front cover of Dreamer of the Ghetto
Dreamer of the Ghetto
The Life and Works of Israel Zangwill
Joseph H. Udelson
University of Alabama Press, 1990

"An impressive achievement. . . . Udelson provides a trenchant analysis of Zangwill's works set within a historical context, i.e., Jewish emancipation and the dilemma of how one might remain fully Jewish while becoming fully modern, that helps to illuminate Zangwill's life as well as his writings."

—Jewish Book News

"By carefully following the threads of Zangwill's own divided self through the labyrinths of his life and writings, Udelson convinces us not only of the author's startling political prescience, but that he embodies attitudes now shared by almost all secular Jews as a result of events Zangwill did not witness—Nazism and the founding of Israel."



front cover of Now Is the Time to Collect
Now Is the Time to Collect
Daniel Giraud Elliot, Carl Akeley, and the Field Museum African Expedition of 1896
Paul D. Brinkman
University of Alabama Press, 2024
The rediscovery of a curator’s lost journal illuminates the astonishing African journey that formed the basis of the Chicago Field Museum’s famed collections

“Now” Is the Time to Collect tells the fascinating story of the Chicago Field Museum of Natural History’s zoological expedition to Africa in 1896, the source of many of the museum’s foundational collections and an astounding episode in nineteenth-century science. After the well-publicized extinction of the dodo and Carolina parakeet and the collapse of the American bison population, late nineteenth-century naturalists expected many more vulnerable species to die out with spread of Western-style industrialization. This triggered a race to collect rare species of animals expected soon to be lost forever.

Established in 1893, Chicago’s ambitious Field Museum aimed to become a global center of study. Zoologist Daniel Giraud Elliot persuaded museum patrons to fund an immediate expedition to British Somaliland (contemporary Somalia). There, his team hunted and killed hundreds of animals for the growing collection. On the trip was groundbreaking taxonomist Carl Akeley. Back in Chicago, Akeley created captivating lifelike dioramas of rare animal groups that enhanced the museum’s fame and remain popular to this day.

Enriched with illuminated passages from Elliot’s journal, only recently rediscovered, “Now” Is the Time to Collect is the first book of its kind by an American museum and a case study in what author Paul D. Brinkman calls “salvage zoology”—the practice of aggressively collecting rare animal specimens for preservation just prior to the birth of the modern conservation movement. It is a riveting account of the expedition, the travelers’ experiences in Somalia during its colonial period, and the astonishing origins of one of Chicago’s classic museum experiences.

front cover of The Ruby-throated Hummingbird
The Ruby-throated Hummingbird
By June Osborne
University of Texas Press, 1998

There is no mistaking a hummingbird. Even people who hardly know a robin from a sparrow recognize that flash of iridescent feathers and the distinctive hovering flight. So popular have "hummers" become that even casual birdwatchers now travel great distances to hummingbird hot spots to see masses of birds in their annual migrations.

In this invitingly written book, June Osborne paints a fully detailed portrait of perhaps the best-known hummingbird in the United States, the ruby-throat. Drawing from her own birdwatching experiences, she offers an "up close and personal" look at a female ruby-throat building her nest and rearing young, as well as an account of a day in the life of a male ruby-throat and stories of the hummers' migrations between their summer breeding grounds in the United States and Canada and their winter homes in Mexico and Central America.

In addition to this life history, Osborne recounts early hummingbird sightings and tells how the bird received its common and scientific names. After an overview of hummingbirds' distinctive ways of feeding, flying, and conserving energy, she offers a detailed description of the ruby-throat that will help you tell females from males, immature birds from adults, and ruby-throats from similar species. Osborne also takes you on a visit to the "Hummer/Bird Celebration!" at Rockport, reviews hummingbird banding programs, and explains how to attract hummingbirds to your yard or apartment balcony.


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