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Warriors and Scholars: a Modern War Reader

Description: Few works of military history are able to move between the battlefield and academia. But Warriors and Scholars takes the best from both worlds by presenting the viewpoints of senior, eminent military historians on topics of their specialty, alongside veteran accounts for the modern war being discussed. Editors Peter Lane and Ronald Marcello have added helpful contextual and commentary footnotes for student readers. The papers, originally from the University of North Texas's annual Military History Seminar, are organized chronologically from World War II to the present day, making this a modern war reader of great use for the professional and the student. Scholars and topics include David Glantz on the Soviet Great Patriotic War, 1941-1945; Robert Divine on the decision to use the atomic bomb; George Herring on Lyndon Baines Johnson as Commander-in-Chief; and Brian Linn comparing the U.S. war and occupation in Iraq with the 1899-1902 war in the Philippines. Veterans and their topics include flying with the Bloody 100th by John Luckadoo; an enlisted man in the Pacific theater of World War II, by Roy Appleton; a POW in Vietnam, by David Winn; and Cold War duty in Moscow, by Charles Hamm.
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Date: August 15, 2005
Creator: Lane, Peter B. & Marcello, Ronald E.

This Corner of Canaan: Essays on Texas in Honor of Randolph B. Campbell

Description: Randolph B. “Mike” Campbell has spent the better part of the last five decades helping Texans rediscover their history, producing a stream of definitive works on the social, political, and economic structures of the Texas past. Through meticulous research and terrific prose, Campbell’s collective work has fundamentally remade how historians understand Texan identity and the state’s southern heritage, as well as our understanding of such contentious issues as slavery, westward expansion, and Reconstruction. Campbell’s pioneering work in local and county records has defined the model for grassroots research and community studies in the field. More than any other scholar, Campbell has shaped our modern understanding of Texas. In this collection of seventeen original essays, Campbell’s colleagues, friends, and students offer a capacious examination of Texas’s history—ranging from the Spanish era through the 1960s War on Poverty—to honor Campbell’s deep influence on the field. Focusing on themes and methods that Campbell pioneered, the essays debate Texas identity, the creation of nineteenth-century Texas, the legacies of the Civil War and Reconstruction, and the remaking of the Lone Star State during the twentieth century. Featuring some of the most well-known names in the field—as well as rising stars—the volume offers the latest scholarship on major issues in Texas history, and the enduring influence of the most eminent Texas historian of the last half century.
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Date: February 15, 2013
Creator: McCaslin, Richard B.; Chipman, Donald E. & Torget, Andrew J.

Bill Jason Priest, Community College Pioneer

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. He performed major roles in the evolution of nursing education, the founding of a telecommunications center for the production of televised courses, the delivery and acceptance of vocational education, and in greater breadth in noncredit courses. After his retirement in 1981, he continued to serve as Chancellor Emeritus until 2003. Drawing from archives as well as from numerous interviews with Priest and his personal and professional associates, Kathleen Krebbs Whitson presents the life of a giant in Texas education and reveals his lasting influence upon the community college movement.
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Date: February 15, 2004
Creator: Whitson, Kathleen Krebbs

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

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 documents the organization of the early ranger units and their activities. Of particular interest to the reader will be the various rosters of the companies, which are found throughout the book. Many of these muster rolls have been compiled from multiple sources and not published together previously. For the exacting historian or genealogist of early Texas, the Savage Frontier series will be an indispensable resource on early nineteenth-century Texas frontier warfare.
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Date: September 15, 2007
Creator: Moore, Stephen L.

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.

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

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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Date: November 15, 2009
Creator: Lâm, Quang Thi

Through Animals' Eyes, Again: Stories of Wildlife Rescue

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 bondings (a porcupine and a rabbit, a duck and a cat) will captivate, fascinate, educate, and often move you deeply. It’s an inspiring read for animal advocates and a must-read for those who have not been exposed to the beautiful experiences of the animal-animal bond.”—Loretta Swit, actress
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Date: August 15, 2006
Creator: Cuny, Lynn Marie

Pride of Place: a Contemporary Anthology of Texas Nature Writing

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 appeal not only to those interested in regional history, natural history, and the environmental issues Texans face, but also to all who say gladly, "I'm from Texas."
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Date: January 15, 2006
Creator: Taylor, David

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

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 together with versatility and wide-ranging talent—“official music ambassadors of the Lone Star State” as declared by the state legislature in 1995. Their legendary banjo player, Smokey Montgomery, was with the group for sixty-six years before his death in 2001. For the first time, here is the story of the Doughboys phenomenon, from their debut broadcast to their contemporary live performances. This is a rich slice of Texas musical and broadcasting history. Included inside is a bonus CD containing seventy-two minutes of Doughboys music, from early studio recordings to contemporary tunes.
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Date: September 15, 2002
Creator: Dempsey, John Mark

Pacific Blitzkrieg: World War II in the Central Pacific

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 and adaptations that made such brilliance possible. Lacey examines the Smith vs. Smith controversy during the Saipan invasion using newly discovered primary source material. Saipan was not the first time General “Howlin’ Mad” Smith had created friction. Lacey reveals how Smith’s blatant partisanship and inability to get along with others nearly brought the American march across the Pacific to a halt. Pacific Blitzkrieg explores the combat in each invasion to show how the battles were planned, how raw recruits were turned into efficient combat forces, how battle doctrine was created on the fly, and how every service remade itself as ...
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Date: October 15, 2013
Creator: Lacey, Sharon Tosi

Fort Worth Characters

Description: Fort Worth history is far more than the handful of familiar names that every true-blue Fort Worther hears growing up: leaders such as Amon Carter, B. B. Paddock, J. Frank Norris, and William McDonald. Their names are indexed in the history books for ready reference. But the drama that is Fort Worth history contains other, less famous characters who played important roles, like Judge James Swayne, Madam Mary Porter, and Marshal Sam Farmer: well known enough in their day but since forgotten. Others, like Al Hayne, lived their lives in the shadows until one, spectacular moment of heroism. Then there are the lawmen, Jim Courtright, Jeff Daggett, and Thomas Finch. They wore badges, but did not always represent the best of law and order. These seven plus five others are gathered together between the covers of this book. Each has a story that deserves to be told. If they did not all make history, they certainly lived in historic times. The jury is still out on whether they shaped their times or merely reflected those times. Either way, their stories add new perspectives to the familiar Fort Worth story, revealing how the law worked in the old days and what life was like for persons of color and for women living in a man’s world. As the old TV show used to say, “There are a million stories in the ‘Naked City.’” There may not be quite as many stories in Cowtown, but there are plenty waiting to be told—enough for future volumes of Fort Worth Characters. But this is a good starting point.
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Date: October 15, 2009
Creator: Selcer, Richard F.

The Mason County "Hoo Doo" War, 1874-1902

Description: Post-Reconstruction Texas in the mid-1870s was still relatively primitive, with communities isolated from each other in a largely open-range environment. Cattlemen owned herds of cattle in numerous counties while brand laws remained local. Friction arose when the nonresident stockmen attempted to gather their cattle, and mavericking was common. Law enforcement at the local level could cope with handling local drunks, collecting taxes, and attending the courts when in session, but when an outrageous crime occurred, or depredations in a community were at a level that severely taxed or overwhelmed the local sheriff, there was seldom any other recourse except a vigilante movement. With such a fragile hold on civilization in these communities, it is not difficult to understand how a “blood feud” could occur. During 1874 the Hoo Doo War erupted in the Texas Hill Country of Mason County, and for the remainder of the century violence and fear ruled the region in a rising tide of hatred and revenge. It is widely considered the most bitter feud in Texas history. Traditionally the feud is said to have begun with the intention of protecting the families, property and livelihood of the largely agrarian settlers in Mason and Llano counties. The truth is far more sinister. Evidence shows that the mob was contaminated from the outset by a criminal element, a fact the participants failed to recognize. They believed they were above the law. They were not above vengeance. The feud began in 1874 with the rise of the mob under Sheriff John Clark, but it was not until the premeditated murder of rancher Timothy Williamson in the spring of 1875, a murder orchestrated by Sheriff Clark, that the violence escalated out of control. His death drew former Texas Ranger Scott Cooley to the region seeking justice, and when the courts ...
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Date: February 15, 2006
Creator: Johnson, David D.

The Johnson-sims Feud: Romeo and Juliet, West Texas Style

Description: In the early 1900s, two families in Scurry and Kent counties in West Texas united in a marriage of fourteen-year-old Gladys Johnson to twenty-one-year-old Ed Sims. Billy Johnson, the father, set up Gladys and Ed on a ranch, and the young couple had two daughters. But Gladys was headstrong and willful, and Ed drank too much, and both sought affection outside their marriage. A nasty divorce ensued, and Gladys moved with her girls to her father’s luxurious ranch house, where she soon fell in love with famed Texas Ranger Frank Hamer. When Ed tried to take his daughters for a prearranged Christmas visit in 1916, Gladys and her brother Sid shot him dead on the Snyder square teeming with shoppers. One of the best lawyers in West Texas, Judge Cullen Higgins (son of the old feudist Pink Higgins) managed to win acquittal for both Gladys and Sid. In the tradition of Texas feudists since the 1840s, the Sims family sought revenge. Sims’ son-in-law, Gee McMeans, led an attack in Sweetwater and shot Billy Johnson’s bodyguard, Frank Hamer, twice, while Gladys—by now Mrs. Hamer—fired at another assassin. Hamer shot back, killed McMeans, and was no-billed on the spot by a grand jury watching the shootout through a window. An attempt against Billy Johnson failed, but a three-man team shotgunned the widely respected Cullen Higgins. Texas Rangers and other lawmen caught one of the assassins, extracted a confession, and then prompted his “suicide” in a Sweetwater jail cell.
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Date: August 15, 2010
Creator: O'Neal, Bill

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.

Written in Blood: the History of Fort Worth's Fallen Lawmen

Description: In 2009 Fort Worth unveiled an elaborate, million-dollar memorial to its fallen police and firefighters going all the way back to the city’s beginnings in 1873. Fifty-eight of the ninety-five names on the memorial were policemen. Written in Blood is a more inclusive version of that idea because it covers more than just members of the Fort Worth Police Department; it includes men from all branches of local law enforcement who died defending law and order in the early years: policemen, sheriffs, constables, “special officers,” and even a police commissioner. Richard F. Selcer and Kevin S. Foster tell the stories of thirteen of those early lawmen—an unlucky number to be sure. They range from Tarrant County Sheriff John B. York through Fort Worth Police Officer William “Ad” Campbell covering the years from 1861 to 1909. York was the first local lawman to die—in a street fight. Campbell was last in this era—shot-gunned in the back while walking his beat in Hell’s Half-Acre. Co-authors Selcer and Foster bring academic credentials and “street cred” to the story, explaining how policemen got (and kept) their jobs, what special officers were, and the working relationship between the city marshal’s boys and the sheriff’s boys.
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Date: October 15, 2010
Creator: Selcer, Richard F.

Tonality As Drama: Closure and Interruption in Four Twentieth-century American Operas

Description: Whether you are “in the business,” or you are a music theorist, musicologist, or simply an opera fan—read on! This is an analytical monograph by a Schenkerian music theorist, but it is also written by one performer and enthusiast for another. Tonality as Drama draws on the fields of dramaturgy, music theory, and historical musicology to answer a fundamental question regarding twentieth-century music: why does the use of tonality persist in opera, even after it has been abandoned in other genres? Combining the analytical approaches of the leading music and dramatic theorists of the twentieth century—Austrian music theorist Heinrich Schenker (1868-1935) and Russian director Constantin Stanislavsky (1863-1938)—Edward D. Latham reveals insights into works by Scott Joplin, George Gershwin, Kurt Weill, and Aaron Copland that are relevant to analysts, opera directors, and performers alike. Tonality as Drama is not a textbook—rather, it is an innovative analytical study meant to inspire changes in the study and performance of tonal opera. By applying Schenker’s tonal analytical technique to a small segment (early twentieth-century American opera) of a repertoire typically regarded as non-tonal (modern opera), Latham reveals a strategic use of tonality in that repertoire as a means of amplifying or undercutting the success or failure of dramatic characters. This use of “strategic tonality” is present in many of the grand operas and song cycles of the nineteenth century as well, suggesting avenues for future research.
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Date: September 15, 2008
Creator: Latham, Edward D.

Risk, Courage, and Women Contemporary Voices in Prose and Poetry

Description: This unique collection of narratives, essays, and poems includes an original interview with Maya Angelou and pieces by Naomi Shihab Nye, Pat Mora, Rosemary Catacalos, and many others. Each work relates how women have demonstrated courage by taking a risk that has changed their lives. The Introduction explores courage not as a battlefield quality, but as the result of thoughtful choices demonstrating integrity and self-awareness. Each section opens with a description of its organization and the significance of individual pieces. Themes include sustenance for living, faith in the unknown, the courage of choice, the seams of our lives, and crossing borders. The book begins with a conversation with Dr. Maya Angelou, the embodiment of a courageous woman. She urges readers to "Envision" and concludes the book with the wish "Good morning," inviting all to join her in a new day reflecting "The Power of One." Voices of racial and ethnic diversity speak throughout the work, underscoring both difference and unity in the female experience. Including role models for university audiences and powerful reflections of life experiences for older readers, this work serves many purposes: a textbook in Literature or Women's/Gender Studies classes, a focus for book study groups, and a source for providing perspective during quiet moments. All net proceeds from book sales will go to the WINGS nonprofit organization, recipient of Oprah's Angel Network award, providing uninsured women with free breast cancer surgery, radiation, counseling, and follow-up treatments such as chemotherapy. "I wish women could see themselves free. Just see and imagine what they could do if they were free of the national and international history of diminishment. Just imagine, if we could have a Madame Curie born in the nineteenth century, suppose that twenty other women had been liberated at the same time? That's what I wish for ...
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Date: August 15, 2007
Creator: Waldron, Karen A.; Labatt, Laura M. & Brazil, Janice H.

Finish Forty and Home: the Untold World War II Story of B-24s in the Pacific

Description: During the early years of World War II in the Pacific theatre, against overwhelming odds, young American airmen flew the longest and most perilous bombing missions of the war. They faced determined Japanese fighters without fighter escort, relentless anti-aircraft fire with no deviations from target, and thousands of miles of over-water flying with no alternative landing sites. Finish Forty and Home is the true story of the men and missions of the 11th Bombardment Group as it fought alone and unheralded in the South Central Pacific, while America had its eyes on the war in Europe. After bombing Nauru, the squadron moves on to bomb Wake Island, Tarawa, and finally Iwo Jima. These missions bring American forces closer and closer to the Japanese home islands and precede the critical American invasions of Tarawa and Iwo Jima. The 42nd Squadron’s losses through 1943 were staggering: 50 out of 110 airmen killed. “Finish Forty and Home is a treasure: poignant, thrilling, and illuminating.”—Laura Hillenbrand, best-selling author of Unbroken and Seabiscuit
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Date: August 15, 2011
Creator: Scearce, Phil

In These Times the Home Is a Tired Place: Stories

Description: When an unwed pregnant woman is pressured to get married by her boyfriend, parents, and the entire culture around her, she sees a feverish intensity emanating from the path to domesticity, a “paved path shaded by thick-trunked trees, lined with trim grass and manicured mansions, where miniature houses play mailboxes and animals play lawn ornaments and people play happiness.” Jessica Hollander’s debut collection exposes a culture that glorifies and disparages traditional domesticity, where people’s confusion, apathy, and anxiety about the institutions of marriage and family often drive them to self-destruction. The world in Hollander’s nineteen stories appears at once familiar and vividly unsettling, with undercurrents of anger and violence attached to everyday objects and spaces: a pink room is “a woman exploded,” home smells “of laundered clothes and gas from the grill,” and the sun “is so bright the sky fills with over-exposure, wilting the corners to orange, to red, to black.” Here people adopt extreme and erratic behavior: hack at furniture, have affairs with high school students, fantasize about sex with “monsters,” laden flower bouquets with messages of hate; but these self-destructive acts and fantasies feel strangely like a form of growth or enlightenment, or at least the only form that’s available to them. As characters become girlfriends, wives, husbands, and mothers, they struggle within their roles, either fighting to escape them or struggling to “play” them correctly, but always concerned with the loss of individuality, of being swallowed up by society’s expectations and becoming “a mother” or “a wife” instead of remaining themselves.
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Date: November 15, 2013
Creator: Hollander, Jessica

A Life on Paper: the Drawings and Lithographs of John Thomas Biggers

Description: John Thomas Biggers (1924–2001) was a major African American artist who inspired countless others through his teaching, murals, paintings, and drawings. After receiving conventional art training at Hampton Institute and Pennsylvania State, he had his personal and artistic breakthrough in 1957 when he spent six months in the newly independent country of Ghana. From this time forward, he integrated African abstract elements with his rural Southern images to create a personal iconography. His new approach made him famous, as his personal discovery of African heritage fit in well with the growing U.S. civil rights movement. He is best known for his murals at Hampton University, Winston-Salem University, and Texas Southern, but the drawings and lithographs that lie behind the murals have received scant attention—until now. Theisen interviewed Dr. Biggers during the last thirteen years of his life, and was welcomed into his studio innumerable times. Together, they selected representative works for this volume, some of which have not been previously published for a general audience. After his death in 2001, his widow continued to work closely with Theisen, resulting in a book that is intimate and informative for both the scholar and the student.
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Date: November 15, 2006
Creator: Theisen, Olive Jensen

Out the Summerhill Road: a Novel

Description: From Jane Roberts Wood comes a quietly riveting novel revealing the banal faces of evil in a small East Texas town. In 1946 a young couple is brutally murdered in Cold Springs. And, now, thirty-four years later, the rumor is that Jackson Morris, who had been the only person of interest in the murders, has come home. Or has he? When the four women of the Tuesday bridge club hear this rumor, their responses range from a reckless excitement to a shaky uneasiness. There’s Isabel, compelling and passionate, who foolishly and inexplicably longs to see Jackson, her first love, again while the seemingly innocent Mary Martha prays that the sheriff will put Jackson’s head in a noose. Although the eternally optimistic Sarah looks to the law to determine Jackson’s fate, the fourth woman, an Irish immigrant and a misfit in Cold Springs, is guided by the spirit world, including a cat, in deciding his guilt or innocence. When a second murder occurs after Jackson’s return, Cold Springs reacts with fear and paranoia while the women struggle to protect their friend’s reputation and desperately try to find a murderer.
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Date: August 15, 2010
Creator: Wood, Jane Roberts

What Are You Afraid Of?

Description: Powerful and haunting, the ten stories of this debut collection imagine a world where dreams and reality merge, often with dangerous consequences. Michael Hyde explores the relationships between illusion and reality, delusion and clarity, as his characters come to realize that the revelations they wholeheartedly pursue are often not the ones that await them and will move them. A teenage girl obsessed with the death of a classmate hopes to become the killer's next victim, a wayward graveyard attendant punishes the dead for his punishments in life, and a ghostly vision in a garden shed offers a catalyst for one woman's change. "Michael Hyde’s stories are strangely satisfying and satisfyingly strange. They combine the gothic sensibility of Flannery O’Connor and the restrained prose of Raymond Carver. These are tales of love-in-extremis. They should be taken as a tonic before bedtime, to stir up our dreams and awaken our compassion."—Sharon Oard Warner, judge, author of Learning to Dance and Deep in the Heart
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Date: November 15, 2005
Creator: Hyde, Michael

Fruit of the orchard: environmental justice in East Texas

Description: In 1982, a toxic waste facility opened in the Piney Woods in Winona, Texas. The residents were told that the company would plant fruit trees on the land left over from its ostensible salt-water injection well. Soon after the plant opened, however, residents started noticing huge orange clouds rising from the facility and an increase in rates of cancer and birth defects in both humans and animals. The company dismissed their concerns, and confusion about what chemicals it accepted made investigations difficult. Outraged by what she saw, Phyllis Glazer founded Mothers Organized to Stop Environmental Sins (MOSES) and worked tirelessly to publicize the problems in Winona. The story was featured in People , the Houston Chronicle magazine, and The Dallas Observer . The plant finally closed in 1998, citing the negative publicity generated by the group. This book originated in 1994 when Cromer-Campbell was asked by Phyllis Glazer to produce a photograph for a poster about the campaign. She was so touched by the people in the town that she set out to document their stories. Using a plastic Holga camera, she created hauntingly distorted images that are both works of art and testaments to the damage inflicted on the people of a small Texas town by one company’s greed. In the accompanying essays, Phyllis Glazer describes the history of Winona and the fight against the facility; Roy Flukinger discusses Cromer-Campbell's striking photographic technique; Eugene Hargrove explores issues of environmental justice; and Marvin Legator elaborates on how industry and government discourage victims of chemical exposure from seeking or obtaining relief.
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Date: September 15, 2006
Creator: Cromer-Campbell, Tammy

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.