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American Voudou: Journey Into a Hidden World

Description: Voudou (an older spelling of voodoo)—a pantheistic belief system developed in West Africa and transported to the Americas during the diaspora of the slave trade—is the generic term for a number of similar African religions which mutated in the Americas, including santeria, candomble, macumbe, obeah, Shango Baptist, etc. Since its violent introduction in the Caribbean islands, it has been the least understood and most feared religion of the New World—suppressed, out-lawed or ridiculed from Haiti to Hattiesburg. Yet with the exception of Zora Neale Hurston's accounts more than a half-century ago and a smattering of lurid, often racist paperbacks, studies of this potent West African theology have focused almost exclusively on Haiti, Cuba and the Caribbean basin. American Voudou turns our gaze back to American shores, principally towards the South, the most important and enduring stronghold of the voudou faith in America and site of its historic yet rarely recounted war with Christianity. This chronicle of Davis' determined search for the true legacy of voudou in America reveals a spirit-world from New Orleans to Miami which will shatter long-held stereotypes about the religion and its role in our culture. The real-life dramas of the practitioners, true believers and skeptics of the voudou world also offer a radically different entree into a half-hidden, half-mythical South, and by extension into an alternate soul of America. Readers interested in the dynamic relationships between religion and society, and in the choices made by people caught in the flux of conflict, will be heartened by this unique story of survival and even renaissance of what may have been the most persecuted religion in American history.
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Date: November 15, 1999
Creator: Davis, Rod

Bad Boy From Rosebud: the Murderous Life of Kenneth Allen Mcduff

Description: In October of 1989, the State of Texas set Kenneth Allen McDuff, the Broomstick Murderer, free on parole. By choosing to murder again, McDuff became the architect of an extraordinarily intolerant atmosphere in Texas. The spasm of prison construction and parole reforms—collectively called the “McDuff Rules”—resulted from an enormous display of anger vented towards a system that allowed McDuff to kill, and kill again. Bad Boy from Rosebud is a chilling account of the life of one of the most heartless and brutal serial killers in American history. Gary M. Lavergne goes beyond horror into an analysis of the unbelievable subculture in which McDuff lived. Equally compelling are the lives of remarkable law enforcement officers determined to bring McDuff to justice, and their seven-year search for his victims. “Texas still feels the pain inflicted by Kenneth Allen McDuff, despite the relentless efforts of law enforcement officials to solve his crimes and bind up its wounds. Bad Boy from Rosebud is an impeccably researched, compellingly detailed account of the crimes and the long search for justice. Gary Lavergne takes us directly to the scenes of the crimes, deep inside the mind of a killer, and in the process learns not only whom McDuff killed and how—but why. This is classic crime reporting.”—Dan Rather, CBS News
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Date: July 15, 1999
Creator: Lavergne, Gary M.

Through Animals' Eyes: True Stories From a Wildlife Sanctuary

Description: “Heartwarming tales of rescued creatures are presented in this collection of vignettes from a large wildlife rehabilitation center.”—Booklist. “Her brief stories are often touching, such as when she describes a young raccoon, rescued from a fire, self-medicating its burned paws with aloe vera plants; or two crab-eating macaques, confined inside a research facility for eighteen years, experiencing the outdoors for the first time.”—Natural History. “This book deserves a spot on every library shelf along with such nonfiction animal story classics as Adamson’s Born Free, North’s Rascal, and the work of Jane Goodall.”—Appraisal: Science Books for Young People
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Date: February 15, 1999
Creator: Cuny, Lynn Marie

My Remembers: a Black Sharecropper's Recollections of the Depression

Description: Eddie Stimpson Jr.'s personal memoirs from his childhood. He recalls sharecropping life, the ways he and his family got by financially, his faith, African-American culture at the time, and The Great Depression. Includes photographs and illustrations to accompany the story. Index starts on page 163.
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Date: January 15, 1999
Creator: Stimpson, Eddie, Jr.

Crossing the Pond: The Native American Effort in World War II

Description: A non-fiction book about Native Americans serving in the military during World War II, as well as Native American efforts on the home-front. The book also chronicles attempts by Nazi propagandists to exploit Native Americans for the Third Reich, and the postwar experiences of Native Americans. Includes photographs of Native American civilians and military personnel. Index starts on page 219.
Date: 1999
Creator: Franco, Jere' Bishop

The Best of Texas Folk and Folklore: 1916-1954

Description: This volume of the Publications of the Texas Folklore Society contains information about folklore in Texas and Mexico, including folk songs and ballads, ghost stories, Mexican animal tales, sermons, stories about games and celebrations, folklore of Texas plants, and information about folk remedies. The index begins on page 349.
Date: 1998
Creator: Texas Folklore Society

The Roy Bedichek Family Letters

Description: This book is a collection of letters written by Roy Bedichek and letters written to him from other family members. Annotations and notes about the letters have been added as footnotes. Biographical information based on interviews of family members as well as genealogical charts of the Bedichek and Greer families are also included. Index starts on page 447.
Date: 1998
Creator: Bedichek, Jane Gracy, 1918- & Bedichek, Roy, 1878-1959

Along the Texas Forts Trail

Description: The task of providing military defense for the Texas Frontier was never an easy one because the territory was claimed by some of the greatest querrilla fighters of all times—the Comanches, Kiowas, Apaches, and Lipans. Protecting a line running from the Red River southwest to El Paso was an impossible task, but following the Mexican War the federal government attempted to do so by establishing a line of forts. During the Civil War the forts were virtually abandoned and the Indians once again ruled the area. Following the war when the military began to restore the old forts, they found that the Indians no longer fought with bows and arrows but shouldered the latest firearms. With their new weapons the Indians were able to inflict tremendous destruction, bringing demands from settlers for more protection. In the summer of 1866 a new line of forts appeared through central Texas under the leadership of General Philip H. Sheridan, commander of federal forces in Louisiana and Texas. Guardians of a raw young land and focal points of high adventure, the old forts were indispensable in their day of service and it is fitting that they be preserved. In and around the forts and along the route of the Texas Forts Trail, history is abundant and enduring. Historian Rupert Richardson first wrote the travel guide of the fort locations for the Texas Highway Department. B. W. Aston and Donathan Taylor took the original version and revised and expanded it, giving additional historical information on the forts and their role in frontier defense, making this a valuable historical resource as well as a travel guide to the forts and surrounding towns.
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Date: October 15, 1997
Creator: Aston, B. W.

A Sniper in the Tower: the Charles Whitman Murders

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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Date: March 15, 1997
Creator: Lavergne, Gary M.

More Than A Uniform: A Navy Woman in a Navy Man's World

Description: An autobiographical account by Captain Winifred Quick Collins of her early life, the integration of women into the United States Navy, her Navy career, and her accomplishments in the service. The book focuses on Captain Collins's experience as a woman in a predominantly male division of the US military, as well as the history of women in the Navy. Includes a forward Arleigh Burke
Date: 1997
Creator: Collins, Winifred Quick & Levine, Herbert M.

"Surrounded by Dangers of All Kinds": The Mexican War Letters of Lieutenant Theodore Laidley

Description: This book contains a collection of letters written by Lieutenant Theodore Thadeus Sobieski (T. T. S.) Laidley between 1845 and 1848. The letters discuss life as a soldier during the Mexican War; most of the letters were written from various stations in Mexico. Each letter is bracketed by editorial commentary on the historical context and the collection is prefaced by a brief biography of Laidley's life prior to the first letter. Index starts on page 179.
Date: 1997
Creator: McCaffrey, James M., 1946- & Laidley, Theodore, 1822-1886.

Juneteenth Texas: Essays in African-American Folklore

Description: This volume of the Publications of the Texas Folklore Society contains essays about African-American folklore, including reminiscences of African-American folk culture in Texas, studies of specific genres of folklore, information about Texas-African food-ways, studies of specific performers, information about songs and other folklore. The index begins on page 353.
Date: 1996
Creator: Abernethy, Francis Edward

The Personal Correspondence of Sam Houston, Volume 1: 1839-1845

Description: This book is the first in a series of four volumes and contains collected correspondence to and from Sam Houston. According to information on the inside front cover, it includes letters "between Sam Houston and his wife, and their letters to other family members, family physicians, and close personal friends." The letters include footnotes that give clarification and context. The volume also has a bibliography, appendix, and index (which starts on page 377).
Date: 1996
Creator: Roberts, Madge Thornall

A Book Lover in Texas

Description: This autobiographical text discusses Evelyn Oppenheimer's role as a reader and book reviewer in Texas. The book discusses both her life and opinions regarding books and various topics. A selection of her poetry and one of her short stories ("The Green Conscience") are also included. Index starts on page 153.
Date: 1995
Creator: Oppenheimer, Evelyn, 1907-

Fresh Ink: Behind the Scenes at a Major Metropolitan Newspaper

Description: This book describes the work done at the Dallas Morning News newspaper office by taking a "behind-the-scenes" approach to discuss story selection, journalistic decisions, staff contributions, and community reactions. Although the text focuses on the week from November 4-10, 1991, it also looks at the history of the Dallas Morning News and major accomplishments of the newspaper.
Date: 1995
Creator: Gelsanliter, David

In the Line of Duty: Reflections of a Texas Ranger Private

Description: This book contains a series of anecdotes about Lewis Rigler's life, focusing on his time as a law enforcement officer in Texas. He discusses his life growing up, various cases that he worked on as a Texas Ranger, and general observations that he gained from his job. Index starts on page 181.
Date: 1995
Creator: Rigler, Lewis C., 1914- & Rigler, Judyth Wagner

900 Miles on the Butterfield Trail

Description: “Remember, boys, nothing on God's earth must stop the United States mail!” said John Butterfield to his drivers. Short as the life of the Southern Overland Mail turned out to be (1858 to 1861), the saga of the Butterfield Trail remains a high point in the westward movement. A. C. Greene offers a history and guide to retrace that historic and romantic Trail, which stretches 2800 miles from the Mississippi River to the Pacific coast. “A fine mix of past and present to appeal to scholar and lay reader alike.”—Robert M. Utley, author of The Lance and the Shield: The Life and Times of Sitting Bull
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Date: November 15, 1994
Creator: Greene, A.C.