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George M.Eberhart

The Creation of America,by Francis Jennings (340 pages, September 2000), is, de- pending on your viewpoint, either an un- abashed revisionist history of the American Revolution or an inspired excavation of its real causes and concerns minus the patriotic trap- pings that have surrounded it, like layers of an onion, since Yorktown. Jennings, the author of The Invasion of America (1975), Ambigu- ous Iroquois Empire (1984), and Empire of For- tune (1988), asserts that this is an essay, not a definitive work. Nonetheless its central thesis, that at the heart of the Revolution was an urge to transform the Great North American Land Grab from a British to an American enterprise, is based on sources as authentic as any main- stream analysis. For Allan W. Eckert fans, this makes an excellent supplement to The Wil- derness War (1978). $54.95. Cambridge Uni- versity Press. ISBN 0- 521-66255-9.

Energy Efficiency Manual,by Donald R. Wulfinghoff (1,531 pages, April 2000), contains a wealth of prac- tical information on how to reduce utility costs and make both residences and businesses more energy efficient. The first section offers some 400 suggestions (“Install automatic flue damp- ers on fuel-fired water heaters” and “Increase the thermal resistance of the panels in curtain walls”) and detailed instructions on how to accomplish them, with a scorecard on the sav- ings potential, rate of return, reliability, and ease of retrofit or initiation for each. The sec- ond section provides essential background in- formation in plain language on energy man- agement tools, energy sources, mechanical equipment, insulation, and lighting. If you ever wondered how compression cooling works or why incandescent lighting is inefficient, this book is the place to find out. A natural acqui- sition for engineering libraries, it may also come in handy if your library is scheduled for a reno- vation. $199-95. Energy Institute Press, 3936 Lantern Drive, Wheaton, MD 20902. ISBN 0- 9657926-7-6.

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

Galveston and the 1900 Storm: Catastro- phe and Catalyst,by Patricia Beilis Bixel and Elizabeth Hayes Turner (174 pages, Au- gust 2000), tells the story of the catastrophic hurricane that nearly leveled Galveston, Texas, on September 8, 1900, killing an esti- mated 6,000 people and filling the streets of the unprotected port city with wreckage. How- ever, the authors also focus on how Galveston responded to the disaster. Relief efforts by city government, Clara Barton and the Red Cross, Af- rican American leaders, and the Women’s Health Protec- tive Association ultimately led to changes that affected di- saster relief, Progressivism, municipal reform, and engi- neering technology in the city as well as the rest of the United States. Of particular value is an examination of the attitudes of Galveston’s black population and their re- sponse to the crisis. $60.00. University of Texas Press. ISBN 0-292-70883-1.

Popular American Recording Pioneers, 1895-1925,by Tim Gracyk with Frank Hoffman (444 pages, November 2000), cov- ers the lives of some 100 musicians who made recordings during the pre-microphone acous- tic era. A wide range of music is included— Tin Pan Alley numbers, Broadway show tunes, ragtime and coon, parlor ballads, early jazz, early country, blues, quartet arrange- ments (before quartets were described as “barbershop”), and dance music of all kinds. This compilation rescues biographical and discographical information from periodical sources that are difficult to find. $39-95. Haworth.ISBN 078901220 0.

The Quotable Calvin Coolidge,edited by Peter Hannaford (183 pages, November 2000), attempts to resurrect the 30th president’s reputation from the mists of misquotation and neglect that have surrounded him since the 1930s. Though a fiscal conservative, Coolidge had some progressive ideas on women’s suffrage, welfare, workplace safety, and election reform. The 240 quotations are taken from his entire career and range from faith and fishing to taxes and teachers. $19.50. Images from the Past, P.O. Box 137, Bennington, VT 05201. ISBN 1- 884592-33-3.

Woodrow Wilson fans can turn to The Real Woodrow Wilson, by James Robert Carroll (113 pages, November 2000), consisting of an interview with Arthur S. Link, who tells the story of his 35 years as editor of the 69-volume set of Wilson papers. $19-50, from the same publisher. ISBN 1-884592-32-5.

The Universe Unveiled: Instruments and Images through History,by Bruce Stephenson, Marvin Bolt, and Anna Felicity Friedman (152 pages, November 2000), showcases astronomical charts and instruments from the 15th to the 19th centuries housed in Chicago’s Adler Planetarium and Astronomy Museum. The text serves as a nontechnical supplement to the excellent photos of astrolabes, horoscopes, sundials, globes, and star maps that helped our ancestors understand space, time, the earth, and the universe. $29.95. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-79143-X

Unobtrusive Evaluation of Reference Service and Individual Responsibility: The Canadian Experience,by Juris Dilevko (220 pages, October 2000), is based on two surveys on the quality of reference service in Canada, both using unobtrusive, proxy-based methods. One focused on government documents collections, while the other used questions framed from current newspaper stories to test whether the reference staff in large public libraries considered a knowledge of daily news events an important context for answering questions. Though the results were generally disappointing, Dilevko offers some useful analysis on why reference failure occurs. Particularly enlightening is a chapter that followed up on what happened when librarians made unmonitored referrals to outside sources. $24.95. Ablex. ISBN 1-56750-507-4. ■

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