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Book Review: “Blucher: Scourge of Napoleon” by Michael V. Leggiere


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Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher was one of the most colorful personalities of the Napoleonic Wars. Unlike many important figures of the period, he did not have a long career in military or political affairs after the Napoleonic era (he was already seventy-two years old at Waterloo). Hence his actions during the wars were unbesmirched by subsequent events and decisions; this was not so for many other prominent commanders or heads of state. Blücher became a Prussian hero and then a pan-German hero, celebrated in folklore, song, poetry, and novels. He was commemorated officially by the state with statues, monuments, and eponymously named streets, ships, railroads, and plazas. Blücher collectibles decorated the homes of thousands of middle-class Germans well into the twentieth century. And, though few serious biographies have appeared in recent decades, German scholarship in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries covered his career in considerable detail.

It is therefore surprising that there is little substantive English-language work about Blücher. Indeed, this new biography by Michael Leggiere (Univ. of North Texas) represents the first such book in four decades (excluding translations of older German monographs). Leggiere has spent many years researching and writing about campaigns Blücher was directly involved in, particularly during the period German historians call the “War of Liberation” (1813–14).

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Congratulations to our IndieFab Award Winners!

Congratulations to our winners of the 2013 IndieFab Award for the Foreword Reviews’ 16th Annual Book Of The Year Awards. Foreword Reviews announced the winners on Friday, June 27th at the 2014 American Library Association Annual Conference.

Gold Winner: Architecture

American Ski Resort: Architecture, Style, Experience

By Margaret Supplee Smith

Supplee Smith








In this magnificent book, architectural historian Margaret Supplee Smith traces the evolution of the ski resort in North America. Brimming with photographs of spectacular scenery, intriguing buildings, and colorful personalities, American Ski Resort is the first book to explore the combined phenomena of skiing, tourism, and architecture from a national perspective.


Gold Winner: Translations

Sandalwood Death: A Novel

By Mo Yan

Translated by Howard Goldblatt

Mo Yan








This powerful novel by Mo Yan—one of contemporary China’s most famous and prolific writers—is both a stirring love story and an unsparing critique of political corruption during the final years of the Qing Dynasty, China’s last imperial epoch.


Bronze Winner: Nature

Conversations with Barry Lopez: Walking the Path of Imagination

By William E. Tydeman









This invigorating book invites readers to sit down with Lopez and his friend William E. Tydeman to engage with their conversations about activism, the life of the mind, and all things literary.


Browse our forthcoming books!


Q&A with Thomas A. Petrie, author of “Following Oil: Four Decades of Cycle-Testing Experiences and What They Foretell about U.S. Energy Independence”

Following Oil

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In a forty-year career as an oil and gas investment analyst and as an investment banker and strategic adviser on petroleum-sector mergers, acquisitions, and financings, Thomas A. Petrie has witnessed dramatic changes in the business. In Following Oil, he shares useful lessons he has learned about domestic and global trends in population and economic growth, a maturing resource base, variable national energy policies, and dynamic changes in geopolitical forces—and how these variables affect energy markets. More important, he applies those lessons to charting a course of energy development for the nation as the twenty-first century unfolds.

Question: Why is energy so topical now?

Answer:  We are at a major inflection point regarding the interrelationship of developing the energy supplies needed for global economic growth versus legitimate environmental considerations. Technological advances in communications and rising economic aspirations around the world necessitate a focused and rational assessment of strategies to meet these human needs. Only a decade ago there was rising fear of a global peak in conventional oil output. That has now been meaningfully postponed by the revolution in developing unconventional fossil fuels. However, it will be critical to pursue these new sources wisely while evaluation and validation of alternatives involving renewable sources continues to advance over a realistic timeframe.

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2014 American West Catalog