Friday, October 15, 2010

Booklist: "The Best"

"Let’s get Hauser’s credentials out of the way. He has written an outstanding Muhammad Ali biography (Muhammad Ali: His Life and Times, 1991) as well as 17 other books about boxing. His first boxing book, Black Lights (1986), remains a classic study of a young fighter’s perilous journey in the fight game. He is a frequent contributor to, where most of these articles first appeared. The collection begins with a detailed biographical examination of the career of Sugar Ray Robinson, considered by many to be the greatest pound-for-pound fighter ever. It’s a sadly familiar tale of poverty, ascendancy, fame, and decline, related in a respectful, objective style. The rest of the book is focused on the boxing events of 2009, from the high-profile career of Manny Pacquiao to the progress of several relatively unknown young fighters learning the trade in New York’s gyms. Hauser also explores the business end of boxing, especially its painful relationship with television, but above all, he is drawn to the people of the sport: the fighters, trainers, promoters, and hangers-on. Virtually every piece is notable for its carefully drawn characters who will linger on the edges of readers’ minds long after the book has been shelved. As always, Hauser is the best."
--Wes Lukowsky, Booklist, September 1, 2010

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Monday, October 11, 2010


"I found A Sunday in God-Years unforgettable. The voices Boisseau conjures speak from varied yet connected circumstances and lives. Boisseau's linguistic and prosodic gifts provide a memorable music for the comic and tragic."
--Robin Becker in Women's Review of Books

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Wednesday, October 6, 2010

"thorough and excellent"

"Brown v. Board of Education (1954) may well be the greatest and most morally inspiring decision issued by the U.S. Supreme Court in its history. But it is also a decision wherein, preeminently, the devil lies in the details -- in the story of how Brown was implemented and of how the decision shaped both education and society in states where schools had formerly been segregated by law. Therefore, this volume of thorough and excellent essays, edited by Brian J. Daugherity and Charles C. Bolton, is especially valuable."
--Journal of Southern History

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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Choice: "Essential"

"In conjunction with his previous work, Hill Folks: A History of Arkansas Ozarkers & Their Image, Arkansas / Arkansaw solidly establishes Blevins (Ozark studies, Missouri State Univ.) among the foremost scholars of Ozarks social history. Blevins explores the origins and evolution of the state's popular images and the reactions of its citizens to those characterizations. This analysis is thorough, beginning with the earliest known travelers' observations and continuing to the contemporary Bubba personifications of Bill Clinton and Mike Huckabee. The narrative is a scholarly but not too serious examination of the 'socioeconomic implications inherent in the Arkansas image' paired with the 'reactions Arkansas people have to the Arkansaw image.' Describing his effort to balance these personas, Blevins writes '... I try to label as an Arkansan anyone who would choke on his roast beef if called an Arkansawyer.' Richly illustrated and thoroughly explained, this work belongs in every academic library that collects southern history and every public library that serves southern constituents. Summing up: Essential. All levels / libraries."

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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

"Rich ... lovely"

Read the review of Live Nude Girl in The Colorado Review.

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Thursday, September 9, 2010

"Turning odd bits of archaeological study collected over 25 years into a coherent, meaningful, and useful narrative for a general readership would challenge the best of writers. In Digging for History at Old Washington, Mary Kwas demonstrates that it can be done and done well."
--Historical Archaeology, 2010, 44(2)

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Wednesday, September 8, 2010

"a rich history"

"Mary Kwas' latest publication provides a rich history, both in content and design, of Washington, Arkansas, a National Historic Landmark community and state park. This book was designed for the general public with nearly 80 colorful images and an introductory chapter on the importance of archaeological research. Professional archaeologists will also find the information offered useful as Kwas highlights the role of archaeology in Washington's transformation from an economic and political center in the nineteenth century into a major heritage tourism site in the twentieth century. This narrative of 'Old' Washington's preservation legacy is similar and contemporaneous to that of Colonial Williamsburg or to Midwestern towns like New Harmony, Indiana, and Arrow Rock, Missouri."
--Midcontinental Journal of Archaeology, Spring 2010

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