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Books

The Danse Macabre of Women

| Filed under: European & World History
Harrison Book Cover

The Danse Macabre of Women is a 15th-century French poem found in a lavishly illuminated late medieval manuscript. The only Dance of Death devoted entirely to women, it was written by an anonymous author and subsequently expanded by several poet/editors. In this version, one of the later productions, 36 women are called in the midst of their bustling daily lives to join the eternal Dance of Death. Young and old, rich and poor, widow, matron, and child—each is the focus of two short poelms written in the form of a dialogue (Death calls and the victim replies) and accompanied by an illumination (or a miniature).

 


Darling Ro and the Benét Women

| Filed under: Biography, Literature & Literary Criticism
Hively Cover

Darling Ro and the Benét Women presents a revealing glimpse of social and literary life in New York and Paris during the 1920s. Using a recently released collection of letters from the Benét Collection at Yale University, author Evelyn Helmick Hively extracts captivating anecdotes and impressions about a talented group of writers and impressive feminist figures. Written by Rosemary Carr Benét to her mother, Dr. Rachel Hickey Carr (one of Chicago’s first women physicians), the compilation of letters and short dispatches from Paris provides the focus of the book.

 


David Zeisberger

| Filed under: Biography, History
Olmstead2-mr

“Detailed research and thoughtful insights make David Zeisberger: A Life among the Indians a valuable study of Indian-Colonist relations in eighteenth-century British North America. Judicious in approach and compassionate without being polemical or sentimental, Olmstead brings to life the story of this Moravian missionary to the Eastern Woodland Indians. This volume, in combination with the author’s Blackcoats Among the Delaware, merits acceptance as the standard work about Zeisberger.” Philip Weeks, author of Farewell, My Nation: The American Indians and the United States.

 


Dawn of Hope

| Filed under: Regional Interest
Gieck4-hr

A 30-minute history of the founding of Alcoholics Anonymous in Akron, Ohio, in 1935. AA had its beginnings as the outcome of a meeting between Bill W., a New York stockbroker, and Dr. Bob S., an Akron surgeon. Prior to their meeting, Bill had gotten sober and had maintained his recovery by working with other alcoholics. Meanwhile, Dr. Bob had yet to achieve sobriety. Responding to Bill’s convincing ideas, he soon got sober, never to drink again. The founding spark of AA had been struck.

 


The Dead Eat Everything

| Filed under: Poetry, Wick First Book
Mlekoday-hr

“This book is a document of a particular world, real, wrenched from the poet’s life, as if written with a gun to his head or a spike through his heart. Reading it is like opening a damp newspaper wrapped around a big fish just caught, fins glistening, scales shining, one rhymed eye open and looking right at you, daring you to eat the whole thing.”—Dorianne Laux, author of The Book of Men

 


Death of an Assassin

| Filed under: Books, Military History, Recent Releases, True Crime, True Crime History
Ackerman cover

From the depths of German and American archives comes a story one soldier never wanted told. The first volunteer killed defending Robert E. Lee’s position in battle was really a German assassin. After fleeing to the United States to escape prosecution for murder, the assassin enlisted in a German company of the Pennsylvania Volunteers in the Mexican-American War and died defending Lee’s battery at the Siege of Veracruz in 1847. Lee wrote a letter home, praising this unnamed fallen volunteer defender. Military records identify him, but none of the Americans knew about his past life of crime.

 


Death Throes of a Dynasty

| Filed under: Biography
Ruoff Book Cover

The letters of Charles and Bessie Ewing provide eyewitness accounts of the social upheaval and warfare that shook turn-of-the-century China. In addition to discussing their missionary activities in the villages of North China and their struggle to master the Chinese Mandarin dialect, the Ewings describe the impact of Western culture upon the social structure of Imperial China as they lived it. Ruoff sets the larger scene about which the Ewings wrote: The Sino-Japanese war, the extraterritorial treaties, the Boxer Uprising , the foreign military interventions, the belated effort to modernize by the Manchu dynasty, the struggle against opium addiction, the student political movement, and the beginning of the Chinese Revolution. We also learn about the last great empress of China, Tzu His, and the last emperor, the child Pu Yi. Through the Ewing correspondence and his own narrative, Ruoff shows the parallel between the attitude toward the Chinese held by the foreign community in the 1890s and the equally restricted outlook the Chinese held of their land and themselves. But just as the views held by the young Congregationalist minister Ewing change during his nearly two decades of service in China, so also the views of the Chinese themselves undergo vast changes. This book then is both a compelling history of a period in modern China and the story of an American family living that history.