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“This Infernal War”

| Filed under: Civil War Era, Civil War in the North, Recent Releases, Understanding Civil War History
This Infernal War Cover-Timothy Mason Roberts

Among collections of letters written between American soldiers and their spouses, the Civil War correspondence of William and Jane Standard stands out for conveying the complexity of the motives and experiences of Union soldiers and their families. The Standards of Lewiston in Fulton County, Illinois, were antiwar Copperheads. Their attitudes toward Abraham Lincoln, “Black Republicans,” and especially African Americans are, frankly, troubling to modern readers. Scholars who argue that the bulk of Union soldiers left their families and went to war to champion republican government or to wipe out slavery will have to account for this couple’s rejection of the war’s ideals.

 


“Our Little Monitor

and | Filed under: Civil War Era, Civil War in the North, Military History, Naval History, Recent Releases, Understanding Civil War History
Our Little Monitor: The Greatest Invention of the Civil War. Holloway and White

On March 9, 1862, the USS Monitor and CSS Virginia met in the Battle of Hampton Roads—the first time ironclad vessels would engage each other in combat. For four hours the two ships pummeled one another as thousands of Union and Confederate soldiers and civilians watched from the shorelines. Although the battle ended in a draw, this engagement would change the nature of naval warfare by informing both vessel design and battle tactics. The “wooden walls” of navies around the world suddenly appeared far more vulnerable, and many political and military leaders initiated or accelerated their own ironclad-building programs.

 


The Complete Funky Winkerbean, Volume 7, 1990–1992

| Filed under: Black Squirrel Books, Comics, Humor, Recent Releases
Batiuk Funky 7

In this seventh volume, we see the changes in tone that now characterize Funky WinkerbeanFunky becomes more of a reality-based comic strip that depicts contemporary issues in a thought-provoking and sensitive manner. In 1992 Tom Batiuk did something even more radical: he rebooted and restructured the strip, establishing that the characters had graduated from high school. From then on the series progresses in real time.

 


“The Sweet and the Bitter”

| Filed under: Literature & Literary Criticism, Recent Releases
Amendt-Raduege Cover

In 1956, J. R. R. Tolkien famously stated that the real theme of The Lord of the Rings was “Death and Immortality.” The deaths that underscore so much of the subject matter of Tolkien’s masterpiece have a great deal to teach us. From the heroic to the humble, Tolkien draws on medieval concepts of death and dying to explore the glory and sorrow of human mortality. Three great themes of death link medieval Northern European culture, The Lord of the Rings, and contemporary culture: the way in which we die, the need to remember the dead, and above all the lingering apprehension of what happens after death. Like our medieval ancestors, we still talk about what it means to die as a hero, a traitor, or a coward; we still make decisions about ways to honor and remember the departed; and we continue to seek to appease and contain the dead. These themes suggest a latent resonance between medieval and modern cultures and raise an issue not generally discussed in contemporary Western society: our deeply rooted belief that how one dies in some way matters.

 


Interpreting American History: The New South

| Filed under: Interpreting American History, Recent Releases, U.S. History
Humphreys Cover

The concept of the “New South” has elicited fierce debate among historians since the mid-twentieth century. At the heart of the argument is the question of whether the post–Civil War South transformed itself into something genuinely new or simply held firm to patterns of life established before 1861. The South did change in significant ways after the Civil War ended, but many of its enduring trademarks, the most prominent being white supremacy, remained constant well into the twentieth century. Scholars have yet to meet the vexing challenge of proving or disproving the existence of a New South. Even in the twenty-first century, amid the South’s sprawling cities, expanding suburbia, and high-tech environment, vestiges of the Old South remain.

 


Lincoln’s Lover

| Filed under: Explore Women's History, Literature & Literary Criticism, Poetry, Recent Releases
Emerson Cover

In his Poetics, Aristotle said a historian and a poet do not differ from each other—one simply writes in verse and the other in prose. In fact, history and poetry have a long connection; much of what we know about ancient history throughout the world came to us through the centuries and millennia as epic poetry purporting to tell the stories of great men and events. The two genres also create a fascinating juxtaposition when each views one through the lens of the other. To consider the life of a historical person through poetry is both to see that person for who they were and to consider who that person could have, or even should have, been in a more poetically perfect world.

 


Oliver P. Morton and the Politics of the Civil War and Reconstruction

| Filed under: Civil War Era, History, Recent Releases
Fuller cover

Remembered as the “Great War Governor” who led the state of Indiana during the Civil War, Oliver P. Morton has always been a controversial figure. His supporters praised him as a statesman who helped Abraham Lincoln save the Union, while his critics blasted him as a ruthless tyrant who abused the power of his office. Many of his contemporaries and some historians saw him as a partisan politician and an opportunist who shifted his positions to maintain power. Later generations treated Governor Morton as either a hero or a villain and generally forgot about his postwar career as a Radical Republican leader in the U.S. Senate…

 


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