New Publications

George M. Eberhart

After the Bounty, edited by Donald A. Maxton (253 pages, November 2009), consists of the journal (published only once before in 1935) written by James Morrison, boatswain’s mate on the ill-fated HMS Bounty. Although Morrison was apparently not an active participant in the 1789 mutiny, he sailed with Fletcher Christian and the mutineers and remained behind on Tahiti with 15 others when the Bounty went looking for a safe haven. The first part of Morrison’s journal, which he partially wrote in an English prison awaiting trial, is the only first-hand account of the events after Bligh’s party was set adrift, including the mutineers’ failed attempt to colonize the island of Tubuai, his 18-month sojourn on Tahiti, and his capture and imprisonment on the HMS Pandora and its subsequent shipwreck. The second part of the journal is filled with Morrison’s observations on Tahitian life and culture. $29.95. Potomac. 978-1-59797-371-7.

Aphrodite’s Island: The European Discovery of Tahiti, by Anne Salmond (537 pages, January 2010), describes the visits of Samuel Wallis, Louis-Antoine de Bougainville, James Cook, and Domingo de Bonechea to Tahiti in 1767–1777. Salmond, professor of Maori studies at the University of Auckland, is able to interpret both sides of these cultural encounters—the Europeans’ misunderstanding of the Tahitian ‘arioi religious customs that encouraged the myth of the islands as an Arcadian paradise populated by uninhibited maidens and powerful warriors in a state of nature, as well as the Tahitians’ initial acceptance of the Europeans as godlike offspring of common ancestors whom the god ‘Oro had summoned to avenge the desecration of the sacred island of Ra’iatea by warriors from Bora Bora. Her account is filled with rich and little-known details about Ahutoru, Tupaia, and Ma’i, Tahitians who joined the Europeans on their travels; the preparations for observing the transit of Venus across the sun during Cook’s second voyage; Cook’s observation of a human sacrifice at the sacred site of Utuaimahurau; and the two Spanish Franciscan friars from Peru who tried unsuccessfully to establish a mission house on Tahiti. $29.95. University of California. 978-0-520-26114-3.

Black’s Medical Dictionary, edited by Harvey Marcovitch (800 pages, 42d ed., January 2010), has added the inevitable updates and changes since the last edition in 2006, among them new developments in endoscopy and angioplasty, fibroid treatment, and stem-cell research. The definitions are concise and easy to understand, and the illustrations are effective, yet the focus on British organizations and information sources will make this of only supplementary importance to North Americans. $55.00. A. & C. Black. 978-0-7136-8902-0.

Evolution: The Story of Life, by Douglas Palmer with illustrations by Peter Barrett (370 pages, November 2009), presents panoramas showing artist’s conceptions of prehistoric life from 100 of the best fossil sites around the world, progressing from prokaryotic microbes of the Paleoarchaean Era to the last surviving moas of New Zealand 700 years ago. Each two-page color spread includes photographs of the fossils on which the artwork is based, notes on the ecology of the site, and the continental configuration in place at the time. Recent fossil discoveries are depicted, including the protofeathered minidinosaurs and primitive mammals discovered in Liaoning, China, and the dwarf Pleistocene human Homo floresiensis discovered in 2003 in Indonesia. Other sections offer a taxonomic overview of the trees of life incorporating the latest research based on molecular phylogenetics; a gazetteer of fossil sites shown in the panoramas, with suggestions for further reading; and indexes of the species included, arranged both alphabetically and cladistically. University of California, produced in association with the Natural History Museum in London. $39.95. 978-0-520-25511-1.

Food in the Movies, by Steve Zimmerman (475 pages, 2d ed., November 2009), looks at the many ways in which food has served as a prop, plot point, metaphor, or core element in films. A significant expansion of the 2005 edition, this book summarizes the culinary attributes of some 800 movies from the silent era to the present. Zimmerman provides topical chapters on romantic meals, food comedies, Thanksgiving dinners, sex and food, hunger, unpleasant dining experiences, food and murder, and cuisine as an indication of a character’s personality. A final section examines the food-film genre that emerged in the late 1970s and has flourished ever since (Tampopo, Babette’s Feast, and No Reservations are examples). $45.00. McFarland. 978-0-7864-4546-2.

Tokyo Rose/An American Patriot: A Dual Biography, by Frederick P. Close (522 pages, February 2010), examines the life of Iva Toguri, a Japanese-American woman who found herself stranded in Japan when war was declared after the attack on Pearl Harbor. She managed to find work at a news agency, then eventually was hired to host a Radio Tokyo program called The Zero Hour that featured Allied prisoners of war coerced into reading news and propaganda. She used the nickname Orphan Ann. The name Tokyo Rose soon became a generic name given by GIs to any of a dozen female broadcasters who tried to disrupt the morale of Allied troops in the Pacific, but none of them actually used that name. Toguri refused to renounce her U.S. citizenship and occasionally provided help to some Allied prisoners, but shortly after the war was over she foolishly responded to a reporter’s offer of $2,000 for an exclusive interview with Tokyo Rose. In 1949, she went on trial charged with eight counts of treason, was convicted on one count, and served six years of a six-year prison sentence. Close covers the trial in great detail, her experiences in prison, and her pardon by President Gerald Ford in 1977 after a reporter discovered that two prosecution witnesses had lied under oath. $45.00. Scarecrow. 978-1-8108-6777-2.

Understanding Climate Change: Climate Variability, Predictability, and Change in the Midwestern United States, edited by Sara C. Pryor (296 pages, August 2009), is an important group of studies, derived from a workshop held at Indiana University in October 2007, that focus on the likelihood of anthropogenic change in the mean climate of the Midwest over the next 100 years and how it can be mitigated. Chapters cover Midwestern summer cooling trends, increasing lengths of the frost-free season, streamflow in the Upper Mississippi basin, extreme rainfall and severe weather in the Twin Cities, wind speed in Minnesota, and severe Midwestern storms. $65.00. Indiana University. 978-0-253-35344-3.

War: The Definitive Visual Guide (512 pages, September 2009) provides a sweeping overview of conflict from ancient Mesopotamia to the war in Afghanistan. Constructed in a similar way to DK’s History: The Definitive Visual Guide (2007), this volume begins with broad essays on major wars, weapons, and armor; profiles of key battles and timelines; two-page features on notable artifacts; and notes on the causes and aftermath of hostilities. A directory section provides a chronological listing of major wars and battles from 3000 B.C. to the present. As with other DK books, the abundant illustrations lure readers in for an extended browse. $50.00. DK Publishing. 978-0-7566-5572-3.

Copyright © American Library Association, 2010

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