front cover of The Names of John Gergen
The Names of John Gergen
Immigrant Identities in Early Twentieth-Century St. Louis
Benjamin Moore
University of Missouri Press, 2020
Rescued from the dumpster of a boarded-up house, the yellowing scraps of a young migrant’s schoolwork provided Benjamin Moore with the jumping-off point for this study of migration, memory, and identity. Centering on the compelling story of its eponymous subject, The Names of John Gergen examines the converging governmental and institutional forces that affected the lives of migrants in the industrial neighborhoods of South St. Louis in the early twentieth century. These migrants were Banat Swabians from Torontál County in southern Hungary—they were Catholic, agrarian, and ethnically German.
Between 1900 and 1920, the St. Louis neighborhoods occupied by migrants were sites of efforts by civic authorities and social reformers to counter the perceived threat of foreignness by attempting to Americanize foreign-born residents. At the same time, these neighborhoods saw the strengthening of Banat Swabians’ ethnic identities. Historically, scholars and laypeople have understood migrants in terms of their aspirations and transformations, especially their transformations into Americans. The experiences of John Gergen and his kin, however, suggest that identity at the level of the individual was both more fragmented and more fluid than twentieth-century historians have recognized, subject to a variety of forces that often pulled migrants in multiple directions.

front cover of The Narrow Path of Freedom and Other Essays
The Narrow Path of Freedom and Other Essays
Eugene Davidson
University of Missouri Press, 2002
Eugene Davidson’s final book, The Narrow Path of Freedom and Other Essays, examines historical instances of man’s inhumanity to man, providing poignant insight that we can profit from as we contemplate an ongoing battle against terrorism. A superb essayist, Davidson here displays an extraordinary range. Long a student of international relations, he writes of the Nuremberg trials after World War II and, as the book’s title indicates, of the narrow path of freedom that the democracies have had to travel during the last half century. The path allowed little stumbling, lest they would fall into the errors that disgraced the dictatorships. Davidson wears his wisdom lightly, delighting a reader with touches of humor and with wry, startlingly appropriate comparisons.
A second set of essays examines the idea of history as it has survived into our present time, including what Davidson describes as the “thin coat of higher learning” in a commencement address in which he advises young men and women to listen to dissent and make up their own minds. As Davidson says, “The war of ideas is far from over, and every coming generation will have to bear its own share of the burden in the endless struggle for the survival of freedom.”
Last is a group of reminiscent essays. One recounts a friendship with the historian Charles A. Beard, who proposed to the young Davidson that he call him Uncle Charlie. In another Davidson plumbs the personality of a major figure of the Nazi era, Albert Speer. He also discusses the pathetic and perhaps demented Ezra Pound, whose genius as a poet may have been questionable but whose ability to survive was remarkable.
The Narrow Path of Freedom and Other Essays is a valuable guide for all who try to keep the idea of freedom alive. The pieces in it are nothing less than a triumph—historical, literary, philosophical. By confronting the idea of history—what the past should mean—Davidson gives us a book that will last well into our already turbulent new century.

front cover of Nathan B. Young and the Struggle over Black Higher Education
Nathan B. Young and the Struggle over Black Higher Education
Antonio F. Holland
University of Missouri Press, 2006
At the turn of the twentieth century, African Americans eager to improve their lives through higher education were confronted with the divergent points of view of two great leaders: Booker T. Washington advocated vocational training, while W. E. B. Du Bois stressed the importance of the liberal arts. Into the fray stepped Nathan B. Young, who, as Antonio Holland now tells, left a lasting mark on that debate.

Born in slavery in Alabama, Young followed a love of learning to degrees from Talladega and Oberlin Colleges and a career in higher education. Employed by Booker T. Washington in 1892, he served at Tuskegee Institute until conflict with Washington’s vocational orientation led him to move on. During a brief tenure at Georgia State Industrial College under Richard R. Wright, Sr., he became disillusioned by efforts of whites to limit black education to agriculture and the trades. Hired as president of Florida A&M in 1901, he fought for twenty years to balance agricultural/vocational education with the liberal arts, only to meet with opposition from state officials that led to his ouster.

This principled educator finally found his place as president of Lincoln University in Missouri in 1923. Here Young made a determined effort to establish the school as a standard institution of higher learning. Holland describes how he campaigned successfully to raise academic standards and gain accreditation for Lincoln’s programs—successes made possible by the political and economic support of farsighted members of Missouri’s black community.

Holland shows that the great debate over black higher education was carried on not only in the rhetoric of Washington and Du Bois but also on the campuses, as Young and others sought to prepare African American students to become thinkers and creators. In tracing Young’s career, Holland presents a wealth of information on the nature of the education provided for former slaves and their descendents in four states—shedding new light on the educational environment at Oberlin and Tuskegee—and on the actions of racist white government officials to limit the curriculum of public education for blacks.

Although Young’s efforts to improve the schools he served were often thwarted, Holland shows that he kept his vision alive in the black community. Holland’s meticulous reconstruction of an eventful career provides an important look at the forces that shaped and confounded the development of black higher education during traumatic times.

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Nathan Boone and the American Frontier
R. Douglas Hurt
University of Missouri Press, 2000

Celebrated as one of America's frontier heroes, Daniel Boone left a legacy that made the Boone name almost synonymous with frontier settlement. Nathan Boone, the youngest of Daniel's sons, played a vital role in American pioneering, following in much the same steps as his famous father. In Nathan Boone and the American Frontier, R. Douglas Hurt presents for the first time the life of this important frontiersman.

Based on primary collections, newspaper articles, government documents, and secondary sources, this well-crafted biography begins with Nathan's childhood in present-day Kentucky and Virginia and then follows his family's move to Missouri. Hurt traces Boone's early activities as a hunter, trapper, and surveyor, as well as his leadership of a company of rangers during the War of 1812. After the war, Boone returned to survey work. In 1831, he organized another company of rangers for the Black Hawk War and returned to military life, making it his career. The remainder of the book recounts Boone's activities with the army in Iowa and the Indian Territory, where he was the first Boone to gain notice outside Missouri or Kentucky. Even today his work is recognized in the form of state parks, buildings, and place-names.

Although Nathan Boone was an important figure, he lived much of his life in the shadow of his father. R. Douglas Hurt, however, makes a strong case for Nathan's contribution to the larger context of life in the American backcountry, especially the execution of military and Indian policy and the settlement of the frontier.

By recognizing the significant role that Nathan Boone played, Nathan Boone and the American Frontier also provides the recognition due the many unheralded frontiersmen who helped settle the West. Anyone with an interest in the history of Missouri, the frontier, or the Boone name will find this book informative and compelling.


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NATO and the UN
A Peculiar Relationship
Lawrence S. Kaplan
University of Missouri Press, 2010
When the North Atlantic Treaty Organization was formed just four years after the United Nations, it provided its members with a measure of security in the face of the Soviet Union’s veto power in the senior organization’s Security Council, as well as a means of coping with Communist expansion. Ever since then, the two institutions have been competitors in maintaining peace in the postwar world. Occasionally they have cooperated; more often they have not.

In NATO and the UN, Lawrence Kaplan, one of the leading experts on NATO, examines the intimate and often contentious relations between the two and describes how this relationship has changed over the course of two generations. Kaplan documents the many interactions between them throughout their interconnected history, focusing on the major flashpoints where either NATO clashed with UN leadership, the United States and the Soviet Union confronted each other directly, or fissures within the Atlantic alliance were dramatized in UN sessions. He draws on the organizations’ records as well as unpublished files from the National Archives and its counterparts in Britain, France, and Germany to provide the best account yet of working relations between the two organizations. By examining their complex connection with regard to such conflicts as the Balkan wars, Kaplan enhances our understanding of both institutions.

Crisis management has been a source of conflict between the two in the past but has also served as an incentive for collaboration, and Kaplan shows how this peculiar but persistent relationship has functioned. Although the Cold War years are gone, the UN remains the setting where NATO problems have played out, as they have in Iraq during recent decades. And it is to NATO that the UN has turned for military power to face crises in the Balkans, Middle East, and South Asia.

Kaplan stresses the importance of both organizations in the twenty-first century, recognizing their potential to advance global peace and security while showing how their tangled history explains the obstacles that stand in the way. His work offers significant findings that will especially impact our understanding of NATO while filling a sizable gap in our understanding of post-World War II diplomacy.

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Natural Missouri
Working with the Land
Napier Shelton
University of Missouri Press, 2005
In Natural Missouri: Working with the Land, Napier Shelton offers a tour of notable natural sites in Missouri through the eyes of the people who work with them. Over a period of three years, he roamed all over the state, visiting such different places as Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield, Pomme de Terre Lake, Mark Twain National Forest, the Ozark National Scenic Riverways, Roaring River State Park, Prairie State Park, Ted Shanks Conservation Area, and Mingo National Wildlife Refuge. Along the way he interviewed professional resource managers and naturalists, biologists, interpreters, conservation agents, engineers, farmers, hunters, fishermen, writers, and many others in an effort to gain a perspective that only people who work with the land—for business or for pleasure—can have.
Shelton describes a range of land-management philosophies and techniques, from largely hands-off, as in state parks, to largely hands-on, as in farming. He also addresses the questions that surround some of the more controversial practices, such as the use of fire for land management and the introduction of nonnative species.
With his relaxed writing style, Shelton invites the reader along on his journeys to experience the places and people as he did. Natural Missouri captures the essence of Missouri and gives readers a greater appreciation for the natural resources of the state and the people who work so hard to manage and protect them.

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The Natural World of Lewis and Clark
David A. Dalton
University of Missouri Press, 2007

On their journey westward, Lewis and Clark demonstrated an amazing ability to identify the new plants and animals they encountered, and their observations enriched science’s understanding of the trans-Mississippi West. Others have written about their discoveries and have faithfully cataloged their findings; now a twenty-first-century biologist reexamines some of those discoveries in the light of modern science to show for the first time their lasting biological significance.

            The Natural World of Lewis and Clark interprets the expedition’s findings from a modern perspective to show how advances such as DNA research, modern understanding of proteins, and the latest laboratory methods shed new light on them. David Dalton recounts the expedition’s observations and, in clear, readily accessible terms, relates them to principles of ecology, genetics, physiology, and even animal behavior.

            Writing in informal language with a bit of wry humor, Dalton invites readers to imagine the West that Lewis and Clark found, revealing the dynamic features of nature and the dramatic changes that earlier peoples brought about. He explains surprising facts, ranging from why Indians used cottonwood bark as winter feed for horses to why the explorers experienced gastric distress with some foods, and even why the Expedition’s dog would have been well-advised to avoid a diet of salmon.

Dalton introduces the tools and techniques of today’s science in a way that won’t intimidate nonspecialist readers. Throughout the book he expertly balances botanical and zoological information, with coverage ranging from the extinction of large animals in North America a few thousand years ago to the expected effects of invasive species and climate change in the coming centuries.

            Enhanced with unusual and informative illustrations—not only nature photography but also historical images—this book will fascinate any reader with an interest in the natural history of the American West as well as broader issues in conservation and ecology. The Natural World of Lewis and Clark tells the story behind the story of this remarkable expedition and shows that its legacy extended not only across a continent but also into our own time.


front cover of Nature of the Law and Related Legal Writings (CW27)
Nature of the Law and Related Legal Writings (CW27)
Eric Voegelin, Edited by Robert Anthony Pascal, James Lee Babin, & John WilliamCorrington
University of Missouri Press

front cover of Negotiating Boundaries of Southern Womanhood
Negotiating Boundaries of Southern Womanhood
Dealing with the Powers That Be
Edited & Intro by Janet L. Coryell, Thomas Appleton, Anastatia Sims, & Sandra Treadway
University of Missouri Press, 2000

In a time when most Americans never questioned the premise that women should be subordinate to men, and in a place where only white men enjoyed fully the rights and privileges of citizenship, many women learned how to negotiate societal boundaries and to claim a share of power for themselves in a male-dominated world.

Covering the early nineteenth through the early twentieth centuries, Negotiating Boundaries of Southern Womanhood describes the ways southern women found to advance their development and independence and establish their own identities in the context of a society that restricted their opportunities and personal freedom.

They confronted, cooperated with, and sometimes were co-opted by existing powers: the white and African American elite whose status was determined by wealth, family name, gender, race, skin color, or combinations thereof. Some women took action against established powers and, in so doing, strengthened their own communities; some bowed to the powers and went along to get along; some became the powers, using status to ensure their prosperity as well as their survival. All chose their actions based on the time and place in which they lived.

In these thought-provoking essays, the authors illustrate the complex intersections of race, class, and gender as they examine the ways in which southern women dealt with "the powers that be" and, in some instances, became those powers. Elitism, status, and class were always filtered through a prism of race and gender in the South, and women of both races played an important role in maintaining as well as challenging the hierarchies that existed.


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The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
A History
Kristie C. Wolferman
University of Missouri Press, 2020
When Kansas City’s Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art opened to the public in 1933, it was viewed as a miracle, an oasis of culture in a Midwestern town whose image was still largely one of cowboys and steaks. In an engaging style, Kristie Wolferman tells the history of the Nelson-Atkins from its founding to the present day, a fascinating combination of people, events, and circumstances that culminated in an art museum that now holds its own among the finest in the world.
Wolferman begins by relaying how the trustees of the estates of the reclusive widow Mary Atkins and the family of Kansas City Star newspaper editor William Rockhill Nelson joined forces to establish a museum from scratch, then goes on to consider all of the highly talented people who directed and staffed the Nelson-Atkins along the way, their efforts resulting in many bold innovations, among them new collections, grounds, and educational programs and offerings.
With 100 color and black and white photographs, this book will be treasured by all who love and admire this remarkable institution, one that attracts half a million visitors—from across the city, state, nation, and world—each year.

This is a co-publication of the University of Missouri Press and the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.

front cover of A New Basis for Animal Ethics
A New Basis for Animal Ethics
Telos and Common Sense
Bernard E. Rollin
University of Missouri Press, 2016
This book, the culmination of forty years of theorizing about the moral status of animals, explicates and justifies society’s moral obligation to animals in terms of the commonsense metaphysics and ethics ofAristotle’s concept of telos. Rollin uses this concept to assert that humans have a responsibility to treat animals ethically. Aristotle used the concept, from the Greek word for "end" or "purpose," as the core explanatory concept for the world we live in. We understand what an animal is by what it does. This is the nature of an animal, and helps us understand our obligations to animals.

front cover of The New Deal's Black Congressman
The New Deal's Black Congressman
A Life of Arthur Wergs Mitchell
Dennis S. Nordin
University of Missouri Press, 1997

In this fascinating biography, Dennis S. Nordin chronicles the life of Arthur Wergs Mitchell, the first black Democrat to be elected to Congress. Although he is now one of history's forgotten figures, Mitchell was once almost as well known among black college students as Jesse Owens and Joe Louis. Nordin, however, shows that Mitchell's achievements and thus his fame were the direct result of his dishonorable deeds.

Mitchell's life began humbly in rural Alabama in 1883. After a memorable boyhood, he studied briefly at Tuskegee Institute, which had a major effect on Mitchell's outlook. He went on to study law in Washington, D.C., and thereafter became involved in politics when the Republicans sent him to Chicago in 1928 to campaign for Herbert Hoover. Impressed by Chicago's ward system and patronage politics, he returned to the city and made a bid for a congressional seat, changing political parties in an effort to oust black Republican Congressman Oscar DePriest. To accomplish this, Mitchell resorted to "Uncle Tomming," ingratiating himself with the white bosses of the Chicago Machine.

Within five years a Machine nomination was in hand, and Mitchell found himself owing his political success and thus his loyalty to the Chicago Machine. Because he was under strict orders from Chicago Mayor Ed Kelly not to cause problems or be confrontational, Mitchell rarely, if ever, supported the interests of his constituents.

It was only in the later years of his political career that Mitchell began to show opposition to his Machine backing. He had been an opponent of the NAACP in his first years in Congress, but later became a strong supporter of an NAACP antilynching bill. In 1937, Mitchell sued three railroad companies for not offering equal treatment and accommodations for all passengers. The case went to the Supreme Court, which gave Mitchell a favorable ruling. As a result of these "confrontational" acts, the Chicago Machine quickly decided not to endorse Mitchell in the elections of 1942.

In his research, Nordin relies on such primary sources as manuscripts, newspapers, and court records, as well as information from interviews with Mitchell's friends, neighbors, colleagues, political rivals, and widow. Woven tightly together, these sources form a narrative that reveals a most complex and intriguing individual, a man whose political and moral views and acts were strongly linked to the goals of the great Chicago political Machine.


front cover of The New Madrid Earthquakes, Revised Edition
The New Madrid Earthquakes, Revised Edition
James Lal Penick, Jr.
University of Missouri Press, 1981

Since its publication in a cloth edition in 1976, Penick’s book has met with enormous regional appeal as well as critical acclaim. For the new paper edition, the author has written a new introduction. New material in the final chapter reports on the scientific inquiries into the New Madrid quakes since 1976.

Critical comments on the cloth edition: “James Penick has put together a well-written account of the quakes and their effects upon people, animals, waterways, and land. Based on the scattered accounts of the times it offers a good insight into the reactions of persons suddenly confronted with the perils of the unknown. The vivid description of the devastation wrought upon the face of the land gives a picture of dramatic change brought about by the upheaval of natural forces. In short, reading Penick’s work one is readily caught up in the total violence of the event.”—American Historical Review

“Penick provides information relevant to present studies of earthquakes in this area.”—Earthquake Information Bulletin


front cover of New Perspectives on the Life and Art of Richard Crashaw
New Perspectives on the Life and Art of Richard Crashaw
Edited by John R. Roberts
University of Missouri Press, 1990

Richard Crashaw (1612/13-1649) has been one of the most neglected, misunderstood, misread, and unappreciated of the so-called major metaphysical poets. Critics have long labeled Crashaw’s poetry “foreign,” “grotesque,: “deficient in judgment and taste,” and even “sexually perverse.” In recent years, however, Crashaw’s role in providing an understanding and appreciation of seventeenth century poetic theory and aesthetics has become increasingly more evident to literary scholars and critics. They now generally agree that his poetry occupies a permanent and significant position in the intellectual, religious, and literary history of his time.

This collection of ten original critical and historical essays on the life and art of Crashaw will serve as a further impetus to the renewed interest in Crashaw. In the introduction, John R. Roberts and Lorraine M. Roberts survey past Crashavian criticism, giving the reader an overall view of the critical response to Crashaw and his work. The introduction also signals new directions for future scholarship. Scholars, critics, and students of metaphysical, baroque, and religious poetry will find these essays engaging and insightful.


front cover of New Political Religions, or an Analysis of Modern Terrorism
New Political Religions, or an Analysis of Modern Terrorism
Barry Cooper
University of Missouri Press, 2004

In New Political Religions, or an Analysis of Modern Terrorism, Barry Cooper applies the insights of Eric Voegelin to the phenomenon of modern terrorism. Cooper points out that the chief omission from most contemporary studies of terrorism is an analysis of the “spiritual motivation” that is central to the actions of terrorists today. When spiritual elements are discussed in conventional literature, they are grouped under the opaque term religion. A more conceptually adequate approach is provided by Voegelin’s political science and, in particular, by his Schellingian term pneumopathology—a disease of the spirit.

While terrorism has been used throughout the ages as a weapon in political struggles, there is an essential difference between groups who use these tactics for more of less rational political goals and those seeking more apocalyptic ends. Cooper argues that today's terrorists have a spiritual perversity that causes them to place greater significance on killing than on exploiting political grievances. He supports his assertion with an analysis of two groups that share the characteristics of a pneumopathological consciousness—Aum Shinrikyo, the terrorist organization that poisoned thousands of Tokyo subway riders in 1995, and Al-Qaeda, the group behind the infamous 9/11 killings.

Cooper applies the Voegelinian terms first reality (a commonsense goal regarding legitimate political grievances) and second reality (a fantastic objective sought by those whose rationality has been obscured) to show the major divide between political and apocalyptic terrorist groups. Osama Bin Laden's "second reality" was the imaginary goal that the 9/11 attack was supposed to achieve, and the commonsense reality was what truly happened (the deaths of nearly 3,000 people and the United States's subsequent military response). Cooper shows how such spiritual perversity enables a human being, imagining himself empowered by God, to go on a campaign of mass destruction.

Cooper concludes with a chapter on the uniqueness of terrorist networks, their limitations, and the means by which they can be dealt with. In the ongoing conversations among specialists in terrorist studies, as well as the ordinary discourse of citizens in western democracies wishing to understand the world around them, this book will add a distinctive voice.




front cover of New Territories, New Perspectives
New Territories, New Perspectives
The Religious Impact of the Louisiana Purchase
Edited & Intro by Richard J. Callahan, Jr.
University of Missouri Press, 2008

With the doubling of America’s territory that came with the Louisiana Purchase, American culture was remapped in the bargain. The region’s indigenous inhabitants had already been joined by Catholic missionaries, both French and Spanish, along with Africans brought as slaves to the Caribbean islands and North America; now all were met by a predominantly Protestant culture rushing westward.

New Territories, New Perspectives marks the first study to take the Louisiana Purchase as the focal point for considering the development of American religious history. The process of transforming the Louisiana Territory into U.S. territory meant shaping the space to conform to American cultural and religious identity, and this volume investigates continuities, disruptions, and changes relating to religion in this context.

The contributors ask what might happen to our understanding of religion in America if we look at it through the lens of this annexation. Initial chapters offer fresh perspectives on the new territory by those who settled it, primarily easterners, exploring such topics as the built environment of the region as seen in such settings as frontier camp meetings and communitarian societies, ideas of destiny amid the clash of cultural groups, and religiously significant aspects of African American life.

Subsequent essays take up the religious history of the region from the perspective of New Orleans and the Caribbean. They include an exploration of the roots of Pentecostalism in the mix of black and white cultures in the Mississippi Delta, the “vodou” link between New Orleans and Haiti, and the African-Creole performances of Mardi Gras Indians.

Together, these essays invite readers to consider intersecting histories that are too often neglected in our understanding of America’s religious development, particularly issues that stand apart from traditional histories of religion in the Midwest. By exploring the unexpected, they also promote different ways of thinking about American religious history as a whole.


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The New Woman Gothic
Reconfigurations of Distress
Patricia Murphy
University of Missouri Press, 2016

Drawing from and reworking Gothic conventions, the New Woman version is marshaled during a tumultuous cultural moment of gender anxiety either to defend or revile the complex character. The controversial and compelling figure of the New Woman in fin de siècle British fiction has garnered extensive scholarly attention, but rarely has she been investigated through the lens of the Gothic.

Part I, “The Blurred Boundary,” examines an obfuscated distinction between the New Woman and the prostitute, presented in a stunning breadth and array of writings. Part II, “Reconfigured Conventions,” probes four key aspects of the Gothic, each of which is reshaped to reflect the exigencies of the fin de siècle. In Part III, “Villainous Characters,” the bad father of Romantic fiction is bifurcated into the husband and the mother, both of whom cause great suffering to the protagonist.


front cover of New World, Known World
New World, Known World
Shaping Knowledge in Early Anglo-American Writing
David Read
University of Missouri Press, 2005
New World, Known World examines the works of four writers closely associated with the early period of English colonization, from 1624 to 1649: John Smith’s Generall Historie of Virginia, William Bradford’s Of Plymouth Plantation, Thomas Morton’s New English Canaan, and Roger Williams’s A Key into the Language of America (in conjunction with another of Williams’s major works, The Bloudy Tenent of Persecution). David Read addresses these texts as examples of what he refers to as “individual knowledge projects”— the writers’ attempts to shape raw information and experience into patterns and narratives that can be compared with and assessed against others from a given society’s fund of accepted knowledge.
            Read argues that the body of Western knowledge in the period immediately before the development of well-defined scientific disciplines is primarily the work of individuals functioning in relative isolation, rather than institutions working in concert. The European colonization of other regions in the same period exposes in a way few historical situations do both the complexity and the uncertainty involved in the task of producing knowledge.   
            Read treats each work as the project of a specific mind, reflecting a high degree of intentionality and design, and not simply as a collection of documentary evidence to be culled in the service of a large-scale argument. He shows that each author adds a distinct voice to the experience of North American colonization and that each articulates it in ways that are open to analysis in terms of form, style, convention, rhetorical strategies, and applications of metaphor and allegory.
            By applying the tools of literary interpretation to colonial texts, Read reaches a fuller understanding of the immediate consequences of English colonization in North America on the culture’s base of knowledge. Students and scholars of early modern colonialism and transatlantic studies, as well as those with interests in seventeenth-century American and English literature, should find this book of particular value.  

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Nice and Noir
Contemporary American Crime Fiction
Richard B. Schwartz
University of Missouri Press, 2002
Owners of mystery bookshops will tell you that there are several sorts of buyers: those who purchase on impulse or whim; genre addicts who buy paperbacks by the week and by the armful; and those who have caught up on canonical texts and regularly buy new novels by select authors in hardcover. Richard B. Schwartz belongs in the last group, with his own list of approximately seventy favorite writers.
Nice and Noir: Contemporary American Crime Fiction explores the work of these writers, building upon a reading of almost seven hundred novels from the 1980s and 1990s. By looking at recurring themes in these mysteries, Schwartz offers readers new ways to approach the works in relation to contemporary cultural concerns.
            With sensitivity to a culture consisting of frontiers and borders, Schwartz examines the position of the vigilante in art and society, racial bridges and divides, the absence of divine presence and compensating narrative strategies, the unresolved nature of the crime plot and its roots in chivalric romance. The special importance of setting and the growing importance of grotesque humor in the fiction studied here are addressed by the author, as is the journalistic/instructional dimension of the field and the importance of crossover narratives.
            This book is not only a study and appreciation of an important subgenre and its contemporary practitioners; it also utilizes both literary history and theoretical material. Information has been drawn from fanzines, from discussions with writers, booksellers, agents, and editors, and from the author’s own extensive knowledge of literature and American culture.
            Nice and Noir is wide-ranging but neither ponderous nor lugubrious. Its language is accessible but not simplistic. The book will have a broad appeal—both to academics and to general readers with some interest in American studies and popular culture.

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Nixon's First Cover-up
The Religious Life of a Quaker President
H. Larry Ingle
University of Missouri Press, 2015
Have you ever thought you completely knew a story, inside and out, only to see some new information that shatters what you had come to accept as unquestioned fact? Well, Richard Nixon is that story, and Nixon’s First Cover-up is that new information.
With few exceptions, the religious ideologies and backgrounds of U.S. presidents is a topic sorely lacking in analysis. H. Larry Ingle seeks to remedy this situation regarding Nixon—one of the most controversial and intriguing of the presidents. Ingle delves more deeply into Nixon’s Quaker background than any previous scholar to observe the role Nixon’s religion played in his political career.
Nixon’s unique and personally tailored brand of evangelical Quakerism stayed hidden when he wanted it to, but was on display whenever he felt it might help him advance his career in some way. Ingle’s unparalleled knowledge of Quakerism enables him to deftly point out how Nixon bent the traditional rules of the religion to suit his needs or, in some cases, simply ignored them entirely. This theme of the constant contradiction between Nixon’s actions and his apparent religious beliefs makes Nixon’s First Cover-up truly a groundbreaking study both in the field of Nixon research as well as the field of the influence of religion on the U.S. presidency. Forty years after Nixon’s resignation from office, Ingle’s work proves there remains much about the thirty-seventh president that the American public does not yet know.

front cover of No Band of Brothers
No Band of Brothers
Problems of the Rebel High Command
Steven E. Woodworth
University of Missouri Press, 1999

The Civil War was barely over before Southerners and other students of the war began to examine the Confederate high command in search of an explanation for the South's failure. Although years of research failed to show that the South's defeat was due to a single, overriding cause, the actions of the Southern leaders during the war were certainly among the reasons the South lost the war.

In No Band of Brothers, Steven Woodworth explores, through a series of essays, various facets of the way the Confederacy waged its unsuccessful war for secession. He examines Jefferson Davis and some of his more important generals, including Pierre G. T. Beauregard, Leonidas Polk, Joseph E. Johnston, Robert E. Lee, James Longstreet, and Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson; the Confederacy's strategic plans; and the South's success in making competent officers out of men with very little military preparation.

Woodworth particularly looks at the personalities and personal relationships that affected the course and outcome of the war. What made a good general? What could make an otherwise able man a failure as a general? What role did personal friendships or animosities play in the Confederacy's top command assignments and decisions? How successful was the Confederacy in making competent generals out of its civilian leaders? In what ways did Jefferson Davis succeed or fail in maximizing the chances for the success of his cause?

In analyzing the Confederate leadership, Woodworth reveals some weaknesses, many strengths, and much new information. No Band of Brothers will be an important addition to Civil War scholarship and will be welcomed by professional historians, amateur historians, students, and the general reader alike.


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No Ordinary Joe
A Life of Joseph Pulitzer III
Daniel W. Pfaff
University of Missouri Press, 2005
The widely known Pulitzer name is considered by many to be synonymous with the Pulitzer Prizes and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Joseph Pulitzer III (1913–1993) was editor and publisher of the Post-Dispatch, as were his father and grandfather before him. In No Ordinary Joe, Daniel W. Pfaff provides an insightful look at the life and career of Joseph Pulitzer III, using correspondence and records that were made available exclusively to the author. Pfaff also includes interviews with more than seventy individuals who knew and/or worked with Pulitzer.
Trained for succession to the Pulitzer media empire by his father, Joseph Pulitzer III strove above all to maintain the paper’s liberal/reformist philosophy profitably practiced since 1878 by his predecessors. When other newspapers began blurring the boundary between news and entertainment as a way of keeping and attracting readers and advertisers, Pulitzer resisted letting the Post-Dispatch put profit motives ahead of journalistic independence. When Pulitzer died in 1993, he had managed to sustain the Post-Dispatch’s distinguished tradition of editorial independence, and he left behind a company that was substantially larger and more competitive than when he took charge thirty-eight years before.
In addition to his work with the Post-Dispatch, Pulitzer was the head of the Pulitzer Publishing Company from 1955 to 1993. He also served as chairman of the Pulitzer Prize Board at Columbia University for thirty-one years. The board, which had been established by his grandfather, was responsible for awarding the coveted annual prizes in journalism, letters, and music.
As much as Pulitzer was known for his affiliation with the Post-Dispatch, he was also known for his collection of contemporary art, regarded as one of the largest and finest in the world. He was known, too, for the stately way in which he carried himself, for his elegant attire, and for his impeccable taste and manners.
This remarkable biography will be of interest to scholars of journalism and media history and American history generally, as well as those interested in the tribulations of family businesses. It will also appeal to cultural historians and general readers, who will be interested in how this bearer of a widely known name handled the power, responsibility, and privilege of the position into which he was born.

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No Sacrifice Too Great
The 1st Infantry Division in World War II
Gregory Fontenot
University of Missouri Press, 2023
The U.S. 1st Infantry Division (1st ID), familiarly known as the Big Red One, adapted to dynamic battlefield conditions through­out the course of its deployment during World War II by inno­vating and altering behavior, including tactics, techniques, and procedures. Both the Division’s leaders and soldiers accom­plished this by thinking critically about their experiences in combat and wasting little time in putting lessons learned to good use. Simply put, they learned on the job—in battle and after bat­tle—and did so quickly.

In telling the Division’s WWII story, which includes an extensive photographic essay featuring many previously unpublished im­ages, Gregory Fontenot includes the stories of individual mem­bers of the Big Red One, from high-ranking officers to enlisted men fresh off the streets of Brooklyn, both during and after the conflict. Colonel Fontenot’s rare ability to combine expert anal­ysis with compelling narrative history makes No Sacrifice Too Great an absorbing read for anyone interested in the military his­tory of the United States.


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Not All Okies Are White
The Lives of Black Cotton Pickers in Arizona
Geta LeSeur
University of Missouri Press, 2000

Vividly revealing the challenges faced by a group of migrant workers who eventually formed the multiracial town of Randolph, Arizona, Not All Okies Are White is a brilliant, spellbinding celebration of the resilience and adaptability of people too often ignored by history texts.

Recognizing the black exodus to the American West as an overlooked but integral chapter in American history, Geta LeSeur fills the void by extending her research beyond the Mississippi River and the Mason-Dixon line, examining close-up the personal lives of third- and fourth-generation descendants of pre-Emancipation blacks. In this first full-length study to explore the migrant life of any nonwhite group within the United States and the first to focus specifically on a primarily black town in the Southwest, LeSeur deftly uncovers the stepping-stone pattern of black movement west of the Mississippi into Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Texas, and consequent migrations to Arizona and California imposed by economic and social conditions.

Not All Okies Are White recaptures the ways of life for black migrant workers, as well as Hispanics and Native Americans, in the first half of the century through richly detailed interviews of the families of Randolph's founders. Through the words of each narrator, these personal stories recount work experiences and survival strategies, offering new insights into the people's relationship to the land. The narratives reveal a creative tension between place and identity, movement and migration. LeSeur provides a historical, cultural, and literary context for the oral histories by incorporating news articles, information culled from historical society archives, analyses of films and novels, advertisements, and photographs.

An innovative blend of history telling and literary analysis, Not All Okies Are White describes LeSeur's acquaintance with and growing involvement in the lives of the residents of Randolph and surrounding farm communities. The result is a highly accessible cross-disciplinary study that will appeal to scholars and general readers interested in oral history, African American history, multicultural studies, and women's studies.


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Not at All What One Is Used To
The Life and Times of Isabella Gardner
Marian Janssen
University of Missouri Press, 2010

 Born in 1915 to one of New England’s elite wealthy families, Isabella Gardner was expected to follow a certain path in life—one that would take her from marriageable debutante to proper society lady. But that plan was derailed when at age eighteen, Isabella caused a drunk-driving accident. Her family, to shield her from disgrace, sent her to Europe for acting studies, not foreseeing how life abroad would fan the romantic longings and artistic impulses that would define the rest of Isabella’s years. In Not at All What One Is Used To, author Marian Janssen tells the story of this passionate, troubled woman, whose career as a poet was in constant compromise with her wayward love life and her impulsive and reckless character.

Life took Gardner from the theater world of the 1930s and ’40s to the poetry scene of the ’50s and ’60s to the wild, bohemian art life of New York’s Hotel Chelsea in the ’70s. She often followed where romance, rather than career, led her. At nineteen, she had an affair with a future president of Ireland, then married and divorced three famous American husbands in succession. Turning from acting to poetry, Gardner became associate editor of Chicago’s Poetry magazine and earned success with her best-received collection, Birthdays from the Ocean, in 1955. Soon after, her life took a turn when she met the southern poet Allen Tate. He was married to Caroline Gordon but left her to wed Gardner, who moved to Minneapolis and gave up writing to please him, but after a few short years, Tate fell for a young nun and abandoned her.
In the liveliest of places at the right times, Gardner associated with many of the most significant cultural figures of her age, including her cousin Robert Lowell, T.S. Eliot, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Virgil Thomson, Tennessee Williams, and Robert Penn Warren. But famous connections could never save Isabella from herself. Having abandoned her work, she suffered through alcoholism, endured more failed relationships, and watched the lives of her children unravel fatally. Toward the end of her life, though, she took her pen back up for the poems in her final volume. Redeemed by her writing, Gardner died alone in 1981, just after being named the first poet laureate of New York State.
Through interviews with many Gardner intimates and extensive archival research, author Marian Janssen delves deep into the life of a woman whose poetry, according to one friend, “probably saved her sanity.” Much more than a biography, Not at All What One Is Used To is the story of a woman whose tumultuous life was emblematic of the cultural unrest at the height of the twentieth century.

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Not So Simple
The "Simple" Stories by Langston Hughes
Donna Akiba Sullivan Harper
University of Missouri Press, 1995

The "Simple" stories, Langston Hughes's satirical pieces featuring Harlem's Jesse B. Semple, have been lauded as Hughes's greatest contribution to American fiction.  In Not So Simple, Donna Akiba Sullivan Harper provides the first full historical analysis of the Simple stories.

Harper traces the evolution and development of Simple from his 1943 appearance in Hughes's weekly Chicago Defender column through his 1965 farewell in the New York Post. Drawing on correspondence and manuscripts of the stories, Harper explores the development of the Simple collections, from Simple Speaks His Mind (1950) to Simple's Uncle Sam (1965), providing fresh and provocative perspectives on both Hughes and the characters who populate his stories.

Harper discusses the nature of Simple, Harlem's "everyman", and the way in which Hughes used his character both to teach fellow Harlem residents about their connection to world events and to give black literature a hero whose "day-after-day heroism" would exemplify greatness. She explores the psychological, sociological, and literary meanings behind the Simple stories, and suggests ways in which the stories illustrate lessons of American history and political science. She also examines the roles played by women in these humorously ironic fictions. Ultimately, Hughes's attitudes as an author are measured against the views of other prominent African American writers.

Demonstrating the richness and complexity of this Langston Hughes character and the Harlem he inhabited. Not So Simple makes an important contribution to the study of American literature.




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Not So Wild a Dream
Author & Intro by Eric Sevareid
University of Missouri Press, 1995
Again available in paperback is Eric Sevareid's widely acclaimed Not So Wild a Dream. In this brilliant first-person account of a young journalist's experience during World War II, Sevareid records both the events of the war and the development of journalistic strategies for covering international affairs. He also recalls vividly his own youth in North Dakota, his decision to study journalism, and his early involvement in radio reporting during the beginnings of World War II.

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Nothing Abstract
Investigations in the American Literary Imagination
Tom Quirk
University of Missouri Press, 2001

Written by one of the leading scholars in the field, Nothing Abstract is a collection of essays gathered over the past twenty years--all of which, in some fashion, have to do with a genetic approach to literary study. In previous books, the author has traced the compositional histories of certain literary works, the course of individual careers, and the genesis of literary movements. In this book, Tom Quirk resists the direction taken by contemporary theory in favor of an approach to literature through source and influence study, the evolution of a writer's achievement, the establishment of biographical or other contexts, and the transition from one literary era to another.

All of the essays that Quirk has chosen for this collection illustrate a scholarly method. The first two essays, somewhat general in their concerns, constitute a defense for the genetic method, and subsequent essays serve as evidence for the usefulness of genetic inquiry. The entire volume challenges poststructuralist theory not through active confrontation, but merely by being what it is and doing what it does. More important though is that all of the chosen essays are intrinsically interesting. They tell fascinating stories—stories about literary genesis, biographical circumstances, and artistic ambitions and achievement.

Authors discussed at length are Edgar Allan Poe, Tony Hillerman, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Herman Melville, Mark Twain, Ambrose Bierce, Wallace Stevens, Willa Cather, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Joyce Carol Oates. Quirk also touches on Flannery O'Connor, Richard Wright, Robert Frost, Jack London, Stephen Crane, William Faulkner, and others. Nothing Abstract makes a great contribution to the study of important American writers and will be welcomed by all students and scholars of American studies and American literature.


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Nothing Gold Can Stay
A Memoir
Walter Sullivan
University of Missouri Press, 2006
In his enduring fiction and criticism, Walter Sullivan has invited readers to share the thoughts of a penetrating, contemporary intellect. Now he turns his pen on his own life to forge a stirring memoir that fondly recounts the life of the mind.
From childhood in 1920s Nashville, where his father died three months after he was born, to the halls of Vanderbilt University, where he taught creative writing for more than fifty years, Sullivan recalls key episodes in his life—often pausing to ponder why some memories of seemingly trivial events persist while others, seemingly more important, have faded from view.
As witness to a series of social and cultural moments, Sullivan passes on his sharp observations about depression and war, southern renascence and civil rights. He also includes lively anecdotes and sharp character sketches, with personalities ranging from his grandmother “Chigger” and Sally Fudge—who had lived through the Civil War and was said to attend the funerals of people she didn’t know—to Mrs. Gertrude Vanderbilt, with whose eccentricities he sometimes had to contend.
Readers will discover a treasure trove of insights, as Sullivan’s views of academic life are complemented by remembrances of important writers: John Crowe Ransom, Robert Lowell, Eudora Welty, Robert Penn Warren, James Dickey, Flannery O’Connor, and a host of others, blending the formal and familiar in a style befitting a lingering southernness. He also recalls his shock at being branded a racist by Kingsley Amis and addresses issues of race in academia and southern culture. Throughout his career, he sees himself as a guardian of lost causes, continuing to teach an appreciation of literature in the face of encroaching post-structuralism and political correctness.
Laced with humor while maintaining a profound seriousness about what really matters in life, Nothing Gold Can Stay is a lively narrative of a life well lived that will charm any reader interested in American society during and after the Great Depression. Graced with emotional coherence achieved by an almost ironic tone that is sustained from first sentence to last, it is a book in which a distinguished writer considers his world—and his own mortality—and leaves us richer for it.

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The Novels of John Steinbeck
A Critical Study
Howard Levant
University of Missouri Press, 1983

Too often, Steinbeck’s work has been studied piecemeal, even when the intention was for a rounded view. In this study, Howard Levant analyzes the patterns in Steinbeck’s work, taking an approach that permits a judgment of each novel in the context of a greater appreciation of the shape of Steinbeck’s long career.


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The Nuremberg Fallacy
Eugene Davidson
University of Missouri Press, 1998

Available for the first time in paperback, The Nuremberg Fallacy examines the inherent shortcomings of the Nuremberg "rules of war" and the War Crimes Tribunal's impossible expectations. In 1946, the Tribunal declared all aggressive war, war crimes, and crimes against humanity illegal. Yet the period since World War II has witnessed an unprecedented number of armed conflicts. In light of recent crises, including those in Rwanda, Bosnia and Serbia, and the Middle East, it is clear that the issues explored in The Nuremberg Fallacy are as relevant today as they were at the time of the book's first publication a quarter century ago.

In this volume, Eugene Davidson continues his investigations begun in The Trial of the Germans (University of Missouri Press), which studied the Nuremberg trials themselves, by focusing on five major conflicts since the end of World War II: the Suez crisis of 1956; Algeria's war of independence; Israel's recurring (and ongoing) battles with its Arab neighbors, complicated and worsened by intervention of the superpowers; the wars in Southeast Asia; and the Soviet Union's suppression of Czechoslovakia and other border states of Eastern Europe.

By exploring the roots and ramifications of these five conflicts, Davidson is able to chart the crosscurrents between large and small states, between individual nations and the United Nations, between the rules of Nuremberg and the significantly older rules of self- interest. The result is a thoughtful and thought-provoking study of the dynamics of war and peace in the post-Nuremberg world.

The rules of war proclaimed at Nuremberg—observing the flag of truce, prohibiting attacks on surrendered enemies, treating prisoners of war and civilian populations humanely—have become virtually irrelevant in modern guerrilla warfare. If anything, Davidson suggests, conditions have actually become worse than they were before the Nuremberg War Crimes Tribunal.

The continuing importance and relevance of The Nuremberg Fallacy is best summarized in the final sentences of Davidson's text: "The survival of a nation cannot be successfully entrusted to simplistic formulae or to principles that reflect unworkable doctrines. No computers have been programmed for the wisdom that remains essential for survival. People still have to provide that from their own inner and outer resources, no matter how far the weapons may seem to have outdistanced them."


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