"In this well-written monograph Paula M. Nelson tells the story of the settlement of 'west river country,' that part of South Dakota west of the Missouri River....Nelson's major contribution is her reconstruction of the social life of this generation of settlers....Nelson is particularly sensitive to the experience of pioneer women, both those who labored within the family and those single women who homesteaded on their own."--American Historical Review
"After the West Was Won is an impressively researched and beautifully written study....Nelson also conveys the sense of pain and suffering that pioneers in western South Dakota endured; the technology of steam, electricity, and internal combustion failed to create utopia in a primitive area after the West was won."--Technology and Culture
"Paula M. Nelson's account of the trials and tribulations of the pioneers of that flat, windswept plain is a welcome addition to the literature on the agricultural frontier."--Journal of American History
Dave Etter Northwestern University Press, 2005 Library of Congress PS3555.T68A8 2005 | Dewey Decimal 811.54
In the tradition of Sherwood Anderson's Winesburg, Ohio, and Edgar Lee Masters' Spoon River Anthology, each of the 222 poems in this collection is narrated by a different resident of the fictional small town of Alliance, Illinois. Their voices, individual and yet familiar, describe the ordered simplicity of life in the American small town during the second half of the twentieth century. Dave Etter's themes and images come from the very lifeblood of prairie Illinois-rivers, trees, cornfields, wildlife, county fairs, railroads and, always, the people and the ever-changing seasons. Deceptively, invitingly simple on their surface, Etter's poems reveal upon careful examination a remarkable psychological insight and a careful craftsmanship. Alliance, Illinois is truly one of the great monuments of rural American literature.
One man was tongue-tied and awkward around women, in many ways a mama's boy at heart, although his reputation for thuggery was well earned. The other was a playboy, full of easy charm and ready jokes, his appetite for high living a matter of public record. One man tolerated gangsters and bootleggers as long as they paid their dues to his organization. The other was effectively a gangster himself, so crooked that he hosted a national gathering of America's most ruthless killers. One man never drank alcohol. The other, from all evidence, seldom drank anything else.
American Dictators is the dual biography of two of America’s greatest political bosses: Frank Hagueand Enoch “Nucky” Johnson. Packed with compelling information and written in an informal, sometimes humorous style, the book shows Hague and Johnson at the peak of their power and the strength of their political machines during the years of Prohibition and the Great Depression. Steven Hart compares how both men used their influence to benefit and punish the local citizenry, amass huge personal fortunes, and sometimes collaborate to trounce their enemies.
Similar in their ruthlessness, both men were very different in appearance and temperament. Hague, the mayor of Jersey City, intimidated presidents and wielded unchallenged power for three decades. He never drank and was happily married to his wife for decades. He also allowed gangsters to run bootlegging and illegal gambling operations as long as they paid protection money. Johnson, the political boss of Atlantic City, and the inspiration for the hit HBO series Boardwalk Empire, presided over corruption as well, but for a shorter period of time. He was notorious for his decadent lifestyle. Essentially a gangster himself, Johnson hosted the infamous Atlantic City conference that fostered the growth of organized crime.
Both Hague and Johnson shrewdly integrated otherwise disenfranchised groups into their machines and gave them a stake in political power. Yet each failed to adapt to changing demographics and circumstances. In American Dictators, Hart paints a balanced portrait of their accomplishments and their failures.
AND LADIES OF THE CLUB
HELEN HOOVEN SANTMYER The Ohio State University Press, 1982 Library of Congress PS3537.A775A82 1982 | Dewey Decimal 813.52
This New York Times best seller by Helen Hooven Santmyer recounts the lives of a group of women who start a study club in a small town in southwestern Ohio in 1868. Over the years, the club evolves into an influential community service organization in the town. Numerous characters are introduced in the course of the novel but primary are Anne Gordon and Sally Rausch who, as the book begins, are new graduates of the Waynesboro Female Seminary. The novel covers decades of their lives—chronicling the two women’s marriages and those of their children and grandchildren. Santmyer focuses not just on the lives of the women in the club, but also their families and friends and the politics and developments in their small town and the larger world.
In this longest and most ambitious of Santmyer’s books, there is—as with all of her previous work—a poignant sense of a past made present again through an acute sensibility, of human life and experience as somehow cumulative, and of lives and events, largely fugitive and forgotten, as captured and transformed as the stuff of her poetry.
Anonymous Connections asks how the Victorians understood the ethical, epistemological, and biological implications of social belonging and participation. Specifically, Tina Choi considers the ways nineteenth-century journalists, novelists, medical writers, and social reformers took advantage of spatial frames-of-reference in a social landscape transforming due to intense urbanization and expansion. New modes of transportation, shifting urban demographics, and the threat of epidemics emerged during this period as anonymous and involuntary forms of contact between unseen multitudes. While previous work on the early Victorian social body have tended to describe the nineteenth-century social sphere in static political and class terms, Choi’s work charts new critical terrain, redirecting attention to the productive—and unpredictable—spaces between individual bodies as well as to the new narrative forms that emerged to represent them. Anonymous Connections makes a significant contribution to scholarship on nineteenth-century literature and British cultural and medical history while offering a timely examination of the historical forebears to modern concerns about the cultural and political impact of globalization.
The rapid growth and development of urban areas in the South have resulted in an increase in the number of urban archaeology projects required by federal and state agencies. These projects provide opportunities not only to investigate marginal areas between the town and countryside but also to recover information long buried beneath the earliest urban structures. Such projects have also created a need for a one-volume update on archaeology as it is practiced in the urban areas of the southeastern United States.
Archaeology of Southern Urban Landscapes will assist practitioners and scholars in the burgeoning fields of urban and landscape archaeology by treating the South as a distinctive social, geographic, and material entity and by focusing on the urban South rather than the stereotypical South of rural plantations. The case studies in this volume span the entire southeastern United States, from Annapolis to New Orleans and from colonial times to the 19th century. The authors address questions involving the function of cities, interregional diversity, the evolution of the urban landscape, and the impact of the urban landscape on southern culture. By identifying the relationship between southern culture and the South's urban landscapes, this book will help us understand the built landscape of the past and predict future growth in the region.
The volume includes:
Introduction: Urban Archaeology in the South, Amy L. Young
Southern Town Plans, Storytelling, and Historical Archaeology, Linda Derry
Mobile's Waterfront: The Development of a Port City, Bonnie L. Gums and George W. Shorter Jr.
Urbanism in the Colonial South: The Development of Seventeenth-Century Jamestown, Audrey J. Horning
Archaeology at Covington, Kentucky: A Particularly "Northern-looking" Southern City, Robert A. Genheimer
Charleston's Powder Magazine and the Development of a Southern City, Martha A. Zierden
Archaeology and the African-American Experience in the Urban South, J. W. Joseph
Ethnicity in the Urban Landscape: The Archaeology of Creole New Orleans, Shannon Lee Dawdy
Developing Town Life in the South: Archaeological Investigations at Blount Mansion, Amy L. Young
The Making of the Ancient City: Annapolis in the Antebellum Era, Christopher N. Matthews
Urban Archaeology in Tennessee: Exploring the Cities of the Old South, Patrick H. Garrow
Archaeological Views of Southern Culture and Urban Life, Paul R. Mullins and Terry H. Klein
Despite attempts to promote the aesthetics of ruins in Russia—from Catherine the Great’s construction of fake ruins in imperial parks to Josef Brodsky’s elegiac meditations—ruins have never achieved the status they enjoy in Western Europe. While the Soviet Union was notorious for leveling churches, post-Soviet Russia has only intensified the practice of massive destruction and reconstruction. Architecture of Oblivion examines the role of ruins in the development of Russia’s historical consciousness from the 18th century to the present. Investigating the meaning and functions ruins have acquired in Russian culture, Schönle looks at ideological reasons for the current disregard for the value of ruins and historical buildings, in particular by political authorities, and reveals how ruins have often become a site of resistance to official ideology and an invitation to map out alternative visions of history and of statehood.
An interdisciplinary study of Russia’s response to ruins has never been attempted, although the topic of ruins has garnered considerable interest in Western Europe and in the U.S. This original work from a leading authority on the subject will appeal to historians of Russian culture and thought, literature and art scholars, and general readers interested in ruins.
The Avenue, Clayton City
C. Eric Lincoln Duke University Press, 1996 Library of Congress PS3562.I472A94 1996 | Dewey Decimal 813.54
The Avenue in C. Eric Lincoln’s fictional town is the principal residential street of the black community in Clayton City, a prototypical southern town languishing between the two world wars. Unpaved and marked by ditches full of frogs, snakes, and empty whiskey bottles on one side of town, it is the same street, though with a different name, that originates downtown. Only when it reaches the black section of Clayton City do the paving stop and the trash-filled ditches begin. On one side, it provides a significant address for the white people who live there. On the other, despite its rundown air, it is still the best address available to the town’s black population. Some of them, in fact, are willing to go to any extreme, including murder, to get there. In this novel, originally published in 1988, Lincoln creates with deft skill the drama that rises from the lives of the people of Clayton City. In turn amusing, disgusting, enraging, wistful, and, as one hears the secrets hidden deep in their hearts, shocking, they exist in a place whose vibrant personality is itself a unique configuration of geography, relationships, patterns of behavior, and events. It is also a place whose unspoken and hidden power lies in its crushing compulsion to maintain itself as it already is—a power that forces everyone to succumb to an inflexible social order.