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Bill Jason Priest, Community College Pioneer

Bill Jason Priest, Community College Pioneer

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Date: February 15, 2004
Creator: Whitson, Kathleen Krebbs
Description: There are few things that are purely American. On that short list are baseball and the two-year community college. Bill Jason Priest possessed skill and acumen for both. The better part of his life was spent developing and defining the junior college into the comprehensive community college. His contributions earned him a prestigious place in the annals of higher education, but his personality was not one of a stereotypical stodgy educator, nor is the story of his life a dry read. After working his way through college, Priest played professional baseball before serving in Naval Intelligence during World War II. His varied experiences helped shape his leadership style, often labeled as autocratic and sometimes truculent in conservative convictions. The same relentless drive that brought him criticism also brought him success and praise. Forthright honesty and risk-taking determination combined with vision brought about many positive results. Priest’s career in higher education began with the two-year college system in California before he was lured to Texas in 1965 to head the Dallas County Junior College District. Over the next fifteen years Priest transformed the junior college program into the Dallas County Community College District (DCCCD) and built it up to seven colleges. ...
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Savage Frontier: Rangers, Riflemen, and Indian Wars in Texas, Volume I, 1835 - 1837

Savage Frontier: Rangers, Riflemen, and Indian Wars in Texas, Volume I, 1835 - 1837

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Date: September 15, 2007
Creator: Moore, Stephen L.
Description: This first volume of the Savage Frontier series is a comprehensive account of the formative years of the legendary Texas Rangers, focusing on the three-year period between 1835 and 1837, when Texas was struggling to gain its independence from Mexico and assert itself as a new nation. Stephen L. Moore vividly portrays another struggle of the settlers of Texas to tame a wilderness frontier and secure a safe place to build their homes and raise their families. Moore provides fresh detail about each ranging unit formed during the Texas Revolution and narrates their involvement in the pivotal battle of San Jacinto. New ranger battalions were created following the revolution, after Indian attacks against settlers increased. One notorious attack occurred against the settlers of Parker's Fort, which had served as a ranger station during the revolution. By 1837 President Sam Houston had allowed the army to dwindle, leaving only a handful of ranging units to cover the vast Republic. These frontiersmen endured horse rustling raids and ambushes, fighting valiantly even when greatly outnumbered in battles such as the Elm Creek Fight, Post Oak Springs Massacre, and the Stone Houses Fight. Through extensive use of primary military documents and first-person accounts, Moore ...
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With the Possum and the Eagle: the Memoir of a Navigator's War Over Germany and Japan

With the Possum and the Eagle: the Memoir of a Navigator's War Over Germany and Japan

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Date: August 15, 2005
Creator: Nutter, Ralph H.
Description: Ralph H. Nutter was the lead navigator for Eighth Air Force raids over Germany when he was assigned as Maj. Gen. Curtis “the Eagle” LeMay’s group navigator. Later, as the strategic air war over Europe was winding down, the ace navigator was transferred to B-29 Superfortress duty with the Twentieth Air Force in the Pacific, where he was picked by Brigadier Gen. Haywood "Possum" Hansell to be his bomber navigator. After LeMay succeeded Hansell as bomber commander, Nutter returned to navigation duty with LeMay. Hansell and LeMay were two of our country’s leading combat commanders in Europe and the Pacific. They pioneered the concepts of strategic airpower and high-altitude daylight precision bombing. With the Possum and the Eagle affords a rare insider’s perspective on aviation leadership and strategic issues, melded with extraordinary accounts of courage under fire.
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A Sniper in the Tower: the Charles Whitman Murders

A Sniper in the Tower: the Charles Whitman Murders

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Date: March 15, 1997
Creator: Lavergne, Gary M.
Description: On August 1, 1966, Charles Joseph Whitman ascended the University of Texas Tower and committed what was then the largest simultaneous mass murder in American history. He gunned down forty-five people inside and around the Tower before he was killed by two Austin police officers. During the previous evening he had killed his wife and mother, bringing the total to sixteen people dead and at least thirty-one wounded. The murders spawned debates over issues which still plague America today: domestic violence, child abuse, drug abuse, military indoctrination, the insanity defense, and the delicate balance between civil liberties and public safety. "An outstanding job of chronicling one of the most significant cases in the annals of American crime. . . . Lavergne skillfully researched, documented, and analyzed a case that in many ways defined the concept of ‘mass murder’ . . . will likely become a classic in anyone’s library of true crime editions."--James Alan Fox, Dean of Criminal Justice, Northeastern University, Boston, Massachusetts, and an authority on mass murder
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Hell in an Loc: the 1972 Easter Invasion and the Battle That Saved South Viet Nam

Hell in an Loc: the 1972 Easter Invasion and the Battle That Saved South Viet Nam

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Date: November 15, 2009
Creator: Lâm, Quang Thi
Description: In 1972 a North Vietnamese offensive of more than 30,000 men and 100 tanks smashed into South Vietnam and raced to capture Saigon. All that stood in their way was a small band of 6,800 South Vietnamese (ARVN) soldiers and militiamen, and a handful of American advisors with U.S. air support, guarding An Loc, a town sixty miles north of Saigon and on the main highway to it. This depleted army, outnumbered and outgunned, stood its ground and fought to the end and succeeded. Against all expectations, the ARVN beat back furious assaults from three North Vietnamese divisions, supported by artillery and armored regiments, during three months of savage fighting. This victory was largely unreported in the U.S. media, which had effectively lost interest in the war after the disengagement of most U.S. forces. Thi believes that it is time to set the record straight. Without denying the tremendous contribution of the U.S. advisors and pilots, this book is written primarily to tell the South Vietnamese side of the story and, more importantly, to render justice to the South Vietnamese soldier.
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Through Animals' Eyes, Again: Stories of Wildlife Rescue

Through Animals' Eyes, Again: Stories of Wildlife Rescue

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Date: August 15, 2006
Creator: Cuny, Lynn Marie
Description: From the author of Through Animals’ Eyes come more true stories from the rare perspective of someone who not only cares for the animals she treats, but also has never wanted nor tried to tame or change them. Lynn Cuny founded Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation (WRR) in 1977 in her backyard in San Antonio. It has since grown to 187 acres and now rescues more than 7,000 animals annually and maintains an emergency hotline 365 days a year. Native animals are released back into the wild, and those non-native or severely injured animals that cannot be released become permanent Sanctuary residents. Through her stories, Lynn hopes to dispel the belief that animals do not reason, have emotions, or show compassion for each other. Lynn’s stories cover the humorous and the tragic, the surprising and the inevitable. The animals she describes range from the orphaned baby Rhesus monkey who found a new mother in an old monkey rescued from a lab, to the brave red-tailed hawk who was illegally shot, but healed to soar again. The stories will touch your heart and help you see “through animals’ eyes.” “These true accounts, as amazing as some of them are with their unlikely ...
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Spartan Band: Burnett's 13th Texas Cavalry in the Civil War

Spartan Band: Burnett's 13th Texas Cavalry in the Civil War

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Date: March 15, 2005
Creator: Reid, Thomas
Description: In Spartan Band (coined from a chaplain’s eulogistic poem) author Thomas Reid traces the Civil War history of the 13th Texas Cavalry, a unit drawn from eleven counties in East Texas. The cavalry regiment organized in the spring of 1862 but was ordered to dismount once in Arkansas. The regiment gradually evolved into a tough, well-trained unit during action at Lake Providence, Fort De Russy, Mansfield, Pleasant Hill, and Jenkins' Ferry, as part of Maj. Gen. John G. Walker's Texas division in the Trans-Mississippi Department. Reid researched letters, documents, and diaries gleaned from more than one hundred descendants of the soldiers, answering many questions relating to their experiences and final resting places. He also includes detailed information on battle casualty figures, equipment issued to each company, slave ownership, wealth of officers, deaths due to disease, and the effects of conscription on the regiment’s composition. “The hard-marching, hard-fighting soldiers of the 13th Texas Cavalry helped make Walker’s Greyhound Division famous, and their story comes to life through Thomas Reid’s exhaustive research and entertaining writing style. This book should serve as a model for Civil War regimental histories.”—Terry L. Jones, author of Lee’s Tigers
Contributing Partner: UNT Press
Pride of Place: a Contemporary Anthology of Texas Nature Writing

Pride of Place: a Contemporary Anthology of Texas Nature Writing

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Date: January 15, 2006
Creator: Taylor, David
Description: Since Roy Bedichek's influential Adventures with a Texas Naturalist, no book has attempted to explore the uniqueness of Texas nature, or reflected the changes in the human landscape that have accelerated since Bedichek's time. Pride of Place updates Bedichek's discussion by acknowledging the increased urbanization and the loss of wildspace in today's state. It joins other recent collections of regional nature writing while demonstrating what makes Texas uniquely diverse. These fourteen essays are held together by the story of Texas pride, the sense that from West Texas to the Coastal Plains, we and the landscape are important and worthy of pride, if not downright bravado. This book addresses all the major regions of Texas. Beginning with Roy Bedichek's essay "Still Water," it includes Carol Cullar and Barbara "Barney" Nelson on the Rio Grande region of West Texas, John Graves's evocative "Kindred Spirits" on Central Texas, Joe Nick Patoski's celebration of Hill Country springs, Pete Gunter on the Piney Woods, David Taylor on North Texas, Gary Clark and Gerald Thurmond on the Coastal Plains, Ray Gonzales and Marian Haddad on El Paso, Stephen Harrigan and Wyman Meinzer on West Texas, and Naomi Shihab Nye on urban San Antonio. This anthology will ...
Contributing Partner: UNT Press
The Light Crust Doughboys Are on the Air: Celebrating Seventy Years of Texas Music

The Light Crust Doughboys Are on the Air: Celebrating Seventy Years of Texas Music

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Date: September 15, 2002
Creator: Dempsey, John Mark
Description: Millions of Texans and Southwesterners have been touched over the years by the Light Crust Doughboys. From 1930 to 1952, fans faithfully tuned in to their early-morning and, later, noontime radio program, and turned out in droves to hear them play live. The Doughboys embodied the very essence of the “golden era” of radio—live performances and the dominance of programming by advertising agencies. Their radio program began as a way to sell Light Crust Flour. Their early impresario, W. Lee “Pappy” O'Daniel, quickly learned how to exploit the power of radio to influence voters, and he put that lesson to good use to become a two-time Texas governor and the model for Pappy O'Daniel in the movie, Oh Brother, Where Art Thou? But the group was more than a way to push flour; the talented musicians associated with them included Bob Wills and Milton Brown, each of whom receive credit for founding western swing. With the demise of their regular radio program, the Light Crust Doughboys had to remake themselves. Trailblazers in western swing, the Doughboys explored many other musical genres, including gospel, for which they were nominated for Grammys in 1998, 1999, 2001, and 2002. They continue to play ...
Contributing Partner: UNT Press
Pacific Blitzkrieg: World War II in the Central Pacific

Pacific Blitzkrieg: World War II in the Central Pacific

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Date: October 15, 2013
Creator: Lacey, Sharon Tosi
Description: Pacific Blitzkrieg closely examines the planning, preparation, and execution of ground operations for five major invasions in the Central Pacific (Guadalcanal, Tarawa, the Marshalls, Saipan, and Okinawa). The commanders on the ground had to integrate the U.S. Army and Marine Corps into a single striking force, something that would have been difficult in peacetime, but in the midst of a great global war, it was a monumental task. Yet, ultimate success in the Pacific rested on this crucial, if somewhat strained, partnership and its accomplishments. Despite the thousands of works covering almost every aspect of World War II in the Pacific, until now no one has examined the detailed mechanics behind this transformation at the corps and division level. Sharon Tosi Lacey makes extensive use of previously untapped primary research material to re-examine the development of joint ground operations, the rapid transformation of tactics and equipment, and the evolution of command relationships between army and marine leadership. This joint venture was the result of difficult and patient work by commanders and evolving staffs who acted upon the lessons of each engagement with remarkable speed. For every brilliant strategic and operational decision of the war, there were thousands of minute actions ...
Contributing Partner: UNT Press