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Reprint, Summer 1981

ISSUE:  Summer 1981

Even though separated by only a decade, the America of the 1980’s seems a world away from those turbulent times known as the 1960’s. We may not have overcome all the prejudices and problems of race, but we have buried Jim Crow. We may still be obsessed with our fear of Soviet expansion, but it is the Soviets who are bogged down in Afghanistan and we who are long gone from Vietnam. Yet if the 60’s now appear to be so long ago and far away, they live on in the pages of Milton Viorst’s Fire in the Streets: America in the 1960’s, which Simon & Schuster recently reissued as a Touchstone Book [$8.95]. If Viorst examines America’s recent past, Alan Crawford is much concerned with the America of today and tomorrow, his overriding concern being the rise of the “New Right” in American politics, a rise underscored by the results of the 1980 elections. Described as “a conservative journalist,” Crawford wrote Thunder on the Right: The “New Rightand the Politics of Resentment last year “to sound the alarm at what he saw happening . . .the abandonment of traditional conservatism for backlash politics and single-issue causes.” Pantheon has published a paperback edition of Thunder on the Right, with a new introduction by liberal journalist James A. Wechsler [$3.95], Daniel J. Boorstin’s The Lost World of Thomas Jefferson was originally published by Chicago in 1948 and won immediate acclaim for being, in the words of the late Richard Hofstadter, “a major contribution not only to Jefferson studies but to American intellectual history.” Boorstin has written a new preface for a paperback edition of Lost World published by Chicago this spring [$6.95], When Victor G. and Brett De Bary Nee’s Longtime Califom’: A Documentary Study of An American Chinatown appeared in 1972, the Christian Science Monitor hailed this account of the Chinese in San Francisco as “the most vivid, essential guide for anyone who wishes to understand the experience of Chinese immigrants in America.” Pantheon has added Longtime Californ’ to the Pantheon Village Series, making available a paperback edition [$6.95].


Jacob Burckhardt considered his The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy an essay when it was first published in 1860. Yet, as Hajo Holborn writes in his introduction to the recent Modern Library edition [$5.95 cloth], Burckhardt’s work “has remained the greatest single book ever written on the history of Italy between 1350 and 1550. . . . It created methods of reviving the past which will have a lasting influence on the writing of history.” Burnett Bolloten was a United Press correspondent in Spain during the Spanish Civil War, and his experiences there led to his writing The Grand Camouflage, two editions of which were published in 1961 and 1968, respectively. A third paperback edition of Bolloten’s book has now been published by North Carolina under a new title, The Spanish Revolution: The Left and the Struggle for Power during the Civil War, with a foreword by British historian Raymond Carr [$14.00], Pantheon has published a paperback edition of Dorothy Hartley’s Lost Country Life, an account of how English country folk “lived, worked, threshed, thatched, rolled fleece, milled corn, brewed mead,” of how a long-vanished rural world carried out its tasks and trades [$6.95], The execution of Louis XVI, “Louis the Last,” is recounted in detail by David P. Jordan in The King’s Trial: Louis XVI vs. the French Revolution, a recent California paperback [$5.95], As a new addition to its Past and Present Publications series, Cambridge has issued a paperback edition of Peasants, Knights and Heretics: Studies in Medieval English Social History, edited by R.H. Hilton [$11.95].


Considered “a seminal study for all students of English literature and the history of ideas,” the late Professor Basil Willey’s two-volume enquiry into the history of religious and moral ideas in the 19th century has been reprinted in paperback by Cambridge. The two volumes are, respectively, Nineteenth-Century Studies: Coleridge to Matthew Arnold and More Nineteenth-Century Studies: A Group of Honest Doubters [$9.95 each volume]. Other recent Cambridge paperback reprints include Graham Hough’s Selected Essays [$10.50], A.D. Moody’s Thomas Steams Eliot, Poet [$14.95], and John M. Wallace’s Destiny of His Choice: The Loyalism of Andrew Marvell [$13.50], Eliot is also the subject of noted critic Northrop Frye’s T.S. Eliot: An Introduction, now available as a Chicago paperback [$3.95]. Johns Hopkins has published a paperback edition of Edgar A. Dryden’s Melville’s Thematics of Form: The Great Art of Telling the Truth [$5.95]. Two volumes of Lewis Turco’s poetry have been reprinted in paperback by Despa Press, the volumes being, respectively, The Inhabitant [$2.95] and Pocoangelini: A Fantography [$2.85]. Czeslaw Milosz’s Selected Poems (Revised) have been published in paperback by Ecco Press [$8.95]. The Polish poet won the 1980 Nobel Prize for Literature. Brotherly Love, Daniel Hoffman’s long poem evoking William Penn’s vision of America, is available in paperback as a Vintage Book [$5.95].


First published in 1957, Karl A. Wittfogel’s Oriental Despotism: A Comparative Study of Total Power is considered a classic account of the origins of “self-perpetuating, totalitarian rule,” Indeed, the New York Times deemed Wittfogel’s work “a major contribution to the understanding of human history.” Now, appearing in paperback for the first time and with a new foreword by the author, Oriental Despotism is being offered as a Vintage book [$8.95]. The Orient is also the subject of Jan Myrdal’s Report from a Chinese Village, a new paperback in the Pantheon Village Series and a book which Harrison E. Salisbury called “a social classic” [$6.95]. Pantheon is also offering a paperback edition of Eric Hobsbawm’s Bandits, a book dealing with a form of individual or minority rebellion within peasant societies which the (London) Times Literary Supplement lauded as “human history at its very best” [$4.95]. Cambridge has published a paperback edition of Stanley Joel Reiser’s Medicine and the Reign of Technology, an examination of the technological advances in medicine during the past four centuries [$8.95]. Another recent Cambridge paperback is A Book of Masques, a study of English 17th-century masques edited by T.J.B. Spencer and S. Wells [$19.95]. Two recent Bantam Books are Alvin Toffler’s The Third Wave, billed as “the book that makes sense of the exploding Eighties” [$3.95], and The Book of Lists #2 by Irving Wallace, David Wallechinsky, Amy Wallace, and Sylvia Wallace [$3.50].


When Ted Morgan’s Maugham, the first full-scale biography of Somerset Maugham, was published in 1980, the New York Times observed in its review of a literary figure whose life spanned from the age of Victoria to the age of anxiety: “One dare not skip a word of Mr. Morgan’s text. And just as well, for it is an amazing account that he has put together of all that Maugham was. . . .” That account has been reprinted in paperback by Touchstone Books [$9.95]. Joseph Mileck’s Hermann Hesse: Life and Art, a biography of the German writer which Choice praised for creating “a living image of Hesse the man and Hesse the artist,” is a recent California paperback [$5.95]. The lives of a countryman and his wife born and bred in Britain’s famous Fen country were recorded by their daughter Sybil Marshall in Fenland Chronicle, a paperback edition of which Cambridge is offering [$10.95].


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