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A Check List Of New Books

May 2024
4min read

High Moment

edited by Wallace Brockway. Simon & Schuster. $3.50.

A collection of stories about the moments of crisis in a number of great men’s lives, told by notable authors. Louis Kronenberger tells how Gibbon was inspired to write The Decline and Fall ; Irwin Edman how Socrates chose to become a martyr to freedom of thought; Claude Bowers about Jefferson’s part in the Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions; C. S. Forester how Napoleon invited trouble, indeed disaster, by ignoring such military inventors as Fulton and a certain Lieutenant Henry Shrapnel. There are sixteen pieces in all.

Struggle for the Border

by Bruce Hutchinson. Longmans, Green & Co. $6.

An important and interesting survey of the conflicts, many of them little understood, which took place over the centuries on the Canadian-American border before it acquired its present peaceful reputation.

Defeat at Sea:

The Struggle and Eventual Destruction of the German Navy, 1939–45 , by C. D. Bekker. Henry Holt & Co. $3.95.

Written by a former German naval officer taken prisoner by the British in 1944, this book recounts in a series of vignettes most of the well-known incidents of World War II’s naval battles, both on the surface and below it.

The Age of Reform:

From Bryan to F.D.R. , by Richard Hofstadter. Alfred A. Knopf. $4.50.

A most readable and valuable study of Populism, Progressivism and the New Deal, and of the evolution of reformist ideas, covering the period from 1890 to 1940.

The Socialist Party of America

by David A. Shannon. The Macmillan Co. $4.50.

A comprehensive history of a once forceful American political party and the reasons for its decline.

Thaddeus Stevens

by Ralph Korngold. Harcourt, Brace & Co. $6.

A detailed biography of one of Lincoln’s most interesting contemporaries and the story of his significant political role both during and after the Civil War.

A History of the Monroe Doctrine

by Dexter Perkins. Little, Brown & Co. $5.

In this new edition of Hands Off (1941), Dr. Perkins has rewritten the section dealing with the period since 1938, and has also examined the status of the doctrine today.

The Selected Letters of Henry James

edited by Leon Edel. Farrar, Straus & Cudahy. $4.

A selection of 128 letters (half of which have never been published) made from the thousands written by James to his family and friends. Divided into eight groups, it serves chiefly as a guide to the types of James’s letters.

John Singer Sargent

by Charles Merrill Mount. W. W. Norton & Co. $7.50.

A perceptive biography of the expatriate American painter, illustrated with reproductions of his works.

Sea Fights and Shipwrecks:

True Tales of the Seven Seas , by Hanson W. Baldwin. Hanover House. $3.95.

From the hundreds of sea adventures of the last 150 years of sail and steam, the author has selected eighteen dramatic stories of disaster, heroism or cowardice. They include such classics as the Birkenhead , the Mary Celeste , the Lusitania and the Graf Spee , and come down to events as recent as Okinawa.

The American Cowboy:

The Myth and the Reality , by Joe B. Frantz and Julian Ernest Choate, Jr. University of Oklahoma Press. $3.75.

An analysis of the many roles of the cowboy in frontier history and as he has appeared in our literature.


A Full-length Portrait , by Edward Wagenknecht. Longmans, Green & Co. $6.

A portrayal of Longfellow in a realistic perspective, using new manuscript material to include neglected aspects of the poet’s life and work.

Woodrow Wilson and the Balance of Power

by Edward H. Buehrig. Indiana University Press. $5.

An examination of the beginnings of “Collective Security” and a discussion of ideological factors in the wartime policies of the President.

A Little Rebellion

by Marion L. Starkey. Alfred A. Knopf.$4.

An excellent account of Shays’ Rebellion, that angry uprising of the Yankee farmers of Massachusetts against the financial power of the Boston aristocrats, shortly after the Revolution.

Taming the Forty-Niner

by Elisabeth Margo. Rinehart & Co. $3.75.

A re-creation in a rococo mood of the first wild bachelor days during the gold rush in California, and of how things calmed down after the first ladies (but not the first women) arrived.

Black Hawk:

An Autobiography , edited by Donald Jackson. University of Illinois Press. §3.75.

Told in the words of a tragic figure in American history—a Sauk warrior who lived under four flags while the Mississippi Valley was being wrested from his people—this book first appeared in 1833.

The Secret Raiders

by David Woodward. W. W. Norton & Co. $3.75.

Another book from the former enemy side describes the little-known, but dramatic and all-too-effective exploits of German merchant raiders in the last war.

Benjamin Henry Latrobe

by Talbot Hamlin. Oxford University Press. $15.

A handsomely presented and illustrated biography of the internationally educated architect who became the good friend of Jefferson and designed and built the Capitol.

A Southern Reader

by Willard Thorp. Alfred A. Knopf. $7.50.

A fascinating anthology, drawn from letters, diaries, stories, anecdotes and other sources (Southern, Yankee and foreign) dealing with almost every aspect of life in Dixie. Politics, religion, chivalry, architecture, race relations, cooking—all are represented.

New Found World

by Harold Lamb. Doubleday & Co. $5.75.

A narrative of how North America was discovered and explored, which makes the fifth volume of “The Mainstream of America Series.”

The Last Wilderness

by Murray Morgan. The Viking Press. $3.95.

The story of the Olympic Peninsula, America’s last wilderness, and of the sturdy men and women who settled there.

The Fabulous Phonograph:

From Tin Foil to High Fidelity ,, by Roland Gelatt. J. B. Lippincott Co. $4.95.

An overdue history of an invention that has entertained so many for so long; and of the inventors, the entrepreneurs, and the musicians who played a part in its development.

Tinkers and Genius:

The Story of the Yankee Inventors , by Edmund Fuller. Hastings House. $4.50.

The story of that productive era in the Nineteenth Century when Yankee inventiveness was at its peak, spawning the tools, the machines and mass-production techniques that changed the face of America.

A Treasury of Mississippi River Folklore

edited by B. A. Botkin. Crown Publishers. $5.

Stories, ballads and traditions of the mid-American river country.

The Nez Percés:

Tribesmen of the Columbia Plateau , by Francis Haines. University of Oklahoma Press. $5.

The story of a remarkable Indian tribe; how its life was revolutionized by the horse; how the tribesmen met Lewis and Clark (and Christianity); how they fought the Nez Percé War of 1877 and nearly triumphed over U. S. troops, and produced Chief Joseph, the famous “Red Napoleon.” (Vol. 42 of Oklahoma’s “Civilization of the American Indian Series.”)

The Scene Before You:

A New Approach to American Culture , edited by Chandler Brossard. Rinehart & Company, Inc. $3.50.

Twenty-four essays on important aspects of American culture and their background—among them sex and science; movies; comics; Greenwich Village; painting and politics. Contributors include Lionel Trilling, Robert Warshow, Arthur Schlesinger, Jr.

The American Revolution, 1763–1783:

Political and Military Aspects , by Eric Robson. Oxford University Press. $2.90.

This little book, published quietly in America some months ago, packs more useful cerebration into its 238 wellwritten pages than many studies and retellings of the same subject attain in several volumes. It glows with reasoned insights into the confusion of British policy, into the effects of the French defeat in 1763, into the low morale of British soldiery, and into the importance of the meanest form of mercantilism in bringing about the separation of two kindred peoples. The author, a lecturer at the University of Manchester, died last year at an untimely 36.

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