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Recollections of a Tejano Life
Antonio Menchaca in Texas History
Edited by Timothy Matovina and Jesús F. de la Teja
University of Texas Press, 2013

San Antonio native, military veteran, merchant, and mayor pro tem José Antonio Menchaca (1800–1879) was one of only a few Tejano leaders to leave behind an extensive manuscript of recollections. Portions of the document were published in 1907, followed by a “corrected” edition in 1937, but the complete work could not be published without painstaking reconstruction. At last available in its entirety, Menchaca’s book of reminiscences captures the social life, people, and events that shaped the history of Texas’s tumultuous transformation during his lifetime. Highlighting not only Menchaca’s acclaimed military service but also his vigorous defense of Tejanos’ rights, dignity, and heritage, Recollections of a Tejano Life charts a remarkable legacy while incorporating scholarly commentary to separate fact from fiction.

Revealing how Tejanos perceived themselves and the revolutionary events that defined them, this wonderfully edited volume presents Menchaca’s remembrances of such diverse figures as Antonio López de Santa Anna, Jim Bowie, Davy Crockett, Sam Houston, General Adrián Woll, Comanche chief “Casamiro,” and Texas Ranger Jack Hays. Menchaca and his fellow Tejanos were actively engaged in local struggles as Mexico won her independence from Spain; later many joined the fight to establish the Republic of Texas, only to see it annexed to the United States nine years after the Battle of San Jacinto. This first-person account corrects important misconceptions and brings previously unspoken truths vividly to life.


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Recollections of Life on the Prison Ship Jersey
Thomas Dring
Westholme Publishing, 2010
A First-hand Account of Prison Experience in the American Revolution
“Among the many events which took place during the Revolutionary War from its commencement to its termination [are] the cruelties inflicted upon that unfortunate class of men who had the misfortune to be numbered among the prisoners [of the British] and more particularly those whom the dreadful chance of war had placed on board their prison ships at New York.” So begins the remarkable narrative of Thomas Dring. In 1824, Dring was an aging man of 65, retired in his native state of Rhode Island. Forty-two years before, he, like thousands of other young men, had been caught up in the American cause. In 1782, he had been captured by the British and sentenced to the infamous prison ship Jersey, a demasted hulk anchored in the East River off New York City. It is estimated that more than 11,000 men perished on the British prison ships over the course of the war, and their bones regularly washed up on the shore long after hostilities ceased. Dring survived to tell the tale, and in 1824, he decided to do just that. He was motivated partly because the fate of the prisoners was beginning to be doubted, that their hardships were thought to have been grossly exaggerated, and even that the entire experience had never occurred.

This book publishes for the first time the complete text of Dring’s handwritten manuscript, a major primary-source document, in which he describes the horrible conditions, treatment by guards, and experiences that he and others endured during captivity. Recollections of Life on the Prison Ship Jersey is a plea not to forget but instead to remember the inhumanity of the captors and the sacrifices of the captives—a message that continues to resonate today. Editor David Swain has provided an introductory essay and extensive notes that contain background information and historical documentation to accompany and illuminate the original manuscript.


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Recollections of the War with Mexico
Major John Corey Henshaw & Edited by Gary F. Kurutz
University of Missouri Press, 2008

Major John Henshaw, a dutiful regimental officer in the American invasion of Mexico, was one of only a handful of eyewitnesses to describe the two major theaters of that war from start to finish. But unlike most of his peers, he did not see himself as a conquering warrior and took pride in never having taken a life. He even wrote, “If I were alone, no earthly power could induce me to lend a helping hand in this base and infamous war.”

This book presents Henshaw’s recollections for the first time, covering all the action from the first skirmish in southern Texas to the collapse of Mexico City. As a member of the Seventh Infantry Regiment, this pugnacious line officer from New England served under both of the war’s principal generals, Zachary Taylor and Winfield Scott, and survived seven major battles. His writings constitute a virtual “minority opinion” report on the Mexican War.

Henshaw’s recollections include a rare and highly descriptive account of the siege of Fort Texas (later Fort Brown), plus rich new details of the storming of the Bishop’s Palace at Monterrey, the bombardment of Veracruz, the assault on Cerro Gordo, and the savage fighting outside the capital. His records of battles, marches, and maneuvers greatly augment what is already known about the campaign, but in addition to reporting daily occurrences and describing combat in graphic detail, Henshaw also reflected on the strategies and tactics—and what he saw as shortcomings—of officers on both sides.

Bitingly critical of those in command, of American volunteers, and of the war’s glory hounds, Henshaw admired the valor of ordinary soldiers on both sides of the fighting. And in the midst of the carnage, he also found time to describe Mexico’s cities and scenery in rhapsodic prose and express considerable empathy for its people. In addition to the “Recollections,” the volume includes vivid passages from letters Henshaw sent back to his wife, which supply additional details of the campaign. Editor Gary Kurutz provides an extensive biography of Henshaw, as well as comprehensive annotations to the text.

What Henshaw may have lacked as an unquestioning officer he more than made up for as an astute observer. Offering a decidedly different view of this war of American expansion, these writings with their balanced approach lend a fresh perspective among other primary sources and paint a startlingly honest picture of both Americans fighting abroad and those they fought.


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Refugees in Our Own Land
Chronicles From a Palestinian Refugee Camp in Bethlehem
Muna Hamzeh
Pluto Press, 2001

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Remembering the Holocaust
Michael E. Stevens
Wisconsin Historical Society Press, 1997
This moving documentary volume brings together fourteen interviews of Holocaust survivors who later settled in Wisconsin. With words and photographs they describe the richness of pre-war Jewish life in Europe; the advent of proscriptive laws, arrests, and deportation; the unspeakable horrors of the Nazi camps; and ultimately the liberation and postwar experiences of the survivors.

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A Remembrance of Eden
Harriet Bailey Bullock Daniel's Memories of a Frontier Plantation in Arkansas, 1849–1872
Margaret Jones Bolsterli
University of Arkansas Press, 1993
In her perceptive chronicle of everyday life on an Arkansas plantation, Harriet Bailey Bullock Daniel sheds light on the plantation economy, medical practices, religion, slavery, and sex roles in the period from 1849 until Daniel's marriage in 1872. The work is a rich mixture of mundane details surrounded by momentous events, and Daniel's sure grasp of both provides enjoyment and enlightenment for any reader.

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Reminiscences of a Private
William E. Bevens of the First Arkansas Infantry C.S.A.
Daniel E. Sutherland
University of Arkansas Press, 1999
Reminiscences of a Private is William Bevens’s personal chronicle of his participation in such famous Civil War battles as Shiloh, Chickamauga, Atlanta, and Nashville. There is no supernal heroism here, no pretension, no grandiose analysis. Bevens is neither introspective nor philosophical, and he rarely dwells on the larger issues of the war. He concerns himself with what mattered to him as a common foot soldier. There are longer and fuller accounts of the war; however, few are as honest or as direct as this frank and forthright journal. By confining his contributions as editor to filling gaps in Bevens’s narrative, to correcting some misspellings, and to providing dates and explanatory notes, Daniel Sutherland allows Bevens to tell his story of a young Arkansan at war. His unassuming voice will speak to all readers with compelling candor.

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Reminiscences of a Soldier's Wife
An Autobiography
Mrs. John A. Logan. Foreword by John Y. Simon
Southern Illinois University Press, 1997

"To tell my own story is to tell that of my famous husband, General John A. Logan," explains Mary S. Logan in the preface to her autobiography.

Married to John A. Logan for thirty-one years, Mary Logan shared in her distinguished husband’s career as a prosecutor in southern Illinois, as a Civil War general, and as a senator from Illinois. She observed firsthand the extraordinary events before, during, and after the Civil War, and she knew personally those world leaders who held the power to shape history. After the death of her husband, she maintained her influence in Washington, D.C. "Under the brightest and darkest skies," she explains, "I have passed than a half-century at the national capital."

Born in 1838, Logan writes of her early days growing up in southern Illinois through 1913, when this book was first published. A skillful observer, she recounts events that are personal, regional, and national in scope. In charming detail, she shares her courtship and subsequent marriage to a young prosecutor from Jackson County and the births of their children. She writes proudly of the Lincoln-Douglas debates in 1858 and her husband’s election to the Thirty-seventh Congress that same year. Logan tells of the coming of the Civil War and of her husband—formerly a Democrat and an enemy of Lincoln—casting his fate with the Union and raising a regiment in southern Illinois. She poignantly describes her brother’s defection to the Confederate Army, her life in war-torn Cairo, Illinois, and her horror at her husband’s severe war wounds. She recounts the battles, the political campaigns, and Lincoln’s reelection and subsequent assassination from her point of view—and, as the wife of a politician and general, hers is a decidedly privileged perspective.

In a position to observe and to participate in events ranging from momentous to minute throughout the latter half of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, she reports the essential episodes of history with the flair of journalism, a career she in fact embraced after the death of her husband. She writes movingly of a wounded captain on the road to recovery who suddenly died when the minié shifted next to his lung, amusingly of the excuses soldiers invented to wrangle a pass to town, and elegantly of her trips to Europe and of the pomp and circumstance of the parties attended by the great men and women of the time. Drawing on events grand and small, she re-creates history as only a skillful writer who was in the right place at the right time could.


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Rescuing the Children
A Holocaust Memoir
Vivette Samuel; Translated and with an introduction by Charles B. Paul; With a foreword by Elie Wiesel
University of Wisconsin Press, 2002
Rescuing the Children is the memoir of Vivette Samuel, who at age twenty-two began working for the Œuvre de secours aux enfants (OSE, or Society for Assistance to Children). The OSE and similar organizations saved 86 percent of Jewish children in France from deportation to Nazi concentration and extermination camps.

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The Revolution Remembered
Eyewitness Accounts of the War for Independence
Edited by John C. Dann
University of Chicago Press, 1980
A classic oral history of the American Revolution, The Revolution Remembered uses 79 first-hand accounts from veterans of the war to provide the reader with the feel of what it must have been like to fight and live through America's bloody battle for independence.

"In a book fairly bursting with feats of daring, perhaps the most spectacular accomplishment of them all is this volume's transformation of its readers into the grandchildren of Revolutionary War soldiers. . . . An amazing gathering of 79 surrogate Yankee grandparents who tell us in their own words what they saw with their own eyes."—Elaine F. Weiss, Christian Science Monitor

"Fascinating. . . . [The soldiers'] details fill in significant shadows of history."—Henry Kisor, Chicago Sun-Times

"It's still good fun two centuries later, overhearing these experiences of the tumult of everyday life and seeing a front-lines view of one of the most unusual armies ever to fight, let alone win."—Richard Martin, Wall Street Journal

"One of the most important primary source discoveries from the era. A unique and fresh perspective."—Paul G. Levine, Los Angeles Times

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The Road South
Personal Stories of the Freedom Riders
B. J. Hollars
University of Alabama Press, 2018
Revisits the inspiring and heroic stories of the Freedom Riders, through their own words.
In May 1961, despite multiple Supreme Court rulings, segregation remained alive and well within the system of interstate travel. All across the American South, interstate buses as well as their travel facilities were divided racially. This blatant disregard for law and morality spurred the Congress of Racial Equality to send thirteen individuals—seven black, six white—on a harrowing bus trip throughout the South as a sign of protest.
These original riders were met with disapproval, arrests and violence along the way, but that did not stop the movement. That summer, more than four hundred Freedom Riders continued their journey—many of them concluding their ride at Mississippi’s notorious Parchman Farm, where they endured further abuses and indignities. As a result of the riders sacrifice, by November of 1961, the Interstate Commerce Commission finally put an end to interstate commerce segregation, and in the process, elevated the riders to become a source of inspiration for other civil rights campaigns such as voter registration rights and school desegregation.
While much has been written on the Freedom Rides, far less has been published about the individual riders. Join award-winning author B. J. Hollars as he sets out on his own journey to meet them, retracing the historic route and learning the stories of as many surviving riders as he could. The Road South: Personal Stories of the Freedom Riders offers an intimate look into the lives and legacies of the riders. Throughout the book these civil rights veterans’ poignant, personal stories offer timely insights into America’s racial past and hopeful future.
Weaving the past with the present, Hollars aims to demystify the legendary journey, while also confronting more modern concerns related to race in America. The Road South is part memoir and part research-based journalism. It transcends the traditional textbook version of this historical journey to highlight the fascinating stories of the many riders—both black and white—who risked their lives to move the country forward.

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Rwandan Women Rising
Swanee Hunt
Duke University Press, 2017
In the spring of 1994, the tiny African nation of Rwanda was ripped apart by a genocide that left nearly a million dead. Neighbors attacked neighbors. Family members turned against their own. After the violence subsided, Rwanda's women—drawn by the necessity of protecting their families—carved out unlikely new roles for themselves as visionary pioneers creating stability and reconciliation in genocide's wake. Today, 64 percent of the seats in Rwanda's elected house of Parliament are held by women, a number unrivaled by any other nation. 
While news of the Rwandan genocide reached all corners of the globe, the nation's recovery and the key role of women are less well known. In Rwandan Women Rising, Swanee Hunt shares the stories of some seventy women—heralded activists and unsung heroes alike—who overcame unfathomable brutality, unrecoverable loss, and unending challenges to rebuild Rwandan society. Hunt, who has worked with women leaders in sixty countries for over two decades, points out that Rwandan women did not seek the limelight or set out to build a movement; rather, they organized around common problems such as health care, housing, and poverty to serve the greater good. Their victories were usually in groups and wide ranging, addressing issues such as rape, equality in marriage, female entrepreneurship, reproductive rights, education for girls, and mental health. 
These women's accomplishments provide important lessons for policy makers and activists who are working toward equality elsewhere in Africa and other postconflict societies. Their stories, told in their own words via interviews woven throughout the book, demonstrate that the best way to reduce suffering and to prevent and end conflicts is to elevate the status of women throughout the world.

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