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John F. Seiberling and the Environmental Movement
The first and only biography of one of America’s greatest conservationists
Akron native and former U.S. Representative John F. Seiberling (1918–2008) grew up on his family’s estate overlooking Ohio’s Cuyahoga River Valley. Within his lifetime, Seiberling would become a leading player in the movement to protect the natural environment and help transform his childhood playground into the federally protected Cuyahoga Valley National Park.
A Passion for the Land begins with a fast-moving narrative of Seiberling’s early life and a vivid description of the physical environment that stimulated his lifelong interests in nature and wilderness. Author Daniel Nelson provides a detailed examination of the congressman’s role as a dedicated environmentalist, covering Seiberling’s efforts to pass path-breaking legislation during the 1970s and the equally important period of defensive activity during the 1980s.
Seiberling’s successful bipartisan campaign to protect the Cuyahoga Valley became a stepping-stone to other important conservation efforts. Working with like-minded legislators and activists in the expanding environmental movement, he used his increasingly influential position in Congress as chair of the House Subcommittee on Public Lands to foster urban parks, transform Alaska, and make wilderness protection a hallmark of the new approach to public lands management. The result was the creation of 100 million acres of parks and refuges in Alaska and millions of acres of protected wilderness in national forests.
Based largely on unpublished correspondence and other previously unused materials, A Passion for the Land concludes with a review of Seiberling’s ongoing involvement in environmental affairs following his decision to retire from Congress in 1987.
Spanning oceans and continents, language and the imagination, the unfathomable distances between people and their desires, Allison Davis’s Poppy Seeds creates an “immaculate atlas.” Here language is “broken/ . . . against the margin of the sea,” and a word is a thing that can be “wash[ed] away.” Here the body is both a lesson and a place with an edge you can drive to. The book “longs[s] for as long as/Ohio rivers.” Tangled between worlds and languages both old and new, our deepest emotions search for their roots, hoping to find a place to call home.
Family Letters of Salmon, Kate, and Nettie Chase, 1844-1873
A volume of correspondence between a prominent father and his accomplished daughters
Married three times, Salmon P. Chase lost four children in infancy. Two daughters survived to adulthood and were their father’s companions during his service as a U.S. senator from Ohio, governor of Ohio, Abraham Lincoln’s secretary of the Treasury, and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Kate, his older daughter, acted as an unofficial political advisor to her father and was a prominent Washington, D.C., hostess, while Nettie eschewed a life in the public eye, becoming a wife, mother, and creator of children’s books.
Often separated from his family due to the demands of his career as a lawyer and antislavery politician, Chase maintained his relationship with his daughters by the frequent exchange of letters. Chase’s letters show an ambitious father trying to school his daughters from afar, admonishing them to study and encouraging them to develop self-discipline and personal responsibility. The letters in this volume—from Chase to his daughters, from his daughters to him and to each other—span from when Kate was a young child and Nettie not yet born to their father’s death in 1873.
This collection of correspondence, many letters previously unpublished, stresses familial relationships, the daughters’ education, and the role of women in nineteenth-century America. “Spur Up Your Pegasus” provides important insights into the personal lives and private thoughts of a prominent political family.
The return of popular nineteenth-century short stories of the early American frontier
“James Hall was part of a literary scene in Cincinnati and in Illinois at the same time as Hawthorne and Irving were publishing short stories in New York and Boston. Middle Westerners should be delighted to rediscover one of their earliest masters of short fiction. Hall’s style has all the charm of his most talented peers and deftly employs the techniques of sentimentality, irony, and physiognomy that were so popular at the time.”<br /> —Gordon Sayre, University of Oregon
“The Indian Hater” and Other Stories, by James Hall returns to print an important and popular writer from an often-overlooked moment in American literary history. In the decades before the Civil War, when readers and writers in both the United States and England thought about writing from the American West they thought about James Hall (1793–1867) and his stories “The Indian Hater” and “Pete Featherton.” Between 1828 and 1836, Hall wrote dozens of short stories in a wide variety of genres while working as an editor, politician, and businessman, first in frontier Illinois and after 1833 in Cincinnati. Many of his stories were immediately reprinted on both sides of the Atlantic and achieved success with both the popular audience and the critics, despite their unorthodox treatment of the frontier.
Born a younger son to a prominent Philadelphia literary family, Hall first heard many of the stories that inspired his later fiction as a lawyer and judge riding the circuit in 1820s Illinois. Describing more common subjects than the sweeping narratives of James Fenimore Cooper or Francis Parkman, Hall’s stories depict complex cultural collisions and exchanges: French settlers still populate his southern Illinois, and their more humane treatment of their Indian neighbors is contrasted with that of the Anglo-Americans Hall saw flooding the region; his white men are complicated and often corrupted, hardly confirmations of the myths of Daniel Boone or Cooper’s Leatherstocking; his Indian characters are complex and humanized, unusual depictions in a moment of race-based Manifest Destiny; and Hall’s West is simultaneously tragic, violent, comedic, and deeply conflicted. James Hall was popular and important in his moment, and his stories embody very progressive sentiments. His most famous story, “The Indian Hater,” is Hall’s fictionalization of a real-life settler who, to avenge earlier attacks on his family, periodically hunted and murdered Indians at random. He wrote two versions of this tale, both included in the current volume, the second of which ends with a successful interracial marriage, a very controversial theme at the time.
To read these stories is to rediscover an American frontier too often left out of the history books, one rendered by the hands of a master prose stylist. The lack of quality of nineteenth-century texts coupled with the growing interest in early American writers make “The Indian Hater” and Other Stories, by James Hall an important addition to both U.S. history and literature.
Civil War History Readers, Volume 2
The second volume of the best from Civil War History
For more than fifty years the journal Civil War History has presented the best original scholarship in the study of America’s greatest struggle. The Kent State University Press is pleased to present this second volume in its multivolume series reintroducing the most influential of the more than 500 articles published in the journal. From military command, strategy, and tactics, to political leadership, race, abolitionism, the draft, and women’s issues, from the war’s causes to its aftermath and Reconstruction, Civil War History has published pioneering and provocative analyses of the determining aspects of the Middle Period.
In this second volume of the series, John David Smith has selected groundbreaking essays by David Blight, Eugene Genovese, Mark Neely Jr., Brooks Simpson, and other scholars that examine slavery, abolitionism, emancipation, Lincoln and race, and African Americans as soldiers and veterans. His introduction assesses the contribution of each article to our understanding of the Civil War era.
Those with an interest in the issues, struggles, and controversies that divided a nation will welcome this essential collection.
Glossary and Commentary
A close reading of one of Hemingway’s short story collections
“The aim of this book is not to have the final word on the meaning of the stories that compose Men Without Women. Rather, the study attempts to probe the events of each story as we encounter them. It seeks to explain historical references, to identify allusions, to see how form suggests meaning.”<br /> —From the Preface
Because of the fame The Sun Also Rises brought Ernest Hemingway, when Men Without Women was published just one year later, in 1927, it commanded popular and critical attention. Even reviewers who objected to a masculine emphasis and a sometimes harsh realism identified stories in the collection that could not be ignored. Close commentary, with special attention to allusions, demonstrates that Men Without Women merits a place among the best story collections in American literature.
Reading Hemingway’s Men Without Women guides readers toward understanding how Hemingway tested old ideas of family, gender, race, ethnicity, and manhood. This close study invites scholars, teachers, students, and general readers to take a careful look into Hemingway’s prose.
American Literature and Culture, 1870-1893
How a prominent magazine shaped nineteenth-century American literature and culture
During the 1870s, the organization and stewardship of American culture by the upper classes began to take hold on a mass scale, due in part to the founding of museums, municipal libraries, symphony halls, theaters, and public parks. In addition, periodicals such as Scribner’s Magazine, Harper’s Monthly Magazine, and The Atlantic Monthly became major players in shaping the country’s cultural ideals.
Founded in 1870, Scribner’s Monthly: An Illustrated Magazine for the People, which became The Century Illustrated Monthly Magazine in 1881, offered its predominantly upper-middle-class readership historical and biographical essays, serialized novels, scientific and technological updates, and discussions of contemporary events and issues, such as woman suffrage, Chinese immigration, labor strikes, and “the Negro problem.”
With a smooth narrative style, author Mark J. Noonan examines the worldview projected by Scribner’s-Century editors and how those editors, as white male Protestants, sought to slant issues according to their own value system. Of particular interest is Noonan’s exploration of the ways in which some periodical fiction disrupted the seemingly unified, genteel “voice” of the magazine by presenting regional dialects and inflections that appeared in stories outside the magazine’s preferred purview. Noonan discusses the large role women writers had in advancing American fiction, addresses the changing character of the magazine as it shifted focus from regionalism to high literary realism, reviews how Edward King’s ethnographic study The Great South, published alongside plantation myth fiction, helped create the post–Civil War South in the minds of Scribner’s- Century’s northern readership, and looks at how the magazine, by the mid-1890s, lost its dominance in the American cultural arena.
This fascinating book is a unique contribution to the emerging field of periodical studies and will pique the interest of literary and cultural historians and scholars.
C. S. Lewis's Nonfiction Prose
A new discussion of Lewis’s thought and style
“The Rhetoric of Certitude is a serious piece of scholarship that sheds light on a most underexamined, and even, I dare say, underappreciated aspect of Lewis’s writing life. Gary Tandy does a terrific job of making his case. This is the best treatment of its topic that I have seen.” —Don W. King, professor of English, Montreat College, North Carolina, and author of Hunting the Unicorn: A Critical Biography of Ruth Pitter and C. S. Lewis, Poet: The Legacy of His Poetic Impulse
While numerous studies on C. S. Lewis’s literary achievements have been published in the past several years, The Rhetoric of Certitude brings much-needed attention to Lewis’s nonfiction prose, identifying his unique style and explaining why his writing has remained popular while that of so many of his contemporaries has not.
In this thorough examination of Lewis’s religious essays and literary criticism, author Gary L. Tandy argues that Lewis’s style evolved from a “purposeful rhetorical stance” that unites his nonfiction prose, a style that was informed by his ideas on language, communication, and style, as well as his view of Christianity, and can be most accurately described as a rhetoric of certitude. Tandy begins with Lewis’s context, examines his comments to set up his theory of rhetoric and communication, treats Lewis’s argumentative approach, places him within a rhetoric of certitude, and suggests his style was similar in both his religious and critical writings.
The Rhetoric of Certitude is certain to become a bellwether in the discussion of Lewis’s nonfiction prose and will be welcomed by C. S. Lewis scholars and specialists.
“Branches of One Living Tree”
A pioneering study of the Shaker west’s opening generation and an analytical reconstruction of the first Ohio Shaker hymnal
The arrival of the Shakers in Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana in the decades after 1805 saw a substantial escalation in the movement. In Richard McNemar, Music, and the Western Shaker Communities, Carol Medlicott and Christian Goodwillie reconstruct a vast repository of early Shaker hymns, using them to uncover the dramatic history of Shakerism’s bold expansion to the frontier. With newly discovered tunes for more than one hundred Shaker hymns, this volume illuminates a little-known dimension of American folk hymnody.
Richard McNemar’s blended passions of printing, theology, and hymn writing were well suited to the needs of the new western Shaker enterprise. The abundance of rich spiritual and doctrinal hymns circulated by McNemar throughout the Shaker world literally gave voice to a generation of Shakers. In the early 1830s, he established a printing press at the Shaker settlement of Watervliet on the outskirts of Dayton, Ohio. There, in collaboration with other Shaker musicians and leaders, McNemar produced the first printed hymnal of the Shaker west.
McNemar’s hymnal appeared at a crucial juncture in Shaker history. The Shaker west was a full generation old, and in several communities the transition to younger leaders was a struggle. Shaker spirituality and worship patterns were changing fast during the decade. Shaker music itself was quickly evolving in the 1830s, with the onset of new song styles and the formalization of a distinctive music notation method.
Medlicott and Goodwillie paint a rich picture of the Shaker west during its most dynamic years. They probe the hymn texts and use them to illuminate the dramatic events of the Shaker west from its founding through the 1830s. They analyze the collection of hymns and hymn tunes in light of the development of Shaker hymnody by the 1830s and of American folk hymnody in general. A series of carefully researched commentaries is presented alongside the score for each hymn, serving to contextualize them individually. One learns of the hymn’s history, its authorship, and its use among the Shakers, making this exploration an invaluable reference for music historians, students of Shaker history, and students of Ohio cultural history.
The Richmond-Petersburg Campaign, October 1864
A study of Grant and Lee’s battles in the weeks before the 1864 election
In the fall of 1864, the Civil War’s outcome largely rested on Abraham Lincoln’s success in the upcoming presidential election. As the contest approached, cautious optimism buoyed the President’s supporters in the wake of Union victories at Atlanta and in the Shenandoah Valley. With all eyes on the upcoming election, Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant conducted a series of large-scale military operations outside Richmond and Petersburg, which have, until now, received little attention.
In Richmond Must Fall, Hampton Newsome examines these October battles in unprecedented scope and detail. The narrative begins with one of Lee’s last offensive operations of the war at the Darbytown Road on October 7, 1864, and ends with Grant’s major offensive on October 27 to seize the South Side Railroad, the last open rail line into the Confederate stronghold at Petersburg. The offensive would spark sharp fighting at Burgess Mill south of Petersburg and on the Williamsburg Road east of Richmond.
The October 1864 operations offer important insights into the personalities and command styles of Lee and Grant, including Lee’s penchant for audacity and overwhelming thirst to strike a blow against his opponent even against bitter odds and Grant’s willingness to shoulder heavy responsibility in the face of great risk. The narrative explores the relationships within the high command of both armies, including Grant’s sometimes strained partnership with the cautious George Meade. It also illustrates Grant’s efforts to guide the strong-willed political general Benjamin F. Butler, whose steadfast support for African American troops would spark a prisoner controversy that would bring the war’s underlying issues of slavery and race into bold relief. For the Confederates, the month’s operations illustrate Lee’s necessary reliance on his key combat commanders at Petersburg, including the formidable William Mahone.
Drawing on an array of original sources, Newsome focuses on the October battles themselves, examining the plans for the operations, the decisions made by commanders on the battlefield, and the soldiers’ view from the ground. At the same time, he places these military actions in the larger political context that draped the fall of 1864. With the election looming, neither side could afford a military disaster at Richmond or Petersburg. Nevertheless, Grant and Lee were willing to take significant risks to seek great advantage. These military events set the groundwork for operations that would close the war in Virginia several months later.