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Across America and Back
Retracing My Great-Grandparents' Remarkable Journey
Mary Ann Hooper
University of Nevada Press, 2018
After unearthing her great-grandparents’ diaries, Mary Ann Hooper set out on a journey to retrace their 1871 trip across the United States on the newly-opened Transcontinental Railroad—via Chicago, just destroyed by the Great Fire, then across the Great Plains and Rocky Mountains to the Golden City of San Francisco. Filled with rich details of time, place, and culture, Mary Ann’s thoughtful and compelling narrative is both a re-creation of a family journey and a thoughtful account of how the American West has changed over the last 150 years. 
Using the common thread of the same train trip across the American landscape, she weaves together the two stories—her great grandparents, Charles and Fannie Crosby’s leisurely Victorian tourist trip described in both their diaries—and her own trip. Mary Ann’s adventurous and determined voice fills the pages with entertaining encounters on the train, escapades on her folding bike, and her reflections on her birth country and her own life story.

During her journey, she discovers the stories of her 1950s childhood reflect a “Wild West” at odds with the West her great-grandparents record in their diaries, leading her to uncover more of the real and meatier history of the American West—going through conquest, rapid settlement, and economic development. As Mary Ann fulfills her quest to understand better why glorified myths were created to describe the Wild West of her childhood, and reflects on the pitfalls of what “progress” is doing to the environment, she is left with a much bigger question: Can we transform our way of doing things quickly enough to stop our much-loved West becoming an uninhabitable desert?

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Back in School
How Student Parents Are Transforming College and Family
A. Fiona Pearson
Rutgers University Press, 2019
Fifty years ago, students who were parents were a rarity in college classrooms, but by the beginning of the twenty-first century, over a quarter of all undergraduate students were parents. In Back in School, A. Fiona Pearson explores how these student parents navigate cultural norms and institutional resources, forging pathways as they journey to become better parents and successful students. Back in School examines how policy makers, professors, college administrators, counselors, and social workers provide or deny access to child care, tutoring, financial aid, or other campus- or community-based resources. Pearson further explores how social norms and governmental and organizational policies influence access to these resources and student parents’ experiences on campus and at home.

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Back of the Yards
The Making of a Local Democracy
Robert A. Slayton
University of Chicago Press, 1986
"Robert A. Slayton's Back of the Yards is one of the finest accounts I have ever read on an urban, working-class neighborhood in twentieth-century America. Its focus on family, politics, and worklife is penetrating and its conclusions reinforce an emerging scholarly picture of ordinary people exercising unique forms of power."—John Bodnar, author of The Transplanted: A History of Immigrants in Urban America

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Back To Birmingham
Richard Arrington, Jr., and His Times
Jimmie Lewis Franklin
University of Alabama Press, 1989
The story of Richard Arrington Jr., the first African American mayor of Birmingham, Alabama

During the 1960s, Birmingham, Alabama was the central battleground in the struggle for human rights in the American South. As one of the most segregated cities in the United States, the city of Birmingham became infamous for its suppression of civil rights and for official and vigilante violence against its African American citizens, most notoriously the use of explosives in the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church bombing and the bombing of the home of Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth.
In October of 1979, Birmingham elected its first Black mayor, Richard Arrington Jr. He was born in the rural town of Livingston, Alabama. His family moved to Birmingham when he was a child. A man of quiet demeanor, he was nevertheless destined to bring to fruition many of the fundamental changes that the Civil Rights Movement had demanded. This is his story. Not a conventional political or Civil Rights history, Back to Birmingham is the story of a man who demonstrated faith in his region and people. The work illuminates Arrington's sense of place, a quality that enables a person to claim sentimentally a portion of the natural and human environment. Franklin passionately underscores the importance of the attachment of Southern Blacks to their land and place. 
Back to Birmingham will appeal to both the general reader and the serious student of American society. The book endeavors to bridge the gap between popular and scholarly history. It is guided by the assumption that Americans of whatever description can find satisfaction in comprehending social change and that they are buoyed by the individual triumph of those who beat the odds.

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Back to Bizkaia
A Basque-American Memoir
Vince J. Juaristi
University of Nevada Press, 2011

Nevada sheep rancher Joe Juaristi spoke for years about making a trip back to the Spanish Basque Country that he left sixty years earlier, but each time the subject came up the discussion evolved into a family debate about the scope and members of the journey. Finally Joe's son, Vince, secretly resolved to organize the trip that his father wanted and needed--the two of them, traveling alone, making a quiet reunion with Joe's twin sister, who suffers from Alzheimer's, visiting other aging siblings and friends, and recounting the places that formed Joe's memories of his youth.

Back to Bizkaia is part travel book, part memoir of two men exploring their mutual roots and their unique father-son bond. The narrative intertwines an engaging account of the contemporary Basque Country with Joe's experiences as an immigrant making his way in a new country and Vince's memories of growing up in a close Basque-American community in the American West. This is a book about Basques and their American families, but on another level it is every immigrant's story of return to a beloved homeland.


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Back to Earth
Tomorrow's Environmentalism
Anthony Weston
Temple University Press, 1994

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Back to the Breast
Natural Motherhood and Breastfeeding in America
Jessica Martucci
University of Chicago Press, 2015
After decades of decline during the twentieth century, breastfeeding rates began to rise again in the 1970s, a rebound that has continued to the present. While it would be easy to see this reemergence as simply part of the naturalism movement of the ’70s, Jessica Martucci reveals here that the true story is more complicated. Despite the widespread acceptance and even advocacy of formula feeding by many in the medical establishment throughout the 1940s, ’50s, and ’60s, a small but vocal minority of mothers, drawing upon emerging scientific and cultural ideas about maternal instinct, infant development, and connections between the body and mind, pushed back against both hospital policies and cultural norms by breastfeeding their children. As Martucci shows, their choices helped ideologically root a “back to the breast” movement within segments of the middle-class, college-educated population as early as the 1950s.
That movement—in which the personal and political were inextricably linked—effectively challenged midcentury norms of sexuality, gender, and consumption, and articulated early environmental concerns about chemical and nuclear contamination of foods, bodies, and breast milk. In its groundbreaking chronicle of the breastfeeding movement, Back to the Breast provides a welcome and vital account of what it has meant, and what it means today, to breastfeed in modern America.

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Back to the Dance Itself
Phenomenologies of the Body in Performance
Edited with Essays by Sondra Fraleigh
University of Illinois Press, 2018
In Back to the Dance Itself, Sondra Fraleigh edits essays that illuminate how scholars apply a range of phenomenologies to explore questions of dance and the world; performing life and language; body and place; and self-knowing in performance. Some authors delve into theoretical perspectives, while others relate personal experiences and reflections that reveal fascinating insights arising from practice. Collectively, authors give particular consideration to the interactive lifeworld of making and doing that motivates performance. Their texts and photographs study body and the environing world through points of convergence, as correlates in elemental and constant interchange modeled vividly in dance. Selected essays on eco-phenomenology and feminism extend this view to the importance of connections with, and caring for, all life.

Contributors: Karen Barbour, Christine Bellerose, Robert Bingham, Kara Bond, Hillel Braude, Sondra Fraleigh, Kimerer LaMothe, Joanna McNamara, Vida Midgelow, Ami Shulman, and Amanda Williamson.


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Back to the Land
The Enduring Dream of Self-Sufficiency in Modern America
Dona Brown
University of Wisconsin Press, 2011
For many, “going back to the land” brings to mind the 1960s and 1970s—hippie communes and the Summer of Love, The Whole Earth Catalog and Mother Earth News. More recently, the movement has reemerged in a new enthusiasm for locally produced food and more sustainable energy paths. But these latest back-to-the-landers are part of a much larger story. Americans have been dreaming of returning to the land ever since they started to leave it. In Back to the Land, Dona Brown explores the history of this recurring impulse.            ?           
            Back-to-the-landers have often been viewed as nostalgic escapists or romantic nature-lovers. But their own words reveal a more complex story. In such projects as Gustav Stickley’s Craftsman Farms, Frank Lloyd Wright’s “Broadacre City,” and Helen and Scott Nearing’s quest for “the good life,” Brown finds that the return to the farm has meant less a going-backwards than a going-forwards, a way to meet the challenges of the modern era. Progressive reformers pushed for homesteading to help impoverished workers get out of unhealthy urban slums. Depression-era back-to-the-landers, wary of the centralizing power of the New Deal, embraced a new “third way” politics of decentralism and regionalism. Later still, the movement merged with environmentalism. To understand Americans’ response to these back-to-the-land ideas, Brown turns to the fan letters of ordinary readers—retired teachers and overworked clerks, recent immigrants and single women. In seeking their rural roots, Brown argues, Americans have striven above all for the independence and self-sufficiency they associate with the agrarian ideal.
Best Books for General Audiences, selected by the American Association of School Librarians


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Back to the Roots
Memory, Inequality, and Urban Agriculture
Sara Shostak
Rutgers University Press, 2021
Across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, urban farmers and gardeners are reclaiming cultural traditions linked to food, farming, and health; challenging systemic racism and injustice in the food system; demanding greater community control of resources in marginalized neighborhoods; and moving towards their visions of more equitable urban futures. As part of this urgent work, urban farmers and gardeners encounter and reckon with both the cultural meanings and material legacies of the past. Drawing on their narratives, Back to the Roots demonstrates that urban agriculture is a critical domain for explorations of, and challenges to, the long standing inequalities that shape both the materiality of cities and the bodies of their inhabitants.

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Back to the Soil
The Jewish Farmers of Clarion, Utah, and Their World
Robert Alan Goldberg
University of Utah Press, 1986

The image of the Jew solely as urbanite may stem from the period of 1880 to 1920, when two million Jews left their homes in Eastern Europe and established themselves in the urban centers of America. Lesser known are the agrarian efforts of Jewish immigrants. In Back to the Soil, Robert Goldberg focuses on the attempt of one such Jewish colony in Clarion, Utah. In 1911, eighty-one families left eastern cities to farm the Clarion tract. Jewish families funded the venture, the governor of Utah en-couraged it, and the Mormon Church financially aided the community. Despite these efforts, Clarion died as an organizational entity in 1916, with the dozen remaining families departing by the mid-1920s.

Goldberg sheds light on the values and ideals of the colonists, the daily rhythm of life, the personalities of the settlers, and the struggle for and eventual collapse of their dream. Of all the attempts to establish a Jewish colony on the land, Clarion was the largest and had the longest existence of any colony west of the Appalachians. The Clarion fragment, lost and forgotten, thus becomes a crucial part of the larger mosaic of Jewish history in the West.

Release of this new paperback edition is timed to coincide with the celebration of the centennial of the founding of the Clarion colony.


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Back to the Woods
Cynthia Cruz
Four Way Books

National Book Critics Circle Award Winner Cynthia Cruz reevaluates the paradox of the death drive in her eighth collection of poetry, Back to the Woods. Could it be that in ceaselessly snuffing ourselves out we are, in fact, trying to survive? In “Shine,” Cruz’s speaker attests that “if [she] had a home, it would be // a still in a film / where the sound / got jammed.” This book inhabits the silence of the empty orchestra pit, facing “dread, and its many / instruments of sorrow.” The quiet asks, “Did you love this world / and did this world / not love you?” We return to the site of our suffering, we perform the symphony of all our old injuries, to master what has broken us. To make possible the future, we retreat into the past. “I don’t know / the ending. // I don’t know anything,” our speaker insists, but she follows the wind’s off-kilter song of “winter / in the pines” and “the dissonance / of siskins.” Cruz heeds the urgency of our wandering, the mandate that we must get back to the woods, not simply for the forest to devour us — she recognizes in the oblivion “flooding out / from its spiral branches” an impossible promise. At the tree line, we might vanish to begin again. 


front cover of From Vienna to Chicago and Back
From Vienna to Chicago and Back
Essays on Intellectual History and Political Thought in Europe and America
Gerald Stourzh
University of Chicago Press, 2007

Spanning both the history of the modern West and his own five-decade journey as a historian, Gerald Stourzh’s sweeping new essay collection covers the same breadth of topics that has characterized his career—from Benjamin Franklin to Gustav Mahler, from Alexis de Tocqueville to Charles Beard, from the notion of constitution in seventeenth-century England to the concept of neutrality in twentieth-century Austria.

This storied career brought him in the 1950s from the University of Vienna to the University of Chicago—of which he draws a brilliant picture—and later took him to Berlin and eventually back to Austria. One of the few prominent scholars equally at home with U.S. history and the history of central Europe, Stourzh has informed these geographically diverse experiences and subjects with the overarching themes of his scholarly achievement: the comparative study of liberal constitutionalism and the struggle for equal rights at the core of Western notions of free government. Composed between 1953 and 2005 and including a new autobiographical essay written especially for this volume, From Vienna to Chicago and Back will delight Stourzh fans, attract new admirers, and make an important contribution to transatlantic history.


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German Ideology
From France to Germany and Back
Louis Dumont
University of Chicago Press, 1995
In this comparative anthropological analysis, Louis Dumont illuminates German and French ideology, European culture, and cultural interaction. His analysis of texts by Troeltsch, Thomas Mann, Goethe, and others, against the background of previously gathered evidence and of French common notions, specify the differences—otherwise frequently but vaguely alluded to—between French and German cultures.

Anyone interested in the fate of national ideology and the concept of the individual will benefit from this radical reinterpretation of modern values and the place of modernity in history.

"What François Furet did for French history, Dumont did for anthropology, turning it away from engaged politics and towards the sober study of the modern age." —Mark Lilla, London Review of Books

"There are many fine things in Dumont's study. Beyond any doubt, his cultural anthropology of the modern spirit highlights some of the key energies of the of the last two centuries. . . . [An] impressive . . . detailed analysis." —Martin Swales, Times Higher Education Supplement

"[An] unsettling, rich, demanding, profound study." —Publishers Weekly

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Gershom Scholem
From Berlin to Jerusalem and Back
Noam Zadoff
Brandeis University Press, 2017
German-born Gerhard (Gershom) Scholem (1897–1982), the preeminent scholar of Jewish mysticism, delved into the historical analysis of kabbalistic literature from late antiquity to the twentieth century. His writings traverse Jewish historiography, Zionism, the phenomenology of mystical religion, and the spiritual and political condition of contemporary Judaism and Jewish civilization. Scholem famously recounted rejecting his parents’ assimilationist liberalism in favor of Zionism and immigrating to Palestine in 1923, where he became a central figure in the German Jewish immigrant community that dominated the nation’s intellectual landscape in Mandatory Palestine. Despite Scholem’s public renunciation of Germany for Israel, Zadoff explores how the life and work of Scholem reflect ambivalence toward Zionism and his German origins.

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Del Balboa Cafe al Apartheid and Back
Susana Chávez-Silverman
University of Wisconsin Press, 2019
On a wintry Thursday night in San Francisco, Susana Chávez-Silverman catches her first glimpse of a handsome stranger through the window as he passes the infamous Balboa Cafe. She knows immediately he is the man of her dreams. His eyes meet hers, he turns and enters the bar . . .
Their attraction was intense, but the social and political climate of South Africa, still in the grip of apartheid, threatened to tear them apart. Describing the vicissitudes of the Latina migratory experience, Chávez-Silverman struggles to overcome the hostility of a place that is so unwelcoming to nonwhite persons and outsiders.
Heartthrob, a love story for the ages, implores us to consider how things could have been. In these romantic crónicas based on detailed diary entries and confessional letters to family and friends, Chávez-Silverman weaves together English and Spanish to lay bare the raw intensity and true fragility of love. Anyone who has wondered about the-one-that-got-away or sought out the true meaning of happily-ever-after will be enraptured by this intimate exploration of love, loss, and regret.

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I Wonder U
How Prince Went beyond Race and Back
Adilifu Nama
Rutgers University Press, 2020
Featured in the 2020 Association of University Presses Book, Jacket, and Journal Show

In 1993, Prince infamously changed his name to a unique, unpronounceable symbol. Yet this was only one of a long string of self-reinventions orchestrated by Prince as he refused to be typecast by the music industry’s limiting definitions of masculinity and femininity, of straightness and queerness, of authenticity and artifice, or of black music and white music.
Revealing how he continually subverted cultural expectations, I Wonder U examines the entirety of Prince’s diverse career as a singer, multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, producer, record label mogul, movie star, and director. It shows how, by blending elements of R&B, rock, and new wave into an extremely videogenic package, Prince was able to overcome the color barrier that kept black artists off of MTV. Yet even at his greatest crossover success, he still worked hard to retain his credibility among black music fans. In this way, Adilifu Nama suggests, Prince was able to assert a distinctly black political sensibility while still being perceived as a unique musical genius whose appeal transcended racial boundaries.

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Lessons and Legacies X
Back to the Sources: Reexamining Perpetrators, Victims, and Bystanders
Sara R Horowitz
Northwestern University Press, 2012
The essays in the tenth volume of Lessons and Legacies offer a sense of the issues that run through current thinking about the Holocaust and ideas about the different ways we engage with a broad range of sources. New sources ranging from traditional archival finds to microhistories accessible via newer technology infuse Holocaust research. At the same time, the fields of Holocaust research and Jewish studies have an increasing impact upon other disciplines. Overall, the editor and writers find that the integration of insights, methodologies, critiques, and questions from psychology, literary studies, visual arts, and other fields with those of history, political science, and other social sciences sharpens the tools of analysis. The essays in this volume testify to the evolution of the field of Holocaust studies and also indicate a future direction.

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On the Back of a Turtle
A Narrative of the Huron-Wyandot People
Lloyd E. Divine Jr. (dárahok)
The Ohio State University Press, 2019
On the Back of a Turtle is an all-inclusive history of the Huron-Wyandot people—from before the creation of the Great Island, now called North America, to the present day. No other full-length history of the Huron-Wyandot people exists. Presented in a conversational, easy-to-read style, the book is a compelling and informative telling of the story of the Huron-Wyandot people as told by a tribal historian.
As characters and tribes emerge in the Huron-Wyandot’s oral tradition of creation, and take their respective places upon the Great Island, the author reveals the most difficult element of the Huron-Wyandot’s history: how the tribal name was obtained. With the knowledge of how both Huron and Wyandot are relevant names for one tribe of people, the author then shares his tribe’s amazing history. The reader will be fascinated to learn how one of the smallest tribes, birthed amid the Iroquois Wars, rose to become one of the most respected and influential tribes of North America.

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There and Back in 1877
Wallis Nash
Oregon State University Press, 1976

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The Return of the Mexican Gray Wolf
Back to the Blue
Bobbie Holaday
University of Arizona Press, 2003
The return of the Mexican gray wolf to Arizona's Blue Range in 1998 marked more than a victory for an endangered species. Long hated by ranchers, the gray wolf had been hunted to the brink of extinction until one woman took on the challenge of restoring it to its natural habitat.

Inspired by the plight of the Mexican gray wolf, retiree Bobbie Holaday formed the citizens advocacy group Preserve Arizona's Wolves (P.A.WS.) in 1987 and embarked on a crusade to raise public awareness. She soon found herself in the center of a firestorm of controversy, with environmentalists taking sides against ranchers and neighbors against neighbors. This book tells her story for the first time, documenting her eleven-year effort to bring the gray wolf back to the Blue.

As Holaday quickly learned, ranchers exerted considerable control over the state legislature, and politicians in turn controlled decisions made by wildlife agencies. Even though the wolf had been listed as endangered since 1976, opposition to it was so strong that the Arizona Game and Fish Department had been unable to launch a recovery program. In The Return of the Mexican Gray Wolf, Holaday describes first-hand the tactics she and other ordinary citizens on the Mexican Wolf Recovery Team adopted to confront these obstacles. Enhanced with more than 40 photographs—32 in color—her account chronicles both the triumphs of reintroduction and the heartbreaking tragedies the wolves encountered during early phases.

Thanks to Holaday's perseverance, eleven wolves were released into the wild in 1998, and the Blue Range once again echoed with their howls. Her tenacity was an inspiration to all those she enlisted in the cause, and her story is a virtual primer for conservation activists on mobilizing at the grassroots level. The Return of the Mexican Gray Wolf shows that one person can make a difference in a seemingly hopeless cause and will engage all readers concerned with the preservation of wildlife.

All royalties go to the Mexican Wolf Trust Fund administered by the Arizona Game and Fish Department.


front cover of To Alcatraz, Death Row, and Back
To Alcatraz, Death Row, and Back
Memories of an East LA Outlaw
By Ernie López and Rafael Pérez-Torres
University of Texas Press, 2005

When Ernie López was a boy selling newspapers in Depression-era Los Angeles, his father beat him when he failed to bring home the expected eighty to ninety cents a day. When the beatings became unbearable, he took to petty stealing to make up the difference. As his thefts succeeded, Ernie's sense of necessity got tangled up with ambition and adventure. At thirteen, a joyride in a stolen car led to a sentence in California's harshest juvenile reformatory. The system's failure to show any mercy soon propelled López into a cycle of crime and incarceration that resulted in his spending decades in some of America's most notorious prisons, including four and a half years on death row for a murder López insists he did not commit.

To Alcatraz, Death Row, and Back is the personal life story of a man who refused to be broken by either an abusive father or an equally abusive criminal justice system. While López freely admits that "I've been no angel," his insider's account of daily life in Alcatraz and San Quentin graphically reveals the violence, arbitrary infliction of excessive punishment, and unending monotony that give rise to gang cultures within the prisons and practically insure that parolees will commit far worse crimes when they return to the streets. Rafael Pérez-Torres discusses how Ernie López's experiences typify the harsher treatment that ethnic and minority suspects often receive in the American criminal justice system, as well as how they reveal the indomitable resilience of Chicanos/as and their culture. As Pérez-Torres concludes, "López's story presents us with the voice of one who—though subjected to a system meant to destroy his soul—not only endured but survived, and in surviving prevailed."


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The View from the Back of the Band
Chris Smith
University of North Texas Press, 2014

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