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Faces Like Devils
The Bald Knobber Vigilantes in the Ozarks
Matthew J. Hernando
University of Missouri Press, 2015
In the twenty-first century, the word vigilante usually conjures up images of cinematic heroes like Batman, Zorro, the Lone Ranger, or Clint Eastwood in just about any film he’s ever been in. But in the nineteenth century, vigilantes roamed the country long before they ever made their way onto the silver screen. In Faces Like Devils, Matthew J. Hernando closely examines one of the most famous of these vigilante groups—the Bald Knobbers.
Hernando sifts through the folklore and myth surrounding the Bald Knobbers to produce an authentic history of the rise and fall of Missouri’s most famous vigilantes. He details the differences between the modernizing Bald Knobbers of Taney County and the anti-progressive Bald Knobbers of Christian County, while also stressing the importance of Civil War-era violence with respect to the foundation of these vigilante groups.
Despite being one of America’s largest and most famous vigilante groups during the nineteenth century, the Bald Knobbers have not previously been examined in depth. Hernando’s exhaustive research, which includes a plethora of state and federal court records, newspaper articles, and firsthand accounts, remedies that lack. This account of the Bald Knobbers is vital to anyone not wanting to miss out on a major part of Missouri’s history.
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Faint Praise
The Plight of Book Reviewing in America
Gail Pool
University of Missouri Press, 2007

For more than two hundred years, book reviewers have influenced American readers, setting our literary agenda by helping us determine not only what we read but also what we think about what we read. And for nearly as long, critics of these critics have lambasted book reviews for their overpraise, hostility, banality, and bias.

            Faint Praise takes a hard and long-overdue look at the institution of book reviewing. Gail Pool, herself an accomplished reviewer and review editor, analyzes the inner workings of this troubled trade to show how it works—and why it so often fails to work well. She reveals why bad reviewing happens despite good intentions and how it is that so many intelligent people who love books can say so many unintelligent things on their behalf.

            Reviewers have the power to award prestige to authors, give prominence to topics, and shape opinion and taste; yet most readers have little knowledge of why certain books are selected for review, why certain reviewers are selected to review them, and why they so often praise books that aren’t all that good. Pool takes readers behind the scenes to describe how editors choose books for review and assign them to reviewers, and she examines the additional roles played by publishers, authors, and readers. In describing the context of reviewing, she reveals a culture with little interest in literature, much antipathy to criticism, and a decided weakness for praise. In dissecting the language of reviews, Pool demonstrates how it often boils down to unbelievable hype.

Pool explores the multifaceted world of book reviewing today, contrasting traditional methods of reviewing with alternative book coverage, from Amazon.com to Oprah, and suggesting how the more established practices could be revised. She also explores the divide between service journalism practiced by reviewers versus the alleged high art served up by literary critics—and what this fuzzy boundary between reviewing and criticism really means.

This is the first book to analyze the field in depth, weighing the inherent difficulties of reviewing against the unacceptable practices that undermine the very reasons we read—and need—reviews. Faint Praise is a book not just for those who create and review books but also for everyone who loves books. By demystifying this hidden process, Pool helps everyone understand how to read reviews—and better decide what to read.

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Faith and Political Philosophy
The Correspondence Between Leo Strauss and Eric Voegelin, 1934-1964
Edited & Intro by Peter Emberley & Barry Cooper
University of Missouri Press, 2004

Faith and Political Philosophy consists of fifty-three letters between Leo Strauss and Eric Voegelin, two of the most important political theorists of the twentieth century. In this correspondence, Strauss and Voegelin explore the nature of their similarities and differences, offering insightful observations about one another's work, about the state of the discipline, and about the influences working on them. The letters shed light on many assumptions made in their published writings, often with an openness that removes all vestiges of uncertainty.

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Fallenness in Victorian Women's Writing
Marry, Stitch, Die, Or Do Worse
Deborah Anna Logan
University of Missouri Press, 1998

The Angel-in-the-House is an ideal commonly used to define sexual standards of the Victorian Age. Although widely considered to be the cultural "norm," the Victorian Angel, revered for her morality, domestic virtue, and dedication to the family, is more frequently depicted in the literature of the time as an anomaly. In fact, a primary concern of Victorian literature appears to be the many exceptions to this unattainable ideal, which, according to the period's madonna-or-harlot polarity, casts these exceptions as fallen women. Deborah Anna Logan presents an unusual study of this image of fallenness in Victorian literature, focusing on the links among angelic ideology, sexuality, and, more important, social deviance.

Fallenness, according to Logan, does not refer simply to women who have sexually strayed from morality; besides prostitutes, the ranks of the fallen include unmarried mothers, needlewomen, alcoholics, the insane, the childless, the anorexic, slaves, and harem women. All of these women are presented as fallen because they fail to conform to sexual and social norms. In some cases, economic need was responsible for women's failure to uphold the ideals of domesticity and motherhood that were so revered in nineteenth- century society. But other examples illustrate the power of angelic ideology to construct deviancy even out of nonsexual behaviors.

Logan's study is distinguished by its exclusive focus on women writers, including Charlotte Brontë, George Eliot, Elizabeth Gaskell, Harriet Martineau, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Florence Nightingale, Sarah Grand, and Mary Prince. Logan utilizes primary texts from these Victorian writers as well as contemporary critics such as Catherine Gallagher and Elaine Showalter to provide the background on social factors that contributed to the construction of fallen-woman discourse. Examining novels, short stories, poetry, and travel journals, Logan successfully demonstrates the rich links between these writers and their fallen characters--links in which, for women, even the act of writing becomes a type of fallenness.

Fallenness in Victorian Women's Writing is a significant and original contribution to the study of literature. Logan's thoroughly researched and attractively presented book will be of special interest to students of Victorian and women's studies, as well as to the general reader.

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Farewell to Prosperity
Wealth, Identity, and Conflict in Postwar America
Lisle A. Rose
University of Missouri Press, 2014
Farewell to Prosperity is a provocative, in-depth study of the Liberal and Conservative forces that fought each other to shape American political culture and character during the nation’s most prosperous years. The tome’s central theme is the bitter struggle to fashion post–World War II society between a historic Protestant Ethic that equated free-market economics and money-making with Godliness and a new, secular Liberal temperament that emerged from the twin ordeals of depression and world war to stress social justice and security.

Liberal policies and programs after 1945 proved key to the creation of mass affluence while encouraging disadvantaged racial, ethnic, and social groups to seek equal access to power. But liberalism proved a zero-sum game to millions of others who felt their sense of place and self progressively unhinged. Where it did not overturn traditional social relationships and assumptions, liberalism threatened and, in the late sixties and early seventies, fostered new forces of expression at radical odds with the mindset and customs that had previously defined the nation without much question.
 
When the forces of liberalism overreached, the Protestant Ethic and its millions of estranged religious and economic proponents staged a massive comeback under the aegis of Ronald Reagan and a revived Republican Party. The financial hubris, miscalculations, and follies that followed ultimately created a conservative overreach from which the nation is still recovering. Post–World War II America was thus marked by what writer Salman Rushdie labeled in another context “thin-skinned years of rage-defined identity politics.” This “politics” and its meaning form the core of the narrative.

Farewell to Prosperity is no partisan screed enlisting recent history to support one side or another. Although absurdity abounds, it knows no home, affecting Conservative and Liberal actors and thinkers alike.
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A Fatherless Child
Autobiographical Perspectives of African American Men
Tara T. Green
University of Missouri Press, 2009
The impact of absent fathers on sons in the black community has been a subject for cultural critics and sociologists who often deal in anonymous data. Yet many of those sons have themselves addressed the issue in autobiographical works that form the core of African American literature.
 
A Fatherless Child examines the impact of fatherlessness on racial and gender identity formation as seen in black men’s autobiographies and in other constructions of black fatherhood in fiction. Through these works, Tara T. Green investigates what comes of abandonment by a father and loss of a role model by probing a son’s understanding of his father’s struggles to define himself and the role of community in forming the son’s quest for self-definition in his father’s absence.
 
Closely examining four works—Langston Hughes’s The Big Sea, Richard Wright’s Black Boy, Malcolm X’s The Autobiography of Malcolm X, and Barack Obama’s Dreams from My Father—Green portrays the intersecting experiences of generations of black men during the twentieth century both before and after the Civil Rights movement. These four men recall feeling the pressure and responsibility of caring for their mothers, resisting public displays of care, and desiring a loving, noncontentious relationship with their fathers. Feeling vulnerable to forces they may have identified as detrimental to their status as black men, they use autobiography as a tool for healing, a way to confront that vulnerability and to claim a lost power associated with their lost fathers.

Through her analysis, Green emphasizes the role of community as a father-substitute in producing successful black men, the impact of fatherlessness on self-perceptions and relationships with women, and black men’s engagement with healing the pain of abandonment. She also looks at why these four men visited Africa to reclaim a cultural history and identity, showing how each developed a clearer understanding of himself as an American man of African descent.
 
A Fatherless Child conveys important lessons relevant to current debates regarding the status of African American families in the twenty-first century. By showing us four black men of different eras, Green asks readers to consider how much any child can heal from fatherlessness to construct a positive self-image—and shows that, contrary to popular perceptions, fatherlessness need not lead to certain failure.
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Fault Lines and Controversies in the Study of Seventeenth-Century English Literature
Edited & Intro Claude J. Summers & Ted-Lary Pebworth
University of Missouri Press, 2002
Written by various experts in the field, this volume of thirteen original essays explores some of the most significant theoretical and practical fault lines and controversies in seventeenth-century English literature. The turn into the twenty-first century is an appropriate time to take stock of the state of the field, and, as part of that stock-taking, the need arises to assess both where literary study of the early modern period has been and where it might desirably go. Hence, many of the essays in this collection look both backward and forward. They chart the changes in the field over the past half century, while also looking forward to more change in the future.
            Some of the essays collected here explore the points of friction, vulnerability, and division that have emerged in literary study of all periods at the end of the twentieth century, such as theory, gender, sexuality, race, and religion. Others are more narrowly focused on fault lines and controversies peculiar to the study of Renaissance and seventeenth-century literature. At the same time nearly all of these essays examine and illuminate particular works of literature. They engage theory, but they also illustrate their points concretely by enacting practical criticism of works by authors ranging from Bacon to Milton. What emerges from the collection is a sense of the field’s dynamism and vitality. The dominant mood of the essays is a cautious optimism, and, while the contributors are by no means complacent, they all share a belief that the fault lines that have emerged in the field are variously and valuably instructive. 
By exposing these fault lines the essayists seek a means of acknowledging differences and disagreements without covering them up. They also constructively suggest ways of addressing the issues as a prerequisite to bridging them. By broaching some of the most significant questions that animate the study of early modern literature at the turn into a new century, this volume will be of great value to any student or scholar of seventeenth-century literature.
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FDR & Stalin
A Not So Grand Alliance, 1943–1945
Amos Perlmutter
University of Missouri Press, 1993

Perlmutter's hard-hitting, revisionist history of Roosevelt's foreign policy explores FDR's not-so-grand alliance with the ruthless Soviet leader. As the first Western scholar granted access to key foreign ministry documents recently declassified in the former Soviet Union, Perlmutter provides a provocative portrait of a popular leader whose failure to comprehend Stalin's long-range goals had devastating results for the postwar world.

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Fearless Women in the Mexican Revolution and the Spanish Civil War
Tabea Alexa Linhard
University of Missouri Press, 2005
In this first book-length study of the role women played in two of the most momentous revolutions of the twentieth century, Tabea Alexa Linhard provides a comparative analysis of works on the Mexican Revolution (circa 1910–1919) and the Spanish Civil War (1936–1939). Linhard was inspired by the story of the “Trece Rosas,” about thirteen young women who, after the Spanish Civil War ended with the Nationalists’ victory, were executed. One of the women, Julia Conesa, was particularly influential. In a letter she wrote to her mother a few hours before she faced the firing squad, she said, “Do not allow my name to vanish in history.” Fearless Women in the Mexican Revolution and the Spanish Civil War is Linhard’s attempt to respond to Julia’s last request.
Although female figures such as the soldaderas of the Mexican Revolution and the milicianas of the Spanish Civil War are abundant in writings about revolution and war, they are often treated as icons, myths, and symbols, displacing the women’s particular and diverse experiences. Linhard maintains a focus on these women’s stories, which until now—when presented at all—have usually been downplayed in literary canons, official histories, and popular memories. She addresses several existing gaps in studies of the intersections of gender, revolution, and culture in both the Mexican and the Spanish contexts.
The book is grounded in transatlantic studies, an emerging field that bridges disciplinary boundaries between Peninsular studies and Latin American studies. In this case, the connection between the Mexican Revolution and the Spanish Civil War is a natural consequence of the disjointed conditions out of which arose the cultural texts in which fearless women appear.
            Fearless Women in the Mexican Revolution and the Spanish Civil War will be especially valuable to scholars of early twentieth-century Peninsular and Mexican literature and culture. It will also be a useful resource in gender studies and interdisciplinary approaches to the study of revolution, war, and culture.
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Feast or Famine
Food and Drink in American Westward Expansion
Reginald Horsman
University of Missouri Press, 2008

Feast or Famine is the first comprehensive account of food and drink in the winning of the West, describing the sustenance of successive generations of western pioneers. Drawing on journals of settlers and travelers—as well as a lifetime of research on the American West—Reginald Horsman examines more than one hundred years of history, from the first advance of explorers into the Mississippi valley to the movement of ranchers and farmers onto the Great Plains, recording not only the components of their diets but food preparation techniques as well.

Most settlers were able to obtain food beyond the dreams of ordinary Europeans, for whom meat was a luxury. Not only were buffalo, deer, and wild turkey there for the taking, pioneers also gathered greens such as purslane, dandelion, and pigweed—as well as wild fruits, berries, and nuts. They replaced sugar with wild honey or maple syrup, and when they had no tea, they made drinks out of sage, sassafras, and mint. Horsman also reveals the willingness of Indians to convey their knowledge of food to newcomers, sharing salmon in the Pacific Northwest, agricultural crops in the arid Southwest.

Horsman tells how agricultural expansion and transportation opened a veritable cornucopia and how the development of canning soon made it possible for meals to transcend simple frontier foods, with canned oysters and crystallized eggs in airtight cans on merchants’ shelves. He covers food on different regional frontiers, as well as the cuisines of particular groups such as fur traders, soldiers, miners, and Mormons. He also discusses food shortages that resulted from poor preparation, temporary scarcity of game, marginal soil, or simply bad luck. At times, as with the ill-fated Donner Party, pioneers starved.

Engagingly written and meticulously researched, Feast or Famine is a one-of-a-kind look at a subject too long ignored in histories of the West. By revealing the spectrum of frontier fare across years and regions, it shows us that the land of opportunity was often a land of plenty.

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The Federalist Frontier
Settler Politics in the Old Northwest, 1783-1840
Kristopher Maulden
University of Missouri Press, 2023
The Federalist Frontier traces the development of Federalist policies and the Federalist Party in the first three states of the Northwest Territory—Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois—from the nation’s first years until the rise of the Second Party System in the 1820s and 1830s. Relying on government records, private correspondence, and newspapers, Kristopher Maulden argues that Federalists originated many of the policies and institutions that helped the young United States government take a leading role in the American people’s expansion and settlement westward across the Appalachians. It was primarily they who placed the U.S. Army at the fore of the white westward movement, created and executed the institutions to survey and sell public lands, and advocated for transportation projects to aid commerce and further migration into the region. Ultimately, the relationship between government and settlers evolved as citizens raised their expectations of what the federal government should provide, and the region embraced transportation infrastructure and innovation in public education.
 
Historians of early American politics will have a chance to read about Federalists in the Northwest, and they will see the early American state in action in fighting Indians, shaping settler understandings of space and social advancement, and influencing political ideals among the citizens. For historians of the early American West, Maulden’s work demonstrates that the origins of state-led expansion reach much further back in time than generally understood.
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Fetching the Old Southwest
Humorous Writing from Longstreet to Twain
James H. Justus
University of Missouri Press, 2004
For more than a quarter-century, despite the admirable excavations that have unearthed such humorists as John Gorman Barr and Marcus Lafayette, the most significant of the humorists from the Old Southwest have remained the same: Crockett, Longstreet, Thompson, Baldwin, Thorpe, Hooper, Robb, Harris, and Lewis. Forming a kind of shadow canon in American literature that led to Mark Twain’s early work, from 1834 to 1867 these authors produced a body of writing that continues to reward attentive readers.
James H. Justus’s Fetching the Old Southwest examines this writing in the context of other discourses contemporaneous with it: travel books, local histories, memoirs, and sports manuals, as well as unpublished private forms such as personal correspondence, daybooks, and journals. Like most writing, humor is a product of its place and time, and the works studied herein are no exception. The antebellum humorists provide an important look into the social and economic conditions that were prevalent in the southern “new country,” a place that would, in time, become the Deep South.
Justus’s study focuses mainly on the humor from the area categorized in the federal censuses of the mid-nineteenth century as the Southwest: Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, and, eventually, Arkansas and Texas. Where it is pertinent, he also includes North Carolina and Missouri in this cultural map. Although some of these pieces may not precisely reflect their cultural setting, they are assuredly refractions of it.
While previous books about Old Southwest humor have focused on individual authors, Justus has produced the first critical study to encompass all of the humor from this time period. Teachers and students of literary history will appreciate the incredible range of documentation, both primary and secondary.
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Few Returned
Twenty-eight Days on the Russian Front, Winter 1942-1943
Eugenio Corti, Translated by Peter Edward Levy, & Foreword by Carlo D'Este
University of Missouri Press, 1997

After World War II more than one hundred books appeared that dealt with the experience of the Italian army in Russia, and particularly the terrible winter retreat of 1942-1943. Few Returned (I piu' non ritornano) is the only one of these that is still regularly reissued in Italy.

Eugenio Corti, who was a twenty-one-year-old second lieutenant at the time, found himself, together with 30,000 Italians and a smaller contingent of Germans, encircled on the banks of the River Don by enemy forces who far outnumbered them. To break out of this encirclement, these men undertook a desperate march across the snow, with constant engagements and in temperatures ranging from -20 to -30 degrees Fahrenheit. Whereas supplies were air-dropped to the Germans, the predicament of the Italians was far more difficult: lacking gasoline, they were compelled to abandon their vehicles and to proceed without heavy arms, equipment, ammunition, or provisions. Even the wounded had to be abandoned, though it was well known that the soldiers of the Red Army"enraged by the brutality of the German invasion"killed all the enemy wounded who fell into their hands. After twenty-eight days of encirclement, only 4,000 of the 30,000 Italians made it out of the pocket.

Why is it that Corti's book, which was first published in 1947, continues after fifty years to be reprinted in Italy? Because, as Mario Apollonio of the University of Milan said, when the book first appeared: "It is a chronicle . . . but it is much more than that: behind the physical reality, there is the truth" about man at his most tragic hour. Apollonio adds: "The power of the writing immediately transforms the document into drama"; the result is a "novel-poem-drama-history." The philosopher Benedetto Croce found in Corti's book "the not infrequent gleam of human goodness and nobility." Few Returned is a classic of war literature that succeeds in bringing home the full hatefulness of war.

Eugenio Corti began writing his diary at a military hospital immediately after being repatriated from the Russian front. When in September 1943 Italy found itself cut in two by the Armistice, Corti, loyal to his officer's oath, joined up with what remained of the Italian army in the south and with those few troops participated in driving the Germans off Italian soil, fighting at the side of the British Eighth and the American Fifth Armies.

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Fiction Refracts Science
Modernist Writers from Proust to Borges
Allen Thiher
University of Missouri Press, 2005
In Fiction Refracts Science, Allen Thiher demonstrates that major modernists, in their concern with the sciences, were strongly influenced by them. He argues that there are direct relations between science and the formal shape of fiction developed by some of the most important modernists. Especially relevant for his arguments are modern cosmology and quantum mechanics, as well as examples from mathematics, biology, and medicine.
            Thiher begins his study by examining the question about the two cultures—scientific and humanistic—that is often invoked in discussions of their relationship. He outlines the essential context for understanding how science was perceived by modernist novelists. This background included Pascalian and Newtonian cosmology, Darwinism, and the questions of epistemology ushered in by relativity theory and quantum mechanics. He then devotes a chapter each to Musil, Proust, Kafka, and Joyce in which he focuses on epistemology and on ideas about law in science and literature.
            Thiher goes on to describe the subsequent development of modernist fiction. He proposes that, after Joyce, thought experiments dominated the relations between science and later modernist fiction, as exemplified by Woolf, Faulkner, and Borges. In conclusion Thiher addresses the ongoing development of these experiments in postmodern fiction and discusses the fortunes of positivism in postmodern fiction.
            Written in a clear and accessible style, Fiction Refracts Science will be of interest to specialists in literary modernism, science studies, and the history of science, as well as to scientists themselves.
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Fiction Rivals Science
The French Novel from Balzac to Proust
Allen Thiher
University of Missouri Press, 2001

     In Fiction Rivals Science, Allen Thiher describes the epistemic rivalry that the major nineteenth-century French novelists felt in dealing with science. After brief considerations of Stendhal, Thiher focuses on the four most important "realist" novelists in France: Balzac, Flaubert, Zola, and, going into the twentieth century, Proust. According to Thiher, each of these novelists considered himself to be in competition with science to make the novel an instrument for knowledge.

The first chapter sets forth the understanding of science that dominated the early nineteenth century in order to make it plausible that literary minds, throughout the nineteenth century, thought that they could not only rival science, but even make positive contributions to knowledge. The Newtonian paradigm that had dominated the Enlightenment was slowly being challenged by new developments both in physics and in nonphysical sciences such as biology. Especially in biology the development of a scientific discourse using narrative temporality favored the idea that novelists could also use fiction to construct discourses that advanced knowledge.

Balzac wanted to construct a natural history of society and correct the chemical theory of his time. Flaubert drew upon medicine and physiology for the rhetoric of his realist fiction. Zola used unsuccessful medical paradigms for his doctrine of heredity, and models drawn from thermodynamics to describe the relation of the individual to societal forces. Finally, Proust drew upon thinkers such as Poincar‚ to elaborate an epistemology that put an end to the rivalry novelists might feel with scientists. Proust located certain knowledge within the realm of human subjectivity while granting the power of laws to rule over the contingent realm of physical reality, in which, after Poincar‚, neither mathematics nor Newton was any longer a source of absolute certainty. Proust's novel is thus the last great realist work of the nineteenth century and the first modernist work of consciousness taking itself as the object of knowledge.

By demonstrating that the great French realist novelists dealt with many of the same problems as did the scientists of the nineteenth century, Fiction Rivals Science attempts to show how culture unites literary and scientific inquiry into knowledge. Providing a new interpretation of the development of literary realism, this important new work will be welcomed not only by literary scholars, but by historians of science and culture as well.

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The Fictional World of William Hoffman
Edited by William L. Frank
University of Missouri Press, 2000

Over the past forty-five years, William Hoffman has written eleven novels, including the critically acclaimed Tidewater Blood, winner of the Dashiell Hammett award, and four short-fiction collections, the most recent being Doors—all of which have enjoyed a loyal and appreciative readership. His work has received numerous honors, including the Andrew Nelson Lytle Prize for the best short story published in the Sewanee Review; the Jeanne C. Goodheart Prize for fiction, awarded by Shenandoah; and the Hillsdale Prize for fiction, awarded by the Fellowship of Southern Writers. Yet a critical evaluation of his acclaimed fiction has not previously appeared.

The Fictional World of William Hoffman provides readers with the first vital and informative assessment of Hoffman's work. Including penetrating commentary and analysis from fellow writers—Fred Chappell, George Core, George Garrett, Dabney Stuart—as well as from established and emerging critics—Ron Buchanan, Martha Cook, Jeanne Nostrandt, Gordon Van Ness-this collection of essays aims to deepen the appreciation of those already familiar with Hoffman and to introduce new readers to one of the South's most influential voices.

George Core's opening essay provides an overview of Hoffman's novels to date, with sufficient examples to suggest his range, scope, imagery, and principal themes, including honor, courage, love, self-sacrifice, and the role of religion. The other essays in the collection focus in detail on his most admired work, especially the war novels, the short stories, and the philosophical novels of recent years. All eleven novels are covered briefly throughout the collection, six are treated extensively, and three essays focus on his short fiction.

There is no doubt that William Hoffman is a major contemporary writer. His considerable talent and influence have been felt by generations of readers. The Fictional World of William Hoffman helps to secure this influence for years to come. "As with all gifted and talented writers," Frank concludes, "the themes of Hoffman's fiction are what will endure."

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Field Observations
Stories
Stories by Rob Davidson
University of Missouri Press, 2001

Field Observations, the debut fiction collection from Rob Davidson, contains stories about people who find themselves at difficult turning points in their lives—times when they are faced with hard choices, broken promises, and the fear of self-destruction. Davidson's characters are diverse: a retired math teacher, an auto repair worker, a technical writer, a nurse living overseas. What connects them is the way Davidson renders each character with essential human dignity, regardless of his or her flaws. This collection addresses such contemporary concerns as love relationships, cultural interaction, divorce, aging, and alcoholism in a lively, sometimes offbeat way.

In "Inventory"—winner of a 1997 AWP Intro Journals Award—the young narrator, fresh out of the army, struggles to take stock of his civilian life and assume responsibility for himself. An estranged wife, in "You Have to Say Something," competes for attention with her husband's manic approach to work, finding both solace and frustration in a new friend, a compulsive gift-giver. "A Private Life" renders a young Peace Corps volunteer grappling with her loneliness in a foreign country, with a sense of exposure and violation. In "What We Leave Behind," a college dropout and onetime golf prodigy finds himself dissatisfied with his current career as a vacuum cleaner salesman; after a quirky encounter with a client, he finds hope for a new beginning.

A recurrent motif in the stories is the presentation of characters who either tend to observe, even spy on, others, or who have the sense that they themselves are being watched. The notion of a passive observer extends to several characters who seem to treat their own lives as subject for observation rather than action, frequently persisting in patterns of behavior that are clearly destructive.

Rendered in clean, smooth prose with sharply observed details and driven by Davidson's fine ear for dialogue, these stories poignantly capture the difficult in-between states that trouble people every day. Fully defined and evocatively written, this collection addresses important real-life issues and concerns.

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Fighting for a Free Missouri
German Immigrants, African Americans, and the Issue of Slavery
Sydney J. Norton
University of Missouri Press, 2023
Missouri is well-known for its German American heritage, but the story of nineteenth-century German immigrant abolitionists is often neglected in discussions of the state’s history. This collection of ten original essays (with a foreword by renowned Missouri historian Gary Kremer), relates what unfolded when idealistic Germans, many of whom were highly educated and devoted to the ideals of freedom and democracy, left their homeland and settled in a pre–Civil War slave state. Fleeing political persecution during the 1830s and 1840s, immigrants such as Friedrich Münch, Eduard Mühl, Heinrich Boernstein, and Arnold Krekel arrived in the area now known as the Missouri German Heritage Corridor in hopes of finding a land more congenial to their democratic ideals. When they witnessed the state of enslaved Blacks, many of them became abolitionist activists and fervent supporters of Abraham Lincoln and the Union in the emerging Civil War. Editor Sydney Norton and the other contributing authors to Fighting for a Free Missouri explore the Germans’ abolitionist mission, their relationships with African Americans, and their activity in the radical wing of the Republican Party.

 
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The Final Mission of Bottoms Up
A World War II Pilot's Story
Dennis R. Okerstrom
University of Missouri Press, 2011
 
On November 18, 1944, the end of the war in Europe finally in sight, American copilot Lieutenant Lee Lamar struggled alongside pilot Randall Darden to keep Bottoms Up, their B-24J Liberator, in the air. They and their crew of eight young men had believed the intelligence officer who, at the predawn briefing at their base in southern Italy, had confided that their mission that day would be a milk run. But that twenty-first mission out of Italy would be their last.
            Bottoms Up was staggered by an antiaircraft shell that sent it plunging three miles earthward, the pilots recovering control at just 5,000 feet. With two engines out, they tried to make it to a tiny strip on a British-held island in the Adriatic Sea and in desperation threw out everything not essential to flight: machine guns, belts of ammunition, flak jackets. But over Pula, in what is now Croatia, they were once more hit by German fire, and the focus quickly became escaping the doomed bomber. Seemingly unable to extricate himself, Lamar all but surrendered to death before fortuitously bailing out. He was captured the next day and spent the rest of the war as a prisoner at a stalag on the Baltic Sea, suffering the deprivations of little food and heat in Europe’s coldest winter in a century. He never saw most of his crew again.
            Then, in 2006, more than sixty years after these life-changing experiences, Lamar received an email from Croatian archaeologist Luka Bekic, who had discovered the wreckage of Bottoms Up. A veteran of the Balkan wars of the 1990s, Bekic felt compelled to find out the crew’s identities and fates. Lee Lamar, a boy from a hardscrabble farm in rural northwestern Missouri, had gone to college on the GI Bill, become a civil engineer, gotten married, and raised a family. Yet, for all the opportunity that stemmed from his wartime service, part of him was lost. The prohibition on asking prisoners of war their memories during the repatriation process prevented him from reconciling himself to the events of that November day. That changed when, nearly a year after being contacted by Bekic, Lamar visited the site, hoping to gain closure, and met the Croatian Partisans who had helped some members of his crew escape.
            In this absorbing, alternating account of World War II and its aftermath, Dennis R. Okerstrom chronicles, through Lee Lamar’s experiences, the Great Depression generation who went on to fight in the most expensive war in history. This is the story of the young men who flew Bottoms Up on her final mission, of Lamar’s trip back to the scene of his recurring nightmare, and of a remarkable convergence of international courage, perseverance, and friendship. 
[more]

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Finding People in Early Greece
Carol G. Thomas
University of Missouri Press, 2005
Progress toward a fuller understanding of preclassical Greece was steady until the 1950s, when a general crisis in all the human-centered disciplines erupted. Scholars undertook a serious reexamination of their tools and data, producing new brands of history, geography, anthropology, archaeology, economics, and sociology. Although these new approaches were widely adopted, the developments also bred a countercurrent beginning in the 1980s and 1990s. The fallout from this backlash was serious in several respects, one of the most important of which was the elimination of the human element in the products of the “new” human-centered disciplines.
            In Finding People in Early Greece, Carol Thomas addresses these developments and the recent accommodation and rapprochement of the “old” and “new” that has emerged. She then offers two case studies: Jason and the voyage of the Argo, deriving from the “Age of Heroes,” and Hesiod, probably the first literate European, who lived ca. 700 BCE during the “Age of Revolution,” which catapulted Greece out of its long Dark Age into the vibrant Classical Age. With these two examples, Thomas shows that through a combination of scientific tools and historically oriented scholarship, a larger context in which individual subjects lived can be offered.  
[more]

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A Fire Bell in the Past
The Missouri Crisis at 200, Volume I, Western Slavery, National Impasse
Jeffrey L. Pasley
University of Missouri Press, 2021
Many new states entered the United States around 200 years ago, but only Missouri almost killed the nation it was trying to join. When the House of Representatives passed the Tallmadge Amendment banning slavery from the prospective new state in February 1819, it set off a two-year political crisis in which growing northern antislavery sentiment confronted the southern whites’ aggressive calls for slavery’s westward expansion. The Missouri Crisis divided the U.S. into slave and free states for the first time and crystallized many of the arguments and conflicts that would later be settled violently during the Civil War. The episode was, as Thomas Jefferson put it, “a fire bell in the night” that terrified him as the possible “knell of the Union.”

Drawing on the participants in two landmark conferences held at the University of Missouri and the City University of New York, this first of two volumes finds myriad new perspectives on the Missouri Crisis. Celebrating Missouri’s bicentennial the scholarly way, with fresh research and unsparing analysis, this eloquent collection of essays from distinguished historians gives the epochal struggle over Missouri statehood its due as a major turning point in American history.

Contributors include the editors, Christa Dierksheide, David N. Gellman, Sarah L. H. Gronningsater, Robert Lee, Donald Ratcliffe, Andrew Shankman, Anne Twitty, John R. Van Atta, and David Waldstreicher.

 
[more]

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A Fire Bell in the Past
The Missouri Crisis at 200, Volume II: “The Missouri Question” and Its Answers
Jeffrey L. Pasley
University of Missouri Press, 2021
Many new states entered the United States around 200 years ago, but only Missouri almost killed the nation it was trying to join. When the House of Representatives passed the Tallmadge Amendment banning slavery from the prospective new state in February 1819, it set off a two-year political crisis in which growing northern antislavery sentiment confronted the aggressive westward expansion of the peculiar institution by southerners. The Missouri Crisis divided the U.S. into slave and free states for the first time and crystallized many of the arguments and conflicts that would later be settled violently during the Civil War. The episode was, as Thomas Jefferson put it, “a fire bell in the night” that terrified him as the possible “knell of the Union.”

Drawn from the of participants in two landmark conferences held at the University of Missouri and the City University of New York, those who contributed original essays to this second of two volumes—a group that includes young scholars and foremost authorities in the field—answer the Missouri “Question,” in bold fashion, challenging assumptions both old and new in the long historiography by approaching the event on its own terms, rather than as the inevitable sequel of the flawed founding of the republic or a prequel to its near destruction.

This second volume of A Fire Bell in the Past features a foreword by Daive Dunkley. Contributors include Dianne Mutti Burke, Christopher Childers, Edward P. Green, Zachary Dowdle, David J. Gary, Peter Kastor, Miriam Liebman, Matthew Mason, Kate Masur, Mike McManus, Richard Newman, and Nicholas Wood.
 
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The First Amendment Lives On
Conversations Commemorating Hugh M. Hefner's Legacy of Enduring Free Speech and Free Press Values
Stuart N. Brotman
University of Missouri Press, 2022

Hugh M. Hefner’s legacy of enduring free speech and free press values is embodied in the Hugh M. Hefner First Amendment Awards, established in 1979, which honor leading First Amendment scholars and advocates. Hefner also had a lifelong interest in film censorship issues and supported teaching about them at the University of Southern California for 20 years. His deep commitment to these values was confirmed when the author was granted unrestricted access to over 3,000 personal scrapbooks, which Hefner had kept in order to track free speech and press issues during his lifetime.
 
The format of the book is an homage to the in-depth conversational interviews Hefner pioneered as the editor and publisher of Playboy magazine. Stuart Brotman conducted in-person conversations with eight persons who in their lifetimes have come to represent a “greatest generation” of free speech and free press scholars and advocates. Notably, these conversations include:

Geoffrey R. Stone
Floyd Abrams
Nadine Strossen
Burt Neuborne
David D. Cole
Lucy A. Dalglish
Bob Corn-Revere
Rick Jewell

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The First Black Actors on the Great White Way
Susan Curtis
University of Missouri Press, 1998

On April 5, 1917, Three Plays for a Negro Theater by Ridgely Torrence opened at the Garden Theatre in New York City. This performance was a monumental event in American stage history. Not only was this the first dramatic production to portray African American life beyond the cliché, it was also the first production on Broadway to feature an all-black cast. The morning after the three plays were performed, newspapers were filled with praise for the cast, crew, and playwright. Audience member W. E. B. Du Bois declared the show "epoch making." Despite such early critical acclaim, Three Plays for a Negro Theater closed before the end of the month and received little attention thereafter.

Why was a nation, so fascinated with firsts, able to forget these black actors and this production so quickly? It is this question that Susan Curtis addresses in The First Black Actors on the Great White Way.

Set against the backdrop of transforming theater conventions in the early 1900s and the war in 1917, this important study relates the stories of the actors, stage artists, critics, and many others—black and white—involved in this groundbreaking production. Curtis explores in great depth both the progress in race relations that led to this production and the multifaceted reasons for its quick demise.

Three Plays for a Negro Theater opened on the eve of the United States' entrance into World War I. Curtis attributes the early closure of the three plays to this coincidence, but she does not settle for so simple an explanation. Rather, she investigates the heightened national self-consciousness that followed the United States' entry into the war. America was ready to "make the world safe for democracy," but it was not fully ready to accept democracy and equality in its own culture.

The First Black Actors on the Great White Way is not simply a study of African American theater and its entrance into American culture. By focusing on a single event at a critical moment in history, Curtis offers a unique glimpse into race relations in early-twentieth-century American society. The experience of these pioneering artists reveals an unexplored aspect of the painfully slow evolution of racial equality.

A remarkable story about people who waged an extraordinary campaign against racism, The First Black Actors on the Great White Way will be of special interest to scholars of American studies, race relations, and cultural history, as well as the general reader.

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The First Cold War
The Legacy of Woodrow Wilson in U.S. - Soviet Relations
Donald E. Davis & Eugene P. Trani
University of Missouri Press, 2002
In The First Cold War, Donald E. Davis and Eugene P. Trani review the Wilson administration’s attitudes toward Russia before, during, and after the Bolshevik seizure of power. They argue that before the Russian Revolution, Woodrow Wilson had little understanding of Russia and made poor appointments that cost the United States Russian goodwill. Wilson later reversed those negative impressions by being the first to recognize Russia’s Provisional Government, resulting in positive U.S.–Russian relations until Lenin gained power in 1917.
Wilson at first seemed unsure whether to recognize or repudiate Lenin and the Bolsheviks. His vacillation finally ended in a firm repudiation when he opted for a diplomatic quarantine having almost all of the ingredients of the later Cold War. Davis and Trani argue that Wilson deserves mild criticism for his early indecision and inability to form a coherent policy toward what would become the Soviet Union. But they believe Wilson rightly came to the conclusion that until the regime became more moderate, it was useless for America to engage it diplomatically.
The authors see in Wilson’s approach the foundations for the “first Cold War”—meaning not simply a refusal to recognize the Soviet Union, but a strong belief that its influence was harmful and would spread if not contained or quarantined. Wilson’s Soviet policy in essence lasted until Roosevelt extended diplomatic recognition in the 1930s. But The First Cold War suggests that Wilson’s impact extended beyond Roosevelt to Truman, showing that the policies of Wilson and Truman closely resemble each other with the exception of an arms race. Wilson’s intellectual reputation lent credibility to U.S. Cold War policy from Truman to Reagan, and the reader can draw a direct connection from Wilson to the collapse of the USSR. Wilsonians were the first Cold War warriors, and in the era of President Woodrow Wilson, the first Cold War began.
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The First Infantry Division and the U.S. Army Transformed
Road to Victory in Desert Storm, 1970-1991
Gregory Fontenot
University of Missouri Press, 2017
This fast-paced and compelling read closes a significant gap in the historiography of the late Cold War U.S. Army and is crucial for understanding the current situation in the Middle East.

From the author's introduction:
“My purpose is a narrative history of the 1st Infantry Division from 1970 through the Operation Desert Storm celebration held 4th of July 1991. This story is an account of the revolutionary changes in the late Cold War. The Army that overran Saddam Hussein’s Legions in four days was the product of important changes stimulated both by social changes and institutional reform. The 1st Infantry Division reflected benefits of those changes, despite its low priority for troops and material. The Division was not an elite formation, but rather excelled in the context of the Army as an institution.”

This book begins with a preface by Gordon R. Sullivan, General, USA, Retired. In twelve chapters, author Gregory Fontenot explains the history of the 1st infantry Division from 1970 to 1991. In doing so, his fast-paced narrative includes elements to expand the knowledge of non-military readers. These elements include a glossary, a key to abbreviations, maps, nearly two dozen photographs, and thorough bibliography.

The First infantry Division and the U.S. Army Transformed: Road to Victory in Desert Storm is published with support from the First Division Museum at Cantigny.
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The Fishing Creek Confederacy
A Story of Civil War Draft Resistance
Richard A. Sauers and Peter Tomasak
University of Missouri Press, 2012
Media Kit
 
           One hundred fifty years after the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln is thought of as one of the best presidents of the United States. However, most Americans forget that he was elected with only 40 percent of the popular vote. Many Democratic newspapers across the North mistrusted Lincoln’s claim that he would not abolish slavery, and the lukewarm support evidenced by them collapsed after Lincoln announced his preliminary Emancipation Proclamation in the fall of 1862. The advent of a national draft in the spring of 1863 only added fuel to the fire with anti-Lincoln Democrats arguing that it was illegal to draft civilians. Many newspaper editors advocated active resistance against the draft. 
 
            Governor Andrew Gregg Curtin of Pennsylvania was a staunch supporter of the Lincoln administration. The commonwealth supplied more than 360,000 white soldiers and 9,000 black soldiers during the conflict. However, there was sustained opposition to the war throughout the state, much of it fanned by the pens of Democratic newspaper editors. Though most opposition was disorganized and spontaneous, other aspects of the antiwar sentiment in the state occasionally erupted as major incidents. 

           
           In The Fishing Creek Confederacy, Richard A. Sauers and Peter Tomasak address the serious opposition to the draft in Columbia County, Pennsylvania, in 1864. Egged on by the anti-Lincoln newspaper editors, a number of men avoided the draft and formed ad hoc groups to protect themselves from arrest. The shooting of a Union lieutenant confronting draft evaders in July 1864 resulted in military intervention in the northern townships of the county. The troops arrested more than one hundred men, sending about half of them to a prison fort near Philadelphia. Some of these men were subjected to military trials in Harrisburg, the state capital, that fall and winter. The arrests led to bitter feelings that were slow to die. The military intervention eventually impacted a Pennsylvania gubernatorial election and led to a murder trial.
 
            Sauers and Tomasak describe the draft in Pennsylvania and consider how Columbia County fit into the overall draft process. Subsequent chapters take the reader through the events of the summer of 1864, including the interaction of soldiers and civilians in the county, the prison experiences of the men, and the trials. Later chapters cover the August 1865 Democratic rally at Nob Mountain and the effects of the draft episode after the war was over, including its influence on the 1872 election for governor, the 1891 murder trial, and the formation of the official Democratic version of the events, which has been used by historians ever since.
              The Fishing Creek Confederacy is the first book to address this episode and its aftermath in their entirety. Sauers and Tomasak present the story and try to disentangle the often contradictory nature of the sources and how both amateur and professional historians have used them.
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Five Days in October
The Lost Battalion of World War I
Robert H. Ferrell
University of Missouri Press, 2005
During American participation in World War I, many events caught the public’s attention, but none so much as the plight of the Lost Battalion. Comprising some five hundred men of the Seventy-seventh Division, the so-called battalion was entrapped on the side of a ravine in the Argonne Forest by German forces from October 2 to 7, 1918. The men’s courage under siege in the midst of rifle, machine-gun, mortar, and artillery fire (coming both day and night), with nothing to eat after the morning of the first day save grass and roots, and with water dangerous to obtain, has gone down in American history as comparable in heroism to the defense of the Alamo and the stand at the Little Big Horn of the troops of General George A. Custer.

Now, in Five Days in October, historian Robert H. Ferrell presents new material—previously unavailable—about what really happened during those days in the forest. Despite the description of them as a lost battalion, the men were neither lost nor a battalion. The name was coined by a New York newspaper editor who, upon learning that a sizable body of troops had been surrounded, thought up the notion of a Lost Battalion—it possessed a ring sure to catch the attention of readers.

The trapped men actually belonged to companies from two battalions of the Seventy-seventh, and their exact placement was well known, reported by runners at the outset of the action and by six carrier pigeons released by their commander, Major Charles W. Whittlesey, during the five days his men were there. The causes of the entrapment were several, including command failures and tactical errors. The men had been sent ahead of the main division line without attention to flanks, and because of that failure, they were surrounded. Thus began a siege that took the lives of many men, leading to the collapse of the colonel of the 308th Infantry Regiment and, many believe, to the suicide of Major Whittlesey three years later.

This book grew out of Ferrell’s discovery of new material in the U.S. Army Military History Institute at the Army War College from the papers of General Hugh A. Drum and in the National Archives in College Park, Maryland. The Drum papers contain the court-martial record of the lieutenant of a machine-gun unit attached to the battalions, who advised Major Whittlesey to surrender, while the Seventy-seventh Division files contain full accounts of the taut relations between the Lost Battalion’s brigade commander and the Seventy-seventh’s division commander. By including this material, Ferrell gives a new accounting of this intriguing affair. Five Days in October will be welcomed by all those interested in a fuller understanding of the story of the Lost Battalion.
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Five Stars
Missouri's Most Famous Generals
James F. Muench
University of Missouri Press, 2006
Missouri’s history is replete with strong and adventurous leaders, from Lewis and Clark to Harry S. Truman. It is no surprise, then, that the Show-Me State has produced a great number of military men and women, including thirty who attained the rank of general. In this clearly written and richly illustrated book, James F. Muench has profiled five of the best-known figures: Alexander William Doniphan, Sterling Price, Ulysses S. Grant, John J. Pershing, and Omar Bradley. These men represent a number of historical eras–from the Mexican-American War through World War II–and a variety of social and cultural backgrounds.
            Doniphan, who served in the Mexican-American War, and Price, who served in the Civil War on the Confederate side, were citizen soldiers who rose through the ranks of their local militias. Grant, who served in the Civil War on the Union side; Pershing, who served in World War I; and Bradley, who served in World War II, were professional soldiers who represented the trend in the modern army as general as manager and graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point. While noting the diversity among the generals, Muench also is careful to emphasize the connections and commonalities among them.
            Five Stars: Missouri’s Most Famous Generals dedicates one chapter to each general. With lively, clear language, Muench gives readers an effective and entertaining primer on the lives and times of Missouri’s celebrated generals and their roles in American history, focusing in particular on their battlefield exploits. This book is sure to appeal to anyone interested in Missouri history, as well as those interested in military leadership.
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Flannery O'Connor, Walker Percy, and the Aesthetic of Revelation
John D. Sykes, Jr.
University of Missouri Press, 2007

With his mastery of modernist technique and his depictions of characters obsessed with the past, Nobel laureate William Faulkner raised the bar for southern fiction writers. But the work of two later authors shows that the aesthetic of memory is not enough: Confederate thunder fades as they turn to an explicitly religious source of meaning.

            According to John Sykes, the fiction of Flannery O’Connor and Walker Percy provides occasions for divine revelation. He traces their work from its common roots in midcentury southern and Catholic intellectual life to show how the two adopted different theological emphases and rhetorical strategies—O’Connor building to climactic images, Percy striving for dialogue with the reader—as a means of uncovering the sacramental foundation of the created order.

            Sykes sets O’Connor and Percy against the background of the Southern Renaissance from which they emerged, showing not only how they shared a distinctly Christian notion of art that led them to see fiction as revelatory but also how their methods of revelation took them in different directions. Yet, despite their differences in strategy and emphasis, he argues that the two are united in their conception of the artist as “God’s sharp-eyed witness,” and he connects them with the philosophers and critics, both Christian and non-Christian, who had a meaningful influence on their work.

            Through sustained readings of key texts—particularly such O’Connor stories as “The Artificial Nigger” and “The Geranium” and Percy’s novels Love in the Ruins and The Second Coming—Sykes focuses on the intertwined themes of revelation, sacrament, and community. He views their work in relation to the theological difficulties that they were not able to overcome concerning community. For both writers, the question of community is further complicated by the changing nature of the South as the Lost Cause and segregation lose their holds and a new form of prosperity arises.

            By disclosing how O’Connor and Percy made aesthetic choices based on their Catholicism and their belief that fiction by its very nature is revelatory, Sykes demonstrates that their work cannot be seen as merely a continuation of the historical aesthetic that dominated southern literature for so long. Flannery O’Connor, Walker Percy, and the Aesthetic of Revelation is theoretically sophisticated without being esoteric and is accessible to any reader with a serious interest in these writers, brimming with fresh insights about both that clarify their approaches to art and enrich our understanding of their work.

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Food in Missouri
A Cultural Stew
Madeline Matson
University of Missouri Press, 1994

Corn, squash, and beans from the Native Americans; barbecue sauces from the Spanish; potatoes and sausages from the Germans: Missouri's foods include a bountiful variety of ingredients. In Food in Missouri: A Cultural Stew, Madeline Matson takes readers on an enticing journey through the history of this state's food, from the hunting and farming methods of the area's earliest inhabitants, through the contributions of the state's substantial African American population, to the fast-food purveyors of the microwave age.

Tracing the history of food preparation, preservation, and marketing, while highlighting the cultural traditions that engendered each change, Matson shows how advances in farming methods, the invention of the electric range, the development of cookbooks, and three waves of immigration have profoundly influenced what Missourians eat today. Along the way, she highlights some of the key people, places, and institutions in Missouri's food history: Irma S. Rombauer, author of Joy of Cooking; Stark Bro's Nurseries and Orchards in Louisiana, Missouri, the largest family-owned fruit-tree nursery in the world and the home of Delicious, Golden Delicious, and Gala apples; St. Louis's Soulard Market, established in 1779 and said to be the oldest public market west of the Mississippi; and Stone Hill Winery, a leader in Hermann's nationally recognized wine- making industry.

By bringing to life the traditions behind the foods we eat every day, Food in Missouri provides a unique perspective on the people who explored and settled the state, showing that Missouri's rich heritage truly is a cultural stew.

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Footsteps on the Ice
The Antarctic Diaries of Stuart D. Paine, Second Byrd Expedition
Stuart D. Paine, Edited & Intro by M. L. Paine
University of Missouri Press, 2007

In 1933 Antarctica was essentially unexplored. Admiral Richard Byrd launched his Second Expedition to chart the southernmost continent, primarily relying on the muscle power of dog teams and their drivers who skied or ran beside the loaded sledges as they traveled. The life-threatening challenges of moving glaciers, invisible crevasses, and horrific storms compounded the difficulties of isolation, darkness, and the unimaginable cold that defined the men’s lives.

Stuart Paine was a dog driver, radio operator, and navigator on the fifty-six-man expedition, the bold and complex venture that is now famous for Byrd’s dramatic rescue from Bolling Advance Weather Base located 115 miles inland. Paine’s diaries represent the only published contemporary account written by a member of the Second Expedition. They reveal a behind-the-scenes look at the contentiousness surrounding the planned winter rescue of Byrd and offer unprecedented insights into the expedition’s internal dynamics.

Equally riveting is Paine’s breathtaking narrative of the fall and summer field operations as the field parties depended on their own resources in the face of interminable uncertainty and peril. Undertaking the longest and most hazardous sledging journey of the expedition, Paine guided the first American party from the edge of the Ross Sea more than seven hundred miles up the Ross Ice Shelf and the massive Thorne (Scott) Glacier to approach the South Pole. He and two other men skied more than fourteen hundred miles in eighty-eight days to explore and map part of Antarctica for the first time.

Footsteps on the Ice reveals the daily struggles, extreme personalities, and the matter-of-fact bravery of early explorers who are now fading into history. Detailing the men’s frustrations, annoyances, and questioning of their leader, Paine’s entries provide rare insight into how Byrd conducted his expeditions. Paine exposes the stresses of living under the snow in Little America during the four-month-long winter night, trapped in dim, crowded huts and black tunnels, while the men uneasily mulled over their leader’s isolation at Advance Base. The fates of Paine’s dogs, which provided some of his most difficult and rewarding experiences, are also described—his relationship with Jack, his lead dog, is an entrancing story in itself.

Featuring previously unpublished photographs and illustrations, Footsteps on the Ice documents the period in Antarctic exploration that bridged the “heroic era” and the modern age of mechanized travel. Depicting almost incomprehensible mental and physical duress and unhesitating courage, Paine’s tale is one of the most compelling stories in polar history, surpassing other accounts with its immediacy and adventure as it captures the majesty and mystery of the untouched Antarctic.

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The Forgotten Generation
American Children and World War II
Lisa L. Ossian
University of Missouri Press, 2011
Two days after the attack on Pearl Harbor, President Roosevelt addressed the nation by radio, saying, “We are all in it—all the way. Every single man, woman, and child is a partner in the most tremendous undertaking of our American history.” So began a continuing theme of the World War II years: the challenges of wartime would not be borne by adults alone. Men, women, and children would all be involved in the work of war.
The struggles endured by American civilians during the Second World War are well documented, but accounts of the war years have mostly deliberated on the grown-ups’ sacrifices. In The Forgotten Generation: American Children and World War II, Lisa L. Ossian explores the war’s full implications for the lives of children. In thematic chapters, the author delves into children’s experiences of family, school, play, work, and home, uncovering the range of effects the war had on youths of various ethnicities and backgrounds.
Since the larger U.S. culture so fervently supported the war effort, adults rarely sheltered children from the realities of the war and the trials of life on the home front. Children listened for news of battles over the radio, labored in munitions factories, and saved money for war bonds. They watched enlisted men—their fathers, uncles, and brothers—leave for duty and worried about the safety of soldiers overseas. They prayed during the D-Day invasion, mourned President Roosevelt’s death, and celebrated on V-J Day . . . all at an age when such sharp events are so difficult to understand. Ossian draws from a multitude of sources, including the writings of 1940s children, to demonstrate the great extent of these young people’s participation in the wartime culture.
World War II transformed a generation of youths as no other experience of the twentieth century would, but somehow the children at home during the war—compressed between the “Greatest Generation” and the “Baby Boomers”—slipped into the margins of U.S. history. The Forgotten Generation: American Children and World War II remembers these children and their engagement in “the most tremendous undertaking” that the war effort came to be. By bringing the depth of those experiences to light, Ossian makes a compelling contribution to the literature on American childhood and the research on this remarkable period of U.S. history.
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Forgotten Prophet
The Life of Randolph Bourne
Bruce Clayton
University of Missouri Press, 1998

Rarely has an individual's life been so inseparable from his writing as was Randolph Bourne's. His work reveals not only his political viewpoints but also his humanistic personality and the tumultuous era during which he lived. Forgotten Prophet carefully examines the intellect and personality of the "born essayist" who saw clearly both his century's potential for harmony and the danger that it faced from the lingering tides of nineteenth-century European nationalism.

Disfigured and hunchbacked, Bourne reacted to his disability not with bitterness or self-pity, but rather with an exuberant love for beauty and a compassion for humanity that created in him a longing for a truly cosmopolitan society—a "trans-national America" that would draw its strength from ethnic diversity and political pluralism. Nearly alone among American intellectuals, Bourne actively denounced involvement in World War I. He foresaw that, beyond the horrible cost in young lives, the war would bring in its wake the spiritual impoverishment of the nation and the disillusionment of its youth; it would strangle reform and social tolerance, exacerbate racism and nativism, and plant the seeds for further international instability. Although derided and largely ignored at the time they were written, Bourne's fearful predictions would all too quickly be confirmed in the dissolute frenzy of the jazz age, the turmoil of the 1930s, and the social chaos that brought about the rise of fascism in Europe and, soon, an even more destructive war.

Bourne did not live to witness this terrifying unfolding of events. His career as a social critic was brief but prolific. When he died in 1918 at the age of thirty-two, a victim of the flu epidemic, he had completed three books and more than a hundred essays. His first book, Youth and Life, is considered by some to be the original manifesto of the counterculture. From his earliest years as a writer, Bourne was identified as a voice for youth, idealism, and progress in human relations. Forgotten Prophet characterizes Bourne not just as a foreseer of this century's bloodshed but, equally important, as an apostle of hope—a champion of what was best, most truthful in the arts, in politics, and in the conduct of our daily lives.

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The Foundation of the CIA
Harry Truman, The Missouri Gang, and the Origins of the Cold War
Richard E. Schroeder
University of Missouri Press, 2017
This highly accessible book provides new material and a fresh perspective on American National Intelligence practice, focusing on the first fifty years of the twentieth century, when the United States took on the responsibilities of a global superpower during the first years of the Cold War.  Late to the art of intelligence, the United States during World War II created a new model of combining intelligence collection and analytic functions into a single organization—the OSS. At the end of the war, President Harry Truman and a small group of advisors developed a new, centralized agency directly subordinate to and responsible to the President, despite entrenched institutional resistance. Instrumental to the creation of the CIA was a group known colloquially as the “Missouri Gang,” which included not only President Truman but equally determined fellow Missourians Clark Clifford, Sidney Souers, and Roscoe Hillenkoetter.
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Francois Vallé and His World
Upper Louisiana before Lewis and Clark
Carl J. Ekberg
University of Missouri Press, 2002

Winner of the Kemper & Leila Williams Prize in Louisiana History for excellence in historical scholarship for the year 2002, awarded by The Historic New Orleans Collection, The Louisiana Historical Association.

In François Vallé and His World, Carl Ekberg provides a fascinating biography of François Vallé (1716–1783), placing him within the context of his place and time. Vallé, who was born in Beauport, Canada, immigrated to Upper Louisiana (the Illinois Country) as a penniless common laborer sometime during the early 1740s. Engaged in agriculture, lead mining, and the Indian trade, he ultimately became the wealthiest and most powerful individual in Upper Louisiana, although he never learned to read or write.
 
Ekberg focuses on Upper Louisiana in colonial times, long before Lewis and Clark arrived in the Mississippi River valley and before American sovereignty had reached the eastern bank of the Mississippi. He vividly captures the ambience of life in the eighteenth-century frontier agricultural society that Vallé inhabited, shedding new light on the French and Spanish colonial regimes in Louisiana and on the Mississippi River frontier before the Americans arrived.
 
Based entirely on primary source documents—wills and testaments, parish registers of baptisms, marriages, and burials, and Spanish administrative correspondence—found in archives ranging from St. Louis and Ste. Genevieve to New Orleans and Seville, François Vallé and His World traces not only the life of François Vallé and the lives of his immediate family members, but also the lives of his slaves. In doing so, it provides a portrait of Missouri’s very first black families, something that has never before been attempted. Ekberg also analyzes how the illiterate Vallé became the richest person in all of Upper Louisiana, and how he rose in the sociopolitical hierarchy to become an important servant of the Spanish monarchy.
 
François Vallé and His World provides a useful corrective to the fallacious notion that Missouri’s history began with the arrival of Lewis and Clark at the turn of the nineteenth century. Anyone with an interest in colonial history or the history of the Mississippi River valley will find this book of great value.
[more]

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Frank Blair
Lincoln's Conservative
William E. Parrish
University of Missouri Press, 1998

Known for his fearlessness in both the political arena and the battlefield, Frank Blair is a Missouri legend. As a member of one of the most prominent and powerful political families in America during the nineteenth century, possibly the equivalent of the twentieth-century Kennedys, Frank was steeped in politics at an early age. The youngest son of Francis Preston Blair, editor of Andrew Jackson's Washington Globe and adviser to Presidents Andrew Jackson through Andrew Johnson, Frank Blair was greatly influenced by his father, who had high political expectations of him.

Volatile and combative, Blair was either strongly admired or hated by the public figures of his day. He held adamantly to his opinions and fought hard for his political causes. He was an ardent supporter of Abraham Lincoln and championed the president's program in Congress and in Missouri against the frequent assaults of the Radicals. Credited with being the principal leader in saving Missouri for the Union in 1861, Blair later served with great distinction at Vicksburg, Chattanooga, and in the Sherman campaigns throughout Georgia and the Carolinas. He is one of only two Missourians ever honored by his state in Statuary Hall in the U.S. Capitol.

Frank Blair: Lincoln's Conservative reveals the full extent of Blair's importance as a national political figure. Specialists in nineteenth-century America, students of Missouri history, and Civil War buffs will welcome this study, which will long stand as the definitive work on this influential and colorful character.

[more]

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Freedom, Inc. and Black Political Empowerment
Micah W. Kubic
University of Missouri Press, 2016

Much has been written about black urban empowerment and about the candidates—particularly the winning candidates—who are the public face of such shifts in power. Authors invariably mention the important role played by black political organizations in electing black officials or organizing communities, but Micah W. Kubic goes further, making, for the first time, one such organization the focus of a book-length study. Kubic tells the story of black political empowerment in Kansas City through the prism of Freedom, Inc., the nation’s oldest existing black political organization.

Using interviews and observation of participants as well as archival research, Kubic offers historical and political analysis of Freedom, Inc. from its founding in 1962 through its role in municipal elections of 2007. Kubic asserts that strong local organizations are living, dynamic organisms and that they, rather than charismatic candidates or interracial alliances, are the crucial players in both determining political outcomes and advancing black interests in urban areas.

[more]

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A French Aristocrat in the American West
The Shattered Dreams of De Lassus De Luzières
Carl J. Ekberg & Foreword by Marie-Sol de La Tour d'Auvergne
University of Missouri Press, 2010
In 1790, Pierre-Charles de Lassus de Luzières gathered his wife and children and fled Revolutionary France. His trek to America was prompted by his “purchase” of two thousand acres situated on the bank of the Ohio River from the Scioto Land Company—the institution that infamously swindled French buyers and sold them worthless titles to property. When de Luzières arrived and realized he had been defrauded, he chose, in a momentous decision, not to return home to France. Instead, he committed to a life in North America and began planning a move to the Mississippi River valley.
De Luzières dreamed of creating a vast commercial empire that would stretch across the frontier, extending the entire length of the Ohio River and also down the Mississippi from Ste. Genevieve to New Orleans. Though his grandiose goal was never realized, de Luzières energetically pursued other important initiatives. He founded the city of New Bourbon in what is now Missouri and recruited American settlers to move westward across the Mississippi River. The highlight of his career was being appointed Spanish commandant of the New Bourbon District, and his 1797 census of that community is an invaluable historical document. De Luzières was a significant political player during the final years of the Spanish regime in Louisiana, but likely his greatest contributions to American history are his extensive commentaries on the Mississippi frontier at the close of the colonial era.
A French Aristocrat in the American West: The Shattered Dreams of De Lassus de Luzières is both a narrative of this remarkable man’s life and a compilation of his extensive writings. In Part I of the book, author Carl Ekberg offers a thorough account of de Luzières, from his life in Pre-Revolutionary France to his death in 1806 in his house in New Bourbon. Part II is a compilation, in translation, of de Luzières’s most compelling correspondence. Until now very little of his writing has been published, despite the fact that his letters constitute one of the largest bodies of writing ever produced by a French émigré in North America.
Though de Luzières’s presence in early American history has been largely overlooked by scholars, the work left behind by this unlikely frontiersman merits closer inspection. A French Aristocrat in the American West brings the words and deeds of this fascinating man to the public for the first time.
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A Friendship That Lasted a Lifetime
The Correspondence Between Alfred Schutz and Eric Voegelin
Edited by Gerhard Wagner and Gilbert Weiss, Translated by William Petropulos
University of Missouri Press, 2011
Scholarly correspondence can be as insightful as scholarly work itself, as it often documents the motivating forces of its writers’ intellectual ideas while illuminating their lives more clearly. The more complex the authors’ scholarly works and the more troubled the eras in which they lived, the more substantial, and potentially fascinating, their correspondence. This is especially true of the letters between Alfred Schutz (18991959) and Eric Voegelin (19011985). The scholars lived in incredibly dramatic times and produced profound, complex works that continue to confound academics. The communication between these two giants of the social sciences, as they sent their thoughts to one another, was crucial to the work of both men.
            A Friendship That Lasted a Lifetime: The Correspondence between Alfred Schutz and Eric Voegelin demonstrates that Schutz and Voegelin shared a remarkable friendship: they first met as students in Vienna in the 1920s and found themselves great partners in discussion; years later they were pushed out of Europe by Nazi pressure and went to work at separate American universities. For twenty years they wrote each other, developing their respective scientific works in that dialogue. The letters bear witness to their friendship during the years they spent in exile in the United States, and they document the men’s tentative attempts at formulating the theories of “lifeworld” and “gnosis” associated with Schutz and Voegelin today.
            The entire collection of 238 letters was printed in German in 2004, but this edited volume is the first to present their correspondence in English and offers a selection of the most important letters—those that contributed to the thinkers’ theoretical discussions and served as background to their most significant thoughts. Editors Gerhard Wagner and Gilbert Weiss do not analyze Schutz’s and Voegelin’s works in light of the correspondence—rather, they present the collection to create a framework for new interpretations.
            A Friendship That Lasted a Lifetime takes a unique look at two major social scientists. This volume is a valuable resource in the study of Voegelin’s political philosophy and Alfred Schutz’s contribution to American sociology and marks an important addition to the literature on these remarkable men. Showing how scholarly discourse and the dialogue of everyday life can shed light on one another, the book finally presents this correspondence for an American audience and is not to be missed by scholars of philosophy and sociology.
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From Anzio to the Alps
An American Soldier's Story
Lloyd M. Wells
University of Missouri Press, 2004
This compelling work is Lloyd M. Wells’s firsthand account of World War II based on a journal he kept during the war, letters he sent home, and personal records, as well as recollections of people and events.
In June 1941, the twenty-one-year-old Wells was drafted into the army. He was commissioned second lieutenant after he attended O.C.S. and was later promoted to first lieutenant with the First Armored Division. He saw action in North Africa, Italy, and Germany and was awarded the Combat Infantry Badge, the Purple Heart, and the Bronze Star.
Wells offers the reader information that has never before been provided. He tells exactly what happened to 2/7 Queens on the night of February 21, 1944, when the troops came up to “the caves” at Anzio. He also depicts what happened during the last offensive in Italy and what armored infantry troops experienced on the perimeter of the attack. This book, however, is not just a story of battle actions. It is a personal story about the “old Army” and how young soldiers were transformed by it during one of the greatest upheavals in world history.
Wells’s goal in writing this book was to leave behind “an account of a simpler time and of the funny, sad, terrorizing, and tender moments of a war which, with the death of each man or woman who lived through it, recedes just a little bit further into the nation’s past.” He accomplished that and so much more.
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From Dickinson to Dylan
Visions of Transcendence in Modernist Literature
Glenn Hughes
University of Missouri Press, 2020
Glenn Hughes examines the ways in which six literary modernists—Emily Dickinson, Marcel Proust, T. S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, Samuel Beckett, and Bob Dylan—have explored the human relationship to a transcendent mystery of meaning. Hughes argues that visions of transcendence are, perhaps surprisingly, a significant feature in modernist literature, and that these authors’ works account for many of the options for interpreting what transcendent reality might be.

This work is unique in its extended focus, in a comparative study spanning a century, on the persistence and centrality in modernist literature of the struggle to understand and articulate the dependence of human meaning on the mystery of transcendent meaning. Hughes shows us that each of these authors is a mystic in his or her way, and that none are tempted by the modern inclination to suppose that meaning originates with human beings. Together, they address one of the most difficult and important challenges of modern literature: how to be a mystic in modernity.
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front cover of From Edward Brooke to Barack Obama
From Edward Brooke to Barack Obama
African American Political Success, 1966-2008
Dennis S. Nordin
University of Missouri Press, 2012
In 2008, American history was forever changed with the election of Barack Obama, the United States’ first African American president. However, Obama was far from the first African American to run for a public office or to face the complexities of race in a political campaign. For over a century, offices ranging from city mayor to state senator have been filled by African Americans, making race a factor in many elections.

In From Edward Brooke to Barack Obama, Dennis S. Nordin navigates the history of biracial elections by examining the experiences of a variety of African American politicians from across the country, revealing how voters, both black and white, respond to the issue of race in an election.
The idea to compare the African American political experience across several levels of office first occurred to Nordin as he was researching Arthur W. Mitchell’s 1934 congressional campaign. The question of white voter support was of particular significance, as was whether the continuation of that support depended upon his avoiding minority issues in office. To begin answering these questions and others, Nordin compares the experiences of eleven African American politicians. Taken from across the country to ensure a wide sample and accurate depiction of the subject, the case studies examined include Tom Bradley, mayor of Los Angeles; David Dinkins, mayor of New York; Freeman Bosley Jr., mayor of St. Louis; Senator Edward Brooke of Massachusetts; Senator Carol Moseley-Braun of Illinois; Governor L. Douglas Wilder of Virginia; and Representative J. C. Watts Jr. of Oklahoma, among others. As Nordin analyzes these individuals and their contribution to the whole, he concludes that biracial elections in the United States have yet to progress beyond race.

From Edward Brooke to Barack Obama investigates the implications of race in politics, a highly relevant topic in today’s American society. It offers readers a chronological overview of the progress made over the last several decades as well as shows where there is room for growth in the political arena. By taking a pertinent topic for the era and placing it in the context of history, Nordin successfully chronicles the roles of race and race relations in American politics.
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front cover of From French Community to Missouri Town
From French Community to Missouri Town
Ste. Genevieve in the Nineteenth Century
Bonnie Stepenoff
University of Missouri Press, 2006
A small French settlement thrived for half a century on the west bank of the Mississippi River before the Louisiana Purchase made it part of the United States in 1803. But for the citizens of Ste. Genevieve, becoming Americans involved more than simply acknowledging a transfer of power.
            Bonnie Stepenoff has written an engaging history of Missouri’s oldest permanent settlement to explore what it meant to be Americanized in our country’s early years. Picking up where other studies of Ste. Genevieve leave off, she traces the dramatic changes wrought by the transfer of sovereignty to show the process of social and economic transformation on a young nation’s new frontier.
            Stepenoff tells how French and Spanish residents—later joined by German immigrants and American settlers—made necessary compromises to achieve order and community, forging a democracy that represented different approaches to such matters as education, religion, property laws, and women’s rights. By examining the town’s historical circumstances, its legal institutions, and especially its popular customs, she shows how Ste. Genevieve differed from other towns along the Mississippi.
            Stepenoff has plumbed the town’s voluminous archives to share previously untold stories of Ste. Genevieve citizens that reflect how Americanization affected their lives. In these pages we meet a free woman of color who sued a prominent white family for support of her children; a slave who obtained her own freedom and then purchased her daughters’ freedom; a local sheriff who joined Aaron Burr’s conspiracy; and a doctor who treated cholera victims and later became a U.S. senator. More than colorful characters, these are real people shown pursuing justice and liberty under a new flag.
The story of Ste. Genevieve serves as a testament to Tocqueville’s observations on American democracy while also challenging some of the commonly held beliefs about that institution. From French Community to Missouri Town provides a better understanding not only of how democracy works but also of what it meant to become American when America was still young.
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front cover of From Fugitive Slave to Free Man
From Fugitive Slave to Free Man
The Autobiographies of William Wells Brown
Edited & Intro by William L. Andrews
University of Missouri Press, 2003
Growing up as a slave in an urban area of Missouri allowed William Wells Brown to live a life that was different from that of the plantation slave so often discussed in slave histories. Born in 1814, the son of a white man and a slave woman, Brown spent the first twenty years of his life mainly in St. Louis and the surrounding areas working as a house servant, a field hand, a tavern keeper’s assistant, a printer’s helper, an assistant in a medical office, and a handyman for James Walker, a Missouri slave trader. During his time with Walker, Brown made three trips up and down the Mississippi River. These trips allowed him to encounter slavery from every perspective and provided experiences he would draw on throughout his writing career.
In From Fugitive Slave to Free Man, two of Brown’s best-known writings, Narrative of William W. Brown, A Fugitive Slave. Written by Himself and My Southern Home: or, The South and Its People, are reprinted together with an expanded introduction by William L. Andrews. Brown’s Narrative, published in 1847, was his first autobiographical writing and was received with wide acclaim, going through four American and five British editions. Only Frederick Douglass’s autobiography sold better, casting a constant shadow over Brown’s works. Douglass and his life were touted as extraordinary, while Brown was referred to as the typical “every man’s slave.” However, the life of William Brown and his writings prove otherwise.
Determined to be a man of letters, Brown was the first African American to write a travel book, Three Years in Europe: or, Places I Have Seen and People I Have Met, which was based on his time abroad in Paris at an international peace conference and in England on an anti-slavery crusade. A year later he published Clotel, the first novel written by an African American and the first to exploit the decades-old rumors of an affair between President Thomas Jefferson and his slave Sally Hemmings. Between 1854 and 1867, Brown published the first drama by an African American, The Escape: or, A Leap for Freedom, and two volumes of black history, one of which is the first military history of the African American in the United States.
In 1880, Brown wrote his final autobiography, My Southern Home. In it he endeavors to explain the complex interrelationships between blacks and whites in the South. Taken together, both of the books included in this volume provide fascinating contrasts, especially in their depictions of slavery, and illustrate the creative innovations Brown developed in various forms of life writing—some of which were more experimental than Douglass’s and more prophetic of the future of African American literature.
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From Home Guards to Heroes
The 87th Pennsylvania and Its Civil War Community
Dennis W. Brandt
University of Missouri Press, 2007
The soldiers of the 87th Pennsylvania Infantry fought in the Overland campaign under Grant and in the Shenandoah valley under Sheridan, notably at the Battle of Monocacy. But as Dennis Brandt reveals in From Home Guards to Heroes, their real story takes place beyond the battlefield. The 87th drew its men from the Scotch-Irish and German populations of York and Adams counties in south-central Pennsylvania—a region with closer ties to Baltimore than to Philadelphia—where some citizens shared Marylanders’ southern views on race while others aided the Underground Railroad.
Brandt’s unique regimental history investigates why these “boys from York” enlisted and why some deserted, the ways in which soldiers reflected their home communities, and the area’s attitudes toward the war both before and after hostilities broke out. Brandt takes a humanistic approach to the Civil War, revealing the more personal aspects of the struggle in a book that focuses on the soldiers themselves.
Using their own words to describe action both on and off the battlefield, he sheds light on the lives of ordinary men: the comparative values of farm and city boys, their motives and concerns, the effect of battle on soldiers and their families, and the suffering that veterans took to the grave. Brandt also looks at soldiers’ racial views, illuminating their deepest worries about the war, and at community politics and problems of discipline surrounding this ideologically divided unit.
Grounded in more than a decade of research into nearly two thousand military records, this is one of the few regimental histories based on more than one thousand pension records for the entire regiment, plus nearly eight hundred additional record sets for other area soldiers. Brandt tapped regional newspapers and a cache of unpublished letters and diaries—some from private collections not previously known—to provide an invaluable account of Civil War sensibilities in a northern area bordering a slave state.
From Home Guards to Heroes is a book about war in which humanity rather than troop movement takes center stage. Engagingly written for a wide audience and meticulously researched, it offers a distinctive image of a community and the intimate lives of the men it sent off to fight—and a story that will intrigue any Civil War aficionado.
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From Little Houses to Little Women
Revisiting a Literary Childhood
Nancy McCabe
University of Missouri Press, 2014
A typical travel book takes readers along on a trip with the author, but a great travel book does much more than that, inviting readers along on a mental and spiritual journey as well. This distinction is what separates Nancy McCabe’s From Little Houses to Little Women from the typical and allows it to take its place not only as a great travel book but also as a memoir about the children’s books that have shaped all of our imaginations.

McCabe, who grew up in Kansas just a few hours from the Ingalls family’s home in Little House on the Prairie, always felt a deep connection with Laura Ingalls Wilder, author of the Little House series. McCabe read Little House on the Prairie during her childhood and visited Wilder sites around the Midwest with her aunt when she was thirteen. But then she didn’t read the series again until she decided to revisit in adulthood the books that had so influenced her childhood. It was this decision that ultimately sparked her desire to visit the places that inspired many of her childhood favorites, taking her on a journey that included stops in the Missouri of Laura Ingalls Wilder, the Minnesota of Maud Hart Lovelace, the Massachusetts of Louisa May Alcott, and even the Canada of Lucy Maud Montgomery.

From Little Houses to Little Women reveals McCabe’s powerful connection to the characters and authors who inspired many generations of readers. Traveling with McCabe as she rediscovers the books that shaped her and ultimately helped her to forge her own path, readers will enjoy revisiting their own childhood favorites as well.
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From Missouri
An American Farmer Looks Back
Thad Snow, Edited by Bonnie Stepenoff
University of Missouri Press, 2012

After years of subjecting the editors of St. Louis newspapers to eloquent letters on subjects as diverse as floods, tariffs, and mules, Thad Snow published his memoir From Missouri in his mid-seventies in 1954. He was barely retired from farming for more than half a century, mostly in the Missouri Bootheel, or “Swampeast Missouri,” as he called it. Now back in print with a new introduction by historian Bonnie Stepenoff, these sketches of a life, a region, and an era will delight readers new to this distinctive American voice as well as readers already familiar with this masterpiece of the American Midwest.

Snow purchased a thousand acres of southeast Missouri swampland in 1910, cleared it, drained it, and eventually planted it in cotton. Although he employed sharecroppers, he grew to become a bitter critic of the labor system after a massive flood and the Great Depression worsened conditions for these already-burdened workers. Shocking his fellow landowners, Snow invited the Southern Tenant Farmers Union to organize the workers on his land. He was even once accused of fomenting a strike and publicly threatened with horsewhipping.

Snow’s admiration for Owen Whitfield, the African American leader of the Sharecroppers’ Roadside Demonstration, convinced him that nonviolent resistance could defeat injustice. Snow embraced pacifism wholeheartedly and denounced all war as evil even as America mobilized for World War II after the attack on Pearl Harbor. In the late 1940s and early 1950s, he became involved with creating Missouri’s conservation movement. Near the end of his life, he found a retreat in the Missouri Ozarks, where he wrote this recollection of his life.

This unique and honest series of personal essays expresses the thoughts of a farmer, a hunter, a husband, a father and grandfather, a man with a soft spot for mules and dogs and all kinds of people. Snow’s prose reveals much about a way of life in the region during the first half of the twentieth century, as well as the social and political events that affected the entire nation. Whether arguing that a good stock dog should be left alone to do its work, explaining the process of making swampland suitable for agriculture, or putting forth his case for world peace, Snow’s ideas have a special authenticity because they did not come from an ivory tower or a think tank—they came From Missouri.

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front cover of From Mountain Man to Millionaire
From Mountain Man to Millionaire
The "Bold and Dashing Life" of Robert Campbell, Revised and Expanded Edition
William R. Nester
University of Missouri Press, 2011
The western fur trade era—a time when trappers and traders endured constant danger from man, beast, and weather—was one of the most colorful periods in American history. Over a decade ago, William R. Nester wrote the first biography of Robert Campbell (1804–1879); the subsequent discovery of nearly five hundred new documents, most from two major caches of letters, led to this even-more-detailed and vivid account of Campbell’s self-described “bold and dashing life.”

Campbell came to America from Ireland in 1822 and entered the fur trade soon after. He quickly rose from trapper to brigade leader to partner, all within a half dozen years, and this new edition includes an expanded narrative of his adventures in the Rocky Mountain fur trade. In the mid-1830s, having amassed considerable wealth, Campbell retired from the mountains and embarked on a new career. He returned to St. Louis and built up a business empire that embraced mercantile, steamboat, railroad, and banking interests, thus becoming a leading force behind the region’s economic development. A more extensive account of the cutthroat business world in which Campbell operated now enriches this portion of the book.

Nester masterfully depicts the “sterling character” for which Campbell was renowned. Campbell enjoyed deep and enduring friendships and strong familial ties, both in America and abroad. Although he was an outstanding businessman and philanthropist, his personal life was marred by tragedy. Ten of his thirteen children died prematurely. Despite those tragic losses, his faith in God never faltered. He believed that all worldly successes should honor God and once wrote that , “all worldly gain is but dross.” This edition elucidates the complex relations among his family and chronicles both tragic events and humorous incidents in more depth.

Exploring the letters, journals, and account books that Campbell left behind, Nester places him in the context of the times in which he lived, showing the economic, political, social, and cultural forces that provided the opportunities and challenges that shaped his life. Nester provides new insights into Campbell’s ownership of slaves, his attitudes toward slavery, and his behind-the-scenes political and economic activities during the Civil War. This comprehensive exploration of Robert Campbell’s life depicts a fascinating era in American history.
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From Oligarchy to Republicanism
The Great Task of Reconstruction
Forrest A. Nabors
University of Missouri Press, 2017
On December 4, 1865, members of the 39th United States Congress walked into the Capitol Building to begin their first session after the end of the Civil War. They understood their responsibility to put the nation back on the path established by the American Founding Fathers. The moment when the Republicans in the Reconstruction Congress remade the nation and renewed the law is in a class of rare events. The Civil War should be seen in this light.

In From Oligarchy to Republicanism: The Great Task of Reconstruction, Forrest A. Nabors shows that the ultimate goal of the Republican Party, the war, and Reconstruction was the same. This goal was to preserve and advance republicanism as the American founders understood it, against its natural, existential enemy: oligarchy. The principle of natural equality justified American republicanism and required abolition and equal citizenship. Likewise, slavery and discrimination on the basis of color stand on the competing moral foundation of oligarchy, the principle of natural inequality, which requires ranks.

The effect of slavery and the division of the nation into two “opposite systems of civilization” are causally linked. Charles Devens, a lawyer who served as a general in the Union Army, and his contemporaries understood that slavery’s existence transformed the character of political society.

One of those dramatic effects was the increased power of slaveowners over those who did not have slaves. When the slave state constitutions enumerated slaves in apportioning representation using the federal three-fifths ratio or by other formulae, intra-state sections where slaves were concentrated would receive a substantial grant of political power for slave ownership. In contrast, low slave-owning sections of the state would lose political representation and political influence over the state. This contributed to the non-slaveholders’ loss of political liberty in the slave states and provided a direct means by which the slaveholders acquired and maintained their rule over non-slaveholders.

This book presents a shared analysis of the slave South, synthesized from the writings and speeches of the Republicans who served in the Thirty-Eighth, Thirty-Ninth or Fortieth Congress from 1863-1869. The account draws from their writings and speeches dated before, during, and after their service in Congress. Nabors shows how the Republican majority, charged with the responsibility of reconstructing the South, understood the South.

Republicans in Congress were generally united around the fundamental problem and goal of Reconstruction. They regarded their work in the same way as they regarded the work of the American founders. Both they and the founders were engaged in regime change, from monarchy in the one case, and from oligarchy in the other, to republicanism. The insurrectionary states’ governments had to be reconstructed at their foundations, from oligarchic to republican. The sharp differences within Congress pertained to how to achieve that higher goal.
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From Prairie to Prison
The Life of Social Activist Kate Richards O'Hare
Sally M. Miller
University of Missouri Press, 1993

This is the first full-length biography of the woman who crusaded tirelessly for women, workers, and children, and became the most celebrated socialist woman from the West.

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front cover of From Renaissance to Baroque
From Renaissance to Baroque
Essays on Literature and Art
Louis L. Martz
University of Missouri Press, 1991

Distinguished critic and scholar Louis L. Martz refreshingly addresses some of the central concerns in current studies of English poetry from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, exploring the context of religious controversy within which this poetry developed and the relationship of poetry to the visual arts.

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front cover of From SWEETBACK to SUPER FLY
From SWEETBACK to SUPER FLY
Race and Film Audiences in Chicago's Loop
Gerald R. Butters, Jr.
University of Missouri Press, 2014
Racial politics and capitalism found a way to blend together in 1970s Chicago in the form of movie theaters targeted specifically toward African Americans. In From Sweetback to Super Fly, Gerald Buttersexamines the movie theaters in Chicago’s Loop that became, as he describes them, “black spaces” during the early 1970s with theater managers making an effort to gear their showings toward the African American community by using black-themed and blaxploitation films.
Butters covers the wide range of issues that influenced the theaters, from changing racial patterns to the increasingly decrepit state of Chicago’s inner city and the pressure on businesses and politicians alike to breathe life into the dying area. Through his extensive research, Butters provides an in-depth look at this phenomenon, delving into an area that has not previously been explored. His close examination of how black-themed films were marketed and how theaters showing these films tried to draw in crowds sheds light on race issues both from an industrial standpoint on the side of the theaters and movie producers, as well as from a cultural standpoint on the side of the moviegoers and the city of Chicago as a whole. Butters provides a wealth of information on a very interesting yet underexamined part of history, making From Sweetback to Super Fly a supremely enjoyable and informative book.
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front cover of From the Battlefront to the Bridal Suite
From the Battlefront to the Bridal Suite
Media Coverage of British War Brides, 1942-1946
Barbara G. Friedman
University of Missouri Press, 2007

       With their gregarious natures and casual styles, American GIs in wartime England were instantly attractive to British women—especially in the absence of their fighting men. As a result, some seventy thousand British war brides returned to the United States—with many on the home front at first suspecting that the GIs were somehow being exploited.

            The war brides’ stories have been told in memoirs, romantic novels, and immigration history. Barbara Friedman sheds new light on their experiences by focusing on media representations of sexuality and marriage in wartime, showing how mass media interpretations turned from public suspicion of war brides to popular acceptance.

            Friedman tells how British media first insisted that GIs had come to fight, not to woo the locals, and shrugged off the first brides as an “American problem.” Yet, as Friedman shows, the British media were complicit in encouraging the relationships in the first place: the British press promoted a hospitality program that deemed the entertainment of American troops “patriotic duty,” while women’s magazines hailed American men as ideal husbands and the United States as a promised land.

From the American perspective, Friedman reveals, despite rules against foreign marriages, the U.S. Army encouraged GI-civilian fraternization through armed service publications, attitudes toward GI sexuality, and participation in the hospitality program. Armed service publications went from depicting British women as “frowsy dames” to honoring them as models of domesticity, while newspapers back home eventually legitimized the marriages by casting the brides as welcome additions to American society. Meanwhile, American women’s magazines viewed them as more similar to than different from their American counterparts and called on readers to help British brides master American homemaking.

            By combining letters and diaries of brides with published accounts, Friedman identifies accuracies and inaccuracies in the media record as well as gaps in coverage. She considers how the brides saw themselves compared to their media images and shows how the media co-opted brides as symbols of the Anglo-American “special friendship,” postwar power imbalance, and gendered ideals of marriage and domestication.

            From the Battlefront to the Bridal Suite is the untold story of overlooked participants in the most celebrated drama of the twentieth century—women whose lives were shaped profoundly by a war that was more than just a male enterprise. It shows the power of the press in the most unlikely matters and suggests a broader definition of the wartime experience.

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front cover of From Whence Cometh My Help
From Whence Cometh My Help
The African American Community at Hollins College
Ethel Morgan Smith
University of Missouri Press, 2000

In 1842 Charles Lewis Cocke arrived in Roanoke, Virginia, with sixteen slaves; there, he founded Hollins College, an elite woman's school. Many of the early students also brought their slaves to the college with them. Upon Emancipation some of the African Americans of the community "mostly women" stayed on as servants, forming what is now called the Hollins Community. Although the servants played an integral part in the college's success, students were strongly discouraged from acknowledging them as people. Rules forbidding any "familiarity" with the servants perpetuated a prejudicial attitude toward the African American community that would persist well into the 1940s.

Determined to give voice to the African American community that served as the silent workforce for Hollins College, Ethel Morgan Smith succeeded in finding individuals to step forward and tell their stories. From Whence Cometh My Help examines the dynamics of an institution built on the foundations of slavery and so steeped in tradition that it managed to perpetuate servitude for generations. Interviewing senior community members, Smith gives recognition to the invisible population that provided and continues to provide the labor support for Hollins College for more than 150 years.

Although African American students have been admitted to the college for roughly thirty years, to date only one person from the Hollins Community has graduated from the college. From Whence Cometh My Help explores the subtle and complex relationship between the affluent white world of Hollins College and the proud African American community that has served it since its inception. Interweaving personal observations, historical documents, and poetry throughout a revealing oral history, Smith shares her fascinating discoveries and the challenges involved in telling a story silenced for so long.

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Frontier Doctor
William Beaumont, America's First Great Medical Scientist
Reginald Horsman
University of Missouri Press, 1996

In Frontier Doctor, Reginald Horsman provides the first modern, scholarly biography of a colorful backwoods doctor whose pioneering research on human digestion gained him international renown as a physiologist. Before William Beaumont's work, there was still considerable controversy as to the nature of human digestion; his research established beyond a doubt that digestion is a chemical process.

Beaumont received his medical training as an apprentice in a small town in Vermont and served as a surgeon's mate in the War of 1812. After the war, he practiced in Plattsburgh, New York, before making his career as an army surgeon. His chance for fame came in 1822, when he was serving at the lonely post of Fort Mackinac in Michigan Territory. A Canadian voyageur--Alexis St. Martin--was accidentally shot in the stomach at close range, and his wound healed in such a way as to leave a permanent opening. This enabled Beaumont to insert food directly into the stomach, to siphon gastric juice, and to experiment on the process of digestion both inside and outside the stomach.

Because Beaumont had considerable difficulty in persuading St. Martin to stay with him so he could continue his research, his study was carried out sporadically over a number of years. In the early 1830s, with the support of Joseph Lovell, the surgeon general of the army, Beaumont and St. Martin went to the East Coast, where additional experiments were carried out. In 1833, Beaumont published Experiments and Observations on the Gastric Juice and the Physiology of Digestion, a book based upon his research on St. Martin and the work upon which his reputation primarily rests. His observations revealed more about digestion in the human stomach than had ever before been known, and his work was immediately praised in both the United States and Europe.

After he left the army, Beaumont established a successful private practice in St. Louis, Missouri, where he spent the latter part of his life. Beaumont, a fascinating, argumentative character, was often engaged in public controversy. He was also good friends with several notable men, including the young Robert E. Lee.

Frontier Doctor sheds welcome new light on the state of medicine both inside and outside the army in the early nineteenth century and provides absorbing information on the early experi-ments that set the research into human digestion irrevocably on the right course.

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Frontier Swashbuckler
The Life and Legend of John Smith T
Dick Steward
University of Missouri Press, 2000

Few frontiersmen in the late eighteenth century and early nineteenth century epitomized the reckless energies of the West and the lust for adventure as did John Smith T—pioneer, gunfighter, entrepreneur, militia colonel, miner, judge, and folk hero. In this fascinating biography, Dick Steward traces the colorful Smith T's life from his early days in Virginia through his young adulthood. He then describes Smith T's remarkable career in the wilds of Missouri and his armed raids to gain land from Indians, Spaniards, and others.

Born into the fifth generation of Virginia gentry, young Smith first made his name on the Tennessee frontier. It was there that he added the "T" to his name to distinguish his land titles and other enterprises from those of the hosts of other John Smiths. By the late 1790s he owned or laid claim to more than a quarter million acres in Tennessee and northern Alabama.

In 1797, Smith T moved to Missouri, then a Spanish territory, and sought to gain control of its lead-mining district by displacing the most powerful American in the region, Moses Austin. He acquired such public positions as judge of the court of common pleas, commissioner of weights and levies, and lieutenant colonel of the militia, which enabled him to mount a spirited assault on Austin's virtual monopoly of the lead mines. Although neither side emerged a winner from that ten-year-old conflict, it was during this period that Smith T's fame as a gunfighter and duelist spread across the West. Known as the most dangerous man in Missouri, he was said to have killed fourteen men in duels.

Smith T was also recognized by many for his good works. He donated land for churches and schools and was generous to the poor and downtrodden. He epitomized the opening of the West, helping to build towns, roads, and canals and organizing trading expeditions.

Even though Smith T was one of the most notorious characters in Missouri history, by the late nineteenth century he had all but disappeared from the annals of western history. Frontier Swashbuckler seeks to rescue both the man and the legend from historical obscurity. At the same time, it provides valuable insights into the economic, political, and social dynamics of early Missouri frontier history.

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Fuentes, Terra Nostra, and the Reconfiguration of Latin American Culture
Michael Abeyta
University of Missouri Press, 2006
Widely acknowledged as Carlos Fuentes’s most ambitious novel, Terra Nostra is a paradigm-shifting work that has generated a virtual cottage industry of scholarly analysis. Michael Abeyta has now taken a new approach to this celebrated novel by considering how giving a gift is like telling a story.
            Grounding his study on the work of Derrida and Bataille, Abeyta focuses on the theme of the gift in Terra Nostra, analyzing how gift giving, excess, expenditure, sacrifice, and exchange give shape to the novel. The question of giving leads him into contemplations of such parallel issues as money and exchange economies, the gift’s role in art and narration, and the Baroque in Latin American culture—an elaborate set of arguments that puts Fuentes’s understanding of Latin American culture in a surprising new light.
            Blending literary theory with economic anthropology, philosophy, and Latin American studies, Abeyta analyzes the deconstructive functions of rhetorical figures and tropes in Terra Nostra to show how the novel’s revival of Baroque style integrates European and Nahuatl figural strategies. In the process, he reveals the novel’s relevance to current discussions about the relationship between art and the question of the gift. He then goes on to examine Fuentes’s Baroque in relation to Terra Nostra’s reconfiguration of Latin American cultural history.
Abeyta’s study opens new windows on this difficult work as he grapples intelligently with the sometimes dizzying conceptual dances that Fuentes performs. He shows how Fuentes’s rereading of Latin American history confronted important changes during the initial encounter between Europe and the Americas, which coincided with the spread of the European market and the shift from a gift to an exchange economy—from a culture in which economic relations were based on sacrifices, tributes, or gifts to one in which market forces predominated. He also engages in the recent scholarly debate on the potlatch and its implications in New World culture.
            As Abeyta reveals, underlying Fuentes’s treatment of the gift is a deep questioning of utopian thought and its impact throughout Latin America’s history. His insights help define Terra Nostra’s place in current discussions in literary theory about art, economy, and the question of the gift, and this work stands to be hailed as one of the most perceptive readings of the novel yet to appear.
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The Future without a Past
The Humanities in a Technological Society
John Paul Russo
University of Missouri Press, 2005
In The Future without a Past, John Paul Russo goes beyond currently given reasons for the decline of the humanities and searches out its root causes in the technologization of everyday life. His main premise is that we are undergoing a transformation at the hands of technological imperatives such as rationalization, universalism, monism, and autonomy. The relation between ourselves and nature has altered to such a degree that we no longer live in a natural environment but in a technological one. According to Russo, technological values have actually eroded human values instead of being “humanized” by them.
            What are the implications of this shift for the humanities, traditionally seen as safeguards of the human? Russo addresses this question by situating the decline of the humanities within the larger social and historical panorama. He explores how technological values have infiltrated the humanities to the point of weakening their instruction and undermining their force; at the same time, he shows how the humanities have confronted these trends and can continue to do so. Russo believes that if we understand how technology “works” and the nature of its powers, we will then know in which realms it must be accepted and where it should be resisted.
            Russo outlines the components of the technological system and examines their impact on the educational system. He also discusses the loss of historical memory, including the so-called loss of the self and the transformation of the library. He studies the parallels between technological and literary values in criticism and theory, concluding with an analysis of the fiction of Don DeLillo, one of the most prominent contemporary novelists. DeLillo’s exploration of technology in American life, matched by a powerful critique of it from a broadly humanistic and religious perspective, serves to summarize the themes of the book as a whole.    
            The Future without a Past will appeal to scholars and students of literary studies, intellectual and cultural history, philosophy, ethics, media studies, and American studies, as well as to general readers who are seeking deeper insights into today’s cultural debates.
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