Abraham Lincoln has long dominated the pantheon of American presidents. From his lavish memorial in Washington and immortalization on Mount Rushmore, one might assume he was a national hero rather than a controversial president who came close to losing his 1864 bid for reelection. In Abraham Lincoln and the Forge of National Memory, Barry Schwartz aims at these contradictions in his study of Lincoln's reputation, from the president's death through the industrial revolution to his apotheosis during the Progressive Era and First World War.
Schwartz draws on a wide array of materials—painting and sculpture, popular magazines and school textbooks, newspapers and oratory—to examine the role that Lincoln's memory has played in American life. He explains, for example, how dramatic funeral rites elevated Lincoln's reputation even while funeral eulogists questioned his presidential actions, and how his reputation diminished and grew over the next four decades. Schwartz links transformations of Lincoln's image to changes in the society. Commemorating Lincoln helped Americans to think about their country's development from a rural republic to an industrial democracy and to articulate the way economic and political reform, military power, ethnic and race relations, and nationalism enhanced their conception of themselves as one people.
Lincoln's memory assumed a double aspect of "mirror" and "lamp," acting at once as a reflection of the nation's concerns and an illumination of its ideals, and Schwartz offers a fascinating view of these two functions as they were realized in the commemorative symbols of an ever-widening circle of ethnic, religious, political, and regional communities. The first part of a study that will continue through the present, Abraham Lincoln and the Forge of National Memory is the story of how America has shaped its past selectively and imaginatively around images rooted in a real person whose character and achievements helped shape his country's future.
In 1890 Abraham Lincoln’ s two main White House secretaries, John G. Nicolay and John Hay, published the ten-volume biography Abraham Lincoln: A History. Although the authors witnessed the daily events occurring within the executive mansion and the national Capitol, their lengthy biography is more a recounting of the Civil War era than a study of Lincoln’ s life.
Editor Michael Burlingame sifted through the original forty-seven-hundred-page work and selected only the personal observations of the secretaries during the Lincoln presidency, placing ten excerpts in chronological order in Abraham Lincoln: The Observations of John G. Nicolay and John Hay. The result is an important collection of Nicolay and Hay’ s interpretations of Lincoln’ s character, actions, and reputation, framed by Burlingame’ s compelling preface, introduction, chapter introductions, and notes. The volume provides vivid descriptions of such events as Election Day in 1860, the crisis at Fort Sumter, the first major battle of the war at Bull Run, and Lincoln’ s relationship with Edwin Stanton and George McClellan.
In this clear and captivating new work, Burlingame has made key portions of Nicolay and Hay’ s immense biography available to a wide audience of today’ s readers.
Richard Karl, a doctor and teacher, takes the reader closer than any writer before into the corridors of the hospital, on the surgical table, and into the world of medicine. In these pages we see the tragedies and triumphs of modern medicine: the beauty of surgery done well, and the aftermath of operations that fail to deliver on the hopes of the doctor and patient. We witness the "M&M"—the morbidity and mortality meeting—where doctors scrutinize their own work and mistakes, and the often inevitable outcomes of treatment. Suffused throughout are Karl’s keen observations on the workings of the human body and its immense capacity for healing. "...I celebrate the rich privilege accorded the practicing surgeon. The surgical life is really about bearing witness to the human condition and about respecting the many almost whimsical variations of biology and about the intersection of the two. It is remarkable, really, the way I get to know people so intimately so quickly, and to observe the brave and often noble behavior in them, while I witness the relentless push of biology, the aging and decay, the growth and development, but most especially the healing, both physical and emotional. It is this natural drive of our bodies to repair themselves from all injuries (including the surgeon's wounds) that is the centerpiece of medicine. Without it no surgeon could cut." Written with economy and subtlety, Across the Red Line offers a vivid picture of disease and the miracle of life. It will interest anyone who's ever been on either side of the surgical table.
The true tales in this collection will take readers from the chicken houses of Arkansas to the caves of Venezuela and Mexico to the coast of Alaska. These fifteen adventures range from amusing to life threatening. Some are filled with suspense and danger in exotic places, while others document more routine but important biological field and lab work. Meet the roommate with the rash that wouldn't go away, a friendly bull, some blind cave fish, killer whales, drug smugglers, and hairy roots that are used to produce new medicines. Read about researchers crawling through rotten-egg-smelling muck in search of an elusive mosquitofish, diving into the cold black water of the White River in search of mussels, flying with bush pilots in Alaska, and working with David Attenborough in Arkansas. Here are teachers and researchers, biologists all, all from one university, real people who get their feet wet and their hands dirty in the pursuit of knowledge.
Wisenberg may have lost a breast, but she retained her humor, outrage, and skepticism toward common wisdom and most institutions. While following the prescribed protocols at the place she called Fancy Hospital, Wisenberg is unsparing in her descriptions of the fumblings of new doctors, her own awkward announcement to her students, and the mounds of unrecyclable plastic left at a survivors’ walk. Combining the personal with the political, she shares her research on the money spent on pink ribbons instead of preventing pollution, and the disparity in medical care between the insured and the uninsured. When chemotherapy made her bald, she decorated her head with henna swirls in front and an antiwar protest in back. During treatment, she also recorded the dailiness of life in Chicago as she rode the L, taught while one-breasted, and attended High Holiday services and a Passover seder.
Wisenberg’s writing has been compared to a mix of Leon Wieseltier and Fran Lebowitz, and in this book, she has Wieseltier’s erudition and Lebowitz’s self-deprecating cleverness: “If anybody ever offers you the choice between suffering and depression, take the suffering. And I don't mean physical suffering. I mean emotional suffering. I am hereby endorsing psychic suffering over depression.”
From The Adventures of Cancer Bitch:
I found that when you invite people to a pre-mastectomy party, they show up. Even those with small children. The kids were so young that they didn't notice that most of the food had nipples. . . . I talked to everyone—about what I'm not sure. Probably about my surgery. Everyone told me how well I looked. I felt giddy. I was going to go under, but not yet; I was going to be cut, but not yet; I was going to be bald, but not yet. As my friend who had bladder cancer says: The thing about cancer is you feel great until they start treating you for it.
Alabama Afternoons is a collection of portraits of many remarkable Alabamians, famous and obscure, profiled by award-winning journalist and novelist Roy Hoffman. Written as Sunday feature stories for the Mobile Press-Register with additional pieces from the New York Times, Preservation, and Garden & Gun, these profiles preserve the individual stories—and the individual voices within the stories—that help to define one of the most distinctive states in the union.
Hoffman recounts his personal visits with writer Mary Ward Brown in her library in Hamburg, with photographer William Christenberry in a field in Newbern, and with storyteller Kathryn Tucker Windham and folk artist Charlie “Tin Man” Lucas at their neighboring houses in Selma. Also highlighted are the lives of numerous alumni of The University of Alabama—among them Mel Allen, the “Voice of the Yankees” from 1939 to 1964; Forrest Gump author Winston Groom; and Vivian Malone and James Hood, the two students who entered the schoolhouse door in 1963. Hoffman profiles distinguished Auburn University alumni as well, including Eugene Sledge, renowned World War II veteran and memoirist, and Neil Davis, the outspoken, nationally visible editor of the Lee County Bulletin.
Hoffman also profiles major and minor players in the civil rights movement, from Johnnie Carr, raised in segregated Montgomery and later president of the Montgomery Improvement Association; and George Wallace Jr., son of the four-time governor; to Theresa Burroughs, a Greensboro beautician trampled in the march over the Edmund Pettus Bridge; and Diane McWhorter, whose award- winning book explores the trouble- filled Birmingham civil rights experience. Juxtaposed with these are accounts of lesser-known individuals, such as Sarah Hamm, who attempts to preserve the fading Jewish culture in Eufaula; Edward Carl, who was butler and chauffeur to Bellingrath Gardens founder Walter Bellingrath in Theodore; and cousins William Bolton and Herbert Henson, caretakers of the coon dog cemetery in Russellville.
Hoffman’s compilation of life stories creates an engaging and compelling look into what it means to be from, and shaped by, Alabama. “Alabama Afternoons,” he writes in the introduction, “is a small part of the even bigger question of what it means to be an American.”
Read an article about domestic lives by Roy Hoffman in the New York Times here: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/25/garden/25Domestic.html
Now 200 years into its remarkable history, the University of Michigan remains at the vanguard of what it means to be a great modern public university. The University’s Bicentennial in 2017 is an ideal opportunity to reflect on the path that Michigan has taken to get here. The engaging, well-illustrated stories in this book celebrate the progressive vision, dedicated individuals, and groundbreaking moments that helped forge the life-changing institution that the University is today. Snapshots of the University’s early years and the founding minds behind them are included alongside engaging narratives about pivotal events like John F. Kennedy’s Peace Corps speech at the Michigan Union and memorable personalities such as “Doc” Losh, Michigan’s first female Professor of Astronomy and official Homecoming Queen for Life. Titled after the official Bicentennial motto, Always Leading, Forever Valiant is the perfect entry point to the University’s 200-year history. The book will appeal to those interested in public institutions and history, along with alumni, students, faculty, and anyone who loves the University of Michigan.
In 1949, Iowa farm wife Evelyn Birkby began to write a weekly column entitled “Up a Country Lane” for the Shenandoah Evening Sentinel, now called the Valley News. Sixty-three years, one Royal typewriter, and five computers later, she is still creating a weekly record of the lives and interests of her family, friends, and neighbors. Her perceptive, closely observed columns provide a multigenerational biography of rural and small-town life in the Midwest over decades of change. Now she has sifted through thousands of columns to give us her favorites, guaranteed to delight her many longtime and newfound fans.
Evelyn begins with her very first column, whose focus on the Christmas box prepared by a companionable group of farm wives, the constant hard work of farming, and an encounter with an elderly stranger over a yard of red gingham sets the tone for future columns. Optimistic even in the wake of sorrow, generous-spirited but not smug, humorous but not folksy, wise but not preachy, Evelyn welcomes the adventures and connections that each new day brings, and she masterfully shares them with her readers.
Tales of separating cream on the back porch at Cottonwood Farm, raising a teddy bear of a puppy in addition to a menagerie of other animals, surviving an endless procession of Cub and Boy Scouts, appreciating a little boy’s need to take his toy tractor to church, blowing out eggs to make an Easter egg tree, shopping for bargains on the day before Christmas, camping in a converted Model T “house car,” and adjusting to the fact of one’s tenth decade of existence all merge to form a world composed of kindness and wisdom with just enough humor to keep it grounded. Recipes for such fare as Evelyn’s signature Hay Hand Rolls prove that the young woman who was daunted by her editor’s advice to “put in a recipe every week” became a talented cook. Each of the more than eighty columns in this warmhearted collection celebrates not a bygone era tinged with sentimentality but a continuing tradition of neighborliness, Midwest-nice and Midwest-sensible.
Unprecedented in size and scope, this directory describes more than 500 paper mills on the basis of census records, archival sources, local histories, and watermark evidence. It traces economic developments and technological changes in the American paper trade from the colonial period to the industrial era, with special reference to its close connections with the printing business, which depended on local sources of supply for newsprint, book paper, and plate paper for engraved illustrations. Newly discovered and reattributed watermarks make it possible to identify these products and provide a more reliable means of dating and localizing works on paper. This fully documented survey of paper mills also contains biographical information about members of the trade and a succinct history of papermaking in America with essays on manufacturing methods, mechanization, business practices, and distribution networks. Among the illustrations in this volume are hitherto unrecorded woodcut and engraved views of manufactories, used in the packaging art of that period.
Gaudy, intoxicating, bright, loud, lucrative, and altogether American: they are our nation's boardwalks. The boardwalk was first invented for utilitarian reasons-so that beach-goers could stroll along the shore in their evening wear without tracking sand into train cars or hotel lobbies. But it wasn't long before the imagination of a country just becoming acquainted with the concept of leisure time transformed the boardwalk into something much more.
In America's Boardwalks, James Lilliefors takes us on a journey along the edges of the country to twelve of its most famous beach towns. Starting in the Northeast with Coney Island, Asbury Park, Atlantic City, Wildwood, and Cape May, we continue south to Rehoboth Beach; Ocean City, Maryland; Virginia Beach; Myrtle Beach; and Daytona Beach. In California, we explore the exotic scenes at Venice Beach and Santa Cruz. Lilliefors traces each town's history from the building of a boardwalk to what are frequently ambitious plans to revitalize and redevelop today. In every case, he shows how the boardwalk has been integral to the area's economic growth, status, and appeal.
This richly documented and illustrated tale, however, tells more than the story of the birth and development of boardwalks. Weaving together observations and conversations with business owners, planners, and strollers themselves, Lilliefors reveals the vitality of the boardwalk as an idea, rather than just as a place. Boardwalks, he argues, are living monuments to American enterprise, a young country's founding dreams, and its unwavering optimism.
Born at a time when the country was busy rebuilding and reinventing itself as an industrial and economic power, these lively seaside destinations seemed to herald a new life of relaxation, recreation, and middle-class prosperity. On the nation's first boardwalk in Atlantic City, you could find everything from a "home of the future," to diving horses, kangaroo boxing, and the world's largest typewriter. With no admission gate, boardwalks were also a thoroughly democratic idea, inviting visitors from all social and economic groups to join the same parade.
Even today, these glittering coastal hubs, with their always unique blends of people, sea spray, shops, inventions, and oddities remain a last frontier-a testament to the power of individuality in an increasingly homogenized world. From Thrasher's French fries in Ocean City to Mack's Pizza in Wildwood and Nathan's hot dogs in Coney Island, people still visit these resorts for products and pleasures that break the otherwise mundane stream of chain restaurants and retailers. Evoking the spirit, tastes, smells, and sounds that have become a beloved part of our nostalgia and that continue to lure new generations, this book is a deserved tribute to America's iconic seaside wonders.
Following his English setters into thickets in search of grouse and woodcock, Mark Parman feels the pull of older ways and lost wisdom. How rare it is, in our high-tech world, to find oneself completely off the track, bewildered in the wild, and then find the path home by sight and scent and memory.
Among the Aspen interweaves tales of companionable dogs, lucky hunts, and favorite coverts where quarry lurks with ruminations on the demise of hunting traditions, the sale of public lands and the privatization of places to hunt, the growing indifference to science, and the loss of wilderness on a planet increasingly transformed by the sprawl of humanity.
In 1837 Representative Joseph J. Anthony stabs the speaker of the house to death during a debate about wolf pelts. In 1899 Hot Springs police shoot it out with the county sheriffs over control of illegal gambling. In 1974 President Richard Nixon resigns in part due to the outspokenness of Pine Bluff native Martha Mitchell. In this special print project of the online Encyclopedia of Arkansas History & Culture, legendary cartoonist Ron Wolfe brings these and many other stories to life. Accompanied by selected entries from the encyclopedia, Wolfe’s cartoons highlight the oddities and absurdities of our state’s history. Seriously, you couldn’t make up this stuff.
In The Atlas of an Anxious Man, Christoph Ransmayr offers a mesmerizing travel diary—a sprawling tale of earthly wonders seen by a wandering eye. This is an exquisite, lyrically told travel story.
Translated by Simon Pare, this unique account follows Ransmayr across the globe: from the shadow of Java’s volcanoes to the rapids of the Mekong and Danube Rivers, from the drift ice of the Arctic Circle to Himalayan passes, and on to the disenchanted islands of the South Pacific. Ransmayr begins again and again with, “I saw. . .” recounting to the reader the stories of continents, eras, and landscapes of the soul. Like maps, the episodes come together to become a book of the world—one that charts the life and death, happiness and fate of people bound up in images of breathtaking beauty.
“One of the German language’s most gifted young novelists.”—Library Journal, on The Terrors of Ice and Darkness