On a freezing winter’s night, a few hours before dawn on May 12, 1969, South African security police stormed the Soweto home of Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, activist and wife of the imprisoned Nelson Mandela, and arrested her in the presence of her two young daughters, then aged nine and ten.
Rounded up in a group of other antiapartheid activists under Section 6 of the Terrorism Act, designed for the security police to hold and interrogate people for as long as they wanted, she was taken away. She had no idea where they were taking her or what would happen to her children. For Winnie Mandela, this was the start of 491 days of detention and two trials.
Forty-one years after Winnie Mandela’s release on September 14, 1970, Greta Soggot, the widow of one of the defense attorneys from the 1969–70 trials, handed her a stack of papers that included a journal and notes she had written while in detention, most of the time in solitary confinement. Their reappearance brought back to Winnie vivid and horrifying memories and uncovered for the rest of us a unique and personal slice of South Africa’s history.
491 Days: Prisoner Number 1323/69 shares with the world Winnie Mandela’s moving and compelling journal along with some of the letters written between several affected parties at the time, including Winnie and Nelson Mandela, himself then a prisoner on Robben Island for nearly seven years.
Readers will gain insight into the brutality she experienced and her depths of despair, as well as her resilience and defiance under extreme pressure. This young wife and mother emerged after 491 days in detention unbowed and determined to continue the struggle for freedom.
Ralph Bunche, who received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1950, traveled to South Africa for three months in 1937. His notes, which have been skillfully compiled and annotated by historian Robert R. Edgar, provide unique insights on a segregated society.
Lucy Pier Stevens, a twenty-one-year-old woman from Ohio, began a visit to her aunt’s family near Bellville, Texas, on Christmas Day, 1859. Little did she know how drastically her life would change on April 4, 1861, when the outbreak of the Civil War made returning home impossible. Stranded in enemy territory for the duration of the war, how would she reconcile her Northern upbringing with the Southern sentiments surrounding her?
Lucy Stevens’s diary—one of few women’s diaries from Civil War–era Texas and the only one written by a Northerner—offers a unique perspective on daily life at the fringes of America’s bloodiest conflict. An articulate, educated, and keen observer, Stevens took note seemingly of everything—the weather, illnesses, food shortages, parties, church attendance, chores, schools, childbirth, death, the family’s slaves, and political and military news. As she confided her private thoughts to her journal, she unwittingly revealed how her love for her Texas family and the Confederate soldier boys she came to care for blurred her loyalties, even as she continued to long for her home in Ohio. Showing how the ties of heritage, kinship, friendship, and community transcended the sharpest division in US history, this rare diary and Vicki Adams Tongate’s insightful historical commentary on it provide a trove of information on women’s history, Texas history, and Civil War history.
When “California Fever” raced through southeastern Ohio in the spring of 1849, a number of residents of Athens County organized a cooperative venture for traveling overland to the mines. Known as the “Buckeye Rovers,” the company began its trip westward in early April. The Buckeye Rovers, along with thousands who traveled the overland route to California, endured numerous hardships and the seemingly constant threat of attacks from hostile Indians. On reaching their destination, the Ohioans discovered that rich deposits of gold were extremely rare, and that except for a few lucky fortune–seekers, mining required hard physical labor and yielded small rewards. They persisted nonetheless and most of the company returned to Athens in late 1851 or early 1852 with modest fortunes.
The arduous experiences of the overland trek were recorded by two Buckeye Rover diarists. The more compete account was compiled by John Banks. He wrote effusively while on the trail and throughout his stay of more than two years in the gold regions. J. Elza Armstrong, by contrast, was brief, even laconic, and his journal ended upon reaching California. The contrast between the two brings into focus the divergent personalities who were drawn to California by the lure of gold.
A nine–month segment of Bank’s diary, from February to November, 1851, had been missing at the time the story of the Buckeye Rovers was first published in 1965. This revised and enlarged edition contains the complete diaries. They offer valuable record of the Buckeyes’ adventures from the time they left home until the time they departed California for the return trip to Ohio.
Perhaps the hardest-working member of the cabinet, Welles still found time to keep a detailed diary that has become one of the key documents for understanding the inner workings of the Lincoln administration. In this new edition, William E. and Erica L. Gienapp have restored Welles’s original observations, gleaned from the manuscript diaries at the Library of Congress and freed from his many later revisions, so that the reader can experience what he wrote in the moment. With his vitriolic pen, Welles captures the bitter disputes over strategy and war aims, lacerates colleagues from Secretary of State William H. Seward to General-in-Chief Henry Halleck, and condemns the actions of the self-serving southern elite he sees as responsible for the war. He just as easily waxes eloquent about the Navy's wartime achievements, extols the virtues of Lincoln, and drops in a tidbit of Washington gossip.
Carefully edited and extensively annotated, this edition contains a wealth of supplementary material. The appendixes include short biographies of the members of Lincoln’s cabinet, the retrospective Welles wrote after leaving office covering the period missing from the diary proper, and important letters regarding naval matters and international law.
The Adams saga takes a stride through the first half of the nineteenth century, as Louisa Catherine Johnson Adams chronicles her life with John Quincy Adams. Born in London in 1775 to a Maryland merchant and his English wife, Louisa recalls her childhood and education in England and France and her courtship with John Quincy, then U.S. minister to the Netherlands. Married in 1797, Louisa accompanied her husband on his postings to Berlin, St. Petersburg, and London. Her memoirs of Prussia and Russia vividly portray the republican couple in the courts of Europe.
Louisa came to America in 1801 and would share John Quincy’s career as U.S. senator, secretary of state, president, and congressman. Except for his presidency, her diaries for these years have been preserved, and they reveal a reluctant but increasingly canny political wife. Lamentations about loss, including the deaths of three of four children, abound. But here, too, are views of Napoleonic Europe and American sectional disputes, with witty sketches of heroes and scoundrels. John Quincy emerges in a fullness seldom seen—ambitious and exacting, yet passionate, generous, and gallant. Louisa's diaries conclude with her reckoning of an eventful life, which came to a close in 1852.
This eye-opening perspective on Stanley’s expedition reveals new details about the Victorian explorer and his African crew on the brink of the colonial Scramble for Africa.
In 1871, Welsh American journalist Henry M. Stanley traveled to Zanzibar in search of the “missing” Scottish explorer and missionary David Livingstone. A year later, Stanley emerged to announce that he had “found” and met with Livingstone on Lake Tanganyika. His alleged utterance there, “Dr. Livingstone, I presume,” was one of the most famous phrases of the nineteenth century, and Stanley’s book, How I Found Livingstone, became an international bestseller.
In this fascinating volume Mathilde Leduc-Grimaldi and James L. Newman transcribe and annotate the entirety of Stanley’s documentation, making available for the first time in print a broader narrative of Stanley’s journey that includes never-before-seen primary source documents—worker contracts, vernacular plant names, maps, ruminations on life, lines of poetry, bills of lading—all scribbled in his field notebooks.
Finding Dr. Livingstone is a crucial resource for those interested in exploration and colonization in the Victorian era, the scientific knowledge of the time, and the peoples and conditions of Tanzania prior to its colonization by Germany.
Sir John Herschel, one of the founders of Southern Hemisphere astronomy, was a man of extraordinarily wide interests. He made contributions to botany, geology, and ornithology, as well as to astronomy, chemistry, and mathematics. Throughout his scientific career he kept a diary, recording his public and private life. The diaries from 1834 to 1838, years he spent making astronomical observations at the Cape of Good Hope, are reproduced in this book and prove to be much more than an ordinary scientist’s logbook. They present personal and social history, literary commentaries, the results of close observations of nature and numerous scientific experiments, the excitement of travel, political intrigues, gossip, and philosophical reflections—all interpreted through an alert and versatile mind. In the present transcription, the material has been enriched with selected correspondence of Sir John and his wife Lady Herschel (née Margaret Brodie Stewart).
Sir John devoted his working time at the Cape primarily to a systematic observation of the southern sky, complementing his earlier “sweeping” of the northern sky at Slough, England. He later became one of the founders of photography, but at the Cape he used a simple optical device, the camera lucida, in the production of numerous landscape drawings. Many of these, along with reproductions of sketches contained in the diaries and botanical drawings made by Sir John and Lady Herschel, are used to illustrate this book. Sir John was also a leading figure in the foundation of the educational system of the Cape and a supporter of exploratory expeditions into the interior.
As the son of Sir William Herschel, in his day the most famous British astronomer and the discoverer of the planet Uranus, Sir John was already celebrated when he arrived from England. Every individual of note, resident at the Cape or visiting, went to see him. He was supported in his work by his wife, who ran an enormous establishment and bore a huge family, but who nevertheless found time to travel in the country around the western Cape with him and to assist in his observations.
The diaries and letters are supplemented by especially valuable editorial notes that provide much needed and highly interesting information concerning persons and events mentioned and described by Sir John. All the original manuscript material used in this volume is archived at the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin. Sir John’s camera lucida drawings are from the South African Public Library in Cape Town.
“Sol Plaatje’s Mafeking Diary is a document of enduring importance and fascination. The product of a young black South African court interpreter, just turned 23 years old when he started writing, it opens an entirely new vista on the famous Siege of Mafeking. By shedding light on the part played by the African population of the town, Plaatje explodes the myth, maintained by belligerents, and long perpetuated by both historians and the popular imagination, this this was a white man’s affair. One of the great epics of British imperial history, and perhaps the best remembered episode of the Anglo-Boer war of 1899–1902, is presented from a wholly novel perspective.
“At the same time, the diary provides an intriguing insight into the character of a young man who was to play a key role in South African political and literary history during the first three decades of this century. It reveals much of the perceptions and motives that shaped his own attitudes and intellectual development and, indeed, those of an early generation of African leaders who sought to build a society which did not determine the place of its citizens by the colour of their skin. The diary therefore illuminates the origins of a struggle which continues to this day.”
— John L. Comaroff (ed.) in his preface
Few episodes in Texas history have excited more popular interest than the Mier Expedition of 1842. Nineteen-year-old Joseph D. McCutchan was among the 300 Texans who, without the cover of the Lone Star flag, launched their own disastrous invasion across the Rio Grande.
McCutchan's diary provides a vivid account of his experience—the Texans' quick dispatch by Mexican troops at the town of Mier, the hardships of a forced march to Mexico City, over twenty months of imprisonment, and the journey back home after release. Although there are other firsthand accounts of the Mier Expedition, McCutchan was the only diarist who followed the Tampico route to Mexico City. His account documents a different experience than that of the main body of prisoners who marched to the national capital by way of Monterrey, Saltillo, and Agua Nueva.
Among the last of the prisoners to be freed, McCutchan covers in his journal the whole period of confinement from December 26, 1842, to the final release on September 16, 1844.
The McCutchan diary is set apart from other Mier accounts not only by the new information it provides, but also by Joseph Milton Nance's superb editing. Nance is an acknowledged authority on the hostilities between Texas and Mexico during the era of the Texas Republic. He has transcribed, edited, and annotated the diary with characteristic scholarship and painstaking attention to detail.
Mirages opens at the dawn of World War II, when Anaïs Nin fled Paris, where she lived for fifteen years with her husband, banker Hugh Guiler, and ends in 1947 when she meets the man who would be “the One,” the lover who would satisfy her insatiable hunger for connection. In the middle looms a period Nin describes as “hell,” during which she experiences a kind of erotic madness, a delirium that fuels her search for love. As a child suffering abandonment by her father, Anaïs wrote, “Close your eyes to the ugly things,” and, against a horrifying backdrop of war and death, Nin combats the world’s darkness with her own search for light.
Mirages collects, for the first time, the story that was cut from all of Nin’s other published diaries, particularly volumes 3 and 4 of The Diary of Anaïs Nin, which cover the same time period. It is the long-awaited successor to the previous unexpurgated diaries Henry and June, Incest, Fire, and Nearer the Moon. Mirages answers the questions Nin readers have been asking for decades: What led to the demise of Nin’s love affair with Henry Miller? Just how troubled was her marriage to Hugh Guiler? What is the story behind Nin’s “children,” the effeminate young men she seemed to collect at will? Mirages is a deeply personal story of heartbreak, despair, desperation, carnage, and deep mourning, but it is also one of courage, persistence, evolution, and redemption that reaches beyond the personal to the universal.
Emma Bell Miles (1879–1919) was a gifted writer, poet, naturalist, and artist with a keen perspective on Appalachian life and culture. She and her husband Frank lived on Walden’s Ridge in southeast Tennessee, where they struggled to raise a family in the difficult mountain environment. Between 1908 and 1918, Miles kept a series of journals in which she recorded in beautiful and haunting prose the natural wonders and local customs of Walden’s Ridge. Jobs were scarce, however, and as the family’s financial situation deteriorated, Miles began to sell literary works and paintings to make ends meet. Her short stories appeared in national magazines such as Harper’s Monthly and Lippincott’s, and in 1905 she published Spirit of the Mountains, a nonfiction book about southern Appalachia. After the death of her three-year-old son from scarlet fever in 1913, the journals took a more somber turn as Miles documented the difficulties of mountain life, the plight of women in rural communities, the effect of disparities of class and wealth, and her own struggle with tuberculosis.
Previously examined only by a handful of scholars, the journals contain both poignant and incisive accounts of nature and a woman’s perspective on love and marriage, death customs, child raising, medical care, and subsistence on the land in southern Appalachia in the early twentieth century. With a foreword by Elizabeth S. D. Engelhardt, this edited selection of Emma Bell Miles’s journals is illustrated with examples of her painting.
Fresh from receiving a doctorate from Cornell University in 1933, but unable to find work, Charles M. Wiltse joined his parents on the small farm they had recently purchased in southern Ohio. There, the Wiltses scratched out a living selling eggs, corn, and other farm goods at prices that were barely enough to keep the farm intact.
In wry and often affecting prose, Wiltse recorded a year in the life of this quintessentially American place during the Great Depression. He describes the family’s daily routine, occasional light moments, and their ongoing frustrations, small and large—from a neighbor’s hog that continually broke into the cornfields to the ongoing struggle with their finances. Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal had little to offer small farmers, and despite repeated requests, the family could not secure loans from local banks to help them through the hard economic times. Wiltse spoke the bitter truth when he told his diary, “We are not a lucky family.” In this he represented millions of others caught in the maw of a national disaster.
The diary is introduced and edited by Michael J. Birkner, Wiltse’s former colleague at the Papers of Daniel Webster Project at Dartmouth College, and coeditor, with Wiltse, of the final volume of Webster’s correspondence.
Anaïs Nin made her reputation through publication of her edited diaries and the carefully constructed persona they presented. It was not until decades later, when the diaries were published in their unexpurgated form, that the world began to learn the full details of Nin’s fascinating life and the emotional and literary high-wire acts she committed both in documenting it and in defying the mores of 1950s America. Trapeze begins where the previous volume, Mirages, left off: when Nin met Rupert Pole, the young man who became not only her lover but later her husband in a bigamous marriage.
It marks the start of what Nin came to call her “trapeze life,” swinging between her longtime husband, Hugh Guiler, in New York and her lover, Pole, in California, a perilous lifestyle she continued until her death in 1977. Today what Nin did seems impossible, and what she sought perhaps was impossible: to find harmony and completeness within a split existence. It is a story of daring and genius, love and pain, largely unknown until now.
Congress adjourned on 18 May 1852 for Louisa Catherine Adams's funeral, according her an honor never before offered a first lady. But her life and influence merited this extraordinary tribute. She had been first the daughter-in-law and then the wife of a president. She had assisted her husband as a diplomat at three of the major capitals of Europe. She had served as a leading hostess and significant figure in Washington for three decades. And yet, a century and a half later, she is barely remembered. A Traveled First Lady: Writings of Louisa Catherine Adams seeks to correct that oversight by sharing Adams's remarkable experiences in her own words.
These excerpts from diaries and memoirs recount her early years in London and Paris (to this day she is the only foreign-born first lady), her courtship and marriage to John Quincy Adams, her time in the lavish courts of Berlin and St. Petersburg as a diplomat's wife, and her years aiding John Quincy's political career in Washington. Emotional, critical, witty, and, in the Adams tradition, always frank, her writings draw sharp portraits of people from every station, both servants and members of the imperial court, and deliver clear, well-informed opinions about the major issues of her day.
Telling the story of her own life, juxtaposed with rich descriptions of European courts, Washington political maneuvers, and the continuing Adams family drama, Louisa Catherine Adams demonstrates why she was once considered one of the preeminent women of the nineteenth century.
Historians have made widespread use of diaries to tell the story of the Second World War in Europe but have paid little attention to personal accounts from the Asia-Pacific Theater. Writing War seeks to remedy this imbalance by examining over two hundred diaries, and many more letters, postcards, and memoirs, written by Chinese, Japanese, and American servicemen from 1937 to 1945, the period of total war in Asia and the Pacific. As he describes conflicts that have often been overlooked in the history of World War II, Aaron William Moore reflects on diaries as tools in the construction of modern identity, which is important to our understanding of history.
Any discussion of war responsibility, Moore contends, requires us first to establish individuals as reasonably responsible for their actions. Diaries, in which men develop and assert their identities, prove immensely useful for this task. Tracing the evolution of diarists’ personal identities in conjunction with their battlefield experience, Moore explores how the language of the state, mass media, and military affected attitudes toward war, without determining them entirely. He looks at how propaganda worked to mobilize soldiers, and where it failed. And his comparison of the diaries of Japanese and American servicemen allows him to challenge the assumption that East Asian societies of this era were especially prone to totalitarianism. Moore follows the experience of soldiering into the postwar period as well, and considers how the continuing use of wartime language among veterans made their reintegration into society more difficult.
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