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.
Gideon Welles’s 1861 appointment as secretary of the navy placed him at the hub of Union planning for the Civil War and in the midst of the powerful personalities vying for influence in Abraham Lincoln’s cabinet. Although Welles initially knew little of naval matters, he rebuilt a service depleted by Confederate defections, planned actions that gave the Union badly needed victories in the war’s early days, and oversaw a blockade that weakened the South’s economy.
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 can just as easily wax eloquent about the Navy's wartime achievements, extoll the virtues of Lincoln, or drop in a tidbit of Washington gossip.
Carefully edited and extensively annotated, this edition contains a wealth of supplementary material. The several 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.
“Live in each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influence of each.”
Modernity rules our lives by clock and calendar, dividing the stream of time into units and coordinating every passing moment with the universal globe. Henry David Thoreau subverted both clock and calendar, using them not to regulate time’s passing but to open up and explore its presence. This little volume thus embodies, in small compass, Thoreau’s own ambition to “live in season”—to turn with the living sundial of the world, and, by attuning ourselves to nature, to heal our modern sense of discontinuity with our surroundings.
Ralph Waldo Emerson noted with awe that from flowers alone, Thoreau could tell the calendar date within two days; children remembered long into adulthood how Thoreau showed them white waterlilies awakening not by the face of a clock but at the first touch of the sun. As Thoreau wrote in Walden, “Time is but the stream I go a-fishing in. I drink at it; but while I drink I see the sandy bottom and detect how shallow it is.”
Drawn from the full range of Thoreau’s journals and published writings, and arranged according to season, The Daily Henry David Thoreau allows us to discover the endless variation and surprise to be found in the repetitions of mundane cycles. Thoreau saw in the kernel of each day an earth enchanted, one he honed into sentences tuned with an artist’s eye and a musician’s ear. Thoreau’s world lives on in his writing so that we, too, may discover, even in a fallen world, a beauty worth defending.
This book presents a remarkable collection of letters from Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands (1880–1962) and her governess, Elizabeth Saxton Winter (1855–1936), an Englishwoman. The earliest letters are those of a child, sent to Miss Winter when she was on holiday in England, but after Wilhelmina’s education was finished in 1896 and she had no more need of a governess, she continued to write to Winter weekly. Her long letters cover a wide range of subjects: including her perspective on people and events, encounters with famous individuals, kings and emperors, but also sad times and loneliness, her belief in the Almighty, and above all, her development to her role as queen – her inauguration was in 1898 – and the high seriousness with which she regarded her duties. The resulting volume offers unprecedented insight into her life as child of her mother queen-regent Emma, as queen, as wife of prince Hendrik and as mother of princess Juliana.
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 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.
Charm, wit, compassion, wisdom, literature, nature, sex, humor, politics, sorrow, love: these themes fill the late journal pages of enigmatic American writer Glenway Wescott. From humble beginnings on a poor Wisconsin farm, Wescott went on to study at the University of Chicago, narrowly survive the Spanish flu pandemic, and eventually emerge as an influential poet and novelist. A major figure in the American literary expatriate community in Paris during the 1920s and a prominent American novelist in the years leading up to World War II, he spent a decade living abroad before relocating permanently to New York and New Jersey with his partner, Museum of Modern Art publications director and curator Monroe Wheeler.
Together they mixed with such intellectual and creative greats as Jean Cocteau, Colette, George Platt Lynes, Paul Cadmus, Somerset Maugham, Christopher Isherwood, Marianne Moore, W. H. Auden, Truman Capote, Joseph Campbell, and scores of other luminaries. During the second half of his life, Wescott wrote nonfiction essays and worked for the Academy Institute of Arts and Letters, all the while keeping journals in which he recorded the experiences that fostered his love of life, literature, the arts, and humanity. A Heaven of Words looks back on Wescott's entire fascinating life and reveals the riveting narrative of his last decades.
“Even after dark, if you are quiet and attentive, you can hear a Killdeer far off. Sandbars, mud flats and grazed fields are where you find them. They are commonplace. So much so, that you might miss them if not for the unique sound they make as they fly overhead, or dart back and forth on the ground, as if wondering which way to go next. So it is with Michael Cotter’s stories. They are like a comfortable pair of slippers. Not flashy at all, but each time you put them on and walk in them, you are so glad you did. They appear so ordinary, but the way they wrap around your soul surprises you. And like slippers you thought you’d never buy, Michael’s stories surprise you. Even though they are not flashy, energetic or dramatic in ways we have come to expect in this digital age, they are grounded in universal truths, with timeless characters. They provide us with a sense of memory, wisdom and peace that celebrates the human spirit, and revels in the common man, woman, boy and girl that is in us all. When Michael tells his stories, it’s as if time stands still. We are reminded of who we really are….down deep….after the television is turned off, the radio is silenced, and we have put our egos on the shelf to rest a spell.”
--Rex Ellis, Director of Museum programs, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.
*The Lasting Significance of Etty Hillesum’s Writings* contains the proceedings of the third international Etty Hillesum Conference, held in Middelburg in September 2018. It brings together the work of 33 experts from all over the world to shed new light on life, works, inspiration and vision of the Dutch Jewish writer Etty Hillesum (1914-1943), one of the victims of the Nazi regime. Hillesum’s diaries and letters illustrate her heroic struggle to come to terms with her personal life in the context of the Holocaust. This volume revives Hillesum research with a comprehensive rereading of her texts but also by introducing new sources about her life. With the current rise of interest in peace studies, Judaism, the Holocaust, inter-religious dialogue, gender studies and mysticism, this book will be invaluable to students and scholars in a range of disciplines.
From the mid-1830s through the 1850s, more than a half million people settled in Wisconsin. While traveling in ships and wagons, establishing homes, and forming new communities, these men, women, and children recorded their experiences in letters, diaries, and newspaper articles. In their own words, they revealed their fears, joys, frustrations, and hopes for life in this new place.
The Making of Pioneer Wisconsin provides a unique and intimate glimpse into the lives of these early settlers, as they describe what it felt like to be a teenager in a wagon heading west or an isolated young wife living far from her friends and family. Woven together with context provided by historian Michael E. Stevens, these first-person accounts form a fascinating narrative that deepens our ability to understand and empathize with Wisconsin’s early pioneers.
The First English Translation of the Intimate Writings of a Member of the Last Russian Imperial Family
In the twilight of the nineteenth century, a third daughter was born to Tsar Nicholas II and his wife Alexandra. Grand Duchess Maria Nikolaevna—known to her family and friends simply as “Mashka”—grew into an empathetic, down-to-earth girl, unaffected by her imperial status. Often overshadowed by her two older sisters, Olga and Tatiana, and later, her brother Alexei and younger sister Anastasia, Maria ultimately proved to have a uniquely strong and solid personality.
In Maria Romanov: Third Daughter of the Last Tsar, Diaries and Letters, 1908–1918, by translator and researcher Helen Azar with George Hawkins, Mashka’s voice is heard again through her intimate writings, presented for the first time in English. The Grand Duchess was much more than a pretty princess wearing white dresses in hundreds of faded sepia photographs; Maria’s surviving diaries and letters offer a fascinating insight into the private life of a loving family—from festivals and faith, to Rasputin and the coming Revolution; it is clear why this middle child ultimately became a pillar of strength and hope for them all. Maria’s gentle character belied her incredible courage, which emerged in the darkest hours of her brief life. “The incarnation of modesty elevated by suffering,” as Maria was described during the last weeks of her life, she was able to maintain her kindness and optimism, even in the midst of violence and degradation.
On a stuffy summer night in 1918, only a few weeks after her nineteenth birthday, Maria was murdered along with the rest of her family in a cellar of a house chosen for this “special purpose.” Two sets of charred remains, confirmed to be Maria’s and her brother Alexei’s, were not discovered until almost ninety years later, separately from those of the other victims of the massacre. As the authors relate, it is still unknown if these remains will ever be allowed to be laid to rest.
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.
James A. Dunn was a signalman on the USS Mason, a destroyer escort during World War II, the only oceangoing warship in the navy to employ African Americans in positions other than cook or messmate. Manned by African American seamen (and commanded by white officers), the ship made ten crossings of the Atlantic from 1944 to 1945, escorting convoys of merchant ships to and from the United Kingdom and North Africa and operating in hunter-killer groups searching for German submarines.
Dunn kept a day-to-day diary during his spare time on board the Mason. Such diaries are a rarity, for the navy (and other armed services) forbade the keeping of diaries, fearful lest secret information fall into enemy hands. The diary chronicles the Mason’s wartime activities, from the first convoy to the final return to the United States. It captures the feeling and meaning of life on board with an immediacy not fully found in retrospective accounts. The diary accurately records the mortal danger Dunn and his shipmates were in while attacking enemy submarines or dealing with extreme weather conditions in the North Atlantic. It conveys the boredom the men encountered while confined on long, tedious convoys and the joy of shore leaves. Here is the daily life aboard ship—the duties and the pastimes that made shipboard life endurable.
Equally interesting, the diary reveals what it meant to be an African American in a white navy within a segregated American society, the shipboard tensions, and the shipboard cooperation and sense of unity. It also portrays the life of an African American onshore in the United States, Great Britain, and North Africa and the love story that unfolded between James and his wife, Jane.
Supplemented by additional sources, including interviews with Dunn, this diary is a personal view into an important part of American history. Like the Tuskegee airmen, the men of the USS Mason paved the way for desegregation in America’s armed forces, contributing to a civil rights movement that changed the face of a nation.
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.
Essays on the apparitional, the incomprehensible, and the paranormal in conversation with art, travel, and storytelling
The ghosts—literal and figurative—that drive our deepest impulses, disturb our most precious memories, and haunt the passages of our daily lives are present in this collection of sublime meditations on the unbelievable, the coincidental, and the apparitional. Often containing reflections on the art of storytelling, Caryl Pagel’s essays blend memoir, research, and reflection, and are driven by a desire to observe connections between the visual and the invisible. The narrator of Pagel’s essays explores each enigma or encounter (a football coach’s faked death, the faces of women walking, historical accounts of hallucinations, a city’s public celebration gone wrong) as an intellectual detective ascending a labyrinthine tower of clues in pursuit of a solution to an unreachable problem: always curious, and with a sense of profound wonder.
Out of Nowhere Into Nothing is a sprawling, highly associative consideration of the ways in which the observed material world recalls us to larger narrative and aesthetic truths. Interspersed with documentary-style photographs, Pagel’s first collection of prose is a radiant, obsessive investigation into the mysteries at the center of our seemingly mundane lives.
In 1920, David O. McKay embarked on a journey that forever changed the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. His visits to the Latter-day Saint missions, schools, and branches in the Pacific solidified the Church leadership's commitment to global outreach. As importantly, the trip inspired McKay's own initiatives when he later became Church president. McKay's account of his odyssey brings to life the story of the Church of Jesus Christ’s transformation into a global faith. Throughout his diary, McKay expressed his humanity, curiosity, and fascination with cultures and places--the Maori hongi, East Asian customs, Australian wildlife, and more. At the same time, he and his travel companion, Hugh J. Cannon, detailed the Latter-day Saint missionary life of the era, closely observing logistical challenges and cultural differences, guiding various church efforts, and listening to followers' impressions and concerns. Reid L. Neilson and Carson V. Teuscher's meticulous notes provide historical, religious, and general context for the reader.Blending travelogue with history, Pacific Apostle illuminates the thought and work of an essential figure in the twentieth-century Church of Jesus Christ.
Remembering Tanizaki Jun’ichiro and Matsuko provides previously unpublished memories, anecdotes, and insights into the lives, opinions, personalities, and writings of the great novelist Tanizaki Jun’ichiro (1886–1965) and his wife Matsuko (1903–1991), gleaned from the diaries of Edward Seidensticker and two decades of Anthony Chambers’s conversations with Mrs. Tanizaki and others who were close to the Tanizaki family.
In the winter of 1818, Henry Rowe Schoolcraft set out from Potosi, Missouri, to document lead mines in the interior of the Ozarks, then a wilderness of near-virgin forests, limestone cliffs, prairies, and oak savannahs. Intending only to make his fortune by publishing an account of the area’s mineral resources, he became the first skilled observer to witness and record frontier life in the Ozarks.
The journal kept by Schoolcraft as he traveled ninety days in the rugged terrain of southern Missouri and northern Arkansas was originally published in 1821 and has become an essential record of Ozark territorial society and natural history documenting some of the earliest American settlers in the region, the power and beauty of many lost portions of the White River, the majesty of the open prairies, and the wealth of wildlife once found in the Ozarks.
A 2017 Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Silver Winner for Biography
Against the backdrop of World War II, Joy Passanante’s touching new book, Through a Long Absence: Words from My Father’s Wars, is the saga of a wartime medical unit, a passionate long-distance love, the making of a surgeon, and two first-generation American families. Told through her father’s eyes—drawing on hundreds of his letters to his beloved wife, his four-volume wartime diary, and his paintings—Passanante masterfully recreates his wartime journey and physically retraces his steps more than sixty years later in an attempt to understand a time in her parents’ lives that they’d spoken about very little.
More than just a World War II story, Through a Long Absence delves into one man’s past to explore his personal wars: a stint as a child bootlegger, a marriage between newlyweds separated by continents and strained by years apart, and his struggle late in life with his own mind. The narrative propels readers to surprising places—from a freight train through North Africa to an underground St. Louis distillery during Prohibition, from a young couple’s forbidden courtship to the chaos of surgical tents under fire in Normandy, from an underground trove of priceless artwork hidden by the Nazis to Jewish New Year services in Paris a week after its liberation. Through a Long Absence is a love story, an honest look into one man’s life, and a daughter’s moving quest to rediscover her father years later through his own words.
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.
A Traveled First Lady
Louisa Catherine Adams Harvard University Press, 2014 Library of Congress E377.2.A34 2014 | Dewey Decimal 973.55092
Louisa Catherine Adams was daughter-in-law and wife of presidents, assisted diplomat J. Q. Adams at three European capitals, and served as a D.C. hostess for three decades. Yet she is barely remembered today. A Traveled First Lady (with Foreword by Laura Bush) corrects this oversight, by sharing Adams's remarkable story in her own words.
Hans Magnus Enzensberger Seagull Books, 2016 Library of Congress PT2609.N9Z46 2014
Hans Magnus Enzensberger, widely regarded as Germany’s greatest living poet, was already well known in the 1960s, the tempestuous decade of which Tumult is an autobiographical record. Derived from old papers, notes, jottings, photos, and letters that the poet stumbled upon years later in his attic, the volume is not so much about the man, but rather the many places he visited and people whom he met on his travels through the Soviet Union and Cuba during the 1960s.
The book is made up of four longform pieces written from 1963 to 1970, each episode concluding with a poem and postscript written in 2014. Tumult is based on Enzensberger’s personal experience as a left-wing sympathizer during that tumultuous decade and focuses on political events and their participants. Translated by Mike Mitchell, the book is a lively and deftly written travelogue offering a glimpse into the history of leftist thought. Dedicated to “those who disappeared,” Tumult is a document of that which remains one of humanity’s headiest times.
“Enzensberger is the most important postwar writer you have never read.”—London Review of Books