Eyewitness to America, edited by David Colbert, covers 500 years of American history in the words of those who saw it happen. It is a book described by the Chicago Tribune as “a multi-faceted history of the land and people . . .the kind of book that can be opened anywhere.” A new edition of Eyewitness to America is available as a Vintage Book [$16]. As a part of its “Fairy-Tale and Folklore” library series, Pantheon is offering a paper edition of Legends and Tales of the American West, edited, told, and retold by Richard Erdoes and covering such legendary characters as Davy Crockett, Wild Bill Hickok, Paul Bunyan, Pecos Bill, Frank and Jesse James, and including more than 130 colorful stories of how the West was won [$16]. Georgia has a paper edition of Keith D. Miller’s Voice of Deliverance: The Language of Martin Luther King, Jr., and Its Sources which the Washington Post Book World acclaimed as “a ground breaking understanding of King’s ability to motivate Americans to achieve social change” [$17.95]. Another recent Georgia paperback is Ray Blount, Jr.’s Crackers, a humorous account of life in the South by one of its keenest and funniest observers [$14.95], Two recent additions to Ivan R. Dee’s paperback “The American Way Series” are respectively Roger Daniels’ Not Like Us: Immigrants and Minorities in America, 1890—1924 and Daniel Nelson’s Shifting Fortunes: The Rise and Decline of American Labor, From the 1820s to the Present [$12.95 each]. Nebraska is offering a second edition of Barbara G. Salmore and Stephen A. Salmore’s New Jersey Politics and Government: Suburban Politics Comes of Age which former New Jersey governor Thomas H. Kean lauded for filling “a gap in the literature of New Jersey on state government and politics” [$22 paper], A recent Johns Hopkins paperback is John Kersey’s The Algiers Motel Incident, an account of the 1997 race riots in Detroit where the Algiers Motel was the site of a brutal confrontation in which three black men were killed and nine others were brutally beaten [$15.95], Johns Hopkins has also reprinted in paper Howard W. Odum’s classic Race and Rumors of Race: The American South in the Early Forties with a new introduction by Bryant Simon [$14.95], Princeton has a paper edition of Stephen M. Griffin’s American Constitutionalism: From Theory to Politics, one of Choice’s Outstanding Academic Books of 1996 [$15.95 paper]. A new edition of Edward J. Larson’s Summer for the Gods: The Scopes Trial and America’s Continuing Debate Over Science and Religion, a winner of the Pulitzer Prize in history is now available in paper from Harvard [$14.95]. Yale has republished Laura Kalman’s The Strange Career of Legal Liberalism, an intellectual history of constitutional theory [$47.50 cloth, $18 paper]. Yale has also published a new edition of Thomas Eakins’ The Rowing Pictures, classic portrayals of American oarsmen [$40 cloth, $20 paper]. Noonday is out with a paper edition of Ann Douglas’ The Feminization of American Culture, which the New York Times Book Review found to be “indispensable reading for modern feminists, and indeed, anybody else of serious intelligence” [$15 paper].
W. Jackson Bate’s Samuel Johnson can be described as the magisterial biography of one of England’s great literary figures. The biography won three of the most prestigious literary prizes this country offers after its original publication in 1975: winner of the National Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award, and the Pulitzer Prize. Counterpoint has issued a new paper edition of Bate’s biography [$25]. One of America’s literary giants is the subject of Laurie Robertson-Lorant’s Melville: A Biography which has been reissued in paper by Massachusetts. The biography draws on more than 500 newly discovered letters and immerses the reader in the world of Melville from his childhood to his seafaring days to his often frustrating career as a writer [$19.95]. Missouri is out with a paper edition of Dear Bess: The Letters From Harry to Bess Truman, 1910—1959, edited by Robert H. Ferrell. Dear Bess is a collection of more than 600 letters that Harry Truman wrote to his beloved wife and was selected from 1,268 letters discovered in Bess’ house after her death in 1982 [$24. 95]. Vintage Books has republished James Agee’s Pulitzer Prize winning A Death in the Family, a novelistic account of the death of Agee’s father [$12]. Other recent Vintage Books include Redmond O’Hanlon’s No Mercy: A Journey into the Heart of the Congo [$14] and Michael Lewis’ Trail Fever, an account of the 1996 presidential campaign [$14]. A fourth Vintage Book is Jean-Dominique Bauby’s The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, a moving memoir of the massive stroke that left him completely and permanently paralyzed, a victim of locked-in syndrome. The memoir appeared just two days after Bauby’s death in 1996 and went on to become a number one bestseller across Europe [$11]. Herb Block: A Cartoonist’s Life is the autobiography of Herbert Block, long time many-prize-winning cartoonist of the Washington Post. The memoir has an introduction by Katherine Graham, publisher emeritus of the Post and 250 gem Herb Block cartoons from FDR to Clinton. It is available from Times Books [$16]. Times Books is also offering Ghost of a Chance: A Memoir, by pianist Peter Duchin, son of Eddie Duchin, America’s prominent society band leader [$16.95 paper]. Norton has republished Rafael Campo’s The Desire to Heal: A Doctor’s Education in Empathy, Identity, and Poetry. Author of two books of poetry, Rafael Campo teaches and practices medicine at Harvard Medical School and the Beth Israel Hospital of Boston [$13 paper]. Another recent Norton paperback is Brian Urquhart’s Ralph Bunche: An American Odyssey, a biography of a black American who became both a world famous international diplomat and a racial pioneer in his own country as well as winner of the 1950 Nobel Peace Prize [$15.95]. Routledge has a new paper edition of Fred Inglis’ Raymond Williams, a biography of a Welsh writer, Cambridge professor, folk hero and guru of the left [$19.99]. Wisconsin has reissued Martin Duberman’s Midlife Queer: Autobiography of a Decade, 1971—1981, the memoir by an acclaimed writer and gay activist [$17.95 paper], James A. Bill’s George Ball: Behind the Scenes in U.S. Foreign Policy, a biography of an undersecretary of state, diplomat, and respected “wise man” is again available from Yale [$35 cloth, $16 paper]. Leon C. Standifer’s Not In Vain: A Rifleman Remembers World War II chronicles a G. I. ‘s experiences during the fall and winter of 1944—45 in the European theater of operations. LSU recently issued a paperback of Not In Vain with a new afterword by the author [$16.95]. LSU also has a paper edition of James Brewer Stewart’s Wendell Phillips: Liberty’s Hero, a biography of an antislavery leader nationally famous as “abolition’s golden trumpet” [$16.95]. Robert Middlekauff’s Benjamin Franklin and His Enemies was lauded by American historian Gordon Wood in the New fork Review of Books as “an ingenious subject, and Middlekauff develops it with elegance and grace.” A new paper edition is available from California [$15.95]. Anne Fadiman’s The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down: A Hmong Child, Her American Doctors, and the Collision of Two Cultures explores the clash between a small country hospital in California and a refugee family from Laos over the care of a Hmong child diagnosed with severe epilepsy. It won the National Book Critics Circle Award. Noonday Press has published a paper edition [$13]. The Ice: A Journey to Antarctica recounts the experiences of a professor of history at Arizona State University on a continent reduced to a single mineral—ice. Washington has a paper edition of The Ice [$22.50].
Hilary Mantel’s A Place of Greater Safety is the story of three major figures in the French Revolution—George-Jacques Danton, Maximilien Robespierre, and Camille Desmoulins—all of whom lead the mob in the first moments of the upheaval and all of whom died before they were 40. The New Yorker called Mantel’s narrative “riveting . . .the book overflows with a natural storyteller’s energy.” Owl Books has published a paper edition of this work [$15]. The Revolution is also the subject of Alexis de Tocqueville’s classic, The Old Regime and the Revolution which has been republished in a new translation and annotated edition by Chicago. It is edited with an introduction and critical apparatus by François Furet and Françoise Melonio [$32.50 cloth], Stephen J. Pyne’s Burning Bush: A Fire History of Australia traces the impact of fire on the Australian subcontinent showing that it is a powerful and environmental determinant. A new edition is available from Washington [$24.95 paper]. In Cultural Realism: Strategic Culture and Grand Stategy in Chinese History, Alastair lain Johnston examines premodern Chinese strategic thought that has important implications for contemporary international relations. Princeton has republished Cultural Realism as a paperback [$18.95].
Bacchylides was a Greek lyrical poet whose odes celebrated the Olympic Games and chronicled the spirit and world of Golden Age Greece. A translation of his Complete Poems was made by Robert Fagles and published by Yale, a paper edition of which is now available [$13]. Leopold Sedar Senghor is a Senegalese poet who also served as president of the Republic of Senegal from 1960 until 1981 when he resigned in a peaceful transfer of power. He is the first black African and only black intellectual ever elected to the French Academy. In 1991 Virginia published the first complete English translation of Senghor’s The Collected Poetry and has now issued a paperback edition of this volume [$19.95]. Two recent Penguin Classics are respectively Friedrich Holderlin’s Selected Poems and Fragments [$14.95] and Seneca in English [$14.95]. Michigan has printed the first paper edition of H.T. Kirby-Smith’s The Origins of Free Verse, a wide ranging study of the literary history of this debated genre [$17.95],
Three of Edith Wharton’s greatest novels constitute what is known as Wharton’s New York Novels. The three are The House of Mirth (1905), The Custom of the Country (1913), and The Age of Innocence (1920), winner of the Pulitzer Prize. The New York Novels have been published in one volume in a new edition from Random House with a foreword by novelist Louis Auchincloss [$27.95 cloth]. Evariste Galois was a gifted French mathematician who grew up in the tumultuous years after the final exile of Napoleon Bonaparte and died tragically young at age 21 in a duel. Australian novelist Tom Petsinis has fictionalized Galois’ turbulent life and times and had the Frenchman narrate his own story in a novel called The French Mathematician. It is available in a new edition from Walker [$24 cloth]. Robert Morgan’s The Truest Pleasure is set on the same ground and the same time as Cold Mountain and is a critically acclaimed love story. Algonquin Books has published a paper edition of this novel [$11.95]. Vintage Books has republished Cynthia Ozick’s The Puttermesser Papers, a novel which was a finalist for the National Book Award [$12]. Chinese writer Ha Jin’s Ocean of Words: Stories won the PEN/Hemingway Award and was described by the New York Times Book Review as a “compelling collection of stories powerful in their unity of theme and rich in their diversity of styles.” The collection is again available as a Vintage International book [$12]. China is also the subject of another recent Vintage International book in Carl Hiaasen and Bill Montalbano’s A Death in China [$12]. Norton has republished Starling Lawrence’s short story collection Legacies, a collection by a Norton editor who discovered Patrick O’Brien for American audiences [$13 paper]. Mariner Books is offering a paper edition of Muriel Spark’s Reality and Dreams which John Updike called “as intricate and bright as the toy of a child emperor” [$12 paper], Berkeley Books has a paper edition of Michael Downing’s A Perfect Agreement, a bestseller about a Shaker community [$12.95]. Sandra Tsing Loh’s If You Lived Here, You’d Be Home By Now was selected by the Los Angeles Times as one of the Best Books of 1997 and it is again available in paper as a Riverhead Book [$13]. A recent addition to Ivan R. Dee’s Elephant Paperback series is B. Traven’s Trozas, a novel translated into English for the first time completing the set of Traven’s legendary jungle novels [$14.95].