Sweet Bells Jangled
edited by Judy Yaeger Jones and Jane E. Vallier
Gallaudet University Press, 2003
The Fourth Volume in the Gallaudet Classics in Deaf Studies Series

Laura Redden Searing (1839-1923) defied critics of the time by establishing herself as a successful poet, a poet who was deaf. She began writing verse at the Missouri School for the Deaf in 1858, and, under the pseudonym Howard Glyndon, soon found herself catapulted into national prominence by her patriotic Civil War poems. Abraham Lincoln himself bought her books, the most critically acclaimed being Idylls of Battle and Poems of the Rebellion, published in 1864. Her poem "Belle Missouri" became the song of the Missouri Volunteers, and she was sent by the St. Louis Republican newspaper to Washington as a war correspondent.

Despite her success, detractors decried her poetry simply because she was deaf, asking how she could know anything of rhyme, rhythm, or musical composition. She quieted them with the simple elegance of her words and the sophistication of her allegorical themes. Readers can enjoy her work again in this volume, which features more than 70 of her finest poems. They also will learn her feelings about the constraints imposed on 19th-century women in her epic narrative of misunderstanding and lost love "Sweet Bells Jangled:"

Out of sight of the heated land

Over the breezy sea;

Into the reach of the solemn mist

Quietly drifted we.

Her restoration will be an event welcomed by poetry aficionados everywhere.

Judy Yaeger Jones is an independent scholar and educational consultant in multicultural, disability, and women's history in St. Paul, MN.

Jane E. Vallier is Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of English at Iowa State University, Ames, IA.

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by David W. Stowe
Harvard University Press, 2004

Musical expression is at the heart of the American spiritual experience. And nowhere can you gauge the depth of spiritual belief and practice more than through the music that fills America's houses of worship. Most amazing is how sacred music has been shaped by the exchanges of diverse peoples over time. How Sweet the Sound traces the evolution of sacred music from colonial times to the present, from the Puritans to Sun Ra, and shows how these cultural encounters have produced a rich harvest of song and faith.

Pursuing the intimate relationship between music and spirituality in America, Stowe focuses on the central creative moments in the unfolding life of sacred song. He fills his pages with the religious music of Indians, Shakers, Mormons, Moravians, African-Americans, Jews, Buddhists, and others. Juxtaposing music cultures across region, ethnicity, and time, he suggests the range and cross-fertilization of religious beliefs and musical practices that have formed the spiritual customs of the United States, producing a multireligious, multicultural brew.

Stowe traces the evolution of sacred music from hymns to hip-hop, finding Christian psalms deeply accented by the traditions of Judaism, and Native American and Buddhist customs influenced by Protestant Christianity. He shows how the creativity and malleability of sacred music can explain the proliferation of various forms of faith and the high rates of participation they've sustained. Its evolution truly parallels the evolution of American pluralism.

Table of Contents:

1. O for a Thousand Tongues to Sing
2. Singing Independence
3. Marching to Zion
4. Holding the Fort
5. Dances with Ghosts
6. Onward Buddhist Soldiers
7. Yossele, Yossele!
8. Come Sunday
9. From Ephrata (F-Ra-Ta) to Arkestra
10. The Nation with the Soul of a Church
11. Coltrane and Beyond

Note on Method

Reviews of this book:
Mr. Stowe's observations regarding the relationship between music and spirituality take him to the religious music of Indians, Shakers, Mormons, Moravians, African-Americans, Jews, Buddhists and others...With abundant lyrics, photographs, and musical scores, How Sweet the Sound is a musical feast. Thump to it. Sing with it. Read this book.
--Carol Herman, Washington Times

With historical anecdotes and deft musical analysis, Stowe...focuses on selected moments, from colonial times to the present, when sacred musical styles emerged, combined with others, or took on whole new colorings.
--Jay Tolson, U.S. News and World Report

This book describes the intimate connection between music and spirituality found in such groups as the Shakers and Mormons, and in individuals such as Yossele Rosenblatt, Duke Ellington, John Coltrane and Wynton Marsalis. Mr. Stowe narrates how the civil rights movement hastened the evolution of 'Amazing Grace' and 'We Shall Overcome' into the secular spirituals and icons of today's American religious culture.
--Dallas Morning News

How Sweet the Sound limns the harmonies of religion, hymns, and American culture through an amazing musical and historical panorama. Stowe's stunning exploration of European, Indian, African, and Asian interchanges underscores music's centrality to American spiritual expression and might well inspire readers to break into song themselves.
--Jon Butler, author of Becoming America: The Revolution Before 1776

Historians (at very long last) have awoken to the centrality of song in the formation, practices, transmission, and changes over time of modern religious movements. David Stowe's major contribution to this awakening is notable for both its breadth and its depth. His treatments of Buddhists and Baptists, Jews and black Protestants, the main lines and the margins offer the best sort of sympathetic exposition with the most judicious of historical explanations. With Stephen Marini, Stowe has become the leader in opening up a subject whose importance cannot be exaggerated.
--Mark A. Noll, author of America's God: From Jonathan Edwards to Abraham Lincoln

David Stowe is a historian who understands the power of music to reach the human soul. Adding tools from ethnomusicology, anthropology, folklore studies, and hymnology to his own historiographical tool-kit, he offers convincing, humane, often eloquent accounts of the global give-and-take in which sacred song in America has for centuries been engaged.
--Richard Crawford, author of America's Musical Life: A History
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Sweet and Sour Pie
by Dave Crehore
University of Wisconsin Press, 2009
As a young boy, Dave Crehore moved with his parents from northern Ohio to the shipbuilding town of Manitowoc on the shores of Wisconsin’s Lake Michigan, where the Germanic inhabitants punctuate their conversations with “enso,” the local radio station interrupts Beethoven for commercials, and the outdoors are a wellspring of enlightenment.
    Crehore’s stories of his youth in 1950s Wisconsin are peppered with engaging characters and a quiet wit. A grouse-hunting expedition goes awry when an eccentric British businessman bags an escaped bantam rooster with a landing net. Crehore's great-grandfather gets in trouble one Christmas when he sneaks a whoopee-cushion under a guest’s seat. The elderly Frau Blau gets trapped in an outhouse by a shady auctioneer during a farm sale. Through all the adventures—and misadventures—in a small town and in the great outdoors of Wisconsin, family is always at the center. This gently humorous look back at a baby-boomer’s awakening to adulthood will be appreciated by members of any generation.
Honorable Mention, Kingery/Derleth Book Length Nonfiction, Council for Wisconsin Writers

Finalist, Humor, Midwest Book Awards
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Sweet Cane
by Lucy B. Wayne
University of Alabama Press, 2010
A look at the antebellum history and architecture of the little-known sugar industry of East Florida.
From the late eighteenth century to early 1836, the heart of the Florida sugar industry was concentrated in East Florida, between the St. Johns River and the Atlantic Ocean. Producing the sweetest sugar, molasses, and rum, at least 22 sugar plantations dotted the coastline by the 1830s. This industry brought prosperity to the region—employing farm hands, slaves, architects, stone masons, riverboats and their crews, shop keepers, and merchant traders. But by January 1836, Native American attacks of the Second Seminole War, intending to rid the Florida frontier of settlers, devastated the whole sugar industry.
Although sugar works again sprang up in other Florida regions just prior to the Civil War, the competition from Louisiana and the Caribbean blocked a resurgence of sugar production for the area. The sugar industry would never regain its importance in East Florida—only two of the original sugar works were ever rebuilt. Today, remains of this once thriving industry are visible in a few parks. Some are accessible but others lie hidden, slowly disintegrating and almost forgotten. Archaeological, historical, and architectural research in the last decade has returned these works to their once prominent place in Florida’s history, revealing the beauty, efficiency of design, as well as early industrial engineering. Equally important is what can be learned of the lives of those associated with the sugar works and the early plantation days along the East Florida frontier.
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Sweet Hope
by Judson N Hout
Parkhurst Brothers, Inc., 2013
Love waits for one woman in this charming story of love lost and then found.
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Sweet Dreams
by Johanna Drucker
University of Chicago Press, 2005
Johanna Drucker's "sweet dream" is for a new and more positive approach to contemporary art. Calling for a revamping of the academic critical vocabulary used to discuss art into one more befitting current creative practices, Drucker argues that contemporary art is fully engaged with material culture—yet still struggling to escape the oppositional legacy of the early twentieth-century avant-garde.

Drucker shows that artists today are aware of working within the ideologies of mainstream culture and have replaced avant-garde defiance with eager complicity. Finding their materials at flea markets or exploring celebrity culture, contemporary artists have created a vibrantly participatory movement that exudes enthusiasm and affirmation—all while critics continue to cling to an outmoded vocabulary of opposition and radical negativity that defined modernism's avant-garde. At the cutting edge of new media research, Drucker surveys a wide range of exciting contemporary artists, demonstrating their clear departure from the past and petitioning viewers and critics to shift their terms and sensibilities as well. Sweet Dreams is a testament to the creative processes and self-conscious heterogeneity of art today as well as a revolutionary effort to solicit collaboration that will encourage the production of imaginative thought and contribute to contemporary life.
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Sweet Promised Land
by Robert Laxalt
foreword by Ann Ronald
University of Nevada Press, 2007
How long has it been since you fell in love with a book?

Dominique Laxalt was sixteen when he left the French Pyrenees for America. He became a sheepherder in the Nevada desert and nearby hills of the Sierra. Like all his fellow Basque immigrants, Dominique dreamed of someday returning to the land of his beginnings. Most Basques never made the journey back, but Dominique finally did return for a visit with family and friends. Sweet Promised Land is the story of that trip, told by his son Robert, who accompanied him to the pastoral mountain village of Tardets in France. Dominique came home victorious, the adventurer who had conquered the unknown and found his fortune in the New World. He told of his life in America, the hardships and challenges, and began to realize that he had changed since his departure from Tardets. By the end of the visit, he knew with certainty where he belonged.

During the past fifty years, this book has become a classic in Western American literature, still beloved by the Basque-American community. In celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the book’s publication, western literature scholar Ann Ronald wrote a new foreword, discussing the book in the context of American and Nevada literature.
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Sweet Spot
by J. T. Barbarese
Northwestern University Press, 2012

Classical deities and down-and-out junkies, high school sweethearts and the inner life of JFK—these are the coordinates of J.T. Barbarese’s terrain. The poems in Sweet Spot set up shop where average lived experience meets American history. Masterfully evokes both the specific land- and cityscapes of his poems as well the psychological types of the varied characters that populate them, Sweet Spot confirms Barbarese’s preeminence as a chronicler of the heroic everyday, the telling detail, the subtle reminders of the human predicament hidden in habit and memory.

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Sweet Ruin
by Tony Hoagland
University of Wisconsin Press, 1992

Tony Hoagland captures the recognizably American landscape of a man of his generation:  sex, friendship, rock and roll, cars, high optimism, and disillusion.  With what Robert Pinsky has called “the saving vulgarity of American poetry,”  Hoagland’s small biographies of destruction reveal that defeat is a natural prelude to grace and loss a kind of threshold to freedom.

“A remarkable book.  Without any rhetorical straining, with a disarming witty directness, these poems manage to transform every subject they touch, from love to politics, reaching out from the local and the personal to place the largest issues in the context of feeling.  It’s hard to think of a recent book that succeeds with equal grace in fusing the truth-telling and the lyric impulse, clarity and song, in a way that produces such consistent pleasure and surprise.”—Carl Dennis

“This is wonderful poetry:  exuberant, self-assured, instinct with wisdom and passion.”—Carolyn Kizer

“There is a fine strong sense in these poems of real lives being lived in a real world.  This is something I greatly prize.  And it is all colored, sometimes brightly, by the poet’s own highly romantic vision of things, so that what we may think we already know ends up seeming rich and strange.”—Donald Justice

“In Sweet Ruin, we’re banging along the Baja of our little American lives, spritzing truth from our lapels, elbowing our compadres, the Seven Deadly Sins.  Maybe we’re unhappy in a less than tragic way, but our ruin requires of us a love and understanding and loyalty just as deep and sweet as any tragic hero’s.  And it’s all the more poignant in a sad and funny way because the purpose of this forced spiritual march, Hoagland seems to be saying, is to leave ourselves behind.  Undoubtedly, you will recognize among the body count many of your selves.”—Jack Myers

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Sweet Will
by Philip Levine
University of Iowa Press, 2013
Pulitzer Prize–winning poet Philip Levine published Sweet Will, his eleventh volume of poems, in 1985. His last book with Atheneum, it has been unavailable for many years. Because of its subdued and thoughtful nature, it was seen as a transitional book for Levine, one that presaged the tone of much that was to come. Peter Stitt, writing in the Kenyon Review, called it “the quietest book that Philip Levine has ever written,” concluding that “though the river that glides through it is still on the surface, the sweetness of its will runs deep indeed.” And Dave Smith, writing in Poetry, delighted in the poems of “emergent tenderness and faith,” and claimed that “linking himself to Wordsworth, who loved this world uncommonly in uncommon poetry, Philip Levine has lifted his moral tale to the level of joyful celebration.”
The poems in Sweet Will are set in Detroit, California, New York, Europe, and the country of memory. Their aim is to bring the overlooked events of daily life into a sharper focus that transcends the ordinary. At the time of its original publication, the book was seen as an attempt to bring together the themes and methods of Levine’s early, groundbreaking work: the anger of They Feed They Lion, the family concerns of 1933, the characters of The Names of the Lost, and the hopes of One for the Rose. Yet it is clearly a mid-career book composed by a poet who can begin to look back in tranquility at a tempestuous life.

The poems, including the long meditation of more than five hundred lines, “A Poem with No Ending,” are beautiful and essential. Restored to print, they will resonate with readers who love both the earlier and the later work of one of our most important poets. 
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Chewing Gum, Candy Bars, and Beer
by James J. Cooke
University of Missouri Press, 2009
Veterans of World War II have long sung the praises of the PX—a little piece of home in far-flung corners of the world. Though many books on that war tell of combat operations and logistics in detail, this is the first to tell the full story of the Army Exchange System.

The AES was dedicated to providing soldiers with some of the comforts they had enjoyed in civilian life—candy, beer, cigarettes, razor blades, soap—whether by operating an exchange close to where they were fighting or by sending goods forward to the lines, free of charge. The beer may have been only “3.2,” but it was cheap and, unlike British beer, was served cold, thanks to PX coolers. And a constant supply of cigarettes and chewing gum gave GIs an advantage when flirting with the local girls.

In chronicling the history of the AES, James J. Cooke harks back to the Civil War, in which sutlers sold basic items to the Yankee troops for exorbitant prices, and to the First World War, when morale-building provisions were brought in by agencies such as the Red Cross. He then traces the evolution of the PX through World War II from the point of view of those who ran the service and that of the soldiers who used it, blending administrative history with colorful anecdotes and interspersing letters from GIs.

Cooke views the PX as a manifestation of American mobility, materialism, and the cultural revolution of mass consumerism that flourished in the 1920s, serving soldiers who were themselves products of this new American way of retail and expected a high level of material support in time of war. He emphasizes the accomplishments of Major General Joseph W. Byron, chief PX officer from 1941 to 1943, and his deputy, Colonel Frank Kerr. He also tells how the PX dealt with the presence of large numbers of women in uniform and the need to meet their demands in exchange offerings.

By 1945, General Byron could boast that the Army Exchange Service operated the world’s largest department store chain, serving the grandest army the United States had ever put in the field, and today the PX is still a central factor of military life. Yet as Cooke shows, the key to the AES’s importance was ultimately the way it bolstered morale—and helped give our fighting men the will to keep fighting.
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