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Reprint, Summer 1988

ISSUE:  Summer 1988

In The Making of the Atomic Bomb, author Richard Rhodes takes the reader on a journey through the development of nuclear energy to the bright glare of Trinity in the summer of 1945. In reviewing the book for The New York Times Book Review, William J. Broad deemed it “the best overview of the century’s pivotal event.” This comprehensive history of the bomb so impressed award givers that it won both the 1987 National Book Award and the 1988 Pulitzer Prize. A new edition is available from Touchstone Books [$12.95]. Another new Touchstone Book is Allan Bloom’s surprise best-seller The Closing of the American Mind, a book which ran for weeks in the #1 spot of The New York Times Book Review list, with over 500,000 hardback copies in print [$7.95]. “If, years from now,” said writer Gloria Emerson in 1976, “Americans are willing to read any books about the (Vietnam) war being so quickly forgotten, let them be The Village of Ben Suc and The Military Half, by Jonathan Schell. They tell everything.” Schell’s accounts of that war have now been combined into a single book under the title The Real War: The Classic Reporting on the Vietnam War, with a new essay by the author, and reissued in paperback by Pantheon Books [$7.95]. Ever since 1802, when a revenge-seeking journalist named James T. Callender accused then president Thomas Jefferson of having a black mistress slave named Sally Hemings, the Hemings controversy has sullied the name of the sage of Monticello. New heat was injected into the debate about Jefferson’s alleged mistress when Fawn Brodie’s biography appeared in 1974. Later there was a novel by Barbara Chase-Riboud in which Hemings was the heroine. One of those who felt an historical sacrilege was being committed was Pulitzer Prize winner Virginius Dabney, and he came to the defense of Mr. Jefferson in a book entitled The Jefferson Scandals: A Rebuttal first published in hardcover by Dodd, Mead in 1981. Dodd, Mead has now published a paper edition of Dabney’s rebuttal [$9.95]. Joan M. Jensen’s Loosening the Bonds: Mid-Atlantic Farm Women, 1750—1850 focused on women in the Philadelphia hinterland and showed how they became a part of that area’s rise to agricultural prominence. A new paper edition of this work, deemed by one critic as “social history at its best,” is now available from Yale [$12.95]. Another recent Yale paperback is John Mack Faragher’s Sugar Creek: Life on the Illinois Prairie, the story of the birth and development of a rural American community, from its origins at the turn of the 19th century to the years that followed the Civil War. A third Yale paperback is Robert Anthony Orsi’s The Madonna of 115th Street: Faith and Community in Italian Harlem, 1880—1950 [$13.95]. Recent Bison Books from Nebraska include David L. Spotts’ Campaigning with Custer 1868—69, the memoirs of a young volunteer enlisted man in Custer’s campaign, together with General Philip Sheridan, against the Cheyennes and allied tribes [cloth $19.95, paper $6.95], and James P. Ronda’s Lewis and Clark among the Indians, the first book-length study of the Lewis and Clark expedition’s interaction with the Indian people whom it encountered [$8.95]. California has a paper edition of Chief of Staff’: Twenty-Five Years of Managing the Presidency, edited by Samuel Kernell and Samuel L. Popkin, with a foreword by Richard E. Neustadt. This is the edited transcript of a symposium moderated by John Chancellor featuring eight former White House chiefs of staff who served Presidents Eisenhower through Carter [$9.95].


Robert D. Richardson, Jr. ‘s Henry Thoreau: A Life of the Mind is, wrote Frank McConnell in the Wilson Quarterly, “the best introduction and guide to Thoreau’s thought that we are likely to obtain. It leads us to reread Thoreau [and] to recognize that we are hearing a unique, and perhaps essential, American voice.” California, the original publisher, has now issued a paper edition of Richardson’s Thoreau biography [$10.95]. Alan Walker’s Franz Liszt: The Virtuoso Years, 1811— 1847 was published in 1983 and won the James Tait Black Award for the best biography of that year, the Yorkshire Post Music Book of the Year Award for the same year, and the Medal of the Hungarian Minister of Culture in 1986. Cornell recently published a revised edition of Walker’s treatment of Liszt’s early life [$14.95]. The life of another musical giant is recounted in Harvey Sachs’ Toscanini, which Variety hailed as “the most authoritative, comprehensive biography of this giant in classical performing and recording history.” A new edition of Toscanini has been added to Harper & Row’s Perennial Library Series [$10.95]. Another recent addition to the Perennial Library is Will D. Campbell’s Forty Acres & A Goat, a memoir, by the white Mississippi clergyman about his involvement in the civil rights struggle from the 1954 Supreme Court ruling on school desegregation to the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968 [$8.95]. St. Martin’s has issued a paper edition of Kevin H. Siepel’s Rebel: The Life and Times of John Singleton Mosby, the Confederate cavalryman who spread havoc among Union forces in Virginia [$8.95]. One of the best of familiar essayists is Samuel F. Pickering, Jr., an English professor at the University of Connecticut, and a sample of Pickering’s humorous, humane writings is available in his collection A Continuing Education, a new paper edition of which was recently published by the University Press of New England [$8.95]. Touchstone Books has reissued Miep Gies’ Anne Frank Remembered: The Story of the Woman Who Helped to Hide the Frank Family, a book which inspired the recent CBS television movie The Attic [$6.95]. Kentucky has published a new edition of H. Edward Richardson’s Cassius Marcellus Clay: Firebrand of Freedom [$16.00 cloth]. Another recent Kentucky reprint is Verna Mae Slone’s What My Heart Wants to Tell, a memoir about life among the mountain people of the blue grass state [$16.00 cloth, $8.00 paper]. Nebraska’s Bison Book Series has republished Thelma S. Guild and Harvey L. Carter’s Kit Carson: A Pattern for Heroes, a comprehensive, authoritative biography of the famous scout and Indian fighter [$9.95]. Other recent editions to the Bison Book Series include these: J.W. Vaughn’s With Crook at the Rosebud, a memoir about the battle that was a prelude to the Little Big Horn tragedy [$21.95 cloth, $8.95 paper]; Buckskin Joe, “being the unique and vivid memoirs of Edward Jonathan Hoyt, hunter-trapper, scout, soldier, showman, frontiersman, and friend of the Indians 1840—1918” [$6.95]; Bess Streeter Aldrich’s A White Bird Flying, a story about the early German and Scotch settlers on the great Nebraskan plains [$7.50]; Colonel W.A. Graham’s The Story of the Little Big Horn: Custers Last Fight, a book first published in 1926 and respected ever since for its measured view of the most famous battle in the American West [$26.95 cloth, $8.95 paper]; and John G. Bourke’s An Apache Campaign in the Sierra Madre, a cavalry captain’s firsthand account of General George Crook’s pursuit of Gerónimo and other Apaches into Mexico in 1883 [$4.95]. Harvard has come out with a paper edition of Haru Matsukata Reischauer’s Samurai and Silk: A Japanese and American Heritage, which David E. Williams, reviewing for the Los Angeles Times Book Review, described as “at once an autobiography, a double biography, and a family saga covering three generations. It is a treat to read . . .and one does not have to be an old Japan hand to savor its pleasures” [$20.00 cloth, $10.95 paper].


Rene Wellek, Sterling Professor Emeritus of Comparative Literature at Yale University, published the two most recent volumes of his seven-volume A History of Modern Criticism, 1750—1950 in 1986, the volumes being, respectively, Volume 5: English Criticism, 1900—1950, and Volume 6: American Criticism, 1900—1950. Reviewing these works for American Literature, Martin Buceo commented, “the fifth and sixth volumes of Rene Wellek’s “monumental” History reaffirm his rank in the Western world as the principal critical historian of our time.” Now Yale, publisher of Wellek’s history has come out with paper editions of volumes five and six [$14.95 each]. Yale is also offering a paper edition of James M. Saslow’s Ganymede in the Renaissance: Homosexuality in Art and Society, an examination of images of Ganymede and other homosexual themes in the work of famous artists of the Renaissance [$16.95]. John Freccero’s Dante: The Poetics of Conversion is a series of essays originally published between 1959 and 1984 arranged to follow the order of the Divine Comedy and thus to provide a companion for a reader of the poem. Dante, edited and with an introduction by Rachel Jacoff, was originally published by Harvard, which now has a paper edition [$25.00 cloth, $10.95 paper]. The New 18th Century, edited by Felicity Nussbaum and Laura Brown, offers 12 essays by various scholars that take new theoretical approaches such as feminist, Marxist, and psychoanalytic, to the analysis of 18th-century text. The book is published by Methuen [$35.00 cloth, $13.95 paper]. To its Perennial Library Series, Harper & Row has added Allen Ginsberg’s Collected Poems, 1947—1980, a work by a poet who has been called by Bob Dylan, “probably the single greatest influence on American poetical voice since Whitman” [$15.95]. Pandora Press has a paper edition of Early Ripening: American Women’s Poetry Now, edited by Marge Piercy, including poems by such well-known poets as Maxine Kumin, Adrienne Rich, and Rita Dove [$9.95]. Illinois has three volumes of interviews with American writers and poets now available in paper editions, the works being respectively: Anything Can Happen: Interviews with Contemporary American Novelists, conducted and edited by Tom LeClair and Larry McCafiery, including such writers as John Earth, Robert Coover, Stanley Elkin, and Toni Morrison [$19.95 cloth, $9.95 paper]; Alive and Writing: Interviews with American Authors of the 1980s, conducted and edited by Larry McCaffery and Sinda Gregory, including such writers as Walter Abish, Ann Beattie, and Raymond Carver [$22.50 cloth, $9.95 paper]; and American Poetry Observed: Poets on Their Work, edited by Joe David Bellamy, including such poets as Marvin Bell, James Dickey, and Donald Justice [$19.95 cloth, $9.95 paper].


Lewis Carroll’s last major work, Sylvie and Bruno, was published more than 20 years after the Alice books and was the fulfillment of Carroll’s desire to create a more nobly intended work than the Alice volumes. Dover has now reprinted Carroll’s work, with the illustrations from the first edition by the noted Victorian artist, Harry Furniss, and an introduction by Martin Gardner [$7.95]. Dover also has a new edition of Anthony Trollope’s Collected Short Stories, a collection of lesser known and long neglected works which reflect Trollope’s experiences as a world traveler with locales ranging from a London slum to the eastern Pyrenees and western Ireland [$7.95]. The latest edition to the Cambridge Edition of the works of D.H. Lawrence is The Plumed Serpent, which Lawrence spoke of as his “real novel of America,” the America being Mexico of the 1920’s [$79.50 cloth, $24.95 paper]. Chicago has added three new paperbacks by Arthur A. Cohen to its Phoenix Fiction series, the works being respectively: In the Days of Simon Stern [$10.95]; Acts of Theft [$9.95]; and A Hero in his Time [$9.95].


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