago has reprinted Resistance Against the Third Reich, 1933—1990,edited by Michael Geyer and John W. Boyer, an anthology of essays about the nature of the resistance against totalitarianism [$39.95 cloth, $15.95 paper]. Vintage Books has a new edition of Texas political columnist Molly Ivin’s Nothin’ But Good Times Ahead, a collection of essays by one of the country’s liveliest political commentators [$12]. Another recent Vintage reprint is Sherwin B.Nuland’s Doctors: The Biography of Medicine, an account of the development of modern medicine by the author of the best-selling and prize-winning How We Die [$15].
Southern Methodist has combined George Garrett’s novel Which Ones Are the Enemy? with nine other stories of military life including two previously uncollected stories, “Crowfoot” and “Heroes” and published the collection under the title The Old Army Game, with an introduction by George Core, editor of the Sewanee Review [$22.50 cloth, $10.95 paper], SMU also has a new edition of Alan Cheuse’s The Grandmothers’ Club with an afterword by John W.Aldridge [$10.95 paper] as well as John Yount’s novel Thief of Dreams [$10.95 paper]. Rice has new editions of two novels about New York in the 1950’s by Daniel Stern, the Cullen Distinguished Professor of English in the University of Houston’s Creative Writing Program. The first is After the War, an account of those years when everyone was trying to make up for lost time, and the second is Who Shall Live, Who Shall Die, a novel set amidst the lights and glamour of the New York theater district in the 1950’s [$22.50 cloth, $11.95 paper for each volume]. Nebraska is offering paper editions of two novels by the acclaimed young French writer Jean Echenoz translated by Mark Polizzotti. The first is Cherokee, a Parisian thriller, and the second is Double Jeopardy[$10 each]. Recent additions to the Washington Square paper series include two of America’s most famous novels, the first being Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter [$4.99] and the second Pearl S. Buck’s classic novel of pre-revolutionary China The Good Earth [$5.99]. Nebraska has republished Zane Grey’s classic Western, Riders of the Purple Sage, with a foreword by Loren Grey and an introduction by James C.Work [$8.95 paper]. Among recent Vintage books are these: William Styron’s A Tidewater Morning[$9]; Edmund White’s The Beautiful Room is Empty [$11] and Forgetting Elena [$10]; Elizabeth Tallent’s short story collection Honey [$11]; John Banville’s Ghosts [$11]; Hermann Broch’s The Death of Virgil[$16]; Caryl Phillips’ Crossing the River[$11]; and Anita Brookner’s Dolly [$11].