During his years in the U.S. House of Representatives, Skelton became known as a bipartisan negotiator and a champion of the Armed Services. Throughout the decades, he helped steer the nation through its most dangerous challenges, from Communism to terrorism; took a leading role in the reform of the Department of Defense; dedicated himself to fulfilling the interests of his constituents; and eventually rose to become chair of the House Armed Services Committee during such pivotal events as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. In addition to detailing Skelton’s political career and its accompanying challenges and triumphs, Achieve the Honorable provides inside glimpses into the lives of political titans like Harry Truman, Richard Nixon, and Bill Clinton. Along the way, we are treated to Skelton’s engaging humor and shrewd insight into twentieth- and twenty-first-century U.S. politics.
Growing up beside the Chisholm Trail, captivated by the songs of passing cowboys and his bosom friend, an African American farmhand, John A. Lomax developed a passion for American folk songs that ultimately made him one of the foremost authorities on this fundamental aspect of Americana. Across many decades and throughout the country, Lomax and his informants created over five thousand recordings of America’s musical heritage, including ballads, blues, children’s songs, fiddle tunes, field hollers, lullabies, play-party songs, religious dramas, spirituals, and work songs. He acted as honorary curator of the Archive of American Folk Song at the Library of Congress, directed the Slave Narrative Project of the WPA, and cofounded the Texas Folklore Society. Lomax’s books include Cowboy Songs and Other Frontier Ballads, American Ballads and Folk Songs, Negro Folk Songs as Sung by Leadbelly, and Our Singing Country, the last three coauthored with his son Alan Lomax.
Adventures of a Ballad Hunter is a memoir of Lomax’s eventful life. It recalls his early years and the fruitful decades he spent on the road collecting folk songs, on his own and later with son Alan and second wife Ruby Terrill Lomax. Vibrant, amusing, often haunting stories of the people he met and recorded are the gems of this book, which also gives lyrics for dozens of songs. Adventures of a Ballad Hunter illuminates vital traditions in American popular culture and the labor that has gone into their preservation.
An intensely moving and revelatory memoir of enduring and emerging from exceptional grief
To grieve after a profound loss is perfectly natural and healthy. To be debilitated by grief for more than a decade, as Andrea Gilats was, is something else. In her candid, deeply moving, and ultimately helpful memoir of breaking free of death’s relentless grip on her life, Gilats tells her story of living with prolonged, or “complicated,” grief and offers insight, hope, and guidance to others who suffer as she did.
Thomas Dayton, Andrea Gilats’s husband of twenty years, died at 52 after a five-month battle with cancer. In After Effects Gilats describes the desolation that followed and the slow and torturous twenty-year journey that brought her back to life. In the two years immediately following his death, Gilats wrote Tom daily letters, desperately trying to maintain the twenty-year conversation of their marriage. Excerpts from these letters reveal the depth of her despair but also the glimmer of an awakening as they also trace a different, more typical course of the grief experienced by one of Gilats's colleagues, also widowed. Gilats’s struggle to rescue herself takes her through the temptation of suicide, the threat of deadly illness, the overwhelming challenges of work, and the rigor of learning and eventually teaching yoga, to a moment of reckoning and, finally, reconciliation to a life without her beloved partner. Her story is informed by the lessons she learned about complicated grief as a disorder that, while intensely personal, can be defined, grappled with, and overcome.
Though complicated grief affects as many as one in seven of those stricken by the loss of a close loved one, it is little known outside professional circles. After Effects points toward a path of recuperation and provides solace along the way—a service and a comfort that is all the more timely and necessary in our pandemic-ravaged world of loss and isolation.
In August 1998 Kim Trevathan summoned his beloved 45-pound German shepherd mix, Jasper, and paddled a canoe down the Tennessee River, an adventure chronicled in Paddling the Tennessee River: A Voyage on Easy Water. Twenty years later, in Against the Current: Paddling Upstream on the Tennessee River, he invites readers on a voyage of light-hearted rumination about time, memory, and change as he paddles the same river in the same boat—but this time going upstream, starting out in early spring instead of late summer. In sparkling prose, Trevathan describes the life of the river before and after the dams, the sometimes daunting condition of its environment, its banks’ host of evolving communities—and also the joys and follies of having a new puppy, 65-pound Maggie, for a shipmate.
Trevathan discusses the Tennessee River’s varied contributions to the cultures that hug its waterway (Kentuckians refer to it as a lake, but Tennesseans call it a river), and the writer’s intimate style proves a perfect lens for the passageway from Kentucky to Tennessee to Alabama and back to Tennessee. In choice observations and chance encounters along the route, Trevathan uncovers meaningful differences among the Tennessee Valley’s people—and not a few differences in himself, now an older, wiser adventurer.
Whether he is struggling to calm his land-loving companion, confronting his body’s newfound aches and pains, craving a hard-to-find cheeseburger, or scouting for a safe place to camp for the night, Trevathan perseveres in his quest to reacquaint himself with the river and to discover new things about it. And, owing to his masterful sense of detail, cadence, and narrative craft, Trevathan keeps the reader at the heart of the journey. The Tennessee River is a remarkable landmark, and this text exhibits its past and present qualities with a perspective only Trevathan can provide.
When, in 1968, 19-year-old Tressa Bowers took her baby daughter to an expert on deaf children, he pronounced that Alandra was “stone deaf,” she most likely would never be able to talk, and she probably would not get much of an education because of her communication limitations. Tressa refused to accept this stark assessment of Alandra’s prospects. Instead, she began the arduous process of starting her daughter’s education.
Economic need forced Tressa to move several times, and as a result, she and Alandra experienced a variety of learning environments: a pure oralist approach, which discouraged signing; Total Communication, in which the teachers spoke and signed simultaneously; a residential school for deaf children, where Signed English was employed; and a mainstream public school that relied upon interpreters. Changes at home added more demands, from Tressa’s divorce to her remarriage, her long work hours, and the ongoing challenge of complete communication within their family. Through it all, Tressa and Alandra never lost sight of their love for each other, and their affection rippled through the entire family. Today, Tressa can triumphantly point to her confident, educated daughter and also speak with pride of her wonderful relationship with her deaf grandchildren. Alandra’s Lilacs is a marvelous story about the resiliency and achievements of determined, loving people no matter what their circumstances might be.
The personal history of journalist Henri Alleg is tied inextricably to the history of the French-Algerian Conflict. Best known for his book The Question, a first-hand account of his torture by French troops during the Algerian war for independence, Alleg is famous both for having brought the issue of French torture to the public eye and for his passionate work as a writer, a newspaperman, and a communist activist.
Sarah Gillespie Huftalen led an unconventional life for a rural midwestern woman of her time. Born in 1865 near Manchester, Iowa, she was a farm girl who became a highly regarded country school and college teacher; she married a man older than either of her parents, received a college degree later in life, and was committed to both family and career. A gifted writer, she crafted essays, teacher-training guides, and poetry while continuing to write lengthy, introspective entries in her diary, which spans the years from 1873 to 1952. In addition, she gathered extensive information about the quietly tragic life of her mother, Emily, and worked to preserve Emily's own detailed diary.
In more than 3,500 pages, Sarah writes about her multiple roles as daughter, sister, wife, teacher, family historian, and public figure. Her diary reflects the process by which she was socialized into these roles and her growing consciousness of the ways in which these roles intersected. Not only does her diary embody the diverse strategies used by one woman to chart her life's course and to preserve her life's story for future generations, it also offers ample evidence of the diary as a primary form of private autobiography for individuals whose lives do not lend themselves to traditional definitions of autobiography.
Taken together, Emily's and Sarah's extraordinary diaries span nearly a century and thus form a unique mother/daughter chronicle of daily work and thoughts, interactions with neighbors and friends and colleagues, and the destructive family dynamics that dominated the Gillespies. Sarah's consciousness of the abusive relationship between her mother and father haunts her diary, and this dramatic relationship is duplicated in Sarah's relationship with her brother, Henry, Suzanne Bunkers' skillful editing and analysis of Sarah's diary reveal the legacy of a caring, loving mother reflected in her daughter's work as family member, teacher, and citizen.
The rich entries in Sarah Gillespie Huftalen's diary offer us brilliant insights into the importance of female kinship networks in American life, the valued status of many women as family chroniclers, and the fine art of selecting, piecing, stitching, and quilting that characterizes the many shapes of women's autobiographies. Read Sarah's dairy to discover why "all will yet be well."
When Gina Oliva first went to school in 1955, she didn’t know that she was “different.” If the kindergarten teacher played a tune on the piano to signal the next exercise, Oliva didn’t react because she couldn’t hear the music. So began her journey as a “solitary,” her term for being the only deaf child in the entire school. Gina felt alone because she couldn’t communicate easily with her classmates, but also because none of them had a hearing loss like hers. It wasn’t until years later at Gallaudet University that she discovered that she wasn’t alone and that her experience was common among mainstreamed deaf students. Alone in the Mainstream recounts Oliva’s story, as well as those of many other solitaries.
In writing this important book, Oliva combined her personal experiences with responses from the Solitary Mainstream Project, a survey that she conducted of deaf and hard of hearing adults who attended public school. Oliva matched her findings with current research on deaf students in public schools and confirmed that hearing teachers are ill-prepared to teach deaf pupils, they don’t know much about hearing loss, and they frequently underestimate deaf children. The collected memories in Alone in the Mainstream add emotional weight to the conviction that students need to be able to communicate freely, and they also need peers to know they are not alone.
When E.J. Levy arrived in northern Brazil on a fellowship from Yale at the age of 21, she was hoping to help save the Amazon rain forest; she didn’t realize she would soon have to save herself.
This is the rollicking, never-before-published memoir of a fascinating woman with an uncanny knack for being in the right place in the most interesting times. Of racially mixed heritage, Anita Reynolds was proudly African American but often passed for Indian, Mexican, or Creole. Actress, dancer, model, literary critic, psychologist, but above all free-spirited provocateur, she was, as her Parisian friends nicknamed her, an “American cocktail.”One of the first black stars of the silent era, she appeared in Hollywood movies with Rudolph Valentino, attended Charlie Chaplin’s anarchist meetings, and studied dance with Ruth St. Denis. She moved to New York in the 1920s and made a splash with both Harlem Renaissance elites and Greenwich Village bohemians. An émigré in Paris, she fell in with the Left Bank avant-garde, befriending Antonin Artaud, Man Ray, and Pablo Picasso. Next, she took up residence as a journalist in Barcelona during the Spanish Civil War and witnessed firsthand the growing menace of fascism. In 1940, as the Nazi panzers closed in on Paris, Reynolds spent the final days before the French capitulation as a Red Cross nurse, afterward making a mad dash for Lisbon to escape on the last ship departing Europe.In prose that perfectly captures the globetrotting nonchalance of its author, American Cocktail presents a stimulating, unforgettable self-portrait of a truly extraordinary woman.
American Imperialism in the Image of Peer Gynt was first published in 1971. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.
This is the life story of an economic historian whose distinguished career has included nine years of service as a United States government official in various capacities, both military and civilian, around the world. It is a revealing and often disturbing account, evoking in the author's mind, as he reflects on his own experiences and those of other American emissaries abroad, the image of Ibsen's Peer Gynt, who wandered over the earth thinking he was doing good, only to find when he returned home that both his virtues and his sins were so insignificant that his soul was scheduled by the buttonmolder to be cast into limbo in the form of a little lead button.
Professor Johnson's book is much more than an autobiography. From the vantage point of his experiences and observations he provides a critical evaluation of American efforts abroad. He discusses cultural factors that have shaped American preconceptions and attitudes over the last half century and attempts to explain why a generation of presumably well-equipped Americans has been singularly incapable of materializing the hopes and aspirations of both the American people and the world community.
“Thirty-seven years ago, I vowed to write a truthful book about raising a deaf child.” Rebecca Willman Gernon followed through on her promise with her deaf daughter Amy Willman in this extraordinary new narrative. Many stories have been told about a parent’s struggle to help her deaf child succeed in a mostly hearing world. Amy Signs marks a signature departure in that both Rebecca and Amy relate their perspectives on their journey together.
When she learns of 11-month-old Amy’s deafness in 1969, Rebecca fully expresses her anguish, and traces all of the difficulties she endured in trying to find the right educational environment for Amy. The sacrifices of the rest of her family weighed heavily on her, also. Though she resolved to place four-year-old Amy in Nebraska’s residential school for deaf students, the emotional toll seemed too much to bear.
Amy’s view acts as the perfect counterpoint. Interwoven with her mother’s story, Amy’s account confirms that signing served her best. She summarizes life in boarding school as “laughter and homesickness.” She laughed with all of her deaf friends, though felt homesick at times. Amy thanks her mother for the gift of sign, asserting that a mainstream education would never have led her to earn a master’s degree and later teach American Sign Language at the University of Nebraska. Amy Signs is a positive albeit cautionary tale for parents of deaf children today whose only choice is a mainstreamed education.
To lend weight to his charge that the public school teacher has been betrayed and gravity to his indictment of the educational establishment for that betrayal, Jurgen Herbst goes back to the beginnings of teacher education in America in the 1830s and traces its evolution up to the 1920s, by which time the essential damage had been done.
Initially, attempts were made to upgrade public school teaching to a genuine profession, but that ideal was gradually abandoned. In its stead, with the advent of newly emerging graduate schools of education in the early decades of the twentieth century, came the so-called professionalization of public education. At the expense of the training of elementary school teachers (mostly women), teacher educators shifted their attention to the turning out of educational "specialists" (mostly men)—administrators, faculty members at normal schools and teachers colleges, adult education teachers, and educational researchers.
Ultimately a history of the neglect of the American public school teacher, And Sadly Teach ends with a plea and a message that ring loud and clear. The plea: that the current reform proposals for American teacher education—the Carnegie and the Holmes reports—be heeded. The message: that the key to successful school reform lies in educating teacher’s true professionals and in acknowledging them as such in their classrooms.
“Andrew Carnegie is the only American entrepreneur who could have won distinction as an author, even if he had never seen a steel mill,” writes Joseph Frazier Wall. A skillful and prolific writer, Andrew Carnegie published sixty three articles in major magazines of his time, such as The North American Review, and eight books. Although he is best remembered today for the radical philosophy expressed in the title essay of his book The Gospel of Wealth, his other writings are readable and provocative.
The Andrew Carnegie Reader is the first anthology to bring together in a single volume a representative selection of Carnegie’s writings which show him as a shrewd businessman, celebrated philanthropist, champion of democracy, and eternal optimist. Carnegie’s first letter to the editor at the age of seventeen was the beginning of a lifelong attempt to satisfy an insatiable journalistic desire. Always voluble and candid, Carnegie was as active with his pen as with his tongue.
This intriguing collection covers sixty years of the industrial giant’s life, from his letters to his cousin George Lauder, written in 1853, to the final chapter od his autobiography, completed in 1914. In his own simple, abrupt style, colored with fierce optimism, Carnegie captivated his audience.
Although most of the selections were penned for an audience now long gone, today’s reader will be intrigued by the pertinence and timelessness of Carnegie’s hopes for world peace, his views on labor, and his concern for better race relations in America and their continuing applicability to humankind. A brief essay by the editor introduces each selection.
2023 Lambda Literary Award Finalist, Lesbian Memoir/Biography
Named the BEST LGBTQ+ MEMOIR of 2022 by Book Riot
Named a New York Public Library Best Book of 2022
Weatherford Award finalist, nonfiction
“Commands your attention from the first page to the last word.” —Morgan Jerkins
“I’m glad this memoir exists . . . and I’m especially glad it’s so good.” —Vauhini Vara, New York Magazine
When Neema Avashia tells people where she’s from, their response is nearly always a disbelieving “There are Indian people in West Virginia?” A queer Asian American teacher and writer, Avashia fits few Appalachian stereotypes. But the lessons she learned in childhood about race and class, gender and sexuality continue to inform the way she moves through the world today: how she loves, how she teaches, how she advocates, how she struggles.
Another Appalachia examines both the roots and the resonance of Avashia’s identity as a queer desi Appalachian woman, while encouraging readers to envision more complex versions of both Appalachia and the nation as a whole. With lyric and narrative explorations of foodways, religion, sports, standards of beauty, social media, gun culture, and more, Another Appalachia mixes nostalgia and humor, sadness and sweetness, personal reflection and universal questions.
A vivid archive of memories, Beth Alvarado’s Anthropologies layers scenes, portraits, dreams, and narratives in a dynamic cross-cultural mosaic. Bringing her lyrical tenor to bear on stories as diverse as harboring teen runaways, gunfights with federales, and improbable love, Alvarado unveils the ways in which seemingly separate moments coalesce to forge a communal truth. Woven from the threads of distinct family histories and ethnic identities, Anthropologies creates a heightened understanding of how individual experiences are part of a larger shared fabric of lives.
Appalachia North is the first book-length treatment of the cultural position of northern Appalachia—roughly the portion of the official Appalachian Regional Commission zone that lies above the Mason-Dixon line. For Matthew Ferrence this region fits into a tight space of not-quite: not quite “regular” America and yet not quite Appalachia.
Ferrence’s sense of geographic ambiguity is compounded when he learns that his birthplace in western Pennsylvania is technically not a mountain but, instead, a dissected plateau shaped by the slow, deep cuts of erosion. That discovery is followed by the diagnosis of a brain tumor, setting Ferrence on a journey that is part memoir, part exploration of geology and place. Appalachia North is an investigation of how the labels of Appalachia have been drawn and written, and also a reckoning with how a body always in recovery can, like a region viewed always as a site of extraction, find new territories of growth.
In many communities across North America in the 1960s and 1970s, the rural-relocation movement became both a way of life and a path forward for many people inclined to buck the mainstream—and Paul Salstrom embraced it. His experiences in rural Lincoln County, West Virginia, led him to the self-sufficient, “neighborly networking” lifestyle well known in many Appalachian communities since the early nineteenth century.
In Appalachia’s Alternative to Mainstream America, Salstrom outlines his Appalachian experiences in a memoir, revisiting this back-to-the-land tradition that guided his cultural experience during this time. While he pursued a number of experimental alternatives to a mainstream way of life during the late 1960s, it was not until he landed in Lincoln County a few years later that he found himself engaging in an alternative way of living that didn’t feel “experimental” at all. This distinctive way of life was largely characterized by a closer connection to the earth—local sufficiency informed by homesteading, subsistence farming, and gardening—and the community-wide trading of favors in a spirit of mutual aid.
Over time, Salstrom’s engagement in this “neighborly” occupation has nurtured an informed belief that Americans will be drawn back to landed customs, taking care of the earth and of one another to thrive as individuals and communities. Facing today’s pandemics, climate change, and deepening political divisions, says Salstrom, Americans urgently need to create a groundswell of localized food security and energy production.
Rated Outstanding by the American Association of School Libraries
This is the first book to be written by autistic college students about the challenges they face. Aquamarine Blue 5 details the struggle of these highly sensitive students and shows that there are gifts specific to autistic students that enrich the university system, scholarship, and the world as a whole.
Dawn Prince-Hughes presents an array of writings by students who have been diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome or High-Functioning Autism, showing their unique ways of looking at and solving problems. In their own words, they portray how their divergent thinking skills could be put to great use if they were given an opportunity. Many such students never get the chance because the same sensitivity that gives them these insights makes the flicker of fluorescent lights and the sound of chalk on the board unbearable For simple—and easily remedied—reasons, we lose these students, who are as gifted as they are challenged.
Aquamarine Blue 5 is a showcase of the strength and resilient character of individuals with Asperger’s Syndrome. It will be an invaluable resource for those touched by this syndrome, their friends and families, and school administrators.
From August 1965 to February 1968, during his period of service in Australia, Ambassador Edward Clark traveled in that country as no other American and probably few Australians ever have. His wife, Anne Clark, traveled with him, then wrote her observations and impressions to friends and family in the United States.
Her letters, published for the first time in this volume, reveal the isolations and involvements as well as the opportunities and the pleasures of embassy life. The etiquette of official functions at times posed problems, as in the Clarks' first black-tie dinner with the Acting Governor General, where Mrs. Clark was supposed to curtsy. "Some Ambassadors feel strongly that the representative of the President of the United States should never bend his knee (or rather his wife's) to any man. Mrs. Battle, wife of our predecessor ... put the question directly to President Kennedy. His answer to her was, 'Curtsy you must, but keep a stiff upper knee.'"
Soon, Anne Clark realized that the routine of appearances and entertainments was constant: "I do not know when I will make peace with the schedule. I am a slave to the little black book that is my calendar."
In addition to the intricacies of embassy life, the Clarks encountered much that was unfamiliar—new people, almost a new language, new flowers, new animals—even a sky with its new moon upside down. But their warm hospitality and genuine interest in things Australian attracted friends throughout the continent. Figures from the government, the church, the diplomatic circle, and everyday life, plus well-known guests from home, all become known to the reader in this perceptive account of official life from the inside.
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