Juliet Barker provides an account of the first great popular uprising in England and a fascinating study of medieval life in English towns and countryside. She tells how and why an unlikely group of ordinary men and women from every corner of England united in armed rebellion against church and state to demand a radical political agenda.
A detailed study of the British invasion from Canada during the War of Independence
No one who has read the history of the War of Independence can fail to be fascinated by the campaign of Gentleman Johnny Burgoyne. The story evokes pictures in the mind's eye: scarlet-coated Englishmen; the green and blue uniforms of the German mercenaries; the flash of brass and silver and steel accoutrements; the swarms of Indians in their war paint; the whole moving through the green forests or sailing the blue waters of lakes and rivers. Even the names have a lyrical tone: Richelieu, Champlain, Oriskany, Ticonderoga, and La Chine.
Part of this fascination is the fact that the fate of the expedition marked a turning point in the history of the war. It is not surprising that there has been a host of chroniclers, scholars, and novelists, and those who fall in a category somewhere between because their artistry bridges the gaps that footnoted facts cannot, and so allows some scope for imagination (and may teach more history than the rest).
This fascination was partly responsible for Pancake’s exploration of this particular part of the history of the war. There was also the fact that no scholar since Hoffman Nickerson in his Turning Point of the Revolution (1926) has attempted a detailed study of the British invasion from Canada, although there has been a vast amount of literature on specific aspects of the campaign. No study to date has attempted to link the Canadian expedition to the concurrent operation of General Sir William Howe in Pennsylvania in such a way as to present a complete story of the campaign of 1777. From the point of its inception and launching by the American Secretary, Lord George Germain, to the point where it was reduced to a shambles at the end of the year.
In this book, art historian Darby English explores the year 1971, when two exhibitions opened that brought modernist painting and sculpture into the burning heart of United States cultural politics: Contemporary Black Artists in America, at the Whitney Museum of American Art, and The DeLuxe Show, a racially integrated abstract art exhibition presented in a renovated movie theater in a Houston ghetto.
1971: A Year in the Life of Color looks at many black artists’ desire to gain freedom from overt racial representation, as well as their efforts—and those of their advocates—to further that aim through public exhibition. Amid calls to define a “black aesthetic,” these experiments with modernist art prioritized cultural interaction and instability. Contemporary Black Artists in America highlighted abstraction as a stance against normative approaches, while The DeLuxe Show positioned abstraction in a center of urban blight. The importance of these experiments, English argues, came partly from color’s special status as a cultural symbol and partly from investigations of color already under way in late modern art and criticism. With their supporters, black modernists—among them Peter Bradley, Frederick Eversley, Alvin Loving, Raymond Saunders, and Alma Thomas—rose above the demand to represent or be represented, compromising nothing in their appeals for interracial collaboration and, above all, responding with optimism rather than cynicism to the surrounding culture’s preoccupation with color.
From June of 1941 through the following summer, Fredericka Martin lived with her husband, Dr. Samuel Berenberg, on remote St. Paul Island in Alaska. During that time, Martin delved into the complex history of the Unangan people, and Before the Storm draws from her personal accounts of that year and her research to present a fascinating portrait of a time and a people facing radical change. A government-ordered evacuation of all Aleuts from the island in the face of World War II, which Martin recounts in her journal, proved but the first step in a long struggle by native peoples to gain independence, and, as editor Raymond L. Hudson explains, Martin came to play a significant role in the effort.
Received an Honorable Mention for the 2015 Society for Social Work and Research Outstanding Social Work Book Award
To date, knowledge of the everyday world of the juvenile correction institution has been extremely sparse. Compassionate Confinement brings to light the challenges and complexities inherent in the U.S. system of juvenile corrections. Building on over a year of field work at a boys’ residential facility, Laura S. Abrams and Ben Anderson-Nathe provide a context for contemporary institutions and highlight some of the system’s most troubling tensions.
This ethnographic text utilizes narratives, observations, and case examples to illustrate the strain between treatment and correctional paradigms and the mixed messages regarding gender identity and masculinity that the youths are expected to navigate. Within this context, the authors use the boys’ stories to show various and unexpected pathways toward behavior change. While some residents clearly seized opportunities for self-transformation, others manipulated their way toward release, and faced substantial challenges when they returned home.
Compassionate Confinement concludes with recommendations for rehabilitating this notoriously troubled system in light of the experiences of its most vulnerable stakeholders.
A charming memento of the Victorian era’s literary colossus, The Daily Charles Dickens is a literary almanac for the ages. Tenderly and irreverently anthologized by Dickens scholar James R. Kincaid, this collection mines the British author’s beloved novels and Christmas stories as well as his lesser-known sketches and letters for “an around-the-calendar set of jolts, soothings, blandishments, and soarings.”
A bedside companion to dip into year round, this book introduces each month with a longer seasonal quote, while concise bits of wisdom and whimsy mark each day. Hopping gleefully from Esther Summerson’s abandonment by her mother in Bleak House to a meditation on the difficult posture of letter-writing in The Pickwick Papers, this anthology displays the wide range of Dickens’s stylistic virtuosity—his humor and his deep tragic sense, his ear for repetition, and his genius at all sorts of voices. Even the devotee will find between these pages a mix of old friends and strangers—from Oliver Twist and Ebenezer Scrooge to the likes of Lord Coodle, Sir Thomas Doodle, Mrs. Todgers, and Edwin Drood—as well as a delightful assortment of the some of the novelist’s most famous, peculiar, witty, and incisive passages, tailored to fit the season. To give one particularly apt example: David Copperfield blunders, in a letter of apology to Agnes Wickfield, “I began one note, in a six-syllable line, ‘Oh, do not remember’—but that associated itself with the fifth of November, and became an absurdity.”
Never Pecksniffian or Gradgrindish, this daily dose of Dickens crystallizes the novelist’s agile humor and his reformist zeal alike. This is a book to accompany you through the best of times and the worst of times.
“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.
A strange and delightful memento of one of the most lasting literary voices of all time, The Daily Henry James is a little book from a great mind. First published with James’s approval in 1911 as the ultimate token of fandom—a limited edition quote-of-the-day collection titled The Henry James Year Book—this new edition is a gift across time, arriving as we mark the centenary of his death. Drawing on the Master’s novels, essays, reviews, plays, criticism, and travelogues, The Daily Henry James offers a series of impressions (for if not of impressions, of what was James fond?) to carry us through the year.
From the deepest longings of Isabel Archer to James’s insights in The Art of Fiction, longer seasonal quotes introduce each month, while concise bits of wisdom and whimsy mark each day. To take but one example: Isabel, in a quote from The Portrait of a Lady for September 30, muses, “She gave an envious thought to the happier lot of men, who are always free to plunge into the healing waters of action.” Featuring a new foreword by James biographer Michael Gorra as well as the original introductions by James and his good friend William Dean Howells, this long-forgotten perennial calendar will be an essential bibelot for James’s most ardent devotees and newest converts alike, a treasure to be cherished daily, across all seasons, for years, for ages to come.
It is a truth universally acknowledged that Jane Austen is eminently, delightfully, and delectably quotable. This truth goes far beyond the first line of Pride and Prejudice, which has muscled out many other excellent sentences. So many gems of wit and wisdom from her novels deserve to be better known, from Northanger Abbey on its lovable, naive heroine—“if adventures will not befal a young lady in her own village, she must seek them abroad”—to Persuasion’s moving lines of love from its regret-filled hero: “You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope. Tell me not that I am too late.”
Devoney Looser, a.k.a. Stone Cold Jane Austen, has drawn 378 genuine, Austen-authored passages from across the canon, resulting in an anthology that is compulsively readable and repeatable. Whether you approach the collection on a one-a-day model or in a satisfying binge read, you will emerge wiser about Austen, if not about life. The Daily Jane Austen will amuse and inspire skeptical beginners, Janeite experts, and every reader in between by showcasing some of the greatest sentences ever crafted in the history of fiction.
"How many a man has dated a new era in his life from the reading of a book," wrote Henry David Thoreau in Walden. Today that book continues to provoke, inspire, and change lives all over the world, and each rereading is fresh and challenging. Yet as Thoreau's countless admirers know, there is more to the man than Walden. An engineer, poet, teacher, naturalist, lecturer, and political activist, he truly had multiple lives to lead, and each one speaks forcefully to us today.Sponsored by the Thoreau Society, the brief, handsomely presented books in this series offer the thoughts of a great writer on a variety of topics, some that we readily associate with him, some that may be surprising. Each volume includes selections from his familiar published works as well as from less well known lectures, letters, and journal entries. The books include original engravings by renowned illustrator and book artist Barry Moser.
“Dr. Watson, Mr. Sherlock Holmes,” said Stamford, introducing us. “How are you?” he said cordially, gripping my hand with a strength for which I should hardly have given him credit. “You have been in Afghanistan, I perceive.” “How on earth did you know that?” I asked in astonishment. “Never mind,” said he, chuckling to himself.
At that first sight of Watson, Sherlock Holmes made brilliant deductions. But even he couldn’t know that their meeting was inaugurating a friendship that would make himself and the good Doctor cultural icons, as popular as ever more than a century after their 1887 debut. Through four novels and fifty-six stories, Arthur Conan Doyle led the pair through dramatic adventures that continue to thrill readers today, offering an unmatched combination of skillful plotting, period detail, humor, and distinctive characters. For a Holmes fan, there are few pleasures comparable to returning to his richly imagined world—the gaslit streets of Victorian London, the companionable clutter of 221B Baker Street, the reliable fuddlement (and nerves of steel) of Watson, the perverse genius of Holmes himself.
It’s all there in The Daily Sherlock Holmes, the perfect bedside companion for fans of the world’s only consulting detective. Within these pages readers will find a quotation for every day of the year, drawn from across the Conan Doyle canon. Beloved characters and familiar lines recall favorite stories and scenes, while other passages remind us that Conan Doyle had a way with description and a ready wit. Moriarty and Mycroft, Lestrade and Mrs. Hudson; the Hound, the Red-Headed League, the Speckled Band, and the dread Reichenbach Falls—it’s all here, anchored, of course, in that unforgettable duo of Holmes and Watson. No book published this year will bring a Holmes fan more pleasure. Come, readers. The game is afoot.
Thomas Paine was the spark that ignited the American Revolution. More than just a founding father, he was a verbal bomb-thrower, a rationalist, and a rebel. In his influential pamphlets Common Sense and The American Crisis, Paine codified both colonial outrage and the intellectual justification for independence, arguing consistently and convincingly for Enlightenment values and the power of the people. Today, we are living in times that, as Paine famously said, “try men’s souls.” Whatever your politics, if you’re seeking to understand the political world we live in, where better to look than Paine?
The Daily Thomas Paine offers a year’s worth of pithy and provocative quotes from this quintessentially American figure. Editor Edward G. Gray argues that we are living in a moment that Thomas Paine might recognize—or perhaps more precisely, a moment desperate for someone whose rhetoric can ignite a large-scale social and political transformation. Paine was a master of political rhetoric, from the sarcastic insult to the diplomatic aperçu, and this book offers a sleek and approachable sampler of some of the sharpest bits from his oeuvre. As Paine himself says in the entry for January 20: “The present state of America is truly alarming to every man who is capable of reflexion.” The Daily Thomas Paine should prove equally incendiary and inspirational for contemporary readers with an eye for politics, even those who prefer the tweet to the pamphlet.
In the late nineteenth century, a thriving immigrant population supported three German-language weekly newspapers in Arkansas. Most traces of the community those newspapers served disappeared with assimilation in the ensuing decades—but luckily, the complete run of one of the weeklies, Das Arkansas Echo, still exists, offering a lively picture of what life was like for this German immigrant community.
“Das Arkansas Echo”: A Year in the Life of Germans in the Nineteenth-Century South examines topics the newspaper covered during its inaugural year. Kathleen Condray illuminates the newspaper’s crusade against Prohibition, its advocacy for the protection of German schools and the German language, and its promotion of immigration. We also learn about aspects of daily living, including food preparation and preservation, religion, recreation, the role of women in the family and society, health and wellness, and practical housekeeping. And we see how the paper assisted German speakers in navigating civic life outside their immigrant community, including the racial tensions of the post-Reconstruction South.
“Das Arkansas Echo”: A Year in the Life of Germans in the Nineteenth-Century South offers a fresh perspective on the German speakers who settled in a modernizing Arkansas. Mining a valuable newspaper archive, Condray sheds light on how these immigrants navigated their new identity as southern Americans.
Over the past three decades, more than a quarter of a million children have become citizens of the United States through international adoption. Kindergarten teacher Jane Katch recently found herself with three such children in her class: Katya, born in Russia, Jasper, from Cambodia, and Caleb, from Romania. Each child had spent early years in an orphanage, and each had unique educational and emotional needs. How Katch came to recognize and respond to those needs makes up the journey of discovery in this moving and insightful book.
Interspersing vignettes from the classroom and conversations with the children’s parents, Far Away from the Tigers first explores Katch’s misunderstandings and mistakes as she struggles to help the children adjust to school. As Katch learns more about each child’s preadoption past, she gradually realizes that they were deprived of some basic learning experiences and she needs to find ways to fill those gaps. Before Caleb can learn to read or write, he must improve his verbal skills by learning nursery rhymes, stories, and songs. Katya, who came from an overcrowded orphanage, now needs to be the center of attention; before learning how to form real friendships, she first must gain control over more basic functions such as eating and sleeping. And the youngest, Jasper, needs steady encouragement to play with classmates instead of sitting alone practicing his handwriting.
Slowly, through trial and error and by drawing on the deep understanding and intense commitment of the children’s parents, Katch discovers the importance—and joy—of allowing each child time to develop in his or her own way. Beautifully told, wise, and candid, Far Away from the Tigers is a gift for parents, teachers, and anyone who cares for children growing up in a new home.
"My name will survive as long as man survives, because I am writing the greatest diary that has ever been written. I intend to surpass Pepys as a diarist."
When John Frush Knox (1907-1997) wrote these words, he was in the middle of law school, and his attempt at surpassing Pepys—part scrapbook, part social commentary, and part recollection—had already reached 750 pages. His efforts as a chronicler might have landed in a family attic had he not secured an eminent position after graduation as law clerk to Justice James C. McReynolds—arguably one of the most disagreeable justices to sit on the Supreme Court—during the tumultuous year when President Franklin D. Roosevelt tried to "pack" the Court with justices who would approve his New Deal agenda. Knox's memoir instead emerges as a record of one of the most fascinating periods in American history.
The Forgotten Memoir of John Knox—edited by Dennis J. Hutchinson and David J. Garrow—offers a candid, at times naïve, insider's view of the showdown between Roosevelt and the Court that took place in 1937. At the same time, it marvelously portrays a Washington culture now long gone. Although the new Supreme Court building had been open for a year by the time Knox joined McReynolds' staff, most of the justices continued to work from their homes, each supported by a small staff. Knox, the epitome of the overzealous and officious young man, after landing what he believes to be a dream position, continually fears for his job under the notoriously rude (and nakedly racist) justice. But he soon develops close relationships with the justice's two black servants: Harry Parker, the messenger who does "everything but breathe" for the justice, and Mary Diggs, the maid and cook. Together, they plot and sidestep around their employer's idiosyncrasies to keep the household running while history is made in the Court.
A substantial foreword by Dennis Hutchinson and David Garrow sets the stage, and a gallery of period photos of Knox, McReynolds, and other figures of the time gives life to this engaging account, which like no other recaptures life in Washington, D.C., when it was still a genteel southern town.
Have you ever wondered what really goes on at your child’s day-care center after you say good-bye? Harriet Brown did. To satisfy her curiosity, she spent an entire year observing Red Caboose, a center in Madison, Wisconsin. This engaging and thought-provoking book is the story of that year.
In her beautifully written personal account, journalist and mother Brown takes us behind the scenes at a day-care center that works. At Red Caboose, one of the oldest independent centers in the country, we meet teachers who have worked with young children for more than twenty years. We watch the child-care union and parents struggle to negotiate a contract without ripping apart the fabric of trust and love that holds the Red Caboose community together.
We look at the center’s finances, to see what keeps Red Caboose going at a time when other good centers are disappearing. Best of all, we get to know the children, families, and teachers of Red Caboose—their struggles, their sorrows, their triumphs.
Started twenty-five years ago by a group of idealistic parents, the center has not only survived but thrived through some pretty tough times. In the world of day care, Red Caboose is a special place, a model for what child care in this country could and should be: not just babysitting, not just a service to working parents, but a benefit for children, families, teachers, and the community at large.
Brown sets her rich and engaging stories in the greater political and social context of our time. Why is so much child care bad? Why should working Americans worry about the link between welfare reform and child care? What can we learn from the history of child care?
This book is a must-read for parents, educators, and anyone who enjoys first-rate writing and dead-on insight into the lives of our youngest children and those who care for them.
“[Brown’s] writing is beautiful and her scholarship sound. Students considering day-care careers, day-care professionals, and concerned parents will gain insight by reading this provocative book, as will anyone who cares about the future of young children in this country.”—Choice
“I admire enormously the ambition of this book—its eagle-eyed witness and engrossing detail, plus the social importance of the project. I wish there were in the world more books like it.”—Lorrie Moore, author of Who Will Run the Frog Hospital?
“The Good-bye Window is a fascinating peek into the secret world of children. With the poignancy of Anne LaMott, and the reportorial grace of Tracy Kidder, Harriet Brown has written a terrific and worthwhile book.”—Meg Wolitzer, author of This Is Your Life
“Harriet Brown’s well-told story of the Red Caboose child-care center should be read by teachers and parents, but also by every legislator and politician in the land. Only a writer as good as Ms. Brown could display the dramatic complexities of a school community in which the youngest members enter crawling and emerge a few years later as articulate, empathetic, and well-socialized individuals, ready for the ‘real world.’”—Vivian Gussin Paley, author of The Boy Who Would Be a Helicopter
This irresistible collection of stories is perfect for anyone interested in a fresh perspective on what it means to be a human being who creates art. Grace Notes for a Year sheds light on the fragile and perilous process of inspiration, composition, and performance required to create classical music, whether the final product is a masterpiece or a mess. Each page of the book corresponds to a different day of the year and features a true story about a famous figure in musical history. These delightful anecdotes—inspirational, informative, and often hilarious—disprove the myth of the artist as untouchable. Instead, Norman Gilliland exposes in them human vulnerability we can all relate to. From Beethoven to Wagner, these artists suffered from poverty, spent lazy days in bed, had scandalous love affairs, and often failed in their creative endeavors as often as they succeeded.
People who flyfish know that a favorite river bend, a secluded spot in moving waters, can feel like home—a place you know intimately and intuitively. In prose that reads like the flowing current of a river, scholar and essayist George Handley blends nature writing, local history, theology, environmental history, and personal memoir in his new book Home Waters: A Year of Recompenses on the Provo River.
Handley’s meditations on the local Provo River watershed present the argument that a sense of place requires more than a strong sense of history and belonging, it requires awareness and commitment. Handley traces a history of settlement along the Provo that has profoundly transformed the landscape and yet neglected its Native American and environmental legacies. As a descendent of one of the first pioneers to irrigate the area, and as a witness to the loss of orchards, open space, and an eroded environmental ethic, Handley weaves his own personal and family history into the landscape to argue for sustainable belonging. In avoiding the exclusionist and environmentally harmful attitudes that come with the territorial claims to a homeland, the flyfishing term, “home waters,” is offered as an alternative, a kind of belonging that is informed by deference to others, to the mysteries of deep time, and to a fragile dependence on water. While it has sometimes been mistakenly assumed that the Mormon faith is inimical to good environmental stewardship, Handley explores the faith’s openness to science, its recognition of the holiness of the creation, and its call for an ethical engagement with nature. A metaphysical approach to the physical world is offered as an antidote to the suicidal impulses of modern society and our persistent ambivalence about the facts of our biology and earthly condition. Home Waters contributes a perspective from within the Mormon religious experience to the tradition of such Western writers as Wallace Stegner, Terry Tempest Williams, Steven Trimble, and Amy Irvine.
Here, in word and picture, is the story of man's first probe into space. Vanguard and Sputnik are only one side of the story--the International Geophysical Year is the first concerted international effort to advance our knowledge not only of space but of earth and sun. Sydney Chapman, leader of the team of scientists that directed the program, re-creates for the general reader the discoveries that will provide the basis for our exploration of space. He describes how scientists from 67 nations pooled their resources and techniques to explore our corner of the universe—with satellites and rockets, the voyage of the "Nautilus" under the polar ice cap, teams of amateur moonwatchers—and what their discoveries mean for our future.
Joe Thorndike was managing editor of Life at the height of its popularity immediately following World War II. He was the founder of American Heritage and Horizon magazines, the author of three books, and the editor of a dozen more. But at age 92, in the space of six months he stopped reading or writing or carrying on detailed conversations. He could no longer tell time or make a phone call. He was convinced that the governor of Massachusetts had come to visit and was in the refrigerator.
Five million Americans suffer from Alzheimer’s, and like many of them, Joe Thorndike’s one great desire was to remain in his own house. To honor his wish, his son John left his own home and moved into his father’s upstairs bedroom on Cape Cod. For a year, in a house filled with file cabinets, photos, and letters, John explored his father’s mind, his parents’ divorce, and his mother’s secrets. The Last of His Mind is the bittersweet account of a son’s final year with his father, and a candid portrait of an implacable disease.
It’s the ordeal of Alzheimer’s that draws father and son close, closer than they have been since John was a boy. At the end, when Joe’s heart stops beating, John’s hand is on his chest, and a story of painful decline has become a portrait of deep family ties, caregiving, and love.
From the author of the widely acclaimed Woman in Levi’s, this colorful autobiography follows a year in the lives of the lone woman rancher, her students, and their families in 1930s rural Southern Arizona.
During a 1960 interview, East German writer Christa Wolf was asked a curious question: would she describe in detail what she did on September 27th? Fascinated by considering the significance of a single day over many years, Wolf began keeping a detailed diary of September 27th, a practice which she carried on for more than fifty years until her death in 2011. The first volume of these notes covered 1960 through 2000 was published to great acclaim more than a decade ago. Now translator Katy Derbyshire is bringing the September 27th collection up to date with One Day a Year—a collection of Wolf’s notes from the last decade of her life.
The book is both a personal record and a unique document of our times. With her characteristic precision and transparency, Wolf examines the interplay of the private, subjective, and major contemporary historical events. She writes about Germany after 9/11, about her work on her last great book City of Angels, and also about her exhausting confrontation with old age. One Day a Year is a compelling and personal glimpse into the life of one of the world’s greatest writers.
Roman love-poet Ovid, best known for the epic Metamorphoses, offers in his Fasti the self-proclaimed goal of exploring and explicating the Roman calendar. Published in his maturity circa 14 CE, the Fasti presents claims of aetiological, astronomical, and even antiquarian interests, but more importantly the poem highlights an extraordinary prominence of female characters at work, play, and worship in its verses. From flirtatious goddesses to talkative old women, beautiful puellae to stern prophetesses and beyond, Ovid’s “calendar girls” appear in a vast and kaleidoscopic array of guises and narratives, importing and transforming literary genre and expectation alike in a poem that already in shape and purpose is unique in Latin literature. The poet’s long-standing fascination with female figures that had first appeared in his earliest work and then accompanied him throughout his career now resurfaces in a much more complex form.
Of interest to literary scholars, antiquarians, and those studying the social and political roles of ancient women, Ovid’s Women of the Year offers an intriguing view of an Ovidian poem now coming into its own.
In April 2005 they received the official alert: The Wisconsin Army National Guard's 2-127th Infantry Battalion was being mobilized. After training at Camp Shelby, Mississippi, the 620 soldiers of the Gator Battalion would serve in Operation Iraqi Freedom, providing armed convoy escort and route security throughout all of Iraq, from Umm Qasr in the south to Mosul in the far north. Their mission would take them into the most dangerous regions of Iraq, and during the next year the battalion would withstand hundreds of attacks, see dozens wounded, and lose three members killed in action.
Private Soldiers chronicles the 2-127th's year-long deployment from the unique perspective of the soldiers themselves. Written and photographed by three battalion members, the book provides a rare first-hand account of war and life in Iraq. Fascinating soldier interviews reveal the effects of deployment on the troops and on their families back home, and interviews with Iraqi civilians describe the Iraqis' perceptions of life, war, and working alongside Wisconsin troops. Brilliant photography illuminates the 2-127th's year, from training to "boots on the ground" to their return home. And candid photos taken by battalion members capture the soldiers' day-to-day lives and camaraderie.
An extremely timely and relevant account of soldiers' lives, Private Soldiers honors Wisconsin's participants in the Iraq war and helps readers understand the war's human side.
All royalties from sales of Private Soldiers will go to the 2-127th's family support groups and to funds established in memoriam of the battalion members who gave their lives in the Iraq war.
In Reflecting a Prairie Town Drake Hokanson takes a prolonged look at a common place in an uncommon fashion. He presents Peterson, Iowa, through a singular combination of words and images, a remarkable synthesis of history, geography, direct observation, climatology, botany, oral history, archaeology, agricultural science, literature, geology, photography, and even a bit of astronomy. This vernacular landscape study is lavishly illustrated with photographs taken by the author, including stunning panoramic views.
The fundamental truth of experience on this continent has always lain in the challenges and opportunities of space. Place mattered because we were so few before the immensity of the land. But place at the same time rooted us in that immensity. Even now our appreciation for place is not quite dead; locked in our urban environments we continue to crave a “view,” be it of mountains, forests, or prairies. These “views” crop up unexpectedly as photographic murals in office buildings or posters in dentists' offices. It is to this stifled sense of the importance of place that Hokanson speaks; he invites us to remember and to be revitalized.
The magic of Reflecting a Prairie Town is the revelation that Peterson, Iowa, is a small town that is also uncannily large. In capturing the essence of this one place Hokanson helps us to understand our own worlds better—he asks the simple questions many of us would like to ask were we given the opportunity. To enter this book is to come back to a place we have never really seen before.
Remembering the Year of the French is a model of historical achievement, moving deftly between the study of historical events—the failed French invasion of the West of Ireland in 1798—and folkloric representationsof those events. Delving into the folk history found in Ireland’s rich oral traditions, Guy Beiner reveals alternate visions of the Irish past and brings into focus the vernacular histories, folk commemorative practices, and negotiations of memory that have gone largely unnoticed by historians.
Beiner analyzes hundreds of hitherto unstudied historical, literary, and ethnographic sources. Though his focus is on 1798, his work is also a comprehensive study of Irish folk history and grass-roots social memory in Ireland. Investigating how communities in the West of Ireland remembered, well into the mid-twentieth century, an episode in the late eighteenth century, this is a “history from below” that gives serious attention to the perspectives of those who have been previously ignored or discounted. Beiner brilliantly captures the stories, ceremonies, and other popular traditions through which local communities narrated, remembered, and commemorated the past. Demonstrating the unique value of folklore as a historical source, Remembering the Year of the French offers a fresh perspective on collective memory and modern Irish history.
Winner, Wayland Hand Competition for outstanding publication in folklore and history, American Folklore Society
Finalist, award for the best book published about or growing out of public history, National Council on Public History
Winner, Michaelis-Jena Ratcliff Prize for the best study of folklore or folk life in Great Britain and Ireland
“An important and beautifully produced work. Guy Beiner here shows himself to be a historian of unusual talent.”—Marianne Elliott, Times Literary Supplement
“Thoroughly researched and scholarly. . . . Beiner’s work is full of empathy and sympathy for the human remains, memorials, and commemorations of past lives and the multiple ways in which they actually continue to live.”—Stiofán Ó Cadhla, Journal of British Studies
“A major contribution to Irish historiography.”—Maureen Murphy, Irish Literary Supplement
"A remarkable piece of scholarship . . . . Accessible, full of intriguing detail, and eminently teachable.”?—Ray Casman, New Hibernia Review
“The most important monograph on Irish history of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries to be published in recent years.”—Matthew Kelly, English Historical Review
“A strikingly ambitious work . . . . Elegantly constructed, lucidly written and inspired, and displaying an inexhaustible capacity for research”—Ciarán Brady, History IRELAND
“A closely argued, meticulously detailed and rich analysis . . . . providing such innovative treatment of a wide array of sources, his work will resonate with the concerns of many cultural and historical geographers working on social memory in quite different geographical settings and historical contexts.”—Yvonne Whelan, Journal of Historical Geography
Widely regarded as one of the best works by the winner of the 1989 Nobel Prize for Literature, San Camilo, 1936 appears here for the first time in English translation. One of Spain’s most popular writers, Camilo José Cela is recognized for his experiments with language and with difficult subject matter. In San Camilo, 1936, first published in 1969, these concerns converge in a fascinating narrative that is as challenging as it is rewarding, as troubling as it is compelling. A story of history as it happens, by turns confusing and startingly clear, echoing with news and rumors, defined by grand gestures and intimate pauses, the novel leads the reader into the ordinary life of extraordinary times. Beginning on the eve of the Spanish Civil War, San Camilo, 1936 follows a twenty-year-old student’s attempts to sort out his private affairs (sex, money, career) in the midst of the turmoil overtaking his country. In vivid and richly textured prose that distinguishes Cela’s work, the emotional reality of civil war takes on a vibrant immediacy that is humorous, tender, and ultimately transforming as a young man tries to come to terms with the historical moment he inhabits—and hopes to survive. Readers new to Cela will find in this novel ample reason for the author’s growing reputation among audiences worldwide.
Part memoir, part literary criticism, part culinary and aesthetic travelogue, this loving reflection is a poignant, funny narrative about an American professor spending a year in Rome. A scarred veteran of academic culture wars retreating to a cradle of culture, Barkan is at first hungry, lonely, and uncertain of his intellectual mission. But soon he is appointed unofficial mascot of an eccentric community of gastronomes, becomes virtually bilingual, and falls in love. As the year progresses, he finds his voice as a writer, loses his lover, and definitively returns to America with heart, mind, and body. His memoir is the celebration of a life lived in the uncanny spaces where art and real people intersect.
Barkan’s reminiscence is not just about the Renaissance and ancient statuary, or Shakespeare and Mozart, Charles Bukowski and Paul de Man, eggplant antipasto and Brunello di Montalcino, foot fetishism and sulfur baths. At the heart of the narrative—beneath that beguiling surface of irony, humor, and misdirection—is a man of genuine ardor, struggling with what it means to be a homosexual and a Jew, trying to rediscover or reinvent his own intellectual passions. Hilarious, erudite, and lusciously rendered, Satyr Square gives us the whole of a life made up from fragments of Italy, art, food, and longing.
In October 1641 a rebellion broke out in Ireland. Dispossessed Irish Catholics rose up against British Protestant settlers whom they held responsible for their plight. This uprising, the first significant sectarian rebellion in Irish history, gave rise to a decade of war that would culminate in the brutal re-conquest of Ireland by Oliver Cromwell. It also set in motion one of the most enduring and acrimonious debates in Irish history.
Was the 1641 rebellion a justified response to dispossession and repression? Or was it an unprovoked attempt at sectarian genocide? John Gibney comprehensively examines three centuries of this debate. The struggle to establish and interpret the facts of the past was also a struggle over the present: if Protestants had been slaughtered by vicious Catholics, this provided an ideal justification for maintaining Protestant privilege. If, on the other hand, Protestant propaganda had inflated a few deaths into a vast and brutal “massacre,” this justification was groundless.
Gibney shows how politicians, historians, and polemicists have represented (and misrepresented) 1641 over the centuries, making a sectarian understanding of Irish history the dominant paradigm in the consciousness of the Irish Protestant and Catholic communities alike.
Immortalized in The Last of the Mohicans, the True Story of a Pivotal Battle in the British and French War for the North American Continent
The opening years of the French and Indian War were disastrous for the British. In 1755 General Braddock’s troops were routed at the Battle of Monongahela and by the middle of 1756 Fort Oswego on Lake Ontario had fallen. Hindered by quarrelsome provincial councils, incompetent generals, and the redcoats’ inability to adapt to wilderness warfare, Britain was losing the war. In 1757 the 35th Regiment of Foot stepped into the breach. A poorly trained assortment of conscripts, old soldiers, and convicted criminals led by Lieutenant Colonel George Monro, the regiment was destined to take center stage in the most controversial event of the war. Fort William Henry on the southern shore of New York’s Lake George was a key fortification supporting British interests along the frontier with French America. Monro and his regiment occupied the fort in the spring of 1757 while Britain planned its attack on the key French fortress at Louisbourg, Nova Scotia. Learning that most of Britain’s military resources were allocated to Louisbourg, the French launched a campaign along the weakened frontier. French Commander Louis-Joseph de Montcalm and his American Indian allies laid siege to Fort William Henry; Monro could not hold out and was forced to surrender. As part of the terms, the British regiment, colonial militia, and their camp followers would be allowed safe passage to nearby Fort Edward. The French watched in horror, however, as their Indian allies attacked the British column after it left the fort, an episode that sparked outrage and changed the tactics of the war.
Seen through the eyes of participants such as Louis Antoine de Bougainville, a scholarly young aide-de-camp, Jabez Fitch, an amiable Connecticut sergeant, and Kisensik, a proud Nipissing chief whose father once met Louis XIV in the marbled halls of Versailles, The Siege of Fort William Henry: A Year on the Northeastern Frontier uses contemporary newspaper reports, official documents, private letters, and published memoirs to bring the narrative to life. From Indian councils on the banks of the Saint Lawrence River and bustling military camps in northern New York to the narrative’s bloody denouement on the shores of Lake George, the reader is immersed in the colorful, yet brutal world of eighteenth-century northeastern America.
"The art of the essay as delivered by Mr. Pickering is the art of the front porch ramble."
---The New York Times Book Review
"Reading Pickering . . . is like taking a walk with your oldest, wittiest friend."
"What a joy it is to 'mess around' with Professor Sam Pickering!"
---The Chattanooga Times
"Pickering is a barefoot observer of the quotidian who revels in the spectacle and its gift for surprise, prefers the rumpled to the starched, has raised puttering and messing about to an art form, and wrings from it more than a pennyworth of happiness and a life well lived."
The movie Dead Poets Society is where most Americans first met Sam Pickering, the University of Connecticut English professor. Robin Williams plays the lead character (loosely based on Pickering), an idiosyncratic instructor who employs some over-the-top teaching methods to keep his subjects fresh and his students learning.
Fewer know that Pickering is the author of more than 16 books and nearly 200 articles, or that he's inspired thousands of university students to think in new ways. And, while Williams may have captured Pickering's madcap classroom antics, he didn't uncover the other side of the author-Sam Pickering as one of our great American men of letters. Like the music of Mozart, the painting of Picasso, or the poetry of Emily Dickinson, you can spot Pickering's writing a mile away; there's no mistaking the Pickering pen. As an ample demonstration of the author's literary gifts, Waltzing the Magpies is his unabashedly lush and Technicolor travelogue from Down Under.
On the face of it, Waltzing is the chronicle of a sabbatical year spent with family in Australia. Yet beneath the surface Pickering's big themes-family, nature, seizing the moment-move in a powerful current that frequently bursts out in moments of ecstatic revelation and intense sensual flourish. Through it all Pickering weaves stories from his fictional Southern town of Carthage, Tennessee, especially when the goings of the outside world get rough.
Waltzing the Magpies is classic Pickering at the height of his literary powers, and places him in the company of such great American essayists as E. B. White and James Thurber, but with an irony and observational prowess that is pure Pickering.
In contemporary Norwegian fiction, Tomas Espedal’s work stands out as uniquely bound up with the author’s personal experiences. His first book, Tramp, introduced us to the wanderer Tomas; Against Art told us how a boy approaches art and eventually becomes a writer; Against Nature examined love’s labor—the job of writing; and in Bergerners, he is torn between his love for his home town and what lies beyond. Now, in The Year, we encounter the author’s struggle to reconcile his inner life with the external world, and the myriad forms of love, hate, loss, and death—both personal and literary—with the immutable pattern of time and the seasons. It is the journal of a year, a diary like no other. And suffusing it all are questions Petrarch asked: How do you live when the one you love is gone? And when your life force shifts from spring to autumn, how do you find the good death?
Written as a long poem, The Year is Espedal’s riveting stream of consciousness—profound, edgy, sometimes manic, but always intensely intimate.
Despite its importance to the life of the nation and all its citizens, the Supreme Court remains a mystery to most Americans, its workings widely felt but rarely seen firsthand. In this book, journalists who cover the Court—acting as the eyes and ears of not just the American people, but the Constitution itself—give us a rare close look into its proceedings, the people behind them, and the complex, often fascinating ways in which justice is ultimately served. Their narratives form an intimate account of a year in the life of the Supreme Court. The cases heard by the Surpreme Court are, first and foremost, disputes involving real people with actual stories. The accidents and twists of circumstance that have brought these people to the last resort of litigation can make for compelling drama. The contributors to this volume bring these dramatic stories to life, using them as a backdrop for the larger issues of law and social policy that constitute the Court’s business: abortion, separation of church and state, freedom of speech, the right of privacy, crime, violence, discrimination, and the death penalty. In the course of these narratives, the authors describe the personalities and jurisprudential leanings of the various Justices, explaining how the interplay of these characters and theories about the Constitution interact to influence the Court’s decisions. Highly readable and richly informative, this book offers an unusually clear and comprehensive portrait of one of the most influential institutions in modern American life.
In the Afro-Cuban Lukumi religious tradition—more commonly known in the United States as Santería—entrants into the priesthood undergo an extraordinary fifty-three-week initiation period. During this time, these novices—called iyawo—endure a host of prohibitions, including most notably wearing exclusively white clothing. In A Year in White, sociologist C. Lynn Carr, who underwent this initiation herself, opens a window on this remarkable year-long religious transformation.
In her intimate investigation of the “year in white,” Carr draws on fifty-two in-depth interviews with other participants, an online survey of nearly two hundred others, and almost a decade of her own ethnographic fieldwork, gathering stories that allow us to see how cultural newcomers and natives thought, felt, and acted with regard to their initiation. She documents how, during the iyawo year, the ritual slowly transforms the initiate’s identity. For the first three months, for instance, the iyawo may not use a mirror, even to shave, and must eat all meals while seated on a mat on the floor using only a spoon and their own set of dishes. During the entire year, the iyawo loses their name and is simply addressed as “iyawo” by family and friends.
Carr also shows that this year-long religious ritual—which is carried out even as the iyawo goes about daily life—offers new insight into religion in general, suggesting that the sacred is not separable from the profane and indeed that religion shares an ongoing dynamic relationship with the realities of everyday life. Religious expression happens at home, on the streets, at work and school.
Offering insight not only into Santería but also into religion more generally, A Year in White makes an important contribution to our understanding of complex, dynamic religious landscapes in multicultural, pluralist societies and how they inhabit our daily lives.
Every Sunday evening for almost ten years, Iowa photographer and naturalist Carl Kurtz has e-mailed a photo and an extended caption to hundreds of outdoor enthusiasts. Engaging and informative, the photos focus on the world around and away from his tallgrass prairie homeplace: snow buntings in a blizzard, maple leaves in fall, migrating snow geese and red-winged blackbirds and monarchs, prairie spiderworts in spring bloom, leopard frogs loafing on waterlily leaves, northern flickers feeding young, and all the inhabitants and moods of the passing seasons. Now, in A Year of Iowa Nature, he presents fifty-five of his favorite photos along with an evocative introduction that urges us to go forth and discover the beauty in our own backyards.
Concentrating on Iowa’s tallgrass prairie, Kurtz also points his viewfinder toward the great variety of natural habitats in the eastern United States. Arranged chronologically throughout the year, the fifty-five color photos and their accompanying narratives rotate through the seasons like a nature film. The winter months showcase a frost-covered white-tailed deer, cedar waxwings feeding on winter apples, a muskrat on the surface of an icy pond, and dune-like snowdrifts. Kurtz’s palette warms up in springtime with stunning photos of Virginia bluebells, fox cubs, juvenile chipmunks, and ruddy ducks. Summer brings a host of butterflies, frogs, and goldfinches as well as blooming prairie plants. The colors become more subdued in fall with the change in light, revealing the rich hues of Indian grass and big bluestem and the subtle plumage of migrating warblers.
Just as Kurtz’s Practical Guide to Prairie Reconstruction offers an indispensable manual for individuals and land managers working to create a diverse prairie community, so does A Year of Iowa Nature point the way toward a sincere, month-by-month appreciation of the natural world around us.
The Year of Perfect Happiness
Becky Adnot-Haynes University of North Texas Press, 2014 Library of Congress PS3601.D585A6 2014 | Dewey Decimal 813.6
The Year of the Femme
Cassie Donish University of Iowa Press, 2019 Library of Congress PS3604.O548A6 2019 | Dewey Decimal 811.6
“At the edge of a field a thought waits,” writes Cassie Donish, in her collection that explores the conflicting diplomacies of body and thought while stranding us in a field, in a hospital, on a shoreline. These are poems that assess and dwell in a sensual, fantastically queer mode. Here is a voice slowed by an erotics suffused with pain, quickened by discovery. In masterful long poems and refracted lyrics, Donish flips the coin of subjectivity; different and potentially dangerous faces are revealed in turn. With lyricism as generous as it is exact, Donish tunes her writing as much to the colors, textures, and rhythms of daily life as to what violates daily life—what changes it from within and without.
The Year of the Gorilla
George B. Schaller University of Chicago Press, 2010 Library of Congress QL737.P96S3 2009 | Dewey Decimal 599.8840967571
This seminal work chronicles George B. Schaller’s two years of travel and observation of gorillas in East and Central Africa in the late 1950s, high in the Virunga volcanoes on the Zaire-Rwanda-Uganda border. There, he learned that these majestic animals, far from being the aggressive apes of film and fiction, form close-knit societies of caring mothers and protective fathers watching over playful young. Alongside his observations of gorilla society, Schaller celebrates the enforced yet splendid solitude of the naturalist, recounts the adventures he experienced along the way, and offers a warning against poaching and other human threats against these endangered creatures. This edition features a postscript detailing Schaller’s more recent visits with gorillas, current to 2009.
“Whether the author is tracking gorillas, slipping past elephant herds on narrow jungle paths, avoiding poachers’ deadfalls, or routing Watusi invaders, this is an exciting book. Although Schaller feels that this is ‘not an adventure book,’ few readers will be able to agree.”—Irven DeVore, Science
The Year of the Gorilla
George B. Schaller University of Chicago Press, 1988 Library of Congress QL737.P96S3 1988 | Dewey Decimal 599.8846
"A sensitive and articulate observer, [Schaller] is at his best when he is describing the forest itself . . . . This is an exciting book. Although Schaller feels that this is 'not an adventure book,' few readers will be able to agree."—Irven DeVore, Science
Winner of the 2005 Thomas Fleming Award for the Best Book in American Revolutionary War History
Finalist for the Army Historical Foundation Distinguished Writing Award
After two years of fighting, Great Britain felt confident that the American rebellion would be crushed in 1777, the "Year of the Hangman." Britain devised a bold new strategy. Turning its attention to the colonial frontiers, especially those of western New York, Pennsylvania, and Virginia, Britain enlisted its provincial rangers, Tories, and allied warriors, principally from the Iroquois Confederacy, to wage a brutal backwoods war in support of General John Burgoyne's offensive as it swept southward from Canada in an attempt to cut the colonies in half, divert the Continental Army, and weaken its presence around British-occupied New York City and Philadelphia.
Burgoyne's defeat at Saratoga sent shock waves through the British command. But the efforts along the frontier under the direction of Sir John Johnson, Colonel John Butler, and the charismatic Mohawk leader, Joseph Brant, appeared to be impairing the American ability to conduct the war. Destroying Patriot settlements and farms across hundreds of miles of frontier, the British and Indian forces threatened to reduce Continental army enlistment, and more importantly, precious food supplies. Following the massacres at the well-established colonial settlements of Wyoming, Pennsylvania, and Cherry Valley, New York, the Continental Congress persuaded General George Washington to conduct a decisive offensive to end the threat once and for all. Brewing for years, the conflict between the Iroquois and colonists would now reach its deadly climax.
Charging his troops "to not merely overrun, but destroy," Washington devised a two-prong attack to exact American revenge. The largest coordinated American military action against American Indians in the war, the campaign shifted the power in the east, ending the political and military influence of the Iroquois, forcing large numbers of loyalist to flee to Canada, and sealing Britain's fateful decision to seek victory in the south. In Year of the Hangman: George Washington's Campaign Against the Iroquois, historian Glenn F. Williams recreates the riveting events surrounding the action, including the checkered story of European and Indian alliances, the bitter frontier wars, and the bloody battles of Oriskany and Newtown.
Year of the Pig
Mark J. Hainds University of Alabama Press, 2011 Library of Congress SF397.83.U6H35 2011 | Dewey Decimal 799.276332
Year of the Pig is a personal account of one avid hunter's pursuit of wild pigs in eleven American states. Mark Hainds tied his mission to the Chinese calendar's Year of the Pig in 2007 and journeyed through longleaf forests, cypress swamps, and wiliwili forests in search of his prey. He used a range of weapons--black-powder rifle, bow and arrow, knife, and high-powered rifle--and various methods to stalk his quarry through titi, saw palmetto, privet hedge, and blue palms.
Introduced pig populations have wreaked havoc on ecosystems the world over. Non-native to the Western Hemisphere, pigs originally arrived in the southeast with De Soto's entrada and in the Hawaiian Archipelago on the outriggers of South Pacific islanders. In America feral hogs are considered pests and invaders because of their omnivorous diet and rooting habits that destroy both fragile native species and agricultural cropland.
Appealing to hunters and adventure readers for its sheer entertainment, Year of the Pig will also be valuable to farmers, land managers, and environmentalists for its broad information and perspective on the topic.
Year of the Rat
Marc Anthony Richardson University of Alabama Press, 2016 Library of Congress PS3618.I34477Y43 2016 | Dewey Decimal 813.6
2017 American Book Award Winner Winner of the FC2 Ronald Sukenick Innovative Fiction Prize
Marc Anthony Richardson's Year of the Rat is a poignant and riveting literary debut narrated in an unabashedly exuberant voice.
In Year of the Rat, an artist returns to the dystopian city of his birth to tend to his invalid mother only to find himself torn apart by memories and longings. Narrated by this nameless figure whose rants, reveries, and Rabelaisian escapades take him on a Dantesque descent into himself, the story follows him and his mother as they share a one-bedroom apartment over the course of a year.
Despite his mother’s precarious health, the lingering memories of a lost love, an incarcerated sibling, a repressed sexuality, and an anarchic inability to support himself, he pursues his dream of becoming an avant-garde artist. His prospects grow dim until a devastating death provides a painful and unforeseeable opportunity. With a voice that is poetic and profane, ethereal and irreverent, cyclical and succinct, he roams from vignette to vignette, creating a polyphonic patchwork quilt of a family portrait.
Year of the Snake
Lee Ann Roripaugh Southern Illinois University Press, 2004 Library of Congress PS3568.O717Y43 2004 | Dewey Decimal 811.54
In her second collection of poems, Lee Ann Roripaugh probes themes of mixed-race female identities, evoking the molting processes of snakes and insects who shed their skins and shells as an ongoing metaphor for transformation of self. Intertwining contemporary renditions of traditional Japanese myths and fairy tales with poems that explore the landscape of childhood and early adolescence, she blurs the boundaries between myth and memory, between real and imagined selves. This collection explores cultural, psychological, and physical liminalities and exposes the diasporic arc cast by first-generation Asian American mothers and their second-generation daughters, revealing a desire for metamorphosis of self through time, geography, culture, and myth.
A Year with Nature is an almanac like none you’ve ever seen: combining science and aesthetics, it is a daily affirmation of the extraordinary richness of biodiversity and our enduring beguilement by its beauty. With a text by herpetologist and natural history writer Marty Crump and a cornucopia of original illustrations by Bronwyn McIvor, this quirky quotidian reverie gazes across the globe, media, and time as it celebrates date-appropriate natural topics ranging from the founding of the National Park Service to annual strawberry, garlic, shrimp, hummingbird, and black bear festivals.
With Crump, we mark the publication of classics like Carson’s Silent Spring and White’s Charlotte’s Web, and even the musical premiere of Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake. We note the discovery of the structure of DNA and the mountain gorilla, the rise of citizen science projects, and the work of people who’ve shaped how we view and protect nature—from Aristotle to E. O. Wilson. Some days feature US celebrations, like National Poinsettia Day and National Cat Day; others highlight country-specific celebrations, like Australia’s Wombat Day and Thailand’s Monkey Buffet Festival, during which thousands of macaques feast on an ornately arranged spread of fruits and vegetables. Crump also highlights celebrations that span borders, from World Wildlife Conservation Day to International Mountain Day and global festivities for snakes, sea turtles, and chocolate. Interweaving fascinating facts on everything from jellyfish bodies to monthly birth flowers with folkloric entries featuring the Loch Ness Monster, unicorns, and ancient Greek, Roman, and Egyptian mythology, the almanac is as exhaustive as it is enchanting.
A Year with Nature celebrates the wonder and beauty of our natural world as we have expressed it in visual arts, music, literature, science, natural history, and everyday experience. But more than this, the almanac’s vignettes encourage us to contemplate how we can help ensure that future generations will be able to enjoy the landscapes and rich biodiversity we so deeply cherish.