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The Musical World of Halim El-Dabh

| Filed under: Biography, Discover Black History
Musical Book Cover

Egyptian-born composer Halim El-Dabh has studied with the giants of 20th-centruy musical composition and conducting. Although The Musical World of Halim El-Dabh focuses on his career from his arrival in the U.S. in 1950 to his retirement from the faculty of Kent State University in 1991, his early life in Egypt, its influence on him musically, and his creative life following retirement are also presented.

 


Forgotten Valor

| Filed under: Biography, Civil War Era
Valor Book Cover

Editor Robert Garth Scott has sifted through what is arguably the largest collection of Civil War-related material to surface in fifty years. From his childhood in Detroit through his cadetship at West Point, his service in the Mexican, Seminole, and Civil Wars, and his post-Civil War experiences in the West, Willcox’s story is published here for the first time.

 


Fallen Leaves

| Filed under: American History, Biography, Civil War Era
Scott Book Cover

Fallen Leaves is a collection of Abbott’s wartime letters to his family and friends, the majority published here for the first time. Robert Garth Scott’s introduction contains a biographical sketch of Abbott that offers the most complete account of his life to date and, in his epilogue, recounts the details of Abbott’s final battle and death. Also published with the letters are more than 30 photographs, many of them showing members of the 20th Massachusetts. Abbott’s letters convey an immediacy which gives readers a sense of being part of an inner circle of friends and relatives. This quality lends itself to fresh and compelling reading for Civil War scholars, buffs, and general readers alike.

 


Aviation’s Great Recruiter

| Filed under: Biography, Regional Interest
Schreiner Book Cover

Author H. L. Schreiner’s collection of “flying pulps” and aviation publications served as the primary impetus for his comprehensive research. Included in this handsomely illustrated aviation history are photos and plans that originally accompanied the model kits and a never-before-published illustrated-plans index. Rare color photographs of Cleveland National Air Race aircraft and their daredevil pilots will be of interest to modelers, collectors, pilots, and aviation historians, who will find this book to be a significant addition to their libraries.

 


John L. O’Sullivan and His Times

| Filed under: Biography
Sampson Book Cover

The life of nineteenth-century journalist, diplomat, adventurer, and enthusiast for lost causes John Louis O’Sullivan is usually glimpsed only in brief episodes, perhaps because the components of his life are sometimes contradictory. An exponent of romantic democracy, O’Sullivan became a defender of slavery. A champion of reforms for women, labor, criminals, and public schools, he ended his life promoting spiritualism. This first full-length biography reveals a man possessed of the idealism and promise, as well as the prejudices and follies, of his age, a man who sensed the revolutionary and liberating potential of radical democracy but was unable to acknowledge the racial barriers it had to cross to fulfill its promise.

 


Reform and Revolution

| Filed under: Biography
Reform Book Cover

America’s antagonistic relations with the Soviet Union can be traced to the U.S. response to the Bolshevik Revolution. Within weeks of the revolution, the State Department was considering the military intervention that set the stage for future troubled relations. Raymond Robins stepped forward in 1917 voicing a minority view that the new regime was sustained by vast support, responding to the needs of workers and peasants. He and other observers believed that friendship and cooperation with Communist Russia would best serve Allied interests. At Theodore Roosevelt’s suggestion, Robins was appointed to the American Red Cross Commission to Russia in 1917, arriving in Petrograd to witness the last two months of the Provisional Government and the Bolshevik Revolution. He was then appointed first in command and took the initiative to discuss with Trotsky and Lenin the fate of American and other Allied representatives and all other key issues in the new United States-Soviet relationship.

 


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.

 


James Monroe

| Filed under: Biography
Rokicky Book Cover

Catherine M. Rokicky explores this abolitionist politician’s years at Oberlin during the antebellum period, as well as his travels that would put him in contact with important men such as Frederick Douglass; his election to the Ohio House or Representatives from 1856 to 1859 and the Ohio Senate from 1859 to 1862; his work with Jacob D. Cox and James A. Garfield on behalf of black rights (they became known as the Radical Triumvirate); his term as president pro tem of the Ohio Senate; and his appointment by President Lincoln as U.S. consul at Rio deJaneiro. Monroe was later elected to the United States Congress in 1871, where he served for five terms. Following his retirement from Congress in 1881, he returned to Oberlin where, as an endowed professor of political economy and modern history, he influenced students who would become important progressive reformers.

 


Linking Rings

| Filed under: Biography
Robenalt Book Cover

William W. Durbin, businessman, political activist, and professional magician, was a major figure in Ohio politics during the first half of the twentieth century, serving as the powerful head of the Ohio Democratic Party and as a senior official in the U.S. Treasury under Franklin D. Roosevelt. Durbin’s story is that of a political maverick who knew how to manipulate behind-the-scenes activities, especially in Ohio’s political arena. He was instrumental in William Jennings Bryan’s near-defeat of William McKinley in Ohio, and two decades later he helped Woodrow Wilson reach the White House. Although Durbin’s vocation was politics, his passion was magic. One of the nation’s premier magicians, who performed on stage as “The Past Master of the Black Art,” he was the first elected president of the International Brotherhood of Magicians, a professional organization that has grown since its first convention in Kenton, Ohio, in 1926 to number more than 15,000 members today.

 


Whatever’s Fair

| Filed under: Biography
Riffe Book Cover

Known for being a pragmatic problem solver and for putting Ohio’s interests ahead of regionalism and politics, Riffe counted among his major accomplishments his making the General Assembly a coequal of the executive branch, believing Ohioans expected the General Assembly to be an equal partner with the governor in controlling the state. He also played an important role in the rise of black Democratic legislators in the Statehouse, due to a strong partnership with Rep. C. J. McLin, a Democrat from Dayton. He fought hard to develop his native, impoverished southeast Ohio, which led to the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Lucasville, the uranium enrichment facility in Piketon, and Shawnee State University.

 


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