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Titles

“Our Little Monitor

and | Filed under: Award Winners, Civil War Era, Civil War in the North, Military History, Naval History, Understanding Civil War History
Our Little Monitor: The Greatest Invention of the Civil War. Holloway and White. Kent State University Press

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 Most Complete Political Machine Ever Known”

| Filed under: Civil War Era, Civil War in the North, Recent Releases, U.S. History, Understanding Civil War History
Taylor Cover

In “The Most Complete Political Machine Ever Known,” Paul Taylor examines the Union League movement. Often portrayed as a mere footnote to the Civil War, the Union League’s influence on the Northern home front was far more important and consequential than previously considered. The Union League and its various offshoots spread rapidly across the North, and in this first comprehensive examination of the leagues, Taylor discusses what made them so effective, including their recruitment strategies, their use of ostracism as a way of stifling dissent, and their distribution of political propaganda in quantities unlike anything previously imagined. By the end of 1863, readers learn, it seemed as if every hamlet from Maine to California had formed its own league chapter, collectively overwhelming their Democratic foe in the 1864 presidential election.

 


“The Sweet and the Bitter”

| Filed under: Literature & Literary Criticism, Tolkien, Lewis, and Inkling Studies
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.

 


“This Infernal War”

| Filed under: Civil War Era, Civil War in the North, 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.

 


Bouquet’s Expedition against the Ohio Indians in 1764 by William Smith

| Filed under: American History, Award Winners, History
West cover

In the fall of 1764, Col. Henry Bouquet led a British-American army into what is today eastern Ohio with the intention of ending the border conflict called “Pontiac’s War.” Brokering a truce without violence and through negotiations, he ordered the Delawares and Shawnees to release all of their European and Colonial American captives. For the indigenous Ohio peoples, nothing was more wrenching and sorrowful than returning children from mixed parentage and adopted members of their families, many of whom had no memory of their former status or were unwilling to relinquish Native American culture.

 


1950s Radio in Color

| Filed under: Music, Regional Interest
Kennedy Cover

Between 1955 and 1960, popular Cleveland deejay Tommy Edwards photographed the parade of performers who passed through the WERE-AM radio studio for on-air interviews, shooting more than 1,700 Ektachrome slides. Following his death in 1981, most of the collection vanished and was presumed lost. The few images that remained were often reprinted and rarely credited to Edwards, labeled “photographer unknown.” Until now.

 


200,000 Miles Aboard the Destroyer Cotten

| Filed under: Audiobooks, Military History
Miles Book Cover

In mid-June 1943, Snelling Robinson, a 20-year-old Harvard graduate and newly commissioned ensign in the U.S. Naval Reserve, joined the pre-commissioning crew of the Fletcher class destroyer USS Cotten. The new crew trained for the remainder of the summer and t hen sailed to Pearl Harbor in time to join the newly established Fifth Fleet. Under t he command of Admiral Raymond Spruance, the Fifth Fleet was given orders to invade Tarawa in the Gilbert Islands in November 1943. This offensive, along with naval battles in the Philippine Sea, the Leyte Gulf, and the invasion of Iwo Jima in February 1945, is chronicled from the perspective of a young deck officer and is integrated with the background of the larger conflict, including the politics of command. After Japan’s surrender, the Cotten became a part of the Occupation Force anchored in Tokyo Bay. Robinson deftly narrates how he and his friends took advantage of their good luck and brought their roles in the war to a fitting conclusion.

 


Above and Beyond

| Filed under: Sports
Livingston Book Cover

Award-winning sports columnist Bill Livingston follows Mack as he practices one of the world’s most dangerous and demanding sports. Livingston reveals the fascinating subculture of pole vaulting—from Bob Richards, the only man to win Olympic gold twice in pole vaulting; to Sergey Bubka, the most controversial pole vaulter ever; to Don Bragg, a rowdy Tarzan-like character who swung on ropes in his backyard to build upper-body strength; to the stirring duel between Mack and Toby Stevenson as they battled for gold in Athens.

 


Above the Shots

and | Filed under: American History, May 4 Resources, Regional Interest
Simpson and Wilson Cover

A deadly confrontation at Kent State University between Vietnam War protesters and members of the Ohio National Guard occurred in the afternoon on May 4, 1970. What remained, along with the tragic injuries and lives lost, was a remarkable array of conflicting interpretations and theories about what happened—and why.

 


Above the Thunder

| Filed under: Audiobooks, Biography, History, Military History
Kerns Book Cover

The son of a Kentucky tobacco farmer, Raymond Kerns dropped out of high school after the eighth grade to help on the farm. He enlisted in the Army in 1940 and, after training as a radio operator in the artillery, was assigned to Schofield Barracks (Oahu) where he witnessed the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and participated in the ensuing battle.

 


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