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New Publications

George M. Eberhart

American Western Song: Poems from 1976 to 2001,by Victor W. Pearn (387 pages, No- vember 2000), is a poetic exploration of Pearn’s experiences living in Colorado and going through Marine basic training during the Viet- nam War. The poems are short, expressive, nostalgic, and visual. A good choice for 20th- century American poetry collections. $25.00. Xlibris Corporation. ISBN 0-7388-3867-5.

The Biology of Science Fiction Cinema,by Mark C. Glassy (296 pages, April 2001), ex- amines the scientific principles underlying such horror and science fiction films as Bride of Frankenstein and Jurassic Park. Glassy takes 79 different films and assesses the biology presented in each, re- views what technology would be needed to achieve the results, and concludes whether any of the plots could actually have hap- pened. Fifteen chapters cover different biological disciplines, from cell biology (The Blob) and molecular biology (The Fly) to he- matology (blouse of Dracula), en- tomology (Themf), and “shrinkology” (Fantastic Voyage). For film buffs, it will be a revelation to see what the real odds are on transplanting heads, creating artificial skin, or transforming people into snakes, zombies, or giant insects. With much speculative fiction turning into scientific fact on a daily basis, this guidebook is required reading. $39-95. McFarland. ISBN 0-7864-0998-3.

Dragon Hunter: Roy Chapman Andrews and the Central Asiatic Expeditions,by Charles Gallenkamp (344 pages, May 2001), is the first full-length biography of the explorer who between 1922 and 1930 organized five expeditions into the Gobi Desert for the American Museum of Natural History, still one of the least-known regions on the planet. Using automobiles supported by camel cara- vans, Andrews led a team of scientists who discovered a wealth of dinosaur fossils, includ- ing many fossilized eggs and the first bones of a Velociraptor. Although they failed to find any trace of fossil human remains, their adventures made headlines worldwide. Gallenkamp recap- tures the excitement of their encounters with sandstorms, brigands, and Mongolian Commu- nist bureaucrats, and highlights the importance of the palaeontological record they uncovered. $29-95. Viking. ISBN 0-670-89093-6.

The Essential Guide to the Best (and Worst) Legal Sites on the Web,by Robert J. Ambrogi (370 pages, July 2001), does pretty much what the title advertises, providing starred, one-paragraph summaries of Web sites dealing with legal top- ics from copyright and Net law to criminal justice and torts. Re- views are qualitative and based on overall usefulness, content, design, accessibility, and creativ- ity. Should you use FindLaw or Law.com to look for court opin- ions, or go somewhere else? This book will help you make a reasonable choice. $34.95. ALM Publishing, 105 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10016. ISBN 0-9705970-3-7.

Extinct Birds,by Errol Fuller (398 pages, revised ed., April 2001), is a historical account of bird species that have become extinct in the past 400 years. Besides presenting information that has been expanded from the 1987 edition, this volume rehabilitates three species that have been rediscovered in the interim (Jerdon’s courser, the four-colored flowerpecker, and the forest owlet) and adds several (including three from North America—- the ivory-billed woodpecker, the Eskimo curlew, and Bachman’s warbler) that are now likely gone. Beautifully illustrated with photos and paintings (some by the author) of both familiar birds (the dodo and the moa)and the unfamiliar, Fuller’s book chronicles the discovery and loss of each. $49-95. Cornell University. ISBN 0-9014-3954-X.

George M. Eberhart is senior editor of American Libraries; e-mail: geberhart@ala.org

For Love of Learning(204 pages, May 2001) is a catalog of the special collections and pri- mary sources available at the University of Louisville Libraries and Archives, which is par- ticularly rich in the history of the Irish Liter- ary Renaissance, the history of books and printing, and popular culture. Though much of the catalog is available on the library’s Web site at special.library.louisville.edu, the print version is more browsable and serendipitous. To request a copy, contact Special Collections and Archives, Ekstrom Library, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY 40292.

Gettysburg: The First Day,by Harry W. Pfanz (472 pages, July 2001), lives up to the quality of the author’s earlier works on Gettysburg’s second day and the battles around Cemetery and Culp’s hills. Pfanz, retired Na- tional Park Service chief histo- rian and Gettysburg National Military Park historian, has writ- ten the definitive work on the battle of July 1, 1863, with much more detail than Warren Hassler’s 1970 Crisis at the Crossroads. The first day, often neglected by historians in favor of the later engagements of Round Top and Pickett’s Charge, was just as crucial, with General Buford’s cavalry delay- ing Confederate forces sufficiently to allow arriving infantry to secure the high ground that became decisive later on; and Confeder- ate General Ewell’s failure to press an attack by the end of the day, which resulted in one of the many controversial “what if s” of the battle. A definitive analysis that is essential for Civil War collections. $34.95. University of North Carolina. ISBN 0-8078-2624-3.

Handbook of Norse Mythology,by John Lindow (365 pages, June 2001), summarizes the deities, themes, and concepts in the Scandinavian eddic and skaldic poetry and the writings of Snorri Sturluson that constitute the bulk of written Norse myth. Descriptions of both major and minor gods and heroes are concise and straightforward, with original sources credited throughout. Books and ar- ticles suggested for further reading are often in German, Norwegian, or Icelandic as well as in English. A reliable and handy reference. $55.00. ABC-Clio. ISBN 1-57607-217-7.

Igniting King Philip's War,by Yasuhide Kawashima (201 pages, June 2001), examines the background and criminal proceedings of one of the first landmark cases in North Ameri- can law, the trial for the murder of Wampanoag Indian John Sassamon in the Plymouth colony of New England in 1675. Sassamon may have been killed by three of his own people for threatening to reveal to the colonists that the Wampanoag were getting ready to attack; that certainly was the decision of the court, which -sentenced the three to death. However, the trial was the flashpoint for conflict with the Wampanoags that came to be known as King Philip’s War. Not only had the Plymouth colonists usurped their jurisdiction in the case, but it was a rush to judg- ment beset with procedural vio- lations and neglected forensic evi- dence. Ultimately, it also set a pre- cedent for treating local Native Americans not as coexisting equals, but as marginalized vas- sals who after the war were forced to live in designated villages under the strict rule of colonial law with no opportunity to participate as citizens. $29.95. University Press of Kansas. ISBN 0- 7006-1092-8.

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