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Our winter/spring 2015 new books catalog is now available!

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Now available and 30% off! “A Legacy in Arms: American Firearm Manufacture, Design, and Artistry, 1800–1900”

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Buy the Book

The history of American firearms is inseparable from the history of the United States, for firearms have played crucial roles in the nation’s founding, westward expansion, and industrial, economic, and cultural development. This history unfolds in compelling words and images in A Legacy in Arms, a volume that draws upon the collections of the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City to trace the business and art of gun making from the early national period to the turn of the twentieth century. With more than 200 images—almost all in full color—A Legacy in Arms not only documents the inspiration and innovation of arms makers from individual artisans to mass producers, but also describes the development of decorative expression in the gun maker’s art.

In an account both entertaining and enlightening, Richard C. Rattenbury details the development of commercial arms making, from the genesis of the Kentucky rifle to the arms of such iconic manufacturers as Colt, Remington, Smith & Wesson, Sharps, Marlin, and Winchester. Into this narrative he weaves the particulars of design evolution and the impact of mass production via the “American System.” The accompanying photographs and illustrations stand as eloquent testimony to the range and richness of the gun maker’s craft—and its rightful place in the story of American industry and culture.

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Book Review: “Sandalwood Death: A Novel” by Nobel Prize-winning author Mo Yan

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Buy the Book!

In his novel Sandalwood Death, Nobel Prize-winning author Mo Yan lavishes 15 pages on a Qing Dynasty executioner’s self-described “masterpiece”—the slicing death of a handsome young officer, the failed assassin of one of Chinese history’s most corrupt generals. The executioner’s goal is to make precise, even slices that keep the defiant victim alive until the 500th cut. Here’s the first cut:

“Without warning, [Zhao Jia] drove his fist into Qian Xionfei’s chest directly above the heart. Qian’s eyes rolled up into his head, and before the effect of that blow had worn off, with a quick circular motion of the hand holding the knife, Zhao snipped a circle of flesh the size of a bronze coin off of the other the side of Qian’s chest. He had neatly excised one of Qian’s nipples, leaving a wound that looked like a blind man’s eye.”

Little wonder that Mo Yan, who has written a shelffull of novels mostly about the peasants of his native province of Shandong, China, calls himself a storyteller. Controversy surrounds his Nobel Prize because Mo Yan has not been an outspoken critic of the Chinese government (although some of his books were banned initially). Mo Yan, whose chosen pen name means “don’t talk,” says he prefers to let his writing speak for him.

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Save 35% on 2014 High Plains Book Award Winners!

HP book awards

Winners of the prestigious 2014 High Plains Book Awards, a project of Billings Public Library, were announced Saturday, October 25, 2014 in Billings, Montana at a banquet held at the Yellowstone Art Museum. http://bit.ly/10wKErA

Rough Breaks: A Wyoming High Country Memoir by Laurie Wagner Buyer won best non fiction book

9780806143750

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When twenty-eight-year-old Laurie Wagner hired on at the O Bar Y Ranch in western Wyoming, she was a novice to ranching life but no stranger to isolated locations. As revealed in her celebrated memoir When I Came West, Laurie had already spent years living in a rustic cabin in the Montana wilderness with a troubled Vietnam veteran. Rough Breaks recounts the next chapter in her life, beginning with her painful break from Bill Atkinson, and unfolding into a modern-day saga of life on a remote cattle ranch.

 

 

 

Karl Bodmer’s America Revisited: Landscape Views Across Time by W. Raymond Wood and Robert Lindholm won best art and photography book

9780806138312

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Less than thirty years after Lewis and Clark completed their epic journey, Prince Maximilian of Wied—a German naturalist—and his entourage set off on their own daring expedition across North America. Accompanying the prince on this 1832–34 voyage was Swiss artist Karl Bodmer, whose drawings and watercolors—designed to illustrate Maximilian’s journals—now rank among the great treasures of nineteenth-century American art. This lavishly illustrated book juxtaposes Bodmer’s landscape images with modern-day photographs of the same views, allowing readers to see what has changed, and what seems unchanged, since the time Maximilian and Bodmer made their storied trip up the Missouri River.

Congratulations to the authors!

Use promo code “bookaward14″ and save 35%!

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C-SPAN Cities Tour – Casper: Candy Moulton “Valentine T. McGillycuddy”

Learn about Army surgeon Valentine T. McGillycuddy from author Candy Moulton. Known as the doctor who treated Crazy Horse, McGillycuddy had a career that spanned more than 60 years that involved more than the infamous Lakota warrior. From being the surveyor of the Black Hills to Indian Agent to South Dakota’s Surgeon General, McGillycuddy was involved in many pivotal events of westward expansion including his tumultuous relationship with Chief Red Cloud. In her book, “Valentine T. McGillycuddy,” Candy Moulton explores the life and career of this little known army surgeon and Indian agent that she believes often gets overlooked.