American Antislavery Writings -- Colonial Beginnings to Emancipation, Library of America '12, $40, 963 pages, ASIN #1598531964. Index, notes, chronology, no bibliography, grouping of b&w and color glossy images.
Many of us are acquainted with antislavery writings during the 19th century abolition movement, when William Lloyd Garrison, Frederick Douglass, and Harriet Beecher Stowe each tried to stir the nation's conscience toward equal treatment of their black sisters and brothers. However, as Editor James Basker writes, the first antislavery tracts date to early colonial times.
Gathered herein are dozens of essays written by such noted authors as Patrick Henry and Benjamin Franklin to less well-known writers as Timothy Dwight, after whom a school at Yale is named; and Samuel Sewall, who condemned numerous women in Salem, MA to death for witchcraft, only to repent openly in church and beg forgiveness for his actions.
Editor James G. Basker is president of the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, and Richard Gilder is professor of literary history at Barnard College, Columbia University.
The Ice Museum -- to Shetland, Germany, Iceland, Norway, Estonia, Greenland, and Svalbard in search of the Lost Land of Thule, by Joanna Kavenna, Penguin '05 paperback. $15, 294 pages, ASIN #0670913952. No index, bibliography or notes, maps, seven maps at beginning of chapters.
From the back cover:
"A legend, a land once seen and then lost forever, Thule was a place beyond the edge of the maps, a mystery for thousands of years. To the Nazis, Thule was an Icy Eden, birthplace of Nordic "purity." In this exquisitely written narrative, Joanna Kavenna wanders in search of Thule -- to Shetland, Germany, Iceland, Norway, Estonia, Greenland, and Svalbard -- unearthing the philosophers, poets, and explorers who claimed Thule for themselves, from Richard Francis Burton to Norwegian explorer Fridtjof Nansen.
"Marked by breathtaking snowscapes, haunting literature, and the cold specter of past tragedies, this is a wondrous blend of travel writing and detective work that is impossible to put down."
Joanna Kavenna has worked for The New York Review of Books, the Observer, the Daily Telegraph, The London Review of Books, The Guardian, and The Times Literary Supplement, among other publications.
African Americans in South Texas History, Edited by Bruce A. Glasrud, Texas A&M Press '11 paperback. $23, 496 pages, ASIN #1603442294. Index, contributors, bibliography, notes, unillustrated.
Historian Bruce A. Glasrud has gathered herein a series of essays by various scholars with titles ranging from "Slavery in San Antonio in the 1850s" and "Wantonly Mistreated and Slain, Simply Because They Are Free" to "Lola and Leon Houck versus the Southern Pacific Railway Company" and "The Houston Eagles and the End of the Negro Leagues."
A brief book description from the rear cover:
"The history of South Texas is more racially and ethnically complex than many people realize. As a border area, South Texas has experienced some especially interesting forms of racial and ethnic intersection, influenced by the relatively small number of blacks (especially in certain counties), the function and importance of the South Texas cattle trade, proximity to Mexico, and the history of anti-black violence. The essays in African Americans in South Texas History give insight into this fascinating history.
"The articles in this volume, written over a span of 27 years, were chosen for their readability, scholarship, and general interest. These chronologically ordered chapters cover the black experience in South Texas from slavery through civil rights to the present, focusing on the major topics and themes that have impacted African Americans in this region. Read together, they afford both a broad and a deep understanding of the African American experience in South Texas. A selected bibliography adds to the research value of the volume, designed for students, scholars, and general readers interested in South Texas history or in African American history and culture."
Author Bruce A. Glasrud is professor emeritus of history at California State University, East Bay, and retired dean of the School of Arts and Sciences, Sul Ross State University. He has authored, co-authored, or edited 16 books.